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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 22, August, 1859 - 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 04, No. 22, August, 1859 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics" ***

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THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. IV.--AUGUST, 1859.--NO. XXII.



THE DRAMATIC ELEMENT IN THE BIBLE.


We say dramatic element _in_ the Bible, not dramatic element _of_ the
Bible, since that of which we speak is not essential, but incidental; it
is an aspect of the form of the book, not an attribute of its
inspiration.

By the use of the term _dramatic_ in this connection, let us, in the
outset, be understood to have no reference whatever to the theatre and
stage-effect, or to the sundry devices whereby the playhouse is made at
once popular and intolerable. Nor shall we anticipate any charge of
irreverence; since we claim the opportunity and indulge only the license
of the painter, who, in the treatment of Scriptural themes, seeks both
to embellish the sacred page and to honor his art,--and of the sculptor,
and the poet, likewise, each of whom, ranging divine ground, remarks
upon the objects there presented according to the law of his profession.
As the picturesque, the statuesque, the poetical in the Bible are
legitimate studies, so also the dramatic.

But in the premises, is not the term _dramatic_ interdicted,--since it
is that which is not the Bible, but which is foreign to the Bible, and
even directly contradistinguished therefrom? The drama is
representation,--the Bible is fact; the drama is imitation,--the Bible
narrative; the one is an embodiment,--the other a substance; the one
transcribes the actual by the personal,--the other is a return to the
simplest originality; the one exalts its subjects by poetic
freedom,--the other adheres to prosaic plainness.

Yet are there not points in which they meet, or in which, for the
purposes of this essay, they may be considered as coming together,--that
is, admitting of an artistical juxtaposition?

In the first place, to take Shakspeare for a type of the drama, what, we
ask, is the distinguishing merit of this great writer? It is his
fidelity to Nature. Is not the Bible also equally true to Nature? "It is
the praise of Shakspeare," says Dr. Johnson, "that his plays are the
mirror of life." Was there ever a more consummate mirror of life than
the Bible affords? "Shakspeare copied the manners of the world then
passing before him, and has more allusions than other poets to the
traditions and superstitions of the vulgar." The Bible, perhaps, excels
all other books in this sort of description. "Shakspeare was an exact
surveyor of the inanimate world." The Bible is full of similar sketches.
An excellence of Shakspeare is the individuality of his characters.
"They are real beings of flesh and blood," the critics tell us; "they
speak like men, not like authors." How truly this applies to the persons
mentioned in sacred writ! Goethe has compared the characters of
Shakspeare to "watches with crystalline cases and plates, which, while
they point out with perfect accuracy the course of the hours and
minutes, at the same time disclose the whole combination of springs and
wheels whereby they are moved." A similar transparency of motive and
purpose, of individual traits and spontaneous action, belongs to the
Bible. From the hand of Shakspeare, "the lord and the tinker, the hero
and the valet, come forth equally distinct and clear." In the Bible the
various sorts of men are never confounded, but have the advantage of
being exhibited by Nature herself, and are not a contrivance of the
imagination. "Shylock," observes a recent critic, "seems so much a man
of Nature's making, that we can scarce accord to Shakspeare the merit of
creating him." What will you say of Balak, Nabal, Jeroboam? "Macbeth is
rather guilty of tempting the Weird Sisters than of being tempted by
them, and is surprised and horrified at his own hell-begotten
conception." Saul is guilty of tampering with the Witch of Endor, and is
alarmed at the Ghost of Samuel, whose words distinctly embody and
vibrate the fears of his own heart, and he "falls straightway all along
on the earth." "The exquisite refinement of Viola triumphs over her
masculine attire." The exquisite refinement of Ruth triumphs in the
midst of men.

We see there are points in which dramatic representation and Scriptural
delineation mutually touch.

A distinguished divine of Connecticut said he wanted but two books in
his library, the Bible and Shakspeare,--the one for religion, the other
to be his instructor in human nature. In the same spirit, St. Chrysostom
kept a copy of Aristophanes under his pillow, that he might read it at
night before he slept and in the morning when he waked. The strong and
sprightly eloquence of this father, if we may trust tradition, drew its
support from the vigorous and masculine Atticism of the old comedian.

But human nature, in every stage of its development and every variety of
its operation, is as distinctly pronounced on the pages of Scripture as
in the scenes of the dramatist. Of Shakespeare it is said, "He turned
the globe round for his amusement, and surveyed the generations of men,
and the individuals as they passed, with their different concerns,
passions, follies, vices, virtues, actions, and motives." He has been
called the "thousand-minded," the "oceanic soul." The Bible creates the
world and peoples it, and gives us a profound and universal insight into
all its concerns.

Another peculiarity of Shakspeare is his self-forgetfulness. In reading
what is written, you do not think of him, but of his productions. "The
perfect absence of himself from his own pages makes it difficult for us
to conceive of a human being having written them." This remark applies
with obvious force to the Bible. The authors of the several books do not
thrust themselves upon your notice, or interfere with your meditations
on what they have written; indeed, to such an extent is this
self-abeyance maintained, that it is impossible, at this period of time,
to determine who are the authors of some of the books. The narrative of
events proceeds, for the most part, as if the author had never existed.
How _naïvely_ and perspicuously everything is told, without the
colouring of prejudice, or an infusion of egotism on the part of the
writer!

Coleridge says, Shakspeare gives us no moral highwaymen, no sentimental
thieves and rat-catchers, no interesting villains, no amiable
adulteresses. The Bible even goes farther than this, and is faithful to
the foibles and imperfections of its favorite characters, and describes
a rebellious Moses, a perjured David, a treacherous Peter.

"In nothing does Shakspeare so deeply and divinely touch the heart of
humanity as in the representation of woman." We have the grandeur of
Portia, the sprightliness of Rosalind, the passion of Juliet, the
delicacy of Ophelia, the mournful dignity of Hermione, the filial
affection of Cordelia. How shall we describe the Pythian greatness of
Miriam, the cheerful hospitality of Sarah, the heroism of Rahab, the
industry of Dorcas, the devotion of Mary? And we might set off Lady
Macbeth with Jezebel, and Cleopatra with Delilah.

But the Bible, it may be said, so far as the subject before us is
concerned, is chiefly historical, while Shakspeare is purely dramatic.
The one is description,--the other action; the one relates to
events,--the other to feelings; the department of the one is the general
course of human affairs,--that of the other, the narrower circle of
individual experience; the field of the one is that which the eye of
philosophy may embrace,--while that of the other is what the human frame
may portray.

However this may apply to the average of history, it will be found that
the Bible, in its historical parts, is not so strictly historical as to
preclude associations of another sort. The Bible is remarkable for a
visual and embodied relief, a bold and vivid detail. We know of no book,
if we may except the compositions of professed dramatists, that contains
so much of personal feeling and incident. In simplicity and directness,
in freedom from exaggeration, and in the general unreserve of its
expression, it even exceeds the most of these. In it we may discover a
succession of little dramas of Nature that will affect us quite as
profoundly as those larger ones of Art.

If the structure of the drama be dialogistic, we find the Bible formed
on the same model. If the writers of the former disappear under the
personages of their fancy, the writers of the latter disappear under the
personages of fact. As in the one, so in the other, strangers are
introduced to tell their own story, each in his own way.

In the commencement of the Bible, after a brief prologue, the curtain
rises, and we, as spectators, look in upon a process of interlocution.
The scene is the green, sunny garden of Eden, that to which the memory
of humanity reverts as to its dim golden age, and which ever expresses
the bright dream of our youth, ere the rigor of misfortune or the
dulness of experience has spoilt it. The _dramatis personae_ are three
individuals, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. There are the mysterious tree,
with its wonderful fruit,--the beautiful, but inquisitive woman,--the
thoughtful, but too compliant man,--and the insinuating reptile. One
speaks, the other rejoins, and the third fills up the chasm of interest.
The plot thickens, the passions are displayed, and the tragedy hastens
to its end. Then is heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the cool
(the wind) of the garden, the impersonal presence of Jehovah is, as it
were, felt in the passing breeze, and a shadow falls upon the
earth,--but such a shadow as their own patient toil may dissipate, and
beyond the confines of which their hope, which has now taken the place
of enjoyment, is permitted ever to look.

Without delaying on the moral of this passage, what we would remark upon
is the clearness and freedom of the dialogue,--a feature which we find
pervading the whole of the sacred writings.

In the account of Cain, which immediately succeeds, the narrative is
inelaborate, casual, secondary; the dialogue is simple and touching. The
agony of the fratricide and his remorse are better expressed by his own
lips than could be done by any skill of the historian.

In the deception which Abraham put upon the Egyptians, touching his
wife,--which it is no part of our present object to justify or to
condemn,--what a stroke of pathos, what a depth of conjugal sentiment,
is exhibited! "Thou art a fair woman to look upon, and the Egyptians,
when they see thee, will kill me and save thee alive. _Say, I pray thee,
thou art my sister; that it may be well with me for thy sake, and my
soul shall live because of thee_."

Viola appears very interesting and very innocent, when, in boy's
clothes, she wanders about in pursuit of a lover. Is not Sarah equally
interesting and equally innocent, when, under cover of an assumed name,
and that a sister's, she would preserve the love of one who has worthily
won it?

Will it be said that the dialogue of the Bible lacks the charm of
poetry?--that its action and sentiment, its love and its sorrow, are not
heightened by those efforts of the fancy which delight us in dramatic
authors?--that its simplicity is bald, and its naturalness rough?--that
its excessive familiarity repels taste and disturbs culture? If we may
trust Wordsworth, simplicity is not inconsistent with the pleasures of
the imagination. The style of the Bible is not redundant,--there is
little extravagance in it, and it has no trickery of words. Yet this
does not prevent its being deep in sentiment, brilliant with intrinsic
thought or powerful effect.

In the "Two Gentlemen of Verona," Valentine thus utters himself touching
his betrothed:--

  "What light is light, if Sylvia be not seen?
  What joy is joy, if Sylvia be not by?
  Except I see my Sylvia in the night,
  There is no music in the nightingale.
  Unless I look on Sylvia in the day,
  There is no day for me to look upon.
  She is my essence; and I cease to be,
  If I be not by her fair influence
  Fostered, illumined, cherished, kept alive."

Compare with this the language of Abraham. "Thou art fair, my wife. Say,
I pray thee, thou art my sister; that it may be well with me for thy
sake, and my soul shall live because of thee." The first is an instance
of poetic amplification and _abandon_; we should contend, for the last,
that it expresses poetic tenderness and delicacy. In the one case,
passion is diffuse,--in the other, concentrated. Which is the more
natural, others must judge.

"Euthanasy," "Theron and Aspasio," the "Phaedon" of Plato are dialogues,
but they are not dramatic. It may be, that, for a composition to claim
this distinction, it must embody great character or deep feeling,--that
it must express not only the individuality, but the strength of the
passions.

Observing this criticism, we think we may find any quantity of dramatic
dialogue in Scripture. The story of Joseph, the march in the wilderness,
the history of David, are full of it.

There are not only dramatic dialogue and movement, but dramatic
monologue and episode. For illustration, we might refer to Hagar in the
wilderness. Her tragic loneliness and shuddering despair alight upon the
page of Scripture with the interest that attends the introduction of the
veiled Niobe with her children into the Grecian theatre.

There are those who say, that the truth of particular events, so far as
we are conscious of it, is a drawback on the pleasure as well as the
dignity of the drama,--in other words, that the Bible is too true to
afford what is called dramatic delight, while the semblance of truth in
Shakspeare is exactly graduated to this particular affection. Between
the advocates of this theory, and those who say that Shakspeare is true
as truth itself, we can safely leave the point.

The subject has another aspect, which appears in the inquiry, What is
the true object of the drama? If, as has been asserted, the object of
the drama be the exhibition of the human character,--if, agreeably to
Aristotle, tragedy purifies the affections by terror and pity,--or if,
according to a recent writer, it interests us through the moral and
religious principles of our nature,--or even if, according to Dr.
Johnson, it be the province of comedy to bring into view the customs,
manners, vices, and the whole character of a people,--it is obvious that
the Bible and the drama have some correspondence. If, in the somewhat
heated language of Mrs. Jameson, "whatever in religion is holy and
sublime, in virtue amiable and grave, whatever hath passion or
admiration in the changes of fortune or the refluxes of feeling,
whatever is pitiful in the weakness, grand in the strength, or terrible
in the perversion of the human intellect," be the domain of tragedy,
this correspondence increases upon us.

If, however, it be the object of the drama to divert, then it occupies a
wholly different ground from the Bible. If it merely gratifies curiosity
or enlivens pastime, if it awakens emotion without directing it to
useful ends, if it rallies the infirmities of human nature with no other
design than to provoke our derision or increase our conceit, it shoots
very, very wide of the object which the sacred writers propose.

It is worthy to be remarked, that the Jews had no drama, or nothing that
answers to our idea of that term at the present time; they had no
theatres, no writers of tragedy or comedy. Neither are there any traces
of the dramatic art among the Egyptians, among whom the Jews sojourned
four hundred years, nor among the Arabs or the Persians, who are of
kindred stock with this people. On the other hand, by the Hindoos and
Chinese, the Greeks and Romans, histrionic representation was cultivated
with assiduity.

How shall we explain this national peculiarity? Was it because the
religion of the Jews forbade creative imitation? Is it to be found in
the letter or the spirit of the second commandment, which interdicts the
making of graven images of any pattern in earth or heaven? We should
hardly think so, since the object of this prohibition is rather to
prevent idolatry than to discourage the gratification of taste. "Thou
shalt not bow down to them nor serve them." The Jews did have emblematic
observances, costume, and works of art. Yet, on the other hand, the Jews
possessed something resembling the drama, and that out of which the
dramatic institutions of all nations have sprung. The question, then,
why the Jews had no drama proper, and still preserved the semblance and
germ thereof, will be partially elucidated by a reference to the early
history of dramatic art.

In its inception, the drama, among all nations, was a religious
observance. It came in with the chorus and the ode. The chorus, or, as
we now say, choir, was a company of persons who on stated occasions sang
sacred songs, accompanying their music with significant gesture, and an
harmonious pulsation of the feet, or the more deliberate march. The ode
or song they sang was of an elevated structure and impassioned tone, and
was commonly addressed to the Divinity. Instances of the ode are the
lyrics of Pindar and David. The chorus was also divided into parts, to
each of which was assigned a separate portion of the song, and which
answered one another in alternate measures. A good instance of the
chorus and its movement appears after the deliverance of the Jews from
the dangers of the Red Sea. "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel
this song unto the Lord: 'I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath
triumphed gloriously,'" etc. "And Miriam the prophetess took a timbrel
in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with
dances; and Miriam answered them, 'Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath
triumphed gloriously.'" At a later period, in Jewish as in Greek
history, choral exercises became a profession, and the choir constituted
a detached portion of men and women.

"Those who have studied the history of Grecian antiquities," says
Archbishop Potter, "and collected the fragments which remain of the most
ancient authors, have all concurred in the opinion, that poetry was
first employed in celebrating the praises of the gods. The fragments of
the Orphic hymns, and those of Linus and Musaeus, show these poets
entertained sounder notions of the Supreme Being than many philosophers
of a later date. There are lyric fragments yet remaining that bear
striking resemblance to Scripture."

So, says Bishop Horne, "The poetry of the Jews is clearly traceable to
the service of religion. To celebrate the praises of God, to decorate
his worship, and give force to devout sentiments, was the employment of
the Hebrew Muse."

The choral song, that is, a sacred ode united with appropriate action,
distinguished the Jews and Greeks alike. At a later period of Jewish
history, the chorus became perfected, yet without receiving any organic
change. Among the Greeks, however, the chorus passed by degrees into the
drama. To simple singing and dancing they added a variety of imitative
action; from celebrating the praises of the Divinity, they proceeded to
represent the deeds of men, and their orchestras were enlarged to
theatres. They retained the chorus, but subordinated it to the action.
The Jews, on the other hand, did no more than dramatize the chorus. So,
Bishop Horsley says, the greater part of the Psalms are a sort of
dramatic ode, consisting of dialogues between certain persons sustaining
certain characters. In these psalms, the persons are the writer himself
and a band of Levites,--or sometimes the Supreme Being, or a personation
of the Messiah.

We find, then, the Jews and the Greeks running parallel in respect of
the drama, or that out of which the drama sprung, the chorus, for a long
series of years. The practice of the two nations in this respect
exhibits a striking coincidence, indeed, Lowth conceives that the Song
of Solomon bears a strong resemblance to the Greek drama. "The chorus of
virgins," he says, "seems in every respect congenial to the tragic
chorus of the Greeks. They are constantly present, and prepared to
fulfil all the duties of advice and consolation; they converse
frequently with the different characters; they take part in the whole
business of the poem." They fulfilled, in a word, all the purpose of the
Greek chorus on the Greek stage.

On certain occasions, the Greek chorus celebrated divine worship in the
vicinity of the great altar of their god. Clad in magnificent vestments,
they move to solemn measures about it; they ascend and descend the steps
that lead to it; they offer sacrifices upon it; they carry in their
hands lighted torches; they pour out lustral water; they burn incense;
they divide into antiphonal bands, and sing alternate stanzas of their
sacred songs.

So, in their religious festivals, the Jewish chorus surrounded the high
altar of their worship, gorgeously dressed, and with an harmonious
tread; they mounted and remounted the steps; they offered sacrifices;
they bore branches of trees in their hands; they scattered the lustral
water; they burnt incense; they pealed the responsive anthem.

But while we follow down the stream of resemblance to a certain point,
it divides at last: on the Greek side, it is diverted into the lighter
practice of the theatre; on the Jewish side, it seems to deepen itself
in the religious feeling of the nation.

Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, seizing upon the chorus, elaborated it
into the drama. The religious idea, indeed, seems never to have deserted
the gentile drama; for, at a later period, we find the Romans appointing
theatrical performances with the special design of averting the anger of
the gods. A religious spirit, also, pervades all the writings of the
ancient dramatists; they bring the gods to view, and the terrors of the
next world, on their stage, are seen crowding upon the sins of this.

On the other hand, David, who may be denominated the Alfred of the Jews,
seems to have contented himself with the chorus; he allotted its
members, disciplined its ranks, heightened its effect, and supplied new
lyrics for its use.

Another exemplification of singular coincidence and diversity between
the two nations appears in this, that the goat was common in the
religious observances of both; a similar ritual required the sacrifice
of this animal: but with the Jews the creature was an emblem of
solemnity, while with the Greeks he was significant of joy; the Jews
sacrificed him on their fasts,--the Greeks in their feasts. And here we
may observe, that tragedy, the most dignified and the primitive form of
the drama, deduces its origin from the goat,--being, literally, the song
of the goat, that is, the song accompanying the sacrifice of the goat.

Let us now endeavor to answer the question, Why, since the drama was
generally introduced among surrounding nations, and Jewish customs and
life comprised so many initial dramatic materials, this art was not
known among that people?

It was owing to the earnestness and solemnity of their religious faith.
We find the cause in the simple, exalted, and comparatively spiritual
ideas they had of the Supreme Being; in a word, we shall state the whole
ground to be this,--that the Greeks were polytheists, and the Jews
monotheists.

Let us bear in mind that the chorus, and the drama that was built upon
it, had a religious association, and were employed in religious
devotion. We may add, moreover, that the Greeks introduced their gods
upon the stage; this the Jews could not do. The Greeks, of course, had a
great deal of religious feeling, but they could not cherish that
profound reverence for the object of their worship which the Jews
entertained towards theirs. The Jews accompanied the Greeks in the use
of the chorus, but they could not go with them any farther. They both
united in employing music and the dance, and all the pomp of procession
and charm of ceremony, in divine worship; but when it came to displaying
the object of their adoration in personal form to the popular eye, and
making him an actor on the stage, however dignified that stage might be,
the Jews could not consent.

This, we think, will explain, in part, why others of the ancient
nations, the Arabs and Persians, rich as they were in every species of
literature, had no theatre; they were monotheists.

But there is the department of comedy, of a lighter sort, which does not
converse with serious subjects, or necessarily include reference to
Deity; why do we find no trace of this among the Jews? We may remember,
that all festivals, in very ancient time, of every description, the
grave and the gay, the penitential and the jubilant, had a religious
design, and were suggested by a religious feeling. We think the peculiar
cast of the Judaic faith would hardly embody itself in such a mode of
expression. Moreover, tragedy was the parent of comedy,--and since the
Jews had not the first, we should hardly expect them to produce the
last. It is not difficult to perceive how the Greeks could convert their
goat to dramatic, or even to comic purposes; but the Jews could not deal
so with theirs.

We approach another observation, that there is no comedy in the Bible.
There is tragedy there,--not in the sense in which we have just denied
that the Jews had tragedy, but in the obvious sense of tragic elements,
tragic scenes, tragic feelings. In the same sense, we say, there are no
comic elements, or scenes, or feelings. There is that in the Bible to
make you weep, but nothing to move you to laughter. Why is this? Are
there not smiles as well as tears in life? Have we not a deep, joyous
nature, as well as aspiration, reverence, awe? Is there not a
free-and-easy side of existence, as well as vexation and sorrow? We
assent that these things are so.

But comedy implies ridicule, sharp, corroding ridicule. The comedy of
the Greeks ridiculed everything,--persons, characters, opinions,
customs, and sometimes philosophy and religion. Comedy became,
therefore, a sort of consecrated slander, lyric spite, aesthetical
buffoonery. Comedy makes you laugh at somebody's expense; it brings
multitudes together to see it inflict death on some reputation; it
assails private feeling with all the publicity and powers of the stage.

Now we doubt if the Jewish faith or taste would tolerate this. The Jews
were commanded to love their neighbor. We grant, their idea of neighbor
was excessively narrow and partial; but still it was their neighbor.
They were commanded not to bear false witness against their neighbor,
and he was pronounced accursed who should smite his neighbor secretly.
It might appear that comedy would violate each of these statutes. But
the Jews had their delights, their indulgences, their transports,
notwithstanding the imperfection of their benevolence, the meagreness of
their truth, and the cumbersomeness of their ceremonials. The Feast of
Tabernacles, for instance, was liberal and happy, bright and smiling; it
was the enthusiasm of pastime, the psalm of delectableness. They did not
laugh at the exposure of another's foibles, but out of their own merry
hearts.

Will it be said, the Bible is not true to Nature, if it does not
represent the comical side of life, as well as Shakspeare does? We think
the comical parts of Shakspeare, his extreme comical parts, are rather
an exaggeration of individual qualities than a fair portraiture of the
whole species. There is no Falstaff in the Bible, yet the qualities of
Falstaff exist in the Bible and in Nature, but in combination, and this
combination modifies their aspect and effect.

There is laughter in the Bible, but it is not uttered to make you laugh.
There are also events recorded, which, at the time, may have produced
effects analogous to comedy. The approach of the Gibeonites to the camp
of Israel in their mock-beggarly costume might be mentioned. Shimei's
cursing David has always seemed to us to border on the ludicrous.

But to leave these matters and return to the general thread of thought.
Dramas have been formed on the Bible. We hardly need name "Paradise
Lost," or "Samson Agonistes," or the "Cain" of Byron, the "Hadad" of
Hillhouse, or Mrs. More's "David and Goliah." "Pilgrim's Progress" has a
Scriptural basis.

Moreover, if we may trust the best critics, certain portions of the
sacred volume are conceived in a dramatic spirit, and are propounded to
a dramatic interpretation. These are the Book of Job, the Song of
Solomon, and, possibly, the Apocalypse of St. John. If we were disposed
to contend for this view, we need but mention such authorities as
Calmet, Carpzov, Bishops Warburton, Percy, Lowth, Bossuet.

The Book of Job has a prose prologue and epilogue, the intermediate
portions being poetic dialogue. The characters are discriminated and
well supported. It does not preserve the unities of Aristotle, which,
indeed, are found neither in the Bible nor in Nature,--which Shakspeare
neglects, and which are to be met with only in the crystalline
artificialness of the French stage. "It has no plot, not even of the
simplest kind," says Dr. Lowth. It has a plot,--not an external and
visible one, but an internal and spiritual one; its incidents are its
feelings, its progress is the successive conditions of mind, and it
terminates with the triumph of virtue. If it be not a record of actual
conversation, it is an embodiment of a most wonderful ideality. The
eternity of God, the grandeur of Nature, the profundity of the soul,
move in silent panorama before you. The great and agitating problems of
human existence are depicted with astonishing energy and precision, and
marvellous is the conduct of the piece to us who behold it as a painting
away back on the dark canvas of antiquity.

We said the Jews had no drama, no theatre, because they would not
introduce the Divinity upon the stage. Yet God appears speaking in the
Book of Job, not bodily, but ideally, and herein is all difference. This
drama addresses the imagination, not the eye. The Greeks brought their
divinities into sight, stood them on the stage,--or clothed a man with
an enormous mask, and raised him on a pedestal, giving him also
corresponding apparel, to represent their god. The Hebrew stage, if we
may share the ordinary indulgence of language in using that term, with
an awe and delicacy suitable to the dignity of the subject, permits the
Divinity to speak, but does not presume to employ his person; the
majesty of Infinitude utters itself, but no robe-maker undertakes to
dress it for the occasion. In the present instance, how exalted, how
inspiring, is the appearance of God! how free from offensive diminution
and costumal familiarity! "Then the Lord answered Job out of the
whirlwind, and said." Dim indeed is the representation, but very
distinct is the impression. The phenomenon conforms to the purity of
feeling, not to the grossness of sense. Devotion is kindled by the
sublime impalpableness; no applause is enforced by appropriate acting.
The Greeks, would have played the Book of Job,--the Jews were contented
to read it.

And here we might remark a distinction between dramatic reading and
dramatic seeing; and in support of our theory we can call to aid so good
an authority as Charles Lamb. "I cannot help being of opinion," says
this essayist, "that the plays of Shakspeare are less calculated for
performance on a stage than those of almost any other dramatist
whatever."

How are the love dialogues of Romeo and Juliet, by the inherent fault of
stage representation, sullied and turned from their very nature by being
exposed to a large assembly! How can the profound sorrows of Hamlet be
depicted by a gesticulating actor? So, to see Lear acted, to see an old
man tottering about the stage with a walking-stick, turned out of doors
by his daughters in a rainy night, has nothing in it but what is painful
and disgusting. The contemptible machinery by which they mimic the storm
in which he goes out is not more inadequate to represent the horrors of
the real elements than any actor can be to represent Lear. In the acted
Othello, the black visage of the Moor is obtruded upon you; in the
written Othello, his color disappears in his mind. When Hamlet compares
the two pictures of Gertrude's first and second husband, who wants to
see the pictures? But in the acting, a miniature must be lugged out. "The
truth is," he adds, "the characters of Shakspeare are more the objects
of meditation than of interest or curiosity as to their actions."

All this applies with force to what we have been saying. The Jews, in
respect of their dramatic culture, seem more like one who enjoys
Shakspeare in the closet; the Greeks, like those who are tolled off to
the theatre to see him acted. The Greeks would have contrived a pair of
bellows to represent the whirlwind; mystic, vast, inaudible, it passes
before the imagination of the Jew, and its office is done. The Jew would
be shocked to see his God in a human form; such a thing pleased the
Greek. The source of the difference is to be sought in the theology of
the two nations. The theological development of the Jews was very
complete,--that of the Greeks unfinished.

Yet the Jews were very deficient in art, and the Greeks perfect; both
failed in humanity. The Greeks had more ideality than the Jews; but
their ideality was very intense; it was continually, so to speak,
running aground; it must see its conceptions embodied; and more,--when
they were embodied, Pygmalion-like, it must seek to imbue them with
motion and sensibility. The conception of the Jews was more vague,
perhaps, but equally affecting; they were satisfied with carrying in
their minds the faint outline of the sublime, without seeking to chisel
it into dimension and tangibility. They cherished in their bosoms their
sacred ideal, and worshipped from far the greatness of the majesty that
shaded their imaginations. Hence we look to Athens for art, to Palestine
for ethics; the one produces rhetoricians,--the other, prophets.

So, we see, the theologico-dramatic forms of the two nations--and there
were no other--are different. The one pleases the prurient eye,--the
other gratifies the longing soul; the one amuses,--the other inspires;
the one is a hollow pageant of divine things,--the other is a glad,
solemn intimation from the unutterable heart of the universe.

The Song of Solomon, that stumbling-block of criticism and pill of
faith, a recent writer regards as a parable in the form of a drama, in
which the bride is considered as representing true religion, the royal
lover as the Jewish people, and the younger sister as the Gospel
dispensation. But it is evidently conceived in a very different spirit
from the Book of Job or the Psalms of David, and its theological
character is so obscured by other associations as to lead many to
inquire whether an enlightened religious sensibility dictated it.

We cannot dismiss this part of our subject without allusion to a species
of drama that prevailed in the Middle Ages, called Mysteries, or
Moralities. These were a sort of scenical illustration of the Sacred
Scripture, and the subjects were events taken sometimes from the New
Testament and sometimes from the Old. It is said they were designed to
supply the place of the Greek and Roman theatre, which had been banished
from the Church. The plays were written and performed by the clergy.
They seem to have first been employed to wile away the dulness of the
cloister, but were very soon introduced to the public. Adam and Eve in
Paradise, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection were theatrized. The effect
could hardly be salutary. The different persons of the Trinity appeared
on the stage; on one side of the scene stretched the yawning throat of
an immense wooden dragon; masked devils ran howling in and out.

"In the year 1437,"--we follow the literal history, as we find it quoted
in D'Israeli,--"when the Bishop of Metz caused the Mystery of the
Passion to be represented near that city, God was an old gentleman, a
curate of the place, and who was very near expiring on the cross, had he
not been timely assisted. He was so enfeebled that another priest
finished his part. At the same time this curate undertook to perform the
Resurrection, which being a less difficult task, he did it admirably
well. Another priest, personating Judas, had like to have been stifled
while he hung on the tree, for his neck slipped. This being at length
luckily perceived, he was cut down, and recovered." In another instance,
a man who assumed the Supreme Being becoming nearly suffocated by the
paint applied to his face, it was wisely announced that for the future
the Deity should be covered by a cloud. These plays, carried about the
country, taken up by the baser sort of people, descended through all
degrees of farce to obscenity, and, in England, becoming entangled in
politics, at length disappeared. It is said they linger in Italy, and
are annually reproduced in Spain.

The Bible is incapable of representation. For a man to act the Supreme
Being would be as revolting in idea as profane in practice. One may in
words portray the divine character, give utterance to the divine will.
This every preacher does. But to what is the effect owing? Not to
proprieties of attitude or arrangement of muscle, but to the spirit of
the man magnified and flooding with the great theme, and to the thought
of God that surrounds and subdues all; in other words, the imagination
is addressed, not the sight,--the sentiments and affections are engaged,
not the senses. As Lamb says of the Lear of Shakspeare, it cannot be
acted; so, with greater force, we may say of the Bible, it cannot be
acted. When we read or hear of the Passion of the Saviour, it is the
thought, the emotion, burning and seething within it, at which by
invisible contact our own thought and emotion catch fire; and the
capabilities of impersonation and manufacture are mocked by such a
subject.

But the Bible abounds in dramatic situation, action, and feeling. This
has already been intimated; it only remains that we indicate some
examples. The history of David fulfils all the demands of dramatic
composition. It has the severe grandeur of Aeschylus, the moving
tenderness of Euripides, and the individual fidelity of Shakspeare.
Could this last-named writer, who, while he counterfeited Nature with
such success, was equally commended for his historical integrity,--could
Shakspeare have performed that service on this history, which Milton,
More, and others have undertaken on other portions of the sacred
volume,--could he have digested it into a regular dramatic form,--he
would have accomplished a work of rare interest. It would include the
characters of Samuel and Saul; it would describe the magnanimous
Jonathan and the rebellious Absalom; Nathan, Nabal, Goliah, Shimei,
would impart their respective features; it would be enriched with all
that is beautiful in woman's love or enduring in parental affection. It
is full of incident, and full of pathos. It verges towards the terrible,
it is shaken with the passionate, it rises into the heroic. Pursued in
the true spirit of Jewish theology, the awful presence of God would
overhang and pervade it, while the agency of his providence should
attend on the evolutions of events.

There is one effect which, in the present arrangement of the canon, is
entirely lost to view, and which could be revived only by the
synchronizing of the Psalms with their proper epochs. For instance, the
eighth Psalm is referable to the youth of David, when he was yet leading
a shepherd life. The dramatic form of his history would detach this from
its present place, and insert it amid the occasions and in the years to
which it belongs. What a scene we should then have! The youthful David,
ruddy he was, and, withal, of a beautiful countenance, (marginal
reading, fair of eyes,) and goodly to look to; and he was a cunning
player on the harp. There is the glow of poetic enthusiasm in his eyes,
and the fervor of religious feeling in all his moods; as he tends his
flock amid the quietness and beauty of his native hills, he joins to the
aspirations of his soul the melodies of music. So the night overtakes
him, the labors of the day are past, his meditations withdraw him from
the society of men, he is alone with Nature and with God;--at such a
moment the spirit of composition and utterance is upon him, and he hymns
himself in those lofty and touching stanzas,--

  "O Jehovah, our Lord,
  How excellent is thy name in all the earth!
  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
  The moon and the stars which thou hast ordained,
  What is man that thou art mindful of him,
  And the son of man that thou carest for him?
  Yet thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,
  Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor;
  Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hand,
  Thou hast put all things under his feet,--
  All sheep and oxen,
  Yea, and the beasts of the forest,
  The birds of the air, and the fishes of the sea,
  And whatsoever passes through the deep.
  O Jehovah, our Lord,
  How excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

Again, the fifty-seventh Psalm is assigned, in respect of place, to the
cave of En-gedi, into which David fled from the vengeance of Saul. Here,
surrounded by lofty rocks, whose promontories screen a wide extent of
vale, he breaks forth,--

  "Have pity upon me, O God, have pity upon me,
  For in thee doth my soul seek refuge!
  Yea, in the shadow of thy wings do I take shelter,
  Until these calamities be overpast!"

Dramatically touched, and disposed according to the natural unities of
the subject, these sublime and affecting songs would appear on their
motive occasions, and be surrounded by their actual accompaniments.

The present effect may be compared to that which would be felt, if we
should detach the songs of the artificial drama from their original
impulse and feeling, (for instance, the willow dirge of Desdemona, and
the fantastic moans of Ophelia,) and produce them in a parlor. Not but
that these lyrics have a universal fitness, and a value which no time
can change or circumstance diminish; but as we are looking at them
simply in a dramatic view, we claim the right to suggest their dramatic
force and pertinency. This effect, we might remark, is particularly and
most truthfully regarded in the Lament of David over Saul and Jonathan.
That monody would be shorn of its interest, if it were inserted anywhere
else. The Psalms are more impersonal and more strictly religious than
that, and hence their universal application; only we say, we can easily
conceive that the revival of them in the order of their history, and in
all the purity of their native pathos, would render them more
attractive.

In connection with what we would further observe of the Psalms of David,
let us again call attention to the ancient chorus,--how it was a species
of melodrama, how it sang its parts, and comprised distinct vocalists
and musicians, who pursued the piece in alternate rejoinder. What we
would observe is, that many of the Psalms were written for the chorus,
and, so to speak, were performed by it. There are some of them which it
is impossible to understand without attention to this dramatic method of
rehearsal. Psalm cxviii., for instance, includes several speakers. Psalm
xxiv. was composed on the occasion of the transfer of the ark to the
tabernacle on Mount Zion. And David, we read, and all the house of
Israel, brought up the ark with shouting and with the sound of the
trumpet. In the midst of the congregated nation, supported by a varied
instrumental accompaniment, with the smoke of the well-fed altar surging
into the skies, the chorus took up the song which had been prepared to
their hand,--one group calling out, "Who shall ascend into the hill of
the Lord?"--the other pealing their answer, "He that hath clean hands
and a pure heart." Meanwhile, they dance before the Lord,--that is, we
suppose, preserving with their feet the unities of the music.

It was during a melodrama like this, in the midst of its exciting
grandeur and all-pervading transport, executed at the Feast of
Tabernacles, in the open area of the Temple, when the Jews were wont to
pour upon the altar water taken from the pool of Siloam, chanting at the
same time the twelfth chapter of Isaiah, and one division of the chorus
had just sung the words,--

  "With joy we draw water from the wells of salvation,"

and before the other had replied,--it was at this moment, that Christ,
as Dr. Furness very reasonably conjectures, took up the response in his
own person, and overwhelmed attention by that memorable declaration, "If
any man thirst, let him come to me and drink; and from within him shall
flow rivers of living water."

It is what we may term the dramatic proprieties that give to many of the
Psalms, in the language of a recent commentator, "a greater degree of
fitness, spirit, and grandeur"; and they impart to the history of David
a certain decorousness of illustration and perspicuity of feature which
it would not otherwise possess. They would produce upon it the same
result as is achieved by the sister arts on this and other portions of
the sacred volume, without marring the text or doing violence to truth.
Not, let us repeat, that the Bible can be theatrized. Neither church nor
playhouse can revive the forms of Judaism, without recalling its lost
spirit. And that must be a bold hand, indeed, that shall undertake to
mend again the shivered vail of the Temple, or collect from its ruins a
ritual which He that was greater than Solomon typically denounced in
foretelling the overthrow of that gorgeous pile. The Bible, as to its
important verities and solemn doctrine, is transparent to the
imagination and affections, and does not require the mediation of dumb
show or scenic travesty.

It is not difficult to trace many familiar dramatic resemblances in the
Old Testament. Shakspeare, who was certainly well read in the Bible and
frequently quotes it, in the composition of Lear may have had David and
Absalom in mind; the feigned madness of Hamlet has its prototype in that
of David; Macbeth and the Weird Sisters have many traits in common with
Saul and the Witch of Endor. Jezebel is certainly a suggestive study for
Lady Macbeth. The whole story has its key in that verse where we read,
"There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work
wickedness in the sight of the Lord, _whom Jezebel, his wife, stirred
up_." As in the play, so in this Scripture, we have the unrestrained and
ferocious ambition of the wife conspiring with the equally cruel, but
less hardy ambition of the husband. When Macbeth had murdered sleep,
when he could not screw his courage to the sticking-point, when his
purpose looked green and pale, his wife stings him with taunts, scathes
him with sarcasm, and by her own energy of intellect and storm of will
arouses him to action. So Ahab came in heavy and displeased, and laid
him down on his bed, and turned away his face, and so his wife inflames
him with the sharpness of her rebuke. "Why art thou sad?" she asks.
"Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise, eat bread, and be
merry!" The lust of regal and conjugal pride, intermixed, works in both.
Jezebel, whose husband was a king, would crown him with kingly deeds.
Lady Macbeth, whose husband was a prince, would see him crowned a king.
Jezebel would aggrandize empire, which her unlawful marriage thereto had
jeoparded. Lady Macbeth will run the risk of an unlawful marriage with
empire, if she may thereby aggrandize it. Jezebel is insensible to
patriotic feelings,--Lady Macbeth to civil and hospitable duties. The
Zidonian woman braves the vengeance of Jehovah,--the Scotch woman dares
the Powers of Darkness; the one is incited by the oracles of Baal,--the
other by the predictions of witches. Lady Macbeth has more intellectual
force,--Jezebel more moral decision; Lady Macbeth exhibits great
imagination,--Jezebel a stronger will. As the character of Lady Macbeth
is said to be relieved by the affection she shows for her husband, so is
that of Jezebel by her tenderness for Ahab. The grandness of the
audacity with which Jezebel sends after the prophet Elisha, saying, "So
let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life
of one of them by to-morrow about this time," has its counterpart in the
lofty terror of the invocation which Lady Macbeth makes to the "spirits
that wait on mortal thoughts,"--

  "Fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
  Of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood,
  Stop up the access and the passage of remorse!
  . . . . Come to my woman's breasts,
  And take my milk for gall, ye murdering ministers!"

But the last moments of these excessive characters are singularly
contrasted. Jezebel scoffs at approaching retribution, and, shining with
paint and dripping with jewels, is pitched to the dogs; Lady Macbeth
goes like a coward to her grave, and, curdled with remorse, receives the
stroke of doom.

If Shakspeare and the Old Testament are a just manifestation of human
nature, the New is so different, its representation would seem to be
almost fanciful or fallacious; or if the latter be accepted, the former
would seem to be discarded. But both are faithful to the different ages
and phases of man. The one is a dispensation of force,--the other of
love; the one could make nothing perfect,--but the bringing in of a
better covenant makes all things perfect. Through the tempest and storm,
the brutality and lust of the Greek tragedians, and even of the
barbarous times on which Shakspeare builds many of his plays, through
the night of Judaical back-slidings, idolatry, and carnal commandments,
we patiently wait, and gladly hail the morning of the Sun of
Righteousness. The New Testament is a green, calm, island, in this
heaving, fearful ocean of dramatic interest. How delightful is
everything there, and how elevated! how glad, and how solemn! how
energetic, and how tranquil! What characters, what incident, what
feeling! Yet how different! So different, indeed, from what elsewhere
appears, that we are compelled to ask, Can this be that same old
humanity whose passions, they tell us, are alike in all ages, and the
emphatic turbulence of which constitutes so large a portion of history?

But how shall we describe what is before us? The events open, if we may
draw a term from our subject, with a prologue spoken by angels,--

  "Peace on earth, and good-will towards men."

There had been Jezebels and Lady Macbeths enough; the memory of David
still smelt of blood; the Roman eagles were gorging their beaks on human
flesh; and the Samaritan everywhere felt the gnawing, shuddering sense
of hatred and scorn. No chorus appears answering to chorus, praising the
god of battles, or exulting in the achievements of arms; but the
sympathies of Him who was touched with the feeling of our infirmities
answer to the wants and woes of the race, and every thoughtful mind
ecstatically encores. The inexorable Fate of the Greeks does not appear,
but a good Providence interferes, and Heaven smiles graciously upon the
scene. There is passion, indeed, grief and sorrow, sin and
suffering,--but the tempest-stiller is here, who breathes tranquillity
upon the waters, and pours serenity into the turbid deep. The Niobe of
humanity, stiff and speechless, with her enmarbled children, that used
sometimes to be introduced on the Athenian stage for purposes of terror
or pity, is here restored to life, and she renders thanks for her
deliverance and participates in the general joy to which the piece gives
birth. No murderers of the prophets are hewn in pieces before the Lord;
but from the agonies of the cross and the depths of a preternatural
darkness, the tender cry is heard, on behalf of the murderers of the Son
of God, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" No
Alcestis is exhibited, doomed to destruction to save the life of her
husband,--but One appears, moving cheerfully, voluntarily, forwards, to
what may be termed the funeral pile of the world, from which,
phoenix-like, he rises, and gloriously ascends, drawing after him the
hearts, the love, the worship of millions of spectators. The key of the
whole piece is Redemption, the spirit that actuates is Love. The chief
actors, indeed, are Christ and Man; but innumerable subsidiary
personages are the Charities. The elements of a spiritualized existence
act their part. Humanity is not changed in its substance, but in its
tendencies; the sensibilities exist, but under a divine culture. Stephen
is as heroic as Agamemnon, Mary as energetic as Medea. Little children
are no longer dashed in pieces,--they are embraced and blessed.

But let us select for attention, and for a conclusion to these remarks,
a particular scene. It shall be from Luke. This evangelist has been
fabled a painter, and in the apotheosis of the old Church he was made
the tutelar patron of that class of artists. If the individuality of his
conceptions, the skill of his groupings, and the graphicness gave rise
to such an idea, it would seem to have its foundation as well in Nature
as in superstition. Matthew has more detail, more thought; Luke is more
picturesque, more descriptive. John has more deep feeling; Luke more
action, more life. The Annunciation, the Widow of Nain, the Prodigal Son,
the Good Samaritan, the Rich Man and Lazarus, and the incident to which
we shall presently advert, are found in Luke alone.

The incident in question is the dining of Christ at the house of Simon
the Pharisee, and, while they were reclining at meat, the entrance of a
woman which was a sinner, who bathes the feet of Jesus with tears, and
wipes them with the hair of her head. The place is the city of Nain; the
hour noon. The _dramatis personae_ are three,--Jesus, Simon, and the
Woman,--and, if we choose to add them, the other guests, who are silent
spectators of what transpires.

Let, us consider, first, the Woman. She "was a sinner." This is all, in
fact, that we know of her; but this is enough. The term "sinner," in
this instance, as in many others, does not refer to the general apostasy
in Adam; it is distinctive of race and habit. She was probably of
heathen extraction, as she was certainly of a dissolute life. The poetry
of sin and shame calls her the Magdalen, and there may be a convenience
in permitting this name to stand. The depth of her depravity Christ
clearly intimates in his allusion to the debtor who owed five hundred
pence, and the language of Simon teaches that the infamy of her life was
well understood among the inhabitants of the city. If a foreigner, she
had probably been brought into the country by the Roman soldiers and
deserted. If a native, she had fallen beneath the ban of respectability,
and was an outcast alike from hope and from good society. She was
condemned to wear a dress different from that of other people; she was
liable at any moment to be stoned for her conduct; she was one whom it
was a ritual impurity to touch. She was wretched beyond measure; but
while so corrupt, she was not utterly hardened. Incapable of virtue, she
was not incapable of gratitude. Weltering in grossness, she could still
be touched by the sight of purity. Plunged into extremest vice, she
retained the damning horror of her situation. If she had ever striven to
recover her lost position, there were none to assist her; the bigotry of
patriotism rejected her for her birth,--the scrupulousness of modesty,
for her history. The night, that consecrated so many homes and gathered
together so many families in innocence and repose, was to her blacker
than its own blackness in misery and turpitude; the morning, that
radiated gladness over the face of the world, revealed the extent and
exaggerated the sense of her own degradation. But the vision of Jesus
had alighted upon her; she had seen him speeding on his errands of
mercy; she hung about the crowd that followed his steps; his tender look
of pity may have sometimes gleamed into her soul. Stricken, smitten,
confounded, her yearnings for peace gush forth afresh. It was as if
Hell, moved by contrition, had given up its prey,--as if Remorse, tired
of its gnawing, felt within itself the stimulus of hope. But how shall
she see Jesus? Wherewithal shall she approach him? She has "nothing to
pay." She has tears enough, and sorrows enough,--but these are derided
by the vain, and suspected by the wise. She has an alabaster box of
ointment, which, shut out as she is from honorable gain, must be the
product and the concomitant of her guilt. But with these she must go. We
see her threading her lonely way through the streets, learning by hints,
since she would not dare to learn by questions, where Jesus is, and
stops before the vestibule of the elegant mansion of Simon the Pharisee.

Who is Simon the Pharisee? Not necessarily a bad man. We associate
whatever is odious in hypocrisy or base in craft with the name Pharisee,
while really it was the most distinguished title among the Jews. Many of
the Pharisees were hypocrites; not all of them. The name is significant
of profession, not of character. He could not have been an unprincipled,
villanous man, or he would never have tendered to Jesus the
hospitalities of his house. Indeed, Christ allows him, in the sense of
moral indebtedness, to owe but fifty pence. He was probably a rich man,
which might appear from the generous entertainment he made. He was a
respectable man. The sect to which he belonged was the most celebrated
and influential among the Jews; and when not debased by positive crime,
a Pharisee was always esteemed for his learning and his piety. He had
some interest in Christ, either in his mission or his character,--an
interest beyond mere curiosity, or he would not have invited him to dine
with him. He betrays a sincere friendliness, also, in his apprehension
lest Christ should suffer any religious contamination.

The third person in the scene is Christ, who, to speak of him not as
theology has interpreted him to us, but as he appeared to the eyes of
his contemporaries, was the reputed son of Joseph and Mary, the
Bethlehemites; who by his words and deeds had attracted much attention
and made some converts; now accused of breaking the Jewish Sabbath, now
of plotting against the Roman sovereignty; one who in his own person had
felt the full power of temptation, and who had been raised to the
grandeur of a transfiguration; so tender he would not bruise the broken
reed, so gentle his yoke was rest; raying out with compassion and love
wherever he went; healing alike the pangs of grief and the languor of
disease; whom some believed to be the Messiah, and others thought a
prophet; whom the masses followed, and the priests feared;--this is the
third member of the company.

The two last, with the other guests, are engaged at their meal, and in
conversation. The door is darkened by a strange figure; all eyes are
riveted on the apparition; the Magdalen enters, faded, distressed, with
long dishevelled hair. She has no introduction; she says nothing;
indeed, in all this remarkable scene she never speaks; her silence is as
significant as it is profound. She goes behind the couch where Jesus,
according to Oriental custom, is reclined. She drops at his feet; there
her tears stream; there the speechless agony of her soul bursts. Observe
the workings of the moment. See how those people are affected. Surprise
on the part of Simon and his friends turns to scorn, and this shades
into indignation. Jesus is calm, collected, and intently thoughtful. The
woman is overwhelmed by her situation. The lip of Simon curls, his eye
flashes with fire of outraged virtue. Jesus meets his gaze with equal
fire, but it is all of pure heavenly feeling. Simon moves to have the
vagabond expelled; Christ interrupts the attempt. But the honor of the
house is insulted. Yes, but the undying interests of the soul are at
stake. But the breath of the woman is ritual poison, and her touch will
bring down the curses of the law. But the look of Christ indicates that
depth of spirituality before which the institutions of Moses flee away
as chaff before the wind. Simon has some esteem for Jesus, and in this
juncture his sensations take a turn of pity, spiced, perhaps, with a
little contempt, and he says with himself,--"Surely, this man cannot be
a prophet, as is pretended, or he would know who and what sort of woman
it is that touches him; for she is a sinner; she is unclean and
reprobate."

"Simon!" says Jesus, with a tone that pierced to the worthy host's
heart, and arrested the force of his pious alarm,--"Simon!"

"Sir, say on," is the reply of the Pharisee, who is awed by this appeal
into an humble listener.

Whereupon Jesus relates the story of the two debtors, and, with
irresistible strength of illustration and delicacy of application,
breaks the prejudice and wins the composure of the Jew. "If, then," he
continues, "he loves much to whom much is forgiven, what shall we say of
one who loves so much?"

"See," he goes on, pointing to the woman, "See this woman,--this wretch.
I entered thy house; thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she has
washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. She kisses
my feet; she anoints them with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, her
sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much."

This scene, however inadequately it may be set forth, contains all that
is sublime in tragedy, terrible in guilt, or intense in pathos. The
woman represents humanity, or the soul of human nature; Simon, the
world, or worldly wisdom; Christ, divinity, or the divine purposes of
good to us ward. Simon is an incarnation of what St. Paul calls the
beggarly elements; Christ, of spirituality; the woman, of sin. It is not
the woman alone,--but in her there cluster upon the stage all want and
woe, all calamity and disappointment, all shame and guilt. In Christ
there come forward to meet her, love, hope, truth, light, salvation. In
Simon are acted out doting conservatism, mean expediency, purblind
calculation, carnal insensibility. Generosity in this scene is
confronted with meanness, in the attempt to shelter misfortune. The
woman is a tragedy herself, such as Aeschylus never dreamed of. The
scourging Furies, dread Fate, and burning Hell unite in her, and, borne
on by the new impulse of the new dispensation, they come towards the
light, they ask for peace, they throng to the heaven that opens in
Jesus. Simon embodies that vast array of influences that stand between
humanity and its redemption. He is a very excellent, a very estimable
man,--but he is not shocked at intemperance, he would not have slavery
disturbed, he sees a necessity for war. Does Christ know who and what
sort of a woman it is that touches him? Will he defile himself by such a
contact? Can he expect to accomplish anything by familiarity with such
matters? Why is he not satisfied with a good dinner? "Simon!" "Simon!"

The silence of the woman is wonderful, it is awful. What is most
profound, most agitating, most intense cannot speak; words are too
little for the greatness of feeling. So Job sat himself upon the ground
seven days and seven nights, speechless. Not in this case, as is said of
Schiller's Robbers, did the pent volcano find vent in power-words; not
in strong and terrible accents was uttered the hoarded wrath of long
centuries of misrule and oppression. The volcano, raging, aching, threw
itself in silence into the arms of one who could soothe and allay it.
The thunder is noisy and harmless. The lightning is silent,--and the
lightning splits, kills, consumes. Humanity had muttered its thunder for
ages. Its lightning, the condensed, fiery, fatal force of things, leaped
from the blackness of sin, threaded with terrific glare the vision of
man, and, in the person of the woman, fell hot and blasting at the feet
of Jesus, who quenched its fire, and of that destructive bolt made a
trophy of grace and a fair image of hope. She could not speak, and so
she wept,--like the raw, chilling, hard atmosphere, which is relieved
only by a shower of snow. How could she speak, guilty, remorseful
wretch, without excuse, without extenuation? In the presence of divine
virtue, at the tribunal of judgment, she could only weep, she could only
love. But, blessed be Jesus, he could forgive her, he can forgive all.
The woman departs in peace; Simon is satisfied; Jesus triumphs; we
almost hear the applauses with which the ages and generations of earth
greet the closing scene. From the serene celestial immensity that opens
above the spot we can distinguish a voice, saying, "This is my beloved
Son; hear ye him!"

We speak of these things dramatically, but, after all, they are the only
great realities. Everything else is mimetic, phantasmal, tinkling.
Deeply do the masters of the drama move us; but the Gospel cleaves,
inworks, regenerates. In the theatre, the leading characters go off in
death and despair, or with empty conceits and a forced frivolity; in the
Gospel, tranquilly, grandly, they are dismissed to a serener life and a
nobler probation. Who has not pitied the ravings of Lear and the agonies
of Othello? The Gospel pities, but, by a magnificence of plot altogether
its own, by preserving, if we may so say, the unities of heaven and
earth, it also saves.

Of all common tragedy, we may exclaim, in the words of the old play,--

  "How like a silent stream shaded with night,
  And gliding softly, with our windy sighs,
  Moves the whole frame of this solemnity!"

The Gospel moves by, as a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,
from the throne of God and the Lamb; on its surface play the sunbeams of
hope; in its valleys rise the trees of life, beneath the shadows of
which the weary years of human passion repose, and from the leaves of
the branches of which is exhaled to the passing breeze healing for the
nations.



THE RING FETTER.


A NEW ENGLAND TRAGEDY.


There are long stretches in the course of the Connecticut River, where
its tranquil current assumes the aspect of a lake, its sudden bends cut
off the lovely reach of water, and its heavily wooded banks lie silent
and green, undisturbed, except by the shriek of the passing steamer,
casting golden-green reflections into the stream at twilight, and
shadows of deepest blackness, star-pierced, at remoter depths of night.
Here, now and then, a stray gull from the sea sends a flying throb of
white light across the mirror below, or the sweeping wings of a hawk
paint their moth-like image on the blue surface, or a little flaw of
wind shudders across the water in a black ripple; but except for these
casual stirs of Nature, all is still, oppressive, and beautiful, as
earth seems to the trance-sleeper on the brink of his grave.

In one of these reaches, though on either side the heavy woods sweep
down to the shore and hang over it as if deliberating whether to plunge
in, on the eastern bank there is a tiny meadow just behind the
tree-fringe of the river, completely hedged in by the deep woods, and
altogether hidden from any inland road; nor would the traveller on the
river discover it, except for the chimney of a house that peers above
the yellow willows and seems in that desolate seclusion as startling as
a daylight ghost. But this dwelling was built and deserted and
weather-beaten long before the date of our story. It had been erected
and inhabited during the Revolution, by an old Tory, who, foreseeing the
result of the war better than some of his contemporaries, and being
unwilling to expose his person to the chances of battle or his effects
to confiscation, maintained a strict neutrality, and a secret trade with
both parties; thereby welcoming peace and independence, fully stocked
with the dislike and suspicion of his neighbors, and a large quantity of
Continental "fairy-money." So, when Abner Dimock died, all he had to
leave to his only son was the red house on "Dimock's Meadow," and a
ten-acre lot of woodland behind and around the green plateau where the
house stood. These possessions he strictly entailed on his heirs
forever, and nobody being sufficiently interested in its alienation to
inquire into the State laws concerning the validity of such an entail,
the house remained in the possession of the direct line, and in the year
18-- belonged to another Abner Dimock, who kept tavern in Greenfield, a
town of Western Massachusetts, and, like his father and grandfather
before him, had one only son. In the mean time, the old house in Haddam
township had fallen into a ruinous condition, and, as the farm was very
small, and unprofitable chestnut-woodland at that, the whole was leased
to an old negro and his wife, who lived there in the most utter
solitude, scratching the soil for a few beans and potatoes, and in the
autumn gathering nuts, or in the spring roots for beer, with which Old
Jake paddled up to Middletown, to bring home a return freight of salt
pork and rum.

The town of Greenfield, small though it was, and at the very top of a
high hill, was yet the county town, subject to annual incursions of
lawyers, and such "thrilling incidents" as arise from the location of a
jail and a court-room within the limits of any village. The scenery had
a certain summer charm of utter quiet that did it good service with some
healthy people of well-regulated and insensitive tastes. From Greenfield
Hill one looked away over a wide stretch of rolling country; low hills,
in long, desolate waves of pasturage and grain, relieved here and there
by a mass of black woodland, or a red farm-house and barns clustered
against a hill-side, just over a wooden spire in the shallow valley,
about which were gathered a few white houses, giving signs of life
thrice a day in tiny threads of smoke rising from their prim chimneys;
and over all, the pallid skies of New England, where the sun wheeled his
shorn beams from east to west as coldly as if no tropic seas mirrored
his more fervid glow thousands of miles away, and the chilly moon beamed
with irreproachable whiteness across the round gray hills and the
straggling pond, beloved of frogs and mud-turtles, that Greenfield held
in honor under the name of Squam Lake.

Perhaps it was the scenery, perhaps the air, possibly the cheapness of
the place as far as all the necessaries of life went, that tempted Judge
Hyde to pitch his tent there, in the house his fathers had built long
ago, instead of wearing his judicial honors publicly, in the city where
he attained them; but, whatever the motive might be, certain it is that
at the age of forty he married a delicate beauty from Baltimore, and
came to live on Greenfield Hill, in the great white house with a gambrel
roof and dormer windows, standing behind certain huge maples, where
Major Hyde and Parson Hyde and Deacon Hyde had all lived before him.

A brief Northern summer bloomed gayly enough for Adelaide Howard Hyde
when she made her bridal tour to her new home; and cold as she found the
aspect of that house, with its formal mahogany chairs, high-backed, and
carved in grim festoons and ovals of incessant repetition,--its
penitential couch of a sofa, where only the iron spine of a
Revolutionary heroine could have found rest,--its pinched, starved, and
double-starched portraits of defunct Hydes, Puritanic to the very ends
of toupet and periwig,--little Mrs. Hyde was deep enough in love with
her tall and handsome husband to overlook the upholstery of a home he
glorified, and to care little for comfort elsewhere, so long as she
could nestle on his knee and rest her curly head against his shoulder.
Besides, flowers grew, even in Greenfield; there were damask roses and
old-fashioned lilies enough in the square garden to have furnished a
whole century of poets with similes; and in the posy-bed under the front
windows were tulips of Chinese awkwardness and splendor, beds of pinks
spicy as all Arabia, blue hyacinths heavy with sweetness as well as
bells, "pi'nies" rubicund and rank, hearts-ease clustered against the
house, and sticky rose-acacias, pretty and impracticable, not to mention
the grenadier files of hollyhocks that contended with fennel-bushes and
scarlet-flowered beans for the precedence, and the hosts of wild flowers
that bloomed by wood-edges and pond-shores wherever corn or potatoes
spared a foot of soil for the lovely weeds. So in Judge Hyde's frequent
absences, at court or conclave, hither and yon, (for the Judge was a
political man,) it was his pretty wife's chief amusement, when her
delicate fingers ached with embroidery, or her head spun with efforts to
learn housekeeping from old Keery, the time-out-of-mind authority in the
Hyde family, a bad-humored, good-tempered old maid,--it was, indeed, the
little Southerner's only amusement,--to make the polish and mustiness of
those dreary front-parlors gay and fragrant with flowers; and though
Judge Hyde's sense of the ridiculous was not remarkably keen, it was too
much to expect of him that he should do otherwise than laugh long and
loud, when, suddenly returning from Taunton one summer day, he tracked
his wife by snatches of song into the "company rooms," and found her on
the floor, her hair about her ears, tying a thick garland of red
peonies, intended to decorate the picture of the original Hyde, a dreary
old fellow, in bands, and grasping a Bible in one wooden hand, while a
distant view of Plymouth Bay and the Mayflower tried to convince the
spectator that he was transported, among other antediluvians, by that
Noah's ark, to the New World. On either hand hung the little Flora's
great-grandmother-in-law, and her great-grandfather accordingly, Mrs.
Mehitable and Parson Job Hyde, peering out, one from a bushy ornament of
pink laurel-blossoms, and the other from an airy and delicate garland of
the wanton sweet-pea, each stony pair of eyes seeming to glare with
Medusan intent at this profaning of their state and dignity. "Isn't it
charming, dear?" said the innocent little beauty, with a satisfaction
half doubtful, as her husband's laugh went on.

But for every butterfly there comes an end to summer. The flowers
dropped from the frames and died in the garden; a pitiless winter set
in; and day after day the mittened and mufflered schoolboy, dragging his
sled through drifts of heavy snow to school, eyed curiously the wan,
wistful face of Judge Hyde's wife pressed up to the pane of the south
window, its great restless eyes and shadowy hair bringing to mind some
captive bird that pines and beats against the cage. Her husband absent
from home long and often, full of affairs of "court and state,"--her
delicate organization, that lost its flickering vitality by every
exposure to cold,--her lonely days and nights,--the interminable sewing,
that now, for her own reasons, she would trust to no hands but her
own,--conscious incapacity to be what all the women about her were,
stirring, active, hardy housekeepers,--a vague sense of shame, and a
great dread of the future,--her comfortless and motherless
condition,--slowly, but surely, like frost, and wind, and rain, and
snow, beat on this frail blossom, and it went with the rest. June roses
were laid against her dark hair and in her fair hands, when she was
carried to the lonely graveyard of Greenfield, where mulleins and
asters, golden-rod, blackberry-vines, and stunted yellow-pines adorned
the last sleep of the weary wife and mother; for she left behind her a
week-old baby,--a girl,--wailing prophetically in the square bedroom
where its mother died.

Judge Hyde did not marry again, and he named his baby Mehitable. She
grew up as a half-orphaned child with an elderly and undemonstrative
father would naturally grow,--shy, sensitive, timid, and extremely
grave. Her dress, thanks to Aunt Keery and the minister's wife, (who
looked after her for her mother's sake,) was always well provided and
neat, but no way calculated to cultivate her taste or to gratify the
beholder. A district school provided her with such education as it could
give; and the library, that was her resort at all hours of the day,
furthered her knowledge in a singular and varied way, since its lightest
contents were histories of all kinds and sorts, unless one may call the
English Classics lighter reading than Hume or Gibbon.

But at length the district-schoolma'am could teach Mehitable Hyde no
more, and the Judge suddenly discovered that he had a pretty daughter of
fourteen, ignorant enough to shock his sense of propriety, and delicate
enough to make it useless to think of sending her away from home to be
buffeted in a boarding-school. Nothing was left for him but to undertake
her education himself; and having a theory that a thorough course of
classics, both Greek and Latin, was the foundation of all knowledge,
half a score of dusty grammars were brought from the garret, and for two
hours every morning and afternoon little Miss Hitty worried her innocent
soul over conjugations and declensions and particles, as perseveringly
as any professor could have desired. But the dreadful part of the
lessons to Hitty was the recitation after tea; no matter how well she
knew every inflection of a verb, every termination of a noun, her
father's cold, gray eye, fixed on her for an answer, dispelled all kinds
of knowledge, and, for at least a week, every lesson ended in tears.
However, there are alleviations to everything in life; and when the
child was sent to the garret after her school-books, she discovered
another set, more effectual teachers to her than Sallust or the "Graeca
Minora," even the twelve volumes of "Sir Charles Grandison," and the
fewer but no less absorbing tomes of "Clarissa Harlowe"; and every hour
she could contrive not to be missed by Keery or her father was spent in
that old garret, fragrant as it was with sheaves of all the herbs that
grow in field or forest, poring over those old novels, that were her
society, her friends, her world.

So two years passed by. Mehitable grew tall and learned, but knew little
more of the outside world than ever; her father had learned to love her,
and taught her to adore him; still shy and timid, the village offered no
temptation to her, so far as society went; and Judge Hyde was beginning
to feel that for his child's mental health some freer atmosphere was
fast becoming necessary, when a relentless writ was served upon the
Judge himself, and one that no man could evade; paralysis smote him, and
the strong man lay prostrate,--became bedridden.

Now the question of life seemed settled for Hitty; her father admitted
no nursing but hers. Month after month rolled away, and the numb grasp
gradually loosed its hold on flesh and sense, but still Judge Hyde was
bedridden. Year after year passed by, and no change for better or worse
ensued. Hitty's life was spent between the two parlors and the kitchen;
for the room her dead mother had so decorated was now furnished as a
bedroom for her father's use; and her own possessions had been removed
into the sitting-room next it, that, sleeping or waking, she might be
within call. All the family portraits held a conclave in the other
front-parlor, and its north and east windows were shut all the year,
save on some sultry summer day when Keery flung them open to dispel damp
and must, and the school-children stared in reverentially, and wondered
why old Madam Hyde's eyes followed them as far as they could see.
Visitors came now and then to the kitchen-door, and usurped Keery's
flag-bottomed chair, while they gossiped with her about village affairs;
now and then a friendly spinster with a budget of good advice called
Hitty away from her post, and, after an hour's vain effort to get any
news worth retailing about the Judge from those pale lips, retired full
of disappointed curiosity to tell how stiff that Mehitable Hyde was, and
how hard it was to make her speak a word to one! Friends were what Hitty
read of in the "Spectator," and longed to have; but she knew none of the
Greenfield girls since she left school, and the only companion she had
was Keery, rough as the east wind, but genuine and kind-hearted,--better
at counsel than consolation, and no way adapted to fill the vacant place
in Hitty's heart.

So the years wore away, and Miss Hyde's early beauty went with them. She
had been a blooming, delicate girl,--the slight grace of a daisy in her
figure, wild-rose tints on her fair cheek, and golden reflections in her
light brown hair, that shone in its waves and curls like lost sunshine;
but ten years of such service told their story plainly. When Hitty Hyde
was twenty-six, her blue eyes were full of sorrow and patience, when the
shy lids let their legend be read; the little mouth had become pale, and
the corners drooped; her cheek, too, was tintless, though yet round;
nothing but the beautiful hair lasted; even grace was gone, so long had
she stooped over her father. Sometimes the unwakened heart within her
dreamed, as a girl's heart will. Stately visions of Sir Charles
Grandison bowing before her,--shuddering fascinations over the image of
that dreadful Lovelace,--nothing more real haunted Hitty's imagination.
She knew what she had to do in life,--that it was not to be a happy wife
or mother, but to waste by a bedridden old man, the only creature on
earth she loved as she could love. Light and air were denied the plant,
but it grew in darkness,--blanched and unblooming, it is true, but still
a growth upward, toward light.

Ten years more of monotonous patience, and Miss Hyde was thirty-six. Her
hair had thinned, and was full of silver threads; a wrinkle invaded
either cheek, and she was angular and bony; but something painfully
sweet lingered in her face, and a certain childlike innocence of
expression gave her the air of a nun; the world had never touched nor
taught her.

But now Judge Hyde was dead; nineteen years of petulant, helpless,
hopeless wretchedness were at last over, and all that his daughter cared
to live for was gone; she was an orphan, without near relatives, without
friends, old, and tired out. Do not despise me that I say "old," you
plump and rosy ladies whose life is in its prime of joy and use at
thirty-six. Age is not counted by years, nor calculated from one's
birth; it is a fact of wear and work, altogether unconnected with the
calendar. I have seen a girl of sixteen older than you are at forty. I
have known others disgrace themselves at sixty-five by liking to play
with children and eat sugar-plums!

One kind of youth still remained to Hitty Hyde,--the freshness of
inexperience. Her soul was as guileless and as ignorant as a child's;
and she was stranded on life, with a large fortune, like a helmless
ship, heavily loaded, that breaks from its anchor, and drives headlong
upon a reef.

Now it happened, that, within a year after Judge Hyde's death, Abner
Dimock, the tavern-keeper's son, returned to Greenfield, after years of
absence, a bold-faced, handsome man, well-dressed and "free-handed," as
the Greenfield vernacular hath it. Nobody knew where Abner Dimock had
spent the last fifteen years; neither did anybody know anything against
him; yet he had no good reputation in Greenfield. Everybody looked wise
and grave when his name was spoken, and no Greenfield girl cared to own
him for an acquaintance. His father welcomed him home with more surprise
than pleasure; and the whole household of the Greenfield Hotel, as
Dimock's Inn was new-named, learned to get out of Abner Dimock's way,
and obey his eye, as if he were more their master than his father.

Left quite alone, without occupation or amusement, Miss Hyde naturally
grasped at anything that came in her way to do or to see to; the lawyer
who had been executor of her father's will had settled the estate and
gone back to his home, and Miss Hyde went with him, the first journey of
her life, that she might select a monument for her father's grave. It
was now near a year since Judge Hyde's death, and the monument was on
its way from Boston; the elder Dimock monopolized the cartage of freight
as well as passengers to the next town, and to him Miss Hyde intrusted
the care of the great granite pillar she had purchased; and it was for
his father that Abner Dimock called on the young lady for directions as
to the disposal of the tombstone just arrived. Hitty was in the garden;
her white morning-dress shone among the roses, and the morning air had
flushed her pale cheek; she looked fair and delicate and gracious; but
her helpless ignorance of the world's ways and usages attracted the
world-hardened man more than her face. He had not spent a _roué_ life in
a great city for nothing; he had lived enough with gentlemen,
broken-down and lost, it is true, but well-bred, to be able to ape their
manners; and the devil's instinct that such people possess warned him of
Hitty Hyde's weakest points. So, too, he contrived to make that first
errand lead to another, and still another,--to make the solitary woman
depend on his help, and expect his coming; fifty thousand dollars, with
no more incumbrance than such a woman, was worth scheming for, and the
prey was easily snared.

It is not to be expected that any country village of two streets, much
less Greenfield, could long remain ignorant of such a new and amazing
phase as the devotion of any man to any woman therein; but, as nobody
liked to interfere too soon in what might only be, after all, a mere
business arrangement, Greenfield contented itself with using its eyes,
its ears, and its tongues, with one exception to the latter organ's
clatter, in favor of Hitty Hyde; _to_ her no one dared as yet approach
with gossip or advice.

In the mean time Hitty went on her way, all regardless of the seraphs at
the gate. Abner Dimock was handsome, agreeable, gentlemanly to a certain
lackered extent;--who had cared for Hitty, in all her life, enough to
aid and counsel her as he had already done? At first she was half afraid
of him; then she liked him; then he was "so good to me!" and then--she
pitied him! for he told her, sitting on that hard old sofa, in the June
twilight, how he had no mother, how he had been cast upon the charities
of a cruel and evil world from his infancy; reminded her of the old red
school-house where they had been to school together, and the tyranny of
the big boys over him,--a little curly, motherless boy. So he enlarged
upon his life; talked a mildly bitter misanthropy; informed Miss Hyde by
gradual insinuations that she was an angel sent on earth to console and
reform a poor sinner like him; and before the last September rose had
droped, so far had Abner Dimock succeeded in his engineering, that his
angel was astounded one night by the undeniably terrestrial visitation
of an embrace and a respectfully fervid kiss.

Perhaps it would have been funny, perhaps pathetic, to analyze the mixed
consternation and delight of Mehitable Hyde at such _bonâ-fide_ evidence
of a lover. Poor woman's heart!--altogether solitary and
desolate,--starved of its youth and its joy,--given over to the chilly
reign of patience and resignation,--afraid of life,--without strength,
or hope, or pleasure,--and all at once Paradise dawns!--her cold,
innocent life bursts into fiery and odorous bloom; she has found her
fate, and its face is keen with splendor, like a young angel's. Poor,
deluded, blessed, rapture-smitten woman!

Blame her as you will, indignant maidens of Greenfield, Miss Flint, and
Miss Sharp, and Miss Skinner! You may have had ten lovers and twenty
flirtations apiece, and refused half-a-dozen good matches for the best
of reasons; you, no doubt, would have known better than to marry a man
who was a villain from his very physiognomy; but my heart must needs
grow tender toward Miss Hyde; a great joy is as pathetic as a sorrow.
Did you never cry over a doting old man?

But when Mrs. Smith's son John, a youth of ten, saw, by the light of an
incautious lamp that illuminated a part of the south parlor, a
good-night kiss bestowed upon the departing Abner by Miss Hitty Hyde and
absolutely returned by said Abner, and when John told his mother, and
his mother revealed it to Miss Flint, Miss Flint to Miss Skinner, and so
forth, and so on, till it reached the minister's wife, great was the
uproar in Greenfield; and the Reverend Mrs. Perkins put on her gray
bonnet and went over to remonstrate with Hitty on the spot.

Whether people will ever learn the uselessness of such efforts is yet a
matter for prophecy. Miss Hyde heard all that was said, and replied very
quietly, "I don't believe it." And as Mrs. Perkins had no tangible
proofs of Abner Dimock's unfitness to marry Judge Hyde's daughter, the
lady in question got the better of her adviser, so far as any argument
was concerned, and effectually put an end to remonstrance by declaring
with extreme quiet and unblushing front,--

"I am going to marry him next week. Will you be so good as to notify Mr.
Perkins?"

Mrs. Perkins held up both hands and cried. Words might have hardened
Hitty; but what woman that was not half tigress ever withstood another
woman's tears?

Hitty's heart melted directly; she sat down by Mrs. Perkins, and cried,
too.

"Please, don't be vexed with me," sobbed she. "I love him, Mrs. Perkins,
and I haven't got anybody else to love,--and--and--I never shall have.
He's very good to love me,--I am so old and homely."

"Very good!" exclaimed Mrs. Perkins, in great wrath, "_good_! to marry
Judge Hyde's daughter, and--fifty thousand dollars," Mrs. Perkins bit
off. She would not put such thoughts into Hitty's head, since her
marriage was inevitable.

"At any rate," sighed Hitty, on the breath of a long-drawn sob, "nobody
else ever loved me, if I am Judge Hyde's daughter."

So Mrs. Perkins went away, and declared that things had gone too far to
be prevented; and Abner Dimock came on her retreating steps, and Hitty
forgot everything but that he loved her; and the next week they were
married.

Here, by every law of custom, ought my weary pen to fall flat and refuse
its office; for it is here that the fate of every heroine culminates.
For what are women born but to be married? Old maids are excrescences in
the social system,--disagreeable utilities,--persons who have failed to
fulfil their destiny,--and of whom it should have been said, rather than
of ghosts, that they are always in the wrong. But life, with
pertinacious facts, is too apt to transcend custom and the usage of
novel-writers; and though the one brings a woman's legal existence to an
end when she merges her independence in that of a man, and the other
curtails her historic existence at the same point, because the
novelist's catechism hath for its preface this creed,--"The chief end of
woman is to get married"; still, neither law nor novelists altogether
displace this same persistent fact, and a woman lives, in all capacities
of suffering and happiness, not only her wonted, but a double life, when
legally and religiously she binds herself with bond and vow to another
soul.

Happy would it have been for Hitty Hyde, if with the legal fiction had
chimed the actual existent fact!--happy indeed for Abner Dimock's wife
to have laid her new joy down at the altar, and been carried to sleep by
her mother under the mulleins and golden-rods on Greenfield Hill! Scarce
was the allotted period of rapture past half its term, scarce had she
learned to phrase the tender words aloud that her heart beat and choked
with, before Abner Dimock began to tire of his incumbrance, and to
invent plans and excuses for absence; for he dared not openly declare as
yet that he left his patient, innocent wife for such scenes of vice and
reckless dissipation as she had not even dreamed could exist.

Yet for week after week he lingered away from Greenfield; even months
rolled by, and, except for rare and brief visits home, Hitty saw no more
of her husband than if he were not hers. She lapsed into her old
solitude, varied only by the mutterings and grumblings of old Keery, who
had lifted up her voice against Hitty's marriage with more noise and
less effect than Mrs. Perkins, and, though she still staid by her old
home and haunts, revenged herself on fate in general and her mistress in
particular by a continual course of sulking, all the time hiding under
this general quarrel with life a heart that ached with the purest
tenderness and pity. So some people are made, like chestnuts; one gets
so scratched and wounded in the mere attempt to get at the kernel
within, that it becomes matter of question whether one does not suffer
less from wanting their affection than from trying to obtain it. Yet
Hitty Dimock had too little love given her to throw away even Keery's
habit of kindness to her, and bore with her snaps and snarls as meekly
as a saint,--sustained, it is true, by a hope that now began to solace
and to occupy her, and to raise in her oppressed soul some glimmer of a
bright possibility, a faint expectation that she might yet regain her
husband's love, a passion which she began in her secret heart to fear
had found its limit and died out. Still, Hitty, out of her meek,
self-distrusting spirit, never blamed Abner Dimock for his absence or
his coldness; rather, with the divine unselfishness that such women
manifest, did she blame herself for having linked his handsome and
athletic prime with her faded age, and struggle daily with the morbid
conscience that accused her of having forgotten his best good in the
indulgence of her own selfish ends of happiness. She still thought, "He
is so good to me!" still idealized the villain to a hero, and, like her
kind, predestined to be the prey and the accusing angel of such men,
prayed for and adored her husband as if he had been the best and
tenderest of gentlemen. Providence has its mysteries; but if there be
one that taxes faith and staggers patience more than another, it is the
long misery that makes a good woman cringe and writhe and agonize in
silence under the utter rule and life-long sovereignty of a bad man.
Perhaps such women do not suffer as we fancy; for after much trial every
woman learns that it is possible to love where neither respect nor
admiration can find foothold,--that it even becomes necessary to love
some men, as the angels love us all, from an untroubled height of pity
and tenderness, that, while it sees and condemns the sin and folly and
uncleanness of its object, yet broods over it with an all-shielding
devotion, laboring and beseeching and waiting for its regeneration,
upheld above the depths of suffering and regret by the immortal power of
a love so fervent, so pure, so self-forgetting, that it will be a
millstone about the necks that disregard its tender clasping now, to
sink them into a bottomless abyss in the day of the Lord.

Now had one long and not unhappy autumn, a lingering winter, a desolate
spring, a weary summer, passed away, and from an all-unconscious and
protracted wrestling with death Hitty Dimock awoke to find her hope
fulfilled,--a fair baby nestled on her arm, and her husband, not
all-insensible, smiling beside her.

It is true, that, had she died then, Abner Dimock would have regretted
her death; for, by certain provisions of her father's will, in case of
her death, the real estate, otherwise at her own disposal, became a
trust for her child or children, and such a contingency ill suited Mr.
Dimock's plans. So long as Hitty held a rood of land or a coin of silver
at her own disposal, it was also at his; but trustees are not women,
happily for the world at large, and the contemplation of that fact
brought Hitty Hyde's husband into a state of mind well fitted to give
him real joy at her recovery.

So, for a little while, the sun shone on this bare New England
hill-side, into this grim old house. Care and kindness were lavished on
the delicate woman, who would scarce have needed either in her present
delight; every luxury that could add to her slowly increasing strength,
every attention that could quiet her fluttering and unstrung nerves, was
showered on her, and for a time her brightest hopes seemed all to have
found fruition.

As she recovered and was restored to strength, of course these cares
ceased. But now the new instincts of motherhood absorbed her, and,
brooding over the rosy child that was her own, caressing its waking, or
hanging above its sleep, she scarce noted that her husband's absences
from home grew more and more frequent, that strange visitors asked for
him, that he came home at midnight oftener than at dusk. Nor was it till
her child was near a year old that Hitty discovered her husband's old
and rewakened propensity,--that Abner Dimock came home drunk,--not drunk
as many men are, foolish and helpless, mere beasts of the field, who
know nothing and care for nothing but the filling of their insatiable
appetite;--this man's nature was too hard, too iron in its moulding, to
give way to temporary imbecility; liquor made him savage, fierce,
brutal, excited his fiendish temper to its height, nerved his muscular
system, inflamed his brain, and gave him the aspect of a devil; and in
such guise he entered his wife's peaceful Eden, where she brooded and
cooed over her child's slumbers, with one gripe of his hard hand lifted
her from her chair, kicked the cradle before him, and, with an awful
though muttered oath, thrust mother and child into the entry, locked the
door upon them, and fell upon the bed to sleep away his carouse.

Here was an undeniable fact before Hitty Dimock, one she could no way
evade or gloss over; no gradual lesson, no shadow of foreboding,
preluded the revelation; her husband was unmistakably, savagely drunk.
She did not sit down and cry;--drearily she gathered her baby in her
arms, hushed it to sleep with kisses, passed down into the kitchen, woke
up the brands of the ash-hidden fire to a flame, laid on more wood, and,
dragging old Keery's rush-bottomed chair in front of the blaze, held her
baby in her arms till morning broke, careless of anything without or
within but her child's sleep and her husband's drunkenness. Long and
sadly in that desolate night did she revolve this new misery in her
mind; the fact was face to face, and must be provided for,--but how to
do it? What could she do, poor weak woman, even to conceal this
disgrace, much more to check it? Long since she had discovered that
between her and her husband there was no community of tastes or
interests; he never talked to her, he never read to her, she did not
know that he read at all; the garden he disliked as a useless trouble;
he would not drive, except such a gay horse that Hitty dared not risk
her neck behind it, and felt a shudder of fear assail her whenever his
gig left the door; neither did he care for his child. Nothing at home
could keep him from his pursuits; that she well knew; and, hopeful as
she tried to be, the future spread out far away in misty horror and
dread. What might not, become of her boy, with such a father's
influence? was her first thought;--nay, who could tell but in some fury
of drink he might kill or maim him? A chill of horror crept over Hitty
at the thought,--and then, what had not she to dread? Oh, for some
loophole of escape, some way to fly, some refuge for her baby's innocent
life! No,--no,--no! She was his wife; she had married him; she had vowed
to love and honor and obey,--vow of fearful import now, though uttered
in all pureness and truth, as to a man who owned her whole heart! Love
him!--that was not the dread; love was as much her life as her breath
was; she knew no interval of loving for the brute fiend who mocked her
with the name of husband; no change or chance could alienate her divine
tenderness,--even as the pitiful blue sky above hangs stainless over
reeking battle-fields and pest-smitten cities, piercing with its sad and
holy star-eyes down into the hellish orgies of men, untouched and
unchanged by just or unjust, forever shining and forever pure. But honor
him! could that be done? What respect or trust was it possible to keep
for a self-degraded man like that? And where honor goes down, obedience
is sucked into the vortex, and the wreck flies far over the lonely sea,
historic and prophetic to ship and shore.

No! there was nothing to do! her vow was taken, past the power of man to
break; nothing now remained but endurance. Perhaps another woman, with a
strong will and vivid intellect, might have set herself to work, backed
by that very vow that defied poor Hitty, and, by sheer resolution, have
dragged her husband up from the gulf and saved him, though as by fire;
or a more buoyant and younger wife might have passed it by as a first
offence, hopeful of its being also the only one. But an instinctive
knowledge of the man bereft Hitty of any such hope; she knew it was not
the first time; from his own revelations and penitent confessions while
she was yet free, she knew he had sinned as well as suffered, and the
past augured the future. Nothing was left her, she could not escape, she
must shut her eyes and her mouth, and only keep out of his way as far as
she could. So she clasped her child more tightly, and, closing her heavy
eyes, rocked back and forth till the half-waked boy slept again; and
there old Keery found her mistress, in the morning, white as the cold
drifts without, and a depth of settled agony in her quiet eyes that
dimmed the old woman's only to look at.

Neither spoke; nor when her husband strode into the breakfast-room and
took his usual place, sober enough, but scarcely regretful of the
over-night development, did any word of reproach or allusion pass the
wife's white lips. A stranger would have thought her careless and cold.
Abner Dimock knew that she was heartbroken; but what was that to him?
Women live for years without that organ; and while she lived, so long as
a cent remained of the Hyde estate, what was it to him if she pined
away? She could not leave him; she was utterly in his power; she was
his,--like his boots, his gun, his dog; and till he should tire of her
and fling her into some lonely chamber to waste and die, she was bound
to serve him; he was safe.

And she offered no sort of barrier to his full indulgence of his will to
drink. Had she lifted one of her slender fingers in warning, or given
him a look of reproachful meaning, or uttered one cry of entreaty, at
least the conscience within him might have visited him with a temporary
shame, and restrained the raging propensity for a longer interval; but
seeing her apparent apathy, knowing how timid and unresisting was her
nature,--that nothing on earth will lie still and be trodden on but a
woman,--Abner Dimock rioted and revelled to his full pleasure, while all
his pale and speechless wife could do was to watch with fearful eyes and
straining ears for his coming, and slink out of the way with her child,
lest both should be beaten as well as cursed; for faithful old Keery,
once daring to face him with a volley of reproaches from her shrill
tongue, was levelled to the floor by a blow from his rapid hand, and
bore bruises for weeks that warned her from interference. Not long,
however, was there danger of her meddling. When the baby was a year and
a half old. Keery, in her out-door labors,--now grown burdensome enough,
since Mr. Dimock neither worked himself nor allowed a man on the
premises,--Keery took a heavy cold, and, worn out with a life of hard
work, sank into rest quickly, her last act of life being to draw Hitty's
face down to her own, wrinkled and wan as it was, scarce so old in
expression as her mistress's, and with one long kiss and sob speak the
foreboding and anxious farewell she could not utter.

"Only you now!" whispered Hitty to her child, as Keery's peaceful,
shrouded face was hidden under the coffin-lid and carried away to
Greenfield Hill. Pitiful whisper! happily all-unmeaning to the child,
but full of desolation to the mother, floating with but one tiny plank
amid the wild wrecks of a midnight ocean, and clinging as only the
desperate can cling to this vague chance of life.

A rough, half-crazed girl, brought from the alms-house, now did the
drudgery of the family. Abner Dimock had grown penurious, and not one
cent of money was given for comfort in that house, scarce for need. The
girl was stupid and rude, but she worked for her board,--recommendation
enough in Mr. Dimock's eyes; and so hard work was added to the other
burdens loaded upon his silent wife. And soon came another,
all-mysterious, but from its very mystery a deeper fear. Abner Dimock
began to stay at home, to be visited at late hours by one or two men
whose faces were full of evil and daring; and when, in the dead of the
long nights, Hitty woke from her broken and feverish sleep, it was to
hear muffled sounds from the cellar below, never heard there before; and
once, wrapping a shawl about her, she stole down the stairways with bare
feet, and saw streams of red light through the chinks of the
cellar-door, and heard the ring of metal, and muttered oaths, all
carefully dulled by such devices as kept the sounds from chance passers
in the street, though vain as far as the inhabitants of the house itself
were concerned. Trembling and cold, she stole back to her bed, full of
doubts and fears, neither of which she dared whisper to any one, or
would have dared, had she possessed a single friend to whom she could
speak. Troubles thickened fast over Hitty; her husband was always at
home now, and rarely sober; the relief his absences had been was denied
her entirely; and in some sunny corner of the uninhabited rooms
up-stairs she spent her days, toiling at such sewing as was needful, and
silent as the dead, save as her life appealed to God from the ground,
and called down the curse of Cain upon a head she would have shielded
from evil with her own life.

Keen human legislation! sightless justice of men!--one drunken wretch
smites another in a midnight brawl, and sends a soul to its account with
one sharp shudder of passion and despair, and the maddened creature that
remains on earth suffers the penalty of the law. Every sense sobered
from its reeling fury, weeks of terribly expectation heaped upon the
cringing soul, and, in full consciousness, that murderer is strangled
before men and angels, because he was drunk!--necessary enough, one
perceives, to the good of society, which thereby loses two worse than
useless members; but what, in the name of God's justice, should His
vicegerent, law, visit upon the man who wrings another life away by slow
tortures, and torments heart and soul and flesh for lingering years,
where the victim is passive and tenacious, and dies only after
long-drawn anguish that might fill the cup of a hundred sudden deaths?
Yet what escapes the vicegerent shall the King himself visit and judge.
"For He cometh! He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness shall
he judge the world, and the people with equity."

Six months passed after Keery's death, and now from the heights of
Greenfield and her sunny window Hitty Dimock's white face looked out
upon a landscape of sudden glory; for October, the gold-bringer, had
come, pouring splendor over the earth, and far and wide the forests
blazed; scarlet and green maples, with erect heads, sentinelled the
street, gay lifeguards of autumn; through dark green cedars the crimson
creeper threaded its sprays of blood-red; birches, gilded to their tops,
swayed to every wind, and drooped their graceful boughs earthward to
shower the mossy sward with glittering leaves; heavy oaks turned
purple-crimson through their wide-spread boughs; and the stately
chestnuts, with foliage of tawny yellow, opened wide their stinging
husks to let the nuts fall for squirrel and blue-jay. Splendid sadness
clothed all the world, opal-hued mists wandered up and down the valleys
or lingered about the undefined horizon, and the leaf-scented south wind
sighed in the still noon with foreboding gentleness.

One day, Abner Dimock was gone, and Hitty stole down to the garden-door
with her little child, now just trying to walk, that he might have a
little play on the green turf, and she cool her hot eyes and lips in the
air. As she sat there watching the pretty clumsiness of her boy, and
springing forward to intercept his falls, the influence of sun and air,
the playful joy of the child, the soothing stillness of all Nature,
stole into her heart till it dreamed a dream of hope. Perhaps the
budding blossom of promise might become floral and fruitful; perhaps her
child might yet atone for the agony of the past;--a time might come when
she should sit in that door, white-haired and trembling with age, but as
peaceful as the autumn day, watching the sports of his children, while
his strong arm sustained her into the valley of shadow, and his tender
eyes lit the way.

As she sat dreaming, suddenly a figure intercepted the sunshine, and,
looking up, she saw Abner Dimock's father, the elder Abner, entering the
little wicket-gate of the garden. A strange, tottering old figure, his
nose and chin grimacing at each other, his bleared eyes telling
unmistakable truths of cider-brandy and New England rum, his scant locks
of white lying in confusion over his wrinkled forehead and cheeks, his
whole air squalid, hopeless, and degraded,--not so much by the poverty
of vice as by its demoralizing stamp penetrating from the inner to the
outer man, and levelling it even below the plane of brutes that perish.

"Good-day! good-day!" said he to his son's wife, in a squeaking,
tremulous tone, that drove the child to his mother's arms,--"Abner to
home?"

"No, Sir," said Hitty, with an involuntary shudder, that did not escape
the bleared blue eye that fixed its watery gaze upon her.

"Cold, a'n't ye? Better go in, better go in! Come, come along! How d'e
do, little feller? don't know yer grandper, hey?"

The child met his advances with an ominous scream, and Hitty hurried
into the house to give him to the servant's charge, while she returned
to the sitting-room, where the old man had seated himself in the
rocking-chair, and was taking a mental inventory of the goods and
chattels with a momentary keenness in his look that no way reassured
Hitty's apprehensive heart.

"So, Abner a'n't to home?"

"No, Sir."

"Don't know where he's gone, do ye?"

"No, Sir."

"Don't never know where he goes, I expect?"

"No, Sir."

"Well, when he comes home,--know when he's a-comin' home?"

"No, Sir."

"Well, when he doos, you tell him 't some folks come to the tavern last
night, 'n' talked pretty loud, 'n' I heerd--Guess 'ta'n't best, though,
to tell what I heerd. Only you tell Abner 't I come here, and I said
he'd better be a-joggin'. He'll know, he'll know,--h'm, yes," said the
old man, passing his hand across his thin blue lips, as if to drive away
other words better left unsaid,--and then rising from his seat, by the
aid of either arm, gained his balance, and went on, while he fumbled for
his stick:--

"I'd ha' writ, but black and white's a hangin' matter sometimes, 'n'
words a'n't; 'n' I hadn't nobody to send, so I crawled along. Don't ye
forget now! don't ye! It's a pretty consider'ble piece o' business; 'n'
you'll be dreffully on't, ef you do forget. Now _don't_ ye forget!"

"No, I won't," said Hitty, trembling as she spoke; for the old man's
words had showed her a depth of dreadful possibility, and an old
acquaintance with crime and its manoeuvres, that chilled the blood in
her veins. She watched him out of the gate with a sickening sense of
terror at her heart, and turned slowly into the house, revolving all
kinds of plans in her head for her husband's escape, should her fears
prove true. Of herself she did not think; no law could harm her child;
but, even after years of brutality and neglect, her faithful affection
turned with all its provident thoughtfulness and care at once to her
husband; all her wrongs were forgotten, all her sorrows obliterated by
this one fear. Well did St. Augustine say, "God is patient because He is
eternal": but better and truer would the saying have been, had it run,
"God is patient because He is love": a gospel that He publishes in the
lives of saints on earth, in their daily and hourly "anguish of
patience," preaching to the fearful souls that dare not trust His
long-suffering by the tenacious love of those who bear His image,
saying, in resistless human tones, "Shall one creature endure and love
and continually forgive another, and shall I, who am not loving, but
Love, be weary of thy transgressions, O sinner?" And so does the silent
and despairing life of many a woman weave unconsciously its golden
garland of reward in the heavens above, and do the Lord's work in a
strange land where it cannot sing His songs.

The day crept toward sunset, and Hitty sat with her wan face pressed to
the window-pane, hushing her child in his cradle with one of those low,
monotoned murmurs that mothers know; but still her husband did not come.
The level sun-rays pierced the woods into more vivid splendor, burnished
gold fringed the heavy purple clouds in the west, and warm crimson
lights turned the purple into more triumphant glory; the sun set,
unstained with mist or tempest, behind those blue and lonely hills that
guard old Berkshire with their rolling summits, and night came fast,
steel-blue and thick with stars; but yet he did not come, the untouched
meal on the table was untouched still. Hour after hour of starry
darkness crept by, and she sat watching at the window-pane; overhead,
constellations marched across the heavens in relentless splendor,
careless of man or sorrow; Orion glittered in the east, and climbed
toward the zenith; the Pleiades clustered and sparkled as if they missed
their lost sister no more; the Hyades marked the celestial pastures of
Taurus, and Lyra strung her chords with fire. Hitty rested her weary
head against the window-frame and sent her wearier thoughts upward to
the stars; there were the points of light that the Chaldeans watched
upon their plains by night, and named with mystic syllables of their
weird Oriental tongue,--names that in her girlhood she had delighted to
learn, charmed by that nameless spell that language holds, wherewith it
plants itself ineradicably in the human mind, and binds it with fetters
of vague association that time and chance are all-powerless to
break,--Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgunebi, Bellatrix and Betelguese,
sonorous of Rome and Asia both, full of old echoes and the dry resonant
air of Eastern plains,--names wherein sounded the clash of Bellona's
armor, and the harsh stir of palm-boughs rustled by a hot wind of the
desert, and vibrant with the dying clangor of gongs, and shouts of
worshipping crowds reverberating through horrid temples of grinning and
ghastly idols, wet with children's blood.

Far, far away, the heavenly procession and their well-remembered names
had led poor Hitty's thoughts; worn out with anxiety, and faint for want
of the food she had forgotten to take, sleep crept upon her, and her
first consciousness of its presence was the awakening grasp of a rough
hand and the hoarse whisper of her husband.

"Get up!" said he. "Pick up your brat, get your shawl, and come!"

Hitty rose quickly to her feet. One faculty wretchedness gives, the
power of sudden self-possession,--and Hitty was broad awake in the very
instant she was called. Her husband stood beside her, holding a lantern;
her boy slept in the cradle at her feet.

"Have you seen your father?" said she, with quick instinct.

"Yes, d--n you, be quick! do you want to hang me?"

Quick as a spirit Hitty snatched her child, and wrapped him in the
blanket where he lay; her shawl was on the chair she had slept in, her
hood upon a nail by the door, and flinging both on, with the child in
her arms, she followed her husband down-stairs, across the back-yard,
hitting her feet against stones and logs in the darkness, stumbling
often, but never falling, till the shadow of the trees was past, and the
starlight showed her that they were traversing the open fields, now
crisp with frost, but even to the tread,--over two or three of these,
through a pine-wood that was a landmark to Hitty, for she well knew that
it lay between the turnpike-road and another, less frequented, that by
various windings went toward the Connecticut Hue,--then over a tiny
brook on its unsteady bridge of logs, and out into a lane, where a
rough-spoken man was waiting for them, at the head of a strong horse
harnessed to one of those wagons without springs that New-Englanders
like to make themselves uncomfortable in. Her husband turned to her
abruptly.

"Get in," said he; "get in behind; there's hay enough; and don't breathe
loud, or I'll murder you!"

She clambered into the wagon and seated herself on the hay, hushing her
child, who nestled and moaned in her arms, though she had carried him
with all possible care. A sharp cut of the whip sent the powerful horse
off at full speed, and soon this ill-matched party were fast traversing
the narrow road that wound about the country for the use of every farm
within a mile of its necessary course, a course tending toward the
Connecticut.

Hour after hour crept by. Worn out with fatigue, poor Hitty dozed and
fell back on the soft hay; her child slept, too, and all her troubles
faded away in heavy unconsciousness, till she was again awakened by her
husband's grasp, to find that dawn was gathering its light roseate
fleeces in the east, and that their flight was for the present stayed at
the door of a tavern, lonely and rude enough, but welcome to Hitty as a
place of rest, if only for a moment. The sullen mistress of the house
asked no questions and offered no courtesy, but, after her guests had
eaten their breakfast, rapidly prepared, she led the way to a bedroom in
the loft, where Abner Dimock flung himself down upon the straw bed and
fell sound asleep, leaving Hitty to the undisturbed care of her child.
And occupation enough that proved; for the little fellow was fretful and
excited, so that no hour for thought was left to his anxious and timid
mother till the dinner-bell awoke her husband and took him downstairs.
She could not eat, but, begging some milk for her boy, tended, and fed,
and sung to him, till he slept; and then all the horrors of the present
and future thronged upon her, till her heart seemed to die in her
breast, and her limbs failed to support her when she would have dragged
herself out of doors for one breath of fresh air, one refreshing look at
a world untroubled and serene.

So the afternoon crept away, and as soon as night drew on the journey
was resumed. But this night was chill with the breath of a sobbing east
wind, and the dim stars foreboded rain. Hitty shivered with bitter cold,
and the boy began to cry. With a fierce curse Abner bade her stop his
disturbance, and again the poor mother had hands and heart full to
silence the still recurring sobs of the child. At last, after the
midnight cocks had ceased to send their challenges from farm to farm,
after some remote church-clocks had clanged one stroke on the damp wind,
they began to pass through a large village; no lights burned in the
windows, but white fences gleamed through the darkness, and sharp gable
ends loomed up against the dull sky, one after another, and the horse's
hoofs flashed sparks from the paved street before the church, that
showed its white spire, spectre-like, directly in their path. Here, by
some evil chance, the child awoke, and, between cold and hunger and
fear, began one of those long and loud shrieks that no power can stop
this side of strangulation. In vain Hitty kissed, and coaxed, and
half-choked her boy, in hope to stop the uproar; still he screamed more
and more loudly. Abner turned round on his seat with an oath, snatched
the child from its mother's arms, and rolled it closely in the blanket.

"Hold on a minute, Ben!" said he to his companion; "this yelp must be
stopped"; and stepping over to the back of the wagon, he grasped his
wife tightly with one arm, and with the other dropped his child into the
street. "Now drive, Ben," said he, in the same hoarse whisper,--"drive
like the Devil!"--for, as her child fell, Hitty shrieked with such a cry
as only the heart of a mother could send out over a newly-murdered
infant. Shriek on shriek, fast and loud and long, broke the slumbers of
the village; nothing Abner could do, neither threat nor force, short of
absolute murder, would avail,--and there was too much real estate
remaining of the Hyde property for Abner Dimock to spare his wife yet.
Ben drove fiend-fashion; but before they passed the last house in the
village, lights were glancing and windows grating as they were opened.
Years after, I heard the story of such a midnight cry borne past
sleeping houses with the quick rattle of wheels; but no one who heard it
could give the right clue to its explanation, and it dried into a
legend.

Now Hitty Dimock became careless of good or evil, except one absorbing
desire to get away from her husband,--to search for her child, to know
if it had lived or died. For four nights more that journey was pursued
at the height of their horse's speed; every day they stopped to rest,
and every day Hitty's half-delirious brain laid plans of escape, only to
be balked by Abner Dimock's vigilance; for if he slept, it was with both
arms round her, and the slightest stir awoke him,--and while he woke,
not one propitious moment freed her from his watch. Her brain began to
reel with disappointment and anguish; she began to hate her husband; a
band of iron seemed strained about her forehead, and a ringing sound
filled her ears; her lips grew parched, and her eye glittered; the last
night of their journey Abner Dimock lifted her into the wagon, and she
fainted on the hay.

"What in hell did you bring her for, Dimock?" growled his companion;
"women are d----d plagues always."

"She'll get up in a minute," coolly returned the husband; "can't afford
to leave a goose that lays golden eggs behind; hold on till I lift her
up. Here, Hitty! drink, I tell you! drink!"

A swallow of raw spirit certainly drove away the faintness, but it
brought fresh fire to the fever that burned in her veins, and she was
muttering in delirium before the end of that night's journey brought
them to a small village just above the old house on the river that
figured in the beginning of this history, and which we trust the patient
reader has not forgotten. Abner Dimock left his wife in charge of the
old woman who kept the hovel of a tavern where they stopped, and, giving
Ben the horse to dispose of to some safe purchaser, after he had driven
him down to the old house, returned at night in the boat that belonged
to his negro tenant, and, taking his unconscious wife from her bed,
rowed down the river and landed her safely, to be carried from the skiff
into an upper chamber of the old house, where Jake's wife, Aunt Judy, as
Mr. Dimock styled her, nursed the wretched woman through three weeks of
fever, and "doctored" her with herbs and roots.

The tenacious Hyde constitution, that was a proverb in Greenfield,
conquered at last, and Hitty became conscious, to find herself in a
chamber whose plastered walls were crumbling away with dampness and
festooned with cobwebs, while the uncarpeted floor was checkered with
green stains of mildew, and the very old four-post bedstead on which she
lay was fringed around the rickety tester with rags of green moreen,
mould-rotted.

Hitty sank back on her pillow with a sigh; she did not even question the
old negress who sat crooning over the fire, as to where she was, or what
had befallen her; but accepted this new place as only another misty
delirium, and in her secret heart prayed, for the hundredth time, to
die.

Slowly she recovered; for prayers to die are the last prayers ever
answered; we live against our will, and tempt living deaths year after
year, when soul and body cry out for the grave's repose, and beat
themselves against the inscrutable will of God only to fall down before
it in bruised and bleeding acquiescence. So she lived to find herself
immured in this damp and crumbling house, with no society but a drinking
and crime-haunted husband, and the ignorant negroes who served
him,--society varied now and then by one or two men revolting enough in
speech and aspect to drive Hitty to her own room, where, in a creaking
chair, she rocked monotonously back and forth, watching the snapping
fire, and dreaming dreams of a past that seemed now but a visionary
paradise.

For now it was winter, and the heavy drifts of snow that lay on Dimock's
meadow forbade any explorations which the one idea of finding her child
might have driven her to make; and the frozen surface of the river no
white-sailed ship could traverse now, nor the hissing paddle-wheels of a
steamer break the silence with intimations of life, active and salient,
far beyond the lonely precinct of Abner Dimock's home.

So the winter passed by. The noises and lights that had awoke Hitty at
midnight in the house at Greenfield had become so far an institution in
this lonely dwelling that now they disturbed her sleep no more; for it
was a received custom, that, whenever Abner Dimock's two visitors should
appear, the cellar should resound all night with heavy blows and
clinking of metal, and red light as from a forge streamed up through the
doorway; but it disturbed Hitty no more; apathy settled down in black
mist on her soul, and she seemed to think, to care, for nothing.

But spring awoke the dead earth, and sleeping roots aroused with fresh
forces from their torpor, and sent up green signals to the birds above.
A spark of light awoke in Hitty's eye; she planned to get away, to steal
the boat from its hidden cove in the bushes and push off down the
friendly current of the river,--anywhere away from him! anywhere! though
it should be to wreck on the great ocean, but still away from him! Night
after night she rose from her bed to hazard the attempt, but her heart
failed, and her trembling limbs refused their aid. At length moonlight
came to her aid, and when all the house slept she stole downstairs with
bare, noiseless feet, and sped like a ghost across the meadow to the
river-bank. Poor weak hands! vainly they fumbled with the knotted rope
that bound the skiff to a crooked elm over-hanging the water,--all in
vain for many lingering minutes; but presently the obdurate knot gave
way, and, turning to gather up her shawl, there, close behind her, so
close that his hot breath seemed to sear her cheek, stood her husband,
clear in the moonlight, with a sneer on his face, and the lurid glow of
drunkenness, that made a savage brute of a bad man, gleaming in his
deep-set eyes. Hitty neither shrieked nor ran; despair nerved
her,--despair turned her rigid before his face.

"Well," said he, "where are you going?"

"I am going away,--away from you,--anywhere in the world away from you!"
answered she, with the boldness of desperation.

"Ha, ha! going away from me!--that's a d--d good joke, a'n't it? Away
from your husband! You fool! you can't get away from me! you're mine,
soul and body,--this world and the next! Don't you know that? Where's
your promise, eh?--'for better, for worse!'--and a'n't I worse, you
cursed fool, you? You didn't put on the handcuffs for nothing; heaven
and hell can't get you away from me as long as you've got on that little
shiny fetter on your finger,--don't you know that?"

The maddened woman made a quick wrench to pull away from him her left
hand, which he held in his, taunting her with the ring that symbolized
their eternal bonds; but he was too quick for her.

"Hollo!" laughed he; "want to get rid of it, don't you? No, no! that
won't do,--that won't do! I'll make it safe!"

And lifting her like a child in his arms, he carried her across the
meadow, back to the house, and down a flight of crazy steps into the
cellar, where a little forge was all ablaze with white-hot coal, and the
two ill-visaged men she well knew by sight were busy with sets of odd
tools and fragments of metal, while on a bench near by, and in the seat
of an old chair, lay piles of fresh coin. They were a gang of
counterfeiters.

Abner Dimock thrust his wife into the chair, sweeping the gilt eagles to
the floor as one of the men angrily started up, demanding, with an oath,
what he brought that woman there for to hang them all.

"Be quiet, Bill, can't you?" interposed the other man. "Don't you see
he's drunk? you'll have the Devil to pay, if you cross a drunk Dimock!"

But Abner had not heard the first speaker; he was too much occupied with
tying his wife's arms to the chair,--a proceeding she could nowise
interfere with, since his heavy foot was set upon her dress so as to
hold her own feet in helpless fixedness. He proceeded to take the ring
from her finger, and, searching through a box of various contents that
stood in one corner, extracted from it a delicate steel chain, finely
wrought, but strong as steel can be; then, at the forge, with sundry
tools, carefully chosen and skilfully used, he soldered one end of the
chain to the ring, and, returning to his wife, placed it again upon her
finger.

"Here, Bill," growled he, "where's that padlock off the tool-chest, eh?
give it here! This woman's a fool,--ha, ha, ha!--she wanted to get away
from me, and she's my wife!"

Another peal of dissonant laughter interrupted the words.

"What a d----d good joke! I swear I haven't laughed before, this dog's
age! And then she was goin' to rid herself of the ring! as if that would
help it! Why, there's the promise in black and white,--'love, honor, and
obey,'--'I take thee, Abner,'--ha, ha! that's good! But fast bind, fast
find; she a'n't going to get rid of the ring. I'll make it as tight as
the promise; both of 'em 'll last to doomsday. Give me the padlock, you
scoundrel!"

Bill, the man he addressed, knew too much to hesitate after the savage
look that sent home the last words,--and, drawing from a bag of tools
and dies a tiny padlock and key, he handed them to Dimock, who passed
the chain about Hitty's thin white wrist, and, fastening it with the
padlock, turned the key, and, withdrawing it from the lock, dropped it
into the silvery heat of the forge, and burst into a fit of laughter, so
savage and so inhuman that the bearded lips of his two comrades grew
white with horror to hear the devil within so exult in his possession of
a man.

Hitty sat, statue-like, in her chair; stooping, the man unbound her, and
she rose slowly and steadily to her feet, looking him in the face.

"Look!" said she, raising her shackled arm high in air,--"I shall carry
it to God!"--and so fled, up the broken stairway, out into the
moonlight, across the meadow,--the three men following fast,--over the
fallen boughs that winter had strewn along the shore, out under the
crooked elm, swift as light, poising on the stern of the boat, that had
swung out toward the channel,--and once more lifting her hand high into
the white light, with one spring she dropped into the river, and its
black waters rolled down to the sea.



THE END OF ALL.


  Wandering along a waste
  Where once a city stood,
  I saw a ruined tomb,
  And in that tomb an urn,--

  A sacred funeral-urn,
  Without a name or date,
  And in its hollow depths
  A little human dust!

  Whose dust is this, I asked,
  In this forgotten urn?
  And where this waste now lies
  What city rose of old?

  None knows; its name is lost;
  It was, and is no more:
  Gone like a wind that blew
  A thousand years ago!

  Its melancholy end
  Will be the end of all;
  For, as it passed away,
  The universe will pass!

  Its sole memorial
  Some ruined world, like ours;
  A solitary urn,
  Full of the dust of men!



BIRDS OF THE NIGHT.


There are numerous swarms of insects and many small quadrupeds,
requiring partial darkness for their security, that come abroad only
during the night or twilight. These would multiply almost without check,
but that certain birds are formed with the power of seeing in the dark,
and, on account of their partial blindness in the daytime, are forced by
necessity to seek their food by night. Many species of insects are most
active after dewfall,--such, especially, as spend a great portion of
their lifetime in the air. Hence the very late hour at which Swallows
retire to rest, the hour succeeding sunset providing them with a fuller
repast than any other part of the day. No sooner has the Swallow
disappeared, than the Whippoorwill and the Night-Jar come forth, to prey
upon the larger kinds of aerial insects. The Bat, an animal of an
antediluvian type, comes out at the same time, and assists in lessening
these multitudinous swarms. The little Owls, though they pursue the
larger beetles and moths, direct their efforts chiefly at the small
quadrupeds that steal out in the early evening to nibble the tender
herbs and grasses. Thus the night, except the hours of total darkness,
is with many species of animals, though they pursue their objects with
comparative stillness and silence, a period of general activity.

In this sketch, I shall treat of the Birds of the Night under two heads,
including, beside the true nocturnal birds that go abroad in the night
to seek their subsistence, those diurnal birds that continue their songs
during a considerable portion of the night. Some species of birds are
partly nocturnal in their habits. Such is the Chimney Swallow. This bird
is seldom out at noonday, which it employs in sleep, after excessive
activity from the earliest morning dawn. It is seen afterwards circling
about in the decline of day, and is sometimes abroad in fine weather the
greater part of the night, when the young broods require almost
unremitted exertions, on the part of the old birds, to procure their
subsistence.

The true nocturnal birds, of which the Owl and the Whippoorwill are
conspicuous examples, are distinguished by a peculiar sensibility of the
eye, that enables them to see clearly by twilight and in cloudy weather,
while they are dazzled by the broad light of day. Their organs of
hearing are proportionally delicate and acute. Their wing-feathers also
have a peculiar downy softness, so that they fly without the usual
fluttering sounds that attend the flight of other birds, and are able to
steal unawares upon their prey, and make their predal excursions without
disturbing the general silence of the hour. This noiseless flight is
very remarkable in the Owl, as may be observed, if a tame one be allowed
to fly about a room, when we can perceive his motions only by our sight.
It is a fact worthy of our attention, that this peculiar structure of
the wing-feathers does not exist in the Woodcock. Nature makes no
useless provisions for her creatures; and hence this nocturnal bird,
which obtains his food by digging into the soil, and gets no part of it
while on the wing, has no need of this contrivance. Neither stillness
nor stealth would assist him in securing his helpless prey.

Among the nocturnal birds, the most notorious is the Owl, of which there
are many species, varying from the size of an Eagle down to the little
Acadian, which is no larger than a Robin. The resemblance of the Owl to
the feline quadrupeds has been a frequent subject of remark. Like the
cat, he sees most clearly by twilight or the light of the moon, seeks
his prey in the night, and spends the principal part of the day in
sleep. The likeness is made stronger by his tufts of feathers, that
correspond to the ears of the quadruped,--by his large head,--his round,
full, and glaring eyes, set widely apart,--by the extreme contractility
of the pupil,--and in his manners, by his lurking and stealthy habit of
surprising his victims. His eyes are partially encircled by a disk of
feathers that yields a peculiarly significant expression to his face.
His hooked bill turned downwards, so as to resemble the nose in a human
countenance, the general flatness of his features, and his upright
position, give him a grave and intelligent look; and it was this
expression that caused him to be selected by the ancients as the emblem
of wisdom, and consecrated to Minerva.

The Owl is remarkable also for the acuteness of his hearing, having a
large ear-drum, and being provided with an apparatus by which he can
exalt this faculty, when under the necessity of listening with greater
attention. Hence, while he is silent in his own motions, he is able to
perceive the least sound from the motion of any other object, and
overtakes his prey by coming upon it in silence and darkness. The
stillness of his flight is one of the circumstances that add mystery to
his character, and which have assisted in rendering him an object of
superstitious dread.

Aware of his defenceless condition in the bright daylight, when his
purblindness would prevent him from evading the attacks of his enemies,
he seeks some obscure retreat where he may pass the day without exposing
himself to observation. It is this necessity which has caused him to
make his abode in desolate and ruined buildings, in old towers and
belfries, and in the crevices of dilapidated walls. In these places he
hides himself from the sight of other birds, who regard him as their
common enemy, and who show him no mercy when he is discovered. Here also
he rears his offspring, and with these solitary haunts his image is
closely associated. In thinly settled and wooded countries, he selects
the hollows of old trees and the clefts of rocks for his retreats. All
the smaller Owls, however, seem to multiply with the increase of human
population, subsisting upon the minute animals that accumulate in
outhouses, orchards, and fallows.

When the Owl is discovered in his hiding-place, the alarm is given, and
there is a general excitement among the small birds. They assemble in
great numbers, and with loud chattering commence assailing and annoying
him in various ways, and soon drive him out of his retreat. The Jay,
usually his first assailant, like a thief employed as a thief-taker,
attacks him with great zeal and animation; the Chickadee, the Nuthatch,
and the small Thrushes peck at his head and eyes; while other birds,
less bold, fly round him, and by their vociferation encourage his
assailants and help to terrify their victim.

It is while sitting on the branch of a tree or on a fence, after his
misfortune and his escape, that he is most frequently seen in the
daytime; and here he has formed a subject for painters, who have
commonly introduced him into their pictures as he appears in one of
these open situations. He is likewise represented ensconced in his own
select retreats, apparently peeping out of his hiding-place while
half-concealed; and the fact of his being seen in these lonely places
has caused many superstitions to be attached to his image. His voice is
supposed to bode misfortune, and his spectral visits are regarded as the
forewarnings of death. His connection with deserted houses and ruins has
invested him with a peculiarly romantic character; while the poets, by
introducing him to deepen the force of their gloomy and pathetic
descriptions, have enlivened these associations; and he deserves,
therefore, in a special degree, to be named among those animals which we
call picturesque.

The gravity of the Owl's general appearance, combined with a sort of
human expression in his countenance, undoubtedly caused him to be
selected by the ancients as the emblem of wisdom. The moderns have
practically renounced this idea, which had no foundation in the real
character of the bird, who possesses only the sly and sinister traits
that mark the feline race. A very different train of associations and a
new series of picturesque images are now suggested by the figure of the
Owl, who has been portrayed more correctly by modern poetry than by
ancient mythology. He is now universally regarded as the emblem of ruin
and desolation, true to his character and habits, which are intimately
allied to this description of scenery.

I will not enter into a speculation concerning the nature and origin of
those agreeable emotions which are so generally produced by the sight of
objects that suggest the ideas of decay and desolation. It is happy for
us, that, by the alchemy of poetry, we are able to turn some of our
misfortunes into sources of melancholy pleasure, after the poignancy of
grief has been assuaged by time. Nature has beneficently provided, also,
that many an object, which is capable of communicating no direct
pleasure to our senses, shall affect us agreeably through the medium of
sentiment. The image of the Owl is calculated to awaken the sentiment of
ruin, and to this feeling of the human soul we may trace the pleasure we
derive from the sight of this bird in his appropriate scenery. Two Doves
upon the mossy branch of a tree in a wild and beautiful sylvan retreat
are the pleasing emblems of innocent love and constancy; but they are
not more suggestive of poetic fancies than an Owl sitting upon an old
gate-post near a deserted house.

I have alluded, in another page, to the faint sounds we hear when the
Night Birds, on a still summer evening, are flying over short distances
in a neighboring wood. There is a feeling of mystery excited by these
sounds, that exalts the pleasure we derive from the delightful influence
of the hour and the season. But the emotions thus produced are of a
cheerful kind, and not equal in intensity to the effects of the scarcely
perceptible sound occasioned by the flight of the Owl, as he glides by
in the dusk of the evening or in the dim light of the moon. Similar in
its influence is the dismal voice of this bird, which is harmonized with
darkness, and, though in some cases not unmusical, is tuned, as it were,
to the terrors of that hour when he makes secret warfare upon the
sleeping inhabitants of the wood.

One of the most interesting of this tribe of birds is the little Acadian
Owl, (_Strix Acadica_,) whose note has formerly excited a great deal of
curiosity. In "The Canadian Naturalist," an account is given of a rural
excursion in April, in the course of which the attention of one of the
party is called by his companion, just after sunset, to a peculiar sound
proceeding from a cedar swamp. It was compared to the measured tinkling
of a cow-bell, or regular strokes upon a piece of iron, quickly
repeated. The one appealed to is able to give no satisfactory
information about it, but remarks, that, "during the months of April and
May, and in the former part of June, we frequently hear, after
nightfall, the sound just described. From its regularity, it is thought
to resemble the whetting of a saw, and hence the bird from which it
proceeds is called the Saw-Whetter." The author could not identify the
bird that uttered this note, but conjectured that it might be a Heron or
a Bittern. It has since been ascertained that this singular note
proceeds from the Acadian Owl. It is like the sound produced by the
filing of a mill-saw, and is said to be the amatory note of the male,
being heard only during the season of incubation.

Mr. S.P. Fowler, of Danvers, informs me that "the Acadian Owl has
another note, which we frequently hear in the autumn, after the breeding
season is over. The parent birds, then accompanied by their young, while
hunting their prey during a bright moonlight night, utter a peculiar
note, resembling a suppressed moan or a low whistle. The little Acadian,
to avoid the annoyance of the birds he would meet by day, and the
blinding light of the sun, retires in the morning, his feathers wet with
dew and rumpled by the hard struggles he has encountered in seizing his
prey, to the gloom of the forest or the thick swamp, where, perched on a
bough, near the trunk of the tree, he sleeps through a summer's day, the
perfect picture of a _used-up_ little fellow, suffering from the sad
effects of a night's carouse. But he is an honest bird, notwithstanding
his late hours and his idle sleeping days; he is also domestic in his
habits, and the father of an interesting family, close at hand, in a
hollow white-birch, and he is ever ready to give them his support and
protection."

The Mottled Owl, (_Strix Asio_) or Screech Owl, is somewhat larger than
the Acadian or Whetsaw, and not so familiar as the Barn Owl of Europe,
though resembling it in general habits. He commonly builds in the hollow
of an old tree, also in deserted buildings, whither he resorts in the
daytime to find repose and to escape annoyance. His voice is heard most
frequently in the latter part of summer, when the young Owlets are
abroad, and use their cries for purposes of mutual salutation and
recognition. This wailing note is singularly wild, and not unmusical. It
is not properly a screech or a scream, like that of the Hawk or the
Peacock, but rather a sort of moaning melody, half music and half
bewailment. This wailing song is far from disagreeable, though it has a
cadence which is expressive of dreariness and melancholy. It might be
performed on a small flute, by commencing with D octave and running down
by semitones to a fifth below, and frequently repeating the notes, for
the space of a minute, with occasional pauses and slight variations,
sometimes ascending as well as descending the scale. The bird does not
slur the passages, but utters them with a sort of trembling _staccato_.
The separate notes may be distinctly perceived, with intervals of about
a semitone.

The Owl is not properly regarded as a useful bird. The generality of the
tribe deserve to be considered only as mischievous birds of prey, and no
more entitled to mercy and protection than the Falcons, to which they
are allied. All the little Owls, however, though guilty of destroying
small birds, are very serviceable in ridding our fields and premises of
mischievous animals. They likewise destroy multitudes of large nocturnal
insects, flying above the summits of the trees in pursuit of them, while
at other times their flight is low, when watching for the small animals
that run upon the ground. It is probably on account of its low flight
that the Owl is seldom seen on the wing. Bats, which are employed by
Nature for the same kind of services, fall victims in large numbers to
the Owls of different species, who are the principal means of preventing
their multiplication.

I should wander from my present purpose, were I to attempt a sketch of
the large Owls, as I design only to treat of those birds which
contribute, either as poetic or picturesque objects, to improve the
charms of Nature. I shall say but a passing word, therefore, of the
Great Snowy Owl, almost exclusively an inhabitant of the Arctic regions,
where he frightens both man and beast with his dismal hootings,--or of
the Cat Owl, the prince of these monsters, who should be consecrated to
Pluto,--or of his brother monster, the Gray Owl, that will carry off a
full-grown rabbit. There are several other species, more or less
interesting, ridiculous, or frightful. I will leave them, to speak of
birds of more pleasing habits and a more innocent character.

The next remarkable family of nocturnal birds comprises the
_Moth-Hunters_, including, in New England, only two species,--the
Whippoorwill and the Night-Hawk, or Piramidig. These birds resemble the
Owls in some of their habits; but in their structure, in their mode of
subsistence, and in their general traits of character, they are like
Swallows. They are shy and solitary, take their food while on the wing,
abide chiefly in deep woods, and come abroad only at twilight or in
cloudy weather. They remain, like the Dove, permanently paired, lay
their eggs on the bare ground, and, when perched upon the branch of a
tree, sit upon it lengthwise, unlike other birds. They are remarkable
for their singular voices, of which that of only one species, the
Whippoorwill, can be considered musical. They are known in all parts of
the world, but are particularly numerous in the warmer parts of America.

The Whippoorwill (_Caprimulgus vociferus_) is well known to the
inhabitants of this part of the world, on account of his nocturnal song.
This is heard only in densely wooded and retired situations, and is
associated with the solitude of the forest, as well as the silence of
night. The Whippoorwill is, therefore, emblematic of the rudeness of
primitive Nature, and his voice always reminds us of seclusion and
retirement. Sometimes he wanders away from the wood into the precincts
of the town, and sings near some dwelling-house. Such an incident was
formerly the occasion of superstitious alarm, being regarded as an omen
of some evil to the inmates of the dwelling. The true cause of these
irregular visits is probably the accidental abundance of a particular
kind of insects, which the bird has followed from his retirement.

I believe the Whippoorwill, in this part of the country, is first heard
in May, and continues vocal until the middle of July. He begins to sing
at dusk, and we usually hear his note soon after the Veery, the Philomel
of our summer evenings, has become silent. His song consists of three
notes, in a sort of triple or waltz time, with a slight pause after the
first note in the bar, as given below:--

[Illustration: SONG OF THE WHIPPOORWILL. Whip-poor-Will Whip-p'r-Will
Whip-p'r-Will Whip-]

I should remark, that the bird usually commences his song with the
second syllable of his name, or the second note in the bar. Some birds
fall short of these intervals; but there seems to be an endeavor, on the
part of each individual, to reach the notes as they are written on the
scale. A few sliding notes are occasionally introduced, and an
occasional preluding cluck is heard when we are near the singer.

The note of the Quail so closely resembles that of the Whippoorwill,
that I have thought it might be interesting to compare the two.

[Illustration: NOTE OF THE QUAIL. Bob White. More Wet.]

So great is the general similarity of the notes of these two birds, that
those of the Quail need only to be repeated several times in succession,
without pause, to be mistaken for those of the Whippoorwill. They are
uttered with similar intonations; but the voice of the nocturnal bird is
more harsh, and his song consists of three notes instead of two.

The song of the Whippoorwill, though wanting in mellowness of tone, as
may be perceived when he is only a short distance from us, is to most
people very agreeable, notwithstanding the superstitions associated with
it. Some persons are not disposed to rank the Whippoorwill among
singing-birds, regarding him as more vociferous than musical. But it
would be difficult to determine in what respect his notes differ from
the songs of other birds, except that they approach more nearly to the
precision of artificial music. Yet it will be admitted that considerable
distance is required to "lend enchantment" to the sound of his voice. In
some retired and solitary districts, the Whippoorwills are often so
numerous as to be annoying by their vociferations; but in those places
where only two or three individuals are heard during the season, their
music is the source of a great deal of pleasure, and is a kind of
recommendation to the place.

I was witness of this, some time since, in one of my botanical rambles
in the town of Beverly, which is, for the most part, too densely
populated to suit the habits of these solitary birds. On one of these
excursions, after walking several hours over a rather unattractive
region, I arrived at a very romantic spot, known by the unpoetical name
of Black Swamp. Nature uses her most ordinary materials to form her most
delightful landscapes, and often keeps in reserve prospects of
enchanting beauty, and causes them to rise up, as it were, by magic,
where we should least expect them. Here I suddenly found myself
encompassed by a charming amphitheatre of hills and woods, and in a
valley so beautiful that I could not have imagined anything equal to it.
A neat cottage stood alone in this spot, without a single architectural
decoration, which I am confident would have dissolved the spell that
made the whole scene so attractive. It was occupied by a shoemaker, whom
I recognized as an old acquaintance and a worthy man, who resided here
with his wife and children. I asked them if they could live contented so
far from other families. The wife of the cottager replied, that they
suffered in the winter from their solitude, but in the spring and summer
they preferred it to the town,--"for in this place we hear all the
singing-birds, early and late, and the Whippoorwill sings here every
night during May and June." It was the usual practice of these birds,
they told me, to sing both in the morning and the evening twilight; but
if the moon rose late in the evening, after they had become silent, they
would begin to sing anew, as if to welcome her rising. May the birds
continue to sing to this happy family, and may the voice of the
Whippoorwill never bode them any misfortune!

The Night-Hawk, or Piramidig, (_Caprimulgus Americanus_,) is similar in
many points to the Whippoorwill, and the two species were formerly
considered identical. The former, however, is a smaller bird; he has no
song, and exhibits more of the ways of the Swallow. He is marked by a
white spot on his wings, which is very apparent during his flight. He
takes his prey in a higher part of the atmosphere,--being frequently
seen, at twilight and in cloudy weather, soaring above the house-tops in
quest of insects. The Whippoorwill finds his subsistence chiefly in the
woods, and takes a part of it from the branches of trees, while poising
himself on the wing, like a Humming-Bird. I believe he is never seen
circling aloft like the Night-Hawk.

The movements of the Night-Hawk, during this flight, are performed, for
the most part, in circles, and are very picturesque. The birds are
usually seen in pairs, at such times, but occasionally there are numbers
assembled together; and one might suppose they were engaged in a sort of
aërial dance, or that they were emulating each other in their attempts
at soaring to a great height. It is evident that these evolutions
proceed in part from the pleasure of motion; but they are also connected
with their courtship. While they are soaring and circling in the air,
they occasionally utter the shrill and broken note which has been
supposed to resemble the word Piramidig, whence the name is
derived,--and now and then they dart suddenly aside, to seize a passing
insect.

While performing these circumvolutions, the male frequently dives almost
perpendicularly downwards, a distance of forty feet or more, uttering,
when he turns at the bottom of his descent, a singular note, resembling
the twang of a viol-string. This sound has been supposed to proceed from
the action of the air, as the bird dives swiftly through it with open
mouth; but this supposition is rendered improbable by the fact that the
European species makes a similar sound while sitting on its perch. It
has also been alleged that the diving motion of this bird is an act
designed to intimidate those who seem to be approaching his nest; but
this cannot be true, because the bird performs the manoeuvre when he has
no nest to defend. This habit is peculiar to the male, and it is
probably one of those fantastic motions which are noticeable among the
males of the gallinaceous birds, and are evidently their artifices to
attract the attention of the female; very many of these motions may be
observed in the manners of tame Pigeons.

The twanging note produced during the precipitate descent of the
Night-Hawk is one of the picturesque sounds of Nature, and is heard most
frequently in the morning twilight, when the birds are busy collecting
their repast of insects. During an early morning walk, while they are
circling about, we may hear their cry frequently repeated, and
occasionally the booming sound, which, if one is not accustomed to it,
and is not acquainted with this habit of the bird, affects him with a
sensation of mystery, and excites his curiosity in an extraordinary
degree.

The sound produced by the European species is a sort of drumming or
whizzing note, like the hum of a spinning-wheel. The male commences this
performance about dusk, and continues it at intervals during a great
part of the night. It is effected while the breast is inflated with air,
like that of a cooing Dove. The Piramidig has the power of inflating
himself in the same manner, and he utters this whizzing note when one
approaches his nest.

The American Woodcock (_Scolopax minor_) is a more interesting bird than
we should infer from his general appearance and physiognomy. He is
mainly nocturnal in his habits, and his ways are worthy of study and
observation. He obtains his food by scratching up the leaves and rubbish
that lie upon the surface of the ground in damp and wooded places, and
by boring into the earth for worms. He remains concealed in the wood
during the day, and comes out to feed at twilight, choosing the open
ploughed lands where worms are abundant; though it is probable that in
the shade of the wood he is more or less busy in scratching among the
leaves in the daytime.

The Woodcock does not commonly venture abroad in the open day, unless he
be disturbed and driven from his retreats. He makes his first appearance
here in the latter part of April, and at this season we may observe that
soaring habit which renders him one of the picturesque objects of
Nature. This soaring takes place soon after sunset, continues during
twilight, and is repeated at the corresponding hour in the morning. If
you listen at this time near the places of his resort, he will soon
reveal himself by a lively peep, frequently uttered, from the ground.
While repeating this note, he may be seen strutting about, like a
turkey-cock, with fantastic jerkings of the tail and a frequent bowing
of the head; and his mate, I believe, is at this time not far off.
Suddenly he springs upward, and with a wide circular sweep, uttering at
the same time a rapid whistling note, he rises in a spiral course to a
great height in the air. At the summit of his ascent, he hovers about
with irregular motions, chirping a medley of broken notes, like
imperfect warbling. This continues about ten or fifteen seconds, when it
ceases, and he descends rapidly to the ground. We seldom hear him while
in his descent, but receive the first intimation of it by hearing a
repetition of his peep, resembling the sound produced by those minute
wooden trumpets sold at the German toy-shops.

No person could watch this playful flight of the Woodcock without
interest; and it is remarkable that a bird with short wings and
difficult flight should be capable of mounting to so great an altitude.
It affords me a vivid conception of the pleasure with which I should
witness the soaring and singing of the Skylark, known to me only by
description. I have but to imagine the chirruping of the Woodcock to be
a melodious series of notes, to feel that I am listening to that bird,
which is so familiarized to our imaginations by English poetry that in
our early days we always expect his greetings with a summer sunrise. It
is with sadness that we first learn in our youth that the Skylark is not
an inhabitant of the New World; and our mornings seem divested of a
great portion of their charms, for the want of this poetical
accompaniment.

There is another circumstance connected with the habits of the Woodcock
which increases his importance as an actor in the melodrame of Nature.
When we stroll away from the noise and din of the town, where the
stillness permits us to hear distinctly all those faint sounds which are
turned by the silence of night into music, we may hear at frequent
intervals the hum produced by the irregular flights of the Woodcock, as
he passes over short distances in the wood, where he is collecting his
repast. It resembles the sound of the wings of Doves, rendered distinct
by the stillness of all other things, and melodious by the distance.
There is a feeling of mystery attached to these musical nights that
yields a savor of romance to the quiet voluptuousness of a summer
evening.

It is on such occasions, if we are in a moralizing mood, that we may be
keenly impressed with the truth of the saying, that the secret of
happiness consists in keeping alive our susceptibilities by frugal
indulgences, rather than by seeking a multitude of pleasures, that pall
in exact proportion to their abundance. The stillness and darkness of a
quiet night produce this enlivening effect upon our minds. Our
susceptibility is then awakened to such a degree, that slight sounds and
feeble sparks of light convey to our souls an amount of pleasure which
we seldom experience in the daytime from sights and sounds of the most
pleasing description. Thus the player in an orchestra can enjoy such
music only as would deafen common ears by its crash of sounds, in which
they perceive no connection or harmony; while the simple rustic listens
to the rude notes of a flageolet in the hands of a clown with feelings
of ineffable delight. Nature, if the seekers after luxurious and
exciting pleasures could but understand her language, would say to them,
"Except ye become as this simple rustic, ye cannot enter into my
paradise."

The American Snipe has some of the nocturnal habits of the Woodcock, and
the same habit of soaring at twilight, when he performs a sort of
musical medley, which Audubon has very graphically described in the
following passage:--"The birds are met with in meadows and low grounds,
and, by being on the spot before sunrise, you may see both (male and
female) mount high, in a spiral manner, now with continuous beats of the
wings, now in short sailings, until more than a hundred yards high, when
they whirl round each other with extreme velocity, and dance, as it
were, to their own music; for, at this juncture, and during the space of
five or six minutes, you hear rolling notes mingled together, each more
or less distinct, perhaps, according to the state of the atmosphere. The
sounds produced are extremely pleasing, though they fall faintly on the
ear. I know not how to describe them; but I am well assured that they
are not produced simply by the beatings of their wings, as at this time
the wings are not flapped, but are used in sailing swiftly in a circle,
not many feet in diameter. A person might cause a sound somewhat similar
by blowing rapidly and alternately, from one end to another, across a
set of small pipes, consisting of two or three modulations. This
performance is kept up till incubation terminates; but I have never
observed it at any other period."

Among the Heron family we discover a few nocturnal birds, which, though
not very well known, have some ways that are singular and interesting.
Goldsmith considered one of these birds worthy of introduction into his
"Deserted Village," as contributing to the poetic conception of
desolation. Thus, in his description of the grounds which were the
ancient site of the village, we read,--

  "Along its glades, a solitary guest,
  The hollow-sounding Bittern guards its nest."

"The Bittern is a shy and solitary bird; it is never seen on the wing in
the daytime, but sits, generally with the head erect, hid among the
reeds and rushes of extensive marshes, from whence it will not stir,
unless disturbed by the sportsman. When it changes its haunts, it
removes in the dusk of the evening, and then, rising in a spiral
direction, soars to a vast height. It flies in the same heavy manner as
the Heron, and might be mistaken for that bird, were it not for the
singularly resounding cry which it utters, from time to time, while on
the wing: but this cry is feeble when compared with the hollow booming
noise which it makes during the night, in the breeding season, from its
swampy retreats. From the loudness and solemnity of its note, an
erroneous notion prevails with the vulgar, that it either thrusts its
head into a reed, which serves as a pipe for swelling its note beyond
its natural pitch, or that it immerges its head in water, and then
produces its boomings by blowing with all its might."

The American Bittern is a smaller bird, but is probably a variety of the
European species. It exhibits the same nocturnal habits, and has
received at the South the name of _Dunkadoo_, from the resemblance of
its common note to these syllables. This is a hollow-sounding noise, but
not so loud as the voice of the Bittern to which Goldsmith alludes. I
have heard it by day proceeding from the wooded swamps, and am at a loss
to explain how so small a bird can produce so low and hollow a note.
Among this family of birds are one or two other nocturnal species,
including the Qua-Bird, which is common to both continents; but there is
little to be said of it that would be interesting in this connection.
The Herons, however, and their allied species, are birds of remarkable
habits, the enumeration and account of which would occupy a considerable
space. In an essay on the flight of birds in particular, the Herons
would furnish a multitude of very interesting facts.


Let us now turn our attention to those diurnal birds that sing in the
night as well as in the day, and which might be comprehended under the
general appellation of Nightingales. These birds do not confine their
singing to the night, like the true nocturnal birds, and are most vocal
when inspired by the light of the moon. Europe has several of these
minstrels of the night. Beside the true Philomel of poetry and romance,
the Reed-Thrush and the Woodcock are of this character. In the United
States, the Mocking-Bird enjoys the greatest reputation; the
Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the New York Thrush are also nocturnal
songsters.

The Mocking-Bird (_Turdus polyglottus_) is well known in the Middle and
Southern States, but seldom passes a season in New England, except in
the southern part of Rhode Island and Connecticut, which seem to be the
northern limit of its migrations. Probably, like the Rose-breasted
Grosbeak, which is constantly extending its limits in an eastern
direction, the Mocking-Bird may be gradually making progress
northwardly, so that fifty years hence both of these birds may be common
in Massachusetts. The Mocking-Bird is familiar in his habits,
frequenting gardens and orchards, and perching on the roofs of houses
when singing, like the common Robin. Like the Robin, too, who sings at
all hours excepting those of darkness, he is a persevering songster, and
seems to be inspired by living in the vicinity of man. In his manners,
however, he bears more resemblance to the Red Thrush, being
distinguished by his vivacity, and the courage with which he repels the
attacks of his enemies.

The Mocking-Bird is celebrated throughout the world for his musical
powers; but it is difficult to ascertain precisely the character and
quality of his original notes. Hence some naturalists have contended
that he has no song of his own, but confines himself to imitations. That
this is an error, all persons who have listened to him in his native
wild-wood can testify. I should say, from my own observations, not only
that he has a distinct song, peculiarly his own, but that his imitations
are far from being equal to his original notes. Yet it is seldom we hear
him except when he is engaged in mimicry. In his native woods, and
especially at an early hour in the morning, when he is not provoked to
imitation by the voices of other birds and animals, he sometimes pours
forth his own wild notes with full fervor. Yet I have often listened
vainly for hours to hear him utter anything but a few idle repetitions
of monotonous sounds, interspersed with some ludicrous varieties. Why he
should neglect his own pleasing notes, to tease the listener with his
imitations of all imaginable discords, is not easily explained.

Though his imitations are the cause of his notoriety, they are not the
utterances upon which his true merit is based. He would be infinitely
more valuable as a songster, if he were incapable of imitating a single
sound. I would add, that as an imitator of the songs of other birds he
is very imperfect, and in this respect has been greatly overrated by our
ornithologists, who seem to vie with one another in their exaggerations
of his powers. He cannot utter the notes of the rapid singers; he is
successful only in his imitations of those birds whose notes are simple
and moderately delivered. He is, indeed, more remarkable for his
indefatigable propensity than for his powers. Single sounds, from
whatever source they may come, from birds, quadrupeds, reptiles, or
machines, he gives very accurately; but I have heard numbers of
Mocking-Birds in confinement attempt to imitate the Canary, and always
without success. There is a common saying, that the Mocking-Bird will
die of chagrin, if placed in a cage by the side of a caged Bobolink,
mortified because he cannot give utterance to his rapid notes. If this
were the cause of his death, he would also die when caged in a room with
a Canary, a Goldfinch, or any of the rapidly singing Finches. It is also
an error to say of his imitations, as the generality of writers assert,
that they are improvements upon the originals. When he utters the notes
of the Red-Bird, the Golden Robin, or the Common Robin, he does not
improve them; and when he gives us the screaming of the Jay or the
mewing of the Cat, he does not change them into music.

As an original songster, judging him by what he is capable of
performing, however unfrequently he may exercise his powers to the best
advantage, the Mocking-Bird is probably equalled only by two or three of
our singing-birds. His notes are loud, varied, melodious, and of great
compass. They may be compared to those of the Red Thrush, more rapidly
delivered, and having more flute notes and fewer guttural notes and
sudden transitions. He also sings on the wing and with fervor, like the
Linnet, while the other Thrushes sing only from their perch. But his
song has less variety than that of the Red Thrush, and falls short of it
in as many respects as it surpasses it. For the greater part of the
time, the only notes of the Mocking-Bird, when he is not engaged in
mimicry, are a sort of melodious whistle, consisting of two notes about
a fourth apart, uttered in quick, but not rapid, succession, and hardly
to be distinguished from those of the Red-Bird of Virginia.

I heard the notes of the Mocking-Bird the first time in his native
wilds, during a railroad journey by night, through the Pine Barrens of
North Carolina, in the month of June. The journey was very tiresome and
unpleasant, nothing being seen, when looking out upon the landscape, but
a gloomy stretch of level forest, consisting of tall pines, thinly
scattered, without any branches, except at their tops. The dusky forms
of these trees, pictured against the half-luminous sky, seemed like so
many giant spectres watching the progress of our journey, and increased
the loneliness of the hour. Before daylight, when the sky was faintly
crimsoned around the place where the sun was to come forth, the train
made a pause of half an hour, at one of the stations, and the passengers
alighted. While I was looking at the dreary prospect of desert, tired of
my journey and longing for day, suddenly the notes of the Mocking-Bird
came to my ear, and changed all my gloomy feelings into delight.

It is seldom I have felt so vividly the power of one little incident to
change the tone of one's feelings and the humor of the occasion. As a
few drops of oil, cast upon the surface of the waters, will quiet the
troubled waves, so did the glad voice of this merry bird suddenly dispel
all those sombre feelings which had been fostered by dismal scenes and a
lonely journey. Nature never seemed so lovely as when the rising dawn,
with its tearful beams and purple radiance, was greeted by this warbling
salutation, as from some messenger of light, who came to announce that
Morning was soon to step forth from her throne, and extend over all
things her smiles and her beneficence.

Of the other American birds that sing in the night I can say nothing
from my own observation. The most important of these is the New York
Thrush, (_Turdus aquaticus_,) which is said to resemble the River
Nightingale of Europe. This bird, which is common in the Western States,
is said to sing melodiously night and day. Wilson remarks of this
species, "They are eminently distinguished by the loudness, sweetness,
and expressive vivacity of their notes, which begin very high and clear,
falling with an almost imperceptible gradation, till they are scarcely
articulated. At these times the musician is perched on the middle
branches of a tree, over a brook or river-bank, pouring out his charming
melody, that may be distinctly heard for nearly half a mile. The voice
of this little bird appeared to me so exquisitely sweet and expressive,
that I was never tired listening to it." This description is exactly
applicable to the song of the Veery, supposed to be silent by Wilson,
who could not have fallen into such an error, except by having confined
his researches chiefly to the Middle and Southern States.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak (_Loxia rosea_) is said to be an excellent
songster, passing the greater part of the night in singing, and
continuing vocal in confinement. This bird is common in the Western
States, but until lately has seldom been seen in New England. I learn,
however, from Mr. Fowler, that "the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is found in
Essex County, and, though formerly seldom seen, is becoming every year
more common. Like the Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanager, it is retiring in
its habits, and is usually found in the most sheltered part of the wood,
where, perched about midway on a tree, in fancied concealment, it
warbles its soft, clear, and melodious notes." He thinks this bird is
not heard so frequently by night as by day, though it often sings in the
light of the moon.

In connection with this theme, we cannot help feeling a sense of regret,
almost like melancholy, when we reflect that the true Nightingale and
the Skylark, the classical birds of European literature, are strangers
to our fields and woods. In May and June there is no want of sylvan
minstrels to wake the morn and to sing the vespers of a sweet summer
evening. A flood of song wakes us at the earliest daylight; and the shy
and solitary Veery, after the Vesper-Bird has concluded his evening
hymn, pours his few pensive notes into the very bosom of twilight, and
makes the hour sacred by his melody. But after twilight is sped, and the
moon rises to shed her meek radiance over the sleeping earth, the
Nightingale is not here to greet her rising, and to turn her melancholy
beams into the cheerfulness of daylight. And when the Queen Moon is on
her throne,

  "Clustered around by all her starry Fays,"

the Whippoorwill alone brings her the tribute of his monotonous song,
and soothes the dull ear of Night with sounds which, however delightful,
are not of heaven. We have become so familiar with the Lark and the
Nightingale, by the perusal of the romance of rural life, that "neither
breath of Morn, when she ascends" without the charm of this her earliest
harbinger, "nor silent Night" without her "solemn bird," seems holy, as
when we contemplate them in the works of pastoral song. Poetry has
hallowed to our minds the pleasing objects of the Old World; those of
the New have to be cherished in song yet many more years, before they
will be equally sacred to our imaginations.

By some of our writers the Mocking-Bird is put forward as equal in song
to the Nightingale. This assumption might be worthy of consideration, if
the American bird were not a mimic. But his mocking habits almost
annihilate his value as a songster,--as the effect of a good concert
would be spoiled, if the players were constantly introducing, in the
midst of their serious performances, snatches of ridiculous tunes and
uncouth sounds. I have never heard the Nightingale; but if I may judge
from descriptions of its song, and from the notes of those Canaries
which are said to give us perfect imitations of it, we have no bird in
America that equals this classical songster. The following description,
by Pliny, which is said to be superior to any other, may afford us some
idea of the extent of its powers:--"The Nightingale, that for fifteen
days and nights, hid in the thickest shades, continues her note without
intermission, deserves our attention and wonder. How surprising that so
great a voice can reside in so small a body! Such perseverance in so
minute an animal! With what musical propriety are the sounds it produces
modulated! The note at one time drawn out with a long breath, now
stealing off into a different cadence, now interrupted by a break, then
changing into a new note by an unexpected transition, now seeming to
renew the same strain, then deceiving expectation. She sometimes seems
to murmur within herself; full, deep, sharp, swift, drawling, trembling;
now at the top, the middle, and the bottom of the scale. In short, in
that little bill seems to reside all the melody which man has vainly
labored to bring from a variety of musical instruments. Some even seem
to be possessed of a different note from the rest, and contend with each
other with great ardor. The bird, overcome, is then seen to discontinue
its song only with its life."

The cause of the nocturnal singing of birds that do not go abroad during
the night and are strictly diurnal in all their other habits has never
been satisfactorily explained. It is natural that the Whippoorwill,
which is a nocturnal bird, should sing during his hours of wakefulness
and activity. There is also no difficulty in explaining why Ducks and
Geese, and some other social birds, should utter their loud alarm-notes,
when they meet with any midnight disturbance. These birds usually have a
sentinel who keeps awake; and if he give an alarm, the others reply to
it. The crowing of the Cock bears more analogy to the song of a bird,
for it does not seem to be an alarm-note. This domestic bird may be
considered, therefore, a nocturnal songster, if his crowing can be
called a song; though it is remarkable that we seldom hear it during
evening twilight. The Cock sings his matins, but not his vespers; he
crows at the earliest dawn of day, and at midnight upon the rising of
the moon, and whenever he is awakened by artificial light. Many
singing-birds are accustomed to prolong their notes after sunset to a
late hour, and become silent only to commence again at the earliest
daybreak. But the habit of singing in the night is peculiar to a small
number of birds, and the cause of it forms a curious subject of inquiry.

By what means are they enabled to sustain such constant watchfulness,
singing and providing subsistence for their offspring during the day,
and still continuing wakeful and musical while it is night? Why do they
take pleasure in singing, when no one will come in answer to their call?
Have they their worship, like religious beings, and are their midnight
lays but the outpouring of the fervency of their spirits? Do they
rejoice, like the clouds, in the presence of the moon, hailing her beams
as a pleasant relief from the darkness that has surrounded them? Or in
the silence of night, are their songs but responses to the sounds of the
trees, when they bow their heads and shake their rustling leaves in the
wind? When they listen to the streamlet, that makes audible melody only
in the hush of night, do they not answer to it from their leafy perch?
And when the moth flies hummingly through the recesses of the wood, and
the beetle sounds his horn, what are their notes but cheerful responses
to these sounds, that break sweetly upon the quiet of their slumbers?

Wilson remarks, that the hunters in the Southern States, when setting
out on an excursion by night, as soon as they hear the Mocking-Bird
sing, know that the moon is rising. He quotes a writer who supposes that
it may be fear that operates upon the birds when they perceive the Owls
flitting among the trees, and that they sing, as a timid person whistles
in a lonely place, to quiet their fears. But the musical notes of birds
are never used by them to express their fears; they are the language of
love, sometimes animated by jealousy. It must be admitted that the
moonlight awakes these birds, and may be the most frequent exciting
cause of their nocturnal singing; but it is not true that they always
wait for the rising of the moon; and if this were the fact, the question
may still be asked, why these few species alone should be thus affected.

Since Philosophy can give no explanation of this instinct, let Fancy
come to her aid, and assist us in our dilemma,--as when we have vainly
sought from Reason an explanation of the mysteries of Religion, we
humbly submit to the guidance of Faith. With Fancy for our interpreter,
we may suppose that Nature has adapted the works of creation to our
moral as well as our physical wants; and while she has instituted the
night as a time for general rest, she has provided means that shall
soften the gloomy effects of darkness. The birds, which are the
harbingers of all rural delights, are hence made to sing during
twilight; and when they cease, the nocturnal songsters become vocal,
bearing pleasant sensations to the sleepless, and by their lulling
melodies preparing us to be keenly susceptible of all agreeable
emotions.


TO THE MOCKING-BIRD.


  Carolling bird, that merrily, night and day,
  Tellest thy raptures from the rustling spray,
  And wakest the morning with thy varied lay,
          Singing thy matins,--
  When we have come to hear thy sweet oblation
  Of love and joyance from thy sylvan station,
  Why, in the place of musical cantation,
          Balk us with pratings?

  We stroll by moonlight in the dusky forest,
  Where the tall cypress shields thee, fervent chorist!
  And sit in haunts of Echoes, when thou pourest
          Thy woodland solo.
  Hark! from the next green tree thy song commences:
  Music and discord join to mock the senses,
  Repeated from the tree-tops and the fences,
          From hill and hollow.

  A hundred voices mingle with thy clamor;
  Bird, beast, and reptile take part in thy drama;
  Out-speak they all in turn without a stammer,--
          Brisk Polyglot!
  Voices of Killdeer, Plover, Duck, and Dotterel;
  Notes bubbling, hissing, mellow, sharp, and guttural;
  Of Cat-Bird, Cat, or Cart-Wheel, thou canst utter all,
          And all-untaught.

  The Raven's croak, the chirping of the Sparrow,
  The scream of Jays, the creaking of Wheelbarrow,
  And hoot of Owls,--all join the soul to harrow,
          And grate the ear.
  We listen to thy quaint soliloquizing,
  As if all creatures thou wert catechizing,
  Tuning their voices, and their notes revising,
          From far and near.

  Sweet bird! that surely lovest the noise of folly;
  Most musical, but never melancholy;
  Disturber of the hour that should be holy,
          With sound prodigious!
  Fie on thee, O thou feathered Paganini!
  To use thy little pipes to squawk and whinny,
  And emulate the hinge and spinning-jenny,
          Making night hideous!

  Provoking melodist! why canst thou breathe us
  No thrilling harmony, no charming pathos,
  No cheerful song of love without its bathos?
          The Furies take thee,--
  Blast thy obstreperous mirth, thy foolish chatter,--
  Gag thee, exhaust thy breath, and stop thy clatter,
  And change thee to a beast, thou senseless prater!--
          Nought else can check thee!

  A lengthened pause ensues:--but hark again!
  From the new woodland, stealing o'er the plain,
  Comes forth a sweeter and a holier strain!--
          Listening delighted,
  The gales breathe softly, as they bear along
  The warbled treasure,--the delicious throng
  Of notes that swell accordant in the song,
          As love is plighted.

  The Echoes, joyful from their vocal cell,
  Leap with the wingèd sounds o'er hill and dell,
  With kindling fervor, as the chimes they tell
          To wakeful Even:--
  They melt upon the ear; they float away;
  They rise, they sink, they hasten, they delay,
  And hold the listener with bewitching sway,
          Like sounds from heaven!



A TRIP TO CUBA.


HAVANA--THE JESUIT COLLEGE.


The gentlemen of our party go one day to visit the Jesuit College in
Havana, yclept "Universidad de Belen." The ladies, weary of dry goods,
manifest some disposition to accompany them. This is at once frowned
down by the unfairer sex, and Can Grande, appealed to by the other side,
shakes his shoulders, and replies, "No, you are only miserable women,
and cannot be admitted into any Jesuit establishment whatever." And so
the male deputation departs with elation, and returns with airs of
superior opportunity, and is more insufferable than ever at dinner, and
thereafter.

They of the feminine faction, on the other hand, consult with more
direct authorities, and discover that the doors of Belen are in no wise
closed to them, and that everything within those doors is quite at their
disposition, saving and excepting the sleeping-apartments of the Jesuit
fathers,--to which, even in thought, they would on no account draw near.
And so they went and saw Belen, whereof one of them relates as follows.

The building is spacious, inclosing a hollow square, and with numerous
galleries, like European cloisters, where the youth walk, study, and
play. We were shown up-stairs, into a pleasant reception-room, where two
priests soon waited on us. One of these, Padre Doyaguez, seemed to be
the decoy-duck of the establishment, and soon fastened upon one of our
party, whose Protestant tone of countenance had probably caught his
attention. Was she a Protestant? Oh, no!--not with that intelligent,
physiognomy!--not with that talent! What was her name? Julia (pronounced
_H_ulia). Hulia was a Roman name, a Catholic name; he had never heard of
a Hulia who was a Protestant;--very strange, it seemed to him, that a
Hulia could hold to such unreasonable ideas. The other priest, Padre
Lluc, meanwhile followed with sweet, quiet eyes, whose silent looks had
more persuasion in them than all the innocent cajoleries of the elder
man. Padre Doyaguez was a man eminently qualified to deal with the sex
in general,--a coaxing voice, a pair of vivacious eyes, whose cunning
was not unpleasing, tireless good-humor and perseverance, and a savor of
sincerity. Padre Lluc was the sort of man that one recalls in quiet
moments with a throb of sympathy,--the earnest eyes, the clear brow, the
sonorous voice. One thinks of him, and hopes that he is satisfied,--that
cruel longing and more cruel doubt shall never spring up in that
capacious heart, divorcing his affections and convictions from the
system to which his life is irrevocably wedded. No, keep still, Padre
Lluc I think ever as you think now, lest the faith that seems a fortress
should prove a prison, the mother a step-dame,--lest the high,
chivalrous spirit, incapable of a safe desertion, should immolate truth
or itself on the altar of consistency.

Between those two advocates of Catholicity, Hulia Protestante walks
slowly through the halls of the University. She sees first a Cabinet of
Natural History, including minerals, shells, fossils, and insects, all
well-arranged, and constituting a very respectable beginning. Padre Lluc
says some good words on the importance of scientific education. Padre
Doyaguez laughs at the ladies' hoops, which he calls Malakoffs, as they
crowd through the doorways and among the glass cases; he repeats
occasionally, "_Hulia Protestante_?" in a tone of mock astonishment, and
receives for answer, "_Sí, Hulia Protestante_." Then comes a very
creditable array of scientific apparatus,--not of the order employed by
the judges of Galileo,--electric and galvanic batteries, an orrery, and
many things beside. The library interests us more, with some luxurious
classics, a superb Dante, and a prison-cage of forbidden works, of which
Padre Lluc certainly has the key. Among these were fine editions of
Rousseau and Voltaire, which appeared to be intended for use; and we
could imagine a solitary student, dark-eyed and pale, exploring their
depths at midnight with a stolen candle, and endeavoring, with
self-torment, to reconcile the intolerance of his doctrine with the
charities of his heart. We imagine such a one lost in the philosophy and
sentiment of the "Nouvelle Héloise," and suddenly summoned by the
convent-bell to the droning of the Mass, the mockery of Holy Water, the
fable of the Real Presence. Such contrasts might be strange and
dangerous. No, no, Padre Lluc! keep these unknown spells from your
heart,--let the forbidden books alone. Instead of the Confessions of
Jean Jacques, read the Confessions of St. Augustine,--read the new book,
in three volumes, on the Immaculate Conception, which you show me with
such ardor, telling me that Can Grande, which, in the vernacular, is
Parker, has spoken of it with respect. Beyond the Fathers you must not
get, for you have vowed to be a child all your life. Those clear eyes of
yours are never to look up into the face of the Eternal Father; the
show-box of the Church must content them, with Mary and the saints seen
through its dusty glass,--the august figure of the Son, who sometimes
reproved his mother, crowded quite out of sight behind the woman, whom
it is so much easier to dress up and exhibit. What is this other book
which Parker has read? Padre Doyaguez says, "Hulia, if you read this,
you must become a Catholic." Padre Lluc says, "If Parker has read this
book, I cannot conceive that he is not a Catholic." The quick Doyaguez
then remarks, "Parker is going to Rome to join the Romish Church." Padre
Lluc rejoins, "They say so." Hulia Protestante is inclined to cry out,
"The day that Parker becomes a Catholic, I, too, will become one"; but,
remembering the rashness of vows and the fallibility of men, she does
not adopt that form of expressing _Never_. Parker might, if it pleased
God, become a Catholic, and then the world would have two Popes instead
of one.

We leave at last the disputed ground of the library and ascend to the
observatory, which commands a fine view of the city, and a good sweep of
the heavens for the telescope, in which Padre Lluc seemed especially to
delight. The observatory is commodious, and is chiefly directed by an
attenuated young priest, with a keen eye and hectic cheek; another was
occupied in working out mathematical tables;--for these Fathers observe
the stars, and are in scientific correspondence with astronomers in
Europe. This circumstance gave us real pleasure on their account,--for
science, in all its degrees, is a positive good, and a mental tonic of
the first importance. Earnestly did we, in thought, commend it to those
wearied minds which have undergone the dialectic dislocations, the
denaturalizations of truth and of thought, which enable rational men to
become first Catholics and then Jesuits. For let there be no illusions
about strength of mind, and so on,--this is effected by means of a vast
machinery. As, in the old story, the calves were put in at one end of
the cylinder and taken out leather breeches at the other, or as glass is
cut and wood carved, so does the raw human material, put into the
machine of the Catholic Church, become fashioned according to the will
of those who guide it. Hulia Protestante! you have a free step and a
clear head; but once go into the machine, and you will come out carved
and embossed according to the old traditional pattern,--you as well as
another. Where the material is hard, they put on more power,--where it
is soft, more care; wherefore I caution you here, as I would in a mill
at Lowell or Lawrence,--Don't meddle with the shafts,--don't go too near
the wheel,--in short, keep clear of the machinery. And Hulia does so;
for, at the last attack of Padre Doyaguez, she suddenly turns upon him
and says, "Sir, you are a Doctrinary and a Propagandist." And the good
Father suffers her to depart in peace. But first there is the chapel to
be seen, with its tawdry and poor ornamentation,--and the dormitories of
the scholars, with long double rows of beds and mosquito-nettings. There
are two of these, and each of them has at one end a raised platform,
with curtains and a bed, where rests and watches the shepherd of the
little sheep. Lastly, we have a view of the whole flock, assembled in
their play-ground, and one of them, looking up, sees his mother, who has
kindly accompanied our visit to the institution. Across the distance
that separates us, we see his blue eyes brighten, and, as soon as
permission is given, he bounds like a young roe to her arms, shy and
tender, his English blood showing through his Spanish skin,--for he is a
child of mixed race. We are all pleased and touched, and Padre Lluc
presently brings us a daguerreotype, and says, "It is my mother." To us
it is an indifferent portrait of an elderly Spanish woman,--but to him,
how much! With kindest mutual regard we take leave,--a little surprised,
perhaps, to see that Jesuit priests have mothers, and remember them.



SAN ANTONIO DE LOS BAÑOS.


  "Far from my thoughts, vain world, begone!"

However enchanting Havana may prove, when seen through the moonlight of
memory, it seems as good a place to go away from as any other, after a
stifling night in a net, the wooden shutters left open in the remote
hope of air, and admitting the music of a whole opera-troupe of dogs,
including bass, tenor, soprano, and chorus. Instead of bouquets, you
throw stones, if you are so fortunate as to have them,--if not,
boot-jacks, oranges, your only umbrella. You are last seen thrusting
frantic hands and feet through the iron bars, your wife holding you back
by the flannel night-gown which you will persist in wearing in this
doubtful climate. At last it is over,--the fifth act ends with a howl
which makes you hope that some one of the performers has come to grief.
But, alas! it is only a stage _dénouement_, whose hero will die again
every night while the season lasts. You fall asleep, but the welcome
cordial has scarcely been tasted when you are aroused by a knock at the
door. It is the night-porter, who wakes you at five by appointment, that
you may enjoy your early coffee, tumble into a hired _volante_, and
reach, half dead with sleep, the station in time for the train that goes
to San Antonio.

Now, whether you are a partisan of early rising or not, you must allow
that sunrise and the hour after is the golden time of the day in Cuba.
So this hour of starting,--six o'clock,--so distasteful in our
latitudes, is a matter of course in tropical climates. Arriving at the
station, you encounter new tribulations in the registering and payment
of luggage, the transportation of which is not included in the charge
for your ticket. Your trunks are recorded in a book, and, having paid a
_real_ apiece for them, you receive a paper which entitles you to demand
them again at your journey's end. The Cuban railways are good, but
dear,--the charge being ten cents a mile; whereas in our more favored
land one goes for three cents, and has the chance of a collision and
surgeon's services without any extra payment. The cars have windows
which are always open, and blinds which are always closed, or nearly so.
The seats and backs of seats are of cane, for coolness,--hardness being
secured at the same time. One reaches San Antonio in an hour and a half,
and finds a pleasant village, with a river running through it, several
streets of good houses, several more of bad ones, a cathedral, a
cockpit, a _volante_, four soldiers on horseback, two on foot, a market,
dogs, a bad smell, and, lastly, the American Hotel,--a house built in a
hollow square, as usual,--kept by a strong-minded woman from the States,
whose Yankee thrift is unmistakable, though she has been long absent
from the great centres of domestic economy.

Mrs. L----, always on the watch for arrivals, comes out to receive us.
We are very welcome, she hints, as far as we go; but why are there not
more of us? The smallest favors should be thankfully received, but she
hears that Havana is full of strangers, and she wonders, for her part,
why people will stay in that hot place, and roast, and stew, and have
the yellow fever, when she could make them so comfortable in San
Antonio. This want of custom she continues, during our whole visit, to
complain of. Would it be uncharitable for us to aver that we found other
wants in her establishment which caused us more astonishment, and which
went some way towards accounting for the deficiency complained of? wants
of breakfast, wants of dinner, wants of something good for tea, wants of
towels, wants of candles, wants of ice, or, at least, of the cooling
jars used in the country. Charges exorbitant,--the same as in Havana,
where rents are an ounce a week, and upwards; _volantes_
difficult,--Mrs. L. having made an agreement with the one livery-stable
that they shall always be furnished at most unreasonable prices, of
which she, supposably, pockets half. On the other hand, the village is
really cool, healthy, and pretty; there are pleasant drives over
dreadful roads, if one makes up one's mind to the _volante_, and
delightful river-baths, shaded by roofs of palm-tree thatch. One of the
best of these is at the foot of Mrs. L.'s inclosure, and its use is
included in the privileges of the house. The water is nearly tepid,
clear, and green, and the little fish float hither and thither in
it,--though men of active minds are sometimes reduced to angle for them,
with crooked pins, for amusement. At the hour of one, daily, the ladies
of the house betake themselves to this refreshment; and there is
laughing, and splashing, and holding of hands, and simulation of all the
Venuses that ever were, from the crouching one of the bath, to the
triumphant Cytherea, springing for the first time from the wave.

Such are the resources of the house. Those of the neighborhood are
various. Foremost among them is the _cafetal_, or coffee-plantation, of
Don Juan Torres, distant a league from the village, over which league of
stone, sand, and rut you rumble in a _volante_ dragged by three horses.
You know that the _volante_ cannot upset; nevertheless you experience
some anxious moments when it leans at an obtuse angle, one wheel in air,
one sticking in a hole, the horses balking and kicking, and the
postilion swearing his best. But it is written, the _volante_ shall not
upset,--and so it does not. Long before you see the entrance to the
plantation, you watch the tall palms, planted in a line, that shield,
its borders. An avenue of like growth leads you to the house, where
barking dogs announce you, and Don Juan, an elderly gentleman in
slippers and a Panama hat, his hair, face, and eyes all faded to one hue
of grayness, comes out to accost us. Here, again, Hulia Protestante
becomes the subject of a series of attacks, in a new kind. Don Juan
first exhausts his flower-garden upon her, and explains all that is new
to her. Then she must see his blind Chino, a sightless Samson of a
Cooly, who is working resolutely in a mill. "_Canta!_" says the master,
and the poor slave gives tongue like a hound on the scent. "_Baila!_"
and, a stick being handed him, he performs the gymnastics of his
country, a sort of war-dance without accompaniment. "_El can!_" and,
giving him a broom, they loose the dog upon him. A curious tussle then
ensues,--the dog attacking furiously, and the blind man, guided by his
barking, defending himself lustily. The Chino laughs, the master laughs,
but the visitor feels more inclined to cry, having been bred in those
Northern habits which respect infirmity. A _real_ dismisses the poor
soul with a smile, and then begins the journey round the _cafetal_. The
coffee-blossom is just in its perfection, and whole acres in sight are
white with its flower, which nearly resembles that of the small white
jasmine. Its fragrance is said to be delicious after a rain; but, the
season being dry, it is scarcely discernible. As shade is a great
object in growing coffee, the grounds are laid out in lines of fruit-
trees, and these are the ministers of Hulia's tribulation; for Don
Juan, whether in kindness or in mischief, insists that she shall taste
every unknown fruit,--and as he cuts them and hands them to her, she
is forced to obey. First, a little negro shins up a cocoa-nut-tree,
and flings down the nut, whose water she must drink. One cocoa-nut she
endures,--two,--but three? no, she must rebel, and cry out,--"_No mi
gusta!_" Then she must try a bitter orange, then a sour bitter one, then
a sweet lemon, then a huge fruit of triple verjuice flavor. "What is it
good for?" she asks, after a shuddering plunge into its acrid depths.
"Oh," says the Don, "they eat it in the castors instead of vinegar."
Then come _sapotas, mamey_, Otaheite gooseberries. "Does she like
bananas?" he cuts a tree down with his own hand, and sends the bunch of
fruit to her _volante_;--"Sugar-cane?" he bestows a huge bundle of
sticks for her leisurely rodentation;--he fills her pocket with coral
beans for her children. Having, at last, exhausted every polite
attention, and vainly offered gin, rum, and coffee, as a parting
demonstration, Hulia and her partner escape, bearing with them many
strange flavors, and an agonizing headache, the combined result of sun
and acids. Really, if there exist anywhere on earth a society for the
promotion and encouragement of good manners, it should send a diploma to
Don Juan, admonishing him only to omit the vinegar-fruit in his further
walks of hospitality.

We take the Sunday to visit the nearest sugar-plantation, belonging to
Don Jacinto Gonzales. Sun, not shade, being the desideratum in
sugar-planting, there are few trees or shrubs bordering the
sugar-fields, which resemble at a distance our own fields of Indian
corn, the green of the leaves being lighter, and a pale blue blossom
appearing here and there. The points of interest here are the machinery,
the negroes, and the work. Entering the sugar-house, we find the
_maquinista_ (engineer) superintending some repairs in the machinery,
aided by another white man, a Cooly, and an imp of a black boy, who
begged of all the party, and revenged himself with clever impertinence
on those who refused him. The _maquinista_ was a fine-looking man, from
the Pyrenees, very kind and obliging. He told us that Don Jacinto was
very old, and came rarely to the plantation. We asked him how the
extreme heat of his occupation suited him, and for an answer he opened
the bosom of his shirt, and showed us the marks of innumerable leeches.
The machinery is not very complicated. It consists of a wheel and band,
to throw the canes under the powerful rollers which crush them, and
these rollers, three in number, all moved by the steam-engine. The juice
flows into large copper caldrons, where it is boiled and skimmed. As
they were not at work, we did not see the actual process. Leaving the
sugar-house, we went in pursuit of the _mayoral_, or overseer, who
seemed to inhabit comfortable quarters, in a long, low house, shielded
from the sun by a thick screen of matting. We found him a powerful,
thick-set man, of surly and uncivil manners, girded with a sword, and
further armed with a pistol, a dagger, and a stout whip. He was much too
important a person to waste his words upon us, but signified that the
major-domo would wait on us, which he presently did. We now entered the
negro quarter, a solid range of low buildings, formed around a hollow
square, whose strong entrance is closed at nightfall, and its inmates
kept in strict confinement till the morning hour of work comes round.
Just within the doorway we encountered the trader, who visits the
plantations every Sunday, to tempt the stray cash of the negroes by
various commodities, of which the chief seemed to be white bread,
calicoes, muslins, and bright cotton handkerchiefs. He told us that
their usual weekly expenditure amounted to about twenty-five dollars.
Bargaining with him stood the negro-driver, a tattooed African, armed
with a whip. All within the court swarmed the black bees of the
hive,--the men with little clothing, the small children naked, the women
decent. All had their little charcoal fires, with pots boiling over
them; the rooms within looked dismally dark, close, and dirty; there are
no windows, no air and light save through the ever-open door. The beds
are sometimes partitioned off by a screen of dried palm-leaf, but I saw
no better sleeping-privilege than a board with a blanket or coverlet.
From this we turned to the nursery, where all the children incapable of
work are kept; the babies are quite naked, and sometimes very handsome
in their way, black and shining, with bright eyes and well-formed limbs.
No great provision is made for their amusement, but the little girls
nurse them tenderly enough, and now and then the elders fling them a bit
of orange or _chaimito_, for which they scramble like so many monkeys.
Appeals are constantly made to the pockets of visitors, by open hands
stretched out in all directions. To these "_Nada_"--"Nothing"--is the
safe reply; for, if you give to one, the others close about you with
frantic gesticulation, and you have to break your way through them with
some violence, which hurts your own feelings more than it does theirs.
On _strict_ plantations this is not allowed; but Don Jacinto, like Lord
Ashburton at the time of the Maine treaty, is an old man,--a very old
man; and where discipline cannot be maintained, peace must be secured on
any terms. We visit next the sugar-house, where we find the desired
condiment in various stages of color and refinement. It is whitened with
clay, in large funnel-shaped vessels, open at the bottom, to allow the
molasses to run off. Above are hogsheads of coarse, dark sugar; below is
a huge pit of fermenting molasses, in which rats and small negroes
occasionally commit involuntary suicide, and from which rum is made.--N.
B. Rum is not a wicked word in Cuba; in Boston everybody is shocked when
it is named, and in Cuba nobody is shocked when it is drunk.

And here endeth the description of our visit to the sugar-plantation of
Don Jacinto, and in good time, too,--for by this it had grown so hot,
that we made a feeble rush for the _volante_, and lay back in it,
panting for breath. Encountering a negress with a load of oranges on her
head, we bought and ate the fruit with eagerness, though the oranges
were bitter. The jolting over three miles of stone and rut did not
improve the condition of our aching heads. Arriving at San Antonio, we
thankfully went to bed for the rest of the morning, and dreamed, only
dreamed, that the saucy black boy in the boiling-house had run after us,
had lifted the curtain of the _volante_, screeched a last impertinence
after us, and kissed his hand for a good-bye, which, luckily for him, is
likely to prove eternal.



THE MORRO FORTRESS--THE UNIVERSITY OF HAVANA--THE BENEFICENZA.


The Spanish government experiences an unwillingness to admit foreigners
into the Morro, their great stronghold, the causes of which may not be
altogether mysterious. Americans have been of late especially excluded
from it, and it was only by a fortunate chance that we were allowed to
visit it. A friend of a friend of ours happened to have a friend in the
garrison, and, after some delays and negotiations, an early morning hour
was fixed upon for the expedition.

The fort is finely placed at the entrance of the harbor, and is in
itself a picturesque object. It is built of a light, yellowish stone,
which is seen, as you draw near, in strong contrast with the vivid green
of the tropical waters. We approached it by water, taking a rowboat from
the Alameda. As we passed, we had a good view of a daily Havana
spectacle, the washing of the horses. This being by far the easiest and
most expeditious way of cleaning the animals, they are driven daily to
the sea in great numbers, those of one party being tied together; they
disport themselves in the surge and their wet backs glisten in the sun.
Their drivers, nearly naked, plunge in with them, and bring them safely
back to the shore.

But for the Morro. We entered without difficulty, and began at once a
somewhat steep ascent, which the heat, even at that early hour, made
laborious. After some climbing, we reached the top of the parapet, and
looked out from the back of the fortress. On this side, if ever on any,
it will be taken,--for, standing with one's back to the harbor, one
sees, nearly on the right hand, a point where trenches could be opened
with advantage. The fort is heavily gunned and garrisoned, and seems to
be in fighting order. The outer wall is separated from the inner by a
paved space some forty feet in width. The height of both walls makes
this point a formidable one; but scaling-ladders could be thrown across,
if one had possession of the outer wall. The material is the coralline
rock common in this part of the island. It is a soft stone, and would
prove, it is feared, something like the cotton-bag defence of New
Orleans memory,--as the balls thrown from without would sink in, and not
splinter the stone, which for the murderous work were to be wished. A
little perseverance, with much perspiration, brought us to a high point,
called the Lantern, which is merely a small room, where the telescope,
signal-books, and signals are kept. Here we were received by an official
in blue spectacles and with a hole in his boot, but still with that air
of being the chiefest thing on God's earth common to all Spaniards. The
best of all was that we brought a sack of oranges with us, and that the
time was now come for their employment. With no other artillery than
these did we take the very heart of the Morro citadel,--for, on offering
them to the official with the hole, he surrendered at once, smiled, gave
us seats, and sitting down with us, indeed, was soon in the midst of his
half-dozenth orange. Having refreshed ourselves, examined the flags of
all nations, and made all the remarks which our limited Spanish allowed,
we took leave, redescended, and reëmbarked. One of our party, an old
soldier, had meanwhile been busily scanning the points and angles of the
fortress, pacing off distances, etc., etc. The result of his
observations would, no doubt, be valuable to men of military minds. But
the writer of this, to be candid, was especially engaged with the heat,
the prospect, the oranges, and the soldiers' wives and children, who
peeped out from windows here and there. Such trifling creatures do come
into such massive surroundings, and trifle still!

Our ladies, being still in a furious mood of sight-seeing, desired to
visit the University of Havana, and, having made appointment with an
accomplished Cuban, betook themselves to the College buildings with all
proper escort. Their arrival in the peristyle occasioned some
excitement. One of the students came up, and said, in good English,
"What do you want?" Others, not so polite, stared and whispered in
corners. A message to one of the professors was attended with some
delay, and our Cuban friend, having gone to consult with him, returned
to say, with some embarrassment, that the professor would be happy to
show the establishment to the ladies on Sunday, at two, P.M., when every
male creature but himself would be out of it; but as for their going
through the rooms while the undergraduates were about, that was not to
be thought of. "Why not?" asked the ladies. "For your own sake," said
the messenger, and proceeded to explain that the appearance of the
_skirted_ in these halls of learning would be followed by such
ill-conduct and indignity of impertinence on the part of the _shirted_
as might be intolerable to the one and disadvantageous to the other. Now
there be women, we know, whose horrid fronts could have awed these saucy
little Cubans into decency and good behavior, and some that we know,
whether possessing that power or not, would have delighted in the
fancied exercise of it. What strong-minded company, under these
circumstances, would have turned back? What bolting, tramping, and
rushing would they not have made through the ranks of the astonished
professors and students? The Anniversary set, for example, who sweep the
pews of men, or, coming upon one forlorn, crush him as a boa does a
sheep. Our silly little flock only laughed, colored, and retreated to
the _volantes_, where they held a council of war, and decided to go
visit some establishment where possibly better manners might prevail.

Returning on the Sunday, at the hour appointed, they walked through the
deserted building, and found spacious rooms, the pulpits of the
professors, the benches of the students, the Queen's portrait, a very
limited library, and, for all consolation, some pleasant Latin sentences
over the doors of the various departments, celebrating the solace and
delights of learning. This was seeing the College, literally; but it was
a good deal like seeing the lion's den, the lion himself being absent on
leave,--or like visiting the hippopotamus in Regent's Park on those days
in which he remains steadfastly buried in his tank, and will show only
the tip of a nostril for your entrance-fee. Still, it was a pleasure to
know that learning was so handsomely housed; and as for the little
rabble who could not be trusted in the presence of the sex, we forgave
them heartily, knowing that soberer manners would one day come upon
them, as inevitably as baldness and paternity.

Let me here say, that a few days in Havana make clear to one the
seclusion of women in the East, and its causes. Wherever the animal
vigor of men is so large in proportion to their moral power, as in those
countries, women must be glad to forego their liberties for the
protection of the strong arm. One master is better for them than many.
Whatever tyranny may grow out of such barbarous manners, the institution
springs from a veritable necessity and an original good intention. The
Christian religion should change this, which is justifiable only in a
Mohammedan country. But where that religion is so loosely administered
as in Cuba, where its teachers themselves frequent the cock-pit and the
gaming-table, one must not look for too much of its power in the manners
and morals of men.

The Beneficenza was our next station. It is, as its name signifies, an
institution with a benevolent purpose, an orphan asylum and foundling
hospital in one. The State here charitably considers that infants who
are abandoned by their parents are as much orphaned as they can become
by the interposition of death,--nay, more. The death of parents oftenest
leaves a child with some friend or relative; but the foundling is cut
off from all human relationship,--he belongs only to the hand that takes
him up, when he has been left to die. Despite the kind cruelty of modern
theories, which will not allow of suitable provision for the sufferer,
for fear of increasing the frequency of the crime by which he suffers,
our hearts revolt at the miserable condition of those little creatures
in our great cities, confounded with hopeless pauperism in its desolate
asylums, or farmed out to starve and die. They belong to the State, and
the State should nobly retrieve the world's offence against them. Their
broken galaxy shows many a bright star here and there. Such a little
wailing creature has been found who has commanded great actions and done
good service among men. Let us, then, cherish the race of foundlings, of
whom Moses was the first and the greatest. The princess who reared him
saw not the glorious destiny which lay hid, as a birth-jewel, in his
little basket of reeds. She saw only, as some of us have seen, a
helpless, friendless babe. When he dedicated to her his first edition of
the Pentateuch--But, nay, he did not; for neither gratitude nor
dedications were in fashion among the Jews.

We found the Beneficenza spacious, well-ventilated, and administered
with great order. It stands near the sea, with a fine prospect in view,
and must command a cool breeze, if there be any. The children enjoy
sea-bathing in summer. The superintendent received us most kindly, and
presented us to the sisters who have charge of the children, who were
good specimens of their class. We walked with them through the neat
dormitories, and observed that they were much more airy than those of
the Jesuit College, lately described. They all slept on the sackings of
the cots, beds being provided only in the infirmary. In the latter place
we found but two inmates,--one suffering from ordinary Cuban fever, the
other with ophthalmia.--N.B. Disease of the eyes does not seem to be
common in Cuba, in spite of the tropical glare of the sun; nor do people
nurse and complain of their eyes there, as with us. We found a separate
small kitchen for the sick, which was neat and convenient. The larger
kitchen, too, was handsomely endowed with apparatus, and the
superintendent told us, with a twinkle in his eye, that the children
lived well. Coffee at six, a good breakfast at nine, dinner at the usual
hour, bread and coffee before bed-time;--this seemed very suitable as to
quantity, though differing from our ideas of children's food; but it
must be remembered that the nervous stimulus of coffee is not found to
be excessive in hot climates; it seems to be only what Nature
demands,--no more. The kind nun who accompanied us now showed us, with
some pride, various large presses, set in the wall, and piled to the top
with clean and comfortable children's clothing. We came presently to
where the boys were reciting their catechism. An ecclesiastic was
hearing them;--they seemed ready enough with their answers, but were
allowed to gabble off the holy words in a manner almost unintelligible,
and quite indecorous. They were bright, healthy-looking little fellows,
ranging apparently from eight to twelve in age. They had good
play-ground set off for them, and shady galleries to walk up and down
in. Coming from their quarter, the girls' department seemed quiet
enough. Here was going on the eternal task of needlework, to which the
sex has been condemned ever since Adam's discovery of his want of
wardrobe. Oh, ye wretched, foolish women! why will ye forever sew? "We
must not only sew, but be thankful to sew; that little needle being, as
the sentimental Curtis has said, the only thing between us and the worst
that may befall."

These incipient women were engaged in various forms of sewing,--the most
skilful in a sort of embroidery, like that which forms the border of
_piña_ handkerchiefs. A few were reading and spelling. One poor blind
girl sat amongst them, with melancholy arms folded, and learned
nothing,--they told us, nothing; for the instruction of the blind is not
thought of in these parts. This seemed piteous to us, and made us
reflect how happy are _our_ blinds, to say nothing of our deafs and
dumbs. Idiocy is not uncommon here, and is the result of continual
intermarriage between near relations; but it will be long before they
will provide it with a separate asylum and suitable instruction.

But now came the saddest part of the whole exhibition,--a sight common
enough in Europe, but, by some accident, hitherto unseen by us. Here is
a sort of receptacle, with three or four compartments, which turns on a
pivot. One side of it is open to the street, and in it the wretched
parent lays the more wretched baby,--ringing a small bell, at the same
time, for the new admittance; the parent vanishes, the receptacle turns
on its pivot,--the baby is within, and, we are willing to believe, in
merciful hands.

The sight of this made, for the first time, the crime real to me. I saw,
at a flash, the whole tragedy of desertion,--the cautious approach, the
frightened countenance, the furtive act, and the great avenging pang of
Nature after its consummation. What was Hester Prynne's pillory,
compared to the heart of any of those mothers? I thought, too, of
Rousseau, bringing to such a place as this children who had the right to
inherit divine genius, and deserting them for the sordid reason that he
did not choose to earn their bread,--the helpless mother weeping at
home, and begging, through long years, to be allowed to seek and reclaim
them.

Well, here were the little creatures kindly cared for; yet what a
piteous place was their nursery! Some of the recent arrivals looked as
if ill-usage had been exhausted upon them before they were brought
hither. Blows and drugs and starvation had been tried upon them, but,
with the tenacity of infancy, they clung to life. They would not
die;--well, then, they should live to regret it. Some of them lay on the
floor, deformed and helpless; the older ones formed a little class, and
were going through some elementary exercise when we passed. The babies
had a large room allotted to them, and I found the wet-nurses
apportioned one to each child. This appeared a very generous provision,
as, in such establishments elsewhere, three and even four children are
given to one nurse. They had comfortable cribs, on each of which was
pinned the name of its little inmate, and the date of its
entrance;--generally, the name and age of the child are found written on
a slip of paper attached to its clothing, when it is left in the
receptacle. I saw on one, "Cecilio, three weeks old." He had been but a
few days in the establishment.

Of course, I lingered longest in the babies' room, and longest of all
near the crib of the little Cecilio. He was a pretty baby, and seemed to
me the most ill-used of all, because the youngest. "Could they not bear
with you three weeks, little fellow?" I said. "I know those at whose
firesides such as you would have been welcome guests. That New York
woman whom I met lately, young, rich, and childless,--I could commend
you to her in place of the snarling little spaniel fiend who was her
constant care and companion."

But here the superintendent made a polite bow, saying,--"And now your
Worships have seen all; for the chapel is undergoing repairs, and cannot
be visited." And so we thanked, and departed.



DANIEL GRAY.


  If I shall ever win the home in heaven
    For whose sweet rest I humbly hope and pray,
  In the great company of the forgiven
    I shall be sure to find old Daniel Gray.

  I knew him well; in fact, few knew him better;
    For my young eyes oft read for him the Word,
  And saw how meekly from the crystal letter
    He drank the life of his beloved Lord.

  Old Daniel Gray was not a man who lifted
    On ready words his freight of gratitude,
  And was not called upon among the gifted,
    In the prayer-meetings of his neighborhood.

  He had a few old-fashioned words and phrases,
    Linked in with sacred texts and Sunday rhymes;
  And I suppose, that, in his prayers and graces,
    I've heard them all at least a thousand times.

  I see him now,--his form, and face, and motions,
    His homespun habit, and his silver hair,--
  And hear the language of his trite devotions
    Rising behind the straight-backed kitchen-chair.

  I can remember how the sentence sounded,--
    "Help us, O Lord, to pray, and not to faint!"
  And how the "conquering-and-to-conquer" rounded
    The loftier aspirations of the saint.

  He had some notions that did not improve him:
    He never kissed his children,--so they say;
  And finest scenes and fairest flowers would move him
    Less than a horseshoe picked up in the way.

  He could see nought but vanity in beauty,
    And nought but weakness in a fond caress,
  And pitied men whose views of Christian duty
    Allowed indulgence in such foolishness.

  Yet there were love and tenderness within him;
    And I am told, that, when his Charley died,
  Nor Nature's need nor gentle words could win him
    From his fond vigils at the sleeper's side.

  And when they came to bury little Charley,
    They found fresh dew-drops sprinkled in his hair,
  And on his breast a rose-bud, gathered early,--
    And guessed, but did not know, who placed it there.

  My good old friend was very hard on fashion,
    And held its votaries in lofty scorn,
  And often burst into a holy passion
    While the gay crowds went by, on Sunday morn.

  Yet he was vain, old Gray, and did not know it!
    He wore his hair unparted, long, and plain,
  To hide the handsome brow that slept below it,
    For fear the world would think that he was vain!

  He had a hearty hatred of oppression,
    And righteous words for sin of every kind;
  Alas, that the transgressor and transgression
    Were linked so closely in his honest mind!

  Yet that sweet tale of gift without repentance,
    Told of the Master, touched him to the core,
  And tearless he could never read the sentence:
    "Neither do I condemn thee: sin no more."

  Honest and faithful, constant in his calling,
    Strictly attendant on the means of grace,
  Instant in prayer, and fearful most of falling,
    Old Daniel Gray was always in his place.

  A practical old man, and yet a dreamer,
    He thought that in some strange, unlooked-for way,
  His mighty Friend in heaven, the great Redeemer,
    Would honor him with wealth some golden day.

  This dream he carried in a hopeful spirit
    Until in death his patient eye grew dim,
  And his Redeemer called him to inherit
    The heaven of wealth long garnered up for him.

  So, if I ever win the home in heaven
    For whose sweet rest I humbly hope and pray
  In the great company of the forgiven
    I shall be sure to find old Daniel Gray.



THE MINISTER'S WOOING.


[Continued.]


CHAPTER XVIII.


The Doctor sat at his study-table. It was evening, and the slant beams
of the setting sun shot their golden arrows through the healthy purple
clusters of lilacs that veiled the windows. There had been a shower that
filled them with drops of rain, which every now and then tattooed, with
a slender rat-tat, on the window-sill, as a breeze would shake the
leaves and bear in perfume on its wings. Sweet, fragrance-laden airs
tripped stirringly to and fro about the study-table, making gentle
confusions, fluttering papers on moral ability, agitating treatises on
the great end of creation, mixing up subtile distinctions between
amiable instincts and true holiness, and, in short, conducting
themselves like very unappreciative and unphilosophical little breezes.

The Doctor patiently smoothed back and rearranged, while opposite to him
sat Mary, bending over some copying she was doing for him. One stray
sunbeam fell on her light brown hair, tinging it to gold; her long,
drooping lashes lay over the wax-like pink of her cheeks, as she wrote
on.

"Mary," said the Doctor, pushing the papers from him.

"Sir," she answered, looking up, the blood just perceptibly rising in
her cheeks.

"Do you ever have any periods in which your evidences seem not
altogether clear?"

Nothing could show more forcibly the grave, earnest character of thought
in New England at this time than the fact that this use of the term
"evidences" had become universally significant and understood as
relating to one's right of citizenship in a celestial, invisible
commonwealth.

So Mary understood it, and it was with a deepening flush she answered
gently, "No, Sir."

"What! never any doubts?" said the Doctor.

"I am sorry," said Mary, apologetically; "but I do not see how I _can_
have; I never could."

"Ah!" said the Doctor, musingly, "would I could say so! There are times,
indeed, when I hope I have an interest in the precious Redeemer, and
behold an infinite loveliness and beauty in Him, apart from anything I
expect or hope. But even then how deceitful is the human heart! how
insensibly might a mere selfish love take the place of that
disinterested complacency which regards Him for what He is in Himself,
apart from what He is to us! Say, my dear friend, does not this thought
sometimes make you tremble?"

Poor Mary was truth itself, and this question distressed her; she must
answer the truth. The fact was, that it had never come into her blessed
little heart to tremble, for she was one of those children of the
bride-chamber who cannot mourn, because the bridegroom is ever with
them; but then, when she saw the man for whom her reverence was almost
like that for her God thus distrustful, thus lowly, she could not but
feel that her too calm repose might, after all, be the shallow,
treacherous calm of an ignorant, ill-grounded spirit, and therefore,
with a deep blush and a faltering voice, she said,--

"Indeed, I am afraid something must be wrong with me. I _cannot_ have
any fears,--I never could; I try sometimes, but the thought of God's
goodness comes all around me, and I am so happy before I think of it!"

"Such exercises, my dear friend, I have also had," said the Doctor; "but
before I rest on them as evidences, I feel constrained to make the
following inquiries:--Is this gratitude that swells my bosom the result
of a mere natural sensibility? Does it arise in a particular manner
because God has done me good? or do I love God for what He is, as well
as for what He has done? and for what He has done for others, as well as
for what He has done for me? Love to God which is built on nothing but
good received is not incompatible with a disposition so horrid as even
to curse God to His face. If God is not to be loved except when He does
good, then in affliction we are free. If doing _us_ good is all that
renders God lovely to us, then not doing us good divests Him of His
glory, and dispenses us from obligation to love Him. But there must be,
undoubtedly, some permanent reason why God is to be loved by all; and if
not doing us good divests Him of His glory so as to free _us_ from our
obligation to love, it equally frees the universe; so that, in fact, the
universe of happiness, if ours be not included, reflects no glory on its
Author."

The Doctor had practised his subtile mental analysis till his
instruments were so fine-pointed and keen-edged that he scarce ever
allowed a flower of sacred emotion to spring in his soul without picking
it to pieces to see if its genera and species were correct. Love,
gratitude, reverence, benevolence,--which all moved in mighty tides in
his soul,--were all compelled to pause midway while he rubbed up his
optical instruments to see whether they were rising in right order.
Mary, on the contrary, had the blessed gift of womanhood,--that vivid
life in the soul and sentiment which resists the chills of analysis, as
a healthful human heart resists cold; yet still, all humbly, she thought
this perhaps was a defect in herself, and therefore, having confessed,
in a depreciating tone, her habits of unanalyzed faith and love, she
added,--

"But, my dear Sir, you are my best friend. I trust you will be faithful
to me. If I am deceiving myself, undeceive me; you cannot be too severe
with me."

"Alas!" said the Doctor, "I fear that I may be only a blind leader of
the blind. What, after all, if I be only a miserable self-deceiver? What
if some thought of self has come in to poison all my prayers and
strivings? It is true, I think,--yes, I _think_," said the Doctor,
speaking very slowly and with intense earnestness,--"I think, that, if I
knew at this moment that my name never would be written among those of
the elect, I could still see God to be infinitely amiable and glorious,
and could feel sure that He _could_ not do me wrong, and that it was
infinitely becoming and right that He should dispose of me according to
His sovereign pleasure. I _think_ so;--but still my deceitful
heart!--after all, I might find it rising in rebellion. Say, my dear
friend, are you sure, that, should you discover yourself to be forever
condemned by His justice, you would not find your heart rising up
against Him?"

"Against _Him_?" said Mary, with a tremulous, sorrowful expression on
her face,--"against my Heavenly Father?"

Her face flushed, and faded; her eyes kindled eagerly, as if she had
something to say, and then grew misty with tears. At last she said,--

"Thank you, my dear, faithful friend! I will think about this; _perhaps_
I may have been deceived. How very difficult it must be to know one's
self perfectly!"

Mary went into her own little room, and sat leaning for a long time with
her elbow on the window-seat, watching the pale shells of the
apple-blossoms as they sailed and fluttered downward into the grass, and
listened to a chippering conversation in which the birds in the nest
above were settling up their small housekeeping accounts for the day.

After a while, she took her pen and wrote the following, which the
Doctor found the next morning lying on his study-table:--

"MY DEAR, HONORED FRIEND,--How can I sufficiently thank you for your
faithfulness with me? All you say to me seems true and excellent; and
yet, my dear Sir, permit me to try to express to you some of the many
thoughts to which our conversation this evening has given rise. To love
God because He is good to me you seem to think is not a right kind of
love; and yet every moment of my life I have experienced His goodness.
When recollection brings back the past, where can I look that I see not
His goodness? What moment of my life presents not instances of merciful
kindness to me, as well as to every creature, more and greater than I
can express, than my mind is able to take in? How, then, can I help
loving God because He is good to me? Were I not an object of God's mercy
and goodness, I cannot have any conception what would be my feeling.
Imagination never yet placed me in a situation not to experience the
goodness of God in some way or other; and if I do love Him, how can it
be but because He is good, and to me good? Do not God's children love
Him because He first loved them?

"If I called nothing goodness which did not happen to suit my
inclination, and could not believe the Deity to be gracious and merciful
except when the course of events was so ordered as to agree with my
humor, so far from imagining that I had any love to God, I must conclude
myself wholly destitute of anything good. A love founded on nothing but
good received is not, you say, incompatible with a disposition so horrid
as even to curse God. I am not sensible that I ever in my life imagined
anything _but_ good could come from the hand of God. From a Being
infinite in goodness everything _must_ be good, though we do not always
comprehend how it is so. Are not afflictions good? Does He not even in
judgment remember mercy? Sensible that 'afflictions are but blessings in
disguise,' I would bless the hand that, with infinite kindness, wounds
only to heal, and love and adore the goodness of God equally in
suffering as in rejoicing.

"The disinterested love to God, which you think is alone the genuine
love, I see not how we can be certain we possess, when our love of
happiness and our love of God are so inseparably connected. The joys
arising from a consciousness that God is a benefactor to me and my
friends, (and when I think of God, every creature is my friend,) if
arising from a selfish motive, it does not seem to me possible could be
changed into hate, even supposing God my enemy, whilst I regarded Him as
a Being infinitely just as well as good. If God is my enemy, it must be
because I deserve He should be such; and it does not seem to me
_possible_ that I should hate Him, even if I knew He would always be so.

"In what you say of willingness to suffer eternal punishment, I don't
know that I understand what the feeling is. Is it wickedness in me that
I do not feel a willingness to be left to eternal sin? Can any one
joyfully acquiesce in being thus left? When I pray for a new heart and a
right spirit, must I be willing to be denied, and rejoice that my prayer
is not heard? Could any real Christian rejoice in this? But he fears it
not,--he knows it will never be,--he therefore can cheerfully leave it
with God; and so can I.

"Such, my dear friend, are my thoughts, poor and unworthy; yet they seem
to me as certain as my life, or as anything I see. Am I unduly
confident? I ask your prayers that I may be guided aright.

"Your affectionate friend,

"MARY."

There are in this world two kinds of natures,--those that have wings,
and those that have feet,--the winged and the walking spirits. The
walking are the logicians: the winged are the instinctive and poetic.
Natures that must always walk find many a bog, many a thicket, many a
tangled brake, which God's happy little winged birds flit over by one
noiseless flight. Nay, when a man has toiled till his feet weigh too
heavily with the mud of earth to enable him to walk another step, these
little birds will often cleave the air in a right line towards the bosom
of God, and show the way where he could never have found it.

The Doctor paused in his ponderous and heavy reasonings to read this
real woman's letter; and being a loving man, he felt as if he could have
kissed the hem of her garment who wrote it. He recorded it in his
journal, and after it this significant passage from Canticles:--

"I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the
hinds of the field, that ye stir not up nor awake this lovely one till
she please."

Mrs. Scudder's motherly eye noticed, with satisfaction, these quiet
communings. "Let it alone," she said to herself; "before she knows it,
she will find herself wholly under his influence." Mrs. Scudder was a
wise woman.



CHAPTER XIX.


In the course of a day or two, a handsome carriage drew up in front of
Mrs. Scudder's cottage, and a brilliant party alighted. They were
Colonel and Madame de Frontignac, the Abbé Léfon, and Colonel Burr. Mrs.
Scudder and her daughter, being prepared for the call, sat in afternoon
dignity and tranquillity, in the best room, with their knitting-work.

Madame de Frontignac had divined, with the lightning-like tact which
belongs to women in the positive, and to French women in the superlative
degree, that there was something in the cottage-girl, whom she had
passingly seen at the party, which powerfully affected the man whom she
loved with all the jealous intensity of a strong nature, and hence she
embraced eagerly the opportunity to see her,--yes, to see her, to study
her, to dart her keen French wit through her, and detect the secret of
her charm, that she, too, might practise it.

Madame de Frontignac was one of those women whose beauty is so striking
and imposing, that they seem to kindle up, even in the most prosaic
apartment, an atmosphere of enchantment. All the pomp and splendor of
high life, the wit, the refinements, the nameless graces and luxuries of
courts, seemed to breathe in invisible airs around her, and she made a
Faubourg St. Germain of the darkest room into which she entered. Mary
thought, when she came in, that she had never seen anything so splendid.
She was dressed in a black velvet riding-habit, buttoned to the throat
with coral; her riding-hat drooped with its long plumes so as to cast a
shadow over her animated face, out of which her dark eyes shone like
jewels, and her pomegranate cheeks glowed with the rich shaded radiance
of one of Rembrandt's pictures. Something quaint and foreign, something
poetic and strange, marked each turn of her figure, each article of her
dress, down to the sculptured hand on which glittered singular and
costly rings,--and the riding-glove, embroidered with seed-pearls, that
fell carelessly beside her on the floor.

In Antwerp one sees a picture in which Rubens, who felt more than any
other artist the glory of the physical life, has embodied his conception
of the Madonna, in opposition to the faded, cold ideals of the Middle
Ages, from which he revolted with such a bound. _His_ Mary is a superb
Oriental sultana, with lustrous dark eyes, redundant form, jewelled
turban, standing leaning on the balustrade of a princely terrace, and
bearing on her hand, _not_ the silver dove, but a gorgeous paroquet. The
two styles, in this instance, were both in the same room; and as Burr
sat looking from one to the other, he felt, for a moment, as one would
who should put a sketch of Overbeck's beside a splendid painting of
Titian's.

For a few moments, everything in the room seemed faded and cold, in
contrast with the tropical atmosphere of this regal beauty. Burr watched
Mary with a keen eye, to see if she were dazzled and overawed. He saw
nothing but the most innocent surprise and delight. All the slumbering
poetry within her seemed to awaken at the presence of her beautiful
neighbor,--as when one, for the first time, stands before the great
revelations of Art. Mary's cheek glowed, her eyes seemed to grow deep
with the enthusiasm of admiration, and, after a few moments, it seemed
as if her delicate face and figure reflected the glowing loveliness of
her visitor, just as the virgin snows of the Alps become incarnadine as
they stand opposite the glorious radiance of a sunset sky.

Madame de Frontignac was accustomed to the effect of her charms; but
there was so much love in the admiration now directed towards her, that
her own warm, nature was touched, and she threw out the glow of her
feelings with a magnetic power. Mary never felt the cold, habitual
reserve of her education so suddenly melt, never felt herself so
naturally falling into language of confidence and endearment with a
stranger; and as her face, so delicate and spiritual, grew bright with
love, Madame de Frontignac thought she had never seen anything so
beautiful, and, stretching out her hands towards her, she exclaimed, in
her own language,--

"_Mais, mon Dieu! mon enfant, que tu es belle_!"

Mary's deep blush, at her ignorance of the language in which her visitor
spoke, recalled her to herself;--she laughed a clear, silvery laugh, and
laid her jewelled little hand on Mary's with a caressing movement.

"_He_ shall not teach you French, _ma toute belle_" she said, indicating
the Abbé, by a pretty, wilful gesture; "_I_ will teach you;--and you
shall teach me English. Oh, I shall try _so_ hard to learn!" she said.

There was something inexpressibly pretty and quaint in the childish lisp
with which she pronounced English. Mary was completely won over. She
could have fallen into the arms of this wondrously beautiful fairy
princess, expecting to be carried away by her to Dream-land.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Scudder was gravely discoursing with Colonel Burr and M.
de Frontignac; and the Abbé, a small and gentlemanly personage, with
clear black eye, delicately-cut features, and powdered hair, appeared to
be absorbed in his efforts to follow the current of a conversation
imperfectly understood. Burr, the while, though seeming to be entirely
and politely absorbed in the conversation he was conducting, lost not a
glimpse of the picturesque aside which was being enacted between the two
fair ones whom he had thus brought together. He smiled quietly when he
saw the effect Madame de Frontignac produced on Mary.

"After all, the child has flesh and blood!" he thought, "and may feel
that there are more things in heaven and earth than she has dreamed of
yet. A few French ideas won't hurt her."

The arrangements about lessons being completed, the party returned to
the carriage. Madame de Frontignac was enthusiastic in Mary's praise.

"_Cependant_" she said, leaning back, thoughtfully, after having
exhausted herself in superlatives,--"_cependant elle est dévote,--et à
dix-neuf comment cela se peut il_?"

"It is the effect of her austere education," said Burr. "It is not
possible for you to conceive how young people are trained in the
religious families of this country."

"But yet," said Madame, "it gives her a grace altogether peculiar;
something in her looks went to my heart. I could find it very easy to
love her, because she is really good."

"The Queen of Hearts should know all that is possible in loving," said
Burr.

Somehow, of late, the compliments which fell so readily from those
graceful lips had brought with them an unsatisfying pain. Until a woman
really _loves_, flattery and compliment are often like her native air;
but when that deeper feeling has once awakened in her, her instincts
become marvellously acute to detect the false from the true. Madame de
Frontignac longed for one strong, unguarded, real, earnest word from the
man who had stolen from her her whole being. She was beginning to feel
in some dim wise what an untold treasure she was daily giving for tinsel
and dross. She leaned back in the carriage, with a restless, burning
cheek, and wondered why she was born to be so miserable. The thought of
Mary's saintly face and tender eyes rose before her as the moon rises on
the eyes of some hot and fevered invalid, inspiring vague yearnings
after an unknown, unattainable peace.

Could some friendly power once have made her at that time clairvoyant
and shown her the _reality_ of the man whom she was seeing through the
prismatic glass of her own enkindled ideality! Could she have seen the
calculating quietness in which, during the intervals of a restless and
sleepless ambition, he played upon her heart-strings, as one uses a
musical instrument to beguile a passing hour,--how his only
embarrassment was the fear that the feelings he was pleased to excite
might become too warm and too strong, while as yet his relations to her
husband were such as to make it dangerous to arouse his jealousy! And if
he could have seen that pure ideal conception of himself which alone
gave him power in the heart of this woman,--that spotless, glorified
image of a hero without fear, without reproach,--would he have felt a
moment's shame and abasement at its utter falsehood?

The poet says that the Evil Spirit stood abashed when he saw virtue in
an angel form! How would a man, then, stand, who meets face to face his
own glorified, spotless ideal, made living by the boundless faith of
some believing heart? The best must needs lay his hand on his mouth at
this apparition; but woe to him who feels no redeeming power in the
sacredness of this believing dream,--who with calculating shrewdness
_uses_ this most touching miracle of love only to corrupt and destroy
the loving! For him there is no sacrifice for sin, no place for
repentance. His very mother might shrink in her grave to have him laid
beside her.

Madame de Frontignac had the high, honorable nature of the old blood of
France, and a touch of its romance. She was strung heroically, and
educated according to the notions of her caste and church, purely and
religiously. True it is, that one can scarcely call _that_ education
which teaches woman everything except herself,--_except_ the things that
relate to her own peculiar womanly destiny, and, on plea of the holiness
of ignorance, sends her without one word of just counsel into the
temptations of life. Incredible as it may seem, Virginie de Frontignac
had never read a romance or work of fiction of which love was the
staple; the _régime_ of the convent in this regard was inexorable; at
eighteen she was more thoroughly a child than most American girls at
thirteen. On entrance into life, she was at first so dazzled and
bewildered by the mere contrast of fashionable excitement with the
quietness of the scenes in which she had hitherto grown up, that she had
no time for reading or thought,--all was one intoxicating frolic of
existence, one dazzling, bewildering dream.

He whose eye had measured her for his victim verified, if ever man did,
the proverbial expression of the iron hand under the velvet glove. Under
all his gentle suavities there was a fixed, inflexible will, a calm
self-restraint, and a composed philosophical measurement of others, that
fitted him to bear despotic rule over an impulsive, unguarded nature.
The position, at once accorded to him, of her instructor in the English
language and literature, gave him a thousand daily opportunities to
touch and stimulate all that class of finer faculties, so restless and
so perilous, and which a good man approaches always with certain awe. It
is said that he once asserted that he never beguiled a woman who did not
come half-way to meet him,--an observation much the same as a serpent
might make in regard to his birds.

The visit of the morning was followed by several others. Madame de
Frontignac seemed to conceive for Mary one of those passionate
attachments which women often conceive for anything fair and
sympathizing, at those periods when their whole inner being is made
vital by the approaches of a grand passion. It took only a few visits to
make her as familiar as a child at the cottage; and the whole air of the
Faubourg St. Germain seemed to melt away from her, as, with the
pliability peculiar to her nation, she blended herself with the quiet
pursuits of the family. Sometimes, in simple straw hat and white
wrapper, she would lie down in the grass under the apple-trees, or join
Mary in an expedition to the barn for hen's eggs, or a run along the
sea-beach for shells; and her childish eagerness and delight on these
occasions used to arouse the unqualified astonishment of Mrs. Katy
Scudder.

The Doctor she regarded with a _naïve_ astonishment, slightly tinctured
with apprehension. She knew he was very religious, and stretched her
comprehension to imagine what he might be like. She thought of Bossuet's
sermons walking about under a Protestant coat, and felt vaguely alarmed
and sinful in his presence, as she used to when entering under the
shadows of a cathedral. In her the religious sentiment, though vague,
was strong. Nothing in the character of Burr had ever awakened so much
disapprobation as his occasional sneers at religion. On such occasions
she always reproved him with warmth, but excused him in her heart,
because he was brought up a heretic. She held a special theological
conversation with the Abbé, whether salvation were possible to one
outside of the True Church,--and had added to her daily prayer a
particular invocation to the Virgin for him.

The French lessons, with her assistance, proceeded prosperously. She
became an inmate in Mrs. Marvyn's family also. The brown-eyed, sensitive
woman loved her as a new poem; she felt enchanted by her; and the
prosaic details of her household seemed touched to poetic life by her
innocent interest and admiration. The young Madame insisted on being
taught to spin at the great wheel; and a very pretty picture she made of
it, too, with her earnest gravity of endeavor, her deepening cheek, her
graceful form, with some strange foreign scarf or jewelry waving and
flashing in odd contrast with her work.

"Do you know," she said, one day, while thus employed in the north room
at Mrs. Marvyn's,--"do you know Burr told me that princesses used to
spin? He read me a beautiful story from the 'Odyssey,' about how
Penelope cheated her lovers with her spinning, while she was waiting for
her husband to come home;--_he_ was gone to sea, Mary,--her _true_
love,--you understand."

She turned on Mary a wicked glance, so full of intelligence that the
snowdrop grew red as the inside of a sea-shell.

"_Mon enfant_! thou hast a thought _deep in here_!" she said to Mary,
one day, as they sat together in the grass under the apple-trees.

"Why, what?" said Mary, with a startled and guilty look.

"Why, what? _petite_!" said the fairy princess, whimsically mimicking
her accent. "_Ah! ah! ma belle_! you think I have no eyes;--Virginie
sees deep in here!" she said, laying her hand playfully on Mary's heart.
"_Ah, petite_!" she said, gravely, and almost sorrowfully, "if you love
him, wait for him,--_don't marry another_. It is dreadful not to have
one's heart go with one's duty."

"I shall never marry anybody," said Mary.

"Nevare marrie anybodie!" said the lady, imitating her accents in tones
much like those of a bobolink. "Ah! ah! my little saint, you cannot
always live on nothing but the prayers, though prayers are verie good.
But, _ma chère_," she added, in a low tone, "don't you ever marry that
good man in there; priests should not marry."

"Ours are not priests,--they are ministers," said Mary. "But why do you
speak of him?--he is like my father."

"Virginie sees something!" said the lady, shaking her head gravely; "she
sees he loves little Mary."

"Of course he does!"

"Of-course-he-does?--ah, yes; and by-and-by comes the mamma, and she
takes this little hand, and she says, 'Come, Mary!' and then she gives
it to him; and then the poor _jeune homme_, when he comes back, finds
not a bird in his poor little nest. _Oh, c'est ennuyeux cela_!" she
said, throwing herself back in the grass till the clover-heads and
buttercups closed over her.

"I do assure you, dear Madame!"--

"I do assure you, dear Mary, _Virginie knows_. So lock up her words in
your little heart; you will want them some day."

There was a pause of some moments, while the lady was watching the
course of a cricket through the clover. At last, lifting her head, she
spoke very gravely,--

"My little cat! it is _dreadful_ to be married to a good man, and want
to be good, and want to love him, and yet never like to have him take
your hand, and be more glad when he is away than when he is at home; and
then to think how different it would all be, if it was only somebody
else. That will be the way with you, if you let them lead you into this;
so don't you do it, _mon enfant_."

A thought seemed to cross Mary's mind, as she turned to Madame de
Frontignac, and said, earnestly,--

"If a good man were my husband, I would never think of another,--I
wouldn't let myself."

"How could you help it, _mignonne_? Can you stop your thinking?"

Mary said, after a moment's blush,--

"I can _try_!"

"Ah, yes! But to try all one's life,--oh, Mary, that is too hard! Never
do it, darling!"

And then Madame de Frontignac broke out into a carolling little French
song, which started all the birds around into a general orchestral
accompaniment.

This conversation occurred just before Madame de Frontignac started for
Philadelphia, whither her husband had been summoned as an agent in some
of the ambitious intrigues of Burr.

It was with a sigh of regret that she parted from her friends at the
cottage. She made them a hasty good-bye call,--alighting from a splendid
barouche with two white horses, and filling their simple best-room with
the light of her presence for a last half-hour. When she bade good-bye
to Mary, she folded her warmly to her heart, and her long lashes drooped
heavily with tears.

After her absence, the lessons were still pursued with the gentle, quiet
little Abbé, who seemed the most patient and assiduous of teachers; but,
in both houses, there was that vague _ennui_, that sense of want, which
follows the fading of one of life's beautiful dreams! We bid her adieu
for a season;--we may see her again.



CHAPTER XX.


The summer passed over the cottage, noiselessly, as our summers pass.
There were white clouds walking in saintly troops over blue mirrors of
sea,--there were purple mornings, choral with bird-singing,--there were
golden evenings, with long, eastward shadows. Apple-blossoms died
quietly in the deep orchard grass, and tiny apples waxed and rounded and
ripened and gained stripes of gold and carmine; and the blue eggs broke
into young robins, that grew from gaping, yellow-mouthed youth to
fledged and outflying maturity. Came autumn, with its long Indian
summer, and winter, with its flinty, sparkling snows, under which all
Nature lay a sealed and beautiful corpse. Came once more the spring
winds, the lengthening days, the opening flowers, and the ever-renewing
miracle of buds and blossoms on the apple-trees around the cottage. A
year had passed since the June afternoon when first we showed you Mary
standing under the spotty shadows of the tree, with the white dove on
her hand--a year in which not many outward changes have been made in the
relations of the actors of our story.

Mary calmly spun and read and thought; now and then composing with care
very English-French letters, to be sent to Philadelphia to Madame de
Frontignac, and receiving short missives of very French-English in
return.

The cautions of Madame, in regard to the Doctor, had not rippled the
current of their calm, confiding intercourse; and the Doctor, so very
satisfied and happy in her constant society and affection, scarcely as
yet meditated distinctly that he needed to draw her more closely to
himself. If he had a passage to read, a page to be copied, a thought to
express, was she not ever there, gentle, patient, unselfish? and scarce
by the absence of a day did she let him perceive that his need of her
was becoming so absolute that his hold on her must needs be made
permanent.

As to his salary and temporal concerns, they had suffered somewhat for
his unpopular warfare with reigning sins,--a fact which had rather
reconciled Mrs. Scudder to the dilatory movement of her cherished hopes.
Since James was gone, what need to press imprudently to new
arrangements? Better give the little heart time to grow over before
starting a subject which a certain womanly instinct told her might be
met with a struggle. Somehow she never thought without a certain
heart-sinking of Mary's look and tone the night she spoke with her about
James; she had an awful presentiment that that tone of voice belonged to
the things that cannot be shaken. But yet, Mary seemed so even, so
quiet, her delicate form filled out and rounded so beautifully, and she
sang so cheerfully at her work, and, above all, she was so entirely
silent about James, that Mrs. Scudder had hope.

Ah, that silence! Do not listen to hear whom a woman praises, to know
where her heart is! do not ask for whom she expresses the most earnest
enthusiasm! but if there be one she once knew well, whose name she never
speaks,--if she seem to have an instinct to avoid every occasion of its
mention,--if, when you speak, she drops into silence and changes the
subject,--why, look there for something! just as, when going through
deep meadow-grass, a bird flies ostentatiously up before you, you may
know her nest is not there, but far off, under distant tufts of fern and
buttercup, through which she has crept with a silent flutter in her
spotted breast, to act her pretty little falsehood before you.

Poor Mary's little nest was along the sedgy margin of the sea-shore,
where grow the tufts of golden-rod, where wave the reeds, where crimson,
green, and purple sea-weeds float up, like torn fringes of Nereid
vestures, and gold and silver shells lie on the wet wrinkles of the
sands.

The sea had become to her like a friend, with its ever-varying monotony.
Somehow she loved this old, fresh, blue, babbling, restless giant, who
had carried away her heart's love to hide him in some far-off palmy
island, such as she had often heard him tell of in his sea-romances.
Sometimes she would wander out for an afternoon's stroll on the rocks,
and pause by the great spouting cave, now famous to Newport
_dilettanti_, but then a sacred and impressive solitude. There the
rising tide bursts with deafening strokes through a narrow opening into
some inner cavern, which, with a deep thunder-boom, like the voice of an
angry lion, casts it back in a high jet of foam into the sea.

Mary often sat and listened to this hollow noise, and watched the
ever-rising columns of spray as they reddened with the transpiercing
beams of the afternoon sun; and thence her eye travelled far, far off
over the shimmering starry blue, where sails looked no bigger than
miller's wings; and it seemed sometimes as if a door were opening by
which her soul might go out into some eternity,--some abyss, so wide and
deep, that fathomless lines of thought could not sound it. She was no
longer a girl in a mortal body, but an infinite spirit, the adoring
companion of Infinite Beauty and Infinite Love.

As there was an hour when the fishermen of Galilee saw their Master
transfigured, his raiment white and glistening, and his face like the
light, so are there hours when our whole mortal life stands forth in a
celestial radiance. From our daily lot falls off every weed of
care,--from our heart-friends every speck and stain of earthly
infirmity. Our horizon widens, and blue, and amethyst, and gold touch
every object. Absent friends and friends gone on the last long journey
stand once more together, bright with an immortal glow, and, like the
disciples who saw their Master floating in the clouds above them, we
say, "Lord, it is good to be here!" How fair the wife, the husband, the
absent mother, the gray-haired father, the manly son, the bright-eyed
daughter! Seen in the actual present, all have some fault, some flaw;
but absent, we see them in their permanent and better selves. Of our
distant home we remember not one dark day, not one servile care, nothing
but the echo of its holy hymns and the radiance of its brightest
days,--of our father, not one hasty word, but only the fulness of his
manly vigor and noble tenderness,--of our mother, nothing of mortal
weakness, but a glorified form of love,--of our brother, not one
teasing, provoking word of brotherly freedom, but the proud beauty of
his noblest hours,--of our sister, our child, only what is fairest and
sweetest.

This is to life the true ideal, the calm glass, wherein looking, we
shall see, that, whatever defects cling to us, they are not, after all,
permanent, and that we are tending to something nobler than we yet
are;--it is "the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the
purchased possession." In the resurrection we shall see our friends
forever as we see them in these clairvoyant hours.

We are writing thus on and on, linking image and thought and feeling,
and lingering over every flower, and listening to every bird, because
just before us there lies a dark valley, and we shrink and tremble to
enter it.

But it _must_ come, and why do we delay?


Towards evening, one afternoon in the latter part of June, Mary returned
from one of these lonely walks by the sea, and entered the kitchen. It
was still in its calm and sober cleanness;--the tall clock ticked with a
startling distinctness. From the half-closed door of her mother's
bedroom, which stood ajar, she heard the chipper of Miss Prissy's voice.
She stayed her light footsteps, and the words that fell on her ear were
these:--

"Miss Marvyn fainted dead away;--she stood it till he came to _that_;
but then she just clapped both hands together, as if she'd been shot,
and fell right forward on the floor in a faint!"

What could this be? There was a quick, intense whirl of thoughts in
Mary's mind, and then came one of those awful moments when the powers of
life seem to make a dead pause and all things stand still; and then all
seemed to fail under her, and the life to sink down, down, down, till
nothing was but one dim, vague, miserable consciousness.

Mrs. Scudder and Miss Prissy were sitting, talking earnestly, on the
foot of the bed, when the door opened noiselessly, and Mary glided to
them like a spirit,--no color in check or lip,--her blue eyes wide with
calm horror; and laying her little hand, with a nervous grasp, on Miss
Prissy's arm, she said,--

"Tell me,--what is it?--is it?--is he--dead?"

The two women looked at each other, and then Mrs. Scudder opened her
arms.

"My daughter!"

"Oh! mother! mother!"

Then fell that long, hopeless silence, broken only by hysteric sobs from
Miss Prissy, and answering ones from the mother; but _she_ lay still and
quiet, her blue eyes wide and clear, making an inarticulate moan.

"Oh! are they _sure_?--_can_ it be?--_is_ he dead?" at last she gasped.

"My child, it is too true; all we can say is, 'Be still, and know that I
am God!'"

"I shall _try_ to be still, mother," said Mary, with a piteous, hopeless
voice, like the bleat of a dying lamb; "but I did not think he _could_
die! I never thought of that!--I never _thought_ of it!--Oh! mother!
mother! mother! oh! what shall I do?"

They laid her on her mother's bed,--the first and last resting-place of
broken hearts,--and the mother sat down by her in silence. Miss Prissy
stole away into the Doctor's study, and told him all that had happened.

"It's the same to her," said Miss Prissy, with womanly reserve, "as if
he'd been an own brother."

"What was his spiritual state?" said the Doctor, musingly.

Miss Prissy looked blank, and answered mournfully,--

"I don't know."

The Doctor entered the room where Mary was lying with closed eyes. Those
few moments seemed to have done the work of years,--so pale, and faded,
and sunken she looked; nothing but the painful flutter of the eyelids
and lips showed that she yet breathed. At a sign from Mrs. Scudder, he
kneeled by the bed, and began to pray,--"Lord, thou hast been our
dwelling-place in all generations,"--prayer deep, mournful, upheaving
like the swell of the ocean, surging upward, under the pressure of
mighty sorrows, towards an Almighty heart.

The truly good are of one language in prayer. Whatever lines or angles
of thought may separate them in other hours, _when they pray in
extremity_, all good men pray alike. The Emperor Charles V. and Martin
Luther, two great generals of opposite faiths, breathed out their dying
struggle in the self-same words.

There be many tongues and many languages of men,--but the language of
prayer is one by itself, _in_ all and _above_ all. It is the inspiration
of that Spirit that is ever working with our spirit, and constantly
lifting us higher than we know, and, by our wants, by our woes, by our
tears, by our yearnings, by our poverty, urging us, with mightier and
mightier force, against those chains of sin which keep us from our God.
We speak not of _things_ conventionally called prayers,--vain mutterings
of unawakened spirits talking drowsily in sleep,--but of such prayers as
come when flesh and heart fail, in mighty straits;--_then_ he who prays
is a prophet, and a Mightier than he speaks in him; for the "_Spirit_
helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we
ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings
which cannot be uttered."

So the voice of supplication, upheaving from that great heart, so
childlike in its humility, rose with a wisdom and a pathos beyond what
he dreamed in his intellectual hours; it uprose even as a strong angel,
whose brow is solemnly calm, and whose wings shed healing dews of
paradise.



CHAPTER XXI.


The next day broke calm and fair. The robins sang remorselessly in the
apple-tree, and were answered by bobolink, oriole, and a whole tribe of
ignorant little bits of feathered happiness that danced among the
leaves. Golden and glorious unclosed those purple eyelids of the East,
and regally came up the sun; and the treacherous sea broke into ten
thousand smiles, laughing and dancing with every ripple, as
unconsciously as if no form dear to human hearts had gone down beneath
it. Oh! treacherous, deceiving beauty of outward things! beauty, wherein
throbs not one answering nerve to human pain!

Mary rose early and was about her morning work. Her education was that
of the soldier, who must know himself no more, whom no personal pain
must swerve from the slightest minutiae of duty. So she was there, at
her usual hour, dressed with the same cool neatness, her brown hair
parted in satin bands, and only the colorless cheek and lip differing
from the Mary of yesterday.

How strange this external habit of living! One thinks how to stick in a
pin, and how to tie a string,--one busies one's self with folding robes,
and putting away napkins, the day after some stroke that has cut the
inner life in two, with the heart's blood dropping quietly at every
step.

Yet it is better so! Happy those whom stern principle or long habit or
hard necessity calls from the darkened room, the languid trance of pain,
in which the wearied heart longs to indulge, and gives this trite prose
of common life, at which our weak and wearied appetites so revolt! Mary
never thought of such a thing as self-indulgence;--this daughter of the
Puritans had her seed within her. Aërial in her delicacy, as the
blue-eyed flax-flower with which they sowed their fields, she had yet
its strong fibre, which no stroke of the flail could break; bruising and
hackling only made it fitter for uses of homely utility. Mary,
therefore, opened the kitchen-door at dawn, and, after standing one
moment to breathe the freshness, began spreading the cloth for an early
breakfast. Mrs. Scudder, the mean while, was kneading the bread that had
been set to rise over-night; and the oven was crackling and roaring with
a large-throated, honest garrulousness.

But, ever and anon, as the mother worked, she followed the motions of
her child anxiously.

"Mary, my dear," she said, "the eggs are giving out; hadn't you better
run to the barn and get a few?"

Most mothers are instinctive philosophers. No treatise on the laws of
nervous fluids could have taught Mrs. Scudder a better _rôle_ for this
morning, than her tender gravity, and her constant expedients to break
and ripple, by changing employments, that deep, deadly under-current of
thoughts which she feared might undermine her child's life.

Mary went into the barn, stopped a moment, and took out a handful of
corn to throw to her hens, who had a habit of running towards her and
cocking an expectant eye to her little hand, whenever she appeared. All
came at once flying towards her,--speckled, white, and gleamy with hues
between of tawny orange-gold,--the cocks, magnificent with the bladelike
waving of their tails,--and, as they chattered and cackled and pressed
and crowded about her, pecking the corn, even where it lodged in the
edge of her little shoes, she said, "Poor things, I am glad they enjoy
it!"--and even this one little act of love to the ignorant fellowship
below her carried away some of the choking pain which seemed all the
while suffocating her heart. Then, climbing into the hay, she sought the
nest and filled her little basket with eggs, warm, translucent,
pinky-white in their freshness. She felt, for a moment, the customary
animation in surveying her new treasures; but suddenly, like a vision
rising before her, came a remembrance of once when she and James were
children together and had been seeking eggs just there. He flashed
before her eyes, the bright boy with the long black lashes, the dimpled
cheeks, the merry eyes, just as he stood and threw the hay over her when
they tumbled and laughed together,--and she sat down with a sick
faintness, and then turned and walked wearily in.

[To be continued.]



ROBA DI ROMA.


[Continued.]


CHAPTER III.


BEGGARS IN ROME.


Directly above the Piazza di Spagna and opposite to the Via di Condotti,
rise the double towers of the Trinità de' Monti. The ascent to them is
over one hundred and thirty-five steps, planned with considerable skill,
so as to mask the steepness of the Pincian, and forming the chief
feature of the Piazza. Various landings and dividing walls break up
their monotony; and a red granite obelisk, found in the gardens of
Sallust, crowns the upper terrace in front of the church. All day long,
these steps are flooded with sunshine, in which, stretched at length, or
gathered in picturesque groups, models of every age and both sexes bask
away the hours when they are free from employment in the studios. Here,
in a rusty old coat and long white beard and hair, is the _Padre
Eterno_, so called from his constantly standing as model for the First
Person of the Trinity in religious pictures. Here is the ferocious
bandit, with his thick black beard and conical hat, now off duty, and
sitting with his legs wide apart, munching in alternate bites an onion,
which he holds in one hand, and a lump of bread, which he holds in the
other. Here is the _contadina_, who is always praying at a shrine with
upcast eyes, or lifting to the Virgin the little child, among whose dark
curls, now lying tangled in her lap, she is on a vigorous hunt for the
animal whose name denotes love. Here is the invariable pilgrim, with his
scallop-shell, who has been journeying to St. Peter's and reposing by
the way near aqueducts or broken columns so long that the memory of man
runneth not to the contrary, and who is now fast asleep on his back,
with his hat pulled over his eyes. When the _forestieri_ come along, the
little ones run up and thrust out their hands for _baiocchi_; and so
pretty are they, with their large, black, lustrous eyes, and their
quaint, gay dresses, that new comers always find something in their
pockets for them. Sometimes a group of artists, passing by, will pause
and steadily examine one of these models, turn him about, pose him,
point out his defects and excellences, give him a _baiocco_, and pass
on. It is, in fact, the model's exchange. [Footnote: During this last
winter, the government have prohibited the models, for I know not what
reason, from gathering upon these steps; and they now congregate at the
corner of the Via Sistina and Capo le Case, near the Pizzicheria, from
which they supply themselves with groceries.]

All this is on the lower steps, close to the Piazza di Spagna; but as
one ascends to the last platform, before reaching the upper piazza in
front of the Trinità de' Monti, a curious squat figure, with two
withered and crumpled legs, spread out at right angles and clothed in
long stockings, comes shuffling along on his knees and hands, which are
protected by clogs. As it approaches, it turns suddenly up from its
quadrupedal position, takes off its hat, shows a broad, stout, legless
_torso_, with a vigorous chest and a ruddy face, as of a person who has
come half-way up from below the steps through a trap-door, and with a
smile whose breadth is equalled only by the cunning which lurks round
the corners of the eyes, says, in the blandest and most patronizing
tones, with a rising inflection, "_Buon giorno, Signore! Oggi fa bel
tempo_," or "_fa cattivo tempo_," as the case may be. This is no less a
person than Beppo, King of the Beggars, and permanent bore of the Scale
di Spagna. He is better known to travellers than the Belvedere Torso of
Hercules at the Vatican, and has all the advantage over that wonderful
work, of having an admirable head and a good digestion. Hans Christian
Andersen has celebrated him in "The Improvvisatore," and unfairly
attributed to him an infamous character and life; but this account is
purely fictitious, and is neither _vero_ nor _ben trovato_. Beppo, like
other distinguished personages, is not without a history. The Romans say
of him, "_Era un Signore in paese suo_"--"He was a gentleman in his own
country,"--and this belief is borne out by a certain courtesy and style
in his bearing which would not shame the first gentleman in the land. He
was undoubtedly of a good family in the provinces, and came to Rome,
while yet young, to seek his fortune. His crippled condition cut him off
from any active employment, and he adopted the profession of a
mendicant, as being the most lucrative and requiring the least exertion.
Remembering Belisarius, he probably thought it not beneath his own
dignity to ask for an _obolus_. Should he be above doing what a general
had done? However this may be, he certainly became a mendicant, after
changing his name,--and, steadily pursuing this profession for more than
a quarter of a century, by dint of his fair words, his bland smiles, and
his constant "_Fa buon tempo_" and "_Fa cattivo tempo_," which, together
with his withered legs, were his sole stock in starting, he has finally
amassed a very respectable little fortune. He is now about fifty-five
years of age, has a wife and several children; and a few years ago, on
the marriage of a daughter to a very respectable tradesman, he was able
to give her what was considered in Rome a more than respectable dowry.
The other day, a friend of mine met a tradesman of his acquaintance
running up the Spanish steps.

"_Dove andate in una tanta affretta?_" he inquired.

"_Al Banchiere mio._"

"_Al Banchiere? Ma quale Banchiere sta in su le scale?_"

"_Ma Beppo_," was the grave answer. "_Ho bisogna di sessanta scudi, e
lui mele presterà senza difficoltà._"

"_Da vero?_" said my friend.

"_Eh sicuro, come gli pare_," said the other, as he went on to his
banker. [Footnote: "Where are you going in such haste?"]

"To my banker."

"To your banker? But what banker is there above the steps?"

"Only Beppo. I want sixty _scudi_, and he can lend them to ma without
difficulty."

"Really?"

"Of course."

Beppo hires his bank--which is the upper platform of the steps--of the
government, at a small rent _per annum_; and woe to any poor devil of
his profession who dares to invade his premises! Hither, every fair day,
at about noon, he comes mounted on his donkey and accompanied by his
valet, a little boy, who, though not lame exactly, wears a couple of
crutches as a sort of livery,--and as soon as twilight begins to thicken
and the sun is gone, he closes his bank, (it is purely a bank of
deposit,) crawls up the steps, mounts a stone post, and there
majestically waits for his valet to bring the donkey. But he no more
solicits deposits. His day is done; his bank is closed; and from his
post he looks around, with a patronizing superiority, upon the poorer
members of his profession, who are soliciting, with small success, the
various passers by, as a king smiles down upon his subjects. The donkey
being brought, he shuffles on to its crupper and makes a joyous and
triumphant passage down through the streets of the city to his home. The
bland business smile is gone. The wheedling subserviency of the day is
over. The cunning eye opens largely. He is calm, dignified, and
self-possessed. He mentions no more the state of the weather. What's
Hecuba to him, at this free moment of his return? It is the large style
in which all this is done that convinces me that Beppo was a "_Signore
in paese suo_." He has a bank, and so has Sir Francis Baring. What of
that? He is a gentleman still. The robber knights and barons demanded
toll of those who passed their castles, with violence and threats, and
at the bloody point of their swords. Whoso passes Beppo's castle is
prayed in courtesy to leave a remembrance, and receives the blandest bow
and thanks in return. Shall we, then, say, the former are nobles and
gentlemen,--the other is a miserable beggar? Is it worse to ask than to
seize? Is it meaner to thank than to threaten? If he who is supported by
the public is a beggar, our kings are beggars, our pensions are charity.
Did not the Princess Royal hold out her hand, the other day, to the
House of Commons? and does any one think the worse of her for it? We are
all, in measure, beggars; but Beppo, in the large style of kings and
robber-barons, asks for his _baiocco_, and, like the merchant-princes,
keeps his bank. I see dukes and _guardie nobili_, in shining helmets,
spurs, and gigantic boots, ride daily through the streets on horseback,
and hurry to their palaces; but Beppo, erectly mounted on his donkey in
his short-jacket, (for he disdains the tailored skirts of a fashionable
coat, though at times over his broad shoulders a great blue cloak is
grandly thrown, after the manner of the ancient emperors,) is far more
impressive, far more princely, as he slowly and majestically moves at
nightfall towards his august abode. The shadows close around him as he
passes along; salutations greet him from the damp shops; and darkness at
last swallows up for a time the great square _torso_ of the "King of the
Beggars."

Begging, in Rome, is as much a profession as praying and shop-keeping.
Happy is he who is born _stroppiato_, with a withered limb, or to whom
Fortune sends the present of a hideous accident or malady; it is a stock
to set up trade upon. St. Vitus's dance is worth its hundreds of _scudi_
annually; epileptic fits are also a prize; and a distorted leg and
hare-lip have a considerable market value. Thenceforth the creature who
has the luck to have them is absolved from labor. He stands or lies in
the sun, or wanders through the Piazza, and sings his whining,
lamentable strophe of, "_Signore, povero stroppiato, datemi qualche cosa
per amor di Dio!_"--and when the _baiocco_ falls into his hat, like ripe
fruit from the tree of the stranger, he chants the antistrophe, "_Dio la
benedica, la Madonna e tutti santi!_" [Footnote: Signore, a poor
cripple; "give me something, for the love of God!--May God bless you,
the Madonna, and all the saints!"] No refusal but one does he recognize
as final,--and that is given, not by word of mouth, but by elevating the
fore-finger of the right hand, and slowly wagging it to and fro. When
this finger goes up he resigns all hope, as those who pass the gate of
the Inferno, replaces his hat and lapses into silence, or turns away to
some new group of sunny-haired foreigners. The recipe to avoid beggars
is, to be black-haired, to wear a full beard, to smoke in the streets,
speak only Italian, and shake the fore-finger of the right hand when
besieged for charity. Let it not be supposed from this that the Romans
give nothing to the beggars, but pass them by on the other side. This is
quite a mistake. On the contrary, they give more than the foreigners;
and the poorest class, out of their little, will always find something
to drop into their hats for charity.

The ingenuity which the beggars sometimes display in asking for alms is
often humoristic and satirical. Many a woman on the cold side of thirty
is wheedled out of a _baiocco_ by being addressed as _Signorina._ Many a
half-suppressed exclamation of admiration, or a prefix of _Bella_,
softens the hearts of those to whom compliments on their beauty come
rarely. The other day, as I came out of the city gate of Siena, a ragged
wretch, sitting, with one stump of a leg thrust obtrusively forward, in
the dust of the road, called out, "_Una buona passeggiata, Signorino
mio!_" (and this although my little girl, of thirteen years, accompanied
me.) Seeing, however, that I was too old a bird for that chaff, he
immediately added, "_Ma prima pensi alia conservazione dell' anima
sua._" [Footnote: "A pleasant walk, young gentleman!"--"But first pay
heed to the salvation of your soul."] A great many _baiocchi_ are also
caught, from green travellers of the middle class, by the titles which
are lavishly squandered by these poor fellows. _Illustrissimo,
Eccellenza, Altezza_, will sometimes open the purse, when plain
"_Mosshoe_" will not.

The profession of a beggar is by no means an unprofitable one. A great
many drops finally make a stream. The cost of living is almost nothing
to them, and they frequently lay up money enough to make themselves very
comfortable in their old age. A Roman friend of mine, Conte C., speaking
of them one day, told me this illustrative anecdote:--

"I had occasion," he said, "a few years ago, to reduce my family," (the
servants are called, in Rome, the family,) "and having no need of the
services of one under-servant, named Pietro, I dismissed him. About a
year after, as I was returning to my house, after nightfall, I was
solicited by a beggar, who whiningly asked me for charity. There was
something in the voice which struck me as familiar, and, turning round
to examine the man more closely, I found it was my old servant, Pietro.
'Is that you, Pietro?' I said; 'you begging here in the streets! what
has brought you to this wretched trade?' He gave me, however, no very
clear account of himself, but evidently desired to avoid me when he
recognized who I was. But, shocked to find him in so pitiable a
condition, I pressed my questions, and finally told him I could not bear
to see any one who had been in my service reduced to beggary; and though
I had no actual need of his services, yet, rather than see him thus, he
might return to his old position as servant in my house, and be paid the
same wages as he had before. He hesitated, was much embarrassed, and,
after a pause, said,--'A thousand thanks, your Excellency, for your
kindness; but I cannot accept your proposal, because, to tell you the
truth, I make more money by this trade of begging.'"

But though the beggars often lay by considerable sums of money, so that
they might, if they chose, live with a certain degree of comfort, yet
they cannot leave off the habit of begging after having indulged it for
many years. They get to be avaricious, and cannot bring their minds to
spend the money they have. The other day, an old beggar, who used to
frequent the steps of the Gesù, when about to die, ordered the hem of
her garment to be ripped up, saying that there was money in it. In fact,
about a thousand _scudi_ were found there, three hundred of which she
ordered to be laid out upon her funeral, and the remainder to be
appropriated to masses for her soul. This was accordingly done, and her
squalid life ended in a pompous procession to the grave.

The great holidays of the beggars are the country _festas_. Thronging
out of the city, they spread along the highways, and drag, drive, roll,
shuffle, hobble, as they can, towards the festive little town.
Everywhere along the road they are to be met,--perched on a rock, seated
on a bank, squatted beneath a wall or hedge, and screaming, with
outstretched hand, from the moment a carriage comes in sight until it is
utterly passed by. As one approaches the town where the _festa_ is held,
they grow thicker and thicker. They crop up along the road like
toadstools. They hold up every hideous kind of withered arm, distorted
leg, and unsightly stump. They glare at you out of horrible eyes, that
look like cranberries. You are requested to look at horrors, all without
a name, and too terrible to be seen. All their accomplishments are also
brought out. They fall into improvised fits; they shake with sudden
palsies; and all the while keep up a chorus, half whine, half scream,
which suffers you to listen to nothing else. It is hopeless to attempt
to buy them all off, for they are legion in number, and to pay one
doubles the chorus of the others. The clever scamps, too, show the
utmost skill in selecting their places of attack. Wherever there is a
sudden rise in the road, or any obstacle which will reduce the gait of
the horses to a walk, there is sure to be a beggar. But do not imagine
that he relies on his own powers of scream and hideousness alone,--not
he! He has a friend, an ambassador, to recommend him to your notice, and
to expatiate on his misfortunes. Though he himself can scarcely move,
his friend, who is often a little ragged boy or girl, light of weight
and made for a chase, pursues the carriage and prolongs the whine,
repeating, with a mechanical iteration, "_Signore! Signore! datemi
qualche cosa, Signore!_" until his legs, breath, and resolution give out
at last; or, what is still commoner, your patience is wearied out or
your sympathy touched, and you are glad to purchase the blessing of
silence for the small sum of a _baiocco_. When his whining fails, he
tries to amuse you; and often resorts to the oddest freaks to attract
your notice. Sometimes the little rascal flings himself heels over head
into the dust, and executes somersets without number, as if they had
some hidden influence on the sentiment of compassion. Then, running by
the side of the carriage, he will play upon his lips with both hands,
making a rattling noise, to excite your curiosity. If you laugh, you are
lost, and he knows it.

As you reach the gates of the town, the row becomes furious. There are
scores of beggars on either side the road, screaming in chorus. No
matter how far the town be from the city, there is not a wretched,
maimed cripple of your acquaintance, not one of the old stumps who have
dodged you round a Roman corner, not a ragged baron who has levied toll
for passage through the public squares, a privileged robber who has shut
up for you a pleasant street or waylaid you at an interesting church,
but he is sure to be there. How they got there is as inexplicable as how
the apples got into the dumplings in Peter Pindar's poem. But at the
first ring of a _festa_-bell, they start up from under ground, (those
who are legless getting only half-way up,) like Roderick Dhu's men, and
level their crutches at you as the others did their arrows. An English
lady, a short time since, after wintering at Rome, went to take the
baths at Siena in the summer. On going out for a walk, on the first
morning after her arrival, whom should she meet but King Beppo, whom she
had just left in Rome! He had come with the rest of the nobility for
recreation and bathing, and of course had brought his profession with
him.

Owing to a great variety of causes, the number of beggars in Rome is
very large. They grow here as noxious weeds in a hot-bed. The government
neither favors commerce nor stimulates industry. Its policy is averse to
change of any kind, even though it be for the development of its own
resources or of the energies of the people. The Church is Brahmanic,
contemplating only its own navel. Its influence is specially restrictive
in Rome, because it is also the State there. It restrains not only
trade, but education; it conserves exploded ideas and usages; it prefers
not to grow, and looks with abhorrence upon change.

Literature may be said to be dead in Rome. There is not only no free
press there, but no press at all. The "Diario Romano" contains about as
much news as the "Acta Diurna" of the ancient Romans, and perhaps less.
I doubt whether at present such facts as those given by Petronius, in an
extract from the latter, would now be permitted to be published.
However, we know that Augustus prohibited the "Acta Diurna,"--and the
"Diario Romano" exists still; so that some progress has been made. And
it must be confessed that Tuscany is scarcely in advance of Rome in this
respect; and Naples is behind both. Even the introduction of foreign
works is so strictly watched and the censorship so severe, that few
liberal books pass the cordon. The arguments in favor of a censorship
are very plain, but not very conclusive. The more compressed the
energies and desires of a people, the more danger of their bursting into
revolution. There is no safety-valve to passions and desires like the
utterance of them,--no better corrective to false ideas than the free
expression of them. Freedom of thought can never be suppressed, and
ideas kept too long pent up in the bosom, when heated by some sudden
crisis of passion, will explode into license and fury. Let me put a
column from Milton here into my own weak plaster; the words are well
known, but cannot be too well known. "Though all the winds of doctrine,"
he says, "were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the
field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her
strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the
worse in a free and open encounter? Her confuting is the best and surest
suppressing." Here in Rome genius rots. The saddest words I almost ever
heard were from a young Italian of ability and _esprit_.

"Why," said I, in conversation with him, one day, "do you not devote
your talents to some worthy object, instead of frittering them away in
dancing, chatting, fencing, and morning-calls?"

"What would you have me do?" he answered.

"Devote yourself to some course of study. Write something."

"_Mio caro_" was his reply, "it is useless. How can I write what I
think? How can I publish what I write? I have now manuscript works begun
in my desk, which it would be better to burn. Our only way to be happy
is to be idle and ignorant. The more we know, the unhappier we must be.
There is but one avenue for ambition,--the Church. I was not made for
that."

This restrictive policy of the Church makes itself felt everywhere, high
and low; and by long habit the people have become indolent and supine.
The splendid robes of ecclesiastical Rome have a draggled fringe of
beggary and vice. What a change there might be, if the energies of the
Italians, instead of rotting in idleness, could have a free scope!
Industry is the only purification of a nation; and as the fertile and
luxuriant Campagna stagnates into malaria, because of its want of
ventilation and movement, so does this grand and noble people. The
government makes what use it can, however, of the classes it exploits by
its system; but things go in a vicious circle. The people, kept at a
stand-still, become idle and poor; idleness and poverty engender vice
and crime; crime fills the prisons; and the prisons afford a body of
cheap slaves to the government.

To-day, as I am writing, some hundreds of _forçats_, in their striped
brown uniforms, are tugging at their winches and ropes to drag the
column of the Immaculate Virgin to its pedestal on the Piazza di Spagna.
By the same system of compulsory labor, the government, despite its
limited financial resources, is enabled to carry out public projects
which, with well-paid workmen, would be too expensive to be feasible. In
this manner, for instance, for an incredibly small sum, was built the
magnificent viaduct which spans with its triple tier of arches the
beautiful Val di L'Arriccia. But, for my own part, I cannot look upon
this system as being other than very bad, in every respect. And when,
examining into the prisons themselves, I find that the support of these
poor criminal slaves is farmed out by the government to some responsible
person at the lowest rate that is offered, generally for five or six
_baiocchi_ apiece _per diem_, and often refarmed by him at a still lower
rate, until the poor wretches are reduced to the very minimum of
necessary food as to quantity and quality, I confess that I cannot look
with pleasure on the noble viaduct at L'Arriccia, or the rich column to
the Immaculate Virgin, erected by the labor of their hands.

Within a few years the government seemed to become conscious of the
great number of beggars in Rome, and of the reproach they offered to the
wise and paternal regulations of the priestcraft. Accordingly, for a
short time, they carried on a move in the right direction, which had
been begun by the Triumvirate of 1849, during their short career. Some
hundreds of the beggars were hired at the rate of a few _baiocchi_ a day
to carry on excavations in the Forum and in the Baths of Caracalla. The
selection was most appropriate. Only the old, decrepit, and broken-down
were taken,--the younger and sturdier were left. Ruined men were in
harmony with the ruined temples. Such a set of laborers was never before
seen. Falstaff's ragged regiment was a joke to them. Each had a
wheelbarrow, a spade, or pick, and a cloak; but the last was the most
important part of their equipment. Some of them picked at the earth with
a gravity that was equalled only by the feebleness of the effort and the
poverty of the result. Three strokes so wearied them that they were
forced to pause and gather strength, while others carried away the
ant-hills which the first dug up. It seemed an endless task to fill the
wheelbarrows. Fill, did I say? They were never filled. After a bucketful
of earth had been slowly shovelled in, the laborer paused, laid down his
spade carefully on the little heap, sighed profoundly, looked as if to
receive congratulations on his enormous success, then, flinging, with a
grand sweep, the tattered old cloak over his left shoulder, lifted his
wheelbarrow-shafts with dignity, and marched slowly and measuredly
forward towards the heap of deposit, as Belisarius might have moved at a
funeral in the intervals of asking for _oboli_. But reduced gentlemen,
who have been accustomed to carry round the hat as an occupation, always
have a certain air of condescension when they work for pay, and, by
their dignity of deportment, make you sensible of their former superior
state. Occasionally, in case a _forestiere_ was near, the older, idler,
and more gentlemanlike profession would be resumed for a moment, (as by
parenthesis,) and if without success, a sadder dignity would be seen in
the subsequent march. Very properly for persons who had been reduced
from beggary to work, they seemed to be anxious both for their health
and their appearance in public, and accordingly a vast deal more time
was spent in the arrangement of the cloak than in any other part of the
business. It was grand in effect, to see these figures, incumbered in
their heavy draperies, guiding their wheelbarrows through the great
arches of Caracalla's Baths or along the Via Sacra. It often reminded me
of modern _bassi-rilievi_ and portrait statues, in which gentlemen
looking sideways with very modern faces, and both hands full of swords,
pens, or books, stand impotently swaddled up in ancient togas or the
folds of similar enormous cloaks. The antique treatment with the modern
subject was evident in both. If sometimes, with a foolish spirit of
innovation, one felt inclined to ask what purpose in either case these
heroic mantles subserved, and whether, in fact, they could not be
dispensed with to advantage, he was soon made to know that his inquiry
indicated ignorance, and a desire to debase in the one case Man, in the
other Art.

It would, however, be a grievous mistake to suppose that all the beggars
in the streets of Rome are Romans. In point of fact, the greater number
are strangers, who congregate in Rome during the winter from every
quarter. Naples and Tuscany send them by thousands. Every little country
town of the Abruzzi Mountains yields its contribution. From north,
south, east, and west they flock here as to a centre where good pickings
may be had of the crumbs that fall from the rich men's tables. In the
summer season they return to their homes with their earnings, and not
one in five of those who haunted the churches and streets in the winter
is to be seen.

It is but justice to the Roman government to say that its charities are
very large. If, on the one hand, it does not encourage commerce and
industry, on the other, it liberally provides for the poor. In
proportion to its means, no government does more, if so much. Every
church has its _Cassa dei Poveri_. Numerous societies, such as the
_Sacconi_, and other confraternities, employ themselves in accumulating
contributions for the relief of the poor and wretched. Well-endowed
hospitals exist for the care of the sick and unfortunate; and there are
various establishments for the charge and education of poor orphans. A
few figures will show how ample are these charities. The revenue of
these institutions is no less than eight hundred and forty thousand
_scudi_ annually, of which three hundred thousand are contributed by the
Papal treasury, forty thousand of which are a tax upon the Lottery. The
hospitals, altogether, accommodate about four thousand patients, the
average number annually received amounting to about twelve thousand; and
the foundling hospitals alone are capable of receiving upwards of three
thousand children annually. Besides the hospitals for the sick, there is
also a hospital for poor convalescents at Sta Trinità dei Pellegrini, a
lunatic asylum containing about four hundred patients, one for
incurables at San Giacomo, a lying-in hospital at San Rocco, and a
hospital of education and industry at San Michele. There are also
thirteen societies for bestowing dowries on poor young girls on their
marriage; and from the public purse, for the same object, are expended
every year no less than thirty-two thousand _scudi_. In addition to
these charities, are the sums collected and administered by the various
confraternities, as well as the sum of one hundred and seventy-two
thousand _scudi_ distributed to the poor by the commission of subsidies.
But though so much money is thus expended, it cannot be said that it is
well administered. The proportion of deaths at the hospitals is very
large; and among the foundlings, it amounted, between the years 1829 and
1833, to no less than seventy-two _per cent_.

The arrangements at these institutions were very much improved during
the career of the Triumvirate, and, under the auspices of the Princess
Belgiojoso, cleanliness, order, and system were introduced. The heroism
of this noble-hearted woman during the trying days of the Roman siege
deserves a better record than I can give. She gave her whole heart and
body to the regeneration of the hospitals, and the personal care of the
sick and wounded. Her head-quarters were at the Hospital _dei
Pellegrini_. Day after day and night after night she was at her post,
never moving from her chair, except to visit the various wards, and to
comfort with tender words the sufferers in their beds. Their faces,
contorted with pain, smoothed at her approach; and her hand and voice
carried consolation wherever she went. Many a scene have I witnessed
there more affecting than any tragedy, in which I knew not which most to
admire, the heroism of the sufferers or the tender humanity of the
consoler and nurse. In all her arrangements she showed that masterly
administrative faculty in which women are far superior to men. When she
came to the Pellegrini, all was in disorder; but a few days sufficed to
reduce a chaotic confusion to exact and admirable system. Hers was the
brain that regulated all the hospitals. Always calm, she distributed her
orders with perfect tact and precision, and with a determination of
purpose and clearness of perception which commanded the minds of all
about her. The care, fatigue, and labor which she underwent would have
broken down a less determined spirit. Nothing moved except from her
touch. In a little damp cell, a pallet of straw was laid on the brick
floor, and there, when utterly overcome, she threw herself down to sleep
for a couple of hours,--no more; all the rest of the time she sat at her
desk, writing orders, giving directions, and supervising the new
machinery which owed its existence to her.

With the return of the Papal government came the old system. Certain it
is that _that_ system does not work well. Despite the enormous sums
expended in charity, the people are poor, the mortality in the hospitals
is very large. "Something is rotten in the state of" Rome.

There is one noble exception not to be forgotten. To the Hospital of San
Michele Cardinal Tosti has given a new life and vigor, and set an
example worthy of his elevated position in the Church. This foundation
was formerly an asylum for poor children and infirm and aged persons;
but of late years an industrial and educational system has been
ingrafted upon it, until it has become one of the most enlarged and
liberal institutions that can anywhere be found. It now embraces not
only an asylum for the aged, a house of correction for juvenile
offenders and women, and a house of industry for children of both sexes,
but also a school of arts, in which music, painting, drawing,
architecture, and sculpture are taught gratuitously to the poor, and a
considerable number of looms, at which from eight hundred to one
thousand persons are employed for the weaving of woollen fabrics for the
government. A stimulus has thus been given to education and to industry,
and particularly to improvements in machinery and manufacture. Once a
year, during the holy week, religious dramas and operas, founded on some
Biblical subject, are creditably performed by the pupils in a private
theatre connected with the establishment. I was never present but at one
of these representations, when the tragical story of Shadrach, Meshach,
and Ahednego was performed. Honor to Cardinal Tosti for his successful
efforts in this liberal direction!

At many of the convents in Rome, it is the custom at noon to distribute,
gratis, at the door, a quantity of soup, and any poor person may receive
a bowlful on demand. Many of the beggars thus become pensioners of the
convents, and may be seen daily at the appointed hour gathering round
the door with their bowl and wooden spoon, in expectation of the _Frate_
with the soup. This is generally made so thick with cabbage that it
might be called a cabbage-stew; but Soyer himself never made a dish more
acceptable to the palate of the guests than this. No nightingales'
tongues at a banquet of Tiberius, no edible birds-nests at a Chinese
feast, were ever relished with more gusto. The figures and actions of
these poor wretches, after they have obtained their soup, make one sigh
for human nature. Each, grasping his portion as if it were a treasure,
separates himself immediately from his brothers, flees selfishly to a
corner, if he can find one empty, or, if not, goes to a distance, turns
his back on his friends, and, glancing anxiously at intervals all
around, as if in fear of a surprise, gobbles up his cabbage, wipes out
his bowl, and then returns to companionship or disappears. The idea of
sharing his portion with those who are portionless occurs to him only as
the idea of a robber to the mind of a miser.

Any account of the beggars of Rome without mention of the Capuchins and
Franciscans would be like performing the "Merchant of Venice" with no
Shylock; for these orders are founded in beggary and supported by
charity. The priests do not beg; but their ambassadors, the
lay-brothers, clad in their long, brown serge, a cord around their
waist, and a basket on their arm, may be seen shuffling along at any
hour and in every street, in dirty sandalled feet, to levy contributions
from shops and houses. Here they get a loaf of bread, there a pound of
flour or rice, in one place fruit or cheese, in another a bit of meat,
until their basket is filled. Sometimes money is given, but generally
they are paid in articles of food. There is another set of these
brothers who enter your studio or ring at your bell and present a little
tin box with a slit in it, into which you are requested to drop any sum
you please, for the holidays, for masses, for wax candles, etc. As a big
piece of copper makes more ring than gold, it is generally given, and
always gratefully received. Sometimes they will enter into conversation,
and are always pleased to have a little chat about the weather. They are
very poor, very good-natured, and very dirty. It is a pity they do not
baptize themselves a little more with the material water of this world.
But they seem to have a hydrophobia. Whatever the inside of the platter
may be, the outside is far from clean. They walk by day and they sleep
by night in the same old snuffy robe, which is not kept from contact
with the skin by any luxury of linen, until it is worn out. Dirt and
piety seem to them synonymous. Sometimes I have deemed, foolishly
perhaps, but after the manner of my nation, that their goodness would
not wash off with the soil of the skin,--that it was more than
skin-deep; but as this matter is above reason, in better moods I have
faith that it would. Still, in disbelieving moments, I cannot help
applying to them Charles Lamb's famous speech,--"If dirt were trumps,
what a hand they would have of it!" Yet, beggars as they are, they have
the reputation at Rome of being the most inoffensive of all the
conventual orders, and are looked upon by the common people with
kindliness, as being thoroughly sincere in their religious professions.
They are, at least, consistent in many respects in their professions and
practice. They really mortify the flesh by penance, fasting, and
wretched fare, as well as by dirt. They do not proclaim the virtues and
charms of poverty, while they roll about in gilded coaches dressed in
"purple and fine linen," or gloat over the luxuries of the table. Their
vices are not the cardinal ones, whatever their virtues may be. The
"Miracles of St. Peter," as the common people call the palaces of Rome,
are not wrought for them. Their table is mean and scantily provided with
the most ordinary food. Three days in the week they eat no meat; and
during the year they keep three _Quaresime_. But, good as they are,
their sour, thin wine, on empty, craving stomachs, sometimes does a mad
work; and these brothers in dirt and piety have occasionally violent
rows and disputes in their refectories over their earthen bottles. It is
only a short time since that my old friends the Capuchins got furious
together over their wine, and ended by knocking each other about the
ears with their earthen jars, after they had emptied them. Several were
wounded, and had time to repent and wash in their cells. But one should
not be too hard on them. The temper will not withstand too much fasting.
A good dinner puts one at peace with the world, but an empty stomach is
the habitation often of the Devil, who amuses himself there with pulling
all the nerve-wires that reach up into the brain. I doubt whether even
St. Simeon Stylites always kept his temper as well as he did his fast.

As I see them walking up and down the alleys of their vegetable garden,
and under the sunny wall where oranges glow and roses bloom, without the
least asceticism, during the whole winter, I do not believe in their
doctrine, nor envy them their life. And I cannot but think that the one
hundred and fifty thousand _Frati_ who are in the Roman States would do
quite as good service to God and man, if they were an army of laborers
on the Campagna, or elsewhere, as in their present life of beggary and
self-contemplation. I often wonder, as I look at them, hearty and stout
as they are, despite their mode of life, what brought them to this pass,
what induced them to enter this order,--and recall, in this connection,
a little anecdote current here in Rome, to the following effect:--A
young fellow, from whom Fortune had withheld her gifts, having become
desperate, at last declared to a friend that he meant to throw himself
into the Tiber, and end a life which was worse than useless. "No, no,"
said his friend, "don't do that. If your affairs are so desperate,
retire into a convent, become a Capuchin." _"Ah, non!_" was the
indignant answer; "I am desperate; but I have not yet arrived at such a
pitch of desperation."

Though the Franciscans live upon charity, they have almost always a
garden connected with their convent, where they raise multitudes of
cabbages, cauliflowers, _finocchi_, peas, beans, artichokes, and
lettuce. Indeed, there is one kind of the latter which is named after
them,--_capuccini_. But their gardens they do not till themselves; they
hire gardeners, who work for them. Now I cannot but think that working
in a garden is just as pious an employment as begging about the streets,
though perhaps scarcely as profitable. The opinion, that, in some
respects, it would be better for them to attend to this work themselves,
was forced upon my mind by a little farce I happened to see enacted
among their cabbages, the other day, as I was looking down out of my
window. My attention was first attracted by hearing a window open from a
little three-story-high _loggia_, opposite, hanging over their garden. A
woman came forth, and, from amid the flower-pots which half-concealed
her, she dropped a long cord to the ground. "_Pst, Pst_," she cried to
the gardener at work below. He looked up, executed a curious pantomime,
shrugged his shoulders, shook his fore-finger, and motioned with his
head and elbow sideways to a figure, visible to me, but not to her, of a
brown Franciscan, who was amusing himself in gathering some _finocchi_,
just round the corner of the wall. The woman, who was fishing for the
cabbages, immediately understood the predicament, drew up her cord,
disappeared from the _loggia_, and the curtain fell upon the little
farce. The gardener, however, evidently had a little soliloquy after she
had gone. He ceased working, and gazed at the unconscious Franciscan for
some time, with a curious grimace, as if he were not quite satisfied at
thus losing his little perquisite.

These brown-cowled gentlemen are not the only ones who carry the tin
box. Along the curbstones of the public walks, and on the steps of the
churches, sit blind old creatures, and shake at you a tin box, outside
of which is a figure of the Madonna, and inside of which are two or
three _baiocchi_, as a rattling accompaniment to an unending invocation
of aid. Their dismal chant is protracted for hours and hours, increasing
in loudness whenever the steps of a passer-by are heard. It is the old
strophe and antistrophe of begging and blessing, and the singers are so
wretched that one is often softened into charity. Those who are not
blind have often a new _Diario_ or _Lunario_ to sell towards the end of
the year, and at other times they vary the occupation of shaking the box
by selling lives of the saints, which are sometimes wonderful enough.
One sad old woman, who sits near the Quattro Fontane, and says her
prayers and rattles her box, always touches my heart, there is such an
air of forlornness and sweetness about her. As I was returning, last
night, from a mass at San Giovanni in Laterano, an old man glared at us
through great green goggles,--to which Jealousy's would have yielded in
size and color,--and shook his box for a _baiocco_. "And where does this
money go?" I asked. "To say masses for the souls of those who die over
opposite," said he, pointing to the Hospital of San Giovanni, through
the open doors of which we could see the patients lying in their beds.

Nor are these the only friends of the box. Often in walking the streets
one is suddenly shaken in your ear, and, turning round, you are startled
to see a figure entirely clothed in white from head to foot, a rope
round his waist, and a white _capuccio_ drawn over his head and face,
and showing, through two round holes, a pair of sharp black eyes behind
them. He says nothing, but shakes his box at you, often threateningly,
and always with an air of mystery. This is a penitent _Saccone_; and as
this _confraternità_ is composed solely of noblemen, he may be one of
the first princes or cardinals in Rome, performing penance in expiation
of his sins; or, for all you can see, it may be one of your intimate
friends. The money thus collected goes to various charities. They always
go in couples,--one taking one side of the street, the other the
opposite,--never losing sight of each other, and never speaking. Clothed
thus in secresy, these _Sacconi_ can test the generosity of any one they
please with complete impunity, and they often amuse themselves with
startling foreigners. Many a group of English girls, convoyed by their
mother, and staring into some mosaic or cameo shop, is scared into a
scream by the sudden jingle of the box, and the apparition of the
spectre in white who shakes it. And many a simple old lady retains to
the end of her life a confused impression, derived therefrom, of
Inquisitions, stilettos, tortures, and banditti, from which it is vain
to attempt to dispossess her mind. The stout old gentleman, with a bald
forehead and an irascibly rosy face, takes it often in another
way,--confounds the fellows for their impertinence, has serious notions,
first, of knocking them down on the spot, and then of calling the
police, but finally concludes to take no notice of them, as they are
nothing but _Eye_-talians, who cannot be expected to know how to behave
themselves in a rational manner. Sometimes a _santa elemosina_ is
demanded after the oddest fashion. It was only yesterday that I met one
of the _confraternità_, dressed in a shabby red suit, coming up the
street, with the invariable oblong tin begging-box in his hand,--a
picture of Christ on one side, and of the Madonna on the other. He went
straight to a door, opening into a large, dark room, where there was a
full cistern of running water, at which several poor women were washing
clothes, and singing and chatting as they worked. My red acquaintance
suddenly opens the door, letting in a stream of light upon this
Rembrandtish interior, and, lifting his box with the most wheedling of
smiles, he says, with a rising inflection of voice, as if asking a
question,--"_Prezioso sangue di Gesù Christo?_"--( Precious blood of
Jesus Christ?)

The last, but by no means the meanest, of the tribe of pensioners whom I
shall mention, is my old friend, "Beefsteak,"--now, alas! gone to the
shades of his fathers. He was a good dog,--a mongrel, a Pole by
birth,--who accompanied his master on a visit to Rome, where he became
so enamored of the place that he could not be persuaded to return to his
native home. Bravely he cast himself on the world, determined to live,
like many of his two-legged countrymen, upon his wits. He was a dog of
genius, and his confidence in the world was rewarded by its
appreciation. He had a sympathy for the arts. The crowd of artists who
daily and nightly flocked to the Lepre and the Caffè Greco attracted his
notice. He introduced himself to them, and visited them at their studios
and rooms. A friendship was struck between them and him, and he became
their constant visitor and their most attached ally. Every day, at the
hour of lunch, or at the more serious hour of dinner, he lounged into
the Lepre, seated himself in a chair, and awaited his friends, confident
of his reception. His presence was always hailed with a welcome, and to
every new comer he was formally presented. His bearing became, at last,
not only assured, but patronizing. He received the gift of a
chicken-bone or a delicate titbit as if he conferred a favor. He became
an epicure, a _gourmet_. He did not eat much; he ate well. With what a
calm superiority and gentle contempt he declined the refuse bits a
stranger offered from his plate! His glance, and upturned nose, and
quiet refusal, seemed to say,--"Ignoramus! know you not I am Beefsteak?"
His dinner finished, he descended gravely, and proceeded to the Caffè
Greco, there to listen to the discussions of the artists, and to partake
of a little coffee and sugar, of which he was very fond. At night, he
accompanied some one or other of his friends to his room, and slept upon
the rug. He knew his friends, and valued them; but perhaps his most
remarkable quality was his impartiality. He dispensed his favors with an
even hand. He had few favorites, and called no man master. He never
outstayed his welcome "and told the jest without the smile," never
remaining with one person for more than two or three days at most. A
calmer character, a more balanced judgment, a better temper, a more
admirable self-respect,--in a word, a profounder sense of what belongs
to a gentleman, was never known in any dog. But Beefsteak is now no
more. Just after the agitations of the Revolution of '48, with which he
had little sympathy,--he was a conservative by disposition,--he
disappeared. He had always been accustomed to make a _villegratura_ at
L'Arriccia during a portion of the summer months, returning only now and
then to look after his affairs in Rome. On such visits he would often
arrive towards midnight, and rap at the door of a friend to claim his
hospitality, barking a most intelligible answer to the universal Roman
inquiry of "_Chi è_?" "One morn we missed him at the accustomed" place,
and thenceforth he was never seen. Whether a sudden homesickness for his
native land overcame him, or a fatal accident befell him, is not known.
Peace to his manes! There "rests his head upon the lap of earth" no
better dog.

In the Roman studio of one of his friends and admirers, Mr. Mason, I had
the pleasure, a few days since, to see, among several admirable and very
spirited pictures of Campagna life and incidents, a very striking
portrait of Beefsteak. He was sitting in a straw-bottomed chair, as we
have so often seen him in the Lepre, calm, dignified in his deportment,
and somewhat obese. The full brain, the narrow, fastidious nose, the
sagacious eye, were so perfectly given, that I seemed to feel the actual
presence of my old friend. So admirable a portrait of so distinguished a
person should not be lost to the world. It should be engraved, or at
least photographed.



ENCELADUS.


  Under Mount Etna he lies;
      It is slumber, it is not death;
  For he struggles at times to arise,
  And above him the lurid skies
      Are hot with his fiery breath.

  The crags are piled on his breast,
      The earth is heaped on his head;
  But the groans of his wild unrest,
  Though smothered and half suppressed,
      Are heard, and he is not dead.

  And the nations far away
      Are watching with eager eyes;
  They talk together and say,
  "To-morrow, perhaps to-day,
      Enceladus will arise!"

  And the old gods, the austere
      Oppressors in their strength,
  Stand aghast and white with fear,
  At the ominous sounds they hear,
      And tremble, and mutter, "At length!"

  Ah, me! for the land that is sown
      With the harvest of despair!
  Where the burning cinders, blown
  From the lips of the overthrown
      Enceladus, fill the air!

  Where ashes are heaped in drifts
      Over vineyard and field and town,
  Whenever he starts and lifts
  His head through the blackened rifts
      Of the crags that keep him down!

  See, see! the red light shines!
      'Tis the glare of his awful eyes!
  And the storm-wind shouts through the pines
  Of Alps and of Apennines,
      "Enceladus, arise!"



THE ZOUAVES.


The decree of October 1, 1830, approved by a royal ordinance, March 21,
1831, created two battalions of Zouaves. To perceive the necessity for
this body of troops, to understand the nature of the service required of
them, and to obtain a just notion of their important position in African
affairs, it will be necessary to glance, for a moment, at the previous
history of Algeria under the Deys, and especially at the history of that
Turkish militia which they were to replace,--a body of irresponsible
tyrants, which, since 1516, had exercised the greatest power in Africa,
and had rendered their name hated and feared by the most distant tribes.

Algeria was settled in 1492, by Moors driven from Spain. They recognized
a kind of allegiance to the Sultan of Turkey, which was, however, only
nominal; he appointed their Emirs, but further than this there was no
restraint on their actions. Hard pressed by the Spaniards in 1509, the
Emirs sent in haste to Turkey for aid; and Barbarossa, a noted pirate,
sailed to their help, drove out the Christians, but fixed upon the Moors
the yoke of Turkish sovereignty. In 1516, he declared himself Sultan, or
Dey, of Algiers; and his brother succeeding him, the Ottoman power was
firmly established in the Northwest of Africa. Hated by the people of
this great territory, both Moors and Arabs, menaced not only by their
dissensions, but frequently attacked by the Christians from the North,
there was but one method by which the Dey could maintain his power. He
formed a large body of mercenary soldiers, drawn entirely from Turkey,
united with himself and each other by a feeling of mutual dependence and
common danger, and bound by no feeling of interest or affection to the
inhabitants of the soil. Brave they were, as they proved in 1541,
against Charles the Fifth, whose forces they defeated and nearly
destroyed at Haratsch,--in 1565, at the siege of Malta,--in 1572, in the
seafight of Lepanto,--in many smaller combats at different times,
defending their land triumphantly in 1775 against the Spaniards under
O'Reilly and Castejon. Hardy and ready they were, from the very
necessity of the case; for they were hated and dreaded beyond measure by
the Arabs, and theirs was a life of constant exertion. Other than united
they could not be; for they were in continual warfare of offence or of
defence; they suppressed rebellion and anarchy,--for without a leader
and union they had been cut off by the restless foe, whose piercing eyes
watched, and whose daggers waited only _for the time_. In constant
danger, they could not sink into that sloth that eats out the heart of
Eastern and Southern nations; for it was only in unrest that safety
lay;--he who slumbered on those burning plains, no less than the sleeper
on Siberian ice, was lost utterly and without remedy.

This body of troops, called the _Odjack_, elected or deposed Deys at
pleasure; the Dey, nominally their ruler, was in reality their tool. In
one period of twenty years there were six Deys, of whom four were
decapitated, one abdicated through fear, and one died peacefully in the
exercise of his governing functions. [Footnote: _Voyage pour la
Rédemption des Captifs aux Royaumes d'Alger et de Tunis, fait en 1720._
Paris, 1721.] In 1629, they declared the kingdom free from the
domination of Turkey; soon after, they expelled the Koulouglis, or
half-breed Turks, and enslaved the Moors. Admitting some of the latter
to service in the militia, they never allowed them to hope for
advancement in the State, or, what was the same thing, the army. Only
Turks, or in some instances renegade Christians, could lead the
soldiers, whom thus no feeling of local patriotism mollified in their
course of savage cruelty, grinding the face of the poor natives till
spirit and hope were lost and resistance ceased to be a settled idea in
their minds.

Now when the French navy came up to the port of Algiers, June 12, 1830,
the unity between the soldiers and their master, Hussein Pacha, was
tottering on the verge of dissolution; a plot against his life had just
been discovered, he had punished the ringleaders with death, and many
who had been concerned in the conspiracy felt that there was no safety
for them with him. Beaten constantly in every skirmish or battle, they
conceived a high respect for the military genius of the invaders, and,
ere the close of the summer campaign, offered their services in a body
to General Clausel; this offer he promptly declined, and they thereupon
withdrew, carrying their swords to the aid of other powers less
scrupulous.

The news, however, that the terrible Odjack had offered themselves to
serve under the French spread a lively terror through the Arab tribes,
who, believing themselves about to suffer an aggravation of their
already intolerable oppression, experienced a sensation of relief and an
elevation of spirit no less marked, on hearing that the newly formed
government had rejected their services. Perceiving the fear in which
these Algerine Praetorians were held by the tribes, Marshal Clausel
conceived the plan of replacing them by a corps of light infantry,
consisting of two battalions, to perform the services of household
troops, and to receive some name as significant as that held by their
predecessors under the old _régime_. Consequently, after some
consideration, the newly constituted body was called by the name of
_Zouaves_, from the Arabic word _Zouaoua_.

The Zouaoua are a tribe, or rather a confederation of tribes, of the
Kabyles, who inhabit the gorges of the Jurjura Mountains, the boundary
of Algeria on the east, separating it from the province of Constantine.
They are a brave, fierce, laborious people, whose submission to the
Turks was never more than nominal; yet they were well known in the city
of Algiers, whither they came frequently to exchange the products of
their industry for the luxuries of comparative civilization. As they had
the reputation of being the best soldiers in the Regency, and had
occasionally lent their services to the Algerine princes, their name was
given to the new military force; while, to give it the character of a
French corps, the number of native soldiers received into its ranks was
limited, and all its officers, from the highest to the lowest grade,
were required to be native-born Frenchmen. The service in this corps was
altogether voluntary, none being appointed to the Zouaves who did not
seek the place; but there were found enough young and daring spirits who
embraced with enthusiasm this life, so harassing, so full of privation,
of rude labor, of constant peril. The first battalion was commanded by
Major Maumet; the second by Captain Duvivier, (since General,) who died
in Paris, 1848, of wounds received in the African service. Levaillant,
(since General of Division,) Verge, (now General of Brigade,) and
Mollière, who died Colonel, of wounds received at the siege of Rome,
were officers in these first two battalions.

Scarcely six weeks had elapsed since their formation, when the Zouaves
took the field under Marshal Clausel, marching against Medeah, an
important station in the heart of Western Algeria. On the hill of
Mouzaïa they fought their first battle, in which they were completely
successful. They remained two months as a garrison in Medeah. Here they
showed proofs of a valor and patience most extraordinary. Left alone in
a frontier post, constantly in the vicinity of a savage foe, watching
and fighting night and day, leaving the gun only to take up the spade,
compelled to create everything they needed, reduced to the last
extremities for food, cut off from all communications,--it was a rough
trial for this little handful of new soldiers. The place was often
attacked; they were always at their posts; till in the last days of
April they were recalled, and the fortress yielded up to the feeble Bey
whom the French had decided to establish there. In June, troubles having
again arisen, General Berthezène conducted some troops of the regular
army to Medeah, to which was added the second battalion of Zouaves,
under its gallant captain, Duvivier. On his return, the troops were
attacked with fury on the hill of Mouzaïa, the spot where the Zouaves
had in February of the same year received their baptism of fire. Wearied
with the long night-march, borne down by insupportable heat, stretched
in a long straggling line through mountain-passes, the commander of the
van severely wounded at the first discharge, they themselves separated,
without chiefs, and surrounded by enemies, the French troops recoiled;
when Duvivier, seeing the peril that menaced the army, advanced with his
battalion. Shouting their war-cry, they rushed on the Kabyles, supported
by the Volunteers of the Chart, or French Zouaves, thundering forth the
Marseillaise; turning the pursuers into pursued, they covered the
retreat of their associates to the farm of Mouzaïa, where the army
rallied and proceeded without further loss to Algiers. This retreat, and
its attendant circumstances, made the Zouaves, before regarded, if not
with contempt, at least with dislike, _free of the camp_.

But now the losses sustained by the two battalions began to be seriously
felt,--for the growing hostility of the Arabs rendered it difficult to
recruit from native sources; and an ordinance of the king, dated March
7,1833, united the two battalions into one, consisting of ten companies,
eight of which were to be exclusively European, and two to be _not_
exclusively Algerine,--it being required that in each native company
there should be at least twelve Frenchmen. Duvivier was called to
Bougie; Maumet was compelled by his wounds to return to Paris; Captain
Lamoricière was, therefore, appointed chief of the united battalion,
having given proof of his capacity in every way,--whether as soldier,
linguist, or negotiator,--being a wise and prudent man. It is to the
training the Zouaves received under this remarkable man that much of
their subsequent success must be ascribed. In his dealings with the
Arabs he had shown himself the first who could treat with them by other
means than the rifle or bayonet. [Footnote: _Annales Algériennes_, Tom.
ii. p. 72.] In his capacity of Lieutenant-Colonel of Zouaves he showed
talents of a high order. He infused into them the spirit, the activity,
the boldness and impetuosity which he himself so remarkably possessed,
with a certain independence of character which demanded from those who
commanded them a resolute firmness on essential, and a dignified
indulgence on unessential points. [Footnote: _Conquête d'Alger_. Par A.
Nettement. p. 546.] To the course of discipline used by him, and still
maintained in this arm of the service, are due their tremendous working
power, their tirelessness, their self-dependence, and all their
qualities differing from those of other soldiers; so that by his means
one of the most irregular species of warfare has produced a body of
irresistible regular soldiers, and border combats have given rise to the
most rigid discipline in the world.

The post of Dely Ibrahim was assigned to the Zouaves. At this place they
were obliged to work laboriously, making for themselves whatever was
needed; whether as masons, ditchers, blacksmiths, carpenters, or
farmers,--whatever business was to be performed, they were, or learned
to be, sufficient for it. No idlers in that camp,--each must earn his
daily bread. What time was not devoted to labor was given to the
practice of arms and the acquisition of instruction in all departments
of military science; so that many a soldier was there fitted for the
position he afterwards acquired, of officer, colonel, or general. To
fence with the mounted bayonet, to wrestle, to leap, to climb, to run
for miles, to swim, to make and to destroy temporary bridges, to throw
up earth-walls, to carry great weights, to do, in short, what Indians
learn to do, and much that they do not learn,--these served as the
relaxations of the unwearied Zouaves. To vary the monotony of such a
life, there was enough adventure to be found for the seeking,--now an
incursion into the Sahel, or into the plains of Mitidja, or a wild foray
through the northern gorges of the Atlas. Day by day progress appeared;
they learned to march rapidly and long, to sustain the extremes of
hunger, thirst, and weather, and to manoeuvre with intelligent
precision; diligently fitting themselves, in industry, discipline, and
warlike education, for the position they had to fill. Their costume and
equipment were brought near perfection; they wore the Turkish dress,
slightly modified,--a dress perfectly suited to the changes of that
climate, and without which their movements would have been cramped and
constrained. Only the officers retained the uniform of the hussars,
which is rich and easy to wear. The cost of a suitable Turkish uniform
would have been too heavy for them, besides that the dress of a Turk of
rank is somewhat ridiculous. Certain officers on the march used,
however, to wear the _fez_, or, as the Arabs called it, the _chechia_.
Lamoricière was known in Algeria as _Bou Chechia_, or _Papa with the
Cap_,--as he was known later in Oran as _Bou Araoua, Papa with the
Stick_. One finds, however, nothing of Orientalism in the regulations of
this body of troops; not the least negligence or slovenliness is allowed
in the most trifling detail. In fine, the care, and that descending to
note the smallest minutiae, which brought this race of soldiers to such
a pitch of perfection, leaving them their gayety and sprightliness, and,
notwithstanding the rigidness of the discipline, giving solidity and
precision to irregular troops, was rewarded by success unparalleled in
history. It was the best practical school for soldiers and officers; and
many of the best generals in the French army began their military career
in the wild guerrilla combats or the patient camp-life of this band of
heroes.

Nearly two years had passed away in this training, when Marshal Clausel
returned to Africa, and led the Zouaves, whose fitness for the service
he well knew, into Oran. Here they added fresh laurels to those already
acquired. In the expedition of Mascara, where they fought under the eye
of the Duke of Orléans, they covered themselves with glory; insomuch
that on his return to Paris he procured a decree, 1835, constituting the
First Regiment of Zouaves, of two battalions, of six companies each,
and, should occasion justify the measure, of ten companies. Lamoricière
continued in command.

In 1836 the Zouaves again took the hill of Mouzaïa. This time they razed
its fortifications even with the ground, and returned to Algiers, where
they remained during General Clausel's first and unfortunate expedition
into Constantine, the eastern province of French Africa. In 1837 the
second expedition was made, and in this the Zouaves took part. One of
the divisions of the army was under the command of the Duke of Némours.
In this division were the Zouaves under Lamoricière, who here showed
themselves worthy of their renown. Fighting by the side of the most
excellent soldiers in the regular army, they proved themselves bravest
where all were brave. They were placed at the head of the first column
of attack. Lamoricière was the first officer on the breach, and carried
all before him. The soldiers whom he had trained supported him nobly;
but when they had won the day, they found that many companies were
decimated, some nearly annihilated; numbers of their officers were dead
in the breach, "Those who are not mortally wounded rejoice at this great
success," said an officer to the Duke; and it was a significant
sentence. [Footnote: Verbal report of Colonel Combes to the Duke of
Némours,--conclusion.]

To form some notion of those troops, among whom the Zouaves showed
themselves like the gods in the war of Troy, one anecdote will suffice,
chosen from many which prove the valor of the army my generally. The
rear-guard at Mansourah was under the command of Changarnier; it was
reduced to three hundred men; he halted this little troop and said,
"Come, my men, look these fellows in the face; they are six thousand,
you are three hundred; surely the match is even." This speech was
sufficient. The Frenchmen awaited the onset till the enemy was within
pistol-shot; then, after a murderous volley, they charged on the Arabs,
who broke and fled in dismay. During the remainder of the day they would
not approach this band nearer than long rifle range. [Footnote:
_Moniteur_, December 16, 1833; report of Marshal Clausel.]

The siege of Constantine may properly be said to have ended the war of
occupation in Africa. Hitherto we have seen the Zouaves only in time of
active war, or in the defence of hill-forts, obliged to unity through
fear of an ever-menacing foe, and laboring for their own preservation or
comfort only; but now commenced a new training for them, no less severe
and dangerous, in which they showed themselves equally willing and
competent,--a war against stubborn Nature in all her most forbidding
aspects. Under the blazing suns of that tropical climate they
recommenced at Coleah the work already begun at Dely Ibrahim; ditches
were to be dug, works thrown up, roads made, draining accomplished,
farms tended, all that was necessary for the establishment of those
permanent colonies which France was so anxious to settle in Algeria was
to be done by the Zouaves; yet, despite that terrible labor, the danger
and hardship, the sickness and death, the ranks of the regiment filled
up rapidly; and, joined by the wrecks of the battalion of Mechouar, they
were kept full to overflowing. This battalion of Mechouar was a troop
left by Clausel in the _mechouar_, or citadel, of Tlemcen, in the West
of Oran, under the command of Captain Cavaignac; on the conclusion of
the war, in 1837, they, of course, returned to their regiment at Coleah.

This deceitful peace lasted only till 1839. In this year the vigilant
colonel of Zouaves perceived in his native troops alarming symptoms of
mutiny, and learned, to his surprise, that they were in a ripe condition
for revolt. Wild Santons of the desert, emissaries, doubtless, of
Abd-el-Kader, held secret meetings near the camp; many soldiers attended
them, and were seduced by artfully prepared inflammatory harangues and
prophecies. In the month of December, 1839, at the raising of the
standard of Islam, the natives flocked in vast numbers to rid the land
of the Christians; and most of the native Zouaves deserted to join the
fortunes of the prince whom they reverenced as a prophet. Old soldiers,
trained in the French service to a thorough acquaintance with European
tactics, and gray with battling long for Lamoricière, suddenly left him,
and by their knowledge of the art of war gave great advantage to the
Arab force. In their combats with the Sultan, the Zouaves not
infrequently found that a sharp resistance or a masterly retreat on the
part of the enemy was executed under the direction of one of their
former comrades in arms. It was a critical moment for the Zouaves; but
at the announcement of the renewal of hostilities volunteers flowed in
on all sides, whether of young men full of ardor and excitement, or, as
in many instances, of old soldiers who had already served their time.
After a winter of petty skirmishing and reestablishing in Algeria the
semblance of security, the Duke of Orléans led the army, considerably
reinforced, in a raid against the Arabs under Abd-el-Kader in their own
territory. The Zouaves accompanied this expedition, and whether in their
charges against the mountaineers, who, with the aid of the Arab
regulars, defended each pass, or sustaining the shock of the provincial
cavalry, or even standing unmoved before the attack of Abd-el-Kader's
terrible "Reds," [Footnote: The mounted body-guard of Abd-el-Kader, so
called by the French from their complete red uniform.] they maintained
their character of rapid, intrepid, and successful soldiers. What names
we find in this regiment! Lamoricière, Regnault, Renault, (now General
of Division,) Cavaignac, Leflô, (now General of Brigade,) and St.
Arnaud, who died Marshal of France two days after the victory of the
Alma.

A singular instance of the _handiness_ of the Zouaves is found in the
notice of their forced march on this campaign, undertaken May 20th, to
support the retreating Seventeenth Light Infantry. Their cartridges were
fired away, the regulars of Abd-el-Kader were upon them, and nothing
seemed to remain but an heroic death, when, "Comrades," cried one, "see,
here are stones!" Not a word more; each caught the hint, and, with
simultaneous volleys of stones, drove off the charging enemy, and broke
their way to where the remains of the Seventeenth rallied under Colonel
Bedeau, after a retreat more properly to be called a continual attack!

Hard at work during the winter of 1840-41, General Bugeaud found these
indefatigable soldiers in perfect condition to take the field again,
when he landed in April. There had been sharp fighting during the past
year at Mouzaïa, in which the Zouaves always led the van, and were, as
in every engagement they ever fought, covered with honor. "The Second,
electrified by the example of its officers, and led by Colonel
Changarnier, flung itself on the intrenchments; the redoubts were
carried, etc. At the same time, in the other column, Lamoricière led the
way with his Zouaves, followed by the other troops. The Zouaves
surmounted the almost impassable cliffs, attacked and carried two lines
of intrenchment, and, in the teeth of a murderous fire, forced a third;
a few moments later the two columns joined, and, rushing up the
acclivity, planted the flag of France on the highest peak of the Atlas."
[Footnote: Report of Marshal Valée: _Moniteur_.] Little variation is
found in the reports of generals concerning the Zouaves at this time;
they say of these troops always, "The First," or "The Second, was
covered with glory."

But now, with the arrival of Bugeaud, the war in Africa was changed;
hitherto it had been a mere war of occupation,--a holding of the ground
already French against the attacking Arabs; now it was to be a duel, a
war of devastation; thus only could France hope to tame the
indefatigable Abd-el-Kader, and permanently hold her own. The trouble
was not so much to fight him as to get near enough to fight him; for he
pursued a truly Fabian policy, and being lighter armed, was consequently
swifter than the invaders. Under Marshal Clausel, the French, drawing
with them the heavy wagons and munitions of European warfare, were
obliged to follow the high-roads, and the Arabs could never be taken by
surprise; scouts gave information of their numbers, and after harassing
marches they would find that the foe had either retreated to unknown
fastnesses or assembled on the spot in prodigious force. Now Lamoricière
proposed a plan, in the execution of which he was eminently successful.
Bugeaud's design was, to follow the Arabs into the desert, to climb the
steep mountains, to plunge into their chasms, to storm every hill-fort,
and to drive, step by step, the swift Abd-el-Kader far from the land
which his presence so troubled; but how? for swift troops are
light-armed, carry no luggage, and but little provision; and to follow
without food the Arabs who concealed food in _silos_, _caches_ in the
ground, seemed hopeless. Lamoricière required but his Zouaves, who
carried only four days' provisions, and no baggage of any sort; when
they drew near any of these _silos_, which were always, of course, in
the vicinity of the deserted villages, he spread out his troops in a
long crescent, and they advanced slowly, rooting up the ground with
their bayonets till some one struck on the stone or pebbles covering the
precious deposit. Thus, without wagons, trained to tireless activity,
they could follow the Arabs from _douar_ to _douar_ with little delay,
and with fatal effect.

Great reinforcements were sent to Africa, and the Zouaves were not
forgotten; for, in the royal ordinance of September 8th, 1841, the
regiment was raised to three battalions of nine companies; only one of
the nine, however, could receive natives, so that but three native
companies now existed, and few Algerines were found even in these. The
reasons seem to have been threefold: first, the danger from mutiny;
second, the evils arising from the mixture of the two races, which had
augmented their vices, without a corresponding improvement in their good
qualities; third, and perhaps most important of all, the discontent very
properly felt by the French Zouaves, who were compelled to work at the
trenches, to dig, to plant, etc., while the Mussulmans utterly refused
to take part in this, to their mind, degrading toil. The Gordian knot
was cut, and all difficulty done away, by making the regiment, in
effect, exclusively European. Thus reorganized and reinforced, the
regiment, on receiving the standard sent it by the king, immediately
separated,--one battalion marching for Oran, one for Constantine, while
the other remained at Blidah, in Algeria.

The year 1842 was full of great results; the new system worked well,
great numbers of tribes laid down their arms and swore fealty to France,
and the provinces were more than nominally in the hands of the French.
Still many of the more distant and powerful tribes held to their
allegiance to the Prophet Sultan. The war gradually took on itself the
form of a civil contest, and mutual animosities gave rise to many
occasions for sanguinary combats; one of these, in the valley of the
Cheliff, September, 1842, lasted unintermittingly for thirty-six hours!
In this battle, and that of Oued Foddah, and, in fact, in almost every
battle of those years, the Zouaves took an honorable part. In mountain
fights, long marches over burning sands, repulses of cavalry, at
Jurjura, Ouarsanis, among the Beni Menasser, at the Smalah, in the
struggles of Bedeau with the Moroccan cavalry, and in the memorable
battle of Isly, they did good service; their history was but a narrative
of brilliant exploits. In many of their hill fights, the deserters of
1839 gave much trouble. In a skirmish, 1844, on the south side of the
Aurès, in which Captain Espinasse (died General of Division, Magenta,
June 6th, 1859) was concerned, and wounded four times, an old native
Zouave commanded the Kabyles, and defended their principal position with
much skill.

In fine, to recount the hundredth part of their deeds,--to make out a
list of their soldiers, sub-officers, or officers who have been since
promoted to high honors,--to trace minutely each step by which they
mounted to their present position, would be to write, not an article,
but a book. In 1842 the natives disappeared finally from their ranks;
the best and bravest soldiers of the African army eagerly sought their
places, attracted by the uniform, the manner of life, the constant
danger and no less constant excitement, the liberty allowed, the glory
ever open to all. As their numbers were decimated by the continual
warfare, the ranks were immediately filled by the descendants of those
brave Gauls who once said, "If the heavens fall, what care we? We will
support them on the points of our lances!" In 1848, the Zouaves received
a large accession from Paris; the _gamins_ of the Revolution were sent
to them in great numbers; out of this unpromising, rebellious material,
some of the finest of these admirable troops have been made. And now,
when the entry into this regiment was longed for by so many, as a
species of promotion, on the 13th of February, 1852, Louis Napoleon,
then President of the Republic, decreed that three regiments of Zouaves
be formed, each on one of the three battalions as a nucleus, taking the
number of the battalion as its own. Thus the first regiment was formed
at Blidah, in Algiers; the second at Oran, in Oran; the third at
Constantine, in the province of Constantine. Officers of the corps of
infantry were eligible to the new regiments, holding the same grade; the
men were to be drawn from any infantry corps in the army, on their own
application, if the Minister of War saw proper. None were accepted but
men physically and morally in excellent condition; the officers had, for
the most part, already served with credit; the under-officers and
soldiers had been many years in the service; and even many corporals,
and not a few ensigns and lieutenants, voluntarily relinquished their
positions to serve in the rank-and-file of the new corps. So, occupied
in pacificating and securing the three provinces, the regiments lost
nothing of their former renown; obedient to orders, and fearless of
danger, it was no idle compliment paid them by Louis Napoleon, when, in
the winter of 1853-4, be said, "If the war break out, we must show our
Zouaves to the Russians." They were a body trained in the school of a
terrible experience of twenty-four years; they had learned, like the
lion-hunter, Gerard, to take death by the mane, and look into his fiery
eyes without blenching; they were fit for this service, which demanded
the best nerve of the two most powerful nations of the world. What they
did there is known to all; at the battle of the Alma, Marshal St. Arnaud
was unable to repress his admiration, calling them "the bravest soldiers
in the world." All Europe, at first wondering at these strange troops,
with their wild dress, their half-savage manners, and strange method of
warfare, found speedy cause to admire their courage and success; France
was proud of their renown, and they became immensely popular in Paris,
sure proof of their remarkable qualities. Their oddities, their courage,
their imperfect knowledge of the distinctions of _meum_ and _tuum_,
their wondering, childlike simplicity, furnished themes for endless
songs and caricatures; the comedy of "Les Zouaves" met with great
success; and the cant name for them, "Zouzou," is to be heard at any
time in the streets. In 1855, the Fourth Zouaves was created, consisting
of but two battalions, and enrolled in the Imperial Guard; they are
distinguished from the others by wearing a white turban, while that of
the other regiments is green; since the formation of this regiment, no
new corps have been added. The peace with Russia, in 1856, was not peace
for the Zouaves, who returned, desiring nothing better, to Africa,
where, in the continued war, they found congenial employment till the
final submission of the last tribes, July 15, 1857, dissolved the army
of Kabylia, and made them, perforce, peaceful, till the 26th of April of
this year brought them to win fresh laurels on a new field.

Vague reports, assertions without proof, have been not infrequently
made, to the effect that the Zouaves are in character cruel, dissolute,
and excessively given to hard drinking. That they are absolutely free
from the first charge I shall not attempt to deny; that they are more so
than other men, in like circumstances, there is no proof; there is even
good reason to state the contrary, if we may judge by instances, of
which, for want of space, one shall suffice here. The Zouaves were in
the van of the army, on their march toward the Tell; in their charge was
a large body of prisoners, wounded, and helpless women, old men, and
children, whom they were conducting to the Tell, to restore them to
their homes. The weather was intensely hot, even for Africa; the nearest
well was eleven leagues distant; and the sufferings of the poor people
must have been dreadful indeed. Mothers flung down their infants on the
burning sand, and pressed madly on to save themselves from the most
horrible of deaths; old men and boys sunk exhausted, panting, declaring
they could go no farther. "Then it was," says an eyewitness, "that the
Zouaves behaved like very Sisters of Charity, rather than rough bearded
soldiers; they divided their last morsel with these unfortunates, gave
them drink from their own scanty stores, and, putting their canteens to
the mouths of the dying, revived them with the precious draught. They
raised the screaming infants, overturned and held ewes, that they might
suckle the poor creatures, abandoned in despair by their mothers, and,
in many instances, carried them the whole distance in their arms. At
night they ate nothing, giving their food to the helpless prisoners,
whose lives they thus saved at the risk of their own." If in war they
"imitate the action of the tiger," we have every reason to believe that
in peace they are, to say the least, not less humane than others.

The author of "Recollections of an Officer" [Footnote: _Souvenirs d'un
Officier du 2me de Zouaves_. Paris, 1859.] sums up the character of the
Zouaves in a few words which clear them from the other two charges,
those of dissoluteness and drunkenness. He says,--"Beside the condition
of success resulting from the first organization, it must be said, that,
somewhat later, the happy idea came to be adopted, of giving to the
Zouaves destined to fight in the light-armed troops the costume of
_Chasseurs-à-pied_. The recruitment added also not a little to the
reputation which the Zouaves so rapidly acquired; the soldiers are all
drawn, not from conscripts, but from applicants for the service. Many
are Parisians, or, at all events, inhabitants of the other great French
cities; most have already served,--are therefore inured to the
work,--accustomed to privations, which they undergo gayly,--to fatigues,
at which they joke,--to dangers in battle, which they treat as mere
play. They are proud of their uniform, which does not resemble that of
any other corps,--proud of that name, _Zouave_, of mysterious
origin,--proud of the splendid actions with which each succeeding day
enriches the history of their troops,--happy in the liberty they
experience, both in garrison and on expeditions. It is said that the
Zouaves love wine; it is true; but they are rarely seen intoxicated;
they seek the pleasures of conviviality, not the imbrutement of
drunkenness. These regiments count in their ranks officers, who,
_ennuied_ by a lazy life, have taken up the musket and the
_chechia_,--under-officers, who, having already served, brave, even
rash, seek to win their epaulettes anew in this hard service, and gain
either a glorious position or a glorious death,--old officers of the
_garde mobile_,--broad-shouldered marines, who have served their time on
shipboard, accustomed to cannon and the thunderings of the
tempest,--young men of family, desirous to replace with the red ribbon
of the Legion of Honor, bought and colored with their blood, the
dishonor of a life gaped wearily away on the pavements of Paris.

"Composed of such elements, one can scarcely imagine the body of Zouaves
other than brilliant in the field of battle. The officers are generally
chosen from the regiments of the line, men remarkable for strength,
courage, and prudence; full of energy, pushing the love of their colors
to its last limit, always ready to confront death and to run up to meet
danger, they seek glory rather than promotion. To train up their
soldiers, to give them an example, in their own persons, of all the
military virtues,--such are their only cares. Our ancestors said,
'_Noblesse, oblige_'; these choose the same motto. _Their_ nobility is
not that of old family-titles, but the uniform in which they are
clothed, the title of officer of Zouaves. _Esprit de corps_, that
religion of the soldier, is carried by the Zouaves to its highest pitch;
the common soldiers would not consent to change their turban for the
epaulettes of an ensign in the other service; and many an ensign, and
not a few captains, have preferred to await their advancement in the
Zouaves rather than immediately obtain it by entering other regiments.
There exists, moreover, between the soldiers and officers, a military
fraternity, which, far from destroying discipline, tends rather to draw
more closely its bonds. The officer sees in his men rather companions in
danger and in glory than inferiors; he willingly attends to their
complaints, and strives to spare them all unnecessary privations. Where
they are exposed to difficulties, he does not hesitate to employ all the
means in his power to aid them. In return, the soldier professes for his
officer an affection, a devotion, a sort of filial respect. Discipline,
he knows, must be severe, and he does not grumble at its penalties. In
battle, he does not abandon his chief; he watches over him, will die for
his safety, will not let him fall into the hands of the enemy if
wounded. At the bivouac he makes the officer's fire, though his own
should die for want of fuel; cares for his horse, arranges his
furniture; if any delicacy in the way of food can be procured, he brings
it to the chief. Convinced of the desire of their master that the
soldiers shall be well fed, the Zouaves often insist that a part of
their pay be expended for procuring the provisions of the tribe.
[Footnote: In accordance with Arab customs, the Zouaves, who (to use the
ordinary expression) "live in common," compose a circle to which they
give the name of _tribe_. In the tribe, each one has his allotted task:
one attends to making the fires and procuring wood; another draws water
and does the cooking; another makes the coffee and arranges the camp,
etc.] The colonel is the man most venerated by these soldiers, who look
upon him as the father of the family. They are proud of the colonel's
success, and happy to have contributed to his honor or advancement. When
an order comes directly from him, be sure it will be religiously obeyed.
'When _papa_ says anything,' they repeat, one to another, 'it must be
done. Papa knows it is _already_ done; be wants us to be the best
children possible.' In critical moments, the colonel can use the
severest Draconian code, without having anything to fear from the
disapprobation of his men."



MY PSALM.


  I mourn no more my vanished years:
      Beneath a tender rain,
  An April rain of smiles and tears,
      My heart is young again.

  The west winds blow, and, singing low,
      I hear the glad streams run;
  The windows of my soul I throw
      Wide open to the sun.

  No longer forward nor behind
      I look in hope or fear;
  But, grateful, take the good I find,
      The best of now and here.

  I plough no more a desert land,
      To harvest weed and tare;
  The manna dropping from God's hand
      Rebukes my painful care.

  I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
    Aside the toiling oar;
  The angel sought so far away
    I welcome at my door.

  The airs of Spring may never play
      Among the ripening corn,
  Nor freshness of the flowers of May
      Blow through the Autumn morn;--

  Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look
      Through fringed lids to heaven,
  And the pale aster in the brook
      Shall see its image given;--

  The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
      The south wind softly sigh,
  And sweet, calm days in golden haze
      Melt down the amber sky.

  Not less shall manly deed and word
      Rebuke an age of wrong;
  The graven flowers that wreathe the sword
      Make not the blade less strong.

  But smiting hands shall learn to heal,
      To build as to destroy;
  Nor less my heart for others feel
      That I the more enjoy.

  All as God wills, who wisely heeds
      To give or to withhold,
  And knoweth more of all my needs
      Than all my prayers have told!

  Enough that blessings undeserved
      Have marked my erring track,--
  That, wheresoe'er my feet have swerved,
      His chastening turned me back,--

  That more and more a Providence
      Of love is understood,
  Making the springs of time and sense
      Sweet with eternal good,--

  That death seems but a covered way
      Which opens into light,
  Wherein no blinded child can stray
      Beyond the Father's sight,--

  That care and trial seem at last,
      Through Memory's sunset air,
  Like mountain-ranges overpast,
      In purple distance fair,--

  That all the jarring notes of life
      Seem blending in a psalm,
  And all the angles of its strife
      Slow rounding into calm.

  And so the shadows fall apart,
      And so the west winds play;
  And all the windows of my heart
      I open to the day!



THE PROFESSOR AT THE BREAKFAST-TABLE.


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


There has been a sort of stillness in the atmosphere of our
boarding-house since my last record, as if something or other were going
on. There is no particular change that I can think of in the aspect of
things; yet I have a feeling as if some game of life were quietly
playing and strange forces were at work, underneath this smooth surface
of every-day boarding-house life, which would show themselves some fine
morning or other in events, if not in catastrophes. I have been
watchful, as I said I should be, but have little to tell as yet. You may
laugh at me, and very likely think me foolishly fanciful to trouble
myself about what is going on in a middling-class household like ours.
Do as you like. But here is that terrible fact to begin with,--a
beautiful young girl, with the blood and the nerve-fibre that belong to
Nature's women, turned loose among live men.

--_Terrible_ fact?

Very terrible. Nothing more so. Do you forget the angels who lost heaven
for the daughters of men? Do you forget Helen, and the fair women who
made mischief and set nations by the ears before Helen was born? If
jealousies that gnaw men's hearts out of their bodies,--if pangs that
waste men to shadows and drive them into raving madness or moping
melancholy,--if assassination and suicide are dreadful possibilities,
then there is always something frightful about a lovely young woman.--I
love to look at this "Rainbow," as her father used sometimes to call
her, of ours. Handsome creature that she is in forms and colors,--the
very picture, as it seems to me, of that "golden blonde" my friend whose
book you read last year fell in love with when he was a boy, (as you
remember, no doubt,)--handsome as she is, fit for a sea-king's bride, it
is not her beauty alone that holds my eyes upon her. Let me tell you one
of my fancies, and then you will understand the strange sort of
fascination she has for me.

It is in the hearts of many men and women--let me add children--that
there is a _Great Secret_ waiting for them,--a secret of which they get
hints now and then, perhaps oftener in early than in later years. These
hints come sometimes in dreams, sometimes in sudden startling
flashes,--second wakings, as it were,--a waking out of the waking state,
which last is very apt to be a half-sleep. I have many times stopped
short and held my breath, and felt the blood leaving my cheeks, in one
of these sudden clairvoyant flashes. Of course I cannot tell what kind
of a secret this is; but I think of it as a disclosure of certain
relations of our personal being to time and space, to other
intelligences, to the procession of events, and to their First Great
Cause. This secret seems to be broken up, as it were, into fragments, so
that we find here a word and there a syllable, and then again only a
letter of it; but it never is written out for most of us as a complete
sentence, in this life. I do not think it could be; for I am disposed to
consider our beliefs about such a possible disclosure rather as a kind
of premonition of an enlargement of our faculties in some future state
than as an expectation to be fulfilled for most of us in this life.
Persons, however, have fallen into trances,--as did the Reverend William
Tennent, among many others,--and learned some things which they could
not tell in our human words.

Now among the visible objects which hint to us fragments of this
infinite secret for--which our souls are waiting, the faces of women are
those that carry the most legible hieroglyphics of the great mystery.
There are women's faces, some real, some ideal, which contain something
in them that becomes a positive element in our creed, so direct and
palpable a revelation is it of the infinite purity and love. I remember
two faces of women with wings, such as they call angels, of Fra
Angelico,--and I just now came across a print of Raphael's Santa
Apollina, with something of the same quality,--which I was sure had
their prototypes in the world above ours. No wonder the Catholics pay
their vows to the Queen of Heaven! The unpoetical side of Protestantism
is, that it has no women to be worshipped.

But mind you, it is not every beautiful face that hints the Great Secret
to us, nor is it only in beautiful faces that we find traces of it.
Sometimes it looks out from a sweet sad eye, the only beauty of a plain
countenance; sometimes there is so much meaning in the lips of a woman,
not otherwise fascinating, that we know they have a message for us, and
wait almost with awe to hear their accents. But this young girl has at
once the beauty of feature and the unspoken mystery of expression. Can
she tell me anything? Is her life a complement of mine, with the missing
element in it which I have been groping after through so many
friendships that I have tired of, and through--Hush! Is the door fast?
Talking loud is a bad trick in these curious boarding-houses.

You must have sometimes noted this fact that I am going to remind you of
and to use for a special illustration. Riding along over a rocky road,
suddenly the slow monotonous grinding of the crushing gravel changes to
a deep heavy rumble. There is a great hollow under your feet,--a huge
unsunned cavern. Deep, deep beneath you, in the core of the living rock,
it arches its awful vault, and far away it stretches its winding
galleries, their roofs dripping into streams where fishes have been
swimming and spawning in the dark until their scales are white as milk
and their eyes have withered out, obsolete and useless.

So it is in life. We jog quietly along, meeting the same faces, grinding
over the same thoughts,--the gravel of the soul's highway,--now and then
jarred against an obstacle we cannot crush, but must ride over or round
as we best may, sometimes bringing short up against a disappointment,
but still working along with the creaking and rattling and grating and
jerking that belong to the journey of life, even in the
smoothest-rolling vehicle. Suddenly we hear the deep underground
reverberation that reveals the unsuspected depth of some abyss of
thought or passion beneath us.----

I wish the girl would go. I don't like to look at her so much, and yet I
cannot help it. Always that same expression of something that I ought to
know,--something that she was made to tell and I to hear,--lying there
ready to fall off from her lips, ready to leap out of her eyes and make
a saint of me, or a devil or a lunatic, or perhaps a prophet to tell the
truth and be hated of men, or a poet whose words shall flash upon the
dry stubble-field of worn-out thoughts and burn over an age of lies in
an hour of passion.

It suddenly occurs to me that I may have put you on the wrong track. The
Great Secret that I refer to has nothing to do with the Three Words. Set
your mind at ease about that,--there are reasons I could give you which
settle all that matter. I don't wonder, however, that you confounded the
Great Secret with the Three Words.

I LOVE YOU is all the secret that many, nay, most women have to tell.
When that is said, they are like China-crackers on the morning of the
fifth of July. And just as that little patriotic implement is made with
a slender train which leads to the magazine in its interior, so a sharp
eye can almost always see the train leading from a young girl's eye or
lip to the "I love you" in her heart. But the Three Words are not the
Great Secret I mean. No, women's faces are only one of the tablets on
which that is written in its partial, fragmentary symbols. It lies
deeper than Love, though very probably Love is a part of it. Some, I
think,--Wordsworth might be one of them,--spell out a portion of it from
certain beautiful natural objects, landscapes, flowers, and others. I
can mention several poems of his that have shadowy hints which seem to
me to come near the region where I think it lies. I have known two
persons who pursued it with the passion of the old alchemists,--all
wrong evidently, but infatuated, and never giving up the daily search
for it until they got tremulous and feeble, and their dreams changed to
visions of things that ran and crawled about their floor and ceilings,
and so they died. The vulgar called them drunkards.

I told you that I would let you know the mystery of the effect this
young girl's face produces on me. It is akin to those influences a
friend of mine has described, you may remember, as coming from certain
voices. I cannot translate it into words,--only into feelings; and these
I have attempted to shadow by showing that her face hinted that
revelation of something we are close to knowing, which all imaginative
persons are looking for either in this world or on the very threshold of
the next.

You shake your head at the vagueness and fanciful incomprehensibleness
of my description of the expression in a young girl's face. You forget
what a miserable surface-matter this language is in which we try to
reproduce our interior state of being. Articulation is a shallow trick.
From the light Poh! which we toss off from our lips as we fling a
nameless scribbler's impertinences into our waste-baskets, to the
gravest utterance which comes from our throats in our moments of deepest
need, is only a space of some three or four inches. Words, which are a
set of clickings, hissings, lispings, and so on, mean very little,
compared to tones and expression of the features. I give it up; I
thought I could shadow forth in some feeble way, by their aid, the
effect this young girl's face produces on my imagination; but it is of
no use. No doubt your head aches, trying to make something of my
description. If there is here and there one that can make anything
intelligible out of my talk about the Great Secret, and who has spelt
out a syllable or two of it on some woman's face, dead or living, that
is all I can expect. One should see the person with whom he converses
about such matters. There are dreamy-eyed people to whom I should say
all these things with a certainty of being understood;--

  That moment that his face I see,
  I know the man that must hear me:
      To him my tale I teach.

----I am afraid some of them have not got a spare quarter for this
August number, so that they will never see it.

----Let us start again, just as if we had not made this ambitious
attempt, which may go for nothing, and you can have your money refunded,
if you will make the change.

This young girl, about whom I have talked so unintelligibly, is the
unconscious centre of attraction to the whole solar system of our
breakfast-table. The little gentleman, leans towards her, and she again
seems to be swayed as by some invisible gentle force towards him. That
slight inclination of two persons with a strong affinity towards each
other, throwing them a little out of plumb when they sit side by side,
is a physical fact I have often noticed. Then there is a tendency in all
the men's eyes to converge on her; and I do firmly believe, that, if all
their chairs were examined, they would be found a little obliquely
placed, so as to favor the direction in which their occupants love to
look.

That bland, quiet old gentleman, of whom I have spoken as sitting
opposite to me, is no exception to the rule. She brought down some
mignonette one morning, which she had grown in her chamber. She gave a
sprig to her little neighbor, and one to the landlady, and sent another
by the hand of Bridget to this old gentleman.

----Sarvant, Ma'am! Much obleeged,--he said, and put it gallantly in his
button-hole.--After breakfast he must see some of her drawings. Very
fine performances,--very fine!--truly elegant productions,--truly
elegant!--Had seen Miss Linley's needle-work in London, in the year
(eighteen hundred and little or nothing, I think he said,)--patronized
by the nobility and gentry, and Her Majesty,--elegant, truly elegant
productions, very fine performances; these drawings reminded him of
them;--wonderful resemblance to Nature; an extraordinary art, painting;
Mr. Copley made some very fine pictures that he remembered seeing when
he was a boy. Used to remember some lines about a portrait written by
Mr. Cowper, beginning,--

  "Oh that those lips had language! Life has past
  With me but roughly since I saw thee last."

And with this the old gentleman fell to thinking about a dead mother of
his that he remembered ever so much younger than he now was, and
looking, not as his mother, but as his daughter should look. The dead
young mother was looking at the old man, her child, as she used to look
at him so many, many years ago. He stood still as if cataleptic, his
eyes fixed on the drawings till their outlines grew indistinct and they
ran into each other, and a pale, sweet face shaped itself out of the
glimmering light through which he saw them.--What is there quite so
profoundly human as an old man's memory of a mother who died in his
earlier years? Mother she remains till manhood, and by-and-by she grows,
as it were, to be as a sister; and at last, when, wrinkled and bowed and
broken, he looks back upon her in her fair youth, he sees in the sweet
image he caresses, not his parent, but, as it were, his child.

If I had not seen all this in the old gentleman's face, the words with
which he broke his silence would have betrayed his train of thought.

----If they had only taken pictures then as they do now!--he said.--All
gone! all gone! nothing but her face as she leaned on the arms of her
great chair; and I would give a hundred pound for the poorest little
picture of her, such as you can buy for a shilling of anybody that you
don't want to see.--The old gentleman put his hand to his forehead so as
to shade his eyes. I saw he was looking at the dim photograph of memory,
and turned from him to Iris.

How many drawing-books have you filled,--I said,--since you began to
take lessons?--This was the first,--she answered,--since she was here;
and it was not full, but there were many separate sheets of large size
she had covered with drawings.

I turned over the leaves of the book before us. Academic studies,
principally of the human figure. Heads of sibyls, prophets, and so
forth. Limbs from statues. Hands and feet from Nature. What a superb
drawing of an arm! I don't remember it among the figures from Michel
Angelo, which seem to have been her patterns mainly. From Nature, I
think, or after a cast from Nature.--Oh!----

----Your smaller studies are in this, I suppose,--I said, taking up the
drawing-book with a lock on it.----Yes,--she said.--I should like to see
her style of working on a small scale.--There was nothing in it worth
showing,--she said; and presently I saw her try the lock, which proved
to be fast. We are all caricatured in it, I haven't the least doubt. I
think, though, I could tell by her way of dealing with us what her
fancies were about us boarders. Some of them act as if they were
bewitched with her, but she does not seem to notice it much. Her
thoughts seem to be on her little neighbor more than on anybody else.
The young fellow John appears to stand second in her good graces. I
think he has once or twice sent her what the landlady's daughter calls
bó-kays of flowers,--somebody has, at any rate.--I saw a book she had,
which must have come from the divinity-student. It had a dreary
title-page, which she had enlivened with a fancy portrait of the
author,--a face from memory, apparently,--one of those faces that small
children loathe without knowing why, and which give them that inward
disgust for heaven so many of the little wretches betray, when they hear
that these are "good men," and that heaven is full of such.--The
gentleman with the "diamond"--the Koh-i-noor, so called by us--was not
encouraged, I think, by the reception of his packet of perfumed soap. He
pulls his purple moustache and looks appreciatingly at Iris, who never
sees him, as it should seem. The young Marylander, who I thought would
have been in love with her before this time, sometimes looks from his
corner across the long diagonal of the table, as much as to say, I wish
you were up here by me, or I were down there by you,--which would,
perhaps, be a more natural arrangement than the present one. But nothing
comes of all this,--and nothing has come of my sagacious idea of finding
out the girl's fancies by looking into her locked drawing-book.

Not to give up all the questions I was determined to solve, I made an
attempt also to work into the little gentleman's chamber. For this
purpose, I kept him in conversation, one morning, until he was just
ready to go up-stairs, and then, as if to continue the talk, followed
him as he toiled back to his room. He rested on the landing and faced
round toward me. There was something in his eye which said, Stop there!
So we finished our conversation on the landing. The next day, I mustered
assurance enough to knock at his door, having a pretext ready.--No
answer.--Knock again. A door, as if of a cabinet, was shut softly and
locked, and presently I heard the peculiar dead beat of his thick-soled,
misshapen boots. The bolts and the lock of the inner door were
unfastened,--with unnecessary noise, I thought,--and he came into the
passage. He pulled the inner door after him and opened the outer one at
which I stood. He had on a flowered silk dressing-gown, such as "Mr.
Copley" used to paint his old-fashioned merchant-princes in; and a
quaint-looking key in his hand. Our conversation was short, but long
enough to convince me that the little gentleman did not want my company
in his chamber, and did not mean to have it.

I have been making a great fuss about what is no mystery at all,--a
schoolgirl's secrets and a whimsical man's habits. I mean to give up
such nonsense and mind my own business.--Hark! What the deuse is that
odd noise in his chamber?

----I think I am a little superstitious. There were two things, when I
was a boy, that diabolized my imagination,--I mean, that gave me a
distinct apprehension of a formidable bodily shape which prowled round
the neighborhood where I was born and bred. The first was a series of
marks called the "Devil's footsteps." These were patches of sand in the
pastures, where no grass grew, where even the low-bush blackberry, the
"dewberry," as our Southern neighbors call it, in prettier and more
Shakspearian language, did not spread its clinging creepers,--where even
the pale, dry, sadly-sweet "everlasting" could not grow, but all was
bare and blasted. The second was a mark in one of the public buildings
near my home,--the college dormitory named after a Colonial Governor. I
do not think many persons are aware of the existence of this
mark,--little having been said about the story in print, as it was
considered very desirable, for the sake of the institution, to hush it
up. In the northwest corner, and on the level of the third or fourth
story, there are signs of a breach in the walls, mended pretty well, but
not to be mistaken. A considerable portion of that corner must have been
carried away, from within outward. It was an unpleasant story; and I do
not care to repeat the particulars; but some young men had been using
sacred things in a profane and unlawful way, when the occurrence, which
was variously explained, took place. The story of the Appearance in the
chamber was, I suppose, invented afterwards; but of the injury to the
building there could be no question; and the zig-zag line, where the
mortar is a little thicker than before, is still distinctly visible. The
queer burnt spots, called the "Devil's footsteps," had never attracted
attention before this time, though there is no evidence that they had
not existed previously, except that of the late Miss M., a "Goody," so
called, or sweeper, who was positive on the subject, but had a strange
horror of referring to an affair of which she was thought to know
something.--I tell you it was not so pleasant for a little boy of
impressible nature to go up to bed in an old gambrel-roofed house, with
untenanted, locked upper-chambers, and a most ghostly garret,--with the
"Devil's footsteps" in the fields behind the house, and in front of it
the patched dormitory where the unexplained occurrence had taken place
which startled those godless youths at their mock devotions, so that one
of them was an idiot from that day forward, and another, after a
dreadful season of mental conflict, took holy orders and became renowned
for his ascetic sanctity.

There were other circumstances that kept up the impression produced by
these two singular facts I have just mentioned. There was a dark
storeroom, on looking through the keyhole of which, I could dimly see a
heap of chairs and tables, and other four-footed things, which seemed to
me to have rushed in there, frightened, and in their fright to have
huddled together and climbed up on each other's backs,--as the people
did in that awful crush where so many were killed, at the execution of
Holloway and Haggerty. Then the Lady's portrait, up-stairs, with the
sword-thrusts through it,--marks of the British officers' rapiers,--and
the tall mirror in which they used to look at their red coats,--confound
them for smashing its mate!--and the deep, cunningly wrought arm-chair
in which Lord Percy used to sit while his hair was dressing;--he was a
gentleman, and always had it covered with a large _peignoir_, to save
the silk covering my grandmother embroidered. Then the little room
down-stairs, from which went the orders to throw up a bank of earth on
the hill yonder, where you may now observe a granite obelisk,--"the
study," in my father's time, but in those days the council-chamber of
armed men,--sometimes filled with soldiers;--come with me, and I will
show you the "dents" left by the butts of their muskets all over the
floor.--With all these suggestive objects round me, aided by the wild
stories those awful country-boys that came to live in our service
brought with them,--of contracts written in blood and left out over
night, not to be found the next morning,--removed by the Evil One, who
takes his nightly round among our dwellings, and filed away for future
use,--of dreams coming true,--of death-signs,--of apparitions,--no
wonder that my imagination got excited, and I was liable to
superstitious fancies.

Jeremy Bentham's logic, by which he proved that he couldn't possibly see
a ghost, is all very well--in the day-time. All the reason in the world
will never get those impressions of childhood, created by just such
circumstances as I have been telling, out of a man's head. That is the
only excuse I have to give for the nervous kind of curiosity with which
I watch my little neighbor, and the obstinacy with which I lie awake
whenever I hear anything going on in his chamber after midnight.

But whatever further observations I may have made must be deferred for
the present. You will see in what way it happened that my thoughts were
turned from spiritual matters to bodily ones, and how I got my fancy
full of material images,--faces, heads, figures, muscles, and so
forth,--in such a way that I should have no chance in this number to
gratify any curiosity you may feel, if I had the means of so doing.

Indeed, I have come pretty near omitting my periodical record this time.
It was all the work of a friend of mine, who would have it that I should
sit to him for my portrait. When a soul draws a body in the great
lottery of life, where every one is sure of a prize, such as it is, the
said soul inspects the said body with the same curious interest with
which one who has ventured into a "gift enterprise" examines the
"massive silver pencil-case" with the coppery smell and impressible
tube, or the "splendid gold ring" with the questionable specific
gravity, which it has been his fortune to obtain in addition to his
purchase.

The soul, having studied the article of which it finds itself
proprietor, thinks, after a time, it knows it pretty well. But there is
this difference between its view and that of a person looking at us:--we
look from within, and see nothing but the mould formed by the elements
in which we are incased; other observers look from without, and see us
as living statues. To be sure, by the aid of mirrors, we get a few
glimpses of our outside aspect; but this occasional impression is always
modified by that look of the soul from within outward which none but
ourselves can take. A portrait is apt, therefore, to be a surprise to
us. The artist looks only from without. He sees us, too, with a hundred
aspects on our faces we are never likely to see. No genuine expression
can be studied by the subject of it in the looking-glass.

More than this; he sees us in a way in which many of our friends or
acquaintances never see us. Without wearing any mask we are conscious
of, we have a special face for each friend. For, in the first place,
each puts a special reflection of himself upon us, on the principle of
assimilation referred to in my last record, if you happen to have read
that document. And secondly, each of our friends is capable of seeing
just so far, and no farther, into our face, and each sees in it the
particular thing that he looks for. Now the artist, if he is truly an
artist, does not take any one of these special views. Suppose he should
copy you as you appear to the man who wants your name to a
subscription-list, you could hardly expect a friend who entertains you
to recognize the likeness to the smiling face which sheds its radiance
at his board. Even within your own family, I am afraid there is a face
which the rich uncle knows, that is not so familiar to the poor
relation. The artist must take one or the other, or something compounded
of the two, or something different from either. What the daguerreotype
and photograph do is to give the features and one particular look, the
very look which kills all expression, that of self-consciousness. The
artist throws you off your guard, watches you in movement and in repose,
puts your face through its exercises, observes its transitions, and so
gets the whole range of its expression. Out of all this he forms an
ideal portrait, which is not a copy of your exact look at any one time
or to any particular person. Such a portrait cannot be to everybody what
the ungloved call "as nat'ral as life." Every good picture, therefore,
must be considered wanting in resemblance by many persons.

There is one strange revelation which comes out, as the artist shapes
your features from his outline. It is that you resemble so many
relatives to whom you yourself never had noticed any particular likeness
in your countenance.

He is at work at me now, when I catch some of these resemblances,
thus:--

There! that is just the look my father used to have sometimes; I never
thought I had a sign of it. The mother's eyebrow and grayish-blue eye,
those I knew I had. But there is a something which recalls a smile that
faded away from my sister's lips--how many years ago! I thought it so
pleasant in her, that I love myself better for having a trace of it.

Are we not young? Are we not fresh and blooming? Wait a bit. The artist
takes a mean little brush and draws three fine lines, diverging outwards
from the eye over the temple. Five years.--The artist draws one
tolerably distinct and two faint lines, perpendicularly between the
eyebrows. Ten years.--The artist breaks up the contours round the mouth,
so that they look a little as a hat does that has been sat upon and
recovered itself, ready, as one would say, to crumple up again in the
same creases, on smiling or other change of feature.--Hold on! Stop
that! Give a young fellow a chance! Are we not whole years short of that
interesting period of life when Mr. Balzac says that a man, etc., etc.,
etc.?

There now! That is ourself, as we look after finishing an article,
getting a three-mile pull with the ten-foot sculls, redressing the
wrongs of the toilet, and standing with the light of hope in our eye and
the reflection of a red curtain on our cheek. Is he not a POET that
painted us?

  "Blest be the art that can immortalize!"

COWPER

----Young folks look on a face as a unit; children who go to school with
any given little John Smith see in his name a distinctive appellation,
and in his features as special and definite an expression of his sole
individuality as if he were the first created of his race. As soon as we
are old enough to get the range of three or four generations well in
hand, and to take in large family histories, we never see an individual
in a face of any stock we know, but a mosaic copy of a pattern, with
fragmentary tints from this and that ancestor. The analysis of a face
into its ancestral elements requires that it should be examined in the
very earliest infancy, before it has lost that ancient and solemn look
it brings with it out of the past eternity; and again in that brief
space when Life, the mighty sculptor, has done his work, and Death, his
silent servant, lifts the veil and lets us look at the marble lines he
has wrought so faithfully; and lastly, while a painter who can seize all
the traits of a countenance is building it up, feature after feature,
from the slight outline to the finished portrait.

----I am satisfied, that, as we grow older, we learn to look upon our
bodies more and more as a temporary possession, and less and less as
identified with ourselves. In early years, while the child "feels its
life in every limb," it lives in the body and for the body to a very
great extent. It ought to be so. There have been many very interesting
children who have shown a wonderful indifference to the things of earth
and an extraordinary development of the spiritual nature. There is a
perfect literature of their biographies, all alike in their essentials;
the same "disinclination to the usual amusements of childhood"; the same
remarkable sensibility; the same docility; the same conscientiousness;
in short, an almost uniform character, marked by beautiful traits, which
we look at with a painful admiration. It will be found that most of
these children are the subjects of some constitutional unfitness for
living, the most frequent of which I need not mention. They are like the
beautiful, blushing, half-grown fruit that falls before its time because
its core is gnawed out. They have their meaning,--they do not live in
vain,--but they are windfalls. I am convinced that many healthy children
are injured morally by being forced to read too much about these little
meek sufferers and their spiritual exercises. Here is a boy that loves
to run, swim, kick football, turn somersets, make faces, whittle, fish,
tear his clothes, coast, skate, fire crackers, blow squash "tooters,"
cut his name on fences, read about Robinson Crusoe and Sinbad the
Sailor, eat the widest-angled slices of pie and untold cakes and
candies, crack nuts with his back teeth and bite out the better part of
another boy's apple with his front ones, turn up coppers, "stick"
knives, call names, throw stones, knock off hats, set mousetraps, chalk
doorsteps, "cut behind" anything on wheels or runners, whistle through
his teeth, "holler" Fire! on slight evidence, run after soldiers,
patronize an engine-company, or, in his own words, "blow for tub No.
11," or whatever it may be;--isn't that a pretty nice sort of a boy,
though he has not got anything the matter with him that takes the taste
of this world out? Now, when you put into such a hot-blooded,
hard-fisted, round-cheeked little rogue's hand a sad-looking volume or
pamphlet, with the portrait of a thin, white-faced child, whose life is
really as much a training for death as the last month of a condemned
criminal's existence, what does he find in common between his own
overflowing and exulting sense of vitality and the experiences of the
doomed offspring of invalid parents? The time comes when we have learned
to understand the music of sorrow, the beauty of resigned suffering, the
holy light that plays over the pillow of those who die before their
time, in humble hope and trust. But it is not until he has worked his
way through the period of honest, hearty animal existence, which every
robust, child should make the most of,--not until he has learned the use
of his various faculties, which is his first duty,--that a boy of
courage and animal vigor is in a proper state to read these tearful
records of premature decay. I have no doubt that disgust is implanted in
the minds of many healthy children by early surfeits of pathological
piety. I do verily believe that He who took children in His arms and
blessed them loved the healthiest and most playful of them just as well
as those who were richest in the tuberculous virtues. I know what I am
talking about, and there are more parents in this country who will be
willing to listen to what I say than there are fools to pick a quarrel
with me. In the sensibility and the sanctity which often accompany
premature decay I see one of the most beautiful instances of the
principle of compensation which marks the Divine benevolence. But to get
the spiritual hygiene of robust natures out of the exceptional regimen
of invalids is just simply what we Professors call "bad practice"; and I
know by experience that there are worthy people who not only try it on
their own children, but actually force it on those of their neighbors.

----Having been photographed, and stereographed, and chromatographed, or
done in colors, it only remained to be phrenologized. A polite note from
Messrs. Bumpus and Crane, requesting our attendance at their
Physiological Emporium, was too tempting to be resisted. We repaired to
that scientific Golgotha.

Messrs. Bumpus and Crane are arranged on the plan of the man and the
woman in the toy called a "weather-house," both on the same wooden arm
suspended on a pivot,--so that when one comes to the door, the other
retires backwards, and _vice versâ_. The more particular speciality of
one is to lubricate your entrance and exit,--that of the other to polish
you off phrenologically in the recesses of the establishment. Suppose
yourself in a room full of casts and pictures, before a counter-full of
books with taking titles. I wonder if the picture of the brain is there,
"approved" by a noted Phrenologist, which was copied from _my_, the
Professor's, folio plate in the work of Gall and Spurzheim. An extra
convolution, No. 9, _Destructiveness_, according to the list beneath,
which was not to be seen in the plate, itself a copy of Nature, was very
liberally supplied by the artist, to meet the wants of the catalogue of
"organs." Professor Bumpus is seated in front of a row of
women,--horn-combers and gold-beaders, or somewhere about that range of
life,--looking so credulous, that, if any Second-Advent Miller or Joe
Smith should come along, he could string the whole lot of them on his
cheapest lie, as a boy strings a dozen "shiners" on a stripped twig of
willow.

The Professor (meaning ourselves) is in a hurry, as usual; let the
horn-combers wait,--he shall be bumped without inspecting the
antechamber.

Tape round the head,--22 inches. (Come on, old 23 inches, if you think
you are the better man!)

Feels of thorax and arm, and nuzzles round among muscles as those horrid
old women poke their fingers into the salt-meat on the provision-stalls
at the Quincy Market. Vitality, No. 5 or 6, or something or other.
_Victuality_, (organ at epigastrium,) some other number equally
significant.

Mild champooing of head now commences. Extraordinary revelations!
Cupidipbilous, 6! Hymeniphilous, 6+! Paediphilous, 5! Deipniphilous, 6!
Gelasmiphilous, 6! Muslkiphilous, 5! Uraniphilous, 5! Glossiphilous, 8!!
and so on. Meant for a linguist.--Invaluable information. Will invest in
grammars and dictionaries immediately.--I have nothing against the grand
total of my phrenological endowments.

I never set great store by my head, and did not think Messrs. Bumpus and
Crane would give me so good a lot of organs as they did, especially
considering that I was a _dead_-head on that occasion. Much obliged to
them for their politeness. They have been useful in their way by calling
attention to important physiological facts. (This concession is due to
our immense bump of Candor.)

_A short Lecture on Phrenology, read to the Boarders at our
Breakfast-Table._

I shall begin, my friends, with the definition of a _Pseudo-science_. A
Pseudo-science consists of _a nomenclature_, with a self-adjusting
arrangement, by which all positive evidence, or such as favors its
doctrines, is admitted, and all negative evidence, or such as tells
against it, is excluded. It is invariably connected with some lucrative
practical application. Its professors and practitioners are usually
shrewd people; they are very serious with the public, but wink and laugh
a good deal among themselves. The believing multitude consists of women
of both sexes, feeble-minded inquirers, poetical optimists, people who
always get cheated in buying horses, philanthropists who insist on
hurrying up the millennium, and others of this class, with here and
there a clergyman, less frequently a lawyer, very rarely a physician,
and almost never a horse-jockey or a member of the detective police.--I
did not say that Phrenology was one of the Pseudo-sciences.

A Pseudo-science does not necessarily consist wholly of lies. It may
contain many truths, and even valuable ones. The rottenest bank starts
with a little specie. It puts out a thousand promises to pay on the
strength of a single dollar, but the dollar is very commonly a good one.
The practitioners of the Pseudo-sciences know that common minds, after
they have been baited with a real fact or two, will jump at the merest
rag of a lie, or even at the bare hook. When we have one fact found us,
we are very apt to supply the next out of our own imagination. (How many
persons can read Judges xv. 16 correctly the first time?) The
Pseudo-sciences take advantage of this.--I did not say that it was so
with Phrenology.

I have rarely met a sensible man who would not allow that there was
_something_ in Phrenology. A broad, high forehead, it is commonly
agreed, promises intellect; one that is "villanous low" and has a huge
hind-head back of it, is wont to mark an animal nature. I have as rarely
met an unbiassed and sensible man who really believed in the bumps. It
is observed, however, that persons with what the Phrenologists call
"good heads" are more prone than others toward plenary belief in the
doctrine.

It is so hard to prove a negative, that, if a man should assert that the
moon was in truth a green cheese, formed by the coagulable substance of
the Milky Way, and challenge me to prove the contrary, I might be
puzzled. But if he offer to sell me a ton of this lunar cheese, I call
on him to prove the truth of the caseous nature of our satellite, before
I purchase.

It is not necessary to prove the falsity of the phrenological statement.
It is only necessary to show that its truth is not proved, and cannot
be, by the common course of argument. The walls of the head are double,
with a great air-chamber between them, over the smallest and most
closely crowded "organs." Can you tell how much money there is in a
safe, which also has thick double walls, by kneading its knobs with your
fingers? So when a man fumbles about my forehead, and talks about the
organs of _Individuality_, _Size_, etc., I trust him as much as I should
if he felt of the outside of my strong-box and told me that there was a
five-dollar- or a ten-dollar-bill under this or that particular rivet.
Perhaps there is; _only he doesn't know anything about it_. But this is
a point that I, the Professor, understand, my friends, or ought to,
certainly, better than you do. The next argument you will all
appreciate.

I proceed, therefore, to explain the self-adjusting mechanism of
Phrenology, which is _very similar_ to that of the Pseudo-sciences. An
example will show it most conveniently.

A. is a notorious thief. Messrs. Bumpus and Crane examine him and find a
good-sized organ of Acquisitiveness. Positive fact for Phrenology. Casts
and drawings of A. are multiplied, and the bump _does not lose_ in the
act of copying.--I did not Hay it gained.--What do you look so for? (to
the boarders.)

Presently B. turns up, a bigger thief than A. But B. has no bump at all
over Acquisitiveness. Negative fact; goes against Phrenology.--Not a bit
of it. Don't you see how small Conscientiousness is? _That's_ the reason
B. stole.

And then comes C., ten times as much a thief as either A. or B.,--used
to steal before he was weaned, and would pick one of his own pockets and
put its contents in another, if he could find no other way of committing
petty larceny. Unfortunately, C. has a _hollow_, instead of a bump, over
Acquisitiveness. Ah, but just look and see what a bump of
Alimentiveness! Did not C. buy nuts and ginger-bread, when a boy, with
the money he stole? Of course you see why he is a thief, and how his
example confirms our noble science.

At last comes along a case which is apparently a _settler_, for there is
a little brain with vast and varied powers,--a case like that of Byron,
for instance. Then comes out the grand reserve-reason which covers
everything and renders it simply impossible ever to corner a
Phrenologist. "It is not the size alone, but the _quality_ of an organ,
which determines its degree of power."

Oh! oh! I see.--The argument may be briefly stated thus by the
Phrenologist: "Heads I win, tails you lose." Well, that's convenient.

It must be confessed that Phrenology has a certain resemblance to the
Pseudo-sciences. I did not say it was a Pseudo-science.

I have often met persons who have been altogether struck up and amazed
at the accuracy with which some wandering Professor of Phrenology had
read their characters written upon their skulls. Of course the Professor
acquires his information solely through his cranial inspections and
manipulations.--What are you laughing at? (to the boarders).--But let us
just _suppose_, for a moment, that a tolerably cunning fellow, who did
not know or care anything about Phrenology, should open a shop and
undertake to read off people's characters at fifty cents or a dollar
apiece. Let us see how well he could get along without the "organs."

I will suppose myself to set up such a shop. I would invest one hundred
dollars, more or less, in casts of brains, skulls, charts, and other
matters that would make the most show for the money. That would do to
begin with. I would then advertise myself as the celebrated Professor
Brainey, or whatever name I might choose, and wait for my first
customer. My first customer is a middle-aged man. I look at him,--ask
him a question or two, so as to hear him talk. When I have got the hang
of him, I ask him to sit down, and proceed to fumble his skull,
dictating as follows:--


                            SCALE FROM I TO 10.

  LIST OF FACULTIES FOR CUSTOMER.     PRIVATE NOTES FOR MY PUPIL:
                                   _Each to be accompanied with a wink._

    _Amativeness_, 7.            Most men love the conflicting sex, and all
                               men love to be told they do.

    _Alimentiveness_, 8.         Don't you see that he has burst off his
                               lowest waistcoat-button with feeding,--hay?

    _Acquisitiveness_, 8.      Of course. A middle-aged Yankee.

    _Approbativeness_, 7+.       Hat well brushed. Hair ditto. Mark the
                               effect of that _plus_ sign.

    _Self-esteem_, 6.          His face shows that.

    _Benevolence_, 9.          That'll please him

    _Conscientiousness_, 8-1/2. That fraction looks first-rate.

    _Mirthfulness_, 7.         Has laughed twice since he came in.

    _Ideality_, 9.             That sounds well.

    _Form, Size, Weight, Color, }
    Locality, Eventuality, etc.,}   4 to 6. Average everything that
    etc.,_                      }              can't be guessed.

                                    And so of the other faculties.


Of course, you know, that isn't the way the Phrenologists do. They go
only by the bumps.--What do you keep laughing so for? (to the boarders.)
I only said that is the way _I_ should practise "Phrenology" for a
living.

_End of my Lecture._

----The Reformers have good heads generally. Their faces are commonly
serene enough, and they are lambs in private intercourse, even though
their voices may be like

  The wolf's long howl from Oonalaska's shore,

when heard from platform. Their greatest spiritual danger is from the
perpetual _flattery of abuse_ to which they are exposed. These lines are
meant to caution them.



SAINT ANTHONY THE REFORMER.


HIS TEMPTATION.


  No fear lest praise should make us proud!
    We know how cheaply that is won;
  The idle homage of the crowd
    Is proof of tasks as idly done.

  A surface-smile may pay the toil
    That follows still the conquering Right,
  With soft, white hands to dress the spoil
    That sunbrowned arms have clutched in fight.

  Sing the sweet song of other days,
    Serenely placid, safely true,
  And o'er the present's parching ways
    Thy verse distils like evening dew.

  But speak in words of living power,--
    They fall like drops of scalding rain
  That plashed before the burning shower
    swept o'er the cities of the plain!

  Then scowling Hate turns deadly pale,--
    Then Passion's half-coiled adders spring,
  And, smitten through their leprous mail,
    Strike right and left in hope to sting.

  If thou, unmoved by poisoning wrath,
    They feet on earth, they heart above,
  Canst walk in peace they kingly path,
    Unchanged in trust, unchilled in love,--

  Too kind for bitter words to grieve,
    Too firm for clamor to dismay,
  When Faith forbids thee to believe,
    And Meekness calls to disobey,--

  Ah, then beware of mortal pride!
    The smiling pride that calmly scorns
  Those foolish fingers, crimson dyed
    In laboring on thy crown of thorns!



THE ITALIAN WAR.


War has been pronounced the condition of humanity; and it is certain
that conflict of some kind rages everywhere and at all times. The most
combative people on earth are the advocates of universal and perpetual
peace. There is something essentially defiant in the action of men who
avowedly seek the abolition of a custom that has existed since the days
of Cain, and which was well known to those magnificent beasts that
ranged over the earth's face long before man began to dream or was
dreamed of. To fight seems a necessity of the animal nature, whether the
animal be called tiger, bull, or man. Those who have fought assure us
that there is a positive pleasure in battle. That clever young woman,
Miss Flora Mac-Ivor, who passed most of her life in the very highest
fighting society, assures us, that men, when confronted with each other,
have a certain instinct for strife, as we see in other male animals,
such as dogs, bulls, and so forth. It is even so; and, further, the
fondness that men have for accounts and details of battles is another
evidence of the popularity of war, and an absolute stumbling-block in
the way of the Peace Society, which has the hardest of combats to fight.

The journals of the world are at this time full of the details of a war
such as that world has not witnessed since 1815, and in comparison with
which even the Russian War was but a second-rate contest. The old
quarrel between Austria and France, which has repeatedly caused the
peace of Europe to be broken since the days of Frederick III. and Louis
XI., has been renewed in our time with a fierceness and a vehemence and
on a scale that would have astonished Francis I., Charles V., Richelieu,
Turenne, Condé, Louis XIV., Eugène, and even Napoleon himself, the most
mighty of whose contests with Austria alone cannot be compared with that
which his nephew is now waging with the House of Lorraine. For, in 1805
and in 1809, Napoleon was not merely the ruler of France, but had at his
control the resources of many other countries. Belgium and Holland were
then at the command of France, and now they are independent monarchies,
holding strictly the position of neutrals. In 1809, Napoleon had those
very German States for his active allies that now threaten Napoleon
III.; and some of the hardest fighting on the French side, in the first
days of the campaign, was the work of Bavarians and other German
soldiers. That part of Poland which then constituted the Grand Duchy of
Warsaw was among his dependent principalities; and Russia sent an army
to his aid. In 1805, Napoleon I. had far more of Italian assistance than
Napoleon III. has had at the time we write; and in 1809, the entire
Peninsula obeyed his decrees as implicitly as they were obeyed by
France. Napoleon III. entered upon the war with the hereditary rival of
his country with no other ally than Sardinia, though it is now evident
that there was an "understanding" between him and the Czar, not pointing
to an attack on England, but to prevent the intervention of the Germans
in behalf of Austria, by holding out the implied threat of an attack on
Germany by Russia, should its rulers or people move against the allies.

Whatever may be thought of the motives of the French Emperor, and
however little most men may be disposed to believe in his generosity, it
is impossible to refrain from admiring the promptness and skill with
which he has acted, or to deny to him the merit of courage in daring to
pronounce so decidedly against the Austrians at a time when he could not
have reasonably reckoned upon a single ally beyond the limits of Italy,
when England, under Tory rule, was more disposed to act against him than
with him, and when the hostility of Germany, and its readiness to
support the Slavonic empire of Austria, were unequivocally expressed. So
great indeed, were the odds against him, that we find in that fact the
chief reason for the indisposition of the world to believe in the
possibility of war, and its extraordinary surprise when war actually
broke out.

To those who had closely scanned the affairs of Europe, and who observed
them by the light of the history of nearly four centuries, the coming of
war was no surprise. They foresaw it, and predicted its occurrence some
time before that famous lecture which the Emperor of the French
administered to the Emperor of Austria in the person of Baron Hübner.
With them, the question was not, Shall there be a war?--but it was, When
will the war break out? They reasoned from the _cause_ of the quarrel
between the two empires; while those who so long clung to the belief
that peace would be preserved, and who so plausibly argued in support of
their theory as to impose upon wellnigh the whole world, concerned
themselves only with its _occasion_. The former referred to things that
lay beyond the range of temporary politics, and, while admitting that
the shock of actual conflict might be postponed even for a few years,
were certain that such conflict must come, even if in the interval there
should happen an entire change of government in France. France might be
imperial, or royal, or republican, she might be Bonapartean, or
Henriquist, or Orléansist, or democratic,--tri-color, white, blue or
red,--but the quarrel would come, and cause new campaigns. The latter
thinking that the dispute was on the Italian question only, and knowing
that that was susceptible of diplomatic settlement, and believing that
there would be a union of European powers to accomplish such settlement,
rather than allow peace to be disturbed, never could suppose that the
balance of probabilities would be found on the side of war. It is due to
them to say, that a variety of causes conduced not merely to make them
firm in their faith, but to win for their views the general approbation
on mankind. Prominent among these was the striking fact, that there had
been no European was, strictly so called, with the single exception of
the Russian contest,--and that was highly exceptional in its
character,--for four-and-forty years. The generation that is passing
away, and the generation that is most active in discharging the business
of the world, never had seen a grand conflict between Christian states,
in which mighty armies had operated on vast and various fields. Old men
recollected the wars of Napoleon, but the number of such men is not
large, and their influence on opinion is small. Of quarrels and threats
of war all had seen enough; but this only tended to make them slow to
believe that war was really at hand. If so many quarrels had taken
place, and had been settled without resort to arms, assuredly the new
quarrel might be settled, and Europe get on peaceably for a few years
more without warfare. Neither the invasion of Spain in 1823, nor the
revolution of 1830, nor the Eastern question of 1840, nor the universal
outbreaks of 1848-9, nor the threats of Russia against Turkey when she
sought to compel the Sultan to give up those who had eaten his salt to
the gallows of Arad, nor the repeated discussions of the practicability
of a French conquest of England had led to a general war. If so many and
so black clouds had been dispersed without storms, it was not reasonable
to believe that the cloud which rose in the beginning of 1859 might also
break, and leave again a serene sky. It may be added that we have all of
us come to the conclusion that this is the best age the world has ever
known, as in most respects it is; and it seemed scarcely compatible with
our estimate of the age's excellence to believe that it _could_ send a
couple of million of men into the field for the purpose of cutting one
another's throats, except clearly as an act of self-defence. Man is the
same war-making animal now that he was in the days of Marathon, but he
readily admits the evils of war, and is peremptory in demanding that
they shall not be incurred save for good and valid reasons. He is as
ready to fight as ever he was, but he must fight for some definite
cause,--for a cause that will bear examination: and it did not seem
possible that a mere dispute concerning the manner in which Austria
governed her Italian dominions was of sufficient moment to light up the
flames of war anew on a scale as gigantic as ever they were made to
blaze during the days of Napoleon. Then, so far as the Russian War threw
any light upon the policy of France, the fair inference was that she at
least was not disposed to fight. France made the peace by which that war
was brought to a sudden end. She dictated that peace, much to the
disgust of the English, who had just become thoroughly roused, and who,
little anticipating the Indian mutiny, were for carrying on the contest
until Russia should be thoroughly humiliated. Considering all these
things, it was not unreasonable to believe that peace could be
maintained, and that Austria, far from taking the initiative in the war,
would be found ready to make such concessions as should lead to the
indefinite postponement of hostilities.

Those who reasoned from the mere occasion of the war were perfectly
right, from their point of view. Unfortunately for their reputation for
sagacity, their premises were entirely wrong, and hence the viciousness
of their conclusion. If we would know the cause of the war, we must
banish from our minds all that is said about the desire of Napoleon III
for vengeance on the conquerors of his uncle, all that we are told of
his sentimental wish for the elevation of the Italian people to a
national position, and all that is predicated of his ambitious longings
for the reconstruction of the First Empire. We must regard Napoleon III
in the light of what he really is, namely, one of the greatest statesmen
that ever lived, or we shall never be able to understand what are his
purposes. We have nothing to do with his morals, but have to regard him
only as the chief of France, pursuing the policy he believes best
calculated to advance that country's interests, and doing so in strict
accordance with her historical traditions, and in the same manner in
which it was pursued by the ablest of the Valois kings, by Henry IV. and
Sully, by Richelieu and Mazarin, by Louis XIV., by the chiefs of the
First Republic, and by Napoleon I. He may be a good man or a bad man,
but his character is entirely aside from the question, the nature and
merits of which have no necessary connection with the nature and merits
of the men engaged in effecting its solution. Let us examine the
subject, and see if we cannot find an intelligent, reasonable cause for
Napoleon's course of action, that shall harmonize with the duties, we
might almost say the instincts, of a great French statesman. The
examination will embrace nothing recondite, but we are confident it will
show that the French Emperor is no Quixote, and that he has been forced
into the war by the necessities of his situation, and by the very
natural desire he feels to prevent France from being compelled to
descend to a secondary place in the scale of European nations.

Modern Europe, in the sense in which we understand the term, dates from
the last quarter of the Fifteenth Century. Then England ceased to
attempt permanent conquests on the continent. Then Spain assumed
European rank and definite position. But two powers then began
especially to show themselves, and to play parts which both have
maintained down to the present time. The one was France, which then
ceased to dread English invasions, from the effects of which she was
rapidly recovering, whereby she was left to employ her energies on
foreign fields. The other was the _House of Austria_, which, by a series
of fortunate marriages, became, in the short period of forty years, the
most powerful family the modern world has ever known. On the day when
Maximilian, son of Frederick III., Emperor of Germany, wedded Mary of
Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold, the rivalry between France and
the Austrian family began. Philip, son of that marriage, married Juana,
daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella; and their son, Charles I. of the
Spains, became Charles V. of Germany. Thus there centred in his person a
degree of power such as no other sovereign could boast, and which alone
would have sufficed to make him the rival of the King of France, Francis
I., had no personal feeling entered into the relations between them. But
such feeling existed, and grew out of their competition for the imperial
crown. The previous ill-will between the Valois and the Hapsburg was
greatly increased, and assumed such force as permanently to color the
course of European history from that day to this. The rivalry of Charles
and Francis was the cause of many contests, and the French monarch,
though he was "The Most Christian King," in the opinion of some, more
than once aided, or offered to aid, the German Protestants against the
Emperor. To Philip II. and Henry II. the rivalry of their fathers
descended as an inheritance. It was in their warfare that the Battle of
St. Quentin was fought. The progress of the Reformation led monarchs in
those days to take a view of affairs not much unlike that which monarchs
of this century took in the days of the Holy Alliance, and after the
revolution of 1830. The hatred of Protestantism led the two kings to
draw together, though Henry II. had had no mean part in that work which
had enabled the Protestant Maurice of Saxony to render abortive all the
plans of Charles V. for the full restoration of Catholicism in Germany.
During the thirty years that followed the death of Henry II., the
dissensions of France had rendered her unable to contend with the House
of Austria, then principally represented by the Spanish branch of that
family; and Philip II. at one time thought of obtaining the crown of
that country for a member of his own house. But no sooner had Henry IV.
ascended the French throne, and established himself firmly thereon, than
the rivalry of France and Austria became as clearly pronounced as it had
been in the reign of Francis I.; and at the time of his death that most
popular of the Bourbon kings was engaged on a plan having for its object
the subversion of the Austrian power. His assassination changed the
course of events for a few years; but Richelieu became the ally of the
Swedes and Protestant Germans in the Thirty Years' War, though he was a
Cardinal, had destroyed the political power of the Huguenots, and might
have aspired to the Papacy. Mazarin, another Cardinal, followed
Richelieu's policy. Louis XIV. was repeatedly at war with the House of
Austria, though he was the son of an Austrian princess, and was married
to another. His last war with that house was for the throne of Spain,
when the elder branch of the Hapsburgs died out, in 1700. Louis XV. had
two contests with Austria; but in 1756, under the lead of Count Kaunitz,
France and Austria were united, and acted together in the Seven Years'
War, the incidents and effects of which were by no means calculated to
reconcile the French to the departure of their government from its
ancient policy. One of the causes of the French Revolution was the
Austrian alliance, and one of its effects was the complete rupture of
that alliance. Austria was the most determined foe that the French
Republic and Empire ever encountered. Including the war of 1815, there
were six contests between Austria and republican and imperial France. In
all these wars Austria was the aggressor, and showed herself to be the
enemy of _France_ as well as of those _French principles_ which so
frightened the conservatives of the world in those days. In the first
war, she took possession of French places for herself, and not for the
House of Bourbon; and in the last she purposed a partition of France,
long after Louis XVIII. had been finally restored, and when Napoleon was
at or near St. Helena. She demanded that Alsace and Lorraine should be
made over to her, in the autumn of 1815. She sought to induce Prussia to
unite with her by offering to support any demand that she might make for
French territory; and, failing to move that power, endeavored to get the
smaller German States to act with her,--the same States, indeed, that
are now so hostile to France, and which talk of a march upon Paris, and
of a reduction of French territorial strength. Nothing prevented the
Austrian idea from being reduced to practice but the opposition of
Russia and England, neither of which had any interest in the spoliation
of France, while both had no desire to see Austria rendered stronger
than she was. It was to England that Austria owed her Italian
possessions, which, in 1814, she at first had the sense not to wish to
be cumbered with; and to make her still more powerful north of the Alps
was not to be thought of even by the Liverpools and Castlereaghs. The
Czar, too, had in his thoughts a closer connection with France than it
suited him then to avow, and for purposes of his own; and therefore he
could not desire the sensible diminution of the power of a country the
resources of which he expected to employ. Nicholas inherited his
brother's ideas and designs, and we are to attribute much of the
ill-feeling that he exhibited towards the Orléans dynasty to his
disappointment; for the revolution that elevated that dynasty to the
French throne destroyed the hope that he had entertained of having
French aid to effect the conquest of Turkey. There never would have been
a siege of Sebastopol, if the elder branch of the Bourbons had continued
to rule in France. It required even a series of revolutions to bring
France to that condition in which the Western Alliance was possible. But
there would have been something more than "an understanding" between
France and Russia concerning Austria, had the government of the
Restoration endured a few years beyond 1830. It suited the Austrian
government to show considerable coldness towards the Orléans dynasty;
but assuredly so wise a man as Prince Metternich, and who had such
excellent means of information, never could have believed otherwise than
that the establishment of that dynasty saved Austria from being assailed
by both Russia and France.

The rivalry of France and Austria being understood, and that rivalry
leading to war whenever occasion therefor chances to arise, it remains
to inquire what is the occasion of the existing contest. When Napoleon
III. became head of France, as Prince-President, at the close of 1848,
Austria was the last power with which he could have engaged in war,
supposing that he had then been strong enough to control the policy of
France, and it had suited him to make an occasion for war. She was then
engaged in her death-and-life struggles with Hungarians, Italians, and
others of her subjects who that year threw off her yoke, while the
Sardinians had endeavored to obtain possession of Lombardy and Venice.
Francis Joseph became chief of the Austrian Empire at the same time that
Louis Napoleon ascended to the same point in France. Certainly, if the
object of France had been the mere weakening and spoliation of Austria,
then was the time to assail her, when one half her subjects were
fighting the other half, when the Germans outside of her empire were by
no means her friends, and when it was far from clear that she could rely
upon assistance from Russia. Austria was then in a condition of
helplessness apparently so complete, that many thought her hour had
come; but those who knew her history, and were aware how often she had
recovered from just such crises, held no belief of the kind. Yet if
France had assailed her at that time, Austria must have lost all her
Italian provinces; and it is now generally admitted, that, if Cavaignac
had sent a French army into Italy immediately after the victory won by
Radetzky over Charles Albert at Somma Campagna, (July 26th, 1848,) the
"Italian question" would then have been settled in a manner that would
have been satisfactory to the greater part of Europe, and have rendered
such a war as is now waging in Italy quite impossible. Russia could have
done nothing to prevent the success of the French arms, and it is
probable that Austria would have abandoned the contest without fighting
a battle. At an earlier period she had signified her readiness to allow
the incorporation of most of Lombardy with Sardinia, she to retain the
country beyond the Mincio, and to hold the two great fortresses of
Peschiera (at the southern extremity of the Lago di Garda, and at the
point where the river issues from the lake) and Mantua. She even asked
the aid of France and England to effect a peace on this basis, but
unsuccessfully. Cavoignac's anomalous political position prevented him
from aiding the Italians. He was a Liberal, but the actual head of the
reactionists in France of all colors, of men who looked upon the
Italians as ruffians wedded to disorder, while Austria, in their eyes,
was the champion of order. France did nothing, and in December Louis
Napoleon became President. An opportunity was soon afforded him to
interfere in Italian affairs. The armistice that had existed between the
Austrians and the Sardinians after the 9th of August, 1848, was
denounced on the 12th of March, 1849, by the latter; and Radetzky closed
the order of the day, issued immediately after this denunciation was
made, with the words,--"Forward, soldiers, to Turin!" The intentions of
the Sardinians must have been known to Louis Napoleon, but he took no
measures to aid them. He saw Piedmont conquered in a campaign of
"hours." He saw Brescia treated by Haynau as Tilly treated Magdeburg. He
saw the long and heroical defence of Venice against the Austrians,
during the dreary spring and summer of '49,--a defence as worthy of
immortality as the War of Chiozza, and indicating the presence of the
spirit of Zeno, and Contarini, and Pisani in the old home of those
patriots. But nothing moved him. He would not even mediate in behalf of
the Venetians; and it was by the advice of the French consul and the
French admiral on the station that Venice finally surrendered, but not
until she had exhausted the means of defence and life. At that time, few
men in America but were in the habit of denouncing the French President
for his indifference to the Italian cause. He was charged with having
been guilty of a blunder and a crime. His consent to the expedition to
Rome aggravated his offence, for it was an act of intervention on the
wrong side. But the passage of ten years enables us to be more just to
him than it was possible for us to be in 1849. He was not firm in his
seat. He was but a temporary chief of the State. He was surrounded by
enemies, political and personal, who were seeking his overthrow, without
any regard for the tenure of his office. He knew not his power. His
object was the restoration of internal peace to France, her recovery
from the weakness info which she had fallen or had been precipitated. He
dared not offend the Catholics, who saw then, as they see now, a
champion in Austria. He was the victim of circumstances, and he had to
bow before them, in order that he might finally become their master.
Then he had no occasion for a quarrel with Austria. She was at the
lowest ebb her fortunes had known since the day that the Turks appeared
for the second time before Vienna. She could not have maintained herself
in Italy, even after the successes of Radetzky, had not Nicholas sent
one hundred and fifty thousand men to her assistance in Hungary. What
had France to fear from her? No more than she had to fear from her on
the day after Austerlitz.

Years rolled on, and brought with them great changes; and the greatest
of those changes was to be seen in Italy, in reference to the position
of Austria there, and its effect upon France. Austria rapidly
reëstablished her power in Italy, not only over Lombardy and Venice, but
over every part of the Peninsula, excepting Sardinia. Tuscany was
connected with her by various ties, and was ruled as she wished it to be
ruled. Parma and Modena were hers in every sense. She was the patron and
protector of the abominable Bomba, and her support alone enabled him to
defy the sentiment of the civilized world, and to indulge in cruelties
such as would have added new infamy to the name of Ezzelino. She upheld
the misgovernment of the Papal States, which has made Rome the scandal
of Europe. All the nominal rulers of the Italian States, with the
honorable exception of the King of Sardinia, were her vassal princes,
and were no more free to act without her consent than were the kings the
Roman Republic and Empire allowed to exist within their dominions free
to act without the consent of the proconsuls. What the proconsul of
Syria was to the little potentates mentioned in the New Testament, the
Austrian viceroy in the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom was to the nominal
rulers of the various Italian States. It only remained to bring Sardinia
within this ring-fence of sea and mountains to convert all Italy into an
Austrian dependency. There is nothing like this in history, we verily
believe. In the short period of ten years after the capture of Milan by
Radetzky, (August 4, 1848,) the Austrians had established themselves
completely in nearly every part of Italy. Of the twenty-seven millions
of people that compose her population, twenty-two millions were as much
at the command of Austria as were the Hungarians and Bohemians. Had she
had the sense to use her power, not with mildness only, but beneficially
to this great mass of men, and had nothing occurred to disturb her
plans, she would have nearly doubled the number of her subjects, and
have more than doubled her resources. She would have become a great
maritime state, and have converted the Mediterranean into an Austrian
lake. Had they been well governed, the Italians might, and most probably
would, have accepted their condition, and have become loyal subjects of
the House of Lorraine. Foreign rule is no new thing to them, nor have
they ever been impatient under its existence, when it has existed for
their good. The people rarely are hostile to any government that is
conducted with ordinary fairness. There is no greater error than that
involved in the idea that revolutions or changes of any kind originate
from below, that they proceed from the people. Almost invariably they
come from above, from governmental action; and it is ever in the power
of a government to make itself perpetual. The term of its existence is
in its own hands. At the very worst for Austria, she might have
accomplished in Italy what was accomplished there three centuries ago by
Spain, then ruled by the elder branch of the Hapsburgs. She might have
commanded almost everything within its limits, with Sardinia to play
some such part as was then played by Venice.

This is said on the supposition, first, that her government should have
been mild and conciliatory, active only for good, and that all her
interference with local rule should have been on the side of humanity;
and, second, that no foreign power should have interfered to prevent the
full development of her policy. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately
for other nations, and especially so for Italy, she not only did _not_
govern well, but governed badly; and there was a great power which was
deeply, vitally interested--moved by the all-controlling principle of
self-preservation--in watching all her movements, and in finding
occasion to drive her out of Italy. She was not content with upholding
misgovernment in Naples, Rome, Tuscany, Modena, Parma, and elsewhere,
but she meant to subvert the constitutional polity established in the
Sub-Alpine Kingdom of Sardinia. The enemy of constitutionalism and
freedom everywhere, she was especially hostile to their existence in the
little state that bordered on a portion of her Italian possessions,
whence they always threatened Lombardy with a plague she detests far
more heartily than she detests cholera. No natural boundary or _cordon
militaire_ could suffice to stay the march of principles. Nothing would
answer but the subversion of the Sardinian constitution and the bringing
of that nation's government into harmony with the admirable rule that
existed, under the double-headed eagle's protection, in Naples and
Modena. Unless all Austrian history be false, Austria's object for years
has been a revolution in Sardinia, and Rome has aided her. This is the
necessity of her moral situation with reference to her little neighbor.
The world has smiled at Austria's late complaint that Sardinia menaced
her, it seemed so like the wolf's protestation that the lamb was doing
him an injury; but it was really well founded, though not entitled to
much respect. Sardinia _did_ menace Austria. She menaced her by the
force of her example,--as the honest man menaces the rogue, as the
peaceful man menaces the ruffian, as the charitable man menaces the
miser, as the Good Samaritan menaced the priest and Levite. In the sense
that virtue ever menaces vice, and right constantly menaces wrong,
Sardinia was a menace to Austria;--and as we often find the wrongdoer
denouncing the good as subverters of social order, we ought not to be
astonished at the plaintive whine of the master of thrice forty legions
at the conduct of the decorous, humane, and enlightened Victor Emanuel.

The only foreign power that had a direct, immediate, positive interest
in preventing the establishment of Austrian power over Italy was France.
Several other powers had some interest adverse to the success of the
Austrian scheme, but it was so far below that which France felt, that it
is difficult to make any comparison between the several cases. England,
speaking generally, might not like the idea of a new naval power coming
into existence in the Mediterranean, which, with great fleets and
greater armies, might come to have a controlling influence in the East,
and prevent the establishment of her power in Egypt and Syria. She might
see with some jealousy the further development of Austrian commerce,
which has been so successfully pursued in the Mediterranean and the
Levant since 1815. But then England is not very remarkable for
forethought, and she has a just confidence in her own naval power.
Besides, would not Austria, in the event of her adding Italy virtually
to her dominions, become the ally of England in the business of
supporting Turkey against Russia, and in preventing the further
extension of Russian power to the South and the East? The old
traditionary policy of England pointed to an Austrian alliance, and
nations are tenacious of their traditions. The war in Italy was
unquestionably precipitated by Austria's belief that in the last resort
she could rely upon English support; and she made a fatal delay in her
military movements in deference to English interposition. Prussia could
not be expected to see the increase of the power of the House of Austria
with pleasure; but it was possible that the extension of its dominions
to the South, by giving it new objects of ambition, and forcing upon it
a leading part in Eastern affairs, might cause that house to pay less
regard to German matters, leaving them to be managed by the House of
Hohenzollern. Russia, under the system that Nicholas pursued, could not
have seen Austria absorb Italy without resisting the process at any
cost; but Alexander IV., [Footnote: I call the present czar Alexander
the _Fourth_, as there have been three other Alexanders _sovereigns_ of
Russia; but he is generally styled Alexander the _Second_.] a wiser man
than his father was, never would have gone to war to prevent it, his
views being directed to those internal reforms the success of which is
likely to create a _Russian People_, and to place his empire in a far
higher position than it has ever yet occupied. Yet Russia could not have
witnessed Austria's success with pleasure; and the readiness with which
she has agreed to aid France, should the Germans aid Austria, is proof
sufficient that she is desirous that Austria should not merely be
prevented from extending her territory, but actually reduced in extent
and in means. From no part of Europe have come more decided
condemnations of the course of Austria than from the Russian capital.
The language of the St. Petersburg journals touching the Treaties of
Vienna has been absolutely contemptuous; and that language is all the
more oracular and significant because we know that the editors of those
journals must have been inspired by the government. It has been justly
regarded as expressing the views of the Czar, and of the statesmen who
compose his cabinet. Though not disposed for war, and probably sincerely
desirous of the preservation of peace everywhere, the rulers of Russia
are quite ready to support France in all proper measures that she may
adopt to drive the Austrians from every part of the Italian Peninsula.
They are too sagacious not to see that France cannot hold a league of
Italian territory, and the reduction of Austrian power is just so much
gained towards the ultimate realization of their Oriental policy.

Of the other European powers, and of their opinions respecting the
effect of Austrian supremacy, little need be said. Such countries as
Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and Portugal have little weight in
the European system, individually or collectively. Even Spain, though
she is not the feeble nation many of our countrymen are pleased to
represent her, when seeking to find a _reason_ for the seizure of
Cuba,--even Spain, we say, could not be much moved by the prospect of
Austria's reaching to that condition of vast strength which would
necessarily follow from her undisputed ascendency in Italy. The lesser
German States would probably have seen Austria's increase with pleasure,
partly because it would have helped to remove their fears of France and
Russia, and partly because it would have been flattering to their pride
of race, the House of Austria being Germanic in its character, though
ruling directly over but few Germans,--few, we mean, in comparison with
the Slaves, Magyars, Italians, and other races that compose the bulk of
its subjects. Turkey alone had a direct interest in Austria's success,
as promising her protection against all the other great European powers;
but Turkey is not, properly speaking, a member of the European
Commonwealth.

But the case was very different with France. She is the first nation of
Continental Europe,--a position she has held for nearly four centuries,
though sometimes her fortunes have been reduced very low, as during the
closing days of the Valois dynasty, and in 1815; but even in 1815 she
had the melancholy consolation of knowing that it required the combined
exertions of all Europe to conquer her. Her wonderful elasticity in
rising superior to the severest visitations has often surprised the
world, and those who remember 1815 will be most astonished at her
present position in Europe, or rather in Christendom. Her position,
however, has always been the result of indefatigable exertions, and a
variety of circumstances have made those exertions necessary on several
occasions. Great as France is now, and great as she has been at several
periods of her history since the death of Mazarin, it may be doubted if
she is so great as she was at the date of the Treaty of Westphalia, the
work of her arms and her diplomacy (1648). At that time, and for many
years afterwards, several nations had no pronounced political existence
that now are powers of the first class. Russia had no weight in Europe
until the last years of Louis XIV., and her real importance commenced
fifty years after that monarch was placed in his grave. Prussia, though
she attained to a respectable position at the close of the seventeenth
century, the date of the creation of her monarchy, did not become a
first-class power until two generations later, and as the result of the
Seven Years' War. The United States count but eighty-three years of
national life; and they have had international influence less than half
of that time. England, which the restoration of the Stuarts caused to
sink so low in those very years during which Louis XIV. was at the
zenith of his greatness, has been for one hundred and seventy years the
equal of France. On the other hand, the two nations with which France
was formerly much connected, Turkey and Sweden, have ceased to influence
events. France allied herself with Turkey in the early years of her
struggle with the House of Austria, to the offence of Christian peoples;
and the relations between Paris and Constantinople were long maintained
on the basis of common interest, the only tie that has ever sufficed to
bind nations. Both countries were the enemies of Austria. The second
half of the Thirty Years' War was maintained, on the part of the enemies
of Austria, by the alliance of France and Sweden; and between these
countries a good understanding frequently prevailed in after-times, the
growth of Russia serving to force Sweden into the arms of France. Poland
has disappeared from the list of nations, and her territory has
augmented the resources of two countries that had no political weight in
the first century of the Bourbon kings, and those of France's rival.
Thus France has relatively fallen. That ancient international system of
which she was the centre for nearly one hundred and fifty years--say
from the middle of the reign of Henry IV. to the Peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle, (1599-1748)--has passed entirely away from the world,
and never can be restored. France has seldom seriously thought of
attempting its restoration, though some of her statesmen, and probably a
large majority of the more intelligent of her people, have from time to
time warmly favored the idea of the reconstruction of Poland; and of all
the errors of Napoleon I., his failure to realize that idea was
unquestionably the greatest. The turn that things took in the French
Revolution enabled France to establish an hegemony in Europe, which
might have been long preserved but for the disasters of 1812; but the
empire of Napoleon I. was never a political empire, being only of a
military character. France then led Europe, but she lost her ascendency
on the first reverse, like Sparta after Leuctra. History has no parallel
to the change that the France of 1814 presented to the France of 1812.
On the 1st of October, 1812, the French were at Moscow; on the 1st of
April, 1814, the allies were in Paris. Eighteen months had done work
that no man living at the first date had expected to see accomplished.
What happened in 1815 was but the complement of 1814. Then France was
struck down, trampled upon, spoiled, insulted, and mulcted in immense
sums of money; and finally forced to pay the cost of an armed police,
headed by Wellington himself, which held her chief fortresses for three
years, and saw that her chains were kept bright and strong. Never, since
Lysander demolished the Long Walls of Athens to the music of the Spartan
flute, had the world seen so bitter a spectacle of national humiliation,
so absolute a reversal of fortune,--the long-conquering legions
perishing by the sword, and him who had headed so many triumphal
processions perishing as it were in the Mamertine dungeon.

It was from the nadir to which she had thus fallen, that the rulers of
France, acting as the agents of its people, have been laboring to raise
her ever since 1815. They have had a twofold object in view. They have
sought territory, in order that France might not be driven into the list
of second-class nations,--and military glory, to make men forget
Vittoria, and Leipzig, and Waterloo. All the governments of France have
been alike in this respect, no matter how much they have differed in
other respects. The legitimate Bourbons,--of whom an American is bound
to speak well, for they were our friends, and often evinced a feeling
towards us that exceeded largely anything that is required by the terms
or the spirit of a political alliance,--the solitary Orléans King, the
shadowy Republic of '48, and the imperial government, all have
endeavored to do something to elevate France, to win for her new
glories, and to regain for her her old position. The expedition into
Spain, in 1823, ostensibly made in the interest of Absolutism, was
really undertaken for the purpose of rebaptizing the white flag in fire.
Charles X. and M. de Polignac were engaged in a great scheme of foreign
policy when they fell, the chief object of which, on their side, was the
restoration to France of the provinces of the Rhine,--and which Russia
favored, because she knew, that, unless the Bourbons could do something
to satisfy their people, they must remain powerless, and it did not
answer her purpose that they should be otherwise than powerful. The
conquest of Algiers was made for the purpose of gratifying the French
people, and with the intention of spreading French dominion over
Northern Africa. It was a step towards the acquisition of Egypt, for
which land France has exhibited a strange longing. In this way the loss
of French India and French America, things of the old monarchy, were to
be compensated. The government of Louis Philippe expended mines of gold
and seas of blood in Africa, much to the astonishment of prudent men,
who had no idea of the end upon which its eyes were fixed. When the
Republic of 1848 was improvised, even Lamartine, not an unjust man,
could talk of the rights of France in Italy, and of her proper influence
there; and the wicked attack on the Romans, in 1849, was prompted by a
desire to make French influence felt in that country in a manner that
should be clear to the sense of mankind.

When Louis Napoleon became President of France, it was impossible for
him to devote much attention to foreign affairs. His aim was to make
himself Emperor, to restore the Napoleon dynasty. This, after a hard
struggle, he effected in 1851-'52. It must be within the recollection of
all that the French invasion question was never more vehemently
discussed in England than during the ten or twelve months that followed
the _coup d'état_. This happened because it was assumed that the Emperor
_must_ do something to revenge the injuries his house and France had
suffered from that alliance of which England was the chief member and
the purse-holder. Whether he ever thought of assailing England, no man
can say; for he never yet communicated his thoughts on any important
subject to any human being. We may assume, however, that he would not
have attacked England without having made extensive preparations for
that purpose; and long before such preparations could have been
perfected, the Eastern question was forced upon the attention of Europe,
and the two nations which were expected to engage in war as foes united
their immense armaments to thwart the plans of Russia. Blinded by his
feelings, and altogether mistaking the character of the English people,
the Czar treated Napoleon III. contemptuously, and sought to bring about
the partition of Turkey by the aid of England alone. It will always
furnish material for the ingenious writers of the history of things that
might have been, whether the French Emperor would have accepted the
Czar's proposition, had it been made to him. Certainly it would have
enabled him to do great things for France, while by the same course of
action he could have struck heavy blows at both England and Austria. As
it was, he joined England to oppose Russia, and the English have borne
full and honorable testimony to his fidelity to his engagements. The war
concluded, his attention was directed to Italy, and he sought to
meliorate the condition of that country; but Austria would not hear even
of the discussion of Italian affairs. The events that marked the course
of things in Paris, in the spring of 1856, showed that nothing could be
hoped for Italy from Austria. She spoke, through Count Buol, as if she
regarded the whole Peninsula as peculiarly her property, meddling with
which on the part of other powers was sheer impertinence, and not to be
borne with good temper, or even the show of it.

The twenty-second meeting of the Congress of Paris, held the 8th of
April, was long, exciting, and important; for then several European
questions were discussed, among them being the affairs of Italy. The
protocol of that day proves the sensitiveness of the Austrian
plenipotentiaries and the earnestness of those of Sardinia. Eight days
later, the Sardinian plenipotentiaries, Cavour and De Villa Marina,
addressed to the governments of France and England a Memorial relating
to the affairs of Italy, in the course of which occur expressions that
must have had a strong effect on the mind of Napoleon III. "Called by
the sovereigns of the small states of Italy, who are powerless to
repress the discontent of their subjects," says the Memorial, "Austria
occupies militarily the greater part of the Valley of the Po and of
Central Italy, and makes her influence felt in an irresistible manner,
_even in the countries where she has no soldiers_. Resting on one side
on Ferrara and Bologna, her troops extend themselves to Ancona, the
length of the Adriatic, which has become in a manner an Austrian lake;
on the other, mistress of Piacenza, which, contrary to the spirit, if
not to the letter, of the Treaties of Vienna, she labors to transform
into a first-class fortress, she has a garrison at Parma, and makes
dispositions to deploy her forces all along the Sardinian frontier, from
the Po to the summit of the Apennines. This permanent occupation by
Austria of territories which do not belong to her _renders her absolute
mistress of nearly all Italy_, destroys the equilibrium established by
the Treaties of Vienna, and is a continual menace to Piedmont." In
conclusion, the plenipotentiaries say,--"Sardinia is the only state in
Italy that has been able to raise an impassable barrier to the
revolutionary spirit, and at the same time remain independent of
Austria. It is the counterpoise to her invading influence. If Sardinia
succumbed, exhausted of power, abandoned by her allies,--if she also was
obliged to submit to Austrian domination, _then the conquest of Italy by
this power would be achieved_; and Austria, after having obtained,
without its costing her the least sacrifice, the immense benefit of the
free navigation of the Danube, and the neutralization of the Black Sea,
_would acquire a preponderating influence in the West_. This is what
France and England would never wish,--this they will never permit."

These are grave and weighty words, and were well calculated to produce
an effect on the mind of Napoleon III.; and we are convinced that they
furnish a key to his conduct toward Austria, and set forth the occasion
of the Italian War. The supremacy of Austria once completely asserted
over Italy, France would necessarily sink in the European scale in
precisely the same proportion in which Austria should rise in it. The
subjects of Francis Joseph would number sixty millions, while those of
Napoleon III. would remain at thirty-six millions. The sinews of war
have never been much at the command of Austria, but possession of Italy
would render her wealthy, and enable her to command that gold which
moves armies and renders them effective. Her commerce would be increased
to an incalculable extent, and she would have naval populations from
which to conscribe the crews for fleets that she would be prompt to
build. Her voice would be potential in the East, and that of France
would there cease to be heard. She would become the first power of
Europe, and would exercise an hegemony far more decided than that which
Russia held for forty years after 1814. It was to be expected that the
Italians would cease fruitlessly to oppose her, and, their submission
leading to her abandonment of the repressive system, they might become a
bold and an adventurous people, helping to increase and to consolidate
her power. They might prove as useful to her as the Hungarians and
Bohemians have been, whom she had conquered and misruled, but whose
youth have filled her armies. All these things were not only possible,
but they were highly probable; and once having become facts, what
security would France have that she would not be attacked, conquered,
and partitioned? With sixty millions of people, and supported by the
sentiment and arms of Germany, Austria could seize upon Alsace and
Lorraine, and other parts of France, and thus reduce her strength
positively as well as relatively. All that was talked of in 1815, and
more than all that, might be accomplished in sixty years from that date,
and while Napoleon III. himself should still be on the throne he had so
strangely won. That degradation of France which the uncle's ambition had
brought about at the beginning of the century would be more than
equalled at the century's close through the nephew's forbearance. The
very names of Napoleon and Bonaparte would become odious in France, and
contemptible everywhere. On the other hand, should he interfere
successfully in behalf of Italian nationality, he would reduce the
strength of Austria, and prevent her from becoming an overshadowing
empire. Her population and her territory would be essentially lessened.
She would be cut off from all hope of making Italy her own, would be
compelled to abandon her plans of commercial and maritime greatness,
would be disregarded in the East, would not be courted by England, would
lose half her influence in Germany, and would not be in a condition to
menace France in any quarter. The glory of the French arms would be
increased, the weight of France would be doubled, new lustre would shine
from the name of Napoleon, the Treaties of Vienna would be torn up by
the nation against which they had been directed, the most determined foe
of the Bonaparte family would be punished, and that family's power would
be consolidated.

Such, we verily believe, were the reasons that led Napoleon III. to plan
an attack on Austria, that attack which has been so brilliantly
commenced. That he has gone to war for the liberation of Italy, merely
as such, we do not suppose; but that must follow front his policy,
because in that way alone can his grand object be effected. The freedom
of the Peninsula will be brought about, because it is necessary for the
welfare of France, for the maintenance of her weight in Europe, that it
should be brought about. That the Emperor is insensible of the glory
that would come from the rehabilitation of Italy, we do not assert. We
think he is very sensible of it, and that he enjoys the satisfaction
that comes from the performance of a good deed as much as if he were not
a usurper and never had overthrown a nominal republic. But we cannot
agree with those who say that the liberation of Italy was the pure and
simple purpose of the war. He means that Austria shall not have Italy,
and his sobriety of judgment enables him to understand that France
cannot have it. That country is to belong to the children of the soil,
who, with ordinary wisdom and conduct, will be able to prevent it from
again relapsing under foreign rule. The Emperor understands his epoch,
and will attempt nothing that shall excite against himself and his
dynasty the indignation of mankind. If not a saint, he is not a
senseless sinner.

Our article is so long, that we cannot discuss the questions, whether
Napoleon III. is not animated by the desire of vengeance, and whether,
having chastised Russia and Austria, he will not turn his arms against
Prussia and England. Our opinion is that he will do nothing of the kind.
Prussia is not likely to afford him any occasion for war; and if he
should make one, he would have to fight all the other German powers at
the same time, and perhaps Russia. The only chance that exists for a
Prussian war is to be found in the wrath of the Germans, who, at the
time we write, have assumed a very hostile attitude towards France, and
wish to be led from Berlin; but the government of Prussia is discreet,
and will not be easily induced to incur the positive loss and probable
disgrace that would follow from a Russian invasion, like that which took
place in 1759. As to England, the Emperor would be mad to attempt her
conquest; and he knows too well what is due to his fame to engage in a
piratical dash at London. An invasion of England can never be safely
undertaken except by some power that is master of the seas; and England
is not in the least disposed to abandon her maritime supremacy. There
would have to be a Battle of Actium before her shores could be in
danger, and she must have lost it; and no matter what is said concerning
the excellence of the French navy, that of England is as much ahead of
it in all the elements of real, enduring strength, as it has been at any
other period of the history of the two countries.



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


_The Iron-Manufacturer's Guide to the Furnaces, Forges, and
Rolling-Mills of the United States_. By J.P. LESLEY. New York: John
Wiley. 1859.

This valuable book is published by the Secretary of the American
Iron-Association, and by authority of the same. This Association--now
four years old--is not a common trades-union, nor any impotent
combination to resist the law of supply and demand. Its general objects,
as stated in the constitution, are "to procure regularly the statistics
of the trade, both at home and abroad; to provide for the mutual
interchange of information and experience, both scientific and
practical; to collect and preserve all works relating to iron, and to
form a complete cabinet of ores, limestones, and coals; to encourage the
formation of such schools as are designed to give the young iron-master
a proper and thorough scientific training, preparatory to engaging in
practical operations." In pursuance of this wise and liberal policy, the
Association has now published this "Iron-Manufacturer's Guide,"
containing, first, a descriptive catalogue of all the furnaces, forges,
and rolling-mills of the United States and Canada; secondly, a
discussion of the physical and chemical properties of iron, and its
combinations with other elements; thirdly, a complete survey of the
geological position, chemical, physical, or mechanical properties, and
geographical distribution of the ores of iron in the United States.

The directory to the iron-works of the United States and Canada
enumerates 1545 works of various kinds, of which 386 are now abandoned;
560 blast-furnaces, 389 forges, and 210 rolling-mills are now in
operation; and the directory states the position, capacity, and
prominent characteristics of each furnace, forge, or mill, the names of
the owners or agents, and, in many cases, the date of the construction
of the works, and their annual production. The great importance of the
iron-manufacture, as a branch of industry, in this country, is clearly
demonstrated by this very complete catalogue. It shows that in the year
1856 there were nearly twelve hundred active iron-factories in the
United States, and that they produced about eight hundred and fifty
thousand tons of iron, worth fifty millions of dollars. When we consider
that the greater part of the iron thus produced is left in a rough and
crude state, merely extracted from its ores and made ready for the use
of the blacksmith, the machinist, and the engineer,--when we remember
that human labor multiplies by hundreds and by thousands the value of
the raw material, that a bar of iron which costs five dollars will make
three thousand dollars' worth of penknife-blades and two hundred and
fifty thousand dollars' worth of watch-springs, we begin to understand
the importance of the iron-manufacture, as an element of national
wealth, independence, and power.

A fourth part of all the iron-works which have been constructed in this
country have been abandoned by their projectors, in despair of competing
with the cheap iron from abroad, which the low _ad-valorem_ tariffs have
admitted to the American market. The story which these ruined works
might tell, of hopes disappointed, capital sunk, and labor wasted, would
be long and dreary. From an excellent diagram, appended to the "Guide,"
illustrating the duties on iron, the importations, and the price of the
metal, for each year since 1840, we learn that the average annual
importation of iron under the specific tariff of 1842 was 77,328 tons,
while under the _ad-valorem_ tariff of 1846 it was 373,864 tons. The
increase in the importation of foreign iron under the tariff of 1846 was
more than ten times the increase of the population, and more than
thirty-eight times the increase in the domestic production. The
iron-masters of this country have been compelled to struggle against a
host of formidable difficulties,--adverse legislation, the ruinous
competition of English iron, the dearness of labor, and the high rates
of interest on borrowed capital. These have all been met and, let us hope,
in good part overcome. Slowly, and with many hindrances and disasters,
the iron-business is gaining strength, and achieving independence
of foreign competition and the tender mercies of legislators.
Very conclusive evidence of this gradual growth is presented
in the unusually accurate statistics of the "Iron-Manufacturer's
Guide." Of the 1,209,913 tons of iron consumed in the United States
in the year 1856, 856,235 tons, or seventy-one per cent, of the whole,
was of domestic manufacture. The catalogue of iron-works shows that
the country now possesses many extensive and well-constructed works,
of which some are still owned by the men who built them, but the
larger part have descended, at great sacrifices, to the hands of
more fortunate proprietors. Beside the accumulated stock of machinery,
knowledge of the ores and fuel has been gained, experience has
refuted many errors and pointed out the dangers and difficulties to
he overcome, the natural channels of communication throughout the
country have been opened, and a large body of skilled workmen has been
trained for the business and seeks steady employment. Whenever a rise in
the price of iron stimulates the manufacture, the domestic production of
iron suddenly expands, and increases with a rapidity which gives
evidence of wonderful elasticity and latent strength. Twice within
twenty years the production of American iron has nearly doubled in a
period of three years. Twelve years ago no railroad-iron was made in the
United States. In 1853 we imported 300,000 tons of rails, and in 1854
280,000 tons; but in 1855 only 130,000 tons were imported, while 135,000
tons were made at home, and in 1856, again, nearly one half of the
310,000 tons of rails consumed was of domestic production. The admitted
superiority of the American rails has undoubtedly contributed to this
result.

In spite of these encouraging signs, these sure indications of the
success which at no distant day will reward this branch of American
industry, it must not be imagined that checks and reverses are hereafter
to be escaped. The production of the year 1857 promised in the summer to
be much larger than that of 1856; but the panic of September wrought the
same effect in the iron-business as in all the other manufactures of the
country, and in the spring of 1858 more than half of the iron-works of
the United States were standing idle. Mr. Lesley states that the returns
received in answer to the circular issued by the Iron-Association, July
1, 1858, were, almost without exception, unfavorable, and that these
replies are sufficient to prove a very serious diminution in the
production of iron for the year 1858. When the manufacture of iron, in
its various branches, has expanded to its true proportions, and has
reached a magnitude and importance second only to the agricultural
interest of the country, the iron-masters of that generation may read in
this first publication of the Iron-Association the record of the
struggles and trials of their more adventurous, but less fortunate
predecessors.

The construction of the directory which constitutes the first part of
the "Guide" might be improved in several respects. An alphabetical
arrangement of the furnaces, forges, and rolling-mills, in each State,
would be much more convenient for reference than the obscure and
uncertain system which has been followed. If a State can be divided,
like Pennsylvania, into two or three sections, by strongly marked
geological features, it would, perhaps, be well to subdivide the list of
its iron-works into corresponding sections, and then to make the
arrangement of each section alphabetical. But convenience of reference
is the essential property of a directory; and to that convenience the
natural desire to follow a geological or geographical arrangement should
he sacrificed. Some important items of information, such as the means of
transportation, and the distance of each furnace or forge from its
market, are not given in all cases; the power by which the works are
driven, whether steam or water, is not uniformly stated; and the
pressure of the blast used, that very important condition of success in
the management of a furnace, is stated in only a very few instances. A
useful piece of information, seldom given in the descriptions of forges
and rolling-mills, is the source from which the iron used in the works
is obtained; and it is also desirable that the nature of the work done
in each forge or mill should be invariably stated. It would he
interesting to know the number of men employed in the iron-manufacture
throughout the country, and it would not seem difficult for the
Association to add this fact to the very valuable statistics which they
have already collected. The descriptions of abandoned works are not all
printed in small type. If this rule is adopted in the directory, it
should be uniformly adhered to. The maps accompanying the directory,
which were made by the photolithographic process, are all on too small a
scale, and consequently lack clearness. The colored lithographs, which
exhibit the anthracite furnaces of Pennsylvania and the iron works of
the region east of the Hudson River, are altogether the best
illustrations in the book.

An elaborate discussion of iron as a chemical element occupies another
division of the book. Its purpose is to instruct the iron master in the
chemical properties and relations of the metal with which he deals; and
to this end it should be clear, concise, and definite, and, leaving all
disputed points, should explain the known and well-determined
characteristics of iron and its compounds with other elements. Mr.
Lesley, the compiler of the book, distinctly states in the Preface that
he is no chemist, and we are therefore prepared to meet the occasional
inaccuracies observable in this chemical portion of the "Guide." It
lacks condensation and system; matters of very little moment receive
disproportionate attention; and pages are filled with discussions of
nice points of chemical science still in dispute among professed
chemists, and wholly out of place in what should be a brief elementary
treatise on the known properties of iron. If these questions in dispute
were such as the practical experience of the iron-master might settle,
or, indeed, throw any light upon, there would be an obvious propriety in
stating the points at issue; but if the question concerns the best
chemical name for iron-rust, or the largest possible per cent. of carbon
in steel, the practical metallurgist should not be perplexed with
problems in analytical chemistry which the best chemists have not yet
solved.

Valuable space is occasionally occupied by the too rhetorical statement
of matters which would have been better presented in a simpler way;
thus, the fervid description of oxygen, however appropriate in Faraday's
admirable lectures before the Royal Institution, is out of place in the
"Iron-Manufacturer's Guide." We must also enter an earnest protest
against the importation, upon any terms, of such words as
"ironoxydulcarbonate," "ironoxydhydrate," and the adjective "anhydrate."
Some descriptions of considerable imaginative power have found place
even in the directory of works. From the description of the Allentown
furnaces we learn, with some surprise, that "no finer object of art
invites the artist"; and again, "that the _repose_ of bygone _centuries_
seems to sit upon its immense walls, while the roaring _energy_ of the
present day fills it with a truer and better life than the revelry of
Kenilworth or the chivalry of Heidelberg." The average age of the
Allentown works subsequently appears to be nine years.

Another principal division of Mr. Lesley's book treats of the ores of
iron in the United States. This portion of the book contains much
valuable and interesting information, which has never been published
before in so complete and satisfactory a form. The geographical and
geological position of every ore-bank in the country, which has been
opened and worked, is fully described, with many details of the peculiar
properties, mineralogical associations, and history of each bed or mine.
The inexhaustible wealth of the country in ores of iron is clearly
shown, and the superiority of the American ores to the English needs no
other demonstration than can be found on the pages of this catalogue of
our ore-beds. Two or three geological maps, to illustrate the
distribution of the ores, would have been an instructive addition to the
book. In this section, as in the preceding one on the chemistry of iron,
much space is misapplied to the discussion of questions of structural
geology, of opposing theories of the formation of veins, and other
scientific problems with which the iron-master is not concerned, and
which he cannot be expected to understand, much less to solve. We regret
the more this unnecessary introduction of comparatively irrelevant
matters, when we find, at the close of the volume, that the unexpected
length of the discussion of the ores has prevented the publication of
several chapters on the machinery now in use, the hot-blast and
anthracite coal, the efforts to obtain malleable iron directly from the
ore, and the history and present condition of the iron-manufacture in
America.

The American Iron-Association, by their Secretary, have accomplished a
very laborious and valuable work, in accumulating and digesting the mass
of facts and statistics embodied in this, the first "Iron-Manufacturer's
Guide"; but the subject is as inexhaustible as the mineral wealth of the
country, and we shall look for the future publications of the society
with much interest.


_An Essay on Intuitive Morals_. Being an Attempt to Popularize Ethical
Science. Part I. Theory of Morals. First American Edition, with
Additions and Corrections by the Author. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Co.
1859. pp. 294.

Four years ago last March this book appeared in England, published by
Longman; a thin octavo, exciting little attention there, and scarcely
more on this side the water, where the best English books have of late
years found their first appreciation. The first notice of it printed in
this country, so far as we know, appeared in the "Harvard Magazine" for
June, 1855,--a publication so obscure, that, to most readers of the
ATLANTIC, this will be their first knowledge of its existence. About two
years later, Part II appeared in England, and then both books were
reviewed in the "Christian Examiner"; yet, to all intents and purposes,
this new edition is a new book, and we shall treat it as such. We have
as yet a reprint of Part I. only, but we trust the publishers will soon
give us the other,--"The Practice of Morals,"--which, if less valuable
than this, is still so much better than most works of its kind as to
demand a republication.

The author--a woman--(for, to the shame of our _virile secus_ be it
said, a woman has written the best popular treatise on Ethics in the
language)--divides her First Part into four chapters:--

    I. What Is the Moral Law?
   II. Where the Moral Law is found.
  III. That the Moral Law can be obeyed.
   IV. Why the Moral Law should be obeyed.

This, as will be seen, is an exhaustive analysis. To the great question
of the first chapter, after a full discussion, she gives this answer:--

"The Moral Law is the resumption of the eternal necessary Obligation of
all Rational Free Agents to do and feel those Sentiments which are
Right. The identification of this law with His will constitutes the
Holiness of the Infinite God. Voluntary and disinterested obedience to
this law constitutes the Virtue of all finite creatures. Virtue is
capable of infinite growth, of endless approach to the Divine nature and
to perfect conformity with the law. God has made all rational free
agents for virtue, and all worlds for rational free agents. _The Moral
Law, therefore, not only reigns throughout His creation_, (all its
behests being enforced thereon by His omnipotence,) _but is itself the
reason why that creation exists_."--pp. 62-63.

This is certainly good defining, and the passage we have Italicized has
the true Transcendental ring. Indeed, the book is a system of Kantian
Ethics, as the author herself says in her Preface; and the tough old
Königsberg professor has no reason to complain of his gentle expounder.
Unlike most British writers,--with the grand exception of Sir William
Hamilton, the greatest British metaphysician since Locke and Hume,--she
_understands_ Kant, admires and loves him, and so is worthy to develop
his knotty sublimities. This alone would be high praise; but we think
she earns a more original and personal esteem.

The question of the second chapter she thus answers:--

"The Moral Law is found in the Intuitions of the Human Mind. These
Intuitions are natural; but they are also revealed. Our Creator wrought
them into the texture of our souls to form the groundwork of our
thoughts, and made it our duty first to examine and then to erect upon
them by reflection a Science of Morals. But He also continually aids us
in such study, and He increases this aid in the ratio of our obedience.
Thus Moral Intuitions are both Human and Divine, and the paradoxes in
their nature are thereby solved."--p. 136.

This statement may, perhaps, be received without cavil by most readers;
but the reasoning on which it depends is the weakest part of the book,
and we shall be surprised if some hard-headed divine, who fears that
this doctrine of Intuition will pester his Church, does not find out the
flaws in the argument. It will be urged, for instance, that, in
confessing that the Science of Morals can never be as exact as that of
Mathematics, because we have no terminology for Ethics so exact as for
Geometry, she, in effect, yields the whole question, and leaves us in
the old slough of doubt where Pyrrho and Pascal delighted to thrust us,
and where the Church threatens to keep us, unless we will pay her tolls
and pick our way along her turnpike. But though her major and minor
premises may not be on the best terms with each other,--even though they
may remind us of that preacher of whom Pierrepont Edwards said, "If his
text had the smallpox, his sermon would not catch it,"--her conclusion
is sound, and as inspiring now as when the poet said,--

  "Est Deus in nobis, agitante calescimus illo,"--

or when George Fox trudged hither and thither over Europe with the same
noble tune sounding in his ears.

In the third chapter the old topics are treated, which, according to
Milton, the fallen angels discussed before Adam settled the debate by
sinning,--

  "Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,"--

and it is concluded that the Moral Law can be obeyed:--

"1st. Because the Human Will is free. 2d. Because this freedom, though
involving present sin and suffering, is foreseen by God to result
eventually in the Virtue of every creature endowed therewith."

In this chapter the history of the common doctrine of Predestination is
admirably sketched, (pp. 159-164, note.) and the grounds for our belief
in Free Will more clearly stated than we remember to have seen
elsewhere. Especially fine is her method of reducing Foreordination to
simple Ordination, by directing attention to the fact that with God
there is no Past and Future, but an Endless Now; as Tennyson sings in
"In Memoriam,"--

  "Oh, if indeed that eye foresee,
  Or see, (in Him is no before.)"--

and as Dante sang five centuries ago.

But it is the last chapter which best shows the power of the author and
the pure and generous spirit with which the whole book is filled. Here
she shows why the Moral Law should be obeyed; and dividing the advocates
of Happiness as a motive into three classes, Euthumists, Public
Eudaimonists, and Private Eudaimonists, she refutes them all and
establishes her simple scheme, which she states in these words:--

"The law itself, the Eternal Right, for right's own sake, that alone
must be our motive, the spring of our resolution, the ground of our
obedience. Deep from our inmost souls comes forth the mandate, the bare
and simple law claiming the command of our whole existence merely by its
proper right, and disdaining alike to menace or to bribe."

The terms _Euthumism_ and _Eudaimonism_ are, perhaps, peculiar to this
essay, and may need some explanation. The Euthumist is one who assumes
moral pleasure as a sufficient reason why virtue should be sought; the
Eudaimonist believes we should be virtuous for the sake of affectional,
intellectual, and sensual pleasure; if he means the pleasure of all
mankind, he is a Public Eudaimonist; but if he means the pleasure of the
individual, he is a Private Eudaimonist. Democritus is reckoned the
first among Euthumists; and in England this school has been represented,
among others, by Henry More and Cumberland, by Sharrock, [Footnote:
Sharrock is a name unfamiliar to most readers. His [Greek: Hypothesis
aethikae] published in 1660, contains the first clear statement of
Euthumism made by any Englishman. See p.223.] Hutcheson, and Shaftesbury.
Paley thrust himself among Public Eudaimonists, and our author well
exposes his grovelling morals, aiming to produce the "greatest happiness
of the greatest number," a system which has too long been taught among
the students of our colleges and high schools. But he properly belongs
to the Private Eudaimonists; for this interpreter of ethics to the
ingenuous youth of England and America says, "Virtue is the doing good
to mankind in obedience to the will of God, _and for the sake of
everlasting happiness_. According to which definition, the good of
mankind is the subject, the will of God the rule, _and everlasting
happiness the motive of virtue_."

It is such heresies as this, and the still grosser pravities into which
the ethics of expediency run, that this book will do much to combat.
Nothing is more needed in our schools for both sexes than the systematic
teaching of the principles here set forth; and we have no doubt this
volume could be used as a text-book, at least with some slight omissions
and additions, such as a competent teacher could well furnish. Portions
of it, indeed, were some years since read by Mrs. Lowell to her classes,
and are now incorporated in her admirable book, "Seed Grain"; nor does
there seem to be any good reason why it should not be introduced at
Cambridge. With a short introduction containing the main principles of
metaphysics, and with the omission of some rhetorical passages unsuited
to a text-book, it might supplant the books of both intellectual and
moral philosophy now in use in our higher schools.

But it is not as a school-book that this essay is to be considered; it
will find a large and increasing circle of readers among the mature and
the cultivated, and these will perceive that few have thought so
profoundly or written so clearly on these absorbing topics. Take, for
example, the classification of _possible_ beings, made in the first
chapter:--

"Proceeding on our premises, that the omnipotence of God is not to be
supposed to include self-contradictions, we observe at the outset, that
(so far as we can understand subjects so transcendent) there were only,
in a moral point of view, three orders of beings possible in the
universe:--1st. One Infinite Being. A Rational Free Agent, raised by the
infinitude of his nature above the possibility of temptation. He is the
only _Holy_ Being. 2d. Finite creatures who are Rational Free Agents,
but exposed by the finity of their natures to continual temptations.
These beings are either _Virtuous_ or _Vicious_. 3d. Finite creatures
who are not rational nor morally free. These beings are _Unmoral_, and
neither virtuous nor vicious."--pp. 24-25.

Nothing can be shorter or more thorough than this statement, and, if
accepted, it settles many points in theology as well as in ethics.

Then, too, the comparison, in the last chapter, of the Law of Honor,
considered as a system of morals, with the systems of Paley and Bentham,
shows a fine perception of the true relation of chivalry to ethics, and
gives occasion for one of the most eloquent passages in the book:--

"I envy not the moralist who could treat disdainfully of Chivalry. It
was a marvellous principle, that which could make of plighted faith a
law to the most lawless, of protection to weakness a pride to the most
ferocious. While the Church taught that personal duty consisted in
scourgings and fastings, and social duty in the slaughter of Moslems and
burning of Jews, Chivalry roused up a man to reverence himself through
his own courage and truth, and to treat the weakest of his
fellow-creatures with generosity and courtesy.... Recurring to its true
character, the Law of Honor, when duly enlarged and rectified, becomes
highly valuable. We perceive, that, amid all its imperfections and
aberrations, it has been the truest voice of intuition, amid the
lamentations of the believer in 'total depravity,' and the bargaining of
the expediency-seeking experimentalist. While the one represented Virtue
as a Nun and the other as a Shop-woman, the Law of Honor drew her as a
Queen,--faulty, perhaps, but free-born and royal. Much service has this
law done to the world; it has made popular modes of thinking and acting
far nobler than those inculcated from many a pulpit; and the result is
patent, that many a 'publican and sinner,' many an opera-frequenting,
betting, gambling man of the world, is a far safer person with whom to
transact business than the Pharisee who talks most feelingly of the
'frailties of our fallen nature.'"--pp. 267-270.

The learning shown in the book, though not astonishing, like Sir William
Hamilton's, is sufficient and always at the author's service. The text
throughout, and especially the notes on Causation, Predestination,
Original Sin, and Necessary Truths, will amply support our opinion. But
better than either learning or logic is that noble and devout spirit
pervading every page, and convincing the reader, that, whether the
system advanced be true or false, it is the result of a genuine
experience, and the guide of a pure and generous life.

The volume is neatly printed, but lacks an index sadly, and shows some
errors resulting from the distance between the author and the
proof-reader. Such is the misuse of the words "woof" and "warp" on page
56; evidently a slip of the pen, since the same terms are correctly used
elsewhere in the volume.


_Memoirs of the Empress Catharine II._ Written by herself. With a
Preface by A. HERZEN. Translated from the French. New York: D. Appleton
& Co. 12mo. pp. 309.

It would seem, that, if any one of the women celebrated in history
should, more than all the others, have shrunk from writing her own
memoirs, that woman was the petty German princess whom opportunity and
her own crafty ambition made absolutest monarch of all the Russias under
the name of Catharine II. And of that abandoned and shameless personal
career which has made her name a reproach to her sex, and covered her
memory with an infamy that the administrative glories of her reign serve
only to cast into a blacker shadow, even she has shrunk from committing
the details to paper. Indeed, in these Memoirs, she alludes to but one
of her amours,--that with Sergius Soltikoff, which was the first, (if we
may be sure that she had a first,)--and which seems clearly to have been
elevated, if not purified, by a true and deep affection. That it was so
appears not by any protestation or even calm assertion of her own, which
in an autobiography might be reasonably doubted, but from the unstudied
tenderness of her allusions to him; from the fact, which indirectly
appears, that he first cooled towards her, and the pang--not of wounded
vanity--which this gave her; and yet more unmistakably from the
forgiveness which she, imperious and relentless as she was, extended,
manifestly, again and again, to her errant lover.

The Memoirs are confined to events which occurred between 1744 and
1760,--the period of Catharine's girlhood and youthful womanhood; but
although she brings herself before us, a young creature of fifteen,
"with her hair dressed _à la Moise_," (which, in the benightment of our
bearded ignorance, we suppose to mean that astounding style in which the
excellent Mistress Hannah More is represented in the frontispiece to her
Memoirs, with each particular hair standing on end,--a crimped glory of
radiating powder,) she appears no less ambitious, crafty, designing,
selfish, and self-conscious then than when she drops her pen as she is
deepening the traits of the matured woman of thirty. She went to Russia
to be betrothed to the Grand Duke, afterwards Peter III., to whom she
was at first utterly indifferent, and whom she soon began to despise and
regard with personal aversion; and yet when there was a chance that she
might be released from this union, she seems not to have known the
slightest thrill of joy or felt the least sensation of relief, although
she was then not sixteen years old,--so entirely was her mind bent upon
the crown of Russia. Partly to attain her end, and partly because it
suited her intriguing, managing nature, she set herself immediately to
the acquirement of the favor of the Empress on the one hand, and
popularity on the other. The first she sought by an absolute submission
of her will to that of Elizabeth, giving her self-negation an air of
grateful deference; the latter she obtained, as most very popular people
obtain their popularity, by adroit flattery,--the subtlest form of which
was, in her case, as it ever is, the manifestation of an interest in the
affairs of persons utterly indifferent to the flatterer. This moral
emollient she applied, as popular people usually do, without
discrimination. She remarks that she was liked because she was "the same
to everybody"; and it is noteworthy that the same is said almost
invariably of very popular persons, and in way of eulogy, by the very
people into whose favor they have licked their way; the latter always
seeming to be blinded by the titillation of their own cuticles to the
fact that the most worthless and disagreeable individuals--those with
whom they would scorn to be put upon a level--have received the same
coveted evidences of personal regard. When will the world learn that the
man, of whom we sometimes hear and read, who is absolutely without an
enemy, must either be very unscrupulous or very weak? Catharine's
duplicity in this respect seems to have been as constant as it was
artful, during the years in which it was necessary for her purpose to
make friends; and it was rewarded, as it almost always is, when
skilfully practised, with entire success.

Catharine seems to have written these Memoirs partly for her own
satisfaction and partly to justify her course to her son Paul and his
successors. Therefore they record much that is of little value or
interest to the general reader; and that, indeed, is unintelligible,
except to those who are intimately acquainted with the Russian Court
during the reign of Elizabeth. Such persons will find in these pages
much authentic matter which will confirm or unsettle their previous
belief as to the secret intrigues of that court, political and personal.
To the great mass of readers, the revelations of the internal economy of
the Court of Russia in the middle of the last century, and of the
manners and morals of the persons who composed it, which are freely made
by the author of these imperial confessions, will constitute their
principal, if not their only interest. In this respect they will well
repay the attentive perusal of every person who likes the study of human
nature. The picture which they present is striking, and its various
parts keep alive the attention which its first sight awakens. Yet it
cannot be regarded with pleasure by any reader of undepraved taste; and
a consideration of it is absolutely fatal to the faith which is
cherished by many deluded minds in the social, if not in the ethical
virtues of an ancient aristocracy. In this respect Catharine's "Memoirs"
are not peculiar. For it is remarkable, that in all the published
memoirs, journals, and confessions of members of royal households,
(there may be an exception, but we do not remember it,) court-life
within-doors has appeared devoid of every grace and beauty, and deformed
by all that is coarse, brutal, sordid, and grovelling. Even that grace,
almost a virtue, which has its name from courts, seems not to exist in
them in a genuine form; and instead of it we find only a hollow,
glittering sham, which has but an outward semblance to real courtesy,
and which itself even is produced only on occasions more or less public
and for purposes more or less selfish.

Russia in its most civilized parts was half barbarous in the days of
Catharine's youth, and society at the Court of St. Petersburg seems to
have been distinguished from that in the other circles of the empire
only by an addition of the vices of civilization to those of barbarism.
The women blended the manners and tastes of Indian squaws and French
_marquises_ of the period; the men modelled themselves on Peter the
Great, and succeeded in imitating him in everything except his wisdom
and patriotism. The business of life was, first, to avoid being sent to
Siberia or Astracan,--next and last, to get other people sent thither;
its pleasure, an alternation of gambling and orgies. Catharine makes
some excuse for her unrestrained sexual license, which shows that she
wrote for posterity. For what need of extenuation in this regard for a
woman whose immediate predecessors were Catharine I., and. Anne and
Elizabeth, and who lived in a court where, on the simultaneous marriage
of three of its ladies, a bet was made between the Hetman Count
Rasoumowsky and the Minister of Denmark,--not which of the brides would
be false to her marriage vows,--that was taken for granted with regard
to all,--but which would be so first! It turned out that he who bet on
the Countess Anne Voronzoff, daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of the
Empire, and bride to Count Strogonoff, who was the plainest of the three
and at the time the most innocent and childlike, won the wager. The bet
was wisely laid; for she was likely to be soonest neglected by her
husband.

What semblance of courtesy these highborn gamblers, adulterers, and
selfish intriguers showed in their daily life appears in their behavior
to a M. Brockdorf, against whom Catharine had ill feelings, more or less
justifiable. This M. Brockdorf, who was high in favor with the Grand
Duke, was unfortunately ugly--having a long neck, a broad, flat head,
red hair, small, dull, sunken eyes, and the corners of his mouth hanging
down to his chin. So, among those court-bred people, "whenever M.
Brockdorf passed through the apartments, every one called out after him
'Pelican,'" because "this bird was the most hideous we knew of." But
what regard for the feelings of a person of inferior rank could be
expected from his enemies, in a court where the dearest ties and the
tenderest sorrows were dashed aside with the formal brutality recorded
by Catharine in the following remarkable paragraph?--

"A few days afterwards, the death of my father was announced to me. It
greatly afflicted me. For a week I was allowed to weep as much as I
pleased; but at the end of that time, Madame Tchoglokoff came to tell me
that I had wept enough,--that the Empress ordered me to leave off,--that
my father was not a king. I told her, I knew that he was not a king; and
she replied, that it was not suitable for a Grand Duchess to mourn for a
longer period a father who had not been a king. In fine, it was arranged
that I should go out on the following Sunday, and wear mourning for six
weeks."

It is worthy of especial note that these people, though they led this
sensual, selfish, heartless life, trampling on natural affection and
doing as they would not be done by, prided themselves very much on the
orthodoxy of their faith, were sorely afraid of going to hell, and were
consequently very regular and rigid in the performance of their
religious duties. Catharine was no whit behind the rest in this respect.
Though bred a Lutheran, she was most exemplary in her observance of all
the requirements of the Greek Church; and even carried her hypocrisy so
far, that, when, on occasion of a dangerous and probably fatal illness,
it was proposed that she should see a Lutheran clergyman, she replied by
asking for Simon Theodorsky, a prelate of the Greek Church, who came and
had an edifying interview with her. And all this was done, as she says,
for effect, chiefly with the soldiers and common people, among whom it
made a sensation and was much talked of. This, by the way, is the only
reference which occurs in the Memoirs to any interest below that of the
highest nobility. As for the people of Russia, the right to draw their
blood with the knout and make them sweat roubles into the royal treasury
was taken as much for granted as the light and the air, by those who,
either through fraud or force, could sit in the seat of Peter the Great.
They regarded it as no less an appanage or perquisite of that seat than
the jewels in the imperial diadem, and would as soon have thought of
defending a title to the one as to the other. And the possession of the
throne, with the necessary consent of the dominant party of the high
nobility, seems to have been, and still to be, the only requisite for
the unquestioned exercise of this power; for, as to legitimacy and
divine dynastic right, was not Catharine I. a Livoman peasant? Catharine
II. a German princess, who dethroned and put to death the grandson of
Peter the Great? and does she not confess in these Memoirs that her son,
the Emperor Paul, was not the son of Peter's grandson, but of Sergius
Soltikoff? so that in the reigning house of Russia there is not a drop
of the blood of Romanoff. And Catharine's confession, which M. Herzen
emphasizes so strongly, conveys to the Russian nobles no new knowledge
on this subject; for an eminent Russian publicist being asked, on the
appearance of this book, if it were generally known in Russia that Paul
was the son of Soltikoff, replied,--"No one who knew anything ever
doubted it." And perhaps the descendants of the Boiards are quite
content that their sovereign should have illegally sprung from the loins
of a member of one of the oldest and noblest of the purely Russian
families, rather than from those of a prince of the petty house of
Holstein Gottorp. But then what is this principle of Czarism, which is
not a submission to divine right, but which causes one man to sustain,
perhaps to place, another in a position which puts his own life at the
mercy of the other's mere caprice?

Catharine tells many trifling, but interesting incidents, of various
nature, in these Memoirs: of how, after the birth of her first child,
she was left utterly alone and neglected, so that she famished with
thirst for the lack of some one to bring her water; how her child was
taken from her at its birth, and kept from her, she hardly being allowed
even to see it; how it was always wrapped in fox-skins and seal-skins,
till it lay in a continual bath of perspiration; how the members of the
royal family itself were so badly accommodated, that sometimes they were
made ill by walking through passages open to wind and rain, and
sometimes stifled by over-crowded rooms; how at the imperial
masquerades, during one season, the men were ordered to appear in
women's dresses, and the women in the _propria quae maribus,_--the
former hideous in large whaleboned petticoats and high feathered
head-dresses, the latter looking like scrubby little boys with very
thick legs,--and all that the Empress Elizabeth might show her tall and
graceful figure and what beautiful things she used to walk with, which
Catharine says were the handsomest that she ever saw; how in this court,
where marriage was the mere shadow of a bond, it was yet deemed a matter
of the first nuptial importance that a lady of the court should have her
head dressed for the wedding by the hands of the Empress herself, or, if
she were too ill, by those of the Grand Duchess; how Catharine used, at
Oranienbaum, to dress herself from head to foot in male attire, and go
out in a skiff, accompanied only by an old huntsman, to shoot ducks and
snipe, sometimes doubling the Cape of Oranienbaum, which extends two
versts into the sea,--and how thus the fortunes of the Russian Empire,
during the latter half of the eighteenth century, were at the mercy of a
spring-tide, a gust of wind, or the tipping of a shallop. There is even
a recipe for removing tan and sunburn, which the beautiful Grand Duchess
used at the instance of the beautiful Empress; and, as both the imperial
belles testify to its great efficacy, it would be cruel not to give all
possible publicity to the fact that it was composed of white of egg,
lemon juice, and French brandy; but, alas! the proportion in which these
constituents are to be mixed is not recorded.

Of the authenticity of these Memoirs there appears to be no reasonable
doubt, and we believe that none has been expressed. They were found,
after the death of Catharine, in a sealed envelope addressed to her son
Paul, in whose lifetime no one saw them but the friend of his childhood,
Prince Kourakine. He copied them; and, about twenty years after the
death of Paul, three or four copies were made from the Kourakine copy.
The Emperor Nicholas caused all these to be seized by the secret police,
and it is only since his death that one or two copies have again made
their appearance at Moscow (where the original is kept) and St.
Petersburg. From one of these M. Herzen made his transcript. They fail
to palliate any of Catharine's crimes, or in the least to brighten her
reputation, and add nothing to our knowledge of her sagacity and her
administrative talents; but they are yet not without very considerable
personal interest and historical value.


_Milch Cows and Dairy Farming_; comprising the Breeds, Breeding, and
Management, in Health and Disease, of Dairy and other Stock; the
Selection of Milch Cows, with a full Explanation of Guenon's Method; the
Culture of Forage Plants, and the Production of Milk, Butter, and
Cheese: embodying the most recent Improvements, and adapted to Farming
in the United States and British Provinces, with a Treatise upon the
Dairy Husbandry of Holland; to which is added Horsfall's System of Dairy
Management. By CHARLES L. FLINT, Secretary of the Massachusetts State
Board of Agriculture; Author of a Treatise on Grasses and Forage Plants.
Liberally illustrated. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, & Co. pp. 416.

This very useful treatise contains a full account of the best breeds of
cattle and of the most approved methods of crossing so as to develop
qualities particularly desirable; directions for choosing good milkers
by means of certain natural signs; a description of the most useful
grasses and other varieties of fodder; and very minute instructions for
the making of good butter and the proper arrangement and care of
dairies. The author has had the advantage of practical experience as a
dairyman, while his position as Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of
Agriculture has afforded him more than common opportunity of learning
the experience of others.

A volume of this kind cannot fail to commend itself to farmers and
graziers, and will be found valuable also by those who are lucky enough
to own a single cow. The production of good milk, butter, and meat is a
matter of interest to all classes in the community alike; and Mr.
Flint's book, by pointing out frankly the mistakes and deficiencies in
the present methods of our farmers and dairymen, and the best means of
remedying them, will do a good and much-needed service to the public. He
shows the folly of the false system of economy which thinks it good
farming to get the greatest quantity of milk with the least expenditure
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If Dean Swift was right in saying that he who makes two blades of grass
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takes a city, we should be inclined to rank him hardly second as a
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having what is best; and we welcome this book as likely to act as a
corrective in one department, and that one of the most important. The
value of the volume is increased by numerous illustrations and a good
index.

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Milch Cows and Dairy Farming,

THE BEST WORK EXTANT ON THE SUBJECT.

Comprising the Breeds, Breeding and Management, in Health and Disease of
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MILK, BUTTER, AND CHEESE;

Embodying the most recent improvements, and adapted to Farming in the
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FULLY AND BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED WITH 130 ENGRAVINGS.

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