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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 25, November, 1859 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 25, November, 1859 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics" ***

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THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. IV.--NOVEMBER, 1859.--NO. XXV.



E. FELICE FORESTI.


Late in the autumn of 1836, an Austrian brig-of-war cast anchor in the
harbor of New York; and seldom have voyagers disembarked with such
exhilarating emotions as thrilled the hearts of some of the passengers
who then and there exchanged ship for shore. Yet their delight was not
the joy of reunion with home and friends, nor the cheerful expectancy
of the adventurous upon reaching a long-sought land of promise, nor the
fresh sensation of the inexperienced when first beholding a new
country; it was the relief of enfranchised men, the rapture of devotees
of freedom, loosened from a thrall, escaped from _surveillance_, and
breathing, after years of captivity, the air where liberty is law, and
self-government the basis of civic life. These were exiles; but the
bitterness of that lot was forgotten, at the moment, in the proud
consciousness of having incurred it through allegiance to freedom, and
being destined to endure it in a consecrated asylum. In that air, when
first respired, on that soil, when first trod, they were unconscious of
the lot of strangers: for there the vigilant eye of despotism ceased to
watch their steps; prudence checked no more the expression of honest
thought or high aspiration; manhood resumed its erect port, mind its
spontaneous vigor; nor did many moments pass ere friendly hands were
extended, and kindly voices heard, and domestic retreats thrown open.
Their welfare had been commended to generous hearts; and the simple
facts of their previous history won them respectful sympathy and
cordial greeting.

Prominent amid the excited group was a tall, well-knit figure, whose
high, square brow, benign smile, and frank earnestness bespoke a man of
moral energy, vigorous intellect, and warm, candid, tender soul. Traces
of suffering, of thought, of stern purpose were, indeed, apparent; but
with and above them, the ingenuousness and the glow of a brave and
ardent man. This was ELEUTARIO FELICE FORESTI,--subsequently, and for
years, the favorite professor of his beautiful native language and
literature in New York,--the favorite guest and the cherished friend in
her most cultivated homes and among her best citizens,--the Italian
patriot, which title he vindicated by consistency, self-respect, and
the most genial qualities. The vocation he adopted, because of its
availability, only served to make apparent comprehensive endowments and
an independent spirit; the lady with whom he read Tasso, beside the
chivalrous music of the "Jerusalem Delivered," learned to appreciate
modern knighthood; and the scholar to whom he expounded Dante, from the
political chart of the Middle Ages, turned to an incarnation of
existent patriotism. Not only by the arguments of Gioberti, the graphic
pictures of Manzoni, and the terse pathos of Leopardi, did he
illustrate what Italy boasts of later genius; but through his own
eloquent integrity and magnetic love of her achievements and faith in
her destiny. The savings of years of patient toil were sacrificed to
the subsistence of his poor countrymen who came hither after bravely
fighting at Rome, Venice, Milan, and Novara, to have their fruits of
victory treacherously gathered by aliens. Infirmity, consequent upon
early privation and the unhealed wounds of long-worn chains, laid the
stalwart frame of the brave and generous exile on a bed of pain. He
uttered no complaint, and whispered not of the fear which no courage
can quell in high natures, that of losing "the glorious privilege of
being independent": yet his American friends must have surmised the
truth; for, one day, he received a letter stating that a sum, fully
adequate for two years' support, remained to his credit on the books of
a merchant,--one of those mysterious provisions, such as once redeemed
a note of Henry Clay's, and of which no explanation can be given,
except that "it is a way they have" among the merchant princes of New
York. By a providential coincidence, surgical skill, at this juncture,
essentially improved his physical condition; but it became
indispensable, at the same time, that he should exchange our rigorous
clime for one more congenial; and he sailed five years ago for Italy,
taking up his residence in Piedmont, where dwell so many of the eminent
adherents of the cause he loved, and where the institutions, polity,
and social life include so many elements of progress and of faith. It
was now that those who knew him best, including some of the leading
citizens of his adopted city, applied to the Executive for his
appointment as United States Consul at Genoa. There was a singular
propriety in the request. Having passed and honored the ordeal of
American citizenship, and being then a popular resident of the city
which gave birth to the discoverer of this continent,--familiar with
our institutions, and endeared to so many of the wise and brave in
America and Italy,--illustrious through suffering, a veteran disciple
and martyr of freedom,--he was eminently a representative man, whom
freemen should delight to honor; and while it then gratified our sense
of the appropriate that this distinction and resource should cheer his
declining years, we are impelled, now that death has canonized
misfortune and integrity, to avail ourselves of the occasion to
rehearse the incidents and revive the lessons of his life.[1]

[Footnote 1: It is to be lamented that Foresti had not anticipated our
purpose with that consecutive detail possible only in an autobiography.
"_Le Scene del Carcere Duro in Austria_," writes the Marquis
Pallavicino, "non sono ancora la storia del Ventuno. Un uomo potrebbe
scriverla e svelare molte infamie tuttavia occulte del governo
Austriaco. Quest' uomo è Felice Foresti. Il quale abbandonò gli agi
Americani per combattere un' altra volta, guerriero canuto, le gloriose
battaglie dell' Italico risorgimento. Il martire scriva: e la sua
penna, come quella d' un altro martire,--Silvio Pellico,--sarà una
spada nel cuoro dell' Austria."--Notes to _Spielbergo e Gradisca_.]

Underlying the external apathy and apparently frivolous life of the
Italian peninsula, there has ever been a resolute, clear, earnest
patriotism, fed in the scholar by memories of past glory, in the
peasant by intense local attachment, and kindled from time to time in
all by the reaction of gross wrongs and moral privations. Sometimes in
conversation, oftener in secret musing, now in the eloquent outburst of
the composer, and now in the adjuration of the poet or the vow of the
revolutionist, this latent spirit has found expression. Again and
again, spasmodic and abortive _émeutes_, the calm protest of a
D'Azeglio and the fanaticism of an Orsini, sacrifices of property,
freedom, and life,--all the more pathetic, because to human vision
useless,--have made known to the oppressor the writhings of the
oppressed, and to the world the arbitrary rule which conceals injustice
by imposing silence. The indirect, but most emphatic utterance of this
deep, latent self-respect of the nation we find in Alfieri, whose stern
muse revived the terse energy of Dante; and in our own day, this
identical inspiration fired the melancholy verse of Leopardi, the
letters of Foscolo, the novels of Guerrazzi, and the tender melody of
Bellini. Recent literature has exhibited the conditions under which
Italian Liberals strive, and the method of expiating their
self-devotion. The novels of Ruffini, the letters of the Countess
d'Ossoli, the rhetoric of Gavazzi, and the parliamentary reports of
Gladstone, the leading reviews, the daily journals, intercourse with
political refugees, and the personal observations of travel, have, more
or less definitely, caused the problem called the "Italian Question" to
come nearer to our sympathies than any other European exigency apart
from practical interests. Moreover, the complicated and dubious aspect
of the subject, viewed by transatlantic eyes, has, within the last ten
years, been in a great measure dispelled by experimental facts. That
Italy needs chiefly to be _let alone_, to achieve independence and
realize a noble development, civic, economical, and social, every
intelligent traveller who crosses the Austrian frontier and enters the
Sardinian state, knows.

A greater contrast, as regards productive industry, intellectual
enterprise, religious progress, comfort, and happiness, no adjacent
countries ever exhibited; constitutional freedom, an unrestricted
press, toleration, and public education on the one hand, and foreign
bayonets, espionage, and priestcraft on the other, explain the anomaly.
In Venice the very trophies of national life are labelled in a foreign
tongue, the _caffès_ of Milan resound with Teutonic gutturals, and
under the arcades of Bologna every other face wears the yellow beard of
the North; yet the family portraits in the vast palace-chambers, the
eyes and dialect of the people, the monumental inscriptions, announce
an indigenous and superseded race; their industry, civil rights,
property, and free expression in art, literature, and even speech,
being forcibly and systematically repressed: while in the mountains of
Savoy, the streets of Turin, and the harbor of Genoa, the stir and
zest, the productiveness, and the felicity of national life greet the
senses and gladden the soul. Statistics evidence what observation
hints; Cavour wins the respect of Europe; D'Azeglio illustrates the
inspiration which liberty yields to genius; journalism ventilates
political rancor; debate neutralizes aggressive prejudice; physical
resources become available; talent finds scope, character
self-assertion; Protestantism builds altars, patriotism shrines; and
genuine Italian nationality has a vital existence so palpably
reproachful of circumjacent stagnation, ruin, and wrong, that no laws
or material force can interpose a permanent obstacle to its indefinite
extension and salutary reign.

In his first youth, Foresti imbibed the creative spirit breathed into
the social and civic life of Italy by Napoleon's victories and
administration; it was at that vivid epoch when the military,
political, artistic, and literary talent of the land, so long repressed
and thwarted by superstition and despotism, broke forth, that his
studies were achieved. We have only to compare what was done, thought,
and felt in the Peninsula, during the ten years between the coronation
of Bonaparte at Milan and his overthrow at Waterloo, with the
subsequent dearth of national triumphs in every sphere, and with the
inert, apprehensive, baffled existence of the Italians in the grasp of
reinstated and reinforced imbecile, yet tyrannic governments, to
appreciate the feelings of a young, well-born, gifted citizen, when
suddenly checked in a liberal and progressive career, and remanded, as
it were, from the bracing atmosphere of modern civilization and
enlightened activity, to the passive, silent endurance of obsolete
feudalism. It was the inevitable and deliberate protest against this
wicked and absurd reaction which gave birth to the political
organization of the _Carbonari_; wherein the noblest men and the wisest
princes of that day enrolled themselves; and the inefficiency of whose
far-reaching, secret, and solemn aims can be accounted for only by the
fatal error of trusting in the magnanimity of an order born to
hereditary power, and overlooking, in their municipal fraternities, the
vast importance of the more scattered, but not less capable and
patriotic agricultural class.

Foresti was born at Conselice in the Ferrarese. Few American travellers
linger in Ferrara. Fresh from the more imposing attractions of Florence
or Venice, this ancient Italian city offers little in comparison to
detain the eager pilgrim; and yet to one cognizant of its history and
alive to imaginative associations, this neglect might increase the
charm of a brief sojourn. It is pleasant to explore the less hackneyed
stories of history and tradition, to enjoy an isolated scene fraught
with grand or tender sentiment, to turn aside from the trampled highway
and the crowded resort, to listen to some plaintive whisper from the
Past amid the deserted memorials of its glory and grief. Such a place
is Ferrara. The broad and regular streets and the massive palaces
emphatically declare its former splendor; and its actual decadence is
no less manifest in the grass-grown pavement of the one and the
crumbling and dreary aspect of the other. It requires no small effort
of fancy, as we walk through some deserted by-way, wherein our
footsteps echo audibly at noonday, to realize that this was the
splendid arena where the House of Este so long held sway, limited in
extent, but in its palmy days the centre of a brilliant court, a famous
school of pictorial art, the seat of a university whose fame drew
scholars from distant Britain, and whose ducal family gave birth to the
Brunswick dynasty, whence descended the royalty of England. The city
dates its origin from the fifth century, when its marshy site gave
refuge from the pursuing Huns, and the ambition of its rulers gradually
concentrated around the unpromising domain those elements of
ecclesiastical prestige, knightly valor, artistic and literary
resources which enriched and signalized the Italian cities of the
Middle Ages. Enlightened, though capricious patronage made this
halting-place between Bologna and Venice, Padua and Rome, the nucleus
of talent, enterprise, and diplomacy, the fruits whereof are permanent.
But there are two hallowed associations which in a remarkable degree
consecrated Ferrara and endeared her to the memory of later
generations: she gave an asylum to the persecuted Christian Reformers,
and was the home and haunt of poets. It is this recollection which
stays the feet and warms the heart of the transatlantic visitor, as he
roams at twilight around the venerable castle "flanked with towers,"
traces the dim fresco in a church Giotto decorated, reads "Parisina" in
Byron's paraphrase near the dungeons where she and her lover were
slain, or gazes with mingled curiosity and love on the chirography of
St. Chrysostom, the original manuscripts of Tasso, Ariosto, and
Guarini, or the inscription of Victor Alfieri in the Studio Publico. It
is because Calvin was here sheltered, and Olympia Morata found sympathy
and respect,--because the author of "Jerusalem Delivered" here loved,
triumphed, and despaired, and the author of the "Orlando Furioso" so
assiduously labored for his orphaned family, the exacting Cardinal
Ippolito, and the cause of learning, and strung a lyre which has for
centuries vibrated in the popular heart and fancy,--because, in a word,
Ferrara contains the prison of Tasso, and the home of Ariosto, who
called her "_città bene avventurosa_," as did Tassoni the "_gran donna
del Po_,"--that the desolate old city is revived to the imagination,
with its hundred thousand people, its gay courtiers and brave knights,
the romance of its feats of minstrelsy and arms whereat noble beauties
and immortal bards assisted, and Art, Chivalry, Learning, Church, and
State held festival with the Muses to adorn and perpetuate the
transient pageant, the loveliness, and the rule,--otherwise since
consigned to the monotonous record of vanished pomp and arbitrary sway.

When Napoleon fell, Foresti was a student at the University of Bologna,
whence he returned to his native capital, after obtaining the degree of
Doctor of Laws. His earliest forensic labors, like those of our young
advocates, were in the defence of accused criminals; and, limited as is
this sphere, he must have displayed unusual maturity of judgment and
natural eloquence, to have received successively the eminent
appointments of Provisory Assistant Judge in the Court of Justice of
Ferrara, Supplementary Professor of Eloquence and Belles Lettres in the
Lyceum, and Judge of the Peace, by virtue of which latter office he
crossed the Po to practise at Polesino,--wisely preferring the Austrian
to the Papal jurisdiction. In Crespino, in the province of Rovigo, in
the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom, Foresti was made Praetor under the
Emperor's warrant. Coincident with this recognition of his judicial
knowledge and skill, was a kindred appreciation on the part of his
liberal and patriotic countrymen; they beheld in the vigorous and
disciplined mind and generous heart of Foresti, in his civic wisdom and
courage, the representative and ally they sought in this portion of
their beautiful and unhappy land. To disseminate the principles and
secure the cooperation of Venice became the special office of the
Carbonari leaders of Ferrara, and they had only to reveal the high and
holy object they cherished, to one who so well knew the wants and woes
of his country as Foresti, to enlist his adventurous sympathy. The
delicate and difficult mission, fraught with the dearest prospects of
Italy, was nearly consummated, when a treacherous colleague revealed to
the accredited agents both of Austria and the Pope the system of this
mysterious revolutionary combination in and around Ferrara. The latter
shrank from extreme measures, and was content with an oath of
retraction; but the Austrian government gave instant orders to the
chiefs of police, both there and at Venice, to arrest those whom the
perjured Count Villa named as adherents of Carbonarism. The decree was
executed with military force; and, without warning, preparation, or
even a parting interview with their families and friends, the suspected
were hurried off to the Piombi, that Venetian prison so graphically
described by Pellico. All correspondence and personal intercourse was
denied. Meantime, an ingenious and persevering investigation went on,
to ascertain the scope of the enterprise thus summarily baffled, the
means proposed, and the individuals implicated. To complicate still
further the situation of the victims, in other quarters the flame they
had secretly fed burst forth conspicuously; Naples and Piedmont were in
arms; and Austria conceived an alarming idea of the national spirit she
had partially contravened. The rigor of espionage towards the
imprisoned and their friends increased; the prosecution was insidiously
prolonged; privation and solitude, vigilance and suspense were made
instruments for subduing the resolution and invading the confidence of
the captives; they pined in desolation, ignorant of their fate,
uninformed of the welfare of those most dear to them, without resources
of defence or consolation, except what the strength of individual
character yields; physically weakened, morally isolated; sometimes
roused from sleep and bewildered with questions; at other times told
they were to die, that some companion had confessed, or that some loved
one had ceased to exist;--and all these crises of feeling and anxiety,
of surprise and despair, induced with a fiendish deliberation, to
startle honor into self-betrayal, wring from exhausted Nature what
conscious rectitude would not divulge, or agonize human love into
inadvertent disloyalty.

At length their fate was decided. Foresti's companion in prison was the
son of a judge of Ferrara; and, one November midnight, their
conversation was interrupted by the unexpected entrance of the jailer,
who bade Foresti follow him. The hour and the manner of the official
convinced both him and his comrade that his sacrifice was resolved
upon; they embraced, and he left the cell to find himself strictly
guarded by six soldiers. This nocturnal procession marched silently
through the vast, lonely, and magnificent rooms of the Ducal Palace to
the door which leads to the Bridge of Sighs: it was the old road to
destruction,--the mysterious process, made familiar by novelists and
poets, by which the ancient and sinister republic made more fearful the
vengeance of government. As the unfortunate youth passed through a
labyrinth of gloomy corridors, he recognized the haunts of the ancient
Inquisition; the atmosphere was clogged with damp; moisture dripped
from the stones. A dungeon, lighted only by a lamp suspended from the
vault, and narrow, humid, and unfurnished, except with a pile of straw
and a rude table, proved the dreary goal of their heavy steps. Left to
his own reflections, Foresti contemplated his prospects with deliberate
anguish; that he had been found guilty was apparent; if the fact of his
direct agency in initiating the oath of self-emancipation, the sacred
compact of national self-assertion in the Austrian dominions, had
transpired, he felt that his prominence as a judicial officer, and the
firmness with which he had refused to explain the purposes or betray
the associates of this memorable league, made him the most probable
victim of extreme measures, should one be chosen from the Carbonari of
Ferrara. At that period of his life he entertained the opinion that
suicide was justifiable to avoid an ignominious death at the hands of
arbitrary power. Believing his fate sealed, he gave a few moments of
tender reminiscence to his dead mother and his living father and
sisters, to the dreams of his youth, and the patriotic aspirations to
which he was about to fall a sacrifice. The jailer returned, bringing a
book and a bottle of wine, for which he had asked; a few tears were
shed, a prayer for forgiveness breathed, and then he plunged a knife
into his breast; the blade broke; he shattered the bottle at his side
and swallowed the fragments, and then fell bleeding and exhausted on
the straw. If left long alone, life would have ebbed away; but,
probably in anticipation of such a catastrophe, the officer ere many
hours revisited the cell to put chains upon the prisoner. Discovering
his condition, a surgeon was called, remedies were applied, and two
Austrian sentinels carried Foresti into the presence of the judge. It
was scarcely dawn; the venerable and courteous, but inflexible
representative of the Emperor expressed solicitude and sympathy; a
secretary and physician, with the guard and their prisoner, confronted
each other by the dim light of two candles. Irritated by the
conventional politeness of this arbiter of his destiny at such a
crisis, having vainly sought death, and bitterly conscious of the long
outrages perpetrated under the name of justice, Foresti burst forth
into stern invectives, and boldly declared his liberal sentiments, his
allegiance to the principles for the sake of which he thus suffered,
and his absolute enmity to the usurpers of his country's freedom. The
Cavalier Mazzetti treated this overflow of emotion as the ebullition of
a youthful mind, romantic and intrepid, but unreasonable; he professed
the sincerest pity for so gifted and brave a youth, lamented his
delusion, painted in emphatic words his want of gratitude and
allegiance, treated his political creed and organization as chimerical,
and wound up by informing Foresti that he was condemned to die on the
public square of Venice, and that nothing would save him but a complete
revelation of the true plan, arrangements, and members of the secret
conclave to which he belonged. Threats and blandishments failed to move
the prisoner; he was silent, accepted his doom, and was remanded with
two allies,--one of whom purchased a remission by treason to his vows.
Such was the climax of two dreary years of imprisonment, aggravated by
ingenious moral torture.

If the modern history of liberty is written by a comprehensive
humanitarian, he will not look exclusively to the battle-field for
picturesque and impressive _tableaux_; in that record most signally
will it appear that "the angel of martyrdom is brother to the angel of
victory"; and among the memorable scenes which an earnest chronicler
will delineate with noble pathos, few can exceed in moral interest that
which the Piazza of San Marco, at Venice, presented on Christmas Eve,
1821. There is not a spot in Europe, within the limits of a city, more
distinctly remembered by the transatlantic traveller,--the only
spacious area of solid ground under the open sky, in that marvellous
old city of the sea,--the gay centre of a recreative population, where
the costumes and physiognomies of the Orient and the West mingle in
dramatic contrast,--the nucleus of historical and romantic
associations, singularly domesticated in two hemispheres by the
household lore of Shakspeare and Otway, Byron and Rogers, Cooper and
Ruskin. The ancient temple of St. Mark, the bronze horses of Lysippus,
the arched galleries of the Palace, the waters of the Adriatic, the
firmament above, and the stones beneath seem instinct with the fame of
commercial grandeur, maritime triumphs, and diplomatic prowess; the
cheerful arcades that shade the _caffès_ remind us of the "harmless
comedy of life" which Goldoni recorded; the flush of sunset on dome,
balcony, and canal seems warm with the peerless tints which Titian here
caught and transmitted; the crowd of pleasure-seekers recall the music,
love, and chivalry, of which this was once the splendid centre; while
the shadow of a dark _façade_ whispers of the mysterious oligarchy, the
anonymous accusers, the secret council, and the venerable Doge;--a more
remarkable union of gloom and gayety, of romance and reality, of the
beautiful and the tragic, directly suggested by inevitable local
associations, cannot be found in the whole range of European travel.
Imagine this memorable square, on the afternoon of a great Christmas
festival;--fair faces at every window,--the adjacent roofs crowded with
spectators,--an Austrian regiment drawn up around a scaffold,--the
Viceroy, brother of the Emperor, standing in the large balcony of the
Palace,--two cannon placed between the columns of San Marco and San
Teodoro,--every inch of the vast Piazza, without the circle of
soldiery, occupied by eager spectators. Over this vast assemblage, amid
the impending thoughts which the incidents of the hour and the memory
of the Past inspired, reigned a profound silence; no laugh or jest,
such as bespeaks a holiday, no heartless curiosity, such as accompanies
a mere public show, no vulgar excitement was evident; on many faces
dwelt an expression of awe and pity,--on others an indignant frown,--on
all painful and sympathetic expectancy. Every class was represented,
from the swarthy fishermen of the lagoons to the dark-eyed countess of
the Palazzo,--pale students, venerable citizens, the shopkeeper and the
marquis, the priest and the advocate. It was not merely the fate of the
few prisoners on the scaffold, deep as was the public sympathy, which
occasioned this profound suspense; they represented the national cause,
and in every city of the land there were scores of the bravest and the
best equally involved in the patriotic sacrifice, and whose destiny
had, for long and weary months, agonized their relations, friends, and
countrymen. The anomalous tyranny under which the nation had collapsed
was demonstrated not so much by the outward aspect as by the moral
facts of that fatal day in the Piazza of San Marco. On the scaffold
were a group of educated, courageous, honest Italians, guarded by
Austrian soldiers and overlooked by the official representative of
imperial despotism; their attitude was criminal, their acts sublime;
ostensibly condemned, they were in reality glorified. Not a being in
that vast multitude, except the official creatures of Austria, but
gazed with respect, love, sorrow, pride, tenderness, and admiration
upon her noble victims; it was the apparent triumph of physical force,
and the actual realization of moral superiority: the silence of that
multitude was the eloquent protest of humanity.

And this ominous silence was all at once broken by the clear,
well-emphasized voice of a judicial officer, reading the sentence; it
was listened to with such breathless attention, that, when the phrase,
_condemned to death_, was uttered, a visible shudder vibrated, like an
electric shock, through the dense mass of human beings, and upturned
faces flushed or grew pallid in an instant; but scarcely were these
simultaneous emotions recognized, when another phrase, _life granted_,
called forth a cry as of one mighty voice. All were spared: but a
sentence, to such as understood its meaning, of living death,--_carcere
duro_ in Spielberg and the Castle of Lubiano,--some for ten, others for
fifteen, and the remainder for twenty years,--was substituted.

This entire ceremony was characteristic of Austrian despotism, aware of
the profound sympathy among the Italians for their patriot martyrs, of
the widespread disaffection, of the necessity of exciting vague and
terrible apprehension,--and at the same time conscious that policy
forbade arousing the fury of despair. The accused were thus kept more
than two years alternating from hope to desperation, the people in
ignorance of the issue, and then, when led out, as they supposed, to
die, they served as a warning to those who dared imperial vengeance,
while, by a sudden act of apparent clemency, the government at once rid
itself of formidable opponents and assumed the character of merciful
executors of law! It was rumored that the consideration of his youth
saved the life of Foresti;--he was sentenced to twenty years'
imprisonment.

From, the scaffold the prisoners were transferred to the Island of St.
Michael. Their transit was more like an ovation than a disgrace. The
better class of spectators embarked in gondolas and followed the
_cortége_ with shouts of encouragement and waving of handkerchiefs;
"Courage, courage, brave patriots!" was their salutation; and when
night fell upon the scene, there rose from the lagoons strains of
instrumental and vocal melody, and improvised recitations breathing
honor, compassion, and hope; so that in spite of bayonets and police,
terrorism and espionage, the voice of their fettered country wafted to
every captive the assurance that he had not striven and been faithful
unto death in vain.

These scenes in Venice were reenacted, with unimportant modifications,
within a few months, at Rome and Turin, at Modena, Parma, and Naples.
The rolls of victims embraced the most highly endowed and heroic men of
the day. Many of them, after years of incarceration, distinguished
themselves in civil and literary life; some perished miserably in
durance; and a few yet survive and enjoy social consideration or
European fame. Among them were representatives of every rank, vocation,
and section of the land,--noblemen, professors, military officers,
advocates, physicians, priests, men of wealth, of genius, and of
character. Those known in America, either personally or by their
writings, are Count Gonfalonieri of Milan, Silvio Pellico, Castilla,
Borsieri, Maroncelli, and Foresti. The abortive revolutions of 1831 and
1848 sent other refugees to our shores, and canonized other saintly
heroes in the Calendar of Freedom; but these were the original, and, as
a body, the remarkable men, who, imbued with the intelligent and
progressive Liberalism of the nineteenth century, practically
established in Italy by Napoleon, bravely initiated the vital reaction
invoked by humanity as well as patriotism, before which European
despotism has never ceased to tremble, and which, however baffled,
postponed, and misunderstood, by the law of God as well as the
development of man, is absolutely destined to an ultimate triumph.

The show of justice and clemency was made at noonday with every
circumstance of pomp and authority to give it popular effect; the trial
and punishment were enacted in darkness and isolation. On a cold, still
night of January came police commissioners to the island, whither the
condemned patriots had been conveyed amid tears and benedictions, and
chained them in couples like galley-slaves. By the light of torches
they were placed in boats which glided noiselessly by sleeping Venice
to Mestre, and there they were transferred to carriages, two prisoners
and four guards to each vehicle, and in this manner, for four dreary
weeks, borne through the winter days farther and farther from country
and home,--sleeping at night in town-jails, by-way fortresses, or, when
neither were available, in the worst apartments of lonely inns. Who can
adequately describe the wretchedness of that journey, the bitterness of
soul, the prospective desolation, the tender regrets of those unhappy
prisoners,--torn from the embrace of kindred, the dignity and motive of
a high career, the most beautiful of countries, and the most sacred of
ties and duties, to bury their youth, with all its high dreams and
noble fervor and consecrated gifts, in a distant dungeon? Even the
strangers through whose domain they passed testified by looks, signs,
respectful greetings, and, when possible, kind attentions, their
sympathy and esteem; people of rank continued to approach them in
disguise merely to indicate their humane recognition; the very
commissioners sent to attest the execution of the sentence parted from
their charge with tearful respect. Grief, privation, and fatigue,
greatly aggravated by the shackles which bound them in pairs, had
exhausted body and mind at the end of the journey. From the city of
Brunn, the capital of Moravia, their wan looks sought the mountain
prison above, where frowned the bastions of Spielberg, once a mediaeval
castle, then a fortress, built by the Emperor Charles, and, just before
the battle of Austerlitz, dismantled by Napoleon, and now the place of
confinement for the most degraded criminals of Austria, nearly a
thousand of whom there expiate their offences. Into this herd of
malefactors were thrust gentlemen, scholars, citizens, for the crime of
patriotism. To each was assigned a cell, twelve feet in length and
eight in breadth, with a small iron-barred window, a plank with, a
mattress and blanket, an iron chair secured to the wall, and an earthen
jug for water. Arrayed in convict uniform, here the brave youths were
immured. Sentinels were continually on guard in the corridors and court
and around the bastions; the food was inadequate and often loathsome;
an hour's walk in the yard daily, between two soldiers with loaded
muskets, was the only respite from solitude and inaction; "Lives of the
Saints" were the only books allowed; intercourse with the outward world
was entirely cut off; surveillance was incessant; on Sunday they were
guarded to the chapel, but kept apart; every quarter appeared a priest,
who strove, by rigid examination, to elicit political secrets; the
agents and officials maintained an unmitigated reserve; what transpired
in the world, how it fared with their country and their loved ones, was
unknown; existence so near to death itself, in passivity, "cold
obstruction," alienation from all the interests, the hopes, and the
very impressions of human life, it is impossible to imagine.
Subsequently reforms were introduced, and the rigors of this system
somewhat modified; but the era of Foresti's confinement at Spielberg
was that which has become accursed in political history as the reign of
Francesco Primo. He insisted to the last on chains, the badge of crime,
and the severest _régime_ possible to life. He had even visited Brunn,
and been within hearing of his victims, and sent his physician to
ascertain their condition; but refused any mitigation of sufferings,
moral and physical, which involved sanity, health, and almost vitality.

The details of this experience are familiar through current European
memoirs. Silvio Pellico has made the life of an Austrian
prisoner-of-state, in its outward environment and inward struggles, as
well known as that of the Arctic explorer or the English
factory-operative. A confirmatory supplement to this dark chapter in
the history of modern civilization has recently appeared from the pen
of another of Foresti's fellow-martyrs, Pallavicino. [Footnote:
_Spielbergo e Gradisca: Scene del Carcere Duro di_ GIORGIO PALLAVICINO.
Torino. 1856.] But while they were undergoing the bitter ordeal, it was
all but unknown in Europe and undreamed of in America; literature, that
noble vantage-ground for oppressed humanity, has now broken the silence
and proclaimed the truth. There was one solace ingeniously obtained by
these buried members of the living human family,--occasional indirect
intercourse with each other: the telegraphs of eye and ear conveyed
their mutual feelings. One after another succumbed, from the vital
injuries of the _régime_; in one case the brain grew weak, in another
the blood was impoverished or fevered; this one was prostrated by
gangrene in wounds caused by chafing fetters, and that attenuated by
insufficient nourishment: yet they contrived to make known to each
other how it fared with them respectively. Pellico, through an
indulgent guard, sent Foresti verses on his birthday; Maronchelli
sounded on the wall the intimation of his continued existence after his
leg was amputated; and when marshalled for a walk or convened on Sunday
in the chapel, the devoted band had the melancholy satisfaction of
beholding each other, though the different groups were not permitted to
communicate. Andryane, a French officer, included in the original
edict, though upon most inadequate evidence, describes, with keen
interest, his first impressions when permitted to go to mass at
Spielberg. His companion speculated on the identity of each of the
captives. "That one, with dejected looks and hollow eyes, who seems so
exhausted, and, though a tall man, is bent down into a dwarf, is Villa.
Poor fellow! he has but a few months to live. As for the last one, with
the stern looks and bushy black hair, he appears to bear his fate in
such a manner as ought to make us resigned to our own." "That,"
whispered a fellow-prisoner, "is Foresti, who, like Ajax, doubtless
mutters between his teeth, 'I will foil them yet, though even the gods
oppose me!'" [Footnote: "_Mémoires d'un Prisonnier d'Etat_." Par
ALEXANDRE ANDRYANE. Paris.]

This observation was sagacious. It was by calm resolution and
philosophic self-possession, through faith in the ultimate triumph of
justice and freedom, that Foresti kept at bay the corrosive despair
which irritated less noble characters into melancholy or wasted spirits
of gentler mould to insanity. Yet his physical torture was extreme. Of
robust frame and in the plenitude of youthful vigor when arrested, the
want of food during the earlier years of his captivity made serious and
permanent inroads upon a naturally powerful constitution. We have heard
him relate, with a humorous emphasis indicative of brave endurance, yet
suggestive of the keenest pangs, how eagerly he one day seized a
pudding, thrust under his dress, as he passed the lodge of an official
in the court, by a compassionate woman,--how ingeniously he concealed
it from the sentinels, at the risk of burning his hands,--with what
triumph he unfolded and with what voracity he devoured it in the
solitude of his cell. Sometimes an indignity overcame his
self-possession, as, on one occasion, when the jailer's attendant
rudely awoke him with a kick, as he deposited a basin of hot broth,
which Foresti indignantly seized and dashed its scalding contents into
the face of the brutal menial, who thenceforward was more respectful in
his salutations. But it was the moral suffering against which all his
wisdom and courage were invoked to struggle,--the resolute maintenance
of healthful mental activity, without an object or motive underived
from will,--the repression of hopeless, vague, self-tormenting
reverie, which perverts intellect and drains moral energy,--the
habitual exercise of memory, reflection, and fancy, to preserve their
functions unimpaired. Such expedients were of special necessity at
Spielberg; for never were educated men so barbarously deprived of the
legitimate resources of mind and heart; thought and love were left
uninvited, unappeased. Sir Walter Raleigh had the materials, at the
Tower, to write a history; Lafayette, at Olmutz, lived in perpetual
expectancy of release; Moore and Byron, children, flowers, birds, and
the Muses cheered Leigh Hunt's year of durance: but in this bleak
fortress, innocent and magnanimous men beheld the seasons come and go,
night succeed day, and year follow year, with no cognizance of kindred
or the world's doings,--no works of bard or sage,--no element of
life,--but a grim, cold, deadly routine within stone walls,--all tender
sympathies, the very breath of the soul, denied,--all influx of
knowledge, the food of the mind, prohibited, experience a blank,
existence a void!

Had we need of evidence that conscience is a normal attribute of
humanity, that the soul is endowed with relations to the Infinite, we
should find it in the self-preservation realized under such
circumstances as these. Only conscious rectitude could arm humanity
against the sense of degradation and deprivation thus surrounding and
pressing upon it for years,--only the belief in a Power above and
beyond human will and perversity,--only, in a word, the recuperative
force of moral individuality and aspiration, could keep intact and
uninvaded the integrity of conscious being. Of course, the method
thereof depends on character; a cheerful heart In one, a buoyant
imagination in another, and the sweet self-oblivion which Faith imparts
in a third, sentiment here and will there, work the same miracle.
Foresti belonged to that class of Italians who combine perspicacity and
force of reasoning with a frank, affectionate, and trustful
disposition,--types of the manly intellect, the childlike heart;
incarceration, while it failed to enfeeble the former, by seclusion
from life's game and the world's encroachments from early youth to
middle age, perhaps confirmed the latter into the candid and loving
nature which endeared him to so many friends in Europe and America.
Sterne says, that, if he were in a desert, he would love some cypress;
and Isaac Taylor has observed, that the devout heart can find in a
single blade of grass the evidence of a Divine Creator. We have all
read of Bruce testing his fate, when a captive, by the gyrations of a
spider, of Baron Trenck finding solace in a dungeon in the
companionship of a mouse, and the imaginative prisoner of Fenestrelle
absorbed in vigilant and even affectionate observation of a little
plant,--its germination, slow approach to maturity, and consummate
flowering. But there were alleviating circumstances in the situation of
these captives,--a definite hope of release or a certainty of
life-bondage, either of which alternatives is more favorable to
tranquillity of soul than absolute suspense; they enjoyed tidings from
without or indulgences within. At Spielberg, the _sistema diabolico_,
as it has been justly called, especially at the epoch of Foresti's
incarceration, retained the galling chain on the limbs, cut off the
supply of moral and intellectual vitality, refused appropriate
occupation, baffled hope, eclipsed knowledge, and kept up a vile
inquisitorial process to goad the crushed heart, sap the heroic will,
and stupefy or alienate the mental faculties; dawn ushered in the
twilight of a mausoleum, noon fell dimly on paralyzed manhood, night
canopied aggravating dreams.

  "To such sad pitch their gathering griefs were wrought,
  Life seemed not life, save when convulsed by thought."

Casual evasions of this fiendish torture, through ingenuity or the
compassion of officials, are among the few animated episodes of their
dreary experiences recorded by the victims. At length the Emperor died
(an event they had surmised from a change in the form of the public
prayer); his son Ferdinand succeeded to the throne, and signalized his
accession by a decree liberating the Italian patriots, but condemning
them to perpetual exile in America. Those long years of such captivity
did not even gain them the privilege of again enjoying civil rights,
their country, and kindred! Protests were vain, appeals disregarded. In
November, 1835, their chains were removed; the same blacksmith who had
welded Foresti's shackles fourteen years before, now severed them, and
wept with joy as they fell! One night they were all summoned to the
director's room, and he, too, announced their enfranchisement with
congratulations; the prison garb was exchanged for citizen's dress, and
they were taken in carriages to the police prison of Brunn, where
comfortable apartments, good food, free intercourse, books, and
newspapers awaited them. Imagine the vividness of their sensations, the
hilarity of feeling inspired by the first sight of scenes and objects
associated with their youth! It was like a new birth. To grasp the
hands and hear the voices of their fellow-creatures,--to behold
streets, _caffès_, and shops, the tokens of industry, the insignia of
life,--to taste viands unknown for years,--to see the horizon,--to feel
the breath of heaven,--to trace once more those charts of living
history, the journals, resume acquaintance with favorite authors,
converse together, move unchained, think aloud,--this sudden and entire
transition awakened a sensation of almost infantile joy. But privation
had too long been their lot to be instantly ignored with impunity; a
reaction followed; the weakness incident to long confinement,
prostrated faculties, and inadequate nourishment brought on illness;
they could not, at once, bear the excitement, digest the food, or
sustain the keen pleasure; and a rigorous climate quelled their
sensitive vitality. But universal sympathy now environed them; their
very custodian ministered to their wants; and the Emperor ordered them
to be removed to the Castle of Gradisca, on the confines of Italy,
where a milder atmosphere prevailed.

How much had occurred while these years of arbitrarily imposed
monasticism crept heavily by, to excite the speculative thought and
kindle the sympathies of educated men! To what new aspects of
civilization and fresh phases of contemporaneous history their
liberation suddenly introduced them!

Their journey from Brunn to Gradisca was a perfect contrast to that
melancholy transit, so many years before, from Venice to Spielberg. It
was near the beginning of April, 1836, when they started in carriages
with a commissary and a few guards; in every town and village through
which they passed, crowds surrounded them with gratulations; the inns
where they stopped were besieged with well-wishers; Nature, too, seemed
to hail their release with vernal beauty; and so they journeyed on, to
be received as honored guests rather than prisoners-of-state at the
Castle of Gradisca. Their sojourn here was as recreative as was
consistent with that degree of supervision necessary to prevent escape;
they were at liberty to walk about, to make and receive visits, to
bathe in the sea, to attend the fairs, and examine the local
celebrities of Friuli; a single commissary often accompanied their
excursions, and personally the most delicate consideration was paid
them. Here, too, the most affecting reunions of long-severed kindred
and friends took place; their relatives hastened hither to embrace
them.

Foresti used to relate many anecdotes illustrative of the sympathy and
respect felt and manifested by strangers during this interlude between
prison and exile. One deserves record here. Two travelling-carriages
arrived at a village-inn, one evening, where they were resting. While
the gentlemen were inspecting the apartments, a lady of distinguished
appearance inquired of a bystander, who the strangers were towards whom
so many friendly glances were directed; soon after, the landlord bore
to them her request for an interview; they rose at her entrance; she
attempted to speak, but her voice faltered, and, with tears, she turned
to her little boys and said, "Kneel, my darlings, to these brave
Italian patriots; they are illustrious victims in the great cause of
Liberty; and you, gentlemen, bless my sons; your blessing will be
fruitful to them of good; it will make them love their country and die
for it, if need be. I am a Pole. My country is oppressed like yours. I
have two brothers compromised in the last insurrection in Cracow. May
God preserve them!"--and weeping bitterly, she retired. They afterwards
learned that her husband was Counsellor of State to the King of
Prussia.

On the 1st of August, 1836, they were transported by night to Trieste,
and, by a singular coincidence, placed on board the same brig-of-war
whence Kozsta was subsequently taken at Smyrna,--an incident memorable
in our subsequent diplomacy, as having occasioned the celebrated letter
of Webster to the Austrian envoy. Provided by that government with warm
clothing, the money they had taken to Spielberg was restored to them,
not, however, in the original gold coin, but in the Vienna bills for
which it had been then exchanged by the police, diminished nearly
two-thirds in value during the interval of fourteen years. The vessel
was uncomfortably crowded; the voyage occupied three months; but they
fared alike with the officers. Towards the close of October, they
beheld the noble bay of New York; and so intense was the satisfaction
with which they first trod American soil, the goal and terminus of such
protracted suffering, that, ever after, the Battery, where they landed,
was hallowed to their memories as consecrated ground.

Within a few days of their arrival, a banquet was given them by their
compatriots; and from that hour, Foresti became the oracle and the
consoler, the teacher, almoner, and chief of his fellow-exiles.
Subsequent events drove many other Italian patriots to our shores; his
purse and his counsel were ever ready for the impoverished and
inexperienced, who regarded him with filial admiration; while to the
more educated he was the intimate companion or sympathetic friend.
Through his personal influence, employment was constantly obtained and
kindness enlisted for his countrymen. When the great political crisis
of 1848 occurred, Foresti hastened to Europe; Pius IX., at the urgent
prayer of his sisters and cousins, offered him free entrance to his
dominions, a favor his predecessor might have granted but for the
strong opposition of Cardinal Lambruschini. He took counsel with the
revolutionary leaders at Paris, and passed through Italy to the
frontiers of the Papal States, whence the fatal reaction, supported by
French bayonets, at Rome, sent him back once more to the land of his
adoption, whither he was soon followed by many of the heroic and
unfortunate men who redeemed the martial fame, without being able to
retrieve the fate of Italy.

Of the many Italian exiles who have found an asylum in the United
States, Foresti was preeminently the representative man. The period of
his arrival, the circumstances of his life, and the traits of his
character united thus to distinguish him even among the best educated
and most unfortunate of the political refugees from Southern Europe. At
the time of his arrest, the vilest modern despotism of the Continent
had reached its acme; and the patriotic movements it then sought to
annihilate by a cruelty unparalleled since the Middle Ages were
justified even by conservative reformers, on account of their stringent
moral necessity, the intelligent scope of their advocates, and the high
and cultivated spirit of their illustrious martyrs. As scholars,
citizens, gentlemen, and, in more than one instance, authors of real
genius, these Liberals stand alone, and are not to be confounded with
the perverse Radicals of a subsequent epoch. Moreover, their
aspirations were, as we have seen, more reactionary than experimental;
for the rights for which they conspired had been in a great measure
enjoyed under Europe's modern conqueror, then impotent in action, but
most efficient in remembrance, although isolated on his prison-rock.
Foresti's companion in misfortune has made their mutual wrongs
"familiar as household words"; and to be associated in captivity with
the author of "Le Mie Prigioni" was of itself a passport to the
sympathy of the civilized world.

The interest his previous history inspired was deepened and confirmed
by intimate acquaintance with Foresti. He lived for many years
domesticated in the family of a fellow-countryman; and an _habitué_ of
his apartments was transported in a moment from bustling, prosperous,
and republican New York, to the land of song, of martyrdom, and of
antiquity. The soulful ardor and childlike ingenuousness, the keen
perceptions and earnest will of Foresti suggested an obsolete, or at
least rare type of character; he belonged essentially to the olden days
of loyalty and lore which gave birth to self-reliance on the one hand,
and disinterested feeling on the other. His manner and conversation
had, as it were, an historical as well as national flavor, by virtue
whereof we were borne away from the prosaic and practical spirit of the
age, to the days of chivalry, feudal zeal, and genuine humanity,--when
faith was an inspiration, friendship a moral fact, and manhood, in its
virile simplicity, greater than wealth. Nor were the generous exile's
humble surroundings alien to these impressions: the effigies of his
country's poets were the favorite ornaments of his sitting-room; a
volume of Foscolo on the table, or a fresh letter from Silvio Pellico
under his snuffbox,--the grim, old-fashioned type of his _Sentenza_, as
it was originally distributed through Austrian Italy, and hanging in
its black frame, a memorial of startling import to a freeman's eyes,--a
landscape representing the Castle of Ferrara, the far-away scene of his
youthful life,--and a primitive engraving from one of the old masters
of that city, dedicated to him in one of those euphonious inscriptions
peculiar to Italian artists,--these and such as these tokens of his
experience and tastes gave interesting significance to his
companionship. Nor were indications of present consideration and
usefulness wanting: flowers or dainty needle-work, the offerings of his
fair pupils, applications to him, as President of the Italian
Benevolent Society, diplomas from American colleges, and invitations to
the country, to dinner, and to domestic _fêtes_, from the numerous
friends he had won in the free land of his adoption, gave evidence of
social enjoyment and genial activity.

Whoever enjoyed Foresti's hospitality, in the conversations as well as
the viands has found an epitome and reflex of his most genial hours in
Italy: brave soldiers, like Avezzana and Garibaldi, scholars, artists,
every form of the national character, were gratefully exhibited in
reunions, of which he was the presiding genius, and to which his
American friends were admitted with fraternal cordiality. It was then
that his clear and strong mind often displayed itself with the
spontaneity of his race.

Chastened, though unsubdued by misfortune, Foresti cherished a truly
Christian spirit of forgiveness, and the liberality which large
experience invariably fosters in enlightened minds: it was the system,
rather than its agents, which he ever held up to condemnation in
discussing the Austrian policy. Familiarity with American and English
politics and the modern history of Europe induced a wise modification
of his opinions on government; a fervent republican in sentiment, he
yet recognized the radical benefits of a constitutional monarchy, like
those of England and Sardinia. He was a natural orator, and, on several
occasions, memorably addressed the public with rare eloquence and power
on subjects of national or beneficent interest. During his long sojourn
in New York, he was not merely the acknowledged representative of
Italy, but her eloquent advocate, her wise expositor, her illustrious
son, whose literature he memorably unfolded, whose history he
sagaciously analyzed, whose misfortunes he tenderly portrayed, whose
glory he proudly vindicated, and whose nationality he incessantly
affirmed. Well did one of the leading Turin journals indicate the
prevalent graces of his character:--"A pure and just man, he knew
always how to appreciate those who dissented from him about forms of
government, because he could discover in them the true love of
nationality, to which Italy aspires. Wise without pretension,
beneficent without ostentation, chaste in deed and word, exquisitely
tender-hearted, he tempered the harsh lessons of experience by the
unchanged serenity of his bearing."

Foresti was the most charming of correspondents; in a chirography
almost feminine, he wrote, in the old cavalier style, such quaintly
pleasant epistles, with graceful turns of expression, beautiful
epithets, and appropriate adjectives, that, to one fond of the writer
and cognizant of his native tongue, the most casual note was a prize to
be treasured. "Truly," remarks one of his friends, "he was
_squisitamente affetuoso di cuore_," and now the sweetest proof thereof
is to be found in his correspondence. In his two visits to Italy, he
used to walk daily to the shores, when within reach of the
Mediterranean, and salute, with tears, the _bandiera stellata_,--as he
called our national banner, under which his exile had been protected
and honored.

The pleasure expressed at Foresti's consular appointment, as well as
the high order of applicants in his behalf, afforded the best evidence
of the friendship and interest he had awakened and maintained in a
foreign land. On the shores of the Hudson, by the cliffs of Newport,
under the elms of New Haven, as well as in the metropolis where he had
so long dwelt, faithful hearts rejoiced at the announcement. "Few are
aware," said Hillhouse, in his Eulogy on Lafayette, "how hallowed and
how deep are their feelings who worship Liberty as a mistress they may
never possess." And it was the constancy and intelligence of his
devotion to her which won for him such peculiar regard; for he did not
belong to the sentimental and spasmodic, but to the resolute and
philosophic devotees at her shrine; his native taste was more wedded to
the wise satire of Casti and the acute generalities of Vico than
satisfied with the soft beauties of Petrarch or the luxurious graces of
Boccaccio; the stoical Alfieri, more than the epicurean Metastasio,
breathed music to his soul. "You belong," wrote Pellico to him, "you
belong to those who to a generous disposition unite an intellect to see
things wisely; never can I forget the gifts of genius and of courage
developed in you in the days of misfortune." It was an auspicious sign
of the times when the land which protected such an exile was
represented by him in that of his nativity.

Brief, however, was Foresti's enjoyment of the distinction and resource
thus secured for him through the considerate efforts of his American
friends. "I write to you," says his last letter to one of them, dated
immediately after the reception of his commission, "with my left hand
pressed on a heart overflowing with gratitude for the means thus
honorably afforded to solace the last years of the old prisoner of
Spielberg." Three months after, that noble heart ceased to beat; an
effusion on the chest, which ultimately defied the best medical skill
and the most assiduous friendly devotion, ended fatally on the morning
of the 14th of September, 1858, "By his death," said one of his
eulogists, "is broken one of the links that bind the New World to the
Old"; and as if to evidence the sympathy of mourners in two hemispheres
and attest the varied associations which embalm the example and memory
of Foresti, his funeral was typical of his life, and so illustrative of
his character, that we can imagine no peculiar honor wanting, grateful
to the patriot, the liberal, the martyr, or the man. In that ancient
city of Genoa, of old renowned for commercial glory and maritime valor,
the birthplace of the discoverer of the land of his adoption, now the
refuge of more who had sacrificed all for their country, and the state
where that country's best prospects are centred and her highest
aspirations cherished, in the home of the moral, civic, and social
vanguard of modern Italy, he found a grave. The American flag was his
pall; American mariners carried his bier; before it was borne the
Cross. His remains were followed from the Piazza della Maddelena,
through the principal streets and the Porta Romana to the Campo Santo,
by the officers and crew of the United States frigate "Wabash," the
captains of the American merchantmen in port, the Society of
Operatives, the industrial representative of a progressive state, of
which he was an honorary member, a vast multitude of emigrants from the
less favored Italian provinces, and a numerous body of literary,
official, and private gentlemen who enjoyed his personal friendship.


       *       *       *       *       *


LARVAE.


My little maiden of four years old
  (No myth, but a genuine child is she,
With her bronze-brown eyes, and her curls of gold)
  Came, quite in disgust, one day, to me.

Rubbing her shoulder with rosy palm,--
  As the loathsome touch seemed yet to thrill her,
She cried,--"Oh, mother, I found on my arm
  A horrible, crawling caterpillar!"

And with mischievous smile she could scarcely smother,
  Yet a glance, in its daring, half-awed and shy,
She added,--"While they were about it, mother,
  I wish they'd just finished the butterfly!"

They were words to the thought of the soul that turns
  From the coarser form of a partial growth,
Reproaching the Infinite Patience that yearns
  With an unknown glory to crown them both.

Ah, look thou largely, with lenient eyes,
  On whatso beside thee may creep and cling,
For the possible beauty that underlies
  The passing phase of the meanest thing!

What if God's great angels, whose waiting love
  Beholdeth our pitiful life below,
From the holy height of their heaven above,
  Couldn't bear with the worm till the wings should grow?



THE MINISTER'S WOOING.[*]

[Footnote *: Copyright secured by the Author in Great Britain and
France.]

[Continued.]


CHAPTER XXX.

THE QUILTING.

By six o'clock in the morning, Miss Prissy came out of the best room to
the breakfast-table, with the air of a general who has arranged a
campaign,--her face glowing with satisfaction. All sat down together to
their morning meal. The outside door was open into the green, turfy
yard, and the apple-tree, now nursing stores of fine yellow jeannetons,
looked in at the window. Every once in a while, as a breeze shook the
leaves, a fully ripe apple might be heard falling to the ground, at
which Miss Prissy would bustle up from the table and rush to secure the
treasure.

As the meal waned to its close, the rattling of wheels was heard at the
gate, and Candace was discerned, seated aloft in the one-horse wagon,
with her usual complement of baskets and bags.

"Well, now, dear me! if there isn't Candace!" said Miss Prissy; "I do
believe Miss Marvyn has sent her with something for the quilting!" and
out she flew as nimble as a humming-bird, while those in the house
heard various exclamations of admiration, as Candace, with stately
dignity, disinterred from the wagon one basket after another, and
exhibited to Miss Prissy's enraptured eyes sly peeps under the white
napkins with which they were covered. And then, hanging a large basket
on either arm, she rolled majestically towards the house, like a
heavy-laden Indiaman, coming in after a fast voyage.

"Good-mornin', Miss Scudder! good-mornin', Doctor!" she said, dropping
her curtsy on the door-step; "good-mornin', Miss Mary! Ye see our folks
was stirrin' pootty 'arly dis mornin', an' Miss Marvyn sent me down wid
two or tree little tings."

Setting down her baskets on the floor, and seating herself between
them, she proceeded to develop their contents with ill-concealed
triumph. One basket was devoted to cakes of every species, from the
great Mont-Blanc loaf-cake, with its snowy glaciers of frosting, to the
twisted cruller and puffy doughnut. In the other basket lay pots of
golden butter curiously stamped, reposing on a bed of fresh, green
leaves,--while currants, red and white, and delicious cherries and
raspberries, gave a final finish to the picture. From a basket which
Miss Prissy brought in from the rear appeared cold fowl and tongue
delicately prepared, and shaded with feathers of parsley. Candace,
whose rollicking delight in the good things of this life was
conspicuous in every emotion, might have furnished to a painter, as she
sat in her brilliant turban, an idea for an African Genius of Plenty.

"Why, really, Candace," said Mrs. Scudder, "you are overwhelming us!"

"Ho! ho! ho!" said Candace, "I's tellin' Miss Marvyn folks don't git
married but once in der lives, (gin'ally speakin', dat is,) an' den dey
oughter hab plenty to do it wid."

"Well, I must say," said Miss Prissy, taking out the loaf-cake with
busy assiduity,--"I must say, Candace, this does beat all!"

"I should rader tink it oughter," said Candace, bridling herself with
proud consciousness; "ef it don't, 'ta'n't 'cause ole Candace ha'n't
put enough into it. I tell ye, I didn't do nothin' all day yisterday
but jes' make dat ar cake. Cato, when he got up, he begun to talk
someh'n' 'bout his shirt-buttons, an' I jes' shet him right up. Says I,
'Cato, when I's r'ally got cake to make for a great 'casion, I wants my
mind _jest_ as quiet an' _jest_ as serene as ef I was a-goin' to de
sacrament. I don't want no 'arthly cares on't. Now,' says I, 'Cato, de
ole Doctor's gwine to be married, an' dis yer's his quiltin'-cake,--an'
Miss Mary, she's gwine to be married, an' dis yer's _her_
quiltin'-cake. An' dar'll be eberybody to dat ar quiltin'; an' ef de
cake a'n't right, why, 'twould be puttin' a candle under a bushel. An'
so,' says I, 'Cato, your buttons mus' wait' An' Cato, he sees de
'priety ob it, 'cause, dough he can't make cake like me, he's a 'mazin'
good judge on't, an' is dre'ful tickled when I slips out a little loaf
for his supper."

"How is Mrs. Marvyn?" said Mrs. Scudder.

"Kinder thin and shimmery; but she's about,--habin' her eyes eberywar,
'n' lookin' into eberyting. She jes' touches tings wid de tips ob her
fingers an' dey seem to go like. She'll be down to de quiltin' dis
arternoon. But she tole me to take de tings an' come down an' spen' de
day here; for Miss Marvyn an' I both knows how many steps mus' be taken
sech times, an' we agreed you oughter favor yourselves all you could."

"Well, now," said Miss Prissy, lifting up her hands, "if that a'n't
what 'tis to have friends! Why, that was one of the things I was
thinking of, as I lay awake last night; because, you know, at times
like these, people run their feet off before the time begins, and then
they are all limpsey and lop-sided when the time comes. Now, I say,
Candace, all Miss Scudder and Mary have to do is to give everything up
to us, and we'll put it through straight."

"Dat's what we will!" said Candace. "Jes' show me what's to be done,
an' I'll do it."

Candace and Miss Prissy soon disappeared together into the pantry with
the baskets, whose contents they began busily to arrange. Candace shut
the door, that no sound might escape, and began a confidential
outpouring to Miss Prissy.

"Ye see," she said, "I's _feelin's_ all de while for Miss Marvyn;
'cause, ye see, she was expectin', ef eber Mary was married,--well--dat
'twould be to somebody else, ye know."

Miss Prissy responded with a sympathetic groan.

"Well," said Candace, "ef't had been anybody but de Doctor, _I_
wouldn't 'a' been resigned. But arter all he's done for my color, dar
a'n't nothin' I could find it in my heart to grudge him. But den I was
tellin' Cato t'oder day, says I, 'Cato, I dunno 'bout de rest o' de
world, but I ha'n't neber felt it in my bones dat Mass'r James is
r'ally dead, for sartin.' Now I feels tings _gin'ally_, but _some_
tings I feels _in my bones_, an' dem allers comes true. An' dat ar's a
feelin' I ha'n't had 'bout Mass'r Jim yit, an' dat ar's what I'm
waitin' for 'fore I clar make up my mind. Though I know, 'cordin' to
all white folks' way o' tinkin', dar a'n't no hope, 'cause Squire
Marvyn he had dat ar Jeduth Pettibone up to his house, a-questionin' on
him, off an' on, nigh about tree hours. An' r'ally I didn't see no hope
no way, 'xcept jes' dis yer, as I was tellin' Cato,--_I can't feel it
in my bones_."

Candace was not versed enough in the wisdom of the world to know that
she belonged to a large and respectable school of philosophers in this
particular mode of testing evidence, which, after all, the reader will
perceive has its conveniences.

"Anoder ting," said Candace; "as much as a dozen times, dis yer last
year, when I's been a-scourin' knives, a fork has fell an' stuck
straight up in de floor; an' de las' time I pinted it out to Miss
Marvyn, an' she on'y jes' said, 'Why, what o' dat, Candace?'"

"Well," said Miss Prissy, "I don't believe in _signs_, but then strange
things do happen. Now about dogs howling under windows,--why, I don't
believe in it a bit, but I never knew it fail that there was a death in
the house after."

"Ah, I tell ye what," said Candace, looking mysterious, "dogs knows a
heap more'n dey likes to tell!"

"Jes' so," said Miss Prissy. "Now I remember, one night, when. I was
watching with Miss Colonel Andrews, after Marthy Ann was born, that we
heard the _mournfulest_ howling that ever you did hear. It seemed to
come from right under the front stoop; and Miss Andrews she just
dropped the spoon in her gruel, and says she, 'Miss Prissy, do, for
pity's sake, just go down and see what that noise is.' And I went down
and lifted up one of the loose boards of the stoop, and what should I
see there but their Newfoundland pup?--there that creature had dug a
grave, and was a-sitting by it, crying!"

Candace drew near to Miss Prissy, dark with expressive interest, as her
voice, in this awful narration, sank to a whisper.

"Well," said Candace, after Miss Prissy had made something of a pause.

"Well, I told Miss Andrews I didn't think there was anything in it,"
said Miss Prissy; "but," she added, impressively, "she lost a very dear
brother, six months after, and I laid him out with my own hands,--yes,
laid him out in white flannel."

"Some folks say," said Candace, "dat dreamin' 'bout white horses is a
sartin sign. Jinny Styles is bery strong 'bout dat. Now she come down
one mornin' cryin', 'cause she'd been dreamin' 'bout white horses, an'
she was sure she should hear some friend was dead. An' sure enough, a
man come in dat bery day an' tole her her son was drownded out in de
harbor. An' Jinny said, 'Dar! she was sure dat sign neber would fail.'
But den, ye see, dat night he come home. Jinny wa'n't r'ally
disappinted, but she allers insisted he was _as good as drownded_, any
way, 'cause he sunk tree times."

"Well, I tell you," said Miss Prissy, "there are a great many more
things in this world than folks know about."

"So dey are," said Candace. "Now, I ha'n't neber opened my mind to
nobody; but dar's a dream I's had, tree mornin's runnin', lately. I
dreamed I see Jim Marvyn a-sinkin' in de water, an' stretchin' up his
hands. An' den I dreamed I see de Lord Jesus come a-walkin' on de
water, an' take hold ob his hand, an' says he, 'O thou of little faith,
wherefore didst thou doubt?' An' den he lifted him right out. An' I
ha'n't said nothin' to nobody, 'cause, you know, de Doctor, he says
people mus'n't mind nothin' 'bout der dreams, 'cause dreams belongs to
de ole 'spensation."

"Well, well, well!" said Miss Prissy, "I am sure I don't know what to
think. What time in the morning was it that you dreamed it?"

"Why," said Candace, "it was jest arter bird-peep. I kinder allers
wakes myself den, an' turns ober, an' what comes arter dat is apt to
run clar."

"Well, well, well!" said Miss Prissy, "I don't know what to think. You
see, it may have reference to the state of his soul."

"I know dat," said Candace; "but as nigh as I could judge in my dream,"
she added, sinking her voice and looking mysterious, "as nigh as I can
judge, _dat boy's soul was in his body!_"

"Why, how do you know?" said Miss Prissy, looking astonished at the
confidence with which Candace expressed her opinion.

"Well, ye see," said Candace, rather mysteriously, "de Doctor, he don't
like to hab us talk much 'bout dese yer tings, 'cause he tinks it's
kind o' heathenish. But den, folks as is used to seein' sech tings
knows de look ob a sperit _out_ o' de body from de look ob a sperit
_in_ de body, jest as easy as you can tell Mary from de Doctor."

At this moment Mrs. Scudder opened the pantry-door and put an end to
this mysterious conversation, which had already so affected Miss
Prissy, that, in the eagerness of her interest, she had rubbed up her
cap border and ribbon into rather an elfin and goblin style, as if they
had been ruffled up by a breeze from the land of spirits; and she flew
around for a few moments in a state of great nervous agitation,
upsetting dishes, knocking down plates, and huddling up contrary
suggestions as to what ought to be done first, in such impossible
relations that Mrs. Katy Scudder stood in dignified surprise at this
strange freak of conduct in the wise woman of the parish.

A dim consciousness of something not quite canny in herself seemed to
strike her, for she made a vigorous effort to appear composed; and
facing Mrs. Scudder, with an air of dignified suavity, inquired if it
would not be best to put Jim Marvyn in the oven now, while Candace was
getting the pies ready,--meaning, of course, a large turkey, which was
to be the first in an indefinite series to be baked that morning; and
discovering, by Mrs. Scudder's dazed expression and a vigorous pinch
from Candace, that somehow she had not improved matters, she rubbed her
spectacles into a diagonal position across her eyes, and stood glaring,
half through, half over them, with a helpless expression, which in a
less judicious person might have suggested the idea of a state of
slight intoxication.

But the exigencies of an immediate temporal dispensation put an end to
Miss Prissy's unwonted vagaries, and she was soon to be seen flying
round like a meteor, dusting, shaking curtains, counting napkins,
wiping and sorting china, all with such rapidity as to give rise to the
notion that she actually existed in forty places at once.

Candace, whom the limits of her corporeal frame restricted to an
altogether different style of locomotion, often rolled the whites of
her eyes after her and gave vent to her views of her proceedings in
sententious expressions.

"Do you know why _dat ar_ neber was married?" she said to Mary, as she
stood looking after her. Miss Prissy had made one of those rapid
transits through the apartment.

"No," answered Mary, innocently. "Why wasn't she?"

"'Cause neber was a man could run fast enough to cotch her," said
Candace; and then her portly person shook with the impulse of her own
wit.

By two o'clock a goodly company began to assemble. Mrs. Deacon Twitchel
arrived, soft, pillowy, and plaintive as ever, accompanied by Cerinthy
Ann, a comely damsel, tall and trim, with a bright black eye, and a
most vigorous and determined style of movement. Good Mrs. Jones, broad,
expansive, and solid, having vegetated tranquilly on in the
cabbage-garden of the virtues since three years ago, when she graced
our tea-party, was now as well preserved as ever, and brought some
fresh butter, a tin pail of cream, and a loaf of cake made after a new
Philadelphia receipt. The tall, spare, angular figure of Mrs. Simeon
Brown alone was wanting; but she patronized Mrs. Scudder no more, and
tossed her head with a becoming pride when her name was mentioned.

The quilt-pattern was gloriously drawn in oak-leaves, done in indigo;
and soon all the company, young and old, were passing busy fingers over
it; and conversation went on briskly.

Madame de Frontignac, we must not forget to say, had entered with
hearty abandon into the spirit of the day. She had dressed the tall
china vases on the mantel-pieces, and, departing from the usual rule of
an equal mixture of roses and asparagus-bushes, had constructed two
quaint and graceful bouquets, where garden-flowers were mingled with
drooping grasses and trailing wild vines, forming a graceful
combination which excited the surprise of all who saw it.

"It's the very first time in my life that I ever saw grass put into a
flower-pot," said Miss Prissy; "but I must say it looks as handsome as
a picture. Mary, I must say," she added, in an aside, "I think that
Madame de Frongenac is the sweetest dressing and appearing creature I
ever saw; she don't dress up nor put on airs, but she seems to see in a
minute how things ought to go; and if it's only a bit of grass, or
leaf, or wild vine, that she puts in her hair, why, it seems to come
just right. I should like to make her a dress, for I know she would
understand my fit; do speak to her, Mary, in case she should want a
dress fitted here, to let me try it."

At the quilting, Madame de Frontignac would have her seat, and soon won
the respect of the party by the dexterity with which she used her
needle; though, when it was whispered that she learned to quilt among
the nuns, some of the elderly ladies exhibited a slight uneasiness, as
being rather doubtful whether they might not be encouraging Papistical
opinions by allowing her an equal share in the work of getting up their
minister's bed-quilt; but the younger part of the company were quite
captivated by her foreign air, and the pretty manner in which she
lisped her English; and Cerinthy Ann even went so far as to horrify her
mother by saying that she wished she'd been educated in a convent
herself,--a declaration which arose less from native depravity than
from a certain vigorous disposition, which often shows itself in young
people, to shock the current opinions of their elders and betters. Of
course, the conversation took a general turn, somewhat in unison with
the spirit of the occasion; and whenever it flagged, some allusion to a
forthcoming wedding, or some sly hint at the future young Madame of the
parish, was sufficient to awaken the dormant animation of the company.

Cerinthy Ann contrived to produce an agreeable electric shock by
declaring, that, for her part, she never could see into it, how any
girl could marry a minister,--that she should as soon think of setting
up housekeeping in a meeting-house.

"Oh, Cerinthy Ann!" exclaimed her mother, "how can you go on so?"

"It's a fact," said the adventurous damsel; "now other men let you have
some peace,--but a minister's always round under your feet."

"So you think, the less you see of a husband, the better?" said one of
the ladies.

"Just my views," said Cerinthy, giving a decided snip to her thread
with her scissors; "I like the Nantucketers, that go off on four-years'
voyages, and leave their wives a clear field. If ever I get married,
I'm going up to have one of those fellows."

It is to be remarked, in passing, that Miss Cerinthy Ann was at this
very time receiving surreptitious visits from a consumptive-looking,
conscientious, young theological candidate, who came occasionally to
preach in the vicinity, and put up at the house of the Deacon, her
father. This good young man, being violently attacked on the doctrine
of Election by Miss Cerinthy, had been drawn on to illustrate it in a
most practical manner, to her comprehension; and it was the
consciousness of the weak and tottering state of the internal garrison
that added vigor to the young lady's tones. As Mary had been the chosen
confidante of the progress of this affair, she was quietly amused at
the demonstration.

"You'd better take care, Cerinthy Ann," said her mother; "they say that
'those who sing before breakfast will cry before supper.' Girls talk
about getting married," she said, relapsing into a gentle didactic
melancholy, "without realizing its awful responsibilities."

"Oh, as to that," said Cerinthy, "I've been practising on my pudding
now these six years, and I shouldn't be afraid to throw one up chimney
with any girl."

This speech was founded on a tradition, current in those times, that no
young lady was fit to be married till she could construct a boiled
Indian-pudding of such consistency that it could be thrown up chimney
and come down on the ground, outside, without breaking; and the
consequence of Cerinthy Ann's sally was a general laugh.

"Girls a'n't what they used to be in my day," sententiously remarked an
elderly lady. "I remember my mother told me when she was thirteen she
could knit a long cotton stocking in a day."

"I haven't much faith in these stories of old times,--have you, girls?"
said Cerinthy, appealing to the younger members at the frame.

"At any rate," said Mrs. Twitchel, "our minister's wife will be a
pattern; I don't know anybody that goes beyond her either in spinning
or fine stitching."

Mary sat as placid and disengaged as the new moon, and listened to the
chatter of old and young with the easy quietness of a young heart that
has early outlived life, and looks on everything in the world from some
gentle, restful eminence far on towards a better home. She smiled at
everybody's word, had a quick eye for everybody's wants, and was ready
with thimble, scissors, or thread, whenever any one needed them; but
once, when there was a pause in the conversation, she and Mrs. Marvyn
were both discovered to have stolen away. They were seated on the bed
in Mary's little room, with their arms around each other, communing in
low and gentle tones.

"Mary, my dear child," said her friend, "this event is very pleasant to
me, because it places you permanently near me. I did not know but
eventually this sweet face might lead to my losing you, who are in some
respects the dearest friend I have."

"You might be sure," said Mary, "I never would have married, except
that my mother's happiness and the happiness of so good a friend seemed
to depend on it. When we renounce self in anything, we have reason to
hope for God's blessing; and so I feel assured of a peaceful life in
the course I have taken. You will always be as a mother to me," she
added, laying her head on her friend's shoulder.

"Yes," said Mrs. Marvyn; "and I must not let myself think a moment how
dear it might have been to have you more my own. If you feel really,
truly happy,--if you can enter on this life without any misgivings"--

"I can," said Mary, firmly.

At this instant, very strangely, the string which confined a wreath of
sea-shells around her glass, having been long undermined by moths,
suddenly broke and fell down, scattering the shells upon the floor.

Both women started, for the string of shells had been placed there by
James: and though neither was superstitious, this was one of those odd
coincidences that make hearts throb.

"Dear boy!" said Mary, gathering the shells up tenderly; "wherever he
is, I shall never cease to love him. It makes me feel sad to see this
come down; but it is only an accident; nothing of him will ever fail
out of my heart."

Mrs. Marvyn clasped Mary closer to her, with tears in her eyes.

"I'll tell you what, Mary; it must have been the moths did that," said
Miss Prissy, who had been standing, unobserved, at the door for a
moment back; "moths will eat away strings just so. Last week Miss
Vernon's great family-picture fell down because the moths eat through
the cord; people ought to use twine or cotton string always. But I came
to tell you that the supper is all set, and the Doctor out of his
study, and all the people are wondering where you are."

Mary and Mrs. Marvyn gave a hasty glance at themselves in the glass, to
be assured of their good keeping, and went into the great kitchen,
where a long table stood exhibiting all that plenitude of provision
which the immortal description of Washington Irving has saved us the
trouble of recapitulating in detail.

The husbands, brothers, and lovers had come in, and the scene was
redolent of gayety. When Mary made her appearance, there was a moment's
pause, till she was conducted to the side of the Doctor; when, raising
his hand, he invoked a grace upon the loaded board.

Unrestrained gayeties followed. Groups of young men and maidens chatted
together, and all the gallantries of the times were enacted. Serious
matrons commented on the cake, and told each other high and particular
secrets in the culinary art, which they drew from remote
family-archives. One might have learned in that instructive assembly
how best to keep moths out of blankets,--how to make fritters of Indian
corn undistinguishable from oysters,--how to bring up babies by
hand,--how to mend a cracked teapot,--how to take out grease from a
brocade,--how to reconcile absolute decrees with free will,--how to
make five yards of cloth answer the purpose of six,--and how to put
down the Democratic party. All were busy, earnest, and certain,--just
as a swarm of men and women, old and young, are in 1859.

Miss Prissy was in her glory; every bow of her best cap was alive with
excitement, and she presented to the eyes of the astonished Newport
gentry an animated receipt-book. Some of the information she
communicated, indeed, was so valuable and important that she could not
trust the air with it, but whispered the most important portions in a
confidential tone. Among the crowd, Cerinthy Ann's theological admirer
was observed in deeply reflective attitude; and that high-spirited
young lady added further to his convictions of the total depravity of
the species by vexing and discomposing him in those thousand ways in
which a lively, ill-conditioned young woman will put to rout a serious,
well-disposed young man,--comforting herself with the reflection, that
by-and-by she would repent of all her sins in a lump together.

Vain, transitory splendors! Even this evening, so glorious, so
heart-cheering, so fruitful in instruction and amusement, could not
last forever. Gradually the company broke up; the matrons mounted
soberly on horseback behind their spouses; and Cerinthy consoled her
clerical friend by giving him an opportunity to read her a lecture on
the way home, if he found the courage to do so.

Mr. and Mrs. Marvyn and Candace wound their way soberly homeward; the
Doctor returned to his study for nightly devotions; and before long,
sleep settled down on the brown cottage.

"I'll tell you what, Cato," said Candace, before composing herself to
sleep, "I can't feel it in my bones dat dis yer weddin's gwine to come
off yit."


CHAPTER XXXI.

AN ADVENTURE.


A day or two after, Madame de Frontignac and Mary went out to gather
shells and seaweed on the beach. It was four o'clock; and the afternoon
sun was hanging in the sultry sky of July with a hot and vaporous
stillness. The whole air was full of blue haze, that softened the
outlines of objects without hiding them. The sea lay like so much
glass; every ship and boat was double; every line and rope and spar had
its counterpart; and it seemed hard to say which was the more real, the
under or the upper world.

Madame de Frontignac and Mary had brought a little basket with them,
which they were filling with shells and sea-mosses. The former was in
high spirits. She ran, and shouted, and exclaimed, and wondered at each
new marvel thrown out upon the shore, with the _abandon_ of a little
child. Mary could not but wonder whether this indeed were she whose
strong words had pierced and wrung her sympathies the other night, and
whether a deep life-wound could lie bleeding under those brilliant eyes
and that infantine exuberance of gayety; yet, surely, all that which
seemed so strong, so true, so real could not be gone so soon,--and it
could not be so soon consoled. Mary wondered at her, as the Anglo-Saxon
constitution, with its strong, firm intensity, its singleness of
nature, wonders at the mobile, many-sided existence of warmer races,
whose versatility of emotion on the surface is not incompatible with
the most intense persistency lower down.

Mary's was one of those indulgent and tolerant natures which seem to
form the most favorable base for the play of other minds, rather than
to be itself salient,--and something about her tender calmness always
seemed to provoke the spirit of frolic in her friend. She would laugh
at her, kiss her, gambol round her, dress her hair with fantastic
coiffures, and call her all sorts of fanciful and poetic names in
French or English,--while Mary surveyed her with a pleased and innocent
surprise, as a revelation of character altogether new and different
from anything to which she had been hitherto accustomed. She was to her
a living pantomime, and brought into her unembellished life the charms
of opera and theatre and romance.

After wearying themselves with their researches, they climbed round a
point of rock that stretched some way out into the sea, and attained to
a little kind of grotto, where the high cliffs shut out the rays of the
sun. They sat down to rest upon the rocks. A fresh breeze of declining
day was springing up, and bringing the rising tide landward,--each
several line of waves with its white crests coming up and breaking
gracefully on the hard, sparkling sand-beach at their feet.

Mary's eyes fixed themselves, as they were apt to do, in a mournful
reverie, on the infinite expanse of waters, which was now broken and
chopped into a thousand incoming waves by the fresh afternoon breeze.
Madame de Frontignac noticed the expression, and began to play with her
as if she had been a child. She pulled the comb from her hair, and let
down its long silky waves upon her shoulders.

"Now," said she, "let us make a Miranda of thee. This is our cave. I
will be Prince Ferdinand. Burr told me all about that,--he reads
beautifully, and explained it all to me. What a lovely story that
is!--you must be so happy, who know how to read Shakspeare without
learning! _Tenez!_ I will put this shell on your forehead,--it has a
hole here, and I will pass this gold chain through,--now! What a pity
this seaweed will not be pretty out of water! it has no effect; but
there is some green that will do;--let me fasten it so. Now, fair
Miranda, look at thyself!"

Where is the girl so angelic as not to feel a slight curiosity to know
how she shall look in a new and strange costume? Mary bent over the
rock, where a little pool of water lay in a brown hollow above the
fluctuations of the tide, dark and still, like a mirror,--and saw a
fair face, with a white shell above the forehead and drooping wreaths
of green seaweed in the silken hair; and a faint blush and smile rose
on the cheek, giving the last finish to the picture.

"How do you find yourself?" said Madame. "Confess now that I have a
true talent in coiffure. Now I will be Ferdinand."

She turned quickly, and her eye was caught by something that Mary did
not see; she only saw the smile fade suddenly from Madame de
Frontignac's cheek, and her lips grow deadly white, while her heart
beat so that Mary could discern its flutterings under her black silk
bodice.

"Will the sea-nymphs punish the rash presumption of a mortal who
intrudes?" said Colonel Burr, stepping before them with a grace as
invincible and assured as if he had never had any past history with
either.

Mary started with a guilty blush, like a child detected in an unseemly
frolic, and put her hand to her head to take off the unwonted
adornments.

"Let me protest, in the name of the Graces," said Burr, who by that
time stood with easy calmness at her side; and as he spoke, he stayed
her hand with that gentle air of authority which made it the natural
impulse of most people to obey him. "It would be treason against the
picturesque," he added, "to spoil that toilette, so charmingly uniting
the wearer to the scene."

Mary was taken by surprise, and discomposed as every one is who finds
himself masquerading in attire foreign to his usual habits and
character; and therefore, when she would persist in taking it to
pieces, Burr found sufficient to alleviate the embarrassment of Madame
de Frontignac's utter silence in a playful run of protestations and
compliments.

"I think, Mary," said Madame de Frontignac, "that we had better be
returning to the house."

This was said in the haughtiest and coolest tone imaginable, looking at
the place where Burr stood, as if there were nothing there but empty
air. Mary rose to go; Madame de Frontignac offered her arm.

"Permit me to remark, ladies," said Burr, with the quiet suavity which
never forsook him, "that your very agreeable occupations have caused
time to pass more rapidly than you are aware. I think you will find
that the tide has risen so as to intercept the path by which you came
here. You will hardly be able to get around the point of rocks without
some assistance."

Mary looked a few paces ahead, and saw, a little before them, a fresh
afternoon breeze driving the rising tide high on to the side of the
rocks, at whose foot their course had lain. The nook in which they had
been sporting formed part of a shelving ledge which inclined over their
heads, and which it was just barely possible could be climbed by a
strong and agile person, but which would be wholly impracticable to a
frail, unaided woman.

"There is no time to be lost," said Burr, coolly, measuring the
possibilities with that keen eye that was never discomposed by any
exigency. "I am at your service, ladies; I can either carry you in my
arms around this point, or assist you up these rocks."

He paused and waited for their answer.

Madame de Frontignac stood pale, cold, and silent, hearing only the
wild beating of her heart.

"I think," said Mary, "that we should try the rocks."

"Very well," said Burr; and placing his gloved hand on a fragment of
rock somewhat above their heads, he swung himself up to it with an easy
agility; from this he stretched himself down as far as possible towards
them, and, extending his hand, directed Mary, who stood foremost, to
set her foot on a slight projection, and give him both her hands; she
did so, and he seemed to draw her up as easily as if she had been a
feather. He placed her by him on a shelf of rock, and turned again to
Madame de Frontignac; she folded her arms and turned resolutely away
towards the sea.

Just at that moment a coming wave broke at her feet.

"There is no time to be lost," said Burr; "there's a tremendous surf
coming in, and the next wave may carry you out."

"_Tant mieux_!" she responded, without turning her head.

"Oh, Virginie! Virginie!" exclaimed Mary, kneeling and stretching her
arms over the rock; but another voice called Virginie, in a tone which
went to her heart. She turned and saw those dark eyes full of tears.

"Oh, come!" he said, with that voice which she never could resist.

She put her cold, trembling hands into his, and he drew her up and
placed her safely beside Mary. A few moments of difficult climbing
followed, in which his arm was thrown now around one and then around
the other, and they felt themselves carried with a force as if the
slight and graceful form were strung with steel.

Placed in safety on the top of the bank, there was a natural gush of
grateful feeling towards their deliverer. The severest resentment, the
coolest moral disapprobation, are necessarily somewhat softened, when
the object of them has just laid one under a personal obligation.

Burr did not seem disposed to press his advantage, and treated the
incident as the most matter-of-course affair in the world. He offered
an arm to each lady, with the air of a well-bred gentleman who offers a
necessary support; and each took it, because neither wished, under the
circumstances, to refuse.

He walked along leisurely homeward, talking in that easy, quiet,
natural way in which he excelled, addressing no very particular remark
to either one, and at the door of the cottage took his leave, saying,
as he bowed, that he hoped neither of them would feel any inconvenience
from their exertions, and that he should do himself the pleasure to
call soon and inquire after their health.

Madame de Frontignac made no reply; but curtsied with a stately grace,
turned and went into her little, room, whither Mary, after a few
minutes, followed her.

She found her thrown upon the bed, her face buried in the pillow, her
breast heaving as if she were sobbing; but when, at Mary's entrance,
she raised her head, her eyes were bright and dry.

"It is just as I told you, Mary,--that man holds me. I love him yet, in
spite of myself. It is in vain to be angry. What is the use of striking
your right hand with your left? When we _love_ one more than ourselves,
we only hurt ourselves with our anger."

"But," said Mary, "love is founded on respect and esteem; and when that
is gone"----

"Why, then," said Madame, "we are very sorry,--but we love yet. Do we
stop loving ourselves when we have lost our own self-respect? No! it is
so disagreeable to see, we shut our eyes and ask to have the bandage
put on,--you know _that_, poor little heart! You can think how it would
have been with you, if you had found that _he_ was not what you
thought."

The word struck home to Mary's consciousness,--but she sat down and
took her friend in her arms with an air self-controlled, serious,
rational.

"I see and feel it all, dear Virginie, but I must stand firm for you.
You are in the waves, and I on the shore. If you are so weak at heart,
you must not see this man any more."

"But he will call."

"I will see him for you."

"What will you tell him, my heart?--tell him that I am ill, perhaps?"

"No; I will tell him the truth,--that you do not wish to see him."

"That is hard;--he will wonder."

"I think not," said Mary, resolutely; "and furthermore, I shall say to
him, that, while Madame de Frontignac is at the cottage, it will not be
agreeable for us to receive calls from him."

"Mary, _ma chère_, you astonish me!"

"My dear friend," said Mary, "it is the only way. This man--this cruel,
wicked, deceitful man--must not be allowed to trifle with you in this
way. I will protect you."

And she rose up with flashing eye and glowing cheek, looking as her
father looked when he protested against the slave-trade.

"Thou art my Saint Catharine," said Virginie, rising up, excited by
Mary's enthusiasm, "and hast the sword as well as the palm; but, dear
saint, don't think so very, very badly of him;--he has a noble nature;
he has the angel in him."

"The greater his sin," said Mary; "he sins against light and love."

"But I think his heart is touched,--I think he is sorry. Oh, Mary, if
you had only seen how he looked at me when he put out his hands on the
rocks!--there were tears in his eyes"

"Well there might be!" said Mary; "I do not think he is quite a fiend;
no one could look at those cheeks, dear Virginie, and not feel sad,
that saw you a few months ago."

"Am I so changed?" she said, rising and looking at herself in the
mirror. "Sure enough,--my neck used to be quite round;--now you can see
those two little bones, like rocks at low tide. Poor Virginie! her
summer is gone, and the leaves are falling; poor little cat!"--and
Virginie stroked her own chestnut head, as if she had been pitying
another, and began humming a little Norman air, with a refrain that
sounded like the murmur of a brook over the stones.

The more Mary was touched by these little poetic ways, which ran just
on an even line between the gay and the pathetic, the more indignant
she grew with the man that had brought all this sorrow. She felt a
saintly vindictiveness, and a determination to place herself as an
adamantine shield between him and her friend. There is no courage and
no anger like that of a gentle woman, when once fully roused; if ever
you have occasion to meet it, you will certainly remember the hour.


CHAPTER XXXII.

PLAIN TALK.


Mary revolved the affairs of her friend in her mind, during the night.
The intensity of the mental crisis through which she had herself just
passed had developed her in many inward respects, so that she looked
upon life no longer as a timid girl, but as a strong, experienced
woman. She had thought, and suffered, and held converse with eternal
realities, until thousands of mere earthly hesitations and timidities,
that often restrain a young and untried nature, had entirely lost their
hold upon her. Besides, Mary had at heart the true Puritan seed of
heroism,--never absent from the souls of true New England women. Her
essentially Hebrew education, trained in daily converse with the words
of prophets and seers, and with the modes of thought of a people
essentially grave and heroic, predisposed her to a kind of exaltation,
which, in times of great trial, might rise to the heights of the
religious--sublime, in which the impulse of self-devotion took a form
essentially commanding. The very intensity of the repression under
which her faculties had developed seemed, as it were, to produce a
surplus of hidden strength, which came out in exigencies. Her reading,
though restricted to a few volumes, had been of the kind that vitalized
and stimulated a poetic nature, and laid up in its chambers vigorous
words and trenchant phrases, for the use of an excited feeling,--so
that eloquence came to her as a native gift. She realized, in short, in
her higher hours, the last touch with which Milton finishes his
portrait of an ideal woman:--

  "Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat
  Build in her loftiest, and create an awe
  About her as a guard angelic placed."

The next, morning, Colonel Burr called at the cottage. Mary was
spinning in the garret, and Madame de Frontignac was reeling yarn, when
Mrs. Scudder brought this announcement.

"Mother," said Mary, "I wish to see Mr. Burr alone. Madame de
Frontignac will not go down."

Mrs. Scudder looked surprised, but asked no questions. When she was
gone down, Mary stood a moment reflecting; Madame de Frontignac looked
eager and agitated.

"Remember and notice all he says, and just how he looks, Mary, so as to
tell me; and be sure and say that I thank him for his kindness
yesterday. We must own he appeared very well there; did he not?"

"Certainly," said Mary; "but no man could have done less."

"Ah! but, Mary, not every man could have done it _as_ he did. Now don't
be too hard on him, Mary;--I have said dreadful things to him; I am
afraid I have been too severe. After all, these distinguished men are
so tempted! we don't know how much they are tempted; and who can wonder
that they are a little spoiled? So, my angel, you must be merciful."

"Merciful!" said Mary, kissing the pale cheek, and feeling the cold
little hands that trembled in hers.

"So you will go down in your little spinning-toilette, _mimi_? I fancy
you look as Joan of Arc did, when she was keeping her sheep at Domremy.
Go, and God bless thee!" and Madame de Frontignac pushed her playfully
forward.

Mary entered the room where Burr was seated, and wished him
good-morning, in a serious and placid manner, in which there was not
the slightest trace of embarrassment or discomposure.

"Shall I have the pleasure of seeing your fair companion this morning?"
said Burr, after some moments of indifferent conversation.

"No, Sir; Madame de Frontignac desires me to excuse her to you."

"Is she ill?" said Burr, with a look of concern.

"No, Mr. Burr, she prefers not to see you."

Burr gave a start of well-bred surprise, and Mary added,

"Madame de Frontignac has made me familiar with the history of your
acquaintance with her; and you will therefore understand what I mean,
Mr. Burr, when I say, that, during the time of her stay with us, we
should prefer not to receive calls from you."

"Your language, Miss Scudder, has certainly the merit of explicitness."

"I intend it shall have, Sir," said Mary, tranquilly; "half the misery
in the world comes of want of courage to speak and to hear the truth
plainly and in a spirit of love."

"I am gratified that you add the last clause, Miss Scudder; I might not
otherwise recognize the gentle being whom I have always regarded as the
impersonation of all that is softest in woman. I have not the honor of
understanding in the least the reason of this apparently capricious
sentence, but I bow to it in submission."

"Mr. Burr," said Mary, walking up to him, and looking him full in the
eyes, with an energy that for the moment bore down his practised air of
easy superiority, "I wish to speak to you for a moment, as one immortal
soul should to another, without any of those false glosses and deceits
which men call ceremony and good manners. You have done a very great
injury to a lovely lady, whose weakness ought to have been sacred in
your eyes. Precisely because you are what you are,--strong, keen,
penetrating, and able to control and govern all who come near
you,--because you have the power to make yourself agreeable,
interesting, fascinating, and to win esteem and love,--just for that
reason you ought to hold yourself the guardian of every woman, and
treat her as you would wish any man to treat your own daughter. I leave
it to your conscience, whether this is the manner in which you have
treated Madame de Frontignac."

"Upon my word, Miss Scudder," began Burr, "I cannot imagine what
representations our mutual friend may have been making. I assure you,
our intercourse has been as irreproachable as the most scrupulous could
desire."

"Irreproachable!--scrupulous!--Mr. Burr, you know that you have taken
the very life out of her. You men can have everything,--ambition,
wealth, power; a thousand ways are open to you: women have nothing but
their heart; and when that is gone, all is gone. Mr. Burr, you remember
the rich man who had flocks and herds, but nothing would do for him but
he must have the one little ewe-lamb which was all his poor neighbor
had. Thou art the man! You have stolen all the love she had to
give,--all that she had to make a happy home; and you can never give
her anything in return, without endangering her purity and her
soul,--and you knew you could not. I know you men _think_ this is a
light matter; but it is death to us. What will this woman's life be?
one long struggle to forget; and when you have forgotten her, and are
going on gay and happy,--when you have thrown her very name away as a
faded flower, she will be praying, hoping, fearing for you; though all
men deny you, yet will not she. Yes, Mr. Burr, if ever your popularity
and prosperity should leave you and those who now flatter should
despise and curse you, she will always be interceding with her own
heart and with God for you, and making a thousand excuses where she
cannot deny; and if you die, as I fear you have lived, unreconciled to
the God of your fathers, it will be in her heart to offer up her very
soul for you, and to pray that God will impute all your sins to her,
and give you heaven. Oh, I know this, because I have felt it in my own
heart!" and Mary threw herself passionately down into a chair, and
broke into an agony of uncontrolled sobbing.

Burr turned away, and stood looking through the window; tears were
dropping silently, unchecked by the cold, hard pride which was the evil
demon of his life.

It is due to our human nature to believe that no man could ever have
been so passionately and enduringly loved and revered by both men and
women as he was, without a beautiful and lovable nature;--no man ever
demonstrated more forcibly the truth, that it is not a man's natural
constitution, but the _use_ he makes of it, which stamps him as good or
vile.

The diviner part of him was weeping, and the cold, proud demon was
struggling to regain his lost ascendency. Every sob of the fair,
inspired child who had been speaking to him seemed to shake his
heart,--he felt as if he could have fallen on his knees to her; and yet
that stoical habit which was the boast of his life, which was the sole
wisdom he taught to his only and beautiful daughter, was slowly
stealing back round his heart,--and he pressed his lips together,
resolved that no word should escape till he had fully mastered himself.

In a few moments Mary rose with renewed calmness and dignity, and,
approaching him, said,--

"Before I wish you good-morning, Mr. Burr, I must ask pardon for the
liberty I have taken in speaking so very plainly."

"There is no pardon needed, my dear child," said Burr, turning and
speaking very gently, and with a face expressive of a softened concern;
"if you have told me harsh truths, it was with gentle intentions;--I
only hope that I may prove, at least by the future, that I am not
altogether so bad as you imagine. As to the friend whose name has been
passed between us, no man can go beyond me in a sense of her real
nobleness; I am sensible how little I can ever deserve the sentiment
with which she honors me. I am ready, in my future course, to obey any
commands that you and she may think proper to lay upon me."

"The only kindness you can now do her," said Mary, "is to leave her. It
is impossible that you should be merely friends;--it is impossible,
without violating the holiest bonds, that you should be more. The
injury done is irreparable; but you _can_ avoid adding another and
greater one to it."

Burr looked thoughtful.

"May I say one thing more?" said Mary, the color rising in her cheeks.

Burr looked at her with that smile that always drew out the confidence
of every heart.

"Mr. Burr," she said, "you will pardon me, but I cannot help saying
this: You have, I am told, wholly renounced the Christian faith of your
fathers, and build your whole life on quite another foundation. I
cannot help feeling that this is a great and terrible mistake. I cannot
help wishing that you would examine and reconsider."

"My dear child, I am extremely grateful to you for your remark, and
appreciate fully the purity of the source from which it springs.
Unfortunately, our intellectual beliefs are not subject to the control
of our will. I have examined, and the examination has, I regret to say,
not had the effect you would desire."

Mary looked at him wistfully; he smiled and bowed,--all himself again;
and stopping at the door, he said, with a proud humility,--

"Do me the favor to present my devoted regard to your friend; believe
me, that hereafter you shall have less reason to complain of me."

He bowed, and was gone.

An eye-witness of the scene has related, that, when Burr resigned his
seat as President of his country's Senate, an object of peculiar
political bitterness and obloquy, almost all who listened to him had
made up their minds that he was an utterly faithless, unprincipled man;
and yet, such was his singular and peculiar personal power, that his
short farewell-address melted the whole assembly into tears, and his
most embittered adversaries were charmed into a momentary enthusiasm of
admiration.

It must not be wondered at, therefore, if our simple-hearted, loving
Mary strangely found all her indignation against him gone, and herself
little disposed to criticize the impassioned tenderness with which
Madame de Frontignac still regarded him.

We have one thing more that we cannot avoid saying, of two men so
singularly in juxtaposition as Aaron Burr and Dr. Hopkins. Both had a
perfect _logic_ of life, and guided themselves with an inflexible
rigidity by it. Burr assumed individual pleasure to be the great object
of human existence; Dr. Hopkins placed it in a life altogether beyond
self. Burr rejected all sacrifice; Hopkins considered sacrifice as the
foundation of all existence. To live as far as possible without a
disagreeable sensation was an object which Burr proposed to himself as
the _summum bonum_, for which he drilled down and subjugated a nature
of singular richness. Hopkins, on the other hand, smoothed the
asperities of a temperament naturally violent and fiery by a rigid
discipline which guided it entirely above the plane of self-indulgence;
and, in the pursuance of their great end, the one watched against his
better nature as the other did against his worse. It is but fair, then,
to take their lives as the practical workings of their respective
ethical creeds.


CHAPTER XXXIII.

NEW ENGLAND IN FRENCH EYES.


We owe our readers a digression at this point, while we return for a
few moments to say a little more of the fortunes of Madame de
Frontignac, whom we left waiting with impatience for the termination of
the conversation between Mary and Burr. "_Enfin, chère Sybille_," said
Madame de Frontignac, when Mary came out of the room, with her cheeks
glowing and her eye flashing with a still unsubdued light, "_te voilà
encore_! What did he say, _mimi_?--did he ask for me?"

"Yes," said Mary, "he asked for you."

"What did you tell him?"

"I told him that you wished me to excuse you."

"How did he look then?--did he look surprised?"

"A good deal so, I thought," said Mary.

"_Allons, mimi_,--tell me all you said, and all he said." "Oh," said
Mary, "I am the worst person in the world; in fact, I cannot remember
anything that I have said; but I told him that he must leave you, and
never see you any more."

"Oh, _mimi_, never!"

Madame de Frontignac sat down on the side of the bed with such a look
of utter despair as went to Mary's heart.

"You know that it is best, Virginie; do you not?"

"Oh, yes, I know it; _mais pourtant, c'est dur comme la mort_. Ah,
well, what shall Virginie do now?"

"You have your husband," said Mary.

"_Je ne l'aime point_," said Madame de Frontignac.

"Yes, but he is a good and honorable man, and you should love him."

"Love is not in our power," said Madame de Frontignac.

"Not every kind of love," said Mary, "but some kinds. If you have a
kind, indulgent friend who protects you and cares for you, you can be
grateful to him, you can try to make him happy, and in time you may
come to love him very much. He is a thousand times nobler man, if what
you say is true, than the one who has injured you so."

"Oh, Mary!" said Madame de Frontignac, "there are some cases where we
find it too easy to love our enemies."

"More than that," said Mary; "I believe, that, if you go on patiently
in the way of duty, and pray daily to God, He will at last take out of
your heart this painful love, and give you a true and healthy one. As
you say, such feelings are very sweet and noble; but they are not the
only ones we have to live by;--we can find happiness in duty, in
self-sacrifice, in calm, sincere, honest friendship. That is what you
can feel for your husband."

"Your words cool me," said Madame de Frontignac; "thou art a sweet
snow-maiden, and my heart is hot and tired. I like to feel thee in my
arms," she said, putting her arms around Mary, and resting her head
upon her shoulder. "Talk to me so every day, and read me good cool
verses out of that beautiful Book, and perhaps by-and-by I shall grow
still and quiet like you."

Thus Mary soothed her friend; but every few days this soothing had to
be done over, as long as Burr remained in Newport. When he was finally
gone, she grew more calm. The simple, homely ways of the cottage, the
healthful routine of daily domestic toils, into which she delighted to
enter, brought refreshment to her spirit. That fine tact and exquisite
social sympathy, which distinguish the French above other nations,
caused her at once to enter into the spirit of the life in which she
moved; so that she no longer shocked any one's religious feelings by
acts forbidden by the Puritan idea of Sunday, or failed in any of the
exterior proprieties of religious life. She also read and studied with
avidity the English Bible, which came to her with the novelty of a
wholly new book in a new language; nor was she without a certain
artistic appreciation of the austere precision and gravity of the
religious life by which she was surrounded.

"It is sublime, but a little _glaciale_, like the Alps," she sometimes
said to Mary and Mrs. Marvyn, when speaking of it; "but then," she
added, playfully, "there are the flowers,--_les roses des Alpes_,--and
the air is very strengthening, and it is near to heaven,--_faut
avouer_."

We have shown how she appeared to the eye of New England life; it may
not be uninteresting to give a letter to one of her friends, which
showed how the same appeared to her. It was not a friend with whom she
felt on such terms, that her intimacy with Burr would appear at all in
the correspondence.


      *       *       *       *       *

"You behold me, my charming Gabrielle, quite pastoral, recruiting from
the dissipations of my Philadelphia life in a quiet cottage, with most
worthy, excellent people, whom I have learned to love very much. They
are good and true, as pious as the saints themselves, although they do
not belong to the Church,--a thing which I am sorry for; but then let
us hope, that, if the world is wide, heaven is wider, and that all
worthy people will find room at last. This is Virginie's own little,
pet, private heresy; and when I tell it to the Abbé, he only smiles;
and so I think, somehow, that it is not so very bad as it might be.

"We have had a very gay life in Philadelphia, and now I am growing
tired of the world, and think I shall retire to my cheese, like
Lafontaine's rat.

"These people in the country here in America have a character quite
their own, very different from the life of cities, where one sees, for
the most part, only a continuation of the forms of good society which
exist in the Old World.

"In the country, these people seem simple, grave, severe, always
industrious, and, at first, cold and reserved in their manners towards
each other, but with great warmth of heart. They are all obedient to
the word of their minister, who lives among them just like any other
man, and marries and has children.

"Everything in their worship is plain and austere; their churches are
perfectly desolate; they have no chants, no pictures, no
carvings,--only a most disconsolate, bare-looking building, where they
meet together, and sing one or two hymns, and the minister makes one or
two prayers, all out of his own thoughts, and then gives them a long,
long discourse about things which I cannot understand enough English to
comprehend.

"There is a very beautiful, charming young girl here, the daughter of
my hostess, who is as lovely and as saintly as St. Catharine, and has
such a genius for religion, that, if she had been in our Church, she
would certainly have been made a saint.

"Her mother is a good, worthy matron; and the good priest lives in the
family. I think he is a man of very sublime religion, as much above
this world as a great mountain; but he has the true sense of liberty
and fraternity; for he has dared to oppose with all his might this
detestable and cruel trade in poor negroes, which makes us, who are so
proud of the example of America in asserting the rights of men, so
ashamed for her inconsistencies.

"Well, now, there is a little romance getting up in the cottage; for
the good priest has fixed his eyes on the pretty saint, and discovered,
what he must be blind not to see, that she is very lovely,--and so, as
he can marry, he wants to make her his wife; and her mamma, who adores
him as if he were God, is quite set upon it. The sweet Marie, however,
has had a lover of her own in her little heart, a beautiful young man,
who went to sea, as heroes always do, to seek his fortune. And the
cruel sea has drowned him; and the poor little saint has wept and
prayed, till she is so thin and sweet and mournful that it makes one's
heart ache to see her smile. In our Church, Gabrielle, she would have
gone into a convent; but she makes a vocation of her daily life, and
goes round the house so sweetly, doing all the little work that is to
be done, as sacredly as the nuns pray at the altar. For you must know,
here in New England, the people, for the most part, keep no servants,
but perform all the household work themselves, with no end of spinning
and sewing besides. It is the true Arcadia, where you find cultivated
and refined people busying themselves with the simplest toils. For
these people are well-read and well-bred, and truly ladies in all
things. And so my little Marie and I, we feed the hens and chickens
together, and we search for eggs in the hay in the barn. And they have
taught me to spin at their great wheel, and at a little one too, which
makes a noise like the humming of a bee.

"But where am I? Oh, I was telling about the romance. Well, so the good
priest has proposed for my Marie, and the dear little soul has accepted
him as the nun accepts the veil; for she only loves him filially and
religiously. And now they are going on, in their way, with preparations
for the wedding. They had what they call 'a quilting' here the other
night, to prepare the bride's quilt,--and all the friends in the
neighborhood came;--it was very amusing to see.

"The morals of this people are so austere, that young men and girls are
allowed the greatest freedom. They associate and talk freely together,
and the young men walk home alone with the girls after evening parties.
And most generally, the young people, I am told, arrange their
marriages among themselves before the consent of the parents is asked.
This is very strange to us. I must not weary you, however, with the
details. I watch my little romance daily, and will let you hear further
as it progresses.

"With a thousand kisses, I am, ever, your loving

"Virginie."


CHAPTER XXXIV.

CONSULTATIONS AND CONFIDENCES.


Meanwhile, the wedding-preparations were going on at the cottage with
that consistent vigor with which Yankee people always drive matters
when they know precisely what they are about.

The wedding-day was definitely fixed for the first of August; and each
of the two weeks between had its particular significance and value
precisely marked out and arranged in Mrs. Katy Scudder's comprehensive
and systematic schemes.

It was settled that the newly wedded pair were, for a while at least,
to reside at the cottage. It might have been imagined, therefore, that
no great external changes were in contemplation; but it is astonishing,
the amount of discussion, the amount of advising, consulting, and
running to and fro, which can be made to result out of an apparently
slight change in the relative position of two people in the same house.

Dr. H. really opened his eyes with calm amazement. Good, modest soul!
he had never imagined himself the hero of so much preparation. From
morning to night, he heard his name constantly occurring in busy
consultations that seemed to be going on between Miss Prissy and Mrs.
Deacon Twitchel and Mrs. Scudder and Mrs. Jones, and quietly wondered
what they could have so much more than usual to say about him. For a
while it seemed to him that the whole house was about to be torn to
pieces. He was even requested to step out of his study, one day, into
which immediately entered, in his absence, two of the most vigorous
women of the parish, who proceeded to uttermost measures,--first
pitching everything into pie, so that the Doctor, who returned
disconsolately to look for a book, at once gave up himself and his
system of divinity as entirely lost, until assured by one of the
ladies, in a condescending manner, that he knew nothing about the
matter, and that, if he would return after half a day, he would find
everything right again,--a declaration in which he tried to have
unlimited faith, and which made him feel the advantage of a mind
accustomed to believing in mysteries. And it is to be remarked, that on
his return he actually found his table in most perfect order, with not
a single one of his papers missing; in fact, to his ignorant eye the
room looked exactly as it did before; and when Miss Prissy eloquently
demonstrated to him, that every inch of that paint had been scrubbed,
and the windows taken out, and washed inside and out, and rinsed
through three waters, and that the curtains had been taken down, and
washed, and put through a blue water, and starched, and ironed, and put
up again,--he only innocently wondered, in his ignorance, what there
was in a man's being married that made all these ceremonies necessary.
But the Doctor was a wise man, and in cases of difficulty kept his mind
to himself; and therefore he only informed these energetic
practitioners that he was extremely obliged to them, accepting it by
simple faith,--an example which, we recommend to all good men in
similar circumstances.

The house throughout was subjected to similar renovation. Everything in
every chest or box was vigorously pulled out and hung out on lines in
the clothes-yard to air; for when once the spirit of enterprise has
fairly possessed a group of women, it assumes the form of a "prophetic
fury," and carries them beyond themselves. Let not any ignorant mortal
of the masculine gender, at such hours, rashly dare to question the
promptings of the genius that inspires them. Spite of all the treatises
that have lately appeared, to demonstrate that there are no particular
inherent diversities between men and women, we hold to the opinion that
one thorough season of house-cleaning is sufficient to prove the
existence of awful and mysterious difference between the sexes, and of
subtile and reserved forces in the female line, before which the lords
of creation can only veil their faces with a discreet reverence, as our
Doctor has done.

In fact, his whole deportment on the occasion was characterized by
humility so edifying as really to touch the hearts of the whole synod
of matrons; and Miss Prissy rewarded him by declaring impressively her
opinion, that he was worthy to have a voice in the choosing of the
wedding-dress; and she actually swooped him up, just in a very critical
part of a distinction between natural and moral ability, and conveyed
him bodily, as fairy sprites knew how to convey the most ponderous of
mortals, into the best room, where three specimens of brocade lay
spread out upon a table for inspection.

Mary stood by the side of the table, her pretty head bent reflectively
downward, her cheek just resting upon the tip of one of her fingers, as
she stood looking thoughtfully _through_ the brocades at something
deeper that seemed to lie under them; and when the Doctor was required
to give judgment on the articles, it was observed by the matrons that
his large blue eyes were resting upon Mary, with an expression that
almost glorified his face; and it was not until his elbow was
repeatedly shaken by Miss Prissy, that he gave a sudden start, and
fixed his attention, as was requested, upon the silks. It had been one
of Miss Prissy's favorite theories, that _"that dear blessed man had
taste enough, if he would only give his mind to things"_; and, in fact,
the Doctor rather verified the remark on the present occasion, for he
looked very conscientiously and soberly at the silks, and even handled
them cautiously and respectfully with his fingers, and listened with
grave attention to all that Miss Prissy told him of their price and
properties, and then laid his finger down on one whose snow-white
ground was embellished with a pattern representing lilies of the valley
on a background of green leaves. "This is the one," he said, with an
air of decision; and then be looked at Mary, and smiled, and a murmur
of universal approbation broke out.

"_Il a de la délicatesse_," said Madame de Frontignac, who had been
watching this scene with bright, amused eyes,--while a chorus of loud
acclamations, in which Miss Prissy's voice took the lead, conveyed to
the innocent-minded Doctor the idea, that in some mysterious way he had
distinguished himself in the eyes of his feminine friends; whereat he
retired to his study slightly marvelling, but on the whole well
pleased, as men generally are when they do better than they expect; and
Miss Prissy, turning out all profaner persons from the apartment, held
a solemn consultation, to which only Mary, Mrs. Scudder, and Madame de
Frontignac were admitted. For it is to be observed that the latter had
risen daily and hourly in Miss Prissy's esteem, since her entrance into
the cottage; and she declared, that, if she only would give her a few
hints, she didn't believe but that she could make that dress look just
like a Paris one; and rather intimated that in such a case she might
almost be ready to resign all mortal ambitions.

The afternoon of this day, just at that cool hour when the clock ticks
so quietly in a New England kitchen, and everything is so clean and put
away that there seems to be nothing to do in the house, Mary sat
quietly down in her room to hem a ruffle. Everybody had gone out of the
house on various errands. The Doctor, with implicit faith, had
surrendered himself to Mrs. Scudder and Miss Prissy, to be conveyed up
to Newport, and attend to various appointments in relation to his outer
man, which he was informed would be indispensable in the forthcoming
solemnities. Madame de Frontignac had also gone to spend the day with
some of her Newport friends. And Mary, quite well pleased with the
placid and orderly stillness which reigned through the house, sat
pleasantly murmuring a little tune to her sewing, when suddenly the
trip of a very brisk foot was heard in the kitchen, and Miss Cerinthy
Ann Twitchel made her appearance at the door, her healthy glowing cheek
wearing a still brighter color from the exercise of a three-mile walk
in a July day.

"Why, Cerinthy," said Mary, "how glad I am to see you!"

"Well," said Cerinthy, "I have been meaning to come down all this week,
but there's so much to do in haying-time,--but to-day I told mother I
_must_ come. I brought these down," she said, unfolding a dozen snowy
damask napkins, "that I spun myself, and was thinking of you almost all
the while I spun them, so I suppose they aren't quite so wicked as they
might be."

We will observe here, that Cerinthy Ann, in virtue of having a high
stock of animal spirits and great fulness of physical vigor, had very
small proclivities towards the unseen and spiritual, but still always
indulged a secret resentment at being classed as a sinner above many
others, who, as church-members, made such professions, and were, as she
remarked, "not a bit better than she was." She had always, however,
cherished an unbounded veneration for Mary, and had made her the
confidante of most of her important secrets. It soon became very
evident that she had come with one on her mind now.

"Don't you want to come and sit out in the lot?" she said, after
sitting awhile, twirling her bonnet-strings with the air of one who has
something to say and doesn't know exactly how to begin upon it.

Mary cheerfully gathered up her thread, scissors, and ruffling, and the
two stepped over the window-sill, and soon found themselves seated
cozily under the boughs of a large apple-tree, whose descending
branches, meeting the tops of the high grass all around, formed a
seclusion as perfect as heart could desire.

They sat down, pushing away a place in the grass; and Cerinthy Ann took
off her bonnet, and threw it among the clover, exhibiting to view her
black hair, always trimly arranged in shining braids, except where some
glossy curls fell over the rich high, color of her cheeks. Something
appeared to discompose her this afternoon. There were those evident
signs of a consultation impending, which, to an experienced eye, are as
unmistakable as the coming up of a shower in summer.

Cerinthy began by passionately demolishing several heads of clover,
remarking, as she did so, that she "didn't see, for her part, how Mary
could keep so calm when things were coming so near." And as Mary
answered to this only with a quiet smile, she broke out again:--

"I don't see, for my part, how a young girl _could_ marry a minister,
anyhow; but then I think _you_ are just cut out for it. But what would
anybody say, if _I_ should do such a thing?"

"I don't know," said Mary, innocently.

"Well, I suppose everybody would hold up their hands; and yet, if I
_do_ say it myself,"--she added, coloring,--"there are not many girls
who could make a better minister's wife than I could, if I had a mind
to try."

"That I am sure of," said Mary, warmly.

"I guess you are the only one that ever thought so," said Cerinthy,
giving an impatient toss. "There's father and mother all the while
mourning over me; and yet I don't see but what I do pretty much all
that is done in the house, and they say I am a great comfort in a
temporal point of view. But, oh, the groanings and the sighings that
there are over me! I don't think it is pleasant to know that your best
friends are thinking such awful things about you, when you are working
your fingers off to help them. It is kind o' discouraging, but I don't
know what to do about it";--and for a few moments Cerinthy sat
demolishing buttercups, and throwing them up in the air till her shiny
black head was covered with golden flakes, while her cheeks grew redder
with something that she was going to say next.

"Now, Mary, there is _that creature_. Well, you know, he won't take
'_No_' for an answer. What shall I do?"

"Suppose, then, you try '_Yes_,'" said Mary, rather archly.

"Oh, pshaw! Mary Scudder, you know better than that, now. I look like
it, don't I?"

"Why, yes," said Mary, looking at Cerinthy, deliberately; "on the
whole, I think you do."

"Well! one thing I must say," said Cerinthy,--"I can't see what _he_
finds in me. I think he is a thousand times too good for me. Why, you
have no idea, Mary, how I _have_ plagued him. I believe that man
_really is a Christian_," she added, while something like a penitent
tear actually glistened in those sharp, saucy, black eyes. "Besides,"
she added, "I have told him everything I could think of to discourage
him. I told him that I had a bad temper, and didn't believe the
doctrines, and couldn't promise that I ever should; and after all, that
creature keeps right on, and I don't know what to tell him."

"Well," said Mary, mildly, "do you think you really love him?"

"Love him?" said Cerinthy, giving a great flounce, "to be sure I don't!
Catch me loving any man! I told him last night I didn't; but it didn't
do a bit of good. I used to think that man was bashful, but I declare I
have altered my mind; he will talk and talk till I don't know what to
do. I tell you, Mary, he talks beautifully, too, sometimes."

Here Cerinthy turned quickly away, and began reaching passionately
after clover-heads. After a few moments, she resumed:--

"The fact is, Mary, that man _needs_ somebody to take care of him; for
he never thinks of himself. They say he has got the consumption; but he
hasn't, any more than I have. It is just the way he neglects
himself,--preaching, talking, and visiting; nobody to take care of him,
and see to his clothes, and nurse him up when he gets a little hoarse
and run down. Well, I suppose if I _am_ unregenerate, I do know how to
keep things in order; and if I should keep _such_ a man's soul in his
body, I should be doing some good in the world; because, if ministers
don't live, of course they can't convert anybody. Just think of his
saying that I could be a comfort to _him_! I told him that it was
perfectly ridiculous. 'And besides,' says I, 'what will everybody
think?' I thought that I had really talked him out of the notion of it
last night; but there he was in again this morning, and told me he had
derived great encouragement from what I had said. Well, the poor man
really is lonesome,--his mother's dead, and he hasn't any sisters. I
asked him why he didn't go and take Miss Olladine Slocum: everybody
says she would make a first-rate minister's wife."

"Well, and what did he say to that?" said Mary.

"Well, something really silly,--about my looks," said Cerinthy, looking
down.

Mary looked up, and remarked the shining black hair, the long dark
lashes lying down over the glowing cheek, where two arch dimples were
nestling, and said, quietly,--

"Probably he is a man of taste, Cerinthy; I advise you to leave the
matter entirely to his judgment."

"You don't, really, Mary!" said the damsel, looking up. "Don't you
think it would injure _him_, if I should?"

"I think not, materially," said Mary.

"Well," said Cerinthy, rising, "the men will be coming home from the
mowing, before I get home, and want their supper. Mother has got one of
her headaches on this afternoon, so I can't stop any longer. There
isn't a soul in the house knows where anything is, when I am gone. If I
should ever take it into my head to go off, I don't know what would
become of father and mother, I was telling mother, the other day, that
I thought unregenerate folks were of some use in _this_ world, any
way."

"Does your mother know anything about it?" said Mary.

"Oh, as to mother, I believe she has been hoping and praying about it
these three months. She thinks that I am such a desperate case, it is
the only way I am to be brought in, as she calls it. That's what set me
against him at first; but the fact is, if girls will let a man argue
with them, he always contrives to get the best of it. I am kind of
provoked about it, too. But, mercy on us! he is so meek, there is no
use of getting provoked at him. Well, I guess I will go home and think
about it."

As she turned to go, she looked really pretty. Her long lashes were wet
with a twinkling moisture, like meadow-grass after a shower; and there
was a softened, childlike expression stealing over the careless gayety
of her face.

Mary put her arms round her with a gentle caressing movement, which the
other returned with a hearty embrace. They stood locked in each other's
arms,--the glowing, vigorous, strong-hearted girl, with that pale,
spiritual face resting on her breast, as when the morning, songful and
radiant, clasps the pale silver moon to her glowing bosom.

"Look here now, Mary," said Cerinthy; "your folks are all gone. You may
as well walk with me. It's pleasant now."

"Yes, I will," said Mary; "wait a minute, till I get my bonnet."

In a few moments the two girls were walking together in one of those
little pasture foot-tracks which run so cozily among huckleberry and
juniper bushes, while Cerinthy eagerly pursued the subject she could
not leave thinking of.

Their path now wound over high ground that overlooked the distant sea,
now lost itself in little copses of cedar and pitch-pine, and now there
came on the air the pleasant breath of new hay, which mowers were
harvesting in adjoining meadows.

They walked on and on, as girls will; because, when a young lady has
once fairly launched into the enterprise of telling another all that
_he_ said, and just how _he_ looked, for the last three months, walks
are apt to be indefinitely extended.

Mary was, besides, one of the most seductive little confidantes in the
world. She was so pure from selfishness, so heartily and innocently
interested in what another was telling her, that people in talking with
her found the subject constantly increasing in interest,--although, if
they really had been called upon afterwards to state the exact portion
in words which she added to the conversation, they would have been
surprised to find it so small.

In fact, before Cerinthy Ann had quite finished her confessions, they
were more than a mile from the cottage, and Mary began to think of
returning, saying that her mother would wonder where she was, when she
came home.

[To be continued.]


      *       *       *       *       *

LION LLEWELLYN.


Singing, shining, beautiful May
Lureth me, draweth me, all the day.
Once, when the season wooed me so,
Lion Llewellyn, thou lovedst to go,
Pacing before or close beside,
Reticent, quaint, and dignified,
Roaming with me, wandering wide;
And if ever thy feet inclined,
Weary with roving, to lag behind,
When were my arms to aid thee slow?
"Muver will cahwy her darlin'! So!"

Not to the pines, my warrior gray,
Gray and stately and scarred as they,--
Not to the hill, or the valley glen,
Shall we wander together again.

Nevermore, in the dead of night,
Shall I waken in cold affright,--
Waken at sounds I know too well,
Growl defiant, and horrid yell,
Sounds that bristle the hair, and tell
Strife is raging, and blood is shed,
Blood and--fur, in the conflict dread.
Nevermore, from my bed, shall I
Unto the chamber-window fly,

There, by the wintry moon, to spy
Thee on the well-sweep mounted high,--
Mounting still, from the crafty foe
Creeping and crawling up below;
And, when thou canst no farther go,
See thee crouch for the fearful leap
Off the top of the old well-sweep,
Then, with a swift and dizzy sweep,
Plunge in the crusty snow knee-deep.
Nor, for a lameness gotten so,
Shall I nurse thee again,--all, no!

Nevermore, from my willing hand
Winning the all I can command,
Shall be heard the pathetic tone,
(Solvent sufficient for heart of stone,)
Making thy simple wishes known;
Nor shall the vibrating long-drawn "Mr--r"
Of thy tranquil thunderous purr
Breathe again, to my ear attent,
Bliss o'erflowing and deep content.

As I fondly muse on thee,
I recall the spreading tree
Of thy goodly pedigree,
Which, of shapely branch or bough,
Hath no fairer growth than thou;
And my glance caressing now
Sweeps Alas, and Och Oh-Ow,
Chryssa, Christopher, What-Not,
Zabdas, Bunch, Longinus, Dot,
Tom, Zenobia, Nonesuch,
Turvy, Topsy, Inasmuch,
Zillah, Zillah Number Two,
Fremont, Dayton, Tittattoo,
Hiawatha, And, and If,
Minnehaha, But, and Tiff,
Kitty Clover, Kitty Gray,
Flossy, Frolic, Fayaway,
Quip, and Quirk, and Dearest Mae,
Nippenicket, Dido, Puck,
Minnesinger, Friar Tuck,
Periwinkle, Winkle Less,
Quiz, Albeit, Bonnie, Bess,
Midget, Budget, Mayaret,
Jocko, Sancho, Hans, Coquette,
Daisy Du Da, Ditto, Pet,
Pancks, and Peepy, Tilly, Tarn,
Tattycoram, Zoe, Clam,
Little Dorrit, Uncle Sam,
Tomtit, Pug, Penelope,
Ike, Ulysses, Rosalie,

Punch, and Judy, Ferny Fan,
Cowslip, Hecate, Caliban,
Filibuster, Jonathan,--
Name them all who may, who can;
For the half has not been told
Of the branches I behold
On the honored parent-stem,
And the later growth from them.

Lion Llewellyn, faithful friend,
Brave and gentle to the end,
Would that I once more might hail,
Like a banner on the gale,
Waving slow, thy jet-ringed tail!
And thy furry coat of mail,
Like the striped and spotted skin
Of thy savage leopard kin,
Would I might again caress
With the old-time tenderness!

Why do I talk of what may not be?
For the pillow of him I fain would see
Was changed long since from my motherly knee
To the garden, under the willow-tree,--
Weeping-willow and flowering moss.
Over it riseth nor pile nor cross;
We, who only have felt his loss,
Needing no sculptured stone to tell
How he battled, and how he fell,
Or where sleepeth who sleeps so well.

What is the destiny of his race?
Is there, I wonder, no other place
Whence they come or whither they go?
Earth-existence the all they know?
Does the living intelligence
Die in them with the dying sense?
Or, from the body passing hence,
Does it find in another sphere
Being in higher form than here?

For summers twain, the willow kept
Its watch where low the warrior slept,
But, on the third, a blight had crept
Upon the vigor of its frame;
Nor knew we how or whence it came.

Whisper it low and fearfully,
The tale of ghostly mystery;
For toothless crones and graybeards said
That from the presence of the dead
An influence around was shed,

Like warlock's foul, unholy spell,
Of malisons and curses fell,
Which steeped that soil with venom dank,
Of which the fated willow drank.

Whether it were or were not so,
At least so much as this we know,
That on the willow fell decay;
And though, when all things else grew gay,
It feebly strove to look as they,
Yet was its summer crown of pride
Worn lightly, and soon cast aside,
And when Spring found it, it had died.

A mound, and a stump with moss o'ergrown,
Now mark the place of his rest alone.

I see that the soft west-wind to-day
From the cherry-trees beareth their blooms away,
And wherever its fitful currents flow,
Rising or falling, swift or slow,
The tender petals like white wings go,
Floating, eddying, wavering low,
Wheeling and sinking in showers of snow;
And under their light and flickering fall,
The mound, and the flowering moss, and all,
Grow blanched and white as a billow's crest.

Thou that often these arms have pressed,
Nestled warm to thy mistress's breast,--
Thou that takest thy colder rest,
Now, in the breathless and pulseless ground,
Close, but untenderly, folded round,--
Ever, by thy drifted mound,
Sleep, the Mystery, be found
Most mysterious, most profound!
And through her enchanted air,
Lighter than petals fair,
Brooding Peace sink downward there;
And the blasted willow make
Haunt perpetual, for thy sake!



TOM PAINE'S FIRST APPEARANCE IN AMERICA.

  "It were wise, nay, just,
  To strike with men a balance: to forgive,
  If not forget, their evil for their good's sake."--_Saul_, A Drama.


In the year 1774, David Williams, a gentleman with deistical theories
and scientific tastes, lived at Chelsea, near London. It was the same
Williams whose tract on Political Liberty, published eight years
afterward, and translated by Brissot, earned for him the dignity of
_citoyen Français_, when that new order was created by the Revolution.
At the time we speak of, Mr. Williams kept a school for boys. Dr.
Franklin, who knew him well, often visited him. On one of these
occasions, it is said that Williams introduced to the American agent a
bright-eyed man approaching to middle age, named Thomas Paine, who had
been usher in a school and was desirous of trying his fortune in the
New World. After a short conversation, Franklin was so much pleased
with the intelligence of this man, that he gave him full advice with
regard to his voyage and to his movements after reaching his
destination, and wrote in his behalf a letter to his son-in-law, Bache,
introducing him as an "ingenious, worthy young man," very capable of
filling the post of "clerk, or assistant tutor in a school, or
assistant surveyor."

The "young man" was thirty-seven years of age when he landed in
Philadelphia in the autumn of 1774, to begin the real business of his
life. He had been a staymaker, a sailor, an exciseman, a teacher, a
shopkeeper, and an author, to say nothing of his twofold matrimonial
experience. Such a long and various course of schooling had fitted him
to become an American citizen.

His father was a staymaker, a Quaker, and poor. The son was sent to a
free school, where he was taught reading, writing, and arithmetic,
--enough learning to be given to any man at the public expense.
With these three keys, if he is made of the right material, he
can open the world. At thirteen, he worked at his father's trade; at
sixteen, he ran away and shipped on board the privateer "Terrible,"
Captain Death: the names of both craft and captain suggest the black
flag and cross-bones. Before the vessel sailed, his father interfered
and brought him ashore. Luckily for him; for, on her next cruise, the
"Terrible" was taken into St. Malo, a prize to the "Vengeance," after
one of the most desperate sea-fights on record. Her captain was killed;
out of a crew of two hundred men, only twenty-six were found alive,
most of them badly wounded. Visions of sea-life again lured Paine away
from the shop-board. He shipped in another privateer, and this time
actually served out the cruise. In 1759, we find him living at
Sandwich, a staymaker and a married man. In 1761, he was a widower and
an officer of the excise. From this position he was dismissed, for some
reason which escaped both Cobbett and Cheetham, and eleven months
afterward was reinstated on his own petition. In the interval, he found
employment in London as usher in a school, at twenty-five pounds a
year. His leisure moments he devoted to lectures on Natural Science. In
1768, he took a second wife at Lewes, the daughter of a tobacconist;
and the father dying soon after, Paine kept the shop. Here he wrote for
his brother-excisemen a petition to government for an increase of
salary. Four thousand copies were published by subscription. This piece
introduced him to Goldsmith, and a letter from the author to the famous
Doctor still exists, requesting "the honor of his company at the tavern
for an hour or two, to partake of a bottle of wine."

The year 1774 was an eventful one for Paine. He failed in the shop, was
separated from his wife, and dismissed from his office as exciseman.
After petitioning in vain to be reinstated, he determined to emigrate.

His first scheme was, to establish a school for girls in Philadelphia;
but Bache procured him an engagement as assistant editor of the
"Pennsylvania Magazine," at fifty pounds a year. Paine's contributions
were much applauded, and soon attracted subscribers. His "Reflections
on the Life and Death of Lord Clive" were considered admirable, but do
not suit our present taste. A song on the Death of General Wolfe, still
occasionally reprinted, does not rise above a low level of mediocrity.
But here is a paragraph on the Mineral Riches of the Earth, which, many
years later, found favor in the eyes of the surly Cheetham, and may
still be read with some interest:--


      *       *       *       *       *

"Though Nature is gay, polite, and generous abroad, she is sullen,
rude, and niggardly at home; return the visit, and she admits you with
all the suspicion of a miser, and all the reluctance of an antiquated
beauty retired to replenish her charms. Bred up in antediluvian
notions, she has not yet acquired the European taste of receiving
visitants in her dressing-room: she locks and bolts up her private
recesses with extraordinary care, as if not only resolved to preserve
her hoards, but to conceal her age, and hide the remains of a face that
was young and lovely in the days of Adam. He that would view Nature in
her undress, and partake of her internal treasures, must proceed with
the resolution of a robber, if not a ravisher. She gives no invitation
to follow her to the cavern,--the external earth makes no proclamation
of the interior stores, but leaves to chance and industry the discovery
of the whole. In such gifts as Nature can annually recreate, she is
noble and profuse, and entertains the whole world with the interest of
her fortune, but watches over the capital with the care of a miser. Her
gold and jewels lie concealed in the earth, in caves of utter darkness;
and hoards of wealth, heaps upon heaps, mould in the chests, like the
riches of a necromancer's cell."


      *       *       *       *       *

An essay against African Slavery, written for Bradford's paper,
introduced Paine to the notice of several distinguished men,--among
others, to that of Dr. Rush. Many years afterward, in a letter to
Cheetham, the Doctor described his first interview with Paine. In this
communication, he insinuates that he suggested the famous pamphlet and
the no less famous signature, "Common Sense." But in 1809, the
venerable Doctor was an old man; and even in earlier days, his keen
appreciation of "_Ille ego qui quondam_" and "_Quorum pars magna fui_,"
as the choicest passages in Virgil, was good-naturedly noticed by his
contemporaries. [1]

[Footnote 1: See "Climenole" in The Portfolio, 1803.]

Paine's own account of the work is probably the true one:--


      *       *       *       *       *

"In October, 1775, Dr. Franklin proposed giving me such materials as
were in his hands towards completing a history of the present
transactions, and seemed desirous to have the first volume out the next
spring. I had then formed the outlines of "Common Sense," and finished
nearly the first part; and as I supposed the Doctor's design in getting
out a history was to open the new year with a new system, I expected to
surprise him with a production on that subject much earlier than he
thought of."


      *       *       *       *       *

The times were more suggestive than doctors, even when Franklin was one
of them. When Paine came to America, he found the dispute with England
the all-absorbing topic. The atmosphere was heavy with the approaching
storm. The First Congress was in session in the autumn of that year. On
the 17th of September, John Adams felt certain that the other Colonies
would support Massachusetts. The Second Congress met in May, 1775.
During the winter and spring the quarrel had grown rapidly. Lexington
and Concord had become national watchwords; the army was assembled
about Boston; Washington was chosen commander-in-chief. Then came
Bunker's Hill, the siege of Boston, the attack upon Quebec. There was
open war between Great Britain and her Colonies. The Americans had
drawn the sword, but were unwilling to raise the flag.

From the beginning of the troubles the Colonists had been consistent in
their acts. Public meetings, protests, burnings in effigy, tea-riots,
militia levies, congresses, skirmishes, war, followed each other in
regular and logical succession;--but theoretically they did not make
out so clear a case. They had fine-drawn distinctions, not easy to
appreciate at this day, between taxes levied for the purpose of raising
revenue and duties imposed for the regulation of trade. Parliament
could lay a duty on tobacco in a seaport, but might not make the weed
excisable on a plantation,--could break down a loom in any part of
British America, could shut out all intercourse with foreign nations by
the Navigation Act, but had not the legal right to make the Colonial
merchant write his contracts or draw his bills on stamped paper. As to
independence, very few desired it. "Independence," it was the fashion
to say, "would be ruin and loss of liberty forever." The Colonists
insisted that they were the most loyal of subjects; but they had men
and muskets ready, and were determined to resist the obnoxious acts of
Parliament with both, if necessary. These arguments of our ancestors
led them to an excellent conclusion, and so far are entitled to our
respect; but logically we are afraid that King George had the best of
it.

Before many months had passed, lagging theory was left so far in the
rear by the rapid course of events, that the Colonists felt it
necessary to move up a new set of principles to the van, if they wished
to present a fair front to the enemy. They had raised an army, and
taken the field. Unless they declared themselves a nation, they were
confessedly rebels. And yet almost all hesitated. There was a
deep-seated prejudice in favor of the English government, and a strong
personal liking for the people. Even when it was known that the second
petition to the King--Dickinson's "measure of imbecility"--was
disregarded, as it deserved to be, and that the Hessians were coming,
and all reasonable men admitted that there was no hope for
reconciliation, they still refused to abandon the pleasing delusion,
and talked over the old plans for redress of grievances, and a
constitutional union with the mother country. With little or no belief
in the possibility of either, they stood shivering on the banks of the
Rubicon, that mythical river of irretrievable self-committal,
hesitating to enter its turbid waters. A few of the bolder "shepherds
of the people" tried to urge them onward; but no one was bold enough to
dash in first and lead them through. Paine seized the opportunity. He
had a mind whose eye always saw a subject, when it could perceive it at
all, in its naked truth, stripped of the non-material accessories which
disturb the vision of common men. He saw that reconciliation was
impossible, mere rebellion folly; and that, to succeed in the struggle,
it was necessary to fight Great Britain as an equal,--nation against
nation. This course he recommended in "Common Sense," published in
January, 1776.

Paine told the Colonists in this pamphlet that the connection with the
mother country was of no use to them, and was rapidly becoming an
impossibility. "It is not in the power of England to do this continent
justice. The business of it is too weighty and too intricate to be
managed with any tolerable degree of convenience by a power so distant.
_To be always running three or four thousand miles with a tale or a
petition, waiting four or five months for an answer, which, when
obtained, requires five or six more to explain it in, will in a few
years be looked upon as folly and childishness_." As to the protection
of England, what is that but the privilege of contributing to her wars?
"Our trade will always be a protection." "Neutrality is a safer convoy
than a man-of-war." "It is the true interest of America to steer clear
of European contentions, which she can never do while by her dependence
on Britain she is made the make-weight in the scale of European
politics." According to "Common Sense," not only was a separation
necessary and unavoidable, but the present moment was the right time to
establish it. "The time hath found us." The materials of war were
abundant; the union of the Colonies complete. It might be difficult, if
not impossible, to form the continent into a government half a century
hence. Now the task is easy. The interest of all is the same. "There is
no religious difficulty in the way." "I fully believe that it is the
will of the Almighty that there should be a diversity of religious
opinions among us. _I look upon the various denominations among us as
children of the same family, differing only in what is called their
Christian names."_ All things considered, "nothing can settle our
affairs so expeditiously as an open and determined declaration of
independence." "This proceeding may at first appear strange and
difficult. A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a
superficial appearance of being right"; but in a little time it will
become familiar. "And until independence is declared, the continent
will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant
business from day to day, yet knows it must be done; hates to set about
it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its
necessity." To this he thought it necessary to add a labored argument
against kings from the Old Testament, which may possibly have had much
weight with a people some of whose descendants still triumphantly quote
the same holy book in favour of slavery.

The King's speech, "a piece of finished villany" in the eyes of true
patriots, appeared in Philadelphia on the same day as "Common Sense".
Thus Paine was as lucky in his time of publication as in his choice of
a subject. All contemporaries admit that the pamphlet produced a
prodigious effect. Paine himself says,--"The success it met with was
beyond anything since the invention of printing. I gave the copyright
up to every State in the Union, and the demand ran to not less than one
hundred thousand copies." The authorship was attributed to Dr.
Franklin, to Samuel Adams, and to John Adams.

It is hardly necessary to mention that the movement party, with General
Washington at its head, considered Paine's "doctrines sound, and his
reasoning unanswerable." Even in England, Liberals read and applauded.
The pamphlet was translated into French. When John Adams went to
France, he heard himself called _le fameux Adams_, author of "Common
Sense."

It soon became apparent that the people were charged with Independence
doctrines, and, like an electrified Leyden jar, only waited for the
touch of a skilful hand to produce the explosion. "Common Sense" drew
the spark. The winged words flew over the country and produced so rapid
a change of opinion, that, in most cases, conservatives judged it
useless to publish the answers they had prepared. One or two appeared.
None attracted attention. About five months later, Congress declared
independence; "as soon," Paine wrote, "as 'Common Sense' could spread
through such an extensive country." In a few years Paine asserted and
believed, that, had it not been for him, the Colonial government would
have continued, and the United States would never have become a nation.

If we countermarch and get into the rear of Time, to borrow an
expression from "The Crisis," and, placing ourselves in January, 1776,
look at "Common Sense" from that date, we may understand without much
difficulty why it produced so great an impression. Paine, as later,
when he brought out the "Rights of Man," caused a chord to vibrate in
the popular mind which was already strung to the exact point of
tension. The publication was not only timely,--it was novel. Paine
founded a new school of pamphleteering. He was the first who wrote
politics for the million. The learned political dissertations of Junius
Brutus, Publius, or Philanglus were guarded in expression,
semi-metaphysical in theory, and Johnsonian in style. They were
relished by comparatively few readers; [1] but the shrewd illustrations
of "Common Sense," the homely force of its statements, and its concise
and muscular English stirred the mind of every class. Even Paine's
coarse epithets, "Common Ruffian," "Royal Brute of Britain," and the
like, which offended the taste of the leaders of the American
party,--for party-leaders were gentlemen in 1776,--had as much weight
with the rank-and-file as his arguments.

[Footnote 1: Compare, for instance, Judge Drayton's Independence Charge
to the Grand Jury of Charleston, delivered April 23, 1776, with "Common
Sense."]

Paine became suddenly famous. General Charles Lee said "that he burst
upon the world like Jove, in thunder." His acquaintance was sought by
all who were of the true faith in Independence; and when, soon
afterward, he visited New York, he carried with him letters from Dr.
Franklin and John Adams, introducing him to the principal residents "as
a citizen of the world, the celebrated author of 'Common Sense.'" Had
he been a man of fortune or American-born, he might have reached a
place in the foremost rank of the Fathers of the Country. But nativism
was powerful, and position important at that time, as Lee and Gates and
even Hamilton himself experienced. The signature, "Common Sense," Paine
preserved through life. It became what our authorlings, who ought to
know better, will persist in calling a _nom [1] de plume_--a Yankee
affectation, unknown to French idioms.

[Footnote 1: They generally spell it "_nomme_."]

In the autumn of 1776, Paine joined the army as volunteer aide-de-camp
to General Greene, and served through the gloomy campaign which opened
with the loss of New York in September. He remained in the field until
the army went into winter-quarters after the battles of Trenton and
Princeton. It was not as a combatant that Paine did the States good
service. He played the part of Tyraetus in prose,--an adaptation of the
old Greek lyrist to the eighteenth century and to British America,--and
cheered the soldiers, not with songs, but with essays, continuations of
"Common Sense." The first one was written on the retreat from Fort Lee,
and published under the name of "The Crisis," on the 23d of December,
when misfortune and severe weather had cast down the stoutest hearts.
It began with the well-known phrase, "'These are the times that try
men's souls.' The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this
crisis shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it
now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."--"But after all,"
he continues, "matters might be worse. Howe has done very little. Fort
Washington and Fort Lee were no loss to us. The retreat was admirably
planned and conducted. General Washington is the right man for the
place, 'with a mind that can even nourish upon care.'" He closes with a
cheerful sketch of the spirit and condition of the army, attacks the
Tories, and appeals to the Colonies for union and contributions.

This "Crisis" produced the best effect at home; in England it had the
honor of being burned by the hangman. The succeeding "Crisises" were
brought out at irregular intervals, whenever the occasion seemed to
demand Paine's attention; some of them not longer than a leader in a
daily paper; others swollen to pamphlet dimensions. They were read by
every corporal's guard in the army, and printed in every town of every
State on brown or yellow paper; for white was rarely to be obtained. In
their hours of despondency, the Colonists took consolation and courage
from the "Crisis." "Never," says a contemporary, "was a writer better
calculated for the meridian under which he wrote, or who knew how to
adapt himself more happily to every circumstance... Even Cheetham
admits, that to the army Paine's pen was an appendage almost as
necessary and as formidable as its cannon."

The next campaign opened gloomily for the Colonies. The Tories felt
certain of victory. In the political almanac of that party, 1777 was
_"the year with three gallows in it."_ The English held New York and
ravaged the Jerseys on their way to Philadelphia. Howe issued a
proclamation "commanding all congresses and committees to desist and
cease from their treasonable doings," promising pardon to all who
should come in and take the oath of allegiance. Paine met him with a
"Crisis." "By what means," he asked, "do you expect to conquer America?
If you could not effect it in the summer, when our army was less than
yours, nor in the winter, when we had none, how _are_ you to do it? If
you obtain possession of this city, [Philadelphia,] you could do
nothing with it but plunder it; it would be only an additional
dead-weight on your hands. You have both an army and a country to
contend with. You may march over the country, but you cannot hold it;
if you attempt to garrison it, your army would be like a stream of
water running to nothing. Even were our men to disperse, every man to
his home, engaging to reassemble at some future day, you would be as
much at a loss in that case as now. You would be afraid to send out
your troops in detachments; when we returned, the work would be all to
do." Paine then turns to those who, frightened by the proclamation,
betrayed their country, and paints their folly and its punishment. In
speaking of them, he calls upon the Pennsylvania Council of Safety to
take into serious consideration the case of the Quakers, whose
published protest against breaking off the "happy connection" seemed to
Paine of a treasonable nature. "They have voluntarily read themselves
out of the Continental meeting," he adds, with a humor, doubtless,
little relished by the Friends, "and cannot hope to be restored to it
again, but by payment and penitence."

In April, Paine was elected, on motion of John Adams, Secretary to the
Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs, with a salary of seventy
dollars a month. When Philadelphia surrendered, he accompanied Congress
in the flight to Lancaster. The day after the affair at Brandywine, a
short "Crisis" appeared, explaining the accidents which had caused the
defeat of the Continentals, and insisting that the good cause was safe,
and that Howe's victories were no better than defeats. Paine was right.
The Americans were gaining more ground in Northern New York than they
had lost in Pennsylvania. Burgoyne, who,

  "Unconscious of impending fates,
  Could push through woods, but not through
  Gates,"

had capitulated. The news reached Philadelphia on the 18th of October.

This winter ought to have closed the war. The alliance with France,
Burgoyne's capture, two campaigns without useful results, Washington's
admirable patience and management at Valley Forge, with starvation and
mutiny in the ranks and disaffection to his person in the officers of
the Gates faction, ought to have convinced every Englishman in America
that the attempt to reduce the Colonies was now hopeless. Paine was so
indignant with the reckless obstinacy of the British government, that
he conceived the idea of carrying the war into England with pen and
paper,--weapons he began to think invincible in his hands. "If I could
get over to England," he wrote to his old chief, General Greene,
"without being known, and only remain in safety until I could get out a
proclamation, I could open the eyes of the country with respect to the
madness and stupidity of its government." Greene had no confidence in
the success of this appeal to the English people, and advised Paine not
to attempt it.

In the mean time the French fleet had arrived, bringing M. Gérard, the
first foreign minister to the United States, and with him trouble to
Thomas Paine. It is well known that the French government employed
Beaumarchais, the author of the "Barber of Seville," as their agent to
furnish secret supplies to the American insurgents, and that
Beaumarchais imagined a firm, Rodrigue Hortalez & Co., who shipped to
the United Colonies munitions of war furnished by the King, and were to
receive return cargoes of tobacco, to keep up mercantile appearances.
Silas Deane, a member of Congress from Connecticut, represented the
Americans in the business. In 1777, Congress, out of patience with
Deane for his foolish contracts with foreign officers, recalled him. He
returned, bringing with him a claim of Beaumarchais for the cargoes
already shipped to the United States. As Deane could produce no
vouchers, and Arthur Lee had cautioned Congress against his demands,
the claim was laid on the table until the vouchers should be presented.
Deane, confiding in the support of his numerous friends, appealed to
the public in a newspaper. Congress bore this indignity so
amiably,--refusing, indeed, by a small majority to take notice of
it,--that Henry Laurens, the president, who had laid Deane's appeal
before them for their action, resigned in disgust, and was succeeded by
John Jay. But Paine, whose position as Foreign Secretary enabled him to
know that the supplies had come from the French government, and not
from Beaumarchais, answered Deane in several newspaper articles,
entitled, "Common Sense to the Public on Mr. Deane's Affairs." In these
he exposed the whole claim with his usual unmitigated directness. M.
Gérard immediately announced officially that Paine's papers were false,
and called upon Congress to declare them so and to pay the claim. Party
feeling ran high on this question,--a foreshadowing of the French and
English factions fifteen years later. Congress passed a resolution in
censure of Paine. Mr. Laurens moved that he be heard in his defence;
the motion was lost, and Paine resigned his office. A motion from the
Deane party to refuse his resignation and to discharge him was also
lost,--the Northern States voting generally in Paine's favor. His
resignation was then accepted.

As the French government persisted in denying that the King had
furnished any supplies, Congress admitted the debt, and in October,
1779, drew bills on Dr. Franklin in favor of Beaumarchais, for two
millions and a half of francs, at three years' sight. Beaumarchais
negotiated the bills, built a fine hotel, and lived _en prince_. But
neither he nor Deane was satisfied. They still demanded another
million.

We have no doubt that Paine was correct in his facts, however
injudicious it may have been to use them in his position. Deane's best
friends gave him up, before many years had passed. M. de Loménie, in
his interesting sketch of Beaumarchais, has tried hard to show the
justice of his demands on the United States, but without much success.
He does not attempt to explain how Beaumarchais, notoriously penniless
in 1775, should have had in 1777 a good claim for three millions' worth
of goods furnished. The American public looked upon Paine as a victim
to state policy, and his position with his friends did not suffer at
all in consequence of his disclosures. Personally, he exulted in his
conduct to the end of his life, and took pleasure in watching and
recording Deane's disreputable career and miserable end. "As he rose
like a rocket, so he fell like the stick," a metaphor which has passed
into a proverb, was imagined by Paine to meet Deane's case. [1] The
immediate consequence of Paine's resignation was to oblige him to hire
himself out as clerk to an attorney in Philadelphia. In his office,
Paine earned his daily bread by copying law-papers until he was
appointed clerk to the Assembly of Pennsylvania.

[Footnote 1: This Beaumarchais claim was kept alive until the beginning
of the present generation. In 1794, Gouverneur Morris, Minister to the
French Republic, obtained from the Minister of Finance a receipt to the
Crown for a million of francs, signed by Beaumarchais, and sent it home
to meet the claim which had again been presented. In 1806 it
reappeared, urged by the Imperial Ambassador. In 1816, the Duc de
Richelieu, minister of Louis XVIII., sustained it, and declared, on the
strength of Gerard's assertions, that the million receipt did not in
any way concern the United States. In 1824, the daughter of
Beaumarchais came to this country to solicit Congress in person, with
no better success. But at last, in 1835, when our claim of twenty-five
millions on France was settled, eight hundred thousand francs were
allowed to the heirs of Beaumarchais, and the business closed
forever,--not creditably to us. The claim was probably unfounded; but
our government admitted its validity by the fact of payment; and the
money, if due, ought to have been paid forty years before, or a
suitable compensation made for the long delay. To be Liberals in
borrowing and Conservatives in repayment is not a desirable financial
character for a nation to obtain.]

Early in May, 1780, while the Assembly of Pennsylvania was receiving
petitions from all parts of the State, praying for exemption from
taxes, a letter was brought to the speaker from General Washington, and
read to the House by Paine as clerk. It stated simply that the army was
in the utmost distress from the want of every necessary which men could
need and yet retain life; and that the symptoms of discontent and
mutiny were so marked that the General dreaded the event of every hour.
"When the letter was read," says Paine, "I observed a despairing
silence in the House. Nobody spoke for a considerable time. At length a
member, of whose fortitude I had a high opinion, rose. 'If,' said he,
'the account in that letter is true, and we are in the situation there
represented, it appears to me in vain to contend the matter any longer.
We may as well give up first as last.' A more cheerful member
endeavored to dissipate the gloom of the House, and moved an
adjournment, which was carried," Paine, who knew that the Assembly had
neither money nor credit, felt that the voluntary aid of individuals
could alone be relied upon in this conjuncture. He accordingly wrote a
letter to a friend in Philadelphia, a man of influence, explaining the
urgency of affairs, and inclosed five hundred dollars, the amount of
the salary due him as clerk, as his contribution towards a relief fund.
The Philadelphian called a meeting at the coffee-house, read Paine's
communication, and proposed a subscription, heading the list with two
hundred pounds in good money. Mr. Robert Morris put his name down for
the same sum. Three hundred thousand pounds, Pennsylvania currency,
were raised; and it was resolved to establish a bank with the fund for
the relief of the army. This plan was carried out with the best
results. After Morris was appointed Superintendent of Finances, he
developed it into the Bank of North America, which was incorporated
both by act of Congress and by the State of Pennsylvania. Paine
followed up his letter by a "Crisis Extraordinary." Admitting that the
war costs the Colonists a very large sum, he shows that it is trifling,
compared with the burdens the English have to bear. For this reason it
would be less expensive for the Americans to raise almost any amount to
drive the English out than to submit to them and come under their
system of taxation.

Our ancestors read the "Crisis Extraordinary," and understood every
word of it, we may be sure. Paine's lucidity of statement is never more
remarkable than when he handles financial questions. But conviction did
not work its way down to the pocket. Few men gave who could avoid it,
and each State appeared more fearful of paying, by accident, a larger
sum than its neighbor, than of the success of the British arms.
Congress, finding it at last almost impossible to get money or even
provisions at home, resolved to resort again to the financial expedient
which has proved so often profitable to this country, namely, to borrow
in Europe. Colonel Laurens, son of the late President of Congress, was
appointed commissioner to negotiate an annual loan from France of a
million sterling during the continuation of the war. Paine accompanied
him at his request. They sailed in February, 1781, and were graciously
received by King Louis, who promised them six millions of livres as a
present and ten millions as a loan. In little more than ten years, the
American secretary, who stands respectfully and unnoticed in the
presence of his Majesty of France, will sit as one of his judges in a
trial for life! Is there anything more wonderful in the transmutations
of fiction than this? Meanwhile, the future member of the Convention,
as little dreaming of what was in store for him as the King, sailed for
Boston with his principal. They carried with them two millions and a
half in silver,--a great help to Washington in the movement southward,
which ended with the capitulation of Yorktown. While in Paris, Paine
was again seized with the desire of invading England, incognito, with a
pamphlet in his pocket, to open the eyes of the people. But Colonel
Laurens thought no better of this scheme than General Greene, and
brought his secretary safely home again.

Cornwallis had surrendered, and it was evident that the war could not
last much longer. The danger past, the Colonial aversion to pay Union
expenses and to obey the orders of Congress became daily stronger. The
want of a "Crisis," as a corrective medicine for the body politic, was
so much felt, that Robert Morris, with the knowledge and approbation of
Washington, requested Paine to take pen in hand again, offering him, if
his private affairs made it necessary, a salary for his services. Paine
consented. A "Crisis" appeared which produced a most salutary effect.
This was followed a few days later by another, in which a passage
occurs which may be quoted as a specimen of Paine's rhetorical powers.
A rumor was abroad that England was treating with France for a separate
peace. Paine finds it impossible to express his contempt for the
baseness of the ministry who could attempt to sow dissension between
such faithful allies. "We sometimes experience sensations to which
language is not equal. The conception is too bulky to be born alive,
and in the torture of thinking we stand dumb. Our feelings, imprisoned
by their magnitude, find no way out; and in the struggle of expression
every finger tries to be a tongue." It will be difficult to describe
better the struggle of an indignant soul with an insufficient
vocabulary.

When peace was proclaimed, Paine, the untiring advocate of
independence, had a right to print his "Io Paean." The last "Crisis"
announces, "that the times that tried men's souls were over, and the
greatest and completest revolution the world ever knew gloriously and
happily accomplished." "America need never be ashamed to tell her
birth, nor relate the stages by which she rose to empire." But it is to
the future he bids her look, rather than to the past. "The remembrance
of what is past, if it operates rightly, must inspire her with the most
laudable of all ambition, that of adding to the fair fame she began
with." "She is now descending to the scenes of quiet and domestic
life,--not beneath the cypress shade of disappointment, but to enjoy in
her own land and under her own vine the sweet of her labors and the
reward of her toil. In this situation may she never forget that a fair
national reputation is of as much importance as independence,--that it
possesses a charm that wins upon the world, and makes even enemies
civil,--that it gives a dignity which is often superior to power, and
commands reverence where pomp and splendor fail." As indispensable to a
future of prosperity and dignity, he warmly recommends the Union. "I
ever feel myself hurt," he says, "when I hear the Union, that great
Palladium of our liberty and safety, the least irreverently spoken of.
It is the most sacred thing in the Constitution of America, and that
which every man should be most proud and tender of." Thus he
anticipated by seventy-five years our "Union-savers" of 1856, few of
whom dreamed that their pet phrases, or something very like them,
originated with Thomas Paine.

The war left Paine no richer than it found him. He had made fame, but
no money, by his writings. None of the proceeds of large editions had
enriched his purse. He had an exalted ideal of an author's duty when
his work is on political subjects. Louis Blanc has written somewhere,
"_Le journalisme est un sacerdoce._" This seems to have been Paine's
thought, although he may not have expressed it so sonorously,--for
there are no phrase-makers like the French. But Paine went, we suspect,
much farther than Louis Blanc; for he held that the priest ought to
take no pay for his ministrations. And he acted up to this unusual
theory in literary ethics. If he took out a copyright, he gave it away
to some public use. As he himself said, late in life,--"I could never
reconcile it to my principles to make money by my polities or my
religion." "In a great affair, where the happiness of man is at stake,
I love to work for nothing; and so fully am I under the influence of
this principle, that I should lose the spirit, the pleasure, and the
pride of it, were I conscious that I looked for reward."

His friends and admirers did not permit him to have the honor of giving
not only his services, but his actual expenses, to the Republic. The
State of New York presented him with a confiscated Royalist estate,
near New Rochelle, three hundred acres of good land, with the necessary
fences and buildings upon it. Pennsylvania voted him five hundred
pounds, currency. And the Virginians were talking about making a
similar donation, when an unlucky pamphlet from Paine appeared,
demolishing the claim of Virginia to the Western country. This
publication changed the views of the chivalry, and Paine lost his
grant. He owned, besides, a small place in Bordentown,--a gift, we
believe, of the State of New Jersey. The other nine States passed him
over. New England had expended enough, both of men and means, for the
cause,--and the South had fine feelings, but no money.

In the autumn of 1783, when Paine was residing at Bordentown, he
received a letter from Washington, who had fixed his quarters at Rocky
Hill, near Princeton, until he could resign his command to Congress. It
ran thus:--


      *       *       *       *       *

"I have learned, since I have been at this place, that you are at
Bordentown,--whether for the sake of retirement or economy; be it for
either or both, or whatever it may, I shall be exceedingly happy to see
you here.

"Your presence may remind Congress of your past services to this
country; and if it is in my power to impress them, command my best
exertions with freedom, as they will be rendered cheerfully by one who
entertains a lively sense of the importance of your works, and who,
with much pleasure, subscribes himself

"G. WASHINGTON."


      *       *       *       *       *

Such a letter of hearty approval and respect, from the greatest man of
the country, perhaps of the age, (we Americans, at least, all think
so,) rich, powerful, honored, is certainly a "handsome testimonial,"
worth writing or fighting for. It was not an empty offer of service.
Washington spoke to several members of Congress in Paine's behalf, and
told them that it would be pleasing to himself, as well as right and
proper, to make a suitable provision for Paine. In 1785, Congress at
last granted him three thousand dollars, much of which they fairly owed
him for his loss on the depreciated currency in which his salary as
Secretary had been paid. Paine accepted the General's invitation, and
spent some time in his family, at Mrs. Berrian's, Rocky Hill. One
evening of his visit was devoted to setting a neighboring creek on
fire. This successful experiment, as performed by the Father of his
Country, assisted by Thomas Paine, General Lincoln, and Colonel Cobb,
is described in a tract on the Yellow Fever, written by Paine a few
years before his death, at the request of Thomas Jefferson.

Until the spring of 1787, Paine spent his time in Philadelphia or in
Bordentown, writing occasionally on subjects which interested him, and
indulging his taste for scientific speculations in the company of
Franklin and Rittenhouse. He was a member of the American Philosophical
Society, as well as an A. M. of the University of Philadelphia. His
reputation, his wonderful memory, the shrewd originality of his
remarks, made him a welcome guest in the best society. He was no talker
or _conversationist_, (an excellent word we should like to see
legitimated,) but a quiet, observing man, who spoke to the point,
inoffensive in manner, and not unprepossessing in appearance. As one of
the lions of the country, he was much looked at, especially by
foreigners. We find a sketch of an interview with him in the Travels of
the Chevalier de Chastellux. De Lafayette and himself requested
permission to call "on that author so celebrated in America and in
Europe by his excellent work entitled 'Common Sense.'" Colonel Laurens
introduced them. "His physiognomy," the Chevalier thinks, "did not
belie the spirit that reigns throughout his works. Our conversation was
agreeable and animated, and such as to form a connection between us;
for he has written to me since my departure, and seems desirous of
maintaining a constant correspondence."

In common with most of the clever men of his day, Paine, as we have
said, cultivated a taste for mechanics and natural science. There was
an awakening of the mind, in physics as well as in politics, at that
period; and it must be confessed that the natural philosophers have
succeeded better than the constitution-makers. Paine's mechanical hobby
was an iron bridge. A single arch, of four hundred feet span, and
twenty feet in height from the chord-line, was to be thrown over the
Schuylkill, near Philadelphia. The idea was suggested to him by a
spider's web, a section of which the bridge resembled; and the
principle he worked upon was, that the small segment of a large circle
was preferable to the great segment of a small circle. Paine made a
complete model of his bridge, in wrought iron and wood, at Bordentown;
but, finding that the insufficiency of capital and of skill in the
working of iron in America would prevent him from carrying out his
plan, he sailed for France to lay his model before the Académie des
Sciences. Franklin, who always liked him, gave him letters to the
celebrated Malesherbes, Le Roy, the Abbé Morellet, the Duke de la
Rochefoucauld, introducing him "as an ingenious, honest man, author of
'Common Sense,' a famous piece, published here with great effect on the
minds of people at the beginning of the Revolution." He had also a
satisfactory credential from Congress, in the shape of the following
resolution, adopted by that body in August, 1785:--

"_Resolved_, That the early, unsolicited, and continued labours of Mr.
Thomas Paine, in explaining and enforcing the principles of the late
Revolution, by ingenious and timely publications upon the nature of
Liberty and Civil Government, have been well received by the citizens
of these States, and merit the approbation of Congress."



TRIAL TRIP OF THE "FLYING CLOUD."


"Through in four days to San Francisco," repeated I. "Marvellous age!"

I hastily computed the distance by an air-line, and placed the speed of
the craft at some thirty miles an hour. That seemed reasonable enough.
Indeed, the whole statement cohered marvellously well; all the parts
harmonized with each other and looked plausible, even reasonable, as I
have said, except the grand fact itself, which was too momentous for
belief. But why should it not be true? What new achievement of the
human mind ought to startle one in this nineteenth century, after
having witnessed the wonders of steam and electro-magnetism? I
determined to sift the matter, but immediately remembered that all the
knowledge I had of it had been imparted to me in the strictest
confidence. The ingenious inventors, as was clearly their right, had
reserved it to themselves to choose the time and way of making their
invention public, when it was to break on the world, some fine morning,
like the discovery of a second moon performing its orbit round the
earth. I sunk into a brown study.

In the evening, Mr. Bonflon called again, as he had promised. He
brought with him a large roll of plans and drawings, for the purpose of
illustrating more clearly the principles and method of construction and
operation of his aërial ship.

They were projected on a large scale, and the workmanship was superb.
Months of hard labor by a finished draughtsman must have been devoted
to their execution. "And what an additional outlay of time and brains,"
thought I, "must have been required, to devise the scheme and construct
the machine itself, so as to elevate the ingenious ideal into an
absolute working reality!" These drawings, Mr. Bonflon informed me,
were duplicates of others which had been privately deposited in the
Patent-Office at Washington.

The one which chiefly attracted my attention was that which represented
the monster steamer complete, with all its appendages and complement of
passengers, in its majestic flight through the air. Below it were the
drifting clouds. Its course lay quite above the storms and hurricanes
and conflicting wind-currents which vex the lower strata of the
atmosphere, where it comes in contact with the earth's uneven surface,
and is kept in motion by the contractions and expansions of alternate
cold and heat, and is broken and set whirling by the forests and gorges
and mountain-tops among which it is compelled to force its way. Above
all this, Mr. Bonflon assured me, as aëronauts report, there is ever a
smooth, quiet atmospheric sea.

"But how is life to be sustained for any considerable time in that
rarefied medium?" inquired I, "when it is asserted that even in
ascending high mountains, the texture of the soft parts of the human
body becomes so loose and flabby from diminished atmospheric pressure
as to cause one, so to speak, to sweat blood,--which oozes perceptibly
from the mouth and nose and eyes, and even from under the
finger-nails?"

Mr. Bonflon pointed to a long, narrow line which floated rearward at an
angle of about forty-five degrees from the point of its attachment to
his ship.

"That," said he, "is an India-rubber tube several thousand feet long,
extending down into the respirable atmosphere, and keeping the cabins
always supplied with fresh and wholesome air."

"But would the heavier nether air flow in that direction?" I asked.

"With a little help from the engine," he replied, "a constant current,
whenever needed, is kept up; and the process of breathing is rendered
as easy and agreeable in the cabins of the 'Flying Cloud' as in one's
own parlors at home. On the upper deck, which is not inclosed, you see,
it is different. In the first trial-trip to California, Mr. M----
insisted on remaining above on this deck for six consecutive hours, and
the result was an attack of hemorrhage from the lungs. On his going
below, however, it almost instantly ceased."

I must now endeavor to give the reader some definite idea of this
extraordinary machine, as exhibited in the drawings. Its buoyant power
was, of course, on the principle of the balloon. But the gas-chamber,
or part to be inflated, instead of being globular in form, consisted of
two horizontal cones joined at the base; or more accurately still, it
resembled an immense barrel extended at both ends to a point, and
resting on its side. This shape was given it, according to Mr. Bonflon,
that it might offer the least possible resistance to the element in
which it was intended to move. In structure it was composed of a strong
flexible frame of whalebone and steel, covered with silk, strengthened
and rendered air-tight and water-proof by a coating of India-rubber.
Its size, of course, would depend on the proposed tonnage of a
particular ship. That of the working-model, as nearly as I remember,
was about six hundred feet long, by some seventy or eighty in breadth
in the middle, which was calculated to be amply sufficient to sustain
the immense car beneath, with its engine, and fuel for a week, and
three hundred passengers with their baggage; leaving still a
considerable margin for freight.

Mr. Bonflon here pointed out, with great minuteness, the simple, but
ingenious method devised for the inflation of this enormous machine,
and the regulation of the gas; which I pass over, from an inability to
render it intelligible by mere description.

The car or vessel suspended below, and to which the balloon part bore
the relation of masts and sails, was fashioned after the best model of
a clipper ship, but still farther elongated. Below deck, it was divided
into sitting and dining cabins, state-rooms, kitchen, engine-room, and
so forth; and above was a long, railed, promenade deck. The attachment
between the two parts was by means of a network of ropes, extending
from every quarter, and from the whole circumference of the ship,
connecting with staples in the framework of the balloon, and finally
embracing its entire body in its folds. Two enormous paddle-wheels,
made of oiled silk stretched on delicate frames, and driven by a
steam-engine of the lightest structure possible, furnished the
propelling power; while at the stern, like a vast fin, played the helm,
of a similar material and construction to the paddle-wheels.

All this was explained to me in much fuller detail than I can here
repeat, by Mr. Bonflon, who added, that the materials employed combined
lightness with strength to a much greater degree than had ever before
been achieved,--that the fuel used was of the fluid kind, a new
combination of concentrated combustibles invented by himself,--and that
the weight of the entire machine had been carefully calculated
beforehand, together with its buoyant power, and the results had
demonstrated the accuracy of the mathematics.

I turned on Mr. Bonflon and looked him squarely in the face. He was a
modest man and blushed slightly, but did not shrink. There could be no
dishonesty there. His countenance bore the unmistakable stamp of
integrity, as well as intelligence; and his whole appearance and
bearing were those of a true man.

Had he brought me the newspaper he promised, not yet eight days old,
from San Francisco?

No. He had been detained down-town all day in the whirl of our New York
Babel, and had not yet been home. He would hand it in to-morrow.

Mr. Bonflon had been introduced to me that morning by a friend on whose
acuteness and judgment I felt I had many good reasons to rely. Without
pretending any precise knowledge of the man, or, indeed, any knowledge
at all, beyond what had been gathered from the individual himself in a
very brief acquaintance of Mr. Bonflon's own seeking, he expressed a
warm interest in him personally, as also in the startling discovery he
professed to have made.

In that interview, Mr. Bonflon had informed us in brief, that, after
ten years of patient and toilsome experiment, of disappointment, of
perishing and reviving hope, he had at length achieved the grand object
of his life. He had solved the problem of the navigation of the air. He
had proved by actual results, that the great ocean of atmosphere above
us could be ploughed as successfully and safely as the waters beneath,
and with much greater facility and pleasure. He stated that the first
trial-trip, after the completion of the ship, had been made in the
night from an obscure point in the State of Maryland, and extended
north and northeast, along the Atlantic coast, to New York,--whose glow
of light from a great height, like a phosphorescent mist, was plainly
distinguishable,--and thence to the neighborhood of Boston, and back to
the place of starting; and that a second, with equally favorable
results, had been made from the same point by a more inland route,
northwest to Buffalo and the Canada line; and he named several
well-known persons who were on board at one or the other of these
times, and related some little anecdotes illustrative of their states
of mind and apprehensions while drifting above the earth on the
occasion of these novel voyages.

He said, further, that the President and heads of departments at
Washington were fully cognizant of the matter; and that a third grand
trial-trip, in the interest of government, had been secretly made, with
important dispatches to California, relating to the security of our
rights in the Pacific. Four days had been consumed in the passage out,
including a stoppage of a couple of hours on a fine plateau, near the
head waters of the Missouri, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains; and
the same in the return. They had landed in the night in a deep valley a
few miles out of San Francisco, and remained two days in that city;
which gave a period of ten days to the entire voyage, out and back.
Forty selected individuals, all bound to secresy, had participated in
the risks and excitements of the extraordinary occasion. Mr. Bonflon
was not of the number. An heroic daughter of his was. His partner,
Mons. De Aëry, a French gentleman of great mechanical skill, had
managed the affair; and the craft, in the same hands, was now absent on
her second expedition across the American continent.

Such was the sum of Mr. Bonflon's revelations of the morning. What a
discovery! How the announcement would astonish the world! How the
practical fact would overturn the world, upset commerce, and transform
the habits and relations of mankind! America, the pioneer in many
valuable discoveries and reforms, was still ahead,--still destined to
lead the van in the development of the powers and resources of Nature,
and the onward march of nations.

Hurriedly recalling all these points to mind, I requested to know of
Mr. Bonflon how it had been possible, with so many confidants and the
prying propensities of the press, whose agents, like an invisible
police, are everywhere, to keep the matter from becoming public,--at
least, to cover the affair so completely that no hint of the existence
of his machine should have been given in any quarter, or of the vast
changes which its introduction as a power in the world could not fail
to effect.

To this he replied, that the press had behaved very handsomely; that
the principal papers of the country had _attachés_ aboard on the first
trip to the Pacific; but that all parties--the government, the editors,
together with De Aëry and himself--were agreed that the matter should
be kept strictly private, until its practicality and value should be
established beyond the possibility of question.

I now remembered, that, several years ago, a good deal of noise had
been made about a flying-machine which had been constructed in some of
the suburbs of the city,--and that a day had been advertised when it
was to make an ascent, but, it failed. I mentioned the circumstance to
Mr. Bonflon.

"Yes," he replied. "It was at Hoboken. De Aëry and myself spent years
in the construction of that machine, and a large amount of money. On
the day when the trial of its powers was to have taken place, the
weather proved unfavorable, and we met with unexpected delays. The
spectators, who had congregated by thousands, became impatient; and the
mob, breaking in upon us, destroyed in an hour property which had cost
us five thousand dollars and the labor of years."

I felt obliged to sympathize with Mr. Bonflon. He had met with the
usual fortune of public benefactors, and particularly of inventors. His
success, however, should it prove real, in the unexampled brilliancy of
its results, would more than compensate him for all his disappointments
and losses. He would rank as the greatest of discoverers,--as the
master mind of this master century.

Leading him off from this one topic into general conversation, I held
him thus engaged for an hour. I was charmed with his comprehensive
intelligence, and with the scope and liberality of his views. In
everything relating to mechanics, his opinions were marked with
originality. This had evidently been his favorite field, where his
quick perceptions and powers of concentration and analysis had elevated
him to an eminence where he stood almost alone. I had never met his
equal. In plausible suggestions relative to the possibilities of the
future, he took me quite above my level, and left me floating in a maze
of glittering bewilderment. But I could discover no breaks, no
confusion in his mind, on the themes he presented. His premises were
apparently well considered, and his conclusions the fair and natural
sequences flowing from them.

On the following day, Mr. Bonflon called on me again. In the interval,
my friend and myself had held extended consultations. My friend, while
externally calm as the surface of a summer sea, as was his wont, it was
plain for me to see, was internally deeply stirred and excited by the
extraordinary nature of Mr. Bonflon's revelations. Acknowledging a
mutual and increasing interest in the intelligent inventor, we
nevertheless parted in a wilderness of doubt. There was a mystery in
the matter,--a surprise for the world or a surprise for
ourselves,--which time, it would seem, with its busy thumb and finger,
must be left to unravel at its leisure.

Mr. Bonflon had not brought the California paper with him. The two or
three copies only which had come into his possession had been handed
around among his confidential friends, and he had not been able to lay
his hand on one. He informed me that the "Flying Cloud" was expected to
return in three days, and, after remaining two days on the Atlantic
side of the continent, would then start on her third experimental trip
to the Pacific. At that time he expected to make one of the party
himself, and he invited me to accompany him.

I accepted the invitation, and received from him particular
instructions as to the nature of my outfit. It was in the midst of the
heats of summer. He advised, however, a full supply of thick clothing,
on account of the increased chill and coldness of the atmosphere at
high altitudes; and, indeed, recommended a mail of flannel next the
skin. Everything else--the supply of the larder, with an excellent
cook, beds, and so forth--would be found amply provided by De Aëry and
himself for the comfort and accommodation of their guests. The station,
or point of departure, Mr. Bonflon informed me, was a retired spot but
a few miles out of the city of Baltimore; and he promised to be at hand
at the proper time to accompany me in person, and see me safely on
board the "Flying Cloud."

I saw nothing more of Mr. Bonflon for several days. Meanwhile I
arranged my affairs for a brief absence, and, as my family were all off
in the country, prepared a special letter for use, if needed, to be
dated and mailed at the last moment, notifying them of a probable gap
in my correspondence, on account of some pressing business which would
take me out of the city for a few days and keep me constantly employed.

In three or four days I received a note from Mr. Bonflon, advising me
to hold myself in readiness; and at the proper time, he presented
himself before me. But he came to apologize. The "Flying Cloud" had
returned. The second trip had been as successfully and safely performed
as the first. Nothing had occurred to mar the pleasure of the voyage;
but, unfortunately, before coming on to New York, De Aëry had filled
out the complement of guests for the third grand expedition. Even he
(Mr. Bonflon) should remain behind; but he should see that seats were
reserved for us both, without fail, for the next succeeding trip. Mr.
Bonflon took his leave; and I found myself more deeply involved in
doubt and perplexity than ever. I could hardly say that I was
disappointed, or that I was not. I had thrown myself on a wave, with no
look-out or means of judging where I was to be cast, and had formed no
opinions. As yet, everything looked fair with Mr. Bonflon. His face was
as honest as the morning sun, and it was next to impossible to doubt
him. He might be the prey of some strange phantasm, some monomania; but
the evidences did not show it. The account he had given of himself was
manly and coherent; his claims as a discoverer had been modestly
presented, and were not wholly unsupported by circumstances, or
unreasonable in themselves. Indeed, they must be regarded as coming
within the range of probabilities fully as much as, to human seeming,
had once the established, but ceaseless, wonders of steam locomotion
and electric telegraphing.

Singularly enough,--and it illustrates the constantly shifting scenes
in the kaleidoscope of life,--within an hour, Mr. Bonflon returned with
a new message, and with the programme of the "Flying Cloud" changed, if
not reversed. He had seen De Aëry again. One or two of the expected
passengers had telegraphed that untoward circumstances would compel
them to remain behind, and there would be room for us. But no time was
to be lost; the air-steamer would weigh anchor before daylight of the
following morning, and we must start for Baltimore by the next train.
De Aëry and several others were already flying over the rail on their
way to Philadelphia.

I did not allow myself to hesitate. With an unusual degree of
excitement, made up of the mingled emotions of wonder, doubt, and, I
frankly confess, apprehension, I dated and superscribed the letter to
my absent family; and, taking my carpet-bag in my hand, packed to
plethora several days before in readiness for the occasion, set out on
the strange and questionable adventure.

The run to Baltimore was made without accident or delay. Mr. Bonflon
and myself conversed a good deal, and I found additional cause to
admire the discriminating character of his mind and the curious and
wonderful stores it contained. Some of the time we dozed, or sunk into
a mental confusion like that to which the body was subjected by the
motion of the cars, and called it sleep. My own most impressive
visions, however, were those of silent wakefulness, and were connected
with the morrow and the "Flying Cloud."

We stopped in the chief city of Maryland only long enough to obtain
some slight refreshments, such as could be furnished readily in the
middle of the night, and proceeded at once to the wharf or station of
our sky-sailer. Ah, how shall I describe my sensations on first
beholding this most wonderful achievement of the age, and thus
satisfying myself that it was an actual existence, and not the mere
chimera of a diseased brain? There she sat like a majestic swan,
floating, as it were, in the pure empyrean, and crowned with a diadem
of stars. The Moon, Arcturus, and the Pleiades might well all make
obeisance to her, and the Milky Way invite her to extend her flight and
plough its snowy fields. I was astonished at her size, the symmetry of
her parts, and the harmony of her proportions, as she lay there at a
great height, which I was quite unable to estimate, in bold relief
against the sky.

But Mr. Bonflon could afford me but a brief time for observation and
the indulgence of my wonder. The stores and most of the passengers were
already on board; and taking me by the arm, he hurried me forward, and
seated me in the small car or tender, by means of which, and the agency
of ropes and pulleys, we were to reach her decks. Our upward movement
immediately commenced. It was steady and gentle, not calculated to
create alarm; and still the notion of quitting Mother Earth for an
indefinite number of days, to rove in the blue unknown of space, was
attended with some apprehensions and regrets. I gazed anxiously at the
receding objects below; but my feelings underwent a change as we
approached the "Flying Cloud" herself, were pulled into her gangway,
and I found myself standing on her solid decks. A brief further period
intervened, and our anchor was loosed; the tremendous machine became
instinct with life; she began to move; and, hurrah! we were under way.

The thoughts and emotions of this bewildering moment it is impossible
to describe. Our craft moved off majestically, like some huge
water-fowl rising from the sea. Her course was westward and upward,
like the eagle with his face turned toward the palace of the sun. At
first the lights in the city of Baltimore became more numerous and
distinct, as intervening objects were surmounted and overlooked. Next
they began to fade, shrinking down into twinkling points like
fireflies, until they disappeared. Forests, hills, and mountains
followed after, as our altitude was increased, blending together like a
hazy landscape, until, on passing above the cloud region, and finding
the level of our track, the earth was wholly lost to our view, and our
course lay through the blue serene of space, without a lighthouse or a
landmark, and nothing but the constant lamps of heaven to guide us in
our passage.

What a sea! The ocean has its visible surface on which move the ships;
but we had none. The heavens were beneath us as well as above. We were
floating in the great circle of the systems and the suns. We were of
the universe; but were to be numbered with the constellations and the
stars. We could compare ourselves to a company of immortals quitting
the earth and traversing the electric seas which lead to brighter
homes. Or we were voyagers to the sun, or to the nearer Venus, or to
the far distant Centaurus. What a world of new thought was forced upon
us by the fancies and realities and charm and awe of our extraordinary
condition, combined with the profound consciousness we could not fail
to entertain of the effects which this crowning discovery of Messrs.
Bonflon and De Aëry must produce on travel, on commerce, on art, and
the common destiny of mankind!

I found the atmosphere of the cabins, as my friend Bonflon had
asserted, agreeable and healthful. I could also occupy the promenade
deck for half an hour with little inconvenience, so far as the levity
of the air was concerned; but the cold was severe; while the system, in
consequence of an undue expansion of its particles, solid and fluid,
from the diminished pressure of the atmosphere, was rendered doubly
susceptible to its influence. The advice given by Mr. Bonflon to case
myself in flannels, with an armament at hand of outer winter clothing,
proved well-timed; and yet a period of lassitude, verging on faintness,
invariably followed every considerable exposure to the open air.

But the pleasure of gazing on those fields of space without
obstruction, without the intervention of so much as a plate of crystal
glass, repaid me for every risk and every ill. Though it might be said
there was no scenery there, where nothing was visible but the stars,
yet far beyond the power of mountain and valley, forest and lake,
waterfall and ocean, did that scene, which was no scene, or next to
none, bind me in the spell of its fascination. The motion of our craft,
as we careered noiselessly through the shoreless and objectless void,
without sense of effort or friction, was a charm of itself,--bringing
to a flower, crystallizing into refulgent stars, the dim, obscure,
however glorious, poetry of life. Here were the wildest imaginations of
the dreamer melted in a crucible, and reproduced in living forms of
usefulness and beauty. In my own years of widely diversified
experience, what had I met with to compare with this? Nothing. The
force of steam was marvellous,--talking over a wire mysterious; but here
I was in a great ship riding among the planets and the stars. I had
likened Niagara to a vast mill-dam, because I could find no peer to set
beside it; so now, in my weakness, the sublime pageant of the "Flying
Cloud" could search out nothing higher in my recollection with which to
compare it than a wild, ride of my youth in a canoe, for a half mile or
so, down the rapids of a river.

But morning was at hand. The rich golden glow of night, to which the
dwellers on the earth's surface are accustomed, as we passed to higher
altitudes, had given place to a thin inky blue. This was obscured by no
fleck or mist, and yet the stars shone through it faint and dim,
despoiling the firmament of its glory. The same loss of power was
manifest on the ushering in of day. The auroral flame, which ordinarily
greets us in the east with such a ruddy laugh, was now nothing better
than a wan and dismal smile; and even the sun, as he struggled up from
what seemed a bed of leaden mist, brought with him only a pallid,
lifeless twilight. It was not that his rays were impeded by cloud or
haze; he had lost his power to shine. He hung there in the heavens like
a great white shield, and looked down on us as rayless and powerless
and devoid of life as a dead man's eye.

Having at length wearied myself with gazing, and feeling chill and weak
from the coldness and tenuity of the atmosphere, I subsided into the
comfort and companionship of the cabins below. Among the passengers I
recognized _attachés_ of the press, besides several gentlemen of
Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, with whom I was somewhat
acquainted. More circumspect, or less slaves to the imagination than
myself, they had contented themselves with in-door observations. But
their enthusiasm was none the less inflamed. In astonishment they
looked at each other; in restless bewilderment they glanced out of the
windows on the desert, trackless plane traversed by the "Flying Cloud,"
and spoke with a species of awe of the shock which the announcement of
what they were then witnessing would give to sober men's minds; and
suggested, in broken sentences, some of the consequences which would be
likely to flow from the grand invention.

What with excitement and lack of sleep, we all found ourselves a little
nervous. Coffee and Havanas failed to allay the feeling; and, in the
absence of the morning papers, we resorted to whist, chess, and our
pocket supplies of the "Atlantic Monthly," "Harper," and so forth, and
to the very select library provided by Messrs. Bonflon and De Aëry, the
proprietors, for the use of the passengers,--and at last to our beds.
It could not be denied that we were nervous. With all the smoothness
and beauty of our running, there was a sensation, an uncertain
quivering motion, not at first noticed and not at all definable, about
our craft, that constantly, suggested the idea that we were standing on
nothing, or, at best, nothing better than dissolving quicksands, which
were liable at any moment wholly to slide away and leave us; and it
required some strength of mind to resist the vagary, and prevent it
from effecting a troublesome lodgment in the imagination.

Thus passed the day, which fortunately, in my case, was succeeded by a
night of repose. The restlessness of mind and body once subdued, Nature
asserted her empire, and I slept profoundly until morning. Another day
and night followed, with little variation from the first; and by this
time, the strangeness and mystery of my situation had quite worn away,
and the feeling of security was established. I trod the upper deck with
all the pride, and more than the composure, of a modern monarch on his
throne.

But the sameness of the scenery of the vast aërial ocean, in which we
were sailing alone, without consort, without ever descrying a sail, or
even keeping a lookout, without so much as ever discovering a floating
plank to remind us of a wreck, or a seaweed to tell us of the land, was
already beginning to pall on the senses, when there appeared in the
distance before us, and multiplying to the right and the left, a
succession of white, sparkling pyramids and cones, resting on the
clouds and flashing in the nether light, like crystal monuments set to
mark the boundaries of space. These were crests of the Rocky Mountains,
covered with perpetual snow.

I gazed on them with rapture. Right in our eye, nearly due west, stood
out Long's Peak, James's Peak, and the Spanish Peaks, at first small in
size, but momently swelling in dimensions; while, far to the north,
were just discernible the more lofty summits of Mount Hooker and Mount
Brown. Lying between Mount James and the Spanish Peaks, inclining to
their eastern slope, lay the green plateau, not yet visible, where we
were to land. Its position was carefully pointed out to Mr. Bonflon and
myself by Mr. De Aëry, but we strained our eyes and used our glasses in
vain. No strength of sight could penetrate the clouds and haze which
covered the body of the mountains, and hid the earth, with the
exception of those lofty silver pinnacles, from our view.

Though these high peaks, like distant masts at sea, were first seen
early in the day, the meridian of noon overtook us before we came up
with them. At length, in increasing numbers and a thousand diversified
shapes, they lay spread out before us, and soon thereafter were
directly under our feet. Our magical machine, coming to a halt,
fluttered like a great bird above them, and gave us an opportunity,
such as probably had never been enjoyed by voyagers before, to spy out
their beauty, their mystery, and their strength.

On nearing the mountains, we had left behind us the twilight of the
void, and come again into the full flood of day. This enabled the sight
to rest upon the scene with pleasure, to examine its diversified
splendors, and penetrate its chasms and gorges, otherwise inaccessible
to man. But to describe them is impossible. Broad fields of sparkling
snow, pyramids of ice, wide fissures shining like steel
mirrors,--produced by some unimaginable convulsion, possibly a thousand
or ten thousand years ago, and large enough to ingulf a city,--with
black humps or spires of granite here and there projecting through the
white; while afar down the rocky sides of interminable swells and
precipices came up a sound of water and a blush of green, betokening
the direction in which we were to look for the generative body of
Mother Earth; all these, and much more which I cannot stop to name,
were grouped in the rough, but magnificent landscape before us.

No cabin could confine me at such a time as this. I stood out on the
upper deck in the extreme bow of the boat; and from an unobstructed
point of view, nearly over the figure-head, in the very abandonment of
daring, feasted my senses on the wondrous glories of this
mountain-scene of enchantment.

De Aëry was at the helm. But I have scarcely introduced this
extraordinary gentleman to the reader. He was a tall, black-haired,
mercurial Frenchman, with an eye like a falcon, who, with only an
occasional Gallicism purposely indulged in, spoke American like a
native. I had every confidence in his prudence and skill in the
management of his craft; and still, as I perceived that we were
gradually settling down in the direction of the loftiest of those
snow-peaks, until scarcely fifty feet intervened between us and its
round, polished brow, to all appearance as solid as feldspar, I raised
my voice and accosted him.

"Halloo! Captain!" said I, "are you intending to land us on this
Atlas-top?"

"_Effectivement_," replied he. "_Mon Dieu!_ B----, come here."

I went to him.

"This," said he, "is the very Old Man of the Mountain. I intend to
plant the stars and stripes in the centre of his bald head."

"Capital!" replied I. "But can you achieve it safely?"

"Yes. I can manage my bird with as much ease as a pigeon poises himself
on his wings, or an Indian steers his canoe. See! we are approaching
the crown of the pinnacle."

I watched the experiment with an interest not unmingled with fear. He
held in one hand a handsome American flag, of moderate size, and
occasionally, with a slight motion of his arm, and a glance of pride,
spread out its silken folds on the motionless air. Gradually the
"Flying Cloud," under his skilful hands, closed upon the bleak,
glittering summit, which, rounding off like the bald head of some
venerable giant, was, at its apex, scarcely ten feet in diameter.

"No eagle, even, has ever set his foot here," said De Aëry. "There is
not a track, or feather, or mark of any living thing to be seen. The
'Flying Cloud' will be the first to explore many mysteries and to
explode others. Not even do the winds reach this height. Boreas and the
bird of Jove,--I will vanquish them both. I will step out upon that icy
peak."

"No, no, Captain," I expostulated. "You might lose your foothold and
perish."

"Not at all," rejoined he, with a laugh. "I am as sure-footed as a
goat. But if you think it risky, Monsieur, I forbear. But the snow
looks solid as adamant. I fear I shall not be able to erect this flag,
unless I have a firm spot for my feet."

By this time our craft had reached a proper position,--her stern
alongside and almost in contact with the jutting peak,--to answer the
ambitious purpose of the Frenchman. Raising the flag of the Republic in
his hand, he requested us all to do it proper honor,--to salute it with
a "three times three,"--as he should succeed in securing it in its
place. Cautiously extending the staff, he brought it in contact with
the snow, and gave it several light blows, for the purpose of
ascertaining its solidity. It seemed of almost icy texture, and emitted
a half-sharp and half-muffled sound in reply. Then, elevating the
standard aloft in both hands, he brought it down with force, as the
farmer urges a stake into the ground; not doubting, as would seem, that
a succession of such blows would be needed in order to achieve his
purpose.

A single stroke of the shaft, however, proved more than enough. To the
surprise and dismay of us all, the firm ringing surface turned out but
a shell, and all beneath, a loose bed of sparkling snow-crystals, like
white sand. The flag sunk down and disappeared, and De Aëry, losing his
balance, plunged over and went with it.

We gazed after him in speechless horror. Before any one of us had
sufficiently recovered himself to speak, we were startled by a dull
sound, like a rushing wind, or distant, rumbling thunder; and an
immense mass of snow, many hundred feet in depth, and covering a third
of the cone, parted from its place, and, like a great, foaming wave,
broken and shapeless, rushed down the mountain's side. For the moment,
all eyes were fixed upon it. At first, it swept on without cohering,
like a cataract of sand; but, on coming in contact with the moister
snow below, it formed into a thousand balls and masses, some rolling
and some sliding, but each gathering bulk and velocity as it went.

By the aid of our glasses we were able to sweep the rough slopes and
precipitous descents below, to the distance of many miles; and,
forgetting De Aëry, we watched the development of the phenomenon with
terror. The larger slides gradually absorbed the smaller ones, as
common fish are swallowed by sharks; but those which remained, fattened
and expanded by what they fed on, assumed enormous dimensions. Choosing
different paths, they pursued their course in smoking tracks of
devastation. Rocks, precipices, forests, furnished no obstruction.
Roaring, crashing onward, as though Mars or the Sun had opened its
batteries upon us, those sliding, whirling worlds of snow swept through
valleys large enough to have furnished sites for cities, without a
check, and bore down or over-leaped all obstacles, as easily as a man
would walk over an ant-hill, or some hollow where a toad had burrowed.
Finally they were lost to sight, passing behind intervening spurs or
ridges of the mountain, or becoming hidden in the cloud-mists which lay
heavily about its base; but the sound continued to roll back upon us
for some time, like the roar of distant artillery. I could no longer
wonder at the terror with which the cry of an avalanche is said to fill
the dwellers among the Alps.

As this absorbing pageant of the mountains disappeared, our thoughts
reverted to De Aëry. Had he been carried away by the snow-slip? or was
his mangled corse below us among the black crags laid bare by that
catastrophe? Turning my gaze beneath, I discovered, far down, many
hundred feet, a moving object, scarcely bigger than a fly, and, on
bringing my glass to bear upon it, perceived that it was the Frenchman.
He was standing on a bare rib of rock, with his flag still in his hand,
and apparently unharmed. Waving the ensign to attract our attention, at
the same time he shouted with the whole strength of his lungs. But his
voice scarcely reached us, and probably would not alone have attracted
our notice. We replied with encouraging cheers; and the "three times
three," which we had intended for the American eagle, was given on the
spot to De Aëry.

But how to rescue him from his perilous condition was indeed a serious
question. The "Flying Cloud," it was obvious, with her great size and
spreading pinions, could not venture among those ticklish quicksands,
whose insecure foundations had just been so strikingly illustrated
before us. Indeed, the slightest jar might precipitate another fall of
snow, and bury the object of our solicitude five hundred feet deep in
its bosom. The sagacity of Mr. Bonflon relieved us from our dilemma. He
hoisted out the small car or tender, and, letting it down with great
care and precision, safely accomplished the object. In the space of
half an hour, De Aëry, without a scratch, and, like a gallant Gaul,
rather proud of his adventure than frightened at it, was again restored
to our arms.

Drawing off from our dangerous proximity to the "Old Man of the
Mountain," which had so nearly proved fatal to at least one of our
number, but astonished beyond measure at the novelty of our experiences
and the grandeur of the scenes we had witnessed, we retraced our course
for a short distance, and, gradually lessening the interval between us
and the earth, soon had the satisfaction of hearing the cry of "Land,
ho!" from the look-out man. The valley was in sight where we were to
take in water and enjoy a little picnic on the green grass, ere the
form and smell of Mother Earth, with her homely but blessed realities,
should be quite forgotten.

We effected our landing in complete safety. The spot was a little,
luxurious nook among the lesser hills, with few trees, but full of wild
flowers, wild fruits, and wild grasses. Everything about it was wild,
but cheering and charming, especially to air-wanderers like us. The
foot of the white hunter, or even of the roving Indian, had perhaps
never visited it, nor foraging-parties of the buffalo or deer, for we
saw no signs of them; but birds of varied plumage and song, and troops
of squirrels, with footprints here and there of the grizzly bear, and a
drove of wild turkeys, with red heads aloft, rushing over an eminence
at our left as we approached, and an occasional whir of a rattlesnake
at our feet, sufficiently indicated the kind of denizens by which the
plateau was inhabited.

Here, on the rich sward and delicate mosses, under the shadow of some
willows, we spread out our repast by the side of a clear
mountain-spring; and, to say nothing of old Otard and Schiedam
Schnapps, opened some bottles of Sparkling Catawba, and old Jersey
Champagne, of a remote vintage, which I have now quite forgotten. With
the flow of these beverages flowed our speech, in jovial words and
songs and raillery enough, if not in wit. De Aëry, as having by a
hair's breadth just escaped with his life, and in virtue of his
extraordinary feat in leaping five hundred feet or more through a bank
of snow, now that the danger was over, was made the butt of much
pleasantry, which he bore with his usual equanimity and grace.

When these arrowy flights at the expense of the light-hearted Frenchman
had exhausted themselves, I took occasion to inquire of him what his
sensations were during his brief burial. He replied as follows:--

"I thought nothing at all about it. I remember feeling chagrined
because I was making a failure, and clung tight to my flag, fearing to
lose that too. _Mon Dieu!_ It might be expected that one would feel
cold, buried up in ice; but such was not the case. I was hot. The snow
burned my face, as it came in contact with it. As to the ride, it was
pleasant enough, but rather rapid and perplexing to the breath. It was
like sinking into a pit of quicksand, where everything gives way below
one, as though the bottom of the world had fallen out. There was the
struggle of a moment to keep the fine snow out of my mouth and
nostrils, as I drew in my breath, and the next instant my feet came in
contact with the solid rock, where you discovered me. The magnificent
avalanche you describe I know nothing about. I neither heard nor saw
anything of it, only as I afterward examined the marks it had left
behind it. This leads me to suppose that I was a good deal confused at
the time, though I was not aware of it. Indeed, I have an impression of
seeming to turn somersets in my descent, and this may account for it.
But, for the honor of France, I saved my adopted country's flag."

High-minded Gaul! We all praised and honored him, and comforted him for
his disappointment. It was a noble attempt he had made, to nail the
American banner to the head of Mount James, impelled by the loftiest of
motives,--and, like many others of its kind, had for the present
failed. At some other time he might prove more successful; or some
other might achieve the object in his place, and so appropriate his
laurels; but no one would be likely to excel him in his flying leap. In
this he had distanced even the famous traveller at Rhodes.

Having given a couple of hours to this species of recreation, we
weighed anchor, and again got under way. Slowly and smoothly, without a
ripple or a jar, we ascended through the blue ether to our former
altitude, and floated off over those majestic mountain-tops, toward the
west. Loath to part from scenes of such impressive beauty,--scenes,
alone paralleled in our recollection by fabulous tales of Oriental
enchantment,--we gazed behind us at those flashing crests of alabaster,
until they grew small in the distance, and finally were wholly lost to
our sight. With them disappeared the last vestige of the solid earth,
and we were again afloat in space.

The following night and day were passed like their predecessors.
Another night came, and we were over the eastern bound of the State of
California. A few hours more, without accident, would terminate our
remarkable voyage, and set us down in the city of San Francisco. All of
us were brimming high with hope. Though we did not anticipate reaching
the station before one or two o'clock in the morning, and probably
should not disembark before dawn, we were loath to retire to rest. It
was near midnight before all of us were in our berths.

But when at length there, I found it impossible to sleep. The
excitement attendant on the beginning of the trip seemed to have
returned on me with a double force. I listened for some sound to
relieve the awful stillness which, like the wing of Death, seemed to
have settled over the "Flying Cloud"; but there was no soughing of the
wind, as at sea, and no noise to be heard, save the monotonous movement
of the engine and the paddle-wheels; and this, so evenly did they play,
was rather a motion than a sound.

This period of restlessness was succeeded by one of strange
bewilderment, which might have been sleep, or might not Rapidly
changing scenes and fantastic figures, some of them beautiful and some
horrible, flitted before me like a dissolving panorama. A band, as
though of steel wire, seemed to encircle my brain, and to compress it
closer and closer; and the spine, for its whole length, felt as though
subjected to a like crushing pressure.

How long this state of hallucination continued I have no means of
knowing. From it, by a great effort, I suddenly aroused myself, and
returned to my proper senses. Where I was, and all the extraordinary
events of the last few days, were clear in my recollection. But I was
weighed down with weakness, and found, on attempting to speak, that I
had no voice.

Suspecting that I had been stricken by some terrible disease, I
attempted to rise; and, loath to disturb any of my fellow-travellers,
undertook to crawl out upon the upper deck. This, after a good deal of
effort, I accomplished. Lying, therefore,--I could not stand,--I prayed
for a breath of air to relieve my hot and oppressed brow; but in vain.
The atmosphere seemed gone. Chill and dark, the heavens spread out
above me without a twinkle or a smile. The full-moon was there, and
there was no cloud or haze to obscure her light; but she did not shine.
Her white, rayless face was a mockery to the night. The same was true
of the stars. The dazzling canopy was faded out, and Cygnus and the
Great Bear were subdued to pallid points, like patches of white-gray
paper stuck upon a wall.

Floating by the side of the "Flying Cloud," and nearly of her size, I
discovered a dark, irregular object, and dragged myself to the edge of
the deck to investigate it more closely. The two came together, but
without damage or friction. They touched and parted, like substances
nearly at rest in still water. I put out my hand on the strange
visitor, and received a pretty severe shock, as though I had been
subjected to the action of an electric battery. At the same time, a
light, bluish flame ran over its surface, showing me more accurately
its form and dimensions. To the touch, it was solid and cold, like iron
or granite. I pressed upon it, and it yielded like a floating dish. I
tried to break off a fragment, but was unable to separate so much as a
scale.

A moment's reflection convinced me of the nature of this apparent
island in the air. It was an immense aërolite; and with this conviction
came the solution of my own painful state. We had unconsciously passed
beyond the controlling power of the earth's gravitation, into that
region of the upper atmosphere, where, science informs us, these
meteoric stones float in equilibrium, until some accidental impulse
throws them from their balance, when they are precipitated to the
surface of the earth. I must be dying for lack of air. And the man at
the helm, where was he? He must have fallen asleep, and left our vessel
to her own buoyant fancies. And my companions! Bonflon! De Aëry! All
ere this might have perished, and the "Flying Cloud," aside from
myself, be bearing into these upper altitudes nothing but a load of
death.

Terror-struck, I dragged myself, with all the speed I could accomplish,
to the stern. There sat the helmsman at his post, but asleep or
insensible. I shook him, but he gave no signs of life. I shouted with
what little strength I had, but in vain.

"Wake up! wake up!" I cried, "or we are lost!"

At length he opened his eyes, but did not move.

"Wake up!" I screamed again. "Breakers ahead, and worse. You have let
the craft run wild. We are above our level. We are all dying for lack
of air."

"Oh, let me sleep!" he murmured. "I must sleep a little while longer.
It can't--can't be morning yet."

By this time, fright, or the necessity of the occasion, was renewing my
strength.

"Dick!" I shouted in his ear, "Dick, you scoundrel! you will murder us
all. Do your duty, or I will shoot you!"

With this I discharged a barrel of my revolver above his head, which,
like my voice in my efforts at hallooing, sounded only as a faint echo
of itself, but, nevertheless, proved sufficient to give his dormant
faculties a shock. He started up, and, though still but half-conscious,
took the helm and gave it the direction I bade him.

From him I hastened to the engineer, whom I found in a like state of
insensibility. I succeeded in arousing him; but it was necessary that
he should be made to comprehend the difficulties of our
situation,--that our craft, water-logged as it were, would float
forever where she was, for all anybody could say to the contrary, until
forced down by the power of the engine alone to lower and life-giving
atmospheric planes. To get him to understand this was not so easy. But
I succeeded in part, and, in my anxiety for my friends, rushed below to
look after their condition.

As I anticipated, I found every one of them in a state of incipient
asphyxia. But the "Flying Cloud" was already descending into denser
air. Oxygen and pressure were performing their mystic work; and within
half an hour I had the pleasure of seeing them all restored to
consciousness and rapidly returning strength. But the renewed lights
exposed a sight almost too frightful to mention. Every man of us was
crimson from escaped blood, which seemed to have oozed forth, like a
pale-red dew, from every pore of our bodies.

Messrs. Bonflon and De Aëry, when they came to realize the danger from
which we had so narrowly escaped, were nearly dumb with horror. The
lively Frenchman exhibited a sensibility which the extremity of his
single peril, a day or two before, had failed to call up. He wept
aloud. Mr. Bonflon was circumspect and thoughtful. He did not lose his
Yankee balance; but both of them, each in his own way, overwhelmed me
with expressions of obligation.

But the dangers of this dreadful night--a night which can never pass
from my recollection--were not yet over. We were all gathered in the
main cabin, congratulating each other, next after our escape, on our
rapidly returning strength,--happy in the thought that our trip out,
though sprinkled with danger, was so near a prosperous completion, and
almost momently expecting to hear the stroke of the bell which should
announce to us that the red light to designate our place of landing was
in sight, when, instead of the silver ring of this messenger of peace,
we were startled and horrified by an alarm of fire.

Bonflon and De Aëry rushed to the engine-room. A cloud of smoke poured
out from the door by which they disappeared. They were gone only for a
moment; for no man could remain in the hell of flames and vapors into
which they ventured and live. They came out dragging with them the
half-suffocated, scorched, and blazing engineer. How the accident
occurred, it was impossible to divine and useless to inquire. Closing
the door tightly after them to confine the flames, where confinement,
except for the briefest period, among matter so combustible, and
partitions scarcely more formidable than those of a paper bandbox, was
clearly impossible, they threw the burning engineer into our arms, and
themselves took the management of the craft.

De Aëry, in this crisis, rose from the man to the hero, almost to a
demigod. His orders rung through the startled air clear and round like
the voice of a golden bell. Bonflon seconded him with coolness and
decision. With us a moment sufficed to extinguish the burning garments
of the engineer; but by that time the flames had burst from the
engine-room, and that part of the beautiful boat was a ragged,
crackling ruin.

Fleeing to the upper deck, and taking refuge in the bow, we became
sensible that we were descending through the air with frightful
rapidity. When the accident occurred, we were already at a low level,
on the look-out for the signal at our station. This circumstance was in
our favor, if anything could be, when a danger so imminent and dreadful
was pressing. Land, like a hazy shadow, was just discoverable in the
dim distance below us; and oh for one foot of it as a place of rest!
But if it were possible to escape the flames, it was clear enough that
we must be dashed in pieces against the solid earth.

De Aëry was now the only one remaining in the stern. He was exposed to
great peril, but refused to quit his post while it remained possible to
control in any degree the motions of the vessel. The flames played
about him without shaking his courage or his coolness, and broke
through upon the upper deck and separated him from us with a seething
hedge and whirlpool of fire. We lost sight of him, and supposed he had
perished, when suddenly his voice, issuing from the midst of the
furnace, rung on our ears like a trumpet.

"Up the ropes! quit the ship, or you die, every man of you!" he
shouted; and at the same time we discovered him emerging from the
flames and smoke, and ascending the network which enveloped the balloon
and connected it with the ship. We followed his example; some of our
number--the more timid or the more daring, it would be difficult to say
which--continuing the ascent until they had reached the upper surface
of the gas-chamber, and placed its entire fragile bulk between them and
the hazard they most dreaded.

The momentary refuge afforded by these upper works was scarcely
attained, when the bow, where we had stood but a minute before, and the
whole hull of the "Flying Cloud" with it, blended together in one mass
of surging fire. The appearance in the heavens of this strange sight,
to a watcher at some _rancho_, or in the not distant city of San
Francisco, if such there were, must have afforded a more vivid
illustration of the fall of a blazing star or meteoric wonder than
astronomer has ever put on record.

But I delay the catastrophe. Land and water soon became distinguishable
from each other beneath us, and hills from valleys, and forests from
bare plains. There was little wind, except the fierce currents rushing
upward, produced by the heat of our own conflagration. This, for the
time, subdued everything to itself, and, as we approached the ground,
served by its direction to modify the fury of our descent. The denser
lower atmosphere also contributed to the same end; and, most
fortunately, when we reached the earth, and the collision came, we
struck in water instead of on the land.

Still, the collision was a fierce one. With the mass of fire between
us and the ground directly below, blinded by the smoke and half
suffocated by the heat, we were not conscious of the good fortune that
awaited us, until, with a swoop and a plunge, we found ourselves
submerged, and, with an equal velocity, immediately thrown back again
by the buoyant force of the balloon into the open air. The flood of
fire in which we had descended was instantly extinguished; and we awoke
to a sense of our possible safety in darkness rendered doubly profound
by the contrast.

Daylight was near at hand. By a careful adjustment of our weights we
kept the balloon from rolling, and sustained ourselves above the water
among the netting. As morning came, we discovered we had landed in a
small lake, hardly large enough to be dignified with the name, but
obviously of considerable depth. The shore was not distant: and as the
day was sultry, with a little grateful labor at swimming and towing, on
the part of a few of us, we soon reached it. There we examined into
each other's condition. Scarce one of us but was able to show damage by
fire, or from too rough contact with the fragments of the "Flying
Cloud," which preceded us in our plunge into the lake. But no bones
were broken, and no one badly flayed. The case of the engineer was the
worst; but even he was able to keep upon his feet, and pronounced in no
danger.

No hut or field or sign of inhabitants was to be seen. With mixed
feelings, in which, for the present at least, the sense of personal
safety triumphed over all regrets, even with Messrs. Bonflon and De
Aëry, at the shipwreck of so many brilliant hopes, we scuttled that
part of our craft still afloat, and sunk it in the lake; and with weary
footsteps, but unobstructed with baggage, as near as we could determine
by the aid of a compass, took the direction toward San Francisco. A
couple of hours brought us to the _rancho_ of Señor José Dianza, who
received us as a band of pilgrims over the Plains, who, at the hands of
robbers and the elements, had lost everything but life, and helped us
on to the city of the land of gold.

It is needless to detain the reader with the particulars of our return.
They were such only as occur to thousands in the rough and circuitous
transit between San Francisco and New York. We came home by the Isthmus
route, and in ships that ploughed the honest waves. We explained our
absence to our disturbed families and friends as best we might; and
some will remember--and if they do not, they can refresh their
recollection by a reference to the public prints--that several missing
gentlemen of some importance in the world, about that time, suddenly
reappeared upon the stage of action.

We resolved that the whole affair in which we had been engaged should
remain forever buried in oblivion. But time and reflection have wrought
a change with me, though I shall not presume to disturb the veil which
covers my associates. I have come to consider the adventure quite too
good to be lost, and the experiment in aerial navigation, which came so
near proving successful, of too much importance to science to be
suppressed. Hence, conquering my repugnance, I have decided, on my own
responsibility, to give these interesting and valuable particulars to
the world.


      *       *       *       *       *

DOG-TALK.


Exactly,--Dog-Talk. And I sit down to write some of it out, in the
middle of this pleasant month of May, lest, peradventure, if I postpone
my task for a few weeks longer, I may fall in with my memories some
time in the raging days of the dog-star, when the overwhelming sense of
dog, in which, for the true working out of these memories, I must first
dip my mind, may debar me from enjoying to the fullest extent the
bounteous tap of Croton water which tinkles with such rivulet chiming
from the silver (German) faucet into the marble (wash-hand) basin with
which one side of my apartment is adorned. Hydrophobia is one thing,
and hydrophobiaephobia is another.

Although but the mid-time of May, as I have said, the thermometer is
reported at something not far short of eighty degrees, and that in as
much shade as can possibly be had in the street in which I write, which
is a brick street of New York, with one catalpa-tree in it,--a poor,
vegetable fakir, standing on his one leg at a distance of about three
blocks from "our corner," and sprawling out all round with his
shrivelled hands, as if to catch the passing robe of some rambling
breath of fresh air. With a trustful hope that this statement may be
accepted in extenuation of the inevitable platitudinism down the gently
inclined plane of which I feel myself impelled to slide into my
memories, I will endeavor to bring some of the latter to the surface.

I fancy it has been already remarked by writers,--though that will not
prevent me from repeating it,--that, of all the four-footed friends of
man, none, not even that corpulent chap, Elephant, has contributed more
voluminously to the literature of anecdote than that first-rate fellow,
Dog. Let me also take the liberty of recalling, in corroboration of
others who have previously drawn attention to the same fact, that from
the earliest ages we trace Dog as the companion, friend, and ally of
him whom alone he condescends to acknowledge as master, to accept as
tutor, and to sympathize with in the spirit of hostility to obnoxious
things, and in attachment to the sports of the field. It can hardly be
necessary for me to explain that I allude to Man.

Above all other created things, Man is the one that laughs,--a remark,
so far the present writer is aware, entirely original, and vastly more
indicative of genius than the best of the platitudes incidentally
referred to above. Some of the lower animals weep. The deer, for
instance, has been observed to shed tears in the extremity of terror,
and the hard-pressed hare cries like an ill-regulated child; but not
one of them indicates any emotion analogous to the laughter of Man,
excepting Dog. True it is, that we hear of a "horse-laugh." There is a
beast, too, called the "laughing hyena," and a dismal beast he is.
Among the feathered tribes there flourishes an individual named the
"laughing falcon." From inanimate creation the poet has evoked for us
"Minni Haha," or the "laughing water"; and the expression, "it would
make a cat laugh," is frequently made use of in reference to anything
very ridiculous. But in every one of these cases of so-called laughing
things, the sound only of the laughter is there,--the sentiment is
wanting. Not so with Dog, who, when the spirit of fun moves him, smiles
beamingly with his eyes, giggles manifestly with his chops, or laughs
uproariously with his tail, according as the occasion demands.

Yet, with all his wonderful gifts of intellectual ability, we cannot
concede to Dog the possession of the supereminent faculty called
reason,--the faculty which, as an eminent writer--Tupper, I
think--remarks, places Man immeasurably above all the other animals
stationed so much lower down, and by virtue of which he is lord and
master of them all, leading Behemoth over the land with a ring in his
nose, and towing Leviathan across the waters with a harpoon in his
ribs. Fine as the line may appear which separates instinct from the
divine gift of reason, we must see that progress, an essential
consequence of the latter, is denied to the former. It is quite
possible that the dogs which accompanied the first mariner in the first
argosy were educated to fetch and carry, or were even so far
accomplished as to sit up and beg; and it is but little more their
descendants can do at the present day. But what of Man, who weathered
safely the storm of storms in that same Ark? Compare that venerated
bark, as imagined by us from traditionary description, with the least
eligible of the ferry-boats which scud across our crowded rivers, and
we have answer enough for the present, so far as progress is concerned.

Well, if Dog has never invented so much even as a patent rat-trap,--a
thing, you see, that might have saved him some labor,--if he persists
in disregarding the majesty of Fashion, and continues to move about in
society with the same kind of coat on his back as that worn by his
first ancestor, hatless, disaffected of shoes, and totally obtuse to
the amenity of an umbrella,--if, in fact, his only approach to
humanity, as distinguished by apparel, is his occasional adoption of a
collar precisely similar in general effect to those in which Fashion,
empress of Broadway and of a great many other ways, condemns her
wretched votaries to partial strangulation,--well, say I again, in
spite of all this, Dog is prime company. Intimately associated as I
have been from earliest boyhood with many excellent fellows of the
family, from social communion with which I am at present debarred only
by the direful necessity of dwelling in lodgings,--a necessity which,
if distasteful to Man, to Dog, oh, how fatal!--bound, I may say, as I
was for years, not by straps and chains only, but by ties of confident
friendship also, to canine comrades possessing the purest elements of
worth and humor, it is to me a task not altogether devoid of interest
to fall back on such memories as may enable me to chronicle a few
reminiscences of the nobilities and eccentricities of the race.

Before I discourse of individual dogs of the present century, however,
with whom I have had the pleasure of being personally acquainted, let
me reproduce the following short tale of a dog from an old French
volume,--a tome fittingly adorned with ears of that noble animal
innumerable.

Persimel St. Remi was a gentleman of fortune, whose income was derived
principally from large rented farms, the dues arising from which he
sometimes collected himself, in preference to intrusting that important
duty to a steward or agent. On his excursions for that purpose, he was
generally accompanied by a favorite little spaniel, of a kind too small
to be of any service to him as an escort, but inestimable for his
qualities as a companion. One day M. St. Remi had ridden a long way to
collect certain sums of money due him in arrears of rent, but which he
had little expectation of being able to obtain without further trouble.
To his agreeable surprise, however, his tenants paid him the whole
arrears,--an event so unexpected that he could not conceal his
exultation as he clinked the heavy bag of money on the pommel of his
saddle, when cordially taking leave of his farmers. Merle--that was the
little dog's name--was equally delighted; for his moods were always
regulated by those of his master,--such is the mysterious sympathy
between Dog and us; and ever as his master laughed cheerily to the
chink of the gold, on his homeward ride, Merle barked and bounded
alongside of him, clearly understanding that gold is a thing to be
laughed _with_ and not _at_, and that it is no laughing matter to be
without it. This is what the old French writer asserts respecting the
inward sentiments of that small dog. How he arrived at a knowledge of
them, I know not, nor is it any business of mine. Well, Persimel St.
Remi galloped on and on, until they reached the way-side well about
halfway home,--the old stone trough, with the water sparkling into it
from the grotesque spout carved out of the rock. Here he pulled bridle
to water his horse, refreshed him further by slackening the girths of
the saddle, and, unstrapping the bag of gold which was attached to the
holsters, he placed it by his side on the rock, while he splashed his
hands and face in the cool water. By-and-by he drew up the girths,
mounted his horse dreamily, for he was a man of contemplative moods,
and rode away from the way-side well, forgetful of his treasure, which
lay temptingly on the flat rock, ready to the hand of the first comer.
Not so his faithful dog, who, having in vain tried to lift the bag,
which was too heavy for him, ran swiftly after the rider, whose
attention he strove to arouse by barking violently, and careering round
and round the horse when he slackened his pace. Failing thus to attract
notice, he went so far in his zeal as to bite the horse pretty severely
in the fetlock, which caused him to swerve on one side, and wake up his
master to a vague sense of something wrong, the first idea that
occurred to him being that his dog had gone mad. Cases of hydrophobia
had lately occurred in the neighborhood, and St. Remi was convinced of
the seizure by it of his poor dog when they reached the brook which
flowed across the road. Instead of luxuriating and drinking in this, as
he usually did, the spaniel circled away to where it narrowed, and
leaped across it in his run. Then St. Remi, drawing a pistol from his
holsters, fired at and shot his faithful companion, averting his eyes
as he touched the fatal trigger, and galloping rapidly away from the
death-cry that smote upon his ear; and, as he dashed the spurs into his
reeking horse, he invoked maledictions on the money which was the cause
of this unfortunate journey. The money! but where was it? Suddenly he
pulled up his harassed steed, and the unhappy truth flashed upon him:
he had left his treasure by the way-side well, and had shot his
faithful dog for trying to remind him of it. Riding back to the well
with mad speed, he found by traces of blood upon the path that the poor
spaniel had dragged himself thither again to guard his master's gold to
the last. There he found him, stretched out beside the bag of money,
with just strength enough left to raise his head towards his master,
with a look of forgiveness, ere he died.

The chronicler does not state what M. St. Remi did with all that
money,--though we may be safe in supposing that he very exactly knew;
but we would fain hope that he expended a moiety of it in founding a
retreat for decayed dogs, as a monument to the poor little spaniel so
faithful to him in life and in death.

Sporting dogs,--the setter, the pointer, the fox-hound, and all the
several varieties of hound, have had their historians, from Dame
Juliana Berners to Peter Beckford, and that more recent Peter whose
patronymic was Hawker; while, on our side of the Atlantic, the late
"Frank Forester" has reduced kennel-practice to a system from which the
Nimrod of the ramrod may not profitably depart. Apart from history,
however, and from didactic argument, the individual trails of dogs
remarkable in their day have but too rarely been recorded. Certainly
the shepherd's colley has been admirably individualized by the Ettrick
Shepherd; but many a terrier--"a fellow of infinite fancy"--has passed
through the world's worry without ever seeing his name in
print,--unless, indeed, he happened to have fallen among thieves, and
found himself lamp-posted accordingly,--has passed the grizzle-muzzle
period of doghood unbiographied, and gone down to his last burrow
unsung.

Among the regrets with which we are saddled for our omissions, not the
least of mine is now galling me for having neglected to reduce to
writing, on the spot, curious facts which fell under my immediate
notice in the course of many years' companionship with a somewhat
miscellaneous assortment of canine friends,--

  "The little dogs and all,
  Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart."

Nevertheless, I will endeavor to bring together in this paper such
stray reminiscences of doggery in general as may occur to me while I
write, illustrating the subject, as I proceed, with occasional passages
from the careers, of humble, but eccentric individuals of the race.

Extinction has been the fate of some varieties of the dog, which have
been either superseded by the progress of machinery, or have gone to
decay in consequence of the annihilation of the animals for the chase
of which they were maintained. When there were wolves in the mosses and
caverns of Ireland, for example, there were wolf-dogs to hunt them. The
last wolf of that country--and _he_ was a wonder, from the then rarity
of the animal--was killed about one hundred and fifty years ago; and
although the breed of hound then known as the Irish wolf-dog--one of
the largest, noblest, and most courageous of the canine race--was kept
up to some extent for nearly a century later, we doubt much whether a
single pure specimen of the variety is now in existence; unless,
indeed, it may so happen that some _ultimus Romanorum_ of the tribe
still licks his patrician chops in the kennels of the Marquis of Sligo,
in the possession of which family the last litter was many years ago
supposed to be.

Reverting to times when I was a boy, I remember me of a generation of
bandy-legged, foxy little curs, long of body, short of limb, tight of
skin, and "scant of breath," which were regarded as the legitimate
descendants of a superseded class,--the Turnspit of good old times. The
daily round of duty of that useful _aide-de-cuisine_ transpired in the
revolution of a wheel, along the monotonous journey of which he
cantered, as a squirrel does in his rolling cage, keeping in motion, by
his professional exertions, the wheels and spinners of the spit upon
which the joint was kept turning before the fire. The tight skin of
this ugly dog was evidently a provision of Nature to secure him from
entanglement with the machinery amid which his business was conducted.
Had a Scotch terrier, for instance, whiskered and plumed, descended
from his own more aristocratic circle to disport himself in that where
turnspit was the principal mover,--the kitchen-wheel,--he might have
found himself cogged, and caught up, and spitted, and associated
promiscuously with leg of mutton as roasted hare; in which capacity he
might eventually have been eaten with currant-jelly and considerable
relish, receiving more honor, perhaps, "in that connection," than had
ever in his lifetime been lavished on him as a member of society.

But Turnspit's profession is a thing of the past, his very existence a
myth. The roasting-jack, with a wind-up weight by which the spit was
turned, cut him out first of all; other inventions further diminished
his importance. But the tea-kettle--which he somewhat resembled in
figure, by-the-by--scalded him clean off the face of creation; for the
bright steam-engine, attached nowadays to the kitchens of our principal
hotels, has given a new turn to affairs, ruling the roast after a
fashion that sets back old Turnspit into the remotest corner under the
backstairs of the Dark Ages. I have alluded to his alleged descendants,
as pointed out to my observation in boyhood; but they were an effete
and degenerate race, purposeless, and wallowing much with the pigs,
whom their grandsires would have recognized only to roast.

In one instance only, and that on this side of the Atlantic, do I
remember having been introduced to any dog whose profession was at all
analogous to that of the turnspit of other days. Falling into
conversation with an old Dutch-Yankee farmer, in a remote and very
rural district, I made some remarks about his dog, which was a very
large, heavy one, of that no-particular-kind happily classified by the
comprehensive natural philosophers of the barn-floor as "yellow dog."
Farmer assured me that this fine fellow--whose name I am ashamed to say
I have forgotten--did all the churning of the farm-dairy by imparting
his motive power to a wheel. This piece of ingenuity, Farmer informed
me, was originally and exclusively an inspiration from the intellect
which animated his, Farmer's, proper clod; nor was he greatly
exhilarated when I narrated to him the tradition of the turnspit, whose
memory, I regret to record, he spurned as that of a "mean cuss,"
destitute of that poetry which dwelleth in the pastoral associations of
the dairy.

Although not strictly in connection with the subject of this article, I
will here relate a story told to me, on the same occasion, by that old
farmer, because it struck me as being rather a good one, and is not
particularly long.

Seeing that I took notice of a smock-frocked rustic employed in
foddering the cattle,--a rustic whose legs and accent were to me
exclusively reminiscent of the pleasant roads and lanes of cheery
Somersetshire,--Farmer informed me that he was a newish importation,
having made his appearance about there early in the previous winter.
While snow, of such quality and in such quantity as they have it in
that region, was yet a novelty to the bumpkin, he was dispatched on
horseback, one day, to the neighboring village, strict instructions
being given him to ride carefully in the middle of the track, as,
treading in the deep snow, the horse might "ball,"--an expression
applied to taking up snow in the hollow of the hoof, which causes the
animal to stumble. An unusually long time elapsed before the messenger
made his appearance from his mission, and then he was seen making his
way painfully through the snow, leading the horse after him by the
bridle.

"What's wrong now?" inquired Farmer, as he glanced at the animal's
knees; "been down, I guess; did Old Horse ball?"

"Noa," replied Bumpkin, "a didn't joost bawl, but a groonted
consoomedly every toime a coom down. Oi thowt a wur a-gwoan to bawl the
last toime we coom down together, and zo oi joost stayed down and
walked 'im whoam."

When doggy men beyond ocean talk about a terrier, they usually
pronounce it _tarrier_, and not _terrier_, as we mostly call him on
this bank of the Atlantic. There is no authority for the former
pronunciation, that I know of, beyond usage, which, however, is much
taken as a standard in England. Thus, an English merchant will talk to
you about his _clarks_, an American about his _clurks_. The French word
_terrier_--derived, of course, from _terre_--signifies not only the
dog, but a burrow in the earth; a kind of retreat in which such dogs
are supposed to pass a portion of their existence, occupied in the
subterrene branches of the chase. It means, also, a land-roll or
register. In Lower Canada, which is essentially France, I recollect the
label, _"Papier Terrier,"_ upon the door of a public-land-office. A
friend of mine, clandestinely and under cover of darkness, removed the
label, substituting for it a scurrilous one setting forth "Pasteboard
Poodle," an announcement which did not appear to convey any particular
idea whatever to the unsettled mind of the haggard provincial _chef du
bureau_, as it flashed upon him next morning in the light of the glad
young autumn day. But, reverting to pronunciation, _tare_-ier would, of
course, more correctly reverberate the sound of the French original
than either of the other usages, while it would possess the advantage
of conveying a suggestion of that proclivity for tearing, so
characteristic of the animal designated by the term. On this important
question the learned philologists wrangle. For my part, I stick to
_tarrier_, which comes "oncommon handy," as the horse-dealer hinted,
when reproved by the Cambridge student for reducing a noble animal
nearly to the level of a donkey by calling him "an 'oss."

And of all the terrier tribe, there is no quainter little fellow than
he of the Island of Skye,--known to his friends and admirers as the
"Skye dog." This little animal, which, in length of spine, shortness of
legs, wildness of hair, and litheness of movement, resembles one of
those long, hirsute caterpillars oft-times to be observed by the happy
rambler in the country, as it promenades across his path, possesses
many distinctive traits, which separate him, in a manner, from Dog in
general, assimilating him somewhat, indeed, to the _ferce_, which find
in rapine and carnage the subsistence which Nature evidently has not
intended that they should realize in communion with man. The peculiar
odor of the fox is his, though in a mitigated degree. He loves to make
a lair under the bushes by tearing up the turf with his teeth and paws,
and to lie in it. He is of a shy and reserved disposition, and usually
more lively at night than by day. These are attributes of beasts of
prey. Unlike all other members of the terrier family, he cares nothing
about rats. He will sit down and bark in a tone of contempt at one
turned out before him in a close passage or room, declining, in fact,
to recognize rats as game, unless entered at them while very young. I
speak only of the pure, unmixed Isle-of-Skye dog, or "tassel terrier,"
as he is sometimes called by rabbit-hunters,--a breed difficult to
obtain in perfection, and one which is particularly scarce in this
country. The proper game or quarry of this animal is the otter, which
he does not hesitate to follow into his very burrow in the river-banks;
nor is he afraid to attack one nearly double his size.

Having, time after time, possessed several of these dogs, verified as
being derived from the best stock on the island, from which their
parents--who understood no language but Gaelic--were brought direct, I
have noted some of their odd, whimsical ways, a few of which I will
illustrate, taking for my exponent one very remarkable little fellow
who was a genuine type of his kind.

This animal was one of the smallest of his family, and of a color
uncommon among them; for they are mostly either of a yellowish dun, or
of that slaty mouse-color known among dog-fanciers as "blue,"--a tint,
by the way, particularly appropriate for a dog of Skye. Sometimes they
are black; but Sambo, better known to his familiars as Sam, was of a
sooty brindle, with a very dark muzzle, and eyes burning out like black
stars from the cloud of shaggy hair that mantled upon his brow. Next to
the shortness of his legs, the length of his body was one of the most
remarkable physical freaks I remember to have observed; neither of
these attributes, however, having a chance of notice in comparison with
the quantity and denseness of his long, soft hair,--for the coat of a
true Skye dog is fleecy, rather than wiry. It was the joint result of
the shortness of his legs and the length of his beard that the fatter
appendage continually swept the ground,--an inconvenience which I once
undertook to remedy by trimming it off short with scissors. No Turk
could have more indignantly resented the process than did that small
quadruped,--his Celtic feelings being so severely wounded by it, in
fact, that he abstained from sustenance for three days, putting himself
into moral sackcloth and ashes for that period by retiring into his
penitential cell under a chest of drawers.

When quite a pup, hardly half-grown, he played a trick unaccountable to
me at this day as it was then. Sam had the run of the house, and he
availed himself of it. On going into the breakfast-room, one morning
early, I observed a singular phenomenon in connection with a large,
cold round of beef, which was the _pièce de résistance_ on the table.
It was curious to behold a round of cold beef with a tail, which it
wagged, and feathered, and beckoned with, as if to say, "Come, eat me."
The tail was the tail of Sam, whose body was concealed far down in the
interior of the tower of beef, into which he had cut his way with great
perseverance and success. But the puzzle was, how he got there; for
there was no chair within reach of the table, and he was much too small
to have jumped up on it; while the theory of the servant, who
propounded that he must have climbed up by the table-cloth, tooth over
claw, was wild, and simply entitled to the contempt of any person aware
of the difference between dog and cat. There is but one acceptable
theory on the subject,--that he was down in the caverns of the beef,
_tail and all_, before it was brought up-stairs, and so escaped notice.

Early in life, he contracted--from evil association, perhaps--a vulgar
trick of running after carriages and barking at the horses' heels, a
trick of which I in vain tried to break him. Once, when he was about a
year old, I took him up beside me into a high _calèche_, in which we
were going some distance. The moment the horse started, Sam jumped out
to have a bark at his heels, when, to my horror, the wheel of the
vehicle, in which there were three of us, went right over the middle of
his body, cutting him, apparently, in two; but he was up in a second,
and barking at heels and wheels for half a mile before we could pull up
and get him in again. This accident appeared to decide him in the
choice of a profession, for he devoted himself energetically, from that
hour, to the pursuit and baying-at of all manner of wheeled things
propelled by horse-power.

A rat he would never touch, although I introduced him to one before he
was a year old; he manifested neither fear of the vermin, nor surprise
at it, but simply took no interest in it. He had much pleasure in
worrying cats; but that was owing, I fancy, to a sad discomfiture he
once met with from one. Walking through a suburb one day, with Sammy
trotting before me in dreamy mood, to which he was much given, a small,
but remarkably severe cat made a sudden and very fierce dash at him
from a cottage-door, taking him so completely aback, that he tumbled,
head over tail, into a deep, dirty pool of green, stagnant water, such
as is usually to be seen in the pleasure-grounds environing a
suburbo-Hibernian shanty. His appearance, on emerging from that
cesspool, was the reverse of majestic; but the incident gave him such
an idea on the subject of cats, that he always persecuted them
remorselessly from that day; nor did he ever again walk through a
suburb in any other frame of mind than a particularly wide-awake one,
and with his tail up.

These dogs are curiously sensitive about their dignity, and sometimes
do not recover their elasticity of spirits for several days after
having undergone a process of correction. I recollect a singular
instance of this sensitiveness displayed by Sambo, in which he also
manifested a kind of inferential power wonderfully akin to reason.

One morning, a tumult of dogs in the street drew him to the window, out
of which he looked by jumping on a chair, just as a troop of "curs of
low degree" tore past after a rather genteel-looking dog with a kettle
tied to his tail. They whirled rapidly by in a turmoil of dust, and
clink, and cur-dog yelp, but not so rapidly as to prevent Sam from
perceiving the terrible degradation to which a gentleman-dog had been
subjected. The sight had a visible effect on his spirits, for he
immediately became quite depressed as to tail and mind, a condition
which influenced him for a day or two, after which he again appeared
comparatively cheerful, and took his place in society with his
accustomed cautious conviviality. About a month after this, he was seen
coming very slowly along a lane which led up to the back of the
house,--a course hardly ever taken by him, as he was a parlor-dog, and
considered himself entitled to the freedom of the hall-door. Creeping
on in the shadow of the wall, he arrived with a very crest-fallen
aspect at the kitchen-door, where the cause of his ignominious approach
was made manifest to those who were watching him. _He had a kettle tied
to his tail_. Now this animal must surely have argued in his own mind,
that running away with a tin kettle is a sure way of attracting
undesirable notice; also, that proceeding through a public thoroughfare
with such an appendage is injudicious, and likely to result in
trouble. The circumstance of the runaway dog and the tumult after him
had left its impression upon him; and, travelling on his experience, he
rightly judged that an unpleasant affair of the kind might best be
hushed up by quietly making one's way home through back-lanes and the
kitchen-door.

Skye terriers, when young, are apt to have a bad trick of gnawing and
tearing up articles of wearing apparel, particularly slippers, gaiters,
and such other things as are handy to toss up and catch. The fellow I
am writing about, when very young, destroyed sundry items of my
property in that way. He occupied a buffalo-robe in my room, and I
heard him very busy one night about something, but did not pay much
attention to it, as he was often lively at night. In the morning,
however, on looking for a pair of leather gaiters, I recognized the
remains of them, after much investigation, in a mass of pulp, to which
they had been reduced by the little beast as completely as they could
have been by the most experienced boa-constrictor. This habit I soon
broke him of, by chastising him with the remnants of the worried
article, when there were any left of substance sufficient to weave into
a scourge; nor did he ever recur to it when grown up, except once,
evidencing upon that occasion a remarkable instance of hereditary
instinct.

Some fur caps, and other articles of winter wear, had been shaken out
of their summer quarters for the purpose of beating the moths out of
them and ventilating them generally, with a view to which they were
placed upon the sill of an open window. By some means Sam obtained
access to the room, where he was discovered in the act of mauling a
valuable otter-skin cap, which he had selected out of the whole
collection for his particular amusement. This dog had never seen an
otter; but his ancestors were noted for their game qualities in the
pursuit of that animal, and their speciality must have descended to
him.

Eventually Sambo lost all his self-respect. He became discontented and
addicted to low company, dissipating with vile curs whose owners
enjoyed anything but unblemished reputations,--a fact first notified to
me by a clergyman of my acquaintance who knew him well. The worst of
this was, that he wore a collar with my name engraved on it in full;
and it was a long time before I had an opportunity of redeeming that
misused badge. About the very last time I ever saw him, I think, he
came home with one of his eyes gouged out, a split ear, and other marks
but too suggestive of the tavern brawl. I then deprived him of his
collar; soon after which he returned to his unsettled course of life,
and I never saw him again.

The peculiar, otter-like form of these animals, and the buoyancy given
to them by their long, floating hair, endow them with great facility
for swimming; while the small compass into which they will pack in a
canoe or skiff makes them very useful companions to the sportsman whose
propensities are for paddling about "in the melancholy marshes." I made
an excellent retriever of one of mine by carrying in my pocket a
stuffed snipe, which I would make her hunt up and fetch out of the
weeds into which I had thrown it. She would go back half a mile and
fetch this, when I had hidden it ever so cunningly in a thicket by the
way-side. I also taught her to dive, by making her, while young, fetch
up a little bag of shot from the bottom of a bathtub in my room. By
throwing this into deeper water, gradually, she would soon go down to a
great depth for it. A charge of shot, tied up in a piece of white
kid-glove, with a "neck" left to hold on by, is a good object for the
purpose, as it is readily seen in deep water, and teaches the animal,
besides, to nip gingerly,--a valuable qualification in a retriever. I
remember one of these dogs fetching up from a considerable depth the
watch of a friend of mine, which had slipped out of his pocket into a
clear, still bay, over which he was loitering in his canoe.

From times unrecorded until about twenty years ago, the Skye terrier
awaited confidently his summons to the sphere of rank and fashion.
About that time, the day, which, as the proverb figuratively informs
us, it falls to the lot of each individual of the canine race to enjoy,
began to shine out brightly for the dog of Skye, the first rays of it
that reached him being reflected from no less a luminary than the Crown
of Great Britain; for it was among the Scottish fancies of England's
Queen to adopt as a prime favorite this hitherto obscure quadruped.
Reckoned until that time--if anybody took the trouble of computing him
at all--as one of the ugliest of his race, he at once found himself
invested with all the attributes of a canine Adonis,--a very Admirable
Crichton of dogs,--perfect in intellect, face, figure, and the Hyperion
luxuriance of his copious mane and tail. In our youth, we knew--and
hated--a small, unmitigated snob of a dog called the Pug, a kind of
work-basket bull-dog, diminutive in size, dyspeptic in temper,
disagreeable to contemplate, and distressing to be obliged to admire.
One of the missions in society of Skye Terrier--who, when going before
a high wind, bears no unapt resemblance to a mop or a wisp of tow--was
to mop up Pug, and polish him off the hearth-rug of Fashion; a mission
which he appears to have at least partially accomplished. For now the
black muzzle of Pug is but seldom to be seen protruded from
carriage-window, biding his time for a snap at the first kid-gloved
finger that wags within range of his overlapping tusks in waving
salutation to his dowager mistress,--for, of the dowagers, above all,
he was one of the chronic calamities. Oftener, now, are the well-combed
whiskers and moustaches of Skye Dog to be recognized, dropping over the
drawing-room window-sill, or framed, like a portrait by Landseer, in
the panelled sash of the barouche, out of which he gazes pensively with
the impressive speculation of the true _flâneur_;--yea, for as men of
fashion are, so are their dogs; and so also of the fighting butcher,
who ever has his counterpart in the fighting bull-dog that glowers from
his gory stall.

This exalted value of Skye Dog, in a commercial point of view, has, of
course, given rise to the manufacture of a spurious article; whence it
comes, that, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the animal palmed
off on the unsophisticated as genuine has nothing of the real stuff in
his constitution, but is simply a shallow imitation, compounded
according to prescription,--one part common cur-terrier to two parts
insignificant French poodle. And so I take leave of the Skye terrier
with a _caveat emptor_ to the purchaser who does not want to be sold
while he buys.

The sense of humor must surely exist in individual dogs; otherwise it
would puzzle me to account for the singular practical jokes played off
by a water-spaniel once possessed by me. This individual, whose name
was Muff, was a rather small-sized one, of the pure Kentish blood;
liver-colored, with a white ring on his neck, and white paws;
close-curled, wicked-eyed, deep-chested, and remarkably powerful for
his size. Professionally a retriever,--and one of great promise,
although never fully tested with the gun,--his leisure hours, which
included every one in the twenty-four, were passed in the invention and
perpetration of curiously regulated mischiefs, with all of which he
took pains to combine an element of the ludicrous. His great spree was
to run amuck into a flock of small children coming out of school. If
there was a dirty crossing hard by, over which they had to pass, he
would wait until they had got half-way, and then, going through them
like a rocket, would chuck them down into the mud, right and left, as
he sped, keeping straight on in his career until far beyond range of
pedagogue's rod. His trick of making a sudden rush at the heels of
unsuspecting persons--and he invariably selected the right sort for his
purpose--might often have got me into ugly scrapes, but for the tact
with which he invariably ignored his master on such occasions. If
pursued, he never came near me for protection, but fled wildly on,
assuming the character of a dog "on the loose," belonging to nobody in
particular, and quite able to take care of himself. He had a decided
objection to street industrials in general, including Italian
organ-grinders and image-sellers. Once I saw him crouching stealthily
after one of the latter, who was passing through an open square with a
tray of casts upon his head; and before I could get up a whistle or
call him off by name, he had darted like a javelin at the legs of the
refugee, startling him so much out of the perpendicular that the
superstructure of plastic art came to the ground with a crash,
top-dressing the sterile soil of the Campus Martius with a coat of
manufactured plaster of Paris. Marius, blubbering over the shattered
chimney-stacks of Carthage, could not have displayed a more touching
classical spectacle than did that modern Roman lamenting to and fro
among the fragments of his collapsed martyrs and ruined saints; nor
were his pangs fully assuaged even by the application of the universal
panacea to an amount more than double the value of his lost wares.

A great difficulty in training this dog was to bring him "to heel,"--a
still greater one to keep him there when he came. If thrashed into his
proper place in his master's wake, he always resented the indignity by
biting him pretty severely in the legs with a savage whimper. This he
invariably did on first leaving the house with me, sometimes nipping me
so severely, after we had gone a short distance, that I have hesitated
whether to go back for a pistol to shoot him, or forward for a
pennyworth of biscuit to buy him off. When told to "hie away," the
extravagance of his joy knew no bounds. He would have been as
invaluable to a tailor as was to the Parisian _décrotteur_ the poodle
instructed by him to sully with his paws the shoes of the passengers;
for, in the exuberance of his gladness, he but too often rent
insufferably the vestments of the hapless pedestrians in his line of
fire. Sometimes he would turn his assaults upon me, and, springing
suddenly at my "wide-awake," take it from my head, trailing it wildly
away through the mud, and dropping it in some place where it would be
difficult to get at it without wading. Then I would have to conciliate
him to fetch it,--a favor not to be obtained without much stratagem and
diplomacy.

One of this dog's abnormal qualities was the bull-dog one of holding on
to his antagonist in a fight. But few dogs of his size were able to
cope with him; and I once saw him, when in grips with a fierce
bull-terrier by a riverside, precipitate the result by dragging his
adversary into the water, and dipping his head under. He would jump off
the highest bridge to fetch out of the water anything thrown in for
him, never failing to bring it to his master's feet,--except once, when
he steadily declined to recover from the raging element a cane with
which I had, some time previously, administered to him a sound
thrashing for some delinquency. On the first occasion of his being
accidentally left behind at a ferry across a very wide and rapid river,
he swam out some distance after the boat; but, finding the enterprise a
rather hopeless one, soon put back again and waited for the next boat,
on board of which he took his place with a tranquil and business-like
air. This he regularly did on subsequent occasions, without risking the
swim; and when on board, he always seated himself on the upper deck and
as far forward as possible, so as to catch early glimpses of his
friends in waiting.

Among the gifts of this clever animal, I must not forget to reckon a
perception of the truthful in Art. I had a walking-stick, upon the
crooked handle of which was carved, with tolerable skill, a pointer's
head. This piece of sculpture was a source of frequent anxiety to
Muff,--his embarrassment apparently arising from the circumstance of
his not having the gift of speech wherewith to deliver himself of an
opinion on the subject. He would sometimes get up from the sunny spot
on the carpet where he lay, walk over to the corner in which the stick
was deposited, contemplate the handle attentively, with his head on one
side, for several minutes, and then, shaking his head doubtfully,
return to his lair with a sigh. Philanthropist as well as critic, he
once saved the life of a dissipated old sergeant of dragoons, to whom
he had taken a fancy, by rushing into a house which the man had just
quitted in a state of intoxication, and so rousing the inmates by his
gestures, that they at once followed him into the road, alongside of
which the beery old _sabreur_ was found prostrate in a pool of water,
setting his face pertinaciously against that hostile element, even to
what was very near being his last gasp.

Large dogs often appear to take a humorous view of the futile attempts
of small ones to accomplish some feat beyond their strength or stature.
A friend of mine once possessed a very large animal of a cross between
the Mount St. Bernard dog and the English mastiff, and as remarkable
for his good-nature as for his great strength and courage. Rambling out
one day, accompanied by this trusty friend, they came upon a group of
rustics engaged in the ignoble diversion of baiting a badger, an animal
much in request among English dog-fanciers as a test for the pluck of
their terriers. "Drawing a badger" is the proper sporting-phrase,--the
animal being chained to a barrel, from the recesses of which he
contends savagely with the fierce little dogs pitted against each other
to drag him out within a given time. Nero looked on at the sport with a
majestic air of contempt, as dog after dog was withdrawn from the
conflict. At length, disgusted with the failures, he watched his
opportunity until the badger made a dive from his den at a retreating
foe, when, snapping him up by the collar, he thundered away down the
road with the barrel flying after, nor ever stopped until he reached
home, nearly a mile away, where he safely deposited badger and barrel
in the immediate vicinity of his private residence in the stable-yard.

One of the worst vices by which a dog can be beset is a propensity for
killing sheep. It is not a common vice, but, where it exists, it
appears to be inveterate and beyond all hope of reform. Shutting up the
delinquent with a dangerous ram has often been recommended as a certain
mode of disgusting him with mutton, should he survive the discipline
inflicted on him by the avenger of the blood of his race. I can recall
but one instance within my experience in which this corrective was
tested. It was in the case of a sulky dog of a breed between the red
Irish setter and something larger, but less patrician, upon whom the
thirst for blood fell at uncertain intervals, impelling him then to
devastate the very sheepfolds of which in his capacity as watch-dog he
might have been considered as _ex officio_ the guardian. This vile
malefactor had been ordered for execution, and the noose was already
coiled for his caitiff neck, when a neighbor of his master's--a great
raiser of sheep--begged for him a reprieve, kindly volunteering the use
of a truculent, but valuable ram belonging to him, for the purpose of
illustrating the homaeopathic theory above alluded to. At nightfall the
ram was brought and turned into a paddock, where he was left fettered
to the dog with a couple of yards of chain. At the dawn of morning the
ram's master approached confidently the arena of discipline, secure of
a result triumphant for his theory. But theory was a delusion in this
instance; for the red dog Tanner sat there alone and surfeited with
mutton,--though there was a good deal of the ram still left.

It is wonderful what an amount of crime can be committed, even
by a small dog, when, like the _Chourineur_ of Eugene Sue, he is
under the glamour of blood. Of this there came to my knowledge a
well-authenticated instance, one for the truth of which I can vouch. A
settler in a remote bush-district had been to the nearest village,
which was many miles from his clearing. It was in March, and the
surface of the snow--which was quite two feet deep--was frozen to a
hard crust, as he travelled homewards in his cutter, accompanied by a
currish dog, not nearly so large as an average pointer. About
nightfall, and when some two miles from home, a herd of nine deer
crossed his track, struggling away into the woods with uncertain
plunges, as the treacherous crust gave way beneath them at every bound.
While they were yet in sight, the dog gave chase, and they all
disappeared into the dark forest together; nor did the dog return to
the call of his master, who, after whistling to him for a short time,
proceeded on his way and drove home without him. Early next morning the
cur made his appearance, glutted and gory, and looking the very picture
of dissipation. Struck by his appearance, they took the back track on
his trail, which led them to a hollow in the bush, where the snow was
much trampled and draggled with blood, and in and around which every
one of the nine deer lay dead, pulled down and throttled by one
miserable cur, who had the mastery over them, because he could run on
the surface of the snow, through which they sunk. The dog's master--at
whose shanty I once stayed when on a fishing-excursion--was much
mortified at the occurrence, as the deer-hunting season was past, and
he was one of Nature's sportsmen, a game-keeper by instinct.

I have but one more anecdote of a dog, for the present; and that is one
for the truth of which I distinctly decline to vouch. It was imparted
to me by a calker, who owned a woolly French poodle, which remarkable
animal, he informed me, used to swim out regularly once a week,--on
Saturday evenings, I think he said,--with a large wisp of tow in his
mouth, upon the ascension of his fleas into which place of refuge, he
would "let it slide" down the current and swim back tranquilly to the
shore, there to slumber away another week in comparative comfort.[1]

[Footnote 1: The calker's dog had probably never read Olaus Magnus,
though that worthy Archbishop wrote something very like dog-Latin; but,
as dwellers on the margin of the "Atlantic," we have too great a
respect for a prelate who believed in the kraaken and the sea-serpent,
not to refer our valued Cynophilist to the Thirty-Ninth Chapter of the
Eighteenth Book _De Gentibus Septentrionalibus_, where he will find the
same story told of the fox.--_Eds. Atlantic._]

Having thus calked my Dog-Talk--bark, in fact--with this very tough bit
of yarn, I now trustfully commit it to the mercies of the "Atlantic."



THE RECKONING.


Your thought may recur with mine
  To a certain place in the city,
Where you sometimes have chanced to dine;
  If not, why, the more's the pity!

Did you notice the delicate way
  Whereby, with the trencher and cup,
Comes a hint of the matter of pay,
  In a counter laid _blank side up_?

Now,--not to pervert the intent
  Of a courtesy gentle and rare,
Or observance so civilly meant
  With disparaging things to compare,--

By the token your messenger brings,
  Did such services never suggest
A likeness to manifold things
  Of the world, and the flesh, and--the rest?

Command whatsoever you will,
  To pamper your folly or pride;
You shall find, that unfailingly, still,
  The _counter_ is laid beside,

Silently,--seemingly fair,--
  Till an angel the disk shall turn,
And the soul's great debt, the inscription there,
  On her vision shall burst and burn!


      *       *       *       *       *

A TRIP TO CUBA.

MATANZAS.


A hot and dusty journey of some six hours brought us to Matanzas at
high noon. Our companions were Cubans, Spaniards, Americans, and
game-chickens, that travel extensively in these parts, sometimes in
little baskets, with openings for the head and tail, sometimes in the
hands of their owners, secured only by a string fastened to one foot
and passed over the body. They seem to be objects of tender solicitude
to those who carry them; they are nursed and fondled like children, and
at intervals are visited all round by a negro, who fills his mouth with
water, and squirts it into their eyes and under their feathers. They
are curiously plucked on the back and about the tail, where only the
long tail-feathers are allowed to grow. Their tameness in the hands of
their masters is quite remarkable; they suffer themselves to be turned
and held in any direction. But when set down, at any stage of the
journey, they stamp their little feet, stretch their necks, crow, and
look about them for the other cock with most belligerent eyes. As we
have said that the negro of the North is an ideal negro, so we must say
that the game-cock of Cuba is an ideal chicken, a fowl that is too good
to be killed,--clever enough to fight for people who are too indolent
and perhaps too cowardly to fight for themselves,--in short, the
gladiator of the tropics.

Well, as we have said, we and they arrived at our journey's end in the
extreme heat of the day; and having shown our paper and demanded our
trunks, we beat an instantaneous retreat before the victorious monarch
of the skies, and lo! the Ensor House, dirty, bare, and comfortless,
was to us as a fortress and a rock of defence.

Here I would gladly pause, and, giving vent to my feelings, say how
lovely I found Matanzas. But ever since Byron's time, the author is
always hearing the public say, "Don't be poetical," etc., etc.; and in
these days both writer and reader seem to have discovered that life is
too short for long descriptions,--so that, when the pen of a G. P. R.
James, waiting for the inspirations of its master, has amused itself
with sketching a greater or less extent of natural scenery, the rule of
the novel-reader is invariably, "Skip landscape, etc., to event on
thirty-second page." Nevertheless, I will say that Matanzas is
lovely,--with the fair harbor on one hand and the fair hills on the
other, sitting like a mother between two beautiful daughters, who looks
from one to the other and wonders which she loves best. The air from
the water is cool and refreshing, the sky is clear and open, and the
country around seems to beckon one to the green bosom of its shades.
"Ob, what a relief after Havana!" one says, drawing a full breath, and
remembering with a shudder the sickening puffs from its stirring
streets, which make you think that Polonius lies unburied in every
house, and that you nose him as you pass the door and window-gratings.
With this exclamation and remembrance, you lower yourself into one of
Mr. Ensor's rocking-chairs,--twelve of which, with a rickety table and
a piano, four crimson tidies and six white ones, form the furniture of
the Ensor drawing-room,--you lean your head on your hand, close your
eyes, and wish for a comfortable room, with a bed in it. A tolerable
room you shall have; but for a bed, only a cot-bedstead with a sacking
bottom,--further, nothing. Now, if you are some folks that I know, you
will be able to establish very comfortable repose on this slender
foundation, Nature having so amply furnished you that you are your own
feather-bed, bolster, sofa-cushion, and easy-chair, a moving mass of
upholstery, wanting only a frame to be set down in and supported. But
if you should be one of Boston's normal skeletons, pinched in every
member with dyspepsia, and with the mark of the beast neuralgia on your
forehead, then your skin will have a weary time of it, holding your
bones, and you will be fain to entreat with tears the merciful
mediation of a mattress.

Now I know very well that those of my readers who intend visiting Cuba
will be much more interested in statistics of hotels than in any
speculations, poetical or philosophical, with which I might be glad to
recompense their patience. Let me tell them, therefore, that the Ensor
House is neither better nor worse than other American hotels in Cuba.
The rooms are not very bad, the attendance not intolerable, the table
almost commendable. The tripe, salt-fish, and plantains were,
methought, much as at other places. There were stews of meat, onions,
sweet pippins, and _ochra_, which deserve notice. The early coffee was
punctual; the tea, for a wonder, black and hot. True, it was served on
a bare pine table, with the accompaniment only of a bit of dry
bread,--no butter, cake, nor _dulces_. But Mr. Ensor has heard, no
doubt, that sweet things are unwholesome, and is determined, at
whatever cost to his own feelings, to keep them out of the way of his
guests, who are, for the time, his children. Then there is an excellent
English servant called John, whom, though the fair Ensor did berate
him, we must enumerate among the comforts of the establishment. There
is a dark corner about _volantes_, which they are disposed to order for
you at a very unreasonable profit; but as there are plenty of livery
stables at hand, and street _volantes_ passing all the time, it will be
your own fault, if you pay six dollars where you ought to pay three.

The first thing to be done at Matanzas is to drive out and see the
Cumbre, a hill in the neighborhood, and from it the valley of the
Yumori. The road is an improvement on those already described,--the
ruts being much deeper and the rocks much larger; the jolting is
altogether more complete and effective. Still, you remember the
doctrine that the _volante_ cannot upset, and this blind faith to which
you cling carries you through triumphantly. The Cumbre is lofty, the
view extensive, and the valley lovely, of a soft, light green, like the
early leaves and grass of spring, dotted everywhere with the palms and
their dark clusters. It opens far, far down at your feet, and on your
left you see the harbor quiet and bright in the afternoon sun, with a
cheering display of masts and pennons. You would look and linger long,
but that the light will wane, and you are on your way to Jenks his
sugar-plantation, the only one within convenient distance of the town.
Here the people are obviously accustomed to receive visitors, and are
decently, not superfluously, civil. The _major-domo_ hands you over to
a negro who speaks English, and who salutes you at once with,
"Good-bye, Sir!" The boiling here is conducted in one huge, open vat. A
cup and saucer are brought for you to taste the juice, which is dipped
out of the boiling vat for your service. It is very like balm-tea,
unduly sweetened; and after a hot sip or so you return the cup with
thanks. A loud noise, as of cracking of whips and of hurrahs, guides
you to the sugar-mill, where the crushing of the cane goes on in the
jolliest fashion. The building is octagonal and open. Its chief feature
is a very large horizontal wheel, which turns the smaller ones that
grind the cane. Upon this are mounted six horses, driven by as many
slaves, male and female, whose exertions send the wheel round with
sufficient rapidity. This is really a novel and picturesque sight. Each
negro is armed with a short whip, and their attitudes, as they stand,
well-balanced on the revolving wheel, are rather striking. They were
liberal of blows and of objurgations to the horses; but all their cries
and whipping produced scarcely a tenth of the labor so silently
performed by the invisible, noiseless slave that works the
steam-engine. From this we wandered about the avenues, planted with
palms, cocoas, and manifold fruit-trees,--visited the sugar-fields,
where many slaves were cutting the canes and piling them on enormous
ox-carts, and came at last to a great, open field, where many head of
cattle were quietly standing. Our negro guide had not been very lavish
or intelligible in his answers to our numerous questions. We asked him
about these cattle. "Dey cows," he replied. We asked if they gave milk,
and if butter was made on the plantation. He seemed quite puzzled and
confused, and finally exclaimed,--"Dat cows no got none wife." Coming
nearer, we found that the cows were draught oxen, employed in dragging
the canes and other produce of the plantation. Jenks his garden we
found in good order, and beautiful with many plants in full blossom;
but Jenks his house seemed dreary and desolate, with no books, a
wretched print or so, dilapidated furniture, and beds that looked like
the very essence of nightmare. Nothing suggested domestic life or
social enjoyment, or anything--; but as Jenks is perfectly unknown to
us, either by appearance or reputation, we give only a guess in the
dark, and would suggest, in case it may displease him, that he should
refurnish and repaint a little, and diffuse an air of cheerfulness over
his solitary villa, remembering that Americans have imaginations, and
that visitors will be very apt to construct an unknown host from his
surroundings.

The second thing to be done in Matanzas, if you arrive on Saturday, is
to attend military mass at the Cathedral on Sunday morning. This
commences at eight o'clock; but the hour previous may be advantageously
employed in watching the arrival and arrangement of the female
aristocracy of Matanzas. These enter in groups of twos and threes,
carrying their prayer-books, and followed by slaves of either sex, who
bear the prayer-carpet of their mistresses. The ladies are wonderfully
got up, considering the early hour; and their toilettes suggest that
they may not have undressed since the ball of the night before. All
that hoops, powder, and puffery can do for them has been done; they
walk in silk attire, and their hair is what is technically termed
dressed. Some of them bring their children, bedizened like dolls, and
mimicking mamma's gestures and genuflexion in a manner more provoking
to sadness than to satire. If the dressing is elaborate, the crossing
is also. It does not consist of one simple cross, "_in nomine Patris_,"
etc.; they seem to make three or four crosses from forehead to chin,
and conclude by kissing the thumb-nail, in honor of what we could not
imagine. Entering the middle aisle, which is divided from the rest by a
row of seats on either side, they choose their position, and motion to
the dark attendant to spread the carpet. Some of them evince
considerable strategic skill in the selection of their ground. All
being now in readiness, they drop on their knees, spread their
flounces, cross themselves, open their books, and look about them.
Their attendants retire a little, spread a handkerchief on the ground,
and modestly kneel behind them, obviously expecting to be saved with
the family. These are neatly, sometimes handsomely dressed. In this
status things remain until the music of the regiment is heard. With a
martial sound of trumpets it enters the church, and fills the aisles,
the officers taking place within the chancel, and a guard-of-honor of
eight soldiers ranging on either side of the officiating priest. And
now our devotions begin in good earnest; for, simultaneously with the
regiment, the _jeunesse dorée_ of Matanzas has made its appearance, and
has spread itself along the two long lines of demarcation which
separate the fair penitents from the rest of the congregation. The
ladies now spread their flounces again, and their eyes find other
occupation than the dreary Latin of their missals. There is, so to
speak, a lively and refreshing time between the youths of both sexes,
while the band plays its utmost, and _Evangel_, _Kyrie_, and _Credo_
are recited to the music of Trovatore and Traviata. That child of four
years old, dressed in white and gold flounces, and white satin boots
with heels, handles her veil and uses her eyes like mamma, eager for
notice, and delighted with the gay music and uniforms. The moment comes
to elevate the Host, thump goes the drum, the guard presents arms, and
the soldiers, instead of kneeling, bend forward, in a most
uncomfortable manner. Another thump, and all that is over; the swords
are returned to their sheaths, and soon, the loud music coming to an
end, the regiment marches out of church, very much as it marched in,
its devotional experiences being known to Heaven alone. Ladies and
lovers look their last, the flounces rise in pyramids, the
prayer-carpets are rolled up, and, with a silken sweep and rush, Youth,
Beauty, and Fashion forsake the church, where Piety has hardly been,
and go home to breakfast. To that comfortable meal you also betake
yourself, musing on the small heads and villanous low foreheads of the
Spanish soldiery, and wondering how long it would take a handful of
resolute Yankees to knock them all into--But you are not a filibuster,
you know.


THE PASEO--THE PLAZA--DINING OUT.


"As this Sunday is Carnival, you cannot do better than drive about the
city, and then go to the Plaza to see the masks. My partner's wife,
with whom you have now so comfortably breakfasted, will call for you in
her _volante_, between five and six o'clock. She will show you the
Paseo, and we will go and see the masks afterwards."

So spoke a banker, who, though not _our_ banker, is our friend, and
whose kind attentions we shall ever recall, when we remember Cuba. So
he spoke, and so it befell. The pretty American lady, Cubanized into
paleness, but not into sallowness, called at the appointed hour, and,
in her company, we visited the principal streets, and the favorite
drive of the Matanzasts. The Paseo is shorter than that of Havana, but
much prettier. We found it gay with _volantes_, whose fair occupants
kept up an incessant bowing and smiling to their friends in carriages
and on horseback. The Cubans are generally good riders, and their
saddle-horses have the easiest and pleasantest gait imaginable. The
heat of the climate does not allow the severe exercise of trot and
gallop, and so these creatures go along as smoothly and easily as the
waves of the sea, and are much better broken to obedience. The ladies
of Matanzas seem to possess a great deal of beauty, but they abuse the
privilege of powder, and whiten themselves with _cascarilla_ to a
degree that is positively ghastly. This _cascarilla_ is formed by the
trituration of eggshells; and the oval faces whitened with it resemble
a larger egg, with features drawn on it in black and red. In spite of
this, they are handsome; but one feels a natural desire to rush in
amongst them with a feather duster, and lay about one a little, before
giving an available opinion of their good looks.

If the Paseo was gay, the streets of the city were gay also; the
windows filled with faces and figures in full dress, with little groups
of children at the feet of the grown people, like the two world-famous
cherubs at the feet of the Madonna di San Sisto. There were crowds of
promenaders too, everywhere, interspersed with parties of maskers, who
went about screaming at the public with high, shrill voices. Leaving
the _volante_, we descend to the Plaza, where is now the height and
centre of movement. We find it flanked on all sides with little movable
kitchens, where good things are cooked, and with tables, where they are
sold and eaten. Fried cakes, fish, and meats seem the predominant bill
of fare, with wine, coffee, and fruits. The masks are circulating with
great animation; men in women's clothes, white people disguised as
negroes, and negroes disguised as whites, prodigious noses, impossible
chins and foreheads; the stream of popular fancy ran chiefly in these
channels. We met processions consisting of a man carrying a rat in a
cage, and shouting out, "Catch this rat!" followed by a perfect
stampede of wild creatures, all yelling, "Catch that rat!" at the top
of their voices. The twanging of the guitar is heard everywhere,
accompanied by the high nasal voices of the natives, in various strains
of monotony. In some spots the music is more lively, accompanied by the
shaking of a gourd filled with dry seeds, which is called _ghiera_, and
whose "chick-a-chick, chick-chick" takes the place of the more poetical
castanets;--here you find one or more couples exhibiting their skill in
Cuban dances, with a great deal of applause and chattering from the
crowd around. Beside those of the populace, many aristocratic groups
parade the Plaza, in full dress, crowned with flowers and jewels;--a
more motley scene can hardly be imagined. Looking up, one sees in
curious contrast the tall palms with which the Plaza is planted, and
the quiet, wondering stars set in the deep tropical heavens.

But in our evening's programme, tea has been omitted; now, what
availeth a Bostonian without his tea? By eight o'clock, we are pensive,
"most like a tired child at a show,"--by half-past eight, stupid,--by
nine, furious. Two hours of folly, taken on an empty stomach, alarm us
for our constitution. A visit to the _café_ is suggested and adopted.
It proves to be crowded with people in fancy attire, who have laid
aside their masks to indulge in beer, orgeat, and sherbet. While our
Cuban friends regale themselves with soursop and _zapote_ ice sweetened
with brown sugar, we call for a cup of delicious Spanish chocolate,
which is served with a buttered toasted roll, worthy of all imitation.
Oh, how much comfort is in a little cup of chocolate! what an
underpinning does it afford our spiritual house, a material basis for
our mental operations! In its support, we go it a little longer on the
Plaza, see more masks, hear more guitars and "catch-this-rat!" and
finally return, in a hired _volante_, to the Ensor House, where rest
and the bedless cots await us.

But we have friends in Matanzas, real born Cubans, who will not suffer
us to remain forever in the Ensor House. They send their _volante_ for
us, one day, and we visit them. Their house, of the inevitable Cuban
pattern, is richly furnished; the marbles of the floor are pure and
smooth, the rug ample and velvety; the wainscoting of the walls, so to
speak, is in handsome tiling,--not in mean, washy painting; the cane
chairs and sofas are fresh and elegant, and there is a fine Erard
piano. The master of the house is confined to his room by illness, but
will be happy to see us. His son and daughters speak English with
fluency. They inform us, that the epidemic colds which prevail in Cuban
winters are always called by the name of some recent untoward
occurrence, and that their father, who suffers from severe influenza,
has got the President's Message. We find Don José in a bedroom darkened
by the necessary closing of the shutters, there being no other way of
excluding the air. The bedsteads are of gilded iron, with luxurious
bedding and spotless mosquito-nettings. His head is tied up with a silk
handkerchief. He rises from his rocking-chair, receives us with great
urbanity, and expresses his appreciation of the American nation and
their country, which he himself has visited. After a short interview we
leave him, but not until he has placed his house and all it contains
_"á la disposicion de Usted."_ We are then shown the pretty bedroom of
the young ladies, whose toilettes are furnished in silver, the bath
lined with tiling, the study, and the dining-room, where luncheon
awaits us. We take leave, with a kind invitation to return and dine the
next day, which, upon mature deliberation, we accept.

The _volante_ comes for us next day, with Roque, brightest of all
living _caleseros_, fixed in his boots and saddle. After a pleasant
drive we attain the house, and are received by its hospitable inmates
as before. The interval before dinner, a tolerably long one, is filled
up by pleasant chitchat, chiefly in English. The lady of the house does
not, however, profess our vernacular, and to her understanding we lay
siege in French, Italian, and laughter-provoking Spanish. Before dining
we pay a second visit to the host, who is still busy digesting the
President's Message. Obviously, the longer he has it under
consideration, the worse he finds it. He has nausea from its bragging,
his head aches with its loudness, and its emptiness fills him with
wind. We are at our wits' end to prescribe for him, and take our leave
with grave commiseration, telling him that we, too, have had it, but
that the symptoms it produces in the North are a reddening in the cheek
and a spasmodic contraction of the right arm. Now comes great dinner
on. A slave announces it, and with as little ceremony as may be we take
our places. And here we must confess that our friend the banker had
rendered us an important service. For he had said,--"Look not upon the
soup when it is hot, neither let any victuals entice thee to more than
a slight and temporary participation; for the dishes at a Cuban dinner
be many, and the guest must taste of all that is presented; wherefore,
if he indulge in one dish to his special delectation, he shall surely
die before the end." And it came to pass that we remembered this, and
walked through the dinner as on egg-shells, gratifying curiosity, on
the one hand, and avoiding satiety, on the other, with the fear of
fulness, as it were, before our eyes. For, oh, my friends! what pang is
comparable to too much dinner, save the distress of being refused by a
young woman, or the comfortless sensation, in times of economy, of
having paid away a five-dollar gold piece in place of a silver quarter
of a dollar?

But you, Reader, would like more circumstantiality in the account of
this dinner, which united many perfections. It was handsome, but not
splendid,--orderly, but, not stately,--succulent, but not unctuous. It
kept the word of promise to the smell and did not break it to the
taste. It was a dinner such as we shall wish only to our best friends,
not to those acquaintances who ask how we do when they meet us, and
wish we were dead before we part. As for particulars, we should be glad
to impart much useful information and many choice receipts; but the
transitory nature of such an entertainment does not allow one to
improve it as one could wish. One feature we remember, which is that
the whole dinner was placed on the table at once, and so you had the
advantage of seeing your work cut out before you. None of that hope
deferred, when, after being worried through a dozen stews and
_entrées_, you are rewarded at last with an infinitesimal fragment of
the _rôti_. Nor, on the other hand, the unwelcome surprise of three
supplementary courses and a dessert, when you have already dined to
repletion, and feel yourself at peace with all the world. Here, all was
fair play; you knew what to expect and what was expected of you. Soup,
of course, came first,--then fish,--then meat stewed with potatoes and
onions,--then other meat with _ochra_ and tomatoes,--then boiled
chicken, which is eaten with a _pilaff_ of rice colored with
saffron,--then delicious sweet potatoes, yams, plantains, and
vegetables of every sort,--then a kind of pepper, brought, we think,
from the East Indies, and intensely tropical in its taste,--then a
splendid roast turkey, and ham strewed with small colored
sugar-plums,--then--well, is not that enough for one person to have
eaten at a stretch, and that person accustomed to a Boston diet? Then
came such a display of sweetmeats as would exercise the mind of a New
England housekeeper beyond all power of repose,--a pudding,--a huge
tart with very thick crust,--cakes of _yuca_,--a dish of cocoanut, made
into a sort of impalpable preserve, with eggs and sugar,--then a course
of fruits,--then coffee, of the finest quality, from the host's own
plantation,--and then we arose and went into the drawing-room, with a
thankful recollection of what we had had, and also a thankful assurance
that we should have no more.

A drive by moonlight was now proposed, to see the streets and the
masks, it being still Carnival. So the _volante_ was summoned, with its
smiling, silent Roque, and the pretty daughter of the house took seat
beside us. The streets around the Plaza proved quite impassable from
the crowd, whose wild movements and wilder voices went nigh to scaring
the well-trained horses. The little lady was accustomed, apparently, to
direct every movement of her charioteer, and her orders were uttered in
a voice high and sweet as a bird-call. "_Dobla al derecho, Roque!
Roque, dobla al derecho_!" Why did not Roque go mad, and
exclaim,--"Yes, Señorita, and to heaven itself, if you bid me so
prettily!" But Roque only doubled as he was bid, and took us hither and
thither, and back to the nest of his lady-bird, where we left her and
the others with grateful regrets, and finally back to the Ensor House,
which on this occasion seemed to us the end of all things.


GAME-CHICKENS--DON RODRIGUEZ--DAY ON THE PLANTATION--DE-PARTURE.


As there are prejudices in Cuba, and elsewhere, touching the
appropriate sphere of woman, Halia was not taken to the cockpit, as she
had demanded and expected,--not to see the chickens fight, but to see
the Spaniards see it.

Forgive her, ye Woman's-Righters, if on this occasion she was weak and
obedient! You would have gone, no doubt,--those of you who have not
husbands; but such as have must know how much easier it is to deal with
the article man in his theoretical than in his real presence. You may
succeed in showing by every convincement, that you are his natural
master and superior, and that there is every reason on earth why you
should command and direct him. "No! ---- ," says the wretch, shaking
his fist, or shrugging his shoulders; and whatever your intimate
convictions may be, the end is, that you do not.

Propitiated by that ready obedience which is safest, dear sisters, in
these contingencies, the proprietor of Halia takes her, one morning, to
see the establishment of a man of fortune in the neighborhood, where
one hundred and forty game-chickens are kept for training and fighting.
These chickens occupy two good-sized rooms, whose walls are entirely
covered with compartments, some two feet square, in each of which
resides a cock, with his little perch and drinking-vessel. They are
kept on allowance of water and of food, lest they should get beyond
fighting-weight. Their voices are uplifted all day long, and on all
moonlight nights. An old woman receives us, and conducts us to the
training-pit, pointing out on the way the heroes of various battles,
and telling us that this cock and the other have won _mucho dinero_,
"much money." Each has also its appointed value;--this cock is worth
forty dollars, this four ounces, this one six ounces,--oh, he is a
splendid fellow! No periodal and sporadic hen-fever prevails here, but
the gallo-mania is the chronic madness of the tropics.

The training-pit is a circular space inclosed with boards, perhaps some
twelve feet in diameter. Here we find the proprietor, Don Manuel
Rodriguez, with a negro assistant, up to the ears in business. Don
Manuel is young, handsome, and vivacious, and with an air of good
family that astonishes us. He receives us with courtesy, finds nothing
unusual in the visit of a lady, but is too much engrossed with his
occupation to accord us more than a passing notice. This is exactly as
we could wish,--it allows us to study the Don, so to speak, _au
naturel_. He is engaged at first in weighing two cocks, with a view to
their subsequent fighting. Having ascertained their precise weight,
which he registers in his pocket-memorandum, he proceeds to bind strips
of linen around their formidable spurs, that in their training they may
not injure each other with them. This being accomplished,--he all the
while delivering himself with great volubility to his black
second,--the two cocks are taken into the arena; one is let loose
there; the negro holds the other, and knocks the free fowl about the
head with it. Sufficient provocation having been given, they are
allowed to go at each other in their own fashion, and their attacks and
breathing-spells are not very unlike a bout of fencing. They flap, fly
at each other, fly over, peck, seize by the neck, let go, rest a
moment, and begin again, getting more and more excited with each round.
The negro separates them, when about to draw blood. And as for Don
Manuel, he goes mad over them, like an Italian _maestro_ over his
favorite pupil. "_Hombre, hombre!_" he cries to the negro, "what a
cock! By Heaven, what a couple! _Ave María santísima!_ did one ever see
such spirit? _Santísima Trinidad!_ is there such fighting in all
Matanzas?" Having got pretty well through with the calendar of the
saints, he takes out his watch;--the fight has lasted long enough. One
of the champions retires to take a little repose; another is brought in
his place; the negro takes him, and boxes him about the ears of the
remaining fowl,--brushing him above his head, and underneath, and on
his back, to accustom him to every method of attack. Don Manuel informs
us that the cock made use of in this way is the father of the other,
and exclaims, with an air of mock compassion, _Pobre padre!_ "Poor
father!" The exercise being concluded, he takes a small feather, and
cleans out therewith the throat of either chicken, which proves to be
full of the sand of the arena, and which he calls _porquería_, "dirt."

We leave Don Manuel about to employ himself with other cocks, and, as
before, too much absorbed to give our departure much notice. Strange to
say, Hulia is so well satisfied with this rehearsal, that she expresses
no further desire to witness the performance itself. We learn
subsequently that Don Manuel is a man of excellent family and great
wealth, who has lavished several fortunes on his favorite pursuit, and
is hurrying along on the road to ruin as fast as chickens' wings can
carry him. We were very sorry, but couldn't possibly interfere.
Meantime, he appeared excessively jolly.

Our kind friends of the dinner were determined to pay us, in their
persons, all the debts of hospitality the island might be supposed to
contract towards strangers and Americans. Arrangements were accordingly
made for us to pass our last day in Matanzas at a coffee-plantation of
theirs, some four miles distant from town. They would send their
travelling _volante_ for us, they said, which was not so handsome as
the city _volante_, but stronger, as it had need to be, for the roads.
At eleven o'clock, on a very warm morning, this vehicle made its
appearance at the door of the Ensor House, with Roque in the
saddle,--Roque with that mysterious _calesero_ face of his, knowing
everything, but volunteering nothing until the word of command. Don
Antoñito, he tells us, has gone before us on horseback;--we mount the
_volante_, and follow. Roque drives briskly at first, a slight breeze
refreshes us, and we think the road better than is usual. But wait a
bit, and we come to what seems an unworked quarry of coral rock, with
no perceptible way over it, and Roque still goes on, slowly indeed, but
without stop or remark. The strong horses climb the rough and slippery
rocks, dragging the strong _volante_ after them. The _calesero_ picks
his way carefully; the carriage tips, jolts, and tumbles; the centre of
gravity appears to be nowhere. The breeze dies away; the vertical sun
seems to pin us through the head; we get drowsy, and dream of an uneasy
sea of stones, whose harsh waves induce headache, if not seasickness.
We wish for a photograph of the road;--first, to illustrate the
inclusive meaning of the word; second, to serve as a remembrance, to
reconcile us to all future highways.

Why these people are content to work out their road-tax by such sore
travail of mind and body appeareth to us mysterious. The breaking of
stone in state-prison is not harder work than riding over a Cuban road;
yet this extreme of industry is endured by the Cubans from year to
year, and from one human life to another, without complaint or effort.
An hour or more of these and similar reflections brings us to a bit of
smooth road, and then to the gate of the plantation, where a fine
avenue of palms conducts us to the house. Here resides the relative and
partner of our Matanzas friends, a man of intelligent and humane
aspect, who comes to greet us, with his pleasant wife, and a pretty
niece, their constant guest. This lady has made use of her retirement
for the accomplishment of her mind. She has some knowledge of French
and Italian, and, though unwilling to speak English, is able to
translate from that language with entire fluency. The plantation-house
is very pretty, situated just at the end of the palm-avenue, with all
the flowers in sight,--for these are planted between the palms;--it has
a deep piazza in front, and the first door opens into one large room,
with sleeping-apartments on either side. Opposite this door is another,
opening upon the court behind the house, and between the two our chairs
are placed, courting the draught.--_N.B._ In Cuba, no one shuns a
draught; you ride, drive, sit, and sleep in one, and, unless you are a
Cuban, never take cold. The floor of this principal room is merely of
clay, rubbed with a red powder, which, mixed with water, hardens into a
firm, polished surface. The house has but one story; the timbers of the
roof, unwhitened, forming the only ceiling. The furniture consists of
cane easy-chairs, a dining-table, and a pretty hammock, swung across
one end of the room. Here we sit and talk long. Our host has many good
books in French and Spanish,--and in English, Walter Scott's Novels,
which his wife fully appreciates.

A walk is proposed, and we go first to visit _los negros
chiquitos,--Anglicè_, "the small niggers," in their nursery. We find
their cage airy enough; it is a house with a large piazza completely
inclosed in coarse lattice-work, so that the _pequeñuelos_ cannot
tumble out, nor the nurses desert their charge. Our lady friend
produces a key, unlocking a small gate which admits us. We found, as
usual, the girls of eight and upwards tending the babies, and one
elderly woman superintending them. On our arrival, African drums,
formed of logs hollowed out, and covered with skin at the end, were
produced. Two little girls proceeded to belabor these primitive
instruments, and made a sort of rhythmic strumming, which kept time to
a monotonous chant. Two other girls executed a dance to this, which,
for its slowness, might be considered an African minuet. The dancing
children were bright-looking, and not ungraceful. Work stops at noon
for a recess; and the mothers run from the field to visit the
imprisoned babies, whom they carry to their own homes and keep till the
afternoon-hour for work comes round, which it does at two P.M. We went
next to the negro-houses, which are built, as we have described others,
contiguous, in one hollow square. On this plantation the food of the
negroes is cooked for them, and in the middle of the inclosed square
stood the cooking-apparatus, with several large caldrons. Still, we
found little fires in most of the houses, and the inmates employed in
concocting some tidbit or other. A hole in the roof serves for a
chimney, where there is one, but they as often have the fire just
before their door. The slaves on this plantation looked in excellent
condition, and had, on the whole, cheerful countenances. The good
proportion of their increase showed that they were well treated, as on
estates where they are overworked they increase scarcely or not at all.
We found some of the men enjoying a nap between a board and a blanket.
Most of the women seemed busy about their household operations. The
time from twelve to two is given to the negroes, besides an hour or two
after work in the evening, before they are locked up for the night.
This time they improve mostly in planting and watering their little
gardens, which are their only source of revenue. The negroes on this
estate had formed a society amongst themselves for the accumulation of
money; and our friend, the manager of the plantation, told us that they
had on his books two thousand dollars to their credit. One man alone
had amassed six hundred dollars, a very considerable sum, under the
circumstances. We visited also the house of the mayoral, or overseer,
whose good face seemed in keeping with the general humane arrangements
of the place,--as humane, at least, as the system permits. The negroes
all over the island have Sunday for themselves; and on Sunday
afternoons they hold their famous balls, which sometimes last until
four o'clock on Monday morning. Much of the illness among the negroes
is owing to their imprudence on these and like occasions. Pneumonia is
the prevalent disease with them, as with the slaves in our own South;
it is often acute and fatal. Everything in Cuba has such a tendency to
go on horseback, that we could not forbear asking if dead men did, and
were told that it was so,--the dead negroes being temporarily inclosed
in a box, and conveyed to the cemetery on the back of a horse. Our
friend, seeing our astonishment, laughed, and told us that the poor
whites were very glad to borrow the burial-horse and box, to furnish
their own funerals.

Dinner was served at four o'clock, quite informally, in the one
sitting-room of the house. A black girl brushed off the flies with a
paper fly-brush, and another waited on table. The dinner was excellent;
but I have already given so many bills of fare in these letters, that I
will content myself with mentioning the novelty of a Cuban
country-dish, a sort of stew, composed of ham, beef, mutton, potatoes,
sweet potatoes, _yuca_, and yams. This is called _Ayacco_, and is a
characteristic dish, like eel-soup in Hamburg, or salt codfish in
Boston;--as is usual in such cases, it is more relished by the
inhabitants than by their visitors. On the present occasion, however,
it was only one among many good things, which were made better by
pleasant talk, and were succeeded by delicious fruits and coffee. After
dinner we visited the vegetable garden, and the well, where we found
Candido, the rich negro who had saved six hundred dollars, drawing
water with the help of a blind mule. Now the philanthrope of our party
was also a phrenologist, and had conceived a curiosity to inspect the
head of the very superior negro who had made all this money; so, at his
request, Candido was summoned from the well, and ordered to take off
his hat. This being removed disclosed the covering of a cotton
handkerchief, of which he was also obliged to divest himself. Candido
was much too well bred to show any signs of contumacy; but the
expression of his countenance varied, under the observation of the
phrenologist, from wonder to annoyance, and from that to the extreme of
sullen, silent wrath. The reason was obvious,--he supposed himself
brought up with a view to bargain and sale; and when informed that he
had a good head, he looked much inclined to give somebody else a bad
one. He was presently allowed to go back to his work; and our
sympathies went with him, as it would probably take some days to efface
from his mind the painful impression that he was to be sold, the last
calamity that can happen to a negro who is in kind hands. We now
wandered through the long avenues of palm and fruit trees with which
the estate was planted, and saw the stout black wenches at their
out-door occupations, which at this time consisted chiefly in raking
and cleansing the ground about the roots of the trees and flowers.
Their faces brightened as their employers passed, and the smaller
children kissed hands. Returned to the house, we paused awhile to enjoy
the evening red, for the sun was already below the horizon. Then came
the _volante_, and with heartfelt thanks and regrets we suffered it to
take us away.

And who had been the real hero of this day? Who but Roque, fresh from
town, with his experience of Carnival, and his own accounts of the
masked ball, the Paseo, and the Señorita's beaux? All that durst
followed him to the gate, and kissed hands after him. _"Adios, Roque!
Roque, adios!"_ resounded on all sides; and Roque, the mysterious one,
actually smiled in conscious superiority, as he nodded farewell, and
galloped off, dragging us after him.

As we drove back to Matanzas in the moonlight, a sound of horses' feet
made us aware that Don Antoñito, the young friend who had planned and
accompanied our day's excursion, was to be our guard of honor on the
lonely road. A body-servant accompanied him, likewise mounted. Don
Antoñito rode a milk-white Cuban pony, whose gait was soft, swift, and
stealthy as that of a phantom horse. His master might have carried a
brimming glass in either hand, without spilling a drop, or might have
played chess, or written love-letters on his back, so smoothly did he
tread the rough, stony road. All its pits and crags and jags, the pony
made them all a straight line for his rider, whose unstirred figure and
even speech made this quite discernible. For when a friend talks to you
on the trot, much gulping doth impede his conversation,--and there is
even a good deal of wallop in a young lady's gallop. But our friend's
musical Spanish ran on like a brook with no stones in it, that merely
talks to the moonlight for company. And such moonlight as it was that
rained down upon us, except where the palm-trees spread their inverted
parasols, and wouldn't let it! And such a glorification of all trees
and shrubs, including the palm, which we are almost afraid to call
again by name, lest it should grow "stuck up," and imagine there were
no other trees but itself! And such a combination of tropical silence,
warmth, and odor! Even in the night, we did not forget that the
aloe-hedges had red in them, which made all the ways beautiful by day.
Oh! it was what good Bostonians call "a lovely time"; and it was with a
sigh of fulness that we set down the goblet of enjoyment, drained to
the last drop, and getting, somehow, always sweeter towards the bottom.

For it was set down at the Ensor House, which we are to leave to-night,
half-regretful at not having seen the scorpion by which we always
expected to be bitten; for we had heard such accounts of it, patrolling
the galleries with its venomous tail above its head, that we had
thought a sight might be worth a bite. It was not to be, however. The
luggage is brought; John is gratified with a _peso_; and we take leave
with entire goodwill.

I mention our departure, only because it was Cuban and characteristic.
Returning by boat to Havana, we were obliged to be on board by ten
o'clock that evening, the boat starting at eleven. Of course, the
steamer was nowhere but a mile out in the stream; and a little
cockle-shell of a row-boat was our only means of attaining her. How
different, ye good New Yorkers and Bostonians, from your afternoon walk
on board the "Bay State," with valise and umbrella in hand, and all the
flesh-pots of Egypt in--well, in remembrance! After that degree of
squabbling among the boatmen which serves to relieve the feelings of
that habitually disappointed class of men, we chose our craft, and were
rowed to the steamer, whose sides were steep and high out of water. The
arrangements on board were peculiar. The body of the main deck was
occupied by the _gentlemen's_ cabin, which was large and luxurious. A
tiny after-cabin was fitted up for the ladies. In the region of the
machinery were six horrible staterooms, bare and dirty, the berths
being furnished simply with cane-bottoms, a pillow, and one unclean
sheet. Those who were decoyed into these staterooms endured them with
disgust while the boat was at anchor; but when the paddle-wheels began
to revolve, and dismal din of clang and bang and whirr came down about
their ears, and threatened to unroof the fortress of the brain, why,
then they fled madly, precipitately, leaving their clothes mostly
behind them. But I am anticipating. The passengers arrived and kept
arriving; and we watched, leaning over the side, for Don Antoñito, who
was to accompany our voyage. Each boat had its little light; and to see
them dancing and toppling on the water was like a fairy scene. At last
came our friend; and after a little talk and watching of the stars, we
betook ourselves to rest.

Many of the Dons were by this time undressed, and smoking in their
berths. As there was no access to the ladies' cabin, save through the
larger one, she who went thither awaited a favorable moment and ran,
looking neither to the right hand nor the left. The small space was
tolerably filled by Cuban ladies in full dress.--_Mem_. They always
travel in their best clothes.--The first navigation among them was a
real balloon-voyage, with collisions; but they soon collapsed and went
to bed. All is quiet now; and she of whom we write has thrown herself
upon the first vacant bed, spreading first a clean napkin on the
extremely serviceable pillow. Sleep comes; but what is this that
murders sleep? A diminutive male official going to each berth, and
arousing its fair occupant with "Doña Teresita," or whatever the name
may be, "favor me with the amount of your passage-money." No comment is
necessary; here, no tickets,--here, no stewardess to mediate between
the unseen captain and the unprotected female! The sanctuary of the sex
invaded at midnight, without apology and without rebuke! Think of that,
_those_ passengers who have not paid their fare, and, when invited to
call at the captain's office and settle, do so, and be thankful! The
male passengers underwent a similar visitation. It is the Cuban idea of
a compendious and economic arrangement.

And here ends our account of Matanzas, our journey thither, stay, and
return. Peace rest upon the fair city! May the earthquake and hurricane
spare it! May the hateful Spanish government sit lightly on its strong
shoulders! May the filibusters attack it with kisses, and conquer it
with loving-kindness! So might it be with the whole island-vale!

       *       *       *       *       *


THE FIRST AND THE LAST.


It was the last December of the eighteenth century. All night a fierce
northeast snow-storm had been hissing and drifting through the frozen
air, pelting angrily at the shuttered and curtained windows of the
rich, and shrieking with scornful laughter as it forced its way through
the ill-fitting casements and loose doors of the poor, clutching at
them with icy fingers as they cowered over their poor fires, and
spreading over the garret-beds in which they sought to hide from him a
premature shroud of cold white snow.

But with morning the storm ceased, and a little before noon the sun,
peering from behind his clouds, seemed to wink with astonishment at
seeing how much had been done in his absence.

Not only the sun, but Mr. Phineas Coffin, guardian of the "town's
poor," in the town of Newport, was astir, and, standing at the door of
the "poor-'us," bent a contemplative eye upon the progress made by two
stout youths who were clearing the snow from the sidewalks and paths
upon his premises.

Mr. Coffin perceived that a trial of skill and speed was going on
between one of his own pioneers and a lad similarly engaged on behalf
of the next estate. About half-way between the rapidly approaching
competitors stood a rough-hewn block of stone, marking the boundaries
of the two estates.

To first reach this, the winning-post, was evidently the emulous desire
of each. As they approached near and nearer, the snow flew from their
shovels with a force and velocity which would certainly have reminded
Mr. Coffin of a steam snow-plough, had he ever seen or heard, of such a
thing, which he most assuredly never had.

Each boy performed prodigies of skill and valor. The "poor-'us" lad
evidently gained, and his patron did not conceal a wide smile of
satisfaction; the rival looked up, saw it, was stung with generous
rage, threw himself with fury upon his shovel, and in three enormous
plunges laid bare his own side of the post, before "poor-'us" had come
within a foot of it.

Then, clapping his numb fingers upon his thighs, the successful
champion uttered a melodious crow, which so disgusted the spectator
that he was about to retire within doors, when his eyes fell upon a
thinly clad, timid-looking woman who was advancing along the newly
opened path, casting deprecating glances at the two boys, who from
peaceful rivalry were now proceeding to open warfare, carried on with
the ammunition so plentifully spread before them.

Nor was the alarm of the poor woman groundless; for, as she advanced
into the battle-field, she found herself saluted upon the breast with
an immense snow-ball, which, being of loose construction, adhered to
the red broadcloth cloak of the pedestrian, forming a conspicuous and
remarkable ornament to that garment.

"Come, stop that, you young limbs, or I'll----," shouted the chivalric
Phineas, hastily gathering, as he spoke, material for a formidable
missile, which, being completed before the sentence, was used by him as
a ready means of rounding his period, being at once more forcible and
easier to come at than the words which most men would have used.

Besides, Nathaniel, the poorhouse lad, turning round at sound of his
master's voice, presented so fair a mark, with his gaping mouth, that,
half involuntarily, the snow-ball left Mr. Coffin's hand, and the next
instant formed the contents of Nathaniel's open mouth, leaving,
however, a liberal surplusage to ornament his cheeks, chin, and nose.
The recipient of this bulletin choked, spluttered, and pawed at his
face after the manner of a cat who has tried to eat a wasp.

His rival did not seek to conceal the expression of his triumph and
derision, the consequence of which was, that, as soon as "poor-'us"
could see, he fell upon his antagonist, and both immediately
disappeared from view in the bosom of an enormous drift.

"Come right along, Mum," called Mr. Coffin to the horror-stricken
woman, who stood contemplating the spot where a convulsive floundering
and heaving beneath the snow showed that the frozen element had not yet
extinguished the fire of passion in the breasts of the buried
heroes,--"come right along, and don't be scaart of them young uns.
They're dreffal rude, I know; but then boys will be boys."

The woman returned no answer to this time-honored defence of youthful
enormities, but, hurrying on, reached the door, saying,--

"How's your health this morning, Mr. Coffin?"

"Waal, Ma'am, I'm pooty middlln' well, thank ye," replied Phineas,
slowly, and with an evident effort at recollection; then suddenly
added, with more vivacity,--

"Why, it's Widder Janes,--a'n't it? Declare to goodness I didn't know
ye, with yer hood over yer face. Walk in, Miss Janes, and see my
woman,--won't ye?"

"Waal, I dunno as I can stop," replied the widow, beginning,
nevertheless, to shake the snow from her scanty skirts, and to stamp
her numb feet, which were protected from the biting cold by a pair of
old yarn socks, drawn over the shoes.

"I was wantin' to see ye, a minit," continued she; "but Miss Coffin
allers keeps cleaned up so slick, I don't hardly darst to come in."

"Oh, waal," replied Phineas, with a chuckle of satisfaction at the
compliment to his wife. "Ye look nice enough for anybody's folks. Come
right in, this way."

"I dunno how 'tis," continued the visitor, as she followed her host
through the long entry, "that Miss Coffin can allers be so forehanded
with her work, an' do sich a master sight on't, too. She don't never
seem to be in the suds, Monday nor no time."

Mr. Coffin had reached the door of the "keeping-room" as the widow
concluded her last remark; but pausing, with his thumb upon the latch,
he turned, and, looking over his shoulder, whispered, with an emphatic
nod,--

"Fact is, Miss Janes, there a'n't sich a great many women jest like
Miss Coffin."

"There a'n't no two ways about that," murmured Miss Janes, assentingly,
as the door was thrown open.

"Walk right in. Here, Marthy, the widder Janes has called to see you
this morning."

A quiet, middle-aged woman turned round from the table, where she was
fitting patches to a pair of pauper trousers. Her face was sweet, her
voice low, and, though she was of middle age, every one agreed that
"Miss Coffin was a real pooty woman, an' a harnsome woman too."

"How does thee do, Keziah Janes? I am glad to see thee. Take a seat by
the fire, and warm thee after thy cold walk."

"I can't stop a minit; but it's as cheap settin' as stannin', I do
suppose," replied the widow, with a nervous little laugh, as she seated
herself in the proffered chair upon the clean red hearth, and commenced
her business by saying,--

"I was wantin' to speak with you, Mr. Coffin, about poor Mr.
Widdrinton."

"Widdrinton,--who's he?" inquired Phineas.

"Waal," commenced the widow, settling herself in her chair, and
assuming the air of one who has a story to narrate. "You know I have my
thirds in the house my poor husband left. It wa'n't sold, as it had
ought to ben,--for Samooel (that's _his_ brother) never's ben easy that
I should have the rooms I have; but they're what was set off for me,
an' so he can't help himself; on'y he's allers a-thornin.' when he gits
a chance.

"But that a'n't nyther here nor there. What I was a-comin' to was this.
Ruther better 'n a year ago, a man come to me and wanted to know ef I
used all my rooms. I told him I hadn't no use for the garrit, 'cept to
dry my yarbs in (for I think yarbs are drefful good in case o'
sickness, Miss Coffin,--don't you?) An' then he said he wanted a place
to sleep in, an' his breakfast an' supper, an' wanted to know if I
would take him so.

"Waal, I thought about it a spell, an' I concluded I was too old to
mind the speech o' people, and I hadn't no other objection, so I said
he might come,--an' he did, that very day.

"Waal, at fust he had some kind o' work to do writin', an' he seemed to
git along very comf'table,--at least, fur's I know,--for I was out
tailorin' all day mostly, same as I be now; but last fall the writin'
seemed to gin out all to oncet, an' he begun to kerry off his furnitoor
an' books to sell, an' finally he paid up all he was owin' of me, an'
told me he didn't want no more meals, but would find himself.

"Waal, I told him, that, seein' things wuz as they wuz with him, I
shouldn't take no rent for the garrit, an' I could dry my yarbs there
jest as well as ef he warn't there; an' he looked kind o' red, and held
his head up a minit, an' then he thanked me, an' said, 'God bless you!'
an' said he'd pay me, ef he got any more work.

"Waal, he didn't git no more; an' after the furnitoor an' the books,
his cloze begun to go.

"Then I begun to be afeard he didn't have nothin' to eat, an' oncet in
a while I'd kerry him up a mess o' vittles; but it allers seemed
drefful hard for him to take 'em, an' fin'ly he told me not to do so no
more, an' said suthin' to himself about devourin' widders. So I didn't
darst to go up agin, he looked so kind o' furce an' sharp, till, last
night, I reck'n'd the snow would sift in through the old ruff, an' I
went up to offer him a comf'table for his bed. I knocked; but he didn't
make no answer, so I pushed the door open an' went in. It was a good
while sence I'd seen the inside o' the room,--for when he heerd me
comin' up, he'd open the door a crack an' peek out while he spoke to
me; so when I got inside the room and looked about, I was all took
aback an' gawped round like a fool, an' no wunder nyther; for of all
the good furnitoor and things he'd brought, there wa'n't the fust thing
to be seen, save and 'xcept a kind o' frame covered with cloth stannin'
ag'inst the wall, an' an old straw-bed on the floor, with him on it,
an' a mis'able old comf'table kivered over him."

"And this bitter weather, too! Oh, Keziah, what did thee do?" asked
Mrs. Coffin, in a tearful voice.

"Why, I went up to the bedside, (ef you may call it so,) an' said, sez
I, 'Why, Lor' sakes, Mr. Widdrinton,'----an' then I hild up, for I
ketchcd a sight of his face, an' I thought he wuz gone for sartin. He
wuz as cold an' as white as that 'ere snow, an' it warn't till I'd felt
of his heart an' foun' that it beat a little that I thought of sich a
thing as his comin' to. But as soon as I found he'd got a breath o'
life in him, I didn't waste much time till I'd got him wropped up in a
hot blanket with a jug o' water to his feet, an' some hot tea inside on
him. Then he come to a little, an' said he hadn't eat nor drank for two
days an' nights."

"Oh, Keziah!" sobbed Mrs. Coffin; while her husband, plunging his hands
deep into his breeches-pockets, and elevating his eyebrows till they
were lost in his shaggy hair, exclaimed,--

"Good Je-hosaphat!" which was the nearest approach to an oath in which
he ever indulged.

"An' so," pursued the widow, after enjoying for a moment the
consternation of her audience,--"an' so I thought I had better come an'
see ef he couldn't be took in here; not that I wouldn't do for him, an'
be glad to, fur as I could, but he a'n't in a state to be left alone,
an' you know my trade takes me away consid'able from home,--an' which,
if I don't foller it, why, when I git a little older, I shall have to
come here myself, an' be a burden on your hands an' the town's."

"We would take good care of thee, if thee did come, Keziah," said Mrs.
Coffin, in whom the habitual equanimity of the "Friend" had conquered
the emotion of the woman. "Though I do not deny that it is pleasanter
and better for thee to support thyself, as thee always has done."

"I don't doubt you would be good to me, Miss Coffin, an' thank ye,
Ma'am, kindly for a-sayin' of it; but you know innerpendance is sweet
to all on us."

"Surely, surely, Keziah; and now, Phineas, I suppose thee will see at
once about this poor man, won't thee?"

"Yes, Marthy, yes. I'll go right off and see one of the selectmen; and
I reckon, by the time you git a bed ready for him, we shall be along."

Phineas accordingly bustled out of the room; and Mrs. Janes, after
lingering a few moments, took her leave and returned to her charge,
inwardly congratulating herself on having so new and interesting a
piece of intelligence with which to lighten her next day's "tailoring."

Mrs. Coffin, left alone, stood for a moment considering, and then,
opening a door, called gently,--

"Faith!"

"Yes, mother," replied a voice whose soft tones seemed the echo of her
own. A moment after, a slender, dark-eyed girl, about twenty years of
age, entered the room, and said cheerfully,--

"What is it, mother?"

"I have somewhat to tell thee, Faith."

And the Quakeress repeated, in calm, unemphatic language, the story
narrated by Mrs. Janes.

"The poor man will soon be here, Faith," continued she, "and I wanted
to ask what thee thinks should be done with him. Thee knows there is no
room that can have a fire in it, except the one where Polly and Susan
sleep, and they are both too sick to be moved into the cold"--

"He shall have my room, mother," said Faith, quietly.

"Thy room, child?"

"Yes, mother; and I will sleep here on the couch. I should like it very
much indeed; for you know I never have been able to be quite the
orderly and regular girl you have tried to make me."

"Thee is a good girl," said the mother, quietly.

"Not half so good a girl as I ought to be, with so good a mother,"
replied Faith, throwing her arms about her mother's neck and kissing
her fondly.

The elder woman returned the caress with an involuntary warmth, which,
pure and natural though it might be, was yet at variance with the
strict rule of her sect, which had taught her to avoid everything like
compliment or caress, as savoring of the manners of the "world's
people."

She therefore, after one kiss, gently repelled the girl, saying,--

"Nay, Faith, but it sufficeth. Go, then, if thee will, and make ready
thy chamber for this sick man, while I prepare him some broth."

An hour later, a pung or box-sleigh drew up at the poor-house door,
from which was lifted a long, gaunt figure, carefully enveloped in
blankets and cloaks. As he was taken from the sleigh, he feebly
murmured a few words, to which Phineas Coffin replied kindly,--

"Don't be scart,--it's all safe, and Nathaniel will fetch it right in
after us."

"What! this 'ere?" queried the youth called Nathaniel, while he lifted
from the sleigh, somewhat contemptuously, a long flat something,
carefully enveloped in a cotton case.

"Yes. Fetch it along this way," replied Phineas; and Nathaniel followed
the chair, in which the sick man was carried, into the pretty little
maiden chamber which Faith had so quietly relinquished to one who she
thought needed it more than herself.

Mother and daughter stood ready to receive their new charge, and see
him comfortable in the warm, soft bed which they had prepared for him.

"Thee will soon get rested now, friend, and go to sleep,--won't thee?"
said Mrs. Coffin, in her gentle voice, as she turned down the sheet a
little more evenly.

"Where is it?" panted the exhausted sufferer, trying to look beyond his
kind nurse into the room.

"What does thee mean, friend?"

"It is this thing, mother," said Faith, bringing it forward, and
leaning it against the wall at the foot of the bed. "He brought it with
him," continued she, in a low voice; "and father says, he didn't seem
to care half so much about his own comfort as to have _that_ safe."

"It is my--property,--all I have--left. I won't be--parted from it.
You--sha'n't take it--away," gasped the sick man, in an excited tone.

"Thee shall not be parted from it, friend," said Mrs. Coffin,
soothingly. "Surely we would not deprive thee of what is thine own, and
what thee seems to value so much. Now if thee will try to go to sleep,
I will stay with thee the while, and when thee wakes give thee some
broth to strengthen thee."

"Let--let _her_ stay.--Go away,--the rest of you," whispered the feeble
voice, while the weary eyes rested upon Faith's grave, sweet face.

"Thee means my daughter? Faith, does thee wish to stay? or had thee
rather I should?"

"I will stay, mother, if he wishes it."

"Very well, daughter. When thee is weary, come down, and I, or one of
the women, will take thy place."

Mrs. Coffin left the room, and Faith, her sewing in her hand, was about
seating herself by the fire, when the voice of the stranger summoned
her to the bedside.

Turning, she found his hollow and gleaming eyes fixed sternly upon her,
while a long, lean finger was pointed alternately at her and the frame
leaning against the wall.

"Girl!"

"Can I do something for you?" asked Faith, kindly.

"Don't you look at it--or let any one--else, while I'm--asleep."

"I certainly will not."

"Promise!"

"I do promise."

"Swear!"

"Nay, friend, that would be wrong," replied the girl, unconsciously
adopting the phraseology of the Quakers, while expressing a sentiment
learned from them; for though Faith had been brought up outwardly in
the creed of her father, she had, without being aware of it, adopted
many of the tenets to which her mother held.

"I will promise you very solemnly, however," continued she, "that I
will neither look at yonder thing nor allow any one else to do so; and
you will be wrong to doubt my word."

"I don't.--What is your name?"

"Faith."

"A good omen. Mine is--Ichabod."

"Ichabod Widdrinton?"

"Ichabod. Call me so,--all of you."

"Very well, if it is your name, we will. Now you must go to sleep."

"Sit there,--where I can see you."

Faith complied with this request, although uncertain whether it was not
prompted by a distrust of her promise. The stranger soon slept, and his
young nurse then made a more attentive survey of his features than she
had yet done. He seemed not over forty years of age, and would, in
health, have been considered a handsome man,--although the fine silky
hair, thin beard, sensitive nostril, and delicate mouth could never
have expressed much of strength or resolution.

The traces of disease and starvation were painfully apparent; but it
seemed to the thoughtful Faith that behind these she could perceive in
the sorrowful, downward curve of the lips, in the lines of the hollow,
throbbing temples, in the gloomy light of the dark eyes, symptoms of a
long corroding care, which, though secretly, had done its work of
devastation more surely and more ruthlessly than the more apparent
foes.

"How he must have suffered!" murmured she. It seemed as if the tone of
gentle pity had penetrated the light slumber, and reached the heart of
the sick man,--for, opening his eyes, he smiled upon the girl, a wan,
sad smile, which was at once an assent and a benison.

From that moment, until the welcome end of that sad life, Ichabod would
patiently endure no tendance but Faith's; and she, with the calm and
silent self-abnegation of her order, (for Florence Nightingale is but a
type, and there are those all about us who lack but her opportunities,)
devoted herself to him.

Her mother sometimes remonstrated, and begged her to yield her place in
the sick-chamber to her or to one of the pauper women; but Faith, whose
grave sweetness concealed more determination than a stranger would have
guessed, would simply say,--

"Dear mother, what is a little fatigue to one as well as I am, compared
with the pleasure of making this poor stranger's death-bed happy and
quiet?--which it certainly would not be, if he was crossed in his fancy
for seeing me about him." And the conscientious mind of the mother was
forced to yield assent to this simple logic.

A few weeks thus passed, and then the sick man became a dying man. The
pauper inmates of the house were all willing and anxious to watch
beside him through the long nights, but Ichabod received all their
attentions very ungraciously; nor was it till Faith told him, in her
kind, decided way, that she could not stay with him at night, that he
consented to allow the others to do so.

At last there came the evening when the physician said to Mrs. Coffin,
as he entered the room where she sat with her husband,--

"He won't last till morning,--'tis impossible."

"Then thee had better watch beside him, Phineas. It is not fitting that
Faith should do so."

"Certain. I'll go right up, and send her down," replied Phineas,
readily.

But when the arrangements for the night were made known to Ichabod, he
caught hold of Faith's dress, as she stood at his bedside bidding him
good-night, and gasped out,--

"No, no!--you!--I must have--you!--I shall die--die to-night!--And--and
I want to tell--to tell you something.--Stay,--stay, Faith!--it's the
last--last time, and I--I shall never trouble any one--any more."

"Let me stay, mother; father, do!" pleaded Faith, looking from one to
the other. "I should be very unhappy, always, if I was obliged to deny
him this last request. I shall not be afraid, mother; and Betty can
sleep in the chair by the fire, if you wish it, so as to be at hand, if
"----

"Well, child, if thee feels a call to do so, and it will make thee
unhappy to be denied, I will hold my peace. But thee must certainly
have Betty here, and promise to send her to call me, if Ichabod should
be worse,--won't thee?"

Faith gave the required promise, and in a short time the chamber was
prepared for night. The old woman (whose skill in the last awful rites
which man pays to man caused her always to be selected for such
occasions) slept soundly beside the glowing fire, the dying man dozed
uneasily, and Faith, shading the light from his eyes, opened the
large-print Bible, which her mother, careful both for the well-being of
her daughter's immortal soul and temporal eyesight, had recommended for
her night's perusal.

The hours passed slowly on, unmarked by change, until Faith had counted
three solemn strokes from the old clock in the entry, when the sick man
suddenly awoke.

As Faith came to his bedside, to offer him the draught for which he
always asked on awakening, she was struck with a change in his face.
The eyes were at once calmer and brighter, the look of uneasy pain had
disappeared, and the thin lips wore almost a smile.

"Dear Faith," said he, in a gentle voice, which yet was stronger and
more unbroken than any she had heard from him before, "how good you
have been to me! I am dying; but do not call any one yet. I want to
talk to you a little, first. Put another pillow under my head, and
raise me,--so. Now light your other candle, stir the fire to a brighter
blaze, and then uncover--it."

Faith, pale and quiet, did as she was bid, stirred the fire, till its
ruddy glow brightened every nook of the little white-washed chamber,
and made the old crone beside it wince and mutter in her sleep. Having
shielded her from its fierce light, she then, with trembling fingers,
opened a little penknife which lay upon the table, and cut the twine
with which the cover was sewed at the back. The last stitch severed,
the cloth fell with a solemn rustle at her feet, and disclosed--a
picture.

Faith examined it with much attention and some curiosity. It was the
full-length figure of a man, dressed in rich robes of office, his
powdered hair put back from his forehead, his left hand resting on the
pommel of his sword, and his right clasping a roll of parchment. The
expression of his face was grave, majestic, and noble; and yet between
those handsome features and the attenuated face of the dying pauper
Faith soon perceived one of those resemblances, strong, yet
indefinable, which are so apparent to some persons, so undiscoverable
by others.

"A noble gentleman, Faith,--was he not?" said Ichabod, at length. "And
they say his picture does not do him justice. He was an English
gentleman of property and station,--the heir of a good fortune and
honorable name; but he left all to come here and help found this new
country,--this glorious land of freedom and conscience,--where every
man has perfect liberty--to starve in his own fashion.

"He came and was a great man among them. He built the finest house in
the village of Boston, and then came hither, where they made him
governor and named a bay after him.

"He went home for a visit to England, and there he had this picture
painted by the court-painter of those days, and brought it back with
him as a present to his wife.

"He was father of many children, mostly girls: and finally died in a
very dignified and respectable manner, full of years and honors,--as
they say in storybooks.

"His handsome property, being divided so often, made but rather small
portions for the children, and several of the daughters died unmarried.

"Then the family began to decay, and each succeeding head of the family
found it a harder struggle to keep up the old hospitalities and the
traditional style of living. They died out, too. The lateral branches
of the family-tree never flourished, and one after another came to an
end, till about forty years ago the remnant of the family-blood and the
family-name was centred in two cousins, a young man and a girl. They
met at the funeral of the girl's mother, and found in a short
conversation that they were the sole representatives of the old name,
alive.

"They married, gloomily helping on the fate which awaited them, by
uniting their two threads of life in one, that thus she might sever it
more easily. I was their only child, and they named me Ichabod,--'the
glory has departed.'

"It is a sad proof of how deeply the bitterness of life had entered
their souls, that, even in the supreme moment when they clasped their
first-born in their arms, the name which rose from heart to lip, and
which they bestowed upon him, was in itself a cry of anguish and
despair.

"The husband soon died. Man breaks, woman bends, beneath the crushing
weight of such a life. My mother lived, a dark and silent woman, till
five years ago. Then she died, too, and I inherited my ancestor's
portrait and the curse of the Withringtons.

"I tried to work, to earn my bread, as men all about me were doing. But
no,--the fate was upon me, the curse pursued me. Everything failed
which I attempted. I sunk lower and lower, until the name and the
picture, which had been my pride, became a shame and a reproach to me.
I abandoned the one and concealed the other, resolved to reveal neither
until the moment arrived when death should wipe out the squalor of
life, conquer fate, and expiate the curse.

"Quick, Faith, quick! The hour has come. Take the knife you just
held,--cut the canvas from its frame,--cut it in fragments,--lay it on
the blazing fire. We will perish together,--the First and--the Last."

"Nay, Ichabod, give it to me," said Faith, shrinking from the proposed
holocaust "I will always keep it, and value it."

"Would you see me fall dead at your feet, while attempting to do for
myself what you refuse to do for me?" asked the dying man, with
feverish ardor, and half rising, as if to leave his bed.

"No, no,--I will do it, since it must be so," exclaimed Faith, eagerly.
"Lie down again and watch me."

Ichabod sunk back upon his pillows, and gazed with eyes of fitful light
upon the girl, while she, opening the keen knife, cut slowly and
laboriously round the margin of the stout canvas, which shrieked
beneath the blade, as if the spirit of the effigy which it bore were
resisting the fearful doom which threatened it.

At last the canvas was entirely released, and Faith silently held it up
before the eyes of the dying man, upon whose face had come a dull,
leaden blankness, and whose eyes were painful to watch as they
struggled to pierce the film which was gathering over them.

"Burn," he hoarsely murmured.

With a sigh, Faith cut the picture into strips, and laid them gently,
reverently, upon the coals heaped in the large fireplace.

The greedy flames leaped up to grasp their prey, and Faith turned sick
and faint as she watched them fasten upon that noble face, which seemed
to contract and shrivel in its anguish as they seized upon it.

She gazed a moment, painfully fascinated, then turned toward the
bed,--but as her eyes fell upon Ichabod's face, she started back, and,
rousing the old woman from her slumber, sent to summon her mother.

Mrs. Coffin came immediately,--but when she entered the little chamber,
the last fragment of the canvas was shrivelling in the flames, the last
sigh of the dying man was parting from his white lips.

They had perished together,--the First--and the Last.



THE PROFESSOR AT THE BREAKFAST-TABLE.

WHAT HE SAID, WHAT HE HEARD, AND WHAT HE SAW.


You will know, perhaps, in the course of half an hour's reading, what
has been haunting my hours of sleep and waking for months. I cannot
tell, of course, whether you are a nervous person or not. If, however,
you are such a person,--if it is late at night,--if all the rest of the
household have gone off to bed,--if the wind is shaking your windows as
if a human hand were rattling the sashes,--if your candle or lamp is
low and will soon burn out,--let me advise you to read the "Critical
Notices" or some other paper contained in this number, if you have not
already devoured them all, and leave this to be read by daylight, with
cheerful voices round, and people near by who would hear you, if you
slid from your chair and came down in a lump on the floor.

I do not say that your heart will beat as mine did, I am willing to
confess, when I entered the dim chamber. Did I not tell you that I was
sensitive and imaginative, and that I had lain awake with thinking what
were the strange movements and sounds which I heard late at night in my
little neighbor's apartment? It had come to that pass that I was truly
unable to separate what I had really heard from what I had dreamed in
these nightmares to which I have been subject, as before mentioned. So,
when I walked into the room, and Bridget, turning back, closed the door
and left me alone with its tenant, I do believe you could have grated a
nutmeg on my skin, such a "goose-flesh" shiver ran over it. It was not
fear, but what I call nervousness,--unreasoning, but irresistible; as
when, for instance, one looking at the sun going down says, "I will
count fifty before it disappears"; and as he goes on and it becomes
doubtful whether he will reach the number, he gets strangely flurried,
and his imagination pictures life and death and heaven and hell as the
issues depending on the completion or non-completion of the fifty he is
counting. Extreme curiosity will excite some people as much as fear, or
what resembles fear, acts on some other less impressible natures.

I may find myself in the midst of strange facts in this little
conjurer's room. Or, again, there may be nothing in this poor invalid's
chamber but some old furniture, such as they say came over in the
Mayflower. All this is just what I mean to find out while I am looking
at the Little Gentleman, who has suddenly become my patient. The
simplest things turn out to be unfathomable mysteries; the most
mysterious appearances prove to be the most commonplace objects in
disguise.

I wonder whether the boys that live in Roxbury and Dorchester are ever
moved to tears or filled with silent awe as they look upon the rocks
and fragments of "puddingstone" abounding in those localities. I have
my suspicions that those boys "heave a stone" or "fire a brick-bat,"
composed of the conglomerate just mentioned, without any more tearful
or philosophical contemplations than boys of less favored regions
expend on the same performance. Yet a lump of puddingstone is a thing
to look at, to think about, to study over, to dream upon, to go crazy
with, to beat one's brains out against. Look at that pebble in it. From
what cliff was it broken? On what beach rolled by the waves of what
ocean? How and _when_ imbedded in soft ooze, which itself became stone,
and by-and-by was lifted into bald summits and steep cliffs, such as
you may see on Meetinghouse-Hill any day,--yes, and mark the scratches
on their faces left when, the boulder-carrying glaciers planed the
surface of the continent with such rough tools that the storms have not
worn the marks out of it with all the polishing of ever so many
thousand years?

Or as you pass a roadside ditch or pool in spring-time, take from it
any bit of stick or straw which has lain undisturbed for a time. Some
little worm-shaped masses of clear jelly containing specks are fastened
to the stick: eggs of a small snail-like shell-fish. One of these
specks magnified proves to be a crystalline sphere with an opaque mass
in its centre. And while you are looking, the opaque mass begins to
stir, and by-and-by slowly to turn upon its axis like a forming
planet,--life beginning in the microcosm, as in the great worlds of the
firmament, with the revolution that turns the surface in ceaseless
round to the source of life and light.

A pebble and the spawn of a mollusk! Before you have solved their
mysteries, this earth where you first saw them may be a vitrified slag,
or a vapor diffused through the planetary spaces. Mysteries are common
enough, at any rate, whatever the boys in Roxbury and Dorchester think
of "brickbats" and the spawn of creatures that live in roadside
puddles.

But then a great many seeming mysteries are relatively perfectly plain,
when we can get at them so as to turn them over. How many ghosts that
"thick men's blood with cold" prove to be shirts hung out to dry! How
many mermaids have been made out of seals! How many times have
horse-mackerels been taken for the sea-serpent!

----Let me take the whole matter coolly, while I see what is the matter
with the patient. That is what I say to myself, as I draw a chair to
the bedside.--The bed is an old-fashioned, dark mahogany four-poster.
It was never that which made the noise of something moving. It is too
heavy to be pushed about the room.--The Little Gentleman was sitting,
bolstered up by pillows, with his hands clasped and their united palms
resting on the back of the head,--one of the three or four positions
specially affected by persons whose breathing is difficult from disease
of the heart or other causes.

Sit down, Sir,--he said,--sit down! I have come to the hill Difficulty,
Sir, and am fighting my way up. His speech was laborious and
interrupted.

Don't talk,--I said,--except to answer my questions.--And I proceeded
to "prospect" for the marks of some local mischief, which you know is
at the bottom of all these attacks, though we do not always find it. I
suppose I go to work pretty much like other professional folks of my
temperament. Thus:--

Wrist, if you please.--I was on his right side, but he presented his
left wrist, crossing it over the other.--I begin to count, holding
watch in left hand. One, two, three, four,----What a handsome
hand!--wonder if that splendid stone is a carbuncle.--One, two, three,
four, five, six, seven,----Can't see much, it is so dark, except one
white object.--One, two, three, four,----Hang it! eighty or ninety in
the minute, I guess.--Tongue, if you please.--Tongue is put out. Forget
to look at it, or, rather, to take any particular notice of it;--but
what _is_ that white object, with the long arm stretching up as if
pointing to the sky, just as Vesalius and Spigelius and those old
fellows used to put their skeletons? I don't think anything of such
objects, you know; but what should _he_ have it in his chamber for?--As
I had found his pulse irregular and intermittent, I took out a
stethoscope, which is a pocket-spyglass for looking into men's chests
with your ears, and laid it over the place where the heart beats. I
missed the usual beat of the organ.--How is this?--I said,--where is
your heart gone to?--He took the stethoscope and shifted it across to
the right side; there was a displacement of the organ.--I am
ill-packed,--he said;--there was no room for my heart in its place as
it is with other men.--God help him!

It is hard to draw the line between scientific curiosity and the desire
for the patient's sake to learn all the details of his condition. I
must look at this patient's chest, and thump it and listen to it. For
this is a case of _ectopia cordis_, my boy,--displacement of the heart;
and it isn't every day you get a chance to overhaul such an interesting
malformation. And so I managed to do my duty and satisfy my curiosity
at the same time. The torso was slight and deformed; the right arm
attenuated,--the left full, round, and of perfect symmetry. It had run
away with the life of the other limbs,--a common trick enough of
Nature's, as I told you before. If you see a man with legs withered
from childhood, keep out of the way of his arms, if you have a quarrel
with him. He has the strength of four limbs in two; and if he strikes
you, it is an arm-blow _plus_ a kick administered from the shoulder
instead of the haunch, where it should have started from.

Still examining him as a patient, I kept my eyes about me to search all
parts of the chamber, and went on with the double process, as
before.--Heart hits as hard as a fist,--_bellows-sound over mitral
valves_ (professional terms you need not attend to).--What the deuce is
that long case for? Got his witch grandmother mummied in it? And three
big mahogany presses,--hey?--A diabolical suspicion came over me which
I had had once before,--that he might be one of our modern
_alchemists_,--you understand,--make gold, you know, or _what looks
like it_, sometimes with the head of a king or queen or of Liberty to
embellish one side of the piece.--Don't I remember hearing him shut a
door and lock it once? What do you think was kept under that lock?
Let's have another look at his hand, to see if there are any calluses.
One can tell a man's business, if it is a handicraft, very often by
just taking a look at his open hand.--Ah! Four calluses at the end of
the fingers of the right hand. None on those of the left. Ah, ha! What
do those mean?

All this seems longer in the telling, of course, than it was in fact.
While I was making these observations of the objects around me, I was
also forming my opinion as to the kind of case with which I had to
deal.

There are three wicks, you know, to the lamp of a man's life: brain,
blood, and breath. Press the brain a little, its light goes out,
followed by both the others. Stop the heart a minute, and out go all
three of the wicks. Choke the air out of the lungs, and presently the
fluid ceases to supply the other centres of flame, and all is soon
stagnation, cold, and darkness. The "tripod of life" a French
physiologist called these three organs. It is all clear enough which
leg of the tripod is going to break down here. I could tell you exactly
what the difficulty is;--which would be as intelligible and amusing as
a watchmaker's description of a diseased timekeeper to a ploughman. It
is enough to say, that I found just what I expected to, and that I
think this attack is only the prelude of more serious consequences,
--which expression means you very well know what.

And now the secrets of this life hanging on a thread must surely come
out. If I have made a mystery where there was none, my suspicions will
be shamed, as they have often been before. If there is anything
strange, my visits will clear it up.

I sat an hour or two by the side of the Little Gentleman's bed, after
giving him some henbane to quiet his brain, and some foxglove, which an
imaginative French professor has called the "Opium of the Heart." Under
their influence he gradually fell into an uneasy, half-waking slumber,
the body fighting hard for every breath, and the mind wandering off in
strange fancies and old recollections, which escaped from his lips in
broken sentences.

----The last of 'em,--he said,--the last of 'em all,--thank God! And
the grave he lies in will look just as well as if he had been straight.
Dig it deep, old Martin, dig it deep,--and let it be as long as other
folks' graves. And mind you get the sods flat, old man,--flat as ever a
straight-backed young fellow was laid under. And then, with a good tall
slab at the head, and a footstone six foot away from it, it'll look
just as if there was a man underneath.

A man! Who said he was a man? No more men of that pattern to bear _his_
name!--Used to be a good-looking set enough.--Where's all the manhood
and womanhood gone to since his great-grand-father was the strongest
man that sailed out of the town of Boston, and poor Leah there the
handsomest woman in Essex, if she was a witch?

----Give me some light,--he said,--more light,--I want to see the
picture.

He had started either from a dream or a wandering reverie. I was not
unwilling to have more light in the apartment, and presently had
lighted an astral lamp that stood on a table.--He pointed to a portrait
hanging against the wall.--Look at her,--he said,--look, at her!
Wasn't that a pretty neck to slip a hangman's noose over?

The portrait was of a young woman, something more than twenty years
old, perhaps. There were few pictures of any merit painted in New
England before the time of Smibert, and I am at a loss to know what
artist--could have taken this half-length, which was evidently from
life. It was somewhat stiff and flat, but the grace of the figure and
the sweetness of the expression reminded me of the angels of the early
Florentine painters. She must have been of some consideration, for she
was dressed in paduasoy and lace with hanging sleeves, and the old
carved frame showed how the picture had been prized by its former
owners. A proud eye she had, with all her sweetness.--I think it was
that which hanged her, as his strong arm hanged Minister George
Burroughs;--but it may have been a little mole on one cheek, which the
artist had just hinted as a beauty rather than a deformity. You know, I
suppose, that nursling imps addict themselves, after the fashion of
young opossums, to these little excrescences. "Witch-marks" were good
evidence that a young woman was one of the Devil's wet-nurses;--I
should like to have seen you make fun of them in those days!--Then she
had a brooch in her bodice, that might have been taken for some
devilish amulet or other; and she wore a ring upon one of her fingers,
with a red stone in it, that flamed as if the painter had dipped his
pencil in fire;--who knows but that it was given her by a midnight
suitor fresh from that fierce element, and licensed for a season to
leave his couch of flame to tempt the unsanctified hearts of earthly
maidens and brand their cheeks with the print of his scorching kisses?

She and I,--he said, as he looked steadfastly at the canvas,--she and I
are the last of 'em.--She will stay, and I shall go. They never painted
me,--except when the boys used to make pictures of me with chalk on the
board-fences. They said the doctors would want my skeleton when I was
dead.--You are my friend, if you are a doctor,--a'n't you?

I just gave him my hand. I had not the heart to speak. I want to lie
still,--he said,--after I am put to bed upon the hill yonder. Can't you
have a great stone laid over me, as they did over the first settlers in
the old burying-ground at Dorchester, so as to keep the wolves from
digging them up? I never slept easy over the sod;--I should like to lie
quiet under it. And besides,--he said, in a kind of scared whisper,--I
don't want to have my bones stared at, as my body has been. I don't
doubt I was a _remarkable case_; but, for God's sake, oh, for God's
sake, don't let 'em make a show of the cage I have been shut up in and
looked through the bars of for so many years!

I have heard it said that the art of healing makes men hardhearted and
indifferent to human suffering. I am willing to own that there is often
a professional hardness in surgeons, just as there is in
theologians,--only much less in degree than in these last. It does not
commonly improve the sympathies of a man to be in the habit of
thrusting knives into his fellow-creatures and burning them with
red-hot irons, any more than it improves them to hold the
blinding-white cautery of Gehenna by its cool handle and score and
crisp young souls with it until they are scorched into the belief of
--Transubstantiation or the Immaculate Conception. And, to say the
plain truth, I think there are a good many coarse people in both
callings. A delicate nature will not commonly choose a pursuit which
implies the habitual infliction of suffering, so readily as some
gentler office. Yet, while I am writing this paragraph, there passes by
my window, on his daily errand of duty, not seeing me, though I catch a
glimpse of his manly features through the oval glass of his chaise, as
he rides by, a surgeon of skill and standing, so friendly, so modest,
so tender-hearted in all his ways, that, if he had not approved himself
at once adroit and firm, one would have said he was of too kindly a
mould to be the minister of pain, even if it were saving pain. You
may be sure that some men, even among those who have chosen the task of
pruning their fellow-creatures, grow more and more thoughtful and truly
compassionate in the midst of their cruel experience. They become less
nervous, but more sympathetic. They have a truer sensibility for
others' pain, the more they study pain and disease in the light of
science. I have said this without claiming any special growth in
humanity for myself, though I do hope I grow tenderer in my feelings as
I grow older. At any rate, this was not a time in which professional
habits could keep down certain instincts of older date than these.
This poor little man's appeal to my humanity against the supposed
rapacity of Science, which he feared would have her "specimen," if his
ghost should walk restlessly a thousand years, waiting for his bones to
be laid in the dust, touched my heart. But I felt bound to speak
cheerily.--We won't die yet awhile, if we can help it,--I said,--and
I trust we can help it. But don't be afraid; if I live longest, I will
see that your resting-place is kept sacred till the dandelions and
buttercups blow over you. He seemed to have got his wits together by
this time, and to have a vague consciousness that he might have been
saying more than he meant for anybody's ears.--I have been talking a
little wild, Sir, eh?--he said.--There is a great buzzing in my head
with those drops of yours, and I doubt If my tongue has not been a
little looser than I would have it, Sir. But I don't much want to live.
Sir; that's the truth of the matter; and it does rather please me to
think that fifty years from now nobody will know that the place where I
lie doesn't hold as stout and straight a man as the best of 'em that
stretch out as if they were proud of the room they take. You may get me
well, if you can, Sir, if you think it worth while to try; but I tell
you there has been no time for this many a year when the smell of fresh
earth was not sweeter to me than all the flowers that grow out of it.
There's no anodyne like your good clean gravel, Sir. But if you can
keep me about awhile, and it amuses you to try, you may show your skill
upon me, if you like. There is a pleasure or two that I love the
daylight for, and I think the night is not far off, at best.--I believe
I shall sleep now; you may leave me, and come, if you like, in the
morning. Before I passed out, I took one more glance round the
apartment. The beautiful face of the portrait looked at me, as
portraits often do, with a frightful kind of intelligence in its eyes.
The drapery fluttered on the still outstretched arm of the tall object
near the window;--a crack of this was open, no doubt, and some breath
of wind stirred the hanging folds. In my excited state, I seemed to see
something ominous in that arm pointing to the heavens. I thought of the
figures in the Dance of Death at Basle, and that other on the panels of
the covered Bridge at Lucerne; and it seemed to me that the grim mask
who mingles with every crowd and glides over every threshold was
pointing the sick man to his far home, and would soon stretch out his
bony hand and lead him or drag him on the unmeasured journey towards
it. The fancy had possession of me, and I shivered again as when I
first entered the chamber. The picture and the shrouded shape; I saw
only these two objects. They were enough. The house was deadly still,
and the night-wind, blowing through an open window, struck me as from a
field of ice, at the moment I passed into the creaking corridor. As I
turned into the common passage, a white figure, holding a lamp, stood
full before me. I thought at first it was one of those images made to
stand in niches and hold a light in their hands. But the illusion was
momentary, and my eyes speedily recovered from the shock of the bright
flame and snowy drapery to see that the figure was a breathing one. It
was Iris, in one of her statue-trances. She had come down, whether
sleeping or waking, I knew not at first, led by an instinct that told
her she was wanted,--or, possibly, having overheard and interpreted the
sound of our movements,--or, it may be, having learned from the servant
that there was trouble which might ask for a woman's hand. I sometimes
think women have a sixth sense, which tells them that others, whom they
cannot see or hear, are in suffering. How surely we find them at the
bedside of the dying! How strongly does Nature plead for them, that we
should draw our first breath in their arms, as we sigh away our last
upon their faithful breasts!

With white, bare feet, her hair loosely knotted, dressed as the
starlight knew her, and the morning when she rose from slumber, save
that she had twisted a scarf round her long dress, she stood still as a
stone before me, holding in one hand a lighted coil of wax-taper, and
in the other a silver goblet. I held my own lamp close to her, as if
she had been a figure of marble, and she did not stir. There was no
breach of propriety then, to scare the Poor Relation with and breed
scandal out of. She had been "warned in a dream," doubtless suggested
by her waking knowledge and the sounds which had reached her exalted
sense. There was nothing more natural than that she should have risen
and girdled her waist, and lighted her taper, and found the silver
goblet with "_Ex dono pupillorum_" on it, from which she had taken her
milk and possets through all her childish years, and so gone blindly
out to find her place at the bedside,--a Sister of Charity without the
cap and rosary; nay, unknowing whither her feet were leading her, and
with wide, blank eyes seeing nothing but the vision that beckoned her
along.--Well, I must wake her from her slumber or trance. I called her
name, but she did not heed my voice.

The Devil put it into my head that I would kiss one handsome young girl
before I died, and now was my chance. She never would know it, and I
should carry the remembrance of it with me into the grave, and a rose
perhaps grow out of my dust, as out of Lord Lovel's, in memory of that
immortal moment! Would it wake her from her trance? and would she see
me in the flush of my stolen triumph, and hate and despise me ever
after? Or should I carry off my trophy undetected, and always from that
time say to myself, when I looked upon her in the glory of youth and
the splendor of beauty, "My lips have touched those roses and made
their sweetness mine forever"? You think my cheek was flushed, perhaps,
and my eyes were glittering with this midnight flash of opportunity. On
the contrary, I believe I was pale, very pale, and I know that I
trembled. Ah, it is the pale passions that are the fiercest,--it is the
violence of the chill that gives the measure of the fever! The
fighting-boy of our school always turned white when he went out to a
pitched battle with the bully of some neighboring village; but we knew
what his bloodless cheeks meant,--the blood was all in his stout
heart,--he was a slight boy, and there was not enough to redden his
face and fill his heart both at once.

Perhaps it is making a good deal of a slight matter, to tell the
internal conflicts in the heart of a quiet person something more than
juvenile and something less than senile, as to whether he should be
guilty of an impropriety, and, if he were, whether he would get caught
in his indiscretion. And yet the memory of the kiss that Margaret of
Scotland gave to Alain Chartier has lasted four hundred years, and put
it into the head of many an ill-favored poet, whether Victoria or
Eugénie would do as much by him, if she happened to pass him when he
was asleep. And have we ever forgotten that the fresh cheek of the
young John Milton tingled under the lips of some high-born Italian
beauty, who, I believe, did not think to leave her card by the side of
the slumbering youth, but has bequeathed the memory of her pretty deed
to all coming time? The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a
cannon, but its echo lasts a deal longer.

There is one disadvantage which the man of philosophical habits of mind
suffers, as compared with the man of action. While he is taking an
enlarged and rational view of the matter before him, he lets his chance
slip through his fingers. Iris woke up, of her own accord, before I had
made up my mind what I was going to do about it.

When I remember how charmingly she looked, I don't blame myself at all
for being tempted; but if I had been fool enough to yield to the
impulse, I should certainly have been ashamed to tell of it. She did
not know what to make of it, finding herself there alone, in such
guise, and me staring at her. She looked down at her white robe and
bare feet, and colored,--then at the goblet she held in her hand,--then
at the taper; and at last her thoughts seemed to clear up.

I know it all,--she said.--He is going to die, and I must go and sit by
him. Nobody will care for him as I shall, and I have nobody else to
care for.

I assured her that nothing was needed for him that night but rest, and
persuaded her that the excitement of her presence could only do harm.
Let him sleep, and he would very probably awake better in the morning.
There was nothing to be said, for I spoke with authority; and the young
girl glided away with noiseless step and sought her own chamber.

The tremor passed away from my limbs, and the blood began to burn in my
cheeks. The beautiful image which had so bewitched me faded gradually
from my imagination, and I returned to the still perplexing mysteries
of my little neighbor's chamber. All was still there now. No plaintive
sounds, no monotonous murmurs, no shutting of windows and doors at
strange hours, as if something or somebody were coming in or going out,
or there was something to be hidden in those dark mahogany presses. Is
there an inner apartment that I have not seen? The way in which the
house is built might admit of it. As I thought it over, I at once
imagined a Bluebeard's chamber. Suppose, for instance, that the narrow
bookshelves to the right are really only a masked door, such as we
remember leading to the private study of one of our most distinguished
townsmen, who loved to steal away from his stately library to that
little silent cell. If this were lighted from above, a person or
persons might pass their days there without attracting attention from
the household, and wander where they pleased at night,--to Copp's-Hill
burial-ground, if they liked,--I said to myself, laughing, and pulling
the bed-clothes over my head. There is no logic in superstitious
fancies any more than in dreams. A she-ghost wouldn't want an inner
chamber to herself. A live woman, with a valuable soprano voice,
wouldn't start off at night to sprain her ankles over the old graves of
the North-End cemetery.

It is all very easy for you, middle-aged reader, sitting over this page
in the broad daylight, to call me by all manner of asinine and anserine
unchristian names, because I had these fancies running through my head.
I don't care much for your abuse. The question is not, what it is
reasonable for a man to think about, but what he actually does think
about, in the dark, and when he is alone, and his whole body seems but
one great nerve of hearing, and he sees the phosphorescent flashes of
his own eyeballs as they turn suddenly in the direction of the last
strange noise,--what he actually does think about, as he lies and
recalls all the wild stories his head is full of, his fancy hinting the
most alarming conjectures to account for the simplest facts about him,
his common-sense laughing them to scorn the next minute, but his mind
still returning to them, under one shape or another, until he gets very
nervous and foolish, and remembers how pleasant it used to be to have
his mother come and tuck him up and go and sit within call, so that she
could hear him at any minute, if he got very much scared and wanted
her. Old babies that we are!

Daylight will clear up all that lamplight has left doubtful. I longed
for the morning to come, for I was more curious than ever. So, between
my fancies and anticipations, I had but a poor night of it, and came
down tired to the breakfast-table. My visit was not to be made until
after this morning hour;--there was nothing urgent, so the servant was
ordered to tell me.

It was the first breakfast at which the high chair at the side of Iris
had been unoccupied.--You might jest as well take away that
chair,--said our landlady,--he'll never want it again. He acts like a
man that's struck with death, 'n' I don't believe he'll ever come out
of his chamber till he's laid out and brought down a corpse.--These
good women do put things so plainly! There were two or three words in
her short remark that always sober people, and suggest silence or brief
moral reflections.

----Life is dreadful uncerting,--said the Poor Relation,--and pulled in
her social tentacles to concentrate her thoughts on this fact of human
history.

----If there was anything a fellah could do,--said the young man John,
so called,--a fellah'd like the chance o' helpin' a little cripple like
that. He looks as if he couldn't turn over any handier than a turtle
that's laid on his back; and I guess there a'n't many people that know
how to lift better than I do. Ask him if he don't want any watchers. I
don't mind settin' up any more 'n' a cat-owl. I was up all night twice
last month.

[My private opinion is, that there was no small amount of punch
absorbed on those two occasions, which I think I heard of at the
time;--but the offer is a kind one, and it isn't fair to question how
he would like sitting up without the punch and the company and the
songs and smoking. He means what he says, and it would be a more
considerable achievement for him to sit quietly all night by a sick man
than for a good many other people. I tell you this odd thing: there are
a good many persons, who, through the habit of making other folks
uncomfortable, by finding fault with all their cheerful enjoyments, at
last get up a kind of hostility to comfort in general, even in their
own persons. The correlative to loving our neighbors as ourselves is
hating ourselves as we hate our neighbors. Look at old misers; first
they starve their dependants, and then themselves. So I think it more
for a lively young fellow to be ready to play nurse than for one of
those useful but forlorn martyrs who have taken a spite against
themselves and love to gratify it by fasting and watching.]

----The time came at last for me to make my visit. I found Iris sitting
by the Little Gentleman's pillow. To my disappointment, the room was
darkened. He did not like the light, and would have the shutters kept
nearly closed. It was good enough for me;--what business had I to be
indulging my curiosity, when I had nothing to do but to exercise such
skill as I possessed for the benefit of my patient? There was not much
to be said or done in such a case; but I spoke as encouragingly as I
could, as I think we are always bound to do. He did not seem to pay any
very anxious attention, but the poor girl listened as if her own life
and more than her own life were depending on the words I uttered. She
followed me out of the room, when I had got through my visit.

How long?--she said.

Uncertain. Anytime; to-day,--next week,--next month,--I answered.--One
of those cases where the issue is not doubtful, but may be sudden or
slow.

The women of the house were kind, as women always are in trouble. But
Iris pretended that nobody could spare the time as well as she, and
kept her place, hour after hour, until the landlady insisted that she'd
be killin' herself; if she begun at that rate, and haf to give up, if
she didn't want to be clean beat out in less than a week.

At the table we were graver than common. The high chair was set back
against the wall, and a gap left between that of the young girl and her
nearest neighbor's on the right. But the nest morning, to our great
surprise, that good-looking young Marylander had very quietly moved his
own chair to the vacant place. I thought he was creeping down that way,
but I was not prepared for a leap spanning such a tremendous
parenthesis of boarders as this change of position included. There was
no denying that the youth and maiden were a handsome pair, as they sat
side by side. But whatever the young girl may have thought of her new
neighbor, she never seemed for a moment to forget the poor little
friend who had been taken from her side. There are women, and even
girls, with whom it is of no use to talk. One might as well reason with
a bee as to the form of his cell, or with an oriole as to the
construction of his swinging nest, as try to stir these creatures from
their own way of doing their own work. It was not a question with Iris,
whether she was entitled by any special relation or by the fitness of
things to play the part of a nurse. She was a wilful creature that must
have her way in this matter. And it so proved that it called for much
patience and long endurance to carry through the duties, say rather the
kind offices, the painful pleasures, that she had chosen as her share
in the household where accident had thrown her. She had that genius of
ministration which is the special province of certain women, marked
even among their helpful sisters by a soft, low voice, a quiet
footfall, a light hand, a cheering smile, and a ready self-surrender to
the objects of their care, which such trifles as their own food, sleep,
or habits of any kind never presume to interfere with.

Day after day, and too often through the long watches of the night, she
kept her place by the pillow.--That girl will kill herself over me,
Sir,--said the poor Little Gentleman to me, one day,--she will kill
herself, Sir, if you don't call in all the resources of your art to get
me off as soon as may be. I shall wear her out, Sir, with sitting in
this close chamber and watching when she ought to be sleeping, if you
leave me to the care of Nature without dosing me.

This was rather queer pleasantly, under the circumstances. But there
are certain persons whose existence is so out of parallel with the
larger laws in the midst of which it is moving, that life becomes to
them as death and death as life.--How am I getting along?--he said,
another morning. He lifted his shrivelled hand, with the death's-head
ring on it, and looked at it with a sad sort of complacency. By this
one movement, which I have seen repeatedly of late, I know that his
thoughts have gone before to another condition, and that he is, as it
were, looking back on the infirmities of the body as accidents of the
past. For, when he was well, one might see him often looking at the
handsome hand with the flaming jewel on one of its fingers. The single
well-shaped limb was the source of that pleasure which in some form or
other Nature almost always grants to her least richly endowed children.
Handsome hair, eyes, complexion, feature, form, hand, foot, pleasant
voice, strength, grace, agility, intelligence,--how few there are that
have not just enough of one at least of these gifts to show them that
the good Mother, busy with her millions of children, has not quite
forgotten them! But now he was thinking of that other state, where,
free from all mortal impediments, the memory of his sorrowful burden
should be only as that of the case he has shed to the insect whose
"deep-damasked wings" beat off the golden dust of the lily-anthers, as
he flutters in the ecstasy of his new life over their full-blown summer
glories.

No human being can rest for any time in a state of equilibrium, where
the desire to live and that to depart just balance each other. If one
has a house, which he has lived and always means to live in, he pleases
himself with the thought of all the conveniences it offers him, and
thinks little of its wants and imperfections. But once having made up
his mind to move to a better, every incommodity starts out upon him
until the very ground-plan of it seems to have changed in his mind, and
his thoughts and affections, each one of them packing up its little
bundle of circumstances, have quitted their several chambers and nooks
and migrated to the new home, long before its apartments are ready to
receive their bodily tenant. It is so with the body. Most persons have
died before they expire,--died to all earthly longings, so that the
last breath is only, as it were, the locking of the door of the already
deserted mansion. The fact of the tranquillity with which the great
majority of dying persons await this locking of those gates of life
through which its airy angels have been going and coming, from the
moment of the first cry, is familiar to those who have been often
called upon to witness the last period of life. Almost always there is
a preparation made by Nature for unearthing a soul, just as on the
smaller scale there is for the removal of a milk-tooth. The roots which
hold human life to earth are absorbed before it is lifted from its
place. Some of the dying are weary and want rest, the idea of which is
almost inseparable in the universal mind from death. Some are in pain,
and want to be rid of it, even though the anodyne be dropped, as in the
legend, from the sword of the Death-Angel. Some are stupid, mercifully
narcotized that they may go to sleep without long tossing about. And
some are strong in faith and hope, so that, as they draw near the next
world, they would fain hurry toward it, as the caravan moves faster
over the sands when the foremost travellers send word along the file
that water is in sight Though each little party that follows in a
foot-track of its own will have it that the water to which others think
they are hastening is a mirage, not the less has it been true in all
ages and for human beings of every creed which recognized a future,
that those who have fallen worn out by their march through the Desert
have dreamed at least of a River of Life, and thought they heard its
murmurs as they lay dying.

The change from the clinging to the present to the welcoming of the
future comes very soon, for the most part, after all hope of life is
extinguished, provided this be left in good degree to Nature, and not
insolently and cruelly forced upon those who are attacked by illness,
on the strength of that odious fore-knowledge often imparted by
science, before the white fruit whose core is ashes, and which we call
_death_, has set beneath the pallid and drooping flower of sickness.
There is a singular sagacity very often shown in a patient's estimate
of his own vital force. His physician knows the state of his material
frame well enough, perhaps,--that this or that organ is more or less
impaired or disintegrated; but the patient has a sense that he can hold
out so much longer,--sometimes that he must and will live for a while,
though by the logic of disease he ought to die without any delay.

The Little Gentleman continued to fail, until it became plain that his
remaining days were few. I told the household what to expect. There was
a good deal of kind feeling expressed among the boarders, in various
modes, according to their characters and style of sympathy. The
landlady was urgent that he should try a certain nostrum which had
saved somebody's life in jest sech a case. The Poor Relation wanted me
to carry, as from her, a copy of "Allein's Alarm," etc. I objected to
the title, reminding her that it offended people of old, so that more
than twice as many of the book were sold when they changed the name to
"A Sure Guide to Heaven." The good old gentleman whom I have mentioned
before has come to the time of life when many old men cry easily, and
forget their tears as children do.--He was a worthy gentleman,--he
said,--a very worthy gentleman, but unfortunate,--very unfortunate.
Sadly deformed about the spine and the feet. Had an impression that the
late Lord Byron had some malformation of this kind. Had heerd there was
something the matter with the ankle-j'ints of that nobleman, but he was
a man of talents. This gentleman seemed to be a man of talents. Could
not always agree with his statements,--thought he was a little
over-partial to this city, and had some free opinions; but was sorry to
lose him,--and if--there was anything--he--could----. In the midst of
these kind expressions, the gentleman with the _diamond_, the
Koh-i-noor, as we called him, asked, in a very unpleasant sort of way,
bow the old boy was likely to cut up,--meaning what money our friend
was going to leave behind.

The young fellow John spoke up, to the effect that this was a diabolish
snobby question, when a man was dying and not dead.--To this the
Koh-i-noor replied, by asking if the other meant to insult
him.--Whereto the young man John rejoined that he had no particul'r
intentions one way or t'other.--The Koh-i-noor then suggested the young
man's stepping out into the yard, that he, the speaker, might "slap his
chops,"--Let 'em alone,--said young Maryland,--it'll soon be over, and
they won't hurt each other much.--So they went out.

The Koh-i-noor entertained the very common idea, that, when one
quarrels with another, the simple thing to do is to _knock the man
down_, and there is the end of it. Now those who have watched such
encounters are aware of two things: first, that it is not so easy to
knock a man down as it is to talk about it; secondly, that, if you do
happen to knock a man down, there is a very good chance that he will be
angry, and get up and give you a thrashing.

So the Koh-i-noor thought he would begin, as soon as they got into the
yard, by knocking his man down, and with this intention swung his arm
round after the fashion of rustics and those unskilled in the noble
art, expecting the young fellow John to drop when his fist, having
completed a quarter of a circle, should come in contact with the side
of that young man's head. Unfortunately for this theory, it happens
that a blow struck out straight is as much shorter, and therefore as
much quicker than the rustic's swinging blow, as the radius is shorter
than the quarter of a circle. The mathematical and mechanical corollary
was, that the Koh-i-noor felt something hard bring up suddenly against
his right eye, which something he could have sworn was a paving-stone,
judging by his sensations; and as this threw his person somewhat
backwards, and the young man, John jerked his own head back a little,
the swinging blow had nothing to stop it; and as the Jewel staggered
between the hit he got and the blow he missed, he tripped and "went to
grass," so far as the back-yard of our boarding-house was provided with
that vegetable. It was a signal illustration of that fatal mistake, so
frequent in young and ardent natures with inconspicuous calves and
negative pectorals, that they can settle most little quarrels on the
spot by "knocking the man down."

We are in the habit of handling our faces so carefully, that a heavy
blow, taking effect on that portion of the surface, produces a most
unpleasant surprise, which is accompanied with odd sensations, as of
seeing sparks, and a kind of electrical or ozone-like odor,
half-sulphurous in character, and which has given rise to a very vulgar
and profane threat sometimes heard from the lips of bullies. A person
not used to pugilistic gestures does not instantly recover from this
surprise. The Koh-i-noor, exasperated by his failure, and still a
little confused by the smart hit he had received, but furious, and
confident of victory over a young fellow a good deal lighter than
himself, made a desperate rush to bear down all before him and finish
the contest at once. That is the way all angry greenhorns and
incompetent persons attempt to settle matters. It doesn't do, if the
other fellow is only cool, moderately quick, and has a very little
science. It didn't do this time; for, as the assailant rushed in with
his arms flying everywhere, like the vans of a windmill, he ran a
prominent feature of his face against a fist which was travelling in
the other direction, and immediately after struck the knuckles of the
young man's other fist a severe blow with the part of his person known
as the _epigastrium_ to one branch of science and the _bread-basket_ to
another. This second round closed the battle. The Koh-i-noor had got
enough, which in such cases is more than as good as a feast. The young
fellow asked him if he was satisfied, and held out his hand. But the
other sulked, and muttered something about revenge.--Jest as y'
like,--said the young man John.--Clap a slice o' raw beefsteak on to
that mouse o' yours 'n' 't'll take down the swellin'. (_Mouse_ is a
technical term for a bluish, oblong, rounded elevation occasioned by
running one's forehead or eyebrow against another's knuckles.) The
young fellow was particularly pleased that he had had an opportunity of
trying his proficiency in the art of self-defence without the gloves.
The Koh-i-noor did not favor us with his company for a day or two,
being confined to his chamber, _it was said_, by a _slight feverish
attack_. He was chop-fallen always after this, and got negligent in his
person. The impression must have been a deep one; for it was observed,
that, when he came down again, his moustache and whiskers had turned
visibly white--_about the roots_. In short, it disgraced him, and
rendered still more conspicuous a tendency to drinking, of which he had
been for some time suspected. This, and the disgust which a young lady
naturally feels at hearing that her lover has been "licked by a fellah
not half his size," induced the landlady's daughter to take that
decided step which produced a change in the programme of her career I
may hereafter allude to.

I never thought he would come to good, when I heard him attempting to
sneer at an unoffending city so respectable as Boston. After a man
begins to attack the State-House, when he gets bitter about the
Frog-Pond, you may be sure there is not much left of him. Poor Edgar
Poe died in the hospital soon after he got into this way of talking;
and so sure as you find an unfortunate fellow reduced to this pass, you
had better begin praying for him, and stop lending him money, for he is
on his last legs. Remember poor Edgar! He is dead and gone; but the
State-House has its cupola fresh-gilded, and the Frog-Pond has got a
fountain that squirts up a hundred feet into the air and glorifies that
humble sheet with a fine display of provincial rainbows.

--I cannot fulfil my promise in this number. I expected to gratify your
curiosity, if you have become at all interested in these puzzles,
doubts, fancies, whims, or whatever you choose to call them, of mine.
Next month you shall hear all about it.

--It was evening, and I was going to the sick-chamber. As I paused at
the door before entering, I heard a sweet voice singing. It was not the
wild melody I had sometimes heard at midnight:--no, this was the voice
of Iris, and I could distinguish every word. I had seen the verses in
her book; the melody was new to me. Let me finish my page with them.



HYMN OF TRUST.


O Love Divine, that stooped to share
  Our sharpest pang, our bitterest tear,
On Thee we cast each earthborn care,
  We smile at pain while Thou art near!

Though long the weary way we tread,
  And sorrow crown each lingering year,
No path we shun, no darkness dread,
  Our hearts still whispering, Thou art near!

When drooping pleasure turns to grief,
  And trembling faith is changed to fear,
The murmuring wind, the quivering leaf
  Shall softly tell us, Thou art near!

On Thee we fling our burdening woe,
  O Love Divine, forever dear,
Content to suffer, while we know,
  Living and dying, Thou art near!


      *       *       *       *       *

ART.

PICTURES AT SEVILLE AND MADRID.


_Seville, January, 1859_.

I do not know whether I ought not to take you to the Museo on so bright
a morning, although I should like better to stroll with you on the
Paseo by the pretty river across which I look to the faintly seen hills
of Ronda, with the rich palm-trees in the foreground, and a great stone
pine in the middle distance, which would recall to us the Campagna and
Italy. Many people have said to me, "You cannot judge of Murillo till
you see him at Seville,"--they, of course, having been at Seville. This
is so far true, that his best picture is undoubtedly in the Cathedral
here; but in all other ways, Murillo is perfectly to be seen in other
cities. _You_ know, therefore, just what the pictures and the Museo
have to say to you. They speak of a most clever artist, who evidently
consulted Nature conscientiously, and who perceived and understood very
often many phases of her grace and beauty. The most masterly of his
fifteen or twenty pictures in the gallery is the one of Saint Thomas of
Villanueva giving Alms to the Poor; and it is, certainly, charmingly
arranged, with great breadth of effect and clever drawing,--on a cool
scale of color throughout. The Saint is in a black robe, relieved
against a light background of gray wall. The beggar who is receiving
alms is capitally understood, and carries the light broadly through the
picture. A charming little boy leans against his mother in the
left-hand corner, in half shadow, and shows her the coin in his hand. A
few other heads fill up the right-hand of the picture behind the Saint.
A red drapery, of a dull color, and a touch of brown-red here and
there, warm the agreeable grayness of the rest of the canvas. I like
much, also, a "Conception," in many respects like the usual picture
which Murillo repeated so often; but the Virgin in this one is
represented as very young,--about twelve or fourteen years old,--and
the whole effect is most silvery and delicate.

But the Saint Antonio in the Cathedral is, I should say, his great
picture. It is very simple, and full of feeling. The Saint, half
kneeling, stretches forward to the vision of the Christ-Child, which
descends in a glory of cherubim toward him. The great mass of light
falls directly upon the kneeling figure and the upturned face, and
throws strong shadows on the ground. One is reminded, in some of the
angel-figures, of the brilliant light and shadow on the little flying
cherubs in the "Assumption," at Venice. Here all is silvery, where in
Titian all burns with the glory of a Venetian sunset. But this picture
of Murillo seems to me what one must call an eminently "happy" picture.
It gives one the idea that the painter enjoyed painting it, for the
expressive movement of the Saint is most admirably given, and the
extreme simplicity of every part of the picture is most agreeable; so
that we are ready to give great praise to Murillo for what he did, and
to say that he was earnest and tried to represent what he really felt.
And when we say that, we say a great deal; do we not? But we cannot,
for a moment, compare him to the great Venetians. He did not attempt
what they did, because he did not feel it at all; and, as a painter, he
is not comparable to them. One sees that he executed with rapidity and
a sort of dash, as it were. The Venetian concealed his execution, as
Nature does, and attempted to render the most subtile things which he
knew his art alone _could_ give, in their full force and beauty. As a
painter, therefore, he cannot be compared with men who wrought from so
different a principle. And when we think of the lovely elevation and
noble thought in the great Venetians, we must quietly rest grateful for
those great blessings,--grateful and happy that they exist, and that
we, in some measure at least, understand and appreciate their meaning.
Is it not delightful to think of them and know them in their precious
old corners and over their dear old altars?


_Madrid, March, 1859_.


You see that we have at last left Andalusia, and are here in what is
like a bit of Paris,--shops, dress, carriages, and now and then the
smell of asphalt pavement being renewed. Still, mantillas are the
coverings for the female head, and peasants in costumes drive mules and
donkeys through the crowds in the busy streets, and one is still in
Spain. We came, you know, for the gallery, and the first glimpse of it
showed us that we have enough to do to see that, during our proposed
stay of a month. I must tell you just a few things about the pictures,
and give you a peep at Madrid through my eyes, since you are not here
to use your own.

Murillo is here the same as everywhere else. I very much prefer his
pictures in Seville. Velasquez, however, is to be really seen nowhere
so well as here. I do not know how many pictures there are here by him,
but a great quantity, it seems to me: Philips without number, in
childhood, youth, and age; Dons with curled moustaches; Queens with
large hoops and disfigured heads; an actor, full of life and character,
one of his very best. But his greatest picture, and really a wonder, is
his portrait of himself painting the little Infanta, who is in the
foreground of the picture with two young girls, her court ladies, her
dwarf, and a diminutive page. It is quite like a photograph, in clear,
broad effect of light and dark. From the other side of the room, full
of truth and vigor,--as you approach it, you find it is dashed in with
a surety of touch and a breadth truly extraordinary,--no details, no
substance even; painted with one huge brush, it would almost seem, all
is vigorous, dashing, clever, the triumph of _chic_, as shown by a
master hand. The dog in the immediate foreground is capital, the page
pushing him playfully with his foot. The dwarf stands next, full of a
sort of quaint truth, with her big head and heavy chin. The mass of
light falls on the Infanta, who takes a cup of something, chocolate, I
suppose, from one of the kneeling girls, while the other makes a
reverence on the other side. Beyond are a nun and a _guarda-damas_, and
in the mirror at the other end of the room are most cleverly indicated
the portraits of Philip and his wife. Velasquez stands on the left of
the picture, behind the Infanta, painting, with his canvas turned back
toward us as we look into the room. The black figure of an attendant
has passed out of the apartment and is going up a stair against a clear
white wall. The skilful way in which you are led into the picture is
astonishing, and the whole thing is quite by itself as a piece of
painting. There is no attempt at anything subtile or even delicate in
the treatment, speaking from the point of view of a result achieved by
paint on canvas,--no texture, no difference of handling, no imitation;
all is _paint_, admirably put on, for the effect across the room. I
think we must set Velasquez quite by himself as a truthful and surely
most gifted portrait-master. With a peculiar gift,--genius, I think we
might say,--certainly he is like no one else, and nobody else is like
him. Then there is his equestrian portrait of Philip IV., of which you
may remember the sketch in the Pitti Gallery,--also one of the Duke of
Olivarez, fresh, dashing, and spirited. But I prefer the portrait of
--some actor, I am sure,--full of character, against a gray wall
background,--one of those faces one is sure one has seen somewhere in
Spain, and he is declaiming evidently with the most capital action.--So
much for Velasquez.

But I hardly dare attempt to tell you of the glory of the great Titian,
who seems almost newly revealed, in many _perfect_ works. Nothing can
equal the superb style of a portrait of Alfonso of Ferrara; it is like
nothing but Nature,--a splendid, dark, manly face and figure, standing
and looking thoughtfully at you, or rather, beyond you, caressing in an
absent way a little silky dog who puts his paw up to attract his
master's notice. The glowing flesh, the superbly painted dress of deep
blue with fine arabesques of gold,--the delicate hand lying on the
soft, silky hair of the dog, with its turquoise ring on the second
joint of one of the fingers,--you can imagine it, can you not? Next him
stands Philip II., pale, elegant, and repulsive, in gorgeous armor worn
over festal, glittering white satin. Charles V. is on the other side;
and I hardly know which of these portraits is the finest as a work of
Art, for all are _perfect_. Charles is standing, with a noble dog
leaning up against his hand; there is something _simpática_ in his gray
eyes, his worn face, and even in his protruding jaw, it is so admirably
rendered, and gives such a firm character to the face. His costume is
_elegantísimo_, white satin and gold,--with a tissue-of-gold doublet,
and a cassock of silver-damask, with great black fur collar and lining,
against which is relieved the under-dress; he wears his velvet cap and
plume, and a deep emerald satin curtain hangs on his right hand. These
portraits are just about as wonderful as any you may remember,--in his
best style and in capital condition. But I know you would say that the
great portrait of Charles on horseback is more grand. It is a sort of
heroic poem; he looks like Sir Galahad, or Chivalry itself, going forth
to conquer wrong and violence. His eager, worn face looks out from the
helmet so calmly and so steadily, the flash of his armor, which gleams
like real metal, the coal-black horse, which comes forward out of the
landscape shaking his head-piece of blood-red plumes against the golden
sunset sky and champing the golden bit, the grasp of the lance by the
noble rider: well, painting can do no more than that. It is history,
poetry, and the beauty of Nature recreated by the grand master. An
entirely different phase of his character is seen in his Ariadne Asleep
surrounded by the Bacchanals. This is full of antique Grecian feeling;
and such a subtile, delicious piece of painting! Ariadne is in the
foreground, full of warm, breathing life, her arm thrown over her
lovely head, and her golden hair falling over the vase of gold and onyx
on which she rests; a river of red wine runs through the emerald grass;
two beautiful girls have just put by their music and instruments, and
one turns her exquisite face toward us to speak to the other reclining
on the grass. The one who turns to us is the beauty of the Louvre, or
some one very like her, in full Venetian loveliness. In her bosom are
one or two violets and a paper with _Titianus_ written on it. The bit
of music on the grass has Greek letters. Dancing figures are in the
middle of the picture. The fauns stagger under the dark trees, carrying
great sumptuous vases of agate and gold. Silenus is asleep on a sunny
hill at a distance, and the white sails of the ship with Theseus gleam
on the deep-blue sea. There is another called an Offering to Fecundity.
It is a crowd of most lovely baby boys, wonderfully painted, frolicking
on the green among flowers and fruits. A figure full of action and
passion holds up a glass to the statue of the goddess in one corner.
The children are kissing each other and carrying about baskets of
fruit; these baskets are hung with rich pearls and rubies and gems of
all kinds. The green, fresh trees wave against a summer sky, and the
work is full of tender, sensitive elegance and love. It shows to me an
entirely new side of Titian in its extreme delicacy and sweetness.
Nobody can ever speak of a "want of refinement" in Titian, if they
thought so before, after seeing these pictures. Then there is the
Herodias, the same as the girl in Dresden who holds up the
casket,--wonderfully delicate and beautiful; and several other
portraits and pictures, which I cannot tell you of, even if you are not
already tired. I ought, however, to say that Paul Veronese has a very
fine Venus and Adonis here, full of sunlight and summer beauty, and
Christ Teaching the Doctors, nobly serious in character and admirable
in treatment; also two sketches of Cain and of Vice and Virtue, very
full of feeling for his subject. The Cain has his back toward you. His
wife and child look up at him entreatingly. There is a fine, solemn
horizon with a gleam of twilight. There are several Tintorets, but no
favorable specimens,--a portrait is the best. There is also a Giovanni
Bellini, which brings back the Venetian altar-pieces, quiet and lovely;
and a Giorgione, like the large one in the Louvre, in many ways; a
Madonna and Infant, with a fine female Saint and a noble Saint George.

These are some of the glorious treasures which the Spaniards own. If we
could only have some of these! or if, while we or our country are
committing the sin of coveting the Spanish possessions, we would only
covet something worth the having! I confess, I should delight to take
away one or two fine jewels of pictures that nobody here would miss.

I had almost forgotten to mention the great Raphael, the "Spasimo." It
is in his Roman style, with much that is, to me, forced in the action
and expression. The head of Christ, however, is beautiful, and
exquisitely drawn. Beside the Spasimo, there is a little picture of the
Virgin and Child, with Saint Joseph, in Raphael's early manner, very
lovely, and reminding one of the "Staffa" Madonna, at Perugia. It is
faint in color, and most charming in careful execution.

Then there are the finest Hemmlings I have ever seen,--finer than those
at Munich: lovely Madonnas, meek and saintly; superb adoring Kings, all
glowing with cloth-of-gold and velvets and splendid jewels; beautiful
quiet landscapes, seen through the arches of the stable; and angels,
with wings of dazzling green and crimson. The real love with which
these wonderful pictures are caressed by the careful, thoughtful artist
makes them most precious. Every little flower is delicately and
artistically done, and everything is invested with a sort of sacred
reverence by this earnest Pre-Raphaelite. One or two Van Eycks have the
same splendor and depth of feeling. These pictures look as if they were
painted yesterday, so clear and brilliant are their colors.

It is a pleasant circumstance, that some of the great Venetian pictures
in the gallery here were gained for Spain by the judgment and taste of
Velasquez. When he went to Italy with a commission from Philip IV.,
which it must have delighted him to execute, "to buy whatever pictures
were for sale that he thought worth purchasing," he spent some time in
Venice, and there bought, among other things, the Venus and Adonis of
Paul Veronese, and several of the works of Tintoretto. The Titians had
come to Spain before, and it was from the study of them, perhaps, that
Velasquez learned to paint so well. At any rate, we know what he
thought of Titian; for Mr. Sterling gives an extract from a poem by a
Venetian, Marco Boschini, which was published not long after
Velasquez's journey to Italy, in which part of a conversation is given
between him and Salvator Rosa, who asked him what he thought of
Raphael. You will like to see it, if you have not Sterling by you.

"Lu storse el cao cirimoniosamente,
E disse: 'Rafael (a dirve el vero,
Piasendome esser libero e sinciero)
Stago per dir che nol me piase niente.'

"'Tanto che,' replichè quela persona,
'Co' no ve piase questo gran Pitor,
In Italia nissun ve dà in l' umor,
Perche nu ghe donemo la corona.'

"Don Diego replichè con tal maniera:
'A Venetia se trova el bon e 'l belo;
Mi dago el primo luogo a quel penelo;
Tician xè quel che porta la bandiera.'"

Here is a translation:--

The master, with a ceremonious air,
Bowed, and then said, "Raphael, truth to tell,
For to be free and honest suits me well,
Pleases me not at all, I must declare."

"Since, then," replied the other, "you so frown
On this great painter, in Italy is none
By whom, indeed, your favor can be won;
For upon him we all bestow the crown."

Don Diego thereupon to him replies,
"At Venice may be found the good and fair;
I give the first place to the pencil there;
Titian is he who carries off the prize."



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


1. _Dictionary of Americanisms_. A Glossary of Words and Phrases
usually regarded as peculiar to the United States. By JOHN RUSSELL
BARTLETT. Second Edition, greatly improved and enlarged. Boston:
Little, Brown, & Company, 1859. pp. xxxii., 524.

2. _A Glossarial Index to the Printed English Literature of the
Thirteenth Century_. By HERBERT COLERIDGE. London: Trübner & Company.
1859. pp. iv., 104.

3. _Outlines of the History of the English Language_, for the Use of
the Junior Classes in Colleges and the Higher Classes in Schools. By
GEORGE L. CRAIK, Professor of History and of English Literature in
Queen's College, Belfast. Third Edition, revised and improved. London:
Chapman & Hall. 1859. pp. xii., 148.

4. _The Vulgar Tongue_. A Glossary of Slang, Cant, and Flash Phrases,
used in London from 1839 to 1859; Flash Songs, Essays on Flash, and a
Bibliography of Canting and Slang Literature. By DUCANGE ANGLICUS.
Second Edition, improved and much enlarged. London: Bernard Quaritch.
1859. pp. 80.

5. _A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words_, etc., etc.
By a London Antiquary. London: John Camden Holten. 1859. pp. lxxxviii.,
160.

6. _On the English Language, Past and Present_. By RICHARD CHENEVIX
TRENCH, D.D. New Edition, revised and enlarged. New York: Blakeman &
Mason. 1859. pp. 238.

7. _A Select Glossary of English Words used formerly in Senses
different from their present_. By RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, D.D. New
York: Redfield. 1859. pp. xi., 218.

8. _Rambles among Words; their Poetry, History, Wisdom_. By WILLIAM
SWINTON. New York. Scribner. 1859. pp. 302.


The first allusion we know of to an Americanism is that of Gill, in
1621,--"_Sed et ab Americanis nonnulla mutuamur, ut_ MAIZ _et_ KANOA."
Since then, English literature, not without many previous wry faces,
has adopted or taken back many words from this side of the water. The
more the matter is looked into, the more it appears that we have no
peculiar dialect of our own, and that men here, as elsewhere, have
modified language or invented phrases to suit their needs. When Dante
wrote his "De Vulgari Eloquio," he reckoned nearly a thousand distinct
dialects in the Italian peninsula, and, after more than five hundred
years, it is said that by far the greater part survive. In England,
eighty years ago, the county of every member of Parliament was to be
known by his speech; but in "both Englands," as they used to be called,
the tendency is toward uniformity.

In spite of the mingling of races and languages in the United States,
the speech of the people is more uniform than that of any European
nation. This would inevitably follow from our system of common-schools,
and the universal reading of newspapers. This has tended to make the
common language of talk more bookish, and has thus reacted unfavorably
on our literature, giving it sometimes the air of being composed in a
dead tongue rather than written from a living one. It gladdens us, we
confess, to see how goodly a volume of _Americanisms_ Mr. Bartlett has
been enabled to gather, for it shows that our language is alive. It is
only from the roots that a language can be refreshed; a dialect that is
taught grows more and more pedantic, and becomes at last as unfit a
vehicle for living thought as monkish Latin. This is the danger which
our literature has to guard against from the universal Schoolmaster,
who wars upon home-bred phrases, and enslaves the mind and memory of
his victims, as far as may be, to the best models of English
composition,--that is to say, to the writers whose style is faultlessly
correct, but has no blood in it. No language, after it has faded into
_diction_, none that cannot suck up feeding juices from the
mother-earth of a rich common-folk-talk, can bring forth a sound and
lusty book. True vigor of expression does not pass from page to page,
but from man to man, where the brain is kindled and the lips are
limbered by downright living interests and by passions in the very
throe. Language is the soil of thought; and our own especially is a
rich leaf-mould, the slow growth of ages, the shed foliage of feeling,
fancy, and imagination, which has suffered an earth-change, that the
vocal forest, as Howell called it, may clothe itself anew with living
green. There is death in the Dictionary; and where language is limited
by convention, the ground for expression to grow in is straitened also,
and we get a _potted_ literature, Chinese dwarfs instead of healthy
trees.

We are thankful to Mr. Bartlett for the onslaught he makes in his
Introduction upon the _highfaluting_ style so common among us. But we
are rather amused to find him falling so easily into that _Anglo-Saxon_
trap which is the common pitfall of those half-learned men among whom
we should be slow to rank him.[A] He says, "The _unfortunate tendency_
to _favor_ the Latin at the _expense_ of the Saxon _element_ of our
_language_, which _social_ and _educational causes_ have long _tended_
to foster in the mother _country_, has with us _received_ an
_additional_ _impulse_ from the great _admixture_ of _foreigners_ in
our _population_." (p. xxxii.) We have underscored the words of Latin
origin, and find that they include _all_ the nouns, all the adjectives
but two, and three out of five verbs,--one of these last (the auxiliary
_have_) being the same in both Latin and Saxon. Speaking of the
Bostonians, Mr. Bartlett says, "The great _extent_ to which the
_scholars_ of New England have carried the _study_ of the _German
language_ and _literature_ for some years back, _added_ to the _very
general neglect_ of the old _master-pieces_ of English _composition_,
have [has] had the _effect_ of giving to the writings of many of them
an _artificial, unidiomatic character_, which has an _inexpressibly
unpleasant effect_ to those who are not _habituated_ to it." (p. xxv.
We again underscore the un-Saxon words.) Now if there be any short cut
to the Anglo-Saxon, it is through the German; and how far the
Bostonians deserve the reproach of a neglect of old English
masterpieces we do not pretend to say, but the first modern reprint of
the best works of Latimer, More, Sidney, Fuller, Selden, Browne, and
Feltham was made in Boston, under the care of the late Dr. Alexander
Young. We have no wish to defend Boston; we mean only to call Mr.
Bartlett's attention to the folly of asking people to write in a
dialect which no longer exists. No man can write off-hand a page of
Saxon English; no man with pains can write one and hope to be commonly
understood. At least let Mr. Bartlett practise what he preaches. When a
deputation of wig-makers waited on George III. to protest against the
hair-powder-tax, the mob, seeing that one of them wore his own hair,
ducked him forthwith in Tower-Ditch,--a very Anglo-Saxon comment on his
inconsistency. We should not have noticed these passages in Mr.
Bartlett's Introduction, had he not, after eleven years' time to weigh
them in, let them remain as they stood in his former edition, of 1848.

In other respects the volume before us greatly betters its forerunner.
That contained many words which were rather vulgarisms than
provincialisms, and more properly English than American. Almost all
these Mr. Bartlett has left out in revising his book. Once or twice,
however, he has retained as Americanisms phrases which are proverbial,
such as "born in the woods to be scared of an owl," "to carry the foot
in the hand," and "hallooing before you're out of the woods." But it
will be easier to follow the alphabetical order in our short list of
_adversaria_ and comments.

ALEWIFE. We doubt if Mr. Bartlett is right in deriving this from a
supposed Indian word _aloof_. At least, Hakluyt speaks of a fish called
"old-wives"; and in some other old book of travels we have seen the
name derived from the likeness of the fish, with its good, round belly,
to the mistress of an alehouse.

BANK-BILL. Is not an Americanism. It is used by Swift, Pope, and
Fielding.

BOGUS. Mr. Bartlett quotes a derivation of this word from the name of a
certain _Borghese_, said to have been a notorious counterfeiter of
bank-notes. But is it not more probably a corruption of _bagasse_,
which, as applied to the pressed sugarcane, means simply something
worthless? The word originally meant a worthless woman, whence our
"baggage" in the same sense.

[Footnote A: This, perhaps, was to be expected; for he calls Dr.
Latham's _English Language_ "unquestionably the most valuable work on
English philology and grammar--which has yet appeared," (p. xxx.,
note,) and refers to the first edition of 1841. If Mr. Bartlett must
allude at all to Dr. Latham, (who is reckoned a great blunderer among
English philologers,) he should at least have referred to the second
edition of his work, in two volumes, 1855.]

CHAINED-LIGHTNING. More commonly chain-lightning, and certainly not a
Western phrase exclusively.

CHEBACCO-BOAT. Mr. Bartlett says, "This word is doubtless a corruption
of _Chedabucto_, the name of a bay in Nova Scotia, from which vessels
are fitted out for fishing." This is going a great way down East for
what could be found nearer. _Chebacco_ is (or was, a century since) the
name of a part of Ipswich, Massachusetts.

TO FALL a tree Mr. Bartlett considers a corruption of to _fell_. But,
as we have commonly heard the words used, to _fell_ means merely to cut
down, while to fall means to make it fall in a given direction.

TO GO UNDER. "To perish. An expression adopted from the figurative
language of the Indians by the Western trappers and residents of the
prairies." Not the first time that the Indians have had undue credit
for poetry. The phrase is undoubtedly a translation of the German
_untergehen_ (fig.), to perish.

HAT. "Our Northern women have almost discarded the word _bonnet_,
except in _sun-bonnet_, and use the term _hat_ instead. A like fate has
befallen the word _gown_, for which both they and their Southern
sisters commonly use _frock_ or _dress_." We do not know where Mr.
Bartlett draws his Northern line; but in Massachusetts we never heard
the word _hat_ or _frock_ used in this sense. They are so used in
England, and _hat_ is certainly, _frock_ probably, nearer Anglo-Saxon
than _bonnet_ and _gown_.

IMPROVE. Mr. Bartlett quotes Dr. Franklin as saying in 1789, "When I
left New England in the year 1723, this word had never been used among
us, as far as I know, but in the sense of _ameliorated_ or _made
better_, except once in a very old book of Dr. Mather's, entitled
_Remarkable Providences_." Dr. Increase Mather's _Providences_ was
published in 1684. In 1679 a synod assembled at Boston, and the result
of its labors was published in the same year by John Foster, under the
title, _Necessity of a Reformation_. On the sixth page we find,
"Taverns being for the entertainment of strangers, which, if they were
_improved_ to that end only," etc. Oddly enough, our copy of this tract
has Dr. Mather's autograph on the title-page. But Mr. Bartlett should
have referred to Richardson, who shows that the word had been in use
long before with the same meaning.

To INHEAVEN. "A word invented by the Boston transcendentalists." And
Mr. Bartlett quotes from Judd's _Margaret_. Mr. Judd was a good
scholar, and the word is legitimately compounded, like _ensphere_ and
_imparadise_; but he did not invent it. Dante uses the word:--

  "Perfetta vita ed alto merto _inciela_
  Donna piú su."

LADIES' TRESSES. "The popular name, in the Southern States, for an
herb," etc. In the Northern States also. Sometimes _Ladies' Traces_.

LIEFER. "A colloquialism, also used in England." Excellent Anglo-Saxon,
and used wherever English is spoken.

LOAFER. We think there can be no doubt that this word is German.
_Laufen_ in some parts of Germany is pronounced _lofen_, and we once
heard a German student say to his friend, _Ich lauf'_ (lofe) _hier bis
du wiederkehrst_: and he began accordingly to saunter up and down,--in
short, to _loaf_ about.

TO MULL. "To soften, to dispirit." Mr. Bartlett quotes
_Margaret_,--"There has been a pretty considerable _mullin_ going on
among the doctors." But _mullin_ here means stirring, bustling in an
underhand way, and is a metaphor derived from _mulling wine_. _Mull_,
in this sense, is probably a corruption of _mell_, from Old Fr.
_mesler_, to mix.

TO BE NOWHERE (in the sense of failure) is not an Americanism, but
_Turf_-Slang.

SALLY-LUN, a kind of cake, is English.

TO SAVE, meaning to kill game so as to get it, is not confined to the
Far West, but is common to hunters in all parts of the country.

SHEW, for _showed_. Mr. Bartlett calls this the "shibboleth of
Bostonians." However this may be, it is simply an archaism, not a
vulgarism. _Show_, like _blow, crow, grow,_ seems formerly to have had
what is called a strong preterite. _Shew_ is used by Lord Cromwell and
Hector Boece.

SLASHES. "Swampy or wet lands overgrown with bushes. Southern and
Western." Used also in New York.

SPAN of horses is Dutch (High or Low).

TO WALK SPANISH; to "walk" a boy out of any place by the waistband of
his trousers, or by any lower part easily prehensible. N.E. This is,
perhaps, as old as Philip and Mary.

TO SPREAD ONE'S SELF is defined by Mr. Bartlett "to exert one's self."
It means rather to exert one's self ostentatiously. It is a capital
metaphor, derived, we fancy, from the turkey-cock or peacock,--like the
Italian _pavoneggiarsi_. We find in the _Tatler_ "spreading her graces
in assemblies." This last, however, may be a Gallicism, from _étaler_.

STRAW BAIL. "Worthless bail, bail given by 'men of straw.'" This is
surely no Americanism, and we have seen its origin very differently
explained, namely, that men willing for a fee to become bail walked in
the neighborhood of the courts with straws stuck in their
shoes,--though Mr. Bartlett's explanation is ingenious.

SUNFISH. Mr. Bartlett thinks this a corruption; but the resemblance of
the fish, as seen in the water, to the ordinary portraits of the sun in
almanacs and on tavern-signs seems to us enough to account for the
name.

A few phrases occur to us that have escaped Mr. Bartlett.

A CARRY: portage. _Passim_.

CAT-NAP: a short doze. New England.

CHOWDER-HEAD: muddle-brain. New England.

COHEES (accent on the last syllable): term applied to the people of
certain settlements in Western Pennsylvania, from their use of the
archaic form, _Quo' he_.

TO COTTON TO.

DON' KNOW AS I KNOW: the nearest your true Yankee ever comes to
acknowledging ignorance.

GANDER-PARTY: a social gathering of men only. New England.

LAP-TEA: where the guests are too many to sit at table. Massachusetts.

LAST OF PEA-TIME: day after fair.

LOSE-LAID (loose-laid): weaver's term, and probably English; means
weak-willed. Massachusetts.

MOONGLADE: a beautiful word for the track of moonlight on the water.
Massachusetts.

OFF-OX: an unmanageable fellow. New England.

OLD DRIVER:     } euphemistic for the
OLD SPLIT-FOOT: } Devil.

ONHITCH (unhitch): to pull trigger.

ROTE: sound of the surf before a storm. Used also in England. New
England.

SEEM: I can't _seem_ to see, for I can't see. She couldn't _seem_ to be
suited, for couldn't be suited.

STATE-HOUSE. This seems an Americanism. Did we invent it, or borrow it
from the _Stad-huys_ (town-hall) of New Amsterdam? As an instance of
the tendency to uniformity in American usage, we notice that in
Massachusetts what has always been the _State-House_ is beginning to be
called the _Capitol_. We are sorry for it.

STRIKE: } terms of the game of STRING: } nine-pins.

SWALE: a hollow. New England. English also; see Forby.

TORMENTED: euphemistic, as "not a _tormented_ cent." New England.

WELL-SWEEP.

We have gone through Mr. Bartlett's book with the attention which a
work so well done deserves, and are thoroughly impressed with the
amount of care and labor to which it bears witness. We have quarrelled
with it wherever we could, because it cannot fail to become the
standard authority in its department. Its value will increase from year
to year. For instance, the Spanish words, in which it is especially
rich, are doomed to undergo strange metamorphoses on Anglo-Saxon lips;
for it is the instinct of the unlearned to naturalize words as fast as
possible, and to compel them to homebred shapes and sounds. There is
often an unwitting humor in these perversions,[A] and they are always
interesting as showing that it is the nature of man to use words with
understanding, however appearances might lead us to an opposite
conclusion.

[Footnote A: We remember once hearing a man say of something, that it
was written in a "very grand delinquent [grandiloquent] style,"--a
phrase certainly not without modern application. We have heard also
Angola-Saxons and Angular-Saxons,--the latter, at least, not an unhappy
perversion.]

The least satisfactory part of Mr. Bartlett's book is the Appendix, in
which he has got together a few proverbs and similes, which, it seems
to us, do no kind of justice to the humor and invention of the people.
Most of them have no characteristic at all, except coarseness. We hope
there is nothing peculiarly American in such examples as these:--"Evil
actions, like crushed rotten eggs, stink in the nostrils of all"; and
"Vice is a skunk that smells awfully rank when stirred up by the pole
of misfortune." These have, beside, an artificial air, and are quite
too long-skirted for working proverbs, in which language always "takes
off its coat to it," if we may use a proverbial phrase, left out by Mr.
Bartlett. We confess, we looked for something racier and of a more
_puckery_ flavor. One hears such now and then, mostly from the
West,--like "Mean enough to steal acorns from a blind hog"; "I take my
tea _bar-foot_," the answer of a backwoodsman, when asked if he would
have cream and sugar. Some are unmistakably Eastern; as, "All deacons
are good,--but there's odds in deacons"; "He's a whole team and the dog
under the wagon"; "That's first-rate and a half"; "Handy as a pocket in
a shirt" (ironical). Almost every county has some good die sinker in
language, who mints phrases that pass into the currency of a whole
neighborhood. We picked up two such the other day, both of the same
coinage. The county-jail (the only stone building where all the
dwellings were of wood) was described as "the house whose underpinning
comes up to the eaves"; while the place unmentionable to ears polite
was "where they don't rake up the fires at night." A man, speaking to
us once of a very rocky clearing, said, "Stone's got a pretty heavy
mortgage on that farm"; and another, wishing to give us a notion of the
thievishness common in a certain village, capped his climax
thus:--"Dishonest! why, they have to take in their stone walls o'
nights." Any one who has driven over a mountain-stream by one of those
bridges made of _slabs_ will feel the force of a term we once heard
applied to a parson so shaky in character that no dependence could be
placed on him,--"A slab-bridged kind o' feller!" During some very cold
weather, a few years ago, we picked a notable saying or two. "The fire
don't seem to git no kind o' _purchase_ on the cold." "They say Cap'n
M'Clure's gone through the Northwest Passage." "Has? Think likely, and
left the door open, too!" Elder Knapp, the once noted itinerant
preacher, had a kind of unwashed poetry in him. We heard him say
once,--"Do you want to know when a Unitarian" (we think it was) "will
get into heaven? When hell's froze over, and he can skate in!" We quote
merely for illustration, and do not mean to compare the Elder with
Taylor or South.

The element of exaggeration has often been remarked on as typical of
American humor. In Dr. Petri's "Compact Handbook of Foreign Words,"[A]
(from which Mr. Bartlett will be surprised to learn that _Hoco-pocos_
is a nickname for the Whig party in the United States,) we are told that
the word _humbug_ "is commonly used for the exaggerations of the
North-Americans." One would think the dream of Columbus half-fulfilled,
and that Europe had found in the West the near way to Orientalism, at
least of diction. But it seems to us that a great deal of what is set
down as mere exaggeration is more fitly to be called intensity and
picturesqueness, symptoms of the imaginative faculty in full health and
strength, though producing, as yet, only the raw material.[B]
By-and-by, perhaps, the world will see it worked up into poem and
picture, and Europe, which will be hard-pushed for originality ere
long, may thank us for a new sensation. The French continue to find
Shakspeare exaggerated, because he treated English just as our folk do
when they speak of "a steep price," or say that they "freeze to" a
thing. The first postulate of an original literature is, that a people
use their language as if they owned it. Even Burns contrived to write
very poor English. Vulgarisms are often only poetry in the egg. The
late Horace Mann, in one of his Addresses, commented at some length on
the beauty of the French phrase _s'orienter_, and called on his young
hearers to practise it in life. There was not a Yankee in his audience
whose problem had not always been to find out what was "_about east_"
and shape his course accordingly. The Germans have a striking proverb;
_Was die Gans gedacht, das der Schwan vollbracht_; What the goose but
thought, that the swan fullbrought; or, to de-Saxonize it a little,
_pace_ Mr. Bartlett, What the goose conceived, that the swan
achieved;--and we cannot help thinking, that the life, invention, and
vigor shown in our popular speech, and the freedom with which it is
shaped to the need of those who wield it, are of the best omen for our
having a swan at last.

[Footnote A: _Gedrängtes Handbuch der Fremdwörter_, etc., etc.,
Leipzig, 1852.]

[Footnote B: Take, for instance, the "negro so black that charcoal made
a chalk-mark on him," or the "shingle painted to look so like stone
that it sank in water,"--itself overpersuaded by the skill of the
painter. We overheard the following dialogue last winter.
(Thermometer,--12°.) "Cold, this morning."--"That's _so_. Hear what
happened to Joe?"--"No, I didn't."--"Well, the doctors had ben givin'
him one thing another with merc'ry in't, and he walked out down to the
Post-Office and back, and when he come home he kind o' felt somethin'
hard in his boots. Come to pull 'em off, they found a lump o'
quicksilver in both on 'em."--"Sho!"--"Fact; it had shrunk clean down
through him with the cold." This rapid power of dramatizing a dry fact,
of putting it into flesh and blood, and the instantaneous conception of
Joe as a human thermometer, seem to us more like the poetical faculty
than anything else. It is, at any rate, humor, and not mere quickness
of wit,--the deeper, and not the shallower quality. Humor tends always
to overplus of expression; wit is mathematically precise. Captain Basil
Hall denied that our people had humor; but did he possess it himself?
for, if not, he would never find it. Did he always feel the point of
what was said to himself? We doubt, because we happen to know a chance
he once had given him in vain. The Captain was walking up and down the
_piazza_ of a country tavern while the couch changed horses. A
thunderstorm was going on, and, with that pleasant European air of
indirect self-compliment in condescending to American merit, which is
so conciliating, he said to a countryman lounging near, "Pretty heavy
thunder, you have here." The other, who had taken his measure at a
glance, drawled gravely, "Waal, we _du_, considerin' the number of
inhabitants."]

Even persons not otherwise interested in the study of provincialisms
will find Mr. Bartlett's book an entertaining one. The passages he
quotes in illustration are sometimes strangely comic. Here is one: "To
SAVE. To make sure, i.e., to kill game, or an enemy, whether man or
beast. _To get_ conveys the same meaning.... The notorious Judge W----
of Texas ... once said in a speech at a barbecue, (after his political
opponent had been apologizing for taking a man's life in a duel,)--

"'The gentleman need not make such a fuss about _getting_ such a
rascal; everybody knows that I have shot three, and two of them I
_saved_.'"

We have but one fault to find with Mr. Bartlett's Dictionary, and that
it shares with all other provincial glossaries. No accents are given.
No stranger could tell, for example, whether _hacmatack_ should be
pronounced hac'matack, hacma'tack, or hacmatack'. The value of Mr.
Wright's otherwise excellent dictionary is very much impaired by this
neglect. Ignorance of the pronunciation enhances tenfold the difficulty
of tracing analogies or detecting corruptions. The title of Mr.
Coleridge's volume (the second on our list) is enough to give scholars
a notion of its worth. It is the first instalment of the proposed
comprehensive English Dictionary of the Philological Society, a work
which, when finished, will be beyond measure precious to all students
of their mother-tongue. At the end of the volume will be found the Plan
of the Society, with minute directions for all those who wish to give
their help. Cooperation on this side the water will be gladly welcomed.

Of Dean Trench's two volumes, one is new, and the other a revised
edition. No one has done more than he to popularize the study of words,
which is only another name for the study of thought. His new book has
the same agreeable qualities which marked its forerunners, maintaining
an easy conversational level of scholarly gossip and reflection, the
middle ground between learning and information for the million. Without
great philological attainments, and without any pretence of such, he
gives the results of much good reading.

Mr. Craik's book is a compact and handy manual.

The SLANG Dictionaries are both as ill-done as possible, and the author
of the smaller one deserves to be put under the pump for taking the
name of the illustrious Ducange, one of those megatheria of erudition
and industry that we should look on as an extinct species, but for such
men as the brothers Grimm. The larger book has the merit of including a
bibliography of the subject, for which the author deserves our thanks,
though in other respects showing no least qualification for the task he
has undertaken. We trust there are not many "London Antiquaries" so
ignorant as he. One curious fact we glean from his volume, namely, the
currency among the London populace of certain Italian words, chiefly
for the smaller pieces of money. What a strident invasion of
organ-grinders does this seem to indicate! The author gives them thus:
"Oney saltec, a penny; Dooe saltee, twopence; Tray saltee, threepence,"
etc., and adds, "These numerals, as will be seen, are of mongrel
origin,--the French, perhaps, predominating."! He must be the gentleman
who, during the Exhibition of 1851, wrote on his door, "No French
spoken here." _Dooe saltee_ and _tray saltee_ differ little but in
spelling from their Italian originals, _due soldi_ and _tre soldi_. On
another page we find _molto cattivo_ transmogrified into "_multee
kertever_, very had." Very bad, indeed! For one more good thing beside
the Bibliography, we are indebted to the "London Antiquary." In his
Introduction he has reprinted the earliest list of _cant_ words in the
language, that made by Thomas Harman in Elizabeth's time. We wish we
could only feel sure of the accuracy of the reprint. In this list we
find already the adjective _rum_ meaning _good, fine_,--a word that has
crept into general use among the lower classes in London, without ever
gaining promotion. The fate of new words in this respect is curious.
Often, if they are convenient, or have knack of lodging easily in the
memory, they work slowly upward. The Scotch word _flunky_ is a case in
point. Our first knowledge of it in print is from Fergusson's Poems.
Burns advertised it more widely, and Carlyle seems fairly to have
transplanted it into the English of the day. As we believe its origin
is still obscure, we venture on a guess at it. French allies brought
some words into Scotland that have rooted themselves, like the
Edinburgh _gardyloo_. _Flunky_ is defined in Fergusson's glossary as "a
better kind of servant." This is an exact definition of the Scotch
_hench-man_, the most probable original of which is _haunch-man_ or
body-guard. Turn haunch-man into French and you get _flanquier_;
corrupt it back into Scotch and you have _flunky_. Whatever liberties
we take with French words, the Gauls have their revenge when they take
possession of an English one. We once saw an Avis of the police in
Paris, regulating _les chiens et les boule dogues_, dogs and bull-dogs.

Vocabularies of vulgarisms are of interest for the archaisms both of
language and pronunciation which we find in them. The dictionaries say
_coverlet_, as if the word were a diminutive; the rustic persists in
the termination _lid_, which points to the French _lit_, bed. On the
other hand, he still says _hankercher_, having been taught so by his
betters, though they have taken up the final _f_ again. Sewel, in the
Introduction to his Dutch Dictionary, 1691, gives _henketsjer_, and
Voltaire, forty years later, _hankercher_, as the received
pronunciation. Sewel tells us also that the significant _l_ was still
sounded in _would_ and _should_, as it still is by the peasantry in
many parts of England.

Mr. Swinton's book, the last on our list, is an entertaining one, and
gives proof of thought, though sometimes smothered in fine writing. It
is written altogether too loosely for a work on philology, one of the
exactest of sciences. But we have a graver fault to find with Mr.
Swinton, and that is for his neglect to give credit where he is
indebted. He seems even desirous to conceal his obligations. The
general acknowledgment of his Preface is by no means enough, where the
debt is so large. The great merit of Dr. Richardson's Dictionary being
the number of illustrative passages he has brought together, it is
hardly fair in Mr. Swinton so often to make a show of learning with
what he has got at second hand from the lexicographer. Dr. Trench could
also make large reclamations, and several others. There is beside an
unpleasant assumption of superiority in the book. An author who says
that _paganus_ means village, who makes _ocula_ the plural of _oculus_,
and who supposes that _in petto_ means _in little_, is not qualified to
settle Dr. Webster's claims as a philologer, much less to treat him
with contempt. The first two blunders we have cited may be slips of the
pen or the press, but this cannot be true of the many wrong etymologies
into which Mr. Swinton has fallen. We hope that in another edition he
will correct these faults, for he shows a power to appreciate ideas
which is worth more than mere scholarship, vastly more than the
reputation of it among the unscholarly.

_A History and Description of New England, General and Local._ By A. J.
COOLIDGE and J. B. MANSFIELD. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings. In
Two Volumes. Vol. I. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Boston: Austin
J. Coolidge, 1859. pp. xxv., 1023.

This is a book of great labor, being nothing less in plan than a
condensed town-history of New England. In spite of all efforts to the
contrary, one is forced to admit that there is very little poetry in
American history. It is a record of advances in material prosperity,
and scarce anything more. The only lumps of pure ore are the _Idea_
which the Pilgrims were possessed with and its gradual incarnation in
events and institutions. Beyond this all is barren. There is a fearful
destitution of the picturesque elements. It is true that our local
historians commonly avoid all romance as if it were of the Enemy; but
if we compare their labors with "The Beauties of England and Wales,"
for example, the work certainly of uninspired men, we shall be
convinced that the American Dryasdust suffers from poverty of material.
There is no need to remind us of Hawthorne; but he is such a genius as
is rare everywhere, and could conjure poetry out of a country
meeting-house.

In books of this kind we see evidence of what is called the
"enterprise" of our people on every page,--one almost hears the hum of
the factory-wheels, as he reads,--but that is all. It is not to be
wondered at that foreigners fail to find our country interesting, and
that the only good book of American travels is that of De Tocqueville,
who deals chiefly with abstract ideas. It is possible to conceive minds
so constituted that they may reach before long the end of their
interest in the number of shoes, yards of cotton, and the like, which
we produce in a year. The only immortal Greek shoemaker is he who had
the good luck to be snubbed by Apelles, and Penelope is the only
manufacturer in antiquity whose name has come down to us.

One thing in the narrative part of this volume is striking,--the
continual recurrence of massacre by the French and Indians. This is
something to be borne in mind always by those who would understand the
politics of our New England ancestors. We confess that we were
surprised, the other day, to see a journal so able and generally so
philosophical as the London "Saturday Review" joining in the outcry
about the treatment of the Acadians. If our forefathers were ever wise
and foreseeing, if they ever showed a capacity for large political
views, it is proved by their early perception that the first question
to be settled on this continent was, whether its destiny should be
shaped by English or Keltic, by Romish or Protestant ideas. By what
means they attempted to realize their thought is quite another
question. Great events are not settled by sentimentalists, nor history
written in milk-and-water. Uninteresting in many ways the Puritans
doubtless were, but not in the least _spoony_.

The volume before us contains a vast amount of matter and fulfils
honestly what it promises. It tells all that is to be told in the way
of fact and statistics. The first settlers, the clergymen, the
enterprising citizens, the men of mark,--all their names and dates are
to be found here. Of the literary execution of the book we cannot speak
highly. The style is of the worst. If a meeting-house is spoken of, it
is a "church edifice"; if the Indians set a house on fire, they "apply
the torch"; if a man takes to drink, he is seduced by "the intoxicating
cup"; even mountains are "located." On page 68, we read that "the
pent-up rage that had long heaved the savage bosom, and which had only
been _smouldering under the pacific policy of Shurt_, now knew no
bounds, and burst forth like the fiery torrent of the volcano"; on the
same page, "the impending doom which, like a storm-cloud in the
heavens, had overhung with its sable drapery the settlements along the
coast, _and Pemaquid in particular._" Of a certain tavern we are told
that the daughters of the landlord were "genteel, sprightly,
intelligent young ladies, ambitious of display and of setting a rich
and elegant table." This is no doubt true, but surely History should
sift her tacts with a coarser sieve.

In spite of these faults, the book is one which all New Englanders will
find interesting, and we hope that in their second volume the authors
will balance their commendable profusion of industry with a
corresponding economy of fine writing.

_An Oration, delivered before the Municipal Authorities of the City of
Boston, July_ 4, 1850. By GEORGE SUMNER, etc, etc, Boston. 1859. pp.
125.

The opposition in the Common Council to the order (usual on such
occasions in Boston) to print the oration of Mr. Sumner, and the series
of assaults it has encountered front the administration press, have
given it a considerable, though secondary, importance. Intrinsically a
performance of great merit, those on whom the weight of his arguments
and learning fell disclosed their sense of its power by the anger of
their debate and their efforts to repel it.

Its value, as containing a fresh and instructive contribution to the
knowledge of our Revolutionary history, derived from original sources
of inquiry, explored by Mr. Sumner in person, would alone have rescued
from neglect any ordinary Fourth-of-July oration.

The services and aids of Spain, material and moral, pecuniary and
diplomatic, to the American Revolutionary cause,--the introduction,
through the fortunes of Captain John Lee of Marblehead, of the American
question into the policy and polities of Spain,--the effect of the
arrival of our National Declaration of the 4th of July, 1776, on the
fate of that gallant New England cruiser, then detained as a pirate,
for his heroic exploits under our infant and unknown flag,--the
incidents of vast and varied labor and accomplishment in our behalf,
connected with the name and administration of the eminent Spanish
minister and statesman, Florida Blanca,--the weaving and spreading out
of that network of influences and circumstances, in the toils of which
France and Spain entangled Great Britain, until she found herself
confronted by much of the physical and all the moral power of the
Continent, and from which all extrication was made hopeless, until the
American Colonies should be free,--the origin of "the armed
neutrality," and the shock it gave to the naval power of England, in
the very crisis of the hopes of American liberty,--are presented in a
narrative, clear, condensed, and original.

From the aspect of peace and freedom in which our country so happily
reposes, going on prospering and increasing, "by confidence in
democratic principles, by faith in the people, and by the spirit of
mutual forbearance and charity," the orator turns to that Europe to
which our fathers there looked for succor, now "echoing to the clang of
arms, and hostile legions arrayed for combat."

A tribute to Italy, for the gifts, poured out from her treasures of
art, science, medical skill, and political knowledge, of literature and
philosophy, to all the uses and adornments of human life, introduces a
reference to the Italian Republics of the Middle Ages, which are shown
to have been based on these great principles:--That all authority over
the people emanates from the people,--should return to them at stated
intervals,--and that its holders should be accountable to the people
for its use. "To those Republics," it is added, "we also owe the
practical demonstration of the great truth, that no state can long
prosper or exist where intelligent labor is not held in honor, and that
labor cannot be honorable where it is not free."

Mr. Sumner's defence of democratic republican ideas,--of the fitness of
the European peoples for self-government,--his repulse of those
unbelieving theorists who would consign the French and the Italians to
the eternal doom of oppression,--are manly, powerful, and unanswerable.
His hearty love of genuine democratic principles, as taught by the old
republican school of statesmen and philosophers, and his zealous pride
of country, which always made him one of the most intensely American,
in thought, word, and deed, of all the Americans who have ever
sojourned in the Old World, shine forth from every page of the Oration.
And in the honest ardor of his defence of the natural and political
rights of man, as they were taught by Turgot, by Montesquieu, by
Jefferson, not content with declamation or rhetoric, he ploughs deep
into the reasoning by which they were demonstrated or defended, and
ranges wide over the fields of learning by which they were illustrated.
Careful for nothing but for the truth itself, he refutes the errors of
a French writer who had charged practical ingratitude on the part of
America towards de Beaumarchais, the agent of the first benefactions of
France to these Colonies, and arraigns and exposes the historical
mistakes of Lord Brougham and of President Fillmore, unfavorable to
Republican France and to Continental liberty.

The crimes of Austria are shown to have been made possible by the moral
support Austria has received from the government of England. The fruits
of the reverses suffered by Hungary, and by other nationalities
struggling for independence and popular liberty, are exhibited in the
sacrifices since endured by England in the war in the Crimea, and in
the embarrassments of the present hour.

Among our own duties and responsibilities to the great and world-wide
cause of liberty,--discussed thus far in its relations to Europe,--Mr.
Sumner proceeds to present the grand duty we owe, not less to ourselves
than to Europe, of giving to the struggling nations an example of
government true to the memories of our National Anniversary, and to the
fundamental ideas of civil freedom "implied in an independent, but
rigidly responsible judiciary, and a complete separation of the
legislative and judicial functions."

From Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Marshall, and Story,--to say nothing
of English and French jurists,--Mr. Sumner brings authority to define
and illustrate the true place of the judicial office in the political
system of a free government. And here, fidelity to those principles of
liberty he had explained and defended, fidelity to the "good old cause"
itself, at home and in the grand forum of the nations, demanded and
received the frank avowal, that "a recent scene in the Supreme Court of
the United States has shown that Jefferson was no false prophet, and
has furnished at the same time a serious warning to all who prefer a
government based upon law to either despotism or anarchy."

The clear and sharp, merciless and logical veracity with which he
discriminates between the solemn judgment of a tribunal and a stump
speech from the bench,--the startling narration of decisions and
statutes, practice and precedent, condensed into a few of the closing
pages of the Oration, with which the discussion read by Chief Justice
Taney in the famous case of Dred Scott is confronted and exposed,--are
among the greater merits of this elaborate and able discourse. It must
have required of one not in the arena of political strife, who for a
large part of his manhood has occupied himself abroad in the studies of
an intelligent scholar and a patriotic American, somewhat of
self-denial, to throw away the certainty of almost universal cheers for
his performance, by incurring the displeasure of some of his audience
and many of his countrymen.

It was not, however, in the interest of any opinion of African slavery
that the case of Scott was here referred to. It was in the interest of
republican liberty everywhere, endangered by all departures in the
model republic of the world from fundamental principles of good
government, and all the more perilled in proportion to the station,
quality, and character of the active offender.

And Mr. Sumner was right. The truth of history, the law of this land,
and of all lands where there is any law which marks a boundary
between legal right and despotic usurpation, unite to denounce,
and will forever condemn, the judicial magistrate whose great name is
tarnished and whose "great office" is degraded by this political
_pronunciamento_, uttered from the loftiest judicial place in America.

Stripped of verbiage and technicalities, the case is within the
humblest comprehension. The chief justice and a majority of his
associates held that Dred Scott, who sued his master for his freedom in
the Federal court, had been already legally declared to be the slave of
that same master by the highest court of the State of Missouri, in
which State Scott resided at the time. They held that this decision of
the Missouri court was binding on all other tribunals; and that the
Federal court had no authority to reverse it, even if wrong.

The _merits_ of the cause then before the court were thus conclusively
disposed of, whether the decision be regarded as bearing on the main
issue between the parties, or on the plea in abatement filed by the
defendant, avowing that Scott was not a _citizen_ of Missouri,--an
averment, if true, fatal to his standing in the Federal court,--since
its jurisdiction of the cause depended on the citizenship of the
litigants. In a word, if he was a _slave_, he was no _citizen_, If he
was the slave of Sanford, his doom was fixed, his dream of rights
dissolved. If the decision of the Missouri court was finally binding,
the functions of the Federal tribunal were at an end.

What, then, was the pertinency of going on to argue the effect of the
Ordinance of 1787 over Scott while a resident in Illinois, or of the
Missouri Compromise on him during his residence in Wisconsin, or the
effect of his color, race, or ancestral disabilities upon a cause
controlled finally and beyond appeal by the authority of a decision
already made and recorded?

Mr. Buchanan made hot haste to use this _pronunciamento_ of his chief
justice, issued only a few hours after his inauguration as President,
and withheld until after the election of 1856 had taken place. He
proclaimed--on its authority as a judicial exposition of a point of
constitutional law--the existence of slavery in the Territory of
Kansas. And he endeavored to make it efficient and powerful by
practical application in the administration of the government of the
Territory, and by interpolating these bastard dogmas, dropped from the
Federal bench, into the creed of the political party of which he was
the official chief.

These _dicta_ of Mr. Chief Justice Taney made Dred Scott neither more
nor less a _slave_, neither more nor less a _citizen_, than he had been
without their utterance. But they aided the purpose of subjugating
Kansas, of opening all American territory to slavery, of Africanizing
the continent by reopening the slave-trade, of breaking down barriers
which State legislation has interposed against the introduction of
slaves, and of putting the propagandists of slavery in full possession
of every power.

We gladly record our sense of the skill, learning, and intrepidity with
which Mr. Sumner fulfilled his task of presenting, defining, and
defending, within the brief limits of a single oration, the cause of
Liberty,--Liberty,--American, European, universal.


      *       *       *       *       *

_Out of the Depths._ The Story of a Woman's Life. London: Macmillan &
Co. 8vo. pp. 381.

The author of this book is like an awkward angler, who fails to take a
trout himself, and spoils the water for the more skilful man who may
follow him. Its object is the illustration of that subject which has
been called "the greatest of our social evils," and which, in its
present aspect, is certainly one of the saddest that the statesman or
the moralist is called upon to contemplate, and yet one the duration of
which seems to be inevitably coexistent with every form of civilized
society yet known to the world. The author has sought his end by means
of a fictitious autobiography. This was of course. No unusual faculty
in the selection of methods was necessary to the choice; for only in
the autobiographical form could the inner life of a courtesan be so
revealed as to present a truthful and living picture of her soul's
experience. A fine novel of this kind would be a great book, and one
productive of much good; not, indeed, directly to the wretched class
that would furnish studies for it, but to society at large, and so
indirectly to the class in question, by providing a subject of this
kind which could be studied and talked about. Dumas _fils_' "Dame aux
Camelias" is a great melodramatic story; but it is so exceptional in
its incidents and episodical in its character, that its heroine is
quite worthless as a specimen for examination and analysis; and it is,
beside, so very French as to be almost valueless in this regard, for
that reason alone. What it would be well to have written is the story
of an abandoned woman, told simply and without any reserve, except that
of decency, and purely from a woman's point of view. But, except by a
woman, and at the cost of the experience to be recounted, this is
manifestly possible only to genius. The author of "Out of the Depths"
has not attained the _desideratum_; but has yet approached so near it,
that we fear the right man, or, possibly, woman, may be deterred from
the attempt to do better. If so, there is a good subject--good for the
making of a grand psychological, physiological, and dramatic
study--lost.

The subject of this professed autobiography, Mary Smith, is the
daughter of a gardener on a large English estate. Her family is much
noticed and favored by the ladies of the mansion, and she, who is
handsome and intellectual, soon acquires tastes and an education above
her position; and as she is vain and selfish and of a voluptuous
temperament, the consequence seems inevitable. Her first fault,
however, is committed with her betrothed husband, a young gentleman,
destined for the Church, by whose sudden death, at a time when his life
was more than ever essential to her happiness, she is left an outcast,
a creature to be spurned from the door of those upon whose tender care
Nature and themselves had given her unextinguishable claims. She finds
shelter and kind treatment with two girls who belong, though not
ostensibly, to the class into which she is about to fall, and soon she
appears as the mistress of a foolish young nobleman, for whom she has
not the least affection. At last he wearies of and parts with her, and
she finds a second companion and protector in an eminent barrister, who
takes pleasure in cultivating her literary tastes. Her unfaithfulness
to him results in a separation, and she passes into the hands of a
third keeper, who abandons her on occasion of his approaching marriage.
Infuriated at his desertion, she intrudes upon him at a social party at
his private chambers, and behaves so outrageously that she is handed
over to the police, and her name appears in public as that of an
infamous and disorderly woman. From this point she rapidly descends to
the lowest rank of her unfortunate class. On her way, a strong hand is
put out to save her. It is that of a gigantic young clergyman, who
allows her to think that she has decoyed him to her room, but who
really goes there to endeavor to turn her from her course of life. She
scorns his exhortations, and attempts to browbeat him; but she finds
him ready for a row upon the spot. He offers to fight her crowd of
bullies singlehanded, and when she locks the door upon him, twists the
lock off, hasp and all, with a turn of his wrist. Although they
part,--he none the worse, she none the better, for the interview,--it
is not without fruits; for he leaves her his address, and when, after
being reduced to the lowest depths of degradation and brought to the
last endurable pinch of suffering, she determines, at the death-bed of
a repentant companion, to reform at any cost, and does set her face
upward, and is beaten back and trodden under foot by the righteously
uncharitable of her own sex, she thinks of her big clergyman, seeks him
out, and by his instrumentality is taken into the country, and made the
mistress of a school in his parish. Here the friends of her youth find
her, forgive her, and cherish her; and she receives a proposal of
marriage from an estimable and wealthy farmer, who persists in his
suit, even after she has told him of her former life, and after the
small-pox, caught on a ministration of mercy, has harrowed all the
beauty from her face. But rapid consumption supervenes, and relieves
the author from the embarrassing position into which he had brought
himself.

This is all the story that Mary Smith has to tell; and it will be seen,
that, so far as the incidents are concerned, it is commonplace enough.
It is not distinguished by one novel incident, or one fresh character,
except, perhaps, the muscular divine. Even in the grouping and
narration of its old incidents it exhibits no dramatic power, and
little skill of characterization in the portraiture of its personages.
And not only does a matter-of-fact air pervade the narrative, but the
tale is told with such reticence of fact as well as of feeling, that it
reveals but little of the real life of a London courtesan, and leaves
the reader almost as ignorant as he was when he took up the book of
what it is that makes the horror of such existence; all of which might
have been imparted without any violation of the decorum proper to such
a book, and which, therefore, should not have been withheld. The book,
too, is much too goody-goody. There is too much preaching throughout
it, and in certain parts a suddenness in the kneeling down to pray that
is quite startling. This stupid sort of goodness helps much to defeat
the purpose of the work. Even the strong minister, although his is not
the old-fashioned way, seems to have more beef on his bones than brains
in his head, or he would not answer to a desperate exclamation of Mary
Smith,--"Don't say that. God only knows what is best for us all; even
you, and all like you, may begin to live for the good of society,
without being its bane." This is very true,--as true as Justice
Shallow's original observation, that "we must all die." But the idea of
attempting to impress a degraded woman of the town by telling her that
she, and all like her, might be brought to live _for the good of
society!_

But in spite of these faults, the book has one great merit, which is
not too common; it seems to be the truthful story of a real life. This
impression is partly the result of a peculiarity of style which is very
difficult to express otherwise than by saying that the use of language
seems to indicate that the writer is of the condition of life in which
Mary Smith professes to have been born, and has acquired a knowledge of
language and literature in the manner in which she relates that she
acquired hers. There is no vulgarity, but a certain air of constrained
propriety, and an absence of any elegance, or grace, or indications of
a slow and unconsciously acquired acquaintance with the phraseology of
cultivated society. If this be really assumed, the author has exhibited
a delicate refinement in the art of writing not surpassed in any work
of imagination known to us. Another ground for the seeming actuality of
the story, to those who have any knowledge of the class to which its
heroine belongs, is the cause to which she attributes her fall. This
was not seduction; for she confesses, what hardly one in a thousand of
her sisters in shame will fail to confess, if they speak the truth,
that she was not seduced;--and neither was it poverty; for her father
was well-to-do, and she the petted attendant, almost the friend, of a
young lady of wealth and station;--but it was her vanity and her
unrestrained passion. She is represented, in the first place, as
regarding a good match, a rich husband, as the great object of life;
and to such a woman chastity is not a sentiment, but a dictate of
prudence; just as to a man whose great purpose is the getting of money,
honesty is but the best policy. After she has met the man who brings
her fate with him, (it might as well have been any other of his class,)
she writes,--"The one great pleasing and wretched hope of my mind was
that I should see him again; for it is so pleasant to believe that any
man in a higher station should take an interest in me." And again she
speaks of "exultation at the prospect which opened before me of being
raised out of the station in life from which I sprang by birth"; and
again, of her "desire of being a lady." This vanity it is, this desire
to dress and live like the women above them, and have intercourse with
the men above them, which leads the greater number of our fallen women
to their ruin, or, rather, sends them to it with their eyes open; and
for the rest, when Mary Smith, living in her own fine house, the petted
mistress of the wealthy Mr. Plowden, was unfaithful to him, it was not
for love of fine clothes or fine society. It is not long since our
whole country was shocked by the dire results of a similar abandonment
to vanity and wantonness, about which the usual amount of commonplace
and cant was uttered. It is time that the very truth was told about
this matter, in sad earnestness and singleness of purpose. We hoped to
find the whole truth in "Out of the Depths"; but, finding only a part
of it, we can greet it only with a partial welcome.

_Reply to the "Statement of the Trustees" of the Dudley Observatory._
By BENJAMIN APTHORP GOULD, JR. Albany: Printed by Charles Van
Benthuysen. 1859. 8vo. pp. 366.

The question between Dr. Gould and the Trustees of the Albany
Observatory was not one of merely private or passing interest. It
concerned not only all men of science, but all men of honor. It
concerned all who like pluck, and who, in a quarrel, instinctively take
sides with one against many. It was of interest to men of science,
because the question was between show and reality, between newspaper
notoriety and the quiet advancement of real and enduring knowledge. It
concerned men of honor, because it was of some consequence to know
whether public sentiment in America would justify, nay, tolerate even,
the printing of confidential letters, and not only the printing, but
the garbling of them to suit the ends of personal spite. It concerned
lovers of fair-play, because it was to be settled whether it is right
to accuse a man of peculation whom you wish to convict of disagreeable
manners.

Dr. Gould's pamphlet is a thorough vindication of himself. It is so not
only as to graver charges, but incidentally, by its perfect quietness
of tone, it answers the accusation of bad temper. The hitting is none
the less severe that it is done with scientific precision, and the
astronomer shows his ability to make his antagonists "see stars" in a
less comfortable way than through a telescope. There is a grim humor,
too, as well as dignity, in the Cool way in which Dr. Gould
recapitulates all the charges made against him,--especially where he
condenses them in the Index. Better pamphlet-fighting has not been seen
since Bentley. The hardship of the matter is, that people are commonly
more ready to believe slander than to trouble themselves with reading a
refutation of it. It gave us particular satisfaction to see that the
American Association for the Advancement of Science had shown its sense
of the merits of the quarrel by electing Dr. Gould vice-president of
their body.



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