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Title: Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7
Author: Warner, Charles Dudley, 1829-1900 [Editor], Mabie, Hamilton Wright, 1846-1916 [Editor], Runkle, Lucia Isabella Gilbert, 1844- [Editor], Warner, George H., 1833-1919 [Editor]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

  [Transcriber's Note:
   Minor spelling and typographical errors corrected without note.
   Other archaic and variable spelling preserved as printed.
   Editor's punctuation style preserved.
   Table of Contents updated to match entries.
   Passages in italics indicated by _underscores_.
   Emphasized words within italics indicated by +pluses+.
   Greek transliterations are surrounded by ~tildes~.]






  Connoisseur Edition

  Vol. VII.


  Connoisseur Edition


  _No._ 299

       *       *       *       *       *

  Copyright, 1896, by

  R. S. Peale and J. A. Hill

  _All rights reserved_


    Professor of Hebrew,
      HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Cambridge, Mass.

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

    Professor of History and Political Science,

    Professor of Literature,

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

    Late Professor of the Germanic and Scandinavian Languages and

    Director of the Lick Observatory, and Astronomer,

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

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

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

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

    Professor of Literature in the



                                            LIVED          PAGE

  HENRY CUYLER BUNNER                      1855-1896       2731

    The Love-Letters of Smith ('Short Sixes')
    The Way to Arcady

  JOHN BUNYAN                              1628-1688       2747

                    BY EDWIN P. PARKER

    The Fight with Apollyon ('Pilgrim's Progress')
    The Delectable Mountains (same)
    Christiana and Her Companions Enter the Celestial City (same)

  GOTTFRIED AUGUST BÜRGER                  1747-1794       2767

    William and Helen
    The Wives of Weinsberg

  EDMUND BURKE                             1729-1797       2779

                    BY E. L. GODKIN

    From Speech on 'Conciliation with America'
    From Speech on 'The Nabob of Arcot's Debts'
    From Speech on 'The French Revolution'

  FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT                    1849-         2809

    At the Pit ('That Lass o' Lowrie's')

  FRANCES BURNEY (Madame D'Arblay)         1752-1840       2817

    Evelina's Letter to the Rev. Mr. Villars ('Evelina')
    A Man of the Ton ('Cecilia')
    Miss Burney's Friends ('Letters')

  ROBERT BURNS                             1759-1796       2833


    The Cotter's Saturday Night
    John Anderson, My Jo
    Man Was Made to Mourn
    Green Grow the Rashes
    Is There for Honest Poverty
    To a Mouse
    To a Mountain Daisy
    Tam o' Shanter
    Bruce to His Men at Bannockburn
    Highland Mary
    My Heart's in the Highlands
    The Banks o' Doon

  JOHN BURROUGHS                           1837-           2867

    Sharp Eyes ('Locusts and Wild Honey')

  SIR RICHARD F. BURTON                    1821-1890       2883

    The Preternatural in Fiction ('The Book of a Thousand Nights
        and a Night')
    A Journey in Disguise ('The Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage
        to El Medinah and Meccah')
    En Route (same)

  ROBERT BURTON                            1577-1640       2904

    Conclusions as to Melancholy ('The Anatomy of Melancholy')

  HORACE BUSHNELL                          1802-1876       2909

                  BY THEODORE T. MUNGER

    Work and Play
    From 'The Age of Homespun'
    The Founders ('Work and Play')
    Religious Music (same)

  SAMUEL BUTLER                            1612-1680       2927

    Hudibras Described

  LORD BYRON                               1788-1824       2935


    Maid of Athens
    Translation of a Romaic Song
    Greece ('The Giaour')
    The Hellespont and Troy ('The Bride of Abydos')
    Greece and her Heroes ('The Siege of Corinth')
    The Isles of Greece ('Don Juan')
    Greece and the Greeks before the Revolution ('Childe Harold's
    To Rome (same)
    The Coliseum (same)
    Chorus of Spirits ('The Deformed Transformed')
    Venice ('Childe Harold's Pilgrimage')
    Ode to Venice
    The East ('The Bride of Abydos')
    Oriental Royalty ('Don Juan')
    A Grecian Sunset ('The Curse of Minerva')
    An Italian Sunset ('Childe Harold's Pilgrimage')
    Twilight ('Don Juan')
    An Alpine Storm ('Childe Harold's Pilgrimage')
    The Ocean (same)
    The Shipwreck ('Don Juan')
    Love on the Island ('Don Juan')
    The Two Butterflies ('The Giaour')
    To His Sister ('Childe Harold's Pilgrimage')
    Ode to Napoleon
    The Battle of Waterloo ('Childe Harold's Pilgrimage')
    Mazeppa's Ride ('Mazeppa')
    The Irish Avatàr
    The Dream
    She Walks in Beauty ('Hebrew Melodies')
    Destruction of Sennacherib ('Hebrew Melodies')
    From 'The Prisoner of Chillon'
    A Summing-Up ('Childe Harold's Pilgrimage')
    On This Day I Complete my Thirty-sixth Year

  FERNAN CABALLERO (Cecilia Böhl de Faber) 1796-1877       3001

    The Bull-Fight ('La Gaviota')
    In the Home Circle (same)

  GEORGE W. CABLE                          1844-           3017

    "Posson Jone'" ('Old Creole Days')

  CAIUS JULIUS CÆSAR                       100-44 B.C.     3037

                       BY J. H. WESTCOTT

    Defeat of Ariovistus and the Germans ('The Gallic Wars')
    On the Manners and Customs of Ancient Gauls and Germans (same)
    The Two Lieutenants (same)
    Epigram on Terentius

  THOMAS HENRY HALL CAINE                  1853-           3067

    Pete Quilliam's First-Born ('The Manxman')

  PEDRO CALDERON                           1600-1681       3071

                 BY MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN

    The Lovers ('The Secret in Words')
    Cyprian's Bargain ('The Wonderful Magician')
    Dreams and Realities ('Such Stuff as Dreams are Made Of')
    The Dream Called Life (same)

  JOHN CALDWELL CALHOUN                    1782-1850       3087

                       BY W. P. TRENT

    Remarks on the Right of Petition (Speech in the Senate, 1840)
    State Rights (Speech on the Admission of Michigan, 1837)
    On the Government of Poland ('A Disquisition on Government')
    Urging Repeal of the Missouri Compromise (Speech in the
          Senate, 1850)

  CALLIMACHUS                       Third Century B.C.     3101

    Hymn to Jupiter
    Epitaph on Heracleitus
    The Misanthrope
    Epitaph upon Himself
    Epitaph upon Cleombrotus

  CHARLES STUART CALVERLEY                 1831-1884       3107

    From 'An Examination Paper,' 'The Posthumous Papers of the
        Pickwick Club'
    Ballad (Imitation of Jean Ingelow)
    Lovers, and a Reflection (Imitation of Jean Ingelow)
    Thoughts at a Railway Station




  Persian Manuscript (Colored Plate)           Frontispiece
  John Bunyan (Portrait)                               2748
  Edmund Burke (Portrait)                              2780
  Robert Burns (Portrait)                              2834
  Burns Manuscript (Facsimile)                         2844
  "Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon" (Etching)           2866
  Lord Byron (Portrait)                                2936
  "Newstead Abbey" (Etching)                           2942
  "The Bull-Fight" (Photogravure)                      3004
  Julius Cæsar (Portrait)                              3038
  Calderon (Portrait)                                  3072
  John Caldwell Calhoun (Portrait)                     3088


    Henry Cuyler Bunner
    Gottfried August Bürger
    Frances Burney
    Sir Richard F. Burton
    Robert Burton
    John Burroughs
    Horace Bushnell
    Samuel Butler
    George W. Cable
    Thomas Henry Hall Caine



The position which Henry Cuyler Bunner has come to occupy in the
literary annals of our time strengthens as the days pass. If the stream
of his genius flowed in gentle rivulets, it traveled as far and spread
its fruitful influence as wide as many a statelier river. He was above
all things a poet. In his prose as in his verse he has revealed the
essential qualities of a poet's nature: he dealt with the life which he
saw about him in a spirit of broad humanity and with genial sympathy.
When he fashioned the tender triolet on the pitcher of mignonette, or
sang of the little red box at Vesey Street, he wrote of what he knew;
and his stories, even when embroidered with quaint fancies, tread firmly
the American soil of the nineteenth century. But Bunner's realism never
concerned itself with the record of trivialities for their own sake.
When he portrayed the lower phases of city life, it was the humor of
that life he caught, and not its sordidness; its kindliness, and not its
brutality. His mind was healthy, and since it was a poet's mind, the
point upon which it was so nicely balanced was love: love of the trees
and flowers, love of his little brothers in wood and field, love of his
country home, love of the vast city in its innumerable aspects; above
all, love of his wife, his family, and his friends; and all these
outgoings of his heart have found touching expression in his verse.
Indeed, this attitude of affectionate kinship with the world has colored
all his work; it has made his satire sweet-tempered, given his tales
their winning grace, and lent to his poetry its abiding power.

[Illustration: HENRY C. BUNNER]

The work upon which Bunner's fame must rest was all produced within a
period of less than fifteen years. He was born in 1855 at Oswego, New
York. He came to the city of New York when very young, and received his
education there. A brief experience of business life sufficed to make
his true vocation clear, and at the age of eighteen he began his
literary apprenticeship on the Arcadian. When that periodical passed
away, Puck was just struggling into existence, and for the English
edition, which was started in 1877, Bunner's services were secured. Half
of his short life was spent in editorial connection with that paper. To
his wisdom and literary abilities is due in large measure the success
which has always attended the enterprise. Bunner had an intimate
knowledge of American character and understood the foibles of his
countrymen; but he was never cynical, and his satire was without
hostility. He despised opportune journalism. His editorials were clear
and vigorous; free not from partisanship, but from partisan rancor, and
they made for honesty and independence. His firm stand against political
corruption, socialistic vagaries, the misguided and often criminal
efforts of labor agitators, and all the visionary schemes of diseased
minds, has contributed to the stability of sound and self-respecting
American citizenship.

Bunner's first decided success in story-telling was 'The Midge,' which
appeared in 1886. It is a tale of New York life in the interesting old
French quarter of South Fifth Avenue. Again, in 'The Story of a New York
House,' he displayed the same quick feeling for the spirit of the place,
as it was and is. This tale first appeared in the newly founded
Scribner's Magazine, to which he has since been a constant contributor.
Here some of his best short stories have been published, including the
excellent 'Zadoc Pine,' with its healthy presentation of independent
manhood in contest with the oppressive exactions of labor organizations.
But Bunner was no believer in stories with a tendency; the conditions
which lie at the root of great sociological questions he used as
artistic material, never as texts. His stories are distinguished by
simplicity of motive; each is related with fine unobtrusive humor and
with an underlying pathos, never unduly emphasized. The most popular of
his collections of tales is that entitled 'Short Sixes,' which, having
first appeared in Puck, were published in book form in 1891. A second
volume came out three years later. When the shadow of death had already
fallen upon Bunner, a new collection of his sketches was in process of
publication: 'Jersey Street and Jersey Lane.' In these, as in the still
more recent 'Suburban Sage,' is revealed the same fineness of
sympathetic observation in town and country that we have come to
associate with Bunner's name. Among his prose writings there remains to
be mentioned the series from Puck entitled 'Made in France.' These are
an application of the methods of Maupassant to American subjects; they
display that wonderful facility in reproducing the flavor of another's
style which is exhibited in Bunner's verse in a still more eminent
degree. His prose style never attained the perfection of literary
finish, but it is easy and direct, free from sentimentality and
rhetoric; in the simplicity of his conceptions and the delicacy of his
treatment lies its chief charm.

Bunner's verse, on the other hand, shows a complete mastery of form. He
was a close student of Horace; he tried successfully the most exacting
of exotic verse-forms, and enjoyed the distinction of having written the
only English example of the difficult Chant-Royal. Graceful _vers de
société_ and bits of witty epigram flowed from him without effort. But
it was not to this often dangerous facility that Bunner owed his poetic
fame. His tenderness, his quick sympathy with nature, his insight into
the human heart, above all, the love and longing that filled his soul,
have infused into his perfected rhythms the spirit of universal
brotherhood that underlies all genuine poetry. His 'Airs from Arcady'
(1884) achieved a success unusual for a volume of poems; and the love
lyrics and patriotic songs of his later volume, 'Rowen,' maintain the
high level of the earlier book. The great mass of his poems is still
buried in the back numbers of the magazines, from which the best are to
be rescued in a new volume. If his place is not among the greatest of
our time, he has produced a sufficient body of fine verse to rescue his
name from oblivion and render his memory dear to all who value the
legacy of a sincere and genuine poet. He died on May 11th, 1896, at the
age of forty-one.


        A pitcher of mignonette,
    In a tenement's highest casement:
            Queer sort of flower-pot--yet
        That pitcher of mignonette
        Is a garden in heaven set,
    To the little sick child in the basement--
        The pitcher of mignonette,
    In the tenement's highest casement.

Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons.


From 'Short Sixes'

When the little seamstress had climbed to her room in the story over the
top story of the great brick tenement house in which she lived, she was
quite tired out. If you do not understand what a story over a top story
is, you must remember that there are no limits to human greed, and
hardly any to the height of tenement houses. When the man who owned that
seven-story tenement found that he could rent another floor, he found no
difficulty in persuading the guardians of our building laws to let him
clap another story on the roof, like a cabin on the deck of a ship; and
in the southeasterly of the four apartments on this floor the little
seamstress lived. You could just see the top of her window from the
street--the huge cornice that had capped the original front, and that
served as her window-sill now, quite hid all the lower part of the story
on top of the top story.

The little seamstress was scarcely thirty years old, but she was such an
old-fashioned little body in so many of her looks and ways that I had
almost spelled her "sempstress," after the fashion of our grandmothers.
She had been a comely body, too; and would have been still, if she had
not been thin and pale and anxious-eyed.

She was tired out to-night, because she had been working hard all day
for a lady who lived far up in the "New Wards" beyond Harlem River, and
after the long journey home she had to climb seven flights of
tenement-house stairs. She was too tired, both in body and in mind, to
cook the two little chops she had brought home. She would save them for
breakfast, she thought. So she made herself a cup of tea on the
miniature stove, and ate a slice of dry bread with it. It was too much
trouble to make toast.

But after dinner she watered her flowers. She was never too tired for
that, and the six pots of geraniums that caught the south sun on the top
of the cornice did their best to repay her. Then she sat down in her
rocking-chair by the window and looked out. Her eyry was high above all
the other buildings, and she could look across some low roofs opposite
and see the further end of Tompkins Square, with its sparse spring green
showing faintly through the dusk. The eternal roar of the city floated
up to her and vaguely troubled her. She was a country girl; and although
she had lived for ten years in New York, she had never grown used to
that ceaseless murmur. To-night she felt the languor of the new season,
as well as the heaviness of physical exhaustion. She was almost too
tired to go to bed.

She thought of the hard day done and the hard day to be begun after the
night spent on the hard little bed. She thought of the peaceful days in
the country, when she taught school in the Massachusetts village where
she was born. She thought of a hundred small slights that she had to
bear from people better fed than bred. She thought of the sweet green
fields that she rarely saw nowadays. She thought of the long journey
forth and back that must begin and end her morrow's work, and she
wondered if her employer would think to offer to pay her fare. Then she
pulled herself together. She must think of more agreeable things or she
could not sleep. And as the only agreeable things she had to think about
were her flowers, she looked at the garden on top of the cornice.

A peculiar gritting noise made her look down, and she saw a cylindrical
object that glittered in the twilight, advancing in an irregular and
uncertain manner toward her flower-pots. Looking closer, she saw that it
was a pewter beer-mug, which somebody in the next apartment was pushing
with a two-foot rule. On top of the beer-mug was a piece of paper, and
on this paper was written, in a sprawling, half-formed hand:--

    pleas excuse the libberty And
    drink it_

The seamstress started up in terror and shut the window. She remembered
that there was a man in the next apartment. She had seen him on the
stairs on Sundays. He seemed a grave, decent person; but--he must be
drunk. She sat down on her bed all a tremble. Then she reasoned with
herself. The man was drunk, that was all. He probably would not annoy
her further. And if he did, she had only to retreat to Mrs. Mulvaney's
apartment in the rear, and Mr. Mulvaney, who was a highly respectable
man and worked in a boiler-shop, would protect her. So, being a poor
woman who had already had occasion to excuse--and refuse--two or three
"libberties" of like sort, she made up her mind to go to bed like a
reasonable seamstress, and she did. She was rewarded, for when her light
was out, she could see in the moonlight that the two-foot rule appeared
again with one joint bent back, hitched itself into the mug-handle, and
withdrew the mug.

The next day was a hard one for the little seamstress, and she hardly
thought of the affair of the night before until the same hour had come
around again, and she sat once more by her window. Then she smiled at
the remembrance. "Poor fellow," she said in her charitable heart, "I've
no doubt he's _awfully_ ashamed of it now. Perhaps he was never tipsy
before. Perhaps he didn't know there was a lone woman in here to be

Just then she heard a gritting sound. She looked down. The pewter pot
was in front of her, and the two-foot rule was slowly retiring. On the
pot was a piece of paper, and on the paper was--

    good for the helth
    it makes meet_

This time the little seamstress shut her window with a bang of
indignation. The color rose to her pale cheeks. She thought that she
would go down to see the janitor at once. Then she remembered the seven
flights of stairs; and she resolved to see the janitor in the morning.
Then she went to bed, and saw the mug drawn back just as it had been
drawn back the night before.

The morning came, but somehow the seamstress did not care to complain to
the janitor. She hated to make trouble--and the janitor might
think--and--and--well, if the wretch did it again she would speak to him
herself, and that would settle it. And so on the next night, which was a
Thursday, the little seamstress sat down by her window, resolved to
settle the matter. And she had not sat there long, rocking in the
creaking little rocking-chair which she had brought with her from her
old home, when the pewter pot hove in sight, with a piece of paper on
the top. This time the legend read:--

    _Perhaps you are afrade i will
    adress you
    i am not that kind_

The seamstress did not quite know whether to laugh or to cry. But she
felt that the time had come for speech. She leaned out of her window and
addressed the twilight heaven.

"Mr.--Mr.--sir--I--will you _please_ put your head out of the window so
that I can speak to you?"

The silence of the other room was undisturbed. The seamstress drew back,
blushing. But before she could nerve herself for another attack, a piece
of paper appeared on the end of the two-foot rule.

    _when i Say a thing i
    mene it
    i have Sed i would not
    Adress you and i
    Will not_

What was the little seamstress to do? She stood by the window and
thought hard about it. Should she complain to the janitor? But the
creature was perfectly respectful. No doubt he meant to be kind. He
certainly was kind, to waste these pots of porter on her. She remembered
the last time--and the first--that she had drunk porter. It was at home,
when she was a young girl, after she had the diphtheria. She remembered
how good it was, and how it had given her back her strength. And without
one thought of what she was doing, she lifted the pot of porter and took
one little reminiscent sip--two little reminiscent sips--and became
aware of her utter fall and defeat. She blushed now as she had never
blushed before, put the pot down, closed the window, and fled to her bed
like a deer to the woods.

And when the porter arrived the next night, bearing the simple appeal--

    _Dont be afrade of it
    drink it all_

the little seamstress arose and grasped the pot firmly by the handle,
and poured its contents over the earth around her largest geranium. She
poured the contents out to the last drop, and then she dropped the pot,
and ran back and sat on her bed and cried, with her face hid in her

"Now," she said to herself, "you've done it! And you're just as nasty
and hard-hearted and suspicious and mean as--as pusley!" And she wept to
think of her hardness of heart. "He will never give me a chance to say
'I am sorry,'" she thought. And really, she might have spoken kindly to
the poor man, and told him that she was much obliged to him, but that he
really must not ask her to drink porter with him.

"But it's all over and done now," she said to herself as she sat at her
window on Saturday night. And then she looked at the cornice, and saw
the faithful little pewter pot traveling slowly toward her.

She was conquered. This act of Christian forbearance was too much for
her kindly spirit. She read the inscription on the paper,

    _porter is good for Flours
    but better for Fokes_

and she lifted the pot to her lips, which were not half so red as her
cheeks, and took a good, hearty, grateful draught.

She sipped in thoughtful silence after this first plunge, and presently
she was surprised to find the bottom of the pot in full view. On the
table at her side a few pearl buttons were screwed up in a bit of white
paper. She untwisted the paper and smoothed it out, and wrote in a
tremulous hand--she _could_ write a very neat hand--


This she laid on the top of the pot, and in a moment the bent two-foot
rule appeared and drew the mail-carriage home. Then she sat still,
enjoying the warm glow of the porter, which seemed to have permeated her
entire being with a heat that was not at all like the unpleasant and
oppressive heat of the atmosphere, an atmosphere heavy with the spring
damp. A gritting on the tin aroused her. A piece of paper lay under her

    _fine groing weather

Now it is unlikely that in the whole round and range of conversational
commonplaces there was one other greeting that could have induced the
seamstress to continue the exchange of communications. But this simple
and homely phrase touched her country heart. What did "groing weather"
matter to the toilers in this waste of brick and mortar? This stranger
must be, like herself, a country-bred soul, longing for the new green
and the upturned brown mold of the country fields. She took up the
paper, and wrote under the first message:--


But that seemed curt: "for--" she added; "for" what? She did not know.
At last in desperation she put down "potatoes." The piece of paper was
withdrawn, and came back with an addition:--

    _Too mist for potatos_

And when the little seamstress had read this, and grasped the fact that
"m-i-s-t" represented the writer's pronunciation of "moist," she laughed
softly to herself. A man whose mind at such a time was seriously bent
upon potatoes was not a man to be feared. She found a half-sheet of
note-paper, and wrote:--

    _I lived in a small village before I came to New York, but I am
    afraid I do not know much about farming. Are you a farmer?_

The answer came:--

    _have ben most Every thing
    farmed a Spel in Maine

As she read this, the seamstress heard the church clock strike nine.

"Bless me, is it so late?" she cried, and she hurriedly penciled _Good
Night_, thrust the paper out, and closed the window. But a few minutes
later, passing by, she saw yet another bit of paper on the cornice,
fluttering in the evening breeze. It said only _good nite_, and after a
moment's hesitation, the little seamstress took it in and gave it

       *       *       *       *       *

After this they were the best of friends. Every evening the pot
appeared, and while the seamstress drank from it at her window, Mr.
Smith drank from its twin at his; and notes were exchanged as rapidly as
Mr. Smith's early education permitted. They told each other their
histories, and Mr. Smith's was one of travel and variety, which he
seemed to consider quite a matter of course. He had followed the sea, he
had farmed, he had been a logger and a hunter in the Maine woods. Now he
was foreman of an East River lumber-yard, and he was prospering. In a
year or two he would have enough laid by to go home to Bucksport and buy
a share in a ship-building business. All this dribbled out in the course
of a jerky but variegated correspondence, in which autobiographic
details were mixed with reflections moral and philosophical.

A few samples will give an idea of Mr. Smith's style:--

    _i was one trip to van demens

To which the seamstress replied:--

    _It must have been very interesting._

But Mr. Smith disposed of this subject very briefly:--

    _it wornt_

Further he vouchsafed:--

    _i seen a Chinese cook in
    hong kong could cook flapjacks
    like your mother_

    _a mishnery that sells Rum
    is the menest of Gods crechers_

    _a bulfite is not what it is
    cract up to Be_

    _the dagos are wussen the

    _i am 6 1-3/4
    but my Father was 6 foot 4_

The seamstress had taught school one winter, and she could not refrain
from making an attempt to reform Mr. Smith's orthography. One evening,
in answer to this communication,--

    _i killd a Bare in Maine 600
    lbs waight_

she wrote:--

    _Isn't it generally spelled Bear?_

but she gave up the attempt when he responded:--

    _a bare is a mene animle any
    way you spel him_

The spring wore on, and the summer came, and still the evening drink and
the evening correspondence brightened the close of each day for the
little seamstress. And the draught of porter put her to sleep each
night, giving her a calmer rest than she had ever known during her stay
in the noisy city; and it began, moreover, to make a little "meet" for
her. And then the thought that she was going to have an hour of pleasant
companionship somehow gave her courage to cook and eat her little
dinner, however tired she was. The seamstress's cheeks began to blossom
with the June roses.

And all this time Mr. Smith kept his vow of silence unbroken, though the
seamstress sometimes tempted him with little ejaculations and
exclamations to which he might have responded. He was silent and
invisible. Only the smoke of his pipe, and the clink of his mug as he
set it down on the cornice, told her that a living, material Smith was
her correspondent. They never met on the stairs, for their hours of
coming and going did not coincide. Once or twice they passed each other
in the street--but Mr. Smith looked straight ahead of him about a foot
over her head. The little seamstress thought he was a very fine-looking
man, with his six feet one and three-quarters and his thick brown beard.
Most people would have called him plain.

Once she spoke to him. She was coming home one summer evening, and a
gang of corner-loafers stopped her and demanded money to buy beer, as is
their custom. Before she had time to be frightened, Mr. Smith
appeared,--whence, she knew not,--scattered the gang like chaff, and
collaring two of the human hyenas, kicked them, with deliberate,
ponderous, alternate kicks, until they writhed in ineffable agony. When
he let them crawl away, she turned to him and thanked him warmly,
looking very pretty now, with the color in her cheeks. But Mr. Smith
answered no word. He stared over her head, grew red in the face,
fidgeted nervously, but held his peace until his eyes fell on a rotund
Teuton passing by.

"Say, Dutchy!" he roared. The German stood aghast. "I ain't got nothing
to write with!" thundered Mr. Smith, looking him in the eye. And then
the man of his word passed on his way.

And so the summer went on, and the two correspondents chatted silently
from window to window, hid from sight of all the world below by the
friendly cornice. And they looked out over the roof and saw the green of
Tompkins Square grow darker and dustier as the months went on.

Mr. Smith was given to Sunday trips into the suburbs, and he never came
back without a bunch of daisies or black-eyed Susans or, later, asters
or golden-rod for the little seamstress. Sometimes, with a sagacity rare
in his sex, he brought her a whole plant, with fresh loam for potting.

He gave her also a reel in a bottle, which, he wrote, he had "maid"
himself, and some coral, and a dried flying-fish that was something
fearful to look upon, with its sword-like fins and its hollow eyes. At
first she could not go to sleep with that flying-fish hanging on the

But he surprised the little seamstress very much one cool September
evening, when he shoved this letter along the cornice:--

[Illustration: Handwritten letter]

    Respected and Honored Madam:

    Having long and vainly sought an opportunity to convey to you
    the expression of my sentiments, I now avail myself of the
    privilege of epistolary communication to acquaint you with the
    fact that the Emotions, which you have raised in my breast, are
    those which should point to Connubial Love and Affection rather
    than to simple Friendship. In short, Madam, I have the Honor to
    approach you with a Proposal, the acceptance of which will fill
    me with ecstatic Gratitude, and enable me to extend to you those
    Protecting Cares, which the Matrimonial Bond makes at once the
    Duty and the Privilege of him, who would, at no distant date,
    lead to the Hymeneal Altar one whose charms and virtues should
    suffice to kindle its Flames, without extraneous Aid

    I remain, Dear Madam,
        Your Humble Servant and
            Ardent Adorer, J. Smith.

The little seamstress gazed at this letter a long time. Perhaps she was
wondering in what Ready Letter-Writer of the last century Mr. Smith had
found his form. Perhaps she was amused at the results of his first
attempt at punctuation. Perhaps she was thinking of something else, for
there were tears in her eyes and a smile on her small mouth.

But it must have been a long time, and Mr. Smith must have grown
nervous, for presently another communication came along the line where
the top of the cornice was worn smooth. It read:

    _If not understood will you
    mary me_

The little seamstress seized a piece of paper and wrote:--

    _If I say Yes, will you speak to me?_

Then she rose and passed it out to him, leaning out of the window, and
their faces met.

Copyright of Keppler and Schwarzmann.


    Oh, what's the way to Arcady,
      To Arcady, to Arcady;
    Oh, what's the way to Arcady,
      Where all the leaves are merry?

    Oh, what's the way to Arcady?
    The spring is rustling in the tree--
    The tree the wind is blowing through--
      It sets the blossoms flickering white.
    I knew not skies could burn so blue
      Nor any breezes blow so light.
    They blow an old-time way for me,
    Across the world to Arcady.

    Oh, what's the way to Arcady?
    Sir Poet, with the rusty coat,
    Quit mocking of the song-bird's note.
    How have you heart for any tune,
    You with the wayworn russet shoon?
    Your scrip, a-swinging by your side,
    Gapes with a gaunt mouth hungry-wide.
    I'll brim it well with pieces red,
    If you will tell the way to tread.

    Oh, I am bound for Arcady,
    And if you but keep pace with me
    You tread the way to Arcady.

    And where away lies Arcady,
    And how long yet may the journey be?

    Ah, that (quoth he) I do not know:
    Across the clover and the snow--
    Across the forest, across the flowers--
    Through summer seconds and winter hours.
    I've trod the way my whole life long,
      And know not now where it may be;
    My guide is but the stir to song,
    That tells me I cannot go wrong,
      Or clear or dark the pathway be
      Upon the road to Arcady.

    But how shall I do who cannot sing?
      I was wont to sing, once on a time--
    There is never an echo now to ring
      Remembrance back to the trick of rhyme.

    'Tis strange you cannot sing (quoth he),
    The folk all sing in Arcady.

    But how may he find Arcady
    Who hath nor youth nor melody?

    What, know you not, old man (quoth he)--
      Your hair is white, your face is wise--
      That Love must kiss that Mortal's eyes
    Who hopes to see fair Arcady?
    No gold can buy you entrance, there,
    But beggared Love may go all bare;
    No wisdom won with weariness,
    But Love goes in with Folly's dress;
    No fame that wit could ever win,
    But only Love, may lead Love in
      To Arcady, to Arcady.

    Ah, woe is me, through all my days
      Wisdom and wealth I both have got,
    And fame and name, and great men's praise;
      But Love, ah Love! I have it not.
    There was a time, when life was new--
      But far away, and half forgot--
    I only know her eyes were blue;
      But Love--I fear I knew it not.
    We did not wed, for lack of gold,
    And she is dead, and I am old.
    All things have come since then to me,
    Save Love, ah Love! and Arcady.

    Ah, then I fear we part (quoth he),
    My way's for Love and Arcady.

    But you, you fare alone like me;
      The gray is likewise in your hair.
      What love have you to lead you there.
    To Arcady, to Arcady?

    Ah, no, not lonely do I fare:
      My true companion's Memory.
    With Love he fills the Spring-time air;
      With Love he clothes the Winter tree.
    Oh, past this poor horizon's bound
      My song goes straight to one who stands--
    Her face all gladdening at the sound--
      To lead me to the Spring-green lands,
      To wander with enlacing hands.
    The songs within my breast that stir
    Are all of her, are all of her.
    My maid is dead long years (quoth he),
    She waits for me in Arcady.

    Oh, yon's the way to Arcady,
      To Arcady, to Arcady;
    Oh, yon's the way to Arcady,
      Where all the leaves are merry.

Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons.


    I would that all men my hard case might know;
        How grievously I suffer for no sin:
      I, Adolphe Culpepper Ferguson, for lo!
      I of my landlady am lockèd in,
    For being short on this sad Saturday,
    Nor having shekels of silver wherewith to pay:
      She has turned and is departed with my key;
      Wherefore, not even as other boarders free,
        I sing (as prisoners to their dungeon stones
      When for ten days they expiate a spree):
        Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

      One night and one day have I wept my woe;
        Nor wot I, when the morrow doth begin,
      If I shall have to write to Briggs & Co.,
        To pray them to advance the requisite tin
    For ransom of their salesman, that he may
    Go forth as other boarders go alway--
      As those I hear now flocking from their tea,
      Led by the daughter of my landlady
        Piano-ward. This day, for all my moans,
      Dry bread and water have been servèd me.
        Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

      Miss Amabel Jones is musical, and so
        The heart of the young he-boardér doth win,
      Playing 'The Maiden's Prayer' _adagio_--
        That fetcheth him, as fetcheth the banco skin
    The innocent rustic. For my part, I pray
    That Badarjewska maid may wait for aye
      Ere sits she with a lover, as did we
      Once sit together, Amabel! Can it be
        That all that arduous wooing not atones
      For Saturday shortness of trade dollars three?
        _Behold_ the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

      Yea! she forgets the arm was wont to go
        Around her waist. She wears a buckle, whose pin
      Galleth the crook of the young man's elbów.
        _I_ forget not, for I that youth have been.
    Smith was aforetime the Lothario gay.
    Yet once, I mind me, Smith was forced to stay
      Close in his room. Not calm, as I, was he;
      But his noise brought no pleasaunce, verily.
        Small ease he got of playing on the bones
      Or hammering on his stove-pipe, that I see.
        Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

      Thou, for whose fear the figurative crow
        I eat, accursed be thou and all thy kin!
      Thee will I show up--yea, up will I show
        Thy too thick buckwheats, and thy tea too thin.
    Ay! here I dare thee, ready for the fray:
    Thou dost _not_ "keep a first-class house," I say!
      It does not with the advertisements agree.
      Thou lodgest a Briton with a puggaree,
        And thou hast harbored Jacobses and Cohns,
      Also a Mulligan. Thus denounce I thee!
        Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!


    Boarders! the worst I have not told to ye:
    She hath stolen my trousers, that I may not flee
      Privily by the window. Hence these groans.
    There is no fleeing in a _robe de nuit_.
      Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons.




John Bunyan, son of Thomas Bunnionn Junior and Margaret Bentley, was
born 1628, in the quaint old village of Elstow, one mile southwest of
Bedford, near the spot where, three hundred years before, his ancestor
William Boynon resided. His father was a poor tinker or "braseyer," and
his mother's lineage is unknown. He says,--"I never went to school to
Aristotle or Plato, but was brought up at my father's house in a very
mean condition, among a company of poor countrymen."

He learned to read and write "according to the rate of other poor men's
children"; but soon lost "almost utterly" the little he had learned.
Shortly after his mother's death, when he was about seventeen years of
age, he served as a soldier for several months, probably in the
Parliamentary army. Not long afterward he married a woman as poor as
himself, by whose gentle influence he was gradually led into the way of
those severe spiritual conflicts and "painful exercises of mind" from
which he finally came forth, at great cost, victorious. These religious
experiences, vividly described in his 'Grace Abounding,' traceable in
the course of his chief Pilgrim, and frequently referred to in his
discourses, have been too literally interpreted by some, and too much
explained away as unreal by others; but present no special difficulty to
those who will but consider Bunyan's own explanations.

From boyhood he had lived a roving and non-religious life, although
possessing no little tenderness of conscience. He was neither
intemperate nor dishonest; he was not a law-breaker; he explicitly and
indignantly declares:--"If all the fornicators and adulterers in England
were hanged by the neck till they be dead, John Bunyan would still be
alive and well!" The particular sins of which he was guilty, so far as
he specifies them, were profane swearing, from which he suddenly ceased
at a woman's reproof, and certain sports, innocent enough in themselves,
which the prevailing Puritan rigor severely condemned. What, then, of
that vague and exceeding sinfulness of which he so bitterly accuses and
repents himself? It was that vision of sin, however disproportionate,
which a deeply wounded and graciously healed spirit often has, in
looking back upon the past from that theological standpoint whence all
want of conformity to the perfect law of God seems heinous and

    "A sinner may be comparatively a little sinner, and sensibly a
    great one. There are two sorts of greatness in sin: greatness by
    reason of number; greatness by reason of the horrible nature of
    sin. In the last sense, he that has but one sin, if such an one
    could be found, may in his own eyes find himself the biggest
    sinner in the world."

    "Visions of God break the heart, because, by the sight the soul
    then has of His perfections, it sees its own infinite and
    unspeakable disproportion."

    "The best saints are most sensible of their sins, and most apt
    to make mountains of their molehills."

Such sentences from Bunyan's own writings--and many like them might be
quoted--shed more light upon the much-debated question of his
"wickedness" than all that his biographers have written.

In John Gifford, pastor of a little Free Church in Bedford, Bunyan found
a wise friend, and in 1653 he joined that church. He soon discovered his
gifts among the brethren, and in due time was appointed to the office of
a gospel minister, in which he labored with indefatigable industry and
zeal, and with ever-increasing fame and success, until his death. His
hard personal fortunes between the Restoration of 1660 and the
Declaration of Indulgence of 1672, including his imprisonment for twelve
years in Bedford Gaol; his subsequent imprisonment in 1675-6, when the
first part of the 'Pilgrim's Progress' was probably written; and the
arduous engagements of his later and comparatively peaceful years,--must
be sought in biographies, the latest and perhaps the best of which is
that by Rev. John Brown, minister of the Bunyan Church at Bedford. The
statute under which Bunyan suffered is the 35th Eliz., Cap. 1,
re-enacted with rigor in the 16th Charles II., Cap. 4, 1662; and the
spirit of it appears in the indictment preferred against him:--"that he
hath devilishly and perniciously abstained from coming to Church to hear
Divine service, and is a common upholder of several unlawful meetings
and conventicles, to the great disturbance and distraction of the good
subjects of this Kingdom," etc., etc.

The story of Bunyan's life up to the time of his imprisonment, and
particularly that of his arrests and examinations before the justices,
and also the account of his experiences in prison, should be read in his
own most graphic narrative, in the 'Grace Abounding,' which is one of
the most precious portions of all autobiographic literature. Bunyan was
born and bred, he lived and labored, among the common people, with whom
his sympathies were strong and tender, and by whom he was regarded with
the utmost veneration and affection. He understood them, and they him.
For nearly a century they were almost the only readers of his published
writings. They came to call him Bishop Bunyan. His native genius, his
great human-heartedness and loving-kindness, his burning zeal and
indomitable courage, his racy humor and kindling imagination, all
vitalized by the spiritual force which came upon him through the
encompassing atmosphere of devout Puritanism, were consecrated to the
welfare of his fellow-men. His personal friend, Mr. Doe, describes him
as "tall in stature, strong-boned, of a ruddy face, with sparkling eyes,
nose well set, mouth moderately large, forehead something high, and his
habit always plain and modest." His portrait, painted in 1685, shows a
vigorous, kindly face, with mustachios and imperial, and abundance of
hair falling in long wavy masses about the neck and shoulders,--more
Cavalier-like than Roundhead.

[Illustration: JOHN BUNYAN.]

Bunyan was a voluminous writer, and his works, many of them posthumous,
are said to equal in number the sixty years of his life. But even the
devout and sympathetic critic is compelled to acknowledge the justice of
that verdict of time which has consigned most of them to a virtual
oblivion. The controversial tracts possess no elements of enduring
interest. The doctrinal and spiritual discourses are elaborations of a
system of religious thought which long ago "had its day and ceased to
be." Yet they contain pithy sentences, homely and pat illustrations, and
many a paragraph, rugged or tender, in which one recognizes the stamp of
his genius, and an intimation of his remarkable power as a preacher. The
best of these discourses, 'The Jerusalem Sinner Saved,' 'Come and
Welcome to Jesus Christ,' and 'Light for Them that Sit in Darkness,'
while they sparkle here and there with things unique and precious to the
Bunyan-curious student, would seem dull and tedious to the general
though devout reader. In many a passage we feel, to use his phrase, his
"heart-pulling power," no less than the force and felicity of his most
original images and analogies; but these passages are little oases in a
dry and thirsty land. The 'Life and Death of Mr. Badman' vividly
presents certain aspects of English provincial life in that day; but
they are repulsive, and the entire work is marred by flat moralizings
and coarse, often incredible stories.

The 'Holy War,' which Macaulay said would have been our greatest
religious allegory if the 'Pilgrim's Progress' had not been written, has
ceased to be much read. The conception of the conquest of the human soul
by the irresistible operation of divine force is so foreign to modern
thought and faith that Bunyan's similitude no longer seems a
verisimilitude. The pages abound with quaint, humorous, and lifelike
touches;--as where Diabolus stations at Ear-Gate a guard of deaf men
under old Mr. Prejudice, and Unbelief is described as "a nimble jack
whom they could never lay hold of";--but as compared with the 'Pilgrim's
Progress' the allegory is artificial, its elaboration of analogies is
ponderous and tedious, and its characters lack solidity and reality.

All these works, however, exhibit a remarkable command of the mother
tongue, a shrewd common-sense and mother wit, a fervid spiritual life,
and a wonderful knowledge of the English Bible. They may be likened to
more or less submerged wrecks kept from sinking into utter neglect by
the bond of authorship which connects them with the one incomparable
work which floats, unimpaired by time, on the sea of universal
appreciation and favor. Bunyan's unique and secure position in English
literature was gained by the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' the first part of
which was published in 1678, and the second in 1685.

The broader, freer conception of the pilgrimage--as old in literature as
the ninetieth Psalm, apt and fond, as innumerable books show, from De
Guileville's 'Le Pelerinage de l'Homme' in the fourteenth century to
Patrick's 'Parable' three hundred years later--took sudden possession of
Bunyan's imagination while he was in prison, and kindled all his finest
powers. Then he undertook, poet-wise, to work out this conception,
capable of such diversity of illustration, in a form of literature that
has ever been especially congenial to the human mind. Unguided save by
his own consecrated genius, unaided by other books than his English
Bible and Fox's 'Book of Martyrs,' he proceeded with a simplicity of
purpose and felicity of expression, and with a fidelity to nature and
life, which gave to his unconsciously artistic story the charm of
perfect artlessness as well as the semblance of reality. When Bunyan's
lack of learning and culture are considered, and also the comparative
dryness of his controversial and didactic writings, this efflorescence
of a vital spirit of beauty and of an essentially poetic genius in him
seems quite inexplicable. The author's rhymed 'Apology for His Book,'
which usually prefaces the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' contains many
significant hints as to the way in which he was led to

    "Make truth spangle, and its rays to shine."

He had no thought of producing a work of literary excellence; but on the
other hand he had not, in writing this book, his customary purpose of
spiritual edification. Indeed, he put his multiplying thoughts and
fancies aside, lest they should interfere with a more _serious_ and
_important_ book which he had in hand!

                "I only thought to make
    I knew not what: nor did I undertake
    Thereby to please my neighbor; no, not I:
    I did it mine own self to gratify.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

    Thus I set pen to paper with delight,
    And quickly had my thoughts in black and white."

The words are exceedingly suggestive. In writing so aimlessly--"I knew
not what"--to gratify himself by permitting the allegory into which
he had suddenly fallen to take possession of him and carry him
whithersoever it would, while he wrote out with delight his teeming
fancies, was not Bunyan for the first time exercising his genius in a
freedom from all theological and other restraint, and so in a surpassing
range and power? The dreamer and poet supplanted the preacher and
teacher. He yielded to the simple impulse of his genius, gave his
imagination full sweep, and so, as never before or elsewhere, soared and
sang in what seemed to many of his Puritan friends a questionable
freedom and profane inspiration. And yet his song, or story, was not a
creation of mere fancy,--

    "It came from my own heart, so to my head,
    And thence into my fingers tricklèd;"--

and therefore, we add, it finds its way to the heart of mankind.

Hence the spontaneity of the allegory, its ease and freedom of movement,
its unlabored development, its natural and vital enfolding of that old
pilgrim idea of human life which had so often bloomed in the literature
of all climes and ages, but whose consummate flower appeared in the book
of this inspired Puritan tinker-preacher. Hence also the dramatic unity
and methodic perfectness of the story. Its byways all lead to its
highway; its episodes are as vitally related to the main theme as are
the ramifications of a tree to its central stem. The great diversities
of experience in the true pilgrims are dominated by one supreme motive.
As for the others, they appear incidentally to complete the scenes, and
make the world and its life manifold and real. The Pilgrim is a most
substantial person, and once well on the way, the characters he meets,
the difficulties he encounters, the succor he receives, the scenes in
which he mingles, are all, however surprising, most natural. The names,
and one might almost say the forms and faces, of Pliable, Obstinate,
Faithful, Hopeful, Talkative, Mercy, Great-heart, old Honest,
Valiant-for-truth, Feeble-mind, Ready-to-halt, Miss Much-afraid, and
many another, are familiar to us all. Indeed, the pilgrimage is our
own--in many of its phases at least,--and we have met the people whom
Bunyan saw in his dream, and are ourselves they whom he describes. When
Dean Stanley began his course of lectures on Ecclesiastical History at
Oxford, his opening words were those of the passage where the Pilgrim is
taken to the House Beautiful to see "the rarities and histories of that
place, both ancient and modern"; and at the end of the same course,
wishing to sketch the prospects of Christendom, he quoted the words in
which, on leaving the House Beautiful, Christian was shown the distant
view of the Delectable Mountains.

But for one glance at Pope and Pagan, there is almost nothing to
indicate the writer's ecclesiastical standing. But for here and there a
marking of time in prosaic passages which have nothing to do with the
story, there is nothing to mar the catholicity of its spirit. Romanists
and Protestants, Anglicans and Puritans, Calvinists and Arminians,--all
communions and sects have edited and circulated it. It is the completest
triumph of truth by fiction in all literature. More than any other human
book, it is "a religious bond to the whole of English Christendom." The
second part is perhaps inferior to the first, but is richer in incident,
and some of its characters--Mercy, old Honest, Valiant-for-truth, and
Great-heart, for instance--are exquisitely conceived and presented. Here
again the reader will do well to carefully peruse the author's rhymed

    "What Christian left locked up, and went his way,
    Sweet Christiana opens with her key."

"Go then, my little Book," he says, "and tell young damsels of Mercy,
and old men of plain-hearted old Honest. Tell people of Master Fearing,
who was a good man, though much down in spirit. Tell them of
Feeble-mind, and Ready-to-halt, and Master Despondency and his daughter,
who 'softly went but sure.'

    "When thou hast told the world of all these things,
    Then turn about, my Book, and touch these strings,
    Which, if but touched, will such a music make,
    They'll make a cripple dance, a giant quake."

This second part introduces some new scenes, as well as characters and
experiences, but with the same broad sympathy and humor; and there are
closing descriptions not excelled in power and pathos by anything in the
earlier pilgrimage.

In his 'Apology' Bunyan says:--

    "This book is writ in such a dialect
    As may the minds of listless men affect."

The idiom of the book is purely English, acquired by a diligent study of
the English Bible. It is the simplest, raciest, and most sinewy English
to be found in any writer of our language; and Bunyan's amazing use of
this Saxon idiom for all the purposes of his story, and the range and
freedom of his imaginative genius therein, like certain of Tennyson's
'Idylls,' show it to be an instrument of symphonic capacity and variety.
Bunyan's own maxim is a good one:--"Words easy to be understood do often
hit the mark, when high and learned ones do only pierce the air."

Of the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' in both its parts, we may say in the words
of Milton:--

    "These are works that could not be composed by the invocation of
    Dame Memory and her siren daughters, but by devout prayer to
    that eternal Spirit who can enrich with all utterance and
    knowledge, and send out his Seraphim, with the hallowed fire of
    his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases,
    without reference to station, birth, or education."

Let Bunyan speak for his own book:--

    "Wouldst thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
    Or wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep?
    Wouldst thou lose thyself and catch no harm,
    And find thyself again, without a charm?
    Wouldst read thyself, and read, thou knowst not what,
    And yet know whether thou art blest or not
    By reading the same lines? O then come hither!
    And lay my book, thy head, and heart together."

Bunyan died of fever, in the house of a friend, at London, August 12th,
1688, in the sixty-first year of his age. Three of his four children
survived him; the blind daughter, for whom he expressed such
affectionate solicitude during his imprisonment, died before him. His
second wife, Elisabeth, who pleaded for him with so much dignity and
feeling before Judge Hale and other justices, died in 1692. In 1661 a
recumbent statue was placed on his tomb in Bunhill Fields, and thirteen
years later a noble statue was erected in his honor at Bedford. The
church at Elstow is enriched with memorial windows presenting scenes
from the 'Holy War' and the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' and the Bunyan
Meeting-House in Bedford has bronze doors presenting similar scenes.

The great allegory has been translated into almost every language and
dialect under the sun. The successive editions of it are almost
innumerable; and no other book save the Bible has had an equally large
circulation. The verdict of approval stamped upon it at first by the
common people, has been fully recognized and accepted by the learned and

[Illustration: Signature: Edwin P. Parker]


From the 'Pilgrim's Progress'

But now, in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to
it; for he had gone but a little way before he espied a foul fiend
coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. Then did
Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back
or to stand his ground: But he considered again that he had no armor for
his back, and therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give
him the greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his darts.
Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground; for, thought he,
had I no more in mine eye than the saving of my life, 'twould be the
best way to stand.

So he went on, and Apollyon met him. Now the monster was hideous to
behold: he was clothed with scales like a fish (and they are his pride);
he had wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and out of his belly came
fire and smoke; and his mouth was as the mouth of a lion. When he was
come up to Christian, he beheld him with a disdainful countenance, and
thus began to question with him.

_Apollyon_--Whence come you? and whither are you bound?

_Christian_--I am come from the City of Destruction, which is the place
of all evil, and am going to the City of Zion.

_Apollyon_--By this I perceive thou art one of my subjects, for all that
country is mine, and I am the prince and god of it. How is it then that
thou hast run away from thy King? Were it not that I hope thou mayest do
me more service, I would strike thee now at one blow to the ground.

_Christian_--I was born indeed in your dominions, but your service was
hard, and your wages such as a man could not live on, "for the wages of
sin is death;" therefore when I was come to years, I did as other
considerate persons do--look out, if perhaps I might mend myself.

_Apollyon_--There is no prince that will thus lightly lose his subjects,
neither will I as yet lose thee; but since thou complainest of thy
service and wages, be content to go back; what our country will afford,
I do here promise to give thee.

_Christian_--But I have let myself to another, even to the King of
Princes, and how can I with fairness go back with thee?

_Apollyon_--Thou hast done in this according to the proverb, changed a
bad for a worse; but it is ordinary for those that have professed
themselves his servants, after a while to give him the slip and return
again to me: Do thou so too, and all shall be well.

_Christian_--I have given him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to him:
how then can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor?

_Apollyon_--Thou didst the same to me, and yet I am willing to pass by
all, if now thou wilt yet turn again and go back.

_Christian_--What I promised thee was in my nonage; and besides, I count
that the Prince under whose banner now I stand is able to absolve me;
yea, and to pardon also what I did as to my compliance with thee: and
besides, O thou destroying Apollyon, to speak truth, I like his service,
his wages, his servants, his government, his company and country, better
than thine; and therefore leave off to persuade me further; I am his
servant, and I will follow him.

_Apollyon_--Consider again when thou art in cool blood, what thou art
like to meet with in the way that thou goest. Thou knowest that for
the most part his servants come to an ill end, because they are
transgressors against me and my ways: How many of them have been put to
shameful deaths; and besides, thou countest his service better than
mine, whereas he never came yet from the place where he is to deliver
any that served him out of our hands; but as for me, how many times, as
all the world very well knows, have I delivered, either by power or
fraud, those that have faithfully served me, from him and his, though
taken by them; and so I will deliver thee.

_Christian_--His forbearing at present to deliver them is on purpose to
try their love, whether they will cleave to him to the end: and as for
the ill end thou sayest they come to, that is most glorious in their
account; for, for present deliverance, they do not much expect it, for
they stay for their glory, and then they shall have it, when their
Prince comes in his, and the glory of the angels.

_Apollyon_--Thou hast already been unfaithful in thy service to him, and
how dost thou think to receive wages of him?

_Christian_--Wherein, O Apollyon, have I been unfaithful to him?

_Apollyon_--Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost
choked in the Gulf of Despond; thou didst attempt wrong ways to be rid
of thy burden, whereas thou shouldst have stayed till thy Prince had
taken it off; thou didst sinfully sleep and lose thy choice thing; thou
wast also almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions; and
when thou talkest of thy journey, and of what thou hast heard and seen,
thou art inwardly desirous of vainglory in all that thou sayest or

_Christian_--All this is true, and much more which thou hast left out;
but the Prince whom I serve and honor is merciful, and ready to forgive;
but besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy country, for there I
sucked them in, and I have groaned under them, been sorry for them, and
have obtained pardon of my Prince.

_Apollyon_--Then Apollyon broke out into grievous rage, saying, I am an
enemy to this Prince; I hate his person, his laws and people: I am come
out on purpose to withstand thee.

_Christian_--Apollyon, beware what you do, for I am in the King's
highway, the way of holiness, therefore take heed to yourself.

_Apollyon_--Then Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the
way, and said, I am void of fear in this matter; prepare thyself to die;
for I swear by my infernal den, that thou shalt go no further; here will
I spill thy soul.

And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast, but Christian had a
shield in his hand, with which he caught it, and so prevented the danger
of that.

Then did Christian draw, for he saw 'twas time to bestir him: and
Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the
which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon
wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot. This made Christian give a
little back; Apollyon therefore followed his work amain, and Christian
again took courage, and resisted as manfully as he could. This sore
combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite
spent; for you must know that Christian, by reason of his wounds, must
needs grow weaker and weaker.

Then Apollyon, espying his opportunity, began to gather up close to
Christian, and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful fall; and with
that Christian's sword flew out of his hand. Then said Apollyon, I am
sure of thee now; and with that he had almost pressed him to death, so
that Christian began to despair of life: but as God would have it, while
Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of
this good man, Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword,
and caught it, saying, "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy! when I
fall I shall arise;" and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made
him give back, as one that had received his mortal wound; Christian,
perceiving that, made at him again, saying, "Nay, in all these things we
are more than conquerors through him that loved us." And with that
Apollyon spread forth his dragon's wings, and sped him away, that
Christian for a season saw him no more.

In this combat no man can imagine, unless he had seen and heard as I
did, what yelling and hideous roaring Apollyon made all the time of the
fight; he spake like a dragon; and on the other side, what sighs and
groans burst from Christian's heart. I never saw him all the while give
so much as one pleasant look, till he perceived he had wounded Apollyon
with his two-edged sword; then indeed he did smile, and look upward; but
'twas the dreadfulest sight that ever I saw.

So when the battle was over, Christian said, I will here give thanks to
him that hath delivered me out of the mouth of the lion, to him that did
help me against Apollyon. And so he did, saying:--

    Great Beelzebub, the captain of this fiend,
    Designed my ruin; therefore to this end
    He sent him harnessed out: and he with rage
    That hellish was, did fiercely me engage:
    But blessed Michael helpèd me, and I
    By dint of sword did quickly make him fly.
    Therefore to him let me give lasting praise,
    And thank and bless his holy name always.

Then there came to him a hand, with some of the leaves of the tree of
life, the which Christian took, and applied to the wounds that he had
received in the battle, and was healed immediately. He also sat down in
that place to eat bread, and to drink of the bottle that was given him a
little before; so being refreshed, he addressed himself to his journey,
with his sword drawn in his hand; for he said, I know not but some other
enemy may be at hand. But he met with no other affront from Apollyon
quite through this valley.


From the 'Pilgrim's Progress'

They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains, which
mountains belong to the Lord of that Hill of which we have spoken
before; so they went up to the mountains, to behold the gardens and
orchards, the vineyards and fountains of water; where also they drank,
and washed themselves, and did freely eat of the vineyards. Now there
were on the tops of these mountains shepherds feeding their flocks, and
they stood by the highway side. The pilgrims therefore went to them, and
leaning upon their staves (as is common with weary pilgrims, when they
stand to talk with any by the way) they asked, Whose delectable
mountains are these? And whose be the sheep that feed upon them?

_Shepherds_--These mountains are "Immanuel's Land," and they are within
sight of his city; and the sheep also are his, and he laid down his life
for them.

_Christian_--Is this the way to the Celestial City?

_Shepherds_--You are just in your way.

_Christian_--How far is it thither?

_Shepherds_--Too far for any but those that shall get thither indeed.

_Christian_--Is the way safe or dangerous?

_Shepherds_--Safe for those for whom it is to be safe, "but
transgressors shall fall therein."

_Christian_--Is there in this place any relief for pilgrims that are
weary and faint in the way?

_Shepherds_--The lord of these mountains hath given us a charge "not to
be forgetful to entertain strangers"; therefore the good of the place is
before you.

I saw also in my dream, that when the shepherds perceived that they were
wayfaring men, they also put questions to them (to which they made
answer as in other places), as, Whence came you? and, How got you into
the way? and, By what means have you so persevered therein? For but few
of them that begin to come hither do show their face on these mountains.
But when the shepherds heard their answers, being pleased therewith,
they looked very lovingly upon them, and said, Welcome to the Delectable

The shepherds, I say, whose names were Knowledge, Experience, Watchful,
and Sincere, took them by the hand, and had them to their tents, and
made them partake of that which was ready at present. They said
moreover, We would that ye should stay here a while, to be acquainted
with us; and yet more to solace yourselves with the good of these
delectable mountains. They then told them that they were content to
stay; and so they went to their rest that night, because it was very

Then I saw in my dream, that in the morning the shepherds called up
Christian and Hopeful to walk with them upon the mountains; so they went
forth with them, and walked a while, having a pleasant prospect on every
side. Then said the shepherds one to another, Shall we show these
pilgrims some wonders? So when they had concluded to do it, they had
them first to the top of a hill called Error, which was very steep on
the furthest side, and bid them look down to the bottom. So Christian
and Hopeful looked down, and saw at the bottom several men dashed all to
pieces by a fall that they had from the top. Then said Christian, What
meaneth this? The shepherds answered, Have you not heard of them that
were made to err, by hearkening to Hymeneus and Philetus, as concerning
the faith of the resurrection of the body? They answered, Yes. Then said
the shepherds, Those that you see lie dashed in pieces at the bottom of
this mountain are they; and they have continued to this day unburied (as
you see) for an example to others to take heed how they clamber too
high, or how they come too near the brink of this mountain.

Then I saw that they had them to the top of another mountain, and the
name of that is Caution, and bid them look afar off; which when they
did, they perceived, as they thought, several men walking up and down
among the tombs that were there; and they perceived that the men were
blind, because they stumbled sometimes upon the tombs, and because they
could not get out from among them. Then said Christian, What means this?

The shepherds then answered, Did you not see a little below these
mountains a stile, that led into a meadow, on the left hand of this way?
They answered, Yes. Then said the shepherds, From that stile there goes
a path that leads directly to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant
Despair; and these men (pointing to them among the tombs) came once on
pilgrimages as you do now, even till they came to that same stile; and
because the right way was rough in that place, and they chose to go out
of it into that meadow, and there were taken by Giant Despair and cast
into Doubting Castle; where, after they had been awhile kept in the
dungeon, he at last did put out their eyes, and led them among those
tombs, where he has left them to wander to this very day, that the
saying of the wise man might be fulfilled, "He that wandereth out of the
way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead." Then
Christian and Hopeful looked upon one another, with tears gushing out,
but yet said nothing to the shepherds.

Then I saw in my dream that the shepherds had them to another place, in
a bottom, where was a door in the side of a hill, and they opened the
door, and bid them look in. They looked in therefore, and saw that
within it was very dark and smoky; they also thought that they heard
there a rumbling noise as of fire, and a cry as of some tormented, and
that they smelt the scent of brimstone. Then said Christian, What means

The shepherds told them, This is a by-way to hell, a way that hypocrites
go in at; namely, such as sell their birthright, with Esau; such as sell
their Master, as Judas; such as blaspheme the Gospel, with Alexander;
and that lie and dissemble, with Ananias and Sapphira his wife. Then
said Hopeful to the shepherds, I perceive that these had on them, even
every one, a show of pilgrimage, as we have now: had they not?

_Shepherds_--Yes, and held it a long time too.

_Hopeful_--How far might they go on in pilgrimage in their day, since
they notwithstanding were thus miserably cast away?

_Shepherds_--Some further, and some not so far as these mountains.

Then said the pilgrims one to another, We had need to cry to the Strong
for strength.

_Shepherds_--Ay, and you will have need to use it when you have it too.

By this time the pilgrims had a desire to go forwards, and the shepherds
a desire they should; so they walked together towards the end of the
mountains. Then said the shepherds one to another, Let us here show to
the pilgrims the gates of the Celestial City, if they have skill to look
through our perspective-glass. The pilgrims then lovingly accepted the
motion; so they had them to the top of a high hill, called Clear, and
gave them their glass to look.

Then they essayed to look, but the remembrance of that last thing that
the shepherds had showed them made their hands shake, by means of which
impediment they could not look steadily through the glass; yet they
thought they saw something like the gate, and also some of the glory of
the place.


From the 'Pilgrim's Progress'

Now while they lay here and waited for the good hour, there was a noise
in the town that there was a post come from the Celestial City, with
matter of great importance to one Christiana, the wife of Christian the
pilgrim. So inquiry was made for her, and the house was found out where
she was. So the post presented her with a letter, the contents whereof
was, Hail, good woman, I bring thee tidings that the Master calleth for
thee, and expecteth that thou shouldest stand in his presence in clothes
of immortality, within this ten days.

When he had read this letter to her, he gave her therewith a sure token
that he was a true messenger, and was come to bid her make haste to be
gone. The token was an arrow with a point sharpened with love, let
easily into her heart, which by degrees wrought so effectually with her,
that at the time appointed she must be gone.

When Christiana saw that her time was come, and that she was the first
of this company that was to go over, she called for Mr. Great-heart her
guide, and told him how matters were. So he told her he was heartily
glad of the news, and could have been glad had the post come for him.
Then she bid that he should give advice how all things should be
prepared for her journey. So he told her, saying, Thus and thus it must
be, and we that survive will accompany you to the river-side.

Then she called for her children and gave them her blessing, and told
them that she yet read with comfort the mark that was set in their
foreheads, and was glad to see them with her there, and that they had
kept their garments so white. Lastly, she bequeathed to the poor that
little she had, and commanded her sons and daughters to be ready
against the messenger should come for them.

When she had spoken these words to her guide and to her children, she
called for Mr. Valiant-for-truth, and said unto him, Sir, you have in
all places showed yourself true-hearted; be faithful unto death, and my
King will give you a crown of life. I would also entreat you to have an
eye to my children, and if at any time you see them faint, speak
comfortably to them. For my daughters, my sons' wives, they have been
faithful, and a fulfilling of the promise upon them will be their end.
But she gave Mr. Stand-fast a ring.

Then she called for old Mr. Honest and said of him, Behold an Israelite
indeed, in whom is no guile. Then said he, I wish you a fair day when
you set out for Mount Sion, and shall be glad to see that you go over
the river dry-shod. But she answered, Come wet, come dry, I long to be
gone, for however the weather is in my journey, I shall have time enough
when I come there to sit down and rest me and dry me.

Then came in that good man Mr. Ready-to-halt, to see her. So she said to
him, Thy travel hither has been with difficulty, but that will make thy
rest the sweeter. But watch and be ready, for at an hour when you think
not, the messenger may come.

After him came in Mr. Despondency and his daughter Much-afraid, to whom
she said, You ought with thankfulness forever to remember your
deliverance from the hands of Giant Despair and out of Doubting Castle.
The effect of that mercy is, that you are brought with safety hither. Be
ye watchful and cast away fear, be sober and hope to the end.

Then she said to Mr. Feeble-mind, Thou wast delivered from the mouth of
Giant Slay-good, that thou mightest live in the light of the living for
ever, and see thy King with comfort. Only I advise thee to repent thee
of thine aptness to fear and doubt of his goodness before he sends for
thee, lest thou shouldest, when he comes, be forced to stand before him
for that fault with blushing.

Now the day drew on that Christiana must be gone. So the road was full
of people to see her take her journey. But behold, all the banks beyond
the river were full of horses and chariots, which were come down from
above to accompany her to the city gate. So she came forth and entered
the river with a beckon of farewell to those who followed her to the
river-side. The last words she was heard to say here was, I come, Lord,
to be with thee and bless thee.

So her children and friends returned to their place, for that those that
waited for Christiana had carried her out of their sight. So she went
and called and entered in at the gate with all the ceremonies of joy
that her husband Christian had done before her. At her departure her
children wept, but Mr. Great-heart and Mr. Valiant played upon the
well-tuned cymbal and harp for joy. So all departed to their respective

In process of time there came a post to the town again, and his business
was with Mr. Ready-to-halt. So he inquired him out, and said to him, I
am come to thee in the name of Him whom thou hast loved and followed,
though upon crutches; and my message is to tell thee that he expects
thee at his table to sup with him in his kingdom the next day after
Easter, wherefore prepare thyself for this journey.

Then he also gave him a token that he was a true messenger, saying, "I
have broken thy golden bowl, and loosed thy silver cord."

After this Mr. Ready-to-halt called for his fellow pilgrims, and told
them saying, I am sent for, and God shall surely visit you also. So he
desired Mr. Valiant to make his will. And because he had nothing to
bequeath to them that should survive him but his crutches and his good
wishes, therefore thus he said, These crutches I bequeath to my son that
shall tread in my steps, with a hundred warm wishes that he may prove
better than I have done.

Then he thanked Mr. Great-heart for his conduct and kindness, and so
addressed himself to his journey. When he came at the brink of the river
he said, Now I shall have no more need of these crutches, since yonder
are chariots and horses for me to ride on. The last words he was heard
to say were, Welcome, life. So he went his way.

After this Mr. Feeble-mind had tidings brought him that the post sounded
his horn at his chamber door. Then he came in and told him, saying, I am
come to tell thee that thy Master has need of thee, and that in very
little time thou must behold his face in brightness. And take this as a
token of the truth of my message, "Those that look out at the windows
shall be darkened."

Then Mr. Feeble-mind called for his friends, and told them what errand
had been brought unto him, and what token he had received of the truth
of the message. Then he said, Since I have nothing to bequeath to any,
to what purpose should I make a will? As for my feeble mind, that I will
leave behind me, for that I have no need of that in the place whither I
go. Nor is it worth bestowing upon the poorest pilgrim; wherefore when I
am gone, I desire that you, Mr. Valiant, would bury it in a dung-hill.
This done, and the day being come in which he was to depart, he entered
the river as the rest. His last words were, Hold out faith and patience.
So he went over to the other side.

When days had many of them passed away, Mr. Despondency was sent for.
For a post was come, and brought this message to him, Trembling man,
these are to summon thee to be ready with thy King by the next Lord's
day, to shout for joy for thy deliverance from all thy doubtings.

And said the messenger, That my message is true, take this for a proof;
so he gave him "The grasshopper to be a burden unto him." Now Mr.
Despondency's daughter, whose name was Much-afraid, said when she heard
what was done, that she would go with her father. Then Mr. Despondency
said to his friends, Myself and my daughter, you know what we have been,
and how troublesomely we have behaved ourselves in every company. My
will and my daughter's is, that our desponds and slavish fears be by no
man ever received from the day of our departure for ever, for I know
that after my death they will offer themselves to others. For to be
plain with you, they are ghosts, the which we entertained when we first
began to be pilgrims, and could never shake them off after; and they
will walk about and seek entertainment of the pilgrims, but for our
sakes shut ye the doors upon them.

When the time was come for them to depart, they went to the brink of the
river. The last words of Mr. Despondency were, Farewell, night; welcome,
day. His daughter went through the river singing, but none could
understand what she said.

Then it came to pass a while after, that there was a post in the town
that inquired for Mr. Honest.... When the day that he was to be gone was
come, he addressed himself to go over the river. Now the river at that
time overflowed the banks in some places, but Mr. Honest in his lifetime
had spoken to one Good-conscience to meet him there, the which he also
did, and lent him his hand, and so helped him over. The last words of
Mr. Honest were, Grace reigns. So he left the world.

After this it was noised abroad that Mr. Valiant-for-truth was taken
with a summons by the same post as the other, and had this for a token
that the summons was true, "That his pitcher was broken at the
fountain." When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told
them of it. Then said he, I am going to my fathers, and though with
great difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the
trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that
shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that
can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me
that I have fought his battles who now will be my rewarder. When the day
that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side,
into which as he went he said, Death, where is thy sting? And as he went
down deeper he said, Grave, where is thy victory? So he passed over, and
all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

Then there came forth a summons for Mr. Stand-fast (this Mr. Stand-fast
was he that the rest of the pilgrims found upon his knees in the
enchanted ground), for the post brought it him open in his hands. The
contents whereof were, that he must prepare for a change of life, for
his Master was not willing that he should be so far from him any longer.
At this Mr. Stand-fast was put into a muse. Nay, said the messenger, you
need not doubt of the truth of my message, for here is a token of the
truth thereof, "Thy wheel is broken at the cistern." Then he called to
him Mr. Great-heart, who was their guide, and said unto him, Sir,
although it was not my hap to be much in your good company in the days
of my pilgrimage, yet since the time I knew you, you have been
profitable to me. When I came from home, I left behind me a wife and
five small children: let me entreat you at your return (for I know that
you will go and return to your Master's house, in hopes that you may yet
be a conductor to more of the holy pilgrims) that you send to my family,
and let them be acquainted with all that hath and shall happen unto me.
Tell them moreover of my happy arrival to this place, and of the present
late blessed condition that I am in. Tell them also of Christian and
Christiana his wife, and how she and her children came after her
husband. Tell them also of what a happy end she made, and whither she is
gone. I have little or nothing to send to my family, except it be
prayers and tears for them; of which it will suffice if thou acquaint
them, if peradventure they may prevail.

When Mr. Stand-fast had thus set things in order, and the time being
come for him to haste him away, he also went down to the river. Now
there was a great calm at that time in the river; wherefore Mr.
Stand-fast, when he was about half-way in, he stood awhile, and talked
to his companions that had waited upon him thither. And he said:--

This river has been a terror to many; yea, the thoughts of it also have
often frighted me. But now methinks I stand easy; my foot is fixed upon
that upon which the feet of the priests that bare the ark of the
covenant stood, while Israel went over this Jordan. The waters indeed
are to the palate bitter and to the stomach cold, yet the thought of
what I am going to and of the conduct that waits for me on the other
side, doth lie as a glowing coal at my heart.

I see myself now at the end of my journey; my toilsome days are ended. I
am going now to see that Head that was crowned with thorns, and that
Face that was spit upon for me.

I have formerly lived by hearsay and faith, but now I go where I shall
live by sight, and shall be with him in whose company I delight myself.

I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of, and wherever I have seen the
print of his shoe in the earth, there I have coveted to set my foot too.

His name has been to me as a civet-box, yea, sweeter than all perfumes.
His voice to me has been most sweet, and his countenance I have more
desired than they that have most desired the light of the sun. His Word
I did use to gather for my food, and for antidotes against my faintings.
He has held me, and I have kept me from mine iniquities; yea, my steps
hath he strengthened in his way.

Now while he was thus in discourse, his countenance changed, his strong
man bowed under him, and after he had said, Take me, for I come unto
thee, he ceased to be seen of them.

But glorious it was to see how the open region was filled with horses
and chariots, with trumpeters and pipers, with singers and players on
stringed instruments, to welcome the pilgrims as they went up, and
followed one another in at the beautiful gate of the city.



The ballad of 'Lenore,' upon which Bürger's fame chiefly rests, was
published in 1773. It constituted one of the articles in that
declaration of independence which the young poets of the time were
formulating, and it was more than a mere coincidence that in the same
year Herder wrote his essay on 'Ossian' and the 'Songs of Ancient
Peoples,' and Goethe unfurled the banner of a new time in 'Götz von
Berlichingen.' The artificial and sentimental trivialities of the
pigtail age were superseded almost at a stroke, and the petty formalism
under which the literature of Germany was languishing fell about the
powdered wigs of its professional representatives. The new impulse came
from England. As in France, Rousseau, preaching the gospel of a return
to nature, found his texts in English writers, so in Germany the poets
who inaugurated the classic age derived their chief inspiration from the
wholesome heart of England. It was Shakespeare that inspired Goethe's
'Götz'; Ossian and the old English and Scotch folk-songs were Herder's
theme; and Percy's 'Reliques' stimulated and saved the genius of Bürger.
This was the movement which, for lack of a better term, has been called
the naturalistic. Literature once more took possession of the whole
range of human life and experience, descending from her artificial
throne to live with peasant and people. These ardent innovators spurned
all ancient rules and conventions, and in the first ecstasy of their
new-found freedom and unchastened strength it is no wonder that they
went too far. Goethe and Schiller learned betimes the salutary lesson of
artistic restraint. Bürger never learned it.

[Illustration: GOTTFRIED A. BÜRGER]

Bürger was wholly a child of his time. At the age of twenty-six he wrote
'Lenore,' and his genius never again attained that height. Much may be
accomplished in the first outburst of youthful energy; but without the
self-control which experience should teach, and without the moral
character which is the condition of great achievement, genius rots ere
it is ripe; and this was the case with Bürger. We are reminded of Burns.
Goethe in his seventy-eighth year said to Eckermann:--"What songs Bürger
and Voss have written! Who would say that they are less valuable or
less redolent of their native soil than the exquisite songs of Burns?"
Like Burns, Bürger was of humble origin; like Burns, he gave passion and
impulse the reins and drove to his own destruction; like Burns, he left
behind him a body of truly national and popular poetry which is still
alive in the mouths of the people.

Bürger was born in the last hour of the year 1747 at Molmerswende. His
father was a country clergyman, and he himself was sent to Halle at the
age of seventeen to study theology. His wild life there led to his
removal to Göttingen, where he took up the study of law. He became a
member and afterwards the leader of the famous "Göttinger Dichterbund,"
and was carried away and for a time rescued from his evil courses by his
enthusiasm for Shakespeare and Percy's 'Reliques.' He contributed to the
newly established Musenalmanach, and from 1779 until his death in 1794
he was its editor. In 1787 the university conferred an honorary degree
upon him, and he was soon afterward made a professor without salary,
lecturing on Kantian philosophy and æsthetics. Three times he was
married; his days were full of financial struggles and self-wrought
misery; there is little in his private life that is creditable to
record: a dissolute youth was followed by a misguided manhood, and he
died in his forty-seventh year.

It fell to the lot of the young Goethe, then an unknown reviewer, to
write for the Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeigen in November, 1772, a notice
of some of Bürger's early poems. "The 'Minnelied' of Mr. Bürger," he
says, "is worthy of a better age; and if he has more such happy moments,
these efforts of his will be among the most potent influences to render
our sentimental poetasters, with their gold-paper Amors and Graces and
their elysium of benevolence and philanthropy, utterly forgotten." With
such clear vision could Goethe see at the age of twenty-three. But he
soon saw also the danger that lay in unbridled freedom. For the best
that was in Bürger Goethe retained his admiration to the last, but
before he was thirty he felt that their ways had parted. Among the
'Maxims and Reflections' we find this note:--"It is sad to see how an
extraordinary man may struggle with his time, with his circumstances,
often even with himself, and never prosper. Sad example, Bürger!"

Doubtless German literature owes less to Bürger than English owes to
Burns, but it owes much. Bürger revived the ballad form in which so much
of the finest German poetry has since been cast. With his lyric gifts
and his dramatic power, he infused a life into these splendid poems that
has made them a part of the folk-lore of his native land. 'Lenardo und
Blandine,' his own favorite, 'Des Pfarrers Tochter von Taubenhain' (The
Pastor's Daughter of Taubenhain), 'Das Lied vom braven Mann' (The Song
of the Brave Man), 'Die Weiber von Weinsberg' (The Women of Weinsberg),
'Der Kaiser und der Abt' (The Emperor and the Abbot), 'Der Wilde Jäger'
(The Wild Huntsman), all belong, like 'Lenore,' to the literary
inheritance of the German people. Bürger attempted a translation of the
Iliad in iambic blank verse, and a prose translation of 'Macbeth.' To
him belongs also the credit of having restored to German literature the
long-disused sonnet. His sonnets are among the best in the language, and
elicited warm praise from Schiller as "models of their kind." Schiller
had written a severe criticism of Bürger's poems, which had inflamed
party strife and embittered the last years of Bürger himself; but even
Schiller admits that Bürger is as much superior to all his rivals as he
is inferior to the ideal he should have striven to attain.

The debt which Bürger owed to English letters was amply repaid. In
'Lenore' he showed Percy's 'Reliques' the compliment of quoting from the
ballad of 'Sweet William,' which had supplied him with his theme, the
lines:--"Is there any room at your head, Willie, or any room at your
feet?" The first literary work of Walter Scott was the translation which
he made in 1775 of 'Lenore,' under the title of 'William and Helen';
this was quickly followed by a translation of 'The Wild Huntsman.'
Scott's romantic mind received in Bürger's ballads and in Goethe's
'Götz,' which he translated four years later, just the nourishment it
craved. It is a curious coincidence that another great romantic writer,
Alexandre Dumas, should also have begun his literary career with a
translation of 'Lenore.' Bürger was not, however, a man of one poem. He
filled two goodly volumes, but the oft-quoted words of his friend
Schlegel contain the essential truth:--"'Lenore' will always be Bürger's
jewel, the precious ring with which, like the Doge of Venice espousing
the sea, he married himself to the folk-song forever."


Walter Scott's Translation of 'Lenore'

    From heavy dreams fair Helen rose,
      And eyed the dawning red:--
    "Alas, my love, thou tarriest long!
      O art thou false or dead?"

    With gallant Frederick's princely power
      He sought the bold crusade;
    But not a word from Judah's wars
      Told Helen how he sped.

    With Paynim and with Saracen
      At length a truce was made,
    And every knight returned to dry
      The tears his love had shed.

    Our gallant host was homeward bound
      With many a song of joy;
    Green waved the laurel in each plume,
      The badge of victory.

    And old and young, and sire and son,
      To meet them crowd the way,
    With shouts, and mirth, and melody,
      The debt of love to pay.

    Full many a maid her true-love met,
      And sobbed in his embrace,
    And fluttering joy in tears and smiles
      Arrayed full many a face.

    Nor joy nor smile for Helen sad;
      She sought the host in vain;
    For none could tell her William's fate,
      If faithless or if slain.

    The martial band is past and gone;
      She rends her raven hair,
    And in distraction's bitter mood
      She weeps with wild despair.

    "O rise, my child," her mother said,
      "Nor sorrow thus in vain:
    A perjured lover's fleeting heart
      No tears recall again."

    "O mother, what is gone, is gone,
      What's lost forever lorn;
    Death, death alone can comfort me;
      O had I ne'er been born!

    "O break, my heart, O break at once!
      Drink my life-blood, Despair!
    No joy remains on earth for me,
      For me in heaven no share."

    "O enter not in judgment, Lord!"
      The pious mother prays;
    Impute not guilt to thy frail child!
      She knows not what she says.

    "O say thy paternoster, child!
      O turn to God and grace!
    His will, that turned thy bliss to bale,
      Can change thy bale to bliss."

    "O mother, mother, what is bliss?
      O mother, what is bale?
    My William's love was heaven on earth;
      Without it earth is hell.

    "Why should I pray to ruthless Heaven,
      Since my loved William's slain?
    I only prayed for William's sake,
      And all my prayers were vain."

    "O take the sacrament, my child,
      And check these tears that flow;
    By resignation's humble prayer,
      O hallowed be thy woe!"

    "No sacrament can quench this fire,
      Or slake this scorching pain;
    No sacrament can bid the dead
      Arise and live again.

    "O break, my heart, O break at once!
      Be thou my god, Despair!
    Heaven's heaviest blow has fallen on me.
      And vain each fruitless prayer."

    "O enter not in judgment, Lord,
      With thy frail child of clay!
    She knows not what her tongue has spoke;
      Impute it not, I pray!

    "Forbear, my child, this desperate woe,
      And turn to God and grace;
    Well can devotion's heavenly glow
      Convert thy bale to bliss."

    "O mother, mother, what is bliss?
      O mother, what is bale?
    Without my William what were heaven,
      Or with him what were hell?"

    Wild she arraigns the eternal doom,
      Upbraids each sacred Power,
    Till, spent, she sought her silent room,
      All in the lonely tower.

    She beat her breast, she wrung her hands
      Till sun and day were o'er,
    And through the glimmering lattice shone
      The twinkling of the star.

    Then, crash! the heavy drawbridge fell
      That o'er the moat was hung;
    And, clatter, clatter, on its boards
      The hoof of courser rung.

    The clank of echoing steel was heard
      As off the rider bounded;
    And slowly on the winding stair
      A heavy footstep sounded.

    And hark! and hark! a knock--Tap! tap
      A rustling stifled noise;
    Door-latch and tinkling staples ring;
      At length a whispering voice:

    "Awake, awake, arise, my love!
      How, Helen, dost thou fare?
    Wak'st thou, or sleep'st? laugh'st thou, or weep'st?
      Hast thought on me, my fair?"

    "My love! my love! so late at night!
      I waked, I wept for thee.
    Much have I borne since dawn of morn;
      Where, William, couldst thou be?"

    "We saddle late--from Hungary
      I rode since darkness fell;
    And to its bourne we both return
      Before the matin bell."

    "O rest this night within my arms,
      And warm thee in their fold!
    Chill howls through hawthorn bush the wind;--
      My love is deadly cold."

    "Let the wind howl through hawthorn bush!
      This night we must away;
    The steed is wight, the spur is bright;
      I cannot stay till day.

    "Busk, busk, and boune! Thou mount'st behind
      Upon my black barb steed:
    O'er stock and stile, a hundred mile,
      We haste to bridal bed."

    "To-night--to-night a hundred miles!
      O dearest William, stay!
    The bell strikes twelve--dark, dismal hour!
      O wait, my love, till day!"

    "Look here, look here--the moon shines clear--
      Full fast I ween we ride;
    Mount and away! for ere the day
      We reach our bridal bed.

    "The black barb snorts, the bridle rings,
      Haste, busk, and boune, and seat thee!
    The feast is made, the chamber spread,
      The bridal guests await thee."

    Strong love prevailed: she busks, she bounes,
      She mounts the barb behind,
    And round her darling William's waist
      Her lily arms she twined.

    And, hurry! hurry! off they rode,
      And fast as fast might be;
    Spurned from the courser's thundering heels
      The flashing pebbles flee.

    And on the right, and on the left,
      Ere they could snatch a view,
    Fast, fast each mountain, mead, and plain,
      And cot and castle flew.

    "Sit fast--dost fear?--The moon shines clear!--
      Fleet goes my barb--keep hold!
    Fear'st thou?"--"O no!" she faintly said;
      "But why so stern and cold?

    "What yonder rings, what yonder sings?
      Why shrieks the owlet gray?"--
    "'Tis death-bells' clang, 'tis funeral song,
      The body to the clay.

    "With song and clang, at morrow's dawn,
      Ye may inter the dead;
    To-night I ride, with my young bride,
      To deck our bridal bed.

    "Come with thy choir, thou coffined guest,
      To swell our nuptial song!
    Come, priest, to bless our marriage feast!
      Come all, come all along!"

    Ceased clang and song; down sunk the bier;
      The shrouded corpse arose:
    And hurry! hurry! all the train
      The thundering steed pursues.

    And forward, forward, on they go;
      High snorts the straining steed;
    Thick pants the rider's laboring breath
      As headlong on they speed.

    "O William, why this savage haste?
      And where thy bridal bed?"
    "'Tis distant far,--low, damp, and chill,
      And narrow,--trustless maid!"

    "No room for me?"--"Enough for both;
      Speed, speed, my barb, thy course!"
    O'er thundering bridge, through boiling surge,
      He drove the furious horse.

    Tramp! tramp! along the land they rode,
      Splash! splash! along the sea;
    The scourge is wight, the spur is bright,
      The flashing pebbles flee.

    Fled past on right and left how fast
      Each forest, grove, and bower!
    On right and left fled past how fast
      Each city, town, and tower!

    "Dost fear? dost fear? The moon shines clear,
      Dost fear to ride with me?
    Hurrah! hurrah! the dead can ride!"--
      "O William, let them be!--

    "See there, see there! What yonder swings
      And creaks 'mid whistling rain?"
    "Gibbet and steel, th' accursed wheel,
      A murderer in his chain.

    "Hollo! thou felon, follow here:
      To bridal bed we ride;
    And thou shalt prance a fetter dance
      Before me and my bride."

    And hurry! hurry! clash, clash, clash!
      The wasted form descends;
    And fleet as wind through hazel bush
      The wild career attends.

    Tramp! tramp! along the land they rode,
      Splash! splash! along the sea;
    The scourge is red, the spur drops blood,
      The flashing pebbles flee.

    How fled what moonshine faintly showed!
      How fled what darkness hid!
    How fled the earth beneath their feet,
      The heaven above their head!

    "Dost fear? dost fear? the moon shines clear
      And well the dead can ride;
    Dost, faithful Helen, fear for them?"--
      "O leave in peace the dead!"

    "Barb! barb! methinks I hear the cock;
      The sand will soon be run;
    Barb! barb! I smell the morning air;
      The race is well-nigh done."

    Tramp! tramp! along the land they rode,
      Splash! splash! along the sea;
    The scourge is red, the spur drops blood,
      The flashing pebbles flee.

    "Hurrah! hurrah! well ride the dead;
      The bride, the bride is come;
    And soon we reach the bridal bed,
      For, Helen, here's my home."

    Reluctant on its rusty hinge
      Revolved an iron door,
    And by the pale moon's setting beam
      Were seen a church and tower.

    With many a shriek and cry whiz round
      The birds of midnight, scared;
    And rustling like autumnal leaves
      Unhallowed ghosts were heard.

    O'er many a tomb and tombstone pale
      He spurred the fiery horse,
    Till sudden at an open grave
      He checked the wondrous course.

    The falling gauntlet quits the rein,
      Down drops the casque of steel,
    The cuirass leaves his shrinking side,
      The spur his gory heel.

    The eyes desert the naked skull,
      The mold'ring flesh the bone,
    Till Helen's lily arms entwine
      A ghastly skeleton.

    The furious barb snorts fire and foam,
      And with a fearful bound,
    Dissolves at once in empty air,
      And leaves her on the ground.

    Half seen by fits, by fits half heard,
      Pale spectres flit along,
    Wheel round the maid in dismal dance,
      And howl the funeral song:--

    "E'en when the heart's with anguish cleft,
      Revere the doom of heaven.
    Her soul is from her body reft;
      Her spirit be forgiven!"


    Which way to Weinsberg? neighbor, say!
      'Tis sure a famous city:
    It must have cradled, in its day,
    Full many a maid of noble clay.
      And matrons wise and witty;
    And if ever marriage should happen to me,
    A Weinsberg dame my wife shall be.

    King Conrad once, historians say,
      Fell out with this good city;
    So down he came, one luckless day,--
    Horse, foot, dragoons,--in stern array,--
      And cannon,--more's the pity!
    Around the walls the artillery roared,
    And bursting bombs their fury poured.

    But naught the little town could scare;
      Then, red with indignation,
    He bade the herald straight repair
    Up to the gates, and thunder there
      The following proclamation:--
    "Rascals! when I your town do take,
    No living thing shall save its neck!"

    Now, when the herald's trumpet sent
      These tidings through the city,
    To every house a death knell went;
    Such murder-cries the hot air rent
      Might move the stones to pity.
    Then bread grew dear, but good advice
    Could not be had for any price.

    Then, "Woe is me!" "O misery!"
      What shrieks of lamentation!
    And "Kyrie Eleison!" cried
    The pastors, and the flock replied,
      "Lord! save us from starvation!"
    "Oh, woe is me, poor Corydon--
    My neck,--my neck! I'm gone,--I'm gone!"

    Yet oft, when counsel, deed, and prayer
      Had all proved unavailing,
    When hope hung trembling on a hair,
    How oft has woman's wit been there!--
      A refuge never failing;
    For woman's wit and Papal fraud,
    Of olden time, were famed abroad.

    A youthful dame, praised be her name!--
      Last night had seen her plighted,--
    Whether in waking hour or dream,
    Conceived a rare and novel scheme,
      Which all the town delighted;
    Which you, if you think otherwise,
    Have leave to laugh at and despise.

    At midnight hour, when culverin
      And gun and bomb were sleeping,
    Before the camp with mournful mien,
    The loveliest embassy were seen,
      All kneeling low and weeping.
    So sweetly, plaintively they prayed,
    But no reply save this was made:--

    "The women have free leave to go,
      Each with her choicest treasure;
    But let the knaves their husbands know
    That unto them the King will show
      The weight of his displeasure."
    With these sad terms the lovely train
    Stole weeping from the camp again.

    But when the morning gilt the sky.
      What happened? Give attention:--
    The city gates wide open fly,
    And all the wives come trudging by,
      Each bearing--need I mention?--
    Her own dear husband on her back,
    All snugly seated in a sack!

    Full many a sprig of court, the joke
      Not relishing, protested,
    And urged the King; but Conrad spoke:--
    "A monarch's word must not be broke!"
      And here the matter rested.
    "Bravo!" he cried, "Ha, ha! Bravo!
    Our lady guessed it would be so."

    He pardoned all, and gave a ball
      That night at royal quarters.
    The fiddles squeaked, the trumpets blew,
    And up and down the dancers flew,
      Court sprigs with city daughters.
    The mayor's wife--O rarest sight!--
    Danced with the shoemaker that night!

    Ah, where is Weinsberg, sir, I pray?
      'Tis sure a famous city:
    It must have cradled in its day
    Full many a maid of noble clay,
      And matrons wise and witty;
    And if ever marriage should happen to me,
    A Weinsberg dame my wife shall be.

Translated by C. T. Brooks: Reprinted from 'Representative German Poems'
by the courtesy of Mrs. Charles T. Brooks.




Edmund Burke, born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1729, was the son of a
successful attorney, who gave him as good an education as the times and
the country afforded. He went to school to an excellent Quaker, and
graduated at Trinity College in 1748. He appears to have then gone to
London in 1750 to "keep terms," as it was called, at the Middle Temple,
with the view of being admitted to the bar, in obedience to his father's
desire and ambition. But the desultory habit of mind, the preference for
literature and philosophical speculation to connected study, which had
marked his career in college, followed him and prevented any serious
application to the law. His father's patience was after a while
exhausted, and he withdrew Burke's allowance and left him to his own

This was in 1755, but in 1756 he married, and made his first appearance
in the literary world by the publication of a book. About these years
from 1750 to 1759 little is known. He published two works, one a
treatise on the 'Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful,' and
the other a 'Vindication of Natural Society,' a satire on Bolingbroke.
Stray allusions and anecdotes about other men in the diaries and
correspondence of the time show that he frequented the literary
coffee-houses, and was gradually making an impression on the authors and
wits whom he met there. Besides the two books we have mentioned, he
produced some smaller things, such as an 'Essay on the Drama,' and part
of an 'Abridgment of the History of England.' But although these helped
to secure him admission to the literary set, they did not raise him out
of the rank of obscure literary adventurers, who from the Revolution of
1688, and especially after the union with Scotland, began to swarm to
London from all parts of the three kingdoms. The first recognition of
him as a serious writer was his employment by Dodsley the bookseller, at
a salary of $100 a year, to edit the Annual Register, which Dodsley
founded in 1769. Considered as a biographical episode, this may fairly
be treated as a business man's certificate that Burke was industrious
and accurate. As his income from his father was withdrawn or reduced in
1755, there remain four years during which his way of supporting himself
is unknown. His published works were certainly not "pot-boilers." He
was probably to some extent dependent on his wife's father, Dr. Nugent,
an Irish physician who when Burke made his acquaintance lived in Bath,
but after his daughter's marriage settled in London, and seems to have
frequented and have been acceptable in the same coffee-houses as Burke,
and for the same reasons. But Burke was not a man to remain long
dependent on any one. These nine years were evidently not spent
fruitlessly. They had made him known and brought him to the threshold of
public life.

In 1759, political discussion as we understand it--that is, those
explorations of the foundations of political society and analyses of
social relations which now form our daily intellectual food--was hardly
known. The interest in religion as the chief human concern was rapidly
declining. The interest in human society as an organism to be studied,
and if need be, taken to pieces and put together again, was only just
beginning. Montesquieu's great work, 'The Spirit of the Laws,' which
demanded for expediency and convenience in legislation the place which
modern Europe had long assigned to authority, had only appeared in 1748.
Swift's satires had made serious breaches in the wall of convention by
which the State, in spite of the convulsions of the seventeenth century,
was still surrounded. But the writer whose speculations excited most
attention in England was Bolingbroke. The charm of his style and the
variety of his interests made him the chief intellectual topic of the
London world in Burke's early youth. To write like Bolingbroke was a
legitimate ambition for a young man. It is not surprising that Burke
felt it, and that his earliest political effort was a satire on
Bolingbroke. It attracted the attention of a politician, Gerard
Hamilton, and he quickly picked up Burke as his secretary, treated him
badly, and was abandoned by him in disgust at the end of six years.

The peculiar condition of the English governmental machine made possible
for men of Burke's kind at this period what would not be possible now.
The population had vanished from a good many old boroughs, although
their representation in Parliament remained, and the selection of the
members fell to the lords of the soil. About one hundred and fifty
members of the House of Commons were in this way chosen by great landed
proprietors, and it is to be said to their credit that they used their
power freely to introduce unknown young men of talent into public life.
Moreover in many cases, if not in most, small boroughs, however well
peopled, were expected to elect the proprietor's nominee. Burke after
leaving Hamilton's service was for a short time private secretary to
Lord Rockingham, when the latter succeeded Grenville in the Ministry in
1766; but when he went out, Burke obtained a seat in Parliament in 1765
in the manner we have described, for the borough of Wendover, from
Lord Verney, who owned it. He made his first successful speech the same
year, and was complimented by Pitt. He was already recognized as a man
of enormous information, as any one who edited the Annual Register had
to be.

[Illustration: EDMUND BURKE.]

A man of such powers and tastes in that day naturally became a
pamphleteer. Outside of Parliament there was no other mode of discussing
public affairs. The periodical press for purposes of discussion did not
exist. During and after the Great Rebellion, the pamphlet had made its
appearance as the chief instrument of controversy. Defoe used it freely
after the Restoration. Swift made a great hit with it, and probably
achieved the first sensational sale with his pamphlet on 'The Conduct of
the Allies.' Bolingbroke's 'Patriot King' was a work of the same class.
As a rule the pamphlet exposed or refuted somebody, even if it also
freely expounded. It was inevitable that Burke should early begin to
wield this most powerful of existing weapons. His antagonist was ready
for him in the person of George Grenville, the minister who had made way
for Burke's friend and patron Lord Rockingham. Grenville showed, as
easily as any party newspaper in our own day, that Rockingham and his
friends had ruined the country by mismanagement of the war and of the
finances. Burke refuted him with a mastery of facts and figures, and a
familiarity with the operations of trade and commerce, and a power of
exposition and illustration, and a comprehension of the fundamental
conditions of national economy, which at once made him famous and a
necessary man for the Whigs in the great struggle with the Crown on
which they were entering.

The nature of this struggle cannot be better described in brief space
than by saying that the King, from his accession to the throne down to
the close of the American War, was engaged in a persistent effort to
govern through ministers chosen and dismissed, as the German ministers
are now, by himself; while the subservience of Parliament was secured by
the profuse use of pensions and places. To this attempt, and all the
abuses which inevitably grew out of it, the Whigs with Burke as their
intellectual head offered a determined resistance, and the conflict was
one extraordinarily well calculated to bring his peculiar powers into

The leading events in this long struggle were the attempt of the House
of Commons to disqualify Wilkes for a seat in the House, to punish
reporting their debates as a breach of privilege, and the prosecution of
the war against the American colonies. It may be said to have begun at
the accession of the King, and to have lasted until the resignation of
Lord North after the surrender of Cornwallis, or from 1770 to 1783.

Burke's contributions to it were his pamphlet, 'Thoughts on the Cause of
the Present Discontents,' and several speeches in Parliament: the first,
like the pamphlet, on the general situation, and others on minor
incidents in the struggle. This pamphlet has not only survived the
controversy, but has become one of the most famous papers in the
political literature of the Anglo-Saxon race. It is a century since
every conspicuous figure in the drama passed away; it is seventy years
since every trace of the controversy disappeared from English political
life; most if not all of the principles for which Burke contended have
become commonplaces of English constitutional practice; the discontents
of that day have vanished as completely as those of 1630: but Burke's
pamphlet still holds a high place in every course of English literature,
and is still read and pondered by every student of constitutional
history and by every speculator on government and political morals.

In 1774 Parliament was dissolved for the second time since Burke entered
it: and there a misfortune overtook him which illustrated in a striking
way the practical working of the British Constitution at that period.
Lord Verney, to whom he had owed his seat for the borough of Wendover at
two elections, had fallen into pecuniary embarrassment and could no
longer return him, because compelled to sell his four boroughs. This
left Burke high and dry, and he was beginning to tremble for his
political future, when he was returned for the great commercial city of
Bristol by a popular constituency. The six years during which he sat for
Bristol were the most splendid portion of his career. Other portions
perhaps contributed as much if not more to his literary or oratorical
reputation; but this brought out in very bold relief the great traits of
character which will always endear his memory to the lovers of national
liberty, and place him high among the framers of great political ideals.
In the first place, he propounded boldly to the Bristol electors the
theory that he was to be their representative but not their delegate;
that his parliamentary action must be governed by his own reason and not
by their wishes. In the next, he resolutely sacrificed his seat by
opposing his constituents in supporting the removal of the restrictions
on Irish trade, of which English merchants reaped the benefit. He would
not be a party to what he considered the oppression of his native
country, no matter what might be the effect on his political prospects;
and in 1780 he was not re-elected.

But the greatest achievement of this period of his history was his share
in the controversy over the American War, which was really not more a
conflict with the colonies over taxation, than a resolute and obstinate
carrying out of the King's principles of government. The colonies were,
for the time being, simply resisting pretensions to which the kingdom
at home submitted. Burke's speeches on 'American Taxation' (1774), on
'Conciliation with America' (1775), and his 'Letter to the Sheriffs of
Bristol' (1777) on the same subject, taken as a sequel to the 'Thoughts
on the Present Discontents,' form a body of literature which it is not
too much to pronounce not only a history of the dispute with the
colonies, but a veritable political manual. He does not confine himself
to a minute description of the arguments used in supporting the attempt
to coerce America; he furnishes as he goes along principles of
legislation applicable almost to any condition of society; illustrations
which light up as by a single flash problems of apparently inscrutable
darkness; explanations of great political failures; and receipts
innumerable for political happiness and success. A single sentence often
disposes of half a dozen fallacies firmly imbedded in governmental
tradition. His own description of the rhetorical art of Charles
Townshend was eminently applicable to himself:--"He knew, better by far
than any man I ever was acquainted with, how to bring together within a
short time all that was necessary to establish, to illustrate, and to
decorate that side of the question which he supported."

This observation suggests the great advantage he derives as a political
instructor from the facts that all his political speeches and writings
are polemical. The difficulty of keeping exposition from being dry is
familiar to everybody who has ever sought to communicate knowledge on
any subject. But Burke in every one of his political theses had an
antagonist, who was literally as he says himself, a helper: who did the
work of an opposing counsel at the bar, in bringing out into prominence
all the weak points of Burke's case and all the strong ones of his own;
who set in array all the fallacies to be exposed, all the idols to be
overthrown, all the doubts to be cleared up. Moreover he was not, like
the man who usually figures in controversial dialogues, a sham opponent,
but a creature of flesh and blood like Grenville, or the Sheriffs of
Bristol, or the King's friends, or the Irish Protestant party, who met
Burke with an ardor not inferior to his own. We consequently have, in
all his papers and speeches, the very best of which he was capable in
thought and expression, for he had not only to watch the city but to
meet the enemy in the gate.

After the close of the American War, the remainder of Burke's career was
filled with two great subjects, to which he devoted himself with an
ardor which occasionally degenerated into fanaticism. One was the
government of India by the East India Company, and the other was the
French Revolution. Although the East India Company had been long in
existence, and had towards the middle of the eighteenth century been
rapidly extending its power and influence, comparatively little had
been known by the English public of the nature of its operations.
Attention had been drawn away from it by the events in America and the
long contest with the King in England. By the close of the American War,
however, the "Nabobs," as they were called,--or returned English
adventurers,--began to make a deep impression on English society by the
apparent size of their fortunes and the lavishness of their expenditure.
Burke calculated that in his time they had brought home about
$200,000,000, with which they bought estates and seats in Parliament and
became a very conspicuous element in English public and private life. At
the same time, information as to the mode in which their money was made
and their government carried on was scanty and hard to acquire. The
press had no foreign correspondence; India was six months away, and all
the Europeans in it were either servants of the Company, or remained in
it on the Company's sufferance. The Whigs finally determined to attempt
a grand inquisition into its affairs, and a bill was brought in by Fox,
withdrawing the government of India from the Company and vesting it in a
commission named in the bill. This was preceded by eleven reports from a
Committee of Inquiry. But the bill failed utterly, and brought down the
Whig ministry, which did not get into office again in Burke's time. This
was followed in 1785, on Burke's instigation, by the impeachment of the
most conspicuous of the Company's officers, Warren Hastings. Burke was
appointed one of the managers on behalf of the Commons.

No episode in his career is so familiar to the public as his conduct of
this trial, owing to Warren Hastings having been the subject of one of
the most popular of Macaulay's Essays. None brought out more clearly
Burke's great dialectical powers, or so well displayed his mastery of
details and his power of orderly exposition. The trial lasted eight
years, and was adjourned over from one Parliamentary session to another.
These delays were fatal to its success. The public interest in it died
out long before the close, as usual in protracted legal prosecutions;
the feeling spread that the defendant could not be very guilty when it
took so long to prove his crime. Although Burke toiled over the case
with extraordinary industry and persistence, and an enthusiasm which
never flagged, Hastings was finally acquitted.

But the labors of the prosecution were not wholly vain. It awoke in
England an attention to the government of India which never died out,
and led to a considerable curtailing of the power of the East India
Company, and necessarily of its severity, in dealing with Indian States.
The impeachment was preceded by eleven reports on the affairs of India
by the Committee of the House of Commons, and the articles of
impeachment were nearly as voluminous. Probably no question which has
ever come before Parliament has received so thorough an examination.
Hardly less important was the report of the Committee of the Commons
(which consisted of the managers of the impeachment) on the Lords'
journals. This was an elaborate examination of the rules of evidence
which govern proceedings in the trial of impeachments, or of persons
guilty of malfeasance in office. This has long been a bone of contention
between lawyers and statesmen. The Peers in the course of the trial had
taken the opinion of the judges frequently, and had followed it in
deciding on the admissibility of evidence, a great deal of which was
important to the prosecution. The report maintained, and with apparently
unanswerable force, that when a legislature sits on offenses against the
State, it constitutes a grand inquest which makes its own rules of
evidence; and is not and ought not to be tied up by the rules
administered in the ordinary law courts, and formed for the most part
for the guidance of the unskilled and often uneducated men who compose
juries. As a manual for the instruction of legislative committees of
inquiry it is therefore still very valuable, if it be not a final

Burke, during and after the Warren Hastings trial, fell into
considerable neglect and unpopularity. His zeal in the prosecution had
grown as the public interest in it declined, until it approached the
point of fanaticism. He took office in the coalition which succeeded the
Fox Whigs, and when the French Revolution broke out it found him
somewhat broken in nerves, irritated by his failures, and in less
cordial relations with some of his old friends and colleagues. He at
once arrayed himself fiercely against the Revolution, and broke finally
with what might be called the Liberty of all parties and creeds, and
stood forth to the world as the foremost champion of authority,
prescription, and precedent. Probably none of his writings are so
familiar to the general public as those which this crisis produced, such
as the 'Thoughts on the French Revolution' and the 'Letters on a
Regicide Peace.' They are and will always remain, apart from the
splendor of the rhetoric, extremely interesting as the last words spoken
by a really great man on behalf of the old order. Old Europe made
through him the best possible defense of itself. He told, as no one else
could have told it, the story of what customs, precedent, prescription,
and established usage had done for its civilization; and he told it
nevertheless as one who was the friend of rational progress, and had
taken no small part in promoting it. Only one other writer who followed
him came near equaling him as a defender of the past, and that was
Joseph de Maistre; but he approached the subject mainly from the
religious side. To him the old régime was the order of Providence. To
Burke it was the best scheme of things that humanity could devise for
the advancement and preservation of civilization. In the papers we have
mentioned, which were the great literary sensations of Burke's day,
everything that could be said for the system of political ethics under
which Europe had lived for a thousand years was said with a vigor,
incisiveness, and wealth of illustration which must make them for all
time and in all countries the arsenal of those who love the ancient ways
and dread innovation.

The failure of the proceedings against Warren Hastings, and the
strong sympathy with the French Revolution--at least in its
beginning--displayed by the Whigs and by most of those with whom Burke
had acted in politics, had an unfortunate effect on his temper. He broke
off his friendship with Fox and others of his oldest associates and
greatest admirers. He became hopeless and out of conceit with the world
around him. One might have set down some of this at least to the effect
of advancing years and declining health, if such onslaughts on
revolutionary ideas as his 'Reflections on the French Revolution' and
his 'Letters on a Regicide Peace' did not reveal the continued
possession of all the literary qualities which had made the success of
his earlier works. Their faults are literally the faults of youth: the
brilliancy of the rhetoric, the heat of the invective, the violence of
the partisanship, the reluctance to admit the existence of any
grievances in France to justify the popular onslaught on the monarchy,
the noblesse, and the Church. His one explanation of the crisis and its
attendant horrors was the instigation of the spirit of evil. The effect
on contemporary opinion was very great, and did much to stimulate the
conservative reaction in England which carried on the Napoleonic wars
and lasted down to the passage of the Reform Bill in 1832.

There were, however, other causes for the cloud which came over Burke's
later years. In spite of his great services to his party and his
towering eminence as an orator and writer, he never obtained a seat in
the Cabinet. The Paymastership of the Forces, at a salary of $20,000 a
year, was the highest reward, either in honor or money, which his party
ever bestowed on him. It is true that in those days the Whigs were very
particular in reserving high places for men of rank and family. In fact,
their government was, from the Revolution of 1688 on, a thorough
oligarchy, divided among a few great houses. That they should not have
broken through this rule in Burke's case, and admitted to the Cabinet a
man to whom they owed so much as they did to him, excited wonder in his
own day, and has down to our own time been one of the historical
mysteries on which the students of that period love to expend their
ingenuity. It is difficult to reconcile this exclusion and neglect of
Burke with the unbounded admiration lavished on him by the aristocratic
leaders of the party. It is difficult too to account for Burke's quiet
acquiescence in what seems to be their ingratitude. There had before his
time been no similar instance of party indifference to such claims as he
could well make, on such honors and rewards as the party had to bestow.

The most probable explanation of the affair is the one offered by his
latest and ablest biographer, Mr. John Morley. Burke had entered public
life without property,--probably the most serious mistake, if in his
case it can be called a mistake, which an English politician can commit.
It is a wise and salutary rule of English public life that a man who
seeks a political career shall qualify for it by pecuniary independence.
It would be hardly fair in Burke's case to say that he had sought a
political career. The greatness of his talents literally forced it on
him. He became a statesman and great Parliamentary orator, so to speak,
in spite of himself. But he must have early discovered the great barrier
to complete success created by his poverty. He may be said to have
passed his life in pecuniary embarrassment. This alone might not have
shut him out from the Whig official Paradise, for the same thing might
have been said of Pitt and Fox: but they had connections; they belonged
by birth and association to the Whig class. Burke's relatives were no
help or credit to him. In fact, they excited distrust of him. They
offended the fastidious aristocrats with whom he associated, and
combined with his impecuniousness to make him seem unsuitable for a
great place. These aristocrats were very good to him. They lent him
money freely, and settled a pension on him, and covered him with social
adulation; but they were never willing to put him beside themselves in
the government. His latter years therefore had an air of tragedy. He was
unpopular with most of those who in his earlier years had adored him,
and was the hero of those whom in earlier years he had despised. His
only son, of whose capacity he had formed a strange misconception, died
young, and he passed his own closing hours, as far as we can judge, with
a sense of failure. But he left one of the great names in English
history. There is no trace of him in the statute book, but he has, it
is safe to say, exercised a profound influence in all succeeding
legislation, both in England and America. He has inspired or suggested
nearly all the juridical changes which distinguish the England of to-day
from the England of the last century, and is probably the only British
politician whose speeches and pamphlets, made for immediate results,
have given him immortality.

[Illustration: Signature: E. L. Godkin]


Sir,--It is not a pleasant consideration; but nothing in the world can
read so awful and so instructive a lesson as the conduct of the Ministry
in this business, upon the mischief of not having large and liberal
ideas in the management of great affairs. Never have the servants of the
State looked at the whole of your complicated interests in one connected
view. They have taken things by bits and scraps, some at one time and
one pretense and some at another, just as they pressed, without any sort
of regard to their relations or dependencies. They never had any kind of
system, right or wrong; but only invented occasionally some miserable
tale for the day, in order meanly to sneak out of difficulties into
which they had proudly strutted. And they were put to all these shifts
and devices, full of meanness and full of mischief, in order to pilfer
piecemeal a repeal of an act which they had not the generous courage,
when they found and felt their error, honorably and fairly to disclaim.
By such management, by the irresistible operation of feeble counsels, so
paltry a sum as Threepence in the eyes of a financier, so insignificant
an article as Tea in the eyes of a philosopher, have shaken the pillars
of a commercial empire that circled the whole globe.

Do you forget that in the very last year you stood on the precipice of
general bankruptcy? Your danger was indeed great. You were distressed in
the affairs of the East India Company; and you well know what sort of
things are involved in the comprehensive energy of that significant
appellation. I am not called upon to enlarge to you on that danger;
which you thought proper yourselves to aggravate, and to display to
the world with all the parade of indiscreet declamation. The monopoly
of the most lucrative trades and the possession of imperial revenues
had brought you to the verge of beggary and ruin. Such was your
representation--such, in some measure, was your case. The vent of ten
millions of pounds of this commodity, now locked up by the operation of
an injudicious tax and rotting in the warehouses of the company, would
have prevented all this distress, and all that series of desperate
measures which you thought yourselves obliged to take in consequence of
it. America would have furnished that vent which no other part of the
world can furnish but America, where tea is next to a necessary of life
and where the demand grows upon the supply. I hope our dear-bought East
India Committees have done us at least so much good as to let us know
that without a more extensive sale of that article, our East India
revenues and acquisitions can have no certain connection with this
country. It is through the American trade of tea that your East India
conquests are to be prevented from crushing you with their burden. They
are ponderous indeed, and they must have that great country to lean
upon, or they tumble upon your head. It is the same folly that has lost
you at once the benefit of the West and of the East. This folly has
thrown open folding-doors to contraband, and will be the means of giving
the profits of the trade of your colonies to every nation but
yourselves. Never did a people suffer so much for the empty words of a
preamble. It must be given up. For on what principles does it stand?
This famous revenue stands, at this hour, on all the debate, as a
description of revenue not as yet known in all the comprehensive (but
too comprehensive!) vocabulary of finance--_a preambulary tax_. It is
indeed a tax of sophistry, a tax of pedantry, a tax of disputation, a
tax of war and rebellion, a tax for anything but benefit to the imposers
or satisfaction to the subject....

Could anything be a subject of more just alarm to America than to see
you go out of the plain high-road of finance, and give up your most
certain revenues and your clearest interests, merely for the sake of
insulting your colonies? No man ever doubted that the commodity of tea
could bear an imposition of threepence. But no commodity will bear
threepence, or will bear a penny, when the general feelings of men are
irritated; and two millions of people are resolved not to pay. The
feelings of the colonies were formerly the feelings of Great Britain.
Theirs were formerly the feelings of Mr. Hampden when called upon for
the payment of twenty shillings. Would twenty shillings have ruined Mr.
Hampden's fortune? No! but the payment of half twenty shillings, on the
principle it was demanded, would have made him a slave. It is the weight
of that preamble of which you are so fond, and not the weight of the
duty, that the Americans are unable and unwilling to bear.

It is then, sir, upon the _principle_ of this measure, and nothing else,
that we are at issue. It is a principle of political expediency. Your
Act of 1767 asserts that it is expedient to raise a revenue in America;
your Act of 1769, which takes away that revenue, contradicts the Act of
1767, and by something much stronger than words asserts that it is not
expedient. It is a reflection upon your wisdom to persist in a solemn
Parliamentary declaration of the expediency of any object for which at
the same time you make no sort of provision. And pray, sir, let not this
circumstance escape you,--it is very material: that the preamble of this
Act which we wish to repeal is not _declaratory of a right_, as some
gentlemen seem to argue it; it is only a recital of the _expediency_ of
a certain exercise of a right supposed already to have been asserted; an
exercise you are now contending for by ways and means which you confess,
though they were obeyed, to be utterly insufficient for their purpose.
You are therefore at this moment in the awkward situation of fighting
for a phantom, a quiddity, a thing that wants not only a substance, but
even a name; for a thing which is neither abstract right nor profitable

They tell you, sir, that your dignity is tied to it. I know not how it
happens, but this dignity of yours is a terrible incumbrance to you; for
it has of late been ever at war with your interest, your equity, and
every idea of your policy. Show the thing you contend for to be reason;
show it to be common-sense; show it to be the means of attaining some
useful end: and then I am content to allow it what dignity you please.
But what dignity is derived from the perseverance in absurdity, is
more than ever I could discern. The honorable gentleman has said
well--indeed, in most of his _general_ observations I agree with him--he
says that this subject does not stand as it did formerly. Oh, certainly
not! Every hour you continue on this ill-chosen ground, your
difficulties thicken on you; and therefore my conclusion is, remove from
a bad position as quickly as you can. The disgrace and the necessity of
yielding, both of them, grow upon you every hour of your delay....

To restore order and repose to an empire so great and so distracted as
ours, is, merely in the attempt, an undertaking that would ennoble the
flights of the highest genius and obtain pardon for the efforts of the
meanest understanding. Struggling a good while with these thoughts, by
degrees I felt myself more firm. I derived at length some confidence
from what in other circumstances usually produces timidity. I grew less
anxious, even from the idea of my own insignificance. For, judging of
what you are by what you ought to be, I persuaded myself that you would
not reject a reasonable proposition because it had nothing but its
reason to recommend it. On the other hand, being totally destitute of
all shadow of influence, natural or adventitious, I was very sure that
if my proposition were futile or dangerous, if it were weakly conceived
or improperly timed, there was nothing exterior to it of power to awe,
dazzle, or delude you. You will see it just as it is; and you will treat
it just as it deserves.

The proposition is Peace. Not Peace through the medium of War; not
Peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless
negotiations; not Peace to arise out of universal discord, fomented from
principle in all parts of the empire; not Peace to depend on the
juridical determination of perplexing questions, or the precise marking
of the shadowy boundaries of a complex government. It is simple Peace,
sought in its natural course and in its ordinary haunts. It is Peace
sought in the spirit of Peace, and laid in principles purely pacific. I
propose by removing the ground of the difference, and by restoring the
_former unsuspecting confidence of the colonies in the mother country_,
to give permanent satisfaction to your people; and (far from a scheme of
ruling by discord) to reconcile them to each other in the same act and
by the bond of the very same interest which reconciles them to British

My idea is nothing more. Refined policy ever has been the parent of
confusion, and ever will be so, as long as the world endures. Plain good
intention, which is as easily discovered at the first view as fraud is
surely detected at last, is, let me say, of no mean force in the
government of mankind. Genuine simplicity of heart is an healing and
cementing principle. My plan, therefore, being formed upon the most
simple grounds imaginable, may disappoint some people when they hear it.
It has nothing to recommend it to the pruriency of curious ears. There
is nothing at all new and captivating in it. It has nothing of the
splendor of the project which has been lately laid upon your table by
the noble lord in the blue ribbon. It does not propose to fill your
lobby with squabbling colony agents, who will require the interposition
of your mace at every instant to keep the peace amongst them. It does
not institute a magnificent auction of finance, where captivated
provinces come to general ransom by bidding against each other, until
you knock down the hammer, and determine a proportion of payments beyond
all the powers of algebra to equalize and settle.

The plan which I shall presume to suggest derives, however, one
great advantage from the proposition and registry of that noble
lord's project. The idea of conciliation is admissible. First, the
House, in accepting the resolution moved by the noble lord, has
admitted--notwithstanding the menacing front of our address,
notwithstanding our heavy bills of pains and penalties--that we do not
think ourselves precluded from all ideas of free grace and bounty.

The House has gone further: it has declared conciliation admissible,
_previous_ to any submission on the part of America. It has even shot a
good deal beyond that mark, and has admitted that the complaints of our
former mode of exerting the right of taxation were not wholly unfounded.
That right, thus exerted, is allowed to have something reprehensible in
it--something unwise, or something grievous: since in the midst of our
heat and resentment we of ourselves have proposed a capital alteration,
and in order to get rid of what seemed so very exceptionable have
instituted a mode that is altogether new; one that is indeed wholly
alien from all the ancient methods and forms of Parliament.

The _principle_ of this proceeding is large enough for my purpose. The
means proposed by the noble lord for carrying his ideas into execution,
I think indeed are very indifferently suited to the end; and this I
shall endeavor to show you before I sit down. But for the present I take
my ground on the admitted principle. I mean to give peace. Peace implies
reconciliation; and where there has been a material dispute,
reconciliation does in a manner always imply concession on the one part
or on the other. In this state of things I make no difficulty in
affirming that the proposal ought to originate from us. Great and
acknowledged force is not impaired, either in effect or in opinion, by
an unwillingness to exert itself. The superior power may offer peace
with honor and safety. Such an offer from such a power will be
attributed to magnanimity. But the concessions of the weak are the
concessions of fear. When such a one is disarmed, he is wholly at the
mercy of his superior, and he loses forever that time and those chances
which, as they happen to all men, are the strength and resources of all
inferior power.

The capital leading questions on which you must this day decide are
these two: First, whether you ought to concede; and secondly, what your
concession ought to be. On the first of these questions we have gained
(as I have just taken the liberty of observing to you) some ground. But
I am sensible that a good deal more is still to be done. Indeed, sir, to
enable us to determine both on the one and the other of these great
questions with a firm and precise judgment, I think it may be necessary
to consider distinctly the true nature and the peculiar circumstances of
the object which we have before us. Because after all our struggle,
whether we will or not, we must govern America according to that nature
and to those circumstances, and not according to our own imaginations
nor according to abstract ideas of right; by no means according to mere
general theories of government, the resort to which appears to me, in
our present situation, no better than arrant trifling. I shall therefore
endeavor, with your leave, to lay before you some of the most material
of these circumstances in as full and as clear a manner as I am able to
state them.


That you may judge what chance any honorable and useful end of
government has for a provision that comes in for the leavings of these
gluttonous demands, I must take it on myself to bring before you the
real condition of that abused, insulted, racked, and ruined country,
though in truth my mind revolts from it; though you will hear it with
horror: and I confess I tremble when I think on these awful and
confounding dispensations of Providence. I shall first trouble you with
a few words as to the cause.

The great fortunes made in India in the beginnings of conquest naturally
excited an emulation in all the parts, and through the whole succession,
of the company's service. But in the company it gave rise to other
sentiments. They did not find the new channels of acquisition flow with
equal riches to them. On the contrary, the high flood-tide of private
emolument was generally in the lowest ebb of their affairs. They began
also to fear that the fortune of war might take away what the fortune of
war had given. Wars were accordingly discouraged by repeated injunctions
and menaces; and that the servants might not be bribed into them by the
native princes, they were strictly forbidden to take any money
whatsoever from their hands. But vehement passion is ingenious in
resources. The company's servants were not only stimulated but better
instructed by the prohibition. They soon fell upon a contrivance which
answered their purposes far better than the methods which were
forbidden; though in this also they violated an ancient, but they
thought an abrogated, order. They reversed their proceedings. Instead of
receiving presents, they made loans. Instead of carrying on wars in
their own name, they contrived an authority, at once irresistible and
irresponsible, in whose name they might ravage at pleasure; and being
thus freed from all restraint, they indulged themselves in the most
extravagant speculations of plunder. The cabal of creditors who have
been the object of the late bountiful grant from His Majesty's
ministers, in order to possess themselves, under the name of creditors
and assignees, of every country in India as fast as it should be
conquered, inspired into the mind of the Nabob of Arcot (then a
dependent on the company of the humblest order) a scheme of the most
wild and desperate ambition that I believe ever was admitted into the
thoughts of a man so situated. First, they persuaded him to consider
himself as a principal member in the political system of Europe. In the
next place they held out to him, and he readily imbibed, the idea of the
general empire of Indostan. As a preliminary to this undertaking, they
prevailed on him to propose a tripartite division of that vast
country--one part to the company; another to the Mahrattas; and the
third to himself. To himself he reserved all the southern part of the
great peninsula, comprehended under the general name of the Deccan.

On this scheme of their servants, the company was to appear in the
Carnatic in no other light than as a contractor for the provision of
armies and hire of mercenaries, for his use and under his direction.
This disposition was to be secured by the Nabob's putting himself under
the guarantee of France, and by the means of that rival nation
preventing the English forever from assuming an equality, much less a
superiority, in the Carnatic. In pursuance of this treasonable project
(treasonable on the part of the English), they extinguished the company
as a sovereign power in that part of India; they withdrew the company's
garrisons out of all the forts and strongholds of the Carnatic; they
declined to receive the ambassadors from foreign courts, and remitted
them to the Nabob of Arcot; they fell upon, and totally destroyed, the
oldest ally of the company, the king of Tanjore, and plundered the
country to the amount of near five millions sterling; one after another,
in the Nabob's name but with English force, they brought into a
miserable servitude all the princes and great independent nobility of a
vast country. In proportion to these treasons and violences, which
ruined the people, the fund of the Nabob's debt grew and flourished.

Among the victims to this magnificent plan of universal plunder, worthy
of the heroic avarice of the projectors, you have all heard (and he has
made himself to be well remembered) of an Indian chief called Hyder Ali
Khan. This man possessed the western, as the company under the name of
the Nabob of Arcot does the eastern, division of the Carnatic. It was
among the leading measures in the design of this cabal (according to
their own emphatic language) to _extirpate_ this Hyder Ali. They
declared the Nabob of Arcot to be his sovereign, and himself to be a
rebel, and publicly invested their instrument with the sovereignty of
the kingdom of Mysore. But their victim was not of the passive kind.
They were soon obliged to conclude a treaty of peace and close alliance
with this rebel at the gates of Madras. Both before and since that
treaty, every principle of policy pointed out this power as a natural
alliance; and on his part it was courted by every sort of amicable
office. But the cabinet council of English creditors would not suffer
their Nabob of Arcot to sign the treaty, nor even to give to a prince at
least his equal the ordinary titles of respect and courtesy. From that
time forward, a continued plot was carried on within the divan, black
and white, of the Nabob of Arcot, for the destruction of Hyder Ali. As
to the outward members of the double, or rather treble, government of
Madras, which had signed the treaty, they were always prevented by some
over-ruling influence (which they do not describe but which cannot be
misunderstood) from performing what justice and interest combined so
evidently to enforce.

When at length Hyder Ali found that he had to do with men who either
would sign no convention, or whom no treaty and no signature could bind,
and who were the determined enemies of human intercourse itself, he
decreed to make the country possessed by these incorrigible and
predestinated criminals a memorable example to mankind. He resolved, in
the gloomy recesses of a mind capacious of such things, to leave the
whole Carnatic an everlasting monument of vengeance, and to put
perpetual desolation as a barrier between him and those against whom the
faith which holds the moral elements of the world together was no
protection. He became at length so confident of his force, so collected
in his might, that he made no secret whatsoever of his dreadful
resolution. Having terminated his disputes with every enemy and every
rival, who buried their mutual animosities in their common detestation
against the creditors of the Nabob of Arcot, he drew from every quarter
whatever a savage ferocity could add to his new rudiments in the arts of
destruction; and compounding all the materials of fury, havoc, and
desolation into one black cloud, he hung for a while on the declivities
of the mountains. Whilst the authors of all these evils were idly and
stupidly gazing on this menacing meteor, which blackened all their
horizon, it suddenly burst and poured down the whole of its contents
upon the plains of the Carnatic. Then ensued a scene of woe, the like of
which no eye had seen, no heart conceived, and which no tongue can
adequately tell. All the horrors of war before known or heard of were
mercy to that new havoc. A storm of universal fire blasted every field,
consumed every house, destroyed every temple. The miserable inhabitants,
flying from their flaming villages, in part were slaughtered; others,
without regard to sex, to age, to the respect of rank, or sacredness of
function,--fathers torn from children, husbands from wives,--enveloped
in a whirlwind of cavalry, and amidst the goading spears of drivers and
the trampling of pursuing horses, were swept into captivity in an
unknown and hostile land. Those who were able to evade this tempest fled
to the walled cities: but escaping from fire, sword, and exile, they
fell into the jaws of famine.

The alms of the settlement in this dreadful exigency were certainly
liberal, and all was done by charity that private charity could do:
but it was a people in beggary; it was a nation which stretched
out its hands for food. For months together these creatures of
sufferance,--whose very excess of luxury in their most plenteous days
had fallen short of the allowance of our austerest fasts,--silent,
patient, resigned, without sedition or disturbance, almost without
complaint, perished by an hundred a day in the streets of Madras; every
day seventy at least laid their bodies in the streets, or on the glacis
of Tanjore, and expired of famine in the granary of India. I was going
to awake your justice towards this unhappy part of our fellow-citizens
by bringing before you some of the circumstances of this plague of
hunger. Of all the calamities which beset and waylay the life of man,
this comes the nearest to our heart, and is that wherein the proudest of
us all feels himself to be nothing more than he is: but I find myself
unable to manage it with decorum; these details are of a species of
horror so nauseous and disgusting, they are so degrading to the
sufferers and to the hearers, they are so humiliating to human nature
itself, that on better thoughts I find it more advisable to throw a pall
over this hideous object, and to leave it to your general conceptions.

For eighteen months without intermission this destruction raged from the
gates of Madras to the gates of Tanjore; and so completely did these
masters in their art, Hyder Ali and his more ferocious son, absolve
themselves of their impious vow, that when the British armies traversed,
as they did, the Carnatic for hundreds of miles in all directions,
through the whole line of their march they did not see one man, not one
woman, not one child, not one four-footed beast of any description
whatever. One dead uniform silence reigned over the whole region. With
the inconsiderable exceptions of the narrow vicinage of some few forts,
I wish to be understood as speaking literally;--I mean to produce to you
more than three witnesses, above all exception, who will support this
assertion in its full extent. That hurricane of war passed through every
part of the central provinces of the Carnatic. Six or seven districts to
the north and to the south (and those not wholly untouched) escaped the
general ravage.

The Carnatic is a country not much inferior in extent to England. Figure
to yourself, Mr. Speaker, the land in whose representative chair you
sit; figure to yourself the form and fashion of your sweet and cheerful
country from Thames to Trent north and south, and from the Irish to the
German Sea east and west, emptied and emboweled (may God avert the omen
of our crimes!) by so accomplished a desolation. Extend your imagination
a little farther, and then suppose your ministers taking a survey of
this scene of waste and desolation; what would be your thoughts if you
should be informed that they were computing how much had been the amount
of the excises, how much the customs, how much the land and malt tax, in
order that they should charge (take it in the most favorable light) for
public service, upon the relics of the satiated vengeance of relentless
enemies, the whole of what England had yielded in the most exuberant
seasons of peace and abundance? What would you call it? To call it
tyranny sublimed into madness would be too faint an image; yet this very
madness is the principle upon which the ministers at your right hand
have proceeded in their estimate of the revenues of the Carnatic, when
they were providing, not supply for the establishments of its
protection, but rewards for the authors of its ruin.

Every day you are fatigued and disgusted with this cant:--"The Carnatic
is a country that will soon recover, and become instantly as prosperous
as ever." They think they are talking to innocents, who will believe
that by sowing of dragons' teeth, men may come up ready grown and ready
armed. They who will give themselves the trouble of considering (for it
requires no great reach of thought, no very profound knowledge) the
manner in which mankind are increased and countries cultivated, will
regard all this raving as it ought to be regarded. In order that the
people, after a long period of vexation and plunder, may be in a
condition to maintain government, government must begin by maintaining
them. Here the road to economy lies not through receipt, but through
expense; and in that country nature has given no short cut to your
object. Men must propagate, like other animals, by the mouth. Never
did oppression light the nuptial torch; never did extortion and usury
spread out the genial bed. Does any of you think that England, so
wasted, would, under such a nursing attendance, so rapidly and cheaply
recover? But he is meanly acquainted with either England or India, who
does not know that England would a thousand times sooner resume
population, fertility, and what ought to be the ultimate secretion from
both,--revenue,--than such a country as the Carnatic.

The Carnatic is not by the bounty of nature a fertile soil. The general
size of its cattle is proof enough that it is much otherwise. It is some
days since I moved that a curious and interesting map kept in the India
House should be laid before you. The India House is not yet in readiness
to send it; I have therefore brought down my own copy, and there it lies
for the use of any gentleman who may think such a matter worthy of his
attention. It is indeed a noble map, and of noble things; but it is
decisive against the golden dreams and sanguine speculations of avarice
run mad. In addition to what you know must be the case in every part of
the world (the necessity of a previous provision, seed, stock, capital)
that map will show you that the uses of the influences of heaven itself
are in that country a work of art. The Carnatic is refreshed by few or
no living brooks or running streams, and it has rain only at a season;
but its product of rice exacts the use of water subject to perpetual
command. This is the national bank of the Carnatic, on which it must
have a perpetual credit or it perishes irretrievably. For that reason,
in the happier times of India, a number, almost incredible, of
reservoirs have been made in chosen places throughout the whole country;
they are formed for the greater part of mounds of earth and stones, with
sluices of solid masonry; the whole constructed with admirable skill and
labor, and maintained at a mighty charge. In the territory contained in
that map alone, I have been at the trouble of reckoning the reservoirs,
and they amount to upwards of eleven hundred, from the extent of two or
three acres to five miles in circuit. From these reservoirs currents are
occasionally drawn over the fields, and these water-courses again call
for a considerable expense to keep them properly scoured and duly
leveled. Taking the district in that map as a measure, there cannot be
in the Carnatic and Tanjore fewer than ten thousand of these reservoirs
of the larger and middling dimensions, to say nothing of those for
domestic services and the uses of religious purification. These are not
the enterprises of your power, nor in a style of magnificence suited to
the taste of your minister. These are the monuments of real kings, who
were the fathers of their people; testators to a posterity which they
embrace as their own. These are the grand sepulchres built by ambition;
but the ambition of an insatiable benevolence, which, not contented with
reigning in the dispensation of happiness during the contracted term of
human life, had strained, with all the reachings and graspings of a
vivacious mind, to extend the dominion of their bounty beyond the limits
of nature, and to perpetuate themselves through generations of
generations, the guardians, the protectors, the nourishers of mankind.

Long before the late invasion, the persons who are objects of the grant
of public money now before you had so diverted the supply of the pious
funds of culture and population that everywhere the reservoirs were
fallen into a miserable decay. But after those domestic enemies had
provoked the entry of a cruel foreign foe into the country, he did not
leave it until his revenge had completed the destruction begun by their
avarice. Few, very few indeed, of these magazines of water that are not
either totally destroyed, or cut through with such gaps as to require a
serious attention and much cost to re-establish them, as the means of
present subsistence to the people and of future revenue to the State.

What, sir, would a virtuous and enlightened ministry do on the view of
the ruins of such works before them? on the view of such a chasm of
desolation as that which yawned in the midst of those countries to the
north and south, which still bore some vestiges of cultivation? They
would have reduced all their most necessary establishments; they would
have suspended the justest payments; they would have employed every
shilling derived from the producing, to re-animate the powers of the
unproductive, parts. While they were performing this fundamental duty,
whilst they were celebrating these mysteries of justice and humanity,
they would have told the corps of fictitious creditors whose crimes were
their claims, that they must keep an awful distance; that they must
silence their inauspicious tongues; that they must hold off their
profane, unhallowed paws from this holy work; they would have proclaimed
with a voice that should make itself heard, that on every country the
first creditor is the plow,--that this original, indefeasible claim
supersedes every other demand.

This is what a wise and virtuous ministry would have done and said.
This, therefore, is what our minister could never think of saying or
doing. A ministry of another kind would first have improved the country,
and have thus laid a solid foundation for future opulence and future
force. But on this grand point of the restoration of the country, there
is not one syllable to be found in the correspondence of our ministers,
from the first to the last; they felt nothing for a land desolated by
fire, sword, and famine; their sympathies took another direction: they
were touched with pity for bribery, so long tormented with a fruitless
itching of its palms; their bowels yearned for usury, that had long
missed the harvest of its returning months; they felt for peculation,
which had been for so many years raking in the dust of an empty
treasury; they were melted into compassion for rapine and oppression,
licking their dry, parched, unbloody jaws. These were the objects of
their solicitude. These were the necessities for which they were
studious to provide.

To state the country and its revenues in their real condition, and to
provide for those fictitious claims consistently with the support of an
army and a civil establishment, would have been impossible; therefore
the ministers are silent on that head, and rest themselves on the
authority of Lord Macartney, who in a letter to the court of directors
written in the year 1781, speculating on what might be the result of a
wise management of the countries assigned by the Nabob of Arcot, rates
the revenues, as in time of peace, at twelve hundred thousand pounds a
year, as he does those of the King of Tanjore (which had not been
assigned) at four hundred and fifty. On this Lord Macartney grounds his
calculations, and on this they choose to ground theirs. It was on this
calculation that the ministry, in direct opposition to the remonstrances
of the court of directors, have compelled that miserable enslaved body
to put their hands to an order for appropriating the enormous sum of
£480,000 annually, as a fund for paying to their rebellious servants a
debt contracted in defiance of their clearest and most positive

The authority and information of Lord Macartney is held high on this
occasion, though it is totally rejected in every other particular of
this business. I believe I have the honor of being almost as old an
acquaintance as any Lord Macartney has. A constant and unbroken
friendship has subsisted between us from a very early period; and I
trust he thinks that as I respect his character, and in general admire
his conduct, I am one of those who feel no common interest in his
reputation. Yet I do not hesitate wholly to disallow the calculation of
1781, without any apprehension that I shall appear to distrust his
veracity or his judgment. This peace estimate of revenue was not
grounded on the state of the Carnatic as it then, or as it had recently,
stood. It was a statement of former and better times. There is no doubt
that a period did exist when the large portion of the Carnatic held by
the Nabob of Arcot might be fairly reputed to produce a revenue to that,
or to a greater amount. But the whole had so melted away by the slow and
silent hostilities of oppression and mismanagement, that the revenues,
sinking with the prosperity of the country, had fallen to about £800,000
a year even before an enemy's horse had imprinted his hoof on the soil
of the Carnatic. From that view, and independently of the decisive
effects of the war which ensued, Sir Eyre Coote conceived that years
must pass before the country could be restored to its former prosperity
and production. It was that state of revenue (namely, the actual state
before the war) which the directors have opposed to Lord Macartney's
speculation. They refused to take the revenues for more than £800,000.
In this they are justified by Lord Macartney himself, who in a
subsequent letter informs the court that his sketch is a matter of
speculation; it supposes the country restored to its ancient prosperity,
and the revenue to be in a course of effective and honest collection. If
therefore the ministers have gone wrong, they were not deceived by Lord
Macartney: they were deceived by no man. The estimate of the directors
is nearly the very estimate furnished by the right honorable gentleman
himself, and published to the world in one of the printed reports of his
own committee; but as soon as he obtained his power, he chose to abandon
his account. No part of his official conduct can be defended on the
ground of his Parliamentary information.


When ancient opinions and rules of life are taken away, the loss cannot
possibly be estimated. From that moment we have no compass to govern us;
nor can we know distinctly to what port we steer. Europe, undoubtedly,
taken in a mass, was in a flourishing condition the day on which your
revolution was completed. How much of that prosperous state was owing to
the spirit of our old manners and opinions is not easy to say; but as
such causes cannot be indifferent in their operation, we must presume
that on the whole their operation was beneficial.

We are but too apt to consider things in the state in which we find
them, without sufficiently adverting to the causes by which they have
been produced and possibly may be upheld. Nothing is more certain than
that our manners, our civilization, and all the good things which are
connected with manners and with civilization, have in this European
world of ours depended for ages upon two principles, and were indeed the
result of both combined: I mean the spirit of a gentleman and the spirit
of religion. The nobility and the clergy, the one by profession, the
other by patronage, kept learning in existence even in the midst of arms
and confusions, and whilst governments were rather in their causes than
formed. Learning paid back what it received to nobility and to
priesthood; and paid it with usury, by enlarging their ideas and by
furnishing their minds. Happy if they had all continued to know their
indissoluble union and their proper place! Happy if learning, not
debauched by ambition, had been satisfied to continue the instructor,
and not aspired to be the master! Along with its natural protectors and
guardians, learning will be cast into the mire and trodden down under
the hoofs of a swinish multitude.

If, as I suspect, modern letters owe more than they are always willing
to own to ancient manners, so do other interests which we value full as
much as they are worth. Even commerce and trade and manufacture, the
gods of our economical politicians, are themselves perhaps but
creatures; are themselves but effects, which as first causes we choose
to worship. They certainly grew under the same shade in which learning
flourished. They too may decay with their natural protecting principles.
With you, for the present at least, they threaten to disappear together.
Where trade and manufactures are wanting to a people, and the spirit of
nobility and religion remains, sentiment supplies, and not always
ill supplies, their place; but if commerce and the arts should be
lost in an experiment to try how well a State may stand without these
old fundamental principles, what sort of a thing must be a nation of
gross, stupid, ferocious, and at the same time poor and sordid
barbarians,--destitute of religion, honor, or manly pride, possessing
nothing at present and hoping for nothing hereafter?

I wish you may not be going fast, and by the shortest cut, to that
horrible and disgustful situation. Already there appears a poverty of
conception, a coarseness and vulgarity, in all the proceedings of the
Assembly and of all their instructors. Their liberty is not liberal.
Their science is presumptuous ignorance. Their humanity is savage and

It is not clear whether in England we learned those grand and decorous
principles and manners, of which considerable traces yet remain, from
you, or whether you took them from us. But to you, I think, we trace
them best. You seem to me to be _gentis incunabula nostræ_. France has
always more or less influenced manners in England; and when your
fountain is choked up and polluted the stream will not run long, or not
run clear, with us or perhaps with any nation. This gives all Europe,
in my opinion, but too close and connected a concern in what is done in
France. Excuse me therefore if I have dwelt too long on the atrocious
spectacle of the 6th of October, 1789, or have given too much scope to
the reflections which have arisen in my mind on occasion of the most
important of all revolutions, which may be dated from that day,--I mean
a revolution in sentiments, manners, and moral opinions. As things now
stand, with everything respectable destroyed without us, and an attempt
to destroy within us every principle of respect, one is almost forced to
apologize for harboring the common feelings of men.

Why do I feel so differently from the Reverend Dr. Price and those of
his lay flock who will choose to adopt the sentiments of his discourse?
For this plain reason--because it is _natural_ I should; because we are
so made as to be affected at such spectacles with melancholy sentiments
upon the unstable condition of mortal prosperity, and the tremendous
uncertainty of human greatness; because in those natural feelings we
learn great lessons; because in events like these our passions instruct
our reason; because when kings are hurled from their thrones by the
Supreme Director of this great drama, and become the objects of insult
to the base and of pity to the good, we behold such disasters in the
moral as we should a miracle in the physical order of things. We are
alarmed into reflection; our minds (as it has long since been observed)
are purified by terror and pity; our weak, unthinking pride is humbled
under the dispensations of a mysterious wisdom. Some tears might be
drawn from me, if such a spectacle were exhibited on the stage. I should
be truly ashamed of finding in myself that superficial, theatric sense
of painted distress, whilst I could exult over it in real life. With
such a perverted mind, I could never venture to show my face at a
tragedy. People would think the tears that Garrick formerly, or that
Siddons not long since, have extorted from me, were the tears of
hypocrisy; I should know them to be the tears of folly.

Indeed, the theatre is a better school of moral sentiments than churches
where the feelings of humanity are thus outraged. Poets, who have to
deal with an audience not yet graduated in the school of the rights of
men, and who must apply themselves to the moral constitution of the
heart, would not dare to produce such a triumph as a matter of
exultation. There, where men follow their natural impulses, they would
not bear the odious maxims of a Machiavellian policy, whether applied
to the attainment of monarchical or democratic tyranny. They would
reject them on the modern, as they once did on the ancient stage, where
they could not bear even the hypothetical proposition of such wickedness
in the mouth of a personated tyrant, though suitable to the character he
sustained. No theatric audience in Athens would bear what has been borne
in the midst of the real tragedy of this triumphal day: a principal
actor weighing, as it were in scales hung in a shop of horrors, so much
actual crime against so much contingent advantage, and after putting in
and out weights, declaring that the balance was on the side of the
advantages. They would not bear to see the crimes of new democracy
posted as in a ledger against the crimes of old despotism, and the
book-keepers of politics finding democracy still in debt, but by no
means unable or unwilling to pay the balance. In the theatre, the first
intuitive glance, without any elaborate process of reasoning, will show
that this method of political computation would justify every extent of
crime. They would see that on these principles, even where the very
worst acts were not perpetrated, it was owing rather to the fortune of
the conspirators than to their parsimony in the expenditure of treachery
and blood. They would soon see that criminal means, once tolerated, are
soon preferred. They present a shorter cut to the object than through
the highway of the moral virtues. Justifying perfidy and murder for
public benefit, public benefit would soon become the pretext, and
perfidy and murder the end; until rapacity, malice, revenge, and fear
more dreadful than revenge, could satiate their insatiable appetites.
Such must be the consequences of losing, in the splendor of these
triumphs of the rights of men, all natural sense of wrong and right.

But the reverend pastor exults in this "leading in triumph," because
truly Louis the Sixteenth was "an arbitrary monarch"; that is, in other
words, neither more nor less than because he was Louis the Sixteenth,
and because he had the misfortune to be born King of France, with the
prerogatives of which a long line of ancestors, and a long acquiescence
of the people, without any act of his, had put him in possession. A
misfortune it has indeed turned out to him, that he was born King of
France. But misfortune is not crime, nor is indiscretion always the
greatest guilt. I shall never think that a prince, the acts of whose
whole reign were a series of concessions to his subjects; who was
willing to relax his authority, to remit his prerogatives, to call his
people to a share of freedom not known, perhaps not desired, by their
ancestors: such a prince, though he should be subjected to the common
frailties attached to men and to princes, though he should have once
thought it necessary to provide force against the desperate designs
manifestly carrying on against his person and the remnants of his
authority,--though all this should be taken into consideration, I shall
be led with great difficulty to think he deserves the cruel and
insulting triumph of Paris and of Dr. Price. I tremble for the cause of
liberty, from such an example to kings. I tremble for the cause of
humanity, in the unpunished outrages of the most wicked of mankind. But
there are some people of that low and degenerate fashion of mind that
they look up with a sort of complacent awe and admiration to kings who
know how to keep firm in their seat, to hold a strict hand over their
subjects, to assert their prerogative, and by the awakened vigilance of
a severe despotism to guard against the very first approaches of
freedom. Against such as these they never elevate their voice. Deserters
from principle, listed with fortune, they never see any good in
suffering virtue, nor any crime in prosperous usurpation.

If it could have been made clear to me that the King and Queen of France
(those I mean who were such before the triumph) were inexorable and
cruel tyrants, that they had formed a deliberate scheme for massacring
the National Assembly (I think I have seen something like the latter
insinuated in certain publications), I should think their captivity
just. If this be true, much more ought to have been done; but done, in
my opinion, in another manner. The punishment of real tyrants is a noble
and awful act of justice; and it has with truth been said to be
consolatory to the human mind. But if I were to punish a wicked king, I
should regard the dignity in avenging the crime. Justice is grave and
decorous, and in its punishments rather seems to submit to a necessity
than to make a choice. Had Nero, or Agrippina, or Louis the Eleventh, or
Charles the Ninth, been the subject; if Charles the Twelfth of Sweden
after the murder of Patkul, or his predecessor Christina after the
murder of Monaldeschi, had fallen into your hands, sir, or into mine, I
am sure our conduct would have been different.

If the French King, or King of the French (or by whatever name he is
known in the new vocabulary of your constitution), has in his own
person and that of his Queen really deserved these unavowed but
unavenged murderous attempts, and those frequent indignities more cruel
than murder, such a person would ill deserve even that subordinate
executory trust which I understand is to be placed in him; nor is he fit
to be called chief in a nation which he has outraged and oppressed. A
worse choice for such an office in a new commonwealth than that of a
deposed tyrant could not possibly be made. But to degrade and insult a
man as the worst of criminals, and afterwards to trust him in your
highest concerns as a faithful, honest, and zealous servant, is not
consistent with reasoning, nor prudent in policy, nor safe in practice.
Those who could make such an appointment must be guilty of a more
flagrant breach of trust than any they have yet committed against the
people. As this is the only crime in which your leading politicians
could have acted inconsistently, I conclude that there is no sort of
ground for these horrid insinuations. I think no better of all the other

In England, we give no credit to them. We are generous enemies: we are
faithful allies. We spurn from us with disgust and indignation the
slanders of those who bring us their anecdotes with the attestation of
the flower-de-luce on their shoulder. We have Lord George Gordon fast in
Newgate; and neither his being a public proselyte to Judaism, nor his
having, in his zeal against Catholic priests and all sorts of
ecclesiastics, raised a mob (excuse the term, it is still in use here)
which pulled down all our prisons, have preserved to him a liberty of
which he did not render himself worthy by a virtuous use of it. We have
rebuilt Newgate, and tenanted the mansion. We have prisons almost as
strong as the Bastile for those who dare to libel the Queens of France.
In this spiritual retreat let the noble libeler remain. Let him there
meditate on his Talmud, until he learns a conduct more becoming his
birth and parts, and not so disgraceful to the ancient religion to which
he has become a proselyte; or until some persons from your side of the
water, to please your new Hebrew brethren, shall ransom him. He may then
be enabled to purchase, with the old hoards of the synagogue, and a very
small poundage on the long compound interest of the thirty pieces of
silver (Dr. Price has shown us what miracles compound interest will
perform in 1790 years), the lands which are lately discovered to have
been usurped by the Gallican Church. Send us your Popish Archbishop of
Paris, and we will send you our Protestant Rabbin. We shall treat the
person you send us in exchange like a gentleman and an honest man, as he
is; but pray let him bring with him the fund of his hospitality, bounty,
and charity; and depend upon it, we shall never confiscate a shilling of
that honorable and pious fund, nor think of enriching the treasury with
the spoils of the poor-box.

To tell you the truth, my dear sir, I think the honor of our nation to
be somewhat concerned in the disclaimer of the proceedings of this
society of the Old Jewry and the London Tavern. I have no man's proxy. I
speak only for myself when I disclaim, as I do with all possible
earnestness, all communion with the actors in that triumph, or with the
admirers of it. When I assert anything else, as concerning the people of
England, I speak from observation, not from authority; but I speak from
the experience I have had in a pretty extensive and mixed communication
with the inhabitants of this kingdom, of all descriptions and ranks, and
after a course of attentive observation begun early in life, and
continued for nearly forty years. I have often been astonished,
considering that we are divided from you but by a slender dike of about
twenty-four miles, and that the mutual intercourse between the two
countries has lately been very great, to find how little you seem to
know of us. I suspect that this is owing to your forming a judgment of
this nation from certain publications which do very erroneously, if they
do at all, represent the opinions and dispositions generally prevalent
in England. The vanity, restlessness, petulance, and spirit of intrigue
of several petty cabals, who attempt to hide their total want of
consequence in bustle, and noise, and puffing, and mutual quotation of
each other, makes you imagine that our contemptuous neglect of their
abilities is a mark of general acquiescence in their opinions. No such
thing, I assure you. Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make
the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great
cattle reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak chew the cud and
are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the
only inhabitants of the field; that of course they are many in number;
or that after all they are other than the little, shriveled, meagre,
hopping, though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour.



Mrs. Burnett has told the story of her childhood and tried to interpret
her own personality in her autobiographical story, 'The One I Knew Best
of All.' She has pictured a little English girl in a comfortable
Manchester home, leading a humdrum, well-regulated existence, with
brothers and sisters, nurse and governess. But an alert imagination
added interest to the life of this "Small Person," and from her nursery
windows and from the quiet park where she played she watched eagerly for
anything of dramatic or picturesque interest. She seized upon the
Lancashire dialect often overheard, as upon a game, and practiced it
until she gained the facility of use shown in her mining and factory
stories. One day the strong and beautiful figure of a young woman,
followed by a coarse and abusive father, caught her attention, and years
afterward she developed Joan Lowrie from the incident.

When the Hodgson family suffered pecuniary loss, and hoping to better
its fortunes came to America, then best known to Frances from the pages
of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' she was fifteen. A year or two later she began
to send her stories to various magazines. In 1867 the first of these
appeared. She did not however attain her great popularity until the
appearance of 'That Lass o' Lowrie's' in 1877. The thoughtfully drawn
group of characters--Derrick the engineer, Grace the young minister,
Annie the rector's daughter, and Joan the pit girl,--are dramatic
figures, working out their life problems under the eyes and the comments
of half-cynical, half-brutalized miners. There is nothing in her history
to account for Joan, or for the fact that the strength of vice in her
father becomes an equal strength of virtue in her. Abused since her
babyhood, doing the work of a man among degrading companionships, she
yet remains capable of the noblest self-abnegation. Mrs. Burnett
delights in heroes and heroines who are thus loftily at variance with
their surroundings. Her stories are romantic in spirit, offering little
to the lover of psychologic analysis. Her character-drawing is the
product of quick observation and sympathetic intuition. She does not
write "tendency" novels, but appeals to simple emotions of love, hate,
revenge, or self-immolation, which sometimes, as in the case of her last
book, 'A Lady of Quality' (1895), verge on sensationalism. In 1873 Miss
Hodgson married Dr. Burnett of Washington. Her longest novel, 'Through
One Administration,' is a story of the political and social life of the
Capital. 'Little Lord Fauntleroy' (1886) is the best known of a series
of stories nominally written for children, but intended to be read by
their elders. 'Sara Crewe,' 'Giovanni and the Other,' 'Two Little
Pilgrims,' and 'Little Saint Elizabeth' are chronicles of superlunary
children. After those before mentioned, 'Esmeralda,' 'Louisiana,' 'A
Fair Barbarian,' and 'Haworth's' are her best known stories.


From 'That Lass o' Lowrie's'

The next morning Derrick went down to the mine as usual. There were
several things he wished to do in these last two days. He had heard that
the managers had entered into negotiations with a new engineer, and he
wished the man to find no half-done work. The day was bright and frosty,
and the sharp, bracing air seemed to clear his brain. He felt more
hopeful, and less inclined to view matters darkly.

He remembered afterward that as he stepped into the cage he turned to
look at the unpicturesque little town, brightened by the winter's sun;
and that as he went down he glanced up at the sky, and marked how
intense appeared the bit of blue which was framed in by the mouth of the

Even in the few hours that had elapsed since the meeting, the rumor of
what he had said and done had been bruited about. Some collier had heard
it and had told it to his comrades, and so it had gone from one to the
other. It had been talked over at the evening and morning meal in divers
cottages, and many an anxious hand had warmed into praise of the man who
had "had a thowt for th' men."

In the first gallery he entered he found a deputation of men awaiting
him,--a group of burly miners with picks and shovels over their
shoulders,--and the head of this deputation, a spokesman burlier and
generally gruffer than the rest, stopped him.

"Mester," he said, "we chaps 'ud loike to ha' a word wi' yo'."

"All right," was Derrick's reply, "I am ready to listen."

The rest crowded nearer, as if anxious to participate as much as
possible, and give their spokesman the support of their presence.

"It is na mich as we ha' getten to say," said the man, "but we're fain
to say it. Are na we, mates?"

"Ay, we are, lad," in chorus.

"It's about summat as we'n heerd. Theer wur a chap as towd some on us
last neet as yo'd getten th' sack fro' th' managers--or leastways as
yo'd turned th' tables on 'em an' gi'en them th' sack yo'rsen. An' we'n
heerd as it begun wi' yo're standin' up fur us chaps--axin' fur things
as wur wanted i' th' pit to save us fro' runnin' more risk than we need.
An' we heerd as yo' spoke up bold, an' argied for us an' stood to what
yo' thowt war th' reet thing, an' we set our moinds on tellin' yo' as
we'd heerd it an' talked it over, an' we'd loike to say a word o' thanks
i' common fur th' pluck yo' showed. Is na that it, mates?"

"Ay, that it is, lad!" responded the chorus.

Suddenly one of the group stepped out and threw down his pick. "An' I'm
dom'd, mates," he said, "if here is na a chap as ud loike to shake hands
wi' him."

It was the signal for the rest to follow his example. They crowded about
their champion, thrusting grimy paws into his hand, grasping it almost

"Good luck to yo', lad!" said one. "We'n noan smooth soart o' chaps, but
we'n stand by what's fair an' plucky. We shall ha' a good word fur thee
when tha hast made thy flittin'."

"I'm glad of that, lads," responded Derrick heartily, by no means
unmoved by the rough-and-ready spirit of the scene. "I only wish I had
had better luck, that's all."

A few hours later the whole of the little town was shaken to its very
foundations by something like an earthquake, accompanied by an ominous,
booming sound which brought people flocking out of their houses with
white faces. Some of them had heard it before--all knew what it meant.
From the colliers' cottages poured forth women, shrieking and
wailing,--women who bore children in their arms and had older ones
dragging at their skirts, and who made their desperate way to the pit
with one accord. From houses and workshops there rushed men, who coming
out in twos and threes joined each other, and forming a breathless
crowd, ran through the streets scarcely daring to speak a word--and all
ran toward the pit.

There were scores at its mouth in five minutes; in ten minutes there
were hundreds, and above all the clamor rose the cry of women:--

"My mester's down!"

"An' mine!"

"An' mine!"

"Four lads o' mine is down!"

"Three o' mine!"

"My little un's theer--th' youngest--nobbut ten year owd--nobbut ten
year owd, poor little chap! an' ony been at work a week!"

"Ay, wenches, God ha' mercy on us aw'--God ha' mercy!" And then more
shrieks and wails, in which the terror-stricken children joined.

It was a fearful sight. How many lay dead and dying in the noisome
darkness below, God only knew! How many lay mangled and crushed, waiting
for their death, Heaven only could tell!

In five minutes after the explosion occurred, a slight figure in
clerical garb made its way through the crowd with an air of excited

"Th' parson's feart," was the general comment.

"My men," he said, raising his voice so that all could hear, "can any of
you tell me who last saw Fergus Derrick?"

There was a brief pause, and then came a reply from a collier who stood

"I coom up out o' th' pit an hour ago," he said, "I wur th' last as coom
up, an' it wur on'y chance as browt me. Derrick wur wi' his men i' th'
new part o' th' mine. I seed him as I passed through."

Grace's face became a shade or so paler, but he made no more inquiries.

His friend either lay dead below, or was waiting for his doom at that
very moment. He stepped a little farther forward.

"Unfortunately for myself, at present," he said, "I have no practical
knowledge of the nature of these accidents. Will some of you tell me how
long it will be before we can make our first effort to rescue the men
who are below?"

Did he mean to volunteer--this young whipper-snapper of a parson? And if
he did, could he know what he was doing?

"I ask you," he said, "because I wish to offer myself as a volunteer at
once; I think I am stronger than you imagine, and at least my heart will
be in the work. I have a friend below--myself," his voice altering its
tone and losing its firmness,--"a friend who is worthy the sacrifice of
ten such lives as mine, if such a sacrifice could save him."

One or two of the older and more experienced spoke up. Under an hour it
would be impossible to make the attempt--it might even be a longer time,
but in an hour they might at least make their first effort.

If such was the case, the parson said, the intervening period must be
turned to the best account. In that time much could be thought of and
done which would assist themselves and benefit the sufferers. He called
upon the strongest and most experienced, and almost without their
recognizing the prominence of his position, led them on in the work. He
even rallied the weeping women and gave them something to do. One was
sent for this necessary article and another for that. A couple of boys
were dispatched to the next village for extra medical assistance, so
that there need be no lack of attention when it was required. He took
off his broadcloth and worked with the rest of them until all the
necessary preparations were made, and it was considered possible to
descend into the mine.

When all was ready, he went to the mouth of the shaft and took his place

It was a hazardous task they had before them. Death would stare them in
the face all through its performance. There was choking after-damp
below,--noxious vapors, to breathe which was to die; there was the
chance of crushing masses falling from the shaken galleries--and yet
these men left their companions one by one, and ranged themselves
without saying a word at the curate's side.

"My friends," said Grace, baring his head and raising a feminine
hand,--"My friends, we will say a short prayer."

It was only a few words. Then the curate spoke again.

"Ready!" he said.

But just at that moment there stepped out from the anguished crowd a
girl, whose face was set and deathly, though there was no touch of fear
upon it.

"I ax yo'," she said, "to let me go wi' yo' and do what I con. Lasses,
some on yo' speak a word for Joan Lowrie!"

There was a breathless start. The women even stopped their outcry to
look at her as she stood apart from them,--a desperate appeal in the
very quiet of her gesture as she turned to look about her for some one
to speak.

"Lasses," she said again, "some on yo' speak a word for Joan Lowrie!"

There rose a murmur among them then, and the next instant this murmur
was a cry.

"Ay," they answered, "we con aw speak fur yo'. Let her go, lads! She's
worth two o' th' best on yo'. Nowt fears her. Ay, she mun go, if she
will, mun Joan Lowrie! Go, Joan lass, and we'n not forget thee!"

But the men demurred. The finer instinct of some of them shrank from
giving a woman a place in such a perilous undertaking--the coarser
element in others rebelled against it.

"We'n ha' no wenches," these said, surlily.

Grace stepped forward. He went to Joan Lowrie and touched her gently on
the shoulder.

"We cannot think of it," he said. "It is very brave and generous,
and--God bless you!--but it cannot be. I could not think of allowing it
myself, if the rest would."

"Parson," said Joan, coolly but not roughly, "tha'd ha' hard work to
help thysen, if so be as th' lads wur willin'!"

"But," he protested, "it may be death. I could not bear the thought of
it. You are a woman. We cannot let you risk your life."

She turned to the volunteers.

"Lads," she cried passionately, "yo' munnot turn me back. I--sin I mun
tell yo'--" and she faced them like a queen--"theer's a mon down theer
as I'd gi' my heart's blood to save."

They did not know whom she meant, but they demurred no longer.

"Tak' thy place, wench," said the oldest. "If tha mun, tha mun."

She took her seat in the cage by Grace, and when she took it she half
turned her face away. But when those above began to lower them, and they
found themselves swinging downward into what might be to them a pit of
death, she spoke to him.

"Theer's a prayer I'd loike yo' to pray," she said. "Pray that if we mun
dee, we may na dee until we ha' done our work."

It was a dreadful work indeed that the rescuers had to do in those black
galleries. And Joan was the bravest, quickest, most persistent of all.
Paul Grace, following in her wake, found himself obeying her slightest
word or gesture. He worked constantly at her side, for he at least had
guessed the truth. He knew that they were both engaged in the same
quest. When at last they had worked their way--lifting, helping,
comforting--to the end of the passage where the collier had said he last
saw the master, then for one moment she paused, and her companion with a
thrill of pity touched her to attract her attention.

"Let me go first," he said.

"Nay," she answered, "we'n go together."

The gallery was a long and low one, and had been terribly shaken. In
some places the props had been torn away, in others they were borne down
by the loosened blocks of coal. The dim light of the "Davy" Joan held up
showed such a wreck that Grace spoke to her again.

"You must let me go first," he said with gentle firmness. "If one of
these blocks should fall--"

Joan interrupted him:--

"If one on 'em should fall, I'm th' one as it had better fall on. There
is na mony foak as ud miss Joan Lowrie. Yo' ha' work o' yore own to do."

She stepped into the gallery before he could protest, and he could only
follow her. She went before, holding the Davy high, so that its light
might be thrown as far forward as possible. Now and then she was forced
to stoop to make her way around a bending prop; sometimes there was a
falling mass to be surmounted: but she was at the front still when they
reached the other end, without finding the object of their search.

"It--he is na there," she said. "Let us try th' next passage," and she
turned into it.

It was she who first came upon what they were looking for; but they did
not find it in the next passage, or the next, or even the next. It was
farther away from the scene of the explosion than they had dared to
hope. As they entered a narrow side gallery, Grace heard her utter a low
sound, and the next minute she was down upon her knees.

"Theer's a mon here," she said. "It's him as we're lookin' fur."

She held the dim little lantern close to the face,--a still face with
closed eyes, and blood upon it. Grace knelt down too, his heart aching
with dread.

"Is he--" he began, but could not finish.

Joan Lowrie laid her hand upon the apparently motionless breast and
waited almost a minute, and then she lifted her own face, white as the
wounded man's--white and solemn, and wet with a sudden rain of tears.

"He is na dead," she said. "We ha' saved him."

She sat down upon the floor of the gallery, and lifting his head, laid
it upon her bosom, holding it close, as a mother might hold the head of
her child.

"Mester," she said, "gi' me th' brandy flask, and tak' thou thy Davy an'
go fur some o' the men to help us get him to th' leet o' day. I'm gone
weak at last. I conna do no more. I'll go wi' him to th' top."

When the cage ascended to the mouth again with its last load of
sufferers, Joan Lowrie came with it, blinded and dazzled by the golden
winter's sunlight as it fell upon her haggard face. She was holding the
head of what seemed to be a dead man upon her knee. A great shout of
welcome rose up from the bystanders.

She helped them to lay her charge upon a pile of coats and blankets
prepared for him, and then she turned to the doctor who had hurried to
the spot to see what could be done.

"He is na dead," she said. "Lay yore hond on his heart. It beats yet,
Mester,--on'y a little, but it beats."

"No," said the doctor, "he is not dead--yet"; with a breath's pause
between the two last words. "If some of you will help me to put him on a
stretcher, he may be carried home, and I will go with him. There is just
a chance for him, poor fellow, and he must have immediate attention.
Where does he live?"

"He must go with me," said Grace. "He is my friend."

So they took him up, and Joan stood a little apart and watched them
carry him away,--watched the bearers until they were out of sight, and
then turned again and joined the women in their work among the

By permission of Charles Scribner's Sons.



There is a suggestion of the 'Ugly Duckling' story in Fanny Burney's
early life. The personality of the shy little girl, who was neither
especially pretty nor precocious, was rather merged in the half-dozen of
gayer brothers and sisters. The first eight years of her life were
passed at Lynn Regis in Norfolk; then the family moved to London, where
her father continued his career as an important writer on music and a
fashionable music-master. Soon after, Mrs. Burney died. All the children
but young Fanny were sent away to school. She was to have been educated
at home, but received little attention from the learned, kind, but
heedless Dr. Burney, who seems to have considered her the dull member of
his flock. "Poor Fanny!" he often said, until her sudden fame
overwhelmed him with surprise as well as exultation. Only his friend,
her beloved "Daddy Crisp" of the letters, appreciated her; himself a
disappointed dramatic author, soured by what he felt to be an
incomprehensible failure, yet of fine critical talent, with kind and
wise suggestions for his favorite Fanny.

[Illustration: FRANCES BURNEY]

But while her book-education was of the slightest, her social advantages
were great. Pleasure-loving Dr. Burney had a delightful faculty of
attracting witty and musical friends to enliven his home. Fanny's great
unnoticed gift was power of observation. The shy girl who avoided notice
herself, found her social pleasure in watching and listening to clever
people. Perhaps a Gallic strain--for her mother was of French
descent--gave her clear-sightedness. She had a turn for social satire
which added humorous discrimination to her judgments. She understood
people better than books, and perceived their petty hypocrisies,
self-deceptions, and conventional standards, with witty good sense and
love of sincerity. Years of this silent note-taking and personal
intercourse with brilliant people gave her unusual knowledge of the

She was a docile girl, ready always to heed her father and her "Daddy
Crisp," ready to obey her kindly stepmother, and try to exchange for
practical occupations her pet pastime of scribbling.

But from the time she was ten she had loved to write down her
impressions, and the habit was too strong to be more than temporarily
renounced. Like many imaginative persons, she was fond of carrying on
serial inventions in which repressed fancies found expression. One long
story she destroyed; but the characters haunted her, and she began a
sequel which became 'Evelina.' In the young, beautiful, virtuous
heroine, with her many mortifying experiences and her ultimate triumph,
she may have found compensation for a starved vanity of her own.

For a long time she and her sisters enjoyed Evelina's tribulations; then
Fanny grew ambitious, and encouraged by her brother, thought of
publication. When she tremblingly asked her father's consent, he
carelessly countenanced the venture and gave it no second thought. After
much negotiation, a publisher offered twenty pounds for the manuscript,
and in 1778 the appearance of 'Evelina' ended Fanny Burney's obscurity.
For a long time the book was the topic of boundless praise and endless
discussion. Every one wondered who could have written the clever story,
which was usually attributed to a society man. The great Dr. Johnson was
enthusiastic, insisted upon knowing the author, and soon grew very fond
of his little Fanny. He introduced her to his friends, and she became
the celebrity of a delightful circle. Sir Joshua Reynolds and Burke sat
up all night to finish 'Evelina.' The Thrales, Madame Delaney,--who
later introduced her at court,--Sheridan, Gibbon, and Sir Walter Scott,
were among those who admired her most cordially.

It was a happy time for Fanny, encouraged to believe her talent far
greater than it was. She wrote a drama which was read in solemn judgment
by her father and "Daddy Crisp," who decided against it as too like 'Les
Précieuses Ridicules,' a play she had never read. A second novel,
'Cecilia,' appeared in 1782, and was as successful as its predecessor.
Later readers find it less spontaneous, and after it she never resumed
her early style except in her journal and correspondence. Her ambition
was fully astir. She had every incentive from her family and friends.
But the old zest in composition had departed. The self-consciousness
which had always tormented her in society seized her now, when she was
trying to cater to public taste, and made her change her frank, free,
personal expression for a stilted artificial formality of phrase.

Her reputation was now at its height, and she was very happy in her
position as society favorite and pride of the father whom she had always
passionately admired, when she made the mistake of her life. Urged by
her father, she accepted a position at court as Second Keeper of the
Queen's Robes. There she spent five pleasureless and worse than
profitless years. In her 'Diary and Letters,' the most readable to-day
of all her works, she has told the story of wretched discomfort, of
stupidly uncongenial companionship, of arduous tasks made worse by the
selfish thoughtlessness of her superiors. She has also given our best
historical picture of that time; the every-day life at court, the slow
agony of King George's increasing insanity. But the drudgery and mean
hardships of the place, and the depression of being separated from her
family, broke down her health; and after much opposition she was allowed
to resign in 1791.

Soon afterwards she astonished her friends by marrying General D'Arblay,
a French officer and a gentleman, although very poor. As the pair had an
income of only one hundred pounds, this seems a perilously rash act for
a woman over forty. Fortunately the match proved a very happy one, and
the situation stimulated Madame D'Arblay to renewed authorship.
'Camilla,' her third novel, was sold by subscription, and was a very
remunerative piece of work. But from a critical point of view it was a
failure; and being written in a heavy pedantic style, is quite deficient
in her early charm. With the proceeds she built a modest home, Camilla
Cottage. Later the family moved to France, where her husband died and
where her only son received his early education. When he was nearly
ready for an English university she returned to England, and passed her
tranquil age among her friends until she died at eighty-eight.

What Fanny Burney did in all unconsciousness was to establish fiction
upon a new basis. She may be said to have created the family novel.
Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne had bequeathed their legacy impregnated
with objectionable qualities, in spite of strength and charm; they were
read rather secretly, and tabooed for women. On the other hand, the
followers of Richardson were too didactic to be readable. Fanny Burney
proved that entertaining tales, unweighted by heavy moralizing, may be
written, adapted to young and old. Her sketches of life were witty,
sincere, and vigorous, yet always moral in tone. 'Evelina,' the work of
an innocent, frank girl, could be read by any one.

A still greater source of her success was her robust and abounding,
though sometimes rather broad and cheap, fun. In her time decent novels
were apt to be appallingly serious in tone, and not infrequently stupid;
humor in spite of Addison still connoted much coarseness and obtrusive
sexuality, and in fiction had to be sought in the novels written for men
only. As humor is the deadly foe to sentimentalism and hysterics, the
Richardson school were equally averse to it on further grounds. Fanny
Burney produced novels fit for women's and family reading, yet full of
humor of a masculine vigor--and it must be added, with something of
masculine unsensitiveness. There is little fineness to most of it; some
is mere horseplay, some is extravagant farce: but it is deep and
genuine, it supplied an exigent want, and deserved its welcome. De
Morgan says it was like introducing dresses of glaring red and yellow
and other crude colors into a country where every one had previously
dressed in drab--a great relief, but not art. This is hard measure,
however: some of her character-drawing is almost as richly humorous and
valid as Jane Austen's own.

Fanny Burney undoubtedly did much to augment the new respect for woman's
intellectual ability, and was a stimulus to the brilliant group which
succeeded her. Miss Ferrier, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen all owe
her something of their inspiration and more of their welcome.


From 'Evelina'

Holborn, June 17th

Yesterday Mr. Smith carried his point of making a party for Vauxhall,
consisting of Madame Duval, M. Du Bois, all the Branghtons, Mr. Brown,
himself,--and me!--for I find all endeavors vain to escape anything
which these people desire I should not.

There were twenty disputes previous to our setting out; first as to the
_time_ of our going: Mr. Branghton, his son, and young Brown, were for
six o'clock, and all the ladies and Mr. Smith were for eight;--the
latter, however, conquered. Then as to the _way_ we should go: some were
for a boat, others for a coach, and Mr. Branghton himself was for
walking; but the boat at length was decided upon. Indeed, this was the
only part of the expedition that was agreeable to me; for the Thames was
delightfully pleasant.

The garden is very pretty, but too formal; I should have been better
pleased had it consisted less of straight walks, where

    "Grove nods at grove, each alley has its brother."

The trees, the numerous lights, and the company in the circle round the
orchestra make a most brilliant and gay appearance; and had I been with
a party less disagreeable to me, I should have thought it a place formed
for animation and pleasure. There was a concert, in the course of which
a hautbois concerto was so charmingly played that I could have thought
myself upon enchanted ground, had I had spirits more gentle to associate
with. The hautbois in the open air is heavenly.

Mr. Smith endeavored to attach himself to me, with such officious
assiduity and impertinent freedom that he quite sickened me. Indeed, M.
Du Bois was the only man of the party to whom, voluntarily, I ever
addressed myself. He is civil and respectful, and I have found nobody
else so since I left Howard Grove. His English is very bad; but I prefer
it to speaking French myself, which I dare not venture to do. I converse
with him frequently, both to disengage myself from others and to oblige
Madame Duval, who is always pleased when he is attended to.

As we were walking about the orchestra, I heard a bell ring; and in a
moment Mr. Smith, flying up to me, caught my hand, and with a motion too
quick to be resisted, ran away with me many yards before I had breath to
ask his meaning; though I struggled as well as I could to get from him.
At last, however, I insisted upon stopping. "Stopping, ma'am!" cried he,
"why, we must run on, or we shall lose the cascade!"

And then again he hurried me away, mixing with a crowd of people, all
running with so much velocity that I could not imagine what had raised
such an alarm. We were soon followed by the rest of the party; and my
surprise and ignorance proved a source of diversion to them all which
was not exhausted the whole evening. Young Branghton, in particular,
laughed till he could hardly stand.

The scene of the cascade I thought extremely pretty, and the general
effect striking and lively.

But this was not the only surprise which was to divert them at my
expense; for they led me about the garden purposely to enjoy my first
sight of various other deceptions.

About ten o'clock, Mr. Smith having chosen a _box_ in a very conspicuous
place, we all went to supper. Much fault was found with everything that
was ordered, though not a morsel of anything was left, and the dearness
of the provisions, with conjectures upon what profit was made by them,
supplied discourse during the whole meal.

When wine and cyder were brought, Mr. Smith said, "Now let's enjoy
ourselves; now is the time, or never. Well, ma'am, and how do you like

"Like it!" cried young Branghton; "why, how can she help liking it? She
has never seen such a place before, that I'll answer for."

"For my part," said Miss Branghton, "I like it because it is not

"This must have been a fine treat for you, Miss," said Mr. Branghton;
"why, I suppose you was never so happy in all your life before?"

I endeavored to express my satisfaction with some pleasure; yet I
believe they were much amazed at my coldness.

"Miss ought to stay in town till the last night," said young Branghton;
"and then, it's my belief, she'd say something to it! Why, Lord, it's
the best night of any; there's always a riot,--and there the folks run
about,--and then there's such squealing and squalling!--and there, all
the lamps are broke,--and the women run skimper-scamper--I declare, I
would not take five guineas to miss the last night!"

I was very glad when they all grew tired of sitting, and called for the
waiter to pay the bill. The Miss Branghtons said they would walk on
while the gentlemen settled the account, and asked me to accompany them;
which however I declined.

"You girls may do as you please," said Madame Duval, "but as to me, I
promise you, I sha'n't go nowhere without the gentlemen."

"No more, I suppose, will my _cousin_," said Miss Branghton, looking
reproachfully towards Mr. Smith.

This reflection, which I feared would flatter his vanity, made me most
unfortunately request Madame Duval's permission to attend them. She
granted it; and away we went, having promised to meet in the room.

To the room, therefore, I would immediately have gone: but the sisters
agreed that they would first have a _little pleasure_; and they tittered
and talked so loud that they attracted universal notice.

"Lord, Polly," said the eldest, "suppose we were to take a turn in the
dark walks?"

"Ay, do," answered she; "and then we'll hide ourselves, and then Mr.
Brown will think we are lost."

I remonstrated very warmly against this plan, telling them it would
endanger our missing the rest of the party all the evening.

"O dear," cried Miss Branghton, "I thought how uneasy Miss would be,
without a beau!"

This impertinence I did not think worth answering; and quite by
compulsion I followed them down a long alley, in which there was hardly
any light.

By the time we came near the end, a large party of gentlemen, apparently
very riotous, and who were hallooing, leaning on one another, and
laughing immoderately, seemed to rush suddenly from behind some trees,
and meeting us face to face, put their arms at their sides and formed a
kind of circle, which first stopped our proceeding and then our
retreating, for we were presently entirely enclosed. The Miss Branghtons
screamed aloud, and I was frightened exceedingly; our screams were
answered with bursts of laughter, and for some minutes we were kept
prisoners, till at last one of them, rudely seizing hold of me, said I
was a pretty little creature.

Terrified to death, I struggled with such vehemence to disengage myself
from him that I succeeded, in spite of his efforts to detain me: and
immediately, and with a swiftness which fear only could have given me, I
flew rather than ran up the walk, hoping to secure my safety by
returning to the lights and company we had so foolishly left; but before
I could possibly accomplish my purpose, I was met by another party of
men, one of whom placed himself directly in my way, calling out,
"Whither so fast, my love?"--so that I could only have proceeded by
running into his arms.

In a moment both my hands, by different persons, were caught hold of,
and one of them, in a most familiar manner, desired when I ran next to
accompany me in a race; while the rest of the party stood still and
laughed. I was almost distracted with terror, and so breathless with
running that I could not speak; till another, advancing, said I was as
handsome as an angel, and desired to be of the party. I then just
articulated, "For Heaven's sake, gentlemen, let me pass!"

Another, then rushing suddenly forward, exclaimed, "Heaven and earth!
what voice is that?"

"The voice of the prettiest little actress I have seen this age,"
answered one of my persecutors.

"No,--no,--no,--" I _panted_ out, "I am no actress--pray let me
go,--pray let me pass--"

"By all that's sacred," cried the same voice, which I then knew for Sir
Clement Willoughby's, "'tis herself!"


From 'Cecilia'

At the door of the Pantheon they were joined by Mr. Arnott and Sir
Robert Floyer, whom Cecilia now saw with added aversion; they entered
the great room during the second act of the concert, to which, as no one
of the party but herself had any desire to listen, no sort of attention
was paid; the ladies entertaining themselves as if no orchestra was in
the room, and the gentlemen, with an equal disregard to it, struggling
for a place by the fire, about which they continued hovering till the
music was over.

Soon after they were seated, Mr. Meadows, sauntering towards them,
whispered something to Mrs. Mears, who, immediately rising, introduced
him to Cecilia; after which, the place next to her being vacant, he cast
himself upon it, and lolling as much at his ease as his situation would
permit, began something like a conversation with her.

"Have you been long in town, ma'am?"

"No, sir."

"This is not your first winter?"

"Of being in town, it is."

"Then you have something new to see; oh charming! how I envy you!--Are
you pleased with the Pantheon?"

"Very much; I have seen no building at all equal to it."

"You have not been abroad. Traveling is the ruin of all happiness!
There's no looking at a building here after seeing Italy."

"Does all happiness, then, depend upon sight of buildings?" said
Cecilia, when, turning towards her companion, she perceived him yawning,
with such evident inattention to her answer that, not choosing to
interrupt his reverie, she turned her head another way.

For some minutes he took no notice of this; and then, as if suddenly
recollecting himself, he called out hastily, "I beg your pardon, ma'am,
you were saying something?"

"No, sir; nothing worth repeating."

"Oh, pray don't punish me so severely as not to let me hear it!"

Cecilia, though merely not to seem offended at his negligence, was then
beginning an answer, when looking at him as she spoke, she perceived
that he was biting his nails with so absent an air that he appeared not
to know he had asked any question. She therefore broke off, and left him
to his cogitation.

Some time after, he addressed her again, saying, "Don't you find this
place extremely tiresome, ma'am?"

"Yes, sir," said she half laughing, "it is indeed not very

"Nothing is entertaining," answered he, "for two minutes together.
Things are so little different one from another, that there is no making
pleasure out of anything. We go the same dull round forever; nothing
new, no variety! all the same thing over again! Are you fond of public
places, ma'am?"

"Yes, sir, _soberly_, as Lady Grace says."

"Then I envy you extremely, for you have some amusement always in your
own power. How desirable that is!"

"And have you not the same resources?"

"Oh no! I am tired to death! tired of everything! I would give the
universe for a disposition less difficult to please. Yet, after all,
what is there to give pleasure? When one has seen one thing, one has
seen everything. Oh, 'tis heavy work! Don't you find it so, ma'am?"

This speech was ended with so violent a fit of yawning that Cecilia
would not trouble herself to answer it: but her silence as before passed
unnoticed, exciting neither question nor comment.

A long pause now succeeded, which he broke at last by saying, as he
writhed himself about upon his seat, "These forms would be much more
agreeable if there were backs to them. 'Tis intolerable to be forced to
sit like a schoolboy. The first study of life is ease. There is indeed
no other study that pays the trouble of attainment. Don't you think so,

"But may not even that," said Cecilia, "by so much study become labor?"

"I am vastly happy you think so."


"I beg your pardon, ma'am, but I thought you said--I really beg your
pardon, but I was thinking of something else."

"You did very right, sir," said Cecilia, laughing, "for what I said by
no means merited any attention."

"Will you do me the favor to repeat it?" cried he, taking out his glass
to examine some lady at a distance.

"Oh no," said Cecilia, "that would be trying your patience too

"These glasses shew one nothing but defects," said he; "I am sorry they
were ever invented. They are the ruin of all beauty; no complexion can
stand them. I believe that solo will never be over! I hate a solo; it
sinks, it depresses me intolerably."

"You will presently, sir," said Cecilia, looking at the bill of the
concert, "have a full piece; and that I hope will revive you."

"A full piece! oh, insupportable! it stuns, it fatigues, it overpowers
me beyond endurance! no taste in it, no delicacy, no room for the
smallest feeling."

"Perhaps, then, you are only fond of singing?"

"I should be, if I could hear it; but we are now so miserably off in
voices, that I hardly ever attempt to listen to a song, without fancying
myself deaf from the feebleness of the performers. I hate everything
that requires attention. Nothing gives pleasure that does not force its
own way."

"You only, then, like loud voices, and great powers?"

"Oh, worse and worse!--no, nothing is so disgusting to me. All my
amazement is that these people think it worth while to give concerts at
all--one is sick to death of music."

"Nay," cried Cecilia, "if it gives no pleasure, at least it takes none
away; for, far from being any impediment to conversation, I think
everybody talks more during the performance than between the acts. And
what is there better you could substitute in its place?"

Cecilia, receiving no answer to this question, again looked round to see
if she had been heard; when she observed her new acquaintance, with a
very thoughtful air, had turned from her to fix his eyes upon the statue
of Britannia.

Very soon after, he hastily arose, and seeming entirely to forget that
he had spoken to her, very abruptly walked away.

Mr. Gosport, who was advancing to Cecilia and had watched part of this
scene, stopped him as he was retreating, and said, "Why, Meadows, how's
this? are you caught at last?"

"Oh, worn to death! worn to a thread!" cried he, stretching himself and
yawning; "I have been talking with a young lady to entertain her! oh,
such heavy work! I would not go through it again for millions!"

"What, have you talked yourself out of breath?"

"No; but the effort! the effort!--Oh, it has unhinged me for a
fortnight!--Entertaining a young lady!--one had better be a galley-slave
at once!"

"Well, but did she not pay your toils? She is surely a sweet creature."

"Nothing can pay one for such insufferable exertion! though she's well
enough, too--better than the common run--but shy, quite too shy; no
drawing her out."

"I thought that was to your taste. You commonly hate much volubility.
How have I heard you bemoan yourself when attacked by Miss Larolles!"

"Larolles! Oh, distraction! she talks me into a fever in two minutes.
But so it is for ever! nothing but extremes to be met with! common girls
are too forward, this lady is too reserved--always some fault! always
some drawback! nothing ever perfect!"

"Nay, nay," cried Mr. Gosport, "you do not know her; she is perfect
enough, in all conscience."

"Better not know her then," answered he, again yawning, "for she cannot
be pleasing. Nothing perfect is natural,--I hate everything out of


From the 'Letters'

But Dr. Johnson's approbation!--it almost crazed me with agreeable
surprise--it gave me such a flight of spirits that I danced a jig to Mr.
Crisp, without any preparation, music, or explanation--to his no small
amazement and diversion. I left him, however, to make his own comments
upon my friskiness, without affording him the smallest assistance.

Susan also writes me word that when my father went last to Streatham,
Dr. Johnson was not there, but Mrs. Thrale told him that when he gave
her the first volume of 'Evelina,' which she had lent him, he said,
"Why, madam, why, what a charming book you lent me!" and eagerly
inquired for the rest. He was particularly pleased with the snow-hill
scenes, and said that Mr. Smith's vulgar gentility was admirably
portrayed; and when Sir Clement joins them, he said there was a shade of
character prodigiously well marked. Well may it be said, that the
greatest minds are ever the most candid to the inferior set! I think I
should love Dr. Johnson for such lenity to a poor mere worm in
literature, even if I were not myself the identical grub he has obliged.

Susan has sent me a little note which has really been less pleasant to
me, because it has alarmed me for my future concealment. It is from Mrs.
Williams, an exceeding pretty poetess, who has the misfortune to be
blind, but who has, to make some amends, the honor of residing in the
house of Dr. Johnson; for though he lives almost wholly at Streatham, he
always keeps his apartments in town, and this lady acts as mistress of
his house.

    JULY 25.

    "Mrs. Williams sends compliments to Dr. Burney, and begs he will
    intercede with Miss Burney to do her the favor to lend her the
    reading of 'Evelina.'"

Though I am frightened at this affair, I am by no means insensible to
the honor which I receive from the certainty that Dr. Johnson must have
spoken very well of the book, to have induced Mrs. Williams to send to
our house for it.

I now come to last Saturday evening, when my beloved father came to
Chesington, in full health, charming spirits, and all kindness,
openness, and entertainment.

In his way hither he had stopped at Streatham, and he settled with Mrs.
Thrale that he would call on her again in his way to town, and carry me
with him! and Mrs. Thrale said, "We all long to know her."

I have been in a kind of twitter ever since, for there seems something
very formidable in the idea of appearing as an authoress! I ever dreaded
it, as it is a title which must raise more expectations than I have any
chance of answering. Yet I am highly flattered by her invitation, and
highly delighted in the prospect of being introduced to the Streatham

She sent me some very serious advice to write for the theatre, as she
says I so naturally run into conversations that 'Evelina' absolutely and
plainly points out that path to me; and she hinted how much she should
be pleased to be "honored with my confidence."

My dear father communicated this intelligence, and a great deal more,
with a pleasure that almost surpassed that with which I heard it, and he
seems quite eager for me to make another attempt. He desired to take
upon himself the communication to my Daddy Crisp; and as it is now in so
many hands that it is possible accident might discover it to him, I
readily consented.

Sunday evening, as I was going into my father's room, I heard him
say, "The variety of characters--the variety of scenes--and the
language--why, she has had very little education but what she has given
herself--less than any of the others!" and Mr. Crisp exclaimed,
"Wonderful!--it's wonderful!"

I now found what was going forward, and therefore deemed it most fitting
to decamp.

About an hour after, as I was passing through the hall, I met my daddy
[Crisp]. His face was all animation and archness; he doubled his fist at
me and would have stopped me, but I ran past him into the parlor.

Before supper, however, I again met him, and he would not suffer me to
escape; he caught both my hands and looked as if he would have looked me
through, and then exclaimed, "Why, you little hussy--you young
devil!--ain't you ashamed to look me in the face, you _Evelina_, you!
Why, what a dance have you led me about it! Young friend, indeed! O you
little hussy, what tricks have you served me!"

I was obliged to allow of his running on with these gentle appellations
for I know not how long, ere he could sufficiently compose himself,
after his great surprise, to ask or hear any particulars; and then he
broke out every three instants with exclamations of astonishment at how
I had found time to write so much unsuspected, and how and where I had
picked up such various materials; and not a few times did he with me, as
he had with my father, exclaim "Wonderful!"

He has since made me read him all my letters upon this subject. He said
Lowndes would have made an estate had he given me £1000 for it, and that
he ought not to have given less! "You have nothing to do now," continued
he, "but to take your pen in hand; for your fame and reputation are
made, and any bookseller will snap at what you write."

I then told him that I could not but really and unaffectedly regret that
the affair was spread to Mrs. Williams and her friends.

"Pho," said he: "if those who are proper judges think it right that it
should be known, why should you trouble yourself about it? You have not
spread it, there can no imputation of vanity fall to your share, and it
cannot come out more to your honor than through such a channel as Mrs.

       *       *       *       *       *

LONDON, AUGUST.--I have now to write an account of the most
consequential day I have spent since my birth; namely, my Streatham

Our journey to Streatham was the least pleasant part of the day, for the
roads were dreadfully dusty, and I was really in the fidgets from
thinking what my reception might be, and from fearing they would expect
a less awkward and backward kind of person than I was sure they would

Mr. Thrale's house is white, and very pleasantly situated in a fine
paddock. Mrs. Thrale was strolling about, and came to us as we got out
of the chaise.

She then received me, taking both my hands, and with mixed politeness
and cordiality welcoming me to Streatham. She led me into the house, and
addressed herself almost wholly for a few minutes to my father, as if to
give me an assurance she did not mean to regard me as a show, or to
distress or frighten me by drawing me out. Afterwards she took me up
stairs, and showed me the house, and said she had very much wished to
see me at Streatham; and should always think herself much obliged to Dr.
Burney for his goodness in bringing me, which she looked upon as a very
great favor.

But though we were some time together, and though she was so very civil,
she did not _hint_ at my book, and I love her much more than ever for
her delicacy in avoiding a subject which she could not but see would
have greatly embarrassed me.

When we returned to the music-room, we found Miss Thrale was with my
father. Miss Thrale is a very fine girl, about fourteen years of age,
but cold and reserved, though full of knowledge and intelligence.

Soon after, Mrs. Thrale took me to the library; she talked a little
while upon common topics, and then at last she mentioned 'Evelina.'

"Yesterday at supper," said she, "we talked it all over, and discussed
all your characters; but Dr. Johnson's favorite is Mr. Smith. He
declares the fine gentleman _manqué_ was never better drawn, and he
acted him all the evening, saying 'he was all for the ladies!' He
repeated whole scenes by heart. I declare I was astonished at him. Oh,
you can't imagine how much he is pleased with the book; he 'could not
get rid of the rogue,' he told me. But was it not droll," said she,
"that I should recommend it to Dr. Burney? and tease him so innocently
to read it?"

I now prevailed upon Mrs. Thrale to let me amuse myself, and she went to
dress. I then prowled about to choose some book, and I saw upon the
reading-table 'Evelina.' I had just fixed upon a new translation of
Cicero's Lælius, when the library door was opened, and Mr. Seward
entered. I instantly put away my book because I dreaded being thought
studious and affected. He offered his services to find anything for me,
and then in the same breath ran on to speak of the book with which I had
myself "favored the world"!

The exact words he began with I cannot recollect, for I was actually
confounded by the attack; and his abrupt manner of letting me know he
was _au fait_ equally astonished and provoked me. How different from the
delicacy of Mr. and Mrs. Thrale!

When we were summoned to dinner, Mrs. Thrale made my father and me sit
on each side of her. I said that I hoped I did not take Dr. Johnson's
place;--for he had not yet appeared.

"No," answered Mrs. Thrale, "he will sit by you, which I am sure will
give him great pleasure."

Soon after we were seated, this great man entered. I have so true a
veneration for him, that the very sight of him inspires me with delight
and reverence, notwithstanding the cruel infirmities to which he is
subject; for he has almost perpetual convulsive movements, either of his
hands, lips, feet, or knees, and sometimes of all together.

Mrs. Thrale introduced me to him, and he took his place. We had a noble
dinner, and a most elegant dessert. Dr. Johnson, in the middle of
dinner, asked Mrs. Thrale what was in some little pies that were near

"Mutton," answered she, "so I don't ask you to eat any, because I know
you despise it!"

"No, madam, no," cried he; "I despise nothing that is good of its sort;
but I am too proud now to eat of it. Sitting by Miss Burney makes me
very proud to-day!"

"Miss Burney," said Mrs. Thrale, laughing, "you must take great care of
your heart if Dr. Johnson attacks it; for I assure you he is not often

"What's that you say, madam?" cried he; "are you making mischief between
the young lady and me already?"

A little while after he drank Miss Thrale's health and mine, and then

"'Tis a terrible thing that we cannot wish young ladies well without
wishing them to become old women!"

"But some people," said Mr. Seward, "are old and young at the same time,
for they wear so well that they never look old."

"No, sir, no," cried the doctor, laughing; "that never yet was: you
might as well say they are at the same time tall and short."




There have been, there are, and there always will be, poets concerning
whose lives it is not necessary that the world should know anything in
order to understand their poetry; and there have been, there are, and
there always will be, other poets concerning whose lives it is necessary
that the world should know all there is to be known, before it can begin
to understand their poetry. The difference between these two classes of
poets is the difference between a company of accomplished actors, who by
virtue of their training and practice are able to project themselves
into imaginary characters on the public stage, and the originals of
these characters in private personal life; or to put it in other words,
the difference between art and nature. It is the privilege of art to
dispense with explanations and extenuations; for if it be true to itself
it is sufficient in itself, and anything added to it or taken from it is
an impertinence or a deformity. When we read 'Hamlet' and 'Lear,' or 'As
You Like It' and 'Much Ado About Nothing,' we do not ask ourselves what
Shakespeare meant by them,--why some scenes were written in verse and
other scenes in prose,--for it is not of Shakespeare that we are
thinking as we read, but of his characters, for whom we feel that he is
no more responsible than we are, since they move, live, and have their
being in a world of their own, above the smoke and stir of this dim spot
which men call Earth,--the world of pure, perfect, poetic art. If
Shakespeare was conscious of himself when he wrote, he succeeded in
concealing himself so thoroughly that it is impossible to discover him
in his writing,--as impossible as it is not to discover other poets in
their writings; for whatever is absent from the choir of British song,
the note of personality is always present there. A low laugh in the
gracious mouth of Chaucer, a harsh rebuke on the stern lips of Milton, a
modish sneer in the smile of Pope,--it was now a stifled complaint, now
an amorous ditty, and now a riotous shout with Burns, who was as much a
poet through his personality as through his genius. He put his life into
his song; and not to know what his life was, is not to know what his
song is,--why it was a consolation to him while he lived, and why after
his death it made his--

    "One of the few, the immortal names,
    That were not born to die."

Early in the last half of the eighteenth century a staid and worthy man,
named William Burness (as the name Burns was then spelled), a native of
Kincardineshire, emigrated to Ayrshire in pursuit of a livelihood. He
hired himself as a gardener to the laird of Fairlie, and later to a Mr.
Crawford of Doonside, and at length took a lease of seven acres of land
on his own account at Alloway on the banks of the Doon. He built a clay
cottage there with his own hands, and to this little cottage, in
December 1757, he brought a wife, the eldest daughter of a farmer of
Carrick. There was a disparity in their ages, for he was about
thirty-six and she some eight or nine years younger; and a disparity in
their education, for he was an intelligent reader and lover of books,
while she, though she had been taught as a child to read the Bible and
to repeat the Psalms, was not able to write her name. She had a great
respect for her husband, whose occupation was now that of a nurseryman.
A little more than a year after their marriage, on the 25th of January,
1759, she bore him a son who was christened Robert, who was followed, as
time went on, by brothers and sisters; and before many years were over,
what with the guidman, the guidwife, and the bonny bairns, there was not
much spare room in the little clay biggin at Alloway.

Poor as they were, the social condition of this Scottish family was
superior to the social condition of most English families in the same
walk of rustic life; this superiority resulting from certain virtues
inherent in the national character,--the virtues of simple appetites and
frugal habits, of patience and courage in adversity, and best of all, in
affectionate hearts, reverential minds, and a thirst for knowledge which
only books could supply. William Burness inherited respect for education
from his father, who in his young manhood was instrumental in building a
schoolhouse on his farm at Clockenhill. Accordingly, when his son Robert
was in his sixth year he sent him to a little school at Alloway Mill,
about a mile from his cottage; and not long after he took the lead in
hiring a young teacher named Murdoch to instruct him and his younger
brother Gilbert at some place near at hand. Their school-books consisted
of the Shorter Catechism, the Bible, the spelling-book, and Fisher's
'English Grammar.' Robert was a better scholar than Gilbert, especially
in grammar, in which he acquired some proficiency. The only book which
he is known to have read outside of his primitive curriculum was a 'Life
of Hannibal,' which was loaned him by his teacher. When he was seven the
family removed to a small upland farm called Mount Oliphant, about two
miles from Alloway, to and from which the boys plodded daily in
pursuit of learning. At the end of two years the teacher obtained a
better situation in Carrick; the school was broken up, and from that
time onward William Burness took upon himself the education of his lads
and lassies, whom he treated as if they were men and women, conversing
with them on serious topics as they accompanied him in his labors on the
farm, and borrowing for their edification, from a Book Society in Ayr,
solid works like Derham's 'Physico- and Astro-Theology' and Ray's
'Wisdom of God in the Creation.' This course of heavy reading was
lightened by the 'History of Sir William Wallace,' which was loaned to
Robert by a blacksmith named Kilpatrick, and which forced a hot flood of
Scottish feeling through his boyish veins. His next literary benefactor
was a brother of his mother, who while living for a time with the family
had learned some arithmetic by their winter evening's candle. He went
one day into a bookseller's shop in Ayr to purchase a Ready Reckoner and
a Complete Letter-Writer, but procured by mistake in place of the latter
a small collection of 'Letters by Eminent Wits,' which proved of more
advantage (or disadvantage) to his nephew than to himself, for it
inspired the lad with a desire to excel in epistolary writing. Not long
after this Robert's early tutor Murdoch returned to Ayr, and lent him
Pope's Works; a bookish friend of his father's obtained for him the
reading of two volumes of Richardson's 'Pamela' and another friendly
soul the reading of Smollett's 'Ferdinand Count Fathom,' and 'Peregrine
Pickle.' The book which most delighted him, however, was a collection of
English songs called 'The Lark.'

[Illustration: ROBERT BURNS.]

Mount Oliphant taxed the industry and endurance of William Burness to
the utmost; and what with the sterility of the soil, which was the
poorest in the parish, and the loss of cattle by accidents and disease,
it was with great difficulty that he managed to support his family. They
lived so sparingly that butcher's meat was for years a stranger in the
house, and they labored, children and all, from morning to night.
Robert, at the age of thirteen, assisted in threshing the crop of corn,
and at fifteen he was the principal laborer on the farm, for they could
not afford a hired hand. That he was constantly afflicted with a dull
headache in the evenings was not to be wondered at; nor that the sight
and thought of his gray-haired father, who was turned fifty, should
depress his spirits and impart a tinge of gloom to his musings. It was
under circumstances like these that he composed his first song, the
inspiration of which was a daughter of the blacksmith who had loaned him
the 'History of Sir William Wallace.' It was the custom of the country
to couple a man and woman together in the labors of harvest; and on this
occasion his partner was Nelly Kilpatrick, with whom, boy-like,--for he
was in his seventeenth year and she a year younger,--he liked to lurk
behind the rest of the hands when they returned from their labors in the
evening, and who made his pulse beat furiously when he fingered over her
little hand to pick out the cruel nettle-stings and thistles. She sang
sweetly, and among her songs there was one which was said to be composed
by a small laird's son about one of his father's maids, with whom he was
in love; and Robert saw no reason why he should not rhyme as well as he,
for the author had no more school-craft than himself. Writing of this
song a few years later, he called it puerile and silly; and his verdict
as a poetical one was correct. Still, considered as a song, this artless
effusion possessed one merit of which he himself was probably not
conscious: it was inspired by his feeling and not by his reading, by the
warmth and purity of his love of Nelly Kilpatrick, and not by his
admiration of any amorous ditty in his collection of English songs. It
was a poor thing, but it was certainly his own, and nowhere more so than
in its recognition of the womanly personality of its heroine:--

    "And then there's something in her gait
        Gars ony dress look weel."

This touch of nature, which no modish artist would have attempted,
marked the hand of one who painted from the life.

William Burness struggled along for twelve years at Mount Oliphant, and
then removed to Lochlea, in the parish of Tarbolton. Here he rented a
larger farm, the soil of which promised a surer maintenance for himself
and the hostages he had given to Fortune. And there these loving
hostages began to put away childish things, and to become men and women.
They were cheerful, in spite of the frugality which their poverty
imposed upon them; and were merry in their simple homely way, singing
and dancing among themselves and among their friendly neighbors. Their
hearts expanded in the healthy air about them, particularly the heart of
Robert, which turned to thoughts of love,--not lightly, as in his boyish
fancy for Nelly Kilpatrick, but seriously, as beseemed a man; for he was
now in his nineteenth year, and as conscious of what he was to woman as
of what woman was to him. A born lover, and a born poet, he discovered
himself and his song at Tarbolton. The custom of the country and the
time sanctioned a freedom of manners, and a frequency of meeting on the
part of rustic amorists, of which he was not slow to avail himself. The
love affairs of the Scottish peasantry are thus described by one of his
biographers:--"The young farmer or plowman, after his day of exhausting
toil, would proceed to the home of his mistress, one, two, three, or
more miles distant, there signal her to the door, and then the pair
would seat themselves in the barn for an hour or two's conversation."
Burns practiced this mode of courtship, which was the only one open to
him, and among the only women whom he knew at Tarbolton. "He made no
distinction between the farmer's own daughters and those who acted as
his servants, the fact after all being that the servants were often
themselves the daughters of farmers, and only sent to be the hirelings
of others because their services were not needed at home." We should
remember this habit of the Scottish peasantry if we wish to understand
the early songs of Burns; for they were suggested by it, and vitalized
by it, as much as by his impassioned genius. He painted what he saw; he
sang what he felt. We have a glimpse of him in one of his winter
courtships in 'My Nanie, O'; another and warmer glimpse of him in one of
his summer courtships in 'The Rigs o' Barley'; and another and livelier
glimpse of him in one of his mocking moods in 'Tibbie, I hae seen the
day.' But he was more than the lover which these songs revealed: he was
a man of sound understanding and fine, active intelligence, gifted with
ready humor and a keen sense of wit. If he had been other than he was,
he might and probably would have been elated by his poetic powers, of
which he must have been aware; but being what he was, he was content to
enjoy them and to exercise them modestly, and at such scanty intervals
as his daily duties afforded. He composed his songs as he went about his
work, plowing, sowing, reaping; crooning them as he strode along the
fields, and correcting them in his head as the hours dragged on, until
night came, and he could write them down in his little room by the light
of his solitary candle. He had no illusions about himself: he was the
son of a poor farmer, who, do what he might, was never prosperous; and
poverty was his portion. His apprehension, which was justified by the
misfortunes of the family at Mount Oliphant, was confirmed by their dark
continuance at Tarbolton, where he saw his honored father, bowed with
years of toil, grow older and feebler day by day, dying of consumption
before his eyes. The end came on February 13th, 1784; and a day or two
afterwards the humble coffin of William Burness, arranged between two
leading horses placed after each other, and followed by relations and
neighbors on horseback, was borne to Alloway and buried in the old

The funeral over, the family removed to Mossgiel, in the parish of
Mauchline, where, at Martinmas, Robert and Gilbert had rented another
farm. Having no means of their own, they and their sisters were obliged
to rank as creditors of their dead father for the arrears of wages due
them as laborers at Lochlea; and it was with these arrears, which they
succeeded in wresting from their old landlord or his factor, that they
stocked the new farm. The change was a beneficial one for all the
family, who were now for the first time in their lives provided with a
comfortable dwelling; and everything considered, especially so for their
head,--which Robert, who was now in his twenty-sixth year, virtually
became. He realized the gravity of the responsibility which rested upon
him, and rightly judging that industry alone would not enable him to
support it, resolved to work with the brains of others as well as his
own hard hands. He read farming books, he calculated crops, he attended
markets, but all to no purpose; for like his father before him, however
much he may have deserved success, he could not command it. What he
could and did command however was the admiration of his fellows, who
were quick to perceive and ready to acknowledge his superiority. There
was that about him which impressed them,--something in his temperament
or talent, in his personality or character, which removed him from the
roll of common men. What seemed to distinguish him most was the charm of
his conversation, which, remarkable as it was for fluency and force, for
originality and brilliancy, was quite as remarkable for good sense and
good feeling. Grave or gay, as the occasion suggested and the spirit
moved him, he spoke as with authority and was listened to with rapt
attention. His company was sought, and go where he would he was
everywhere welcomed as a good fellow. He had the art of making friends;
and though they were not always of the kind that his well-wishers could
have desired, they were the best of their kind in and about Mauchline.
What he saw in some of them, other than the pleasure they felt in his
society, it is hard to say; but whatever it was, he liked it and the
conviviality to which it led,--which, occasionally coarsened by stories
that set the table in a roar, was ever and anon refined by songs that
filled his eyes with tears. His life was a hard one,--a succession of
dull, monotonous, laborious days, haunted by anxiety and harassed by
petty, irritating cares,--but he faced it cheerfully, manfully, and
wrestled with it triumphantly, for he compelled it to forge the weapons
with which he conquered it. He sang like a boy at Lochlea; he wrote like
a man at Mossgiel. The first poetical note that he struck there was a
personal one, and commemorative of his regard for two rustic rhymers,
David Sillar and John Lapraik, to whom he addressed several Epistles,--a
form of composition which he found in Ferguson and Ramsay, and of which
he was enamored. That he thoroughly enjoyed the impulse which suggested
and dictated these Epistles was evident from the spirit with which they
were written. In the first of the two, which he addressed to Sillar,
he discovered and disclosed for the first time the distinctive
individuality of his genius. It was a charming and touching piece of
writing; charming as a delineation of his character, and touching as a
confession of his creed,--the patient philosophy of the poor. As his
social horizon was enlarged, his mental vision was sharpened; and before
long, other interests than those which concerned himself and his
poetical friends excited his sympathies and stimulated his powers. It
was a period of theological squabbles, and he plunged into them at once,
partly no doubt because there was a theological strain in his blood, but
largely because they furnished opportunities for the riotous exercise of
his wit. He paid his disrespects to the fomenters of this holy brawl in
'The Twa Herds,' and he pilloried an old person who was obnoxious to
him, in that savage satire on sanctimonious hypocrisy, 'Holy Willy's
Prayer.' Always a poet, he was more, much more than a poet. He was a
student of man,--of all sorts of men; caring much, as a student, for the
baser sort which reveled in Poosie Nansie's dram-shop, and which he
celebrated in 'The Jolly Beggars'; but caring more, as a man, for the
better sort which languished in huts where poor men lodged, and of which
he was the voice of lamentation in 'Man was Made to Mourn.' He was a
student of manners, which he painted with a sure hand, his masterpiece
being that reverential reproduction of the family life at Lochlea,--'The
Cotter's Saturday Night.' He was a student of nature,--his love of which
was conspicuous in his poetry, flushing his words with picturesque
phrases and flooding his lines with the feeling of outdoor life. He was
a student of animal life,--a lover of horses and dogs, observant of
their habits and careful of their comfort. He felt for the little mouse
which his plowshare turned out of its nest, and he pitied the poor hare
which the unskillful fowler could only wound. The commoners of earth and
air were dear to him; and the flower beside his path, the gowan wet with
dew, was precious in his eyes. His heart was large, his mind was
comprehensive, and his temper singularly sweet and sunny.

Such was Robert Burns at Mossgiel, and a very likable person he was. But
all the while there was another Robert Burns at Mossgiel, and he was not
quite so likable. He had a strange fascination for women, and a strange
disregard of the consequences of this fascination. This curious
combination of contradictory traits was an unfortunate one, as a young
woman of Mauchline was destined to learn. She was the daughter of a
mason, and her name was Jean Armour. He met her on a race day at a house
of entertainment which must have been popular, since it contained a
dancing-hall, admission to which was free, any man being privileged to
invite to it any woman whom he fancied and for whose diversion he was
willing to disburse a penny to the fiddler. He was accompanied on this
occasion by his dog, who insisted on following him into the hall and
persisted in keeping at his heels while he danced,--a proof of its
fidelity which created considerable amusement, and which its master
turned to his personal account by saying he wished he could get any of
the lasses to like him as well as his dog. Jean heard his remark, and
not long afterwards, as he was passing through the washing-green where
she was bleaching clothes (from which she begged him to call off his
troublesome follower), she reminded him of it by asking him if he had
yet got any of the lasses to like him as well as did his dog? He got one
there and then; for from that hour Jean was attached to him and he to
Jean. He was reticent about his conquest, concealing it from his closest
friends, and even from his dearest foe, the Muse; but however reticent,
his conquest was not to be concealed, for Jean one day discovered that
she was with child. What he felt when this calamity was made known to
him we know not, for he kept his own counsel. What he wished his friends
to feel, if they could and would, we may divine from a poem which he
wrote about this time,--an address to the rigidly righteous, into whose
minds he sought to instill the charity of which he and Jean were sorely
in need:--

    "Then gently scan your brother man,
      Still gentler sister woman;
    Though they may gang a kennin' wrang
      To step aside is human:

    "One point must still be greatly dark,
      The moving why they do it;
    And just as lamely can ye mark
      How far perhaps they rue it."

He wrote a paper which he gave Jean, in the belief that it constituted a
marriage between them,--a belief which was perhaps justifiable in the
existing condition of Scottish laws of marriage. But he counted without
his host; for instead of accepting it as a manly endeavor to shield the
reputation of his daughter and divert scandal from his family, the
hot-headed father of Jean denounced it and demanded its destruction,--a
foolish proceeding to which his foolish daughter consented. Whether its
destruction could destroy his obligation need not be curiously
considered; it is enough to know that he believed that it did, and that
it was a proof of perfidy on the part of Jean. But they should see! She
had forsaken him, and he would forsake her. So, the old love being off,
he was straightway on with a new one. Of this new love little is known,
except that she was, or had been, a servant in the family of one of his
friends,--a nurserymaid or something of the sort,--and that she was of
Highland parentage. Her name was Mary Campbell. He transferred his
affections from Jean to Mary, and his fascination was so strong that
she promised to become his wife. They met one Sunday in a sequestered
spot on the banks of the Ayr, where, standing on each side of a little
brook, they laved their hands in its limpid waters, plighted their
troth, and exchanged Bibles,--she giving him her copy, which was a small
one, he giving her his copy, which was a large one in two volumes, on
the blank leaves of which he had written his name and two quotations
from the sacred text, one being the solemn injunction to fidelity in
Leviticus:--"And ye shall not swear by my name falsely. I am the Lord."
They parted. She returned to her relatives, among whom she died a few
months afterward of a malignant fever; he returned to his troubles at
Mossgiel. They were not all of his own making. It was not his fault that
the farm was an unproductive one; he could not impart fertility to
barren acres nor compel the sun to ripen scanty crops. In the hope of
bettering his fortunes he resolved to expatriate himself, and entered
into negotiations with a man who had an estate in the West Indies, and
who agreed to employ him as his factor. He had no money and no means of
getting any, except by the publication of his poems, none of which had
yet appeared in print. He issued a prospectus for their publication by
subscription; and such was the reputation they had made for him through
their circulation in manuscript, and the activity of his friends, that
the necessary number of subscribers was soon obtained. They were
published at Kilmarnock in the summer of 1786, and were read by all
classes,--by the plowman as eagerly as by the laird, by the milkmaid in
the dairy as eagerly as by her mistress in the parlor,--and wherever
they were read they were admired. No poet was ever so quickly recognized
as Burns, who captivated his readers by his human quality as well as his
genius. They understood him at once. He sung of things which concerned
them,--of emotions which they felt, the joys and sorrows of their homely
lives, and, singing from his heart, his songs went to their hearts. His
fame as a poet spread along the country and came to the knowledge of Dr.
Blacklock, a blind poet in Edinburgh, who after hearing Burns's poetry
was so impressed by it that he wrote or dictated a letter about it,
which he addressed to a correspondent in Kilmarnock, by whom it was
placed in the hands of Burns. He was still at Mossgiel, and in a
perturbed condition of mind, not knowing whether he could remain there,
or whether he would have to go to Jamaica. He resolved at last to do
neither, but to go to Edinburgh, which he accordingly did, proceeding
thither on a pony borrowed from a friend.

The visit of Burns to Edinburgh was a hazardous experiment from which he
might well have shrunk. He was ignorant of the manners of its
citizens,--the things which differentiated them as a class from the only
class he knew,--but his ignorance did not embarrass him. He was
self-possessed; manly in his bearing; modest, but not humble; courteous,
but independent. He had no letters of introduction, and needed none, for
his poetry had prepared the way for him. It was soon known among the
best people in Edinburgh that he was there, and they hastened to make
his acquaintance; one of the first to do so being a man of rank, Lord
Glencairn. To know him was to know other men of rank, and to be admitted
to the brilliant circles in which they moved. Burns's society was sought
by the nobility and gentry and by the literary lords of the period,
professors, historians, men of letters. They dined him and wined him and
listened to him,--listened to him eagerly, for here as elsewhere he
distinguished himself by his conversation, the charm of which was so
potent that the Duchess of Gordon declared that she was taken off her
feet by it. He increased his celebrity in Edinburgh by the publication
of a new and enlarged edition of his Poems, which he dedicated to the
noblemen and gentlemen of the Caledonian Hunt in a page of manly prose,
the proud modesty and the worldly tact of which must have delighted
them. "The poetic genius of my country found me," he wrote, "as the
prophetic bard Elijah did Elisha, and threw her inspiring mantle over
me. She bade me sing the loves, the joys, the rural scenes and rural
pleasures of my native soil in my native tongue. I tuned my wild,
artless notes as she inspired. She whispered me to come to this ancient
metropolis of Caledonia and lay my songs under your honored protection.
I now obey her dictates." His mind was not active at this time, for
beyond a few trivial verses he wrote nothing worthy of him except a
short but characteristic 'Epistle to the Guidwife of Wauchope House.' He
spent the winter of 1786 and the spring of 1787 in Edinburgh; and summer
being close at hand, he resolved to return for a time to Mossgiel. There
were strong reasons for his return, some of which pertained to his
impoverished family, whom he was now in a condition to assist, for the
new edition of his Poems had proved profitable to himself, and
others--for before his departure for Edinburgh, Jean had borne twins, a
boy and a girl; and the girl was being cared for at Mossgiel. He
returned therefore to his family and his child, and whether he purposed
to do so or not, to the mother of his child. It was not a wise thing to
do, perhaps, but it was a human thing, and very characteristic of the
man, who, whatever else he was not, was very human. And the Armours were
very human also, for old Armour received him into his house, and Jean
received him into her arms. She was not a prudent young woman, but she
was a fond and forgiving one.

The life of Burns during the next twelve months may be briefly
described. He returned to Edinburgh, where in his most serious moods he
held sessions of thought. It may have been a silent one, but it was not
a sweet one; for while he summoned up remembrance of things past, he
summoned up apprehensions of things to come. That he had won distinction
as a poet was certain; what was not certain was the duration of this
distinction. He was famous to-day; he might be forgotten to-morrow. But
famous or forgotten, he and those dependent on him must have bread; and
since he saw no reasonable prospect of earning it with his head, he must
earn it with his hands. They were strong and willing. So he leased a
farm at Ellisland in Dumfriesshire, and obtained an appointment from the
Board of Excise: then, poet, farmer, and exciseman, he went back to
Mauchline and was married to Jean. Leaving her and her child he repaired
to Ellisland, where he was obliged to build a cottage for himself. He
dug the foundations, collected stone and sand, carted lime, and
generally assisted the masons and carpenters. Nor was this all, for he
directed at the same time whatever labor the careful cultivation of a
farm demanded from its tenant. He was happy at Ellisland,--happier than
he had been at Mount Oliphant, where his family had been so sorely
pinched by poverty, and much happier than he had been at Mossgiel, where
he had wrought so much trouble for himself and others. A good son and a
good brother, he was a good husband and a good father. It was in no idle
moment that he wrote this stanza, which his conduct now illustrated:--

    "To make a happy fireside chime
          To weans and wife,
    That's the true pathos and sublime
          Of human life."

His life was orderly; his wants were few and easily supplied; his mind
was active, and his poetical vein more productive than it had been at
Edinburgh. The best lyric that he wrote at Ellisland was the one in
praise of his wife ('Of a' the airts the wind can blaw--'); the most
important poem 'Tam o' Shanter.' Farmer and exciseman, he was very
busy,--busier, perhaps, as the last than the first, for while his
farming labors might be performed by others, his excise labors could
only be performed by himself; the district under his charge covering ten
parishes, the inspection of which required his riding about two hundred
miles a week. The nature of his duties, and the spirit with which he
went through them, may be inferred from a bit of his doggerel:--

    "Searching auld wives' barrels,
                Och, hone, the day!
    That clarty barm should stain my laurels:
                But--what'll ye say--
    These movin' things ca'd wives and weans
    Wad move the very hearts o' stanes!"

A model exciseman, he was neither a model nor a prosperous farmer, for
here as elsewhere, mother earth was an unkind stepmother to him. He
struggled on, hoping against hope, from June 1788 to December 1791;
then, beaten, worn out, exhausted, he gave up his farm and removed to
Dumfries, exchanging his cozy cottage with its outlook of woods and
waters for a mean little house in the Wee Vennel, with its inlook of
narrow dirty streets and alleys. His life in Dumfries was not what one
could wish it might have been for his sake; for though it was not
without its hours of happiness, its unhappy days were many, and of a
darker kind than he had hitherto encountered. They were monotonous, they
were wearisome, they were humiliating. They could not be other than
humiliating to a man of his proud, impulsive spirit, who, schooling
himself to prudence on account of his wife and children, was not always
prudent in his speech. Who indeed could be, unless he were a mean,
cowardly creature, in the storm and stress of the great Revolution with
which France was then convulsed? His utterances, whatever they may have
been, were magnified to his official and social disadvantage, and he was
greatly troubled. He felt his disfavor with the people of Dumfries,--as
he could not help showing to one of his friends, who, riding into the
town on a fine summer evening to attend a county ball, saw him walking
alone on the shady side of the principal street, while the other side
was crowded with ladies and gentlemen who seemed unwilling to recognize
him. This friend dismounted, and joining him, proposed that they should
cross the street. "Nay, nay, my young friend," said the poet, "that's
all over now." Then, after a pause, he quoted two stanzas from a
pathetic ballad by Lady Grizel Bailie:--

    "His bonnet stood then fu' fair on his brow,
    His auld are looked better than mony ane's new;
    But now he lets 't wear ony way it will hing,
    And casts himself doure upon the corn bing.

    "O were we young now as we ance hae been,
    We should hae been galloping down on yon green,
    And linking it owre the lily-white lea--
    And werena my heart light I wad die."

The light heart of Burns failed him at last,--failed him because,
enfeebled by disease and incapacitated from performing his excise
duties, his salary, which had never exceeded seventy pounds a year, was
reduced to half that beggarly sum; because he was so distressed for
money that he was obliged to solicit a loan of a one-pound note from a
friend: failed him, poor heart, because it was broken! He took to his
bed for the last time on July 21st, 1796, and two days later, surrounded
by his little family, he passed away in the thirty-eighth year of his

[Illustration: _BURNS._ Facsimile of the original of his version of the
Scottish song "Here's a Health to Them that's Awa."]

Such was the life of Robert Burns,--the hard, struggling, erring,
suffering, manly life, of which his poetry is the imperishable record.
He was what his birth, his temperament, his circumstances, his genius
made him. He owed but little to books, and the books to which he owed
anything were written in his mother tongue. His English reading, which
was not extensive, harmed him rather than helped him. No English
author taught or could teach him anything. He was not English, but
Scottish,--Scottish in his nature and genius, Scottish to his heart's
core,--the singer of the Scottish people, their greatest poet, and the
greatest poet of his time.

[Illustration: Signature: R. H. Stoddard]


      My loved, my honored, much respected friend!
        No mercenary bard his homage pays;
      With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;
        My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise:
        To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
      The lowly train in life's sequestered scene;
        The native feelings strong, the guileless ways;
      What Aiken in a cottage would have been;
    Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there, I ween.

      November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh[1];
        The shortening winter day is near a close;
      The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
        The blackening trains o' craws to their repose
        The toil-worn Cotter frae his labor goes;
      This night his weekly moil is at an end;
        Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
      Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,
    And weary, o'er the moor his course does hameward bend.

      At length his lonely cot appears in view,
        Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
      The expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher[2] through
        To meet their Dad, wi' flichterin noise an' glee.
        His wee bit ingle,[3] blinking bonnily,
      His clean hearthstane, his thriftie wifie's smile,
        The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
      Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
    An' makes him quite forget his labor an' his toil.

      Belyve[4] the elder bairns come drapping in,
        At service out, amang the farmers roun';
      Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some tentie[5] rin
        A cannie errand to a neebor town.
        Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
      In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
        Comes hame, perhaps, to shew a braw new gown,
      Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee,
    To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.

      Wi' joy unfeigned brothers and sisters meet,
        An' each for other's weelfare kindly speirs[6]:
      The social hours, swift-winged, unnoticed fleet;
        Each tells the uncos[7] that he sees or hears:
        The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
      Anticipation forward points the view.
        The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,
      Gars[8] auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;
    The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

      Their masters' an' their mistresses' command,
        The yonkers a' are warnèd to obey;
      An' mind their labors wi' an eydent[9] hand,
        An' ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk[10] or play:
        "An' O! be sure to fear the Lord alway!
      An' mind your duty duly, morn an' night!
        Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
      Implore His counsel and assisting might:
    They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!"

      But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
        Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
      Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor,
        To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
        The wily mother sees the conscious flame
      Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
        With heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name,
      While Jenny hafflins[11] is afraid to speak:
    Weel pleased, the mother hears it's nae wild, worthless rake.

      Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben,[12]
        A strappan youth; he taks the mother's eye;
      Blithe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en:
        The father cracks[13] of horses, pleughs, and kye:[14]
        The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy,
      But blate[15] and laithfu',[16] scarce can weel behave;
        The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy
      What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae grave;
    Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.[17]

      O happy love, where love like this is found!
        O heartfelt raptures! bliss beyond compare!
      I've pacèd much this weary mortal round,
        And sage experience bids me this declare:--
        "If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,
      One cordial in this melancholy vale,
        'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,
      In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,
    Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale."

      Is there in human form, that bears a heart--
        A wretch! a villain! lost to love and truth!
      That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,
        Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
        Curse on his perjured arts! dissembling, smooth!
      Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled?
        Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
      Points to the parents fondling o'er their child?
    Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild?

      But now the supper crowns their simple board,
        The halesome parritch,[18] chief o' Scotia's food:
      The soupe their only Hawkie[19] does afford,
        That 'yont the hallan[20] snugly chows her cood:[21]
        The dame brings forth in complimental mood,
      To grace the lad, her weel-hained[22] kebbuck,[23] fell,
        An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;
      The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,
    How 'twas a towmond[24] auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.[25]

      The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
        They round the ingle form a circle wide:
      The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace,
        The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride;
        His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside,
      His lyart haffets[26] wearing thin an' bare;
        Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
      He wales[27] a portion wi' judicious care;
    And "Let us worship God!" he says, with solemn air.

      They chant their artless notes in simple guise,
        They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim:
      Perhaps 'Dundee's' wild warbling measures rise,
        Or plaintive 'Martyrs,' worthy of the name;
        Or noble 'Elgin' beets[28] the heavenward flame,
      The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:
        Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
      The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise;
    Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.

      The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
        How Abram was the friend of God on high;
      Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
        With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
      Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
      Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
        Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
      Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire:
    Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.

      Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme:
        How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
      How He who bore in heaven the second name
        Had not on earth whereon to lay his head:
        How his first followers and servants sped;
      The precepts sage they wrote to many a land;
        How he who, lone in Patmos banishèd,
      Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand;
    And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced by Heaven's command.

      Then kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal King
        The saint, the father, and the husband prays:
      Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing,"[29]
        That thus they all shall meet in future days:
        There ever bask in uncreated rays,
      No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,
        Together hymning their Creator's praise,
      In such society, yet still more dear;
    While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.

      Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,
        In all the pomp of method and of art,
      When men display to congregations wide
        Devotion's every grace, except the heart!
        The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,
      The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
        But haply in some cottage far apart,
      May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul;
    And in his Book of Life the inmates poor enroll.

      Then homeward all take off their several way;
        The youngling cottagers retire to rest:
      The parent pair their secret homage pay,
        And proffer up to Heaven the warm request
        That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest,
      And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,
        Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,
      For them and for their little ones provide;
    But chiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside.

      From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,
        That makes her loved at home, revered abroad;
      Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
        "An honest man's the noblest work of God:"[30]
        And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road,
      The cottage leaves the palace far behind;
        What is a lordling's pomp! a cumbrous load,
      Disguising oft the wretch of human kind,
    Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined!

      O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
        For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent!
      Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
        Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content!
        And oh! may Heaven their simple lives prevent
      From Luxury's contagion weak and vile!
        Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,
      A virtuous populace may rise the while,
    And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved Isle.

      O Thou! who poured the patriotic tide
        That streamed through Wallace's undaunted heart;
      Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,
        Or nobly die, the second glorious part,
        (The patriot's God peculiarly thou art,
      His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!)
        O never, never, Scotia's realm desert;
      But still the patriot, and the patriot bard,
    In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard!


[1] Sough.

[2] Stagger.

[3] Fire, or fireplace.

[4] By-and-by.

[5] Careful.

[6] Inquires.

[7] News.

[8] Makes.

[9] Diligent.

[10] Dally.

[11] Half.

[12] Into the spence, or parlor.

[13] Gossips.

[14] Cows.

[15] Bashful.

[16] Sheepish.

[17] Rest.

[18] Porridge.

[19] A white-faced cow.

[20] Wall.

[21] Chews her cud.

[22] Saved.

[23] Cheese.

[24] Twelvemonth.

[25] Flax was in flower.

[26] Gray locks.

[27] Chooses.

[28] Increases.

[29] Pope's 'Windsor Forest.'

[30] Pope's 'Essay on Man.'


    John Anderson, my jo, John,
      When we were first acquent,
    Your locks were like the raven,
      Your bonnie brow was brent;
    But now your brow is bald, John,
      Your locks are like the snaw;
    But blessings on your frosty pow,
      John Anderson, my jo.

    John Anderson, my jo, John,
      We clamb the hill thegither;
    And mony a canty day, John,
      We've had wi' ane anither:
    Now we maun totter down, John,
      But hand in hand we'll go;
    And sleep thegither at the foot,
      John Anderson, my jo.


A Dirge

    When chill November's surly blast
      Made fields and forests bare,
    One evening, as I wandered forth
      Along the banks of Ayr,
    I spied a man, whose aged step
      Seemed weary, worn with care;
    His face was furrowed o'er with years,
      And hoary was his hair.

    "Young stranger, whither wanderest thou?"
      Began the reverend sage;
    "Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,
      Or youthful pleasure's rage?
    Or haply, pressed with cares and woes,
      Too soon thou hast began
    To wander forth, with me, to mourn
      The miseries of man!

    "The sun that overhangs yon moors,
      Outspreading far and wide,
    Where hundreds labor to support
      A haughty lordling's pride;--
    I've seen yon weary winter sun
      Twice forty times return;
    And every time has added proofs
      That man was made to mourn.

    "O man! while in thy early years,
      How prodigal of time!
    Misspending all thy precious hours,
      Thy glorious youthful prime!
    Alternate follies take the sway,
      Licentious passions burn;
    Which tenfold force gives Nature's law,
      That man was made to mourn.

    "Look not alone on youthful prime,
      Or manhood's active might;
    Man then is useful to his kind,
      Supported is his right:
    But see him on the edge of life,
      With cares and sorrows worn,
    Then age and want--oh ill-matched pair!--
      Show man was made to mourn.

    "A few seem favorites of fate,
      In Pleasure's lap caressed;
    Yet think not all the rich and great
      Are likewise truly blest.
    But oh! what crowds in every land
      Are wretched and forlorn!
    Through weary life this lesson learn,
      That man was made to mourn.

    "Many and sharp the num'rous ills
      Inwoven with our frame;
    More pointed still we make ourselves
      Regret, remorse, and shame!
    And man, whose heaven-erected face
      The smiles of love adorn,
    Man's inhumanity to man
      Makes countless thousands mourn!

    "See yonder poor o'er-labored wight,
      So abject, mean, and vile,
    Who begs a brother of the earth
      To give him leave to toil;
    And see his lordly fellow-worm
      The poor petition spurn,
    Unmindful, though a weeping wife
      And helpless offspring mourn.

    "If I'm designed yon lordling's slave,
      By Nature's law designed,
    Why was an independent wish
      E'er planted in my mind?
    If not, why am I subject to
      His cruelty or scorn?
    Or why has man the will and power
      To make his fellow mourn?

    "Yet let not this too much, my son,
      Disturb thy youthful breast;
    This partial view of humankind
      Is surely not the best!
    The poor, oppressèd, honest man,
      Had never, sure, been born,
    Had there not been some recompense
      To comfort those that mourn.

    "O Death! the poor man's dearest friend--
      The kindest and the best!
    Welcome the hour my agèd limbs
      Are laid with thee at rest!
    The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow
      From pomp and pleasure torn;
    But, oh! a blest relief to those
      That weary-laden mourn!"


    There's naught but care on every han',
      In every hour that passes, O:
    What signifies the life o' man,
      An 't werena for the lasses, O?


        Green grow the rashes, O!
          Green grow the rashes, O!
        The sweetest hours that e'er I spent
          Were spent amang the lasses, O!

    The warly race may riches chase,
      An' riches still may fly them, O;
    An' though at last they catch them fast,
      Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.

    But gi'e me a canny hour at e'en,
      My arms about my dearie, O;
    An' warly cares, an' warly men,
      May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!

    For you sae douce, ye sneer at this,
      Ye're nought but senseless asses, O;
    The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,
      He dearly loved the lasses, O.

    Auld Nature swears the lovely dears
      Her noblest work she classes, O;
    Her 'prentice han' she tried on man,
      An' then she made the lasses, O.


    Is there for honest poverty
      That hangs his head, and a' that?
    The coward slave, we pass him by,
      We dare be poor for a' that!
    For a' that, and a' that,
      Our toil's obscure, and a' that:
    The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
      The man's the gowd for a' that.

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
      Wear hoddin gray, and a' that?
    Gi'e fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
      A man's a man for a' that;
    For a' that, and a' that,
      Their tinsel show, and a' that--
    The honest man, though e'er sae poor,
      Is king o' men for a' that.

    Ye see yon birkie,[31] ca'd a lord,
      Wha struts, and stares, and a' that:
    Though hundreds worship at his word,
      He's but a coof[32] for a' that:
    For a' that, and a' that,
      His riband, star, and a' that--
    The man of independent mind,
      He looks and laughs at a' that.

    A prince can mak' a belted knight,
      A marquis, duke, and a' that,
    But an honest man's aboon his might--
      Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
    For a' that, and a' that,
      Their dignities, and a' that,
    The pith o' sense and pride o' worth
      Are higher ranks than a' that.

    Then let us pray that come it may--
      As come it will for a' that--
    That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
      May bear the gree, and a' that.
    For a' that, and a' that,
      It's comin' yet, for a' that,--
    That man to man, the warld o'er,
      Shall brothers be for a' that!


[31] Spirited fellow.

[32] Fool.


Flying before a Plow

    Wee, sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie,
    Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie!
    Thou needna start awa' sae hasty,
          Wi' bick'ring brattle![33]
    I wad be laith to rin and chase thee,
          Wi' murd'ring pattle![34]

    I'm truly sorry man's dominion
    Has broken nature's social union,
    And justifies that ill opinion
          Which mak's thee startle
    At me, thy poor earth-born companion
          And fellow-mortal!

    I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
    What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
    A daimen icker in a thrave[35]
          'S a sma' request:
    I'll get a blessin' wi' the lave,
          And never miss 't!

    Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
    Its silly[36] wa's the win's are strewin'!
    And naething now to big[37] a new ane
          O' foggage[38] green!
    And bleak December's winds ensuin',
          Baith snell[39] and keen!

    Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste,
    And weary winter comin' fast,
    And cozie here, beneath the blast
          Thou thought to dwell,
    Till, crash! the cruel coulter past
          Out through thy cell.

    That wee bit heap o' leaves and stibble
    Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
    Now thou's turned out for a' thy trouble,
          But house or hauld,[40]
    To thole[41] the winter's sleety dribble,
          And cranreuch[42] cauld!

    But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane[43]
    In proving foresight may be vain!
    The best-laid schemes o' mice and men
          Gang aft agley,
    And lea'e us naught but grief and pain
          For promised joy.

    Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!
    The present only toucheth thee;
    But och! I backward cast my e'e
          On prospects drear!
    And forward, though I canna see,
          I guess and fear.


[33] Hurrying run.

[34] The plow-spade.

[35] An ear of corn in twenty-four sheaves--that is, in a thrave.

[36] Frail.

[37] Build.

[38] Aftermath.

[39] Bitter.

[40] Holding.

[41] Endure.

[42] Crevice.

[43] Alone.


On Turning One Down with the Plow

    Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flower,
    Thou's met me in an evil hour;
    For I maun crush amang the stoure[44]
            Thy slender stem;
    To spare thee now is past my power,
            Thou bonnie gem.

    Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
    The bonnie lark, companion meet!
    Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,
                Wi' spreckled breast,
    When upward-springing, blithe, to greet
                The purpling east.

    Cauld blew the bitter biting north
    Upon thy early, humble birth,
    Yet cheerfully thou glinted[45] forth
                Amid the storm,
    Scarce reared above the parent earth
                Thy tender form.
    The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
    High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield;
    But thou beneath the random bield[46]
                O' clod or stane,
    Adorns the histie[47] stibble-field,
                Unseen, alane.

    There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
    Thy snawy bosom sunward spread,
    Thou lifts thy unassuming head
                In humble guise;
    But now the share uptears thy bed,
                And low thou lies!

    Such is the fate of artless maid,
    Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
    By love's simplicity betrayed,
                And guileless trust,
    Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid
                Low i' the dust.

    Such is the fate of simple bard,
    On life's rough ocean luckless starred!
    Unskillful he to note the card
                Of prudent lore,
    Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
                And whelm him o'er!

    Such fate to suffering worth is given,
    Who long with wants and woes has striven,
    By human pride or cunning driven
                To mis'ry's brink,
    Till wrenched of every stay but Heaven,
                He, ruined, sink!

    Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
    That fate is thine--no distant date;
    Stern Ruin's plowshare drives, elate,
                Full on thy bloom,
    Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight
                Shall be thy doom!


[44] Dust.

[45] Peeped.

[46] Shelter.

[47] Barren.


    When chapman billies[48] leave the street,
    And drouthy[49] neebors neebors meet,
    As market days are wearing late,
    An' folk begin to tak' the gate[50];
    While we sit bousing at the nappy,[51]
    An' getting fou and unco happy,
    We think na on the lang Scots miles,
    The mosses, waters, slaps,[52] and stiles,
    That lie between us and our hame,
    Whaur sits our sulky, sullen dame,
    Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
    Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

    This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
    As he frae Ayr ae night did canter
    (Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
    For honest men and bonny lasses).
    O Tam! hadst thou but been sae wise,
    As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice!
    She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,[53]
    A blethering,[54] blustering, drunken blellum[55];
    That frae November till October,
    Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
    That ilka melder,[56] wi' the miller,
    Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
    That every naig was ca'd a shoe on,[57]
    The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
    That at the Lord's house, ev'n on Sunday,
    Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean[58] till Monday.
    She prophesied that, late or soon,
    Thou would be found deep drowned in Doon;
    Or catched wi' warlocks in the mirk,
    By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.

    Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,[59]
    To think how mony counsels sweet,
    How many lengthened sage advices,
    The husband frae the wife despises!

    But to our tale:--Ae market-night,
    Tam had got planted unco right;
    Fast by an ingle,[60] bleezing finely,
    Wi' reaming swats,[61] that drank divinely;
    And at his elbow, Souter[62] Johnny,
    His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony:
    Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither;
    They had been fou for weeks thegither.
    The night drave on wi' sangs an' clatter,
    And aye the ale was growing better;
    The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
    Wi' favors, secret, sweet, and precious;
    The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
    The landlord's laugh was ready chorus;
    The storm without might rair[63] and rustle.
    Tam did na mind, the storm a whistle.

    Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
    E'en drowned himself amang the nappy;
    As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
    The minutes winged their way wi' pleasure:
    Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,
    O'er a' the ills o' life victorious!

    But pleasures are like poppies spread,
    You seize the flower, its bloom is shed!
    Or like the snowfall in the river,
    A moment white--then melts for ever;
    Or like the Borealis race,
    That flit ere you can point their place;
    Or like the rainbow's lovely form
    Evanishing amid the storm.

    Nae man can tether time or tide;
    The hour approaches Tam maun ride:
    That hour, o' night's black arch the keystane,
    That dreary hour he mounts his beast in:
    And sic a night he tak's the road in,
    As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
    The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
    The rattlin' showers rose on the blast;
    The speedy gleams the darkness swallowed;
    Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellowed:
    That night, a child might understand,
    The de'il had business on his hand.

    Weel mounted on his gray mare Meg
    (A better never lifted leg),
    Tam skelpit[64] on through dub and mire,
    Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
    Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet,
    Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet,
    Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares,
    Lest bogles[65] catch him unawares;
    Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
    Whaur ghaists and houlets[66] nightly cry.

    By this time he was 'cross the ford,
    Whaur in the snaw the chapman smoored;[67]
    And past the birks and meikle stane,
    Whaur drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane;
    And through the whins, and by the cairn,
    Whaur hunters fand the murdered bairn;
    And near the thorn, aboon the well,
    Whaur Mungo's mither hanged hersel'.
    Before him Doon pours all his floods;
    The doubling storm roars through the woods;
    The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
    Near and more near the thunders roll;
    When, glimmering through the groaning trees,
    Kirk-Alloway seemed in a bleeze;
    Through ilka bore[68] the beams were glancing;
    And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

    Inspiring, bold John Barleycorn!
    What dangers thou canst mak' us scorn!
    Wi' tippenny[69] we fear nae evil;
    Wi' usquabae[70] we'll face the devil!
    The swats[71] sae reamed[72] in Tammie's noddle,
    Fair play, he cared na de'ils a boddle.[73]
    But Maggie stood right sair astonished,
    Till, by the heel and hand admonished
    She ventured forward on the light;
    And wow! Tam saw an unco sight!
    Warlocks and witches in a dance;
    Nae cotillion brent new frae France,
    But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels
    Put life and mettle in their heels.
    At winnock-bunker[74] in the east,
    There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;--
    A towzie tyke,[75] black, grim, and large;
    To gi'e them music was his charge:
    He screwed the pipes and gart them skirl,[76]
    Till roof and rafters a' did dirl![77]
    Coffins stood round, like open presses,
    That shawed the dead in their last dresses;
    And by some devilish cantrip[78] slight,
    Each in its cauld hand held a light,
    By which heroic Tam was able
    To note upon the haly table
    A murderer's banes in gibbet airns;[79]
    Twa span-lang, wee unchristened bairns;
    A thief new-cutted frae a rape,
    Wi' his last gasp his gab[80] did gape;
    Five tomahawks, wi' bluid red-rusted;
    Five scimitars wi' murder crusted;
    A garter which a babe had strangled;
    A knife a father's throat had mangled,
    Whom his ain son o' life bereft--
    The gray hairs yet stack to the heft:
    Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
    Which ev'n to name wad be unlawfu'.

    As Tammie glow'red,[81] amazed and curious,
    The mirth and fun grew fast and furious:
    The piper loud and louder blew;
    The dancers quick and quicker flew;
    They reeled, they set, they crossed, they cleekit,[82]
    Till ilka carlin[83] swat and reekit,[84]
    And coost[85] her duddies[86] to the wark,
    And linket[87] at it in her sark![88]

    Now Tam, O Tam! had they been queans
    A' plump and strapping, in their teens;
    Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen,[89]
    Been snaw-white seventeen-hunder linen[90],
    Thir breeks[91] o' mine, my only pair,
    That ance were plush, o' guid blue hair,
    I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies,
    For ane blink o' the bonnie burdies!

    But withered beldams old and droll,
    Rigwoodie[92] hags wad spean[93] a foal,
    Lowping and flinging on a crummock,[94]
    I wonder didna turn thy stomach.

    But Tam kenned what was what fu' brawlie:
    "There was ae winsome wench and walie,"[95]
    That night inlisted in the core
    (Lang after kenned on Carrick shore!
    For mony a beast to dead she shot,
    And perished mony a bonnie boat,
    And shook baith meikle corn and bear,[96]
    And kept the country-side in fear),
    Her cutty sark,[97] o' Paisley harn,[98]
    That while a lassie she had worn,
    In longitude though sorely scanty,
    It was her best, and she was vauntie.[99]
    Ah! little kenned thy reverend grannie,
    That sark she coft[100] for her wee Nannie,
    Wi' twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches),
    Wad ever graced a dance of witches!
    But here my muse her wing maun cour[101];
    Sic flights are far beyond her power:
    To sing how Nannie lap and flang
    (A souple jade she was and strang),
    And how Tam stood like ane bewitched,
    And thought his very een enriched;
    Even Satan glow'red and fidged fu' fain,
    And hotched and blew wi' might and main:
    Till first ae caper, syne anither,
    Tam tints[102] his reason a'thegither,
    And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
    And in an instant all was dark;
    And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
    When out the hellish legion sallied.

    As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,[103]
    When plundering hords assail their byke[104];
    As open pussie's mortal foes
    When, pop! she starts before their nose;
    As eager runs the market-crowd,
    When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
    So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
    Wi' mony an eldritch[105] screech and hollow.

    Ah, Tam! ah, Tam, thou'll get thy fairin'!
    In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin'!
    In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin'!
    Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
    Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
    And win the keystane of the brig;
    There at them thou thy tail may toss,--
    A running stream they dare na cross.
    But ere the keystane she could make,
    The fient a tail she had to shake!

    For Nannie, far before the rest,
    Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
    And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
    But little wist she Maggie's mettle--
    Ae spring brought off her master hale,
    But left behind her ain grey tail:
    The carlin claught her by the rump,
    And left poor Maggie scarce a stump!

    Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
    Ilk man and mother's son, take heed:
    Whene'er to drink you are inclined,
    Or cutty sarks run in your mind,
    Think, ye may buy the joys o'er dear--
    Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.


[48] Fellows.

[49] Thirsty.

[50] Road.

[51] Ale.

[52] Gates or openings through a hedge.

[53] Good-for-nothing fellow.

[54] Nonsensical.

[55] Chattering fellow.

[56] Grain sent to the mill to be ground; _i.e._, that every time he
carried the corn to the mill he sat to drink with the miller.

[57] Nag that required shoeing.

[58] Jean Kennedy, a public-house keeper at Kirkoswald.

[59] Makes me weep.

[60] Fire.

[61] Foaming ale.

[62] Shoemaker.

[63] Roar.

[64] Rode carelessly.

[65] Ghosts, bogies.

[66] Owls.

[67] Was smothered.

[68] Crevice, or hole.

[69] Twopenny ale.

[70] Whisky.

[71] Drink.

[72] Frothed, mounted.

[73] A small old coin.

[74] Window-seat.

[75] Shaggy dog.

[76] Made them scream.

[77] Shake.

[78] Spell.

[79] Irons.

[80] Mouth.

[81] Stared.

[82] Caught hold of each other.

[83] Old hag.

[84] Reeked with heat.

[85] Cast off.

[86] Clothes.

[87] Tripped.

[88] Chemise.

[89] Greasy flannel.

[90] Manufacturers' term for linen woven in a reed of 1700 divisions.

[91] Breeches.

[92] Gallows-worthy.

[93] Wean.

[94] A crutch--a stick with a crook.

[95] Quoted from Allan Ramsay.

[96] Barley.

[97] Short shift or shirt.

[98] Very coarse linen.

[99] Proud.

[100] Bought.

[101] Cower--sink.

[102] Loses.

[103] Fuss.

[104] Hive.

[105] Unearthly.


    Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
    Scots wham Bruce has aften led;
    Welcome to your gory bed,
          Or to victorie!

    Now's the day, and now's the hour;
    See the front o' battle lour:
    See approach proud Edward's pow'r--
          Chains and slaverie!

    Wha will be a traitor-knave?
    Wha can fill a coward's grave?
    Wha sae base as be a slave?
          Let him turn and flee!

    Wha for Scotland's king and law
    Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
    Freemen stand, or freemen fa',
          Let him follow me!

    By oppression's woes and pains!
    By our sons in servile chains!
    We will drain our dearest veins,
          But they shall be free!

    Lay the proud usurpers low!
    Tyrants fall in every foe!
    Liberty's in every blow!--
          Let us do or die!


    Ye banks and braes and streams around
      The castle o' Montgomery,
    Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
      Your waters never drumlie!
    There Simmer first unfald her robes,
      And there the langest tarry;
    For there I took the last fareweel
      O' my sweet Highland Mary.

    How sweetly bloomed the gay green birk,
      How rich the hawthorn's blossom!
    As underneath their fragrant shade,
      I clasped her to my bosom!
    The golden hours, on angel wings,
      Flew o'er me and my dearie;
    For dear to me as light and life
      Was my sweet Highland Mary.

    Wi' mony a vow and locked embrace
      Our parting was fu' tender;
    And, pledging aft to meet again,
      We tore oursel's asunder;
    But oh! fell Death's untimely frost,
      That nipt my flower sae early!
    Now green's the sod and cauld's the clay
      That wraps my Highland Mary!

    Oh pale, pale now those rosy lips,
      I aft hae kissed so fondly!
    And closed for aye the sparkling glance,
      That dwelt on me sae kindly;
    And moldering now in silent dust
      That heart that lo'ed me dearly!
    But still within my bosom's core
      Shall live my Highland Mary.


    My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
    My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
    Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe--
    My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.
    Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North!
    The birthplace of valor, the country of worth;
    Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
    The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

    Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow!
    Farewell to the straths and green valleys below!
    Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods!
    Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods!
    My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
    My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
    Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe--
    My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.


    Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,
      How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
    How can ye chant, ye little birds,
      And I sae weary fu' o' care?
    Thou'll break my heart, thou warbling bird,
      That wantons through the flowering thorn;
    Thou minds me o' departed joys,
      Departed--never to return!

    Oft ha'e I roved by bonnie Doon,
      To see the rose and woodbine twine;
    And ilka bird sang o' its luve,
      And fondly sae did I o' mine.
    Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
      Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree;
    And my fause lover stole my rose,
      But ah! he left the thorn wi' me.


    Oft hae I roved by bonnie Doon,
      To see the rose and woodbine twine;
    And ilka bird sang o' his luve.
      And fondly sae did I o' mine.

Etching from a Photograph.]



John Burroughs was born in Roxbury, New York, April 3d, 1837, and like
many other American youths who later in life became distinguished, he
went to school winters and worked on the farm in summer. He grew up
among people who neither read books nor cared for them, and he considers
this circumstance best suited to his development. Early intercourse with
literary men would, he believes, have dwarfed his original faculty.

[Illustration: JOHN BURROUGHS]

He began to write essays at the age of fourteen, but these early
literary efforts give little hint of his later work, of that faculty for
seeing, and commenting on all that he saw in nature, which became his
chief characteristic. He was especially fond of essays; one of his first
purchases with his own money was a full set of Dr. Johnson, and for a
whole year he lived on 'The Idler' and 'The Rambler' and tried to
imitate their ponderous prose. His first contributions to literature,
modeled on these essays, were promptly returned. By chance he picked up
a volume of Emerson, the master who was to revolutionize his whole
manner of thinking; and as he had fed on Dr. Johnson he fed on the
'Essays and Miscellanies,' until a paper he wrote at nineteen on
'Expressions' was accepted by the editor of the Atlantic, with a lurking
doubt whether it had not come to him on false pretenses, as it was very
much like an early essay of Emerson.

Mr. Burroughs ascribes to Emerson, who stimulated his religious nature,
his improved literary expression; while Whitman was to him a great
humanizing power, and Matthew Arnold taught him clear thinking and clean
writing. He had passed through these different influences by the time he
was twenty-one or twenty-two; had taught for a while; and from 1863 to
1873 was vault-keeper and afterwards chief of the organization division
of the Bureau of National Banks, in the Treasury Department. For several
years afterward he was a special national bank examiner.

The literary quality of his writings from the first captivates the
reader. He has the interpretive power which makes us see what he sees
and invites us to share his enjoyment in his strange adventures. The
stories of the wary trout and the pastoral bee, the ways of sylvan folk,
their quarrels and their love-making, are so many character sketches on
paper, showing a most intimate acquaintance with nature.

He is a born naturalist. He tells us that from childhood he was familiar
with the homely facts of the barn, the cattle and the horses, the
sugar-making and the work of the corn-field, the hay-field, the
threshing, the planting, the burning of fallows. He "loved nature in
those material examples and subtle expressions, with a love passing all
the books in the world." But he also loved and knew books, and this
other love gives to his works their literary charm.

His account of a bird, a flower, or an open-air incident, however
painstaking and minute the record, teems with literary memories. The
sight of the Scotch hills recalls Shakespeare's line,

    "The tufty mountains where lie the nibbling sheep."

The plane-tree vocal with birds' voices recalls Tennyson,--"The pillared
dusk of sounding sycamores"; he hears the English chaffinch, and
remembers with keen delight that Drayton calls it "the throstle with
sharp thrills," and Ben Jonson "the lusty throstle." After much
wondering, he finds out why Shakespeare wrote

                          "The murmuring surge
    That on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafes,"

his own experience being that sea-shores are sandy; but the pebbled
cliffs of Folkestone, with not a grain of sand on the chalk foundation,
justified the poet.

This lover of nature loves not only the beautiful things he sees, but he
loves what they suggest, what they remind him of, what they bid him
aspire to. Like Wordsworth, he "looks on the hills with tenderness, and
makes deep friendship with the streams and groves." He notes what he
divines by observation. And what an observer he is! He discovers that
the bobolink goes south in the night. He scraped an acquaintance with a
yellow rumpled warbler who, taking the reflection of the clouds and blue
sky in a pond for a short cut to the tropics, tried to cross it; with
the result of his clinging for a day and night to a twig that hung down
in the water.

Burroughs has found that whatever bait you use in a trout
stream,--grasshopper, grub, or fly,--there is one thing you must always
put on your hook; namely, your heart. It is a morsel they love above
everything else. He tells us that man has sharper eyes than a dog, a
fox, or any of the wild creatures except the birds, but not so sharp an
ear or a nose; he says that a certain quality of youth is indispensable
in the angler, a certain unworldliness and readiness to invest in an
enterprise that does not pay in current coin. He says that nature loves
to enter a door another hand has opened: a mountain view never looks
better than when one has been warmed up by the capture of a big trout.
Like certain wary game, she is best taken by seeming to pass her by,
intent on other matters. What he does not find out for himself, people
tell him. From a hedge-cutter he learns that some of the birds take an
earth-bath and some a water-bath, while a few take both; a farmer boy
confided to him that the reason we never see any small turtles is
because for two or three years the young turtles bury themselves in the
ground and keep hidden from observation. From a Maine farmer he heard
that both male and female hawks take part in incubation. A barefooted
New Jersey boy told him that "lampers" die as soon as they have built
their nests and laid their eggs. How apt he is in similes! The pastoral
fields of Scotland are "stall-fed," and the hill-sides "wrinkled and
dimpled, like the forms of fatted sheep."

And what other bird-lover has such charming fancies about birds, in whom
he finds a hundred human significances? "The song of the bobolink," he
says, "expresses hilarity; the sparrow sings faith, the bluebird love,
the catbirds pride, the white-eyed fly-catchers self-consciousness, that
of the hermit thrush spiritual serenity, while there is something
military in the call of the robin." Mr. Burroughs has been compared with
Thoreau, but he seems closer to White of Selborne, whom he has
commemorated in one of his most charming essays. Like White, he is a
literary man who is a born naturalist in close intimacy with his brute
neighbors and "rural nature's varied shows." In both, the moral element
is back of nature and the source of her value and charm. Never nature
for her own sake, but for the sake of the soul that is above all and
over all. Like White, too, though by nature solitary, Burroughs is on
cordial terms with his kind. He is an accurate observer, and he takes
Bryant to task for giving an odor to the yellow violet, and Coleridge
for making a lark perch on the stalk of a foxglove. He gloats over a
felicitous expression, like Arnold's "blond meadow-sweet" and Tennyson's
"little speedwell's darling blue"; though in commenting on another poet
he waives the question of accuracy, and says "his happy literary talent
makes up for the poverty of his observation."

And again as with White, he walks through life slowly and in a
ruminating fashion, as though he had leisure to linger with the
impression of the moment. Incident he uses with reserve, but with
picturesque effects; figures do not dominate his landscape but humanize

As a critic Mr. Burroughs most fully reveals his personality. In his
sketches of nature we see what he sees; in his critiques, what he feels
and thinks. The cry of discovery he made when 'Leaves of Grass' fell
into his hands found response in England and was re-echoed in this
country till Burroughs's strange delight in Whitman seemed no longer
strange, but an accepted fact in the history of poetry. The essay on
Emerson, his master, shows the same discriminating mind. But as a
revelation of both author and subject there are few more delightful
papers than Burroughs's essay on Thoreau. In manner it is as pungent and
as racy as Thoreau's writings, and as epigrammatic as Emerson's; and his
defense of Thoreau against the English reviewer who dubbed him a
"skulker" has the sound of the trumpet and the martial tread of soldiers
marching to battle.


From 'Locusts and Wild Honey'

Noting how one eye seconds and reinforces the other, I have often amused
myself by wondering what the effect would be if one could go on opening
eye after eye, to the number, say, of a dozen or more. What would he
see? Perhaps not the invisible--not the odors of flowers or the fever
germs in the air--not the infinitely small of the microscope or the
infinitely distant of the telescope. This would require not so much more
eyes as an eye constructed with more and different lenses; but would he
not see with augmented power within the natural limits of vision? At any
rate, some persons seem to have opened more eyes than others, they see
with such force and distinctness; their vision penetrates the tangle and
obscurity where that of others fails, like a spent or impotent bullet.
How many eyes did Gilbert White open? how many did Henry Thoreau? how
many did Audubon? how many does the hunter, matching his sight against
the keen and alert senses of a deer, or a moose, or a fox, or a wolf?
Not outward eyes, but inward. We open another eye whenever we see beyond
the first general features or outlines of things--whenever we grasp the
special details and characteristic markings that this mask covers.
Science confers new powers of vision. Whenever you have learned to
discriminate the birds, or the plants, or the geological features of a
country, it is as if new and keener eyes were added.

Of course one must not only see sharply, but read aright what he sees.
The facts in the life of nature that are transpiring about us are like
written words that the observer is to arrange into sentences. Or, the
writing is a cipher and he must furnish the key. A female oriole was one
day observed very much preoccupied under a shed where the refuse from
the horse stable was thrown. She hopped about among the barn fowls,
scolding them sharply when they came too near her. The stable, dark and
cavernous, was just beyond. The bird, not finding what she wanted
outside, boldly ventured into the stable, and was presently captured by
the farmer. What did she want? was the query. What but a horse-hair for
her nest, which was in an apple-tree near by? and she was so bent on
having one that I have no doubt she would have tweaked one out of the
horse's tail had he been in the stable. Later in the season I examined
her nest, and found it sewed through and through with several long
horse-hairs, so that the bird persisted in her search till the hair was

Little dramas and tragedies and comedies, little characteristic scenes,
are always being enacted in the lives of the birds, if our eyes are
sharp enough to see them. Some clever observer saw this little comedy
played among some English sparrows, and wrote an account of it in his
newspaper. It is too good not to be true: A male bird brought to his box
a large, fine goose-feather, which is a great find for a sparrow and
much coveted. After he had deposited his prize and chattered his
gratulations over it, he went away in quest of his mate. His next-door
neighbor, a female bird, seeing her chance, quickly slipped in and
seized the feather,--and here the wit of the bird came out, for instead
of carrying it into her own box she flew with it to a near tree and hid
it in a fork of the branches, then went home, and when her neighbor
returned with his mate, was innocently employed about her own affairs.
The proud male, finding his feather gone, came out of his box in a high
state of excitement, and with wrath in his manner and accusation on his
tongue, rushed into the cot of the female. Not finding his goods and
chattels there as he had expected, he stormed around awhile, abusing
everybody in general and his neighbor in particular, and then went away
as if to repair the loss. As soon as he was out of sight, the shrewd
thief went and brought the feather home and lined her own domicile with

The bluebird is a home bird, and I am never tired of recurring to him.
His coming or reappearance in the spring marks a new chapter in the
progress of the season; things are never quite the same after one has
heard that note. The past spring the males came about a week in advance
of the females. A fine male lingered about my grounds and orchard all
that time, apparently awaiting the arrival of his mate. He called and
warbled every day, as if he felt sure she was within earshot and could
be hurried up. Now he warbled half angrily or upbraidingly; then
coaxingly; then cheerily and confidently, the next moment in a plaintive
and far-away manner. He would half open his wings, and twinkle them
caressingly as if beckoning his mate to his heart. One morning she had
come, but was shy and reserved. The fond male flew to a knot-hole in an
old apple-tree and coaxed her to his side. I heard a fine confidential
warble--the old, old story. But the female flew to a near tree and
uttered her plaintive, homesick note. The male went and got some dry
grass or bark in his beak and flew again to the hole in the old tree,
and promised unremitting devotion; but the other said "Nay," and flew
away in the distance. When he saw her going, or rather heard her distant
note, he dropped his stuff and cried out in a tone that said plainly
enough, "Wait a minute: one word, please!" and flew swiftly in pursuit.
He won her before long, however, and early in April the pair were
established in one of the four or five boxes I had put up for them, but
not until they had changed their minds several times. As soon as the
first brood had flown, and while they were yet under their parents'
care, they began to nest in one of the other boxes, the female as usual
doing all the work and the male all the complimenting. A source of
occasional great distress to the mother-bird was a white cat that
sometimes followed me about. The cat had never been known to catch a
bird, but she had a way of watching them that was very embarrassing to
the bird. Whenever she appeared, the mother bluebird set up that pitiful
melodious plaint. One morning the cat was standing by me, when the bird
came with her beak loaded with building material, and alighted above me
to survey the place before going into the box. When she saw the cat she
was greatly disturbed, and in her agitation could not keep her hold upon
all her material. Straw after straw came eddying down, till not half her
original burden remained. After the cat had gone away the bird's alarm
subsided; till presently, seeing the coast clear, she flew quickly to
the box and pitched in her remaining straws with the greatest
precipitation, and without going in to arrange them as was her wont,
flew away in evident relief.

In the cavity of an apple-tree but a few yards off, and much nearer the
house than they usually build, a pair of high-holes, or golden-shafted
woodpeckers, took up their abode. A knot-hole which led to the decayed
interior was enlarged, the live wood being cut away as clean as a
squirrel would have done it. The inside preparations I could not
witness, but day after day as I passed near I heard the bird hammering
away, evidently beating down obstructions and shaping and enlarging the
cavity. The chips were not brought out, but were used rather to floor
the interior. The woodpeckers are not nest-builders, but rather

The time seemed very short before the voices of the young were heard in
the heart of the old tree,--at first feebly, but waxing stronger day by
day, until they could be heard many rods distant. When I put my hand
upon the trunk of the tree they would set up an eager, expectant
chattering; but if I climbed up it toward the opening, they soon
detected the unusual sound and would hush quickly, only now and then
uttering a warning note. Long before they were fully fledged they
clambered up to the orifice to receive their food. As but one could
stand in the opening at a time, there was a good deal of elbowing and
struggling for this position. It was a very desirable one, aside from
the advantages it had when food was served; it looked out upon the great
shining world, into which the young birds seemed never tired of gazing.
The fresh air must have been a consideration also, for the interior of a
high-hole's dwelling is not sweet. When the parent birds came with food,
the young one in the opening did not get it all; but after he had
received a portion, either on his own motion or on a hint from the old
one, he would give place to the one behind him. Still, one bird
evidently outstripped his fellows, and in the race of life was two or
three days in advance of them. His voice was the loudest and his head
oftenest at the window. But I noticed that when he had kept the position
too long, the others evidently made it uncomfortable in his rear, and
after "fidgeting" about awhile he would be compelled to "back down." But
retaliation was then easy, and I fear his mates spent few easy moments
at the outlook. They would close their eyes and slide back into the
cavity as if the world had suddenly lost all its charms for them.

This bird was of course the first to leave the nest. For two days before
that event he kept his position in the opening most of the time, and
sent forth his strong voice incessantly. The old ones abstained from
feeding him almost entirely, no doubt to encourage his exit. As I stood
looking at him one afternoon and noticing his progress, he suddenly
reached a resolution,--seconded, I have no doubt, from the rear,--and
launched forth upon his untried wings. They served him well, and carried
him about fifty yards up-hill the first heat. The second day after, the
next in size and spirit left in the same manner; then another, till only
one remained. The parent birds ceased their visits to him, and for one
day he called and called till our ears were tired of the sound. His was
the faintest heart of all: then he had none to encourage him from
behind. He left the nest and clung to the outer hole of the tree, and
yelped and piped for an hour longer; then he committed himself to his
wings and went his way like the rest.

A young farmer in the western part of New York sends me ... some
interesting observations about the cuckoo. He says a large
gooseberry-bush, standing in the border of an old hedge-row in the midst
of the open fields, and not far from his house, was occupied by a pair
of cuckoos for two seasons in succession; and after an interval of a
year, for two seasons more. This gave him a good chance to observe them.
He says the mother-bird lays a single egg and sits upon it a number of
days before laying the second, so that he has seen one young bird nearly
grown, a second just hatched, and a whole egg all in the nest at once.
"So far as I have seen, this is the settled practice,--the young leaving
the nest one at a time, to the number of six or eight. The young have
quite the look of the young of the dove in many respects. When nearly
grown they are covered with long blue pin-feathers as long as darning
needles, without a bit of plumage on them. They part on the back and
hang down on each side by their own weight. With its curious feathers
and misshapen body the young bird is anything but handsome. They never
open their mouths when approached, as many young birds do, but sit
perfectly still, hardly moving when touched." He also notes the
unnatural indifference of the mother-bird when her nest and young are
approached. She makes no sound, but sits quietly on a near branch in
apparent perfect unconcern.

These observations, together with the fact that the egg of the cuckoo is
occasionally found in the nest of other birds, raise the inquiry whether
our bird is slowly relapsing into the habit of the European species,
which always foists its egg upon other birds; or whether on the other
hand it be not mending its manners in this respect. It has but little to
unlearn or forget in the one case, but great progress to make in the
other. How far is its rudimentary nest--a mere platform of coarse twigs
and dry stalks of weeds--from the deep, compact, finely woven and finely
modeled nest of the goldfinch or kingbird, and what a gulf between its
indifference toward its young and their solicitude! Its irregular manner
of laying also seems better suited to a parasite like our cow-bird, or
the European cuckoo, than to a regular nest-builder.

This observer, like most sharp-eyed persons, sees plenty of interesting
things as he goes about his work. He one day saw a white swallow, which
is of rare occurrence. He saw a bird, a sparrow, he thinks, fly against
the side of a horse and fill his beak with hair from the loosened coat
of the animal. He saw a shrike pursue a chickadee, when the latter
escaped by taking refuge in a small hole in a tree. One day in early
spring he saw two hen-hawks that were circling and screaming high in
air, approach each other, extend a claw, and grasping them together,
fall toward the earth flapping and struggling as if they were tied
together; on nearing the ground they separated and soared aloft again.
He supposed that it was not a passage of war but of love, and that the
hawks were toying fondly with each other.

       *       *       *       *       *

When the air is damp and heavy, swallows frequently hawk for insects
about cattle and moving herds in the field. My farmer describes how they
attended him one foggy day, as he was mowing in the meadow with a
mowing-machine. It had been foggy for two days, and the swallows were
very hungry and the insects stupid and inert. When the sound of his
machine was heard, the swallows appeared and attended him like a brood
of hungry chickens. He says there was a continual rush of purple wings
over the "cutter-bar," and just where it was causing the grass to
tremble and fall. Without his assistance the swallows would have gone
hungry yet another day.

Of the hen-hawk he has observed that both the male and female take part
in incubation. "I was rather surprised," he says, "on one occasion, to
see how quickly they change places on the nest. The nest was in a tall
beech, and the leaves were not yet fully out. I could see the head and
neck of the hawk over the edge of the nest, when I saw the other hawk
coming down through the air at full speed. I expected he would alight
near by, but instead of that he struck directly upon the nest, his mate
getting out of the way barely in time to avoid being hit; it seemed
almost as if he had knocked her off the nest. I hardly see how they can
make such a rush on the nest without danger to the eggs."

The kingbird will worry the hawk as a whiffet dog will worry a bear. It
is by his persistence and audacity, not by any injury he is capable of
dealing his great antagonist. The kingbird seldom more than dogs the
hawk, keeping above and between his wings and making a great ado; but my
correspondent says he once "saw a kingbird riding on a hawk's back. The
hawk flew as fast as possible, and the kingbird sat upon his shoulders
in triumph until they had passed out of sight,"--tweaking his feathers,
no doubt, and threatening to scalp him the next moment.

That near relative of the kingbird, the great crested fly-catcher,
has one well-known peculiarity: he appears never to consider his
nest finished until it contains a cast-off snake-skin. My alert
correspondent one day saw him eagerly catch up an onion skin and
make off with it, either deceived by it or else thinking it a good
substitute for the coveted material.

One day in May, walking in the woods, I came upon a nest of
whippoorwill, or rather its eggs,--for it builds no nest,--two
elliptical whitish spotted eggs lying upon the dry leaves. My foot was
within a yard of the mother-bird before she flew. I wondered what a
sharp eye would detect curious or characteristic in the ways of the
bird, so I came to the place many times and had a look. It was always a
task to separate the bird from her surroundings, though I stood within a
few feet of her, and knew exactly where to look. One had to bear on with
his eye, as it were, and refuse to be baffled. The sticks and leaves,
and bits of black or dark-brown bark, were all exactly copied in the
bird's plumage. And then she did sit so close and simulate so well a
shapeless decaying piece of wood or bark! Twice I brought a companion,
and guiding his eye to the spot, noted how difficult it was for him to
make out there, in full view upon the dry leaves, any semblance to a
bird. When the bird returned after being disturbed, she would alight
within a few inches of her eggs and then, after a moment's pause, hobble
awkwardly upon them.

After the young had appeared, all the wit of the bird came into play. I
was on hand the next day, I think. The mother-bird sprang up when I was
within a pace of her, and in doing so fanned the leaves with her wings
till they sprang up too; as the leaves started the young started, and,
being of the same color, to tell which was the leaf and which the bird
was a trying task to any eye. I came the next day, when the same tactics
were repeated. Once a leaf fell upon one of the young birds and nearly
hid it. The young are covered with a reddish down like a young
partridge, and soon follow their mother about. When disturbed they gave
but one leap, then settled down, perfectly motionless and stupid, with
eyes closed. The parent bird, on these occasions, made frantic efforts
to decoy me away from her young. She would fly a few paces and fall upon
her breast, and a spasm like that of death would run through her
tremulous outstretched wings and prostrate body. She kept a sharp eye
out the meanwhile to see if the ruse took, and if it did not she was
quickly cured, and moving about to some other point tried to draw my
attention as before. When followed she always alighted upon the ground,
dropping down in a sudden peculiar way. The second or third day both old
and young had disappeared.

The whippoorwill walks as awkwardly as a swallow, which is as awkward as
a man in a bag, and yet she manages to lead her young about the woods.
The latter, I think, move by leaps and sudden spurts, their protective
coloring shielding them most effectively. Wilson once came upon the
mother-bird and her brood in the woods, and though they were at his very
feet, was so baffled by the concealment of the young that he was about
to give up the search, much disappointed, when he perceived something
"like a slight moldiness among the withered leaves, and, on stooping
down, discovered it to be a young whippoorwill, seemingly asleep."
Wilson's description of the young is very accurate, as its downy
covering does look precisely like a "slight moldiness." Returning a few
moments afterward to the spot to get a pencil he had forgotten, he could
find neither old nor young.

It takes an eye to see a partridge in the woods, motionless upon the
leaves; this sense needs to be as sharp as that of smell in hounds and
pointers, and yet I know an unkempt youth that seldom fails to see the
bird and shoot it before it takes wing. I think he sees it as soon as it
sees him, and before it suspects itself seen. What a training to the eye
is hunting! To pick out the game from its surroundings, the grouse from
the leaves, the gray squirrel from the mossy oak limb it hugs so
closely, the red fox from the ruddy or brown or gray field, the rabbit
from the stubble, or the white hare from the snow, requires the best
powers of this sense. A woodchuck motionless in the fields or upon a
rock looks very much like a large stone or bowlder, yet a keen eye knows
the difference at a glance, a quarter of a mile away.

A man has a sharper eye than a dog, or a fox, or than any of the wild
creatures; but not so sharp an ear or nose. But in the birds he finds
his match. How quickly the old turkey discovers the hawk, a mere speck
against the sky, and how quickly the hawk discovers you if you happen to
be secreted in the bushes, or behind the fence near which he alights!
One advantage the bird surely has; and that is, owing to the form,
structure, and position of the eye, it has a much larger field of
vision--indeed, can probably see in nearly every direction at the same
instant, behind as well as before. Man's field of vision embraces less
than half a circle horizontally, and still less vertically; his brow and
brain prevent him from seeing within many degrees of the zenith without
a movement of the head; the bird, on the other hand, takes in nearly the
whole sphere at a glance.

I find I see, almost without effort, nearly every bird within sight in
the field or wood I pass through (a flit of the wing, a flirt of the
tail, are enough, though the flickering leaves do all conspire to hide
them), and that with like ease the birds see me, though unquestionably
the chances are immensely in their favor. The eye sees what it has the
means of seeing, truly. You must have the bird in your heart before you
can find it in the bush. The eye must have purpose and aim. No one ever
yet found the walking-fern who did not have the walking-fern in his
mind. A person whose eye is full of Indian relics picks them up in every
field he walks through.

One season I was interested in the tree-frogs, especially the tiny
pipers that one hears about the woods and brushy fields--the hylas of
the swamps become a denizen of trees; I had never seen him in this new
rôle. But this season having them in mind, or rather being ripe for
them, I several times came across them. One Sunday, walking amid some
bushes, I captured two. They leaped before me as doubtless they had done
many times before, but though not looking for or thinking of them, yet
they were quickly recognized, because the eye had been commissioned to
find them. On another occasion, not long afterward, I was hurriedly
loading my gun in the October woods in hopes of overtaking a gray
squirrel that was fast escaping through the treetops, when one of these
Lilliput frogs, the color of the fast-yellowing leaves, leaped near me.
I saw him only out of the corner of my eye, and yet bagged him, because
I had already made him my own.

Nevertheless, the habit of observation is the habit of clear and
decisive gazing; not by a first casual glance, but by a steady,
deliberate aim of the eye are the rare and characteristic things
discovered. You must look intently and hold your eye firmly to the spot,
to see more than do the rank and file of mankind. The sharpshooter picks
out his man and knows him with fatal certainty from a stump, or a rock,
or a cap on a pole. The phrenologists do well to locate not only form,
color, weight, etc., in the region of the eye, but a faculty which they
call individuality--that which separates, discriminates, and sees in
every object its essential character. This is just as necessary to the
naturalist as to the artist or the poet. The sharp eye notes specific
points and differences,--it seizes upon and preserves the individuality
of the thing.

       *       *       *       *       *

We think we have looked at a thing sharply until we are asked for its
specific features. I thought I knew exactly the form of the leaf of the
tulip-tree, until one day a lady asked me to draw the outlines of one. A
good observer is quick to take a hint and to follow it up. Most of the
facts of nature, especially in the life of the birds and animals, are
well screened. We do not see the play, because we do not look intently

       *       *       *       *       *

Birds, I say, have wonderfully keen eyes. Throw a fresh bone or a piece
of meat upon the snow in winter, and see how soon the crows will
discover it and be on hand. If it be near the house or barn, the crow
that first discovers it will alight near it, to make sure that he is not
deceived; then he will go away and soon return with a companion. The two
alight a few yards from the bone, and after some delay, during which
the vicinity is sharply scrutinized, one of the crows advances boldly to
within a few feet of the coveted prize. Here he pauses, and if no trick
is discovered, and the meat be indeed meat, he seizes it and makes off.

One midwinter I cleared away the snow under an apple-tree near the
house, and scattered some corn there. I had not seen a bluejay for
weeks, yet that very day they found my corn, and after that they came
daily and partook of it, holding the kernels under their feet upon the
limbs of the trees and pecking them vigorously.

Of course the woodpecker and his kind have sharp eyes. Still I was
surprised to see how quickly Downy found out some bones that were placed
in a convenient place under the shed to be pounded up for the hens. In
going out to the barn I often disturbed him making a meal off the bits
of meat that still adhered to them.

"Look intently enough at anything," said a poet to me one day, "and you
will see something that would otherwise escape you." I thought of the
remark as I sat on a stump in the opening of the woods one spring day. I
saw a small hawk approaching; he flew to a tall tulip-tree and alighted
on a large limb near the top. He eyed me and I eyed him. Then the bird
disclosed a trait that was new to me; he hopped along the limb to a
small cavity near the trunk, when he thrust in his head and pulled out
some small object and fell to eating it. After he had partaken of it
some minutes he put the remainder back in his larder and flew away. I
had seen something like feathers eddying slowly down as the hawk ate,
and on approaching the spot found the feathers of a sparrow here and
there clinging to the bushes beneath the tree. The hawk then--commonly
called the chicken hawk--is as provident as a mouse or squirrel, and
lays by a store against a time of need; but I should not have discovered
the fact had I not held my eye to him.

An observer of the birds is attracted by any unusual sound or commotion
among them. In May and June, when other birds are most vocal, the jay is
a silent bird; he goes sneaking about the orchards and the groves as
silent as a pickpocket; he is robbing birds'-nests and he is very
anxious that nothing should be said about it, but in the fall none so
quick and loud to cry "Thief, thief" as he. One December morning a troop
of them discovered a little screech-owl secreted in the hollow trunk of
an old apple-tree near my house. How they found the owl out is a
mystery, since it never ventures forth in the light of day; but they
did, and proclaimed the fact with great emphasis. I suspect the
bluebirds first told them, for these birds are constantly peeping into
holes and crannies, both spring and fall. Some unsuspecting bird
probably entered the cavity, prospecting for a place for next year's
nest, or else looking out a likely place to pass a cold night, when it
has rushed with very important news. A boy who should unwittingly
venture into a bear's den when Bruin was at home could not be more
astonished and alarmed than a bluebird would be on finding itself in the
cavity of a decayed tree with an owl. At any rate, the bluebirds joined
the jays, in calling the attention of all whom it might concern to the
fact that a culprit of some sort was hiding from the light of day in the
old apple-tree. I heard the notes of warning and alarm and approached to
within eyeshot. The bluebirds were cautious, and hovered about uttering
their peculiar twittering calls; but the jays were bolder, and took
turns looking in at the cavity and deriding the poor shrinking owl. A
jay would alight in the entrance of the hole, and flirt and peer and
attitudinize, and then fly away crying "Thief, thief, thief," at the top
of his voice.

I climbed up and peered into the opening, and could just descry the owl
clinging to the inside of the tree. I reached in and took him out,
giving little heed to the threatening snapping of his beak. He was as
red as a fox and as yellow-eyed as a cat. He made no effort to escape,
but planted his claws in my forefinger and clung there with a grip that
soon grew uncomfortable. I placed him in the loft of an out-house in
hopes of getting better acquainted with him. By day he was a very
willing prisoner, scarcely moving at all even when approached and
touched with the hand, but looking out upon the world with half-closed
sleepy eyes. But at night what a change; how alert, how wild, how
active! He was like another bird; he darted about with wild fearful
eyes, and regarded me like a cornered cat. I opened the window, and
swiftly, but as silently as a shadow, he glided out into the congenial
darkness, and perhaps ere this has revenged himself upon the sleeping
jay or bluebird that first betrayed his hiding-place.

Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Boston.


    Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
      Nor care for wind, or tide, or sea;
    I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
      For lo! my own shall come to me.

    I stay my haste, I make delays,
      For what avails this eager pace?
    I stand amid the eternal ways,
      And what is mine shall know my face.

    Asleep, awake, by night or day,
      The friends I seek are seeking me;
    No wind can drive my bark astray,
      Nor change the tide of destiny.

    What matter if I stand alone?
      I wait with joy the coming years;
    My heart shall reap where it has sown,
      And garner up its fruit of tears.

    The waters know their own, and draw
      The brook that springs in yonder height;
    So flows the good with equal law
      Unto the soul of pure delight.

    The stars come nightly to the sky;
      The tidal wave unto the sea;
    Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
      Can keep my own away from me.

Republished by courtesy of John Burroughs.



It has sometimes been said that the roving propensities of Sir Richard
Burton are attributable to a slight infusion of gipsy blood; but if this
pedigree were to be assumed for all instinctively nomadic Englishmen, it
would make family trees as farcical in general as they often are now. At
any rate, Burton early showed a love for travel which circumstances
strengthened. Although born in Hertfordshire, England, he spent much of
his boyhood on the Continent, where he was educated under tutors. He
returned for a course at Oxford, after which, at twenty-one, he entered
the Indian service. For nineteen years he was in the Bombay army corps,
the first ten in active service, principally in the Sindh Survey, on Sir
Charles Napier's staff. He also served in the Crimea as Chief of Staff
to General Blatsom, and was chief organizer of the irregular cavalry.
For nearly twenty-six years he was in the English consular service in
Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe.

[Illustration: RICHARD BURTON]

In 1852, when upon leave, Captain Burton accomplished one of his most
striking feats. Disguised as an Afghan Moslem, he went on a pilgrimage
to Mecca and Medina, in the hope of finding out "something of the great
eastern wilderness marked 'Ruba el Khala' (the Empty Abode) on our
maps." For months he successfully braved the imminent danger of
detection and death. Conspicuous among his explorations is his trip of
1856, when with Speke he discovered the lake regions of Central Africa.
The bitter Speke controversy which followed, dividing geographers for a
time into two contending factions, deprived Burton of the glory which he
merited and drew upon him much unfriendly criticism.

He had the true ardor of the discoverer. In 'First Footsteps in Eastern
Africa' he shows his unhesitating bravery again, when penetrating the
mysterious, almost mythical walled city of Harar. After many dangers and
exhausting experiences he sees the goal at last. "The spectacle,
materially speaking, was a disappointment," he says. "Nothing
conspicuous appeared but two gray minarets of rude shape. Many would
grudge exposing their lives to win so paltry a prize. But of all that
have attempted, none ever succeeded in entering that pile of stones."

Richard Burton carefully worded his varied experiences, and has left
about fifty valuable and interesting volumes. Among the best known are
'Sindh,' 'The Lake Regions of Central Africa,' 'Two Trips to Gorilla
Land,' and 'Ultima Thule.' With his knowledge of thirty-five languages
and dialects he gained an intimate acquaintance with the people among
whom he lived, and was enabled to furnish the world much novel
information in his strong, straightforward style.

Perhaps his most noteworthy literary achievement was his fine
translation of the 'Arabian Nights,' which appeared in 1885. Of this his
wife wrote:--

    "This grand Arabian work I consider my husband's Magnum Opus....
    We were our own printers and our own publishers, and we made,
    between September 1885 and November 1888, sixteen thousand
    guineas--six thousand of which went for publishing and ten
    thousand into our own pockets, and it came just in time to give
    my husband the comforts and luxuries and freedom that gilded the
    five last years of his life. When he died there were four
    florins left, which I put into the poor-box."

This capable soldier and author was very inadequately recompensed. As a
soldier, his bravery and long service brought him only the rank of
Captain. In the civil service he was given only second-class consulates.
The French Geographical Society, and also the Royal Geographical Society
of England, each awarded him a gold medal, but the latter employed him
upon only one expedition. At the age of sixty-five he was knighted. He
had no other honors. This lack of recognition was undoubtedly a
mortification, although toward the end of his career he writes

    "The press are calling me 'the neglected Englishman,' and I want
    to express to them the feelings of pride and gratitude with
    which I have seen the exertions of my brethren of the press to
    procure for me a tardy justice. The public is a fountain of
    honor which amply suffices all my aspirations; it is the more
    honorable as it will not allow a long career to be ignored
    because of catechisms or creed."

He comforted himself, no doubt, with the belief that his outspoken
skepticism was the cause of this lack of advancement, and that he was in
some sort a martyr to freedom of thought; but one may be excused for
discrediting this in the face of so many contrary instances. Capable men
are too scarce to throw aside for such things in this century. The real
and sufficient reason was his equally outspoken criticism of his
superior officers in every department. A subordinate may and often does
know more than his masters; but if he wishes the luxury of advertising
the fact, he must pay for it with their ill-will and his own practical

Lady Burton was also an author; her 'Inner Life in Syria' and 'Arabia,
Egypt, and India' are bright and entertaining. But her most important
work is the 'Life of Sir Richard F. Burton,' published in 1892, two
years after her husband's death. This unorganized mass of interesting
material, in spite of carelessness and many faults of style and taste,
shows her a ready observer, with a clever and graphic way of stating her


From the Essay on 'The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night'

"As the active world is inferior to the rational soul," says Bacon, with
his normal sound sense, "so Fiction gives to Mankind what History
denies, and in some measure satisfies the Mind with Shadows when it
cannot enjoy the Substance. And as real History gives us not the success
of things according to the deserts of vice and virtue, Fiction corrects
it and presents us with the fates and fortunes of persons rewarded and
punished according to merit." But I would say still more. History paints
or attempts to paint life as it is, a mighty maze with or without a
plan; Fiction shows or would show us life as it should be, wisely
ordered and laid down on fixed lines. Thus Fiction is not the mere
handmaid of History: she has a household of her own, and she claims to
be the triumph of Art, which, as Goethe remarked, is "Art because it is
not Nature." Fancy, _la folle du logis_, is "that kind and gentle
portress who holds the gate of Hope wide open, in opposition to Reason,
the surly and scrupulous guard." As Palmerin of England says, and says
well:--"For that the report of noble deeds doth urge the courageous mind
to equal those who bear most commendation of their approved valiancy;
this is the fair fruit of Imagination and of ancient histories." And
last, but not least, the faculty of Fancy takes count of the cravings of
man's nature for the marvelous, the impossible, and of his higher
aspirations for the Ideal, the Perfect; she realizes the wild dreams and
visions of his generous youth, and portrays for him a portion of that
"other and better world," with whose expectation he would console his

The imaginative varnish of 'The Nights' serves admirably as a foil to
the absolute realism of the picture in general. We enjoy being carried
away from trivial and commonplace characters, scenes, and incidents;
from the matter-of-fact surroundings of a workaday world, a life of
eating and drinking, sleeping and waking, fighting and loving, into a
society and a _mise-en-scène_ which we suspect can exist and which we
know do not. Every man, at some turn or term of his life, has longed for
supernatural powers and a glimpse of Wonderland. Here he is in the midst
of it. Here he sees mighty spirits summoned to work the human mite's
will, however whimsical; who can transport him in an eye-twinkling
whithersoever he wishes; who can ruin cities and build palaces of gold
and silver, gems and jacinths; who can serve up delicate viands and
delicious drinks in priceless chargers and impossible cups, and bring
the choicest fruits from farthest Orient: here he finds magas and
magicians who can make kings of his friends, slay armies of his foes,
and bring any number of beloveds to his arms.

And from this outraging probability and outstripping possibility arises
not a little of that strange fascination exercised for nearly two
centuries upon the life and literature of Europe by 'The Nights,' even
in their mutilated and garbled form. The reader surrenders himself to
the spell, feeling almost inclined to inquire, "And why may it not be
true?" His brain is dazed and dazzled by the splendors which flash
before it, by the sudden procession of Jinns and Jinniyahs, demons and
fairies, some hideous, others preternaturally beautiful; by good wizards
and evil sorcerers, whose powers are unlimited for weal and for woe; by
mermen and mermaids, flying horses, talking animals, and reasoning
elephants; by magic rings and their slaves, and by talismanic couches
which rival the carpet of Solomon. Hence, as one remarks, these Fairy
Tales have pleased and still continue to please almost all ages, all
ranks, and all different capacities.

Dr. Hawkesworth observes that these Fairy Tales find favor "because even
their machinery, wild and wonderful as it is, has its laws; and the
magicians and enchanters perform nothing but what was naturally to be
expected from such beings, after we had once granted them existence."
Mr. Heron "rather supposes the very contrary is the truth of the fact.
It is surely the strangeness, the unknown nature, the anomalous
character of the supernatural agents here employed, that makes them to
operate so powerfully on our hopes, fears, curiosities, sympathies, and
in short, on all the feelings of our hearts. We see men and women who
possess qualities to recommend them to our favor, subjected to the
influence of beings whose good or ill will, power or weakness, attention
or neglect, are regulated by motives and circumstances which we cannot
comprehend: and hence we naturally tremble for their fate with the same
anxious concern as we should for a friend wandering in a dark night
amidst torrents and precipices; or preparing to land on a strange
island, while he knew not whether he should be received on the shore by
cannibals waiting to tear him piecemeal and devour him, or by gentle
beings disposed to cherish him with fond hospitality."

Both writers have expressed themselves well; but meseems each has
secured, as often happens, a fragment of the truth and holds it to be
the whole Truth. Granted that such spiritual creatures as Jinns walk the
earth, we are pleased to find them so very human, as wise and as foolish
in word and deed as ourselves; similarly we admire in a landscape
natural forms like those of Staffa or the Palisades, which favor the
works of architecture. Again, supposing such preternaturalisms to be
around and amongst us, the wilder and more capricious they prove, the
more our attention is excited and our forecasts are baffled, to be set
right in the end. But this is not all. The grand source of pleasure in
fairy tales is the natural desire to learn more of the Wonderland which
is known to many as a word and nothing more, like Central Africa before
the last half-century; thus the interest is that of the "personal
narrative" of a grand exploration, to one who delights in travels. The
pleasure must be greatest where faith is strongest; for instance,
amongst imaginative races like the Kelts, and especially Orientals, who
imbibe supernaturalism with their mothers' milk. "I am persuaded,"
writes Mr. Bayle St. John, "that the great scheme of preternatural
energy, so fully developed in 'The Thousand and One Nights,' is believed
in by the majority of the inhabitants of all the religious professions
both in Syria and Egypt." He might have added, "by every reasoning being
from prince to peasant, from Mullah to Badawi, between Marocco and Outer

Dr. Johnson thus sums up his notice of 'The Tempest':--"Whatever might
have been the intention of their author, these tales are made
instrumental to the production of many characters, diversified with
boundless invention, and preserved with profound skill in nature,
extensive knowledge of opinions, and accurate observation of life. Here
are exhibited princes, courtiers, and sailors, all speaking in their
real characters. There is the agency of airy spirits and of earthy
goblins, the operations of magic, the tumults of a storm, the adventures
on a desert island, the native effusion of untaught affection, the
punishment of guilt, and the final happiness of those for whom our
passions and reason are equally interested."

We can fairly say this much and far more for our Tales. Viewed as a
_tout ensemble_ in full and complete form, they are a drama of Eastern
life, and a Dance of Death made sublime by faith and the highest
emotions, by the certainty of expiation and the fullness of atoning
equity, where virtue is victorious, vice is vanquished, and the ways of
Allah are justified to man. They are a panorama which remains
ken-speckle upon the mental retina. They form a phantasmagoria in which
archangels and angels, devils and goblins, men of air, of fire, of
water, naturally mingle with men of earth; where flying horses and
talking fishes are utterly realistic; where King and Prince meet
fisherman and pauper, lamia and cannibal; where citizen jostles Badawi,
eunuch meets knight; the Kazi hob-nobs with the thief; the pure and
pious sit down to the same tray with the pander and the procuress; where
the professional religionist, the learned Koranist, and the strictest
moralist consort with the wicked magician, the scoffer, and the
debauchee-poet like Abu Nowas; where the courtier jests with the boor,
and where the sweep is bedded with the noble lady. And the characters
are "finished and quickened by a few touches swift and sure as the
glance of sunbeams." The whole is a kaleidoscope where everything falls
into picture; gorgeous palaces and pavilions; grisly underground caves
and deadly wolds; gardens fairer than those of the Hesperid; seas
dashing with clashing billows upon enchanted mountains; valleys of the
Shadow of Death; air-voyages and promenades in the abysses of ocean; the
duello, the battle, and the siege; the wooing of maidens and the
marriage-rite. All the splendor and squalor, the beauty and baseness,
the glamor and grotesqueness, the magic and the mournfulness, the
bravery and baseness of Oriental life are here: its pictures of the
three great Arab passions--love, war, and fancy--entitle it to be called
'Blood, Musk, and Hashish.' And still more, the genius of the
story-teller quickens the dry bones of history, and by adding Fiction
to Fact revives the dead past; the Caliphs and the Caliphate return to
Baghdad and Cairo, whilst Asmodeus kindly removes the terrace-roof of
every tenement and allows our curious glances to take in the whole
interior. This is perhaps the best proof of their power. Finally the
picture-gallery opens with a series of weird and striking adventures,
and shows as a tail-piece an idyllic scene of love and wedlock, in halls
before reeking with lust and blood.


From 'The Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah'

The thoroughbred wanderer's idiosyncrasy I presume to be a composition
of what phrenologists call "inhabitiveness" and "locality," equally and
largely developed. After a long and toilsome march, weary of the way, he
drops into the nearest place of rest to become the most domestic of men.
For a while he smokes the "pipe of permanence" with an infinite zest; he
delights in various siestas during the day, relishing withal a long
sleep at night; he enjoys dining at a fixed dinner hour, and wonders at
the demoralization of the mind which cannot find means of excitement in
chit-chat or small talk, in a novel or a newspaper. But soon the passive
fit has passed away; again a paroxysm of _ennui_ coming on by slow
degrees, Viator loses appetite, he walks about his room all night, he
yawns at conversations, and a book acts upon him as a narcotic. The man
wants to wander, and he must do so or he shall die.

After about a month most pleasantly spent at Alexandria, I perceived the
approach of the enemy, and as nothing hampered my incomings and
outgoings, I surrendered. The world was "all before me," and there was
pleasant excitement in plunging single-handed into its chilling depths.
My Alexandrian Shaykh, whose heart fell victim to a new "jubbeh" which I
had given in exchange for his tattered zaabut, offered me in
consideration of a certain monthly stipend the affections of a brother
and religious refreshment, proposing to send his wife back to her papa,
and to accompany me in the capacity of private chaplain to the other
side of Kaf. I politely accepted the "brüderschaft," but many reasons
induced me to decline his society and services. In the first place, he
spoke the detestable Egyptian jargon. Secondly, it was but prudent to
lose the "spoor" between Alexandria and Suez. And thirdly, my "brother"
had shifting eyes (symptoms of fickleness), close together (indices of
cunning); a flat-crowned head and large ill-fitting lips, signs which
led me to think lightly of his honesty, firmness, and courage.
Phrenology and physiognomy, be it observed, disappoint you often among
civilized people, the proper action of whose brains and features is
impeded by the external pressure of education, accident, example, habit,
necessity, and what not. But they are tolerably safe guides when groping
your way through the mind of man in his natural state, a being of
impulse in that chrysalis stage of mental development which is rather
instinct than reason. But before my departure there was much to be done.

The land of the Pharaohs is becoming civilized, and unpleasantly so:
nothing can be more uncomfortable than its present middle state between
barbarism and the reverse. The prohibition against carrying arms is
rigid as in Italy; all "violence" is violently denounced; and beheading
being deemed cruel, the most atrocious crimes, as well as those small
political offenses which in the days of the Mamelukes would have led to
a beyship or a bowstring, receive fourfold punishment by deportation to
Faizoghli, the local Cayenne. If you order your peasant to be flogged,
his friends gather in threatening hundreds at your gates; when you curse
your boatman, he complains to your consul; the dragomans afflict you
with strange wild notions about honesty; a government order prevents you
from using vituperative language to the "natives" in general; and the
very donkey-boys are becoming cognizant of the right of man to remain
unbastinadoed. Still the old leaven remains behind; here, as elsewhere
in "morning-land," you cannot hold your own without employing your
fists. The passport system, now dying out of Europe, has sprung up, or
rather revived, in Egypt with peculiar vigor. Its good effects claim for
it our respect; still we cannot but lament its inconvenience. _We_, I
mean real Easterns. As strangers--even those whose beards have whitened
in the land--know absolutely nothing of what unfortunate natives must
endure, I am tempted to subjoin a short sketch of my adventures in
search of a Tezkireh at Alexandria.

Through ignorance which might have cost me dear but for my friend
Larking's weight with the local authorities, I had neglected to provide
myself with a passport in England; and it was not without difficulty,
involving much unclean dressing and an unlimited expenditure of broken
English, that I obtained from the consul at Alexandria a certificate
declaring me to be an Indo-British subject named Abdullah, by profession
a doctor, aged thirty, and not distinguished--at least so the frequent
blanks seemed to denote--by any remarkable conformation of eyes, nose,
or cheek. For this I disbursed a dollar. And here let me record the
indignation with which I did it. That mighty Britain--the mistress of
the seas--the ruler of one-sixth of mankind--should charge five
shillings to pay for the shadow of her protecting wing! That I cannot
speak my modernized "civis sum Romanus" without putting my hand into my
pocket, in order that these officers of the Great Queen may not take too
ruinously from a revenue of fifty-six millions! Oh the meanness of our
magnificence! the littleness of our greatness!

My new passport would not carry me without the Zabit or Police
Magistrate's counter-signature, said the consul. Next day I went to the
Zabit, who referred me to the Muhafiz (Governor) of Alexandria, at whose
gate I had the honor of squatting at least three hours, till a more
compassionate clerk vouchsafed the information that the proper place to
apply to was the Diwan Kharijiyeh (the Foreign Office). Thus a second
day was utterly lost. On the morning of the third I started as directed
for the place, which crowns the Headland of Figs. It is a huge and
couthless shell of building in parallelogrammic form, containing all
kinds of public offices in glorious confusion, looking with their
glaring whitewashed faces upon a central court, where a few leafless
wind-wrung trees seem struggling for the breath of life in an eternal
atmosphere of clay, dust, and sun-blaze.

The first person I addressed was a Kawwas or police officer, who, coiled
comfortably up in a bit of shade fitting his person like a robe, was in
full enjoyment of the Asiatic "Kaif." Having presented the consular
certificate and briefly stated the nature of my business, I ventured to
inquire what was the right course to pursue for a visá.

They have little respect for Dervishes, it appears, at Alexandria!
"M'adri" (Don't know), growled the man of authority, without moving
anything but the quantity of tongue necessary for articulation.

Now there are three ways of treating Asiatic officials,--by bribe, by
bullying, or by bothering them with a dogged perseverance into
attending to you and your concerns. The latter is the peculiar province
of the poor; moreover, this time I resolved for other reasons to be
patient. I repeated my question in almost the same words. "Ruh!" (Be
off) was what I obtained for all reply. By this time the questioned went
so far as to open his eyes. Still I stood twirling the paper in my
hands, and looking very humble and very persevering, till a loud "Ruh ya
Kalb!" (Go, O dog!) converted into a responsive curse the little speech
I was preparing about the brotherhood of El-Islam and the mutual duties
obligatory on true believers. I then turned away slowly and fiercely,
for the next thing might have been a cut with the Kurbaj [bastinado],
and by the hammer of Thor! British flesh and blood could never have
stood that.

After which satisfactory scene,--for satisfactory it was in one sense,
proving the complete fitness of the Dervish's dress,--I tried a dozen
other promiscuous sources of information,--policemen, grooms, scribes,
donkey-boys, and idlers in general. At length, wearied of patience, I
offered a soldier some pinches of tobacco and promised him an Oriental
sixpence if he would manage the business for me. The man was interested
by the tobacco and the pence; he took my hand, and inquiring the while
he went along, led me from place to place till, mounting a grand
staircase, I stood in the presence of Abbas Effendi, the governor's Naib
or deputy.

It was a little whey-faced black-bearded Turk, coiled up in the usual
conglomerate posture upon a calico-covered divan, at the end of a long
bare large-windowed room. Without deigning even to nod the head which
hung over his shoulder with transcendent listlessness and affectation of
pride, in answer to my salams and benedictions, he eyed me with wicked
eyes and faintly ejaculated "Minent?" Then hearing that I was a Dervish
and doctor,--he must be an Osmanli Voltairian, that little Turk,--the
official snorted a contemptuous snort. He condescendingly added,
however, that the proper source to seek was "Taht," which, meaning
simply "below," conveyed rather imperfect information in a topographical
point of view to a stranger. At length however my soldier guide found
out that a room in the custom-house bore the honorable appellation of
"Foreign Office." Accordingly I went there, and after sitting at least a
couple of hours at the bolted door in the noonday sun, was told, with a
fury which made me think I had sinned, that the officer in whose charge
the department was had been presented with an olive-branch in the
morning, and consequently that business was not to be done that day. The
angry-faced official communicated the intelligence to a large group of
Anadolian, Caramanian, Bosniac, and Roumelian Turks,--sturdy,
undersized, broad-shouldered, bare-legged, splay-footed, horny-fisted,
dark-browed, honest-looking mountaineers, who were lounging about with
long pistols and yataghans stuck in their broad sashes, head-gear
composed of immense tarbooshes with proportionate turbans coiled round
them, and two or three suits of substantial clothes--even at this season
of the year--upon their shoulders.

Like myself they had waited some hours, but they were not patient under
disappointment: they bluntly told the angry official that he and his
master were a pair of idlers, and the curses that rumbled and gurgled in
their hairy throats as they strode towards the door sounded like the
growling of wild beasts.

Thus was another day truly Orientally lost. On the morrow however I
obtained permission, in the character of Dr. Abdullah, to visit any part
of Egypt I pleased, and to retain possession of my dagger and pistols.

And now I must explain what induced me to take so much trouble about a
passport. The home reader naturally inquires, Why not travel under your
English name?

For this reason. In the generality of barbarous countries you must
either proceed, like Bruce, preserving the "dignity of manhood" and
carrying matters with a high hand, or you must worm your way by timidity
and subservience; in fact, by becoming an animal too contemptible for
man to let or injure. But to pass through the Holy Land you must either
be a born believer, or have become one; in the former case you may
demean yourself as you please, in the latter a path is ready prepared
for you. My spirit could not bend to own myself a Burma, a renegade--to
be pointed at and shunned and catechized, an object of suspicion to the
many and of contempt to all. Moreover, it would have obstructed the aim
of my wanderings. The convert is always watched with Argus eyes, and men
do not willingly give information to a "new Moslem," especially a Frank:
they suspect his conversion to be a feigned or a forced one, look upon
him as a spy, and let him see as little of life as possible. Firmly as
was my heart set upon traveling in Arabia, by Heaven! I would have given
up the dear project rather than purchase a doubtful and partial success
at such a price. Consequently I had no choice but to appear as a born
believer, and part of my birthright in that respectable character was
toil and trouble in obtaining a tezkirah.

Then I had to provide myself with certain necessaries for the way. These
were not numerous. The silver-mounted dressing-case is here supplied by
a rag containing a miswak, a bit of soap, and a comb--wooden, for bone
and tortoise-shell are not, religiously speaking, correct. Equally
simple was my wardrobe: a change or two of clothing. The only article of
canteen description was a zemzemiyah, a goatskin water-bag, which
communicates to its contents, especially when new, a ferruginous aspect
and a wholesome though hardly an attractive flavor of tanno-gelatine.
This was a necessary; to drink out of a tumbler, possibly fresh from
pig-eating lips, would have entailed a certain loss of reputation.
For bedding and furniture I had a coarse Persian rug--which, besides
being couch, acts as chair, table, and oratory,--a cotton-stuffed
chintz-covered pillow, a blanket in case of cold, and a sheet, which
does duty for tent and mosquito curtains in nights of heat. As shade is
a convenience not always procurable, another necessary was a huge cotton
umbrella of Eastern make, brightly yellow, suggesting the idea of an
overgrown marigold. I had also a substantial housewife, the gift of a
kind friend: it was a roll of canvas, carefully soiled, and garnished
with needles and thread, cobblers' wax, buttons, and other such
articles. These things were most useful in lands where tailors abound
not; besides which, the sight of a man darning his coat or patching his
slippers teems with pleasing ideas of humility. A dagger, a brass
inkstand and penholder stuck in the belt, and a mighty rosary, which on
occasion might have been converted into a weapon of offense, completed
my equipment. I must not omit to mention the proper method of carrying
money, which in these lands should never be intrusted to box or bag. A
common cotton purse secured in a breast pocket (for Egypt now abounds in
that civilized animal the pickpocket) contained silver pieces and small
change. My gold, of which I carried twenty-five sovereigns, and papers,
were committed to a substantial leathern belt of Maghrabi manufacture,
made to be strapped round the waist under the dress. This is the Asiatic
method of concealing valuables, and a more civilized one than ours in
the last century, when Roderick Random and his companion "sewed their
money between the lining and the waistband of their breeches, except
some loose silver for immediate expense on the road." The great
inconvenience of the belt is its weight, especially where dollars must
be carried, as in Arabia, causing chafes and inconvenience at night.
Moreover it can scarcely be called safe. In dangerous countries wary
travelers will adopt surer precautions.

A pair of common native khurjin or saddle-bags contained my wardrobe,
the "bed," readily rolled up into a bundle; and for a medicine chest I
bought a pea-green box with red and yellow flowers, capable of standing
falls from a camel twice a day.

The next step was to find out when the local steamer would start for
Cairo, and accordingly I betook myself to the Transit Office. No vessel
was advertised; I was directed to call every evening till satisfied. At
last the fortunate event took place: a "weekly departure," which
by-the-by had occurred once every fortnight or so, was in order for the
next day. I hurried to the office, but did not reach it till past
noon--the hour of idleness. A little dark gentleman, so formed and
dressed as exactly to resemble a liver-and-tan bull-terrier, who with
his heels on the table was dozing, cigar in mouth, over the last
Galignani, positively refused after a time,--for at first he would not
speak at all,--to let me take my passage till three in the afternoon. I
inquired when the boat started, upon which he referred me, as I had
spoken bad Italian, to the advertisement. I pleaded inability to read or
write, whereupon he testily cried "Alle nove! alle nove!" (At nine! at
nine!) Still appearing uncertain, I drove him out of his chair, when he
rose with a curse and read "8 A.M." An unhappy Eastern, depending upon
what he said, would have been precisely one hour too late.

Thus were we lapsing into the real good old Indian style of doing
business. Thus Indicus orders his first clerk to execute some
commission; the senior, having "work" upon his hands, sends a junior;
the junior finds the sun hot, and passes on the word to a "peon"; the
peon charges a porter with the errand; and the porter quietly sits or
dozes in his place, trusting that fate will bring him out of the scrape,
but firmly resolved, though the shattered globe fall, not to stir an

The reader, I must again express a hope, will pardon the egotism of
these descriptions: my object is to show him how business is carried on
in these hot countries--business generally. For had I, instead of being
Abdullah the Dervish, been a rich native merchant, it would have been
the same. How many complaints of similar treatment have I heard in
different parts of the Eastern world! and how little can one realize
them without having actually experienced the evil! For the future I
shall never see a "nigger" squatting away half a dozen mortal hours in a
broiling sun, patiently waiting for something or for some one, without a
lively remembrance of my own cooling of the _calces_ at the custom-house
of Alexandria.

At length, about the end of May, all was ready. Not without a feeling of
regret I left my little room among the white myrtle blossoms and the
oleander flowers. I kissed with humble ostentation my kind host's hand
in presence of his servants, bade adieu to my patients, who now amounted
to about fifty, shaking hands with all meekly and with religious
equality of attention, and, mounted in a "trap" which looked like a
cross between a wheel-barrow and dog-cart, drawn by a kicking, jibbing,
and biting mule, I set out for the steamer.


From 'A Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah'

At 3 P.M. we left El Zaribah, traveling towards the S.W., and a
wondrously picturesque scene met the eye. Crowds hurried along, habited
in the pilgrim garb, whose whiteness contrasted strangely with their
black skins, their newly shaven heads glistening in the sun, and
their long black hair streaming in the wind. The rocks rang with shouts
of "Labbayk! Labbayk!" At a pass we fell in with the Wahhabis,
accompanying the Baghdad caravan, screaming "Here am I"; and guided by a
large loud kettle-drum, they followed in double file the camel of a
standard-bearer, whose green flag bore in huge white letters the formula
of the Moslem creed. They were wild-looking mountaineers, dark and
fierce, with hair twisted into thin dalik or plaits: each was armed with
a long spear, a matchlock, or a dagger. They were seated upon coarse
wooden saddles, without cushions or stirrups, a fine saddle-cloth alone
denoting a chief. The women emulated the men; they either guided their
own dromedaries, or sitting in pillion, they clung to their husbands;
veils they disdained, and their countenances certainly belonged not to a
"soft sex." These Wahhabis were by no means pleasant companions. Most of
them were followed by spare dromedaries, either unladen or carrying
water-skins, fodder, fuel, and other necessaries for the march. The
beasts delighted in dashing furiously through our file, which, being
colligated, was thrown each time into the greatest confusion. And
whenever we were observed smoking, we were cursed aloud for infidels and

Looking back at El Zaribah, soon after our departure, I saw a heavy
nimbus settle upon the hilltops, a sheet of rain being stretched between
it and the plain. The low grumbling of thunder sounded joyfully in our
ears. We hoped for a shower, but were disappointed by a dust-storm,
which ended with a few heavy drops. There arose a report that the
Bedouins had attacked a party of Meccans with stones,--classical Arabian
missiles,--and the news caused men to look exceeding grave.

At 5 P.M. we entered the wide bed of the fiumara, down which we were to
travel all night. Here the country falls rapidly towards the sea, as the
increasing heat of the air, the direction of the water-courses, and
signs of violence in the torrent-bed show. The fiumara varies in breadth
from 150 feet to three-quarters of a mile; its course, I was told, is
towards the southwest, and it enters the sea near Jeddah. The channel is
a coarse sand, with here and there masses of sheet rock and patches of
thin vegetation.

At about half-past 5 P.M. we entered a suspicious-looking place. On the
right was a stony buttress, along whose base the stream, when there is
one, flows; and to this depression was our road limited by the rocks and
thorn-trees, which filled the other half of the channel. The left side
was a precipice, grim and barren, but not so abrupt as its brother.
Opposite us the way seemed barred by piles of hills, crest rising above
crest into the far blue distance. Day still smiled upon the upper peaks,
but the lower slopes and the fiumara bed were already curtained with
gray sombre shade.

A damp seemed to fall upon our spirits as we approached this Valley
Perilous. I remarked with wonder that the voices of the women and
children sank into silence, and the loud Labbaykas of the pilgrims were
gradually stilled. Whilst still speculating upon the cause of this
phenomenon, it became apparent. A small curl of smoke, like a lady's
ringlet, on the summit of the right-hand precipice, caught my eye, and
simultaneous with the echoing crack of the matchlock a high-trotting
dromedary in front of me rolled over upon the sands. A bullet had split
his heart, throwing his rider a goodly somerset of five or six yards.

Ensued terrible confusion; women screamed, children shrieked, and men
vociferated, each one striving with might and main to urge his animal
out of the place of death. But the road being narrow, they only managed
to jam the vehicles in a solid immovable mass. At every matchlock shot a
shudder ran through the huge body, as when the surgeon's scalpel touches
some more sensitive nerve. The irregular horsemen, perfectly useless,
galloped up and down over the stones, shouting to and ordering one
another. The Pacha of the army had his carpet spread at the foot of the
left-hand precipice, and debated over his pipe with the officers what
ought to be done. No good genius whispered "Crown the heights."

Then it was that the conduct of the Wahhabis found favor in my eyes.
They came up, galloping their camels,--

    "Torrents less rapid and less rash.--"

with their elf-locks tossing in the wind, and their flaring matches
casting a strange lurid light over their features. Taking up a position,
one body began to fire upon the Utaybah robbers, whilst two or three
hundred, dismounting, swarmed up the hill under the guidance of the
Sherif Zayd. I had remarked this nobleman at El Medinah as a model
specimen of the pure Arab. Like all Sherifs, he is celebrated for
bravery, and has killed many with his own hand. When urged at El Zaribah
to ride into Meccah, he swore that he would not leave the caravan till
in sight of the walls; and fortunately for the pilgrims, he kept his
word. Presently the firing was heard far in our rear--the robbers having
fled; the head of the column advanced, and the dense body of the
pilgrims opened out. Our forced halt was now exchanged for a flight. It
required much management to steer our desert-craft clear of danger; but
Shaykh Masud was equal to the occasion. That many were lost was evident
by the boxes and baggage that strewed the shingles. I had no means of
ascertaining the number of men killed and wounded: reports were
contradictory, and exaggeration unanimous. The robbers were said to be
150 in number; their object was plunder, and they would eat the shot
camels. But their principal ambition was the boast "We, the Utaybah, on
such and such a night stopped the Sultan's mahmal one whole hour in the

At the beginning of the skirmish I had primed my pistols, and sat with
them ready for use. But soon seeing that there was nothing to be done,
and wishing to make an impression,--nowhere does Bobadil now "go down"
but in the East,--I called aloud for my supper. Shaykh Nur, exanimate
with fear, could not move. The boy Mohammed ejaculated only an "Oh,
sir!" and the people around exclaimed in disgust, "By Allah! he eats!"
Shaykh Abdullah, the Meccan, being a man of spirit, was amused by the
spectacle. "Are these Afghan manners, Effendim?" he inquired from the
shugduf behind me. "Yes," I replied aloud, "in my country we always dine
before an attack of robbers, because that gentry is in the habit of
sending men to bed supperless." The Shaykh laughed aloud, but those
around him looked offended. I thought the bravado this time _mal placé_;
but a little event which took place on my way to Jeddah proved that it
was not quite a failure.

As we advanced our escort took care to fire every large dry asclepias,
to disperse the shades which buried us. Again the scene became wondrous

    "Full many a waste I've wander'd o'er,
    Clomb many a crag, cross'd many a shore,
      But, by my halidome,
    A scene so rude, so wild as this,
    Yet so sublime in barrenness,
    Ne'er did my wandering footsteps press,
      Where'er I chanced to roam."

On either side were ribbed precipices, dark, angry, and towering above,
till their summits mingled with the glooms of night; and between them
formidable looked the chasm, down which our host hurried with shouts and
discharges of matchlocks. The torch-smoke and the night-fires of flaming
asclepias formed a canopy, sable above and livid red below, which hung
over our heads like a sheet, and divided the cliffs into two equal
parts. Here the fire flashed fiercely from a tall thorn, that crackled
and shot up showers of sparks into the air; there it died away in lurid
gleams, which lit up a truly Stygian scene. As usual, however, the
picturesque had its inconveniences. There was no path. Rocks,
stone-banks, and trees obstructed our passage. The camels, now blind in
darkness, then dazzled by a flood of light, stumbled frequently; in some
places slipping down a steep descent, in others sliding over a sheet of
mud. There were furious quarrels and fierce language between camel-men
and their hirers, and threats to fellow-travelers; in fact, we were
united in discord. I passed that night crying "Hai! Hai!" switching the
camel, and fruitlessly endeavoring to fustigate Masud's nephew, who
resolutely slept upon the water-bags. During the hours of darkness we
made four or five halts, when we boiled coffee and smoked pipes, but man
and beasts were beginning to suffer from a deadly fatigue.

Dawn found us still traveling down the fiumara, which here is about one
hundred yards broad. The granite hills on both sides were less
precipitous, and the borders of the torrent-bed became natural quays of
stiff clay, which showed a water-mark of from twelve to fifteen feet in
height. In many parts the bed was muddy, and the moist places, as usual,
caused accidents. I happened to be looking back at Shaykh Abdullah, who
was then riding in old Ali bin Ya Sin's fine shugduf; suddenly the
camel's four legs disappeared from under him, his right side flattening
the ground, and the two riders were pitched severally out of the smashed
vehicle. Abdullah started up furious, and abused the Bedouins, who were
absent, with great zest. "Feed these Arabs," he exclaimed, quoting a
Turkish proverb, "and they will fire at Heaven!" But I observed that,
when Shaykh Masud came up, the citizen was only gruff.

We then turned northward, and sighted El Mazik, more generally known as
Wady Laymun, the Valley of Limes. On the right bank of the fiumara stood
the Meccan Sherif's state pavilion, green and gold: it was surrounded by
his attendants, and prepared to receive the Pacha of the caravan. We
advanced half a mile, and encamped temporarily in a hill-girt bulge of
the fiumara bed. At 8 A.M. we had traveled about twenty-four miles from
El Zaribah, and the direction of our present station was S. W. 50°.

Shaykh Masud allowed us only four hours' halt; he wished to precede the
main body. After breaking our fast joyously upon limes, pomegranates,
and fresh dates, we sallied forth to admire the beauties of the place.
We are once more on classic ground, the ground of the ancient Arab

    "Deserted is the village--waste the halting place and home
    At Mina; o'er Rijam and Ghul wild beasts unheeded roam;
    On Rayyan hill the channel lines have left a naked trace,
    Time-worn, as _primal Writ that dints the mountains flinty face_;"--

and this wady, celebrated for the purity of its air, has from remote
ages been a favorite resort of the Meccans. Nothing can be more soothing
to the brain than the dark-green foliage of the limes and pomegranates;
and from the base of the southern hill bursts a bubbling stream, whose

    "Chiare, fresche e dolci acque"

flow through the garden, filling them with the most delicious of
melodies, and the gladdest sound which nature in these regions knows.

Exactly at noon Masud seized the halter of the foremost camel, and we
started down the fiumara. Troops of Bedouin girls looked over the
orchard walls laughingly, and children came out to offer us fresh fruit
and sweet water. At 2 P.M., traveling southwest, we arrived at a point
where the torrent-bed turns to the right, and quitting it, we climbed
with difficulty over a steep ridge of granite. Before three o'clock we
entered a hill-girt plain, which my companions called "Sola." In some
places were clumps of trees, and scattered villages warned us that we
were approaching a city. Far to the left rose the blue peaks of Taif,
and the mountain road, a white thread upon the nearer heights, was
pointed out to me. Here I first saw the tree, or rather shrub, which
bears the balm of Gilead, erst so celebrated for its tonic and stomachic
properties. I told Shaykh to break off a twig, which he did heedlessly.
The act was witnessed by our party with a roar of laughter, and the
astounded Shaykh was warned that he had become subject to an atoning
sacrifice. Of course he denounced me as the instigator, and I could not
fairly refuse assistance. The tree has of late years been carefully
described by many botanists; I will only say that the bark resembled in
color a cherry-stick pipe, the inside was a light yellow, and the juice
made my fingers stick together.

At 4 P.M. we came to a steep and rocky pass, up which we toiled with
difficulty. The face of the country was rising once more, and again
presented the aspect of numerous small basins divided and surrounded by
hills. As we jogged on we were passed by the cavalcade of no less a
personage than the Sherif of Meccah. Abd el Muttalib bin Ghalib is a
dark, beardless old man with African features, derived from his mother.
He was plainly dressed in white garments and a white muslin turban,
which made him look jet-black; he rode an ambling mule, and the only
emblem of his dignity was the large green satin umbrella borne by an
attendant on foot. Scattered around him were about forty matchlock-men,
mostly slaves. At long intervals, after their father, came his four
sons, Riza Bey, Abdullah, Ali, and Ahmed, the latter still a child. The
three elder brothers rode splendid dromedaries at speed; they were young
men of light complexion, with the true Meccan cast of features, showily
dressed in bright-colored silks, and armed, to denote their rank, with
sword and gold-hilted dagger.

We halted as evening approached, and strained our eyes, but all in vain,
to catch sight of Meccah, which lies in a winding valley. By Shaykh
Abdullah's direction I recited, after the usual devotions, the following
prayer. The reader is forewarned that it is difficult to preserve the
flowers of Oriental rhetoric in a European tongue.

"O Allah! verily this is thy safeguard (Amn) and thy Sanctuary (Haram)!
Into it whoso entereth becometh safe (Amin). So deny (Harrim) my flesh
and blood, my bones and skin, to hell-fire. O Allah! Save me from thy
wrath on the day when thy servants shall be raised from the dead. I
conjure thee by this that thou art Allah, besides whom is none (thou
only), the merciful, the compassionate. And have mercy upon our lord
Mohammed, and upon the progeny of our lord Mohammed, and upon his
followers, one and all!" This was concluded with the "Talbiyat," and
with an especial prayer for myself.

We again mounted, and night completed our disappointment. About 1 A.M. I
was aroused by general excitement. "Meccah! Meccah!" cried some voices.
"The Sanctuary! O the Sanctuary!" exclaimed others; and all burst into
loud "Labbayk," not unfrequently broken by sobs. I looked out from my
litter, and saw by the light of the southern stars the dim outlines of a
large city, a shade darker than the surrounding plain. We were passing
over the last ridge by a "winding path" flanked on both sides by
watch-towers, which command the "Darb el Maala," or road leading from
the north into Meccah. Thence we passed into the Maabidah (northern
suburb), where the Sherif's palace is built. After this, on the left
hand, came the deserted abode of the Sherif bin Aun, now said to be a
"haunted house."[106] Opposite to it lies the Jannat el Maala, the holy
cemetery of Meccah. Thence, turning to the right, we entered the
Sulaymaniyah or Afghan quarter. Here the boy Mohammed, being an
inhabitant of the Shamiyah or Syrian ward, thought proper to display
some apprehension. These two are on bad terms; children never meet
without exchanging volleys of stones, and men fight furiously with
quarter-staves. Sometimes, despite the terrors of religion, the knife
and sabre are drawn. But these hostilities have their code. If a citizen
be killed, there is a subscription for blood-money. An inhabitant of one
quarter, passing singly through another, becomes a guest; once beyond
the walls, he is likely to be beaten to insensibility by his hospitable

At the Sulaymaniyah we turned off the main road into a by-way, and
ascended by narrow lanes the rough heights of Jebel Hindi, upon which
stands a small whitewashed and crenellated building called a "fort."
Thence descending, we threaded dark streets, in places crowded with rude
cots and dusky figures, and finally at 2 A.M. we found ourselves at the
door of the boy Mohammed's house.

We arrived on the morning of Sunday the 7th Zu'l Hijjah (11th September,
1853), and had one day before the beginning of the pilgrimage to repose
and visit the Haram. From El Medinah to Meccah the distance, according
to my calculation, was 248 English miles, which was accomplished in
eleven marches.


[106] I cannot conceive what made the accurate Niebuhr fall into the
strange error that "apparitions are unknown in Arabia." Arabs fear to
sleep alone, to enter the bath at night, to pass by cemeteries during
dark, and to sit amongst ruins, simply for fear of apparitions.
And Arabia, together with Persia, has supplied half the Western
World--Southern Europe--with its ghost stories and tales of angels,
demons, and fairies. To quote Milton, the land is struck "with
superstition as with a planet."



There are some books of which every reader knows the names, but of whose
contents few know anything, excepting as the same may have come to them
filtered through the work of others. Of these, Burton's 'Anatomy of
Melancholy' is one of the most marked instances. It is a vast storehouse
from which subsequent authors have always drawn and continue to draw,
even as Burton himself drew from others,--though without always giving
the credit which with him was customary. Few would now have the courage
to read it through, and probably fewer still could say with Dr. Johnson
that it "was the only book that ever took him out of bed two hours
sooner than he wished to rise."

[Illustration: ROBERT BURTON]

Of Robert Burton himself very little is known. He was born in 1577,
a few years later than Shakespeare,--probably at Lindley, in
Leicestershire; and died at Oxford in 1640. He had some schooling at
Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire, and was sent to Brasenose College at
Oxford in 1593; was elected a student at Christ Church College in 1599,
and took his degree of B.D. in 1614. He was then thirty-seven years of
age. Why he should have been so long in reaching his degree, does not
appear. Two years later he was presented by the Dean and Chapter of
Christ Church to the vicarage of St. Thomas in the suburbs of Oxford. To
this, about 1630, through presentation by George, Lord Berkeley, was
added the rectory of Segrave in Leicestershire, and he retained both
livings until his death. This is about the sum and substance of his
known history. Various legends remain regarding him; as, that he was
very good and jolly company, a most learned scholar, very ready in
quotations from the poets and classical authors,--and indeed no reader
of the 'Anatomy' could imagine otherwise. Yet was he of a melancholy
disposition, and it is said that "he composed this book with a view of
relieving his own melancholy, but increased it to such a degree that
nothing could make him laugh but going to the foot-bridge and hearing
the ribaldry of the bargemen, which rarely failed to throw him into a
violent fit of laughter." He says himself, "I write of melancholy, by
being busie, to avoid melancholy." He was expert in the calculation of
nativities, and cast his own horoscope; having determined in which, the
time at which his death should occur, it was afterward shrewdly believed
that he took measures to insure the fulfillment of the prophecy.

His life was almost wholly spent in his study at Oxford. He was a wide
and curious reader, and the book to the composition of which he devoted
himself quotes authorities without end. All was fish which came to his
net: divines, poets, astrologists, doctors, philosophers, men of
science, travelers, romancers--he draws from the whole range of
literature; and often page after page--scores and hundreds of pages,--is
filled with quotations, sometimes of two or three words only, sometimes
translated and sometimes not, an almost inextricable network of facts,
of fancies, and of phrases. He says: "As those old Romans rob'd all the
cities of the world, to set out their bad-sited Rome, we skim off the
cream of other men's wits, pick the choice flowers of their till'd
gardens to set out our own steril plots."

Yet when he sets about it, his handling is steady and assured, and he
has distinctly the literary touch, as well as the marks of genius;
having a very great quaintness withal. The title of his famous book is
'The Anatomy of Melancholy. What It Is, with All the Kinds, Causes,
Symptoms, Prognostics, and several Cures of it. In three Partitions.
With their several Sections, Members, and Sub-sections, Philosophically,
Medically, Historically Opened and Cut Up. By Democritus Junior.' The
first edition appears to have been issued in 1621. He continued to
modify and enlarge it from time to time throughout his life; and for the
sixth edition, which appeared some years after his death, he prepared a
long address to the reader, describing his student life, accounting for
his choice of subject, and full of quaint fancies and scathing
criticisms of the ill habits and weaknesses of mankind.

"Melancholy" means with Burton _Melancholia_, but it means also all
sorts of insanity, and apparently all affections of the mind or spirit,
sane or insane. On the one hand he heaps up, in page after page and
chapter after chapter, all the horrid ills to which flesh is heir, or
which it cultivates for itself, and paints the world as a very
pandemonium of evil and outrage. And anon the air blows soft and sweet,
the birds sing, both brotherly love and domestic happiness are possible,

    "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world."

To the first volume is prefixed 'The Author's Abstract of Melancholy,'

    "When I go musing all alone,
    Thinking of divers things foreknown,
    When I build castles in the ayr,
    Void of sorrow and void of feare
    Pleasing myself with phantasms sweet,
    Methinks the time runs very fleet.
      All my joys to this are folly,
      Naught so sweet as melancholy."

It does not need an expert to tell, after reading this, whence Milton
drew the suggestion of 'L'Allegro' and 'Il Penseroso.'


Generally thus much we may conclude of melancholy: that it is most
pleasant at first, I say, _mentis gratissimus error_, a most delightsome
humor, to be alone, dwell alone, walk alone, meditate, lie in bed whole
days, dreaming awake as it were, and frame a thousand phantastical
imaginations unto themselves. They are never better pleased than when
they are so doing; they are in Paradise for the time, and cannot well
endure to be interrupt; with him in the Poet:--

    "--pol! me occidistis, amici,
    Non servâstis, ait:"

you have undone him, he complains, if you trouble him: tell him what
inconvenience will follow, what will be the event, all is one, _canis ad
vomitum_, 'tis so pleasant he cannot refrain. He may thus continue
peradventure many years by reason of a strong temperature, or some
mixture of business, which may divert his cogitations: but at the last
_læsa imaginatio_, his phantasy is crazed, & now habituated to such
toys, cannot but work still like a fate; the Scene alters upon a sudden;
Fear and Sorrow supplant those pleasing thoughts, suspicion, discontent,
and perpetual anxiety succeed in their places; so little by little, by
that shoeing-horn of idleness, and voluntary solitariness, Melancholy
this feral fiend is drawn on, _et quantum vertice ad auras Æthereas,
tantum radice in Tartara tendit_; "extending up, by its branches, so far
towards Heaven, as, by its roots, it does down towards Tartarus;" it was
not so delicious at first, as now it is bitter and harsh: a cankered
soul macerated with cares and discontents, _tædium vitæ_, impatience,
agony, inconstancy, irresolution, precipitate them unto unspeakable
miseries. They cannot endure company, light, or life itself, some unfit
for action, and the like. Their bodies are lean and dried up, withered,
ugly; their looks harsh, very dull, and their souls tormented, as they
are more or less entangled, as the humor hath been intended, or
according to the continuance of time they have been troubled.

To discern all which symptoms the better, _Rhasis_ the _Arabian_ makes
three degrees of them. The first is _falsa cogitatio_, false conceits
and idle thoughts: to misconstrue and amplify, aggravating everything
they conceive or fear: the second is _falso cogitatio loqui_, to talk to
themselves, or to use inarticulate incondite voices, speeches, obsolete
gestures, and plainly to utter their minds and conceits of their hearts,
by their words and actions, as to laugh, weep, to be silent, not to
sleep, eat their meat, &c.; the third is to put in practice that which
they think or speak. _Savanarola, Rub. II, Tract. 8, cap. 1, de
ægritudine_, confirms as much: _when he begins to express that in words,
which he conceives in his heart, or talks idly, or goes from one thing
to another_, which _Gordonius_ calls _nec caput habentia nec caudam_
[having neither head nor tail], he is in the middle way: _but when he
begins to act it likewise, and to put his fopperies in execution, he is
then in the extent of melancholy, or madness itself._ This progress of
melancholy you shall easily observe in them that have been so affected,
they go smiling to themselves at first, at length they laugh out; at
first solitary, at last they can endure no company, or if they do, they
are now dizzards, past sense and shame, quite moped, they care not what
they say or do; all their actions, words, gestures, are furious or
ridiculous. At first his mind is troubled, he doth not attend what is
said, if you tell him a tale, he cries at last, What said you? but in
the end he mutters to himself, as old women do many times, or old men
when they sit alone; upon a sudden they laugh, whoop, halloo, or run
away, and swear they see or hear Players, Devils, Hobgoblins, Ghosts,
strike, or strut, &c., grow humorous in the end: like him in the Poet,
_sæpe ducentos sæpe decem servos_ [he often keeps two hundred slaves,
often only ten], he will dress himself, and undress, careless at last,
grows insensible, stupid or mad. He howls like a wolf, barks like a dog,
and raves like _Ajax_ and _Orestes_, hears Music and outcries which no
man else hears....

Who can sufficiently speak of these symptoms, or prescribe rules to
comprehend them? As _Echo_ to the painter in _Ausonius_, _vane_, _quid
affectas_, &c.--foolish fellow, what wilt? if you must needs paint me,
paint a voice, _et similem si vis pingere, pinge sonum_; if you will
describe melancholy, describe a phantastical conceit, a corrupt
imagination, vain thoughts and different, which who can do? The
four-and-twenty letters make no more variety of words in divers
languages, than melancholy conceits produce diversity of symptoms in
several persons. They are irregular, obscure, various, so infinite,
_Proteus_ himself is not so diverse; you may as well make the Moon a new
coat, as a true character of a melancholy man; as soon find the motion
of a bird in the air, as the heart of man, a melancholy man. They are so
confused, I say, diverse, intermixt with other diseases. As the species
be confounded (which I have shewed) so are the symptoms; sometimes with
headache, _cachexia_, dropsy, stone, (as you may perceive by those
several examples and illustrations, collected by _Hildesheim, spicel.
2_,_ Mercurialis, consil. 118, cap. 6 et 11_), with headache, epilepsy,
_priapismus_ (_Trincavellius, consil. 12, lib. I, consil. 49_), with
gout, _caninus appetitus_ (_Montanus, consil. 26, &c., 23, 234, 249_),
with falling-sickness, headache, _vertigo_, _lycanthropia_, _&c._ (_J.
Cæsar Claudinus, consult. 4, consult. 89 et 116_), with gout, agues,
hæmrods, stone, &c. Who can distinguish these melancholy symptoms so
intermixt with others, or apply them to their several kinds, confine
them into method? 'Tis hard I confess, yet I have disposed of them as I
could, and will descend to particularize them according to their
species. For hitherto I have expatiated in more general lists or terms,
speaking promiscuously of such ordinary signs, which occur amongst
writers. Not that they are all to be found in one man, for that were to
paint a Monster or Chimæra, not a man; but some in one, some in another,
and that successively, or at several times.

Which I have been the more curious to express and report, not to upbraid
any miserable man, or by way of derision (I rather pity them), but the
better to discern, to apply remedies unto them; and to shew that the
best and soundest of us all is in great danger; how much we ought to
fear our own fickle estates, remember our miseries and vanities, examine
and humiliate ourselves, seek to God, and call to him for mercy, that
needs not look for any rods to scourge ourselves, since we carry them in
our bowels; and that our souls are in a miserable captivity, if the
light of grace and heavenly truth doth not shine continually upon us;
and by our discretion to moderate ourselves, to be more circumspect and
wary in the midst of these dangers.




Horace Bushnell was born in 1802 in Litchfield, Connecticut, and reared
in New Preston, a hamlet near by. He was graduated at Yale College in
1827, and after a year of editorial service on the Journal of Commerce
in New York he became tutor in Yale College, studied theology at the
same time, and in 1833 was settled in the ministry over a Congregational
church in Hartford, Connecticut. He resigned his charge in 1853 on
account of ill health, but lived till 1876, filling the years to the
last with arduous study and authorship. He published three volumes of
sermons, two of essays and addresses, a treatise on Women's Suffrage,
under the title 'A Reform against Nature,' and five treatises of a
theological character. Each of the latter was a distinct challenge to
the prevailing thought of his day, and involved him in suspicion and
accusation that well-nigh cost him his ecclesiastical standing. It is
now generally acknowledged that he led the way into the new world of
theological thought which has since opened so widely, and thereby
rendered great and enduring service to the Christian faith.

[Illustration: HORACE BUSHNELL]

It is enough to say of his work in this respect that it was
characterized by a mingling of the thought of the first three centuries,
and of the modern spirit which had found its way from Germany into
England through Coleridge. The two did not always agree well, and the
latter is the predominating feature in all his writings. He was the
first theologian in New England to admit fully into his thought the
modern sense of Nature, as it is found in the literature of the early
part of the century, and notably in Wordsworth and Coleridge. Dr.
Bushnell was not a student of this literature beyond a thorough and
sympathetic study of 'The Aids to Reflection,' but through this open
door the whole spirit of that great thought movement entered his mind
and found a congenial home. The secret of this movement was a spiritual
interpretation of nature. It was a step in the evolution of human
thought; and appearing first in literature, its natural point of
entrance, it was sure to reach all forms of thought, as in time to come
it will reach all forms of social life. The thing that the world is
rapidly learning is, that not only is the world God's but that God is in
his world. Bushnell was by nature immensely open to this thought, and
its undertone can be heard in almost every page of his writings. It was
this that gave value to his works and made them exceptional in his day
and place. Each of his great treatises is, with more or less
distinctness, an effort to put natural things and divine things into
some sort of relevance and oneness.

He took the path by which superior minds have always found their way
into new realms of truth. They do not pass from one school to another,
but instead rise into some new or some larger conception of nature and
start afresh. All gains in philosophy and religion and civilization have
been made by further inroads into nature, and never in any other way.
Dr. Bushnell, with the unerring instinct of a discoverer, struck this
path and kept it to the end. At the bottom of all his work lies a
profound sense of nature, of its meaning and force in the realm of the
spirit. He did not deny a certain antithesis between nature and the
supernatural, but he so defined the latter that the two could be
embraced in the one category of nature when viewed as the ascertained
order of God in creation. The supernatural is simply the realm of
freedom, and it is as natural as the physical realm of necessity. Thus
he not only got rid of the traditional antinomy between them, but led
the way into that conception of the relation of God to his world which
more and more is taking possession of modern thought. In his essay on
Language he says (and the thought is always with him as a governing
principle):--"The whole universe of nature is a perfect analogon of the
whole universe of thought or spirit. Therefore, as nature becomes truly
a universe only through science revealing its universal laws, the true
universe of thought and spirit cannot sooner be conceived." Thus he
actually makes the revelation of spiritual truth wait on the unfolding
of the facts and laws of the world of nature. There is something
pathetic in the attitude of this great thinker sitting in the dark,
waiting for disclosures in nature that would substantiate what he felt
was true in the realm of the spirit. A generation later he would have
seen the light for which he longed--a light that justifies the central
point of all his main contentions.

His first and most important work, 'Christian Nurture,' contended that
the training of children should be according to nature,--not in the poor
sense of Rousseau, but that it should be divinely natural. So 'Nature
and the Supernatural,' whatever place may be accorded to the book
to-day, was an effort to bring the two terms that were held as opposite
and contradictory, into as close relation as God is to his laws in
nature. So in 'The Vicarious Sacrifice' his main purpose was to take a
doctrine that had been dwarfed out of its proper proportions, and give
to it the measure of God's love and the manner of its action in human
life. Dr. Bushnell may or may not have thought with absolute correctness
on these themes, but he thought with consummate ability, he wrote with
great eloquence and power, and he left many pages that are to be
cherished as literature, while theologically they "point the way we are

One of the most characteristic and interesting things about Dr. Bushnell
is the method he took to find his way between this spiritual view of
things and that world of theological orthodoxy where he stood by virtue
of his profession. It was a very hard and dry world,--a world chiefly of
definitions,--but it covered vital realities, and so must have had some
connection with the other world. Dr. Bushnell bridged the chasm by a
theory of language which he regarded as original with himself. It was
not new, but he elaborated it in an original way and with great ability.
In its main feature it was simply a claim to use in theology the
symbolism of poetry; it regarded language as something that attempts to
make one feel the inexpressible truth, rather than a series of
definitions which imply that it can be exactly stated in words; it held
that truth is larger than any form which attempts to express it; it
images and reflects truth instead of defining it.

This theory might be assumed without so long explication as he gave, but
it was greatly needed in the theological world, which at that time was
sunk in a sea of metaphysical definition, and consumed with a lust for
explaining everything in heaven and earth in terms of alphabetic
plainness. Dr. Bushnell was not only justified by the necessity of his
situation in resorting to his theory, but he had the right which every
man of genius may claim for himself. Any one whose thought is broader
than that about him, whose feeling is deeper, whose imagination is
loftier, is entitled to such a use of language as shall afford him
fullest expression; for he alone knows just how much of thought,
feeling, and imagination, how much of himself, he puts into his words;
they are coin whose value he himself has a right to indicate by his own
stamp. There is no pact with others to use language in any given way,
except upon some very broad basis as to the main object of language. The
first object is not to secure definite and comprehensive understanding,
but to give expression, and to start thought which may lead to full
understanding--as the parable hides the thought until you think it out.

Dr. Bushnell's theory did not blind the ordinary reader. No writer is
more easily apprehended by the average mind if he has any sympathy with
the subjects treated; but it was an inconvenient thing for his
theological neighbors to manage. While they insisted on "the evident
meaning of the words,"--a mischievous phrase,--he was breathing his
meaning into attentive souls by the spirit which he had contrived to
hide within his words. It is a way that genius has,--as Abt Vogler

    "But God has a few of us whom he whispers in the ear:
    The rest may reason and welcome: 'tis we musicians know."

The first thing that brought Dr. Bushnell out of the world of theology
into the world of literature was his oration before the Phi Beta Kappa
Society at Harvard College in 1848. He had achieved a reputation as a
preacher of remarkable insight for such as had ears to hear, and he was
already in the thick of theological controversy; but his fine power of
expression and breadth of thought had not been specially noticed. This
oration introduced him into the world of letters. Mr. J. T. Fields--the
most discerning critic of the day--said to the writer that the oration
was heard with surprise and delight, and that it gave the speaker an
assured place in the ranks of literature. That he should have been so
readily welcomed by the literary guild is not strange, for the title of
his oration--'Work and Play'--led the way into a discussion of the
secret that underlies all works of genius. For once, the possessor of
the divine gift heard its secret revealed and himself explained to
himself; his work was set before him as the full play of his spirit.
Beginning with nature, where our author always began, and finding there
a free and sportive element, he carries it into human life; making the
contention that its aim should be, and that its destiny will be, to free
itself from the constraint of mere work and rise into that natural
action of the faculties which may be called _play_--a moral and
spiritual process. His conclusion is that--

    "if the world were free,--free, I mean, of themselves; brought
    up, all, out of work into the pure inspiration of truth and
    charity,--new forms of personal and intellectual beauty would
    appear, and society itself reveal the Orphic movement. No more
    will it be imagined that poetry and rhythm are accidents or
    figments of the race, one side of all ingredient or ground of
    nature. But we shall know that poetry is the real and true state
    of man; the proper and last ideal of souls, the free beauty they
    long for, and the rhythmic flow of that universal play in which
    all life would live."

The key to Dr. Bushnell is to be found in this passage, and it is safe
to say of him that in hardly a page of a dozen volumes is he false to
it. He is always a poet, singing out of "the pure inspiration of truth
and charity," and keeping ever in mind that poetry and rhythm are not
figments outside of nature, but the real and true state of man and the
proper and last ideal of souls.

The centrality of this thought is seen in his style. It is a remarkable
style, and is only to be appreciated when the man is understood. It is
made up of long sentences full of qualifying phrases until the thought
is carved into perfect exactness; or--changing the figure--shade upon
shade is added until the picture and conception are alike. But with all
this piling up of phrases, he not only did not lose proportion and
rhythm, but so set down his words that they read like a chant and sound
like the breaking of waves upon the beach. Nor does he ever part with
poetry in the high sense in which he conceived it. I will not compare
his style, as to merit, with that of Milton and Jeremy Taylor and Sir
Thomas Browne, but he belongs to their class; he has the same majestic
swing, and like them he cannot forbear singing, whatever he may have to
say. His theme may be roads, or city plans, or agriculture, or
emigration, or the growth of law; yet he never fails of lifting his
subject into that higher world of the imagination where the real truth
of the subject is to be found, and is made to appear as poetry. It would
be unjust to identify him so thoroughly with the poets if it should lead
to the thought that he was not a close and rigorous thinker. It should
not be forgotten that all great prose-writers, from Plato down to
Carlyle and Emerson, stand outside of poetry only by virtue of their
form and not by virtue of their thought; indeed, poet and thinker are
interchangeable names. Dr. Bushnell wrote chiefly on theology, and the
value and efficacy of his writings lie in the fact that imagination and
fact, thought and sentiment, reason and feeling, are each preserved and
yet so mingled as to make a single impression.

This combination of two realms or habits of thought appears on every
page. He was, as Novalis said of Spinoza, "A God-intoxicated man," but
it was God as containing humanity in himself. His theology was a
veritable Jacob's ladder, on which the angels of God ascend and descend;
and if in his thought they descended before they ascended, it was
because he conceived of humanity as existing in God before it was
manifest in creation; and if his head was among the stars, his feet were
always firmly planted on the earth. This twofoldness finds a curious
illustration in the sub-titles of several of his books. 'The Vicarious
Sacrifice' does not spring alone out of the divine nature, but is
'Grounded in Principles of Universal Obligation.' 'Nature and the
Supernatural'--the great antithesis in theology--constitute 'The One
System of God.' 'Women's Suffrage' is 'The Reform against Nature'--the
best book, I must be permitted to say, on either side of this
much-debated question.

It is a popular impression of Dr. Bushnell that he was the subject of
his imagination, and that it ran away with him in the treatment of
themes which required only severe thought: the impression is a double
mistake: theology does not call for severe thought, alone nor mainly;
but first and chiefly for the imagination, and the seeing and
interpreting eye that usually goes with it; its object is to find
spirit under form, to discover what the _logos_ expresses. For this
the imagination is the chief requisite. It is not a vagrant and
irresponsible faculty, but an inner eye whose vision is to be trusted
like that of the outer; it has in itself the quality of thought, and is
not a mere picture-making gift. Dr. Bushnell trained his imagination to
work on certain definite lines, and for a definite end--namely, to bring
out the spiritual meaning hidden within the external form. He worked in
the spirit of Coleridge's words:--

              "I had found
    That outward forms the loftiest, still receive
    Their finer influence from the Life within."

No analysis or recapitulation of his works can be given in these
preliminary words. Perhaps his most influential book is the first,
'Christian Nurture'; while a treatise for the household, it was
surcharged with theological opinions which proved to be revolutionary
and epoch-making. 'The Vicarious Sacrifice' has most affected the
pulpit. 'Nature and the Supernatural,' the tenth chapter of which has
become a classic, has done great service in driving out the extreme
dualism that invested the subject of God's relation to creation. His
ablest essay is the treatise on Language; the most literary is that on
'Work and Play'; the most penetrating in its insight is 'Our Gospel a
Gift to the Imagination'; the most personal and characteristic is 'The
Age of Homespun.' His best sermon is always the one last read; and they
are perhaps his most representative work. The sermon is not usually
ranked as belonging to literature, but no canon excludes those preached
by this great man. They are timeless in their truth, majestic in their
diction, commanding in their moral tone, penetrating in their
spirituality, and pervaded by that quality without which a sermon is not
one--the divine uttering itself to the human. There is no striving and
crying in the streets, no heckling of saints nor dooming of sinners, no
petty debates over details of conduct, no dogmatic assumption, no
logical insistence, but only the gentle and mighty persuasions of truth,
coming as if breathed by the very spirit of God.

Language was to him "the sanctuary of thought," and these sermons are
the uttered worship in that temple where reason and devotion are one.

[Illustration: Signature: T. T. Munger]


From 'Work and Play'

Let me call to my aid, then, some thoughtful spirit in my audience: not
a poet, of necessity, or a man of genius, but a man of large meditation,
one who is accustomed to observe, and, by virtue of the warm affinities
of a living heart, to draw out the meanings that are hid so often in the
humblest things. Returning into the bosom of his family in some interval
of care and labor, he shall come upon the very unclassic and certainly
unimposing scene,--his children and a kitten playing on the floor
together; and just there, possibly, shall meet him suggestions more
fresh and thoughts of higher reach concerning himself and his race, than
the announcement of a new-discovered planet or the revolution of an
empire would incite. He surveys with a meditative feeling this beautiful
scene of muscular play,--the unconscious activity, the exuberant life,
the spirit of glee,--and there rises in his heart the conception that
possibly he is here to see the prophecy or symbol of another and higher
kind of play, which is the noblest exercise and last end of man himself.
Worn by the toils of years, perceiving with a sigh that the unconscious
joy of motion here displayed is spent in himself, and that now he is
effectually tamed to the doom of a working creature, he may yet
discover, in the lively sympathy with play that bathes his inward
feeling, that his soul is playing now,--enjoying, without the motions,
all it could do in them; manifold more than it could if he were down
upon the floor himself, in the unconscious activity and lively frolic of
childhood. Saddened he may be to note how time and work have changed his
spirit and dried away the playful springs of animal life in his being;
yet he will find, or ought, a joy playing internally over the face of
his working nature, which is fuller and richer as it is more tranquil;
which is to the other as fulfillment to prophecy, and is in fact the
prophecy of a better and far more glorious fulfillment still.

Having struck in this manner the great world-problem of WORK AND PLAY,
his thoughts kindle under the theme, and he pursues it. The living races
are seen at a glance to be offering in their history everywhere a
faithful type of his own. They show him what he himself is doing and
preparing--all that he finds in the manifold experience of his own
higher life. They have, all, their gambols; all, their sober cares and
labors. The lambs are sporting on the green knoll; the anxious dams are
bleating to recall them to their side. The citizen beaver is building
his house by a laborious carpentry; the squirrel is lifting his sail to
the wind on the swinging top of the tree. In the music of the morning,
he hears the birds playing with their voices, and when the day is up,
sees them sailing round in circles on the upper air, as skaters on a
lake, folding their wings, dropping and rebounding, as if to see what
sport they can make of the solemn laws that hold the upper and lower
worlds together. And yet these play-children of the air he sees again
descending to be carriers and drudges; fluttering and screaming
anxiously about their nest, and confessing by that sign that not even
wings can bear them clear of the stern doom of work. Or, passing to some
quiet shade, meditating still on this careworn life, playing still
internally with ideal fancies and desires unrealized, there returns upon
him there, in the manifold and spontaneous mimicry of nature, a living
show of all that is transpiring in his own bosom; in every flower some
bee humming over his laborious chemistry and loading his body with the
fruits of his toil; in the slant sunbeam, populous nations of motes
quivering with animated joy, and catching, as in play, at the golden
particles of the light with their tiny fingers. Work and play, in short,
are the universal ordinance of God for the living races; in which they
symbolize the fortune and interpret the errand of man. No creature lives
that must not work and may not play.

Returning now to himself and to man, and meditating yet more deeply, as
he is thus prepared to do, on work and play, and play and work, as
blended in the compound of our human life; asking again what is work and
what is play, what are the relations of one to the other, and which is
the final end of all, he discovers in what he was observing round him a
sublimity of import, a solemnity even, that is deep as the shadow of

I believe in a future age yet to be revealed, which is to be
distinguished from all others as the godly or godlike age,--an age not
of universal education simply, or universal philanthropy, or external
freedom, or political well-being, but a day of reciprocity and free
intimacy between all souls and God. Learning and religion, the scholar
and the Christian, will not be divided as they have been. The
universities will be filled with a profound spirit of religion, and
the _bene orâsse_ will be a fountain of inspiration to all the
investigations of study and the creations of genius.

I raise this expectation of the future, not because some prophet of old
time has spoken of a day to come when "the streets of the city shall be
full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof" (for I know not
that he meant to be so interpreted), but because I find a prophecy of
play in our nature itself which it were a violation of all insight not
to believe will sometime be fulfilled. And when it is fulfilled it will
be found that Christianity has at last developed a new literary era, the
era of religious love.

Hitherto the passion of love has been the central fire of the
world's literature. The dramas, epics, odes, novels, and even
histories, have spoken to the world's heart chiefly through this
passion, and through this have been able to get their answer. For
this passion is a state of play, wherein the man loses himself
in the ardor of a devotion regardless of interest, fear, care,
prudence, and even of life itself. Hence there gathers round the
lover a tragic interest, and we hang upon his destiny as if some
natural charm or spell were in it. Now this passion of love, which
has hitherto been the staple of literature, is only a crude symbol
in the life of nature, by which God designs to interpret, and also
to foreshadow, the higher love of religion,--nature's gentle
Beatrice, who puts her image in the youthful Dante, by that to attend
him afterwards in the spirit-flight of song, and be his guide up through
the wards of Paradise to the shining mount of God. What then are we to
think, but that God will sometime bring us up out of the literature of
the lower love, into that of the higher?--that as the age of passion
yields to the age of reason, so the crude love of instinct will give
place to the loftier, finer, more impelling love of God? And then around
that nobler love, or out of it, shall arise a new body of literature, as
much more gifted as the inspiration is purer and more intellectual.
Beauty, truth, and worship; song, science, and duty, will all be
unfolded together in this common love.


Most of all to be remembered are those friendly circles gathered so
often round the winter's fire; not the stove, but the fire, the brightly
blazing, hospitable fire. In the early dusk, the home circle is drawn
more closely and quietly round it; but a good neighbor and his wife drop
in shortly from over the way, and the circle begins to spread. Next, a
few young folk from the other end of the village, entering in brisker
mood, find as many more chairs set in as wedges into the periphery to
receive them also. And then a friendly sleighful of old and young that
have come down from the hill to spend an hour or two, spread the circle
again, moving it still farther back from the fire; and the fire blazes
just as much higher and more brightly, having a new stick added for
every guest. There is no restraint, certainly no affectation of style.
They tell stories, they laugh, they sing. They are serious and gay by
turns, or the young folks go on with some play, while the fathers and
mothers are discussing some hard point of theology in the minister's
last sermon, or perhaps the great danger coming to sound morals from the
multiplication of turnpikes and newspapers! Meantime the good housewife
brings out her choice stock of home-grown exotics, gathered from three
realms--doughnuts from the pantry, hickory-nuts from the chamber, and
the nicest, smoothest apples from the cellar; all which, including, I
suppose I must add, the rather unpoetic beverage that gave its acid
smack to the ancient hospitality, are discussed as freely, with no fear
of consequences. And then, as the tall clock in the corner of the room
ticks on majestically towards nine, the conversation takes, it may be, a
little more serious turn, and it is suggested that a very happy evening
may fitly be ended with a prayer. Whereupon the circle breaks up with a
reverent, congratulative look on every face, which is itself the truest
language of a social nature blessed in human fellowship.

Such, in general, was the society of the homespun age....

Passing to the church, or rather I should say, to the
meeting-house--good translation, whether meant or not, of what is older
and more venerable than _church_, viz., _synagogue_--here again you meet
the picture of a sturdy homespun worship. Probably it stands on some
hill, midway between three or four valleys, whither the tribes go up to
worship, and, when the snow-drifts are deepest, go literally from
strength to strength. There is no furnace or stove save the foot-stoves
that are filled from the fires of the neighboring houses, and brought in
partly as a rather formal compliment to the delicacy of the tender sex,
and sometimes because they are really wanted. The dress of the assembly
is mostly homespun, indicating only slight distinctions of quality in
the worshipers. They are seated according to age,--the old king Lemuels
and their queens in front, near the pulpit, and the younger Lemuels
farther back, inclosed in pews, sitting back to back, impounded, all,
for deep thought and spiritual digestion; only the deacons, sitting
close under the pulpit by themselves, to receive, as their distinctive
honor, the more perpendicular droppings of the Word. Clean round the
front of the gallery is drawn a single row of choir, headed by the
key-pipe in the centre. The pulpit is overhung by an august wooden
canopy called a sounding-board--study general, of course, and first
lesson of mystery to the eyes of the children, until what time their
ears are opened to understand the spoken mysteries.

There is no affectation of seriousness in the assembly, no mannerism of
worship; some would say too little of the manner of worship. They think
of nothing, in fact, save what meets their intelligence and enters into
them by that method. They appear like men who have a digestion for
strong meat, and have no conception that trifles more delicate can be of
any account to feed the system. Nothing is dull that has the matter in
it, nothing long that has not exhausted the matter. If the minister
speaks in his great-coat and thick gloves or mittens, if the howling
blasts of winter drive in across the assembly fresh streams of
ventilation that move the hair upon their heads, they are none the less
content, if only he gives them good strong exercise. Under their hard
and, as some would say, stolid faces, great thoughts are brewing, and
these keep them warm. Free-will, fixed fate, foreknowledge absolute,
trinity, redemption, special grace, eternity--give them anything high
enough, and the tough muscle of their inward man will be climbing
sturdily into it; and if they go away having something to think of, they
have had a good day. A perceptible glow will kindle in their hard faces
only when some one of the chief apostles, a Day, a Smith, or a Bellamy,
has come to lead them up some higher pinnacle of thought or pile upon
their sturdy minds some heavier weight of argument--fainting never under
any weight, even that which, to the foreign critics of the discourses
preached by them and others of their day, it seems impossible for any,
the most cultivated audience in the world, to have supported. These
royal men of homespun--how great a thing to them was religion!

The sons and daughters grew up, all, as you will perceive, in the
closest habits of industry. The keen jocky way of whittling out a living
by small bargains sharply turned, which many suppose to be an essential
characteristic of the Yankee race, is yet no proper inbred distinction,
but only a casual result, or incident, that pertains to the transition
period between the small, stringent way of life in the previous times of
home-production and the new age of trade. In these olden times, these
genuine days of homespun, they supposed, in their simplicity, that
thrift represented work, and looked about seldom for any more delicate
and sharper way of getting on. They did not call a man's property his
_fortune_, but they spoke of one or another as being _worth_ so much;
conceiving that he had it laid up as the reward or fruit of his
deservings. The house was a factory on the farm, the farm a grower and
producer for the house. The exchanges went on briskly enough, but
required neither money nor trade. No affectation of polite living, no
languishing airs of delicacy and softness indoors, had begun to make the
fathers and sons impatient of hard work out of doors, and set them at
contriving some easier and more plausible way of living. Their very
dress represented work, and they went out as men whom the wives and
daughters had dressed for work; facing all weather, cold and hot, wet
and dry, wrestling with the plow on the stony-sided hills, digging out
the rocks by hard lifting and a good many very practical experiments in
mechanics, dressing the flax, threshing the rye, dragging home, in the
deep snows, the great woodpile of the year's consumption; and then when
the day is ended--having no loose money to spend in taverns--taking
their recreation all together in reading or singing or happy talk or
silent looking in the fire, and finally in sleep--to rise again with the
sun and pray over the family Bible for just such another good day as the
last. And so they lived, working out, each year, a little advance of
thrift, just within the line of comfort.

No mode of life was ever more expensive: it was life at the expense of
labor too stringent to allow the highest culture and the most proper
enjoyment. Even the dress of it was more expensive than we shall ever
see again. Still it was a life of honesty and simple content and sturdy
victory. Immoralities that rot down the vigor and humble the
consciousness of families were as much less frequent as they had less
thought of adventure; less to do with travel and trade and money, and
were closer to nature and the simple life of home.

It was also a great point, in this homespun mode of life, that it
imparted exactly what many speak of only with contempt--a closely girded
habit of economy. Harnessed all together into the producing process,
young and old, male and female, from the boy that rode the plow-horse to
the grandmother knitting under her spectacles, they had no conception of
squandering lightly what they all had been at work, thread by thread and
grain by grain, to produce. They knew too exactly what everything cost,
even small things, not to husband them carefully. Men of patrimony in
the great world, therefore, noticing their small way in trade or
expenditure, are ready, as we often see, to charge them with
meanness--simply because they knew things only in the small; or, what is
not far different, because they were too simple and rustic to have any
conception of the big operations by which other men are wont to get
their money without earning it, and lavish the more freely because it
was not earned. Still, this knowing life only in the small, it will be
found, is really anything but meanness.


From 'Work and Play'

There is a class of writers and critics in our country, who imagine it
is quite clear that our fathers cannot have been the proper founders of
our American liberties, because it is in proof that they were so
intolerant and so clearly unrepublican often in their avowed sentiments.
They suppose the world to be a kind of professor's chair, and expect
events to transpire logically in it. They see not that casual opinions,
or conventional and traditional prejudices, are one thing, and that
principles and morally dynamic forces are often quite another; that the
former are the connectives only of history, the latter its springs of
life; and that if the former serve well enough as providential guards
and moderating weights overlying the deep geologic fires and
subterranean heavings of the new moral instincts below, these latter
will assuredly burst up at last in strong mountains of rock, to crest
the world. Unable to conceive such a truth, they cast about them
accordingly to find the paternity of our American institutions in purely
accidental causes. We are clear of aristocratic orders, they say,
because there was no blood of which to make an aristocracy; independent
of king and parliament, because we grew into independence under the
natural effects of distance and the exercise of a legislative power;
republican, because our constitutions were cast in the molds of British
law; a wonder of growth in riches, enterprise, and population, because
of the hard necessities laid upon us, and our simple modes of life.

There is yet another view of this question, that has a far higher
significance. We do not understand, as it seems to me, the real
greatness of our institutions when we look simply at the forms under
which we hold our liberties. It consists not in these, but in the
magnificent possibilities that underlie these forms as their fundamental
supports and conditions. In these we have the true paternity and spring
of our institutions; and these, beyond a question, are the gift of our

We see this, first of all, in the fixed relation between freedom and
intelligence, and the remarkable care they had of popular education. It
was not their plan to raise up a body of republicans. But they believed
in mind as in God. Their religion was the choice of mind. The gospel
they preached must have minds to hear it; and hence the solemn care they
had, even from the first day of their settlement, of the education of
every child. And, as God would have it, the children whom they trained
up for pillars in the church turned out also to be more than tools of
power. They grew up into magistrates, leaders of the people, debaters of
right and of law, statesmen, generals, and signers of declarations for
liberty. Such a mass of capacity had never been seen before in so small
a body of men. And this is the first condition of liberty--the
Condensation of Power. For liberty is not the license of an hour; it
is not the butchery of a royal house, or the passion that rages behind
a barricade, or the caps that are swung or the _vivas_ shouted at
the installing of a liberator. But it is the compact, impenetrable
matter of much manhood, the compressed energy of good sense and public
reason, having power to see before and after and measure action by
counsel--this it is that walls about the strength and liberty of a
people. To be free is not to fly abroad as the owls of the night when
they take the freedom of the air, but it is to settle and build and be
strong--a commonwealth as much better compacted in the terms of reason,
as it casts off more of the restraints of force.

Their word was "Reformation"--"the completion of the Reformation"; not
Luther's nor Calvin's, they expressly say; they cannot themselves
imagine it. Hitherto it is unconceived by men. God must reveal it in the
light that breaks forth from him. And this he will do in his own good
time. It is already clear to us that, in order to any further progress
in this direction, it was necessary for a new movement to begin that
should loosen the joints of despotism and emancipate the mind of the
world. And in order to this a new republic must be planted and have time
to grow. It must be seen rising up in the strong majesty of freedom and
youth, outstripping the old prescriptive world in enterprise and the
race of power, covering the ocean with its commerce, spreading out in
populous swarms of industry,--planting, building, educating, framing
constitutions, rushing to and fro in the smoke and thunder of travel
along its mighty rivers, across its inland seas, over its mountain-tops
from one shore to the other, strong in order as in liberty,--a savage
continent become the field of a colossal republican empire, whose name
is a name of respect and a mark of desire to the longing eyes of
mankind. And then, as the fire of new ideas and hopes darts electrically
along the nerves of feeling in the millions of the race, it will be
seen that a new Christian movement also begins with it. Call it
reformation, or formation, or by whatever name, it is irresistible
because it is intangible. In one view it is only destruction. The State
is loosened from the Church. The Church crumbles down into fragments.
Superstition is eaten away by the strong acid of liberty, and spiritual
despotism flies affrighted from the broken loyalty of its metropolis.
Protestantism also, divided and subdivided by its dialectic quarrels,
falls into the finest, driest powder of disintegration. Be not afraid.
The new order crystallizes only as the old is dissolved; and no sooner
is the old unity of orders and authorities effectually dissolved than
the reconstructive affinities of a new and better unity begin to appear
in the solution. Repugnances melt away. Thought grows catholic. Men look
for good in each other as well as evil. The crossings of opinion by
travel and books, and the intermixture of races and religions, issue in
freer, broader views of the Christian truth; and so the "Church of the
Future," as it has been called, gravitates inwardly towards those terms
of brotherhood in which it may coalesce and rest. I say not or believe
that Christendom will be Puritanized or Protestantized; but what is
better than either, it will be Christianized. It will settle thus into a
unity, probably not of form, but of practical assent and love--a
Commonwealth of the Spirit, as much stronger in its unity than the old
satrapy of priestly despotism, as our republic is stronger than any
other government of the world.


From 'Work and Play'

As we are wont to argue the invisible things of God, even his eternal
power and Godhead, from the things that are seen, finding them all
images of thought and vehicles of intelligence, so we have an argument
for God more impressive, in one view, because the matter of it is
so deep and mysterious, from the fact that a grand, harmonic,
soul-interpreting law of music pervades all the objects of the material
creation, and that things without life, all metals and woods and valleys
and mountains and waters, are tempered with distinctions of sound, and
toned to be a language to the feeling of the heart. It is as if God had
made the world about us to be a grand organ of music, so that our
feelings might have play in it, as our understanding has in the light of
the sun and the outward colors and forms of things. What is called the
musical scale, or octave, is fixed in the original appointments of sound
just as absolutely and definitely as the colors of the rainbow or prism
in the optical properties and laws of light. And the visible objects of
the world are not more certainly shaped and colored to us under the
exact laws of light and the prism, than they are tempered and toned, as
objects audible, to give distinctions of sound by their vibrations in
the terms of the musical octave. It is not simply that we hear the sea
roar and the floods clap their hands in anthems of joy; it is not that
we hear the low winds sigh, or the storms howl dolefully, or the ripples
break peacefully on the shore, or the waters dripping sadly from the
rock, or the thunders crashing in horrible majesty through the pavements
of heaven; not only do all the natural sounds we hear come to us in
tones of music as interpreters of feeling, but there is hid in the
secret temper and substance of all matter a silent music, that only
waits to sound and become a voice of utterance to the otherwise
unutterable feeling of our heart--a voice, if we will have it, of love
and worship to the God of all.

First, there is a musical scale in the laws of the air itself, exactly
answering to the musical sense or law of the soul. Next, there is in all
substances a temperament of quality related to both; so that whatever
kind of feeling there may be in a soul--war and defiance, festivity and
joy, sad remembrance, remorse, pity, penitence, self-denial, love,
adoration--may find some fit medium of sound in which to express itself.
And, what is not less remarkable, connected with all these forms of
substances there are mathematical laws of length and breadth, or
definite proportions of each, and reflective angles, that are every way
as exact as those which regulate the colors of the prism, the images of
the mirror, or the telescopic light of astronomic worlds--mathematics
for the heart as truly as for the head.

It cannot be said that music is a human creation, and as far as the
substances of the world are concerned, a mere accident. As well can it
be said that man creates the colors of the prism, and that they are not
in the properties of the light, because he shapes the prism by his own
mechanical art. Or if still we doubt; if it seems incredible that the
soul of music is in the heart of all created being; then the laws of
harmony themselves shall answer, one string vibrating to another, when
it is not struck itself, and uttering its voice of concord simply
because the concord is in it and it feels the pulses on the air to which
it cannot be silent. Nay, the solid mountains and their giant masses of
rock shall answer; catching, as they will, the bray of horns or the
stunning blast of cannon, rolling it across from one top to another in
reverberating pulses, till it falls into bars of musical rhythm and
chimes and cadences of silver melody. I have heard some fine music, as
men are wont to speak--the play of orchestras, the anthems of choirs,
the voices of song that moved admiring nations. But in the lofty passes
of the Alps I heard a music overhead from God's cloudy orchestra, the
giant peaks of rock and ice, curtained in by the driving mist and only
dimly visible athwart the sky through its folds, such as mocks all
sounds our lower worlds of art can ever hope to raise. I stood (excuse
the simplicity) calling to them, in the loudest shouts I could raise,
even till my power was spent, and listening in compulsory trance to
their reply. I heard them roll it up through their cloudy worlds of
snow, sifting out the harsh qualities that were tearing in it as demon
screams of sin, holding on upon it as if it were a hymn they were fining
to the ear of the great Creator, and sending it round and round in long
reduplications of sweetness, minute after minute; till finally receding
and rising, it trembled, as it were, among the quick gratulations of
angels, and fell into the silence of the pure empyrean. I had never any
conception before of what is meant by _quality_ in sound. There was more
power upon the soul in one of those simple notes than I ever expect to
feel from anything called music below, or ever can feel till I hear them
again in the choirs of the angelic world. I had never such a sense of
purity, or of what a simple sound may tell of purity by its own pure
quality; and I could not but say, O my God, teach me this! Be this in me
forever! And I can truly affirm that the experience of that hour has
consciously made me better able to think of God ever since--better able
to worship. All other sounds are gone; the sounds of yesterday, heard in
the silence of enchanted multitudes, are gone; but that is with me
still, and I hope will never cease to ring in my spirit till I go down
to the slumber of silence itself.



A pretty picture of the time is the glimpse of young Mr. Pepys at the
bookseller's in London Strand on a February morning in 1663, making
haste to buy a new copy of 'Hudibras,' and carefully explaining that it
was "ill humor of him to be so against that which all the world cries up
to be an example of wit." The Clerk of the Admiralty had connections at
court; and between that February morning and a December day when Mr.
Battersby was at the Wardrobe using the King's time in gossip about the
new book of drollery, the merry Stuart had found out Sam Butler's poem
and had given it the help of his royal approval. Erstwhile, Samuel the
courtier had thought the work of Samuel the poet silly, and had given
warranty of his opinion by suffering loss of one shilling eightpence on
his purchase of the book. A view not to be wondered at in one who sets
down "Midsummer Night's Dream" as "insipid and ridiculous," and
"Othello" as a "mean thing"! Perhaps it was because Butler had a keen
knowledge of Shakespeare, and unconsciously used much of the actor's
quick-witted method, that his delicately feathered barbs made no dent on
the hard head of Pepys. Like his neighbor of the Avon, the author of
"Hudibras" was a merciless scourge to the vainglorious follies of the
time in which he poorly and obscurely lived; and like the truths which
he told in his inimitable satires, the virtue and decency of his life
was obscured by the disorder of the Commonwealth and the unfaith of the
restored monarchy.

[Illustration: SAMUEL BUTLER]

Samuel Butler was born near Strensham, Worcestershire, in 1612, the
fifth child and second son of a farmer of that parish, whose homestead
was known to within the present century as "Butler's tenement." The
elder Butler was not well-to-do, but had enough to educate his son at
the Worcester Grammar School, and to send him to a university. Whether
or what time he was at Oxford or Cambridge remains doubtful. A Samuel
Butler went up from Westminster to Christ Church, Oxford, 1623, too soon
for the Worcester lad of eleven years. Another doubtful tradition
places him at Cambridge in 1620. There is evidence that he was employed
as a clerk by Mr. Jeffreys, a justice of the peace at Earl's Croombe in
Worcestershire, and that while in this position he studied painting
under Samuel Cooper. A portrait of Oliver Cromwell attributed to his
hand was once in existence, and a number of paintings, said to have been
by him, hung on the walls at Earl's Croombe until they were used to
patch broken windows there in the last century. Butler went into the
service of Elizabeth, Countess of Kent, at Wrest in Bedfordshire, where
he had the use of a good library and the friendship of John Selden, then
steward of the Countess's estate. It was there and in association with
Selden that he began his literary work. Some time afterward he held a
servitor's position in the family of an officer of Cromwell's army, Sir
Samuel Luke, of Woodend, Bedfordshire. A manuscript note in an old
edition of 'Hudibras,' 1710, "from the books of Phil. Lomax by gift of
his father, G. Lomax," confirms the tradition that this Cromwellian
colonel was the original of Hudibras. The elder Lomax is said to have
been an intimate friend of Butler. Another name on the list of
candidates for this humorous honor--the honor of contributing with Don
Quixote to the increase of language--is that of Sir Henry Rosewell of
Ford Abbey, Devonshire. But it is unnecessary to limit to an individual
sample the satirist and poet of the whole breadth of human nature. A
presumption that Butler was in France and Holland for a time arises from
certain references in his writings. It was about 1659, when the decline
of the Cromwells became assured, that Butler ventured, but anonymously,
into print with a tract warmly advocating the recall of the King. At the
Restoration, and probably in reward for this evidence of loyalty, he was
made secretary to the Earl of Carbury, President of Wales, by whom he
was appointed steward of Ludlow Castle. About this time he married a
gentlewoman of small fortune, and is said to have lived comfortably upon
her money until it was lost by bad investments. The King having come to
his own again, Butler obtained permission in November 1662 to print the
first part of 'Hudibras.' The quaint title of this poem has attracted
much curious cavil. The name is used by Milton, Spenser, and Robert of
Gloucester for an early king of Britain, the grandfather of King Lear;
and by Ben Jonson--from whom Butler evidently adopted it--for a
swaggering fellow in the 'Magnetic Lady':--

    "_Rut_--Where is your captain
            Rudhudibrass de Ironside?"

_Act iii., Scene 3._

Charles II. was so delighted with the satire that he not only read and
reread it, but gave many copies to his intimates. The royal generosity,
lavish in promises, never exerted itself further than to give Butler--or
Boteler, as he is writ in the warrant--a monopoly of printing his own

The second part of 'Hudibras' appeared in 1664, and the third and last
in 1678.

The Duke of Buckingham was, we are told by Aubrey, well disposed towards
Butler, and Wycherley was a constant suitor in his behalf; but the
fickle favorite forgot his promises as easily as did the King. Lord
Clarendon, who had the witty poet's portrait painted for his library,
was no better at promise-keeping. It is natural that such neglect should
have provoked the sharp but just satires which Butler wrote against the
manners of Charles's dissolute court.

'Hudibras' was never finished; for Butler, who had been confined by his
infirmities to his room in Rose Court, Covent Garden, since 1676, died
on September 25th, 1680. William Longueville, a devoted friend but for
whose kindness the poet might have starved, buried the remains at his
own expense in the churchyard of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. In 1721 John
Barber, Lord Mayor of London, set up in the Poet's Corner of Westminster
Abbey an inscription to Butler's memory, which caused later satirists to
suggest that this was giving a stone to him who had asked for bread.

Butler was a plain man of middle stature, strong-set, high-colored, with
a head of sorrel hair. He possessed a severe and sound judgment, but was
"a good fellow," according to his friend Aubrey.

Many of Butler's writings were not published in his lifetime, during
which only the three parts of 'Hudibras' and some trifles appeared.
Longueville, who received his papers, left them, unpublished, to his son
Charles; from whom they came to John Clarke of Cheshire, by whose
permission the 'Genuine Remains' in two volumes were published in 1759.
The title of this book is due to the fact that poor Butler, as is usual
with his kind, became very popular immediately after his death, and the
ghouls of literature supplied the book-shops with forgeries. Butler's
manuscripts, many of which have never been published, were placed in the
British Museum in 1885.


    When civil fury first grew high,
    And men fell out, they knew not why;
    When hard words, jealousies, and fears
    Set folks together by the ears,
    And made them fight, like mad or drunk,
    For dame Religion as for Punk,
    Whose honesty they all durst swear for,
    Tho' not a man of them knew wherefore;
    When Gospel-Trumpeter, surrounded
    With long-ear'd rout, to battle sounded,
    And pulpit, drum ecclesiastick,
    Was beat with fist, instead of a stick;
    Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling,
    And out he rode a-colonelling.

      A Wight he was, whose very sight would
    Entitle him Mirror of Knighthood,
    That never bent his stubborn knee
    To anything but chivalry;
    Nor put up blow, but that which laid
    Right worshipful on shoulder-blade;
    Chief of domestic knights, and errant,
    Either for chartel or for warrant;
    Great on the bench, great in the saddle,
    That could as well bind o'er, as swaddle:
    Mighty he was at both of these,
    And styl'd of War as well as Peace.
    So some rats of amphibious nature
    Are either for the land or water.
    But here our authors make a doubt,
    Whether he were more wise, or stout.
    Some hold the one, and some the other;
    But howsoe'er they make a pother,
    The diff'rence was so small, his brain
    Outweigh'd his rage but half a grain;
    Which made some take him for a tool
    That knaves do work with, call'd a Fool;
    And offer'd to lay wagers that
    As Montaigne, playing with his cat,
    Complains she thought him but an ass,
    Much more she wou'd Sir Hudibras:
    For that's the name our valiant knight
    To all his challenges did write.
    But they're mistaken very much;
    'Tis plain enough he was no such:
    We grant, although he had much wit,
    H' was very shy of using it,
    As being loth to wear it out;
    And therefore bore it not about,
    Unless on holy-days, or so,
    As men their best apparel do.

      He was in Logic a great critic,
    Profoundly skill'd in Analytic;
    He could distinguish and divide
    A hair 'twixt south and southwest side;
    On either side he would dispute,
    Confute, change hands, and still confute;
    He'd undertake to prove by force
    Of argument, a man's no horse;
    He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl,
    And that a Lord may be an owl;
    A calf an Alderman, a goose a Justice,
    And rooks Committee-Men or Trustees.
    He'd run in debt by disputation,
    And pay with ratiocination.
    All this by syllogism true,
    In mood and figure, he would do.

      For Rhetoric, he could not ope
    His mouth, but out there flew a trope:
    And when he happen'd to break off
    I' th' middle of his speech, or cough,
    H' had hard words, ready to shew why
    And tell what rules he did it by.
    Else, when with greatest art he spoke,
    You'd think he talk'd like other folk.
    For all a Rhetorician's rules
    Teach nothing but to name his tools.

      His ordinary rate of speech
    In loftiness of sound was rich;
    A Babylonish dialect,
    Which learned pedants much affect;
    It was a parti-color'd dress
    Of patch'd and piebald languages:
    'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin,
    Like fustian heretofore on satin.
    It had an odd promiscuous tone,
    As if h' had talk'd three parts in one;
    Which made some think, when he did gabble,
    Th' had heard three laborers of Babel;
    Or Cerberus himself pronounce
    A leash of languages at once.
    This he as volubly would vent
    As if his stock would ne'er be spent:
    And truly, to support that charge,
    He had supplies as vast and large,
    For he could coin or counterfeit
    New words with little or no wit:
    Words so debas'd and hard, no stone
    Was hard enough to touch them on;
    And when with hasty noise he spoke 'em,
    The ignorant for current took 'em--
    That had the orator who once
    Did fill his mouth with pebble-stones
    When he harangu'd, but known his phrase,
    He would have us'd no other ways.

      In Mathematics he was greater
    Than Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater:
    For he, by geometric scale,
    Could take the size of pots of ale;
    Resolve, by sines and tangents straight,
    If bread or butter wanted weight;
    And wisely tell what hour o' th' day
    The clock does strike, by Algebra.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

      Beside, he was a shrewd Philosopher,
    And had read every text and gloss over:
    Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath,
    He understood b' implicit faith:
    Whatever Skeptic could inquire for;
    For every WHY he had a WHEREFORE:
    Knew more than forty of them do,
    As far as words and terms could go.
    All which he understood by rote,
    And, as occasion serv'd, would quote;
    No matter whether right or wrong,
    They might be either said or sung.
    His notions fitted things so well,
    That which was which he could not tell,
    But oftentimes mistook the one
    For th' other, as great clerks have done.
    He could reduce all things to acts,
    And knew their natures by abstracts;
    Where entity and quiddity,
    The ghost of defunct bodies, fly;
    Where Truth in person does appear,
    Like words congealed in northern air.
    He knew what's what, and that's as high
    As metaphysic wit can fly.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

      For his religion, it was fit
    To match his learning and his wit:
    'Twas Presbyterian, true blue;
    For he was of that stubborn crew
    Of errant saints, whom all men grant
    To be the true church militant:
    Such as do build their faith upon
    The holy text of pike and gun;
    Decide all controversy by
    Infallible artillery;
    And prove their doctrine orthodox
    By apostolic blows and knocks;
    Call fire and sword and desolation
    A godly-thorough-Reformation,
    Which always must be carry'd on,
    And still be doing, never done,
    As if Religion were intended
    For nothing else but to be mended.
    A sect whose chief devotion lies
    In odd perverse antipathies:
    In falling out with that or this,
    And finding somewhat still amiss:
    More peevish, cross, and splenetic,
    Than dog distract, or monkey sick.
    That with more care keep holy-day
    The wrong, than others the right way:
    Compound for sins they are inclin'd to,
    By damning those they have no mind to:
    Still so perverse and opposite,
    As if they worship'd God for spite.
    The self-same thing they will abhor
    One way, and long another for.
    Free-will they one way disavow,
    Another, nothing else allow.
    All piety consists therein
    In them, in other men all sin.
    Rather than fail, they will defy
    That which they love most tenderly:
    Quarrel with minc'd pies, and disparage
    Their best and dearest friend--plum-porridge;
    Fat pig and goose itself oppose,
    And blaspheme custard through the nose.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

      His puissant sword unto his side,
    Near his undaunted heart, was ty'd,
    With basket-hilt, that would hold broth,
    And serve for fight and dinner both.
    In it he melted lead for bullets,
    To shoot at foes, and sometimes pullets;
    To whom he bore so fell a grutch,
    He ne'er gave quarter t'any such.
    The trenchant blade, Toledo trusty,
    For want of fighting was grown rusty,
    And ate into itself, for lack
    Of somebody to hew and hack.
    The peaceful scabbard where it dwelt
    The rancor of its edge had felt....

      This sword a dagger had, his page,
    That was but little for his age:
    And therefore waited on him so,
    As dwarfs upon knights-errant do.
    It was a serviceable dudgeon,
    Either for fighting or for drudging:
    When it had stabb'd, or broke a head,
    It would scrape trenchers or chip bread,
    Toast cheese or bacon, though it were
    To bait a mouse-trap, 'twould not care:
    'Twould make clean shoes, and in the earth
    Set leeks and onions, and so forth:
    It had been 'prentice to a brewer,
    Where this, and more, it did endure;
    But left the trade, as many more
    Have lately done, on the same score.




Goethe, in one of his conversations with Henry Crabb Robinson about
Byron, said "There is no padding in his poetry" ("Es sind keine
Flickwörter im Gedichte"). This was in 1829, five years after Byron
died. "This, and indeed every evening, I believe, Lord Byron was the
subject of his praise. He compared the brilliancy and clearness of his
style to a metal wire drawn through a steel plate." He expressed regret
that Byron should not have lived to execute his vocation, which he said
was "to dramatize the Old Testament. What a subject under his hands
would the Tower of Babel have been!" Byron's views of nature he declared
were "equally profound and poetical." Power in all its forms Goethe had
respect for, and he was captivated by the indomitable spirit of Manfred.
He enjoyed the 'Vision of Judgment' when it was read to him, exclaiming
"Heavenly!" "Unsurpassable!" "Byron has surpassed himself." He equally
enjoyed the satire on George IV. He did not praise Milton with the
warmth with which he eulogized Byron, of whom he said that "the like
would never come again; he was inimitable."

Goethe's was the Continental opinion, but it was heightened by his
conception of "realism"; he held that the poet must be matter-of-fact,
and that it was the truth and reality that made writing popular: "It is
by the laborious collection of facts that even a poetical view of nature
is to be corrected and authenticated." Tennyson was equally careful for
scientific accuracy in regard to all the phenomena of nature. Byron had
not scientific accuracy, but with his objectivity Goethe sympathized
more than with the reflection and introspection of Wordsworth.

Byron was hailed on the Continent as a poet of power, and the judgment
of him was not influenced by his disregard of the society conventions
of England, nor by his personal eccentricities, nor because he
was not approved by the Tory party and the Tory writers. Perhaps
unconsciously--certainly not with the conviction of Shelley--Byron was
on the side of the new movement in Europe; the spirit of Rousseau, the
unrest of 'Wilhelm Meister,' the revolutionary seething, with its tinge
of morbidness and misanthropy, its brilliant dreams of a new humanity,
and its reckless destructive theories. In France especially his
influence was profound and lasting. His wit and his lyric fire excused
his morbidness and his sentimental posing as a waif, unfriended in a
cold and treacherous world of women and men; and his genius made
misanthropy and personal recklessness a fashion. The world took his
posing seriously and his grievances to heart, sighed with him, copied
his dress, tried to imitate his adventures, many of them imaginary, and
accepted him as a perturbed, storm-tost spirit, representative of an age
of agitation.


So he was, but not by consistent hypocritical premeditation; for his
pose was not so much of set purpose as in obedience to a false
education, an undisciplined temper, and a changing mind. He was guided
by the impulse of the moment. I think it a supportable thesis that every
age, every wide and popular movement, finds its supreme expression in a
Poet. Byron was the mouthpiece of a certain phase of his time. He
expressed it, and the expression remains and is important as a record,
like the French Revolution and the battle of Waterloo. Whatever the
judgment in history may be of the value to civilization of this
eighteenth-century movement extending into the nineteenth, in politics,
sociology, literature, with all its recklessness, morbidness,
hopefulness, Byron represented it. He was the poet of Revolt. He sounded
the note of intemperate, unconsidered defiance in the 'English Bards and
Scotch Reviewers.' This satire was audacious; many of its judgments were
unjust; but its wit and poetic vigor announced a new force in English
literature, and the appearance of a man who was abundantly able to take
care of himself and secure respectful treatment. In moments afterward he
expressed regret for it, or for portions of it, and would have liked to
soften its personalities. He was always susceptible to kindness, and
easily won by the good opinion of even a declared enemy. He and Moore
became lifelong friends, and between him and Walter Scott there sprang
up a warm friendship, with sincere reciprocal admiration of each other's
works. Only on politics and religion did they disagree, but Scott
thought Byron's Liberalism not very deep: "It appeared to me," he said,
"that the pleasure it afforded him as a vehicle of displaying his wit
and satire against individuals in office was at the bottom of this habit
of thinking. At heart I would have termed Byron a patrician on
principle." Scott shared Goethe's opinion of Byron's genius:--"He wrote
from impulse, never for effect, and therefore I have always reckoned
Burns and Byron the most genuine poetic geniuses of my time, and of half
a century before me. We have many men of high poetic talents, but none
of that ever-gushing and perennial fountain of natural waters." It has
been a fashion of late years to say that both Byron and Scott have gone
by; I fancy it is a case of "not lost, but gone before." Among the men
satirized in the 'Bards' was Wordsworth. Years after, Byron met him
at a dinner, and on his return told his wife that the "one feeling he
had for him from the beginning to the end of the visit was _reverence_."
Yet he never ceased to gird at him in his satires. The truth is, that
consistency was never to be expected in Byron. Besides, he inherited
none of the qualities needed for an orderly and noble life. He came of a
wild and turbulent race.

George Gordon, Lord Byron, the sixth of the name, was born in London,
January 22d, 1788, and died at Missolonghi, Greece, April 19th, 1824.
His father, John Byron, a captain in the Guards, was a heartless
profligate with no redeeming traits of character. He eloped with Amelia
D'Arcy, wife of the Marquis of Carmarthen, and after her divorce from
her husband married her and treated her like a brute. One daughter of
this union was Augusta, Byron's half-sister, who married Colonel Leigh,
and who was the good angel of the poet, and the friend of Lady Byron
until there was a rupture of their relations in 1830 on a matter of
business. A year after the death of his first wife, John Byron entrapped
and married Catherine Gordon of Gicht,--a Scotch heiress, very proud of
her descent from James I. of Scotland,--whose estate he speedily
squandered. In less than two years after the birth of George, John Byron
ran away from his wife and his creditors, and died in France.

Mrs. Byron was a wholly undisciplined and weak woman, proud of her
descent, wayward and hysterical. She ruined the child, whom she
alternately petted and abused. She interfered with his education and
fixed him in all his bad tendencies. He never learned anything until he
was sent away from her to Harrow. He was passionate, sullen, defiant of
authority, but very amenable to kindness; and with a different mother
his nobler qualities, generosity, sense of justice, hatred of hypocrisy,
and craving for friendship would have been developed, and the story of
his life would be very different from what it is. There is no doubt that
the regrettable parts of the careers of both Byron and Shelley are due
to lack of discipline and loving-kindness in their early years. Byron's
irritability and bad temper were aggravated by a physical defect, which
hindered him from excelling in athletic sports of which he was fond,
and embittered all his life. Either at birth or by an accident one of
his feet was malformed or twisted so as to affect his gait, and the evil
was aggravated by surgical attempts to straighten the limb. His
sensitiveness was increased by unfeeling references to it. His mother
used to call him "a lame brat," and his pride received an incurable
wound in the heartless remark of Mary Chaworth, "Do you think I could
care for that lame boy?" Byron was two years her junior, but his love
for her was the purest passion of his life, and it has the sincerest
expression in the famous 'Dream.' Byron's lameness, and his morbid fear
of growing obese, which led him all his life into reckless experiments
in diet, were permanent causes of his discontent and eccentricity. In
1798, by the death of its incumbent, Byron became the heir of Newstead
Abbey and the sixth Lord Byron. He had great pride in the possession of
this crumbling and ruinous old pile. After its partial repair he
occupied it with his mother, and from time to time in his stormy life;
but in 1818 it was sold for £90,000, which mostly went to pay debts and
mortgages. Almost all the influences about Byron's early youth were such
as to foster his worst traits, and lead to those eccentricities of
conduct and temper which came at times close to insanity. But there was
one exception, his nurse Mary Gray, to whom he owed his intimate
knowledge of the Bible, and for whom he always retained a sincere
affection. It is worth noting also, as an indication of his nature, that
he always had the love of his servants.

A satisfactory outline of Byron's life and work is found in Mr. John
Nichol's 'Byron' in the 'English Men of Letters' series. Owing to his
undisciplined home life, he was a backward boy in scholarship. In 1805
he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he resided irregularly for
three years, reading much in a desultory manner, but paying slight
attention to the classics and mathematics; so that it was a surprise
that he was able to take his degree. But he had keen powers of
observation and a phenomenal memory. Notwithstanding his infirmity he
was distinguished in many athletic sports, he was fond of animals and
such uncomfortable pets as bears and monkeys, and led generally an
irregular life. The only fruit of this period in literature was the
'Hours of Idleness,' which did not promise much, and would be of little
importance notwithstanding many verses of great lyric skill, had it not
been for the slashing criticism on it, imputed to Lord Brougham, in the
Edinburgh Review, which provoked the 'English Bards and Scotch
Reviewers.' This witty outburst had instant success with the public.

In 1809 Byron came of age, and went abroad on a two-years' pilgrimage to
Spain, Malta, Greece, and Constantinople, giving free rein to his humor
for intrigue and adventure in the "lands of the sun," and gathering the
material for many of his romances and poems. He became at once the
picturesque figure of his day,--a handsome, willful poet, sated with
life, with no regret for leaving his native land; the conqueror of
hearts and the sport of destiny. The world was speedily full of romances
of his recklessness, his intrigues, his _diablerie_, and his
munificence. These grew, upon his return in 1811 and the publication in
1812 of the first two cantos of 'Childe Harold.' All London was at his
feet. He had already made his first speech in the House of Lords
espousing the Liberal side. The second speech was in favor of Catholic
emancipation. The fresh and novel poem, which Byron himself had not at
first thought worth offering a publisher, fell in with the humor and
moral state of the town. It was then that he made the oft-quoted remark,
"I awoke one morning and found myself famous." The poem gave new impetus
to the stories of his romantic life, and London seemed to idolize him as
much for his follies and his _liaisons_ as for his genius. He plunged
into all the dissipation of the city. But this period from 1811 to 1815
was also one of extraordinary intellectual fertility. In rapid
succession he gave to the press poems and romances,--'The Giaour,' 'The
Bride of Abydos,' 'The Corsair,' 'Lara,' the 'Hebrew Melodies,' 'The
Siege of Corinth,' and 'Parisina.' Some of the 'Hebrew Melodies' are
unequaled in lyric fire. The romances are all taking narratives, full of
Oriental passion, vivid descriptions of scenery, and portraitures of
female loveliness and dark-browed heroes, often full of melody, but
melodramatic; and in substance do not bear analysis. But they still
impress with their flow of vitality, their directness and power of
versification, and their frequent beauty.

Sated with varied dissipation, worn out with the flighty adoration of
Lady Caroline Lamb, and urged by his friends to marry and settle down,
Byron married (January 2d, 1815) Anne Isabella, daughter of Sir Ralph
Milbanke. He liked but did not love her; and she was no doubt fascinated
by the reputation of the most famous man in Europe, and perhaps indulged
the philanthropic hope that she could reform the literary Corsair. On
the 10th of December was born Augusta Ada, the daughter whom Byron
celebrates in his verse and to whom he was always tenderly attached. On
the 15th of January, five weeks after her daughter's birth, Lady Byron
left home with the child to pay a visit to her family, dispatching to
her husband a playfully tender letter. Shortly after, he was informed by
her father and by herself that she did not intend ever to return to him.
It is useless to enter into the controversy as to the cause of this
separation. In the light of the latest revelations, the better opinion
seems to be that it was a hopeless incongruity that might have been
predicted from the characters of the two. It seems that Lady Byron was
not quite so amiable as she was supposed to be, and in her later years
she was subject to hallucinations. Byron, it must be admitted, was an
impossible husband for any woman, most of all for any woman who cared
for the social conventions. This affair brought down upon Byron a storm
of public indignation which drove him from England. The society which
had petted him and excused his vagaries and violations of all decency,
now turned upon him with rage and made the idol responsible for the
foolishness of his worshipers. To the end of his life, neither society
nor the critics ever forgave him, and did not even do justice to his
genius. His espousal of the popular cause in Europe embittered the
conservative element, and the freedom of speculation in such masterly
works as 'Cain' brought upon him the anathemas of orthodox England.
Henceforth in England his poetry was judged by his liberal and
unorthodox opinions. This vituperation rose to its height when Byron
dared to satirize George III., and to expose mercilessly in 'Don Juan'
the hypocrisy of English life.

On the 25th of April, 1816, Byron left England, never to return. And
then opened the most brilliant period of his literary career. Instead of
being crushed by the situation, Byron's warlike spirit responded to it
with defiance, and his suffering and his anger invoked the highest
qualities of his extraordinary genius. His career in Italy was as wild
and dissipated as ever. Strange to say, the best influence in his
irregular life was the Countess Guiccioli, who persuaded him at one time
to lay aside the composition of 'Don Juan,' and in whose society he was
drawn into ardent sympathy with the Italian liberals. For the cause of
Italian unity he did much when it was in its darkest period, and his
name is properly linked in this great achievement with those of Mazzini
and Cavour. It was in Switzerland, before Byron settled in Venice, that
he met Shelley, with whom he was thereafter to be on terms of closest
intimacy. Each had a mutual regard for the genius of the other, but
Shelley placed Byron far above himself. It was while sojourning near the
Shelleys on the Lake of Geneva that Byron formed a union with Claire
Clairmont, the daughter of Mrs. Clairmont, who became William Godwin's
second wife. The result of this intimacy was a natural daughter,
Allegra, for whose maintenance and education Byron provided, and whose
early death was severely felt by him.

Byron's life in Italy from 1816 to 1823 continued to be a romance of
exciting and dubious adventure. Many details of it are given in Byron's
letters,--his prose is always as vigorous as his poetry, and as
self-revealing,--and it was no doubt recorded in his famous Diary, which
was intrusted to his friend Tom Moore, and was burned after Byron's
death. Byron's own frankness about himself, his love of mystification,
his impulsiveness in writing anything that entered his brain at the
moment, and his habit of boasting about his wickedness, which always
went to the extent of making himself out worse than he was, stands in
the way of getting a clear narration of his life and conduct. But he was
always an interesting and commanding and perplexing personality, and the
writings about him by his intimates are as various as the moods he
indulged in. The bright light of inquiry always shone upon him, for
Byron was the most brilliant, the most famous, the most detested, the
most worshiped, and the most criticized and condemned man in Europe.

It was in this period that he produced the works that by their innate
vigor and power placed him in the front rank of English poets. A
complete list of them cannot be given in this brief notice. The third
and fourth cantos of 'Childe Harold' attained a height that the first
two cantos had not prepared the world to expect. 'Cain' was perhaps the
culmination of his power. The lyrics and occasional poems of this time
add to his fame because they exhibit his infinite variety. Critics point
out the carelessness of his verse,--and there is an air of haste in much
of it; they deny his originality and give the sources of his
inspiration,--but he had Shakespeare's faculty of transforming all
things to his own will; and they deny him the contribution of thought to
the ideas of the world. This criticism must stand against the fact of
his almost unequaled power to move the world and make it feel and think.
The Continental critics did not accuse him of want of substance. What
did he not do for Spain, for Italy, for Greece! No interpretation of
their splendid past, of their hope for the future, no musings over the
names of other civilizations, no sympathy with national pride, has ever
so satisfied the traveling and reading world in these lands, as Byron's.
The public is not so good a judge of what poetry should be, as the
trained critics; but it is a judge of power, of what is stirring and
entertaining: and so it comes to pass that Byron's work is read when
much poetry, more finished but wanting certain vital qualities, is
neglected. I believe it is a fact that Byron is more quoted than any
English poet except Pope since Shakespeare, and that he is better known
to the world at large than any except the Master. But whether this is so
or not, he is more read now at the close of this century than he was in
its third quarter.

'The Dream' and 'Darkness' are poems that will never lose their value so
long as men love and are capable of feeling terror. 'Manfred,'
'Mazeppa,' 'Heaven and Earth,' 'The Prisoner of Chillon,' and the satire
of the 'Vision of Judgment' maintain their prominence; and it seems
certain that many of the lyrics, like 'The Isles of Greece' and the
'Maid of Athens,' will never pall upon any generation of readers, and
the lyrics will probably outlast the others in general favor. Byron
wrote many dramas, but they are not acting plays. He lacked the dramatic
instinct, and it is safe to say that his plays, except in certain
passages, add little to his great reputation.

In the opinion of many critics, Byron's genius was more fully displayed
in 'Don Juan' than in 'Childe Harold.' Byron was Don Juan, mocking,
satirical, witty, pathetic, dissolute, defiant of all conventional
opinion. The ease, the grace, the _diablerie_ of the poem are
indescribable; its wantonness is not to be excused. But it is a
microcosm of life as the poet saw it, a record of the experience of
thirty years, full of gems, full of flaws, in many ways the most
wonderful performance of his time. The critics who were offended by its
satire of English hypocrisy had no difficulty in deciding that it was
not fit for English readers. I wonder what would be the judgment of it
if it were a recovered classic disassociated from the personality of any

Byron was an aristocrat, and sometimes exhibited a silly regard for his
rank; but he was a democrat in all the impulses of his nature. His early
feeling was that as a peer he condescended to authorship, and for a time
he would take no pay for what he wrote. But later, when he needed
money, he was keen at a bargain for his poetry. He was extravagant in
his living, generous to his friends and to the popular causes he
espoused, and cared nothing for money except the pleasure of spending
it. It was while he was living at Ravenna that he became involved in the
intrigues for Italian independence. He threw himself, his fortune and
his time, into it. The time has come, he said, when a man must do
something--writing was only a pastime. He joined the secret society of
the Carbonari; he showed a statesmanlike comprehension of the situation;
his political papers bear the stamp of the qualities of vision and
leadership. When that dream faded under the reality of the armies of
despotism, his thoughts turned to Greece. Partly his restless nature,
partly love of adventure carried him there; but once in the enterprise,
he gave his soul to it with a boldness, a perseverance, a good sense, a
patriotic fervor that earn for him the title of a hero in a good cause.
His European name was a tower of strength to the Greek patriots. He
mastered the situation with a statesman's skill and with the perception
of a soldier; he endured all the hardships of campaigning, and waited in
patience to bring some order to the wrangling factions. If his life had
been spared, it is possible that the Greeks then might have thrown off
the Turkish yoke; but he succumbed to a malarial fever, brought on by
the exposure of a frame weakened by a vegetable diet, and expired at
Missolonghi in his thirty-seventh year. He was adored by the Greeks, and
his death was a national calamity. This last appearance of Lord Byron
shows that he was capable of as great things in action as in the realm
of literature. It was the tragic end of the stormy career of a genius
whose life was as full of contradictions as his character.

[Illustration: _NEWSTEAD ABBEY._ The ancestral home of the family of
Lord Byron. Original Etching from an Old Engraving.]

It was not only in Greece that Byron's death was profoundly felt, but in
all Europe, which was under the spell of his genius. Mrs. Anne Thackeray
Ritchie, in her charming recollections of Tennyson, says:--"One day
the news came to the village--the dire news which spread across the
land, filling men's hearts with consternation--that Byron was dead.
Alfred was then a boy about fifteen. 'Byron was dead! I thought the
whole world was at an end,' he once said, speaking of those bygone days.
'I thought everything was over and finished for every one--that nothing
else mattered. I remember I walked out alone and carved "Byron is dead"
into the sandstone.'"

[Illustration: Signature: Chas. Dudley Warner]


    Maid of Athens, ere we part,
    Give, oh give me back my heart!
    Or, since that has left my breast,
    Keep it now, and take the rest!
    Hear my vow before I go,
    ~Zôe mou, sas agapô.~[107]

    By those tresses unconfined,
    Wooed by each Ægean wind;
    By those lids whose jetty fringe
    Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge;
    By those wild eyes like the roe,
    ~Zôe mou, sas agapô.~

    By that lip I long to taste;
    By that zone-encircled waist;
    By all the token-flowers that tell
    What words can never speak so well;
    By love's alternate joy and woe,
    ~Zôe mou, sas agapô.~

    Maid of Athens! I am gone:
    Think of me, sweet! when alone.
    Though I fly to Istambol,
    Athens holds my heart and soul:
    Can I cease to love thee? No!
    ~Zôe mou, sas agapô.~


[107] Zoë mou, sas agapo: "My life, I love you."


    I enter thy garden of roses,
      Beloved and fair Haidée,
    Each morning where Flora reposes,
      For surely I see her in thee.
    O Lovely! thus low I implore thee,
      Receive this fond truth from my tongue,
    Which utters its song to adore thee,
      Yet trembles for what it has sung:
    As the branch, at the bidding of Nature,
      Adds fragrance and fruit to the tree,
    Through her eyes, through her every feature,
      Shines the soul of the young Haidée.

    But the loveliest garden grows hateful
      When love has abandoned the bowers;
    Bring me hemlock--since mine is ungrateful,
      That herb is more fragrant than flowers.
    The poison, when poured from the chalice,
      Will deeply embitter the bowl;
    But when drunk to escape from thy malice,
      The draught shall be sweet to my soul.
    Too cruel! in vain I implore thee
      My heart from these horrors to save:
    Will naught to my bosom restore thee?
      Then open the gates of the grave.

    As the chief who to combat advances
      Secure of his conquest before,
    Thus thou, with those eyes for thy lances,
      Hast pierced through my heart to its core.
    Ah, tell me, my soul, must I perish
      By pangs which a smile would dispel?
    Would the hope, which thou once bad'st me cherish,
      For torture repay me too well?
    Now sad is the garden of roses,
      Belovèd but false Haidée!
    There Flora all withered reposes,
      And mourns o'er thine absence with me.


From 'The Giaour'

    He who hath bent him o'er the dead
    Ere the first day of death is fled,--
    The first dark day of nothingness,
    The last of danger and distress,
    (Before Decay's effacing fingers
    Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,)--
    And marked the mild angelic air,
    The rapture of repose that's there,
    The fixed yet tender traits that streak
    The languor of the placid cheek,
    And--but for that sad shrouded eye,
      That fires not, wins not, weeps not now,
      And but for that chill, changeless brow,
    Where cold Obstruction's apathy
    Appalls the gazing mourner's heart,
    As if to him it could impart
    The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon--
    Yes, but for these and these alone,
    Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
    He still might doubt the tyrant's power;
    So fair, so calm, so softly sealed,
    The first, last look by death revealed!
    Such is the aspect of this shore;
    'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more!
    So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
    We start, for soul is wanting there.
    Hers is the loveliness in death
    That parts not quite with parting breath;
    But beauty with that fearful bloom,
    That hue which haunts it to the tomb,
    Expression's last receding ray,
    A gilded halo hovering round decay,
    The farewell beam of Feeling passed away!
    Spark of that flame--perchance of heavenly birth--
    Which gleams, but warms no more its cherished earth!

    Clime of the unforgotten brave!
    Whose land from plain to mountain-cave
    Was Freedom's home, or Glory's grave!
    Shrine of the mighty! can it be
    That this is all remains of thee?
    Approach, thou craven crouching slave:
      Say, is not this Thermopylæ?
    These waters blue that round you lave,
      O servile offspring of the free--
    Pronounce what sea, what shore is this?
    The gulf, the rock of Salamis!
    These scenes, their story not unknown,
    Arise, and make again your own;
    Snatch from the ashes of your sires
    The embers of their former fires;
    And he who in the strife expires
    Will add to theirs a name of fear
    That Tyranny shall quake to hear,
    And leave his sons a hope, a fame,
    They too will rather die than shame:
    For Freedom's battle once begun,
    Bequeathed by bleeding Sire to Son,
    Though baffled oft, is ever won.
    Bear witness, Greece, thy living page,
    Attest it many a deathless age!
    While kings, in dusty darkness hid,
    Have left a nameless pyramid,
    Thy heroes, though the general doom
    Hath swept the column from their tomb,
    A mightier monument command,
    The mountains of their native land!
    There points thy Muse to stranger's eye
    The graves of those that cannot die!

    'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace,
    Each step from splendor to disgrace:
    Enough--no foreign foe could quell
    Thy soul, till from itself it fell;
    Yes! self-abasement paved the way
    To villain-bonds and despot sway.


From 'The Bride of Abydos'

      The winds are high on Helle's wave;
        As on that night of stormy water,
      When Love, who sent, forgot to save
      The young, the beautiful, the brave,
        The lonely hope of Sestos's daughter.
      Oh! when alone along the sky
      Her turret torch was blazing high,
      Though rising gale, and breaking foam,
      And shrieking sea-birds, warned him home;
      And clouds aloft and tides below,
      With signs and sounds, forbade to go:
      He could not see, he would not hear,
      Or sound or sign foreboding fear;
      His eye but saw the light of love,
      The only star it hailed above;
      His ear but rang with Hero's song,
      "Ye waves, divide not lovers long!"--
      That tale is old, but love anew
      May nerve young hearts to prove as true.

      The winds are high, and Helle's tide
        Rolls darkly heaving to the main;
      And Night's descending shadows hide
        That field with blood bedewed in vain,
      The desert of old Priam's pride,
        The tombs, sole relics of his reign,
    All--save immortal dreams that could beguile
    The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle!

      Oh! yet--for there my steps have been;
        These feet have pressed the sacred shore;
      These limbs that buoyant wave hath borne--
      Minstrel! with thee to muse, to mourn,
        To trace again those fields of yore,
      Believing every hillock green
        Contains no fabled hero's ashes,
      And that around the undoubted scene
        Thine own "broad Hellespont" still dashes,--
      Be long my lot! and cold were he
      Who there could gaze denying thee!


From 'The Siege of Corinth'

    They fell devoted, but undying;
    The very gale their names seemed sighing:
    The waters murmured of their name;
    The woods were peopled with their fame;
    The silent pillar, lone and gray,
    Claimed kindred with their sacred clay;
    Their spirits wrapt the dusky mountain,
    Their memory sparkled o'er the fountain:
    The meanest rill, the mightiest river,
    Rolled mingling with their fame forever.
    Despite of every yoke she bears,
    That land is glory's still, and theirs!
    'Tis still a watchword to the earth:
    When man would do a deed of worth
    He points to Greece, and turns to tread,
    So sanctioned, on the tyrant's head;
    He looks to her, and rushes on
    Where life is lost, or freedom won.


From 'Don Juan'

    The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
      Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
    Where grew the arts of war and peace,
      Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!
    Eternal summer gilds them yet,
    But all except their sun is set.

    The Scian[108] and the Teian[109] muse,
      The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
    Have found the fame your shores refuse;
      Their place of birth alone is mute
    To sounds which echo further west
    Than your sires' "Islands of the Blest."

    The mountains look on Marathon--
      And Marathon looks on the sea;
    And musing there an hour alone,
      I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
    For, standing on the Persians' grave,
    I could not deem myself a slave.

    A king sat on the rocky brow
      Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
    And ships by thousands lay below,
      And men in nations;--all were his!
    He counted them at break of day--
    And when the sun set, where were they?

    And where are they? and where art thou,
      My country? On thy voiceless shore
    The heroic lay is tuneless now--
      The heroic bosom beats no more!
    And must thy lyre, so long divine,
    Degenerate into hands like mine?

    'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
      Though linked among a fettered race,
    To feel at least a patriot's shame,
      Even as I sing, suffuse my face:
    For what is left the poet here?
    For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear.

    Must _we_ but weep o'er days more blest?
      Must _we_ but blush?--Our fathers bled.
    Earth! render back from out thy breast
      A remnant of our Spartan dead!
    Of the three hundred grant but three
    To make a new Thermopylæ!

    What, silent still? and silent all?
      Ah, no;--the voices of the dead
    Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
      And answer, "Let one living head,
    But one, arise--we come, we come!"
    'Tis but the living who are dumb.

    In vain--in vain: strike other chords;
      Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
    Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
      And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
    Hark! rising to the ignoble call,
    How answers each bold Bacchanal!

    You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
      Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
    Of two such lessons, why forget
      The nobler and the manlier one?
    You have the letters Cadmus gave--
    Think ye he meant them for a slave?

    Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
      We will not think of themes like these:
    It made Anacreon's song divine;
      He served--but served Polycrates--
    A tyrant: but our masters then
    Were still at least our countrymen.

    The tyrant of the Chersonese
      Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
    _That_ tyrant was Miltiades!
      Oh that the present hour would lend
    Another despot of the kind!
    Such chains as his were sure to bind.

    Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
      On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
    Exists the remnant of a line
      Such as the Doric mothers bore:
    And there, perhaps, some seed is sown
    The Heracleidan blood might own.

    Trust not for freedom to the Franks--
      They have a king who buys and sells;
    In native swords and native ranks
      The only hope of courage dwells:
    But Turkish force and Latin fraud
    Would break your shield, however broad.

    Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
      Our virgins dance beneath the shade:
    I see their glorious black eyes shine;
      But, gazing on each glowing maid,
    My own the burning tear-drop laves,
    To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

    Place me on Sunium's marble steep,
      Where nothing, save the waves and I,
    May hear our mutual murmurs sweep:
      There, swan-like, let me sing and die!
    A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine--
    Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!


[108] Homer.

[109] Anacreon.


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      Ancient of days! august Athena! where,
        Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?
      Gone--glimmering through the dream of things that were:
        First in the race that led to Glory's goal,
        They won, and passed away--is this the whole?
      A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour!
        The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole
      Are sought in vain, and o'er each moldering tower,
    Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

      Fair Greece! sad relic of departed worth!
        Immortal, though no more! though fallen, great!
      Who now shall lead thy scattered children forth,
        And long accustomed bondage uncreate?
        Not such thy sons who whilome did await,
      The hopeless warriors of a willing doom,
        In bleak Thermopylæ's sepulchral strait--
      Oh, who that gallant spirit shall resume,
    Leap from Eurotas's banks, and call thee from the tomb?

      Spirit of Freedom! when on Phyle's brow
        Thou sat'st with Thrasybulus and his train,
      Couldst thou forebode the dismal hour which now
        Dims the green beauties of thine Attic plain?
        Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain,
      But every earl can lord it o'er thy land:
        Nor rise thy sons, but idly rail in vain,
      Trembling beneath the scourge of Turkish hand,
    From birth till death enslaved; in word, in deed, unmanned.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

      Hereditary bondmen! know ye not
        Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?
      By their right arms the conquest must be wrought?
        Will Gaul or Muscovite redress ye? No!
        True, they may lay your proud despoilers low,
      But not for you will Freedom's altars flame.
        Shades of the Helots! triumph o'er your foe:
      Greece! change thy lords, thy state is still the same;
    Thy glorious day is o'er, but not thy years of shame....

      When riseth Lacedæmon's hardihood,
        When Thebes Epaminondas rears again,
      When Athens' children are with hearts endued,
        When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men,
        Then may'st thou be restored; but not till then.
      A thousand years scarce serve to form a State;
        An hour may lay it in the dust: and when
      Can man its shattered splendor renovate,
    Recall its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate?

      And yet how lovely in thine age of woe,
        Land of lost gods and godlike men, art thou!
      Thy vales of evergreen, thy hills of snow,
        Proclaim thee Nature's varied favorite now.
        Thy fanes, thy temples to thy surface bow,
      Commingling slowly with heroic earth,
        Broke by the share of every rustic plough:
      So perish monuments of mortal birth,
    So perish all in turn, save well-recorded worth;

      Save where some solitary column mourns
        Above its prostrate brethren of the cave;
      Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns
        Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave;
        Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave,
      Where the gray stones and long-neglected grass
        Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave,
      While strangers only not regardless pass,
    Lingering like me, perchance, to gaze, and sigh "Alas!"

      Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild,
        Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,
      Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled,
        And still his honeyed wealth Hymettus yields;
        There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
      The free-born wanderer of thy mountain air;
        Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
      Still in his beam Mendeli's marbles glare:
    Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.

      Where'er we tread, 'tis haunted, holy ground;
        No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mold,
      But one vast realm of wonder spreads around,
        And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
        Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
      The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon:
        Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold,
      Defies the power which crushed thy temples gone:
    Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Marathon.


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      O Rome! my country! city of the soul!
        The orphans of the heart must turn to thee,
      Lone mother of dead empires! and control
        In their shut breasts their petty misery.
        What are our woes and sufferings? Come and see
      The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
        O'er steps of broken thrones and temples, ye!
      Whose agonies are evils of a day--
    A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.

      The Niobe of nations! there she stands,
        Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe;
      An empty urn within her withered hands,
        Whose holy dust was scattered long ago:
        The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now;
      The very sepulchres lie tenantless
        Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,
      Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness?
    Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress!

      The Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood, and Fire
        Have dealt upon the seven-hilled city's pride:
      She saw her glories star by star expire,
        And up the steep, Barbarian monarchs ride,
        Where the car climbed the Capitol; far and wide
      Temple and tower went down, nor left a site:--
        Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,
      O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
    And say, "Here was, or is," where all is doubly night?

      The double night of ages, and of her,
        Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and wrap
      All round us; we but feel our way to err:
        The ocean hath its chart, the stars their map,
        And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap;
      But Rome is as the desert, where we steer
        Stumbling o'er recollections: now we clap
      Our hands, and cry "Eureka! it is clear--"
    When but some false mirage of ruin rises near.

      Alas, the lofty city! and alas,
        The trebly hundred triumphs! and the day
      When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass
        The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away!
        Alas for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay,
      And Livy's pictured page! But these shall be
        Her resurrection; all beside--decay.
      Alas for Earth, for never shall we see
    That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      Arches on arches! as it were that Rome,
        Collecting the chief trophies of her line,
      Would build up all her triumphs in one dome,
        Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams shine
        As 'twere its natural torches, for divine
      Should be the light which streams here, to illume
        This long explored but still exhaustless mine
      Of contemplation; and the azure gloom
    Of an Italian night, where the deep skies assume

      Hues which have words, and speak to ye of heaven,
        Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument,
      And shadows forth its glory. There is given
        Unto the things of earth, which Time hath bent,
        A spirit's feeling, and where he hath leant
      His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power
        And magic in the ruined battlement,
      For which the palace of the present hour
    Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower.

      And here the buzz of eager nations ran,
        In murmured pity, or loud-roared applause,
      As man was slaughtered by his fellow-man.
        And wherefore slaughtered? wherefore, but because
        Such were the bloody Circus's genial laws,
      And such the imperial pleasure.--Wherefore not?
        What matters where we fall to fill the maws
      Of worms--on battle-plains or listed spot?
    Both are but theatres where the chief actors rot.

      I see before me the Gladiator lie:
        He leans upon his hand--his manly brow
      Consents to death, but conquers agony,
        And his drooped head sinks gradually low;
        And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
      From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
        Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
      The arena swims around him--he is gone,
    Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won.

      He heard it, but he heeded not--his eyes
        Were with his heart, and that was far away;
      He recked not of the life he lost, nor prize,
        But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
        _There_ were his young barbarians all at play,
      _There_ was their Dacian mother--he, their sire,
        Butchered to make a Roman holiday:
      All this rushed with his blood. Shall he expire,
    And unavenged?--Arise, ye Goths, and glut your ire!

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

      A ruin--yet what ruin! from its mass
        Walls, palaces, half-cities, have been reared;
      Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass,
        And marvel where the spoil could have appeared.
        Hath it indeed been plundered, or but cleared?
      Alas! developed, opens the decay,
        When the colossal fabric's form is neared:
      It will not bear the brightness of the day,
    Which streams too much on all years, man, have reft away.

      But when the rising moon begins to climb
        Its topmost arch, and gently pauses there;
      When the stars twinkle through the loops of time,
        And the low night-breeze waves along the air
        The garland-forest which the gray walls wear,
      Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar's head;
        When the light shines serene, but doth not glare,--
      Then in this magic circle raise the dead:
    Heroes have trod this spot--'tis on their dust ye tread.


At the Storming of Rome by the Constable of Bourbon, 1527

From 'The Deformed Transformed'

    'Tis the morn, but dim and dark.
    Whither flies the silent lark?
    Whither shrinks the clouded sun?
    Is the day indeed begun?
    Nature's eye is melancholy
    O'er the city high and holy;
    But without there is a din
    Should arouse the saints within,
    And revive the heroic ashes
    Round which yellow Tiber dashes.
    O ye seven hills! awaken,
    Ere your very base be shaken!

    Hearken to the steady stamp!
    Mars is in their every tramp!
    Not a step is out of tune,
    As the tides obey the moon!
    On they march, though to self-slaughter,
    Regular as rolling water,
    Whose high waves o'ersweep the border
    Of huge moles, but keep their order,
    Breaking only rank by rank.
    Hearken to the armor's clank!
    Look down o'er each frowning warrior,
    How he glares upon the barrier:
    Look on each step of each ladder,
    As the stripes that streak an adder.

    Look upon the bristling wall,
    Manned without an interval!
    Round and round, and tier on tier,
    Cannon's black mouth, shining spear,
    Lit match, bell-mouthed musquetoon,
    Gaping to be murderous soon--
    All the warlike gear of old,
    Mixed with what we now behold,
    In this strife 'twixt old and new,
    Gather like a locust's crew.
    Shade of Remus! 'tis a time
    Awful as thy brother's crime!
    Christians war against Christ's shrine:
    Must its lot be like to thine?

    Near--and near--and nearer still,
    As the earthquake saps the hill,
    First with trembling, hollow motion,
    Like a scarce-awakened ocean,
    Then with stronger shock and louder,
    Till the rocks are crushed to powder,--
    Onward sweeps the rolling host!
    Heroes of the immortal boast!
    Mighty chiefs! eternal shadows!
    First flowers of the bloody meadows
    Which encompass Rome, the mother
    Of a people without brother!
    Will you sleep when nations' quarrels
    Plow the root up of your laurels?
    Ye who wept o'er Carthage burning,
    Weep not--_strike_! for Rome is mourning!

    Onward sweep the varied nations!
    Famine long hath dealt their rations.
    To the wall, with hate and hunger,
    Numerous as wolves, and stronger,
    On they sweep. O glorious city!
    Must thou be a theme for pity?
    Fight like your first sire, each Roman!
    Alaric was a gentle foeman,
    Matched with Bourbon's black banditti.
    Rouse thee, thou eternal city!
    Rouse thee! Rather give the torch
    With thine own hand to thy porch,
    Than behold such hosts pollute
    Your worst dwelling with their foot.

    Ah! behold yon bleeding spectre!
    Ilion's children find no Hector;
    Priam's offspring loved their brother;
    Rome's great sire forgot his mother,
    When he slew his gallant twin,
    With inexpiable sin.
    See the giant shadow stride
    O'er the ramparts high and wide!
    When the first o'erleapt thy wall,
    Its foundation mourned his fall.
    Now, though towering like a Babel,
    Who to stop his steps are able?
    Stalking o'er thy highest dome,
    Remus claims his vengeance, Rome!

    Now they reach thee in their anger;
    Fire and smoke and hellish clangor
    Are around thee, thou world's wonder!
    Death is in thy walls and under.
    Now the meeting steel first clashes,
    Downward then the ladder crashes,
    With its iron load all gleaming,
    Lying at its foot blaspheming.
    Up again! for every warrior
    Slain, another climbs the barrier.
    Thicker grows the strife; thy ditches
    Europe's mingling gore enriches.
    Rome! although thy wall may perish,
    Such manure thy fields will cherish,
    Making gay the harvest-home;
    But thy hearths! alas, O Rome!--
    Yet be Rome amidst thine anguish,
    Fight as thou wast wont to vanquish!

    Yet once more, ye old Penates,
    Let not your quenched hearths be Atè's!
    Yet again, ye shadowy heroes,
    Yield not to these stranger Neros!
    Though the son who slew his mother
    Shed Rome's blood, he was your brother:
    'Twas the Roman curbed the Roman;--
    Brennus was a baffled foeman.
    Yet again, ye saints and martyrs,
    Rise! for yours are holier charters!
    Mighty gods of temples falling,
    Yet in ruin still appalling,
    Mightier founders of those altars
    True and Christian--strike the assaulters!
    Tiber! Tiber! let thy torrent
    Show even nature's self abhorrent.
    Let each breathing heart dilated
    Turn, as doth the lion baited:
    Rome be crushed to one wide tomb,
    But be still the Roman's Rome!


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
        A palace and a prison on each hand;
      I saw from out the wave her structures rise
        As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand:
        A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
      Around me, and a dying glory smiles
        O'er the far times when many a subject land
      Looked to the wingèd Lion's marble piles,
    Where Venice sat in state, throned on her hundred isles!

      She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
        Rising with her tiara of proud towers
      At airy distance, with majestic motion,
        A ruler of the waters and their powers:
        And such she was; her daughters had their dowers
      From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East
        Poured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers.
      In purple was she robed, and of her feast
    Monarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased.

      In Venice, Tasso's echoes are no more,
        And silent rows the songless gondolier;
      Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
        And music meets not always now the ear:
        Those days are gone--but Beauty still is here.
      States fall, arts fade--but Nature doth not die,
        Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
      The pleasant place of all festivity,
    The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy!

      But unto us she hath a spell beyond
        Her name in story, and her long array
      Of mighty shadows, whose dim forms despond
        Above the Dogeless city's vanished sway:
        Ours is a trophy which will not decay
      With the Rialto; Shylock and the Moor,
        And Pierre, cannot be swept or worn away--
      The keystones of the arch! though all were o'er,
    For us repeopled were the solitary shore.

      The beings of the mind are not of clay;
        Essentially immortal, they create
      And multiply in us a brighter ray
        And more beloved existence: that which Fate
        Prohibits to dull life, in this our state
      Of mortal bondage, by these spirits supplied,
        First exiles, then replaces what we hate;
      Watering the heart whose early flowers have died,
    And with a fresher growth replenishing the void.



    O Venice! Venice! when thy marble walls
      Are level with the waters, there shall be
    A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,
    A loud lament along the sweeping sea!
    If I, a northern wanderer, weep for thee,
      What should thy sons do?--anything but weep:
      And yet they only murmur in their sleep.
    In contrast with their fathers--as the slime,
      The dull green ooze of the receding deep,
    Is with the dashing of the spring-tide foam
    That drives the sailor shipless to his home--
      Are they to those that were; and thus they creep,
    Crouching and crab-like, through their sapping streets.
    Oh, agony! that centuries should reap
    No mellower harvest! Thirteen hundred years
    Of wealth and glory turned to dust and tears;
    And every monument the stranger meets,
    Church, palace, pillar, as a mourner greets;
    And even the Lion all subdued appears,
      And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum,
    With dull and daily dissonance, repeats
    The echo of thy tyrant's voice along
    The soft waves, once all musical to song,
    That heaved beneath the moonlight with the throng
      Of gondolas--and to the busy hum
    Of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
      Were but the overbeating of the heart,
    And flow of too much happiness, which needs
      The aid of age to turn its course apart
    From the luxuriant and voluptuous flood
    Of sweet sensations, battling with the blood.
    But these are better than the gloomy errors,
      The weeds of nations in their last decay,
    When Vice walks forth with her unsoftened terrors,
      And Mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay:
      And Hope is nothing but a false delay,
    The sick man's lightning half an hour ere death,
      When Faintness, the last mortal birth of Pain,
    And apathy of limb, the dull beginning
    Of the cold staggering race which Death is winning,
      Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away,
      Yet so relieving the o'er-tortured clay,
    To him appears renewal of his breath,
      And freedom the mere numbness of his chain;
      And then he talks of life, and how again
    He feels his spirit soaring--albeit weak,
    And of the fresher air, which he would seek:
    And as he whispers knows not that he gasps,
    That his thin finger feels not what it clasps,
    And so the film comes o'er him--and the dizzy
    Chamber swims round and round--and shadows busy,
    At which he vainly catches, flit and gleam,
    Till the last rattle chokes the strangled scream,
    And all is ice and blackness--and the earth
    That which it was the moment ere our birth.


    There is no hope for nations!--Search the page
      Of many thousand years--the daily scene,
    The flow and ebb of each recurring age,
      The everlasting _to be_ which _hath been_,
      Hath taught us naught, or little: still we lean
    On things that rot beneath our weight, and wear
    Our strength away in wrestling with the air:
    For 'tis our nature strikes us down; the beasts
    Slaughtered in hourly hecatombs for feasts
      Are of as high an order--they must go
    Even where their driver goads them, though to slaughter.
    Ye men, who pour your blood for kings as water,
    What have they given your children in return?
      A heritage of servitude and woes,
      A blindfold bondage, where your hire is blows.
    What! do not yet the red-hot plowshares burn,
    O'er which you stumble in a false ordeal,
    And deem this proof of loyalty the _real_;
    Kissing the hand that guides you to your scars,
    And glorying as you tread the glowing bars?
    All that your sires have left you, all that Time
    Bequeaths of free, and History of sublime,
    Spring from a different theme! Ye see and read,
    Admire and sigh, and then succumb and bleed!
      Save the few spirits who, despite of all,
    And worse than all--the sudden crimes engendered
      By the down-thundering of the prison-wall,
    And thirst to swallow the sweet waters tendered
    Gushing from Freedom's fountains, when the crowd,
    Maddened with centuries of drought, are loud,
      And trample on each other to obtain
      The cup which brings oblivion of a chain
    Heavy and sore, in which long yoked they plowed
      The sand; or if there sprung the yellow grain,
    'Twas not for them,--their necks were too much bowed,
      And their dead palates chewed the cud of pain;--
    Yes! the few spirits who, despite of deeds
    Which they abhor, confound not with the cause
    Those momentary starts from Nature's laws
    Which, like the pestilence and earthquake, smite
      But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth
    With all her seasons to repair the blight
      With a few summers, and again put forth
    Cities and generations--fair when free--
    For, Tyranny, there blooms no bud for thee!


    Glory and Empire! once upon these towers
      With Freedom--godlike Triad!--how ye sate!
    The league of mightiest nations in those hours
      When Venice was an envy, might abate,
      But did not quench her spirit; in her fate
    All were enwrapped: the feasted monarchs knew
      And loved their hostess, nor could learn to hate,
    Although they humbled. With the kingly few
    The many felt, for from all days and climes
    She was the voyager's worship; even her crimes
      Were of the softer order--born of Love.
    She drank no blood, nor fattened on the dead,
    But gladdened where her harmless conquests spread;
      For these restored the Cross, that from above
    Hallowed her sheltering banners, which incessant
    Flew between earth and the unholy Crescent,
    Which if it waned and dwindled, Earth may thank
    The city it has clothed in chains, which clank
    Now, creaking in the ears of those who owe
      The name of Freedom to her glorious struggles;
    Yet she but shares with them a common woe,
    And called the "kingdom" of a conquering foe,
    But knows what all--and, most of all, _we_--know,
      With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles!


    The name of Commonwealth is past and gone
      O'er the three fractions of the groaning globe:
    Venice is crushed, and Holland deigns to own
      A sceptre, and endures the purple robe;
    If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone
      His chainless mountains, 'tis but for a time,
    For tyranny of late is cunning grown,
    And in its own good season tramples down
      The sparkles of our ashes. One great clime,
    Whose vigorous offspring by dividing ocean
    Are kept apart and nursed in the devotion
      Of Freedom, which their fathers fought for and
      Bequeathed--a heritage of heart and hand,
      And proud distinction from each other land,
    Whose sons must bow them at a monarch's motion,
      As if his senseless sceptre were a wand
    Full of the magic of exploded science--
    Still one great clime, in full and free defiance,
      Yet rears her crest, unconquered and sublime,
    Above the far Atlantic! She has taught
      Her Esau-brethren that the haughty flag,
      The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag,
    May strike to those whose red right hands have bought
    Rights cheaply earned with blood. Still, still forever,
    Better, though each man's life-blood were a river,
      That it should flow, and overflow, than creep
    Through thousand lazy channels in our veins,
    Dammed like the dull canal with locks and chains,
      And moving as a sick man in his sleep,
    Three paces, and then faltering:--better be
    Where the extinguished Spartans still are free,
    In their proud charnel of Thermopylæ,
      Than stagnate in our marsh,--or o'er the deep
        Fly, and one current to the ocean add,
        One spirit to the souls our fathers had,
    One freeman more, America, to thee!


From 'The Bride of Abydos'

    Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
    Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime?
    Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,
    Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime?
    Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,
    Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine;
    Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppressed with perfume,
    Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gül in her bloom;
    Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit,
    And the voice of the nightingale never is mute:
    Where the tints of the earth and the hues of the sky,
    In color though varied, in beauty may vie,
    And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye;
    Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
    And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?
    'Tis the clime of the East! 'tis the land of the Sun!
    Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done?
    Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell
    Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell.


From 'Don Juan'

    He had fifty daughters and four dozen sons,
      Of whom all such as came of age were stowed--
    The former in a palace, where like nuns
      They lived till some Bashaw was sent abroad,
    When she whose turn it was, was wed at once,
      Sometimes at six years old--though this seems odd,
    'Tis true: the reason is, that the Bashaw
    Must make a present to his sire-in-law.

    His sons were kept in prison, till they grew
      Of years to fill a bowstring or the throne,--
    One or the other, but which of the two
      Could yet be known unto the Fates alone:
    Meantime the education they went through
      Was princely, as the proofs have always shown;
    So that the heir-apparent still was found
    No less deserving to be hanged than crowned.


From 'The Curse of Minerva'

    Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
    Along Morea's hills the setting sun;
    Not, as in Northern climes, obscurely bright,
    But one unclouded blaze of living light:
    O'er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
    Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows.
    On cold Ægina's rock and Idra's isle
    The god of gladness sheds his parting smile;
    O'er his own regions lingering, loves to shine,
    Though there his altars are no more divine.
    Descending fast, the mountain shadows kiss
    Thy glorious gulf, unconquered Salamis!
    Their azure arches through the long expanse,
    More deeply purpled meet his mellowing glance,
    And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
    Mark his gay course, and own the hues of heaven;
    Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
    Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.

    On such an eve his palest beam he cast,
    When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
    How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
    That closed their murdered sage's latest day!
    Not yet--not yet--Sol pauses on the hill--
    The precious hour of parting lingers still:
    But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
    And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes;
    Gloom o'er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
    The land where Phoebus never frowned before:
    But ere he sank below Cithæron's head,
    The cup of woe was quaffed--the spirit fled;
    The soul of him who scorned to fear or fly--
    Who lived and died as none can live or die.

    But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain,
    The queen of night asserts her silent reign.
    No murky vapor, herald of the storm,
    Hides her fair face, nor girds her glowing form.
    With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
    Where the white column greets her grateful ray,
    And, bright around with quivering beams beset,
    Her emblem sparkles o'er the minaret;
    The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
    Where meek Cephisus pours his scanty tide,
    The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
    The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
    And, dun and sombre 'mid the holy calm,
    Near Theseus's fane yon solitary palm,--
    All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye,
    And dull were his that passed them heedless by.

    Again the Ægean, heard no more afar,
    Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war;
    Again his waves in milder tints unfold
    Their long array of sapphire and of gold,
    Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle,
    That frown where gentler ocean deigns to smile.


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      The moon is up, and yet it is not night--
        Sunset divides the sky with her--a sea
      Of glory streams along the Alpine height
        Of blue Friuli's mountains; Heaven is free
        From clouds, but of all colors seems to be,
      Melted to one vast Iris of the West,
        Where the Day joins the past Eternity;
      While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest
    Floats through the azure air--an island of the blest!

      A single star is at her side, and reigns
        With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
      Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
        Rolled o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,
        As Day and Night contending were, until
      Nature reclaimed her order:--gently flows
        The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil
      The odorous purple of a new-born rose,
    Which streams upon her stream, and glassed within it glows,

      Filled with the face of heaven, which from afar
        Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,
      From the rich sunset to the rising star,
        Their magical variety diffuse:
        And now they change; a paler shadow strews
      Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day
        Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues
      With a new color as it gasps away,
    The last still loveliest, till--'tis gone--and all is gray.


From 'Don Juan'

    T' our tale.--The feast was over, the slaves gone,
      The dwarfs and dancing girls had all retired;
    The Arab lore and poet's song were done,
      And every sound of revelry expired;
    The lady and her lover, left alone,
      The rosy flood of twilight sky admired;--
    Ave Maria! o'er the earth and sea,
    That heavenliest hour of Heaven is worthiest thee!

    Ave Maria! blessed be the hour,
      The time, the clime, the spot, where I so oft
    Have felt that moment in its fullest power
      Sink o'er the earth so beautiful and soft,
    While swung the deep bell in the distant tower,
      Or the faint dying day hymn stole aloft,
    And not a breath crept through the rosy air,
    And yet the forest leaves seemed stirred with prayer.

    Ave Maria! 'tis the hour of prayer!
      Ave Maria! 'tis the hour of love!
    Ave Maria! may our spirits dare
      Look up to thine and to thy Son's above!
    Ave Maria! oh that face so fair!
      Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty Dove--
    What though 'tis but a pictured image strike?
    That painting is no idol--'tis too like.

    Some kindly casuists are pleased to say,
      In nameless print, that I have no devotion;
    But set those persons down with me to pray,
      And you shall see who has the properest notion
    Of getting into heaven the shortest way:
      My altars are the mountains and the ocean,
    Earth, air, stars--all that springs from the great Whole,
    Who hath produced and will receive the soul.

    Sweet hour of twilight!--in the solitude
      Of that pine forest, and the silent shore
    Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,
      Rooted where once the Adrian wave flowed o'er
    To where the last Cæsarean fortress stood,--
      Evergreen forest! which Boccaccio's lore
    And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me,
    How have I loved the twilight hour and thee!

    The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,
      Making their summer lives one ceaseless song,
    Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine,
      And vesper bells that rose the boughs along:
    The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line,
      His hell-dogs and their chase, and the fair throng
    Which learned from this example not to fly
    From a true lover--shadowed my mind's eye.

    O Hesperus! thou bringest all good things:
      Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,
    To the young bird the parent's brooding wings,
      The welcome stall to the o'er-labored steer;
    Whatever of peace about our hearthstone clings,
      Whate'er our household gods protect of dear,
    Are gathered round us by thy look of rest;
    Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast.

    Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart
      Of those who sail the seas, on the first day
    When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;
      Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way
    As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
      Seeming to weep the dying day's decay.
    Is this a fancy which our reason scorns?
    Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns.


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      The sky is changed--and such a change!--O Night,
        And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong,
      Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
        Of a dark eye in woman! Far along,
        From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
      Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud,
        But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
      And Jura answers through her misty shroud
    Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!

      And this is in the night.--Most glorious night!
        Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be
      A sharer in thy fierce and far delight--
        A portion of the tempest and of thee!
        How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,
      And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
        And now again 'tis black--and now the glee
      Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth,
    As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.

      Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way between
        Heights which appear as lovers who have parted
      In hate, whose mining depths so intervene
        That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted!
        Though in their souls which thus each other thwarted,
      Love was the very root of that fond rage
        Which blighted their life's bloom, and then departed;
      Itself expired, but leaving them an age
    Of years all winters--war within themselves to wage--

      Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way,
        The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his stand:
      For here not one, but many, make their play
        And fling their thunderbolts from hand to hand,
        Flashing and cast around: of all the band,
      The brightest through these parted hills hath forked
        His lightnings; as if he did understand
      That in such gaps as desolation worked,
    There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurked.

      Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings! ye,
        With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul
      To make these felt and feeling, well may be
        Things that have made me watchful; the far roll
        Of your departing voices is the knoll
      Of what in me is sleepless,--if I rest.
        But where of ye, O tempests! is the goal?
      Are ye like those within the human breast?
    Or do ye find at length, like eagles, some high nest?


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      But I forgot: my Pilgrim's shrine is won,
        And he and I must part;--so let it be:
      His task and mine alike are nearly done;
        Yet once more let us look upon the sea:
        The midland ocean breaks on him and me,
      And from the Alban Mount we now behold
        Our friend of youth, that ocean, which when we
      Beheld it last by Calpe's rock unfold
    Those waves, we followed on till the dark Euxine rolled

      Upon the blue Symplegades: long years--
        Long, though not very many--since have done
      Their work on both; much suffering and some tears
        Have left us nearly where we had begun:
        Yet not in vain our mortal race hath run,--
      We have had our reward, and it is here;
        That we can yet feel gladdened by the sun,
      Can reap from earth, sea, joy almost as dear
    As if there were no man to trouble what is clear.

      Oh that the desert were my dwelling-place,
        With one fair Spirit for my minister,
      That I might all forget the human race,
        And, hating no one, love but only her!
        Ye Elements!--in whose ennobling stir
      I feel myself exalted--can ye not
        Accord me such a being? Do I err
      In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
    Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.

      There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
        There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
      There is society, where none intrudes,
        By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
        I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
      From these our interviews, in which I steal
        From all I may be, or have been before,
      To mingle with the Universe, and feel
    What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

      Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean--roll!
        Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
      Man marks the earth with ruin--his control
        Stops with the shore;--upon the watery plain
        The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
      A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
        When for a moment, like a drop of rain,
      He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
    Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

      His steps are not upon thy paths--thy fields
        Are not a spoil for him--thou dost arise
      And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
        For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
        Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
      And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray,
        And howling, to his gods, where haply lies
      His petty hope in some near port or bay,
    And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay.

      The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
        Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake
      And monarchs tremble in their capitals,--
        The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
        Their clay creator the vain title take
      Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war,--
        These are thy toys, and as the snowy flake,
      They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
    Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.

      Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee--
        Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
      Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
        And many a tyrant since: their shores obey
        The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
      Has dried up realms to deserts;--not so thou,
        Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play.
      Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow;
    Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.

      Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
        Glasses itself in tempests: in all time,
      Calm or convulsed--in breeze, or gale, or storm,
        Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
        Dark-heaving;--boundless, endless, and sublime;
      The image of eternity, the throne
        Of the Invisible: even from out thy slime
      The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
    Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

      And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
        Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
      Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
        I wantoned with thy breakers--they to me
        Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
      Made them a terror--'twas a pleasing fear,
        For I was as it were a child of thee,
      And trusted to thy billows far and near,
    And laid my hand upon thy mane--as I do here.


From 'Don Juan'

    'Twas twilight, and the sunless day went down
      Over the waste of waters; like a veil
    Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose the frown
      Of one whose hate is masked but to assail;
    Thus to their hopeless eyes the night was shown,
      And grimly darkled o'er their faces pale,
    And the dim desolate deep: twelve days had Fear
    Been their familiar, and now Death was here.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

    There was no light in heaven but a few stars;
      The boats put off, o'ercrowded with their crews:
    She gave a heel, and then a lurch to port,
    And going down head foremost--sunk, in short.

    Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell!
      Then shrieked the timid and stood still the brave;
    Then some leaped overboard with dreadful yell,
      As eager to anticipate their grave;
    And the sea yawned around her like a hell,
      And down she sucked with her the whirling wave,
    Like one who grapples with his enemy,
    And tries to strangle him before he die.

    At first one universal shriek there rushed,
      Louder than the loud ocean, like a crash
    Of echoing thunder: and then all was hushed,
      Save the wild wind and the remorseless dash
    Of billows; but at intervals there gushed,
      Accompanied with a convulsive splash,
    A solitary shriek--the bubbling cry
    Of some strong swimmer in his agony.


From 'Don Juan'

    It was the cooling hour, just when the rounded
      Red sun sinks down behind the azure hill,
    Which then seems as if the whole earth it bounded,
      Circling all nature, hushed, and dim, and still,
    With the far mountain-crescent half-surrounded
      On one side, and the deep sea calm and chill
    Upon the other, and the rosy sky,
    With one star sparkling through it like an eye.

    And thus they wandered forth, and hand in hand,
      Over the shining pebbles and the shells,
    Glided along the smooth and hardened sand,
      And in the worn and wild receptacles
    Worked by the storms, yet worked as it were planned,
      In hollow halls, with sparry roofs and cells,
    They turned to rest; and, each clasped by an arm,
    Yielded to the deep twilight's purple charm.

    They looked up to the sky, whose floating glow
      Spread like a rosy ocean, vast and bright;
    They gazed upon the glittering sea below,
      Whence the broad moon rose circling into sight;
    They heard the waves splash, and the wind so low,
      And saw each other's dark eyes darting light
    Into each other--and, beholding this,
    Their lips drew near, and clung into a kiss:

    A long, long kiss, a kiss of youth and love
      And beauty, all concentrating like rays
    Into one focus, kindled from above;
      Such kisses as belong to early days,
    Where heart, and soul, and sense, in concert move,
      And the blood's lava, and the pulse a blaze,
    Each kiss a heart-quake--for a kiss's strength,
    I think, it must be reckoned by its length.

    By length I mean duration; theirs endured
      Heaven knows how long--no doubt they never reckoned;
    And if they had, they could not have secured
      The sum of their sensations to a second:
    They had not spoken; but they felt allured,
      As if their souls and lips each other beckoned,
    Which, being joined, like swarming bees they clung--
    Their hearts the flowers from whence the honey sprung.

    They were alone, but not alone as they
      Who, shut in chambers, think it loneliness;
    The silent ocean, and the starlit bay,
      The twilight glow, which momently grew less,
    The voiceless sands, and dropping caves, that lay
      Around them, made them to each other press,
    As if there were no life beneath the sky
    Save theirs, and that their life could never die.

    They feared no eyes nor ears on that lone beach,
      They felt no terrors from the night; they were
    All in all to each other: though their speech
      Was broken words, they _thought_ a language there;
    And all the burning tongues the passions teach
      Found in one sigh the best interpreter
    Of nature's oracle, first love,--that all
    Which Eve has left her daughters since her fall.

    And when those deep and burning moments passed,
      And Juan sank to sleep within her arms,
    She slept not, but all tenderly, though fast,
      Sustained his head upon her bosom's charms;
    And now and then her eye to heaven is cast,
      And then on the pale cheek her breast now warms,
    Pillowed on her o'erflowing heart, which pants
    With all it granted, and with all it grants.

    An infant when it gazes on the light,
      A child the moment when it drains the breast
    A devotee when soars the Host in sight,
      An Arab with a stranger for a guest,
    A sailor when the prize has struck in fight,
      A miser filling his most hoarded chest,
    Feel rapture; but not such true joy are reaping,
    As they who watch o'er what they love while sleeping.

    For there it lies, so tranquil, so beloved;
      All that it hath of life with us is living;
    So gentle, stirless, helpless, and unmoved,
      And all unconscious of the joy 'tis giving.
    All it hath felt, inflicted, passed, and proved,
      Hushed into depths beyond the watcher's diving:
    There lies the thing we love, with all its errors
    And all its charms, like death without its terrors.

    The lady watched her lover--and that hour
      Of Love's, and Night's, and Ocean's solitude,
    O'erflowed her soul with their united power;
      Amidst the barren sand and rocks so rude,
    She and her wave-worn love had made their bower
      Where naught upon their passion could intrude;
    And all the stars that crowded the blue space
    Saw nothing happier than her glowing face.

    Alas, the love of women! it is known
      To be a lovely and a fearful thing;
    For all of theirs upon that die is thrown,
      And if 'tis lost, life hath no more to bring
    To them but mockeries of the past alone,
      And their revenge is as the tiger's spring,
    Deadly and quick and crushing; yet as real
    Torture is theirs--what they inflict they feel.


From 'The Giaour'

    As, rising on its purple wing,
    The insect queen of eastern spring
    O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer
    Invites the young pursuer near,
    And leads him on from flower to flower,
    A weary chase and wasted hour,
    Then leaves him, as it soars on high,
    With panting heart and tearful eye:
    So beauty lures the full-grown child,
    With hue as bright, and wing as wild,--
    A chase of idle hopes and fears,
    Begun in folly, closed in tears.
    If won, to equal ills betrayed,
    Woe waits the insect and the maid:
    A life of pain, the loss of peace,
    From infant's play and man's caprice.
    The lovely toy so fiercely sought
    Hath lost its charm by being caught,
    For every touch that wooed its stay
    Hath brushed its brightest hues away,
    Till, charm and hue and beauty gone,
    'Tis left to fly or fall alone.
    With wounded wing or bleeding breast,
    Ah, where shall either victim rest?
    Can this with faded pinion soar
    From rose to tulip as before?
    Or Beauty, blighted in an hour,
    Find joy within her broken bower?
    No: gayer insects fluttering by
    Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that die,
    And lovelier things have mercy shown
    To every failing but their own,
    And every woe a tear can claim,
    Except an erring sister's shame.


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

    The castled crag of Drachenfels
      Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
    Whose breast of waters broadly swells
      Between the banks which bear the vine;
    And hills all rich with blossomed trees,
      And fields which promise corn and wine.
    And scattered cities crowning these,
      Whose far white walls along them shine,
    Have strewed a scene which I should see
    With double joy, wert _thou_ with me!

    And peasant girls, with deep-blue eyes,
      And hands which offer early flowers,
    Walk smiling o'er this paradise;
      Above, the frequent feudal towers
    Through green leaves lift their walls of gray.
      And many a rock which steeply lours,
    And noble arch in proud decay,
      Look o'er this vale of vintage bowers;
    But one thing want these banks of Rhine--
    Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!

    I send the lilies given to me;
      Though long before thy hand they touch,
    I know that they must withered be.
      But yet reject them not as such;
    For I have cherished them as dear.
      Because they yet may meet thine eye,
    And guide thy soul to mine even here,
      When thou beholdest them drooping nigh,
    And knowest them gathered by the Rhine,
    And offered from my heart to thine!

    The river nobly foams and flows,
      The charm of this enchanted ground,
    And all its thousand turns disclose
      Some fresher beauty varying round;
    The haughtiest breast its wish might bound
      Through life to dwell delighted here;
    Nor could on earth a spot be found
      To nature and to me so dear,
    Could thy dear eyes in following mine
    Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine!


    Tis done--but yesterday a King,
      And armed with Kings to strive;
    And now thou art a nameless thing,
      So abject--yet alive!
    Is this the man of thousand thrones,
    Who strewed our earth with hostile bones,
      And can he thus survive?
    Since he, miscalled the Morning Star,
    Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.

    Ill-minded man! why scourge thy kind
      Who bowed so low the knee?
    By gazing on thyself grown blind,
      Thou taught'st the rest to see.
    With might unquestioned--power to save--
    Thine only gift hath been the grave
      To those that worshiped thee;
    Nor till thy fall could mortals guess
    Ambition's less than littleness!

    Thanks for that lesson--it will teach
      To after-warriors more
    Than high Philosophy can preach,
      And vainly preached before.
    That spell upon the minds of men
    Breaks never to unite again,
      That led them to adore
    Those pagod things of sabre sway,
    With fronts of brass and feet of clay.

    The triumph and the vanity,
      The rapture of the strife[110]--
    The earthquake voice of Victory,
      To thee the breath of life--
    The sword, the sceptre, and that sway
    Which man seemed made but to obey,
      Wherewith renown was rife--
    All quelled!--Dark Spirit! what must be
    The madness of thy memory!

    The Desolator desolate!
      The victor overthrown!
    The Arbiter of others' fate
      A Suppliant for his own!
    Is it some yet imperial hope
    That with such change can calmly cope,
      Or dread of death alone?
    To die a prince, or live a slave--
    Thy choice is most ignobly brave!

    He who of old would rend the oak[111]
      Dreamed not of the rebound;
    Chained by the trunk he vainly broke--
      Alone--how looked he round!
    Thou, in the sternness of thy strength,
    An equal deed hast done at length,
      And darker fate hast found:
    He fell, the forest prowlers' prey;
    But thou must eat thy heart away!

    The Roman,[112] when his burning heart
      Was slaked with blood of Rome,
    Threw down the dagger--dared depart
      In savage grandeur, home:
    He dared depart, in utter scorn
    Of men that such a yoke had borne,
      Yet left him such a doom!
    His only glory was that hour
    Of self-upheld abandoned power.

    The Spaniard,[113] when the lust of sway
      Had lost its quickening spell,
    Cast crowns for rosaries away,
      An empire for a cell;
    A strict accountant of his beads,
    A subtle disputant on creeds,
      His dotage trifled well:
    Yet better had he neither known
    A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne.

    But thou--from thy reluctant hand
      The thunderbolt is wrung;
    Too late thou leav'st the high command
      To which thy weakness clung;
    All Evil Spirit as thou art,
    It is enough to grieve the heart
      To see thine own unstrung;
    To think that God's fair world hath been
    The footstool of a thing so mean!

    And Earth hath spilt her blood for him,
      Who thus can hoard his own!
    And Monarchs bowed the trembling limb,
      And thanked him for a throne!
    Fair Freedom! we may hold thee dear,
    When thus thy mightiest foes their fear
      In humblest guise have shown.
    Oh! ne'er may tyrant leave behind
    A brighter name to lure mankind!

    Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
      Nor written thus in vain--
    Thy triumphs tell of fame no more,
      Or deepen every stain:
    If thou hadst died, as honor dies,
    Some new Napoleon might arise,
      To shame the world again;
    But who would soar the solar height,
    To set in such a starless night?

    Weighed in the balance, hero dust
      Is vile as vulgar clay;
    Thy scales, Mortality! are just
      To all that pass away;
    But yet methought the living great
    Some higher sparks should animate,
      To dazzle and dismay:
    Nor deemed Contempt could thus make mirth
    Of these, the Conquerors of the earth.

    And she, proud Austria's mournful flower,
      Thy still imperial bride,
    How bears her breast the torturing hour?
      Still clings she to thy side?
    Must she too bend, must she too share
    Thy late repentance, long despair,
      Thou throneless Homicide?
    If still she loves thee, hoard that gem--
    'Tis worth thy vanished diadem!

    Then haste thee to thy sullen Isle,
      And gaze upon the sea;
    That element may meet thy smile--
      It ne'er was ruled by thee!
    Or trace with thine all idle hand,
    In loitering mood upon the sand,
      That Earth is now as free!
    That Corinth's pedagogue[114] hath now
    Transferred his byword to thy brow.

    Thou Timour! in his captive's cage,
      What thoughts will there be thine,
    While brooding in thy prisoned rage?
      But one--"The world _was_ mine!"
    Unless, like him of Babylon,
    All sense is with thy sceptre gone,
      Life will not long confine
    That spirit poured so widely forth--
    So long obeyed--so little worth!


[110] "Certaminis gaudia"--the expression of Attila in his harangue to
his army, previous to the battle of Châlons.

[111] Milo of Croton.

[112] Sulla.

[113] The Emperor Charles V., who abdicated in 1555.

[114] Dionysius of Sicily, who, after his fall, kept a school at


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      There was a sound of revelry by night,
        And Belgium's capital had gathered then
      Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright
        The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
        A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
      Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
        Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
      And all went merry as a marriage-bell;
    But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!

      Did ye not hear it?--No; 'twas but the wind,
        Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
      On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
        No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
        To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet.
      But hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more,
        As if the clouds its echo would repeat,
      And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
    Arm! arm! it is--it is--the cannon's opening roar!

      Within a windowed niche of that high hall
        Sat Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear
      That sound the first amidst the festival,
        And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
        And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
      His heart more truly knew that peal too well,
        Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
      And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell:
    He rushed into the field, and foremost fighting, fell.

      Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
        And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
      And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
        Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness:
        And there were sudden partings, such as press
      The life from out young hearts; and choking sighs,
        Which ne'er might be repeated: who could guess
      If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
    Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise!

      And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
        The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
      Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
        And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
        And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
      And near, the beat of the alarming drum
        Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
      While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,
    Or whispering with white lips--"The foe! They come! they come!"

      And wild and high the "Cameron's gathering" rose!
        The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
      Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes:
        How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills
        Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
      Their mountain pipe, so fill the mountaineers
        With the fierce native daring which instills
      The stirring memory of a thousand years,
    And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears!

      And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
        Dewy with nature's teardrops, as they pass,
      Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,
        Over the unreturning brave--alas!
        Ere evening to be trodden like the grass
      Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
        In its next verdure, when this fiery mass
      Of living valor, rolling on the foe,
    And burning with high hope, shall molder cold and low.

      Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
        Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
      The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
        The morn the marshaling in arms--the day
        Battle's magnificently stern array!
      The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent,
        The earth is covered thick with other clay,
      Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
    Rider and horse--friend, foe--in one red burial blent!


From 'Mazeppa'

    The last of human sounds which rose,
      As I was darted from my foes,
    Was the wild shout of savage laughter,
      Which on the wind came roaring after
    A moment from that rabble rout:
    With sudden wrath I wrenched my head,
      And snapped the cord which to the mane
      Had bound my neck in lieu of rein,
    And, writhing half my form about,
    Howled back my curse; but 'midst the tread,
    The thunder of my courser's speed,
    Perchance they did not hear nor heed;
    It vexes me--for I would fain
    Have paid their insult back again.
    I paid it well in after days:
    There is not of that castle gate,
    Its drawbridge and portcullis weight,
    Stone, bar, moat, bridge, or barrier left;
    Nor of its fields a blade of grass,
      Save what grows on a ridge of wall,
      Where stood the hearthstone of the hall;
    And many a time ye there might pass,
    Nor dream that e'er that fortress was:
    I saw its turrets in a blaze,
    Their crackling battlements all cleft,
      And the hot lead pour down like rain
    From off the scorched and blackening roof,
    Whose thickness was not vengeance-proof.
      They little thought, that day of pain
    When, launched as on the lightning's flash,
    They bade me to destruction dash,
      That one day I should come again,
    With twice five thousand horse, to thank
      The Count for his uncourteous ride.
    They played me then a bitter prank,
      When, with the wild horse for my guide,
    They bound me to his foaming flank:
    At length I played them one as frank--
    For time at last sets all things even--
      And if we do but watch the hour,
      There never yet was human power
    Which could evade, if unforgiven,
    The patient search and vigil long
    Of him who treasures up a wrong.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

    We rustled through the leaves like wind,
    Left shrubs, and trees, and wolves behind.
    By night I heard them on the track,
    Their troop came hard upon our back,
    With their long gallop, which can tire
    The hound's deep hate and hunter's fire:
    Where'er we flew they followed on,
    Nor left us with the morning sun;
    Behind I saw them, scarce a rood,
    At daybreak winding through the wood,
    And through the night had heard their feet
    Their stealing, rustling step repeat.
    Oh! how I wished for spear or sword,
    At least to die amidst the horde,
    And perish--if it must be so--
    At bay, destroying many a foe.
    When first my courser's race begun,
    I wished the goal already won;
    But now I doubted strength and speed.
    Vain doubt! his swift and savage breed
    Had nerved him like the mountain roe;
    Not faster falls the blinding snow
    Which whelms the peasant near the door
    Whose threshold he shall cross no more,
    Bewildered with the dazzling blast,
    Than through the forest-paths he passed--
    Untired, untamed, and worse than wild;
    All furious as a favored child
    Balked of its wish; or fiercer still--
    A woman piqued--who has her will.

       .   .   .   .   .   .   .

    Onward we went--but slack and slow:
      His savage force at length o'erspent,
    The drooping courser, faint and low,
        All feebly foaming went....
    At length, while reeling on our way,
    Methought I heard a courser neigh,
    From out yon tuft of blackening firs.
    Is it the wind those branches stirs?
    No, no! from out the forest prance
      A trampling troop; I see them come!
    In one vast squadron they advance!
      I strove to cry--my lips were dumb.
    The steeds rush on in plunging pride;
    But where are they the reins to guide?
    A thousand horse--and none to ride!
    With flowing tail, and flying mane,
    Wide nostrils, never stretched by pain,
    Mouths bloodless to the bit or rein,
    And feet that iron never shod,
    And flanks unscarred by spur or rod,
    A thousand horse, the wild, the free,
    Like waves that follow o'er the sea,
        Came thickly thundering on,
    As if our faint approach to meet;
    The sight re-nerved my courser's feet;
    A moment staggering, feebly fleet,
    A moment, with a faint low neigh,
        He answered, and then fell;
    With gasps and glazing eyes he lay,
      And reeking limbs immovable--
    His first and last career is done!


    Ere the Daughter of Brunswick is cold in her grave,
      And her ashes still float to their home o'er the tide,
    Lo! George the triumphant speeds over the wave,
      To the long-cherished Isle which he loved like his--bride.

    True, the great of her bright and brief era are gone,
      The rainbow-like epoch where Freedom could pause
    For the few little years, out of centuries won,
      Which betrayed not, or crushed not, or wept not her cause.

    True, the chains of the Catholic clank o'er his rags;
      The castle still stands, and the senate's no more;
    And the famine which dwelt on her freedomless crags
      Is extending its steps to her desolate shore.

    To her desolate shore--where the emigrant stands
      For a moment to gaze ere he flies from his hearth;
    Tears fall on his chain, though it drops from his hands,
      For the dungeon he quits is the place of his birth.

    But he comes! the Messiah of royalty comes!
      Like a goodly leviathan rolled from the waves!
    Then receive him as best such an advent becomes,
      With a legion of cooks, and an army of slaves!

    He comes in the promise and bloom of threescore,
      To perform in the pageant the sovereign's part--
    But long live the shamrock which shadows him o'er!
      Could the green in his _hat_ be transferred to his _heart_!

    Could that long-withered spot but be verdant again,
      And a new spring of noble affections arise--
    Then might Freedom forgive thee this dance in thy chain,
      And this shout of thy slavery which saddens the skies.

    Is it madness or meanness which clings to thee now?
      Were he God--as he is but the commonest clay,
    With scarce fewer wrinkles than sins on his brow--
      Such servile devotion might shame him away.

    Ay, roar in his train! let thine orators lash
      Their fanciful spirits to pamper his pride;
    Not thus did thy Grattan indignantly flash
      His soul o'er the freedom implored and denied.

    Ever glorious Grattan! the best of the good!
      So simple in heart, so sublime in the rest!
    With all which Demosthenes wanted, endued,
      And his rival or victor in all he possessed.

    Ere Tully arose in the zenith of Rome,
      Though unequaled, preceded, the task was begun;
    But Grattan sprung up like a god from the tomb
      Of ages, the first, last, the savior, the _one_!

    With the skill of an Orpheus to soften the brute;
      With the fire of Prometheus to kindle mankind;
    Even Tyranny, listening, sate melted or mute,
      And corruption shrunk scorched from the glance of his mind.

    But back to our theme! Back to despots and slaves!
      Feasts furnished by Famine! rejoicings by Pain!
    True Freedom but _welcomes_, while slavery still _raves_,
      When a week's Saturnalia hath loosened her chain.

    Let the poor squalid splendor thy wreck can afford
      (As the bankrupt's profusion his ruin would hide)
    Gild over the palace. Lo! Erin, thy lord!
      Kiss his foot with thy blessing, his blessings denied!

    Or _if_ freedom past hope be extorted at last,
      If the idol of brass find his feet are of clay,
    Must what terror or policy wring forth be classed
      With what monarchs ne'er give, but as wolves yield their prey?

    Each brute hath its nature; a king's is to _reign_,--
      To _reign_! in that word see, ye ages, comprised
    The cause of the curses all annals contain,
      From Cæsar the dreaded to George the despised!

    Wear, Fingal, thy trapping! O'Connell, proclaim
      His accomplishments! _His!!!_ and thy country convince
    Half an age's contempt was an error of fame,
      And that "Hal is the rascalliest, sweetest _young_ prince!"

    Will thy yard of blue riband, poor Fingal, recall
      The fetters from millions of Catholic limbs?
    Or has it not bound thee the fastest of all
      The slaves, who now hail their betrayer with hymns?

    Ay! "Build him a dwelling!" let each give his mite!
      Till like Babel the new royal dome hath arisen!
    Let thy beggars and Helots their pittance unite--
      And a palace bestow for a poor-house and prison!

    Spread--spread for Vitellius the royal repast,
      Till the gluttonous despot be stuffed to the gorge!
    And the roar of his drunkards proclaim him at last
      The Fourth of the fools and oppressors called "George"!

    Let the tables be loaded with feasts till they groan!
      Till they _groan_ like thy people, through ages of woe!
    Let the wine flow around the old Bacchanal's throne,
      Like their blood which has flowed, and which yet has to flow.

    But let not _his_ name be thine idol alone--
      On his right hand behold a Sejanus appears!
    Thine own Castlereagh! let him still be thine own!
      A wretch never named but with curses and jeers!

    Till now, when the isle which should blush for his birth,
      Deep, deep as the gore which he shed on her soil,
    Seems proud of the reptile which crawled from her earth,
      And for murder repays him with shouts and a smile!

    Without one single ray of her genius, without
      The fancy, the manhood, the fire of her race--
    The miscreant who well might plunge Erin in doubt
      If _she_ ever gave birth to a being so base.

    If she did--let her long-boasted proverb be hushed,
      Which proclaims that from Erin no reptile can spring:
    See the cold-blooded serpent, with venom full flushed,
      Still warming its folds in the breast of a King!

    Shout, drink, feast, and flatter! O Erin, how low
      Wert thou sunk by misfortune and tyranny, till
    Thy welcome of tyrants hath plunged thee below
      The depth of thy deep in a deeper gulf still!

    My voice, though but humble, was raised for thy right:
      My vote, as a freeman's, still voted thee free;
    This hand, though but feeble, would arm in thy fight,
      And this heart, though outworn, had a throb still for _thee_!

    Yes, I loved thee and thine, though thou art not my land;
      I have known noble hearts and great souls in thy sons,
    And I wept with the world o'er the patriot band
      Who are gone, but I weep them no longer as once.

    For happy are they now reposing afar,--
      Thy Grattan, thy Curran, thy Sheridan, all
    Who for years were the chiefs in the eloquent war,
      And redeemed, if they have not retarded, thy fall.

    Yes, happy are they in their cold English graves!
      Their shades cannot start to thy shouts of to-day,--
    Nor the steps of enslavers and chain-kissing slaves
      Be stamped in the turf o'er their fetterless clay.

    Till now I had envied thy sons and their shore,
      Though their virtues were hunted, their liberties fled;
    There was something so warm and sublime in the core
      Of an Irishman's heart, that I envy--thy _dead_.

    Or if aught in my bosom can quench for an hour
      My contempt for a nation so servile, though sore.
    Which though trod like the worm will not turn upon power,
      'Tis the glory of Grattan, and genius of Moore!



    Our life is twofold: sleep hath its own world,
    A boundary between the things misnamed
    Death and existence; sleep hath its own world,
    And a wide realm of wild reality;
    And dreams in their development have breath,
    And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
    They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
    They take a weight from off our waking toils,
    They do divide our being; they become
    A portion of ourselves as of our time,
    And look like heralds of eternity;
    They pass like spirits of the past,--they speak
    Like sibyls of the future; they have power--
    The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
    They make us what we were not--what they will,
    And make us with the vision that's gone by,
    The dread of vanished shadows.--Are they so?
    Is not the past all shadow? What are they?
    Creations of the mind?--The mind can make
    Substance, and people planets of its own
    With beings brighter than have been, and give
    A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
    I would recall a vision which I dreamed
    Perchance in sleep--for in itself a thought,
    A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
    And curdles a long life into one hour.


    I saw two beings in the hues of youth
    Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
    Green and of mild declivity, the last
    As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,
    Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
    But a most living landscape, and the wave
    Of woods and corn-fields, and the abodes of men
    Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
    Arising from such rustic roofs;--the hill
    Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
    Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
    Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
    These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
    Gazing--the one on all that was beneath
    Fair as herself--but the boy gazed on her;
    And both were young, and one was beautiful;
    And both were young, yet not alike in youth.
    As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge,
    The maid was on the eve of womanhood;
    The boy had fewer summers, but his heart
    Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
    There was but one beloved face on earth,
    And that was shining on him; he had looked
    Upon it till it could not pass away;
    He had no breath, no being, but in hers;
    She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
    But trembled on her words; she was his sight,
    For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers,
    Which colored all his objects;--he had ceased
    To live within himself; she was his life,
    The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
    Which terminated all: upon a tone,
    A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow,
    And his cheek change tempestuously--his heart
    Unknowing of its cause of agony.
    But she in these fond feelings had no share:
    Her sighs were not for him; to her he was
    Even as a brother--but no more: 'twas much,
    For brotherless she was, save in the name
    Her infant friendship had bestowed on him;
    Herself the solitary scion left
    Of a time-honored race.--It was a name
    Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not--and why?
    Time taught him a deep answer--when she loved
    Another; even _now_ she loved another,
    And on the summit of that hill she stood
    Looking afar if yet her lover's steed
    Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.


    A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
    There was an ancient mansion, and before
    Its walls there was a steed caparisoned.
    Within an antique oratory stood
    The boy of whom I spake;--he was alone,
    And pale, and pacing to and fro; anon
    He sat him down, and seized a pen, and traced
    Words which I could not guess of: then he leaned
    His bowed head on his hands, and shook as 'twere
    With a convulsion--then arose again,
    And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear
    What he had written, but he shed no tears.
    And he did calm himself, and fix his brow
    Into a kind of quiet: as he paused,
    The lady of his love re-entered there;
    She was serene and smiling then, and yet
    She knew she was by him beloved,--she knew,
    For quickly comes such knowledge, that his heart
    Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw
    That he was wretched; but she saw not all.
    He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp
    He took her hand; a moment o'er his face
    A tablet of unutterable thoughts
    Was traced, and then it faded as it came;
    He dropped the hand he held, and with slow steps
    Retired, but not as bidding her adieu,
    For they did part with mutual smiles; he passed
    From out the massy gate of that old hall,
    And mounting on his steed he went his way,
    And ne'er repassed that hoary threshold more.


    A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
    The boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds
    Of fiery climes he made himself a home,
    And his soul drank their sunbeams: he was girt
    With strange and dusky aspects; he was not
    Himself like what he had been; on the sea
    And on the shore he was a wanderer.
    There was a mass of many images
    Crowded like waves upon me, but he was
    A part of all; and in the last he lay
    Reposing from the noontide sultriness,
    Couched among fallen columns, in the shade
    Of ruined walls that had survived the names
    Of those who reared them; by his sleeping side
    Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds
    Were fastened near a fountain; and a man
    Clad in a flowing garb did watch the while,
    While many of his tribe slumbered around:
    And they were canopied by the blue sky,
    So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
    That God alone was to be seen in Heaven.


    A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
    The lady of his love was wed with one
    Who did not love her better: in her home,
    A thousand leagues from his,--her native home,
    She dwelt, begirt with growing infancy,
    Daughters and sons of beauty,--but behold!
    Upon her face there was the tint of grief,
    The settled shadow of an inward strife,
    And an unquiet drooping of the eye,
    As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.
    What could her grief be?--she had all she loved,
    And he who had so loved her was not there
    To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
    Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts.
    What could her grief be?--she had loved him not,
    Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
    Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
    Upon her mind--a spectre of the past.


    A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
    The wanderer was returned.--I saw him stand
    Before an altar with a gentle bride;
    Her face was fair, but was not that which made
    The star-light of his boyhood;--as he stood
    Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
    The self-same aspect, and the quivering shock
    That in the antique oratory shook
    His bosom in its solitude; and then--
    As in that hour--a moment o'er his face
    The tablet of unutterable thoughts
    Was traced--and then it faded as it came,
    And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
    The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
    And all things reeled around him; he could see
    Not that which was, nor that which should have been--
    But the old mansion, and the accustomed hall,
    And the remembered chambers, and the place,
    The day, the hour, the sunshine and the shade,
    All things pertaining to that place and hour,
    And her who was his destiny came back,
    And thrust themselves between him and the light:
    What business had they there at such a time?


    A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
    The lady of his love--oh! she was changed
    As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
    Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes,
    They had not their own lustre, but the look
    Which is not of the earth; she was become
    The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
    Were combinations of disjointed things;
    And forms impalpable and unperceived
    Of others' sight, familiar were to hers.
    And this the world calls frenzy: but the wise
    Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
    Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
    What is it but the telescope of truth?
    Which strips the distance of its phantasies,
    And brings life near in utter nakedness,
    Making the cold reality too real!


    A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
    The wanderer was alone as heretofore;
    The beings which surrounded him were gone,
    Or were at war with him; he was a mark
    For blight and desolation, compassed round
    With hatred and contention; pain was mixed
    In all which was served up to him, until,
    Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
    He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
    But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
    Through that which had been death to many men
    And made him friends of mountains: with the stars
    And the quick spirit of the universe
    He held his dialogues; and they did teach
    To him the magic of their mysteries;
    To him the book of night was opened wide,
    And voices from the deep abyss revealed
    A marvel and a secret--Be it so.


    My dream was past; it had no further change.
    It was of a strange order, that the doom
    Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
    Almost like a reality--the one
    To end in madness--both in misery.


From 'Hebrew Melodies'

    She walks in beauty, like the night
      Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
    And all that's best of dark and bright
      Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
    Thus mellowed to that tender light
      Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

    One shade the more, one ray the less,
      Had half impaired the nameless grace
    Which waves in every raven tress,
      Or softly lightens o'er her face;
    Where thoughts serenely sweet express
      How pure, how dear, their dwelling-place.

    And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
      So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
    The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
      But tell of days in goodness spent,
    A mind at peace with all below,
      A heart whose love is innocent!


    The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
    And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
    And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
    When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

    Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
    That host with their banners at sunset were seen;
    Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
    That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

    For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
    And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still!

    And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
    But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride:
    And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
    And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

    And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
    With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
    And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
    The lances unlifted, the trumpets unblown.

    And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
    And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
    And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
    Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!


    My hair is gray, but not with years.
      Nor grew it white
      In a single night,
    As men's have grown from sudden fears;
    My limbs are bowed, though not with toil,
      But rusted with a vile repose,
    For they have been a dungeon's spoil,
      And mine has been the fate of those
    To whom the goodly earth and air
    Are banned and barred--forbidden fare:
    But this was for my father's faith
    I suffered chains and courted death;
    That father perished at the stake
    For tenets he would not forsake;
    And for the same his lineal race
    In darkness found a dwelling-place;
    We were seven who now are one,
      Six in youth, and one in age,
    Finished as they had begun,
      Proud of persecution's rage;
    One in fire, and two in field,
    Their belief with blood have sealed;
    Dying as their father died,
    For the God their foes denied;
    Three were in a dungeon cast,
    Of whom this wreck is left the last.

    There are seven pillars of Gothic mold
    In Chillon's dungeons deep and old;
    There are seven columns, massy and gray,
    Dim with a dull imprisoned ray,
    A sunbeam which hath lost its way,
    And through the crevice and the cleft
    Of the thick wall is fallen and left;
    Creeping o'er the floor so damp,
    Like a marsh's meteor lamp:
    And in each pillar there is a ring,
      And in each ring there is a chain;
    That iron is a cankering thing,
      For in these limbs its teeth remain,
    With marks that will not wear away,
    Till I have done with this new day,
    Which now is painful to these eyes,
    Which have not seen the sun so rise
    For years--I cannot count them o'er;
    I lost their long and heavy score
    When my last brother drooped and died,
    And I lay living by his side....

      Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls:
    A thousand feet in depth below,
    Its massy waters meet and flow;
    Thus much the fathom-line was sent
    From Chillon's snow-white battlement,
      Which round about the wave enthralls:
    A double dungeon wall and wave
    Have made--and like a living grave
    Below the surface of the lake
    The dark vault lies wherein we lay;
    We heard it ripple night and day;
      Sounding o'er our heads it knocked;
    And I have felt the winter's spray
    Wash through the bars when winds were high
    And wanton in the happy sky;
      And then the very rock hath rocked,
      And I have felt it shake unshocked,
    Because I could have smiled to see
    The death that would have set me free.



    Titan! to whose immortal eyes
    The sufferings of mortality,
    Seen in their sad reality,
    Were not as things that gods despise:
    What was thy pity's recompense?
    A silent suffering, and intense:
    The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
    All that the proud can feel of pain,
    The agony they do not show,
    The suffocating sense of woe,
      Which speaks but in its loneliness,
    And then is jealous lest the sky
    Should have a listener, nor will sigh
      Until its voice is echoless.


    Titan! to thee the strife was given
      Between the suffering and the will,
      Which torture where they cannot kill;
    And the inexorable Heaven,
    And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
    The ruling principle of Hate,
    Which for its pleasure doth create
    The things it may annihilate,
    Refused thee even the boon to die;
    The wretched gift eternity
      Was thine--and thou hast borne it well.
    All that the Thunderer wrung from thee
    Was but the menace which flung back
    On him the torments of thy rack;
    The fate thou didst so well foresee,
      But would not to appease him tell;
    And in thy Silence was his Sentence,
    And in his Soul a vain repentance,
    And evil dread so ill dissembled
    That in his hand the lightnings trembled.


    Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
      To render with thy precepts less
      The sum of human wretchedness,
    And strengthen Man with his own mind;
    But baffled as thou wert from high,
    Still in thy patient energy,
    In the endurance and repulse
      Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
    Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
      A mighty lesson we inherit:
    Thou art a symbol and a sign
      To Mortals of their fate and force;
    Like thee, Man is in part divine,
      A troubled stream from a pure source;
    And Man in portions can foresee
    His own funereal destiny;
    His wretchedness and his resistance,
    And his sad unallied existence:
    To which his Spirit may oppose
    Itself--and equal to all woes,
    And a firm will, and a deep sense,
      Which even in torture can descry
    Its own concentred recompense,
      Triumphant where it dares defy,
      And making Death a Victory.


From 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

      I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
        I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bowed
      To its idolatries a patient knee,--
        Nor coined my cheek to smiles,--nor cried aloud
        In worship of an echo: in the crowd
      They could not deem me one of such; I stood
        Among them, but not of them, in a shroud
      Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still could,
    Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.

      I have not loved the world, nor the world me,--
        But let us part fair foes. I do believe,
      Though I have found them not, that there may be
        Words which are things,--hopes which will not deceive,
        And virtues which are merciful, nor weave
      Snares for the failing: I would also deem
        O'er others' griefs that some sincerely grieve;
      That two, or one, are almost what they seem,
    That goodness is no name, and happiness no dream.


Missolonghi, January 22d, 1824.

    'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
      Since others it hath ceased to move:
    Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
          Still let me love!

    My days are in the yellow leaf;
      The flowers and fruits of love are gone:
    The worm, the canker, and the grief
          Are mine alone!

    The fire that on my bosom preys
      Is lone as some volcanic isle;
    No torch is kindled at its blaze--
          A funeral pile.

    The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
      The exalted portion of the pain
    And power of love, I cannot share,
          But wear the chain.

    But 'tis not _thus_, and 'tis not _here_,
      Such thoughts should shake my soul--nor _now_,
    Where glory decks the hero's bier,
          Or binds his brow.

    The sword, the banner, and the field,
      Glory and Greece, around me see!
    The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
          Was not more free.

    Awake! (not Greece--she _is_ awake!)
      Awake, my spirit! Think through _whom_
    Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
          And then strike home!

    Tread those reviving passions down,
      Unworthy manhood!--unto thee
    Indifferent should the smile or frown
          Of beauty be.

    If thou regrett'st thy youth, _why live_?
      The land of honorable death
    Is here:--up to the field, and give
          Away thy breath!

    Seek out--less often sought than found--
      A soldier's grave, for thee the best;
    Then look around, and choose thy ground,
          And take thy rest.




England, France, and Spain have each produced within this century a
woman of genius, taking rank among the very first writers of their
respective countries. Fernan Caballero, without possessing the breadth
of intellect or the scholarship of George Eliot, or the artistic sense
of George Sand, is yet worthy to be named with these two great novelists
for the place she holds in Spanish literature. Interesting parallels
might be drawn between them, aside from the curious coincidence that
each chose a masculine pen-name to conceal her sex, and to gain the ear
of a generation suspicious of feminine achievements. Each portrayed both
the life of the gentleman and that of the rustic, and each is at her
best in her homelier portraitures.

Unlike her illustrious compeers, Fernan Caballero did not grow up amid
the scenes she drew. In the scanty records of her life it does not
appear whether, like George Sand, she had first to get rid of a
rebellious self before she could produce those objective masterpieces of
description, where the individuality of the writer disappears in her
realization of the lives and thoughts of a class alien to her own. Her
inner life cannot be reconstructed from her stories: her outward life
can be told in a few words. She was born December 25th, 1796, in Morges,
Switzerland, the daughter of Juan Nicholas Böhl de Faber, a German
merchant in Cadiz, who had married a Spanish lady of noble family. A
cultivated man he was, greatly interested in the past of Spain, and had
published a collection of old Castilian ballads. From him Cecilia
derived her love of Spanish folk-lore. Her earliest years were spent
going from place to place with her parents, now Spain, now Paris, now
Germany. From six to sixteen she was at school in Hamburg. Joining her
family in Cadiz, she was married at the age of seventeen. Left a widow
within a short time, she married after five years the wealthy Marquis de
Arco-Hermaso. His palace in Seville became a social centre, for his
young wife, beautiful, witty, and accomplished, was a born leader of
society. She now had to the full the opportunity of studying those types
of Spanish ladies and gentlemen whose gay, inconsequent chatter she has
so brilliantly reproduced in her novels dealing with high life. The
Marquis died in 1835, and after two years she again married, this time
the lawyer De Arrom. Losing his own money and hers, he went as Spanish
consul to Australia, where he died in 1863. She remained behind, retired
to the country, and turned to literature. From 1857 to 1866 she lived in
the Alcazar in Seville, as governess to the royal children of Spain. She
died April 7th, 1877, in Seville,--somewhat solitary, for a new life of
ideas flowing into Spain, and opposing her intense conservatism,
isolated her from companionship.

Fernan Caballero began to publish when past fifty, attained instant
success, and never again reached the high level of her first book. 'La
Gaviota' (The Sea-Gull) appeared in 1849 in the pages of a Madrid daily
paper, and at once made its author famous. 'The Family of Alvoreda,' an
earlier story, was published after her first success. Washington Irving,
who saw the manuscript of this, encouraged her to go on. Her novels were
fully translated, and she soon had a European reputation. Her work may
be divided into three classes: novels of social life in Seville, such as
'Elia' and 'Clemencia'; novels of Andalusian peasant life, as 'The
Family of Alvoreda' ('La Gaviota' uniting both); and a number of short
stories pointing a moral or embodying a proverb. She published besides,
in 1859, the first collection of Spanish fairy tales.

Fernan Caballero created the modern Spanish novel. For two hundred years
after Cervantes there are few names of note in prose fiction. French
taste dominated Spanish literature, and poor imitations of the French
satisfied the reading public. A foreigner by birth and a cosmopolitan by
education, the clever new-comer cried out against this foreign
influence, and set herself to bring the national characteristics to the
front. She belonged to the old Spanish school, with its Catholicism, its
prejudices, its reverence for the old, its hatred of new ideas and
modern improvements. She painted thus Old Spain with a master's brush.
But she especially loved Andalusia, that most poetic province of her
country, with its deep-blue luminous sky, its luxuriant vegetation, its
light-hearted, witty populace, and she wrote of them with rare insight
and exquisite tenderness. Tasked with having idealized them, she
replied:--"Many years of unremitting study, pursued _con amore_, justify
me in assuring those who find fault with my portrayal of popular life
that they are less acquainted with them than I am." And in another place
she says:--"It is amongst the people that we find the poetry of Spain
and of her chronicles. Their faith, their character, their sentiment,
all bear the seal of originality and of romance. Their language may be
compared to a garland of flowers. The Andalusian peasant is elegant in
his bearing, in his dress, in his language, and in his ideas."

Her stories lose immensely in the translation, for it is almost
impossible to reproduce in another tongue the racy native speech, with
its constant play on words, its wealth of epigrammatic proverbs, its
snatches of ballad or song interwoven into the common talk of the day.
The Andalusian peasant has an inexhaustible store of bits of poetry,
_coplas_, that fit into every occurrence of his daily life. Fernan
Caballero gathered up these flowers of speech as they fell from the lips
of the common man, and wove them into her tales. Besides their pictures
of Andalusian rural life, these stories reveal a wealth of popular
songs, ballads, legends, and fairy tales, invaluable alike to the
student of manners and of folk-lore. She has little constructive skill,
but much genius for detail. As a painter of manners and of nature she is
unrivaled. In a few bold strokes she brings a whole village before our
eyes. Nor is the brute creation forgotten. In her sympathy for animals
she shows her foreign extraction, the true Spaniard having little
compassion for his beasts. She inveighs against the national sport, the
bull-fight; against the cruel treatment of domestic animals. Her work is
always fresh and interesting, full of humor and of pathos. A close
observer and a realist, she never dwells on the unlovely, is never
unhealthy or sentimental. Her name is a household word in Spain, where a
foremost critic wrote of 'La Gaviota':--"This is the dawn of a beautiful
day, the first bloom of a poetic crown that will encircle the head of a
Spanish Walter Scott."

Perhaps the best summary of her work is given in her own words, where
she says:--

    "In composing this light work we did not intend to write a
    novel, but strove to give an exact and true idea of Spain, of
    the manners of its people, of their character, of their habits.
    We desired to sketch the home life of the people in the higher
    and lower classes, to depict their language, their faith, their
    traditions, their legends. What we have sought above all is to
    paint after nature, and with the most scrupulous exactitude, the
    objects and persons brought forward. Therefore our readers will
    seek in vain amid our actors for accomplished heroes or
    consummate villains, such as are found in the romances of
    chivalry or in melodramas. Our ambition has been to give as true
    an idea as possible of Spain and the Spaniards. We have tried to
    dissipate those monstrous prejudices transmitted and preserved
    like Egyptian mummies from generation to generation. It seemed
    to us that the best means of attaining this end was to replace
    with pictures traced by a Spanish pen those false sketches
    sprung from the pens of strangers."


From 'La Gaviota'

When after dinner Stein and his wife arrived at the place assigned for
the bull-fight, they found it already filled with people. A brief and
sustained animation preceded the fête. This immense rendezvous, where
were gathered together all the population of the city and its environs;
this agitation, like to that of the blood which in the paroxysms of a
violent passion rushes to the heart; this feverish expectation, this
frantic excitement,--kept, however, within the limits of order; these
exclamations, petulant without insolence; this deep anxiety which gives
a quivering to pleasure: all this together formed a species of moral
magnetism; one must succumb to its force or hasten to fly from it.

Stein, struck with vertigo, and his heart wrung, would have chosen
flight: his timidity kept him where he was. He saw in all eyes which
were turned on him the glowing of joy and happiness; he dared not appear
singular. Twelve thousand persons were assembled in this place; the rich
were thrown in the shade, and the varied colors of the costumes of the
Andalusian people were reflected in the rays of the sun.

Soon the arena was cleared.

Then came forward the picadores, mounted on their unfortunate horses,
who with head lowered and sorrowful eyes seemed to be--and were in
reality--victims marching to the sacrifice.

[Illustration: _THE BULL-FIGHT._ Photogravure from a painting by
Alexander Wagner.]

Stein, at the appearance of these poor animals, felt himself change to a
painful compassion; a species of disgust which he already experienced.
The provinces of the peninsula which he had traversed hitherto were
devastated by the civil war, and he had had no opportunity of seeing
these fêtes, so grand, so national, and so popular, where were united to
the brilliant Moorish strategy the ferocious intrepidity of the Gothic
race. But he had often heard these spectacles spoken of, and he knew
that the merit of a fight is generally estimated by the number of horses
that are slain. His pity was excited towards these poor animals, which,
after having rendered great services to their masters,--after having
conferred on them triumph, and perhaps saved their lives,--had for their
recompense, when age and the excess of work had exhausted their
strength, an atrocious death which by a refinement of cruelty they
were obliged themselves to seek. Instinct made them seek this death;
some resisted, while others, more resigned or more feeble, went docilely
before them to abridge their agony. The sufferings of these unfortunate
animals touched the hardest heart; but the amateurs had neither eyes,
attention, nor interest, except for the bull. They were under a real
fascination, which communicated itself to most of the strangers who came
to Spain, and principally for this barbarous amusement. Besides, it must
be avowed--and we avow it with grief--that compassion for animals is, in
Spain, particularly among the men, a sentiment more theoretical than
practical. Among the lower classes it does not exist at all.

The three picadores saluted the president of the fête, preceded by the
banderilleros and the chulos, splendidly dressed, and carrying the capas
of bright and brilliant colors. The matadores and their substitutes
commanded all these combatants, and wore the most luxurious costumes.

"Pepe Vera! here is Pepe Vera!" cried all the spectators. "The scholar
of Montés! Brave boy! What a jovial fellow! how well he is made! what
elegance and vivacity in all his person! how firm his look! what a calm

"Do you know," said a young man seated near to Stein, "what is the
lesson Montés gives to his scholars? He pushes them, their arms crossed,
close to the bull, and says to them, 'Do not fear the bull--brave the

Pepe Vera descended into the arena. His costume was of cherry-colored
satin, with shoulder-knots and silver embroidery in profusion. From the
little pockets of his vest stuck out the points of orange-colored
scarfs. A waistcoat of rich tissue of silver and a pretty little cap of
velvet completed his coquettish and charming costume of majo.

After having saluted the authorities with much ease and grace, he went
like the other combatants to take his accustomed place. The three
picadores also went to their posts, at equal distance from each other,
near to the barrier. There was then a profound, an imposing silence. One
might have said that this crowd, lately so noisy, had suddenly lost the
faculty of breathing.

The alcalde gave the signal, the clarions sounded, and as if the trumpet
of the Last Judgment had been heard, all the spectators arose with most
perfect ensemble; and suddenly was seen opened the large door of the
toril, placed opposite to the box occupied by the authorities. A bull
whose hide was red precipitated himself into the arena, and was assailed
by a universal explosion of cheers, of cries, of abuse, and of praise.
At this terrible noise the bull, affrighted, stopped short, raised his
head; his eyes were inflamed, and seemed to demand if all these
provocations were addressed to him; to him, the athletic and powerful,
who until now had been generous towards man, and who had always shown
favor towards him as to a feeble and weak enemy. He surveyed the ground,
turning his menacing head on all sides--he still hesitated: the cheers,
shrill and penetrating, became more and more shrill and frequent. Then
with a quickness which neither his weight nor his bulk foretold, he
sprang towards the picador, who planted a lance in his withers. The bull
felt a sharp pain, and soon drew back. It was one of those animals which
in the language of bull-fighting are called "boyantes," that is to say,
undecided and wavering; whence he did not persist in his first attack,
but assailed the second picador. This one was not so well prepared as
the first, and the thrust of his lance was neither so correct nor so
firm; he wounded the animal without being able to arrest his advance.
The horns of the bull were buried in the body of the horse, who fell to
the ground. A cry of fright was raised on all sides, and the chulos
surrounded this horrible group; but the ferocious animal had seized his
prey, and would not allow himself to be distracted from his vengeance.
In this moment of terror, the cries of the multitude were united in one
immense clamor, which would have filled the city with fright if it had
not come from the place of the bull-fight. The danger became more
frightful as it was prolonged.

The bull tenaciously attacked the horse, who was overwhelmed with his
weight and with his convulsive movements, while the unfortunate picador
was crushed beneath these two enormous masses. Then was seen to
approach, light as a bird with brilliant plumage, tranquil as a child
who goes to gather flowers, calm and smiling at the same time, a young
man, covered with silver embroidery and sparkling like a star. He
approached in the rear of the bull; and this young man of delicate
frame, and of appearance so distinguished, took in both hands the tail
of the terrible animal, and drew it towards him. The bull, surprised,
turned furiously and precipitated himself on his adversary, who without
a movement of his shoulder, and stepping backward, avoided the first
shock by a half-wheel to the right.

The bull attacked him anew; the young man escaped a second time by
another half-wheel to the left, continuing to manage him until he
reached the barrier. There he disappeared from the eyes of the
astonished animal, and from the anxious gaze of the public, who in the
intoxication of their enthusiasm filled the air with their frantic
applause; for we are always ardently impressed when we see man play with
death, and brave it with so much coolness.

"See now if he has not well followed the lesson of Montés! See if Pepe
Vera knows how to act with the bull!" said the young man seated near to
them, who was hoarse from crying out.

The Duke at this moment fixed his attention on Marisalada. Since the
arrival of this young woman at the capital of Andalusia, it was the
first time that he had remarked any emotion on this cold and disdainful
countenance. Until now he had never seen her animated. The rude
organization of Marisalada was too vulgar to receive the exquisite
sentiment of admiration. There was in her character too much
indifference and pride to permit her to be taken by surprise. She was
astonished at nothing, interested in nothing. To excite her, be it ever
so little, to soften some part of this hard metal, it was necessary to
employ fire and to use the hammer.

Stein was pale. "My lord Duke," he said, with an air full of sweetness
and of conviction, "is it possible that this diverts you?"

"No," replied the Duke; "it does not divert, it interests me."

During this brief dialogue they had raised up the horse. The poor animal
could not stand on his legs; his intestines protruded and bespattered
the ground. The picador was also raised up; he was removed between the
arms of the chulos. Furious against the bull, and led on by a blind
temerity, he would at all hazards remount his horse and return to the
attack, in spite of the dizziness produced by his fall. It was
impossible to dissuade him; they saw him indeed replace the saddle upon
the poor victim, into the bruised flanks of which he dug his spurs.

"My lord Duke," said Stein, "I may perhaps appear to you ridiculous, but
I do not wish to remain at this spectacle. Maria, shall we depart?"

"No," replied Maria, whose soul seemed to be concentrated in her eyes.
"Am I a little miss? and are you afraid that by accident I may faint?"

"In such case," said Stein, "I will come back and take you when the
course is finished." And he departed.

The bull had disposed of a sufficiently good number of horses. The
unfortunate courser which we have mentioned was taken away--rather drawn
than led by the bridle to the door, by which he made his retreat. The
others, which had not the strength again to stand up, lay stretched out
in the convulsions of agony; sometimes they stretched out their heads as
though impelled by terror. At these last signs of life the bull returned
to the charge, wounding anew with plunges of his horns the bruised
members of his victims. Then, his forehead and horns all bloody, he
walked around the circus affecting an air of provocation and defiance:
at times he proudly raised his head towards the amphitheatre, where the
cries did not cease to be heard; sometimes it was towards the brilliant
chulos who passed before him like meteors, planting their banderillos in
his body. Often from a cage, or from a netting hidden in the ornaments
of a banderillero, came out birds, which joyously took up their flight.
The first inventor of this strange and singular contrast could not
certainly have had the intention to symbolize innocence without defense,
rising above the horrors and ferocious passions here below, in its happy
flight towards heaven. That would be, without doubt, one of those poetic
ideas which are born spontaneously in the hard and cruel heart of the
Spanish plebeian, as we see in Andalusia the mignonette plant really
flourish between stones and the mortar of a balcony.

At the signal given by the president of the course, the clarions again
sounded. There was a moment of truce in this bloody wrestling, and it
created a perfect silence.

Then Pepe Vera, holding in his left hand a sword and a red-hooded cloak,
advanced near to the box of the alcalde. Arrived opposite, he stopped
and saluted, to demand permission to slay the bull.

Pepe Vera perceived the presence of the Duke, whose taste for the
bull-fight was well known; he had also remarked the woman who was seated
at his side, because this woman, to whom the Duke frequently spoke,
never took her eyes off the matador.

He directed his steps towards the Duke, and taking off his cap, said,
"_Brindo_ (I offer the honor of the bull) to you, my lord, and to the
royal person who is near you."

At these words, casting his cap on the ground with an inimitable
abandon, he returned to his post.

The chulos regarded him attentively, all ready to execute his orders.
The matador chose the spot which suited him the best, and indicated it
to his quadrilla.

"Here!" he cried out to them.

The chulos ran towards the bull and excited him, and in pursuing them
met Pepe Vera, face to face, who had awaited his approach with a firm
step. It was the solemn moment of the whole fight. A profound silence
succeeded to the noisy tumult, and to the warm excitement which until
then had been exhibited towards the matador.

The bull, on seeing this feeble enemy, who had laughed at his fury,
stopped as if he wished to reflect. He feared, without doubt, that he
would escape him a second time.

Whoever had entered into the circus at this moment would sooner believe
he was assisting in a solemn religious assembly, than in a public
amusement, so great was the silence.

The two adversaries regarded each other reciprocally.

Pepe Vera raised his left hand: the bull sprang on him. Making only a
light movement, the matador let him pass by his side, returned and put
himself on guard. When the animal turned upon him the man directed his
sword towards the extremity of the shoulder, so that the bull,
continuing his advance, powerfully aided the steel to penetrate
completely into his body.

It was done! He fell lifeless at the feet of his vanquisher.

To describe the general burst of cries and bravos which broke forth from
every part of this vast arena, would be a thing absolutely impossible.
Those who are accustomed to be present at these spectacles alone can
form an idea of it. At the same time were heard the strains of the
military bands.

Pepe Vera tranquilly traversed the arena in the midst of these frantic
testimonials of passionate admiration and of this unanimous ovation,
saluting with his sword right and left in token of his acknowledgments.
This triumph, which might have excited the envy of a Roman emperor, in
him did not excite the least surprise--the least pride. He then went to
salute the ayuntamiento; then the Duke and the "royal" young lady.

The Duke then secretly handed to Maria a purse full of gold, and she
enveloped it in her handkerchief and cast it into the arena.

Pepe Vera again renewed his thanks, and the glance of his black eyes met
those of the Gaviota. In describing the meeting of these looks, a
classic writer said that it wounded these two hearts as profoundly as
Pepe Vera wounded the bull.

We who have not the temerity to ally ourselves to this severe and
intolerant school, we simply say that these two natures were made to
understand each other--to sympathize. They in fact did understand and

It is true to say that Pepe had done admirably.

All that he had promised in a situation where he placed himself between
life and death had been executed with an address, an ease, a dexterity,
and a grace, which had not been baffled for an instant.

For such a task it is necessary to have an energetic temperament and a
daring courage, joined to a certain degree of self-possession, which
alone can command twenty-four thousand eyes which observe, and
twenty-four thousand hands which applaud.


From 'La Gaviota'

A month after the scenes we have described, Marisalada was more
sensible, and did not show the least desire to return to her father's.
Stein was completely re-established; his good-natured character, his
modest inclinations, his natural sympathies, attached him every day more
to the peaceful habits of the simple and generous persons among whom he
dwelt. He felt relieved from his former discouragements, and his mind
was invigorated; he was cordially resigned to his present existence, and
to the men with whom he associated.

One afternoon, Stein, leaning against an angle of the convent which
faced the sea, admired the grand spectacle which the opening of the
winter season presented to his view. Above his head floated a triple bed
of sombre clouds, forced along by the impetuous wind. Those lower down,
black and heavy, seemed like the cupola of an ancient cathedral in
ruins, threatening at each instant to sink down. When reduced to water
they fell to the ground. There was visible the second bed, less sombre
and lighter, defying the wind which chased them, and which separating at
intervals sought other clouds, more coquettish and more vaporous, which
they hurried into space, as if they feared to soil their white robes by
coming in contact with their companions.

"Are you a sponge, Don Frederico, so to like to receive all the water
which falls from heaven?" demanded José, the shepherd of Stein. "Let us
enter; the roofs are made expressly for such nights as these. My sheep
would give much to shelter themselves under some tiles."

Stein and the shepherd entered, and found the family assembled around
the hearth.

At the left of the chimney, Dolores, seated on a low chair, held her
infant; who, turning his back to his mother, supported himself on the
arm which encircled him like the balustrade of a balcony; he moved about
incessantly his little legs and his small bare arms, laughing and
uttering joyous cries addressed to his brother Anis. This brother,
gravely seated opposite the fire on the edge of an empty earthen pan,
remained stiff and motionless, fearing that losing his equilibrium he
would be tossed into the said earthen pan--an accident which his mother
had predicted.

Maria was sewing at the right side of the chimney; her granddaughters
had for seats dry aloe leaves,--excellent seats, light, solid, and sure.
Nearly under the drapery of the chimney-piece slept the hairy Palomo and
a cat, the grave Morrongo,--tolerated from necessity, but remaining by
common consent at a respectful distance from each other.

In the middle of this group there was a little low table, on which
burned a lamp of four jets; close to the table the Brother Gabriel was
seated, making baskets of the palm-tree; Momo was engaged in repairing
the harness of the good "Swallow" (the ass); and Manuel, cutting up
tobacco. On the fire was conspicuous a stew-pan full of Malaga potatoes,
white wine, honey, cinnamon, and cloves. The humble family waited with
impatience till the perfumed stew should be sufficiently cooked.

"Come on! Come on!" cried Maria, when she saw her guest and the shepherd
enter. "What are you doing outside in weather like this? 'Tis said a
hurricane has come to destroy the world. Don Frederico, here, here! come
near the fire. Do you know that the invalid has supped like a princess,
and that at present she sleeps like a queen! Her cure progresses
well--is it not so, Don Frederico?"

"Her recovery surpasses my hopes."

"My soups!" added Maria with pride.

"And the ass's milk," said Brother Gabriel quietly.

"There is no doubt," replied Stein; "and she ought to continue to take

"I oppose it not," said Maria, "because ass's milk is like the
turnip--if it does no good it does no harm."

"Ah! how pleasant it is here!" said Stein, caressing the children. "If
one could only live in the enjoyment of the present, without thought of
the future!"

"Yes, yes, Don Frederico," joyfully cried Manuel, "'_Media vida es la
candela; pan y vino, la otra media._'" (Half of life is the candle;
bread and wine are the other half.)

"And what necessity have you to dream of the future?" asked Maria. "Will
the morrow make us the more love to-day? Let us occupy ourselves with
to-day, so as not to render painful the day to come."

"Man is a traveler," replied Stein; "he must follow his route."

"Certainly," replied Maria, "man is a traveler; but if he arrives in a
quarter where he finds himself well off, he would say, 'We are well
here; put up our tents.'"

"If you wish us to lose our evening by talking of traveling," said
Dolores, "we will believe that we have offended you, or that you are not
pleased here."

"Who speaks of traveling in the middle of December?" demanded Manuel.
"Goodness of heaven! Do you not see what disasters there are every day
on the sea?--hear the singing of the wind! Will you embark in this
weather, as you were embarked in the war of Navarre? for as then, you
would come out mortified and ruined."

"Besides," added Maria, "the invalid is not yet entirely cured."

"Ah! there," said Dolores, besieged by the children, "if you will not
call off these creatures, the potatoes will not be cooked until the Last

The grandmother rolled the spinning-wheel to the corner, and called the
little infants to her.

"We will not go," they replied with one voice, "if you will not tell us
a story."

"Come, I will tell you one," said the good old woman. The children
approached. Anis took up his position on the empty earthen pot, and the
grandma commenced a story to amuse the little children.

She had hardly finished the relation of this story when a great noise
was heard. The dog rose up, pointed his ears, and put himself on the
defensive. The cat bristled her hair and prepared to fly. But the
succeeding laugh very soon was frightful: it was Anis, who fell asleep
during the recital of his grandmother. It happened that the prophecy of
his mother was fulfilled as to his falling into the earthen pan, where
all his little person disappeared except his legs, which stuck out like
plants of a new species. His mother, rendered impatient, seized with one
hand the collar of his vest, raised him out of this depth, and despite
his resistance held him suspended in the air for some time--in the style
represented in those card dancing-jacks, which move arms and legs when
you pull the thread which holds them.

As his mother scolded him, and everybody laughed at him, Anis, who had a
brave spirit,--a thing natural in an infant,--burst out into a groan
which had nothing of timidity in it.

"Don't weep, Anis," said Paca, "and I will give you two chestnuts that I
have in my pocket."

"True?" demanded Anis.

Paca took out the two chestnuts, and gave them to him. Instead of tears,
they saw promptly shine with joy the two rows of white teeth of the
young boy.

"Brother Gabriel," said Maria, "did you not speak to me of a pain in
your eyes? Why do you work this evening?"

"I said truly," answered brother Gabriel; "but Don Frederico gave me a
remedy which cured me."

"Don Frederico must know many remedies, but he does not know that one
which never misses its effect," said the shepherd.

"If you know it, have the kindness to tell me," replied Stein.

"I am unable to tell you," replied the shepherd. "I know that it exists,
and that is all."

"Who knows it then?" demanded Stein.

"The swallows," said José.

"The swallows?"

"Yes, sir. It is an herb which is called 'pito-real,' which nobody sees
or knows except the swallows: when their little ones lose their sight
the parents rub their eyes with the pito-real, and cure them. This herb
has also the virtue to cut iron--everything it touches."

"What absurdities this José swallows without chewing, like a real
shark!" interrupted Manuel, laughing. "Don Frederico, do you comprehend
what he said and believes as an article of faith? He believes and says
that snakes never die."

"No, they never die," replied the shepherd. "When they see death coming
they escape from their skin, and run away. With age they become
serpents; little by little they are covered with scales and wings: they
become dragons, and return to the desert. But you, Manuel, you do not
wish to believe anything. Do you deny also that the lizard is the enemy
of the woman, and the friend of man? If you do not believe it, ask then
of Miguel."

"He knows it?"

"Without doubt, by experience."

"Whence did he learn it?" demanded Stein.

"He was sleeping in the field," replied José. "A snake glided near him.
A lizard, which was in the furrow, saw it coming, and presented himself
to defend Miguel. The lizard, which was of large form, fought with the
snake. But Miguel not awaking, the lizard pressed his tail against the
nose of the sleeper, and ran off as if his paws were on fire. The lizard
is a good little beast, who has good desires; he never sleeps in the sun
without descending the wall to kiss the earth."

When the conversation commenced on the subject of swallows, Paca said to
Anis, who was seated among his sisters, with his legs crossed like a
Grand Turk in miniature, "Anis, do you know what the swallows say?"

"I? No. They have never spoken to me."

"Attend then: they say--" the little girl imitated the chirping of
swallows, and began to sing with volubility:--

          "To eat and to drink!
          And to loan when you may;
          But 'tis madness to think
          This loan to repay.
    Flee, flee, pretty swallow, the season demands,
    Fly swift on the wing, and reach other lands."

"Is it for that they are sold?"

"For that," affirmed his sister.

During this time Dolores, carrying her infant in one hand, with the
other spread the table, served the potatoes, and distributed to each one
his part. The children ate from her plate, and Stein remarked that she
did not even touch the dish she had prepared with so much care.

"You do not eat, Dolores?" he said to her.

"Do you not know the saying," she replied laughing, "'He who has
children at his side will never die of indigestion,' Don Frederico? What
they eat nourishes me."

Momo, who found himself beside this group, drew away his plate, so that
his brothers would not have the temptation to ask him for its contents.
His father, who remarked it, said to him:--

"Don't be avaricious; it is a shameful vice: be not avaricious; avarice
is an abject vice. Know that one day an avaricious man fell into the
river. A peasant who saw it, ran to pull him out; he stretched out his
arm, and cried to him, 'Give me your hand!' What had he to give? A
miser--give! Before giving him anything he allowed himself to be swept
down by the current. By chance he floated near to a fisherman: 'Take my
hand!' he said to him. As it was a question of taking, our man was
willing, and he escaped danger."

"It is not such wit you should relate to your son, Manuel," said Maria.
"You ought to set before him, for example, the bad rich man, who would
give to the unfortunate neither a morsel of bread nor a glass of water.
'God grant,' answered the beggar to him, 'that all that you touch
changes to this silver which you so hold to.' The wish of the beggar was
realized. All that the miser had in his house was changed into metals as
hard as his heart. Tormented by hunger and thirst, he went into the
country, and having perceived a fountain of pure water, clear as
crystal, he approached with longing to taste it; but the moment his lips
touched it the water was turned to silver. He would take an orange and
the orange was changed to gold. He thus died in a frenzy of rage and
fury, cursing what he had desired."

Manuel, the strongest minded man in the assembly, bowed down his head.

"Manuel," his mother said to him, "you imagine that we ought not to
believe but what is a fundamental article, and that credulity is common
only to the imbecile. You are mistaken: men of good sense are

"But, my mother, between belief and doubt there is a medium."

"And why," replied the good old woman, "laugh at faith, which is the
first of all virtues? How will it appear to you if I say to you, 'I have
given birth to you, I have educated you, I have guided your earliest
steps--I have fulfilled my obligations!' Is the love of a mother nothing
but an obligation? What say you?"

"I would reply that you are not a good mother."

"Well, my son, apply that to what we were speaking of: he who does not
believe except from obligation, and only for that, cannot cease to
believe without being a renegade, a bad Christian; as I would be a bad
mother if I loved you only from obligation."

"Brother Gabriel," interrupted Dolores, "why will you not taste my

"It is a fast-day," replied Brother Gabriel.

"Nonsense! There is no longer convent, nor rules, nor fasts," cavalierly
said Manuel, to induce the poor old man to participate in the general
repast. "Besides, you have accomplished sixty years: put away these
scruples, and you will not be damned for having eaten our potatoes."

"Pardon me," replied Brother Gabriel, "but I ought to fast as formerly,
inasmuch as the Father Prior has not given me a dispensation."

"Well done, Brother Gabriel!" added Maria; "Manuel shall not be the
demon tempter with his rebellious spirit, to incite you to gormandize."

Upon this, the good old woman rose up and locked up in a closet the
plate which Dolores had served to the monk.

"I will keep it here for you until to-morrow morning, Brother Gabriel."

Supper finished, the men, whose habit was always to keep their hats on
in the house, uncovered, and Maria said grace.



Perhaps the first intimation given to the world of a literary and
artistic awakening in the Southern States of America after the Civil
War, was the appearance in Scribner's Magazine of a series of short
stories, written by an unknown and hitherto untried hand, and afterward
collected and republished in 'Old Creole Days.' This was long before the
vogue of the short story, and that the publication of these tales was
regarded as a literary event in those days is sufficient testimony to
their power.

[Illustration: GEORGE W. CABLE]

They were fresh, full of color and poetic feeling--romantic with the
romance that abounds in the life they portrayed, redolent of indigenous
perfumes,--magnolia, lemon, orange, and myrtle, mingled with French
exotics of the boudoir,--interpretive in these qualities, through a fine
perception, of a social condition resulting from the transplanting to a
semi-tropical soil of a conservative, wealthy, and aristocratic French
community. Herein lay much of their most inviting charm; but more than
this, they were racy with twinkling humor, tender with a melting pathos,
and intensely dramatic.

An intermixture of races with strong caste prejudices, and a time of
revolution and change, present eminently the condition and the moment
for the romance. And when added to this, he finds to his hand an almost
tropical setting, and so picturesque a confusion of liquid tongues as
exists in the old Franco-Spanish-Afro-Italian-American city of New
Orleans, there would seem to be nothing left to be desired as
"material." The artist who seized instinctively this opportunity was
born at New Orleans on October 12th, 1844, of colonial Virginia stock on
the one side, and New England on the other. His early life was full of
vicissitudes, and he was over thirty before he discovered story-telling
to be his true vocation. From that time he has diligently followed it,
having published three novels, 'The Grandissimes,' 'Dr. Sevier,'
'Bonaventure,' and 'John March, Southerner,' besides another volume of
short stories.

That having received his impressions in the period of transition and
ferment following the upheaval of 1861-1865, with the resulting
exaggerations and distortions of a normal social condition, he chose to
lay his scenes a half-century earlier, proclaims him still more the
artist; who would thus gain a freer play of fancy and a surer
perspective, and who, saturated with his subject, is not afraid to trust
his imagination to interpret it.

That he saw with open sympathetic eyes and a loving heart, he who runs
may read in any chance page that a casual opening of his books will
reveal. That the people whom he has so affectionately depicted have not
loved him in return, is perhaps only a corroboration of his own words
when he wrote, in his charming tale 'Belles Demoiselles Plantation,'
"The Creoles never forgive a public mention." That they are tender of
heart, sympathetic, and generous in their own social and domestic
relations, Mr. Cable's readers cannot fail to know. But the caste line
has ever been a dangerous boundary--a live wire charged with a deadly if
invisible fluid--and he is a brave man who dares lay his hand upon it.

More than this, the old-time Creole was an aristocrat who chose to
live behind a battened door, as does his descendant to-day. His
privacy, so long undisturbed, has come to be his prerogative.
Witness this spirit in the protest of the inimitable Jean-ah
Poquelin--the hero giving his name to one of the most dramatic stories
ever penned--when he presents himself before the American governor of
Louisiana to declare that he will not have his privacy invaded by a
proposed street to pass his door:--"I want you tell Monsieur le
President, _strit--can't--pass--at--me--'ouse_." The Creoles of Mr.
Cable's generation are as jealous of their retirement as was the brave
old man Poquelin; and to have it invaded by a young American who not
only threw their pictures upon his canvas, but standing behind it,
reproduced their eccentricities of speech for applauding Northern
audiences, was a crime unforgivable in their moral code.

Added to this, Mr. Cable stands accused of giving the impression that
the Louisiana Creole is a person of African taint; but are there not
many refutations of this charge in the internal evidence of his work? As
for instance where in 'The Grandissimes' he writes, "His whole
appearance was a dazzling contradiction of the notion that a Creole is a
person of mixed blood"; and again when he alludes to "the slave
dialect," is the implication not unequivocal that this differed from the
speech of the drawing-room? It is true that he found many of his studies
in the Quadroon population, who spoke a patois that was partly French;
but such was the "slave dialect" of the man of color who came into his
English through a French strain, or perhaps only through a generation of
close French environment.

A civilization that is as protective in its conservatism as are the
ten-foot walls of brick with which its people surround their luxurious
dwellings may be counted on to resent portrayal at short range, even
though it were unequivocally eulogistic. That Mr. Cable is a most
conscientious artist, and that he has been absolutely true to the letter
as he saw it, there can be no question; but whether his technical
excellences are always broadly representative or not is not so certain.
That the writer who has so amply proven his own joy in the wealth of his
material, should have been beguiled by its picturesqueness into a
partisanship for the class making a special appeal, is not surprising.
But truth in art is largely a matter of selection; and if Mr. Cable has
sinned in the gleaning, it was undoubtedly because of visual limitation,
rather than a conscious discrimination.

In 'The Grandissimes,' his most ambitious work, we have an important
contribution to representative literature. In the pleasant guise of his
fascinating fiction he has essayed the history of a civilization, and in
many respects the result is a great book. That such a work should attain
its highest merit in impartial truth when taken as a whole, goes without

The dramatic story of Bras Coupé is true as belonging to the time and
the situation. So is that of Palmyrea the Octoroon, or of Honoré
Grandissime's "f. m. c." the half-brother, or of the pitiful voudou
woman Clemence, the wretched old _marchande de calas_. Had he produced
nothing more than his first small volume of seven tales, he would have
made for himself an honored place in literature.

As a collection, these stories are unrivaled for pictorial power and
dramatic form, and are so nearly of equal merit that any one would be as
representative in the popular mind as the one which is given here.


From 'Old Creole Days': copyrighted 1879, 1881, 1883, by Charles
Scribner's Sons

To Jules St. Ange--elegant little heathen--there yet remained at manhood
a remembrance of having been to school, and of having been taught by a
stony-headed Capuchin that the world is round--for example, like a
cheese. This round world is a cheese to be eaten through, and Jules had
nibbled quite into his cheese-world already at twenty-two.

He realized this, as he idled about one Sunday morning where the
intersection of Royal and Conti Streets some seventy years ago formed a
central corner of New Orleans. Yes, yes, the trouble was he had been
wasteful and honest. He discussed the matter with that faithful friend
and confidant, Baptiste, his yellow body-servant. They concluded that,
papa's patience and _tante's_ pin-money having been gnawed away quite to
the rind, there were left open only these few easily enumerated
resorts:--to go to work--they shuddered; to join Major Innerarity's
filibustering expedition; or else--why not?--to try some games of
confidence. At twenty-two one must begin to be something. Nothing else
tempted; could that avail? One could but try. It is noble to try; and
besides, they were hungry. If one could "make the friendship" of some
person from the country, for instance, with money,--not expert at cards
or dice, but as one would say, willing to learn,--one might find cause
to say some "Hail Marys."

The sun broke through a clearing sky, and Baptiste pronounced it good
for luck. There had been a hurricane in the night. The weed-grown
tile-roofs were still dripping, and from lofty brick and low adobe walls
a rising steam responded to the summer sunlight. Up-street, and across
the Rue du Canal, one could get glimpses of the gardens in Faubourg
Ste.-Marie standing in silent wretchedness, so many tearful Lucretias,
tattered victims of the storm. Short remnants of the wind now and then
came down the narrow street in erratic puffs, heavily laden with odors
of broken boughs and torn flowers, skimmed the little pools of
rain-water in the deep ruts of the unpaved street, and suddenly went
away to nothing, like a juggler's butterflies or a young man's money.

It was very picturesque, the Rue Royale. The rich and poor met together.
The locksmith's swinging key creaked next door to the bank; across the
way, crouching mendicant-like in the shadow of a great importing house,
was the mud laboratory of the mender of broken combs. Light balconies
overhung the rows of showy shops and stores open for trade this Sunday
morning, and pretty Latin faces of the higher class glanced over their
savagely pronged railings upon the passers below. At some windows hung
lace curtains, flannel duds at some, and at others only the scraping and
sighing one-hinged shutter groaning toward Paris after its neglectful

M. St.-Ange stood looking up and down the street for nearly an hour. But
few ladies, only the inveterate mass-goers, were out. About the entrance
of the frequent _café's_ the masculine gentility stood leaning on canes,
with which now one and now another beckoned to Jules, some even adding
pantomimic hints of the social cup.

M. St.-Ange remarked to his servant without turning his head that
somehow he felt sure he should soon return those _bons_ that the mulatto
had lent him.

"What will you do with them?"

"Me!" said Baptiste, quickly; "I will go and see the bull-fight in the
Place Congo."

"There is to be a bull-fight? But where is M. Cayetano?"

"Ah, got all his affairs wet in the tornado. Instead of his circus, they
are to have a bull-fight--not an ordinary bull-fight with sick horses,
but a buffalo-and-tiger fight. I would not miss it--"

Two or three persons ran to the opposite corner, and commenced striking
at something with their canes. Others followed. Can M. St.-Ange and
servant, who hasten forward--can the Creoles, Cubans, Spaniards, San
Domingo refugees, and other loungers--can they hope it is a fight? They
hurry forward. Is a man in a fit? The crowd pours in from the
side-streets. Have they killed a so-long snake? Bareheaded shopmen leave
their wives, who stand upon chairs. The crowd huddles and packs. Those
on the outside make little leaps into the air, trying to be tall.

"What is the matter?"

"Have they caught a real live rat?"

"Who is hurt?" asks some one in English.

"_Personne_," replies a shopkeeper; "a man's hat blow' in the gutter;
but he has it now. Jules pick' it. See, that is the man, head and
shoulders on top the res'."

"He in the homespun?" asks a second shopkeeper. "Humph! an
_Américain_--a West-Floridian; bah!"

"But wait; 'st! he is speaking; listen!"

"To who is he speak--?"

"Sh-sh-sh! to Jules."

"Jules who?"

"Silence, you! To Jules St.-Ange, what howe me a bill since long time.

Then the voice was heard.

Its owner was a man of giant stature, with a slight stoop in his
shoulders, as if he was making a constant good-natured attempt to
accommodate himself to ordinary doors and ceilings. His bones were those
of an ox. His face was marked more by weather than age, and his narrow
brow was bald and smooth. He had instantaneously formed an opinion of
Jules St.-Ange, and the multitude of words, most of them lingual
curiosities, with which he was rasping the wide-open ears of his
listeners, signified, in short, that as sure as his name was Parson
Jones, the little Creole was a "plum gentleman."

M. St.-Ange bowed and smiled, and was about to call attention, by both
gesture and speech, to a singular object on top of the still uncovered
head, when the nervous motion of the _Américain_ anticipated him, as,
throwing up an immense hand, he drew down a large roll of bank-notes.
The crowd laughed, the West-Floridian joining, and began to disperse.

"Why, that money belongs to Smyrny Church," said the giant.

"You are very dengerous to make your money expose like that, Misty
Posson Jone'," said St.-Ange, counting it with his eyes.

The countryman gave a start and smile of surprise.

"How d'dyou know my name was Jones?" he asked; but, without pausing for
the Creole's answer, furnished in his reckless way some further
specimens of West-Floridian English; and the conciseness with which he
presented full intelligence of his home, family, calling, lodging-house,
and present and future plans, might have passed for consummate art, had
it not been the most run-wild nature. "And I've done been to Mobile, you
know, on busi_ness_ for Bethesdy Church. It's the on'yest time I ever
been from home; now you wouldn't of believed that, would you? But I
admire to have saw you, that's so. You've got to come and eat with me.
Me and my boy ain't been fed yit. What might one call yo' name? Jools?
Come on, Jools. Come on, Colossus. That's my niggah--his name's Colossus
of Rhodes. Is that yo' yallah boy, Jools? Fetch him along, Colossus. It
seems like a special provi_dence_.--Jools, do you believe in a special

Jules said he did.

The new-made friends moved briskly off, followed by Baptiste and a
short square old negro, very black and grotesque, who had introduced
himself to the mulatto with many glittering and cavernous smiles as
"d'body-servant of d'Rev'n' Mr. Jones."

Both pairs enlivened their walk with conversation. Parson Jones
descanted upon the doctrine he had mentioned, as illustrated in the
perplexities of cotton-growing, and concluded that there would always be
"a special provi_dence_ again' cotton untell folks quits a-pressin' of
it and haulin' of it on Sundays!"

"_Je dis_," said St.-Ange, in response, "I thing you is juz right. I
believe, me, strong-strong in the improvidence, yes. You know my papa he
hown a sugah-plantation, you know. 'Jules, me son,' he say one time to
me, 'I goin' to make one baril sugah to fedge the moze high price in New
Orleans.' Well, he take his bez baril sugah--I nevah see a so careful
man like me papa always to make a so beautiful sugah _et sirop_. 'Jules,
go at Father Pierre an' ged this lill pitcher fill with holy-water, an'
tell him sen' his tin bucket, and I will make it fill with _quitte_.' I
ged the holy-water; my papa sprinkle it over the baril, an' make one
cross on the 'ead of the baril."

"Why, Jools," said Parson Jones, "that didn't do no good."

"Din do no good! Id broughd the so great value! You can strike me dead
if thad baril sugah din fedge the more high cost than any other in the
city. _Parceque_, the man what buy that baril sugah he make a mistake of
one hundred pound"--falling back--"_mais_ certainlee!"

"And you think that was growin' out of the holy-water?" asked the

"_Mais_, what could make it else? Id could not be the _quitte_, because
my papa keep the bucket, an' forget to sen' the _quitte_ to Father

Parson Jones was disappointed.

"Well, now, Jools, you know, I don't think that was right. I reckon you
must be a plum Catholic."

M. St.-Ange shrugged. He would not deny his faith.

"I am a _Catholique_, _mais_"--brightening as he hoped to recommend
himself anew--"not a good one."

"Well, you know," said Jones--"where's Colossus? Oh! all right. Colossus
strayed off a minute in Mobile, and I plum lost him for two days. Here's
the place; come in. Colossus and this boy can go to the kitchen.--Now,
Colossus, what _air_ you a-beckonin' at me faw?"

He let his servant draw him aside and address him in a whisper.

"Oh, go 'way!" said the parson with a jerk. "Who's goin' to throw me?
What? Speak louder. Why, Colossus, you shayn't talk so, saw. 'Pon my
soul, you're the mightiest fool I ever taken up with. Jest you go down
that alley-way with this yalla boy, and don't show yo' face untell yo'

The negro begged; the master wrathily insisted.

"Colossus, will you do ez I tell you, or shell I hev' to strike you,

"Oh Mahs Jimmy, I--I's gwine; but--" he ventured nearer--"don't on no
account drink nothin', Mahs Jimmy."

Such was the negro's earnestness that he put one foot in the gutter, and
fell heavily against his master. The parson threw him off angrily.

"Thar, now! Why, Colossus, you must of been dosted with sumthin'; yo'
plum crazy.--Humph, come on, Jools, let's eat! Humph! to tell me that,
when I never taken a drop, exceptin' for chills, in my life--which he
knows so as well as me!"

The two masters began to ascend a stair.

"_Mais_, he is a sassy; I would sell him, me," said the young Creole.

"No, I wouldn't do that," replied the parson; "though there is people in
Bethesdy who says he is a rascal. He's a powerful smart fool. Why, that
boy's got money, Jools; more money than religion, I reckon. I'm shore he
fallen into mighty bad company--" they passed beyond earshot.

Baptiste and Colossus, instead of going to the tavern kitchen, passed to
the next door and entered the dark rear corner of a low grocery, where,
the law notwithstanding, liquor was covertly sold to slaves. There, in
the quiet company of Baptiste and the grocer, the colloquial powers of
Colossus, which were simply prodigious, began very soon to show

"For whilst," said he, "Mahs Jimmy has eddication, you know--whilst he
has eddication, I has 'scretion. He has eddication and I has 'scretion,
an' so we gits along."

He drew a black bottle down the counter, and, laying half his length
upon the damp board, continued:--

"As a p'inciple I discredits de imbimin' of awjus liquors. De imbimin'
of awjus liquors, de wiolution of de Sabbaf, de playin' of de fiddle,
and de usin' of bywords, dey is de fo' sins of de conscience, an' if any
man sin de fo' sins of de conscience, de debble done sharp his fork fo'
dat man.--Ain't dat so, boss?"

The grocer was sure it was so.

"Neberdeless, mind you--" here the orator brimmed his glass from the
bottle and swallowed the contents with a dry eye--"mind you, a roytious
man, sech as ministers of de gospel and dere body-sarvants, can take a
_leetle_ for de weak stomach."

But the fascinations of Colossus's eloquence must not mislead us; this
is the story of a true Christian; to wit, Parson Jones.

The parson and his new friend ate. But the coffee M. St.-Ange declared
he could not touch: it was too wretchedly bad. At the French Market,
near by, there was some noble coffee. This, however, would have to be
bought, and Parson Jones had scruples.

"You see, Jools, every man has his conscience to guide him, which it
does so in--"

"Oh, yes!" cried St.-Ange, "conscien'; thad is the bez, Posson Jone'.
Certainlee! I am a _Catholique_, you is a _schismatique_: you thing it
is wrong to dring some coffee--well, then, it _is_ wrong; you thing it
is wrong to make the sugah to ged the so large price--well, then, it
_is_ wrong; I thing it is right--well, then, it _is_ right: it is all
'abit; _c'est tout_. What a man thing is right, _is right_; 'tis all
'abit. A man muz nod go again' his conscien'. My faith! do you thing I
would go again' my conscien'? _Mais allons_, led us go and ged some



"Jools, it ain't the drinkin' of coffee, but the buyin' of it on a
Sabbath. You must really excuse me, Jools, it's again' conscience, you

"Ah!" said St.-Ange, "_c'est_ very true. For you it would be a sin,
_mais_ for me it is only 'abit. Rilligion is a very strange; I know a
man one time, he thing it was wrong to go to cock-fight Sunday evening.
I thing it is all 'abit. _Mais_, come, Posson Jone'; I have got one
friend, Miguel; led us go at his house and ged some coffee. Come; Miguel
have no familie; only him and Joe--always like to see friend; _allons_,
led us come yonder."

"Why, Jools, my dear friend, you know," said the shamefaced parson, "I
never visit on Sundays."

"Never w'at?" asked the astounded Creole.

"No," said Jones, smiling awkwardly.

"Never visite?"

"Exceptin' sometimes amongst church-members," said Parson Jones.

"_Mais_," said the seductive St.-Ange, "Miguel and Joe is
church-member'--certainlee! They love to talk about rilligion. Come at
Miguel and talk about some rilligion. I am nearly expire for me coffee."

Parson Jones took his hat from beneath his chair and rose up.

"Jools," said the weak giant, "I ought to be in church right now."

"_Mais_, the church is right yonder at Miguel', yes. Ah!" continued
St.-Ange, as they descended the stairs, "I thing every man muz have the
rilligion he like the bez--me, I like the _Catholique_ rilligion the
bez--for me it _is_ the bez. Every man will sure go to heaven if he like
his rilligion the bez."

"Jools," said the West-Floridian, laying his great hand tenderly upon
the Creole's shoulder, as they stepped out upon the _banquette_, "do you
think you have any shore hopes of heaven?"

"Yass!" replied St.-Ange; "I am sure-sure. I thing everybody will go to
heaven. I thing you will go, _et_ I thing Miguel will go, _et_
Joe--everybody, I thing--_mais_, hof course, not if they not have been
christen'. Even I thing some niggers will go."

"Jools," said the parson, stopping in his walk--"Jools, I _don't_ want
to lose my niggah."

"You will not loose him. With Baptiste he _cannot_ ged loose."

But Colossus's master was not reassured. "Now," said he, still tarrying,
"this is jest the way; had I of gone to church--"

"Posson Jone'--" said Jules.


"I tell you. We goin' to church!"

"Will you?" asked Jones, joyously.

"_Allons_, come along," said Jules, taking his elbow.

They walked down the Rue Chartres, passed several corners, and by-and-by
turned into a cross-street. The parson stopped an instant as they were
turning, and looked back up the street.

"W'at you lookin'?" asked his companion.

"I thought I saw Colossus," answered the parson, with an anxious face;
"I reckon 'twa'nt him, though." And they went on.

The street they now entered was a very quiet one. The eye of any chance
passer would have been at once drawn to a broad, heavy, white brick
edifice on the lower side of the way, with a flag-pole standing out like
a bowsprit from one of its great windows, and a pair of lamps hanging
before a large closed entrance. It was a theatre, honeycombed with
gambling-dens. At this morning hour all was still, and the only sign of
life was a knot of little barefoot girls gathered within its narrow
shade, and each carrying an infant relative. Into this place the parson
and M. St.-Ange entered, the little nurses jumping up from the sills to
let them pass in.

A half-hour may have passed. At the end of that time the whole juvenile
company were laying alternate eyes and ears to the chinks, to gather
what they could of an interesting quarrel going on within.

"I did not, saw! I given you no cause of offense, saw! It's not so,
saw! Mister Jools simply mistaken the house,--thinkin' it was a
Sabbath-school! No such thing, saw; I _ain't_ bound to bet! Yes, I kin
git out! Yes, without bettin'! I hev a right to my _o_pinion; I reckon
I'm _a white man_, saw! No, saw! I on'y said I didn't think you could
get the game on them cards. 'Sno such thing, saw! I do _not_ know how to
play! I wouldn't hev a rascal's money ef I should win it! Shoot ef you
dare! You can kill me, but you cayn't scare me! No, I shayn't bet! I'll
die first! Yes, saw; Mr. Jools can bet for me if he admires to; I ain't
his mostah."

Here the speaker seemed to direct his words to St.-Ange.

"Saw, I don't understand you, saw. I never said I'd loan you money to
bet for me. I didn't suspicion this from you, saw. No, I won't take any
more lemonade; it's the most notorious stuff I ever drank, saw!"

M. St.-Ange's replies were in _falsetto_ and not without effect; for
presently the parson's indignation and anger began to melt. "Don't ask
me, Jools, I can't help you. It's no use; it's a matter of conscience
with me, Jools."

"_Mais oui!_ 'tis a matt' of conscien' wid me, the same."

"But, Jools, the money's none o' mine, nohow; it belongs to Smyrny, you

"If I could make jus' _one_ bet," said the persuasive St.-Ange, "I would
leave this place, fas'-fas', yes. If I had thing--_mais_ I did not
soupspicion this from you, Posson Jone'--"

"Don't, Jools, don't!"

"No, Posson Jone'!"

"You're bound to win?" said the parson, wavering.

"_Mais certainement!_ But it is not to win that I want; 'tis me
conscien'--me honor!"

"Well, Jools, I hope I'm not a-doin' no wrong. I'll loan you some of
this money if you say you'll come right out 'thout takin' your

All was still. The peeping children could see the parson as he lifted
his hand to his breast-pocket. There it paused a moment in bewilderment,
then plunged to the bottom. It came back empty, and fell lifelessly at
his side. His head dropped upon his breast, his eyes were for a moment
closed, his broad palms were lifted and pressed against his forehead, a
tremor seized him, and he fell all in a lump to the floor. The children
ran off with their infant-loads, leaving Jules St.-Ange swearing by all
his deceased relatives, first to Miguel and Joe, and then to the lifted
parson, that he did not know what had become of the money "except if"
the black man had got it.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the rear of ancient New Orleans, beyond the sites of the old rampart,
a trio of Spanish forts, where the town has since sprung up and grown
old, green with all the luxuriance of the wild Creole summer, lay the
Congo Plains. Here stretched the canvas of the historic Cayetano, who
Sunday after Sunday sowed the sawdust for his circus-ring.

But to-day the great showman had fallen short of his printed promise.
The hurricane had come by night, and with one fell swash had made an
irretrievable sop of everything. The circus trailed away its bedraggled
magnificence, and the ring was cleared for the bull.

Then the sun seemed to come out and work for the people. "See," said the
Spaniards, looking up at the glorious sky with its great white fleets
drawn off upon the horizon, "see--heaven smiles upon the bull-fight!"

In the high upper seats of the rude amphitheatre sat the gayly decked
wives and daughters of the Gascons, from the _métairies_ along the
Ridge, and the chattering Spanish women of the Market, their shining
hair unbonneted to the sun. Next below were their husbands and lovers in
Sunday blouses, milkmen, butchers, bakers, black-bearded fishermen,
Sicilian fruiterers, swarthy Portuguese sailors in little woolen caps,
and strangers of the graver sort; mariners of England, Germany, and
Holland. The lowest seats were full of trappers, smugglers, Canadian
_voyageurs_, drinking and singing; _Américains_, too--more's the
shame--from the upper rivers--who will not keep their seats--who ply the
bottle, and who will get home by-and-by and tell how wicked Sodom is;
broad-brimmed, silver-braided Mexicans too, with their copper cheeks and
bat's eyes, and their tinkling spurred heels. Yonder in that quieter
section are the quadroon women in their black lace shawls--and there is
Baptiste; and below them are the turbaned black women, and there is--but
he vanishes--Colossus.

The afternoon is advancing, yet the sport, though loudly demanded, does
not begin. The _Américains_ grow derisive and find pastime in gibes and
raillery. They mock the various Latins with their national inflections,
and answer their scowls with laughter. Some of the more aggressive shout
pretty French greetings to the women of Gascony, and one bargeman, amid
peals of applause, stands on a seat and hurls a kiss to the quadroons.
The marines of England, Germany, and Holland, as spectators, like the
fun, while the Spaniards look black and cast defiant imprecations upon
their persecutors. Some Gascons, with timely caution, pick their women
out and depart, running a terrible fire of gallantries.

In hope of truce, a new call is raised for the bull: "The bull! the

In a tier near the ground a man is standing and calling--standing head
and shoulders above the rest--calling in the _Américaine_ tongue.
Another man, big and red, named Joe, and a handsome little Creole in
elegant dress and full of laughter, wish to stop him, but the
flatboatmen, ha-ha-ing and cheering, will not suffer it. Ah, through
some shameful knavery of the men into whose hands he has fallen, he is
drunk! Even the women can see that; and now he throws his arms wildly
and raises his voice until the whole great circle hears it. He is

Ah! kind Lord, for a special providence now! The men of his own
nation--men from the land of the open English Bible and temperance cup
and song--are cheering him on to mad disgrace. And now another call for
the appointed sport is drowned by the flatboatmen singing the ancient
tune of 'Mear.' You can hear the words--

    "Old Grimes is dead, that good old soul--"

from ribald lips and throats turned brazen with laughter, from singers
who toss their hats aloft and roll in their seats; the chorus swells to
the accompaniment of a thousand brogans--

    "He used to wear an old gray coat
      All buttoned down before."

A ribboned man in the arena is trying to be heard, and the Latins raise
one mighty cry for silence. The big red man gets a hand over the
parson's mouth, and the ribboned man seizes his moment.

"They have been endeavoring for hours," he says, "to draw the terrible
animals from their dens, but such is their strength and fierceness,

His voice is drowned. Enough has been heard to warrant the inference
that the beasts cannot be whipped out of the storm-drenched cages to
which menagerie-life and long starvation have attached them, and from
the roar of indignation the man of ribbons flies. The noise increases.
Men are standing up by hundreds, and women are imploring to be let out
of the turmoil. All at once, like the bursting of a dam, the whole mass
pours down into the ring. They sweep across the arena and over the
showman's barriers. Miguel gets a frightful trampling. Who cares for
gates or doors? They tear the beasts' houses bar from bar, and, laying
hold of the gaunt buffalo, drag him forth by feet, ears, and tail; and
in the midst of the _mêlée_, still head and shoulders above all, wilder,
with the cup of the wicked, than any beast, is the man of God from the
Florida parishes!

In his arms he bore--and all the people shouted at once when they saw
it--the tiger. He had lifted it high up with its back to his breast, his
arms clasped under its shoulders; the wretched brute had curled up
caterpillar-wise, with its long tail against its belly, and through its
filed teeth grinned a fixed and impotent wrath. And Parson Jones was

"The tiger and the buffler _shell_ lay down together! You dah to say
they shayn't and I'll comb you with this varmint from head to foot! The
tiger and the buffler _shell_ lay down together. They _shell_! Now, you,
Joe! Behold! I am here to see it done. The lion and the buffler _shell_
lay down together!"

Mouthing these words again and again, the parson forced his way through
the surge in the wake of the buffalo. This creature the Latins had
secured by a lariat over his head, and were dragging across the old
rampart and into a street of the city.

The Northern races were trying to prevent, and there was pommeling and
knocking down, cursing and knife-drawing, until Jules St.-Ange was quite
carried away with the fun, laughed, clapped his hands, and swore with
delight, and ever kept close to the gallant parson.

Joe, contrariwise, counted all this child's-play an interruption. He had
come to find Colossus and the money. In an unlucky moment he made bold
to lay hold of the parson, but a piece of the broken barriers in the
hands of a flatboatman felled him to the sod, the terrible crowd swept
over him, the lariat was cut, and the giant parson hurled the tiger upon
the buffalo's back. In another instant both brutes were dead at the
hands of the mob; Jones was lifted from his feet, and prating of
Scripture and the millennium, of Paul at Ephesus and Daniel in the
"buffler's" den, was borne aloft upon the shoulders of the huzzaing
_Américains_. Half an hour later he was sleeping heavily on the floor of
a cell in the _calaboza_.

When Parson Jones awoke, a bell was somewhere tolling for midnight.
Somebody was at the door of his cell with a key. The lock grated, the
door swung, the turnkey looked in and stepped back, and a ray of
moonlight fell upon M. Jules St.-Ange. The prisoner sat upon the empty
shackles and ring-bolt in the centre of the floor.

"Misty Posson Jone'," said the visitor, softly.

"O Jools!"

"_Mais_, w'at de matter, Posson Jone'?"

"My sins, Jools, my sins!"

"Ah, Posson Jone', is that something to cry, because a man get sometime
a litt' bit intoxicate? _Mais_, if a man keep _all the time_ intoxicate,
I think that is again' the conscien'."

"Jools, Jools, your eyes is darkened--oh! Jools, where's my pore old

"Posson Jone', never min'; he is wid Baptiste."


"I don' know w'ere--_mais_ he is wid Baptiste. Baptiste is a beautiful
to take care of somebody."

"Is he as good as you, Jools?" asked Parson Jones, sincerely.

Jules was slightly staggered.

"You know, Posson Jone', you know, a nigger cannot be good as a w'ite
man--_mais_ Baptiste is a good nigger."

The parson moaned and dropped his chin into his hands.

"I was to of left for home to-morrow, sun-up, on the Isabella schooner.
Pore Smyrny!" He deeply sighed.

"Posson Jone'," said Jules, leaning against the wall and smiling, "I
swear you is the moz funny man I ever see. If I was you I would say,
me, 'Ah! 'ow I am lucky! the money I los', it was not mine, anyhow!' My
faith! shall a man make hisse'f to be the more sorry because the money
he los' is not his? Me, I would say, 'It is a specious providence.'

"Ah! Misty Posson Jone'," he continued, "you make a so droll sermon ad
the bull-ring. Ha! ha! I swear I thing you can make money to preach thad
sermon many time ad the theatre St. Philippe. Hah! you is the moz brave
dat I never see, _mais_ ad the same time the moz rilligious man. Where
I'm goin' to fin' one priest to make like dat? _Mais_, why you can't
cheer up an' be 'appy? Me, if I should be miserabl' like that I would
kill meself."

The countryman only shook his head.

"_Bien_, Posson Jone', I have the so good news for you."

The prisoner looked up with eager inquiry.

"Las' evening when they lock' you, I come right off at M. De Blanc's
house to get you let out of de calaboose; M. De Blanc he is the judge.
So soon I was entering--'Ah! Jules, me boy, juz the man to make complete
the game!' Posson Jone', it was a specious providence! I win in t'ree
hours more dan six hundred dollah! Look." He produced a mass of
bank-notes, _bons_, and due-bills.

"And you got the pass?" asked the parson, regarding the money with a
sadness incomprehensible to Jules.

"It is here; it take the effect so soon the daylight."

"Jools, my friend, your kindness is in vain."

The Creole's face became a perfect blank.

"Because," said the parson, "for two reasons: firstly, I have broken the
laws, and ought to stand the penalty; and secondly--you must really
excuse me, Jools, you know, but the pass has been got onfairly, I'm
afeerd. You told the judge I was innocent; and in neither case it don't
become a Christian (which I hope I can still say I am one) to 'do evil
that good may come.' I muss stay."

M. St.-Ange stood up aghast, and for a moment speechless, at this
exhibition of moral heroism; but an artifice was presently hit upon.
"_Mais_, Posson Jone'!"--in his old _falsetto_--"de order--you cannot
read it, it is in French--compel you to go hout, sir!"

"Is that so?" cried the parson, bounding up with radiant face--"is that
so, Jools?"

The young man nodded, smiling; but though he smiled, the fountain of his
tenderness was opened. He made the sign of the cross as the parson knelt
in prayer, and even whispered "Hail Mary," etc., quite through, twice

Morning broke in summer glory upon a cluster of villas behind the city,
nestled under live-oaks and magnolias on the banks of a deep bayou, and
known as Suburb St. Jean.

With the first beam came the West-Floridian and the Creole out upon the
bank below the village. Upon the parson's arm hung a pair of antique
saddle-bags. Baptiste limped wearily behind; both his eyes were
encircled with broad blue rings, and one cheek-bone bore the official
impress of every knuckle of Colossus's left hand. The "beautiful to take
care of somebody" had lost his charge. At mention of the negro he became
wild, and half in English, half in the "gumbo" dialect, said murderous
things. Intimidated by Jules to calmness, he became able to speak
confidently on one point; he could, would, and did swear that Colossus
had gone home to the Florida parishes; he was almost certain; in fact,
he thought so.

There was a clicking of pulleys as the three appeared upon the bayou's
margin, and Baptiste pointed out, in the deep shadow of a great oak, the
Isabella, moored among the bulrushes, and just spreading her sails for
departure. Moving down to where she lay, the parson and his friend
paused on the bank, loath to say farewell.

"O Jools!" said the parson, "supposin' Colossus ain't gone home! O
Jools, if you'll look him out for me, I'll never forget you--I'll never
forget you, nohow, Jools. No, Jools, I never will believe he taken that
money. Yes, I know all niggahs will steal"--he set foot upon the
gang-plank--"but Colossus wouldn't steal from me. Good-by."

"Misty Posson Jone'," said St.-Ange, putting his hand on the parson's
arm with genuine affection, "hol' on. You see dis money--w'at I win las'
night? Well, I win' it by a specious providence, ain't it?"

"There's no tellin'," said the humbled Jones. "Providence

    'Moves in a mysterious way
      His wonders to perform.'"

"Ah!" cried the Creole, "_c'est_ very true. I ged this money in the
mysterieuze way. _Mais_, if I keep dis money, you know where it goin' be

"I really can't say," replied the parson.

"Goin' to de dev'," said the sweetly smiling young man.

The schooner-captain, leaning against the shrouds, and even Baptiste,
laughed outright.

"O Jools, you mustn't!"

"Well, den, w'at I shall do wid _it_?"

"Anything!" answered the parson; "better donate it away to some poor

"Ah! Misty Posson Jone', dat is w'at I want. You los' five hondred
dollar'--'twas me fault."

"No, it wa'n't, Jools."

"_Mais_, it was!"


"It _was_ me fault! I _swear_ it was me fault! _Mais_, here is five
hundred dollar'; I wish you shall take it. Here! I don't got no use for
money.--Oh my faith! Posson Jone', you must not begin to cry some more."

Parson Jones was choked with tears. When he found voice he said:--

"O Jools, Jools, Jools! my pore, noble, dear, misguidened friend! ef you
hed of hed a Christian raisin'! May the Lord show you your errors
better'n I kin, and bless you for your good intentions--oh, no! I cayn't
touch that money with a ten-foot pole; it wa'n't rightly got; you must
really excuse me, my dear friend, but I cayn't touch it."

St.-Ange was petrified.

"Good-by, dear Jools," continued the parson. "I'm in the Lord's haynds,
and he's very merciful, which I hope and trust you'll find it out.
Good-by!"--the schooner swung slowly off before the breeze--"good-by!"

St.-Ange roused himself. "Posson Jone'! make me hany'ow _dis_ promise:
you never, never, _never_ will come back to New Orleans."

"Ah, Jools, the Lord willin', I'll never leave home again!"

"All right!" cried the Creole; "I thing he's willin'. Adieu, Posson
Jone'. My faith'! you are the so fighting an' moz rilligious man as I
never saw! Adieu! Adieu!"

Baptiste uttered a cry and presently ran by his master toward the
schooner, his hands full of clods.

St.-Ange looked just in time to see the sable form of Colossus of Rhodes
emerge from the vessel's hold, and the pastor of Smyrna and Bethesda
seize him in his embrace.

"O Colossus! you outlandish old nigger! Thank the Lord! Thank the Lord!"

The little Creole almost wept. He ran down the tow-path, laughing and
swearing, and making confused allusion to the entire _personnel_ and
furniture of the lower regions.

By odd fortune, at the moment that St.-Ange further demonstrated his
delight by tripping his mulatto into a bog, the schooner came brushing
along the reedy bank with a graceful curve, the sails flapped, and the
crew fell to poling her slowly along.

Parson Jones was on the deck, kneeling once more in prayer. His hat had
fallen before him; behind him knelt his slave. In thundering tones he
was confessing himself "a plum fool," from whom "the conceit had been
jolted out," and who had been made to see that even his "nigger had the
longest head of the two."

Colossus clasped his hands and groaned.

The parson prayed for a contrite heart.

"Oh, yes!" cried Colossus.

The master acknowledged countless mercies.

"Dat's so!" cried the slave.

The master prayed that they might still be "piled on."

"Glory!" cried the black man, clapping his hands; "pile on!"

"An' now," continued the parson, "bring this pore, back-slidin' jackace
of a parson and this pore ole fool nigger back to thar home in peace!"

"Pray fo' de money!" called Colossus.

But the parson prayed for Jules.

"Pray fo' de _money_!" repeated the negro.

"And oh, give thy servant back that there lost money!"

Colossus rose stealthily, and tiptoed by his still shouting master.
St.-Ange, the captain, the crew, gazed in silent wonder at the
strategist. Pausing but an instant over the master's hat to grin an
acknowledgment of his beholders' speechless interest, he softly placed
in it the faithfully mourned and honestly prayed-for Smyrna fund; then,
saluted by the gesticulative, silent applause of St.-Ange and the
schooner-men, he resumed his first attitude behind his roaring master.

"Amen!" cried Colossus, meaning to bring him to a close.

"Onworthy though I be--" cried Jones.

"_Amen!_" reiterated the negro.

"A-a-amen!" said Parson Jones.

He rose to his feet, and, stooping to take up his hat, beheld the
well-known roll. As one stunned, he gazed for a moment upon his slave,
who still knelt with clasped hands and rolling eyeballs; but when he
became aware of the laughter and cheers that greeted him from both deck
and shore, he lifted eyes and hands to heaven, and cried like the
veriest babe. And when he looked at the roll again, and hugged and
kissed it, St.-Ange tried to raise a second shout, but choked, and the
crew fell to their poles.

And now up runs Baptiste, covered with slime, and prepares to cast his
projectiles. The first one fell wide of the mark; the schooner swung
round into a long reach of water, where the breeze was in her favor;
another shout of laughter drowned the maledictions of the muddy man; the
sails filled; Colossus of Rhodes, smiling and bowing as hero of the
moment, ducked as the main boom swept round, and the schooner, leaning
slightly to the pleasant influence, rustled a moment over the bulrushes,
and then sped far away down the rippling bayou.

M. Jules St.-Ange stood long, gazing at the receding vessel as it now
disappeared, now reappeared beyond the tops of the high undergrowth; but
when an arm of the forest hid it finally from sight, he turned townward,
followed by that fagged-out spaniel his servant, saying as he turned,


"You know w'at I goin' do wid dis money?"

"_Non, m'sieur._"

"Well, you can strike me dead if I don't goin' to pay hall my debts!

He began a merry little song to the effect that his sweetheart was a
wine-bottle, and master and man, leaving care behind, returned to the
picturesque Rue Royale. The ways of Providence are indeed strange. In
all Parson Jones's after-life, amid the many painful reminiscences of
his visit to the City of the Plain, the sweet knowledge was withheld
from him that by the light of the Christian virtue that shone from him
even in his great fall, Jules St.-Ange arose, and went to his father an
honest man.


(100-44 B.C.)


"Truly a wonderful man was Caius Julius Cæsar," says Captain Miles
Standish. Truly wonderful he was on each of his many sides: as soldier,
statesman, orator, and author, all of the first rank--and a respectable
critic, man of science and poet besides.

As a writer of Latin prose, and as an orator, he was second to Cicero
alone in the age that is called the Ciceronian; and no third is to be
named with these two. Yet among his contemporaries his literary power
was an insignificant title to fame, compared with his overwhelming
military and political genius. Here he stood alone, unrivaled, the most
successful conqueror and civilizer of all history, the founder of the
most majestic political fabric the world has ever seen. There have been
other generals, statesmen, authors, as great as Cæsar; but the
extraordinary combination of powers in this one man goes very far toward
making good the claim that he was the most remarkable man in history.

He was born 100 B.C., a member of the great Julian _gens_, which claimed
descent from Æneas and Venus, the glories of which are celebrated in
Vergil's immortal epic. Thus the future leader of the turbulent
democracy, and the future despot who was to humble the nobles of Rome,
was by birth an aristocrat of bluest blood. His life might easily have
come to an untimely end in the days of Sulla's bloody ascendency, for he
was connected by marriage with Marius and Cinna. Sulla was persuaded to
spare him, but clearly saw, even then, that "in Cæsar there were many

All young Romans of rank were expected to go through a term of at least
nominal military service. Cæsar's apprenticeship was in Asia Minor in 80
B.C. He distinguished himself at the storming of Mytilene, and
afterwards served in Cilicia. He began his political and oratorical
career by the prosecution of Cornelius Dolabella, one of the nobility,
on a charge of extortion. About 75 B.C. he was continuing his studies at
Rhodes, then a famous school of eloquence. Obtaining the quæstorship in
67 B.C., he was assigned to duty in the province of Further Spain. Two
years later he became ædile. At the age of thirty-seven he was elected
_pontifex maximus_ over two powerful competitors. Entirely without
religious belief, as far as we can judge, he recognized the importance
of this portion of the civil order, and mastered the intricate lore of
the established ceremonial. In this office, which he held for life, he
busied himself with a Digest of the Auspices and wrote an essay on

After filling the prætorship in 62 B.C., he obtained, as proprætor, the
governorship of his old province of Further Spain, which he was destined
to visit twice in later years as conqueror in civil war. His military
success at this time against the native tribes was such as to entitle
him to the honor of a triumph. This he was obliged to forego in order to
stand at once for the consulship, which office he held for the year 59
B.C. He had previously entered into a private agreement with Pompey and
Crassus, known as the First Triumvirate. Cæsar had always presented
himself as the friend of the people; Pompey was the most famous man of
the time, covered with military laurels, and regarded, though not with
perfect confidence, as the champion of the Senatorial party. Crassus, a
man of ordinary ability, was valuable to the other two on account of his
enormous wealth. These three men agreed to unite their interests and
their influence. In accordance with this arrangement Cæsar obtained the
consulship, and then the command for five years, afterward extended to
ten, of the provinces of Gaul and Illyricum. It was while proconsul of
Gaul in the years 58-50 B.C. that he subjugated and organized "All
Gaul," which was far greater in extent than the country which is now
France; increased his own political and material resources; and above
all formed an army, the most highly trained and efficient the world had
yet seen, entirely faithful to himself, by means of which he was able in
the years 49-46 B.C. to defeat all his political antagonists and to gain
absolute power over the State.

He held the consulship again in 48 and 46 B.C., and was consul without a
colleague in 45 and 44 B.C., as well as dictator with authority to
remodel the Constitution. While his far-reaching plans of organization
and improvement were incomplete, and when he was about to start upon a
war against the Parthians on the eastern frontier of the empire, he was
murdered March 15th, 44 B.C., by a band of conspirators headed by Brutus
and Cassius.

For purposes of a literary judgment of Cæsar we have of his own works in
complete or nearly complete form his military memoirs only. His
specifically literary works have all perished. A few sentences from his
speeches, a few of his letters, a few wise or witty sayings, an anecdote
or two scattered about in the pages of other authors, and six lines of
hexameter verse, containing a critical estimate of the dramatist
Terence, are all that remain as specimens of what is probably forever
lost to us.

[Illustration: JULIUS CÆSAR.]

An enumeration of his works, so far as their titles are known, is the
best evidence of his versatility. A bit of criticism here and there
shows the estimation in which Cæsar the writer and orator was held by
his countrymen and contemporaries. Besides the military memoirs and the
works spoken of above in connection with his pontificate, we may
mention, as of a semi-official character, his astronomical treatise On
the Stars (De Astris), published in connection with his reform of the
calendar, when dictator, shortly before the end of his life.

Cicero alludes to a collection of witty sayings (Apophthegms) made by
Cæsar, with evident satisfaction at the latter's ability to distinguish
the real and the false Ciceronian _bons mots_.

Like most Roman gentlemen, Cæsar wrote in youth several poems, of which
Tacitus grimly says that they were not better than Cicero's. This list
includes a tragedy, 'Oedipus,' 'Laudes Herculis' (the Praises of
Hercules), and a metrical account of a journey into Spain (Iter).

A grammatical treatise in two books (De Analogia), dedicated to Cicero,
to the latter's immense gratification, was written on one of the
numerous swift journeys from Italy to headquarters in Gaul. Passages
from it are quoted by several subsequent writers, and an anecdote
preserved by Aulus Gellius in his Noctes Atticæ I. 10. 4, wherein a
young man is warned by Cæsar to avoid unusual and far-fetched language
"like a rock," is supposed to be very characteristic of his general
attitude in matters of literary taste. The 'Anticatones' were a couple
of political pamphlets ridiculing Cato, the idol of the republicans.
This was small business for Cæsar, but Cato had taken rather a mean
advantage by his dramatic suicide at Utica, and deprived Cæsar of the
"pleasure of pardoning him."

Of Cæsar's orations we have none but the most insignificant
fragments--our judgment of them must be based on the testimony of
ancient critics. Quintilian speaks in the same paragraph (Quintilian X.
1, 114) of the "wonderful elegance of his language" and of the "force"
which made it "seem that he spoke with the same spirit with which he
fought." Cicero's phrase "_magnifica et generosa_" (Cicero, Brutus,
261), and Fronto's "_facultas dicendi imperatoria_" (Fronto, Ep. p.
123), indicate "some kind of severe magnificence."

Collections of his letters were extant in the second century, but
nothing now remains except a few brief notes to Cicero, copied by the
latter in his correspondence with Atticus. This loss is perhaps the one
most to be regretted. Letters reveal their author's personality better
than more formal species of composition, and Cæsar was almost the last
real letter-writer, the last who used in its perfection the polished,
cultivated, conversational language, the _Sermo urbanus_.

But after all, we possess the most important of his writings, the
Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars. The first may be considered
as a formal report to the Senate and the public on the conduct of his
Gallic campaigns; the latter, as primarily intended for a defense of his
constitutional position in the Civil War.

They are memoirs, half way between private notes and formal history.
Cicero says that while their author "desired to give others the material
out of which to create a history, he may perhaps have done a kindness to
conceited writers who wish to trick them out with meretricious graces"
(to "crimp with curling-irons"), "but he has deterred all men of sound
taste from ever touching them. For in history a pure and brilliant
conciseness of style is the highest attainable beauty." "They are worthy
of all praise, for they are simple, straightforward and elegant, with
all rhetorical ornament stripped from them as a garment is stripped."
(Cicero, Brutus, 262.)

The seven books of the Gallic War are each the account of a year's
campaigning. They were written apparently in winter quarters. When Cæsar
entered on the administration of his province it was threatened with
invasion. The Romans had never lost their dread of the northern
barbarians, nor forgotten the capture of Rome three centuries before.
Only a generation back, Marius had become the national hero by
destroying the invading hordes of Cimbri and Teutones. Cæsar purposed to
make the barbarians tremble at the Roman name. This first book of the
Commentaries tells how he raised an army in haste, with which he
outmarched, outmanoeuvred and defeated the Helvetian nation. This
people, urged by pressure behind and encouragement in front, had
determined to leave its old home in the Alpine valleys and to settle in
the fairer regions of southeastern France. Surprised and dismayed by
Cæsar's terrific reception of their supposed invincible host, they had
to choose between utter destruction and a tame return, with sadly
diminished numbers, to their old abodes. Nor was this all the work of
the first year. Ariovistus, a German king, also invited by a Gallic
tribe, and relying on the terror of his nation's name, came to establish
himself and his people on the Gallic side of the Rhine. He too was
astonished at the tone with which Cæsar ordered him to depart, but soon
found himself forced to return far more quickly than he had come.

Having thus vindicated the Roman claim to the frontiers of Gaul against
other invaders, the proconsul devoted his second summer to the
subjugation of the Belgæ, the most warlike and the most remote of the
Gauls. The second book tells how this was accomplished. There was one
moment when the conqueror's career came near ending prematurely. One of
the Belgian tribes, the valiant Nervii, surprised and nearly defeated
the Roman army. But steady discipline and the dauntless courage of the
commander, never so great as in moments of mortal peril, saved the day,
and the Nervii are immortalized as the people who nearly destroyed

These unprecedented successes all round the eastern and northern
frontiers thoroughly established Roman prestige and strengthened Rome's
supremacy over the central Gauls, who were already her allies, at least
in name. But much yet remained to do. The work was but fairly begun. The
third book tells of the conquest of the western tribes. The most
interesting episode is the creation of a fleet and the naval victory
over the Veneti on the far-away coast of Brittany. In the fourth year
Cæsar crossed the Rhine, after building a wonderful wooden bridge in ten
days, carried fire and sword among the Germans on the further bank, and
returned to his side of the river, destroying the bridge behind him.
Modern schoolboys wish he had never built it. Later in the season he
made an expedition into Britain. This was followed in the fifth year by
an invasion of the island in greater force. To people of our race this
portion of the Commentaries is especially interesting. The southern part
of the country was overrun, the Thames was crossed some miles above
London, and several victories were gained, but no organized conquest was
attempted. That remained for the age of Claudius and later emperors.

During the ensuing winter, on account of the scarcity of provisions, the
Roman troops had to be quartered in separate detachments at long
distances. One of these was treacherously destroyed by the Gauls, and
the others were saved only by the extraordinary quickness with which
Cæsar marched to their relief on hearing of their imminent danger. The
chief part in this rising had been taken by the Eburones, led by their
king Ambiorix. A large part of the sixth book is occupied with the
recital of Cæsar's vengeance upon these people and their abettors, and
with the vain pursuit of Ambiorix. The remainder contains an elaborate
contrast of the manners and customs of the Gauls and Germans, which
forms an important source for the history of the primitive institutions
of these nations. The seventh book is the thrilling tale of the
formidable rising of all the Gauls against their conquerors, under the
leadership of Vercingetorix, an Arvernian chief. This man was a real
hero,--brave, patriotic, resourceful, perhaps the only worthy antagonist
that Cæsar ever met. This war strained to the utmost Cæsar's abilities
and the disciplined valor of his legions. The Gauls nearly succeeded in
undoing all the work of six years, in destroying the Roman army and in
throwing off the Roman yoke. In this campaign, more conspicuously than
ever before, Cæsar's success was due to the unexampled rapidity of his
movements. So perfect had become the training of his troops and their
confidence in his ability to win under all circumstances, that after a
campaign of incredible exertions they triumphed over the countless hosts
of their gallant foes, and in the next two years the last embers of
Gaulish independence were finally stamped out. In all his later wars,
Cæsar never had anything to fear from Gaul. As we read the story of
Avaricum, of Gergovia, of Alesia, our sympathy goes out to the brave
barbarians who were fighting for liberty--but we have to remember that
though the cause of freedom failed, the cause of civilization triumphed.
The eighth book, containing the account of the next two years, 51 and 50
B.C., was written by one of Cæsar's officers, Aulus Hirtius.

The first book of the Civil War begins with the year 49 B.C., where the
struggle between Cæsar and the Senatorial party opens with his crossing
of the Rubicon, attended by the advanced guard of his legions. Pompey
proved a broken reed to those who leaned upon him, and Cæsar's conquest
of the Italian peninsula was little else than a triumphal progress
through the country. The enemy retired to the eastern shore of the
Adriatic to muster the forces of the East on the side of the
aristocracy, leaving Cæsar in possession of the capital and of the
machinery of government. The latter part of the book contains the
account of the campaign against Pompey's lieutenants in Spain, which was
won almost without bloodshed, by masterly strategy, and which ended with
the complete possession of the peninsula. The second book describes the
capture of Marseilles after a long siege, and the tragic defeat and
death of Curio, a brave but rash young officer sent by Cæsar to secure
the African province. In the third book (48 B.C.) we have the story of
the campaign against Pompey; first the audacious blockade for months of
Pompey's greatly superior forces near Dyrrachium on the Illyrian coast;
and when that failed, of the long march into Thessaly, where Pompey was
at last forced into battle, against his judgment, by his own officers,
on the fatal plains of Pharsalia; of the annihilation of the Senatorial
army; of Pompey's flight to Egypt; of his treacherous murder there; of
Cæsar's pursuit. The books on the Alexandrian, the African, and the
Spanish wars, which continue the narrative down to Cæsar's final victory
at Munda in southern Spain, are by other and inferior hands. The
question of their authorship has been the subject of much controversy
and conjecture.

Under this modest title of 'Commentaries,' in the guise of a simple
narrative of events, Cæsar puts forth at once an inimitable history and
a masterly apology. The author speaks of himself in the third person,
tells of the circumstances of each situation in a quiet moderate way,
which carries with it the conviction on the reader's part of his entire
truthfulness, accuracy, and candor. We are persuaded that the Cæsar
about whom he tells could not have acted otherwise than he did. In
short, he exercises the same spell over our minds that he cast over the
hearts of men twenty centuries ago.

There is nothing that so fascinates and enchains the imagination of men
as power in another man. This man could captivate a woman by his
sweetness or tame an angry mob of soldiers with a word; could mold the
passions of a corrupt democracy or exterminate a nation in a day; could
organize an empire or polish an epigram. His strength was terrible. But
all this immense power was marvelously balanced and under perfect
control. Nothing was too small for his delicate tact. Nothing that he
did was so difficult but we feel he could have done more. Usually his
means seemed inadequate to his ends. But it was Cæsar who used them.

The Commentaries show us this man at his work. They show him as an
organizer of armies and alliances, a wily diplomatist, an intrepid
soldier, an efficient administrator, a strategist of inspired audacity,
a tactician of endless resources, an engineer of infinite inventiveness,
an unerring judge of men. But he never boasts, except in speeches to
hearten discouraged troops. He does not vilify or underrate his enemies.

His soldiers trusted him implicitly; there was no limit to their zeal.
They found in him a generous appreciation of their deeds. Many a soldier
and centurion has received immortality at his hands as the guerdon of
valor. He describes a victory of Labienus with as much satisfaction as
if it had been his own, and praises another lieutenant for his prudent
self-restraint when tempted by a prospect of success. And he tells with
hearty admiration of the devoted Gauls who sacrificed their lives one
after another in a post of danger at Avaricum. Even in the Civil War no
officers deserted him except Labienus and two Gaulish chiefs.

It was difficult to deceive him. His analysis of other men's motives is
as merciless as it is passionless. He makes us disapprove the course of
his antagonists with the same moderate but convincing statement with
which he recommends his own. Few men can have had as few illusions as
he. One would scarcely care to possess such an insight into the hearts
of others. He seems to feel little warmth of indignation, and never
indulges in invective. But woe to those who stood in the way of the
accomplishment of his objects. Dreadful was the punishment of those who
revolted after making peace. Still, even his vengeance seems dictated by
policy rather than by passion. He is charged with awful cruelty because
he slew a million men and sold another million into slavery. But he did
not enjoy human suffering. These were simply necessary incidents in the
execution of his plans. It is hard to see how European civilization
could have proceeded without the conquest of Gaul, and it is surely
better to make a conquest complete, rapid, overpowering, that the work
may have to be done but once.

It is hard not to judge men by the standards of our own age. The
ancients rarely felt an international humanity, and in his own time
"Cæsar's clemency" was proverbial. As he was always careful not to waste
in useless fighting the lives of his soldiers, so he was always true to
his own precept, "Spare the citizens." The way in which he repeatedly
forgave his enemies when they were in his power was an example to many a
Christian conqueror. The best of his antagonists showed themselves
bloodthirsty in word or act; and most of them, not excepting Cicero,
were basely ungrateful for his forbearance. His treatment of Cicero was
certainly most handsome--our knowledge of it is derived mainly from
Cicero's letters. Perhaps this magnanimity was dashed with a tinge of
kindly contempt for his fellow-citizens; but whatever its motives, it
was certainly wise and benign at the beginning of the new era he was
inaugurating. He was no vulgar destroyer, and did not desire to ruin in
order to rule.

He is charged with ambition, the sin by which the angels fell. It is not
for us to fathom the depths of his mighty mind. Let us admit the charge.
But it was not an ignoble ambition. Let us say that he was so ambitious
that he laid the foundations of the Roman Empire and of modern France;
that his services to civilization and his plans for humanity were so
broad that patriots were driven to murder him.

Some of Cæsar's eulogists have claimed for him a moral greatness
corresponding to his transcendent mental power. This is mistaken zeal.
He may stand as the supreme representative of the race in the way of
practical executive intellect. It is poor praise to put him into another
order of men, with Plato or with Paul. Their greatness was of another
kind. We cannot speak of degrees. He is the exponent of creative force
in political history--not of speculative or ethical power.

Moreover, with all his originality of conception and power of execution,
Cæsar lacked that kind of imagination which makes the true poet, the
real creative artist in literature. Thus we observe the entire absence
of the pictorial element in his writings. There is no trace of his ever
being affected by the spectacular incidents of warfare nor by the
grandeur of the natural scenes through which he passed. The reason may
be that his intellect was absorbed in the contemplation of men and
motives, of means and ends. We cannot conceive of his ever having been
carried out of himself by the rapture of inspiration. Such clearness of
mental perception is naturally accompanied by a certain coolness of
temperament. A man of superlative greatness must live more or less alone
among his fellows. With his immense grasp of the relations of things in
the world, Cæsar cannot have failed to regard men to some extent as the
counters in a great game--himself the player. So he used men, finding
them instruments--efficient and zealous, often--of his far-reaching
plans. He was just in rewarding their services--more than just: he was
generous and kind. But he did not have real associates, real friends;
therefore it is not surprising that he met with so little gratitude.
Even his diction shows this independence, this isolation. It would be
difficult to find an author of any nation in a cultivated age so free
from the influence of the language of his predecessors. Cæsar was unique
among the great Roman writers in having been born at the capital.
Appropriately he is the incarnation of the specifically Roman spirit in
literature, as Cicero was the embodiment of the Italian, the Hellenic,
the cosmopolitan spirit.

Toward the close of Cæsar's career there are some signs of weariness
observable--a certain loss of serenity, a suspicion of vanity, a dimming
of his penetrating vision into the men about him. The only wonder is
that mind and body had not succumbed long before to the prodigious
strain put upon them. Perhaps it is well that he died when he did,
hardly past his prime. So he went to his setting, like the other "weary
Titan," leaving behind him a brightness which lasted all through the
night of the Dark Ages. Cæsar died, but the imperial idea of which he
was the first embodiment has proved the central force of European
political history even down to our time.

Such is the man who speaks to us from his pages still. He was a man who
did things rather than a man who said things. Yet who could speak so
well? His mastery of language was perfect, but in the same way as his
mastery of other instruments. Style with him was a means rather than an
end. He had the training which others of his kind enjoyed. Every Roman
noble had to learn oratory. But Cæsar wrote and spoke with a faultless
taste and a distinction that no training could impart. So we find in his
style a beauty which does not depend upon ornament, but upon perfect
proportion; a diction plain and severe almost to baldness; absolute
temperateness of expression. The descriptions are spirited, but never
made so by strained rhetoric; the speeches are brief, manly,
business-like; the arguments calm and convincing; always and everywhere
the language of a strong man well inside the limits of his power.

The chief ancient authorities for the life of Cæsar, besides his own
works, are Suetonius in Latin, Plutarch and Appian in Greek. Among
modern works of which he is made the subject may be mentioned 'Jules
César,' by Napoleon III. (Paris, 1865); continued by Colonel Stoffel,
with an Atlas; 'Cæsar, a Sketch,' by J. A. Froude (London, 1886);
'Cæsar,' by A. Trollope (London, 1870); 'Cæsar,' by T. A. Dodge, U.S.A.
(Boston, 1893).

[Illustration: Signature: J. H. Westcott]


From 'The Gallic Wars'

When he had proceeded three days' journey, word was brought to him that
Ariovistus was hastening with all his forces to seize on Vesontio,[115]
which is the largest town of the Sequani, and had advanced three days'
journey from his territories. Cæsar thought that he ought to take the
greatest precautions lest this should happen, for there was in that town
a most ample supply of everything which was serviceable for war; and so
fortified was it by the nature of the ground as to afford a great
facility for protracting the war, inasmuch as the river Doubs almost
surrounds the whole town, as though it were traced round with a pair of
compasses. A mountain of great height shuts in the remaining space,
which is not more than six hundred feet, where the river leaves a gap in
such a manner that the roots of that mountain extend to the river's bank
on either side. A wall thrown around it makes a citadel of this
mountain, and connects it with the town. Hither Cæsar hastens by forced
marches by night and day, and after having seized the town, stations a
garrison there.

Whilst he is tarrying a few days at Vesontio, on account of corn and
provisions; from the inquiries of our men and the reports of the Gauls
and traders (who asserted that the Germans were men of huge stature, of
incredible valor and practice in arms,--that ofttimes they, on
encountering them, could not bear even their countenance and the
fierceness of their eyes), so great a panic on a sudden seized the whole
army, as to discompose the minds and spirits of all in no slight degree.
This first arose from the tribunes of the soldiers, the prefects and
the rest, who, having followed Cæsar from the city [Rome] from motives
of friendship, had no great experience in military affairs. And
alleging, some of them one reason, some another, which they said made it
necessary for them to depart, they requested that by his consent they
might be allowed to withdraw; some, influenced by shame, stayed behind
in order that they might avoid the suspicion of cowardice. These could
neither compose their countenance, nor even sometimes check their tears:
but hidden in their tents, either bewailed their fate or deplored with
their comrades the general danger. Wills were sealed universally
throughout the whole camp. By the expressions and cowardice of these
men, even those who possessed great experience in the camp, both
soldiers and centurions, and those [the decurions] who were in command
of the cavalry, were gradually disconcerted. Such of them as wished to
be considered less alarmed said that they did not dread the enemy, but
feared the narrowness of the roads and the vastness of the forests which
lay between them and Ariovistus, or else that the supplies could not be
brought up readily enough. Some even declared to Cæsar that when he gave
orders for the camp to be moved and the troops to advance, the soldiers
would not be obedient to the command nor advance, in consequence of
their fear.

When Cæsar observed these things, having called a council, and summoned
to it the centurions of all the companies, he severely reprimanded them,
"particularly for supposing that it belonged to them to inquire or
conjecture either in what direction they were marching or with what
object. That Ariovistus during his [Cæsar's] consulship had most
anxiously sought after the friendship of the Roman people; why should
any one judge that he would so rashly depart from his duty? He for his
part was persuaded that when his demands were known and the fairness of
the terms considered, he would reject neither his nor the Roman people's
favor. But even if, driven on by rage and madness, he should make war
upon them, what after all were they afraid of?--or why should they
despair either of their own valor or of his zeal? Of that enemy a trial
had been made within our fathers' recollection, when on the defeat of
the Cimbri and Teutones by Caius Marius, the army was regarded as having
deserved no less praise than their commander himself. It had been made
lately too in Italy, during the rebellion of the slaves, whom, however,
the experience and training which they had received from us assisted in
some respect. From which a judgment might be formed of the advantages
which resolution carries with it,--inasmuch as those whom for some time
they had groundlessly dreaded when unarmed, they had afterwards
vanquished when well armed and flushed with success. In short, that
these were the same men whom the Helvetii, in frequent encounters, not
only in their own territories, but also in theirs [the German], have
generally vanquished, and yet cannot have been a match for our army. If
the unsuccessful battle and flight of the Gauls disquieted any, these,
if they made inquiries, might discover that when the Gauls had been
tired out by the long duration of the war, Ariovistus, after he had many
months kept himself in his camp and in the marshes, and had given no
opportunity for an engagement, fell suddenly upon them, by this time
despairing of a battle and scattered in all directions; and was
victorious more through stratagem and cunning than valor. But though
there had been room for such stratagem against savage and unskilled men,
not even Ariovistus himself expected that thereby our armies could be
entrapped. That those who ascribed their fear to a pretense about the
deficiency of supplies and the narrowness of the roads acted
presumptuously, as they seemed either to distrust their general's
discharge of his duty or to dictate to him. That these things were his
concern; that the Sequani, the Leuci, and the Lingones were to furnish
the corn; and that it was already ripe in the fields; that as to the
road, they would soon be able to judge for themselves. As to its being
reported that the soldiers would not be obedient to command, or advance,
he was not at all disturbed at that; for he knew that in the case of all
those whose army had not been obedient to command, either upon some
mismanagement of an affair fortune had deserted them, or that upon some
crime being discovered covetousness had been clearly proved against
them. His integrity had been seen throughout his whole life, his good
fortune in the war with the Helvetii. That he would therefore instantly
set about what he had intended to put off till a more distant day, and
would break up his camp the next night in the fourth watch, that he
might ascertain as soon as possible whether a sense of honor and duty,
or whether fear, had more influence with them. But that if no one else
should follow, yet he would go with only the tenth legion, of which he
had no misgivings, and it should be his prætorian cohort."--This legion
Cæsar had both greatly favored, and in it, on account of its valor,
placed the greatest confidence.

Upon the delivery of this speech, the minds of all were changed in a
surprising manner, and the highest ardor and eagerness for prosecuting
the war were engendered; and the tenth legion was the first to return
thanks to him, through their military tribunes, for his having expressed
this most favorable opinion of them; and assured him that they were
quite ready to prosecute the war. Then the other legions endeavored,
through their military tribunes and the centurions of the principal
companies, to excuse themselves to Cæsar, saying that they had never
either doubted or feared, or supposed that the determination of the
conduct of the war was theirs and not their general's. Having accepted
their excuse, and having had the road carefully reconnoitred by
Divitiacus, because in him of all others he had the greatest faith, he
found that by a circuitous route of more than fifty miles he might lead
his army through open parts; he then set out in the fourth watch, as he
had said he would. On the seventh day, as he did not discontinue his
march, he was informed by scouts that the forces of Ariovistus were only
four-and-twenty miles distant from ours.

Upon being apprised of Cæsar's arrival, Ariovistus sends ambassadors to
him, saying that what he had before requested as to a conference might
now, as far as his permission went, take place, since he [Cæsar] had
approached nearer; and he considered that he might now do it without
danger. Cæsar did not reject the proposal, and began to think that he
was now returning to a rational state of mind, as he voluntarily
proffered that which he had previously refused to him when he requested
it; and was in great hopes that, in consideration of his own and the
Roman people's great favors towards him, the issue would be that he
would desist from his obstinacy upon his demands being made known. The
fifth day after that was appointed as the day of conference. Meanwhile,
as ambassadors were being often sent to and fro between them, Ariovistus
demanded that Cæsar should not bring any foot-soldier with him to the
conference, saying that "he was afraid of being ensnared by him through
treachery; that both should come accompanied by cavalry; that he would
not come on any other condition." Cæsar, as he neither wished that the
conference should, by an excuse thrown in the way, be set aside, nor
durst trust his life to the cavalry of the Gauls, decided that it would
be most expedient to take away from the Gallic cavalry all their horses,
and thereon to mount the legionary soldiers of the tenth legion, in
which he placed the greatest confidence; in order that he might have a
body-guard as trustworthy as possible, should there be any need for
action. And when this was done, one of the soldiers of the tenth legion
said, not without a touch of humor, "that Cæsar did more for them than
he had promised: he had promised to have the tenth legion in place of
his prætorian cohort; but he now converted them into horse."

There was a large plain, and in it a mound of earth of considerable
size. This spot was at nearly an equal distance from both camps.
Thither, as had been appointed, they came for the conference. Cæsar
stationed the legion which he had brought with him on horseback, two
hundred paces from this mound. The cavalry of Ariovistus also took their
stand at an equal distance. Ariovistus then demanded that they should
confer on horseback, and that, besides themselves, they should bring
with them ten men each to the conference. When they were come to the
place, Cæsar, in the opening of his speech, detailed his own and the
Senate's favors towards him [Ariovistus], "in that he had been styled
king, in that he had been styled friend, by the Senate,--in that very
considerable presents had been sent him; which circumstance he informed
him had both fallen to the lot of few, and had usually been bestowed in
consideration of important personal services; that he, although he had
neither an introduction, nor a just ground for the request, had obtained
these honors through the kindness and munificence of himself [Cæsar] and
the Senate. He informed him, too, how old and how just were the grounds
of connection that existed between themselves [the Romans] and the Ædui,
what decrees of the Senate had been passed in their favor, and how
frequent and how honorable; how from time immemorial the Ædui had held
the supremacy of the whole of Gaul; even, said Cæsar, before they had
sought _our_ friendship; that it was the custom of the Roman people to
desire not only that its allies and friends should lose none of their
property, but be advanced in influence, dignity, and honor: who then
could endure that what they had brought with them to the friendship of
the Roman people should be torn from them?" He then made the same
demands which he had commissioned the ambassadors to make, that
Ariovistus should not make war either upon the Ædui or their allies;
that he should restore the hostages; that if he could not send back to
their country any part of the Germans, he should at all events suffer
none of them any more to cross the Rhine.

Ariovistus replied briefly to the demands of Cæsar, but expatiated
largely on his own virtues: "that he had crossed the Rhine not of his
own accord, but on being invited and sent for by the Gauls; that he had
not left home and kindred without great expectations and great rewards;
that he had settlements in Gaul, granted by the Gauls themselves; that
the hostages had been given by their own good-will; that he took by
right of war the tribute which conquerors are accustomed to impose on
the conquered; that he had not made war upon the Gauls, but the Gauls
upon him; that all the States of Gaul came to attack him, and had
encamped against him; that all their forces had been routed and beaten
by him in a single battle; that if they chose to make a second trial, he
was ready to encounter them again; but if they chose to enjoy peace, it
was unfair to refuse the tribute which of their own free-will they had
paid up to that time. That the friendship of the Roman people ought to
prove to him an ornament and a safeguard, not a detriment; and that he
sought it with that expectation. But if through the Roman people the
tribute was to be discontinued, and those who surrendered to be seduced
from him, he would renounce the friendship of the Roman people no less
heartily than he had sought it. As to his leading over a host of Germans
into Gaul, that he was doing this with a view of securing himself, not
of assaulting Gaul: that there was evidence of this, in that he did not
come without being invited, and in that he did not make war, but merely
warded it off. That he had come into Gaul before the Roman people. That
never before this time did a Roman army go beyond the frontiers of the
province of Gaul. What, said he, does Cæsar desire?--why come into his
[Ariovistus's] domains?--that this was his province of Gaul, just as
that is ours. As it ought not to be pardoned in him if he were to make
an attack upon our territories, so likewise that we were unjust to
obstruct him in his prerogative. As for Cæsar's saying that the Ædui had
been styled 'brethren' by the Senate, he was not so uncivilized nor so
ignorant of affairs as not to know that the Ædui in the very last war
with the Allobroges had neither rendered assistance to the Romans nor
received any from the Roman people in the struggles which the Ædui had
been maintaining with him and with the Sequani. He must feel suspicious
that Cæsar, though feigning friendship as the reason for his keeping an
army in Gaul, was keeping it with the view of crushing him. And that
unless he depart and withdraw his army from these parts, he shall regard
him not as a friend, but as a foe; and that even if he should put him to
death, he should do what would please many of the nobles and leading men
of the Roman people; he had assurance of that from themselves through
their messengers, and could purchase the favor and the friendship of
them all by his [Cæsar's] death. But if he would depart and resign to
him the free possession of Gaul, he would recompense him with a great
reward, and would bring to a close whatever wars he wished to be carried
on, without any trouble or risk to him."

Many things were stated by Cæsar to the following effect:--"That he
could not waive the business, and that neither his nor the Roman
people's practice would suffer him to abandon most meritorious allies;
nor did he deem that Gaul belonged to Ariovistus rather than to the
Roman people; that the Arverni[116] and the Ruteni[117] had been subdued
in war by Quintus Fabius Maximus, and that the Roman people had pardoned
them and had not reduced them into a province or imposed a tribute upon
them. And if the most ancient period was to be regarded, then was the
sovereignty of the Roman people in Gaul most just: if the decree of the
Senate was to be observed, then ought Gaul to be free, which they [the
Romans] had conquered in war, and had permitted to enjoy its own laws."

While these things were being transacted in the conference, it was
announced to Cæsar that the cavalry of Ariovistus were approaching
nearer the mound, and were riding up to our men and casting stones and
weapons at them. Cæsar made an end of his speech and betook himself to
his men; and commanded them that they should by no means return a weapon
upon the enemy. For though he saw that an engagement with the cavalry
would be without any danger to his chosen legion, yet he did not think
proper to engage, lest after the enemy were routed it might be said that
they had been ensnared by him under the sanction of a conference. When
it was spread abroad among the common soldiery with what haughtiness
Ariovistus had behaved at the conference, and how he had ordered the
Romans to quit Gaul, and how his cavalry had made an attack upon our
men, and how this had broken off the conference, a much greater alacrity
and eagerness for battle was infused into our army.

Two days after, Ariovistus sends ambassadors to Cæsar to state that "he
wished to treat with him about those things which had been begun to be
treated of between them, but had not been concluded"; and to beg that
"he would either again appoint a day for a conference, or if he were not
willing to do that, that he would send one of his officers as an
ambassador to him." There did not appear to Cæsar any good reason for
holding a conference; and the more so as the day before, the Germans
could not be restrained from casting weapons at our men. He thought he
should not without great danger send to him as ambassador one of his
Roman officers, and should expose him to savage men. It seemed therefore
most proper to send to him C. Valerius Procillus, the son of C. Valerius
Caburus, a young man of the highest courage and accomplishments (whose
father had been presented with the freedom of the city by C. Valerius
Flaccus), both on account of his fidelity and on account of his
knowledge of the Gallic language,--which Ariovistus, by long practice,
now spoke fluently,--and because in his case the Germans would have no
motive for committing violence;[118] and for his colleague, M. Mettius,
who had shared the hospitality of Ariovistus. He commissioned them to
learn what Ariovistus had to say, and to report to him. But when
Ariovistus saw them before him in his camp, he cried out in the presence
of his army, "Why were they come to him? was it for the purpose of
acting as spies?" He stopped them when attempting to speak, and cast
them into chains.

The same day he moved his camp forward and pitched under a hill six
miles from Cæsar's camp. The day following he led his forces past
Cæsar's camp, and encamped two miles beyond him; with this design--that
he might cut off Cæsar from the corn and provisions which might be
conveyed to him from the Sequani and the Ædui. For five successive days
from that day Cæsar drew out his forces before the camp and put them in
battle order, that if Ariovistus should be willing to engage in battle,
an opportunity might not be wanting to him. Ariovistus all this time
kept his army in camp, but engaged daily in cavalry skirmishes. The
method of battle in which the Germans had practiced themselves was this:
There were six thousand horse, and as many very active and courageous
foot, one of whom each of the horse selected out of the whole army for
his own protection. By these men they were constantly accompanied in
their engagements; to these the horse retired; these on any emergency
rushed forward; if any one, upon receiving a very severe wound, had
fallen from his horse, they stood around him; if it was necessary to
advance farther than usual or to retreat more rapidly, so great, from
practice, was their swiftness, that supported by the manes of the horses
they could keep pace with their speed.

Perceiving that Ariovistus kept himself in camp, Cæsar, that he might
not any longer be cut off from provisions, chose a convenient position
for a camp beyond that place in which the Germans had encamped, at about
six hundred paces from them, and having drawn up his army in three
lines, marched to that place. He ordered the first and second lines to
be under arms; the third to fortify the camp. This place was distant
from the enemy about six hundred paces, as has been stated. Thither
Ariovistus sent light troops, about sixteen thousand men in number, with
all his cavalry; which forces were to intimidate our men and hinder them
in their fortification. Cæsar nevertheless, as he had before arranged,
ordered two lines to drive off the enemy; the third to execute the work.
The camp being fortified, he left there two legions and a portion of the
auxiliaries, and led back the other four legions into the larger camp.

The next day, according to his custom, Cæsar led out his forces from
both camps, and having advanced a little from the larger one, drew up
his line of battle, and gave the enemy an opportunity of fighting. When
he found that they did not even then come out from their intrenchments,
he led back his army into camp about noon. Then at last Ariovistus sent
part of his forces to attack the lesser camp. The battle was vigorously
maintained on both sides till the evening. At sunset, after many wounds
had been inflicted and received, Ariovistus led back his forces into
camp. When Cæsar inquired of his prisoners wherefore Ariovistus did not
come to an engagement, he discovered this to be the reason--that among
the Germans it was the custom for their matrons to pronounce from lots
and divination whether it were expedient that the battle should be
engaged in or not; that they had said that "it was not the will of
heaven that the Germans should conquer, if they engaged in battle before
the new moon."

The day following, Cæsar left what seemed sufficient as a guard for both
camps; and then drew up all the auxiliaries in sight of the enemy,
before the lesser camp, because he was not very powerful in the number
of legionary soldiers, considering the number of the enemy; that thereby
he might make use of his auxiliaries for appearance. He himself, having
drawn up his army in three lines, advanced to the camp of the enemy.
Then at last of necessity the Germans drew their forces out of camp and
disposed them canton by canton, at equal distances, the Harudes,
Marcomanni, Tribocci, Vangiones, Nemetes, Sedusii, Suevi; and surrounded
their whole army with their chariots and wagons, that no hope might be
left in flight. On these they placed their women, who, with disheveled
hair and in tears, entreated the soldiers, as they went forward to
battle, not to deliver them into slavery to the Romans.

Cæsar appointed over each legion a lieutenant and a quæstor, that every
one might have them as witnesses of his valor. He himself began the
battle at the head of the right wing, because he had observed that part
of the enemy to be the least strong. Accordingly our men, upon the
signal being given, vigorously made an attack upon the enemy, and the
enemy so suddenly and rapidly rushed forward that there was no time for
casting the javelins at them. Throwing aside, therefore, their javelins,
they fought with swords hand to hand. But the Germans, according to
their custom, rapidly forming a phalanx, sustained the attack of our
swords. There were found very many of our soldiers who leaped upon the
phalanx, and with their hands tore away the shields and wounded the
enemy from above. Although the army of the enemy was routed on the left
wing and put to flight, they still pressed heavily on our men from the
right wing, by the great number of their troops. On observing this, P.
Crassus the Younger, who commanded the cavalry,--as he was more
disengaged than those who were employed in the fight,--sent the third
line as a relief to our men who were in distress.

Thereupon the engagement was renewed, and all the enemy turned their
backs, nor did they cease to flee until they arrived at the river Rhine,
about fifty miles from that place. There some few, either relying on
their strength, endeavored to swim over, or finding boats procured their
safety. Among the latter was Ariovistus, who, meeting with a small
vessel tied to the bank, escaped in it: our horse pursued and slew all
the rest of them. Ariovistus had two wives, one a Suevan by nation, whom
he had brought with him from home; the other a Norican, the sister of
King Vocion, whom he had married in Gaul, she having been sent thither
for that purpose by her brother. Both perished in that flight. Of their
two daughters, one was slain, the other captured. C. Valerius Procillus,
as he was being dragged by his guards in the flight, bound with a triple
chain, fell into the hands of Cæsar himself, as he was pursuing the
enemy with his cavalry. This circumstance indeed afforded Cæsar no less
pleasure than the victory itself; because he saw a man of the first rank
in the province of Gaul, his intimate acquaintance and friend, rescued
from the hand of the enemy and restored to him, and that fortune had not
diminished aught of the joy and exultation of that day by his
destruction. He [Procillus] said that in his own presence the lots had
been thrice consulted respecting him, whether he should immediately be
put to death by fire or be reserved for another time: that by the favor
of the lots he was uninjured. M. Mettius also was found and brought back
to him [Cæsar].

This battle having been reported beyond the Rhine, the Suevi, who had
come to the banks of that river, began to return home; when the
Ubii,[119] who dwelt nearest to the Rhine, pursuing them while much
alarmed, slew a great number of them. Cæsar, having concluded two very
important wars in one campaign, conducted his army into winter quarters
among the Sequani a little earlier than the season of the year required.
He appointed Labienus over the winter quarters, and set out in person
for hither Gaul to hold the assizes.


[115] Modern Besançon.

[116] Modern Auvergne.

[117] Modern Le Roüergue.

[118] Inasmuch as he was not a Roman, but a Gaul.

[119] The Ubii were situated on the west side of the Rhine. Cologne is
supposed to occupy the site of their capital.


From 'The Gallic Wars'

Since we have come to this place, it does not appear to be foreign to
our subject to lay before the reader an account of the manners of Gaul
and Germany, and wherein these nations differ from each other. In Gaul
there are factions not only in all the States, and in all the cantons
and their divisions, but almost in each family; and of these factions
those are the leaders who are considered according to their judgment to
possess the greatest influence, upon whose will and determination the
management of all affairs and measures depends. And that seems to have
been instituted in ancient times with this view, that no one of the
common people should be in want of support against one more powerful;
for none of those leaders suffers his party to be oppressed and
defrauded, and if he do otherwise, he has no influence among his party.
This same policy exists throughout the whole of Gaul; for all the States
are divided into two factions.

When Cæsar arrived in Gaul, the Ædui were the leaders of one faction,
the Sequani of the other. Since the latter were less powerful by
themselves, inasmuch as the chief influence was from of old among the
Ædui, and their dependencies were great, they had united to themselves
the Germans and Ariovistus, and had brought them over to their party by
great sacrifices and promises. And having fought several successful
battles and slain all the nobility of the Ædui, they had so far
surpassed them in power that they brought over from the Ædui to
themselves a large portion of their dependants, and received from them
the sons of their leading men as hostages, and compelled them to swear
in their public character that they would enter into no design against
them; and held a portion of the neighboring land, seized on by force,
and possessed the sovereignty of the whole of Gaul. Divitiacus, urged by
this necessity, had proceeded to Rome to the Senate for the purpose of
entreating assistance, and had returned without accomplishing his
object. A change of affairs ensued on the arrival of Cæsar: the hostages
were returned to the Ædui, their old dependencies restored, and new ones
acquired through Cæsar (because those who had attached themselves to
their alliance saw that they enjoyed a better state and a milder
government); their other interests, their influence, their reputation
were likewise increased, and in consequence the Sequani lost the
sovereignty. The Remi succeeded to their place, and as it was perceived
that they equaled the Ædui in favor with Cæsar, those who on account of
their old animosities could by no means coalesce with the Ædui,
consigned themselves in clientship to the Remi. The latter carefully
protected them. Thus they possessed both a new and suddenly acquired
influence. Affairs were then in that position, that the Ædui were
considered by far the leading people, and the Remi held the second post
of honor.

Throughout all Gaul there are two orders of those men who are of any
rank and dignity: for the commonalty is held almost in the condition of
slaves, and dares to undertake nothing of itself and is admitted to no
deliberation. The greater part, when they are pressed either by debt, or
the large amount of their tributes, or the oppression of the more
powerful, give themselves up in vassalage to the nobles, who possess
over them the same rights, without exception, as masters over their
slaves. But of these two orders, one is that of the Druids, the other
that of the knights. The former are engaged in things sacred, conduct
the public and the private sacrifices, and interpret all matters of
religion. To these a large number of the young men resort for the
purpose of instruction, and they [the Druids] are in great honor among
them. For they determine respecting almost all controversies, public and
private; and if any crime has been perpetrated, if murder has been
committed, if there be any dispute about an inheritance, if any about
boundaries, these same persons decide it; they decree rewards and
punishments; if any one, either in a private or public capacity, has not
submitted to their decision, they interdict him from the sacrifices.
This among them is the most heavy punishment. Those who have been thus
interdicted are esteemed in the number of the impious and criminal: all
shun them, and avoid their society and conversation, lest they receive
some evil from their contact; nor is justice administered to them when
seeking it, nor is any dignity bestowed on them. Over all these Druids
one presides, who possesses supreme authority among them. Upon his
death, if any individual among the rest is pre-eminent in dignity, he
succeeds; but if there are many equal, the election is made by the
suffrages of the Druids; sometimes they even contend for the presidency
with arms. These assemble at a fixed period of the year in a consecrated
place in the territories of the Carnutes, which is reckoned the central
region of the whole of Gaul. Hither all who have disputes assemble from
every part and submit to their decrees and determinations. This
institution is supposed to have been devised in Britain, and to have
been brought over from it into Gaul; and now those who desire to gain a
more accurate knowledge of that system generally proceed thither for the
purpose of studying it.

The Druids do not go to war, nor pay tribute together with the rest;
they have an exemption from military service and a dispensation in all
matters. Induced by such great advantages, many embrace this profession
of their own accord, and many are sent to it by their parents and
relations. They are said there to learn by heart a great number of
verses; accordingly some remain in the course of training twenty years.
Nor do they regard it lawful to commit these to writing, though in
almost all other matters, in their public and private transactions, they
use Greek characters. That practice they seem to me to have adopted for
two reasons: because they neither desire their doctrines to be divulged
among the mass of the people, nor those who learn, to devote themselves
the less to the efforts of memory, relying on writing; since it
generally occurs to most men that in their dependence on writing they
relax their diligence in learning thoroughly, and their employment of
the memory. They wish to inculcate this as one of their leading tenets:
that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to
another; and they think that men by this tenet are in a great degree
excited to valor, the fear of death being disregarded. They likewise
discuss and impart to the youth many things respecting the stars and
their motion; respecting the extent of the world and of our earth;
respecting the nature of things; respecting the power and the majesty of
the immortal gods.

The other order is that of the knights. These, when there is occasion
and any war occurs (which before Cæsar's arrival was for the most part
wont to happen every year, as either they on their part were inflicting
injuries or repelling those which others inflicted on them), are all
engaged in war. And those of them most distinguished by birth and
resources have the greatest number of vassals and dependants about
them. They acknowledge this sort of influence and power only.

The nation of all the Gauls is extremely devoted to superstitious rites;
and on that account they who are troubled with unusually severe
diseases, and they who are engaged in battles and dangers, either
sacrifice men as victims, or vow that they will sacrifice them, and
employ the Druids as the performers of those sacrifices; because they
think that unless the life of a man be offered for the life of a man,
the mind of the immortal gods cannot be rendered propitious, and they
have sacrifices of that kind ordained for national purposes. Others have
figures of vast size, the limbs of which formed of osiers they fill with
living men, which being set on fire, the men perish enveloped in the
flames. They consider that the oblation of such as have been taken in
theft, or in robbery, or any other offense, is more acceptable to the
immortal gods; but when a supply of that class is wanting, they have
recourse to the oblation of even the innocent.

They worship as their divinity Mercury in particular, and have many
images of him, and regard him as the inventor of all arts; they consider
him the guide of their journeys and marches, and believe him to have
very great influence over the acquisition of gain and mercantile
transactions. Next to him they worship Apollo, and Mars, and Jupiter,
and Minerva; respecting these deities they have for the most part the
same belief as other nations: that Apollo averts diseases, that Minerva
imparts the invention of manufactures, that Jupiter possesses the
sovereignty of the heavenly powers; that Mars presides over wars. To
him, when they have determined to engage in battle, they commonly vow
those things which they shall take in war. When they have conquered,
they sacrifice whatever captured animals may have survived the conflict,
and collect the other things into one place. In many States you may see
piles of these things heaped up in their consecrated spots; nor does it
often happen that any one, disregarding the sanctity of the case, dares
either to secrete in his house things captured, or take away those
deposited; and the most severe punishment, with torture, has been
established for such a deed.

All the Gauls assert that they are descended from the god Dis, and say
that this tradition has been handed down by the Druids. For that reason
they compute the divisions of every season, not by the number of days,
but of nights; they keep birthdays and the beginnings of months and
years in such an order that the day follows the night. Among the other
usages of their life, they differ in this from almost all other nations;
that they do not permit their children to approach them openly until
they are grown up so as to be able to bear the service of war; and they
regard it as indecorous for a son of boyish age to stand in public in
the presence of his father.

Whatever sums of money the husbands have received in the name of dowry
from their wives, making an estimate of it, they add the same amount out
of their own estates. An account is kept of all this money conjointly,
and the profits are laid by; whichever of them shall have survived the
other, to that one the portion of both reverts, together with the
profits of the previous time. Husbands have power of life and death over
their wives as well as over their children: and when the father of a
family born in a more than commonly distinguished rank has died, his
relations assemble, and if the circumstances of his death are
suspicious, hold an investigation upon the wives in the manner adopted
towards slaves; and if proof be obtained, put them to severe torture and
kill them. Their funerals, considering the state of civilization among
the Gauls, are magnificent and costly; and they cast into the fire all
things, including living creatures, which they suppose to have been dear
to them when alive; and a little before this period, slaves and
dependants who were ascertained to have been beloved by them were, after
the regular funeral rites were completed, burnt together with them.

Those States which are considered to conduct their commonwealth more
judiciously have it ordained by their laws, that if any person shall
have heard by rumor and report from his neighbors anything concerning
the commonwealth, he shall convey it to the magistrate and not impart it
to any other; because it has been discovered that inconsiderate and
inexperienced men were often alarmed by false reports and driven to some
rash act, or else took hasty measures in affairs of the highest
importance. The magistrates conceal those things which require to be
kept unknown; and they disclose to the people whatever they determine to
be expedient. It is not lawful to speak of the commonwealth except in

The Germans differ much from these usages, for they have neither
Druids to preside over sacred offices nor do they pay great regard
to sacrifices. They rank in the number of the gods those alone
whom they behold, and by whose instrumentality they are obviously
benefited,--namely, the sun, fire, and the moon; they have not heard of
the other deities even by report. Their whole life is occupied in
hunting and in the pursuits of the military art; from childhood they
devote themselves to fatigue and hardships. Those who have remained
chaste for the longest time receive the greatest commendation among
their people; they think that by this the growth is promoted, by this
the physical powers are increased and the sinews are strengthened. And
to have had knowledge of a woman before the twentieth year they reckon
among the most disgraceful acts; of which matter there is no
concealment, because they bathe promiscuously in the rivers and only use
skins or small cloaks of deer's hides, a large portion of the body being
in consequence naked.

They do not pay much attention to agriculture, and a large portion of
their food consists in milk, cheese, and flesh; nor has any one a fixed
quantity of land or his own individual limits; but the magistrates and
the leading men each year apportion to the tribes and families who have
united together, as much land as, and in the place in which, they think
proper, and the year after compel them to remove elsewhere. For this
enactment they advance many reasons--lest seduced by long-continued
custom, they may exchange their ardor in the waging of war for
agriculture; lest they may be anxious to acquire extensive estates, and
the more powerful drive the weaker from their possessions; lest they
construct their houses with too great a desire to avoid cold and heat;
lest the desire of wealth spring up, from which cause divisions and
discords arise; and that they may keep the common people in a contented
state of mind, when each sees his own means placed on an equality with
[those of] the most powerful.

It is the greatest glory to the several States to have as wide deserts
as possible around them, their frontiers having been laid waste. They
consider this the real evidence of their prowess, that their neighbors
shall be driven out of their lands and abandon them, and that no one
dare settle near them; at the same time they think that they shall be on
that account the more secure, because they have removed the apprehension
of a sudden incursion. When a State either repels war waged against it
or wages it against another, magistrates are chosen to preside over
that war with such authority that they have power of life and death. In
peace there is no common magistrate, but the chiefs of provinces and
cantons administer justice and determine controversies among their own
people. Robberies which are committed beyond the boundaries of each
State bear no infamy, and they avow that these are committed for the
purpose of disciplining their youth and of preventing sloth. And when
any of their chiefs has said in an assembly that "he will be their
leader; let those who are willing to follow, give in their names," they
who approve of both the enterprise and the man arise and promise their
assistance and are applauded by the people; such of them as have not
followed him are accounted in the number of deserters and traitors, and
confidence in all matters is afterwards refused them.

To injure guests they regard as impious; they defend from wrong those
who have come to them for any purpose whatever, and esteem them
inviolable; to them the houses of all are open and maintenance is freely

And there was formerly a time when the Gauls excelled the Germans in
prowess, and waged war on them offensively, and on account of the great
number of their people and the insufficiency of their land, sent
colonies over the Rhine. Accordingly, the Volcæ Tectosages seized on
those parts of Germany which are the most fruitful and lie around the
Hercynian forest (which I perceive was known by report to Eratosthenes
and some other Greeks, and which they call Orcynia), and settled there.
Which nation to this time retains its position in those settlements, and
has a very high character for justice and military merit: now also they
continue in the same scarcity, indigence, hardihood, as the Germans, and
use the same food and dress; but their proximity to the Province and
knowledge of commodities from countries beyond the sea supplies to the
Gauls many things tending to luxury as well as civilization. Accustomed
by degrees to be overmatched and worsted in many engagements, they do
not even compare themselves to the Germans in prowess.

The breadth of this Hercynian forest which has been referred to above
is, to a quick traveler, a journey of nine days. For it cannot be
otherwise computed, nor are they acquainted with the measures of roads.
It begins at the frontiers of the Helvetii, Nemetes, and Rauraci, and
extends in a right line along the river Danube to the territories of the
Daci and the Anartes; it bends thence to the left in a different
direction from the river, and owing to its extent, touches the confines
of many nations; nor is there any person belonging to this part of
Germany who says that he either has gone to the extremity of that
forest, though he had advanced a journey of sixty days, or has heard in
what place it begins. It is certain that many kinds of wild beast are
produced in it which have not been seen in other parts; of which the
following are such as differ principally from other animals and appear
worthy of being committed to record.

There is an ox of the shape of a stag, between whose ears a horn rises
from the middle of the forehead, higher and straighter than those horns
which are known to us. From the top of this, branches, like palms,
stretch out a considerable distance. The shape of the female and of the
male is the same; the appearance and the size of the horns is the same.

There are also animals which are called elks. The shape of these, and
the varied color of their skins, is much like roes, but in size they
surpass them a little and are destitute of horns, and have legs without
joints and ligatures; nor do they lie down for the purpose of rest, nor
if they have been thrown down by any accident, can they raise or lift
themselves up. Trees serve as beds to them; they lean themselves against
them, and thus reclining only slightly, they take their rest; when the
huntsmen have discovered from the footsteps of these animals whither
they are accustomed to betake themselves, they either undermine all the
trees at the roots, or cut into them so far that the upper part of the
trees may appear to be left standing. When they have leant upon them,
according to their habit, they knock down by their weight the
unsupported trees, and fall down themselves along with them.

There is a third kind, consisting of those animals which are called uri.
These are a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance,
color, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary;
they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied. These the
Germans take with much pains in pits and kill them. The young men harden
themselves with this exercise, and practice themselves in this kind of
hunting, and those who have slain the greatest number of them, having
produced the horns in public to serve as evidence, receive great
praise. But not even when taken very young can they be rendered familiar
to men and tamed. The size, shape, and appearance of their horns differ
much from the horns of our oxen. These they [the Gauls] anxiously seek
after, and bind at the tips with silver, and use as cups at their most
sumptuous entertainments.


From 'The Gallic Wars'

In that legion there were two very brave men, centurions, who were now
approaching the first ranks,--T. Pulfio and L. Varenus. These used to
have continual disputes between them which of them should be preferred,
and every year used to contend for promotion with the utmost animosity.
When the fight was going on most vigorously before the fortifications,
Pulfio, one of them, says: "Why do you hesitate, Varenus? or what better
opportunity of signalizing your valor do you seek? This very day shall
decide our disputes." When he had uttered these words, he proceeds
beyond the fortifications, and rushes on that part of the enemy which
appeared the thickest. Nor does Varenus remain within the rampart, but
respecting the high opinion of all, follows close after. Then, when an
inconsiderable space intervened, Pulfio throws his javelin at the enemy,
and pierces one of the multitude who was running up, and while the
latter was wounded and slain, the enemy cover him with their shields,
and all throw their weapons at the other and afford him no opportunity
of retreating. The shield of Pulfio is pierced and a javelin is fastened
in his belt. This circumstance turns aside his scabbard and obstructs
his right hand when attempting to draw his sword: the enemy crowd around
him when thus embarrassed. His rival runs up to him and succors him in
this emergency. Immediately the whole host turn from Pulfio to him,
supposing the other to be pierced through by the javelin. Varenus rushes
on briskly with his sword and carries on the combat hand to hand; and
having slain one man, for a short time drove back the rest: while he
urges on too eagerly, slipping into a hollow, he fell. To him in his
turn, when surrounded, Pulfio brings relief; and both, having slain a
great number, retreat into the fortifications amidst the highest
applause. Fortune so dealt with both in this rivalry and conflict, that
the one competitor was a succor and a safeguard to the other; nor could
it be determined which of the two appeared worthy of being preferred to
the other.


[This sole fragment of literary criticism from the Dictator's hand is
preserved in the Suetonian life of Terence. Two of Cæsar's brief but
masterly letters to Cicero will be quoted under the latter name.]

    You, moreover, although you are but the half of Menander,
    Lover of diction pure, with the first have a place--and with reason.
    Would that vigor as well to your gentle writing were added.
    So your comic force would in equal glory have rivaled
    Even the Greeks themselves, though now you ignobly are vanquished.
    Truly I sorrow and grieve that you lack this only, O Terence!



Thomas Henry Hall Caine was born on the Isle of Man, of Manx and
Cambrian parentage. He began his career as an architect in Liverpool,
and made frequent contributions to the Builder and Building News.
Acquiring a taste for literary work, he secured an engagement on the
Liverpool Mercury, and shortly afterward formed an intimate friendship
with Dante Gabriel Rossetti which was of incalculable benefit to the
young writer, then twenty-five years of age. At eighteen he had already
published a poem "of the mystical sort" under a pseudonym, and two years
later he received £10 for writing the autobiography of some one else.

[Illustration: HALL CAINE]

About 1880 Caine settled in London, living with Rossetti until the
poet's death in 1882. The same year he produced 'Recollections of
Rossetti' and 'Sonnets of Three Centuries,' which were followed by
'Cobwebs of Criticism' and a 'Life of Coleridge.' In 1885 he published
his first novel, 'The Shadow of a Crime,' which was successful. Speaking
of the pains he took in the writing of this story, the author says:
"Shall I ever forget the agonies of the first efforts?... It took me
nearly a fortnight to start that novel, sweating drops as of blood at
every fresh attempt." The first half was written at least four times;
and when the book was finished, more than half of it was destroyed so
that a fresh suggestion might be worked in. This wonderful capacity for
taking infinite pains has remained one of the chief characteristics of
this novelist. In 1886 Mr. Caine brought out 'A Son of Hagar,' and this
was followed by 'The Deemster' (1887), afterwards dramatized under the
title of 'Ben-Ma'-Chree'; 'The Bondman' (1890); 'The Scapegoat' (1891);
'The Last Confession,' 'Cap'n Davy's Honeymoon' (1892); and 'The
Manxman' (1894). The last story has achieved the widest popularity, its
theme being the unselfishness of a great love. He has also written a
history of his native island.

Mr. Caine visited Russia in 1892 in behalf of the persecuted Jews, and
in 1895 traveled in the United States and Canada, where he represented
the Society of Authors, and obtained important international copyright
concessions from the Dominion Parliament. He makes his principal home at
Greeba Castle on the Isle of Man, where he is greatly endeared to the


From 'The Manxman': copyrighted 1894, by D. Appleton and Company

Pete went up to Sulby like an avalanche, shouting his greetings to
everybody on the way. But when he got near to the "Fairy" he wiped his
steaming forehead and held his panting breath, and pretended not to have
heard the news.

"How's the poor girl now?" he said in a meek voice, trying to look
powerfully miserable, and playing his part splendidly for thirty

Then the women made eyes at each other and looked wondrous knowing, and
nodded sideways at Pete, and clucked and chuckled, saying, "Look at
him,--_he_ doesn't know anything, does he?"--"Coorse not, woman--these
men creatures are no use for nothing."

"Out of a man's way," cried Pete with a roar, and he made a rush for the

Nancy blocked him at the foot of them with both hands on his shoulders.
"You'll be quiet, then," she whispered. "You were always a rasonable
man, Pete, and she's wonderful wake--promise you'll be quiet."

"I'll be like a mouse," said Pete, and he wiped off his long sea-boots
and crept on tiptoe into the room. There she lay with the morning light
on her, and a face as white as the quilt that she was plucking with her
long fingers.

"Thank God for a living mother and a living child," said Pete in a
broken gurgle, and then he drew down the bedclothes a very little, and
there too was the child on the pillow of her other arm.

Then, do what he would to be quiet, he could not help but make a shout.

"He's there! Yes, he is! He is, though! Joy! Joy!"

The women were down on him like a flock of geese. "Out of this, sir, if
you can't behave better."

"Excuse me, ladies," said Pete humbly, "I'm not in the habit of babies.
A bit excited, you see, Mistress Nancy, ma'am. Couldn't help putting a
bull of a roar out, not being used of the like." Then, turning back to
the bed, "Aw, Kitty, the beauty it is, though! And the big! As big as my
fist already. And the fat! It's as fat as a bluebottle. And the
straight! Well, not so _very_ straight neither, but the complexion at
him now! Give him to me, Kitty! give him to me, the young rascal. Let me
have a hould of him anyway."

"_Him_, indeed! Listen to the man," said Nancy.

"It's a girl, Pete," said Grannie, lifting the child out of the bed.

"A girl, is it?" said Pete doubtfully. "Well," he said, with a wag of
the head, "thank God for a girl." Then, with another and more resolute
wag, "Yes, thank God for a living mother and a living child, if it _is_
a girl," and he stretched out his arms to take the baby.

"Aisy, now, Pete--aisy," said Grannie, holding it out to him.

"Is it aisy broke they are, Grannie?" said Pete. A good spirit looked
out of his great boyish face. "Come to your ould daddie, you lil
sandpiper. Gough bless me, Kitty, the weight of him, though! This
child's a quarter of a hundred, if he's an ounce. He is, I'll go bail he
is. Look at him! Guy heng, Grannie, did ye ever see the like, now! It's
abs'lute perfection. Kitty, I couldn't have had a better one if I'd
chiced it. Where's that Tom Hommy now? The bleating little billygoat, he
was bragging outrageous about his new baby--saying he wouldn't part with
it for two of the best cows in his cow-house. This'll floor him, I'm
thinking. What's that you're saying, Mistress Nancy, ma'am? No good for
nothing, am I? You were right, Grannie. 'It'll be all joy soon,' you
were saying, and haven't we the child to show for it? I put on my
stocking inside out on Monday, ma'am. 'I'm in luck,' says I, and so I
was. Look at that, now! He's shaking his lil fist at his father. He is,
though. This child knows me. Aw, you're clever, Nancy, but--no nonsense
at all, Mistress Nancy, ma'am. Nothing will persuade me but this child
knows me."

"Do you hear the man?" said Nancy. "_He_ and _he_, and _he_ and _he_!
It's a girl, I'm telling you; a girl--a girl--a girl."

"Well, well, a girl, then--a girl we'll make it," said Pete, with
determined resignation.

"He's deceaved," said Grannie. "It was a boy he was wanting, poor

But Pete scoffed at the idea. "A boy? Never! No, no--a girl for your
life. I'm all for girls myself, eh, Kitty? Always was, and now I've got
two of them."

The child began to cry, and Grannie took it back and rocked it, face
downwards, across her knees.

"Goodness me, the voice at him!" said Pete. "It's a skipper he's born
for--a harbor-master, anyway."

The child slept, and Grannie put it on the pillow turned lengthwise at
Kate's side.

"Quiet as a Jenny Wren, now," said Pete. "Look at the bogh smiling
in his sleep. Just like a baby mermaid on the egg of a dogfish. But
where's the ould man at all? Has he seen it? We must have it in the
papers. The Times? Yes, and the 'Tiser too. 'The beloved wife of Mr.
Capt'n Peter Quilliam, of a boy--a girl,' I mane. Aw, the wonder
there'll be all the island over--everybody getting to know. Newspapers
are like women--ter'ble bad for keeping sacrets. What'll Philip say?"...

There was a low moaning from the bed.

"Air! Give me air! open the door!" Kate gasped.

"The room is getting too hot for her," said Grannie.

"Come, there's one too many of us here," said Nancy. "Out of it," and
she swept Pete from the bedroom with her apron as if he had been a drove
of ducks.

Pete glanced backward from the door, and a cloak that was hanging on the
inside of it brushed his face.

"God bless her!" he said in a low tone. "God bless and reward her for
going through this for me!"

Then he touched the cloak with his lips and disappeared. A moment later
his curly black poll came stealing round the door-jamb, half-way down,
like the head of a big boy.

"Nancy," in a whisper, "put the tongs over the cradle; it's a pity to
tempt the fairies. And, Grannie, I wouldn't lave it alone to go out to
the cow-house--the lil people are shocking bad for changing."




The reputation of Pedro Calderon de la Barca has suffered in the minds
of English-speaking people from the injudicious comparisons of critics,
as well as from lack of knowledge of his works. To put Calderon, a
master of invention, beside Shakespeare, the master of character, and to
show by analogies that the author of 'Othello' was far superior to the
writer of 'The Physician of His Own Honor,' is unjust to Calderon; and
it is as futile as are the ecstasies of Schultze to the coldness of
Sismondi. Schultze compares Dante with him, and the French critics have
only recently forgiven him for being less classical in form than
Corneille, who in 'Le Cid' gave them all the Spanish poetry they wanted!
Fortunately the student of Calderon need not take opinions. Good
editions of Calderon are easily attainable. The best known are Heil's
(Leipzig, 1827), and that by Harzenbusch (Madrid, 1848). The first
edition, with forewords by Vera Tassis de Villareal, appeared at Madrid
(nine volumes) in 1682-91. Commentaries and translations are numerous in
German and in English; the translations by Denis Florence MacCarthy are
the most satisfactory, Edward Fitzgerald's being too paraphrastic. Dean
Trench added much to our knowledge of Calderon's best work; George
Ticknor in the 'History of Spanish Literature,' and George Henry Lewes
in 'The Spanish Drama,' left us clear estimates of Lope de Vega's great
successor. Shelley's scenes from 'El Mágico Prodigioso' are superb.

No analyses can do justice to the dramas, or to the religious plays,
called "_autos_," of Calderon. They must be read; and thanks to the late
Mr. MacCarthy's sympathy and zeal, the finest are easily attainable. As
he left seventy-three _autos_ and one hundred and eight dramas, it is
lucky that the work of sifting the best from the mass of varying merit
has been carefully done. Mr. Ticknor mentions the fact that Calderon
collaborated with other authors in the writing of fourteen other plays.

Calderon was not "the Spanish Shakespeare." "The Spanish Ben Jonson"
would be a happier title, if one feels obliged to compare everything
with something else. But Calderon is as far above Ben Jonson in splendor
of imagery as he is below Shakespeare in his knowledge of the heart,
and in that vitality which makes Hamlet and Orlando, Lady Macbeth and
Perdita, men and women of all time. They live; Calderon's people, like
Ben Jonson's, move. There is a resemblance between the _autos_ of
Calderon and the masques of Jonson. Jonson's are lyrical; Calderon's
less lyrical than splendid, ethical, grandiose. They were both court
poets; they both made court spectacles; they both assisted in the decay
of the drama; they reflected the tastes of their time; but Calderon is
the more noble, the more splendid in imagination, the more intense in
his devotion to nature in all her moods. If one wanted to carry the
habit of comparison into music, Mozart might well represent the spirit
of Calderon. M. Philarète Chasles is right when he says that 'El Mágico
Prodigioso' should be presented in a cathedral. Calderon's genius had
the cast of the soldier and the priest, and he was both soldier and
priest. His _comedias_ and _autos_ are of Spain, Spanish. To know
Calderon is to know the mind of the Spain of the seventeenth century; to
know Cervantes is to know its heart.

The Church had opposed the secularization of the drama, at the end of
the fifteenth century, for two reasons. The dramatic spectacle fostered
for religious purposes had become, until Lope de Vega rescued it, a
medium for that "naturalism" which some of us fancy to be a discovery
of M. Zola and M. Catulle Mendès; it had escaped from the control of
the Church and had become a mere diversion. Calderon was the one man
who could unite the spirit of religion to the form of the drama which
the secular renaissance imperiously demanded. He knew the philosophy
of Aristotle and the theology of the 'Summa' of St. Thomas as well
as any cleric in Spain, though he did not take orders until late in
life; and in those religious spectacles called _autos sacramentales_ he
showed this knowledge wonderfully. His last _auto_ was unfinished when
he died, on May 25th, 1681,--sixty-five years after the death of
Shakespeare,--and Don Melchior de Leon completed it, probably in time
for the feast of Corpus Christi.

[Illustration: CALDERON.]

The _auto_ was an elaboration of the older miracle-play, and a spectacle
as much in keeping with the temper of the Spanish court and people as
Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream' or Ben Jonson's 'Fortunate
Isles' was in accord with the tastes of the English. And Calderon, of
all Spanish poets, best pleased his people. He was the favorite poet of
the court under Philip IV., and director of the theatre in the palace of
the Buen Retiro. The skill in the art of construction which he had begun
to acquire when he wrote 'The Devotion of the Cross' at the age of
nineteen, was turned to stage management at the age of thirty-five, when
he produced his gorgeous pageant of 'Circe' on the pond of the Buen
Retiro. How elaborate this spectacle was, the directions for the
prelude of the greater splendor to come will show. They read in this

    "In the midst of this island will be situated a very lofty
    mountain of rugged ascent, with precipices and caverns,
    surrounded by a thick and darksome wood of tall trees, some of
    which will be seen to exhibit the appearance of the human form,
    covered with a rough bark, from the heads and arms of which will
    issue green boughs and branches, having suspended from them
    various trophies of war and of the chase: the theatre during the
    opening of the scene being scantily lit with concealed lights;
    and to make a beginning of the festival, a murmuring and a
    rippling noise of water having been heard, a great and
    magnificent car will be seen to advance along the pond, plated
    over with silver, and drawn by two monstrous fishes, from whose
    mouth will continually issue great jets of water, the light of
    the theatre increasing according as they advance; and on the
    summit of it will be seen seated in great pomp and majesty the
    goddess Aqua, from whose head and curious vesture will issue an
    infinite abundance of little conduits of water; and at the same
    time will be seen another great supply flowing from an urn which
    the goddess will hold reversed, and which, filled with a variety
    of fishes leaping and playing in the torrent as it descends and
    gliding over all the car, will fall into the pond."

This 'Circe' was allegorical and mythological; it was one of those
soulless shows which marked the transition of the Spanish drama from
maturity to decay. It is gone and forgotten with thousands of its kind.
Calderon will be remembered not as the director of such vain pomps, but
as the author of the sublime and tender 'Wonderful Magician,' the weird
'Purgatory of St. Patrick,' 'The Constant Prince,' 'The Secret in
Words,' and 'The Physician of His Own Honor.' The scrupulous student of
the Spanish drama will demand more; but for him who would love Calderon
without making a deep study of his works, these are sufficiently
characteristic of his genius at its highest. The reader in search of
wider vistas should add to these 'Los Encantos de la Culpa' (The
Sorceries of Sin), and 'The Great Theatre of the World,' the theme of
which is that of Jacques's famous speech in 'As You Like It':--

    "En el teatro del mundo
    Todos son representados."

    ("All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players.")

On the principal feasts of the Church _autos_ were played in the
streets, generally in front of some great house. Giants and grotesque
figures called _tarascas_ gamboled about; and the _auto_, which was more
like our operas than any other composition of the Spanish stage, was
begun by a _loa_, written or sung. After this came the play, then an
amusing interlude, followed by music and sometimes by a dance of

Calderon boldly mingles pagan gods and Christ's mysteries in these
_autos_, which are essentially of his time and his people. But the
mixture is not so shocking as it is with the lesser poet, the Portuguese
Camoens. Whether Calderon depicts 'The True God Pan,' 'Love the Greatest
Enchantment,' or 'The Sheaves of Ruth,' he is forceful, dramatic, and
even at times he has the awful gravity of Dante. His view of life and
his philosophy are the view of life and the philosophy of Dante. To many
of us, these simple and original productions of the Spanish temperament
and genius may lack what we call "human interest." Let us remember that
they represented truthfully the faith and the hope, the spiritual
knowledge of a nation, as well as the personal and national view of that
knowledge. In the Spain of Calderon, the personal view was the national

Calderon was born on January 17th, 1600,--according to his own statement
quoted by his friend Vera Tassis,--at Madrid, of noble parents. He was
partly educated at the University of Salamanca. Like Cervantes and
Garcilaso, he served in the army. The great Lope, in 1630, acknowledged
him as a poet and his friend. Later, his transition from the army to the
priesthood made little change in his views of time and eternity.

On May 25th, 1881, occurred the second centenary of his death, and the
civilized world--whose theatre owes more to Calderon than it has ever
acknowledged--celebrated with Spain the anniversary at Madrid, where as
he said,--

    "Spain's proud heart swelleth."

The selections have been chosen from Shelley's 'Scenes,' and from Mr.
MacCarthy's translation of 'The Secret in Words.' 'The Secret in Words'
is light comedy of intricate plot. Fabio is an example of the attendant
_gracioso_, half servant, half confidant, who appears often in the
Spanish drama. The Spanish playwright did not confine himself to one
form of verse; and Mr. MacCarthy, in his adequate translation, has
followed the various forms of Calderon, only not attempting the assonant
vowel, so hard to escape in Spanish, and still harder to reproduce in
English. These selections give no impression of the amazing invention of
Calderon. This can only be appreciated through reading 'The Constant
Prince,' 'The Physician of His Own Honor,' or a comedy like 'The Secret
in Words.'

[Illustration: Signature: Maurice Francis Egan]


From 'The Secret in Words'

[Flerida, the Duchess of Parma, is in love with her secretary Frederick.
He loves her lady, Laura. Both Frederick and Laura are trying to keep
their secret from the Duchess.]

    FREDERICK--Has Flerida questioned you
    Aught about my love?

    FABIO--             No, surely;
    But I have made up my mind
    That you are the prince of dunces,
    Not to understand her wish.

    FREDERICK--Said she something, then, about me?

    FABIO--Ay, enough.

    FREDERICK--        Thou liest, knave!
    Wouldst thou make me think her beauty,
    Proud and gentle though it be,
    Which might soar e'en like the heron
    To the sovereign sun itself,
    Could descend with coward pinions
    At a lowly falcon's call?

    FABIO--Well, my lord, just make the trial
    For a day or two; pretend
    That you love her, and--

    FREDERICK--             Supposing
    That there were the slightest ground
    For this false, malicious fancy
    You have formed, there's not a chink
    In my heart where it might enter,--
    Since a love, if not more blest.
    Far more equal than the other
    Holds entire possession there.

    FABIO--Then you never loved this woman
    At one time?

    FREDERICK--  No!

    FABIO--          Then avow--


    FABIO--         That you were very lazy.

    FREDERICK--That is falsehood, and not love.

    FABIO--The more the merrier!

    FREDERICK--                  In two places
    How could one man love?

    FABIO--                 Why, thus:--
    Near the town of Ratisbon
    Two conspicuous hamlets lay,--
    One of them called Ageré,
    The other called Mascárandón.
    These two villages one priest,
    An humble man of God, 'tis stated,
    Served; and therefore celebrated
    Mass in each on every feast.
    And so one day it came to pass,
    A native of Mascárandón
    Who to Ageré had gone
    About the middle of the mass,
    Heard the priest in solemn tone
    Say, as he the _Preface_ read,
    "Gratias ageré," but said
    Nothing of Mascárandón.
    To the priest this worthy made
    His angry plaint without delay:
    "You give best thanks for Ageré,
    As if your tithes we had not paid!"
    When this sapient reason reached
    The noble Mascárandónese,
    They stopped their hopeless pastor's fees,
    Nor paid for what he prayed or preached;
    He asked his sacristan the cause,
    Who told him wherefore and because.
    From that day forth when he would sing
    The _Preface_, he took care t'intone,
    Not in a smothered or weak way,
    "_Tibi semper et ubique
    If from love,--that god so blind,--
    Two parishes thou holdest, you
    Are bound to gratify the two;
    And after a few days you'll find,
    If you do so, soon upon
    You and me will fall good things,
    When your Lordship sweetly sings
    Flerída et Mascárandón.

    FREDERICK--Think you I have heard your folly?

    FABIO--If you listened, why not so?

    FREDERICK--No: my mind can only know
    Its one call of melancholy.

    FABIO--Since you stick to Ageré
    And reject Mascárandón,
    Every hope, I fear, is gone,
    That love his generous dues will pay.

Translation of Denis Florence MacCarthy.


From 'The Wonderful Magician'

[The Demon, angered by Cyprian's victory in defending the existence of
God, swears vengeance. He resolves that Cyprian shall lose his soul for
Justina, who rejects his love. Cyprian says:--]

    So bitter is the life I live,
      That, hear me hell, I now would give
    To thy most detested spirit
    My soul forever to inherit,
    To suffer punishment and pine,
    So this woman may be mine.

        [_The Demon accepts his soul and hastens to Justina._

    JUSTINA--'Tis that enamored nightingale
      Who gives me the reply:
    He ever tells the same soft tale
      Of passion and of constancy
    To his mate, who, rapt and fond,
    Listening sits, a bough beyond.

    Be silent, Nightingale!--No more
      Make me think, in hearing thee
    Thus tenderly thy love deplore,
        If a bird can feel his so,
      What a man would feel for me.
        And, voluptuous vine, O thou
    Who seekest most when least pursuing,--
      To the trunk thou interlacest
      Art the verdure which embracest
    And the weight which is its ruin,--
      No more, with green embraces, vine,
    Make me think on what thou lovest;
      For while thou thus thy boughs entwine,
    I fear lest thou shouldst teach me, sophist,
      How arms might be entangled too.
    Light-enchanted sunflower, thou
    Who gazest ever true and tender
    On the sun's revolving splendor,
    Follow not his faithless glance
    With thy faded countenance,
    Nor teach my beating heart to fear
    If leaves can mourn without a tear,
    How eyes must weep! O Nightingale,
    Cease from thy enamored tale,--
    Leafy vine, unwreath thy bower,
      Restless sunflower, cease to move--
    Or tell me all, what poisonous power
      Ye use against me--

    ALL--                 Love! love! love!

    JUSTINA--It cannot be!--Whom have I ever loved?
    Trophies of my oblivion and disdain,
    Floro and Lelio did I not reject?
    And Cyprian?--

        [_She becomes troubled at the name of Cyprian._

                    Did I not requite him
    With such severity that he has fled
    Where none has ever heard of him again?--
    Alas! I now begin to fear that this
    May be the occasion whence desire grows bold,
    As if there were no danger. From the moment
    That I pronounced to my own listening heart,
    "Cyprian is absent, O miserable me!"
    I know not what I feel!       [_More calmly._

                            It must be pity,
    To think that such a man, whom all the world
    Admired, should be forgot by all the world,
    And I the cause.

        [_She again becomes troubled._

               And yet if it were pity,
    Floro and Lelio might have equal share,
    For they are both imprisoned for my sake.  [_Calmly._
    Alas! what reasonings are these? It is
    Enough I pity him, and that in vain,
    Without this ceremonious subtlety,
    And woe is me! I know not where to find him now,
    Even should I seek him through this wide world!

        _Enter +Demon+_.

    DEMON--Follow, and I will lead thee where he is.

    JUSTINA--And who art thou, who hast found entrance hither
    Into my chamber through the doors and locks?
    Art thou a monstrous shadow which my madness
    Has formed in the idle air?

    DEMON--                    No. I am one
    Called by the thought which tyrannizes thee
    From his eternal dwelling--who this day
    Is pledged to bear thee unto Cyprian.

    JUSTINA--So shall thy promise fail. This agony
    Of passion which afflicts my heart and soul
    May sweep imagination in its storm,--
    The will is firm.

    DEMON--           Already half is done
    In the imagination of an act.
    The sin incurred, the pleasure then remains:
    Let not the will stop half-way on the road.

    JUSTINA--I will not be discouraged, nor despair,
    Although I thought it, and although 'tis true
    That thought is but a prelude to the deed:
    Thought is not in my power, but action is:
    I will not move my foot to follow thee!

    DEMON--But a far mightier wisdom than thine own
    Exerts itself within thee, with such power
    Compelling thee to that which it inclines
    That it shall force thy step; how wilt thou then
    Resist, Justina?

    JUSTINA--       By my free will.

    DEMON--                          I
    Must force thy will.

    JUSTINA--           It is invincible;
    It were not free if thou hadst power upon it.

        [_He draws, but cannot move her._

    DEMON--Come, where a pleasure waits thee.

    JUSTINA--                                 It were bought
    Too dear.

    DEMON--  'Twill soothe thy heart to softest peace.

    JUSTINA--'Tis dread captivity.

    DEMON--                       'Tis joy, 'tis glory.

    JUSTINA--'Tis shame, 'tis torment, 'tis despair.

    DEMON--                                         But how
    Canst thou defend thyself from that or me,
    If my power drags thee onward?

    JUSTINA--                     My defense
    Consists in God.

        [_He vainly endeavors to force her, and at last releases her._

    DEMON--          Woman, thou hast subdued me
    Only by not owning thyself subdued.
    But since thou thus findest defense in God,
    I will assume a feignèd form, and thus
    Make thee a victim of my baffled rage.
    For I will mask a spirit in thy form
    Who will betray thy name to infamy,
    And doubly shall I triumph in thy loss,
    First by dishonoring thee, and then by turning
    False pleasure to true ignominy.  [_Exit_

    JUSTINA--                       I
    Appeal to Heaven against thee; so that Heaven
    May scatter thy delusions, and the blot
    Upon my fame vanish in idle thought,
    Even as flame dies in the envious air,
    And as the flow'ret wanes at morning frost,
    And thou shouldst never--But alas! to whom
    Do I still speak?--Did not a man but now
    Stand here before me?--No, I am alone,
    And yet I saw him. Is he gone so quickly?
    Or can the heated mind engender shapes
    From its own fear? Some terrible and strange
    Peril is near. Lisander! father! lord!

        _Enter +Lisander+ and +Livia+._

    LISANDER--O my daughter! what?

    LIVIA--                       What?

    JUSTINA--                          Saw you
    A man go forth from my apartment now?--
    I scarce sustain myself!

    LISANDER--              A man here!

    JUSTINA--Have you not seen him?

    LIVIA--                        No, lady.

    JUSTINA--I saw him.

    LISANDER--         'Tis impossible; the doors
    Which led to this apartment were all locked.

    _Livia_ [_aside_]--I dare say it was Moscon whom she saw,
    For he was locked up in my room.

    LISANDER--                      It must
    Have been some image of thy phantasy.
    Such melancholy as thou feedest is
    Skillful in forming such in the vain air
    Out of the motes and atoms of the day.

    LIVIA--My master's in the right.

    JUSTINA--                        Oh, would it were
    Delusion; but I fear some greater ill.
    I feel as if out of my bleeding bosom
    My heart was torn in fragments; ay,
    Some mortal spell is wrought against my frame.
    So potent was the charm, that had not God
    Shielded my humble innocence from wrong,
    I should have sought my sorrow and my shame
    With willing steps. Livia, quick, bring my cloak,
    For I must seek refuge from these extremes
    Even in the temple of the highest God
    Which secretly the faithful worship.

    LIVIA--                              Here.

    _Justina_ [_putting on her cloak_]--In this, as in a shroud of
                    snow, may I
    Quench the consuming fire in which I burn,
    Wasting away!

    LISANDER--    And I will go with thee!

    _Livia_ [_aside_]--When I once see them safe out of the house,
    I shall breathe freely.

    JUSTINA--              So do I confide
    In thy just favor, Heaven!

    LISANDER--                Let us go.

    JUSTINA--Thine is the cause, great God! Turn, for my sake
    And for thine own, mercifully to me!

Translation of Shelley.


From 'Such Stuff as Dreams are Made Of,' Edward Fitzgerald's version of
'La Vida Es Sueno'

[The scene is a tower. Clotaldo is persuading Segismund that his
experiences have not been real, but dreams, and discusses the possible
relation of existence to a state of dreaming. The play itself is based
on the familiar _motif_ of which Christopher Sly furnishes a ready

    CLOTALDO--Princes and princesses and counselors,
    Fluster'd to right and left--my life made at--
    But that was nothing--
    Even the white-hair'd, venerable King
    Seized on--Indeed, you made wild work of it;
    And so discover'd in your outward action,
    Flinging your arms about you in your sleep,
    Grinding your teeth--and, as I now remember,
    Woke mouthing out judgment and execution,
    On those about you.

    SEGISMUND--        Ay, I did indeed.

    CLOTALDO--Ev'n your eyes stare wild; your hair stands up--
    Your pulses throb and flutter, reeling still
    Under the storm of such a dream--

    SEGISMUND--                       A dream!
    That seem'd as swearable reality
    As what I wake in now.

    CLOTALDO--            Ay--wondrous how
    Imagination in a sleeping brain
    Out of the uncontingent senses draws
    Sensations strong as from the real touch;
    That we not only laugh aloud, and drench
    With tears our pillow; but in the agony
    Of some imaginary conflict, fight
    And struggle--ev'n as you did; some, 'tis thought.
    Under the dreamt-of stroke of death have died.

    SEGISMUND--And what so very strange, too--in that world
    Where place as well as people all was strange,
    Ev'n I almost as strange unto myself,
    You only, you, Clotaldo--you, as much
    And palpably yourself as now you are,
    Came in this very garb you ever wore;
    By such a token of the past, you said,
    To assure me of that seeming present.

    CLOTALDO--                            Ay?

    SEGISMUND--Ay; and even told me of the very stars
    You tell me hereof--how in spite of them,
    I was enlarged to all that glory.

    CLOTALDO--                        Ay,
    By the false spirits' nice contrivance, thus
    A little truth oft leavens all the false,
    The better to delude us.

    SEGISMUND--              For you know
    'Tis nothing but a dream?

    CLOTALDO--               Nay, you yourself
    Know best how lately you awoke from that
    You know you went to sleep on.--
    Why, have you never dreamt the like before?

    SEGISMUND--Never, to such reality.

    CLOTALDO--                         Such dreams
    Are oftentimes the sleeping exhalations
    Of that ambition that lies smoldering
    Under the ashes of the lowest fortune:
    By which, when reason slumbers, or has lost
    The reins of sensible comparison,
    We fly at something higher than we are--
    Scarce ever dive to lower--to be kings
    Or conquerors, crown'd with laurel or with gold;
    Nay, mounting heav'n itself on eagle wings,--
    Which, by the way, now that I think of it,
    May furnish us the key to this high flight--
    That royal Eagle we were watching, and
    Talking of as you went to sleep last night.

    SEGISMUND--Last night? Last night?

    CLOTALDO--                         Ay; do you not remember
    Envying his immunity of flight,
    As, rising from his throne of rock, he sail'd
    Above the mountains far into the west,
    That burned about him, while with poising wings
    He darkled in it as a burning brand
    Is seen to smolder in the fire it feeds?

    SEGISMUND--Last night--last night--Oh, what a day was that
    Between that last night and this sad to-day!

    CLOTALDO--                                  And yet perhaps
    Only some few dark moments, into which
    Imagination, once lit up within
    And unconditional of time and space,
    Can pour infinities.

    SEGISMUND--          And I remember
    How the old man they call'd the King, who wore
    The crown of gold about his silver hair,
    And a mysterious girdle round his waist,
    Just when my rage was roaring at its height,
    And after which it all was dark again,
    Bade me beware lest all should be a dream.

    CLOTALDO--Ay--there another specialty of dreams,
    That once the dreamer 'gins to dream he dreams,
    His foot is on the very verge of waking.

    SEGISMUND--Would that it had been on the verge of death
    That knows no waking--
    Lifting me up to glory, to fall back,
    Stunned, crippled--wretcheder than ev'n before.

    CLOTALDO--Yet not so glorious, Segismund, if you
    Your visionary honor wore so ill
    As to work murder and revenge on those
    Who meant you well.

    SEGISMUND--Who meant me!--me! their Prince,
    Chain'd like a felon--

    CLOTALDO--             Stay, stay--Not so fast.
    You dream'd the Prince, remember.

    SEGISMUND--                      Then in dream
    Revenged it only.

    CLOTALDO--        True. But as they say
    Dreams are rough copies of the waking soul
    Yet uncorrected of the higher Will,
    So that men sometimes in their dream confess
    An unsuspected or forgotten self;
    One must beware to check--ay, if one may,
    Stifle ere born, such passion in ourselves
    As makes, we see, such havoc with our sleep,
    And ill reacts upon the waking day.
    And, by the by, for one test, Segismund,
    Between such swearable realities--
    Since dreaming, madness, passion, are akin
    In missing each that salutary rein
    Of reason, and the guiding will of man:
    One test, I think, of waking sanity
    Shall be that conscious power of self-control
    To curb all passion, but much, most of all,
    That evil and vindictive, that ill squares
    With human, and with holy canon less,
    Which bids us pardon ev'n our enemies,
    And much more those who, out of no ill-will,
    Mistakenly have taken up the rod
    Which Heaven, they think, has put into their hands.

    SEGISMUND--I think I soon shall have to try again--
    Sleep has not yet done with me.

    CLOTALDO--                     Such a sleep!
    Take my advice--'tis early yet--the sun
    Scarce up above the mountain; go within,
    And if the night deceived you, try anew
    With morning; morning dreams they say come true.

    SEGISMUND--Oh, rather pray for me a sleep so fast
    As shall obliterate dream and waking too.

        [_Exit into the tower._

    CLOTALDO--So sleep; sleep fast: and sleep away those two
    Night-potions, and the waking dream between,
    Which dream thou must believe; and if to see
    Again, poor Segismund! that dream must be.--
    And yet--and yet--in these our ghostly lives,
    Half night, half day, half sleeping, half awake,
    How if our waking life, like that of sleep,
    Be all a dream in that eternal life
    To which we wake not till we sleep in death?
    How if, I say, the senses we now trust
    For date of sensible comparison,--
    Ay, ev'n the Reason's self that dates with them,
    Should be in essence of intensity
    Hereafter so transcended, and awoke
    To a perceptive subtlety so keen
    As to confess themselves befool'd before,
    In all that now they will avouch for most?
    One man--like this--but only so much longer
    As life is longer than a summer's day,
    Believed himself a king upon his throne,
    And play'd at hazard with his fellows' lives,
    Who cheaply dream'd away their lives to him.
    The sailor dream'd of tossing on the flood:
    The soldier of his laurels grown in blood:
    The lover of the beauty that he knew
    Must yet dissolve to dusty residue:
    The merchant and the miser of his bags
    Of finger'd gold; the beggar of his rags:
    And all this stage of earth on which we seem
    Such busy actors, and the parts we play'd
    Substantial as the shadow of a shade,
    And Dreaming but a dream within a dream!


Segismund's Speech Closing the 'Vida Es Sueno': Fitzgerald's Version

    A dream it was in which I found myself,
    And you that hail me now, then hailed me king,
    In a brave palace that was all my own,
    Within, and all without it, mine; until,
    Drunk with excess of majesty and pride,
    Methought I towered so high and swelled so wide
    That of myself I burst the glittering bubble
    Which my ambition had about me blown,
    And all again was darkness. Such a dream
    As this, in which I may be walking now;
    Dispensing solemn justice to you shadows,
    Who make believe to listen: but anon,
    Kings, princes, captains, warriors, plume and steel,
    Ay, even with all your airy theatre,
    May flit into the air you seem to rend
    With acclamations, leaving me to wake
    In the dark tower; or dreaming that I wake
    From this, that waking is; or this and that
    Both waking or both dreaming;--such a doubt
    Confounds and clouds our mortal life about.
    But whether wake or dreaming, this I know,--
    How dreamwise human glories come and go;
    Whose momentary tenure not to break,
    Walking as one who knows he soon may wake,
    So fairly carry the full cup, so well
    Disordered insolence and passion quell,
    That there be nothing after to upbraid
    Dreamer or doer in the part he played;
    Whether to-morrow's dawn shall break the spell,
    Or the last trumpet of the eternal Day,
    When dreaming with the night shall pass away.




John C. Calhoun's importance as a statesman has naturally stood in the
way of his recognition as a writer, and in like manner his reputation as
an orator has overshadowed his just claims to be considered our most
original political thinker. The six volumes of his collected works,
which unfortunately do not embrace his still inaccessible private
correspondence, are certainly not exhilarating or attractive reading;
but they are unique in the literature of America, if not of the world,
as models of passionless logical analysis. Whether passionless logical
analysis is ever an essential quality of true literature, is a matter on
which opinions will differ; but until the question is settled in the
negative, Calhoun's claims to be considered a writer of marked force and
originality cannot be ignored. It is true that circumstances have
invalidated much of his political teaching, and that it was always
negative and destructive rather than positive and constructive; it is
true also that much of the interest attaching to his works is historical
rather than literary in character: but when all allowances are made, it
will be found that the 'Disquisition on Government' must still be
regarded as the most remarkable political treatise our country has
produced, and that the position of its author as the head of a school of
political thought is commanding, and in a way unassailable.

The precise character of Calhoun's political philosophy, the keynote of
which was the necessity and means of defending the rights of minorities,
cannot be understood without a brief glance at his political career. His
birth in 1782 just after the Revolution, and in South Carolina, gave
him the opportunity to share in the victory that the West and the far
South won over the Virginians, headed by Madison. His training at Yale
gave a nationalistic bias to his early career, and determined that
search for the _via media_ between consolidation and anarchy which
resulted in the doctrine of nullification. His service in Congress and
as Secretary of War under Monroe gave him a practical training in
affairs that was not without influence in qualifying his tendency to
indulge in doctrinaire speculation. His service as Vice-President
afforded the leisure and his break with Jackson the occasion, for his
close study of the Constitution, to discover how the South might
preserve slavery and yet continue in the Union. Finally, his position
as a non-aristocratic leader of a body of aristocrats, and his
Scotch-Irish birth and training, gave a peculiar strenuousness to his
support of slavery, which is of course the corner-stone of his political
philosophy; and determined his reliance upon logic rather than upon an
appeal to the passions as the best means of inculcating his teaching and
of establishing his policy. His political treatises, 'A Discourse on
Government' and 'On the Constitution and Government of the United
States,' written just before his death in 1850; his pamphlets like the
'South Carolina Exposition' and the 'Address to the People of South
Carolina'; and the great speeches delivered in the Senate from 1832 to
the end of his term, especially those in which he defended against
Webster the doctrine of nullification, could have emanated only from an
up-country South-Carolinian who had inherited the mantle of Jefferson,
and had sat at the feet of John Taylor of Carolina and of John Randolph
of Roanoke. Calhoun was, then, the logical outcome of his environment
and his training; he was the fearless and honest representative of his
people and section; and he was the master from whom rash disciples like
Jefferson Davis broke away, when they found that logical analysis of the
Constitution was a poor prop for slavery against the rising tide of

As a thinker Calhoun is remarkable for great powers of analysis and
exposition. As a writer he is chiefly noted for the even dignity and
general serviceableness of his style. He writes well, but rather like a
logician than like an inspired orator. He has not the stateliness of
Webster, and is devoid of the power of arousing enthusiasm. The splendor
of Burke's imagination is utterly beyond him, as is also the
epigrammatic brilliance of John Randolph,--from whom, however, he took
not a few lessons in constitutional interpretation. Indeed, it must be
confessed that for all his clearness and subtlety of intellect as a
thinker, Calhoun is as a writer distinctly heavy. In this as in many
other respects he reminds us of the Romans, to whom he was continually
referring. Like them he is conspicuous for strength of practical
intellect; like them he is lacking in sublimity, charm, and nobility. It
follows then that Calhoun will rarely be resorted to as a model of
eloquence, but that he will continue to be read both on account of the
substantial additions he made to political philosophy, and of the
interesting exposition he gave of theories and ideas once potent in the
nation's history.

[Illustration: J. C. CALHOUN.]

Notwithstanding the bitterness of accusation brought against him, he was
not a traitor nor a man given over to selfish ambition, as Dr. von
Holst, his most competent biographer and critic, has clearly shown.
Calhoun believed both in slavery and in the Union, and tried to maintain
a balance between the two, because he thought that only in this way
could his section maintain its prestige or even its existence. He
failed, as any other man would have done; and we find him, like
Cassandra, a prophet whom we cannot love. But he did prophesy truly as
to the fate of the South; and in the course of his strenuous labors to
divert the ruin he saw impending, he gave to the world the most masterly
analysis of the rights of the minority and of the best methods of
securing them that has yet come from the pen of a publicist.

[Illustration: Signature: W. P. Trent]


Delivered in the Senate, February 13th, 1840

Mr. Calhoun said he rose to express the pleasure he felt at the evidence
which the remarks of the Senator from Kentucky furnished, of the
progress of truth on the subject of abolition. He had spoken with strong
approbation of the principle laid down in a recent pamphlet, that two
races of different character and origin could not coexist in the same
country without the subordination of the one to the other. He was
gratified to hear the Senator give assent to so important a principle in
application to the condition of the South. He had himself, several years
since, stated the same in more specific terms: that it was impossible
for two races, so dissimilar in every respect as the European and
African that inhabit the southern portion of this Union, to exist
together in nearly equal numbers in any other relation than that which
existed there. He also added that experience had shown that they could
so exist in peace and happiness there, certainly to the great benefit of
the inferior race; and that to destroy it was to doom the latter to
destruction. But he uttered these important truths then in vain, as far
as the side to which the Senator belongs is concerned.

He trusted the progress of truth would not, however, stop at the point
to which it has arrived with the Senator, and that it will make some
progress in regard to what is called the right of petition. Never was a
right so much mystified and magnified. To listen to the discussion, here
and elsewhere, you would suppose it to be the most essential and
important right: so far from it, he undertook to aver that under our
free and popular system it was among the least of all our political
rights. It had been superseded in a great degree by the far higher right
of general suffrage, and by the practice, now so common, of instruction.
There could be no local grievance but what could be reached by these,
except it might be the grievance affecting a minority, which could be no
more redressed by petition than by them. The truth is, that the right of
petition could scarcely be said to be the right _of a freeman_. It
belongs to despotic governments more properly, and might be said to be
the last right of slaves. Who ever heard of petition in the free States
of antiquity? We had borrowed our notions in regard to it from our
British ancestors, with whom it had a value for their imperfect
representation far greater than it has with us; and it is owing to that
that it has a place at all in our Constitution. The truth is, that the
right has been so far superseded in a political point of view, that it
has ceased to be what the Constitution contemplated it to be,--a shield
to protect against wrongs; and has been perverted into a sword to attack
the rights of others--to cause a grievance instead of the means of
redressing grievances, as in the case of abolition petitions. The
Senator from Ohio [Mr. Tappan] has viewed this subject in its proper
light, and has taken a truly patriotic and constitutional stand in
refusing to present these firebrands, for which I heartily thank him in
the name of my State. Had the Senator from Kentucky followed the
example, he would have rendered inestimable service to the country....

It is useless to attempt concealment. The presentation of these
incendiary petitions is itself an infraction of the Constitution. All
acknowledge--the Senator himself--that the property which they are
presented to destroy is guaranteed by the Constitution. Now I ask: If we
have the right under the Constitution to hold the property (which none
question), have we not also the right to hold it under the same sacred
instrument _in peace and quiet_? Is it not a direct infraction then of
the Constitution, to present petitions here in the common council of the
Union, and to us, the agents appointed to carry its provisions into
effect and to guard the rights it secures, the professed aim of which is
to destroy the property guaranteed by the instrument? There can be but
one answer to these questions on the part of those who present such
petitions: that the right of such petition is higher and more sacred
than the Constitution and our oaths to preserve and to defend it. To
such monstrous results does the doctrine lead.

Sir, I understand this whole question. The great mass of both parties to
the North are opposed to abolition: the Democrats almost exclusively;
the Whigs less so. Very few are to be found in the ranks of the former;
but many in those of the latter. The only importance that the
abolitionists have is to be found in the fact that their weight may be
felt in elections; and this is no small advantage. The one party is
unwilling to lose their weight, but at the same time unwilling to be
blended with them on the main question; and hence is made this false,
absurd, unconstitutional, and dangerous collateral issue on the right of
petition. Here is the whole secret. They are willing to play the
political game at our hazard, and that of the Constitution and the
Union, for the sake of victory at the elections. But to show still more
clearly how little foundation there is in the character of our
government for the extravagant importance attached to this right, I ask
the Senator what is the true relation between the government and the
people, according to our American conception? Which is principal and
which agent? which the master and which the servant? which the sovereign
and which the subject? There can be no answer. We are but the
agents--the servants. We are not the sovereign. The sovereignty resides
in the people of the States. How little applicable, then, is this
boasted right of petition, under our system, to political questions? Who
ever heard of the principal petitioning his agent--of the master, his
servant--or of the sovereign, his subject? _The very essence of a
petition implies a request from an inferior to a superior._ It is not in
fact a natural growth of our system. It was copied from the British Bill
of Rights, and grew up among a people whose representation was very
imperfect, and where the sovereignty of the people was not recognized at
all. And yet even there, this right so much insisted on here as being
boundless as space, was restricted from the beginning by the very men
who adopted it in the British system, in the very manner which has been
done in the other branch, this session; and to an extent far beyond. The
two Houses of Parliament have again and again passed resolutions against
receiving petitions even to repeal taxes; and this, those who formed our
Constitution well knew, and yet adopted the provision almost
identically contained in the British Bill of Rights, without guarding
against the practice under it. Is not the conclusion irresistible, that
they did not deem it inconsistent with the right of "the citizens
peaceably to assemble and petition for a redress of grievance," as
secured in the Constitution? The thing is clear. It is time that the
truth should be known, and this cant about petition, not to redress the
grievances of the petitioners, but to create a grievance elsewhere, be
put down....

I know this question to the bottom. I have viewed it under every
possible aspect. There is no safety but in prompt, determined, and
uncompromising defense of our rights--to meet the danger on the
frontier. There all rights are strongest, and more especially this. The
moral is like the physical world. Nature has incrusted the exterior of
all organic life, for its safety. Let that be broken through, and it is
all weakness within. So in the moral and political world. It is on the
extreme limits of right that all wrong and encroachments are the most
sensibly felt and easily resisted. I have acted on this principle
throughout in this great contest. I took my lessons from the patriots of
the Revolution. They met wrong promptly, and defended right against the
first encroachment. To sit here and hear ourselves and constituents, and
their rights and institutions (essential to their safety), assailed from
day to day--denounced by every epithet calculated to degrade and render
us odious; and to meet all this in silence,--or still worse, to reason
with the foul slanderers,--would eventually destroy every feeling of
pride and dignity, and sink us in feelings to the condition of the
slaves they would emancipate. And this the Senator advises us to do.
Adopt it, and the two houses would be converted into halls to debate our
rights to our property, and whether, in holding it, we were not thieves,
robbers, and kidnappers; and we are to submit to this in order to quiet
the North! I tell the Senator that our Union, and our high moral tone of
feeling on this subject at the South, are infinitely more important to
us than any possible effect that his course could have at the North; and
that if we could have the weakness to adopt his advice, it would even
fail to effect the object intended.

It is proper to speak out. If this question is left to itself,
unresisted by us, it cannot but terminate fatally to us. Our safety and
honor are in the opposite direction--to take the highest ground, and
maintain it resolutely. The North will always take position below us, be
ours high or low. They will yield all that we will and something more.
If we go for rejection, they will at first insist on receiving, on the
ground of respect for petition. If we yield that point and receive
petitions, they will go for reference, on the ground that it is absurd
to receive and not to act--as it truly is. If we go for that, they will
insist on reporting and discussing; and if that, the next step will be
to make concession--to yield the point of abolition in this District;
and so on till the whole process is consummated, each succeeding step
proving more easy than its predecessor. The reason is obvious. The
abolitionists understand their game. They throw their votes to the party
most disposed to favor them. Now, sir, in the hot contest of party in
the Northern section, on which the ascendency in their several States
and the general government may depend, all the passions are roused to
the greatest height in the violent struggle, and aid sought in every
quarter. They would forget us in the heat of battle; yes, the success of
the election, for the time, would be more important than our safety;
unless we by our determined stand on our rights cause our weight to be
felt, and satisfy both parties that they have nothing to gain by
courting those who aim at our destruction. _As far as this government is
concerned, that is our only remedy._ If we yield that, if we lower our
stand to permit partisans to woo the aid of those who are striking at
our interests, we shall commence a descent in which there is no
stopping-place short of total abolition, and with it our destruction.

A word in answer to the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Webster]. He
attempted to show that the right of petition was peculiar to free
governments. So far is the assertion from being true, that it is more
appropriately the right of despotic governments; and the more so, the
more absolute and austere. So far from being peculiar or congenial to
free popular States, it degenerates under them, necessarily, into an
instrument, not of redress for the grievances of the petitioners, but as
has been remarked, of assault on the rights of others, as in this case.
That I am right in making the assertion, I put it to the Senator--Have
we not a right under the Constitution to our property in our slaves?
Would it not be a violation of the Constitution to divest us of that
right? Have we not a right to enjoy, _under the Constitution, peaceably
and quietly, our acknowledged rights guaranteed by it_, without
annoyance? The Senator assents. He does but justice to his candor and
intelligence. Now I ask him, how can he assent to receive petitions
whose object is to annoy and disturb our right, and of course in direct
infraction of the Constitution?

The Senator from Ohio [Mr. Tappan], in refusing to present these
incendiary and unconstitutional petitions, has adopted a course truly
constitutional and patriotic, and in my opinion, the only one that is
so. I deeply regret that it has not been followed by the Senator from
Kentucky in the present instance. Nothing short of it can put a stop to
the mischief, and do justice to one-half of the States of the Union. If
adopted by others, we shall soon hear no more of abolition. The
responsibility of keeping alive this agitation must rest on those who
may refuse to follow so noble an example.


From the 'Speech on the Admission of Michigan,' 1837

It has perhaps been too much my habit to look more to the future and
less to the present than is wise; but such is the constitution of my
mind that when I see before me the indications of causes calculated to
effect important changes in our political condition, I am led
irresistibly to trace them to their sources and follow them out in their
consequences. Language has been held in this discussion which is clearly
revolutionary in its character and tendency, and which warns us of the
approach of the period when the struggle will be between the
_conservatives_ and the _destructives_. I understood the Senator from
Pennsylvania [Mr. Buchanan] as holding language countenancing the
principle that the will of a mere numerical majority is paramount to the
authority of law and constitution. He did not indeed announce distinctly
this principle, but it might fairly be inferred from what he said; for
he told us the people of a State where the constitution gives the same
weight to a smaller as to a greater number, might take the remedy into
their own hands; meaning, as I understood him, that a mere majority
might at their pleasure subvert the constitution and government of a
State,--which he seemed to think was the essence of democracy. Our
little State has a constitution that could not stand a day against such
doctrines, and yet we glory in it as the best in the Union. It is a
constitution which respects all the great interests of the State, giving
to each a separate and distinct voice in the management of its political
affairs, by means of which the feebler interests are protected against
the preponderance of the stronger. We call our State a Republic--a
Commonwealth, not a Democracy; and let me tell the Senator, it is a far
more popular government than if it had been based on the simple
principle of the numerical majority. It takes more voices to put the
machine of government in motion than in those that the Senator would
consider more popular. It represents all the interests of the
State,--and is in fact the government of the people in the true sense of
the term, and not that of the mere majority, or the dominant interests.

I am not familiar with the constitution of Maryland, to which the
Senator alluded, and cannot therefore speak of its structure with
confidence; but I believe it to be somewhat similar in its character to
our own. That it is a government not without its excellence, we need no
better proof than the fact that though within the shadow of Executive
influence, it has nobly and successfully resisted all the seductions by
which a corrupt and artful Administration, with almost boundless
patronage, has attempted to seduce her into its ranks.

Looking then to the approaching struggle, I take my stand immovably. _I
am a conservative in its broadest and fullest sense, and such I shall
ever remain, unless indeed the government shall become so corrupt and
disordered that nothing short of revolution can reform it._ I solemnly
believe that our political system is, in its purity, not only the best
that ever was formed, but the best possible that can be devised for us.
It is the only one by which free States, so populous and wealthy, and
occupying so vast an extent of territory, can preserve their liberty.
Thus thinking, I cannot hope for a better. Having no hope of a better, I
am a conservative; and _because I am a conservative, I am a State Rights
man_. I believe that in the rights of the States are to be found the
only effectual means of checking the overaction of this government; to
resist its tendency to concentrate all power here, and to prevent a
departure from the Constitution; or in case of one, to restore the
government to its original simplicity and purity. State interposition,
or to express it more fully, the right of a State to interpose her
sovereign voice, as one of the parties to our constitutional compact,
against the encroachments of this government, is the only means of
sufficient potency to effect all this; and I am therefore its advocate.
I rejoiced to hear the Senators from North Carolina [Mr. Brown], and
from Pennsylvania [Mr. Buchanan], do us the justice to distinguish
between nullification and the anarchical and revolutionary movements in
Maryland and Pennsylvania. I know they did not intend it as a
compliment; but I regard it as the highest. They are right. Day and
night are not more different--more unlike in everything. They are unlike
in their principles, their objects, and their consequences.

I shall not stop to make good this assertion, as I might easily do. The
occasion does not call for it. As a conservative and a State Rights man,
or if you will have it, a nullifier, I have resisted and shall resist
all encroachments on the Constitution--whether of this Government on the
rights of the States, or the opposite:--whether of the Executive on
Congress, or Congress on the Executive. My creed is to hold both
governments, and all the departments of each, to their proper sphere,
and to maintain the authority of the laws and the Constitution against
all revolutionary movements. I believe the means which our system
furnishes to preserve itself are ample, if fairly understood and
applied; and I shall resort to them, however corrupt and disordered the
times, so long as there is hope of reforming the government. The result
is in the hands of the Disposer of events. It is my part to do my duty.
Yet while I thus openly avow myself a conservative, God forbid I should
ever deny the glorious right of rebellion and revolution. Should
corruption and oppression become intolerable, and not otherwise be
thrown off--if liberty must perish or the government be overthrown, I
would not hesitate, at the hazard of life, to resort to revolution, and
to tear down a corrupt government that could neither be reformed nor
borne by freemen. But I trust in God things will never come to that
pass. I trust never to see such fearful times; for fearful indeed they
would be, if they should ever befall us. It is the last remedy, and not
to be thought of till common-sense and the voice of mankind would
justify the resort.

Before I resume my seat, I feel called on to make a few brief remarks on
a doctrine of fearful import which has been broached in the course of
this debate: the right to repeal laws granting bank charters, and of
course of railroads, turnpikes, and joint-stock companies. It is a
doctrine of fearful import, and calculated to do infinite mischief.
There are countless millions vested in such stocks, and it is a
description of property of the most delicate character. To touch it is
almost to destroy it. But while I enter my protest against all such
doctrines, I have been greatly alarmed with the thoughtless precipitancy
(not to use a stronger phrase) with which the most extensive and
dangerous privileges have been granted of late. It can end in no good,
and I fear may be the cause of convulsions hereafter. We already feel
the effects on the currency, which no one competent of judging can fail
to see is in an unsound condition. I must say (for truth compels me) I
have ever distrusted the banking system, at least in its present form,
both in this country and Great Britain. It will not stand the test of
time; but I trust that all shocks or sudden revolutions may be avoided,
and that it may gradually give way before some sounder and better
regulated system of credit which the growing intelligence of the age may
devise. That a better may be substituted I cannot doubt; but of what it
shall consist, and how it shall finally supersede the present uncertain
and fluctuating currency, time alone can determine. All that I can see
is, that the present must, one day or another, come to an end or be
greatly modified--if that indeed can save it from an entire overthrow.
It has within itself the seeds of its own destruction.


From 'A Disquisition on Government'

It is then a great error to suppose that the government of the
concurrent majority is impracticable; or that it rests on a feeble
foundation. History furnishes many examples of such governments; and
among them one in which the principle was carried to an extreme that
would be thought impracticable, had it never existed. I refer to that of
Poland. In this it was carried to such an extreme that in the election
of her kings, the concurrence or acquiescence of every individual of the
nobles and gentry present, in an assembly numbering usually from one
hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand, was required to make a
choice; thus giving to each individual a veto on his election. So
likewise every member of her Diet (the supreme legislative body),
consisting of the King, the Senate, bishops and deputies of the nobility
and gentry of the palatinates, possessed a veto on all its proceedings;
thus making a unanimous vote necessary to enact a law or to adopt any
measure whatever. And as if to carry the principle to the utmost extent,
the veto of a single member not only defeated the particular bill or
measure in question, but prevented all others passed during the session
from taking effect. Further the principle could not be carried. It in
fact made every individual of the nobility and gentry a distinct element
in the organism; or to vary the expression, made him an _estate of the
kingdom_. And yet this government lasted in this form more than two
centuries, embracing the period of Poland's greatest power and renown.
Twice during its existence she protected Christendom, when in great
danger, by defeating the Turks under the walls of Vienna, and
permanently arresting thereby the tide of their conquests westward.

It is true her government was finally subverted, and the people
subjugated, in consequence of the extreme to which the principle was
carried; not however because of its tendency to dissolution _from
weakness_, but from the facility it afforded to powerful and
unscrupulous neighbors to control by their intrigues the election of her
kings. But the fact that a government in which the principle was carried
to the utmost extreme not only existed, but existed for so long a period
in great power and splendor, is proof conclusive both of its
practicability and its compatibility with the power and permanency of


From Speech in the Senate, March 4th, 1850

Having now shown what cannot save the Union, I return to the question
with which I commenced, How can the Union be saved? There is but one way
by which it can with any certainty; and that is by a full and final
settlement, on the principle of justice, of all the questions at issue
between the two sections. The South asks for justice, simple justice,
and less she ought not to take. She has no compromise to offer but the
Constitution; and no concession or surrender to make. She has already
surrendered so much that she has little left to surrender. Such a
settlement would go to the root of the evil and remove all cause of
discontent; by satisfying the South, she could remain honorably and
safely in the Union, and thereby restore the harmony and fraternal
feelings between the sections which existed anterior to the Missouri
agitation. Nothing else can with any certainty finally and forever
settle the questions at issue, terminate agitation, and save the Union.

But can this be done? Yes, easily; not by the weaker party--for it can
of itself do nothing, not even protect itself--but by the stronger. The
North has only to will it to accomplish it; to do justice by conceding
to the South an equal right in the acquired territory, and to do her
duty by causing the stipulations relative to fugitive slaves to be
faithfully fulfilled; to cease the agitation of the slave question, and
to provide for the insertion of a provision in the Constitution by an
amendment which will restore to the South in substance the power she
possessed of protecting herself, before the equilibrium between the
sections was destroyed by the action of this government. There will be
no difficulty in devising such a provision,--one that will protect the
South, and which at the same time will improve and strengthen the
government instead of impairing and weakening it.

But will the North agree to this? It is for her to answer the question.
But I will say she cannot refuse, if she has half the love of the Union
which she professes to have; or without justly exposing herself to the
charge that her love of power and aggrandizement is far greater than her
love of the Union. At all events, the responsibility of saving the Union
rests on the North, and not on the South. The South cannot save it by
any act of hers, and the North may save it without any sacrifice
whatever; unless to do justice, and to perform her duties under the
Constitution, should be regarded by her as a sacrifice.

It is time, Senators, that there should be an open and manly avowal on
all sides as to what is intended to be done. If the question is not now
settled, it is uncertain whether it ever can hereafter be; and we as the
representatives of the States of this Union, regarded as governments,
should come to a distinct understanding as to our respective views in
order to ascertain whether the great questions at issue can be settled
or not. If you who represent the stronger portion cannot agree to
settle them on the broad principle of justice and duty, say so; and let
the States we both represent agree to separate and part in peace. If you
are unwilling we should part in peace, tell us so, and we shall know
what to do when you reduce the question to submission or resistance. If
you remain silent you will compel us to infer by your acts what you
intend. In that case California will become the test question. If you
admit her, under all the difficulties that oppose her admission, you
compel us to infer that you intend to exclude us from the whole of the
acquired territories, with the intention of destroying irretrievably the
equilibrium between the two sections. We would be blind not to perceive
in that case that your real objects are power and aggrandizement; and
infatuated not to act accordingly.

I have now, Senators, done my duty in expressing my opinions fully,
freely, and candidly, on this solemn occasion. In doing so I have been
governed by the motives which have governed me in all the stages of the
agitation of the slavery question since its commencement. I have exerted
myself during the whole period to arrest it, with the intention of
saving the Union if it could be done; and if it could not, to save the
section where it has pleased Providence to cast my lot, and which I
sincerely believe has justice and the Constitution on its side. Having
faithfully done my duty to the best of my ability, both to the Union and
my section, throughout this agitation, I shall have the consolation, let
what will come, that I am free from all responsibility.


(Third Century B.C.)

Callimachus, the most learned of poets, was the son of Battus and
Mesatme of Cyrene, and a disciple of Hermocrates, who like his more
celebrated pupil was a grammarian, or a follower of belles-lettres, says
Suidas. It is in this calling that we first hear of Callimachus, when he
was a teacher at Alexandria. Here he counted among his pupils Apollonius
Rhodius, author of the 'Argonautica,' and Eratosthenes, famous for his
wisdom in science, who knew geography and geometry so well that he
measured the circumference of the earth. Callimachus was in fact one of
those erudite poets and wise men of letters whom the gay Alexandrians
who thronged the court of Ptolemy Philadelphus called "The Pleiades."
Apollonius Rhodius, Aratus, Theocritus, Lycophron, Nicander, and Homer
son of Macro, were the other six. From his circle of clever people, the
king, with whom he had become a prime favorite, called him to be chief
custodian over the stores of precious books at Alexandria. These
libraries, we may recall, were the ones Julius Cæsar partially burned by
accident a century later, and Bishop Theophilus and his mob of Christian
zealots finished destroying as repositories of paganism some three
centuries later still. The collections said to have been destroyed by
Caliph Omar when Amru took Alexandria in 640 A.D., on the ground that if
they agreed with the Koran they were superfluous and if they
contradicted it they were blasphemous, were later ones; but the whole
story is discredited by modern scholarship. The world has not ceased
mourning for this untold and irreparable loss of the choicest fruits of
the human spirit.

Of all these precious manuscripts and parchments, then, Callimachus was
made curator about the year B.C. 260. Aulus Gellius computes the time in
this wise:--"Four-hundred-ninety years after the founding of Rome, the
first Punic war was begun, and not long after, Callimachus, the poet of
Cyrene in Alexandria, flourished at the court of King Ptolemy." At this
time he must have been already married to the wife of whom Suidas speaks
in his 'Lexicon,' a daughter of a Syracusan gentleman.

The number of Callimachus's works, which are reported to have reached
eight hundred, testifies to his popularity in the Alexandrian period of
Greek literature. It contradicts also the maxim ascribed to him, that "a
great book is a great evil." Among the prose works which would have
enriched our knowledge of literature and history was his history of
Greek literature in one hundred and twenty books, classifying the Greek
writers and naming them chronologically. These were the results of his
long labors in the libraries. Among them was a book on the Museum and
the schools connected with it, with records of illustrious educators and
of the books they had written.

It is his poetry that has in the main survived, and yet as Ovid
says--calling him Battiades, either from his father's name or from the
illustrious founder of his native Cyrene--

    "Battiades semper toto cantabitur orbe:
    Quamvis ingenio non valet, arte valet."

    (Even throughout all lands Battiades's name will be famous;
    Though not in genius supreme, yet by his art he excels.)

Quintilian, however, says he was the prince of Greek elegiac poets. Of
his elegies we have a few fragments, and also the Latin translation by
Catullus of the 'Lock of Berenice.' Berenice, the sister and wife of
Ptolemy Euergetes, who succeeded his father Philadelphus in B.C. 245,
had sacrificed some of her hair, laying it on the altar of a temple,
from which it was subsequently stolen. In his poem, Callimachus as the
court poet sang how the gods had taken the tresses and placed them among
the stars. The delicate and humorous 'Rape of the Lock' of Alexander
Pope is a rather remote repetition of the same fancy.

We have also from Callimachus's hand six hymns to the gods and many
epigrams, the latter of which, as will be seen by the quotations given
below, are models of their kind. His lyric hymns are, in reality, rather
epics in little. They are full of recondite information, overloaded
indeed with learning; elegant, nervous, and elaborate, rather than
easy-flowing, simple, and warm, like a genuine product of the muse. Many
of his epigrams grace the 'Greek Anthology.'

Among the best editions of Callimachus is that of Ernesti (1761). The
extant poems and fragments have been in part translated by William Dodd
(1755) and H. W. Tytler (1856). His scattered epigrams have incited many
to attempt their perfect phrasing.


      At Jove's high festival, what song of praise
        Shall we his suppliant adorers sing?
      To whom may we our pæans rather raise
        Than to himself, the great Eternal King,
        Who by his nod subdues each earth-born thing;
      Whose mighty laws the gods themselves obey?
        But whether Crete first saw the Father spring,
      Or on Lycæus's mount he burst on day,
    My soul is much in doubt, for both that praise essay.

      Some say that thou, O Jove, first saw the morn
        On Cretan Ida's sacred mountain-side;
      Others that thou in Arcady wert born:
        Declare, Almighty Father--which have lied?
        Cretans were liars ever: in their pride
      Have they built up a sepulchre for thee;
        As if the King of Gods and men had died,
      And borne the lot of frail mortality.
    No! thou hast ever been, and art, and aye shalt be.

      Thy mother bore thee on Arcadian ground,
        Old Goddess Rhea, on a mountain's height;
      With bristling bramble-thickets all around
        The hallowed spot was curiously dight;
        And now no creature under heaven's light,
      From lovely woman down to things that creep,
        In need of Ilithyia's holy rite,
      May dare approach that consecrated steep,
    Whose name of Rhea's birth-bed still Arcadians keep.

      Fair was the promise of thy childhood's prime,
        Almighty Jove! and fairly wert thou reared:
      Swift was thy march to manhood: ere thy time
        Thy chin was covered by the manly beard;
      Though young in age, yet wert thou so revered
        For deeds of prowess prematurely done,
        That of thy peers or elders none appeared
      To claim his birthright;--heaven was all thine own,
    Nor dared fell Envy point her arrows at thy throne.

      Poets of old do sometimes lack of truth;
        For Saturn's ancient kingdom, as they tell,
      Into three parts was split, as if forsooth
        There were a doubtful choice 'twixt Heaven and Hell
        To one not fairly mad;--we know right well
      That lots are cast for more equality;
        But these against proportion so rebel
      That naught can equal her discrepancy;
    If one must lie at all--a lie like truth for me!

      No chance gave thee the sovranty of heaven;
        But to the deeds thy good right hand had done,
      And thine own strength and courage, was it given;
        These placed thee first, still keep thee on thy throne.
        Thou took'st the goodly eagle for thine own,
      Through whom to men thy wonders are declared;
        To me and mine propitious be they shown!
      Through thee by youth's best flower is heaven shared--
    Seamen and warriors heed'st thou not, nor e'en the bard:

      These be the lesser gods' divided care--
        But kings, great Jove, are thine especial dow'r;
      They rule the land and sea; they guide the war--
        What is too mighty for a monarch's pow'r?
        By Vulcan's aid the stalwart armorers show'r
      Their sturdy blows--warriors to Mars belong--
        And gentle Dian ever loves to pour
      New blessings on her favored hunter throng--
    While Phoebus aye directs the true-born poet's song.

      But monarchs spring from Jove--nor is there aught
        So near approaching Jove's celestial height,
      As deeds by heav'n-elected monarchs wrought.
        Therefore, O Father, kings are thine of right,
        And thou hast set them on a noble height
      Above their subject cities; and thine eye
        Is ever on them, whether they delight
      To rule their people in iniquity,
    Or by sound government to raise their name on high.

      Thou hast bestowed on all kings wealth and power,
        But not in equal measure--this we know,
      From knowledge of our own great Governor,
        Who stands supreme of kings on earth below.
        His morning thoughts his nights in actions show;
      His less achievements when designed are done
        While others squander years in counsels slow;
      Not rarely when the mighty seeds are sown,
    Are all their air-built hopes by thee, great Jove, o'erthrown.

      All hail, Almighty Jove! who givest to men
        All good, and wardest off each evil thing.
      Oh, who can hymn thy praise? he hath not been,
        Nor shall he be, that poet who may sing
        In fitting strain thy praises--Father, King,
      All hail! thrice hail! we pray to thee, dispense
        Virtue and wealth to us, wealth varying--
      For virtue's naught, mere virtue's no defense;
    Then send us virtue hand in hand with competence.

Translation of Fitzjames T. Price.


    His little son of twelve years old Philippus here has laid,
    Nicoteles, on whom so much his father's hopes were stayed


(Admired and Paraphrased by Horace)

    The hunter in the mountains every roe
    And every hare pursues through frost and snow,
    Tracking their footsteps. But if some one say,
    "See, here's a beast struck down," he turns away.
    Such is _my_ love: I chase the flying game,
    And pass with coldness the self-offering dame.


    They told me, Heracleitus, they told me you were dead;
    They brought me bitter news to hear, and bitter tears I shed.
    I wept, as I remembered how often you and I
    Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.

    And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
    A handful of gray ashes, long, long ago at rest,
    Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
    For Death he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.

Translation of William Johnson.


    Would that swift ships had never been; for so
    We ne'er had wept for Sopolis: but he
    Dead on the waves now drifts; whilst we must go
    Past a void tomb, a mere name's mockery.

Translation of J. A. Symonds.


    Say, honest Timon, now escaped from light,
    Which do you most abhor, or that or night?
    "Man, I most hate the gloomy shades below,
    And that because in them are more of you."


    Callimachus takes up this part of earth,
    A man much famed for poesy and mirth.

Translation of William Dodd.


    Loud cried Cleombrotus, "Farewell, O Sun!"
    Ere, leaping from a wall, he joined the dead.
    No act death-meriting had th' Ambraciote done,
    But Plato's volume on the soul had read.



No one ever attained greater fame with few, slight, and unserious
books than this English author. His name rests upon four volumes
only:--'Verses and Translations' (1862); 'Translations into English and
Latin' (1866); 'Theocritus Translated into English Verse' (1869); and
'Fly-Leaves' (1872). 'Fly-Leaves' holds a unique place in English
literature. It is made up chiefly of parodies, which combine the mocking
spirit with clever imitations of the style and affectations of familiar
poets. They are witty; they are humorous; they are good-natured; and
they are artistic and extraordinarily clever. His satirical banter shown
in these verses--most of which are real poems as well as parodies--has
been classed as "refined common-sense," and "the exuberant playfulness
of a powerful mind and tender and manly nature." It contains also
independent literary skits and _comiques_ which are quite equal in merit
to the parodies.

Calverley was born at Martley, Worcestershire, December 22d, 1831, the
son of the Rev. Henry Blayds, a descendant of an old Yorkshire family
named Calverley. In 1852 Mr. Blayds resumed the name of Calverley, which
had been dropped at the beginning of the century. Calverley was more
famous at Harrow for his marvelous jumping and other athletic feats than
for his studies, but even at this period he showed great talent for
translating from the classics, and astonished every one by his gifts of
memory. A few Latin verses won for him the Balliol scholarship in 1850,
and in the next year he received at Oxford the Chancellor's prize for a
Latin poem.

In 1852 he went to Cambridge, and shortly after won the Craven
scholarship, as well as numerous medals and prizes for his attainments
in Greek and Latin. This was the more remarkable inasmuch as he
was extremely indolent and very fond of society, preferring to entertain
his friends by his witty songs, his charming voice, his clever
caricatures--for he had talent with his pencil--and his brilliant
conversation, rather than to apply himself to routine work. His comrades
used to lock him into a room to make him work, and even then he would
outwit them by dashing off a witty parody or a bit of impromptu verse.
Among his literary _jeux d'esprit_ was an examination paper on
'Pickwick,' prepared as a Christmas joke in exact imitation of a genuine
"exam." The prizes, two first editions of Pickwick, were won by W. W.
Skeat, now famous as a philologist, and Walter Besant, known to the
public as a novelist.

Calverley remained in Cambridge as tutor and lecturer, and was presently
called to the bar. It seemed the irony of fate that the famous athlete
should receive an injury while skating which compelled him to abandon
his profession, and for seventeen years practically abandon work. He
died at Folkestone, on February 17th, 1884.

That he was adored by his friends, and possessed unusual qualities of
character as well as mind, may be seen in the memoir published by Walter
T. Sendall with the 'Literary Remains' (1885). Apart from his wit,
Calverley has a distinct claim to remembrance on account of his
remarkable scholarship. His translations from Greek and Latin have won
the enthusiastic admiration of specialists and students of the classics.
Dr. Gunson, tutor of his college, an accomplished Latinist, declared
that he thought Calverley's Horatian verse better than Horace's, being
equally poetical, and more distinguished in style. These works not only
attest his mastery of ancient languages, but also his acquaintance with
the beauty and capacity of English verse, into which he has put a grace
of his own. His numerous renderings of Latin into English and English
into Latin show his ease and dexterity of both thought and touch, and
his translation of Theocritus is considered by authorities to be a
masterpiece of literary workmanship.


'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club'

From James Payn's 'Some Literary Recollections' and 'Temple Bar,' 1887

1. Mention any occasion on which it is specified that the Fat Boy was
_not_ asleep; and that (1) Mr. Pickwick and (2) Mr. Weller, senr., ran.
Deduce from expressions used on one occasion Mr. Pickwick's maximum of

3. Who were Mr. Staple, Goodwin, Mr. Brooks, Villam, Mrs. Bunkin, "old
Nobs," "cast-iron head," young Bantam?

4. What operation was performed on Tom Smart's chair? Who little thinks
that in which pocket, of what garment, in where, he has left what,
entreating him to return to whom, with how many what, and all how big?

6. "Mr. Weller's knowledge of London was extensive and peculiar."
Illustrate this by a reference to facts.

8. Give in full Samuel Weller's first compliment to Mary, and his
father's critique upon the same young lady. What church was on the
valentine that first attracted Mr. Samuel's eye in the shop?

9. Describe the common Profeel-machine.

10. State the component parts of dog's-nose; and simplify the expression
"taking a grinder."

11. On finding his principal in the Pound, Mr. Weller and the
town-beadle varied directly. Show that the latter was ultimately
eliminated, and state the number of rounds in the square which is not

12. "Anythink for air and exercise, as the werry old donkey observed ven
they voke him up from his death-bed to carry ten gen'lmen to Greenwich
in a tax-cart!" Illustrate this by stating any remark recorded in the
'Pickwick Papers' to have been made by a (previously) dumb animal, with
the circumstances under which he made it.

18. How did the old lady make a memorandum, and of what, at whist? Show
that there were at least three times as many fiddles as harps in
Muggleton at the time of the ball at Manor Farm.

20. Write down the chorus to each line of Mr. S. Weller's song, and a
sketch of the mottled-faced man's excursus on it. Is there any ground
for conjecturing that he (Sam) had more brothers than one?

21. How many lumps of sugar went into the Shepherd's liquor as a rule?
and is any exception recorded?

23. "She's a-swelling wisibly." When did this same phenomenon occur
again, and what fluid caused the pressure on the body in the latter

24. How did Mr. Weller, senr., define the Funds; and what view did he
take of Reduced Consols? In what terms is his elastic force described
when he assaulted Mr. Stiggins at the meeting? Write down the name of
the meeting.

25. ~probatognômôn~: a good judge of cattle; hence, a good judge
of character! Note on Æsch. Ag.--Illustrate the theory involved by a
remark of the parent Weller.

28. Deduce from a remark of Mr. Weller, junr., the price per mile of
cabs at the period.

29. What do you know of the hotel next the Ball at Rochester?

30. Who beside Mr. Pickwick is recorded to have worn gaiters?


Imitation of Jean Ingelow

    The auld wife sat at her ivied door,
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    A thing she had frequently done before;
      And her spectacles lay on her aproned knees.

    The piper he piped on the hill-top high,
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    Till the cow said "I die," and the goose asked "Why?"
      And the dog said nothing, but searched for fleas.

    The farmer he strode through the square farmyard;
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    His last brew of ale was a trifle hard--
      The connection of which with the plot one sees.

    The farmer's daughter hath frank blue eyes;
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    She hears the rooks caw in the windy skies,
      As she sits at her lattice and shells her peas.

    The farmer's daughter hath ripe red lips;
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    If you try to approach her, away she skips
      Over tables and chairs with apparent ease.

    The farmer's daughter hath soft brown hair;
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    And I've met with a ballad, I can't say where,
      Which wholly consisted of lines like these.

    She sat with her hands 'neath her dimpled cheeks,
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    And spake not a word. While a lady speaks
      There is hope, but she didn't even sneeze.

    She sat with her hands 'neath her crimson cheeks;
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    She gave up mending her father's breeks,
      And let the cat roll on her best chemise.

    She sat with her hands 'neath her burning cheeks,
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    And gazed at the piper for thirteen weeks;
      Then she followed him out o'er the misty leas.

    Her sheep followed her, as their tails did them.
      (_Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese_)
    And this song is considered a perfect gem,
      And as to the meaning, it's what you please.


Imitation of Jean Ingelow

    In moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter,
      (And heaven it knoweth what that may mean;
    Meaning, however, is no great matter)
      When woods are a-tremble, with rifts atween;

    Thro' God's own heather we wonned together,
      I and my Willie (O love my love):
    I need hardly remark it was glorious weather,
      And flitterbats wavered alow, above;

    Boats were curtseying, rising, bowing,
      (Boats in that climate are so polite,)
    And sands were a ribbon of green endowing,
      And O the sun-dazzle on bark and bight!

    Thro' the rare red heather we danced together,
      (O love my Willie!) and smelt for flowers:
    I must mention again it was gorgeous weather,
      Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours:--

    By rises that flushed with their purple favors,
      Thro' becks that brattled o'er grasses sheen,
    We walked or waded, we two young shavers,
      Thanking our stars we were both so green.

    We journeyed in parallels, I and Willie,
      In fortunate parallels! Butterflies,
    Hid in weltering shadows of daffodilly
      Or marjoram, kept making peacock eyes:

    Song-birds darted about, some inky
      As coal, some snowy, I ween, as curds;
    (Or rosy as pinks, or as roses pinky--)
      They reek of no eerie To-come, those birds!

    But they skim over bents which the mill-stream washes,
      Or hang in the lift 'neath a white cloud's hem;
    They need no parasols, no goloshes;
      And good Mrs. Trimmer she feedeth them.

    Then we thrid God's cowslips (as erst his heather)
      That endowed the wan grass with their golden blooms;
    And snapt (it was perfectly charming weather)--
      Our fingers at Fate and her goddess-glooms:

    And Willie 'gan sing (O his notes were fluty;
      Wafts fluttered them out to the white-winged sea)--
    Something made up of rhymes that have done much duty,
      Rhymes (better to put it) of "ancientry":

    Bowers of flowers encountered showers
      In William's carol--(O love my Willie!)
    When he bade sorrow borrow from blithe to-morrow
      I quite forget what--say a daffodilly.

    A nest in a hollow, "with buds to follow,"
      I think occurred next in his nimble strain;
    And clay that was "kneaden," of course in Eden,--
      A rhyme most novel, I do maintain:

    Mists, bones, the singer himself, love-stories,
      And all at least furlable things got "furled";
    Not with any design to conceal their glories,
      But simply and solely to rhyme with "world."

       *       *       *       *       *

    Oh, if billows and pillows and hours and flowers,
      And all the brave rhymes of an elder day,
    Could be furled together, this genial weather,
      And carted or carried in wafts away,
    Nor ever again trotted out--ay me!
    How much fewer volumes of verse there'd be!


From 'Fly-Leaves'

"_She was a phantom_--" _etc._

    In lone Glenartney's thickets lies couched the lordly stag,
      The dreaming terrier's tail forgets its customary wag;
    And plodding plowmen's weary steps insensibly grow quicker,
      As broadening casements light them on toward home, or
                    home-brewed liquor.

    It is--in brief--the evening: that pure and pleasant time,
    When stars break into splendor, and poets into rhyme;
    When in the glass of Memory the forms of loved ones shine--
    And when, of course, Miss Goodchild is prominent in mine.

    Miss Goodchild--Julia Goodchild!--how graciously you smiled
    Upon my childish passion once, yourself a fair-haired child:
    When I was (no doubt) profiting by Dr. Crabb's instruction,
    And sent those streaky lollipops home for your fairy suction.

    "She wore" her natural "roses, the night when first we met,"--
    Her golden hair was gleaming neath the coercive net:
    "Her brow was like the snawdrift," her step was like Queen Mab's,
    And gone was instantly the heart of every boy at Crabb's.

    The parlor-boarder chasséed tow'rds her on graceful limb;
    The onyx decked his bosom--but her smiles were not for him:
    With _me_ she danced--till drowsily her eyes "began to blink,"
    And _I_ brought raisin wine, and said, "Drink, pretty creature,

    And evermore, when winter comes in his garb of snows,
    And the returning schoolboy is told how fast he grows;
    Shall I--with that soft hand in mine--enact ideal Lancers,
    And dream I hear demure remarks, and make impassioned answers.

    I know that never, never may her love for me return--
    At night I muse upon the fact with undisguised concern--
    But ever shall I bless that day!--I don't bless, as a rule,
    The days I spent at "Dr. Crabb's Preparatory School."

    And yet we two may meet again,--(Be still, my throbbing heart!)
    Now rolling years have weaned us from jam and raspberry-tart.
    One night I saw a vision--'twas when musk-roses bloom,
    I stood--_we_ stood--upon a rug, in a sumptuous dining-room:

    One hand clasped hers--one easily reposed upon my hip--
    And "Bless ye!" burst abruptly from Mr. Goodchild's lip:
    I raised my brimming eye, and saw in hers an answering gleam--
    My heart beat wildly--and I woke, and lo! it was a dream.


    I know not why my soul is racked;
      Why I ne'er smile, as was my wont
    I only know that, as a fact,
            I don't.

    I used to roam o'er glen and glade,
      Buoyant and blithe as other folk,
    And not unfrequently I made
            A joke.

    A minstrel's fire within me burned;
      I'd sing, as one whose heart must break,
    Lay upon lay--I nearly learned
            To shake.

    All day I sang; of love and fame,
      Of fights our fathers fought of yore,
    Until the thing almost became
            A bore.

    I cannot sing the old songs now!
      It is not that I deem them low;
    'Tis that I can't remember how
            They go.

    I could not range the hills till high
      Above me stood the summer moon:
    And as to dancing, I could fly
            As soon.

    The sports, to which with boyish glee
      I sprang erewhile, attract no more:
    Although I am but sixty-three
            Or four.

    Nay, worse than that, I've seemed of late
      To shrink from happy boyhood--boys
    Have grown so noisy, and I hate
            A noise.

    They fright me when the beech is green,
      By swarming up its stem for eggs;
    They drive their horrid hoops between
            My legs.

    It's idle to repine, I know;
      I'll tell you what I'll do instead:
    I'll drink my arrowroot, and go
            To bed.


    'Tis but a box, of modest deal;
      Directed to no matter where:
    Yet down my cheek the teardrops steal--
    Yes, I am blubbering like a seal;
    For on it is this mute appeal,
            "_With care_."

    I am a stern cold man, and range
      Apart: but those vague words "_With care_"
    Wake yearnings in me sweet as strange:
    Drawn from my moral Moated Grange,
    I feel I rather like the change
            Of air.

    Hast thou ne'er seen rough pointsmen spy
      Some simple English phrase--"_With care_"
    Or "_This side uppermost_"--and cry
    Like children? No? No more have I.
    Yet deem not him whose eyes are dry
            A bear.

    But ah! what treasure hides beneath
      That lid so much the worse for wear?
    A ring perhaps--a rosy wreath--
    A photograph by Vernon Heath--
    Some matron's temporary teeth
            Or hair!

    Perhaps some seaman, in Peru
      Or Ind, hath stowed herein a rare
    Cargo of birds'-eggs for his Sue;
    With many a vow that he'll be true,
    And many a hint that she is too--
            Too fair.

    Perhaps--but wherefore vainly pry
      Into the page that's folded there?
    I shall be better by-and-by:
    The porters, as I sit and sigh,
    Pass and repass--I wonder why
            They stare!


    Forever! 'Tis a single word!
      Our rude forefathers deemed it two;
    Can you imagine so absurd
            A view?

    Forever! What abysms of woe
      The word reveals, what frenzy, what
    Despair! For ever (printed so)
            Did not.

    It looks, ah me! how trite and tame;
      It fails to sadden or appall
    Or solace--it is not the same
            At all.

    O thou to whom it first occurred
      To solder the disjoined, and dower
    Thy native language with a word
            Of power:

    We bless thee! Whether far or near
      Thy dwelling, whether dark or fair
    Thy kingly brow, is neither here
            Nor there.

    But in men's hearts shall be thy throne,
      While the great pulse of England beats:
    Thou coiner of a word unknown
            To Keats!

    And nevermore must printer do
      As men did long ago; but run
    "For" into "ever," bidding two
            Be one.

    Forever! passion-fraught, it throws
      O'er the dim page a gloom, a glamour:
    It's sweet, it's strange; and I suppose
            It's grammar.

    Forever! 'Tis a single word!
      And yet our fathers deemed it two:
    Nor am I confident they erred;--
            Are you?

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7" ***

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