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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 08, June 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 08, June 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics" ***

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




American Tract Society, The
Ann Potter's Lesson
Asirvadam the Brahmin
Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, The
Autocrat's Landlady, A Visit to the
Autocrat, The, gives a Breakfast to the Public

Birds of the Garden and Orchard, The
Birds of the Pasture and Forest, The
Bulls and Bears
Bundle of Irish Pennants, A

Catacombs of Rome, The
Catacombs of Rome, Note to the
Colin Clout and the Faëry Queen
Crawford and Sculpture

Denslow Palace, The
Dot and Line Alphabet, The

Evening with the Telegraph-Wires, An

Farming Life in New England
Faustus, Doctor, The German Popular Legend of

Gaucho, The
Great Event of the Century, The

Her Grace, the Drummer's Daughter
Hour before Dawn, The

Ideal Tendency, The
Illinois in Spring-time

Jefferson, Thomas

Kinloch Estate, The

Language of the Sea, The
Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Loo Loo

Mademoiselle's Campaigns
Minister's Wooing, The
Miss Wimple's Hoop

New World, The, and the New Man

Old Well, The
Our Talks with Uncle John

Perilous Bivouac, A
Physical Courage
Pocket-Celebration of the Fourth, The
President's Prophecy of Peace, The
Prisoner of War, A

Railway-Engineering in the United States
Rambles in Aquidneck
Romance of a Glove, The

Salons de Paris, Les
Sample of Consistency, A
Singing-Birds and their Songs, The
Songs of the Sea
Subjective of it, The

Three of Us

What are we going to make?
Whirligig of Time, The



All's Well

Birth-Mark, The
"Bringing our Sheaves with us"

Cantatrice, La
Cup, The

Dead House, The
Discoverer of the North Cape, The

Evening Melody, An

Fifty and Fifteen

House that was just like its Neighbors, The

Jolly Mariner, The

Keats, the Poet

Last Look, The

Marais du Cygne, Le
My Children
Myrtle Flowers

Nature and the Philosopher

Skater, The
Spirits in Prison
Swan-Song of Parson Avery, The

Telegraph, The
To -----
Trustee's Lament, The

"Washing of the Feet," The, on Holy Thursday, in St. Peter's
What a Wretched Woman said to me
Work and Rest


American Cyclopedia, The New
Annual Obituary Notices, by N. Crosby
Aquarium, The, by P. H. Gosse

Belle Brittan on a Tour
Bigelow, Jacob, Brief Expositions of Rational Medicine by
Black's Atlas of North America

Chapman's American Drawing-Book
Church and Congregation, The, by C. A. Bartel
Crosby's Annual Obituary, for 1857
Curiosities of Literature, by Disraeli
Cyclopedia of Drawing, The, by W. E. Worthen
Cyclopaedia, The New American

Dana's Household Book of Poetry
Disraeli's Curiosities of Literature
Drawing-Book, The American, by J.G. Chapman
Drawing, The Cyclopedia of

Ewbank, Thomas, Thoughts on Matter and Force by
Exiles of Florida, The, by J. E. Giddings

Fitch, John, Westcott's Life of

Giddings, Joshua R., The Exiles of Florida by
Goadby, Henry, A Text-Book of Animal and Vegetable Physiology by
Gray's Botanical Series

Household Book of Poetry, by C. A. Dana

Inductive Sciences, History of the, by Whewell

Journey due North, A, by G. A. Sala

Kingsley, Charles, Sir Walter Raleigh and his Time, with other Papers by

Library of Old Authors
Life beneath the Waters

New Priest in Conception Bay, The

Pascal, Études sur, par M. Victor Cousin
Pellico, Silvio, Lettres de
Physiology, Animal and Vegetable, by Henry Goadby
Poe's Poetical Works

Raleigh, Sir Walter, and his Time, with other Papers, by C. Kingsley
Rational Medicine, Brief Expositions of, by Jacob Bigelow
Robertson, Rev. F. W., Sermons by

Sea-Shore, Common Objects of the, by J. G. Wood
Stephenson, George, Smiles's Life of
Summer Time in the Country

Thoughts on Matter and Force, by Thomas Ewbank

Vocabularies, A Volume of, by T. Wright

Webster, John, Dramatic Works of
Whewell's History of the Inductive Sciences
Wright, Thomas, A Volume of Vocabularies by


VOL. II.--JUNE, 1858.--NO. VIII.


At 5 P.M., September 13th, 185-, I left Boston in the steamer for
Bangor by the outside course. It was a warm and still night,--warmer,
probably, on the water than on the land,--and the sea was as smooth
as a small lake in summer, merely rippled. The passengers went
singing on the deck, as in a parlor, till ten o'clock. We passed a
vessel on her beam-ends on a rock just outside the islands, and some
of us thought that she was the "rapt ship" which ran

    "on her side so low
  That she drank water, and her keel ploughed air,"

not considering that there was no wind, and that she was under bare
poles. Now we have left the islands behind and are off Nahant. We
behold those features which the discoverers saw, apparently unchanged.
Now we see the Cape Ann lights, and now pass near a small
village-like fleet of mackerel fishers at anchor, probably off
Gloucester. They salute us with a shout from their low decks; but I
understand their "Good evening", to mean, "Don't run against me, Sir."
From the wonders of the deep we go below to get deeper sleep. And
then the absurdity of being waked up in the night by a man who wants
the job of blacking your boots! It is more inevitable than
seasickness, and may have something to do with it. It is like the
ducking you get on crossing the line the first time. I trusted that
these old customs were abolished. They might with the same propriety
insist on blacking your face. I heard of one man who complained that
somebody had stolen his boots in the night; and when he found them,
he wanted to know what they had done to them,--they had spoiled them,--
he never put that stuff on them; and the boot-black narrowly escaped
paying damages.

Anxious to get out of the whale's belly, I rose early, and joined
some old salts, who were smoking by a dim light on a sheltered part
of the deck. We were just getting into the river. They knew all
about it, of course. I was proud to find that I had stood the voyage
so well, and was not in the least digested. We brushed up and
watched the first signs of dawn through an open port; but the day
seemed to hang fire. We inquired the time; none of my companions had
a chronometer. At length an African prince rushed by, observing,
"Twelve o'clock, gentlemen!" and blew out the light. It was moon-rise.
So I slunk down into the monster's bowels again.

The first land we make is Manheigan Island, before dawn, and next St.
George's Islands, seeing two or three lights. Whitehead, with its
bare rocks and funereal bell, is interesting. Next I remember that
the Camden Hills attracted my eyes, and afterward the hills about
Frankfort. We reached Bangor about noon.

When I arrived, my companion that was to be had gone up river, and
engaged an Indian, Joe Aitteon, a son of the Governor, to go with us
to Chesuncook Lake. Joe had conducted two white men a-moose-hunting
in the same direction the year before. He arrived by cars at Bangor
that evening, with his canoe and a companion, Sabattis Solomon, who
was going to leave Bangor the following Monday with Joe's father, by
way of the Penobscot, and join Joe in moose-hunting at Chesuncook,
when we had done with him. They took supper at my friend's house and
lodged in his barn, saying that they should fare worse than that in
the woods. They only made Watch bark a little, when they came to the
door in the night for water, for he does not like Indians.

The next morning Joe and his canoe were put on board the stage for
Moosehead Lake, sixty and odd miles distant, an hour before we
started in an open wagon. We carried hard bread, pork, smoked beef,
tea, sugar, etc., seemingly enough for a regiment; the sight of
which brought together reminded me by what ignoble means we had
maintained our ground hitherto. We went by the Avenue Road, which is
quite straight and very good, north-westward toward Moosehead Lake,
through more than a dozen flourishing towns, with almost every one
its academy,--not one of which, however, is on my General Atlas,
published, alas! in 1824; so much are they before the age, or I
behind it! The earth must have been considerably lighter to the
shoulders of General Atlas then.

It rained all this day and till the middle of the next forenoon,
concealing the landscape almost entirely; but we had hardly got out
of the streets of Bangor before I began to be exhilarated by the
sight of the wild fir and spruce tops, and those of other primitive
evergreens, peering through the mist in the horizon. It was like the
sight and odor of cake to a schoolboy. He who rides and keeps the
beaten track studies the fences chiefly. Near Bangor, the fence-posts,
on account of the frost's heaving them in the clayey soil, were not
planted in the ground, but were mortised into a transverse horizontal
beam lying on the surface. Afterwards, the prevailing fences were
log ones, with sometimes a Virginia fence, or else rails slanted
over crossed stakes,--and these zigzagged or played leap-frog all
the way to the lake, keeping just ahead of us. After getting out of
the Penobscot Valley, the country was unexpectedly level, or
consisted of very even and equal swells, for twenty or thirty miles,
never rising above the general level, but affording, it is said, a
very good prospect in clear weather, with frequent views of Katadin,--
straight roads and long hills. The houses were far apart, commonly
small and of one story, but framed. There was very little land under
cultivation, yet the forest did not often border the road. The stumps
were frequently as high as one's head, showing the depth of the snows.
The white hay-caps, drawn over small stacks of beans or corn in the
fields, on account of the rain, were a novel sight to me. We saw
large flocks of pigeons, and several times came within a rod or two
of partridges in the road. My companion said, that, in one journey
out of Bangor, he and his son had shot sixty partridges from his
buggy. The mountain-ash was now very handsome, as also the
wayfarer's-tree or hobble-bush, with its ripe purple berries mixed
with red. The Canada thistle, an introduced plant, was the
prevailing weed all the way to the lake,--the road-side in many
places, and fields not long cleared, being densely filled with it as
with a crop, to the exclusion of everything else. There were also
whole fields full of ferns, now rusty and withering, which in older
countries are commonly confined to wet ground. There were very few
flowers, even allowing for the lateness of the season. It chanced
that I saw no asters in bloom along the road for fifty miles, though
they were so abundant then in Massachusetts,--except in one place
one or two of the aster acuminatus,--and no golden-rods till within
twenty miles of Monson, where I saw a three-ribbed one. There were
many late buttercups, however, and the two fire-weeds, erechthites
and epilobium, commonly where there had been a burning, and at last
the pearly everlasting. I noticed occasionally very long troughs
which supplied the road with water, and my companion said that three
dollars annually were granted by the State to one man in each
school-district, who provided and maintained a suitable water-trough
by the road-side, for the use of travellers,--a piece of
intelligence as refreshing to me as the water itself. That
legislature did not sit in vain. It was an Oriental act, which made
me wish that I was still farther down East,--another Maine law,
which I hope we may get in Massachusetts. That State is banishing
bar-rooms from its highways, and conducting the mountain-springs

The country was first decidedly mountainous in Garland, Sangerville,
and onwards, twenty-five or thirty miles from Bangor. At Sangerville,
where we stopped at mid-afternoon to warm and dry ourselves, the
landlord told us that he had found a wilderness where we found him.
At a fork in the road between Abbot and Monson, about twenty miles
from Moosehead Lake, I saw a guide-post surmounted by a pair of
moose-horns, spreading four or five feet, with the word "Monson"
painted on one blade, and the name of some other town on the other.
They are sometimes used for ornamental hat-trees, together with
deers' horns, in front entries; but, after the experience which I
shall relate, I trust that I shall have a better excuse for killing
a moose than that I may hang my hat on his horns. We reached Monson,
fifty miles from Bangor, and thirteen from the lake, after dark.

At four o'clock the next morning, in the dark, and still in the rain,
we pursued our journey. Close to the academy in this town they have
erected a sort of gallows for the pupils to practise on. I thought
that they might as well hang at once all who need to go through such
exercises in so new a country, where there is nothing to hinder
their living an outdoor life. Better omit Blair, and take the air.
The country about the south end of the lake is quite mountainous,
and the road began to feel the effects of it. There is one hill which,
it is calculated, it takes twenty-five minutes to ascend. In many
places the road was in that condition called _repaired_, having just
been whittled into the required semi-cylindrical form with the
shovel and scraper, with all the softest inequalities in the middle,
like a hog's back with the bristles up, and Jehu was expected to
keep astride of the spine. As you looked off each side of the bare
sphere into the horizon, the ditches were awful to behold,--a vast
hollowness, like that between Saturn and his ring. At a tavern
hereabouts the hostler greeted our horse as an old acquaintance,
though he did not remember the driver. He said that he had taken
care of that little mare for a short time, a year or two before, at
the Mount Kineo House, and thought she was not in as good condition
as then. Every man to his trade. I am not acquainted with a single
horse in the world, not even the one that kicked me.

Already we had thought that we saw Moosehead Lake from a hill-top,
where an extensive fog filled the distant lowlands, but we were
mistaken. It was not till we were within a mile or two of its south
end that we got our first view of it,--a suitably wild-looking
sheet of water, sprinkled with small low islands, which were covered
with shaggy spruce and other wild wood,--seen over the infant port
of Greenville, with mountains on each side and far in the north, and
a steamer's smoke-pipe rising above a roof. A pair of moose-horns
ornamented a corner of the public-house where we left our horse, and
a few rods distant lay the small steamer Moosehead, Captain King.
There was no village, and no summer road any farther in this
direction,--but a winter road, that is, one passable only when deep
snow covers its inequalities, from Greenville up the east side of the
lake to Lily Bay, about twelve miles.

I was here first introduced to Joe. He had ridden all the way on the
outside of the stage the day before, in the rain, giving way to
ladies, and was well wetted. As it still rained, he asked if we were
going to "put it through." He was a good-looking Indian, twenty-four
years old, apparently of unmixed blood, short and stout, with a
broad face and reddish complexion, and eyes, methinks, narrower and
more turned-up at the outer corners than ours, answering to the
description of his race. Beside his under-clothing, he wore a red
flannel shirt, woollen pants, and a black Kossuth hat, the ordinary
dress of the lumberman, and, to a considerable extent, of the
Penobscot Indian. When, afterward, he had occasion to take off his
shoes and stockings, I was struck with the smallness of his feet. He
had worked a good deal as a lumberman, and appeared to identify
himself with that class. He was the only one of the party who
possessed an India-rubber jacket. The top strip or edge of his canoe
was worn nearly through by friction on the stage.

At eight o'clock, the steamer with her bell and whistle, scaring the
moose, summoned us on board. She was a well-appointed little boat,
commanded by a gentlemanly captain, with patent life-seats, and
metallic life-boat, and dinner on board, if you wish. She is chiefly
used by lumberers for the transportation of themselves, their boats,
and supplies, but also by hunters and tourists. There was another
steamer, named Amphitrite, laid up close by; but, apparently, her
name was not more trite than her hull. There were also two or three
large sail-boats in port. These beginnings of commerce on a lake in
the wilderness are very interesting,--these larger white birds that
come to keep company with the gulls. There were but few passengers,
and not one female among them: a St. Francis Indian, with his canoe
and moose-hides, two explorers for lumber, three men who landed at
Sandbar Island, and a gentleman who lives on Deer Island, eleven
miles up the lake, and owns also Sugar Island, between which and the
former the steamer runs; these, I think, were all beside ourselves.
In the saloon was some kind of musical instrument, cherubim or
seraphim, to soothe the angry waves; and there, very properly, was
tacked up the map of the public lands of Maine and Massachusetts, a
copy of which I had in my pocket.

The heavy rain confining us to the saloon awhile, I discoursed with
the proprietor of Sugar Island on the condition of the world in Old
Testament times. But at length, leaving this subject as fresh as we
found it, he told me that he had lived about this lake twenty or
thirty years, and yet had not been to the head of it for twenty-one
years. He faces the other way. The explorers had a fine new birch on
board, larger than ours, in which they had come up the Piscataquis
from Howland, and they had had several messes of trout already. They
were going to the neighborhood of Eagle and Chamberlain Lakes, or
the head-waters of the St. John, and offered to keep us company as
far as we went. The lake to-day was rougher than I found the ocean,
either going or returning, and Joe remarked that it would swamp his
birch. Off Lily Bay it is a dozen miles wide, but it is much broken
by islands. The scenery is not merely wild, but varied and
interesting; mountains were seen, farther or nearer, on all sides
but the north-west, their summits now lost in the clouds; but Mount
Kineo is the principal feature of the lake, and more exclusively
belongs to it. After leaving Greenville, at the foot, which is the
nucleus of a town some eight or ten years old, you see but three or
four houses for the whole length of the lake, or about forty miles,
three of them the public-houses at which the steamer is advertised
to stop, and the shore is an unbroken wilderness. The prevailing
wood seemed to be spruce, fir, birch, and rock-maple. You could
easily distinguish the hard wood from the soft, or "black growth,"
as it is called, at a great distance,--the former being smooth,
round-topped, and light green, with a bowery and cultivated look.

Mount Kineo, at which the boat touched, is a peninsula with a narrow
neck, about midway the lake on the east side. The celebrated
precipice is on the east or land side of this, and is so high and
perpendicular that you can jump from the top many hundred feet into
the water which makes up behind the point. A man on board told us
that an anchor had been sunk ninety fathoms at its base before
reaching bottom! Probably it will be discovered ere long that some
Indian maiden jumped off it for love once, for true love never could
have found a path more to its mind. We passed quite close to the
rock here, since it is a very bold shore, and I observed marks of a
rise of four or five feet on it. The St. Francis Indian expected to
take in his boy here, but he was not at the landing. The father's
sharp eyes, however, detected a canoe with his boy in it far away
under the mountain, though no one else could see it. "Where is the
canoe?" asked the captain, "I don't see it"; but he held on
nevertheless, and by and by it hove in sight.

We reached the head of the lake about noon. The weather had in the
mean while cleared up, though the mountains were still capped with
clouds. Seen from this point, Mount Kineo, and two other allied
mountains ranging with it north-easterly, presented a very strong
family likeness, as if all cast in one mould. The steamer here
approached a long pier projecting from the northern wilderness and
built of some of its logs,--and whistled, where not a cabin nor a
mortal was to be seen. The shore was quite low, with flat rocks on it,
overhung with black ash, arbor-vitae, etc., which at first looked as
if they did not care a whistle for us. There was not a single cabman
to cry "Coach!" or inveigle us to the United States Hotel. At length
a Mr. Hinckley, who has a camp at the other end of the "carry,"
appeared with a truck drawn by an ox and a horse over a rude
log-railway through the woods. The next thing was to get our canoe
and effects over the carry from this lake, one of the heads of the
Kennebec, into the Penobscot River. This railway from the lake to
the river occupied the middle of a clearing two or three rods wide
and perfectly straight through the forest. We walked across while
our baggage was drawn behind. My companion went ahead to be ready
for partridges, while I followed, looking at the plants.

This was an interesting botanical locality for one coming from the
South to commence with; for many plants which are rather rare, and
one or two which are not found at all, in the eastern part of
Massachusetts, grew abundantly between the rails,--as Labrador tea,
kalmia glauca, Canada blueberry, (which was still in fruit, and a
second time in bloom,) Clintonia and Linnæa Borealis, which last a
lumberer called _moxon_, creeping snowberry, painted trillium,
large-flowered bell-wort, etc. I fancied that the aster radula,
diplopappus umbellatus, solidago lanceolatus, red trumpetweed, and
many others which were conspicuously in bloom on the shore of the
lake and on the carry, had a peculiarly wild and primitive look there.
The spruce and fir trees crowded to the track on each side to
welcome us, the arbor-vitæ with its changing leaves prompted us to
make haste, and the sight of the canoe-birch gave us spirits to do so.
Sometimes an evergreen just fallen lay across the track with its
rich burden of cones, looking, still, fuller of life than our trees
in the most favorable positions. You did not expect to find such
_spruce_ trees in the wild woods, but they evidently attend to
their toilets each morning even there. Through such a front-yard did
we enter that wilderness.

There was a very slight rise above the lake,--the country appearing
like, and perhaps being, partly a swamp,--and at length a gradual
descent to the Penobscot, which I was surprised to find here a large
stream, from twelve to fifteen rods wide, flowing from west to east,
or at right angles with the lake, and not more than two and a half
miles from it. The distance is nearly twice too great on the Map of
the Public Lands, and on Colton's Map of Maine, and Russell Stream
is placed too far down. Jackson makes Moosehead Lake to be nine
hundred and sixty feet above high water in Portland harbor. It is
higher than Chesuncook, for the lumberers consider the Penobscot,
where we struck it, twenty-five feet lower than Moosehead,--though
eight miles above it is said to be the highest, so that the water
can be made to flow either way, and the river falls a good deal
between here and Chesuncook. The carry-man called this about one
hundred and forty miles above Bangor by the river, or two hundred
from the ocean, and fifty-five miles below Hilton's on the Canada
road, the first clearing above, which is four and a half miles from
the source of the Penobscot.

At the north end of the carry, in the midst of a clearing of sixty
acres or more, there was a log camp of the usual construction, with
something more like a house adjoining, for the accommodation of the
carryman's family and passing lumberers. The bed of withered
fir-twigs smelled very sweet, though really very dirty. There was
also a store-house on the bank of the river, containing pork, flour,
iron, bateaux, and birches, locked up.

We now proceeded to get our dinner, which always turned out to be tea,
and to pitch canoes, for which purpose a large iron pot lay
permanently on the bank. This we did in company with the explorers.
Both Indians and whites use a mixture of rosin and grease for this
purpose,--that is, for the pitching, not the dinner. Joe took a
small brand from the fire and blew the heat and flame against the
pitch on his birch, and so melted and spread it. Sometimes he put
his mouth over the suspected spot and sucked, to see if it admitted
air; and at one place, where we stopped, he set his canoe high on
crossed stakes, and poured water into it. I narrowly watched his
motions, and listened attentively to his observations, for we had
employed an Indian mainly that I might have an opportunity to study
his ways. I heard him swear once mildly, during this operation,
about his knife being as dull as a hoe,--an accomplishment which he
owed to his intercourse with the whites; and he remarked, "We ought
to have some tea before we start; we shall be hungry before we kill
that moose."

At mid-afternoon we embarked on the Penobscot. Our birch was
nineteen and a half feet long by two and a half at the widest part,
and fourteen inches deep within, both ends alike, and painted green,
which Joe thought affected the pitch and made it leak. This, I think,
was a middling-sized one. That of the explorers was much larger,
though probably not much longer. This carried us three with our
baggage, weighing in all between five hundred and fifty and six
hundred pounds. We had two heavy, though slender, rock-maple paddles,
one of them of bird's-eye maple. Joe placed birch bark on the bottom
for us to sit on, and slanted cedar splints against the cross-bars
to protect our backs, while he himself sat upon a cross-bar in the
stern. The baggage occupied the middle or widest part of the canoe.
We also paddled by turns in the bows, now sitting with our legs
extended, now sitting upon our legs, and now rising upon our knees;
but I found none of these positions endurable, and was reminded of
the complaints of the old Jesuit missionaries of the torture they
endured from long confinement in constrained positions in canoes, in
their long voyages from Quebec to the Huron country; but afterwards I
sat on the cross-bars, or stood up, and experienced no inconvenience.

It was dead water for a couple of miles. The river had been raised
about two feet by the rain, and lumberers were hoping for a flood
sufficient to bring down the logs that were left in the spring. Its
banks were seven or eight feet high, and densely covered with white
and black spruce,--which, I think, must be the commonest trees
thereabouts,--fir, arbor-vitæ, canoe, yellow, and black birch, rock,
mountain, and a few red maples, beech, black and mountain ash, the
large-toothed aspen, many civil-looking elms, now imbrowned, along
the stream, and at first a few hemlocks also. We had not gone far
before I was startled by seeing what I thought was an Indian
encampment, covered with a red flag, on the bank, and exclaimed,
"Camp!" to my comrades. I was slow to discover that it was a red
maple changed by the frost. The immediate shores were also densely
covered with the speckled alder, red osier, shrubby willows or
sallows, and the like. There were a few yellow-lily-pads still left,
half drowned, along the sides, and sometimes a white one. Many fresh
tracks of moose were visible where the water was shallow, and on the
shore, and the lily-stems were freshly bitten off by them.

After paddling about two miles, we parted company with the explorers,
and turned up Lobster Stream, which comes in on the right, from the
south-east. This was six or eight rods wide, and appeared to run
nearly parallel with the Penobscot. Joe said that it was so called
from small fresh-water lobsters found in it. It is the Matahumkeag of
the maps. My companion wished to look for moose signs, and intended,
if it proved worth the while, to camp up that way, since the Indian
advised it. On account of the rise of the Penobscot, the water ran up
this stream quite to the pond of the same name, one or two miles.
The Spencer Mountains, east of the north end of Moosehead Lake, were
now in plain sight in front of us. The kingfisher flew before us,
the pigeon woodpecker was seen and heard, and nuthatches and
chickadees close at hand. Joe said that they called the chickadee
_kecunnilessu_ in his language. I will not vouch for the spelling
of what possibly was never spelt before, but I pronounced after him
till he said it would do. We passed close to a woodcock, which stood
perfectly still on the shore, with feathers puffed up, as if sick.
This, Joe said, they called _nipsquecohossus_. The kingfisher was
_skuscumonsuck_; bear was _wassus_; Indian Devil, _lunxus_; the
mountain-ash, _upahsis_. This was very abundant and beautiful.
Moose-tracks were not so fresh along this stream, except in a small
creek about a mile up it, where a large log had lodged in the spring,
marked "W-cross-girdle-crow-foot." We saw a pair of moose-horns on
the shore, and I asked Joe if a moose had shed them; but he said
there was a head attached to them, and I knew that they did not shed
their heads more than once in their lives.

After ascending about a mile and a half, to within a short distance
of Lobster Lake, we returned to the Penobscot. Just below the mouth
of the Lobster we found quick water, and the river expanded to
twenty or thirty rods in width. The moose-tracks were quite numerous
and fresh here. We noticed in a great many places narrow and
well-trodden paths by which they had come down to the river, and
where they had slid on the steep and clayey bank. Their tracks were
either close to the edge of the stream, those of the calves
distinguishable from the others, or in shallow water; the holes
made by their feet in the soft bottom being visible for a long time.
They were particularly numerous where there was a small bay, or
_pokelogan_, as it is called, bordered by a strip of meadow, or
separated from the river by a low peninsula covered with coarse grass,
wool-grass, etc., wherein they had waded back and forth and eaten
the pads. We detected the remains of one in such a spot. At one place,
where we landed to pick up a summer duck, which my companion had shot,
Joe peeled a canoe-birch for bark for his hunting-horn. He then
asked if we were not going to get the other duck, for his sharp eyes
had seen another fall in the bushes a little farther along, and my
companion obtained it. I now began to notice the bright red berries
of the tree-cranberry, which grows eight or ten feet high, mingled
with the alders and cornel along the shore. There was less hard wood
than at first.

After proceeding a mile and three quarters below the mouth of the
Lobster, we reached, about sundown, a small island at the head of
what Joe called the Moosehorn Dead-water, (the Moosehorn, in which
he was going to hunt that night, coming in about three miles below),
and on the upper end of this we decided to camp. On a point at the
lower end lay the carcass of a moose killed a month or more before.
We concluded merely to prepare our camp, and leave our baggage here,
that all might be ready when we returned from moose-hunting. Though
I had not come a-hunting, and felt some compunctions about
accompanying the hunters, I wished to see a moose near at hand, and
was not sorry to learn how the Indian managed to kill one. I went as
reporter or chaplain to the hunters,--and the chaplain has been
known to carry a gun himself. After clearing a small space amid the
dense spruce and fir trees, we covered the damp ground with a
shingling of fir-twigs, and, while Joe was preparing his birch-horn
and pitching his canoe,--for this had to be done whenever we stopped
long enough to build a fire, and was the principal labor which he
took upon himself at such times,--we collected fuel for the night,
large wet and rotting logs, which had lodged at the head of the
island, for our hatchet was too small for effective chopping; but we
did not kindle a fire, lest the moose should smell it. Joe set up a
couple of forked stakes, and prepared half a dozen poles, ready to
cast one of our blankets over in case it rained in the night, which
precaution, however, was omitted the next night. We also plucked the
ducks which had been killed for breakfast.

While we were thus engaged in the twilight, we heard faintly,
from far down the stream, what sounded like two strokes of a
woodchopper's axe, echoing dully through the grim solitude. We are
wont to liken many sounds, heard at a distance in the forest, to the
stroke of an axe because they resemble each other under those
circumstances, and that is the one we commonly hear there. When we
told Joe of this, he exclaimed, "By George, I'll bet that was moose!
They make a noise like that." These sounds affected us strangely,
and by their very resemblance to a familiar one, where they probably
had so different an origin, enhanced the impression of solitude and

At starlight we dropped down the stream, which was a dead-water for
three miles, or as far as the Moosehorn; Joe telling us that we must
be very silent, and he himself making no noise with his paddle,
while he urged the canoe along with effective impulses. It was a
still night, and suitable for this purpose,--for if there is wind,
the moose will smell you,--and Joe was very confident that he should
get some. The harvest moon had just risen, and its level rays began
to light up the forest on our right, while we glided downward in the
shade on the same side, against the little breeze that was stirring.
The lofty spiring tops of the spruce and fir were very black against
the sky, and more distinct than by day, close bordering this broad
avenue on each side; and the beauty of the scene, as the moon rose
above the forest, it would not be easy to describe. A bat flew over
our heads, and we heard a few faint notes of birds from time to time,
perhaps the myrtle-bird for one, or the sudden plunge of a musquash,
or saw one crossing the stream before us, or heard the sound of a
rill emptying in, swollen by the recent rain. About a mile below the
island, when the solitude seemed to be growing more complete every
moment, we suddenly saw the light and heard the crackling of a fire
on the bank, and discovered the camp of the two explorers; they
standing before it in their red shirts, and talking aloud of the
adventures and profits of the day. They were just then speaking of a
bargain, in which, as I understood, somebody had cleared twenty-five
dollars. We glided by without speaking, close under the bank, within
a couple of rods of them; and Joe, taking his horn, imitated the
call of the moose, till we suggested that they might fire on us.
This was the last we saw of them, and we never knew whether they
detected or suspected us.

I have often wished since that I was with them. They search for
timber over a given section, climbing hills and often high trees to
look off,--explore the streams by which it is to be driven, and the
like,--spend five or six weeks in the woods, they two alone, a
hundred miles or more from any town,--roaming about, and sleeping on
the ground where night overtakes them,--depending chiefly on the
provisions they carry with them, though they do not decline what game
they come across,--and then in the fall they return and make report
to their employers, determining the number of teams that will be
required the following winter. Experienced men get three or four
dollars a day for this work. It is a solitary and adventurous life,
and comes nearest to that of the trapper of the West, perhaps. They
work ever with a gun as well as an axe, let their beards grow, and
live without neighbors, not on an open plain, but far within a

This discovery accounted for the sounds which we had heard, and
destroyed the prospect of seeing moose yet awhile. At length, when
we had left the explorers far behind, Joe laid down his paddle, drew
forth his birch horn,--a straight one, about fifteen inches long and
three or four wide at the mouth, tied round with strips of the same
bark,--and standing up, imitated the call of the moose,--_ugh-ugh-ugh_,
or _oo-oo-oo-oo_, and then a prolonged _oo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o_, and
listened attentively for several minutes. We asked him what kind of
noise he expected to hear. He said, that, if a moose heard it, he
guessed we should find out; we should hear him coming half a mile off;
he would come close to, perhaps into, the water, and my companion
must wait till he got fair sight, and then aim just behind the

The moose venture out to the riverside to feed and drink at night.
Earlier in the season the hunters do not use a horn to call them out,
but steal upon them as they are feeding along the sides of the stream,
and often the first notice they have of one is the sound of the
water dropping from its muzzle. An Indian whom I heard imitate the
voice of the moose, and also that of the caribou and the deer, using
a much longer horn than Joe's, told me that the first could be heard
eight or ten miles, sometimes; it was a loud sort of bellowing sound,
clearer and more sonorous than the lowing of cattle,--the caribou's
a sort of snort,--and the small deer's like that of a lamb.

At length we turned up the Moosehorn, where the Indians at the carry
had told us that they killed a moose the night before. This is a
very meandering stream, only a rod or two in width, but
comparatively deep, coming in on the right, fitly enough named
Moosehorn, whether from its windings or its inhabitants. It was
bordered here and there by narrow meadows between the stream and the
endless forest, affording favorable places for the moose to feed,
and to call them out on. We proceeded half a mile up this, as
through a narrow winding canal, where the tall, dark spruce and firs
and arbor-vitae towered on both sides in the moonlight, forming a
perpendicular forest-edge of great height, like the spires of a
Venice in the forest. In two places stood a small stack of hay on
the bank, ready for the lumberer's use in the winter, looking
strange enough there. We thought of the day when this might be a
brook winding through smooth-shaven meadows on some gentleman's
grounds; and seen by moonlight then, excepting the forest that now
hems it in, how little changed it would appear!

Again and again Joe called the moose, placing the canoe close by
some favorable point of meadow for them to come out on, but listened
in vain to hear one come rushing through the woods, and concluded
that they had been hunted too much thereabouts. We saw many times
what to our imaginations looked like a gigantic moose, with his
horns peering from out the forest-edge; but we saw the forest only,
and not its inhabitants, that night. So at last we turned about.
There was now a little fog on the water, though it was a fine, clear
night above. There were very few sounds to break the stillness of
the forest. Several times we heard the hooting of a great horned-owl,
as at home, and told Joe that he would call out the moose for him,
for he made a sound considerably like the horn,--but Joe answered,
that the moose had heard that sound a thousand times, and knew better;
and oftener still we were startled by the plunge of a musquash. Once,
when Joe had called again, and we were listening for moose, we heard
come faintly echoing, or creeping from far, through the moss-clad
aisles, a dull, dry, rushing sound, with a solid core to it, yet as
if half smothered under the grasp of the luxuriant and fungus-like
forest, like the shutting of a door in some distant entry of the
damp and shaggy wilderness. If we had not been there, no mortal had
heard it. When we asked Joe in a whisper what it was, he answered,--
"Tree fall." There is something singularly grand and impressive in
the sound of a tree falling in a perfectly calm night like this, as
if the agencies which overthrow it did not need to be excited, but
worked with a subtle, deliberate, and conscious force, like a
boa-constrictor, and more effectively then than even in a windy day.
If there is any such difference, perhaps it is because trees with
the dews of the night on them are heavier than by day.

Having reached the camp, about ten o'clock, we kindled our fire and
went to bed. Each of us had a blanket, in which he lay on the
fir-twigs, with his extremities toward the fire, but nothing over his
head. It was worth the while to lie down in a country where you
could afford such great fires; that was one whole side, and the
bright side, of our world. We had first rolled up a large log some
eighteen inches through and ten feet long, for a back-log, to last
all night, and then piled on the trees to the height of three or
four feet, no matter how green or damp. In fact, we burned as much
wood that night as would, with economy and an air-tight stove, last
a poor family in one of our cities all winter. It was very agreeable,
as well as independent, thus lying in the open air, and the fire
kept our uncovered extremities warm enough. The Jesuit missionaries
used to say, that, in their journeys with the Indians in Canada,
they lay on a bed which had never been shaken up since the creation,
unless by earthquakes. It is surprising with what impunity and
comfort one who has always lain in a warm bed in a close apartment,
and studiously avoided drafts of air, can lie down on the ground
without a shelter, roll himself in a blanket, and sleep before a fire,
in a frosty autumn night, just after a long rain-storm, and even come
soon to enjoy and value the fresh air.

I lay awake awhile, watching the ascent of the sparks through the
firs, and sometimes their descent in half-extinguished cinders on my
blanket. They were as interesting as fireworks, going up in endless
successive crowds, each after an explosion, in an eager serpentine
course, some to five or six rods above the tree-tops before they
went out. We do not suspect how much our chimneys have concealed;
and now air-tight stoves have come to conceal all the rest. In the
course of the night, I got up once or twice and put fresh logs on
the fire, making my companions curl up their legs.

When we awoke in the morning, (Saturday, September 17,) there was
considerable frost whitening the leaves. We heard the sound of the
chickadee, and a few faintly lisping birds, and also of ducks in the
water about the island. I took a botanical account of stock of our
domains before the dew was off, and found that the ground-hemlock,
or American yew, was the prevailing undershrub. We breakfasted on tea,
hard bread, and ducks.

Before the fog had fairly cleared away, we paddled down the stream
again, and were soon past the mouth of the Moosehorn. These twenty
miles of the Penobscot, between Moosehead and Chesuncook Lakes, are
comparatively smooth, and a great part dead-water; but from time to
time it is shallow and rapid, with rocks or gravel-beds, where you
can wade across. There is no expanse of water, and no break in the
forest, and the meadow is a mere edging here and there. There are no
hills near the river nor within sight, except one or two distant
mountains seen in a few places. The banks are from six to ten feet
high, but once or twice rise gently to higher ground. In many places
the forest on the bank was but a thin strip, letting the light
through from some alder-swamp or meadow behind. The conspicuous
berry-bearing bushes and trees along the shore were the red osier,
with its whitish fruit, hobble-bush, mountain-ash, tree-cranberry,
choke-cherry, now ripe, alternate cornel, and naked viburnum.
Following Joe's example, I ate the fruit of the last, and also of
the hobble-bush, but found them rather insipid and seedy. I looked
very narrowly at the vegetation, as we glided along close to the
shore, and frequently made Joe turn aside for me to pluck a plant,
that I might see by comparison what was primitive about my native
river. Horehound, horsemint, and the sensitive fern grew close to
the edge, under the willows and alders, and wool-grass on the islands,
as along the Assabet River in Concord. It was too late for flowers,
except a few asters, golden-rods, etc. In several places we noticed
the slight frame of a camp, such as we had prepared to set up, amid
the forest by the river-side, where some lumberers or hunters had
passed a night,--and sometimes steps cut in the muddy or clayey bank
in front of it.

We stopped to fish for trout at the mouth of a small stream called
Ragmuff, which came in from the west, about two miles below the
Moosehorn. Here were the ruins of an old lumbering-camp, and a small
space, which had formerly been cleared and burned over, was now
densely overgrown with the red cherry and raspberries. While we were
trying for trout, Joe, Indian-like, wandered off up the Ragmuff on
his own errands, and when we were ready to start was far beyond call.
So we were compelled to make a fire and get our dinner here, not to
lose time. Some dark reddish birds, with grayer females, (perhaps
purple finches,) and myrtle-birds in their summer dress, hopped
within six or eight feet of us and our smoke. Perhaps they smelled
the frying pork. The latter bird, or both, made the lisping notes
which I had heard in the forest. They suggested that the few small
birds found in the wilderness are on more familiar terms with the
lumberman and hunter than those of the orchard and clearing with the
farmer. I have since found the Canada jay, and partridges, both the
black and the common, equally tame there, as if they had not yet
learned to mistrust man entirely. The chickadee, which is at home
alike in the primitive woods and in our wood-lots, still retains its
confidence in the towns to a remarkable degree.

Joe at length returned, after an hour and a half, and said that he
had been two miles up the stream exploring, and had seen a moose, but,
not having the gun, he did not get him. We made no complaint, but
concluded to look out for Joe the next time. However, this may have
been a mere mistake, for we had no reason to complain of him
afterwards. As we continued down the stream, I was surprised to hear
him whistling "O Susanna," and several other such airs, while his
paddle urged us along. Once he said, "Yes, Sir-ee." His common word
was "Sartain." He paddled, as usual, on one side only, giving the
birch an impulse by using the side as a fulcrum. I asked him how
the ribs were fastened to the side rails. He answered, "I don't know,
I never noticed." Talking with him about subsisting wholly on what
the woods yielded, game, fish, berries, etc., I suggested that his
ancestors did so; but he answered, that he had been brought up in
such a way that he could not do it. "Yes," said he, "that's the way
they got a living, like wild fellows, wild as bears. By George! I
shan't go into the woods without provision,--hard bread, pork, etc."
He had brought on a barrel of hard bread and stored it at the carry
for his hunting. However, though he was a Governor's son, he had not
learned to read.

At one place below this, on the east side, where the bank was higher
and drier than usual, rising gently from the shore to a slight
elevation, some one had felled the trees over twenty or thirty acres,
and left them drying in order to burn. This was the only preparation
for a house between the Moosehead carry and Chesuncook, but there
was no hut nor inhabitants there yet. The pioneer thus selects a
site for his house, which will, perhaps, prove the germ of a town.

My eyes were all the while on the trees, distinguishing between the
black and white spruce and the fir. You paddle along in a narrow
canal through an endless forest, and the vision I have in my mind's
eye, still, is of the small dark and sharp tops of tall fir and
spruce trees, and pagoda-like arbor-vitæs, crowded together on each
side, with various hard woods intermixed. Some of the arbor-vitæs
were at least sixty feet high. The hard woods, occasionally
occurring exclusively, were less wild to my eye. I fancied them
ornamental grounds, with farm-houses in the rear. The canoe and
yellow birch, beech, maple, and elm are Saxon and Norman; but the
spruce and fir, and pines generally, are Indian. The soft engravings
which adorn the annuals give no idea of a stream in such a wilderness
as this. The rough sketches in Jackson's Reports on the Geology of
Maine answer much better. At one place we saw a small grove of
slender sapling white-pines, the only collection of pines that I saw
on this voyage. Here and there, however, was a full-grown, tall, and
slender, but defective one, what lumbermen call a _kouchus_ tree,
which they ascertain with their axes, or by the knots. I did not
learn whether this word was Indian or English. It reminded me of the
Greek [Greek: kogchae], a conch or shell, and I amused myself with
fancying that it might signify the dead sound which the trees yield
when struck. All the rest of the pines had been driven off.

[To be continued.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  By day, at a high oak desk I stand,
    And trace in a ledger line by line;
  But at five o'clock yon dial's hand
    Opens the cage wherein I pine;
  And as faintly the stroke from the belfry peals
  Down through the thunder of hoofs and wheels,
  I wonder if ever a monarch feels
        Such royal joy as mine!

  Beatrice is dressed and her carriage waits;
    I know she has heard that signal-chime;
  And my strong heart leaps and palpitates,
    As lightly the winding stair I climb
  To her fragrant room, where the winter's gloom
  Is changed by the heliotrope's perfume,
  And the curtained sunset's crimson bloom,
        To love's own summer prime.

  She meets me there, so strangely fair
    That my soul aches with a happy pain;--
  A pressure, a touch of her true lips, such
    As a seraph might give and take again;
  A hurried whisper, "Adieu! adieu!
  They wait for me while I stay for you!"
  And a parting smile of her blue eyes through
      The glimmering carriage-pane.

  Then thoughts of the past come crowding fast
    On a blissful track of love and sighs;--
  Oh, well I toiled, and these poor hands soiled,
    That her song might bloom in Italian skies!--
  The pains and fears of those lonely years,
  The nights of longing and hope and tears,--
  Her heart's sweet debt, and the long arrears
      Of love in those faithful eyes!

  O night! be friendly to her and me!--
    To box and pit and gallery swarm
  The expectant throngs;--I am there to see;--
    And now she is bending her radiant form
  To the clapping crowd;--I am thrilled and proud;
  My dim eyes look through a misty cloud,
  And my joy mounts up on the plaudits loud,
      Like a sea-bird on a storm!

  She has waved her hand; the noisy rush
    Of applause sinks down; and silverly
  Her voice glides forth on the quivering hush,
    Like the white-robed moon on a tremulous sea!
  And wherever her shining influence calls,
  I swing on the billow that swells and falls,--
  I know no more,--till the very walls
      Seem shouting with jubilee!

  Oh, little she cares for the fop who airs
    His glove and glass, or the gay array
  Of fans and perfumes, of jewels and plumes,
    Where wealth and pleasure have met to pay
  Their nightly homage to her sweet song;
  But over the bravas clear and strong,
  Over all the flaunting and fluttering throng,
      She smiles my soul away!

  Why am I happy? why am I proud?
    Oh, can it be true she is all my own?--
  I make my way through the ignorant crowd;
    I know, I know where my love hath flown.
  Again we meet; I am here at her feet,
  And with kindling kisses and promises sweet,
  Her glowing, victorious lips repeat
      That they sing for me alone!


The philosophic import of this illustrious name, having suffered
temporary eclipse from the Critical Philosophy, with its swift
succession of transcendental dynasties,--the _Wissenschaftslehre_,
the _Naturphilosophie_, and the _Encyclopädie_,--has recently
emerged into clear and respectful recognition, if not into broad and
effulgent repute. In divers quarters, of late, the attention of the
learned has reverted to the splendid optimist, whose adventurous
intellect left nothing unexplored and almost nothing unexplained.
Biographers and critics have discussed his theories,--some in the
interest of philosophy, and some in the interest of religion,--some
in the spirit of discipleship, and some in the spirit of opposition,--
but all with consenting and admiring attestation of the vast
erudition and intellectual prowess and unsurpassed capacity [1]
of the man.

[Footnote 1: The author of a notice of Leibnitz, more clever than
profound, in four numbers of the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1852,
distinguishes between capacity and faculty. He gives his subject
credit for the former, but denies his claim to the latter of these
attributes. As if any manifestation of mind were more deserving of
that title than the power of intellectual concentration, to which
nothing that came within its focus was insoluble.]

A collection of all the works appertaining to Leibnitz, with all his
own writings, would make a respectable library. We have no room for
the titles of all, even of the more recent of these publications. We
content ourselves with naming the Biography, by G. G. Guhrauer, the
best that has yet appeared, called forth by the celebration, in 1846,
of the ducentesimal birthday of Leibnitz,--the latest edition of his
Philosophical Works, by Professor Erdmann of Halle--the publication
of his Correspondence with Arnauld, by Herr Grotefend, and of that
with the Landgrave Ernst von Hessen Rheinfels, by Chr. von Rommel,--
of his Historical Works, by the librarian Pertz of Berlin,--of the
Mathematical, by Gerhardt,--Ludwig Jeuerbach's elaborate dissertation,
"Darstellung, Entwickelung und Kritik der Leibnitzischen Philosophie,"--
Zimmermann's "Leibnitz u. Herbart's Monadologie,"--Schelling's
"Leibnitz als Denker,"--Hartenstein's "De Materiae apud Leibnit.
Notione,"--and Adolph Helferich's "Spinoza u. Leibnitz: oder Das
Wesen des Idealismus u. des Realismus." To these we must add, as
one of the most valuable contributions to Leibnitian literature,
M. Foucher de Careil's recent publication of certain MSS. of Leibnitz,
found in the library at Hanover, containing strictures on Spinoza,
(which the editor takes the liberty to call "Refutation Inédite de
Spinoza,")--"Sentiment de Worcester et de Locke sur les Idées,"--
"Correspondance avec Foucher, Bayle et Fontenelle,"--"Reflexions sur
l'Art de connaître les Homines,"--"Fragmens Divers," etc. [2],
accompanied by valuable introductory and critical essays.

[Footnote 2: A second collection, by the same hand, appeared in 1857,
with the title, _Nouvelles Lettres et Opuscules Inédits de Leibnitz_.
Précédés d'une Introduction. Par A. Foucher de Careil. Paris. 1857.]

M. de Careil complains that France has done so little for the memory
of a man "qui lui a fait l'honneur d'écrire les deux tiers de ses
oeuvres en Français." England does not owe him the same obligations,
and England has done far less than France,--in fact, nothing to
illustrate the memory of Leibnitz; not so much as an English
translation of his works, or an English edition of them, in these
two centuries. Nor have M. de Careil's countrymen in times past
shared all his enthusiasm for the genial Saxon. The barren
Psychology of Locke obtained a currency in France, in the last
century, which the friendly Realism of his great contemporary could
never boast. Raspe, the first who edited the "Nouveaux Essais,"
takes to himself no small credit for liberality in so doing, and
hopes, by rendering equal justice to Leibnitz and to Locke, to
conciliate those "who, with the former, think that their wisdom is
the sure measure of omnipotence," [3] and those who "believe, with
the latter, that the human mind is to the rays of the primal Truth
what a night-bird is to the sun." [4]

[Footnote 3:
  "Stimai già che 'I mio saper misura
  Certa fosse e infallibile di quanto
  Può far l'alto Fattor della natura."
     Tasso, _Gerus_, xiv. 45.]

[Footnote 4:
  "Augel notturno al sole
  E nostra mente a' rai del primo Vero."
     _Ib_. 46.]

Voltaire pronounced him "le savant le plus universel de l'Europe,"
but characterized his metaphysical labors with the somewhat
equivocal compliment of "metaphysicien assez délié pour vouloir
réconcilier la théologie avec la métaphysique." [5]

[Footnote 5: "On sait que Voltaire n'aimait pas Leibnitz.
J'imagine que c'est le chrétien qu'il détestait en lui."
    --Ch. Waddington.]

Germany, with all her wealth of erudite celebrities, has produced no
other who fulfils so completely the type of the _Gelehrte_,--a type
which differs from that of the _savant_ and from that of the scholar,
but includes them both. Feuerbach calls him "the personified thirst
for Knowledge"; Frederic the Great pronounced him an "Academy of
Sciences"; and Fontenelle said of him, that "he saw the end of things,
or that they had no end." It was an age of intellectual adventure
into which Leibnitz was born,--fit sequel and heir to the age of
maritime adventure which preceded it. We please ourselves with
fancied analogies between the two epochs and the nature of their
discoveries. In the latter movement, as in the former, Italy took
the lead. The martyr Giordano Bruno was the brave Columbus of modern
thought,--the first who broke loose from the trammels of mediaeval
ecclesiastical tradition, and reported a new world beyond the watery
waste of scholasticism. Campanella may represent the Vespucci of the
new enterprise; Lord Bacon its Sebastian Cabot,--the "Novum Organum"
being the Newfoundland of modern experimental science. Des Cartes
was the Cortés, or shall we rather say the Ponce de Leon, of
scientific discovery, who, failing to find what he sought,--the
Principle of Life, (the Fountain of Eternal Youth,)--yet found
enough to render his name immortal and to make mankind his debtor.
Spinoza is the spiritual Magalhaens, who, emerging from the straits
of Judaism, beheld

  "Another ocean's breast immense, unknown."

Of modern thinkers he was

     "----the first
  That ever burst
  Into that silent sea."

He discovered the Pacific of philosophy,--that theory of the sole
Divine Substance, the All-One, which Goethe in early life found so
pacifying to his troubled spirit, and which, vague and barren as it
proves on nearer acquaintance, induces at first, above all other
systems, a sense of repose in illimitable vastness and immutable

But the Vasco de Gama of his day was Leibnitz. His triumphant
optimism rounded the Cape of theological Good Hope. He gave the
chief impulse to modern intellectual commerce. Full freighted, as he
was, with Western thought, he revived the forgotten interest in the
Old and Eastern World, and brought the ends of the earth together.
Circumnavigator of the realms of mind, wherever he touched, he
appeared as discoverer, as conqueror, as lawgiver. In mathematics,
he discovered or invented the Differential Calculus,--the logic of
transcendental analysis, the infallible method of astronomy, without
which it could never have compassed the large conclusions of the
"Mecanique Celeste." In his "Protogaea," published in 1693, he laid
the foundation of the science of Geology. From his observations, as
Superintendent of the Hartz Mines, and those which he made in his
subsequent travels through Austria and Italy,--from an examination
of the layers, in different localities, of the earth's crust, he
deduced the first theory, in the geological sense, which has ever
been propounded, of the earth's formation. Orthodox Lutheran as he
was, he braved the theological prejudices which then, even more than
now, affronted scientific inquiry in that direction. "First among men,"
says Flourens, "he demonstrated the two agencies which successively
have formed and reformed the globe,--fire and water." In the region
of metaphysical inquiry, he propounded a new and original theory of
Substance, and gave to philosophy the Monad, the Law of Continuity,
the Preëstablished Harmony, and the Best Possible World.

Born at Leipzig, in 1646,--left fatherless at the age of six years,--
by the care of a pious mother and competent guardians, young
Leibnitz enjoyed such means of education as Germany afforded at that
time, but declares himself, for the most part, self-taught [6].

[Footnote 6: "Duo, ihi profuere mirifice, (quae tamen alioqui ambigna,
et pluribus noxia esse solent,) primum quod fere essem [Greek:
autodidaktos], alterum quod quaererem nova in unaquaque scientia."
    --LEIBNIT. _Opera Philosoph_. Erdmann. p. 162.]

So genius must always be, for want of any external stimulus equal to
its own impulse. No normal training could keep pace with his
abnormal growth. No school discipline could supply the fuel
necessary to feed the consuming fire of that ravenous intellect.
Grammars, manuals, compends,--all the apparatus of the classes,--
were only oil to its flame. The Master of the Nicolai-Schule in
Leipzig, his first instructor, was a steady practitioner of the
Martinet order. The pupils were ranged in classes corresponding to
their civil ages,--their studies graduated according to the
baptismal register. It was not a question of faculty or proficiency,
how a lad should be classed and what he should read, but of calendar
years. As if a shoemaker should fit his last to the age instead of
the foot. Such an age, such a study. Gottfried is a genius, and Hans
is a dunce; but Gottfried and Hans were both born in 1646;
consequently, now, in 1654, they are both equally fit for the
Smaller Catechism. Leibnitz was ready for Latin long before the time
allotted to that study in the Nicolai-Schule, but the system was
inexorable. All access to books cut off by rigorous proscription.
But the thirst for knowledge is not easily stifled, and genius, like
love, "will find out his way."

He chanced, in a corner of the house, to light on an odd volume of
Livy, left there by some student boarder. What could Livy do for a
child of eight years, with no previous knowledge of Latin, and no
lexicon to interpret between them? For most children, nothing. Not
one in a thousand would have dreamed of seriously grappling with
such a mystery. But the brave Patavinian took pity on our little one
and yielded something to childish importunity. The quaint old copy
was garnished, according to a fashion of the time, with rude
wood-cuts, having explanatory legends underneath. The young
philologer tugged at these until he had mastered one or two words.
Then the book was thrown by in despair as impracticable to further
investigation. Then, after one or two weeks had elapsed, for want of
other employment, it was taken up again, and a little more progress
made. And so by degrees, in the course of a year, a considerable
knowledge of Latin had been achieved. But when, in the Nicolai order,
the time for this study arrived, so far from being pleased to find
his instructions anticipated, or welcoming such promise of future
greatness,--so far from rejoicing in his pupil's proficiency, the
pedagogue chafed at the insult offered to his system by this empiric
antepast. He was like one who suddenly discovers that he is telling
an old story where he thought to surprise with a novelty; or like
one who undertakes to fill a lamp, which, being (unknown to him)
already full, runs over, and his oil is spilled. It was "oleum
perdidit" in another sense than the scholastic one. Complaint was
made to the guardians of the orphan Gottfried of these illicit
visits to the tree of knowledge. Severe prohibitory measures were
recommended, which, however, judicious counsel from another quarter
happily averted.

At the age of eleven, Leibnitz records, that he made, on one occasion,
three hundred Latin verses without elision between breakfast and
dinner. A hundred hexameters, or fifty distichs, in a day, is
generally considered a fair _pensum_ for a boy of sixteen at a
German gymnasium.

At the age of seventeen, he produced, as an academic exercise, on
taking the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy, his celebrated treatise
on the Principle of Individuality, "De Principle Individui," the
most extraordinary performance ever achieved by a youth of that age,--
remarkable for its erudition, especially its intimate knowledge of
the writings of the Schoolmen, and equally remarkable for its
vigorous grasp of thought and its subtile analysis. In this essay
Leibnitz discovered the bent of his mind and prefigured his future
philosophy, in the choice of his theme, and in his vivid appreciation
and strenuous positing of the individual as the fundamental
principle of ontology. He takes Nominalistic ground in relation to
the old controversy of Nominalist and Realist, siding with Abelard
and Roscellin and Occam, and against St. Thomas and Duns Scotus. The
principle of individuation, he maintains, is the entire entity of
the individual, and not mere limitation of the universal, whether by
"Existence" or by "_Haecceity_." [7] John and Thomas are individuals
by virtue of their integral humanity, and not by fractional limitation
of humanity. Dobbin is an actual positive horse (_Entitas tota_).
Not a negation, by limitation, of universal equiety (_Negatio_).
Not an individuation, by actual existence, of a non-existent but
essential and universal horse (_Existentia_). Nor yet a horse
only by limitation of kind,--a horse minus Dick and Bessie and the
brown mare, etc. (_Haecceitas_). But an individual horse,
simply by virtue of his equine nature. Only so far as he is an actual
complete horse, is he an individual at all. (_Per quod quid est,
per id unum numero est_.) His individuality is nothing superadded
to his equiety. (_Unum supra ens nihil addit reale_.) Neither
is it anything subtracted therefrom. (_Negatio non potest producere
accidentia individualia_.) In fine, there is and can be no horse
but actual individual horses. (_Essentia et existentia non possunt

[Footnote 7: "Aut enim principium individuationis ponitur _entitas
tota_, (1) aut non tota. Non totam aut negatio exprimit, (2) aut
aliquid positivum. Positivum aut pars physica est, essentiam
terminaus, _existentia_, (3) aut metaphysica, speciem terminans,
_haec ceitas_. (4)... Pono igitur: omne individuum sua tota
entitate individuatur."
    --_De Princ. Indiv_. 3 et 4.]

This was the doctrine of the Nominalists, as it was of Aristotle
before them. It was the doctrine of the Reformers, except, if we
remember rightly, of Huss. The University of Leipzig was founded
upon it. It is the current doctrine of the present day, and
harmonizes well with the current Materialism. Not that Nominalism in
itself, and as Leibnitz held it, is necessarily materialistic, but
Realism is essentially antimaterialistic. The Realists held with
Plato,--but not in his name, for they, too, claimed to be
Aristotelian, and preëminently so,--that the ideal must precede the
actual. So far they were right. This was their strong point. Their
error lay in claiming for the ideal an objective reality, an
independent being. Conceptualism was only another statement of
Nominalism, or, at most, a question of the relation of language to
thought. It cannot be regarded as a third issue in this controversy,--
a controversy in which more time was consumed, says John of Salisbury,
"than the Caesars required to make themselves masters of the world,"
and in which the combatants, having spent at last their whole stock
of dialectic ammunition, resorted to carnal weapons, passing suddenly,
by a very illogical _metabasis_, from "universals" to particulars.
Both parties appealed to Aristotle. By a singular fortune, a pagan
philosopher, introduced into Western Europe by Mohammedans, became
the supreme authority of the Christian world. Aristotle was the
Scripture of the Middle Age. Luther found this authority in his way
and disposed of it in short order, devoting Aristotle without
ceremony to the Devil, as "a damned mischief-making heathen." But
Leibnitz, whose large discourse looked before as well as after,
reinstated not only Aristotle, but Plato, and others of the Greek
philosophers, in their former repute;--"Car ces anciens," he said,
"étaient plus solides qu'on ne croit." He was the first to turn the
tide of popular opinion in their favor.

Not without a struggle was he brought to side with the Nominalists.
Musing, when a boy, in the Rosenthal, near Leipzig, he debated long
with himself,--"Whether he would give up the Substantial Forms of
the Schoolmen." Strange matter for boyish deliberation! Yes, good
youth, by all means, give them up! They have had their day. They
served to amuse the imprisoned intellect of Christendom in times of
ecclesiastical thraldom, when learning knew no other vocation. But
the age into which you are born has its own problems, of nearer
interest and more commanding import. The measuring-reed of science
is to be laid to the heavens, the solar system is to be weighed in a
balance; the age of logical quiddities has passed, the age of
mathematical quantities has come. Give them up! You will soon have
enough to do to take care of your own. What with Dynamics and
Infinitesimals, Pasigraphy and Dyadik, Monads and Majesties,
Concilium Ægyptiacum and Spanish Succession and Hanoverian cabals,
there will be scant room in that busy brain for Substantial Forms.
Let them sleep, dust to dust, with the tomes of Duns Scotus and the
bones of Aquinas!

The "De Principio Individui" was the last treatise of any note in
the sense and style of the old scholastic philosophy. It was also
one of the last blows aimed at scholasticism, which, long undermined
by the Saxon Reformation, received its _coup de grace_ a century
later from the pen of an English wit. "Cornelius," says the author
of "Martinus Scriblerus," told Martin that a shoulder of mutton was
an individual; which Crambe denied, for he had seen it cut into
commons. 'That's true,' quoth the Tutor, 'but you never saw it cut
into shoulders of mutton.' 'If it could be,' quoth Crambe, 'it would
be the loveliest individual of the University.' When he was told
that a _substance_ was that which is subject to _accidents_: 'Then
soldiers,' quoth Crambe, 'are the most substantial people in the
world.' Neither would he allow it to be a good definition of accident,
that it could be present or absent without the destruction of the
subject, since there are a great many accidents that destroy the
subject, as burning does a house and death a man. But as to that,
Cornelius informed him that there was a _natural_ death and a
_logical_ death; and that though a man after his natural death was
incapable of the least parish office, yet he might still keep his
stall among the logical predicaments....

Crambe regretted extremely that _Substantial Forms_, a race of
harmless beings which had lasted for many years and had afforded a
comfortable subsistence to many poor philosophers, should now be
hunted down like so many wolves, without the possibility of retreat.
He considered that it had gone much harder with them than with the
_Essences_, which had retired from the schools into the apothecaries'
shops, where some of them had been advanced into the degree of
_Quintessences_. He thought there should be a retreat for poor
_substantial forms_ amongst the gentlemen-ushers at court; and that
there were, indeed, substantial forms, such as forms of prayer and
forms of government, without which the things themselves could never
long subsist....

Metaphysics were a large field in which to exercise the weapons
which logic had put in their hands. Here Martin and Crambe used to
engage like any prizefighters. And as prize-fighters will agree to
lay aside a buckler, or some such defensive weapon, so Crambe would
agree not to use _simpliciter_ and _secundum quid_, if Martin would
part with _materialiter_ and _formaliter_. But it was found, that,
without the defensive armor of these distinctions, the arguments cut
so deep that they fetched blood at every stroke. Their theses were
picked out of Suarez, Thomas Aquinas, and other learned writers on
those subjects.... One, particularly, remains undecided to this day,--
'An praeter _esse_ reale actualis essentiae sit alind _esse_
necessarium quo res actualiter existat?' In English thus: 'Whether,
besides the real being of actual being, there be any other being
necessary to cause a thing to be?' [8]

[Footnote 8: Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus. Chap. VII.]

Arrived at maturity, Leibnitz rose at once to classic eminence. He
became a conspicuous figure, he became a commanding power, not only
in the intellectual world, of which he constituted himself the centre,
but in part also of the civil. It lay in the nature of his genius to
prove all things, and it lay in his temperament to seek _rapport_
with all sorts of men. He was infinitely related;--not an individual
of note in his day but was linked with him by some common interest
or some polemic grapple; not a _savant_ or statesman with whom
Leibnitz did not spin, on one pretence or another, a thread of
communication. Europe was reticulated with the meshes of his
correspondence. "Never," says Voltaire, "was intercourse among
philosophers more universal; _Leibnitz servait à l'animer_." He
writes now to Spinoza at the Hague, to suggest new methods of
manufacturing lenses,--now to Magliabecchi at Florence, urging, in
elegant Latin verses, the publication of his bibliographical
discoveries,--and now to Grimaldi, Jesuit missionary in China, to
communicate his researches in Chinese philosophy. He hoped by means
of the latter to operate on the Emperor Cham-Hi with the _Dyadik_; [9]
and even suggested said _Dyadik_ as a key to the cipher of the book
"Ye Kim," supposed to contain the sacred mysteries of Fo. He
addresses Louis XIV., now on the subject of a military expedition to
Egypt, (a magnificent idea, which it needed a Napoleon to realize,)
now on the best method of promoting and conserving scientific
knowledge. He corresponds with the Landgrave of Hesse-Rheinfels,
with Bossuet, and with Madame Brinon on the Union of the Catholic
and Protestant Churches, and with Privy-Counsellor von Spanheim on
the Union of the Lutheran and Reformed,--with Père Des Bosses on
Transubstantiation, and with Samuel Clarke on Time and Space,--with
Remond de Montmort on Plato, and with Franke on Popular Education,--
with the Queen of Prussia (his pupil) on Free-will and Predestination,
and with the Electress Sophia, her mother, (in her eighty-fourth year,)
on English Politics,--with the cabinet of Peter the Great on the
Slavonic and Oriental Languages, and with that of the German Emperor
on the claims of George Lewis to the honors of the Electorate,--and
finally, with all the _savans_ of Europe on all possible scientific

[Footnote 9: A species of binary arithmetic, invented by Leibnitz,
in which the only figures employed are 0 and 1.--See KORTHOLT'S
_G.C. Leibnitii Epistolae ad Divarsos_, Letter XVIII.]

[Transcriber's note: without this notation and its underlying logic,
the development of modern computers would have not been practical.]

Of this world-wide correspondence a portion related to the sore
subject of his litigated claim to originality in the discovery of
the Differential Calculus,--a matter in which Leibnitz felt himself
grievously wronged, and complained with justice of the treatment he
received at the hands of his contemporaries. The controversy between
him and Newton, respecting this hateful topic, would never have
originated with either of these illustrious men, had it depended on
them alone to vindicate their respective claims. Officious and
ill-advised friends of the English philosopher, partly from misguided
zeal and partly from levelled malice, preferred on his behalf a
charge of plagiarism against the German, which Newton was not likely
to have urged for himself. "The new Calculus, which Europe lauds, is
nothing less," they suggested, "than your fluxionary method, which
Mr. Leibnitz has pirated, anticipating its tardy publication by the
genuine author. Why suffer your laurels to be wrested from you by a
stranger?" Thereupon arose the notorious _Commercium Epistolicum_,
in which Wallis, Fatio de Duillier, Collins, and Keill were
perversely active. Melancholy monument of literary and national
jealousy! Weary record of a vain strife! Ideas are no man's property.
As well pretend to ownership of light, or set up a claim to private
estate in the Holy Ghost. The Spirit blows where it lists. Truth
inspires whom it finds. He who knows best to conspire with it has it.
Both philosophers swerved from their native simplicity and nobleness
of soul. Both sinned and were sinned against. Leibnitz did unhandsome
things, but he was sorely tried. His heart told him that the right
of the quarrel was on his side, and the general stupidity would not
see it. The general malice, rejoicing in aspersion of a noble name,
would not see it. The Royal Society would not see it,--nor France,
until long after Leibnitz's death. Sir David Brewster's account of
the matter, according to the German authorities, Gerhardt, Guhrauer,
and others, is one-sided, and sins by _suppressio veri_, ignoring
important documents, particularly Leibnitz's letter to Oldenburg,
August 27, 1676. Gerhardt has published Leibnitz's own history of
the Calculus as a counter-statement. [10] But even from Brewster's
account, as we remember it, (we have it not by us at this writing.)
there is no more reason to doubt that Leibnitz's discovery was
independent of Newton's than that Newton's was independent of
Leibnitz's. The two discoveries, in fact, are not identical; the end
and application are the same, but origin and process differ, and the
German method has long superseded the English. The question in debate
has been settled by supreme authority. Leibnitz has been tried by his
peers. Euler, Lagrange, Laplace, Poisson, and Biot have honorably
acquitted him of plagiarism, and reinstated him in his rights as true
discoverer of the Differential Calculus.

[Footnote 10: Historia et Oriffo Calculi Differenttalis, a G. G.
LEIBNITIO conscripts.]

[Transcriber's note: this controversy rages in academia to this day.]

The one distinguishing trait of Leibnitz's genius, and the one
predominant fact in his history, was what Feuerbach calls his [Greek:
polupraguoshinae], which, being interpreted, means having a finger
in every pie. We are used to consider him as a man of letters; but
the greater part of his life was spent in labors of quite another
kind. He was more actor than writer. He wrote only for occasions, at
the instigation of others, or to meet some pressing demand of the
time. Besides occupying himself with mechanical inventions, some of
which (in particular, his improvement of Pascal's Calculating Machine)
were quite famous in their day,--besides his project of a universal
language, and his labors to bring about a union of the churches,--
besides undertaking the revision of the laws of the German Empire,
superintending the Hanoverian mines, experimenting in the culture of
silk, directing the medical profession, laboring in the promotion of
popular education, establishing academies of science, superintending
royal libraries, ransacking the archives of Germany and Italy to
find documents for his history of the House of Brunswick, a work of
immense research [11],--besides these, and a multitude of similar and
dissimilar avocations, he was deep in politics, German and European,
and was occupied all his life long with political negotiations. He was
a courtier, he was a _diplomat_, was consulted on all difficult
matters of international policy, was employed at Hanover, at Berlin, at
Vienna, in the public and secret service of ducal, royal, and imperial
governments, and charged with all sorts of delicate and difficult
commissions,--matters of finance, of pacification, of treaty and
appeal. He was Europe's factotum. A complete biography of the man
would be an epitome of the history of his time. The number and variety
of his public engagements were such as would have crazed any ordinary
brain. And to these were added private studies not less multifarious.
"I am distracted beyond all account," he writes to Vincent Placcius.
"I am making extracts from archives, inspecting ancient documents,
hunting up unpublished manuscripts; all this to illustrate the
history of Brunswick. Letters in great number I receive and write.
Then I have so many discoveries in mathematics, so many speculations
in philosophy, so many other literary observations, which I am
desirous of preserving, that I am often at a loss what to take hold
of first, and can fairly sympathize in that saying of Ovid, 'I am
straitened by my abundance.' [12]"

[Footnote 11: _Annals Imperii Occidents Brunsvicensis_. Leibnitz
succeeded in discovering at Modena the lost traces of that
connection between the lines of Brunswick and Esto which had been
surmised, but not proved.]

[Footnote 12: "Quam mirifice sim distractus dici non potest. Varia ex
archivis eruo, antiquas chartns inspicio, manuscripta inedita
conquiro. Ex hic lucem dare conor Brunsvicensi historiæ. Magno
numero litteras et accipio et dimitto. Habeo vero tam multa nova in
mathematicis, tot cogitationes in philosophicis, tot alias
literarias observationes, quas vellem non perire, ut sæpe inter
agenda anceps hæream et prope illud Ovidianum sentiam: _Iniopem me
copia facit_."]

His diplomatic services are less known at present than his literary
labors, but were not less esteemed in his own day. When Louis XIV.,
in 1688, declared war against the German Empire, on the pretence
that the Emperor was meditating an invasion of France, Leibnitz drew
up the imperial manifesto, which repelled the charge and triumphantly
exposed the hollowness of Louis's cause. Another document, prepared
by him at the solicitation, it is supposed, of several of the courts
of Europe, advocating the claims of Charles of Austria to the vacant
throne of Spain, in opposition to the grandson of Louis, and setting
forth the injurious consequences of the policy of the French monarch,
was hailed by his contemporaries as a masterpiece of historical
learning and political wisdom. By his powerful advocacy of the cause
of the Elector of Brandenburg he may be said to have aided the birth
of the kingdom of Prussia, whose existence dates with the
commencement of the last century. In the service of that kingdom he
wrote and published important state-papers; among them, one relating
to a point of contested right to which recent events have given
fresh significance: "Traité: Sommaire du Droit de Frédéric I. Roi de
Prusse à la Souveraineté de Neufchâtel et de Vallengin en Suisse."

In Vienna, as at Berlin, the services of Leibnitz were subsidized by
the State. By the Peace of Utrecht, the house of Habsburg had been
defeated in its claims to the Spanish throne, and the foreign and
internal affairs of the Austrian government were involved in many
perplexities, which, it was hoped, the philosopher's counsel might
help to untangle. He was often present at the private meetings of
the cabinet, and received from the Emperor the honorable distinction
of Kaiserlicher Hofrath, in addition to that, which had previously
been awarded to him, of Baron of the Empire. The highest post in the
gift of government was open to him, on condition of renouncing his
Protestant faith, which, notwithstanding his tolerant feeling toward
the Roman Church, and the splendid compensations which awaited such
a convertite, he could never be prevailed upon to do.

A natural, but very remarkable consequence of this manifold activity
and lifelong absorption in public affairs was the failure of so
great a thinker to produce a single systematic and elaborate work
containing a complete and detailed exposition of his philosophical,
and especially his ontological views. For such an exposition
Leibnitz could find at no period of his life the requisite time and
scope. In the vast multitude of his productions there is no complete
philosophic work. The most arduous of his literary labors are
historical compilations, made in the service of the State. Such were
the "History of the House of Brunswick," already mentioned, the
"Accessiones Historiæ," the "Scriptores Rerum Brunsvicensium
Illustrationi inservientes," and the "Codex Juris Gentium Diplomaticus";--
works involving an incredible amount of labor and research, but
adding little to his posthumous fame. His philosophical studies,
after entering the Hanoverian service, which he did in his thirtieth
year, were pursued, as he tells his correspondent Placcius, by
stealth,--that is, at odd moments snatched from official duties and
the cares of state. Accordingly, his metaphysical works have all a
fragmentary character. Instead of systematic treatises, they are
loose papers, contributions to journals and magazines, or sketches
prepared for the use of friends. They are all occasional productions,
elicited by some external cause, not prompted by inward necessity.
The "Nouveaux Essais," his most considerable work in that department,
originated in comments on Locke, and was not published until after
his death. The "Monadology" is a series of propositions drawn up for
the use of Prince Eugene, and was never intended to be made public.
And, probably, the "Théodicée" would never have seen the light
except for his cultivated and loved pupil, the Queen of Prussia, for
whose instruction it was designed.

It is a curious fact, and a good illustration of the state of
letters in Germany at that time, that Leibnitz wrote so little--
almost nothing of importance--in his native tongue. In Erdmann's
edition of his philosophical works there are only two short essays
in German; the rest are all Latin or French. He had it in
contemplation at one time to establish a philosophical journal in
Berlin, but doubts, in his letter to M. La Croye on the subject, in
what language it should be conducted: "Il y a quelque tems que j'ay
pensé à un journal de Savans qu'on pourroit publier à Berlin, mais
je suis un peu en doute sur la langue ... Mais soit qu'on prit le
Latin ou le François," [13] etc. It seems never to have occurred to him
that such a journal might be published in German. That language was
then, and for a long time after, regarded by educated Germans very much
as the Russian is regarded at the present day, as the language of vulgar
life, unsuited to learned or polite intercourse. Frederic the Great,
a century later, thought as meanly of its adaptation to literary
purposes as did the contemporaries of Leibnitz. When Gellert, at his
request, repeated to him one of his fables, he expressed his
surprise that anything so clever could be produced in German. It may
be said in apology for this neglect of their native tongue, that the
German scholars of that age would have had a very inadequate audience,
had their communications been confined to that language. Leibnitz
craved and deserved a wider sphere for his thoughts than the use of
the German could give him. It ought, however, to be remembered to
his credit, that, as language in general was one among the
numberless topics he investigated, so the German in particular
engaged at one time his special attention. It was made the subject
of a disquisition, which suggested to the Berlin Academy, in the
next century, the method adopted by that body for the culture and
improvement of the national speech. In this writing, as in all his
German compositions, he manifested a complete command of the language,
and imparted to it a purity and elegance of diction very uncommon in
his day. The German of Leibnitz is less antiquated at this moment
than the English of his contemporary, Locke.

[Footnote 13: KORTHOLT. _Epistolae ad Diversos_, Vol. I.]


The interest to us in this extraordinary man--who died at Hanover,
1716, in the midst of his labors and projects--turns mainly on his
speculative philosophy. It was only as an incidental pursuit that he
occupied himself with metaphysic; yet no philosopher since Aristotle--
with whom, though claiming to be more Platonic than Aristotelian, he
has much in common--has furnished more luminous hints to the
elucidation of metaphysical problems. The problems he attempted were
those which concern the most inscrutable, but, to the genuine
metaphysician, most fascinating of all topics, the nature of
substance, matter and spirit, absolute being,--in a word,
_Ontology_. This department of metaphysic, the most interesting,
and, _agonistically_ [14], the most important branch of that study,
has been deliberately, purposely, and, with one or two exceptions,
uniformly avoided by the English metaphysicians so-called, with
Locke at their head, and equally by their Scottish successors, until
the recent "Institutes" of the witty Professor of St. Andrew's.
Locke's "Essay concerning the Human Understanding," a century and
a half ago, diverted the English mind from metaphysic proper into
what is commonly called Psychology, but ought, of right, to be termed
_Noölogy_, or "Philosophy of the Human Mind," as Dugald Stewart
entitled his treatise. This is the study which has usually taken the
place of metaphysic at Cambridge and other colleges,--the science that
professes to show "how ideas enter the mind"; which, considering the
rareness of the occurrence with the mass of mankind, we cannot
regard as a very practical inquiry. We well remember our
disappointment, when, at the usual stage in the college curriculum,
we were promised "metaphysics" and were set to grind in Stewart's
profitless mill, where so few problems of either practical or
theoretical importance are brought to the hopper, and where, in fact,
the object is rather to show how the upper mill-stone revolves upon
the nether, (reflection upon sensation,) and how the grist is
conveyed to the feeder, than to realize actual metaphysical flour.

[Footnote 14: That is, as a discipline of the faculties,--the chief
benefit to be derived from any kind of metaphysical study.]

Locke's reason for repudiating ontology is the alleged impossibility
of arriving at truth in that pursuit,--"of finding satisfaction in
a quiet and sure possession of truths that most concern us, whilst
we let loose our thoughts into the vast ocean of being." [15]
Unfortunately, however, as Kant has shown, the results of noölogical
inquiry are just as questionable as those of ontology, whilst the
topics on which it is employed are of far inferior moment. If, as
Locke intimates, we can know nothing of being without first
analyzing the understanding, it is equally sure that we can know
nothing of the understanding except in union with and in action on
being. And excepting his own fundamental position concerning the
sensuous origin of our ideas,--to which few, since Kant, will assent,--
there is hardly a theorem, in all the writings of this school, of
prime and vital significance. The school is tartly, but aptly,
characterized by Professor Ferrier: "Would people inquire directly
into the laws of thought and of knowledge by merely looking to
knowledge or to thought itself, without attending to what is known
or what is thought of? Psychology usually goes to work in this
abstract fashion; but such a mode of procedure is hopeless,--as
hopeless as the analogous instance by which the wits of old were
wont to typify any particularly fruitless undertaking,--namely, the
operation of milking a he-goat into a sieve. No milk comes, in the
first place, and even that the sieve will not retain! There is a loss
of nothing twice over. Like the man milking, the inquirer obtains no
milk in the first place; and, in the second place, he loses it,
like the man holding the sieve.... Our Scottish philosophy, in
particular, has presented a spectacle of this description. Reid
obtained no result, owing to the abstract nature of his inquiry, and
the nothingness of his system has escaped through all the sieves of
his successors." [16]

[Footnote 15: _Essay_, Book I. Chap. 1, Sect. 7.]

[Footnote 16: _Institutes of Metaphysic_, p. 301.]

Leibnitz's metaphysical speculations are scattered through a wide
variety of writings, many of which are letters to his contemporaries.
These Professor Erdmann has incorporated in his edition of the
Philosophical Works. Beside these we may mention, as particularly
deserving of notice, the "Meditationes de Cognitione, Veritate et
Ideis", the "Systeme Nouveau de la Nature", "De Primæ Philosophiæ
Emendatione et de Notione Substantiæ", "Reflexions sur l'Essai de
l'Entendement humain", "De Rerum Originatione Radicali", "De ipsa
Natura", "Considerations sur la Doctrine d'un Esprit universel",
"Nouveaux Essais sur l'Entendement humain", "Considerations sur le
Principe de Vie". To these we must add the "Théodicée" (though more
theological than metaphysical) and the "Monadologie", the most
compact philosophical treatise of modern time. It is worthy of note,
that, writing in the desultory, fragmentary, and accidental way he
did, he not only wrote with unexampled clearness on matters the most
abstruse, but never, that we are aware, in all the variety of his
communications, extending over so many years, contradicted himself.
No philosopher is more intelligible, none more consequent.

In philosophy, Leibnitz was a _Realist_. We use that term in the
modern, not in the scholastic sense. In the scholastic sense, as we
have seen, he was not a Realist, but, from childhood up, a Nominalist.
But the Realism of the schools has less affinity with the Realism
than with the Idealism of the present day.

His opinions must be studied in connection with those of his

Des Cartes, Spinoza, Locke, and Leibnitz, the four most
distinguished philosophers of the seventeenth century, represent
four widely different and cardinal tendencies in philosophy: Dualism,
Idealism, Sensualism, and Realism.

Des Cartes perceived the incompatibility of the two primary
qualities of being, thought and extension, as attributes of one and
the same (created) substance. He therefore postulated two (created)
substances,--one characterized by thought without extension, the
other by extension without thought. These two are so alien and so
incongruous, that neither can influence the other, or determine the
other, or any way relate with the other, except by direct mediation
of Deity. (The doctrine of Occasional Causes.) This is Dualism,--
that sharp and rigorous antithesis of mind and matter, which Des
Cartes, if he did not originate it, was the first to develop into
philosophic significance, and which ever since has been the
prevailing ontology of the Western world. So deeply has the thought
of that master mind inwrought itself into the very consciousness of

Spinoza saw, that, if God alone can bring mind and matter together
and effect a relation between them, it follows that mind and matter,
or their attributes, however contrary, do meet in Deity; and if so,
what need of three distinct natures? What need of two substances
beside God, as subjects of these attributes? Retain the middle term
and drop the extremes and you have the Spinozan doctrine of one
(uncreated) substance, combining the attributes of thought and
extension. This is Pantheism, or _objective_ idealism, as
distinguished from the _subjective_ idealism of Fichte. Strange,
that the stigma of atheism should have been affixed to a system
whose very starting-point is Deity and whose great characteristic is
the _ignoration_ of everything but Deity, insomuch that the pure and
devout Novalis pronounced the author a God-drunken man, and
Spinozism a surfeit of Deity. [17]

[Footnote 17: Let us not be misunderstood. Pantheism is not Theism, and
the one substance of Spinoza is very unlike the one God of theology;
but neither is the doctrine Atheism in any legitimate sense.]

Naturally enough, the charge of atheism comes from the unbelieving
Bayle, whose omnivorous mind, like the anaconda, assisted its
enormous deglutition with a poisonous saliva of its own, and whose
negative temper makes the "Dictionnaire Historique" more _Morgue_
than _Valhalla_.

Locke, who combined in a strange union strong religious faith with
philosophic unbelief, turned aside, as we have seen, from the
questions which had occupied his predecessors; knew little and cared
less about substance and accident, matter and spirit; but set
himself to investigate the nature of the organ itself by which truth
is apprehended. In this investigation he began by emptying the mind
of all native elements of knowledge. He repudiated any supposed
dowry of original truths or innate or connate ideas, and endeavored
to show how, by acting on the report of the senses and personal
experience, the understanding arrives at all the ideas of which
it is conscious. The mode of procedure in this case is empiricism;
the result with Locke was sensualism,--more fully developed by
Condillac, [18] in the next century. But the same method may lead, as
in the case of Berkeley, to immaterialism, falsely called idealism.
Or it may lead, as in the case of Helveticus, to materialism. Locke
himself would probably have landed in materialism, had he followed
freely the bent of his own thought, without the restraints of a
cautious temper, and respect for the common and traditional opinion
of his time. The "Essay" discovers an unmistakable leaning in that
direction; as where the author supposes, "We shall never be able to
know whether any mere material being thinks or no; it being impossible
for us, by the contemplation of our own ideas, without revelation,
to discover whether Omnipotency has not given to some systems of matter
fitly disposed a power to perceive and think;... it being, in respect
of our notions, not much more remote from our comprehension to conceive
that God can, if he pleases, superadd to matter a faculty of thinking,
than that he should superadd to it another substance with a faculty
of thinking, since we know not wherein thinking consists, nor to what
sort of substances the Almighty has been pleased to give that power,
which cannot be in any created being but merely by the good pleasure
and bounty of the Creator. For I see no contradiction in it, that
the first thinking eternal Being should, if he pleased, give to
certain systems of created, senseless matter, put together as he
thinks fit, some degrees of sense, perception, and thought." With
such notions of the nature of thought, as a kind of mechanical
contrivance, that can be conferred outright by an arbitrary act of
Deity, and attached to one nature as well as another, it is evident
that Locke could have had no idea of spirit as conceived by
metaphysicians,--or no belief in that idea, if conceived. And with
such conceptions of Deity and Divine operations, as consisting in
absolute power dissociated from absolute reason, one would not be
surprised to find him asserting, that God, if he pleased, might make
two and two to be one, instead of four,--that mathematical laws are
arbitrary determinations of the Supreme Will,--that a thing is true
only as God wills it to be so,--in fine, that there is no such thing
as absolute truth. The resort to "Omnipotency" in such matters is
more convenient than philosophical; it is a dodging of the question,
instead of an attempt to solve it. Divine ordination--"[Greek: Doz
d' etelevto Bonlae]"--is a maxim which settles all difficulties.
But it also precludes all inquiry. Why speculate at all, with this
universal solvent at hand?

[Footnote 18: _Essai sur l'Origine du Connaissances humaines_. Book
IV. Chap. 3, Sect. 6.]

The "contradiction" which Locke could not see was clearly seen and
keenly felt by Leibnitz. The arbitrary will of God, to him, was no
solution. He believed in necessary truths independent of the Supreme
Will; in other words, he believed that the Supreme Will is but the
organ of the Supreme Reason: "Il ne faut point s'imaginer, que les
vérités éternelles, étant dépendantes de Dieu, sont arbitragés et
dépendent de sa volonté." He felt, with Des Cartes, the incompatibility
of thought with extension, considered as an immanent quality of
substance, and he shared with Spinoza the unific propensity which
distinguishes the higher order of philosophic minds. Dualism was an
offence to him. On the other hand, he differed from Spinoza in his
vivid sense of individuality, of personality. The pantheistic idea
of a single, sole being, of which all other beings are mere
modalities, was also and equally an offence to him. He saw well the
illusoriness and unfruitfulness of such a universe as Spinoza dreamed.
He saw it to be a vain imagination, a dream-world, "without form and
void," nowhere blossoming into reality. The philosophy of Leibnitz
is equally remote from that of Des Cartes on the one hand, and from
that of Spinoza on the other. He diverges from the former on the
question of substance, which Des Cartes conceived as consisting of
two kinds, one active (thinking) and one passive (extended), but
which Leibnitz conceives to be all and only active. He explodes
Dualism, and resolves the antithesis of matter and spirit by
positing extension as a continuous act instead of a passive mode,
substance as an active force instead of an inert mass,--matter as
substance appearing, communicating,--as the necessary band and
relation of spirits among themselves. [19]

[Footnote 19: The following passages may serve as illustrations of
these positions:--

"Materia habet de so actum entitativum."--_De Princip. Indiv_.
Coroll. I.

"Dicam interim notionem virium seu virtutis, (quam Germani vocant
_Kraft_, Galli, _la force_,) cui ego explicandae peculiarem
Dynamices scientiam destinavi, plurimum lucis afferre ad veram
notionem substantiae intelligendam."--_De Primae Philosoph. Emendat,
et de Notione Substantiae_.

"Corpus ergo est agens extensum; dici poterit esse substantiam
extensam, modo teneatur omnem substantiam _agere, at omne agens
substantiam_ appellari." "Patebit non tantum mentes, sed etiam
substantiae omnes in loco, non nisi per _operationem_ esse."--
_De Vera Method. Phil. et Theol_.

"Extensionem concipere ut absolutum ex eo forte oritur quod spatium
concipimus per modum substantiae"--_Ad Des Bosses Ep_. XXIX.

"Car l'étendue ne signifie qu'une répétition ou multiplicité continuée
de ce qui est répandu."--_Extrait d'une Lettre_, etc.

"Et l'on peut dire que Pétunduc est en quelque façon à l'espace
comme la durée est au tems."--_Exam. des Principes de Malebranche_.

"La nature de la substance consistant à mon avis dans cette tendance
réglée de laquelle les phénomènes naissent par ordre."--_Lettre à
M. Bayle_.

"Car rien n'a mieux marqué la substance que la puissance d'agir."--
_Réponse aux Objections du P. Lami_.

"S'il n'y avait que des esprits, ils seraient sans la liaison
nécessaire, sans l'ordre des tems et des lieux."--_Theod_. Sect. 120.]

He parts company with Spinoza on the question of individuality.
Substance is homogeneous; but substances, or beings, are infinite.
Spinoza looked upon the universe and saw in it the undivided
background on which the objects of human consciousness are painted
as momentary pictures. Leibnitz looked and saw that background, like
the background of one of Raphael's Madonnas, instinct with
individual life, and swarming with intelligences which look out from
every point of space. Leibnitz's universe is composed of Monads,
that is, units, individual substances, or entities, having neither
extension, parts, nor figure, and, of course, indivisible. These are
"the veritable atoms of nature, the elements of things."

The Monad is unformed and imperishable; it has no natural end or
beginning. It could begin to be only by creation; it can cease to be
only by annihilation. It cannot be affected from without or changed
in its interior by any other creature. Still, it must have qualities,
without which it would not be an entity. And monads must differ one
from another, or there would be no changes in our experience; since
all that takes place in compound bodies is derived from the simples
which compose them. Moreover, the monad, though uninfluenced from
without, is changing continually; the change proceeds from an
internal principle. Every monad is subject to a multitude of
affections and relations, although without parts. This shifting state,
which represents multitude in unity, is nothing else than what we
call _Perception_, which must be carefully distinguished from
_Apperception_, or consciousness. And the action of the internal
principle which causes change in the monad, or a passing from one
perception to another, is _Appetition_. The desire does not always
attain to the perception to which it tends, but it always effects
something, and causes a change of perceptions.

Leibnitz differs from Locke in maintaining that perception is
inexplicable and inconceivable on mechanical principles. It is
always the act of a simple substance, never of a compound. And
"in simple substances there is nothing but perceptions and their
changes." [20]

[Footnote 20: _Menadol_. 17.]

He differs from Locke, furthermore, on the question of the origin of
ideas. This question, he says, "is not a preliminary one in
philosophy, and one must have made great progress to be able to
grapple successfully with it."--"Meanwhile, I think I may say, that
our ideas, even those of sensible objects, _viennent de nôtre propre
fond_... I am by no means for the _tabula rasa_ of Aristotle; on the
contrary, there is to me something rational (_quelque chose de solide_)
in what Plato called _reminiscence_. Nay, more than that, we have
not only a reminiscence of all our past thoughts, but we have also a
_presentiment_ of all our thoughts." [21]

[Footnote 21: _Reflexions sur l'Essai de l'Entendement humain_.]

Mr. Lewes, in his "Biographical History of Philosophy," speaks of
the essay from which these words are quoted, as written in "a
somewhat supercilious tone." We are unable to detect any such
feature in it. That trait was wholly foreign from Leibnitz's nature.
"Car je suis des plus dociles," he says of himself, in this same
essay. He was the most tolerant of philosophers. "Je ne méprise
presque rien."--"Nemo est ingenio minus quam ego censorio."--
"Mirum dictu: probo pleraque quae lego."--"Non admodum refutationes
quaerere aut legere soleo."

To return to the monads. Each monad, according to Leibnitz, is,
properly speaking, a soul, inasmuch as each is endowed with
perception. But in order to distinguish those which have only
perception from those which have also sentiment and memory, he will
call the latter _souls_, the former _monads_ or _entelechies_. [22]

[Footnote 22: _Entelechy_ ([Greek: entelechia]) is an Aristotelian term,
signifying activity, or more properly perhaps, self action. Leibnitz
understands by it something complete in itself ([Greek: echon to
enteles]). Mr. Butler, in his _History of Ancient Philosophy_,
lately reprinted in this country, translates it "act." _Function_, we
think would be a better rendering. (See W. Archer Butler's _Lectures_,
Last Series, Lect. 2.) Aristotle uses the word as a definition of the
soul. "The soul," he says, "is the first entelechy of an active body."]

The naked monad, he says, has perceptions without relief, or
"enhanced flavor"; it is in a state of stupor. Death, he thinks, may
produce this state for a time in animals. The monads completely fill
the world; there is never and nowhere a void, and never complete
inanimateness and inertness. The universe is a _plenum_ of souls.
Wherever we behold an organic whole, (_unum per se_,) there monads
are grouped around a central monad to which they are subordinate,
and which they are constrained to serve so long as that connection
lasts. Masses of inorganic matter are aggregations of monads without
a regent, or sentient soul (_unum per accidens_). There can be no
monad without matter, that is, without society, and no soul without
a body. Not only the human soul is indestructible and immortal, but
also the animal soul. There is no generation out of nothing, and no
absolute death. Birth is expansion, development, growth; and death
is contraction, envelopment, decrease. The monads which are destined
to become human souls have existed from the beginning in organic
matter, but only as sentient or animal souls, without reason. They
remain in this condition until the generation of the human beings to
which they belong, and then develope themselves into rational souls.
The different organs and members of the body are also relatively
souls which collect around them a number of monads for a specific
purpose, and so on _ad infinitum_. Matter is not only infinitely
divisible, but infinitely divided. All matter (so called) is living
and active. "Every particle of matter may be conceived as a garden of
plants, or as a pond full of fishes. But each branch of each plant,
each member of each animal, each drop of their humors, is in turn
another such garden or pond." [23]

[Footnote 23: _Monadol._ 67.]

The connection between monads, consequently the connection between
soul and body, is not composition, but an organic relation,--in some
sort, a spontaneous relation. The soul forms its own body, and
moulds it to its purpose. This hypothesis was afterward embraced and
developed as a physiological principle by Stahl. As all the atoms in
one body are organically related, so all the beings in the universe
are organically related to each other and to the All. One creature,
or one organ of a creature, being given, there is given with it the
world's history from the beginning to the end. _All bodies are
strictly fluid; the universe is in flux_.

The principle of continuity answers the same purpose in Leibnitz's
system that the single substance does in Spinoza's. It vindicates
the essential unity of all being. Yet the two conceptions are
immeasurably different, and constitute an immeasurable difference
between the two systems, considered in their practical and moral
bearings, as well as their ontological aspects. Spinoza [24]
starts with the idea of the Infinite, or the All-One, from which
there is no logical deduction of the individual. And in Spinoza's
system the individual does not exist except as a modality. But the
existence of the individual is one of the primordial truths of the
human mind, the foremost fact of consciousness. With this, therefore,
Leibnitz begins, and arrives, by logical induction, to the Absolute
and Supreme. Spinoza ends where he begins, in pantheism; the moral
result of his system, Godward, is fatalism,--manward, indifferentism
and negation of moral good and evil. Leibnitz ends in theism; the
moral result of his system, Godward, is optimism,--manward, liberty,
personal responsibility, moral obligation.

[Footnote 24: See Helferich's _Spinoza, und Leibnitz_, p. 76.]

He demonstrates the being of God by the necessity of a sufficient
reason to account for the series of things. Each finite thing
requires an antecedent or contingent cause. But the supposition of
an endless sequence of contingent causes, or finite things, is absurd;
the series must have had a beginning, and that beginning cannot have
been a contingent cause or finite thing. "The final reason of things
must be found in a necessary substance in which the detail of
changes exists eminently, (_ne soit qu'éminemment_,) as in its source;
and this is what we call God." [25]

[Footnote 25: _Monadol_. 38.]

The idea of God is of such a nature, that the being corresponding to
it, if possible, must be actual. We have the idea; it involves no
bounds, no negation, consequently no contradiction. It is the idea
of a possible, therefore of an actual.

"God is the primitive Unity, or the simple original Substance of
which all the creatures, or original monads, are the products, and
_are generated, so to speak, by continual fulgurations from moment
to moment, bounded by the receptivity of the creature_, of whose
existence limitation is an essential condition." [26]

[Footnote 26: Ib. 47.]

The philosophic theologian and the Christianizing philosopher will
rejoice to find in this proposition a point of reconciliation between
the extramundane God of pure theism and the cardinal principle of
Spinozism, the immanence of Deity in creation,--a principle as dear
to the philosophic mind as that of the extramundane Divinity is to
the theologian. The universe of Spinoza is a self-existent unit,
divine in itself, but with no Divinity behind it. That of Leibnitz
is an endless series of units from a self-existent and divine source.
The one is an infinite deep, the other an everlasting flood.

The doctrine of the _Preëstablished Harmony_, so intimately and
universally associated with the name of Leibnitz, has found little
favor with his critics, or even with his admirers. Feuerbach calls
it his weak side, and thinks that Leibnitz's philosophy, else so
profound, was here, as in other instances, overshadowed by the
popular creed; that he accommodated himself to theology, as a highly
cultivated and intelligent man, conscious of his superiority,
accommodates himself to a lady in his conversation with her,
translating his ideas into her language, and even paraphrasing them.
From this view of Leibnitz, as implying insincerity, we utterly
dissent. [27]

[Footnote 27: See, in connection with this point, two admirable essays
by Lessing,--the one entitled _Leibnitz on Eternal Punishment_, the
other _Objections of Andreas Wissowatius to the Doctrine of the
Trinity_. Of the latter the real topic is Leibnitz's _Defensio
Trinitatis_. The sharp-sighted Lessing, than whom no one has
expressed a greater reverence for Leibnitz, emphatically asserts and
vigorously defends the philosopher's orthodoxy.]

The author of the "Théodicée" was not more interested in philosophy
than he was in theology. His thoughts and his purpose did equal
justice to both. The deepest wish of his heart was to reconcile them,
not by formal treaty, but in loving and condign union. We do not,
however, object to an esoteric and exoteric view of the doctrine
in question; and we quite agree with Feuerbach that the phrase
_préétablie_ does not express a metaphysical determination.
It is one thing to say, that God, by an arbitrary decree from
everlasting, has so predisposed and predetermined every motion in the
world of matter that each volition of a rational agent finds in the
constant procession of physical forces a concurrent event by which it
is executed, but which would have taken place without his volition,
just as the mail-coach takes our letter, if we have one, but goes
all the same, when we do not write,--this is the gross, exoteric
view,--and a very different thing it is to say, that the monads
composing the human system and the universe of things are so related,
adjusted, accommodated to each other, and to the whole, each being a
representative of all the rest and a mirror of the universe, that each
feels all that passes in the rest, and all conspire in every act, [28]
more or less effectively, in the ratio of their nearness to the prime
agent. This is Leibnitz's idea of preëstablished harmony, which,
perhaps, would be better expressed by the term "necessary consent."
"In the ideas of God, each monad has a right to demand that God, in
regulating the rest from the commencement of things, shall have
regard to it; for since a created monad can have no physical
influence on the interior of another, it is only by this means that
one can be dependent on another."--"The soul follows its own laws
and the body follows its own, and they meet in virtue of the
preëstablished harmony which exists between all substances, as
representatives of one and the same universe. Souls act according to
the laws of final causes by appetitions, etc. Bodies act according to
the laws of efficient causes or the laws of motion. And the two
kingdoms, that of efficient causes and that of final causes,
harmonize with each other." [29]

[Footnote 28:  In this connection, Leibnitz quotes the remarkable
saying of Hippocrates, [_Greek: Sumpnoia panta_]. The universe
breathes together, conspires.--_Monadal_. 61.]

[Footnote 29: _Monadol_. 78, 79.]

The Preëstablished Harmony, then, is to be regarded as the
philosophic statement of a fact, and not as a theory concerning the
cause of the fact. But, like all philosophic and adequate statements,
it answers the purpose of a theory, and clears up many difficulties.
It is the best solution we know of the old contradiction of
free-will and fate,--individual liberty and a necessary world. This
antithesis disappears in the light of the Leibnitian philosophy,
which resolves freedom and necessity into different points of
view and different stages of development. The principle of the
Preëstablished Harmony was designed by Leibnitz to meet the
difficulty, started by Des Cartes, of explaining the conformity between
the perceptions of the mind and the corresponding affections of the
body, since mind and matter, in his view, could have no connection
with, or influence on each other. The Cartesians explained this
correspondence by the theory of _occasional causes_, that is, by
the intervention of the Deity, who was supposed by his arbitrary will to
have decreed a certain perception or sensation in the mind to go
with a certain affection of the body, with which, however, it had no
real connection. "Car il" (that is, M. Bayle) "est persuadé avec les
Cartésiens modernes, que les idées des qualités sensibles que Dieu
donne, selon eux, à l'âme, à l'occasion des mouvemens du corps,
n'ont rien qui représente ces mouvemens, ou qui leur ressemble; de
sorte qu'il étoit purement arbitraire que Dieu nous donnât les idées
de la chaleur, du froid, de la lumière et autres que nous
expérimentons, ou qu'il nous en donnât de tout-autres à cette même
occasion." [30]

[Footnote 30: _Théodicée_. Partie II. 340.]

If the body was exposed to the flame, there was no more reason,
according to this theory, why the soul should be conscious of pain
than of pleasure, except that God had so ordained. Such a supposition
was shocking to our philosopher, who could tolerate no arbitrariness
in God and no gap or discrepancy in nature, and who, therefore,
sought to explain, by the nature of the soul itself and its kindred
monads, the correspondence for which so violent an hypothesis was
embraced by the Cartesians.

We have left ourselves no room to speak as we would of Leibnitz as
theosopher. It was in this character that he obtained, in the last
century, his widest fame. The work by which he is most commonly known,
by which alone he is known to many, is the "Théodicée,"--an attempt
to vindicate the goodness of God against the cavils of unbelievers.
He was one of the first to apply to this end the cardinal principle
of the Lutheran Reformation,--the liberty of reason. He was one of
the first to treat unbelief, from the side of religion, as an error
of judgment, not as rebellion against rightful authority. The latter
was and is the Romanist view. The former is the Protestant theory,
but was not then, and is not always now, the Protestant practice.
Theology then was not concerned to vindicate the reason or the
goodness of God. It gloried in his physical strength by which he
would finally crush dissenters from orthodoxy. Leibnitz knew no
authority independent of Reason, and no God but the Supreme Reason
directing Almighty Good-will. The philosophic conclusion justly
deducible from this view of God, let cavillers say what they will,
is Optimism. Accordingly, Optimism, or the doctrine of the best
possible world, is the theory of the "Théodicée." Our limits will
not permit us to analyze the argument of this remarkable work. Bunsen
says, "It necessarily failed because it was a not quite honest
compound of speculation and divinity." [31]

[Footnote 31: _Outlines of the Philos. of Univ. Hist_. Vol. I. Chap. 6.]

Few at the present day will pretend to be entirely satisfied with
its reasoning, but all who are familiar with it know it to be a
treasury of wise and profound thoughts and of noble sentiments and
aspirations. Bonnet, the naturalist, called it his "Manual of
Christian Philosophy"; and Fontenelle, in his eulogy, speaks
enthusiastically of its luminous and sublime views, of its reasonings,
in which the mind of the geometer is always apparent, of its perfect
fairness toward those whom it controverts, and its rich store of
anecdote and illustration. Even Stewart, who was _not_ familiar with
it, and who, as might be expected, strangely misconceives and
misrepresents the author, is compelled to echo the general sentiment.
He pronounces it a work in which are combined together in an
extraordinary degree "the acuteness of the logician, the imagination
of the poet, and the _impenetrable yet sublime darkness_ of the
metaphysical theologian." The Italics are ours. Our reason for
doubting Stewart's familiarity with the "Théodicée," and with
Leibnitz in general, is derived in part from these phrases. We do
not believe that any sincere student of Leibnitz has found him dark
and impenetrable. Be it a merit or a fault, this predicate is
inapplicable. Never was metaphysician more explicit and more
intelligible. Had he been disposed to mysticize and to shroud
himself in "impenetrable darkness," he would have found it difficult
to indulge that propensity in French. Thanks to the strict régime
and happy limitations of that idiom, the French is not a language in
which philosophy can hide itself. It is a tight-fitting coat, which
shows the exact form, or want of form, of the thought it clothes,
without pad or fold to simulate fulness or to veil defects. It was a
Frenchman, we are aware, who discovered that "the use of language is
to conceal thought"; but that use, so far as French is concerned,
has been hitherto monopolized by diplomacy.

Another reason for questioning Stewart's familiarity with Leibnitz
is his misconception of that author, which we choose to impute to
ignorance rather than to wilfulness. This misconception is
strikingly exemplified in a prominent point of Leibnitian philosophy.
Stewart says: "The zeal of Leibnitz in propagating the dogma of
Necessity is not easily reconcilable with the hostility which he
uniformly displays against the congenial doctrine of Materialism." [32]

[Footnote 32: _General View of the Prog. of Metaph. Eth. and Polit.
Phil_. Boston: 1822. p. 75.]

Now it happens that "the zeal of Leibnitz" was exerted in precisely
the opposite direction. A considerable section of the "Théodicée"
(34-75) is occupied with the illustration and defence of the Freedom
of the Will. It was a doctrine on which he laid great stress, and
which forms an essential part of his system; [33] in proof of which,
let one declaration stand for many: "Je suis d'opinion que notre
volonté n'est pas seulement exempte de la contrainte, mais encore
de la nécessité." How far he succeeded in establishing that doctrine
in accordance with the rest of his system is another question.
That he believed it and taught it is a fact of which there can be
no more doubt with those who have studied his writings, than there
is that he wrote the works ascribed to him. But the freedom of will
maintained by Leibnitz was not indeterminism. It was not the
indifference of the tongue of the balance between equal weights,
or that of the ass between equal bundles of hay. Such an
equilibrium he declares impossible. "Cet équilibre en tout sens
est impossible." Buridan's imaginary case of the ass is a fiction
"qui ne sauroit avoir lieu dans l'univers." [34]

[Footnote 33: "Numquam Leibnitio in mentem venisse libertatem velle
evertere, in qua defendenda quam maxime fuit occupatus, omnia scripta,
precipue autem Theodicæa ejus, clamitant."--KORTHOLT, Vol. IV. p. 12.]

[Footnote 34: Leibnitz seems to have been of the same mind with

  "Intra duo cibi distanti e moventi
  D' un modo, prima si morria di fame
  Che liber' uomo l'un recasse a' denti."
  _Parad_, iv. 1.]

The will is always determined by motives, but not necessarily
constrained by them. This is his doctrine, emphatically stated and
zealously maintained. We doubt if any philosopher, equally profound
and equally sincere, will ever find room in his conclusions for a
greater measure of moral liberty than the "Théodicée" has conceded
to man. "In respect to this matter," says Arthur Schopenhauer,
"the great thinkers of all times are agreed and decided, just as
surely as the mass of mankind will never see and comprehend the
great truth, that the practical operation of liberty is not to be
sought in single acts, but in the being and nature of man." [35]

[Footnote 35: _Ueber den Willen in der Natur_. FRANKFURT A.M. 1854.
p. 22.]

Leibnitz's construction of the idea of a possible liberty consistent
with the preëstablished order of the universe is substantially that
of Schelling in his celebrated essay on this subject. We must not
dwell upon it, but hasten to conclude our imperfect sketch.

The ground-idea of the "Théodicée" is expressed in the phrase,
"Best-possible world." Evil is a necessary condition of finite being,
but the end of creation is the realization of the greatest possible
perfection within the limits of the finite. The existing universe is
one of innumerable possible universes, each of which, if actualized,
would have had a different measure of good and evil. The present,
rather than any other, was made actual, as presenting to Divine
Intelligence the smallest measure of evil and the greatest amount of
good. This idea is happily embodied in the closing apologue, designed
to supplement one of Laurentius Valla, a writer of the fifteenth
century. Theodorus, priest of Zeus at Dodona, demands why that god
has permitted to Sextus the evil will which was destined to bring so
much misery on himself and others. Zeus refers him to his daughter
Athene. He goes to Athens, is commanded to lie down in the temple of
Pallas, and is there visited with a dream. The vision takes him to
the Palace of Destinies, which contains the plans of all possible
worlds. He examines one plan after another; in each the same Sextus
plays a different part and experiences a different fate. The plans
improve as he advances, till at last he comes upon one whose
superior excellence enchants him with delight. After revelling awhile
in the contemplation of this perfect world, he is told that this is
the actual world in which he lives. But in this the crime of Sextus
is a necessary constituent; it could not be what it is as a whole,
were it other than it is in its single parts.

Whatever may be thought of Leibnitz's success in demonstrating his
favorite doctrine, the theory of Optimism commends itself to piety
and reason as that view of human and divine things which most
redounds to the glory of God and best expresses the hope of man,--as
the noblest and _therefore_ the truest theory of Divine rule and
human destiny.

We recall at this moment but one English writer of supreme mark who
has held and promulged, in its fullest extent, the theory of Optimism.
That one is a poet. The "Essay on Man," with one or two exceptions,
might almost pass for a paraphrase of the "Théodicée"; and Pope,
with characteristic vigor, has concentrated the meaning of that
treatise in one word, which is none the less true, in the sense
intended, because of its possible perversion,--"Whatever is, is right."

       *       *       *       *       *




They had lived thus nearly a year, when, one day as they were riding
on horseback, Alfred saw Mr. Grossman approaching. "Drop your veil,"
he said, quickly, to his companion; for he could not bear to have
that Satyr even look upon his hidden flower. The cotton-broker
noticed the action, but silently touched his hat, and passed with a
significant smile on his uncomely countenance. A few days afterward,
when Alfred had gone to his business in the city, Loo Loo strolled
to her favorite recess on the hill-side, and, lounging on the rustic
seat, began to read the second volume of "Thaddeus of Warsaw." She
was so deeply interested in the adventures of the noble Pole, that
she forgot herself and all her surroundings. Masses of glossy dark
hair fell over the delicate hand that supported her head; her
morning-gown, of pink French muslin, fell apart, and revealed a
white embroidered skirt, from beneath which obtruded one small foot,
in an open-work silk stocking; the slipper having fallen to the
ground. Thus absorbed, she took no note of time, and might have
remained until summoned to dinner, had not a slight rustling
disturbed her. She looked up, and saw a coarse face peering at her
between the pine boughs, with a most disgusting expression. She at
once recognized the man they had met during their ride; and starting
to her feet, she ran like a deer before the hunter. It was not till
she came near the house, that she was aware of having left her
slipper. A servant was sent for it, but returned, saying it was not
to be found. She mourned over the loss, for the little pink kid
slippers, embroidered with silver, were a birth-day present from
Alfred. As soon as he returned, she told him the adventure, and went
with him to search the arbor of pines. The incident troubled him
greatly. "What a noxious serpent, to come crawling into our Eden!"
he exclaimed. "Never come here alone again, dearest; and never go
far from the house, unless Madame is with you."

Her circle of enjoyments was already small, excluded as she was from
society by her anomalous position, and educated far above the caste
in which the tyranny of law and custom so absurdly placed her. But
it is one of the blessed laws of compensation, that the human soul
cannot miss that to which it has never been accustomed. Madame's
motherly care, and Alfred's unvarying tenderness, sufficed her
cravings for affection; and for amusement, she took refuge in books,
flowers, birds, and those changes of natural scenery for which her
lover had such quickness of eye. It was a privation to give up her
solitary rambles in the grounds, her inspection of birds' nests, and
her readings in that pleasant alcove of pines. But she more than
acquiesced in Alfred's prohibition. She said at once, that she would
rather be a prisoner within the house all her days than ever see
that odious face again.

Mr. Noble encountered the cotton-broker, in the way of business, a
few days afterward; but his aversion to the unclean conversation of
the man induced him to conceal his vexation under the veil of common
courtesy. He knew what sort of remarks any remonstrance would elicit,
and he shrank from subjecting Loo Loo's name to such pollution. For a
short time, this prudent reserve shielded him from the attacks he
dreaded. But Mr. Grossman soon began to throw out hints about the
sly hypocrisy of Puritan Yankees, and other innuendoes obviously
intended to annoy him. At last, one day, he drew the embroidered
slipper from his pocket, and, with a rakish wink of his eye, said,
"I reckon you have seen this before, Mr. Noble."

Alfred felt an impulse to seize him by the throat, and strangle him
on the spot. But why should he make a scene with such a man, and
thus drag Loo Loo's name into painful notoriety? The old _roué_ was
evidently trying to foment a quarrel with him. Thoroughly animal in
every department of his nature, he was boastful of brute courage,
and prided himself upon having killed several men in duels. Alfred
conjectured his line of policy, and resolved to frustrate it. He
therefore coolly replied, "I have seen such slippers; they are very
pretty"; and turned away, as if the subject were indifferent to him.

"Coward!" muttered Grossman, as he left the counting-house. Mr. Noble
did not hear him; and if he had, it would not have altered his course.
He could see nothing enviable in the reputation of being ever ready
for brawls, and a dead-shot in duels; and he knew that his life was
too important to the friendless Loo Loo to be thus foolishly risked
for the gratification of a villain. This incident renewed his old
feelings of remorse for the false position in which he had placed the
young orphan, who trusted him so entirely. To his generous nature,
the wrong seemed all the greater because the object was so
unconscious of it. "It is I who have subjected her to the insolence
of this vile man," he said within himself. "But I will repair the
wrong. Innocent, confiding soul that she is, I will protect her. The
sanction of marriage shall shield her from such affronts."

Alas for poor human nature! He was sincere in these resolutions, but
he was not quite strong enough to face the prejudices of the society
in which he lived. Their sneers would have fallen harmless. They
could not take from him a single thing he really valued. But he had
not learned to understand that the dreaded power of public opinion
is purely fabulous, when unsustained by the voice of conscience. So
he fell into the old snare of moral compromise. He thought the best
he could do, under the circumstances, was to hasten the period of
his departure for the North, to marry Loo Loo in Philadelphia, and
remove to some part of the country where her private history would
remain unknown.

To make money for this purpose, he had more and more extended
his speculations, and they had uniformly proved profitable. If
Mr. Grossman's offensive conduct had not forced upon him a painful
consciousness of his position with regard to the object of his
devoted affection, he would have liked to remain in Mobile a few
years longer, and accumulate more; but, as it was, he determined to
remove as soon as he could arrange his affairs satisfactorily. He
set about this in good earnest. But, alas! the great pecuniary crash
of 1837 was at hand. By every mail came news of failures where he
expected payments. The wealth, which seemed so certain a fact a few
months before, where had it vanished? It had floated away, like a
prismatic bubble on the breeze. He saw that his ruin was inevitable.
All he owned in the world would not cancel his debts. And now he
recalled the horrible recollection that Loo Loo was a part of his
property. Much as he had blamed Mr. Duncan for negligence in not
manumitting her mother, he had fallen into the same snare. In the
fulness of his prosperity and happiness, he did not comprehend the
risk he was running by delay. He rarely thought of the fact that she
was legally his slave; and when it did occur to him, it was always
accompanied with the recollection that the laws of Alabama did not
allow him to emancipate her without sending her away from the State.
But this never troubled him, because there was always present with
him that vision of going to the North and making her his wife. So
time slipped away, without his taking any precautions on the subject;
and now it was too late. Immersed in debt as he was, the law did not
allow him to dispose of anything without consent of creditors; and he
owed ten thousand dollars to Mr. Grossman. Oh, agony! sharp agony!

There was a meeting of the creditors. Mr. Noble rendered an account
of all his property, in which he was compelled to include Loo Loo;
but for her he offered to give a note for fifteen hundred dollars,
with good endorsement, payable with interest in a year. It was known
that his attachment to the orphan he had educated amounted almost to
infatuation; and his proverbial integrity inspired so much respect,
that the creditors were disposed to grant him any indulgence not
incompatible with their own interests. They agreed to accept the
proffered note, all except Mr. Grossman. He insisted that the girl
should be put up at auction. For her sake, the ruined merchant
condescended to plead with him. He represented that the tie between
them was very different from the merely convenient connections which
were so common; that Loo Loo was really good and modest, and so
sensitive by nature, that exposure to public sale would nearly kill
her. The selfish creditor remained inexorable. The very fact that
this delicate flower had been so carefully sheltered from the mud
and dust of the wayside rendered her a more desirable prize. He
coolly declared, that ever since he had seen her in the arbor, he
had been determined to have her; and now that fortune had put the
chance in his power, no money should induce him to relinquish it.

The sale was inevitable; and the only remaining hope was that some
friend might be induced to buy her. There was a gentleman in the
city whom I will call Frank Helper. He was a Kentuckian by birth,
kind and open-hearted,--a slave-holder by habit, not by nature. Warm
feelings of regard had long existed between him and Mr. Noble; and to
him the broken merchant applied for advice in this torturing
emergency. Though Mr. Helper was possessed of but moderate wealth,
he had originally agreed to endorse his friend's note for fifteen
hundred dollars; and he now promised to empower some one to expend
three thousand dollars in the purchase of Loo Loo.

"It is not likely that we shall be obliged to pay so much," said he.
"Bad debts are pouring in upon Grossman, and he hasn't a mint of
money to spare just now, however big he may talk. We will begin with
offering fifteen hundred dollars; and she will probably be bid off
for two thousand."

"Bid off! O my God!" exclaimed the wretched man. He bowed his head
upon his outstretched arms, and the table beneath him shook with his
convulsive sobs. His friend was unprepared for such an overwhelming
outburst of emotion. He did not understand, no one but Alfred
himself _could_ understand, the peculiarity of the ties that bound
him to that dear orphan. Recovering from this unwonted mood, he
inquired whether there was no possible way of avoiding a sale.

"I am sorry to say there is no way, my friend," replied Mr. Helper.
"The laws invest this man with power over you; and there is nothing
left for us but to undermine his projects. It is a hazardous business,
as you well know. _You_ must not appear in it; neither can I; for I
am known to be your intimate friend. But trust the whole affair to me,
and I think I can bring it to a successful issue."

The hardest thing of all was to apprise the poor girl of her
situation. She had never thought of herself as a slave; and what a
terrible awakening was this from her dream of happy security! Alfred
deemed it most kind and wise to tell her of it himself; but he
dreaded it worse than death. He expected she would swoon; he even
feared it might kill her. But love made her stronger than he thought.
When, after much cautious circumlocution, he arrived at the crisis
of the story, she pressed her hand hard upon her forehead, and
seemed stupefied. Then she threw herself into his arms, and they wept,
wept, wept, till their heads seemed cracking with the agony.

"Oh, the avenging Nemesis!" exclaimed Alfred, at last. "I have
deserved all this. It is all my own fault. I ought to have carried
you away from these wicked laws. I ought to have married you. Truest,
most affectionate of friends, how cruelly I have treated you! you,
who put the welfare of your life so confidingly into my hands!"

She rose up from his bosom, and, looking him lovingly in the face,

"Never say that, dear Alfred! Never have such a thought again! You
have been the best and kindest friend that woman ever had. If
_I_ forgot that I was a slave, is it strange that _you_ should
forget it? But, Alfred, I will never be the slave of any other man,--
never! I will never be put on the auction-stand. I will die first."

"Nay, dearest, you must make no rash resolutions," he replied.
"I have friends who promise to save you, and restore us to each other.
The form of sale is unavoidable. So, for my sake, consent to the
temporary humiliation. Will you, darling?"

He had never before seen such an expression in her face. Her eyes
flashed, her nostrils dilated, and she drew her breath like one in
the agonies of death. Then pressing his hand with a nervous grasp,
she answered,--

"For _your_ sake, dear Alfred, I will."

From that time, she maintained outward calmness, while in his
presence; and her inward uneasiness was indicated only by a fondness
more clinging than ever. Whenever she parted from him, she kept him
lingering, and lingering, on the threshold. She followed him to the
road; she kissed her hand to him till he was out of sight; and then
her tears flowed unrestrained. Her mind was filled with the idea
that she should be carried away from the home of her childhood, as
she had been by the rough Mr. Jackson,--that she should become the
slave of that bad man, and never, never see Alfred again. "But I can
die," she often said to herself; and she revolved in her mind
various means of suicide, in case the worst should happen.

Madame Labassé did not desert her in her misfortunes. She held
frequent consultations with Mr. Helper and his friends, and
continually brought messages to keep up her spirits. A dozen times a
day, she repeated,--

"Tout sera bien arrangé. Soyez tranquille, ma chère! Soyez tranquille!"

At last the dreaded day arrived. Mr. Helper had persuaded Alfred to
appear to yield to necessity, and keep completely out of sight. He
consented, because Loo Loo had said she could not go through with
the scene, if he were present; and, moreover, he was afraid to trust
his own nerves and temper. They conveyed her to the auction-room,
where she stood trembling among a group of slaves of all ages and
all colors, from iron-black to the lightest brown. She wore her
simplest dress, without ornament of any kind. When they placed her
on the stand, she held her veil down, with a close, nervous grasp.

"Come, show us your face," said the auctioneer. "Folks don't like to
buy a pig in a poke, you know."

Seeing that she stood perfectly still, with her head lowered upon
her breast, he untied the bonnet, pulled it off rudely, and held up
her face to public view. There was a murmur of applause.

"Show your teeth," said the auctioneer. But she only compressed her
mouth more firmly. After trying in vain to coax her, he exclaimed,--

"Never mind, gentlemen. She's got a string of pearls inside them
coral lips of hern. I can swear to that, for I've seen 'em. No use
tryin' to trot her out. She's a leetle set up, ye see, with bein'
made much of. Look at her, gentlemen! Who can blame her for bein' a
bit proud? She's a fust-rate fancy-article. Who bids?"

Before he had time to repeat the question, Mr. Grossman said, in a
loud voice, "Fifteen hundred dollars."

This was rather a damper upon Mr. Helper's agent, who bid sixteen

A voice from the crowd called out, "Eighteen hundred."

"Two thousand," shouted Mr. Grossman.

"Two thousand two hundred," said another voice.

"Two thousand five hundred," exclaimed Mr. Grossman.

"Two thousand eight hundred," said the incognito agent.

The prize was now completely given up to the two competitors; and
the agent, excited by the contest, went beyond his orders, until he
bid as high as four thousand two hundred dollars.

"Four thousand five hundred," screamed the cotton-broker.

There was no use in contending with him. He was evidently willing to
stake all his fortune upon victory.

"Going! Going! Going!" repeated the auctioneer, slowly. There was a
brief pause, during which every pulsation in Loo Loo's body seemed
to stop. Then she heard the horrible words, "Gone, for four thousand
five hundred dollars! Gone to Mr. Grossman!"

They led her to a bench at the other end of the room. She sat there,
still as a marble statue, and almost as pale. The sudden cessation
of excited hope had so stunned her, that she could not think.
Everything seemed dark and reeling round her. In a few minutes,
Mr. Grossman was at her side.

"Come, my beauty," said he. "The carriage is at the door. If you
behave yourself, you shall be treated like a queen. Come, my love!"

He attempted to take her hand, but his touch roused her from her
lethargy; and springing at him, like a wild-cat, she gave him a blow
in the face that made him stagger,--so powerful was it, in the
vehemence of her disgust and anger.

His coaxing tones changed instantly.

"We don't allow niggers to put on such airs," he said. "I'm your
master. You've got to live with me; and you may as well make up your
mind to it first as last."

He glowered at her savagely for a moment; and drawing from his pocket
an embroidered slipper, he added,--

"Ever since I picked up this pretty thing, I've been determined to
have you. I expected to be obliged to wait till Noble got tired of
you, and wanted to take up with another wench; but I've had better
luck than I expected."

At the sight of that gift of Alfred's in his hated hand, at the
sound of those coarse words, so different from _his_ respectful
tenderness, her pride broke down, and tears welled forth. Looking up
in his stern face, she said, in tones of the deepest pathos,--

"Oh, Sir, have pity on a poor, unfortunate girl! Don't persecute me!"

"Persecute you?" he replied. "No, indeed, my charmer! If you'll be
kind to me, I'll treat you like a princess."

He tried to look loving, but the expression was utterly revolting.
Twelve years of unbridled sensuality had rendered his countenance
even more disgusting than it was when he shocked Alfred's youthful
soul by his talk about "Duncan's handsome wench."

"Come, my beauty," he continued, persuasively, "I'm glad to see you
in a better temper. Come with me, and behave yourself."

She curled her lip scornfully, and repeated,--

"I will never live with you! Never!"

"We'll see about that, my wench," said he. "I may as well take you
down a peg, first as last. If you'd rather be in the calaboose with
niggers than to ride in a carriage with me, you may try it, and see
how you like it. I reckon you'll be glad to come to my terms, before

He beckoned to two police-officers, and said, "Take this wench into
custody, and keep her on bread and water, till I give further orders."

The jail to which Loo Loo was conveyed was a wretched place. The
walls were dingy, the floor covered with puddles of tobacco-juice,
the air almost suffocating with the smell of pent-up tobacco-smoke,
unwashed negroes, and dirty garments. She had never seen any place so
loathsome. Mr. Jackson's log-house was a palace in comparison. The
prison was crowded with colored people of all complexions, and
almost every form of human vice and misery was huddled together
there with the poor victims of misfortune. Thieves, murderers, and
shameless girls, decked out with tawdry bits of finery, were mixed
up with modest-looking, heart-broken wives, and mothers mourning for
the children that had been torn from their arms in the recent sale.
Some were laughing, and singing lewd songs. Others sat still, with
tears trickling down their sable cheeks. Here and there the fierce
expression of some intelligent young man indicated a volcano of
revenge seething within his soul. Some were stretched out drowsily
upon the filthy floor, their natures apparently stupefied to the
level of brutes. When Loo Loo was brought in, most of them were
roused to look at her; and she heard them saying to each other,
"By gum, dat ar an't no nigger!" "What fur dey fotch _her_ here?"
"She be white lady ob quality, _she_ be."

The tenderly-nurtured daughter of the wealthy planter remained in
this miserable place two days. The jailer, touched by her beauty and
extreme dejection, offered her better food than had been prescribed
in his orders. She thanked him, but said she could not eat. When he
invited her to occupy, for the night, a small room apart from the
herd of prisoners, she accepted the offer with gratitude. But she
could not sleep, and she dared not undress. In the morning, the
jailer, afraid of being detected in these acts of indulgence, told
her, apologetically, that he was obliged to request her to return to
the common apartment.

Having recovered somewhat from the stunning effects of the blow that
had fallen on her, she began to take more notice of her companions.
A gang of slaves, just sold, was in keeping there, till it suited
the trader's convenience to take them to New Orleans; and the
parting scenes she witnessed that day made an impression she never
forgot. "Can it be," she said to herself, "that such things have
been going on around me all these years, and I so unconscious of them?
What should I now be, if Alfred had not taken compassion on me, and
prevented my being sent to the New Orleans market, before I was ten
years old?" She thought with a shudder of the auction-scene the day
before, and began to be afraid that her friends could not save her
from that vile man's power.

She was roused from her reverie by the entrance of a white gentleman,
whom she had never seen before. He came to inspect the trader's gang
of slaves, to see if any one among them would suit him for a
house-servant; and before long, he agreed to purchase a
bright-looking mulatto lad. He stopped before Loo Loo, and said,
"Are you a good sempstress?"

"She's not for sale," answered the jailer. "She belongs to Mr.
Grossman, who put her here for disobedience." The man smiled, as he
spoke, and Loo Loo blushed crimson.

"Ho, ho," rejoined the stranger. "I'm sorry for that. I should like
to buy her, if I could."

He sauntered round the room, and took from his pocket oranges and
candy, which he distributed among the black picaninnies tumbling
over each other on the dirty floor. Coming round again to the place
where she sat, he put an orange on her lap, and said, in low tones,
"When they are not looking at you, remove the peel"; and, touching
his finger to his lip, significantly, he turned away to talk with
the jailer.

As soon as he was gone, she asked permission to go, for a few minutes,
to the room she had occupied during the night. There she examined
the orange, and found that half of the skin had been removed unbroken,
a thin paper inserted, and the peel replaced. On the scrap of paper
was written: "When your master comes, appear to be submissive, and
go with him. Plead weariness, and gain time. You will be rescued.
Destroy this, and don't seem more cheerful than you have been." Under
this was written, in Madame Labassé's hand, "Soyez tranquille, ma chère."

Unaccustomed to act a part, she found it difficult to appear so sad
as she had been before the reception of the note. But she did her
best, and the jailer observed no change.

Late in the afternoon, Mr. Grossman made his appearance. "Well, my
beauty," said he, "are you tired of the calaboose? Don't you think
you should like my house rather better?"

She yawned listlessly, and, without looking up, answered, "I am very
tired of staying here."

"I thought so," rejoined her master, with a chuckling laugh.
"I reckoned I should bring you to terms. So you've made up your mind
not to be cruel to a poor fellow so desperately in love with you,--
haven't you?"

She made no answer, and he continued: "You're ready to go home with
me,--are you?"

"Yes, Sir," she replied, faintly.

"Well, then, look up in my face, and let me have a peep at those
devilish handsome eyes."

He chucked her under the chin, and raised her blushing face. She
wanted to push him from her, he was so hateful; but she remembered
the mysterious orange, and looked him in the eye, with passive
obedience. Overjoyed at his success, he paid the jailer his fee,
drew her arm within his, and hurried to the carriage.

How many humiliations were crowded into that short ride! How she
shrank from the touch of his soft, swabby hand! How she loathed the
gloating looks of the old Satyr! But she remembered the orange, and
endured it all stoically.

Arrived at his stylish house, he escorted her to a large chamber
elegantly furnished.

"I told you I would treat you like a princess," he said; "and I will
keep my word."

He would have seated himself; but she prevented him, saying,
"I have one favor to ask, and I shall be very grateful to you, if
you will please to grant it."

"What is it, my charmer?" he inquired. "I will consent to anything

She answered, "I could not get a wink of sleep in that filthy prison;
and I am extremely tired. Please leave me till to-morrow."

"Ah, why did you compel me to send you to that abominable place? It
grieved me to cast such a pearl among swine. Well, I want to
convince you that I am a kind master; so I suppose I must consent.
But you must reward me with a kiss before I go."

This was the hardest trial of all; but she recollected the danger of
exciting his suspicions, and complied. He returned it with so much
ardor, that she pushed him away impetuously; but softening her
manner immediately, she said, in pleading tones, "I am exceedingly
tired; indeed I am!"

He lingered, and seemed very reluctant to go; but when she again
urged her request, he said, "Good night, my beauty! I will send up
some refreshments for you, before you sleep."

He went away, and she had a very uncomfortable sensation when she
heard him lock the door behind him. A prisoner, with such a jailer!
With a quick movement of disgust, she rushed to the water-basin and
washed her lips and her hands; but she felt that the stain was one
no ablution could remove. The sense of degradation was so cruelly
bitter, that it seemed to her as if she should die for very shame.

In a short time, an elderly mulatto woman, with a pleasant face,
entered, bearing a tray of cakes, ices, and lemonade.

"I don't wish for anything to eat," said Loo Loo, despondingly.

"Oh, don't be givin' up, in dat ar way," said the mulatto, in kind,
motherly tones. "De Lord ain't a-gwine to forsake ye. Ye may jus'
breeve what Aunt Debby tells yer. I'se a poor ole nigger; but I
hab 'sarved dat de darkest time is allers jus afore de light come.
Eat some ob dese yer goodies. Ye oughter keep yoursef strong fur de
sake ob yer friends."

Loo Loo looked at her earnestly, and repeated, "Friends? How do you
know I _have_ any friends?"

"Oh, I'se poor ole nigger," rejoined the mulatto. "I don't knows

The captive looked wistfully after her, as she left the room. She
felt disappointed; for something in the woman's ways and tones had
excited a hope within her. Again the key turned on the outside; but
it was not long before Debby reappeared with a bouquet.

"Massa sent young Missis dese yer fowers," she said.

"Put them down," rejoined Loo Loo, languidly.

"Whar shall I put 'em?" inquired the servant.

"Anywhere, out of my way," was the curt reply.

Debby cautioned her by a shake of her finger, and whispered,
"Massa's out dar, waitin' fur de key. Dar's writin' on dem ar fowers."
She lighted the lamps, and, after inquiring if anything else was
wanted, she went out, saying, "Good night, missis. De Lord send ye
pleasant dreams."

Again the key turned, and the sound of footsteps died away. Loo Loo
eagerly untwisted the paper round the bouquet, and read these words:
"Be ready for travelling. About midnight your door will be unlocked.
Follow Aunt Debby with your shoes in your hand, and speak no word.
Destroy this paper." To this Madame Labassé had added, "Ne craigner
rien, ma chère."

Loo Loo's heart palpitated violently, and the blood rushed to her
cheeks. Weary as she was, she felt no inclination to sleep. As she
sat there, longing for midnight, she had ample leisure to survey the
apartment. It was, indeed, a bower fit for a princess. The chairs,
tables, and French bedstead were all ornamented with roses and
lilies gracefully intertwined on a delicate fawn-colored ground. The
tent-like canopy, that partially veiled the couch, was formed of
pink and white striped muslin, draped on either side in ample folds,
and fastened with garlands of roses. The pillow-cases were
embroidered, perfumed, and edged with frills quilled as neatly as
the petals of a dahlia. In one corner stood a small table, decorated
with a very elegant Parisian tea-service for two. Lamps of cut glass
illumined the face of a large Pscyche mirror, and on the toilet
before it a diamond necklace and ear-rings sparkled in their crimson
velvet case. Loo Loo looked at them with a half-scornful smile, and
repeated to herself:

    "He bought me somewhat high;
    Since with me came a heart he couldn't buy."

She lowered the lamps to twilight softness, and tried to wait with
patience. How long the hours seemed! Surely it must be past midnight.
What if Aunt Debby had been detected in her plot? What if the master
should come, in her stead? Full of that fear, she tried to open the
windows, and found them fastened on the outside. Her heart sank
within her; for she had resolved, in the last emergency, to leap out
and be crushed on the pavement. Suspense became almost intolerable.
She listened, and listened. There was no sound, except a loud
snoring in the next apartment. Was it her tyrant, who was sleeping so
near? She sat with her shoes in her hand, her eyes fastened on the
door. At last it opened, and Debby's brown face peeped in. They
passed out together,--the mulatto taking the precaution to lock the
door and put the key in her pocket. Softly they went down stairs,
through the kitchen, out into the adjoining alley. Two gentlemen
with a carriage were in attendance. They sprang in, and were whirled
away. After riding some miles, the carriage was stopped; one of the
gentlemen alighted and handed the women out.

"My name is Dinsmore," he said. "I am uncle to your friend, Frank
Helper. You are to pass for my daughter, and Debby is our servant."

"And Alfred,--Mr. Noble, I mean,--where is he?" asked Loo Loo.

"He will follow in good time. Ask no more questions now."

The carriage rolled away; and the party it had conveyed were soon on
their way to the North by an express-train.

It would be impossible to describe the anxiety Alfred had endured
from the time Loo Loo became the property of the cotton-broker until
he heard of her escape. From motives of policy he was kept in
ignorance of the persons employed, and of the measures they intended
to take. In this state of suspense, his reason might have been
endangered, had not Madame Labassé brought cheering messages, from
time to time, assuring him that all was carefully arranged, and
success nearly certain.

When Mr. Grossman, late in the day, discovered that his prey had
escaped, his rage knew no bounds. He offered one thousand dollars
for her apprehension, and another thousand for the detection of any
one who had aided her. He made successive attempts to obtain an
indictment against Mr. Noble; but he was proved to have been distant
from the scene of action, and there was no evidence that he had any
connection with the mysterious affair. Failing in this, the
exasperated cotton-broker swore that he would have his heart's blood,
for he knew the sly, smooth-spoken Yankee was at the bottom of it.
He challenged him; but Mr. Noble, notwithstanding the arguments of
Frank Helper, refused, on the ground that he held New England
opinions on the subject of duelling. The Kentuckian could not
understand that it required a far higher kind of courage to refuse
than it would have done to accept. The bully proclaimed him a coward,
and shot at him in the street, but without inflicting a very serious
wound. Thenceforth he went armed, and his friends kept him in sight.
But he probably owed his life to the fact that Mr. Grossman was
compelled to go to New Orleans suddenly, on urgent business. Before
leaving, the latter sent messengers to Savannah, Charleston,
Louisville, and elsewhere; exact descriptions of the fugitives were
posted in all public places, and the offers of reward were doubled;
but the activity thus excited proved all in vain. The runaways had
travelled night and day, and were in Canada before their pursuers
reached New York. A few lines from Mr. Dinsmore announced this to
Frank Helper, in phraseology that could not be understood, in case
the letter should be inspected at the post-office. He wrote:
"I told you we intended to visit Montreal; and by the date of this
you will see that I have carried my plan into execution. My daughter
likes the place so much that I think I shall leave her here awhile in
charge of our trusty servant, while I go home to look after my

After the excitement had somewhat subsided, Mr. Noble ascertained
the process by which his friends had succeeded in effecting the
rescue. Aunt Debby owed her master a grudge for having repeatedly
sold her children; and just at that time a fresh wound was rankling
in her heart, because her only son, a bright lad of eighteen, of
whom Mr. Grossman was the reputed father, had been sold to a
slave-trader, to help raise the large sum he had given for Loo Loo.
Frank Helper's friends, having discovered this state of affairs,
opened a negotiation with the mulatto woman, promising to send both
her and her son into Canada, if she would assist them in their plans.
Aunt Debby chuckled over the idea of her master's disappointment,
and was eager to seize the opportunity of being reunited to her last
remaining child. The lad was accordingly purchased by the gentleman
who distributed oranges in the prison, and was sent to Canada,
according to promise. Mr. Grossman was addicted to strong drink, and
Aunt Debby had long been in the habit of preparing a potion for him
before he retired to rest. "I mixed it powerful, dat ar night," said
the laughing mulatto; "and I put in someting dat de gemmen guv to me.
I reckon he waked up awful late." Mr. Dinsmore, a maternal uncle of
Frank Helper's, had been visiting the South, and was then about to
return to New York. When the story was told to him, he said nothing
would please him more than to take the fugitives under his own


Mr. Noble arranged the wreck of his affairs as speedily as possible,
eager to be on the way to Montreal. The evening before he started,
Frank Helper waited upon Mr. Grossman, and said: "That handsome
slave you have been trying so hard to catch is doubtless beyond your
reach, and will take good care not to come within your power. Under
these circumstances, she is worth nothing to you; but for the sake
of quieting the uneasiness of my friend Noble, I will give you eight
hundred dollars to relinquish all claim to her."

The broker flew into a violent rage. "I'll see you both damned first,"
he replied. "I shall trip 'em up yet. I'll keep the sword hanging
over their cursed heads as long as I live. I wouldn't mind spending
ten thousand dollars to be revenged on that infernal Yankee."

Mr. Noble reached Montreal in safety, and found his Loo Loo well and
cheerful. Words are inadequate to describe the emotions excited by
reunion, after such dreadful perils and hairbreadth escapes. Their
marriage was solemnized as soon as possible; but the wife being an
article of property, according to American law, they did not venture
to return to the States. Alfred obtained some writing to do for a
commercial while Loo Loo instructed little girls in dancing and
embroidery. Her character had strengthened under the severe ordeals
through which she had passed. She began to question the rightfulness
of living so indolently as she had done. Those painful scenes in the
slave-prison made her reflect that sympathy with the actual miseries
of life was better than weeping over romances. She was rising above
the deleterious influences of her early education, and beginning to
feel the dignity of usefulness. She said to her husband, "I shall
not be sorry, if we are always poor. It is so pleasant to help
_you_, who have done so much for _me_! And Alfred, dear, I want to
give some of my earnings to Aunt Debby. The poor old soul is trying
to lay up money to pay that friend of yours who bought her son and
sent him to Canada. Surely, I, of all people in the world, ought to
be willing to help slaves who have been less fortunate than I have.
Sometimes, when I lie awake in the night, I have very solemn
thoughts come over me. It was truly a wonderful Providence that twice
saved me from the dreadful fate that awaited me. I can never be
grateful enough to God for sending me such a blessed friend as my
good Alfred."

They were living thus contented with their humble lot, when a letter
from Frank Helper announced that the extensive house of Grossman & Co.
had stopped payment. Their human chattels had been put up at auction,
and among them was the title to our beautiful fugitive. The chance
of capture was considered so hopeless, that, when Mr. Helper bid
sixty-two dollars, no one bid over him; and she became his property,
until there was time to transfer the legal claim to his friend.

Feeling that they could now be safe under their own vine and fig-tree,
Alfred returned to the United States, where he became first a clerk,
and afterward a prosperous merchant. His natural organization
unfitted him for conflict, and though his peculiar experiences had
imbued him with a thorough abhorrence of slavery, he stood aloof
from the ever-increasing agitation on that subject; but every New
Year's day, one of the Vigilance Committees for the relief of
fugitive slaves received one hundred dollars "from an unknown friend."
As his pecuniary means increased, he purchased several slaves, who
had been in his employ at Mobile, and established them as servants
in Northern hotels. Madame Labassé was invited to spend the remainder
of her days under his roof; but she came only in the summers, being
unable to conquer her shivering dread of snow-storms.

Loo Loo's personal charms attracted attention wherever she made her
appearance. At church, and other public places, people pointed her
out to strangers, saying, "That is the wife of Mr. Alfred Noble.
She was the orphan daughter of a rich planter at the South, and had
a great inheritance left to her; but Mr. Noble lost it all in the
financial crisis of 1837." Her real history remained a secret,
locked within their own breasts. Of their three children, the
youngest was named Loo Loo, and greatly resembled her beautiful
mother. When she was six years old, her portrait was taken in a
gypsy hat garlanded with red berries. She was dancing round a little
white dog, and long streamers of ribbon were floating behind her.
Her father had it framed in an arched environment of vine-work, and
presented it to his wife on her thirtieth birth-day. Her eyes
moistened as she gazed upon it; then kissing his hand, she looked up
in the old way, and said, "I thank you, Sir, for buying me."


A friend, who happens to have an idea or two of his own, is
constantly advising his acquaintances in no case to become parties
to a regular correspondence. He is a great letter-writer himself, but
never answers an epistle, unless it contain queries as to matters of
fact, or be an invitation to a ball or a dinner,--unless, in a word,
real, not what he considers conventional politeness requires; in
which event, his reply is despatched at once. Under all other
circumstances, he ignores the last missive from him or her to whom
his envelope is addressed. He studiously frames his own
communications in such wise, that they do not call for an answer. He
will totally neglect an intimate friend for months, then let fly at
him epistle after epistle, and then give no sign of life for a long
while again. If asked to exchange letters once a week or once a
fortnight, he solemnly inquires whether the wind goes by machinery,
and is, after a given interval, invariably at such o'clock,--adding,
that it is his aim, not to keep up, but to keep down, correspondence.
If accused of "owing a letter," he repudiates the obligation, and
affirms that he will go to jail sooner than pay it off. If taxed
with heartlessness, he retorts by asking whether it can be the duty
of a moral being to insult a man by writing to him when there is
nothing to say.

That these notions, whether they did or did not originate in an
unfortunate love-affair, which my friend is said to have gone
through in his youth, contain grains of truth may be easily shown.

I drop a letter in the New York post-office to-day; my friend in
Boston receives it to-morrow and pens a reply at once, which finds
me in New York within twenty-four hours. He may have understood and
really answered my epistle. But suppose him to have waited a week.
New matters have, meantime, taken possession of both his mind and
mine; the topics, which were fresh when I wrote, have lost their
interest; the bridge between us is broken down. His reply is worth
little more to me than water to flowers cut a month since, or seed
to a canary that was interred with tears last Saturday.

Correspondence is conversation carried on under certain peculiar
conditions, but subject to the same rules as conversation by word of
mouth, except so far forth as they may be modified by those necessary
conditions. You do not take your partner's bright saying home with
you and bring a repartee to the next ball, by which time she has
forgotten what her _bon mot_ was, and has another, every whit as good,
upon her lips; you do not return a lead in whist at the next rubber;
you do not postpone the laugh over the jokes of the dinner-table, as
is fabulously narrated of Washington, until you have retired for the
night. In social intercourse, minds must meet before one person can
be brought to another's mood or both to a middle ground; it is the
friction of contact, that creates conversation. A remark, not
answered the instant after it has been made, is never answered. The
bores and boors of society, not the gentlemen and ladies, ruminate
upon what has been said, elaborate replies at leisure, and serve
them up unseasonably.

For the purposes of correspondence, one may and must throw himself
back into the immediate past and assume the mood that was his when
he wrote and in which alone a reply can find him. But there is a
limit to this power, which is soon reached. Not many letters will
keep sweet more than two days. A little indulgence may, perhaps, be
shown toward persons who are a week or a fortnight from us by the
post, since otherwise we could never converse together. But even
they should reply to only the weightier matters suggested, since what
they say will probably be stale before it reaches the eyes for which
it was written. For the like reasons, I hold a Californian or
European correspondence to be an impossibility. As for him whose
want of politeness fixes a gulf, a week broad, between himself and
his correspondent, there is no excuse. As one reads a letter, an
answer to whatever worth answering may be in it leaps to the lips;
to give it utterance that moment is the only natural, courteous, and
truthful course. Ten days hence, the reply, which now comes of its
own accord, cannot be found; what might have been a source of
pleasure to two persons will have become a piece of thankless
drudgery. In vain the conscientious correspondent, at the appointed
time, takes the letter which she would answer out of the compartment
of her portfolio, whereon stationers, cunningly humoring a popular
weakness, have gilded,--"UNANSWERED LETTERS." In vain she cons it
with care, comments upon every observation in it, answers all its
questions one by one, and propounds a series of her own, as a basis
for the next epistle. Everything has been done decently and in order;
but the laboriously-produced letter is a letter which killeth, and
contains no infusion of the spirit that giveth life. This is not the
writer's fault. It is and must be all but impossible, after a lapse
of time, to reproduce the natural reply to a remark, or to concoct
one that shall be vital and satisfactory to the other party.

Lovers, of all persons, it would seem, might with least danger
postpone answering each other's missives, since their common topic
of interest is always with them, and the _billet-doux_, after having
been carried in the bosom a week, is as fresh as when taken from the
post-office. What need for "sweet sixteen" to consume the very night
of its reception in essaying a reply, which she might have written
next week as well, since next week they two will stand in
substantially the same relations to one another as now? "Sweet
sixteen" smiles at such coldblooded logic. "To you others," thinks
she to herself, "all sunsets may be alike; but in our horizon are
constant changes, delicate tones of color, each

  'Shade so finely touched love's sense must
  seize it.'

The mood into which Walter's note put me may never return again.
Now it is correspondent to the mood in which he wrote; now or never
must I reply. In this way alone can we keep up a correspondence
between our natures."

But the stupid world will not accept, cannot even understand, these
fine sayings. It looks at the question with very different eyes from
those of lovers, boarding-school misses, and persons in the first
moon of a first marriage. The peculiar relations between them may
supply inspiration and vitality to such correspondence. But would
Dean Swift have put the daily record of his life upon paper for
another than Stella to peruse? Would Leander have swum the
Hellespont for the sake of meeting any girl but Hero upon the
distant shore? As it was, he was drowned for his pains. The rest of
us cannot swim Hellesponts, keep diaries, nor correspond, as foolish
young people have done and do. We have books to read, business to
attend to, duties to perform, tastes to gratify, ambition to feed.
Who could bear to have his correspondents always upon his hands? Who
could endure such a tax upon his patience as they would become? Who
would send for his letters? Who would not rather run away from the
postmen, for fear of the next discharge?

In the analogy between conversation and correspondence may, perhaps,
be found a key to the problem. Those of us who are not lovers,
school-girls, or spinsters are not desirous of keeping up a colloquy,
day in and day out. Nor are we in the habit of resuming a subject, in
the next interview, at the precise point where we left it. A
"regular" conversation, after the fashion of a regular correspondence,
is, as between two individuals mutually unknown, or as among a number,
invariably a failure. However recently persons may have parted
company, at meeting they commence _de novo_; a new talk grows out of
the circumstances and thoughts of the moment, which ends as
naturally as it began, when the talkers get tired or are obliged to
stop. Sometimes but one of two or three opens her lips, but
conversation, nevertheless, goes on; since an open ear is the most
pointed question, and sympathy is the same, whether or not put into

To conversation carried on at a distance of space and time, through
the pen, not the lips, the simple and obvious principles upon which
people act in the drawing-room or the fireside-circle are easily
applied. Between those who really wish to talk together letters
should fly as rapidly as the post can deliver them. If only one
feels like writing, he should pour forth his heart to his friend,
although that friend remain as silent as the grave. It would be as
absurd to say that either party "owes the letter," as to charge him
who had the penultimate word in a dialogue with the duty of making
the first remark the next time he encounters her who had the last
word. When the topic of immediate interest has been disposed of, a
correspondence is over. It matters as little who contributed the
larger proportion to it, as who contributes the most to a dialogue.
When the end is reached, the story is done. It is for the party who
is first in the mood of writing, after an interval of silence, to
open a new correspondence, in which there shall be no reference to
previous communications, and which may die with the first letter or
be protracted for a week or a month.

Thus we are brought to a position not very far from that taken by my
eccentric friend. General or regular correspondence is useless,
baneful, and in most cases impossible; but special correspondence,
born of the necessities of man as a social being, and circumscribed
by them, may be from time to time possible. There can be no harm in
an occasional exchange of bulletins of health and happiness, like
the "good morning" and "how d'ye do" of the street and the parlor,
or in making new-year's calls, as it were, annually upon one's
distant friends. I know two ladies who have done this as respects
each other for twenty years. But, as a rule, the shorter epistles of
this description are, the better. Some simple formula, which might
be printed for convenience's sake, would answer the purpose, and
complete the analogy with the practice of paying three-minute visits
of ceremony or of leaving a card at the door.

The employment of a printed formula in all cases, indeed, where one
feels not impelled, but obliged to write, would save both time and
temper. We lay down nine out of ten of our letters with feelings of
disappointment. Were we to imitate the Scotch servant who returned
hers to the postmaster, after a glance at the address had assured
her of the writer's health, we should be quite as well off as we are
now. My correspondent often begins with the remark, that he has
nothing to communicate. Then why in the world did he write? Why has
he covered four pages with specimens of poor chirography, which it
cost him an hour to put upon paper, and us almost as much time to
decipher? He sends me news which was in the papers a week ago; or
speculations upon it, which professional journalists have already
surfeited me with; or short treatises, after the fashion of Cicero's
epistolary productions. He talks about the weather, past, present,
and to come. He serves up, with piquant sauce, occurrences which he
would not have thought worthy of mention at his own breakfast-table.
He spins out his two or three facts or ideas into the finest and
flimsiest gossamer; or tucks them into a postscript, which alone,
with the formula, should have been forwarded. He writes in a large
hand, and resorts to every kind of device to fill up his sheet,
instead of taking the manly course of writing only so long as he had
something to say, or, if nothing, of keeping silence. A kindly
sentence or two may redeem the epistle from utter condemnation; for
love, according to Solomon, makes a dinner of herbs palatable. But
"LOVE," written beneath a formula, would have answered as well.

I should not dare to describe the productions of my female
correspondents in detail. Suffice it to say, that most of them
contain a smaller proportion of useless information, and a larger
proportion of sentiment, vague aspiration, and would-be-picturesque
description, than those of the men who pay postage on my behalf.
They are longer, and sometimes crossed; it is therefore a greater
task to read them.

My "fair readers"--as the snobs who write for magazines call women--
have not, I trust, misapprehended my meaning and lost patience with
me. I would not be understood as expressing a preference for one
description of letters over another. Every person to his tastes and
his talents. But a letter, which does not represent the writer's
real mood, reflect what is uppermost in his or her mind, deal with
things and thoughts rather than with words, and express, if not
strengthen, the peculiar ties between the person writing and the
person written to,--a letter which is not genuine,--is no letter,
but a sham and a lie. A real letter, on the other hand, whatever its
topic, cannot fail to be worth reading. Great thoughts, profound
speculations, matters of experience, bits of observation, delicate
fancies, romantic sentiments, humorous criticisms on people and
things, funny stories, dreams of the future, memories of the past,
pictures of the present, the merest gossip, the veriest trifling,
everything, nothing, may form the theme, if naturally spoken of, not
hunted up to fill out a page.

No reason for modifying my conclusions occurs to me. It may be said,
that, after all, a poor letter is better than none, because advices
from distant friends are always welcome. But would not a glance at
the well-known handwriting supply this want as fully as the perusal
of a lengthy epistle, written with the hand, but not with the heart?
Does not our chagrin at finding so little of our friends in their
letters more than counterbalance our gratification that they have
been (presumably) kind and thoughtful enough to write? Would we not
gladly give four of their ordinary letters for one of their best?
But the instant they strike off the shackles of regular
correspondence, and despatch letters only when they feel inclined,
replies only while they are fresh, and formulas at other times, if
need be, we have our wish; the miles between our friends and
ourselves shorten, they are really with us now and then, and we take
solid pleasure in chatting with them.

Am I told, that, until these ideas find general acceptance, it is
dangerous to act upon them? that for an individual here and there to
go out of the common course is only to make himself notorious, a
stranger or a bore to his friends? Were such statements true, they
would still be cowardly. We should be faithful to our convictions of
what is due to truth and manhood and self-respect, be the
consequences what they may. Because a few are so, the world moves.
The general voice always comes in as a chorus to a few particular
voices. As for friends who cannot appreciate independence of
character or of conduct, the fewer one has of them, the better.

Such suggestions as have been thrown out are too obvious to have
escaped any one who has given the subject a moment's thought. But
who has time for that? People live too fast, in these days, to pay
such attention as should be paid to those who are more valuable as
individuals than as parts of the great world. The good offices of
friendship, which are the fulfilment of the highest social duties,
are poorly performed, and, indeed, little understood. Not many of
those who think at all think beyond the line of established custom
and routine. They may take pains in their letters to obey the
ordinary rules of grammar, to avoid the use of slang phrases and
vulgar expressions, to write a clear sentence; but how few seek for
the not less imperative rules which are prescribed by politeness and
good sense! Of those who should know them, no small proportion
habitually, from thoughtlessness or perverseness, neglect their

I know men, distinguished in the walks of literature, famed for a
beautiful style of composition, who do not write a tolerable letter
nor answer a note of invitation with propriety. Their sentences are
slipshod, their punctuation and spelling beyond criticism, and their
manuscript repulsive. A lady, to whose politeness such an answer is
given, has a right to feel offended, and may very properly ask
whether she be not entitled to as choice language as the promiscuous
crowd which the "distinguished gentleman" addresses from pulpit or

How the distinguished gentleman would open his eyes at the question!
He is sure that what he sent her was well enough for a letter. As
though a letter, especially a letter to a lady, should not be as
perfect in its kind as a lecture or sermon in its kind! as though
one's duties toward an individual were less stringent than one's
duties toward an audience! Would the distinguished gentleman be
willing to probe his soul in search of the true reason for the
difference in his treatment of the two? Is he sure that it is not an
outgrowth from a certain "mountainous me," which seeks approbation
more ardently from the one source than from the other?

There are those who indite elegant notes to comparative strangers,
but, probably upon the principle that familiarity breeds or should
breed contempt, send the most villanous scrawls to their intimate
friends and those of their own household. They are akin to the
numerous wives, who, reserving not only silks and satins, but
neatness and courtesy, for company, are always in dishabille in their
husbands' houses.

Pericles, according to Walter Savage Landor, once wrote to Aspasia
as follows:--

"We should accustom ourselves to think always with propriety in
little things as well as in great, and neither be too solicitous of
our dress in the parlor nor negligent because we are at home. I
think it as improper and indecorous to write a stupid or silly
letter to you, as one in a bad hand or upon coarse paper.
Familiarity ought to have another and a worse name, when it relaxes
in its efforts to please."

The London Pericles, the Athenian gentleman,--and there are a few
such as he still extant,--writes to his nearest and dearest friend
none but the best letters. It appears to him as ill-bred to say
stupid or silly things to her, as to say what he does say clownishly.
He cannot conceive of doing what is so frequently done now-a-days.
He brings as much of Pericles to the composition of a letter as to
the preparation of a speech. We may feel sure, that, unless he acted
counter to his own maxims, he never wrote a line more or a line less
than he felt an impulse to write, and that he had no "regular

It is not every one that can write such letters as are in that
delightful book of Walter Savage Landor, or as charmed the friends
of Charles Lamb, the poet Gray, and a few famous women, first, and
the world afterwards. It is not every one who can, with the utmost
and wisest painstaking, produce a thoroughly excellent letter. The
power to do that is original and not to be acquired. The charm of it
will not, cannot, disclose its secret. Like the charm of the finest
manners, of the best conversation, of an exquisite style, of an
admirable character, it is felt rather than perceived. But every
person, who will be simply true to his or her nature, can write a
letter that will be very welcome to a friend, because it will be
expressive of the character which that friend esteems and loves. The
bunch of flowers, hastily put together by her who gathered them,
speaks as plainly of affection, although not in so delicate tones,
as the most tastefully-arranged bouquet. But who desires to be
presented with a nosegay of artificial flowers? Who can abide dead
blossoms or violent discords of color? Freshness, sweetness, and an
approach to harmony, that shall bring to mind the living, growing
plants, and the bountiful Nature from whose embrace flowers are born,
the acceptable gift must have.

To attempt a closer definition of a good letter than has been given
would be a fruitless, as well as difficult task. "Complete
letter-writers" are chiefly useful for the formulas--notes of
invitation, answers to them, and the like--which they contain, and
for their lessons in punctuation, spelling, and criticism. Their
efforts to instruct upon other points are and must be worse than
useless, because their precepts cramp without inspiring. A few good
examples are more valuable, but a little practice is worth them all.
Letter-writing is, after all, a _pas seul_, as it were; the novice
has no partner to teach him manners, or the figures of the dance, or
to set his wits astir. By effort, and through numerous failures, he
must teach himself. The difficulties of the medium between him and
his distant friend, who is generally in a similar predicament, must
be surmounted. Gradually stiffness gives place to ease of composition,
roughness to elegance, awkwardness to grace and tact, until his
letters at length come to represent his mood, and to interest, if
not to delight, his correspondent. A rigid adherence to times and
places and ceremonial retards this process of growth and advance,
which is slow enough, at best.

But, although most correspondence is, from want of truthfulness,
thoughtfulness, life, good judgment, and good breeding, very
unsatisfactory, it cannot be denied that many good letters are
written every day. Between lovers, parents and children, real and
hearty friends, they pass. Young men on the threshold of life, while
discussing together the grave questions then encountered, write them.
Women, before their time to love and to be loved has come, or after
it is passed,--women, who, disappointed in the great hope of every
woman's life, turn to one another for support and shelter,--are
sending them by every post. Mr. De Quincey somewhere says, that in
the letters of English women, almost alone, survive the pure and racy
idioms of the language; and the German Wolf is said to have asserted,
that in corresponding with his betrothed he learnt the mysteries of

Such letters as these are worth one's reading, because the utterance
is genuine and genial. The writers feel and express in every line an
interest in what they are writing, and do not recognize the
conventional rules which obtain where people rely less upon
inspirations from within than upon fixed general maxims for their
guidance. As in the drawing-room the gentleman or lady behaves
naturally, and not according to the dancing-master, so in their
correspondence the best-bred people act from nature, and not from

       *       *       *       *       *


  Novit etiam pictura tacens in parietibus loqni.



Christian art began in the catacombs. Under ground, by the feeble
light of lanterns, upon the ceilings of crypts, or in the
semicircular spaces left above some of the more conspicuous graves,
the first Christian pictures were painted. Imperfect in design,
exhibiting often the influence of pagan models, often displaying
haste of performance and poverty of means, confined for the most part
within a limited circle of ideas, and now faded in color, changed by
damp, broken by rude treatment, sometimes blackened by the smoke of
lamps,--they still give abundant evidence of the feeling and the
spirit which animated those who painted them, a feeling and spirit
which unhappily have too seldom found expression in the so-called
religious Art of later times. Few of them are of much worth in a
purely artistic view. The paintings of the catacombs are rarely to
be compared, in point of beauty, with the pictures from Pompeii,--
although some of them at least were contemporary works. The artistic
skill which created them is of a lower order. But their interest
arises mainly from the sentiment which they imperfectly embody, and
their chief value is in the light which they throw upon early
Christian faith and religious doctrine. They were designed not so
much for the delight of the eye and the gratification of the fancy,
as for stimulating affectionate imaginations, and affording lessons,
easily understood, of faith, hope, and love. They were to give
consolation in sorrow, and to suggest sources of strength in trial.
"The Art of the first three centuries is entirely subordinate,--
restrained partly by persecution and poverty, partly by a high
spirituality, which cared more about preaching than painting."

With the uncertain means afforded by the internal character of these
mural pictures, or by their position in the catacombs, it is
impossible to fix with definiteness the period at which the
Christians began to ornament the walls of their burial-places. It
was probably, however, as early as the beginning of the second
century; and the greater number of the most important pictures which
have thus far been discovered within the subterranean cemeteries
were probably executed before Christianity had become the
established religion of the empire. After that time the decline in
painting, as in faith, was rapid; formality took the place of
simplicity; and in the course of the fourth and fifth centuries the
native fire of Art sank, till nothing was left of it but a few dying
embers, which the workmen from the East, who brought in the stiff
conventionalisms of Byzantine Art, were unfit and unable to rekindle.

In the pictures of the most interesting period, that is, of the
second and third centuries, there is no attempt at literal
portraiture or historic accuracy. They were to be understood only by
those who had the key to them in their minds, and they mostly
arranged themselves in four broad classes. 1st. Representations of
personages or scenes from the Old Testament regarded as types of
those of the New. 2d. Literal or symbolic representations of
personages or scenes from the New Testament. 3d. Miscellaneous
figures, chiefly those of persons in the attitude of prayer. 4th.
Ornamental designs, often copied from pagan examples, and sometimes
with a symbolic meaning attached to them.

It is a noteworthy and affecting circumstance, that, among the
immense number of the pictures in the catacombs which may be
ascribed to the first three centuries, scarcely one has been found
of a painful or sad character. The sufferings of the Saviour, his
passion and his death, and the martyrdoms of the saints, had not
become, as in after days, the main subjects of the religious Art of
Italy. On the contrary, all the early paintings are distinguished by
the cheerful and trustful nature of the impressions they were
intended to convey. In the midst of external depression, uncertainty
of fortune and of life, often in the midst of persecution, the Roman
Christians dwelt not on this world, but looked forward to the
fulfilment of the promises of their Lord. Their imaginations did not
need the stimulus of painted sufferings; suffering was before their
eyes too often in its most vivid reality; they had learned to regard
it as belonging only to earth, and to look upon it as the gateway to
heaven. They did not turn for consolation to the sorrows of their
Lord, but to his words of comfort, to his miracles, and to his
resurrection. Of all the subjects of pictures in the catacombs, the
one, perhaps, more frequently repeated than any other, and under a
greater variety of forms and types, is that of the Resurrection. The
figure of Jonah thrown out from the body of the whale, as the type
that had been used by our Lord himself in regard to his resurrection,
is met with constantly; and the raising of Lazarus is one of the
commonest scenes chosen for representation from the story of the New
Testament. Nor is this strange. The assurance of immortality was to
the world of heathen converts the central fact of Christianity, from
which all the other truths of religion emanated, like rays. It gave
a new and infinitely deeper meaning than it before possessed to all
human experience; and in its universal comprehensiveness, it taught
the great and new lessons of the equality of men before God, and of
the brotherhood of man in the broad promise of eternal life. For us,
brought up in familiarity with Christian truth, surrounded by the
accumulated and constant, though often unrecognized influences of
the Christian faith upon all our modes of thought and feeling, the
imagination itself being more or less completely under their control,--
for us it is difficult to fancy the change produced in the mind of
the early disciples of Christ by the reception of the truths which he
revealed. During the first three centuries, while converts were
constantly being made from heathenism, brought over by no worldly
temptation, but by the pure force of the new doctrine and the glad
tidings over their convictions, or by the contagious enthusiasm of
example and devotion,--faith in Christ and in his teachings must,
among the sincere, have been always connected with a sense of wonder
and of joy at the change wrought in their views of life and of
eternity. Their thoughts dwelt naturally upon the resurrection of
their Lord, as the greatest of the miracles which were the seal of
his divine commission, and as the type of the rising of the
followers of Him who brought life and immortality to light.

The troubles and contentions in the early Church, the disputes
between the Jew and the Gentile convert, the excesses of spiritual
excitement, the extravagances of fanciful belief, of which the
Epistles themselves furnish abundant evidence, ceased to all
appearance at the door of the catacombs. Within them there is
nothing to recall the divisions of the faithful; but, on the contrary,
the paintings on the walls almost universally relate to the simplest
and most undisputed truths. It was fitting that among these the
types of the Resurrection should hold a first place.

But the spiritual needs of life were not to be supplied by the
promises and hopes of immortality alone. There were wants which
craved immediate support, weaknesses that needed present aid,
sufferings that cried for present comfort, and sins for which
repentance sought the assurance of direct forgiveness. And thus
another of the most often-repeated of the pictures in the catacombs
is that of the Saviour under the form of the Good Shepherd. No
emblem fuller of meaning, or richer in consolation, could have been
found. It was very early in common use, not merely in Christian
paintings, but on Christian gems, vases, and lamps. Speaking with
peculiar distinctness to all who were acquainted with the Gospels,
it was at the same time a figure that could be used without exciting
suspicion among the heathen, and one which was not exposed to
desecration or insult from them; and under emblems of this kind,
whose inner meaning was hidden to all but themselves, the first
Christians were often forced to conceal the expression of their faith.
This figure recalled to them many of the sacred words and most
solemn teachings of their Lord: "I am the Good Shepherd; the good
shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." Often the good shepherd was
represented as bearing the sheep upon his shoulders; and the picture
addressed itself with touching and effective simplicity to him whom
fear of persecution or the force of worldly temptations had led away.
When one of his sheep is lost, doth not the shepherd go after it
until he find it? "And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his
shoulders, rejoicing." "There is joy in the presence of the angels of
God over one sinner that repenteth." How often, before this picture,
has some saddened soul uttered the words of the Psalm: "I have gone
astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant, for I do not forget thy
commandments"! And as if to afford still more direct assurance of the
patience and long-suffering tenderness of the Lord, the Good
Shepherd is sometimes represented in the catacombs as bearing, not a
sheep, but a goat upon his shoulders. It was as if to declare that
his forgiveness and his love knew no limit, but were waiting to
receive and to embrace even those who had turned farthest from him.
In a picture of very early date in the Catacomb of St. Callixtus, the
Good Shepherd stands between a goat and a sheep, "as a shepherd
divideth his sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his
right hand and the goats on his left." But in this picture the order
is reversed,--the goat is on his right hand and the sheep on his left.
It was the strongest type that could be given of the mercy of God.
Sometimes the Good Shepherd is represented, not bearing the sheep on
his shoulders, but leaning on his crook, and with a pipe in his hands,
while his flock stand in various attitudes around him. Here again
the reference to Scripture is plain: "He calleth his own sheep by
name, and leadeth them out;... and the sheep follow him, for they
know his voice." Thus, under various forms and with various meanings,
full of spiritual significance, and suggesting the most invigorating
and consoling thoughts, the Good Shepherd appears oftener than any
other single figure on the vaults and the walls of the catacombs. It
is impossible to look at these paintings, poor in execution and in
external expression as they are, without experiencing some sense,
faint it may be, of the force with which they must have appealed to
the hearts and consciences of those who first looked upon them. It
is as if the inmost thoughts and deepest feeling of the Christians of
those early times had become dimly visible upon the walls of their
graves. The effect is undoubtedly increased by the manner in which
these paintings are seen, by the unsteady light of wax tapers, in
the solitude of long-deserted passages and chapels. In such a place
the dullest imagination is roused, troop on troop of associations
and memories pass in review before it, and the fading colors and
faint outlines of the paintings possess more power over it than the
glow of Titian's canvas, or the firm outline of Michel Angelo's

Another symbol of the Saviour which is frequently found in the works
of the first three centuries, and which soon afterwards seems to
have fallen almost entirely into disuse, is that of the Fish. It is
not derived, like that of the Good Shepherd, immediately from the
words of Scripture; though its use undoubtedly recalled several
familiar narratives. It seems to have been early associated with the
well-known Greek formula, [Greek: iaesous christos theon uios sotaer],
Jesus Christ the Saviour Son of God, arranged acrostically, so that
the first letters of its words formed the word [Greek: ichthus], fish.
The first association that its use would suggest was that of
Christ's call to Peter and Andrew, "Follow me, and I will make you
fishers of men,"--and thus we find, among the early Christian writers,
the name of "little fish," _pisciculi_, applied to the Christian
disciples of their times. But it would serve also to bring to memory
the miracle that the multitude had witnessed, of the multiplication
of the fishes; and it would recall that last solemn and tender
farewell meeting between the Apostles and their Lord on the shore of
the Sea of Tiberias, in the early morning, when their nets were
filled with fish,--and "Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and
giveth them, and fish likewise." And with this association was
connected, as we learn from the pictures in the catacombs, a still
deeper symbolic meaning, in which it represented the body of our
Lord as given to his apostles at the Last Supper. In the Cemetery of
Callixtus, very near the recently discovered crypt of Pope Cornelius,
are two square sepulchral chambers, adorned with pictures of an
early date. Those of the first chamber have almost utterly perished,
but on the wall of the second may be seen the image of a fish
swimming in the water, and bearing on his back a basket filled with
loaves of the peculiar shape and color used by the Jews as an
offering of the first fruits to their priests; beneath the bread
appears a vessel which shows a red color, like a cup filled with wine.
"As soon as I saw this picture," says the Cavaliere de Rossi, in his
account of the discovery, "the words of St. Jerome came to my mind,--
'None is richer than he who bears the body of the Lord in an osier
basket and his blood in a glass.'"

In the same cemetery, very near the crypt of St. Cecilia, there is a
passage wider than common, upon whose side is a series of sepulchral
cells of similar form, and ornamented with similar pictures. In one
of them a table is represented, with four baskets of bread on the
ground, on one side, and three on the other, while upon it three
loaves and a fish are lying. In another of the chambers is a picture
of a single loaf and of a fish upon a plate lying on a table, at one
side of which a man stands with his hands stretched out towards it,
while on the other side is a woman in the attitude of prayer. It
seems no extravagance of interpretation to read in these pictures
the symbol of that memorial service which Jesus had established for
his followers,--a service which has rarely been celebrated under
circumstances more adapted to give to it its full effect, and to awaken
in the souls of those who joined in it all the deep and affecting
memories of its first institution, than when the bread and wine were
partaken of in memory of the Lord within the small and secret chapels
of the early catacombs. To the Christians who assembled there in the
days when to profess the name of Christ was to venture all things for
his sake, his presence was a reality in their hearts, and his voice
was heard as it was heard by his immediate followers who sat with him
at the table in the upper chamber. [1]

[Footnote 1: The Cavaliere de Rossi, in his very learned tract,
_De Christianis Monumentis [Greek: IChThUN] exhibentibus_,
expresses the belief that these pictures, besides their direct and
simple reference to the Lord's Supper, exhibit also the Catholic
doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. The bread he
considers as the obvious material symbol, the fish the mystical
symbol of the transubstantiation. His interpretation is at least
doubtful. The bread was to be eaten in remembrance of the Lord, and
the fish was represented as the image which recalled his words, that
have been perverted by materialistic imaginations so far from their
original meaning,--"This is my body which is given for you." But the
date of the origin of false opinions is a matter of comparative

There are several instances, among these subterranean pictures, of a
symbolic representation of the Saviour, drawn, not from Scripture,
but from a heathen original. It is that of Orpheus playing upon his
lyre, and drawing all creatures to him by the sweetness of his
strains. It was a fiction widely spread soon after the introduction
of Christianity among the Gentiles, that Orpheus, like the Sibyls and
some other of the characters of mythology, had had some blind
revelation of the coming of a saviour of the world, and had uttered
indistinct prophecies of the event. Forgeries, similar to those of
the Sibylline Verses, professing to be the remains of the poems of
Orpheus, were made among the Alexandrian Christians, and for a long
period his name was held in popular esteem, as that of a heathen
prophet of Christian truth. Whether the paintings in the catacombs
took their origin from these fictions must be uncertain; but driven,
as the Roman Christians were, to hide the truth under a symbol that
should be inoffensive, and should not reveal its meaning to pagan
eyes, it was not strange that they should select this of the ancient
poet. As he had drawn beasts and trees and stones to listen to the
music of his lyre, so Christ, with persuasive sweetness and
compelling force, drew men more savage than beasts, more rooted in
the earth than trees, more cold than stones, to listen to and follow
him. As Orpheus caused even the kingdom of Death to render back the
lost, so Christ drew the souls of men from the very gates of hell,
and made the grave restore its dead. And thus from the old heathen
story the Christian drew new suggestions and fresh meaning, and
beheld in it an unconscious setting-forth of many holy truths.

A subject from the Gospels, which is often represented, and which
was used with a somewhat obscure symbolic meaning, is that of the
man sick of the palsy, cured by the Saviour with the words,
"Arise, take up thy bed, and go to thine house." It belongs,
according to the ancient interpretation, to the series of subjects
that embody the doctrine of the Resurrection. It is thus explained
by St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and others of the fathers. They
understood the words of Christ as addressed to them with the meaning,
"Arise, leave the things of this world, have faith, and go forward
to thy abiding home in heaven." Such an interpretation is entirely
congruous with the general tone of thought and feeling exhibited in
many other common paintings in the catacombs. But later Romanist
writers have attempted to connect its interpretation with the
doctrine of the Forgiveness of Sins, as embodied in what is called
the power of the Church in the holy sacrament of Penance. They lay
stress on the words, "Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee,"
and suppose that the picture expresses the belief that the delegated
power of forgiving sins still remained on earth. Undoubtedly the
painting may well have recalled to mind these earlier words of the
narrative, as well as the later ones, and with the same comforting
assurance that was afforded by the emblem of the Good Shepherd; but
there seems no just reason for supposing it to have borne any
reference to the peculiar doctrine of the Roman Church. The pictures
themselves, so far as we are acquainted with them, seem to
contradict this assumption; for they, without exception, represent
the paralytic in the last act of the narrative, already on his feet
and bearing his bed. [2]

[Footnote 2:  One picture of this scene in the Catacombs of St. Hermes
is said to be in immediate connection with the sacrament of Penance
"represented literally, in the form of a Christian kneeling on both
knees before a priest, who is giving him absolution." We have not
seen the original of this picture, and we know of no copy of it. It
is not given either by Bosio or in Perret's great work. Before
accepting it in evidence, its date must be ascertained, and the
possibility of a more natural explanation of it excluded. How is one
figure known to be that of a priest? and in what manner is the act
of giving absolution expressed?]

Among the favorite subjects from the Old Testament are four from the
life of Moses,--his taking off his shoes at the command of the Lord,
his exhibiting the manna to the people, his receiving the tables of
the Law, and his striking the rock in the desert. Of these, the first
and the last are most common, and the truths which they were
intended to typify seem to have been most dwelt upon. Moses was
regarded in the ancient Church as the type, in the old dispensation,
of our Saviour in the new. Thus as the narrative of the command to
Moses to take off his shoes was immediately connected with the
promise of the deliverance of the children of Israel from the land
of bondage, so it was regarded as the figure under which was to be
seen the promise of the greater deliverance of the world through
faith in Jesus Christ, and its freedom from spiritual bondage.
Moreover, the shoes were put off, "for the place whereon thou
standest is holy ground"; and it is a natural supposition to regard
the act as having been considered the symbol of that Holiness to the
Lord which was the necessary preparation for the great deliverance.
Like so many other of the paintings, it led forward the thoughts and
the affections from time to eternity. And this figure was also, we
may well suppose, taken as an immediate type of the Resurrection, in
connection with the words of Jesus, "Now that the dead are raised
even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord" (or, as it
should be translated, "when, in telling you of the bush, he says
that the Lord called himself") "the God of Abraham, and the God of
Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For God is not the God of the dead, but
of the living." With this interpretation, it affords another
instance of the constancy with which the Christians connected the
thought of immortality with the presence of death.

So also the smiting of the rock, so that the water came forth
abundantly, was adopted as the sign of the giving forth of the
living water springing up into everlasting life. "The rock was Christ,"
said St. Paul, and it is possible, that, with a secondary
interpretation, the smiting of the rock was sometimes regarded as
typical of the sufferings of the Saviour. The picture of this
miracle is repeated again and again, and one of the noblest figures
in the whole range of subterranean Art, a figure of surpassing
dignity and grandeur, is that of Moses in this sublime scene in one
of the chapels of the Cemetery of St. Agnes. In the performance of
this miracle, Moses is represented with a rod in his hand; and a
similar rod, apparently as the sign of power, is seen in the hands
of Christ, in the paintings which represent his miracles. It is a
curious illustration of the gradual progress of the ideas now
current in the Roman Church, that upon sarcophagi of the fourth and
fifth centuries St. Peter is found sculptured with the same rod in
his hands,--emblematic, unquestionably, of the doctrine of his being
the Vicegerent of Christ,--and on the bottom of a glass vessel of
late date, found in the catacombs, the miracle of the striking of
the rock is depicted, but at the side of the figure is the name, not
of Moses, but of Peter,--for the Church had by this time advanced
far in its assumptions.

The story of Jonah appears also in four different scenes upon the
walls of the chapels and burial-chambers. In the first, the prophet
appears as being cast into the sea; in the second, swallowed by the
great fish; in the third, thrown out upon dry land; and in the fourth,
lying under the gourd. They are not found together, or in series;
but sometimes one and sometimes another of these scenes was painted,
according to the fancy or the thought of the artist. The swallowing
of Jonah, and his deliverance from the belly of the whale, has
already been referred to as one of the naturally suggested types of
the Resurrection. When the prophet is shown as lying under a gourd,
(which is painted as a vine climbing over a trellis-work, to
represent the booth that Jonah made for himself,) the picture may
perhaps have been read as a double lesson. As God "made the gourd to
come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to
deliver him from his grief," so he would deliver from their grief
those who now trusted in him; but as he also made the gourd to wither,
so that "the sun beat upon the head of Jonah that he fainted and
wished in himself to die," it was for them to remember their utter
dependence on the will of God, to prepare themselves for the sorrows
as for the joys of life. Nor was this all; the story of Jonah was
one especially fitted to remind the recent convert of the
long-suffering and grace of God, and to suggest to those who were
enduring the extremities of persecution the rebuke with which the
Lord had chastened even his prophet for his desire for vengeance upon
those who had long dwelt in evil ways. It recalled to them the new
commandment of love to their enemies, and it bade them welcome with
rejoicing even the latest and most reluctant listener to the truth.
It repressed spiritual pride, and checked too ready anger. Was not
Rome even greater "than Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more
than six-score thousand persons that cannot discern between their
right hand and their left hand, and also much cattle"? Such were some,
at least, of the meanings which the Christians of the catacombs may
have seen in these pictures. It would be long to enter into the more
subtile and less satisfactory interpretations of their symbolic
meanings which are to be found in the works of some of the later
fathers, and which afford, as in many other instances, illustrations
of the extravagance of symbolism into which the studies of the cell,
the darkness of their age, and the insufficiency of their education
often led them.

Two subjects are of frequent repetition in the catacombs, which bear
a direct reference to the personal circumstances in which the
Christians from time to time found themselves. One is that of Daniel
in the lions' den,--the other that of the Three Children of Israel
in the fiery furnace. Both were types of persecution and of
deliverance. "Thy God, whom thou servest continually, he will
deliver thee." Daniel is uniformly represented in the attitude of
prayer,--the attitude adopted by the early Christians, standing with
arms outstretched. Very often single figures with no names attached
to them are thus represented above or by the side of graves. They
were probably intended as figures of those who lay within them,
figures of those who had been constant in prayer; and this conjecture
is almost established as a certainty by the existence of a few of
these figures with names inscribed above them,--as, for instance,

Noah in the ark is also one of the repeated subjects from the Old
Testament; the ark being represented as a sort of square box, in the
middle of which Noah stands, sometimes in prayer, and sometimes with
the dove flying towards him, bearing a branch of olive. It was the
type of the Church, the whole body of Christians, floating in the
midst of storms, but with the promise of peace; or, with wider
signification, it was the type of the world saved through the
revelation of Christ. It bore reference also to the words of St.
Peter, in his First Epistle, concerning the ark, "wherein few, that
is eight souls, were saved by water; the like figure whereunto, even
baptism, doth also now save us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Sometimes, indeed, the act of baptism is represented in a more
literal manner, by a naked figure immersed in the water; sometimes,
perhaps, by still other types.

Paintings of the temptation and the fall of Adam and Eve, in which
the composition often reminds one of that adopted by the later
masters, are often seen on the walls; and the sacrifice of Abraham,
in which with reverent and just simplicity the interference of the
Almighty is represented by a hand issuing from the clouds, is a
common subject. Less frequent are pictures of David with his sling,
of Tobit with the fish, of Susanna and the elders, treated
symbolically, and some few other Old Testament stories. Their
typical meaning was plain to the minds of those who frequented the
catacombs. From the Gospels many scenes are represented in addition
to those we have already mentioned: among the most common are the
miracle of the multiplication of the loaves; our Saviour seated,
with two or more figures standing near him; and his restoring sight
to the blind. Every year's new excavations bring to light some new
picture, and our acquaintance with the Art of the catacombs is
continually receiving interesting additions.

There appears to have been no definite rule in respect to the
combination of subjects in a single chapel. The ceilings are
generally divided into various compartments, each filled with a
different subject. Thus, for example, we find on one of them the
central compartment occupied by a figure of Orpheus; four smaller
compartments are filled with sheep or cattle; and four others with
Moses striking the rock, Daniel in the lions' den, David with his
sling, and Jesus restoring the paralytic. At the angles of the vault
are doves with branches of olive; and the ornaments of the ceiling
are all of graceful and somewhat elaborate character. The purely
ornamental portions of the paintings, though obviously formed on
heathen originals, are almost universally of a pleasing and joyful
character, and in many cases possess a symbolic meaning. Flowers,
crowns of leaves, garlands, vines with clustering grapes, displayed
more to the Christian's eyes than mere beauty of form. In these and
other similar accessories the symbolism of the early Church
delighted to manifest itself. On their terracotta lamps, fixed in
the mortar at the head of graves, on their sepulchral tablets, on
their rings, on their glass cups and chalices, the Christians put
these emblems of their faith, keeping in mind their spiritual
significance. Many of these symbols have preserved their inner
meaning to the present day, while others have long lost it. Thus,
the crown and the laurel were the emblems of victory; the palm, of
triumph; the olive, of peace; the vine loaded with grapes, of the
joys of heaven. The dove was at once the figure of the Holy Spirit,
and the symbol of innocence and purity of heart; the peacock the
emblem of immortality. The ship reminded the Christian of the harbor
of safety, or recalled to him the Church tossed upon the waves; the
anchor was the sign of strength and of hope; the lyre was the symbol
of the sweetness of religion; the stag, of the soul thirsting for
the Lord; the cock, of watchfulness; the horse, of the course of life;
the lamb, of the Saviour himself.

Many of these symbols were, it is plain, derived from the Scripture,
but many also had a heathen origin, and were adopted by the
Christians with a new or an additional significance. It was not
strange that this should be so, for many associations still bound
the Christians of the early centuries to the things they had turned
away from. Thus, the horse is frequently found upon the funeral vases
and marbles of the ancients; the peacock, the bird of Juno, was the
emblem of the apotheosis of the Roman empresses; the palm and the
crown had long been in use; and the funeral genii of the heathen
Romans were in some sort the type of the later Christian angels. But
although this adoption of ancient symbols is to be noticed, it is
also to be observed that there is in the Christian cemeteries on the
whole a remarkable absence of heathen imagery,--less by far than
might have been expected in the works of those surrounded by heathen
modes of thought and expression. The influence of Christianity,
however, so changed the current of ideas, and so affected the
feelings of those whom it called to new life, that heathenism became
to them, as it were, a dead letter, devoid of all that could rouse
the fancy, or affect the inner thought. A great gulf was fixed
between them and it,--a gulf which for three centuries, at least,
charity alone could bridge over. It was not till near the fourth
century that heathenism began, to any marked extent, to modify the
character and to corrupt the purity of Christianity.

And with this is connected one of the most important historic facts
with regard to the Art of the catacombs. In no one of the pictures
of the earlier centuries is support or corroboration to be found of
the distinctive dogmas and peculiar claims of the Roman Church. We
have already spoken of the pictures that have been supposed to have
symbolic reference to the doctrine of the Real Presence in the
Eucharist, and have shown how little they require such an
interpretation. The exaltation of St. Peter above the other Apostles
is utterly unknown in the works of the first three centuries; in
instances in which he is represented, it is as the companion of St.
Paul. The Virgin never appears as the subject of any special
reverence. Sometimes, as in pictures of the Magi bringing their gifts,
she is seen with the child Jesus upon her lap. No attempt to
represent the Trinity (an irreverence which did not become familiar
till centuries later) exists in the catacombs, and no sign of the
existence of the doctrine of the Trinity is to be met with in them,
unless in works of a very late period. Of the doctrines of Purgatory
and Hell, of Indulgences, of Absolution, no trace is to be found. Of
the worship of the saints there are few signs before the fourth
century,--and it was not until after this period that figures of the
saints, such as those spoken of heretofore, in the account of the
crypt of St. Cecilia, became a common adornment of the sepulchral
walls. The use of the _nimbus_, or glory round the head, was not
introduced into Christian Art before the end of the fourth century.
It was borrowed from Paganism, and was adopted, with many other
ideas and forms of representation, from the same source, after
Romanism had taken the place of Paganism as the religion of the
Western Empire. The faith of the catacombs of the first three
centuries was Christianity, not Romanism.

In the later catacombs, the change of belief, which was wrought
outside of them, is plainly visible in the change in the style of Art.
Byzantine models stiffened, formalized, and gradually destroyed the
spirit of the early paintings. Richness of vestment and mannerism of
expression took the place of simplicity and straightforwardness. The
Art which is still the popular Art in Italy began to exhibit its
lower round of subjects. Saints of all kinds were preferred to the
personages of Scripture. The time of suffering and trial having
passed, men stirred their slow imaginations with pictures of the
crucifixion and the passion. Martyrdoms began to be represented; and
the series--not even yet, alas! come to an end--of the coarse and
bloody atrocities of painting, pictures worthy only of the shambles,
beginning here, marked the decline of piety and the absence of
feeling. Love and veneration for the older and simpler works
disappeared, and through many of the ancient pictures fresh graves
were dug, that faithless Christians might be buried near those whom
they esteemed able to intercede for and protect them. These graves
hollowed out in the wall around the tomb of some saint or martyr
became so common, that the term soon arose of a burial _intra_ or
_retro sanctos_, _among_ or _behind the saints_. One of the most
precious pictures in the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, precious from
its peculiar character, is thus in some of its most important parts
utterly destroyed. It represents, so far as is to be seen now, two
men in the attitude of preaching to flocks who stand near them,--and
if the eye is not deceived by the uncertain light, and by the
dimness of the injured colors, a shower of rain, typical of the
showers of divine grace, is falling upon the sheep: on one who is
listening intently, with head erect, the shower falls abundantly; on
another who listens, but with less eagerness, the rain falls in less
abundance; on a third who listens, but continues to eat, with head
bent downward, the rain falls scantily; while on a fourth, who has
turned away to crop the grass, scarcely a drop descends. Into this
parable in painting the irreverence of a succeeding century cut its
now rifled and forlorn graves.

But the Art of the catacombs, after its first age, was not confined
to painting. Many sculptured sarcophagi have been found within the
crypts, and in the crypts of the churches connected with the
cemeteries. Here was again the adoption of an ancient custom; and in
many instances, indeed, the ancient sarcophagi themselves were
employed for modern bodies, and the old heathens turned out for the
new Christians. Others were obviously the work of heathen artists
employed for Christian service; and others exhibit, even more
plainly than the later paintings, some of the special doctrines of
the Church. The whole character of this sculpture deserves fuller
investigation than we can give to it here. The collection of these
first Christian works in marble that has recently been made in the
Lateran Museum affords opportunity for its careful study,--a study
interesting not only in an artistic, but in an historic and
doctrinal point of view.

The single undoubted Christian statue of early date that has come
down to us is that of St. Hippolytus, Bishop of Porto, which was
found in 1551, near the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Unfortunately, it
was much mutilated, and has been greatly restored; but it is still
of uncommon interest, not only from its excellent qualities as a
work of Art, but also from the engraving upon its side of a list of
the works of the Saint, and of a double paschal cycle. This, too, is
now in the Christian Museum at the Lateran.

Another branch of early Christian Art, which deserves more attention
than it has yet received, is that of the mosaics of the catacombs.
Their character is widely different from that of those with which a
few centuries afterwards the popes splendidly adorned their favorite
churches. But we must leave mosaics, gems, lamps, and all the lesser
articles of ornament and of common household use that have been
found in the graves, and which bring one often into strange
familiarity with the ways and near sympathy with the feelings of
those who occupied the now empty cells. Most of these trifles seem
to have been buried with the dead as the memorials of a love that
longed to reach beyond death with the expressions of its constancy
and its grief. Among them have been found the toys of little children,--
their jointed ivory dolls, their rattles, their little rings, and
bells,--full, even now, of the sweet sounds of long-ago household
joys, and of the tender recollections of household sorrows. In
looking at them, one is reminded of the constant recurrence of the
figure of the Good Shepherd bearing his lamb, painted upon the walls
of these ancient chapels and crypts.

It was thus that the dawn of Christian Art lighted up the darkness
of the catacombs. While the Roman nobles were decorating their
villas and summer-houses with gay figures, scenes from the ancient
stories, and representations of licentious fancies,--while the
emperors were paving the halls of their great baths with mosaic
portraits of the famous prize-fighters and gladiators,--the
Christians were painting the walls of their obscure cemeteries with
imagery which expressed the new lessons of their faith, and which
was the type and the beginning of the most beautiful works that the
human imagination has conceived, and the promise of still more
beautiful works yet to be created for the delight and help of the

[To be continued.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  How was I worthy so divine a loss,
    Deepening my midnights, kindling all my morns?
  Why waste such precious wood to make my cross,
    Such far-sought roses for my crown of thorns?

  And when she came, how earned I such a gift?
    Why spend on me, a poor earth-delving mole,
  The fireside sweetnesses, the heavenward lift,
    The hourly mercy of a woman's soul?

  Ah, did we know to give her all her right,
    What wonders even in our poor clay were done!
  It is not Woman leaves us to our night,
    It is our earth that grovels from her sun.

  Our nobler cultured fields and gracious domes
    We whirl too oft from her who still shines on
  To light in vain our caves and clefts, the homes
    Of night-bird instincts pained till she be gone.

  Still must this body starve our souls with shade;
    But when Death makes us what we were before,
  Then shall her sunshine all our depths invade,
    And not a shadow stain heaven's crystal floor.


  "The sense of the world is short,--
  Long and various the report,--
    To love and be beloved:
  Men and gods have not outlearned it;
  And how oft soe'er they've turned it,
    'Tis not to be improved!"--EMERSON.

Mr. Vane and Mr. Payne both were eagerly describing to me their
arrangements for an excursion to the Lake. I did not doubt it would
be charming, but neither of these two gentlemen would be endurable
on such a drive, and each was determined to ask me first. I stood
pushing apart the crushed flowers of my bouquet, in which all the
gardener's art vindicated itself by making the airy grace of Nature
into a flat, unmeaning mosaic.

In the next room the passionate melancholy of a waltz was mocked and
travestied by the frantic and ungrateful whirl that only Americans
are capable of executing; the music lived alone in upper air; of men
and dancing it was all unaware; the involved cadences rolled away
over the lawn, shook the dew-drooped roses on their stems, and went
upward into the boundless moonlight to its home. Through all, Messrs.
Vane and Payne harangued me about the splendid bowling-alley at the
Lake, the mountain-strawberries, the boats, the gravel-walks! At
last it became amusing to see how skilfully they each evaded and
extinguished the other; it was a game of chess, and he was to be
victor who should first ask me; if one verged upon the question, the
other quickly interposed some delightful circumstance about the
excursion, and called upon the first to corroborate his testimony;
neither, in Alexander's place, would have done anything but assure
the other that the Gordian knot was very peculiarly tied, and quite

Presently Harry Tempest stood by my side. I became aware that he had
heard the discussion. He took my bouquet from my hand, and stood
smelling it, while my two acquaintance went on. I was getting
troubled and annoyed; Mr. Tempest's presence was not composing. I
played with my fan nervously; at length I dropped it. Harry Tempest
picked it up, and, as I stooped, our eyes met; he gave me the fan,
and, turning from Messrs. Vane and Payne, said, very coolly,--

"The Lake is really a charming place; I think, Miss Willing, you
would find a carriage an easier mode of conveyance, so far, than
your pony; shall I bring one for you? or do you still prefer to ride?"

This was so quietly done, that it seemed to me really a settled
affair of some standing that I was to go to the Lake with Mr. Tempest.
Mr. Vane sauntered off to join the waltzers; Mr. Payne suddenly
perceived Professor Rust at his elbow and began to talk chemistry. I
said, as calmly as I had been asked,--

"I will send you word some time tomorrow; I cannot tell just now."

Here some of my friends came to say good night; my duties as hostess
drew me toward the door; Harry Tempest returned my bouquet and
whispered, or rather said in that tone of society that only the
person addressed can hear,--

"Clara! let it be a drive!"

My head bent forward as he spoke, for I could not look at him; when
I raised it, he was gone.

The music still soared and floated on through the windows into the
moonlight; one by one the older part of my guests left me; only a
few of the gayest and youngest still persevered in that indefatigable
waltz, the oval room looking as if a score of bubbles were playing
hop and skip,--for in the crinoline expansions the gentlemen's black
pen-and-ink outlines were all lost. At length even these went; the
music died; its soul went up with a long, broken cry; its body was
put piecemeal into several green bags, shouldered by stout Germans,
and carried quite out of sight. The servants gathered and set away
such things as were most needful to be arranged, put out the lights,
locked the doors and windows, and went to bed. Mrs. Reading, my good
housekeeper, begged me to go up stairs.

"You look so tired, Miss Clara!"

"So I am, Delia!" said I. "I will rest. Go to bed you, and I shall
come presently."

I heard her heavy steps ascend the stairs; I heard the door of her
room close, creaking. How could I sleep? I knew very well what the
coming day would bring; I knew why Harry Tempest preferred to drive.
I had need of something beside rest, for sleep was impossible; I
needed calmness, quiet, enough poise to ask myself a momentous
question, and be candidly answered. This quiet was not to be found
in my room, I well knew; every bit of its furniture, its drapery,
was haunted, and in any hour of emotion the latent ghosts came out
upon me in swarms; the quaint mandarins with crooked eyes and fat
cheeks had eyed me a thousand times when Elsie's arm was clasped
over my neck, and with her head upon my shoulder we lay and laughed,
when we should have been dressing, at those Chinese chintz curtains.
Elsie was gone; if she had been here, I had been at once counselled.
Rest there, dead Past!--I could not go to my bedroom.

The green-house opened from the large parlor by a sash-door. At this
season of the year the glazed roof and sides were withdrawn or
lowered, but at night the lower sashes were drawn up and fastened,
lest incursive cats or dogs should destroy my flowers. The great
Newfoundland that was our guard slept on the floor here, since it
was the weakest spot for any ill-meaning visitors to enter at.

I drew the long skirt of my lace dress up over my hair, and quietly
went into the green-house. The lawn and its black firs tempted me,
but there was moonlight on the lawn, and moonlight I cannot bear; it
burns my head more fiercely than any noon sun; it scorches my eyelids;
it exhausts and fevers me; it excites my brain, and now I looked for
calm. This the odor of the flowers and their pure expression
promised me. A tall, thick-leaved camellia stood half-way down the
border, and before it was a garden-chair. The moonlight shed no ray
there, but through the sashes above streamed cool and fair over the
blooms that clung to the wall and adorned the parterres and vases;
for this house was set after a fashion of my own, a winter-garden
under glass; no stages filled the centre. It was laid out with no
stiff rule, but here and there in urns of stone, or in pyramidal
stands, gorgeous or fragrant plants ran at their own wild will, while
over all the wall and along the woodwork of the roof trailed
passion-flowers, roses, honeysuckles, fragrant clematis, ivy, and
those tropic vines whose long dead names belie their fervid
luxuriance and fantastic growth; great trees of lemon and orange
interspaced the vines in shallow niches of their own, and the languid
drooping tresses of a golden acacia flung themselves over and across
the deep glittering mass of a broad-leaved myrtle.

As I sat down in the chair, Pan reared his dusky length from his mat,
and came for a recognition. It was wont to be something more
positive than caresses; but to-night neither sweet biscuit nor
savory bit of confectionery appeared in the hand that welcomed him;
yet he was as loving as ever, and, with a grim sense of protection,
flung himself at my feet, drew a long breath, and slept. I dared not
yet think; I rested my head against the chair, and breathed in the
odor of the flowers: the delicate scent of tea-roses; the Southern
perfume, fiery and sweet, like Greek wine, of profuse heliotropes,--a
perfume that gives you thirst, and longing, and regret. I turned my
head toward the orange-trees; Southern, also, but sensuous and tropic,
was the breath of those thick white stars,--a tasted odor. Not so
the cool air that came to me from a diamond-shaped bed of Parma
violets, kept back so long from bloom that I might have a succession
of them; these were the last, and their perfume told it, for it was
at once a caress and a sigh. I breathed the gale of sweetness till
every nerve rested and every pulse was tranquil as the air without.

I heard a little stir. I looked up. A stately calla, that reared one
marble cup from its gracious cool leaves, was bending earthward with
a slow and voluntary motion; from the cup glided a fair woman's shape;
snowy, sandalled feet shone from under the long robe; hair of
crisped gold crowned the Greek features. It was Hypatia. A little
shiver crept through a white tea-rose beside the calla; its delicate
leaves fluttered to the ground; a slight figure, a sweet, sad face,
with melancholy blue eyes and fair brown hair, parted the petals. La
Vallière! She gazed in my eyes.

"Poor little child!" said she. "Have you a treatise against love,

The Greek of Egypt smiled and looked at me also. "I have discovered
that the steps of the gods are upon wool," answered she; "if love
had a beginning to sight, should not we also foresee its end?"

"And when one foresees the end, one dies," murmured La Vallière.

"Bah!" exclaimed Marguerite of Valois, from the heart of a rose-red
camellia,--"not at all, my dear; one gets a new lover!"

"Or the new lover gets you," said a dulcet tone, tipped with satire,
from the red lips of Mary of Scotland,--lips that were just now the
petals of a crimson carnation.

"Philosophy hath a less troubled sea wherein to ride than the stormy
fluctuance of mortal passion; Plato is diviner than Ovid," said a
puritanic, piping voice from a coif that was fashioned out of the
white camellia-blooms behind my chair, and circled the prim beauty
of Lady Jane Grey.

"Are you a woman, or one of the Sphinx's children?" said a stormy,
thrilling, imperious accent, from the wild purple and scarlet flower
of the Strelitzia, that gradually shaped itself into gorgeous
Oriental robes, rolled in waves of splendor from the lithe waist and
slender arms of a dark woman, no more young,--sallow, thin, but more
graceful than any bending bough of the desert acacia, and with eyes
like midnight, deep, glowing, flashing, melting into dew, as she
looked at the sedate lady of England.

"You do not know love!" resumed she. "It is one draught,--a jewel
fused in nectar; drink the pearl and bring the asp!"

Her words brought beauty; the sallow face burnt with living scarlet
on lip and cheek; the tiny pearl-grains of teeth flashed across the
swarth shade above her curving, passionate mouth; the wide nostrils
expanded; the great eyes flamed under her low brow and glittering
coils of black hair.

"Poor Octavia!" whispered La Vallière. Lady Jane Grey took up her
breviary and read.

"After all, you died!" said Hypatia.

"I lived!" retorted Cleopatra.

"Lived and loved," said a dreamy tone from the hundred leaves of a
spotless La Marque rose; and the steady, "unhasting, unresting" soul
of Thekla looked out from that centreless flower, in true German
guise of brown braided tresses, deep blue eyes like forget-me-nots,
sedate lips, and a straight nose.

"I have lived, and loved, and cut bread and butter," solemnly
pronounced a mountain-daisy, assuming the broad features of a

Cleopatra used an Egyptian oath. Lady Jane Grey put down her breviary
and took up Plato. Marguerite of Valois laughed outright. Hypatia
put a green leaf over Charlotte, with the air of a high-priestess,
and extinguished her.

"Who does not love cannot lose," mused La Vallière.

"Who does not love neither has nor gains," said Hypatia. "The dilemma
hath two sides, and both gain and loss are problematic. It is the
ideal of love that enthralls us, not the real."

"Hush! you white-faced Greek! It was not an ideal; it was Mark Antony.
By Isis! does a dream fight, and swear, and kiss?"

"The Navarrese did; and France dreamed he was my master,--not I!"
laughed Marguerite.

"This is most weak stuff for goodly and noble women to foster,"
grimly uttered a flame-colored hawk's-bill tulip, that directly
assumed a ruff and an aquiline nose.

Mary of Scotland passed her hand about her fair throat. "Where is
Leicester's ring?" said she.

The Queen did not hear, but went on. "Truly, you make as if it was
the intent of women to be trodden under foot of men. She that
ruleth herself shall rule both princes and nobles, I wot. Yet I had
done well to marry. Love or no love, I would the house of Hanover
had waged war with one of mine own blood; I hate those fair, fat

"Love hath sometimes the thorn alone, the rose being blasted in bud,"
uttered a sweet and sonorous voice with a little nasal accent, out
of the myrtle-boughs that starred with bloom her hair, and swept the
hem of her green dress.

"Sweet soul, wast thou not, then, sated upon sonnets?" said Mary of
Scotland, in a stage aside.

"Do not the laurels overgrow the thorn?" said La Vallière, with a
wistful, inquiring smile.

Laura looked away. "They are very green at Avignon," said she.

Out of two primroses, side by side, Stella and Vanessa put forth
pale and anxious faces, with eyes tear-dimmed.

"Love does not feed on laurels," said Stella; "they are fruitless."

"That the clergy should be celibate is mine own desire," broke in
Queen Elizabeth. "Shall every curly fool's-pate of a girl be turning
after an anointed bishop? I will have this thing ended, certes! and
that with speed."

Vanessa was too deep in a brown study to hear. Presently she spoke.
"I believe that love is best founded upon a degree of respect and
veneration which it is decent in youth to render unto age and

"Ciel!" muttered Marguerite; "is it, then, that in this miserable
England one cherishes a grand passion for one's grandfather?"

The heliotrope-clusters melted into a face of plastic contour, rich
full lips, soft interfused outlines, intense purple eyes, and heavy
waving hair, dark indeed, but harmonized curiously with the narrow
gold fillet that bound it. "It is no pain to die for love," said the
low, deep voice, with an echo of rolling gerunds in the tone.

"That depends on how sharp the dagger is," returned Mary of Scotland.
"If the axe had been dull"----

From the heart of a red rose Juliet looked out; the golden centre
crowned her head with yellow tresses; her tender hazel eyes were
calm with intact passion; her mouth was scarlet with fresh kisses,
and full of consciousness and repose. "Harder it is to live for love,"
said she; "hardest of all to have ever lived without it."

"How much do you all help the matter?" said a practical Yankee voice
from a pink hollyhock. "If the infinite relations of life assert
themselves in marriage, and the infinite I merges its individuality
in the personality of another, the superincumbent need of a passional
relation passes without question. What the soul of the seeker asks
from itself and the universe is, whether the ultimate principle of
existent life is passional or philosophic."

"Your dialectic is wanting in purity of expression," calmly said
Hypatia; "the tongue of Olympus suits gods and their ministers only."

"Plato hath no question of the matter in hand," observed Lady Jane
Grey, with a tone of finishing the subject.

"I know nothing of your questions and philosophies," scornfully
stormed Cleopatra. "Fire seeks fire, and clay, clay. Isis send me
Antony, and every philosopher in Alexandria may go drown in the Nile!
Shall I blind my eyes with scrolls of papyrus when there is a goodly
Roman to be looked upon?"

From the deep blue petals of a double English violet came a delicate
face, pale, serene, sad, but exceeding tender. "Love liveth when the
lover dies," said Lady Rachel Russell. "I have well loved my lord in
the prison; shall I cease to affect him when he is become one of the
court above?"

"You are cautious of speech, Mesdames," carelessly spoke Marguerite.
"Women are the fools of men; you all know it. Every one of you has
carried cap and bell."

They all turned toward the hawk's-bill tulip; it was not there.

"Gone to Kenilworth," demurely sneered Mary of Scotland.

A pond-lily, floating in a tiny tank, opened its clasped petals; and
with one bare pearly foot upon the green island of leaves, and the
other touching the edge of the marble basin, clothed with a rippling,
lustrous, golden garment of hair, that rolled downward in glittering
masses to her slight ankles, and half hid the wide, innocent, blue
eyes and infantile, smiling lips, Eve said, "I was made for Adam,"
and slipped silently again into the closing flower.

"But we have changed all that!" answered Marguerite, tossing her
jewel-clasped curls.

"They whom the saints call upon to do battle for king and country
have their nature after the manner of their deeds," came a clear
voice from the fleur-de-lis, that clothed itself in armor, and
flashed from under a helmet the keen, dark eyes and firm, beardless
lips of a woman.

"There have been cloistered nuns," timidly breathed La Vallière.

"There is a monk's-hood in that parterre without," said Marguerite.

The white clematis shivered. It was a veiled shape in long robes,
that hid face and figure, who clung to the wall and whispered,

"There are tales of saints in my breviary," soliloquized Mary of
Scotland; and in the streaming moonlight, as she spoke, a faint
outline gathered, lips and eyes of solemn peace, a crown of blood-red
roses pressing thorns into the wan temples that dripped sanguine
streams, and in the halo above the wreath a legend, partially
obscured, that ran, "Utque talis Rosa nulli alteri plantæ adhæreret"----

"But the girl there is no saint; I think, rather, she is of mine own
land," said a purple passion-flower, that hid itself under a black
mantilla, and glowed with dark beauty. The Spanish face bent over me
with ardent eyes and lips of sympathetic passion, and murmured,
"Do not fear! Pedro was faithful unto and after death; there are some

Pan growled! I rubbed my eyes! Where was I? Mrs. Reading stood by me
in very extempore costume, holding a night-lamp:--

"Goodness me, Miss Clara!" said she, "I never was more scared. I
happened to wake up, and I thought I see your west window open
across the corner; so I roused up to go and see if you was sick; and
you wasn't in bed, nor your frock anywhere. I was frighted to pieces;
but when I come down and found the greenhouse door open, I went in
just for a chance, and, lo and behold! here you are, sound asleep in
the chair, and Pan a-lying close onto that beautiful black lace frock!
Do get up, Miss Clara! you'll be sick to-morrow, sure as the world!"

I looked round me. All the flowers were cool and still; the calla
breathless and quiet; the pond-lily shut; the roses full of dew and
perfume; the clematis languid and luxuriant.

"Delia," said I, "what do you think about matrimony?"

Mrs. Reading stared at me with her honest green eyes. I laughed.

"Well," said she, "marriage is a lottery, Miss Clara. Reading was a
pretty good feller; but seein' things was as they was, if I'd had
means and knowed what I know now, I shouldn't never have married him."

"May-be you'd have married somebody else, though," suggested I.

"Like enough, Miss Clara; girls are unaccountable perverse when they
get in love. But do get up and go to bed. A'n't you goin' to the
Lake to-morrow?"

That put my speculation to flight. Up I rose and meekly followed
Delia to my room; this time she staid to see me fairly disrobed. But
I had had sleep enough. I was also quiet; I could think. The future
lay at my feet, to be planned and patterned at my will; or so I
thought. I had not permitted myself to think much about Harry Tempest,
from an instinctive feeling of danger; I did not know then that

  "En songeant qu'il faut oublier
   On s'en souvient!"

I was young, rich, beautiful, independent; I came and went as I would,
without question, and did my own pleasure. If I married, all this
power must be given up; possibly I and my husband would tire of each
other,--and then what remained but fixed and incurable disgust and
pain? I thought over my strange dream. Cleopatra, the enchantress,
and the scorn of men: that was not love, it was simple passion of
the lowest grade. Lady Jane Grey: she was only proper. Marguerite de
Valois: profligate. Elizabeth: a shrewish, selfish old politician.
Who of all these had loved? Arria: and Paetus dying, she could not
love. Lady Russell: she lived and mourned. I looked but at one side
of the argument, and drew my inferences from that, but they
satisfied me. Soon I saw the dawn stretch its opal tints over the
distant hills, and tinge the tree-tops with bloom. I heard the
half-articulate music of birds, stirring in their nests; but before
the sounds of higher life began to stir I had gone to sleep, firmly
resolved to ride to the Lake, and to give Harry Tempest no
opportunity to speak to me alone. But I slept too long; it was noon
before I woke, and I had sent no message about my preference of the
pony, as I promised, to Mr. Tempest. I had only time to breakfast
and dress. At three o'clock he came,--with his carriage, of course.
So I rode to the Lake!

It's all very well to make up one's mind to say a certain thing; it
is better if you say it; but, somehow or other,--I really was
ashamed afterward,--I forgot all my good reasons. I found I had taken
a great deal of pains to no purpose. In short, after due time, I
married Harry Tempest; and though it is some time since that happened,
I am still much of Eve's opinion,--


       *       *       *       *       *


There is as absolute an instinct in the human mind for the definite,
the palpable, and the emphatic, as there is for the mysterious, the
versatile, and the elusive. With some, method is a law, and taste
severe in affairs, costume, exercise, social intercourse, and faith.
The simplicity, directness, uniformity, and pure emphasis or grace
of Sculpture have analogies in literature and character: the terse
despatch of a brave soldier, the concentrated dialogue of Alfieri,
some proverbs, aphorisms, and poetic lines, that have become
household words, puritanic consistency, silent fortitude, are but so
many vigorous outlines, and impress us by virtue of the same
colorless intensity as a masterpiece of the statuary. How
sculpturesque is Dante, even in metaphor, as when he writes,--

  "Ella non ci diceva alcuna cosa;
  Ma lasciavane gir, solo guardando,
  A guisa di leon quando si posa."

Nature, too, hints the art, when her landscape tints are covered
with snow, and the forms of tree, rock, and mountain are clearly
defined by the universal whiteness. Death, in its pale, still, fixed
image,--always solemn, sometimes beautiful,--would have inspired
primeval humanity to mould and chisel the lineaments of clay. Even
New Zealanders elaborately carve their war-clubs; and from the
"graven images" prohibited by the Decalogue as objects of worship,
through the mysterious granite effigies of ancient Egypt, the brutal
anomalies in Chinese porcelain, the gay and gilded figures on a
ship's prow,--whether emblems of rude ingenuity, tasteless caprice,
retrospective sentiment, or embodiments of the highest physical and
mental culture, as in the Greek statues,--there is no art whose
origin is more instructive and progress more historically significant.
The vases of Etruria are the best evidence of her degree of
civilization; the designs of Flaxman on Wedgwood ware redeem the
economical art of England; the Bears at Berne and the Wolf in the
Roman Capitol are the most venerable local insignia; the carvings of
Gibbons, in old English manor-houses, outrival all the luxurious
charms of modern upholstery; Phidias is a more familiar element in
Grecian history than Pericles; the moral energy of the old Italian
republics is more impressively shadowed forth and conserved in the
bold and vigorous creations of Michel Angelo than in the political
annals of Macchiavelli; and it is the massive, uncouth sculptures,
half-buried in sylvan vegetation, which mythically transmit the
ancient people of Central America.

We confess a faith in, and a love for, the "testimony of the rocks,"--
not only as interpreted by the sagacious Scotchman, as he excavated
the "old red sandstone," but as shaped into forms of truth, beauty,
and power by the hand of man through all generations. We love to
catch a glimpse of these silent memorials of our race, whether as
Nymphs half-shaded at noon-day with summer foliage in a garden, or
as Heroes gleaming with startling distinctness in the moonlit
city-square; as the similitudes of illustrious men gathered in the
halls of nations and crowned with a benignant fame, or as prone
effigies on sepulchres, forever proclaiming the calm without the
respiration of slumber, so as to tempt us to exclaim, with the
enamored gazer on the Egyptian queen, when the asp had done its work,--

  "She looks like sleep,
  As she would catch another Antony
  In her _strong toil of grace_."

Although Dr. Johnson undervalued sculpture,--partly because of an
inadequate sense of the beautiful, and partly from ignorance of its
greatest trophies, he expressed unqualified assent to its
awe-inspiring influence in "the monumental caves of death," as
described by Congreve. Sir Joshua truly declares that "all arts
address themselves to the sensibility and imagination"; and no one
thus alive to the appeal of sculpture will marvel that the
infuriated mob spared the statues of the Tuileries at the bloody
climax of the French Revolution,--that a "love of the antique" knit
in bonds of life-long friendship Winckelmann and Cardinal Albani,--
that among the most salient of childhood's memories should be
Memnon's image and the Colossus of Rhodes,--that an imaginative girl
of exalted temperament died of love for the Apollo Belvidere,--and
that Carrara should win many a pilgrimage because its quarries have
peopled earth with grace.

To a sympathetic eye there are few more pleasing tableaux than a
gifted sculptor engaged in his work. How absorbed he is!--standing
erect by the mass of clay,--with graduated touch, moulding into
delicate undulations or expressive lines the inert mass,--now
stepping back to see the effect,--now bending forward, almost
lovingly, to add a master indentation or detach a thin layer,--and so,
hour after hour, working on, every muscle in action, each perception
active, oblivious of time, happy in the gradual approximation, under
patient and thoughtful manipulation, of what was a dense heap of
earth, to a form of vital expression or beauty. When such a man
departs from the world, after having thus labored in love and with
integrity so as to bequeathe memorable and cherished trophies of
this beautiful art,--when he dies in his prime, his character as a
man endeared by the ties of friendship, and his fame as an artist
made precious by the bond of a common nativity, we feel that the art
he loved and illustrated and the fame he won and honored demand a
coincident discussion.

Thomas Crawford was born in New York, March 22, 1813, and died in
London, October 16, 1857. His lineage, school education, and early
facilities indicate no remarkable means or motive for artistic
development; they were such as belong to the average positions of
the American citizen; although a bit of romance, which highly amused
the young sculptor, was the visit of a noble Irish lady to his studio,
who ardently demonstrated their common descent from an ancient house.
At first contented to experiment as a juvenile draughtsman, to gaze
into the windows of print-shops, to collect what he could obtain in
the shape of casts, to carve flowers, leaves, and monumental designs
in the marble-yard of Launitz,--then adventuring in wood sculptures
and portraits, until the encouragement of Thorwaldsen, the nude
models of the French Academy at Rome, and copies from the
Demosthenes and other antiques in the Vatican disciplined his eye
and touch,--thus by a healthful, rigorous process attaining the
manual skill and the mature judgment which equipped him to venture
wisely in the realm of original conception,--there was a thoroughness
and a progressive application in his whole initiatory course,
prophetic, to those versed in the history of Art, of the ultimate
and secure success so legitimately earned.

If Rome yields the choicest test, in modern times, of individual
endowment in sculpture, by virtue of her unequalled treasures and
select proficients in Art,--Munich affords the second ordeal in
Europe, because of the cultivated taste and superior foundries for
which that capital is renowned; and it is remarkable that both the
great statues there cast from Crawford's models by Müller inspired
those impromptu festivals which give expression to German enthusiasm.
The advent of the Beethoven statue was celebrated by the adequate
performance, under the auspices of both court and artists, of that
peerless composer's grandest music. When, on the evening of his
arrival, Crawford went to see, for the first time, his Washington in
bronze, he was surprised at the dusky precincts of the vast arena;
suddenly torches flashed illumination on the magnificent horse and
rider, and simultaneously burst forth from a hundred voices a song
of triumph and jubilee: thus the delighted Germans congratulated
their gifted brother, and hailed the sublime work,--to them typical
at once of American freedom, patriotism, and genius. The king warmly
recognized the original merits and consummate effect of the work;
the artists would suffer no inferior hands to pack and despatch it to
the sea-side; peasants greeted its triumphal progress;--the people
of Richmond were emulous to share the task of conveying it from the
quay to the Capitol hill; mute admiration, followed by ecstatic
cheers, hailed its unveiling, and the most gracious native eloquence
inaugurated its erection.

Descriptions of works of Art, especially of statues, are
proverbially unsatisfactory; only a vague idea can be given in words,
to the unprofessional reader; otherwise we might dwell upon the eager,
intent attitude of Orpheus as he seems to glide by the dozing
Cerberus, shading his eyes as they peer into the mysterious
labyrinth he is about to enter in search of his ravished bride;--we
might expatiate on the graceful, dignified aspect of Beethoven, the
concentration of his thoughtful brow, and the loving serenity of his
expression,--a kind of embodied musical self-absorption, yet an
accurate portrait of the man in his inspired mood; so might he have
stood when gathering into his serene consciousness the pastoral
melodies of Nature, on a summer evening, to be incorporated into
immortal combinations of harmonious sound;--we might descant upon
the union of majesty and spirit in the figure of Washington and the
vital truth of action in the horse, the air of command and of
rectitude, the martial vigor and grace, so instantly felt by the
popular heart, and so critically praised by the adept in statuary
cognizant of the difficulties to be overcome and the impression to
be absolutely evolved from such a work, in order to make it at once
true to Nature and to character;--we might repeat the declaration,
that no figure, ancient or modern, so entirely illustrates the
classic definition of oratory, as consisting in action, as the
statue of Patrick Henry, which seems instinct with that memorable
utterance, "Give me liberty or give me death!" The inventive
felicity of the design for one of the pediments of the Capitol might
be unfolded as a vivid historic poem; and it requires no imagination
to show that Jefferson looks the author of the Declaration of
Independence. The union of original expression and skill in statuary
and of ingenious constructiveness in monumental designs, which
Crawford exhibited, may be regarded as a peculiar excellence and a
rare distinction.

Much has been said and written of the limits of sculpture; but it is
the sphere, rather than the art itself, which is thus bounded; and
one of its most glorious distinctions, like that of the human form
and face, which are its highest subject, is the vast possible
variety within what seems, at first thought, to be so narrow a field.
That the same number and kind of limbs and features should, under the
plastic touch of genius, have given birth to so many and totally
diverse forms, memorable for ages and endeared to humanity, is in
itself an infinite marvel, which vindicates, as a beautiful wonder,
the statuary's art from the more Protean rivalry of pictorial skill.
If we call to mind even a few of the sculptured creations which are
"a joy forever," even to retrospection,--haunting by their pure
individuality the temple of memory, permanently enshrined in
heartfelt admiration as illustrations of what is noble in man and
woman, significant in history, powerful in expression, or
irresistible in grace,--we feel what a world of varied interest is
hinted by the very name of Sculpture. Through it the most just and
clear idea of Grecian culture is revealed to the many. The solemn
mystery of Egyptian and the grand scale of Assyrian civilization are
best attested by the same trophies. How a Sphinx typifies the land
of the Pyramids and all its associations, mythological, scientific,
natural, and sacred,--its reverence for the dead, and its dim and
portentous traditions! and what a reflex of Nineveh's palmy days are
the winged lions exhumed by Layard! What more authentic tokens of
Mediaeval piety and patience exist than the elaborate and grotesque
carvings of Albert Dürer's day? The colossal Brahma in the temple of
Elephanta, near Bombay, is the visible acme of Asiatic superstition.
And can an illustration of the revival of Art, in the fifteenth
century, so exuberant, aspiring, and sublime, be imagined, to
surpass the Day and Night, the Moses, and other statues of Angelo?--
But such general inferences are less impressive than the personal
experience of every European traveller with the least passion for
the beautiful or reverence for genius. Is there any sphere of
observation and enjoyment to such a one, more prolific of individual
suggestions than this so-called limited art? From the soulful glow
of expression in the inspired countenance of the Apollo, to the
womanly contours, so exquisite, in the armless figure of the Venus
de Milo,--from the aerial posture of John of Bologna's Mercury, to
the inimitable and firm dignity in the attitude of Aristides in the
Museum of Naples,--from the delicate lines which teach how grace can
chasten nudity in the Goddess of the Tribune at Florence, to the
embodied melancholy of Hamlet in the brooding Lorenzo of the Medici
Chapel,--from the stone despair, the frozen tears, as it were, of all
bereaved maternity, in the very bend of Niobe's body and yearning
gesture, to the _abandon_ gleaming from every muscle of the Dancing
Faun,--from the stern brow of the Knife-grinder, and the bleeding
frame of the Gladiator, whereon are written forever the inhumanities
of ancient civilization, to the triumphant beauty and firm, light,
enjoyable aspect of Dannecker's Ariadne,--from the unutterable joy
of Cupid and Psyche's embrace, to the grand authority of Moses,--how
many separate phases of human emotion "live in stone"! What greater
contrast to eye or imagination, in our knowledge of facts and in our
consciousness of sentiment, can be exemplified, than those so
distinctly, memorably, and gracefully moulded in the apostolic
figures of Thorwaldsen, the Hero and Leander of Steinhaüser, the
lovely funereal monument, inspired by gratitude, which Rauch reared
to Louise of Prussia, Chantrey's Sleeping Children, Canova's Lions
in St. Peter's, the bas-reliefs of Ghiberti on the Baptistery doors
at Florence, and Gibson's Horses of the Sun?

Have you ever strolled from the inn at Lucerne, on a pleasant
afternoon, along the Zurich road, to the old General's garden, where
stands the colossal lion designed by Thorwaldsen, to keep fresh the
brave renown of the Swiss guard who perished in defence of the royal
family of France during the massacre of the Revolution? Carved from
the massive sandstone, the majestic animal, with the fatal spear in
his side, yet loyal in his vigil over the royal shield, is a grand
image of fidelity unto death. The stillness, the isolation, the
vivid creepers festooning the rocks, the clear mirror of the basin,
into which trickle pellucid streams, reflecting the vast proportions
of the enormous lion, the veteran Swiss, who acts as _cicerone_, the
adjacent chapel with its altar-cloth wrought by one of the fair
descendants of the Bourbon king and queen for whom these victims
perished, the hour, the memories, the admixture of Nature and Art,
convey a unique impression, in absolute contrast with such white
effigies, for instance, as in the dusky precincts of Santa Croce
droop over the sepulchre of Alfieri, or with the famous bronze boar
in the Mercato Nuevo of Florence, or the ethereal loveliness of that
sweet scion of the English nobility, moulded by Chantrey in all the
soft and lithe grace of childhood, holding a contented dove to her

Even as the subject of taste, independently of historical diversities,
sculpture presents every degree of the meretricious, the grotesque,
and the beautiful,--more emphatically, because more palpably, than
is observable in painting. The inimitable Grecian standard is an
immortal precedent; the Mediæval carvings embody the rude Teutonic
truthfulness; where Canova provoked comparison with the antique, as
in the Perseus and Venus, his more gross ideal is painfully evident.
How artificial seems Bernini in contrast with Angelo! How minutely
expressive are the terra-cotta images of Spain! What a climax of
absurdity teases the eye in the monstrosities in stone which draw
travellers in Sicily to the eccentric nobleman's villa, near Palermo!
Who does not shrink from the French allegory and horrible melodrama
of Roubillac's monument to Miss Nightingale, in Westminster Abbey?
How like Horace Walpole to dote on Ann Conway's canine groups! We
actually feel sleepy, as we examine the little black marble Somnus
of the Florence Gallery, and electrified with the first sight of the
Apollo, and won to sweet emotion in the presence of Nymphs, Graces,
and the Goddess of Beauty, when, shaped by the hand of genius, they
seem the ethereal types of that

  ----"common clay ta'en from the common earth,
  Moulded by God and tempered by the tears
  Of angels to the perfect form of woman."

Yet the distinctive element in the pleasure afforded by sculpture is
tranquillity,--a quiet, contemplative delight; somewhat of awe
chastens admiration; a feeling of peace hallows sympathy; and we
echo the poet's sentiment,--

  "I do feel a mighty calmness creep
  Over my heart, which can no longer borrow
  Its hues from chance or change,--those children of to-morrow."

It is this fixedness and placidity, conveying the impression of fate,
death, repose, or immortality, which render sculpture so congenial
as commemorative of the departed. Even quaint wooden effigies, like
those in St. Mary's Church at Chester, with the obsolete peaked
beards, ruffs, and broadswords, accord with the venerable
associations of a Mediæval tomb; while marble figures, typifying
Grief, Poetry, Fame, or Hope, brooding over the lineaments of the
illustrious dead, seem, of all sepulchral decorations, the most apt
and impressive. We remember, after exploring the plain of Ravenna on
an autumn day, and rehearsing the famous battle in which the brave
young Gaston de Foix fell, how the associations of the scene and
story were defined and deepened as we gazed on the sculptured form
of a recumbent knight in armor, preserved in the academy of the old
city; it seemed to bring back and stamp with brave renown forever
the gallant soldier who so long ago perished there in battle. In
Cathedral and Parthenon, under the dome of the Invalides, in the
sequestered parish church or the rural cemetery, what image so
accords with the sad reality and the serene hope of humanity, as the
adequate marble personification on sarcophagus and beneath shrine,
in mausoleum or on turf-mound?

  "His palms infolded on his breast,
  There is no other thought express'd
  But long disquiet merged in rest."

In truth, it is for want of comprehensive perception that we take so
readily for granted the limited scope of this glorious art. There is
in the Grecian mythology alone a remarkable variety of character and
expression, as perpetuated by the statuary; and when to her deities
we add the athletes, charioteers, and marble portraits, a realm of
diverse creations is opened. Indeed, to the average modern mind, it
is the statues of Grecian divinities that constitute the poetic
charm of her history; abstractly, we regard them with the poet:--

  "Their gods? what were their gods?
  There's Mars, all bloody-haired; and Hercules,
  Whose soul was in his sinews; Pluto, blacker
  Than his own hell; Vulcan, who shook his horns
  At every limp he took; great Bacchus rode
  Upon a barrel; and in a cockle-shell
  Neptune kept state; then Mercury was a thief;
  Juno a shrew; Pallas a prude, at best;
  And Venus walked the clouds in search of lovers;
  Only great Jove, the lord and thunderer,
  Sat in the circle of his starry power
  And frowned 'I will!' to all."

Not in their marble beauty do they thus ignobly impress us,--but calm,
fair, strong, and immortal. "They seem," wrote Hazlitt, "to have no
sympathy with us, and not to want our admiration. In their faultless
excellence they appear sufficient to themselves."

In the sculptor's art, more than on the historian's page, lives the
most glorious memory of the classic past. A visit to the Vatican by
torchlight endears even these poor traditional deities forever.

  On lofty ceilings vivid frescoes glow,
    Auroras beam,
  The steeds of Neptune through the waters go,
    Or Sibyls dream.

  As in the flickering torchlight shadows weaved
    Illusions wild,
  Methought Apollo's bosom slightly heaved
    And Juno smiled.

  Aerial Mercuries in bronze upspring,
    Dianas fly,
  And marble Cupids to the Psyches cling
    Without a sigh.

To this variety in unity, this wealth of antique genius, Crawford
brought the keen relish of an observant and the aptitude of a
creative mind. His taste in Art was eminently catholic; he loved the
fables and the personages of Greece because of this very diversity
of character,--the freedom to delineate human instincts and passions
under a mythological guise,--just as Keats prized the same themes as
giving broad range to his fanciful muse. A list of our prolific
sculptor's works is found to include the entire circle of subjects
and styles appropriate to his art--first, the usual classic themes,
of which his first remarkable achievement was the Orpheus; then a
series of Christian or religious illustrations, from Adam and Saul
to Christ at the Well of Samaria; next, individual portraits; a
series of domestic figures, such as the "Children in the Wood," or
"Truant Boys"; and, finally, what may be termed national statuary,
of which Beethoven and Washington are eminent exemplars. Like
Thorwaldsen, Crawford excelled in _basso-rilievo_, and was a
remarkable pictorial sculptor. Having made early and intense
studies of the antique, he as carefully observed Nature; few
statuaries have more keenly noted the action of childhood or
equestrian feats, so that the limbs and movement of the sweetest of
human and the noblest of brute creatures were critically known to him.
In sculpture, we believe that a great secret of the highest success
lies in an intuitive eclecticism, whereby the faultless graces of the
antique are combined with just observation of Nature. Without
correct imitative facility, a sculptor wanders from the truth and
the fact of visible things; without ideality, he makes but a
mechanical transcript; without invention, he but repeats
conventional traits. The desirable medium, the effective principle,
has been well defined by the author of "Scenes and Thoughts in Europe":--
"Art does not merely copy Nature; it _coöperates_ with her, it makes
palpable her finest essence, it reveals the spiritual source of the
corporeal by the perfection of its incarnations." That Crawford
invariably kept himself to "the height of this great argument" it
were presumptuous to assert; but that he constantly approached such
an ideal, and that he sometimes seized its vital principle, the
varied and expressive forms yet conserved in his studio at Rome
emphatically attest. He had obtained command of the vocabulary of
his art; in expressing it, like all men who strive largely, he was
unequal. Some of his creations are far more felicitous than others;
he sometimes worked too fast, and sometimes undertook what did not
greatly inspire him; but when we reflect on the limited period of his
artist-life, on the intrepid advancement of its incipient stages
under the pressure of narrow means and comparative solitude, on the
extraordinary progress, the culminating force, the numerous trophies,
and the acknowledged triumphs of a life of labors, so patiently
achieved, and suddenly cut off in mid career,--we cannot but
recognize a consummate artist and the grandest promise yet
vouchsafed to the cause of national Art.

Shelley used to say that a Roman peasant is as good a judge of
sculpture as the best academician or anatomist. It is this direct
appeal, this elemental simplicity, which constitutes the great
distinction and charm of the art. There is nothing evasive and
mysterious; in dealing with form and expression through features and
attitude, average observation is a reliable test. The same English
poet was right in declaring that the Greek sculptors did not find
their inspiration in the dissecting-room; yet upon no subject has
criticism displayed greater insight on the one hand and pedantry on
the other, than in the discussion of these very _chefs-d'oeuvre_ of
antiquity. While Michel Angelo, who was at Rome when the Laocoön was
discovered, hailed it as "the wonder of Art," and scholars
identified the group with a famous one described by Pliny, Canova
thought that the right arm of the father was not in its right
position, and the other restorations in the work have all been
objected to. Goethe recognized a profound sagacity in the artist:
"If," he wrote, "we try to place the bite in some different position,
the whole action is changed, and we find it impossible to conceive
one more fitting; the situation of the bite renders necessary the
whole action of the limbs";--and another critic says, "In the group
of the Laocoön, the breast is expanded and the throat contracted to
show that the agonies that convulse the frame are borne in silence."
In striking contrast with such testimonies to the scientific truth
to Nature in Grecian Art was the objection I once heard an American
back-woods mechanic make to this celebrated work; he asked why the
figures were seated in a row on a dry-goods box, and declared that
the serpent was not of a size to coil round so small an arm as the
child's, without breaking its vertebrae. So disgusted was Titian with
the critical pedantry elicited by this group, that, in ridicule
thereof, he painted a caricature,--three monkeys writhing in the
folds of a little snake.

Yet, despite the jargon of connoisseurship, against which Byron,
while contemplating the Venus de Medici, utters so eloquent an
invective, sculpture is a grand, serene, and intelligible art,--more
so than architecture and painting,--and, as such, justly consecrated
to the heroic and the beautiful in man and history. It is predominantly
commemorative. How the old cities of Europe are peopled to
the imagination, as well as the eye, by the statues of their
traditional rulers or illustrious children, keeping, as it were, a
warning sign, or a sublime vigil, silent, yet expressive, in the
heart of busy life and through the lapse of ages! We could never
pass Duke Cosmo's imposing effigy in the old square of Florence
without the magnificent patronage and the despotic perfidy of the
Medicean family being revived to memory with intense local
association,--nor note the ugly mitred and cloaked papal figures,
with hands extended, in the mockery of benediction, over the beggars
in the piazzas of Romagna, without Ranke's frightful picture of
Church abuses reappearing, as if to crown these brazen forms with
infamy. There was always a gleam of poetry,--however sad,--on the
most foggy day, in the glimpse afforded from our window, in
Trafalgar Square, of that patient horseman, Charles the Martyr. How
alive old Neptune sometimes looked, by moonlight, in Rome, as we
passed his plashing fountain! And those German poets,--Goethe,
Schiller, and Jean Paul,--what to modern eyes were Frankfort,
Stuttgart, and Baireuth, unconsecrated by their endeared forms? The
most pleasant association Versailles yielded us of the Bourbon
dynasty was that inspired by Jeanne d'Arc, graceful in her marble
sleep, as sculptured by Marie d'Orléans; and the most impressive
token of Napoleon's downfall we saw in Europe was his colossal image
intended for the square of Leghorn, but thrown permanently on the
sculptor's hands by the waning of his proud star. The statue of Heber,
to Christian vision, hallows Calcutta. The Perseus of Cellini
breathes of the months of artistic suspense, inspiration, and
experiment, so graphically described in that clever egotist's memoirs.
One feels like blessing the grief-bowed figures at the tomb of
Princess Charlotte, so truly do their attitudes express our sympathy
with the love and the sorrow her name excites. Would not Sterne have
felt a thrill of complacency, had he beheld his tableau of the Widow
Wadman and Uncle Toby so genially embodied by Ball Hughes? What more
spirited symbol of prosperous conquest can be imagined than the
gilded horses of St. Mark's? How natural was Michel Angelo's
exclamation, "March!" as he gazed on Donatello's San Giorgio, in the
Church of San Michele,--one mailed hand on a shield, bare head,
complete armor, and the foot advanced, like a sentinel who hears the
challenge, or a knight listening for the charge! Tenerani's
"Descent from the Cross," in the Torlonia Chapel, outlives in
remembrance the brilliant assemblies of that financial house. The
outlines of Flaxman, essentially statuesque, seem alone adequate to
illustrate to the eye the great Mediaeval poet, whose verse seems
often cut from stone in the quarries of infernal destiny. How grandly
sleep the lions of Canova at Pope Clement's tomb!

It is to us a source of noble delight, that with these permanent
trophies of the sculptor's art may now be mingled our national fame.
Twenty years ago, the address in Murray's Guide-Book,--_Crawford, an
American Sculptor, Piazza Barberini_,--would have been unique; now
that name is enrolled on the list of the world's benefactors in the
patrimony of Art. Greenough, by his pen, his presence, and his chisel,
gave an impulse to taste and knowledge in sculpture and architecture
not destined soon to pass away; no more eloquent and original
advocate of the beautiful and the true in the higher social economies
has blest our day; his Cherubs and Medora overflow with the poetry
of form; his essays are a valuable legacy of philosophic thought.
The Greek Slave of Powers was invariably surrounded by visitors at
the London World's Fair and the Manchester Exhibition. Palmer has
sent forth from his isolated studio at Albany a series of ideal busts,
of a pure type of original and exquisite beauty. Others might be
named who have honorably illustrated an American claim to
distinction in an art eminently republican in its perpetuation of
national worth and the identity of its highest achievements with
social progress.

Facility of execution and prolific invention were the essential
traits of Crawford's genius. For some years his studio has been one
of the shrines of travellers at Rome, because of the number and
variety as well as excellence of its trophies. The idea has been
suggested, and it is one we hope to see realized, that this complete
series of casts should be permanently conserved in such a temple as
Copenhagen reared to the memory of her great sculptor. It was on
account of this facility and fecundity that Crawford advocated
plaster as an occasional substitute for bronze and marble, where
elaborate compositions were proposed. He felt capable of achieving
so much, his mind teemed with so many panoramic and single
conceptions,--historical, allegorical, ideal, and illustrative of
standard literature or classical fable,--that only time and expense
presented obstacles to unlimited invention. Perhaps no one can
conceive this peculiar creativeness of his fancy and aptitude of hand,
who has not had occasion to talk with Crawford of some projected
monument or statue. No sooner was he possessed of the idea to be
embodied, the person or occasion to be commemorated, than he
instantly conceived a plan and drew a model, invariably possessing
some felicitous thought or significant arrangement. His sketch-book
was quite as suggestive of genius as his studio. The "Sketch of a
Statue to crown the Dome of the United States Capitol"--a photograph
of which is before us as we write, dated two years ago--is an
instance in point. A more grand figure, original and symbolic,
graceful and sublime, in attitude, aspect, drapery, accessories, and
expression, or one more appropriate, cannot be imagined; and yet it
is only one of hundreds of national designs, more or less mature,
which that fertile brain, patriotic heart, and cunning hand devised.
We are justified in regarding the appropriation by the State of
Virginia, for a monument to Washington by such a man, as an epoch in
the history of national Art. Crawford hailed it as would a confident
explorer the ship destined to convey him to untracked regions, the
ambitious soldier tidings of the coming foe, or any brave aspirant a
long-sought opportunity. It is one of the drawbacks to elaborate
achievement in sculpture, that the materials and the processes of
the art require large pecuniary facilities. To plan and execute a
great national monument, under a government commission, was
precisely the occasion for which Crawford had long waited. Happening
to read the proposals in a journal, while on a visit to this country,
he repaired immediately to Richmond, submitted his views, and soon
received the appointment.

The absence of complexity in the language and intent of sculpture is
always obvious in the expositions of its votaries. In no class of
men have we found such distinct and scientific views of Art. One
lovely evening in spring, we stood with Bartolini beside the corpse
of a beautiful child. Bereavement in a foreign land has a desolation
of its own, and the afflicted mother desired to carry home a statue
of her loved and lost. We conducted the sculptor to the chamber of
death, that he might superintend the casts from the body. No sooner
did his eyes fall upon it, than they glowed with admiration and
filled with tears. He waved the assistants aside, clasped his hands,
and gazed spellbound upon the dead child. Its brow was ideal in
contour, the hair of wavy gold, the cheeks of angelic outline.
"How beautiful!" exclaimed Bartolini; and drawing us to the bedside,
with a mingled awe and intelligence, he pointed out how the rigidity
of death coincided, in this fair young creature, with the standard
of Art;--the very hands, he declared, had stiffened into lines of
beauty; and over the beautiful clay we thus learned from the lips of
a venerable sculptor how intimate and minute is the cognizance this
noble art takes of the language of the human form. Greenough would
unfold by the hour the exquisite relation between function and beauty,
organization and use,--tracing therein a profound law and an
illimitable truth. No more genial spectacle greeted us in Rome than
Thorwaldsen at his Sunday-noon receptions;--his white hair, kindly
smile, urbane manners, and unpretending simplicity gave an added
charm to the wise and liberal sentiments he expressed on Art,--
reminding us, in his frank eclecticism, of the spirit in which
Humboldt cultivates science, and Sismondi history. Nor less
indicative of this clear apprehension was the thorough solution we
have heard Powers give, over the mask taken from a dead face, of the
problem, how its living aspect was to modify its sculptured
reproduction; or the original views expressed by Palmer as to the
treatment of the eyes and hair in marble. During Crawford's last
visit to America, we accompanied him to examine a portrait of
Washington by Wright. It boasts no elegance of arrangement or
refinement of execution; at a glance it was evident that the artist
had but a limited sense of beauty and lacked imagination; but, on
the other hand, he possessed what, for a sculptor's object,--namely,
facts of form and feature,--is more important,--conscience.
Crawford declared this was the only portrait of Washington which
literally represented his costume; having recently examined the
uniform, sword, etc., he was enabled to identify the strands of the
epaulette, the number of buttons, and even the peculiar seal and
watch-key. A man so faithful to details, so devoted to authenticity,
Crawford argued, was reliable in more essential things. He remarked,
that one of his own greatest difficulties in the equestrian statue
had been to reconcile the shortness of the neck in Stuart's portrait
and Houdon's statue (the body of which was not taken from life) with
the stature of Washington,--there being an anatomical incongruity
therein. "I had determined," he continued, "to follow what the laws
of Nature and all precedent indicate as the right proportion,--
otherwise it would be impossible to make a graceful and impressive
statue; but in this picture, bearing such remarkable evidence of
authenticity, I find the correct distance between chin and breast."

American travellers in Italy will sometimes be repelled by a certain
narrowness in the critical estimate of modern sculptors; though of
all arts sculpture demands and justifies the most liberal eclecticism.
Thus, a broad line of demarcation has been arbitrarily drawn between
high finish and prolific invention, originality and superficial skill;
as if these merits could not be united, or were incompatible with
each other,--and that, invariably, works of "outward skill elaborate"
are "of inward less exact." A Boston critic denominates Powers
"a sublime mechanic," as if there were only physical imitation in
his busts, and no expression in his figures. The insinuation is
unjust. By exquisite finish and patient labor he makes of such
subjects as the Fisher-boy, the Proserpine, and Il Penseroso
charming creations,--in attitude and feature true to the moment and
the mood delineated, and not less true in each detail; their
popularity is justified by scientific and tasteful canons; and his
portrait busts and statues are, in many instances, unrivalled for
character as well as execution. A letter to one of his friends lies
before us, in which he responds to an amicable remonstrance at his
apparent slowness of achievement. The reasoning is so cogent, the
principle asserted of such wide application, and the artistic
conscience so nobly evident, that we venture to quote a passage.

"It is said, that works designed to adorn buildings need not be done
with much care, being only architectural sculptures. This is quite a
modern idea. The Greeks did not entertain it, as is proved by those
gems which Lord Elgin sawed away from the walls of the Parthenon. I
cannot admit that a noble art should ever be prostituted to purposes
of mere show. They do not make rough columns, coarse and uneven
friezes, jagged mouldings, etc., for buildings. These are always
highly finished. Are figures in marble less important? But speed,
speed, is the order of the day,--'quick and cheap' is the cry; and
if I prefer to linger behind and take pains with the little I do,
there are some now, and there will be more hereafter, to approve it.
I cannot consent to model statues at the rate of three in six months,
and a clear conscience will reward me for not having yielded to the
temptation of making money at the sacrifice of my artistic reputation.
Art is, or should be, poetry, in its various forms,--no matter what
it is written upon,--parchment, paper, canvas, or marble. Milton
employed his daughter to write his 'Paradise Lost,' not to compose it;
her hand was moved by his soul; she was his modelling-tool,--nothing
more. But to employ another to model for you, and go away from him,
is not analogous. He then composes for you; modelling is composition.
And whom did Shakspeare get to do this for him? Whom did Gray employ
to arrange in words that immortal wreath set with diamond thoughts
which he has thrown upon a country churchyard? Whom did Michel
Angelo get to model his Moses? How many young men did Ghiberti employ
during the forty years he was engaged upon the Gates of Paradise? I
cannot yield my convictions of what is proper in Art. I will do my
work as well as I know how, and necessity compels me to demand ample
payment for it."

We have sometimes wondered that some aesthetic philosopher has not
analyzed the vital relation of the arts to each other and given a
popular exposition of their mutual dependence. Drawing from the
antique has long been an acknowledged initiation for the limner, and
Campbell, in his terse description of the histrionic art, says that
therein "verse ceases to be airy thought, and sculpture to be dumb."
How much of their peculiar effects did Talma, Kemble, and Rachel owe
to the attitudes, gestures, and drapery of the Grecian statues! Kean
adopted the "dying fall" of General Abercrombie's figure in St.
Paul's as the model of his own. Some of the memorable scenes and
votaries of the drama are directly associated with the sculptor's art,--
as, for instance, the last act of "Don Giovanni," wherein the
expressive music of Mozart breathes a pleasing terror in connection
with the spectral nod of the marble horseman; and Shakspeare has
availed himself of this art, with beautiful wisdom, in that melting
scene where remorseful love pleads with the motionless heroine of the
"Winter's Tale,"--

          "Her natural posture!
  Chide me, dear stone, that I may say, indeed,
  Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
  In thy not chiding: for she was as tender
  As infancy and grace."

Garrick imitated to the life, in "Abel Drugger," a vacant stare
peculiar to Nollekens, the sculptor; and Colley Cibber's father was
a devotee of the chisel and adorned Chatsworth with free-stone

Crawford's interest in portrait-busts was secondary, owing to his
inventive ardor; the study he bestowed upon the lineaments of
Washington, however, gave a zest and a special insight to his
endeavor to represent his head in marble, and, accordingly, this
specimen of his ability, which arrived in this country after his
decease, is remarkable for its expressive, original, and finished
character. For ourselves, in view of the great historical value,
comparative authenticity, and possible significance and beauty of
this department of sculpture, it has a peculiar interest and charm.
The most distinct idea we have of the Roman emperors, even in regard
to their individual characters, is derived from their busts at the
Vatican and elsewhere. The benignity of Trajan, the animal
development of Nero, and the classic rigor of young Augustus are
best apprehended through these memorable effigies which Time has
spared and Art transmitted. And a similar permanence and
distinctness of impression associate most of our illustrious moderns
with their sculptured features: the ironical grimace of Voltaire is
perpetuated by Houdon's bust; the sympathetic intellectuality of
Schiller by Dannecker's; Handel's countenance is familiar through
the elaborate chisel of Roubillac; Nollekens moulded Sterne's
delicate and unimpassioned but keen physiognomy, and Chantrey the
lofty cranium of Scott. Who has not blessed the rude but
conscientious artist who carved the head of Shakspeare preserved at
Stratford? How quaintly appropriate to the old house in Nuremberg is
Albert Dürer's bust over the door! Our best knowledge of Alexander
Hamilton's aspect is obtained from the expressive marble head of him
by that ardent republican sculptor, Ceracchi. It was appropriate for
Mrs. Darner, the daughter of a gallant field-marshal, to portray in
marble, as heroic idols, Fox, Nelson, and Napoleon. We were never
more convinced of the intrinsic grace and solemnity of this form of
"counterfeit presentment" than when exploring the Bacioechi _palazzo_
at Bologna. In the centre of a circular room, lighted from above,
and draped as well as carpeted with purple, stood on a simple
pedestal the bust of Napoleon's sister, thus enshrined after death
by her husband. The profound stillness, the relief of this isolated
head against a mass of dark tints, and its consequent emphatic
individuality, made the sequestered chamber seem a holy place, where
communion with the departed, so spiritually represented by the
exquisite image, appeared not only natural, but inevitable. Our
countryman, Powers, has eminently illustrated the possible
excellence of this branch of Art. In mathematical correctness of
detail, unrivalled finish of texture, and with these, in many cases,
the highest characterization, busts from his hand have an absolute
artistic value, independent of likeness, like a portrait by Vandyck
or Titian. When the subject is favorable, his achievements in this
regard are memorable, and fill the eye and mind with ideas of beauty
and meaning undreamed of by those who consider marble portraits as
wholly imitative and mechanical. Was there ever a human face which
so completely reflected inward experience and individual genius as
the bust which haunts us throughout Italy, broods over the monument
in Santa Croce, gazes pensively from library niche, seems to awe the
more radiant images of boudoir and gallery, and sternly looks
melancholy reproach from the Ravenna tomb?

  "The lips, as Cumae's cavern close,
  The cheeks, with fast and sorrow thin,
  The rigid front, almost morose,
  But for the patient hope within,
  Declare a life whose course hath been
  Unsullied still, though still severe,
  Which, through the wavering days of sin,
  Kept itself icy chaste and clear."

National characters become, as it were, household gods through the
sculptor's portrait; the duplicates of Canova's head of Napoleon
seem as appropriate in the _salons_ and shops of France, as the
heads of Washington and Franklin in America, or the antique images
of Scipio Africanus and Ceres in Sicily, and Wellington and Byron in

There is no phase of modern life so legitimate in its enjoyment and
so pleasing to contemplate as the life of the true artist. Endowed
with a faculty and inspired by a love for creative beauty, work is
to him at once a high vocation and a generous instinct. Imagine the
peace and the progress of those years at Rome when Crawford toiled
day after day in his studio,--at first without encouragement and for
bread, then in a more confident spirit and with some definite triumph,
and at last crowned with domestic happiness and artistic renown,--his
mind filled with ideal tasks more and more grand in their scope, and
the coming years devoted in prospect to the realization of his
noblest aspirations. From early morning to twilight, with rare and
brief interruptions, he thus designed, modelled, chiselled,
superintended, every day adding something permanent to his trophies.
This self-consecration was entire, and in his view indispensable. Few
and simple were the recreative interludes: a reunion of
brother-artists or fellow-countrymen and their families,--an
occasional journey, almost invariably with a professional intent,--a
summer holiday or a winter festival; but, methodical in pastime as
in work, his family and his books were his cherished resources.
Often so weary at night that he returned home only to recline on a
couch, caress his children, or refresh his mind with some agreeable
volume provided by his vigilant companion,--the best energies of his
mind and the freshest hours of life were absolutely given to Art.
This is the great lesson of his career: not by spasmodic effort, or
dalliance with moods, or fitful resolution, did he accomplish so much;
but by earnestness of purpose, consistency of aim, heroic decision of
character. There is nothing less vague, less casual in human
experience, than true artist-life. Rome is the shrine of many a
dreamer, the haunt of countless inefficient enthusiasts. But there,
as elsewhere, will must intensify thought, action control imagination,
or both are fruitless. Those melancholy ruins, those grand temples
of religion, the immortal forms and hues that glorify palace and
chapel, square, mausoleum, and Vatican, the dreamy murmur of
fountains, the aroma of violets and pine-trees, the pensive relics
of imperial sway, the sublime desolation of the Campagna, the mystery
of Nature and Art, when both are hallowed by time, the social zest
of an original brotherhood like the artists, the freedom and
loveliness, the ravishment of spring and the soft radiance of sunset,
all that there captivates soul and sense, must be resisted as well
as enjoyed;--self-control, self-respect, self-dedication are as
needful as susceptibility, or these peerless local charms will only
enchant to betray the artist. Crawford carried to Rome the ardor of
an Irish temperament and the vigor of an American character.
Hundreds have passed through a like ordeal of privation, ungenial
because conventional work, and slow approach to the goal of
recognized power and remunerated sacrifice; but few have emerged
from the shadow to the sunshine, by such manly steps and patient,
cheerful trust. It was not the voice of complaint that first
attracted towards him intelligent sympathy,--it was brave achievement;
and from the day when a remittance from Boston enabled him to put
his Orpheus in marble, to the day when, attended by his devoted
sister, he paid the last visit to his crowded studio, and looked,
with quivering eyelids, but firm heart, on the silent but eloquent
offspring of his brain and hand, the Artist in him was coincident
with the Man,--clear, unswerving, productive, the sphere extending,
the significance multiplying, and the mastery becoming more and more
complete through resolute practice, vivid intuition, and candid
search for truth.

In the fifteenth century, and earlier, the lives of artists were
adventurous; political relations gave scope to incident; and Michel
Angelo, Salvator Rosa, and Benvenuto Cellini furnish almost as many
anecdotes as memorials of genius. In modern times, however,
vicissitude has chiefly diversified the uniform and tranquil
existence of the artist; his struggles with fortune, and not his
relations to public events, have given external interest to his
biography. It is the mental rather than the outward life which is
fraught with significance to the painter and sculptor; consciousness
more than experience affords salient points in his career. How the
executive are trained to embody the creative powers, through what
struggles dexterity is attained, and by what reflection and earnest
musing and observant patience and blest intuitions original
achievements glimmer upon the fancy, grow mature by thought, correct
through the study of Nature, and are finally realized in action,--
these and such as these inward revelations constitute the actual
life of the artist. The mere events of Crawford's existence are
neither marvellous nor varied; his early love of imitative pastime,
his fixed purpose, his resort to stone-cutting as the nearest
available expedient for the gratification of that instinct to copy
and create form which so decidedly marks an aptitude for sculpture,
his visit to Rome, the self-denial and the lonely toil of his
novitiate, his rapid advancement in both knowledge and skill, and
his gradual recognition as a man of original mind and wise
enthusiasm are but the normal characteristics of his fraternity.
Circumstances, however, give a singular prominence and pathos to
these usual facts of artist-life. When Crawford began his
professional career, sculpture, as an American pursuit, was almost
as rare as painting at the time of West's advent in Rome; to excel
therein was a national distinction, having a freshness and personal
interest such as the votaries of older countries did not share; as
the American representative of his art at Rome, even in the eyes of
his comrades, and especially in the estimation of his countrymen, he
long occupied an isolated position. The qualities of the man,--his
patient industry,--the new and unexpected superiority in different
branches of his art, so constantly exhibited,--the loyal, generous,
and frank spirit of his domestic and social life,--the freedom, the
faith, and the assiduity that endeared him to so large and
distinguished a circle, were individual claims often noted by
foreigners and natives in the Eternal City as honorable to his
country. It was remembered there, when he died, that the hand now
cold had warmly grasped in welcome his compatriots, shouldered a
musket as one of the republican guard, and been extended with
sympathy and aid to his less prosperous brothers. At the meeting of
fellow-artists, convened to pay a tribute to his memory, every
nation of Europe was represented, and the most illustrious of living
English sculptors was the first to propose a substantial memorial to
his name. What his nativity and his character thus so eminently
contributed to signalize, the offspring of his genius, the manner of
his death, solemnly confirmed. By no sudden fever, such as
insidiously steals from the Roman marshes and poisons the blood of
its victims,--by no violent epidemic, like those which have again
and again devastated the cities of Europe,--by no illusive decline,
whereby vital power is sapped unconsciously and with mild gradations,
and which, in that soft clime, has peopled with the dust of
strangers the cemetery which the pyramid of Cestius overshadows and
the heart of Shelley consecrates,--by none of these familiar gates
of death did Crawford pass on; but, in the meridian of his powers
and his fame, in the climax of his artistic career, in the noontide
of his most genial activity, a corrosive tumor on the inner side of
the orbit of the eye encroached month by month, week by week, hour
by hour, upon the sources of life. Medical skill freed the brain
from its deadly pressure, but could not divert its organic affinity.
The mind's integrity was thus preserved intact; consciousness and
self-possession lent their dignity to waning strength; but the alert
muscles were relaxed; the busy hands folded in prayer; what Michel
Angelo uttered in his eighty-sixth Crawford was called upon to echo
in his forty-fifth year:--

  "Wellnigh the voyage now is overpast,
  And my frail bark, through troubled seas and rude,
  Draws nigh that common haven where at last,
  Of every action, be it evil or good,
  Must due account be rendered. Well I know
  How vain will then appear that favored art,
  Sole idol long, and monarch of my heart;
  For all is vain that man desires below."

The cheerful voice was often hushed by pain; but conjugal and
sisterly love kept vigil, a long, a bitter year, by that couch of
suffering in the heart of multitudinous Paris and London; hundreds
of sympathizing friends, in both hemispheres, listened and prayed
and hoped through a dreary twelvemonth. With the ripe autumn closed
the quiet struggle; and "in the bleak December" the mortal remains
were followed from the temple where his youth worshipped, to the
snow-clad knoll at Greenwood; garlands and tears, the ritual and the
requiem, eulogy and elegy, consecrated the final scene. By a singular
coincidence, the news of his decease reached the United States
simultaneously with the arrival of the ship in James River with the
colossal bronze statue of Washington, his crowning achievement.

One would imagine, from the eagerness and intensity exhibited by
Crawford, that he anticipated a brief career. Work seemed as
essential to his comfort as rest is to less determined natures. He
was a thorough believer in the moral necessity of absolute
allegiance to his sphere; and differed from his brother-artists
chiefly in the decisive manner in which he kept aloof from extrinsic
and incidental influences. If Art ever made labor delectable, it was
so with him. He seemed to go through with the ordinary processes of
life with but a half consciousness thereof,--save where his personal
affections were concerned. One of the first works for which he
expressed a sympathetic admiration was Thorwaldsen's "Triumph of
Alexander,"--one of the most elaborate and suggestive of modern
friezes. He early contemplated an entire series of illustrations of
Ovid. He alternated, with infinite relish, between the extreme phases
of his art,--a delicate Peri and a majestic Colossus, an extensive
array of basso rilievo figures, a sublime ideal of manhood and an
exquisite image of infancy. His alacrity of temper was co-equal with
his steadiness of purpose; and the cheerfulness of an active mind,
sanguine temperament, and great nervous energy did not abandon him,
even in the state of forced passivity so intolerable to such habitude;
for hilarious words and, once or twice, the old ringing laugh
startled the fond watchers of his declining hours. The events of his
life are but a few expressive outlines; his works embody his most
real experience; and the thoughts and feelings, the observation and
the sentiment, not therein moulded or sketched, happily found
adequate record in the ample and ingenuous letters he wrote to his
beloved sister, from the time of his first arrival in Europe to that
of his last arrival in America,--embracing a period of twenty-two
years. Each work he conceived and executed, each process of study,
the impressions he gained and the convictions at which he arrived in
relation to ancient and modern art,--each journey, achievement, plan,
opinion,--what he saw, and imagined, and hoped, and did,--was
frankly and fondly noted; and the time may come when these epistles,
inspired by love and dictated by intelligent sympathy and insight,
will be compiled into a priceless memorial of artist-life.


Who put together the machinery of the great Indian revolt, and set
it going? Who stirred up the sleeping tiger in the Sepoy's heart,
and struck Christendom aghast with the dire devilries of Meerut and

Asirvadam the Brahmin!

Asirvadam is nimble with mace or cue; at the billiard-table, it is
hinted, he can distinguish a kiss from a carom; at the sideboard
(and here, if I were Mr. Charles Reade, I would whisper, in small
type) he confounds not cocktails with cobblers; when, being in trade,
he would sell you saltpetre, he tries you with flax-seed; when he
would buy indigo, he offers you indigo at a sacrifice. Yet, in
Asirvadam, if any quality is more noticeable than the sleek
respectability of the Baboo, it is the jealous orthodoxy of the
Brahmin. If he knows in what presence to step out of his slippers,
and when to pick them up again with his toes, in jaunty dandyisms of
etiquette, he also makes the most of his insolent order and its
patent of privilege, and wears the rue of his triple cord with a
demure and dignified difference. High, low, or jack, it is always
"the game" with him; and the game is--Asirvadam the Brahmin,--free
tricks and Brahmins' rights,--Asirvadam for his caste, and
everything for Asirvadam.

The natural history of our astute and accomplished friend is worth a
page or two. And first, as to his color. Asirvadam comes from the
northern provinces, and calls the snow-turbaned Himalayas cousin;
consequently his complexion is the brightest among Brahmins. By some
who are uninitiated in the chemical mysteries of our metropolitan
milk-trade, it has been likened to chocolate and cream, with plenty
of cream; but the comparison depends, for the idea it conveys, so
much on the taste of the ethnological inquirer, as to the proportion
of cream, and still so much more, as in the case of Mr. Weller's
weal pies, on the reputation of "the lady as makes it," that it will
hardly serve the requirements of a severe scientific statement.
Copper-color has an excess of red, and sepia is too brown; the tarry
tawniness of an old boatswain's hand is nearer the mark, but even
that is less among man-of-war's men than in the merchant-service,
and is least in the revenue marine; it varies, also, with the habits
of the individual, and the nature of his employment for the time
being. The flipper of your legitimate shiver-my-timbery old salt,
whose most amiable office is piping all hands to witness punishment,
has long since acquired the hue of a seven-years' meerschaum; while
the dandy cockswain of a forty-gun frigate lying off the navy-yard,
who brings the third cutter ship-shapely alongside with a pretty
girl in the stern-sheets, lends her--the pretty girl--a hand at the
gangway, that has been softened by fastidious applications of
solvent slush to the tint of a long envelope "on public service."
"Law sheep," when we come to the binding of books, is too sallow for
this simile; a little volume of "Familiar Quotations," in limp calf,
(Bartlett, Cambridge, 1855,) might answer,--if the cover of the
January number of the "Atlantic Monthly" were not exactly the thing.

Simplicity, convenience, decorum, and picturesqueness distinguish
the costume of Asirvadam the Brahmin. Three yards of yard-wide fine
cotton cloth envelope his loins, in such a manner, that, while one
end hangs in graceful folds in front, the other falls in a fine
distraction behind. Over this, a robe of muslin, or silk, or piña
cloth--the latter in peculiar favor, by reason of its superior purity,
for high-caste wear--covers his neck, breast, and arms, and descends
nearly to his ankles. Asirvadam borrowed this garment from the
Mussulman; but he fastens it on the left side, which the follower of
the Prophet never does, and surmounts it with an ample and elegant
waistband, beside the broad Romanesque mantle that he tosses over
his shoulder with such a senatorial air. His turban, also, is an
innovation,--not proper to the Brahmin,--pure and simple, but, like
the robe, adopted from the Moorish wardrobe, for a more imposing
appearance in Sahib society. It is formed of a very narrow strip,
fifteen or twenty yards long, of fine stuff, moulded to the orthodox
shape and size by wrapping it, while wet, on a wooden block; having
been hardened in the sun, it is worn like a hat. As for his feet,
Asirvadam, uncompromising in externals, disdains to pollute them
with the touch of leather. Shameless fellows, Brahmins though they be,
of the sect of Vishnu, go about, without a blush, in thonged sandals,
made of abominable skins; but Asirvadam, strict as a Gooroo when the
eyes of his caste are on him, is immaculate in wooden clogs.

In ornaments, his taste, though somewhat grotesque, is by no means
lavish. A sort of stud or button, composed of a solitary ruby, in
the upper rim of the cartilage of either ear,--a chain of gold,
curiously wrought, and intertwined with a string of small pearls,
around his neck,--a massive bangle of plain gold on his arm,--a
richly jewelled ring on his thumb, and others, broad and shield-like,
on his toes,--complete his outfit in these vanities.

As often as Asirvadam honors us with his morning visit of business
or ceremony, a slight yellow line, drawn horizontally between his
eyebrows, with a paste composed of ground sandal-wood, denotes that
he has purified himself externally and internally, by bathing and
prayers. To omit this, even by the most unavoidable chance to appear
in public without it, were to incur a grave public scandal; only
excepting the reason of mourning, when, by an expressive Oriental
figure, the absence of the caste-mark is accepted for the token of a
profound and absorbing sorrow, which takes no thought even for the
customary forms of decency. The disciple of Siva crossbars his
forehead with ashes of cow-dung or ashes of the dead; the sectary of
Vishnu adorns his with a sort of trident, composed of a central
perpendicular line in red, and two oblique lines, white or yellow.
But the true Brahmin knows no Siva or Vishnu, no sectarian
distinctions or preferences; Indra has set no seal upon his brow, nor
Krishna, nor Devendra. For, ignoring celestial personalities, it is
the Trimurti that he grandly adores,--Creation, Preservation,
Destruction triune,--one body with three heads; and the right line
alone, or _pottu_, the mystic circle, describes the sublime
simplicity of his soul's aspiration.

When Asirvadam was but seven years old, he was invested with the
triple cord, by a grotesque, and in most respects absurd, extravagant,
and expensive ceremony, called the _Upanayana_, or Introduction to
the Sciences, because none but Brahmins are freely admitted to their
mysteries. This triple cord consists of three thick strands of cotton,
each composed of several finer threads; these three strands,
representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, are not twisted together, but
hang separately, from the left shoulder to the right hip. The
preparation of so sacred a badge is entrusted to none but the purest
hands, and the process is attended with many imposing ceremonies.
Only Brahmins may gather the fresh cotton; only Brahmins may card
and spin and twist it; and its investiture is a matter of so great
cost, that the poorer brothers must have recourse to contributions
from the pious of their caste, to defray the exorbitant charges of
priests and masters of ceremonies.

It is a noticeable fact in the natural history of the always
insolent Asirvadam, that, unlike Shatriya, the warrior, Vaishya, the
cultivator, or Soodra, the laborer, he is not born into the full
enjoyment of his honors, but, on the contrary, is scarcely of more
consideration than a Pariah, until by the Upanayana he has been
admitted to his birthright. Yet, once decorated with the ennobling
badge of his order, our friend became from that moment something
superior, something exclusive, something supercilious, arrogant,
exacting,--Asirvadam, the high Brahmin,--a creature of wide strides
without awkwardness, towering airs without bombast, Sanscrit
quotations without pedantry, florid phraseology without hyperbole,
allegorical illustrations and proverbial points without
sententiousness, fanciful flights without affectation, and formal
strains of compliment without offensive adulation.

When Asirvadam meets Asirvadam in the way, compliments pass: each
touches his forehead with his right hand, and murmurs twice the
auspicious name of Rama. But the passing Vaishya or Soodra elevates
reverently his joined palms above his head, and, stepping out of his
slippers, salutes the descendant of the Seven Holy Penitents with
_namaskaram_, the pious obeisance. _Andam arya_! "Hail, exalted
Lord!" he cries; and the exalted lord, extending the pure lilies of
his hands lordliwise, as one who condescends to accept an humble
offering, mutters the mysterious benediction which only Gooroos and
high Brahmins may bestow,--_Asirvadam_!

The low-caste slave who may be admitted to the distinguished
presence of our friend, to implore indulgence, or to supplicate
pardon for an offence, must thrice touch the ground, or the honored
feet, with both his hands, which immediately he lays upon his
forehead; and there are occasions of peculiar humiliation which
require the profound prostration of the _sashtangam_, or abasement of
the eight members, wherein the suppliant extends himself face
downward on the earth, with palms joined above his head.

If Asirvadam--having concluded a visit in which he has deferentially
reminded me of the peculiar privilege I enjoy in being admitted to
social converse with so select a being--is about to withdraw the
light of his presence, he retires backward, with many humbly gracious
salaams. If, on the other hand, I have had the honor to be his
distinguished guest at his garden-house, and am in the act of taking
my leave, he patronizes me to the gate with elaborate obsequiousness,
that would be tedious, if it were not so graceful, so comfortable,
so gallantly vainglorious. He shows the way by following, and spares
me the indignity of seeing his back by never taking his eyes from
mine. He knows what is due to his accomplished friend, the Sahib,
who is learned in the four Yankee Vedas; as to what is due to
Asirvadam the Brahmin, no man knoweth the beginning or the end of

When Asirvadam crosses my threshold, he leaves his slippers at the
door. I am flattered by the act into a self-appreciative complacency,
until I discover that he thereby simply puts me on a level with his
cow. When he converses with me, he keeps respectful distance, and
gracefully averts from me the annoyance of his breath by holding his
hand before his mouth. I inwardly applaud his refined breeding,
forgetting that I am a Pariah of Pariahs, whose soul, if I have one,
the incense of his holy lungs might save alive,--forgetting that he
is one to whose very footprint the Soodra salaams, alighting from
his palanquin,--to whose shadow poor Chakili, the cobbler, abandons
the broad highway,--the feared of gods, hated of giants, mistrusted
of men, and adored of himself,--Asirvadam the Brahmin.

"They, the Brahmin Asirvadam, to him, Phaldasana, who is obedient,
who is true, who has every faithful quality, who knows how to serve
with cheerfulness, to submit in silence, who by the excellent
services he renders the Brahmins has become like unto the stone
Chintamani, the bringer of good, who by the number and variety and
acceptableness of his gifts shall attain, without further trials, to
the paradise of Indra: _Asirvadam_!

"The year Vikarj, the tenth of the month Phalguna: we are at Benares
in good health; bring us word of thine. It shall be thy privilege to
make sashtangam at the feet--which are the true lilies of Nilufar--
of us the Lord Brahmin, who are endowed with all the virtues and all
the sciences, who are great as Mount Meru, to whom belongs
illustrious knowledge of the four Vedas, the splendor of whose
beneficence is as the noon-flood of the sun, who are renowned
throughout the fourteen worlds, whom the fourteen worlds admire.

"Having received with both hands that which we have abased ourself
by writing to thee, and having kissed it and set it on thy head,
thou wilt read with profound attention and execute with grateful
alacrity the orders it contains, without swerving from the strict
letter of them, the breadth of a grain of sesamum. Having hastened
to us, as thou art blessed in being bidden, thou shalt wait in our
presence, keeping thy distance, thy hands joined, thy mouth closed,
thine eyes cast down,--thou who art as though thou wert not,--until
we shall vouchsafe to perceive thee. And when thou hast obtained our
leave, then, and not sooner, shalt thou make sashtangam at our
blessed feet, which are the pure flowers of Nilufar, and with many
lowly kisses shalt lay down before them thy unworthy offering,--ten
rupees, as thou knowest,--more, if thou art wise,--less, if thou

"This is all we have to say to thee. _Asirvadam_!"

In the epistolary style of Asirvadam the Brahmin we are at a loss
which to admire most,--the flowers or the force, the modesty or the

Among the cloistral cells of the women's quarter, which surround the
inner court of Asirvadam's domestic establishment, is a dark and
narrow chamber which is the domain of woman's rights. It is called
"the Room of Anger," because, when the wife of the bosom has been
tempted by inveigling box-wallahs with a love of a pink coortee, or
a pair of chased bangles, "such darlings, and so cheap," and has
conceived a longing for the same, her way is, without a word
beforehand, to go shut herself up in the Room of Anger, and pout and
sulk till she gets them; and seeing that the wife of the bosom is
also the pure concocter of the Brahminical curry and server of the
Brahminical rice, that she is the goddess of the sacred kitchen and
high-priestess of pots and pans, it is easy to see that her success
is certain. Poor little brown fool! that twelve feet square of
curious custom is all, of the world-wide realm of beauty and caprice,
that she can call her own.

When the enamored young Asirvadam brought to her father's gate the
lover's presents,--the ear-rings and the bangles, the veil and the
loongee, the attar and the betel and the sandal, the flowers and the
fruits,--the lizard that chirped the happy omen for her betrothal
lied. When she sat by his side at the wedding-feast, and partook of
his rice, prettily picking from the same leaf, ah! then she did not
eat,--she dreamed; but ever since that time, waiting for his leavings,
nor daring to approach the board till he has retired to his pipe,
she does not dream,--she feeds.

Around her neck a strange ornament of gold, having engraved upon it
the likeness of Lakshmee, is suspended by a consecrated string of
one hundred and eight threads of extreme fineness, dyed yellow with
saffron. This is the Tahli, the wife's badge,--"Asirvadam the Brahmin,
his chattel." They brought it to her on a silver salver garnished
with flowers, she sitting with her betrothed on a great cushion; and
ten Brahmins, holding around the happy pair a screen of silk,
invoked for them the favor of the three divine couples,--Brahma with
Sarawastee, Vishnu with Lakshmee, Siva with Paravatee. Then they
offered incense, to the Tahli, and a sacrifice of fire, and they
blessed it with many mantras, or holy texts; and as the bride turned
her to the east, and fixed her inmost thought on the "Great Mountain
of the North," Asirvadam the Brahmin clasped his collar on her neck,
never to be loosened till he, dying, shall leave her to be burned,
or spurned.

No man, when he meets Asirvadam the Brahmin, presumes to ask,
"How is the little brown fool today?" No man, when he visits him,
ventures to inquire if she is at home; it is not the etiquette.
Should the little brown fool, having a mind of her own, and being
resolved not to endure this any longer, suddenly make Asirvadam
ridiculous some day, the etiquette is to hush it up among their

As Raja, the warrior, sprang from the right arm of Brahma, and
Vaishya, the cultivator, from his belly, and Soodra, the laborer,
from his feet,--so Asirvadam the Brahmin was conceived in the head
and brought forth from the mouth of the Creator; and he is above the
others by so much as the head is above arms, belly, and feet; he is
wiser than the others, inasmuch as he has lain among the thoughts of
the god, has played with his inventions, and made excursions through
the universe with his speech. Therefore, if it be true, as some say,
that Asirvadam is an ant-hill of lies, he is also a snake's-nest of
wisdom, and a beehive of ingenuity. Let him be respected, for his
rights are plain.

It is his right to be taught the Vedas and the mantras, all the
tongues of India, and the sciences; to marry a child-wife, no matter
how old he may be,--or a score of wives, if he be a Kooleen Brahmin,
so that he may drive a lively business in the way of dowries; to
peruse the books of magic, and perform the awful sacrifice of the
Yajna; to receive presents without limit, levy taxes without law,
and beg with insolence.

It is his duty to study diligently; to conform rigorously to the
rules of his caste; to honor and obey his superiors without question
or hesitation; to insult his inferiors, for the magnifying of his
office; to get him a wife without loss of time, and a male child by
all means. During his religious minority he is expected to bathe and
sacrifice twice a day, to abstain from adorning his forehead or his
breast with sandal, to wear no flowers in his hair, to chew no betel,
to regard himself in no mirrors.

Under Hindoo law, which is his own law, Asirvadam the Brahmin pays no
taxes, tolls, or duties; corporal punishment can in no case be
inflicted upon him; if he is detected in defalcation or the taking
of bribes, partial restitution is the worst penalty that can befall
him. "For the belly," he says, "one will play many tricks." To smite
his cheek with your leathern glove, or to kick him with your shoe,
is an outrage at which the gods rave; to kill him would draw down a
monstrous calamity upon the world. If he break faith with you, it is
as nothing; if you fail him in the least promise, you take your
portion with Karta, the Fox, as the good Abbé Dubois relates.

"Karta, Karta!" screamed an Ape, one day, when he saw a fox feeding
on a rotten carcass, "thou must, in a former life, have committed
some dreadful crime, to be doomed to a new state in which thou
feedest on such garbage."

"Alas!" replied the Fox, "I am not punished more severely than I
deserve. I was once a man, and then I promised something to a Brahmin,
which I never gave him. That is the true cause of my being
regenerated in this shape. Some good works, which I did have, won for
me the indulgence of remembering what I was in my former state, and
the cause for which I have been degraded into this."

Asirvadam has choice of a hundred callings, as various in dignity
and profit as they are numerous. Under native rule he makes a good
cooly, because the officers of the revenue are forbidden to search a
Brahmin's baggage, or anything that he carries. He is an expeditious
messenger, for no man may stop him; and he can travel cheaply for
whom there is free entertainment on every road. "For the belly one
will play many tricks"; and Asirvadam, in financial straits, may
teach dancing to nautch-girls; or he may play the mountebank or the
conjurer, and with a stock of mantras and charms proceed to the
curing of murrain in cattle, pip in chickens, and short-windedness
in old women,--at the same time telling fortunes, calculating
nativities, finding lost treasure, advising as to journeys and
speculations, and crossing out crosses in love for any pretty dear
who will cross the poor Brahmin's palm with a rupee. He may engage
in commercial pursuits; and in that case, his bulling and bearing at
the opium-sales will put Wall Street to the blush. He may turn his
attention to the healing art; and allopathically, homoeopathically,
hydropathically, electropathically, or by any other path, run a muck
through many heathen hospitals. The field of politics is full of
charms for him, the church invites his taste and talents, and the
army tempts him with opportunities for intrigue; but whether in the
shape of Machiavelisms, miracles, or mutinies, he is forever making
mischief. Whether as messenger, dancing-master, conjurer,
fortune-teller, speculator, mountebank, politician, priest, or Sepoy,
he is ever the same Asirvadam the Brahmin,--sleekest of lackeys, most
servile of sycophants, expertest of tricksters, smoothest of
hypocrites, coolest of liars, most insolent of beggars, most
versatile of adventurers, most inventive of charlatans, most
restless of schemers, most insidious of jesuits, most treacherous of
confidants, falsest of friends, hardest of masters, most arrogant of
patrons, cruelest of tyrants, most patient of haters, most
insatiable of avengers, most gluttonous of ravishers, most infernal
of devils,--pleasantest of fellows.

Superlatively dainty as to his fopperies of orthodoxy, Asirvadam is
continually dying of Pariah roses in aromatic pains of caste. If in
his goings and comings one of the "lilies of Nilufar" should chance
to stumble upon a bit of bone or rag, a fragment of a dish, or a
leaf from which some one has eaten,--should his sacred raiment be
polluted by the touch of a dog or a Pariah,--he is ready to faint,
and only a bath can revive him. He may not touch his sandals with
his hand, nor repose in a strange seat, but is provided with a mat,
a carpet, or an antelope's skin, to serve him for a cushion in the
houses of his friends. With a kid glove you may put his
respectability in peril, and with your patent-leather pumps affright
his soul within him. To him a pocket-handkerchief is a sore offence,
and a tooth-pick monstrous. All the Vedas could not save the Giaour
who "chews"; nor burnt brandy, though the Seven Penitents distilled
it, purify the mouth that a tooth-brush has polluted. Beware how you
offer him a wafered letter; and when you present him with a copy of
your travels, let it be bound in cloth.

He has the Mantalini idiosyncrasy as to dem'd unpleasant bodies; and
when he hears that his mother is dead, he straight-way jumps into a
bath with his clothes on. Many mantras and much holy-water, together
with incense of sandal-wood, and other perfumery, regardless of
expense, can alone relieve his premises of the deadness of his wife.

For a Soodra even to look upon the earthen vessels wherein his rice
is boiled implies the necessity of a summary smash of the infected
crockery; and his kitchen is his holy of holies. When he eats, the
company keep silence; and when he is full, they return fervent
thanks to the gods who have conducted him safely through a
complexity of dangers;--a grain of rice, falling from his lips, might
have poisoned his dinner; a stain on his plantain-leaf might have
turned his cake to stone. His left hand, condemned to vulgar and
impolite offices, is not admitted to the honor of assisting at his
repasts; to the right alone, consecrated by exemption from indecorous
duties, belongs the distinction of conducting his happy grub to the
heaven of his mouth. When he would quench his thirst, he disdains to
apply the earth-born beaker to his lips, but lets the water fall
into his solemn swallow from on high,--a pleasant feat to see, and
one which, like a whirling dervis, diverts you by its agility, while
it impresses you by its devotion.

It is easy to perceive, that, if our friend Asirvadam were not one
of the "Young Bengal" lights who do not fash themselves with trifles,
his orthodox sensibilities would be subjected to so many and gross
affronts from the indiscriminate contacts of a mixed community, that
he would shortly be compelled to take refuge in one of those
Arcadias of the triple cord, called _Agragramas_, where pure
Brahmins are met in all the exclusiveness of high caste, and where
the more a man rubs against his neighbor the more he is sanctified.
True, the Soodras have an irreverent saying, "An entire Brahmin at
the Agragrama, half a Brahmin when seen at a distance, and a Soodra
when out of sight"; but then the Soodras, as everybody knows, are
saucy, satirical rogues, and incorrigible jokers.

There was once a foolish Brahmin, to whom a rich and charitable
merchant presented two pieces of cloth, the finest that had ever
been seen in the Agragrama. He showed them to the other Brahmins,
who all congratulated him on so fortunate an acquisition; they told
him it was the reward of some deed that he had done in a previous
life. Before putting them on, he washed them, according to custom,
in order to purify them from the pollution of the weaver's touch,
and hung them up to dry, with the ends fastened to two branches of a
tree. Presently a dog, happening to pass that way, ran under them,
and the Brahmin could not decide whether the unclean beast was tall
enough to touch the cloth, or not. He questioned his children, who
were present; but they were not quite certain. How, then, was he to
settle the all-important point? Ingenious Brahmin! an idea struck him.
Getting down on all fours, so as to be of the same height as the dog,
he crawled under the precious cloths.

"Did I touch it?"

"No!" cried all the children; and his soul was filled with joy.

But the next moment the terrible conviction took possession of his
mind, that the dog had a turned-up tail; and that, if, in passing
under the cloths, he had elevated and wagged it, their defilement
must have been consummated. Ready-witted Brahmin! another idea. He
called the cleverest of his children, and bade it affix to his
breech-cloth a plantain-leaf, dog's-tail-wise, and waggishly. Then
resuming his all-fours-ness, he passed a second time under the cloth,
and conscientiously, and anxiously, wagged.

"A touch! a touch!" cried all the children, and the Brahmin groaned,
for he knew that his beautiful raiment was ruined. Thrice he wagged,
and thrice the children cried, "A touch! a touch!"

So the strict Brahmin leaped to his feet, in a frightful rage, and,
tearing the precious cloth from the tree, rent it in a hundred shreds,
while he cursed the abominable dog and the master that owned him.
And the children admired and were edified, and they whispered among

"Now, surely, it behooveth us to take heed to our ways, for our
father is particular."

Moral: And the Brahmin winked.

The Samaradana is an institution for which our friend Asirvadam
entertains peculiar veneration. This is simply an abundant feast of
Brahminical good things, to which the "fat and greasy citizens" of
the caste are bidden by some zealous or manoeuvring Soodra,--on
occasion of the dedication of a temple, perhaps, or in a season of
drought, or when a malign constellation is to be averted, or to
celebrate the birth or marriage of some exalted personage. From all
the country round about, the Brahmins flock to the feasting, singing
Sanscrit hymns and obscene songs, and shouting, _Hara! hara! Govinda!_
The low fellow who has the honor to entertain so select a company is
not suffered to seat himself in the midst of his guests, much less
to partake of the viands he has been permitted to provide; but in
consideration of his "deed of exalted merit," and his expensive
appreciation of the beauties and advantages of high-caste society,
as expressed in all the delicacies of the season, he may come, when
the last course has been discussed, and, prostrating himself in the
sashtangam posture, receive the unanimous asirvadam of the company.

If, in taking leave of his august guests, he should also signify his
sense of the honor they have done him, by presenting each with a
piece of cloth or a sum of money, he is assured that he is altogether
superior in mind and person to the gods, and that, if he is wise, he
will not neglect to remind his friends of his munificence by another
exhibition of it within a reasonable time.

In the creed of Asirvadam the Brahmin, the drinker of strong drink
is a Pariah, and the eater of cow's flesh is damned already. If, then,
he can tell a cocktail from a cobbler, and scientifically
discriminate between a julep and a gin-sling, it must be because the
Vedas are unclasped to him; for in the Vedas all things are taught.
It is of Asirvadam's father that the story is told, how, when a fire
broke out in his house once, and all the pious neighbors ran to
rescue his effects, the first articles saved were a tub of pickled
pork and a jar of arrack. But this, also, no doubt, is the malicious
invention of some satirical rogue of a Soodra. Asirvadam, as is well
known, recoils with horror from the abomination of eating aught that
has once lived and moved and had a being; but if, remembering that,
you should seek to fill his soul with consternation by inviting him
to inspect a fig under a microscope, he would quietly advise you to
break your nasty glass and "go it blind."

But there is one custom which Asirvadam the Brahmin observes in
common with the Pariah, and that is the solemn ceremonial of Death.
When his time comes, he dies, is burned, and presently forgotten;
and it is a consolation for his ever having been at all, that some
one is sure to be the richer and happier and freer for his ceasing
to be. True, he may assume new earthly conditions, may pass into
other vexatious shapes of life; but the change must ever be for the
better in respect of the interests of those who have suffered by the
powers and capabilities of the shape which he relinquishes. He may
become a snake; but then he is easily scotched, or fooled out of his
fangs with a cunning charmer's tom-tom;--he may pass into the foul
feathers of an indiscriminately gluttonous adjutant-bird; but some
day a bone will choke him;--his soul may creep under the mangy skin
of a Pariah dog, and be kicked out of compounds by scullions; he may
be condemned to the abominable offices of a crow at the burning
ghauts, a jackal by the wells of Thuggee, or a rat in sewers; but he
can never again be such a nuisance, such a sore offence to the minds
and hearts of men, as when he was Asirvadam the Brahmin.

Fortunate indeed will he be, if the low, deep curses of all whom he
has oppressed, betrayed, insulted, shall not have availed against
him in his last hour. "Mayest thou never have a friend to lay thee
on the ground when thou diest!"--no imprecation so fierce, so fell,
as that; even Asirvadam the Brahmin abates his cruel greed, when
some poor Soodra client, bled of his last anna, thinks of his sick
wife, and the darling cow that must be sold at last, and grows
desperate. "Mayest thou have no wife to sprinkle the spot with
cow-dung where thy corpse shall lie, and to spread the unspotted
cloth; nor any cow, her horns tipped with rings of brass, and her
neck garlanded with flowers, to lead thee, holding by her tail,
through pleasant paths to the land of Yama! May no Purohita come to
strew thy bier with the holy herb, nor any next of kin be near to
whisper the last mantra!"

Horrid Soodra! But though thy words make the soul of Asirvadam shiver,
they are but the voice of a dog, after all, and nothing can come of
them. Asirvadam the Brahmin has raised up lusty boys to himself, as
every good Brahmin should; and they shall bind together his thumbs
and his great toes, and lay him on the ground, when his hour is come,--
lest the bed or the mat cling to his ghost, whithersoever it go, and
torment it eternally. His wife shall spread beneath him a cloth that
the hands of Kooleen Brahmins have woven. Lilies of Nilufar shall
garland the neck of the happy cow that is to lead him safely beyond
the fiery river, and the rings shall be golden wherewith her horns
are tipped. A mighty concourse of clients shall follow him to the
place of burning,--to "Rudra, the place of tears,"--whither ten
Kooleen Brahmins will bear him; and as often as they set down the
bier to feed the dead with a morsel of moistened rice, other
Brahmins shall sing his wisdom and his virtues, and celebrate his
meritorious deeds. When his funeral pyre is lighted, his sons, and
his sons' sons, and his daughters' husbands, and his nephews, shall
beat their breasts and rend the air with lamentations; and when his
body has been consumed, his ashes shall be given to the Ganges,--all
save a certain portion, which shall be made into a paste with milk,
and moulded into an image; and the image shall be set up in his house,
that the Brahmins and all his people may offer sacrifices before it.

On the tenth day, his wife shall adorn her forehead with a scarlet
emblem, blacken the edges of her eyelids with soorma, deck her hair
with scarlet flowers, her neck and bosom with sandal, stain her face,
arms, and legs with turmeric, and array her in her choicest robes
and all her jewels, and follow her eldest son, in full procession,
to the tank hard by the "land of Rudra." And the heir shall take
three little stones, that were planted there in a row by the
Purohitas, and, going down into the water as deep as his neck, shall
turn his face to the sun and say, "Until this day these three stones
have stood for my father, that is dead. Henceforth let him cease to
be a carcass; let him enter into the joys of Swarga, the paradise of
Devendra, to be blessed with all conceivable blessings so long as
the waters of Ganges shall continue to flow;--so shall the dead
Brahmin not prowl through the universe, afflicting with evil tricks
stars, men, and trees; so shall he be laid."

But who shall lay the quick Asirvadam, than whom there walks not a
sprite more cunning, more malign?

Ever since the Solitaries, odious by their black arts to princes and
people, were slain or driven out,--fifteen centuries and more,--
Asirvadam the Brahmin has been selfish, wicked, and mischievously
busy,--corrupting the hearts, bewildering the minds, betraying the
hopes, exhausting the moral and physical strength of the Hindoos. He
has taught them the foolish tumult of the Hooly, the fanatical
ferocities of the Yajna, the unwhisperable obscenities of the Saktis,
the fierce and ruinous extravagances of the Doorga Pooja, the
mutilating monstrosities of the Churruck, the enslaving sorceries of
the Atharvana Veda, the raving mad revivals of Juggernath, the pious
debaucheries of Nanjanagud, the strange and sorrowful delusions of
Suttee, the impudent ravishments of Vengata Ramana,--all the
fancies and frenzies, all the delusions and passions and moral
epilepsies that go to make up a Meerut or a Cawnpore.

Of the outrageous insolence of the Seven Penitents he omits nothing
but their sincerity; of the enlightened simplicity of the anchoret
philosophers he retains nothing but their selfishness; of the
intellectual influence of the Gooroo pontiffs he covets nothing but
their dissimulation. He has taught his gaping disciples that a
skilfully compounded and plausibly administered lie is a goodly thing,--
except it be told against the cause of a Brahmin, in which case no
oxyhydrogeneralities of earthly combustion can afford an idea of the
particular hotness of the hell devised for such a liar. He has
solemnly impressed them with the mysterious sacredness of the Ganges,
and its manifold virtues of a supernatural order; to swear falsely
by its waters, he says, is a crime for which Indra the Dreadful has
provided an eternity of excruciations,--except the false oath be
taken in the interest of a Brahmin, in which case the perjurer may
confidently expect a posthumous good time. For the rich to extort
money from the poor, says Asirvadam, is an affront to the Gooroos
and the Gods, which must be punished by forfeiture to the Brahmins
of the whole sum extorted, the poor client to pay an additional
charge for the trouble his protectors have incurred; the same when
fines are recovered; and in cases of enforced payment of debts,
three-fourths of the sum collected are swallowed up in costs. Being
a Brahmin, to pay a bribe is a foolish act; to receive one--a
necessary circumstance, perhaps. Not being a Brahmin, to offer or
accept a bribe is a disgraceful transaction, requiring that both
parties shall be made an example of;--the bribe is forfeited to the
Brahmins, and the poorer party fined; if the fine exceed his means,
the richer party to pay the excess.

As the Brahminical interpretation of an oath is not always clear to
prisoners and witnesses of other castes, it is usual to illustrate
the definition to the obtuser or more scrupulous unfortunates by the
old-fashioned machinery of ordeals: such as compelling the
conscientious or obdurate inquirer to promenade without sandals over
burning coals; or to grasp, and hold for a time, a bar of red-hot
iron; or to plunge the hands into boiling oil, and keep them there
for several minutes. The party receiving these illustrations and
practical definitions of the Brahminical nature of an oath, without
discomfort or scar, is frankly adjudged innocent and reasonable.

Another pretty trick of ordeal, which borrows its more striking
features from the department of natural history, is that in which
the prisoner or witness is required to grope about for a trinket or
small coin in a basket or jar already occupied by a lively cobra.
Should the groper not be bitten, our courtly friend, Asirvadam, is
satisfied there has been some mistake here, and gallantly begs the
gentleman's pardon. To force the subject to swallow water, cup by cup,
until it burst from mouth and nose, is also a very neat ordeal, but
requiring practice.

Formerly, Asirvadam the Brahmin "farmed" the offences of his district;--
that is, he paid a certain sum to government for the right to try,
and to punish, all the high crimes and misdemeanors that should be
committed in his "section" for a year. Of course, fines were his
favorite penalties; and although most of the time, expenses for
meddlers and perjurers being heavy, the office did not pay more than
a fair living profit, there would now and then come a year when,
rice being scarce and opium cheap, with the aid of a little extra
exasperation, he cut it pretty fat. "Take it year in and year out,"
said Asirvadam the Brahmin, "a fellow couldn't complain."

Asirvadam the Brahmin is among the Sepoys. He sits by the well of
Barrackpore, a comrade on either side, and talks, as only he can
talk to whom no books are sealed. To one, a rigid statue of thrilled
attention, he speaks of the time when Arab horsemen first made
flashing forays down upon Mooltan; he tells of Mahmoud's mace, that
clove the idol of Somnath, and of the gold and gems that burst from
the treacherous wood, as water from the smitten rock in the
wilderness; he tells of Timour, and Baber the Founder, and the long
imperial procession of the Great Moguls,--of Humayoon, and Akbar,
and Shah Jehan, and Aurengzebe,--of Hyder Ali and Tippoo Sultan,--
of Moorish splendor and the Prophet's sway; and the swarthy Mussulman
stiffens in lip-parted listening.

To the other, a fiery enthusiast, fretting for the acted moral of a
tale he knows too well, he whispers of British blasphemy and
insolence,--of Brahmins insulted, and gods derided,--of Vedas
violated, and the sacred Sanscrit defiled by the tongues of
Kaffirs,--of Pariahs taught and honored,--of high and low castes
indiscriminately mingled, an obscene herd, in schools and regiments,--
of glorious institutions, old as Mount Meru, boldly overthrown,--of
suttee suppressed, and infanticide abated,--of widows re-married,
and the dowries of the brides of Brahmins limited,--of high-caste
students handling dead bodies, and Soodra beggars drinking from
Brahminical wells,--of the triple cord broken in twain, and
Brahminee bulls slain in the streets, and cartridges greased with the
fat of cows, and Christian converts indemnified, and property not
confiscated for loss of caste,--and a frightful falling off in the
benighting business generally; and the fierce Rajpoot grinds his
white teeth, while Asirvadam the Brahmin plots, and plots, and plots.

Incline your ears, my brothers, and I will sing you softly, and low,
a song to make Moor and Rajpoot bite, with their very hearts:

"Bring Soma to the adorable Indra, the lord of all, the lord of
wealth, the lord of heaven, the perpetual lord, the lord of men, the
lord of earth, the lord of horses, the lord of cattle, the lord of

"Offer adoration to Indra, the overcomer, the destroyer, the
munificent, the invincible, the all-endowing, the creator, the
all-adorable, the sustainer, the unassailable, the ever-victorious!"

"I proclaim the mighty exploits of that Indra who is ever victorious,
the benefactor of man, the overthrower of man, the caster-down, the
warrior, who is gratified by our libations, the grantor of desires,
the subduer of enemies, the refuge of the people!"

"Unequalled in liberality, the showerer, the slayer of the malevolent,
profound, mighty, of impenetrable sagacity, the dispenser of
prosperity, the enfeebler, firm, vast, the performer of pious acts,
Indra has given birth to the light of the morning!"

"Indra, bestow upon us most excellent treasures, the reputation of
ability, prosperity, increase of wealth, security of person,
sweetness of speech, and auspiciousness of days!"

"Offer worship quickly to Indra; recite hymns; let the outpoured
drops exhilarate him; pay adoration to his superior strength!"

"When, Indra, thou harnessest thy horses, there is no such
charioteer as thou; none is equal to thee in strength; none,
howsoever well horsed, has overtaken thee!"

"He, who alone bestows wealth upon the man who offers him oblations,
is the undisputed sovereign: Indra, ho!"

"When will he trample with his foot upon the man who offers no
oblations, as upon a coiled snake? When will Indra listen to our
praises? Indra, ho!"

"Indra grants formidable strength to him who worships him, having
libations prepared: Indra, ho!"

The song that was chanted low by the well of Barrackpore to the
maddened Rajpoot, to the dreaming Moor, was fiercely shouted by the
well of Cawnpore to a chorus of shrieking women, English wives and
mothers, and spluttering of blood-choked babes, and clash of red
knives, and drunken shouts of slayers, ruthless and obscene.

When Asirvadam the Brahmin conjured the wild demon of revolt to light
the horrid torch and bare the greedy blade, he tore a chapter from
the Book of Menu:--

"Let no man, engaged in combat, smite his foe with concealed weapons,
nor with arrows mischievously barbed, nor with poisoned arrows, nor
with darts blazing with fire."

"Nor let him strike his enemy alighted on the ground; nor an
effeminate man, nor one who sues for life with closed palms, nor one
whose hair is loose, nor one who sits down, nor one who says, 'I am
thy captive.'"

"Nor one who sleeps, nor one who has lost his coat-of-mail, nor one
who is naked, nor one who is dismayed, nor one who is a spectator,
but no combatant, nor one who is fighting with another man."

"Calling to mind the duty of honorable men, let him never slay one
who has broken his weapon, nor one who is afflicted, nor one who
has been grievously wounded, nor one who is terrified, nor one who
turns his back."

But Asirvadam the Brahmin, like the Thug of seven victims, has
tasted the sugar of blood, sweeter upon his tongue than to the lips
of an eager babe the pearl-tipped nipple of its mother. Henceforth
he must slay, slay, slay, mutilate and ravish, burn and slay, in the
name of the queen of horrors.--Karlee, ho!

Now what shall be done with our dangerous friend? Shall he be blown
from the mouths of guns? or transported to the heart-breaking
Andamans? or lashed to his own churruck-posts, and flayed with cats
by stout drummers? or handcuffed with Pariahs in chain-gangs, to
work on his knees in foul sewers? or choked to death with raw
beefsteaks and the warm blood of cows? or swinged by stout Irish
wenches with bridle-ends? or smitten on the mouth with kid gloves by
English ladies, his turban trampled under foot by every Feringhee
brat in Bengal?--Wanted, a poetical putter-down for Asirvadam the

"Devotion is not in the ragged garment, nor in the staff, nor in
ashes, nor in the shaven head, nor in the sounding of horns.

"Numerous Mahomets there have been and multitudes of Brahmas, Vishnus,
and Sivas;

"Thousands of seers and prophets, and tens of thousands of saints
and holy men:

"But the chief of lords is the one Lord, the true name of God!"

       *       *       *       *       *


It would be easy to collect a library of lamentations over the
mechanical tendency of our age. There are, in fact, a good many
people who profess a profound contempt for matter, though they do
nevertheless patronize the butcher and the baker to the manifest
detriment of the sexton. Matter and material interests, they would
have us believe, are beneath the dignity of the soul; and the degree
to which these "earthly things" now absorb the attention of mankind,
they think, argues degeneracy from the good old times of abstract
philosophy and spiritual dogmatism. But what do we better know of
the Infinite Spirit than that he is an infinite mechanic? Whence do
we get worthier or sublimer conceptions of him than from the
machinery with which he works? Are we ourselves less godlike
building mills than sitting in pews?--less in the image of our Maker,
endeavoring to subdue matter than endeavoring to ignore its existence?
Without questioning that the moral nature within us is superior to
the mechanical, we think it quite susceptible of proof that the
moral condition of the world depends on the mechanical, and that it
has advanced and will advance at equal pace with the progress of
machinery. To prove this, or anything else, however, is by no means
the purpose of this article, but only to take the general reader
around a little among mechanical people and ideas, to see what lies

"Papa, what are you going to make?" was doubtless the question of
Tubal-Cain's little boy, when he saw his ingenious father hammering
a red-hot iron, with a stone for a hammer, and another for an anvil.
Little boys have often since asked the same question in blacksmiths'
shops, and we now have shops in which the largest boys may well ask
it. It might be answered in a general way, that the smiths or smiters,
black and white, were and are going to make what our Maker left
unmade in making the human race. The lower animals were all sent
into the world in appropriate, finished, and well-fitting costume,
provided with direct and effective means of subsistence and defence.
The eagle had his imperial plumage, beak, and talons; the elephant
his leathern roundabout and travelling trunk, with its convenient
air-pump; and the beaver, at once a carpenter and a mason, had his
month full of chisels and his tail a trowel. The _bipes implumis_, on
the contrary, was hatched nude, without even the embryo of a
pin-feather. There was nothing for him but the recondite capabilities
of his two talented, but talonless hands, and a large brain almost
without instinct. Nothing was ready-made, only the means of making.
He was brought into the infinite world a finite deity, an
infinitesimal creator,--the first being of that class, to our
knowledge. His most urgent business as a creator was to make tools
for himself, and especially for the purpose of supplying his own
pitiful destitution of feathers. From the aprons of fig-leaves,
stitched hardly so-so, to the last patent sewing-machine, he has
made commendable progress. Without borrowing anything from other
animals, he can now, if he chooses, rival in texture, tint, gloss,
lightness, and expansiveness, the plumage of peacocks and
birds-of-paradise; and it only remains that what can be done shall
be done more extensively,--we do not mean for the individual, but
for the masses. Man has created not only tools, but servants,--
animals all but alive. We may soon say that he has created great
bodies politic and bodies corporate, with heads, hands, feet, claws,
tails, lungs, digestive organs, and perhaps other viscera. What is
remarkable, having at first failed to furnish them with nerves, he
has lately supplied that deficiency,--a token that he will supply
some others.

Let not the reader shrink from our page as irreverent. It shall not
preach the possibility of inventing perpetual motion or a machine
with a soul in it, as was lately and vainly attempted in our good
city of Lynn,--where, however, it may be said, they do succeed in
making soles to what resemble machines. It is not for us to be
either so enthusiastic, impious, or uncharitable as to prophesy that
human ingenuity will ever endow its creations with anything more
than the rudest semblance of that self-directing vitality which
characterizes the most servile of God-created machinery. The human
mechanic must be content, if he can approach as near to the creation
of life as the painter and sculptor have done. The soul of the
man-made horse-power is primarily the horse, and secondarily the
small boy who stands by to "cut him up" occasionally. Maelzel
created excellent chess-players, with the exception of intelligence,
which he was obliged to borrow of the original Creator and conceal
in a closet under the table.

But let us not undervalue ourselves--which would, in fact, be to
undervalue our Creator--for such shortcomings. Though into our iron
horse's skull or cab we have to put one or two living men to supply
its deficiency of understanding, it is nevertheless a recognizable
animal, of a very grand and somewhat novel type. Its respiratory,
digestive, and muscular systems are respectable; and in the nature
and articulation of its organs of motion it is clearly original. The
wheel, typical of eternity, is nowhere to be found among living
organisms, unless we take the brilliant vision of Ezekiel in a
literal sense. The idea of attributing life or spirit to wheels,
organs by their nature detached or discontinuous from the living
creatures of which they were parts, was worthy of a prophet or poet;
but to no such prophetic vision were the first wheelwrights indebted
for their conception of so great an improvement upon animal
locomotion. For if they had not made chariots before Noah's flood,
they certainly had done it before Pharaoh's smaller affair in the
Red Sea. On that occasion, the chariot-wheels of the Egyptians were
taken off; but this does not seem to have produced effects so
decisive as would result from a similar disorganization in Broadway
or Washington Street; for the charioteers still "drave them heavily."
Hence we may infer that the wheels were of rude workmanship, making
the chariots little less liable to the infirmity of friction than
those Western vehicles called mud-boats, used to navigate semi-fluid
regions which pass on the map for _terra firma_.

Yet, notwithstanding the rudeness of the primitive chariot, made of
two or three sticks and two rings cut from a hollow tree, it was the
germ of human inventions, and embosomed the world's destiny. It was
the most original as well as the most godlike of human thoughts. The
ship may have been copied from the nautilus, or from the embarked
squirrel trimming his tail to the breeze; or it may have been
blundered upon by the savage mounted on a drift-log, accidentally
making a sail of his sheepskin cloak while extending his arms to
keep his balance. But the cart cannot be regarded either as a
plagiarism from Nature, or the fruit of accident. The inventor must
have unlocked Nature's private closet with the key of mathematical
principle, and carried off the wheel and axle, the only mechanical
power she had not used in her physical creation, as patent to our
senses. Of course, she meant it should be stolen. She had, it is true,
made a show of punishing her little Prometheus for running off with
her match-box and setting things on fire, but she must have felt
proud of the theft. In well-regulated families children are not
allowed to play with fire, though the passion to do it is looked on
as a favorable mental indication. When the good dame saw that her
infant _chef-d'oeuvre_ had got hold of her reserved mechanical
element, the wheel, she foresaw his use of the stolen fire would be
something more than child's play. The cart, whether two-wheeled, or,
as our Hibernian friends will have it, one-wheeled, was an infinite
success, an invention of unlimited capabilities. Yet the inventor
obtained no record. Neither his name nor his model is to be found in
any patent-office.

The tool-making animal, having obtained this marvellous means of
multiplying, or rather treasuring and applying, mechanical force,
went on at least some thousands of years before waking up to its
grand significance. Among the nations that first obtained excellence
in textile fabrics, very little use has ever been made of the wheel.
The spinning-girl of Dacca, who twists, and for ages has twisted, a
pound of cotton into a thread two hundred and fifty miles long,
beating Manchester by ninety miles, has no wheel, unless you so call
a ball of clay, of the size of a pea, stuck fast on one end of her
spindle, by means of which she twists it between her thumb and
finger. But this wonderful mechanical feat costs her many months of
labor, to say nothing of previous training; while the Manchester
factory-girl, aided by the multiplying power of the wheel, easily
makes as much yarn, though not quite so fine, in a day. If it were
an object to rival the tenuity of the finest India muslin, machinery
could easily accomplish it. But that spider-web fabric is carried so
nearly to transparency, that the Emperor Aurengzebe is said to have
reproved his daughter for the indelicacy of her costume while she
wore seven thicknesses of it. She might have worn twelve hundred
yards without burdening herself with more than a pound weight; what
she did wear did not, probably, weigh two ounces. The Chinese and
Japanese have spinning-wheels hardly equal to those brought over by
our pilgrim fathers in the Mayflower. But they have also, what
Western civilization has not, praying-wheels. In Japan the
praying-wheel is turned by hand; but in China, according to Hue, it
is sometimes carried by water-power, and rises to the dignity of a
mill. The Japanese, however, have mills for hulling rice, turned by
very respectable water-wheels. The Egyptians and Greeks had
water-wheels, and in fact understood all the mechanical powers.
Archimedes, all the world knows, astounded the Romans by mechanical
combinations which showered rocks on the besiegers of Syracuse, and
boasted he could make a projectile of the world itself, if he could
only find a standing-place outside of it.

The present civilization of Europe very properly began with the clock,
a machine which a monk, afterwards Pope Sylvester II, was supposed
to have borrowed from Satan, though he was probably indebted for it
to the Saracens. For nearly nine hundred years after his day, the
best ingenuity of Italian, German, Swiss, French, and English
mechanics was devoted to perfecting this noble creation, and it
became at last a part of the civilized man, a sort of additional or
supplementary sense. The savage may well be excused for mistaking
the watch for a living creature. It could not serve us better, if it
were. True, it does not perform its function by its own force, but by
a stock of extraneous force which is from time to time put into a
little store-house called a spring. Neither does the living creature
perform its functions by any other force than that which is developed
by the chemical action within it, or the _quasi_ combustion of its
food. Its will does but direct the application of its mechanical
power. It creates none. You may weigh the animal and all the food it
is to consume, and thence calculate the utmost ounce of work, of a
given kind, which it can thereafter perform. It may do less, but
cannot do more. Having consumed all of its food and part of itself,
it dies. Its chemical organs have oxydated or burned up all the
combustibles submitted to them, thus developing a definite amount of
heat, a part of which, at the dictation of the will, by the
mechanism of nerves and muscles, has been converted into mechanical
motion. When the chemical function ceases, for the want of materials
to act upon, the development of heat ceases. There is no more either
to be converted into motion or to maintain the temperature of the
body; and self-consumption having already taken the place of
self-repair, there is no article left but the _articulus mortis_.

But of all the force or motion produced by, or rather passing through,
a living animal, or any other organism, none is ever, so far as we
know, annihilated. The motion which has apparently ceased or been
destroyed has in reality passed into heat, light, electricity,
magnetism, or other effect,--itself, perhaps, nothing but motion, to
keep on, in one form or another, indefinitely. The fuel which we put
into the stomach of the horse, of iron or of flesh, first by its
oxydation raises heat, a part of which it is the function of the
individual to convert into motion, to be expended on friction and
resistance, or, in other words, to be reconverted into heat. What
becomes of this heat, then? If the fuel were to be replaced or
deoxydated, the heat that originally came from the oxydation would be
precisely reabsorbed. But this heat of itself cannot overcome the
stronger affinity which now chains the fuel to the oxygen. It must
go forward, not backward, about its business, forever and ever. It
may pass, but not cease. The sharp-eyed Faraday has been following
far away this Proteus, with a strong suspicion that it changes at
last into gravity, in which shape it returns straight to the sun,
carrying down with it, probably, those flinty showers of meteors
which, striking fire in the atmosphere of the prime luminary,
replenish its overflowing fountain of life. But we are not aware
that he has yet discovered the anastomosis of this conversion, or
quite established the fact. We are therefore not yet quite ready to
resolve the universe of physical forces into the similitude of the
mythical mill-stream, which, flowing round a little hill, came back
and fed its own pond. Nevertheless, we believe the physicists have
pretty generally agreed to assume as a law of Nature what they call
the conservation of force, the principle we have been endeavoring to

Under the lead of this law, theory, or assumption, discoveries have
been made that deeply and practically interest the most abject
mortal who anywhere swings a hoe or shoulders a hod, as well as the
lords of the land. For example, it has been ascertained that heat is
converted into motion, or motion into heat, according to a fixed or
constant ratio or equivalent. To be more particular, the heat which
will raise the temperature of a pound of water one degree of
Fahrenheit's scale, when converted into mechanical motion, is
equivalent to the force which a weight of seven hundred and
seventy-two pounds would exert by falling one foot. This is a
wonderfully small quantity of heat to balance so heavy a blow, but
the careful experiments of Mr. Joule of Manchester, the discoverer,
confirmed by Regnault, Thomson, Rankine, Clausius, Mayer, Rennie,
and others, have, we believe, satisfied scientific men that it is
not far from the correct measure. Were the same, or a far less
amount of heat, concentrated on a minute chip of steel struck off by
collision with a flint, it would be visible to the eye as a spark,
and show us how motion is converted into light as well as heat.

It is not our vocation to dive into the infinities, either upward or
downward, in search, on the one hand, of the ultimate atoms of the
rarest ether, by whose vibrations the luminous waves run through
space at the rate of more than ten millions of miles a minute, or,
on the other, of the nebulous systems, worlds in the gristle, so far
off that the light just now arriving from them tells only how they
looked two hundred thousand years ago. All we have to say is, that,
if we do not now absolutely know, we do reasonably suspect, that heat
and light are mere mechanical motions, alike in nature and
interconvertible in fact. The luminiference seems to behave itself,
not like infinitely small bullets projected from Sharpe's rifles of
proportionately small bore, as was once supposed, but rather after
the manner of the sound-waves, which we know travel through the air
from the sonorous body to the ear. They have also a resemblance, not
so close, to the waves which run in all directions along the surface
of a pond of water from the point where a stone falls into it. These
three classes of waves, differing so immensely in magnitude and
velocity, all agree in this,--that it is the wave that travels, and
not the fluid or medium. The rapidity of the luminous wave is about
nine hundred million times that of the sound-wave; hence we may
suppose that the ether in which it moves is about as many times
rarer or lighter than air, and the retina of the eye which it
impresses as many times more delicate and sensitive than the drum of
the ear. It can hardly be unreasonable to suppose that a fluid so
rare as this luminiferous ether will readily interflow the particles
of all other matter, gaseous, liquid, or solid, and that in such
abundance that its vibrations or agitations may be propagated through
them. Yet even the rarest gases must considerably obstruct and
modify the vibratory waves, while liquids and solids, according to
their density and structural arrangement of atoms, must do it far
more. The luminiferous ether, in which all systems are immersed,
kept hereabout in an incessant quiver through its complete and
perhaps three-fold gamut of vibrations by the sun, strikes the aërial
ocean of the earth about an average of five hundred million millions
of blows per second, for each of the seven colors, or luminous notes,
not to speak of the achromatic vibrations, whose effects are other
than vision or visionary. The aërial ocean is such open-work, that
these infinitesimal billows are not much, though somewhat, broken by
it; but when they reach the terraqueous globe itself, they dash into
foam which goes whirling and eddying down into solids and liquids,
among their wild caverns of ultra-microscopic littleness, and this
foam or whirl-storm of ethereal substance is heat, if we are not
much mistaken. According to its intensity, it expands by its own mere
motion all grosser material.

The quantity of this ethereal foam, yeast, whirlwind, hubbub, or
whatever else you please to call it, which is got up or given up by
the combustion of three pounds of good bituminous coal, according to
Mr. Joule's experiments, is more than equivalent to a day's labor
of a powerful horse. With our best stationary steam-engines, at
present, we get a day's horse-power from not less than twenty-four
pounds of coal. At this rate, the whole supply of mineral coal in
the world, as it may be roughly estimated, is equivalent only to the
labor of one thousand millions of horses for fifteen hundred years.
With the average performance of our present engines, it would
support that amount of horse-power for only one thousand years. But
could we obtain the full mechanical duty of the fuel by our engines,
it would be equal to the work of a thousand millions of horses for
sixteen thousand years, or of about fifteen times as many men for
the same time. This would materially postpone the exhaustion of the
coal, at which one so naturally shudders,--to say nothing of the
saving of having to dig but one eighth as much of the mineral to
produce the same effect. Hence some of the interest that attaches to
this discovery of Mr. Joule, which has given a new impulse to the
labor of inventors in pushing the steam-engine towards perfection.

But if the whole available mechanical power, laid in store in the
coal mines, in addition to all the unimproved wind and water power,
should seem to any one insufficient to work out this world's manifest
destiny, the doctrine of the essential unity or conservation of
force is not exhausted of consolation. All the coal of which we have
spoken is but the result of the action of sun-light in past ages,
decomposing carbonic acid in the vegetative process. The combustion
of the carbon reproduces a force exactly equivalent to that of the
sun-light which was absorbed or consumed in its vegetative separation.
Supposing the whole estimated stock of coal in the world to be
consumed at once, it would cover the entire globe with a stratum of
carbonic acid about seventy-two feet deep. And if all the energy of
sun-light which this globe receives or encounters in a year were to
be devoted to its decomposition, according to Pouillet's estimate of
the strength of sunshine,--and he probably knows, if any one does,--
deducting all that would be wasted on rock or water, there would be
enough to complete the task in a year or two. A marvellous growth of
forest, that would be! But the coal is not to be burned up at once.
When we get our steam-engines in motion to the amount of two or
three thousand millions of horse-power, and are running off the coal
at the rate of one tenth of one per cent per annum, the simple and
inevitable consequence will be that the wood will be growing enough
faster to keep good the general stock of fuel. Doubtless the forests
are now limited in their growth and stunted from their ante-Saurian
stature, not so much for want of soil, moisture, or sunshine as for
want of carbonic acid in the air, to be decomposed by the foliage,
the great deposition of coal in the primitive periods having
exhausted the supply. Our present havoc of wood only changes the
locality of wood-lots, and our present consumption of coal, rapid
enough to exhaust the entire supply in about seventy-seven thousand
years, is sure to increase the aggregate cordage of the forests. By
the time we have brought our locomotive steam-cultivators to such
perfection as to plough up and pulverize the great central deserts,
we may see trees flourish where it would have been useless to plant
the seed before we had converted so much of the earth's entrails
into smoke.

There was a time, before we had harnessed the powers of Nature to
found, forge, spin, weave, print, and drudge for us generally, that
in every civilized country the strong-headed men used their
strong-handed brethren as machines. Only he could be very knowing who
owned many scribes, or he very rich who owned many hewers of wood
and drawers of water. With our prodigious development of mechanical
inventions, iron and coal, our mighty steam-driven machinery for
making machines, the time for chattelizing men, or depending mainly
on animal power of any sort for the production of wealth, has passed
by. Abrogate the golden rule, if you will, and establish the creed
of caste,--let the strongest of human races have full license to
enslave the weakest, and let it have the pick of soil and staples,--
still, if you do not abolish the ground rules of arithmetic, and the
fact that a pound of carbon costs less than a pound of corn, and must
cost less for at least a thousand years to come, chattelism of man
will cease in another generation, and the next century will not dawn
on a human slave. At present, a pound of carbon does not cost so
much as a pound of corn in any part of the United States, and in no
place visited by steam-transportation does it cost one fifth as much.
We are already able to get as much work out of a pound of carbon as
can be got from a pound of corn fed to the faithfullest slave in the
world. Mr. Joule has shown us that there is really in a pound of
carbon more than twice as much work as there is in a pound of corn.
The human corn-consuming machine comes nearer getting the whole
mechanical duty or equivalent out of his fuel than our present
steam-engine does, but the former is all he ever will be, while the
latter is an infant and growing.

We shall doubtless soon see engines that will get the work of two
slaves out of the coal that just balances one slave's food in the
scales. Our iron-boned, coal-eating slave, with the advantage of
that peculiar and almost infinitely applicable mechanical element,
the wheel, may be made to go anywhere and do any sort of work, and,
as we have seen, he will do it for one tenth of the cost of any
brute or human slave.

But will not our artificial slave be more liable to insurrection?
Everybody admits that he already accomplishes incalculable drudgery
in the huge mill, on the ocean, and on the iron highway. But almost
everybody looks upon him as a sleeping volcano, which must sooner or
later flare up into irresistible wrath and do frightful mischief.
Underwriters shake their prudent heads at him. Coroners' inquests,
sitting solemnly over his frequent desolations, find only that some
of his ways are past finding out. Can such a creature be
domesticated so as to serve profitably and comfortably on by-roads
as well as high-roads, on farms, in gardens, in kitchens, in mines,
in private workshops, in all sorts of places where steady,
uncomplaining toil is wanted? Can we ever trust him as we trust
ourselves, or our humble friends, the horse and the ox? The law of
the conservation of force, now so nearly developed, will perhaps
throw some light on this inquiry.

Boiler explosions have a sort of family resemblance to the freaks of
lightning or the thunderbolt. Indeed, so striking is the similarity,
that people have been prone to think, that, previously to an
explosion, the steam in the boiler must have become in some
inexplicable way charged with electricity like a thunder-cloud, and
that the discharge must have occasioned the catastrophe. It is
needless to say to those who understand a Leyden jar, that nothing
of the sort takes place. The friction of the watery globules, carried
along by the steam in blowing off, is found to disturb the
electrical equilibrium, as any other friction does; but the
circumstances in the case of a boiler are always so favorable to its
restoration, that an electrical thunderbolt cannot possibly be
raised there that would damage a gnat. Yet a boiler explosion may,
after all, depend on the same immediate cause as the mechanical
effect which is frequently noticed after an electrical discharge in a
thunder-storm. Let us hypothetically analyze what takes place in a
thunder-storm. For the sake of illustration, and nothing more, we
will suppose the existence, throughout all otherwise void space, of
three interflowing ethers, the atoms of each of which are, in regard
to each other, repellant, negative, or the reverse of ponderable,
and that these ethers differ in a series by vast intervals as to
size and distance of atoms, that each neither repels nor attracts
the other, that only the rarest is everywhere, and that the denser
ones, while self-repellant, have affinities, more or less, which
draw them from the interplanetary spaces towards the ponderable
masses. Let the rarest of these ethers be that whose vibrations
cause the phenomena of light,--the next denser that which, either by
vibration or translatory motion, causes the electrical phenomena,--
and the most dense of the three that which by its motions, of
whatever sort, causes the phenomena of heat. The solar impulse
propagated through the luminiferous ether towards any mass encounters
in its neighborhood the electrical and calorific ethers, and sets
them into motions which may be communicated from one to the other,
but which are communicated to ponderable matter, or result in
mechanical action, only or chiefly by the impulse of the denser or
calorific ether. When the sun shines on land and water, as we have
already said, there is a violent ethereal commotion in the
interstices of the superficial matter, which we will now suppose to
be that of the calorific ether; and by virtue of this motion,
together with whatever affinities this ether may be supposed to have
for ponderable matter, we may account for evaporation, and the
production of those vast aërial currents by which the evaporated
water is diffused. In the production of aërial currents, heat is
converted into force, and hence vapor is converted into watery
globules mechanically suspended on clouds, which, by their friction,
sweep the electrical ether into excessive condensation in the great
Leyden-jar arrangement of the sky. Whatever it may be that gives
relief to this condensation, the relief itself consists in motion,
either translatory or vibratory, of the electrical ether or ethers.
As this motion, if it be such, often takes place through gases,
liquids, and solids, without any sensible mechanical effect, and at
other times is contemporary with phenomena of intense heat, we may,
till otherwise informed, suppose, that, whenever it produces a
mechanical effect, it is by so impinging on the calorific ether as
to produce the motion of heat, which is instantly thereafter
converted into mechanical force. It is not so much the greatness of
the amount of this mechanical force which gives it its peculiar
destructiveness, as the inequality of its strain; not so much the
quantity of matter projected, as the velocity of the blow. One may
have his brains blown out by a bullet of air as well as one of lead,
if the air only blows hard enough and to one point. Whatever its
material, the edge of the thunder-axe is almost infinitely sharp,
and its blow is as destructive as it is timeless. But it is always
heat, not electrical discharge, which only sometimes causes heat,
that strikes the blow.

Now in the case of a steam-boiler, when the water, having been
reduced too low, is allowed suddenly to foam up on the overheated
crown-sheet of the furnace, there must be just that sudden or
instantaneous conversion of heat into force which may take place
when the current of the electrical discharge passes through the
gnarled fibres of an oak. The boiler and the oak are blown to shivers
in equally quick time. The only difference seems to be, that in one
case electricity stood immediately, in point of time, behind the heat,
and in the other it stood away back beyond the crocodiles, playing
its _rôle_ more genially in the growth of the monster forests whose
remains we are now digging from the bowels of the earth as coal. In
the normal action of a steam-boiler, the steam-generating surfaces
being all under water, however unequally the fire may act in
different localities, the water, by its rapid circulation, if not by
its heat-absorbing power, diffuses the heat and constantly equalizes
the strain resulting from its conversion into mechanical force. The
increase of pressure takes place gradually and evenly, and may
easily be kept far within safe limits. It is quite otherwise when
the conductivity of the boiler-plate is not aided and controlled by
the distributiveness of the water, as it is not whenever the plate
is in contact with the fire on one side without being also in contact
with the water on the other. Everybody knows that boilers explode
under such circumstances, but everybody does not know why.

A cylinder of plate-iron will withstand a gradually applied, evenly
distributed, and constant pressure, one thousandth part of which,
acting at one spot, as a blow, would rend its way through, or
establish a crack. This slight rent, giving partial relief to the
sudden but comparatively small force that causes it, would be
nothing very serious in itself,--no more so than a rent produced by
the hydraulic press,--if the whole force, equal, perhaps, to that of
a thousand wild horses imprisoned within, did not take instant
advantage of it to enlarge the breach and blow the whole structure
to fragments, or, in other words, if it did not permit nearly the
whole of the accumulated heat in the boiler to be at once converted
into mechanical motion. For example, a boiler whose ordinary working
pressure is one hundred pounds to the square inch, which may give an
aggregate on the whole surface of five millions of pounds, would not
give way, perhaps, if that pressure were gradually and evenly
increased to thirty millions. But if the water is allowed to get so
low that some part of the plate exposed to the fire is no longer
covered with it, that part will directly become far hotter than the
water or the mass of the steam,--dry steam having no more power to
carry away the excess of heat than so much air. After that, when the
water rises again, the first wave or wallop that strikes the
overheated plate absorbs the excess of heat, and its conversion into
steam of higher pressure than that already existing is so sudden
that it may be regarded as instantaneous. It is to be remembered
that for every pound of water raised one degree, or heat to that
amount absorbed in generating steam, a force of seven hundred and
seventy-two pounds is created. In this case a new or additional
force is created, which, acting in all directions from one point,
first takes effect on the line which joins that point with the
nearest opposite point in the wall of the boiler. If it is not like
smiting with the edge of a ponderous battle-axe, it is at least as
dangerous as a cannon ball shot along that line. If the local heat
so suddenly absorbed be but enough to raise ten pounds of water ten
degrees, it is equivalent to the force acquired by seventy-seven
thousand two hundred pounds falling through a foot, or of a
cannon-ball of one hundred pounds flying at the rate of more than a
mile per second. If by any miracle the boiler should stand this
shock or series of shocks, the pressure becomes equalized, and the
overheated plate having parted with its excess of heat, safety is
restored. But if cohesion is anywhere overcome by the sudden blow,
the wild horses stampede in all directions. The boiler, minus the
water and boiler-head perhaps, goes through ceiling, roof, and brick
walls, as if they were cobwebs, and, surrounded with fragments of
men and things, is seen descending like a comet through the
neighboring air.

To get rid of this liability to have a Thor-hammer or thunderbolt
generated in the stomach of a steam-engine, at any moment when the
vigilance of the engineer happens to be at fault, something is going
to be done. No safety-valve or fusible plug is adequate. The boiler
cannot be all safety-valve. The trouble is, the hammer is not more
likely to strike the first of its terrible series of blows on the
valve than anywhere else. A safety-valve, in good order, is a
sovereign precaution against the excess of an equally distributed
strain, but it is not an adequate protection against a shock or
unequal strain. The old-fashioned gaugecocks, which are by no means
to be dispensed with, reveal the state of the water in the boiler to
the watchful engineer about as surely as the stethoscope reveals to
the doctor the condition of his patient's lungs. A surer and more
convenient indication is the tubular glass gauge, on the fountain
principle, which in its best form is both trustworthy and durable.
No well-informed proprietor suffers his boiler to be without one;
but it is not a cure for carelessness. It is only a window for the
vigilant eye to look through, not the eye itself. Steam-boilers will
have to be constructed so that when the subsidence of the water
fails to check itself by enlarging the supply, it shall, before the
point of danger is reached, infallibly check the combustion, let off
the steam, and blow a whistle or ring a bell, which the proprietor
may, if he pleases, regard as the official death-knell of the
careless engineer. Human vigilance must not be superseded, but
fortified,--as in the case of the watchman watched by the tell-tale
clock. The steam-creature must be so constituted as to refuse to
work itself down to the zone where alone unequal strains are possible;
it must cry out in horror and strike work. Mechanically the solution
of the problem is easy, and the enhancement in cost of construction
will be nothing, compared to the risk of loss from these explosions.
With this guard against the deficiency of water, steam-power will
become the safest, as it is the most manageable, of all forces that
have hitherto been subsidized by the civilized man.

But there is one more improvement worth mentioning. We do great
injustice to our steam-slaves by the slovenly and unphilosophical
way in which we feed them. We take no hints from animal economy or
the laws of dietetics.

Our creature has no regular meals, especially if he is one of the
fast kind; but a grimy nurse stands by, and, opening his mouth every
few minutes, crams in a few spoonfuls of the black pudding. The
natural consequence is more or less indigestion and inequality of
strength. We have not yet taken full advantage of the laws of
combustion, or adapted our apparatus to the peculiarities of the
best and cheapest fuel. Nature manages more wisely in her machinery.
Combustion, the union of fuel with oxygen, ceases for want of air as
well as for want of fuel. In the case of fuels compounded of carbon
and hydrogen, if the air be withheld when the mass is in rapid
combustion, the heat will cause a portion of the fuel to pass off by
distillation, unconsumed, and this portion will be lost. But from
the best anthracite, which is nearly pure carbon concentrated, if
oxygen be entirely excluded, not much can distil away with any
degree of heat. The combustion of this fuel, therefore, admits of
very easy and economical regulation, by simply regulating the supply
of air. When the air is admitted at all, it should be admitted above
as well as below the fuel, so that the carbonic oxyde that is
generated in the mass may be burned, or converted into carbonic acid,
over the top. Why, then, should not the iron horse, before leaving
his stable, take a meal of anthracite sufficient to last him fifty
or one hundred miles? Let him swallow a ton at once, if he need it.
Before starting, let the temperature of the mass in the furnace be
got up to the point where the combustion will go on with sufficient
rapidity for the required speed by simply supplying air, which
should also be fed as hot as possible. This done, the engineer
throughout the trip will have perfect control of his force by means
of the steam-blast and air-openings. There will be no smoke nuisance,
the combustion being complete so far as it takes place at all.
There will be no need of loading the furnace with firebrick to
equalize the heat,--the mass of incandescent fuel serving that
purpose; and no waste or inequality will occur from opening the door
to throw in a cold collation.

What are we going to make? First, we are going to finish up, and
carry out into all desirable species, our great idea of an iron slave,
the illustrious Man Friday of our modern civilization. Whether we
put water, air, or ether into his aorta, as the medium of converting
heat into force, we shall at last have a safe subject, available for
all sorts of drudgery, that will do the work of a man without eating
more than half as much weight of coal as a man eats of bread and meat.
Next, carrying into all departments of human industry, in its
perfect development, this new creature, which has already, as a mere
infant, made so stupendous a change in some of them, we shall make
the human millions all masters, from being nearly all slaves. We
shall make both idleness and poverty nearly impossible. Human labor,
as a general thing, is a positive pleasure only when the hand and
brain work in concert. Hence, the more you increase well-devised and
efficient machinery, which requires and rewards intelligent
oversight and skilful direction, the more you increase the love of
labor. We have already manufacturing communities so well supplied
with tasks for brains and hands, that everybody works, or would do
so but for Circe and her seductive hollow-ware. We are beginning to
push machinery into agriculture, where it will have still greater
scope. With the means we now have, in the enormously increased
production of iron, our almost omnipresent and omnipotent
machine-shops, our railroads leading everywhere, another century, or
perhaps half of it, will see every arable rood of the earth and
every rood that can be made arable, ploughed, sowed, and the crops
harvested by iron horses, iron oxen, or iron men, under the free and
intelligent supervision of people who know how to feed, drive, doctor,
and make the most of them.

One island, which would hardly be missed from the map of the world,
so small that its rivers all fall into the sea mere brooks, with not
more than one-thirteenth as much coal as we have in the United States,
and perhaps not one-hundredth as much iron ore, by the use of
steam-driven machinery produces as much iron and perhaps weaves as
much cloth yearly as all the rest of the world. If it does not the
latter, it would do it, if it could find enough of the raw material
and paying customers. But agriculture, which supplies the raw
material, though it is the first and most universal form of human
labor, lags behind the world's present manufacturing power. One cause
of the late, and perhaps of the previous commercial revulsion, was
this disproportion. The more rapid enlargement of manufacturing
industry, multiplied in power by its machinery, caused the raw
material to rise in price and the manufactured article to fall, till
the operations could not be supported from the profits at the same
time that contracts were fulfilled with capitalists. Manufactures
must pause till agriculture overtakes. Steam-machinery applied to
agriculture is the only thing that can correct this disproportion,
and this is what we are going to make. The world is not to be much
longer dependent for its cotton on the compulsory labor of the Dark
Ages, nor for its flax and corn on blistered free hands or
overworked cattle. The laborer, in either section of our country,
will be transformed into an ingenious gentleman or lady, comfortably
mounted on a migratory steam-cultivator to direct its gigantic
energies,--or, at least, occasionally so occupied. Under this system,
it must be plain enough, to all persons prophetically inclined, that
the Northern valleys will greatly multiply their products, while the
Southern cotton-fields will whiten with heavier crops than human
chattelism ever produced, and the mountains of both latitudes, now
hardly notched with civilization, will roll down the wool of sheep
in clouds.

Finally, with important and fruitful mechanical ideas which the
world did not have twenty years ago, with machinery which no one
could have believed possible one hundred years ago, and which has,
since that time, quintupled the power of every free laborer in
Christendom, we are going to make man what his Creator designed him
to be,--always and everywhere a sub-creator. By the press we are
making the knowledge of the past the knowledge of the present, the
knowledge of one the knowledge of all. By the telegraph the senses
of sight and hearing are to be extended around the globe. If we do
not make ships to navigate the air, for ourselves, our wives, and
our little ones, it will not be because we cannot, but because, being
lords of land and sea, with power to traverse either with all
desirable speed, we are too wise to waste force either in beating
the air for buoyancy, battling with gravity like birds, on the one
hand, or in paddling huge balloons against the wind, on the other.
The steam-driven wheel leaves us no occasion to envy even that
ubiquitous denizen of the universe, the flying-fish. We have in it
the most economical means of self-transportation, as well as of
mechanical production. It only remains to make the most of it. This,
to be sure, will not be achieved without infinite labor and
innumerable failures. The mechanical genius of the race is like the
polypus anxiously stretching its tentacles in every direction, and
though frustrated thousands of times, it grasps something at last.

One of the most significant structures in the world, by the way, is
the United States Patent Office at Washington. No other building in
that novel city means a hundredth part as much, or shows so clearly
what the world's most cunning thoughts and hands are chiefly engaged
with. Not that the Patent Office contains so many miracles of
mechanical success; rather the contrary. Take a just appraisal of
its treasures, and you will regard it rather as the chief tomb in the
Père la Chaise of human hopes. What multitudes of long-nursed and
dearly-cherished inventions there repose in a common grave, useful
only as warnings to future inventors! One great moral of the survey
is, that inventive talent is shamefully wasted among us, for want of
proper scientific direction and suitable encouragement. The mind
that comprehends general principles in all their relations, and sees
what needs to be done and what is possible and profitable to be done,
is of necessity not the one to arrange in detail the means of doing.
The man of science and the mechanical inventor are distinct persons,
speaking of either in his best estate; and the maximum success of
machinery depends on their acting together with a better
understanding than they have hitherto had. It were less difficult
than invidious to point to living examples of the want of
cooperation and co-appreciation between our knowing and our doing men;
but, for the sake of illustrating our idea, we will run the risk of
quoting a minute from the proceedings of one of our scientific
societies, premising that we know nothing more of the parties than
we learn from the minute itself,--to wit, that one is, or was, an
ingenious mechanic, and the other a promoter of science.

"Dr. Patterson gave an account of an automaton speaking-machine
which Mr. Franklin Peale and himself had recently inspected. The
machine was made to resemble as nearly as possible, in every respect,
the human vocal organs; and was susceptible of varied movements by
means of keys. Dr. Patterson was much struck by the distinctness with
which the figure could enunciate various letters and words. The
difficult combination _three_ was well pronounced,--the _th_ less
perfectly, but astonishingly well. It also enumerated diphthongs,
and numerous difficult combinations of sounds. Sixteen keys were
sufficient to produce all the sounds. In enunciating the simple
sounds, the movements of the mouth could be seen. The parts were
made of gum elastic. The figure was made to say, with a peculiar
intonation, but surprising distinctness, 'Mr. Patterson, I am glad to
see you.' It sang, 'God save Victoria,' and 'Hail Columbia,'--the
words and air combined. Dr. Patterson had determined to visit the
maker of the machine, Mr. Faber, in private, in order to obtain
further interesting information; but, on the following day, Dr. P.
was distressed to learn, that, in a fit of excitement, he had
destroyed every particle of a figure which had taken him seventeen
years to construct."

It is quite probable that the world lost very little by the
destruction of this curious figure, whatever the nature or cause of
the "excitement" that led to it. All we have to say is, that it does
lose much, when the genius that can create such things is not set
upon the right tasks, and encouraged to success by the "high
consideration" of scientific men, who alone of all the world can
appreciate the difficulties it has to contend with. It is by setting
the right mechanical problems before the men who can make dumb matter
talk, that we are to bring about the resurrection of the black Titan
who has lain buried under the mountains for thousands of millenniums,
and constitute him the efficient sub-gardener of the world's Paradise

       *       *       *       *       *


  We who by shipwreck only find the shores
  Of divine wisdom can but kneel at first,
  Can but exult to feel beneath our feet,
  That long stretched vainly down the yielding deeps,
  The shock and sustenance of solid earth:
  Inland afar we see what temples gleam
  Through immemorial stems of sacred groves,
  And we conjecture shining shapes therein;
  Yet for a space 'tis good to wonder here
  Among the shells and seaweed of the beach.



  [Spring has come. You will find some verses to that effect at the
  end of these notes. If you are an impatient reader, skip to them at
  once. In reading aloud, omit, if you please, the sixth and seventh
  verses. These are parenthetical and digressive, and, unless your
  audience is of superior intelligence, will confuse them. Many people
  can ride on horse-back who find it hard to get on and to get off
  without assistance. One has to dismount from an idea, and get into
  the saddle again, at every parenthesis.]

----The old gentleman who sits opposite, finding that spring had
fairly come, mounted a white hat one day, and walked into the street.
It seems to have been a premature or otherwise exceptionable
exhibition, not unlike that commemorated by the late Mr. Bayley.
When the old gentleman came home, he looked very red in the face,
and complained that he had been "made sport of." By sympathizing
questions, I learned from him that a boy had called him "old daddy,"
and asked him when he had his hat whitewashed.

This incident led me to make some observations at table the next
morning, which I here repeat for the benefit of the readers of this

----The hat is the vulnerable point of the artificial integument. I
learned this in early boyhood. I was once equipped in a hat of
Leghorn straw, having a brim of much wider dimensions than were
usual at that time, and sent to school in that portion of my native
town which lies nearest to this metropolis. On my way I was met by a
"Port-chuck," as we used to call the young gentlemen of that locality,
and the following dialogue ensued.

_The Port-chuck_. Hullo, You-sir, did you know there was g-on-to
be a race to-morrah?

_Myself_. No. Who's g-on-to run, 'n'wher's't g-on-to be?

_The Port-chuck_. Squire Mico and Doctor Williams, round the brim
o' your hat.

These two much-respected gentlemen being the oldest inhabitants at
that time, and the alleged race-course being out of the question,
the Port-chuck also winking and thrusting his tongue into his cheek,
I perceived that I had been trifled with, and the effect has been to
make me sensitive and observant respecting this article of dress
ever since. Here is an axiom or two relating to it.

A hat which has been _popped_, or exploded by being sat down upon,
is never itself again afterwards.

It is a favorite illusion of sanguine natures to believe the contrary.

Shabby gentility has nothing so characteristic as its hat. There is
always an unnatural calmness about its nap, and an unwholesome gloss,
suggestive of a wet brush.

The last effort of decayed fortune is expended in smoothing
its dilapidated castor. The hat is the _ultimum moriens_ of

----The old gentleman took all these remarks and maxims very
pleasantly, saying, however, that he had forgotten most of his French,
except the word for potatoes,--_pummies de tare_.--_Ultimum moriens_,
I told him, is old Italian, and signifies _last thing to die_. With
this explanation he was well contented, and looked quite calm when I
saw him afterwards in the entry with a black hat on his head and the
white one in his hand.

----I think myself fortunate in having the Poet and the Professor
for my intimates. We are so much together, that we no doubt think
and talk a good deal alike; yet our points of view are in many
respects individual and peculiar. You know me well enough by this
time. I have not talked with you so long for nothing, and therefore
I don't think it necessary to draw my own portrait. But let me say a
word or two about my friends.

The Professor considers himself, and I consider him, a very useful
and worthy kind of drudge. I think he has a pride in his small
technicalities. I know that he has a great idea of fidelity; and
though I suspect he laughs a little inwardly at times at the grand
airs "Science" puts on, as she stands marking time, but not getting
on, while the trumpets are blowing and the big drums beating,--yet I
am sure he has a liking for his specialty, and a respect for its

But I'll tell you what the Professor said to the Poet the other day.--
My boy, said he, I can work a great deal cheaper than you, because I
keep all my goods in the lower story. You have to hoist yours into
the upper chambers of the brain, and let them down again to your
customers. I take mine in at the level of the ground, and send them
off from my doorstep almost without lifting. I tell you, the higher
a man has to carry the raw material of thought before he works it up,
the more it costs him in blood, nerve, and muscle. Coleridge knew
all this very well when he advised every literary man to have a

----Sometimes I like to talk with one of them, and sometimes with
the other. After a while I get tired of both. When a fit of
intellectual disgust comes over me, I will tell you what I have
found admirable as a diversion, in addition to boating and other
amusements which I have spoken of,--that is, working at my
carpenter's-bench. Some mechanical employment is the greatest
possible relief, after the purely intellectual faculties begin to
tire. When I was quarantined once at Marseilles, I got to work
immediately at carving a wooden wonder of loose rings on a stick,
and got so interested in it, that, when we were set loose, I
"regained my freedom with a sigh," because my toy was unfinished.

There are long seasons when I talk only with the Professor, and
others when I give myself wholly up to the Poet. Now that my
winter's work is over, and spring is with us, I feel naturally drawn
to the Poet's company. I don't know anybody more alive to life than
he is. The passion of poetry seizes on him every spring, he says,--
yet oftentimes he complains, that, when he feels most, he can sing

Then a fit of despondency comes over him.--I feel ashamed, sometimes,--
said he, the other day,--to think how far my worst songs fall below
my best. It sometimes seems to me, as I know it does to others who
have told me so, that they ought to be _all best_,--if not in actual
execution, at least in plan and motive. I am grateful--he continued--
for all such criticisms. A man is always pleased to have his most
serious efforts praised, and the highest aspect of his nature get the
most sunshine.

Yet I am sure, that, in the nature of things, many minds must change
their key now and then, on penalty of getting out of tune or losing
their voices. You know, I suppose,--he said,--what is meant by
complementary colors? You know the effect, too, that the prolonged
impression of any one color has on the retina. If you close your
eyes after looking steadily at a _red_ object, you see a _green_

It is so with many minds,--I will not say with all. After looking at
one aspect of external nature, or of any form of beauty or truth,
when they turn away, the _complementary_ aspect of the same object
stamps itself irresistibly and automatically upon the mind. Shall
they give expression to this secondary mental state, or not?

When I contemplate--said my friend, the Poet--the infinite largeness
of comprehension belonging to the Central Intelligence, how remote
the creative conception is from all scholastic and ethical formulae,
I am led to think that a healthy mind ought to change its mood from
time to time, and come down from its noblest condition,--never, of
course, to degrade itself by dwelling upon what is itself debasing,
but to let its lower faculties have a chance to air and exercise
themselves. After the first and second floor have been out in the
bright street dressed in all their splendors, shall not our humble
friends in the basement have their holiday, and the cotton velvet
and the thin-skinned jewelry--simple adornments, but befitting the
station of those who wear them--show themselves to the crowd, who
think them beautiful, as they ought to, though the people up stairs
know that they are cheap and perishable?

----I don't know that I may not bring the Poet here, some day or
other, and let him speak for himself. Still I think I can tell you
what he says quite as well as he could do it.--Oh,--he said to me,
one day,--I am but a hand-organ man,--say rather, a hand-organ. Life
turns the winch, and fancy or accident pulls out the stops. I come
under your windows, some fine spring morning, and play you one of my
_adagio_ movements, and some of you say,--This is good,--play us so
always. But, dear friends, if I did not change the stop sometimes,
the machine would wear out in one part and rust in another. How
easily this or that tune flows!--you say,--there must be no end of
just such melodies in him,--I will open the poor machine for you one
moment, and you shall look.--Ah! Every note marks where a spur of
steel has been driven in. It is easy to grind out the song, but to
plant these bristling points which make it was the painful task of

I don't like to say it,--he continued,--but poets commonly have no
larger stock of tunes than hand-organs; and when you hear them
piping up under your window, you know pretty well what to expect.
The more stops, the better. Do let them all be pulled out in their

So spoke my friend, the Poet, and read me one of his stateliest songs,
and after it a gay _chanson_, and then a string of epigrams. All true,--
he said,--all flowers of his soul; only one with the corolla spread,
and another with its disk half opened, and the third with the
heart-leaves covered up and only a petal or two showing its tip
through the calyx. The water-lily is the type of the poet's soul,--
he told me.

----What do you think, Sir,--said the divinity-student,--opens the
souls of poets most fully?

Why, there must be the internal force and the external stimulus.
Neither is enough by itself. A rose will not flower in the dark, and
a fern will not flower anywhere.

What do I think is the true sunshine that opens the poet's corolla?--
I don't like to say. They spoil a good many, I am afraid; or at
least they shine on a good many that never come to anything.

Who are _they_?--said the schoolmistress.

Women. Their love first inspires the poet, and their praise is his
best reward.

The schoolmistress reddened a little, but looked pleased.--Did I
really think so?--I do think so; I never feel safe until I have
pleased them; I don't think they are the first to see one's defects,
but they are the first to catch the color and fragrance of a true
poem. Fit the same intellect to a man and it is a bow-string,--to a
woman and it is a harp-string. She is vibratile and resonant all over,
so she stirs with slighter musical tremblings of the air about her.--
Ah, me!--said my friend, the Poet, to me, the other day,--what color
would it not have given to my thoughts, and what thrice-washed
whiteness to my words, had I been fed on women's praises! I should
have grown like Marvell's fawn,--

  "Lilies without; roses within!"

But then,--he added,--we all think, _if_ so and so, we should have
been this or that, as you were saying, the other day, in those
rhymes of yours.

----I don't think there are many poets in the sense of creators; but
of those sensitive natures which reflect themselves naturally in
soft and melodious words, pleading for sympathy with their joys and
sorrows, every literature is full. Nature carves with her own hands
the brain which holds the creative imagination, but she casts the
over-sensitive creatures in scores from the same mould.

There are two kinds of poets, just as there are two kinds of blondes.
[Movement of curiosity among our ladies at table.--Please to tell us
about those blondes, said the schoolmistress.] Why, there are
blondes who are such simply by deficiency of coloring matter,--
_negative_ or _washed_ blondes, arrested by Nature on the way to
become albinesses. There are others that are shot through with
golden light, with tawny or fulvous tinges in various degree,--
_positive_ or _stained_ blondes, dipped in yellow sunbeams, and as
unlike in their mode of being to the others as an orange is unlike a
snowball. The albino-style carries with it a wide pupil and a
sensitive retina. The other, or the leonine blonde, has an opaline
fire in her clear eye, which the brunette can hardly match with her
quick, glittering glances.

Just so we have the great sun-kindled, constructive imaginations,
and a far more numerous class of poets who have a certain kind of
moonlight genius given them to compensate for their imperfection of
nature. Their want of mental coloring-matter makes them sensitive to
those impressions which stronger minds neglect or never feel at all.
Many of them die young, and all of them are tinged with melancholy.
There is no more beautiful illustration of the principle of
compensation which marks the Divine benevolence than the fact that
some of the holiest lives and some of the sweetest songs are the
growth of the infirmity which unfits its subject for the rougher
duties of life. When one reads the life of Cowper, or of Keats, or
of Lucretia and Margaret Davidson,--of so many gentle, sweet natures,
born to weakness, and mostly dying before their time,--one cannot
help thinking that the human race dies out singing, like the swan in
the old story. The French poet, Gilbert, who died at the Hôtel Dieu,
at the age of twenty-nine,--(killed by a key in his throat, which he
had swallowed when delirious in consequence of a fall,)--this poor
fellow was a very good example of the poet by excess of sensibility.
I found, the other day, that some of my literary friends had never
heard of him, though I suppose few educated Frenchmen do not know
the lines which he wrote, a week before his death, upon a mean bed
in the great hospital of Paris.

  "Au banquet de la vie, infortuné convive,
    J'apparus un jour, et je meurs;
  Je meurs, et sur ma tombe, où lentement j'arrive,
    Nul ne viendra verser des pleurs."

  At life's gay banquet placed, a poor unhappy guest,
    One day I pass, then disappear;
  I die, and on the tomb where I at length shall rest
    No friend shall come to shed a tear.

You remember the same thing in other words somewhere in Kirke
White's poems. It is the burden of the plaintive songs of all these
sweet albino-poets. "I shall die and be forgotten, and the world
will go on just as if I had never been;--and yet how I have loved!
how I have longed! how I have aspired!" And so singing, their eyes
grow brighter and brighter, and their features thinner and thinner,
until at last the veil of flesh is threadbare, and, still singing,
they drop it and pass onward.

----Our brains are seventy-year clocks. The Angel of Life winds them
up once for all, then closes the case, and gives the key into the
hand of the Angel of the Resurrection.

Tic-tac! tic-tac! go the wheels of thought; our will cannot stop them;
they cannot stop themselves; sleep cannot still them; madness only
makes them go faster; death alone can break into the case, and,
seizing the ever-swinging pendulum, which we call the heart, silence
at last the clicking of the terrible escapement we have carried so
long beneath our wrinkled foreheads.

If we could only get at them, as we lie on our pillows and count the
dead beats of thought after thought and image after image jarring
through the overtired organ! Will nobody block those wheels,
uncouple that pinion, cut the string that holds those weights, blow
up the infernal machine with gunpowder? What a passion comes over us
sometimes for silence and rest!--that this dreadful mechanism,
unwinding the endless tapestry of time, embroidered with spectral
figures of life and death, could have but one brief holiday! Who can
wonder that men swing themselves off from beams in hempen lassos?--
that they jump off from parapets into the swift and gurgling waters
beneath?--that they take counsel of the grim friend who has but to
utter his one peremptory monosyllable and the restless machine is
shivered as a vase that is dashed upon a marble floor? Under that
building which we pass every day there are strong dungeons, where
neither hook, nor bar, nor bed-cord, nor drinking-vessel from which
a sharp fragment may be shattered, shall by any chance be seen.
There is nothing for it, when the brain is on fire with the whirling
of its wheels, but to spring against the stone wall and silence them
with one crash. Ah, they remembered that, the kind city fathers,--
and the walls are nicely padded, so that one can take such exercise
as he likes without damaging himself on the very plain and
serviceable upholstery. If anybody would only contrive some kind of
a lever that one could thrust in among the works of this horrid
automaton and check them, or alter their rate of going, what would
the world give for the discovery?

----From half a dime to a dime, according to the style of the place
and the quality of the liquor,--said the young fellow whom they call

You speak trivially, but not unwisely,--I said. Unless the will
maintain a certain control over these movements, which it cannot stop,
but can to some extent regulate, men are very apt to try to get at
the machine by some indirect system of leverage or other. They clap
on the breaks by means of opium; they change the maddening monotony
of the rhythm by means of fermented liquors. It is because the brain
is locked up and we cannot touch its movement directly, that we
thrust these coarse tools in through any crevice by which they may
reach the interior, and so alter its rate of going for a while, and
at last spoil the machine.

Men who exercise chiefly those faculties of the mind which work
independently of the will,--poets and artists, for instance, who
follow their imagination in their creative moments, instead of
keeping it in hand as your logicians and practical men do with their
reasoning faculty,--such men are too apt to call in the mechanical
appliances to help them govern their intellects.

----He means they get drunk,--said the young fellow already alluded
to by name.

Do you think men of true genius are apt to indulge in the use of
inebriating fluids?--said the divinity-student.

If you think you are strong enough to bear what I am going to say,--
I replied,--I will talk to you about this. But mind, now, these are
the things that some foolish people call _dangerous_ subjects,--as if
these vices which burrow into people's souls, as the Guinea-worm
burrows into the naked feet of West-Indian slaves, would be more
mischievous when seen than out of sight. Now the true way to deal
with these obstinate animals, which are a dozen feet long, some of
them, and no bigger than a horse-hair, is to get a piece of silk
round their _heads_, and pull them out very cautiously. If you only
break them off, they grow worse than ever, and sometimes kill the
person that has the misfortune of harboring one of them. Whence it
is plain that the first thing to do is to find out where the head

Just so of all the vices, and particularly of this vice of
intemperance. What is the head of it, and where does it lie? For you
may depend upon it, there is not one of these vices that has not a
head of its own,--an intelligence,--a meaning,--a certain virtue, I
was going to say,--but that might, perhaps, sound paradoxical. I
have heard an immense number of moral physicians lay down the
treatment of moral Guinea-worms, and the vast majority of them would
always insist that the creature had no head at all, but was all body
and tail. So I have found a very common result of their method to be
that the string slipped, or that a piece only of the creature was
broken off, and the worm soon grew again, as bad as ever. The truth
is, if the Devil could only appear in church by attorney, and make
the best statement that the facts would bear him out in doing on
behalf of his special virtues, (what we commonly call vices,) the
influence of good teachers would be much greater than it is. For the
arguments by which the Devil prevails are precisely the ones that
the Devil-queller most rarely answers. The way to argue down a vice
is not to tell lies about it,--to say that it has no attractions,
when everybody knows that it has,--but rather to let it make out its
case just as it certainly will in the moment of temptation, and then
meet it with the weapons furnished by the Divine armory. Ithuriel
did not spit the toad on his spear, you remember, but touched him
with it, and the blasted angel took the sad glories of his true shape.
If he had shown fight then, the fair spirits would have known how to
deal with him.

That all spasmodic cerebral action is an evil is not perfectly clear.
Men get fairly intoxicated with music, with poetry, with religious
excitement,--oftenest with love. Ninon de l'Enclos said she was so
easily excited that her soup intoxicated her, and convalescents have
been made tipsy by a beef-steak.

There are forms and stages of alcoholic exaltation, which, in
themselves, and without regard to their consequences, might be
considered as positive improvements of the persons affected. When
the sluggish intellect is roused, the slow speech quickened, the
cold nature warmed, the latent sympathy developed, the flagging
spirit kindled,--before the trains of thought become confused, or
the will perverted, or the muscles relaxed,--just at the moment when
the whole human zoöphyte flowers out like a full-blown rose, and is
ripe for the subscription-paper or the contribution box,--it would
be hard to say that a man was at that very time, worse, or less to
be loved, than when driving a hard bargain with all his meaner wits
about him. The difficulty is, that the alcoholic virtues don't wash;
but until the water takes their colors out, the tints are very much
like those of the true celestial stuff.

[Here I was interrupted by a question which I am very unwilling to
report, but have confidence enough in those friends who examine
these records to commit to their candor.]

A _person_ at table asked me whether I "went in for rum as a steady
drink?"--His manner made the question highly offensive, but I
restrained myself, and answered thus:--

Rum I take to be the name which unwashed moralists apply alike to the
product distilled from molasses and the noblest juices of the
vineyard. Burgundy "in all its sunset glow" is rum. Champagne,
"the foaming wine of Eastern France," is rum. Hock, which our friend,
the Poet, speaks of as:

  "The Rhine's breastmilk, gushing cold and bright,
  Pale as the moon, and maddening as her light,"

is rum. Sir, I repudiate the loathsome vulgarism as an insult to the
first miracle wrought by the Founder of our religion! I address
myself to the company.--I believe in temperance, nay, almost in
abstinence, as a rule for healthy people. I trust that I practise
both. But let me tell you, there are companies of men of genius into
which I sometimes go, where the atmosphere of intellect and
sentiment is so much more stimulating than alcohol, that, if I
thought fit to take wine, it would be to keep me sober.

Among the gentlemen that I have known, few, if any, were ruined by
drinking. My few drunken acquaintances were generally ruined before
they became drunkards. The habit of drinking is often a vice, no
doubt,--sometimes a misfortune,--as when an almost irresistible
hereditary propensity exists to indulge in it,--but oftenest of all
a _punishment_.

Empty heads,--heads without ideas in wholesome variety and
sufficient number to furnish food for the mental clockwork,--
ill-regulated heads, where the faculties are not under the control
of the will,--these are the ones that hold the brains which their
owners are so apt to tamper with, by introducing the appliances we
have been talking about. Now, when a gentleman's brain is empty or
ill-regulated, it is, to a great extent, his own fault; and so it is
simple retribution, that, while he lies slothfully sleeping or
aimlessly dreaming, the fatal habit settles on him like a vampyre,
and sucks his blood, fanning him all the while with its hot wings
into deeper slumber or idler dreams! I am not such a hard-souled
being as to apply this to the neglected poor, who have had no chance
to fill their heads with wholesome ideas, and to be taught the
lesson of self-government. I trust the tariff of Heaven has an
_ad valorem_ scale for them,--and all of us.

But to come back to poets and artists;--if they really are more
prone to the abuse of stimulants,--and I fear that this is true,--the
reason of it is only too clear. A man abandons himself to a fine
frenzy, and the power which flows through him, as I once explained
to you, makes him the medium of a great poem or a great picture. The
creative action is not voluntary at all, but automatic; we can only
put the mind into the proper attitude, and wait for the wind, that
blows where it listeth, to breathe over it. Thus the true state of
creative genius is allied to _reverie_, or dreaming. If mind and
body were both healthy, and had food enough and fair play, I doubt
whether any men would be more temperate than the imaginative classes.
But body and mind often flag,--perhaps they are ill-made to begin
with, underfed with bread or ideas, over-worked, or abused in some
way. The automatic action, by which genius wrought its wonders, fails.
There is only one thing which can rouse the machine; not will,--that
cannot reach it; nothing but a ruinous agent, which hurries the
wheels awhile and soon eats out the heart of the mechanism. The
dreaming faculties are always the dangerous ones, because their mode
of action can be imitated by artificial excitement; the reasoning
ones are safe, because they imply continued voluntary effort.

I think you will find it true, that, before any vice can fasten on a
man, body, mind, or moral nature must be debilitated. The mosses and
fungi gather on sickly trees, not thriving ones; and the odious
parasites which fasten on the human frame choose that which is
already enfeebled. Mr. Walker, the hygeian humorist, declared that
he had such a healthy skin it was impossible for any impurity to
stick to it, and maintained that it was an absurdity to wash a face
which was of necessity always clean. I don't know how much fancy
there was in this; but there is no fancy in saying that the lassitude
of tired-out operatives, and the languor of imaginative natures in
their periods of collapse, and the vacuity of minds untrained to
labor and discipline, fit the soul and body for the germination of
the seeds of intemperance.

Whenever the wandering demon of Drunkenness finds a ship adrift,--no
steady wind in its sails, no thoughtful pilot directing its course,--
he steps on board, takes the helm, and steers straight for the

----I wonder if you know the _terrible smile_? [The young fellow
whom they call John winked very hard, and made a jocular remark, the
sense of which seemed to depend on some double meaning of the word
_smile_. The company was curious to know what I meant.]

There are persons--I said--who no sooner come within sight of you
than they begin to smile, with an uncertain movement of the mouth,
which conveys the idea that they are thinking about themselves, and
thinking, too, that you are thinking they are thinking about
themselves,--and so look at you with a wretched mixture of
self-consciousness, awkwardness, and attempts to carry off both,
which are betrayed by the cowardly behavior of the eye and the
tell-tale weakness of the lips that characterize these unfortunate

----Why do you call them unfortunate, Sir?--asked the

Because it is evident that the consciousness of some imbecility or
other is at the bottom of this extraordinary expression. I don't
think, however, that these persons are commonly fools. I have known a
number, and all of them were intelligent. I think nothing conveys
the idea of _underbreeding_ more than this self-betraying smile. Yet
I think this peculiar habit, as well as that of _meaningless blushing_,
may be fallen into by very good people who meet often, or sit
opposite each other at table. A true gentleman's face is infinitely
removed from all such paltriness,--calm-eyed, firm-mouthed. I think
Titian understood the look of a gentleman as well as anybody that
ever lived. The portrait of a young man holding a glove in his hand,
in the Gallery of the Louvre, if any of you have seen that collection,
will remind you of what I mean.

----Do I think these people know the peculiar look they have?--I
cannot say; I hope not; I am afraid they would never forgive me, if
they did. The worst of it is, the trick is catching; when one meets
one of these fellows, he feels a tendency to the same manifestation.
The Professor tells me there is a muscular slip, a dependence of the
_platysma myoides_, which is called the _risorius Santorini_.

----Say that once more,--exclaimed the young fellow mentioned above.

The Professor says there is a little fleshy slip called Santorini's
laughing-muscle. I would have it cut out of my face, if I were born
with one of those constitutional grins upon it. Perhaps I am
uncharitable in my judgment of those sour-looking people I told you
of the other day, and of these smiling folks. It may be that they
are born with these looks, as other people are with more generally
recognized deformities. Both are bad enough, but I had rather meet
three of the scowlers than one of the smilers.

----There is another unfortunate way of looking, which is peculiar
to that amiable sex we do not like to find fault with. There are
some very pretty, but, unhappily, very ill-bred women, who don't
understand the law of the road with regard to handsome faces. Nature
and custom would, no doubt, agree in conceding to all males the
right of at least two distinct looks at every comely female
countenance, without any infraction of the rules of courtesy or the
sentiment of respect. The first look is necessary to define the
person of the individual one meets so as to avoid it in passing. Any
unusual attraction detected in a first glance is a sufficient
apology for a second,--not a prolonged and impertinent stare, but an
appreciating homage of the eyes, such as a stranger may
inoffensively yield to a passing image. It is astonishing how
morbidly sensitive some vulgar beauties are to the slightest
demonstration of this kind. When a _lady_ walks the streets, she
leaves her virtuous-indignation countenance at home; she knows well
enough that the street is a picture-gallery, where pretty faces
framed in pretty bonnets are meant to be seen, and everybody has a
right to see them.

----When we observe how the same features and style of person and
character descend from generation to generation, we can believe that
some inherited weakness may account for these peculiarities. Little
snapping-turtles snap--so the great naturalist tells us--before they
are out of the egg-shell. I am satisfied, that, much higher up in
the scale of life, character is distinctly shown at the age of --2 or
--3 months.

----My friend, the Professor, has been full of eggs lately. [This
remark excited a burst of hilarity, which I did not allow to
interrupt the course of my observations.] He has been reading the
great book where he found the fact about the little snapping-turtles
mentioned above. Some of the things he has told me have suggested
several odd analogies enough.

There are half a dozen men, or so, who carry in their brains the
_ovarian eggs_ of the next generation's or century's civilization.
These eggs are not ready to be laid in the form of books as yet;
some of them are hardly ready to be put into the form of talk. But
as rudimentary ideas or inchoate tendencies, there they are; and
these are what must form the future. A man's general notions are not
good for much, unless he has a crop of these intellectual ovarian
eggs in his own brain, or knows them as they exist in the minds of
others. One must be in the _habit_ of talking with such persons to
get at these rudimentary germs of thought; for their development is
necessarily imperfect, and they are moulded on new patterns, which
must be long and closely studied. But these are the men to talk with.
No fresh truth ever gets into a book.

"----A good many fresh lies get in, anyhow",--said one of the company.

I proceeded in spite of the interruption.--All uttered thought, my
friend, the Professor, says, is of the nature of an excretion. Its
materials have been taken in, and have acted upon the system, and
been reacted on by it; it has circulated and done its office in one
mind before it is given out for the benefit of others. It may be
milk or venom to other minds; but, in either case, it is something
which the producer has had the use of and can part with. A man
instinctively tries to get rid of his thought in conversation or in
print so soon as it is matured; but it is hard to get at it as it
lies imbedded, a mere potentiality, the germ of a germ, in his

----Where are the brains that are fullest of these ovarian eggs of
thought?--I decline mentioning individuals. The producers of thought,
who are few, the "jobbers" of thought, who are many, and the
retailers of thought, who are numberless, are so mixed up in the
popular apprehension, that it would be hopeless to try to separate
them before opinion has had time to settle. Follow the course of
opinion on the great subjects of human interest for a few
generations or centuries, get its parallax, map out a small arc of
its movement, see where it tends, and then see who is in advance of
it or even with it; the world calls him hard names probably; but if
you would find the man of the future, you must look into the folds
of his cerebral convolutions.

[The divinity-student looked a little puzzled at this suggestion, as
if he did not see exactly where he was to come out, if he computed
his arc too nicely. I think it possible it might cut off a few
corners of his present belief, as it has cut off martyr-burning and
witch-hanging;--but time will show,--time will show, as the old
gentleman opposite says.]

----Oh,--here is that copy of verses I told you about.

    _Intra Muros_.

  The sunbeams, lost for half a year,
    Slant through my pane their morning rays;
  For dry Northwesters cold and clear,
    The East blows in its thin blue haze.

  And first the snowdrop's bells are seen,
    Then close against the sheltering wall
  The tulip's horn of dusky green,
    The peony's dark unfolding ball.

  The golden-chaliced crocus burns;
    The long narcissus-blades appear;
  The cone-beaked hyacinth returns,
    And lights her blue-flamed chandelier.

  The willow's whistling lashes, wrung
    By the wild winds of gusty March,
  With sallow leaflets lightly strung,
    Are swaying by the tufted larch.

  The elms have robed their slender spray
    With full-blown flower and embryo leaf;
  Wide o'er the clasping arch of day
    Soars like a cloud their hoary chief.

  --See the proud tulip's flaunting cup,
    That flames in glory for an hour,--
  Behold it withering,--then look up,--
    How meek the forest-monarch's flower!--

  When wake the violets, Winter dies;
    When sprout the elm-buds, Spring is near;
  When lilacs blossom, Summer cries,
    "Bud, little roses! Spring is here!"

  The windows blush with fresh bouquets,
    Cut with the May-dew on their lips;
  The radish all its bloom displays,
    Pink; as Aurora's finger-tips.

  Nor less the flood of light that showers
    On beauty's changed corolla-shades,--
  The walks are gay as bridal bowers
    With rows of many-petalled maids.

  The scarlet shell-fish click and clash
    In the blue barrow where they slide;
  The horseman, proud of streak and splash,
    Creeps homeward from his morning ride.

  Here comes the dealer's awkward string,
    With neck in rope and tail in knot,--
  Rough colts, with careless country-swing,
    In lazy walk or slouching trot.

  --Wild filly from the mountain-side,
    Doomed to the close and chafing thills,
  Lend me thy long, untiring stride
    To seek with thee thy western hills!

  I hear the whispering voice of Spring,
    The thrush's trill, the cat-bird's cry,
  Like some poor bird with prisoned wing
    That sits and sings, but longs to fly.

  Oh for one spot of living green,--
    One little spot where leaves can grow,--
  To love unblamed, to walk unseen,
    To dream above, to sleep below!

       *       *       *       *       *


There was joy in the national palace on the eve of May-day. The
heart of the Chief of Thirty Millions was full of gladness. It was a
high holiday at the capital of the nation. Jubilant processions
crowded the streets. The boom of cannon told to the heavens that some
great event, full of glory and of blessing, was just happily born
into the history of the world. Strains of triumphant music at once
expressed and stirred afresh the rapture which the new fruition of a
deferred and doubting hope had kindled in myriad breasts. Rejoicing
multitudes swarmed before the palace gate, and with congratulatory
shouts compelled the presence of the Nation's Head. He stood before
them proud and happy, and answered to the transports of their joy
with a responsive sympathy. He rejoiced in the prospect of the peace
and prosperity with which the occasion of this jubilee was to cheer
and bless the land in all its borders. His chosen friends and
counsellors surrounded him and echoed his prophecies of good. A
kindred homage was next paid to the virtuous artificers of the
new-wrought blessing, without whose shaping hands it would have
perished before the sight, or taken some dreadful form of mischief
and of horror. Their words of cheer and exultation, too, swelled the
surging tide of patriotic emotion till it overflowed again. Thus with
the thunder of artillery, with the animating sound of drum and
trumpet, with the more persuasive music of impassioned words, with
shoutings and with revelry, these jocund compeers, from the highest
to the lowest, mingled into one by the alchemy of a common joy,
chased the hours of that memorable night and gave strange welcome to
the morn of May.

What great happiness had just befallen, which should thus transport
with joy the chief magistrate of a mighty nation, and send an
answering pulse of rapture through all the veins of his capital? The
armies of the Republic had surely just returned in triumph from some
dubious battle joined with a barbarian invader who threatened to
trample all her cherished rights, and the institutions which are
their safeguard, under his iron heel. Perhaps the Angel of Mercy had
at length set again the seals upon some wide-wasting pestilence
which had long been walking in darkness, with Terror going before
her and Death following after. Or was it the desolating course of
Famine that had been stayed, as it swept, gaunt and hungry, over the
land, and consumed its inhabitants from off its face? Peradventure,
the prayers of holy men had prevailed, and the heavens which had
been as brass were melted, and the earth which had been but ashes
revived again, a living altar, crowned afresh with flowers, and
prophetic of the thank-offerings of harvests. Or it might be that a
great discoverer had added a new world to the domain of human
happiness, by some invention which should lighten the toils and
multiply the innocent satisfactions of mankind. Or had virtue and
intelligence won some signal victory over barbarism and ignorance,
and blessed with liberty and knowledge regions long abandoned to
despotism and to darkness? These had been, indeed, occasions on
which the chief ruler of a great people might fitly lead the anthem
of a nation's thanksgiving.

But the joy which thus overflowed the hearts of President and people
at the metropolis of our politics, and which has sprinkled with its
cordial drops kindred spirits scattered far and wide over the land,
welled up from no wholesome sources such as these. It was no
deliverance from barbarous enemies, from pestilential disease, from
meagre famine, that moved those raptures,--no joy at ignorance
dissipated, barbarism dispelled, or tyranny put down. The "peace"
and the "prosperity," the prophecy of which was so sweet to the
souls that took sweet counsel together on that night, were of a kind
which only souls tuned to such unison and so subtly trained could
fully comprehend and rightly estimate. This gentle peace, thus
joyfully presaged, is to be won by the submission of an inchoate
State to a form of government subjecting its inhabitants to
institutions abhorrent to their souls and fatal to their prosperity,
forced upon them at the point of the bowie-knife and the muzzle of
the revolver by hordes of sordid barbarians from a hostile soil,
their natural and necessary enemies. And the sweet harbinger of this
blessed peace, the halcyon which broods over the stormy waves and
tells of the calm at hand, is a bribe so cunningly devised that its
contrivers firmly believe it will buy up the souls of these
much-injured men, and reconcile them to the shame and infamy of
trading away their lights and their honor as the boot of a dirty
bargain in the land-market. And the "prosperity" which is to wait
upon this happy "peace" glows with a like golden promise. It is a
prosperity that shall bless Kansas into a Virginia or a North
Carolina by virtue of the same means which has crowned the
Slave-country with the wealth, the civilization, and the
intelligence it has to brag of. It is such a prosperity as ever
follows after the footsteps of Slavery,--a prosperity which is to
blight the soil, degrade the minds, debauch the morals, impoverish
the substance, and subvert the independence of a loathing population,
if the joy of the President and his directors is to be made full.
Such is the message of peace and good-will which thrilled with
prophetic raptures the hearts which flowed together on that happy
night, and such the blessed prospects which made the air of
Washington vocal with the ecstasies of triumph.

The history of the world is full enough of illustrations of
"the Art of making a Great Kingdom a Small One." The art of
degrading the imperial idea of a true republic from its just
preeminence among the polities of mankind, of quenching the
principles of eternal right which are the star-points of its divine
crown, of trailing the shining whiteness of its robes in the dust,
and making it an object of contempt rather than of adoration, has
never been taught more emphatically than in the examples furnished
by our own later annals. If Mr. Buchanan and his predecessor had set
themselves to work, of good set purpose, to bring republican
institutions into derision, and to prove that the American
experiment was a dead failure, they could not have proceeded more
cunningly with their task. Their aim has been, as it has seemed, to
give the lie to all the principles on which it has been assumed that
these institutions rest, and to show that their real object is to
subject the many to the government of the few, as the manner is of
the nations round about. The thin veil of decent falsehood, under
which the caution of earlier time had decorously hid this fact, has
been torn aside by the rude intrepidity of assurance which
long-continued success had fostered. The problem to be solved being
to prove the chief axiom of our political science, that the people
have a right to self-government and to the choice of their own
institutions, to be a lie, it is worked out in the presence of an
admiring world, after this fashion.

The old Ordinance--which set limits to Slavery, and which, as it
preceded the Constitution, should in honor and equity be taken as a
condition precedent to it, and the later pledge of the South, that
this contract should be sacredly kept on the other side of a certain
parallel of latitude, having both been infamously violated for the
sake of extending the domain of Slavery into regions solemnly
dedicated to Liberty, the entire energies of the General Government
and of the political party it represented were put forth to
crystallize this double lie into the institutions of Kansas, and
thus take it out of the category of theory and reduce it into that
of fact. The reluctance of the inhabitants of the young Territory
went for nothing, and provision was soon effectually made to
overcome their resistance. Every form of terrorism, to which tyrants
all alike instinctively resort to disarm resistance to their will,
was launched at the property, the lives, and the happiness of the
defenceless settlers. Hordes of barbarians, as we have said before,
from every part of the Southern hive, but especially from the savage
tribes of the bordering Missouri, poured themselves over the devoted
land. Murder, arson, robbery, every outrage that could be offered to
man or woman, waited on their footsteps and stalked abroad with them
in their forays against Freedom. When the first steps were to be
taken towards the organization of a government, they precipitated
themselves upon the Territory in fiercer numbers. They made
themselves masters of the polling-places; they drove away by
violence and threats the peaceable inhabitants and lawful voters,
and by open force and unblushing fraud elected themselves or their
creatures the lawgivers of the commonwealth about to be created. So
outrageous were the crimes of these miscreants at this and
subsequent periods, that even the very creatures of Pierce and
Buchanan, chosen especially for their supposed fitness to assist in
these villanies, turned away, one after another, sickened at the
sight of them, and forfeited forever the favor of their masters by
shrinking from an unqualified and unhesitating obedience.

The Constitution, contrived by the wretches thus nefariously clothed
in the stolen sovereignty of the true inhabitants of Kansas, of
course made Slavery an integral part of the institutions of the State.
A code of laws was enacted absolutely without parallel in the history
of the world for insolent trampling down of rights and for bloody
cruelty of penalties,--laws so abominable as even to call down upon
them, from his place in the Senate, the emphatic condemnation of so
veteran a soldier in the service of Slavery as General Cass, now
Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of State. These Territorial laws, thus
infamously vile, thus made in defiance of the well-known will of the
great majority of the people of Kansas, Mr. Pierce hastened to
recognize as the authentic expression of the mind of the people there,
and exerted all the moral and all the physical force of the
government to maintain them in their authority. Since that magistrate
was kicked aside as no longer available for the uses of Slavery,
because of the very infamy he had won in its service, Mr. Buchanan,
unlessoned by his fate, has adopted his views and carried out his

We do not propose to follow this march of shameful events step by
step, nor to speak of them in their exact chronological order, nor
yet to specify to which of these magistrates the credit of any one
of them belongs, inasmuch as the philosophy and method of the policy
of the one and the other are absolutely identical. We have space
only to glance at unquestionable facts, and to trace them to their
necessary motives. To maintain the supremacy of this usurpation, and
the Draconic laws made under it, Mr. Pierce poured in the squadrons
of the Republic, to dragoon the rebellious freemen into obedience to
what their souls abhorred, and what their reason told them was of no
more just binding force upon them than an edict of the Emperor of
China. When the actual inhabitants of the Territory had met in
Convention and framed a Constitution excluding Slavery, and had
adopted it, and the legislature authorized by it met, its members
were dispersed by national soldiers, detailed to compel submission
to the behests of the Slavemastery of the Government and of the
nation. These troops have been kept on foot ever since, to intimidate
the people, to assist as special police in the arrest and detention
of political prisoners charged with crimes against the Usurpation,
and to sustain the Federal governors and judges in carrying out
their instructions for the Subjugation of the majority by legal
chicane or by military violence.

Such was the genesis of the Lecompton Constitution, and such the
nursing it had received at the hands of the paternal government at
Washington. In due course of time it was presented to Congress as
the charter under which the people of Kansas asked to receive the
concession of their right of State government; and the scene of war
was forthwith transferred from those distant fields to the chambers
of national legislation, under the immediate eye of the chief of the
state. This high officer soon dispelled any delusive doubts which,
for the purpose of securing his election, he had permitted to be
ventilated during the late Presidential campaign, that he would at
least see fair play in the struggle between Slavery and Freedom in
Kansas. With indecent zeal and unscrupulous partisanship, he
concentrated all the energies of his administration, and employed
the whole force of the influence and the patronage of the nation, to
obtain the indorsement by Congress of the Lecompton Constitution, and
thus to compel the people of Kansas to pass under the yoke of their
Slaveholding invaders. The true origin and character of that vile
fabrication had been made plain to every eye that was willing to see,
and the abhorrence in which it was held by nearly the entire
population of the Territory put beyond question by more than one
trial vote. Yet it was embraced as the test measure of the
Administration to prove the unbroken fealty of the President to the
Power which is mightier than he. Victory was reckoned upon in advance,
as certain and easy. A servile, or rather a commanding majority in
the Senate,--nearly half of that body being of the class that rules
the rulers,--was ready to do whatever dirty and detestable work was
demanded of them. A majority of more than thirty in the House,
elected as supporters of the Administration, seemed to make success
there also an inevitable necessity. But by reason of the vastly
larger proportion of members from the Free States in that body, and
their greater nearness to their constituents, these reasonable
expectations were disappointed. Men who had taken service in the
Democratic ranks, and had been faithful unto that day, refused to
obey the word of command when it took this tone and was informed
with this purpose. And for a season the plague was stayed, and
sanguine hearts trusted that it was stayed forever.

We are willing to believe that the bulk of the Democrats in both
Houses of Congress, who had the virtue to defy the threats and
cajolements of their party-leaders, when this great public crime was
demanded at their hands, were sincere in the resistance they opposed
to this subversion of all the principles in which they had been bred,
and of which their party had always professed to be the special
defence and guard. But the mantle of our charity is not wide enough
to cover up the base treachery of those men who, acknowledging and
demonstrating the right, devised or consented to the villany which
was to crush or to cripple it. That the final shape which the
Lecompton juggle took was an invention of the enemy, cunningly
contrived to win by indirection what was too dangerous to be
attempted by open violence, is a conclusion from which no candid
mind can escape, after a full consideration of the case. The
defection of so large a body of Northern Democrats from the side of
the Slaveholding Directory was doubtless a significant and startling
fact, suggestive of dangerous insubordination on the part of allies
who had ever been found sure and steadfast in every jeopardy of
Slavery. And it made a resort to guile necessary to carry the point
which it was not prudent to press to the extremity of force. The
Slaveholders are not fastidious as to the means by which they reach
their end. Though they might have preferred to hew their way to their
design with a high hand, and to put down all opposition by bought or
bullied majorities, backed by the strong arm of the nation, yet they
never refuse to compromise and palter when the path to success lies
through stratagems or frauds. The skill in this instance, as in all
others, by which they propose to win everything under the show of
yielding somewhat, is worthy of Machiavel or of Lucifer, and is far
above the capacity of the paltry Northern tool who is permitted to
enjoy the infamy of the invention which he was employed to utter.
The Slaveholders, like other despots, do their dirty work by proxy,
and scorn the wretched instruments they use, and then fling from
them in disgust.

The Lecompton cheat having been defeated in the House after it had
received the indorsement of the Senate, the two coordinates were at
issue, and it seemed for a brief time to have met with the fate it
merited. But cunning and treachery combined to put it into the hands
of a Committee of Conference to be manipulated afresh, and, if
possible, moulded into a shape that might give Democratic recusants
an excuse for treason to the North and submission to the Power that
demanded it. And the invention was worthy of the diabolical sagacity
and ingenuity which have always marked the politics of Slavery. The
maxim, that every man has his price, was assumed to apply as well to
men when collected into bodies corporate as to individuals; and the
hook, with which the souls of the men of Kansas are to be fished for,
was baited with a bribe the most tempting to their hungry needs. And
to make their capture the more sure, an answering menace threatens
them on the other hand, to force them to swallow the barbed treachery.
They are offered no opportunity of expressing their assent or
dissent as to the Constitution held over their heads. Their enemies
know too well what its fate would be, if offered, pure and simple,
to their acceptance or refusal. They are only to say whether or not
they will accept five million acres of land that Congress
munificently offers them for the construction of their railways. If
they say, "Yes, thank you," to this simple question, the Chief
Conjurer of the nation, the great Medicine Man of our tribe, the
Head Magician of our Egypt, will only have to say, "Presto pass,"
and they will find themselves a Slave State in the glorious Union,
under a solemn contract, struck by this same act, to endure Slavery
for six years to come. If they say, "No, we won't," the door of the
Union is shut in their faces, and they are told to wait without in
all the bleakness of Territorial dependency, subject to the laws now
afflicting them, with a satrap sent down from Washington to rule over
them, and with Lecomptes and Catos to decree justice for them, until
swindling tools of the Administration shall be instructed to allow
the presence of a sufficient population to entitle a State to a

If they consent to be erected into a Slave State by accepting the
bribe, they will come into the Union by a puff of Presidential breath,
though having only forty thousand inhabitants, with two Senators and
a Representative, and all the advantages incident to Federal
connection and patronage. Should they reject it, they will be left,
it may be, to years of Territorial annoyance, and the annoyance of a
Slave Territory, too, till Government officials shall discover their
numbers to amount to near a hundred thousand, and possibly to much
more, after the next census has newly apportioned the House. With
Slavery, they have proffered to them broad lands to help cover their
wide expanse with an iron reticulation of railways, developing their
resources and multiplying their material prosperity, at the slight
cost of their consistency and their honor. Without it, they may have
to stand shivering at the gate of the Union, blasted by the
"cold shade" of our American aristocracy, and far removed from the
genial sunshine of national favor and bounty. Truly did Senator
Wilson say that Congress approached Kansas at once with a bribe and
a threat. Never was the devilish cunning of Slaveholding politics
more strikingly illustrated than by the insidious vileness of this
proposition. It had been bad enough, surely, had we been called upon
to rejoice, as over a great triumph of the right, at the concession
to Kansas of the sovereignty of settling her own institutions in her
own way, had such been granted. Nothing could be more simple and
natural, in a case of conflicting assertions and opposite beliefs as
to the state of opinion there, than to remit the decision of the
doubt to a fresh vote. Had any other interest than that in human
beings been involved, such a disposition of the whole matter would
have excited neither remark nor opposition. Nothing, perhaps, could
exemplify the control Slavery has obtained over the affairs of the
country more strongly than the power it has had to hinder this
simple remedy of an alleged wrong or error,--and this, by procuring
the defection of sordid Northern Representatives from what they
confessed to be the right, to this corrupt evasion,--an evasion
designed to fit the people of Kansas for servitude by tempting them
to sacrifice their self-respect and their honor. Let these
miscreants make haste to seize the price of their perfidy before
popular contempt and loathing shall sweep them forever out of sight
into the abyss of infamy and forgetfulness which is appointed for
the traitors to Liberty. If the question of the real will of the
people of Kansas had been referred back to them for settlement, it
would have been humiliating enough to have had to exult over it as a
victory of Freedom. With what depth of shame, then, should we
contemplate the compassing of their end by the Slavocrats, through
the venal surrender of the rights so long and so manfully asserted,
for so paltry a temptation!

But we do not apprehend a consummation so devoutly to be deprecated.
We believe that the people of Kansas will spurn the bribe and refuse
to eat the dirt that is set before them for a banquet. They will
reject the insulting proffer with contempt, and fall back upon their
reserved right of resistance, passive or active, as their
circumstances may advise. They will not be so base as to desert the
post of honor they have sought in the great fight for freedom and
maintained so long and so well, disappointing and throwing into
confusion the distant allies who have stood behind them in their most
evil hours, for all the lands that President and Congress have to
give. It is, indeed, a momentous crisis for them, and we have faith
to believe that they will not be wanting to its demands. The eyes of
the lovers of liberty everywhere are earnestly watching to see how
they will come out from the ordeal by fire and by gold to which they
are subjected. What Boston was in 1775, and Paris in 1789, is Kansas
now,--the field on which a great battle for the right is to be fought.
Honor or infamy attends the issue of her action in the dilemma in
which the crafty malice of her enemies has placed her. If she agree
to take the dirty acres which are proffered to her as the price of
her integrity, she consents to take the yoke of Slavery upon her
neck and not even to attempt to shake herself free from it for six
years to come. We know that shuffling Democrats, and even
temporizing Republicans, represent that the people, after accepting
the Lecompton Constitution, can forthwith summon a Convention and
substitute another scheme of government in its stead. But this could
be initiated only by a breach of the promise they would have just
pledged, and could be carried through only by a revolution. Such a
course would be a direct violation of the philosophy of
Constitutional Government, which assumes as its fundamental axiom,
that Constitutions can be altered only in the way and according to
the conditions prescribed in themselves. Such a proceeding would be
a _coup d'état_, not as flagitious certainly as that of Bonaparte,
but to the full as revolutionary and illegal. And we may be sure
that the arm of the United States Government would not be shortened
so that it should not interpose and hinder such a defiance of itself
and the Power whose instrument it is. With servile and corrupt
judges at its beck and a majority in Congress within its purchase,
the occasion and means of such an interference would be readily
devised and supplied.

We believe that this line of policy would lead to an armed collision
with the General Government. It is for the oppressed inhabitants of
any country to say when their wrongs have reached the height which
justifies the drawing of the civil sword. We have neither the right
nor the disposition to advise the people of Kansas in a matter so
emphatically their own. But there is another way of coming to this
arbitrament,--inevitable, if they deviate a hair's-breadth from the
strict line of law,--should they deem there is no other remedy for
their wrongs. The admirable Constitution just framed at Leavenworth,
one well worthy of a free people that has been tried as with fire,
will be adopted before these lines are before the public eye. Let
them reject the Buchanan-English swindle, put their heel on the
Lecompton fraud, set up the Leavenworth Constitution, and erect a
State government under it in defiance of the Territorial Usurpation,
and they will soon find themselves face to face with the tyranny at
Washington. But is there not reason to hope that firmness and
patience may yet win the battle for freedom without resorting to so
serious an alternative? Is it indeed inevitable that Kansas must
remain out of the pale of the Union, under the oppression of the
Territorial laws, until the hirelings of the Government shall have
determined that slaves enough have been poured in to decide the
complexion of the new State, and shall authorize her to ask for
admission? We are told that the joy at Washington and elsewhere over
this "settlement" of the Kansas difficulty was because it was taken
out of Congress, and "Agitation" at an end. But what is to hinder
its being brought into Congress again?--and whose fault will it be,
if Agitation do not survive and grow mightier unto the victory? If
the present Congress can shut its doors against this intruder, its
power dies with itself, and it greatly lies with the people of Kansas
to make the next Congress one that shall rehabilitate them in their
rights. Their conduct at this pregnant moment may settle the
proximate destiny of the Republic, and decide whether the Slave
Power is to rule us by its underlings for four years more, or
whether its pride is to have a fall and its insolence a rebuke in

We all remember how often the Agitation of the Slavery question has
been done to death in Congress, and how sure it was to appear again
to startle its murderers from their propriety. Like "the
blood-boltered Banquo," it would confront again the eyes that had
hoped to look upon it no more. It would come back:

  "With twenty mortal murders on its head
  _To push them from their stools_!"

And this dreaded spectre, though a beneficent angel with healing on
his wings in truth, will push yet many traitorous or cowardly
sycophants from the stools they disgrace, and substitute in their
stead men who will quiet Agitation by Justice. Let the men of Kansas
remember that a yet greater trust than that of providing for their
own interests and rights is in their hands. The battle they are to
fight in this quarrel is for the whole North, for the whole country,
for the world. Let them address themselves unto it with calmness,
with prudence, with watchfulness, with courage. They are beset on
every side by crafty and desperate enemies. Greedy land-jobbers, in
haste to be rich, will try to persuade them that not to be innocent
is to be wise. Timid timeservers will urge a submission which
promises peace, though it be but a solitude that is called so.
Rampant Pro-slavery will exalt its horn against Righteousness and
try again the virtue of ruffianism to prevail against civilization.
The barbarians will hang anew upon the borders, ready to complete
the conquest they began so well. And above all, a majority of the men
who are to pass upon the votes are the creatures of the
Administration, who know, by the example of their predecessors, that
the suspicion of honesty will be fatal to all their hopes of
preferment, and that they can purchase reward only by procuring,
_quocunque modo_, the acceptance of the proposition of Congress.
But still the power is in the hands of the Free-State men, if they
choose to put it forth. Let them organize such a scrutiny everywhere,
that fraud and violence cannot escape detection and exposure. Let
them observe most rigidly all the technical rules imposed upon the
electors, that no vote may be lost. Let them come to the polls by
thousands, and trample under their feet the shabby bribe for which
they are asked to trade away their independence and their virtue.
Let them be thus faithful, and never be weary of maintaining the
Agitation, which is proved, by the very dread their enemies have of
it, to be the way to their victory. Thus they will be sure to triumph,
conquering their right to create their own government, and erect a
free commonwealth on the ruins of the tyranny they have overthrown.
And Kansas, at no distant period, will be welcomed by her Free
Sisters to her place among them, with no stain of bribes in her hands,
and with no soil of meanness upon her garments. And then the
"peace" and "prosperity," which President Buchanan saw in vision on
the eve of May-day, will indeed prevail and be established, while
the blackness of infamy will brood forever over the memory of the
magistrate who used the highest office of the Republic to perpetuate
the wrongs of the Slave by the sacrifice of the rights of the Citizen.


 _Library of Old Authors.--Works of John Webster_. London: John
   Russell Smith. 1856-57.

We turn now to Mr. Hazlitt's edition of Webster. We wish he had
chosen Chapman; for Mr. Dyce's Webster is hardly out of print, and,
we believe, has just gone through a second and revised edition.
Webster was a far more considerable man than Marston, and infinitely
above him in genius. Without the poetic nature of Marlowe, or
Chapman's somewhat unwieldy vigor of thought, he had that
inflammability of mind which, untempered by a solid understanding,
made his plays a strange mixture of vivid expression, incoherent
declamation, dramatic intensity, and extravagant conception of
character. He was not, in the highest sense of the word, a great
dramatist. Shakspeare is the only one of that age. Marlowe had a
rare imagination, a delicacy of sense that made him the teacher of
Shakspeare and Milton in versification, and was, perhaps, as purely
a poet as any that England has produced; but his mind had no
balance-wheel. Chapman abounds in splendid enthusiasms of diction,
and now and then dilates our imaginations with suggestions of
profound poetic depth. Ben Jonson was a conscientious and intelligent
workman, whose plays glow, here and there, with the golden pollen of
that poetic feeling with which his age impregnated all thought and
expression; but his leading characteristic, like that of his great
namesake, Samuel, was a hearty common sense, which fitted him rather
to be a great critic than a great poet. He had a keen and ready
sense of the comic in situation, but no humor. Fletcher was as much a
poet as fancy and sentiment can make any man. Only Shakspeare wrote
comedy and tragedy with truly ideal elevation and breadth. Only
Shakspeare had that true sense of humor which, like the universal
solvent sought by the alchemists, so fuses together all the elements
of a character, (as in _Falstaff_,) that any question of good or evil,
of dignified or ridiculous, is silenced by the apprehension of its
thorough humanity. Rabelais shows gleams of it in _Panurge_; but, in
our opinion, no man ever possessed it in an equal degree with
Shakspeare, except Cervantes; no man has since shown anything like
an approach to it, (for Moliere's quality was comic power rather
than humor,) except Sterne, Fielding, and Richter. Only Shakspeare
was endowed with that healthy equilibrium of nature whose point of
rest was midway between the imagination and the understanding,--
that perfectly unruffled brain which reflected all objects with
almost inhuman impartiality,--that outlook whose range was ecliptical,
dominating all zones of human thought and action,--that power of
verisimilar conception which could take away _Richard III_ from
History, and _Ulysses_ from Homer,--and that creative faculty whose
equal touch is alike vivifying in _Shallow_ and in _Lear_. He alone
never seeks in abnormal and monstrous characters to evade the risks
and responsibilities of absolute truthfulness, nor to stimulate a
jaded imagination by Caligulan horrors of plot. He is never, like
many of his fellow-dramatists, confronted with unnatural
Frankensteins of his own making, whom he must get off his hands as
best he may. Given a human foible, he can incarnate it in the
nothingness of Slender, or make it loom gigantic through the tragic
twilight of _Hamlet_. We are tired of the vagueness which classes
all the Elizabethan playwrights together as "great dramatists,"--as
if Shakspeare did not differ from them in kind as well as in degree.
Fine poets some of them were; but though imagination and the power of
poetic expression are, singly, not uncommon gifts, and even in
combination not without secular examples, yet it is the rarest of
earthly phenomena, to find them joined with those faculties of
perception, arrangement, and plastic instinct in the loving union
which alone makes a great dramatic poet possible. We suspect that
Shakspeare will long continue the only specimen of the genus. His
contemporaries, in their comedies, either force what they call
"a humor" till it becomes fantastical, or hunt for jokes, like
rat-catchers, in the sewers of human nature and of language. In
their tragedies they become heavy without grandeur, like Jonson, or
mistake the stilts for the cothurnus, as Chapman and Webster too
often do. Every new edition of an Elizabethan dramatist is but the
putting of another witness into the box to prove the inaccessibility
of Shakspeare's stand-point as poet and artist.

Webster's most famous works are "The Duchess of Malfy" and "Vittoria
Corombona," but we are strongly inclined to call "The Devil's
Law-Case" his best play. The two former are in a great measure
answerable for the "spasmodic" school of poets, since the
extravagances of a man of genius are as sure of imitation as the
equable self-possession of his higher moments is incapable of it.
Webster had, no doubt, the primal requisite of a poet, imagination,
but in him it was truly untamed, and Aristotle's admirable
distinction between the _Horrible_ and the _Terrible_ in tragedy was
never better illustrated and confirmed than in the "Duchess" and
"Vittoria." His nature had something of the sleuth-hound quality in
it, and a plot, to keep his mind eager on the trail, must be
sprinkled with fresh blood at every turn. We do not forget all the
fine things that Lamb has said of Webster, but, when Lamb wrote, the
Elizabethan drama was an El Dorado, whose micacious sand, even, was
treasured as auriferous,--and no wonder, in a generation which
admired the "Botanic Garden." Webster is the Gherardo della Notte of
his day, and himself calls his "Vittoria Corombona" a "night-piece."
Though he had no conception of Nature in its large sense, as
something pervading a whole character and making it consistent with
itself, nor of Art, as that which dominates an entire tragedy and
makes all the characters foils to each other and tributaries to the
catastrophe, yet there are flashes of Nature in his plays, struck
out by the collisions of passion, and dramatic intensities of phrase
for which it would be hard to find the match. The "prithee, undo
this button" of _Lear_, by which Shakspeare makes us feel the
swelling of the old king's heart, and that the bodily results of
mental anguish have gone so far as to deaden for the moment all
intellectual consciousness and forbid all expression of grief, is
hardly finer than the broken verse which Webster puts into the mouth
of _Ferdinand_ when he sees the body of his sister, murdered by
his own procurement,--

  "Cover her face: mine eyes dazzle: she died young."

He has not the condensing power of Shakspeare, who squeezed meaning
into a phrase with an hydraulic press, but he could carve a
cherry-stone with any of the _concellisti_, and abounds in
imaginative quaintnesses that are worthy of Donne, and epigrammatic
tersenesses that remind us of Fuller. Nor is he wanting in poetic
phrases of the purest crystallization. Here are a few examples:--

  "Oh, if there be another world i' th' moon,
  As some fantastics dream, I could wish all _men_,
  The whole race of them, for their inconstancy,
  Sent thither to people that!"

(Old Chaucer was yet slier. After saying that Lamech was the first
faithless lover, he adds,--

  "And he invented _tents_, unless men lie,"--

implying that he was the prototype of nomadic men.)

  "Virtue is ever sowing of her seeds:
  In the trenches, for the soldier; in the wakeful study,
  For the scholar; in the furrows of the sea,
  For men of our profession [merchants]; all of which
  Arise and spring up honor."

("Of all which," Mr. Hazlitt prints it.)

  "Poor Jolenta! should she hear of this,
  She would not after the report keep fresh
  So long as flowers on graves."

  "For sin and shame are ever tied together
  With Gordian knots of such a strong thread spun,
  They cannot without violence be undone."
            "One whose mind
  Appears more like a ceremonious chapel
  Full of sweet music, than a thronging presence."
         "Gentry? 'tis nought else
  But a superstitious relic of time past;
  And, sifted to the true worth, it is nothing
  But ancient riches."
          "What is death?
  The safest trench i' th' world to keep man free
  From Fortune's gunshot."

       "It has ever been my opinion
  That there are none love perfectly indeed,
  But those that hang or drown themselves for love,"

  says _Julio_, anticipating Butler's

  "But he that drowns, or blows out's brains,
  The Devil's in him, if he feigns."

He also anticipated La Rochefoucauld and Byron in their apophthegm
concerning woman's last love. In "The Devil's Law-Case," _Leonora_

  "For, as we love our youngest children best,
  So the last fruit of our affection,
  Wherever we bestow it, is most strong,
  Most violent, most unresistible;
  Since 'tis, indeed, our latest harvest-home,
  Last merriment 'fore winter."

In editing Webster, Mr. Hazlitt had the advantage (except in a
single doubtful play) of a predecessor in the Rev. Alexander Dyce,
beyond all question the best living scholar of the literature of the
times of Elizabeth and James I. If he give no proof of remarkable
fitness for his task, he seems, at least, to have been diligent and
painstaking. His notes are short and to the point, and--which we
consider a great merit--at the foot of the page. If he had added
a glossarial index, we should have been still better pleased.
Mr. Hazlitt seems to have read over the text with some care, and he
has had the good sense to modernize the orthography, or, as he says,
has "observed the existing standard of spelling throughout." Yet--for
what reason we cannot imagine--he prints "I" for "ay," taking the pains
to explain it every time in a note, and retains "banquerout" and
"coram" apparently for the sake of telling us that they mean
"bankrupt" and "quorum." He does not seem to have a quick ear for
scansion, which would sometimes have assisted him to the true reading.
We give an example or two:

  "The obligation wherein we all stood bound
  Cannot be concealed [_cancelled_] without great

    "The realm, not they,
  Must be regarded. Be [we] strong and bold,
  We are the people's factors."

    "Shall not be o'erburdened [_overburdened_] in
    our reign."

    "A merry heart
  And a good stomach to [a] feast are all."

    "Have her meat serv'd up by bawds and
    ruffians."  [_dele_ "up."]

  "Brother or father
  In [a] dishonest suit, shall be to me."

  "What's she in Rome your greatness cannot awe,
  Or your rich purse purchase
  Promises and threats." [_dele_ the second "your."]

  "Through clouds of envy and disast [rous] change."

  "The Devil drives; 'tis [it is] full time to go."

He has overlooked some strange blunders. What is the meaning of

  "Laugh at your misery, as foredeeming you
  An idle meteor, which drawn forth, the earth
  Would soon be lost i' the air"?

We hardly need say that it should be

"An idle meteor, which, drawn forth the earth, would," &c.

"_For_wardness" for "_fro_wardness," (Vol. II. p. 87,) "tennis-balls
struck and ban_ded_" for "ban_died_," (Ib. p. 275,) may be errors of
the press; but:

     "Come, I'll love you wisely:
  That's jealousy,"

has crept in by editorial oversight for "wisely, that's jealously."
So have:

  "Ay, the great emperor of [_or_] the mighty Cham";


  "This wit [_with_] taking long journeys";


  "Virginius, thou dost but supply my place,
  I thine: Fortune hath lift me [_thee_] to my chair,
  And thrown me headlong to thy pleading bar";


  "I'll pour my soul into my daughter's belly, [_body_,]
  And with my soldier's tears embalm her wounds."

We suggest that the change of an _a_ to an _r_ would make sense of
the following:--

  "Come, my little punk, with thy two compositors,
  to this unlawful painting-house,"

[printing-house,] which Mr. Hazlitt awkwardly endeavors to explain by
this note on the word _compositors_:--"i.e. (conjecturally),
making up the composition of the picture"! Our readers can decide for
themselves;--the passage occurs Vol. I. p. 214.

We think Mr. Hazlitt's notes are, in the main, good; but we should
like to know his authority for saying that _pench_ means "the hole
in a bench by which it was taken up,"--that "descant" means
"look askant on,"--and that "I wis" is equivalent to "I surmise,
imagine," which it surely is not in the passage to which his note is
appended. On page 9, Vol. I., we read in the text,

  "To whom, my lord, bends thus your awe,"

and in the note, "i.e. submission." The original has _aue_, which,
if it mean _ave_, is unmeaning here. Did Mr. Hazlitt never see a
picture of the Annunciation with _ave_ written on the scroll
proceeding from the bending angel's mouth? We find the same word in
Vol. III. p. 217,--

  "Whose station's built on avees and applause."

Vol. III. pp. 47-48:--

  "And then rest, gentle bones; yet pray
  That when by the precise you are view'd,
  A supersedeas be not sued
  To remove you to a place more airy,
  That in your stead they may keep chary
  Stockfish or seacoal, for the abuses
  Of sacrilege have turned graves to viler uses."

To the last verse Mr. Hazlitt appends this note, "Than that of
burning men's bones for fuel." There is no allusion here to burning
men's bones, but simply to the desecration of graveyards by building
warehouses upon them, in digging the foundations for which the bones
would be thrown out. The allusion is, perhaps, to the "Churchyard of
the Holy Trinity";--see Stow's _Survey_, ed. 1603, p. 126. Elsewhere
in the same play, Webster alludes bitterly to "begging church-land."

Vol. I. p. 73, "And if he walk through the street, he ducks at the
penthouses, like an ancient that dares not flourish at the oathtaking
of the praetor for fear of the signposts." Mr. Hazlitt's note is,
"_Ancient_ was a standard or flag; also an _ensign_, of which
Skinner says it is a corruption. What the meaning of the simile is
the present editor cannot suggest." We confess we find no difficulty.
The meaning plainly is, that he ducks for fear of hitting the
penthouses, as an ensign on the Lord Mayor's day dares not flourish
his standard for fear of hitting the signposts. We suggest the query,
whether _ancient_, in this sense, be not a corruption of the Italian
word _anziano_.

Want of space compels us to leave many other passages, which we had
marked for comment, unnoticed. We are surprised that Mr. Hazlitt,
(see his Introduction to "Vittoria Coromboma,") in undertaking to
give us some information concerning the Dukedom and Castle of
Bracciano, should uniformly spell it _Brachiano_. Shakspeare's
_Petruchio_ might have put him on his guard. We should be glad
also to know in what part of Italy he places _Malfi_.

Mr. Hazlitt's General Introduction supplies us with no new
information, but this was hardly to be expected where Mr. Dyce had
already gone over the field. We wish that he had been able to give
us better means of distinguishing the three almost contemporary John
Websters one from the other, for we think the internal evidence is
enough to show that all the plays attributed to the author of the
"Duchess" and "Vittoria" could not have been written by the same
author. On the whole, he has given us a very respectable, and
certainly a very pretty, edition of an eminent poet.

In leaving the subject, we cannot but express our satisfaction in
comparing with these examples of English editorship the four volumes
of Ballads recently published by Mr. Child. They are an honor to
American scholarship and fidelity. Taste, learning, and modesty, the
three graces of editorship, seem to have presided over the whole work.
We hope soon, also, to be able to chronicle another creditable
achievement in Mr. White's Shakspeare, which we look for with great

 _History of the Inductive Sciences, from the Earliest to
   the Present Time_. By WILLIAM WHEWELL, D.D.,
   Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Third Edition,
   with Additions. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1858.
   2 vols. 8vo. pp. 566, 648.

We are heartily glad to welcome this reprint of the "History of the
Inductive Sciences," from an improved edition. From an intimate
acquaintance with the first edition, we should cordially recommend
these volumes to those who wish to take a general survey of this
department of human learning. The various subjects are, for the most
part, treated in a manner intelligible and agreeable to the
unlearned reader. As an authority, Whewell is generally trustworthy,
and as a critic usually fair. But in a work going over so much
ground it would be unreasonable to expect perfect accuracy, and
uniformly just estimates of the labors of all scientific men.
Dr. Whewell's scientific philosophy naturally affects his ability as
an historian and critic. In his Bridgewater Treatise, he indulged in
a fling at mathematics, for which we have never wholly forgiven him;
and in the present volume we see repeated evidence of his
underestimate of the value of the sciences of Space and Time. He says,
Vol. I. p. 600, that it was an "erroneous assumption" in Plato to
hold mathematical truths as "Realities more real than the Phenomena."
But to us it seems impossible to understand any work of Nature aright,
except by taking this view of Plato. The study of natural science is
deserving of the contempt which Samuel Johnson bestowed upon it, if
it be not a study of the thoughts of the Divine Mind. And as
phenomena are subject to laws of space and time as their essential
condition, they are primarily a revelation of the mathematical
thoughts of the Creator. Those mathematical ideas are, in Erigena's
phrase, the created creators of all that can appear.

This false view of the mathematics lies at the foundation of
Whewell's view of a type in organized nature. He conceives a genus
to consist of those species which resemble the typical species of
the genus more than they resemble the typical species of any other
genus. It follows from this view that a species might be created
that would not belong to any genus, but resemble equally the types of
two or three genera. Thus, our little rue-leaved anemone might
belong to the meadow rues or to the wind-flowers, at the pleasure of
the botanist. We believe that classification is vastly more real than
this, real as geometry itself. Another instance of a similar want of
idealism in Dr. Whewell may be found in Vol. II. p. 643:--"Nothing
is added to the evidence of design by the perception of a unity of
plan which in no way tends to promote the design." Now to one who
believes, with us, that a thought is as real as the execution of the
thought, the perception of a unity of plan is the highest evidence
of design. No more convincing evidence of the existence of an
Intelligent Designer is to be found than in the unity of plan,--and
his design, thus proved, is the completion of the plan. For what
purpose he would complete it, is a secondary question.

In this third edition many valuable additions have been made; and no
tales of Oriental fancy could be more wonderful than some of these
records of the discoveries in exact science made by our
contemporaries. What more magical than the miracles performed every
day in our telegraphic offices?--unless it be the transmission of
human speech in that manner under the waves of the Mediterranean
from Africa to Europe. What more like the dreams of alchemy than
taking metallic casts, in cold metal, with infinitely more delicacy
and accuracy than by melted metals,--taking them, too, from the most
fragile and perishable moulds? What sounds more purely fanciful than
to assert a connection between variations in the direction of the
compass-needle and spots on the surface of the sun! or what is more
improbable than that the period of solar spots should be ten years?
What would seem to be more completely beyond the reach of human
measurement than the relative velocities of light in air and in water,
since the velocity in each is probably not less than a hundred
thousand miles a second? Yet two different experimenters arrived,
according to Whewell, in the same year, 1850, at the same result,--
that the motion is slower in water; thus supplying the last link of
experimental proof to establish the undulatory theory of light.
While the records of science are strewn on every page with accounts
of such triumphs of human skill and intellect, we see no need of
resorting to fiction or to necromancy for the gratification of a
natural taste for the marvellous.

It is true, Dr. Whewell does not give these discoveries, in the
spirit of an alchemist, as marvels,--but in the spirit of a
philosopher, as intellectual triumphs. Few men of our times have
shown a more active and powerful mind, a more earnest love of truth
for truth's sake, than the author of this History,--and few men have
had a wider or more thorough knowledge of the achievements of other
scientific men. Yet we are surprised, in reading this improved
edition, written scarce a twelvemonth ago, to find how ignorant
Dr. Whewell appears to have been of the existence or value of the
contributions to knowledge made on this side the Atlantic. The
chapter on Electro-Magnetism does not allude to the discoveries of
Joseph Henry, in regard to induced currents, and the adaptation of
varying batteries to varying circuits,--discoveries second in
importance only to those of Faraday,--and which were among the direct
means of leading Morse to the invention of the telegraph. The
chapters on Geology do not mention Professor Hall, and only allude in
a patronizing way to the labors of American geologists, and to the
ease of "reducing their classification to its synonymes and
equivalents in the Old World," as though the historian were not
aware that Hall's nomenclature is adopted on the continent of Europe
by the most eminent men in that department of science. In Geological
Dynamics Dr. Whewell speaks slightingly of glacial action, and
approves of Forbes's semifluid theory, in utter ignorance, it would
seem, of the labors of the Swiss geologists who now honor America
with their presence. The chapters on Zoology, and on Classifications
of Animals, make no allusion to Agassiz's introduction of Embryology
as an element in classification, which was published several years
before the "close of 1856." The history of Neptune gives no hint of
the fact, that its orbit was first determined through the labors of
American astronomers, with all the accuracy that fifty years of
observation might otherwise have been required to secure. Nor does
Dr. Whewell allude to the fact, that Peirce alone has demonstrated
the accuracy of Le Verrier's and Adams's computations, and shown
that a planet in the place which they erroneously assigned to
Neptune would produce the same perturbations of Uranus as those
which Neptune produced. Much less does he allude to that wonderful
demonstration by Peirce of the younger Bond's hypothesis, that the
rings of Saturn are fluid; or to Peirce's remark, that the belt of
the asteroids lies in the region in which the sun could most nearly
sustain a ring. Yet all these points are more important than many of
those which he introduces, and more to the purpose of his chapters.

Notwithstanding these deficiencies in Whewell's scholarship and in
his philosophy, his History is a valuable addition to our modern
literature, and gives a better sketch of the whole ground than can be
found in any other single work. It is particularly valuable to those
whose ordinary pursuits lead them into other fields than those of
science, and we have known such to acknowledge their great
obligations to these clearly written and most suggestive volumes.

 _The Life of George Stephenson, Railway Engineer_.
   By SAMUEL SMILES. From the
   Fourth London Edition. Boston: Ticknor
   & Fields.

There is something sublime about railway engineers. But what shall
we say of the pioneer of this almost superhuman profession? The
world would give much to know what Vulcan, Hercules, Theseus, and
other celebrities of that sort, really did in their mortal lives to
win the places they now occupy in our classical dictionaries, and
what sort of people they really were. But whatever they did,
manifestly somebody, within a generation or two, has done something
quite as memorable. Whether the world is quite awake to the fact or
not, it has lately entered on a new order of ages. Formerly it
hovered about shores, and built its Tyres, Venices, Amsterdams, and
London only near navigable waters, because it was easier to traverse
a thousand miles of fluid than a hundred miles of solid surface. Now
the case is nearly reversed. The iron rail is making the continent
all coast, anywhere near neighbor to everywhere, and central cities
as populous as seaports. Not only is all the fertility of the earth
made available, but fertility itself can be made by our new power of

Who more than other man or men has done this? Is there any chance
for a new mythology? Can we make a Saturn of Solomon de Caus, who
caught a prophetic glimpse of the locomotive two hundred years ago,
and went to a mad-house, without going mad, because a cardinal had
the instinct to see that the hierarchy would get into hot water by
allowing the French monarch to encourage steam? Can we make a
Jupiter of Mr. Hudson, one bull having been plainly sacrificed to him?
and shall Robert Schuyler serve us for Pluto? Shall we find Neptune,
with his sleeves rolled up, on the North River, commanding the first
practical steamboat, under the name of Robert Fulton? However this
may be, we think Mr. Smiles has made out a quite available demigod
in his well-sketched Railway Engineer. George Stephenson did not
invent the railway or the locomotive, but he did first put the
breath of its life into the latter. He built the first locomotive
that could work more economically than a horse, and by so doing
became the actual father of the railroad system. In 1814, he found
out and applied the steam-blast, whereby the waste steam from the
cylinders is used to increase the combustion, so that the harder the
machine works, the greater is its power to work. From that moment he
foresaw what has since happened, and fought like a Titan against the
world--the men of land, the men of science, and the men of law--to
bring it about.

But before we go farther, who was this George Stephenson? A
collier-boy,--his father fireman to an old pumping-engine which
drained a Northumbrian coal-mine,--his highest ambition of boyhood to
be "taken on" to have something to do about the mine. And he was
taken on to pick over the coal, and finally to groom the engine,
which he did with the utmost care and veneration, learning how to
keep it well and doctor it when ill. He took wonderfully to
steam-engines, and finally, for their sake, to his letters, at the
age of seventeen! He became steam-engineer to large mines. Of his
own genius and humanity, he studied the nature of fire-damp
explosions, and, what is not more wonderful than well proven,
invented a miner's safety-lamp, on the same principle as Sir
Humphrey Davy's, and tested it at the risk of his life, a month or
two before Sir Humphrey invented his, or published a syllable about
it to the world! He engineered the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
He was thereupon appointed engineer of the Liverpool and Manchester
Railway. Though the means of transportation between those cities,
some thirty miles, were so inadequate that it took longer to get
cotton conveyed from Liverpool to Manchester than from New York to
Liverpool, yet it was with the utmost difficulty that a grant of the
right to build a railway could be obtained from Parliament. There
was little faith in such roads, and still less in steam-traction.
The land-owners were opposed to its passage through their domains,
and obliged Mr. Stephenson to survey by stealth or at the risk of a
broken head. So great was this opposition, that the projectors were
fain to lay out their road for four miles across a remarkable Slough
of Despond, called Chat Moss, where a scientific civil-engineer
testified before Parliament that he did not think it practicable to
make a railway, or, if practicable, at not less cost than £270,000
for cutting and embankment. George Stephenson, after being almost
hooted out of the witness-box for testifying that it could be done,
and that locomotives could draw trains over it and elsewhere at the
rate of twelve miles an hour,--for which last extravagance his own
friends rebuked him,--carried the road over Chat Moss for £28,000,
and his friends over that at the rate of thirty miles an hour. Thus
he broke the back of the war, and lived to fill England with
railroads as the fruits of his victory; all which, and a great deal
more of the same sort, the reader will find admirably told by
Mr. Smiles,--albeit we cannot but smile too, that, when addressing the
universal English people, he expects them to understand such
provincialisms as _wage_ for wages, _leading coals_ for carrying coal,
and the like. But, nevertheless, his freedom from literary pretence
is really refreshing, and his thoroughness in matters of fact is
worthy of almost unlimited commendation. On the important question,
Who invented the locomotive steam-blast? had Mr. Smiles made in his
book as good use of his materials as he has since elsewhere, he
would have saved some engineers and one or two mechanical editors
from putting their feet into unpleasant places. Our Railroad Manuals,
that have adopted the error of attributing this great invention to
"Timothy Hackworth, in 1827," should be made to read, "George
Stephenson, in 1814." Their authors, and all others, should read
Samuel Smiles, the uppermost, by a whole sky, of all railway

 _A Volume of Vocabularies, illustrating the Condition and Manners
  of our Forefathers, as well as the History of the Forms of
  Elementary Education and of the Languages spoken in this Island,
  from the Tenth Century to the Fifteenth_. Edited, from MSS. in
  Public and Private Collections, by THOMAS WRIGHT, ESQ., etc.
  Privately printed. [London.] 1857. 8vo. pp. 291.

Mr. Wright, in editing this handsome volume, has done another
service to the lovers and students of English glossology. Their
thanks are also due to Mr. Joseph Mayer, who generously bore the
expense of printing the book.

A great deal that is interesting to the student of general history
lies imbedded in language, and Mr. Wright, in a very agreeable
Introduction, has summarized the chief matters of value in the
collection before us, which comprises the printed copies of sixteen
ancient MSS. of various dates. As far as we have had time to examine
it, the book seems to have been edited with care and discretion, and
Mr. Wright has added much to its value by timely and judicious notes.

Most of the vocabularies here printed (many of them for the first
time) were intended for the use of schoolmasters, and throw great
light on the means and methods of teaching during the periods at
which they were compiled. Mr. Wright tells us that there exist very
few MSS. of educational treatises of the fourteenth century, (during
which teaching would accordingly seem to have been neglected,) in
comparison with the thirteenth and fifteenth, when such works were
abundant. To all who would trace the history of education in England
and follow up our common-school system to its source, the editor's
Introduction will afford valuable hints.

The following extracts from Mr. Wright's Introduction will give some
notion of the archaeological and philological value of the volume.

  "It is this circumstance of grouping the
  words under different heads which gives these
  vocabularies their value as illustrations of the
  conditions and manners of society. It is evident
  that the compiler gave, in each case, the
  names of all such things as habitually presented
  themselves to his view, or, in other
  words, that he presents us with an exact list
  and description of all the objects which were
  in use at the time he wrote, and no more.
  We have, therefore, in each a sort of measure
  of the fashions and comforts and utilities of
  contemporary life, as well as, in some cases, of
  its sentiments. Thus, to begin with a man's
  habitation, his house,--the words which describe
  the parts of the Anglo-Saxon house are
  few in number, a _heal_ or hall, a _bur_ or bedroom,
  and in some cases a _cicen_ or kitchen,
  and the materials are chiefly beams of wood,
  laths, and plaster. But when we come to
  the vocabularies of the Anglo-Norman period,
  we soon find traces of that ostentation in domestic
  buildings which William of Malmsbury
  assures us that the Normans introduced
  into this island; the house becomes more
  massive, and the rooms more numerous, and
  more diversified in their purposes. When we
  look at the furniture of the house, the difference
  is still more apparent. The description
  given by Alexander Neckam of the hall, the
  chambers, the kitchen, and the other departments
  of the ordinary domestic establishment,
  in the twelfth century, and the furniture
  of each, almost brings them before our
  eyes, and nothing could be more curious than
  the account which the same writer gives us
  of the process of building and storing a castle."
      p. xv.

"The philologist will appreciate the tracts printed in the following
pages as a continuous series of very valuable monuments of the
languages spoken in our island during the Middle Ages. It is these
vocabularies alone which have preserved from oblivion a very
considerable and interesting portion of the Anglo-Saxon tongue, and
without their assistance our Anglo-Saxon dictionaries would be far
more imperfect than they are. I have endeavored to collect together
in the present volume all the Anglo-Saxon vocabularies that are
known to exist, not only on account of their diversity, but because
I believe that their individual utility will be increased by thus
presenting them in a collective form. They represent the Anglo-Saxon
language as it existed in the tenth and eleventh centuries; and, as
written no doubt in different places, they may possibly present some
traces of the local dialects of that period. The curious semi-Saxon
vocabulary is chiefly interesting as representing the Anglo-Saxon in
its period of transition, when it was in a state of rapid decadence.
The interlinear gloss to Alexander Neckam, and the commentary on
John de Garlande, are most important monuments of the language
which for a while usurped among our forefathers the place of the
Anglo-Saxon, and which we know by the name of the Anglo-Norman. In
the partial vocabulary of the names of plants, which follows them, we
have the two languages in juxtaposition, the Anglo-Saxon having then
emerged from that state which has been termed semi-Saxon, and become
early English. We are again introduced to the English language more
generally by Walter de Biblesworth, the interlinear gloss to whose
treatise represents, no doubt, the English of the beginning of the
fourteenth century. All the subsequent vocabularies given here belong,
as far as the language is concerned, to the fifteenth century. As
written in different parts of the country, they bear evident marks
of dialect; one of them--the vocabulary in Latin verse--is a very
curious relic of the dialect of the West of England at a period of
which such remains are extremely rare."--p. xix.

 _Sermons, preached at Trinity Chapel, Brighton_. By the late REV.
  FREDERICK W. ROBERTSON, M. A., the Incumbent. Second Series. From
  the Fourth London Edition. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 12mo.

The biography of Robertson, prefixed to this volume, will gratify
the curiosity which every sympathetic reader of the first series of
his sermons must have felt regarding the incidents of his career. It
was evident to a close observer that the peculiar charm and power of
the preacher came from peculiarities of character and individual
experience, as well as from peculiarities of mind. There was
something so close and searching in his pathos, so natural in his
statements of doctrine, so winning in his appeals,--his simplest
words of consolation or rebuke touched with such subtile certainty
the feelings they addressed,--and his faith in heavenly things was
so clear, deep, intense, and calm,--that the reader could hardly
fail to feel that the earnestness of the preacher had its source in
the experience of the man, and that his belief in the facts of the
spiritual world came from insight, and not from hearsay. His
biography confirms this impression. We now learn that he was tried
in many ways, and built up a noble character through intense inward
struggle with suffering and calamity,--a character sensitive, tender,
magnanimous, brave, and self-sacrificing, though not thoroughly
cheerful. The heroism evinced in his life and in his sermons is a
sad heroism, a heroism that has on it the trace of tears. Always at
work, and dying in harness, the spur of duty made him insensible to
the decay of strength and the need of repose. He had no time to be

The most striking mental characteristic of his sermons is the
originality of his perceptions of religious truth. He takes up the
themes and doctrines of the Church, the discussion of which has
filled libraries with books of divinity which stand as an almost
impregnable wall around the simple facts and teachings of the
Scriptures, protecting them from attack by shutting them from sight,
and in a few brief and direct statements cuts into the substance and
heart of the subjects. This felicity comes partly from his being a
man gifted with spiritual discernment as well as spiritual feeling,
and partly from the instinct of his nature to look at doctrines in
their connection with life. He excels equally in interpreting the
truth which may be hidden in a dogma, and in overturning dogmas in
which no truth is to be found. In a single sermon, he often tells us
more of the essentials of a subject, and exhibits more clearly the
religious significance of a doctrine, than other writers have done in
labored volumes of exposition and controversy. This power of
simplifying spiritual truth without parting with any of its depth
accounts for the interest with which his sermons are read by persons
of all degrees of age and culture. His method of arrangement is also
admirable; his thoughts are not only separately excellent, but are
all in their right places, so that each is an efficient agent in
deepening the general impression left by the whole. The singular
refinement and beauty of his mind lend a peculiar charm to its
boldness; we have the soul of courage without the rough outside
which so often accompanies it; and his diction, being on a level
with his themes, never offends that fine detecting spiritual taste
which instinctively takes offence when spiritual things are viewed
through unspiritual moods and clothed in words which smack of the
senses. Combine all his characteristics, his intrepidity of
disposition and intellect, his deep experience of religious truth,
the sad earnestness of his faith, his penetration of thought, his
direct, executive expression, and the beauty which pervades and
harmonizes all,--and it is hazarding little to say, that his volumes
will take the rank of classics in the department of theology to
which they belong.

 _The Church and the Congregation_. A Plea
   for their Unity. By C. A. BARTOL.
   Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 16mo.

As church-membership is in some respects the aristocracy of
Congregationalism, and as it is considered by many minds to be as
necessary for the safety of theology as the old distinction of
_esoteric_ and _exoteric_ was for the safety of philosophy, the
publication by a clergyman of such a volume as this, with its purpose
clearly indicated by its title, will excite some surprise, and
certainly should excite discussion. Mr. Bartol contends for open
communion, as most consonant with Scripture, with the spirit of
Christianity, with the practice of the early Church, with the
meaning and purpose of the rite. He denies that the ordinance of the
Lord's Supper has any sacredness above prayer, or any of the other
ordinances of religion; and while he appreciates and perhaps
exaggerates its importance, he thinks that its most beneficent
effects will be seen when it is the symbol of unity, and not of
division. The usual distinction between Church and Congregation he
considers invidious and mischievous, as not indicating a
corresponding distinction in religious character, and as separating
the body of Christian worshippers into two parts by a mechanical
rather than spiritual process. Though he meets objections with
abundant controversial ability, the strength of his position is due
not so much to his negative arguments as to his affirmative
statements; for his statements have in them the peculiar vitality of
that mood of meditation in which spiritual things are directly
beheld rather than logically inferred, and, being thus the
expression of spiritual perceptions, they feel their way at once to
the spiritual perceptions of the reader, to be judged by the common
sense of the soul instead of the common sense of the understanding.
This is the highest quality of the book, and indicates not only that
the author has religion, but religious genius; but there is also
much homely sagacity evinced in viewing what may be called the
practical aspects of the subject, and answering from experience the
objections which experience may raise. The writer is so deeply in
earnest, has meditated so intensely on the subject, and is so free
from the repellent qualities which are apt to embitter theological
controversies, that even when his ideas come into conflict with the
most obstinate prejudices and rooted convictions, there is nothing
in his mode of stating or enforcing them to give offence. The book
will win its way by the natural force of what truth there is in it,
and the most that an opponent can say is, that the author is in error;
it cannot be said that he is arrogant, contemptuous, self-asserting,
or that he needlessly shocks the opinions he aims to change.

Mr. Bartol's style is bold, fervid, and figurative, exhibiting a
wide command of language and illustration, and at times rising into
passages of singular beauty and eloquence. The fertility of his mind
in analogies enables him to strengthen his leading conception with a
large number of related thoughts, and the whole subject of vital
Christianity is thus continually in view, and connected with the
special theme he discusses. This characteristic will make his volume
interesting and attractive to many readers who are either opposed to
his views of the Lord's Supper, or are unable to agree with him in
regard to the importance of the change he proposes.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 08, June 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics" ***

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