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Title: Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2)
Author: Martineau, Harriet, 1802-1876
Language: English
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RETROSPECT

OF

WESTERN TRAVEL.

BY

HARRIET MARTINEAU,

AUTHOR OF "SOCIETY IN AMERICA," "ILLUSTRATIONS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY," ETC.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

LONDON:

PUBLISHED BY SAUNDERS AND OTLEY

NEW-YORK:

SOLD BY HARPER & BROTHERS.

1838.



CONTENTS

OF

THE SECOND VOLUME.


                                                        Page
  Mississippi Voyage                                      5

  Compromise                                             26

  Cincinnati                                             35

  Probation                                              57

  The Natural Bridge                                     65

  Colonel Burr                                           69

  Villages                                               78

  Cambridge Commencement                                 91

  The White Mountains                                   108

  Channing                                              117

  Mutes and Blind                                       128

  Nahant                                                155

  Signs of the Times in Massachusetts                   159

  Hot and Cold Weather                                  169

  Originals                                             186

  Lake George                                           221

  Cemeteries                                            227



RETROSPECT

OF

WESTERN TRAVEL.


MISSISSIPPI VOYAGE.


    "That it was full of monsters who devoured canoes as well as men;
    that the devil stopped its passage, and sunk all those who ventured
    to approach the place where he stood; and that the river itself at
    last was swallowed up in the bottomless gulf of a tremendous
    whirlpool."--_Quarterly Review._

        "Hic ver purpureum: varios hic flumina circum
        Fundit humus flores: hic candida populus antro
        Imminet, et lentæ texunt umbracula vites."

                                                                 VIRGIL.


About four o'clock in the afternoon of the 6th of May we were convoyed,
by a large party of friends, to the "Henry Clay," on board of which
accommodations had been secured for us by great exertion on the part of
a fellow-voyager. The "Henry Clay" had the highest reputation of any
boat on the river, having made ninety-six trips without accident; a rare
feat on this dangerous river. As I was stepping on board, Judge P. said
he hoped we were each provided with a life-preserver. I concluded he was
in joke; but he declared himself perfectly serious, adding that we
should probably find ourselves the only cabin passengers unprovided with
this means of safety. We should have been informed of this before; it
was too late now. Mr. E., of our party on board, told me all that this
inquiry made me anxious to know. He had been accustomed to ascend and
descend the river annually with his family, and he made his arrangements
according to his knowledge of the danger of the navigation. It was his
custom to sit up till near the time of other people's rising, and to
sleep in the day. There are always companies of gamblers in these boats,
who, being awake and dressed during the hours of darkness, are able to
seize the boats on the first alarm of an accident in the night, and are
apt to leave the rest of the passengers behind. Mr. E. was a friend of
the captain; he was a man of gigantic bodily strength and cool temper,
every way fitted to be of use in an emergency; and the captain gave him
the charge of the boats in case of a night accident. Mr. E. told me
that, as we were particularly under his charge, his first thought in a
time of danger would be of us. He had a life-preserver, and was an
excellent swimmer, so that he had little doubt of being able to save us
in any case. He only asked us to come the instant we were called, to do
as we were bid, and to be quiet. As we looked at the stately vessel,
with her active captain, her two pilots, the crowds of gay passengers,
and all the provision for safety and comfort, it was scarcely possible
to realize the idea of danger; but we knew that the perils of this
extraordinary river, sudden and overwhelming, are not like those of the
ocean, which can be, in a great measure, guarded against by skill and
care. The utmost watchfulness cannot here provide against danger from
squalls, from changes in the channel of the river, and from the _snags_,
_planters_, and _sawyers_ (trunks of trees brought down from above by
the current, and fixed in the mud under water) which may at any moment
pierce the hull of the vessel.

Our New-Orleans friends remained with us upward of an hour, introducing
us to the captain, and to such of the passengers as they knew. Among
these were Mr. and Mrs. L., of Boston, Massachusetts. We little imagined
that afternoon how close an intimacy would grow out of this casual
meeting; how many weeks we should afterward spend in each other's
society, with still-increasing esteem and regard. The last thing one of
my friends said was that he was glad we were going, as there had been
forty cases of cholera in the city the day before.

After five o'clock the company on deck and in the cabins, who had bidden
farewell to their friends some time before, began to inquire of one
another why we were not setting off. We had found the sun too warm on
deck, and had had enough of mutual staring with the groups on the wharf;
we turned over the books, and made acquaintance with the prints in the
ladies' cabin, and then leisurely arranged our staterooms to our
liking; and still there was no symptom of departure. The captain was
obviously annoyed. It was the non-arrival of a party of passengers which
occasioned the delay. A multitude of Kentuckians and other western men
had almost forced their way on board as deck-passengers; men who had
come down the river in flatboats with produce, who were to work their
way up again by carrying wood at the wooding-places, morning and
evening, to supply the engine fire. These men, like others, prefer a
well-managed to a perilous boat, and their eagerness to secure a passage
was excessive. More thronged in after the captain had declared that he
was full; more were bustling on the wharf, and still the expected party
did not come. The captain ordered the plank to be taken up which formed
a communication with the shore. Not till six o'clock was it put down for
the dilatory passengers, who did not seem to be aware of the
inconvenience they had occasioned. They were English. A man on the wharf
took advantage of the plank being put down to come on board in spite of
prohibition. He went with his bundle to the spot on the second deck
which he chose for a sleeping-place, and immediately lay down, without
attracting particular notice from any one.

We braved the heat on the hurricane deck for the sake of obtaining last
views of New-Orleans. The city soon became an indistinguishable mass of
buildings lying in the swamp, yet with something of a cheerful air, from
the brightness of the sun. The lofty Cotton-press, so familiar to the
eye of every one acquainted with that region, was long visible amid the
windings of the river, which seemed to bring us quite near the city
again when we thought we should see it no more.

At seven we were summoned to supper, and obtained a view of the company
in whose society we were to pass the next ten days. There was a great
mixture. There was a physician from New-York, with his wife and a friend
or two; an ultra-exclusive party. There were Mr. and Mrs. B., also from
New-York, amiable elderly people, with some innocent peculiarities, and
showing themselves not the less mindful of other people from taking
great care of each other. There was the party that had kept the captain
waiting, some of them very agreeable; and the L.'s, whom it would have
been a privilege to meet anywhere. There were long trains of young men,
so many as to extinguish all curiosity as to who they were and where
they came from; and a family party belonging to the West, father,
mother, grandmother, and six children, who had a singular gift of
squalling; and their nurses, slaves. These are all that I distinctly
remember among the multitude that surrounded the almost interminable
table in the cabin. This table, long as it was, would not hold all the
company. Many had to wait till seats were vacated, and yet we were to go
on receiving passengers all the way to Natchez.

We took in more this evening. After supper we hastened again to the
hurricane deck, where the air was breathing cool, and, to our great joy,
strong enough to relieve us from moschetoes. The river was lined with
plantations of cotton and sugar, as it continued to be for two hundred
miles farther. Almost every turn of the mighty stream disclosed a
sugarhouse of red brick, with a centre and wings, all much alike. Groups
of slaves, most of them nearly naked, were chopping wood, or at other
kinds of toil along the shore. As the twilight melted into the golden
moonlight of this region, I saw sparkles among the reeds on the margin
of the stream. It did not occur to me what they were till I saw a horse
galloping in a meadow, and apparently emitting gleams of fire. I then
knew that I at length saw fireflies. One presently alighted on the linen
coat of a gentleman standing beside me, where it spread its gleam over a
space as large as the palm of my hand, making the finest of the threads
distinctly visible.

In a dark recess of the shore a large fire suddenly blazed up, and
disclosed a group of persons standing on the brink of the stream. Our
boat neared the shore, for this was a signal from a party who had
secured their passage with us. Night after night I was struck with the
same singular combination of lights which I now beheld; the moonlight,
broad and steady; the blazing brands, sometimes on the shore, and
sometimes on board the flatboats we met; and the glancing fireflies.

When we went down for the night we had our first experience of the
crying of the little H.'s. They were indefatigable children; when one
became quiet, another began; and, among them, they kept up the squall
nearly the twenty-four hours round. Their mother scolded them; their
nurses humoured them; and, between these two methods of management,
there was no peace for anybody within hearing. There was a good deal of
trampling overhead too. Many of the deck passengers had to sleep in the
open air, on the hurricane deck, from their being no room for them
below; and, till they had settled themselves, sleep was out of the
question for those whose staterooms were immediately beneath. At length,
however, all was quiet but the rumbling of the engine, and we slept.

When I went on deck in the morning, before six, I was privately told by
a companion that the man who had last forced his way on board had died
of cholera in the night, and had been laid under a tree at the
wooding-place a few minutes before. Never was there a lovelier morning
for a worn wretch to lie down to his long sleep. The captain
particularly desired that the event should be passed over in entire
silence, as he was anxious that there should be no alarm about the
disease on board the boat. The poor man had, as I have mentioned, lain
down in his place as soon as he came among us. He lay unobserved till
two in the morning, when he roused the neighbour on each side of him.
They saw his state at a glance, and lost not a moment in calling down
the New-York physician; but, before this gentleman could get to him, the
sick man died. His body was handed over to the people at the
wooding-place, and buried in the cheerful morning sunshine. We sped away
from that lonely grave as if we were in a hurry to forget it; and when
we met at breakfast, there was mirth and conversation, and conventional
observance, just as if death had not been among us in the night. This
was no more than a quickening of the process by which man drops out of
life, and all seems to go on as if he had never been: only seems,
however. Even in this case, where the departed had been a stranger to us
all, and had sunk from amid us in eight hours, I believe there were few
or no hearts untouched, either by sorrow for him or fear for themselves.
We were none of us as we should have been if this his brief connexion
with us had never existed.

All the morning we were passing plantations, and there were houses along
both banks at short intervals; sometimes the mansions of planters,
sometimes sugarhouses, sometimes groups of slave-dwellings, painted or
unpainted, standing under the shade of sycamores, magnolias, live oaks,
or Pride-of-India trees. Many dusky gazing figures of men with the axe,
and women with the pitcher, would have tempted the pencil of an artist.
The fields were level and rich-looking, and they were invariably bounded
by the glorious forest. Towards noon we perceived by the number of
sailing-boats that we were near some settlement, and soon came upon
Donaldsonville, a considerable village, with a large unfinished
Statehouse, where the legislature of Louisiana once sat, which was
afterward removed to New-Orleans, whence it has never come back. Its
bayou boasts a steamer, by which planters in the south back-country are
conveyed to their estates on leaving the Mississippi.

We now felt ourselves sufficiently at home to decide upon the
arrangement of our day. The weather was too hot to let the fatigues of
general conversation be endurable for many hours together; and there was
little in the general society of the vessel to make us regret this. We
rose at five or a little later, the early morning being delicious.
Breakfast was ready at seven, and after it I apparently went to my
stateroom for the morning; but this was not exactly the case. I observed
that the laundresses hung their counterpanes and sheets to dry in the
gallery before my window, and that, therefore, nobody came to that
gallery. It struck me that this must be the coolest part of the boat,
such an evaporation as was perpetually going on. I therefore stepped out
of my window, with my book, work, or writing; and, sitting under the
shade of a counterpane, and in full view of the river and western shore,
spent in quiet some of the pleasantest mornings I have ever known. I was
now and then reminded of the poor parson, pitied by Mrs. Barbauld:--

                          "Or crossing lines
    Shall mar thy musings, as the wet cold sheet
    Flaps in thy face abrupt;"

and sometimes an unsympathizing laundress would hang up an impenetrable
veil between me and some object on shore that I was eagerly watching;
but these little inconveniences were nothing in the way of
counterbalance to the privilege of retirement. I took no notice of the
summons to luncheon at eleven, and found that dinner, at half past one,
came far too soon. We all thought it our duty to be sociable in the
afternoon, and, therefore, took our seats in the gallery on the other
side of the boat, where we were daily introduced to members of our
society who before were strangers, and spent two or three hours in
conversation or at chess. It was generally very hot, and the
conversation far from lively, consisting chiefly of complaints of the
heat or the glare; of the children or of the dulness of the river;
varied by mutual interrogation about where everybody was going. A remark
here and there was amusing; as when a lady described Canada as the place
where people row boats, and sing, "Row, brothers, row," and all that.
When the heat began to decline, we went to the hurricane deck to watch
the beauty of evening stealing on; and, as no one but ourselves and our
most esteemed acquaintance seemed to care for the wider view we here
obtained, we had the place to ourselves, except that some giddy boys
pursued their romps here, and kept us in a perpetual panic, lest, in
their racing, they should run overboard. There is no guard whatever, and
the leads overhang the water. Mr. E. said he never allowed his boys to
play here, but gave them the choice of playing below or sitting still on
the top.

After tea we came up again on fine evenings; walked for an hour or two,
and watched the glories of the night, till the deck passengers appeared
with their blankets and compelled us to go down.

Nothing surprised me more than to see that very few of the ladies looked
out of the boat unless their attention was particularly called. All the
morning the greater number sat in their own cabin, working collars,
netting purses, or doing nothing; all the evening they amused themselves
in the other cabin dancing or talking. And such scenery as we were
passing! I was in perpetual amazement that, with all that has been said
of the grandeur of this mighty river, so little testimony has been borne
to its beauty.

On the evening of our first day on the Mississippi, Mr. E. told me of
the imminent danger he and his lady had twice been in on board
steamboats. His stories give an idea of the perils people should make up
their minds to on such excursions as ours. On their wedding journey, the
E.'s, accompanied by their relative, Judge H., went down the Alabama
river. One night, when Mr. E. was just concluding the watch I have
described him as keeping, the boat ran foul of another, and parted in
two, beginning instantly to sink. Mr. E. roused his lady from her sleep,
made her thrust her feet into his boots, threw his cloak over her, and
carried her up to the deck, not doubting that, from her being the only
lady on board, she would be the first to be accommodated in the boat.
But the boat had been seized by some gamblers who were wide awake and
ready dressed when the accident happened, and they had got clear of the
steamer. Mr. E. shouted to them to take in the lady, only the lady; he
promised that neither Judge H. nor himself should enter the boat. They
might have come back for every one on board with perfect safety; but he
could not move them. Judge H., meanwhile, had secured a plank, on which
he hoped to seat Mrs. E., while Mr. E. and himself, both good swimmers,
might push it before them to the shore if they could escape the eddy
from the sinking vessel. Mr. E. heard next the voice of an old gentleman
whom he knew, who was in the boat, and trying to persuade the fellows to
turn back. Mr. E. shouted to him to shoot the wretches if they would not
come. The old gentleman took the hint, and held a pistol (which,
however, was not loaded) at the head of the man who was steering; upon
which they turned back and took in, not only Mrs. E., her party, and
their luggage, but everybody else, so that no lives were lost. Mrs. E.
lost nothing but the clothes she had left by her bedside. She was
perfectly quiet and obedient to directions the whole time. The vessel
sank within a quarter of an hour.

A few years after the E.'s went up the Mississippi with their little
girl. Some fine ladies on board wondered at Mrs. E. for shaking hands
with a rude farmer with whom she had some acquaintance, and it appears
probable that the farmer was aware of what passed. When Mr. E. was going
down to bed, near day, he heard a deck passenger say to another, in a
tone of alarm, "I say, John, look here!" "What's the matter?" asked Mr.
E. "Nothing, sir, only the boat's sinking." Mr. E. ran to the spot, and
found the news too true. The vessel had been pierced by a snag, and the
water was rushing in by hogsheads. The boat seemed likely to be at the
bottom in ten minutes. Mr. E. handed the men a pole, and bade them
thrust their bedding into the breach, which they did with much
cleverness, till the carpenter was ready with a better plug. The horrid
words, "the boat's sinking," had, however, been overheard, and the
screams of the ladies were dreadful. The uproar above and below was
excessive; but through it all was heard the voice of the rough farmer,
saying, "Where's E.'s girl? I shall save her first." The boat was run
safely ashore, and the fright was the greatest damage sustained.

We passed Baton Rouge, on the east Louisiana bank, on the afternoon of
this day. It stands on the first eminence we had seen on these shores,
and the barracks have a handsome appearance from the water. A
summer-house, perched on a rising ground, was full of people, amusing
themselves with smoking and looking abroad upon the river; and, truly,
they had an enviable station. A few miles farther on we went ashore at
the wooding-place, and I had my first walk in the untrodden forest. The
height of the trees seemed incredible as we stood at their foot and
looked up. It made us feel suddenly dwarfed. We stood in a crowd of
locust and cottonwood trees, elm, maple, and live oak; and they were all
bound together by an inextricable tangle of creepers, which seemed to
forbid our penetrating many paces into the forest beyond where the
woodcutters had intruded. I had a great horror of going too far, and was
not sorry to find it impossible; it would be so easy for the boat to
leave two or three passengers behind without finding it out, and no fate
could be conceived more desolate. I looked into the woodcutters'
dwelling, and hardly knew what to think of the hardihood of any one who
could embrace such a mode of life for a single week on any
consideration. Amid the desolation and abominable dirt, I observed a
moscheto bar--a muslin curtain--suspended over the crib. Without this,
the dweller in the wood would be stung almost to madness or death before
morning. This curtain was nearly of a saffron colour; the floor of the
hut was of damp earth, and the place so small that the wonder was how
two men could live in it. There was a rude enclosure round it to keep
off intruders, but the space was grown over with the rankest grass and
yellow weeds. The ground was swampy all about, up to the wall of
untouched forest which rendered this spot inaccessible except from the
river. The beautiful squills-flower grew plentifully, the only relief to
the eye from the vastness and rankness. Piles of wood were built up on
the brink of the river, and were now rapidly disappearing under the
activity of our deck-passengers, who were passing in two lines to and
from the vessel. The bell from the boat tinkled through the wilderness
like a foreign sound. We hastened on board, and I watched the
woodcutters with deep pity as they gazed after us for a minute or two,
and then turned into their forlorn abode.

We were in hopes of passing the junction of the Red River with the
Mississippi before dark, but found that we were not to see the Red River
at all; a channel having been partly found and partly made between an
island and the eastern shore, which saves a circuit of many miles. In
this narrow channel the current ran strong against us; and as we
laboured through it in the evening light, we had opportunity to observe
every green meadow, every solitary dwelling which presented itself in
the intervals of the forest. We grew more and more silent as the shades
fell, till we emerged from the dark channel into the great expanse of
the main river, glittering in the moonlight. It was like putting out to
sea.

Just before bedtime we stopped at Sarah Bayou to take in still more
passengers. The steward complained that he was coming to an end of his
mattresses, and that there was very little more room for gentlemen to
lie down, as they were already ranged along the tables, as well as all
over the floor. So much for the reputation of the "Henry Clay."

The next morning, the 8th, I was up in time to see the scramble for milk
that was going on at the wooding-place. The moment we drew to the land
and the plank was put out, the steward leaped on shore, and ran to the
woodcutters' dwelling, pitcher in hand. The servants of the gentry on
board followed, hoping to get milk for breakfast; but none succeeded
except the servant of an exclusive. This family had better have been
without milk to their coffee than have been tempted by it to such bad
manners as they displayed at the breakfast-table. Two young ladies who
had come on board the night before, who suspected nothing of private
luxuries at a public table, and were not aware of the scarcity of milk,
asked a waiter to hand them a pitcher which happened to belong to the
exclusives. The exclusives' servant was instantly sent round to take it
from them, and not a word of explanation was offered.

The woodcutters' dwelling before us was very different from the one we
had seen the night before. It was a good-sized dwelling, with a
cottonwood tree before it, casting a flickering shadow upon the porch,
and behind it was a well-cleared field. The children were decently
dressed, and several slaves peeped out from the places where they were
pursuing their avocations. A passenger brought me a beautiful bunch of
dwarf-roses which he had gathered over the garden paling. The piles of
wood prepared for the steamboats were enormous, betokening that there
were many stout arms in the household.

This morning we seemed to be lost among islands in a waste of waters.
The vastness of the river now began to bear upon our imaginations. The
flatboats we met looked as if they were at the mercy of the floods,
their long oars bending like straws in the current. They are so
picturesque, however, and there is something so fanciful in the canopy
of green boughs under which the floating voyagers repose during the heat
of the day, that some of us proposed building a flatboat on the Ohio,
and floating down to New-Orleans at our leisure.

Adams Fort, in the state of Mississippi, afforded the most beautiful
view we had yet seen on the river. The swelling hills, dropped with
wood, closed in a reach of the waters, and gave them the appearance of a
lake. White houses nestled in the clumps; goats, black and white,
browsed on the points of the many hills; and a perfect harmony of
colouring dissolved the whole into something like a dream. This last
charm is as striking to us as any in the vast wilderness through which
the "Father of Waters" takes his way. Even the turbid floods, varying
their hues with the changes of light and shadow, are a fit element of
the picture, and no one wishes them other than they are.

In the afternoon we ran over a log; the vessel trembled to her centre;
the ladies raised their heads from their work; the gentlemen looked
overboard; and I saw our yawl snagged as she was careering at the stern.
The sharp end of the log pricked through her bottom as if she had been
made of brown paper. She was dragged after us, full of water, till we
stopped at the evening wooding-place, when I ran to the hurricane deck
to see her pulled up on shore and mended. There I found the wind so high
that it appeared to me equally impossible to keep my seat and to get
down; my feather-fan blew away, and I expected to follow it myself--so
strangling was the gust--one of the puffs which take the voyager by
surprise amid the windings of this forest-banked river. The yawl was
patched up in a surprisingly short time. The deck passengers clustered
round to lend a hand, and the blows of the mallet resounded fitfully
along the shore as the gust came and passed over.

Every one wished to reach and leave Natchez before dark, and this was
accomplished. As soon as we came in sight of the bluff on which the
city is built, we received a hint from the steward to lock our
staterooms and leave nothing about, as there was no preventing the
townspeople from coming on board. We went on shore. No place can be more
beautifully situated; on a bend of the Mississippi, with a low platform
on which all the ugly traffic of the place can be transacted; bluffs on
each side; a steep road up to the town; and a noble prospect from
thence. The streets are sloping, and the drains are remarkably well
built; but the place is far from healthy, being subject to the yellow
fever. It is one of the oldest of the southern cities, though with a
new, that is, a perpetually-shifting population. It has handsome
buildings, especially the Agricultural Bank, the Courthouse, and two or
three private dwellings. Main-street commands a fine view from the
ascent, and is lined with Pride-of-India trees. I believe the
landing-place at Natchez has not improved its reputation since the
descriptions which have been given of it by former travellers. When we
returned to the boat after an hour's walk, we found the captain very
anxious to clear his vessel of the townspeople and get away. The cabin
was half full of the intruders, and the heated, wearied appearance of
our company at tea bore testimony to the fatigues of the afternoon.

In the evening only one firefly was visible; the moon was misty, and
faint lightning flashed incessantly. Before morning the weather was so
cold that we shut our windows, and the next day there was a fire in the
ladies' cabin. Such are the changes of temperature in this region.

The quantity of driftwood that we encountered above Natchez was amazing.
Some of it was whirling slowly down with the current, but much more was
entangled in the bays of the islands, and detained in incessant
accumulation. It can scarcely be any longer necessary to explain that it
is a mistake to suppose this driftwood to be the foundation of the
islands of the Mississippi. Having itself no foundation, it could not
serve any such purpose. The islands are formed by deposites of soil
brought down from above by the strong force of the waters. The
accumulation proceeds till it reaches the surface, when the seeds
contained in the soil, or borne to it by the winds, sprout, and bind the
soft earth by a network of roots, thus providing a basis for a stronger
vegetation every year. It is no wonder that superficial observers have
fallen into this error respecting the origin of the new lands of the
Mississippi, the rafts of driftwood look so like incipient islands; and
when one is fixed in a picturesque situation, the gazer longs to heap
earth upon it, and clothe it with shrubbery.

When we came in sight of Vicksburg the little H.'s made a clamour for
some new toys. Their mother told them how very silly they were; what a
waste of money it would be to buy such toys as they would get at
Vicksburg; that they would suck the paint, &c. Strange to say, none of
these considerations availed anything. Somebody had told the children
that toys were to be bought at Vicksburg, and all argument was to them
worth less than the fact. The contention went on till the boat stopped,
when the mother yielded, with the worst possible grace, and sent a slave
nurse on shore to buy toys. An hour after we were again on our way, the
lady showed me, in the presence of the children, the wrecks of the toys;
horses' legs, dogs' heads, the broken body of a wagon, &c., all, whether
green, scarlet, or yellow, sucked into an abominable daub. She
complained bitterly of the children for their folly, and particularly
for their waste of her money, as if the money were not her concern, and
the fun theirs!

We walked through three or four streets of Vicksburg, but the captain
could not allow us time to mount the hill. It is a raw-looking,
straggling place, on the side of a steep ascent, the steeple of the
Courthouse magnificently overlooking a huge expanse of wood and a deep
bend of the river. It was three months after this time that the
tremendous Vicksburg massacre took place; a deed at which the whole
country shuddered, and much of the world beyond. In these disorders
upward of twenty persons were executed, without trial by jury or
pretence of justice. Some of the sufferers were gamblers, and men of bad
character otherwise; some were wholly innocent of any offence whatever;
and I believe it is now generally admitted that the plot for rousing the
slaves to insurrection, which was the pretext for the whole proceeding,
never had any real existence. It was the product of that peculiar
faculty of imagination which is now monopolized by the slaveholder, as
of old by imperial tyrants. Among the sufferers in this disturbance was
a young farmer of Ohio, I think, who was proceeding to New-Orleans on
business, and was merely resting on the eastern bank of the river on his
way. I have seldom seen anything more touching than his brief letter to
his parents, informing them that he was to be executed the next morning.
Nothing could be quieter in its tone than this letter; and in it he
desired that his family would not grieve too much for his sudden death,
for he did not know that he could ever feel more ready for the event
than then. His old father wrote an affecting appeal to the Governor of
Mississippi, desiring, not vengeance, for that could be of no avail to a
bereaved parent, but investigation, for the sake of his son's memory and
the future security of innocent citizens. The governor did not recognise
the appeal. The excuse made for him was that he could not; that if the
citizens of the state preferred Lynch law to regular justice, the
governor could do nothing against the will of the majority. The effect
of barbarism like this is not to justify the imputation of its excesses
to the country at large, but to doom the region in which it prevails to
be peopled by barbarians. The lovers of justice and order will avoid the
places where they are set at naught.

Every day reminded us of the superiority of our vessel, for we passed
every boat going the same way, and saw some so delayed by accidents that
we wondered what was to become of the passengers; at least, of their
patience. A disabled boat was seen on the morning of this day, the 9th,
crowded with Kentuckians, some of whom tried to win their way on board
the "Henry Clay" by witticisms; but our captain was inexorable,
declaring that we could hold no more. Then we passed the Ohio steamboat,
which left New-Orleans three days before us, but was making her way very
slowly, with cholera on board.

The 10th was Sunday. The children roared as usual; but the black damsels
were dressed; there was no laundry-work going on, nor fancy-work in the
cabin; and there was something of a Sunday look about the place. As I
was sitting by my stateroom window, sometimes reading and sometimes
looking out upon the sunny river, green woods, and flatboats that keep
no Sabbath, a black servant entered to say that Mr. E. desired me "to
come to the preachin'." I thought it unlikely that Mr. E. should be
concerned in the affair, and knew too well what the service was likely
to be in such a company, and conducted by such a clergyman as was to
officiate, to wish to attend. I found afterward that the service had
been held against the wishes of the captain, Mr. E., and many others;
and that it had better, on all accounts, have been omitted. Some
conversation which the young clergyman had thrust upon me had exhibited
not only his extreme ignorance of the religious feelings and convictions
of Christians who differed from him, but no little bitterness of
contempt towards them; and he was, therefore, the last person to conduct
the worship of a large company whose opinions and sentiments were almost
as various as their faces. This reminds me that an old lady on board
asked an acquaintance of mine what my religion was. On being told that I
was a Unitarian, she exclaimed, "She had better have done with that; she
won't find it go down with us." It never occurred to me before to
determine my religion by what would please people on the Mississippi.

Before breakfast one morning, when I was walking on the hurricane deck,
I was joined by a young man who had been educated at West Point, and who
struck me as being a fair and creditable specimen of American youth. He
told me that he was very poor, and described his difficulties from being
disappointed of the promotion he had expected on leaving West Point. He
was now turning to the law; and he related by what expedients he meant
to obtain the advantage of two years' study of law before settling in
Maine. His land-travelling was done on foot, and there was no pretension
to more than his resources could command. His manners were not so good
as those of American youths generally, and he was not, at first, very
fluent, but expressed himself rather in schoolboy phrase. His
conversation was, however, of a host of metaphysicians as well as
lawyers; and I thought he would never have tired of analyzing Bentham,
from whom he passed on, like every one who talks in America about books
or authors, to Bulwer, dissecting his philosophy and politics very
acutely. He gave me clear and sensible accounts of the various operation
of more than one of the United States institutions, and furnished me
with some very acceptable information. After our walk and conversation
had lasted an hour and a half, we were summoned to breakfast, and I
thought we had earned it.

During the morning I heard a friend of mine, in an earnest but amused
tone, deprecating a compliment from two slave women who were trying to
look most persuasive. They were imploring her to cut out a gown for each
of them like the one she wore. They were so enormously fat and
slovenly, and the lady's dress fitted so neatly, as to make the idea of
the pattern being transferred to them most ludicrous. As long as we were
on board, however, I believe they never doubted my friend's power of
making them look like herself if she only would; and they continued to
cast longing glances on the gown.

On the 11th we overtook another disabled steamboat, which had been lying
forty-eight hours with both her cylinders burst; unable, of course, to
move a yard. We towed her about two miles to a settlement, and the
captain agreed to take on board two young ladies who were anxious to
proceed, and a few deck-passengers.

The scenery was by this time very wild. These hundreds of miles of level
woods, and turbid, rushing waters, and desert islands, are oppressive to
the imagination. Very few dwellings were visible. We went ashore in the
afternoon, just for the sake of having been in Arkansas. We could
penetrate only a little way through the young cottonwood and the tangled
forest, and we saw nothing.

In the evening we touched at Helena, and more passengers got on board,
in defiance of the captain's shouts of refusal. He declared that the
deck was giving way under the crowd, and that he would not go near the
shore again, but anchor in the middle of the river, and send his boats
for provisions.

While I was reading on the morning of the 12th, the report of a rifle
from the lower deck summoned me to look out. There were frequent
rifle-shots, and they always betokened our being near shore; generally
under the bank, where the eye of the sportsman was in the way of
temptation from some object in the forest. We were close under the
eastern bank, whence we could peep through the massy beech-trunks into
the dark recesses of the woods. For two days our eyes had rested on
scenery of this kind; now it was about to change. We were approaching
the fine Chickasaw bluffs, below Memphis, in the State of Tennessee. The
captain expressed a wish that none of the passengers would go on shore
at Memphis, where the cholera was raging. He intended to stay only a few
minutes for bread and vegetables, and would not admit a single passenger
on any consideration. We did not dream of disregarding his wishes, if,
indeed, the heat had left us any desire to exert ourselves; but Mr. B.
was so anxious that his lady should mount the bluff, that she yielded
to his request; though, stout and elderly as she was, the ascent would
have been a serious undertaking on a cool afternoon and with plenty of
time. The entire company of passengers was assembled to watch the
objects on shore; the cotton bales piled on the top of the bluff; the
gentleman on horseback on the ridge, who was eying us in return; the old
steamer, fitted up as a store, and moored by the bank, for the chance of
traffic with voyagers; and, above all, the slaves, ascending and
descending the steep path, with trays of provisions on their heads, the
new bread and fresh vegetables with which we were to be cheered. Of
course, all eyes were fixed upon Mr. and Mrs. B. as they attempted the
ascent. The husband lent his best assistance, and dragged his poor lady
about one third of the way up, when she suddenly found that she could
not go a step forward or back; she stuck, in a most finished attitude of
panic, with her face to the cliff and her back to us, her husband
holding her up by one arm, and utterly at a loss what to do next. I hope
they did not hear the shout of laughter which went up from our vessel. A
stout boatman ran to their assistance, and enabled the lady to turn
round, after which she came down without accident. She won everybody's
esteem by her perfect good-humour on the occasion. Heated and flurried
as she was, she was perfectly contented with having tried to oblige her
husband. This was her object, and she gained it; and more, more than she
was aware of, unless, indeed, she found that her fellow-passengers were
more eager to give her pleasure after this adventure than before.

The town of Memphis looked bare and hot; and the bluffs, though a relief
from the level vastness on which we had been gazing for two days, are
not so beautiful as the eminences four or five hundred miles below.

The air was damp and close this night; the moon dim, the lightning blue,
and glaring incessantly, and the woodashes from the chimneys very
annoying. It was not weather for the deck; and, seeing that Mr. E. and
two other gentlemen wanted to make up a rubber, I joined them. In our
well-lighted cabin the lightning seemed to pour in in streams, and the
thunder soon began to crack overhead. Mrs. H. came to us, and rebuked us
for playing cards while it thundered, which she thought very
blasphemous. When our rubber was over, and I retired to the ladies'
cabin, I found that the lady had been doing something which had at
least as much levity in it. After undressing, she had put on her
life-preserver, and floundered on the floor to show how she should swim
if the boat sank. Her slaves had got under the table to laugh. They
little thought how near we might come to swimming for our lives before
morning. I believe it was about three hours after midnight when I was
awakened by a tremendous and unaccountable noise overhead. It was most
like ploughing through a forest, and crashing all the trees down. The
lady who shared my stateroom was up, pale and frightened, and lights
were moving in the ladies' cabin. I did not choose to cause alarm by
inquiry; but the motion of the boat was so strange, that I thought it
must waken every one on board. The commotion lasted, I should think,
about twenty minutes, when I suppose it subsided, for I fell asleep. In
the morning I was shown the remains of hailstones, which must have been
of an enormous size, to judge by what was left of them at the end of
three hours. Mr. E. told me that we had been in the utmost danger for
above a quarter of an hour, from one of the irresistible squalls to
which this navigation is liable. Both the pilots had been blown away
from the helm, and were obliged to leave the vessel to its fate. It was
impossible to preserve a footing for an instant on the top; and the poor
passengers who lay there had attempted to come down, bruised with the
tremendous hail (which caused the noise we could not account for), and
seeing, with the pilot, no other probability than that the hurricane
deck would be blown completely away; but there was actually no standing
room for these men, and they had to remain above and take their chance.
The vessel drove madly from side to side of the dangerous channel, and
the pilots expected every moment that she would founder. I find that we
usually made much more way by night than by day, the balance of the boat
being kept even while the passengers are equally dispersed and quiet,
instead of running from side to side, or crowding the one gallery and
deserting the other.

I was on the lookout for alligators all the way up the river, but could
never see one. A deck passenger declared that a small specimen slipped
off a log into the water one day when nobody else was looking; but his
companions supposed he might be mistaken, as alligators are now rarely
seen in this region. Terrapins were very numerous, sometimes sunning
themselves on floating logs, and sometimes swimming, with only their
pert little heads visible above water. Wood-pigeons might be seen
flitting in the forest when we were so close under the banks as to pry
into the shades, and the beautiful blue jay often gleamed before our
eyes. No object was more striking than the canoes which we frequently
saw, looking fearfully light and frail amid the strong current. The
rower used a spoon-shaped paddle, and advanced with amazing swiftness;
sometimes crossing before our bows, sometimes darting along under the
bank, sometimes shooting across a track of moonlight. Very often there
was only one person in the canoe, as in the instance I have elsewhere
mentioned[1] of a woman who was supposed to be going on a visit twenty
or thirty miles up the stream. I could hardly have conceived of a
solitude so intense as this appeared to me, the being alone on that
rushing sea of waters, shut in by untrodden forests; the slow fishhawk
wheeling overhead, and perilous masses of driftwood whirling down the
current; trunks obviously uprooted by the forces of nature, and not laid
low by the hand of man. What a spectacle must our boat, with its gay
crowds, have appeared to such a solitary! what a revelation that there
was a busy world still stirring somewhere; a fact which, I think, I
should soon discredit if I lived in the depths of this wilderness, for
life would become tolerable there only by the spirit growing into
harmony with the scene, wild and solemn as the objects around it.

[Footnote 1: Society in America, vol. ii., p. 101.]

The morning after the storm the landscape looked its wildest. The clouds
were drifting away, and a sungleam came out as I was peeping into the
forest at the wooding-place. The vines look beautiful on the black
trunks of the trees after rain. Scarcely a habitation was to be seen,
and it was like being set back to the days of creation, we passed so
many islands in every stage of growth. I spent part of the morning with
the L.'s, and we were more than once alarmed by a fearful scream,
followed by a trampling and scuffling in the neighbouring gallery. It
was only some young ladies, with their work and guitar, who were in a
state of terror because some green boughs _would_ sweep over when we
were close under the bank. They could not be reassured by the gentlemen
who waited upon them, nor would they change their seats; so that we
were treated with a long series of screams, till the winding of the
channel carried us across to the opposite bank.

In the afternoon we came in sight of New Madrid, in the State of
Missouri; a scattered small place, on a green tableland. We sighed to
think how soon our wonderful voyage would be over, and at every
settlement we reached repined at being there so soon. While others went
on shore, I remained on board to see how they looked, dispersed in the
woods, grouped round the woodpiles, and seated on logs. The clergyman
urged my going, saying, "It's quite a retreat to go on shore." This
gentleman is vice-president of an educational establishment for young
ladies, where there are public exhibitions of their proficiency, and the
poor ignorant little girls take degrees. Their heads must be so stuffed
with vainglory that there can be little room for anything else.

There were threatenings of another night of storm. The vessel seemed to
labour much, and the weather was gusty, with incessant lightnings. The
pilots said that they were never in such danger on the river as for
twenty minutes of the preceding night. The captain was, however, very
thankful for a few hours of cold weather; for his boat was so
overcrowded as to make him dread, above all things, the appearance of
disease on board. Some of us went to bed early this night, expecting to
be called up to see the junction of the Ohio with the Mississippi by
such light as there might be two hours after midnight. Mr. E. promised
to have me called, and on the faith of this I went to sleep at the usual
time. I had impressed him with my earnest desire not to miss this sight,
as I had seen no junction of large rivers, except that of the Tombigbee
with the Alabama. Mrs. B. would not trust to being called, but sat up,
telling her husband that it was now his turn to gratify her, and he must
come for her in good time to see the spectacle. Both she and I were
disappointed, however. When I awoke it was five o'clock, and we were
some miles into the Ohio. Mr. E. had fallen asleep, and awaked just a
minute too late to make it of any use to rouse me. Mr. B. had put his
head into his wife's room to tell her that the cabin floor was so
completely covered with sleepers that she could not possibly make her
way to the deck, and he shut the door before she could open her lips to
reply. Her lamentations were sad. "The three great rivers meeting and
all; and the little place on the point called Trinity and all; and I
having sat up for it and all! It is a bad thing on some accounts to be
married. If I had been a single woman, I could have managed it all for
myself, I know."

However, junctions became frequent now, and we saw two small ones in the
morning, to make up for having missed the large one in the night. When I
went up on deck I found the sun shining on the full Ohio, which was now
as turbid as the Mississippi, from the recent storms. The stream stood
in among the trees on either bank to a great depth and extent, it was so
swollen. The most enormous willows I ever saw overhung our deck, and the
beechen shades beyond, where the turf and unencumbered stems were
dressed in translucent green, seemed like a palace of the Dryads. How
some of us fixed our eyes on the shores of free Illinois! After nearly
five months of sojourn in slaveland, we were now in sight of a free
state once more. I saw a settler in a wild spot, looking very lonely
among the tall trees; but I felt that I would rather be that man than
the wealthiest citizen of the opposite state, who was satisfied to dwell
there among his slaves.

At eleven o'clock on this the ninth and last day of our voyage we passed
Paducah, in Kentucky, a small neat settlement on the point of junction
of the Tennessee and Ohio. Preparations were going on before our eyes
for our leaving the boat; our luggage and that of the L.'s, who joined
company with us, was brought out; cold beef and negus were provided for
us in the ladies' cabin, the final sayings were being said, and we paid
our fare, fifty dollars each, for our voyage of twelve hundred miles.
Smithland, at the mouth of the Cumberland river, soon appeared; and, as
we wished to ascend to Nashville without delay, we were glad to see a
small steamboat in waiting. We stepped on shore, and stood there, in
spite of a shower, for some time, watching the "Henry Clay" ploughing up
the river, and waving our handkerchiefs in answer to signals of farewell
from several of the multitude who were clustered in every part of the
noble vessel.

If there be excess of mental luxury in this life, it is surely in a
voyage up the Mississippi, in the bright and leafy month of May.



COMPROMISE.


    "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."

                                                     --_Hosea_ viii., 7.


The greatest advantage of long life, at least to those who know how and
wherefore to live, is the opportunity which it gives of seeing moral
experiments worked out, of being present at the fructification of social
causes, and of thus gaining a kind of wisdom which in ordinary cases
seems reserved for a future life. An equivalent for this advantage is
possessed by such as live in those critical periods of society when
retribution is hastened, or displayed in clear connexion with the origin
of its events. The present seems to be such an age. It is an age in
which the societies of the whole world are daily learning the
consequences of what their fathers did, the connexion of cause and
effect being too palpable to be disputed; it is an age when the active
men of the New World are beholding the results of their own early
counsels and deeds. It seems, indeed, as if the march of events were
everywhere accelerated for a time, so as to furnish some who are not
aged with a few complete pieces of experience. Some dispensation--like
the political condition of France, for instance--will still be centuries
in the working out; but in other cases--the influence of eminent men,
for example--results seem to follow more closely than in the slower and
quieter past ages of the world. It is known to all how in England, and
also in America, the men of the greatest intellectual force have sunk
from a higher to a far lower degree of influence from the want of high
morals. It seems as if no degree of talent and vigour can long avail to
keep a man eminent in either politics or literature, unless his morals
are also above the average. Selfish vanity, double-dealing, supreme
regard to expediency, are as fatal to the most gifted men in these days,
and almost as speedily fatal, as intellectual capacity to a pretender.
Men of far inferior knowledge and power rise over their heads in the
strength of honesty; and by dint of honesty (positive or comparitive)
retain the supremacy, even through a display of intellectual weakness
and error of which the fallen make their sport. This is a cheering sign
of the times, indicating that the days are past when men were possessed
by their leaders, and that the time is coming when power will be less
unfairly distributed, and held on a better tenure than it has been. It
indicates that traitors and oppressors will not, in future, be permitted
to work their will and compass their purposes at the expense of others,
till guilty will and purpose are prostrated on the threshold of
eternity. It indicates that that glorious and beautiful spectacle of
judgment may be beheld in this world which religious men have referred
to another, when the lowly shall be exalted; when, unconscious of their
dignity, they shall, with amazement, hear themselves greeted as the
blessed of the Father, and see themselves appointed to a moral
sovereignty in comparison with whose splendour

                              "Grows dim and dies
    All that this world is proud of. From their spheres
    The stars of human glory are cast down;
    Perish the roses and the flowers of kings,
    Princes, and emperors, and the crowns and palms
    Of all the mighty, withered and consumed."

However long it may be before the last shred of tinsel may be cast into
the fire, and the last chaff of false pretence winnowed away, the
revolution is good and secure as far as it goes. Moral power has begun
its long series of conquests over physical force and selfish cunning,
and the diviner part of man is a guarantee that not one inch of the
ground gained shall ever be lost. For our encouragement, we are
presented with a more condensed evidence of retribution than has
hitherto been afforded to the world. Moral causes seem to be quickened
as well as strengthened in their operation by the new and more earnest
heed which is given to them.

In the New World, however long some moral causes may be in exhibiting
their results, there have been certain deeds done which have produced
their consequences with extraordinary rapidity and an indisputable
clearness. May all men open their eyes to see them, and their hearts to
understand them!

The people of the United States were never under a greater temptation to
follow temporary expediency in preference to everlasting principle than
in the case of the admission of Missouri, with slave institutions, into
the Union. To this temptation they yielded, by a small majority of their
representatives. The final decision rested, as it happened, in the hands
of one man, Mr. Clay; but it is to the shame of the North (which had
abolished slavery) that it did so happen. The decision was made to
prefer custom and expediency to principle; it was hoped that, if the
wind were once got under confinement, something would prevent its
bursting forth as the whirlwind.

The plea of slaveholders, and a plausible one up to the year 1820, was
that slavery was not an institution of their choice or for which they
were answerable: it was an inherited institution. Since the year 1820
this plea has become hypocrisy; for in that year a deliberate vote was
passed by Congress to perpetuate slavery in the Union by admitting a new
state whose institutions had this basis. The new states northwest of the
Ohio were prohibited from introducing slavery by the very act of cession
of the land; and nothing could have been easier than to procure the
exclusion of slavery from Missouri by simply refusing to admit any new
state whose distinguishing institution was one incompatible in principle
with the principles on which the American Constitution was founded.
Missouri would undoubtedly have surrendered slavery, been admitted, and
virtuously flourished, like her neighbour Illinois. But there was
division of opinion; and, because the political device of the Union
seemed in danger, the eternal principles of justice were set aside, and
protection was deliberately pledged to slavery, not only in Missouri,
but, as a consequence, in Arkansas and Florida. The Constitution and
Declaration of Rights of Missouri, therefore, exhibit the following
singular mixture of declarations and provisions. It will be seen
afterward how they are observed.

"The general assembly shall not have power to pass laws,

"1. For the emancipation of slaves without the consent of the owners; or
without paying them, before such emancipation, a full equivalent for
such slaves so emancipated; and,

"2. To prevent _bonâ fide_ emigrants to this state, or actual settlers
therein, from bringing from any of the United States, or from any of
their territories, such persons as may there be deemed to be slaves, so
long as any persons of the same description are allowed to be held as
slaves by the laws of this state.

"It shall be their duty, as soon as may be, to pass such laws as may be
necessary,

"1. To prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to and settling in
this state, under any pretext whatsoever."

"Schools and the means of education shall for ever be encouraged in this
state.

"That the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

"That the accused cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but
by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.

"That cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted.

"That the free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the
invaluable rights of man, and that every person may freely speak, write,
and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that
liberty."

The consequences of the compromise began to show themselves first in the
difference between the character of the population in Missouri and
Illinois, the latter of which is two years older than the former. They
lie opposite each other on the Mississippi, and both are rich in
advantages of soil, climate, and natural productions. They showed,
however, social differences from the very beginning of their independent
career, which are becoming more striking every day. Rapacious
adventurers, who know that the utmost profit of slaves is made by
working them hard on a virgin soil, began flocking to Missouri, while
settlers who preferred smaller gains to holding slaves sat down in
Illinois. When it was found, as it soon was, that slavery does not
answer so well in the farming parts of Missouri as on the new
plantations of the South, a farther difference took place. New settlers
perceived that, in point of immediate interest merely, the fine lands of
Missouri were less worth having, with the curse of slavery upon them,
than those of Illinois without it. In vain has the price of land been
lowered in Missouri as that in Illinois rose. Settlers go first and look
at the cheaper land; some remain upon it; but many recross the river and
settle in the rival state. This enrages the people of Missouri. Their
soreness and jealousy, combined with other influences of slavery, so
exasperate their prejudices against the people of colour as to give a
perfectly diabolical character to their hatred of negroes and the
friends of negroes. That such is the temper of those who conduct popular
action in the state is shown by some events which happened in the year
1836. In the very bottom of the souls of the American statesmen who
admitted Missouri on unrighteous terms, these events must kindle a
burning comparison between what the social condition of the frontier
states of their honourable Union is and what it might have been.

A man of colour in St. Louis was arrested for some offence, and rescued
by a free man of his own colour, a citizen of Pennsylvania, named
Mackintosh, who was steward on board a steamboat then at St. Louis.
Mackintosh was conveyed to jail for rescuing his comrade, whose side of
the question we have no means of knowing. Mackintosh appears to have
been a violent man, or, at least, to have been in a state of desperation
at the time that he was on his way to jail, guarded by two
peace-officers. He drew a knife from his side (almost every man on the
western frontier being accustomed to carry arms), killed one of the
officers, and wounded the other. He was immediately lodged in the
prison. The wife and children of the murdered officer bewailed him in
the street, and excited the rage of the people against Mackintosh. Some
of the citizens acknowledged to me that his colour was the provocation
which aggravated their rage so far beyond what it had ever been in
somewhat similar cases of personal violence, and that no one would have
dreamed of treating any white man as this mulatto was treated. The
citizens assembled round the jail in the afternoon, demanding the
prisoner, and the jailer delivered him up. He was led into the woods on
the outskirts of the city; and, when there, they did not know what to do
with him. While deliberating they tied him to a tree. This seemed to
suggest the act which followed. A voice cried out, "Burn him!" Many
tongues echoed the cry. Brushwood was rooted up, and a heap of green
wood piled about the man. Who furnished the fire does not seem to be
known. Between two and three thousand of the citizens of St. Louis were
present. Two gentlemen of the place assured me that the deed was done by
the hands of not more than six; but they could give no account of the
reasons why the two or three thousand stood by in silence to behold the
act of the six, further than that they were afraid to interfere!

The victim appears to have made no resistance nor entreaty. He was, some
say twenty minutes, some say half an hour, in dying; during the whole of
which time he was praying or singing hymns in a firm voice. This fact
was the ground of an accusation made by magistrates of his being
"connected with the abolitionists." When his legs were consumed so that
his body dropped into the fire, and he was no longer seen, a bystander
observed to another, "There! it is over with him: he does not feel any
more now." "Yes, I do," observed the man's quiet voice from out of the
flames.

I saw the first notice which was given of this in the St. Louis
newspapers. The paragraph briefly related that a ruffian of colour had
murdered a citizen, had been demanded by the indignant fellow-citizens
of the murdered man, and burned in the neighbourhood of the city; that
this unjustifiable act was to be regretted, but that it was hoped that
the veil of oblivion would be drawn over the deed. Some of the most
respectable of the citizens were in despair when they found that the
newspapers of the Union generally were disposed to grant the last
request; and it is plain that, on the spot, no one dared to speak out
about the act. The charge of Judge Lawless (his real name) to the grand
jury is a sufficient commentary upon the state of St. Louis society. He
told the jury that a bad and lamentable deed had been committed in
burning a man alive without trial, but that it was quite another
question whether they were to take any notice of it. If it should be
proved to be the act of the few, every one of those few ought
undoubtedly to be indicted and punished; but if it should be proved to
be the act of the many, incited by that electric and metaphysical
influence which occasionally carries on a multitude to do deeds above
and beyond the law, it was no affair for a jury to interfere in. He
spoke of Mackintosh as connected with the body of abolitionists. Of
course, the affair was found to be electric and metaphysical, and all
proceedings were dropped.

All proceedings in favour of law and order; others of an opposite
character were vigorously instituted by magistrates, in defiance of some
of those clauses of the constitution which I have quoted above. The
magistrates of St. Louis prosecuted a domiciliary inquisition into the
periodical publications of the city, visiting the newspaper offices,
prying and threatening, and offering rewards for the discovery of any
probability that the institution of slavery would be spoken against in
print. In the face of the law, the press was rigidly controlled.

Information was given, while the city was in this excited state, of
every indication of favour to the coloured people, and of disapprobation
of slavery; and the savages of St. Louis were on the alert to inflict
vengeance. In Marion College, Palmyra (Missouri), two students were
undoubtedly guilty of teaching two coloured boys to read. These boys
were carried by them to the college for service, the one being employed
on the farm, and the other in the college, to clean shoes and wait on
the young men. One afternoon a large number of citizens from St. Louis,
well mounted, appeared on the Palmyra road, and they made no secret of
their intention to Lynch the two students who taught their servants to
read. The venerable Dr. Nelson, who was, I believe, at the head of the
institution, came out of his house to implore the mob with tears not to
proceed, and the ladies of his family threw themselves down in the road
in the way of the horses. The way was forcibly cleared, and the
persecutors proceeded. The young men came forth as soon as summoned.
They were conducted to the edge of the forest where it opens upon a
prairie. There a circle was formed, and they were told that they stood
in a Lynch court.

The younger one was first set in the midst. He acknowledged the act with
which he was charged. He was offered the alternative of receiving twenty
lashes with the horrid cowhide (which was shown him), or of immediately
leaving the state for ever. He engaged to leave the state for ever, and
was set across the river into Illinois.

The elder student made his trial a longer one. He acknowledged the act
of teaching his servant to read, and made himself heard while he
defended it. He pleaded that he was a citizen of Missouri, being of age,
and having exercised the suffrage at the last election. He demanded a
fair trial in a court of law, and pledged himself to meet any accusation
there. At last it came to their binding him to a tree, and offering him
the choice of two hundred lashes with the cowhide, or of promising to
leave the state, and never to return to it. He knew that a sentence of
two hundred lashes meant death by torture (it is so understood in Lynch
courts), and he knew that a promise thus extorted was not binding; so he
promised. He was also set across the river, where he immediately
published a narrative of the whole transaction, and declared his
intention of returning to his state, to resume the duties and privileges
of citizenship, as soon as he could be personally safe.

The St. Louis Lynchers next ordered the heads of Marion College to hold
a public meeting, and declare their convictions and feelings on the
subject of slavery. They were obeyed, and they put pretty close
questions to the professors, especially to Dr. Ely, who was a suspected
man.

Dr. Ely came from one of the Eastern states, and was considered by the
abolitionists of his own religious persuasion to be one of their body.
Some time after he went into Missouri, it appeared incidentally in some
newspaper communications that he had bought a slave. His friends at the
East resented the imputation, and were earnest in his vindication; but
were presently stopped and thrown into amazement by his coming out with
an acknowledgment and defence of the act. He thought that the way in
which he could do most good was by purchasing negroes for purposes of
enlightenment. So he bought his man Abraham, designing to enlighten him
for nine years, and then set him free, employing the proceeds of his
nine years' labour in purchasing two other slaves, to be enlightened and
robbed in the same manner, for the purpose of purchasing four more at
the expiration of another series of years, and so on. It seems
astonishing that a clergyman should thus deliberately propose to confer
his charities through the medium of the grossest injustice: but so it
was. When, at the enforced meeting, he was questioned by the Lynchers as
to his principles, he declared himself opposed to the unchristian
fanaticism of abolitionism; spurned the imputation of being one of the
body, and, in proof of his sincerity, declared himself to be the master
of one slave, and to be already contracting for more.

The Lynchers returned to St. Louis without having committed murder. They
had triumphantly broken the laws, and trodden under foot their
constitution of sixteen years old. If it could be made known at what
expense they were saved from bloodshed; if it could be revealed what
violence they offered to conscience, what feelings they lacerated, what
convictions they stifled, what passions they kindled, what an undying
worm they fixed at the core of many a heart, at the root of many a life,
it might have been clear to all eyes that the halter and the cowhide
would have been mercy in comparison with the tortures with which they
strewed their way.

I have told enough to show what comes of compromise. There is no need to
lengthen out my story of persecutions. I will just mention that the last
news from Missouri that I saw was in the form of an account of the
proceedings of its legislature, but which yet seems to me incredible. It
is stated to have been enacted that any person of any complexion, coming
into or found in the State of Missouri, who shall be proved to have
spoken, written, or printed a word in disapprobation of slavery or in
favour of abolition, shall be sold into slavery for the benefit of the
state. If, in the fury of the moment, such a law should really have been
passed, it must speedily be repealed. The general expectation is that
slavery itself will soon be abolished in Missouri, as it is found to be
unprofitable and perilous, and a serious drawback to the prosperity of
the region.

What a lesson is meantime afforded as to the results of compromise!
Missouri might now have been a peaceful and orderly region, inhabited by
settlers as creditable to their country as those of the neighbouring
free states, instead of being a nest of vagabond slavedealers, rapacious
slavedrivers, and ferocious rioters. If the inhabitants think it hard
that all should be included in a censure which only some have deserved,
they must bestir themselves to show in their legislature, and by their
improved social order, that the majority are more respectable than they
have yet shown themselves to be. At present it seems as if one who might
have been a prophet preaching in the wilderness had preferred the
profession of a bandit of the desert. But it should never be forgotten
whence came the power to inflict injury, by a permission being given
where there should have been a prohibition. Whatever danger there ever
was to the Union from difference of opinion on the subject of the
compromise is now increased. The battle has still to be fought at a
greater disadvantage than when a bad deed was done to avert it.



CINCINNATI.


     "'Sir,' said the custom-house officer at Leghorn, 'your papers are
     forged! there is no such place in the world! your vessel must be
     confiscated!' The trembling captain laid before the officer a map
     of the United States; directed him to the Gulf of Mexico, pointing
     out the mouth of the Mississippi; led him 1000 miles up it to the
     mouth of the Ohio, and thence another 1000 to Pittsburg. 'There,
     sir, is the port whence my vessel cleared out.' The astonished
     officer, before he saw the map, would as soon have believed that
     this ship had been navigated from the moon."

                                                    --CLAY'S _Speeches_.


We reached Cincinnati by descending the Ohio from Maysville, Kentucky,
whence we took passage in the first boat going down to the great City of
the West. It happened to be an inferior boat; but, as we were not to
spend a night on board, this was of little consequence. We were summoned
by the bell of the steamer at 9 A.M., but did not set off till past
noon. The cause of the delay forbade all complaint, though we found our
station in the sun, and out of any breeze that might be stirring,
oppressively hot, in the hottest part of a midsummer day. The captain
had sent nine miles into the country for his mother, whom he was going
to convey to a place down the river, where her other son was lying sick
of the cholera. At noon the wagon with the old lady and her packages
appeared. We were prepared to view her situation with the kindest
feelings, but our pity scarcely survived the attempts she made to ensure
it. I suppose the emotions of different minds must always have different
modes of expression, but I could comprehend nothing of such a case as
this. While there were apartments on board where the afflicted mother
might have indulged her feelings in privacy, it was disagreeable to see
the parade of hartshorn and water, and exclamations and sensibilities,
in the presence of a company of entire strangers. Her son and a
kind-hearted stewardess were very attentive to her, and it was much to
be wished that she had been satisfied with their assiduities.

The scenery was fully equal to my expectations; and when we had put out
into the middle of the river, we found ourselves in the way of a breeze
which enabled us to sit outside, and enjoy the luxury of vision to the
utmost. The sunny and shadowy hills, advancing and retiring, ribbed and
crested with belts and clumps of gigantic beech; the rich bottoms always
answering on the one shore to the group of hills on the other, a perfect
level, smooth, rich, and green, with little settlements sprinkled over
it; the shady creeks, very frequent between the hills, with sometimes a
boat and figures under the trees which meet over it; these were the
spectacles which succeeded each other before our untiring eyes.

We touched at a number of small places on the banks to put out and take
in passengers. I believe we were almost as impatient as the good captain
to get to Richmond, where his sick brother was lying, that the family
might be out of suspense about his fate. A letter was put into the
captain's hand from the shore which did not tend to raise his spirits.
It told him of the death, by cholera, of a lady whom he had just brought
up the river. The captain's brother, however, was better. We were all
committed to the charge of the clerk of the boat; and as we put out into
the stream again, we saw the captain helping his mother up the hill, and
looking a changed man within a few minutes!

The moral plagues consequent on pestilence are an old subject, but one
ever new to the spectator. The selfishness of survivers, the brutality
of the well to the sick in a time of plague, have been held up to the
detestation of the untried from the days of Defoe downward at least; but
it seems as if the full horror of such a paroxysm of society had been
left to be exhibited in America. Not that the ravages of the cholera
were or could be fiercer there than in the plague-seasons of the Old
World; but that, in a country so much more Christianized in a spirit of
helpfulness than any other, examples of selfish desertion show a more
ghastly aspect than elsewhere. The disease was met there, and its
inflictions sustained in the noblest spirit of charity, courage, and
wisdom. A thousand-and-one tales might be told of the devotion of the
clergy to their flocks, of masters to their slaves, of physicians to the
poor, of neighbours to each other; but, in fearful contrast to these,
stood out some of the gloomy facts which belong to such a time. In the
West the disease was particularly fatal, and the panic was not stilled
when I was there, two years after the most destructive season. In the
vicinity of Lexington, Kentucky, I saw a large white house, prettily
placed, and was told of the dismal end of its late occupier, a lady who
was beloved above everybody in the neighbourhood, and who, on account of
her benevolent deeds, would have been previously supposed the last
person likely to want for solace on her dying bed. In this house lived
Mrs. J., with her sister, Miss A. Miss A. died of cholera at nine in the
evening, and was buried in the garden during the night by the servants.
Mrs. J. was taken ill before the next evening, and there was no female
hand near to tend her. The physician, who knew how much he was wanted in
the town, felt it right to leave her when the case became entirely
hopeless. He told the men who were assisting that she could not survive
the night, and directed them to bury her immediately after her death. As
soon as the breath was out of her body, these men wrapped her in the
sheet on which she was lying, put her into a large box, and dug a hole
in the garden, where they laid her beside her sister. Forty-eight hours
before, the sisters had been apparently in perfect health, and busy
providing aid for their sick neighbours. Thus, and thus soon, were they
huddled into their graves.

From the time of our leaving Richmond the boat went on at good speed. We
ceased to wear round, to take in casks and deals at the beck of
everybody on shore. The dinner was remarkably disagreeable: tough beef,
skinny chickens, gray-looking potatoes, gigantic radishes, sour bread,
and muddy water in dirty tumblers. The only eatable thing on the table
was a saucerful of cranberries, and we had a bottle of claret with us.
It was already certain that we should not reach Cincinnati so as to have
a daylight view of it: our hopes were bounded to not being obliged to
sit down to another meal on board.

The western sky faded while we were watching the Hunter pursuing the
Coquette, two pretty little steamboats that were moving along under the
shadow of the banks. Some time after dark we came in sight of long rows
of yellow lights, with a flaring and smoking furnace here and there,
which seemed to occupy a space of nearly two miles from the wharf where
we at length stopped. I had little idea how beautiful this flaring
region would appear in sunshine.

After waiting some time in the boat for the arrival of a hack, we
proceeded up the steep pavement above the wharf to the Broadway Hotel
and Boarding-house. There we were requested to register our names, and
were then presented with the cards of some of the inhabitants who had
called to inquire for us. We were well and willingly served, and I went
to rest intensely thankful to be once more out of sight of slavery.

The next morning was bright, and I scarcely remember a pleasanter day
during all my travels than this 16th of June. We found ourselves in a
large boarding-house, managed by a singularly zealous and kindly master.
His care of us was highly amusing during the whole time of our stay. His
zeal may be judged of by a circumstance which happened one morning. At
breakfast he appeared heated and confused, and looked as if he had a bad
headache. He requested us to excuse any forgetfulness that we might
observe, and mentioned that he had, by mistake, taken a dangerous dose
of laudanum. We begged he would leave the table, and not trouble himself
about us, and hoped he had immediately taken measures to relieve himself
of the dose. He replied that he had had no time to attend to himself
till a few minutes ago. We found that he had actually put off taking an
emetic till he had gone to market and sent home all the provisions for
the day. He had not got over the consequences of the mistake the next
morning. The ladies at the breakfast-table looked somewhat vulgar; and
it is undeniable that the mustard was spilled, and that the relics of
the meal were left in some disorder by the gentlemen who were most in a
hurry to be off to business. But every one was obliging; and I saw at
that table a better thing than I saw at any other table in the United
States, a lady of colour breakfasting in the midst of us!

I looked out from our parlour window, and perceived that we were in a
wide, well-built street, with broad foot-pavements and handsome houses.
A house was at the moment going up the street; a rather arduous task, as
the ascent was pretty steep. There was an admirable apparatus of levers
and pulleys; and it moved on, almost imperceptibly, for several yards,
before our visiters began to arrive, and I had to give up watching its
march. When the long series of callers came to an end, the strolling
house was out of sight.

The first of our visiters was an English gentleman, who was settled in
business in Cincinnati. He immediately undertook a commission of
inquiry, with which I had been charged from England, about a family of
settlers, and sent me a pile of new books, and tickets for a concert
which was to be held in Mrs. Trollope's bazar the next evening but one.
He was followed by a gentleman of whom much will be told in my next
chapter; and by Dr. Drake, the first physician in the place; and Miss
Beecher, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Beecher, head of Lane Seminary, near
Cincinnati, then on his trial for heresy, and justly confident of
acquittal. Miss Beecher is a lady eminent for learning and talents, and
for her zeal in the cause of education. These were followed by several
merchants, with their ladies, sisters, and daughters. The impression
their visits left on our minds was of high respect for the society of
Cincinnati, if these were, in manners, dress, and conversation, fair
specimens. Dr. Drake and his daughter proposed to call for us for an
afternoon's drive, and take us home to tea with them; a plan to which we
gladly agreed.

After dinner, we first arranged ourselves in a parlour which was larger
and better furnished than the one we first occupied, and then walked
down to the river while waiting for Dr. Drake's carriage. The opposite
Kentucky shore looked rich and beautiful; and the bustle on the river,
covered with every kind of craft; the steamboats being moored six or
more abreast, gave us a highly respectful notion of the commerce of the
place.

Dr. Drake took us a delightful drive, the pleasure of which was much
enhanced by his very interesting conversation. He is a complete and
favourable specimen of a Westerner. He entered Ohio just forty-seven
years before this time, when there were not above a hundred white
persons in the state, and they all French, and when the shores were one
expanse of canebrake, infested by buffalo. He had seen the foundations
of the great city laid; he had watched its growth till he was now able
to point out to the stranger, not only the apparatus for the exportation
of 6,000,000 dollars' worth a year of produce and manufactures, but
things which he values far more: the ten or twelve edifices erected for
the use of the common schools, the new church of St. Paul, the two fine
banking-houses, and the hundred and fifty handsome private dwellings,
all the creations of the year 1835. He points to the periodicals, the
respectable monthlies, and the four daily and six weekly papers of the
city. He looks with a sort of paternal complacency on the 35,000
inhabitants, scarcely one of whom is without the comforts of life, the
means of education, and a bright prospect for the future. Though a true
Westerner, and devoutly believing the _buckeyes_ (natives of Ohio) to be
superior to all others of God's creatures, he hails every accession of
intelligent members to his darling society. He observed to me, with his
calm enthusiasm (the concomitant of a conviction which has grown out of
experience rather than books), on the good effects of emigration on the
posterity of emigrants; and told how, with the same apparent means of
education, they surpass the descendants of natives. They combine the
influences of two countries. Thus believing, he carries a cheerful face
into the homes of his Welsh, Irish, English, German, and Yankee
patients; he bids them welcome, and says, from the bottom of his heart,
that he is glad to see them. His knowledge of the case of the emigrant
enables him to alleviate, more or less, with the power which an honest
and friendly physician carries about with him, an evil which he
considers the worst that attends emigration. He told me that, unless the
head of the emigrant family be timely and judiciously warned, the peace
of the household is broken up by the pining of the wife. The husband
soon finds interests in his new abode; he becomes a citizen, a man of
business, a man of consequence, with brightening prospects; while the
poor wife, surrounded by difficulties or vexed with hardships at home,
provided with no compensation for what she has left behind, pines away,
and wonders that her husband can be so happy when she is so miserable.
When there is an end of congeniality, all is over; and a couple who
would in their own land have gone through life cheerily, hand in hand,
become uneasy yoke-fellows in the midst of a much-improved outward
condition or prospect.

Dr. Drake must be now much older than he looks. He appears vigorous as
ever, running beside his stout black gig-horse in difficult bits of
forest road, head uncovered and coat splashed, like any farmer making
his way to market. His figure is spare and active; his face is
expressive of shrewdness, humour, and kindliness. His conversation is of
a high order, though I dare say it never entered his head that
conversation is ever of any order at all. His sentences take whatever
form fate may determine; but they bear a rich burden of truth hard won
by experience, and are illumined by gleams of philosophy which shine up
from the depths of his own mind. A slight degree of western inflation
amuses the stranger; but there is something so much more loving than
vain in the magniloquence, that it is rather winning than displeasing to
strangers, not to Yankees, who resent it as sectional prejudice, and in
whose presence it might be as well forborne. The following
passage, extracted from an address delivered by Dr. Drake before the
Literary Convention of Kentucky, gives some idea of the spirit of the
man in one of its aspects, though it has none of the pithy character of
his conversation:--

"The relations between the upper and lower Mississippi States,
established by the collective waters of the whole valley, must for ever
continue unchanged. What the towering oak is to our climbing winter
grape, the 'Father of Waters' must ever be to the communities along its
trunk and countless tributary streams; an imperishable support, an
exhaust-less power of union. What is the composition of its lower coasts
and alluvial plains, but the soil of all the upper states and
territories, transported, commingled, and deposited by its waters?
Within her own limits Louisiana has, indeed, the rich mould of ten
sister states, which have thus contributed to the fertility of her
plantations. It might almost be said, that for ages this region has sent
thither a portion of its soil, where, in a milder climate, it might
produce the cotton, oranges, and sugar which, through the same channel,
we receive in exchange for the products of our cornfields, workshops,
and mines; facts which prepare the way, and invite to perpetual union
between the West and South.

"The state of Tennessee, separated from Alabama and Mississippi on the
south and Kentucky on the north by no natural barrier, has its southern
fields overspread with floating cotton, wafted from the first two by
every autumnal breeze; while the shade of its northern woods lies for
half the summer day on the borders of the last. The songs and uproar of
a Kentucky _husking_ are answered from Tennessee; and the midnight
racoon-hunt that follows, beginning in one state, is concluded in the
other. The Cumberland, on whose rocky banks the capital of Tennessee
rises in beauty, begins and terminates in Kentucky; thus bearing on its
bosom at the same moment the products of the two states descending to a
common market. Still farther, the fine river Tennessee drains the
eastern half of that state, dips into Alabama, recrosses the state in
which it arose, and traverses Kentucky to reach the Ohio river; thus
uniting the three into one natural and enduring commercial compact.

"Farther north, the cotton-trees, which fringe the borders of Missouri
and Illinois, throw their images towards each other in the waters of the
Mississippi: the toiling emigrant's axe in the depths of the leafless
woods, and the crash of the falling rail-tree on the frozen earth,
resound equally among the hills of both states; the clouds of smoke from
their burning prairies mingle in the air above, and crimson the setting
sun of Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.

"The Pecan-tree sheds its fruit at the same moment among the people of
Indiana and Illinois, and the boys of the two states paddle their canoes
and fish together in the Wabash, or hail each other from opposite banks.
Even villages belong equally to Indiana and Ohio, and the children of
the two commonwealths trundle their hoops together in the same street.

"But the Ohio river forms the most interesting boundary among the
republics of the West. For a thousand miles its fertile bottoms are
cultivated by farmers who belong to the different states, while they
visit each other as friends or neighbours. As the schoolboy trips or
loiters along its shores, he greets his playmates across the stream, or
they sport away an idle hour in its summer waters. These are to be among
the future, perhaps the opposing statesmen of the different
commonwealths. When, at low water, we examine the rocks of the channel,
we find them the same on both sides. The plants which grow above drop
their seeds into the common current, which lodges them indiscriminately
on either shore. Thus the very trees and flowers emigrate from one
republic to another. When the bee sends out its swarms, they as often
seek a habitation beyond the stream as in their native woods. Throughout
its whole extent, the hills of Western Virginia and Kentucky cast their
morning shadows on the plains of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.
The thunder-cloud pours down its showers on different commonwealths; and
the rainbow, resting its extremities on two sister states, presents a
beautiful arch, on which the spirits of peace may pass and repass in
harmony and love.

"Thus connected by nature in the great valley, we must live in the bonds
of companionship or imbrue our hands in each other's blood. We have no
middle destiny. To secure the former to our posterity, we should begin
while society is still tender and pliable. The saplings of the woods, if
intertwined, will adapt themselves to each other and grow together; the
little bird may hang its nest on the twigs of different trees, and the
dewdrop fall successively on leaves which are nourished by distinct
trunks. The tornado strikes harmless on such a bower, for the various
parts sustain each other; but the grown tree, sturdy and set in its way,
will not bend to its fellow, and, when uprooted by the tempest, is
dashed in violence against all within its reach.

"Communities, like forests, grow rigid by time. To be properly trained,
they must be moulded while young. Our duty, then, is quite obvious. All
who have moral power should exert it in concert. The germes of harmony
must be nourished, and the roots of present contrariety or future
discord torn up and cast into the fire. Measures should be taken to
mould a uniform system of manners and customs out of the diversified
elements which are scattered over the West. Literary meetings should be
held in the different states, and occasional conventions in the central
cities of the great valley be made to bring into friendly consultation
our enlightened and zealous teachers, professors, lawyers, physicians,
divines, and men of letters, from its remotest sections. In their
deliberations the literary and moral wants of the various regions might
be made known, and the means of supplying them devised. The whole should
successively lend a helping hand to all the parts on the great subject
of education, from the primary school to the university. Statistical
facts bearing on this absorbing interest should be brought forward and
collected; the systems of common school instruction should be compared,
and the merits of different schoolbooks, foreign and domestic, freely
canvassed. Plans of education, adapted to the natural, commercial, and
social condition of the interior, should be invented; a correspondence
instituted among all our higher seminaries of learning, and an
interchange established of all local publications on the subject of
education. In short, we should foster Western genius, encourage Western
writers, patronise Western publishers, augment the number of Western
readers, and create a Western heart.

"When these great objects shall come seriously to occupy our minds, the
union will be secure, for its centre will be sound, and its attraction
on the surrounding parts irresistible. Then will our state governments
emulate each other in works for the common good; the people of remote
places begin to feel as the members of one family; and our whole
intelligent and virtuous population unite, heart and hand, in one long,
concentrated, untiring effort to raise still higher the social
character, and perpetuate for ever the political harmony of the green
and growing West."

How strange is the feeling to the traveller in wild regions of having
his home associations unexpectedly connected with the scene before him!
Here, in this valley of the Mississippi, to my eye wild and luxuriant in
beauty as I fancy Ceylon or Juan Fernandez, Dr. Drake pointed out to me
two handsome dwellings with gardens, built by artisans from Birmingham,
and he presently alighted to visit a Welsh patient. What a vision of
brassfounding, teaurns, and dingy streets, and then of beaver hats and
mob caps, did these incidents call up! And again, when we were buried in
a beechen wood, where "a sunbeam that had lost its way" streaked the
stems and lighted up the wild vines, Dr. Drake, in telling me of the
cholera season in Cincinnati, praised a medical book on cholera which
happened to be by a brother-in-law of mine. It was an amusing incident.
The woods of Ohio are about the last place where the author would have
anticipated that I should hear accidental praises of his book.

The doctor had at present a patient in Dr. Beecher's house, so we
returned by the Theological Seminary. Dr. Beecher and his daughters were
not at home. We met them on the road in their cart, the ladies returning
from their school in the city, and we spent an evening there the next
week. The seminary (Presbyterian) was then in a depressed condition, in
consequence of the expulsion of most of the pupils for their refusal to
avoid discussion of the slavery question. These expelled youths have
since been founders and supporters of abolition societies; and the good
cause has gained even more than the seminary has lost by the absurd
tyranny practised against the students.

From this the Montgomery road there is a view of the city and
surrounding country which defies description. It was of that melting
beauty which dims the eyes and fills the heart--that magical combination
of all elements--of hill, wood, lawn, river, with a picturesque city
steeped in evening sunshine, the impression of which can never be lost
nor ever communicated. We ran up a knoll, and stood under a clump of
beeches to gaze; and went down, and returned again and again, with the
feeling that, if we lived upon the spot, we could never more see it look
so beautiful.

We soon entered a somewhat different scene, passing the slaughter-houses
on Deer Creek, the place where more thousands of hogs in a year than I
dare to specify are destined to breathe their last. Deer Creek, pretty
as its name is, is little more than the channel through which their
blood runs away. The division of labour is brought to as much perfection
in these slaughter-houses as in the pin-manufactories of Birmingham. So
I was told. Of course I did not verify the statement by attending the
process. In my childhood I was permitted, by the carelessness of a
nursemaid, to see the cutting up of the reeking carcass of an ox, and I
can bear witness that one such sight is enough for a lifetime. But--to
tell the story as it was told to me--these slaughter-houses are divided
into apartments communicating with each other: one man drives into one
pen or chamber the reluctant hogs, to be knocked on the head by another
whose mallet is for ever going. A third sticks the throats, after which
they are conveyed by some clever device to the cutting-up room, and
thence to the pickling, and thence to the packing and branding, a set of
agents being employed for every operation. The exportation of pickled
pork from Cincinnati is enormous. Besides supplying the American navy,
shiploads are sent to the West India Islands and many other parts of the
world. Dr. Drake showed me the dwelling and slaughter-house of an
Englishman who was his servant in 1818, who then turned pork-butcher,
and was, in a few years, worth ten thousand dollars.

The teatable was set out in the garden at Dr. Drake's. We were waited
upon, for the first time for many months, by a free servant. The long
grass grew thick under our feet; fireflies were flitting about us, and I
doubted whether I had ever heard more sense and eloquence at any Old
World teatable than we were entertained with as the twilight drew on.

As we walked home through the busy streets, where there was neither the
apathy of the South nor the disorder consequent on the presence of a
pauper class, I felt strongly tempted to jump to some hasty conclusions
about the happiness of citizenship in Cincinnati. I made a virtuous
determination to suspend every kind of judgment: but I found each day
as exhilarating as the first, and, when I left the city, my impressions
were much like what they were after an observation of twenty-four hours.

The greater part of the next morning was occupied with visiters; but we
found an interval to go out, under the guidance of friends, to see a few
things which lay near at hand. We visited the Museum, where we found, as
in all new museums whose rooms want filling up, some trumpery among much
which is worthy to remain. There was a mermaid not very cleverly
constructed, and some bad wax figures, posted like sentinels among the
cases of geological and entomological specimens; but, on the whole, the
Museum is highly creditable to the zeal of its contributors. There is,
among other good things, a pretty complete collection of the currency of
the country, from the earliest colonial days, and some of other
countries with it. I hope this will be persevered in, and that the
Cincinnati merchants will make use of the opportunities afforded by
their commerce of collecting specimens of every kind of currency used in
the world, from the gilt and stamped leather of the Chinese and
Siberians to the last of Mr. Biddle's twenty-dollar notes. There is a
reasonable notion abroad that the Americans are the people who will
bring the philosophy and practice of exchanges to perfection; and theirs
are the museums in which should be found a full history of currency, in
the shape of a complete set of specimens.

We visited Mr. Flash's bookstore, where we saw many good books, some
very pretty ones, and all cheap. We heard there good accounts of the
improved and improving literary taste of the place, shown in the
increasing number of book societies, and the superior character of the
works supplied to their orders. Mr. Flash and his partner are in favour
of the protection of foreign literary property, as a matter of interest
as well as principle.

We next went to the painting-room of a young artist, Mr. Beard, whose
works pleased me more than those of any other American artist. When I
heard his story, and saw what he had already achieved, I could not doubt
that, if he lived, he would run a noble career. The chief doubt was
about his health, the doubt which hangs over the destiny of almost every
individual of eminent promise in America. Two years before I saw him
Beard had been painting portraits at a dollar a head in the interior of
Ohio; and it was only a year since he suddenly and accidentally struck
into the line in which he will probably show himself the Flamingo of the
New World. It was just a year since he had begun to paint children. He
had then never been out of his native state. He was born in the
interior, where he began to paint without having ever seen a picture,
except the daubs of itinerant artists. He married at nineteen, and came
to Cincinnati, with wife, child, an empty purse, a head full of
admiration of himself, and a heart full of confidence in this admiration
being shared by all the inhabitants of the city. He had nothing to show,
however, which could sanction his high claims, for his portraits were
very bad. When he was in extreme poverty, he and his family were living,
or rather starving, in one room, at whose open window he put up some of
his pictures to attract the notice of passengers. A wealthy merchant,
Mr. G., and a gentleman with him, stopped and made their remarks to each
other, Mr. G. observing, "The fellow has talent, after all." Beard was
sitting behind his pictures, heard the remark, and knew the voice. He
was enraged. Mr. G. visited him, with a desire to encourage and assist
him; but the angry artist long resisted all attempts to pacify him. At
his first attempt to paint a child, soon after, all his genius shone
forth, to the astonishment of every one but himself. He has proved to be
one of the privileged order who grow gentle, if not modest, under
appreciation; he forgave Mr. G., and painted several pictures for him. A
few wealthy citizens were desirous of sending him to Italy to study. His
reply to every mention of the subject is, that he means to go to Italy,
but that he shall work his own way there. In order to see how he liked
the world, he paid a visit to Boston while I was there, intending to
stay some time. From a carriage window I saw him in the street, stalking
along like a chief among inferiors, his broad white collar laid over his
coat, his throat bare, and his hair parted in the middle of his
forehead, and waving down the sides of his face. People turned to look
after him. He stayed only a fortnight, and went back to Ohio expressing
great contempt for cities. This was the last I heard of him.

I have a vivid remembrance of three of his pictures of children. One of
a boy trudging through a millstream to school, absolutely American, not
only in the scenery, but in the air and countenance of the boy, which
were exquisitely natural and fresh. Another was a boy about to go
unwillingly to school; his satchel was so slung over his shoulder as to
show that he had not put it on himself; the great bite in the slice of
bread and butter intimated that breakfast was going on in the midst of
the grief; and the face was distorted with the most ludicrous passion.
Thus far all might have been done by the pencil of the mere
caricaturist. The triumph of the painter was in the beauty and grace of
the child shining through the ridiculous circumstances amid which he was
placed. It was obvious that the character of the face, when undisturbed
by passion, was that of careless gayety. The third was a picture of
children and a dog; one beautiful creature astride of the animal, and
putting his cap upon the head of the dog, who was made to look the sage
of the party. I saw and liked some of his pictures of another character.
Any one of his humorous groups might be thought almost worthy of Wilkie;
but there was repetition in them; two favourite heads especially were
popped in, in situations too nearly resembling. The most wonderful,
perhaps, of his achievements was a fine full-length portrait of a
deceased lady whom he had never seen. It was painted from a miniature,
and under the direction of the widower, whom it fully satisfied in
regard to the likeness. It was a breathing picture. He is strongly
disposed to try his hand on sculpture. I saw a bust of himself which he
had modelled. It was a perfect likeness, and had much spirit. All this,
and much more, having been done in a single year by one who had never
seen a good picture, it seems reasonable to expect great things from
powers so rapidly and profusely developed. Beard's name was little, if
at all, known beyond his native state while I was in the country. If he
lives, it will soon be heard of in Europe.

In the afternoon a large party called on us for an expedition into
Kentucky. We crossed the river in the ferryboat without leaving the
carriages, drove through Covington, and mounted slowly through a wood,
till we reached the foot of a steep hill, where we alighted. We climbed
the hill, wild with tall grass and shrubs, and obtained the view of
Cincinnati which is considered the completest. I now perceived that,
instead of being shut in between two hills, the city stands on a noble
platform, round which the river turns while the hills rise behind. The
platform is perfectly ventilated, and the best proof of this is the
healthiness of the city above all other American cities. A physician who
had been seven years a resident told me that he had been very delicate
in health before he came, like many others of the inhabitants; and, like
many others, he had not had a day's illness since his arrival. The
average of deaths in the city during the best season was seven per week;
and, at the worst time of the year, the mortality was less than in any
city of its size in the republic.

There is ample room on the platform for a city as large as Philadelphia,
without encroaching at all on the hill-sides. The inhabitants are
already consulting as to where the Capitol shall stand whenever the
nation shall decree the removal of the general government beyond the
mountains. If it were not for the noble building at Washington, this
removal would probably take place soon, perhaps after the opening of the
great Southern railroad. It seems rather absurd to call senators and
representatives to Washington from Missouri and Louisiana, while there
is a place on the great rivers which would save them half the journey,
and suit almost everybody else just as well, and many much better. The
peril to health at Washington in the winter season is great, and the
mild and equable temperature of Cincinnati is an important circumstance
in the case.

We hurried home to prepare for an evening party, and tea was brought up
to us while we dressed. All the parties I was at in Cincinnati were very
amusing, from the diversity in the company, and in the manners of the
natives of the East and West. The endeavour seems to be to keep up
rather than to disuse distinctive observances, and this almost makes the
stranger fancy that he has travelled a thousand miles between one
evening and the next. The effect is entertaining enough to the foreign
guest, but not very salutary to the temper of the residents, to judge by
the complaints I heard about sectional exclusiveness. It appeared to me
that the thing chiefly to be wished in this connexion was that the
Easterners should make large concessions and allowance. It would be well
for them to remember that it was they who chose the Western city, and
not the city them; and that, if the elderly inhabitants are rather proud
of their Western deeds, and ostentatiously attached to their Western
symbols, this is a circumstance belonging to the place, and deliberately
encountered, with other circumstances, by new residents; and that,
moreover, all that they complain of is an indulgence of the feelings of
a single generation. When the elderly members of the society drop off,
the children of all residents will wear the buckeye, or forget it alike.
And it certainly appeared to me that the cool assumption by Easterners
of the superiority of New-England over all other countries was, whether
just or not, likely to be quite as offensive to the buckeyes as any
buckeye exultation could be to the Yankees.

At one evening party the company sat round the drawing-room,
occasionally changing places or forming groups without much formality.
They were chiefly Yankees, of various accomplishments, from the learned
lawyer who talked with enthusiasm about Channing, and with strong sense
about everything but politics, in which his aristocratic bias drew him
aside into something like nonsense, to the sentimental young widow, who
instantly began talking to me of her dear Mr. ----, and who would return
to the subject as often as I led away from it. Every place was
remarkable for her dear Mr. ---- having been better or worse there; and
every event was measured by its having happened so long before or after
her dear Mr. ---- was buried. The conversation of the society was most
about books, and society and its leaders at home and abroad. The manners
of the lady of the house were, though slightly impaired by timidity,
such as would grace any society of any country. The house, handsomely
furnished, and adorned with some of the best of Beard's pictures, stood
on a terrace beautifully surrounded with shrubbery, and commanding a
fine view of the city.

At another party there was a great variety. An enormous buckeye bowl of
lemonade, with a ladle of buckeye, stood on the hall table, and
symbolical sprigs of the same adorned the walls. On entering the
drawing-room I was presented with a splendid bouquet, sent by a lady by
the hands of her brother, from a garden and conservatory which are the
pride of the city. My first introduction was to the Catholic bishop, my
next to a lady whom I thought then and afterward one of the cleverest
women I met in the country. There was a slight touch of pedantry to be
excused, and a degree of tory prejudice against the bulk of the human
race which could scarcely be exceeded even in England; but there was a
charming good-humour in the midst of it all, and a power both of
observation and reasoning which commanded high respect. One Western
gentleman sidled about in a sort of minuet step, unquestionably a
gentleman as he was in all essential respects; and one young lady, who
was, I fancy, taking her first peep at the world, kept her eyes
earnestly fixed on the guests as they entered, bowing unconsciously in
sympathy with every gentleman who bowed, and courtesying with every lady
who courtesied. She must have been well practised in salutation before
the evening was over, for the party was a large one. All the rest, with
the exception of a forward Scotchman, were well-bred, and the evening
passed off very pleasantly amid brisk conversation, mirth, and excellent
refreshments.

Another party was at the splendid house to which the above-mentioned
garden and conservatory belong. The proprietor has a passion for
gardening, and his ruling taste seems likely to be a blessing to the
city. He employs four gardeners, and toils in his grounds with his own
hands. His garden is on a terrace which overlooks the canal, and the
most parklike eminences form the background of the view. Between the
garden and the hills extend his vineyards, from the produce of which he
has succeeded in making twelve kinds of wine, some of which are highly
praised by good judges. Mr. Longworth himself is sanguine as to the
prospect of making Ohio a wine-growing region, and he has done all that
an individual can to enhance the probability. In this house is West's
preposterous picture of Ophelia, the sight of which amazed me after all
I had heard of it. It is not easy to imagine how it should have obtained
the reputation of being his best while his Cromwell is in existence. The
party at this house was the largest and most elegant of any that I
attended in Cincinnati. Among many other guests, we met one of the
judges of the Supreme Court, a member of Congress and his lady, two
Catholic priests, Judge Hall, the popular writer, with divines,
physicians, lawyers, merchants, and their families. The spirit and
superiority of the conversation were worthy of the people assembled.

The morning of the 19th shone brightly down on the festival of the day.
It was the anniversary of the opening of the Common Schools. Some of the
schools passed our windows in procession, their banners dressed with
garlands, and the children gay with flowers and ribands. A lady who was
sitting with me remarked, "this is our populace." I thought of the
expression months afterward, when _the gentlemen_ of Cincinnati met to
pass resolutions on the subject of abolitionism, and when one of the
resolutions recommended mobbing as a retribution for the discussion of
the subject of slavery; the law affording no punishment for free
discussion. Among those who moved and seconded these resolutions, and
formed a deputation to threaten an advocate of free discussion, were
some of the merchants who form the aristocracy of the place; and the
secretary of the meeting was the accomplished lawyer whom I mentioned
above, and who told me that the object of his life is law reform in
Ohio! The "populace" of whom the lady was justly proud have, in no case
that I know of, been the law-breakers; and in as far as "the populace"
means not "the multitude," but the "vulgar," I do not agree with the
lady that these children were the populace. Some of the patrons and
prizegivers afterward proved themselves "the vulgar" of the city.

The children were neatly and tastefully dressed. A great improvement has
taken place in the costume of little boys in England within my
recollection, but I never saw such graceful children as the little boys
in America, at least in their summer dress. They are slight, active, and
free. I remarked that several were barefoot, though in other respects
well clad; and I found that many put off shoes and stockings from choice
during the three hot months. Others were barefoot from poverty; children
of recent settlers, and of the poorest class of the community.

We set out for the church as soon as the procession had passed, and
arrived before the doors were opened. A platform had been erected below
the pulpit, and on it were seated the mayor and principal gentlemen of
the city. The two thousand children then filed in. The report was read,
and proved very satisfactory. These schools were established by a
cordial union of various political and religious parties; and nothing
could be more promising than the prospects of the institution as to
funds, as to the satisfaction of the class benefited, and as to the
continued union of their benefactors. Several boys then gave specimens
of elocution which were highly amusing. They seemed to suffer under no
false shame, and to have no misgiving about the effect of the vehement
action they had been taught to employ. I wondered how many of them would
speak in Congress hereafter. It seems doubtful to me whether the present
generation of Americans are not out in their calculations about the
value and influence of popular oratory. They ought certainly to know
best; but I never saw an oration produce nearly so much effect as books,
newspapers, and conversation. I suspect that there is a stronger
association in American minds than the times will justify between
republicanism and oratory; and that they overlook the facts of the vast
change introduced by the press, a revolution which has altered men's
tastes and habits of thought, as well as varied the methods of reaching
minds. As to the style of oratory itself, reasoning is now found to be
much more impressive than declamation, certainly in England, and I
think, also, in the United States; and though, as every American boy is
more likely than not to act some part in public life, it is desirable
that all should be enabled to speak their minds clearly and gracefully.
I am inclined to think it a pernicious mistake to render declamatory
accomplishment so prominent a part of education as it now is. I trust
that the next generation will exclude whatever there is of insincere and
traditional in the practice of popular oratory; discern the real value
of the accomplishment, and redeem the reproach of bad taste which the
oratory of the present generation has brought upon the people. While the
Americans have the glory of every citizen being a reader and having
books to read, they cannot have, and need not desire, the glory of
shining in popular oratory, the glory of an age gone by.

Many prizes of books were given by the gentlemen on the platform, and
the ceremony closed with an address from the pulpit which was true, and,
in some respects, beautiful, but which did not appear altogether
judicious to those who are familiar with children's minds. The children
were exhorted to trust their teachers entirely; to be assured that their
friends would do by them what was kindest. Now neither children nor
grown people trust any more than they believe because they are bid.
Telling them to have confidence is so much breath wasted. If they are
properly trained, they will unavoidably have this trust and confidence,
and the less that is said about it the better. If not, the less said the
better, too; for confidence is then out of the question, and there is
danger in making it an empty phrase. It would be well if those whose
office it is to address children were fully aware that exhortation,
persuasion, and dissuasion are of no use in their case, and that there
is immeasurable value in the opposite method of appeal. Make truth
credible, and they will believe it; make goodness lovely, and they will
love it; make holiness cheerful, and they will be glad in it; but remind
them of themselves by threat, inducement, or exhortation, and you impair
(if you do anything) the force of their unconscious affections; try to
put them upon a task of arbitrary self-management, and your words pass
over their ears only to be forgotten.

Before eight o'clock in the evening the Cincinnati public was pouring
into Mrs. Trollope's bazar, to the first concert ever offered to them.
This bazar is the great deformity of the city. Happily, it is not very
conspicuous, being squatted down among houses nearly as lofty as the
summit of its dome. From my window at the boarding-house, however, it
was only too distinctly visible. It is built of brick, and has Gothic
windows, Grecian pillars, and a Turkish dome, and it was originally
ornamented with Egyptian devices, which have, however, all disappeared
under the brush of the whitewasher. The concert was held in a large
plain room, where a quiet, well-mannered audience was collected. There
was something extremely interesting in the spectacle of the first public
introduction of music into this rising city. One of the best performers
was an elderly man, clothed from head to foot in gray homespun. He was
absorbed in his enjoyment; so intent on his violin, that one might watch
the changes of his pleased countenance the whole performance through
without fear of disconcerting him. There was a young girl, in a plain
white frock, with a splendid voice, a good ear, and a love of warbling
which carried her through very well indeed, though her own taste had
obviously been her only teacher. If I remember right, there were about
five-and-twenty instrumental performers, and six or seven vocalists,
besides a long row for the closing chorus. It was a most promising
beginning. The thought came across me how far we were from the musical
regions of the Old World, and how lately this place had been a
canebrake, echoing with the bellow and growl of wild beast; and here was
the spirit of Mozart swaying and inspiring a silent crowd as if they
were assembled in the chapel at Salzburg!

This account of our first three days at Cincinnati will convey a
sufficient idea of a stranger's impressions of the place. There is no
need to give a report of its charitable institutions and its commerce;
the details of the latter are well known to those whom they may concern;
and in America, wherever men are gathered together, the helpless are
aided and the suffering relieved. The most threatening evil to
Cincinnati is from that faithlessness which manifests itself in
illiberality. The sectional prejudice of the two leading classes of
inhabitants has been mentioned, and also the ill-principled character of
the opposition made to abolitionism. The offence against freedom, not
only of opinion, but of action, was in this case so rank, that the
citizens of Louisville, on the slaveholding side of the Ohio, taunted
the citizens of Cincinnati with persecuting men for opinion from
mercenary interest; with putting down free discussion from fear of
injury to their commerce. A third direction in which this illiberality
shows itself is towards the Catholics. The Catholic religion spreads
rapidly in many or most of the recently-settled parts of the United
States, and its increase produces an almost insane dread among some
Protestants, who fail to see that no evils that the Catholic religion
can produce in the present state of society can be so afflictive and
dangerous as the bigotry by which it is proposed to put it down. The
removal to Cincinnati of Dr. Beecher, the ostentatious and virulent foe
of the Catholics, has much quickened the spirit of alarm in that region.
It is to be hoped that Dr. Beecher and the people of Cincinnati will
remember what has been the invariable consequence in America of public
denunciations of assumed offences which the law does not reach; namely,
mobbing. It is to be hoped that all parties will remember that Dr.
Beecher preached in Boston three sermons vituperative of the Catholics
the Sunday before the burning of the Charlestown convent by a Boston
mob. Circumstances may also have shown them by this time how any kind of
faith grows under persecution; and, above all, it may be hoped that the
richer classes of citizens will become more aware than they have yet
proved themselves to be of their republican (to say nothing of their
human) obligation to refrain from encroaching, in the smallest
particulars, on their brethren's rights of opinion and liberty of
conscience.

The roads in the interior of Ohio were in so bad a state from recent
rains that I did not, at this time, attempt to visit the middle or
northern parts of the state, where may be seen those monuments of an
extinct race about which much antiquarian inquiry is going forward. One
of the large mounds, whose uses are yet unexplained, and in which are
found specimens of the arts of life which are considered to show that
their artificers were not of Indian race, still remains within the city.
It was crumbling away when I saw it, being a tempting spot for
children's play. It is a pity it should not be carefully preserved; for
the whole history of evidence, particularly the more recent portion of
it, shows the impossibility of anticipating what revelations may emanate
from a single object of historical interest.

A volume might presently be filled with descriptions of our drives about
the environs of Cincinnati. There are innumerable points of view whence
the city, with its masses of building and its spires, may be seen
shining through the limpid atmosphere, like a cloud-city in the evening
sky. There are many spots where it is a relief to lose the river from
the view, and to be shut in among the brilliant green hills, which are
more than can be numbered. But there is one drive which I almost wonder
the inhabitants do not take every summer day, to the Little Miami
bottoms. We continued eastward along the bank of the river for seven
miles, the whole scenery of which was beautiful; but the unforgotten
spot was the level about the mouth of the Little Miami river, the
richest of plains or level valleys, studded with farmhouses, enlivened
with clearings, and kept primitive in appearance by the masses of dark
forest which filled up all the unoccupied spaces. Upon this scene we
looked down from a great height, a Niphates of the New World. On
entering a little pass between two grassy hills, crested with wood, we
were desired to alight. I ran up the ascent to the right, and was
startled at finding myself on the top of a precipice. Far beneath me ran
the Little Miami, with a narrow white pebbly strand, arrow-like trees
springing over from the brink of the precipice, and the long evening
shadows making the current as black as night, while the green, up to the
very lips of the ravine, was of the sunniest, in the last flood of
western light.

For more reasons than one I should prefer Cincinnati as a residence to
any other large city of the United States. Of these reasons not the last
would be that the "Queen of the West" is enthroned in a region of
wonderful and inexhaustible beauty.



PROBATION.


     "Small is it that thou canst trample the earth with its injuries
     under thy feet, as old Greek Zeno trained thee; thou canst love the
     earth while it injures thee, and even because it injures thee; for
     this a greater than Zeno was needed, and he, too, was sent. Knowst
     thou that 'Worship of Sorrow?' The temple thereof, opened some
     eighteen centuries ago, now lies in ruins, overgrown with jungle,
     the habitation of doleful creatures. Nevertheless, venture forward;
     in a low crypt, arched out of falling fragments, thou findest the
     altar still there, and its sacred lamp perennially burning."

                                                    --_Sartor Resartus._

     "I will tell you, scholar, I have heard a grave divine say that God
     has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and
     thankful heart."

                                                         --IZAAK WALTON.


Among the strongest of the fresh feelings excited by foreign
travel--those fresh feelings which are an actual re-enforcement of
life--is that of welcome surprise at the sympathy the traveller is able
to yield, as well as privileged to receive. We are all apt to lose faith
in the general resemblance between human beings when we have remained
too long amid one set of circumstances; all of us nearly as weakly as
the schoolgirl who thinks that the girl of another school cannot
comprehend her feelings; or the statesman who is surprised that the
lower classes appear sometimes to understand their own interests; or the
moralist who starts back from the antique page where he meets the
reflection of his own convictions; or the clergyman who has one kind of
truth for his study and another for his pulpit. Intellectual sympathy
comes to the traveller in a distant land like a benignant rebuke of his
narrowness; and when he meets with moral beauty which is a realization
of his deep and secret dreams, he finds how true it is that there is no
nationality in the moral creation, and that, wherever grass grows and
the sun shines, truth springs up out of the earth and righteousness
looks down from heaven. Those who bring home a deep, grateful,
influential conviction of this have become possessed of the best results
of travel; those who are not more assured than before of the essential
sympathy of every human being they meet, will be little the worse for
staying at home all the rest of their lives. I was delighted with an
observation of a Boston merchant who had made several voyages to China.
He dropped a remark by his own fireside on the narrowness which causes
us to conclude, avowedly or silently, that, however well men may use the
light they have, they must be very pitiable, very far behind us, unless
they have our philosophy, our Christianity, our ways of knowing the God
who is the Father of us all, and the Nature which is the home of us all.
He said that his thoughts often wandered back with vivid pleasure to the
long conversations he had enjoyed with some of his Chinese friends on
the deepest themes of philosophy and the highest truths of religion,
when he found them familiar with the convictions, the emotions, the
hopes which, in religious New-England, are supposed to be derivable only
from the Christianity of this region. His observation gave me intense
pleasure at the time I heard it; and now, though I have no such
outlandish friends as the Chinese appear to a narrow imagination, I can
tell him, from a distance of three thousand miles, that his animating
experience is shared by other minds.

The most extensive agreement that I have ever known to exist between
three minds is between two friends of mine in America and myself, Dr. F.
being German, Mrs. F. American, and I English, by birth, education, and
(at least in one of the three) prejudice. Before any of the three met,
all had become as fixed as they were ever likely to be in habits of
thought and feeling; and yet our differences were so slight, our
agreements so extensive, that our intercourse was like a perpetual
recognition rather than a gradual revelation. Perhaps a lively
imagination may conceive something of the charm of imparting to one
another glimpses of our early life. While our years were passing amid
scenes and occupations as unlike as possible, our minds were converging
through foreign regions of circumstance to a common centre of
conviction. We have sat mutually listening for hours, day after day,
week after week, to his account of early years spent in the range of a
royal forester's domain, and of the political struggles of later years;
to her history of a youthful life nourished by all kinds of American
influences; and to mine, as unlike both theirs as each was to the other.

The same sort of experience is yielded by every chapter of human history
which comes under the mind's eye in a foreign country. The indolence of
the speculatist, however, generally prevents his making this use of any
but the most extraordinary and eventful sections of this interminable
history. Such contemplations rouse sympathy, extinguish nationality, and
enlarge the spirit to admit new kindred by an irresistible assurance of
the rightfulness of all claims of brotherhood. Every lovetale has this
effect, for true love is the same all over the wide earth. Most tales of
wo have the same influence, for the deepest woes spring from causes
universally prevalent. But, above all, spectacles of moral beauty work
miracles of reconciliation between foreign minds. The heart warms to
every act of generosity, and the spirit sends out a fervent greeting to
every true expression of magnanimity, whether it be meek intrepidity in
doing or unconscious bravery in suffering.

Many such a heartwarming must the stranger experience in America, where
the diversities of society are as great as over the European Continent,
and where all virtues can find the right soil to thrive in. If there are
in some regions broader exhibitions of vice--of licentiousness and
violence--than can be seen where slavery is not, in other regions or
amid different circumstances there are brighter revelations of virtue
than are often seen out of a primitive state of society. One of these,
one of many, may, I think, be spoken of without risk of hurting any
feelings or betraying any confidence, though I must refrain from
throwing such light and beauty over the story as the letters of the
parties would afford. I was never so tempted to impart a correspondence;
and it is not conceivable that any harm could arise from it beyond the
mischief of violating the sacredness of private correspondence; but this
is not to be thought of.

At Cincinnati I became acquainted with the Rev. E.P., whom I found to be
beloved, fervently but rationally, by his flock, some of whom think him
not a whit inferior, as a preacher, to Dr. Channing. He was from
New-England; and, till he spoke, he might have been taken for one of the
old Puritans risen from an early grave to walk the earth for a while. He
was tall, gaunt, and severe-looking, with rather long black hair and
very large black eyes. When he spoke all the severity vanished; his
countenance and voice expressed gentleness, and his quiet fun showed
that the inward man was no Puritan. His conversation was peculiar. His
voice was somewhat hollow, and not quite manageable, and he was wont to
express himself with schoolboy abruptness and awkwardness of phrase,
letting drop gems of truth and flowers of beauty without being in the
least aware of the inequality of his conversation, or, perhaps, that he
was conversing at all. Occasionally, when he had lighted on a subject on
which he had bestowed much thought, all this inequality vanished, and
his eloquence was of a very high order. He was a man who fixed the
attention at once, and could not, after a single interview, be ever
forgotten. The first time I saw him he told me that his wife and he had
hoped to have made their house my home in Cincinnati, but that she and
the child had been obliged to set out on their summer visit to her
parents in New-England before my arrival. Whenever he spoke of his home
it was in a tone of the most perfect cheerfulness; so that I should not
have imagined that any anxieties harboured there but for the fervent
though calm manner in which he observed in conversation one day, that
outward evils are evils only as far as we think them so; and that our
thinking them so may be wonderfully moderated by a full conviction of
this. This was said in a tone which convinced me that it was not a
fragment of preaching, but of meditation. I found that he had been about
two years married to a pretty, lively, accomplished girl from
New-England. Some of his friends were rather surprised at the match, for
she had appeared hitherto only as a sprightly belle, amiable, but a
little frivolous. It was not, however, that he was only proud of her
beauty and accomplishments, or transiently in love; for his young wife
had soon occasion to reveal a strength of mind only inferior to his own.
Her sight began to fail; it failed more and more rapidly, till, after
the birth of her child, she was obliged to surrender to others all the
nicer cares of maternal management. Her accomplishments became suddenly
useless. Her favourite drawing was first given up; then her needle was
laid aside; then she could neither write nor read, nor bear a strong
light. In her state of enforced idleness (the greatest trial of all to
the spirits), her cheerfulness never failed. Her step was as light, her
voice as gay as ever. She said it was because her husband was as happy
as ever. He aided her in every conceivable way, by doing all that was
possible of what she was prevented from doing, and by upholding her
conviction that the mind is its own place; and he thus proved that he
did not desire for her or for himself indolent submission, but cheerful
acquiescence.

As summer came on, the child sickened in teething, and was sent with its
mother to New-England, in order to escape the greatest heats. They had
set out, under good guardianship, the week before I arrived at
Cincinnati. Mr. P. could not leave his church for many weeks, but was to
follow in August, so as to be in time to deliver a poem before the Phi
Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in Harvard commencement
week. I fancied that I saw him meditating this poem more than once
during our drives through the splendid scenery round Cincinnati. I was
uneasy about his health, and expressed some apprehensions to one of his
friends, who, however, made light of what I said. I thought that, made
for strength as he looked, he had little of it. He seemed incessantly
struggling against exhaustion, and I was confident that he often joined
in conversation with his eyes alone, because he was unequal to the
exertion of talking. I was quite sure of all this, and wondered how
others could help seeing it too, on the day of the procession of the
freeschools of Cincinnati, when he was appointed to address the
children. His evident effort in the pulpit and exhaustion afterward made
me fear that there were more trials in store for his young wife. During
their separation she could neither write to him nor read his letters.

When, towards the end of August, I arrived at Cambridge for
commencement, one of my first inquiries was for the P.s. He had joined
his wife, his poem was ready, and they were in cheerful spirits, though
both her sight and the child's health were rather worse than better. I
did not see them among the assemblage on the great commencement day. On
the morrow, when the Phi Beta Kappa Society had marched in to music, and
the oration had been delivered, and we all looked eagerly for Mr. P. and
his poem, a young clergyman appeared, with a roll of MS. in his hand,
and with a faltering voice, and a countenance of repressed grief, told
us that Mr. P. had been seized with a sudden and severe illness, and had
requested from him, as an office of friendship, that he would read the
poem which its author was prevented from delivering. The tidings ran in
a mournful whisper through the assemblage that Mr. P. had broken a
bloodvessel.

The poem was descriptive, with touches of human interest, many and
strong. It related the passage of an emigrant family over the
Alleghanies, and their settlement in the West. It was read with much
modesty, truth, and grace. At one part the reader's voice failed him, at
a brief description of the burial of an infant in the woods; it was too
like a recent scene at which the reader had been present as chief
mourner.

The P.s were next at a country-house within two miles of another where I
was spending ten days. Mr. P. was shut up, and condemned to the trial
which his wife was bearing so well, enforced idleness. His bodily
weakness made him feel it more, and he found it difficult to bear. He
had been unused to sickness, and the only failure I ever saw in him was
in obedience to the necessities of his situation and the orders of his
physician. He could not write a page of a letter, and reading fatigued
his head; but he could not help trying to do what he had been accustomed
to perform with ease; and no dexterity of his visiters could prevent his
clapping on his hat, and being at the carriage door before them. I
thought once that I had fairly shut him into his parlour, but he was
holding my stirrup before I had done my farewell to his wife. I was
commissioned to carry him grapes and peaches from a friend's hothouse;
and I would fain have gone every day to read to him, but I found that he
saw too many people, and I therefore went seldom. Nothing can be
conceived more touching than the cheerfulness of his wife. Many would
have inwardly called it cruel that she could now do almost nothing for
her husband, or what she thought almost nothing. She could neither read
to him, nor write for him the many passing thoughts, the many
remembrances to absent friends, that it would have been a relief to his
now restless mind to have had set down. But their common conviction
completely sustained them both, and I never saw them otherwise than
unaffectedly cheerful. The child was sometimes better and sometimes
worse. I saw him but once, but I should have known him again among a
thousand. The full, innocent gaze of his bright black eyes, the upright
carriage, so striking in a well-tended infant, and the attitude of
repose in which he contemplated from his mother's arms whatever went on
about him, fixed the image of the child in my memory for ever. In
another month I heard, at a distance, of the child's death. For a
fortnight before he had been quite blind, and had suffered grievously.
In the common phrase, I was told that the parents supported themselves
wonderfully.

As the cold weather approached, it became necessary for Mr. P. to remove
southward. It was a weary journey over the Alleghanies into Ohio, but it
had to be performed. Every arrangement of companionship, and about
conveyance, resting-places, &c., was made to lessen the fatigue to the
utmost; but we all dreaded it for him. The party was to touch at
Providence, Rhode Island, where the steamboat would wait a quarter of an
hour. I was in Providence, and, of course, went down to the boat to
greet them. Mr. P. saw me from a distance, and ran ashore, and let down
the steps of the carriage with an alacrity which filled me with joy and
hope. He was not nearly so thin as when I last saw him, and his
countenance was more radiant than ever. "I knew we should see you," said
he, as he led me on board to his wife. She, too, was smiling. They were
not in mourning. Like some other persons in America who disapprove of
wearing mourning, they had the courage to break through the custom. It
would, indeed, have been inconsistent with the conviction which was
animating them all this time--the conviction that the whole disposal of
us is wise, and right, and kind--to have made an external profession
that anything that befell them was to be lamented. I could not but
observe the contrast between their countenances and that of their
maidservant, whose heart was doubtless aching at having to go back
without the child. The mother's feelings were anything but deadened. The
cheerfulness and the heart's mourning existed together. Tears trembled
in her eyes, and her voice faltered more than once; but then came the
bright smile again, and an intimation, given almost in a spirit of
gayety, that it was easy to bear anything while _he_ was always so
strong in spirit and so happy.

This was the last I saw of them. Their travelling companions wrote
cheerlessly of his want of strength, and of the suffering the long
journey caused him. They were taken into the house of a kind friend at
Cincinnati, where there was a room fitted up with green for the sake of
Mrs. P.'s eyes, and every arrangement made in a similar spirit of
consideration. But it would not do; there was yet to be no rest for the
invalid. The excitement of being among his flock, while unable to do
anything in their service, was injurious to him. He was sent down the
river to New-Orleans, and his wife was not allowed to accompany him. The
reasons were sufficient, but the separation at a time when he was nearly
as anxious about her health as she about his was a dreadful trial. I
heard of it, and wrote him a long letter to amuse him, desiring him not
to exert himself to answer it. After a while, however, he did so, and I
shall never part with that letter. He spoke briefly of himself and his
affairs, but I saw the whole state of his mind in the little he did say.
He found himself in no respect better; in many much worse. He often felt
that he was going down the dark valley, and longed intensely for the
voices of his home to cheer him on his way. But, still, his happiest
conviction was the uppermost. He knew that all things were ordered well,
and he had no cares. He wrote more copiously of other things: of his
voyage down the great river, of the state of mind and manners amid the
influences of slavery, which had converted his judgment and his
sympathies to the abolition cause; and of the generous kindness of his
people, the full extent of which he might never have known but for his
present sickness. This letter left me little hope of his recovery; yet
even here the spirit of cheerfulness, predominant through the whole, was
irresistible, and it left me less anxious for them than before.

After this I wandered about for some months, out of reach of any of the
P.'s connexions, and could only procure general accounts of his being
better. Just before I sailed I received from Mr. P. a letter full of
good news, as calmly cheerful in its tone as any written in the depths
of his adversity. He had ascended the river with the first warmth of
spring; was so much better as to be allowed to preach once on the
Sunday, and to be about to undertake it twice; and was now writing
beside the cradle of his newborn daughter, whose mother sent me word
that they were all well and happy.

The power of a faith like theirs goes forth in various directions to
work many wonders. It not only fortifies the minds of sufferers, but
modifies the circumstances themselves from which they suffer, bracing
the nerves in sickness, and equalizing the emotions in sorrow; it
practically asserts the supremacy of the real over the apparent, and the
high over the low; and, among other kindly operations, refreshes the
spirit of the stranger with a revelation of true kindred in a foreign
land: for this faith is the fundamental quality in the brotherhood of
the race.



THE NATURAL BRIDGE.


    "Come on, sir; here's the place: stand still. How fearful
    And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!"

                                                             SHAKSPEARE.

                        "Desperate now
    All farther course; yon beetling brow,
    In craggy nakedness sublime,
    What heart or foot shall dare to climb!"

                                                                  SCOTT.


The shrewd Yankee driver of the "extra exclusive return stage," which
contained four out of six of our travelling-party in Virginia, was
jocose about the approach to the Natural Bridge. Mr. L. and I were on
horseback, and the driver of the stage called after us when we were
"going ahead," to warn us that we should get over the bridge without
knowing it if we went first. We, of course, determined to avoid looking
so foolish as we should do if we passed the Natural Bridge--the little
spot deemed important enough to be put in capital letters in maps of the
American Union--without knowing it. Heads were popped out of the stage
window to shout the warning after us; and the jokes really seemed so
extremely insulting, that we were disposed to push on, and get our sight
of Jefferson's great wonder before our fellow-travellers came up. For
five miles we kept out of sight of the stage; but at this point there
was a parting of the roads, and we could see no possible means of
learning which we were to follow. We were obliged to wait in the shade
till the distant driver's whip pointed out the right-hand road to us. We
were now not far from the object of our expectations. We agreed that we
felt very quiet about it; that we were conscious of little of the
veneration which the very idea of Niagara inspires. The intensity of
force, combined with repose, is the charm of Niagara. No form of rock,
however grand in itself or however beautifully surrounded, can produce
anything like the same impression. Experience proved that we were right.

At a mile from the bridge the road turns off through a wood. While the
stage rolled and jolted along the extremely bad road, Mr. L. and I went
prying about the whole area of the wood, poking our horses' noses into
every thicket and between any two pieces of rock, that we might be sure
not to miss our object, the driver smiling after us whenever he could
spare attention from his own not very easy task of getting his charge
along. With all my attention I could see no precipice, and was
concluding to follow the road without more vagaries, when Mr. L., who
was a little in advance, waved his whip as he stood beside his horse,
and said, "Here is the bridge!" I then perceived that we were nearly
over it, the piled rocks on either hand forming a barrier which prevents
a careless eye from perceiving the ravine which it spans. I turned to
the side of the road, and rose in my stirrup to look over; but I found
it would not do. I went on to the inn, deposited my horse, and returned
on foot to the bridge.

With all my efforts I could not look down steadily into what seemed the
bottomless abyss of foliage and shadow. From every point of the bridge I
tried, and all in vain. I was heated and extremely hungry, and much
vexed at my own weakness. The only way was to go down and look up;
though where the bottom could be was past my imagining, the view from
the top seeming to be of foliage below foliage for ever.

The way to the glen is through a field opposite the inn, and down a
steep, rough, rocky path, which leads under the bridge and a few yards
beyond it. I think the finest view of all is from this path, just before
reaching the bridge. The irregular arch of rock, spanning a chasm of 160
feet in height, and from sixty to ninety in width, is exquisitely tinted
with every shade of gray and brown; while trees encroach from the sides
and overhang from the top, between which and the arch there is an
additional depth of fifty-six feet. It was now early in July; the trees
were in their brightest and thickest foliage; and the tall beeches under
the arch contrasted their verdure with the gray rock, and received the
gilding of the sunshine as it slanted into the ravine, glittering in the
drip from the arch, and in the splashing and tumbling waters of Cedar
Creek, which ran by our feet. Swallows were flying about under the arch.
What others of their tribe can boast of such a home?

We crossed and recrossed the creek on stepping-stones, searching out
every spot to which any tradition belonged. Under the arch, thirty feet
from the water, the lower part of the letters G. W. may be seen carved in
the rock. When Washington was a young man, he climbed up hither, to
leave this record of his visit. There are other inscriptions of the same
kind, and above them a board, on which are painted the names of two
persons, who have thought it worth while thus to immortalize their feat
of climbing highest. But their glory was but transient after all. They
have been outstripped by a traveller whose achievement will probably
never be rivalled, for he would not have accomplished it if he could by
any means have declined the task. Never was a wonderful deed more
involuntarily performed. There is no disparagement to the gentleman in
saying this: it is only absolving him from the charge of foolhardiness.

This young man, named Blacklock, accompanied by two friends, visited the
Natural Bridge, and, being seized with the ambition appropriate to the
place, of writing his name highest, climbed the rock opposite to the
part selected by Washington, and carved his initials. Others had perhaps
seen what Mr. Blacklock overlooked, that it was a place easy to ascend,
but from which it is impossible to come down. He was forty feet or more
from the path; his footing was precarious; he was weary with holding on
while carving his name, and his head began to swim when he saw the
impossibility of getting down again. He called to his companions that
his only chance was to climb up upon the bridge without hesitation or
delay. They saw this, and with anguish agreed between themselves that
the chance was a very bare one. They cheered him, and advised him to
look neither up nor down. On he went, slanting upward from under the
arch, creeping round a projection on which no foothold is visible from
below, and then disappearing in a recess filled up with foliage. Long
and long they waited, watching for motion, and listening for crashing
among the trees. He must have been now 150 feet above them. At length
their eyes were so strained that they could see no more, and they had
almost lost all hope. There was little doubt that he had fallen while
behind the trees, where his body would never be found. They went up to
try the chance of looking for him from above. They found him lying
insensible on the bridge. He could just remember reaching the top, when
he immediately fainted. One would like to know whether the accident
left him a coward in respect of climbing, or whether it strengthened his
confidence in his nerves.

The guide showed us a small cedar, which projected from a shelf of the
rock about two hundred feet above our heads, and along whose stem a
young lady climbed several feet, so as to court destruction in a very
vain and foolish manner. If the support had failed, as might reasonably
have been expected, her immortality of reputation would not have been of
an enviable kind.

We remained in the ravine till we were all exhausted with hunger, but we
had to wait for dinner still another hour after arriving at the inn. By
way of passing the time, one gentleman of our party fainted, and had to
be laid along on the floor; which circumstance, I fancy, rather
accelerated the announcement of our meal. The moment it was over I
hastened to the bridge, and was pleased to find that, being no longer
fatigued and hungry, I could look into the abyss with perfect ease. I
lay down on the rocks, and studied the aspect of the ravine in its
afternoon lights and shadows from five different points of view. While
thus engaged I was called to see a handsome copper-headed snake, but it
had gained its hole before I could reach the spot. We ladies so much
preferred the view of the bridge from the glen to the view of the glen
from the bridge, that we went down for another hour before departing. It
looked most beautiful. The sunshine was slowly withdrawing from under
the arch, and leaving us in the shadows of evening, while all was
glowing like noon in the region to which we looked up from our lowly
seats, the stepping-stones in the midst of the gushing creek.

The Natural Bridge is nearly in the centre of Virginia, and about half
way between Fincastle and Lexington, which are about thirty-seven miles
apart. The main central road of Virginia runs over the bridge, so that
no excuse is left for travellers who neglect to visit this work, framed
by the strong hand of Nature,

                    "By wondrous art
    Pontifical, a ridge of pendant rock
    Over the vex'd abyss,"

vexed, not by the tumults of chaos, but by the screams of caverned
birds, the battles of snakes with their prey, and the chafing of waters
against opposing rocks.



COLONEL BURR.


     "His extraordinary plans and expectations for himself might be of
     such a nature as to depend on other persons for their
     accomplishment, and might, therefore, be as extravagant as if other
     persons alone had been their object."

                                                    --FOSTER'S _Essays_.


The romance of political adventure is generally found to flourish in the
regions of despotism; and it seems a matter of course that there can be
no room for conspiracy in a democratic republic, where each man is a
member of the government, and means are provided for the expression of
every kind of political opinion and desire. Yet the United States can
exhibit a case of conspiracy and a political adventurer such as might
rejoice the souls of the lovers of romance. Scattered notices of Colonel
Aaron Burr and of his supposed schemes are before the English public,
but no connected history which might be depended upon appeared during
his life. He died last year, and has left no relations; so that no
reason now exists why everything that can be learned about him should
not be made known.

In 1795, Aaron Burr had attained to eminence at the New-York Bar. He was
about the same age as Alexander Hamilton, who was born in 1757, and
their professional reputation and practice were about equal. Hamilton
was the leader of the federal party. He was, in countenance, eminently
handsome, in manner engaging, in temper amiable and affectionate, in
eloquence both persuasive and commanding; and his mind was so
comprehensive, and his powers of application and execution so great, as
to cause him to be considered by the federal party the greatest man
their country has produced. Burr was of democratic politics; he had a
fiercely ambitious temper, which he hid under a gentle and seductive
manner. He was usually so quiet and sedate that he might have been
thought indifferent but for the expression of his piercing black eyes.
His face was otherwise plain, and his figure and gait were stooping and
ungraceful. He assumed great authority of manner upon occasion. His
speaking at the bar was brief and to the purpose. His most remarkable
characteristic seems to have been his power of concealment. He not only
carried on a conspiracy before the nation's eyes which they to this day
cannot more or less understand, but lived long years with the tremendous
secret in his breast, and has gone down to the grave without affording
any solution of the mystery. It may be doubted whether, in all the long
private conversations he had with individuals, he ever committed
himself, otherwise than apparently, to anybody. He seems to have been
understood by Hamilton, however, from the beginning, and Hamilton never
concealed his opinion that Burr was an ambitious and dangerous man.

Jefferson put a generous trust in Burr, and for many years they were
intimate correspondents. It is very touching to read, after all that has
since happened, such letters as the following, written shortly after the
two men had been rival candidates for the presidentship, at a time of
unexampled party excitement:--

         "TO COLONEL BURR.

                                          "Washington, February 1, 1801.

     "Dear Sir--It was to be expected that the enemy would endeavour to
     sow tares between us, that they might divide us and our friends.
     Every consideration satisfies me that you will be on your guard
     against this, as I assure you I am strongly. I hear of one
     stratagem so imposing and so base, that it is proper I should
     notice it to you. Mr. Munford, who is here, says he saw at New-York
     before he left it an original letter of mine to Judge Breckinridge,
     in which are sentiments highly injurious to you. He knows my
     handwriting, and did not doubt that to be genuine. I enclose you a
     copy, taken from a press copy of the only letter I ever wrote to
     Judge Breckinridge in my life: the press copy itself has been shown
     to several of our mutual friends here. Of consequence, the letter
     seen by Mr. Munford must be a forgery; and, if it contains a
     sentiment unfriendly or disrespectful to you, I affirm it solemnly
     to be a forgery, as also if it varies from the copy enclosed. With
     the common trash of slander I should not think of troubling you;
     but the forgery of one's handwriting is too imposing to be
     neglected. A mutual knowledge of each other furnishes us with the
     best test of the contrivances which will be practised by the
     enemies of both.

     "Accept assurances of my high respect and esteem.

                                                        "TH. JEFFERSON."

In the presidential election of 1800 there were four candidates,
Jefferson, Burr, John Adams, and Pinckney. The votes were for Jefferson
73, for Burr 73, for Adams 65, for Pinckney 64. The numbers for
Jefferson and Burr being equal, the choice devolved upon the House of
Representatives, which voted to attend to no other business till the
election was settled, and not to adjourn till the decision was effected.
For seven days and nights the ballotting went on, every member being
present. Some who were ill or infirm were accommodated with beds and
couches, and one sick member was allowed to be attended by his wife.
Adams was, as president, on the spot, watching his impending political
annihilation. Jefferson was at hand, daily presiding in the Senate. Burr
was in the State of New-York, anxiously expecting tidings. The federal
party were in despair at having to choose between two republicans (as
the democratic party was at that day called). It is said that Hamilton
was consulted by his party, and that his advice was to choose Jefferson
rather than Burr: a piece of counsel which affected the everlasting
destinies of the country, and cost the counsellor his life. At the end
of the seven days Jefferson was elected president and Burr
vice-president, which office Burr held for a single term, four years.

In the winter of 1804 Burr was proposed at Albany as a candidate for the
office of Governor of the State of New-York. Hamilton, at a public
meeting of his party, strongly opposed the nomination, declaring that he
would never join in supporting such a candidate. About this time Dr.
Chas. D. Cooper wrote a letter, in which he said "General Hamilton
and ---- have declared in substance that they looked upon Mr. Burr as a
dangerous man, and one who ought not to be trusted with the reins of
government." "I could detail to you a still more despicable opinion
which General Hamilton has expressed of Mr. Burr." This letter was
published; and on the 18th of June, 1804, Burr sent a copy of it to
Hamilton, with a demand that the expressions it contained should be
acknowledged or denied. The correspondence which ensued is discreditable
to both parties. To use the expression of a great man, "Hamilton went
into it like a Capuchin." He knew that it was Burr's determination to
fix a deadly quarrel upon him; he knew that Burr was an unworthy
adversary; he disapproved of the practice of duelling, but he feared the
imputation of want of courage if he refused to meet his foe. He
therefore explained and corresponded with an amplitude and indecision
which expose his reputation to more danger from harsh judges than a
refusal to fight would have done. As for Burr, he was savage in his
pursuit of his enemy. He enlarged his accusations and demands as he saw
the irresolution of his victim; and I believe there is no doubt that,
though he was a good shot before, he employed the interval of twenty
days which elapsed before the duel took place in firing at a mark,
making no secret of the purpose of his practising.

This interval was occasioned by Hamilton's refusal to go out till the
Circuit Court, in the business of which he was engaged, should have
closed its sittings. The Court rose on Friday, the 6th of July, and Burr
received notice that General Hamilton would be ready at any time after
the following Sunday.

On Wednesday morning, the 11th, the parties crossed the Hudson to the
Jersey shore, arriving on the ground at seven o'clock. Burr was attended
by Mr. Van Ness and a surgeon; Hamilton by Mr. Pendleton and Dr. Hosack.
It was Hamilton's intention not to fire; but when his adversary's ball
struck him on the right side, he raised himself involuntarily on his
toes, and turned a little to the left, his pistol going off with the
movement. He observed to his physician, "This is a mortal wound,
doctor," and then became insensible. He revived, however, in the boat,
in the course of removal home, and cautioned his attendants about the
pistol, which he was not aware of having discharged. He lived in great
agony till two o'clock of the following day.

He left a paper which contained his statement of reasons for meeting
Burr, notwithstanding his conscientious disapproval of the practice of
duelling, and his particular desire to avoid an encounter with such an
adversary, and in such a cause as the present. In this paper he declares
his resolution to reserve and throw away his first fire, and perhaps his
second. His reasons for fighting are now, I believe, generally agreed to
be unsatisfactory. As to the effect of his determination to spare his
adversary, I never could learn that Colonel Burr expressed the slightest
regret for the pertinacity with which he hunted such an enemy--merely a
political foe--to death. Neither did he appear to feel the execration
with which he was regarded in the region of which Hamilton had been the
pride and ornament.

To avoid the legal consequences of his deed he wandered into the West,
and remained so long in retreat that some passing wonder was excited as
to what he could be doing there. He was ensnaring more victims.

In the Ohio river, a few miles below Marietta, there is a beautiful
island, finely wooded, but now presenting a dismal picture of ruin. This
island was purchased, about thirty-five years ago, by an Irish
gentleman, named Herman Blennerhassett, whose name the island has since
borne. This gentleman took his beautiful and attached wife to his new
property, and their united tastes made it such an abode as was never
before and has never since been seen in the United States. Shrubberies,
conservatories, and gardens ornamented the island, and within doors
there was a fine library, philosophical apparatus, and music-room. Burr
seems to have been introduced to this family by some mutual friends at
the East, and to have been received as a common acquaintance at first.
The intimacy grew; and the oftener he went to Blennerhassett's Island,
and the longer he stayed, the deeper was the gloom which overspread the
unfortunate family. Blennerhassett himself seems to have withdrawn his
interest from his children, his books, his pursuits, as Burr obtained
influence over his mind, and poisoned it with some dishonest ambition.
The wife's countenance grew sad and her manners constrained. It is not
known how far she was made acquainted with what was passing between her
husband and Burr.

The object of Burr's conspiracy remains as much a mystery as ever, while
there is no doubt whatever of its existence. Some suppose that he
intended to possess himself of Mexico, an enterprise less absurd than at
first sight it appears. There was great hatred towards the Mexicans at
that period, the period of agitation about the acquisition of Louisiana;
thousands of citizens were ready to march down upon Mexico on any
pretence; and it is certain that Burr was so amply provided with funds
from some unknown quarter, that he had active adherents carrying on his
business from the borders of Maine all down the course of the great
Western rivers. Another supposition is, that he designed the plunder of
New-Orleans in the event of a war with Spain. A more probable one is
that he proposed to found a great Western Empire, with the aid of Spain,
making himself its emperor, and drawing off the allegiance of all the
countries west of the Alleghanies; and, finally, that, as a cover to and
final substitute for other designs, he meant to effect the colonization
of the banks of the river Washita. Such are the various objects assigned
as the end of Burr's movements: but all that is known is that he engaged
a number of men in his service--supposed to be not less than a
thousand--under an assurance that the service required of them was one
approved by the government; that he endeavoured to persuade Latrobe, the
architect, to engage five hundred more labourers on pretext of their
working on the Ohio canal, in which it turned out that he had no
interest; that a guard was mounted round Blennerhassett's Island; that
boats, manned and furnished with arms, set forth from the island on the
night of the 10th of December, 1806; that they were joined by Burr, with
a re-enforcement, at the mouth of the Cumberland; and that they all
proceeded down the Mississippi together.

The government had become aware of secret meetings between Burr, the
Spanish Yruyo, and Dr. Bollman, one of the liberators of Lafayette; and
the proper time was seized for putting forth proclamations which
undeceived the people with regard to Burr's movements, and caused them
to rise against him wherever he had been acting. Orders to capture him
and his party, and, if necessary, to destroy his boats, were eagerly
received. Burr did not venture to New-Orleans. He caused himself to be
put ashore in the territory of Mississippi, and thence found his way,
attended by only one person, to the banks of the Tombigbee, which he
reached on the 19th of February, 1807. At eleven at night the wanderers
passed a settlement called Washington Courthouse: Burr preceded his
companion by some yards, and passed on quietly; but his companion
inquired of a man standing at the door of a public house about the
dwelling of a Major Hinson, and, on receiving his answer, joined Burr.
The person inquired of went to Hinson's with the sheriff, and had his
suspicions so confirmed, that he proceeded to Fort Stoddart, and brought
back an officer and four soldiers, who took Burr into custody. He was
lodged, a prisoner, at Richmond, Virginia, by the end of March.

Burr had previously been brought to trial in Kentucky, on an accusation
of illegal secret practices in that state. He was defended and brought
off by Mr. Clay and Colonel Allen, who were persuaded of his innocence,
and refused a fee. Mr. Clay was for long after his advocate in public
and in private, and asked him, for friendly purposes, for a full
declaration that he was innocent, which Burr gave unhesitatingly and
explicitly, and the note is now among Jefferson's papers. When, some
time subsequently, a letter of Burr's in cipher came to light, Mr. Clay
found how he had been deceived; but his advocacy was, for the time, of
great benefit to Burr.

On the 17th of August Burr was brought to trial at Richmond before
Chief-justice Marshall. He was charged with having excited insurrection,
rebellion, and war, on the 10th of December, 1806, at Blennerhassett's
Island, in Virginia. Secondly, the same charge was repeated, with the
addition of a traitorous intention of taking possession of the city of
New-Orleans with force and arms. The evidence established everything but
the precise charge. The presence of Burr in the island was proved, and
his levies of men and provisions on the banks of the Ohio. The presence
of armed men in the island and the expedition of the 10th of December
were also proved, but not any meeting of these men with Burr. The proof
of the overt act completely failed. He was then tried at the same court
on an indictment for misdemeanour, and acquitted. He was then ordered to
be committed to answer an indictment in the State of Ohio. He was
admitted to bail, and it does not appear that the State of Ohio meddled
with him at all.

Bollman was one of the witnesses on the side of the prosecution. His
certificate of pardon was offered to him in court by the counsel for the
prosecution. He refused to accept it, but was sworn, and his evidence
received.

It is impossible to suppose any bias on the part of the court in favour
of the prisoner. His acquittal seems to have arisen from unskilfulness
in deducing the charges from the evidence, and to the trial having taken
place before all the requisite evidence could be gathered from distant
regions.

Blennerhassett and others were tried on the same charges as Burr; but
what became of them I do not remember, farther than that Blennerhassett
was utterly ruined and disgraced.

Burr repaired to England. His connexion with Bentham appears wholly
unaccountable. The story is that he was in a bookseller's shop one day
when Bentham entered, and fixed his observation; that he wrote a letter
to Bentham as soon as he was gone, expressive of his high admiration of
his works; that Bentham admitted him to an interview, invited him to
stay with him, and urged the prolongation of his visit from time to
time, till it ended in being a sojourn of two years. It is difficult to
conceive how an agreeable intercourse could be kept up for so long a
time between the single-minded philosopher and the crafty yet boastful,
the vindictive yet smooth political adventurer.

In October, 1808, Jefferson wrote to a friend,

"Burr is in London, and is giving out to his friends that that
government offers him two millions of dollars the moment he can raise an
ensign of rebellion as big as a handkerchief. Some of his partisans will
believe this because they wish it. But those who know him best will not
believe it the more because he says it."[2] He returned to America in
1812, being sent away from England on account of his too frequent and
very suspicious political correspondence with France.

Footnote 2: Jefferson's Correspondence, vol. iv., p. 115.

He settled quietly at New-York, and resumed practice at the bar, which
he continued as long as his health permitted. He owed such practice as
he had to his high legal ability, and not to any improved opinion of his
character. When Mr. Clay arrived in New-York from his English mission,
he went the round of the public institutions, attended by the principal
inhabitants. In one of the courts he met Burr, and, of course, after the
affair of the cipher letter, cut him. Burr made his way to him, declared
himself anxious to clear up every misapprehension, and requested to be
allowed half an hour's private conversation. Mr. Clay readily agreed to
this, and the hour was named. Burr failed to keep his appointment, and
never afterward appeared in Mr. Clay's presence.

One pure light, one healthy affection, illumined and partially redeemed
the life of the adventurer. He had an only child, a daughter, whom he
loved with all the love of which he was capable, and which she fully
deserved. She was early married to a Mr. Alston, and lived at
Charleston. I believe she was about five-and-twenty when she fell into
ill health, and the strong soul of her father was shaken with the terror
of losing her. He spared no pains or expense to obtain the best opinions
on her case from Europe; and the earnestness of his appeals to the
physicians to whom he wrote full statements of her case are very moving.
While awaiting a decision as to what measures should be taken for her
restoration, it was decided that she must leave Charleston before the
summer heats, and he summoned her to his home at New-York. To avoid
fatigue, she went by sea with her child and the nurse. Her father had
notice of her departure, and watched hour after hour for her arrival.
The hours wore away, and days, and weeks, and years. The vessel never
arrived, nor any tidings of her. She must have foundered, or, far worse,
fallen into the hands of pirates. A pang went through the heart of every
one for many years, as often as the thought recurred that Mrs. Alston
and her child might be living in slavery to pirates in some place
inaccessible to the inquiries of even her wretched father. When all had
been done that could be devised, and every one had ceased to hope, Burr
closed his lips upon the subject. No one of the few who were about him
ever heard him mention his daughter.

While I was in America a foreign sailor died in a hospital, my memory
fails me as to where it was. When near death, he made a confession which
was believed to be true by all whom I heard speak on the subject. He
confessed himself to have been a pirate, and to have served on board the
vessel which captured that which was conveying Mrs. Alston. He declared
that she was shut up below while the captain and crew were being
murdered on deck. She was then brought up, and was present at the
decision that it would not be safe to spare her life. She was ordered to
walk the plank, with her child in her arms; and, finding all quiet
remonstrance vain, she did it without hesitation or visible tremour. The
recollection of it was too much for the pirate in his dying moments.

About a year before his death Colonel Burr sanctioned the publication of
a so-called life of himself; a panegyric which leaves in the reader's
mind the strongest conviction of the reality of his Western adventures,
and of the justice of every important charge against him. He died last
year; and it will probably be soon known with exactness whether he took
care that his secrets should be buried with him, or whether he made
arrangements for some light being at length thrown on his eventful and
mysterious history.



VILLAGES.


                            "These ample fields
    Nourished their harvests: here their herds were fed,
    When haply by their stalls the bison lowed,
    And bowed his maned shoulder to the yoke.
                              From the ground
    Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice
    Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn
    Of Sabbath worshippers."

                                                                 BRYANT.


The villages of New-England are all more or less beautiful, and the most
beautiful of them all is, I believe, Northampton. They have all the
graceful weeping elm; wide roads overshadowed with wood; mounds or
levels of a rich verdure; white churches, and comfortable and
picturesque frame dwellings. Northampton has these beauties and more. It
lies in the rich meadows which border the Connecticut, beneath the
protection of high wooded hills. The habitations of its gentry crown the
green knolls and terraces on which the village stands, or half buried in
gay gardens, or hidden under clumps of elm. The celebrated Mount Holyoke
and Mount Tom are just at hand, and the Sugarloaf is in view; while the
brimming Connecticut winds about and about in the meadows, as if
unwilling, like the traveller, to leave such a spot.

The pilgrims were not long in discovering the promise of the rich
alluvial lands amid which Northampton stands; and their descendants
established themselves here, as in the midst of a wilderness, long
before there were any settlements between the spot on which they had sat
down and the coast. The perils of such an abode were extreme, but so
were its temptations; and here, for many years, did a handful of whites
continue to live, surrounded by red neighbours; now trafficking, now
fighting; sometimes agreeing to render mutual service, but always on the
watch against mutual injury. So early as 1658 the township of
Northampton (then called Nonotuc) was purchased at the price set upon it
by the Indians, viz., for ninety square miles of land the sellers
demanded one hundred fathom of wampum by tale, and ten coats; and that
the purchasers should plough for the Indians sixteen acres of land on
the east side of the river the next summer. The making the purchase was
the smallest part of the settlers' business; the defending themselves in
the wilderness, surrounded as they were by numerous tribes of Indians,
was a far more serious matter. The usual arrangement of a village was
planned with a regard to safety from plunder and massacre. The surviving
effect is that of beauty, which the busy settlers cannot be supposed to
have much regarded at the time. The dwellings were erected in one long
street, each house within its own enclosure, and, in many cases,
fortified. The street was bordered with trees, and in the midst stood
the "meeting-house," often fortified also. This street was, when it was
possible, built across the neck of a peninsula formed by the windings of
the river, or from hill to hill in the narrowest part of a valley. The
cattle which grazed during the day in the peninsula or under the eye of
the owners were driven at night into the area between the rows of
houses. Here and there a village was surrounded with palisades. But no
kind of defence availed for any long period. From time to time disasters
happened to the most careful and the most valiant. Fire was an agent of
destruction which could not be always defied. When the village was
burned its inhabitants were helpless. The women and children were
carried off into captivity, and the place lay desolate till a new party
of adventurers arrived to clear away the ruins and commence a fresh
experiment.

Traditions of the horrors of the Indian wars spring up at every step in
this valley, and make the stranger speculate on what men and women were
made of in the days when they could voluntarily fix their abode among
savage foes, while there were safer places of habitation at their
command on the coast. The settlers seem, by the testimony of all
history, to have been possessed of spirit proportioned to their needs.
We hear of women being employed in the cellars casting bullets, and
handing them to their husbands during an onset of the savages; and of a
girl plucking a saddle from under the head of a sleeping Indian,
saddling a horse, and galloping off, swimming rivers, and penetrating
forests till she reached her home. The fate of the family of the Rev.
John Williams, who were living in the valley of the Connecticut at the
end of the seventeenth century, and were broken up by the Indians in an
attack on the village of Deerfield, is a fair specimen of the chances to
which residents in such lodges in the wilderness were exposed.

The enemy came over the snow, which was four feet deep, and hard enough
to bear them up, and thus were enabled to surmount the palisades. Not
being expected at that time of year, they met with no opposition. The
inhabitants had not time to rouse themselves from sleep before they were
tomahawked or captured. Out of a population of two hundred and eighty,
forty-seven were killed, and one hundred and twelve made prisoners. Mr.
Williams was the minister of the settlement. Two of his children were
killed on the threshold of his own door. His son Eleazer escaped, and
was left behind. Mrs. Williams was one of the Mathers of Northampton.
She was marched off, with her husband and several remaining children, in
the direction of Canada; but they were not allowed to be together and
comfort each other. It was a weary march for sufferers who carried such
heavy hearts into so horrible a captivity. Over wastes of snow, through
thawing brooks, among rugged forest-paths, they were goaded on, not
permitted to look back, or to loiter, or to stop, except at the pleasure
of their captors. Mrs. Williams presently fell behind. She was in
delicate health, and unused to hardship like this. When her husband had
passed Green River, he looked back and saw her faltering on the bank,
and then stumbling into the water. He turned to implore the savage who
guarded him to allow him to go back and help his wife. He was refused,
and when he looked again she had disappeared. Having fallen into the
water through weakness, an Indian had buried his tomahawk in her scull,
stepped over her body, and passed on. Her remains were discovered and
carried back to Deerfield for interment.

For a few moments the captives had been tantalized with a hope of
release. The Indians were attacked during their retreat by a small body
of settlers, and pressed hard. At this moment an Indian runner was
despatched to the guard, with orders to put all the prisoners to death.
A ball laid him low while he was on his errand; and the settlers being
compelled to give way, the order about the prisoners was not renewed.

At night they encamped on the snow, digging away spaces to lie down in,
and spreading boughs of the spruce-fir for couches. During the first
night one of the captives escaped; and in the morning Mr. Williams was
ordered to tell his companions, that if any more made their escape, the
rest of the prisoners should be burned.

At the close of a day's march, when they had advanced some way on their
long journey, a maidservant belonging to Mr. Williams's family came to
the pastor, requested his blessing, and offered her farewell. He
inquired what she meant. She replied, with great quietness of manner,
that she perceived that all who lagged in the march were tomahawked;
that she had kept up with great difficulty through this day; and that
she felt she should perish thus on the morrow. Mr. Williams examined
into her state of body, and was convinced that she was nearly exhausted.
He gave his blessing, and this was all he could do for her. He watched
her incessantly the next day. He saw her growing more feeble every hour,
but still calm and gentle. She kept up till late in the afternoon, when
she lagged behind; being urged, she fell, and was despatched with the
tomahawk. Two of the prisoners were starved to death on the road, and
fifteen others were murdered like Mrs. Williams and her servant.

The pastor, with his remaining children, reached Canada, where he
remained, suffering great hardships, for two years and a half. He was
ransomed, with sixty-one others, and returned to Boston, where he was
waited upon by a deputation from his old parish, and requested to resume
his duties among the remnant of his people. He actually returned, and
died in peace there twenty-three years afterward. It appears that all
his captive children but one were redeemed. Two besides Eleazer were
educated at Harvard College. His little daughter Eunice was six years
old when she was carried away. She grew up to womanhood among the
Indians, and married a red man, retaining the name of Williams, and
adopting the Romish faith. Being brought to Deerfield to see her family,
she could not be persuaded to remain; nor would she accommodate herself
to the habits of civilized life, preferring to sleep on the floor on a
blanket to using a bed. Some half-breed descendants of hers are living
on the borders of Lake Michigan.

The sufferers seemed to have consoled themselves with turning their
disasters into verse; sometimes piously, in hymns, and sometimes in a
lighter ballad strain, like the following:--

    "'Twas nigh unto Pigwacket, on the eighth day of May,
    They spied a rebel Indian, soon after break of day;
    He on a bank was walking, upon a neck of land,
    Which leads into a pond, as we're made to understand.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Then up spoke Captain Lovewell, when first the fight began,
    'Fight on, my valiant heroes! you see they fall like rain.'
    For as we are inform'd, the Indians were so thick,
    A man could scarcely fire a gun, and some of them not hit."

Many of the half-breeds who have sprung from the wars between the
settlers and the natives have been missionaries among the savages. Much
doubt hangs over the utility of Indian missions: if good has been done,
it seems to be chiefly owing to the offices of half-breeds, who modify
the religion to be imparted so as to suit it to the habits of mind and
life of the new converts. As far as I could learn, the following
anecdote is no unfair specimen of the way in which missionaries and
their religion are primarily regarded by the savages to whom they are
sent.

Mr. K., a missionary among a tribe of northern Indians, was wont to set
some simple refreshment--fruit and cider--before his converts when they
came from a distance to see him. An old man, who had no pretensions to
being a Christian, desired much to be admitted to the refreshments, and
proposed to some of his converted friends to accompany them on their
next visit to the missionary. They told him he must be a Christian
first. What was that? He must know all about the Bible. When the time
came, he declared himself prepared, and undertook the journey with them.
When arrived, he seated himself opposite the missionary, wrapped in his
blanket, and looking exceedingly serious. In answer to an inquiry from
the missionary, he rolled up his eyes, and solemnly uttered the
following words, with a pause between each:

"Adam--Eve--Cain--Noah--Jeremiah--Beelzebub--Solomon--"

"What do you mean?" asked the missionary.

"Solomon--Beelzebub--Noah--"

"Stop, stop. What do you mean?"

"I mean--cider."

This is one way in which an unintelligible religion is received by
savages. Another resembles the mode in which they meet offers of traffic
from suspicious parties: "the more you say bow and arrows, the more we
won't make them." Where Christianity is received among them with any
efficacy, it appears to be exactly in proportion to the skill of the
missionary in associating the new truth he brings with that which was
already sanctified in their hearts; in proportion as the new religion is
made a sequel of the old one, instead of a substitution for it.

The dusky race was in my mind's eye as we followed the windings of the
river through the rich valley from Springfield to Northampton. The very
names of the places, the hamlet of Hoccanum, at the foot of Mount
Holyoke, and that of Pascommuc, lying below Mount Tom, remind the
traveller how the possessors have been displaced from this fair land,
and how their descendants must be mourning their lost Quonnecticut. Such
sympathies soon wither away, however, amid the stir and loveliness of
the sunny village.

We had letters of introduction to some of the inhabitants of
Northampton, and knew that our arrival was expected; but we little
anticipated such eagerness of hospitality as we were met with. The stage
was stopped by a gentleman who asked for me. It was Mr. Bancroft, the
historian, then a resident of Northampton. He cordially welcomed us as
his guests, and ordered the stage up the hill to his house; such a
house! It stood on a lofty terrace, and its balcony overlooked first the
garden, then the orchard stretching down the slope, then the delicious
village, and the river with its meadows, while opposite rose Mount
Holyoke. Far off in the valley to the left lay Hadley, half hidden among
trees; and on the hills, still farther to the left, was Amherst, with
its college buildings conspicuous on the height.

All was in readiness for us, the spacious rooms with their cool
arrangements (it was the 7th of August), and the ladies of the family
with their ready merry welcome. It was past noon when we arrived, and
before the early dinner hour we were as much at home as if we had been
acquainted for months. The American mirth, common everywhere, was
particularly hearty in this house; and as for us, we were intoxicated
with the beauty of the scene. From the balcony we gazed as if it was
presently to melt before our eyes. This day, I remember, we first tasted
green corn, one of the most delicious of vegetables, and by some
preferred to green peas. The greatest drawback is the way in which it is
necessary to eat it. The cob, eight or ten inches long, is held at both
ends, and, having been previously sprinkled with salt, is nibbled and
sucked from end to end till all the grains are got out. It looks awkward
enough: but what is to be done? Surrendering such a vegetable from
considerations of grace is not to be thought of.

After dinner we walked in the blooming garden till summoned within doors
by callers. My host had already discovered my taste for rambling, and
determined to make me happy during my short visit by driving me about
the country. He liked nothing better himself. His historical researches
had stored his memory with all the traditions of the valley, of the
state, and, I rather think, of the whole of New-England. I find the
entries in my journal of this and the next two days the most copious of
any during my travels.

Mr. Bancroft drove me to Amherst this afternoon. He explained to me the
construction of the bridge we passed, which is of a remarkably cheap,
simple, and safe kind for a wooden one. He pointed out to me the seats
and arrangements of the villages we passed through, and amused and
interested me with many a tale of the old Indian wars. He surprised me
by the light he threw on the philosophy of society in the United States;
a light drawn from history, and shed into all the present relations of
races and parties to each other. I had before been pleased with what I
knew of the spirit of Mr. Bancroft's History of the United States,
which, however, had not then extended beyond the first volume. I now
perceived that he was well qualified, in more ways than one, for his
arduous task.

We mounted the steep hill on which Amherst stands, and stopped before
the red brick buildings of the college. When the horse was disposed of,
Mr. Bancroft left me to look at the glorious view, while he went in
search of some one who would be our guide about the college. In a minute
he beckoned me in, with a smile of great delight, and conducted me into
the lecture-room where Professor Hitchcock was lecturing. In front of
the lecturer was a large number of students, and on either hand as many
as forty or fifty girls. These girls were from a neighbouring school,
and from the houses of the farmers and mechanics of the village. The
students appeared quite as attentive as if they had had the room to
themselves. We found that the admission of girls to such lectures as
they could understand (this was on geology) was a practice of some
years' standing, and that no evil had been found to result from it. It
was a gladdening sight, testifying both to the simplicity of manners
and the eagerness for education. I doubt whether such a spectacle is to
be seen out of New-England.

The professor showed us the Turkey Tracks, the great curiosity of the
place; and distinct and gigantic indeed they were, deeply impressed in
the imbedded stone. Professor Hitchcock's name is well known among
geologists from his highly-praised work, A Report on the Geology,
Mineralogy, Botany, and Zoology of Massachusetts. We ascended to the
observatory, whence we saw a splendid variety of the view I had been
admiring all day, and we pronounced this college an enviable residence.

It is a Presbyterian college, and is flourishing, as Presbyterian
colleges of New-England do, under the zeal of professors who are not
content with delivering courses of lectures, but who work with the
students, as much like companions as teachers. The institution had been
at work only ten years, and at this time it contained two hundred and
forty undergraduates, a greater number than any in the state, except,
perhaps, Harvard.

The next day was a busy one. We were called away from gazing from the
balcony after breakfast, the carriage being at the door. Two more
carriages joined us in the village, and we proceeded in the direction of
Mount Holyoke. Our road lay through rich unfenced cornfields and meadows
where the mowers were busy. There was a great contrast between the
agriculture here and in other parts of the state. Here an annual
inundation spares much of the toil of the tiller. It seems as if little
more were necessary than to throw in the seed and reap the produce;
while, in less-favoured regions, the farmer may be seen ploughing round
the rocks which protrude from the soil, and bestowing infinite pains on
his stony fields. The carriages conveyed us a good way up the far-famed
hill. When it became too steep for the horses, we alighted, and found
the ascent easy enough. There are rude but convenient ladders, broad and
strong, at difficult turns of the path, and large stones and roots of
trees afford a firm footing in the intervals. The most wayward
imagination could not conjure up the idea of danger, and children may be
led to the top in perfect safety.

On the summit is a building which affords shelter in case of rain, and
lemonade and toddy in case of thirst. There is a fine platform of rock
on which the traveller may rest himself while he looks around over a
space of sixty miles in almost every direction. The valley is the most
attractive object, the full river coiling through the meadows, and the
spires of village churches being clustered at intervals along its banks;
but smokes rise on the hillsides, from the Green Mountains in the north
to the fading distance beyond Springfield in the south. To the east the
view extends nearly to New-Haven (Connecticut), seventy miles off. Mount
Holyoke is eleven hundred feet above the river.

While I was absorbed in the contemplation of this landscape I was tapped
on the shoulder. When I turned a shipmate stood smiling behind me. She
highly enjoyed the odd meeting on this pinnacle, and so did we. The face
of a pleasant shipmate is welcome everywhere, but particularly in a
scene which contrasts so strongly with those in which we have lived
together, as a mountain-top with the cabin of a ship. Some person who
loves contrast has entered a remarkable set of names in the album on
Mount Holyoke as having just visited the spot, Hannah More, Lord Byron,
Martin Luther, &c.

We returned by a shorter, but equally pretty road to dinner; and
presently after, as we were not at all tired, we set off again for the
Sugarloaf, ten miles up the valley. We had a warm ride and a laborious
scramble up the Sugarloaf; but we were rewarded by a view which I think
finer than the one we saw in the morning, though not so various. It
commanded the whole valley with its entire circle of hills. White dots
of buildings on the hillsides spoke of civilization; Amherst, with its
red buildings, glowed in the sun; and the river below was of a dark
gray, presenting a perfect reflection of its fringed banks, of the
ox-team on the margin, and of boys fishing among the reeds. Smokes rose
where brush was burning, indicating the foundation of new settlements.
In one of these places which was pointed out to me an accident had
happened the preceding spring, which affords another hint of what the
hearts of emigrant mothers have sometimes to bear. A child of two years
old wandered away one afternoon from its parents' side, and was missing
when the day's work was done. The family and neighbours were out in the
woods for hours with torches, but they only lost their own way without
discovering the little one. In the morning it was found, at a
considerable distance from home, lying under a bush as if asleep. It was
dead, however: the cold of the night had seized it, and it was quite
stiff.

The sun set as we returned homeward with all speed, having to dress for
an evening party. While the bright glow was still lingering in the
valley, and the sky was beginning to melt from crimson to the pale
seagreen of evening, I saw something sailing in the air like a
glistening golden balloon. I called the attention of my party to it just
in time. It burst in a broad flash and shower of green fire. It was the
most splendid meteor I ever saw. We pitied a quiet-looking couple whom
we met jogging along in a dearborn, and whose backs had, of course, been
turned to the spectacle. They must have wondered at the staring and
commotion among our party. I saw an unusual number of falling-stars
before we reached home.

The parties, on all the three evenings when I was at Northampton, were
like the village parties throughout New-England. There was an over
proportion of ladies, almost all of whom were pretty and all well
dressed. There was a good deal of party spirit among the gentlemen, and
great complaints of religious bigotry from the ladies. One inhabitant of
the place, the son of a Unitarian clergyman, was going to leave it,
chiefly on account, he told me, of the treatment his family received
from their Calvinistic neighbours. While he was at home they got on
pretty well; but he had to go from home sometimes, and could not bear to
leave his wife to such treatment as she met with in his absence. This
was the worst case I heard of; but instances of a bigotry nearly as
outrageous reminded me painfully of similar cases of pious cruelty at
home. The manners towards strangers in these social meetings are
perfectly courteous, gay, and friendly. I had frequent occasion to
wonder why a foreign Unitarian was esteemed so much less dangerous a
person than a native.

There was endless amusement to me in observing village manners and ways
of thinking. Sometimes I had to wait for explanations of what passed
before my eyes, finding myself wholly at fault. At other times I was
charmed with the upright simplicity which villagers not only exhibit at
home, but carry out with them into the world.

In one Massachusetts village a large party was invited to meet me. At
teatime I was busily engaged in conversation with a friend, when the
teatray was brought to me by a young person in a plain white gown.
After I had helped myself, she still stood just before me for a long
while, and was perpetually returning. Again and again I refused more
tea, but she still came. Her pertinacity was afterward explained. It was
a young lady of the village who wished to see me, and knew that I was
going away the next day. She had called on the lady of the house in the
afternoon, and begged permission to come in a plain gown as a waiter.
She was, of course, invited as a guest, but she would not accept the
invitation, and she was allowed to follow her own fancy.

In another village I became acquainted with one of its most useful
residents, the schoolmaster, who has a passion for music, and is
organist of a church. It was delightful to hear him revelling in his own
music, pouring his soul out over his organ. He has been to Rome, and
indulged himself with listening to the Miserere. He told me that two
monks whom he met in Italy, before reaching Rome, saw him reading his
Bible, with a Commentary lying before him. In his own words,

"They told me I had better give over that. 'Give over what?' says I.
'Why, reading your Bible, with that book to help you.' 'Why shouldn't I
read in my own Bible?' says I. 'Because the pope won't like it,' said
they. 'In my humble opinion,' says I, 'it is far from plain what the
pope has to do with my duty and way of improving myself. It's no wish of
mine, I'm sure, to speak disrespectfully of the pope, or to interfere
with what he chooses to do in his own sphere; but I must save my own
soul in the way I think right.' Well, they talked about the Inquisition,
and would fain have made me believe I was doing what was very unsafe;
so, after a good deal more argument, I settled with myself what I would
do. When I got to Rome I put away the Commentary, thinking that that way
of reading was not necessary, and might be left to another time; but I
went on reading my Bible as usual.

"Well: when Passion Week came I took care to see all that was going
forward, and I was in the great square when the pope came out to give
the blessing. The square was as full as ever it could hold, and I stood
near the middle of it. I found all the people were about to go down on
their knees. Now, you know, it is against my principles altogether to go
down on my knees before the pope or any man; so I began to think what I
should do. I thought the right principle was to pay the same respect to
the pope that I would to any sort of chief ruler, but none, in
particular, on religious grounds; so I settled to do just what I should
do to the President of the United States. So, when the whole crowd
dropped on their knees in one moment, there I stood, all alone, in the
middle of the square. I knew the pope must see me, and the people about
him; but my hope was that the crowd would be so occupied with their own
feelings that they would not notice me. Not so, however. One looked at
me, and then another, and then it spread, till I thought that the whole
crowd was looking at nothing but me. Meantime I was standing with my
body bent--about this much--and my hat off, which I held so, above my
head. It happened the sun was very hot, and I got a bad headache with
keeping my head uncovered; but that was not worth minding. Well, I was
glad enough when the people all rose on their feet again. But it was by
no means over yet. The pope came down, and walked through the midst of
the people; and, as it happened, he came just my way. I was not sorry at
the prospect of getting a near view of him, so I just stood still till
he came by. The people kept dropping on their knees on either side of
him as he approached. Some of them tugged at me to do the same; but,
said I, 'Excuse me, I can't.' So, when the old pope came as near to me
as I am to you, he stopped, and looked full in my face, while I stood
bent, and my hat raised as before, and thinking within myself, 'Now,
sir, I am paying you the same respect I would show to the President of
the United States, and I can't show any more to any one:' so, after a
good look at me, the old gentleman went on and the people near seemed
soon to have forgotten all about me. And so I got off."

On the last day of my visit at Northampton I went into the graveyard.
Some of the inhabitants smiled at Mr. Bancroft for taking me there,
there being no fine monuments, no gardens and plantations, as in more
modern cemeteries; but there were things which my host knew I should
consider more interesting. There were some sunken, worn, mossy stones,
which bore venerable pilgrims' names and pious inscriptions. Several of
the original settlers lie here; and their graves, gay with a profusion
of the golden rod, and waving with long grass, are more interesting to
the traveller than if their remains reposed in a less primitive mode.
The stranger is taken by surprise at finding how much stronger are the
emotions excited among these resting-places of the pilgrims than by the
institutions in which their spirit still lives. Their spirit lives in
its faulty as well as its nobler characteristics. I saw here the grave
of a young girl, who was as much murdered by fanaticism as Mary Dyar,
who was hanged for her Antinomianism in the early days of the colony.
The young creature, whose tomb is scarcely yet grass-grown, died of a
brain fever brought on by a revival.

I happened to be going the round of several Massachusetts villages when
the marvellous account of Sir John Herschel's discoveries in the moon
was sent abroad. The sensation it excited was wonderful. As it professed
to be a republication from the Edinburgh Journal of Science, it was some
time before many persons, except professors of natural philosophy,
thought of doubting its truth. The lady of such a professor, on being
questioned by a company of ladies as to her husband's emotions at the
prospect of such an enlargement of the field of science, excited a
strong feeling of displeasure against herself. She could not say that he
believed it, and would gladly have said nothing about it; but her
inquisitive companions first cross-examined her, and then were angry at
her skepticism. A story is going, told by some friends of Sir John
Herschel (but whether in earnest or in the spirit of the moon story I
cannot tell), that the astronomer has received at the Cape a letter from
a large number of Baptist clergymen of the United States, congratulating
him on his discovery, informing him that it had been the occasion of
much edifying preaching and of prayer-meetings for the benefit of
brethren in the newly-explored regions; and beseeching him to inform his
correspondents whether science affords any prospects of a method of
conveying the Gospel to residents in the moon. However it may be with
this story, my experience of the question with regard to the other, "Do
you not believe it?" was very extensive.

In the midst of our amusement at credulity like this, we must remember
that the real discoveries of science are likely to be more faithfully
and more extensively made known in the villages of the United States
than in any others in the world. The moon hoax, if advantageously put
forth, would have been believed by a much larger proportion of any
other nation than it was by the Americans, and they are travelling far
faster than any other nation beyond the reach of such deception. Their
common and high schools, their lyceums and cheap colleges, are exciting
and feeding thousands of minds, which in England would never get beyond
the loom or the ploughtail. If few are very learned in the villages of
Massachusetts, still fewer are very ignorant; and all have the power and
the will to invite the learning of the towns among them, and to
remunerate its administration of knowledge. The consequence of this is a
state of village society in which only vice and total ignorance need
hang the head, while (out of the desolate range of religious bigotry)
all honourable tastes are as sure of being countenanced and respected as
all kindly feelings are of being reciprocated. I believe most
enlightened and virtuous residents in the villages of New-England are
eager to acknowledge that the lines have fallen to them in pleasant
places.



CAMBRIDGE COMMENCEMENT.


     "A good way to continue their memories, while, having the advantage
     of plural successions, they could not but act something remarkable
     in such variety of being, and, enjoying the fame of their passed
     selves, make accumulation of glory unto their last durations."

                                                    --SIR THOMAS BROWNE.


The Pilgrim Fathers early testified to the value of education. "When
New-England was poor, and they were but few in number, there was a
spirit to encourage learning." One of their primary requisitions, first
by custom and then by law, was, "That none of the brethren shall suffer
so much barbarism in their families as not to teach their children and
apprentices so much learning as may enable them perfectly to read the
English tongue." They next ordered, "To the end that learning may not be
buried in the graves of our forefathers, every township, after the Lord
hath increased them to the number of fifty householders, shall appoint
one to teach all children to write and read; and where any town shall
increase to the number of one hundred families, they shall set up a
grammar-school, the masters thereof being able to instruct youth so far
as they may be fitted for the University."

This university was Harvard. In 1636 the General Court had voted a sum
equal to a year's rate of the whole colony towards the erection of a
college. Two years afterward, John Harvard, who arrived at the
settlements only to die, left to the infant institution one half of his
estate and all his library. The state set apart for the college the rent
of a ferry. The wealthiest men of the community gave presents which were
thought profuse at the time, and beside their names in the record stand
entries of humbler gifts; from each family in the colonies twelvepence,
or a peck of corn, or an equivalent in wampum-peag; and from individuals
the sums of five shillings, nine shillings, one pound, and two pounds.
There were legacies also; from one colonist a flock of sheep; from
another cotton cloth worth nine shillings; from others a pewter flagon
worth ten shillings, a fruit-dish, a sugar-spoon, a silver-tipped jug,
one great salt, one small trencher salt. Afterward the celebrated
Theophilus Gale bequeathed his library to the college; and in 1731
Bishop Berkeley, after visiting the institution, presented it with some
of the Greek and Latin classics.

The year following John Harvard's bequest the Cambridge printing-press
was set up, the only press in America north of Mexico. The General Court
appointed licensers of this press, and did not scruple to interfere with
the licensers themselves when any suspicion of heresy occurred to
torment the minds of the worthy fathers. Their supervision over other
departments of management was equally strict. Mrs. Eaton, wife of the
first president of the college, was examined before the General Court on
a complaint of short or disagreeable commons urged by the students. "The
breakfast was two sizings of bread and a cue (or Q, _quartus_) of beer;
and the evening commons were a pye." What became of Mrs. Eaton, further
than that the blame of the dissensions rested on her bad housewifery, I
do not know. Subsequently a law was passed "for reforming the
extravagancies of commencements," by which it was provided that
"henceforth no preparation nor provision of either plumb cake, or
roasted, boyled, or baked meates or pyes of any kind shall be made by
any commencer;" no such was to have "any distilled lyquours in his
chamber, or any composition therewith," under the penalty of a
forfeiture of the good things, and a fine of twenty shillings. There was
another act passed, "that if any, who now doe or hereafter shall stand
for their degrees, presume to doe anything contrary to the said act, or
goe about to evade it by _plain_ cake, they shall forfeit the honours of
the college." Yet another law was passed to prohibit "the costly habits
of many of the scholars, their wearing gold or silver lace or brocades,
silk nightgowns, &c., as tending to discourage persons from giving their
children a college education, and as inconsistent with the gravity and
decency proper to be observed in this society."

For a hundred years after its establishment, Harvard College enforced
the practice, in those days common in Europe, of punishing refractory
students by corporeal infliction. In Judge Sewell's manuscript diary the
following entry is found, dated June 15, 1674: "This was his sentence
(Thos. Sargeant's):--

"That being convicted of speaking blasphemous words concerning the H. G.,
he should be therefore publickly whipped before all the scholars.

"That he should be suspended as to taking his degree of bachelor. (This
sentence read before him twice at the president's before the committee,
and in the library before execution.)

"Sit by himself in the hall uncovered at meals, during the pleasure of
the president and fellows, and being in all things obedient, doing what
exercise was appointed him by the president, or else be finally expelled
the college.

"The first was presently put in execution in the library before the
scholars. He kneeled down, and the instrument, Goodman Hely, attended
the president's word as to the performance of his part in the work.
Prayer was had before and after by the president."

In 1733 a tutor was prosecuted for inflicting this kind of punishment;
yet, in the revised body of laws made in the next year, we find the
following: "Notwithstanding the preceding pecuniary mulcts, it shall be
lawful for the president, tutors, and professors to punish
undergraduates by boxing, when they shall judge the nature or
circumstances of the offence call for it."

The times are not a little changed. Of late years the students have
more than once appeared to have almost come up to the point of boxing
their tutors.

If Harvard is ever to recover her supremacy, to resume her station in
usefulness and in the affections of the people, it must be by a
renovation of her management, and a change in some of the principles
recognised by her. Every one is eager to acknowledge her past services.
All American citizens are proud of the array of great men whom she has
sent forth to serve and grace the country; but, like some other
universities, she is falling behind the age. Her glory is declining,
even in its external manifestations; and it must decline as long as the
choicest youth of the community are no longer sent to study within her
walls.

The politics of the managers of Harvard University are opposed to those
of the great body of the American people. She is the aristocratic
college of the United States. Her pride of antiquity, her vanity of
pre-eminence and wealth, are likely to prevent her renovating her
principles and management so as to suit the wants of the period; and she
will probably receive a sufficient patronage from the aristocracy, for a
considerable time to come, to encourage her in all her faults. She has a
great name, and the education she affords is very expensive in
comparison with all other colleges. The sons of the wealthy will
therefore flock to her. The attainments usually made within her walls
are inferior to those achieved elsewhere, her professors (poorly
salaried, when the expenses of living are considered) being accustomed
to lecture and examine the students, and do nothing more. The indolent
and the careless will therefore flock to her. But, meantime, more and
more new colleges are rising up, and are filled as fast as they rise,
whose principles and practices are better suited to the wants of the
time. In them living is cheaper, and the professors are therefore richer
with the same or smaller salaries; the sons of the yeomanry and mechanic
classes resort to them; and, where it is the practice of the tutors to
work with their pupils, as well as lecture to them, a proficiency is
made which shames the attainments of the Harvard students. The middle
and lower classes are usually neither Unitarian nor Episcopalian, but
"orthodox," as their distinctive term is; and these, the strength and
hope of the nation, avoid Harvard, and fill to overflowing the oldest
orthodox colleges; and, when these will hold no more, establish new
ones.

When I was at Boston the state of the University was a subject of great
mourning among its friends. Attempts had been made to obtain the
services of three gentlemen of some eminence as professors, but in vain.
The salaries offered were insufficient to maintain the families of these
gentlemen in comfort, in such a place as Cambridge; though, at that very
time, the managers of the affairs of the institution were purchasing
lands in Maine. The Moral Philosophy chair had been vacant for eight
years. Two of the professors were at the time laid by in tedious
illnesses; a third was absent on a long journey; and the young men of
the senior class were left almost unemployed. The unpopularity of the
president among the young men was extreme, and the disfavour was not
confined to them. The students had, at different times within a few
years, risen against the authorities; and the last disturbances, in
1834, had been of a very serious character. Every one was questioning
what was to be done next, and anticipating a further vacating of chairs
which it would be difficult to fill. I heard one merry lady advise that
the professors should strike for higher wages, and thus force the
council and supporters of the university into a thorough and serious
consideration of its condition and prospects in relation to present and
future times.

The salary of the president is above 2000 dollars. The salaries of the
professors vary from 1500 dollars to 500; that is, from 375_l._ to
125_l._ Upon this sum they are expected to live like gentlemen, and to
keep up the aristocratic character of the institution. I knew of one
case where a jealousy was shown when a diligent professor, with a large
family, made an attempt by a literary venture to increase his means. Yet
Harvard College is in buildings, library, and apparatus, in its lands
and money, richer than any other in the Union.

The number of undergraduates in the years 1833-4 was two hundred and
sixteen. They cannot live at Harvard for less than 200 dollars a year,
independently of personal expenses. Seventy-five dollars must be
contributed by each to the current expenses; fuel is dear; fifteen
dollars are charged for lodging within the college walls, and eighty are
paid for board by those who use their option of living in the college
commons. The fact is, I believe, generally acknowledged, that the
comparative expensiveness of living is a cause of the depression of
Harvard in comparison with its former standing among other colleges;
but this leads to a supposition which does not to all appear a just one,
that if the expenses of poor students could be defrayed by a public
fund, to be raised for the purpose, the sons of the yeomanry would
repair once more to Harvard. A friend of the institution writes, with
regard to this plan,

"It would probably have the immediate effect of bringing back that,
perhaps, most desirable class of students, the sons of families in the
middling ranks in respect of property in town and country, who, we fear,
were driven away in great numbers by the change in the amount of tuition
fees in or about 1807. They mean to pay to the full extent that others
around them do for whatever they have. This is what they have been used
to doing. It is their habit; perhaps it is their point of honour; no
matter which. But they are obliged strictly to consult economy. And the
difference of an annual expense of twenty or thirty dollars, which their
fathers will have to spare from the profits of a farm or a shop, and
pinch themselves to furnish, is and ought to be, with such, a very
serious consideration. It is, in fact, a consideration decisive, year by
year, of the destination of numbers of youth to whom the country owes,
for its own sake, the best advantages of education it can afford; of
those who, in moral and intellectual structure, are the bone and sinew
of the commonwealth, and on all accounts, personal and public, entitled
to its best training."[3]

Footnote 3: Christian Examiner for September, 1834.

It may be doubted whether, if a gratis education to poor students were
to be dispensed from Harvard to-morrow, it would rival in real
respectability and proficiency the orthodox colleges which have already
surpassed her. Her management and population are too aristocratic, her
movement too indolent, to attract young men of that class; and young men
of that class prefer paying for the benefits they receive: they prefer a
good education, economically provided, so as to be within reach of their
means, to an equally good education furnished to them at the cost of
their pride of independence. The best friends of Harvard believe that it
is not by additional contrivances that her prosperity can be restored;
but by such a renovation of the whole scheme of her management as shall
bring her once more into accordance with the wants of the majority, the
spirit of the country and of the time.

The first commencement was held in August, 1642, only twenty years after
the landing of the pilgrims. Mr. Peirce, the historian of the
University, writes: "Upon this novel and auspicious occasion, the
venerable fathers of the land, the governor, magistrates, and ministers
from all parts, with others in great numbers, repaired to Cambridge, and
attended with delight to refined displays of European learning, on a
spot which but just before was the abode of savages. It was a day which
on many accounts must have been singularly interesting." In attending
the commencement of 1835 I felt that I was present at an antique
ceremonial.

We had so arranged our movements as to arrive at Cambridge just in time
for the celebration, which always takes place on the last Wednesday in
August. We were the guests of the Natural Philosophy professor and his
lady, and we arrived at their house before noon on Monday the 24th. Next
to the hearty greeting we received came the pleasure of taking
possession of my apartment, it looked so full of luxury. Besides the
comfort of complete furniture of the English kind, and a pretty view
from the windows, there was a table covered with books and flowers, and
on it a programme of the engagements of the week. On looking at the
books I found among them a History and some Reports of the University;
so that it was my own fault if I plunged into the business of the week
without knowing the whence and the wherefore of its observances.

The aspect of Cambridge is charming. The college buildings have no
beauty to boast of, it is true; but the professors' houses, dropped
around, each in its garden, give an aristocratic air to the place, which
I saw in no other place of the size, and which has the grace of novelty.
The greensward, the white palings, and the gravel-walks are all well
kept, and nowhere is the New-England elm more flourishing. The noble old
elm under which Washington first drew his sword spreads a wide shade
over the ground.

After refreshing ourselves with lemonade we set out for the Botanic
Garden, which is very prettily situated and well taken care of. Here I
saw for the first time red water-lilies. None are so beautiful to my
eyes as the white; but the red mix in well with these and the yellow in
a large pond. There were some splendid South American plants; but the
head gardener seemed more proud of his dahlias than of any other
individual of his charge. From a small cottage on the terrace at the
upper end of the garden came forth Mr. Sparks, the editor of
Washington's Correspondence. While engaged in his great work, he lives
in this delightful spot. He took me into his study, and showed me his
parchment-bound collection of Washington's papers, so fearful in amount
that I almost wondered at the intrepidity of any editor who could
undertake to go through them. When one looks at the shelf above shelf of
thick folio volumes, it seems as if Washington could have done nothing
but write all his life. I believe Mr. Sparks has now finished his
arduous task, and given to the world the last of his twelve ample
volumes. It is interesting to know that he received orders for the book
from the remotest corners of the Union. A friend writes to me, "Two
hundred copies have recently gone to the Red River; and in Georgia,
South Carolina, and Alabama, the work is generously patronised. Can the
dead letter of such a man's mind be scattered through the land without
carrying with it something of his spirit?"

From the Botanic Garden we proceeded to the College, where we visited a
student's room or two, the Museum, our host's lecture-room and
apparatus, and the library.

The Harvard library was, in 1764, destroyed by fire (as everything in
America seems to be, sooner or later). The immediate occasion of the
disaster was the General Court having sat in the library, and (it being
the month of January) had a large fire lighted there. One of the most
munificent contributors to the lost library was the benevolent Thomas
Hollis. He afterward assisted to repair the loss, writing, "I am
preparing and going on with my mite to Harvard College, and lament the
loss it has suffered exceedingly; but hope a public library will no more
be turned into a council room." On this occasion there was a great
mourning. The governor sent a message of condolence to the
representatives; the newspapers bewailed it as a "ruinous loss;" and the
mother-country and the colonies were stirred up to repair the mischief.
Yet now, when the library consists of 40,000 volumes, some of them
precious treasures, there seems as much carelessness as ever about fire.
This is vehemently complained of on the spot, one honest reviewer
declaring that he cannot sleep on windy nights for thinking of the risk
arising from the library being within six feet of a building where
thirty fires are burning, day and night, under the care of students
only, who are required by their avocations to be absent three times a
day. It is to be wished that the Cambridge scholars would take warning
by the fate of the statue of Washington by Canova. This statue was the
property of the State of North Carolina, and was deposited at Raleigh,
the ornament and glory of that poor state. A citizen expressed his
uneasiness at such a work of art being housed under a roof of wood, and
urged that a stone chapel should be built for it. He was only laughed
at. Not long after the statue was utterly destroyed by fire, and there
was a general repentance that the citizen's advice had not been attended
to.

Thomas Hollis was the donor of a fine Polyglott Bible which I saw in the
library, inscribed with his hand, he describing himself a "citizen of
the world." With his contributions made before the fire he had taken
great pains, lavishing his care, first on the selection of the books,
which were of great value, and next on their bindings. He had
emblematical devices cut, such as the Caduceus of Mercury, the Wand of
Æsculapius, the Owl, the Cap of Liberty, &c.; and, when a work was
patriotic in its character, it had the cap of liberty on the back; when
the book was of solid wisdom (I suppose on philosophy or morals), there
was the owl; when on eloquence, the caduceus; when on medicine, the
Æsculapian wand, and so forth. All this ingenuity is lost except in
tradition. Five-and-thirty years ago, Fisher Ames observed that Gibbon
could not have written his history at Cambridge for want of works of
reference. The library then consisted of less than 20,000 volumes. Seven
years ago there was no copy of Kepler's Works in the library. Much has
been done since that time. The most obvious deficiencies have been
supplied, and the number of volumes has risen to upward of 40,000. There
is great zeal on the spot for a further enlargement of this treasure;
and the prevailing opinion is, that whenever a proper building is
erected, the munificence of individuals will leave nothing to be
complained of and little to be desired. The names of donors of books are
painted up in the alcoves of the library, but the books are now assorted
by their subjects. There are portraits of some of the patrons of the
institution, two of which, by Copley, are good.

The rest of our first day at Cambridge was spent in society. This was
the first time of my meeting Professor Norton, who, of all the
theologians of America, impressed me, as I believe he has impressed the
Unitarians of England generally, and certain other theologians, with the
most respect. In reach of mind, in reasoning power, in deep devotional
feeling, and, according to the universal testimony of better judges than
myself, in biblical learning, he has no superior among the American
divines, and, in some of these respects, no peer. He is regarded with
grateful veneration by the worthiest of his pupils for the invaluable
guidance he afforded them, while professor, in their biblical studies;
though they cannot but grieve that his philosophical prejudices, and his
extreme dread and dislike of opposition to his own opinions, should
betray him into a tone of arrogance, and excite in him a spirit of
persecution, which, but for ages of proof to the contrary, would seem to
be incompatible with so large a knowledge, and so humble and genuine a
faith as his. His being duly reverenced is the reason of his having been
hitherto unduly feared. His services to theological science and to
religion are gratefully appreciated; and, naturally, more weight has, at
least till lately, been allowed to his opinions of persons and affairs
than should ever be accorded to those of a man among men. But this is a
temporary disadvantage. When the friends of free inquiry and the
champions of equal intellectual rights have gone on a little longer in
the assertion of their liberty, Professor Norton's peculiarities will
have lost their power to injure, and his great qualities,
accomplishments, and services will receive a more ready and unmixed
homage than ever.

On the Tuesday several friends arrived to breakfast; and we filled up
the morning with visiting the admirably-conducted Lunatic Asylum at
Charlestown, and with a drive to Fresh Pond, one of the pretty meres
which abound in Massachusetts. We dined at the house of another
professor close at hand. The house was full in every corner with family
connexions arrived for commencement. I remember there were eleven
children in the house. We were a cheerful party at the long
dinner-table, and a host of guests filled the rooms in the evening. The
ladies sat out on the piazza in the afternoon, and saw the smoke of a
fire far off. Presently the firebells rang, and the smoke and glow
increased; and by dark it was a tremendous sight. It was the great
Charlestown fire which burned sixty houses. Some of us mounted to the
garrets, whence we could see a whole street burning on both sides,
stack after stack of chimneys falling into the flames. It is thought
that the frequency of fires in America is owing partly to the practice
of carrying woodashes from room to room; perhaps from general
carelessness about woodashes; and partly to the houses being too hastily
built, so that cracks ensue, sometimes in the chimneys, and beams are
exposed.

The important morning rose dark and dull, and soon deepened into rain.
It was rather vexatious that, in a region where, at this time of year,
one may, except in the valleys, put by one's umbrella for three or four
months, this particular morning should be a rainy one. Friend after
friend drove up to the house, popped in, shook hands, and popped out
again, till an hour after breakfast, when it was time to be setting out
for the church. I was fortunate enough to be placed in a projecting seat
at a corner of the gallery, over a flank of the platform, where I saw
everything and heard most of the exercises. The church is large, and was
completely filled. The galleries and half the area were crowded with
ladies, all gayly dressed; some without either cap or bonnet, which had
a singular effect. We were sufficiently amused with observing the
varieties of countenance and costume which are congregated on such
occasions, and in recognising old acquaintances from distant places till
ten o'clock, when music was heard, the bar was taken down from the
centre door of the church, and students and strangers poured in at the
side-entrances, immediately filling all the unoccupied pews. A student
from Maryland was marshal, and he ushered in the president, and attended
him up the middle aisle and the steps of the platform. The governor of
the state and his aids, the corporation and officers of the college, and
several distinguished visiters, took their seats on either hand of the
president. The venerable head of Dr. Bowditch was seen on the one side,
and Judge Story's animated countenance on the other. The most eminent of
the Unitarian clergy of Massachusetts were there, and some of its
leading politicians. Mr. Webster stole in from behind when the
proceedings were half over, and retired before they were finished. A
great variety of exercises were gone through by the young men: orations
were delivered, and poems, and dialogues, and addresses. Some of these
appeared to me to have a good deal of merit; two or three were delivered
by students who relied on their reputation at college, with a manner
mixed up of pomposity and effrontery, which contrasted amusingly with
the modesty of some of their companions, who did things much more worthy
of honour. I discovered that many, if not most of the compositions,
contained allusions to mob-law; of course, reprobating it. This was very
satisfactory, particularly if the reprobation was accompanied with a
knowledge of the causes and a recognition of the real perpetrators of
the recent illegal violences; a knowledge that they have invariably
sprung out of a conflict of selfish interests with eternal principles;
and a recognition that their perpetrators have universally been, at
first or second hand, aristocratic members of American society.

The exercises were relieved by music four times during the morning; and
then everybody talked, and many changed places, and the intervals were
made as refreshing as possible. Yet the routine must be wearisome to
persons who are compelled to attend it every year. From my high seat I
looked down upon the top of a friend's head--one of the reverend
professors--and was amused by watching the progress of his _ennui_. It
would not do for a professor to look wearied or careless; so my friend
had recourse to an occupation which gave him a sufficiently sage air
while furnishing him with entertainment. He covered his copy of the
programme with an infinite number of drawings. I saw stars,
laurel-sprigs, and a variety of other pretty devices gradually spreading
over the paper as the hours rolled on. I tried afterward to persuade him
to give me his handiwork as a memorial of commencement, but he would
not. At length, a clever valedictory address in Latin, drolly delivered
by a departing student, caused the large church to re-echo with laughter
and applause.

The president then got into the antique chair from which the honours of
the University are dispensed, and delivered their diplomas to the
students. During this process we departed, at half past four o'clock,
the business being concluded except the final blessing, given by the
oldest clerical professor.

At home we assembled, a party of ladies, without any gentlemen. The
gentlemen were all to dine in the College-hall. Our hostess had happened
to collect round her table a company of ladies more or less
distinguished in literature, and all, on the present occasion at least,
as merry as children; or, which is saying as much, as merry as
Americans usually are. We had, therefore, a pleasant dining enough,
during which one of these clever ladies agreed to go with us to the
White Mountains on our return from Dr. Channing's in Rhode Island. It
was just the kind of day for planning enterprises.

After dinner several of the gentlemen came in to tell us what had been
done and said at the hall. Their departure was a signal that it was time
to be dressing for the president's levee. It was the most tremendous
squeeze I encountered in America, for it is an indispensable civility to
the president and the University to be seen at the levee. The band which
had refreshed us in the morning was playing in the hall, and in the
drawing-rooms there was a splendid choice of good company. I believe
almost every eminent person in the state, for official rank or
scientific and literary accomplishment, was there. I was presented with
flowers as usual, and was favoured with some delightful introductions,
so that I much enjoyed the brief hour of our stay. We were home by eight
o'clock, and felt ourselves quite at rest again in our hostess's cool
drawing-room, where the family party sat refreshing themselves with
Champagne and conversation till the fatigues of commencement were
forgotten. My curiosity had been so roused by the spectacles of this
showy day, that I could not go to rest till I had run over the history
of the University which lay on my table. On such occasions I found it
best to defer till the early morning the making notes of what I had
seen. Many things which appear confused when looked at so near are, like
the objects of the external world, bright and distinct at sunrise; but,
then, the journal should be written before the events of a new day
begin.

Mr. Sparks breakfasted with us on the morning of the 27th. He brought
with him the pass given by Arnold to André, and the papers found in
André's boots. He possesses also the Reports of the West Point
fortifications in Arnold's undisguised handwriting. The effect is
singular of going from André's monument in Westminster Abbey to the
shores of the Hudson, where the treachery was transacted, and to Mr.
Sparks's study, where the evidence lies clear and complete.

After breakfast we proceeded once more to the church, in which were to
be performed the rites of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. This society
consists of the élite of the scholars who owe their education to
Harvard, and of distinguished professional men. Its general object is to
keep alive the spirit, and perpetuate the history of scholarship. Every
member is understood to owe his election to some evidence of distinction
in letters, though the number of members is so great as to prove that no
such supposition has become a rule. The society holds an annual
celebration in Cambridge the day after commencement, when public
exercises take place in the church, and the members dine together in the
College-hall.

We saw the society march in to music, and take possession of the
platform as on the preceding day. They were, on the whole, a
fine-looking set of men, and interesting to a stranger as being the
élite of the lettered society of the republic. A traveller could not be
expected to understand why they were so numerous, nor what were the
claims of the greater number.

Prayers were said by the chaplain of the society, and then a member
delivered an address. This address was and is to me a matter of great
surprise. I do not know what was thought of it by the members generally;
but if its doctrine and sentiments are at all sanctioned by them, I must
regard this as another evidence, in addition to many, that the minority
in America are, with regard to social principles, eminently in the
wrong. The traveller is met everywhere among the aristocracy of the
country with what seems to him the error of concluding that letters are
wisdom, and that scholarship is education. Among a people whose
profession is social equality, and whose rule of association is
universal self-government, he is surprised to behold the assumptions of
a class, and the contempt which the few express for the many, with as
much assurance as if they lived in Russia or England. Much of this is
doubtless owing to the minds of the lettered class having been nourished
upon the literature of the Old World, so that their ideas have grown
into a conformity with those of the subjects of feudal institutions, and
the least strong-minded and original indiscriminately adopt, not merely
the language, but the hopes and apprehensions, the notions of good and
evil which have been generated amid the antiquated arrangements of
European society; but, making allowance for this, as quite to be
expected of all but very strong and original minds, it is still
surprising that, within the bounds of the republic, the insolence should
be so very complacent, the contempt of the majority so ludicrously
decisive as it is. Self-satisfied, oracular ignorance and error are
always as absurd as they are mournful; but when they are seen in full
display among a body whose very ground of association is superiority of
knowledge and of the love of it, the inconsistency affords a most
striking lesson to the observer. Of course I am not passing a general
censure on the association now under notice; for I know no more of it
than what I could learn from the public exercises of this day, and a few
printed addresses and poems. I am speaking of the tone and doctrine of
the orator of the day, who might be no faithful organ of the society,
but whose ways of thinking and expressing himself were but too like
those of many literary and professional men whom I met in New-England
society.

The subject of the address was the "Duties of Educated men in a
Republic;" a noble subject, of which the orator seemed to be aware at
the beginning of his exercise. He well explained that whereas, in all
the nominal republics of the Old World, men had still been under
subjection to arbitrary human will, the new republic was established on
the principle that men might live in allegiance to truth under the form
of law. He told that the primary social duty of educated men was to
enlighten public sentiment as to what truth is, and what law ought,
therefore, to be. But here he diverged into a set of monstrous
suppositions, expressed or assumed: that men of letters are the educated
men of society in regard not only to literature and speculative truth,
but to morals, politics, and the conduct of all social affairs; that
power and property were made to go eternally together; that the "masses"
are ignorant; that the ignorant masses naturally form a party against
the enlightened few; that the masses desire to wrest power from the
wealthy few; that, therefore, the masses wage war against property; that
industry is to be the possession of the many, and property of the few;
that the masses naturally desire to make the right instead of to find
it; that they are, consequently, opposed to law; and that a struggle was
impending in which the whole power of mind must be arrayed against brute
force. This extraordinary collection of fallacies was not given in the
form of an array of propositions, but they were all taken for granted
when not announced. The orator made large reference to recent outrages
in the country; but, happily for the truth and for the reputation of
"the masses," the facts of the year supplied as complete a contradiction
as could be desired to the orator of the hour. The violences were not
perpetrated by industry against property, but by property against
principle. The violators of law were, almost without an exception,
members of the wealthy and "educated" class, while the victorious
upholders of the law were the "industrious" masses. The rapid series of
victories since gained by principle over the opposition of property, and
without injury to property--holy and harmless victories--the failure of
the law-breakers in all their objects, and their virtual surrender to
the sense and principle of the majority, are sufficient, one would hope,
to enlighten the "enlightened;" to indicate to the lettered class of
American society, that while it is truly their duty to extend all the
benefits of education which it is in their power to dispense to "the
masses," it is highly necessary that the benefit should be reciprocated,
and that the few should be also receiving an education from the many.
There are a thousand mechanics' shops, a thousand loghouses where
certain members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the orator of the day for
one, might learn new and useful lessons on morals and politics, on the
first principles of human relations.

I have had the pleasure of seeing the address delivered before the Phi
Beta Kappa Society at its last celebration, an address differing most
honourably from the one I was present at. The address of last August was
by Mr. R. Waldo Emerson, a name which is a sufficient warrant on the
spot for the absence from his production of all aristocratic insolence,
all contempt of man or men, in any form and under any combination. His
address breathes a truly philosophical reverence for humanity, and
exhibits an elevated conception of what are the right aims and the
reasonable discipline of the mind of a scholar and thinker. Whatever the
reader may conclude as to the philosophical doctrine of the address and
the mode in which it is conveyed--whether he accuse it of mysticism or
hail it as insight--he cannot but be touched by the spirit of
devotedness, and roused by the tone of moral independence which breathe
through the whole. The society may be considered as having amply atoned,
by this last address, for the insult rendered by its organ (however
unconsciously) to republican morals by that of 1835.

The address was followed by the reading of the poem, whose delivery by
its author I have before mentioned as being prevented by his sudden and
alarming illness. The whole assembly were deeply moved, and this was the
most interesting part of the transactions of the day.

The society marched out of the church to music, and, preceded by the
band, to the college, and up the steps of the hall to dinner, in the
order of seniority as members.

We hastened home to dress for dinner at the president's, where we met
the corporation of the University. My seat was between Dr. Bowditch and
one of the professors; and the entertainment to us strangers was so
great and so novel, that we were sorry to return home, though it was to
meet an evening party no less agreeable.

The ceremonial of commencement-week was now over, but not the bustle and
gayety. The remaining two days were spent in drives to Boston and to
Bunker Hill, and in dinner and evening visits to Judge Story's, to some
of the professors, and to Mr. Everett's, since governor of the state.

The view from Bunker Hill is fine, including the city and harbour of
Boston, the long bridges and the Neck which connect the city with the
mainland, the village of Medford, where the first American ship was
built, and the rising grounds which advantageously limit the prospect.
The British could scarcely have had much leisure to admire the view
while they were in possession of the hill, for the colonists kept them
constantly busy. I saw the remains of the work which was the only
foothold they really possessed. They roamed the hills and marched
through the villages, but had no opportunity of settling themselves
anywhere else. Their defeat of the enemy was more fatal to themselves
than to the vanquished, as they lost more officers than the Americans
had men engaged.

A monument is in course of erection, but it proceeds very slowly for
want of funds. It is characteristic of the people that funds should fall
short for this object, while they abound on all occasions when they are
required for charitable, religious, or literary uses. The glory of the
Bunker Hill struggle is immortal in the hearts of the nation, and the
granite obelisk is not felt to be wanted as an expression. When it will
be finished no one knows, and few seem to care, while the interest in
the achievement remains as enthusiastic as ever.

While we were surveying the ground a very old man joined us with his
plan of the field. It was well worn, almost tattered; but he spread it
out once more for us on a block of the monumental granite, and related
once again, for our benefit, the thousand times told tale. He was in the
battle with his musket, being then fifteen years old. Many were the boys
who struck some of the first blows in that war; and of those boys one
here and there still lives, and may be known by the air of serene
triumph with which he paces the field of his enterprise, once soaked
with blood, but now the centre of regions where peace and progress have
followed upon the achievement of freedom.



THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.


     "Hast thou entered the storehouses of the snow?"

                                                          _Book of Job._


One of the charms of such travelling as that of the English in the
United States is its variety. The stopping to rest for a month at a
farmhouse after a few weeks of progress by stage, with irregular hours,
great fatigues, and indifferent fare, is a luxury which those only can
understand who have experienced it; and it is no less a luxury to hie
away from a great city, leaving behind its bustle and formalities, and
the fatigues of sightseeing and society, to plunge into the deepest
mountain solitude. I have a vivid recollection of the dance of spirits
amid which we passed the long bridge at Boston on our way out to
New-Hampshire, on the bright morning of the 16th of September. Our party
consisted of four, two Americans and two English. We were to employ
eight or ten days in visiting the White Mountains of New-Hampshire,
returning down the valley of the Connecticut. The weather was brilliant
the whole time, and I well remember how gay the hedges looked this first
morning, all starred over with purple, lilach, and white asters, and gay
with golden rod; with which was intermixed, here and there, a late pale
brier rose. The orchards were cheerful with their apple-cropping. There
was scarcely one which had not its ladder against a laden tree, its
array of baskets and troughs beneath, and its company of children
picking up the fruit from the grass. What a contrast to the scenery we
were about to enter upon!

Of the earlier part of this trip (our visit to Lake Winnipiseogee and
the Red Mountain) I gave an account in my former work,[4] little
supposing that I should ever return to the subject. My narrative must
now be taken up from the point where I then dropped it.

Footnote 4: Society in America, vol. i., p. 220-225.

From the summit of Red Mountain I had seen what kind of scenery we were
to pass through on our road to Conway. It was first mountain and wild
little valleys, and then dark pine scenery; barrens, with some autumnal
copses, and intervals of lake and stream. Lake Ossippee looked like what
I fancy the wildest parts of Norway to be; a dark blue expanse, slightly
ruffled, with pine fringing all its ledges, and promontories, bristling
with pines, jutting into it; no dwellings, and no sign of life but a
pair of wildfowl, bobbing and ducking, and a hawk perched on the tiptop
of a scraggy blighted tree.

In the steamboat on Lake Winnipiseogee there was a party whom we at once
concluded to be bride, bridegroom, and bridemaid. They were very young,
and the state of the case might not have occurred to us but for the
obvious pride of the youth in having a lady to take care of. Our
conjectures were confirmed by the peculiar tone in which he spoke of "my
wife" to the people of the inn in giving orders. It had a droll mixture
of pride and awkwardness; of novelty with an attempt to make the words
appear quite familiar. For some days we were perpetually meeting this
party, and this afternoon they introduced themselves to me, on the
ground of their having expected to see me at Portsmouth on my way to the
White Mountains. I imagine they would have been too busy with their
wedding arrangements to have cared much about me if I had gone. I was
glad we fell in with them, as it added an interest to the trip. We
looked at the scenery with their eyes, and pleased ourselves with
imagining what a paradise these landscapes must appear to the young
people; what a sacred region it will be to them when they look back
upon it in their old age, and tell the youth of those days what the
White Mountains were when they towered in the midst of a wilderness.

We all took up our quarters at the inn at Conway; and the next morning
we met again at breakfast, and improved our acquaintance by sympathizing
looks about the badness of everything on the table. Eggs were a happy
resource, for the bread was not eatable. We did not start till ten, our
party having bespoken a private conveyance, and the horses having to be
sent for to a distance of eight miles. So the wedding-party had the
companionship of our luggage instead of ourselves in the stage; and we
four stepped merrily into our little open carriage, while the skirts of
the morning mist were drawing off from the hilltops, and the valley was
glowing in a brilliant autumn sunshine. This was to be the grand day of
the journey; the day when we were to pass the Notch; and we were
resolved to have it to ourselves, if we could procure a private
conveyance from stage to stage.

We struck across the valley, which is intersected by the Saco river.
Never did valley look more delicious; shut in all round by mountains,
green as emerald, flat as water, and chumped and fringed with trees
tinted with the softest autumnal hues. Every reach of the Saco was thus
belted and shaded. We stopped at Pendexter's, the pretty house well
known to tourists; having watered the horses, we went on another stage,
no less beautiful, and then entered upon the wilderness. For seven miles
we did not see a single dwelling; and a head now and then popped out of
the stage window, showing that our friends "the weddingers" were making
sure of our being near, as if the wilderness of the scene made them
relish the idea of society.

The mountains had opened and closed in every direction all the morning;
they now completely shut us in, and looked tremendous enough, being
exceedingly steep and abrupt, bare, and white where they had been seamed
with slides, and in other parts dark with stunted firs. At the end of
seven miles of this wilderness we arrived at the elder Crawford's, a
lone house invested with the grateful recollections of a multitude of
travellers. The Crawfords, who live twelve miles apart, lead a
remarkable life, but one which seems to agree well with mind and body.
They are hale, lively men, of uncommon simplicity of manners, dearly
loving company, but able to make themselves happy in solitude. Their
year is passed in alternations of throngs of guests with entire
loneliness.[5] During the long dreary season of thaw no one comes in
sight; or, if a chance visiter should approach, it is in a somewhat
questionable shape, being no other than a hungry bear, the last of his
clan. During two months, August and September, while the solitaries are
trying to get some sort of harvest out of the impracticable soil, while
bringing their grain from a distance, a flock of summer tourists take
wing through the region. Then the Crawfords lay down beds in every
corner of their dwellings, and spread their longest tables, and bustle
from morning till night, the hosts acting as guides to every accessible
point in the neighbourhood, and the women of the family cooking and
waiting from sunrise till midnight. After the 1st of October comes a
pause, dead silence again for three months, till the snow is frozen
hard, and trains of loaded sleighs appear in the passes. Traders from
many distant points come down with their goods, while the roads are in a
state which enables one horse to draw the load of five. This is a season
of great jollity; and the houses are gay with roaring fires, hot
provisions, good liquor, loud songs, and romantic travellers' tales;
tales of pranking wild beasts, bold sleigh-drivers, and hardy woodsmen.

Footnote 5: The region must, however, be less desolate than it was. The
land in the neighbourhood had been worth only twenty-five cents per
acre, and was now worth just six times as much.

The elder Crawford has a pet album, in which he almost insists that his
guests shall write. We found in it some of the choicest nonsense and
"brag" that can be found in the whole library of albums. We dined well
on mutton, eggs, and whortleberries with milk. Tea was prepared at
dinner as regularly as bread throughout this excursion. While the rest
of the party were finishing their arrangements for departure, I found a
seat on a stone, on a rising ground opposite, whence I could look some
way up and down the pass, and wonder at leisure at the intrepidity which
could choose such an abode.

We proceeded in an open wagon, the road winding amid tall trees, and the
sunshine already beginning to retreat up the mountain sides. We soon
entered the secluded valley where stands the dwelling of the Willeys,
the unfortunate family who were all swept away in one night by a slide
from the mountain in the rear of the house.[6] No one lives in that
valley now, and this is not to be wondered at, so desolate is its
aspect. The platform on which the unharmed house stands is the only
quiet green spot in the pass. The slides have stripped the mountains of
their wood, and they stand tempest-beaten, seamed, and furrowed; while
beneath lies the wreck of what was brought down by the great slide of
1826, a heap of rock and soil, bristling with pine-trunks and upturned
roots, half hidden by a rank new vegetation, which will in time turn all
the chaos into beauty.

Footnote 6: Society in America, vol. i., p. 227.

A dark pine hill at the end of this pass is the signal of the
traveller's approach to the Notch. We walked up a long ascent, the road
overhanging a ravine, where rocks were capriciously tumbled together,
brought down, doubtless, by a winter-torrent. At present, instead of a
torrent, there were two sparkling waterfalls leaping down the mountain.
The Notch is, at the narrowest part, only twenty-two feet wide. The
weather was so still that we were scarcely aware of the perpetual wind,
which is one characteristic of the pass. There the wind is always north
or south; and it ordinarily blows so strong as to impair the traveller's
pleasure in exploring the scene. It merely breathed cool upon us as we
entered the tremendous gateway formed by a lofty perpendicular rock on
the right hand and a steep mountain on the left. When we were through
and had rejoined our wagon, my attention was directed to the Profile, an
object which explains itself in being named. The sharp rock certainly
resembles a human face; but what then? There is neither wonder nor
beauty in it. I turned from it to see the infant Saco bubble forth from
its spring among stones and bushes, under the shelter of the
perpendicular rock, and in a semicircular recess of the greenest sward.
Trees sprang from sharp projections, and wrenched themselves out of
crevices, giving the last air of caprice to the scene.

We were just in time for the latest yellow light. Twilight stole on, and
we grew silent. The stars appeared early to us on our shadowy way, and
birds flitted by to their homes. A light still lingered on the mountain
stream, when Sirius was tremblingly reflected in it. When the lights of
Ethan Crawford's dwelling were seen twinkling in the distance, we were
deep in the mutual recitation of poetry. As we drove up to the open
door, Mr. D. said, quietly, as he looked up into the heavens, "Shall we
get out, or spend the evening as we are?" We got out, and then followed
supper, fiddle, and dancing, as I have elsewhere related.[7]

Footnote 7: Society in America, vol. i., p. 227.

We proposed to ascend Mount Washington the next morning if the weather
should allow. It is a difficult and laborious ascent for all travellers,
and few ladies venture upon the enterprise; but the American lady of our
party was fully disposed to try her strength with me. I rose very early,
and, seeing that the mountain peak looked sharp and clear, never doubted
that I ought to prepare myself for the expedition. On coming down,
however, I was told that there was rather too much wind, and some
expectation of rain. By noon, sure enough, while we were upon Mount
Deception (so called from its real being so much greater than its
apparent height), we saw that there was a tempest of wind and snow about
the mountain top. This peak is the highest in the Union. It rises 6634
feet above the level of the sea, 4000 feet of this height being clothed
with wood, and the rest being called the bald part of the mountain. We
spent our day delightfully in loitering about Mount Deception, in
tracking the stream of the valley through its meadows and its thickets
of alders, and in watching the course and explosion of storms upon the
mountains. Some gay folks from Boston were at Crawford's, and they were
not a little shocked at seeing us pack ourselves and our luggage into a
wagon in the afternoon, for a drive of eighteen miles to Littleton. We
should be upset; we should break down; we should be drowned in a deluge;
they should pick us up on the morrow. We were a little doubtful
ourselves about the prudence of the enterprise; but a trip to Franconia
Defile was in prospect for the next day, and we wished that our last
sight of the White Mountains should be when they had the evening sun
upon them. Our expedition was wholly successful; we had neither storm,
breakage, nor overturn, and it was not sunset when we reached and walked
up the long hill which was to afford us the last view of the chain.
Often did we stand and look back upon the solemn tinted mountains to the
north, and upon the variegated range behind, sunny in places, as if
angels were walking there and shedding light from their presence.

We passed the town of Bethlehem, consisting, as far as we could see, of
one house and two barns. It was no more than six o'clock when we reached
Littleton; so, when we had chosen our rooms, out of a number equally
tempting from their cleanliness and air of comfort, we walked out to see
what the place looked like. Our attention was caught by the endeavours
of a woman to milk a restless cow, and we inadvertently stood still to
see how she would manage. When she at last succeeded in making the
animal stand, she offered us milk. We never refused kindness which might
lead to acquaintanceship; so we accepted her offer, and followed her
guidance into her house, to obtain a basin to drink out of. It was a
good interior. Two pretty girls, nicely dressed, sat, during the dusk,
by a blazing fire. Their talkative father was delighted to get hold of
some new listeners. He sat down upon the side of the bed, as if in
preparation for a long chat, and entered at large into the history of
his affairs. He told us how he went down to Boston to take service, and
got money enough to settle himself independently in this place; and how
much better he liked having a house of his own than working for any
amount of money in a less independent way. He told us how Littleton
flourishes by the lumber-trade, wood being cut from the hills around,
and sent floating down the stream for five miles, till it reaches the
Connecticut, with whose current it proceeds to Hartford. Twenty years
ago there was one store and a tavern in the place; now it is a
wide-spreading village on the side of a large hill, which is stripped of
its forest. The woods on the other bank of the river are yet untouched.
Scarcely a field is to be seen under tillage, and the axe seems almost
the only tool in use.

We were admirably cared for at Gibb's house at Littleton, and we enjoyed
our comforts exceedingly. It appeared that good manners are much
regarded in the house, some of the family being as anxious to teach them
to strangers as to practice them themselves. In the morning, one of my
American friends and I, being disposed to take our breakfast at
convenient leisure, sat down to table when all was ready, our companions
(who could make more haste) not having appeared. A young lady stood at
the side-table to administer the steaming coffee and tea. After waiting
some time my companion modestly observed,

"I should like a cup of coffee, if you please."

There was no appearance of the observation having taken effect, so my
friend spoke again:

"Will you be so good as to give me a cup of coffee?"

No answer. After a third appeal, the young lady burst out with,

"Never saw such manners! To sit down to table before the other folks
come!"

I hope she was pacified by seeing that our friends, when they at length
appeared, did not resent our not having waited for them.

We set out early in an open wagon for a day's excursion to Franconia
Defile, a gorge in the mountains which is too frequently neglected by
travellers who pass through this region. Before we reached Franconia
some part of our vehicle gave way. While it was in the hands of the
blacksmith we visited the large ironworks at Franconia, and sat in a
boat on the sweet Ammonoosuc, watching the waters as they fell over the
dam by the ironworks. When we set off again our umbrellas were
forgotten; and as we entered upon the mountain region, the misty,
variegated peaks told that storm was coming. The mountain sides were
more precipitous than any we had seen, and Mount Lafayette towered
darkly above us to the right of our winding road. We passed some
beautiful tarns, fringed with trees, and brimming up so close to the
foot of the precipices as to leave scarcely a footpath on their margin.
A pelting rain came on, which made us glad to reach the solitary
dwelling of the pass, called the Lafayette Hotel. This house had been
growing in the woods thirteen weeks before, and yet we were far from
being among its first guests. The host, two boys, and a nice-looking,
obliging girl, wearing a string of gold beads, did their best to make us
comfortable. They kindled a blazing wood fire, and the girl then
prepared a dinner of hot bread and butter, broiled ham, custards, and
good tea. When the shower ceased we went out and made ourselves
acquainted with the principal features of the pass, sketching, reciting,
and watching how the mists drove up and around the tremendous peaks,
smoked out of the fissures, and wreathed about the woods on the ledges.
The scene could not have been more remarkable, and scarcely more
beautiful in the brightest sunshine. It was not various; its unity was
its charm. It consisted of a narrow rocky road, winding between
mountains which almost overhung the path, except at intervals, where
there were recesses filled with woods.

After dinner our host brought in the album of the house, for even this
new house had already its album. When we had given an account of
ourselves, we set out, in defiance of the clouds, for the Whirlpool,
four miles at least farther on. On the way we passed a beautiful lake,
overhung by ash, beech, birch, and pine, with towering heights behind.
Hereabout the rain came on heavily, and continued for three hours. The
Whirlpool is the grand object of this pass, and it is a place in which
to spend many a long summer's day. A full mountain stream, issuing from
the lake we had left behind, and brawling all along our road, here
gushes through a crevice into a wide basin, singularly overhung by a
projecting rock, rounded and smoothed as if by art. Here the eddying
water, green as the Niagara floods, carries leaves and twigs round and
round, in perpetual swift motion, a portion of the waters brimming over
the lower edge of the great basin at each revolution, and the pool being
replenished from above. I found a shelter under a ledge of rocks, and
here I could have stood for hours, listening to the splash and hiss, and
watching the busy whirl. The weather, however, grew worse every moment;
the driver could not keep the seats of the wagon dry any longer; and
after finding, to our surprise, that we had stayed half an hour by the
pool, we jumped into our vehicle and returned without delay. There were
no more wandering gleams among the mountains; but, just as we descended
to the plain, we saw the watery sun for a moment, and were cheered by a
bright amber streak of sky above the western summits. By the time we
recovered our umbrellas there was no farther need of them.

It soon became totally dark; and, if there had been any choice, the
driver would have been as glad as ourselves to have stopped. But we were
wet, and there were no habitations along the road; so we amused
ourselves with watching one or two fireflies, the last of the season,
and the driver left the horses to find their own way, as he was unable
to see a yard in any direction. At last the lights of Littleton
appeared, the horses put new spirit into their work, and we arrived at
Gibb's door before eight o'clock. The ladies of the house were kind in
their assistance to get us dried and warmed, and to provide us with tea.

Our course was subsequently to Montpelier (Vermont), and along the
White River till we joined the Connecticut, along whose banks we
travelled to Brattleborough, Deerfield, and Northampton. The scenery of
New-Hampshire and Vermont is that to which the attention of travellers
will hereafter be directed, perhaps more emphatically than to the
renowned beauties of Virginia. I certainly think the Franconia Defile
the noblest mountain-pass I saw in the United States.



CHANNING.


     "And, let me tell you, good company and good discourse are the very
     sinews of virtue."

                                                         --IZAAK WALTON.


There is no task more difficult than that of speaking of one's intimate
friends in print. It is well that the necessity occurs but seldom, for
it is a task which it is nearly impossible to do well. Some persons
think it as dangerous as it is difficult; but I do not feel this. If a
friendship be not founded on a mutual knowledge so extensive as to leave
nothing to be learned by each of the opinions of the other regarding
their relation; and if, moreover, either party, knowing what it is to
speak to the public--the act of all acts most like answering at the bar
of eternal judgment--can yet be injuriously moved by so much of the
character and circumstances being made known as the public has an
interest in, such a friendship is not worthy of the name; and if it can
be thus broken up, it had better be so. In the case of a true friendship
there is no such danger; for it is based upon something very different
from mutual ignorance, and depends upon something much more stable than
the ignorance of the world concerning the parties.

Dr. Channing is, of all the public characters of the United States, the
one in whom the English feel the most interest. After much
consideration, I have decided that to omit, because the discussion is
difficult to myself, the subject most interesting to my readers, and one
on which they have, from Dr. Channing's position, a right to
information, would be wrong. Accounts have already been given of him;
one, at least, to his disadvantage. There is no sufficient reason why a
more friendly one should be withheld, while the account is strictly
limited to those circumstances and appearances which might meet the
observation of a stranger or a common acquaintance. All revelations made
to me through the hospitalities of his family or by virtue of friendship
will be, of course, carefully suppressed.

Dr. Channing spends seven or eight months of the year in Rhode Island,
at Oakland, six miles from Newport. There I first saw him, being invited
by him and Mrs. Channing to spend a week with them. This was in
September, 1835. I afterward stayed a longer time with them in Boston.

The last ten miles of the journey to Dr. Channing's house from Boston is
very pretty in fine weather. The road passes through a watery region,
where the whims of sunshine and cloud are as various and as palpable as
at sea. The road passes over a long bridge to the island, and affords
fine glimpses of small islands in the spreading river, and of the
distant main with its breakers. The stage set me down at the garden-gate
at Oakland, whither my host came out to receive me. I knew it could be
no other than Dr. Channing, but his appearance surprised me. He looked
younger and pleasanter than I had expected. The common engraving of him
is undeniably very like, but it does not altogether do him justice. A
bust of him was modelled by Persico the next winter, which is an
admirable likeness; favourable, but not flattering. Dr. Channing is
short, and very slightly made. His countenance varies more than its
first aspect would lead the stranger to suppose it could. In mirth it is
perfectly changed, and very remarkable. The lower part of other faces is
the most expressive of mirth; not so with Dr. Channing's, whose muscles
keep very composed, while his laughter pours out at his eyes. I have
seen him laugh till it seemed doubtful where the matter would end, and I
could not but wish that the expression of face could be dashed into the
canvass at the moment. His voice is, however, the great charm. I do not
mean in the pulpit: of what it is there I am not qualified to speak, for
I could not hear a tone of his preaching; but in conversation his voice
becomes delightful after one is familiarized with it. At first his tones
partake of the unfortunate dryness of his manner; but, by use, they
grow, or seem to grow, more and more genial, till, at last, the ear
waits and watches for them. Of the "repulsiveness" of his manners on a
first acquaintance he is himself aware; though not, I think, of all the
evil it causes, in compelling mere strangers to carry away a wrong idea
of him, and in deterring even familiar acquaintances from opening their
minds, and letting their speech run on as freely to him as he earnestly
desires that it should.

It might not be difficult to account for this manner, but this is not
the place in which we have to do with any but the facts of the case. The
natural but erroneous conclusion of most strangers is, that the dryness
proceeds from spiritual pride; and all the more from there being an
appearance of this in Dr. Channing's writings--in the shape of rather
formal declarations of ways of thinking as his own, and of accounts of
his own views and states of mind--still as his own. Any stranger thus
impressed will very shortly be struck, be struck speechless, by
evidences of humility, of generous truth, and meek charity, at such
variance with the manner in which other things have been said as to
overthrow all hasty conclusions. It was thus with me, and I know that it
has been so with others. Those superficial observers of Dr. Channing
who, carrying in their own minds the idea of his being a great man,
suppose that the same idea is in his, and even kindly account for his
faults of manner on this ground, do him great injustice, whatever may be
his share of the blame of it. No children consulting about their plays
were ever farther from the idea of speaking like an oracle than Dr.
Channing; and the notion of condescending--of his being in a higher,
while others are in a lower spiritual state--would be dismissed from his
mind, if it ever got in, with the abhorrence with which the good chase
away the shadows of evil from their souls. I say this confidently, the
tone of his writings notwithstanding; and I say it, not as a friend, but
from such being the result of a very few hours' study of him. Whenever
his conversation is not earnest--and it is not always earnest--it is for
the sake of drawing out the person he is talking with, and getting at
his views. The method of conversation is not to be defended--even on the
ground of expediency--for a person's real views are not to be got at in
this way, no one liking to be managed; but Dr. Channing's own part in
this kind of conversation is not played in the spirit of condescension,
but of inquiry. One proof of this is the use he makes of the views of
the persons with whom he converses. Nothing is lost upon him. He lays
up what he obtains for meditation; and it reappears, sooner or later,
amplified, enriched, and made perfectly his own. I believe that he is,
to a singular degree, unconscious of both processes, and unaware of his
part in them, both the drawing out of information and the subsequent
assimilation; but both are very evident to the observation of even
strangers.

One of the most remarkable instances of all this is in the case of Mr.
Abdy's visit to Dr. Channing and its results. Mr. Abdy has thought fit
to publish the conversation he had with Dr. Channing, and had an
undoubted right to do so, as he gave fair warning on the spot that he
visited Dr. Channing as a public character, and should feel himself at
liberty to report the circumstances of his visit. It is not necessary to
repeat the substance of the conversation as it stands in Mr. Abdy's
book; but it is necessary to explain that Mr. Abdy was not aware of his
host's peculiarities of manner and conversation, and that he
misunderstood him; and that, on the other hand, no stranger could be
expected to make allowance for the unconsciousness which Dr. Channing
expressed of the condition of the free coloured population of America.
Some mutual friends of the two gentlemen tried to persuade Mr. Abdy not
to publish the conversation he had with Dr. Channing till he knew him
better; and Mr. Abdy, very reasonably, thought that what was said was
said, and might, honourable warning having been given, be printed.

Immediately after Mr. Abdy's departure, Dr. Channing took measures to
inform himself of the real state of the case of the blacks; and, within
the next month, preached a thorough-going abolition sermon. He laid so
firm a grasp on the fundamental principles of the case as to satisfy the
farsighted and practised abolitionists themselves who were among his
audience. The subject was never again out of his mind; and during my
visit the next autumn, our conversation was more upon that topic than
any other. Early in the winter after he published his book on slavery.
This has since been followed by his Letter to Birney, and by his noble
Letter to Clay on the subject of Texas, of all his works the one by
which his most attached friends and admirers would have him judged and
remembered.

No one out of the United States can have an idea of the merit of taking
the part which Dr. Channing has adopted on this question. Abroad,
whatever may be thought of the merits of the productions, the act of
producing them does not seem great. It appears a simple affair enough
for an influential clergyman to declare his detestation of outrageous
injustice and cruelty, and to point out the duty of his fellow-citizens
to do it away. But it is not a very easy or simple matter on the spot.
Dr. Channing lives surrounded by the aristocracy of Boston, and by the
most eminent of the clergy of his own denomination, whose lips are
rarely opened on the question except to blame or to ridicule the
abolitionists. The whole matter was, at that time, considered "a low
subject," and one not likely, therefore, to reach his ears. He dislikes
associations for moral objects; he dislikes bustle and ostentation; he
dislikes personal notoriety; and, of course, he likes no better than
other people to be the object of censure, of popular dislike. He broke
through all these temptations to silence the moment his convictions were
settled; I mean not his convictions of the guilt and evil of slavery,
but of its being his duty to utter his voice against it. From his
peaceful and honoured retirement he came out into the storm, which
might, and probably would, be fatal to his reputation, his influence,
his repose, and, perhaps, to more blessings than even these. Thus the
case appears to the eye of a passing traveller.

These bad consequences have only partially followed, but he could not
anticipate that. As it has turned out, Dr. Channing's reputation and
influence have risen at home and abroad precisely in proportion to his
own progress on the great question; to the measure of justice which he
learned by degrees to deal out to the abolitionists, till, in his latest
work, he reached the highest point of all. His influence is impaired
only among those to whom it does not seem to have done good; among those
who were vain of him as a pastor and a fellow-citizen, but who have not
strength and light to follow his guidance in a really difficult and
obviously perilous path. He has been wondered at and sighed over in
private houses, rebuked and abused in Congress, and foamed at in the
South; but his reputation and influence are far higher than ever before;
and by his act of self-devotion he has been, on the whole, a great
gainer, though not, of course, holding a position so enviable (though it
may look more so) as that of some who moved earlier, and have risked and
suffered more in the same cause.

Dr. Charming bore admirably the wrath he drew upon himself by breaking
silence on the slavery question. Popular hatred and the censure of men
whom he respected were a totally new experience to one who had lived in
the midst of something like worship; and, though they reached him only
from a distance, they must have made him feel that the new path he had
at his years struck into was a thorny one. He was not careless of
censure, though he took it quietly. He read the remarks made in Congress
on his book, re-examined the grounds of what he had said that was
questioned about the morals of the South, with the intention of
retracting anything which he might have stated too strongly. Finding
that he had, in his assertions, kept within the truth, he appeared
satisfied. But he could feel for others who were exposed in the same
cause. When I was staying in his house at the end of the winter, I was
one morning sealing up my papers in his presence, in order to their
being put in a place of safety, news having reached us the night before
of a design to Lynch me in the West, where I had been about to take a
journey. While I was sealing, Dr. Channing told me that he hoped I
should, on my return to England, boldly expose the fact that I was not
allowed the liberty of going where I would in the United States. I told
him I should not, while there was the far stronger fact that the natives
of the country were not allowed to use this their constitutional
liberty. Dr. Channing could not, at that time, have set his foot within
the boundaries of half the states without danger to his life; but he
appeared more moved at my case than I ever saw him about his own. No
doubt we both felt ashamed to be concerned about ourselves while others
were suffering to the extremity, to the loss of fortune, liberty, and
life. Still, to Dr. Channing, the change in the temper of a large
portion of the nation towards him must have been no light trial.

He loves the country retirement in which I first saw him, for his habit
of mind is not one which renders him indifferent to the objects about
him. He never sits in his study for hours together, occupied with books
and thoughts, but, even when most deeply engaged in composition, walks
out into his garden so frequently, that the wonder to persons who use
different methods is how, amid so many interruptions, he keeps up any
continuity of thought or accomplishes any amount of composition at all.
He rarely has his pen in his hand for more than an hour at a time, and
does not, therefore, enter into the enjoyments of writers who find the
second hour twice as productive and pleasurable as the first, and the
third as the second, and who grudge moving under five or six hours.
Instead of the delight of this continuous labour, Dr. Channing enjoys
the refreshment of a change of objects. In his last publication, as in
some former ones, he affords an indication of this habit of his, which,
to those who know him, serves as a picture of himself in his garden,
sauntering alone in his gray morning-gown, or chatting with any of his
family whom he may meet in the walks. "I have prepared this letter," he
says, "not amid the goadings, irritations, and feverish tumults of a
crowded city, but in the stillness of retirement, amid scenes of peace
and beauty. Hardly an hour has passed in which I have not sought relief
from the exhaustion of writing by walking abroad amid God's works, which
seldom fail to breathe tranquillity, and which, by their harmony and
beneficence, continually cheer me, as emblems and prophecies of a more
harmonious and blessed state of human affairs than has yet been known."
He has frequently referred in conversation, even to strangers, and once
at least in print, to the influence on his mind of having passed his
boyhood on the seashore; and to this shore he lost no time in taking me.
He liked that we should be abroad almost all day. In the morning we met
early in the garden; at noon he drove me, or we went in the carriage, to
some point of the shore; and in the afternoon we walked to the glen,
where, truly, any one might be thankful to go every summer evening and
autumn afternoon. The way was through a field, an orchard, a narrow
glen, shadowy with rocks and trees, down to the shore, where the sea
runs in between the island and the mainland. The little coves of clear
blue water, the boats moving in the sunlight, the long distant bridge on
the left hand, and the main opening and spreading on the right, made up
a delicious scene, the favourite haunt of Dr. Channing's family. To the
more distant shore of the ocean itself he drove me in his gig, even to
Purgatory.[8] By-the-way, he showed me Berkeley's house, of gray stone,
rather sunk among trees, built by the bishop in a rather unpromising
spot, selected on account of the fine view of Newport, the downs, the
beach, and the sea, which is obtained from the ridge of the hill over
which he must pass on his way to and from the town. The only beauty
which the scene lacked when I saw it was a brighter verdure. It was the
end of summer, and the downs were not green. They were sprinkled over
with dwellings and clumps of trees; rocks jutted out for the waves to
break upon, the spray dashing to a great height; on the interval of
smooth sand the silver waves spread noiselessly abroad and retired,
while flocks of running snipes and a solitary seagull were the only
living things visible. This interval of smooth beach is bounded inland
by the pile of rocks which was Berkeley's favourite resort, and where
the conversations in the Minute Philosopher are supposed to have taken
place. They are not a lofty, but a shelvy, shadowy pile, full of
recesses, where the thinker may sit sheltered from the heat, and of
platforms, where he may lie basking in the sun.

Footnote 8: "Purgatories. I know not what fancied resemblances have
applied this whimsical name to several extensive fissures in the rocks
of New-England."

     --_Professor_ HITCHCOCK'S _Geology, &c., of Massachusetts_, p. 114.

Purgatory is a deep and narrow fissure in the rock where the sea flows
in; one of those fissures which, as Dr. Channing told me, are a puzzle
to geologists. The surfaces of the severed rocks are as smooth as
marble, though the split has taken place through the middle of very
large stones. These rocks are considered remarkable specimens of
pudding-stone. After fearfully looking down into the dark floods of
Purgatory, we wandered about long among the piles of rocks, the spray
dashing all around us. Birds and spiders have thought fit to make their
homes amid all the noise and commotion of these recesses. Webs were
trembling under the shelves above the breakers, and swallows' nests hung
in the crevices. These are the spots in which Dr. Channing passed his
boyhood, and here were the everlasting voices which revealed to him the
unseen things for which he is living.

The one remarkable thing about him is his spirituality; and this is
shown in a way which must strike the most careless observer, but of
which he is himself unconscious. He is not generally unconscious; his
manner, indeed, betokens a remarkable self-consciousness; but he is not
aware of what is highest in himself, though painfully so of some other
things. Every one who converses with him is struck with his natural,
supreme regard to the true and the right; with the absence of all
suspicion that anything can stand in competition with these. In this
there is an exemption from all professional narrowness, from all
priestly prejudice. He is not a man of the world: anxious as he is to
inform himself of matters of fact and of the present condition of
affairs everywhere, he does not succeed well; and this deficiency, and a
considerable amount of prejudice on philosophical subjects, are the
cause of his being extensively supposed to be more than ordinarily
professional in his views, judgments, and conduct. But in this I do not
agree, nor does any one, I believe, who knows him. No one sees more
clearly than he the necessity of proving and exercising principles by
hourly action in all kinds of worldly business. No one is more free from
attachment to forms, or more practically convinced that rules and
institutions are mere means to an end. He showed this, in one instance
out of a thousand, by proposing to his congregation some time ago that
they should not always depend on their pastors for the guidance of their
worship, but that any members who had anything to say should offer to do
so. As might have been foreseen, every one shrank from being concerned
in so new an administration of religion; but Dr. Channing was
disappointed that the effort was not made. No one, again, is more free
from all pride of virtue. His charity towards frailty is as singular as
his reprobation of spiritual vices is indignant. The genial side of his
nature is turned to the weak, and the sorely tempted and the fallen best
know the real softness and meekness of his character. He is a high
example of the natural union of lofty spirituality with the tenderest
sympathy with those who are the least able to attain it. If the fallen
need the help of one into whose face they would look without fear, Dr.
Channing is that one, even though he may be felt to be "repulsive" by
those who have no particular claim upon his kindness; and as for
spiritual pride, when it has once passed his credulity, and got within
the observation of his shrewdness, it had better be gone out of the
reach of his rebuke.

It may be seen that I feel the prevalent fear of him to be ill-grounded.
There is little gratification to one's self-complacency to be expected
in his presence. He never flatters, and he is more ready to blame than
to praise; but his blame, like every other man's, should go for what it
is worth; should be welcome in as far as it is deserved, and should pass
for nothing where it is not. But there is no assumption and no
bitterness in his blame; it is merely the expression of an opinion, and
it leaves no sting. All intercourse with him proceeds on the supposition
that the parties are not caring about their petty selves, but about
truth and good, and that all are equal while engaged in this pursuit.
There is no room for mutual fear in such a case. He one day asked an
intimate friend, a woman of great simplicity and honesty, some question
about a sermon he had just delivered. She replied that she could not
satisfy him, because she had not been able to attend to the sermon after
the first sentence or two; and he was far better pleased with the answer
than with the flatteries which are sometimes addressed to him about his
preaching. This lady's method is that in which Dr. Channing's intimate
friends speak to him, and not as to a man who is to be feared.

I have mentioned prejudice on philosophical subjects to be a drawback on
his liberality. This might have been the remark of a perfect stranger,
as long as his celebrated note on Priestley remains unretracted in
public, whatever he may say about it in private. His attachment to the
poetry of philosophy--the mysticism prevalent among the divines of
New-England who study philosophy at all--and his having taken no means
to review his early decisions against the philosophers of another
school, are the cause of a prejudice as to the grounds, and an
illiberality as to the tendencies of any other mental philosophy than
his own, the results of which are exhibited in that note. This is not
the only instance in Dr. Channing's life, as in the lives of other
cautious men, where undue caution has led to rashness. His reason for
writing that note was a fear lest, the American Unitarians being already
too cold, they should be made colder by philosophical sympathy with the
Unitarians of England. This fear led to the rashness of concluding the
English Unitarians to be generally disciples of Priestley; of
attributing to Priestley's philosophy the coldness of the English
Unitarians; and of concluding Priestley to be the perfect exponent of
the philosophy which the American divines of Dr. Channing's way of
thinking declare to be opposed to spiritualism.

Disposed as Dr. Channing is to an excess of caution both by constitution
and by education, he appears to be continually outgrowing the tendency.
He has shown what his moral courage is by proofs which will long outlast
his indications of slowness in admitting the full merits of the
abolitionists. Here, again, his caution led him into rashness; into the
rashness of giving his sanction to charges and prejudices against them,
the grounds of which he had the means of investigating. This is all over
now, however; and it was always a trifle in comparison with the great
services he was at the same time rendering to a cause which the
abolitionists cared for far more than for what the whole world, or any
part of it, thought of their characters. He is now completely identified
with them in the view of all who regard them as the vanguard in the
field of human liberties.

When I left his door at the close of my first visit to him, and heard
him talked of by the passengers in the stage, I was startled by the
circumstance into a speculation on the varieties of methods and degrees
in which eminent authors are revealed to their fellow-men. There is, to
be sure, the old rule, "by their fruits ye shall know them;" but the
whole harvest of fruits is in some cases so long in coming in, that the
knowledge remains for the present very imperfect. As a general rule,
earnest writers show their best selves in their books; in the series of
calm thoughts which they record in the passionless though genial
stillness of their retirement, whence the things of the world are seen
to range themselves in their right proportions, in their justest aspect;
and where the glow of piety and benevolence is not damped by, but rather
consumes fears and cares which relate to self, and discouragement
arising from the faults of others. In such cases a close inspection of
the life impairs, more or less, the impression produced by the writings.
In other cases there is a pretty exact agreement between the two modes
of action, by living and writing. This is a rarer case than the other;
and it happens either when the principles of action are so thoroughly
fixed and familiarized as to rule the whole being, or when the faults of
the mind are so intimately connected with its powers as to be kept in
action by the exercise of those powers in solitude, as they are by
temptations in the world.

There is another case rarer still; when an earnest writer, gifted and
popular, still falls below himself, conveying an impression of faults
which he has not, or not in the degree in which they seem to appear. In
such an instance a casual acquaintance may leave the impression what it
was, while a closer inspection cannot but be most grateful to the
observer. In my opinion, this is Dr. Channing's case. His writings are
powerful and popular abroad and at home, and have caused him to be
revered wherever they are known; but revered as an exalted personage, a
clerical teacher, conscious of his high station, and endeavouring to do
the duties of it. A slight acquaintance with him must alter this
impression, without, perhaps, improving it. When he becomes a companion,
the change is remarkable and exhilarating. He drops glorious thoughts as
richly as in his pages, while humble and gentle feelings shine out, and
eclipse the idea of teaching and preaching. The ear listens for his
steps and his voice, and the eye watches for the appearance of more of
his writings, not as for a sermon or a lesson, but as a new hint of the
direction which that intellect and those affections are taking which are
primarily employed in watching over the rights and tendencies, and
ameliorating the experience of those who occupy his daily regards.



MUTES AND BLIND.


    "Another noble response to the battle-cry of the Prince of Peace,
    summoning his hosts to the conquest of suffering and the rescue of
    humanity."
                                     --_Rationale of Religious Inquiry._

        "Vicaria linguae manus."

    "Protected, say enlightened, by the ear."

                                                             WORDSWORTH.


Some weeping philosophers of the present day are fond of complaining of
the mercenary spirit of the age, and insist that men are valued (and
treated accordingly), not as men, but as producers of wealth; that the
age is so mechanical, that individuals who cannot act as parts of a
machine for creating material comforts and luxuries are cast aside to be
out of the way of the rest. What do such complainers make of the lot of
the helpless in these days? How do they contrive to overlook or evade
the fact that misery is recognised as a claim to protection and solace,
not only in individual cases, which strike upon the sympathies of a
single mind, but by wholesale; unfortunates, as a class, being cared
for on the ground of their misfortunes? Are deformed and deficient
children now cast out into the wastes to perish? Is any one found in
this age who is of Aristotle's opinion, that the deaf and dumb must
remain wholly brutish? Does any one approve the clause of the code of
Justinian by which deaf-mutes are deprived of their civil rights? Will
any one now agree with Condillac, that the deaf and dumb have no memory,
and, consequently, are without reasoning power? If every one living is
wiser than to believe these things, he owes his wisdom to the benevolent
investigation which has been made into the condition of these isolated
and helpless beings; an investigation purely benevolent, as it proceeded
on the supposition that they were irremediably deficient. The testimony
of their best benefactors goes to prove this. The Abbé de l'Epée,
Sicard, Guyot of Groningen, Eschke of Berlin, Cæsar of Leipsic, all
began their labours in behalf of the deaf and dumb with the lowest
notion of the capabilities of the objects of their care, and the
humblest expectations as to what could be done for them. Sicard
acknowledged a change of views when his experience had become enlarged.
He says, "It will be observed that I have somewhat exaggerated the sad
condition of the deaf and dumb in their primitive state, when I assert
that virtue and vice are to them without reality. I was conducted to
these assertions by the fact that I had not yet possessed the means of
interrogating them upon the ideas which they had before their education;
or that they were not sufficiently instructed to understand and reply to
my questions."[9] It should be remembered, to Sicard's honour, and that
of other benefactors of the deaf and dumb, that their labours were
undertaken more in pity than in hope, in benevolence which did not look
for, though it found reward. None were more astonished than they at the
revelation which took place of the minds of the dumb when the power of
expression was given them; when, for instance, one of them, Peter
Desloges, declared, with regard to his deaf and dumb acquaintance,
"There passes no event at Paris, in France, or in the four quarters of
the globe, which does not afford matter of ordinary conversation among
them." The deaf and dumb are prone to hyperbolical expression, of which
the above sentence may be taken as an instance; but it is founded in
fact.

Footnote 9: "Théorie des Signes, pour servir d'introduction à l'étude
des langues." Avertissement.

The benevolence which undertook the care of this class of unfortunates,
when their condition was esteemed hopeless, has, in many cases, through
a very natural delight at its own success, passed over into a new and
opposite error, particularly in America, where the popular philosophy of
mind comes in aid of the delusion. From fearing that the deaf and dumb
had hardly any capacities, too many of their friends have come to
believe them a sort of sacred, favoured class, gifted with a keener
apprehension, a more subtile reason, and a purer spirituality than
others, and shut out from little but what would defile and harden their
minds. Such a belief may not be expressed in propositions or allowed on
a full statement; but much of the conversation on the condition of the
class proceeds on such an idea; and, in my own opinion, the education of
deaf-mutes is and will be materially impaired by it. Not only does it
give rise to mistakes in their treatment, but there is reason to fear
bad effects from the disappointment which must sooner or later be
occasioned. If this disappointment should act as a damper upon the
exertions made in behalf of the deaf and dumb, it will be sad, for only
a very small number are yet educated at all in any country, and they are
far more numerous than is generally supposed. In 1830, the total number
of deaf and dumb of all ages in the United States was 6106. Of a
teachable age the number was 2000, of whom 466 were in course of
education. The number of deaf-mutes in Europe at the same time was
140,000. It is of great importance that the case of so large a class of
society should be completely understood, and rescued from one extreme of
exaggeration as it has been from the other.

When at New-York I paid a visit one morning, in company with a
clergyman, to the mother of a young lady who was deaf and dumb, and for
whose education whatever advantages were obtainable by money and pains
had been procured. My clerical friend shared, I believe, the popular
notions about the privileged condition of the class the young lady
belonged to. Occasion arose for my protesting against these notions, and
declaring what I had reason to think the utmost that could be done for
deaf-mutes in the present state of our knowledge. The clergyman looked
amazed at my speaking thus in the presence of the mother; but I knew
that experience had taught her to agree with me, and that her tenderness
made her desire that her daughter's situation should be fully
understood, that she might receive due allowance and assistance from
those who surrounded her. The mother laid her hand on mine, and thanked
me for pleading the cause of the depressed against those who expected
too much from them. She said that, after all that could be done, the
knowledge of deaf-mutes was generally confined and superficial; their
tastes frivolous; their tempers wilful and hasty; their whole mental
state puerile; and she added that, as long as all this was not allowed,
they would be placed in positions to which they were unequal, and which
they did not understand, and would not be so amply provided as they
might be with enjoyments suited to their condition.

This is not the place in which to enter upon the interesting inquiry
into the principles of the education of the deaf and dumb; a deep and
wide subject, involving matters important to multitudes besides the
class under notice. Degerando observed that the art of instructing
deaf-mutes, if traced back to its principles, terminates in the sciences
of psychology and general grammar. A very superficial view of the case
of the class shows something of what the privation really is, and,
consequently, furnishes hints as to the treatment by which it may be in
part supplied. Many kindhearted people in America, and not a few in
Europe, cry out, "They are only deprived of one sense and one means of
expression. They have the infinite human spirit within them, active and
irrepressible, with infinite objects in its view. They lose the
pleasures of the ear; they lose one great opportunity of spiritual
action, both on the world of matter and on human minds; but this is
compensated for by the activity of the soul in other regions of thought
and emotion; and their contemplation of their own objects is
undisturbed, in comparison with what it would be if they were subject to
the vulgar associations with which we have to contend."

It is true that the deaf from birth are deficient in one sense only,
while they are possessed of four; but the one in which they are
deficient is, beyond all estimate, the most valuable in the formation of
mind. The eye conveys, perhaps, more immediate and vivid pleasures of
sense, and is more requisite to external and independent activity; so
that, in the case of the loss of a sense after the period of education,
the privation of sight is a severer misfortune, generally speaking,
than the loss of hearing. But, in the case of deficiency from birth, the
deaf are far more unfortunate than the blind, from the important power
of abstraction being in them very feeble in its exercise, and sadly
restricted in the material on which it has to work. The primary
abstractions of the blind from birth will be less perfect than those of
other children, the great class of elements from visual objects being
deficient; but when they come to the second and more important class of
abstractions; when from general qualities of material objects they pass
on to the ideas compounded from these, their disadvantages disappear at
each remove; till, when intellectual and moral subjects open before
them, they may be considered almost on equal terms with the generality
of mankind. These intellectual and moral ideas, formed gradually out of
lower abstractions, are continually corrected, modified, and enlarged by
intercourse with the common run of minds, alternating with
self-communion. This intercourse is peculiarly prized by the blind, from
their being precluded from solitary employments and amusements; and the
same preclusion impels them to an unusual degree of self-communion; so
that the blind from birth are found to be, when well educated, disposed
to be abstract in their modes of thought, literal in their methods of
expression, and earnest and industrious in the pursuit of their objects.
Their deficiencies are in general activity, in cheerfulness, and in
individual attachments.

The case of the deaf from birth is as precisely opposite as can be
imagined, and much less favourable. They labour under an equal privation
of elementary experience; and, in addition, under an almost total
absence of the means of forming correct abstractions of the most
important kinds. Children in general learn far less of the most
essential things by express teaching than by what comes to them in the
course of daily life. Their wrong ideas are corrected, their partial
abstractions are rectified and enriched by the incessant unconscious
action of other minds upon theirs. Of this kind of discipline the
deaf-mute is deprived, and the privation seems to be fatal to a healthy
intellectual and moral growth. He is taught expressly what he knows of
intellectual and moral growth. He is taught expressly what he knows of
intellectual and moral affairs; of memory, imagination, science, and
sagacity; of justice, fortitude, emotion, and conscience. And this
through imperfect means of expression. Children, in general, learn these
things unconsciously better than they learn anything by the most
complete express teaching. So that we find that the deaf-mute is ready
at defining what he little understands, while the ordinary child
feelingly understands what he cannot define. This power of definition
comes of express teaching, but by no means implies full understanding.
Its ample use by the deaf and dumb has led to much of the error which
exists respecting their degree of enlightenment. They are naturally
imitative, from everything being conveyed to them by action passing
before the eye; and those who observe them can scarcely avoid the
deception of concluding that the imitative action, when spontaneous,
arises from the same state of mind which prompted the original action.
It is surprising how long this delusion may continue. The most watchful
person may live in the same house with a deaf-mute for weeks and months,
conversing on a plain subject from time to time, with every conviction
of understanding and being understood, and find at length a blank
ignorance, or an astounding amount of mistake existing in the mind of
his dumb companion, while the language had been fluent and correct, and
every appearance of doubt and hesitation excluded. There need be no
conceit and no hypocrisy all this time in the mind of the deaf-mute. He
believes himself in the same state of mind with those who say the same
thing, and has no comprehension that that which is to him literal is to
them a symbol. While nothing can be easier than to conduct the religious
education of the blind, since all the attributes of Deity are exercised
towards them, in inferior degrees, by human invisible beings, it is
difficult to ascertain what is gained by deaf-mutes under a process of
instruction in religion. No instance has been known, I understand, of a
deaf-mute having an idea of God prior to instruction. For a long time,
at least, the conception is low, the idea pictorial; and, if it ceases
to be so, the teacher cannot confidently pronounce upon it; the common
language of religion being as easily accommodated by superficial minds
to their own conceptions, as adopted by minds which mean by it something
far higher and deeper. A pupil at Paris, who was considered to have been
effectually instructed in the first principles of religion, was
discovered, after a lapse of years, to have understood that God was a
venerable old man living in the clouds; that the Holy Spirit was a dove
surrounded with light; and that the devil was a monster dwelling in a
deep place. Life, with its truths conveyed under appearances, is to them
what German and other allegorical stories are to little children. They
perceive and talk glibly about the pictorial part, innocently supposing
it the whole; while they are as innocently supposed, by unpractised
observers, to perceive the philosophical truth conveyed in the picture.

It is often said that, if the blind have the advantage of communication
with other minds by conversation, the deaf have it by books. This is
true; but, alas! to books must be brought the power of understanding
them. The grand disadvantage of the deaf is sustained antecedently to
the use of books; and, though they gain much knowledge of facts and
other advantages by reading, books have no power to remedy the original
faulty generalization by which the minds of deaf-mutes are kept narrow
and superficial. If a remedy be ever found, it seems as if it must be by
rendering their intercourse by the finger-alphabet and writing much more
early than it is, and as nearly as possible general. If it could be
general, and take place as early as speech usually does, they would
still be deprived, not only of all inarticulate sounds and the
instruction which they bring, but of the immense amount of teaching
which comes through the niceties of spoken language, and of all that is
obtained by hearing conversation between others; but, still, the change
from almost total exclusion, or from intercourse with no minds but those
suffering under the same privation, and those of three or four teachers,
to communion with a variety of the common run of persons, would be so
beneficial that it is scarcely possible to anticipate its results. But
the finger-alphabet is not yet practised, or likely to be practised
beyond the sufferers themselves and their teachers and families; and
before a deaf and dumb child can be taught reading and writing, the
mischief to his mind is done.

As for the general intellectual and moral characteristics of deaf-mutes,
they are precisely what good reasoners would anticipate. The wisest of
the class have some originality of thought, and most have much
originality of combination. They are active, ingenious, ardent,
impressible, and strongly affectionate towards individuals; but they are
superficial, capricious, passionate, selfish, and vain. They are like a
coterie of children, somewhat spoiled by self-importance, and
prejudiced and jealous with regard to the world in whose intercourses
they do not share. So far from their feeling ashamed of their
singularity, generally speaking, they look down upon people who are not
of their coterie. It is well known that deaf and dumb parents sometimes
show sorrow that their children can hear and speak, not so much from a
selfish fear of alienation, as from an idea that they themselves are
somehow a privileged class. The delight of mutes in a school is to
establish a sign-language which their teachers cannot understand, and
they keep up a strong _esprit de corps_. This is maintained, among other
means, by a copious indulgence in ridicule. Their very designations of
individuals are derived from personal peculiarities, the remembrance of
which is never lost. If any visiter folds his arms, sneezes, wears a
wig, has lost a tooth, or, as in the case of Spurzheim, puts his hand up
for a moment to shade his eyes from the sun, the mark becomes his
designation for ever.

Much has been said and written about whether people always think in
words. Travellers in a foreign country are surprised to find how soon
and constantly they detect themselves thinking in the language of that
country. Degerando took pains to ascertain how deaf-mutes think. The
uninstructed can, of course, know nothing of words. It seems that their
thoughts are few, and that they consist of the images of visual objects
passing merely in the order of memory, _i. e._, in the order in which
they are presented. As soon as the pupils become acquainted with
language, and with manual signs of abstract ideas, they use these signs
as we do words. Degerando clearly ascertained that they use
gesticulation in their private meditations; a remarkable fact.

The first efforts towards erecting an institution for the education of
the deaf and dumb in America were made in 1815, at Hartford,
Connecticut. This institution, called the American Asylum, from its
having been aided by the general government, has always enjoyed a high
reputation. I lament that I was prevented seeing it by being kept from
Hartford by bad weather. The Pennsylvania Institution followed in 1821;
and the New-York Asylum, opened in 1818, began to answer the hopes of
its founders only in 1830. These two I visited. There are two or three
smaller schools in different parts of the Union, and there must yet be
many more before the benevolent solicitude of society will be
satisfied.

The number of deaf-mutes in Pennsylvania was, at the period of the last
census, seven hundred and thirty; six hundred and ninety-four being
whites, and thirty-six persons of colour. As usual, it is discovered on
inquiry that, in a large majority of cases, the hearing was lost in
childhood, and not deficient from birth; so that it is to the medical
profession that we must look for a diminution of this class of
unfortunates. The number of pupils in the Institution in 1833 was
seventy-four, thirty-seven of each sex; and of deaf-mute assistants six.
The buildings, gardens, and arrangements are admirable, and the pupils
look lively and healthy.

They went through some of their school exercises in the ordinary manner
for our benefit. Many of them were unintelligible to us, of course; but
when they turned to their large slates, we could understand what they
were about. A teacher told a class of them, by signs, a story of a
Chinese who had fish in his pond, and who summoned the fish by ringing a
bell, and then fed them by scattering rice. All told it differently as
regarded the minor particulars, and it was evident that they did not
understand the connexion of the bell with the story. One wrote that the
fishes came at the _trembling_ of the bell; but the main circumstances
were otherwise correct. They all understood that the fishes got the
rice. When they were called upon to write what _smooth_ meant, and to
describe what things were smooth, they instanced marble, the sky, the
ocean, and _eloquence_. This was not satisfactory; the generalization
was imperfect, and the word eloquence meaningless to them. Nor did they
succeed much better in introducing certain phrases, such as "on account
of," "at the head of," into sentences; but one showed that he knew that
the president was at the head of the United States. Then the word
"glorious" was given, and their bits of chalk began to work with great
rapidity. One youth thought that a woman governing the United States
would be glorious; and others declared Lord Brougham to be glorious. The
word "cow" was given; and out of a great number of exercises, there was
not one which mentioned milk. Milk seemed almost the only idea which a
cow did not call up. The ideas appeared so arbitrarily connected as to
put all our associations at fault. One exercise was very copious. The
writer imagined a cow amid woods and a river, and a barn, whence the
thought, by some imperceptible link, fastened upon Queen Elizabeth's
dress, which was glorious, as was her wisdom; and this, of course,
brought in Lord Brougham again. He is the favourite hero of this
institution. Prior to our visit, a youth of sixteen, who had been under
instruction less than four years, was desired to prepare a composition,
when he presented the following


FABLE.

"Lord Chancellor Brougham remains in the city of London. He is the most
honourable man in England, for his mind is very strong, excellent, and
sharp. I am aware that I am beneath Brougham in great wisdom and
influence. It afforded me great pleasure to receive a letter from
Brougham, and I read in it that he wanted me to pay a visit to him with
astonishment. Soon after I came to the conclusion that I would go to
London and visit Brougham. I prepared all my neat clothes and some other
things in my large trunk. After my preparation I shook hands with all my
relations and friends living in the town of C., and they looked much
distressed, for they thought that I would be shipwrecked and eaten by a
large and strong fish. But I said to them, I hoped that I should reach
London safely, and that I should return to the United States safely.
They said yes with great willingness, and they told me that I must go
and see them again whenever I should return from London to the United
States. I sailed in a large ship and saw many passengers, with whom I
talked with much pleasure, that I might get much advantage of
improvement. I slept in the comfortable cabin, and it was agreeable to
me to stay in it. I saw the waves very white with great wonder, and I
was astonished at the great noise of the storm, which was so gloomy that
I could not endure the tempest of it. I perceived the country of
England, and I hoped I would reach there in great safety. Many
passengers were much pleased to arrive at the country. I met Brougham
unexpectedly in the street, and he went with me to his beautiful house,
and I talked with him for a long time. He asked me to tarry with him
several months, because he wished to converse with me about the affairs
of the Institution, and the pupils, and teachers. He said that he loved
all the pupils, because he pitied those who were deaf and dumb, so that
he wished that all of the pupils could go to his house and be at the
large feast. I walked with Brougham through the different streets of
London, and I saw many interesting curiosities and excellent houses. I
had the pleasure of seeing William IV. in the palace by the favour of
Brougham, and he was delighted to talk with me for a long time. At
length Brougham parted with me with great regret. I reached the United
States, and I found myself very healthy. I went to my relations and
friends again, and they were much pleased to talk with me about my
adventures, the matter of London, and the character of Lord Chancellor
Henry Brougham. I was struck with vast wonder at the city of London. I
have made my composition of the fable of Brougham."

A pretty little girl told the pupils a humorous story by signs; and her
action was so eloquent that, with little help from the teacher, we were
able to make it all out. It was a story of a sailor and his bargain of
caps; and the child showed a knowledge of what goes on on board a ship
which we should scarcely have expected from her. Her imitation of
heaving the lead, of climbing the rigging, and of exchanging jokes upon
deck, was capital. It was an interesting thing to see the eyes of all
her companions fixed on her, and the bursts of laughter with which they
greeted the points of the story.

The apparatus-room is full of pretty things, and the diversity of the
appeals to the eye is wonderful. A paper sail is enclosed in the
receiver, from which the air is exhausted in the view of the pupils. As
they cannot hear the air rushing back, the fluttering of this paper sail
is made use of to convey the fact to them. The natural sciences afford a
fine field of study for them, as far as they occasion the recognition of
particular facts. The present limited power of generalization of the
learners, of course, prevents their climbing to the heights of any
science; but an immense range of facts is laid open to them by studies
of this nature, in which they usually show a strong interest. The
Philadelphia pupils are lectured to by a deaf and dumb teacher, who
passes a happy life in the apparatus-room. He showed us several
mechanical contrivances of his own; among the rest, a beautiful little
locomotive engine, which ran on a tiny railroad round two large rooms.
The maker testified infinite glee at the wonder and interest of a child
who was with us, who raced after the engine, round and round the rooms,
with a grave countenance, for as long as we could stay.

In the girls' workroom there were rows of knitters, straw-platters, and
needle-women. The ingenuity they put into their work is great. The
nicety of the platting of dolls' straw-bonnets cannot be surpassed; and
I am in possession of a pair of worsted gloves, double knitted, of the
size of my thumb-nail, of which every finger is perfect in its
proportions. Perhaps this may be the class of American society destined
to carry on the ingenuity of handiworks to perfection, as the Shakers
seem to be appointed to show how far neatness can go. One little girl
who was knitting in the workroom is distinguished from the rest by being
able to speak. So the poor little thing understands the case. She can
speak two words, "George" and "brother," having become deaf when she had
learned this much of language. She likes being asked to speak, and gives
the two words in a plaintive tone, much like the inarticulate cry of a
young animal.

I visited the New-York Institution in company with several ladies, two
of whom were deaf and dumb, and had been pupils in the school. One of
these had married a teacher, and had been left a widow, with three
children, the year before. She was a most vivacious personage, and
evidently a favourite among the pupils. The asylum is a large building,
standing on high ground, and with great advantages of space about it. It
contains 140 out of the 1066 deaf-mutes existing in the State of
New-York. The pupils are received up to the age of 25 years; and there
was one of 27 from North Carolina, who was making great progress. The
girls' dormitory, containing 80 beds, was light, airy, and beautifully
neat; the small philosophical apparatus, museum, and library were in
fine order, and a general air of cheerfulness pervaded the institution.

I had had frequent doubts whether nearly all the pupils in these asylums
were perfectly deaf: on this occasion I caused my trumpet to be tried on
several, and found that some could hear, and some imitate the sounds
conveyed through it. The teachers rather discouraged the trial, and put
away all suggestions about the use of these means of getting at the
minds of their pupils. They were quite sure that the manual methods of
teaching were the only ones by which their charge can profit. It is
natural that, wedded as they are to the methods which to a certain
extent succeed in the asylum, they should not like any interference with
these; but surely the guardians of these institutions should see that,
while so few out of the large number of deaf-mutes can be provided with
education, those few should be of a class to whom no other means are
open. The totally deaf should be first served, in all reason and
humanity; and those who have any hearing at all should have the full
advantage of the remains of the sense. The most meager instruction by
oral language is worth far more than the fullest that can be given by
signs and the finger alphabet. In their case the two should be united
where it is possible; but especially the ear should be made use of as
long as there are any instruments by which it may be reached. My own
belief is that there are, in these institutions and out of them, many
who have been condemned to the condition of mutes who have hearing
enough to furnish them with speech, imperfect to the listener, perhaps,
but inestimable as an instrument of communication, and of accuracy and
enlargement of thought. I would strongly urge upon the benevolent under
whose notice the cases of deaf young children may come, that they should
try experiments with every eartrumpet that has been invented before they
conclude that the children are perfectly deaf, and must, therefore, be
dumb.

I may mention here that I some time ago discovered, by the merest
accident, that I could perfectly hear the softest notes of a musical
snuffbox by putting it on my head. The effect was tremendous, at first
intolerably delicious. It immediately struck me that this might be a
resource in the case of deaf-mutes. If the deafness of any was of a kind
which would admit of the establishment of means of hearing anything,
there was no saying how far the discovery might be improved. The causes
and kinds of deafness vary almost as the subjects; and there might be no
few who could hear as I did, and with whom some kind of audible
communication might be established. I wrote to New-York, and begged two
of my friends to go out to the asylum with musical boxes, and try the
effect. Their report was that they believed none of the pupils could
hear at all by this method. But I am not yet fully satisfied. So few of
them have the slightest idea of what hearing is, they show that their
notion is so wide of the mark, and they are so inexpert at giving an
account of their feelings, that I have not given up the matter yet. At
any rate, no harm can be done by offering the suggestion to any who may
be disposed to take it up. We went to the New-York asylum without
notice, and walked immediately into one of the classrooms, where the
pupils were at a historical lesson, each standing before a slate as tall
as himself. In a minute, while the five ladies of our party were taking
their seats, an archlooking lad wrote down in the middle of his lesson
about Richard I. and John, that I was there, describing me as the one
next the lady in green, and giving a short account of me for the
edification of his companions. It was almost instantly rubbed out,
before it was supposed we had seen it. We could not make out by what
means he knew me.

The lessons here were no more satisfactory than elsewhere as to any
enlargement or accuracy of thought in the pupils. I doubt whether the
means of reaching their wants have yet been discovered, for nothing can
exceed the diligence and zeal with which the means in use are applied.
Their repetition of what they had been taught was so far superior to
what they could bring out of their own minds, as to convince us that the
reproduction was little more than an act of memory. They told us the
history of Richard I. and John with tolerable accuracy; but they gave us
the strangest accounts of the seasons of the year that ever were seen. A
just idea occurred, however, here and there. A boy mentioned swimming as
a seasonable pleasure; and others fruits; and one girl instanced
"convenience of studying" as an advantage of cool weather. In geography,
but little if any progress had been made; and the arithmetic was not
much more promising. Everything that can be done is zealously done, but
that all is very little. The teachers declare that the greatest
difficulty is with the tempers of their pupils. They are suspicious and
jealous; and when they once get a wrong idea, and go into a passion upon
it, there is no removing it; no possibility of explanation remains. They
are strongly affectionate, however, towards individuals, and, as we
could bear witness, very sudden in their attachments. We doubtless owed
much to having two deaf and dumb ladies in our party; but, when we went
away, they crowded round us to shake hands again and again, and waved
their hats and kissed their hands from the windows and doors as long as
we remained in sight.

Among the exercises in composition which are selected for the annual
report of this institution, there is one which is no mere recollection
of something read or told, but an actual account of a piece of personal
experience; and so far superior to what one usually sees from the pens
of deaf-mutes, that I am tempted to give a portion of it. It is an
account, by a lad of fifteen, of a journey to Niagara Falls.

"And soon we went into the steamboat. The steamboat stayed on the shore
for a long time. Soon the boat left it and sailed away over the Lake
Ontario. We were happy to view the lake, and we stayed in the boat all
night. The next morning we arrived at Lewistown, and after breakfast we
entered one of the stages for Niagara Falls. About 12 o'clock we arrived
at Niagara Falls and entered Mr. B.'s uncle's house. I was soon
introduced to Mr. B.'s uncle, aunt, and cousins by himself. After dinner
we left the house of his uncle for the purpose of visiting the falls,
which belong to his uncles, Judge and General Porter, and we crossed the
rapids; but we stopped at a part of the bridge and viewed the rapids
with a feeling of interest and curiosity. The rapids appeared to us
beautiful, and violent, and quarrelsome. Soon we left it, and went to
one of the islands to see the falls. When we arrived in a portion
situated near the falls, we felt admiration and interest, and went near
the river and saw the falls. We felt much wonder. The falls seemed to us
angry and beautiful. We stayed in the part near the falls for a long
time, and felt amazement. We went into the staircase and descended, and
we were very tired of descending in it, and we went to the rock to view
the falls. The falls are about one hundred and sixty feet in height. We
saw the beautiful rainbow of red, green, blue, and yellow colours. One
day we went to the river and crossed it by means of a ferryboat, and
left it. We went to the Canada side, and arrived at Table Rock. Mr. B.
dressed himself in some old coarse clothes, and then he descended and
went under the sheet of the falls. I felt earnest and anxious to go into
it. In a few minutes he returned to me, and soon we went back to the
river, and crossed the river, and came home, and soon sat down and
dined. We went to the island and found some plant whose name I did not
know. I had never seen it. When we were on the United States side we
could see Canada. One day we again went to the ferry to cross the river,
and went to Table Rock. We dressed ourselves in some old clothes, and
entered under the falls with curiosity and wonder. We stayed at Niagara
Falls a week. I wonder how the water of the Niagara River never is
exhausted."

That so much power of expression as this can be attained is, to those
who reflect what grammar is, and what a variety of operations is
required in putting it to use at all, a great encouragement to persevere
in investigating the minds of the deaf and dumb, and in teaching them,
in the hope that means may at length be found of so enlarging their
intercourses at an early age as to create more to be expressed, as well
as to improve the mode of expression. Those who may aid in such a
conquest over difficulty will be great benefactors to mankind. Greater
still will be the physicians who shall succeed in guarding the organ of
hearing from early accident and decay. It should not be forgotten by
physicians or parents that, in the great majority of cases, the
infirmity of deaf-mutes is not from birth.

The education of the blind is a far more cheering subject than that of
the deaf and dumb. The experiments which have been made in regard to it
are so splendid, and their success so complete, that it almost seems as
if little improvement remained to be achieved. It appears doubtful
whether the education of the blind has ever been carried on so far as at
present in the United States; and there is one set of particulars, at
least, in which we should do well to learn from the new country.

I am grieved to find in England, among some who ought to inform
themselves fully on the subject, a strong prejudice against the
discovery by which the blind are enabled to read, for their own
instruction and amusement. The method of printing for the blind, with
raised and sharp types, on paper thicker and more wetted than in the
ordinary process of printing, is put to full and successful use at the
fine institution at Boston. Having seen the printing and the books,
heard the public readings, and watched the private studies of the blind,
all the objections brought to the plan by those who have not seen its
operation appear to me more trifling than I can express.

The pupils do the greater part of the printing; the laying on the
sheets, working off the impressions, &c. By means of recent
improvements, the bulk of the books (one great objection) has been
diminished two thirds; the type remaining so palpable that new pupils
learn to read with ease in a few weeks. Of course, the expense is
lessened with the bulk; and a further reduction may be looked for as
improvement advances and the demand increases. Even now the expense is
not great enough to be an objection in the way of materially aiding so
small a class as the blind.

I have in my possession the alphabet, the Lord's prayer, some hymns, and
a volume on grammar, printed for the use of the blind; and six sets of
all that has been printed at the Boston press, with the exception of the
Testament, are on the way to me.[10] It is my wish to disperse this
precious literature where it may have the fairest trial; and I shall be
happy to receive any aid in the distribution which the active friends of
the blind may be disposed to afford.

Footnote 10: I have just received the following works, printed at the
Boston press for the use of the blind. I shall be thankful for
assistance in getting them into use, in securing a fair trial of them by
blind pupils:--

    Six copies of the Book of Psalms.
    ----------------- Pilgrim's Progress.
    ----------------- Dairyman's Daughter.
    ----------------- Life of Philip Melancthon.
    An Atlas of the United States.

The common letters are used, and not any abbreviated language. I think
this is wise; for thus the large class of persons who become blind after
having been able to read are suited at once; and it seems desirable to
make as little difference as possible in the instrument of communication
used by the blind and the seeing. It appears probable that, before any
very long time, all valuable literature may be put into the hands of the
blind; and the preparation will take place with much more ease if the
common alphabet be used, than if works have to be translated into a set
of arbitrary signs. It is easy for a blind person, previously able to
read, to learn the use of the raised printing. Even adults, whose
fingers' ends are none of the most promising, soon achieve the
accomplishment. An experiment has been made on a poor washerwoman with
the specimens I brought over. She had lost her sight eight years; but
she now reads, and is daily looking for a new supply of literature from
Boston, which a kind friend has ordered for her.

It will scarcely be believed that the objection to this exercise which
is most strongly insisted on is, that it is far better for the blind to
be read to than that they should read to themselves. It seems to me that
this might just as well be said about persons who see; that it would
save time for one member only of a family to read, while the others
might thus be saved the trouble of learning their letters. Let the
blind be read to as much as any benevolent person pleases; but why
should they not also be allowed the privilege of private study? Private
reading is of far more value and interest to them than to persons who
have more diversified occupations in their power. None could start this
objection who had seen, as I have, the blind at their private studies.
Instead of poring over a book held in the hand, as others do, they lay
their volume on the desk before them, lightly touch the lines with one
finger of the right hand, followed by one finger of the left, and, with
face upturned to the ceiling, show in their varying countenances the
emotions stirred up by what they are reading. A frequent passing smile,
an occasional laugh, or an animated expression of grave interest passes
over the face, while the touch is exploring the meaning which it was
till lately thought could enter only through the eye or the ear. They
may be seen going back to the beginning of a passage which interests
them, reading it three or four times over, dwelling upon it as we do
upon the beauties of our favourite authors, and thus deriving a benefit
which cannot be communicated by public reading.

One simple question seems to set this matter in its true light. If we
were to become blind to-morrow, should we prefer depending on being read
to, or having, in addition to this privilege, a library which we could
read for ourselves?

As to the speed with which the blind become able to read, those whom I
heard read aloud about as fast as the better sort of readers in a
Lancasterian school; with, perhaps, the interval of a second between the
longer words, and perfect readiness about the commonest little words.

Alphabetical printing is far from being the only use the Boston press is
put to. The arithmetical, geometrical, and musical signs are as easily
prepared; and there is an atlas which far surpasses any illustrations of
geography previously devised. The maps made in Europe are very
expensive, and exceedingly troublesome to prepare, the boundaries of sea
and land being represented by strings glued on to the lines of a common
map, pasted on a board. The American maps are embossed; the land being
raised, and the water depressed; one species of raised mark being used
for mountains, another for towns, another for boundaries; the degrees
being marked by figures in the margin, and the most important names in
the same print with their books. These maps are really elegant in
appearance, and seem to serve all purposes.

"Do you think," said I, to a little boy in the Blind School at
Philadelphia, "that you could show me on this large map where I have
been travelling in the United States?"

"I could, if you'd tell me where you have been," replied he.

"Well, I will tell you my whole journey, and you shall show my friends
here where I have been."

The little fellow did not make a single mistake. Up rivers, over
mountains, across boundaries, round cataracts, along lakes, straight up
to towns went his delicate fingers, as unerringly as our eyes. This _is_
a triumph. It brings out the love of the blind pupils for geography; and
with this, the proof that there are classes of ideas which we are
ignorant or heedless of, and which yield a benefit and enjoyment which
we can little understand, to those to whom they serve instead of visual
ideas. What is our notion of a map and of the study of geography,
putting visual ideas out of the question? The inquiry reminds one of
Saunderson's reply from his deathbed to the conversation of a clergyman
who was plying the blind philosopher with the common arguments in
Natural Theology: "You would fain have me allow the force of your
arguments, drawn from the wonders of the visible creation; but may it
not be that they only seem to you wonderful? for you and other men have
always been wondering how I could accomplish many things which seem to
me perfectly simple."

The best friends and most experienced teachers of the blind lay down, as
their first principle in the education of their charge, that the blind
are to be treated in all possible respects like other people; and these
respects are far more numerous than the inexperienced would suppose. One
of the hardest circumstances in the lot of a blind child is that his
spirits are needlessly depressed, and his habits made needlessly
dependant. From his birth, or from the period of his loss of sight, he
never finds himself addressed in the every-day human voice. He hears
words of pity from strangers, uttered in tones of hesitating compassion;
and there is a something in the voices of his parents when they speak to
him which is different from their tone towards their other children.
Everything is done for him. He is dressed, he is fed, he is guided. If
he attempts to walk alone, some one removes every impediment which lies
in his way. A worse evil than even helplessness arises out of this
method of treatment. The spirits and temper are injured. The child is
depressed when some one is not amusing him, and sinks into apathy when
left to himself. If there is the slightest intermission or abatement of
tenderness in the tone in which he is addressed, he is hurt. If he
thinks himself neglected for a moment, he broods over the fancied
injury, and in his darkness and silence nourishes bad passions. The
experienced students of the case of the blind hint at worse consequences
still arising from this pernicious indulgence of the blind at home.
Unless the mind be fully and independently exercised, and unless the
blind be drawn off from the contemplation of himself as an isolated and
unfortunate, if not injured being, the animal nature becomes too strong
for control, and some species of sensual vice finishes the destruction
which ill-judged indulgence began.

In the New-England Institution at Boston, the pupils are treated, from
the time of their entrance, like human beings who come to be educated.
All there are on an equality, except a very few of the people about the
house. The teachers are blind, and so all have to live on together on
the same terms. It is a community of persons with four senses. It is
here seen at once how inexpressibly absurd it is to be spending time and
wasting energy in bemoaning the absence of a fifth power, while there
are four existing to made use of. The universe is around them to be
studied, and life is before them to be conquered; and here they may be
set vigorously on their way. At first the pupils bitterly feel the want
of the caressing and pampering they have been used to at home. Some few,
who have come in too late, are found to have been irretrievably
incapacitated by it; but almost all revive in a surprisingly short time,
and experience so much enjoyment from their newly-acquired independence,
their sense of safety, their power of occupation, the cessation of all
pity and repining, and the novel feeling of equality with those about
them, that they declare themselves to have entered upon a new life. Many
drop expressions resembling that of one of the pupils, who declared that
she never thought before that it was a happy thing to live.

Their zeal about their occupations appears remarkable to those who do
not reflect that holyday is no pleasure to the blind, and idleness a
real punishment, as it is the one thing of which they have had too much
all their lives. They are eager to be busy from morning till night; and
the care of their teachers is to change their employments frequently,
as there is but little suspension of work. They have a playground, with
swings and other means of exercise; but one of the greatest difficulties
in the management is to cause these to be made a proper use of. The
blind are commonly indisposed to exercise; and in the New-England
Institution little is done in this way, though the pupils are shut out
into the open air once, and even twice a day in summer, the house doors
actually closed against them. They sit down in groups and talk, or bask
in some sunny corner of the grounds, hurrying back at the first signal
to their books, their music, their mat and basket making, sewing, and
travels on the map.

Another great difficulty is to teach them a good carriage and manners.
Blind children usually fall into a set of disagreeable habits while
other children are learning to look about them. They wag their heads,
roll their eyes, twitch their elbows, and keep their bodies in a
perpetual seesaw as often as they are left to themselves; and it is
surprising how much time and vigilance are required to make them sit,
stand, and walk like other people. As all directions to this purpose
must appear to them purely arbitrary, their faith in their instructers
has to be drawn upon to secure their obedience in these particulars, and
the work to be done is to break the habits of a life; so that it really
seems easier to them to learn a science or a language than to hold up
their heads and sit still on their chairs. The manners of the blind
usually show a great bashfulness on the surface of a prodigious vanity.
This is chiefly the fault of the seeing with whom they have intercourse.
If their compassionate visiters would suppress all tears and sighs, make
an effort to forget all about the sense that is absent, and treat them,
on the ground of the other four, as they would treat all other pupils in
any other school, the demeanour of the blind would nearly cease to be
peculiar. Their manners are rectified easily enough by the only method
which can ever avail for the cure of bad manners; by cultivating their
kindly feelings and their self-respect, and by accustoming them to good
society.

The studies at the institution at Boston are appointed according to the
principles laid down in the valuable report of the gentleman, Dr. Howe,
who studied the case of the blind in Europe, and who is now at the head
of the establishment under our notice. Among other principles is this,
"that the blind can attain as much excellence in mathematical,
geographical, astronomical, and other sciences, as many seeing persons;
and that he can become as good a teacher of music, language,
mathematics, and other sciences; all this and yet more can he do." The
ambition, from the very beginning of the enterprise, was far higher than
that of rescuing a few hundreds of blind persons from pauperism and
dependant habits; it was proposed to try how noble a company of beings
the blind might be made, and thus to do justice to the individuals under
treatment, and to lift up the whole class of the sightless out of a
state of depression into one of high honour, activity, and cheerfulness.
The story, besides being a pleasant one, is a fair illustration of
American charity in its principles and in its methods, and I will
therefore give it in brief. I do not believe there exists in American
literature any work breathing a more exhilarating spirit of hopefulness,
a finer tone of meek triumph, than the Reports of the New-England
Institution for the Education of the Blind.

It appears to be only about five-and-forty years since the education of
the blind was first undertaken; and it is much more recently that any
just idea has been formed by anybody of the actual number of the blind.
Even now few are aware how numerous they are. The born-blind are far
fewer than those who lose their sight in infancy. Taken together, the
numbers are now declared to be, in Egypt, one blind to every three
hundred; in Middle Europe, one to every eight hundred; in North Europe,
one in a thousand. In the United States, the number of blind is supposed
to be eight thousand at the very least.

The announcement of this fact caused a great sensation in New-England.
The good folks there who had been accustomed to bestow their kindness
each on some sightless old man or woman, or some petted blind child in
his own village, had not thought of comparing notes to ascertain how
many such cases there were, and were quite unaware of the numbers who in
towns sit wearing their cheerless lives away by their relations'
firesides; no immediate stimulus of want sending them forth into the
notice of the rich and the philanthropic.

The first step was the passing of an act by the legislature of
Massachusetts, incorporating trustees of the New-England Asylum for the
Blind. These trustees sent Dr. Howe to Europe to study the similar
institutions there, and bring back the necessary teachers and apparatus.
Dr. Howe's report on his return is extremely interesting. He brought
over a blind teacher from Paris, who, besides being skilled in the art
of communicating knowledge, is learned in the classics, history, and
mathematics. With him came a blind mechanic from Edinburgh, who
instructs the pupils in the different kinds of manufacture, on which
many of them depend for a subsistence.

Six young persons were taken at random from different parts of the State
of Massachusetts, and put under tuition. They were between the ages of
six and twenty years. At the end of five months all these six could read
correctly by the touch; had proceeded farther in arithmetic than seeing
children usually do in the same time; knew more of geography; had made
considerable attainment in music; and offered for sale moccasins and
doormats of as good quality and appearance as any sold in the shops of
Boston. The legislature testified its satisfaction by voting an annual
appropriation of six thousand dollars to the institution, on condition
of its boarding and educating, free of cost, twenty poor blind persons
from the State of Massachusetts.

The public was no less delighted. Every one began to inquire what he
could do. Money was given, objects were sought out; but some
rallying-point for all the effort excited was wanted. This was soon
supplied. A wealthy citizen of Boston, Colonel Perkins, offered his
mansion and outbuildings in Pearl-street as a residence for the pupils,
if, within a given time, funds were raised to support the establishment.
This act of munificence fully answered the purposes of the generous
citizen who performed it. Within one month upward of fifty thousand
dollars were contributed and placed to the credit of the institution.
The legislatures of three other New-England states have made
appropriations for the object; an estate joining Colonel Perkins's has
been purchased and thrown into a playground; the establishment contains
five officers and about fifty pupils, and it is in contemplation to
increase the accommodations so as to admit more. The funds are ample,
and the means of instruction of a very superior kind.

The business of the house is carried on by the pupils as far as
possible, and mechanical arts are taught with care and diligence; but
the rule of the establishment is to improve the mental resources of the
pupils to the utmost. Those who cannot do better are enabled to earn
their livelihood by the making of mats, baskets, and mattresses; but a
higher destination is prepared for all who show ability to become
organists of churches, and teachers of languages and science. I saw some
of the pupils writing, some sewing, some practising music, some reading.
I was struck with an expression of sadness in many of their faces, and
with a listlessness of manner in some; but I am aware that, owing to the
illness of the director and some other circumstances, I saw the
establishment to great disadvantage. I believe, however, that not a few
of its best friends, among whom may perchance be included some of its
managers themselves, would like to see more mirthful exercises and
readings introduced in the place of some of the exclusively religious
contemplations offered to the pupils. The best homage which the
guardians of the blind could offer to Him whose blessing they invoke is
in the thoroughly exercised minds of their charge; minds strong in
power, gay in innocence, and joyous in gratitude.

The institution which I had the best means of observing, and which
interested me more than any charitable establishment in America, was the
Philadelphia Asylum for the Blind. It was humble in its arrangements and
numbers when I first went, but before I left the country it seemed in a
fair way to flourish. It is impossible to overrate the merits of Mr.
Friedlander, its principal, in regard to it. The difficulties with which
he had to struggle, from confined space, deficient apparatus, and other
inconveniences resulting from narrow means, would have deterred almost
any one else from undertaking anything till better aid could be
provided. But he was cheered by the light which beamed out daily more
brightly from the faces of his little flock of pupils, and supported by
the intellectual power which they manifested from period to period of
their course. Of the eleven he found, to his delight, that no fewer than
"six were endowed with remarkable intellectual faculties, and three with
good ones; while, with regard to the remaining two, the development of
their minds might still be expected." A larger dwelling was next
engaged; the legislature showed an interest in the institution, and I
have no doubt it is by this time flourishing.

Mr. Friedlander and the matron, Miss Nicholls, had succeeded in
rectifying the carriage and manners of nearly all their pupils. As to
their studies, the aim is as high as in the New-England Institution, and
will, no doubt, be equally successful. The music was admirable, except
for the pronunciation of words in the singing. It was a great pleasure
to me to go and hear their musical exercises, they formed so good a band
of instrumentalists, and sang so well. There were horns, flutes,
violins, and the piano. As for humbler matters, besides the ornamental
works of the girls, the fringes, braids, lampstands, &c., I saw a frock
made by one of them during the leisure hours of one week. The work was
excellent, the gathers of the skirt being stocked into the waistband as
evenly and regularly as by a common mantuamaker. The girls' hair was
dressed like that of other young ladies, only scarcely a hair was out of
its place; and each blind girl dresses her own hair. They peel potatoes
with the utmost accuracy, and as quickly as others. But, with all this
care, their cultivation of mind is most attended to. The girls stand as
good an examination as the boys in mental arithmetic, geography, and
reading aloud.

Before I left Philadelphia the annual meeting of the public in the Music
Hall, to see the progress of Mr. Friedlander's pupils, took place. I was
requested to write the address to be delivered by one of the blind in
the name of the rest; and now I found what the difficulty is to an
inexperienced person, of throwing one's self into the mind of a being in
such different circumstances, and uttering only what he might say with
truth. I now saw that the common run of hymns and other compositions put
into the mouths of the blind become no less cant when uttered by them,
than the generality of the so-called religious tracts which are written
for the poor. The blind do not know what they miss in not receiving the
light of the sun; and they would never spontaneously lament about it,
nor would they naturally try to be submissive and resigned about
privations which they are only by inference aware of. Their resignation
should be about evils whose pressure they actually feel. To a blind
child it is a greater pain to have a thorn in its foot than not to have
eyes; to a blind man it is a greater sorrow not to have got his temper
under control than to be shut out from the face of nature. The joy of
the sightless should, in the same manner, be for the positive powers
they hold and the achievements they grasp, and not for what others call
compensations for what they do not miss. To bear all this in mind, and
to conceive one's thoughts accordingly; to root out of the expression of
thought every visual image, and substitute such, derived from other
senses, as may arise naturally from the state of mind of the blind, is
no easy task, as any one may find who tries. It led me into a
speculation on the vast amount of empty words which the blind must
swallow while seeking from books their intellectual food. We are all apt
in reading to take in, as true and understood, a great deal more than we
verify and comprehend; but, in the intercourses of the blind, what a
tremendous proportion does the unreal bear to the real which is offered
them!

I saw at the Deaf and Dumb Asylum at Boston one of those unhappy beings,
the bare mention of whose case excites painful feelings of compassion. I
was told that a young man who was deaf, dumb, and blind was on the
premises, and he was brought to us. Impossible as it was to hold
communication with him, we were all glad when, after standing and
wandering awkwardly about, he turned from us and made his way out. He is
not quite blind. He can distinguish light from darkness, but cannot be
taught by any of the signs which are used with his deaf-mute companions.
His temper is violent, and there seems to be no way of increasing his
enjoyments. His favourite occupation is piling wood, and we saw him
doing this with some activity, mounted on the woodpile.

It is now feared that the cases of this tremendous degree of privation
are not so few as has been hitherto supposed. In a Memorial of the Genoa
Deaf and Dumb Institution, it is stated that there are seven such cases
in the Sardinian States on the mainland of Italy; and the probability is
that about the same proportion as in other kinds of infirmity exists
among other nations. Copious accounts have been given of three sufferers
of this class; and a fourth, Hannah Lamb, who was accidentally burned to
death in London at the age of nine years, has been mentioned in print.
The three of whom we have been favoured with copious accounts are James
Mitchell, who is described to us by Dugald Stewart; Victoria Morisseau,
at Paris, by M. Bébian; and Julia Brace, at Hartford (Connecticut), by
Mrs. Sigourney. All these have given evidence of some degree of
intellectual activity, and feeling of right and wrong; enough to
constitute a most affecting appeal to those who are too late to aid
them, but who may possibly be the means of saving others from falling
into their state. The obligation lies chiefly on the medical profession.
Every enlightened member of that profession laments that little is known
about the diseases of the ear and their treatment. Whenever this organ,
with its liabilities, becomes as well understood as that of sight, the
number of deaf-mutes will doubtless be much reduced, and such cases as
that of poor Julia Brace will probably disappear; at least the chances
of the occurrence of such will be incalculably lessened.

The generosity of American society, already so active and extensive,
will continue to be exerted in behalf of sufferers from the privation of
the senses, till all who need it will be comprehended in its care. No
one doubts that the charity will be done. The fear is lest the
philosophy which should enlighten and guide the charity should be
wanting. Such sufferers are apt to allure the observer, by means of his
tenderest sympathies, into the imaginative regions of philosophy.
Science and generosity equally demand that the allurement should be
resisted. If observers will put away all mere imaginations respecting
their charge; if they will cease to approach them as superior beings in
disguise, and look upon them as a peculiar class of children more than
ordinarily ignorant, and ignorant in a remarkable direction, facts may
be learned relative to the formation of mind and the exercise of
intellect which may give cause to the race of ordinary men to look upon
their infirm brethren with gratitude and love, as the medium through
which new and great blessings have been conferred. By a union of
inquirers and experimenters, by the speculative and practical cordially
joining to work out the cases of human beings with four senses, the
number might perhaps be speedily lessened of those who, seeing, see not,
and who, hearing, hear not nor understand.



NAHANT.


    "A breath of our free heaven and noble sires."

                                                                 HEMANS.


The whole coast of Massachusetts Bay is well worth the study of the
traveller. Nothing can be more unlike than the aspect of the northern
and southern extremities of the bay. Of Cape Ann, the northern point,
with its bold shores and inexhaustible granite quarries, I have given
some account in another book.[11] Not a ledge of rock is to be seen near
Cape Cod, the southern extremity; but, instead of it, a sand so deep
that travellers who have the choice of reaching it by horse or carriage
prefer going over the last twenty miles on horseback; but then the
sandhills are of so dazzling a whiteness as to distress the eyes. The
inhabitants are a private race of fishermen and saltmen, dwelling in
ground-floor houses, which are set down among the sand ridges without
plan or order. Some communication is kept up between them and a yet more
secluded race of citizens, the inhabitants of Nantucket and Martha's
Vineyard, two islands which lie south of the southern peninsula of the
bay. I much regretted that I had no opportunity of visiting these
islands. Some stories that are abroad about the simplicity of the
natives are enough to kindle the stranger's curiosity to see so fresh a
specimen of human nature. In Nantucket there is not a tree, and scarcely
a shrub. It is said that a fisherman's son, on accompanying his father
for the first time to the mainland, saw a scrubby apple-tree. In great
emotion, he cried, "Oh father! look there! what a beautiful tree! and
what are those beautiful things on it? Are they lemons?" It was not my
fortune to see any citizen of the United States who did not know an
apple-tree at sight. It must be highly instructive to take a trip from
this remarkable place across the bay to Nahant, in the month of August.

Footnote 11: Society in America, vol. i., page 281.

It was October when I visited Nahant, and all the gay birds of the
summer had flown. I was not sorry for this, for fine people may be seen
just as well in places where they are less in the way than on this rock.
Nahant is a promontory which stretches out into the bay a few miles
north of Boston; or it might rather be called two islands, connected
with each other and with the mainland by ridges of sand and pebbles. The
outermost of the islands is the larger, and it measures rather above a
mile and a half in circumference. The whole promontory was bought, in
the seventeenth century, by a certain farmer Dexter, of an Indian chief,
Black Willy, for a suit of clothes. Probably the one party was as far as
the other from foreseeing what use the place would be put to in the
coming days. Nahant is now the resort of the Boston gentry in the hot
months. Several of them have cottages on the promontory; and for those
who are brought by the indefatigable steamboat, there is a stupendous
hotel, the proportion of which to the place it is built on is as a
man-of-war would be riding in one of the lovely Massachusetts ponds.
Some middle-aged gentlemen remember the time when there was only one
house on Nahant; and now there are balls in this hotel, where the
extreme of dress and other luxury is seen, while the beach which
connects the rock with the mainland is gay with hundreds of carriages
and equestrians on bright summer mornings.

This beach consists of gray sand, beaten so hard by the action of the
waves from the harbour on one side and the bay on the other, that the
wheels of carriages make no impression, and the feet of horses resound
as on the hardest road. It is the most delightful place for a drive or a
gallop that can be imagined, except to the timorous, who may chance to
find their horses frightened when the waves are boisterous on either
hand at once. We entered upon it when the water was nearly at its
height, and the passage was narrow. We had passed through the busy town
of Lynn, and left its many hundreds of shoemaking families at their work
behind us. We had passed many a field where the shoemaker, turned farmer
for the season, was manuring his land with fishheads and offal; and now
we burst into a region where no sounds of labour were heard, few signs
of vegetation seen. We were alone with our own voices and the dashing of
the sea, which seemed likely to take us off our feet.

When we reached Great Nahant, several picturesque cottages of the
gentry came into view. All had piazzas, and several were adorned with
bright creeping plants. No inhabitants were visible. Some rows of
miserable young trees looked as if they were set up in order to be blown
down. Many attempts have been made to raise forest-trees, but hitherto
in vain. Some large willows grow in a partially sheltered spot, and
under these are the boarding-houses of the place. The verdure is scanty,
of course, and this is not the kind of beauty to be looked for in
Nahant. The charms of the place are in the distant views, and among the
picturesque and intricate rocks.

The variety contained within the circuit of a mile and a half is fully
known only to the summer residents; but we saw something of it. At one
moment we were prying into the recesses of the Swallows' Cave, listening
to the rumbling of the waves within it, making discoveries of birds'
nests, and looking up through its dark chasms to the sky. At the next we
caught a view, between two rising grounds, of Boston, East Boston, and
Chelsea, sitting afar off upon the sunny waters. Here and there was a
quiet strip of beach, where we sat watching the rich crop of weed swayed
to and fro by the spreading and retreating of the translucent waters;
and then at intervals we came to where the waves boil among the caverns,
making a busy roar in the stillest hour of the stillest day. Here all
was so chill and shadowy that the open sea, with its sunny sail and
canopy of pearly clouds, looked as if it were quite another region,
brought into view by some magic, but really lying on the other side of
the world.

There is a luxurious bathing-place for ladies, a little beach so shut in
by rocks, along the top of which runs a high fence, that the retirement
is complete. Near it is the Spouting Horn, where we sat an unmeasured
time, watching the rising tide spouting more magnificently every moment
from the recess called The Horn. Every wave rushed in and splashed out
again with a roar, the fragments of seaweed flying off like shot. A
clever little boy belonging to our party was meantime abroad among the
boarding-houses, managing to get us a dinner. He saved us all the
trouble, and came to summon us, and show us the way. His father could
not have managed better than he did.

We rambled about in the afternoon till we could no longer conceal from
ourselves that the sun was getting low. We intended to describe a
circuit in returning, so as to make as much of our road as possible lie
along the beach. Never was the world bathed in a lovelier atmosphere
than this evening. The rocks, particularly the island called Egg Rock,
were of that soft lilach hue which harmonizes with the green sea on
sunny evenings. While this light was brightest, we suddenly came upon a
busy and remarkable scene--the hamlet of Swampscot, on the beach--the
place where novel-readers go to look for Mucklebacket's cottage, so much
does it resemble the beach scenes in the Antiquary. Boats were drawn up
on the shore, the smallest boats, really for use, that I ever saw. They
are flatbottomed, and are tenanted by one man, or, at most, two, when
going out for cod. The men are much cramped in these tiny boats, and
need exercise when they come to shore, and we saw a company playing at
quoits at the close of their working-day. Many children were at play,
their little figures seen in black relief against the sea, or trailing
long shadows over the washed and glistening sands. Women were coming
homeward with their milkpans or taking in their linen from the lines.
All were busy, and all looked joyous. While my companions were
bargaining for fish I had time to watch the singular scene; and when it
was necessary to be gone, and we turned up into the darkening lanes away
from the sea, we looked back to the last moment upon this busy reach of
the bright shore.

The scenery of Massachusetts Bay is a treasure which Boston possesses
over and above what is enjoyed by her sister cities of the East.
New-York has a host of beauties about her, it is true; the North River,
Hoboken, and Staten Island; but there is something in the singularity of
Nahant and the wild beauty of Cape Ann more captivating than the
crowded, fully-appropriated beauties round New-York. Philadelphia,
Baltimore, and Washington have no environs which can compare with either
of the Northern cities. The islands which lie off Charleston, and where
the less opulent citizens repair for health in the hot months, are
praised more for their freshness and fertility than for any romantic
beauty; and the coasts of the South are flat and shoaly. The South has
the advantage in the winter, when none but the hardiest fishermen can be
abroad to watch the march of the wintry storms over the Northern sea and
sky; but in summer and autumn, when the Southerners who cannot afford
to travel are panting and sickening in the glare among sands and swamps,
the poorest of the citizens of Massachusetts may refresh himself amid
the seabreezes on the bright promontories or cool caverns of his native
shore.



SIGNS OF THE TIMES IN MASSACHUSETTS.


     "II ne faut pas une bien grande force d'esprit pour comprendre que
     ni les richesses ni le pouvoir ne rendent heureux. Assez de gens
     sentent cette vérité. Mais de ceux qui la connoissent pleinement et
     se conduisent en conséquence, le nombre en est si petit qu'il
     semble que ce soit là l'effort le plus rare de la raison humaine."

                                                   --PAUL LOUIS COURIER.


Some few years hence it will be difficult to believe what the state of
the times was in some parts of the United States, and even in the
maritime cities, in 1835. The system of terrorism seems now to be over.
It did not answer its purpose, and is dropped; but in 1835 it was new
and dreadful. One of the most hideous features of the times was the
ignorance and unconcern of a large portion of society about what was
being done and suffered by other divisions of its members. I suppose,
while Luther was toiling and thundering, German ladies and gentlemen
were supping and dancing as usual; and while the Lollards were burning,
perhaps little was known or cared about it in warehouses and upon farms.
So it was in America. The gentry with whom I chiefly associated in
New-York knew little of the troubles of the abolitionists in that city,
and nothing about the state of the anti-slavery question in their own
region. In Boston I heard very striking facts which had taken place in
broad daylight vehemently and honestly denied by many who happened to be
ignorant of what had been done in their very streets. Not a few persons
applied to me, a stranger, for information about the grand revolution of
the time which was being transacted, not only on their own soil, but in
the very city of their residence. A brief sketch of what I saw and
experienced in Boston during the autumn of 1835 will afford some little
information as to what the state of society actually was.

At the end of August a grand meeting was held at Faneuil Hall in Boston.
The hall was completely filled with the gentry of the city, and some of
the leading citizens took the responsibility and conducted the
proceedings of the day. The object of the meeting was to sooth the
South, by directing public indignation upon the abolitionists. The
pretext of the assembly was, that the Union was in danger; and though
the preamble to the resolutions declared disapprobation of the
institution of slavery, the resolutions themselves were all inspired by
fear of or sympathy with slaveholders. They reprobated all agitation of
the question, and held out assurances to the South that every
consideration should be made subordinate to the grand one of preserving
the Union. The speeches were a disgrace to the constituents of a
democratic republic, pointed as they were against those rights of free
discussion and association at the time acted upon by fellow-citizens,
and imbued with deference for the South. In the crowded assembly no
voice was raised in disapprobation except when a speaker pointed to the
portrait of Washington as "that slaveholder;" and even then the murmur
soon died into silence. The gentlemen went home, trusting that they had
put down the abolitionists and conciliated the South. In how short a
time did the new legislature of the State pass, in that very city, a
series of thorough-going abolition resolutions, sixteen constituting the
minority! while the South had already been long despising the
half-and-half doctrine of the Faneuil Hall meeting!

Meantime, the immediate result of the proceeding was the mob of which I
have elsewhere given an account.[12] After that mob the regular meetings
of the abolitionists were suspended for want of a place to meet in.
Incessant attempts were made to hire any kind of public building, but no
one would take the risk of having his property destroyed by letting it
to so obnoxious a set of people. For six weeks exertions were made in
vain. At last a Boston merchant, who had built a pleasant house for
himself and his family, said, that while he had a roof over his head,
his neighbours should not want a place in which to hold a legal meeting
for honest objects; and he sent an offer of his house to the ladies of
the Anti-slavery Society. They appointed their meeting for three o'clock
in the afternoon of Wednesday, November 18. They were obliged to make
known their intentions as they best could, for no newspaper would admit
their advertisements, and the clergy rarely ventured to give out their
notices, among others, from the pulpit.

Footnote 12: Society in America, vol. i., p. 169-176.

I was at this time slightly acquainted with three or four abolitionists,
and I was distrusted by most or all of the body who took any interest in
me at all. My feelings were very different from theirs about the
slaveholders of the South; naturally enough, as these Southern
slaveholders were nothing else in the eyes of abolitionists, while to me
they were, in some cases, personal friends, and, in more, hospitable
entertainers. It was known, however, that I had declared my intention of
attending an abolition meeting. This was no new resolution. From the
outset of my inquiry into the question, I had declared that, having
attended colonization meetings, and heard all that the slaveholders had
to say for themselves and against abolitionists, I felt myself bound to
listen to the other side of the question. I always professed my
intention of seeking acquaintance with the abolitionists, though I then
fully and involuntarily believed two or three charges against them which
I found to be wholly groundless. The time was now come for discharging
this duty.

On the Monday, two friends, then only new acquaintances, called on me at
the house of a clergyman where I was staying, three miles from Boston. A
late riot at Salem was talked over, a riot in which the family of Mr.
Thompson had been driven from one house to another three times in one
night, the children being snatched from their beds, carried abroad in
the cold, and injuriously terrified. It was mentioned that the ladies of
the Anti-slavery Society were going to attempt a meeting on the next
Wednesday, and I was asked whether I was in earnest in saying that I
would attend one of their meetings. Would I go to this one if I should
be invited? I replied that it depended entirely on the nature of the
meeting. If it was merely a meeting for the settlement of accounts and
the despatch of business, where I should not learn what I wanted, I
should wait for a less perilous time; if it was a _bonâ fide_ public
meeting, a true reflection of the spirit and circumstances of the time
and the cause, I would go. The matter was presently decided by the
arrival of a regular official invitation to me to attend the meeting,
and to carry with me the friend who was my travelling companion, and
any one else who might be disposed to accompany me.

Trifling as these circumstances may now appear, they were no trifles at
the time; and many considerations were involved in the smallest movement
a stranger made on the question. The two first things I had to take care
of were to avoid involving my host in any trouble I might get into, and
to afford opportunity to my companion to judge for herself what she
would do. My host had been reviled in the newspapers already for having
read a notice (among several others) of an anti-slavery meeting from Dr.
Channing's pulpit, where he was accidentally preaching. My object was to
prevent his giving an opinion on anything that I should do, that he
might not be made more or less responsible for my proceedings. I handed
the invitation to my companion, with a hint not to speak of it. We
separately made up our minds to go, and announced our determination to
our host and hostess. Between joke and earnest, they told us we should
be mobbed; and the same thing was repeated by many who were not in joke
at all.

At two o'clock on the Wednesday we arrived at the house of a gentleman
where we were to meet a few of the leading abolitionists, and dine,
previous to the meeting. Our host was miserably ill that day, unfit to
be out of his chamber; but he exerted himself to the utmost, being
resolved to escort his wife to the meeting. During dinner, the
conversation was all about the Southern gentry, in whose favour I said
all I could, and much more than the party could readily receive; which
was natural enough, considering that they and I looked at the people of
the South from different points of view. Before we issued forth on our
expedition I was warned once more that exertions had been made to get up
a mob, and that it was possible we might be dispersed by violence. When
we turned into the street where the house of meeting stood, there were
about a dozen boys hooting before the door, as they saw ladies of colour
entering. We were admitted without having to wait an instant on the
steps, and the door was secured behind us.

The ladies assembled in two drawing-rooms, thrown into one by the
folding-doors being opened. The total number was a hundred and thirty.
The president sat at a small table by the folding-doors, and before her
was a large Bible, paper, pens, and ink, and the secretary's papers.
There were only three gentlemen in the house, its inhabitant, the
gentleman who escorted us, and a clergyman who had dined with us. They
remained in the hall, keeping the front door fastened, and the back way
clear for our retreat, if retreat should be necessary. But the number of
hooters in the streets at no time exceeded thirty, and they treated us
to nothing worse than a few yells.

A lady who sat next me amused me by inquiring, with kindness, whether it
revolted my feelings to meet thus in assembly with people of colour. She
was as much surprised as pleased with my English deficiency of all
feeling on the subject. My next neighbour on the other hand was Mrs.
Thompson, the wife of the anti-slavery lecturer, who had just effected
his escape, and was then on the sea. The proceedings began with the
reading of a few texts of Scripture by the president. My first
impression was that the selection of these texts gave out a little
vainglory about the endurance of persecution; but when I remembered that
this was the reunion of persons who had been dispersed by a mob, and
when I afterward became aware how cruelly many of the members had been
wounded in their moral sense, their domestic affections, and their
prospects in life, I was quite ready to yield my too nice criticism. A
prayer then followed, the spirit of which appeared to me perfect in
hopefulness, meekness, and gentleness. While the secretary was afterward
reading her report, a note was handed to me, the contents of which sunk
my spirits fathom deep for the hour. It was a short pencil note from one
of the gentlemen in the hall; and it asked me whether I had any
objection to give a word of sympathy to the meeting, fellow-labourers as
we had long been in behalf of the principles in whose defence they were
met. The case was clear as daylight to my conscience. If I had been a
mere stranger, attending with a mere stranger's interest to the
proceedings of a party of natives, I might and ought to have declined
mixing myself up with their proceedings. But I had long before published
against slavery, and always declared my conviction that this was a
question of humanity, not of country or race; a moral, not a merely
political question; a general affair, and not one of city, state, party,
or nation. Having thus declared on the safe side of the Atlantic, I was
bound to act up to my declaration on the unsafe side, if called upon. I
thought it a pity that the call had been made, though I am now very
glad that it was, as it was the means of teaching me more of the temper
and affairs of the times than I could have known by any other means, and
as it ripened the regard which subsisted between myself and the writer
of the note into a substantial, profitable, and delightful friendship;
but, at the moment, I foresaw none of these good consequences, but a
formidable array of very unpleasant ones. I foresaw that almost every
house in Boston, except those of the abolitionists, would be shut
against me; that my relation to the country would be completely changed,
as I should be suddenly transformed from being a guest and an observer
to being considered a missionary or a spy; and results even more serious
than this might reasonably be anticipated. During the few minutes I had
for consideration, the wife of the writer of the note came to me, and
asked what I thought of it, begging me to feel quite at liberty to
attend to it or not, as I liked. I felt that I had no such liberty. I
was presently introduced to the meeting, when I offered the note as my
reason for breaking the silence of a stranger, and made the same
declarations of my abhorrence of slavery and my agreement in the
principles of the abolitionists which I had expressed throughout the
whole of my travels through the South.

Of the consequences of this simple affair it is not my intention to give
any account, chiefly because it would be impossible to convey to my
English readers my conviction of the smallness of the portion of
American society which was concerned in the treatment inflicted upon me.
The hubbub was so great, and the modes of insult were so various, as to
justify distant observers in concluding that the whole nation had risen
against me. I soon found how few can make a great noise, while the many
are careless or ignorant of what is going on about a person or a party
with whom they have nothing to do; and while not a few are rendered more
hearty in their regard and more generous in their hospitality by the
disgraces of the individual who is under the oppression of public
censure. All that I anticipated at the moment of reading the note came
to pass, but only for a time. Eventually, nothing remained which in the
slightest degree modified my opinions or impaired my hopes of the
society I was investigating.

The secretary's report was drawn up with remarkable ability, and some
animating and beautiful letters were read from distant members of the
association. The business which had been interrupted by violence was put
in train again; and, when the meeting broke up, a strong feeling of
satisfaction visibly pervaded it. The right of meeting was vindicated;
righteous pertinacity had conquered violence, and no immediate check to
the efforts of the society was to be apprehended.

The trials of the abolitionists of Boston were, however, not yet over.
Two months before, the attorney-general of the state had advocated in
council the expected demand of the South, that abolitionists should be
delivered up to the Slave States for trial and punishment under Southern
laws. This fact is credible to those, and, perhaps, to those only, who
have seen the pamphlet in reply to Dr. Channing's work on Slavery
attributed to this gentleman. The South was not long in making the
demand. Letters arrived from the governors of Southern States to the new
governor of Massachusetts, demanding the passing of laws against
abolitionism in all its forms. The governor, as was his business, laid
these letters before the legislature of his state. This was the only
thing he could do on this occasion. Just before, at his entrance upon
his office, he had aimed his blow at the abolitionists in the following
passages of his address. The same delusion (if it be mere delusion) is
visible here that is shared by all persons in power, who cannot deny
that an evil exists, but have not courage to remove it; a vague hope
that "fate, or Providence, or something," will do the work which men are
created to perform; men of principle and men of peace, like the
abolitionists; victims, not perpetrators of violence. "As the genius of
our institutions and the character of our people are entirely repugnant
to laws impairing the liberty of speech and of the press, even for the
sake of repressing its abuses, the patriotism of all classes of citizens
must be invoked to abstain from a discussion which, by exasperating the
master, can have no other effect than to render more oppressive the
condition of the slave; and which, if not abandoned, there is great
reason to fear will prove the rock on which the Union will split." ...
"A conciliatory forbearance," he proceeds to say, "would leave this
whole painful subject where the Constitution leaves it, with the states
where it exists, and in the hands of an all-wise Providence, who in his
own good time is able to cause it to disappear, like the slavery of the
ancient world, under the gradual operation of the gentle spirit of
Christianity." The time is at hand. The "gradual operation of the gentle
spirit of Christianity" had already educated the minds and hearts of the
abolitionists for the work they are doing, but which the governor would
fain have put off. It thus appears that they had the governor and
attorney-general of the state against them, and the wealth, learning,
and power of their city. It will be seen how their legislature was
affected towards them.

As soon as they were aware of the demands of the Southern governors,
they petitioned their legislature for a hearing, according to the
invariable practice of persons who believe that they may be injured by
the passing of any proposed law. The hearing was granted, as a matter of
course; and a committee of five members of the legislature was appointed
to hear what the abolitionists had to say. The place and time appointed
were the Senate Chamber, on the afternoon of Friday, the 4th of March.

The expectation had been that few or none but the parties immediately
concerned would be present at the discussion of such "a low subject;"
but the event proved that more curiosity was abroad than had been
supposed. I went just before the appointed hour, and took my seat with
my party, in the empty gallery of the Senate Chamber. The abolitionists
dropped in one by one; Garrison, May, Goodell, Follen, E. G. Loring, and
others. The committee treated them with ostentatious neglect, dawdling
away the time, and keeping them waiting a full hour beyond the appointed
time. The gallery filled rapidly, and more and more citizens entered the
room below. To our great delight, Dr. Channing made his appearance
there. At length it was manifest that the Senate Chamber was not large
enough; and we adjourned to the Hall of Representatives, which was soon
about two thirds filled.

I could not have conceived that such conduct could have been ventured
upon as that of the chairman of the committee. It was so insulting as to
disgust the citizens present, whatever might be their way of thinking on
the question which brought them together. The chairman and another of
the five were evidently predetermined. They spared no pains in showing
it, twisting the meaning of expressions employed by the pleaders, noting
down any disjointed phrase which could be made to tell against those who
used it, conveying sarcasms in their questions and insult in their
remarks. Two others evidenced a desire to fulfil their function, to hear
what the abolitionists had to say. Dr. Channing took his seat behind the
pleaders; and I saw with pleasure that he was handing them notes, acting
on their side as decisively, and almost as publicly as if he had spoken.
After several unanswerable defences against charges had been made, and
Mr. Loring had extorted the respect of the committee by a speech in
which he showed that a legislative censure is more injurious than penal
laws, it was Dr. Follen's turn to speak. He was presently stopped by the
chairman, with a command that he should be respectful to the committee;
with an intimation that the gentlemen were heard only as a matter of
favour. They protested against this, their hearing having been demanded
as a matter of right; they refused to proceed, and broke up the
conference.

Much good was done by this afternoon's proceedings. The feeling of the
bystanders was, on the whole, decidedly in favour of the pleaders, and
the issue of the affair was watched with much interest. The next day the
abolitionists demanded a hearing as a matter of right; and it was
granted likewise as an affair of course. The second hearing was
appointed for Tuesday the 8th, at the same place and hour.

Some well-meaning friends of the abolitionists had in the interval
advised that the most accomplished, popular, and gentlemanly of the
abolitionists should conduct the business of the second day; that the
speeches should be made by Dr. Follen, Messrs. Loring and Sewall, and
one or two more; and that Garrison and Goodell, the homely, primitive,
and eminently suffering men of the apostleship, should be induced to
remain in the background. The advice was righteously rejected; and, as
it happened, theirs were the speeches that went farthest in winning over
the feeling of the audience to their side. I shall never forget the
swimming eye and tremulous voice with which a noble lady of the
persecuted party answered such a suggestion as I have mentioned. "Oh,"
said she, "above all things, we must be just and faithful to Garrison.
You do not know what we know; that, unless we put him, on every
occasion, into the midst of the _gentlemen_ of the party, he will be
torn to pieces. Nothing can save him but his being made one with those
whom his enemies will not dare to touch." As for Mr. Goodell, he had
been frequently stoned. "He was used to it." They appeared in the midst
of the professional gentlemen of the association, and did the most
eminent service of the day.

The hall was crowded, and shouts of applause broke forth as the pleaders
demolished an accusation or successfully rebutted the insolence of the
chairman. Dr. Follen was again stopped, as he was showing that mobs had
been the invariable consequence of censures of abolitionism passed by
public meetings in the absence of gag-laws. He was desired to hold his
tongue, or to be respectful to the committee; to which he replied, in
his gentlest and most musical voice, "Am I, then, to understand that, in
speaking ill of mobs, I am disrespectful to the committee?" The chairman
looked foolish enough during the applauses which followed this question.
Dr. Follen fought his ground inch by inch, and got out all he had to
say. The conduct of the chairman became at last so insufferable, that
several spectators attempted a remonstrance. A merchant was silenced; a
physician was listened to, his speech being seasoned with wit so
irresistible as to put all parties into good-humour.

The loudly-expressed opinion of the spectators as they dispersed was,
that the chairman had ruined his political career, and, probably, filled
the chair of a committee of the legislature for the last time. The
result of the affair was that the report of the committee "spoke
disrespectfully" of the exertions of the abolitionists, but rejected the
suggestion of penal laws being passed to control their operations. The
letters from the South therefore remained unanswered.

The abolitionists held a consultation whether they should complain to
the legislature of the treatment their statements had received, and of
the impediments thrown in the way of their self-justification. They
decided to let the matter rest, trusting that there were witnesses
enough of their case to enlighten the public mind on their position. A
member of the legislature declared in his place what he had seen of the
treatment of the appellants by the chairman, and proposed that the
committee should be censured. As the aggrieved persons made no formal
complaint, however, the matter was dropped. But the faith of the
abolitionists was justified. The people were enlightened as to their
position; and in the next election they returned a set of
representatives, one of whose earliest acts was to pass a series of
anti-slavery resolutions by a majority of 378 to 16.

These were a few of the signs of the times in Massachusetts when I was
there. They proved that, while the aristocracy of the great cities were
not to be trusted to maintain the great principles on which their
society was based, the body of the people were sound.



HOT AND COLD WEATHER.


    "Weigh me the fire; or canst thou find
    A way to measure out the wind;
    Show me that world of stars, and whence
    They noiseless spill their influence!
    This if thou canst."

                                                                HERRICK.

        "Sic vita."


I believe no one attempts to praise the climate of New-England. The very
low average of health there, the prevalence of consumption and of decay
of the teeth, are evidences of an unwholesome climate which I believe
are universally received as such. The mortality among children
throughout the whole country is a dark feature of life in the United
States. I do not know whether any investigation has been made into the
numbers who die in infancy; but there can be no mistake in assuming that
it is much greater than among the classes in Europe who are in a
situation of equal external comfort. It was afflicting to meet with
cases of bereavement which seem to leave few hopes or objects in life;
it is afflicting to review them now, as they rise up before my mind. One
acquaintance of mine had lost four out of six children; another five out
of seven; another six out of seven; another thirteen out of sixteen; and
one mourner tells me that a fatality seems to attend the females of his
family, for, out of eighteen, only one little granddaughter survives;
and most of this family died very young, and of different kinds of
disease. Never did I see so many wo-worn mothers as in America. Wherever
we went in the North, we heard of "the lung fever" as of a common
complaint, and children seemed to be as liable to it as grown persons.
The climate is doubtless chiefly to blame for all this, and I do not
see how any degree of care could obviate much of the evil. The children
must be kept warm within doors; and the only way of affording them the
range of the house is by warming the whole, from the cellar to the
garret, by means of a furnace in the hall. This makes all comfortable
within; but, then, the risk of going out is very great. There is far
less fog and damp than in England, and the perfectly calm, sunny days of
midwinter are endurable; but the least breath of wind seems to chill
one's very life. I had no idea what the suffering from extreme cold
amounted to till one day, in Boston, I walked the length of the city and
back again in a wind, with the thermometer seven degrees and a half
below zero. I had been warned of the cold, but was anxious to keep an
appointment to attend a meeting. We put on all the merinoes and furs we
could muster; but we were insensible of them from the moment the wind
reached us. My muff seemed to be made of ice; I almost fancied I should
have been warmer without it. We managed getting to the meeting pretty
well, the stock of warmth we had brought out with us lasting till then.
But we set out cold on our return; and, by the time I got home, I did
not very well know where I was and what I was about. The stupefaction
from cold is particularly disagreeable, the sense of pain remaining
through it; and I determined not to expose myself to it again. All this
must be dangerous to children; and if, to avoid it, they are shut up
during the winter, there remains the danger of encountering the ungenial
spring.

It is a wretched climate. The old lines would run in my head,

            "And feel, by turns, the bitter change
    Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce:
    From beds of raging fire to starve in ice
    Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine
    Immoveable, infixed, and frozen round,
    Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire."


The fiery part of the trial, however, I did not much mind; for, after
the first week of languor, I enjoyed the heat, except for the perpetual
evidence that was before us of the mischief or fatality of its effects
to persons who could not sit in the shade, and take it quietly, as we
could. There were frequent instances of death in the streets, and the
working-people suffer cruelly in the hot months. But the cold is a real
evil to all classes, and, I think, much the most serious of the two. I
found the second winter more trying than the first, and I hardly know
how I should have sustained a third.

Every season, however, has its peculiar pleasures; and in the retrospect
these shine out brightly, while the evils disappear.

On a December morning you are awakened by the domestic scraping at your
hearth. Your anthracite fire has been in all night; and now the ashes
are carried away, more coal is put on, and the blower hides the kindly
red from you for a time. In half an hour the fire is intense, though, at
the other end of the room, everything you touch seems to blister your
fingers with cold. If you happen to turn up a corner of the carpet with
your foot, it gives out a flash; and your hair crackles as you brush it.
Breakfast is always hot, be the weather what it may. The coffee is
scalding, and the buckwheat cakes steam when the cover is taken off.
Your host's little boy asks whether he may go coasting to-day, and his
sisters tell you what day the schools will all go sleighing. You may see
boys coasting on Boston Common all the winter day through; and too many
in the streets, where it is not so safe. To coast is to ride on a board
down a frozen slope; and many children do this in the steep streets
which lead down to the Common, as well as on the snowy slopes within the
enclosure where no carriages go. Some sit on their heels on the board,
some on their crossed legs. Some strike their legs out, put their arms
a-kimbo, and so assume an air of defiance amid their velocity. Others
prefer lying on their stomachs, and so going headforemost; an attitude
whose comfort I never could enter into. Coasting is a wholesome exercise
for hardy boys. Of course they have to walk up the ascent, carrying
their boards between every feat of coasting; and this affords them more
exercise than they are at all aware of taking.

As for the sleighing, I heard much more than I experienced of its
charms. No doubt early association has something to do with the American
fondness for this mode of locomotion; and much of the affection which is
borne to music, dancing, supping, and all kinds of frolic, is
transferred to the vehicle in which the frolicking parties are
transported. It must be so, I think, or no one would be found to prefer
a carriage on runners to a carriage on wheels, except on an untrodden
expanse of snow. On a perfectly level and crisp surface I can fancy the
smooth rapid motion to be exceedingly pleasant; but such surfaces are
rare in the neighbourhood of populous cities. The uncertain, rough
motion in streets hillocky with snow, or on roads consisting for the
season of a ridge of snow with holes in it, is disagreeable, and
provocative of headache. I am no rule for others as to liking the bells;
but to me their incessant jangle was a great annoyance. Add to this the
sitting, without exercise, in a wind caused by the rapidity of the
motion, and the list of _désagrémens_ is complete. I do not know the
author of a description of sleighing which was quoted to me, but I
admire it for its fidelity. "Do you want to know what sleighing is like?
You can soon try. Set your chair on a springboard out in the porch on
Christmas day; put your feet in a pailful of powdered ice; have somebody
to jingle a bell in one ear, and somebody else to blow into the other
with the bellows, and you will have an exact idea of sleighing."

I was surprised to find that young people whose health is too delicate
to allow them to do many simple things, are not too delicate to go out
sleighing in an open sleigh. They put hot bricks under their feet, and
wrap up in furs; but the face remains exposed, and the breathing the
frosty air of a winter's night, after dancing, may be easily conceived
to be the cause of much of the "lung fever" of which the stranger hears.
The gayest sleighing that I saw was on the day when all the schools in
Boston have a holyday, and the pupils go abroad in a long procession of
sleighs. The multitude of happy young faces, though pinched with cold,
was a pretty sight.

If the morning be fine, you have calls to make, or shopping to do, or
some meeting to attend. If the streets be coated with ice, you put on
your India-rubber shoes--unsoled--to guard you from slipping. If not,
you are pretty sure to measure your length on the pavement before your
own door. Some of the handsomest houses in Boston, those which boast the
finest flights of steps, have planks laid on the steps during the season
of frost, the wood being less slippery than stone. If, as sometimes
happens, a warm wind should be suddenly breathing over the snow, you go
back to change your shoes, India-rubbers being as slippery in wet as
leather soles are on ice. Nothing is seen in England like the streets of
Boston and New-York at the end of the season while the thaw is
proceeding. The area of the street had been so raised that passengers
could look over the blinds of your ground-floor rooms; when the
sidewalks become full of holes and puddles, they are cleared, and the
passengers are reduced to their proper level; but the middle of the
street remains exalted, and the carriages drive along a ridge. Of
course, this soon becomes too dangerous, and for a season ladies and
gentlemen walk; carts tumble, slip, and slide, and get on as they can;
while the mass, now dirty, not only with thaw, but with quantities of
refuse vegetables, sweepings of the poor people's houses, and other
rubbish which it was difficult to know what to do with while every place
was frozen up, daily sinks and dissolves into a composite mud. It was in
New-York and some of the inferior streets of Boston that I saw this
process in its completeness.

If the morning drives are extended beyond the city, there is much to
delight the eye. The trees are cased in ice; and when the sun shines out
suddenly, the whole scene looks like one diffused rainbow, dressed in a
brilliancy which can hardly be conceived of in England. On days less
bright, the blue harbour spreads in strong contrast with the sheeted
snow which extends to its very brink.

The winter evenings begin joyously with the festival of Thanksgiving
Day, which is, if I remember rightly, held on the first Thursday of
December. The festival is ordered by proclamation of the governor of the
state, which proclamation is read in all the churches. The Boston
friends with whom we had ascended the Mississippi, and travelled in
Tennessee and Kentucky, did not forget that we were strangers in the
land; and many weeks before Thanksgiving Day they invited us to join
their family gathering on that great annual festival. We went to church
in the morning, and listened to the thanksgiving for the mercies of the
year, and to an exemplification of the truth that national prosperity is
of value only as it is sanctified to individual progression; an
important doctrine, well enforced. This is the occasion chosen by the
boldest of the clergy to say what they think of the faults of the
nation, and particularly to reprobate apathy on the slavery question.
There are few who dare do this, though it seems to be understood that
this is an occasion on which "particular preaching" may go a greater
length than on common Sundays. Yet a circumstance happened in New-York
on this very day which shows that the clergy have, at least in some
places, a very short tether, even on Thanksgiving Day. An Episcopalian
clergyman from England, named Pyne, who had been some years settled in
America, preached a thanksgiving sermon, in which he made a brief and
moderate, even commonplace allusion to the toleration of slavery among
other national sins. For some weeks he heard only the distant mutterings
of the storm which was about to burst upon him; but within three months
he was not only dismissed from his office, but compelled to leave the
country, though he had settled his family from England beside him. He
was anxious to obey the wishes of his friends, and print verbatim the
sermon which had caused his ruin; but no printer would print, and no
publisher would agree to sell his sermon. At length he found a printer
who promised to print it on condition of his name being kept secret; and
the sermon was dispersed without the aid of a publisher. Mr. Pyne sailed
for England on the following 1st of April; as it happened, in the same
ship with Mr. Breckinridge, the Presbyterian clergyman who put himself
into unsuccessful opposition to Mr. Thompson, at a public discussion at
Glasgow last year. The voyage was not a pleasant one, as might be
supposed, to either clergyman. Nothing could be more mal-à-propos than
that one who came over with a defence in his mouth of the conduct of the
American clergy on the slavery question should be shut up for three
weeks with a clergyman banished for opening his lips on the subject.

After service Dr. Channing took us to Persico's studio, where the new
bust of Dr. Channing stood; and one, scarcely less excellent, of
Governor Everett. We then spent an hour at Dr. Channing's, and he gave
me his book on slavery, which was to be published two days afterward. I
was obliged to leave it unread till the festivities of the day were
over; but that night and two succeeding ones I read it completely
through before I slept. It is impossible to communicate an idea of the
importance and interest of that book at the time it was published. I
heard soon afterward that there was difficulty in procuring it at
Washington, partly from the timidity of the booksellers, it having been
called in Congress "an incendiary book." It was let out at a high price
per hour. Of course, as soon as this was understood at Boston, supplies
were sent otherwise than through the booksellers, so that members of
Congress were no longer obliged to quote the book merely from the
extracts contained in the miserable reply to it which was extensively
circulated in the metropolis.

This book was in my head all the rest of the day, from whose observances
all dark subjects seemed banished. At three o'clock a family party of
about thirty were assembled round two wellspread tables. There was only
one drawback, that five of the children were absent, being ill of the
measles. There was much merriment among us grown people at the
long-table; but the bursts of laughter from the children's side-table,
where a kind aunt presided, were incessant. After dinner we played
hunt-the-slipper with the children, while the gentlemen were at their
wine; and then went to spend an hour with a poor boy in the measles, who
was within hearing of the mirth, but unable to leave his easy-chair.
When we had made him laugh as much as was good for him with some of our
most ludicrous English Christmas games, we went down to communicate more
of this curious kind of learning in the drawing-rooms. There we
introduced a set of games quite new to the company; and it was
delightful to see with what spirit and wit they were entered into and
carried on. Dumb Crambo was made to yield its ultimate rhymes, and the
storytelling in Old Coach was of the richest. When we were all quite
tired with laughing, the children began to go away; some fresh visiters
dropped in from other houses, and music and supper followed. We got home
by eleven o'clock, very favourably impressed with the institution of
Thanksgiving Day. I love to dwell upon it now, for a new interest hangs
over that festival. The friend by whose thoughtfulness we were admitted
to this family gathering, and in whose companionship we went--the
beloved of every heart there, the sweetest, the sprightliest of the
party--will be among them no more.

Christmas evening was very differently passed, but in a way to me even
more interesting. We were in a country village, Hingham, near the shores
of Massachusetts Bay, and were staying in the house of the pastor, our
clerical shipmate. The weather was bad, in the early part of the day
extremely so; and the attendance at the church was therefore not large,
and no one came to dinner. The church was dressed up with evergreens in
great quantity, and arranged with much taste. The organist had composed
a new anthem, which was well sung by the young men and women of the
congregation. At home the rooms were prettily dressed with green, and
an ample supply of lights was provided against the evening. Soon after
dinner some little girls arrived to play with the children of the house,
and we resumed the teaching of English Christmas games. The little
things were tired, and went away early enough to leave us a quiet hour
before the doors were thrown open to "the parish," whose custom it is to
flock to the pastor's house, to exchange greetings with him on Christmas
night. What I saw makes me think this a delightful custom. There is no
expensive or laborious preparation for their reception. The rooms are
well lighted, and cake and lemonade are provided, and this is all.

The pastor and his wife received their guests as they came in, and then
all moved on to offer the greetings of the season to me. Many remained
to talk with me, to my great delight. There was the schoolmaster, with
his daughters. There was Farmer B., who has a hobby. This place was
colonized by English from Hingham in Norfolk, and Farmer B.'s ancestors
were among them. He has a passion for hearing about Old Hingham, and, by
dint of questioning every stranger, and making use of all kinds of
opportunity, he has learned far more than I ever knew about the old
place. His hopes rose high when he found I was a native of Norfolk; but
I was obliged to depress them again by confessing how little I could
tell of the old place, within a few miles of which my early years were
spent. I was able to give him some trifling fact, however, about the
direction in which the road winds, and for this he expressed fervent
gratitude. I was afterward told that he is apt to drive his oxen into
the ditch, and to lose a sheep or two when his head is running on "the
old place." I have not yet succeeded in my attempts to obtain a sketch
of Old Hingham to send over to Farmer B.; but I wish I could, for I
believe it would please him more than the bequest of a fortune.

Then came Captain L. with his five fine daughters. He looked too old to
be their father, and well he might. When master of a vessel he was set
ashore by pirates, with his crew, on a desert island, where he was
thirty-six days without food. Almost all his crew were dead, and he just
dying, when help arrived, by means of freemasonry. Among the pirates was
a Scotchman, a mason, as was Captain L. The two exchanged signs. The
Scotchman could not give aid at the moment; but, after many days of
fruitless and anxious attempts, he contrived to sail back, at the risk
of his life, and landed on the desert island on the thirty-sixth day
from his leaving it. He had no expectation of finding any of the party
alive; but, to take the chance and lose no time, he jumped ashore with a
kettleful of wine in his hand. He poured wine down the throats of the
few whom he found still breathing, and treated them so judiciously that
they recovered. At least it was called recovery; but Captain L.'s looks
are very haggard and nervous still. He took the Scotchman home, and
cherished him to the day of his death.

Then there was an excellent woman, the general benefactress of the
village, who is always ready to nurse the sick and help the afflicted,
and to be of eminent service in another way to her young neighbours. She
assembles them in the evenings once or twice a week, and reads with them
and to them; and thus the young women of the village are obtaining a
knowledge of Italian and French, as well as English literature, which
would have been unattainable without her help. The daughters of the
fishermen, bucket and netmakers, and farmers of Hingham, are far more
accomplished than many a highbred young lady in England and New-York.
Such a village population is one of the true glories of America. Many
such girls were at their pastor's this evening, dressed in silk gowns of
the latest make, with rich French pelerines, and their well-arranged
hair bound with coloured riband; as pretty a set of girls as could be
collected anywhere.

When it appeared that the rooms were beginning to thin, the organist
called the young people round him, and they sang the new Christmas
anthem extremely well. Finally, a Christmas hymn was sung by all to the
tune of Old Hundred; the pastor and his people exchanged the blessing of
the season, and in a few minutes the house was cleared.

About this scene also hangs a tender and mournful interest. Our hostess
was evidently unwell at this time; I feared seriously so; and I was not
mistaken. She was one of the noblest women I have ever known, with a
mind large in its reach, rich in its cultivation, and strong in its
independence; yet never was there a spirit more yearning in its
tenderness, more gay in its innocence. Just a year after this time she
wrote me tidings of her approaching death, cheerfully intimating the
probability that she might live to hear from me once more. My letter
arrived just as she was laid in her coffin. Her interest in the great
objects of humanity, to which she had dedicated her best days, never
failed. Her mind was active about them to the last. She was never
deceived, as the victims of consumption usually are, about her state of
health and chance of life, but saw her case as others saw it, only with
far more contentment and cheerfulness. She left bright messages of love
for all of us who knew what was in her mind, with an animating bidding
to go on with our several works. Nothing could be more simple than the
state of her mind and the expression of it, proving that she so knew how
to live as to find nothing strange in dying.

I was present at the introduction into the new country of the spectacle
of the German Christmas-tree. My little friend Charley and three
companions had been long preparing for this pretty show. The cook had
broken her eggs carefully in the middle for some weeks past, that
Charley might have the shells for cups; and these cups were gilded and
coloured very prettily. I rather think it was, generally speaking, a
secret out of the house; but I knew what to expect. It was a Newyear's
tree, however; for I could not go on Christmas-eve, and it was kindly
settled that Newyear's-eve would do as well. We were sent for before
dinner, and we took up two round-faced boys by the way. Early as it was,
we were all so busy that we could scarcely spare a respectful attention
to our plum-pudding. It was desirable that our preparations should be
completed before the little folks should begin to arrive; and we were
all engaged in sticking on the last of the seven dozen of wax-tapers,
and in filling the gilded egg-cups and gay paper cornucopiæ with
comfits, lozenges, and barley-sugar. The tree was the top of a young
fir, planted in a tub, which was ornamented with moss. Smart dolls and
other whimsies glittered in the evergreen, and there was not a twig
which had not something sparkling upon it. When the sound of wheels was
heard, we had just finished; and we shut up the tree by itself in the
front drawing-room, while we went into the other, trying to look as if
nothing was going to happen. Charley looked a good deal like himself,
only now and then twisting himself about in an unaccountable fit of
giggling. It was a very large party; for, besides the tribes of
children, there were papas and mammas, uncles, aunts, and elder
sisters. When all were come we shut out the cold; the great fire burned
clearly; the tea and coffee were as hot as possible, and the cheeks of
the little ones grew rosier and their eyes brighter every moment. It had
been settled that, in order to cover our designs, I was to resume my
vocation of teaching Christmas games after tea, while Charley's mother
and her maids went to light up the front room. So all found seats, many
of the children on the floor, for Old Coach. It was difficult to divide
even an American stagecoach into parts enough for every member of such a
party to represent one; but we managed it without allowing any of the
elderly folks to sit out. The grand fun of all was to make the clergyman
and an aunt or two get up and spin round. When they were fairly
practised in the game, I turned over my story to a neighbour, and got
away to help to light up the tree.

It really looked beautiful; the room seemed in a blaze, and the
ornaments were so well hung on that no accident happened, except that
one doll's petticoat caught fire. There was a sponge tied to the end of
a stick to put out any supernumerary blaze, and no harm ensued. I
mounted the steps behind the tree to see the effect of opening the
doors. It was delightful. The children poured in, but in a moment every
voice was hushed. Their faces were upturned to the blaze, all eyes wide
open, all lips parted, all steps arrested. Nobody spoke, only Charley
leaped for joy. The first symptom of recovery was the children's
wandering round the tree. At last a quick pair of eyes discovered that
it bore something eatable, and from that moment the babble began again.
They were told that they might get what they could without burning
themselves; and we tall people kept watch, and helped them with good
things from the higher branches. When all had had enough, we returned to
the larger room, and finished the evening with dancing. By ten o'clock
all were well warmed for the ride home with steaming mulled wine, and
the prosperous evening closed with shouts of mirth. By a little after
eleven Charley's father and mother and I were left by ourselves to sit
in the Newyear. I have little doubt the Christmas-tree will become one
of the most flourishing exotics of New-England.

The skysights of the colder regions of the United States are resplendent
in winter. I saw more of the aurora borealis, more falling stars and
other meteors during my stay in New-England than in the whole course of
my life before. Every one knows that splendid and mysterious exhibitions
have taken place in all the Novembers of the last four years, furnishing
interest and business to the astronomical world. The most remarkable
exhibitions were in the Novembers of 1833 and 1835, the last of which I
saw.

The persons who saw the falling stars of the 14th of November, 1833,
were few; but the sight was described to me by more than one. It was
seen chiefly by masters of steamboats, watchmen, and sick nurses. The
little children of a friend of mine, who happened to sleep with their
heads near a window, surprised their father in the morning with the
question what all those sparks were that had been flying about in the
night. Several country people, on their way to early market, saw the
last of the shower. It is said that some left their carts and kneeled in
the road, thinking that the end of the world was come; a very natural
persuasion, for the spectacle must have been much like the heavens
falling to pieces. About nine o'clock in the evening several persons
observed that there was an unusual number of falling stars, and went
home thinking no more about it. Others were surprised at the increase by
eleven, but went to rest notwithstanding. Those who were up at four saw
the grandest sight. There were then three kinds of lights in the heaven
besides the usual array of stars. There were shooting points of light,
all directed from one centre to the circuit of the horizon, much
resembling a thick shower of luminous snow. There were luminous bodies
which hung dimly in the air; and there were falling fireballs, some of
which burst, while others went out of sight. These were the meteors
which were taken by the ignorant for the real stars falling from the
sky. One was seen apparently larger than the full moon, and they shed so
bright a light that the smallest objects became distinctly visible. One
luminous body was like a serpent coiling itself up; another "like a
square table;" another like a pruning-hook. Those which burst left
trains of light behind them, some tinged with the prismatic colours. The
preceding day had been uncommonly warm for the season; but, before
morning, the frost was of an intensity very rare for the month of
November. The temperature of the whole season was unusual. Throughout
November and December it was so warm about the northern lakes that the
Indians were making maple sugar at Mackinaw, while the orange-trees were
cut off by the frost in Louisiana. A tremendous succession of gales at
the same time set in along the eastern coast. Those may explain these
mysteries who can.

It is exceedingly easy to laugh at men who, created to look before and
after, walking erect, with form "express and admirable" under the broad
canopy of heaven, yet contrive to miss the sights which are hung out in
the sky; but which of us does not deserve to be thus laughed at? How
many nights in the year do we look up into the heavens? How many
individuals of a civilized country see the stars on any one night of the
year? Some of my friends and I had a lesson on this during the last
April I spent in America. I was staying at a house in the upper part of
New-York. My host and hostess had three guests at dinner that day--three
persons sufficiently remarkable for knowing how to use their eyes--Miss
Sedgwick, Mr. Bryant, and the author of the Palmyra Letters. During
dinner we amused ourselves with pitying some persons who had actually
walked abroad on the night of the last 17th of November without seeing
the display. Our three friends walked homeward together, two miles down
Broadway, and did exactly the same thing; failed to look up while an
aurora borealis, worthy of November, was illuminating the heavens. We at
home failed to look out, and missed it too. The next time we all met we
agreed to laugh at ourselves before we bestowed any more of our pity
upon others.

On the 17th of November in question, that of 1835, I was staying in the
house of one of the professors of Harvard University at Cambridge. The
professor and his son John came in from a lecture at nine o'clock, and
told us that it was nearly as light as day, though there was no moon.
The sky presented as yet no remarkable appearance, but the fact set us
telling stories of skysights. A venerable professor told us of a
blood-red heaven which shone down on a night of the year 1789, when an
old lady interpreted the whole French revolution from what she saw. None
of us had any call to prophesying this night. John looked out from time
to time while we were about the piano, but our singing had come to a
conclusion before he brought us news of a very strange sky. It was now
near eleven. We put cloaks and shawls over our heads, and hurried into
the garden. It was a mild night, and about as light as with half a
moon. There was a beautiful rose-coloured flush across the entire
heaven, from southeast to northwest. This was every moment brightening,
contracting in length, and dilating in breadth. My host ran off without
his hat to call the Natural Philosophy professor. On the way he passed a
gentleman who was trudging along, pondering the ground. "A remarkable
night, sir," cried my host. "Sir! how, sir?" replied the pedestrian.
"Why, look above your head!" The startled walker ran back to the house
he had left to make everybody gaze. There was some debate about ringing
the college-bell, but it was agreed that it would cause too much alarm.

The Natural Philosophy professor came forth in curious trim, and his
household and ours joined in the road. One lady was in her nightcap;
another with a handkerchief tied over her head, while we were cowled in
cloaks. The sky was now resplendent. It was like a blood-red dome, a
good deal pointed. Streams of a greenish white light radiated from the
centre in all directions. The colours were so deep, especially the red,
as to give an opaque appearance to the canopy; and as Orion and the
Pleiades, and many more stars could be distinctly seen, the whole looked
like a vast dome inlaid with constellations. These skysights make one
shiver, so new are they, so splendid, so mysterious. We saw the heavens
grow pale, and before midnight believed that the mighty show was over;
but we had the mortification of hearing afterward, that at one o'clock
it was brighter than ever, and as light as day.

Such are some of the wintry characteristics of New-England.

If I lived in Massachusetts, my residence during the hot months should
be beside one of its ponds. These ponds are a peculiarity in New-England
scenery very striking to the traveller. Geologists tell of the time when
the valleys were chains of lakes; and in many parts the eye of the
observer would detect this without the aid of science. There are many
fields and clusters of fields of remarkable fertility, lying in basins,
the sides of which have much the appearance of the greener and smoother
of the dikes of Holland. These suggest the idea of their having been
ponds at the first glance. Many remain filled with clear water, the
prettiest meres in the world. A cottage on Jamaica Pond, for instance,
within an easy ride of Boston, is a luxurious summer abode. I know of
one unequalled in its attractions, with its flower-garden, its lawn,
with banks shelving down to the mere; banks dark with rustling pines,
from under whose shade the bright track of the moon may be seen, lying
cool on the rippling waters. A boat is moored in the cove at hand. The
cottage itself is built for coolness, and its broad piazza is draperied
with vines, which keep out the sun from the shaded parlours.

The way to make the most of a summer's day in a place like this is to
rise at four, mount your horse, and ride through the lanes for two
hours, finding breakfast ready on your return. If you do not ride, you
slip down to the bathing-house on the creek; and, once having closed the
door, have the shallow water completely to yourself, carefully avoiding
going beyond the deep water-mark, where no one knows how deep the mere
may be. After breakfast you should dress your flowers, before those you
gather have quite lost the morning dew. The business of the day, be it
what it may, housekeeping, study, teaching, authorship, or charity, will
occupy you till dinner at two. You have your dessert carried into the
piazza, where, catching glimpses of the mere through the wood on the
banks, your watermelon tastes cooler than within, and you have a better
chance of a visit from a pair of humming-birds. You retire to your room,
all shaded with green blinds, lie down with a book in your hand, and
sleep soundly for two hours at least. When you wake and look out, the
shadows are lengthening on the lawn, and the hot haze has melted away.
You hear a carriage behind the fence, and conclude that friends from the
city are coming to spend the evening with you. They sit within till
after tea, telling you that you are living in the sweetest place in the
world. When the sun sets you all walk out, dispersing in the shrubbery
or on the banks. When the moon shows herself above the opposite woods,
the merry voices of the young people are heard from the cove, where the
boys are getting out the boat. You stand, with a companion or two, under
the pines, watching the progress of the skiff, and the receding splash
of the oars. If you have any one, as I had, to sing German popular songs
to you, the enchantment is all the greater. You are capriciously lighted
home by fireflies, and there is your table covered with fruit and iced
lemonade. When your friends have left you you would fain forget it is
time to rest; and your last act before you sleep is to look out once
more from your balcony upon the silvery mere and moonlit lawn.

The only times when I felt disposed to quarrel with the inexhaustible
American mirth was on the hottest days of summer. I liked it as well as
ever; but European strength will not stand more than an hour or two of
laughter in such seasons. I remember one day when the American part of
the company was as much exhausted as the English. We had gone, a party
of six, to spend a long day with a merry household in a country village;
and, to avoid the heat, had performed the journey of sixteen miles
before ten o'clock. For three hours after our arrival the wit was in
full flow; by which time we were all begging for mercy, for we could
laugh no longer with any safety. Still, a little more fun was dropped
all round, till we found that the only way was to separate, and we all
turned out of doors. I cannot conceive how it is that so little has been
heard in England of the mirth of the Americans; for certainly nothing in
their manners struck and pleased me more. One of the rarest characters
among them, and a great treasure to all his sportive neighbours, is a
man who cannot take a joke.

The prettiest playthings of summer are the humming-birds. I call them
playthings because they are easily tamed, and are not very difficult to
take care of for a time. It is impossible to attend to book, work, or
conversation while there is a humming-bird in sight, its exercises and
vagaries are so rapid and beautiful. Its prettiest attitude is vibrating
before a blossom which is tossed in the wind. Its long beak is inserted
in the flower, and the bird rises and falls with it, quivering its
burnished wings with dazzling rapidity. My friend E. told me how she had
succeeded in taming a pair. One flew into the parlour where she was
sitting, and perched. E.'s sister stepped out for a branch of
honeysuckle, which she stuck up over the mirror. The other bird
followed, and the pair alighted on the branch, flew off, and returned to
it. E. procured another branch, and held it on the top of her head; and
hither also the little creatures came without fear. She next held it in
her hand, and still they hovered and settled. They bore being shut in
for the night, a nest of cotton-wool being provided. Of course it was
impossible to furnish them with honeysuckles enough for food; and sugar
and water was tried, which they seemed to relish very well. One day,
however, when E. was out of the room, one of the little creatures was
too greedy in the saucer; and, when E. returned, she found it lying on
its side, with its wings stuck to its body, and its whole little person
clammy with sugar. E. tried a sponge and warm water; it was too harsh:
she tried old linen, but it was not soft enough: it then occurred to her
that the softest of all substances is the human tongue. In her love for
her little companion, she thus cleansed it, and succeeded perfectly, so
far as the outward bird was concerned. But though it attempted to fly a
little, it never recovered, but soon died of its surfeit. Its mate was,
of course, allowed to fly away.

Some Boston friends of mine, a clergyman and his wife, told me of a
pleasant summer adventure which they had, quite against their will. The
lady had been duly inoculated or vaccinated (I forget which) in her
childhood, but nevertheless had the smallpox in a way after her
marriage. She was slightly feverish, and a single spot appeared on her
hand. The physician declared "that is _it_," and, as good citizens are
bound to do, they gave information of this fearful smallpox to the
authorities. The lady and her husband were ordered into quarantine; the
city coach came for them, and they were transported to the wharf, and
then to the little quarantine island in the harbour, where they spent a
particularly pleasant week. My friend was getting well when she went,
and she was quite able to enjoy the charms of her new residence. Her
husband read to her in the piazza as she worked; he bathed, and was
spared a Sunday's preaching; she looked abroad over the sea, and laughed
as often as she imagined what their friends supposed their situation to
be. They had the establishment all to themselves, except that there was
a tidy Scotchwoman to wait on them. Was ever quarantine so performed
before?

The reader may think, at the end of this chapter, that there is
something far more pleasant than worthy of complaint in the extremes of
the seasons in the United States. It would be so if health were not
endangered by them; but the incessant regard to the physical welfare
which prudence requires is a great drawback to ease and pleasure; and
the failure of health, which is pretty sure to come, sooner or later, is
a much worse. In my own opinion, the dullest climate and scenery may be
turned to more pleasurable account by vigour of body and mind, than all
the privileges of American variety and beauty by languid powers. All
that the people of New-England can do is to make the best of their case.
Those who are blessed with health should use every reasonable endeavour
to keep it; and it may be hoped that an improved settlement and
cultivation of the country will carry on that amelioration of its
climate which many of its inhabitants are assured has already begun.



ORIGINALS.


     "The ideal is in thyself; thy condition is but the stuff thou art
     to shape that same ideal out of. What matters whether such stuff be
     of this sort or of that, so the form thou give it be heroic, be
     poetic."

                                                    --_Sartor Resartus._


Every state of society has, happily, its originals; men and women who,
in more or fewer respects, think, speak, and act, naturally and
unconsciously, in a different way from the generality of men. There are
several causes from which this originality may arise, particularly in a
young community less gregarious than those of the civilized countries of
the Old World.

The commonest of these causes in a society like that of the United
States is, perhaps, the absence of influences to which almost all other
persons are subject. The common pressure being absent in some one
direction, the being grows out in that direction, and the mind and
character exhibit more or less deformity to the eyes of all but the
individual most concerned. The back States afford a full harvest of
originals of this class; while in England, where it is scarcely possible
to live out of society, such are rarely to be found.

Social and professional eccentricity comes next. When local and
professional influences are inadequately balanced by general ones, a
singularity of character is produced, which is not so agreeable as it is
striking and amusing. Of this class of characters few examples are to be
seen at home; but, instead of them, something much worse, which is
equally rare in America. In England we have confessors to tastes and
pursuits, and martyrs to passions and vices, which arise out of a highly
artificial state of society. In England we have a smaller proportion of
grave, innocent, professional buffoons; but in America there are few or
no fashionable ingrained profligates, few or no misers.

In its possession of a third higher class, it is reasonable and
delightful to hope that there is no superiority in the society of any
one civilized country over that of any other. Of men and women who have
intellectual power to modify the general influences to which, like
others, they are subject, every nation has its share. In every country
there have been beings who have put forth more or less of the godlike
power involved in their humanity, whereby they can stem the current of
circumstance, deliberately form the purpose of their life, and prosecute
it, happen what may. The number is not large anywhere, but the species
is nowhere unknown.

A yet smaller class of yet nobler originals remains; those who, with the
independent power of the last mentioned, are stimulated by strong
pressure of circumstance to put forth their whole force, and form and
achieve purposes in which not only their own life, but the destiny of
others, is included. Such, being the prophets and redeemers of their age
and country, rise up when and where they are wanted. The deed being ripe
for the doing, the doer appears. The field being white for harvest, the
reaper shows himself at the gate, whether the song of fellow-reapers
cheers his heart, or lions are growling in his solitary path.

Many English persons have made up their minds that there is very little
originality in America, except in regions where such men as David
Crockett grow up. In the wilds of Tennessee and Kentucky twenty years
ago, and now in Arkansas and Missouri, where bear-hunting and the
buffalo chase are still in full career, it is acknowledged that a man's
natural bent may be seen to advantage, and his original force must be
fully tested. But it is asked, with regard to America, whether there is
not much less than the average amount of originality of character to be
found in the places where men operate upon one another. It is certain
that there is an intense curiosity in Americans about English oddities;
and a prevailing belief among themselves that England is far richer in
humorists than the United States. It is also true that the fickleness
and impressibleness of the Americans (particularly of the
New-Englanders) about systems of science, philosophy, and morals, exceed
anything ever seen or heard of in the sober old country; but all this
can prove only that the nation and its large divisions are not original
in character, and not that individuals of that character are wanting.

It should be remembered that one great use of a metropolis, if not the
greatest, is to test everything for the benefit of the whole of the rest
of the country. The country may, according to circumstances, be more or
less ready to avail itself of the benefit; but the benefit exists and
waits for acceptance. Now the Americans have no metropolis. Their cities
are all provincial towns. It may be, in their circumstances, politically
good that they should have the smallest possible amount of
centralization; but the want of this centralization is injurious to
their scientific and philosophical progress and dignity, and, therefore,
to their national originality. A conjurer's trip through the English
counties is very like the progress of a lecturer or newly-imported
philosopher through the American cities. The wonder, the excitement, the
unbounded credulity are much alike in the two cases; but in the English
village there may be an old man under the elm smiling good-naturedly at
the show without following after it; or a sage young man who could tell
how the puppets are moved as well as if he saw the wires. And so it is
in the American cities. The crowd is large, but everybody is not in it;
the believers are many, but there are some who foresee how soon the
belief will take a new turn.

When Spurzheim was in America, the great mass of society became
phrenologists in a day, wherever he appeared; and ever since itinerant
lecturers have been reproducing the same sensation in a milder way, by
retailing Spurzheimism, much deteriorated, in places where the
philosopher had not been. Meantime the light is always going out behind
as fast as it blazes up round the steps of the lecturer. While the world
of Richmond and Charleston is working at a multiplication of the fifteen
casts (the same fifteen or so) which every lecturer carries about, and
all caps and wigs are pulled off, and all fair tresses dishevelled in
the search after organization, Boston has gone completely round to the
opposite philosophy, and is raving about spiritualism to an excess which
can scarcely be credited by any who have not heard the Unknown Tongues.
If a phrenological lecturer from Paris, London, or Edinburgh should go
to Boston, the superficial, visible portion of the public would wheel
round once more, so rapidly and with so clamorous a welcome on their
tongues, that the transported lecturer would bless his stars which had
guided him over to a country whose inhabitants are so candid, so
enlightened, so ravenous for truth. Before five years are out, however,
the lecturer will find himself superseded by some professor of animal
magnetism, some preacher of homœopathy, some teacher who will
undertake to analyze children, prove to them that their spirits made
their bodies, and elicit from them truths fresh from heaven. All this is
very childish, very village-like; and it proves anything rather than
originality in the persons concerned. But it does not prove that there
is not originality in the bosom of a society whose superficial movement
is of this kind; and it does not prove that national originality may not
arise out of the very tendencies which indicate that it does not at
present exist.

The Americans appear to me an eminently imaginative people. The
unprejudiced traveller can hardly spend a week among them without being
struck with this every day. At a distance it is seen clearly enough that
they do not put their imaginative power to use in literature and the
arts; and it does certainly appear perverse enough to observers from the
Old World that they should be imitative in fictions (whether of the pen,
the pencil, stone, or marble), and imaginative in their science and
philosophy, applying their sober good sense to details, but being
sparing of it in regard to principles. This arbitrary direction of their
imaginative powers, or, rather, its restriction to particular
departments, is, I believe and trust, only temporary. As their numbers
increase and their society becomes more delicately organized; when,
consequently, the pursuit of literature, philosophy, and art shall
become as definitely the business of some men as politics and commerce
now are of others, I cannot doubt that the restraints of imitation will
be burst through, and that a plenitude of power will be shed into these
departments as striking as that which has made the organization of
American commerce (notwithstanding some defects) the admiration of the
world, and vindicated the originality of American politics in theory and
practice.

However this may be, it is certain that there are individuals existing
everywhere, in the very heart of Boston itself, as original as Sam
Weller and David Crockett, or any other self-complacent mortal who
finds scope for his humours amid the kindly intricacies of London or the
canebrakes of Tennessee.

Some of the most extraordinary instances I met with of persons growing
mentally awry were among the scholars who are thinly sprinkled through
the Southern and Western settlements. When these gentlemen first carried
their accomplishments into the wilderness, they were probably wiser than
any living and breathing being they encountered. The impression of their
own wisdom was deep from the beginning, and it continues to be deepened
by every accident of intercourse with persons who are not of their way
of thinking; for to differ from them is to be wrong. At the same time
their ways of thinking are such as are not at all likely to accord with
other people's; so that their case of delusion is complete. I saw a
charming pair of professors in a remote state most blessed in their
opinions of themselves. They were able men, or would have been so amid
the discipline of equal society; but their self-esteem had sprouted out
so luxuriantly as to threaten to exhaust all the better part of them.
One of the most remarkable circumstances in the case was that they
seemed aware of their self-complacency, and were as complacent about it
as about anything else. One speaking of the other, says, "A. has been
examining my cranium. He says I am the most conceited man in the States,
except himself."

The exception was a fair one. When I saw B., I thought that I had seen
the topmost wonder of the world for self-complacency; but upon this Alp
another was to arise, as I found when I knew A. The only point of
inferiority in A. is that he is not quite immoveably happy in himself.
His feet are far from handsome, and no bootmaker at the West End could
make them look so. This is the bitter drop in A.'s cup. This is the
vulnerable point in his peace. His pupils have found it out, and have
obtained a hold over him by it. They have but to fix their eyes upon his
feet to throw him into disturbance; but, if they have gone too far, and
desire to grow into favour again, they need only compliment his head,
and all is well again. He lectures to them on Phrenology; and, when on
the topic of Galen's scull, declares that there is but one head known
which can compare with Galen's in its most important characteristics.
The students all raise their eyes to the professor's bald crown, and
the professor bows. He exhibits a cast of Burke's head, mentioning that
it combines in the most perfect manner conceivable all grand
intellectual and moral characteristics; and adding that only one head
has been known perfectly to resemble it. Again the students fix their
gaze on the summit of the professor, and he congratulates them on their
scientific discernment.

This gentleman patronises Mrs. Somerville's scientific reputation. He
told me one morning, in the presence of several persons whom he wished
to impress with the highest respect for Mrs. Somerville, the particulars
of a call he once made upon her during a visit to England. It was a long
story; but the substance of it was, that he found her a most
extraordinary person, for that she knew more than he did. He had always
thought himself a pretty good mathematician, but she had actually gone
further. He had prided himself upon being a tolerable chymist, but he
found she could teach him something there. He had reason to think
himself a good mineralogist; but, when he saw her cabinet, he found that
it was possible to get beyond him. On entering her drawing-room he was
struck by some paintings which he ascertained to be done by her hand,
while he could not pretend to be able to paint at all. He acknowledged
that he had, for once, met his superior. Two days after, among a yet
larger party, he told me the whole story over again. I fell into an
absent fit in planning how I could escape from the rest of his string of
stories, to talk with some one on the opposite side of the room. When he
finally declared, "In short, I actually found that Mrs. Somerville knows
more than I do," I mechanically answered, "I have no doubt of it." A
burst of laughter from the whole party roused me to a sense of what I
had done in taking the professor at his word. His look of mortification
was pitiable.

It was amusing to see him with the greatest statesman in the country,
holding him by the button for an hour together, while lecturing in the
style of a master to a hopeful schoolboy. The pompous air of the
professor and the patient snufftaking of the statesman under instruction
made a capital caricature subject. One of the professor's most serious
declarations to me was, that the time had long been past when he
believed he might be mistaken. He had once thought that he might be in
the wrong like other people, but experience had taught him that he never
erred. As, therefore, he and I did not agree on the point we were
conversing about, I must be mistaken. I might rely upon him that it was
so.

It is not to be expected that women should resist dangers of position
which men, with their wider intercourses, cannot withstand. The really
learned and able women of the United States are as modest and simple as
people of sound learning and ability are; but the pedantry of a few
bookish women in retired country situations exceeds anything I ever saw
out of novels and farces.

In a certain region of the United States there are two sisters, living
at a considerable distance from each other, but united (in addition to
their undoubted sisterly regard) by their common belief that they are
conspicuous ornaments of their country. It became necessary for me to
make a call on one of these ladies. She knew when I was going, and had
made preparation for my reception. I was accompanied by three ladies,
one of whom was an avowed authoress; a second was a deep and
thoroughly-exercised scholar, and happened to have published, which the
pedantic lady did not know. The third was also a stranger to her, but a
very clever woman. We were treated with ludicrous precision, according
to our supposed merits; the third-mentioned lady being just honoured
with a passing notice, and the fourth totally neglected. There was such
an unblushing insolence in the manner in which the blue-stocking set
people who had written books above all the rest of the world, that I
could not let it pass unrebuked; and I treated her to my opinion that
they are not usually the cleverest women who write; and that far more
general power and wisdom are required to conduct life, and especially to
educate a family of children well, than to write any book or number of
books. As soon as there was a pause in the conversation, I rose to go.
Some weeks afterward, when I was on a journey, a lady drove up from a
distance of two miles to make an afternoon call upon me. It was the
sister. She told me that she came to carry me home with her for the
night, "in order," said she, "that you may see how we who scribble can
keep house." As I had never had any doubt of the compatibility of the
two things, it was of little consequence that I could not go. She
informed me that she lectured on Mental and Moral Philosophy to young
ladies. She talked with much admiration of Mr. Brown as a metaphysician.
I concluded this gentleman to be some American worthy with whom I had
to become acquainted; but it came out to be Dr. Thomas Brown whom she
was praising. She appeared not to know even the names of metaphysicians
out of the Scotch school; and if the ghosts of the Scotch schoolmen were
present, they might well question whether she understood much of them.
She told me that she had a great favour to ask of me: she wanted
permission to print, in a note to the second edition of her Lectures on
Mental and Moral Philosophy, a striking observation of mine made to her
sister, which her sister had transmitted to her by the next post. I
immediately assured her that she might print anything that I had said to
her sister. She then explained that the observation was that they are
not usually the cleverest women who write. I recommended her to make
sure of the novelty of the remark before she printed it; for I was
afraid that Shakspeare or somebody had had it first. What was the fate
of the opinion I do not know; but it may be of use to the sisters
themselves if it suggests that they may be mistaken in looking down upon
all their sex who do not "scribble."

I think it must have been a pupil of theirs who wrote me a letter which
I threw into the fire in a fit of disgust the moment I had read it. A
young lady, who described herself as "an ambitious girl," sent me some
poetry in a magazine, and an explanation in writing of her own powers
and aspirations. No one likes aspiration better than I, if only there be
any degree of rational self-estimate connected with it. This young lady
aspired to enter the hallowed precincts of the temple where Edgeworth,
More, and others were immortalized. As for how she was to do it, her
case seemed to be similar to that of a West Indian lady, who once
complained to me that, while she was destined by her innate love of the
sublime and the beautiful to be distinguished, Providence would not let
her. The American young lady, however, hoped that a friendship with me
might persuade the world to recognise her powers; and she informed me
that she had come to town from a distance, and procured an invitation to
a house where I was to spend the evening, that we might begin our
friendship. The rooms happened to be so tremendously crowded that I was
not obliged to see any more persons than those immediately about me. I
was told that the "ambitious girl" was making herself very conspicuous
by standing on tiptoe, beaming and fluttering; but I did not look that
way, and never saw her. I hope she may yet read her own poetry again
with new eyes, and learn that the best "ambition" does not write about
itself, and that the strongest "powers" are the least conscious of their
own operation.

In two of the eastern cities I met with two ladies who had got a twist
in opposite directions. It has been represented in England that a
jealousy of English superiority, even in natural advantages, is very
prevalent in the United States. I do not think so; and I am by no means
sure that it is not nearly as rare as the opposite extreme. One instance
of each kind of prejudice came under my notice, and I am not aware of
more. At a party at Philadelphia, a lady asked me if I had not crossed
the Alleghanies, and whether I did not think them stupendous mountains.
I admired the views they presented, and said all I could for the
Alleghanies; but it was impossible to agree that they were stupendous
mountains. The lady was so evidently mortified, that I began to call the
rivers stupendous, which I could honestly do; but this was not the same
thing. She said, in a complaining tone,

"Well, I cannot think how you can say there are no high mountains in the
United States."

"You mistake me," I said. "I have not seen the White Mountains yet; and
I hear they are very grand."

"You English boast so of the things you have got at home!" said she.
"Why, I have seen your river Avon, that you make so much of. I stood by
the Avon, under Warwick Castle, and I said to my husband that it was a
mighty small thing to be talked of at such a distance. Why, if I had
been ten years younger, I could almost have jumped over it."

I told her that I believed the Avon was not so celebrated for the
quantity of water in it as on some other accounts.

The lady who went on the opposite tack is not very old, and I suppose,
therefore, that her loyalty to the crown of England is hereditary. She
made great efforts to see me, that she might enjoy my British
sympathies. With a grieved countenance she asked me whether the folly
and conceit of her countrymen in separating themselves from the crown
were not lamentable. She had hoped that, before this, they would have
become convinced of the guilt and silliness of their rebellion, and have
sought to be taken back; but she hoped it was not yet too late. I fear
she considered me a traitor to my country in not condemning hers. I was
sorry to deprive her of her last hope of sympathy; but what could one do
in such a case?

There must be many local and professional oddities in a country like
America, where individuals fill a larger space in society, and are less
pressed upon by influences, other than local and professional, than in
Old World communities. A judge in the West is often a remarkable
personage to European eyes. I know one who unites all the odd
characteristics of the order so as to be worth a close study. Before I
left home, a friend desired me to bring her something, she did not care
what, that should be exclusively American; something which could not be
procurable anywhere else. When I saw this judge I longed to pack him up,
and direct him, per next packet from New-York, to my friend; for he was
the first article I met with that could not by possibility have been
picked up anywhere out of the United States. He was about six feet high,
lank as a flail, and seeming to be held together only by the long-tailed
drab greatcoat into which he was put. He had a quid in his cheek
whenever I saw him, and squirted tobacco-juice into the fireplace or
elsewhere at intervals of about twenty seconds. His face was long and
solemn, his voice monotonous, his manner dogmatical to a most amusing
degree. He was a dogged republican, with an uncompromising hatred of the
blacks, and with an indifferent sort of pity for all foreigners. This
last feeling probably induced him to instruct me on various matters. He
fixed his eyes on the fire, and talked on for my edification, but
without taking express notice of the presence of any one, so that his
lecture had the droll appearance of being a formal soliloquy. In the
same speech he declared that no man was made by God to run wild through
a forest who was not able to comprehend Christianity at sight; missions
to the heathen being therefore sanctioned from heaven itself; and that
men with a dark skin cannot, in three years, learn the name of a rope or
a point of the compass, and that they are therefore meant to be slaves.
It seemed to me that he was bound to suspend the operation of the law
against all coloured persons on the ground of their incapacity, their
lack of understanding of the common affairs of life. But the ground of
their punishment in this life seemed to be that they might be as wise as
they pleased about the affairs of the next. He proceeded with his
enunciations, however, without vouchsafing an explanation of these
mysteries. It must be an awkward thing to be either a heathen or a negro
under his jurisdiction, if he acts upon his own doctrines.

Country doctors are not unlike wild country judges. Being obliged to
call in the aid of a village doctor to a companion, I found we had
fallen in with a fine specimen of the class. I was glad of this
afterward, but much annoyed at the time by the impossibility of
extracting from him the slightest information as to my friend's state
and prospects in regard to her health. I detained him in conversation
day after day to no purpose, and varied my questions with as much
American ingenuity as I could command; but all in vain. He would neither
tell me what was the matter with her, nor whether her illness was
serious or trifling, or whether it was likely to be long or short. He
would give me no hint which could enable me to form my plans, or to give
my distant friends an idea whether or when they might expect to see us.
All that he would say was, "Hope your friend will be better;" "hope she
will enjoy better health;" "will make her better if we can;" "must try
to improve her health;" and so on. I was informed that this was all that
I should extract if the illness were to last a twelvemonth. He took a
blue paper with some white powder in it out of one pocket, and a white
paper with some other powder out of another pocket; spilled some at
random into smaller papers, and gave directions when they should be
taken, and my friend speedily and entirely recovered. I never was so
completely in the dark about the nature of any illness I saw, and I am
completely in the dark still. I fancy I hear now the short, sharp,
conceited tones of the doctor, doggedly using his power of exasperating
my anxiety. Such was not his purpose, however. The country doctors
themselves and their patients believe that they cure with far more
certainty than any other doctors; the profession are probably convinced
that they owe much to the implicit faith of their charge, and are
resolved to keep up this faith by being impenetrable, allowing no part
of their practice to be made a subject of discussion which can possibly
be rendered mysterious. The chief reason of the success of country
doctors is, doubtless, that they have to treat chiefly diseases of local
prevalence, about which they employ long experience and practised
sagacity, without having much account to give of their method of
proceeding.

A country physician of higher pretensions than the one who tormented me
while curing my friend, told me that Yankee inquisitiveness is the
plague of the life of a country doctor. The querists seem to forget that
families may object to have domestic sickness made the talk of the
village or hamlet, and that the doctor must dislike to be the originator
of news of this kind. They stop him on his rounds to ask whom he is
visiting in this direction, and whom in that, and who could be sick on
the road in which he was seen going yesterday morning; and what such a
one's complaint is called, and how it is going to be cured, &c. The
physician told me that he was driven to invent modes of escape. If he
was riding, he appeared to see some acquaintance at a distance, clapped
spurs to his horse, and was off; if he was walking, he gave a name of
six syllables to the disease talked about, and one of seven syllables to
the remedy, thus defying repetition. If our doctor took me to be one of
this class of querists, I could easily forgive his reserve.

I was told a story of an American physician which is characteristic (if
it be true), showing how patriotic regards may enter into the practice
of medicine. But I give it only as an _on dit_. It is well known that
Adams and Jefferson died on the 4th of July of one year, and Monroe of
another. Mr. Madison died on the 28th of June last year. It is said that
the physician who attended Mr. Monroe expressed regret that he had not
the charge of Mr. Madison, suspecting that he might have found means to
keep him alive (as he died of old age) till the 4th of July. The
practice in Mr. Monroe's case is said to have been this: When he was
sinking, some one observed what a remarkable thing it would be if he
should die on the anniversary, like Adams and Jefferson. The physician
determined he would give his patient the chance of its ending so. He
poured down brandy and other stimulants, and omitted no means to keep
life in the failing body. On the 3d of July, the patient was sinking so
rapidly that there seemed little chance of his surviving the day. The
physician's exertions were redoubled; and the consequence was, that, on
the morning of the 4th, there seemed every probability of the patient's
living to the 5th, which was not exactly desired. He died (just as if
he wished to oblige his friends to the last) late in the afternoon of
the 4th. So the story runs.

It is astonishing what may be done by original genius, in availing
itself of republican sentiment for professional purposes. The drollery
infused into the puffing system in America would command the admiration
of Puff himself. It may be doubted whether he would have been up to the
invention of a recommendation of a certain oil for the hair which I saw
at Washington, and which threw us into such a convulsion of laughter
that the druggist behind the counter had to stand waiting some time
before we could explain our business to him. A regiment of persons were
represented walking up to a perfumer's counter with bald sculls of all
degrees of ugliness, and walking away from it graced with flowing
tresses of every hue, which they were showing off with gestures of
delight. This was an ingenious device, but not perfectly wise, as it
contained no appeal to patriotic feelings. I saw one at an optician's at
Baltimore of a decidedly more elevated character. There were miniature
busts in the window of Franklin, Washington, and Lafayette, each adorned
with a tiny pair of spectacles, which made the busts appear as sage as
life. Washington's spectacles were white, Franklin's green, and
Lafayette's neutral tint.

I acknowledge myself indebted for a new professional idea to an original
in the bookselling line in a large American city. I am not sure that his
originality extended beyond the frankness of his professional discourse;
but that was infinitely striking. He told me that he wanted to publish
for me, and would offer as good terms as anybody. I thanked him, but
objected that I had nothing to publish. He was sure I must have a book
written about America. I had not, and did not know that I ever should
have. His answer, given with a patronising air of suggestion, was, "Why,
surely, madam, you need not be at a loss about that. You must have got
incident plenty by this time; and then you can Trollopize a bit, and so
make a readable book."

In the West we were thrown into the society of a girl about whom we were
completely puzzled. Our New-England friends could only conclude, with
us, that she had been trained amid the usages of some retired district
to a freedom which is certainly very unusual in the country. In a stage
which took up our party at a country hotel, near the Mammoth Cave, in
Kentucky, was a girl of about two-and-twenty, oddly dressed. She got
out and breakfasted with the other passengers, looking perfectly at her
ease. We concluded that she belonged to one of two gentlemen in the
stage, and we rather wondered that any gentleman should like to travel
with a companion so untidily dressed as she was. She had a good black
silk gown, but over it was pinned a square net handkerchief, unhemmed,
and therefore looking ragged. She had black stockings, but shabby shoes
of some dark-coloured leather, not black; and they were tied on with
twine where the strings had given way. Her straw bonnet was shabby. She
had nothing with her but a basket which she carried on her knees. She
joined freely and pleasantly in conversation, and showed none of the
common troublesome timidity amid the disasters of the day and of the
ensuing night. It was very sultry weather. One of the horses fell from
heat in the midst of the Barrens, and we all had to walk up the hills,
and no short distance in the forest. The roads were so bad that the
driver tried his utmost to alarm the passengers, in order to induce some
to lighten his vehicle by remaining behind; but the girl seemed not in
the least daunted. In the course of the night we were overturned, and
had no light but what was afforded by the gentlemen walking before the
stage, holding tallow candles which they had bought by the roadside; but
nothing disconcerted the young lady. She was a girl of nerve and of
patience, it was clear. She refused to sit down to the first meal we had
on the road, and the reason of her abstinence appeared before the day
was over. When we changed coaches, and it was necessary to pay on
striking into a new route, she coolly inquired if any gentleman would
ask a free passage for her till she could send the money out of Indiana,
where she was going. It was now evident that she was alone, every
passenger having supposed that she was of the party of somebody else.
She gave no further explanation than that she had "come off in a hurry,"
no one knowing of it but two of the slaves, and that she should send the
money out of Indiana. There was not the slightest confusion in her
manner, nor any apparent consciousness that she was behaving strangely.
One of the gentlemen made himself answerable for her fare, and she
proceeded with us.

At Elizabethtown the next morning she refused breakfast with the utmost
cheerfulness; but our friend Mr. L. invited her to sit down with us,
which she did with a good grace. At seven in the evening we arrived at
Louisville, and alighted at the great hotel; one of the largest,
handsomest, and most luxurious in the United States, and, of course,
expensive. We chose apartments while Mr. L. ordered supper in a private
room for our party. Almost before my companion and I could turn
ourselves round in our chamber, the lone girl, who had followed us about
like a ghost, was taking her hair down at my dressing-table. Mrs. L.
hastened to inform her that this room was engaged; but, pointing out
that there were three beds, she said she should like to lodge here. Of
course this could not be allowed; and, as soon as she found that we
wished to be alone, she went away. When we descended with Mrs. L. to her
room, we found the poor girl dressing there. Mrs. L. now took upon her
to advise. She observed to the young person that she would probably be
more comfortable in a less expensive hotel, to which she agreed. The
same elderly gentleman who answered for her fare took her to a
respectable hotel near at hand, and commended her to the care of the
landlady, who promised to see her off for Indiana in the morning. We
left Louisville at dawn, and heard no more of the lone girl, of whom we
have often since thought and spoken. The odd circumstances of the case
were her freedom from all embarrassment, and her cheerfulness on the
road and while fasting, from want of money. There was not a trace of
insanity in her manners, though her dress at first suggested the idea;
and we could perceive no symptoms of the fear of pursuit or hurry of
spirits which would have been natural consequences of a clandestine
flight. Yet, by her own account, she must have done something of the
kind.

Though the freedom of travelling is not such as to admit of young ladies
making their way about quite alone, in a way so unceremonious as this,
the liberty of intercourse on the road is very great, and highly amusing
to a stranger. One day in Virginia, on entering our parlour at a hotel
where we were merely stopping to dine, I was amused to see our lawyer
companion, Mr. S., in grave consultation with the hostess, while Mrs.
S., her silk bonnet on her knee, and a large pair of scissors in hand,
was busy cutting, slashing, and rending a newspaper on which the bonnet
peak was spread. There was evidently so much more show than use in what
she was doing, that I could not understand her proceedings. "What _are_
you about?" asked I. Mrs. S. pointed to the landlady, and, trying to
help laughing, told me that the hostess had requested the pattern of her
bonnet. While this pretence of a pattern was in course of preparation by
the lady, the hostess was getting a legal opinion out of the gentleman
about a sum of eight hundred dollars which was owing to her. If we had
only stayed to tea, I doubt not our landlady would have found some
employment for every one of us, and have favoured us, in return, with
all the rest of her private affairs.

Originals who are so in common circumstances, through their own force of
soul, ruling events as well as being guided by them, yield something far
better than amusement to the observer. Some of these, out of almost
every class, I saw in America, from the divine and statesman down to the
slave. I saw a very old lady whom I consider to be one, not on account
of her extraordinary amiability and sympathy with all ages (which cause
her to be called grandmamma by all who know her), but because this
temper of mind is the result of something higher than an easy
disposition and prosperous circumstances. It is the accomplishment of a
long-settled purpose. When Grandmamma J. was eight years old, she was in
company with an old lady who was jealous, exacting, and peevish. On
returning home, the child ran to her mother and said, "If I am ever an
old lady, I will be a good-tempered old lady." This was not said and
forgotten, like many childish resolutions formed under the smart of
elderly people's faults. It was a real purpose. She knew that, in order
not to be cross when old, it is necessary to be meek, patient, and
cheerful when young. She was so; and the consequence is, that Grandmamma
J.'s popularity is unbounded. She is cherished by the whole community to
whom she is known. The children want to have her at their dances, and
the youths and maidens are always happiest where she is. She looks as if
no shadow of care had been cast over her bright spirit for many a long
year, and as if she might yet have many sunny years to come. She is
preacher, prophet, and dispenser of amiability, all in one.

The venerable Noah Worcester is an original. I am thankful to have seen
this aged apostle, for so he should be considered, having had a mission,
and honourably discharged it. He is the founder of Peace Societies in
America. Noah Worcester was a minister of the Gospel, of orthodox
opinions. By the time he was surrounded by a family of young children,
he had changed his opinions, and found himself a Unitarian. He avowed
the change, resigned his parish, and went forth with his family, without
a farthing in the world, or any prospect of being able to obtain a
subsistence. He wrote diligently, but on subjects which were next his
heart, and on which he would have written in like manner if he had been
the wealthiest of American citizens. He set up the "Christian Disciple,"
a publication which has done honour to its supporters both under its
original title and its present one of "The Christian Examiner." He
devoted his powers to the promotion of Peace principles and the
establishment of Peace Societies. Whatever may be thought of the
practical effects, in a narrow view, of such societies, they seem to
have well answered a prodigious purpose in turning men's contemplations
full on the subject of true and false honour, and in inducing a
multitude of glorious experiments of living strictly according to a
principle which happens to be troublesome in its application. The number
of peacemen, practisers of nonresistance, out of the Quaker body, is
considerable in America, and their great living apostle is Noah
Worcester. The leaders of the abolition movement are for the most part
peacemen; an inestimable circumstance, as it takes out the sting from
the worst of the slanders of their enemies, and gives increased effect
to their moral warfare. Human nature cannot withstand the grandeur of
the spectacle of men who have all the moral power on their side, and who
abide unresistingly all that the physical power of the other side can
inflict The boldest spirits tremble, hearts the most hardened in
prejudice melt, when once they come into full view of this warfare; and
the victory rests with the men of peace, who all love the name of Noah
Worcester. Nearly twenty years ago he was encompassed with distresses
for a time. Indeed, his life has been one of great poverty till lately.
He is not one of the men made to be rich, or to spend his thoughts on
whether he was happy or not. He was sent into the world for a very
different purpose, with which and with its attendant enjoyments poverty
could but little interfere. But in the midst of his deep poverty came
sickness. His two daughters were at once prostrated by fever, and a
severe struggle it was before they got through. Two friends of mine
nursed them; and in the discharge of their task learned lessons of faith
which they will be for ever thankful for, and of those graces which
accompany the faith of the heart, cheerfulness of spirits, and quietude
and simplicity of manner. My friends were not, at the beginning, fully
aware of the condition of the household. They were invited to table at
the early dinner hour. On the table stood a single brown loaf and a
pitcher of water. Grace was said, and they were invited to partake with
the utmost ease and cheerfulness, and not a word passed in reference to
the restriction of the fare. This was what God had been pleased to
provide, and it was thankfully accepted and hospitably shared. The
father went from the one sick room to the other, willing to receive what
tidings might await him, but tender to his daughters, as they have since
been to him. On one evening when all looked threatening, he asked the
friendly nurse whether the voice of prayer would be injurious to his
sick children; finding that they desired to hear him, he set open the
doors of their chambers, kneeled in the passage between, and prayed, so
calmly, so thankfully, that the effect was to compose the spirits of the
invalids. One now lives with him and cherishes him. She has changed her
religious opinions and become orthodox, but she has not changed towards
him. They are as blessed in their relation as ever.

Noah Worcester was seventy-six when I saw him in the autumn of 1835. He
was very tall, dressed in a gray gown, and with long white hair
descending to his shoulders. His eye is clear and bright, his manner
serious but cheerful. His evening meal was on the table, and he invited
us to partake with the same grace with which he offered his harder fare
to the guests of former years. He lives at Brighton, a short distance
from Boston, where his daughter manages the postoffice, by which their
humble wants are supplied. He had lately published, and he now presented
me with his "Last Thoughts" on some religious subjects which had long
engaged his meditations. I hope his serene old age may yet be prolonged,
gladsome to himself and eloquent to the world.

There is a remarkable man in the United States, without knowing whom it
is not too much to say that the United States cannot be fully known. I
mean by this, not only that he has powers and worth which constitute him
an element in the estimate to be formed of his country, but that his
intellect and his character are the opposite of those which the
influences of his country and his time are supposed almost necessarily
to form. I speak of the author of the oration which I have already
mentioned as being delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society last
August, Mr. Emerson. He is yet in the prime of life. Great things are
expected from him, and great things, it seems, he cannot but do, if he
have life and health to prosecute his course. He is a thinker and a
scholar. He has modestly and silently withdrawn himself from the
perturbations and conflicts of the crowd of men, without declining any
of the business of life, or repressing any of his human sympathies. He
is a thinker without being solitary, abstracted, and unfitted for the
time. He is a scholar without being narrow, bookish, and prone to occupy
himself only with other men's thoughts. He is remarkable for the
steadiness and fortitude with which he makes those objects which are
frequently considered the highest in their own department subordinate to
something higher still, whose connexion with their department he has
clearly discovered. There are not a few men, I hope, in America, who
decline the pursuit of wealth; not a few who refrain from ambition; and
some few who devote themselves to thought and study from a pure love of
an intellectual life. But the case before us is a higher one than this.
The intellectual life is nourished from a love of the diviner life of
which it is an element. Consequently, the thinker is ever present to the
duty, and the scholar to the active business of the hour; and his home
is the scene of his greatest acts. He is ready at every call to action.
He lectures to the factory people at Lowell when they ask it. He
preaches when the opportunity is presented. He is known at every house
along the road he travels to and from home, by the words he has dropped
and the deeds he has done. The little boy who carries wood for his
household has been enlightened by him; and his most transient guests owe
to him their experience of what the highest grace of domestic manners
may be. He neglects no political duty, and is unmindful of nothing in
the march of events which can affect the virtue and peace of men. While
he is far above fretting himself because of evil-doers, he has ever
ready his verdict for the right, and his right hand for its champions.
While apart from the passions of all controversies, he is ever present
with their principles, declaring himself and taking his stand, while
appearing to be incapable of contempt of persons, however uncompromising
may be his indignation against whatever is dishonest and harsh. Earnest
as is the tone of his mind, and placidly strenuous as is his life, an
exquisite spirit of humour pervades his intercourse. A quiet gayety
breathes out of his conversation; and his observation, as keen as it is
benevolent, furnishes him with perpetual material for the exercise of
his humour. In such a man it is difficult to point out any one
characteristic; but if, out of such a harmony, one leading quality is to
be distinguished, it is in him modest independence. A more entire and
modest independence I am not aware of having ever witnessed, though in
America I saw two or three approaches to it. It is an independence
equally of thought, of speech, of demeanour, of occupation, and of
objects in life; yet without a trace of contempt in its temper, or of
encroachment in its action. I could give anecdotes; but I have been his
guest, and I restrain myself. I have spoken of him in his relation to
society, and have said only what may be and is known to common
observers.

Such a course of life could not have been entered upon but through
discipline. It has been a discipline of calamity as well as of toil. As
for the prospect, it is to all appearance very bright. Few persons are
apparently placed so favourably for working out such purposes in life.
The condition seems hard to find fault with; and as to the spirit which
is to work upon it--though I differ from some of the views of the
thinker, and do not sympathize with all of those tastes of the scholar
which I am capable of entering into--I own that I see no defect, and
anticipate nothing short of triumph in the struggle of life.

Something may be learned of this thinker and his aims from a few
passages of his address; though this is the last purpose, I doubt not,
that he dreamed of his work being used for. He describes the nature of
the occasion. "Our holyday has been simply a friendly sign of the
survival of the love of letters among a people too busy to give to
letters any more." His topic is the American scholar, and he describes
the influences which contribute to form or modify him: the influence of
Nature, the mind of the past, and action in life. He concludes with a
consideration of the duty of the scholar.

"There goes in the world a notion that the scholar should be a recluse,
a valetudinarian, as unfit for any handiwork or public labour as a
penknife for an axe. The so-called 'practical men' sneer at speculative
men as if, because they speculate or _see_, they could do nothing. I
have heard it said that the clergy--who are always, more universally
than any other class, the scholars of their day--are addressed as women;
that the rough spontaneous conversation of men they do not hear, but
only a mincing and diluted speech. They are often virtually
disfranchised; and, indeed, there are advocates for their celibacy. As
far as this is true of the studious classes, it is not just and wise.
Action is with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential. Without it
he is not yet man. Without it thought can never ripen into truth. While
the world hangs before the eye as a cloud of beauty, we cannot even see
its beauty. Inaction is cowardice; but there can be no scholar without
the heroic mind. The preamble of thought, the transition through which
it passes from the unconscious to the conscious, is action. Only so much
do I know as I have lived."

... "The mind now thinks, now acts, and each fit reproduces the other.
When the artist has exhausted his materials, when the fancy no longer
paints, when thoughts are no longer apprehended, and books are a
weariness, he has always the resource to live. Character is higher than
intellect. Thinking is the function. Living is the functionary.

"The stream retreats to its source. A great soul will be strong to live
as well as strong to think. Does he lack organ or medium to impart his
truths? He can still fall back on this elemental force of living them.
This is a total act. Thinking is a partial act. Let the grandeur of
justice shine in his affairs. Let the beauty of affection cheer his
lowly roof. Those 'far from fame' who dwell and act with him will feel
the force of his constitution in the doings and passages of the day
better than it can be measured by any public and designed display. Time
shall teach him that the scholar loses no hour which the man lives.
Herein he unfolds the sacred germe of his instinct screened from
influence. What is lost in seemliness is gained in strength. Not out of
those on whom systems of education have exhausted their culture comes
the helpful giant to destroy the old or to build the new, but out of
unhandselled savage nature, out of terrible Druids and Bersirkirs come
at last Alfred and Shakspeare. I hear, therefore, with joy whatever is
beginning to be said of the dignity and necessity of labour to every
citizen. There is virtue yet in the hoe and the spade for learned as
well as for unlearned hands. And labour is everywhere welcome; always we
are invited to work; only be this limitation observed, that a man shall
not, for the sake of wider activity, sacrifice any opinion to the
popular judgments and modes of action."

... "They (the duties of the scholar) are such as become man thinking.
They may all be comprised in self-trust. The office of the scholar is to
cheer, to raise, and to guide men by showing them facts amid
appearances. He plies the slow, unhonoured, and unpaid task of
observation. Flamstead and Herschel, in their glazed observatory, may
catalogue the stars with the praise of all men, and, the results being
splendid and useful, honour is sure. But he, in his private observatory,
cataloguing obscure and nebulous stars of the human mind, which as yet
no man has thought of as such; watching days and months, sometimes, for
a few facts; correcting still his old records; must relinquish display
and immediate fame. In the long period of his preparation he must betray
often an ignorance and shiftlessness in popular arts, incurring the
disdain of the able who shoulder him aside. Long he must stammer in his
speech, often forego the living for the dead. Worse yet, he must accept,
how often! poverty and solitude. For the ease and pleasure of treading
the old road, accepting the fashions, the education, the religion of
society, he takes the cross of making his own, and, of course, the
self-accusation, the faint heart, the frequent uncertainty, and loss of
time which are the nettles and tangling vines in the way of the
self-relying and self-directed; and the state of virtual hostility in
which he seems to stand to society, and especially to educated society.
For all this loss and scorn, what offset? He is to find consolation in
exercising the highest functions of human nature. He is one who raises
himself from private considerations, and breathes and lives on public
and illustrious thoughts. He is the world's eye. He is the world's
heart. He is to resist the vulgar prosperity that retrogrades ever to
barbarism, by preserving and communicating heroic sentiments, noble
biographies, melodious verse, and the conclusions of history. Whatsoever
oracles the human heart in all emergencies, in all solemn hours has
uttered as its commentary on the world of actions, these he shall
receive and impart. And whatsoever new verdict Reason from her
inviolable seat pronounces on the passing men and events of to-day, this
he shall hear and promulgate. These being his functions, it becomes him
to feel all confidence in himself, and to defer never to the popular
cry. He, and he only, knows the world. The world of any moment is the
merest appearance. Some great decorum, some fetish of a government, some
ephemeral trade, or war, or man, is cried up by half mankind and cried
down by the other half, as if all depended on this particular up or
down. The odds are that the whole question is not worth the poorest
thought which the scholar has lost in listening to the controversy. Let
him not quit his belief that a popgun is a popgun, though the ancient
and honourable of the earth affirm it to be the crack of doom. In
silence, in steadiness, in severe abstraction, let him hold by himself;
add observation to observation; patient of neglect, patient of reproach,
and bide his own time, happy enough if he can satisfy himself alone that
this day he has seen something truly."

... "I read with joy some of the auspicious signs of the coming days as
they glimmer already through poetry and art, through philosophy and
science, through church and state. One of these signs is the fact that
the same movement which effected the elevation of what was called the
lowest class in the state, assumed in literature a very marked and as
benign an aspect. Instead of the sublime and beautiful, the near, the
low, the common was explored and poetized. That which had been
negligently trodden under foot by those who were harnessing and
provisioning themselves for long journeys into far countries, is
suddenly found to be richer than all foreign parts. The literature of
the poor, the feelings of the child, the philosophy of the street, the
meaning of household life, are the topics of the time. It is a great
stride. It is a sign--is it not?--of new vigour, when the extremities
are made active, when currents of warm life run into the hands and feet.
I ask not for the great, the remote, the romantic; what is doing in
Italy and Arabia; what is Greek art or Provencal minstrelsy; I embrace
the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low. Give
me insight into to-day, and you may have the antique and future worlds.
What would we really know the meaning of? The meal in the firkin; the
milk in the pan; the ballad in the street; the news of the boat; the
glance of the eye; the form and the gait of the body; show me the
ultimate reason of these matters; show me the sublime presence of the
highest spiritual cause lurking, as always it does lurk, in these
suburbs and extremities of nature; let me see every trifle bristling
with the polarity that ranges it instantly on an eternal law; and the
shop, the plough, and the leger referred to the like cause by which
light undulates and poets sing; and the world lies no longer a dull
miscellany and lumber-room, but has form and order; there is no trifle,
there is no puzzle, but one design unites and animates the farthest
pinnacle and the lowest trench."

... "Another sign of our times, also marked by an analogous political
movement, is the new importance given to the single person. Everything
that tends to insulate the individual--to surround him with barriers of
natural respect, so that each man shall feel the world is his, and man
shall treat with man as a sovereign state with a sovereign state--tends
to true union as well as greatness. 'I learned,' said the melancholy
Pestalozzi, 'that no man in God's wide earth is either willing or able
to help any other man.' Help must come from the bosom alone. The scholar
is that man who must take up into himself all the ability of the time,
all the contributions of the past, all the hopes of the future. He must
be a university of knowledges. If there be one lesson more than another
which should pierce his ear, it is, The world is nothing; the man is
all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a
globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is
for you to know all; it is for you to dare all. Mr. President and
gentlemen, this confidence in the unsearched might of man belongs by all
motives, by all prophecy, by all preparation, to the American scholar.
We have listened too long to the courtly muses of Europe. The spirit of
the American freeman is already suspected to be timid, imitative, tame.
Public and private avarice make the air we breathe thick and fat. The
scholar is decent, indolent, complaisant. See already the tragic
consequence. The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects,
eats upon itself. There is no work for any but the decorous and the
complaisant. Young men of the fairest promise, who begin life upon our
shores, inflated by the mountain winds, shined upon by all the stars of
God, find the earth below not in unison with these; but are hindered
from action by the disgust which the principles on which business is
managed inspire, and turn drudges or die of disgust, some of them
suicides. What is the remedy? They did not yet see, and thousands of
young men as hopeful now crowding to the barriers for the career do not
yet see, that if the single man plant himself indomitably on his
instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him.
Patience, patience; with the shades of all the good and great for
company; and for solace, the perspective of your own infinite life; and
for work, the study and the communication of principles, the making
those instincts prevalent, the conversion of the world. Is it not the
chief disgrace in the world not to be a unit; not to be reckoned one
character; not to yield that peculiar fruit which each man was created
to bear, but to be reckoned in the gross, in the hundred, or the
thousand of the party, the section to which we belong; and our opinion
predicted geographically, as the North or the South? Not so, brothers
and friends; please God, ours shall not be so. We will walk on our own
feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds."

Of the last class of originals--those who are not only strong to form a
purpose in life and fulfil it, but who are driven by pressure of
circumstance to put forth their whole force for the control of other
destinies than their own--there is no more conspicuous example than
Father Taylor, as he is called. In America there is no need to explain
who Father Taylor is. He is known in England, but not extensively.
Father Taylor is the seamen's apostle. He was a sailor-boy himself, and
at twenty years old was unable to read. He rose in his calling, and at
length became full of some religious convictions which he longed to
express. He has found a mode of expression, and is happy. He is one of
the busiest and most cheerful of men; and, of all preachers living,
probably the most eloquent to those whom his preaching suits. So it
would appear from events. I heard him called a second homely Jeremy
Taylor; and I certainly doubt whether Jeremy Taylor himself could more
absolutely sway the minds and hearts of the learned and pious of his day
than the seamen's friend does those of his flock. He has a great
advantage over other preachers in being able to speak to his hearers
from the ground of their common experience; in being able to appeal to
his own sealife. He can say, "You have lodged with me in the forecastle;
did you ever know me profane?" "You have seen me land from a long
voyage. Where did I betake myself? Am not I a proof that a sealife need
not be soiled with vice on land?" All this gives him some power; but it
would be little without the prodigious force which he carries in his
magnificent intellect and earnest heart.

A set of institutions is connected with the Boston Port Society, whose
agent Mr. Taylor is. There is the Seamen's Bethel, in North Square,
where Mr. Taylor preaches; a Reading-room, and a Nautical School; a
Temperance Society, and the Bethel Union, the last being an association
of seamen and masters of vessels for the purpose chiefly of settling
disputes without litigation and scandal, promoting the just and kind
treatment of seamen, and watching over their rights. There is also a
Clothing Society, the object of which is economy rather than charity;
and a Savings' Bank for seamen, the merits of which are sufficiently
indicated by the title.

Father Taylor is the life and soul of all this. Some help him liberally
with the purse, and many with head and hands; but he is the animating
spirit of the whole. His chapel is filled, from year's end to year's
end, with sailors. He has no salary, and will not hear of one. He takes
charge of all the poor connected with his chapel. To many this must look
like an act of insanity. No class is more exposed to casualties than
that of seamen; and, when a life is lost, an entire helpless family
comes upon the charity of society. Father Taylor speaks of his ten
thousand children, and all the woes and faults of a multitude are
accumulated upon his hands; and yet he retains the charge of all his
poor, though he has no fixed income whatever. He does it by putting his
charge in the way of helping each other and themselves. He encourages
sobriety and economy in all their habits, and enforces them with a power
which it would be vain to attempt to give an idea of. He uses the utmost
openness about his plans, and thereby obtains valuable co-operation. He
has a collection of money made twice every Sunday in his church. The
sums are given by the seamen almost exclusively, and are in very small
coin; but the amount has gone on increasing, from first to last, except
during intervals when Father Taylor was absent for his health. Between
the years 1828 and 1835, the annual sum thus contributed rose from 98 to
1079 dollars.

Boston owes to Mr. Taylor and to Dr. Tuckerman its convictions of the
pernicious operation of some of the old methods of charity by
almsgiving; and the names of these gentlemen ought ever to be held in
honour for having saved the young community in which they dwell from the
curse of such pauperism in kind (the degree could never have become very
formidable) as has afflicted the kingdoms of the Old World. Mr. Taylor
owns that he little foresaw what he was undertaking in assuming the
charge of all his poor, under such liabilities as those who follow the
seaman's calling are exposed to: but he does it. The funds are, as it
has been seen, provided by the class to be benefited; and they have
proved hitherto sufficient, under the wise administration of the pastor
and his wife, and under the animating influence of his glowing spirit,
breathed forth from the pulpit and amid their dwellings. It seems as if
his power was resorted to in difficult and desperate cases, like that of
a superior being; such surprising facts was I told of his influence over
his flock. He was requested to visit an insane man, who believed himself
to be in heaven, and therefore to have no need of food and sleep. The
case had become desperate, so long had the fasting and restlessness
continued. Father Taylor prevailed at once; the patient was presently
partaking of "the feast of the blessed" with Father Taylor, and enjoying
the "saints' rest on a heavenly couch." From carrying a single point
like this to redeeming a whole class from much of the vice and wo which
had hitherto afflicted it, the pastor's power seems universally to
prevail.

I have not mentioned all this time what Father Taylor's religion is, or,
rather, what sect he belongs to. This is one of the last considerations
which, in his case, occurs to an observer. All the essentials of his
faith must be so right to produce such results, that the separate
articles of belief do not present themselves for inquiry. He is
"orthodox" (Presbyterian), but so liberal as to be in some sort disowned
by the rigid of his sect. He opens his pulpit to ministers of any
Protestant denomination; and Dr. Beecher and other bigots of his own
sect refused to preach thence after Unitarians. When this opposition of
theirs diminished the contributions of his people during his absence,
they twitted him with it, and insultingly asked whether he cheated the
Unitarians, or they him? to which he replied, that they understood one
another, and left all unfair proceedings to a third party.

Mr. Taylor has a remarkable person. He is stoutly built, and looks more
like a skipper than a preacher. His face is hard and weather-beaten, but
with an expression of sensibility, as well as acuteness, which it is
wonderful that features apparently so immoveable can convey. He uses a
profusion of action. His wife told me that she thought his health was
promoted by his taking so much exercise in the shape of action, in
conversation as well as in the pulpit. He is very loud and prodigiously
rapid. His splendid thoughts come faster than he can speak them; and, at
times, he would be totally overwhelmed by them, if, in the midst of his
most rapid utterance of them, a burst of tears, of which he is wholly
unconscious, did not aid in his relief. I have seen them streaming,
bathing his face, when his words breathed the very spirit of joy, and
every tone of his voice was full of exhilaration. His pathos, shed in
thoughts and tones so fleeting as to be gone like lightning, is the most
awful of his powers. I have seen a single clause of a short sentence
call up an instantaneous flush on the hundreds of hard faces turned to
the preacher; and it is no wonder to me that the widow and orphan are
cherished by those who hear his prayers for them. The tone of his
petitions is importunate, even passionate; and his sailor hearers may be
forgiven for their faith, that Father Taylor's prayers cannot be
refused. Never, however, was anything stranger than some particulars of
his prayers. I have told elsewhere[13] how importunately he prayed for
rain in fear of conflagration, and, as it happened, the Sunday before
the great New-York fire. With such petitions, urged with every beauty of
expression, he mixes up whatever may have struck his fancy during the
week, whether mythology, politics, housewifery, or anything else. He
prayed one day, when dwelling on the moral perils of seamen, "that
Bacchus and Venus might be driven to the end of the earth, and off it."
I heard him pray that the members of Congress might be preserved from
buffoonery. Thence he passes to supplication, offered in a spirit of
sympathy which may appear bold at another moment, but which is true to
the emotion of the hour. "Father! look upon us! _We are a widow._"
"Father! the mother's heart thou knowest; the mother's bleeding heart
thou pitiest. Sanctify to us the removal of this lamb!"

Footnote 13: Society in America, vol. ii., p. 264.

The eloquence of his sermons was somewhat the less amazing to me from my
feeling that, if there be inspiration in the world, it arises from being
so listened to. It was not like the preaching of Whitfield, for all was
quiet in Father Taylor's church. There were no groans, few tears, and
those unconsciously shed, rolling down the upturned face, which never
for a moment looked away from the preacher. His voice was the only
sound; now tremendously loud and rapid, overpowering the senses; now
melting into a tenderness like that of a mother's wooings of her infant.
The most striking discourse I heard from him was on the text, "That we,
through the comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope." A crew from
among his hearers were going to sail in the course of the week. He gave
me a totally new view of the great trial of the seaman's life, the
pining for rest. Never, among the poets of the earth, was there finer
discourse of the necessity of hope to man, and never a more tremendous
picture of the state of the hopeless. Father Taylor is no reader except
of his Bible, and probably never heard of any poem on the subject on
which he was speaking; and he therefore went unhesitatingly into a
picture of what hope is to the mariner in his midnight watches and amid
the tossing of the storm; and, if Campbell had been there, he would have
joyfully owned himself outdone. But then the preacher went off into one
of his strange descriptions of what people resort to when longing for a
home for their spirits, and not finding the right one. "Some get into
the stomach, and think they can make a good home of that; but the
stomach is no home for the spirit;" and then followed some particular
reasons why. Others nestle down into people's good opinion, and think,
if they can get praise enough, they shall be at peace. "But opinion is
sometimes an easy tradewind, and sometimes a contrary hurricane." Some
wait and wait upon change; but the affairs of Providence go on while
such are standing still, "and God's chronometer loses no time." After a
long series of pictures of forlornness and pinings for home, he burst
forth suddenly upon the promise, "I will give you rest." He was for the
moment the wanderer finding rest; his flood of tears and of gratitude,
his rapturous account of the change from pining to hope and rest were
real to himself and to us for the time. The address to the departing
seamen was tender and cheerful; with a fitting mention of the chances of
mortality, but nothing which could be ever construed by the most
superstitious of them, in the most comfortless of their watches, into a
foreboding.

Such preaching exerts prodigious power over an occasional hearer, and it
is an exquisite pleasure to listen to it; but it does not, for a
continuance, meet the religious wants of any but those to whom it is
expressly addressed. The preacher shares the mental and moral
characteristics, as well as the experience in life of his nautical
hearers; their imaginative cast of mind, their superstition, their
strong capacity for friendship and love, their ease about the future,
called recklessness in some, and faith in others. This is so unlike the
common mind of landsmen, that the same expression of worship will not
suit them both. So Father Taylor will continue to be the seaman's
apostle; and, however admired and beloved by the landsman, not his
priest. This is as it should be, and as the good man desires. His field
of labour is wide enough for him. No one is more sensible than he of its
extent. He told me what he tells seamen themselves, that they are the
eyes and tongues of the world; the seed carriers of the world; the
winged seeds from which good or evil must spring up on the wildest
shores of God's earth. His spirit is so possessed with this just idea of
the importance of his work, that praise and even immediate sympathy are
not necessary; though the last is, of course, pleasant to him. One
Christmas day there was a misunderstanding as to whether the chapel
would be open, and not above twenty people were present; but never did
Father Taylor preach more splendidly.

There is one great drawback in the religious services of his chapel.
There is a gallery just under the roof for the people of colour; and
"the seed carriers of the world" are thus countenanced by Father Taylor
in making a root of bitterness spring up beside their homes, which,
under his care, a better spirit should sanctify. I think there can be no
doubt that an influence so strong as his would avail to abolish this
unchristian distinction of races within the walls of his own church; and
it would elevate the character of his influence if the attempt were
made.

No one doubts Garrison's being an original. None who know him can wonder
that the coloured race of Americans look upon him as raised up to be
their deliverer, as manifestly as Moses to lead the Israelites out of
bondage.

William Lloyd Garrison was, not many years ago, a printer's boy. The
time will come when those who worked by his side will laboriously recall
the incidents of the printing-office in those days, to make out whether
the poor boy dropped expressions or shot glances which indicated what a
spirit was working within him, or prophesied of the work which awaited
him. By some accident his attention was turned to the condition of the
coloured race, and to colonization as a means of rescue. Like all the
leading abolitionists, Garrison was a colonizationist first; but, before
his clear mind, enlightened by a close attachment to principles, and
balanced by his being of a strong practical turn, the case soon appeared
in its true aspect.

Garrison, then a student in some country college, I believe, engaged to
deliver a lecture on colonization; and, in order to prepare himself, he
went down to Baltimore to master the details of the scheme on the spot
where it was in actual operation. His studies soon convinced him of the
fallacies and iniquities involved in the plan, and he saw that nothing
short of the abolition of the slave system would redeem the coloured
race from their social depression. A visitation of persecution came at
this time in aid of his convictions. A merchant of Newburyport,
Massachusetts, gave permission to the master of a vessel of which he was
the owner to freight the ship with slaves at Baltimore, and carry them
down to the New-Orleans market. Garrison commented upon this transaction
in a newspaper in the terms which it deserved, but which were libellous,
and he was, in consequence, brought to a civil and criminal trial,
thrown into prison, and fined 1000 dollars, which he had not the
remotest prospect of being able to pay. When he had been imprisoned
three months, he was released by the fine being paid by Arthur Tappan,
of New-York; a gentleman who was an entire stranger to Garrison, and who
did this act (the first of a long series of munificent deeds) for the
sake of the principle involved in the case.

Of this gentleman a few words before we proceed. He is one of the few
wealthy original abolitionists, and his money has been poured out freely
in the cause. He has been one of the most persecuted, and his nerves
have never appeared to be shaken. He has been a mark for insult from the
whole body of his countrymen (except a handful of abolitionists) for a
series of years; and he has never, on this account, altered his
countenance towards man or woman. His house was attacked in New-York,
and his family driven from the city; he quietly took up his abode on
Long Island. His lady and children are stared at like wild beasts on
board a steamboat; he tranquilly observes on the scenery. His partners
early remonstrated with him on the injury he was doing to his trade by
publicly opposing slavery, and supported one another in declaring to him
that he must give up his connexion with the abolitionists. He heard them
to an end; said, "I will be hanged first," and walked off. When I was in
America, immense rewards for the head, and even for the ears of Mr.
Tappan, were offered from the South, through advertisements in the
newspapers and handbills. Whether these rewards were really offered by
any committee of vigilance or not was the same thing to Mr. Tappan; he
was, in either case, in equal danger from wretches who would do the deed
for money. But it cannot be thought improbable that a committee of
vigilance should commit an act of any degree of eccentricity at a time
of such panic that a meeting was called in a new settlement in Alabama
for the purpose of voting Mr. O'Connell a nuisance. Mr. Tappan's house
on Long Island is in an exposed situation; but he hired no guard, and
lost not an hour's sleep. When some one showed him one of these
handbills, he glanced from the sum promised to the signatures. "Are
these good names?" said he. A cause involving a broad principle, and
supported to the point of martyrdom by men of this make, is victorious
from the beginning. Its complete triumph is merely a question of time.

Garrison lectured in New-York in favour of the abolition of slavery, and
in exposure of the colonization scheme, and was warmly encouraged by a
few choice spirits. He went to Boston for the same purpose; but in the
enlightened and religious city of Boston, every place in which he could
lecture was shut against him. He declared his intention of lecturing on
the Common if he could get no door opened to him, and this threat
procured for him what he wanted. At his first lecture he fired the souls
of some of his hearers; among others, of Mr. May, the first Unitarian
clergyman who embraced the cause. On the next Sunday Mr. May, in
pursuance of the custom of praying for all distressed persons, prayed
for the slaves; and was asked, on descending from the pulpit, whether he
was mad.

Garrison and his fellow-workman, both in the printing-office and the
cause--his friend Knapp--set up the Liberator, in its first days a
little sheet of shabby paper, printed with old types, and now a handsome
and flourishing newspaper. These two heroes, in order to publish their
paper, lived for a series of years in one room on bread and water, "with
sometimes," when the paper sold unusually well, "the luxury of a bowl of
milk." In course of time twelve men formed themselves into an abolition
society at Boston, and the cause was fairly afoot.

It was undergoing its worst persecutions just before I entered Boston
for the winter. I had resolved some time before, that, having heard
every species of abuse of Garrison, I ought in fairness to see him. The
relation of the above particulars quickened my purpose, and I mentioned
my wish to the relator, who engaged that we should meet, mentioning that
he supposed I was aware what I should encounter by acknowledging a wish
to see Garrison. I was staying at the house of a clergyman in Boston,
when a note was brought in which told me that Mr. Garrison was in town,
and would meet me at any hour, at any friend's house, the next day. My
host arrived at a knowledge of the contents of the note quite against my
will, and kindly insisted that Mr. Garrison should call on me at home.
At ten o'clock he came, accompanied by his introducer. His aspect put to
flight in an instant what prejudices his slanderers had raised in me. I
was wholly taken by surprise. It was a countenance glowing with health,
and wholly expressive of purity, animation, and gentleness. I did not
now wonder at the citizen who, seeing a print of Garrison at a shop
window without a name to it, went in and bought it, and framed it as the
most saintlike of countenances. The end of the story is, that when the
citizen found whose portrait he had been hanging up in his parlour, he
took the print out of the frame and huddled it away. Garrison has a good
deal of a Quaker air; and his speech is deliberate like a Quaker's, but
gentle as a woman's. The only thing that I did not like was his
excessive agitation when he came in, and his thanks to me for desiring
to meet one "so odious" as himself. I was, however, as I told him,
nearly as odious as himself at that time; so it was fit that we should
be acquainted. On mentioning afterward to his introducer my impression
of something like a want of manliness in Garrison's agitation, he
replied that I could not know what it was to be an object of insult and
hatred to the whole of society for a series of years; that Garrison
could bear what he met with from street to street, and from town to
town; but that a kind look and shake of the hand from a stranger
unmanned him for the moment. How little did the great man know our
feelings towards him on our meeting; how we, who had done next to
nothing, were looking up to him who is achieving the work of an age,
and, as a stimulus, that of a nation!

His conversation was more about peace principles than the great subject.
It was of the most practical cast. Every conversation I had with him
confirmed my opinion that sagacity is the most striking attribute of his
conversation. It has none of the severity, the harshness, the bad taste
of his writing; it is as gladsome as his countenance, and as gentle as
his voice. Through the whole of his deportment breathes the evidence of
a heart at ease; and this it is, I think, more than all his distinct
claims, which attaches his personal friends to him with an almost
idolatrous affection.

I do not pretend to like or to approve the tone of Garrison's printed
censures. I could not use such language myself towards any class of
offenders, nor can I sympathize in its use by others. But it is only
fair to mention that Garrison adopts it warily; and that I am persuaded
that he is elevated above passion, and has no unrighteous anger to vent
in harsh expressions. He considers his task to be the exposure of
fallacy, the denunciation of hypocrisy, and the rebuke of selfish
timidity. He is looked upon by those who defend him in this particular
as holding the branding-iron; and it seems true enough that no one
branded by Garrison ever recovers it. He gives his reasons for his
severity with a calmness, meekness, and softness which contrast strongly
with the subject of the discourse, and which convince the objector that
there is principle at the bottom of the practice. One day, when he was
expressing his pleasure at Dr. Channing having shaken hands with him the
preceding day, he spoke with affectionate respect of Dr. Channing. I
asked him who would have supposed he felt thus towards Dr. Channing,
after the language which had been used about him and his book in the
Liberator of the last week. His gentle reply was,

"The most difficult duty of an office like mine is to find fault with
those whom I love and honour most. I have been obliged to do it
about ---- ----, who is one of my best friends. He is clearly wrong in a
matter important to the cause, and I must expose it. In the same way,
Dr. Channing, while aiding our cause, has thought fit to say that the
abolitionists are fanatical; in other words, that we set up our wayward
wills in opposition to the will we profess to obey. I cannot suffer the
cause to be injured by letting this pass; but I do not the less value
Dr. Channing for the things he has done."

I was not yet satisfied of the necessity of so much severity as had been
used. Garrison bore with me with a meekness too touching to be ever
forgotten.

He never speaks of himself or his persecutions unless compelled, and his
child will never learn at home what a distinguished father he has. He
will know him as the tenderest of parents before he becomes aware that
he is a great hero. I found myself growing into a forgetfulness of the
deliverer of a race in the friend of the fireside. One day, in Michigan,
two friends (who happened to be abolitionists) and I were taking a drive
with the governor of the state, who was talking of some recent commotion
on the slavery question. "What is Garrison like?" said he. "Ask Miss
M.," said one smiling friend: "Ask Miss M.," said the other. I was asked
accordingly; and my answer was, that I thought Garrison the most
bewitching personage I had met in the United States. The impression
cannot but be strengthened by his being made such a bugbear as he is;
but the testimony of his personal friends, the closest watchers of his
life, may safely be appealed to as to the charms of his domestic
manners.

Garrison gayly promised me that he would come over whenever his work is
done in the United States, that we may keep jubilee in London. I believe
it would be safe to promise him a hundred thousand welcomes as warm as
mine.



LAKE GEORGE.


    "Those now by me as they have been,
    Shall never more be heard or seen;
    But what I once enjoy'd in them,
    Shall seem hereafter as a dream."

                                                              G. WITHER.


Everybody who has heard of American scenery has heard of Lake George. At
one time I was afraid I should have to leave the States without having
visited the lake which, of all others, I most desired to see, so many
hinderances had fallen in the way of my plans. A few weeks before I left
the country, however, I was fortunate enough to be included in a party
of four who made a trip to the Springs and the lake. It was not in the
fashionable season, and for this I was not sorry. I had seen the
Virginia Springs and Rock-away in the plenitude of their fashionable
glory, and two such exhibitions are enough for one continent.

It was about noon on the 12th of May when we alighted shivering from the
railcar at Saratoga. We hastened to the Adelphi, and there found the
author of Major Jack Downing's Letters and two other gentlemen reading
the newspapers round a stove. We had but little time to spare; and, as
soon as we had warmed ourselves and ascertained the dinner hour, we set
forth to view the place and taste the Congress water. There is nothing
to be seen but large white frame houses, with handsome piazzas,
festooned with creepers (at this time only the sapless remains of the
garlands of the last season). These houses and the wooden temple over
the principal spring are all that is to be seen, at least by the bodily
eye. The imagination may amuse itself with conjuring up the place as it
was less than half a century ago, when these springs bubbled up amid the
brush of the forest, their qualities being discovered by the path
through the woods worn by the deer in their resort to it. In those days
the only edifices were a single loghut and a bearpound; a space enclosed
with four high walls, with an extremely narrow entrance, where it was
hoped that bears might get in during the dark hours, and be unable to
find their way out again. Times are much changed now. There are no bears
at Saratoga but a two-legged species from Europe, dropping in, one or
two in a season, among the gentry at the Springs.

The process of bottling the Congress water was in full activity when we
took our first draught of it. Though the utmost celerity is used, the
water loses much of its virtue and briskness by bottling. The man and
boy whom we saw filling and corking the bottles with a dexterity which
only practice can give, are able to despatch a hundred dozen per day.
There are several other springs, shedding waters of various medicinal
virtues; but the Congress fountain is the only one from which the
stranger would drink as a matter of taste.

The waterworks are just at hand, looking like a giant's shower-bath. At
the top of the eminence close by there is a pleasure railroad; a
circular track, on which elderly children may take a ride round and
round in a self-moving chair; an amusement a step above the old
merry-go-round in gravity and scientific pretension. But for its
vicinity to some tracts of beautiful scenery, Saratoga must be a very
dull place to persons shaken out of their domestic habits, and deprived
of their usual occupations; and the beauties of the scenery must be
sought, Saratoga Lake lying three miles, Glen's Falls eighteen, and Lake
George twenty-seven miles from the Springs.

At dinner Mr. R., the gentleman of our party, announced to us that he
had been able to engage a pretty double gig, with a pair of brisk
ponies, for ourselves, and a light cart for our luggage. The day was
very cold for an open carriage; but it was not improbable that, before
twenty-four hours were over, we might be panting with heat; and it was
well to be provided with a carriage in which we might most easily
explore the lake scenery if we should be favoured with fine weather.

The cart preceded us. On the road, a large white snake made a prodigious
spring from the grass at the driver, who, being thus challenged, was not
slow in entering into combat with the creature. He jumped down and
stoned it for some time with much diligence before it would lie down so
that he might drive over it. As we proceeded the country became richer,
and we had fine views of the heights which cluster round the infant
Hudson, and of the Green Mountains of Vermont.

We were all astonished at the splendour of Glen's Falls. The full though
narrow Hudson rushes along amid enormous masses of rock, and leaps sixty
feet down the chasms and precipices which occur in the passage, sweeping
between dark banks of shelving rocks below, its current speckled with
foam. The noise is so tremendous that I cannot conceive how people can
fix their dwellings in the immediate neighbourhood. There is a long
bridge over the roaring floods which vibrates incessantly, and clusters
of sawmills deform the scene. There is stonecutting as well as planking
done at these mills. The fine black marble of the place is cut into
slabs, and sent down to New-York to be polished. It was the busiest
scene that I saw near any water-power in America.

Lake George lies nine miles beyond Glen's Falls. We saw the lake while
we were yet two miles from Caldwell, the pretty village at its southern
extremity. It stretched blue among the mountains in the softening light;
and we anticipated what our pleasures were to be as we looked upon the
framework of mountains in which this gem is set. We had just emerged
from a long and severe winter. We had been walking streets in every
stage of thaw; and it was many months since we had loitered about in the
full enjoyment of open air and bright verdure, as we hoped to do here.
This trip was to be a foretaste of a long summer and autumn of outdoor
delights.

The people at the inn were busy cleaning, in preparation for summer
company; but they gave us a welcome, and lodged and tended us well. Our
windows and piazza commanded a fine view of the lake (here just a mile
broad), of the opposite mountains, and of the white beach which sweeps
round the southern extremity of the sheet of waters, as transparent as
the sea about the Bermudas.

As we had hoped, the next morning was sunny and warm. We employed it in
exploring the ground about Fort William Henry, which stands on an
eminence a little way back from the water, and is now merely an
insignificant heap of ruins. The French and Indians used to pour down
upon the settlements in the plains by the passes of the Lakes Champlain
and George, and near these passes were fought some of the severest
battles recorded in American history. The mountain opposite our windows
at the Lake House is called French Mountain, from its being the point
where the French showed themselves on the bloody 8th of September, 1755,
when three battles were fought in the neighbourhood on the same day. It
was two years later when the Marquis of Montcalm conducted an army of
10,000 men to invest Fort William Henry. Colonel Monroe, who held it for
the British, was obliged, after a gallant defence, to capitulate. He
marched out with 3000 men, and many women and children. The Indians
attached to the French army committed outrages which it is thought the
marquis might have prevented. But it is probable that, when the guilt of
taking savages for allies in offensive warfare is once incurred, any
amount of mischief may ensue which no efforts of the commander can
control. Every one knows the horrible story of Miss McCrea, the young
lady who was on the way to be married to her lover in the British army,
and who was tomahawked and scalped by the Indians in whose charge she
was travelling. During the recrimination between the commanders on this
occasion, General Burgoyne explained his inability to control the
movements of passionate savages; and it must be supposed that Montcalm
had no more power over the Indians who plundered and then murdered
almost the whole number of the British who evacuated Fort William Henry.
It was a horrible scene of butchery. We went over the ground, now waste
and still, tangled with bushes, and inhabited only by birds and
reptiles.

After wandering for some hours on the beach, and breaking our way
through the thick groves which skirt it, dwelling upon the exquisite
scene of the blue lake, with its tufted islands shut in by mountains, we
wished to find some place where we might obtain an equally good distant
view, and yet enjoy the delights of the margin of the water. By climbing
a fence we got to a green bank, whence we could reach a log in the
water; and here we basked, like a party of terrapins, till dinnertime.
The foliage of the opposite woods, on French Mountain, seemed to make
great progress under the summer warmth of this day; and by the next
morning the soft green tinge was perceptible on them, which, after the
dry hardness of winter, is almost as beautiful as the full leaf.

After dinner we took a drive along the western bank of the lake. The
road wound in and out, up and down on the mountainous barrier of the
waters, for there was no beach or other level. One of the beauties of
Lake George is that the mountains slope down to its very margin. Our
stout ponies dragged us up the steep ascents, and rattled us down on the
other side in charming style; and we were so enchanted with the
succession of views of new promontories and islands, and new aspects of
the opposite mountains, that we should have liked to proceed while any
light was left, and to have taken our chance for getting back safely.
But Mr. R. pointed to the sinking sun, and reminded us that it was
Saturday evening. If the people at the inn were Yankees, they would make
a point of all the work of the establishment ceasing at sunset,
according to the Sabbath customs of New-England; and we must allow the
hostler a quarter of an hour to put up the ponies. So we unwillingly
turned, and reached Caldwell just as the shutters of the stores were in
course of being put up, and the last rays of the sun were gushing out on
either side the mountain in the rear of the village. At the Lake House
the painters were putting away their brushes, and the scrubbers emptying
their pails; and, by the time twilight drew on, the place was in a state
of Sunday quietness. We had descried a church standing under the trees
close by, and the girl who waited on us was asked what services there
would be the next day. She told us that there was regular service during
the summer season when the place was full, but not at present; she
added, "We have no regular preacher just now, but we have a man who can
make a very smart prayer."

The next day was spent in exploring the eastern side of the lake for
some distance on foot, and in sitting on a steep grassy bank under the
pines, with our feet overhanging the clear waters glancing in the sun.
Here we read and talked for some hours of a delicious summer Sunday. I
spent part of the afternoon alone at the fort, amid a scene of the
profoundest stillness. I could trace my companions as they wound their
way at a great distance along the little white beaches and through the
pine groves; the boat in the cove swayed at the end of its tether when
the wind sent a ripple across its bows; the shadows stole up the
mountain sides; and an aged labourer sauntered along the beach, with his
axe on his shoulder, crossed the wooden bridge over a brook which flows
into the lake, and disappeared in the pine grove to the left. All else
was still as midnight. My companions did not know where I was, and were
not likely to look in the direction where I was sitting; so, when they
came within hail--that is, when from mites they began to look as big as
children--I sang as loud as possible to catch their attention. I saw
them speak to each other, stop, and gaze over the lake. They thought it
was the singing of fishermen, and it was rather a disappointment when
they found it was only one of ourselves.

On the Monday we saw the lake to the best advantage by going upon it. We
took boat directly after breakfast, having a boy to row us; a stout boy
he must be, for he can row twenty-eight miles on the hottest summer's
day. The length of the lake is thirty-six miles; a long pull for a
rower; but accomplished by some who are accustomed to the effort. First
we went to Tea Island. I wish it had a better name, for it is a
delicious spot, just big enough for a very lazy hermit to live in. There
is a teahouse to look out from, and, far better, a few little reposing
places on the margin; recesses of rock and dry roots of trees, made to
hide one's self in for thought or dreaming. We dispersed; and one of us
might have been seen, by any one who rowed round the island, perched in
every nook. The breezy side was cool and musical with the waves. The
other side was warm as July, and the waters so still that the cypress
twigs we threw in seemed as if they did not mean to float away. Our
boatman laid himself down to sleep, as a matter of course, thus bearing
testimony to the charms of the island; for he evidently took for granted
that we should stay some time. We allowed him a long nap, and then
steered our course to Diamond Island. This gay handful of earth is not
so beautiful as Tea Island, not being so well tufted with wood; but it
is literally carpeted with forget-me-not. You tread upon it as upon
clover in a clover-field.

We coasted the eastern shore as we returned, winning our way in the
still sunshine under walls of rock overhung by projecting trees, and
round promontories, across little bays, peeping into the glades of the
shore, where not a dwelling is to be seen, and where the human foot
seems never to have trod. What a wealth of beauty is there here for
future residents yet unborn! The transparency of the waters of this lake
is its great peculiarity. It abounds with fish, especially fine red
trout. It is the practice of the fishermen to select the prime fish from
a shoal, and they always get the one they want. I can easily believe
this, for I could see all that was going on in the deep water under our
keel when we were out of the wind; every ridge of pebbles, every tuft of
weed, every whim of each fish's tail, I could mark from my seat. The
bottom seemed to be all pebbles where it was not too deep to be clearly
seen. In some parts the lake is of unmeasured depth.

It was three o'clock before we returned; and, as it is not usual for
visiters to spend six or seven hours of a morning on the lake, the good
people at the Lake House had been for some time assuring one another
that we must have been cast away. The kind-hearted landlady herself had
twice been out on the top of the house to look abroad for our boat. I
hope the other members of my party will be spared to visit this scene
often again. I can hardly hope to do so; but they may be sure that I
shall be with them in spirit, for the time will never come when my
memory will not be occasionally treated with some flitting image of Lake
George.



CEMETERIES.


    "Diis manibus."

                                                  _Ancient Inscription._


As might have been predicted, one of the first directions in which the
Americans have indulged their taste and indicated their refinement is in
the preparation and care of their burial-places. This might have been
predicted by any one who meditates upon the influences under which the
mind of America is growing. The pilgrim origin of the New-England
population, whose fathers seemed to think that they lived only in order
to die, is in favour of all thoughts connected with death filling a
large space in the people's minds. Then, in addition to the moving power
of common human affections, the Americans are subject to being more
incessantly reminded than others how small a section of the creation is
occupied by the living in comparison with that engrossed by the dead. In
the busy, crowded empires of the Old World, the invisible are liable to
be forgotten in the stirring presence of visible beings, who inhabit
every corner, and throng the whole surface on which men walk. In the New
World it is not so. Living men are comparatively scarce, and the general
mind dwells more on the past and the future (of both which worlds death
is the atmosphere) than on the present. By various influences, death is
made to constitute a larger element in their estimate of collective
human experience, a more conspicuous object in their contemplation of
the plan of Providence, than it is to, perhaps, any other people. As a
natural consequence, all arrangements connected with death occupy much
of their attention, and engage a large share of popular sentiment.

I have mentioned that family graveyards are conspicuous objects in
country abodes in America. In the valley of the Mohawk, on the heights
of the Alleghanies, in the centre of the northwestern prairie, wherever
there is a solitary dwelling there is a domestic burying-place,
generally fenced with neat white palings, and delicately kept, however
full the settler's hands may be, and whatever may be the aspect of the
abode of the living. The new burial-places which are laid out near the
towns may already be known from a distance by the air of finish and
taste about their plantations; and I believe it is allowed that Mount
Auburn is the most beautiful cemetery in the world.

Before visiting Mount Auburn I had seen the Catholic cemetery at
New-Orleans, and the contrast was remarkable enough. I never saw a city
churchyard, however damp and neglected, so dreary as the New-Orleans
cemetery. It lies in the swamp, glaring with its plastered monuments in
the sun, with no shade but from the tombs. Being necessarily drained, it
is intersected by ditches of weedy stagnant water, alive with frogs,
dragon-flies, and moscheto-hawks. Irish, French, and Spanish are all
crowded together, as if the ground could scarcely be opened fast enough
for those whom the fever lays low; an impression confirmed by a glance
at the dates. The tombs of the Irish have inscriptions which provoke a
kind of smile, which is no pleasure in such a place. Those of nuns bear
no inscription but the monastic name--Agathe, Seraphine, Thérèse--and
the date of death. Wooden crosses, warped in the sun or rotting with the
damp, are in some places standing at the heads of graves, in others are
leaning or fallen. Glass boxes, containing artificial flowers and tied
with faded ribands, stand at the foot of some of these crosses.
Elsewhere we saw pitchers with bouquets of natural flowers, the water
dried up and the blossoms withered. One enclosure surrounding a monument
was adorned with cypress, arbour vitæ, roses, and honeysuckles, and this
was a relief to the eye while the feet were treading the hot dusty walks
or the parched grass. The first principle of a cemetery was here
violated, necessarily, no doubt, but by a sad necessity. The first
principle of a cemetery--beyond the obligation of its being made safe
and wholesome--is that it should be cheerful in its aspect. For the sake
of the dead, this is right, that their memories may be as welcome as
possible to survivers; for the sake of the living, that superstition may
be obviated, and that death may be brought into the most familiar
connexion with life that the religion and philosophy of the times will
allow; that, at least, no hinderance to this may be interposed by the
outward preparations for death.

It has sometimes occurred to me to wonder where a certain class of
persons find sympathy in their feelings about their dead friends, or
whether they have to do without it; those, and they are not a few, who
are entirely doubtful about a life beyond the grave. There are not a few
Christians, I believe, and certainly many who are Christians only
nominally or not at all, who are not satisfied about whether conscious
life ends here, or under what circumstances it will be continued or
resumed if this life be but a stage of being. Such persons can meet
nothing congenial with their emotions in any cemeteries that I know of;
and they must feel doubly desolate when, as bereaved mourners, they walk
through rows of inscriptions which all breathe more than hope, certainty
of renewed life and intercourse, under circumstances which seem to be
reckoned on as ascertained. How strange it must be to such to read of
the trumpet and the clouds, of the tribunal and the choirs of the
saints, as literal realities, expected like the next morning's sunrise,
and awaited as undoubtedly as the stroke of death, while they are
sending their thoughts abroad meekly, anxiously, imploringly, through
the universe, and diving into the deepest abysses of their own spirits
to find a resting-place for their timid hopes! For such there is little
sympathy anywhere, and something very like mockery in the language of
the tombs.

Evidences of the two extremes of feeling on this matter are found, I am
told, in Père la Chaise and Mount Auburn. In Père la Chaise every
expression of mourning is to be found; few or none of hope. The desolate
mother, the bereaved brother, the forlorn child, the despairing husband,
all breathe their complaint, with more or less of selfishness or of
tenderness; but there is no light from the future shining over the
place. In Mount Auburn, on the contrary, there is nothing else. A
visiter from a strange planet, ignorant of mortality, would take this
place to be the sanctum of creation. Every step teems with the promise
of life. Beauty is about to "spring up out of ashes, and life out of the
dust;" and Humanity seems to be waiting, with acclamations ready on its
lips, for the new birth. That there has been any past is little more
than matter of inference. All the woes of bereavement are veiled; all
sighs hushed; all tears hidden or wiped away, and thanksgiving and joy
abound instead. Between these two states of mind, the seriously,
innocently doubtful stand alone and most desolate. They are speechless,
for none question them or care to know their solicitudes, for they are
an unsupposed class in a Christian community. In no consecrated ground
are there tombs bearing an expression of doubt or fear; yet, with the
mind's eye, I always see such while treading the paths of a cemetery. It
cannot be but that, among the diversity of minds diversely trained,
there must be some less easily satisfied than others, some skeptical in
proportion to the intensity of their affection for the departed; and it
is to these that the sympathies of the happier should be given. If the
rich should be mindful of the poor, if those who are ashore during the
storm cannot but look out for the tempest-driven bark, those who part
with their friends in sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection
should bear in mind with all tenderness such as have to part with their
friends without the solace of that hope. Not that anything can be done
for them beyond recognising them as fellow-mourners laid under a deeper
burden of grief, and needing, therefore, a larger liberty of expression
than themselves.

While rambling about in the cheerful glades of Mount Auburn, such
thoughts occurred to me, as I hope they often do to others. To us, in
whom education, reason, the prophecies of natural religion, and the
promises of the gospel unite their influence to generate a perfect
belief in a life beyond the grave, it is scarcely possible to conceive
how these scenes must appear to one whose prospects are different or
doubtful. But it is good for our human sympathies and for our mutual
reverence to make the attempt. The conclusion would probably be, with
others as with me, that the consecration of this place to hope and
triumph would make it too sad for the hesitating and hopeless; and that
such probably turn away from the spot where all is too bright and lovely
for the desolate of heart.

It is, indeed, a place for the living to delight in while watching the
sleep of the dead. There is no gloom about it to any but those who look
abroad through the gloom of their own minds. It is a mazy paradise,
where every forest tree of the western continent grows, and every bird
to which the climate is congenial builds its nest. The birds seem to
have found out that within that enclosure they are to be unmolested, and
there is a twittering in every tree. The clearings are few: the woods
preside, with here and there a sunny hillside and a shady dell, and a
gleaming pond catching the eye at intervals. From the summit of the
eminence, the view abroad over the woods is wonderfully beautiful: of
the city of Boston on an opposite hill; of Fresh Pond on another side;
of the University; and of the green country, studded with dwellings, and
terminating in cloudlike uplands. Every aspect of busy life seems to be
brought full into the view of the gazer from this "place of sleep." If
he looks immediately below him, he sees here and there a monument
shining among the trees; and he can hide himself in a moment in the
shades where, as the breeze passes, the birch twinkles among the solemn
pines.

As the burial lots have to be described with reference to different
portions of the enclosure, every hill, every avenue, footpath, and dell
must have its name. This naming might have spoiled all if it had been
mismanaged; but this has been skilfully guarded against. The avenues and
hills are called after forest trees, the footpaths after shrubs and
flowers. Beech, Cypress, and Poplar Avenues; Hazel, Vine, and Jasmine
Paths; and so on. The monuments must, of course, be ordered by the taste
of the holders of lots; and the consequence necessarily is occasional
incongruity.

This place arose out of a happy union between two societies; one which
had long wished to provide a private rural cemetery, and the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society. It occurred to some of the members
of the latter that the objects of the two associations might be
advantageously united; and upon a tract of ground, fit for the purpose,
being offered, no time was lost in carrying the scheme into execution.
This was seven years ago. The tract of ground lay at a distance of four
miles from Boston, and consisted of seventy-two acres. The protection of
the legislature was secured at its session in 1831. A large number of
lots was immediately taken, and a day was fixed for the consecration of
the ground by a public religious service. The day fixed was the 24th of
September, 1831. The weather was delicious, and the day one which will
never be forgotten by those who assisted in its services.

A deep dell, almost circular, was fitted up with seats. The speakers
stood at the bottom, with a pine wood behind them, and at their feet a
pond shining with water-lilies. From the form of the place, every tone
of the speakers' voices was heard by the topmost row of persons on the
verge of the dell. After instrumental music by the Boston band, there
was a prayer by a venerable professor of the University; and a hymn,
written for the occasion, was sung by all the persons present to the
tune of Old Hundred. Judge Story delivered the address; a beautiful
composition, full of the feelings natural to one who was about to
deposite here a rich heart's treasure, and who remembered that here he
and all who heard him were probably to lie down to their rest.

Judge Story had made me promise at Washington that I would not go to
Mount Auburn till he could take me there. The time arrived the next
August, and early on a warm afternoon we set forth. Several carriages
were at the gate, for the place is a favourite resort on other accounts
besides its being "a place of sleep." The gate at the entrance is of
imitation granite, for which it is to be hoped the real stone will soon
be substituted. The structure is Egyptian, as are the emblems, the
winged globe, the serpent, and the lotus. It is rather strange that the
inscription should be taken from the Old Testament, even from
Ecclesiastes: "Then shall the dust return to the earth, and the spirit
unto God who gave it."

One of the most conspicuous monuments is Spurzheim's, visible almost
immediately on entering the place. It is a fac-simile of Scipio's tomb!
I could not understand its idea, nor did I meet with any one else who
did; nor is it easy to conceive how anything appropriate to Scipio could
suit Spurzheim. I was informed that the fact was that the monument
happened to arrive just at the time of Spurzheim's death; and that the
committee appointed to dispense his funeral honours saved themselves
trouble by purchasing the marble. It stands well, on a green mound, on
the left-hand side of the avenue. Mrs. Hannah Adams, the historian of
the Jews, had the honour of being the first to be interred in this
cemetery. The white obelisk is frequent, and looks well in a place so
thickly wooded. Under one of these lie five children of Judge Story,
removed from another place of sepulture to this beautiful spot. The
Connecticut freestone is much in use, and its reddish hue harmonizes
well with what surrounds it. It is particularly fit for the Egyptian
fronts to vaults hollowed out of the hillsides. The objection to it for
tombs which have to receive an inscription is that it will bear none but
gold letters. The granite fronts of Egyptian tombs look well. I thought
them the most beautiful burial-places I ever saw, the grass growing
thick on the hillside above and on either hand; and, in some instances,
a little blooming garden smiling in front. I saw many lots of ground
well tended, and wearing the air of luxuriant gardens; some surrounded
with palings, some with posts and chains, and others with hedges of
cypress or belts of acacia. Many separate graves were studded with
flowers, the narrowest and gayest of gardens. Of all the inscriptions,
the one which pleased me most was on a monument erected by an only
surviving sister to her brother: "Jesus saith unto her, 'Thy brother
shall rise again.'"

While writing I have been struck by the strong resemblance between the
retrospect of travel from home and that of life from the cemetery. In
each contemplation the hosts of human beings who have been seen acting,
suffering, and meditating, rise up before the mind's eye as in a kind of
judgment scene, except that they rise up, not to be judged, but to
instruct. The profit of travel is realized at home in the solitude of
the study, and the true meaning of human life (as far as its meaning can
become known to us here) is best made out from its place of rest. While
busy among strangers, one is carried away by sympathy and by prejudice
from the point whence foreign society can be viewed with anything like
impartiality; one cannot but hear the mutual criminations of parties;
one cannot but be perplexed by the mutual misrepresentations of
fellow-citizens; one cannot but sympathize largely with all in turn,
since there is a large mixture of truth in all views about which people
are strongly persuaded. It is only after sitting down alone at home that
the traveller can separate the universal truth from the partial error
with which he has sympathized, and can make some approximation towards
assurance as to what he has learned and what he believes. So it is in
the turmoil of life. While engaged in it, we are ignorantly persuaded,
and liable, therefore, to be shaken from our certainty; we are
disproportionately moved, and we sympathize with incompatibilities, so
as to be sure of disappointment and humiliation inflicted through our
best sensibilities. In the place of retrospect we may find our repose
again in contemplating our ignorance and weakness, and ascertaining the
conviction and strength which they have wrought out for us.

What is gained by living and travelling?

One of the most striking and even amusing results is the perception of
the transient nature of troubles. The thoughtful traveller feels
something like wonder and amusement at himself for being so depressed by
evils as he finds himself in the midst of long-idealized objects. He is
surprised at his own sufferings from hunger, cold, heat, and weariness;
and at his being only prevented by shame from passing some great object
unseen, if he has to rouse himself from sleep to look at it, or to
forego a meal for its sake. The next time he is refreshed, he wonders
how his troubles could ever so affect him; and, when at home, he looks
through the picture-gallery of his memory, the afflictions of past hours
would have vanished, their very occurrence would be denied but for the
record in the journal. The contemptible entries about cold, hunger, and
sleepiness stand, ludicrously enough, among notices of cataracts and
mountains, and of moral conflicts in the senates of nations. And so with
life. We look back upon our pangs about objects of desire, as if it were
the object and not the temper of pursuit which was of importance. We
look back on our sufferings from disease, from disappointment, from
suspense, in times when the great moral events of our lives, or even of
the age, were impending, and we disregarded them. We were mourning over
some petty loss or injury while a new region of the moral universe was
about to be disclosed to us; or fretting about our "roast chicken and
our little game at cards," while the liberties of an empire were being
lost or won.

Worse than our own little troubles, probably, has been the fear and
sorrow of hurting others. One of the greatest of a traveller's hardships
is the being aware that he must be perpetually treading on somebody's
toes. Passing from city to city, from one group of families to another,
where the divisions of party and of sect, the contrariety of interests,
and the world of domestic circumstance are all unknown to him, he can
hardly open his lips without wounding somebody; and it makes him all the
more anxious if, through the generosity of his entertainers, he never
hears of it. No care of his own can save him from his function of
torturer. He cannot speak of religion, morals, and politics; he cannot
speak of insanity, intemperance, or gaming, or even of health, riches,
fair fame, and good children, without danger of rousing feelings of
personal remorse or family shame in some, or the bitter sense of
bereavement in others. Little or nothing has been said of this as one of
the woes of travelling; but, in my own opinion, this is the direction in
which the fortitude of the traveller is the most severely tried. Yet, in
the retrospect, it seems even good that we should have been obliged thus
to call the generosity and forbearance of our hosts into exercise. They
are, doubtless, benefited by the effort; and we may perhaps be gainers,
the direct operation of forbearance and forgiveness being to enhance
affection. The regard of those whom we have wounded may perhaps be
warmer than if we had never hurt them. It is much the same with men's
mutual inflictions in life. None of us, especially none who are frank
and honest, can speak what we think, and act according to what we
believe, without giving pain in many directions. It is very painful, but
quite unavoidable. In the retrospect, however, we are able to smile on
the necessity, and to conclude that, as we have been willing to bear our
share of the wounding from others, and should, perhaps, have been sorry
if it had not happened, it is probable that others may have regarded us
and our inflictions in the same way.

Nothing is more conspicuous in the traveller's retrospect than the fact
how little external possession has to do with happiness. As he wanders
back over city and village, plantation and prairie, he sees again care
on the brow of the merchant and mirth in the eyes of the labourer; the
soulless faces of the rich Shakers rise up before him, side by side with
the gladsome countenance of the ruined abolitionist. Each class kindly
pities the one below it in power and wealth; the traveller pities none
but those who are wasting their energies in the exclusive pursuit of
either. Generally speaking, they have all an equal endowment of the
things from which happiness is really derived. They have, in pretty
equal distribution, health, senses, and their pleasures, homes,
children, pursuits, and successes. With all these things in common, the
one point of difference in their respective amounts of possession of
more than they can at present eat, use, and enjoy, seems to him quite
unworthy of all the compassion excited by it; though the compassion,
having something amiable in it, is of a kindly use as far as it goes. In
a cemetery, the thoughtless are startled into the same perception. How
destitute are the dead in their graves! How naked is the spirit gone
from its warm housings and environs of luxuries! This is the first
thought. The next is, was it ever otherwise? Had these luxuries ever
anything to do with the peace of the spirit, except as affording a
pursuit for the employment of its energies? Is not as vigorous and
gladsome a mind to be found abroad in the fields, or singing at the
mill, as doing the honours of the drawing-room? and, if it were not so,
what words could we find strong enough for the cruelty of the decree
under which every human being is compelled to enter his grave solitary
and destitute? In the retrospect of the recent traveller in America, the
happiest class is clearly that small one of the original abolitionists;
men and women wholly devoted to a lofty pursuit, and surrendering for it
much that others most prize: and, in the retrospect of the traveller
through life, the most eminently blessed come forth from among all ranks
and orders of men, some being rich and others poor; some illustrious and
others obscure; but all having one point of resemblance, that they have
not staked their peace on anything so unreal as money or fame.

As for the worth of praise, a traveller cannot have gone far without
finding it out. He has been praised and blamed at every turn; and he
soon sees that what people think of him matters to themselves and not to
him. He applies this to himself, and finds confirmation. It is ludicrous
to suppose that what he thinks of this man and that, whose motives and
circumstances he can never completely understand, should be of lasting
importance to the subjects of his observation, while he feels it to be
very important to his own peace and state of temper that he should
admire as much and despise as little as reason will allow. That this is
not more felt and acted upon is owing to the confined intercourses of
the majority of men. If, like the traveller, they were for a long time
exposed to a contrariety of opinions respecting themselves, they would
arrive at the conviction which rises "by natural exhalation" from the
field of graves, that men's mutual judgments are almost insignificant to
the objects of them, while immeasurably important to those who form
them. When we look about us upon this obelisk and that urn, what matter
the applauses and censures of the neighbours of the departed, in the
presence of the awful facts here declared, that he has lived and is
gone? In this mighty transaction between himself and his Maker, how
insignificant to him are the comments of beings between whom and himself
there could exist no complete understanding in this life! But there is
no overrating the consequences to himself of having lived with high or
low models before his eyes; in a spirit of love or a spirit of contempt;
in a process of generous or disparaging interpretation of human actions.
His whole future condition and progress may be affected by it.

Out of this matter of mutual opinion arises a cheering emotion, both to
the retrospective traveller and to the thinker among the tombs. Each
foreign companion of the one, and each who lies buried about the path of
the other, has had his hero, and even succession of heroes, among the
living. I know not what those who despise their kind can make of this
fact, that every human being whom we know has found in every stage of
his conception of moral beauty some living exemplification which
satisfied him for the time. The satisfaction is only temporary, it is
true, and the admiration fades when the satisfaction is impaired; but
this only shows the vigour of the moral nature and its capacity of
progress. The fact that every man is able to make idols, though he must
"find them clay," is a proof of the vast amount of good which human
character presents to every observer. The reality of this is very
striking in the existence of villagers, who find so much excellence
round about them that they cannot believe any other part of God's world
is so good as their village; but the effect to the traveller of going
from village to village, from city to city, during his wanderings of ten
thousand miles, and finding the same worship, the same prejudice, born
of mutual reverence and love, wherever he goes, is exhilarating to his
heart of hearts. The testimony at the same time to the love and
existence of goodness is so overpowering, that it must subdue
misanthropy itself, if only misanthropy could be brought into the
presence of a large number of the human race; which, it may be
suspected, has never been done. When we extend our view from the field
of travel to the world of the dead, and remember that every one of the
host has had his succession of heroes and demigods, and, probably, of
worshippers also, what words can express the greatness of the homage
rendered to goodness? It drowns all the praises practically offered to
the powers of evil, from the first hour of sin and sorrow till now.

The mysterious pain of partings presses upon the returned traveller and
the surviver with nearly equal force. I do not know whether this wo is
usually taken into the estimate of travellers when they are counting the
cost of their scheme before setting out; but I know that it deserves to
be. I believe that many would not go if they could anticipate the misery
of such partings as those which must be encountered in a foreign
country, in long dreary succession, and without more hope than in
parting with the dying. The chances of meeting again are small. For a
time grief sooths itself by correspondence; but this cannot last, as one
family group after another opens its arms to the stranger, and gives him
a home only that he must vacate it for another. The correspondence
slackens, fails, and the parties are to one another as if they were
dead, with the sad difference that there is somewhat less faith in each
other than if they were in circumstances in which it is physically
impossible that they could communicate. To the surviver of intercourse,
in either place of meditation, there remains the heartsoreness from the
anguish of parting; that pain which, like physical pain, takes us by
surprise with its bitterness at each return, and disposes us, at length,
to either cowardice or recklessness; and each of these survivers may be
conscious of some visitations of jealousy, jealousy lest the absent
should be learning to forget the past in new interests and connexions.

The strongest point of resemblance in the two contemplations of the
life which lies behind, is this; that a scene is closed and another is
opening. The term of existence in a foreign land, and the somewhat
longer term spent on this planetary island, are viewed as over; and the
fatigues, enjoyments, and perplexities of each result in an amount of
calm experience. The dead, it is hoped, are entering on a new region, in
which they are to act with fresh powers and a wiser activity. The
refreshed traveller has the same ambition. I have surveyed my
experience, and told my tale; and, though often visiting America in
thought, can act no more with reference to my sojourn there, but must
pass over into a new department of inquiry and endeavour. Friendships
are the grand gain of travel over a continent or through life; and these
may be carried forward into new regions of existence here, as we hope
they may be into the unexplored hereafter, to give strength and delight
to new exertions, and to unite the various scenes of our being by the
strongest ties we know.

    THE END.



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