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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics" ***

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VOL. V.--MARCH, 1860.--NO. XXIX.


The American character is now generally acknowledged to be the most
cosmopolitan of modern times; and a native of this country, all things
being equal, is likely to form a less prescriptive idea of other nations
than the inhabitants of countries whose neighborhood and history unite
to bequeathe and perpetuate certain fixed notions. Before the frequent
intercourse now existing between Europe and the United States, we
derived our impressions of the French people, as well as of Italian
skies, from English literature. The probability was that our earliest
association with the Gallic race partook largely of the ridiculous.
All the extravagant anecdotes of morbid self-love, miserly epicurism,
strained courtesy, and frivolous absurdity current used to boast a
Frenchman as their hero. It was so in novels, plays, and after-dinner
stories. Our first personal acquaintance often confirmed this prejudice;
for the chance was that the one specimen of the Grand Nation familiar to
our childhood proved a poor _émigré_ who gained a precarious livelihood
as a dancing-master, cook, teacher, or barber, who was profuse of
smiles, shrugs, bows, and compliments, prided himself on _la belle
France_, played the fiddle, and took snuff. A more dignified view
succeeded, when we read "Télémaque," so long an initiatory text-book
in the study of the language, blended as its crystal style was in our
imaginations with the pure and noble character of Fénelon. Perhaps the
next link in the chain of our estimate was supplied by the bust of
Voltaire, whose withered, sneering physiognomy embodies the wit and
indifference, the soulless vagabondage that forms the worst side of
the national mind. As patriotic sentiment awakened, the disinterested
enthusiasm of Lafayette, woven, as it is, into the record of the
struggle which gave birth to our republic, yielded another and more
attractive element to the fancy portrait. Then, as our reading expanded,
came the tragic chronicle of the first French Revolution and the
brilliant and dazzling melodrama of Napoleon, the traditions so pathetic
and sublime of gifted women, the _tableaux_ so exciting to a youthful
temper of military glory. And thus, by degrees, we found ourselves
bewildered by the most vivid contrasts and apparently irreconcilable
traits, until the original idea of a Frenchman expanded to the widest
range of associations, from the ingenious devices of a mysterious
_cuisine_ to the brilliant manoeuvres of the battle-field; infinite
female tact, rare philosophic hardihood, inimitable _bon-mots_,
exquisite millinery, consummate generalship, holy fortitude, refined
profligacy, and intoxicating sentiment,--Ude, Napoleon, Madame Récamier,
Pascal, Ninon de I'Enclos, and Rousseau. Casual associations and
desultory reading thus predispose us to recognize something half comical
and half enchanting in French life; and it depends on accident, when we
first visit Paris, which view is confirmed. The society of one of those
benign _savans_ who attract the sympathy and win the admiration of
young students may yield a delightful and noble association to our
future reminiscences; or an unmodified experience of cynical hearts
joined to scenical manners may leave us nothing to regret, upon our
departure, save the material advantages there enjoyed. But whoever knows
life in Paris, unrelieved by some consistent and individual purpose,
will find it a succession of excitements, temporary, yet varied,--full
of the agreeable, yet barren of consecutive interest and satisfactory
results,--admirable as a recreative hygiene, deplorable as a permanent
resource; their inevitable consequence being a faith in the external, a
dependence on the immediate, and a habit of vagrant pleasure-seeking,
which must at last cloy and harden the manly soul. For this very reason,
however, the scenes, characters, and society there exhibited are
prolific of suggestion to the philosophic mind.

In every phase of life, manners, and action, we see a characteristic
excellence in detail and process, and an equally remarkable deficiency
in grand practical idea and consistent moral sentiment. The French
chemists have the art to extract quinine from Peruvian bark and conserve
the juices of meats; but one of their most patriotic writers calls
attention to the wholly diverse motives addressed by Napoleon and Nelson
to their respective followers. "Soldiers," exclaimed the former, "from
the summit of those Pyramids forty ages are looking down upon you."
"England," said the latter, "expects every man to do his duty." In
Paris, the science of dissection is perfect; in London, that of
nutrition;--Dumas has reduced plagiarism to a fine art; Cobbett made
common-sense a social lever;--a British merchant or statesman attaches
his name to a document in characters of such individuality that the
signature is known at a glance; a French official invents a flourish
so intricate that the forger's ingenuity is baffled in the attempt to
imitate it;--government, on one side of the Channel, employs a taster to
detect adulteration in wine whose sensitive palate is a fortune; on
the other, the hereditary fame of a brewery is the guaranty of the
excellence of ale.

This minute observance of detail has made the French leaders in fashion;
it directs invention to the minutiæ of dress, and confirms the sway of
the conventional, so as to give la mode the force of social law to an
extent unknown elsewhere. The tyranny and caprice of fashion were as
characteristic in Montaigne's day as at present. "I find fault with
their especial indiscretion," he says, "in suffering themselves to be so
imposed upon and blinded by the authority of the present custom as
every month to alter their opinion." "In this country," writes Yorick,
"nothing must be spared for the back; and if you dine on an onion, and
lie in a garret seven stories high, you must not betray it in your

The superiority of the French in the minor philosophy of life was
curiously exemplified during our Revolutionary War. The octogenarians of
Rhode Island used to expatiate on the remarkable difference between the
troops of France and those of England when quartered among them. The
former speedily made a series of little arrangements, and fell naturally
into a pleasant routine, making the best of everything, adapting
themselves to the ways and prejudices of the inhabitants, and, in a
word, becoming assimilated at once to a new mode of life and form of
society; their wit, cheerfulness, and gallantry are yet proverbial
in that region. The English, on the other hand, even when in full
possession of the country, made but an awkward use of their privileges,
were ill-at-ease, failed to recognize anything genial in the habits and
manners even of the Tory families. While the French officers introduced
the mysteries of their _cuisine_, and brightened many a rustic
household with song, anecdote, dance, and conversation, the English
complained of the simple viands, regretted London fogs and beer,
and made themselves and their hosts, whether forced or voluntary,
uncomfortable. They exhibited no tact or facility in improving the
resources at hand, and relied only on brute force to win advantage. We
beheld the same contrast recently in the Crimea; while exposure and
impatience thinned the ranks of the brave islanders, their Gallic
allies constructed roads, dug where they could not build a shelter, and
ingeniously prepared various dishes from a meagre larder, fighting off,
meantime, chagrin and _ennui_ with as much alacrity as they did

_Finesse_ characterizes servants not less than courtiers, the
cab-driver as well as the notary, the composition of a dish as well as
the drift of a comedy. This quality seems a result of the conflict of
intelligences in a state of great, material civilization; nowhere is it
more observable than in Paris life. What bullyism is to the English,
shrewdness to the Yankee, and intrigue to the Italian, is _finesse_,
which is a union of insight and address, to the French. This normal
attribute is another proof how the economy of Gallic life is reduced to
an art. It is the expression in manners of Rochefoucauld's maxims,
of Richelieu's policy, of Talleyrand's cunning. It is favored by the
tendency to minuteness of excellence and love of system before noted.
To understand what superior range is afforded to such a principle in
France, it is only requisite to consult the memoirs of a celebrated
woman, or even an old Guide or Picture of Paris, such as in former days
the provincial gentlemen used to study over their breakfast, in order
to learn the _savoir vivre_ of the metropolis. Itineraries of other
cities merely describe streets, public institutions, the fairs,
the courts, and the places of fashionable amusement; one of these
curiosities of literature now before us, published less than a century
ago, describes, as available resources to the stranger, _Gouvernantes,
Émeutes, Rêves Politiques, L'Art de Diner, Bureaux d'Esprit_,
--corresponding to our modern blue-stocking coteries, _femmes de
quarante ans_, with their "_deux ressources, la dévotion et le bel
esprit"; Contre Poisons_,--indispensable in those days of jealousy
and assassination; _Pots de Fleurs_ form an item of the most limited
establishment; emblems, such as _Rubans_ and _Bonnets Rouges_, are
described as essential to the intelligent conduct of the visitor; and a
chapter is devoted to Gallantry, of which a modern author in the same
department pensively remarks, "_Cette ancienne galanterie qui vivait
d'esprit et d'infidélités est comptlètement dénaturée_."

It is curious how municipal, economical, and social life are thus
simultaneously daguerreotyped and indicate their mutual and intricate
association in the French capital. Its history involves that of
churches, congresses, academies, prisons, cemeteries, and police, each
of which represents domestic and royal vicissitudes. What other city
furnishes such a work as the Duchess D'Abrantes' "Histoire des Salons
de Paris"? The _salons_ of Madame Necker, Polignac, De Beaumont, De
Mazarin, Roland, De Genlis, of Condorcet, of Malmaison, of Talleyrand,
and of the Hôtel Rambouillet, etc., embrace the career of statesmen
and soldiers, the literary celebrities, the schools of philosophy,
the revolutions, the court, the wars, diplomacy, and, in a word, the
veritable annals of France. Society, according to this lively writer, in
the proper acceptation of the term, was born in France in the reign of
the Cardinal de Richelieu; and thenceforth, in its history, we trace
that of the nation.

Throughout the most salient eras of this history, therefore, is visible
female influence. Cousin has just revived the career of Madame de
Longueville, which is identified with the cabals, financial expedients,
and war of the Fronde; tournaments, which formed so striking a feature
in the diversions of Louis XIV.'s court, owed their revival to the whim
of one of his mistresses; Montespan fostered a brood of satirists,
and Maintenon one of devotees, while that extraordinary religious
controversy which initiated the sect of the Quietists had its origin in
the example and agency of Madame Guyon. Even now, although, as a late
writer has quaintly observed, "no lady brings her distaff to the
council-chamber," the influence of the sex on political opinion, in
its operation as a social principle, is recognized. A friend of mine,
returning from a dinner-party, described the free and witty sarcasm with
which a fair Legitimist assailed the Imperial rule; a week afterwards,
meeting her at the same table, she related, that, a few days after her
imprudent conversation, she received a courteous invitation from the
chief of police. "When they were seated alone in his bureau,--Madame,"
said he, "you have position, conversational talent, and wield the pen
effectively; are you disposed to exert this influence, henceforth, in
behalf of, instead of against the government?" Before her indignant
negative was fairly uttered, he opened a drawer that seemed full of
Napoleons, and glanced at them and her significantly. Thus Montesquieu's
observation continues true:--"The individual who would attempt to judge
of the government by the men at the head of affairs, and not by the
women who sway those men, would fall into the same error as he who
judges of a machine by its outward-action, and not by its secret
springs"; and the old base system of espionage is revived under the new

It has become proverbial in France, that the life of woman has three
eras,--in youth a coquette, in middle-life a wit, and in age a
_dévote_,--which is but another mode of expressing that economy of
personal gifts, that shrewd use of the most available social power,
which distinguishes the Gallic from the Saxon woman, the worldly from
the domestic instincts. There only can we imagine a royal favorite
admitting her indebtedness to a royal wife. "To her," wrote Madame de
Maintenon of the Queen of Louis; "I owe the King's affection. Picture
a sovereign worn out with state affairs, intrigues, and ceremonies,
possessed of a _confidante_ always the same, always calm, always
rational, equally able to instruct and to soothe, with the intelligence
of a confessor and the winning gentleness of a woman." It is peculiar
to the sex there to escape outward soil, whatever may be their moral
exposure; for one instinctively recognizes a Frenchwoman by her clean
boots, even in the muddiest thoroughfare, her spotless muslin cap,
kerchief, and collar. She retains also her individuality after marriage
better than the fair of other nations, not only in character, but in
name, the maiden appellative being joined to her husband's, so that,
although a Madame, she keeps the world informed that she was _née_ of a
family whose title, however modest, she will not drop. The maxims, so
prevalent in France, which declare matrimony the tomb of love, are
the legitimate result of a superficial theory of life and the mutual
independence of the sexes thence arising; accordingly we are assured,
"C'est surtout entre mari et femme que l'amour a le moins de chance de
succès. Ils vieillirent ensemble comme deux portraits de famille, sans
aucune intimité, aucun profit pour l'esprit, et arrivés au dernier
relais de leur existence, le souvenir n'avait rien à faire entre eux."

It is a curious illustration at once of the mobility and the isolation
of the French mind, that, while it assimilates elements within its
sphere which in other nations are kept comparatively apart, it rejects
the process in regard to foreign material. Thus, in no other capital are
politics and literature so interwoven with society; the love-affairs of
a minister directly influence his policy; the tone of the _salon_
often inspires and moulds the author; the social history of an epoch
necessarily includes the genius of its statesmanship and of its letters,
because they are identified with the intrigues, _the bon-mots_, and the
conversation of the period; more is to be learned at a lady's morning
reception or evening _soirée_ than in the writer's library or the
official's cabinet. On the other hand, how few threads from abroad can
be found in this mingled web of civic, literary, and social life! The
vicinity of England and the influx of Englishmen have scarcely brought
the ideas or the sentiment of that country into nearer recognition at
Paris than was the case a century ago. Notwithstanding an occasional
outbreak of Anglomania, the best French authors spell English proper
names no better, the best French critics appreciate Shakspeare as
little, and the majority of Parisians have no less partial and fixed a
notion of the characteristics of their insular neighbors, than before
the days of journalism and steam. The attempts to represent English
manners and character are as gross caricatures now as in the time of
Montaigne. However apt at fusion within, the national egotism is
as repugnant to assimilation from without as ever. The stock seems
incapable of vital grafting, as has been remarkably evidenced in all the
colonial experiments of France.

The excellence of the French character, intellectually speaking,
consists in routine and detail. How well their authors describe and
their artists depict peculiarities! how exact the evolutions of a French
regiment, and the statements of a French naturalist! how apt is a
Parisian woman in raising gracefully her skirts, throwing on a shawl, or
carrying a basket! In loyalty to a method they are unrivalled, in the
triumph of individualities weak; their artisans can make a glove fit
perfectly, but have yet to learn how to cut out a coat; their authors,
like their soldiers, can be marshalled in groups; means are superior
to ends; manners, the exponent of Nature in other lands, there color,
modify, and characterize the development of intellect; the subordinate
principle in government, in science, and in life, becomes paramount;
drawing, the elemental language of Art, is mastered, while the standard
of expression remains inadequate; the laws of disease are profoundly
studied, while this knowledge bears no proportionate relation to the
practical art of healing; the ancient rules of dramatic literature are
pedantically followed, while the "pity and terror" they were made to
illustrate are unawakened; the programme of republican government is
lucidly announced, its watchwords adopted, its philosophy expounded,
while its spirit and realization continue in abeyance: and thus
everywhere we find a singular disproportion between formula and fact,
profession and practice, specific knowledge and its application. The
citizen of the world finds no armory like that which the institutions,
the taste, and the genius of the French nation afford him, whether he
aspire to be a courtier or a chemist, a soldier or a _savant_, a dancer
or a doctor; and yet, for complete equipment, he must temper each weapon
he there acquires, or it will break in his hand.

In every epoch a word rules or illustrates the dominant spirit:
_citoyen_ in the Revolution, _moustache_ during the Consulate,
_victoire_ under the Empire, to-day _la Bourse_. "To a Frenchman," says
Mrs. Jameson, "the words that express things seem the things themselves,
and he pronounces the words _amour, grâce, sensibilité_, etc., with a
relish in his mouth as if he tasted them, as if he possessed them. They
talk of "_le sentiment du métier_"; in travelling, Paris is the eternal
theme. A sagacious observer has remarked in their language the "short,
aphoristic phrase, the frequent absence of the copulative, avoidance of
dependent phrases, and disdain of modifying adverbs. _Naiveté, abandon,
ennui_, etc., are specific terms of the language, and designate national
traits. When Beaumarchais ridiculed a provincial expression, the
Dauphiness, we are told, composed a head-dress expressly to give it a
local habitation and a name."

The mania for equality, in the first Revolution, De Tocqueville shows
was not so much the result of political aspiration as the fierce protest
against those exclusive rights once enjoyed by the nobility, (shown by
Arthur Young to have been the primary impulse to revolution,) to hunt,
keep pigeons, grind corn, press grapes, etc. For a long period, the man
of letters was never combined with the statesman, as in England. In
France, speculation in government ran wild, because the thinkers,
suddenly raised to influence in affairs, had enjoyed no ordeal of public
duty. Hence certain imaginary fruits of liberty were sought, and its
absolute worth misunderstood. And now that experience, dearly bought,
has modified visionary and moulded practical theories, how much of the
normal interest of the French character has evaporated! Even the love
of beauty and the love of glory, proverbially its distinctions, are
eclipsed by the sullen orb of Imperialism; the Bourse is more attractive
than the battle-field, material luxury than artistic distinction.

One of their own philosophers has summed up, with justice, the anomalous
elements of the versatile national character:--

"Did there ever appear on the earth another nation so fertile in
contrasts, so extreme in its acts,--more under the dominion of
feeling, less ruled by principle; always better or worse than was
anticipated,--now below the level of humanity, now far above; a people
so unchangeable in its leading features that it may be recognized by
portraits drawn two or three thousand years ago, and yet so fickle in
its daily opinions and tastes that it becomes at last a mystery to
itself, and is as much astonished as strangers at the sight of what it
has done; naturally fond of home and routine, yet, when once driven
forth and forced to adopt new customs, ready to carry principles to
any lengths and to dare anything; indocile by disposition, but better
pleased with the arbitrary and even violent rule of a sovereign than
with a free and regular government under its chief citizens; now fixed
in hostility to subjection of any kind, now so passionately wedded to
servitude that nations made to serve cannot vie with it; led by a thread
so long as no word of resistance is spoken, wholly ungovernable when the
standard of revolt is raised,--thus always deceiving its masters,
who fear it too much or too little; never so free that it cannot be
subjugated, never so kept down that it cannot break the yoke; qualified
for every pursuit, but excelling in nothing but war; more prone to
worship chance, force, success, _éclat_, noise, than real glory; endowed
with more heroism than virtue, more genius than common sense; better
adapted for the conception of grand designs than the accomplishment of
great enterprises; the most brilliant and the most dangerous nation
of Europe, and the one that is surest to inspire admiration, hatred,
terror, or pity, but never indifference?"[1]

What other social sphere could afford room for the vocation so aptly
described in the following sketch of his "ways and means," given in a
recent picture of life in Paris by a sycophant of millionnaires, at
a period when interests, not rights, are the watchwords of the
nation?--"Mon rôle de familier dans une véritable population d'enrichis
me donnait du crédit dans les boudoirs, et mon crédit dans les boudoirs
ajoutait à ma faveur près ces pauvres diables de millionaires, presque
tous vieux et blasés, courant toujours en chancelant après un plaisir
nouveau. Les marchands de vin me font la cour comme les jolies femmes,
pour que je daigne leur indiqner des connaisseurs assez riches pour
payer les bonnes choses le prix qu'elles valent. Mon métier est de tout
savoir,--l'anecdote de la cour, le scandale de la ville, le secret des
coulisses." And this species of adventurer, we are told, has always the
same commencement to his memoirs,--"_Il vint à Paris en sabots._"

[Footnote 1: De Tocqueville.]

The numerous avocations of women in the French capital explain, in a
measure, their superior tact, efficiency, and force of character. This
is especially true of females of the middle class, who have been justly
described as remarkable for good sense and appropriate costumes. The
participation of women in so many departments of art and industry
affects, also, the social tone and the manners. Sterne, long ago,
remarked it of the fair shopkeepers. "The genius of a people," he says,
"where nothing but the monarchy is _Salique_, having ceded this
department totally to the women, by a continual higgling with customers
of all ranks and sizes, from morning to night, like so many rough
pebbles in a bag, by amicable collisions, they have worn down their
asperities and sharp angles, and not only become round and smooth, but
will receive, some of them, a polish like a brilliant."

How distinctly may be read the political vicissitudes of France in her
literature,--classic, highly finished, keen, and formal, when a monarch
was idolized and authors wrote only for courts and scholars: Bossuet,
with his rhetorical graces; La Bruyère, with his gallery of characters,
not one of which was moulded among the people; De la Rochefoucauld's
maxims, drawn from the arcana of fashionable life; Racine, whose heroes
die with an immaculate couplet and speak the faint echoes of Grecian or
Roman sentiment! When politics became common property, and the walls of
a prescriptive and conventional system fell, how wild ran speculation
and sentiment in the copious and superficial Voltaire and the vague
humanities of Rousseau! When an era of military despotism supervened
upon the reign of license, how destitute of lettered genius seemed the
nation, except when the pensive enthusiasm of Chateaubriand breathed
music from American wilds or a London garret, and Madame de Staël gave
utterance to her eloquent philosophy in exile at Geneva! "_Napoléon eût
voulu faire manoeuvrer l'esprit humain comme il faisait manoeuvrer ses
vieux bataillons_." Yet more emphatic is the reaction of political
conditions upon literary development after the Restoration. The tragic
horrors and protracted fever of the Revolution, and the passion for
military glory exaggerated by the victories of Napoleon, legitimately
initiated the intense school, which during the present century has
signalized French literature. The _prestige_ of the scholar revived, and
literary eclipsed warlike fame; but with the revival of letters came
the revolutionary spirit before exhibited on the battle-field and
in cabinets. For the artificial and elegant was substituted the
melodramatic and effective; lyrics from the overwrought heart broke in
dreamy sweetness from Lamartine and in simple energy from Béranger;
fiction the most elaborate, incongruous, and exciting, here quaintly
artistic, there morbidly scientific, revealed the chaos and the
earthquakes that laid bare and upheaved life and society in the
preceding epochs; the journal became an intellectual gymnasium and
Olympic game, where the first minds of the nation sought exercise and
glory; the _feuilleton_ almost necessitated the novelist to concentrate
upon each chapter the amount of interest once diffused through a volume;
criticism, from tedious analysis, became a brilliant ordeal; egotism
inspired a world of new confessions, political questions a new school
of popular writing, the love of effect and the passion for excitement a
multitude of dramatic, narrative, and biographical books, wherein the
serenity of thought, the tranquil beauty of truth, and the healthful
tone of nature were sacrificed, not without dazzling genius, to
immediate fame, pecuniary reward, and the delight _d'éprouver une
sensation_. Even in the history of the fine arts, we find the political
element guiding the pencil and ruling the fortunes of genius. David was
the government painter, and regarded Gros and Girodet as _suspects_.
He effected a revolution in Art by going back to severe anatomical
principles in design. There were conspiracies against him in the
studios, and war was declared between color and design; the palette
and the pencil were in conflict; David, the Napoleon of the
former,--Prud'hon, Géricault, Delacroix, and others, leaders in the
latter faction. Each party was surrounded by its respective corps of
amateurs; and military terms were in vogue in the _atelier_ and academy.
"_S'il est permis_" says Delacroix, speaking of his Sardanapalus,
"de comparer les petites choses aux grandes, ce fut mon Waterloo. Je
devenais l'abomination de la peinture; il fallait me refuser l'eau et
le sel." "If you wish to share the favors of the government," said an
official to another artist, "you must change your manner." From the
tyranny of external influences have arisen the incongruities of the
French schools of painting, and especially what has been well called
"that meretricious breed which continue to depict the Magdalen with
the united attractions of Palestine and the Palais Royal." The large
pictures which Gros painted during the Empire were consigned to
long obscurity at the Restoration. The lives, too, of many of these
cultivators of the arts of peace had a tragic close. Haydon's fate made
a deep impression in England, because it was an exceptional case; while,
of the modern painters of France, whose career was far more harmonious
and successful than his, Gros drowned himself, Robert cut his throat,
Prud'hon died in misery, and Greuze was buried in Potter's Field. The
side of life we naturally associate with tranquillity thus offers, in
this dramatic realm, scenes of excitement and pity. It is the same in
literature. Witness the fierce struggle between the Romantic and Classic
schools,--the early victories of the _enfant sublime_, Victor Hugo.
And we must acknowledge that "_les lettres et les arts ont aussi leurs
émeutes et leurs révolutions_," and accept the inference of one of the
_Parisian literati_,--that "_l'esprit a toujours quelque chose de
satanique_." Every revolution is identified with some musical air: when
Louis XVIII. first appeared at the theatre, after his long exile, he was
greeted with the "Vive Henri IV.," and the new constitution of 1830 was
ushered in by the "Marseillaise." The Vaudeville theatre, we are told,
during the Revolution and under the Empire, was essentially political.
An imaginary resemblance between _la chaste Suzanne_ and Marie
Antoinette caused the prohibition of that drama; and the interest which
Cambacères took in an actress of this establishment led him to give it
his official protection.

In the family of nations France is the child of illusions, and excites
the sympathy of the magnanimous because her destinies have been marred
through the errors of the imagination rather than of the heart.
Government, religion, and society--the three great elements of civil
life--have nowhere been so modified by the dominion of fancy over fact.
Take the history of French republicanism, of Quietism, of court and
literary circles; what perspicuity in the expression, and vagueness
in the realization of ideas! In each a mania to fascinate, in none a
thorough basis of truth; abundance of talent, but no faith; gayety,
gallantry, wit, devotion, dreams, and epigrams in perfection, without
the solid foundation of principles and the efficient development in
practice, either of polity, a social system, or religious belief,--the
theory and the sentiment of each being at the same time luxuriant,
attractive, and prolific.

The popular writers are eloquent in abstractions, but each seems
inspired by a thorough egotism. Descartes, their philosopher, drew all
his inferences from consciousness; Madame de Sévigné, the epistolary
queen, had for her central motive of all speculation and gossip the love
of her daughter; Madame Guyon eliminated her tenets from the ecstasy of
self-love; Rochefoucauld derived a set of philosophical maxims from the
lessons of mere worldly disappointment; Calvin sought to reform society
through the stern bigotry of a private creed; La Bruyère elaborated
generic characters from the acute, but narrow observation of artificial
society; Boileau established a classical standard of criticism suggested
by personal taste, which ignored the progress of the human mind.

The redeeming grace of the nation is to be found in its wholesome sense
of the enjoyable and the available in ordinary life, in its freedom
from the discontent which elsewhere is born of avarice and unmitigated
materialism. The love of pleasing, the influence of women, and a
frivolous temper everywhere and on all occasions signalize them. "Why,
people laugh at everything here!" naively exclaimed the young Duchess of
Burgundy, on her arrival at the French court.

The amount of commodities taken by French people on a journey, and the
cool self-satisfaction with which they are appropriated as occasion
demands, give a stranger the most vivid idea of sensual egotism. The
_pâté_, the long roll of bread, the sour wine, the lap-dog, the snuff,
and the night-cap, which transform the car or carriage into a refectory
and boudoir, with the chatter, snoring, and shifting of legs, make an
interior scene for the novice, especially on a night-jaunt, compared to
which the humblest of Dutch pictures are refined and elegant.

The intrinsic diversity and the national relations between the French
and English are curiously illustrated by their respective history and
literature. Compare, for instance, the plays of Shakspeare, which
dramatize the long wars of the early kings, with the account given in
the journals of the reception of Victoria at Paris and of Louis Napoleon
in London; imagine the royal salutation and the official recognition of
the once anathematized Napoleon dynasty; General Bonaparte becomes in
his tomb Napoleon I. No wonder "Punch" affirmed that the statue of Pitt
shook its bronze head and the bones of Castlereagh stirred in protest.

"The English," says a celebrated writer, "like ancient medals, kept more
apart, preserve the first sharpness which the fair hand of Nature has
given them; they are not so pleasant to feel, but, in return, the legend
is so visible, that, at the first look, you can see whose image and
superscription they bear." This is a delicate way of setting forth
the superior honesty and bluntness and the inferior smoothness and
assimilating instinct of the Anglo-Saxon,--a vital difference, which
no alliance or intercourse with his Gallic neighbors can essentially

A century ago there were few better tests of popular sentiment in
England than the plays in vogue. As indications of the state of the
public mind, they were what the ballads are to earlier times, and the
daily press is to our own,--generalized casual, but emphatic proofs of
the opinions, prejudices, and fancies of the hour. Now a large English
colony is domesticated in France; it is but a few hours' trip from
London to Paris; newspapers and the telegraph in both capitals make
almost simultaneous announcements of news; the soldiers of the two
nations fight side by side; the French shopman declares on his sign that
English is spoken within; the "Times," porter, and tea are obtainable
commodities in Paris; and _fraternité_ is the watchword at Dover and
Calais. Yet the normal idea which obtains in the conservative brain of a
genuine _Anglais_, though doubtless expanded and modified by intercourse
and treaties, may be found still in that once popular drama, Foote's
"Englishman in Paris." "A Frenchman," says one of the characters, "is a
fop. Their taste is trifling, and their politeness pride. What the deuse
brings you to Paris, then? Where's the use? It gives Englishmen a true
relish for their own domestic happiness, a proper veneration for their
national liberties, and an honor for the extended generous commerce of
their country. The men there are all puppies, the women painted dolls."
Monsieur Ragout and Monsieur Rosbif bandy words; the former is said to
"look as if he had not had a piece of beef or pudding in his paunch for
twenty years, and had lived wholly on frogs,"--and the latter pines to
leap a five-barred gate, and is afraid of being entrapped by "a rich
she-Papist." His fair countrywoman is invited by a French marquis to
marry him, with this programme,--"A perpetual residence in this paradise
of pleasures; to be the object of universal adoration; to say what you
please,--go where you will,--do what you like,--form fashions,--hate
your husband, and let him see it,--indulge your gallant,--run in debt,
and oblige the poor devil to pay it."

As a pendant, take the description of one of the last French novels:--"À
Paris tout s'oublie, tout se pardonne. Par convenance, par décence,
quelquefois par crainte, on s'absente, ou fait un entr'acte: puis le
rideau se rèleve pour le spectacle de nouvelles fautes et de nouvelles
folies; toute la question est de savoir s'y prendre."

Comedy is native to French genius and appreciation; it follows the
changes of social life with marvellous celerity; it is the best school
of the French language; and is refined and subdivided, as an art, both
in degree and kind, in France more than in any other country. The
prolific authors in this department, and the variety and richness of
invention they display, as well as the permanent attraction of the Comic
Muse, are striking peculiarities of the French theatre. No capital
affords the material and the audience requisite for such triumphs like
Paris; and there is always a play of this kind in vogue there, wherein
novelty of combination, significance of dialogue, and artistic
felicities quite unrivalled elsewhere, are exhibited.

It is quite the reverse with the serious drama. In England this is a
form of literature which goes nearest to the normal facts and conditions
of human nature; it teaches the highest and deepest lessons, wins the
most profound sympathy, and is remarkable and interesting through its
subtile and comprehensive truth to Nature: whereas in France the masters
of tragic art are but skilful reproducers of the classical drama. French
tragedy is essentially artificial, grafted on the conventionalities of
a distant age. It gives scope either to mere elocutionary art or
melodramatic invention,--not to the universal and existing passions.
There is but a slender opportunity to identify our sympathies--those of
modern civilization--with what is going on. Figures in Roman togas
or Grecian mantles rehearse the sentiments of fatalism, the creed of
ancient mythology, or Gallic rhetoric in a classic dress; and these
disguises so envelope the love, ambition, despair, hate, or patriotism,
that we are always conscious of the theatrical, and it requires the
extraordinary gifts of a Rachel to enlist other than artistic interest.

The French have manuals for breathing and composing the features
to secure artistic effects; they offer academic prizes for every
conceivable achievement; their very lamp-posts are designed with taste;
a huckster in the street will exhibit dramatic tact and wonderful
mechanical dexterity. "Quand il paraît un homme de génie en France,"
says Madame de Staël, "dans quelque carrière que ce soit, il atteint
presque toujours à un degré de perfection sans exemple; car il réunit
l'audace qui fait sortir de la route commune au tact du bon goût." And
yet in vast political interests they are victims,--in the more earnest
developments of the soul, children. A new artificial lake in the Bois de
Boulogne, a grand military reception, news of a victory in some distant
corner of the globe, the distribution of eagles to brave survivors,--in
a word, an appeal to the love of amusement, of display, and of
glory,--quiets the murmur about to rise against interference with human
rights or usurpation of the national will. Political interests of the
gravest character are treated with flippancy: one writer calls the
formation of a new government Talleyrand's table of whist; and another
casually observes that "_tous les gouvernements nouveaux ont leur lune
de miel_."

That great principle of the division of labor, which the English carry
into mechanical and commercial affairs, the French also apply to the
economy of life and to Art; but, as these latter interests are more
spontaneous and unlimited, the result is often a perfection in detail,
and a like deficiency in general effect. Thus, there are schools of
painting in France more distinct and apart than exist elsewhere; usually
the followers of such are distinguished for excellence in the mechanical
aptitudes of their vocation; the figure is admirably drawn, the costume
rightly disposed, and sometimes the degree of finish quite marvellous;
but, usually, this superiority is attained at the expense of the
sentiment of the picture. French historic Art, like French life, is
apt to be extravagant and melodramatic, or over-refined in unimportant
particulars; it often lacks moral harmony,--the grand, simple, true
reflection of Nature in its nicety. Delaroche, who, of all French
painters, rose most above the adventitious, and gave himself to the soul
of Art, to pure expression, was, for this very reason, thought by his
brother artists to be cold and unattractive. There is one sphere,
however, where this exclusiveness of style and partition of labor are
productive of the most felicitous results: namely, the minor drama. In
England and America the same theatre exhibits opera, melodrama, tragedy,
comedy, rope-dancing, and legerdemain; but in Paris, each branch and
element of histrionic art has its separate temple, its special corps of
actors and authors, nay, its particular class of subjects; hence their
unrivalled perfection. Ingenuity, science, and Art are concentrated by
thus assigning free and individual scope to the dramatic niceties and
phases of life, of history, of genius, and of society. At the Opera
Comique you find one kind of musical creation; at the Italiens the
lyrical drama of Southern Europe alone; at the Variétés a unique order
of comic dialogue; and at the Porte St. Martin yet another species of
play. One theatre gives back the identical tone of existing society and
current events; another deals with the classical ideas of the past.
Satire and song, the horrible and the brilliant, the graceful and the
highly artistic, pictorial, elocutionary, pantomimic, tragic, vocal,
statuesque, the past and present, all the elements of Art and of life,
find representation in the plot, the language, the sentiment, the
costume, the music, and the scenery of the many Parisian theatres.

Yet how much of this superiority is fugitive! how little in the whole
dramatic development takes permanent hold upon popular sympathy! Much
of its significance is purely local, and of its interest altogether
temporary. Scholars and the higher classes can talk eloquently of
Corneille and Racine; the beaux and _spirituelle_ women of the day can
repeat and enjoy the last hit of Scribe, or the new _bon-mot_ of
the theatre: but contrast these results with the national love and
appreciation of Shakspeare,--with the permanent reflection of Spanish
life in Lope de Vega,--the patriotic aspirations which the young Italian
broods over in the tragedies of Alfieri. The grace of movement, the
triumph of tact and ingenuity, the devotion to conventionalism, either
pedantry or the genius of the hour, also rules the drama in Paris. With
all its brilliancy, entertainment, grace, wit, and popularity,--there
exists not a permanently vital and universally recognized type of this
greatest department of literature, familiar and endeared alike to
peasant and peer, a representative of humanity for all time,--like the
bard around whose name and words cluster the Anglo-Saxon hearts and
intelligence from generation to generation.

But nowhere do life and the drama so trench upon each other; nowhere is
every incident of experience so dramatic. Miss H.M. Williams told the
poet Rogers that she had seen "men and women, waiting for admission at
the door of the theatre, suddenly leave their station, on the passing of
a set of wretches going to be guillotined, and then, having ascertained
that none of their relations or friends were among them, very
unconcernedly return to the door of the theatre." A child is born at the
Opera Comique during the performance, and it is instantly made an event
of sympathy and effect by the audience; a subscription is raised, the
child named for the dramatic heroine of the moment, and the fortunate
mother sent home in a carriage, amid the plaudits of the crowd. You are
listening to a play; and a copy of the "Entr'acte" is thrust into your
hand, containing a minute account of the death of a statesman two
squares off whose name fills pages of history, or a battle in the East,
where some officer whom you met two months before on the Boulevard has
won immortal fame by prodigies of valor. So do the actualities and the
pastimes, the real and the imaginary drama, miraculously interfuse at
Paris; the comedy of life is patent there, and often the spectator
exclaims, "_Arlequin avait bien arrangé les choses, mais Colombine
dérange tout!_"

The Parisian females are "unexceptionably shod,"--but the agricultural
instruments now in use in the rural districts of France are of a form
and mechanism which, to a Yankee farmer, would seem antediluvian; the
cooks, gardeners, and other working-people, have annually the most
graceful festivals,--but the traveller sees in the fields women so
bronzed and wrinkled by toil and exposure that their sex is hardly to be
recognized. When the Gothamite passes along Pearl or Broad Street,
he beholds the daily spectacle of unemployed carmen reading
newspapers;--there may be said to be no such thing as popular literature
in France; mental recreation, such as the German and Scotch peasantry
enjoy, is unknown there. The Art and letters of the kingdom flourished
in her court and were cultivated as an aristocratic element for so long
a period, that neither has become domesticated among the lower classes;
we find in them the sentiment of military glory, of religion in its
superstitious phase, of music perhaps, of rustic festivity,--but not the
enjoyments which spring from or are associated with thought and poetic
sympathies such as national writers like Burns inspired. An exception
comparatively recent may be found in the popular appreciation of
Béranger and Souvestre.

There is not a natural object too beautiful or an occasion too solemn
to arrest the French tendency to the theatrical. Even one of their most
ardent eulogists remarks,--"All that can be said against the French
sublime is this,--that the grandeur is more in the word than in the
thing; the French expression professes more than it performs"; and old
Montaigne declares that "lying is not a vice among the French, _but a
way of speaking_." Both observations admit too much; and indicate an
habitual departure from Nature and simplicity as a national trait.
Who but Frenchmen ever delighted in reducing to artificial shapes the
graceful forms of vegetable life, or can so far lay aside the sentiment
of grief as to engage in rhetorical panegyrics over the fresh graves
of departed friends? Compare the high dead wall with its range of
flower-pots, the porches undecked by woodbines or jessamine, the formal
paths, the proximate kitchen, stables, and ungarnished _salon_ of
a French villa, with the hedges, meadows, woodlands, and trellised
eglantine of an English country-house; and a glance assures us that
to the former nation the country is a _dernier ressort_, and not an
endeared seclusion. Yet they romance, in their way, on rural subjects:
"_À la campagne_," says one of their poets, "_où chaque feuille qui
tombe est une élégie toute faite_." Through an avenue of scraggy poplars
we approach a dilapidated _château_, whose owner is playing dominoes
at the café of the nearest provincial town, or exhausting the sparse
revenues of the estate at the theatres, roulette-tables, or balls of
Paris. People leave these for a rural vicinage only to economize, to
hide chagrin, or to die. So recognized is this indifference to Nature
and inaptitude for rural life in France, that, when we desire to
express the opposite of natural tastes, we habitually use the word
"Frenchified." The idea which a Parisian has of a tree is that of a
convenient appendage to a lamp. The traveller never sees artificial
light reflected from green leaves, without thinking of his evening
promenades in the French capital, or a dance in the groves of
Montmorency. The old verbal tyranny of the French Academy, the
painted wreaths sold at cemetery-gates, the colored plates of fashions,
powdered hair, and rouged cheeks, typify and illustrate this irreverent
ambition to pervert Nature and create artificial effects; they are but
so many forms of the theatrical instinct, and proofs of the ascendency
of meretricious taste. It is this want of loyalty to Nature, and
insensibility to her unadulterated charms, which constitute the real
barrier between the Gallic mind and that of England and Italy, and
which explain the fervent protest of such men as Alfieri and Coleridge.
Simplicity and earnestness are the normal traits of efficient character,
whether developed in action or Art, in sentiment or reflection; and
manufactured verse, vegetation, and complexions indicate a faith in
appearances and a divorce from reality, which, in political interests,
tend to compromise, to theory, and to acquiescence in a military
_régime_ and an embellished absolutism.

It is this incompleteness, this comparative untruth, that gives rise to
the dissatisfaction we feel in the last analysis of French character.
It is delusive. The promise of beauty held out by external taste is
unfulfilled; the fascination of manner bears a vastly undue proportion
to the substantial kindness and trust which that immediate charm
suggests. "Just Heaven!" exclaims Yorick, "for what wise reasons hast
thou ordered it, that beggary and urbanity, which are at such variance
in other countries, should find a way to be at unity in this?" The
bearing of an Englishman seldom awakens expectation of courtesy
or entertainment; yet, if vouchsafed, how to be relied on is the
friendship! how generous the hospitality! The urbane salutation with
which a Frenchman greets the female passenger, as she enters a public
conveyance, is not followed by the offer of his seat or a slice of his
reeking _pâtè_,--while the roughest backwoodsman in America, who never
touched his hat or inclined his body to a stranger, will guard a
woman from insult, and incommode himself to promote her comfort, with
respectful alacrity. It is so in literature. How often we eagerly follow
the clear exposition of a subject in the pages of a French author, to
reach an impotent conclusion! or suffer our sympathies to be enlisted by
the admirable description of an interior or a character in one of their
novels, to find the plot which embodies them an absurd melodrama!
Evanescence is the law of Parisian felicities,--selfishness the
background of French politeness,--sociability flourishes in an inverse
ratio to attachment; we become skeptical almost in proportion as we are
attracted. If we ask the way, we are graciously directed; but if we
demand the least sacrifice, we must accept volubility for service. Thus
the perpetual flowering in manners, in philosophy, in politics, and in
economy, is rarely accompanied by fruit in either. To enjoy Paris, we
must cease to be in earnest;--to pass the time, and not to wrest from it
a blessing or a triumph, is the main object. The badges, the gardens,
the smiles, the agreeable phrase, the keen repartee, the tempting dish,
the ingenious _vaudeville_, the pretty foot, the elegant chair and
becoming curtain, the extravagant gesture, the pointed epigram or
alluring formula, must be taken as so many agreeabilities,--not for
things performed, but imaginatively promised. The folly of war has been
demonstrated to the entire sense of mankind; at best, it is now deemed
a painful necessity; yet the most serious phase of life in France is
military. Depth and refinement of feeling are lonely growths, and can no
more spring up in a gregarious and festal life than trees in quicksands;
citizenship is based on consistent acts, not on verbosity; and
brilliant accompaniments never reconcile strong hearts to the loss of
independence, which some English author has acutely declared the first
essential of a gentleman. The civilization of France is an artistic and
scientific materialism; the spiritual element is wanting. Paris is the
theatre of nations; we must regard it as a continuous spectacle, a
boundless museum, a place of diversion, of study,--not of faith, the
deepest want and most sacred birthright of humanity.

The want of directness, the absence of candor, the non-recognition of
truth in its broad and deep sense, is, indeed, a characteristic phase
of life, of expression, and of manners in France. A lover of his nation
confesses that even in "_galantes aventures l'esprit prenait la place
du coeur, la fantaisie celle du sentiment_." Voltaire's creed was, that
"_le mensonge n'est un vice que quand il fait du mal; c'est une grande
vertu quand il fait du bien_." "_L'exagération_" says De Maistre, "_est
le mensonge des honnêtes gens_."

In every aspect the histrionic prevails,--by facility of association and
colloquial aptitude in the common intercourse of life,--by the inventive
element in dress, furniture, and material arrangements, plastic to the
caprice of taste and ingenuity,--by the habitudes of out-of-door life,
giving greater variety and adaptation to manners,--and by a national
temperament, susceptible and demonstrative. The current vocabulary
suggests a perpetual recourse to the casual, a shifting of the
life-scene, a recognition of the temporary and accidental. Such
oft-recurring words as _flâneur_, _liaison_, _badinage_, etc., have no
exact synonymes in other tongues. All that is done, thought, and felt
takes a dramatic expression. Lamartine elaborates a "History of
the Restoration" from two reports,--the one monarchical, the other
republican,--and, by making the facts picturesque and sentimental, wins
countless readers. Comte elaborates a masterly analysis of the sciences,
proclaims a fascinating theory of eras or stages in human development;
but the positive philosophy, of which all this is but the introduction,
to be applied to the individual and society, eludes, at last, direct and
complete application. A popular _savant_ dies, and students drag the
hearse and scatter flowers over the grave; a philosopher lectures, and
immediately his disciples form a school, and advocate his system with
the ardor of partisans; a disappointed soldier commits suicide by
throwing himself from Napoleon's column, while a _grisette_ and her
lover make their exit through a last embrace and the fumes of charcoal;
a wit seeks revenge with a clever repartee instead of his fists or cane.
A lady is the centre of attraction at a reception, and, upon inquiry, we
are gravely informed that the charm lies in the fact, that, though now
fat and more than forty, as well as married to an old noble, in her
youth she was the mistress of a celebrated poet. Notoriety, even when
scandalous, is as good a social distinction as birth, fame, or beauty.
Rousseau wrote a love-story, and sentiment became the rage. An artisan
has a day to spare, and takes his family to a garden or a dance. Human
existence, thus embellished, impulsive, and caricatured, becomes
a continuous melodrama, with an occasional catastrophe induced by
political revolutions. Louis XIV., the most characteristic king France
ever had, is a genuine representative of this theatrical instinct and

Herein may we find a key to the riddle of governmental vicissitudes
in France. People so easily satisfied with illusions, so fertile in
superficial expedients, are like children and savages in their sense of
what is novel and amusing, and their love of excitement,--and make
no such demands upon reality as full-grown men and educated citizens
instinctively crave. Their powers, in this regard, have not been
disciplined,--their wants but vaguely realized. Accustomed to look out
of themselves for a law of action, to consult authority upon every
occasion, to defer to official sources for guidance in every detail of
municipal and personal affairs,--the lesson of self-dependence,
the courage and the knowledge needful for efficiency are wanting.
"_Savez-vous_," asks an epicure, "_ce qui a chassé la gaîté? C'est la
politique_." They rally at the voice of command, submit to interference,
and take for granted a prescribed formula, partly because it is
troublesome to think, and partly on account of inexperience in assuming
responsibility. De Tocqueville has remarked, that, in every instance
of attempted colonization, they have adapted themselves to, instead of
elevating savage tribes. They have never gone through the process of
state-education by the inevitable claim of personal duty, like the
Anglo-Saxons. Hence their need of a master, and the feeling of stability
realized among them only under legitimacy and despotism. Shallow
reasoners argue from the mere acknowledgment of this state of things
that it is an ultimate public blessing when the man appears with wit and
will enough to regulate and keep from chaos a society thus destitute of
political training. But those who look deeper know that this political
inefficiency is but the external manifestation or the latent cause of
more serious defects: by impeding healthful development in one way, it
occasions a morbid development in another. If citizenship in its most
free and active privilege were enjoyed, there would be less devotion to
amusement, a more virile national character, and the sanctities of
life would have observance. Public spirit and a political career are
incentives to manly ambition,--to an employment of mind and feeling
that wins men from trifling pursuits and vain diversion; they are the
national basis of private usefulness; to thwart them is to condemn
humanity to perpetual childhood,--to render members of a state machines.

The social evils and kinds of crime in France are referable in no
small degree to the absence of great motives,--the limited spheres and
hopeless routine involved in arbitrary government, unsustained by any
elevated sentiment. Such a rule makes literature servile, enterprise
mercenary, and manners profligate: all history proves this. It is not,
therefore, rational to infer, from the apparent want of ability in the
nation to take care of its own affairs, that a military despotism is
justifiable; when the truth is equally demonstrated, that such a sway,
by indefinitely postponing the chance to acquire the requisite training,
keeps down and throws back the national impulse and destiny. The man who
thus abuses power is none the less a traitor and a parricide.


"Mr. Geer!"

Mr. Geer was unquestionably asleep.

This certainly did not indicate a sufficiently warm appreciation of Mrs.
Geer's social charms; but the enormity of the offence will be greatly
modified by a brief review of the attending circumstances. If you will
but consider that the crackling of burning wood in a huge Franklin
stove is strongly soporific in its tendencies,--that the cushion of a
capacious arm-chair, constructed and adjusted as if with a single eye
to a delicious dose, nay, to a long succession of doses, is a powerful
temptation to a sleepy soul,--that the regular, and, it must be
confessed, somewhat monotonous _click, click, click_ of Mrs. Geer's
knitting-needles only served to measure, without disturbing the
silence,--and, lastly, that they had been husband and wife for thirty
years,--you will not cease to wonder that Mr. Geer

  "was glorious,
  O'er all the ills of life victorious."

To most men, an interruption at such a time would have been particularly
annoying; but when Mrs. Geer spoke in that way, Mr. Geer, asleep or
awake, always made a point of hearing; so he roused himself, and turned
his round, honest face and placid blue eyes on the partner of his bosom,
who went on,--

"Mr. Geer, our Ivy will be seventeen, come fall."

"Possible?" replied Mr. Geer. "Who'd 'a' thunk it?"

Mr. Geer, as you may infer, was eminently a free-thinker, or rather, a
free-actor, in respect of irregular verbs. In fact, he tyrannized over
all parts of speech: wrested nouns and verbs from their original shape,
till you could hardly recognize their distorted faces; and committed
that next worst sin to murdering one's mother, namely,--murdering one's
mother-tongue, with an _abandon_ that was absolutely fascinating. Having
delivered his opinion thus sententiously, he at once subsided, closed
his placid eyes, and retired into his inner world of--thought, perhaps.

"_Mr. Geer!_"

This time he fairly jumped from his seat, and cast about him scared,
blinking eyes.

"Mr. Geer, how can you sleep away your precious time so?"

"Sleep? I--I--am sure, I was never wider awake in my life."

"Well, then, tell me what I said."

"Said? Eh,--eh,--something about Ivy, wasn't it?"

And Mr. Geer nervously twitched up the skirts of his coat, and replaced
his awry cushion, and began to think that perhaps, after all, he had
been asleep. But Mrs. Geer was too much interested in the subject of her
own cogitations to pursue her victory farther; so she answered,--

"Yes, and what is a-going to become of her?"

"Lud, lud! What's the matter?" asked Mr. Geer, wildly.

"Matter? Why, she'll be seventeen, come fall, and doesn't know a thing."

"O Lud! that all? That a'n't nothin'."

And Mr. Geer settled comfortably down into his arm-chair once more.
He felt decidedly relieved. Visions of smallpox, cholera, and
throat-distemper, the worst evils that he could think of and dread for
his darling, had been conjured up by his wife's words; and when he found
the real state of the case, a great burden, which had suddenly fallen on
his heart, was as suddenly lifted.

"But I tell you it _is_ something," continued Mrs. Geer, energetically.
"Ivy is 'most a woman, and has never been ten miles from home in her
life, and to no school but our little district"----

"And she's as pairk a gal," interrupted Mr. Geer, "as any you'll find in
all the ten miles round, be the other who she will."

"She's well enough in her way," replied Mrs. Geer, in all the humility
of motherly pride; "and so much the more reason why she shouldn't be let
go so. There's Mr. Dingham sending his great logy girls to Miss Porter's
seminary. (I wonder if he expects they'll ever turn out anything.) And
here's our Ivy, bright as a button, and you full well able to maintain
her like a lady, and have done nothing but turn her out to grass all her
life, till she's fairly run wild. I declare it's a shame. She ought to
be sent to school to-morrow."

"Nonsense, Sally! nonsense! I a'n't a-goin' lo have no such doin's.
Sha'n't go off to school. What's the use havin' her, if she can't stay
at home with us? Let Mr. Dingham send his gals to Chiny, if he wants to.
All the book-larnin' in the world won't make 'em equal to our Ivy with
only her own head. I don't want her to go to gettin' up high-falutin'
notions. She's all gold now. She don't need no improvin'. Sha'n't budge
an inch. Sha'n't stir a step."

"But do consider, Mr. Geer, the child has got to leave us some time. We
can't have her always."

"Why can't we?" exclaimed Mr. Geer, almost fiercely.

"Sure enough! Why can't we? There a'n't nobody besides you and me, I
suppose, that thinks she's pairk. What's John Herricks and Dan Norris
hangin' round for all the time?"

"And they may hang round till the cows come home! Nary hair of Ivy's
head shall they touch,--nary one on em!"

Just at this juncture of affairs, the damsel in question bounded into
the room.

"Come here, Ivy," said the old man; "your mother's been a-slanderin'
you; says you don't know nothin'."

Ivy knelt before him, rested her arms on his knees, and turned upon him
a pair of palpably roguish eyes.

"Father, it _is_ an awful slander. I do know a sight."

"Lud, child, yes! I knew you did. No more you don't want to marry John
Herricks, do you?"

"Oh, Daddy Geer! O--h--h!"

"Nor Dan Norris? nor none of 'em?"

"Never a one, father."

"Nor don't you ever think of gettin' married and slavin' yourself out
for nobody. I'm plenty well able to take care of you, as long as I live.
You'll never live so happy as you do at home; and you'll break my heart
to go away, Ivy."

"I'll never go, papa." (She pronounced it with the accent on the first
syllable.) "Indeed, I never will. I'll never be married, as long as I

"No more you sha'n't, good child, good child!"

And again Farmer Geer betook himself to the depths of his arm-chair,
with the complacent consciousness of having faithfully discharged his
parental duties. "She should not go to school. She would not be married.
She had said she would not, and of course she would not."

"Of course I shall not," mused Ivy, as she lay in her white bed. "What
could put it into poor papa's head? Marry John Herricks, with his
everlasting smirk, and his diddling walk, and take care of all the
Herricks' sisters and mothers and aunts, and the Herricks' cows and
horses and pigs--and--hens--and--and"----

But Ivy had kept her thoughts on her marriage longer than ever before
in her life; and ere she had finished the inventory of John Herricks's
personal property and real estate, the blue eyes were closed in the
sweet, sound sleep of youth and health.

Mrs. Geer, in her estimate of her daughter's attainments, was partly
right and partly wrong. Ivy had never been "finished" at Mrs. Porter's
seminary, and was consequently in a highly unfinished condition. "Small
Latin and less Greek" jostled each other in her head. German and French,
Italian and Spanish, were strange tongues to Ivy. She could not dance,
nor play, nor draw, nor paint, nor work little dogs on footstools.

What, then, could she do?

_Imprimis_, she could climb a tree like a squirrel. _Secundo_, she could
walk across the great beam in the barn like a year-old kitten. In the
pursuit of hens' eggs she knew no obstacles; from scaffold to scaffold,
from haymow to haymow, she leaped defiant. She pulled out the hay from
under the very noses of the astonished cows, to see if, perchance, some
inexperienced pullet might there have deposited her golden treasure.
With all four-footed beasts she was on the best of terms. The matronly
and lazy old sheep she unceremoniously hustled aside, to administer
consolation and caresses to the timid, quaking lamb in the corner
behind. Without saddle or bridle she could

  "Ride a black horse
  To Banbury Cross."

(N.B.--I don't say she actually did. I only say she could; and under
sufficiently strong provocation, I have no doubt she would.) She knew
where the purple violets and the white innocence first flecked the
spring turf, and where the ground-sparrows hid their mottled eggs.
All the little waddling, downy goslings, the feeble chickens, and
faint-hearted, desponding turkeys, that broke the shell too soon, and
shivered miserably because the spring sun was not high enough in the
morning to warm them, she fed with pap, and cherished in cotton-wool,
and nursed and watched with eager, happy eyes. O blessed Ivy Geer! True
Sister of Charity! Thrice blessed stepmother of a brood whose name was

From the conjugal and filial conversation which I have faithfully
reported, a casual observer, particularly if young and inexperienced,
might infer that the question of Miss Ivy's education was definitively
settled, and that she was henceforth to remain under the paternal roof.
I should, myself, have fallen into the same error, had not a long and
intimate acquaintance with the female sex generated and cherished
a profound and mournful conviction of the truth of the maxim, that
appearances are deceitful. E.g., a woman has set her heart on something,
and is refused. She pouts and sulks: that is clouds, and will soon blow
over. She scolds, storms, and raves (I speak in a figure; I mean she
does something as much like that as a tender, delicate, angelic woman
can): that is thunder, and only clears the air. She betakes herself to
tears, sobs, and embroidered cambric: that's a shower, and everything
will be greener and fresher after it. You may go your ways,--one to his
farm, another to his merchandise; the world will not wind up its affairs
just yet. But, put the case, she goes on the even tenor of her way

  "Beware! beware!
  Trust her not; she is fooling thee."

Thus Mrs. Geer, who was a thorough tactician. Like Napoleon, she was
never more elated than after a defeat. Before consulting her husband
at all, she had contemplated the subject in all its bearings, and had
deliberately decided that Ivy was to go to school. The consent of the
senior partner of the firm was a secondary matter, which time
and judicious management would infallibly secure. Consequently,
notwithstanding the unpropitious result of their first colloquy, she the
next day commenced preparations for Ivy's departure, as unhesitatingly,
as calmly, as assiduously, as if the day of that departure had been

Mrs. Geer was right. She knew she was, all the time. She had a sublime
faith in herself. She felt in her soul the divine afflatus, and pressed
forward gloriously to her goal. Mr. Geer had as much firmness, not to
say obstinacy, as falls to the lot of most men; but Mrs. Geer had more;
and as Launce Outram, hard beset, so pathetically moaned, "A woman in
the very house has such deused opportunities!" so Farmer Geer grumbled,
and squirmed, and remonstrated, and--yielded.

Mrs. Geer was _not_ right. She had reckoned without her host. Her
affairs were gliding down the very Appian Way of prosperity in a
chariot-and-four, with footmen and outriders, when, presto! they turned
a sharp and unexpected corner, and over went the whole establishment
into a mirier mire than ever bespattered Dr. Slop.

To speak without a parable. When her expected Hegira was announced to
Miss Mary Ives Geer, that young lady, to the ill-concealed vexation of
her mother, and the not-attempted-to-be-concealed exultation of her
father, expressed decided disapprobation of the whole scheme. As she
was the chief _dramatis persona_, the very Hamlet of the play, this
unlooked-for decision somewhat interfered with Mrs. Geer's plans. All
the eloquence of that estimable woman was brought to bear on this one
point; but this one point was invincible. Expostulation and entreaty
were alike vain. Neither ambition nor pleasure could hold out any
allurements to Ivy. Maternal authority was at length hinted at, only
hinted at, and the spoiled child declared that she had not had her own
will and way for sixteen years to give up quietly in her seventeenth.
One last resort, one forlorn hope,--one expedient, which had never
failed to overcome her childish stubbornness: "Would she grieve her
parents so much as to oppose this their darling wish?" And Ivy burst
into tears, and begged to know if she should show her love to her father
and mother by going away from them. This drove the nail into her old
father's heart, and then the little vixen clenched it by throwing
herself into his arms, and sobbing, "Oh, papa! would you turn your Ivy
out of doors and break her heart?"

Flimsiest of fallacies! Shallowest of sophists! But she was the only and
beloved child of his old age; so the fallacy passed unchallenged; the
strong arms closed around the naughty girl; and the soothing voice
murmured, "There, there, Ivy! don't cry, child! Lud! lud! you sha'n't
be bothered; no more you sha'n't, lovey!" and the _status quo_ was

  "It is not in the sea nor in the strife
  We feel benumbed and wish to be no more,
  But in the after silence on the shore,
  When all is lost, except a little life,"

said one who had breasted the stormiest sea and plunged into the
fiercest strife. Ivy, who had never read Byron, and therefore could not
be suspected of any Byronical affectations, felt it, when, having gained
her point, she sat down alone in her own room. When her single self had
been pitted against superior numbers, age, experience, and parental
authority, all her heroism was roused, and she was adequate to the
emergency; but her end gained, the excitement gone, the sense of
disobedience alone remaining, and she was thoroughly uncomfortable, nay,

"Mamma is right; I know I am a little goose," sobbed she. (The words
were mental, intangible, unspoken; the sobs physical, palpable,
decided.) "I never did know anything, and I never shall,--and I don't
care if I don't. I don't see any good in knowing so much. We don't have
a great while to stay in the world any way, and I don't see why we can't
be let alone and have a good time while we are here, and when we get to
heaven we can take a fresh start. Oh, dear! I never shall go to heaven,
if I am so bad and vex mamma. But then papa didn't care. But then he
would have liked me to go to school. But there, I won't! I won't! I
_will not!_ I'll study at home. Oh, dear! I wish papa was a great man,
and knew everything, and could teach me. Well, he is just as happy, and
just as rich, and everybody likes him just as well, as if he knew the
whole world full; and why can't I do so, too? Rebecca Dingham, indeed!
Mercy! I hope I never shall be like her; I would rather not know my A
B C! What _shall_ I do? There's Mr. Brownslow might teach me; he knows
enough. But, dear me! he is as busy as he can be, all day long; and
Squire Merrill goes out of town every day; and there's Dr. Mix, to be
sure, but he smells so strong of paregoric, and I don't believe he knows
much, either; and there's nobody else in town that knows any more than
anybody else; and there's nothing for it but I must go to school, if I
am ever to know anything." (A renewal of sobs, uninterrupted for several
minutes.) "There's Mr. Clerron!" (A sudden cessation.) "I suppose he
knows more than the whole town tumbled into one; and writes books,
and--mercy! there's no end to his knowledge; and he's rich, and does
everything he likes, all day long. Oh, if I only _did_ know him! I would
ask him straight off to teach me. I should be scared to death. I've a
great mind to ask him, as it is. I can tell him who I am. He never will
know any other way, for he isn't acquainted with anybody. They say he is
as proud as Lucifer. If he were ten times prouder, I would rather ask
him than go to school. He might just as well do something as not. I am
sure, if God had made me him, and him me, I should be glad to help him.
I'll go straight to him the first thing to-morrow morning."

Once seeing a possible way out of her difficulties, her sorrow vanished.
Not quite so gayly as usual, it is true, did she sing about the
house that night; for she was summoning all her powers to prepare an
introductory speech to Felix Clerron, Esq., a gentleman and a scholar.
Her elocutionary attempts were not quite satisfactory to herself, but
she was not to be daunted; and when morning came, she took heart of
grace, slung her broadbrimmed hat over her arm, and began her march
"over the hills and far away," in search of her--fate.

"And did her mother really let her roam away, alone, on such an errand,
to a perfect stranger?"

Humanly speaking, nothing was more unlikely than that Mrs. Geer, a
prudent, modest, and sensible woman, should give her consent to such
an--to use the mildest term--unusual undertaking. Nor did she. The fact
is, her consent was not asked. She knew nothing whatever of the plan.

"Worse and worse! Did the wilful girl go off without leave? without even
informing her parents?"

I am sorry to say she did. In writing a story of real life, one
cannot take that liberty with facts which is quite proper, not to say
indispensable, in history, science, and belles-lettres generally. Duty
compels me to adhere closely to the truth; and for whatever of obloquy
may be heaped upon me, or upon my Ivy, I shall find consolation in the
words of the illustrious Harrison; or perhaps it was the illustrious
Taylor; I am not quite sure, however, that it was not the illustrious
Washington:--"Do right, and let the consequences take care of
themselves." I am therefore obliged to say, that Ivy's departure in
pursuit of knowledge was entirely unknown to her respected and beloved
parents. But you must remember that she was an only child, and a spoiled
child,--spoiled as only stern New England Puritan parents, somewhat
advanced in years, can spoil their children. I do not defend Ivy. On
the contrary, notwithstanding my regard for her, I hand her over to the
reprobation of an enlightened community; and I hereby entreat all young
persons into whose hands this memoir may fall to take warning by the
fate of poor Ivy, and never enter upon any important undertaking, until
they have, to say the least, consulted those who are their natural
guides, their warmest friends, and their most experienced counsellors.

While I have been writing this, Ivy Geer, light of heart, fleet of foot,
and firm of will, has passed over hill-side, through wood-path, and
across meadow-land, and drawn near the domains of Felix Clerron,
Esq. Light of heart perhaps I scarcely ought to say. Certainly, that
enterprising organ had never before beat so furious a tattoo in Ivy's
breast, as when she stood, hat in hand, on the steps of the somewhat
stately dwelling. To do her justice, she had intended to do the penance
of wearing her hat when she should have reached her destination; but
in her excitement she quite forgot it. So, as I said, she stood on the
door-step, as a royal maiden stood three hundred years before, (not
in the same place,) with the "wind blowing her fair hair about her
beautiful cheeks."

There had come to Ivy from the great, gay world a vague rumor, that,
instead of knocking at a door, like a Christian, with your own good
knuckles, for such case made and provided, modern fashion had introduced
"the ringing and the dinging of the bells." This vague rumor found
a local habitation, when Mr. Clerron came down upon the village and
established himself, his men and women and horses and cattle; but as
Ivy stood on his door-step, looking upward, downward, sidewise, with
earnest, peering gaze, no bell, and no sign of bell, was visible;
nothing unusual, save a little door-knob at the right-hand side of the
door,--a thing which could not be accounted for. After long and serious
deliberation, she came to the conclusion that the bell must be inside,
and that the knob was a screw attached to it. So she tried to twist it,
first one way, then the other; but twist it would not. In despair she
betook herself to her fingers and knocked. Nobody came. Twist again.
No use. Knock again. Ditto. Then she went down to the gravelled path,
selected one of the largest pebbles, took up her station before the
door, and began to pound away. In a moment, a gentleman in dressing-gown
and smoking-cap, with a cigar between his fingers, came round the
corner. Seeing her, he threw away his cigar, lifted his velvet cap,
bowed, and, with a polite "allow me," stepped to the door, pulled the
bell, and again passed out of sight. Ivy was not so confused at being
detected in her assault and battery on the door of a respectable,
peaceable, private gentleman, as not to make the silent reflection,
"Pulled the knob, instead of twisting it. How easy it is to do a
thing, if you only know how!"

The summons was soon answered by a black gnome, and Ivy was ushered into
a large room, which, to her dazzled, sun-weary eyes, seemed delightfully
fresh and _green_-looking. Two minutes more of waiting,--then a step in
the hall, a gently opening door, and Ivy felt rather than saw herself in
the presence of the formidable Mr. Clerron. A single glance showed her
that he was the person who had rung the bell for her, though the gay
dressing-gown had been changed for a soberer suit. Mr. Clerron bowed.
Ivy, hardly knowing what she did, faltered forth, "I am Ivy Geer." A
half-curious, half-sarcastic smile glimmered behind the heavy beard, and
gleamed beneath the heavy eyebrows, as he answered, "I am happy to
make your acquaintance"; but another glance at the trembling form, the
frightened, pale face, and quivering lips, changed the smile into one
that was very good-natured, and even kind; and he added, playfully,--

"I am Felix Clerron, very much at your service."

"You write books and are a very learned man," pursued Ivy, hurriedly,
never lifting her eyes from the floor, and never ceasing to twirl her

There was no possibility of supposing her guilty of committing a little
diplomatic flattery in conveying this succinct bit of information. She
made the assertion with the air of one who has a disagreeable piece of
business on hand, and is determined to go through with it as soon as
possible. He bowed and smiled again; quite unnecessarily,--since, as I
have before remarked, Ivy's eyes were steadfastly fixed on the carpet. A
slight pause for breath and she pitched ahead again.

"I am very ignorant, and I am growing old. I am almost seventeen. I
don't know anything to speak of. Mamma wishes me to go to school. Papa
did not, but now he does. I won't go. I would rather be stupid all my
life long than leave home. But mamma is vexed, and I want to please
her, and I thought,--Mr. Brownslow is so busy,--and you,--if you have
nothing to do,--and know so much,--I thought"------

She stopped short, utterly unable to proceed. Wonderfully different did
this affair seem from the one she had planned the preceding evening. My
dear Sir, Madam,--have not we, too, sometimes found it an easier thing
to fight the battle of life in our own chimney-corner, by the ruddy and
genial firelight, than in broad day on the world's great battle-field?

Mr. Clerron, seeing Ivy's confusion, kindly came to her aid. "And you
thought my superfluous time and wisdom might be transferred to you, thus
making a more equal division of property?"

"If you would be so good,--I,--yes, Sir."

"May I inquire how you propose to effect such an exchange?"

He really did not intend to be anything but kind, but the whole matter
presented itself to him in a very ludicrous light; and in endeavoring to
preserve proper gravity, he became severe. Ivy, all-unused to the world,
still had a secret feeling that he was laughing at her. Tears, that
would not be repressed, glistened in her downcast eyes, gathered on the
long lashes, dropped silently to the floor. He saw that she was entirely
a child, ignorant, artless, and sincere. His better feelings were
roused, and he exclaimed, with real earnestness,--

"My dear young lady, I should rejoice to serve you in any way, I beg you
to believe."

His words only hastened the catastrophe which seems to be always
impending over the weaker sex. Ivy sobbed outright,--a perfect tempest.
Felix Clerron looked on with a bachelor's dismay. "What in thunder?
Confound the girl!" were his first reflections; but her utter
abandonment to sorrow melted his heart again,--not a very susceptible
heart either; but men, especially bachelors, are so--_green!_ (the word
is found in Cowper.)

He sat down by her side, stroked the hair from her burning forehead, as
if she had been six instead of sixteen, and again and again assured her
of his willingness to assist her.

"I must go home," whispered Ivy, as soon as she could command, or rather
coax her voice.

His hospitality was shocked.

"Indeed you must not, till we have at least had a consultation. Tell me
how much you know. What have you studied?"

"Oh, nothing, Sir. I am very stupid."

"Ah! we must begin with the Alphabet, then. Blocks or a primer?"

Ivy smiled through her tears.

"Not quite so bad as that, Sir."

"You do know your letters? Perhaps you can even count, and spell your
name; maybe write it. Pray, enlighten me."

Ivy grew calm as he became playful.

"I can cipher pretty well. I have been through Greenleaf's Large."

"House or meadow? And the exact dimensions, if you please."


"I understood you to say you had traversed Greenleaf's large. You did
not designate what."

He was laughing at her now, indeed, but it was open and genial, and she

"My Arithmetic, of course. I supposed everybody knew that. Everybody
calls it so."

"Time is short. Yes. We are an abbreviating nation. Do you like

"Pretty well, some parts of it. Fractions and Partial Payments. But I
can't bear Duodecimals, Position, and such things."

"Positions are occasionally embarrassing. And Grammar?"

"I think it's horrid. It's all 'indicative mood, common noun, third
person, singular number, and agrees with John.'"

"_Bravissima!_ A comprehensive sketch! _A multum in parvo!_ A bird's-eye
view, as one may say,--and not entertaining, certainly. What other
branches have you pursued? Drawing, for instance?"

"Oh, no, Sir!"

"Nor Music?"

"No, Sir."

"Good, my dear! excellent! An overruling Providence has saved you and
your friends from many a pitfall. Shall we proceed to History? Be so
good as to inform me who discovered America."

"I believe Columbus has the credit of it," replied Ivy, demurely.

"Non-committal, I see. Case goes strongly in his favor, but you reserve
your judgment till further evidence."

"I think he was a wise and good and enterprising man."

"But are rather skeptical about that San Salvador story. A wise course.
Never decide till both sides have been fairly presented. 'He that
judgeth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto
him,' said the wise man. Occasionally his after-judgment is
equally discreditable. That is a thousand times worse. Exit Clio.
Enter--well!--Geographia. My young friend, what celebrated city has
the honor of concentrating the laws, learning, and literature of
Massachusetts, to wit, namely, is its capital?"

"Boston, Sir."

"My dear, your Geography has evidently been attended to. You have
learned the basis fact. You have discovered the pivot on which the world
turns. You have dug down to the ante-diluvian, ante-pyrean granite,--the
primitive, unfused stratum of society. The force of learning can no
farther go. Armed with that fact, you may march fearlessly forth to do
battle with the world, the flesh, and--the--ahem--the King of Beasts!
Do you think you should like me for a teacher?"

"I can't tell, Sir. I did not like you as anything awhile ago."

"But you like me better now? You think I improve on acquaintance? You
detect signs of a moral reformation?"

"No, Sir, I don't like you now. I only don't dislike you so much as I

"Spoken like a major-general, or, better still, like a brave little
Yankee girl, as you are. I am an enthusiastic admirer of truth. I
foresee we shall get on famously. I was rather premature in sounding the
state of your affections, it must be confessed,--but we shall be rare
friends by-and-by. On the whole, you are not particularly fond of

"I like some books well enough, but not studying-books," said Ivy, with
a sigh, "and I don't see any good in them. If it wasn't for mamma, I
never would open one,--never! I would just as soon be a dunce as not; I
don't see anything very horrid in it."

"An opinion which obtains with a wonderfully large proportion of our
population, and is applied in practice with surprising success. There is
a distinction, however, my dear young lady, which you must immediately
learn to make. The dunce subjective is a very inoffensive animal,
contented, happy, and harmless; and, as you justly remark, inspires no
horror, but rather an amiable and genial self-complacency. The dunce
objective, on the contrary, is of an entirely different species. He is a
bore of the first magnitude,--a poisoned arrow, that not only pierces,
but inflames,--a dull knife, that not only cuts, but tears,--a cowardly
little cur, that snaps occasionally, but snarls unceasingly; whom,
which, and that, it becomes the duty of all good citizens to sweep from
the face of the earth."

"What is the difference between them? How shall one know which is

"The dunce subjective is the dunce from his own point of view,--the
dunce with his eyes turned inward,--confining his duncehood to the bosom
of his family. The dunce objective is the dunce butting against his
neighbor's study-door,--intruding, obtruding, protruding his insipid
folly and still more insipid wisdom at all times and seasons. He is a
creature utterly devoid of shame. He is like Milton's angels, in one
respect at least: you may thrust him through and through with the
two-edged sword of your satire, and at the end he shall be as intact and
integral as at the beginning. Am I sufficiently obvious?"

"It is very obvious that I am both, according to your definition."

"It is very obvious that you are neither, I beg to submit, but a
sensible young girl,--with no great quantity of the manufactured
article, perhaps, but plenty of raw material, capable of being wrought
into fabric of the finest quality."

"Do you really think I can learn?" asked Ivy, with a bright blush of

"Demonstrably certain."

"As much as if I went to school?"

"My dear miss, as the forest oak, 'cabined, cribbed, confined' with
multitudes of its fellows, grows stunted, scrubby, and dwarfed, but,
brought into the open fields alone, stretches out its arms to the blue
heavens and its roots to the kindly earth, so that the birds of the air
lodge in the branches thereof, and men sit under its shadow with great
delight,--so, in a word, shall you, under my fostering care, flourish
like a green bay-tree; that is, if I am to have the honor."

"Yes, Sir, I mean--I meant--I was thinking as if you were teaching me--I
mean were going to teach me."

"Which I also mean, if time and the favoring gods allow, and your
parents continue to wish it."

"Oh, they won't care!"

"Won't care?"

"No, Sir, they will be glad, I think. Papa, at least, will be glad to
have me stay at home."

"Did not they direct you to come to me to-day?"

Ivy blushed deeply, and replied, in a low voice, "No, Sir; I knew mamma
would not let me come, if I asked her."

"And to prevent any sudden temptation to disobedience, and a consequent
forfeiture of your peace of mind, you took time by the forelock and came
on your own responsibility?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Very ingenious, upon my word! An accomplished casuist! A born Jesuit!
But, my dear Miss Geer, I must confess I have not this happy feminine
knack of keeping out of the way of temptation. I should prefer to
consult your friends, even at the risk of losing the pleasure of your

"Oh, yes, Sir! I don't care, now it is all settled."

And so, over hill-side, along wood-path, and through meadow-land, with
light heart and smiling eyes, tripped Ivy back again. To Mrs. Geer
shelling peas in the shady porch, and to Mr. Geer fanning himself with
his straw hat on the steps beside her, Ivy recounted the story of her
adventures. Mrs. Geer was thunderstruck at Ivy's temerity; Mr. Geer was
lost in admiration of her pluck. Mrs. Geer termed it a wild-goose chase;
Mr. Geer declared Ivy to be as smart as a steel trap. Mrs. Geer vetoed
the whole plan; Mr. Geer didn't know. But when at sunset Mr. Clerron
rode over, and admired Mr. Geer's orchard, and praised the points of his
Durhams, and begged a root of Mrs. Geer's scarlet verbena, and assured
them he should be very glad to refresh his own early studies, and also
to form an acquaintance with the family,--he knew very few in the
village,--and if Mrs. Geer would drive over when Ivy came to recite,--or
perhaps they would rather he should come to their house. Oh, no! Mrs.
Geer could not think of that. Just as they pleased. Mrs. Simm, the
housekeeper, would be very glad of Mrs. Geer's company while Miss Ivy
was reciting, in case Mrs. Geer should not wish to listen; and the house
and grounds would be shown by Mrs. Simm with great pleasure. By the way,
Mrs. Simm was a thrifty and sensible woman, and he was sure they would
be mutually pleased.--When, in short, all this and much more had been
said, it was decided that Ivy should be regularly installed pupil of Mr.
Felix Clerron.

"_Eureka!_" cries the professional novel-reader, that far-sighted and
keen-scented hound that snuffs a _dénouement_ afar off; and anon there
rises before his eyes the vision of poor little Stella drinking in love
and learning, especially love, from the divine eyes of the anything but
divine Swift,--of Shirley, the lioness, the pantheress, the leopardess,
the beautiful, fierce creature, sitting, tamed, quiet, meek, by the side
of Louis Moore, her tutor and master,--and of all the legends of all the
ages wherein Beauty has sat at the feet of Wisdom, and Love has crept
in unawares, and spoiled the lesson while as yet half-unlearnt;--so
he cries, "She is going the way of all heroines. The man and the
girl,--they will fall in love, marry, and live happily all the rest of
their days."

Of course they will. Is there any reason why they should not? If any man
can show just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let
him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

I repeat it, of course they will. You surely cannot suppose I should,
in cold blood, sit down to write a story in which nobody was to fall
in love or be in love! Sir, scoff as you may, love is the one vital
principle in all romance. Not only does your cheek flush and your eye
sparkle, till "heart, brain, and soul are all on fire," over the burning
words of some Brontean Pythoness, but when you open the last thrilling
work of Maggie Marigold, and are immediately submerged "in a
weak, washy, everlasting flood" of insipidity, twaddle, bosh, and
heart-rending sorrow, you do not shut the book with a jerk. Why not?
Because in the dismal distance you dimly descry two figures swimming,
floating, struggling towards each other, and a languid _soupçon_ of
curiosity detains you till you have ascertained, that, after infinite
distress, Adolphus and Miranda have made

  "One of the very best matches,
  Both well mated for life:
  She's got a fool for her husband,
  He's got a fool for his wife."

Sir, scoff as you may, love is the one sunbeam of poetry that gilds
with a softened splendor the hard, bare outline of many a prosaic life.
"Work, work, work, from weary chime to chime"; tramp behind the plough,
hammer on the lapstone, beat the anvil, drive the plane, "from morn till
dewy eve"; but when the dewy eve comes, ah! Hesperus gleams soft and
golden over the far-off pinetrees, but

  "The star that lightens your bosom most,
  And gives to your weary feet their speed,
  Abides in a cottage beyond the mead."

It is useless to assert that the subject is worn threadbare. Threadbare
it may be to you, enervated and _blasé_ man of pleasure, worn and
hardened man of the world; but it is not for you I write. The fountain
which leaps up fresh and living in every new life can never be exhausted
till the springs of all life are dry. Tell me, O lover, gazing into
those tender eyes uplifted to yours, twining the silken rings around
your bronzed finger, pressing reverently the warm lips consecrated to
you,--does it abate one jot or tittle of your happiness to know that
eyes just as tender, curls just as silken, lips just as red, have
stirred the hearts of men for a thousand years?

Love, then, is a _sine qua non_ in stories; and if love, why not
marriage? What pleasure can a humane and benevolent man find in
separating two individuals whose chief, perhaps whose sole happiness,
consists in being together? For certain inscrutable reasons, Divine
Benevolence permits evil to exist in the world. All who have a taste for
misery can find it there in exhaustless quantities. Johns are every day
falling in love with Katys, but marrying Isabels, and Isabels the same,
_mutatis mutandis_. We submit to it because there is no alternative; and
we believe that good shall finally be wrought and wrested from evil.
Don't, for heaven's sake, let us in mere wantonness introduce into
our novel-world the work of our own hand, an abridged edition, a
daguerreotype copy of the world without, of which we know so little and
so much. I always do and always shall read the last page of a novel
first; and if I perceive there any indications that matters are not
coming out "shipshape," my reading invariably terminates with the last

For the rest, please to remember that I am not writing about a princess
of the blood, nor of the days of the bold barons, but only the life of
a quiet little girl in a quiet little town in the eastern part of
Massachusetts; and so far as my experience and observation go, men and
women in the eastern part of Massachusetts are not given to thrilling
adventures, hairbreadth escapes, wonderful concatenations of
circumstances, and blood and thunder generally,--but pursue the even
tenor of their way, and of their love, with a sober and delightful
equanimity. If you want a plot, go to the "Children of the Abbey,"
"Consuelo," and myriads of that kin, and help yourself. As for me, I
must confess I hate plots. I see no pleasure in stumbling blindfolded
through a story, unable to see a yard ahead, fancying every turn to be
the last, and the road to go straight on to a glorious goal,--and,
lo! we are in a more hopeless labyrinth than ever. I have a sense of
restraint. I want to breathe freely, and can't. I want to have leisure
to observe the style, the development of character, the author's tone of
thought, and not be galloped through on the back of a breathless desire
to know "how they are coming out."

But, my dear plot-loving friend, be easy. I will not leave you in
the lurch. I am not going to marry my man and woman out of hand. An
obstacle, of which I suppose you have never heard,--an obstacle entirely
new, fresh, and unhackneyed, will arise; so, I pray you, let patience
have her perfect work.

Wonderful was the new world opened to Ivy Geer. It was as if a corpse,
cold, inert, lifeless, had suddenly sprung up, warm, invigorated,
informed with a spirit which led her own spell-bound. Grammar,--Grammar,
which had been a synonyme for all that was dry, irksome, useless,--a
beating of the wind, the crackling of thorns under a pot,--Grammar even
assumed for her a charm, a wonder, a glory. She saw how the great and
wise had shrined in fitting words their purity, and wisdom, and sorrow,
and suffering, and penitence; and how, as this generation passed away,
and another came forth which knew not God, the golden casket became dim,
and the memory of its priceless gem faded away; but how, at the touch of
a mighty wand, the obedient lid flew back, and the long-hidden thought
"sprang full-statured in an hour." She saw how love and beauty and
freedom lay floating vaguely and aimlessly in a million minds till the
poet came and crystallized them into clear-cut, prismatic words, tinged
for each with the color of his own fancy, and wrought into a perfect
mosaic, not for an age, but for all time. Led by a strong hand, she trod
with reverent awe down the dim aisles of the Past, and saw how the soul
of man, bound in its prison-house, had ever struggled to voice itself
in words. Roaming in the dense forest with the stern and bloody
Druid,--bounding over the waves with the fierce pirates who supplanted
them, and in whose blue eyes and beneath whose fair locks gleamed indeed
the ferocity of the savage, but lurked also, though unseen and unknown,
the tender chivalry of the English gentleman,--gazing admiringly on the
barbaric splendor of the cloth-of-gold, whereon trod regally, to the
sound of harp and viol, the beauty and bravery of the old Norman
nobility, she delighted to see how the mother-tongue, our dear
mother-tongue, had laid all the nations under contribution to enrich
her treasury,--gathering from one its strength, from another its
stateliness, from a third its harmony, till the harsh, crude, rugged
dialect of a barbarous horde became worthy to embody, as it does, the
love, the wisdom, and the faith of half a world.

So Grammar taught Ivy to reverence language.

History, in the light of a guiding mind, ceased to be a bare record of
slaughter and crime. Before her eyes filed, in a statelier pageant than
they knew, the long procession of "simple great ones gone for ever and
ever by," and the countless lesser ones whose names are quenched in the
darkness of a night that shall know no dawn. She saw the "great world
spin forever down the ringing grooves of change"; but amid all the
change, the confusion, the chaos, she saw the finger of God ever
pointing, and heard the sublime monotone of the Divine voice ever saying
to the children of men, "This is the way, walk ye in it." And Ivy
thought she saw, and rejoiced in the thought, that, even when this
warning was unheeded,--when on the brow of the mournful Earth "Ichabod,
Ichabod," was forever engraven,--when the First Man with his own hand
put from him the cup of innocence, and went forth from the happy garden,
sin-stained and fallen, the whole head sick, and the whole heart
faint,--even then she saw within him the divine spark, the leaven of
life, which had power to vitalize and vivify what Crime had smitten with
death. Though sea and land teemed with strange perils, though night
and day pursued him with mysterious terrors, though the now unfriendly
elements combined to check his career, still, with unswerving purpose,
undaunted courage, she saw him march constantly forward. Spirits of evil
could not drive from his heart the prescience of greatness; and his soul
dwelt calmly under the foreshadow of a mighty future.

And as Ivy looked, she saw how the children of men became a great
nation, and possessed the land far and wide. They delved into the bosom
of the pleased earth, and brought forth the piled-up treasures of
uncounted cycles. They unfolded the book of the skies, and sought to
read the records thereon. They plunged into the unknown and terrible
ocean, and decked their own brows with the gems they plucked from hers.
And when conquered Nature had laid her hoards at their feet, their
restless longings would not be satisfied. Brave young spirits, with the
dew of their youth fresh upon them, set out in quest of a land beyond
their ken. Over the mountains, across the seas, through the forests,
there came to the ear of the dreaming girl the measured tramp of
marching men, the softer footfalls of loving women, the pattering of the
feet of little children. Many a day and many a night she saw them wander
on towards the setting sun, till the Unseen Hand led them to a fair
and fruitful country that opened its bounteous arms in welcome. Broad
rivers, green fields, laughing valleys wooed them to plant their
household gods,--and the foundations of Europe were laid. Here were sown
the seeds of those heroic virtues which have since leaped into luxuriant
life,--seeds of that irresistible power which fastened its grasp on
Nature and forced her to unfold the secret of her creation,--seeds of
that far-reaching wisdom which in the light of the unveiled past has
read the story of the unseen future.

And still under Ivy's eye they grouped themselves. Some gathered on the
pleasant hills of the sunny South, and the beauty of earth and sea and
sky passed into their souls forever. They caught the evanescent gleam,
the passing shadow, and on unseemly canvas limned it for all time in
forms of unuttered and unutterable loveliness. They shaped into glowing
life the phantoms of grace that were always flitting before their
enchanted eyes, and poured into inanimate marble their rapt and
passionate souls. They struck the lyre to wild and stirring songs whose
tremulous echoes still linger along the corridors of Time. Some sought
the icebound North, and grappled with dangers by field and flood. They
hunted the wild dragon to his mountain-fastnesses, and fought him at
bay, and never quailed. Death, in its most fearful forms, they met with
grim delight, and chanted the glories of the Valhalla waiting for heroes
who should forever quaff the "foaming, pure, and shining mead" from
skulls of foes in battle slain. Some crossed the sea, and on

  "that pale, that white-faced shore,
  Whose foot spurns back tho ocean's swelling

they reared a sinewy and stalwart race, whose "morning drum-beat
encircles the world."

And History taught Ivy to reverence man.

But there was one respect in which Ivy was both pupil and teacher.
Never a word of Botany had fallen upon her ears; but through all the
unconscious bliss of infancy, childhood, and girlhood, for sixteen happy
years, she had lived among the flowers, and she knew their dear faces
and their wild-wood names. She loved them with an almost human love.
They were to her companions and friends. She knew their likings and
dislikings, their joys and sorrows,--who among them chose the darkest
nooks of the old woods, and who bloomed only to the brightest
sunlight,--who sent their roots deep down among the mosses by the brook,
and who smiled only on the southern hill-side. Around each she wove a
web of beautiful individuality, and more than one had received from her
a new christening. It is true, that, when she came to study from a
book, she made wry faces over the long, barbarous, Latin names which
completely disguised her favorites, and in her heart deemed a great many
of the definitions quite superfluous; but she had strong faith in her
teacher, and when the technical was laid aside for the real, then,
indeed, "her foot was on her native heath, and her name was MacGregor."
A wild and merry chase she led her grave instructor. Morning, noon, or
night, she was always ready. Under the blue sky, breathing the pure air,
treading the green turf familiar from her infancy, she could not be
otherwise than happy; but when was superadded to this the companionship
of a mind vigorous, cultivated, and refined, she enjoyed it with a keen
and intense delight. Nowhere else did her soul so entirely unfold to
the genial light of this new sun which had suddenly mounted above her
horizon. Nowhere else did the freshness and fulness and splendor of life
dilate her whole being with a fine ecstasy.

And what was the end of all this? Just what you would have supposed. She
had led a life of simple, unbounded love and trust,--a buoyant, elastic
gladness,--a dream of sunshine. No gray cloud had ever lowered in her
sky, no thunderbolt smitten her joys, no winter rain chilled her warmth.
Only the white fleeciness of morning mist had flitted sometimes over her
summer-sky, deepening the blue. Little cooling drops had fluttered
down through the leafiness, only to span her with a rainbow in the glory
of the setting sun. But the time had come. From the deep fountains of
her heart the stone was to be rolled away. The secret chord was to be
smitten by a master-hand,--a chord which, once stirred, may never cease
to quiver.

At first Ivy worshipped very far off. Her friend was to her the
embodiment of all knowledge and goodness and greatness. She marvelled to
see him so at home in what was to her so strange. Every word that fell
from his lips was an oracle. She secretly contrasted him with all
the men she had ever met, to the utter discomfiture of the latter.
Washington, the Apostle Paul, and Peter Parley were the only men of the
past or present whom she considered at all worthy to be compared with
him; and in fact, if these three men and Felix Clerron had all stood
before her, and offered each a different opinion on any given subject, I
have scarcely a doubt as to whose would have commended itself to her
as combining the soundest practical wisdom and the highest Christian

So the summer passed on, and her shyness wore off,--and their intimacy
became less and less that of teacher and pupil, and more and more that
of friend and friend. With the sudden awakening of her intellectual
nature, there woke also another power, of whose existence she had never
dreamed. It was natural, that, in ranging the fields of thought so
lately opened to her, she should often revert to him whose hand had
unbarred the gates; she was therefore not startled that the image of
Felix Clerron was with her when she sat down and when she rose up, when
she went out and when she came in. She ceased, indeed, to think _of_
him. She thought _him_. She lived him. Her soul fed on his life. And
so--and so--by a pleasant and flowery path, there came into Ivy's heart
the old, old pain.

Now the thing was on this wise:--

One morning, when she went to recite, she did not find Mr. Clerron in
the library, where he usually awaited her. After spending a few moments
in looking over her lessons, she rose and was about to pass to the door
to ring, when Mrs. Simm looked in, and, seeing Ivy, informed her
that Mr. Clerron was in the garden, and desired her to come out. Ivy
immediately followed Mrs. Simm into the garden. On the south side of the
house was a piazza two stories high. Along the pillars which supported
it a trellis-work had been constructed, reaching several feet above the
roof of the piazza. About this climbed a vigorous grape-vine, which not
only completely screened nearly the whole front of the piazza, but,
reaching the top of the trellis, shot across, by the aid of a few pieces
of fine wire, and overran a part of the roof of the house. Thus the roof
of the piazza was the floor of a beautiful apartment, whose walls and
ceiling were broad, rustling, green leaves, among which drooped now
innumerable heavy clusters of rich purple grapes.

From behind this leafy wall a well-known voice cried, "Hail to thee, my
twining vine!" Ivy turned and looked up, with the uncertain, inquiring
smile we often wear when conscious that, though unseeing, we are not
unseen; and presently two hands parted the leaves far enough for a very
sunshiny smile to gleam down on the upturned face.

"Oh, I wish I could come up there!" cried Ivy, clasping her hands with
childish eagerness.

"The wish is father to the deed."

"May I?"

"Be sure you may."

"But how shall I get in?"

"Are you afraid to come up the ladder?"

"No, I don't mean that; but how shall I get in where you are, after I am

"Oh, never fear! I'll draw you in safely enough."

"Lorful heart! Miss Ivy, what are you going to do?" cried Mrs. Simm, in

Ivy was already on the third round of the ladder, but she stopped and
answered, hesitatingly,--"He said I might."

"He said you might, yes," continued Mrs. Simm,--talking _to_ Ivy, but
_at_ Mr. Clerron, with whom she hardly dared to remonstrate in a more
direct way. "And if he said you might throw yourself down Vineyard
Cliff, it don't follow that you are bound to do it. He goes into all
sorts of hap-hazard scrapes himself, but you can't follow him."

"But it looks so nice up there," pleaded Ivy, "and I have been twice as
high at home. I don't mind it at all."

"If your father chooses to let you run the risk of your life, it's none
of my look-out, but I a'n't going to have you breaking your neck right
under my nose. If you want to get up there, I'll show you the way in the
house, and you can step right out of the window. Just wait till I've
told Ellen about the dinner."

As Mrs. Simm disappeared, Mr. Clerron said softly to Ivy, "Come!"--and
in a moment Ivy bounded up the ladder and through an opening in the
vine, and stood by his side.

"I'm ready now, Miss Ivy," said Mrs. Simm, reappearing. "Miss Ivy! Where
is the child?"

A merry laugh greeted her.

"Oh, you good-for-nothing!" cried the good-natured old housekeeper,
"you'll never die in your bed."

"Not for a good while, I hope," answered Mr. Clerron.

Then he made Ivy sit down by him, and took from the great basket the
finest cluster of grapes.

"Is that reward enough for coming?"

"Coming into so beautiful a place as this is like what you read
yesterday about poetry to Coleridge, 'its own exceeding great reward.'"

"And you don't want the grapes?"

"I don't know that I have any intrinsic objection to them as a free
gift. It was only the principle that I opposed."

"Very well, we will go shares, then. You may have half for the free
gift, and I will have half for the principle. Little tendril, you look
as fresh as the morning."

"Don't I always?"

"I should say there was a _little_ more dew than usual. Stand up and let
me survey you, if perchance I may discover the cause."

Ivy rose, made a profound curtsy, and then turned slowly around, after
the manner of the revolving fashion-figures in a milliner's window.

"I don't know," continued Mr. Clerron, when Ivy, after a couple of
revolutions, resumed her seat. "You seem to be the same. I think it must
be the frock."

"I don't wear a frock. I don't think it would improve my style of
beauty, if I did. Papa wears one sometimes."

"And what kind of a frock, pray, does 'papa' wear?"

"Oh, a horrid blue thing. Comes about down to his knees. Made of some
kind of woollen stuff. Horrid!"

"And what name do you give to that white thing with blue sprigs in it?"



"This is a dress."

"No. This, and your collar, and hat, and shoes, and sash are your dress.
This is a frock."

Ivy shook her head doubtfully.

"You know a great deal, I know."

"So you informed me once before."

"Oh, don't mention that!" said Ivy, blushing, and quickly added, "Do you
know I have discovered the reason why you like me this morning?"

"And every morning."


"Go on. What is the reason?"

"It is because I clear-starched and ironed it myself with my owny-dony
hands; and that, you know, is the reason it looks nicer than usual."

"Ah, me! I wish I wore dresses."

"You can, if you choose, I suppose. There is no one to hinder you."

"Simpleton! that is not what you were intended to say. You should have
asked the cause of so singular a wish, and then I had a pretty little
speech all ready for you,--a veritable compliment"

"It is well I did not ask, then. Mamma does not approve of compliments,
and perhaps it would have made me vain."

"Incorrigible! Why did you not ask me what the speech was, and thus give
me an opportunity to relieve myself. Why, a body might die of a plethora
of flattery, if he had nobody but you to discharge it against."

"He must take care, then, that the supply does not exceed the demand."

"Political economy, upon my word! What shall we have next?"

"Domestic, I suppose you would like. Men generally, indeed, prefer it to
the other, I am told."

"Ah, Ivy, Ivy! little you know about men, my child!"

He leaned back in his seat and was silent for some minutes. Ivy did not
care to interrupt his thinking. Presently he said,--

"Ivy, how old are you?"

"I shall be seventeen the last day of this month."

A short pause.

"And then eighteen."

"And then nineteen."

"And then twenty. In three years you will be twenty."

"Horrid old, isn't it?"

He turned his head, and looked down upon her with what Ivy thought a
curious kind of smile, but only said,--

"You must not say 'horrid' so much."

By-and-by Ivy grew rather tired of sitting silent and watching the
rustle of the leaves, which hid every other prospect; she turned her
face a little so that she could look at him. He sat with folded arms,
looking straight ahead; and she thought his face wore a troubled
expression. She felt as if she would like very much to smooth out the
wrinkles in his forehead and run her fingers through his hair, as she
sometimes did for her father. She had a great mind to ask him if she
should; then she reflected that it might make him nervous. Then she
wondered if he had forgotten her lessons, and how long they were to sit
there. Determined, at length, to have a change of some kind, she said,

"Mr. Clerron!"

He roused himself suddenly, and stood up.

"I thought, perhaps, you had a headache."

"No, Ivy. But this is not climbing the hill of science, is it?"

"Not so much as it is climbing the piazza."

"Suppose we take a vacation to-day, and investigate the state of the

"Yes, Sir, I am ready."

Ivy did not fully understand the nature of his proposition; but if he
had proposed to "put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes," she
would have said and acted, "Yes, Sir, I am ready," just the same.

He took up the basket of grapes which he had gathered, and led the way
through the window, down-stairs. Ivy waited for him at the hall-door,
while he carried the grapes to Mrs. Simm; then he joined her again and
proposed to walk through the woods a little while, before Ivy went home.

"You must know, my docile pupil, that I am going to the city to-morrow,
on business, to be gone a week or two. So, as you must perforce take a
vacation then, why, we may as well begin to vacate today, and enjoy it."

"I am sorry you are going away."

"You are? That is almost enough to pay me for going. Why are you sorry?"

"Because I shall not see you for a week; and I have become so used to
you, that somehow I don't seem to know what to do with a day without
you; and then the cars may run off the track and kill you or hurt you,
or you may get the smallpox, or a great many things may happen."

"And suppose some of these terrible things should happen,--the last, for
instance,--what would you do?"

"I? I should advise you to send for the doctor at once."

Mr. Clerron laughed.

"So you would not come and nurse me, and take care of me, and get me
well again?"

"No, because I should then be in danger of taking it myself and giving
it to papa and mamma; besides, they would not let me, I am quite sure."

"So you love your papa and mamma better than"----

He stopped abruptly. Ivy finished for him.

"Better than words can tell. Papa particularly. Mamma, somehow, seems
strong of herself, and don't depend upon me; but papa,--oh, you don't
know how he is to me! I think, if I should die, he would die of grief. I
have, I cannot help having, a kind of pity for him, he loves me so."

"Do you always pity people, when they love you very much?"

"Oh, no! of course not. Besides, nobody loves me enough to be pitied,
except papa.--Isn't it pleasant here? How very green it is! It looks
just like summer. Oh, Mr. Clerron, did you see the clouds this morning?"

"There were none when I arose."

"Why, yes, Sir, there was a great heap of them at sunrise."

"I am not prepared to contradict you."

"Perhaps you were not up at sunrise."

"I have an impression to that effect."

He smiled so comically, that Ivy could not help saying, though she was
half afraid he might not be pleased,--

"I wonder whether you are an early riser."

"Yes, my dear, I consider myself tolerably early. I believe I have been
up every morning but one, this week, by nine o'clock."

Ivy was horror-struck. Her country ideas of "early to bed and early to
rise" received a great shock, as her looks plainly showed. He laughed
gayly at her amazed face.

"You don't seem to appreciate me, Miss Geer."

"'Nine o'clock!'" repeated Ivy, slowly,--"'every morning but one!' and
it is Tuesday to-day."

"Yes, but you know yesterday was a dark, cloudy day, and excellent for

"But, Mr. Clerron, then you are not more than fairly up when I come. And
when do you write?"

"Always in the evening."

"But the evenings are so short,--or have been."

"Mine are not particularly so. From six to three is about long enough
for one sitting."

"I should think so. And you must be so tired!"

"Not so tired as you think. You, now, rising at five or six, and running
round all day, become so tired that you have to go to bed by nine;
of course you have no time for reflection and meditation. I, on the
contrary, take life easily,--write in the night, when everything is
still and quiet,--take my sleep when all the noise of the world's
waking-up is going on,--and after creation is fairly settled for the
day, I rise leisurely, breakfast leisurely, take a smoke leisurely, and
leisurely wait the coming of my little pupil."

"Mr. Clerron!"


"May I tell you another thing I don't like in you? a bad habit?"

"As many as you please, provided you won't require me to reform."

"What is the use of telling it, then?"

"But it may be a relief to you. You will have the satisfaction arising
from doing your duty. We shall ventilate our opinions, and perhaps come
to a better understanding. Go on."

"Well, Sir, I wish you did not smoke so much."

"I don't smoke very much, little Ivy."

"I wish you would not at all. Mamma thinks it is very injurious, and
wrong, even. And papa says cigars are bad things."

"Some of them are outrageous. But, my dear, granting your father and
mother and yourself to be right, don't you see I am doing more to
extirpate the evil than you, with all your principle? I exterminate,
destroy, and ruin them at the rate of three a day; while you, I venture
to say, never lifted a finger or lighted a spark against them."

"Now, Sir, that is only a way of slipping round the question. And I
really wish you did not. Before I knew you, I thought it was almost as
bad to smoke as it was to steal. I know, however, now, that it cannot
be; still"--

"Feminine logic."

"I have not studied Logic yet; still, as I was going to say, Sir,
I don't like to think of you as being in a kind of subjection to

"Ivy, seriously, I am not in subjection to a cigar. I often don't smoke
for months together. To prove it, I promise you I won't smoke for the
next two months."

"Oh, I am so glad! Oh, I am so much obliged to you! And you are not in
the least vexed that I spoke to you about it?"

"Not in the least."

"I was afraid you would be. And one thing more, Sir, I have been afraid
of, the last few days. You know when I first knew you, or before I knew
you, I supposed you did nothing but walk round and enjoy yourself all
day. But now I know you do work very hard; and I have feared that you
could not well spare two hours every day for me,--particularly in the
morning, which are almost always considered the best. But if you like
to write in the evening, you would just as soon I would come in the


"But if two hours are too much, I hope you won't, at any time, hesitate
to tell me. I have no claim on a moment,--only"--

"My dear Ivy Geer, pupil and friend, be so good as to understand,
henceforth, that you cannot possibly come into my house at any time
when you are not wanted; nor stay any longer than I want you; nor say
anything that will not please me;--well, I am not quite sure about
that;--but, at least, remember that I am always glad to see you, and
teach you, and have you with me; and that I can never hope to do you as
much good as you do me every day of your blessed life."

"Oh, Mr. Clerron!" exclaimed Ivy, with a great gush of gratitude and
happiness; "do I, can I, do _you_ any good?"

"You do and can, my tendril! You supply an element that was wanting in
my life. You make every day beautiful to me. The flutter of your robes
among these trees brings sunshine into my heart. Every morning I walk in
my garden as soon as I am, as you say, fairly up, till I see you turn
into the lane; and every day I watch you till you disappear. You are
fresh and truthful and natural, and you give me new life. And now, my
dear little trembling benefactor, because we are nearly through the
woods, I can go no farther with you; and because I am going away
to-morrow, not to see you again for a week, and because I hope you will
be a little lonesome while I am gone, why, I think I must let you--kiss

Ivy had been looking intently into his face, with an expression, at
first, of the most beaming, tearful delight, then gradually changing
into waiting wonder; but when his sentence finally closed, she stood
still, scarcely able to comprehend. He placed his hands on her temples,
and, smiling involuntarily at her blushes and embarrassment, half in
sport and half in tenderness, bent her head a little back, kissed brow,
cheeks, and lips, whispered softly, "Go now! God bless you for ever and
ever, my darling!" and, turning, walked hastily down the winding path.
As for Ivy, she went home in a dream, blind and stunned with a great

[To be continued.]


  No more Joy-roses! their perfume
  To this dull pain brings short surcease:
  But tell me, if ye know, where bloom
  The golden lily-bells of Peace.

  Leap, winnowing all the air of light,
  Ye wild wraiths of the waterfall!
  But for that fabled fountain's sight,
  That giveth sleep, I'd give you all.

  Bound, gay barks, o'er the bounding main!
  Shake all your white wings to the breeze!
  My joy was erst the hurricane,
  The plunging of the purple seas;

  My hope to find the mystic marge
  Of all strange lands, the strange world o'er:
  But bear me now to yon still barge,
  Calm cradled by a tideless shore!

  Wild birds, that cleave the crystal deeps
  With May-time matins loud and long,
  Oh, not for you my sick heart weeps!
  Its pulses time not to your song!

  But know ye where she hides her nest,
  Beneath what balmy dropping eaves,
  The Dove that bears on her white breast
  The sacred green of olive-leaves?

  Not when the Spring doth rosy rise
  From white foam of the Northern snows;
  Not when 'neath passion-throbbing skies
  The fire-pulsed June in beauty glows:

  But when amid the templed hills,
  Deep drained from every purple vine,
  Soft for her dying lips distils
  The Summer's sacramental wine;

  While all her woodland priests put on
  Their vestures dipped in sacrifice,
  And, as 'twere golden bells far swung,
  A rhythmic silence holds the skies;

  What time the Day-spring softly wells
  From Night's dark caverns, till it sets
  In long, melodious, tidal swells,
  Toward the wide flood-gates of the West;--

  Oh, open then my dungeon door!
  Let Nature lead me, blind of eyes,
  If haply I may _feel_ once more
  The pillars of the steadfast skies;

  If haply there may fall for me
  Some strange assurance in my fears,--
  As he who heard on Galilee,
  That stormy night in wondrous years,

  The "It is I," and o'er the foam
  Of what seemed phantom-haunted seas,
  Saw glory of the kingdom come,
  The footsteps of the Prince of Peace!


  "Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to
   the end of the world."
                           PSALMS, xix. 4.

Among the impossibilities enumerated to convince Job of his ignorance
and weakness, the Almighty asks,--

"Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here
we are?"

At the present day, every people in Christendom can respond in the

The lines of electric telegraph are increasing so rapidly, that the
length in actual use cannot be estimated at any moment with accuracy. At
the commencement of 1848, it was stated that the length in operation
in this country was about 3000 miles. At the end of 1850, the lines in
operation, or in progress, in the United States, amounted to 22,000. In
1853, the total number of miles of wire in America amounted to 26,375.

It is but fifteen years since the first line of electric telegraph was
constructed in this country; and at the present time there are not less
than 50,000 miles in successful operation on this continent, having over
1400 stations, and employing upwards of 10,000 operators and clerks.

The number of messages passing over all the lines in this country
annually is estimated at upwards of 5,000,000, producing a revenue of
$2,000,000; in addition to which, the press pays $200,000 for public

In Europe there are lines rivalling those in America. The electric wire
extends under the English Channel, the German Ocean, the Black and Red
Seas, and the Mediterranean; it passes from crag to crag on the Alps,
and runs through Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Russia.

India, Australia, Cuba, Mexico, and several of the South American States
have also their lines; and the wires uniting the Pacific and Atlantic
States will shortly meet at the passes of the Rocky Mountains.

The electric telegraph, which has made such rapid strides, is yet in its
infancy. The effect of its future extension, and of new applications,
cannot be estimated, when, as a means of intercourse at least, its
network shall spread through every village, bringing all parts of our
republic into the closest and most intimate relations of friendship and
interest. In connection with the railroad and steamboat, it has
already achieved one important national result. It has made possible,
on this continent, a wide-spread, yet closely linked, empire of States,
such as our fathers never imagined. The highest office of the electric
telegraph, in the future, is thus to be the promotion of unity, peace,
and good-will among men.

In Europe, Great Britain and Ireland have the greatest number of miles
of electric telegraph,--namely, 40,000. France has 26,000; Belgium,
1600; Germany, 35,000; Switzerland, 2000; Spain and Portugal, 1200;
Italy, 6600; Turkey and Greece, 500; Russia, 12,000; Denmark and Sweden,

In Italy, Sardinia has the largest share of lines, having about 1200
miles; and in Germany, after Austria and Prussia, the largest share
belongs to Bavaria, which has 1050. Saxony has 400 miles; Würtemberg,

The distance between stations on lines of Continental telegraph is from
ten to twelve miles on the average, and the number of them is about

In France the use of the electric telegraph has rapidly increased within
the last few years. In 1851, the number of despatches transmitted
was 9014, which produced 76,723 francs. In 1858, there were 463,973
despatches transmitted, producing 3,516,634 francs. During the last four
years, that is to say, since all the chief towns in France have been in
electric communication with Paris, and consequently with each other,
there have been sent by private individuals 1,492,420 despatches, which
have produced 12,528,591 francs. Out of the 97,728 despatches exchanged
during the last three months of 1858, 23,728 were with Paris, and 15,409
with the thirty most important towns of France. These 15,409 despatches
are divided, as to their object or nature, as follows:--Private and
family affairs, 3102; journals, 523; commerce and manufactures, 6132;
Bourse affairs, 5253; sundry affairs, 399.

In Australia, the electric telegraph is in constant use, affording a
remunerating revenue, and the amount of business has forced on the
government the necessity of additional wires.

Cuba has six hundred miles of wire in operation. Messages can be
transmitted only in Spanish, and the closest surveillance is
maintained by the government officials over all despatches offered for
transmission. From the fact that no less than a dozen errors occurred in
a dispatch transmitted by a Boston gentleman from Cardenas to Havana,
we judge that the telegraphic apparatus, invented by our liberty-loving
American, Professor House, rebels at such petty tyranny.

Several hundred miles of electric telegraph have been constructed in
Mexico; but the unfortunate condition of the country for the last few
years has precluded the possibility of maintaining it in working order,
and it has, like everything else in the land of Monteznma, gone to

The English and Dutch governments have come to an understanding upon a
system of cables which will unite India and Australia, and eventually be
extended to China. The arrangements between the governments are:--That
the Indian and Imperial governments shall connect India with Singapore;
that the Dutch government shall connect Singapore with the southeast
point of Java; that the Australian governments shall connect their
continent with Java. The cable for the Singapore-Java section was to
have been laid during the last month; the Indian-Singapore section is
to be laid this spring; and the connection with Australia will, it is
believed, be completed in the course of next year.

The Red Sea and India Telegraph Company have announced the arrangements
under which they are prepared to transmit messages for the public
between Alexandria and Aden. Messages for Australia and China will be
forwarded by post from Aden. It is considered probable that a direct
communication with Alexandria will be established through Constantinople
in the course of a few weeks, and then the news from India will reach
London in ten or eleven days.

A late European steamer brings a report that two Russian engineers
have proceeded to Pekin, China, to make preparations for a telegraphic
connection between that place and the Russian territory.

There is reason to believe that arrangements will soon be made at St.
Petersburg, through private companies and government subsidies, for
completing the line of telegraph from Novgorod to the mouth of the
Amoor, and thence across the straits to Russian America. In the mean
time, a company has already been formed and incorporated in Canada,
under the name of the Transmundane Telegraphic Company, which will
afford important aid in continuing the proposed line through British
America. The plan is, to carry the wires from the mouth of the Amoor
across Behring's Strait, to and through Russian and British America.
From Victoria a branch will be extended to San Francisco, and another to
Canada. The line from San Francisco to Missouri is under way, and Mr.
Collins, who is engaged in the Russian and Canadian enterprise, thinks
that by the time it is in operation he shall have extended his line to
San Francisco.

This is unquestionably the most feasible route for telegraphic
communication between America and Europe; and, though the longest
by several thousand miles, it would afford the most rapid means of
communication, owing to the great superiority of aërial over subaqueous

No limit has yet been found to aërial telegraphing; for, by inserting
transferrers into the more extended circuits, renewed energy can be
attained, and lines of several thousands of miles in length can be
worked, if properly insulated, as surely as those of a hundred. The
lines between New York and New Orleans are frequently connected together
by means of transferrers, and direct communication is had over a
distance of more than, two thousand miles. No perceptible retardation of
the current takes place; on the contrary, the lines so connected work as
successfully as when divided into shorter circuits.

This is not the case with subaqueous lines. The employment of submarine,
as well as of subterranean conductors, occasions a small retardation in
the velocity of the transmitted electricity. This retardation is not due
to the length of the path which the electric current has to traverse,
since it does not take place with a conductor equally long, insulated in
the air. It arises, as Faraday has demonstrated, from a static reaction,
which is determined by the introduction of a current into a conductor
well insulated, but surrounded outside its insulating coating by a
conducting body, such as sea-water or moist ground, or even simply by
the metallic envelope of iron wires placed in communication with the
ground. When this conductor is presented to one of the poles of a
battery, the other pole of which communicates with the ground, it
becomes charged with static electricity, like the coating of a Leyden
jar,--electricity which is capable of giving rise to a discharge
current, even after the voltaic current has ceased to be transmitted.

Professor Wheatstone experimented upon the cable intended to unite La
Spezia, upon the coast of Piedmont, with the Island of Corsica. It was
one hundred and ten miles in length, and contained six copper wires
one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter, individually insulated, and
each covered with a coating of gutta-percha one-twelfth of an inch in
thickness. The cable was coiled in a dry pit in the yard, with its two
ends accessible. The ends of the different wires could be united, so as
to make of all these wires merely one wire six hundred and sixty miles
in length, through which the electric current could circulate in the
same direction. This current was itself furnished by an insulated
battery formed of one hundred and forty-four Wheatstone's pairs, equal
to fifty of Grove's. In the first series of experiments, it was proved,
that, if one of the ends of the long wire, whose other end remained
insulated, were made to communicate with one of the poles of the
battery, the wire became charged with the electricity of that pole,
which, so long as it existed, gave rise to a current which was made
evident by a galvanometer: but, in order to obtain this result, the
second pole of the battery must communicate with the ground, or with
another long wire similar to the first.

In a second series of experiments, Professor Wheatstone interposed three
galvanometers in the middle and at the ends of the circuit, determining
in this manner the progress of the current by the order which they
followed in their deviation. If the two poles of the battery were
connected by the long conductor of six hundred and sixty miles, the
precaution having been taken to divide it into two portions of equal
length, it was observed, on connecting the two free extremities of these
two portions in order to close the circuit, that the galvanometer placed
in the middle was the first to be deflected, whilst the galvanometers
placed in the vicinity of the poles were not deflected until later.

By a third series of experiments, Wheatstone, with the galvanometer, has
shown that a continuous current may be maintained in the circuit of the
long wire of an electric cable, of which one of the ends is insulated,
whilst the other communicates with one of the poles of a battery whose
other pole is connected with the ground. This current is due to the
uniform and continual dispersion of the statical electricity with which
the wire is charged along its whole length, as would happen to any other
conducting body placed in an insulating medium.

It was owing to the retardation from this cause that communication
through the Atlantic Cable was so exceedingly slow and difficult, and
not, as many suppose, because the cable was defective. It is true that
there was a fault in the cable, discovered by Varley, before it left
Queenstown; but it was not of so serious a character as to offer any
substantial obstacle to the passage of the electric current.

As everything pertaining to the actual operation of the Atlantic Cable
has been studiously withheld from the public, until it has come to be
seriously doubted whether any despatches were ever transmitted through
it, we presume it will not be out of place here to give the actual
_modus operandi_ of this great wonder and mystery.

The only instrument which could be used successfully in signalling
through the Atlantic Cable was one of peculiar construction, by
Professor Thompson, called the marine galvanometer. In this instrument
momentum and inertia are almost wholly avoided by the use of a needle
weighing only one and a half grains, combined with a mirror reflecting a
ray of light, which indicates deflections with great accuracy. By these
means a gradually increasing or decreasing current is at each instant
indicated at its due strength. Thus, when this galvanometer is placed
as the receiving instrument at the end of a long submarine cable, the
movement of the spot of light, consequent on the completion of a circuit
through the battery, cable, and earth, can be so observed as to furnish
a curve representing very accurately the arrival of an electric current.
Lines representing successive signals at various speeds can also be
obtained, and, by means of a metronome, dots, dashes, successive _A_-s,
etc., can be sent with nearly perfect regularity by an ordinary Morse
key, and the corresponding changes in the current at the receiving end
of the cable accurately observed. The strength of the battery employed
was found to have no influence on the results; curves given by batteries
of different strengths could be made to coincide by simply drawing them
to scales proportionate to the strengths of the two currents. It was
also found that the same curve represented the gradual increase of
intensity due to the arrival of a current and the gradual decrease due
to the ceasing of that current. The possible speed of signalling was
found to be very nearly proportional to the squares of the lengths
spoken through. Thus, a speed which gave fifteen dots per minute in a
length of 2191 nautical miles reproduced all the effects given by a
speed of thirty dots in a length of 1500. At these speeds, with ordinary
Morse signals, speaking would be barely possible. In the Red Sea, a
speed of from seven to eight words per minute was attained in a length
of 750 nautical miles. Mechanical senders, and attention to the
proportion of the various contacts, would materially increase the speed
at which signals of any kind could be transmitted. The best trained hand
cannot equal the accuracy of mechanism, and the slightest irregularity
causes the current to rise or fall quite beyond the limits required for
distinct signals. No important difference was observed between signals
sent by alternate reverse currents and those sent by the more usual
method. The amount of oscillation, and the consequent distinctness of
signalling, were nearly the same in the two cases. An advantage in the
first signals sent is, however, obtained by the use of Messrs. Sieman's
and Halske's submarine key, by which the cable is put to earth
immediately on signalling being interrupted, and the wire thus kept at
a potential half-way between the potentials of the poles of two
counter-acting batteries employed, and the first signals become legible,
which, with the ordinary key, would be employed in charging the wire.

A system of arbitrary characters, similar to those used upon the Morse
telegraph, was employed, and the letter to be indicated was determined
by the number of oscillations of the needle, as well as by the length of
time during which the needle remained in one place. The operator, who
watched the reflection of the deflected needle in the mirror, had a key,
communicating with a local instrument in the office, in his hand, which
he pressed down or raised, as the needle was deflected; and another
operator occupied himself in deciphering the characters thus produced
upon the paper. As the operator at Trinity Bay had no means of arresting
the operations at Valentia, and _vice versâ_, and as the fastest rate of
speed over the cable could not exceed three words per minute, it will
not surprise the reader that the operators were nearly two days in
transmitting the Queen's despatch.

However, notwithstanding all the difficulties in the way, there were
transmitted from Ireland to Newfoundland, through the Atlantic Cable,
between the 10th of August and the 1st of September, 97 messages,
containing 1102 words; and from Newfoundland to Ireland, 269 messages
and 2840 words, making a total of 366 messages, containing 3942 words.
Among these were the message from the Queen to the President of the
United States, and his reply; the one announcing the safety of the
steamer Europa, her mails and passengers, after her collision with
the Arabia; and two messages for Her Majesty's War-Office, which last
effected a very large saving to the revenue of the English government.

In Liverpool, £150,000 have already been subscribed to the project of
completing or relaying the Atlantic Cable.

A contract has been recently made by the English government for a cable
to be laid from Falmouth to Gibraltar, 1200 miles, which is to be ready
in June next. This will be succeeded by one from Gibraltar to Malta
and Alexandria, thus giving England an independent line, free from
Continental difficulties.

Steamers were to have left Liverpool at the end of the last month, with
the remainder of the cable to connect Kurrachee with Aden. The cable to
connect Alexandria with England is now to be laid through the islands
of Rhodes and Scio to Constantinople, and not by way of Candia, as
previously intended; it is expected to be laid this season. Hellaniyah,
one of the Kuria-Muria Islands, has been decided on as a station for the
Red Sea Telegraph.

The new electric cable between Malta and the opposite coast of Sicily at
Alga Grande is safely laid. Two previous attempts had been made; but, in
consequence of the late strong winds, nothing could be done. The
shore end on the Malta side had been laid down and connected with the
company's offices before the expedition started; the outer end, about
one mile off the Marsamuscetto harbor, into which the cable has been
taken, being buoyed ready to complete the communication from shore to
shore the moment the cable was submerged. The operation of paying out
the cable was completed without the least accident. The mid-portion of
the cable is of great strength, being able to sustain a strain of ten
or twelve tons without parting, and the shore ends are of nearly double
that strength. The depth of water throughout is within eighty fathoms;
so that, if any accident should ever occur, it may be remedied without
much difficulty.

A great change in the rates to Sicily and the Italian States will result
from the completion of this new line, a reduction in some cases of
seventy-five per cent. being made,--a great boon to the English
merchants. Messages in French, English, or Italian will be transmitted,
and we must congratulate the company upon their success in inducing the
Neapolitan government to make this concession, and upon the exceedingly
low tariff proposed.

Mr. De Sauty is the electrician of this company. He will be remembered
by the reader as the mysterious operator at Trinity Bay, from whom an
occasional vague and exceedingly brief despatch was received in relation
to the working of the cable. Nothing really satisfactory could ever be
obtained, and, when visited by some officers connected with the United
States Coast Survey, he would not permit them to enter the office or
examine the apparatus. His name was published in the daily journals with
several different varieties of spelling, and for this reason, and in
consequence of his extreme reticence, one of them perpetrated the

  "Thou operator, silent, glum,
  Why wilt them act so naughty?
  Do tell us _what_ your name is,--come:
  De Santy, or De Sauty?

  "Don't think to humbug any more,
  Shut up there in your shanty,--
  But solve the problem, once for all,--
  De Sauty, or De Santy?"

Electric telegraphy in the Ottoman Empire has within a few months had
a remarkable development. Several lines are already in course of
construction. A direct line from Varna to Toultcha, passing by
Baltschik. A line from Toultcha to Odessa, passing by Reni and joining
the Russian telegraph at Ismail. The subaqueous cable from Toultcha to
Reni, on the Danube, is the sixth in the Ottoman Empire. This line,
which will place Constantinople in direct communication with Odessa,
will not only have the advantage of increasing and accelerating the
communications, but will very considerably reduce their cost.

There is also to be a line from Rodosto to Enos and Salonica; and from
Salonica to Monastir, Valona, and Scutari in Albania. The line from
Salonica to Monastir and Valona will be joined by a submarine cable
crossing the Adriatic to Otranto, and carried on to Naples. It will
have the effect of placing Southern Italy in communication with
Constantinople, and also of reducing the cost of messages. A convention
to this effect has been signed by a delegate of the Neapolitan
government and the director-general of the telegraphic lines of the
Ottoman Empire, touching this line to Naples. The ratification of the
two governments will shortly be given to this convention.

A line from Scutari in Albania to Bar-Bournon, and thence to
Castellastua, passing round the Montenegrin territory by a submarine
cable. This line is already laid, and will begin working immediately on,
the completion of the Austrian lines to the point where it ends.

A line from Constantinople to Bagdad. Three sections of this are being
simultaneously laid down. The first from Constantinople to Ismid,
Angora, Yuzgat, and Sivas: the works on this have been already carried
to Sabanja, between Ismid and Angora. The second section, from Sivas
to Moussoul: the works on this line are in a state of favorable
preparation, and the line will be actively gone on with. The third
section, from Bagdad to Moussoul: for this also the preparations have
been made, and the works will begin when the season opens, the materials
being all ready along the line. From Bagdad this line will extend to
Bassora, to join a submarine cable to be carried thence to British

A projected line from Constantinople to Smyrna. For this, two routes
are thought of: one, the shortest, but most difficult, would run from
Constantinople to the Dardanelles, Adramyti, and Smyrna; the other,
the longest, but offering fewest difficulties, would pass from
Constantinople by Muhalitch, Berliek-Hissar, and Maneesa, to Smyrna.

A line from Mostar to Bosna-Serai. Mostar is already connected with the
Austrian telegraphs at Metcovich.

Other lines have been in the mean time completed and extended, and will
soon be opened to the public. Thus, a third and fourth wire are being
laid on the line from Constantinople to Rodosto; from the latter point
three wires have been carried to Gallipoli and the Dardanelles, two of
which are for messages from Gallipoli to the Dardanelles, and the third
is to join the submarine cable connecting Constantinople, Candia, Syra,
and the Piraeus. The communications between Constantinople and Candia
would already have begun but for an accident to the engineer. Those
with Syra and the Piraeus will begin as soon as the ratification of the
convention entered into between the Ottoman and Greek governments on
this subject shall have taken place. The laying of the cable between
Candia and Alexandria, which has not yet succeeded, will be resumed this

Thus, after the completion of these lines, Constantinople will be in
communication with nearly all the chief provinces and towns of the
empire, with Africa, and with Europe, by five different channels,--by
the Principalities, by Odessa, by Servia, by Dalmatia, and the Kingdom
of the Two Sicilies. With such a development of the system, it will
be imperatively necessary to increase the telegraphic working-staff.
Already the number of despatches arriving every day renders the service
very difficult, and occasions much confusion and many grievous mistakes.
Nothing is easier than to remedy all this by increasing the number of
the _employés_.

The great distinguishing feature of the telegraphs used in Great Britain
is, that they are of the class known as oscillating telegraphs,--that
is, telègraphs in which the letters are denoted by the number of motions
to the right or left of a needle or indicator. Those of France are of
the class called dial telegraphs, in which an index, or needle, is
carried around the face of a dial, around the circumference of which are
placed the letters of the alphabet; any particular letter being
designated by the brief stopping of the needle. A similar system has
been used in Prussia; but, recently, the American, or recording
instrument of Professor Morse, has been introduced into this, as well
as every other European country; and even in England, the national
prejudice is gradually giving way, and our American system is being

In America none but recording instruments have ever been used. Of
these we have many kinds, but only five are in operation at present,
namely:--The electro-magnetic timing instrument of Professor Morse;
the electro-magnetic step-by-step printing of Mr. House; the
electro-magnetic synchronous printing of Mr. Hughes; the
electro-chemical rhythmic of Mr. Bain; and the combination-printing,
combining the essential parts of the Hughes instrument with portions of
the House. The Morse apparatus is, however, most generally used in this
country and every other. Out of the two hundred and fifty thousand
miles of electric telegraph now in operation or in the course of
construction in the world, at least two hundred thousand give the
preference to it.

Although the Morse apparatus is a recording one, yet, for the last six
years, the operators in this country have discontinued the use of the
paper, and confined themselves to reading by the ear, which they do
with the greatest facility. By this means a great saving is made in the
expense of working the telegraph, and far greater correctness insured;
as the ear is found much more reliable in comprehending the clicks of
the instrument, than the eye in deciphering the arbitrary alphabet of
dots and lines.

The rapidity of the several instruments in use may be given as
follows:--Cooke and Wheatstone's needle telegraph of Great Britain, 900
words per hour; Froment's dial telegraph, of France, 1200; Bregnet's
dial telegraph, also French, 1000; Sieman's dial telegraph, formerly
used upon the Prussian lines, 900; Bain's chemical, in use between
Liverpool and Manchester, and formerly to a considerable extent in the
United States, 1500; the Morse telegraph, in use all over the world,
1500; the House printing, used in the United States to a limited extent,
and in Cuba, 2800; Hughes's and the combination instruments, 2000. The
three last systems are American inventions; thus it will be seen, that
to our country is due the credit of inventing the most rapid and the
most universally used telegraphic systems.

But though we surpass all other nations in the value of our electric
apparatus, we are far behind many, and indeed most countries, in the
construction of our lines. This does not arise from want of knowledge or
of means, but from the custom which obtains to a great extent among all
classes and professions in this country, of providing something which
will answer for a time, instead of securing a permanent success.

"But to my mind,--though I am native here, And to the manner born,--it
is a custom More honored it in the breach than the observance,"--
especially in building lines of electric telegraph, where the best are
always the cheapest.

When Shakspeare made Puck promise to "put a girdle round about the earth
in forty minutes," he undoubtedly supposed he would thereby accomplish a
remarkable feat; but when the great Russo-American line _via_ Behring's
Strait and the Amoor is completed, and the Atlantic Cable is again in
operation, we can put an electric girdle round about the earth before
Puck could have time to spread his wings!

In view of what must actually take place at no distant day,--the
girdling of the earth by the electric wires,--a singular question
arises:--If we send a current of electricity east, it will lose
twenty-four hours in going round the globe; if we send one west, it
will gain twenty-four, or, in other words, will get back to the
starting-place twenty-four hours before it sets out. Now, if we send
a current half-way round the world, it will get there twelve hours in
advance of, or twelve hours behind our time, according as we send it
east or west; the question which naturally suggests itself, therefore,
is, What is the time at the antipodes? is it _yesterday_ or _to-morrow?_

"Friendless, when you are gone? But, Jean, you surely do not mean that
Effie has no claim on any human creature, beyond the universal one of
common charity?" I said, as she ceased, and lay panting on her pillows,
with her sunken eyes fixed eagerly upon my own.

"Ay, Sir, I do; for her grandfather has never by word or deed
acknowledged her, or paid the least heed to the letter her poor mother
sent him from her dying bed seven years ago. He is a lone old man, and
this child is the last of his name; yet he will not see her, and cares
little whether she be dead or living. It's a bitter shame, Sir, and the
memory of it will rise up before him when he comes to lie where I am
lying now."

"And you have kept the girl safe in the shelter of your honest home all
these years? Heaven will remember that, and in the great record of good
deeds will set the name of Adam Lyndsay far below that of poor Jean
Burns," I said, pressing the thin hand that had succored the orphan in
her need.

But Jean took no honor to herself for that charity, and answered simply
to my words of commendation.

"Sir, her mother was my foster-child; and when she left that stern old
man for love of Walter Home, I went, too, for love of her. Ah, dear
heart! she had sore need of me in the weary wanderings which ended only
when she lay down by her dead husband's side and left her bairn to me.
Then I came here to cherish her among kind souls where I was born; and
here she has grown up, an innocent young thing, safe from the wicked
world, the comfort of my life, and the one thing I grieve at leaving
when the time that is drawing very near shall come."

"Would not an appeal to Mr. Lyndsay reach him now, think you? Might not
Effie go to him herself? Surely, the sight of such a winsome creature
would touch his heart, however hard."

But Jean rose up in her bed, crying, almost fiercely,--

"No, Sir! no! My child shall never go to beg a shelter in that hard
man's house. I know too well the cold looks, the cruel words, that would
sting her high spirit and try her heart, as they did her mother's. No,
Sir,--rather than that, she shall go with Lady Gower."

"Lady Gower? What has she to do with Effie, Jean?" I asked, with
increasing interest.

"She will take Effie as her maid, Sir. A hard life for my child! but
what can I do?" And Jean's keen glance seemed trying to read mine.

"A waiting-maid? Heaven forbid!" I ejaculated, as a vision of that
haughty lady and her three wild sons swept through my mind.

I rose, paced the room in silence for a little time, then took a sudden
resolution, and, turning to the bed, exclaimed,--

"Jean, I will adopt Effie. I am old enough to be her father; and she
shall never feel the want of one, if you will give her to my care."

To my surprise, Jean's eager face wore a look of disappointment as she
listened, and with a sigh replied,--

"That's a kind thought, Sir, and a generous one; but it cannot be as you
wish. You may be twice her age, but still too young for that. How could
Effie look into that face of yours, so bonnie, Sir, for all it is so
grave, and, seeing never a wrinkle on the forehead, nor a white hair
among the black, how could she call you father? No, it will not do,
though so kindly meant. Your friends would laugh at you, Sir, and idle
tongues might speak ill of my bairn."

"Then what can I do, Jean?" I asked, regretfully.

"Make her your wife, Sir."

I turned sharply and stared at the woman, as her abrupt reply reached my
ear. Though trembling for the consequences of her boldly spoken wish,
Jean did not shrink from my astonished gaze; and when I saw the
wistfulness of that wan face, the smile died on my lips, checked by the
tender courage which had prompted the utterance of her dying hope.

"My good Jean, you forget that Effie is a child, and I a moody, solitary
man, with no gifts to win a wife or make home happy."

"Effie is sixteen, Sir,--a fair, good lassie for her years; and you--ah,
Sir, _you_ may call yourself unfit for wife and home, but the poorest,
saddest creature in this place knows that the man whose hand is always
open, whose heart is always pitiful, is not the one to live alone, but
to win and to deserve a happy home and a true wife. Oh, Sir, forgive me,
if I have been too bold; but my time is short, and I love my child so
well, I cannot leave the desire of my heart unspoken, for it is my

As the words fell brokenly from her lips, and tears streamed down her
pallid cheek, a great pity took possession of me, the old longing to
find some solace for my solitary life returned again, and peace seemed
to smile on me from little Effie's eyes.

"Jean," I said, "give me till to-morrow to consider this new thought. I
fear it cannot be; but I have learned to love the child too well to see
her thrust out from the shelter of your home to walk through this evil
world alone. I will consider your proposal, and endeavor to devise some
future for the child which shall set your heart at rest. But before you
urge this further, let, me tell you that I am not what you think me.
I am a cold, selfish man, often, gloomy, often stern,--a most unfit
guardian for a tender creature like this little girl. The deeds of mine
which you call kind are not true charities; it frets me to see pain,
and I desire my ease above all earthly things. You are grateful for
the little I have done for you, and deceive yourself regarding my true
worth; but of one thing you may rest assured,--I am an honest man, who
holds his name too high to stain it with a false word or a dishonorable

"I do believe you, Sir," Jean answered, eagerly. "And if I left the
child to you, I could die this night in peace. Indeed, Sir, I never
should have dared to speak of this, but for the belief that you loved
the girl. What else could I think, when you came so often and were so
kind to us?"

"I cannot blame you, Jean; it was my usual forgetfulness of others which
so misled you. I was tired of the world, and came hither to find peace
in solitude. Effie cheered me with her winsome ways, and I learned to
look on her as the blithe spirit whose artless wiles won me to forget a
bitter past and a regretful present." I paused; and then added, with a
smile, "But, in our wise schemes, we have overlooked one point: Effie
does not love me, and may decline the future you desire me to offer

A vivid hope lit those dim eyes, as Jean met my smile with one far
brighter, and joyfully replied,--

"She _does_ love you, Sir; for you have given her the greatest happiness
she has ever known. Last night she sat looking silently into the fire
there with a strange gloom on her bonnie face, and, when I asked what
she was dreaming of, she turned to me with a look of pain and fear, as
if dismayed at some great loss, but she only said, 'He is going, Jean!
What shall I do?'"

"Poor child! she will miss her friend and teacher, when I'm gone; and I
shall miss the only human creature that has seemed to care for me for
years," I sighed,--adding, as I paused upon the threshold of the door,
"Say nothing of this to Effie till I come to-morrow, Jean."

I went away, and far out on the lonely moor sat down to think. Like a
weird magician, Memory led me back into the past, calling up the hopes
and passions buried there. My childhood,--fatherless and motherless,
but not unhappy; for no wish was ungratified, no idle whim denied. My
boyhood,--with no shadows over it but those my own wayward will called
up. My manhood,--when the great joy of my life arose, my love for
Agnes, a midsummer dream of bloom and bliss, so short-lived and so
sweet! I felt again the pang that wrung my heart when she coldly gave me
back the pledge I thought so sacred and so sure, and the music of her
marriage-bells tolled the knell of my lost love. I seemed to hear them
still wafted across the purple moor through the silence of those fifteen

My life looked gray and joyless as the wide waste lying hushed around
me, unblessed with the verdure of a single hope, a single love; and as I
looked down the coming years, my way seemed very solitary, very dark.

Suddenly a lark soared upward from the heath, cleaving the silence with
its jubilant song. The sleeping echoes woke, the dun moor seemed to
smile, and the blithe music fell like dew upon my gloomy spirit,
wakening a new desire.

"What this bird is to the moor might little Effie be to me," I thought
within myself, longing to possess the cheerful spirit which had power to
gladden me.

"Yes," I mused, "the old home will seem more solitary now than ever; and
if I cannot win the lark's song without a golden fetter, I will give
it one, and while it sings for love of me it shall not know a want or

Heaven help me! I forgot the poor return I made my lark for the sweet
liberty it lost.

All that night I pondered the altered future Jean had laid before me,
and the longer I looked the fairer it seemed to grow. Wealth I cared
nothing for; the world's opinion I defied; ambition had departed,
and passion I believed lay dead;--then why should I deny myself the
consolation which seemed offered to me? I would accept it; and as I
resolved, the dawn looked in at me, fresh and fair as little Effie's

I met Jean with a smile, and, as she read its significance aright,
there shone a sudden peace upon her countenance, more touching than her
grateful words.

Effie came singing from the burn-side, as unconscious of the change
which awaited her as the flowers gathered in her plaid and crowning her
bright hair.

I drew her to my side, and in the simplest words asked her if she would
go with me when Jean's long guardianship was ended. Joy, sorrow, and
surprise stirred the sweet composure of her face, and quickened the
tranquil beating of her heart. But as I ceased, joy conquered grief and
wonder; for she clapped her hands like a glad child, exclaiming,--

"Go with you, Sir? Oh, if you knew how I long to see the home you have
so often pictured to me, you would never doubt my willingness to go."

"But, Effie, you do not understand. Are you willing to go with me as my
wife?" I said,--with a secret sense of something like remorse, as I
uttered that word, which once meant so much to me, and now seemed such
an empty title to bestow on her.

The flowers dropped from the loosened plaid, as Effie looked with a
startled glance into my face; the color left her cheeks, and the smile
died on her lips, but a timid joy lit her eye, as she softly echoed my
last words,--

"Your wife? It sounds very solemn, though so sweet. Ah, Sir, I am not
wise or good enough for that!"

A child's humility breathed in her speech, but something of a woman's
fervor shone in her uplifted countenance, and sounded in the sudden
tremor of her voice.

"Effie, I want you as you are," I said,--"no wiser, dear,--no better.
I want your innocent affection to appease the hunger of an empty heart,
your blithe companionship to cheer my solitary home. Be still a child to
me, and let me give you the protection of my name."

Effie turned to her old friend, and, laying her young face on the pillow
close beside the worn one grown so dear to her, asked, in a tone half
pleading, half regretful,--

"Dear Jean, shall I go so far away from you and the home you gave me
when I had no other?"

"My bairn, I shall not be here, and it will never seem like home with
old Jean gone. It is the last wish I shall ever know, to see you safe
with this good gentleman who loves my child. Go, dear heart, and be
happy; and Heaven bless and keep you both!"

Jean held her fast a moment, and then, with a whispered prayer, put her
gently away. Effie came to me, saying, with a look more eloquent than
her meek words,--

"Sir, I will be your wife, and love you very truly all my life."

I drew the little creature to my breast, and felt a tender pride in
knowing she was mine. Something in the shy caress those soft arms gave
touched my cold nature with a generous warmth, and the innocence of
that confiding heart was an appeal to all that made my manhood worth

Swiftly those few weeks passed, and when old Jean was laid to her last
sleep, little Effie wept her grief away upon her husband's bosom, and
soon learned to smile in her new English home. Its gloom departed when
she came, and for a while it was a very happy place. My bitter moods
seemed banished by the magic of the gentle presence that made sunshine
there, and I was conscious of a fresh grace added to the life so
wearisome before.

I should have been a father to the child, watchful, wise, and tender;
but old Jean was right,--I was too young to feel a father's calm
affection or to know a father's patient care. I should have been her
teacher, striving to cultivate the nature given to my care, and fit it
for the trials Heaven sends to all. I should have been a friend, if
nothing more, and given her those innocent delights that make youth
beautiful and its memory sweet.

I was a master, content to give little, while receiving all she could

Forgetting her loneliness, I fell back into my old way of life. I
shunned the world, because its gayeties had lost their zest. I did not
care to travel, for home now possessed a charm it never had before. I
knew there was an eager face that always brightened when I came, light
feet that flew to welcome me, and hands that loved to minister to every
want of mine. Even when I sat engrossed among my books, there was a
pleasant consciousness that I was the possessor of a household sprite
whom a look could summon and a gesture banish. I loved her as I loved a
picture or a flower,--a little better than my horse and hound,--but
far less than I loved my most unworthy self.

And she,--always so blithe when I was by, so diligent in studying
my desires, so full of simple arts to win my love and prove her
gratitude,--she never asked for any boon, and seemed content to live
alone with me in that still place, so utterly unlike the home she had
left. I had not learned to read that true heart then. I saw those happy
eyes grow wistful when I went, leaving her alone; I missed the roses
from her cheek, faded for want of gentler care; and when the buoyant
spirit which had been her chiefest charm departed, I fancied, in my
blindness, that she pined for the free air of the Highlands, and tried
to win it back by transient tenderness and costly gifts. But I had
robbed my lark of heaven's sunshine, and it could not sing.

I met Agnes again. She was a widow, and to my eye seemed fairer than
when I saw her last, and far more kind. Some soft regret seemed shining
on me from those lustrous eyes, as if she hoped to win my pardon for
that early wrong. I never could forget the deed that darkened my best
years, but the old charm stole over me at times, and, turning from the
meek child at my feet, I owned the power of the stately woman whose
smile seemed a command.

I meant no wrong to Effie, but, looking on her as a child, I forgot
the higher claim I had given her as a wife, and, walking blindly on my
selfish way, I crushed the little flower I should have cherished in my
breast. "Effie, my old friend Agnes Vaughan is coming here to-day; so
make yourself fair, that you may do honor to my choice; for she desires
to see you, and I wish my Scotch harebell to look lovely to this English
rose," I said, half playfully, half earnestly, as we stood together
looking out across the flowery lawn, one summer day.

"Do you like me to be pretty, Sir?" she answered, with a flush of
pleasure on her upturned face. "I will try to make myself fair with the
gifts you are always heaping on me; but even then I fear I shall not do
you honor, nor please your friend, I am so small and young."

A careless reply was on my lips, but, seeing what a long way down the
little figure was, I drew it nearer, saying, with a smile, which I knew
would make an answering one,--

"Dear, there must be the bud before the flower; so never grieve, for
your youth keeps my spirit young. To me you may be a child forever; but
you must learn to be a stately little Madam Ventnor to my friends."

She laughed a gayer laugh than I had heard for many a day, and soon
departed, intent on keeping well the promise she had given. An hour
later, as I sat busied among my books, a little figure glided in, and
stood before me with its jewelled arms demurely folded on its breast. It
was Effie, as I had never seen her before. Some new freak possessed her,
for with her girlish dress she seemed to have laid her girlhood by. The
brown locks were gathered up, wreathing the small head like a coronet;
aerial lace and silken vesture shimmered in the light, and became her
well. She looked and moved a fairy queen, stately and small.

I watched her in a silent maze, for the face with its shy blushes and
downcast eyes did not seem the childish one turned frankly to my own an
hour ago. With a sigh I looked up at Agnes's picture, the sole ornament
of that room, and when I withdrew my gaze the blooming vision had
departed. I should have followed it to make my peace, but I fell into
a fit of bitter musing, and forgot it till Agnes's voice sounded at my

She came with a brother, and seemed eager to see my young wife; but
Effie did not appear, and I excused her absence as a girlish freak,
smiling at it with them, while I chafed inwardly at her neglect,
forgetting that I might have been the cause.

Pacing down the garden paths with Agnes at my side, our steps were
arrested by a sudden sight of Effie fast asleep among the flowers. She
looked a flower herself, lying with her flushed cheek pillowed on her
arm, sunshine glittering on the ripples of her hair, and the changeful
lustre of her dainty dress. Tears moistened her long lashes, but her
lips smiled, as if in the blissful land of dreams she had found some
solace for her grief.

"A 'Sleeping Beauty' worthy the awakening of any prince!" whispered
Alfred Vaughan, pausing with admiring eyes.

A slight frown swept over Agnes's face, but vanished as she said, with
that low-toned laugh that never seemed unmusical before,--

"We must pardon Mrs. Ventnor's seeming rudeness, if she welcomes us with
graceful scenes like this. A child-wife's whims are often prettier than
the world's formal ways; so do not chide her, Basil, when she wakes."

I was a proud man then, touched easily by trivial things. Agnes's
pitying manner stung me, and the tone in which I wakened Effie was far
harsher than it should have been. She sprang up; and with a gentle
dignity most new to me received her guests, and played the part of
hostess with a grace that well atoned for her offence.

Agnes watched her silently as she went before us with young Vaughan, and
even I, ruffled as my temper was, felt a certain pride in the loving
creature who for my sake conquered her timidity and strove to do me
honor. But neither by look nor word did I show my satisfaction, for
Agnes demanded the constant service of lips and eyes, and I was only too
ready to devote them to the woman who still felt her power and dared to
show it.

All that day I was beside her, forgetful in many ways of the gentle
courtesies I owed the child whom I had made my wife. I did not see the
wrong then, but others did, and the deference I failed to show she could
ask of them.

In the evening, as I stood near Agnes while she sang the songs we both
remembered well, my eye fell on a mirror that confronted me, and in it
I saw Effie bending forward with a look that startled me. Some strong
emotion controlled her, for with lips apart and eager eyes she gazed
keenly at the countenances she believed unconscious of her scrutiny.

Agnes caught the vision that had arrested the half-uttered compliment
upon my lips, and, turning, looked at Effie with a smile just touched
with scorn.

The color rose vividly to Effie's cheek, but her eyes did not fall,--
they sought my face, and rested there. A half-smile crossed my lips;
with a sudden impulse I beckoned, and she came with such an altered
countenance I fancied that I had not seen aright.

At my desire she sang the ballads she so loved, and in her girlish voice
there was an undertone of deeper melody than when I heard them first
among her native hills; for the child's heart was ripening fast into the

Agnes went, at length, and I heard Effies sigh of relief when we were
left alone, but only bid her "go and rest," while I paced to and fro,
still murmuring the refrain of Agnes's song.

The Vaughans came often, and we went often to them in the summer-home
they had chosen near us on the riverbank. I followed my own wayward
will, and Effie's wistful eyes grew sadder as the weeks went by.

One sultry evening, as we strolled together on the balcony, I was
seized with a sudden longing to hear Agnes sing, and bid Effie come with
me for a moonlight voyage down the river.

She had been very silent all the evening, with a pensive shadow on her
face and rare smiles on her lips. But as I spoke, she paused
abruptly, and, clenching her small hands, turned upon me with defiant
eyes,--crying, almost fiercely--

"No, I will not go to listen to that woman's songs. I hate her! yes,
more than I can tell! for, till she came, I thought you loved me; but
now you think of her alone, and chide me when I look unhappy. You treat
me like a child; but I am not one. Oh, Sir, be more kind, for I have
only you to love!"--and as her voice died in that sad appeal, she
clasped her hands before her face with such a burst of tears that I had
no words to answer her.

Disturbed by the sudden passion of the hitherto meek girl, I sat down on
the wide steps of the balcony and essayed to draw her to my knee, hoping
she would weep this grief away as she had often done a lesser sorrow.
But she resisted my caress, and, standing erect before me, checked
her tears, saying, in a voice still trembling with resentment and

"You promised Jean to be kind to me, and you are cruel; for when I ask
for love, you give me jewels, books, or flowers, as you would give a
pettish child a toy, and go away as if you were weary of me. Oh, it is
not right, Sir! and I cannot, no, I will not bear it!"

If she had spared reproaches, deserved though they were, and humbly
pleaded to be loved, I should have been more just and gentle; but her
indignant words, the sharper for their truth, roused the despotic spirit
of the man, and made me sternest when I should have been most kind.

"Effie," I said, looking coldly up into her troubled face, "I have given
you the right to be thus frank with me; but before you exercise that
right, let me tell you what may silence your reproaches and teach you
to know me better. I desired to adopt you as my child; Jean would not
consent to that, but bid me marry you, and so give you a home, and win
for myself a companion who should make that home less solitary. I could
protect you in no other way, and I married you. I meant it kindly,
Effie; for I pitied you,--ay, and loved you, too, as I hoped I had fully

"You have, Sir,--oh, you have! But I hoped I might in time be more to
you than a dear child," sighed Effie, while softer tears flowed as she

"Effie, I told Jean I was a hard, cold man,"--and I was one as those
words passed my lips. "I told her I was unfitted to make a wife happy.
But she said you would be content with what I could offer; and so I gave
you all I had to bestow. It was not enough; yet I cannot make it more.
Forgive me, child, and try to bear your disappointments as I have
learned to bear mine."

Effie bent suddenly, saying, with a look of anguish, "Do you regret that
I am your wife, Sir?"

"Heaven knows I do, for I cannot make you happy," I answered,

"Let me go away where I can never grieve or trouble you again! I will,--
indeed, I will,--for anything is easier to bear than this. Oh, Jean, why
did you leave me when you went?"--and with that despairing cry Effie
stretched her arms into the empty air, as if seeking that lost friend.

My anger melted, and I tried to soothe her, saying gently, as I laid her
tear-wet cheek to mine,--

"My child, death alone must part us two. We will be patient with each
other, and so may learn to be happy yet."

A long silence fell upon us both. My thoughts were busy with the thought
of what a different home mine might have been, if Agnes had been true;
and Effie--God only knows how sharp a conflict passed in that young
heart! I could not guess it till the bitter sequel of that hour came.

A timid hand upon my own aroused me, and, looking down, I met such an
altered face, it touched me like a mute reproach. All the passion bad
died out, and a great patience seemed to have arisen there. It looked so
meek and wan, I bent and kissed it; but no smile answered me as Effie
humbly said,--

"Forgive me, Sir, and tell me how I can make you happier. For I am truly
grateful for all you have done for me, and will try to be a docile child
to you."

"Be happy yourself, Effie, and I shall be content. I am too grave and
old to be a fit companion for you, dear. You shall have gay faces and
young friends to make this quiet place more cheerful. I should have
thought of that before. Dance, sing, be merry, Effie, and never let your
life be darkened by Basil Ventnor's changeful moods."

"And you?" she whispered, looking up.

"I will sit among my books, or seek alone the few friends I care to see,
and never mar your gayety with my gloomy presence, dear. We must begin
at once to go our separate ways; for, with so many years between us, we
can never find the same paths pleasant very long. Let me be a father to
you, and a friend,--I cannot be a lover, child."

Effie rose and went silently away; but soon came again, wrapped in her
mantle, saying, as she looked down at me, with something of her former

"I am good now. Come and row me down the river. It is too beautiful a
night to be spent in tears and naughtiness."

"No, Effie, you shall never go to Mrs. Vaughan's again, if you dislike
her so. No friendship of mine need be shared by you, if it gives you

"Nothing shall pain me any more," she answered, with a patient sigh. "I
will be your merry girl again, and try to love Agnes for your sake. Ah!
do come, _father_, or I shall not feel forgiven."

Smiling at her April moods, I obeyed the small hands clasped about my
own, and through the fragrant linden walk went musing to the river-side.

Silently we floated down, and at the lower landing-place found Alfred
Vaughan just mooring his own boat. By him I sent a message to his
sister, while we waited for her at the shore.

Effie stood above me on the sloping bank, and as Agnes entered the
green vista of the flowery path, she turned and clung to me with sudden
fervor, kissed me passionately, and then stole silently into the boat.

The moonlight turned the waves to silver, and in its magic rays the face
of my first love grew young again. She sat before me with water-lilies
in her shining hair, singing as she sang of old, while the dash of
falling oars kept time to her low song. As we neared the ruined bridge,
whose single arch still cast its heavy shadow far across the stream,
Agnes bent toward me, softly saying,--

"Basil, you remember this?"

How could I forget that happy night, long years ago, when she and I went
floating down the same bright stream, two happy lovers just betrothed?
As she spoke, it all came back more beautiful than ever, and I forgot
the silent figure sitting there behind me. I hope Agnes had forgotten,
too; for, cruel as she was to me, I never wished to think her hard
enough to hate that gentle child.

"I remember, Agnes," I said, with a regretful sigh. "My voyage has been
a lonely one since then."

"Are you not happy, Basil?" she asked, with a tender pity thrilling her
low voice.

"Happy?" I echoed, bitterly,--"how can I be happy, remembering what
might have been?"

Agnes bowed her head upon her hands, and silently the boat shot into the
black shadow of the arch. A sudden eddy seemed to sway us slightly from
our course, and the waves dashed sullenly against the gloomy walls;
a moment more and we glided into calmer waters and unbroken light. I
looked up from my task to speak, but the words were frozen on my lips
by a cry from Agnes, who, wild-eyed and pale, seemed pointing to some
phantom which I could not see. I turned,--the phantom was Effie's empty
seat. The shining stream grew dark before me, and a great pang of
remorse wrung my heart as that sight met my eyes.

"Effie!" I cried, with a cry that rent the stillness of the night, and
sent the name ringing down the river. But nothing answered me, and the
waves rippled softly as they hurried by. Far over the wide stream went
my despairing glance, and saw nothing but the lilies swaying as they
slept, and the black arch where my child went down.

Agnes lay trembling at my feet, but I never heeded her,--for Jean's
dead voice sounded in my ear, demanding the life confided to my care. I
listened, benumbed with guilty fear, and, as if summoned by that weird
cry, there came a white flash through the waves, and Effie's face rose
up before me.

Pallid and wild with the agony of that swift plunge, it confronted me.
No cry for help parted the pale lips, but those wide eyes were luminous
with a love whose fire that deathful river could not quench.

Like one in an awful dream, I gazed till the ripples closed above it.
One instant the terror held me,--the next I was far down in those waves,
so silver fair above, so black and terrible below. A brief, blind
struggle passed before I grasped a tress of that long hair, then an arm,
and then the white shape, with a clutch like death. As the dividing
waters gave us to the light again, Agnes flung herself far over the
boat-side and drew my lifeless burden in; I followed, and we laid it
down, a piteous sight for human eyes to look upon. Of that swift voyage
home I can remember nothing but the still face on Agnes's breast, the
sight of which nerved my dizzy brain and made my muscles iron.

For many weeks there was a darkened chamber in my house, and anxious
figures gliding to and fro, wan with long vigils and the fear of death.
I often crept in to look upon the little figure lying there, to watch
the feverish roses blooming on the wasted cheek, the fitful fire burning
in the unconscious eyes, to hear the broken words so full of pathos to
my ear, and then to steal away and struggle to forget.

My bird fluttered on the threshold of its cage, but Love lured it back,
for its gentle mission was not yet fulfilled.

The _child_ Effie lay dead beneath the ripples of the river, but the
_woman_ rose up from that bed of suffering like one consecrated to
life's high duties by the bitter baptism of that dark hour.

Slender and pale, with serious eyes and quiet steps, she moved through
the home which once echoed to the glad voice and dancing feet of that
vanished shape. A sweet sobriety shaded her young face, and a meek smile
sat upon her lips, but the old blithesomeness was gone.

She never claimed her childish place upon my knee, never tried the
winsome wiles that used to chase away my gloom, never came to pour her
innocent delights and griefs into my ear, or bless me with the frank
affection which grew very precious when I found it lost.

Docile as ever, and eager to gratify my lightest wish, she left no
wifely duty unfulfilled. Always near me, if I breathed her name, but
vanishing when I grew silent, as if her task were done. Always smiling a
cheerful farewell when I went, a quiet welcome when I came. I missed the
April face that once watched me go, the warm embrace that greeted me
again, and at my heart the sense of loss grew daily deeper as I felt the
growing change.

Effie remembered the words I had spoken on that mournful night;
remembered that our paths must lie apart,--that her husband was a
friend, and nothing more. She treasured every careless hint I had given,
and followed it most faithfully. She gathered gay, young friends about
her, went out into the brilliant world, and I believed she was content.

If I had ever felt she was a burden to the selfish freedom I desired,
I was punished now, for I had lost a blessing which no common pleasure
could replace. I sat alone, and no blithe voice made music in the
silence of my room, no bright locks swept my shoulder, and no soft
caress assured me that I was beloved.

I looked for my household sprite in girlish garb, with its free hair
and sunny eyes, but found only a fair woman, graceful in rich attire,
crowned with my gifts, and standing afar off among her blooming peers.
I could not guess the solitude of that true heart, nor see the captive
spirit gazing at me from those steadfast eyes.

No word of the cause of that despairing deed passed Effie's lips, and
I had no need to ask it. Agnes was silent, and soon left us, but her
brother was a frequent guest. Effie liked his gay companionship, and I
denied her nothing,--nothing but the one desire of her life.

So that first year passed; and though the ease and liberty I coveted
were undisturbed, I was not satisfied. Solitude grew irksome, and
study ceased to charm. I tried old pleasures, but they had lost their
zest,--renewed old friendships, but they wearied me. I forgot Agnes,
and ceased to think her fair. I looked at Effie, and sighed for my lost

My little wife grew very beautiful to me, for she was blooming fast into
a gracious womanhood. I felt a secret pride in knowing she was mine,
and watched her as I fancied a fond brother might, glad that she was so
good, so fair, so much beloved. I ceased to mourn the plaything I
had lost, and something akin to reverence mingled with the deepening
admiration of the man.

Gay guests had filled the house with festal light and sound one winter's
night, and when the last bright figure had vanished from the threshold
of the door, I still stood there, looking over the snow-shrouded lawn,
hoping to cool the fever of my blood, and case the restless pain that
haunted me.

I shut out the keen air and wintry sky, at length, and silently ascended
to the diverted rooms above. But in the soft gloom of a vestibule my
steps were stayed. Two figures, in a flowery alcove, fixed my eye. The
light streamed full upon them, and the fragrant stillness of the air was
hardly stirred by their low tones.

Effie was there, sunk on a low couch, her face bowed upon her hands; and
at her side, speaking with impassioned voice and ardent eyes, leaned
Alfred Vaughan.

The sight struck me like a blow, and the sharp anguish of that moment
proved how deeply I had learned to love.

"Effie, it is a sinful tie that binds you to that man; he does not love
you, and it should be broken,--for this slavery will wear away the life
now grown so dear to me."

The words, hot with indignant passion, smote me like a wintry blast, but
not so coldly as the broken voice that answered them:--

"He said death alone must part us two, and, remembering that, I cannot
listen to another love."

Like a guilty ghost I stole away, and in the darkness of my solitary
room struggled with my bitter grief, my newborn love. I never blamed
my wife,--that wife who had heard the tender name so seldom, she could
scarce feel it hers. I had fettered her free heart, forgetting it would
one day cease to be a child's. I bade her look upon me as a father; she
had learned the lesson well; and now what right had I to reproach her
for listening to a lover's voice, when her husband's was so cold? What
mattered it that slowly, almost unconsciously, I had learned to love her
with the passion of a youth, the power of a man? I had alienated that
fond nature from my own, and now it was too late.

Heaven only knows the bitterness of that hour;--I cannot tell it. But
through the darkness of my anguish and remorse that newly kindled love
burned like a blessed fire, and, while it tortured, purified. By its
light I saw the error of my life: self-love was written on the actions
of the past, and I knew that my punishment was very just. With a child's
repentant tears, I confessed it to my Father, and He solaced me, showed
me the path to tread, and made me nobler for the blessedness and pain of
that still hour.

Dawn found me an altered man; for in natures like mine the rain of a
great sorrow melts the ice of years, and their hidden strength blooms
in a late harvest of patience, self-denial, and humility. I resolved to
break the tie which bound poor Effie to a joyless fate; and gratitude
for a selfish deed, which wore the guise of charity, should no longer
mar her peace. I would atone for the wrong I had done her, the suffering
she had endured; and she should never know that I had guessed her tender
secret, nor learn the love which made my sacrifice so bitter, yet so

Alfred came no more; and as I watched the growing pallor of her cheek,
her patient efforts to be cheerful and serene, I honored that meek
creature for her constancy to what she deemed the duty of her life.

I did not tell her my resolve at once, for I could not give her up so
soon. It was a weak delay, but I had not learned the beauty of a perfect
self-forgetfulness; and though I clung to my purpose steadfastly, my
heart still cherished a desperate hope that I might be spared this loss.

In the midst of this secret conflict, there came a letter from old Adam
Lyndsay, asking to see his daughter's child; for life was waning slowly,
and he desired to forgive, as he hoped to be forgiven when the last hour
came. The letter was to me, and, as I read it, I saw a way where-by I
might be spared the hard task of telling Effie she was to be free. I
feared my new-found strength would desert me, and my courage fail, when,
looking on the woman who was dearer to me than my life, I tried to give
her back the liberty whose worth she had learned to know.

Effie should go, and I would write the words I dared not speak. She
would be in her mother's home, free to show her joy at her release, and
smile upon the lover she had banished.

I went to tell her; for it was I who sought her now, who watched for her
coming and sighed at her departing steps,--I who waited for her smile
and followed her with wistful eyes. The child's slighted affection was
atoned for now by my unseen devotion to the woman.

I gave the letter, and she read it silently.

"Will you go, love?" I asked, as she folded it.

"Yes,--the old man has no one to care for him but me, and it is so
beautiful to be loved."

A sudden smile touched her lips, and a soft dew shone in the shadowy
eyes, which seemed looking into other and tenderer ones than mine. She
could not know how sadly I echoed those words, nor how I longed to tell
her of another man who sighed to be forgiven.

"You must gather roses for these pale cheeks among the breezy moorlands,
dear. They are not so blooming as they were a year ago. Jean would
reproach me for my want of care," I said, trying to speak cheerfully,
though each word seemed a farewell.

"Poor Jean! how long it seems since she kissed them last!" sighed Effie,
musing sadly, as she turned her wedding-ring.

My heart ached to see how thin the hand had grown, and how easily that
little fetter would fall off when I set my captive lark at liberty.

I looked till I dared look no longer, and then rose, saying,--

"You will write often, Effie, for I shall miss you very much."

She cast a quick look into my face, asking, hurriedly,--

"Am I to go alone?"

"Dear, I have much to do and cannot go; but you need fear nothing; I
shall send Ralph and Mrs. Prior with you, and the journey is soon over.
When will you go?"

It was the first time she had left me since I took her from Jean's arms,
and I longed to keep her always near me; but, remembering the task I had
to do, I felt that I must seem cold till she knew all.

"Soon,--very soon,--to-morrow;--let me go to-morrow, Sir. I long to be
away!" she cried, some swift emotion banishing the calmness of her usual
manner, as she rose, with eager eyes and a gesture full of longing.

"You shall go, Effie," was all I could say; and with no word of thanks,
she hastened away, leaving me so calm without, so desolate within.

The same eagerness possessed her all that day; and the next she went
away, clinging to me at the last as she had clung that night upon the
river-bank, as if her grateful heart reproached her for the joy she felt
at leaving my unhappy home.

A few days passed, bringing me the comfort of a few sweet lines from
Effie, signed "Your child." That sight reminded me, that, if I would do
an honest deed, it should be generously done. I read again the little
missive she had sent, and then I wrote the letter which might be my
last;--with no hint of my love, beyond the expression of sincerest
regard and never-ceasing interest in her happiness; no hint of Alfred
Vaughan; for I would not wound her pride, nor let her dream that any eye
had seen the passion she so silently surrendered, with no reproach to
me and no shadow on the name I had given into her keeping. Heaven knows
what it cost me, and Heaven, through the suffering of that hour, granted
me an humbler spirit and a better life.

It went, and I waited for my fate as one might wait for pardon or for
doom. It came at length,--a short, sad letter, full of meek obedience to
my will, of penitence for faults I never knew, and grateful prayers for
my peace.

My last hope died then, and for many days I dwelt alone, living over all
that happy year with painful vividness. I dreamed again of those fair
days, and woke to curse the selfish blindness which had hidden my best
blessing from me till it was forever lost.

How long I should have mourned thus unavailingly I cannot tell. A more
sudden, but far less grievous loss befell me. My fortune was nearly
swept away in the general ruin of a most disastrous year. This event
roused me from my despair and made me strong again,--for I must hoard
what could be saved, for Effie's sake. She had known a cruel want with
me, and she must never know another while she bore my name. I looked my
misfortune in the face and ceased to feel it one; for the diminished
fortune was still ample for my darling's dower, and now what need had I
of any but the simplest home?

Before another month was gone, I was in the quiet place henceforth to be
mine alone, and nothing now remained for me to do but to dissolve the
bond that made my Effie mine. Sitting over the dim embers of my solitary
hearth, I thought of this, and, looking round the silent room, whose
only ornaments were the things made sacred by her use, the utter
desolation struck so heavily upon my heart, that I bowed my head upon
my folded arms, and yielded to the tender longing that could not be

The bitter paroxysm passed, and, raising my eyes, the clearer for that
stormy rain, I beheld Effie standing like an answer to my spirit's cry.

With a great start, I regarded her, saying, at length, in a voice that
sounded cold, for my heart leaped up to meet her, and yet must not

"Effie, why are you here?"

Wraith-like and pale, she stood before me, with no sign of emotion but
the slight tremor of her frame, and answered my greeting with a sad

"I came because I promised to cleave to you through health and sickness,
poverty and wealth, and I must keep that vow till you absolve me from
it. Forgive me, but I knew misfortune had befallen you, and, remembering
all you had done for me, came, hoping I might comfort when other friends
deserted you."

"Grateful to the last!" I sighed, low to myself, and, though deeply
touched, replied with the hard-won calmness that made my speech so

"You owe me nothing, Effie, and I most earnestly desired to spare you

Some sudden hope seemed born of my regretful words, for, with an eager
glance, she cried,--

"Was it that desire which prompted you to part from me? Did you think I
should shrink from sharing poverty with you who gave me all I own?"

"No, dear,--ah, no!" I said, "I knew your grateful spirit far too well
for that. It was because I could not make your happiness, and yet had
robbed you of the right to seek it with some younger and some better

"Basil, what man? Tell me; for no doubt shall stand between us now!"

She grasped my arm, and her rapid words were a command.

I only answered, "Alfred Vaughan."

Effie covered up her face, crying, as she sank down at my feet,--

"Oh, my fear! my fear! Why was I blind so long?"

I felt her grief to my heart's core; for my own anguish made me pitiful,
and my love made me strong. I lifted up that drooping head and laid it
down where it might never rest again, saying, gently, cheerily, and with
a most sincere forgetfulness of self,--

"My wife, I never cherished a harsh thought of you, never uttered a
reproach when your affections turned from a cold, neglectful guardian,
to find a tenderer resting-place. I saw your struggles, dear, your
patient grief, your silent sacrifice, and honored you more truly than I
can tell. Effie, I robbed you of your liberty, but I will restore it,
making such poor reparation as I can for this long year of pain;
and when I see you blest in a happier home, my keen remorse will be

As I ceased, Effie rose erect and stood before me, transformed from a
timid girl into an earnest woman. Some dormant power and passion woke;
she turned on me a countenance aglow with feeling, soul in the eye,
heart on the lips, and in her voice an energy that held me mute.

"I feared to speak before," she said, "but now I dare anything, for I
have heard you call me 'wife,' and seen that in your face which gives me
hope. Basil, the grief you saw was not for the loss of any love
but yours; the conflict you beheld was the daily struggle to subdue
my longing spirit to your will; and the sacrifice you honor but the
renunciation of all hope. I stood between you and the woman whom you
loved, and asked of death to free me from that cruel lot. You gave me
back my life, but you withheld the gift that made it worth possessing.
You desired to be freed from the affection which only wearied you, and I
tried to conquer it; but it would not die. Let me speak now, and then I
will be still forever! Must our ways lie apart? Can I never be more to
you than now? Oh, Basil! oh, my husband! I have loved you very truly
from the first! Shall I never know the blessedness of a return?"

Words could not answer that appeal. I gathered my life's happiness close
to my breast, and in the silence of a full heart felt that God was very
good to me.

Soon all my pain and passion were confessed. Fast and fervently the tale
was told; and as the truth dawned on that patient wife, a tender peace
transfigured her uplifted countenance, until to me it seemed an angel's

"I am a poor man now," I said, still holding that frail creature fast,
fearing to see her vanish, as her semblance had so often done in the
long vigils I had kept,--"a poor man, Effie, and yet very rich, for I
have my treasure back again. But I am wiser than when we parted; for I
have learned that love is better than a world of wealth, and victory
over self a nobler conquest than a continent. Dear, I have no home but
this. Can you be happy here, with no fortune but the little store set
apart for you, and the knowledge that no want shall touch you while I

And as I spoke, I sighed, remembering all I might have done, and
dreading poverty for her alone.

But with a gesture, soft, yet solemn, Effie laid her hands upon my head,
as if endowing me with blessing and with gift, and answered, with her
steadfast eyes on mine,--

"You gave me your home when I was homeless; let me give it back, and
with it a proud wife. I, too, am rich; for that old man is gone and left
me all. Take it, Basil, and give me a little love."

I gave not little, but a long life of devotion for the good gift God had
bestowed on me,--finding in it a household spirit the daily benediction
of whose presence banished sorrow, selfishness, and gloom, and, through
the influence of happy human love, led me to a truer faith in the


  Whither? albeit I follow fast,
  In all life's circuit I but find
  Not where thou art, but where thou wast,
  Fleet Beckoner, more shy than wind!
  I haunt the pine-dark solitudes,
  With soft, brown silence carpeted,
  And think to snare thee in the woods:
  Peace I o'ertake, but thou art fled!
  I find the rock where thou didst rest,
  The moss thy skimming foot hath prest;
  All Nature with thy parting thrills,
  Like branches after birds new-flown;
  Thy passage hill and hollow fills
  With hints of virtue not their own;
  In dimples still the water slips
  Where thou hast dipped thy finger-tips;
  Just, just beyond, forever burn
  Gleams of a grace without return;
  Upon thy shade I plant my foot,
  And through my frame strange raptures shoot;
  All of thee but thyself I grasp;
  I seem to fold thy luring shape,
  And vague air to my bosom clasp,
  Thou lithe, perpetual Escape!

  One mask and then another drops,
  And thou art secret as before.
  Sometimes with flooded ear I list
  And hear thee, wondrous organist,
  Through mighty continental stops
  A thunder of strange music pour;--
  Through pipes of earth and air and stone
  Thy inspiration deep is blown;
  Through mountains, forests, open downs,
  Lakes, railroads, prairies, states, and towns,
  Thy gathering fugue goes rolling on,
  From Maine to utmost Oregon;
  The factory-wheels a rhythmus hum;
  From brawling parties concords come;--
  All this I hear, or seem to hear;
  But when, enchanted, I draw near
  To fix in notes the various theme,
  Life seems a whiff of kitchen-steam,
  History a Swiss street-singer's thrum,
  And I, that would have fashioned words
  To mate that music's rich accords,
  By rash approaches startle thee,
  Thou mutablest Perversity!
  The world drones on its old _tum-tum_,
  But thou hast slipped from it and me,
  And all thine organ-pipes left dumb.

  Not wearied yet, I still must seek,
  And hope for luck next day, next week.
  I go to see the great man ride,
  Ship-like, the swelling human tide
  That floods to bear him into port,
  Trophied from senate-hall or court:
  Thy magnetism, I feel it there,
  Thy rhythmic presence fleet and rare,
  Making the mob a moment fine
  With glimpses of their own Divine,
  As in their demigod they see
  Their swart ideal soaring free;
  'Tis thou that bear'st the fire about,
  Which, like the springing of a mine,
  Sends up to heaven the street-long shout:
  Full well I know that thou wast here;
  That was thy breath that thrilled mine ear;
  But vainly, in the stress and whirl,
  I dive for thee, the moment's pearl.

  Through every shape thou well canst run,
  Proteus, 'twixt rise and set of sun,
  Well pleased with logger-camps in Maine
  As where Milan's pale Duomo lies
  A stranded glacier on the plain,
  Its peaks and pinnacles of ice
  Melted in many a quaint device,
  And sees, across the city's din,
  Afar its silent Alpine kin;
  I track thee over carpets deep
  To Wealth's and Beauty's inmost keep;
  Across the sand of bar-room floors,
  'Mid the stale reek of boosing boors;
  Where drowse the hayfield's fragrant heats,
  Or the flail-heart of Autumn beats;
  I dog thee through the market's throngs,
  To where the sea with myriad tongues
  Laps the green fringes of the pier,
  And the tall ships that eastward steer
  Curtsy their farewells to the town,
  O'er the curved distance lessening down;--
  I follow allwhere for thy sake,--
  Touch thy robe's hem, but ne'er o'ertake,--
  Find where, scarce yet unmoving, lies,
  Warm from thy limbs, their last disguise,--
  But thou another mask hast donned,
  And lurest still, just, just, beyond!

  But here a voice, I know not whence,
  Thrills clearly through mine inward sense,
  Saying, "See where she sits at home,
  While thou in search of her dost roam!
  All summer long her ancient wheel
  Whirls humming by the open door,
  Or, when the hickory's social zeal
  Sets the wide chimney in a roar,
  Close-nestled by the tinkling hearth,
  It modulates the household mirth
  With that sweet, serious undertone
  Of Duty, music all her own;
  Still, as of old, she sits and spins
  Our hopes, our sorrows, and our sins;
  With equal care she twines the fates
  Of cottages and mighty states;
  She spins the earth, the air, the sea,
  The maiden's unschooled fancy free,
  The boy's first love, the man's first grief,
  The budding and the fall o' the leaf;
  The piping west-wind's snowy care
  For her their cloudy fleeces spare,
  Or from the thorns of evil times
  She can glean wool to twist her rhymes;
  Morning and noon and eve supply
  To her their fairest tints for dye,
  But ever through her twirling thread
  There spires one strand of warmest red,
  Tinged from the homestead's genial heart,
  The stamp and warrant of her art;
  With this Time's sickle she outwears,
  And blunts the Sisters' baffled shears.

  "Harass her not; thy heat and stir
  The greater coyness breed in her:
  Yet thou may'st find, ere Age's frost,
  Thy long apprenticeship not lost,
  Learning at last that Stygian Fate
  Supples for him that knows to wait.
  The Muse is womanish, nor deigns
  Her love to him who pules and plains;
  With proud, averted face she stands
  To him who wooes with empty hands.
  Make thyself free of manhood's guild;
  Pull down thy barns and greater build;
  The wood, the mountain, and the plain
  Wave breast-deep with the poet's grain;
  Pluck thou the sunset's fruit of gold;
  Glean from the heavens and ocean old;
  From fireside lone and trampling street
  Let thy life garner daily wheat;
  The epic of a man rehearse,
  Be something better than thy verse,
  Make thyself rich, and then the Muse
  Shall court thy precious interviews,
  Shall take thy head upon her knee,
  And such enchantment lilt to thee,
  That thou shalt hear the lifeblood flow
  From farthest stars to grass-blades low,
  And find the Listener's science still
  Transcends the Singer's deepest skill!"



The earliest conception of an auxiliary motive power in navigation
is contemporaneous with the first use of the wind; the name of the
inventor, "unrecorded in the patent-office," is lost in the lapse of
ages. The first motor was, undoubtedly, the hand; next followed the
paddle, the scull, and the oar; sails were an after-thought, introduced
to play the secondary part of an auxiliary.

Scarce was man in possession of this means of _impressing_ the wind, and
resting his weary oar, than, scorning longer confinement to the coast,
he boldly ventured upon the conquest of the main. Under the same
impulse, the tiny skiff, in which he hardly dared to quit the river's
bank, was enlarged, and made fit companion of his distant emprise. These
footprints of the infant steps of navigation may all still be traced
among the maritime tribes of the Pacific.

From that period sails became the chief motor, and the paddle and the
sweep auxiliaries,--which position they still hold to some extent, even
in vessels of considerable burden. But as the proportions of naval
architecture enlarged, these puny instruments were thrown aside;
although the importance and necessity of some such auxiliary in the
ordinary exigencies of marine life have always been felt and it has long
been earnestly sought.

From the first successful application of steam to navigation--by Fulton,
in 1803--it was supposed to be the simplest thing in the world to
provide ships with an auxiliary motor; but the result has shown the
fallacy of this conception.

For more than twenty years steam-navigation has advanced with giant
strides, overstepping several times the limits which science had
assigned it; but the paddle-wheel, by which the agency of steam has
been applied, forms so bad an alliance with canvas, and supplies so
indifferently the requirements of a man-of-war, that it has been
impossible by this intermediary to render steam the efficient coadjutor
of sails; and it is for this reason that steam so speedily took rank
as a primary motor upon the ocean; for, in all the successful marine
applications of steam by means of the paddle, steam is the dominant
power, and sails the accessory, or almost superfluous auxiliary. It is
the screw alone, in some of its modifications, which offers the means of
a successful and economical adaptation of steam to ships of war or of
commerce; for it is susceptible of a more complete protection than, the
paddle, and of an easy and advantageous combination with canvas.

The screw-propeller, in fact, has assumed so important a part in all
naval enterprise, that it may not be without interest to trace briefly
its rise and progress to the consideration it now commands, and
to review, in general terms, the various experiments by which the
screw-frigate has been brought to its present high state of efficiency,
excelling, for purposes of war, all other kinds of vessels.

As early as 1804, John Stevens, of Hoboken, New Jersey, engaged in
experiments to devise some means of driving a vessel through the water
by applying the motive power at the stern, and with a screw-propeller
and a defective boiler attained for short distances a speed of seven
knots; and it is surprising, that, with the genius and determination so
characteristic of his race, he should have abandoned the path on which
he appears to have so fairly entered.

Within the last half-century numerous attempts of a similar character
have been made in Europe and America; but although many of the
contrivances for this purpose were exceedingly ingenious, and the
success of some of the experiments sufficient, one would suppose, to
excite the interest of the public and encourage perseverance in the
undertaking, yet in no instance were they followed by any practical and
useful results until the year 1836, when both Captain Ericsson and
Mr. F. P. Smith so fully demonstrated the speed and safety with which
vessels could be moved by the screw-propeller, as to convince every
intelligent and unprejudiced mind of the importance of their inventions,
and immediately to attract the attention of the principal naval powers
of the world.

Captain Ericsson is a native of Sweden, but for some years previous to
1836 he had resided in England, where he had become known as an engineer
and mechanician of distinguished ability.

In July, 1836, he took out a patent in England for his method of
propelling vessels; and during that year the results of his experiments
with a small boat were so satisfactory, that in the following year he
built a vessel forty-five feet long, with eight feet beam, and drawing
three feet of water, called the Francis B. Ogden, in compliment to the
gentleman then consul of the United States at Liverpool, who was the
first person to appreciate the merits of his invention, and to encourage
him in his efforts to perfect it. This vessel was tried upon the Thames
in April, 1837, and succeeded admirably. She made ten knots an hour, and
towed the American ship Toronto at the rate of four and a half knots an
hour; and in the following summer, Sir Charles Adam, one of the Lords
of the Admiralty, Sir William Symonds, the Surveyor of the Navy, and
several other scientific gentlemen and officers of rank, were towed by
her in the Admiralty barge at the speed of ten miles an hour.

Notwithstanding this demonstration of the powers of his vessel, Captain
Ericsson did not succeed in exciting the interest of any of the persons
who witnessed the performance; and it seems almost incredible that no
one of them had the intelligence to perceive or the magnanimity to admit
the importance of his invention. But, fortunately for Ericsson and the
reputation of our country, he soon after met with Captain Stockton, of
the United States navy, who at once took the deepest interest in
his plans. The result of one experiment with Ericsson's steamer was
sufficient to convince a man of Stockton's sagacity of the immense
advantages which the new motor might confer upon the commerce and upon
the navy of his country, and forthwith he ordered an iron steamer to be
built and fitted with Ericsson's propeller. This vessel was named the
Stockton, and was launched in July, 1838, and, after being thoroughly
tested and her success demonstrated, she was sent under sail to the
United States in April of the next year, and was soon after followed by
Captain Ericsson; when, in consequence of the representations of Captain
Stockton, the government ordered the Princeton to be built under
Ericsson's superintendence, and to be fitted with his propeller.

The Princeton, of 673 tons, was launched in April, 1842, and her
propeller, of six blades, of thirty-five feet pitch, and of fourteen
feet diameter, was driven by a semi-cylinder engine of two hundred and
fifty horse-power, and all her machinery placed _below_ the water-line.
Her smoke-stack was so arranged that the upper parts could be let into
the lower, so as not to be visible above the rail; and as the anthracite
coal which she used evolved no smoke, she could not, at a short
distance, be distinguished from a sailing-ship.

Her best speed under steam alone, _at sea_, was 8.6, and under sail
alone, 10.1 knots; her mean performance under steam and sail, 8.226; and
considering the imperfect form of boiler employed, and the small
amount of fuel consumed, it may be doubted if this has since been much
excelled. She worked and steered well under canvas or steam alone, or
under both combined; was dry and weatherly, but pitched heavily, and was
rather deficient in stability.

[Footnote: For a particular account of the Princeton, by B. F.
Isherwood, U. S. N., see _Journal of the Franklin Institute_ for June,
1853. Taking everything into consideration, the Princeton was a most
successful experiment, and, in her day, the most efficient man-of-war of
her class. By her construction the government of the United States had
placed itself far in advance of all the world in the path of naval
improvement, and it is deeply to be regretted that it did not avail
itself of the advantage thus gained; that it did not immediately order
the construction of other vessels, in which successively the few defects
of the Princeton might have been corrected; that it did not persist in
that path of improvement into which it had fortunately been directed,
instead of suffering our great naval rivals to outstrip us in the race,
and compel us at last to resort to them for instruction in that science
the very rudiments of which they had learned from us.]

The success of the Princeton was followed by the general adoption in
America of the screw-propeller. When Ericsson left England, he confided
his interests to Count Rosen, who, in 1843, placed an Ericsson propeller
in the French frigate Pomone, and soon afterwards the British Admiralty
determined to place it in the Amphion. Not only was the performance of
these vessels highly satisfactory, but they were the first ships in the
navies of Europe in which the great desideratum was secured of placing
the machinery below the load-line. Ericsson's propeller having been the
first introduced into France, it was generally adopted; but afterwards,
in consequence of the accounts of Smith's screw received from England,
it underwent various modifications.

Such was the result of Ericsson's labors; it now remains to relate the
success of Smith. The efforts of either had been sufficient to have
secured to navigation the inestimable advantages of screw-propulsion,
but their rivalry probably hastened the solution of the problem.

In May, 1836, Mr. F. P. Smith, a farmer of Hendon, in England, took out
a patent for his screw-propeller, and exhibited some experiments with it
attached to a model boat, and in the following autumn built a boat of
six tons' burden, of ten horse-power, and fitted with a wooden screw.
This vessel was kept running upon the Thames for nearly a year, and her
performance was so satisfactory, that Mr. Smith determined to try her
qualities at sea; and in the course of the year 1837, he visited in her
several ports on the coast of England, and proved that she worked well
in strong winds and rough water.

These trials attracted much attention, and at last awakened the interest
of the Admiralty, who requested Mr. Smith to try his propeller on a
larger vessel, and the Archimedes, of ninety horse-power and 237 tons,
built for this purpose, was launched in October, 1838, and made her
experimental trip in 1839. It was thought that her performance would be
satisfactory, if she could make four or five knots an hour; but she
made nearly ten! In May, 1839, she went from Gravesend to Portsmouth,
a distance of one hundred and ninety miles, and made the run in twenty

In April, 1840, Captain Chappel, R. N., and Mr. Lloyd, Chief Engineer of
Woolwich Dockyard, were appointed by the Admiralty to try a series
of experiments with her at Dover. The numerous trials made under the
superintendence of these officers fully proved the efficiency of the new
propeller, and their report was entirely favorable.

The Archimedes next circumnavigated Great Britain under command of
Captain Chappel, visiting all the principal ports: she afterwards
went to Oporto, Antwerp, and other places, and everywhere excited the
admiration of engineers and seamen.

Up to this period, the British engineers were nearly unanimous in the
opinion that the use of the screw involved a great loss of power, and
they had concluded that it could not be adopted; but it was impossible
any longer to resist the impressions made on the public by the
demonstration which had been given both by Smith and Ericsson; and
although the engineers were still unwilling to admit the screw to a
comparison with the paddle, it was evident that their first conclusions
regarding it were erroneous, and thereafter it was viewed by them with
less disdain and spoken of more hopefully. One of the great objections
by engineers to the use of the screw was their inability, at the time of
its introduction, to construct properly a screw engine,--that is to say,
a direct-acting horizontal engine, working at a speed of from sixty to
one hundred revolutions per minute,--all their experience having been in
paddle-wheel engines, working from ten to fifteen revolutions per
minute. The peculiar mechanical details required in the screw engine,
the necessity for accurate counterbalancing, etc., were then unknown,
and had to be learned from a long succession of expensive failures. In
England, the first machines applied to the screw were paddle-wheel
engines, working it by gearing; there were consequently lost all the
advantages of the reduced cost, bulk, and weight of the screw engine
proper, including, for war purposes, the important feature of its being
placed below the water-line. At first, the screw had not only to contend
with physical difficulties, but to struggle against nearly universal
prejudice; many inventors had succumbed to these obstacles, and
therefore too much applause cannot be bestowed upon those who,
unsustained by public sympathy, and in defiance of a prevailing
skepticism, maintained their faith and courage unshaken, and gallantly
persisted in their efforts, until crowned with a world-wide success.

Ericsson, before interesting himself with the screw, was, as has been
seen, an engineer and mechanician of distinguished ability; whereas
Smith, in commencing his new vocation, had all to acquire but his first
conception. Ericsson could rely upon the fertility of his own genius,
was his own draughtsman, and designed his own engines, accommodating
them to the new propeller by dispensing with gearing, and adapting
them to a speed of from thirty to forty revolutions,--a great and bold
advance for an initiative step. Smith, on the contrary, not being an
engineer, had to intrust the execution of his plans to others, whose
knowledge of construction was in the routine of paddle-wheel engines;
and this accounts for the fact, that all the earliest British
screw-steamers were driven by gearing. This want of mechanical resources
on the part of Smith added to the difficulties of his career; but his
resolution and perseverance rose superior to all obstacles, and carried
him to the goal in triumph. Briefly, then, these were the respective
merits of Smith and Ericsson, in the introduction of screw-propulsion;
and it is much to their honor, that, throughout their career, no
narrow-spirited jealousies dimmed the lustre of a noble rivalry.

Such was the origin of the new motor,--the mighty engine by which
armadas are marshalled in battle-array, the burdens of commerce borne to
distant marts, the impatient emigrant transferred to the promised land,
and by which the breathings of affection, the pangs of distress, and the
sighs of love are wafted to far-off continents.

In consequence of the success of the Archimedes, the Admiralty ordered
the Rattler to be fitted with a screw, and it was no small satisfaction
to find that her double-cylinder engines could be easily adapted to the
new propeller. She is of 888 tons, and two hundred horse-power, and was
launched in the spring of 1843, being the first screw-vessel in the
British navy.

In the course of the two succeeding years, she was tried with a great
many different screws, and numerous experiments were made to discover
the length, diameter, pitch, and number of blades of the screw, most
effective in all the various conditions of wind and sea. A screw of two
blades, each equal to one-sixth part of a convolution, and of a uniform
pitch, was, on the whole, found to be the most efficient, and this is
the screw now adopted in most of the ships of all classes in the British

A propeller of very different construction, which had given great
results in a ship of the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company, and
was afterwards exhibited in the docks at Southampton, here claims a
passing notice. This propeller is so constructed as to enable the
engineer to regulate the speed of the piston; for _the pitch of the
screw can be increased or diminished at pleasure_. Thus, with a fair
wind, by increasing the pitch, without increasing the revolutions, the
full power of the engine is effectually exerted in driving the ship,
instead of consuming fuel in driving the engine to no purpose; and with
a headwind, by diminishing the pitch, the engines are made to do their
utmost duty; and when the ship is under canvas only, the blades of the
propeller may be placed in line with the stern-post, and thus offer
little resistance. Another advantage claimed for this propeller (known
as Griffith's) is, that, in the event of breaking a blade, it may be
readily replaced by "tipping the ship"; which method merits careful
consideration by engineers, as does especially every new propeller which
promises a more perfect alliance with canvas.

To resume the narrative,--the speed of the Rattler was afterwards tested
by a trial with the Alecto, a paddle-wheel steamer of equal power,
built from the same moulds; and the result was so favorable, that the
Admiralty ordered the construction or conversion of _twenty-three_
vessels as screw-steamers, and thus was laid the foundation of the
present formidable steam-navy of England.

The superiority which has been asserted for the Princeton was
established during the Mexican War by her performance before Vera Cruz
as a blockading ship of unprecedented efficiency, which, having been
displayed under the admiring observation of a British squadron, tended
more than any other single event to confirm the Admiralty in the
conclusions to be drawn from the experiments just related, and to decide
them in the adoption of the screw as the best auxiliary of sail, the
best mechanical motor upon the ocean. Thus did England, in embracing at
once the practical demonstration of the Princeton, display that forecast
by which she won her ascendency at sea, and the vigilance with which
she maintains it; whilst our own government awaited, in unbecoming
hesitation, the results which England's more extended trials with the
screw might develop.

This cautious policy, rather than the bold and liberal course which the
maritime genius of the country demands, condemned us for long years to
inaction, until, at length, the absolute necessity for the renewal of a
portion of our naval force produced the "Minnesota" class of frigates.
Although they developed little that was absolutely new, they are very
far from being imitations; but in model, capacity, equipment, and above
all in their armament, they have challenged admiration throughout the
world, and called from a distinguished British admiral in command the
significant declaration, that, until he had seen them, he had never
realized his ideal of a perfect man-of-war.

A leading idea in the conception of these ships was to reduce the number
of gun-decks from two and three to a single deck, and, consequently, the
space in which shells could be lodged. This is a consideration which
must, it is believed, sooner or later govern in naval construction;
although France and England, long accustomed to measure the power of
ships by the number of gun-decks, may be more slow in following our lead
in this respect than in imitating the increased calibre of our ordnance.

The new classes of steamers preparing for sea, of which the Hartford and
Iroquois are types, promise to be most efficient ships, and to reflect
much credit upon our naval authorities for their bold, yet judicious
departure from traditions which had long hampered the administration of
this important branch of the public service. Although the reflection is
seldom made, it is nevertheless true, that much of the reputation
enjoyed and of the influence exercised by the United States is due to
the efficiency of her navy; and if these are to remain undiminished,
then it is of the utmost consequence that the national ships should
always represent the highest advancement of nautico-military science.

[Footnote 1: A series of experiments with the screw were made on board
the Dwarf in 1845, and on board the Minx in 1847 and 1848, but the
results did not materially differ from those previously obtained. In the
Rattler, Dwarf, and Minx twenty-nine different propellers were tried.]

The efficiency of the screw having been demonstrated, it was seen that
the next requirement for a war-steamer was to place her machinery below
the waterline; and hence arose a demand for an entirely new description
of engines, which it was clear would make a great change in all the
labors of the engineer and machinist. Such change it was evident would
greatly enhance the risk of failure, and therefore it was determined by
the Admiralty to insure success in this very difficult task by enlisting
all the best talent of the country. Accordingly, for the twenty-three
ships an equal number of screw engines were ordered; and as with the
constructors, so with the engineers, each was required to comply
with certain conditions, yet each was permitted to put forth his own
individuality, and each has illustrated his views of what was required
by a distinct plan of engine.

The wise and liberal action of the British Admiralty, which faltered at
no expense, and made trial of every improvement in machinery that gave
assurance of good performance and promised in any way to increase
the efficiency of the fleet, produced no less than fourteen distinct
varieties of the screw engine. Among them all, Penn's horizontal
trunk-engine appears to be the favorite, and had performed so well
in the Encounter of fourteen guns, the Arrogant of forty-six, the
Impérieuse of fifty, and the Agamemnon of ninety, that two years ago
it had been placed, in about equal proportions of two hundred, four
hundred, six hundred, and eight hundred horse-power, on board of forty
ships and many smaller vessels of the British navy; it had fulfilled all
the promises made for it, without in any instance requiring repairs.
These engines comply with all the conditions reasonably demanded in
the machinery of a man-of-war; they lie very low, and the fewness and
accessibility of their parts leave scarcely anything to be desired;--a
lighter, more compact, or more simple combination has yet to be

In all the ships above referred to the connection of the engines is
direct, and many of them are driven at rates varying from fifty to
seventy-five revolutions. This point is dwelt upon because it is
observed that many engineers find difficulty in freeing themselves from
early impressions made by long-stroke engines, express apprehensions at
fifty and sixty revolutions, and stand ready to obviate the difficulty
by gearing,--which it is hoped may not henceforth be adopted in our
national ships. Geared engines are much heavier than those of direct
connection, and occupy more space,--a great consideration in ships where
room for fuel is in such demand, besides making it more difficult to
place them below the waterline,--a consideration which in men-of-war
should be regarded of paramount importance, as the engines of a
war-steamer should be as secure from shot as her magazine. Experience
has shown that the apprehensions entertained from the quick stroke of
direct engines were without foundation; and that, in auxiliary ships,
with a properly modelled propeller, there will be no necessity for a
very high speed of piston.

The form of engine generally adopted with great success in the later

[Footnote 1: "Its large amount of friction" is an objection often
speciously urged against the trunk-engine, although the friction diagram
shows it to be actually less in this than in most other engines.] of
the United States navy is the "horizontal direct action," with the
connecting-rod returning from a cross-head towards the cylinder;
these engines make from sixty to eighty revolutions per minute.
The steam-valve is a packed slide with but little lap, and the
expansion-valve is an adjustable slide working on the back of the
steam-valve. The boilers are of the vertical water-tube type, with the
tubes above the furnaces, and are supplied with fresh water by tubular
surface-condensers, which, together with the air-pumps, are placed
opposite the cylinders.

While the vessels ordered by the Admiralty were on the stocks, it was
suggested by Mr. Lloyd that the model of their after-bodies was not that
most favorable to speed,--that they were too "full," and that a "finer
run" would be preferable. To settle this question, the Dwarf, a vessel
of fine run, was taken into dock, and her after-body filled out by three
separate layers of planking, so as to give it the form and proportions
of the vessels then building. These layers of planking could be removed
in succession, and the effects of a fuller or finer run upon the speed
of the vessel easily ascertained. A trial was then made, and the result
proved the correctness of Mr. Lloyd's opinion; the removal of the
different layers of planking increasing the speed from 3.75 to 5.75,
to 9, and finally to 11 knots. A trial between the Rifleman and the
Sharpshooter, vessels of four hundred and eighty tons and two hundred
horse-power, and the Minx and Teaser, of three hundred tons and one
hundred horse-power, gave similar results,--the speed in each trial
being twenty-four per cent. in favor of the finer run.

Although great efficiency and economy had now been attained, there was
still an important defect to be remedied, namely, the impediment to
speed and to evolution under sail presented by the dragging propeller;
which was accomplished by the invention of the "trunk" or "well," into
which the propeller can be raised at pleasure; and there is no longer
anything to prevent the construction of a screw-frigate which shall be
fit to accompany, under canvas only, a fleet of fast sailers, with the
assurance that she may arrive at the point of destination in company
with her consorts, having in reserve all her steam-power.

The mechanism by which the emersion of the screw is effected is as
follows:--There are two stern-posts; between these, and connecting them
with each other and with the keel, is a massive metallic frame, in which
rests another frame, or _châssis_, in which the screw is suspended; near
the water-line, the deck and wales are extended to the after stern-post,
and through an opening or trunk in this overhanging stern the frame
suspending the screw is raised by worms, working in a rack secured to
the frame, and operated from the deck, as shown in the accompanying
drawing,--or by a tackle, as is now most common. In the British ship
Agamemnon, of ninety guns, the propeller is raised by a hydrostatic
pump,--a neat arrangement, but liable to get out of order. When it is
desirable to raise the propeller, the blades are first placed in a
vertical position, and the operation of lifting is performed in a few

The relative advantages of the propeller fitted to lift, and that which
is permanently fixed, have long been the subject of much discussion.

For merchant steamers, having an established route to perform, on which
the aid of steam is in constant demand, it is generally conceded that
the position of the screw should be permanent. The construction of the
ship is then less costly, while greater strength is preserved; and as
these vessels are out of port but for short intervals, should repairs be
needed, they have access to the docks. But for men-of-war the case is
widely different. Having frequently to keep the sea for long periods,
much under canvas, and often far distant from a dock-yard, they should
be provided with the means of lifting the screw to repair or to clear
it, or to be relieved from the impediment it offers to sailing and to
evolution, and also from the injurious "shake" occasioned by a dragging

[Illustration: MODE OF LIFTING SCREW.]

On the other hand, the construction of a trunk or well impairs the
solidity of the stern, renders it much more vulnerable, and weakens its
defences, while it opposes to speed the very considerable resistance of
the after stern-post.[*] Nevertheless, no modern ship of the British
navy is without the means of raising her propeller, and the best opinion
of commanders and engineers of that service, of longest experience in
screw-ships, goes to establish the conviction, that, for men-of-war, the
advantages of being able to lift the propeller far more than outweigh
the objections urged against lifting. In this connection we mention the
fact, that all screw-ships "by the wind" have a strong tendency to
gripe. Would not this be obviated by having a gate or slide to fill out
the dead-wood when the screw is lifted?

[Footnote *: Might not a metallic stern-post, combining strength,
lightness, and little resistance, be introduced?]

The best illustration of the effects of a dragging propeller was
afforded on the departure of a Russian squadron from Cronstadt, bound to
the Amoor, in 1857-'58, consisting of three sloops of war bark-rigged,
and three three-masted schooners, under the flag of Commodore
Kouznetsoff. The vessels of each class were built from the same
moulds, and at the time of the experiment were of the same draft and
displacement. On clearing the land, signal was made to lift screws and
make sail. Soon after, all the squadron reported the execution of the
order, except the Voyerada sloop, which had the misfortune to break a
key in the couplings, and therefore could not lift her screw. Every
effort was tried to get out the key, and meanwhile a very instructive
example was presented to the squadron of the effect of a dragging
propeller on the speed of the vessel. The circumstances were as
follows:--The wind, a gentle breeze, right aft; the Voyerada carrying
all sail but the main course; the other two sloops holding way with
her with their topsails on the cap, and the schooners with their peaks
dropped. Under these conditions, the Voyerada, having her screw-blades
fixed horizontally, could scarcely keep her position, running two and a
half and three knots. The Voyerada next succeeded in getting her screw
vertical, when, without any change in the wind, the speed increased to
four and a half knots. The other sloops then mastheaded their topsails,
and the schooners peaked their gaffs. At length the Voyerada succeeded
in lifting her screw, when immediately all the sloops under the same
canvas continued their course, making six to six and a half knots. A
better example of the obstruction offered by a dragging propeller could
not have been afforded.[1]

The "shake," to which reference has been made, is the tremulous or
vibratory motion communicated to the after-body of the ship, and
particularly to the stern, by the revolution of the propeller, often
opening the seams, and in old ships sometimes starting the butts and
causing dangerous leaks. This movement arises from two causes,--one
inherent in the screw, the other due to its position in the deadwood.
The first cause is the difference in the propelling efficiency of the
upper and lower blades when in any other position than horizontal. The
centre of pressure of the lower blade, being at a greater depth below
the surface than the centre of pressure of the upper blade, acts upon a
medium of greater resistance to displacement, and the differential of
the pressures of the two blades produces inevitably a vibratory motion
in the stern of the vessel. This effect is greatly increased when the
clearance given to the screw in the dead-wood is too small; for the
reduction of the hydrostatic pressure at the stern-post, and the
increase of it at the rudder-post, on each passage of the blades, must
be followed by concussion. Therefore, if the "well," or distance between
the posts, be made sufficiently long in proportion to the screw, the
"shake" due to the latter cause can be almost entirely obviated.

In 1851, the British Admiralty selected three auxiliary screw-ships, of
different classes and qualities, for an experimental cruise, namely:--

[Footnote 1: _Russian Nautical Magazine_, No. XLI., December, 1857.]

  | Guns. | Horse  | Screw. | Speed. | Day's |    Sail
  |       | Power. |        |        | Fuel. |  Equipment
  The       |       |        |   2    |   9    |   8   |
  Arrogant  |  46   |  360   | blades | knots  | days  | Ship full rig
  The       |       |        |   2    |  11    |  11   |
  Dauntless |  24   |  580   | blades | knots  | days  | Ship light rig
  The       |       |        |   2    | 10-1/2 |   6   |
  Encounter |  14   |  360   | blades | knots  | days  | Barque

They were ordered to pass round the Azores, each ship holding
her course, and using sail or steam, or both, as was deemed most
advantageous. An officer was sent on board each ship to keep a record of
her performance, and to note the time when and the position where, the
coal being entirely consumed, the contest ended. In this trial, the
Arrogant was found superior to the Dauntless, and both of them far
excelled the Encounter; indeed, no very different result was expected,
the object of the trial being to ascertain their relative as well as
positive value. These ships afterwards formed a part of the experimental
squadron stationed at Lisbon in the same year, which was composed of the
finest ships in the British navy.

It was believed by many officers, that a fast-sailing frigate, in a
reefed-topsail breeze, would be able to get away from any screw-ship;
but in a trial that took place between the Arethusa and the Encounter,
and the Phaëton and Arrogant, under circumstances the most favorable to
the sail-ships, it was found that the screw-ships, using both steam and
sail, had decidedly the superiority,--and that in fresh gales, with one,
two, or three reefs in the topsails, either "by the wind," or "going
free," the Phaëton and the Arethusa, the fastest sail-frigates in
the navy, were always beaten by the Arrogant. This result operated
powerfully in removing the repugnance to steam existing among all
classes of seamen; and the vast superiority of well-organized
screw-ships for the purposes of war is now so apparent, as to render
them the most important and indispensable part of every navy.

While the English were engaged in the trials here related, their rivals
on the opposite coast were not indifferent spectators. The French
were nearly as soon in the field of modern screw experiment as their
neighbors; and did the limits of this paper permit, it would be
instructive, as well as interesting, to trace the ingenious and
persevering steps by which they also approached the solution of that
difficult problem, the construction of a screw-man-of-war.

The first result of their efforts, La Pomone, screw-frigate, was shown
to the world in 1844, and after careful inspection, (in 1853,) it is
affirmed, such was the perfection of her general organization, that she
has hardly been excelled by any of her younger sisters.

The most complete course of experiments ever made, perhaps, with the
new motor, was that carried out by MM. Bourgois and Moll, of the French
navy, in 1847 and '48, which they verified by a second series in 1849.
These experiments were instituted to ascertain the relative efficiency
of all varieties of the screw-propeller, upon vessels of different
models and dimensions, and under all the varying conditions of wind and
sea, in order to determine the propeller best adapted to each particular
description of ship.[*]

Necessarily brief as is the notice of Gallic ingenuity and skill, the
acknowledgment must be made, that, for the invention of the trunk or
well, with its attendant advantages, navigation is indebted to Commander
Labrousse, of the French navy; and for a novel arrangement of the screw-
propeller, which has not attracted all the notice it deserves,
obligations are due to M. Allix, a distinguished engineer of that
service; and the propeller more recently introduced by M. Mangin, of the
same corps, if it performs all that is claimed for it, namely, that it
does away with the "shake," will be of great value.

[Footnote *: For a most interesting and instructive memoir upon these
experiments, the reader is referred to that admirable work, by Captain
E. Paris, of the French navy, _L'Hélice Propulsive_.]

In concluding this recognition of the contributions by France to
screw-propulsion, it is desired to submit a few general observations on
the French navy; for, although upon every sea the tri-color waves
over ships proudly comparing with those under any other flag, it is
nevertheless too commonly believed that the docks of France are crowded
and her navy-list swollen with hulks which are but the mouldering
mementos of the vast armaments hastily created during the Consulate and
the Empire; an illusion most hazardous to our interests abroad and our
security at home.

At the period of _the coup d'état_ of 1851, a Committee of Inquiry,
composed of the most experienced and intelligent officers and
distinguished legislators, had visited all departments of the navy, and
made the most careful investigations into every branch of the service.
Upon the evidence thus obtained, a report was submitted, providing for
the improvement of the condition of the officers and seamen, and the
increase, renewal, and remodelling of the _matériel_,--in fine, for the
correction of every abuse, the remedy of every evil, and the development
of all good existing in the navy. This report, stamped on every page
with patriotism and intelligence, commanded, even in the midst of
revolution, the support of all parties, the adhesion of every faction;
and has since, through all changes in the Ministry of the Marine, formed
the basis of the action of that department.

Under these auspices, France has in the last seven years organized the
means of promptly putting to sea a numerous fleet, composed of the most
modern and most powerful steamers, manned by efficient crews, commanded
by skilful officers; and now worthily maintains a position as a naval
power second only to that of Great Britain. At this moment, whilst
the British fleet includes but thirty-six screw line-of-battle ships,
mounting 3,400 guns, and propelled by 19,759 horse-power, that of France
may boast of forty such ships, mounting 3,700 guns, propelled by 27,500
horse-power; and while England has but thirty-eight screw-frigates,
France has forty-two.

In thus briefly summing up the forces of our ocean rivals, we cannot
avoid making some reflections suggested by the unpreparedness of this
country to meet any sudden burst of hostility. This not only involves
the risk of national humiliation, but paralyzes our diplomacy; since it
deprives us of that influence among the nations, which otherwise--from
the breadth of our territory, the value of our products, the activity
of our industry, the importance of our commerce, and the extent of our
maritime resources--we of right should hold.

No country is more interested than the United States in the maintenance
of peace; yet, even on the principle of economy, we may argue in favor
of a degree of preparation for war; for that calamity may best be
averted by taking from foreign powers the temptation to interfere with
us: all history showing that the justice and friendship of military
states are but slender guaranties for the peace of a nation unprepared
for attack.

It is vain to talk of husbanding financial resources for war, without
other preparation. When once embarked in hostilities, and in a position
to maintain our ground, large finances, judiciously used, will
ultimately command success; but no accumulation of funds can provide a
timely remedy for that weakness which cannot resist the first blow.

The national safety should no longer be left to chance, but be
established on a basis of certainty. A navy cannot be manufactured nor a
fortress built to meet an emergency, but should be kept ready-made.

In considering the auxiliary screw-frigate under the views already
offered, and in determining the canvas with which she should be
supplied, it will be well to refer, as the best guide, to the fastest
sail-ships,--the class which presents the greatest similarity in form to
that demanded in screw-ships. In these ships the great length of deck
offers every facility for the most advantageous spread of canvas;
consequently the centre of effort may he kept low, and the requisite
power and stability combined.

Intimately connected with her sailing-power is another branch of the
equipment of a screw-ship, which requires the most earnest, patient, and
intelligent consideration. Prepared to endure all the wear and tear of a
sail-ship, she should at the same time be ready for transmutation into
a steam-ship; namely, when, for any urgent service, her best powers of
steaming are required, she should be able to divest herself speedily of
yards and top-masts, and, the special service completed, resume all her
perfection as a sail-ship.

It would be out of place here to enter into details of equipment. In
naval affairs nothing is improvised, and a satisfactory conclusion upon
these points can be arrived at only through long experiment, and perhaps
frequent disappointment. Yet it is not doubted that the same ship may
exhibit a handy and efficient rig, develop a high velocity canvas, and,
without great power, a sufficient speed under steam.

In our navy, away from our own coast, sail must of necessity be the
rule, and steam the reserve or special power; and without abandonment of
our anti-colonial policy--with the depots of our rivals upon every sea,
yet not a ton of coal upon which we can rely--we should not dare to send
abroad a single ship which, whenever she gets up her anchor, must needs
also get up her steam.

Fortunately, in the creation of a steam-fleet, the United States will
not have to encounter tedious and costly experiments, nor to incur the
risk of failure.[1] The best form of hull, model of propeller, and plan
of engine are already so well established, that it is not easy to fall
into error; that which is most to be guarded against is the popular
demand, the prevailing mania for high speed,--for which single advantage
there is such a proneness to sacrifice every other warlike quality. That
measure of speed or power which will enable a ship to stem the currents
of rivers, to enter or leave a port in the face of a moderate gale, or
to meet the dangers of a lee-shore, should, it is conceived by many, be
sufficient; and for these exigencies a ship, which, with four months
supplies on board, can in calm weather and smooth water make nine to ten
knots under steam, has ample power. This moderate rate is far below the
popular mark; but, in considering this important question, it should not
be forgotten, that, unlike the paddle, the screw will always coöperate
with sail,--and that, if a ship would go far under steam, she must be
content to go gently. The natural law regulating the speed of a ship
is, that the power requisite to propel her varies as the cube of the

[Footnote 1: The constructors and engineers of the navy are unsurpassed
in professional art or science, and when conjoined with naval
officers--who should always determine the war-like essentials of
ships--they are capable of producing a steam-fleet that would meet the
requirements of all reasonable conditions. We venture to say, that
the failures with which they have been charged would be found,
on investigation, to be solely attributable to undue extraneous

Let it be distinctly understood what power is here meant. As the power
applied to the propulsion of a vessel is only that which acts upon her
in the direction of the keel,--and as, of the gross indicated power
developed by her engine, one portion is absorbed in working the organs
of its mechanism, another in overcoming the friction of the load, while
still other proportions are expended in the slip of the propeller and
in the friction of its surfaces on the water,--only that portion of
the gross power which remains is applied to propulsion; and it is this
remainder which varies in the ratio of the cube of the speed.

Hence a steamer, that with five hundred horse-power can make eight knots
per hour, will require rather more than one thousand horse-power to
drive her at the speed of ten knots,--the law being thus modified by the
increased resistance consequent upon the greater weight of the large
engines; and thus a limit to speed is imposed, depending upon the weight
of machinery which, relative to her dimensions, a ship can carry. A
ship, that at the rate of ten knots under steam may run twelve hundred
miles, can, at the speed of eight knots, and with the expenditure of
rather less fuel, run the distance of eighteen hundred miles; and
therefore it is, many contend, that a man-of-war for distant service
should not be laden with large engines, whose full power can rarely be
wanted, and which monopolize so great a space and displacement as to
render it impossible to carry fuel for their proper development.

It is true, that, with large power of engine, the vessel may command,
so long as her coals last, the advantage of high speed, and her large
cylinders will enable her, by working the steam very expansively, to use
her fuel with great economy; but there still remains the disadvantage of
the increased first cost of the machinery, and its greater weight and
bulk, to be permanently carried, whether used or not, and which, by
increasing the displacement of the vessel, proportionally diminishes her

The last great improvement in connection with the screw remains to
be noticed, namely, lining the "bushings" and "bearings" with
lignum-vitae,--the invention of Mr. Penn, of Greenwich, near London.

The lignum-vitae is introduced in the manner shown in the drawing. In
connection therewith, it must be said, that the length and diameter of
bearings has been increased far beyond the proportions of former years.
The "brasses" are bored out about three-sixteenths of an inch larger
than the shaft; then the recesses are slotted out for the reception of
the wooden strips. If care be taken with this part of the operation, any
number of strips can be supplied ready fitted, and to put in a set of
spare strips becomes a short and simple operation.


Strange as it appears, these wooden bearings are far more durable than
those of metal, and in some ships they have endured for years without
any perceptible wear in those parts which, previously to this invention,
had occasioned so much trouble and expense. But for this important
discovery, it is thought by some of the most competent engineers that
they would have been compelled to abandon the use of the screw in heavy

The Napoléon, the type of the new steam-ships of the line in the French
navy, is a good illustration of a first-class, full-powered steamer.

  Her dimensions are as follows:--

  FT.  IN.
  Length extreme.                          262 6.40
  Length at load-line.                     234 0.94
  Beam.                                     53 8.38
  Height between decks.                      6 8.72
  Height of lower port sill.                 7 2.63
  Depth of hold.                            26 9.34
  Deep-load draft.                          25 3
  Immersed cross section, sq. ft. 1063.48
  Displacement.                tons. 6050
  Diameter of cylinders.                     8 2.45
  Length of stroke.                          5 3.06
  Diameter of propeller. (4 bladed)         19 0.70
  Pitch    "     "            mean)         37 11

She has eight boilers, each having five furnaces, consuming, at full
speed, (12.14 knots,) 143 tons of coal per day, for which she stows five
days' supply. The boilers and engines occupy eighty-two feet in the
length of the ship.

The trial of this ship has established the practicability of adapting a
propeller to a ship of the largest class, so as to insure great speed,
and constitute a most effective man-of-war for certain purposes and
in certain situations; but when the great weight of the engines is
considered, and the large space they occupy in the vessel,--thereby
diminishing the stowage of supplies,--and further, that, after the coal
is exhausted, the ninety-gun ship has but the sail of a sixty-gun ship
to rely upon, it is not easy to avoid the conclusion, that, however
useful such a vessel may be for short passages,[1] and in those seas in
which her supplies of coal and provisions may be constantly replenished,
her sphere of action must be very limited, and she could not be relied
upon for the long cruises and various services on which an ordinary
line-of-battle ship is employed.

[Footnote 1: For debarking a regiment or two of Zouaves on the shores of
the Adriatic or upon the coast of Ireland.]

A ship constructed on the plan of the Napoléon, for the sake of gaining
a speed of twelve knots per hour for the distance of about two thousand
two hundred miles, is compelled to sacrifice a great part of her
efficiency in several most important particulars.

In time of war, at short distances from port, for the defence of bays or
harbors or the Florida channel, for the speedy transport of troops to an
adjacent coast, or to force a blockade, such a vessel would undoubtedly
be a most valuable addition to our navy: but her employment must
necessarily be confined to such circumstances and such situations; for
should she unluckily fall in with an enemy's squadron, with her coal
expended, or her machinery rendered useless by any of the numerous
accidents to which steam-machinery is so constantly exposed, with her
comparatively light rig, and want of stability in consequence of losing
so great a weight of coals, she would hardly prove a very formidable

Therefore, while admitting the importance and necessity of providing
for special service a small class of fast, full-power steamers, it is
submitted that the auxiliary screw-steamer is the description of ship to
which the largest and best consideration should be devoted; for to the
nation possessing the most efficient fleet of such vessels must belong
the dominion of the sea. And while their cost is counted, let it at the
same time be remembered that their value can be estimated only by the
character of the service they may render, and that their capacity for
aggression abroad makes them the best defence at home.

Having briefly referred to the various views entertained in regard to
the steam-power with which the navy should be furnished, it will be
seen that a difference of opinion on this important subject may most
reasonably be entertained.

None can doubt the advantages of celerity to a man-of-war, yet many
believe it would be too dearly purchased by the sacrifice of space to
such an extent as would require supplies to be often replenished; as
this necessity would in war confine the operations of the navy to our
own shores.

On the other hand, it is admitted, that, without high speed, a ship of
war cannot exercise many of her most important functions,--that she can
neither choose an engagement, protect a convoy, nor enforce a blockade.

The best experience affirms the policy of giving to our cruisers as
large steampower as is consistent with a due development of all other
warlike qualities; for what would avail the superior armament of a ship,
if the option of fighting or flying remain with her adversary, which
must be the case when the latter commands higher speed? The introduction
of improved ordnance, throwing heavy shells with great precision at
long ranges, gives increased importance to celerity; for in any future
fleet-fight, victory should belong to that flag having at command a
steam-squadron of superior speed, which may thereby be concentrated upon
any point without having been long under fire.

May not the command of a maximum speed of thirteen knots be obtained
from the machinery now employed for a maximum speed of ten knots? It
evidently may, and with great economy, too, by the simple introduction
of artificial draft, and the use of steam of higher pressure, when
requiring the highest speed. At present, in our men-of-war, the boilers
are proportioned for natural draft, burning about twelve pounds of coal
per square foot of grate per hour, and for a steam-pressure of fifteen
pounds per square inch. If, then, the boilers be proportioned to burn at
the maximum, with blowers, say twenty-two pounds of coal to the square
foot of grate, and to generate steam of forty pounds to the square inch,
we shall double the power developed by the machinery, and consequently
derive from it the same speed that could be attained without blowers
from double the machinery; while the natural draft and the usual
pressure of fifteen pounds would give sufficient speed for ordinary
service. The inconvenience of the higher pressure with blowers could
well be endured for the short and occasional periods during which they
would be required.

To create a perfect screw-frigate, a ship with sail-power complete, and
efficient for any service that may be required, the endeavor should be
made--by getting rid of every dispensable article of weight or bulk, and
without reducing supplies below three months' provisions and six weeks'
water--to find space and displacement for an engine of sufficient force
to drive her thirteen knots an hour, together with at least ten
days' full consumption of fuel; and this, it is believed, might be
successfully accomplished in ships of the dimensions of the Wabash,
beginning with a judicious reduction of spare spars, spare sails, and
spare gear, and by the addition of blowers to their present machinery: a
subject which should immediately receive the earnest consideration of a
commission of the most intelligent officers.

Having fixed upon the proportions of hull and spars, the form of
propeller, and the plan of engine, a cautious discrimination should be
exercised in multiplying the types of either. Besides economy, many
other advantages would flow from a judicious regard to similarity in
build; as it would permit us to relieve our ships of many of the spare
spars with which they are incumbered, and we should probably not again
hear of suspending the operations of a frigate thousands of miles away,
until a crank or rod could be sent to her; because, when ships of the
same class are cruising together, by a careful distribution of spare
spars and machinery among them, it is hardly probable that damage would
be sustained, or loss of spars or "break down" occur, which might not be
remedied by the resources of the squadron.

On the other hand, this system not be carried to a Chinese extreme, lest
we follow too long a false direction,--thus losing the advantage of
improvements constantly being made. For such is the change in all things
pertaining to maritime war, that neither model of hull, plan of engine,
nor mould of ordnance is best, unless of the latest creation. True
progress will be most judiciously sought in not departing too suddenly
and widely from the established order.


A great many circumstances led me to decide on leaving the convenient
boarding-house of Mrs. Silvernail: a house correctly described as
containing several "modern improvements": improperly, as being "in the
immediate vicinity of all the places of public amusement." For, as the
Central Park of New York is a place of public amusement, so likewise is
Barnum's Museum; and these two places being at a distance of about five
miles from each other, how could any one house be in the immediate
vicinity of both? But it was not upon this incompatibility that any of
my objections were founded.

If I have a prejudice, it is against being talked _at_ instead of _to_.
Now Mrs. Silvernail, who, like the katydid of the poplar-tree, if small,
was shrill, had a way of conveying instructions to her boarders by
means of parables ostensibly directed at Catharine, the tall Irish
serving-maid, but in reality meant for the ear of the obnoxious boarder
who had lately transgressed some important statute of the house, made
and provided to meet a case or cases.

A landing-place on the stairs was usually the platform selected for the
delivery of a monologue, in which Catharine was always assumed to be
the person addressed; although I have known instances in which that
"excellent wench" was, at the time of being so conferred with, in the
grocery at the corner, about half a block distant, as I could see from
the window where I sat and viewed her protracting her doorway dalliance
with Jeremiah Tomaters, the grocer's efficient young man.

"Catharine," my landlady would say in a loudish whisper, close by a
malefactor's chamber-door, and probably when Catharine was yet far down
the street,--"Catharine, who let the water in the bathroom run over just
now? If the slippers he left behind him a'n't Mr. Jennings's, I declare!
Boarders must be warned an' watched, elseways we shall hev all in the
house afloat, 'cepting the stoves an' flat-irons, by-'n'-by. Somebody at
Mrs. Moyler's acted so, and the house was like a roarin' sea, with the
baby adrift in his little cradle, and the roaches a-swimmin' round. Oh,

Now Mr. Jennings was the serious boarder, who lodged in the room just
over mine: a man who, from general indications, had never had a bath in
his life; certainly he had never troubled the waters in that house. I
was the supposed delinquent, and at me the parable was levelled.

"Catharine, whose pass-key was that you found in the door? It's a mussy
we wasn't all a-murdered and a-plundered in cold blood, by the light
o' the moon! Mr. Jennings's night-key it must have been, to be sure!
Boarders must be warned and watched. When Mrs. Toyler's nephew's
night-key was found in the door of Number Forty-Seven, the boarders all
went off at daylight in an omnibus, takin' away custom and character
from the house forever."

Now Mr. Jennings, the serious boarder, was always in bed and asleep long
before latch-key time came round; and even supposing he ever _had_ let
himself in by means of that mischievous little convenience, he would as
soon have thought of taking the door up to bed with him as of leaving
the key in it. The parable was intended for the hearing of a young man
who occupied the room opposite mine, and who, being connected with
clubs, came home nobody ever knew when or in what condition, but had red
eyes o' mornings and a general odor of the convivial kind.

Then, again, Mrs. Silvernail had a way of being always about the doors
of the rooms, and a faculty, as I thought, of hovering near several of
them at one and the same moment. There are men who will turn the least
promising circumstance to advantage,--even that of being listened at
through a keyhole, while they discourse to themselves about affairs
connected with their most cherished and secret designs. One Captain
Dunnitt, who lived in the house before I came, adroitly made his account
of this eavesdropping propensity of the landlady, by settling his weekly
bill with a silver-mounted pistol, instead of the dollars justly due.
He had been a tragedian as well as a captain, and was saturated with
Shakspeare and other bards to a far greater amount than with money; and
when his week came round, he used to stride up and down his room with
much gnashing of teeth and other stage indications of distress, finally
settling down into a chair before the table, on which he would place and
replace a packet of letters and a wisp of unromantic-looking hair. Then
he would take the little silver pistol from his breast, and, after the
usual soliloquy of "To be or not to be," or something equally to the
purpose, would point it at his temples just as the landlady came
bursting into the room, begging him for all sakes not to "ruin the
character of her second-best room, and the walls newly painted at that!"
Remorse would then double up the manly form of Captain Dunnitt, who
would fall on his knees before the landlady,--"his benefactress! his
better angel!"--and then arrangements would be entered into by which he
was not to commit suicide for the present, but could avail himself of
the landlady's indulgence and wait for "that remittance," which was
always coming, but which never came.

But there were more serious objections, even than a landlady of shrill
parables and an inquiring turn of mind, to my prolonging the delights of
a residence at the first-class boarding-house of Mrs. Silvernail. Not
the least of these was the fact of its _being_ a boarding-house,--a
community. In such communities, from the inevitable intercourse over
the social board, your circle of acquaintance is always liable to be
extended rather than improved. In them there is no escape from the
disinterested offers of those who would be your perpetual friends. I am
still under lasting obligations to a man who, at a boarding-house in
which I sojourned for but three days, forced on me a pipeful of an
extremely choice and luxurious kind of tobacco, to dilate on the
properties of which he came and smoked about a quarter of a pound of it
in my room that very evening, and far on into the morning light. His
goodness is the more impressed upon my memory, because, on the same
occasion, he drank the greater part of the contents of a large
willow-bound bottle of old St. Croix rum, which I had just received
from a friend who had imported it direct. Then, in boarding-house
communities, one's magnetism is as much at fault as that of a ship
sailing up a river whose rock-bound shores are impregnated with iron
elements. I knew a man who was over-magnetized to the extent of
matrimony by the lady of the house,--a widow, and a shrew. He hated, or
at least professed to hate her, and had ridiculous stories about her to
no end; but she married him, and he still lives. Another, of a
rather unsociable turn, rejected the proffered civilities of all his
fellow-boarders who ever came to offer him rations of curious
tobacco or to assist him in performing a libation of old and valuable
Hollands. The only one of the party to whom he ever "cottoned" was the
latest comer, a smoothed-out, blandulose kind of man, who smoked up all
his cunning cigars, made sad havoc among his Hollanders of gin, departed
from that house in an unexpected manner and his friend's best trousers,
in the pockets of which he had bestowed that friend's rarest gems and
gold, and is now serving out a term allotted to him in the State Prison,
in recognition of the remarkable abilities displayed by him in the
character of what the police call a "confidence man."

And yet there are more objectionable boarding-house acquaintances than
people who insist upon sharing with you their friendship, be they
"confidence men" or not. I suppose we may allow, in these advanced
times, that it is something like magnetism which decides the question of
affinity and its reverse. But, in granting this, I will take the liberty
of observing that external and palpable facts have a considerable effect
in directing the currents of magnetism. For example, and to adopt the
language of scientific men, the insignificant circumstance of a person
habituating himself to the partial deglutition of his knife, while
partaking of food, may produce antipathetic emotions on the part of
others, whom prejudice or superstition has led to regard the knife as
an article designed for cutting only. This kind of outrage I allude
to merely for the purpose of illustrating a case. In first-class
boarding-houses, like that of Mrs. Silvernail, such rusticities have
long since become traditional, and of the things that have passed away;
and, indeed, so particular was that lady with regard to her knives,
that, had a boarder swallowed even a part of one, he would undoubtedly
have heard the deed alluded to through the keyhole of his chamber-door
on the following day, in the form of a parable having for its hero the
justified Mr. Jennings, our serious young man.

If external and palpable circumstances, then, are admitted to have a
decided effect upon streams of magnetism, I suppose we may assume that
they have also a certain power of determining impressions by themselves,
without the intervention of any of the more subtile agencies whatever.
The granting of this postulate will put me on quite easy terms with
regard to the very positive objection entertained by me towards
a certain Mr. Désolé Arcubus, who, by provision of an immutable
Medo-Persic edict promulgated by Mrs. Silvernail, occupied the
chair next mine at the first-rate table of that rigid expounder of
boarding-house law.

Mr. Désolé Arcubus, a young man of some three or four and twenty, had no
special nationality about him from which one could guess how he came by
his rather uncommon names. He was reputed to be learned, particularly
in the modern languages; had a profusion of long, wild hair of a
greenish-drab hue, which matched his complexion exactly,--this prevalent
tint being infused also into the _cornea_ or "white" of his eye,--and,
in physical proportions, was of weedy and unwholesome growth. He was not
a young man of cheerful disposition. On the contrary, his deportment at
table, where alone his fellow-boarders had any opportunity of observing
him, was such as to induce a very general belief that his mind must have
been affected by some terrible calamity; and his presence, indeed, was
looked upon as undesirable by many of the guests, whose health had begun
to suffer seriously from the manner in which Arcubus used to groan
between his instalments of food. Sometimes, in the interval between
the soup and the solids, he would lean his elbows upon the table, and,
burying his face in his hands, so that his long, sad hair swept the
board, would abandon himself for a brief space to private despondency,
until the boiled leg of mutton brought with it a necessity for renewed

Nor was the social feeling of distrust of this unhappy young man allayed
when the party learned, through a boarder of detective instincts, that
Mr. Désolé Arcubus was an enthusiast in scientific pursuits, and that
the "romance of a poor young man," as shadowed out by him, was no
romance at all, but an unpleasant reality. Toxicology was the branch of
science to which Mr. Arcubus had for some time past been devoting his
mind. For fourteen hours a day he worked assiduously in the laboratory
of an eminent analytical chemist, whose practice in connection with the
coroner was of a flourishing and increasing kind, owing to the growing
taste for suicide, and the preference given to poisons over any other
means for accomplishing that irrevocable wrong. In this chamber of
horrors,--a court of which the tests were the stern, incorruptible
ordinances of Nature,--he had already gone steadily through a course
which gave him a mastery over the secrets of the relative poisons, with
which he laughed secretly now, and played as securely as a child might
with a dog-rose of whose thorns he had been made aware. But of late, his
haggard features, and the start with which he would wake into life when
a guest haply plucked a flower from the bouquets on the table, or when
the handmaiden came round to him with a dish of leguminous vegetables,
could readily have been traced by a clairvoyant to associations
connected with the ghastly belladonna and with the deadly bean of
St. Ignatius the Martyr. For Mr. Arcubus had now arrived at the
investigation of the positive poisons,--a fact which might have revealed
itself to the man of science by the general narcotico-acrid expression
into which he had settled down bodily; while the most casual observer
might have gathered from his incoherent contributions to the table-talk
that some noxious drug was envenoming the cup of his life.

He had a way of thinking aloud, and, as his thoughts always ran on the
subject of his studies, the expression of them sometimes dovetailed
curiously with the general conversation.

"Miss Rocket will not come down to dinner, poor thing!" said Mrs.
Silvernail, in her choicest table-manner. "She has lost her beautiful
Angola kitten. It slipped into the glass globe, this morning, among the
gold-fishes, and was drowned."

"Digested in water, several of its constituents are dissolved," said Mr.
Arcubus, in a husky voice, looking wildly at the picture on his plate.

"You have a _spécialité_ for puddings, I perceive, Madam," remarked a
smiling old gentleman, a new-comer, addressing himself to the hostess;
"may I ask now of what this very excellent one is composed?"

"Sulphate of lime, potash, oil, resin, extractive matter, gluten, _et
cetera, et cetera_," put in Mr. Arcubus, still following out his train
of thought.

"During the process of evaporation, a black substance is precipitated,"
continued he; and at that very moment, the small colored boy, running
to pour out some water for the wild boarder, who had just arrived in an
excited condition from a rowing match, caught his foot in the carpet,
and came to the floor with a crash.

"Black oxide of Mercury, called _Ethiops per se_," pursued Mr. Arcubus,
grappling with his tangled hair.

"Do just try a drop or two of this Hollands of mine in that iced water;
it is positively dangerous to drink it so," said an attentive boarder to
Mrs. Silvernail, who certainly _did_ look warm.

"Absorbs oxygen readily, when brought to a red heat," said Mr. Arcubus,
abstractedly, as he pulled at his long fingers and made their joints

"Who is the tall lady who dined here yesterday with Miss Rocket, and
talked so enthusiastically about woman's rights?" inquired the serious
boarder of Mrs. Silvernail.

"Prepared by deflagration in a crucible, one part of nitre with two of
powdered tartar," proceeded Mr. Arcubus.

"What do you think of that sample of mixed tobacco I gave you to try?"
asked the wild boarder of another, whom Mrs. Silvernail used to speak of
with fear and doubt. "When heated, it readily sublimes in the form of
a dense white vapor," said Mr. Arcubus, confidently, "disagreeably
affecting the nose and eyes."

"I hope you are not going to bring another dog into the house, Mr.
Puglock," remonstrated Mrs. Silvernail, addressing the wild boarder, to
whose conversation she had been lending a sharp ear. "Re'lly now, I must
restrict the number of dogs; we have three here already, I believe."

"There is a strong analogy between the virus injected into wounds made
by the teeth of a rabid dog and that found in the poison-apparatus of
venomous snakes," brought in Mr. Arcubus, diving his fork truculently
into a ripe tomato.

This last observation of Mr. Arcubus, together with the fact that the
blade of his knife had manifestly turned black, while all the other
blades at table were as bright as silver, decided me. I packed up my
portmanteau and writing-case that evening, and, having settled with
my wondering landlady, to whom I accounted for my sudden departure
by pleading expediency as to important affairs, took leave of that
estimable widow, and drove away to a distant hotel, from which I sallied
forth early next morning to look for lodgings,--furnished lodgings for
single gentlemen, without board,--for against boarding-houses I had set
my face forever.

A peculiar feature of life in lodgings in New York, as in other large
cities, is the incomparable solitude attainable in that blessed state of
deliverance from promiscuous "board." One may dwell for a twelvemonth
in lodgings for single gentlemen, without incurring the obligation of
knowing by sight, or even by name, the lodger who occupies the very
room opposite to his, on the same landing. Fifty lodgers may have
successively lived in those "apartments" during the twelve months, on
the same terms of perfect isolation from one who would rather mind his
own business than make any inquiries regarding theirs. And so it is,
that, of all the stage-pieces which have achieved popularity in our day,
none is more faithful to the facts than the often-repeated one of "Box
and Cox"; yet, but for the exigencies of the drama, which, of course,
has for its principal object the development of a plot, there would have
been no necessity whatever for bringing Box on a footing of acquaintance
with Cox,--still less for attributing to either of them an idea of his
landlady's name.

For several months I lived contentedly in the house selected by me, up
one pair of stairs, in a room looking out into a busy street,--a street
so narrow, that the trees at one side of it, whenever a reviving breeze
brought with it a subject for greeting and congratulation, shook hands
in quite a friendly manner with those at the other. To illustrate the
isolation of a residence in these lodgings, I may as well state,
that, during all the time of my sojourn there, I never arrived at the
knowledge of my landlady's name. It was not graven upon the house-door,
and, as a knowledge of it was of no immediate consequence to any of my
occupations, nor likely to be, I never asked about it from the old woman
who kept the rooms in order, and to whom I seldom spoke, except upon the
weekly occasion of handing to her the amount due to the landlady, with
whom I never had any interview after the day I agreed with her for the
lodgings. I believe there was a landlord,--if that be the proper term to
apply to a man who is the husband of a landlady, and nothing else. From
my window I once observed a man who might have been the landlord, a man
of subdued appearance, accompanying the lady of the house to church.
Subsequently, as I came in one evening rather earlier than usual, the
same person was leaning against the railings by the hall-door, smoking a
cigar. He greeted me as I passed in, addressing me in an interrogative
manner with one word, the only one I ever heard him utter,--


To which, as I supposed him to be a foreigner, unacquainted with the
English tongue, I replied at random in the only word of German of which
I happen to be master,--


And this was the only communication I ever had with people of the house,
excepting occasional conversations with the dust-colored old woman who
cleaned the windows and swept the floors; while, with regard to a dozen
or two of lodgers who succeeded each other from time to time in the
other disposable rooms of the house, I never saw one of them, nor was
acquainted with them otherwise than by footstep,--and that rather
infelicitously at one time, in the case of something which went either
upon crutches or wooden legs, and which occupied the room immediately
over mine. This was in charming contrast with life at Mrs. Silvernail's,
in its freedom from parables, and from the uncared-for society of Miss
Rocket's guests; likewise from that of the serious and vicious boarders,
and above all of the poisonous young man.

A day came for cleaning my windows, and, as it rained heavily, I could
not give the old woman a clear stage by going out for a couple of hours,
but told her to clean away and be as lively as she could, while I
sat there and wrote. Lodgers, she told me, as she polished up the
brightening panes, came and went week after week, so fast that she
forgot one when another came, and never knew any of their names. She had
an eye for character, though, and told me the peculiarities of some of
them in a quaint way, nailing her sentences, now and then, with odd,
hard words, put in independently of the general text.

"And who lives in the room just under mine? Somebody who raises plants,
I see,--unless the green things on the balcony belong to the house."

"A gentleman as keeps emself quite _to_ emself. Lonesome and friendless,
I reckon, for he looks but poorly. Plants out queer sasses in boxes all
the time, and some of 'em on the balcoany itself. Guess he makes kinder
tea of 'em, or root-drink. Decoctifies."

"And who in the room opposite, on this floor?"

"Empty now. Two dark-featured little gentlemen had it for a fortnight,--
Jews, I reckon,--and as like one another as two spots of dirt on
this 'ere pane of glass. Spoke a hard-biled kind of tongue, and was
furriners, I guess. Polyanders."

The vacant room would just suit De Vonville, who had arrived a few days
before from abroad. I told him of it, and he came in the next day, bag
and baggage, a portion of which latter was curious and uncommon.

De Vonville, with whom I had lived in lodgings two or three years
previously, was a Belgian and a _savant_, and a man of rare
companionable qualities besides. Professionally, I believe, he called
himself a naturalist. He had already roamed over the greater part
of America, North and South, investigating the mysteries of Nature,
especially of the animal kingdom, and contributing, as he went, many
specimens of rare animals to the principal collections of Europe. His
latest adventures took him through Africa and the East, whence he
brought to New York a number of living creatures of many species, all
of which, however, he had shipped for Havre before I met him, with the
exception of two or three of the least disreputable kinds, which he
meant to keep about him as pets. The most valued of these treasures were
a small animal called a Mangouste, and a cage containing a family of
white mice.

These white mice were greatly prized by De Vonville, on account of the
rare manner in which they were marked, their paws and muzzles being of
a perfect jet black. They were quite tame and familiar; but, on the
approach of a cat, or any other cause for alarm, the whole family would
concentrate their energies in a very remarkable way into one piercing

The Mangouste, an animal somewhat resembling a ferret, but more nearly
allied to the Nilotic ichneumon of Egypt, was a marvellously lithe and
active little creature, perfectly tame, and coming as readily as a dog
to his name, "Mungo," except when overfed, when he would sleep sometimes
for hours, rolled up at the bottom of his cage, or in some dark corner
of the room. There were personal reminiscences connected with Mungo
which rendered him particularly valuable to De Vonville, whom he had
often saved from the stings of the noxious vermin to be encountered by
those who dwell in tents. His instinct was for creeping things, though
he looked as if he could have dined contentedly on a brace of white
mice. One piece of mischief he committed, during the few days he was
allowed to run about the rooms: he gnawed holes at the bottom of all the
doors, through which he could let himself in and out. He used to lie in
the sun, on my table, as I sat reading; and was generally companionable
and trustworthy, notwithstanding his insidious look.

Seeing the interest I took in his small menagerie, De Vonville begged me
to undertake the superintendence of it, on his being called away for a
brief tour to Baltimore and elsewhere, in pursuance of an engagement to
deliver a course of traveller's tales. Numerous were the directions I
had from him as to the diet and general treatment most congenial to
the constitutions of white mice; and there was implicit confidence
expressed, that, for safety, the Mangouste should be kept strictly
confined to his cage. There were parrots to be looked after, also,
including an extremely vituperative old macaw, any verbal communication
with whom laid the advancing party open to all manner of insult and

The very first day of my menagerial experience, the Mangouste got out of
his cage while I was feeding him, and glided away into dark nooks and
garrets unknown. I failed of recovering him by a stalking process among
the giddy passes of the upper stairs; nor did he return that day to my
often-repeated call; for I vociferated at intervals throughout the
day the word "Mungo!" in a manner that must have led the mysterious
inhabitants of that silent house to the conclusion that I was a
spiritual medium, inviting revelations from the shade of the mighty

A hot, clammy night. No balmy essences arise from the kennels of this
hollow street in which I live; whatever comes from that quarter must be
malarious, if anything. The windows are thrown open as far as they were
made to be thrown, and I get as far out of one of them as I safely can,
by tilting my chair back, and extending my legs out into that undefined
everywhere called the wide, wide world. The only newspaper within reach
of my hand is one I have already looked over, but I glance at it again,
reading backwards from the end an account of a terrible poisoning case
lately brought to light in England, which I had already read forwards
from the beginning. Throwing it away from me in disgust, I reach out
my other hand for a book. The one I lay hold of is "Laurel-Water,"
the melancholy drama of Sir Theodosius Boughton by insidious poisoner
killed. I dashed it away, backwards, over my head, and, turning off the
gas, abandoned myself to the strange influences that breathed hotly upon
me from the clammy vegetation festering in the ropy night-air.

Why do civic wood-rangers choose the ailantus-tree for a bouquet-holder
to the close-pent inhabitants of towns? Nothing can be more graceful,
certainly, than the ellipses arched by the boughs from its taper stem.
Few contrivances more umbrageous than the combination of its long,
feathery foliations into its perfection of a parasol. But there are
times in the dank, hot nights of midsummer, when the ailantus is but
a diluted upas-antiar of Macassar, tainting, albeit with no deadly
essence, the muggy air that rocks its slumbering branches and rolls
away thence along the parapets and in at the windows of the sleepers.
Dead-horse chestnut it might reasonably be called, because of its heavy,
carrion smell, which, under the influences of a July night, is but too
perceptible to the dwellers of streets where it abides. The tree at
my window was an ailantus, of stately dimensions, and bounteous in a
proportionate enormity of smell; yet it had never before affected me so
much as on this night, when I lay dozing in the ghastly gloom. Sleep
must have overcome me, for I had a troublous dream or vision of which
Poison was the predominant nightmare,--a dream and slumber broken by the
convulsive sensation which roused me up as I endeavored in imagination
to swallow at one draught the contents of a metal tankard of
half-and-half--half laurel-water, and half decoction of henbane--handed
to me on a leaden salver by a demon-waiter, with a sprig of hemlock in
the third buttonhole of his coat. This Lethean influence could hardly
be that of the ailantus-tree alone. What of the plants on the balcony
beneath,--the strange, rooty coilers which the mysterious planter
sedulously fosters at the glooming of dusk, with a weird watering-pot
held forth in a fawn-colored hand?

In a particular condition of the nerves,--say, when a man feels
"shaky,"--it takes but little to convince him that anything which may
possibly not be all right is to a moral certainty all wrong. To sleep
another night in that room, with the windows open,--and who would shut
his windows in July?--directly exposed to the exhalations of a rising
forest of upas-antiars of Macassar, nurtured by the unwholesome hand
of a mysterious vegetarian for purposes unavowed, was no longer to be
thought of. De Vonville's room, which was at the back of the house, and
had no fuming ailantus by its windows on which to browse nightmares
of skunkish flavor, afforded a better climate for a night's rest,
notwithstanding the singular ideas which these travelled men, especially
naturalists, have of comfort, in a civilized sense. He invariably slept
on the floor, converting his room, indeed, into the general semblance
of a tent, by divesting it of all the appliances dear to a Christian
gentleman, and one who loves to repose as such. Yet there was
comparative freshness in that tent-like apartment, as I entered it that
night, shutting the door of mine after me, to prevent ailantus and
upas-antiar from following in my wake. The little beasts were all
sleeping tranquilly in their cages, and the birds on their perches
rested quietly, too,--excepting the old macaw, who cursed me in his
sleep, as I lit up the gas. But the Mangouste had not returned, nor did
I quite regret his absence for the present; because, although highly
approving of the culture of four-footed beasts, be they large or small,
I have a prejudice against having my jugular vein breathed, at midnight,
by small animals of the weasel tribe,--an act of which Mungo, probably,
would have been incapable. His relations _will_ do such things, however,
and newspapers recording appalling instances of it may be found.

Shutting the door, I turned the gas down to a mere spark, and stretched
my weary limbs on the mat which served the travelled man for a bed,
drawing over me a gauze-like fabric, which, I suppose, answers in
tropical countries all the purposes of the more voluminous "bed-clothes"
of ours. Sleep soon came upon me,--a heavy, but unquiet sleep, in which
the same influences haunted me as those I felt when slumbering at the
window. The malaria from the trees was there, and the planter of the
balcony watering henbane and hellebore with boiling aquafortis; likewise
the demon-waiter, with his leaden salver and poisoned tankard, wearing
an ophidian smile on his features and a fresh sprig of hemlock in his
third buttonhole.

How long I slept thus I know not. Once I had a vague sense of the
Mangouste gliding across me, but it was only part of a dream; and it was
still night, black and awful, when I started up in good earnest, at a
piercing shriek from the united family of white mice, whose cage stood
upon a low stand, about two yards to the right of where I lay.

The sound which followed this was one which the man is not likely to
forget who has once heard it,--whether beneath his foot, as he steps
upon the moss-grown log in the rank cedar-swamp, or under his hand,
when about to grasp with it a ledge of the rocks among which he is
clambering, unknowing of the serpent's dens. With clenched teeth, and
hair that rustled like the sedge-grass, I rose and woke up the obedient
gas, which flashed tremulously on the scales of an enormous rattlesnake
coiled round the mice's cage, tightening his folds as he whizzed his
infernal warning, and darting out his lightning tongue with baffled fury
at the trembling group in the middle of the cage. This I saw by the
first flash. Grasping a sword from among the weapons with which the
walls were studded, I made a pass to sever the monster; but the
Mangouste was quicker than I, as he darted upon the coils of the
serpent, which, in a moment, fell heavily to the floor, a writhing,
headless mass.

In the heavy dreams which haunted me during the sleep from which I had
just been roused, I had a vision of the planter of the balcony with
a snake coiled round his naked arm. Who so dull as to require an
interpreter for such plain speakings? Rushing down-stairs, I burst open
the door of that person's room with one kick, and there, in the middle
of the floor, half-dressed and bending over a censer of red-hot
charcoal, knelt Mr. Désolé Arcubus, the poison-man of Mrs. Silvernails
boarding-house. His features were collapsed and livid, and he held his
left arm, which was much swollen and discolored, close over the red-hot
coals, basting it wildly, the while, with ladlefuls of some hot liquid,
while he crammed into his mouth, at intervals, a handful of herb-fodder
of some kind from a salad-bowl on the floor beside him. He was rapidly
growing faint and sinking, but indicated his wishes by signs, and one
of several strangers who now entered the room continued the fomenting
treatment, while another ran for medical assistance.

There was an open letter on the table, which I had no hesitation in
reading, when I saw at a glance that it threw light on the matter. The
following is an exact copy of it:--

"Hollow Rock----County. N. Y. 17 Jewly. 18--

MR. HARKABUS dear Sir.

a cording to promis i send the sneak by Xpress. He is the Largest and
wust Sneak we have ketched In these parts. Bit a cow wich died in 2.40
likeways her calf of fright. Hope the sneak weed growed up strong and
harty. By eting and drinking of that wede the greatest sneak has no
power. Smeling of it a loan will cure a small sneak ader or the like. I
go in upon the dens tomorough and if we find any Pufing Aders will Xpres
them to you per Xpress.

Yr. oblgd. servt. SILENUS CLUCK."

Here was the whole story in a nutshell. For his experiments in septic
poisons, Mr. Arcubus had hired this apartment, with its convenient
balcony for the cultivation of his antidotes. Having prepared his
decoctions, he had this night caused himself to be bitten by the snake,
which, disgusted probably at its services being then rudely dispensed
with, had followed its guiding instinct up to the room where the
animals were, making its way through the holes nibbled by the Mangouste
underneath the doors. A cold shudder seized me when I guessed the
reality of the sense of something gliding over me in the night. The
hunger of the reptile had steered him straight to the cage of the mice,
whose cry of agony at the presence of the great enemy of mouse-kind had
fortunately roused me from my lethargy,--for the rattle of the snake is
but a drowsy sound, and will not awaken the sleeper. How the Mangouste
came to appear on the scene at the nick of time, I know not. He might
have come in at the open window, or possibly had been sleeping, since I
missed him, among the trappings and traveller's gear with which the room
was lumbered.

And these were the delights of lodgings,--of lodgings without board!
And who could see the end of it all?--for, if snake-poison lurked on the
stairs, probably hydrophobia was tied up in the cupboard. Brief time
I expended in making my arrangements to quit, having first seen Mr.
Arcubus carted away to a hospital, where by skilful treatment he
slowly recovered. For the Mangouste and the mice, the parrots and
the blasphemous macaw, I engaged temporary board and lodging with a
bird-and-rabbit man in the neighborhood, telegraphing De Vonville that
I had departed from lodgings forever,--lodgings for single gentlemen,
without board.

But, on leaving the house, I did not forget the dust-colored old
woman, whose last words to me, as I tipped her with a gratuity, were
oracular:--"Forty long years and more have I lived in lodgin'-houses and
never before seen a sarpint. It behooves all on us, now, to be watchful
for what may be coming next, and wakeful. Circumspectangular."

I live in a hotel now, a very noisy life, and fearfully expensive. "But
what do you wish, my friend?" as the French say, in their peculiar
idiom. Believing in the ancient Egyptians, who worshipped the Nilotic
ichneumon, I have privately canonized his cousin, the Mangouste, by the
style and title of St. Mungo; and if ever surplus funds are discovered
to my credit in any solvent bank, at present unknown to me, I will
certainly devote a moiety of them to the foundation of a neat row of
alms-cages, for the reception of decayed members of the family of White


  Upon us falls the shadow of night,
  And darkened is our day:
  My love will greet the morning light
  Four hundred miles away.
  God love her, torn so swift and far
  From hearts so like to break!
  And God love all who are good to her,
  For Christie's sake!

  I know, whatever spot of ground
  In any land we tread,
  I know the Eternal Arms are round,
  That heaven is overhead;
  And faith the mourning heart will heal,
  But many fears will make
  Our spirits faint, our fond hearts kneel,
  For Christie's sake.

  Good bye, dear! be they kind to you,
  As though you were their ain!
  My daisy opens to the dew,
  But shuts against the rain.
  Never will new moon glad our eyes
  But offerings we shall make
  To old God Wish, and prayers will rise
  For Christie's sake.

  Four years ago we struck our tent;
  O'er homeless babes we yearned;
  Our all--three darlings--with us went,
  But only two returned!
  While life yet bleeds into her grave,
  Love ventures one more stake;
  Hush, hush, poor hearts! if big, be brave,
  For Christie's sake!

  Like crown to most ambitious brows
  Was Christie to us given,
  To make our home a holy house
  And nursery of heaven.
  Oh, softer was her bed of rest
  Than lily's on the lake!
  Peace filled so deep each billowy breast,
  For Christie's sake!

  To music played by harps and hands
  Invisible were we drawn
  O'er charmèd seas, through faëry lands,
  Under a clearer dawn:
  We entered our new world of love
  With blessings in our wake,
  While prospering heavens smiled above,
  For Christie's sake.

  We gazed with proud eyes luminous
  On such a gift of grace,--
  All heaven narrowed down to us
  In one dear little face!
  And many a pang we felt, dear wife,
  With hurt of heart and ache
  All shut within like clasping knife,
  For Christie's sake.

  I would no tears might e'er run down
  Her patient face, beside
  Such happy pearls of heart as crown
  Young mother, new-made bride!
  For 'tis a face that, looking up
  To passing heaven, might make
  An angel stop, a blessing drop,
  For Christie's sake.

  If Love in that child's heart of hers
  Should breathe and break its calm,
  With trouble sweet as that which stirs
  The brooding buds of balm,--
  Listening at ear of peeping pearl,
  Glistening in eyes that shake
  Their sweet dew down,--God bless our girl,
  For Christie's sake!

  But, Father, if our babe must mourn,
  Be merciful and kind!
  And if our gentle lamb be shorn,
  Attemper thou the wind!
  Across the Deluge guide our Dove,
  And to thy bosom take
  With arm of love, and shield above,
  For Christie's sake!

  We have had sorrows many and strange:
  Poor Christie I when I'm gone,
  Some of my words will weirdly change,
  If she read sadly on!
  Lightnings, from what was dark of old,
  With meanings strange will break
  Of sorrows hid or dimly told,
  For Christie's sake.

  Wife, we should still try hard to win
  The best for our dear child,
  And keep a resting-place within,
  When all without grows wild:
  As on the winter graves the snow
  Falls softly, flake by flake,
  Our love should whitely clothe our woe,
  For Christie's sake.

  For one will wake at midnight drear
  From out a dream of death,
  And find no dear head pillowed near,
  No sound of peaceful breath!
  May no weak wailing words arise,
  No bitter thoughts awake
  To see the tears in Memory's eyes:
  For Christie's sake!

  And There, where many crownless kings
  Of earth a crown shall wear,
  The martyrs who have borne the pangs
  Their palm at last shall bear,--
  When with our lily pure of sin
  Our heavenward way we take,
  There may we walk with welcome in,
  For Christie's sake!


Where is it kept? We have often longed for a sight of that precious bit
of aërolite, that talismanic moon-stone and bewildering boulder, to
which the lips of all devoted to infantile education must be religiously

In vain have we searched in the closet, where the headless dolls and
tailless horses, the collapsed drum and the torn primer, are put away.
We have privately climbed to the summit of the clothes-press, we have
surreptitiously invaded the nurse's own private work-basket, lured by
disappointing lumps of wax and fragments of rhubarb-root; but we did
not find it. We believe in its existence none the less. Real as the
coronation-stone of the Scottish kings now in Westminster Abbey, as the
Caaba at Mecca, as the loadstone mountain against which dear old Sinbad
was wrecked, as the meteor which fell into the State of Connecticut and
the volcanic island which rose out of the Straits of Messina, as the
rock of Plymouth, or the philosopher's stone,--yet we have sought in
vain for it, and only know of it as of the Great Carbuncle, by the light
it sheds.

"Pray, my good Sir," ask legions of fond parents, "what do you mean? Is
it Dalby's Carminative, Daffy's Elixir, Brown's Syrup of Squills, or
White's Magnetic Mixture? Is it of the soothing or the coercing system?
a substitute for lollipops or for birch? rock candy or rock the cradle?"

"Look" not "into your heart," responds our Muse, but into your nursery,
and write!

We invite a general review of all infantry divisions. We may be, for
aught you know, Mrs. Ellis _incog_., warning the mothers of America, as
of yore the Cornelias of England. What is the Nursery Blarney-Stone?
You have none in your own airy and southern-exposed first-pair-back,
(_Nov-Anglicè>_, "the keeping-room chamber,") where you daily water
and rake your young olive-sprouts? upon your word of honor, Madam, you
have not? You never tell nursery-tales of ghosts or fairies; you have
conscientiously stripped from the dark closet every vestige of a legend;
you have permitted juvenile inspection of the chimney, to prove that
Santa Claus could not descend its sooty flue without grievous nigritude
of the anticipated doll's frock, and have logically appealed to Miss
Bran Beeswax's satin silveriness in proof of the non-existence of
the saint beloved of Christmas-tide. Nay, more, you tell us you have
actually invited inspection of the overnight process of filling the
stockings, (you brute!) and you appropriately label each gift, "From
Papa," "From Uncle Edward," "From Sister Kate," "From dear Mamma," lest
a figment of the supernatural untruth should linger in the infantile
brain. The "Arabian Nights'" (and "Arabian Days'") "Entertainments" are
on your _Index Expurgatorius_. You have banned Bluebeard, and treated
Red Ridinghood as no better than the Bonnet Rouge of domestic

You are a model mother, with whom even the late Mr. Gradgrind might be
satisfied. "Truth, crushed to earth" by the whole race of nurses of the
good old time, rises again triumphant at your hearth-stone. Then answer
us,--Why did you tell your little ones to-night, as the sparrows were
making an unusually loquacious preparation for their dormitories,
that the little birds were singing their evening hymns, and exhort,
thereupon, your unwilling nestlings to a rival performance of the verses
of Dr. Watts? You ought to be prepared to explain, also, for the benefit
of any sucking Socrates, why it is that these feathered choristers
have their "revival seasons," and are terrible backsliders during the
moulting period. When you looked out of the nursery-window, into the
poultry-yard, and heard the noisy confabulation of the motherly hens
and pert pullets, you should be prepared to state upon what theological
principles it is that psalmody is not the wont of the Gallinacae. Are
the Biddies given over to a reprobate mind, because you don't happen to
like their vocalization? Is it only the Piccolomini and Linds of the
feathered kingdom who have a right to practise sacred music?

And how about that other stupendous fiction of the harvest-moon? Tell
us, since you are voluntarily in the confessional, tell us why you
kept back that explanation of its dependence on the Precession of the
Equinoxes, which, at Professor Cram's finishing examination, in your
school-girl days, you so glibly recited before your admiring papa and
mamma? Do you really believe that the solar and stellar system was
arranged to accommodate "the reapers reaping early" of the little island
of Great Britain?

We think you said angels! When little Isabel Montgomery, with her long,
sunny curls, and sweet, blue eyes, was taken away, you made a very
touching application of her decease, to illustrate what all good people
were to become in the unknown world. How did you get out of the scrape
which followed the remark of your downright eldest, remembering also the
departure of a good-natured, obese, elderly neighbor,--"Then I thpothe
Mithter Thimmonth ith a big angel"? So he probably is; but Simmons's two
hundred pounds of earthliness did not suit your sentimentality quite as
readily as the little fairy who always wore such clean pantalets and
never tore her pretty white frocks in a game of romps. Is beatification
dependent upon the platform-balance? and what amount of flesh will turn
the scale in favor of the _Avvocato del Diavolo?_

Once upon a time, a little boy was allowed to ramble in the woods. Being
an adventurous little boy, he saw and coveted, and also conquered, (in
the good old English sense of the word,) a pretty bird's-nest and its
contents, to wit, several shiny, speckled eggs. He brought them home for
triumphant display. He set them out upon the drawing-room table, and
called a family conclave to admire and exult. What was the surprise
and grief of the infant Catiline, to find himself received, not with
applause, but horror! He was accused of robbery, was threatened with
Solomonic penalties, was finally condemned to penance at a side-table
upon dry bread and water, while his innocent brothers and sisters were
regaling upon chickens and custards. He was edified over his scanty meal
by melting descriptions of the mother-bird returning to the desolated
home, of her positive sorrow and her probable pining to death. And
the same little boy, looking out through the prison-bars of the
nursery-window, saw his mother take by the hand his weeping sister (much
cast down by the fraternal wickedness) and lead her to the nest of
another mother-bird, and then and there encourage her to perform the
same act of spoliation. True, the eggs were not speckled and small, but
of a very pretty white, and quite a handful for the juvenile fingers.
But the bereaved "parient" was not slender and active,--in fact, was
rather a tame, confiding, dumpy and dull, pepper-and-salt-colored dame.
Her complaints were not touching, but rather ludicrous,--so much so,
indeed, as to suggest to the human hen-bird that "Biddy was laughing to
think what a nice breakfast little Carrie would have off her nice eggs!"
The young Trenck, from aloft beholding, could not but stumble upon
certain "glittering generalities," as, that "eggs was eggs," and that
the return of them on the fowl's part, in consideration of an advance of
corn, was not altogether a voluntary barter,--quite, in short, after the
pattern of Coolie apprenticeship. And thus the high moral lesson of the
morning was sadly shaken. Of course this boy did not belong to any of
the model mammas, for whom we are writing.

A large fragment of the Nursery Blarney-Stone has been made over, to
have and to hold, to the writers of the Children's Astor-Place
Library. We yawn over poetical justice in novels, and only tolerate it
as an amusing absurdity in genteel comedy, for the sake of getting
the curtain rapidly down over the benedictory guardian and the
virtue-rewarded fair, who are impatient themselves to be off to a very
different distribution of cakes and ale. We know that the hero and the
heroine walk complacently away in the company of the dejected villain
to wash off their rouge and burnt cork, and experience the practical
domestic felicity which is ordered for them on the same principles as
for us who sit in the pit and applaud. If it were not so, and if we did
not know it to be so, and if we did not know that they know that we know
it, we should perhaps feel very differently.

Why must we, then, be conscientiously constrained to mark out such a
very different plan for our children at home? Why is the life of little
boys and girls in books always pictured on the foot-lights pattern? We
remember that we were of those good little boys and girls,--quite as
good as that one who saved his pennies for the missionary-box, or that
other who hemmed a tiny pocket-handkerchief against the nasal needs of a
forlorn infant in Burmah; but we don't remember ever (then or since) to
have encountered any of those delightful (and strong-minded) mothers or
those sensible and always well-informed fathers of whom we read. Neither
in our own particularly pleasant home, nor in any where we went, (at
three, P.M., to take an early tea with preparatory barmecidal rehearsals
on doll's china,) did we ever meet them. Perhaps they were the
progenitors of the authors of the books. Mr. Thackeray has introduced us
to sundry gentlemen and ladies bearing a faint likeness to them; but
he also permitted us to behold Lady Beckie Crawley _née_ Sharpe boxing
little Rawdon's ears, and to meet Mrs. Hobson Newcome at one of her
delightful "at homes," where Runmun Loll, of East Indian origin, was the
lion of the evening.

We couldn't get through five pages of Hannah More, on a wet day, at the
dreariest railway-station, when the expected train was telegraphed as
"not due under two hours." What have the innocent heirs of our name
done, that Hannah should continue under numberless _noms-de-plume_ to
cater for them?

We know there must have been a large lump of the Blarney-Stone,
conglomerate probably, kept in the desk of our reverend instructor in
the ways of syntax and the dismal paths of numbers. We have a lively
recollection of the countless tables of foreign coins which we committed
to memory, and of the provoking additions and subtractions we underwent
to reduce to dollars and cents of the Federal denomination the
fortunes of a score of Rothschilds. But when, under the shadow of the
Drachenfels, we attempted to reimburse the Teutonic waiter for a cup of
_café noir_, we were ignominiously constrained to hold forth a handful
of coin and to await the white-jacketed and bearded one's pleasure, as
he helped himself.

We have a strong impression that we should never have attained to our
present proud position of being allowed to write for (and be printed
in) the "Atlantic Monthly," without much previous polish, through the
companionship of the fairer sex. Why was it made a crime worthy of
Draconian sternness to address our she-comrades in the pleasant paths of
learning? Why did we behold the severe Magister Morum himself, in utter
forgetfulness of his own rule, mingle in the mazy dance on an evening
occasion, at which we were allowed to sit up? Did the girls of a larger
growth lose their dangerous qualities on arriving at belle-hood? Why were
our primary _billets-doux_ confiscated, and our offending palms, like
Cranmer's, visited with the first penalty, though we had been obliged to
walk blushingly the gauntlet of fifty pairs of maiden eyes and deliver
to the "female principal" of the girls' school across the entry notes
which we have since but too much reason to conclude bore no reference
to the affairs of the school-realm? There is a bit of the Blarney-Stone
(always of the nursery formation) which we are sure is discoverable to
the true geologic eye in the underpinning of the Fifth Congregational
Society's house of worship,--then called a meeting-house, now, we
believe, styled a church. For all sermons therein delivered were
supposed to be for our personal edification; albeit we were not, by
reason of our tender years, specifically exposed to the heresies of
Origen or Pelagius. It must have been on some afternoon when we were
absent, then, that Dr. Baxter delivered the discourse of which we
found a commentary written on the fly-leaf of the hymn-book in our
pew,--"Terribly tedious this P.M., isn't he?" We have always felt that
a great opportunity was lost to us. We should doubtless have been
permitted to indulge unchecked in the solution of that lost mystery of
our boyhood, as to the exact number of little brass rods in the front of
the gallery, to scratch our initials with a pin upon the pew-side, or,
propped by the paternal arm, to sweetly slumber till nineteenthly's
close. No such sermon was ever pronounced in our hearing. Oh, golden
time of youth! precious season thus lost! We intend yet revisiting that
ancient and time-worn edifice, and, borrowing the keys of the sexton,
we mean to revel in all and sundry those delights of "boyhood's breezy
hour" from which we were debarred by that untimely absence. Like the
old gentleman who visited nightly Van Amburg's exhibition of the
head-in-the-lion's-mouth feat, in the moral certainty that a single
absence would fall inevitably upon the one night when Leo would vary the
programme by decapitation,--so we lost the one afternoon when that
dull discourse diversified the pious eloquence of Jotham Baxter, D.D.,
disciple of Dr. Hopkins and believer in Cotton Mather. Many a refreshing
slumber has sealed our eyes under subsequent outpourings of divinity,
but never with that entire sense of permissible indulgence which
then would certainly have been ours. Why was it--except for the
Blarney-Stone--that we were always checked in any Sabba'day notes and
queries of what we had noticed in the sanctuary? Why was it wicked and
deserving of a double infliction of catechism (Assembly's) for us to
have seen that Bob Jones had a new jacket, and that he took five marbles
and a jack-knife (in aggravating display) out of its pockets, while our
mother and sisters were enabled, without let or hindrance to the most
absorbing devotion, to chronicle every bonnet and ribbon within the
walls of the temple?

Certainly, the family-physician carried--as well he might--a bit of the
precious rock in his waistcoat-pocket; for all our subsequent experience
of _materia medica_ has never revealed to us the then patent fact, that
all our bodily ailments were the consequence of those particular sports
which damaged clothes and disturbed the quiet of the household. Surely,
the connection between the measles and sailing on the millpond was about
as obvious as that between Macedon and Monmouth; and whooping-cough must
have had a very long road to travel, if it originated in our nutting
frolic, when we returned home with a ghastly gash in our trousers-knee.

The Blarney-Stone got into our "Manual of History"; for either it or
the "Boston Centinel" must have made some egregious mistakes as to the
character of some famous men who nursed our country's fortunes. So, too,
did the author of "Familiar Letters on Public Characters"; for he was
anything but an indorser of the History-Book, with its wood-cuts (after
Trumbull and West) of the death of General Wolfe, exclaiming, "They
run who run the French then I die happy," and of General Warren at the
Battle of Bunker's Hill, with its amazing portraits of the first six
Presidents, and the death of Tecumseh. Nay, we have found hard work to
reconcile our faith, as per History-Book, in the loveliness of those
gentlemen whom stress of weather and a treacherous pilot put ashore upon
Plymouth beach, (where they luckily found a rock to step upon,) with a
certain sweet pastoral called "Evangeline." We found ourselves, just
after reading the proceedings of the Plymouth Monument Association, the
other day, pondering over the possible fate of the Dutch colony of the
Mannahattoes, supposing that the Mayflower had made (as was purposed)
the Highlands of Neversink instead of Shankpainter Hill at the end of
Cape Cod. It was a perilous meditation, for we found our belief in
Plutarch's Lives, the Charter Oak, and the existence of the Maelström
all sliding away from under us. "Think," we said, "if New York had been
Boston, how it would have fared with the good Knickerbockers!"

Who was our geographer? Why did he insist upon our believing that all
French men and women passed their time in mutual bows and "curchies,"
and that all Italians were on their knees to fat priests, clean and
rosy-looking? Why did he palm upon us that outrageous fiction of three
kings (like those of Cologne) sitting in full ermine robes, with gold
crowns on their heads, all alone in a sort of summer-parlor, where the
heat, must have been at 80° in the shade, engaged in disparting Poland?
We have seen, say, a million of Frenchmen, and nearly the same of
Italians, since then, with a dozen or so of kings and emperors,--but
never the faintest likeness to those deluding pictures. We learned
at the same time, by painful rote, the population of various capital
cities; but we cannot find in any statistic-book gazetteer, neither in
McCulloch nor in Worcester, any of the old, familiar numbers. Also in
that same Wonder-Book of Malte-Brun, edited by Pietro il Parlatore, we
recall a sketch of a boy running for life down a slope of at least 45°,
just before a snowball some five hundred times as big as the one our
school-boys unitedly rolled up in the back-yard. It was a snowball,
round, symmetrical, just such a magnified copy of the backyard one as
might be expected to follow a boy in dreams after too much Johnny-cake
for supper. And that was an avalanche. We have stood since then under
the shadow of the Jungfrau, on the Wengern Alp, at the selfsame spot
where Byron beheld the fall of so many. We had the noble lord's luck,
(as most people have.) and saw dozens, but not one big snowball.

We believe there has been reform since that day. Thanks to the London
"Illustrated News" and the "Penny Magazine," juster ideas visit the
ingenious youth of the present age. But we solemnly declare that we
grew up in the belief that the President of the United States was
daily ushered to his carriage by a long array of bareheaded and bowing
menials, and that his official dress was a cocked hat and knee-breeches.
We furthermore make affidavit that we supposed all the nobility of
Europe to be in the habit of driving four-in-hand over wooden-legged
beggars. And we also depose and say, that we had no other idea of
royalty than as continually clad in coronation-robes, with six peers in
the same, with huge wigs, as attendants. All this upon the faith of
that same Malte-Brun, _à la_ P.P. Wasn't this a pretty dish to set
before--not a king-but a young republican, who fancied himself the
equal of kings? And lastly, upon the same authority, we held that "the
horrible custom of eating human flesh does not belong exclusively to any
nation." We have seen, we repeat, men and cities. We have dined at
the Rocher de Cancale, the Maison Dorée, at Delmonico's, at German
Gasthauses, at Italian Trattorias, at "Joe's" in London, the Trosachs
Inn in the Highlands, and upon all peculiar and national dishes, from
the _sardines au gratin_ of Naples to the _sauer kraut_ of Berlin, from
the "one fish-ball" of Boston to the hog and hominy of Virginia,--but
never yet upon any _carte_ did we encounter "Cold Missionary" or
"_Enfans en potage Fijien_."

Where, we repeat, is the Nursery Blarney-Stone? or rather, where is it

The gentle reader (prepared to corroborate with many a juvenile
reminiscence) must by this time be prepared for our moral; and it is
very briefly this:--Is it not time to consider the budding brain as
entitled to fair play? We, the dear middle-aged people, must surely
remember that it has taken us much toil and trouble to unlearn many
things. We know, that, when we pen anything for our coevals, it is with
due attention to such facts as we can command,--that we have a wholesome
fear of criticism,--that, if we make blunders in our seamanship, even
though professedly land-lubbers, some awful Knickerbocker stands by with
the Marine Dictionary in hand to pounce upon us. But for the poor little
innocents at home any cast-off rags of knowledge are good enough. We
hand down to them the worn-out platitudes of history which we have
carefully eschewed. We humbug their inexperience with the same nursery
fables beneath whose leonine hide our matured vision detects the ass's

We have been writing lightly enough, but with a purpose. For, absurd as
may seem the fictions we have sported with, are they not types of many
other far more serious ones which we cram down the throats of our rising
generation, long after we ourselves have begun to disbelieve them? There
is a conventional teaching which we decorously administer, and leave
our pupils to disavow it when they can. History is still taught in our
public and private schools, seasoned with all the exploded blunders of
the past. Men grow up to full manhood with ideas of foreign lands as
ridiculous and unfounded as the pictures over which we have been amusing
ourselves just now in our old Geography. Young America is ignorant
enough, Heaven knows, of a great deal he ought to learn; but what shall
we say of our persistently cramming him with what he ought not to learn?
No exploding process is strong enough, it would seem, to blow away the
countless pretty stories with which juvenile histories are embroidered.
Niebuhr and Arnold have forever finished Romulus and Remus and the
Livian legends, for maturer beliefs; but childhood goes on in the same
track. Lord Macaulay's Romance of English History has been riddled by
the acute reviewers; but he will be abridged for the use of schools, and
not a fiction about William Penn, or John of Marlborough, or Grahame of
Claverhouse, be left out.

Can you plant a garden with weeds and then pull them up again in secure
trust that no lurking burdocks and Canada thistle shall remain? Dear
model mothers and prudent papas, be not afraid of wholesome fiction,
as such, duly labelled and left uncorked. It will be far better to
administer plenty of "Robinson Crusoe" and "Sinbad" and "Arabian
Nights," good ringing old ballads with a healthy sentiment at bottom of
manly honor and womanly affection, fairy stories and ancient legends,
than all the mince-meat histories and biographies that nurse-wise have
been chewed soft for the use of tender gums. Let us all, for the benefit
of ourselves, keep clear of cant; but if cant we must, why let it be for
those who will cant back again, laughing in their sleeves the while, and
not for the dear little faces so solemnly upturned to ours, whose
honest blue eyes (black or green, if you please, as you take your tea)
confidingly meet ours.

American education, especially home education, is wanting not in
quantity so much as quality; in that it _is_ fearfully lacking, and we,
the educators, are the ones to blame for it.




It was a comfort to get to a place with something like society, with
residences which had pretensions to elegance, with people of some
breeding, with a newspaper, and "stores" to advertise in it, and with
two or three churches to keep each other alive by wholesome agitation.
Rockland was such a place.

Some of the natural features of the town have been described already.
The Mountain, of course, was what gave it its character, and redeemed
it from wearing the commonplace expression which belongs to ordinary
country-villages. Beautiful, wild, invested with the mystery which
belongs to untrodden spaces, and with enough of terror to give it
dignity, it had yet closer relations with the town over which it brooded
than the passing stranger knew of. Thus, it made a local climate by
cutting off the northern winds and holding the sun's heat like a
garden-wall. Peach-trees, which, on the northern side of the mountain,
hardly ever came to fruit, ripened abundant crops in Rockland.

But there was still another relation between the mountain and the town
at its foot, which strangers were not likely to hear alluded to, and
which was oftener thought of than spoken of by its inhabitants. Those
high-impending forests,--"hangers," as White of Selborne would have
called them,--sloping far upward and backward into the distance, had
always an air of menace blended with their wild beauty. It seemed as
if some heaven-scaling Titan had thrown his shaggy robe over the bare,
precipitous flanks of the rocky summit, and it might at any moment slide
like a garment flung carelessly on the nearest chance-support, and, so
sliding, crush the village out of being, as the Rossberg when it tumbled
over on the valley of Goldau.

Persons have been known to remove from the place, after a short
residence in it, because they were haunted day and night by the thought
of this awful green wall piled up into the air over their heads. They
would lie awake of nights, thinking they heard the muffled snapping of
roots, as if a thousand acres of the mountain-side were tugging to break
away, like the snow from a house-roof, and a hundred thousand trees were
clinging with all their fibres to hold back the soil just ready to peel
away and crash down with all its rocks and forest-growths. And yet, by
one of those strange contradictions we are constantly finding in human
nature, there were natives of the town who would come back thirty or
forty years after leaving it, just to nestle under this same threatening
mountain-side, as old men sun themselves against southward-facing walls.
The old dreams and legends of danger added to the attraction. If the
mountain should ever slide, they had a kind of feeling as if they ought
to be there. It was a fascination like that which the rattlesnake is
said to exert.

This comparison naturally suggests the recollection of that other source
of danger which was an element in the everyday life of the Rockland
people. The folks in some of the neighboring towns had a joke against
them, that a Rocklander couldn't hear a bean-pod rattle without saying,
"The Lord have mercy on us!" It is very true, that many a nervous old
lady has had a terrible start, caused by some mischievous young rogue's
giving a sudden shake to one of these noisy vegetable products in her
immediate vicinity. Yet, strangely enough, many persons missed the
excitement of the possibility of a fatal bite in other regions, where
there were nothing but black and green and striped snakes, mean
ophidians, having the spite of the nobler serpent without his venom,--
poor crawling creatures, whom Nature would not trust with a poison-bag.
Many natives of Rockland did unquestionably experience a certain
gratification in this infinitesimal sense of danger. It was noted that
the old people retained their hearing longer than in other places. Some
said it was the softened climate, but others believed it was owing to
the habit of keeping their ears open whenever they were walking through
the grass or in the woods. At any rate, a slight sense of danger is
often an agreeable stimulus. People sip their _crème de noyau_ with a
peculiar tremulous pleasure, because there is a bare possibility that it
may contain prussic acid enough to knock them over; in which case they
will lie as dead as if a thunder-cloud had emptied itself into the earth
through their brain and marrow.

But Rockland had other features which helped to give it a special
character. First of all, there was one grand street which was its chief
glory. Elm Street it was called, naturally enough, for its elms made
a long, pointed-arched gallery of it through most of its extent. No
natural Gothic arch compares, for a moment, with that formed by two
American elms, where their lofty jets of foliage shoot across each
other's ascending curves, to intermingle their showery flakes of green.
When one looks through a long double row of these, as in that lovely
avenue which the poets of Yale remember so well,--

  "Oh, could the vista of my life but now as bright appear
  As when I first through Temple Street looked down thine espalier!"--

he beholds a temple not built with hands, fairer than any minster, with
all its clustered stems and flowering capitals, that ever grew in stone.

Nobody knows New England who is not on terms of intimacy with one of its
elms. The elm comes nearer to having a soul than any other vegetable
creature among us. It loves man as man loves it. It is modest and
patient. It has a small flake of a seed which blows in everywhere and
makes arrangements for coming up by-and-by. So, in spring, one finds a
crop of baby-elms among his carrots and parsnips, very weak and small
compared to those, succulent vegetables. The baby-elms die, most of
them, slain, unrecognized or unheeded, by hand or hoe, as meekly as
Herod's innocents. One of them gets overlooked, perhaps, until it has
established a kind of right to stay. Three generations of carrot and
parsnip-consumers have passed away, yourself among them, and now let
your great-grandson look for the baby-elm. Twenty-two feet of clean
girth, three hundred and sixty feet in the line that bounds its leafy
circle, it covers the boy with such a canopy as neither glossy-leafed
oak nor insect-haunted linden ever lifted into the summer skies.

Elm Street was the pride of Rockland, but not only on account of its
Gothic-arched vista. In this street were most of the great houses, or
"mansion-houses," as it was usual to call them. Along this street,
also, the more nicely kept and neatly painted dwellings were chiefly
congregated. It was the correct thing for a Rockland dignitary to have a
house in Elm Street.

A New England "mansion-house" is naturally square, with dormer windows
projecting from the roof, which has a balustrade with turned posts round
it. It shows a good breadth of front-yard before its door, as its owner
shows a respectable expanse of clean shirt-front. It has a lateral
margin beyond its stables and offices, as its master wears his white
wrist-bands showing beyond his coat-cuffs. It may not have what can
properly be called grounds, but it must have elbow-room, at any rate.
Without it, it is like a man who is always tight-buttoned for want of
any linen to show. The mansion-house which has had to button itself up
tight in fences, for want of green or gravel margin, will be advertising
for boarders presently. The old English pattern of the New England
mansion-house, only on a somewhat grander scale, is Sir Thomas Abney's
place, where dear, good Dr. Watts said prayers for the family, and
wrote those blessed hymns of his that sing us into consciousness in
our cradles, and come back to us in sweet, single verses, between the
momenta of wandering and of stupor, when we lie dying, and sound over
us when we can no longer hear them, bringing grateful tears to the hot,
aching eyes beneath the thick, black veils, and carrying the holy calm
with them which filled the good man's heart, as he prayed and sung under
the shelter of the old English mansion-house.

Next to the mansion-houses, came the two-story, trim, white-painted,
"genteel" houses, which, being more gossipy and less nicely bred,
crowded close up to the street, instead of standing back from it with
arms akimbo, like the mansion-houses. Their little front-yards were very
commonly full of lilac and syringa and other bushes, which were allowed
to smother the lower story almost to the exclusion of light and air, so
that, what with small windows and small windowpanes, and the darkness
made by these choking growths of shrubbery, the front parlors of some of
these houses were the most tomb-like, melancholy places that could be
found anywhere among the abodes of the living. Their garnishing was apt
to assist this impression. Large-patterned carpets, which always look
discontented in little rooms, hair-cloth furniture, black and shiny as
beetles' wing-cases, and centre-tables, with a sullen oil-lamp of the
kind called astral by our imaginative ancestors, in the centre,--these
things were inevitable. In set piles round the lamp was ranged the
current literature of the day, in the form of Temperance Documents,
unbound numbers of one of the Unknown Public's Magazines with worn-out
steel engravings and high-colored fashion-plates, the Poems of a
distinguished British author whom it is unnecessary to mention, a volume
of sermons, or a novel or two, or both, according to the tastes of the
family, and the Good Book, which is always Itself in the cheapest and
commonest company. The father of the family with his hand in the breast
of his coat, the mother of the same in a wide-bordered cap, sometimes a
print of the Last Supper, by no means Morghen's, or the Father of his
Country, or the old General, or the Defender of the Constitution, or an
unknown clergyman with an open book before him,--these were the usual
ornaments of the walls, the first two a matter of rigor, the others
according to politics and other tendencies.

This intermediate class of houses, wherever one finds them in New
England towns, are very apt to be cheerless and unsatisfactory. They
have neither the luxury of the mansion-house nor the comfort of the
farm-house. They are rarely kept at an agreeable temperature. The
mansion-house has large fireplaces and generous chimneys, and is open
to the sunshine. The farm-house makes no pretensions, but it has a good
warm kitchen, at any rate, and one can be comfortable there with the
rest of the family, without fear and without reproach. These lesser
country-houses of genteel aspirations are much given to patent
subterfuges of one kind and another to get heat without combustion. The
chilly parlor and the slippery hair-cloth seat take the life out of the
warmest welcome. If one would make these places wholesome, happy, and
cheerful, the first precept would be,--The dearest fuel, plenty of it,
and let half the heat go up the chimney. If you can't afford this, don't
try to live in a "genteel" fashion, but stick to the ways of the honest

There were a good many comfortable farm-houses scattered about Rockland.
The best of them were something of the following pattern, which is too
often superseded of late by a more pretentious, but infinitely less
pleasing kind of rustic architecture. A little back from the road,
seated directly on the green sod, rose a plain wooden building, two
stories in front, with a long roof sloping backwards to within a few
feet of the ground. This, like the "mansion-house," is copied from an
old English pattern. Cottages of this model may be seen in Lancashire,
for instance, always with the same honest, homely look, as if their
roofs acknowledged their relationship to the soil out of which they
sprung. The walls were unpainted, but turned by the slow action of sun
and air and rain to a quiet dove- or slate-color. An old broken mill-
stone at the door,--a well-sweep pointing like a finger to the heavens,
which the shining round of water beneath looked up at like a dark
unsleeping eye,--a single large elm a little at one side,--a barn twice
as big as the house,--a cattle-yard, with

        "The white horns tossing above the wall,"--

some fields, in pasture or in crops, with low stone walls round them,--a
row of beehives,--a garden-patch, with roots, and currant-bushes, and
many-hued holly-hocks, and swollen-stemmed, globe-headed, seedling
onions, and marigolds, and flower-de-luces, and lady's-delights, and
peonies, crowding in together, with southernwood in the borders,
and woodbine and hops and morning-glories climbing as they got a
chance,--these were the features by which the Rockland-born children
remembered the farm-house, when they had grown to be men. Such are the
recollections that come over poor sailor-boys crawling out on reeling
yards to reef topsails as their vessels stagger round the stormy Cape;
and such are the flitting images that make the eyes of old country-born
merchants look dim and dreamy, as they sit in their city palaces, warm
with the after-dinner flush of the red wave out of which Memory arises,
as Aphrodite arose from the green waves of the ocean.

Two meeting-houses stood on two eminences, facing each other, and
looking like a couple of fighting-cocks with their necks straight up in
the air,--as if they would flap their roofs, the next thing, and crow
out of their upstretched steeples, and peck at each other's glass eyes
with their sharp-pointed weathercocks.

The first was a good pattern of the real old-fashioned New England
meeting-house. It was a large barn with windows, fronted by a square
tower crowned with a kind of wooden bell inverted and raised on legs,
out of which rose a slender spire with the sharp-billed weathercock at
its summit. Inside, tall, square pews with flapping seats, and a gallery
running round three sides of the building. On the fourth side the
pulpit, with a huge, dusty sounding-board hanging over it. Here preached
the Reverend Pierrepont Honeywood, D.D., successor, after a number of
generations, to the office and the parsonage of the Reverend Didymus
Bean, before mentioned, but not suspected of any of his alleged
heresies. He held to the old faith of the Puritans, and occasionally
delivered a discourse which was considered by the hard-headed
theologians of his parish to have settled the whole matter fully and
finally, so that now there was a good logical basis laid down for
the Millennium, which might begin at once upon the platform of his
demonstrations. Yet the Reverend Dr. Honeywood was fonder of preaching
plain, practical sermons about the duties of life, and showing his
Christianity in abundant good works among his people. It was noticed by
some few of his flock, not without comment, that the great majority of
his texts came from the Gospels, and this more and more as he became
interested in various benevolent enterprises which brought him into
relations with ministers and kind-hearted laymen of other denominations.
The truth is, that he was a man of a very warm, open, and exceedingly
_human_ disposition, and, although bred by a clerical father, whose
motto was "_Sit anima mea cum Puritanis_," he exercised his human
faculties in the harness of his ancient faith with such freedom that
the straps of it got so loose they did not interfere greatly with the
circulation of the warm blood through his system. Once in a while he
seemed to think it necessary to come out with a grand doctrinal sermon,
and then he would lapse away for while into preaching on men's duties to
each other and to society, and hit hard, perhaps, at some of the actual
vices of the time and place, and insist with such tenderness and
eloquence on the great depth and breadth of true Christian love and
charity, that his oldest deacon shook his head, and wished he had
shown as much interest when he was preaching, three Sabbaths back, on
Predestination, or in his discourse against the Sabellians. But he was
sound in the faith; no doubt of that. Did he not preside at the council
held in the town of Tamarack, on the other side of the mountain, which
expelled its clergyman for maintaining heretical doctrines? As presiding
officer, he did not vote, to be sure, but there was no doubt that he was
all right; he had some of the Edwards blood in him, and that couldn't
very well let him go wrong.

The meeting-house on the other and opposite summit was of a more modern
style, considered by many a great improvement on the old New England
model, so that it is not uncommon for a country parish to pull down its
old meeting-house, which has been preached in for a hundred years or so,
and put up one of these more elegant edifices. The new building was in
what may be called the florid shingle-Gothic manner. Its pinnacles and
crockets and other ornaments were, like the body of the building, all of
pine wood,--an admirable material, as it is very soft and easily worked,
and can be painted of any color desired. Inside, the walls were stuccoed
in imitation of stone,--first a dark-brown square, then two light-brown
squares, then another dark-brown square, and so on, to represent the
accidental differences of shade always noticeable in the real stones of
which walls are built. To be sure, the architect could not help getting
his party-colored squares in almost as regular rhythmical order as those
of a chess-board; but nobody can avoid doing things in a systematic and
serial way; indeed, people who wish to plant trees in natural clumps
know very well that they cannot keep from making regular lines and
symmetrical figures, unless by some trick or other, as that one of
throwing up into the air a peck of potatoes and sticking in a tree
wherever a potato happens to fall. The pews of this meeting-house were
the usual oblong ones, where people sit close together with a ledge
before them to support their hymn-books, liable only to occasional
contact with the back of the next pew's heads or bonnets, and a
place running under the seat of that pew where hats could be
deposited,--always at the risk of the owner, in case of injury by boots
or crickets.

In this meeting-house preached the Reverend Chauncy Fairweather, a
divine of the "Liberal" school, as it is commonly called, bred at that
famous college which used to be thought, twenty or thirty years ago, to
have the monopoly of training young men in the milder forms of heresy.
His ministrations were attended with decency, but not followed with
enthusiasm. "The beauty of virtue" got to be an old story at last.
"The moral dignity of human nature" ceased to excite a thrill of
satisfaction, after some hundred repetitions. It grew to be a dull
business, this preaching against stealing and intemperance, while he
knew very well that the thieves were prowling round orchards and
empty houses, instead of being there to hear the sermon, and that the
drunkards, being rarely church-goers, get little good by the statistics
and eloquent appeals of the preacher. Every now and then, however,
the Reverend Mr. Fairweather let off a polemic discourse against his
neighbor opposite, which waked his people up a little; but it was a
languid congregation, at best,--very apt to stay away from meeting in
the afternoon, and not at all given to extra evening services. The
minister, unlike his rival of the other side of the way, was a
down-hearted and timid kind of man. He went on preaching as he had been
taught to preach, but he bad misgivings at times. There was a little
Roman Catholic church at the foot of the hill where his own was placed,
which he always had to pass on Sundays. He could never look on the
thronging multitudes that crowded its pews and aisles or knelt
bare-headed on its steps, without a longing to get in among them and
go down on his knees and enjoy that luxury of devotional contact which
makes a worshipping throng as different from the same numbers praying
apart as a bed of coals is from a trail of scattered cinders.

"Oh, if I could but huddle in with those poor laborers and
working-women!" he would say to himself. "If I could but breathe that
atmosphere, stifling though it be, yet made holy by ancient litanies,
and cloudy with the smoke of hallowed incense, for one hour, instead of
droning over these moral precepts to my half-sleeping congregation!"
The intellectual isolation of his sect preyed upon him; for, of all the
terrible things to natures like his, the most terrible is to belong to a
minority. No person that looked at his thin and sallow cheek, his sunken
and sad eye, his tremulous lip, his contracted forehead, or who heard
his querulous, though not unmusical voice, could fail to see that his
life was an uneasy one, that he was engaged in some inward conflict. His
dark, melancholic aspect contrasted with his seemingly cheerful creed,
and was all the more striking, as the worthy Dr. Honeywood, professing a
belief which made him a passenger on board a shipwrecked planet, was
yet a most good-humored and companionable gentleman, whose laugh on
week-days did one as much good to listen to as the best sermon he ever
delivered on a Sunday.

A few miles from Rockland was a pretty little Episcopal church, with a
roof like a wedge of cheese, a square tower, a stained window, and
a trained rector, who read the service with such ventral depth of
utterance and rrreduplication of the rrresonant letter, that his own
mother would not have known him for her son, if the good woman had not
ironed his surplice and put it on with her own hands.

There were two public-houses in the place: one dignified with the name
of the Mountain House, somewhat frequented by city-people in the summer
months, large-fronted, three-storied, balconied, boasting a distinct
ladies'-drawing-room, and spreading a _table d'hôte_ of some
pretensions; the other, "Pollard's Tahvern," in the common speech,--a
two-story building, with a bar-room, once famous, where there was a
great smell of hay and boots and pipes and all other bucolic-flavored
elements,--where games of checkers were played on the back of the
bellows with red and white kernels of corn, or with beans and
coffee,--where a man slept in a box-settle at night, to wake up early
passengers,--where teamsters came in, with wooden-handled whips and
coarse frocks, reinforcing the bucolic flavor of the atmosphere,
and middle-aged male gossips, sometimes including the squire of the
neighboring law-office, gathered to exchange a question or two about the
news, and then fall into that solemn state of suspended animation which
the temperance bar-rooms of modern days produce on human beings, as the
Grotta del Cane does on dogs in the well-known experiments related
by travellers. This bar-room used to be famous for drinking and
story-telling, and sometimes fighting, in old times. That was when there
were rows of decanters on the shelf behind the bar, and a hissing vessel
of hot water ready, to make punch, and three or four _loggerheads_ (long
irons clubbed at the end) were always lying in the fire in the cold
season, waiting to be plunged into sputtering and foaming mugs of
flip,---a goodly compound, speaking according to the flesh, made with
beer and sugar, and a certain suspicion of strong waters, over which a
little nutmeg being grated, and in it the hot iron being then allowed to
sizzle, there results a peculiar singed aroma, which the wise regard as
a warning to remove themselves at once out of the reach of temptation.

But the bar of Pollard's Tahvern no longer presented its old
attractions, and the loggerheads had long disappeared from the fire. In
place of the decanters, were boxes containing "lozengers," as they were
commonly called, sticks of candy in jars, cigars in tumblers, a few
lemons, grown hard-skinned and marvellously shrunken by long exposure,
but still feebly suggestive of possible lemonade,--the whole ornamented
by festoons of yellow and blue cut fly-paper. On the front shelf of the
bar stood a large German-silver pitcher of water, and scattered about
were ill-conditioned lamps, with wicks that always wanted picking, which
burned red and smoked a good deal, and were apt to go out without any
obvious cause, leaving strong reminiscences of the whale-fishery in the
circumambient air.

The common school-houses of Rockland were dwarfed by the grandeur of the
Apollinean Institute. The master passed one of them, in a walk he was
taking, soon after his arrival at Rockland. He looked in at the rows of
desks and recalled his late experiences. He could not help laughing, as
he thought how neatly he had knocked the young butcher off his pins.

            "'A little _science_ is a dangerous thing.'

as well as a little 'learning,'" he said to himself; "only it's
dangerous to the fellow you try it on." And he cut him a good stick and
began climbing the side of The Mountain to get a look at that famous
Rattlesnake Ledge.



The virtue of the world is not mainly in its leaders. In the midst of
the multitude which follows there is often something better than in the
one that goes before. Old generals wanted to take Toulon, but one of
their young colonels showed them how. The junior counsel has been known
not unfrequently to make a better argument than his senior fellow,--if,
indeed, he did not make both their arguments. Good ministers will tell
you they have parishioners who beat them in the practice of the virtues.
A great establishment, got up on commercial principles, like the
Apollinean Institute, might yet be well carried on, if it happened to
get good teachers. And when Master Langdon came to see its management,
he recognized that there must be fidelity and intelligence somewhere
among the instructors. It was only necessary to look for a moment at
the fair, open forehead, the still, tranquil eye of gentle, habitual
authority, the sweet gravity that lay upon the lips, to hear the clear
answers to the pupils' questions, to notice how every request had the
force without the form of a command, and the young man could not doubt
that the good genius of the school stood before him in the person of
Helen Darley.

It was the old story. A poor country-clergyman dies and leaves a widow
and a daughter. In Old England the daughter would have eaten the bitter
bread of a governess in some rich family. In New England she must keep
a school. So, rising from one sphere to another, she at length finds
herself the _prima donna_ in the department of instruction in Mr. Silas
Peckham's educational establishment.

What a miserable thing it is to be poor! She was dependent, frail,
sensitive, conscientious. She was in the power of a hard, grasping,
thin-blooded, tough-fibred, trading educator, who neither knew nor cared
for a tender woman's sensibilities, but who paid her and meant to have
his money's worth out of her brains, and as much more than his money's
worth as he could get. She was consequently, in plain English,
overworked, and an overworked woman is always a sad sight,--sadder a
great deal than an overworked man, because she is so much more fertile
in capacities of suffering than a man. She has so many varieties of
headache,--sometimes as if Jael were driving the nail that killed Sisera
into her temples,--sometimes letting her work with half her brain while
the other half throbs as if it would go to pieces,--sometimes tightening
round the brows as if her cap-band were Luke's iron crown,--and then her
neuralgias, and her back-aches, and her fits of depression, in which she
thinks she is nothing and less than nothing, and those paroxysms which
men speak slightingly of as hysterical,--convulsions, that is all, only
not commonly fatal ones,--so many trials which belong to her fine and
mobile structure,--that she is always entitled to pity, when she is
placed in conditions which develop her nervous tendencies. The poor
teacher's work had, of course, been doubled since the departure of Mr.
Langdon's predecessor. Nobody knows what the weariness of instruction
is, as soon as the teacher's faculties begin to be overtasked, but those
who have tried it. The _relays_ of fresh pupils, each new set with its
exhausting powers in full action, coming one after another, take out
all the reserved forces and faculties of resistance from the subject of
their draining process.

The day's work was over, and it was late in the evening, when she
sat down, tired and faint, with a great bundle of girls' themes or
compositions to read over before she could rest her weary head on the
pillow of her narrow trundle-bed, and forget for a while the treadmill
stair of labor she was daily climbing.

How she dreaded this most forlorn of all a teacher's tasks! She
was conscientious in her duties and would insist on reading every
sentence,--there was no saying where she might find faults of grammar or
bad spelling. There might but have been twenty or thirty of these themes
in the bundle before her. Of course she knew pretty well the leading
sentiments they could contain: that beauty was subject to the accidents
of time; that wealth was inconstant, and existence uncertain; that
virtue was its own reward; that youth exhaled, like the dew-drop
from the flower, ere the sun had reached its meridian; that life was
o'ershadowed with trials; that the lessons of virtue instilled by our
beloved teachers were to be our guides through all our future career.
The imagery employed consisted principally of roses, lilies, birds,
clouds, and brooks, with the celebrated comparison of wayward genius to
a meteor. Who does not know the small, slanted, Italian hand of these
girls'-compositions,--their stringing together of the good old
traditional copy-book phrases, their occasional gushes of sentiment, the
profound estimates of the world, sounding to the old folks that read
them as the experience of a bantam-pullet's last-hatched young one
with the chips of its shell on its head would sound to a Mother Cary's
chicken, who knew the great ocean with all its typhoons and tornadoes?
Yet every now and then one is liable to be surprised with strange
clairvoyant flashes, that can hardly be explained, except by the
mysterious inspiration which every now and then seizes a young girl and
exalts her intelligence, just as hysteria in other instances exalts the
sensibility,--a little something of that which made Joan of Arc, and the
Burney girl who prophesied "Evelina," and the Davidson sisters. In the
midst of these commonplace exercises which Miss Darley read over so
carefully were two or three that had something of individual flavor
about them, and here and there there was an image or an epithet which
showed the footprint of a passionate nature, as a fallen scarlet feather
marks the path the wild flamingo has trodden.

The young lady teacher read them with a certain indifference of manner,
as one reads proofs,--noting defects of detail, but not commonly
arrested by the matters treated of. Even Miss Charlotte Ann Wood's poem,

  "How sweet at evening's balmy hour,"

did not excite her. She marked the inevitable false rhyme of Cockney and
Yankee beginners, _morn_ and _dawn_, and tossed the verses on the pile
of those she had finished. She was looking over some of the last of them
in a rather listless way,--for the poor thing was getting sleepy in
spite of herself,--when she came to one which seemed to rouse her
attention, and lifted her drooping lids. She looked at it a moment
before she would touch it. Then she took hold of it by one corner and
slid it off from the rest. One would have said she was afraid of it,
or had some undefined antipathy which made it hateful to her. Such odd
fancies are common enough in young persons in her nervous state. Many of
these young people will jump up twenty times a day and run to dabble
the tips of their fingers in water, after touching the most inoffensive

This composition was written in a singular, sharp-pointed, long,
slender hand, on a kind of wavy, ribbed paper. There was something
strangely suggestive about the look of it,--but exactly of what, Miss
Darley either could not or did not try to think. The subject of the
paper was The Mountain,--the composition being a sort of descriptive
rhapsody. It showed a startling familiarity with some of the savage
scenery of the region. One would have said that the writer must have
threaded its wildest solitudes by the light of the moon and stars as
well as by day. As the teacher read on, her color changed, and a kind
of tremulous agitation came over her. There were hints in this strange
paper she did not know what to make of. There was something in its
descriptions and imagery that recalled,--Miss Darley could not say
what,--but it made her frightfully nervous. Still she could not help
reading, till she came to one passage which so agitated her that the
tired and overwearied girl's self-control left her entirely. She sobbed
once or twice, then laughed convulsively, and flung herself on the bed,
where she worked out a set hysteric spasm as she best might, without
anybody to rub her hands and see that she did not hurt herself.
By-and-by she got quiet, rose and went to her bookcase, took down a
volume of Coleridge and read a short time, and so to bed, to sleep and
wake from time to time with a sudden start out of uneasy dreams.

Perhaps it is of no great consequence what it was in the composition
which set her off into this nervous paroxysm. She was in such a state
that almost any slight agitation would have brought on the attack, and
it was the accident of her transient excitability, very probably, which
made a trifling cause the seeming occasion of so much disturbance.
The theme was signed, in the same peculiar, sharp, slender hand, _E.
Venner_, and was, of course, written by that wild-looking girl who had
excited the master's curiosity and prompted his question, as before

The next morning the lady-teacher looked pale and wearied, naturally
enough, but she was in her place at the usual hour, and Master Langdon
in his own. The girls had not yet entered the schoolroom.

"You have been ill, I am afraid," said Mr. Bernard.

"I was not well yesterday," she answered. "I had a worry and a kind of
fright. It is so dreadful to have the charge of all these young souls
and bodies! Every young girl ought to walk, locked close, arm in arm,
between two guardian angels. Sometimes I faint almost with the thought
of all that I ought to do, and of my own weakness and wants--Tell me,
are there not natures born so out of parallel with the lines of natural
law that nothing short of a miracle can bring them right?"

Mr. Bernard had speculated somewhat, as all thoughtful persons of his
profession are forced to do, on the innate organic tendencies with which
individuals, families, and races are born. He replied, therefore, with
a smile, as one to whom the question suggested a very familiar class of

"Why, of course. Each of us is only footing-up of a double column of
figures that goes back to the first pair. Every unit tells,--and some of
them are _plus_, and some _minus_. If the columns don't add up right, it
is commonly because we can't make out all the figures. I don't mean to
say that something may not be added by Nature to make up for losses and
keep the race to its average, but we are mainly nothing but the answer
to a long sum in addition and subtraction. No doubt there are people
born with impulses at every possible angle to the parallels of Nature,
as you call them. If they happen to cut these at right angles, of course
they are beyond the reach of common influences. Slight obliquities are
what we have most to do with in education. Penitentiaries and insane
asylums take care of most of the right-angle cases.--I am afraid I have
put it too much like a professor, and I am only a student, you know.
Pray, what set you--"

The next morning the lady-teacher took to asking me this? "Any strange
cases among the scholars?"

The meek teacher's blue eyes met the luminous glance that came with the
question. She, too, was of gentle blood,--not meaning by that that she
was of any noted lineage, but that she came of a cultivated stock, never
rich, but long trained to intellectual callings. A thousand decencies,
amenities, reticences, graces, which no one thinks of until he misses
them, are the traditional right of those who spring from such families.
And when two persons of this exceptional breeding meet in the midst of
the common multitude, they seek each other's company at once by the
natural law of elective affinity. It is wonderful how men and women know
their peers. If two stranger queens, sole survivors of two ship-wrecked
vessels, were cast, half-naked, on a rock together, each would at once
address the other as "Our Royal Sister."

Helen Darley looked into the dark eyes of Bernard Langdon glittering
with the light which flashed from them with his question. Not as those
foolish, innocent country-girls of the small village did she look into
them, to be fascinated and bewildered, but to sound them with a calm,
steadfast purpose. "A gentleman," she said to herself, as she read his
expression and his features with a woman's rapid, but exhausting glance.
"A lady," he said to himself, as he met her questioning look,--so brief,
so quiet, yet so assured, as of one whom necessity had taught to read
faces quickly without offence, as children read the faces of parents,
as wives read the faces of hard-souled husbands. All this was but a few
seconds' work, and yet the main point was settled. If there had been any
vulgar curiosity or coarseness of any kind lurking in his expression,
she would have detected it. If she had not lifted her eyes to his face
so softly and kept them there so calmly and withdrawn them so quietly,
he would not have said to himself, "She is a _lady_," for that word
meant a good deal to the descendant of the courtly Wentworths and the
scholarly Langdons.

"There are strange people everywhere, Mr. Langdon," she said, "and I
don't think our school-room is an exception. I am glad you believe in
the force of transmitted tendencies. It would break my heart, if I did
not think that there are faults beyond the reach of everything but
God's special grace. I should die, if I thought that my negligence or
incapacity was alone responsible for the errors and sins of those I have
charge of. Yet there, are mysteries I do not know how to account for."
She looked all round the school-room, and then said, in a whisper, "Mr.
Langdon, we had a girl that _stole_, in the school, not long ago. Worse
than that, we had a girl that tried to set us on fire. Children of good
people, both of them. And we have a girl now that frightens me so"----

The door opened, and three misses came in to take their seats: three
types, as it happened, of certain classes, into which it would not have
been difficult to distribute the greater number of the girls in
the school.--_Hannah Martin_. Fourteen years and three months old.
Short-necked, thick-waisted, round-cheeked, smooth, vacant forehead,
large, dull eyes. Looks good-natured, with little other expression.
Three buns in her bag, and a large apple. Has a habit of attacking her
provisions in school-hours.--_Rosa Milburn_. Sixteen. Brunette, with
a rare ripe flush in her cheeks. Color comes and goes easily. Eyes
wandering, apt to be downcast. Moody at times. Said to be passionate,
if irritated. Finished in high relief. Carries shoulders well back and
walks well, as if proud of her woman's life, with a slight rocking
movement, being one of the wide-flanged pattern, but seems restless,--a
hard girl to look after. Has a romance in her pocket, which she means to
read in school-time.--_Charlotte Ann Wood_. Fifteen. The poetess before
mentioned. Long, light ringlets, pallid complexion, blue eyes. Delicate
child, half unfolded. Gentle, but languid and despondent. Does not go
much with the other girls, but reads a good deal, especially poetry,
underscoring favorite passages. Writes a great many verses, very fast,
not very correctly; full of the usual human sentiments, expressed in the
accustomed phrases. Undervitalized. Sensibilities not covered with their
normal integuments. A negative condition, often confounded with genius,
and sometimes running into it. Young people that _fall_ out of line
through weakness of the active faculties are often confounded with those
that _step_ out of it through strength of the intellectual ones.

The girls kept coming in, one after another, or in pairs or groups,
until the school-room was nearly full. Then there was a little pause,
and a light step was heard in the passage. The lady-teacher's eyes
turned to the door, and the master's followed them in the same

A girl of about seventeen entered. She was tall and slender, but
rounded, with a peculiar undulation of movement, such as one sometimes
sees in perfectly untutored country-girls, whom Nature, the queen of
graces, has taken in hand, but more commonly in connection with the
very highest breeding of the most thoroughly trained society. She was a
splendid scowling beauty, black-browed, with a flash of white teeth that
was always like a surprise when her lips parted. She wore a checkered
dress, of a curious pattern, and a camel's-hair scarf twisted a little
fantastically about her. She went to her seat, which she had moved a
short distance apart from the rest, and, sitting down, began playing
listlessly with her gold chain, as was a common habit with her, coiling
it and uncoiling it about her slender wrist, and braiding it in with her
long, delicate fingers. Presently she looked up. Black, piercing eyes,
not large,--a low forehead, as low as that of Clytie in the Townley
bust,--black hair, twisted in heavy braids,--a face that one could not
help looking at for its beauty, yet that one wanted to look away from
for something in its expression, and could not for those diamond eyes.
They were fixed on the lady-teacher now. The latter turned her own away,
and let them wander over the other scholars. But they could not help
coming back again for a single glance at the wild beauty. The diamond
eyes were on her still. She turned the leaves of several of her books,
as if in search of some passage, and, when she thought she had waited
long enough to be safe, once more stole a quick look at the dark girl.
The diamond eyes were still upon her. She put her kerchief to her
forehead, which had grown slightly moist; she sighed once, almost
shivered, for she felt cold; then, following some ill-defined impulse,
which she could not resist, she left her place and went to the young
girl's desk.

_"What do you want of me, Elsie Venner?_" It was a strange question to
put, for the girl had not signified that she wished the teacher to come
to her.

"Nothing," she said. "I thought I could make you come." The girl spoke
in a low tone, a kind of half-whisper. She did not lisp, yet her
articulation of one or two consonants was not absolutely perfect.

"Where did you get that flower, Elsie?" said Miss Darley. It was a rare
alpine flower, which was found only in one spot among the rocks of The

"Where it grew," said Elsie Venner. "Take it." The teacher could not
refuse her. The girl's finger-tips touched hers as she took it. How cold
they were for a girl of such an organization!

The teacher went back to her seat. She made an excuse for quitting the
school-room soon afterwards. The first thing she did was to fling the
flower into her fireplace and rake the ashes over it. The second was to
wash the tips of her fingers, as if she had been another Lady Macbeth. A
poor, overtasked, nervous creature,--we must not think too much of her

After school was done, she finished the talk with the master which had
been so suddenly interrupted. There were things spoken of which may
prove interesting by-and-by, but there are other matters we must first

To answer this question intelligently, we must first glance at the
characteristics of the age. It is an age of remarkable activity. There
have been industrious men in other days; there have been nations of whom
it might be truly said, They were an industrious people, they lost no
time in idleness: but their rate of speed was low. Such a people could
hardly be deemed enterprising. They might continue uncomplainingly in
their accustomed round of labors, but would lack impulse to attempt
anything new. Circumstances did not compel them to unwonted efforts,
and their capabilities lay dormant. The world was wide, the population
comparatively sparse, and the means of subsistence not difficult of

Our age is very unlike to that. People begin to crowd one another. There
is competition. The more active and ingenious will have the advantage;
they do have the advantage; and this fact is a constant stimulus. It has
been operating for thirty years past with ever-increasing power. We seem
to be approaching a climax,--a point beyond which flesh and blood cannot
go. The enterprise of the more active spirits of our day is astounding;
we begin to ask, "Will they stop at anything? What will they not
undertake?" There are a great many unsuccessful attempts; but these are
not necessarily observed, they pass quietly into obscurity, while we
hasten to observe the successes, which are wonderful, and so numerous
as to keep us ever on tiptoe, looking for new wonders. Having seen the
railways, the magnetic telegraph, and Hoe's press, in full operation,
and having been brought to accept these as a common measure of time and
motion, we find ourselves indisposed for older usages. We find our
age an age of daring and of doing. We are ready to discard the word
_impossible_; from our vocabulary; we deny that anything is the less
probable because of being unprecedented. For doing new things we look
about for new means,--being full charged with the belief that for all
worthy or desirable ends there must be adequate and available means.
In this regard, it is an age of unprecedented faith, of expectation of
success; and we all know the natural and necessary influence of such
an expectation. Sanguine expectation lights up the fires of genius;
invention is quickened for the attainment of the highest speed and the
greatest momentum. In no former age has there been anything to compare
in rapidity and power of movement with the every-day achievements of
this age. The relation of books to men, and the sphere assigned to
books, are materially modified by the characteristics of the age. Books,
as books, are no longer a charm to conjure with. The few really superior
books have a wider and greater influence than ever before; while
the great mass of common books have less, and pass more easily into
oblivion. Good books may and must help us; but books cannot make us men
of the nineteenth century, and a power in it. A thorough knowledge of
the world within us, as it stands related to the world without us, is
something quite different from mere book-knowledge. This is an element
of influence not only not confined to the bookmen, but often possessed
in a transcendent degree by those whose devotion to books is altogether
subordinate to other avocations. Our common-school education may be said
to bring the entire people upon a common plane. We are no longer the
esoteric and the exoteric; we understand our rights in the common fund
of sense and truth very well. We are not very patient with those who
affect to know better than ourselves what we want and what we ought to
desire. Most men are exceedingly in earnest, and determined to be heard
in their own cause, and well able to make themselves understood. Scribes
and Pharisees compassing sea and land to make one proselyte are
a good and bad type of our activity in the pursuit of our own ends.
Innumerable and infinitely varied are the shifts employed to secure
attention, to effect the sale of merchandise, and to increase income.
Nor are the learned professions much behind the men of merchandise. The
contest of life thickens. Competition for the fruits of labor waxes
continually more fierce. Mother Earth is too moderate in her labors; the
ranks of the producers suffer from desertion; the plough is forsaken;
the patient ox is contemned; silence, seclusion, and meditation are a
memory of the past. The world's axis is changed; there is more heat in
the North. The world has advanced, in our age, from a speed of five
miles an hour, to twenty or thirty, or more.

Whatever may be thought of the advantages and disadvantages accruing
from these movements, there can be no question of the fact, that they
have greatly affected the position and the relations of speakers and
hearers. The million have been driven to do so much for themselves, that
they are in no little danger of jumping to the conclusion, that they no
longer need teachers of religion. A conclusion so fraught with mischief
to the race will not be arrested by a pertinacious adhesion to modes of
preaching which men under the old-time training could be made to endure,
but which latter-day contrasts have rendered intolerable.

It is just here, if anywhere, that a special backwardness on the part of
the clergy to meet the religious wants of the age may, without injustice
or unkindness, be alleged. It comes about very naturally; the training
of the clergy is not in harmony with the exigencies of the position they
are intended to occupy. The endeavors of the preparatory schools are
not to be depreciated. It is scarcely possible to say too much of the
fundamental importance of thoroughness and of minute accuracy in the
rudiments of learning. But that extreme zeal in this behalf has produced
an unnatural divorce of the practical from the critical, it is vain
to deny. The devotion to the latter, which is inaugurated in the
preparatory school, is by the college inflamed to the utmost, and
the young man reaches his climax when he receives the appointment of
valedictorian; that is his end; he reaches it, and we may say it is
the death of him. He may, indeed, enter the theological seminary,
industriously resolved on more of the same supremacy; but, in most
instances, the great practical ends of a Christ-like life of doing good
have been already lost from his view, and the ways and means by which
alone such ends can be reached have become offensive to him. The
student, as he delights in calling himself, has become greatly more
interested in knowledge than in the people for whom he is to use his
knowledge. A certain unknown God, an idol, in short, quite unsuspected,
whose name is _Critical Dignity_, is installed in his heart, in
the place of the Son of God. And the man endures the trials of his
ministerial life under the mistaken impression that he is a martyr for
Christ. He compels himself to be satisfied with a measure of attention
to his utterances, which would content no sane and sensible man in any
other department of teaching. He will tell you that it is one of the
inevitable infelicities of his vocation, that to nothing are men such
unwilling listeners as to religious truth; than which nothing can
be more untrue; for to nothing are men so prepared to listen as to
religious truth, properly presented.

In order to a more generally happy and successful prosecution of the
duties of a minister of Christ, a preliminary fact requires to be
considered. That a man is found or finds himself in any calling is no
evidence whatever that he is fitted for that calling. This is just as
true of the ministry as of any other vocation. Every man-of-business
knows this. The clergy seem to us behind the age in being astonishingly
blind to it. Men-of-business know that only a very small fraction of
their number can ever attain eminent success. They know, that, in a term
of twenty years, ninety-seven men in a hundred _fail_. Here and there
one develops a remarkable talent for the specific business in which he
is engaged. The ninety-and-nine discover that they have a weary contest
to maintain with manifold contingencies and combinations which no
foresight can preclude.

The application of this general truth to their profession the clergy are
backward to perceive. The consequences of this backwardness are very
hurtful to their interests. Because of this, we have an indefinite
amount of puerile and undignified complaint from disappointed men, of
disingenuous misrepresentation from incompetent men, who have entered
upon labors they were never fitted to accomplish. Such men undertake
their labors in ways that want and must want the Divine sanction; and
they are tempted to ward off a just verdict of unsuitableness and of
incompetency by bringing many and grievous charges against their
flocks. "A mania for church-extending"; "a hankering for architectural
splendor"; "or for discursive and satirical preaching"; "or for
something florid or profound": these and the like imputations have
been put forward, as a screen, by many an unsuccessful preacher, who
failed,--simply failed,--not in selling horns or hides, shirtings or
sugars,--but failed to recommend Christ and his gospel,--failed for want
of head, or heart, or industry, or all three.

The man who embarks his all in hardware, drugs, or law, runs the risk
of failure. If his neighbor can rise earlier, walk faster, talk faster,
work harder, and hold on longer, he will get the avails that might
suffice for both. This unalterable fact every business-man accepts.

Do you inquire, To what good purpose do you thrust the possibility of
failure upon the attention of the candidate for the ministry? Would you
utterly discourage those who are already more alive to the perils of
their undertaking than we could wish them?

We answer, It is no kindness to encourage men to enter a ministry whose
inexorable requirements and whose incidental possibilities they may
not look in the face. It is no kindness to represent to them that the
qualities which they possess _ought_ to engage attention; and that
their talents will command respect, or else it will be the fault of the

Men go into business in the face of a possibility of failure through
uncontrollable circumstances; not in defiance of an ascertainable,
insufferable incompetency. They toil on, accepting adversity with such
equanimity as God gives them, so long as they are permitted to believe
that their misfortunes are not chargeable upon their incapacity or
self-indulgence. But when it is made apparent that they are not in their
proper sphere, they think it no shame to say so, to withdraw, and
to apply their energies to something suited to their tastes and
capabilities. And it should be with the ministry; but as things now are,
with the conceptions of the ministry now entertained, pride interposes
to forbid the rectification of the most serious mistakes. It is a
question of dignity and of scholarship; whereas it should be a question
of love to God and man, and of real ability and conscious power to bring
them together,--to reconcile man to God.

Our age is an age of great devotion to secular affairs,--of men who are
great in the conduct of such affairs,--in every department in life. To
counterbalance this, our ministry must be filled with an equally earnest
devotion to God and salvation. In real ability our ministers ought to be
not a whit behind. But ability is not necessarily scholarship; though it
may, and as far as possible should, include that, and a great deal more.
Let it be fully understood, once for all, that we have no disparaging
remark to make of scholarship; a man must be foolish beyond expression,
who pretends to argue that the highest scholarship is less than a most
important and almost indispensable auxiliary to the minister of Christ.
All our concern in the matter, just here, is, that it shall be fully
understood that piety and real ability make the minister of Christ,
and not scholarship; in the words of Augustine, "the heart makes the
minister";--but we may safely assume that he meant the heart of a really
able man; otherwise we can accord but a qualified respect to this

The prevailing impression among the ministry appears to be, that the man
who cannot write "an able doctrinal discourse" is but an inferior man,
fit only to preach in an inferior place; and that it would be a great
gain to the Church, if scholarship were only so general that the
standard of the universities could be applied, and only Phi-Beta-Kappa
men allowed to enter the ministry. No doubt, those who incline to this
view are quite honest, and not unkindly in it. But those who think this
grievously misunderstand the necessities of the age in which we live.
Reading men know where to find better reading than can possibly be
furnished by any man who is bound to write two sermons weekly, or
even one sermon a week; and to train any corps of young men in the
expectation that any considerable fraction of them will be able to win
and to maintain a commanding influence in their parishes mainly by the
weekly production of learned discourses is to do them the greatest
injury, by cherishing expectations which never can be realized. Why
do our educated men of other professions so seldom and so reluctantly
contribute to the addresses in our religious assemblies? Precisely
because they understand the difficulty of meeting the popular
expectation which is created by the prevailing theory; a theory which
demands that sermons, and not only that sermons, but also that all
religious addresses, should be chiefly characterized as learned, acute,
scholastic even. An Irish preacher is reported in an Edinburgh paper as
saying lately, that "he had been led to think of his own preaching and
of that of his brethren. He saw very few sermons in the New Testament
shaped after the forms and fashion in which they had been accustomed to
shape theirs. He was not aware of a sermon there, in which they had
a little motto selected, upon which a disquisition upon a particular
subject was hung. The sort of sermons which the people in his locality
were desirous to hear were sermons delivered on a large portion of the
Word of God, carrying through the ideas as the Spirit of God had done."
And it is, in part at least, because of the prevailing disregard of this
most reasonable desire, that parishes so soon weary of their ministers.

It need not discourage ministers to accept the fact that there will be
failures in the ministry,--and a great many failures among those who
rely for their success mainly upon the weekly production of learned
disquisitions. Discouragement is not in accepting a fact that accords
with all just theories of truth, but in adopting a theory which is sure
to be invalidated by the almost universal experience of men in, as well
as out of, the ministry. A right-minded minister _may_ have many falls
in struggling up his Hill of Difficulty; but the Lord will lift him
up, and will save him from adding to the temperate grief proper to any
measure of short-coming the intolerable poignancy that comes of cheating
by false pretences,--of assuming to do what he knows or should know that
he cannot do, namely, produce any considerable number of great sermons.

Let it, then, be frankly owned, that men, very good men, very capable
men, have failed in the ministry. A. failed, because he did not study;
B., because he did not visit his people; C., because he could not talk;
D., because he was too grave; E., because he was too frivolous; F. could
not, or would not, control his temper; G. alienated by exacting more
than he received; and all of them because of not having what Scougal
calls "the life of God in the soul of man."

It is not worth while for any man to go into the ministry who cannot
relish the Apostle's invitation, running thus:--"I beseech you,
therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies _a living sacrifice_, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service." If that seem not reasonable, ay, and exceedingly
inviting too, better let it alone. All men cannot do all things. Better
raise extraordinary potatoes than hammer out insignificant ideas. You do
not see the connection? you were a Phi-Beta-Kappa man in college, and
know that you can write better than many a man in a metropolitan pulpit?
Very likely; but we of the few go to church to be made better men, and
not by fine writing, but by significant ideas, which may come in a
homely garb, so they be only pervaded with affectionate piety, but which
can come to us only from one who has laid all ambitious self-seeking on
the altar of God. There is a power of persuasion in every minister who
follows God as a dear child, and who walks in love, as Christ loved
us, which the hardest heart cannot long resist,--which will win the
congregation, however an individual here and there may be able to harden
himself against it. You think that the great power of the pulpit is in
high doctrine, presented with metaphysical precision and acuteness. We
have no disparagement to offer of your doctrinal knowledge, nor of your
ability to state it with metaphysical precision and hair-splitting
acuteness. But we know, from much experience, that there is a divine
truth, and a fervor and power in imparting it, with which God inspires
the man who is wholly devoted to Him, in comparison with which the
higher achievements of the man who lacks these are trumpery and rubbish.
Many, _many_ men have failed in the ministry, are failing in the
ministry every day, because their principal reliance has been upon what
they deem their thorough mastery of the soundest theories of doctrine
and of duty. They were confident they could administer to minds and
hearts diseased the certain specific laid down in the book, admeasured
to the twentieth part of a scruple. Confident in their theoretical
acquisitions, they could not comprehend the indispensable necessity of a
large experience in actual cases of mental malady. And for the want of
such experience, it was absolutely impossible that they should be _en
rapport_ with the souls they honestly desired to benefit. Can you heal a
heart-ache with a syllogism? There is no dispensing with the precept and
prescription,--"Weep with those that weep!" "Be of the same mind one
toward another!"

Theories of doctrine and of practice are not without their value; but
the minister who is merely or chiefly a theorist, whether in doctrines
or in measures, is an adventurer; and the chances against him are as
many as the chances against the precise similarity of any two cases
presented to his attention,--as many as the chances against the
education of any two men of fifty years being precisely alike, in every
particular and in all their results. The soul's problems are not to be
solved by theories. Such was not the practice of the Great Physician;
"_surely, He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows._" Theories
shirk that. "_In all their affliction, He was afflicted; in His love and
in His pity, He redeemed them._" And precisely in this way his ministers
are now to follow up his practice. Our age is growing less and less
tolerant of formality,--less and less willing to accept metaphysical
disquisition in place of a warm-hearted, loving, fervent expansion of
the Word of God, recommended to the understanding and to the sensibility
by lively illustrations of spiritual truth, derived from all the
experience of life, from all observation, from all analogies in the
natural world,--in short, from every manner of illumination, from the
heavens above, from the earth beneath, and from the waters which are
under the earth. God is surely everywhere, and hath made all things, and
all to testify of Him; and the innumerable voices all agree together.

And when this is both understood and felt, what rules shall be given to
guide and control the construction and the delivery of discourses? Shall
we say, The people must be brought back to the old-time endurance--ay,
_endurance_, that is the word--of long-drawn, laborious ratiocinations,
wherein the truth is diligently pursued for its own sake, with an
ultimate reference, indeed, to the needs and uses of the hearer, but so
remote as rarely to be noticed, except by that very small fraction of
any customary congregation who may chance to have an interest in
such doings,--some of whom watch the clergyman as they would the
entomologist, running down a truth that he may impale it, and add one
more specimen to his well-ordered collection of common and of uncommon
bugs? Our neighbors in the South do better than this; for they hunt with
the lasso, and never throw the noose except to capture something which
can be harnessed to the wheels of common life.

No, the people are not going back to the endurance of any such misery.
They have found out that still-born rhetoric is by no means the one
thing needful, and care far less for the _art_ of speech than for the
_nature_ of a holy heart. They want a man to speak less of what he
believes and more of what he feels. The expectation of bringing the
people again to endure prolonged metaphysical discriminations, spun out
of commonplace minds, cobwebs to cloak their own nakedness and universal
inaptitude, if indulged, is absurdly indulged. The whole Church is sick
of such trifling. She knows well that it has made her most unsavory to
those who might have found their way into the temples of God, or kept
their places there, but for the memory of an immense amount of wearisome
readings from the pulpit,--too often a vocabulary of words seldom or
never found out of sermons,--a manner of speech which, when tried by the
sure test of natural, animated conversation, must be pronounced absurd
and abominable. It is a wonder of wonders, that, in spite of such
drawbacks, an individual here and there has been reclaimed from
worldliness to the love and service of God.

The student-habits of the clergy most naturally lead them to prefer the
formal statement, the studied elaboration of ideas, which their own
training cannot but render facile and dear to them. And there is here
and there a man who, in virtue of extraordinary genius, can infuse new
life into worn-out phrases,--a man or two who can for a moment or for an
hour, by the very weight and excellence of their thoughts, and because
they truly and deeply feel them, arrest the age, and challenge and
secure attention, in spite of all the infelicities of an antiquated
style and an unearthly delivery. But in this age, more than ever before,
we are summoned to surrender our scholastic preferences and esoteric
honors to the exigencies of the million. And the men of this generation
have, without much conference, come with great unanimity to the
determination that they will not long endure, either in or out of the
pulpit, speakers who are dull and unaffecting, whether from want of
words, ideas, or method and wisdom in the arrangement of them, or
lack of sympathies,--and especially that they will not endure dull
declamation from the pulpit.

If any man really wish to know how he is preaching, let him imagine
himself conversing earnestly with an intelligent and highly gifted,
but uneducated man or woman, in his own parlor, or with his younger
children. Would any but an idiot keep on talking, when, with half an
eye, he might discern TEDIOUS, wrought by himself, upon the uncalloused
sensibilities of his hearers?

How long ought a sermon to be? As long as you can read in the eye of
seven-eighths of your audience, _Pray, go on_. If you cannot read that,
you have mistaken your vocation; you were never called to the ministry.
The secret of the persuasive power of our favorite orators is in their
constant recognition of the ebb and flow of the sensibilities they are
acting upon. Their speech is, in effect, an actual conversation,
in which they are speaking for as well as to the audience; and the
interlocutors are made almost as palpably such as at the "Breakfast-
Table" of our dramatic "Autocrat" In contrast with this, the dull
preacher, falling below the dignity and the privilege of his office,
addresses himself, not to living men, but to an imaginary sensibility
to abstract truth. The effect of this is obvious and inevitable; it
converts hearers into doubters as to whether in fact there be any such
thing as a religion worth recommending or possessing, and preachers into
complainers of the people as indifferent and insensible to the truth,--a
libel which ought to render them liable to fine and punishment. God's
truth, _fairly presented_, is never a matter of indifference or of
insensibility to an intelligent, nor even to an unintelligent audience.
However an individual here and there may contrive to withdraw himself
from the sphere of its influence, truth can no more lose her power than
the sun can lose his heat.

The people, under the quickening influences characteristic of our age,
are awaking to the consciousness, that, on the day which should be the
best of all the week, they have been defrauded of their right, in having
solemn dulness palmed upon them, in place of living, earnest, animated
truth. Let not ministers, unwisely overlooking this undeniable fact,
defame the people, by alleging a growing facility in dissolving the
pastoral relation,--a disregard of solemn contracts,--a willingness to
dismiss excellent, godly, and devoted men, without other reason than the
indisposition to retain them. Be it known to all such, that capable men
very department of life were never in such request as at this very hour;
and never, since the world began, was there an audience so large and so
attentive to truth, well wrought and fitted to its purpose, as now.


_Ludwig van Beethoven. Leben und Schaffen._ Herausgegeben von Adolph
Bernhard Marx. 2 vols. 8vo. Berlin, 1859. pp. 379, 339.


Beethoven died March 26, 1827, and thirty years passed away without any
satisfactory biography of him. The notices and anecdotes of Seyfried,
(1832,) Wegeler, and Ries, (1838,) the somewhat more extended sketch by
Schindler, (1840, second edition 1845,) and what in various forms, often
of very doubtful veracity, appeared from time to time in periodical
publications, musical and other, remained the only sources of
information respecting the great master, and the history of his works,
available to the public, even the German public. Wegeler's "Notizen"
are indispensable for the early history of the composer; Schindler's
"Biographie," for that of his later years. Careful scrutiny has failed
to detect any important error in the statements of the former, or
in those of the latter, where he professedly speaks from personal
knowledge. Schindler is one of the best-abused men in Germany,--perhaps
has given sufficient occasion for it,--but we must bear this testimony
to the value of his work, unsatisfactory as it is. Seyfried and Ries
give little more than personal reminiscences of a period ending some
twenty-five or thirty years before they wrote. The one is always
careless; the other died too suddenly to give his hastily written
anecdotes revision. Both must be corrected (as they may easily be, but
have not yet been) by contemporaneous authorities. Their errors are
constantly repeated in the biographical articles upon Beethoven which we
find in the Encyclopaedias, with one exception, the article in the "New
American," published by the Appletons.

A life of Beethoven, founded upon a careful digest of these writers,
combined with the materials scattered through other publications,--even
though no original researches were made,--was still a desideratum,
when the very remarkable work upon Mozart, by the Russian, Alexander
Oulibichef, appeared, and aroused a singular excitement in the German
musical circles through the real or supposed injustice towards Beethoven
into which the hero-worship of the author had led him. We had hopes that
now some one of the great master's countrymen would give us something
worthy of him; but the excitement expended itself in pamphlets and
articles in periodicals, in which as little was done for Beethoven's
history as was effected against the views of Oulibichef.

Another Russian, however, Wilhelm von Lenz, came to the rescue in two
works,--"Beethoven et ses trois Styles," (2 vols. 8vo, St. Petersburg,
1862,) and "Beethoven, eine Kunststudie" (2 vols. l2mo, Cassel, 1855). A
very feeble champion, this Herr von Lenz. The first of his two works--in
French, rather of the Strat-ford-at-Bow order,--consists principally of
an "Analyse des Sonates de Piano" of Beethoven, in which these works are
indeed much talked about, but not analyzed. The author, an amateur, has
plenty of zeal, but, unluckily, neither the musical knowledge nor the
critical skill for his self-imposed task. We mention this took
only because the second volume closes with a "Catalogue critique,
chronologique et anecdotique," in which the author has, with great
industry and care, and for the first time, brought together the
principal historical notices of Beethoven's works, scattered through the
pages of the books above noticed and the fifty quarto volumes of the
"Leipziger Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung."

The first volume of "Beethoven, eine Kunststudie" is a "Leben
des Meisters," a mere sketch, made up from the same works as the
"Catalogue," with a very few additions from other sources. As a
biographer, Lenz fails as signally as in his capacity of critic. Much
original matter, from one living so far away, was not to be expected;
but he has made no commendable use of the printed authorities which
he had at hand. His style is bombastic and feeble; there is neither a
logical nor a chronological progress to his narrative; moreover, he is
not always trustworthy, even in matters personal to himself;--at
all events, a very interesting account of a meeting between him
and Mendelssohn, at the house of Moscheles in London,--apropos of
nothing,--has called--out a letter from the latter in a Leipzig musical
journal, in which the whole story is declared to be without foundation.
In our references to Lenz, we shall consider his "Catalogue" and his
"Leben des Meisters" as complements to each other, and forming a single

Lenz's "Beethoven et ses trois Styles" was avowedly directed against
Oulibichef, and called out a reply from that gentleman, with the title,
"Beethoven, ses Critiques et ses Glossateurs," (8vo. Paris and Leipzig,
1857,) in which poor Lenz is annihilated, but which makes no pretensions
to biographical value. It contains, indeed, a sketch of the master's
life; it is but a sketch, so highly colored, such a mere painting of
Beethoven as lie existed in the author's fancy,--not in real life,--as
to convey a most false idea of him and of his fortunes. The introduction
is an admirable sketch of the progress of music during the first
twenty-five years of the present century,--a supplement to his famous
view of modern music in his work upon Mozart. His analyses of such of
Beethoven's works as met his approbation are masterly and unrivalled,
save by certain articles from the pens of Hoffmann and our own writer
Dwight. With the later works of the composer Oulibichef had no sympathy.
Haydn and Mozart had given him his standards of perfection. _We_ can
forgive Beethoven, when at times he rises above all forms and rules in
seeking new means of expression; Oulibichef could not.

But it is not endless discussions of Beethoven's works which the
public--at all events, our public--demands. We wish his biography,--the
history of his life. What has been given us does but whet the appetite.
We wish to have the many original sources, still sealed to us, explored,
and the results of this labor honestly given us. None of the writers
above-mentioned have been in a position to do this, and their
publications are but materials for the use of the true biographer, when
he shall appear.

It was therefore with a pleasure as great as it was unexpected, that we
saw, some months since, the announcement of the volumes named at the
head of this article. They now lie before us. We have given thorn a very
careful examination, and shall now endeavor to do them full justice,
granting them much more space than has yet been accorded to them in
any German publication which has come under our notice, because out
of Germany the reputation of the author is far greater than at
home,--whether upon the old principle, that the "prophet is not without
honor," etc., we hope hereafter to make clear.

Some particulars respecting Dr. Marx may find place here, as proving
that from no man, perhaps, have we the right to expect so much, in
a biography of Beethoven, as from him. We draw them mostly from
Schilling's "Encyclopädie der gesammten musikalischen Wissenschaft,"
Vol. IV., Stuttgart, 1841,--a work which deserves to be better known in
our country. It is worthy of note, that in this work, of which Mozart
fills eight pages, Handel, Bach, Haydn, and Beethoven seven to seven and
a half each, Gluck six and a quarter, Meyerbeer four, and Weber four and
a half, Marx, eighteen years since, occupied five.

Adolph Bernhard Marx was born at Halle, Nov. 17, 1799, and, like so many
of the distinguished musicians of recent times, is of Jewish descent. He
studied at the University of his native city, choosing the law for his
profession, but making music the occupation of his leisure hours,--the
well-known contrapuntist, Türk, being his instructor in musical theory
and composition. "He [Türk] soon saw whom he had before him, and told
Marx at once that he was born to be a musician."[1]

Soon after finishing his legal studies, Marx removed to Berlin, as the
place where he could best enjoy the means of artistic culture. "For one
quite without fortune, merely to live in a strange city demands great
strength of character; but to go farther and fit one's self for a career
and for a position in the future, which even under the best auspices
is of very difficult attainment, and, beside all this, to have others
dependent upon him for the necessaries of life,--what a burden to bear!
..... By a very intellectual system of instruction in singing and in
composition, and, at a later period, (1824-81,) by editing the 'Berliner
Allgemeine Musikzeitung,' and several theoretical and practical musical
works, he earned the means of subsistence. Never was a periodical more
conscientiously edited. It was for Marx like an official station, and
his seven years upon that paper were in fact a preparation for the
position of Public Teacher, to which in 1830 he was appointed, in the
University at Berlin, after having declined a judicial position offered
to him, with a fair salary, in one of the provinces. Honorably has he
since that period filled his station, however great the pains which
have been taken in various quarters that it should not be said of him,
'Virtus post nummos!'"[2]

"The diploma of Doctor of Music Marx received from the University at
Marburg; and thereupon (?) obtained the greatest applause for a course
of lectures, in part strictly scientific for the musician, and in part
upon the history of music, its philosophy, etc.; also, as Music-Director
of the University, he has brought (1841,) the academic choir into such
a flourishing state, both as to numbers and skill, as to be adequate to
the most difficult music."[3]

Again we read,--"We remember, that, some time since, Fetis, at Paris,
pointed out Marx as the one who had introduced the philosophy of Kant
into music." Were this so, so much the more credit to Marx, who, at that
time, we are informed, had never studied the works of the philosopher
of Königsberg, and his basing music upon the Kantian philosophy is
therefore but a proof of the profundity of his genius.

From the same article we extract the following list of his
productions:--1. A work on Singing, in three parts; the second and third
of which "contain throughout admirable and novel remarks." 2. "Maigruss"
(Maygreeting). "This pamphlet, humorous and delicate, yet powerfully
written," calls attention to certain novel views of its author in regard
to music. 3. Articles in the "Cäcilia," a musical periodical. 4. Essay
on Handel's works. 5. A work on Composition. 6. Several biographies and
other articles in Schilling's Encyclopædia,--"indeed, all the articles
signed A. B. M." 7. Editions of several of Bach's and Handel's works.
To these we may now add his extensive treatise upon Musical Science, in
four volumes, his "Music in the Nineteenth Century," and the work which
is now before us.

Of musical compositions we find the

[Footnote 1: Article in Schilling]

[Footnote 2: Article in Schilling]

[Footnote 3: Ibid.] following noticed:--1. Music to Goethe's "Jery und
Bätely,"--which, in theatrical parlance, was shockingly _damned_;--but
then "its author had made many enemies as editor of the 'Musikalische
Zeitung,'" and the singers and actors embraced this opportunity of
revenge. 2. Music to the melodrama, "Die Rache wartet," (Vengeance
waits,) by Willibald Alexis, the scenes of which are laid in Poland at
the time of Napoleon's fatal Russian expedition. "This background was
the theme of the music, which consisted of little more than the overture
and _entr'actes_, but was held by musicians of note to be both grand and
profound. The character of the campaign of 1812, especially, was given
in the overture with terrible truth of expression. Still, however, the
work _did not succeed_." 3. "Undine's Greeting," text by Fouqué, with
a festive symphony, composed on occasion of the marriage of the present
Prince Regent of Prussia. This was also damned,--but then, it was badly
executed! 4. Symphony,--"The Fall of Warsaw,"--still manuscript. "The
music paints most touchingly the rash, superficial, chivalrous character
of the Poles, their love of freedom amid the thunder of cannon, their
terrible fall in the bloody defeat, their solitary condition on strange
soil, the awful judgment that fell upon that people." We are sorry to
add, that the Berlin orchestras will not play this work,--preferring
Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven. 5. A Choral and Organ Book,--"one of Marx's
most interesting works." 6. "Nahib,"--a series of songs, the music of
which "is gentle, tender, and full of Oriental feeling." 7. "John the
Baptist," an oratorio,--twice performed by the University choir in one
of the churches of Berlin. "A great charm is found in the peculiar
sharpness of characterization which distinguishes this music. The solos
and choruses, being held throughout in spirited declamation,--the
music not being aggregated in conventional tone-masses, but developed
vigorously after the sense of the text,--are distinguished from those
in the works of recent composers." Unfortunately for Marx, the public
preferred the solos and choruses of such recent composers as Meyerbeer,
Mendelssohn, and Schumann to his. A few songs and hymns completed the
list of his works at that time.

"At present," (1841,) says our authority, "Marx is laboring upon an
oratorio, 'Moses,' for which he long since made studies, and which in
its profound conception of character will have but few equals."

The "Moses" was long since finished, and was performed in several
places; but the public has not proved alive to its merits, and it fares
no better than did Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in its nonage.

We have perhaps quoted somewhat too largely from the article in
Schilling; but have thought so much necessary to give the reader the
basis of the great reputation which Marx has, particularly in England
and the United States;--for, singular as the fact may appear, we are
unable to recall the name of any young composer who has appeared and
gained any considerable degree of success, since Marx began to teach,
whom he can claim as his pupil. Most of the younger generation are from
the schools of Hauptmann, Haupt, Dehn, the Schneiders, and the Vienna
and Prague professors. Marx's reputation, then, is that of an author,--a
writer upon music.

There is one fact, however, worthy of mention in regard to the article
from which we have quoted, which, while it exhibits the modesty of
Marx,--modesty, the ornament of true greatness,--may (or may not) add
weight to the extracts we have made from it,--namely, that the article
was written for Schilling by Marx himself.

We have, then, a man of three-score years, whose youth and early manhood
fell in the period of Beethoven's greatest efforts and fame; a musician
by profession, and composer, but, through "the opposition of singers and
musicians and the scandalous journalism" of Berlin, forced from the path
of composition into that of the science and literature of the art; for
thirty years lecturer on the history and philosophy of music; professor
of the art in the first of German universities, a position, both
social and professional, which gives him command of all the sources of
information; dweller in a city which possesses one of the finest musical
libraries in the world, that, too, in which the bulk of the Beethoven
papers are preserved,--a city, moreover, in which more than in any
other the more profound works of the master are studied and publicly
performed. Certainly, from no man living have we the right to expect so
much, as biographer of Beethoven, as from this man.

We have no extravagant ideas of the value of the so-called
Conversation-Books of Beethoven. We are aware that they seldom contain
anything from the hand of the master himself,--being made up, of course,
of what people had to say to him; but one hundred and thirty-eight such
books--though in many cases but a sheet or two of foolscap doubled
together, generally filled with mere lead-pencil scribbling, now by his
brother, now by the nephew, then by Schindler or the old housekeeper,
upon money matters and domestic arrangements, but often by artists,
poets, and literary men, not only of Vienna, but in some cases even from
England, and in one from America--must contain a great mass of matter,
which places one amidst those by whom the master was surrounded, makes
one to "know his goings-out and his comings-in," and occasionally facts
of high importance in the study of his character, and the circumstances
in which he spent his last years. For some twelve years these books
have been in Berlin and at the disposal of Marx. The numerous files of
musical periodicals and the mass of musical biography and recent musical
history preserved in the Royal Library must be of inestimable value to
the writer on Beethoven,--a value which Marx must fully appreciate,
both from his former labors as editor, and his more recent onus as
contributor of biographical articles to Schilling's Encyclopedia.

As we take up this new life of Beethoven, then, the measure of our
expectations is the reputation of the author, plus the means, the
materials, at his command. And certainly the first impression made
by these two goodly volumes is a very favorable one; for, making due
allowance for the music scattered through them with not too lavish a
hand, by way of examples, we have still some six hundred solid pages of
reading matter,--space enough in which to answer many a vexed question,
clear up many a dark point, give us the results of widely extended
researches, and place Beethoven the Man and the Composer before us in
"Leben und Schaffen,"--in his life and his labors.

In the first cursory glance through the work, we were struck by an
apparent disproportion of space allotted to different topics, and have
taken some pains to examine to how great an extent this disproportion
really exists. We find that in the first volume, four works,--the First,
Second, and Third Symphonies and the opera "Leonore" or "Fidelio" occupy
136 of the 875 pages; in the second, that the other five Symphonies and
the "Missa Solemnis" fill out 123 of the 330 pages. Bearing in mind that
the works of Beethoven which have _Opus_ numbers--not to speak of the
others--amount to 137, and that, in some cases, three and even six
compositions, so important as the Rasoumowsky Quartetts, for instance,
are included in a single _Opus_, the disproportion really appears
very great. We notice, moreover, that just those works which are most
familiar to the public, which have for thirty years or more been
subjects of never-ending discussion, and which one would naturally
suppose might be dismissed in fewest words,--that these are the works
which occupy so much space. What is there so new to be said of the
"Heroic Symphony" that fifty pages should be allotted to it, while the
ballet "Prometheus," still strange to nearly every reader, should be
dismissed in three?

We find it also somewhat remarkable that Marx thinks it necessary to
give his own notions of musical form to the extent of nineteen pages,
(Vol. I. pp. 79 _et seq_.,) preparatory to his discussion of the
greater works of the master, and yet is able to condense the history of
Beethoven's first twenty-two years--the period, in our view, the most
important in making him what he was--in sixteen! We have not space to
follow this out farther, and only add, that, were this work a mere
catch-penny affair by an unknown writer, we should suspect him of
"drawing out the thread of his verbosity" on topics where materials are
plenty and talk is easy, in preference to the labor of original research
on points less known.

In reading the work carefully, two points strike us in relation to his
printed authorities: first, that the list of those quoted by Lenz in his
"Catalogue" and "Leben des Meisters" comprises nearly all those cited by
Marx; the principal additions being the works of Lenz, Oulibichef, and
A. B. Marx,--the latter of which he exhibits great skill in finding
and making opportunities to advertise;--and secondly, that, where the
Russian writer, through haste, carelessness, or the want of means
to verify facts and correct errors, falls into mistakes, the Berlin
Professor generally agrees with him. As it is impossible to suppose that
a gentleman who for nearly thirty years "writes himself, in any bill,
warrant, quittance, or obligation," Extraordinary Professor of a great
German University, should simply adopt the labors of an obscure Russian
writer without acknowledgment, we can only suppose these resemblances to
be coincidences. These coincidences are, nevertheless, so numerous,
that we may say in general, what Lenz knew of the history of the man
Beethoven and his works is known to Marx,--what was unknown to the
former is equally unknown to the latter. Marx, however, occasionally
quotes passages from Schindler, Wegeler, and Ries at length, to which
Lenz only gives references. We will note a few of the coincidences
between the two writers.

Here is the first sentence of the biography:--

"Ludwig van Beethoven was born to his father, a singer in the chapel of
the _Elector Max Franz_, Archbishop of Cologne, Dec. 17, 1770." (Marx,
Vol. I. p. 4.) Beethoven was fourteen years old when this Elector
came to Bonn. Max Franz is confounded with Max Friedrich,--a singular
mistake, since Wegeler writes the name in full. It may, however, be a
typographical error, or a _lapsus pennae_ on the part of Marx. We give
him all the benefit of the doubt; but, unluckily, we read on p. 12, that
the Archbishop, "brother of Joseph II.," called the Protestant Neefe
from the theatre to the organ-loft of the Electoral Chapel,--this
appointment having in fact been made four years before the "brother of
Joseph II." had aught to do with appointments in that part of the world.
Lenz confounds the two Electors in precisely the same manner.

Both Lenz and Marx (p. 9) relate the old exploded story of the child
Beethoven and the spider. The former found it in the "Leipziger
Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung," and probably had not authorities
at hand to correct it. Had Marx sent to the Library for Disjouval's
"Arachnologie," the work which he gives as _his_ authority, he would
have found, that, not Beethoven, but the French violinist Berthaume, was
the hero of the anecdote,--as, indeed, is also related in Schilling's
Encyclopaedia, not many pages after Marx's own article on Beethoven in
that work.

That Lenz should misdate Beethoven's visit to Berlin is not strange;
that Marx, a Berliner, should, is. Nor is it remarkable that Lenz knows
nothing of Beethoven's years of service as member of the Electoral
orchestra at Bonn; but how Marx should have overlooked it, in case he
has made _any_ researches into the composer's early history, is beyond
our comprehension.

Schindler has mistaken the date of certain letters written by Beethoven
long before he had any personal intercourse with him,--the notes to
Julia Guicciardi,--which he dates 1806. Both Lenz and Marx follow him
in the date; both quote Beethoven's words, that the lady in question
married Count Gallenberg before the departure of the latter to Italy;
both coincide in overlooking the circumstance related in the "Leipziger
Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung," that, _before_ June, 1806, a grand
performance of music, composed and directed by Gallenberg, took place at
Naples in honor of Joseph Bonaparte;--proof sufficient that Beethoven
could not in July of that year have addressed the lady in these terms:
"Mein Engel, mein Alles, mein Ich!"

Both Marx and Lenz relate the following anecdote. Haydn, meeting
Beethoven, praised the Septett of the latter; upon which the young man
exclaimed, deprecatingly, "Ah, it is far from being a 'Creation'!" To
which Haydn replied, "_That_ you could not have written, for you are an

That the absurdity of making Beethoven, then a man of thirty and
supposed to be possessed of common sense, hint at any comparison of a
piece of chamber-music with one of the grandest of oratorios, and that,
too, to the author himself, should not have struck Marx, is strange; nor
is it less so, that, in the course of his researches, he has not met
with the correction of the story, by the late Alois Fuchs of Vienna.

In fact, the ballet "Prometheus," in which the progress of man from a
state of rude nature to the highest culture and refinement is depicted,
and the "Creation," were both given for the first time within a few
weeks of each other. The affinity of the subjects is clear, and the
remark of the young man, "Ah, dear papa, it is far from being a
'Creation'!" is only natural. "No," said Haydn, "it is indeed not a
'Creation,' nor do I think its author will ever reach that!"

In the dates given by Marx to Beethoven's compositions he generally
coincides with Lenz, in his "Catalogue," particularly when the latter is
wrong,--and when he differs from him, he is as apt to be wrong as right.
Any person who has both works at command may easily verify this remark.

But we cannot dwell longer on this point.

_Reminiscences of Rufus Choate, The Great American Advocate_. By EDWARD
G. PARKER. New York: Mason Brothers. 1860.

We think it our duty to state our judgment of this book, because it
professes to give personal reminiscences, by a familiar friend, of a
remarkable and distinguished man of our own time and country, has been
much read and discussed, and has gained a good deal of popularity of a
certain sort; it therefore belongs _somewhere_ in the literature of the
day. Perhaps it would have been for the good of some of our readers, if
we had done this sooner. But, indeed, to treat with entirely condign
justice a book which deals very freely and flippantly with the literary
and even the personal character of one who, though an eminent and to
some extent a public man, was still only yesterday a private gentleman
among us, a neighbor and a friend, is a matter of some delicacy. By the
extraordinary alacrity with which this book was produced the author got
a little the start of criticism, perhaps; but we should fail in our duty
as reviewers, if he altogether escaped it. In all charity, we are bound,
for that matter, to give him the full benefit of the speed he has
exhibited, in so far as it may serve to explain, if it cannot extenuate,
the wretched manner in which he has performed his self-appointed task.

For the purposes of the bookseller, nothing could have been happier than
the publication, within a few months after the death of Mr. Choate, of
such a book as this promised to be. Throughout the country his name had
been generally accounted the synonyme of all that was most original,
mysterious, and fascinating, in the arts of the advocate and the
scholar. Perhaps we have none of us ever known a man in regard to whom
a greater degree of _curiosity_ existed among his countrymen. Those
who saw him every day never ventured to believe that they quite ever
understood him, so various and so peculiar were the aspects he exhibited
even here at home. Those who attempted to study him were as much
perplexed as charmed. The avidity with which a cheap book, easily read,
professing to give personal recollections of such a man, would be seized
upon by the mass of reading people, was not overestimated.

It is not the purpose of this notice to discuss Mr. Choate,--his
eloquence, his wit, his scholarship, or his personal characteristics.
Our office is simply to examine the manner of Mr. Parker's performing
what he set out to perform. Our business is with the book, not with the
subject of it. And, in our judgment, the book is the very worst that
could well be written on such a subject. It is done with bad taste, bad
judgment, bad style, It is precisely the book to mortify and disgust Mr.
Choate's admirers, and to fix more firmly than ever such unfavorable
notions of him as may have existed in the minds of others.

Mr. Parker does not appear to have considered what he undertook, when he
stepped so lightly into the position of the biographer of such a man.
We will not dwell upon the fact, that a really just and discriminating
account of him demanded, as it certainly did, much acuteness of
perception and dexterity of delineation, together with a high degree of
scholarship. What we are now specifying against the author is, that
he took no care whatever to set any wise or modest bounds to his
enterprise. He did not bear in mind how much had been _said_, as well as
how little was _known_ about Mr. Choate; what wonderfully loose and idle
notions of him had got abroad; how the most essential and notable points
of his character and genius had been so clumsily handled by flippant or
careless critics, that the popular impression of him was, to a great
degree, extravagant and absurd. Remembering all this, and properly
_respecting_ the subject in which he appears to have interested himself
so ardently, Mr. Parker should have applied to his task a somewhat
gentle hand; gratifying, if that must be done, the curiosity of his
readers as far as he safely could, but refraining altogether from those
aspects of Mr. Choate's mind and character which he must have known
could not be intelligently discussed in a book so swiftly and lightly
executed. No such notion seems to have occurred to him. He has rattled
off his "Reminiscences" with a confidence which may be justly called
indecent and impertinent. The result is what might have been expected.
We have so many pages of voluble, superficial, and exceedingly tedious
talk about Mr. Choate,--and that is the whole of it. For our own
part, we have been not at all profited by the reading, and the little
amusement it has afforded us was probably not exactly designed by the

We would fain be excused from the duty of remarking upon the merely
literary character of the book, but that may not be. As we said before,
the book is somewhere in the literature of the day, and its place must
be ascertained. The following gems of rhetoric it will be useful, for
that end, to notice:--"With me, as with every young man of a taste
that way, he talked," etc.; "he was always booked up on all the fresh
topics," etc.; "the sparkle and flash produced by a battle of brains";
"newspaper topics of erudition and magnificence"; "convulsive humor";
"severity sweetening all the courts through which he revolved"; "the
maiden-mother,"--alluding to an unfortunate female witness who was a
mother, though never married; "two names, chiefs at the bar, _facile
princeps_"; not to forget an extraordinary quotation from the title,
which the author says he found at the head of one of Mr. Choate's
manuscript plans for daily study, in these words, "_faciundo ad munus
nuper impositum_." Now it must really in justice be said that to write
a biography of Mr. Choate in such a lingo as this is an insult to the
subject. We believe we are fair with Mr. Parker's style. Indeed, where
it is not relieved by such barbarisms as we have quoted, it purls along
with a certain weak smartness which is inexpressibly tiresome.

A much more tolerable book, however, would be spoiled by such arrant
egotism as our author displays on every page. We are never rid of _Mr.
Parker_ for a moment. Wherever Mr. Choate is visible, Mr. Parker is
strutting by his side. He exhibits, indeed, all the intrusiveness of
Boswell, without any of that honest, self-forgetting, simple-hearted
admiration of his distinguished friend which makes Boswell positively
respectable. A single illustration of this weakness is so apt that we
quote it. "Mr. Choate said, 'Some one should write a History of the
Ancient Orators. There is no book in all my library where I can find
all there is extant about any ancient orator.' He earnestly advised
the author to undertake it. In pursuance of the idea, an article
on 'Hortensius' appeared in a Review as a beginning. He spoke with
enthusiasm of the satisfaction it gave him; saying it was a new
revelation to him, for he never _knew_ Hortensius before."

Again, Mr. Parker is continually assuring us, in more or less direct
terms, of the intimacy which existed between himself and Mr. Choate. In
a matter of this sort, once telling is enough; and then it should
be done with modesty, and so as simply to assure the reader of the
genuineness of the reminiscences. All beyond that is vulgar. One more
remark upon Mr. Parker's _behavior_ as an author. He permits himself to
speak of individuals of decided personal and public dignity with quite
too much familiarity. This is, of course, nothing more than an offence
against good taste. But it is so prevalent in his pages that we cannot
omit it from anything like a summary of the faults which they display.
And none of our young authors, actual or potential, can find anywhere
else a more striking and salutary example of the harm which such a one
can do to himself by indulging in this very unbecoming practice.

We have yet to notice Mr. Parker's book in respect to its success as an
attempt at biography. We suppose he intended to draw the portrait of
a man of wit, eloquence, and scholarship. He constantly assures us in
terms that Mr. Choate _was_ such a man; an assurance which certainly
was not necessary to so extensive and brilliant a reputation. If he
had stopped there, he would at least have done no harm. But the
illustrations which he gives us are so very far from satisfactory, that,
unless Mr. Choate's reputation in these particulars be surrendered, for
which we are not quite prepared, it must be upon the ground that his
biographer has failed entirely to appreciate him. That Mr. Choate was,
for instance, a man of singularly keen and delicate wit, everybody
knows. But we believe that any brother advocate who ever sat at the same
courtroom table with him for three days, or any cultivated person who
ever passed an evening in his company, was likely to hear from his lips,
in that space of time, more real wit than Mr. Parker repeats in his
whole book. A few old jokes of his, current in Court Street any time in
the last twenty years, and some odd and extravagant expressions which
Mr. Choate may have permitted himself to use in the courtroom to divert
a sullen juror,--such turns of speech as _he_ certainly never thought
were witty, though they raised the desired laugh at the time,--to which
he resorted only as a necessary, but to himself unpalatable part of the
business of carrying the verdict, and which he of all men would desire
to have forgotten,--make up pretty much the sum of Mr. Parker's
illustrations in the matter of wit. One faculty which Mr. Choate
possessed in a remarkable degree, that of ready, elegant, and telling
quotation, of which many interesting instances will occur to every
one, and which in the hands of an appreciative biographer would have
furnished a topic of rare entertainment, Mr. Parker scarcely mentions.
As he regards, or at any rate describes, Mr. Choate's oratory, it would
seem to have consisted altogether in "unearthly screams," "jumping up
and down," tangled hair, sweating brow, glaring eyes, etc., etc. Upon
these things, which his discriminating admirers were glad to overlook as
mere matters of temperament and constitution, and in spite of which they
were charmed with his graceful and truly vigorous speech, his biographer
loves to dwell. He has much to say of the length and complexity of
the sentences, but nothing of the often exquisite elegance of their
structure; much of the number and size of the words of which they
consisted,--nothing of the extreme delicacy and dexterity of their use,
the wonderful completeness with which they were made to express every
particle of the orator's meaning. As to Mr. Choate's scholarship, we
certainly learn nothing satisfactory from this unfortunate book. In the
conversations which the author, clumsily, indeed, but, we are bound to
believe, faithfully, details, we should expect to find something of
the rich fruitage of a life-long cultivation in letters. But so poor a
result does Mr. Parker show in this part of his work, that he drives us
to the dilemma either of placing Mr. Choate in quite an unworthy rank as
a scholar, or of concluding, that, in the case of these conversations,
he bestowed upon his listener very little of any particular
preciousness, or that what else was bestowed was not understood or
remembered so as to be recorded.

We cannot dismiss this book without noticing the extremely unhappy
treatment which the personal and professional character of Mr. Choate
has received at the author's hands. That he should have introduced into
it, as he has done, such stories, or jokes, or anecdotes, or whatever
else they may be called, as the commonest good taste or good sense
should have told him to exclude, we suppose ought in charity to be
attributed to mere uncontrollable garrulity. But he has also completely
missed some of the most obvious and familiar characteristics of Mr.
Choate, and his description of others which he professes to have
perceived he spoils by unseemly and unintelligent illustration. We have
not the patience to follow him through this part of his performance. It
is enough to say that none who knew Mr. Choate would ever recognize the

We regret extremely that Mr. Parker felt himself called upon to write
and print his "Reminiscences." He has done himself no credit whatever;
but that is comparatively a small matter. The book is in every way an
injurious and indecorous one. And if he really respects the fame of the
distinguished man whom he has attempted to describe, he must agree with
us in the hope that his own work may be forgotten as soon as possible.

_A History of the Whig Party_. By R. Mc KINLEY ORMSBY. Boston: Crosby
Nichols, & Co.

The duties of an historian, always difficult, are peculiarly so when he
attempts to treat of recent events. In such a case, the historian whose
mind is not so warped by sympathies and antipathies as to make him
utterly incompetent to his task must possess a rare impartiality of
judgment and extraordinary keenness of insight, all assisted by candid
and painful research. To what extent these qualities are united in Mr.
Ormsby, we propose to inquire.

We are at first favorably impressed. Mr. Ormsby's Preface is most
striking,--uniting not only touching candor, but innocence absolutely
refreshing. The duties of historian, which we just now called so
weighty, rest lightly upon his conscious strength. The historian
remarks, that "he is aware that his outlines are very imperfect, and
in many things may be erroneous. He has had no access to libraries or
public documents; and his statistics are sometimes given from general
recollection, and are but approximations to accuracy. But, feeling
that some history of the parties of this country is needed, he has the
temerity to offer this, till its place shall be supplied by one more
reliable and satisfactory."

Any man's apology for deficiencies in his book may be accepted, provided
he be able to make good the suppressed premise upon which, after all,
the whole depends, namely,--that there was need of his writing at all.
Mr. Ormsby seems to think there was, but gives no reasons in support of
his opinion. Supposing it proved, however, it might be gravely debated
whether the fortunate owner of this book would have any advantage over
the man so unlucky as not to possess it.

We have all heard of the man who planned a house on so magnificent a
scale, that, when the porch was finished, the funds were found to be
nearly exhausted, and the main body of the house had to be built much
smaller than the porch. Mr. Ormsby has avoided this error. His porch
is _not_ half of the whole structure. His book contains 377 pages; of
these, only 188 (actually less than half!) are devoted to porch, or
introductory matter. This part is richly studded with blunders of every
description, and written in language which for copiousness and clearness
rivals the fertilizing inundations of the Nile.

The decorous appearance of impartiality, necessary to an historian,
is well preserved by such choice language as "crusade against the
institutions and people of the South,"--"fratricidal hand in sectional
warfare,"--"first to arouse jealousy and hatred,"--"the South at
the mercy of the North,"--"shriek for freedom,"--"political
mountebank,"--"and it is to the stunted, obtuse, bigoted, fanatical,
ignorant, jaundiced, self-righteous, and self-conceited millions of such
in the North, that Mr. Seward, and others of his kidney, address,"
etc., etc.,--"British gold," (a favorite phrase,)--"cant of British
philanthropy,"--etc., etc.

Mr. Ormsby devotes some little space to what may be called the
legitimate object of his work,--that is, the vindication of the
distinctive tariff policy of the Whigs,--and here advocates a good cause
in a singularly illogical, bungling way. Most of his book, however, is
given up to foolish invective against British machinations in the United
States,--an idea which may have been plausible in Jefferson's time,
but has long been abandoned to minds of our author's calibre,--and
to arguments against the Republican party which show only that he
is entirely ignorant of the doctrines of that party, and entirely
incompetent to understand them, if he were not ignorant.

We can present only a few specimens, taken almost at random from the
pages of this book. The author's ignorance (omitting the frequent
instances of error in the names) may be shown by his ranking R. M.
Johnson of Kentucky and Davy Crockett among the eminent statesmen of
their time! He says of Mr. Clay, "When, in 1825, as a Senator from
Kentucky, he sustained Mr. Adams (in the House) for the Presidency, he
acted," etc. Now Henry Clay was not in the Senate at any time between
March 3, 1811, and March 4, 1831. Moreover, if he had been, he could
not have voted for Adams, as Mr. Ormsby would have known, had he known
anything of the Constitution to which he professes such entire devotion.
Of the Missouri Compromise he says, "It was an arrangement by which the
South made concessions, and gained nothing"! If we are to adopt the
principle, that slavery is to be fostered, not discouraged, the South
did make concessions. The essential principle of the Republican party
is, that slavery is a great evil and brings in its train many other
evils, and that the legislation of the United States is not to be warped
by vain attempts to save the slave-holding interest from inevitable
disaster by systematic injustice to the other interests of the country.
If we adopt this view, which is admitted even by so ardent a pro-slavery
leader as Senator Mason of Virginia to have been the view of the framers
of the Constitution, then the South gave up what she never owned, and
was paid for so doing. And taking either view, we must admit that she
has since, by the Kansas-Nebraska act, revoked the grant, without
refunding the pay.

Mr. Ormsby mentions "the significant and highly encouraging fact," that
many leading Democrats, including Mr. Hallett, (whose name, of course,
he spells incorrectly,) declared for Protection in the campaign of
1856. His taking courage from so insignificant a fact as any of these
gentlemen declaring for any serviceable doctrine in a campaign shows
Mr. Ormsby to be by no means intimately acquainted with Massachusetts

It is commonly thought that General Taylor's nomination kept the Whigs
from sinking in 1848, and that the Whig party died in 1852 "of trying to
swallow the Fugitive Slave Law." But Mr. Ormsby thinks Taylor hurt them,
and that the Baltimore Platform was too anti-slavery. He frequently
alludes to Garrison and Phillips as Republicans, although nearly every
other adult in the country knows that they are bitter opponents of that
party,--says that Mr. Seward can rely only upon the Abolitionists in the
North,--misunderstands, of course, the "irrepressible conflict,"--says
that no Northern editor ventures to speak or write against Personal
Liberty bills, although probably not a day passes without their being
assailed by a dozen in New England alone,--that slaves never can be
carried into New Mexico, although they have been carried thither, and
slavery has even been declared perpetual by enactment of the Territorial
Legislature,--and, speaking of Kansas, that President Buchanan's "best
endeavors to secure the people of that Territory equal rights were
thwarted by factionists"!--in other words, "factionists" declined to
admit Kansas under the pro-slavery Lecompton constitution, forced by
gross frauds upon a loathing and reluctant people. He adds, that "no one
denies Mr. Buchanan eminent patriotism and statesmanship." Now, whether
the President possesses these qualities or not, there can be no doubt
that a great many deny them to him. And so Mr. Ormsby continues, heaping
blunder upon blunder, to a greater length than we can follow him.

On p.79, he makes this following unorthodox statement: "We have a right
to hate and detest slavery, and should belie our natures, were we not to
do so." Elsewhere, however, he dwells rapturously upon the happy lot of
the slave. The apparent inconsistency is explained on p. 318: "We will
not insult our understandings by doubting the great enormity of so foul
a thing as human bondage." "In regard to detestation of slavery, there
is no difference between the people of the North and South." "But these
two people (!!) differ widely in their feelings in regard to negro
servitude." Oh, that is it, then? Vast is the difference between "human
bondage" and "negro servitude!"

Mr. Ormsby's argument is aimed against the Republicans. Accordingly, he
assails the Abolitionists! Now we do not find fault with him because his
arguments are pitiably silly,--because an intelligent Abolitionist would
refute them instantly,--but because, even if they were sound, they
have no bearing upon his point. They are not only nonsensical, but

"For the ignorance of the Southerners," says our author, "we should pity
them, and send them our schoolmasters, who, in happy years past, have
ever found a cordial reception." Exactly so,--"in happy years _past_."
He then innocently asks, Is it strange that the South should think it
necessary that she should have the ascendency in at least one branch
of the national government? Oh, no,--not at all,--but as Republicans
_don't_ consider it necessary, is it strange that they should, vote as
they think?

Here is a sample of most eminently logical reasoning: "The powerful
efforts made by the British government to suppress the slave-trade have
been far from successful. The exportation of negroes from Africa has not
been discontinued, but the sufferings of the middle passage have been
increased twofold; _showing that an attempt to thwart by legislation the
decrees of Providence is of but little avail_." If murder were frequent
in New York, and an insufficient force called out to suppress it, the
consequence being only more bloodshed, Mr. Ormsby, to be consistent,
would have to say it was not well to try to suppress murder, the event
showing it to be only a futile legislative attempt to thwart the decrees
of Providence!

"Not that any Whig was more in favor of the extension of slavery into
the Territories, by the general government, than Mr. Fremont, or the
best Republican at his back; but the idea of the formation of a party
based on the slavery question could not be entertained for a moment by
any one imbued with genuine Whig sentiments." pp. 357-8.

There is precisely the old argument of timid conservatism, although its
champions are seldom unskilful enough to advance it in a form so easily
dealt with. You may be bitterly opposed, forsooth, to the extension of
slavery; but you must not organize or even vote against it! Where, then,
is the good of being opposed to it?

The object of all this bad logic, bad history, and bad language is
to attack the Republicans, and advocate the claims of modern
Democracy,--not the Democracy of Jefferson and Silas Wright, but of
Cushing and Buchanan. And what is the conclusion? What is the mission of
the surviving Whigs?

"The existence of a conservative, enlightened, and patriotic opposition
party is the necessary condition of the existence of the Democracy as a
national party." p. 355.

"The slightest reflection, after even a superficial observation of the
condition of our country, will satisfy any candid person, of ordinary
ability, that the reconstruction of the Whig party is indispensable to
the perpetuity of the Union. The Democratic party, though now national,
if left to the sole opposition of the Republican, which is a sectional
party, must inevitably, sooner or later, itself degenerate into
sectionalism. This must be the necessary result of such antagonism. But
a party based upon intelligence and moral worth _must, most of the time,
be in the minority of the country, and much of the time exceedingly
small. This the Whigs see, and readily accept the conditions of their
existence_." pp. 363-4.

This, then, is the banquet to which we are invited! The mission of the
resuscitated Whig party is to be--not gaining any victory, but--being
beaten by the Democrats! It is important to the nationality of the
Democratic party that they have a sound and national opposition for them
to defeat regularly, year after year,--and this want the Whigs are to be
so obliging as to supply!

After all, is there anything very strange in silly men writing silly

_The West Indies and the Spanish Main_. By ANTHONY TROLLOPE, Author of
"Barchester Towers," "Doctor Thorne," "The Bertrams," etc. London. 1859.
8vo. pp. 395.

This entertaining volume has already reached a second edition in
England. It is made up, in great part, of a series of lively sketches
of the West Indies, British Guiana, and some parts of Central America,
taken on a hasty tour during the winter and spring of last year. Its
style is by no means so good as that of which Mr. Trollope has
shown himself the master in his popular novels; it is disfigured by
Carlylisms, and other inelegancies, and bears many marks of negligence
and haste. With a little pains, Mr. Trollope might have made his book
much better, and of much more permanent value. In spite of a sense of
real humor, he sometimes falls into heavy attempts at smartness and fun;
and although he has a quick eye for the essential traits of character,
he not infrequently runs into trivial details. In travelling with
him, one is not quite certain whether his companion is a gentleman.
Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners hold a great place in his thoughts. He
gives far too much attention to rum-and-water, brandy-and-water, and the
varieties of drinking and eating in general. He has neither the ease nor
the self-restraint which mark the thoroughly well-bred man of the world;
but he is, nevertheless, good-natured, amusing, and likable. The chief
merit of his book arises from the fact that he has seen much and many
parts of the world, has been a student of life and manners, and thus
has acquired skill in observation and facility of comparison. The
conclusions which he draws from what he sees may be right or wrong; but
he knows well how to state what has come to his notice, and his readers
may get from his pictures many valuable indications in regard to men and
to social conditions, whether they accept his conclusions or not.

The state of the British West Indies is one of peculiar interest at the
present day, both in a social and an economical point of view. The great
questions opened by the emancipation of the slaves in these islands, in
1834, are not yet settled; and upon the solution of the problems now
being worked out there depends not only their own future, but also, in
great measure, the future of all the countries in which slavery still
exists. If the results of emancipation prove, on the whole, advantageous
both to masters and slaves, the question of the universal and
comparatively speedy abolition of slavery would be virtually decided.
If, however, it should be shown that the results, in the long run, are
disastrous both to whites and blacks, or to either of these classes,
then, although no one can doubt that slavery must sooner or later be
done away with, wherever it now exists, the time of its abolition may
be indefinitely postponed, and other means of accomplishing it must be
devised and adopted, than those which the example of the West Indies
will have proved injurious.

As in regard to all matters which have been vehemently discussed, the
accounts in regard to the effects of emancipation in the West Indies
differ widely; but the weight of authority tends to show, that, putting
aside for the moment all moral considerations, the scale inclines
towards the side of good. Mr. Trollope, who writes without prejudice,
may be taken as a fair witness, so far as his opportunities for
observation extended; and as his views will not satisfy the warm
partisans of either side, it may perhaps be assumed that they are in the
main correct. In his chapter on the Black Men in Jamaica, he says: "I
shall be asked, having said so much, whether I think that emancipation
was wrong. By no means. I think that emancipation was clearly right; but
I think that we expected far too great and far too quick a result from
emancipation. These people [the negroes] are a servile race, fitted by
nature for the hardest physical work, and apparently at present fitted
for little else. Some thirty years since, they were in a state where
such work was their lot; but their tasks were exacted from them in a
condition of bondage abhorrent to the feelings of the age, and opposed
to the religion which we practised. For us, thinking as we did, slavery
was a sin. From that sin we have cleansed ourselves. But the mere fact
of doing so has not freed us from our difficulties. Nor was it to be
expected that it should. The discontinuance of a sin is always the
commencement of a struggle."

This is well said. The negroes, freed from the bondage of labor,
suddenly becoming masters of themselves, with simple and easily
satisfied wants, with abundant means of subsistence, to be procured at
the expense of the least possible effort, exposed to no competition
from the pressure of population, and endowed by nature with indolent
temperaments, naturally took to leading idle and easy lives, and refused
to work except at their own pleasure. They had, as a class, no desire of
regular and continued occupation, and little sense of the worth of work
in itself. There was nothing surprising in this, and the blacks were
little to be blamed for it. But the world will not advance, unless men
work; and any country where there is not a sufficient stimulus for labor
is in the course of decline. The inevitable results followed in the West
Indies from the difficulty of obtaining labor. In Jamaica, the largest
and most important of these British islands, other and widely different
causes--mistakes in legislation, previous financial embarrassment, and
especially the unwillingness or inability of the planters to recognize
the necessities of their altered position--contributed to bring about
a condition of wretched adversity. Estates went out of cultivation,
expensive establishments failed, roads were disused, and the island was
full of the signs of decay. The negroes, indeed, were happy; a few days'
work in the course of the year secured them subsistence; and irregular
labor for wages, on the plantations of their old masters, gave them the
means of gratifying their liking for dress and finery.

A full generation has not yet passed since the act of emancipation,
but there are already indications that this transitional condition is
drawing to an end. A portion, at least, of the negroes are beginning to
recognize the responsibilities as well as the privileges of liberty, to
seek employment for the sake of raising themselves and their children in
the social scale, and to accumulate property. They are not merely free,
but are becoming independent. Still the number of those who live from
hand to mouth, in the indolent and useless possession of freedom, is
very great. In Mr. Trollope's opinion, little is to be expected from the
blacks. "To lie in the sun and eat bread-fruit and yams is the negro's
idea of being free. Such freedom as that has not been intended for man
in this world; and I say that Jamaica, as it now exists, is still under
a devil's ordinance." Education is a slow process with the blacks.

But in Jamaica, as elsewhere, where slavery exists, there is a race
neither black nor white, but of mixed blood, important in numbers,
and important also from possessing a mingling of the qualities of
its progenitors, which seems to fit it peculiarly for the prosperous
occupation of the tropics. Supposing this colored race to have the power
of continuing itself through successive generations, a problem which is
as yet unsolved, it would seem as if the future of these islands were
mainly in its hands. Of pure whites, there are not more than fifteen
thousand in Jamaica; of the mixed race, there are said to be seventy
thousand. Before the abolition of slavery, their position was one of
degradation; since the abolition, it has greatly improved. They are
still looked upon with ill-concealed disdain by their white brothers and
sisters; but they are forcing themselves into social recognition and
equality. "These people marry now," said a lady to Mr. Trollope; "but
their mothers and grandmothers never thought of looking to that at all."
There is matter for reflection, as well as for satisfaction, in that

But as yet the condition of Jamaica is such as may well excite doubt as
to the possibility of its recovery from the misfortunes under which it
has suffered,--misfortunes due quite as much to the evils of preëxisting
slavery, as to the blow given to its prosperity by the act of
emancipation. "Are Englishmen in general aware," asks Mr. Trollope,
"that half the sugar-estates in Jamaica, and I believe more than half
the coffee-plantations, have gone back into a state of bush?--that all
this land, rich with the richest produce only some thirty years since,
has now fallen back into wilderness?"

Still, if the experiment of emancipation be considered doubtful or
disastrous, so far as Jamaica is concerned, it cannot be esteemed so
in regard to the chief remaining, islands. In Barbadoes, for instance,
there was no squatting-ground for the blacks. The negro was obliged to
work or starve. Labor was consequently abundant,--and "there is not
a rood of waste land" in the island. Even here, "numerous as are the
negroes, they certainly live an easier life than that of an English
laborer, earn their money with more facility, and are more independent
of their masters." In the report made by the governor of the island, in
1853, he states,--"So far, the success of cultivation by free labor in
Barbadoes is unquestionable."[1]

Trinidad, of which but a comparatively small part has been cultivated,
and where the negroes have displayed the same indisposition to labor as
in Jamaica, is, however, flourishing. Its prosperity seems to be due to
the fact, that, during the last few years, some ten or twelve thousand
Coolies have been brought from the East Indies, and have supplied the
demand for labor.

In British Guiana, or Demerara, on the main land, the same fact has
brought about a similar result. The emancipated negro could not be
depended upon for regular work. He established himself on his small
freehold, and lived, like Theodore Hook's club-man, "in idleness and
ease." But for some years past laborers have been brought in freely from
India and China, and the fertile colony is now in a state of abundant
prosperity. Mr. Trollope seems to us to refute effectually the notion,
so far at least as regards the British West Indies, that this Cooly
immigration, is only slavery under another name. "On their arrival in
Demerara," he says, "the Coolies are distributed among the planters by
the Governor,--to each planter according to his application, his means
of providing for them, and his willingness and ability to pay the cost
of the immigration by yearly instalments.

[Footnote 1: We quote from an extract in an able article in the
_Edinburgh Review_ for April, 1859, entitled, _The West Indies as they
were and are_.]

They are sent to no estate, till a government officer shall have
reported that there are houses for them to occupy. There must be a
hospital for them on the estate, and a regular doctor, with a sufficient
salary. The rate of their wages is stipulated, and their hours of work.
Though the contract is for five years, they can leave the estate at the
end of the first three, transferring their services to any other master,
and at the end of the five years they are entitled to a free passage
home." "The women are coming now, as well as the men; and they have
learned to husband their means, and put money together."

We pass over the other British "West Indies," though Mr. Trollope's
animated sketches tempt us to linger. The main conclusion to which this
part of his book leads is, that this question of labor is the one upon
which the results of emancipation hinge. Unless moved by necessity, the
negro is disinclined to work. Slavery has rendered labor offensive
to him, and his own nature inclines him to idleness, The pressure of
population, as in Barbadoes, may compel him, for his own good, to labor;
or he may, as in Demerara, be superseded by other workmen. If left to
himself, his tendency seems to be to sink into sensuality, rather than
to rise in civilization by his own efforts. The condition of the mass of
the negroes is undoubtedly a happier one than in the days of slavery;
but it may be fairly doubted whether emancipation has led to any moral
improvement in the race.

How far a forced system of labor for wages might answer for the
blacks,--how far a regular and organized plan of education might elevate
them,--how far the danger of their relapse into barbarism might be
obviated by preliminary precautions,--are questions which that country
which next undertakes emancipation must solve for itself, and which
the example of the British West Indies will give some of the means for
solving in a satisfactory manner. Mr, Trollope's book is well worth
reading by those who would prepare themselves by knowledge and by
reflection for a proper appreciation of the advantages and the evils of
giving unlimited freedom to a race that has been long enslaved.

There is less interest in his account of Central America than in the
other parts of his volume. The ground is more familiar to American
readers, and some of our own travellers have given descriptions of the
country far more thorough and not less entertaining.

Of Cuba, which he trusts may, for the benefit of humanity, be some day
transferred to American keeping, he says but little; and after Mr.
Dana's late excellent, though hasty, sketches of the island, that author
must have more than common ability who can, with hope of success,
venture over the same ground.

_The Public Life of Captain John Brown_. By JAMES REDPATH. With an
Autobiography of his Childhood and Youth. Boston. 1860. l2mo. pp. 408.

It would have been well, had this book never been written. Mr. Redpath
has understood neither the opportunities opened to him, nor the
responsibilities laid upon him, in being permitted to write the
"authorized" life of John Brown. His book, in whatever light it is
viewed,--whether as the biography of a remarkable man, as an historic
narrative of a series of extraordinary and important events, or simply
as a mere piece of literary jobwork,--is equally unsatisfactory. He has
shown himself incompetent to appreciate the character of the man whom he
admires, and he has, consequently, done great wrong to his memory.

There never was more need for a good life of any man than there was for
one of John Brown. The whole country was curious to learn about him, and
to be told his story. Those who thought the best of him, and those who
thought the worst, were alike desirous to know more of him than the
newspapers had furnished, and to become acquainted with the course of
his life, and the training which had prepared him for Kansas and brought
him to Harper's Ferry. Whatever view be taken of his character, he was
a man so remarkable as to be well worthy of study. In the bitter and
excited state of public feeling in regard to him, there was but one way
in which his life could be properly told,--and that way was, to allow
him, as far as possible, to tell it in his own words. For that part
of his life which there were no letters of his to illustrate, his
biographer should have been content to state facts in the simplest and
most careful manner, entering into no controversy, and keeping himself
entirely out of sight. Thus only could John Brown's character produce
its due effect. His letters from prison had shown that he was a master
of the homeliest and strongest English. His words said what they meant,
and they were understood by everybody; he had found them in the Bible,
and had been familiar with them all his life. Whatever he was, he could
have told us better than any other man; and he was the only man who
would have been listened to with much confidence concerning himself. Mr.
Redpath has, very unfortunately, thought differently. He has not taken
pains to collect even all the letters of John Brown which had been
previously published; he has written in the worst temper and spirit of
partisanship, so that with every cautious reader doubts attend many
statements which rest only on his authority; he has thrust himself
continually forward; and he has exercised no proper care in arranging
his materials.

The truth is, that a life of Brown was not now needed for those who
already admired the stalwart nature of the man, even though they might
deplore his course,--for those who had had their hearts touched and
stirred by his manliness, his truth, his courage, and his unwavering
fidelity to conscience and faith in God; but it was greatly needed for
that much larger class,--the mass of the Northern community,-whose
timidity had been startled at his rash attempt, whose sympathy had been
more or less awakened by his bearing and his death, but who were and are
in a painful state of perplexity, in the endeavor to reconcile their
abhorrence, or at least their disapproval, of his attack on Virginia,
with their sense of the admirable nature of the qualities he displayed.
It was needed also for the very large class who received from the
newspapers but a confused and imperfect account of the events which took
place in Virginia from October to December, and who, according to their
political predilections, condemn or applaud the course of Captain Brown.
And, above all, it was needed for the men who have disgraced themselves
by denying to Brown the possession of any virtues, and who have
outstripped his Southern enemies in applying to him the most opprobrious
and the falsest epithets. Now, none of these classes will Mr. Redpath's
book reach with effect. Its tone is such, it is so violent, so
extravagant, that it will offend all right-thinking men. Even those who
have known how to hold a steady and clear opinion, in the midst of the
confusion of the popular mind,--who have not applauded Brown's acts of
violence, and have condemned his judgment, but who have, nevertheless,
honored what was noble in him, and sympathized with him in his strong
love of liberty,--who, while acknowledging him guilty under the law,
mourned that the law should not be tempered with mercy,--and who
have recognized in him at once the excellences and the errors of an
enthusiast,--those who have most faithfully endeavored to find the truth
concerning him, though they will obtain some interesting information
from Mr. Redpath's book, will be the most dissatisfied with it.

It has always been among the offences of the out-and-out Abolitionists,
to abuse the force of words, and to make exclusive pretensions to virtue
and the love of liberty. This book is written in the spirit and style
of an Abolition tract. In representing John Brown as little more than a
mere hero of the Abolitionists, the author has done essential disservice
to the cause of freedom, and to the memory of a man who was as free from
party-ties as he was from personal ambitions.

Although John Brown's character was a simple one, a long time must pass
before it will be generally understood, and justice be done to it. The
passion and the prejudice which the later acts of his life have excited
cannot die away for years. Mr. Redpath has done his best to perpetuate
them. In seasons of excitement, and amid the struggles of political
contention, the men who use the most extravagant and the most violent
words have, for a time, the advantage; but, in the long run, they damage
whatever cause they may adopt; and the truth, which their declamations
have obscured or their falsehoods have violated, finally asserts itself.
In our country, the worth and the strength of temperance and moderation
of speech seem to be peculiarly forgotten. Words, which should stand
for things, are too commonly used with no respect to their essential
meaning. Political debates are embittered, personal feeling wounded,
the tone of manners lowered, and national character degraded, by this
disregard of words as the symbol and expression of truth. Moderation is
brought into disrepute, and justice, fairness, and honesty of opinion
tendered as rare as they are difficult of attainment. The manner in
which John Brown has been spoken of affords the plainest illustration
of these facts. Extravagance in condemnation has been answered by
extravagance in praise of his life and deeds.

The most interesting and the most novel part of Mr. Redpath's book is
the letter written by John Brown in 1857, giving some account of his
early life. It is, in all respects, a remarkable composition. It
exhibits the main influences by which his character was formed; it
affords a key to the history of his life; it illustrates the nature of
the social institutions under which such a man could grow up; and it
shows his natural traits, before they had become hardened and trained
under the discipline of later experience and circumstance. Nothing has
been more marked in the various exhibitions of his character, as they
have come successively to view, than their complete consistency. This
letter, this account of his youth, squares perfectly with what we
know of his manhood. The whole of it should be read by all who would
understand the man, with his native faculty of command, with his mingled
sternness and tenderness, with his large heart, his steadfast will. The
base of his soul was truth; and the motive power of his life, faith in
the justice of God.

He was a man of a rare type,--so rare in our times as to seem like a
man of another age. He belonged to the same class with the Scottish
Covenanters and the English Regicides. He belonged to the great company
of those who have followed the footsteps of Gideon, and forgot that the
armory of the Lord contained other weapons than the sword. He belonged
to those who from time to time have adopted some cause,--the good old
cause,--and have shrunk from no sacrifice which it required at their
hands. "I have now been confined over a month," wrote John Brown to
his children, in one of that most affecting series of letters from his
prison, "with a good opportunity to look the whole thing as fair in the
face as I am capable of doing, and I now feel most grateful that I am
counted in the least possible degree worthy to suffer for the truth."
"Suffering is a gift not given to every one," wrote one of the
Covenanters, who was hanged in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, in
1684,--"and I desire to bless God's name with my whole heart and soul,
that He has counted such a poor thing as I am worthy of the gift of

That John Brown was wrong in his attempt to break up slavery by
violence, few will deny. But it was a wrong committed by a good
man,--by one who dreaded the vengeance of the Almighty and forgot His
long-suffering. His errors were the result of want of patience and want
of imagination, and he paid the penalty for them. He had faith in the
Divine ordering of the affairs of this world; but he forgot that
the processes by which evils like that of slavery are done away are
thousand-year-long,--that, to be effectual, they must be slow,--that
wrong is no remedy for wrong. He was an anachronism, and met the fate of
all anachronisms that strive to stem and divert the present current by
modes which the world has outgrown. But now that he and those dearest
to him have so bitterly expiated his faults, both charity and justice
demand that his virtues should be honored, and he himself mourned. It
will be a gloomy indication of the poor, low spirit of our days, if fear
and falsehood, if passion or indifference, should cause the lesson of
John Brown's life to be neglected, or should check a natural sympathy
with the noble heart of the old man. That lesson is not for any one part
of the country more than another; that sympathy may be given by the
South as well as by the North. It is not sympathy for his acts, but
for the spirit of his life and the heroism of his death. The lesson of
manliness, uprightness, and courage, which his life teaches, is to be
learned by us, not merely as lovers of liberty, not as opponents of
slavery, but as men who need more manliness, more uprightness, more
courage and simplicity in our common lives.

All that is possible of apology for John Brown is to be found in his
letters and in his speech to the court before his sentence. It is,
perhaps, too soon to hope that these letters and this speech will be
read with candor and a feeling of human brotherhood by those who now
look with abhorrence or with indifference on his memory. But the time
will come when they will be held at their true worth by all, as the
expressions of a large, tender soul,--when they will be read with
sympathetic pity, even by those who still find it difficult to forgive
their author for his offence against society. These letters appeal to
the better nature of every man and woman in America; and it will be a
sad thing, if their appeal be disregarded.

We trust, that, before long, a fairer and fuller biography than that by
Mr. Redpath will remove the obstacle which this book now presents to the
general appreciation of the character and life of John Brown.

_Poems_. By SYDNEY DOBELL. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1860.

Many of Mr. Dobell's poems have passages which are musical, vigorous,
and peculiar, and hardly in any part can he be justly charged with
prolonging an echo. He is not one of the many mocking-birds that infest
the groves at the foot of Parnassus. Though portions of his songs be
wild, fitful, and incoherent, they gush with the force and feeling of a
heart loyal to its intuitions, and thus many strains captivate and keep
the tuneful ear. Yet such charming lines make conspicuous the want of
that high appreciation of form and proportion without which any felicity
of touch in the treatment of details will only cause the consummate
master to grieve over glorious forms that have no effective grouping,
and turn away from colors, however exquisite, that are strewn, as it
were, on a palette, rather than wrought into picture and harmonized
to the tone of life. The truth is, that the grandly designing hand is
nowhere completely visible in the poetry of Young England. Many of her
more youthful poets show a mass of rich materials, but they appear to
have been upheaved by convulsions, half-blinding us with their splendor,
while, like lava pouring from a volcano's crater, they take no
prescribed channel, they flow into no immortal mould. It is this fiery
gleam on the surface of matter hot from chaos, which the multitude honor
as the highest manifestation of genius. But this is to desecrate a word
which implies constructive power of the first order. Form is its highest
expression. Without the shaping faculty, which artistically rounds
to perfection, no glitter of decoration, nor even force and fire of
expression, can keep the work from falling into ruins. If the beautiful,
as Goethe said, includes in it the good, then perfect beauty alone is
everlasting. This is a rigorous rule for anything which man has made,
but it does not try "Othello" so severely as "Balder"; and "Balder" is
not utterly crushed by it. There are scenes in this drama, and also in
"The Roman," which will not soon lose their significance, or easily melt
out of the memory.

_A Good Fight, and other Tales_. By CHARLES KEADE. New York: Harper &
Brothers. 1859.

About the middle of the fifteenth century, a youth named Gerard, a
native of Tergou, in Holland, loved Margaret, the daughter of Peter,
a learned man of the neighboring village of Zevenbergen. Expecting
immediate marriage, their intimacy was restrained by no limits. The
interference of Gerard's relations, however, separated them for a time,
during which the young man visited Rome, and gained some distinction as
a transcriber of ancient manuscripts. Learning, after a while, that he
was about to return, his kindred caused a false report of Margaret's
death to be conveyed to him, and, by thus crushing all the hopes of
his young life, had the final satisfaction of seeing him take priestly
orders, which threw his patrimony into their hands. Having broken two
hearts, and brought a world of shame upon an innocent girl to get it, it
is only fair to suppose they enjoyed it with tranquillity.

Margaret, left alone, gave birth to a child, the greatness of whose
manhood might have softened the remembrance of her earlier sorrows, had
she lived to witness it. But she died when he was thirteen years old.
Gerard, her true husband, who had never rejoined her while living, also
died within a brief space. The son they left was the famous Erasmus.

Mr. Reade has taken this little record, which would never have become
historical but for the accidental consequence of the loves of Gerard and
Margaret, and wrought it into a story of exquisite grace and delicacy.
A dead and half-forgotten fact, he has warmed it into fresh life, and
given it all the beauties with which his brilliant imagination could
endow it. Though shorter and simpler than most, it is certainly inferior
to none of his other works. Perhaps its simplicity is its first merit.
The extravagant peculiarities of style which overlaid his two longest
books have almost entirely disappeared in this. Here the narration is
for the most part as unostentatious as the events are natural. But its
power is remarkable. Although the regularity with which the incidents
follow one another is such that they may all be anticipated, yet the
interest in them never fades. There is nothing startlingly new in the
entire story. On the contrary, it follows pretty closely the old formula
of troubled true-love until the closing chapter, when triumphant virtue
sets in. But this takes nothing from the effect. All is so clear and
vivid in description, so glittering with gleams of wit, relieved by soft
shadows of purest pathos, so full of the spirit of tender humanity,
that the reader finds no reason to complain, except that the end is so
speedily reached.

The author has sacrificed history, in his conclusion, to satisfy a
natural feeling. No one will object because the "Good Fight" terminates
victoriously in the right direction. The parents of Erasmus suffered;
but it would be a pity, if readers, after the lapse of four hundred
years, must mourn their woes to the extent that would inevitably be
necessary, if Mr. Reade had not arranged it otherwise. And his object,
which was to prove--if proof were needed--that all human lives, however
obscure, have their own share of romance, is not disturbed by this
variation from the severity of the chronicle.

_The Undergraduate_. Conducted by an Association of Collegiate and
Professional Students in the United States and Europe. [Greek:_'Ekasto
onmachoi pantos_]; January, 1860. Printed for the Association. New
Haven, Conn.

We are not unused to the sight of College Periodicals. They have
commonly greeted us in the form of monthly numbers, each containing two
or three essays which sounded as if they might have done duty as themes,
a critical article or two, some copies of verses, and winding up with a
few pages in fine print, purporting to be editorial, jaunty and
jocular for the most part, and opulent in local allusions. It would
he unnatural, if these juvenile productions did not often reflect the
opinions of favorite instructors and the style of popular authors. A
freshman's first essay is like the short gallop of a colt on trial; its
promise is what we care for, more than its performance. If it had not
something of crudeness and imitation, we should suspect the youth, and
be disposed to examine him as the British turfmen have been examining
the American colt Umpire, first favorite for the next Derby. But three
or four years' study and practice teach the young man his paces, so that
many Bachelors of Arts have formed the style already by which they will
hereafter be known in the world of letters. We are always pleased,
therefore, to look over a College Periodical, even of the humblest
pretensions. The possibilities of its young writers give an interest and
dignity to the least among them which make its slender presence welcome.

But here we have offered us a more formidable candidate for public favor
than our old friends, the attenuated Monthlies. "The Undergraduate" has
almost the dimensions of the "North American Review," and, like that,
promises to visit us quarterly. It is the first fruit of a spirited and
apparently well-matured plan set on foot by students in Yale College,
and heartily entered into by those of several other institutions.
Its objects are clearly stilted in the well-written Prospectus and
Introduction. They are briefly these:--"To record the history, promote
the intellectual improvement, elevate the moral aims, liberalize
the views, and unite the sympathies of Academical, Collegiate, and
Professional Students, and their Institutions."

The name, "Undergraduate," shows by whom it is to be managed; but its
contributors are, and will doubtless continue to he, in part, of a more
advanced standing. There are articles in the present number which we
have read with great interest, and without ever being reminded that they
were contributed to a students' journal. The first paper, for instance,
"German Student-Life and Travel," is not only well written, but full of
excellent suggestions, which show that the writer has reached the age of
good sense, whether he count his years by tens or scores. "A Student's
Voyage to Labrador" is a well-told story of scenes and experiences new
to most readers. Not less pleased were we to have an authentic account
of the two ancient societies of Yale College, "Brothers in Unity" and
"Linonia," rivals for almost a century, and still maintaining their
protracted struggle for numerical superiority. Articles like this will
interest all students, and many outside of the student-world, "The
Undergraduate" would not treat us fairly, if it did not temper them
somewhat, as it has done, with specimens of more distinctly youthful
character. Perhaps it might be safe to lay it down as a law, that, the
tenderer the age, the wider the subject, and, contrariwise, the
older the head, the more limited and definite the probable range of
discussion. It is safe to say that a young man's essay is most likely
to be interesting when he writes about something he has seen or
experienced, so as to know more about it than his readers. Disquisitions
on "Virtue," "Honesty," "Shakspeare," "Human Nature," and such large
subjects, are valuable chiefly as showing how the colts gallop.

On the whole, "The Undergraduate" is most creditable to the enterprise
that gave it birth, and to the young men who have contributed to it. If
we should give any additional hints to that just whispered, it would be,
that more care should be taken in looking over the proofs. Calvinism
should not be spelt Calv_a_nism, Thackeray Thack_a_ray, nor Courvoisier
_Corvosier_,--neither should traveller be spelt _traveler_, nor theatre
_theater_. These last provincialisms, particularly, should not find a
place in a journal meant for students all over the English-speaking
world; and if, as we hope, contributions shall hereafter appear in
the new Quarterly from any persons connected with our neighboring
University, it should be a condition that the English standard of
spelling should be adopted in preference to any local perversions.

With these suggestions, we give a most cordial welcome to a periodical
which we trust will begin a new period in the literary history of our
educational institutions.



The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge, for the Year
1860. Boston, Crosby, Nichols, & Co. 12mo. pp. viii., 399. $1.00.

The New American Cyclopedia: a Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge.
Edited by George Ripley and Charles A. Dana. Vol. VIII. Fugger-Haynau.
New York. Appleton & Co. 8vo, pp. 788, vii. $3.00.

Life Without and Life Within: or, Reviews, Narratives, Essays, and
Poems. By Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Author of "Woman in the Nineteenth
Century," "At Home and Abroad," etc. Edited by her Brother, Arthur B.
Fuller. Boston. Brown, Taggard, & Chase. 12mo. pp. 424. $1.00.

Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World. With Narrative
Illustrations. By Robert Dale Owen, formerly Member of Congress, and
American Minister to Naples. Philadelphia. Lippincott & Co. 12mo. pp.
528. $1.25.

Title-Hunting. By E. L. Llewellyn. Philadelphia. Lippincott & Co. 12mo.
pp. 357. $1.00.

The Rivals. A Tale of the Times of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.
By Hon. Jere. Clemens, Author of "Bernard Lite" and "Mustang Gray."
Philadelphia. Lippincott & Co. 12mo. pp. 286. 75 cts.

Poems. By Sydney Dobell. Boston. Ticknor & Fields. 32mo. pp. 544. 75
cts. An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco, in the Summer
of 1859. By Horace Greeley. New York. Saxton, Barker, & Co. 12mo. pp.
386. $1.00.

Morphy's Games: a Selection of the Best Games played by the
Distinguished Champion in Europe and America. With Analytical and
Critical Notes by J Löwenthal. New York. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp.
xviii., 473. $1.25.

Compensation: or, Always a Future. By Anne M. H. Brewster. Philadelphia.
Lippincott & Co. 12mo. pp. 297. 75 cts.

The Eighteen Christian Centuries. By the Rev. James White, Author of a
"History of France." With a Copious Index. From the Second Edinburgh
Edition. New York. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 538. $1.25.

An Appeal to the People in Behalf of their Rights as Authorized
Interpreters of the Bible. By Catherine E. Beecher, Author of "Common
Sense Applied to Religion," "Domestic Economy," etc. New York. Harper &
Brothers. 12mo. pp. x., 380. $1.00.

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: or, The
Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. By Charles
Darwin, M. A., Fellow of the Royal Geological, Linnæan, etc., Societies;
Author of "Journal of Researches during H. M. S. Beagle's Voyage round
the World." New York. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 432. $1.25.

Life in Spain, Past and Present. By Walter Thornbury, Author of "Every
Man his own Trumpeter," "Art and Nature," etc. With Illustrations. New
York. Harper & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 383. $1.00.

Poems. By the Author of "A Life for a Life," "John Halifax, Gentleman,"
etc. Boston. Ticknor & Fields. 16mo. pp.270. 75 cts.

The Female Skeptic: or, Faith Triumphant, New York. R. M. DeWitt. 12mo.
pp. 449. $1.00.

Report on Weights and Measures, read before the Pharmaceutical
Association, at their Eighth Annual Session, held in Boston, September
15, 1859. By Alfred B. Taylor, of Philadelphia, Chairman of the
Committee of Weights and Measures. Boston. Press of Rand & Avery. 8vo.
pamphlet, pp. 104. 50 cts.

The Adopted Heir. By Miss Pardoe, Author of "The Confessions of a Pretty
Woman," "Life of Maria de Medicis." etc. Complete and unabridged.
Philadelphia. Peterson & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 360. $1.25.

A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin and
his Companions, by Captain M'Clintock, R. N., LL.D. With Maps and
Illustrations. Boston. Ticknor & Fields. 12mo. pp. xxiv., 375. $1.50.

The Path which led a Protestant Lawyer to the Catholic Church. By Peter
H. Burnett. New York. Appleton & Co. 8vo. pp. xiv., 741. $2.50.

Sermons on St. Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians. Delivered at Trinity
Chapel, Brighton. By the late Rev. F. W. Robertson, M.A., the Incumbent.
Boston. Ticknor & Fields. 12mo. pp. xii., 425. $1.00.

Trinitarianism not the Doctrine of the New Testament. Two Lectures,
delivered, partly in Review of Rev. Dr. Huntington's Discourse on the
Trinity, in the Hollis Street Church, January 7 and 14,1860. By T. S.
King. Printed by Request. Boston. Crosby, Nichols, & Co. 8vo. pamphlet,
pp. 48. 25 cts.

Lyrics and other Poems. By S. J. Donaldson, Jr. Philadelphia. Lindsay &
Blakiston. 16mo. pp. 208. 75 cts.

Twenty Years Ago, and Now. By T. S. Arthur. Philadelphia. G. G. Evans.
12mo. pp. 307. $1.00.

The Water Witch: or, The Skimmer of the Seas. A Tale. By J. Fenimore
Cooper. Illustrated from Designs by F. 0. C. Darley. New York. Townsend
& Co. 12mo. pp. 462. $1.50.

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