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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XLI, No. 2, August 1852
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.
                Vol. XLI.      August, 1852.      No. 2.


                           Table of Contents

              Departed Joys
              Midsummer Days
              Widows
              Astronomy
              Hymn to the Sun
              Antony and Cleopatra
              The Two Birds.—A Street Lyric.
              Miss Harper’s Maid
              “Whatever He Doeth Shall Prosper.”
              The Useful Arts
              To a Whip-Poor-Will Singing in a Grave-Yard
              Hesperius—A Vision
              The Pedant
              Life’s Battle March
              The Harvest of Gold
              Seminole War Song
              Stability
              Lines
              Sonnet—Virtue
              The Shark and His Habits
              The Fountain of Youth
              Hush! Hush!
              Annie Morton
              Adieu
              The Ranger’s Chase
              Impressions of England
              Sonnet.—Cydnus.
              Nelly Nowlan on Bloomers
              Yesterday—To-day—To-morrow!
              Among the Moors
              The Old Man’s Evening Thoughts
              My First Inkling of a Royal Tiger
              Review of New Books
              The Aztec Children
              Graham’s Small-Talk

       Transcriber’s Notes can be found at the end of this eBook.



[Illustration: =BELLA.=]

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: =FIRST AFFECTION.=]

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: DEPARTED JOYS.]



                            =DEPARTED JOYS.=


                =FROM THE MELODIES OF SIR H. R. BISHOP.=

[Illustration]

                    Could we recal departed joys,
                      At price of parted pain,
                    Oh who that prizes happy hours,
                      Would live his life again?
                    Such

[Illustration]

                 burning tears as once we shed
                   No pleasures can repay;
                 Pass to oblivion, joy and grief!
                   We’re thankful for today.

                 Calm be the current of our lives,
                   As rivers deep and clear;
                 Mild be the light upon our path,
                   To guide us and to cheer!
                 For streams of joy that burst and foam
                   May leave their channels dry.
                 And deadliest lightnings ever flash
                   The brightest in the sky!

                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

                 *        *        *        *        *

          Vol. XLI.     PHILADELPHIA, AUGUST, 1852.     No. 2.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration]



                           =MIDSUMMER DAYS.=


                I scent the ancient sward!
                  I feel it ’neath my tread!
                The moss, the wiry nard,
                  And the harebells bend their head!

                I see the foxgloves glow,
                Where plow did never go;
                And the streams, the streams once more,
                Hurrying brightly o’er
                Their sandy beds; they roll
                With the joy of a living soul.
                Ye know that wood-walk sweet,
                Where we are wont to meet;
                On either hand the knolls and swells
                Are crimson with the heather-bells;
                    And the eye sees,
                    Mid distant trees,
                Where moorland beauty dwells.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                               =WIDOWS.=


                        =BY THOMPSON WESTCOTT.=


[Illustration]

The word widowhood, from whatever angle of observation it maybe viewed,
has about it a dull, bleak, uncomfortable aspect. Clouds encompass it.
Wo englooms it. Loneliness isolates it from social comfort, and befogs
it amidst lowering disquiet. It floats amidst tears on a dusky day, like
a solitary buoy on the salt sea.

We speak of widowhood which is really such. There are philosophers, who
are willing to wager that the solitary state is the most delightful of
existence. To them, wedlock is a fast bind fast find condition, in which
two persons are confined by a clerical jailor, who condemns them to
imprisonment for life, and then throws away the key. They transform
“wedlock” to “padlock;” and though there is no parautopticism about the
wards and chambers of affection, they consider the matrimonial lock, one
which may bid defiance to the most dexterous Hobbs. Yet we know that to
every heart there is a master-key. Lucky is he who keeps it in his own
possession without a necessity for its use; and happy is he who needs
not the services of some legal lock-picker to release him ere the coming
of the great skeleton-key carrier—Death.

But sentimental prosing is not our purpose. Widowhood has its bright
side, though many look too steadily at its darkest aspect. Widows are,
according to the venerable Weller, gifted with innumerable methods of
circumventing unsuspicious men; and the great inquiry is—How do they
manage those blandishments?

From the institution of debating societies down to the present era of
Spirit Rapping and feminine right conventions, “the influence of woman,”
has been a favorite topic with anniversary orators and declamatory
speakers. They have spent vast stores of eloquence in showing her
influence as a sister. They have proved how, in her days of pinafores,
she obligingly devoured her brother’s candies, or took more than her
share of his bread and butter. They have pleasantly adverted to the
sisterly affection which, in more mature age, was content to accept or
demand the ciceronage of brother to parties or concerts, if no other
beau was available. With a very delicate touch they have skimmed over
that important period when the love for the brother is all given up to
the husband, and have judiciously omitted any reference to sisterhood
after wifehood commenced. The influence of wives has, of course, been so
thoroughly demonstrated, that all that can be said on that subject are
axioms. The privileges of a matron to love her husband and adore her
baby, are subjects which have been rhapsodized over in glowing poetry,
and treated substantially, and with becoming dignity in unimpassioned
prose. Rhymers, dreamers, and orators, have devoted words in endless
profusion to the influence of woman, as sister, daughter, wife and
mother; but there has never been a full crop of elogiums harvested in
relation to her influence as a widow. The singular dearth of cotemporary
literature upon this subject, will be acknowledged by bibliopoles. The
reason is one which cannot be satisfactorily demonstrated. It may be
that literary people are disposed to consider that widows are like
sturgeons, who have merely leaped out of the placid current of matrimony
for a moment or two, and who will, by the gravity of their wo,
inevitably fall back into the connubial tide. Such a simile may do in
some cases, but will scarcely hold water upon trial. It is a
metaphysical sieve, and may catch many widows in its meshes, but some
will inevitably pass through its interstices. Some unfortunate “relicts”
are for a long time like fish out of the stream; but they have
sufficient determination to keep alive, until they manage to become
again immersed in matrimony. Nevertheless, the desire to return to their
“destined element” _does_ exist, in many cases, and that very desire
forms the great constituent in the influence of widows.

[Illustration]

The manner in which this authority is exercised differs according to
circumstances. Some of the unfortunate fair ones who have lost their
mates have attractions in the shape of weighty dower. Men of a certain
age have keen noses for such charms; and when the widow suspects it, she
often leads her importunate admirer by that organ, and by a dexterous
management of the mystery of courtship, which is called “getting a bean
on a string.” Once the gentleman is secured by that means, the widow
takes into her hand the whip of management, and compels the poor beau to
trot a weary round in an arena which extends its charmed circle about
her.

If the French system of espionage, which is now a constituent of society
in Louis Napoleon’s dominions, were in vogue here, we are sure that the
index of the chief of police would bear opposite to the name of each
widow the word “_dangerous_!” And what can be more threatening to the
liberty of a too susceptible man, than a young, accomplished, and
fascinating widow? What is bashful maidenhood, with its cherry lips and
monosyllabic sentences, to buxom widowhood, with its matured
development, sensible ideas, and frank manners? What other witcheries
are there about young misses than a taste for ice creams and giddy
companionship? Those fascinations fade away when the widow charms us
with the certainty that she knows how to make the pot boil, and has a
horror of boy beaus. Maidenhood is poetical and theoretical, widowhood
is sensible and practical. The young lady, before marriage, is unsteady,
indecisive, and capricious. The widow is certain, firm, and
self-possessed. The girl scarcely knows her own mind, but the widow not
only understands herself but all her male acquaintances. The young lady
is greedy of admiration, exacting in her demands, and expects from her
lover an obsequiousness of attention which cannot be too excessive. The
widow knows that men may admire without adulation, and love fondly
without abjectly suing for a return of affection. She knows, also, that
those who daring the days of courtship are compelled to excessive
complaisance, generally revenge themselves after marriage by neglect and
indifference. The fact is, the widow knows something of mankind by
actual experience, the maiden has little but romance to tutor her.

Philosophy like this, must have given force to the observations of the
venerable parent of Weller the younger—and he was justified by personal
experience, in maintaining the position that “widders,” are “werry
dangerous.” The world has long since phraseologically settled it, that
men “fall in love.” This presupposes that the tender passion is gotten
like a broken leg, altogether by accident. The language of Cupid’s
surgery is rich in terms which are descriptive of sudden casualties. We
know that many a poor fellow has been “shot through the heart” by a pair
of eyes, and the records of divers bachelor coroner’s juries held upon
unfortunate Benedicts show that woman

    May smile, and smile, and murder while they smile,

having committed upon determined celibacy a grievous homicide, or at
least a manslaughter. But although love may come to some in the balls of
optical revolvers; although, at times, a big whiskered fellow may be
charmed out of his single life by the smile of a fair damsel—as a
pretty little tomtit is overcome by the glamour of a black-snake—we
must not forget, that idiomatic expression hath it, that men “fall in
love.” To “fall in love!” what an unhappy catastrophe! To be walking
along upon the firm ground of bachelorism, but now, and hey presto! to
suddenly find one’s self “over head and ears in love,” like a fly in a
cream-jug! Distressing calamity! Who may ever be able to scramble out of
such delicious danger; and how many are there that once in are not able
to swim a single stroke? There is also this peculiarity about an
accident of the sort, that it strongly exemplifies the old adage, that
“misery loves company.” The youth who, gazing fondly on Maria Jane,
misses his footing, and souses at once in love, cannot help himself. If
Maria Jane, pitying his condition, drops him a line, (through the
post-office,) or encourages him with hopes—which are generally
anchors—it will not do the least bit of good. No! she must be his
life-preserver—and unless, in regarding his struggles, she gets too
near the brink and herself falls in love, there will be no help for the
poor bachelor. But if this casualty _does_ happen, and both are in love,
it is wonderful to see how easily they float along. Each helps the
other, and in a very short space of time, they are quite comfortable.
But it is not every one who “falls in love;” and herein, as we shall
shortly show, lies the superiority of widows over spinsters. Some get
into the trouble very slowly. At first they survey the ocean of
affection with as placid an air as a cosmopolite would gaze upon a
mill-pond. Neither admiration nor detestation rules their thoughts. They
are altogether indifferent; and although they see many who are treading
water, or floating or swimming along with the tide, they feel no anxiety
to join in such aquatic feats. But at length the diversion tempts them,
and they cautiously take off their shoes and stockings, and venture in a
little way. The shore shelves gently, so they think—why should they not
venture more? Little by little they progress, until suddenly they step
from their sure footing, and are over their heads in a moment without
cork or spatterdocks to rely upon. They may struggle against the strong
current, but there is no assistance, and they are certain to be carried
off by the strong tide.

Difficulties like these are entirely obviated by the widow. She does not
suffer a man to fall in love, or to wade in, but she catches the admirer
by the hand, drags him at once to deep water, and in a moment he is “out
of his pains.” He is not suffered to stand shilly-shally; he is plumped
at once souse into Love’s Pacific ocean, and carried along with the
billows until he lands at Hymen’s Golden Gate. The maiden may doubt,
consider, resolve, and hesitate, whilst the poor fellow who is in love,
seeks in vain for a floating timber to support him, but the widow is
generally willing to help him out of trouble by getting in it herself,
and going along with him hand-in-hand.

These apophthegms may seem too general; and it may be said that there is
a tendency in our observations to draw a picture of widowhood by a
_silhouette_ of a young widow who is free from incumbrances. This is
partly true. There is a marked difference between the widow whose
matrimonial interests ended with the grave, and she whose reminiscences
of wedlock are daily revived by surviving children. The former is free
from earthly ties—she is a girl again, knowing enough about matrimony
to have no objection to a second experiment. The latter feels dear bonds
which should attach her to her lonely state, and cause her to doubt the
policy of prejudicing the interests of her children by rashly assuming
new vows. If she is gained, it must be by direct courtship, whilst the
young widow is always ready to meet an admirer half way.

But even young widows are of different dispositions. They are all
admirers of matrimony, and candidates for second husbands, but they
choose various means—according to their inclinations. They may be
divided into three great classes—the gay—the sentimental—and the sad.

The gay young widow is like cream candy, a vast improvement upon the
crude flour and sugar of maidenhood. The young girl is coy, even in her
giddiness; she considers love as an exquisite romance—a mysterious
state of happiness—which she desires, yet fears. Hence she is most
cautious when she would be most earnest; and whilst she hopes to gain
the heart she covets, she often perversely adopts a course which is
calculated to alienate that heart forever. With the exception of
trifling fops who have not attained the age of maturity—although they
may vote and shave—men are earnest, straightforward, and sincere. If
they seek the love of a woman, they do so openly and with manly
frankness. The young girl may coquette, or flirt with the man who adores
her; she may wring his heart with bitter agony; she may show her power,
and he may acknowledge it, but he will lose some respect for her—though
he bows to her influence. He is honest and sincere. She, perhaps, admits
it, but trifles with him. How many young ladies have lost the esteem of
those who would have loved and cherished them for life by mere
thoughtlessness or caprice. The young widow understands men better. She
is rarely a flirt. She can distinguish between the honest lover and the
mere admirer. With the latter she may trifle, because she understands
him. The former, if not acceptable, will not be allowed to deceive
himself; and if he is liked, will be speedily drawn onward to his own
happiness. The gay widow is lively, of course. She is fascinating, and
she knows human nature. If she “sets her cap” at any particular
gentleman, he might as well yield. He cannot hold out against the
artillery of charms which are brought against him. He may surrender at
discretion, and be led off, a captive, to be confined permanently in
silken fetters. All the little fascinations of manner which the belle
may possess, but knows not how to use, are by the widow managed with the
skill of a veteran. Her eyes are by turns entreating, languishing,
merry, or devilish. Her smiles are moulded to bewitch and to mystify.
Her manners are easy, and pleasant, and her voice is melodious with
rapture, or heart-touching with sincerity. Then, too, she is so lively
and yet so sensible, that the “seven senses” of celibacy (two more than
the general complement awarded to married people) are quite unable to
withstand so many attractions.

The sentimental widow is quite as generous as her livelier sister. She
believes in romance and gushing affection. She is lonely after her great
loss, and would like another mate. After her first dear man was buried,
she felt like a lobster which has parted with a claw, and she retired
from gay life until nature, or good luck, should furnish her with the
means of reparation. Her heart is buried with her husband, but she
considers it only as a seed which in good time will spring up again and
blossom. If she weeps, she does it with a gentle sorrow, like a slight
sprinkle on a sunshiny day. Her sky has its clouds, but the cerulean of
anticipation lies beyond, and gives a pleasant aspect to the mists of
sadness. The gay widow laughs as if she had never been married; the
sentimental one smiles, but evidently remembers.

The one pretends that she is gay because she is free; the other is
cheerful, but hopes to become more cheerful in time. The first
audaciously declares that marriage is tyranny, and hopes that no man
will ever come near her! the second thinks mournfully upon the past, and
wonders whether she “will ever have another Charles Augustus;” yet the
sentimentalist mingles with the gay world, a sober votary of pleasure.
If she dances, it is but a plain cotillion; and she is shocked when the
lively Maria dashes out in a giddy polka. All such things are vanities
to the sentimental widow. She thinks how happy she was with her dear
departed Charles Augustus, and hopes that she will soon be as happy
again.

The sad widow is, for a long time after her bereavement, a sighing
pattern of inconsolable grief. The atmosphere of her home is rainy with
tears, and when abroad she is cloudy. Yet as time wears on, it is
evident that the forty days and forty nights of affliction’s great
deluge must go by, and at length the sorrowful widow will look for the
appearance of the sun of cheerfulness, and trust that with it will come
a rain beau. The gradual assumption of cheerfulness begins to make
itself visible in her costume. Half mourning assumes the place of sombre
weeds. On her face smiles occasionally chase away the lingering vestiges
of regret. The spring of calmness has come, and hyacinthine blossoms of
hope struggle up from the sodden desolation of wintry bleakness. Little
by little the sad widow becomes resigned to her great loss, and
gradually she learns to think that it may be repaired by a new
matrimonial gain. Yet she is slow in assuming the garniture of
happiness. She may occasionally be coaxed out into the world, and even
tempted to attend a party or ball; but she does not forget that she is a
widow. She is in the world, but yet not of it. She demeans herself as
becomes the lone relict of the late Mr. Sad, and does not like the
gayety of Mrs. Lively or the composure of Mrs. Sentiment.

If the persevering Mr. Nosey should approach the trio of widows in the
hope of obtaining a partner for the next set, Mrs. Lively may suddenly
put on an affectation of grave coyness, Mrs. Sentiment may be gracefully
leaning her cheek against her fan whilst thinking of her dear lamented
Charles Augustus, but Mrs. Sad will show surprise that the forward Mr.
Nosey should dare to presume that _they_ would dance when there are so
many “young chits” who have not partners for the dance. But Mrs. L. has
no care for these things, and in a very short time she is treading a
measure to lively music as if she had never known a single sorrow.

There are so many peculiarities about widowhood, that it would require
volumes to treat properly upon the subject. Mathematics might be called
in to cipher out the problem of the elder Weller, as to how many times
more fascinating is a widow than a maiden—but figures would not satisfy
us. We would be sure to continue the subject by the further query—What
is a widow like? And the result of all the cogitations might be summed
up into the grand deduction—that widows are like gunpowder, always sure
to go off when fired by a match.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              =ASTRONOMY.=


[Illustration: =ERA OF NEWTON, HALLEY, AND HERSCHELL.=]

There is no great operation of which we are cognizant, by which Nature
at a single bound perfects her marvelous productions. It is only by a
combination of instruments operating generally through a series of
years. The ultimate result is reached by a progressive advance, to which
a number of artificers contribute. The cedar, on whose boughs the snow
rests and the fowls nestle, is the work of centuries; and the soil that
laps its roots, the air that stirs its branches, the light that plays
upon its crest, and the rain that drops upon its foliage, minister to
the final development of the original cone. In like manner the social
and political changes that have improved the tone of society, elevated
the condition of nations, and endowed them with an enduring liberty,
have not been accomplished in the twinkling of an eye, or by individual
intelligence and will. Popular history may embalm the name of some
distinguished patriot or philanthropist, as having been the agent is
rescuing a country from the yoke of arbitrary power, and it may record a
crisis of revolution confined within the limits of a year or a day; but
a comprehensive view of such occurrences will embrace a time of
preparation, and crown with honor a variety of laborers, though to one
may be due the glory of the sun, and to another the glory of the stars.
The signature of the edict that dethroned the heathenism of the ancient
civilized world occupied the imperial hand a moment’s space, but the
work of apostles, martyrs, and confessors, with the toils and sufferings
of ages, are prominent in the picture. So the great demonstrations and
achievements of science have transpired by slow degrees, and yield a
distinction to be divided among a fellowship of kindred spirits, rather
than assigned exclusively to a solitary example of mental prowess. If
Keppler discovered the general laws of the universe, the basis of the
discovery was laid by Tycho; and the marvelous Napier contributed
essentially to the issue obtained, by the invention of the logarithms,
an admirable artifice, as it has been justly called, which, by reducing
to a few days the labor of many months, doubles the life of the
astronomer, and saves him the errors and disgust connected with long
calculations. If Newton developed the cause of those laws, he started to
his grand result from a point expressly prepared by Keppler, and left
the solution of the problem imperfect, for Laplace to finish. It is
obviously in wise accordance with the happiness of mankind, that no
nation possesses a monopoly of talent and fame, that many of the most
remarkable efforts of human genius owe a debt of obligation to the
accomplishments of genius at another era, and in a different clime. The
fact proclaims the affinity of the species, between whom the mighty deep
may roll, or the mountain rampart rise. It evinces, too, their mutual
dependence, and will be hailed as a motive by the considerate mind, to
the maintenance of universal amity.

To Hevelius, one of the merchant princes of Dantzic, an example of the
close alliance of commerce with the fine arts and science which runs
through the page of history, we owe the first accurate delineation of
the lunar surface, the discovery of a libration in longitude; by his
observation of the comet of 1664, he further corroborated the view
previously taken, that such bodies are not sublunary, and approximated
to the nature of their orbits. His contemporary Huygens, after effecting
various improvements in the telescope, discovered one of the satellites
of Saturn, that which is now termed the fourth, and obtained an insight
into the singular structure of the planet, an inexplicable appearance to
all preceding observers. An anagram, in the year 1656, announced to the
world the following sentence by a transposition of letters, _annulo_
_cingitur, tenui, plano, nusquam cohærenta, ad eclipticam,_
_inclinatio_—the planet is surrounded with a ring, thin, plane, nowhere
adhering, and inclined to the ecliptic. He justly observes, in a letter
to his brother: “If any one shall gravely tell me that I have spent my
time idly in a vain and fruitless inquiry, after what I can never become
sure of; the answer is, that at this rate, he would put down all natural
philosophy, as far as it concerns itself in searching into the nature of
things. In such noble and sublime studies as these, it is a glory to
arrive at probability, and the search itself rewards the pains. But
besides the nobleness and pleasure of the studies, may we not be so bold
as to say, they are no small help to the advancement of wisdom and
morality?” The discovery of the great nebula in Orion was accidentally
made by Huygens in the year 1656. Cassini, nurtured in France, soon
afterward added four more satellites to the system of Saturn, those now
called the first, second, third, and fifth, and he detected the black
list, or dark, elliptical line bisecting the surface of the ring, and
dividing it into two. Astronomy is under immense obligations to a
measure adopted by the courts of France and England at nearly the same
period, for the patronage of scientific associations, and the founding
of national observatories. The Royal Society of London was incorporated
by charter in the year 1662, and numbered among its early members Boyle,
Hooke, Wallis, Ward, Newton, and Flamstead. The Royal Academy of
Sciences at Paris, was founded in the year 1666, and enrolled among its
first members Auzout, Picard, Roberval, and Richer. Upon the invitation
of Louis XIV. Huygens left Holland to become a royal academician, but
being a Protestant, the revocation of the edict of Nantes ultimately
compelled him to return to his native soil. The edict did not affect
Cassini, a Catholic foreigner similarly invited; and to him, with his
son and grandson, the French academy owes much of its early distinction.
Besides his before named discoveries, he determined the periods of
rotation of the principal planets, and observed the elliptical form of
Jupiter’s disc, owing to compression at the poles.

Roëmer, the inventor of the transit instrument with which he made
observations from the window of his house, rendered no unimportant
service by showing that the instruments need not be fixed on high
towers: he also discovered, in the year 1675, the interesting and
hitherto unsuspected fact, of the progressive transmission of light
through space, and the appreciable velocity with which it travels. This
was attained by a series of careful observations of the eclipses of
Jupiter’s satellites. It was found, by comparing the times of immersion
of the satellites in the planet’s shadow and emersion from it, with the
times calculated from the laws of their movements, that there was an
acceleration or retardation of the phenomena by a few minutes, plainly
dependent upon the variations of the earth’s distance from Jupiter; for

[Illustration]

the retardation was observed to be the greatest when the earth was in
that part of its orbit most remote from him. The diameter of the orbit
of the earth being a hundred and ninety millions of miles, we are more
remote from Jupiter, by the whole of that distance, at one time than at
another; as, when the earth is in its orbit at _a_, its distance is
greater from _c_ than when at _b_ by the interval between the two
points. But notwithstanding this immense addition of space, or any
conceivable increase, an eclipse would be observed to occur no later at
the one than at the other, if light were propagated instantaneously.
Roëmer found, however, a difference of eleven minutes to exist, which he
afterward estimated at fourteen, but which the precision of modern
astronomy has fixed at sixteen minutes and a quarter. This determines
the progressive motion of light, and the rate of its velocity. It
requires time for its transmission; and flying over the diameter of the
earth’s orbit in sixteen and a quarter minutes gives it a velocity of
twelve millions of miles a minute, or upward of a hundred and ninety
thousand miles a second. Thus, in the eighth part of a second, it
accomplishes the passage of a space equal to the equatorial
circumference of our globe: yet so vast is the system to which we
belong, that this swift-winged messenger, which requires no more than
two hours to travel from the central sun to the farthest planet, could
not dart through the intervening solitudes between us and the nearest of
the stars under a period of five years. Notwithstanding the velocity of
the rays of light, which travel more than fifteen hundred thousand times
faster than a cannon ball, experiment has not yet been able to detect
that they have any impulsive power. The surmise has, however, been
thrown out—and it is not improbable—that the attrition of the solar
beams with the terrestrial surface may have some connection with the
phenomena of heat.

The national observatory of England—the noblest institution in the
world for the extent and exactitude of its astronomical tables, and
their practical value in the art of navigation—was originated by the
spread of foreign commerce. The growth of colonies across the Atlantic,
together with the establishment of relations with India, rendered it of
the first importance to have an easy and accurate method of finding the
longitude at sea. A plan was proposed, founded upon the principle now in
use, of observing the lunar motions and distances during a voyage, and
comparing them with a previous home calculation, thus ascertaining the
difference between home time and time at sea, from whence the difference
of longitude is readily deduced. A reward being sought by the proposer
from the government of Charles II. it was referred to a commission to
report upon the merits of the scheme. Flamstead, one of the
commissioners, at once decided against its practical utility, on the
ground of the inaccuracy both of the lunar tables and of the positions
of the stars in existing catalogues, which only a lengthened course of
observation could rectify. The king, declaring that his pilots and
sailors should not want such assistance, immediately instituted the
office of astronomer royal, and determined upon founding an observatory.
The site—selected by Wren—was a commanding eminence in Greenwich Park,
in former times the seat of Duke Humphrey’s tower, within view of all
vessels passing along the Thames; a spot which Piazzi was accustomed to
call the “paradise” for an observer; being free from a fluctuating
atmospheric refraction which annoyed him in the climate of Sicily. The
foundation-stone was laid August 10th, 1675. An original inscription,
still existing, states the design of the building—the benefit of
astronomy and navigation. The observatory has been successively under
the superintendence of Flamstead, Halley, Bradley, Bliss, Maskelyne,
Pond, and Airy, its present head, with assistants for its proper
management. It is not a spot devoted to star-gazing, and the general
observance of celestial phenomena, but essentially a place of business,
carrying on by day and by night, when the weather permits, those
observations of the sun, moon, planets, and principal stars, passing the
meridian, from which the nautical almanac derives its information. This
has been done with admirable regularity for a long series of years, nor
has Europe any data comparable with the Greenwich tables. During the
interval in which the office of astronomer royal is necessarily vacant,
the business of the observatory proceeds; and that interval is now less
than formerly. Thirty-three days elapsed between Bradley’s last
observation and Bliss’s first; fifty-three between Bliss’s last and
Maskelyne’s first; four between Maskelyne’s last and Pond’s first; and
two between Pond’s last and Airy’s first. It has been asserted by Baron
Zach, that, if the other observatories had never existed, our
astronomical tables would be equally perfect; and Delambre, when
delivering an _éloge_ on Maskelyne before the Institute of France,
remarked, that if by some grand revolution in the moral or physical
world, the whole of the monuments of existing science should be swept
away, leaving only the Greenwich observations and some methods of
computation, it would be possible to reconstruct from these materials
the entire edifice of modern astronomy.

A few years ago it was resolved by the Lords of the Admiralty, that the
time should be shown at Greenwich once in every day of the year. This is
done by means of a large black ball which surmounts the north-western
turret of the observatory. The ball, seen in the vignette, is elevated
by machinery to the index, showing the four cardinal points; and, the
instant it begins to descend, marks the mean solar time to be 1 P.M.
Being plainly observable from the Thames, the arrangement affords a
convenient opportunity for seamen to regulate their chronometers and
clocks.

[Illustration: =Greenwich Observatory.=]

The fame of Flamstead, the first astronomer royal, does not rest upon
any brilliant discovery, but upon an enlightened view of the importance
of accurate observation, and the unwearied zeal and industry with which
he pursued it. A better representation of him cannot be given than by
supposing Tycho Brahe in possession of a telescope, and the adaptation
of it to other instruments. Laplace calls him “one of the greatest
observers that has ever appeared,” and Delambre remarks, “his name will
be eternally cited like those of Hipparchus and Tycho, both of whom, as
an observer, he surpassed.” Born in the neighborhood of Derby, and
brought up in limited circumstances in that town, he wrought his way to
a station at the head of practical astronomy, and established a
continental reputation by dint of strong natural genius and unremitting
application, in the face of great discouragements. Bad health was a
frequent attendant upon him all his days. The patronage of the crown did
not screen him from the want of adequate resources, while from several
of his scientific contemporaries he encountered dishonorable treatment.
The salary attached to his office, then a hundred a year, was often in
arrears. Instruments were promised him by the government, but he had to
find his own, commencing his duties in 1676 with an iron sextant of
seven feet radius, two clocks, and a quadrant of three feet radius, with
two telescopes, which he brought with him from Derby. With these
instruments he could only measure the relative positions of the stars,
and it was not until 1689 that he succeeded in constructing at his own
expense a mural arc to determine their absolute places. From this
period, through an interval of thirty years, his time was spent in
valuable labors, the fruit of which appears in the formation of a
catalogue of three thousand stars, and a vast collection of lunar and
planetary observations, from which Newton derived material assistance in
forming his lunar theory. Yet, as if some annoyance must follow him to
the grave, upon his death in 1719, the government of the day attempted
to claim his instruments as public property, because found in the
national observatory. The name of Flamstead, lost in a great measure to
public recollection, or only dimly recognized as one of those who, with
“lamp at midnight hour

            in some high, lonely tower,
        ——may oft outwatch the Bear,
        With thrice great Hermes”—

was revived a few years ago, and acquired notoriety at the expense of
Newton and Halley’s fame. It fell to the lot of Mr. Baily to discover a
large number of his letters in private hands, with others, and a
manuscript autobiography, upon the shelves of the library in the
observatory; and, upon their publication in 1835, by order of the Lords
Commissioners of the Admiralty, some painful and unexpected disclosures
were made. It may be admitted that Flamstead exaggerates his own case,
that his temper was irascible, that he did not appreciate the value of
Newton’s theory, and over-estimated the importance of his own labors;
yet, after having allowed these elements of correction full force, the
conclusion is sufficiently plain, that he was most injuriously treated,
and that much of the moral distinction with which posterity has crowned
the head of Newton, is altogether misplaced. His deep obligations to
Flamstead’s lunar observations are acknowledged in the first edition of
the Principia, but carefully suppressed in the second, apparently when
vindictive feeling had begun to operate; and, in fact, nothing is more
remarkable than the opinion universally entertained of the meek and
placable disposition of the great philosopher, and the want of temper
and honor displayed in his dealings with Flamstead. The truth appears to
be, that as when we view a country beneath a brilliant sky and a balmy
atmosphere, we are apt to frame our impressions of the people in harmony
with the beauty of the scene; so, to the early admirers of Newton, his
intellectual greatness invested with fictitious lustre his private
character, and the infirmities of the man were lost sight of in the
glory of the sage.

But however much we may take from the moral greatness usually attributed
to Newton—and a considerable abatement is unquestionably necessary—his
reputation for wonderful sagacity and grasp of mind is incapable of
impeachment. The course of events has only served to render more
conspicuous that sublime intelligence by which he unraveled the
mechanism of the heavens, and establish more indisputably his claim to
be regarded as the architect of physical astronomy. To determine the
motions of the heavenly bodies was the work of Keppler: to explain and
demonstrate the causes of those motions was the achievement of Newton.
So far, however, from gaining universal assent when first proposed, his
theory was ill understood, slightly appreciated, or altogether rejected
by numbers of scientific men; and—especially on the continent—it very
slowly won its way to notice and confidence. Newton survived the
publication of the Principia forty years, and at the time of his
death—according to Voltaire—it had not twenty readers out of the
country of its production. It was not until the mutual perturbations of
the planets began to occupy the attention of the continental
philosophers, that his theory was fully admitted abroad, and the work in
which it was developed took the rank it has since occupied,
preëminent—in the words of Laplace—above all the productions of the
human mind. It is a common, but vulgar error, to suppose the merit of
our countryman to lie in conceiving the idea of the attraction of
gravitation. That idea had been suggested to many minds long before his
time, and the impression had been created that such a power in nature
was the cause of the planetary motions. Thus Keppler surmised an
attractive force to reside in the sun, producing these movements; and he
even threw out the conjecture that this force diminishes in proportion
to the square of the distance of the body on which it was exerted.
Borelli and Hooke, also, distinctly developed the influence of gravity;
and both referred the orbits of the planets to the doctrine of
attraction combining with their own proper motions to produce
curvilinear movements. What really distinguished Newton, was not the
idea of gravity as the principle of attachment between the different
members of the solar system, but proving it to be so. He succeeded vague
surmise upon the point with mathematical demonstration: explained and
applied the laws of the force—an accomplishment which crowns him with
honor above all his rivals; inasmuch as he who works a mine, and
distributes its wealth through society, is incomparably in advance of
him who has merely apprehended its existence, but failed in gaining
access to its treasures.

[Illustration]

The manor-house of Woolsthorpe, a few miles from Grantham, seated in a
little valley near the source of the Witham, was the scene of Newton’s
birth. Popular tradition reports, that the fall of an apple from a tree,
in the orchard belonging to this house, was the mustard-seed out of
which ultimately grew the grand theory of universal gravitation, and the
story is not without a leaven of truth. It is certain that, to avoid the
plague which ravaged England in 1666, Newton retired from Cambridge;
and, when sitting alone, in his garden at Woolsthorpe, his thoughts were
directed to that remarkable power which causes all bodies to descend
toward the centre of the earth. The supposition presented itself, that
as this power extends to the highest altitudes of the earth’s surface,
it probably extends much farther into space; so that even the moon may
gravitate toward the earth, and be balanced in her orbit by the combined
force of attraction and the centrifugal force implied in her motion. If
this were true, the planets might be supposed to gravitate toward the
sun, and to be restrained thereby from flying off under the action of
the centrifugal force. Sixteen years rolled away before this beautiful
hypothesis was verified, and difficulties arose in testing it, which
seemed to disprove it altogether. It was necessary to calculate the
force of gravity at the surface of the earth; to estimate its diminished
energy at an increased distance; and, after having found the law of the
diminution, to ascertain whether the phenomena of the lunar motions
corresponded proportionably with those of falling bodies at the
terrestrial surface. Assuming the force of gravity to vary inversely as
the square of the distance, it followed that, at the distance of the
moon, it would be about 3600 times less than at the surface of the
earth. The problem, therefore, to be solved was, whether the versed sine
of an arc described by the moon—which measures the space through which
in the same time she would fall to the earth, if abandoned to the action
of gravity—would be 3600 times less than the space through which in the
same time a heavy body falls, at the earth’s surface,

[Illustration]

A B being the arc of the moon’s orbit, _c d_ the sine of the arc, and _e
f_ the versed sine. After a careful study of the lunar observations
supplied by Flamstead, and a series of calculations—displaying
unexampled originality and industry—Newton fully demonstrated that the
versed sine of an arc described by the moon in one minute, was equal to
the space traversed in descent by a heavy body at the surface of the
earth in one second—the exact proportion that ought to exist, according
to the modification to which the intensity of gravity is subject by
variation of distance.

The first certain gleam of this grand conclusion obtained by Newton, is
said so to have overpowered him, that he was obliged to suspend his
calculations, and call in the aid of a friend, to finish the last few
arithmetical computations. He saw the important relations of the
demonstration—the planets wheeling round the sun—the satellites round
the planets—the far wandering comets returning to the source of light
in obedience to the law of gravitation: a result sufficient to throw the
successful discoverer into nervous excitement. It is clear that, if a
body be projected into space, it will proceed in the direction of the
original impulse, and with a uniform velocity, forever—supposing no
obstacle to impede its course. But the combination of two antagonistic
forces will produce a resulting motion in a diagonal direction.

[Illustration]

Suppose the straight lines A B, to represent the direction in which the
earth would travel under the influence of the projectile force, which
launched it into universal space: the straight lines A S, are those it
would describe at any point of its orbit, if surrendered to the
influence of the sun’s attraction. The primitive impulse is, however,
checked by the solar attraction, and the latter by the former; so, that
while the earth—if abandoned to either—would describe A B, or A S, the
effect of their joint influence incessantly acting is to deflect it from
both, and produce a curved path. The cause perpetually operating, the
effect is constant—and hence the formation of the terrestrial orbit;
and the cause extending to the other bodies in the system, the planetary
orbs are deflected from their natural rectilinear paths, and pursue a
circuit round the common centre. The force of attraction is, however,
proportional to the quantity of matter, and the proximity of the
attracting body. Like light, the power of gravitation is weakened by
diffusion, and diminishes as the square of the distance increases. This
square is the product of a number multiplied by itself. A planet,
therefore, twice our distance from the sun, will gravitate four times
less than we do—the product of two multiplied by itself being four.
Such is the great Law of Gravity, subject to the two conditions, that
its force is directly as the mass of the bodies, and inversely as the
square of the distance. It extends to the confines of the system, and
acts as a mighty invisible chain to keep the primary bodies in brotherly
relationship to each other, and in mutual subjection to the central
luminary. And who can trace its operation without recognizing a Supreme
Potentate, who appointed to the sun his place, launched the planets in
the depths, obedient to a law which has preserved the family
compact—originally established—unbroken through the long series of
ages.

It must, however, be borne in mind that the attraction between bodies is
mutual, proportioned to their masses and distances. While the sun
attracts the planets toward himself, they also attract the sun, though
their effect is comparatively small, owing to the vastness of the solar
mass. The planets likewise act upon each other; and as their relative
distances are perpetually varying, certain perturbations are caused in
the system, which, though minute in each particular case, become
considerable by accumulation, and yet are ultimately corrected and
repaired by the same cause that produces them. Newton left to posterity
the task of thoroughly investigating these inequalities, of showing them
to be a result of the law of gravitation, and establishing the
permanence of the system, notwithstanding the accumulating influence of
its internal disturbances. He himself had no gleam of the latter truth,
but seems to have entertained an opinion that the irregularities
occasioned by the mutual action of the planets and comets would probably
go on increasing till the system either wrought out its own destruction
or received reparation from the direct intervention of its Creator. But
Euler, Clairaut, D’Alembert, Lagrange, and Laplace, have demonstrated
the problem that the perturbations of the planets are periodic in their
nature, that accurate compensation for them is laid up in store, so that
the system is not arranged upon a principle of self-destruction. The
elements of disorder and decay are removed from it. The very conditions
of its existence guarantee its stability till the will of the great
Ruler shall be expressed to the contrary. When an end shall come to its
present constitution, that will not be the effect of its own faulty
architecture, but of the fiat of Omnipotence.

[Illustration: =Room in which Newton was born.=]

The house of Newton at Woolsthorpe, now the homestead of a farmer, has
been in the ownership of persons anxious to protect it, and preserve
every relic of its former occupant. Stukeley thus described it in 1727:
“’Tis built of stone, as is the way of the country hereabouts, and a
reasonable good one. They led me upstairs, and showed me Sir Isaac’s
study, where I suppose he studied when in the country in his younger
days, or perhaps when he visited his mother from the university. I
observed the shelves were of his own making, being pieces of deal boxes
which probably he sent his books and clothes down in on those
occasions.” Two sun-dials remain which he made when a boy; but the
styles of both are wanting, and one has been recently taken from the
wall to be presented to the Royal Society. The room in which he was born
has the following inscription upon a tablet of white marble: “Sir Isaac
Newton, son of John Newton, Lord of the Manor of Woolsthorpe, was born
in this room on the 25th of December, 1642.” The apple-tree, the fall of
one of the apples of which, according to tradition, drew his attention
to the subject of gravity, was blown down by a gale some years ago, and
a chair was constructed out of its timber. The Royal Society of London
possesses his telescope; the Royal Society of Edinburgh the door of his
book-case; and Trinity College, Cambridge, has a lock of his silver
white hair.

While the foundations of physical astronomy were laid by Newton, his
confidant and friend, the brilliant and active Halley, pursued a
remarkably successful career in the practical departments of the
science. Born in mercantile life, yet independent of it through the
wealth amassed by his father, he early embarked his means and energies
in the advancement of observation. Leaving Hevelius and Flamstead to
keep guard over the northern hemisphere, he sailed to St. Helena to
inspect the southern; and in honor of the reigning monarch who
patronized the expedition, the oak which had screened him from his
pursuers after the battle of Worcester, was raised to a place in the
skies, forming the constellation Robur Carolinum. The object of the
voyage was to determine the absolute and relative positions of the stars
invisible to the European eye; but owing to the unpropitious climate of
the island, only a catalogue of 360 was made after more than a year’s
residence. Upon this voyage the oscillations of the pendulum were
observed to decrease in number as the instrument approached the equator;
a fact noticed a few years previous by Richer, and explained by Newton
to result from the greater intensity of centrifugal force there,
proportionably diminishing the force of gravity. The life of Halley was
remarkable for locomotion, devoted to various scientific objects. He was
twice at St. Helena, twice in the Adriatic, once in the West Indies, now
with Newton in his study at Cambridge, anon with Hevelius in his
observatory at Dantzic, and then with Cassini watching a comet at Paris.
Upon the death of Flamstead, he succeeded to the office of astronomer
royal, and though then in the sixty-fourth year of his age, he commenced
the observation of the moon through a complete revolution of her nodes,
involving a period of nineteen years, and lived to finish it,
registering upward of two thousand observed lunar places. It was while
journeying in France toward the close of 1680, that he observed the
great comet of that year, on its return from proximity to the sun: and
being aware of the conclusion of Newton, that such bodies describe very
eccentric ellipses, his active mind began to study intently their
phenomena, which resulted in a prophecy that has immortalized his name.
After cataloguing and comparing a considerable number of comets, that of
1682 fortunately appeared. This he was led to regard as identical with
those of 1456, 1531, and 1607, between which there is nearly the same
interval. Hence he anticipated its return after the lapse of a similar
period. “I dare venture,” said he, “to foretell that it will return
again in 1758;” and, sanguine as to the result, he called upon posterity
to notice that it was an Englishman who had hazarded the statement. This
was a prediction announced in 1705, the accomplishment of which ranks
with the greatest achievements of modern astronomy, and will perpetuate
the fame of Halley to the remotest generations. He had been gathered to
his grave in Lee church-yard seventeen years, when the celestial
traveler re-appeared, at the time announced, to verify his words,
illustrate his sagacity, and invest him with undying honor.

[Illustration: =Halley’s Tomb.=]

Bradley, the English Hipparchus, the model of observers, as he is styled
by Laplace, became the third astronomer royal upon the death of Halley.
He had previously effected one of his two great discoveries, the
aberration of the stars, an optical illusion, arising from the combined
movement of the earth in space, and the progressive transmission of
light; a discovery of the highest importance, requiring the greatest
precision of observation to detect. Ever since the doctrine of the
earth’s translation in space had been received, astronomers had been
anxious to find some parallax of the fixed stars, as a sensible
confirmation of the fact. Although the whole diameter of the earth’s
orbit is relatively insignificant, it is yet absolutely vast. Hence it
was deemed no unreasonable expectation that some small apparent change
of place in the heavens would be discerned in the case of the fixed
stars, when viewed from the two extremities of the earth’s annual
orbit—separated from each other by the mighty chasm of a hundred and
ninety millions of miles.

Aberration, or wandering, is the name given to this phenomenon. The term
is not strictly accurate, as the apparent movements thus denominated are
not irregular, but uniform. To discover the physical cause became an
object of intense interest to Bradley, but it long baffled his
researches and reasonings, and was at length developed by an accidental
circumstance. He was accompanying a pleasure-party in a sail on the
river Thames. The boat in which they were was provided with a mast which
had a vane on the top of it; it blew a moderate wind, and the party
sailed up and down the river for a considerable time. Bradley remarked,
that every time the boat put about, the vane at the top of the mast
shifted a little, as if there had been a slight change in the direction
of the wind. He observed this three or four times without speaking; at
last he mentioned it to the sailors, and expressed his surprise that the
wind should shift so regularly every time they put about. The sailors
told him that the wind had not shifted, but that the apparent change was
owing to the change in the direction of the boat, and assured him that
the same thing invariably happened in all cases. From that moment he
conjectured that all the phenomena of aberration he had observed, arose
from the progressive motion of light combined with the earth’s motion in
its orbit. This sagacious conjecture satisfactorily explains the
apparent movement of the stars. Suppose a body to pass from A to B in
the same time that a ray of light passes from C to B. Owing to the two
motions, the impression of the ray of light meeting the eye of a
spectator at B will be exactly similar to what it would have been if the

[Illustration]

eye had been at rest at B, and the molecule of light had come to it in
the direction D, B. The star, therefore, whose real place is at C, will
appear at D to the spectator at B. This effect is precisely analogous to
what takes place when a person moves or travels rapidly through a shower
of rain or snow in a perfectly calm state of the atmosphere. Without
locomotion the rain-drops or snow-flakes will fall upon his hat, or upon
the head of the carriage that conveys him, and not beat in his face, or
against the front windows of the carriage. But if he is passing along
swiftly, in any direction, east, west, north or south, the rain or snow
will come in contact with his face, or enter the front windows of the
carriage if they are open, as though the drops or flakes fell obliquely,
and not from the zenith. Now as an object appears to us in the direction
in which the rays of light strike the eye, it is easy to understand that
a star in the zenith will appear at a little distance from it, to a
spectator carried along with the earth in its orbit. This discovery
established the fame of Bradley, who was exonerated from all future
payments to the Royal Society on account of it; and it is of great
importance, as the only sensible evidence we have of the earth’s annual
motion. Soon after his appointment to the Greenwich observatory, he
effected his second great discovery, that of the nutation of the earth’s
axis, a slight oscillation of the pole of the equator about its mean
place, describing an ellipse in the period of eighteen years. He
determined likewise its cause, which theory had previously inferred to
be the action of the moon upon the equatorial regions of the earth. Some
idea of his industry may be formed from the fact, that in conjunction
with his nephew, he made no less than eighteen thousand observations in
a single year while astronomer royal; and the number from the year 1750
to 1762 amounted to upward of sixty thousand. The death of Bradley was
interpreted as a Divine judgment by the populace. He had taken an active
part with the Earl of Macclesfield and others, in urging on and
assimilating the British calendar to that of other nations. This
rendered it necessary to throw eleven days out of the current year in
the month of September 1752—a measure which the ignorance of great
numbers of the people led them to regard as an impious intermeddling
with the Divine prerogative. Lord Macclesfield’s eldest son, at a
contested election for Oxfordshire, was greeted with the cry from the
mob, “Give us back the eleven days we have been robbed of!” and
Bradley’s mortal sickness, some years later, was viewed as a punitive
dispensation for having participated in the sacrilegious theft.

The latter half of the eighteenth century furnishes a large catalogue of
distinguished names, men of high scientific ability, and, for the most
part, of the finest mathematical minds, by whose labors practical
astronomy made vast advances, and the physical theory of the universe,
as previously developed, was amply illustrated and confirmed. During
this era lunar tables were constructed of sufficient accuracy to be
employed to solve the great problem of the longitude at sea. This was
the work of Mayer, for which his widow received the sum of £3000 from
government; and since that period, the publication of such tables,
showing the places of the sun and moon, with the distance of the later
from certain fixed stars, for every three hours, three years in advance,
has been a national object, contributing to the safety of navigators
upon the trackless deep. The same period is also celebrated for the
determination of the figure and magnitude of the earth, and for the
great improvements made in instruments of observation. If the century
opened with lustre derived from the physical demonstrations of Newton,
it closed magnificently with the telescopic discoveries of Herschel, the
wonderful resident by the stately battlements of Windsor, by whose
mechanical skill and matchless industry new regions were added to our
solar system, and views unfolded of the infinity of the firmament, and
the character of its architecture, which eye had not seen or the mind
conceived.

A work specially devoted to the life and labors of Herschel is a
desideratum. It is not to the credit of the country, that the men who
have headed its physical force upon the field of battle have enjoyed a
larger measure of public admiration and gratitude, and found a more
speedy chronicle, than those who have enlarged the field of thought,
ministered to the intellectual gratification, and elevated the mental
character of the community. Bradley had lain in his grave 70 years,
Newton 104, and Flamstead 116, before their memory received its meed of
justice from the hands of Rigaud, Brewster, and Baily; a slackness to be
attributed to the want of a due national estimate of the value of
science, rather than to the reluctance of those who were competent to do
ample honor to their merits. Herschel still remains without a record of
this kind, though the materials for it are abundant, and his claims
undoubted. Born at Hanover, the son of a musician in comparatively
humble life, but early a resident in England, he appeared first as a
professor and teacher of music, but rapidly rose by his own unaided
efforts to eminence as an optician and astronomer. Anxious to inspect
for himself the sublime revelations of the heavens, but destitute of
means to purchase a telescope of sufficient power for his purpose, he
resolved to employ some previous knowledge of optics and mechanics in
the construction of an instrument. The earliest, a five-foot reflector,
was completed in 1774: but altogether he accomplished the construction
of upward of five hundred specula of various sizes, selecting the best
of them for his telescopes. After having established his fame by the
discovery of a new planet, and fixed his residence at Slough, under the
munificent patronage of George the Third, he completed the giant
instrument that attracted travelers from all parts to the spot, and
rendered it one of the most remarkable sites of the civilized world. The
tube was forty feet long, the speculum four feet in diameter, three
inches and a half thick in every part, and weighing nearly two tons. Its
space-penetrating power was estimated at 192, that is, it could search
into the depths of the firmament 192 times farther than the naked eye.
We can form no adequate conception of this extent, but only feebly
approximate to it. Sirius, a star of the first magnitude, is separated
by an immeasurable distance from us. But stars of a far inferior order
of magnitude are visible to the naked eye. These we may conclude to be
bodies far more remote, and reasonably suppose the star which presents
the faintest pencil of light to the eye to be at least twice or thrice
the distance of Sirius. Yet onward, 192 times farther, the
space-penetrating power of the telescope at Slough swept the heavens. It
was completed in the year 1789, but the frame of the instrument becoming
decayed, through exposure to the weather, it was taken down by Sir John
Herschel in 1823.

It will be convenient here to notice a reflecting telescope of far
greater magnitude and power, recently constructed by the Earl of Rosse,
and now in use at the seat of that nobleman, Birr Castle, in Ireland.
The mechanical difficulties involved in this work, the patience,
perseverance, and talent required to overcome them—and the great
expenditure necessarily incurred—render the successful completion of
this instrument one of the most extraordinary accomplishments of modern
times; and entitle its owner and projector, from first to last, to the
admiration of his countrymen. When the mechanical skill and profound
mathematical knowledge essential to produce such a work are duly
considered, together with the years devoted to previous experimenting,
and an outlay of upward of twelve thousand pounds, this telescope must
be regarded as one of the most remarkable and splendid offerings ever
laid upon the altar of science. The speculum has a diameter of six feet,
and therefore an area of reflecting surface nearly four times greater
than that of the Herschelian, and its weight approaches to four tons.
The casting—a work of no ordinary interest and difficulty—took place
on the 13th of April, 1842, at nine in the evening; and as the crucibles
poured forth their glowing contents—a burning mass of fluid matter,
hissing, heaving and pitching—for the moment almost every one was
anxious and fearful of accident or failure but Lord Rosse, who was
observed directing his men as collectedly as on one of the ordinary
occurrences of life. The speculum has been formed into a telescope of
fifty feet local length, and is established between two walls of
castellated architecture, against one of which the tube bears when in
the meridian. It is no slight triumph of ingenuity, that this enormous
instrument may be moved about and regulated by one man’s arm with
perfect ease and certainty.

To return to Herschel. No addition had been made of any new body to the
universe since Cassini discovered a fifth satellite in the train of
Saturn. Nearly a century had elapsed without any further progress of
that kind. The solar system, including the planets, satellites, and
Halley’s comet, consisted of eighteen bodies when Herschel turned his
attention to astronomy; but, before his career of observation
terminated, he increased the number to twenty-seven, thus making the
system half as large again as he found it, as to the number of its
constituents—a brilliant recompense, but not an over-payment,
considering the immense expenditure of time, and toil, and care. A
primary planet with six moons, and two more satellites about Saturn,
composed the reward. It was on the 13th of March, 1781, that, turning a
telescope of high magnifying power—though not his gigantic
instrument—to the constellation Gemini, he perceived a cluster of stars
at the foot of Castor, and one in particular, which sensibly increased
in diameter, while the rest of the stars remained unaltered. Two nights
afterward, its place was changed, which originated the idea of its being
a cometary body; an opinion embraced upon the continent when attention
was called to it, but soon dispelled by clear evidence of its planetary
nature. The new planet was named after the reigning monarch by the
discoverer, but received his own name from astronomers, which was
finally exchanged for the Uranus of heathen mythology, the oldest of the
gods, the fabled father of Saturn and the grandsire of
Jupiter—referring to the position of the planet beyond the orbits of
the bodies named after the latter. By this discovery, the extent of the
system was at once doubled; for the path of the stranger lies as far
beyond what had been deemed its extreme confine, as that limit is
removed from the sun. The first moment of his “attack” upon Saturn, upon
completing the forty-feet reflector, he saw a sixth satellite, and a
seventh moon later. But Herschel realized his most surprising results,
and derives his greatest glory, from the observation of the sidereal
heavens. The resolution of nebulæ and the Milky Way into an infinite
number of stars—the discovery of new nebulæ of various forms, from the
light luminous cloud to the nebulous star—of double and multiple
stars—of the smaller revolving round the greater in the binary systems:
these were some of his revelations to the world, as night after night,
from dewy eve till break of dawn, he gauged the firmament. Caroline
Herschel was the constant partner of her brother in his laborious
undertakings—submitting to the fatigues of night attendance—braving
with him the inclemency of the weather—noting down his observations as
they issued from his lips—and taking, as the best of all authorities
reports, the rough manuscript to the cottage at the dawn of day, and
producing a fair copy of the night’s work on the ensuing morning. He
died in 1822; but she has survived to see the heir of his name
recognized by the world as the heir also of his talents and fame. It was
one of the conceptions of this remarkable man—as bold an idea as ever
entered the human mind—that the whole solar system has a motion in
space, and is advancing toward a point in the heavens near the star λ
Herculis. The idea remains to be verified; but it is not altogether
unsupported by evidence, and quite consistent with the analogies of the
universe.

The nineteenth century commenced with a fresh ingathering of members
into the planetary family. It had been deemed a matter of surprise that
the immense interval of about 350 millions of miles between Mars and
Jupiter should be void, when only spaces varying from 25 to 50 millions
divide Mars, the Earth, and the inferior planets. Keppler had therefore
started the conjecture that a planet would be discovered in the vast
region between the two former bodies; and thus bring it into something
like proportion with the spaces between the latter. This idea was
confirmed by a curious relation discovered by Professor Bode, of Berlin,
that the intervals between the orbits of any two planets is about twice
as great as the inferior interval, and only half the superior one. Thus,
the distance between Venus and the Earth is double that between Mercury
and Venus, and the half of that between the Earth and Mars. Uranus had
not been discovered when Bode arrived at this remarkable analogy, but
the distance of that planet being found to correspond with the law,
furnished a striking confirmation of its truth. The respective distances
of the planets may be expressed by the following series of numbers,
whose law of progression is evident.

           Mercury’s distance                   =         4
           Venus                4 + 3·0         =         7
           Earth                4 + 3·2         =        10
           Mars                 4 + 3·2^{2}     =        16

           Jupiter              4 + 3·2^{4}     =        52
           Saturn               4 + 3·2^{5}     =       100
           Uranus               4 + 3·2^{6}     =       196

The void in the series between Mars and Jupiter, so convinced the German
astronomers of the existence of a planet to occupy it—which had
hitherto escaped observation—that a systematic search for the concealed
body was commenced. At Lilienthal, the residence of Schroeter, an
association of twenty-four observers was formed in the year 1800, for
the purpose of examining all the telescopic stars of the zodiac. The
opening years of the century witnessed the anticipation substantially
realized by the discovery of four planets—Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and
Vesta, revolving round the sun, at a mean distance of one hundred
millions of miles from Mars, so small as only to be telescopic objects.
This discovery we owe to Piazzi, Olbers, and Harding. Some singular
features—without parallel in the planetary system—such as their close
contiguity, the intersection of their orbits, with their diminutive
size—Vesta not being much larger than the Spanish peninsula—led to the
surmise that these bodies are fragments of a planet, which once revolved
in their mean path with a magnitude proportionate to that of its
neighbors. The possibility of such a disruption cannot be denied—the
revolution of the fragments round the sun would follow in obedience to
the mechanical laws by which the system is governed: but the point is
obviously one of those questions which must remain entirely
hypothetical. Next to this addition to the system, the most remarkable
astronomical occurrences of the present age are the November meteors,
the renewed return of Halley’s comet, and the determination of the
annual parallax of the star 61 Cygni by Bessel. These will come under
consideration in future pages, with the important contributions made to
science by the great names of the day, Sir John Herschel, Sir James
South, Struve, Airy, Arago, and others.

The progress of Astronomical discovery which has now been hastily
traced, reminds us of the obligations we owe to those who have gone
before us. While supplied with views respecting the constitution of the
solar universe—the number, forms, magnitudes, distances, and movements
of its members—upon the general accuracy of which the mind may repose
with full satisfaction, the mode of its formation has been grappled
with, and a theory presented, derived from the study of the sidereal
heavens, which—though not demonstrable—is invested with a high degree
of probability. The firmament exhibits dimly luminous appearances, like
patches of white cloud, displaying various forms and peculiarities of
structure, which are not resolvable into closely packed clusters of
stars by any telescopic power, and whose phases are at variance with the
idea that they are stellar groups, indistinct and blended from their
remoteness. The nebulous substance, in one of its states, is evenly
diffused, resembling a sheet of fog. Under another aspect, it is seen
winding, and we detect a tendency toward structure, in the material
congregating in different places, as if under the influence of a law of
attraction. Definite structure appears in other cases, generally the
spherical form, with great condensation at the centre, like regular
stars in the midst of a thick haze. The question has hence naturally
arisen, and it is one of profound interest—What do such appearances
indicate? What do the differences in their character portend? Are they
void and unmeaning substances in a universe of organization and order;
or, are they advancing by a principle of progressive formation to share
themselves in that order and organization? The idea has been started
that, in these phenomena, we have an exhibition of the first state of
the now organized bodies of our system, and of their progress to the
ultimate conditions of their being, passing from one stage of
construction to another, under control of the law of gravitation. This
is substantially the nebular hypothesis of Laplace and Herschel: it
supposes a diffused nebulosity, rotating with the solar nucleus, and
extending beyond the bounds of the farthest planet, to have gradually
condensed at the surface of the nucleus, accelerating thereby the solar
rotation, and increasing the centrifugal force, by the action of which
successive zones were detached, assuming spheroidal masses by the mutual
attraction of their particles. This theory enlists a variety of evidence
in its behalf. The fact of the projectile motions of all the planets and
satellites taking place from west to east, in nearly the same plane—of
their axical rotation likewise being all in the same direction, and
corresponding with that of the solar body—is an instance of coincidence
so extraordinary as strongly to support the theory of their common
origin in obedience to a common law. It is no unimportant consideration
that, in the physical and mental constitution of our own nature—with
reference also to the inferior animals, both the feeble and the
powerful, the tractable and the untamed—in relation too to the
vegetable productions of the earth, whether flourishing in green
savannas, or rooted in the clefts of the rock—we have a law of gradual
formation now operating, which vindicates the idea from the charge of
vain conceit, that an analogical law has operated with reference to the
earth itself, and the various worlds that compose our system,
supported—as the hypothesis is—by such significant evidences as the
nebulous appearances in the heavens.

From the view which has now been taken, it is evidently no doubtful
point to us—

        “Whether the sun, predominant in heaven,
         Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun;
         He from the east his flaming rond begin,
         Or she from the west her silent course advance,
         With inoffensive pace, that spinning sleeps
         On her soft axle.” . . . .

How incumbent the duty upon us, then, as we have largely benefited by
our predecessors, that—as faithful stewards of their gifts—we should
hand them down to posterity with an increase of value! How grand, and
yet how simple, those views of the universe, upon the evidence of which
we are now invited to gaze! The Sun, a central orb, attended by a
stately cortège of planets, forming a system under the empire of law—a
system not unique, but a general type of others as countless as the
members of the stellar host, whose front ranks alone come within the
range of telescopic vision: systems, probably, not physically insulated,
but bound together by fine relationships, the nature of which—judging
from the progress of the past, it is not arrogant to presume—will yet
be revealed to the understanding of man. These are not ingenious
theories—splendid conjectures; but established facts, and sober
anticipations based upon them. To live and learn is the high vocation of
humanity; one of the appointed ends which the great Artificer of
existence contemplates in its continued series: the generations that are
to come improving upon the acquirements of that which now is. Nor can we
fix any limit to the growth of knowledge in relation to the physical
universe, clear and insurmountable in the present state as are its
bounds with respect to the spiritual world. Who can descry a resting
point in the wilderness of space?—discern a barrier to the range of the
creation? Vast as are the regions that have been entered, there are
vaster amplitudes unapproached beyond them, toward which the mind may
advance in endless progression; often indeed faltering in the pilgrimage
beneath the burden of those conceptions of space and magnitude which
immensity suggests, but still going onward.

[Illustration]

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           =HYMN TO THE SUN.=


                     =FROM THE GREEK OF DIONYSIUS.=


                 =BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, TRANSLATOR=
                   =OF THE PROMETHEUS AND AGAMEMNON=
                        =OF ÆSCHYLUS, ETC. ETC.=


                     Mute be the skies and still,
                     Silent each haunted hill
                     And valley deep!
                     Let earth, and ocean’s breast,
                     And all the breezes rest—
                     Let every echo sleep!

                     Unshorn his ringlets bright,
                     He comes—the lord of light—
                     Lord of the lyre.
                     Morn lifts her lids of snow,
                     Tinged with a rosy glow,
                     To greet thee, glorious sire.

                     Climbing, with winged feet
                     Of fiery coursers fleet,
                     Heaven’s arch profound,
                     Far through the realms of air,
                     From out thy sunny hair,
                     Thou flingest radiance round.

                     Thine are the living streams
                     Of bright immortal beams—
                     The founts of day!
                     Before thy path careers
                     The chorus of the spheres
                     With wild rejoicing lay.

                     The sad and silver moon
                     Before thy gorgeous noon
                     Slow gliding by,
                     Joys in her placid soul
                     To see around her roll
                     Those armies of the sky.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        =ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.=


=BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, AUTHOR OF “THE BROTHERS,” “THE CAPTAINS OF THE
  OLD WORLD,” ETC.=


Some thirty years before the Christian era, Egypt was not as now a
barbarous and desert region, a strip of rudely cultivated land along the
margin of the eternal Nile, and all beyond that semi-civilized district
a waste of howling wilderness, shifting and fiery sands roamed by the
wild hyena, or the wilder Arab, scattered here and there with those
gigantic relics of a former race, which, while they recall the original
magnificence of the kings, and priests yet mightier than kings, who
ruled of yore with a sway revered and dreaded to the very limits of the
earth in those huge halls, are now avoided, or visited in fear and
trembling by the adventurous traveler, as haunts of the ferocious
Bedouin. Her cities were not then the sinks of mingled filthiness and
luxury; a foreign rule had not then paralyzed her commerce, desolated
her fields, and brutified her men. The Moslem had not then poured upon
her, the garden of the Mediterranean shore, a scourge more foul and
loathsome than the most terrible of her ancient plagues.

Egypt, although even then shorn of a portion of her ancient glories, and
sinking by slow steps into a Roman province, was still the garden, and
the glory of the universe. It was a glorious sight to look upon those
almost boundless plains, or on those wondrous valleys, bounded on either
hand by mountains then clothed with artificial verdure even to their
summits, in the early summer, when the tender herbage of the young grain
had spread them with an interminable carpet of the brightest green, or
in the genial noon of autumn, when the tall wheat and bearded barley
undulated in every breeze, a sea of golden fertility.

It was a yet more wondrous sight, and savoring of enchantment, to view
her thousand cities blazing with the barbaric splendors of the East—her
temples far surpassing in strange, awful magnificence, in gloomy
mysticism, and terrific splendor, the simpler and more classic shrines
of Greece—her groves of palm, her thickets of acacia, her canals
embowered with the broad leaves and lovely blossoms of the azure lotus,
her coppices blushing with the scarlet flowers of the pomegranate, or
rich with the bursting fig—her palaces, her libraries, her quays,
trodden by the mariners of every known realm, her galleys, that had
braved the tempests of the “ocean stream,” and visited, in their
adventurous roamings, the dark and stormy Cassiterides, or yet more
wonderful, had been favored with glimpses of those “Edens of the western
wave,” those islands of the blest, in whose remote and uncertain shores
the imaginative poets of the Greeks had placed the residence of the
departed good.

It was about the period above mentioned, that a war-galley of that
construction which had been recently adopted by the Romans, in
preference to the lofty and cumbrous castles of the deep, only used for
purposes of display and pleasure, was to be seen beating in for the
Egyptian shore. She was a noble trireme, and it would seem that the
builder had exerted his utmost skill to render her not only seaworthy,
and formidable as a ship of war, but rich even to magnificence in her
decorations.

Her upturned prow, with its wonted equipage of brazen beaks, to shatter
the bows of an adversary, and brazen plates to protect her own, all
polished till they flashed back the rays of the summer sun with almost
intolerable brightness, displayed along its bulwarks exquisitely moulded
railings of a richer metal; while high in front stood a statue, the
presiding deity of Rome, a helmed and crested Mars, sculptured with the
utmost finish of the Grecian chisel in pure gold. The shields, suspended
from the channels, were charged with thunderbolts of the same precious
material, upon the dark blue steel of Iberia. The oars were gilded, and
from the castled stern floated beneath a golden effigy of the guardian
wolf and the twin founders of the Imperial City, a broad sheet of silk,
blushing with the crimson effulgence of the Tyrian dye, and, as it was
tossed aloft by the light breath of the sirocco, displaying the initials
at which the universe trembled—those dread initials S. P. Q. R.—the
Senate and People of Rome—at whose edicts the remote Indian and nomadic
Scythian shook with unwonted awe.

Gorgeous, however, as were the decorations, perfect as the entire
equipment of the galley, there was something in her motions which
betrayed even at a nearer inspection, it was evident that while several
of her oars were entirely missing, a yet greater number were sprung, and
so far weakened as to give her that slow and crippled progress through
the water, which the master of the Latin Epic has so aptly compared to
the painful writhings of a wounded serpent.

Her prow was in several places pierced and shattered, the sails bore
evident marks of having met with rougher treatment than under so bright
a sky was likely to have been inflicted by the waves. The breeze though
not exactly favorable was not adverse, blowing freshly on her beam. It
was such a wind as would now be hailed with delight; but, in those days
of imperfect navigation, when all weather was considered foul which
would not allow a vessel to run dead before it—though not actually
contrary, it was looked upon with distrust at least, and deprecated as
producing difficulty at the least, if not danger.

In her disabled state, therefore, this noble galley toiled long and
wearily before the lofty pharos of Alexandria was seen towering, like a
vast column of snow, from the bosom of the placid sea. For many an hour
after this splendid landmark had been visible, did she struggle onward,
ere the quays of Parian marble, the long breakwaters, and gigantic moles
at its base, could be distinguished on the horizon.

Gradually the inner shores of the harbor opened, a vista of pillared
porticoes, architrave and frieze, of Corinthian, Ionic, Tuscan
structure, mingled with massive and fantastic forms of the earlier style
of Egypt, sphynx and colossus, obelisk and pyramid, blended with the
everlasting verdure of the palmy gardens that invested the glorious city
with a belt of aromatic verdure.

High on her prow stood the form of a noble-looking leader, in the very
prime of strength and manhood, his frame displaying all the graces of
Antinous mingled with all the sinewy strength of Hercules. To the first
might be referred the massive brow, the short curled, clustering locks
that shaded it, and the somewhat effeminate cast of his singularly
beautiful features—to the latter, the broad shoulders, the brawny neck,
and the firmness of the muscular development that was displayed at every
motion. His eyes were of that long-cut narrow form which has been
supposed to be typical of a soft luxurious character; but in the dark
orbs themselves there lurked, when they were raised, a sparkle, which
might easily be kindled into lightning splendidly different from the
dream-like softness of their wonted expression.

In the curve, too, of his well-defined and ruddy lips there was that
firmness, that bold decision, which almost belied the dimples at their
corners, and the voluptuous curve of the chin. He seemed a man who
possessed the energy to battle with the universe, to win a world, and
when won, the recklessness to cast it away as worthless. Nor did his
countenance misrepresent the character of the Triumvir.

It was Marc Antony, the glorious winner of the Roman world, and its
reckless loser. It was Marc Antony, returning in defeat—with any other
it had been despair; but his was not a temper to yield even for a moment
to so base a sinking of the spirit—returning with a single trireme from
the half-conquered strife of Actium—hurrying away from his almost
victorious fleet on the very instant of victory in a pursuit of a fair
but faithless mistress; leaving his devoted followers to the mercy of a
heartless conqueror, leaving a world, which another hour would have
rendered irrecoverably his own, to cast its subject diadems at the feet
of young Octavius.

Bravely, fiercely, had he striven, while the humor was upon him; and
farthest into the yielding ranks of the enemy had his brave galley
forced her way, until the fatal cry was heard, that Cleopatra, with her
sixty light-armed ships, had abandoned the conflict, and was flying at
the utmost speed of sail and oar, toward her native shores.

At once, and with a double exertion of valor almost supernatural, he had
forced his retrograde passage through the shattered and reeling galleys
of Augustus, and expending tenfold the quantity of noble blood to lose a
half-won battle, which would have secured to him the empire of the
universe.

Even now, although he knew that his all was set upon a single die, that
he who might have been an emperor, was now a vanquished fugitive,
without a home, a country, a place of refuge, there was no touch of
humiliation or sadness in his mien. His eye was thoughtful, indeed, and
perhaps somewhat melancholy in its expression, but at all events such
was, when unexcited, its usual character.

Moreover, as he neared the quay, as he was gradually enabled to
distinguish the things and persons on the quay, there was a sudden
brightening of the features, an eagerness of expression, an anxious
excitement almost to nervousness of manner, displaying itself clearly in
the quivering of the under lip, and the unconscious play of his fingers
on the sword-hilt, the dark spots of blood upon which denoted how deeply
its blade must have been ensanguined.

The vessel worked up to the wharf. Strong cables were extended from her
head and stern to the massive rings of brass which studded the noble
piers. On the instant, a bridge was extended from the galley to the
neighboring pier; but, ere the quivering planks were steadied, with an
active bound the triumvir had thrown himself over the high bulwarks and
stood in the centre of the eager throng that crowded round to witness
the arrival of a galley from the fleet.

“Ho! by the mother of the gods!” cried an aged man, whose toga proved
him a citizen of Rome, as clearly as did the scars on his bold and
bronzed visage prove him a soldier, “’Tis Antony himself—victorious,
too, by Jupiter! else had we not beheld him here. Shout, comrades,
shout—_Io triumphe! Salve Imperator!_”

“Peace ho! Be silent!” shouted a stern, martial-looking figure on the
prow. “Peace, brawlers! This day is to be marked as black as
Acheron—victory! by Pollux, a rare victory!”

Silently, and unheeding the raised voices and loud queries of the
populace, the noble Roman threaded the crowd. Strange—it was passing
strange, that no word from Cleopatra—no sable-visaged messenger, no
bright damsel of her court, should have met him on his return. “By the
faith of Jove!” he muttered, “but that bitter knave, Horace, was not so
much in the wrong either;” and he hummed in reckless gayety the well
known stanza of the lyric bard—

        “At vulgus infidum et meretrix retso
         Perjura cedit; diffurgiunt cadis
              Cum face siccatis amici
              Ferre jugum pariter dolosi.”

“Fie on thee, Antony! hast thou, the veteran of a thousand fields of
Mars and Venus, hast thou been cheated by the honeyed words? the last
stake was a heavy one, by Hercules! That crown, for which great Julius
fell, was worth a higher price than a glance of the brightest eye that
ever beamed with a woman’s tenderness. Fie on’t! ’twas boy’s play—boy’s
play! but to-morrow—be the gods propitious—Soh! ’tis the palace gate
at last, and swart Melancthon at the portals. What ho, Melancthon!
Bestir thee, varlet! Say to Cleopatra, Marcus Antonius sends her
greeting; and never will he rest till he be where she tarries, be that
where it may!”

“Now may the gods avert!” muttered the trembling slave.

“What mutterest thou then? Begone, and speed my bidding, else will I
make thee messenger to Hades! Where is the fair Egyptian?”

“She is _not_, Antony,” faltered the trembling Ethiopian, avoiding with
the wonted superstition of the day, the usage of words deemed ominous.

“_Is not!_ What mean’st thou, paltering with thy double speeches?”

“_Mortua est_—she is dead!” he cried, mustering all his resolution, and
then, as if fearing the wrath of the triumvir, fled hastily into the
palace.

“Dead! Cleopatra dead!” muttered the bold Epicurean, and the whiteness
of his lips told how deeply he was affected by the unexpected news. “Ho,
there!” he shouted. “Bear me a flagon of Falernian hither, and the
jeweled cup of Isis—the old Falernian pressed in the first of Caius
Marius! ’Twill be my last on this side Acheron! A battle—an empire—and
a woman! By the Thunderer! loss enough, methinks, for one day! Lost,
too, forever! The first—that—that might be redeemed—ay, and the
second won—but the woman! By the bright eyes of Aphrodite! he who has
once loved Cleopatra, has loved all womankind! Marc Antony has done with
battles. Ho! the Falernian! ’tis well—ay! pour it till it froth—hence
with the water! Pure—let it be pure! for, this quaffed, I have done
with wine, too. Sweet Cleopatra, this to thee, to thee, in Hades or
Elysium, if the poets’ dreams be true. Now hark thee, slave, say thou to
Ahenobarbus, if Antony hath forgotten how brave men conquer, he hath not
forgotten”—he drained the liquor at a single draught, and hurling the
chased and jeweled chalice against the marble pavement, unsheathed his
sword, still crusted with the blood of Romans—“hath not forgotten how
brave men—die!”

Suiting the action to the word, he buried the massive weapon in his
throat, just above the collar-bone, and over the rim of his embossed and
glittering corslet. The force of the blow was so great, that he was
pitched headlong backward, the cone of his lofty helmet striking fire
from the dinted pavement.

The blood gushed in torrents, not from the wound, for there the massive
blade stood fixed hilt deep, but from ears, eyes, and mouth. After he
fell, not a limb moved, not a pulse throbbed, the last breath rushed
forth half choked in blood, with a fearful gurgling murmur. The broad
chest slowly collapsed—the bravest of the brave had perished for a
woman’s lie!

For Cleopatra was not dead—nor as yet had she even thought to die—but
soon

        She dared her fallen kingdom to behold
          In dauntless pride of majesty serene;
        She dared the coiling reptiles to unfold—
          Courting their venomed kiss with dauntless mien.

        Sublimely fierce—death full before her eyes—
          She spurned the thought, that she could e’er be seen
        Swelling the Roman’s pomp, his noblest prize!—
          A proud reluctant slave, a crownless queen.

And now the coming sun shone in unclouded brilliancy over the lovely
gardens, that extended for many a mile beyond the marble suburbs of the
Egyptian metropolis, the mightiest work of that famed conqueror, who,
building it in the very wantonness of pride, deemed it, perchance, the
slightest of his wonderful achievements. The roads which issued from
that great city, circulating, like arteries from the human heart, wealth
and prosperity to the extremities of her dominion, wandered among brakes
and thickets of the coolest verdure; nor had the almost tropic sun of
those now scorched and sterile climes the power to pierce the embowering
foliage, which covered those magnificent highways with a continuous
vault of living freshness. The glossy leaves of the dark fig, and the
broad canopy of the aspiring palms, towering a hundred feet aloft to
bask in the full glare of day above his head—a pavement of the
milk-white marble of Canopus, cool as the snows of Atlas beneath his
feet—and the waters, drawn from the distant Nile, glancing and
murmuring in their marble channels on either side the highway—the
wayfarer might travel on his path, enjoying the breezy coolness of more
temperate climes, although he stood beneath the intolerable brightness
of an Egyptian sky.

Far in the depths of those fairy gardens, girdled, as it were, by groves
of almost impenetrable richness, watered by a hundred fountains, drawn
through their secret canals, from the one mighty river, which was to
Egypt what the soul is to the human frame, adorned by luxury that could
be made to minister happiness to the living, stood the mansion of the
dead, the mausoleum of the Ptolemies, the palace-tomb of Cleopatra.
Portico above portico, gallery over gallery, it towered a pile of
snow-white alabaster, more ample in its vast accommodations, more
splendid in its sculptures, more rich in its materials than the proudest
dwelling of a line of kings. The lower stories of the building,
surrounded by triple colonnades of Corinthian architecture, were
constructed of gigantic blocks of stone fitted and dovetailed, as it
were, into each other, with a firmness that might well endure forever.

But in these enormous walls there was no opening—door nor window, nor
the smallest crevice, to admit the blessed light of day to those huge
receptacles of the meanest relics of mortality.

Elsewhere, so singular a form of architecture would have been looked
upon as something utterly unnatural and monstrous; but in Egypt, where
every species of deception, and what we should now call stage effect,
was resorted to in all buildings, and particularly in such as were
intended for religious purposes, it was by no means calculated to excite
astonishment. Near the summit of this strange edifice, sheltered from
the glare of the declining luminary by projecting awnings of muslin, the
fabric of the Egyptian loom, then known as Byssus, was a long range of
windows, on which the sunbeams glittered with a brilliancy which showed
that they were fitted with that most precious of ancient luxuries,
transparent glass.

In a small but airy apartment of this mansion of the dead, there were
now collected a small group of females, whose gorgeous draperies and
jeweled ornaments, would have seemed to denote the proud beauties of
some barbaric court, rather than mourners over the soulless tenement
which had so recently inclosed the spirit of a man.

Situated at the very summit of the edifice, and commanding a prospect
far over the wilderness of aromatic gardens that surrounded it, even to
the distant city, overlooking the wide valley of the Nile, with the
ocean-like channel of its giant river glancing like a stream of molten
gold to the evening sun, and the vast cones of the three great pyramids
distinctly drawn against the deep-blue sky, that chamber might well have
vied with the most beautiful retreats of king or kaisar—nor were its
internal decorations less splendid than the scenery which its windows
opened to the view.

Its walls of the purest alabaster, polished till they reflected every
object with the radiant exactness of metallic mirrors, its pilasters of
the same rich materials, with their Corinthian capitals and bases of
solid virgin gold, its tesselated pavement of a thousand dies, its
couches glowing with the pictured fabrics of the Eastern loom, its
curtains of gauze so delicate that they well nigh justified the
hyperbole which had named them woven air, rendered it a befitting shrine
for the form of beauty which seemed the presiding spirit of the place.

On one of those rich couches there lay a figure of almost superhuman
majesty. The eyes were closed, and the short curls parted from the noble
brow; the features were not more pallid than is often seen in life; a
strangely voluptuous smile still slept upon the well-defined and as yet
unaltered lip, and, but for something of rigidity and constraint in the
position of the limbs, it would never have been believed that the dreams
of that warrior were those which know no waking.

His helmet, embossed with golden sculptures, rested on the ground at the
foot of the low bed, its lofty crest of snow-white horse-hair dancing in
the light air which found its way into the chamber, and casting its
wavering shadows upon the features of the dead; the elaborately
ornamented corslet, which still rested on the massive chest, was stained
in several places with broad plashes of gore; but if blood had stained
the face or the bare neck, it had been washed off with a care which had
removed every sign of violence, every symptom of death.

Perfumes had been liberally sprinkled upon the crisp, auburn locks,
censers were steaming with the smoke of musk and ambergris, and garlands
of the freshest flowers were cast like fragrant fetters over the cold
limbs of the sleeper. But what were all these to a single tear drop from
the mourner who sat beside his bed, gazing with a cold, unmeaning gaze
on the features of him whom she had loved so mightily—betrayed so
madly!

Her hair, the uncurled raven hair of Ethiopia, fell to her very feet in
strange profusion, not in the undulating flow of ringlets free from
restraint, but in straight, shadowy masses, such as we have sometimes
seen, and known not whether to praise or censure, in some sacred
painting of the Italian school. Her lineaments of the Coptic cast,
chiseled in their flowing lines of majesty and softness, were such as
men are constrained to admire despite their judgment; but her form, her
limbs, her swan-like neck, her swelling bust, the rounded outlines, the
wavy motion, were of a loveliness which, while they baffled every
attempt at description, explained at once and justified the passionate
adoration of Julius, the frantic devotion of the wild triumvir.

It was Cleopatra who sat there, mourning in desolate despair over him
whom alone she had _loved_. Him, strange it is to say, she had loved for
himself, for himself alone. No delusion of vanity, no pride of boasting
a second ruler of the universe her slave, had mingled with her deep,
indomitable passion.

The conqueror had been merged in the man, the man in the lover. In peace
or war, in triumph or defeat, absent or at her side, in the flush of
health or in the frail humility of sickness, he had been ever the chosen
idol of her heart; and never perhaps had she loved him more entirely, or
more fervently, than at the very moment of that desertion of his cause,
in the hour of his utmost need, which had terminated in the downfall of
his honor and her happiness.

Dark, indeed, and incomprehensible are the mysteries of a woman’s heart,
impenetrable her motives, unfathomable the sources of her hatred or
affection; often most tender in the heart when coldest in the semblance;
most passionate when most unmoved, most faithful when most insincere.

It might have been from mere womanish caprice, from a desire of probing
the depth of her lover’s feelings, from curiosity to learn and look upon
the conduct of a baffled conqueror; or more likely yet from
jealousy—jealousy that his love of honor and empire should interfere
with his devotion to her beauty, that she had so fatally betrayed him.

She might have overlooked, in the moment of action, the consequences of
her flight—she might have fancied the victory gained, and her desertion
a matter of no moment—a desertion that would wring the heart, without
affecting the cause, of him whom she adored the most, when she most
trifled with his peace of mind.

She might have fancied the defeat, should defeat ensue, not
irreparable—the empire lost to-day recoverable on the morrow—she might
have hoped so to teach the proud triumvir by this reverse, that, when
the government of the world should be conquered by their joint forces,
the world were the gift of Cleopatra.

It might have been one of these motives singly; it might have been the
result of all united—felt, perhaps, but not analyzed even by herself,
that had spurred her on till retreat was impossible and hope desperate.
Still it was love that caused her to betray him, as it was love that
caused her to proclaim herself dead already, ere she had yet thought of
dying, in order to mollify his indignation and awaken his sympathies; as
it was love that now led her to curse the day when she was born, born to
be the fate of Antony.

Her beautiful bosom was exposed to the light, which lingered in a pencil
of mellowed lustre, upon its soft, yet sculptured loveliness. The
delicate veil of fine muslin which should have veiled those secret
beauties, had been violently rent asunder, and hung down in natural
folds below her jeweled cincture. On each of her voluptuous bosoms,
which hardly heaved under the influence of the chill despair which had
frozen up the very sources of her grief, there was a small gout of gore,
a speck such as covers the orifice of the smallest punctured wound; but
beyond those tiny witnesses there was no stain upon her snow-white
kerchief, no trace as of blood which had flowed freely and been wiped
away.

Her hands were folded in her lap, the fingers unconsciously playing with
a chain of mingled strands of golden thread and dark, auburn hair. Her
face was very pale, and cold, and almost stern in its passionless
rigidity—the eye was cast downward, immovably riveted on the
countenance of the mighty dead; but, from the long, dark lashes there
hung no tear. All was composed, silent, self-restrained grief. An
occasional shudder crept, as it were, electrically through her whole
frame, and now and then her lips moved, as though she were communing
with some viewless form; but beyond this there was no motion or no
sound.

At a distance from the miserable mistress sat a group of women, attired,
as has been said, most gorgeously, but their sad and clouded aspects
offered a fearful contrast to their sumptuous garments; near them, and
on a table of the richest porphyry, negligently strewn with instruments
of music, the Grecian lute, the wild Egyptian systrum, and the Italian
pipe, with jeweled tiaras, perfumes, cosmetics, and all the luxuries of
a regal toilet, pateræ of solid emerald, drinking-cups of agate, vases
and flasks of crystal, there stood a plain, country-looking basket,
woven of the slender reeds that grow beside the lake of Mœris, filled
with the dark, glossy leaves and purple fruits of the fig-tree.

To a casual glance it might have seemed that there was nothing in the
contents of the basket beyond the casual offering of some simple
rustic’s gratitude to his queen; but on a nearer view, there might be
seen upon the foliage long, slimy trails, twining hither and thither, as
if left by the passage of some loathsome reptile. At times, too, there
was a slight, rustling sound, a motion of the leaves, not waving
regularly as if shaken by the breeze, but heaving up at intervals from
the life-like motions of something beneath; and now a scaly back, a
small, black head, with eyes glowing like sparks of fire, and an arrowy
tongue quivering and darting about like a lambent flame—it was the
deadly aspic of the Nile, the most fatal, the most desperately venomous
of all the serpents of Africa.

Deeply, fearfully skilled, in all the dark secrets of poisoning and
incantation, the wife and sister of the Ptolemies had chosen this
abhorred way of avenging upon herself the wrongs of Antony; of baffling
the cool malignance of the little-minded man whom Rome’s adulation had
even then began to style the August; of freeing herself from the chains,
not emblematic, of Roman servitude; from the humiliation of being led
along in gliding fetters behind the chariot wheels of the perpetual
consul; from the dungeon, the scaffold, the rod, and the axe, which
closed alike the triumph of the victor and the misery of the vanquished.
Already had the news been conveyed to her—the stunning news that, save
in name, she was no more a queen—but the rumor had fallen on a deaf or
unregarding ear.

An earthquake, it is written, shook the earth unnoticed by those who
fought at Thrasymene, an empire crumbled into ruins unmarked by her who
had lost, who had destroyed, an Antony. After the first burst of agony
was over, when the self-immolated victim was borne to her in place of
the burning, feeling, living lover, she had caused those hated reptiles
to be brought to the tomb, which she had entered while yet alive, in the
very recklessness of dissimulation and caprice; she had applied them to
her delicate bosom, and a thrill of triumphant ecstasy had rushed
through her frame as she felt the keen pang of their venomed fangs
piercing her flesh, and imbuing the very sources of life with the
ingredients of death.

And now she sat in patient expectation, brooding over the ruin she had
wrought, calmly awaiting the agony that she well knew must convulse her
limbs and distort her features from their calm serenity; while her
attendant maidens, with strange and unaccountable devotion, had
needlessly and almost unmeaningly followed the example of her, whom they
were determined to accompany faithfully not merely to the portals of the
tomb, but into the dark regions of futurity. Now, however, when the step
was taken from which there is no returning, the courage, which had
buoyed them up for a moment and impelled them to the fatal measure, had
deserted them.

In the aspect of each, remorse, or pain, or terror was engraved in
fearful variety. One gazed with straining eyes, over the glowing
landscape, gloriously bathed in the radiance of that setting luminary
which would arise, indeed, in renewed splendor but not for her. She saw
the distant hills on which she had sported in the uncontaminated
freshness of her youth, ere she had been acquainted with the sin and
sorrow of courts—the nearer palaces, in whose vaulted halls she had
often led the dance in happy, because thoughtless merriment—and her
whole spirit was absorbed in that long, wistful view of scenes never to
be viewed again.

Another stood, as motionless as the marble column against which she
leaned, staring upon her beloved mistress and the lifeless body; but it
was evident that the images which were painted on her eye were not
reflected on her mind. At intervals a large, bright tear stole slowly
down her cheeks and literally plashed on the Mosaic pavement as it fell.

A third, already sensible of the physical agonies that accompany the
action of poison on the human system, rocked her body to and fro, every
separate nerve writhing and quivering in the extremity of pain, yet
still retained so much mastery over her tortures as to repress all
outward indications of her suffering and approaching dissolution, beyond
a low, choking sob, a fearful and indescribable sound, between a
hiccough and a groan.

It was a scene of horribly exciting interest—a scene on which a
spectator feels that it is terror to gaze; yet feels that, for his life,
he cannot avert his eyes until the agony is over: a scene from which—so
strangely were terror and compassion mingled and interwoven with
curiosity—no human being could withdraw himself, till he had looked
upon the end.

The pale, haughty features of the senseless clay which had wielded and
weaponed, a few short hours ago, the energies of a gigantic soul—the
deeply seated despair of the silent mourner, still full of life and
sensation, but forgetful of herself in the contemplation of her lost
idol, unconscious of physical pain in the abstraction of mental
agony—the wretched girls repenting their rashness, yet repressing their
own anguish lest they should augment hers for whom they had cast life
away; and for whom—could it now have been redeemed—they would but have
cast it away once again: the stillness of that gorgeous room, the hated
reptiles crawling and hissing among the beautiful fruits, the sunshine
without and the gloom within, all uniting to make up a picture so awful,
yet so exciting, as no poet’s pen or painter’s pencil ever yet created.

It was a scene, however, rapidly drawing to its conclusion: the girl on
whose system the venom of the aspic had taken the strongest effect, had
already fallen upon the floor; and it seemed, by the long and gasping
efforts with which she caught her breath, that her very minutes were
numbered. Notwithstanding the miserable plight in which she rolled over
and over in her great agony, so callous had the feelings of her
companions been rendered by the immediate pressure of their own
calamities, that—delicate and tender beings as they were, with hearts
ever melting at the slightest indication of sorrow—each one retained
her station, wholly absorbed by her own awful thoughts, and careless of
all besides.

It was at this crisis, that a shrill and prolonged flourish of trumpets
rose—almost painfully—upon the ear. It was a Roman trumpet. There was
a pause—a brief, but awful pause; such as is often felt between the
first peal of a thunder-storm and the bursting deluge of the shower.
Again it rang—nearer, and nearer yet; and now, beneath the very windows
of the mausoleum.

As the first note sank into silence, the queen had arisen breathlessly
to her feet; and there she stood, motionless as a statue, her eyes still
fixed on Antony; but her lips slightly severed, her head and her whole
frame expressing the earnestness with which she listened for a
repetition of the sounds; but, as the second flourish smote her ear, she
threw her arm aloft in triumph, a flash of exultation kindled that
glorious brow like a sunburst, and her eyes danced in their sockets with
the highly-wrought ecstasy of the moment; but, while her brow and eyes
were radiant with delight, the wide expansion of the nostril and the
curl of the chiseled lip spoke volumes of defiance and contempt.

“It is too late,” she cried, in accents still clear and musical, though
strained far above the natural pitch of her voice. “It is too late, ye
Roman robbers. He whom your sacrilegious trumpets would have but now
aroused to vengeance, from the lightning of whose eye ye would have fled
like howling wolves before the bolt of Jove, whose voice would have
stunned you like the thunders of the Omnipotent—the conqueror of the
universe has fallen asleep, nor can your senseless clangors waken him to
vengeance.”

Even, as she spoke, the rattle of the ladders, by which the legionaries
of the victor were scaling the porticoes of that fortress tomb, the
shouts of the rude veterans, and the clash of their brazen harness were
distinctly audible; and, ere her words were ended, the same wild sounds
were heard echoing along the vaulted passages and spacious halls of the
story next beneath. Another moment, and their steps were heard mounting
the long sloping passages which, in Egyptian architecture, supplied the
want of stairs, affording access to the upper chambers. The door, formed
like the walls of the apartment, of polished alabaster, and invisible
when closed, was evidently forced; and a group of men, whose Italian
complexions and features, prominent and strongly marked, denoted them to
be the victors of the world, the iron men of Rome—stood on the
threshold. All sheathed in complete armor: not decked, like that of the
soft Orientals, with gold and precious stones, but of bronze so brightly
polished that it reflected every object; perfect in the accuracy with
which it was adapted to their frames, in the facility of motion it left
to all their limbs, and in its exquisite finish; with crested casques
and crimson tunics, it would have been impossible to conceive more
martial figures.

Foremost of all, the conqueror of Actium entered the arena of his
triumph; and, in truth, although he could not have sustained a moment’s
comparison with his more fortunate rival, he looked—at least, if he
were not—the hero. No flush of exultation tinged his complexion, no
insolence of victory sparkled in his eye; but, not the less did
exultation, insolence, and cruelty live within his breast, although he
was sufficiently versed in dissimulation to conceal his odious character
beneath a vail of stoical philosophy and magnanimous indifference.

“Hail, emperor!” cried the dying sovereign, confronting him with a
demeanor a thousand times more lofty than his own. “Hail,
conqueror!”—her countenance alone would have expressed the scorn she
felt, had not her tones been such that the cold-blooded despot writhed
beneath them.

“Comest thou hither, puissant lord, noble successor of the mighty
Julius, comest thou hither to violate the ashes of the dead, or to prove
thy virgin valor on a woman? _Macte tuâ virtute!_ On, in thy valor and
thy glory! Why—the dead Cæsar was to thee as Omphale to Hercules! We
are no Amazon to dare thy valor, O, thou second Thesius! Out with thy
broad-sword, Cæsar, _the august_!—and see who first will shrink from
it—I, or my dead, yonder?”

“No—by the Faith of Jove!—we would have the superb Cleopatra our
friend, as she was our uncle’s,” replied the arch dissembler. “Thou art
still free—still Queen of Egypt!”

“By the great gods, I am!—nor is it in thy power to make me other! Free
was I born and royal—free will I die and royal! Cæsar—I scorn your
mercy as I defy your menace! My fathers left to me a crown: crowned will
I go to my fathers! What—think you, Cleopatra will live to be a
slave?—will live to _be at all_, at your bidding? Go—trample on the
subject necks of Romans! The Egyptian spits at your clemency. Why cling
you not to your vaunting motto?—It was Rome’s word of old—

        Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.

And dare you think me subject, or dare you not assail my pride? I tell
you, Roman, you can slay men by thousands at a word; but, for your
empire, you cannot make one woman live. Away—defile not me with your
hangman hands! These are my subjects,” and she pointed to the dying
girls around her, “this my empire—this the sepulchre of my forefathers;
who were sages, priests, and kings, when yours were robbers and
banditti. And this, that but this morning was a man, and now is nothing,
this is my idol and my god! Away—one death like this, is worth a
thousand abject lives like thine; and one dead, a hundred live Octavii,
if ever earth bore aught so base by hundreds. If I betrayed in thy
prime, thou mighty one, most dearly—I, upon myself, have I avenged the
treason. If I sent thee before me, behold! I follow in thy footsteps!
_Manes_ of the dead rejoice—rejoice, ye are avenged!”

Her eyes glared, awful. The death-sweat was already darkening her
brow—the death-foam clammy on her white lip. She must have been
devoured by the fiercest inward tortures, yet she made them subject to
her will; and the veterans of a hundred battles quailed before the edge
of her eloquence, more cutting than the mortal sword. She flung her arm
toward the astonished tyrant in defiance, folded her garments decently
about her limbs, placed the antique diadem of the Ptolmies upon her
raven tresses, and, without another word, composed herself on the couch
beside him toward whom she had proved her love so fearfully, and closed
her eyes for the last time—for ever!

For many minutes longer, while—mute between astonishment, regret at his
frustrated triumph, and admiration of her undaunted valor—the cold
Cæsar watched her silent agonies, the convulsed heavings of her bosom,
and her loud and painful breathings alone told that she lived.

One long and shuddering sigh—one short, sharp spasm—and the dark eyes
opened, but their orbs were glazed and sightless—her jaw fell.

And Egypt never more bowed to a native sovereign.

And Rome was never more uncursed by a Cæsar.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                    =THE TWO BIRDS.—A STREET LYRIC.=


                         =BY GEORGE H. BOKER.=


             Two birds hang from two facing windows;
               One on a lady’s marble wall,
             The other, a seamstress’ sole companion,
               Rests on her lattice dark and small.

             The one, embowered by rare exotics,
               Swings in a curious golden cage;
             The other, beside a lone geranium,
               Peeps between wires of rusty age.

             The one consumes a dainty seedling
               That, leagues on leagues, in vessels comes;
             The other pecks at the scanty leavings,
               Strained from his mistress’ painful crumbs.

             The lady’s bird has careful lackeys,
               To leave him in the cheerful sun;
             Upon her bird the seamstress glances,
               Between each stitch, till work is done.

             Doubtless the marble wall shines gayly,
               And sometimes to the window roam
             Guests in their stately silken garments;—
               But yon small blind looks more like home.

             Doubtless the tropic flowers are dazzling,
               The golden cage is rare to see;
             But sweeter smells the low geranium—
               The mean cage has more liberty.

             ’Tis well to feed upon the fruitage,
               Brought from a distant southern grove;
             But better is a homely offering,
               Divided by the hand of love.

             The purchased service of a menial
               May, to the letter, fill its part;
             But there’s an overflowing kindness
               Springs from the service of a heart.

             Hark! yonder bird begins to warble:
               Well done, my lady’s pretty pet!
             Thy song is somewhat faint and straitened,
               Yet sweeter tones I seldom met.

             And now the seamstress’ bird—Oh, listen!
               Hear with what power his daring song
             Sweeps through its musical divisions,
               Striking each note in rapture strong!

             Hear how he trills, with what abundance
               He flings his varied stores away!
             Bursting through wood and woven iron
               With the wild freedom of his lay!

             Cease, little prisoner to the lady,
               Cease, till the rising of the moon;
             Thy feeble song is all unsuited
               To the full mid-day glare of June.

             Cease, for thy rival’s throat is throbbing
               With the fierce splendor of the hour:
             His is the art that grasps a passion,
               To cast it back with tenfold power.

             Cease, until yonder feathered poet
               Through all his wondrous song has run,
             And made the heart of wide creation
               Leap in the glory of the sun!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =MISS HARPER’S MAID.=


It had been a day of boisterous excitement. The gravity of the ship had
been strangely disturbed. We had “crossed the line” in the morning, and
there had been the usual saturnalia on deck. Of these, as I was
returning to India, after a sick furlough, I had been only a spectator;
but still, when the evening came, and the fun was at an end, I felt
sufficiently weary with the heat and excitement, to enjoy a quiet
_causerie_ in my own cool cabin.

My companions were a bottle of “private” claret, and the “chief officer”
of the ship. Now this chief officer was an excellent fellow; I think
that I never knew a better. His name was Bloxham. He was about
eight-and-twenty years of age, with a round, fresh-colored, but
intelligent face; bright, laughing eyes, and the whitest teeth in the
world. There was in him a rare union of the best parts of the old and
the new race of merchant seamen; that is, he had all the openness and
frankness, the seaman-like qualities of the old men, without their
coarseness and vulgarity; and he had the more refined and gentleman-like
manners of the new, without their dandyism and effeminacy. He was in my
eyes the very pink and perfection of a sailor.

We discussed the incidents of the day, and discoursed upon the character
and objects of the Saturnalia, or rather, as we agreed, the Neptunalia,
which we had been witnessing. I have no intention of describing what has
been so often been described before. But there is one part of the
ceremony on which I must say a few words. Before the unhappy neophyte
who has to be initiated into the mysteries of the equator is finally
soused in the tub of water, which by a merciful dispensation is made to
follow on the begriming and befouling operation of the shaving, he is
asked by the operator if he has been “Sworn at Highgate.” Now, to be
sworn at Highgate, is to undertake not to do certain things, when you
can do better, as “never to drink small beer when you can get strong,
_unless_,” (there is always a saving clause,) “unless you like small
beer better than strong.” I do not remember all the obligations, though
they are not many, named in the recital. But one I have every reason to
recollect. Bloxham, with his smiling face and joyous manner, was talking
over this part of the ceremony; and when he repeated the words of the
Highgate oath, “Never to kiss the maid, when you can kiss the
mistress—_unless_, you like the maid better than the mistress,” I could
see a significant twinkling in his eyes, which stimulated my curiosity.
I asked him what he was thinking of, and he said that he “could believe
it very possible to like the maid better than the mistress,” and I said
so too. “At all events,” added Bloxham, “it often happens that the maid
is the better worth kissing of the two.”

I could see plainly enough from my friend’s manner, that I had not got
at the bottom of this roguish twinkling of the eye. His whole face was
indeed one bright smile, and there was a world of meaning dancing
beneath it. I was determined, as sportsmen say, to “unearth” it; so I
said at once, that I should enjoy my claret all the more, if he would
impart to it the relish of a good story. Then I took the bottle off the
swinging tray, filled our glasses, and told him to “leave off making
faces and begin.”

“Well,” he said, making himself comfortable in a corner of my couch, “I
must acknowledge that ‘thereby hangs a tale.’ ‘Never kiss the maid when
you can kiss the mistress, _unless_, you like the maid better than the
mistress.’ At the risk of your thinking me a low fellow, I’ll give you a
chapter of my own experiences, illustrative of this portion of our
sailorly interpretation of being sworn at Highgate.

“After the last voyage but one, our good ship went into dock for a
thorough refitting, and I had a longer spell at home than I had enjoyed
for many years. I would not change this way of life for any in the
world; but I was glad for once to stretch my legs fairly on dry land,
and see something of green fields, brick and mortar, and my shore-going
friends in the neighborhood of Canterbury.

“Among the families in which I was most intimate was that of a Mr.
Harper. He had made a comfortable fortune by trade, and now was enjoying
his _otium cum dignitate_ in a good house on the outskirts of the city.
An only daughter kept house for him; for he was a widower. Now Julia
Harper, when I first knew her, was a fine, handsome girl of
two-and-twenty; tall, well-made, but on rather a large scale, with
bright, restless eyes, and a profusion of dark hair. She had a great
many admirers in Canterbury, some of whom, there is every reason to
suppose, admired the old gentleman’s money as much as the young lady’s
eyes, but they met with no great encouragement. Miss Harper, it was
whispered, had determined not to marry a Canterbury man. She wished to
see more of the world. Her tastes inclined toward the army or the navy;
and it was predicted that some fine day a young officer from one of the
regiments in garrison, with an eye to the paternal guineas, would
succeed in carrying off the prize. Everybody, however, said that she was
heart-whole, when I was first introduced to her, and some of my more
intimate friends jestingly said that there was a chance for me. I
confess that I was a good deal struck by the girl. The artillery of her
bright eyes soon began to do some execution. I liked her open, bold
manner. I had very little experience of the sex, and I thought that her
candor and unreserve betokened a genuineness of character, and a
truthfulness of disposition, very refreshing in such an age of shams. I
think I liked the old gentleman, too—I know I liked his dinners and his
wines—I was certainly a favorite with Mr. Harper. Whether he ever
contemplated the probability of his daughter and myself becoming
attached to one another, I do not know; but if he did contemplate it,
and with pleasure, it must have been pleasure of the most unselfish
kind, for of all his daughter’s admirers, in point of worldly
advantages, I must have been the least eligible. However, he had been
heard to say, that he did not look for a rich son-in-law, as his
daughter would have plenty of money of her own; so, sometimes, I thought
it possible that the old gentleman would not close his paternal heart
against me, if I were to offer myself as a suitor for the fair Julia’s
hand, and a claimant to her heart.

“I often met with Julia at the house of mutual friends. I certainly
liked the girl; and my vanity was flattered, because, with so many
admirers around her, she showed me, as I thought, a decided preference.
She seemed to be never tired of talking about the sea. She wearied me
with questions about it; and on more than one occasion said—very
unguardedly—that she thought a voyage to India would be the most
delightful thing in the world. Of course, I made fitting answer, that
with a congenial companion, a voyage anywhere would be delightful; and,
more than once, opportunity being favorable, I was on the point of
declaring myself, when an internal qualm of conscience arrested the
dangerous avowal.

“Affairs were in this state, when an accident befell me which brought
matters to a crisis. There was a steeple-chase one day in the
neighborhood of Canterbury, which I attended on foot. During the
excitement of the race, I attempted a difficult cut across the country,
failed at a leap which was beyond my powers, and had the misfortune to
sprain my ankle. The injury was a very severe one, and I was laid up for
many weeks in my lodgings. You have often laughed at me for taking every
thing so coolly. I assure you that I did not take this coolly at all. I
chafed, indeed, like a lion in the toils; and was continually arresting
the progress of my recovery, by putting—in spite of repeated
prohibitions—the crippled member to the ground. At last, I began to
learn a little philosophy, and resigned myself to the sofa with a groan.

“The loss of my liberty was bad enough; but the loss of Julia’s society
was a hundred times worse. Her father came often to see me, and brought
me kind messages from his daughter; but, if I had had no more
substantial consolations, I believe that I should have gone mad. Julia
did not actually come to see me; but she wrote me repeated notes of
inquiry, and often sent me flowers, and books, and other tokens of
womanly kindness. The messenger employed on these occasions was Miss
Harper’s maid—”

“Ah! sworn at Highgate,” I interrupted; “we are coming to it now.
Another glass of claret to improve the flavor of the story.”

He tossed off the bumper I had given him, as though he were drinking
devoutly to some lady’s health, and then continued with increased
animation.

“The messenger employed on these occasions was Miss Harper’s maid. She
was generally enjoined to deliver the letters and parcels into my own
hands, and sometimes to wait for an answer. She came, therefore, into my
drawing-room, and if she had occasion to wait, I would always desire her
to be seated. The girl’s name was _Rachel_. She might have been old, or
ugly, or deformed, for any thing I cared, or, indeed, that I knew about
her. I had a dim consciousness that she had a very pleasant manner of
speaking; but I give you my word that, after she had been half-a-dozen
times into my room, I should not have known her if I had met her in the
streets: I regarded her only as an appendage to the fair Julia, whose
image was ever before my eyes, shutting out all else from my view.

“This, however, did not last forever. It happened one day, that when
Rachel brought me a parcel, I—in my lover-like enthusiasm—started up
from the sofa, and incautiously planted my injured foot on the ground.
The result was a spasm of such acute pain, that I fell back upon my
couch with an involuntary cry, and a face as colorless as marble. Rachel
immediately stepped forward; and, with a cordial expression of sympathy,
asked if she could do any thing for me, and proceeded, with a light,
gentle hand to arrange the pillows under my crippled limb. I felt very
grateful for these ministrations, and as I gave utterance to my
gratitude, I looked for the first time inquiringly into Rachel’s face.
Though she bore a Jewish name, she did not bear by any means a Jewish
cast of countenance. She had dark hair and dark eyes, it is true—but
her face was round, her nose short, and if any thing, rather
_retroussé_; and she had the sweetest little mouth in the world. I
thought that, altogether, she was a very pretty girl, and moreover a
very genteel one. I observed now, what I had never observed—indeed, had
had no opportunity of observing—that she had a charming little figure.
Her shawl had fallen off whilst she was arranging my pillows, so that I
could now see her delicate waist, and the graceful outline of her
lightsome form; and there was something in her movements that pleased me
better than all. I was interested in her now for the first time; and was
sorry when she took her departure, with the expression of a hope that I
might not suffer further inconvenience.

“I hoped that she would come again on the following day, and I was not
disappointed. She came with a note and a _boquet_ from Julia; but,
before delivering either, she inquired after me, with—what I
thought—genuine concern. I answered kindly and gratefully; and before
opening her mistress’s note, asked her several questions, and drew her
into conversation. The more I saw of her the better I liked her. She was
at first a little reserved—perhaps embarrassed; but, after a few more
visits, this wore off, and there was a quiet self-possession about her,
which pleased me mightily. I could not get rid of the impression that
she was something better than her social position seemed to indicate; at
all events, she was very much unlike all the waiting-maids I had ever
seen. I soon began to delight in her visits. She came almost every day
with some letter or message from her mistress. I looked forward to the
time of her coming, and felt duller when she was gone. I thought that it
would be very delightful to have such a handmaiden always about me, to
smooth my pillows, and bring me my meals, and talk to me when she had
nothing better to do.

“I was interested in Rachel, and enjoyed her visits; but, believing
still in Julia Harper’s fidelity, I was faithful to the core myself. But
circumstances soon occurred which shook my faith, and then my love began
to dwindle. The first of these was a mere trifle—but it was a
suggestive one. Rachel brought me, one day, a note, and a little bundle
of flowers, unusually well-arranged. I read the note, and to my
astonishment there was a postscript to it in these words—‘I am sorry
that I cannot send you a boquet to-day; there is positively not a flower
in the garden.’ I mentioned this to Rachel, and asked whence the flowers
had come. She blushed, and said with some confusion of manner, that she
had picked them in the garden herself.

“The next was something still more demonstrative of the fair Julia’s
disregard of truth. Rachel brought me a note one day, and a parcel
containing a pair of worsted-work slippers, which her mistress said she
hoped I would wear for her sake until I was able to leave my room. She
did not actually say, but she implied that she had worked them for me
herself. When I said something to Rachel about the time and trouble Miss
Harper—I never said ‘your mistress’ now—must have expended on them, I
observed a very curious and significant expression on the girl’s face. I
had observed it once or twice before, when I had said something
indicative of my confidence in Julia’s sincerity. It was an expression
partly of pity—partly of disgust; and seemed to be attended, for I
could see the compressure of her little mouth, with a painful effort to
repress the utterance of something that was forcing its way to her lips.
I was thinking what this could mean, when a piece of folded paper fell
from the parcel: I picked it up, and found it was a bill—a bill for my
slippers, which Miss Harper had bought at the Berlin Repository in the
High Street. I knew now the meaning of the look. Rachel saw that I had
got a glimmering of the truth, and I thought that she seemed more happy.

“She had wished me ‘good morning,’ and was about to depart, but I told
her that I could not suffer her to go. It was altogether a deplorable
day, what we call in the log _squally_. There was a great deal of
wind—a great deal of rain; and, just at this moment, the latter was
coming down in torrents. After some persuasion, she consented to remain.
Then I asked her if she would do something for me; and, with a bright
smile, she answered—‘Yes.’ I had a new silk neckcloth waiting on the
table to be hemmed. She took it up, and then turning to me, asked
naively how she was to hem it without needle and thread. To this
question—for which I was well prepared—I replied, that in the other
table-drawer she would find something containing both. She searched, and
found a very pretty Russian-leather case, silver-mounted, with all the
appliances a seamstress could desire. Then I begged her acceptance of
it—said that I had ordered it to be made on purpose for her use, and
that I should be bitterly disappointed if she did not accept of it. And
she did accept it with undisguised pleasure. And every pleasant thing it
was to lie on the sofa, and watch her neat little white hands plying the
needle in my behalf. I had been longing to see the hand without the
glove, and I was abundantly satisfied when I saw it.

“She had hemmed one side of the handkerchief, and we had conversed on a
great variety of topics, when the weather began to clear up, and the sun
to shine in at the windows. Rachel rose at once to depart. I said that I
was quite sure it must be dreadfully wet under foot, and that I was
certain she was thinly shod.

“‘Not very,’ she said.

“But I insisted on satisfying myself, and would not be content until she
had suffered to peep out beneath the hem of her gown one of the neatest
little patent-leather slippers I had ever seen in my life. I said that
they were very dainty little things, but altogether fine-weather shoes,
and not meant for wet decks. But I remembered presently that I had seen
in her hand, when she entered the room, a pair of India-rubber
overshoes, and I reminded her of them.

“‘They are my mistress’s,’ she said: ‘I had been desired to fetch them
from the shop.’

“‘Wear them,’ I said, ‘all the same—they will be none the worse, and
will keep your little feet dry.’

“‘But how can I?’ she answered with a smile; ‘they will not fit me at
all.’

“‘Too _small_?’ I said, laughing.

“‘Yes, sir,’ she said, with another smile, even more charming than the
first. I told her that I should not be satisfied until I had decided
that point for myself; and at last I persuaded her to try. The little
rogue knew well the result. Her feet were quite lost in them.

“If I have a weakness in the world, my good fellow, it is in favor of
pretty feet and ankles; so, when Rachel insisted on taking her
departure, I hobbled as well as I could to the window to see her pick
her way across the puddles in the Close. I satisfied myself that the
girl’s ankles were as undeniable as her feet; and she was unequivocally
_bien chaussée_. I could not help thinking of this long after she was
gone. And then it occurred to me that Julia Harper was certainly on a
rather large scale. She had a good figure of its kind, and she had fine
eyes; but Rachel’s were quite as bright, and much softer; and as for all
the essentials of a graceful and feminine figure, the mistress’s was far
inferior to the maid’s. I kept thinking of this all the evening, and
after I had gone to bed. And I thought, too, of the very unpleasant
specimen of Julia’s insincerity which had betrayed itself in the case of
the slippers. But it is astonishing how little it pained me to think
that Julia might not be really attached to me, and that our almost
engagement might come to naught after all.

“I am afraid that if I dreamt at all about female beauty that night, it
was less in the style of the mistress than the maid. Morning came, and
with it an eager hope that I should see Rachel in the course of the day;
but she did not appear. I never kept such long watches in my life. I got
horribly impatient. I left my couch, and seated myself at the window,
with a sort of forlorn hope that I might see Rachel pass; but I saw only
a distressing number of clumsy feet and thick ankles, and no one
remotely resembling Miss Harper’s spicy little maid. Night closed in
upon me savage as a bear. But the next day was a more auspicious one.
Looking prettier than ever, Rachel came with a note from her mistress. I
was in no hurry to open it, you may be sure. I asked Rachel a great
number of questions, and was especially solicitous on the score of the
wet feet, which I feared had been the result of her last homeward voyage
from my lodgings. She had by this time habituated herself to talk to me
in a much more free and unembarrassed manner than when first she came to
my apartments; and the more she talked to me, the more charmed I was;
for she expressed herself so well, had such a pleasant voice, and
delivered such sensible opinions, that I soon began to think that the
mental qualifications of the mistress (none of the highest, be it said)
were by no means superior to those of the maid. Indeed, to tell you the
truth, my good fellow, I was falling in love with little Rachel as fast
as I possibly could.

“This day, indeed, precipitated the crisis. We had talked some time
together, when Rachel reminded me (I thought that there was an
expression of mock reproachfulness in the little round face) that I had
not read her mistress’s letter. I opened it in a careless manner; and
had no sooner read the first line, than I burst out into loud laughter.
‘Bravo! Rachel,’ I exclaimed. ‘You are a nice little messenger, indeed,
to carry a young lady’s _billets doux_. You have given me the wrong
letter.’ She took up the envelope, which had fallen to the ground, and
showed me that it was directed to ‘_Edward Bloxham, Esq._’ ‘All the
better, Rachel,’ I said; ‘but this begins ‘_I am so delighted, my dear_
_Captain Cox_—’ Hurrah, for the envelopes!’

“I looked into Rachel’s face. It was not easy to read the expression of
it. First she seemed inclined to laugh—then to cry. Then she blushed up
to the very roots of her hair. She was evidently in a state of
incertitude and confusion—puzzled what course to pursue. I folded up
the letter, placed it in another envelope—not having, of course, read
another word of its contents. What was the cause of Julia’s excessive
delight I am not aware up to this moment; but I could not help asking
Rachel something about Captain Cox. One question led to another. Rachel
hesitated at first; but at last, with faltering voice and tearful face
told me the whole truth. She said that she had felt herself, for some
time, in a very painful and embarrassing situation. She recognized her
duty to her mistress, who had been kind and indulgent to her—but she
could not help seeing that much which had been done was extremely wrong.
She had all along been ashamed of the duty on which she was employed,
and had more than once hinted her disapprobation; but had been only
laughed at as a prude. She had often reproached herself for having been
a party to the fraud which had been practiced on me. She had not at
first fathomed the whole extent of it; but now she knew how bad a matter
it was. The truth was, that Miss Harper had for some time been carrying
on something more than a flirtation with Captain Cox. But her father
disliked the man, who, though very handsome and agreeable, bore any
thing but a good character—and, therefore, Julia had acted cautiously
and guardedly in the matter, and had feigned an indifference which had
deceived Mr. Harper.

“When I first came to anchor at Canterbury, Captain Cox was on ‘leave of
Absence;’ and, as he had gone away without making a declaration, it had
appeared to Julia that an overt flirtation with me in the captain’s
absence—something that would certainly reach his ears—might stimulate
him to greater activity, and elicit an unretractable avowal. Her
flirtation with me was intended also, to impress on Mr. Harper’s mind
the conviction that she was really attached to me, and he ceased,
therefore, to trouble himself about Captain Cox. He liked me, and he
encouraged me, on purpose that the odious captain might be thrown into
the shade. Such was the state of affairs at the outset of Julia’s
flirtation with me. But Rachel assured me that I really had made an
impression on the young lady’s heart, though she had not by any means
given up the gallant captain.

“I asked Rachel how this could be—how it was possible that any heart
could bear two impressions at the same time. She said, that she supposed
some impressions were not as deep and ineffaceable as others. At all
events, she believed that to Miss Harper it was a matter of no very
vital concernment whether she married Captain Cox or Mr. Bloxham; but
that she was determined to have one or other. The fact is, the girl was
playing a double game, and deceiving both of us. All this was very clear
to me from Rachel’s story. But she told me it was her own belief, that
Julia would determine on taking me, after all—and that for the very
excellent reason that Captain Cox was engaged elsewhere. At least, that
was the story in the town since his return to barracks.

“Poor Rachel shed a great many tears whilst she was telling me all this.
She said that, having betrayed her mistress, she could not think of
remaining with her. She was decided on this point. With warm expressions
of gratitude, I took her little hand into mine, and said that I would be
her friend—that she had done me an inestimable service—that I was glad
to be undeceived—that the little incident of the flowers and that of
the slippers, had shaken my belief in Miss Harper’s truth, that
altogether my opinions had changed, and that I knew there were worthier
objects of affection. Then I spoke of her own position—said that of
course her determination was right—but that she would confer a very
great favor on me, if she would do nothing until she saw me again. This
she readily promised; and it was agreed that on the following day, which
was Sunday, she should call on me during afternoon service. I pressed
her hand warmly when I wished her goodbye, and with greedy eyes followed
her receding figure across the Close.

“She came at the appointed hour, looking prettier and more lady-like
than ever. She was extremely well-dressed. I shook hands with her and
asked her to seat herself upon the couch beside me; and then asked her,
laughingly, ‘What news of Captain Cox?’ She said there was not the least
doubt that Captain Cox was engaged to be married to a lady in London;
and that Miss Harper, on the preceding evening, not before, had been
made acquainted with the fact. I then asked Rachel what the young lady
had said on receiving back her letter to the captain; and learnt that
she had been greatly excited by the discovery, and had been very eager
to ascertain how much of the letter I had read. When Rachel told her
that I had read only the words, _I am so delighted, my dear Captain_
_Cox_, she somewhat recovered her spirits, but this morning she had
pleaded illness as an excuse for not coming down to breakfast, and had
not since left her room.

“There was at this time lying unopened on my table, a note from Miss
Harper, which had been brought by her father, an hour before. I asked
Rachel to give it to me, saying ‘Now let us see, Rachel, whether any new
light is thrown upon the subject.’ I think her hand trembled when she
gave it to me. I opened and read—

“‘My dear Mr. Bloxham,—Very many thanks to you for your promptitude in
returning the note, which, stupid little bungler that I am’ (‘Not so
very little, is she, Rachel?’ I paused to remark) ‘I sent you by
mistake—I am very glad that I had not sent _the other_ to Captain
Cox—for, although it does not much matter if one’s letters to one’s
acquaintance fall into the hands of one’s friends, it is not at all
pleasant if one’s letters to one’s friends fall into the hands of one’s
acquaintance. I wrote to Captain Cox only to tell him how delighted I
was to hear of his engagement—for he is going to be married to a Miss
Fitz-Smythe—a very lady-like girl, who was spending some time here with
the Maurices; and was really quite a friend of my own.’

“I had not patience to read any more. I knew it to be all a lie. So I
tossed the letter into the middle of the room, and said, ‘We have had
enough of that.’ I was ineffably disgusted. One thing, however, was
certain; that Julia Harper, with her £15,000, was now to be had by me
for the asking. But I would not have asked, if the money had been told
over twenty times.

“I had other views for my humble self. Rachel, I found on inquiry, was
the daughter of a Mrs. Earnshaw, the widow of an officer in the
Preventive Service. The widow’s means of subsistence were slight, and
her daughter had obtained a situation as, what people called, Miss
Harper’s maid.

“My good fellow, I can hardly tell you what happened after this; I have
a confused recollection of having looked inquiringly into Rachel’s face,
read whole chapters of love in it; then threw my arms round her waist,
pressed her fondly to my bosom, and whilst I untied her bonnet strings,
and removed the obtrusive covering from her head, said to her, ‘We
sailors have all been sworn at Highgate—all sworn never to kiss the
maid when we can kiss the mistress—_unless we like the maid better
than_ _the mistress_, and heaven knows how much _I_ do!’

“After the lapse of two or three weeks, and very delightful weeks they
were, too—Rachel Earnshaw became Rachel Bloxham, and I the happiest
husband in the world. I have got the very best of little wives, and
never, I assure you, for one moment, though we have little enough to
live upon, and I cannot bear these long separations, have I deplored the
loss of Miss Harper and her fifteen thousand pounds, or regretted that I
availed myself of the _saving clause_, when I proved that I had been
Sworn at Highgate.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                  =“WHATEVER HE DOETH SHALL PROSPER.”=


                         =BY MRS. MARY ARTHUR.=


             I read the records of passing life,
               With a careful, earnest eye—
             And smiled or wept, as my pulses leapt,
               To the scenes that hurried by;
             From the busy play of infancy
               To the busier care of age—
             And nothing so fair as an upright soul
               Was traced on the glowing page.

             “Whatever he doeth shall prosper well”—
               “In his darkness ariseth light”—
             So—softly and sweetly a whisper fell,
               Like the smile of an angel bright.
             Though he win not the glitter of gold or fame,
               Yet his wealth shall be far above;
             He shall coin it freely of precious words
               From the treasure of God’s deep love.

             “Whatever he doeth shall prosper well,”
               Though his path may be rough awhile,
             Enough for him is the lights of truth
               And his Father’s ceaseless smile.
             He shall grow like a tree by the river-side,
               And if tempests sweep around—
             Then proved and tried by their searching wrath
               Shall the ripened fruit be found.

             “Whatever he doth shall prosper well,”
               (For he waiteth his Father’s will,)
             Though it seems not so in this outer world,
               In a better and brighter still.
             His leaf shall not wither—it keepeth fair,
               Through the cold or gusty blast;
             And his fruit shall ripen to holiness
               When the season comes at last.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           =THE USEFUL ARTS.=


               =THEIR ORIGIN AND THEIR EARLIEST HISTORY.=


                         =BY CHARLES WILLIAMS.=


The origin of the useful arts is not like a spring gushing forth from
the earth, a simple and indivisible cause of diversified results; it
rather resembles the noble river, whose waters arise and increase from a
large confluence of streams.


                       I. _Endowments for Labor._

How greatly, for instance, are the arts attributable to the human hand!
The paw of the beaver is admirably adapted to its habits of masonry, but
immensely superior is the organ of prehension with which we are gifted,
which readily applies itself to, and securely grasps, bodies of every
form and size, capable of being moved by the arms of man. Had the hand
been undivided, it could only have held such a portion of any mass as
was equal to itself; but now, by separating the fingers, it can
encompass one larger than itself; and by compressing two of them
together, it can safely hold a minute object. And as some bodies are too
large to be held by one hand alone, we are endowed with two, inclining
toward, and precisely adapted to, each other. The highest advantages of
a single hand of much larger dimensions is therefore gained, without any
of the discomforts that would arise from a different arrangement.

The admirable division of the hand, and the exquisite adjustment of its
several parts, are consequently indispensable to its perfection. Only
take from it one of them, and the efficiency of the whole is seriously
impaired. The Roman soldier deprived of his thumb was regarded as unfit
for service; and there have been instances in England and other
countries of such self-mutilation, as an effectual security against a
martial life. The thumb is, indeed, of special use. It is neither
situated directly opposite to the fingers, nor in the same plane with
them, but obliquely, that it may be brought at pleasure to bear on them
all, or on each finger separately. How manifestly superior is it to the
rudimental thumb of the ape, which is designed for no such services! In
strong contrast to the hand, also, as examination will show, is the
lion’s paw, which, though consisting of four fingers and a thumb, is
only adapted to very different purposes. In the human feet, where extent
of surface is required for support, all the toes, unlike the fingers,
are arranged in the same plane.

Were the tips of the fingers of bone, instead of flesh, we could not
take up such minute bodies as a millet seed, a thorn, or a hair, which
we can now do so readily from their being soft and round. Less soft, or
more soft, equal difficulty would arise: the fingers have precisely the
degree of consistence which is adapted to their intended use. And that
they may hold hard bodies, they are provided with nails, admirable
indeed for structure and position: were these placed on the tips of the
fingers, power would be lost; but they occupy exactly the situation, and
are of just the length, which will insure their utmost efficiency. In
almost every art where nicety of execution is required, the nails are
continually called into action. Who can, indeed, overrate the value of
the hand? Smoothness and roughness, fineness and coarseness, heat and
cold, are among the many sensible qualities of matter which it enables
us to recognize, from the nerves with which it is so abundantly
supplied, while its uses defy enumeration. The cuticle, indeed, becomes
hard, thickened, and almost horny, thus suffering a loss of sensibility
from years of labor; but in this there is a wise and kind law of
Providence, by which the laboring man is fitted for his daily and useful
toil. Did his hands thrill with every impression, he would be constantly
exposed to pain, and restrained by fear from pursuing as he does now his
rugged work. But early use has inured him to labor; he therefore wields
the axe, strikes in the spade, or swings over his head the huge hammer,
almost unconscious of effort; or, equally unharmed, dips his vessel into
the furnace of molten metal when it has attained the intensity of a
dazzling and scorching whiteness.

Complicated as the mechanism of the hand appears, when the attention is
restricted to its surface, it proves still more so when there is a
careful examination of its internal structure; while its complexity can
only be adequately regarded as other parts of the physical system are
duly considered. The wrist, which forms the base of the hand, is
composed of eight small bones compacted together; and having little or
no motion, they constitute a solid mass. The wrist is joined to the
bones of the fore-arm, the radius, and the ulna, which lie alongside
each other, and touch only toward the ends. Only one of them is joined
to the upper arm, at the elbow; the other only to the hand, at the
wrist. The former, by means of a hinge-joint at the elbow, swings
backward and forward, carrying with it the whole fore-arm. As often,
too, as there is occasion to turn the palm of the hand upward, the
radius rolls upon the ulna by the help of a cavity near each end of one
bone, to which, in the other, there is a corresponding tubercle.

Other arrangements are equally worthy of consideration. The bones of the
shoulders not only give firm attachment to the upper extremity of the
frame, but supply origins to the muscles of the arm and fore-arm. The
free use of the hand, and the square form of the chest, are alike
greatly owing to the clavicle, or collar-bone, which runs across from
the breast-bone to the top of the shoulders. The scapula, or
shoulder-blade, which is flat and triangular, lies on the ribs, is
cushioned with muscles, shifts and revolves in its place with every
movement of the arm, and has the power of moving upward and downward,
backward and forward, so that when these motions succeed rapidly, the
arm is rotated. The upper arm consists of a single bone, the head of
which is hemispherical; standing obliquely backward from the bone, and
received into a cavity with which the scapula is provided, it forms a
ball and socket-joint. In this arrangement there is a provision for the
rotating of the arm-bone on the scapula: thus the guards are made in
fencing, and various similar movements are performed. In others the
wrist has a finer and easier rolling, but this is from the motion of the
radius and the ulna. How exquisite and wondrous, then, are the
complicated, yet harmonious arrangements of the organic structure, by
which the endless diversity of our manipulations is so effectually and
happily secured!

Nor must we pause even here; for what is it that directs the hand? It is
the mind. The instruments of sense with which we are provided are
employed by a being capable of volition. We thus pass from the palpable
to the invisible. For that which feels and acts must be distinct from
the body, unless the body itself feels and acts. But in as far as the
body possesses a distinct organization of nerves for distinct purposes,
as sympathy, feeling, and motion, and all the frame does not act
together in feeling and volition, something besides the body must exist
and operate. And it is mind which enables the man not only to contrive,
but to execute. Without it, how useless; with it, when under the power
of disease, how injurious, were the hand! But when mind is in healthy
play, much may be effected by one hand, or even when the hands are never
possessed or lost. On its due exercise the elevation of man is
instrumentally and entirely dependent.

Inferior creatures are endowed with an amazing power. We stand
astonished and confounded at the phenomena of instinct. But that power
is at once perfected.

        “The winged inhabitants of Paradise
         Wove their first nests as curiously and well
         As the wood-minstrels of our evil day.”

In the first exercise of instinct, the comb of the bee, the habitation
of the beaver, and the web of the spider, like the nest of the bird,
were not to be surpassed. The dog, or the elephant, justly renowned for
sagacity, could not by any effort be taught to fabricate or use the
simplest implements. But man is destined to progression. Not only may he
be raised from a savage state to the elevation of civilized life, but
urged forward from that position through a career of indefinite
advancement. “Onwards! Onwards!” is the characteristic motto of
humanity. And hence, while man has a hand to be directed by his mind, he
has a mind on which circumstances operate; and of these art is the
offspring. Sometimes it evinces only a slight or transient stimulus; at
others, the stimulus is powerful and continuous. As invention consists
in new combinations, its exercise will be inconsiderable when the mind
has only few objects to combine, and proportionately great when such
objects are numerous. In savage life, invention flags—its exercise is
rare; but it is frequent in a highly civilized condition. The history of
the arts, therefore, is that of man’s physical and intellectual
progress. One art rises after another before our view, as the successive
memorials of a triumphal course. Who can describe by anticipation the
appropriate insignia of man’s ultimate achievements!


                           II. _The Hunter._

In accomplishing our present purpose, we shall glance at man in
exceedingly diversified circumstances. The pursuit and capture of the
fowls of the air and of the beasts of the field, and the taking of fish
from the waters, for example, were early means of obtaining sustenance
to which the human race must have had recourse. Long before hunting
became a sport, such employments were necessarily a prime business of
life. Men must, therefore, have soon invented and constructed a net; the
Hebrew name of which, signifying “to shut up,” suggests that it arose
from the net being contrived to inclose the prey. Nets were used in
taking birds in distant times, to an extent of which we can now form no
adequate conception. Of clap-nets there were several kinds, but the most
common consisted of two sides or frames, over which the net-work was
spread. At one end was a short net, which the fowlers fastened to a
bush, or a cluster of reeds, and at the other end one of considerable
length, which being pulled as soon as the birds were seen feeding in the
area within, the two sides instantly collapsed. According to Sir J. G.
Wilkinson, the nets of the ancient Egyptians were very similar to those
still used in Europe, except that they were usually of a larger size.
From these, it is probable that the fishing-nets of the Hebrews did not
materially differ. Indeed, the nets and the fishers of Egypt are more
than once mentioned in Scripture; and we know that the common
fishing-nets of this people are of a long form, with floats on the upper
and weights on the lower side.

At the present day, the Arabs, knowing that the birds become fatigued
and languid after having been put up two or three times, hastily run in
upon them, and knock them down with their bludgeons. They also
frequently use a net, placing within it a cage containing some tame
birds, that by their chirping and calling they may bring down others; a
mode by which numbers of these creatures are and have been destroyed.
Other devices are, moreover, adopted, which may, most probably, be
traced to a very remote date.

In hunting, a space of considerable size was sometimes inclosed with
nets in the vicinity of the water-brooks to which animals repaired in
the morning and evening. Here the hunters anxiously waited, taking
precautions for observing them unseen; sometimes driving them into the
nets, and at others inclosing the prey. On other occasions smaller nets,
when employed in a smaller space, proved equally effective. Of Esau we
read, in patriarchal times, as being engaged in the chase. Impelled by
the ardor of his spirit to seek in the toils, adventures, and perils of
hunting, not only his occupation but his sustenance, he appears to have
gained high repute by his daring and his skill. And yet the weapons he
employed were very simple; for his aged father, when he longed for
venison, told Esau to take his “quiver and his bow,” that it might be
obtained. To these, however, great power may be given. How much do the
aborigines of the North American continent owe to these weapons!


                         III. _Pastoral Life._

Other means of subsistence are observable in the primitive condition of
man. Such are those of Pastoral Life. Abel, the second son of Adam, was
“a keeper of sheep;” Jabal, a descendant of Cain, a son of Lamech and
Adah, is described as “the father of such as dwell in tents and have
cattle;” thus intimating that he was the first who adopted that nomade
life, which is still followed by numerous Arab and Tartar tribes in
Asia. In primitive times, some branches of the human family tended their
flocks and herds on the banks of the Euphrates and its tributary
streams; while, during succeeding ages, the descendants of Abraham
followed the same employment amidst the fertile pastures of Canaan.

The Oriental shepherd and his family, just as their remotest ancestors
did, occasionally take up their abode in caves, with which some parts of
the East abound. So capacious are some of these caverns as to admit the
master and the whole of his property. In times of great peril, the
inhabitants of towns and villages retire, with their wives and children,
their flocks and herds, into these dark recesses; which have served as
an asylum for those exposed to danger or tyranny, from time immemorial.
Some of the caves of Syria are ascribed chiefly to the erosive effect of
limestone rocks charged with free carbonic acid; but others are more
artificial, consisting of natural fissures enlarged or modified for some
particular purpose. Of this we are reminded as we read, that “because of
the Midianites, the children of Israel made them the dens which are in
the mountains, and caves, and strongholds;” and many excavations formed
by human hands are described by Oriental travelers.

But there was a continual migration of ancient tribes, of which we have
still mementos:

        “The weary Arabs roam from plain to plain,
         Guiding the languid herd in quest of food;
         And shift their little home’s uncertain scene
         With frequent farewell: strangers, pilgrims all,
         As were their fathers.”

To this mode of existence the tent was peculiarly adapted, consisting
only at first, like the common Arab dwellings of the East, of a pole or
two in the middle, with a covering of skin, and afterward of hair-cloth,
which, though mean and coarse, effectually repels the rain and the dew.
The erection of this light and fragile habitation was only the work of a
few minutes. No sooner was a suitable spot found for a halting-place,
than those on whom that duty devolved hastily unpacked the covering, and
addressed themselves to the setting up the pole which forms the centre
of the house; another party ran to mark out the space of ground which it
was to cover; while a third stood ready to spread out the canopy and tie
its extremities to the wooden pins, which the hands of a fourth had just
driven into the ground with a huge mallet. Tents were sometimes, as they
are still, of an oblong figure, supported, according to their size, by
one or more pillars, while a curtain let down occasionally from each of
these divisions turned the whole into so many separate apartments.

In the coverings and curtains of the tent we have an exercise of art
worthy of special notice. A mingling of hair, wool, or fur plaited
together, and fastened down by some natural threads, as hairs of greater
length than usual, blades of tough grass, or other vegetable fibres
separated from trees and plants, was probably the first advance toward
such a fabric. Or it might be after the fashion of a net, so early in
use, only with meshes unusually minute. Or hairs of fur, or down, bound
about the feet, to prevent inconvenience, would thus become pressed
together, and might suggest a somewhat solid and yet elastic fabric. But
the idea, however obtained, of a cloth-like substance produced by fibres
pressed together, would doubtless lead to efforts to produce it, and
here the arts of spinning and weaving take their rise; and the coverings
and curtains of the tent stand in relation to the dresses of the people.

An early mode of providing them would, doubtless, be to stretch a number
of long threads side by side, and then to pass another alternately above
and below them, so that with them this thread might be interwoven. The
attempt made on a large scale might lead to another on a smaller, and
this to others still more minute. In like manner, the primary use of
broad pieces might suggest the employment of narrower ones, till small
fibres were used for the same purpose. A mat-mantle was usually worn by
the secondary chiefs of the South Sea islands prior to the introduction
of European clothing. This article was carefully prepared from the
hibiscus bark; that of the young shoots being preferred, which having
been slit into shreds, were woven at the top by the hand with singular
neatness; and the sight of one of these mat-mantles in the British
National Museum, may well suggest similar processes as passed through in
times of primitive simplicity.

The Oriental shepherd is, at the present day, very simply attired, as
were those of patriarchal times. He puts on his garment, consisting of a
single piece, by making his left elbow fast in one of its folds, and
then throwing it several times round his body. Light and easy in itself,
it is also a firm and secure defense, well adapted to a wandering life;
preserving the shepherd from the falling rain, the dewy grass, the
coldness of the season, or the hard ground on which he finds his bed. In
other instances he wears a cloak, which is altogether shapeless,
resembling a square sack with an opening in front, and slit at the sides
to let out the arms, and which is his sleeping-dress at night. The dress
of the women was, most probably, of a lighter fabric than that of the
men in primitive times; but on it much obscurity rests. All accorded,
however, with extreme simplicity. Wooden bowls and dishes, sacks made of
hair-cloth, and bottles formed of a goat, kid, or calf’s skin, stripped
off, without an opening; the apertures made by cutting off the tail and
legs being sewed up, and when filled tied about the neck, are still the
principal furniture of an Eastern shepherd’s tent. A rod or staff, an
ox-goad, a sling, a bow, a javelin, are, at the same time, all his
implements and weapons.

To provide water for the flock is a duty of the first importance. There
is an abundant supply from the living fountain and the flowing stream;
but these are not always to be found. Happy is the shepherd, then, who
sees in the expanse before him the clear waters of a pool or lake, at
which his flocks and herds may eagerly slake their thirst. But these may
fail to be enjoyed; what appeared to be water may prove to be only the
mirage—emblem of forbidden pleasures, exciting hope to entail only
bitter disappointment. There remains, then, but one alternative—to dig
a well; a process indispensable in the earliest days of human history.
The well was often covered with a great stone, which being removed, the
person descended some steps to the surface of the water, and on his
return poured into a trough that which he had brought up. But as this
could only be applicable when the well was not deep, other contrivances
still employed in the East, and some of which appear on the Egyptian
monuments, must have been of high antiquity. “Sir, thou hast nothing to
draw with, and the well is deep,” were words which give additional
probability to this supposition. The shadoof, consisting of a tapering
lever, unequally balanced upon an upright body, and from the small end
of which the bucket is suspended by a rope, has long been the most
simple and common of all the machines employed to raise water in the
East.

In pastoral regions we have the art of music in its primitive form. To
Mercury the invention of the pipe was ascribed in pagan mythology; and
with this rustic instrument the shepherd often amused and solaced his
leisure hours. Apollo was celebrated as the inventor of the harp; and
the hand of the shepherd frequently swept its strings while he rested
with his flocks at noontide, or watched and guarded them during the
lonely hours of the night. For his skill on this instrument the son of
Jesse was distinguished in early life among the shepherds of Palestine.
In the antediluvian age, however, Jubal lived—“the father of all such
as handle the harp and organ;” the one being, probably, a kind of lyre,
and the other a bundle of reeds.

        “Thus music’s empire in the soul began:
         The first-born poet ruled the first-born man.”


                           IV. _Agriculture._

Agriculture is an art which has ever been a source both of the
necessaries and conveniences of life. Moses, following the example of
the Egyptians, made it the basis of the state. Accordingly, he
apportioned to every citizen a certain quantity of land, and gave him,
not only the right of tilling it himself, but also of transmitting it to
his heirs. The custom of marking the boundaries of lands by stones,
which had prevailed in earlier times, he perpetuated by an express law;
and against him who removed them without authority a curse was
denounced. Joshua divided the whole country, of which he had taken
possession, among the individual Hebrews, running it out with the aid of
a “measuring line.”

The occupation of the husbandman was held in honor, not only for the
profits it brought, but from its being supported and protected by the
fundamental laws of the State; security being an indispensable element
of human progress. All who were not set apart for sacred duties, as the
priests and levites, were regarded by the laws, and were, in fact,
agriculturalists. It is true that the rich and the noble did not place
themselves on a level with their inferiors; but none were so
distinguished as to disdain the culture of the soil. Elisha the son of
Shaphat was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen when Elijah passed by and
cast his mantle upon him. Of Uzziah, king of Judah, it was said—“He
loved husbandry.” And it became natural to speak of a man, engaging in
the highest and noblest service, as “putting his hand to the plough.”

This implement was at first extremely simple, the turning up of the soil
being effected by means of sharp sticks. The plough, strictly so called,
as observed by many recent travelers, is generally a branch, or small
tree, cut below the bifurcation; the share is of wood, and the point of
iron. As the husbandman guides the plough, he carries a rod, armed at
the extremity with a sharp piece of iron, with which he clears away the
weeds from the share of his implement, or goads his oxen. So light is
the whole apparatus, that he has to press hardly on it in the upturning
of the soil; and he often carries his plough home on his shoulder on
returning from the fields at night. The only harrow seems to have been a
thick clump of wood, borne down by a weight, or a man sitting upon it,
and drawn by oxen over the ploughed field: the same which the Egyptians
use at the present time. In this way the turfs were, and still are,
broken in pieces, and the fields leveled.

In harvest, the Hebrews used the sickle, so that the stubble remained in
the earth. The crops, when bound in bundles, were conveyed by hand, on
beasts of burden, or in wagons, to the threshing-floor. This was in some
elevated part of the field, and was nothing more than a circular space
thirty or forty paces in diameter, where the ground had been leveled and
beaten down. At first the grain was thrashed with sticks; but afterward
this mode was adopted only in respect to the lesser kinds of grain, and
in beating out small quantities. At a later period, it was trodden out
by the hoofs of oxen, as it is in the East to this day.

These allusions to agricultural pursuits recall to the mind the words of
the prophet—

        “Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
         Doth the ploughman plough all day to sow? Doth he open and break
           the clods of his ground?
         When he hath made plain the face thereof,
         Doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin,
         And cast in the principal wheat, and the appointed barley, and
           the rye, in their place?
         For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.
         For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument,
         Neither is a cart-wheel turned about upon the cummin;
         But the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with
           a rod.
         Bread-corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it,
         Nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his
           horsemen.
         This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts,
         Which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.”

Isaiah mentions four ways of threshing: the staff or flail, which was
used for the smaller seeds; the drag, formed of strong planks, the lower
part of which was made rough with stones or iron; the cart, having
wheels furnished with iron edges or teeth; and the feet of oxen driven
over the corn when laid on the floor. The grain was winnowed by being
thrown against the wind with a shovel.

The traditions of ancient times ascribe many of its arts to the visions
and instructions of superior beings. Among these stands forth with
special prominence the legend of “the fire-bringing Prometheus,” as
depicted by Æschylus with extraordinary power. He appears chained to the
mountains of Caucasus; and why is he thus doomed to suffering? For
disobedience to the power that rules the world, in bestowing fire on the
human race. “Laboring for the people,” and intent on giving them
“all-working fire,” it is to restrain him from “his man-loving turn of
mind,” that he is cast forth from society, and that the far-distant and
barren rock is his inexorable destiny.

How man received the gift of fire we have no means of knowing. It is a
Moslem fable that the angel Gabriel brought it to our first parents.
Poetry says that the winds blew through the grove, that two trees became
ignited from continued attrition, and that Adam beholding the lighted
copse fled, turned back, caught the glow of the flame, and then tried
various means to obtain it. Again, it tells us that a flint-shaft, aimed
at a beast, ground against a rock, and elicited sparks of fire, which
led Adam to rub stones together over dry leaves, while Eve gently
cherished the kindling flame. More than one ancient people ascribe it to
the rubbing of two pieces of wood together, a practice still adopted
among barbarous tribes. But however this might be, fire must have been
possessed in earliest times for the preparation of human food, as well
as for the practice of those arts which are ascribable to the fatherhood
of Tubal-Cain.

The presence of the metals, and particularly iron, must have become, in
various ways, too obvious to allow the art of smelting the ores to have
remained long undiscovered. The detection of virgin fragments, or the
accidental effect of fires on the more fusible ores, accounts at once
for the strange fictions which existed among the ancients on this
subject, especially that of the accidental conflagration of a forest,
and the consequent fluxion of some of the metal, from ores lying exposed
on, or near the surface. It is a natural conjecture, that in a little
time after the deluge, and long before the earth could have been peopled
by the posterity of Noah, a large part of it must have become covered
with wood. Its removal from many spots would, therefore, be
indispensable. Now, the most obvious method of clearing any space from
wood is the setting it on fire: and as in the most mineral countries
there are veins of metallic ores lying contiguous to the surface of the
earth, these being fused while the woods growing over them were burning,
might have suggested the first idea of the process of smelting. To adopt
a poet’s notion—

        “Thus powerful gold first raised its lofty head,
         And brass, and silver, and ignoble lead:
         When shady woods on lofty mountains grown,
         Felt scorching fires, whether from thunder thrown,
         Or else by men’s design the flames arose—
         Whatever ’t was that gave these flames their birth,
         Which burnt the towering trees and scorched the earth;
         Hot streams of silver, gold, and lead, and brass,
         As nature gave a hollow, proper place,
         Descended down, and formed a glittering mass.”

Nor is this merely a poetic fiction: it is sustained by the testimony of
many ancient historians, who speak of silver and other metals being
melted out of the earth, during the burning of the woods on the lofty
Alps and Pyrenees. A similar circumstance is said to have happened at
Croatia, not two centuries ago. A large mass of mixed metal, composed of
copper, iron, tin, and silver, was fluxed during the conflagration of a
wood which was accidentally set on fire.

The structure and use of the bellows may be traced to a very remote
period. Rosellini exhibits it, as it was employed in ancient Thebes. Men
appear heating a vessel over a charcoal fire, to each side of which is
applied a pair of bellows worked by the feet, each operator standing
upon and pressing them alternately, while he pulls up the exhausted skin
by a string which he holds in his hand. In one representation, the man
has left the bellows, which are raised as if full of air, and imply a
knowledge of the valve. The common bellows, made of two boards joined
together by a piece of leather, was known very early to the Greeks. How
serviceable this machine would be in the practice of the arts will be at
once perceptible.

Wool, in its native whiteness, was peculiarly suited for clothing to the
circumstances of the Israelites, whose economy required so many
sprinklings and cleansings. This substance was used for garments, both
by those of humbler and of higher grade, until accompanied or superseded
by other fabrics.

Among the wild flowers of our rural districts, the eye is sometimes
attracted—for example—by the blue flowers of the flax-plant. This
vegetable product is so little affected by soil and climate, that one
species, with all its characteristics unaltered, flourishes in the cold
as well as the temperate regions of the globe. There is scarcely a
plant, not even excepting the corn-plants, which can be regarded as of
more service to mankind than the flax. Its free use in ancient Egypt is
abundantly proved, while many representations are extant of the various
processes through which it passed. One of these is found in a very
ancient tomb at Beni Hassan, in Middle Egypt. On the right is seen a
boiler, an irregularly-shaped vessel. The hieroglyphic inscription
means, “The boiling of the knot, bundle of flax.” The three men who
complete the picture are beating the flax-stalks, thus prepared, with
wooden mallets, in order to deprive it of its outer skin. The
hieroglyphic inscription above reads, “Pickling, or hackling the thread
of the knot of flax.”

In some of the ancient statues, Minerva is represented with a distaff,
to intimate that she taught our progenitors the art of spinning. The
Egyptians ascribe this gift to Isis; and the Mohammedans to a son of
Japhet. In all countries, from the earliest times, the distaff was
accompanied by the spindle. The material employed—being duly
prepared—was rolled into a ball, loose enough for the fibres to be
easily drawn out by the hands of the spinner. Into the ball the upper
part of the distaff was thrust, while the lower was held in the left
hand under the left arm, so as to be most convenient for the process.
The fibres were drawn out, and at the same time spirally twisted,
chiefly by the fore-finger and thumb of the right hand, and the thread
so produced was wound on the spindle. The spindle was a stick ten or
twelve inches long, having at the top a slit or catch in which to fix
the thread, so that the weight of the spindle might continually carry
down the thread as it was formed. Its lower extremity was inserted into
a small wheel of wood, stone, or metal, the use of which was to keep the
spindle more steady, and to promote its rotation: for the spinner, who
was commonly a female, every now and then twirled round the spindle with
her right hand, so as to twist the thread still more completely; and,
whenever—by its continual prolongation—it let down the spindle to the
ground, she took it out of the slit, wound it upon the spindle, and
having replaced the thread in the slit, drew out and twisted another
length. The Arab women twirl the spindle in the same manner to this day.
A still simpler process is passed through by the women of the Tartar
tribes. They use a reel, which is connected with some silk, cotton, or
wool, fastened at the girdle. This reel is spun round and let fall, and
as it goes toward the ground it spins out the thread; when it approaches
the ground it is taken up, the thread is wound around the reel, which is
then set spinning again, and so on, till it has acquired as much thread
as it can carry. This may seem very slow work, but habit gives a
dexterity of manipulation which renders it less so than would be
ordinarily supposed.

In ancient Egypt great skill must have been obtained in spinning. The
threads used for nets, for instance, were remarkable for their fineness.
Pliny says, so delicate were some of them that a net could pass through
a ring, and a single person could carry a sufficient number of nets to
surround a whole wood. He tells us that one of the governors of Egypt
had some of these nets, each string of which contained 150 threads; and
that the Rhodians preserved to his day, in the Temple of Minerva, the
remains of a linen corslet, presented to them by Amasis, king of Egypt,
the threads of which were individually composed of 365 fibres.

The tomb at Beni Hassan, already referred to, supplies a representation
of ancient weaving. The warp is strained vertically on a frame, which
seems to be attached by wooden tenons to the wall or roof of the
dwelling. Beneath, the roller appears on which the web is wound. Two
females, crouching in a posture not uncommon in the East, are at work
upon it. The alternate threads of the warp are stretched apart by means
of two smooth sticks, one end of which is held by each worker. The woof
was then passed by the hand from one to the other. The shuttle does not
appear to have been known at that time. The beam was introduced between
the threads, perhaps fixed at one end by a slight metal catch; and, when
thus fastened, the leverage would enable another woman to press the woof
home with considerable force. The beam must have been withdrawn and
re-inserted at every turn of the woof. Exceedingly clumsy as this
instrument was, yet an extremely beautiful cloth was produced by it.

The Hebrew loom was most probably the counterpart of those still
observed by our Eastern travelers. One of them noticed its use in
Jerusalem, where the worsted was not worked in, but woven into the
piece, and the pattern of the weaving changed, so that the color of the
thread was completely thrown out, forming a triple fringe, through which
the weft could not be seen. “In two of our specimens,” says Mr. Wilde,
“we find twelve thick threads crossing the piece, and the tassels tied
exactly as they are at the end of a piece of modern Irish linen. But the
slipping of the weft is prevented by a curious process, performed by
tying the threads of the warp together, so that each is secured to the
thread at each side of it. This process forms a slight ridge at the end
of the piece, and is rather ornamental. This fringe appears to be
alluded to in that passage of Scripture, where the Israelites were
directed to make fringes in the borders of their garments, and that they
put upon the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue. I have seen a
species of mummy-cloth in Egypt corresponding to this description
precisely. Such was, probably, ‘the hem of the garment.’”[1]

Many of the Egyptian stuffs presented various patterns worked in colors
by the loom, independently of those produced by the dyeing or printing
process, and so richly composed, that they vied with cloths embroidered
by the needle. The art of embroidering was commonly practiced by that
people. The Israelites, when in the wilderness, used the skill which
they acquired in their captivity, for they made a rich “hanging for the
door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twisted
linen wrought with needlework;” “a coat of fine linen” was embroidered
for Aaron; and his girdle was “of fine-twined linen, and blue, and
purple, and scarlet, of needlework.”

In connection with these manufactures of different kinds there is a
process of great interest; it is that of bleaching: for cloth washed and
exposed to the sun and air assume an unwonted whiteness. We are in
ignorance as to the origin of this process; but, in some way or other, a
certain degree of putrid fermentation was observed to carry off coloring
matter from vegetable fibres. The practice must therefore have arisen of
macerating cloth in water mixed with putrescent animal matter, which has
continued to the present day from the earliest times. The secret was
also found out by many nations of antiquity, that natron, the nitre of
Scripture, combined with and carried off the coloring matter with which
cloth is stained; and the substance is still used for the same purpose.
According to Pliny, the ancient Gauls knew the use of a lixivium formed
from the ashes of burnt vegetables as a detergent, and also how to
combine it with oil so as to form a soap. In one of the tombs of Egypt
we have a representation, as the hieroglyphic inscription denotes, of
the washing or fulling of cloth. One man is seen rubbing the fabric in a
vessel containing some liquid, and another is shaking it out, preparing
it for the next process, which is often depicted—its being well wrung
out, stretched lengthwise, and fully exposed to the air.

Another process of great importance is that of dyeing. It is based on
the natural attractiveness of color. How often is the infant’s eye first
caught by some bright hue! The blue sky and the verdant carpet of nature
have a loveliness for all; while these, with the roseate tints of the
morning, the golden sheen of noon, and the rich, empurpled dyes of
evening, have furnished epithets freely lavished on the topics they have
adorned, by the poets of every age. Even Herodotus says of a nation on
the borders of the Caspian—“They have trees whose leaves possess a most
singular property; they beat them to powder, and then steep them in
water: this forms a dye, with which they paint on their garments figures
of animals. The impression is so very strong that it cannot be washed
out: it appears to be interwoven with the cloth, and wears as long as
the garment.” Strabo, in his account of the Indians, mentions on the
authority of Nearchus the various and beautiful dyes with which their
cloths were figured. Pliny says of the Egyptians, that they began by
painting on white cloth with certain drugs, which in themselves
possessed no color, but had the property of attracting or absorbing
coloring matters. That these cloths were afterward immersed in a heated
dyeing liquor of a uniform color, and yet when removed from it soon
after, they were found to be stained with indelible colors, differing
from one another according to the nature of the drugs that had been
applied to different parts of the stuff.

Purple is well known to have been a color of high repute. Moses, under
Divine instruction, used purple stuffs for the furniture of the
tabernacle and the dress of the high-priest. Purple raiment was worn by
the kings of Midian; and a garment of fine linen and purple was given to
a favorite by the Monarch Ahasuerus, whose palace was furnished with
curtains of this color, on a pavement of red, and blue, and white
marble. The Jews made a decree that Simon should wear purple and gold,
in token that he was their chief magistrate; and that none of the people
should wear purple or a buckle of gold, without his express permission.
And Homer thus describes a king—

                                  “In ample mode,
        A robe of military purple flowed o’er all his frame.”

There is a story that the celebrated Tyrian dye was discovered by
accident. A dog having broken one of the shells of the rock-whelk,
stained his mouth with the color it contains, and thus led to the
examination of this mollusc. It was then found that near to the head,
and lying in a little furrow, is a white vein, yielding the beautiful
purple tint which was long so highly esteemed.

It might be supposed that such processes as that of dyeing could only be
conducted in an advanced state of society; but to this it is not
exclusively confined. There is no doubt that, even during the captivity
in Egypt, the Israelitish women became acquainted with them. For
scarcely had they entered the wilderness than we hear that “the
wise-hearted among them” did not only “spin with their hands,” but
“brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of
scarlet,” as well as “of fine linen.”

We even find another process analogous to dyeing, in circumstances in
which we should not expect it to be discovered. In some of the islands
of the South Sea elegant small ferns grow in abundance, and with these
the native women impress figures, in divers colors, upon their
cloth—literally, a method of printing, which is but one remove below
the boasted invention of the Chinese, by means of engraven blocks,
before the art was discovered in Europe. Its resemblance to calico
printing is even more striking. For the old method, still continued for
certain parts of the work, were by blocks of sycamore, on the surface of
which the pattern was cut in relief, in the common method of wood
engraving.

Vessels to hold water would be an early requirement of the human race.
The shells of some vegetable productions, as those of gourds and the
larger kinds of nuts, would readily occur to the mind as adapted to this
purpose. The skins of animals taken in the chase would form another
resource. The bowls and dishes of the common Arabs are, and have been,
made of wood; but, for their production, some tools must be possessed,
as well as some dexterity in their use. It is a singular practice of
some tribes to cast stones made hot into the fluids contained in wooden
bowls, in order to raise their temperature; but the discovery that
certain substances could be made to resist the action of fire would at
once cause them to have the preference. Who made the discovery—the
brickmaker or the potter—we have no means of knowing.

The art of the potter was especially necessary at an early period, from
the scarcity of fuel in some parts of the East. Hence we are told of
people “who make in their tents a hole about a foot and a half deep,
wherein they put their earthen pipkins or pots, with the meat within,
closed up, so that they are in the turf above the middle. Three-fourth
parts thereof they lay about with stones, and the fourth part of which
is left open, through which they throw in their dried dung, which burns
immediately, and gives so great a heat, that the pot groweth so hot as
if it had stood in the middle of a lighted coal-heap; so that they boil
their meat with a little fire, quicker than we do ours with a great one
on our hearths.” As the Israelites must have had as much occasion to be
sparing of their fuel as any people, and especially while journeying in
the wilderness, it has been supposed that they must have had some such
practice. It is certain that we read in the Levitical law of “ranges of
pots,” thus showing their use at that period. It became still more
familiar in after times.

“I went down,” says the Prophet Jeremiah, “to the potter’s house, and
behold he wrought a work on the wheels.” The name of the inventor of
this simple, yet effective machine, has been lost for ages, if indeed it
was ever made known. It consists merely of two wheels or round plates
placed horizontally, to which a rotary motion is given. If, then, on the
upper one be heaped a mass of clay, it is evident that a tendency to a
centrifugal motion will be given to it, which will greatly facilitate
the action of the potter’s fingers, in forming out of the rude lump
whatever vessel he pleases. With his thumbs separated from the fingers,
and held on the clay as it revolves, the rapid motion will enable him
readily to mould a hollow vessel.

Of earthenware, jars and drinking-vessels were chiefly made; and, it is
probable, from the unvarying character of Eastern customs, that they had
the same shapes as those still in use. Vessels formed of clay hardened
by the sun, of a globular shape, and large at the mouth, not unlike the
vitriol-bottles used in this country, but somewhat smaller, have been
observed by modern travelers as borne by females going down to the well
to fetch water; while their resemblance to the vessels used at the
marriage of Cana in Galilee was exceedingly interesting.

In Egypt and Western Asia the inhabitants have in common use vessels of
porous clay, lightly baked, and rather thin in proportion to the size of
the vessels. The water they hold constantly oozes through the minute
pores of the vessel, forming a thick dew or moisture on the outer
surface, the rapid evaporation of which reduces the temperature of the
vessel and of the water also much below that of the atmosphere, so that
the inhabitants enjoy a perfectly cool and refreshing draught. The
vessel forms, at the same time, a most effectual filter. The work of the
potter continues to be, as it was, extensive in the East. The people are
accustomed to break their earthen vessels when they become defiled, just
as they were required to do under the Levitical law.

-----

[1] Wilde’s Travels.


                        V. _Settlers in towns._

While, however, these various branches of art were advancing with
greater or lesser speed, while the number of the people was increasing,
a division of property arose, and the desire was naturally kindled in
the bosom of families to dwell apart: a dissatisfaction would therefore
arise with the tent, and an effort be made to collect other materials,
and to construct separate and more durable dwellings. In the time of
Job, and probably for ages afterward, the houses of all ranks in the
land of Uz appear to have been built of mud; for of some transgressors
he says—“In the dark they dig through houses which they had marked for
themselves in the day-time.” We read of others who “dig through” houses
“and steal;” thus suggesting to us those clay-built dwellings, which,
though not substantial like edifices of later date, were still
sufficiently so to require that he should _dig_ through them who would
gain a forcible entrance.

On men determining to become settlers in towns, more stable materials
were rendered available. The manufacture of bricks ascends to the
earliest time of historical record. The first building of which there is
any mention after the deluge is the Tower of Babel. Considerable
progress appears to have been made, not only in this but the city before
“the confusion of tongues” took place. It is expressly stated that
well-burned brick was used, instead of stone, in these structures, and
that slime, which is generally understood to be bitumen, was employed
instead of mortar. Other edifices were reared from bricks formed of
earth, and then burned in furnaces or kilns.

The manufacture of bricks was familiar to the ancient Egyptians. In
this, as is well known, the children of Israel were greatly oppressed.
The circumstance of the bricks they made being mixed with chopped straw,
renders it probable that they were not burned, but merely dried in the
sun. Herodotus records of Asychis, one of the kings of Egypt, that he
built a pyramid of bricks, made of the mud or silt dredged up from the
bottom of the Nile. In one compartment of a tomb in Thebes the whole
process of brick-making is portrayed. Some persons appear carrying the
clay in vessels from the field, others beating it with spades, others
taking the bricks out of the mould, and others bearing away the dried
bricks, making a balance over their shoulders with ropes attached to a
beam.

The first effort of those who would rear a town would be to mark out the
extent of the ground they required, including not only a desirable space
for building, but pasture-lands for flocks and herds, and also fields
for the produce of grain. A wall would now be necessary at the boundary
line, as a defense from the assaults of ravenous beasts, or the
incursions of hostile bands. This would at first be formed of any stones
that could be dug out or collected, and then heaped together; a strong
and stable, but rude protection.

The earliest houses would probably be only one story in height: all of
them having a similarity in general appearance. But the chief would soon
require that his dwelling should accord with his personal elevation, and
obedience to his mandate would result in the rudiments of a palace. The
sound knowledge or the superstition of the sovereign and his people
would give rise to the structure of a temple, and in the course of time
to the multiplying of edifices accounted sacred. Other distinctive
circumstances would inevitably arise. To walls rendered increasingly
massive would be added towers, gradually acquiring a military character;
and places of security to which the inhabitants might retire in seasons
of peril. On an assault being made, the men who tilled the ground, and
those who carried on the business of the town, would unite in its
defense; but as attacks continued to be threatened, or were actually
experienced, there would be the organization of a martial force, and the
population be divisible into the civil and the military; the latter
class being supplied with weapons and trained to the exercises of
assault and defense.

The implements of the carpenter, like those of other artisans, were long
both few and simple. It does not follow that the axe was first formed of
iron. As a spear-head of hard wood serves the purpose of some of the
South Sea Islanders, so does still an axe of green jade. If to this
there was a resemblance in early times, a sharpened piece of iron with a
wooden helve would naturally succeed. We know that celebrity might be
acquired in its use; for “a man was famous according as he had lifted up
axes upon the thick trees.” When Solomon was about to build the Temple,
he conveyed his wish to the King of Tyre for a supply of timber, knowing
as he said, “there is not among us any that can skill to _hew_ timber
like unto the Sidonians.”

In early times, the trunks of trees were split with wedges into as many,
and as thin pieces as possible; and if they were required to be still
thinner, they were hewn on both sides to the proper size. Much advantage
was therefore gained by the invention of the saw. As it could only be
made of metal, this would occur at a far later period than that to which
it is just to ascribe the origin of the axe. That the Egyptians
possessed the saw is manifest from their sculptures. David, on the
subjugation of the Ammonites, appears to have put them to labor with
different implements, among which was the saw. The use of this was not
confined to wood; for parts of Solomon’s palace were formed of “costly
stones, according to the measure of hewn stones, sawed with a saw.”

The art of the locksmith is nowhere apparent in early times: the bolt,
the lock, the key, were all of wood, as they are in the metropolis of
Egypt to the present day. To produce these, therefore, the carpenter
must have been employed. The Orientals looked to watchmen as their chief
means of defense.

The lamp-maker must have been, however, in great request. Metals were
often employed in the structure of lamps. The one commonly used in Cairo
is of palm-tree wood; the glass that hangs in the middle is half-filled
with water, and has oil on the top, about three fingers in depth. The
wick is preserved dry at the bottom of the glass, and ascends through a
pipe. Such Lamps are very convenient, from their being easily removed
from place to place.

And here we are reminded of a valuable substance not yet noticed.
According to Pliny, some storm-beaten mariners were boiling their food
at the mouth of the river Belus—a small stream running from the foot of
Mount Carmel—where the herb kali was growing abundantly, when they
perceived that the sand—when incorporated with the ashes of the
plant—melted, and ran into a vitreous substance. Nor is the supposition
unnatural; for the sand at this place was well adapted to the
manufacture of glass; and it is scarcely possible to produce a fire of
sufficient heat for metallurgical operations without vitrefying part of
the bricks or stones of the furnace. Strabo and Josephus alike supported
the statement of Pliny, and probably from the spot referred to, the
material was obtained that was used in the glass-works of Tyre and
Sidon. At Beni Hassan, glass-blowers are represented at work: glazed
pottery was used by the Egyptians; they also made glass bugles and beads
for necklaces, and a sort of network with which they covered the
wrappers of mummies, so as to form by their various hues numerous
devices and figures, resembling those that are made in our bead-purses.
The chief articles of that people were, however, bottles, vases, and
other utensils, though they must have had great skill in the manufacture
of glass, as they counterfeited amethysts, emeralds, and other precious
stones, and were practiced in cutting glass and gems. A pane of glass,
and numerous fragments of broken glass bottles were discovered on the
excavation of the city of Pompeii. And Mr. Layard has found that the
people of Nineveh had also acquired the art of making glass. Several
small bottles, or vases—of elegant shape—in this material, were found
at Nimroud and Kouyunjik. One bears the name of the Khorsabad king. The
gems and cylinders still frequently found in ruins, prove that the
Assyrians were also very skillful in engraving on stone.

Not very long after the rise of the arts we discover the practice of
working in gold. The golden ear-ring presented by Abraham’s steward to
Rebekah weighed half a shekel, and the two bracelets for her hands were
ten shekels’ weight of gold. The ark of the covenant, though made of
wood, was to be overlaid with pure gold, within and without. It was also
to have a crown of gold round about, and rings of gold in the four
corners. Even the staves were to be overlaid with gold. Similar
directions were given as to the table of shewbread and the altar of
incense. And Solomon garnished the house of the Lord with gold.

The Egyptians appear to have been familiar with the manufacture of gold.
The gold-leaf still found in and about mummy-cases, some thousands of
years old, proves not only that they had an abundant supply of the
precious metal, but were acquainted with the art of gilding. Their
making of golden ornaments and golden vases, of large size and beautiful
workmanship, might be inferred from various incidental notices in
ancient writers; but, it is placed beyond all doubt by the
representations of Rosellini. Among these are numerous vases of a golden
color, many of them showing not only manual dexterity, but also
considerable taste. A picture in the tomb of Rameses IV. contains a
golden vase of great beauty, supported by two Philistines.

There is no mention of silver in Scripture till the time of Abraham. It
then appears in the form of money, estimated by weight: “Abraham weighed
to Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the sons of
Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.”
Jeremiah paid for the field of Hanameel in the same way. The shekel and
the talent indeed do not appear to have been originally fixed and
stamped pieces of money, but merely weights used in traffic. So general
did this become, that the Jews usually had scales attached to their
girdles for weighing the gold and silver they received in payment, while
the Canaanites carried them in their hands. Silver was so abundant in
the days of Solomon that it was “nothing accounted of;” for “the king
made silver to be as stones in Jerusalem.”

The mention of brass which occurs in ancient writers must often be
understood as meaning copper, either in its pure state or alloyed with
tin, rather than the metallic compound with which we are familiar. It is
stated that the chief sources of the wealth of the Pharaohs were the
mines of the neighboring countries of Nubia and Ethiopia, which were
abundantly productive of copper.

The mirrors which were in possession of the Israelitish women when they
left Egypt are said to have been of brass, for the laver and the foot of
it were made of that metal. Such were all the mirrors made in ancient
times. Many metallic mirrors may be observed in our collections of
Egyptian antiquities. They are nearly round, but varied in form,
according to the taste of the artisan, and are inserted in handles of
wood, stone, or metal. Their substance is chiefly copper, but mixed with
other metals, most carefully wrought and highly polished. In the
Egyptian Museum at Paris, there are several mirrors of a metal which
looks like brass.

David provided an immense quantity of copper for the use of the Temple.
Of this substance all sorts of vessels were made for the Temple, as they
had been for the Tabernacle; and to these may be added weapons, more
especially helmets, armor, shields, and spears. Hiram of Tyre was
celebrated as a worker in brass. The larger vessels, and the pillars for
architectural ornaments, were moulded in foundries; but it appears that
this art, even in the time of Solomon, was little known among the Jews,
and was peculiar to foreigners, particularly the Phœnicians.

Mines of copper occur in the mountains of Kourdistan, which appear to
have been worked from remote antiquity. They formed the chief source
from which copper, iron, and lead were obtained by the ancient
Assyrians. A disused copper-mine, nearly blocked up with earth and
rubbish, and only known to a few mountaineers, was visited by Mr.
Layard. He found the metal in various states. Inscriptions on copper,
various utensils, and figures of lions in solid metal, have been exhumed
from the ruins of Nineveh. Tools, daggers, arrow-heads and armor, were
formed from the ore, as was commonly the case among Asiatic nations,
while the metal in powder was used to color the bricks and ornaments in
the Assyrian palaces.

The general style of building in the East, with which our modern
travelers are so familiar, accords with that which is traceable to the
remotest ages. Fronting the street, which is usually narrow, as
providing a better defense from the sun, and sometimes with a range of
shops on one or both sides, dead walls appear, here and there only
broken by a window, to which a grotesque frame of lattice-work serves as
a guard. The house is entered by a porch or gateway, which conducts into
a quadrangular court paved with stone or marble, and is generally
surrounded by a cloister; over which, when the house has a number of
stories, a gallery, having a balustrade, or else a piece of carved or
latticed work, is erected of the same dimensions as the cloister. The
apartments are approached by doors from the quadrangular court. When
houses are built close together, the staircase is placed in the porch,
or at the entrance into the court, and continued through one corner of
the gallery or another to the top of the house; but when the houses are
not contiguous, the staircase appears to have been conducted along the
outside of the building. The roof is always flat; it is often composed
of branches of wood laid across rude beams, and is covered with a strong
plaster of terrace, to defend it from injury in the rainy season. It is
surrounded by a parapet or a wall breast high, serving as a protection
to those who go on the roof for various purposes, and also as a means of
separation from the adjacent houses. Such a battlement was expressly
required by the law of Moses, intimating probably, that terraced houses
were at that time less common in Syria than they were in Egypt.

In the survey of ancient buildings, the use of immense masses of stone
cannot fail to be observed. It appears from recent discoveries that they
were cut from the quarries by a number of metal wedges, placed in a
line, and struck simultaneously with a wooden mallet; or that a mass was
split by wedges of highly-dried wood saturated with water, and thus
acquiring a great expansive force. They were sometimes hewn, either
roughly or with greater care. They were raised aloft by means still
employed in India, as mounds, or inclined planes, or others equally
simple. In all the remains of ancient Egypt we have no trace of any
machinery being employed in building; a fact not a little remarkable
when we consider how vast and stupendous were many of its edifices.

In the language of the Hebrews, the name of a garden was given to every
place where plants and trees were cultivated with greater care than in
the open field. Such inclosures are generally defended, as they have
been for ages, by loose stones, a wall, or a hedge formed of the wild
pomegranate tree, or of thorns mingled with rose-bushes, adorned in
their season with their lovely flowers, and giving forth their
delightful fragrance. Within, however, but little design or beauty is
apparent, the whole commonly presenting only a confused medley of
fruit-trees, with beds of esculent plants, having even plots of wheat
and barley sometimes interspersed. Solomon could say, “I made me gardens
and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits;” but
then he had not only an unusual knowledge of the vegetable tribes, but
also vast resources as a sovereign. And travelers still tell us of the
supposed remains of the works he constructed, when he said, “I made me
pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees.”

Particular attention appears to have been bestowed on the culture of the
vine by the Israelites and other Oriental people. The site for this
purpose was carefully selected in fields of a loose, crumbling soil, on
a rich plain, on a sloping hill, or where the acclivity was very steep,
or on terraces supported by masonry; the whole being inclosed by a wall.
How luxuriant was the produce of Palestine is evident from the fact,
that on the return of the spies they passed through the valley of
Eshcol, where they were so much struck by the size and beauty of the
vines, that they broke off a branch to take with them to the camp, and
to prevent the attached and rich clusters from being bruised, bore it
between two on a staff. That the vine was cultured in Egypt, and that
the juice of the grape was expressed from its clusters, is apparent, not
only from Scripture, but the paintings and sculptures of that country,
in which are often and strikingly depicted the vineyards and
vine-arbors, the gathering of the grapes, and the treading of the
wine-press.

On the construction of military machines we do not enter; we dwell
rather on the arts of peace. Music, to which allusion has been made, in
connection with pastoral life, has, however, in all ages furnished a
powerful stimulus to men when engaged either in assault or defense. The
ancient inhabitants of Etruria used the trumpet for this purpose; the
Arcadians, the whistle; the Sicilians, the pectida; the Cretians, the
harp; the Lacedemonians, the pipe; the Thracians, the cornet; the
Egyptians, the drum; and the Arabians, the cymbal.

The transmission of persons and goods on the surface of the water would
appear to be desirable in a very remote age. How the idea of doing so
arose we know not. It is, however, certain that man did not

        “Learn of the little nautilus to sail;”

for that this mollusc has no membrane that it can elevate to catch the
wind, has been satisfactorily demonstrated. It is manifest, in other
ways, that very different vessels from any having sails were first used.
The raft, constructed of rude timbers lashed together, would, for
example, be devised at an early period. The means employed to this day
on the Euphrates must also have been adopted in a very distant age. The
kelck is composed of goat or sheep skins, inflated and fastened close
together, on which cross-pieces of wood are placed. The skins, of which
great care is taken lest they should burst from becoming dry, are
examined and inflated afresh during a voyage. Floated down by the
strength of the current, with the occasional use of rudely-formed oars,
the materials of the raft are sold on the cargo being discharged, while
the skins, exhausted of air, are carried back overland, to be used on
the next voyage.

The Arabs, male and female, still cross the Euphrates, or pass upon it
to a considerable distance, for agricultural and other purposes, by
means of inflated skins; which were probably employed by the patriarch
Jacob when he fled from Padan-aran, and “carried away all his cattle and
all his goods.” In after times armies crossed rivers by inflated skins,
and other contrivances. And among the sculptures of Nineveh obtained by
Mr. Layard, is one representing three warriors passing a river: one
struggles with the current, the others are sustained by inflated skins.

The ark of bulrushes prepared by the parents of Moses for their beloved
child, presents another type of ancient modes of conveyance. Egypt is
described by the prophet Isaiah as sending “ambassadors by the sea;”

        “And in vessels of papyrus on the face of the waters.”

That the ancients were accustomed to make light boats or vessels of this
substance is well known. Theophrastus, describing the papyrus as useful
for many things, says, “for from this they make vessels,” or ships;
while Pliny observes, “from the papyrus they weave vessels.” Herodotus
speaks of covered coracles, or basket-boats, their ribs being formed of
poplar, united and lined within with reeds, covered without with
leather, and worked by two men, each having a paddle, as common in his
day. Similar vessels, excepting only that a covering of bitumen is
substituted for one of leather, are still to be seen floating on the
bosom of the Euphrates. But to these Egyptian art was not restricted.
Herodotus describes boats formed of planks laid together in the manner
of bricks, and fastened by an outer layer of deals, the joinings of
which were stopped up by cement.

Large vessels, capable of performing long and distant voyages, appear
also to have been constructed in early times. They were impelled by
oars, or by these combined with sails. Not venturing into the high seas,
the mariners merely cruised along the coast, so that in stress of
weather a port might easily be gained. Slow and tedious were those early
voyages, as they could be directed only by an observation of the stars,
which a hazy atmosphere would effectually obscure. In winter no progress
could be made; the vessel was then laid up in harbor until the return of
the sailing season.


                      VI. _Inhabitants of Cities._

If, in conclusion, we turn to the contemplation of man in the city, we
shall observe the arts at their greatest elevation. It is worthy of
remark that the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, and also of the
Nile, as well as of Syria, from the sea-coast eastward to the great
desert that parts it from Mesopotamia, were occupied by highly-civilized
nations, clothed in fabrics of cotton, linen, and wool; while the
grassy, treeless plains, extending from the Arab sea westward, as far as
the mouths of the Danube, and along the northern borders of the Caspian
and Euxine seas, and the intervening chain of the Caucasus, were
traversed by independent tribes, clothed in skins and furs. Commercial
intercourse and visits took place, as well as hostile excursions, and
thus the manufactures of Babylonia were exchanged for the native
productions of the Scythian plains and of the interminable forests on
their northern boundary.

The Jews seem to have been precluded by the Mosaic law from the
preparation and use of fur; and the Greeks and Romans considered the
skins of animals badges of rusticity and barbarism; but the finer kinds
of fur were known and esteemed by the nobles of Babylon. Ælian, who
wrote about the year 110, states that a certain species of mice are
found in the district of Teredon, in Babylonia, the soft skins of which
are taken to Persia, where they are sewn together into garments
remarkable for their warmth.

Of the use of fur both among civilized and barbarous people there are
many traces. Thus we have notices of the employment of the skins of
sables, ermine, and squirrels, with various contrivances to produce a
variegated surface. The practice is supposed to be of Oriental origin,
and the tent of Sapor to supply the earliest instance of this
parti-colored arrangement. Tacitus, however, describes the same fashion
of variegating furs to have been in use among the German tribes at a
still earlier period.

The costume of the people who live in cities attains to the highest
elegance, splendor, and gorgeousness of which it is capable. Here we
discover all that properly belongs to rank, with the means of appeasing
an insatiable vanity. Oriental women, in every age, have been
distinguished by a passion for dress, personal decoration constituting
one of the chief occupations and pleasures of their life. Variety
becomes, therefore, an element of delight as well as splendor. But rare
and costly garments are also highly prized by the other sex, who
frequently regard an immense wardrobe as indicative of rank and taste.

“Solomon made for himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon. He made the
pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, and the covering
of it of purple;” and the city is traversed by the varied equipages of
an opulent people, in which many of the arts are clearly discernible.
War-chariots, observable among other nations, were not to be seen among
the forces of the Hebrews, whose great men used them chiefly for
purposes of state.

Even the tents in which the modern princes of the East often spend the
season of summer are arrayed in beauty and magnificence, of which such a
fabric might scarcely be deemed susceptible. One belonging to a late
king of Persia is said to have cost two millions of money. It was called
“the house of gold,” because it was everywhere resplendent with the
precious metal. An inscription on the cornice or the antechamber
described it as “the throne of the second Solomon.”

The Dewan Khass of the far-famed Shah Allun is a building situated at
the upper end of a spacious square, elevated upon a terrace of marble.
In former times it was adorned with excessive magnificence. It is about
a hundred and fifty feet in length, and forty in breadth. The flat roof
is supported by numerous columns of fine white marble, which have been
richly ornamented with inlaid flowered work of different colored stones,
the cornices and borders having been decorated with a frieze and
sculptured work. Formerly the ceiling was encrusted, throughout its
whole extent, with a rich foliage of silver. The compartments of the
walls were inlaid with the greatest delicacy. Around the exterior of the
cornice are the following lines, written in letters of gold, on a ground
of white marble—“If there be a paradise upon earth, it is this, it is
this.”

In some Oriental edifices, the lower part of the walls is adorned with
rich hangings or damask, tinged with the liveliest colors, and investing
the apartments “with purpureal gleams.” In the royal garden at Shushan
there were “white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine
linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble.” Ingenious
devices, as wreaths and festoons in stucco and fretwork, are the
ornaments of the upper part of the walls. In the days of Jeremiah, we
read of apartments “ceiled with cedar and painted with vermilion;” and
since then, costly and fragrant wood, on which exquisite decorations in
colors and gold are displayed, have been frequently employed. Painted
tiles or slabs of the finest marble have formed the floors, reminding us
of the palace of Ahasuerus, where “the beds,” or couches “were of gold
and silver, upon a pavement of red and blue, and white and black
marble;” and all the furniture of the house was in full accordance with
the imperial state of the sovereign.

Some of the edifices of the East are thus associated in our minds with
the greatest splendor and magnificence. The choicest marble, granite and
porphyry form their walls, columns, and floors; silver and gold supply
some of their decorations, while others are adorned with the costliest
gems. The effect of light falling on such resplendent materials is
indescribably dazzling and imposing. The allusions to such buildings in
the prophecies of Isaiah, and the Revelation of “the beloved disciple,”
will at once occur to those who are familiar with the Scriptures.

The remains of the departed greatness of Egypt, which the congeniality
of its climate has contributed so remarkably to perpetuate, consist
generally of places for civil assemblies and religious ceremonies. In
Upper or Southern Egypt, the site of almost every memorable city is
marked by the ruins of a temple, or palace-temple, which was
appropriated to both these purposes. The visitor cannot fail to be
struck by the vastness of the edifice, or the solemn air by which its
ruins are pervaded. The walls bear upon them the records of the past.
Covered with reliefs, which are generally colored, the idols appear
receiving the homage of the sovereign who founded the structure,
together with the battles, sieges, and other events of the wars, out of
the spoils of which the majestic pile was reared. Sometimes the king is
portrayed returning as a conqueror in triumph, and dragging a long
series of captives of different nations to the feet of the presiding
divinity. These pictures frequently cover a large extent of surface, and
are crowded with figures in action, executed with great spirit and
fidelity; the peculiar features and color of the different people being
strictly preserved. Explanatory inscriptions in the hieroglyphics of
Egypt accompany these reliefs. Some of these halls are six hundred feet
both in length and breadth, and are crowded throughout their entire area
with massive columns of majestic height. On first surveying the immense
cavern temple at Ipsambul, in Nubia, the spectator might well imagine,
from the whiteness of its walls, the sharpness of its figures, their
brilliant hues, and especially from the parts where the tracings and
first outlines appear, showing that this stupendous edifice was never
completed, that the artists had only just left their work. But as his
eye falls on the deep, black dust, covering the rocky floor on which he
treads, into which have mouldered the doors, the door-posts, and all the
inner fittings of the temple, he feels that ages have rolled away since
the artisans were numbered among the dead.

The art of design, whether apparent in painting or sculpture, was used
in Egypt, as must already have appeared, not to excite the imagination,
but to inform the understanding. According to Clement of Alexandria, an
Egyptian temple was “a writing,” addressing itself, like a volume, to
the mind. Accordingly, their artists imitated nature only so far as to
convey the intended idea clearly and precisely; generally they did not
aim at beauty and grace. When, however, they wished to give a portrait
of any particular individual, we find so exact a representation that the
features of several of the Pharaohs may be easily recognized. But it is
evident that they were ignorant of perspective, and that they did not
feel the necessity of studying light and shade in the use of colors.
Analogous to the practice of the Egyptians is that of the Chinese, in
reference to the rooms of their dwellings, in our own day; for they are
adorned with pictorial characters, conveying wise sayings and moral
precepts; combining in the person of one artist the work of the scribe,
the painter, and the engraver.

Recent discoveries enable us to call up before the mind Nineveh, that
“exceeding great city,” where the arts of life attained their utmost
elevation. Passing a ponderous and richly-sculptured gate, we see, at
certain distances within the walls, other gates flanked by towers
adorned by sculptures, or gigantic figures, as winged bulls or lions.
Lofty pyramidal structures arise, which served as watch-towers. Tents,
often visible within the walls of Oriental cities, occupy open spaces.
Other spaces, without the great public edifices, are covered by private
houses, standing in the midst of gardens, and built at a distance from
each other, or forming streets, which inclose gardens and even arable
land, and stretch out to a vast extent.

Distinguished from all other residences is a palatial edifice: its
doorways are formed by gigantic winged lions or bulls, or by figures of
guardian deities, and lead into apartments which again open into more
distant halls. The pavement of these rooms is of sunburnt bricks, or
alabaster slabs, of a color agreeable to the eye; and the ceilings are
divided into square compartments, inlaid with ivory, adorned with gold,
and richly painted with flowers. The tables, seats, and couches are made
of metal and wood, some being inlaid with ivory; the legs of the chairs
are tastefully carved, and terminate in the feet of a lion or the hoofs
of a bull, made of gold, silver, or bronze.

In the walls of the chambers, as in those of the hall, are alabaster
slabs, used as panels, with various scenes depicted upon them, and
painted in gorgeous colors. _Here_ appears the colossal figure of a
king, in the act of adoring his chief divinity, or of receiving from his
eunuch the holy cup; the robes of the sovereign and his attendants being
painted with brilliant colors, and adorned with groups of animals,
figures and flowers. _There_ is a scene of a different character: the
king, attended by his eunuchs and warriors, is entering into alliance
with other monarchs, or receiving the homage of his captives. And
beneath this range there is still a different spectacle: the siege—the
battle—the triumph, are all sculptured by the artist’s hand, and
decorated with rich and glowing tints, while under each picture are
engraved in characters filled up with bright copper, the descriptions of
the various objects that are portrayed.

But as we survey building after building, the vast city teems with life.
Myriads of rational and intelligent beings occupy its habitations and
crowd its streets. Here are the architects, of consummate skill and
taste—the builders who can rear edifices of the loftiest proportions
and of real grandeur—the sculptors, who cannot only decorate with
exquisite ability, but chronicle to coming ages events of the highest
interest in the annals of Assyria—and the painters, who array their
productions with the liveliest and brightest hues. Here, too, are the
artisans, who work with ingenuity, taste, and skill, in wood, silver,
copper, gold, lead, ivory, and glass—supplying the costume of the
people, the furniture of their houses, their chariots, and missiles of
war, and all that is required for the comfort, indulgence, luxury,
defense, and enterprise of Nineveh’s vast, energetic, and prosperous
population.

But imagination only calls up the spectacle.

        “Her walls are gone; her palaces are dust;
         The desert is around her, and within
         Like shadows have the mighty passed away!
         So let the nations learn, that not in wealth,
         Nor in the grosser pleasures of the sense,
         Nor in the glare of conquest, nor the pomp
         Of vassal kings and tributary lands,
         Do happiness and lasting power abide;
         That virtue unto man’s best glory is,
         His strength and truest wisdom; and that guilt,
         Though for a season it the heart delight,
         Or to worst deeds the bad man do make strong,
         Brings misery yet, and terror, and remorse;
         And weakness and destruction in the end.”[2]

There is yet, however, one art, to which, in conclusion, a brief
reference must be made; it is that by which thought is embodied in
written and “winged words.” We look with interest on the historic
paintings of the Mexicans, on the hieroglyphics of Egypt, and on the
cuneiform characters of Assyria and Persia; but we must not forget the
fact, that the people of Israel—to whom we have frequently had occasion
to refer throughout this paper—are distinguished from all other nations
by the authentic history which they possess of their origin and of the
most remarkable events of their subsequent progress, as well as by the
predictions that regard their future lot. The most ancient books in the
world were written, under Divine inspiration, by the hand of Moses; and
Herodotus, “the father of history,” was a contemporary of Malachi, the
last of the prophets.

In general literature Egypt attained the earliest pre-eminence. To that
country many went athirst for wisdom, while none of its children sought
it in other climes. At Thebes was its library of sacred books, over
which was the inscription, “The Remedy for the Soul;” while the
hieroglyphics above the heads of “Thoth” and “Safk,” as deciphered by
Champollion, denote that the one was the “Lady of Letters,” and the
other the “President of the Library.” Where, then, are we to look for
the origin and early history of the arts associated with letters? Before
the time of the patriarch Abraham the Egyptians were furnished with the
scroll, or papyrus, and with the pen dipped in ink, with which its
characters were inscribed. All the implements required for the process
are exhibited in pictures of the remotest date. Even the Arabic numerals
are older than any of the pyramids.

Small as is the number of our alphabetic signs, they are proved to be
capable of more than six hundred thousand millions of billions of
different horizontal arrangements. What a power is thus entrusted to the
hand at the dictate of the mind—a power which, whether its range, its
variety, or its permanence be considered, is alike unparalleled! When
the costliest fabrics are moth-eaten, and the colors of the picture have
fled, and the marble statue is defaced, and the proud and towering
edifice is hurled into ruins, the written words may live, retaining all
their power to strike on the mind, to touch the inmost chords of the
soul. “Words,” it has been said, “are the only things that last for
ever.” “The images of men’s wits,” says Lord Bacon, “remain unmaimed in
books for ever, exempt from the injuries of time, because capable of
perpetual renovation. Neither can they properly be called images,
because they cast forth seeds in the minds of men, raising and producing
infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages; so that if the
invention of a ship was thought so noble and wonderful, which transports
riches and merchandise from place to place, and consociates the most
distant regions in participation of their fruits and commodities—how
much more are letters to be magnified, which, as ships passing through
the vast seas of time, connect the remotest ages of wits and inventions
in mutual traffic and correspondence!”

To write is therefore the noblest of the arts of life, and fearful is
the responsibility of its exercise. Happy is he who constantly remembers
it; and whose maturest thoughts, fixed in the palpable and deathless
form of words, enlighten, elevate, and bless, even when the verdant
grass is flourishing over his ashes.

-----

[2] Atherstone.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =TO A WHIP-POOR-WILL=


                       =SINGING IN A GRAVE-YARD.=


                          =BY E. ANNA LEWIS.=


                  Why, melancholy singer,
                    Dost thou hover here at eve,
                  Like one who loves to linger
                    Around the dead and grieve?
                  Why, in the night-time only,
                    Do we hear thy pensive lay?
                  Why art thou ever lonely—
                    Why shunnest the garish day?

                  Art thou minstrel born from Heaven,
                    Who comest to our earth,
                  At the silent hour of even,
                    To mock the voice of mirth;
                  And to soothe the sad and weary,
                    Who steal away to weep,
                  In the church-yard lone and dreary,
                    Or by the mountain-steep?

                  Art thou spirit of a maiden,
                    That restless roam’st the air,
                  With sorrow heavy laden,
                    And breathing thy despair?
                  Or one loved, but long departed,
                    That nightly dost draw near,
                  To soothe the broken-hearted,
                    Who are weeping, pining here?

                  I know not, solemn singer,
                    What thy deep grief may be;
                  Nor why thou here dost linger,
                    But oft thou seem’st like me—
                  A lonely one each morrow,
                    Apart from all the throng,
                  Whose deep and hidden sorrow
                    Bursts forth in plaintive song.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =HESPERIUS—A VISION.=


                       =BY WM. ALBERT SUTLIFFE.=


       “Whither, sweet lady, whither? the night is chill;
         Weary and worn, say, whither tend thy feet?”
       “Stranger! I come o’er moor and steepy hill,
         To hear the beat
       Of ever-toiling billows—and to sail
         The midnight deep with daring canvas spread;
       To seek some isle where storm may not prevail—
         Where tombs are never shaped for loved ones dead—
       Where palmy summits lay
       Their shadows in clear fountains all the day,
       Where lilies lave
       Their shining tresses in the resting wave;
       Thither, kind stranger, through the night at rest,
       I chase the stars down-sloping to the west.”

       “Lady, sweet lady, let me guard thee thither!
         The wave is treacherous, shivered oft by storm,
       And many an ambushed wind quick-bringeth cloudy weather,
         And towering thunder-mist with secret lightnings warm;
       Many unseemly rocks love human prey,
       And devious currents often thrust astray;
       A thousand maelstroms sing harsh Runic rhyme,
       And sturdy gales beleaguer any time.
       Let us be twin in hope, in weal or wo,—
       Sweet lady, let me go!”

       She smiled a quiet smile, and “Come,” she said—
       We entered in, our scanty sail we spread;
       And as thin mists that creep
       Out of a dingle deep,
         Where zephyrs dally,
       And, wind-caught, float across the dewy lawn,
       When comes the dawn;
         So we before the breeze, that then did rally
       Its powers to bear us on;
       While she, wrapt up as from the night’s cool kiss,
       Lay like a chrysalis.

       Westward we bore through that propitious night—
         Through the slow-creeping hours the moonshine lay
       Upon her alabaster breast and tresses bright,
         Like furbished silver—Houri gone astray
         From Mahomet’s heaven seemed she—gloriously
       Shone her deep eyes, till down the silvered west
       Pale Dian hid her shield in Ocean’s breast.

       And now Apollo
         Sprang, golden-sandaled, from his orient bed,
       And quick his upward wonted path ’gan follow
         While westward still we sped.

       Apollo clomb
       The star-deserted dome,
         And, at the zenith sat, a noontide king;
       There with his outspread hands,
       Flaring upon the lands,
         Watched our white sail in the wind shivering.

       Apollo sank
       Adown the west, where many a cloudy bank
       Waited his coming, as the down, a king—
         While careful shades ’gan clamber,
         Out of the night’s dim chamber,
       Night of the many eyes and dusky wing.

       “Farewell, Apollo!”
       The lady sang, “we follow
       Thee to thy home, thy golden-curtained West;
         Amid the occident seas,
         Seeking Hesperides,
       Floating, we chase thee o’er the rippled breast
       Of Ocean in his rest.

       “Come Venus from thy lair,
       Up through the stirless air,
       Quivering with Love’s young heat and sweet despair;
       As thou wast wont to quiver
       Upon my childhood’s river,
       Where all the pendulous willows thrilled to bear
       The breeze, as men do, care.

       “Come out ye many stars!
       The liberal night unbars
       Your doors impalpable, that ye may see,
         And gaze a twinkling fill
         On human good and ill,
       Till daybreak’s irksome goad compelleth ye
       Behind the azure sea.

       “We come, we come,
       Seeking an islet home,
       Whose breezes all are balm, whose seas are calm;
         Where, when the eyes grow dim,
         Fair myths forever swim
       About the inward vision, and no harm
       E’er spreads a palsying arm.

       “Here would we lie
       Amid this tremulous beauty till we die;
       Here would descry
       Through roofing orange-boughs the pleasant sky,
       And silently decay in rapturous ease,
       When death so please.”

       She ceased; and now we slid along a sea
         Of tinted wavelets, such as ne’er before
         Had blest my seeing; on one side a shore
         Slipt past us backward, thickly over-bowed
       With flowered shrubs and trees, all such as flee
         Harsh Boreal bitings where the North blows loud.

       And now a quay we neared, whence led aback
       Full many a leafy-hung, nymph-haunted track.
       Then, slow-ascending a white marble stair,
         A grove we entered in, all carpeted
         With rarest moss, and every way there led
       Dim paths ’mid obelisks and fountains fair,
         And sculptured graces, and some streamlets fled
       All day and night down to the circling sea,
       Singing fore’er in music’s earnest glee.

       Up ’mid the boughs the zephyrs went a-playing,
         Making the stars like swinging cressets seem;
       And from the east came silver arrows straying
         Of Dian at her moonrise; while a stream
       Of melody, the Bulbul, rose-embowered,
       Incessant through the dew-tipt leaflets showered,
         Sweeter than any dream.

       No earthly night,
       Mantled with dismal light
       This paradise; but a broad lovely moon,
         Made a glad twilight here,
         Unsoiled by any fear,
       Or harsh intruding doubt, that comes too soon,
         And lays our bright-eyed hopes upon a cypress bier.

       Anon, emerging from the woody maze,
         There sudden sprang upon the pleased vision,
         Glimpses of far Elysian,
       Green meadows glowing through a golden haze,
       And far-meandering walks, that rose and fell
       ’Twixt bedded asphodel.

       And purling brooks went leaping here and there
         Over the flowered slopes all in a foam,
       Pealing like vesper bells that win the prayer—
         Or silver voices calling loved ones home;
       And many bees enringed the fragrant thyme,
       And windy melodies stirred every full-leaved lime.

       Here flowers grew in circles round and round,
         With broad, rich petals for queen’s gathering,
       There fountains sprang up with a clear, quick sound
         From vases, such as Babylonian king
         Ne’er saw the like of; and their spray did fling
       O’er pure white statues having marble care
       Over the showered pearls and moistened air.

       And ever as we past there ever grew
         Wondrous variety to stir the sense,
         Begetting impotence
       Of fond expression, but a rapture true
       Claspt all the spirit in a dreamy fold
       Of ecstasy and gold.

       Until, through shady ranges of tall trees,
       Threaded by every breeze,
       And well-determined beds of every hue,
       Orange, vermeil, and blue,
       A central, templed hill, was near espied,
       Down-slanting to the sea on every side,
       With greensward terraces and blooming meet,
       Sloped even to our feet.

       Over the lawns were Dryads tripping far,
         And Hamadryads peeping from the wood,
       And now and then a Naiad, like a star;
         And all were clothed in a merry mood—
         For not a care there was o’er which to solely brood.

       Upon the summit, soothed with lasting ease,
       Sat the Hesperides
       Beneath the orchard trees—
       Sipping the beakered nectar seasoned well,
       And temperate hydromel;
       And tasting luscious fruitage, such as fell
       From boughs ’neath which the scaly dragon rolled,
       Lay glaring fold in fold.

       “O can we herein bide!” the lady said,
         “I feel my head doth swim—
         My weary eyes are dim—
       With too much pleasure is the sense o’erfed;
         How can we herein bide,
         And not some ill betide!”

       Then said a voice, “Ye may not herein stay!
         But immortality
         May here incloséd be;
       And ye are mortals—ye must hence away,
       Or ere the night unwombs the clearer day.

       “And ye must wait the riving of the chain
       That gives surcease of pain,
       And linger lone upon the evening shore
       Till ye be ferried o’er.
       But now the nymphs shall cease their merriment,
       Ere yet your stay be spent,
       And music shall be struck—shall charm and please
       You to contented ease.”

       Then dropt a quiet o’er the enhancéd glee,
       As when a Boreal night dusks o’er a frigid sea.

       Next grew a hymning sonnet, worded well,
         Up ’mid the oaken boles, whose listening green
         Tented the Dryad scene,
       Wavering across the silence with a spell
       Worthy to sink the yesty broil of waves,
       And bid huge winds creep into airless graves,
       In barred Æolian caves.

       “We sing, we sing,
       The sweet lyre fingering
       On every vibrant string;
       The sisters of the sea,
       Whose silken dynasty
       Holds us in light, and long, and glad captivity.

       “We sing, we sing,
       The sweet lyre fingering
       With sound like Hermes’ wing—
       Of nectarous draughts and deep,
       Wooing the gods asleep,
       What time the crystal honey-dews of heaven weep.

       “We sing, we sing,
       The sweet lyre fingering
       Till windless woodlands ring;
       How rich the lofty chime,
       When gods converse in rhyme,
       And far Olympian peaks reëcho all the time.

       “We sing, we sing,
       The sweet lyre fingering
       With notes that ever cling,
       The blue and airy dome
       That floors the godly home
       Where thunderous Jove is throned, and Here dwells at home.

       “We sing, we sing,
       With silver vibrating
       Of every tuneful string,
       The effervescing wine,
       In beakers most divine,
       By Hebe overbrimmed for whom the half-gods pine.

       “Ah, well! ah, well!
       Our island home we tell,
       Where peace for aye doth dwell;
       Where, from the drowsy deep,
       A gilded mist doth creep
       Up all the sanded shore to shrine us in our sleep.

       “Away, away!
       Our fingers cease to play
       For alien ears our lay;
       But, by the sea’s low moan,
       Sportive we go alone;
       Our lyre’s notes are dead—our measured hymn is done.”

       Then died the hymning sonnet, worded well,
       Adown the oaken boles that pillared all the dell.

                  *    *    *    *    *

       Then all a day and night athwart the sea—
       A day and night complete we backward sped—
       And as the dawn grew red—
       Our half-moon prow slid upward easily
       Upon the margent of the ocean foam
       That murmured by our home.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             =THE PEDANT:=


          =OR CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE SPENT PARTLY IN CAROLINA.=


                         =BY HENRY HOLM, ESQ.=


                      (_Continued from page 24._)


                               CHAPTER V.

                 And as they oft had heard apart,
                 Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
                 Each, for Madness ruled the hour,
                 Would prove his own expressive power.
                                              Collins.

The reason why I came home without completing the tour of Europe was
that my worthy father died insolvent. The little severalty which I had
from my grandfather Winston, was in that most unmanageable of realties,
which Randolph of Roanoke used to describe as the designation of a
Virginian estate—“plenty of woolly-heads, plenty of gullies, but ne’er
a shilling of coin.” I managed, however, by favor of a young friend, an
attaché of the Marshall and Pinckney legation at Paris, to go freely
into the Low Countries, and as far up the Rhine as Heidelberg and the
Schwarzenwald.

At the borders of Holland and Germany I lingered awhile, in the flat
country near the Lippe, in the house of a licentiate in physic, who was
about to emigrate to Philadelphia, and who was eager to learn English.
In my turn I took some lessons in German. Pfeiffers was a smoker, and so
was I. He was a violinist, and I played the flute. He loved to read
aloud, and I loved to loll and listen, among the lindens of a low-lying
but verdant village on the Rhine.

The book which engaged him just then, was a publication of Goethe’s,
translated from Diderot, entitled _Rameau’s Nephew_. I mean Rameau the
great musical composer. The original French I could never alight on; but
the version was irresistibly comic, as I find on reperusal many years
since. Diderot used to frequent the _Café de la Régence_, then as now,
the resort of chess-players. There he found Légal, Philidor, and Mayot.
And there he encountered the Nephew aforesaid, an odd mixture of pride
and meanness, a man of drunken eloquence, venomous sarcasm, and
music-mad enthusiasm.


                               “Dialogue.

“Ah, Monsieur Philosophe, so I meet you again! What are you after here
among idlers? Do you likewise lose your time in peg-pushing? (Thus he
denominated chess and draughts.)

“_I._—No, but when I have nothing else to do, it is a momentary
diversion to see whether they move aright.

“_He._—A singular diversion, indeed. Leave out Philidor and Légal—the
others know nothing.

“_I._—And Monsieur de Bussi; what say you to him?

“_He._—As chess-player, that he is what Mlle. Clairon is as actress;
both know as much of their play as one can learn.

“_I._—You are hard to please. I observe that none but preëminent men
meet your approbation.

“_He._—Ay, at chess and draughts, poetry, eloquence, music, and such
like trumperies. Who wants mediocrity in these cases?

“_I._—I almost agree with you. But many must attempt these arts in
order that the man of genius may overtop them. Thenceforth he is one
among many. But I have not seen you for an age. I never think of you but
when I see you. Yet I am rejoiced whenever I recover you. What have you
been about?

“_He._—That which you and the others are about—good, bad, and naught.
I have moreover, hungered and eaten if occasion served. Then I was
sometimes athirst, and often drank; yes, and my beard grew and I was
shaved.

“_I._—There you were wrong; for the beard is all you lack in order to
be a sage.

“_He._—Quite so! My brow is large and wrinkled, my eye flashes, my nose
is high, my cheek is broad, my eyebrows brown and heavy, the mouth
well-disclosed, lips well-turned, and the face square. Take notice, this
huge chin, if covered by a long beard, would look well in brass or
marble.

“_I._—Beside Cæsar, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates?

“_He._—No! I would rather stand betwixt Diogenes and Phryne. I am as
shameless as one, and would gladly visit the other.

“_I._—You are always in good case?

“_He._—Yes, usually; but not particularly so to-day.

“_I._—What! with this rotundity of Silenus, and a countenance—

“_He._—A countenance that— Do you consider that the bitter humor which
shrivels up the uncle, makes the nephew fat?

“_I._—_Apropos!_ Your uncle. Do you see him often?

“_He._—Yes, often passing in the street.

“_I._—Does he render you no service?

“_He._—If he serves any body, it is without knowing it. He is a
philosophe in his way; he thinks only of himself, and the rest of the
world he regards as his bellows-hand. His wife and daughter may die for
all that he cares, provided the bells that toll them to their grave ring
in just twelfths and seventeenths. A lucky man is he! and I know how to
reckon this quality in your men of genius, that they are good at one
thing, and over and above this nothing. Nothing know they of being
citizens, fathers, mothers, kinsmen or friends. _Inter nos_, one would
crave to be like them; only wishing that the growth should not become
too common. We must have men—not men of genius. No, surely no! These
are they who turn the world upside down, and the folly of individuals
runs so high at present that one can’t repress them without
manœuvre.—No! the monk’s wisdom, in Rabelais, is the true wisdom for
our peace, and the peace of others. To do duty, as far as may be, to
speak well of the prior, and to let the world wag as it will. And things
go right well, for the mass is content with this. If I knew history, I
would prove to you, that all the ills on earth come of your men of
genius; but history I know none, because I know nothing. Confound me if
I ever learnt any thing, and I find myself none the worse off. One day I
was at the table of a royal minister, who had mind enough for a dozen.
He proved, as plain as two and two make four, that nothing is more
useful to nations than lies, and nothing more hurtful than truth. I
can’t recall his argument, but it followed as clear as a sunbeam, that
men of genius are utterly abominable, and that if a man discerns in his
child a token of this perilous gift of nature, he should strangle or
drown him.

“_I._—And yet the people who deem thus of genius all think they possess
it.”

Such is an introduction to this odd creation, on which the merry
Frenchman dwells for a hundred and fifty pages. Some of the passages
which my host gave with energy, between the gusts of his meerschaum, are
altogether untranslatable. And yet am I tempted to essay one of the
vagaries of the mad satirist.

“_I._—There is some reason in all that you say. [He had been enlarging
on the French music of that period.]

“_He._—Reason? So much the better. That comes seasonably. Think you I
am like the musician in the _cul-de-sac_, as my uncle showed himself?
For my part, I make a hit. A collier ’prentice shall talk better of his
trade, than an academy and all the Duhamels on earth.

“Here he paced up and down, murmuring airs out of the _Ile des Fous_,
the _Peintre amoureux de son modèle_, the _Maréchal ferrant_, the
_Plaideuse_—while ever and anon he would stretch hands and eyes and
cry, ‘Is that fine? Heavens, is that fine! Can a man have two ears on
his head and ask such a question?’ Upon which he would become
sentimental again, sing softly, and then elevate his voice as he grew
more passionate. Then came grimaces, twists of visage, and contortions
of body. Said I to myself, ‘Well, he is losing his wits, and some new
scene is coming.’ And in fact he burst out afresh, singing, _Je suis un_
_pauvre miserable—Aspettar e non venire_, etc. etc. He collected and
confounded thirty airs, Italian, French, tragic, comic, of every sort
and character. Now, with a deep basso he would sink down to the shades;
then, contracting his throat, he would rend the heights of air with a
pipe-like note, imitating with gait, _pose_, and motions, different
musical personages, by turns raving, melted, beseeching and derisive.
Now he is a little maid, weeping, and he represents all her petty
blandishments. Then he is a priest, a king, a tyrant; he threatens,
prays or rages—again, he is a hearkening slave. He grows tender, he
despairs, he bewails and laughs, always in tune, in time, in full sense
of the words, character and action.

“All the chess-players had left their boards and gathered around him;
the windows of the café were besieged outside by passers-by attracted by
the noise. The laughter was a peal which threatened the roof. But he
perceived nothing, but ran on, carried away by such an alienation of
mind and an enthusiasm akin to mania, that it is doubtful whether he
would have come to himself, or have to be thrown into a hackney coach
and carried to a mad-house singing a snatch from the lamentations of
Jomelli.

“Anon, with the utmost precision, truth and incredible warmth, he
repeated the finest passages of that portion; the beautiful obligato
recitative, where the prophet depicts the desolation of Jerusalem, till
he drew a flood of tears; there was not a dry eye. There was nothing
more to be desired in tenderness of singing, or force of expression and
of grief. He dwelt especially on the places where the artist most
evinced himself the great maestro. He abandoned the vocal part, flew to
the instrument, and then returned in an instant to singing, so hurrying
this transition, that the connection and unity of the whole were
maintained. Was I astonished at him? Yes, I was astonished. Was I moved
to sympathy? I was, indeed, so moved, but with a dash of the comic
mingling with the emotion and modifying its nature.

“But you would have broken into laughter at the way in which he imitated
the different instruments. With swoln, out-puffed cheeks, and a rough,
obtuse tone, he represented horns and bassoons; with a crying, nasal
tone the oboes; with incredible quickness he hurried his voice to mimic
stringed-instruments, trying most exactly to give their respective
sounds; piping for the piccolos, cooing for the flutes, screaming,
chanting with the looks of a maniac, and representing solo the danseurs
and danseuses, the men-singers and women-singers, a whole orchestra, a
whole opera-house, splitting himself into twenty different roles,
hastening, retarding, with the mien of one ’rapt, with eyes winking and
mouth in a foam.

“The heat was overpowering, and the moisture, following the furrows of
his brow and the length of his cheeks, mingled with his hair-powder, and
drizzled the upper part of his coat in gutters. What did he not attempt?
He cried, he laughed, he sighed, he gave looks of tenderness, quiet and
rage. Now it was a woman, sinking in wo, a wretch yielding to despair, a
lofty temple, or birds losing themselves in the silence of eve. Then it
was brooks of water, gurgling in some cool and lonesome place; or a
torrent dashing down from mountains; a tempest; the wailing of dying
men, mingled with the whistling of the wind; the roar of thunder; then
night with its darkness, stillness and shade—he even represented
silence by sounds. He was entirely beside himself. Exhausted by effort,
like a man awakened from sleep or a long swoon, he remained motionless,
heavy and stunned. He cast glances around, like one bewildered who tries
to recognize the place in which he comes to himself. Awaiting the return
of his forces and his senses, he mechanically dries his face. Like one
who, awaking, finds his bed surrounded by a great number of persons, in
utter forgetfulness and deeply unconscious of all he has been doing, he
exclaims at the first moment—‘Now, Messieurs, what is this? Why this
mirth? What are you wondering at? What is the matter?’ . . . Then he
adds, ‘This is what they call being a musician! But, indeed, some of
Lulli’s songs are not to be despised. The scene _J’attendrai l’aurore_
can’t be bettered, unless you alter the words. I challenge any man. No
man shall condemn certain passages of Campra, his military marches, the
violin-pieces of my uncle, his gavottes, his priestly and opera parts,
_Pâles flambeaux, Nuits plus affreuses que les ténèbres. . . . Dieu du_
_Tartare, Dieu de l’oubli._’ . . . (Here he strengthened his voice and
sustained the tone with power. Neighbors thrust their heads through the
windows; we put our fingers in our ears.) ‘For this,’ said he, ‘one must
have lungs, a great organ, and plenty of air. But Ascension is arrived,
Lent and the Three Kings are over, and yet they do not know what to set
to music, nor consequently what benefits the composer. Lyric poesy is
yet unborn; but they already approach it, if they give head enough to
Pergolesi, to the Saxon, the Terradeglids, Traetta and others; and if
they only read Metastasio often enough, they have already attained it.’”


                              CHAPTER VI.

                   Ah! plus que jamais aimons-nous,
               Et vivons et mourons en des lieux si doux.
                                  Les Amants Magnifiques.

The day when one who has been a scribbler begins to resort to dictation,
he loses half the pleasure of authorship. No one could desire, indeed, a
lovelier amanuensis than my grand-daughter Alice, who now sets down my
reminiscences, as I walk up and down the gallery of the long,
overshadowed house, smoking my pipe, and uttering what I hope will be
considered harmless gossip. Alice might justly blush, if I should make
her pen her own praises; so, while she takes pity on my failing eyesight
and my cheragra, I will respect her bashful fears.

We have had a house full of company, such as Carolina mansions glory in.
Carriages, filled with happy fair ones, under conduct of gay fellows
careering alongside, on young horses of great pedigree, have passed away
in such number that my plain, but spacious old tumble-down house seems
quite a solitude. Of white faces, there are none but Alice’s and mine;
for I count not the overseer and his swarming cottage, half a mile off,
just beyond the copse of chinquapins. The lawn around the dwelling was
laid out as I now behold it, about the year 1750. My father, who kept a
diary, has recorded the planting of those towering catalpas, which in
June were covered with tropical luxuriance of blossom, and now hang
heavy with the verdure of their broad, damp, succulent leaves. The oaks
were left from a primitive forest. Three lofty pines mark the spot for
the distant traveler. If I could but prevent unsightly gullies of
reddish earth, and could coax the scanty grass to mat itself English
fashion, I should envy no one his surroundings. But if we have not the
smooth, close-shaven green of Christ Church Meadow or Windsor Park, we
have a balmy atmosphere and a gorgeous Flora and vocal hawthorn
thickets, and dewy odors, such as are unknown in colder climes. Leaving
poetry out of the question, our mocking-bird (a misleading name) is not
inferior to the nightingale. He is also a songster of the night, and in
these regions continues his visits through a longer portion of the year
than his transatlantic rival. The mighty fragrance of our magnolia,
though oppressive near at hand, comes mitigated on the evening breeze
from the river lowlands. Our groves are draped with a thousand fantastic
hangings of vines and parasitic plants; and cool springs break forth in
more than one spot on this wide, half-tilled estate, which threatens,
year by year, to slip out of the family.

Ah me! When I look over my broad acres, some in rustling corn, some in
bristling wheat, and some in rank tobacco, omitting tracts of old-field
thickly set with volunteer pines, and prairies of stubbly broomsedge, I
find every part indissolubly connected with that relation of master and
servant, which is an abomination to Mr. Bull and Master Jonathan. I have
read the great writers on this head, from Clarkson down. I have
familiarized myself with the portrait of the slaveholder, strong in
colors of crimson, and illustrated with borders of whips and manacles.
But, for my life, I cannot see in yonder cheval-glass any resemblance.
Alice, dear child, does not discern in my face any decided lines of
truculence; and the very Africans, who have grown old beside me,
manifest no dread, but rather cling to my tottering form with a loving
regard that is almost filial. I turn my eyes to them, but they are not
like the pictures on certain books and hand-bills. Sometimes they are
hard-worked; so am I. Sometimes they have felt the burden of bad
seasons; so have I. But they are not haggard, they are not melancholy,
and they are not malignant. I see the smoke from their little hamlet of
clustered houses (for the negro loves his fire at all seasons;) I hear
the resonant laugh echoing among the rocks, and shall shortly hear the
banjo and the chorus. In bed and board they are better off than the
peasants I have seen in the Scotch Highlands, in Savoy, and in Normandy.
Of physical suffering they have less than soldiers and sailors. In
morals and religion they surpass their free brethren in Philadelphia and
New York. I wish in my heart they were all free—if it would make them
any happier. But I would no sooner cast them on the wide world, in their
actual condition, than I would disperse a family of babes, proclaim a
republic in Madagascar, or tear a tortoise from the bondage of his
shell. It was not I who stole them from Africa; they were born on the
same lands where we live together; and there is not a sunlight or a
shade falling on my lot, which does not in due proportion cheer or
sadden theirs. Let us call another case, Alice! This philanthropic
mystery is too deep for my decrepit wits.


                              CHAPTER VII.

               “Ilion in Tyriam transfer felicius urbem.”
                                           Ovid—Heroides.

Philadelphia was the city to which Gottlieb Pfeiffer was bound; and
after a tedious beating up stream from the Capes of Delaware, we saw its
neat brick rows, its trim rectangles, and its lone steeple, in one of
the last years of the last century. Pfeiffer was always talking of a
certain regenerator of education whom he called Basedow—a type of
Pestalozzi and Fellenberg, only with a dash of crazyhood, and a streak
of jacobinism. My young German was going to a village called Germantown,
I forget how many miles from the city; where his uncle was a leader
among the sectaries called Mennonites, or vulgarly Menneeses. He was a
very Quixote in education, and was about to rear the tender youth
without bench, birch, or berating, and almost without book. He was to
teach _more Socratico_ out of doors, by sheer talk, along the romantic
Wissahiccon and the slopes of Chestnut Hill. I gave him my adieux, as he
sallied out on his first lesson, with a covey of younglings under his
guidance. Poor fellow! he was carried off by the yellow fever.

The Philadelphia which I remember was a sweet and gentle city. Many a
boy and girl was then to be met, in all the rigor of plain dress, pacing
to Arch Street Meeting. Shade trees were abundant in the great streets.
The Chestnut Street Theatre was still called the “New Theatre.” Morris’s
famous house was still visible; you got into the country a few hundred
yards westward of the old prison; the Dock draw-bridge was in its glory;
and many rows of houses in Front street were chequered with glazed brick
and adorned with porch-benches. There was a soothing, umbrageous
quietude in those broad, well paved stretches of Third street, where
tall old fashioned mansions seemed to retire a little under spreading
elms, in dignified coolness. I am afraid I should not know the places
again. The calm and stillness of Penn’s spirit was yet hovering over the
town, with a shade and a natural grace which have long since been scared
away by steam-wagons and engine-campaigns. But what was all this to a
bewildered creature, who had gained glimpses of the old world before he
had studied the new; who had gone over sea dreaming that he was rich,
and had come back assured that he was poor; who had been ill-taught and
was nevertheless to redeem his patrimony by labors beginning in a log
school-house.


                             CHAPTER VIII.

           “And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
            That one small head could carry all he knew;
            But past is all his fame: the very spot
            Where many a time he triumph’d, is forgot.”
                                                  Goldsmith.

In a country where so many hundreds of eminent men have begun public
life by schoolmastering, it would be a great piece of affectation in me,
if I should employ any deprecatory expressions, or apologize for any
determination to repair losses by “taking a school.” The only apology
which now seems necessary, is for the presumption of dreaming that by
such an occupation any man could make money. In truth, I knew then as
well as I know now, that school keeping was not a specific for raising
the wind, but I did not know as well as I know now, that it was not in
public esteem a literary profession. Though not learned I was fond of
books, and took to teaching as I once fondly thought of taking to book
selling, because I fancied it would bring me into connections with the
wisdom of past ages.

My schoolhouse was on the edge of a pine forest, a few hundred yards
from where a brawling springhead burst out of the embankment of rock,
some miles from any human habitation. It was not favored with any
extensive distant prospects. Could I have perched with the crows which
abounded there on the top of some eminent tree, I might have seen the
broad but turbid Roanoke, sweeping its heavy tide around a neighboring
bluff. But we were shut in to forest scenes. No one who has lived among
them can forget the moaning sound made by even a gentle wind among the
great branches of the pines; or the solitude formed by their dark
surrounding shroud; or the mosaic of sunlight and shade on the earth
when rays break through the network of boughs. But the monotony was
oppressive, and I sighed for those lighter and varied traits of nature,
which belong to a less primeval state of the world. In quiet hours, the
wild-turkey’s cry would be heard in the brake; the shrill red-bird, and
the shy wood-lark were scarcely ever wanting; and several species of
squirrel made no stranger of me, but dropped nut-shells from the hickory
over the roof of my academy.

Take a view of the aforesaid seat of learning. The hour is noon. You
might take this long house of logs for a châlet in the Emmenthal, if it
were not for certain plain indications of another climate. There is a
hum of bees through a thousand vines and dogwoods. The song of birds has
lulled at this hour of heat, except perhaps the wearisome repetition of
his double note by the chewink. But this intermission brings out more
fully the music of the brook as it murmurs over the pebbles. The
“scorpions”—start not, gentle reader at this southern name of the poor
_lacerta_—peep round the gnarled bole of the pine, where the turpentine
reflects the burning ray. Two or three switch-tailed horses are tethered
in the oasis, ready to carry home double or triple loads of the young
academicians. Hats, sunbonnets, and even coats, are hung upon the alder
branches. Under the brow of the rock is a row of dinner baskets; and two
or three jugs of milk are immersed in the darkest, coolest corner of the
spring. Two fiddles and a flute are hid away among the broad leaves of a
grape vine that clambers up the bank. All this will be obscure to such
as have never gone to an “old-field school.” Inside, the scene is more
lively but less idyllic. By counting several who never appeared, I think
I made my school to number fifteen, as a maximum. Four or five short
wooden forms, with some sloping boards for desks, and a straw-bottomed
chair for the master, made up the compliment of furniture; for I
scarcely reckon a churn-like vessel at the door, duly _toted_ on the
head of a laughing negress, every half-hour, and emptied by two or three
gourds with fantastic handles.

One thing is certain—I was as autocratic as Nicholas or Crusoe. My
voice was the sole code of laws and often the text-book. The system was
the _sic volo, sic jubeo_. The hour of beginning was denoted by my
clattering up the pebbly path on my black steed, Rhinoceros. This
dispersed the squads around the spring, and broke up the concert under
the alders. Little Nanny Lee, who was the Jenny Lind of our community,
would sometimes carol away after my ferula had given its three knocks;
but we soon fell into places. Ours was a loud school. There was no
rubric enjoining silence. There was no reading to one’s self. Hark! the
grand overture is performed by the simultaneous play of tenore and
treble instruments. One piping voice is rehearsing the alphabet and
another the “twenty pence is one and eight-pence;” another is reading of
one who unrighteously ascended the apple tree and was experimented on by
fair words, grass, and other missiles. A croak between boy and man, is
galloping over the _quadrupedante putrem sonitu_; while Mr. Blaney (we
always called him Mister,) is in a dignified soliloquy over the
trigonometrical survey of a polygonal field, with half-a-score of
instruments laid out before him. If my ear serves me, there is a _sotto
voce_ addition of uncommanded recitations, concerning cats-cradles,
tit-tat-to, and jack-straws.

Scorn not—O ye, who court the muse in Gothic quadrangles, and alcoved
libraries, where the light colors your folio through “storied window,
richly dight”—scorn not, the lowly lessons of the Red Swamp
School-house! Its windows were not all glazed, nor were the crannies of
its logs all stopped; but the sun has seldom broken in on brighter faces
than some that were radiant in that little company. Though a few were
barefoot (how otherwise could they have waded for hours in the rippling
stream!) a few were the children of wealth. Among them was one who has
since held the ear of a senate. And among them was one—alas, that she
should have had me for a master!—who made deeper wounds than she ever
knew. But Judith—thou shall not have thy cruelty exposed!


                              CHAPTER IX.

           “’Tis true, he has a spark just come from France,
            But then, so far from beau—why, he talks sense!”
                                                   Farquhar.

Riding was an accomplishment among the Romans, as it is in England and
some parts of America; but in the South it is one of the necessaries of
life. The bareheaded negro child mounts all the colts in the pasture,
strains his horse over boundless meads, recking little of falls upon the
yielding earth, which indeed seldom occur, and clings to his seat with
the tenacity of a limpet. Before he has arrived at the dignity of the
hat, he has learned to swim rivers and play the feats of a Centaur. My
young master is not slow to practice in the same school, so that the
cavalry has had some of its most daring and elegant riders from this
part of the Union. I can no longer throw my leg over a saddle; but I
still recall the flush with which, accompanied by gallant comrades, I
swept through forests, which to an unaccustomed eye had seemed
impassable, or, stooping low, pierced the tangle of a brake, up from the
basin of some low and deeply shaded stream. For years did I look to the
grooming of my spirited Rhinoceros, who repaid the attention by a
docility which concealed itself under a show of perverseness.

The long evenings of summer found me sallying on rapid expeditions to
the estates of my father’s friends; and I passed more nights in such
hospitable mansions than in my own humble lodgings. Hospitality is the
law of the land. Where towns are rare and newspapers infrequent, and
where even the mail in those days came only once a week, it was doing a
generous favor to enter a neighbor’s doors for a long visit, the host
would be out before I could dismount, and sometimes a bevy of ladies
clustered at the door.

Let me tell the truth. On looking back I perceive that while a flow of
unimpeded talk, often prompted by large and capricious reading, made me
welcome to every circle, I was, nevertheless, by no means successful in
my personal overtures to the reigning sex. It was mortifying to me to
observe, that many a roystering bumpkin, full of health and ignorance,
made his suit in less time and with fewer embarrassments than I. Even my
voyages and travels were of little avail. Indeed, in a self-contained
community, where every thing goes by clanship and family tradition, and
where the sight of a foreigner is commonly the signal for a joke, there
is less éclat in foreign travel, than in seaports and great cities. I
was glad, therefore, to fall back on county-connection. My father had
married into a distinguished family, who, though poor, could hold up
their heads. One of my uncles was high sheriff, and my cousin was in
Congress. Revolutionary officers were still living who were of my kin.
And I enjoyed a pretty free access to what are somewhat offensively
called the first families.

After all I was known to be a poor schoolmaster, and suspected—as I now
think, justly, of being a pedant. It would be both sad and comical, if I
were to record my experiences as a teacher; the plans I dreamed over;
the schedules I copied on large paper; the attempts to make the big boys
talk Latin; the experiments in physics which burst my retorts and burnt
my fingers; the amazement of parents and the fun of children. I verily
believe there was not a more chimerical or less useful teacher, south of
Mason’s and Dixon’s line. Lessons went to leeward, while I was drifting
away after a project of a new Latin Grammar. The primers were made into
boats and cocked-hats, while I invented a new orthography; and my best
coat was sewed over with bits of red flannel, while I draughted a
lecture on Female Education. Donald Gordon courted Judith Brewster,
during the very period in which I was bringing her to the point of
conjugating _amo_, _amare_, _amari_. Early hours and hard reading, kept
me still advancing in a sort of miscellaneous and preposterous
condition. I began a hundred pursuits, with the _furore_ of a crusader.
I gathered flowers for an herbarium, and pasted wrong names on the
species for want of a master. I made maps of the stars, and pointed them
out to Judith, as we walked on the top of the house. My only Italian
book was an odd volume of Dante, which broke me down after getting half
way up the circling Babel of the Purgatory. My version of the Bucolics
shamed me beyond expression, on comparison with Dryden.

In riding about the country, I fell in with planters and county-court
lawyers, and doctors, who had little Latin and less Greek, but who
nevertheless foiled me in argument. They knew how to talk of crops, of
“good seasons for stripping tobacco,” of the weather being giv-y, of
long and short staple in cotton, of horizontal ploughing, and of prices
at Liverpool; while they could also connect with these questions the
political economy of our great products, the effects of the British
policy on our carrying-trade, and the theory of state-sovereignty as
discussed in Congress. All these things were beyond my ken. That
“reading” which “makes a full man” made me often seem a very foolish
one. I made blunders in history, and was innocently unacquainted with
several dates, such as George Mason’s letters and the Battle of the
Cow-Pens. I could have said much about Aegos-Potamos, or the Thirty
Tyrants; but my old-time studies were very rapidly turning me into a
mummy.

I dictate these confessions, _in perpetuam rei memoriam_, to guard
solitary and too-forward boys from going too freely before the gales of
their literary propensities. Nevertheless, for individual delight,
everlasting novelty and sweet recollections, I still hold my way to have
been best of any.


                               CHAPTER X.

        “He cherished his friend, and he relished a bumper,
         Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper—
         Then what was his failing? come, tell it, add burn ye,
         He was, could he help it? a special attorney.”
                                       Goldsmith’s Retaliation.

The female readers of these rambling chapters have already been
considering—no doubt—how some kind of a plot may be divined from the
foregoing hints; but this arises from a total misconception of my plan.

Blessed ladies! toward whom, as viewed in imagination, my heart warms,
and live coals stir among the hoary embers, I write not a romance or
even a story. These are reminiscences, memorandums, odd leaves torn from
the volume of recollection. Thanks to the modern way of publishing by
piece-meal, my fair critics cannot be cheated of the _agrodolce_ of the
denouement by any perverse brother or nephew peeping into the last
pages, and forestalling the catastrophe. No, the winding-up is not to be
preposterously revealed. This were as disappointing as for a chemist to
see some grand discovery which he longs for printed in the daily sheet
before his investigations are half done. You remember Montaigne’s story
of the ancient philosopher and the dish of figs which had been laid in
honey.

Bent on learning, and not a little conceited in regard to my small and
fragmentary acquisitions, I rode about the county in search of some
congenial characters, and certainly I alighted on some odd ones. The
straggling village around our court-house comprised a church, a school,
a doctor’s house and laboratory, a store, several mechanics’ shops, and
two lawyers’ offices. In one of the last mentioned lived Gideon Stowe.

Rumor says that Stowe was the son of an overseer; but he was in my day a
man of wide-spread reputation at the bar. A strong savor of his
plebeianism adhered to him, which he rather cherished than concealed. I
see him now, a strong-built man of fifty or thereabout; large-headed,
bald and glabrous on the crown, with curly gray-hair gathered around his
thick neck. He wore blue broad-cloth, and a white neck-cloth, and his
low shoes displayed the blue yarn stockings, which covered a sturdy leg
even in summer. Of the graces he made small account. All dignity but
that of sinewy argumentation he held far beneath him. I have seen him
sit for hours on a court-day, on the counter of the country store, with
his feet dangling, as he whittled off pecks of splinters and shavings
from a bludgeon of soft pine, as he discoursed on constitutional law to
the group who listened and admired. Stowe was the resort of desperate
culprits, for an hundred miles around. He loved plantation-talk, was a
thriving agriculturist, a wealthy man, and the father of numerous
accomplished daughters. If the English of the highway was in any case
stronger than the dialect of books he seized on it, as Cobbet used to
do.

The collision of sturdy talk daily, for years, had so disciplined him,
that his colloquies—when he found a fit antagonist—were like a game at
quarter-staff: there was little breathing and there were hard knocks.
Stowe was a devourer of books, not only in his own profession, but in
history, politics, and theology. He knew little Greek, and no modern
language but our own, but had taught himself Latin, which a prodigious
memory enabled him to quote with force, though with a contempt of all
quantity. He loved to crack the bones of tough places in Persius and
Tacitus. His English favorites were Bentley, Warburton, Churchill, and
the colloquial effusions of Johnson. The attractions to his house, even
leaving five blooming girls out of the question, I found irresistible.
But it was a fearful pleasure; for, until repeated floorings had taught
me my place, he would bring me down with a momentum, as often as I dared
to encounter him.

Anne Stowe, the third daughter, possessed the grace and gentleness of
her mother—whom I never knew,—together with some decided traits of the
father’s keenness and power. There are circles in which Anne would have
been voted a _bas-bleu_; but singular beauty, and several
accomplishments of the gayer sort attempered the severer tones of
character. Her voice was an organ which subdued whole coteries into
attention by its dulcet charm. She sung, she painted, she rode the great
horse, she was a gipsy queen in pic-nics and aquatic adventures.
Exquisitely susceptible of humorous impressions, and familiar with the
purest writers of satire, Anne was never betrayed into a sarcasm; and
her lofty sweetness repelled the forward trifling which is common among
half-educated young lawyers. Altogether, she stood as a beautiful
contrast to her Herculean parent.

When I look back over the days of my youth, I find few greener spots
than the long winter evenings spent at the Maples. It was a huge,
shambling, unfinished house, open to all comers, with fires worthy of a
Saxon castle, and tables groaning with Homeric joints. These were
not—alas! for Gideon Stowe—the times of “thin potations.” When the
ladies had retired, and the host called for hot-water and the
“materials,” his tongue was loosed, and he gloried in—what were to
him—the “_noctes, cænaeque deorum_.”

The short, broken, insufficient visits of a city, and the thronged
assemblies of fashion, afford no specimens of, what used to be called in
the period of Burney and Garrick, conversation. This must be sought
where journals are rare, where hospitality is primitive, and where
friends—who know one another—prize the continuous flow, and take time
for it.

If I may venture a judgment, where there is room for bias and
prepossession, I will declare my belief that these conditions no where
meet in more perfection than among the educated proprietors of the
South. Animated dialogue, from the necessity of the case, takes the
place of purchased evening amusements. Wit and beauty are not confined
to the sons and daughters of New England; nor will we readily yield to
them in that glow, frankness and impulsion, which give electric force to
countenance, voice, and gesture. Many a _soirée_ have we kept up till
the small hours, when a dozen horses were in the stables, and a tribe of
swarthy retainers were making the joists ring in the neighboring
dependencies. Here it was that in my heyday I forgot all the
grammarians, from Priscian to Adam, all the classics, and all the
marvels of the old world; but I was learning much of mankind in its best
aspect, and not a little of myself.

_Mme._ Anne Stowe has been dead twenty years, and three of her sons have
families near me. Her husband was a wealthy planter; but before he
gained her hand she gave more than one refusal to an aspiring young
fellow whose name I am not free to mention.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =LIFE’S BATTLE MARCH.=


                   =BY MRS. J. H. THOMAS, (L. L. M.)=


            A mighty throng are they who gird
              Their armor for the strife;
            And, with strong hearts, go forth to win
              The battle-field of Life.

            The good, the firm, the true, the brave,
              The beautiful, are there;
            Beside the stern, dark warrior’s helm
              Float woman’s tresses fair.

            Rose-lips are wreathed with lofty smiles,
              Pale cheeks with ardor glow;
            And fragile forms from easeful halls
              To death or vict’ry go.

            Nor fly they from the noontide heat,
              To Pleasure’s shaded bowers;
            Firm fall the feet that trod, erewhile,
              Among the dew-bright flowers.

            To battle with Life’s ills they go—
              Those hopeful hearts and strong—
            Nor shrink they from the toilsome march,
              To struggle fierce and long.

            These lessons trite they all have conned:
              The proudest hopes may fall;
            And Beauty, Life, and Bloom repair
              To Death’s great carnival—

            Earth’s clinging loves may fade away,
              Like half-forgotten dreams;
            And trusting hearts grow dark and cold
              As cypress-shaded streams—

            The calmest brow may droop with grief—
              The brightest lip may pale;
            And eagle eyes grow dim with tears,
              When Hate and Wrong prevail—

            And yet most glorious words, I ween,
              Are woven in the song,
            That breathes from every heart and lip,
              As sweep those ranks along.

            That Wrong and Hate, though leagued with Might,
              And Grief, and Pain, and Wo,
            Can never crush the True and Right,
              Those brave hearts joy to know.

            To each calm, earnest, onward soul,
              The lofty faith is given,
            That every flower that fades on earth,
              Far brighter blooms in Heaven.

            They know that each encounter stern
              With Sorrow makes them strong;
            And cheerily their bold, true hearts,
              Uplift the glorious song.

            They joy to know that soon their tents
              On Time’s dim shore will gleam;
            That soon their steadfast ranks will stand
              Beside Death’s sullen stream;

            That soon from the Eternal Walls
              Heaven’s silvery chime will sound;
            And then Life’s myriad victors be
              With God’s own glory crowned.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =THE HARVEST OF GOLD.=


Three years ago, one Mr. Smith, a gentleman engaged in iron-works in
Australia, made his appearance at the Government House, Sydney, with a
lump of gold. He offered, for a large sum of money, to point out where
he had got it, and where more was to be found in abundance. The
Government, however, thinking that this might be no more than a device,
and that the lump produced might, in reality, have come from California,
declined to buy a gold field in the dark, but advised Mr. Smith to
unfold his tale, and leave his payment to the liberality of Government.
This Mr. Smith refused to do, and there the matter ended.

On the third of April, 1851, Mr. Hargraves, who had recently returned
from California, addressed the Government, stating that the result of
his experience in that country had led him to expect gold in Australia;
that the results of his exploring had been highly satisfactory; and that
for the sum of five hundred pounds he would point out the precious
districts. The same answer was returned that had disposed of Mr. Smith,
but with an opposite effect; for Mr. Hargraves declaring himself
“satisfied to leave the remuneration for his discovery to the liberal
consideration of Government,” at once named the districts, which were
Lewis Ponds, Summer-Hill Creek, and Macquarie River, in Bathurst and
Wellington—the present Ophir. Mr. Hargraves was directed to place
himself at once in communication with the Government Surveyor.

Meantime, the news began to be whispered about. A man who appeared in
Bathurst with a lump of gold worth thirty pounds, which he had picked
up, created a great sensation, and numbers hastened to see whether they
could not do likewise. The Commissioner of Crown Lands became alarmed.
He warned all those who had commenced their search, of the illegality of
their proceedings, and made earnest application for efficient
assistance, imagining that the doings in California were to be repeated
in Bathurst, and that pillage and murder were to be the order of the
day. The Government immediately took active measures for the maintenance
of order. Troops were dispatched to the gold fields, and the
Inspector-General of Police received a discretionary power to employ
what force he thought proper.

Great was the excitement in Sydney upon the confirmation of all this
intelligence. Hasty partings, deserted desks, and closed shops,
multiplied in number. Every imaginable mode of conveyance was resorted
to, and hundreds set off on foot.

On the fourteenth of May, the Government Surveyor reported that, in
communication with Mr. Hargraves, he had visited the before-mentioned
districts, and after three hours’ examination, “had seen quite
enough”—gold was every where plentiful.

A proclamation was at once issued, forbidding any person to dig without
a license, setting forth divers pains and penalties for disobedience.
Licenses were to be obtained upon the spot, at the rate of thirty
shillings per month, liable to future alteration. No licenses were
granted to any one who could not produce a certificate of discharge from
his last service, or otherwise give a satisfactory account of himself;
and the descriptions of such as were refused were registered. A small
body of mounted police were at the same time organized, who were paid at
the somewhat curious rate of three shillings and three-pence per day,
with rations, and lodgings when they could be procured. Fortunately,
there was no attempt at disturbance, for the Governor in a dispatch
states, “that the rush of people (most of them armed) was so great, that
had they been disposed to resist, the whole of the troops and police
would have been unable to cope with them.” The licenses, too, were all
cheerfully paid for, either in coin or gold.

On the third of June, Mr. Hargraves (who, in the meantime, had received
a responsible appointment) underwent an examination before the
Legislative Council, when he stated that he was led to search in the
neighborhood of Bathurst, by observing the similarity of the country to
California. He found gold as soon as he dismounted. He found it
everywhere; rode from the head of the Turon river to its confluence with
the Macquarie, about one hundred miles; found gold over the whole
extent; afterward found it all along the Macquarie. “Bathurst,” observed
Mr. Hargraves, “is the most extraordinary place I ever saw. Gold is
actually found lying on the ground, close to the surface.” And Mr.
Commissioner Green, two days afterward, reported that “gold was found in
every pan of earth taken up.”

But the most important event connected with these discoveries, and which
is without parallel in the world’s history, remains to be told.

On the sixteenth of July, The Bathurst Free Press, commenced a leader
with the following passage:—

“Bathurst is mad again! The delirium of golden fever has returned with
increased intensity. Men meet together, stare stupidly at one another,
and wonder what will happen next. Everybody has a hundred times seen a
hundred weight of flour. A hundred weight of sugar is an everyday fact;
but a hundred weight of gold is a phrase scarcely known in the English
language. It is beyond the range of our ordinary ideas; a sort of
physical incomprehensibility; but that it is a material existence, our
own eyes bore witness.” Now for the facts.

On Sunday, eleventh July, it was whispered about in Sydney, that a Dr.
Kerr had found a hundred weight of gold! Few believed it. It was thought
a capital joke. Monday arrived, and all doubts were dispelled; for at
mid-day a tandem, drawn by two grays, drew up in front of the Free Press
Office. Two immense lumps of virgin gold were displayed in the body of
the vehicle; and being freely handed round to a quickly assembled crowd,
created feelings of wonder, incredulity, and admiration, which were
increased, when a large tin box was pointed to as containing the
remainder of the hundred weight of gold. The whole was at once lodged at
the Union Bank of Australia, where the process of weighing took place in
the presence of a party of gentlemen, including the lucky owner and the
manager of the bank. The entire mass weighed about three hundred pounds,
which yielded one hundred and six pounds of pure gold, valued at four
thousand pounds. This magnificent mass was accidentally discovered by an
educated aboriginal in the service of Dr. Kerr; who, while keeping his
master’s sheep, had his attention attracted to something shining on a
block of quartz, and breaking off a portion with his tomahawk, this
hitherto hidden treasure stared him in the face. The lump was purchased
by Messrs. Thacker and Company, of Sydney, and consigned to an eminent
firm in London.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner reported a gold field many miles in extent,
north-east of Bathurst, adding that it would afford employment for five
thousand persons, the average gain of each person being then one pound
per day; while provisions, which at one time had been enormously high,
owing to the cupidity of speculators, had fallen so low, that the sum of
ten shillings a week was quite sufficient for one individual’s
subsistence. The reports from the other commissioners were equally
favorable; and it is gratifying to find that they all spoke in the
highest terms of the orderly and exemplary conduct of the diggers.

Since the discoveries in the neighborhood of Sydney, there have been
found, in South Australia, large tracts of country abounding in gold,
only sixteen miles from Melbourne. The most recent accounts (December
15, 1851) from these regions are of a most astounding character. In the
first week in December nearly fifty thousand pounds value in gold was
brought into Melbourne and Geelong. The amount would have been greater
but for want of conveyance. “To find quartz,” says the Australian and
New Zealand Gazette, “is to find gold. It is found thirty-two feet from
the surface in plenty. Gold is actually oozing from the earth.” Nuggets
of gold, from fourteen ounces to twenty-seven pounds, are to be found in
abundance. A single quartz “nugget,” found in Louisa creek, sold for one
thousand one hundred and fifty-five pounds. The Alert was on her way
home with one hundred and thirty thousand pounds sterling in gold, and
two other vessels with similar rich cargoes.

Every town and village were becoming gradually deserted. “Those who
remain behind to mind the flocks demand such wages, that farming will
not long pay. Labor is in such demand that any body with a pair of hands
can readily command thirty-five shillings per week, with board and
lodging.” The Government Commissioners had given in their unanimous
report, that the gold fields were already so extensive as to afford
remunerative employment for one hundred thousand persons. In conclusion,
the last advices describe the excitement as so intense that fears were
entertained that sufficient hands would not be left to get in the
standing crops.

Every week the number multiplies of gold-seekers’ colonies planted about
streams in Australia; at all, the conduct of the diggers is exemplary.
Most of them cease from labor on the Sunday, and spend that day as they
would spend it if they were in town. The first keg of spirits taken into
an Australian gold field had its head punched out by the miners; and
Government has since assisted them in the endeavor to repress the use of
stronger stimulants than wine or beer. Where every member of the
community possesses more or less of the great object of desire; where
stolen gold could never be identified; where it would be far from easy
to identify a thief who passes to-and-fro among communities composed
entirely of chance-comers, having faces strange one to another, a little
drunkenness might lead to a great deal of lawlessness and crime. There
are men, however, who will drink; and what are called by the miners “sly
grog-sellers” exist, and elude discovery in every gold settlement. Yet
we read of one man who, being drunk, had dropped the bottle which
contained his gold, and are informed that he was afterward sought out,
and received due restoration of his treasure from its finder. Some
settlements are much more lawless than the rest, and we have read,
perhaps, more ill of Ballarat than any other; yet it is of Ballarat that
we receive the following sketch from a private correspondent.

The writer, with a party of four young friends, quitted a farm near
Geelong, in October last year, to experiment as a digger at Ballarat
until the harvest. One man at a gold field can do little for himself; a
party of about four is requisite to make a profitable division of the
labor. “With this party,” our correspondent says, “I started on
Thursday, October the second, for the Gold City of Ballarat. We took
with us all requisite tools; a large tarpaulin to make into a tent;
provisions to last us for two months. All this was stowed away in our
own dray; and our man Tom accompanied it.

“This mode of travelling—the universal mode in Australia—is very
pleasant in fine weather. We used to be up at daybreak, and start as
soon as we had breakfasted. We would go on leisurely—for bullocks won’t
be hurried—and get through a stage of from fifteen to twenty miles,
according to the state of the roads, allowing an interval of one hour
for dinner. Then we would stop for the night at some convenient
camping-ground, where there was a good supply of grass, wood, and water.
There, our first proceedings were to make a big fire, and a great kettle
of tea—a kettle, mind; then we rigged out a temporary tent, spread our
beds on the ground, and went to sleep as comfortably as if we were at a
first-rate hotel.

“On Monday night—having left the farm on the previous Thursday—we
camped about two miles from the diggings; and making a very early start,
we got in sight of them a little after sunrise.

“It certainly was the most extraordinary sight I ever beheld. Imagine a
valley, varying in width from one hundred to five hundred yards,
inclosed on either side by high ranges of hills, thickly timbered.
Through the middle of this valley there winds a rapid little stream, or
‘creek,’ as it is termed here. On the banks of the creek, and among the
trees of the surrounding ranges, were clustered tents, bark-huts formed
after the native fashion with boughs of trees, and every kind of
temporary habitation which could be put up in the course of an hour or
two.

“Some idea may be formed of the number of tents and other habitations,
when I say that there were then at least five thousand men at work
within a space of about half-a-mile up the creek. All these had
collected together in a few weeks; for it was only in the latter end of
August that gold was first found in this out-of-the-way forest
valley—now the site of the ‘City of Ballarat,’ as it was nicknamed by
the diggers.

“We chose a place for our tent on a rather retired spot, not far from
the creek; in a couple of hours our ‘house’ was put up, the stores
stowed away inside it, and Tom and his team were off on the home journey
to Geelong. Leaving the others to ‘set our house in order,’ get in a
stock of firewood, bake a damper, and perform various other odd jobs
attendant upon taking up one’s residence in the Bush—Fred and I set out
to reconnoitre the scene of our future operations.

“The place where there was the richest deposit of gold was on the face
of a hill, which sloped gradually down from the edges on the right-hand
(or east) side of the creek, going towards the source. I mention these
particulars, because it is worthy of note that almost all the principal
diggings have been discovered in places similarly situated. The whole of
the hill was what geologists call an ‘alluvial deposit:’ consisting of
various strata of sand, gravel, large quartz boulders, and white clay,
in the order I have named them. It is in this white clay, immediately
beneath the quartz, that the gold is found. In one part of the hill,
where the discovery was first made, this layer of quartz was visible at
the surface, or ‘cropped out:’ in other parts it is to be met with at
various depths, of from five to thirty feet.

“When first these diggings were discovered, there were, as might be
expected, continual disputes as to how much ground each man should have
for his operations. One party applied to the Government, which
immediately appointed a Commissioner and a whole staff of subordinates,
to maintain order and enforce certain regulations, made ostensibly for
the benefit of the diggers. Of these regulations the two principal ones
were, that each person must pay thirty shillings per month for a license
to ‘dig, search for, and remove gold’ (I inclose you my license as a
curiosity); and that no person could claim more than eight feet square
of ground to work at, at one time. In consequence of this last
regulation, the workings were concentrated in a small part of the hill,
where the gold was chiefly to be found. This spot was perfectly riddled
with holes, of from eight to sixteen feet square, separated by narrow
pathways, which formed the means of communication between each hole and
the creek. A walk about this honeycomb of holes was most amusing. The
whole place swarmed with men; some at work in the pits; others carrying
down the auriferous earth to be washed in the creek—in wheel-barrows,
hand-barrows, sacks, and tin dishes on their heads. In some of the holes
I even saw men digging out bits of gold from between the stones with a
table-knife.

“Busy as this scene was, I think the scene at the creek was busier. Both
banks, for half-a-mile, were lined with men, hard at work washing the
earth in cradles. Each cradle employs three men; and all the cradles are
placed close to one another, at intervals of not more than a yard. The
noise produced by the incessant ‘rock-rock’ of these cradles was like
that of an immense factory. This—together with continual hammering of a
thousand picks, and the occasional crashing fall of immense trees, whose
roots had been undermined by some mole of a gold-digger—made a
confusion of sounds, of which you will find it difficult to form a just
idea.”

Our correspondent’s party was not very fortunate in its researches at
Ballarat. Having explained this to us, he continues to give his
impressions of the place.

“When we arrived there, the influx of people was still going on; tents
springing up at the rate of fifty per diem. This continued until the
third week in September, when the number of persons on the ground was
estimated at seven thousand. Strange as was the appearance of the place
by day, it was still stranger at night. Before every tent was a fire;
and in addition to this general illumination, there was not unfrequently
a special one—the accidental burning down of some tent or other. These
little conflagrations produced splendid effects; the bright glare
suddenly lighting up the gloomy masses of trees, and the groups of
wild-looking diggers.

“Noise, too, was a prominent feature of ‘Ballarat by night.’ From dusk
till eleven P. M., there was a continuous discharge of fire-arms; for
almost every one brought some kind of weapon with him to the diggings.
Then there was a band which discoursed by no means eloquent music:
nine-tenths of the score being monopolized by the drum. In the pauses of
this—which occurred, I suppose, whenever the indefatigable drummer had
made his arms ache—we would hear rising from some of the tents music of
a more pleasing character. The party next ours sang hymns very correctly
in four parts; and from another tent the ‘Last Rose of Summer’ sometimes
issued, played very pathetically on the flageolet.

“Sunday was always well observed at the diggings, so far as absence from
work was concerned: and there was Service held twice a day by different
ministers. Altogether, though there were occasional fights—particularly
on Sundays—there was much less disorder than one would have expected,
where a large body of such men were gathered together. While we stayed,
there happened only one murder and two or three robberies. You must not
take the quantity of gold we got as any criterion of the amount found by
other parties. Numbers made fortunes in a few weeks. One party that I
knew obtained thirty pounds weight—troy—in seven weeks; and a youth of
seventeen, who came out with me in the ‘Anna Maria,’ received five
hundred pounds as his share of six weeks’ work. These are but ordinary
cases. The greatest quantity known to have been taken out in one day,
was sixty-three pounds weight, nearly three thousand pounds worth.

“On Wednesday, November fifth, we packed up, left Ballarat, and set off
for Mount Alexander, where we arrived on the Saturday following. The
Diggings there are not confined to one spot, but extend for twelve miles
up a valley. The gold is found mostly among the surface soil; some I
have even seen lying among the grass. We tried first at a place where
there was only one party at work; and the trial proving satisfactory, we
stayed there three weeks, and obtained thirty-six ounces of gold. For a
few days we did nothing; and then we went over to some other Diggings
about five miles off. Here we went “prospecting” for ourselves, and the
first day found out a spot from which we took thirty-five ounces in one
week—the last of our stay; eighteen ounces we found in a single day.

“We then started off, back to Geelong; for I was anxious to be back for
the harvest. We reached home on Saturday, December twentieth.”

Writing on the twenty-eighth of December, our informant adds:—

“This gold discovery has sent the whole country mad. There are now
upward of fifty thousand men at work at the various diggings; of which I
have only mentioned the two principal ones, Ballarat and Mount
Alexander. Every body who can by any means get away, is off. It is
almost impossible to obtain laborers at any wages. Half the wheat in the
country will most likely rot on the ground for want of hands to reap it.
Fortunately we shall be able to get in ours ourselves, for our man Tom
is still with us, and Mr. R’s four brothers will lend us a hand. We have
a very good crop of wheat, for the first year; the barley, of which we
had an acre or two, we have already cut and threshed, and are going to
send a load in to Geelong to-morrow. I can handle the sickle and flail
pretty well for a beginner. We shall cut the wheat next Tuesday. As soon
as the harvest is over, and the wheat threshed out and sold, Mr. R. and
I mean to make up another party and be off to the diggings. We cannot do
all the work on the farm ourselves, and hiring servants now is out of
the question. Men are asking seven shillings and sixpence a-day wages,
and will only hire by the week at that rate. Things will soon be in the
same state as they are in California. All ordinary employments will be
put a stop to for a time; but there will no doubt come a reaction in the
course of a year or two.”

The reaction anticipated by the writer will not consist in a disgust at
gold, or a decrease in the number of gold-diggers. It will be less a
reaction than a recovery of balance. Although the gold in Australia is,
on the whole, peculiarly accessible, and so abundant that a persevering
worker cannot fail to draw a livelihood out of the diggings; yet there
are very many workers who are not disposed to persevere. Experience has
shown, that a large number of men who rush upon the gold field to pick
up a fortune, like all sanguine people, take up quickly with despair,
and come away after a few weeks of bad success. Of the large number of
people who will be induced by their gold to emigrate into the Australian
colonies, many will try the gold fields and abandon them, many will find
their health or their acquired habits unsuited to the rough work of the
diggings, and the “Home of the Gold Miners”—as one sees it advertised
in Sydney papers, “weighing only twelve pounds—nine feet square by
eight feet high, for thirty-five shillings.” Such men and others will be
more ready to spread about the towns and through the pastures. In a year
or two there will be in Australia labor willing to employ itself as
readily upon the fields as upon the gold, while the work will proceed at
the gold fields steadily enough.

The contrast is very great between the orderly behavior at the gold
fields in Australia, and of California. There are few fields, we are
told, at which a miner might not have his wife and family; if he could
provide accommodation for them, they would be as safe, and meet with
just as much respect as if they lived in their own house in town. A
clergyman, quitting the Turon settlement, publicly returns his “sincere
thanks to the commissioners of the Turon, and to the mining population
in general, for the many acts of kindness which he experienced during
his short residence among them. He considers it his duty,” he says,
“thus publicly to state, not only his own personal obligations, but also
the pleasure which he felt in witnessing the general desire of all
classes to promote the object of his mission, and to profit by his
humble labors; and if,” he says, “he were to judge from their orderly
conduct, and from the earnest attention and apparent devotion with which
they all joined in the religious services of the Sabbath, he could not
help forming a very favorable opinion of the miners. It cannot be denied
that the great majority are sober, industrious, and well-disposed.”

The weekly “Gold Circular,” at Sydney gets poetical on the subject:—

“In our first shipment, we could count the value of the gold in pounds
sterling by hundreds; in a few weeks it rose to thousands; in a few
weeks more it became tens of thousands; and we are fast approaching a
period when each ship will convey hundreds of thousands.” At the time
when that was written—on December sixth—in the very few months since
the digging was commenced, there had been shipped from Australia, gold
to the value of three hundred and twenty-nine thousand seven hundred and
ninety-seven pounds; and since that time the yield of gold has been
increasing. At the same time, California continues unexhausted, and the
field of gold in Russia has enlarged.

It will be seen, therefore, that there is just reason for anticipating a
change in the value of gold, which will begin to take place gradually at
no distant time. The annual supply of gold promises now to be about
eight times greater than it was at the commencement of the present
century. The value of silver, with reference to corn, fell two-thirds in
the sixteenth century, as that of gold is likely to fall in the
nineteenth. The price of silver fell in consequence of the increased
production from the great mines in America. A piece of gold is now
assumed to be worth fifteen or sixteen like pieces of silver; during the
Middle Ages it was worth only twelve such pieces. In Europe, under
Charlemagne, ten pieces of silver were an equivalent; and, at one period
in Rome, silver was but nine times less precious than gold: relative
values, therefore, have varied, and they will vary again. Since they
were last fixed by law, there have occurred no causes of disturbance.
Now, however, a time of disturbance is again at hand.

In France, the monetary unit is a franc; and silver is, by law, the
standard coinage; but, a supplementary law having assigned the value of
twenty silver francs to pieces of gold of a fixed weight, our neighbors
will not be exempted from our difficulty, and the French State, like the
English State, may profit, if it please, at the expense of public
creditors. Governments have only to do nothing, and a large part of
their debts will tumble from them; holders of Government securities have
only to be passive, and in the course of years their income will
diminish sensibly. Debtors will hold a jubilee, and creditors will be
dismayed, if gold shall be allowed to fall in value, without due
provision being made to avert, as far as possible, all inconvenience
attending that event.

In 1848, the value of gold had been for many years a very little more
than the amount of silver allowed by law, in France, as its equivalent.
The little difference was quite enough to put gold out of circulation.
Gold was more precious as metal than as money: it was, therefore, used
by preference as metal; when wanted as coin, it was only to be
bought—at more than its legal current value—of the money-changers.
There is a vast quantity of gold in circulation now, but it is newly
coined.

The fall in the value of gold cannot begin to any appreciable extent,
until the utmost available quantity has been employed upon the monetary
system of the world. Coinage now goes on rapidly. A huge mass of
sovereigns has lately been sent from England to the Australian colonies.
When the depreciation once begins, it will be tolerably rapid. It is not
absurd to calculate that, if the gold production should continue at its
present rate, sovereigns will be as half sovereigns now are in value, in
the course of about twenty years.

At the same time, it will be the duty of all States to take such
precautions as shall make it impossible for a change of this kind to
introduce confusion into commerce, or to change the character and spirit
of existing contracts.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          =SEMINOLE WAR SONG.=


                         =BY WM. H. C. HOSMER.=


                      Fire, famine, and slaughter,
                        Have wasted our band—
                      Our life-blood like water
                        Has moistened the land;
                      But truly our rifles
                        The bullet will speed,
                      While an arm can be lifted—
                        One bosom can bleed.

                      The raven is croaking
                        A dirge for the slain—
                      Our cabins lie smoking
                        On prairie and plain;
                      But paths we will follow
                        To carnage that lead,
                      While an arm can be lifted—
                          One bosom can bleed.

                      Our old men lie mangled
                        By wild-wolf and bear;
                      Our babes we have strangled—
                        Dread act of despair;
                      And vengeance will nerve us
                        To desperate deed,
                      While an arm can be lifted—
                          One bosom can bleed.

                      Pale robbers are swarming
                        In hammock and vale;
                      Their squadrons are forming
                        With flags on the gale;
                      We dread not their footmen,
                        Armed rider and steed,
                      While an arm can be lifted—
                        One bosom can bleed.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              =STABILITY.=


                           =BY J. HUNT, JR.=


                Be thou, like yon old mountain oak,
                  Of sturdy mien—in purpose strong;
                And prove thyself to be unchanged,
                  In every sense, from Right to Wrong.

                Let not success unbalance mind;
                  In adverse times be honest, then;
                Support the Truth, and thou shalt march,
                  A monarch, in the van of Men.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                =LINES,=


    Suggested by reading an account of the very ancient Willow which
    still stands in what were once the gardens of Semiramis, at
    Babylon, with which it is supposed to have been coeval.

                        =BY MRS. E. L. CUSHING.=


                    Oh, solitary tree!
          Living memento of the mighty Past!
          Strange, dreamy images the mind o’ercast,
                    As dwell its thoughts on thee.

                    Where roved Semiramis
          Thou still doth stand—perchance her foot she staid
          Beneath thy silvery boughs—in their deep shade
                    To woo the zephyr’s kiss.

                    There now, thou standest lone;
          And as the winds thine ancient branches sway,
          Thou dost respond to their light mirthful play,
                    With melancholy moan.

                    [3]The wandering Arab hears,
          And deems in thee unearthly spirits dwell;
          Then hastes with flying foot the tale to tell,
                    Of his dark doubts and fears.

                    Ancient, mysterious tree!
          What secrets deep lie hidden in thy breast?
          ’Twere strange, indeed, if aught could be at rest,
                    Knowing what’s known to thee.

                    Thou hast outlived thy race!
          Lone dweller, thou, amid decay and death,
          Where e’en the violet, with her perfumed breath,
                    No eye may ever trace.

                    Amid thy foliage dim
          The wild bee murmurs not, nor e’er is heard,
          ’Mong thy pale folded leaves, the chant of bird,
                    Warbling her vesper hymn.

                    Not so, oh mournful tree!
          When in their glory shone those gardens bright,
          And plants of every clime, full fair to sight,
                    Smiled gayly there with thee.

                    Then thou did’st proudly wave
          Thy graceful boughs above the queenly head
          Of fair Semiramis, and soft dews shed,
                    Her beauteous brow to lave.

                    While at thy feet unrolled,
          Lay Shinar’s plain, in whose bright midst there shone
          The hundred gates of mighty Babylon—
                    Her towers and domes of gold!

                    Where are her glories now—
          Her valiant kings—and he who reared yon tower
          To brave the heavens? Spent is their little hour!
                    Oh, tree! why lingerest thou?

                    There thou hast stood and seen
          Their doom fulfilled—hast seen gray ruin sit
          In their bright halls, and marked the dark bat flit
                    Where song and dance have been.

                    Hoary and voiceless tree!
          Could’st thou find human utterance, to impart
          All the bright secrets treasured in thy heart—
                    Dark would the history be!

                    Well might’st thou moralize
          On worldly hopes—thou that canst boast a span,
          Ne’er in Time’s earliest records reached by man—
                    The mighty, nor the wise.

                    Briefer than thine, oh tree!
          Earth’s glories are; for thou hast seen them pass,
          Age after age, as in a magic glass—
                    Yet change comes not to thee.

                    Still may Time pass thee by,
          Untouched, unscathed—sparing thee still to bind
          Us to the Past—thou that art close entwined
                    With its strange history.

-----

[3] The creaking sound made by the branches of this aged willow, when
moved by the wind, is believed by the superstitious Arabs to proceed
from spirits dwelling among its foliage; and the fact that neither birds
or insects ever frequent the tree, and that no flowers thrive in its
vicinity, confirms them in their credulous belief.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =SONNET—VIRTUE.=


                          =BY WM. ALEXANDER.=


            Hail! holy Virtue! sweet celestial guest!
              To earth descending from the realms above,
              Erst camest thou a dear messenger of love!
            Man’s friend, be he or happy or distrest—
            Bright emanation of the eternal Mind,
              Thou express image of the One most high,
              The God of gods—of matchless purity—

            What refuge like to thee can we e’er find?
            Check us when led by Passion’s voice astray;
              Each idle wish, rude thought, do thou control;
              And fling thy golden radiance o’er the soul;
            That “more and more unto the perfect day,”
            It brightly still may shine—lit up by thee,
            A thing sublime—undimmed throughout eternity.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      =THE SHARK AND HIS HABITS.=


           Far as the breeze can bear, or billows foam,
           All seas their kingdom, and each clime their home.


As free as a bird says the proverb—as free as a fish say we; for if
fish be not their own masters, who are? No other creature has half the
facilities for shifting quarters and changing domicile that he has.
Furnished with a body in itself a perfect locomotive, a vigorous tail
for a piston, and cerebral energy in lieu of steam, the sea offers
itself as a railroad of communication and transport in every direction,
and the North or South Pole is the only natural terminus to the journey.
Man cannot compete with fish here; for few, from various lets and
hindrances, care to vagabondize at will, and of these, fewer still
possess the means of indulging their fancies—yachts. The yacht animal
enjoys himself, no doubt, cruising about the high seas for amusement;
but this pleasure has risks, as well as obvious limits. Squalls may
upset, or whirlpools engulf the frail craft; the masts may be struck by
lightning, the keel by sunk rocks; her rudder may be carried away; her
sails torn to ribbons; her ribs melt in the red glare of fire on board;
or, if she adventure too far in northern latitudes, the crew is liable
to incarceration; and fortunate if, after six months’ bumping,
“nipping,” and crushing, they bring her off at last, and manage to
escape white bears, famine, and an icy grave. Besides these liabilities
to mischief, the wants of those on board compel constant forced halts;
here for coal, there for water, and sundry runnings into harbor in dirty
weather to the delay of the ship’s voyage; all which “touchings” in
order to “go” must retard a sigh in its passage from Indus to the Pole
exceedingly.

In birds, wings supply the place and greatly exceed the efficiency of
sails; but even wings have their limitations of action, and are also
subject to many mishaps. Birds can neither soar toward heaven, nor skim
across the waters without being continually made sensible of this; the
stoutest pinion cannot long beat the icy air of high altitudes, and
remain unnumbed; thus high and no higher may the eagle æronaut mount;
and among birds of passage how many thousands die in transit to another
continent; who, trusting—like Icarus—to uncertain wings, drop into and
cover whole roods of ocean with their feathery carcases.

Quadrupeds again, are even more restricted in wandering over the earth;
natural obstacles are continually presenting so many bars to progress in
advance: the dry and thirsty desert where no water is; inaccessible
snow-capped mountain ridges; the impenetrable screen of forest-trees;
the broad lake; the unfordable and rapid river; the impassable line of a
sea-girt shore; any of these impediments are enough to keep beasts
within an area of no very great range. Thus it fares with all creatures,
denizens of either earth or air; but none of these obstacles impede the
activity of fish. They may swim anywhere, and everywhere, through the
boundless expanse of waters; and, in defiance of trade-winds and storms,
traverse the open seas at every season, unchecked; surrounded on all
sides with suitable food, and finding at different depths a temperature
alike congenial to health and comfort, whether in the torrid or the
frozen zone. Some of the scaly tribe, to whom fresh water is not less
palatable than salt or brackish, may even go far inland; visit without
“Guide” lakes hitherto undescribed by tourists, or follow, à la Bruce,
the meanderings of some mighty river from the mouth up to its sources.
Supported in a fluid of nearly the same specific gravity as themselves,
the upper portion of the body throws no weight upon the lower, and
weariness is impossible. Where there is no fatigue repose becomes
unnecessary, and accordingly we find these denizens of the deep—like
their “mobile mother,” the sea, “who rolls, and rolls, and rolls, and
still goes rolling on”—are never perfectly at rest. When all the day
has been passed in swimming, and the evening paddled out in sport, away
float these everlasting voyagers in a luxurious hydrostatic bed, and are
borne through the night wherever the current chances to carry them; and,
with only an occasional instinctive gulping for a mouthful of air to
replenish the exhausted swim-bladder, on they go till early
dawn—bursting upon a pair of unprotected eye-balls, gives the owners
thereof timely notice to descend deeper, and to strike out fins and tail
in whatever direction waking thoughts may suggest. To such tourists
Madame de Stael’s definition of travel—_Le voyage, un triste
plaisir_—cannot, of course, apply. Their whole journey through life is
indeed singularly placid, conducing to health, and extreme longevity;
for though it be not absolutely true as affirmed by Aristotle, that fish
have no diseases or “plagues,” it nevertheless is certain that large
fish—adequately supplied with little ones for food, well armed, and
capable of defending themselves against greater enemies—will live
several centuries—a Nestorian age, to which immunity from sudden
changes of temperature, as well as a secured sufficiency of wholesome
diet, together with their well-known habit of taking things coolly, no
doubt materially contribute. So long a period allowed for growth, and
such a fine field too for development as the open sea affords, readily
explain the enormous size reached by some fish of rapacity in their vast
domains, and particularly by those ocean pirates, the dreaded and
dreadful sharks; who, according to the authorities, though “overwhelmed
with cruelty,” yet “come to no misfortune like other” fish; whose eyes
swell with fatness; who do even as they list; growing up the terror of
navigators and the scourge of the deep.

The ancients have left us many lively representations of the sanguinary
proceedings of these ill-omened Squali, whose reign of terror, after
four thousand years of historical renown, remains as firmly established
over the waters as ever. In early times, several different species of
sharks were confounded, and supposed identical; but as knowledge of the
sea and its marine stores has increased, it is now ascertained beyond
controversy that these cartilaginous monsters, all of whom are the same
in daring and voracity, and terrible according to their size and
strength, are of various species. Under the heading “Canicula,” Pliny
relates, in his usual pleasant style, the proceedings of one of these,
evidently our Tope, the Squalus milandra of the French, La Samiola of
the Mediterranean; where, by the way, they still abound, to the terror
and detriment alike of Italian and Maltese boatmen. Though this Canicula
averages but twelve feet, he is equal to the gigantic white shark in
_cynopic_ impudence and rapacity; he has often been known to seize
sailors standing beside their craft, and tardy bathers still in their
shirts. The poor pearl divers of the Indian seas have particular reason
to dread his approach; and the method anciently adopted by them to evade
his jaws is very similar to what the black population of the East follow
to the present day, and generally with complete success.

“The dyvers,” says Pliny, “that use to plunge down into the sea, are
annoyed very much with a number of Sea-hounds that come about them, and
put them in great jeopardie . . . . much ado they have and hard hold
with these hound-fishes, for they lay at their bellies and loines, at
their heeles, and snap at everie part of their bodies that they can
perceive to be white. The onely way and remedie is to make head directly
affront them, and to begin with them first, and so to terrifie them; for
they are not so terrible to a man as they are as fraid of him againe.
Thus within the deepe they be indifferently even matched; but, when the
dyvers mount up and rise againe above water, then there is some odds
betweene, and the man hath the disadvantage, and is in the most daunger,
by reason that whiles he laboureth to get out of the water he faileth of
meanes to encounter with the beast against the streame and sourges of
the water, and therefore his only recource is to have helpe and aid from
his fellowes in the ship; for having a cord tied at one end about his
shoulders, he straineth it with his left hand to give signe of what
daunger he is in, whiles he maintaineth fight with the right, by taking
into it his puncheon with a sharp point, and so at the other end they
draw him to them; and they need otherwise to pull and hale him in but
softly; marry, when he is neere once to the ship, unless they give him a
sodaine jerke, and snatch him up quickly, they may be sure to see him
worried and devoured before their face; yea, and when he is at the point
to be plucked up, and even now ready to go abourd, he is many times
caught away out of his fellowes hands, if he bestir himself not the
better, and put his own good will to the helpe of them within the ship,
by plucking up his legges and gathering his body nimbly togither, round
as it were in a ball. Well may some from shipbourd proke at the dogges
aforesaid with forkes; others thrust at them with trout speares and such
like weapons, and all never the neare; so crafty and cautelous is this
foule beast, to get under the very belly of the bark, and so feed upon
their comrade in safetie.”

The portraits of two other species besides the Canicula have been so
well delineated by the ancients, as to render the recognition of the
originals perfectly easy, and exempt from any possibility of mistake.
One of these is the Saw-fish of modern writers, described by Aristotle
under the name of _Pristis_, and by Pliny under the Latin synonym
_Serra_. The saw, or rake, of this shark is at first a supple
cartilaginous body, porrect from the eyes, and extending sometimes
fifteen feet beyond them. In the earlier stages of development it is
protected in a leathery sheath; but hardening gradually as the ossific
deposition proceeds, its toothed sides at length pierce the tough
integument; the Serra flings away the scabbard, and, after a very little
practice, becomes a proficient in the use of his weapon, and always
ready for instant assault upon any body or any thing that may or may not
offer molestation. Thus formidably armed, and nothing daunted, the
larger and fiercer the adversary the more ardently the Serra desires to
join battle; above all, the destruction of the whale seems to occupy
every thought, and to stimulate to valorous deeds; no sooner is one of
these unwieldy monsters descried rolling through the billows, than our
expert Sea-fencer rushes to the conflict; and, taking care to avoid the
sweep of his opponent’s tremendous tail, soon effects his purpose, by
stabbing the luckless leviathan at all points, till he—exhausted by
loss of blood—dies at last anemic, like Seneca in the bath. Martyns
relates a fight off the Shetland Isles, which he witnessed from a
distance, not daring to approach the spot, while the factitious rain
spouted up from the vents of the enraged sea mammal, poured down again
in torrents sufficient to swamp a boat, over the liquid battle field. He
watched them a long time as they feinted, skirmished, or made an
onslaught; now wheeling off, but only to turn and renew the charge with
double fury. Foul weather, however, coming on, he did not see the final
result of the fray; but the sailors affirmed that such scenes were
common enough to them, and generally ended in the death of the whale;
that when he was _in extremis_, the victor would tear out and carry away
the tongue—the only part he cared for—and that, on his departure, they
themselves drew near, and enjoyed undisputed possession of the huge
carcase.

The other well-defined _Squalus_ of the ancients is the _zygæna_ of
Oppian, the Marseilles Jew-fish, the Balance-fish, the Hammer-fish, and
were these not aliases enough already, the T-fish might be suggested as
an appropriate synonym to add to the rest, the form of this letter
suiting the outline of the fish to a tittle. The down stroke represents
the body, and the horizontal bar at top the singular transverse head, at
the opposite extremes of which two very salient, yellow eyes are
situated, commanding from their position an extensive field of vision.
When any thing occurs to ruffle the temper of the savage monster, these
jaundiced eye-balls suddenly change to a blood-red hue, and roll,
furiously glaring, in their projecting orbits; the portal of the mouth
opens, and a huge, human tongue, swollen, inflamed, and papillated,
surrounded by a whole armory of rending teeth, is thrust forth,
presenting to view a creature so strange, hideous and malevolent, that
nothing in nature can be compared to him. The domestic circle of the
_Squalus zygæna_ numbers every year twenty-four new members; this
fearful fecundity of the mother is providentially kept in check by the
violent decease of most of the young in cunabulis, for these little
cacodemons, untaught by their parents or Dr. Watts to consider it at all
“a shameful sight for _Squali_ of one family to snarl, and snap, and
bite,” commit the most cold-blooded fratricides, and even eat one
another, _proh pudor_! without any remorse; besides this, when grown-up
relations come on a visit, the young set are not secure from “battle,
murder, and sudden death,” for a single moment, save when directly under
the paternal nose; as a natural consequence, few of the nefarious brood
survive childhood, or ever attain to full maturity of size and malice.
Of such as escape infantine dangers, many in after life fall victims in
hostile encounters with larger congeners; in particular with the white
shark. The average length of the _S. zygæna_ is only eight or nine feet,
but he does not fear to confront the powerful Requin himself, and fight
him, too, with such pluck, resolution, and fury, that though the greatly
superior weight of the other at length prevails, the victor does not
leave the bloody battle-field scatheless, but like a second Pyrrhus,
with the conviction that one more such conquest would undo him. We never
saw any of these sea-termagants alive and in action, and must therefore
refer the reader for full particulars to M. Lacepède, who had that
advantage; but to judge from sundry recently dead specimens, with fins
down, tail at rest, the hammer head resting on the pavement, and one eye
only to be seen at a time, she was quite ill-looking enough to justify
belief in all that biographers have recorded against her.

These are the only three sharks of which the ancients have left us any
discriminative account, though they doubtless were acquainted with many
others frequenting southern seas. It must have been one of this gigantic
race, and probably the white shark, to which Oppian refers in the latter
part of the fifth _Halieatic_.

“The gashed and gory carcase, stretched at full length, a ghastly
spectacle! is even yet an object of recoil and superstitious dread. A
vague fear of vengeance keeps awhile the most curious of the captors
aloof; at length some venture to approach; one man looks into the
gigantic jaws, and sees a triple tier of polished and pointed teeth;
another wonders at the width of back; a third admires the herculean
mould of the lately terrible tail; but a landsman, beholding the
unsightly fish at a distance, exclaims—‘May the earth, which I now feel
under me, and which has hitherto supplied my daily wants, receive when I
yield it, my latest breath, from her bosom. Preserve me, oh Jupiter!
from such perils as this, and be pleased to accept my offerings to thee
from dry land. May no thin plank interpose an uncertain protection
between me and the boisterous deep. Preserve me, oh Neptune! from the
terrors of the rising storm, and may I not, as the surge dashes over the
deck, be ever cast out amidst the unseen perils that people the abyss;
’t were punishment enough for a mortal to be tossed about unsepulchred
on the waves, but to become the pasture of a fish, and to fill the foul
maw of such a ravenous monster as I now behold, would add tenfold horror
to such a lot!’”

We participate entirely with this landsman in hearty detestation of
sharks, well remembering the mixed awe, interest and disgust inspired by
the view of a white shark, albeit, a small one for the species, captured
after a furious resistance off the Thunny fishery of Palermo in the
night, and brought in next morning by the sailors, at the market hour.
Dozens of colossal thunnies, alalongas, pelamyds, and swordfish, lay
that morning scarcely noticed: the object of general attraction was the
dread Canesca, whose mangled body was stretched by itself in the middle
of the Place, surrounded by an appalled yet admiring throng, all loud in
exclamations and inquiries. The men who had secured the fish, perfectly
satisfied with the results of the night’s toil, smoked their pipes
complacently, and gave the particulars of the capture to those who
pressed round eagerly to hear the exciting tale. Women, of course,
mingled largely in the crowd—when were they, of the lower class, ever
absent from any spectacle of horror? and accordingly, with either an
infant in arms, or clutching a child by the hand, they pointed out the
fish to their equally excited neighbors, and with many fierce
gesticulations called him “_bruto_,” “_scelerato_,” “_il Nerone dei
pesci_,” and other conventional names of abuse for a shark in Sicily;
everybody was exclaiming, everybody rejoicing over his destruction.
“_Eccola Beppo_; we have him, you see at last,” said one of the crew to
a nearing boatswain, just come into the market. “_Buon’ giorno a lei_, I
make you my bow, sir,” said the other, doffing his red worsted cap to
the fish; “we are all happy to see you on shore; after this you will not
invade _la camera della morte_[4] and make a way for the thunny to slip
through our fingers again. No, indeed, my lads, now we really have him,
you may mend your nets with something like a sense of security.” “Par
Bacco and St. Anthony! will you tell me, sir, where you have put the
flannel drawers you took from out of my felucca, as they were drying on
Sunday last, five minutes after Giuseppe’s legs were out of them?”
“_Cane maledetto_—accursed hound—where’s my brother’s hand you snapped
off as he was washing it over the side of his boat, not a week ago?”
“_Caro lei!_ did you now chance to swallow Padre Giacomo’s poodle, which
disappeared so suddenly the day before yesterday, as he was swimming to
shore with his master’s stick?” “Gentlemen,” said the master boatman,
and proprietor of the Canesca, “you will get more _out_ of him by
looking _into_ him, than by asking unanswered questions; so here, my
lads,” addressing two of his men, “wash his head and gills well, and
show that gentleman—ourself—he is not so small a Canesca as he is
pleased to think.”

The clean water soon brought out the features, as the blood and ooze
were removed; and though the collapsed eye-balls, unsupported as in
life, no longer shot menacing glances from their cartilaginous pivots,
but fell back opaque and dimmed into the sockets, an expression any
thing but amiable was still exhibited in their barred pupils of Minerva
gray. The whole forehead was bathed with that phosphorescent mucus or
jelly which gives this fish its luminous and spectral appearance, when
seen in the dusk, and adds new terrors to the ill-omened apparition. The
aspect of the face was malign enough; but when the den of his mouth was
forced open, and we ventured to peep in, and saw there three rows of
sharp and pointed teeth, that alive in one effort of volition might have
been brought to bear all at once upon the largest prey, and made him
spout blood at every pore, it became apparent that a fish, even like
this of only eight or nine feet long, with such a jaw to tear, such a
trunk to smash, and such a tail to stun, must have been capable of
destroying the life of almost any creature he might encounter; and we
entered readily into the feelings of delight and triumph expressed by
the fishermen at the capture of so thoroughly a _mauvais sujet_. Besides
the jeopardy in which he places life, the mischief a single shark will
occasion to the thunny and cod fisheries is incalculable; two or three
of these marauders suffice to interrupt, and sometimes effectually to
disconcert all the operations of the poor fishermen. The blue shark in
particular, during the pilchard season, will hover about the tackle,
clear the long lines of every hook, biting them off above the
bait—break through the newly shot nets, or fairly swallow the distended
mesh-work and its draught together.

Nor is this all, nor yet the worst mischief recorded of sharks: fond as
they are of fish, they greatly prefer flesh, and, unfortunately for man,
his flesh before that of beast or bird. Acutely discriminative, too, in
taste, their partiality is decidedly for a European rather than an
Asiatic—for a fair rather than a dark skin: on this account, in a mixed
group of bathers, the white complexioned are always the selected victims
of a first attack; but to get at human flesh of any description, they
will make extraordinary efforts—bound for this purpose out of the sea
like tigers from a jungle, right athwart a vessel in full course, to
pick off some unwary sailor occupied in the rigging—or leap into a high
fishing-boat, to the consternation of the crew, and grapple with the men
at their oars; or, when hard pressed and hungry, even spring ashore and
attack man on his own element.

A famished shark will snap up every thing; but though he may swallow
all, yet there are some morsels even a shark cannot stomach; witness the
following lively anecdote from the _Edinburgh Observer_:

“Looking over the bulwarks of the schooner (writes a correspondent of
the Scotch newspaper,) I saw one of these watchful monsters winding
lazily backward and forward like a long meteor; sometimes rising till
his nose disturbed the surface, and a gushing sound like a deep breath
rose through the breakers; at others, resting motionless on the water,
as if listening to our voices, and thirsting for our blood. As we were
watching the motions of this monster, Bruce (a little lively negro and
my cook) suggested the possibility of destroying it. This was briefly to
heat a fire-brick in the stove, wrap it up hastily in some old greasy
cloths as a sort of disguise, and then to heave it overboard. This was
the work of a few minutes, and the effect was triumphant. The monster
followed after the hissing prey; we saw it dart at the brick like a
flash of lightning and gorge it instanter. The shark rose to the surface
almost immediately, and his uneasy motions soon betrayed the success of
the manœuvre; his agonies became terrible, the waters appeared as if
disturbed by a violent squall, and the spray was driven over the taffrel
where we stood, while the gleaming body of the fish repeatedly burst
through the dark waves, as if writhing with fierce and terrible
convulsions. Sometimes also we thought we heard a shrill, bellowing cry
as if indicative of anguish and rage, rising through the gurgling
waters. His fury, however, was soon exhausted; in a short time the
sounds broke away into distance, and the agitation of the sea subsided;
the shark had given himself up to the tides, as unable to struggle
against the approach of death, and they were carrying his body
unresistingly to the beach.”

A poet is born a poet, and a shark is born a shark; in infancy a
malignant, a sea-devil from the egg. When but a few weeks old, and a few
inches in length, a Lilliputian Squalus exhibits a pugnacity almost
without parallel for his age; attacking fish two or three times older
and larger than himself, and if caught and placed upon a board for
observation, resenting handling to the very utmost of his powers,
striking with the tail a finger placed on any part of the body where it
can be reached. But though always thus hostile to man, and generally so
to each other, love for a season subjugates even these savage
dispositions, and makes them objects of a reciprocal regard.

M. Lacepède, who seems to have entered intimately into the private
feelings of sharks, speaks highly of their amours.

Plutarch bears testimony to the tenderness of sharks for their
offspring. He says:—‘In paternal fondness, in suavity and amiability of
disposition, the shark is not surpassed by any living creature. The
female brings forth young, not perfect, but inclosed each in a pouch,
and watches over these till the brood is excluded with the anxiety as it
were of a second birth. After this both parents vie with each other in
procuring food, and teaching their offspring to frolick and swim; and
should danger threaten the defenseless little ones, they find in the
open mouth of their affectionate progenitors a sure asylum;’ ‘from
which,’ says Oppian, who relates the same story with variations, ‘they
issue forth when the alarm is over and the waters again safe.’

Notwithstanding these short paroxysms of tenderness, taken as a class,
it may be safely asserted that nothing in nature is more savage than the
whole Dog-fish tribe, the only difficulty being to determine precisely
to which of the several species the bad pre-eminence belongs; whether to
the White, the Blue or Basking Shark, the Canesca, the Zygæna, the
Rough-hound or Bounce, &c., for they are _all_ Red Republicans of the
deep; strife is their element, blood their delight, cruelty their
pastime. Even the soft sex, which amongst most creatures deserves this
winning epithet, in the Squalidæ is so far from being a recommendation,
that the females are more ferocious than the males. A Messalina sharkess
has been known to dash into a crowd of unhappy bathers, tearing and
butchering all one after another, nor, till wearied out and gorged, but
still unsated with her victims, leave the spot

    Et lassata viris, nondum satiata, recessit.

Well, indeed, do these “fell, unhappie, and shrewd monsters,” as Pliny
calls them, deserve the ill names bestowed by man—Lamia the fury, witch
or hobgoblin; Anthropophagus, or man-eater, and Requin; so called, in
anticipation of the requiems which may certainly be offered up by
friends for the soul of any one whose body comes in the way of a shark.

The white shark is one of the largest of the tribe, and measures
sometimes from twenty to twenty-five feet; there is however another, the
_Squalus Maximus_, only met with in northern latitudes, which greatly
transcends him; reaching, when fully developed, thirty and even forty
feet in length. One taken off Marseilles with a whole man in armor,
_integer et cadavere toto_, pouched in his stomach, affords some grounds
for supposing that the great fish that swallowed the prophet Jonah was a
shark; especially as this case of the warrior is not a solitary
instance, for Rondolet relates the story of a man and his dog going down
the open mouth of a shark into the stomach, the first to look about him
and to say he had been there, the other to prowl round and pick up
offal. That Jonah was swallowed by this _Piscis Anthropophagus_ is
probable, though only conjectural; that he was not swallowed by a
_whale_ is certain, for whales have very small gullets and no internal
“accommodation for a single man,” like the shark; their food consists
entirely of small narrow creatures an inch or two long, and not thicker
round than the barrel of a common-sized quill.

The origin of this mistake, perpetuated by sculptors and painters,
proceeds from a misconception of the Hebrew word _tannanim_, translated
_whale_, but evidently designating large fish generally; just as its
Latin equivalent _cete_, signifies any heavy fish; size, not species,
determining the appellation.

Great as are the dimensions of many existing Squali, there can be no
doubt that some of the antediluvian period greatly exceeded in size any
species at present known. We are indebted to M. Lacepède for this
discovery, and the ingenious procedure by which he arrived at it
deserves notice. M. Lacepède was one of the first naturalists who
applied the since well understood and more fully developed principle of
_ex pede Herculem_ to the objects of natural history. Having received
from Dax, in the Pyrenees, a shark’s tooth of the very unusual size of
four inches and a half in the enamel, or the part visible above the
socket, he was prompted to discover, if possible, the size of its
original possessor; for this purpose he measured first the teeth, and
next the bodies of all the Squali accessible to him in the museums of
Paris, and found in every case, that the relative proportion they bore
to each other was as one to two hundred, and applying this general scale
to the particular tooth from Dax, M. Lacepède found that he held in hand
the relic of a creature that in the days of the flesh must have been
fully seventy feet long. The proportions between the body and the head
being also definite, it was as readily made clear that a Squalus
stretching to this length had jaws with a bow above thirteen feet, and a
mouth capable of gaping more than twenty-six feet round. In comparison
with such a Squalus, those chronicled by Rondolet requiring two horses
to drag them, and even one mentioned by Gillius, weighing four thousand
pounds, dwindle into mere minnows and gudgeons.

Cruel as all Squali undoubtedly are, reasons perhaps might be suggested,
if not wholly exculpatory of their conduct, sufficient to obtain them an
acquittal before either a French or an Italian court of judicature. The
French verdict would be _meurtre, avec circonstances attenuantes_. An
Italian jury would at once pronounce a shark criminal, _arabbiato_—in a
passion—consider this sufficient excuse, and summarily dismiss the
case. Such lenient judgments might be based on the grounds of their
having teeth unusually numerous, efficient, and long; and on
temperament; but sharks possess _also_, enormous abdominal viscera; full
one-third of the body is occupied with spleen or liver, and the bile and
other digestive juices secreted from such an immense apparatus, and
poured continually into the stomach, must be enough to stimulate
appetite prodigiously, and what hungry animal was ever tender-hearted?
We read in the _Anabasis_, that the Greeks would not treat with the
Persians about a truce till after dinner; and every one knows that to be
the time most propitious to charity and good neighborhood; a hungry man
is ever a churl, and _ventre affamé n’a point d’oreilles_. A shark’s
appetite is never appeased; for, moreover, in addition to his bilious
diathesis, he is not a careful masticator of victuals, but hastily bolts
a repast, producing thereby not only the moroseness of indigestion, but
a whole host of _tænias_, which goad and irritate the intestine to that
degree, that the poor Squalus is sometimes quite beside himself from the
torment, and rushes like a blind Polyphemus through the waves in search
of any thing to cram down his maw and allay such urgent distress; he
does not seek to be cruel, but he is cruelly famished, and must satisfy,
not only his own ravenous appetite, but the constant demands of these
internal parasites, either with dead or living animals; so, sped as from
a catapult, he pounces on a quarry, and gorges, like a boa constrictor,
a meal sometimes so great as to press upon and protrude a large portion
of the intestine, which, after one of these crapulous repasts, may not
unfrequently be seen trailing several feet from the body.

It is an interesting fact in the history of sharks—and one by no means
without precedent in our own—that violent passions, parasites, and
indigestions, do not seem to ruffle the equable current of the blood,
and that the pulse continues regular, and averages only sixty beats in a
minute. As with us a good digestion, (the common accompaniment of a
quiet pulse) may be and often is connected with a bad disposition, who
knows but that Heliogabalus and Nero, those admirable human types and
representatives of the genus shark in so many other particulars, may
have resembled them in this also, and in the midst of their orgies and
atrocities have enjoyed a calm circulation.

Sharks are sometimes eaten, but more out of bravado and revenge than
because they afford a desirable food. Athenæus indeed records that the
Greeks were Squalophagi, but they would eat any thing. Archistratus, the
_bon-vivant_ of his book, will not allow men to object to a shark diet,
merely because the shark sometimes diets upon men. Galen, on the other
hand, denounces shark’s flesh, but only from its supposed tendency to
produce melancholy. We do not know whether the Latins ever ate them.
Among modern nations, Italians and Sicilians cook only the belly of the
old fish; and fœtal sharks not much bigger than gudgeons, whenever they
can procure a dish. In the still less dainty Hebrides, the _Squalus
vulgaris_ is consumed entire; in England they are not relished; but in
Norway and Iceland the inhabitants make indiscriminate use of every
species that they capture, hanging up the carcases for a whole year that
the flesh may mellow. Though no part of the shark is really wholesome,
one part, the liver, very valuable in a commercial point of view from
the abundance of oil squeezed from it, is highly prejudicial for food,
as we learn, on the evidence of the following case of an obscure French
cobbler, recorded by an eminent French physician:—

Sieur Gervais, his wife and two children, supped upon a piece of shark’s
liver; in less than half an hour all were seized with invincible
drowsiness, and threw themselves on a straw mattress; nor did they
arouse to consciousness till the third day. At the end of this long
lethargy their faces were inflamed and red, with an insupportable
itching of the whole body; complete desquamation of the cuticle
followed, and when this flaying process was concluded, the whole party
slowly recovered.

-----

[4] The last compartment of the complicated network called a
_mandrague_, in which the thunny are harpooned and slain.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        =THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.=


            The knights of España, the valiant,
              Sought long for the fountain of youth,
            And this legend of old-time they reverenced
              As an oracle uttered by Truth:

            That over the foaming Atlantic,
              In a kingdom of ever-bright flowers,
            Safely sheltered from danger, it offered
              To all who in faith sought its bowers,

            A draught from its goblet like nectar—
              And, thenceforth the beauties of youth,
            With its loves, and its joys, all unchanging,
              Remained with them ever, forsooth.

            And I have a fountain upspringing
              In crystalline beauty for me;
            I have drunk of its waters, and gladly
              To others now proffer them free.

            In a cool, shady grotto it gushes,
              Surrounded by sweet-perfumed flowers,
            I call it my shrine for devotion,
              There pass I my happiest hours.

            White lilies, so pure, of the valley
              Gather round it like children at home,
            And violets creep to its margin,
              For a kiss from its sparkling, bright foam;

            The heart’s-ease peeps out from the clusters
              Of lilies, to look in its face,
            For often is vividly mirrored
              Therein all her beauty and grace.

            Though the rose from my cheek will soon vanish,
              And the sheen from my tresses must fade,—
            Though others will see on my forehead
              The footprints that long years have made;

            Yet youth is now with me, and never
              Will I lose it—no! never grow old,
            For the naiad that dwells in my fountain,
              To me, a high secret has told.

            Oh! what is the beauty of figure,
              The outer youth, vain as the wind!
            A beauty eternal, unfading,
              I have in the heart and the mind.

            My heart shall continue as youthful,
              In affections and sympathies bold,
            And my mind in its thoughts and its fancies
              Shall never be wrinkled or old.

            Ay! I will not grow old! for my fountain—
              _Contentment_—ne’er fails to supply
            Every grace, every beauty, I covet,
              And I cannot her bounty deny.
                                               A. G. H.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             =HUSH! HUSH!=


                        =A LEGEND OF RHINELAND.=


                          =BY DONALD MACLEOD.=


I was so tired of Mayence. I had seen the cathedral so often, and
witnessed the stiff recruit drillings in the barrack-yard, and crossed
the bridge of boats, and wandered in the palatial gardens of Biberich,
and ridden to Francfort to look at the Ariadne, or Lessing’s “Trial of
Huss,” or Overbeck’s “Triumph of Religion,” or old Rothschild, or the
Austrian soldiers, or the Kaisersaal, or the statue of Goethe, or the
shop windows, or the English travelers in thick shoes and incipient
moustaches, or at some other of the thousand-and-one curiosities of the
quaint old Freistadt—that some change became absolutely necessary.

I tried to speak Danish with the only other idle man in the Three
Crowns, but he did not understand me: then he spoke English, but I did
not understand him; and then we took off our hats, bowed, grinned at
each other in a most imbecile manner, and turned away. He sat down at a
little table in the _salle á manger_, and called for a bottle of
Braunerberger; and I packed up a little traveling sack, got on board a
steamboat, and was whisked off down the Rhine.

On the steamer—_dampfschiff_ says the German, but the Dutchman calls it
_stoomboot_—just opposite me sat an old, fat German lady, by the side
of her old, fat spouse. He was smoking his pipe; she was patting his
plump left hand between her own. Sometimes he would take the meerschaum
from his lips, turn round slowly and regard his mate through the light
clouds issuing from his mouth; then the old lady would give him a wide
and benign smile, and pat his left hand a little more rapidly; after
which he would resume the pipe, and both would subside into their
ordinary, fat calm.

The only other thing that much attracted my attention on board, was a
small boy gorging himself with walnuts, gingerbread and apples in rapid
and endless succession, till his dull, blue eyes seemed to be on the
point of popping out of his head.

Whether they did so eventually or not, I cannot say, for I went ashore
at Lorch, and gave my sack to a one-eyed waiter at the Swan inn.

Lorch, as you know, is just below the Mouse Tower (Mauesenthurm) in
which cruel Bishop Hatto was eaten by the rats, in punition of his
cruelty in withholding the grain from the people in time of famine—and
just above old Baccharach (Bacchi Ara,) which owes its name to its
wealth of vines. Above it, in it, around it, below it, the hill sides
were green with luxuriant foliage, nearly all the houses are wine shops,
grapes are the only fruit—most of the stone is in the form of jugs, and
most of the glass is bottle glass—I might add, that what little meadow
there is, is bottle green.

                 Zu Klingenberg am Main,
                 Zu Wuerzburg an dem Stein,
                 Zu Baccharach am Rhein
                   Hab’ ich in meinen Tagen
                   Gar oftmals hörem sagen,
                 Soll’n sein die besten Wein’.

        At Klingenburg on Main, at Würzburg on the Stein,
                 And at Baccharach on the Rhine,
        Every worthy son of Herman, swears in donnerwettrous German,
                 That they grow the choicest wine.

Joyously sweeps the Rhine by Lorch, through the home of the German
Lyæus—sweeps swiftly but crookedly in a rollicking, tipsy way,
whispering to the vineyards the last news from the glaciers, and
stopping for an instant at the gate of Lorch to get a drink of water
which the modest little Wisper furnishes.

I went strolling up the banks of that same modest little Wisper,
listening to the strange sound of the north wind soughing through the
valley—precisely resembling, as the name implies, the busy whispers of
a thousand spirits in the air.

When I say the sound of the wind, I use the language of foolish men. I
know better. Spirits are they; but whether good or bad, angels or
cobbolds, minions of Rübezahl, or gentle fays, gnomes, pixies or
Loreleis, I, alas, cannot tell; but I know what I think—For—

When I had gotten well into the valley, and was skirting a knot of thick
willows, with my eyes fixed upon a wild looking rock before me, there
came a sough heavier than usual, and a gruff “Hein!” was uttered near
me. I turned and saw an immense head, all forehead and pale blue eyes,
covered with very little hair, and apparently without a body, waving to
and fro upon the tops of the rank weeds.

“Dame!” said I.

“Guten Tag,” said the head, and it came toward me. Then I saw that there
was a body under it, clad in velveteen shooting-jacket and trousers,
with a pipe stem visibly protruding from one pocket, and a
_schnaps-flasche_ from another.

Then I returned the salutation; and the head began to be wiped with a
yellow silk handkerchief, clutched in a red, fire-like hand, and to talk
with great rapidity.

“Hein! it is very warm to-day. Walking for your pleasure, no doubt. Your
very good health, sir, and to our better acquaintance. Try a drop of
schnaps.” As he spoke he took the pewter flask from his pocket, slipped
off the false bottom which served for a cup, filled it, bolted the
contents, and then refilling it, handed it to me.

I rendered it all due justice, and pointing to the wild scene before us,
asked him if it were familiar to him.

“Familiar!” he exclaimed. “I should suppose so. It is one of the most
awful places in the country, although a little safer now than it used to
be. You know what happened here to Johann Würzelkopf, Herman Weinsoffer,
and Mäusche Kleidermacher?”

“I am sorry to be so ill-informed, but I never even heard of those
gentlemen. I wish you would tell me the story.”

“I will; but first try some more schnaps. No more! Why? Well, I will;
here’s to you. And now let us sit down here on this bit of wall. Don’t
be frightened, and don’t go to sleep, and I will tell about the three
little burghers of Mayence.”

I obeyed all the little man’s directions, and he continued:

“Johann Würzelkopf, Herman Weinsoffer and Mäusche Kleidermacher were
three young burghers of Mayence, from twenty-one to twenty-five years
old it may be; old enough to enjoy personal liberty, but not old enough
always to take care of themselves, the proof of which assertion will be
seen in the sequel.

“Now, instead of going to mass, like good Rhenish Christians, they must
needs pick out the _Pfingstenfest_, that is, Pentecost morning for a
frolick on the river, and going to Baccharach below there, they spent
the morning in proving the excellence of the wines; and when filled with
courage, pottle deep, they came up the river to Lorch, and out to the
valley here to seek for adventures, forsooth. Well, they found them.”

Here the little man gave a low, malicious chuckle, and went on.

“They pushed through yonder thicket to the face of those rocks there,
which to their eyes took the form of an immense old castle; and the
clefts resembled Gothic pointed doors, and the crannies and crevices
looked like windows. As they were gazing, they espied at one of these
pretended windows three faces of enchanting beauty. Golden hair falling
over shoulders of ivory, blue eyes full of merriment, and crimson,
pouting lips, smiling just enough to show teeth like pearls. As they
gazed, these pretty lips opened a little wider to emit this sound—

“‘Hush! Hush!’ each of the three sweet mouths said ‘Hush!’ and the
little sense which remained in the heads of the youngsters was driven
away, and they became half crazy with love for the three enchantresses.
A white hand and arm then pointed to a doorway, and the young men
entered it and made their way along a narrow hall, where they found
themselves suddenly in profoundest darkness, while around them rustled,
with a thousand echoes, the mysterious ‘hush! hush!’ After some groping
about, however, they at last found a door, which they opened and entered
an immense saloon, lined with mirrors and blazing with a thousand
lights.

“And the sweet voices of the three maidens cried ‘Welcome, welcome!’ and
the ivory arms were stretched out toward the young men for an embrace.
But the blaze of light dazzled them, and the mirrors showed not three
maidens, but three thousand! Turn where they would, they saw ivory arms
extended, and red lips smiling welcome, and golden hair rolling over
shoulders of snow.

“So the blockheads stood with gaping mouths, grinning foolishly, and
open eyes staring at the maidens or their images, until one of the
mirrors slid back, and a stern, powerful old man came into the room,
clad in a long, velvet robe, to the girdle of which his grizzled beard
fell thickly.

“‘You are welcome,’ he said. ‘No doubt you have come to espouse my
daughters!’

“But the burghers thought of their schätzen at Mayence, and felt no
especial affection toward such a father-in-law. A little amusement with
the young beauties were all very well, but matrimony! Ah, that was more
serious.

“‘You hesitate,’ said the old man, ‘do not fear; I am no miser, I drive
no hard bargain. Each of those maidens has a thousand pounds of gold as
portion. And there is room in the castle ditch for three bodies larger
than yours are.’

“Then again the charmers wooed the young men with smiles, and opened
their ivory arms, and threw back the golden hair, shaking from the
tresses an intoxicating perfume.

“‘Do you still hesitate,’ thundered the imperious gray-beard.

“‘No—no—no, my lord,’ stammered the burghers of Mayence.

“‘It is well for you!’ and he laughed a grisly laugh. ‘So, now embrace
your brides.’

“So they advanced with extended hands, but only touched the gold surface
of the glass; and whichever way they turned, they saw the ivory arms,
and heard the mocking laugh of the old man, mingled now with the silvery
voices of the maidens, yet could find nothing but the mirrors that
multiplied the figures of their brides, until at last they were half
crazy. Then the father-in-law guided them toward the smiling beauties,
and the touch of their hands and the flavor of their lips achieved the
enchantment.

“‘One moment,’ cried the graybeard; ‘before your perfect union, one
proof of your tenderness is required. My daughters have lost their
favorite birds, a starling, a crow, and a magpie. They are undoubtedly
in the forest there, and we are not permitted to leave the castle until
after the marriage of my daughters.’

“‘How shall we know them from other birds of the same species?’ asked
Würzelkopf.

“‘For it must be confessed,’ added Weinsoffer with much wisdom, ‘that
one crow is very like another crow.’

“‘And magpies generally go in pairs, you know.’ This last remark was
made by Mäusche Kleidermacher, and exhibited an observation of the
habits of birds, remarkably creditable to a burgher of Mayence.

“‘You will have little difficulty in recognizing these birds, my dear
sons-in-law, since they all speak when spoken to; the starling with a
riddle, the crow in a song, and the magpie in a biography of his
grandmother. Go then, my sons, get the birds, come back and be happy.’

“Then he led them to the door, and they went forth into the forest. They
had not wandered far before they saw the three birds sitting all upon
one tree, saying and doing nothing.

“‘Starling,’ said Johann Würzelkopf, ‘can’st thou make riddles?’ and the
starling answered, flying to his shoulder.

        “‘What’s on your face, oh burgher, know you,
          That the best of mirrors cannot show you?’

Johann Würzelkopf of course did not know, and therefore gave up all his
attention to his comrade, Weinsoffer, who was asking the crow for a
song. That bird, well-known as a musical character since the days of
Æsop, sang thus—

        “‘Three friars of excellent appetites coasted
         A land where the ortolans fly ready roasted,
         And stood, begging all of those nice little pullets
         To be good enough just to fly down their gullets.
         But their throats were too large, or the birds too well grown,
         For not even one could contrive to get down;
         And the monks went off cursing the country o’er all,
         Where the birds were too fat, or the gullets too small.’

“Weinsoffer was endeavoring to find the moral of this, when Mäusche
Kleidermacher asked the magpie for his biographical-grandmaternal
information, and Mag said, as the crow flew on Weinsoffer’s shoulder—

        “‘My grandmother was a magpie,
          Who laid a vast number of eggs,
            From each of which came a magpie.
          And I think she would be living yet,
          Only one day she happened to die.’

“So singing, the magpie hopped upon Mäusche’s shoulder, and the three
friends went back to the castle, which they reached and entered before
nightfall. But ah! what a change! Instead of mirrors and blaze of
torches, and waving of golden hair, and gleam of ivory arms, they saw
but cold, bare walls, tapestried by cobwebs, or the light moss produced
by dampness. Sole relic of past glory was that three tables stood near
each other, covered with all that could tempt the appetite, each in the
guard of a toothless, wrinkled, blear-eyed, abominable old hag.

“While the three young men stood gaping, the old hags advanced, and
drawing them with cold, claw-like hands toward the tables, cried
‘Welcome, dear bridegrooms.’ And then once seated at the tables, they
caressed the poor burghers with their snaky arms, picked out dainty
pieces of food and put them with their black, long-nailed fingers into
the mouths of the bridegrooms, mumbling out nauseous endearments through
their toothless jaws.

“Then they would have a wedding-dance; and springing up, they whirled
their partners round and round the rooms, their old joints cracking like
fifty castanets, their shrill voices screaming out a rapid song. And the
starling, the crow, and the magpie flew rapidly through the mazes of the
crazy waltz, perching now and then on head or shoulder, and screaming,
croaking, chattering incessantly their riddle, their song, their story
of the grandmother, until whatsoever brains were possessed by Johann
Würzelkopf, Herman Weinsoffer, and Mäusche Kleidermacher, were so
twisted and jumbled together, so wearied and stunned, so deafened and
bedeviled, that they fell in sheer exhaustion, each with individual
grunt, upon the floor.

“Then all the noise ceased but the low, thousand-voiced utterance,
‘Hush! hush! hush!’

“After lying thus upon the floor for some time, the youths were helped
upon their feet by their attentive brides, and supported, with much
tenderness, toward the tables. Then each old hag poured a little golden
wine into a glass of Venice, and kissing the rim held it to the lips of
her bridegroom. And when the three little burghers of Mayence had
swallowed the draught, they fell in a senseless lethargy upon the floor.

“When they awaked the sun was high up in heaven. They found themselves
lying among the furze at the foot of the rock, which, however, no more
resembled a castle than it did a rose-bush. It was as common and
disagreeable a mass of stone, granitic or otherwise, as one could wish
to see. Full of shame, and foaming with rage, they began to make their
way through the woods; but the horrible ‘hush! hush!’ sounded from all
sides; the old witches looked out mockingly from every bush, and the
three birds followed them, hopping from tree to tree; the starling
proposing his riddle, the crow singing his song, and the magpie as
biographical as ever.

“Nor were they at all relieved until they got to the edge of the wood,
where they met a little man—just as you met me this morning, sir—and
of him they demanded what these infernal birds could mean.

“‘The answer to the starling’s riddle,’ said the little man, ‘is, that
each of you have received, invisibly to yourselves, a good six inches of
additional nose. But the crow instructs you, when you have good, little
sweethearts at home, to stick to them, and not to go about gaping at
every pretty face whose lips may cry ‘hush! hush!’ as if you expected
her to fly down your throats as the friars did the ortolans.’

“‘But the magpie, worthy sir; what does she mean?’ cried the three.

“‘Oh, the magpie! Why she tells just such a story of her grandmother as
your grandchildren will tell of you.’

“So Weinsoffer, Würzelkopf and Kleidermacher went on their way,
repentant and resolving—which is the moral of this legend—never to get
tipsy on holyday mornings, and not to be attracted by every pretty face
that might cry ‘hush! hush!’ from a window.

“Such, sir, is the legend, and see yonder is the very magpie!”

I turned to look, but saw no bird whatever, only I heard a chuckling
laugh behind me, and when I turned round, the little man with the large
head had disappeared.

So I reflected that he was perhaps the father of the three witches, and
had been making fun of me. Then I shrugged my shoulders and walked
meditatively back to Lorch.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =ANNIE MORTON.=


                            =BY AMY HARNED.=


“There comes dear father at last!” exclaimed Annie Morton, springing
from her seat at an open window through which she had been earnestly
looking a long time in expectation of his arrival, while her sewing
rested unheeded upon her lap. “Oh, what a long, long week this has been
without him: dear father!” And the rich blood mantled on her cheek; her
black eyes sparkled, and the smile that parted her ruby lips made her
very beautiful, as she stood for one moment ere she sprang through the
casement and down the long avenue to meet the carriage which contained
her father.

The mother looked after her daughter with pride; but pressing her hand
upon her heart as if in pain, she sunk back upon her seat.

“Ah! what will she do without me, wild wayward as she is?” murmured Mrs.
Morton. “The world has sadness in store for thee I fear, my daughter;
when I am gone, who will shield thee, and care for thee, as I have
done?”

A deep shade of sadness rested for a moment upon her face; but it passed
away as the mother bowed her head in prayer for her passionate, wayward,
but loving child.

She heard the party approaching the house, heard the kind voice of her
husband as he answered the questions which Annie poured upon him, and
with a sweet smile Mrs. Morton rose to meet them. The excitement of
meeting her husband, after his temporary absence, brought a slight flush
upon her cheek, making her look better than she really was; but it
gladdened the heart of Mr. Morton, for when he left home she was so ill
as to cause him much alarm; and as he folded his wife in his arms, he
said, tenderly—

“Why, my dear Mary, I shall leave home oftener if my absence causes you
to look so well. I have not seen so handsome a woman since I have been
in B——; but I must not forget—here is a young gentleman waiting to be
presented to you: I know you will welcome him.”

Tears stood in Robert Dennyn’s eyes. There was something in Mrs.
Morton’s face, in her sweet, sad smile that reminded him painfully of
his mother, who—but a few weeks previous—he had seen laid in the cold
ground, hidden forever from his sight. He could scarcely command his
voice to speak. Mrs. Morton noticed his agitation, and divined the cause
of it. She extended both hands to him, and said—

“Robert Dennyn, I am glad to see you here. Your mother was the dearest
friend of my girlhood; for the love of our early days, a son of hers
will ever be most dear to me.”

“Charlie will be at home to-morrow, Robert,” interrupted Mr. Morton
gaily, anxious to give a less serious turn to the conversation; “but I
do not intend to set you down to your books yet awhile, my boy; you have
studied too much already—you need rest. I wish to see you strong and
well: exercise will be the best thing for you. There are horses in the
stable at your service; and Annie, as wild a madcap as ever set foot in
a saddle, ready to point out the beauties of all the country round,
provided you can read Miss Landon to her, and listen to her chattering.
What say you, my little magpie, will you have this young gentleman for
your knight-errant? I doubt not he will be willing to do your bidding.”

Annie replied merrily: supper was announced, and, in pleasant chat, the
evening passed rapidly away.

Charlie Morton came the next day; and the warm grasp of his hand told to
Robert how much he sympathized with him in the trials he had endured
since they left college.

No two persons could be more unlike than Charlie Morton and Robert
Dennyn. Robert was tall, handsome, and but for the gaucherie of a boy
unused to society, would have been very graceful. His face was pale, but
the outline was perfect; a little too thin perhaps. At times, his large
black eyes flashed and sparkled with a brilliancy that lighted up his
pale face, otherwise—in its expression—too grave; and he surprised as
well as interested his companions, for when in conversation he would
forget himself—few youths could be more irresistible.

Though brought up in a city, he had been more secluded than boys are
generally, therefore his manners needed that ease and self-confidence
which is only acquired by intercourse with society.

His time, during his vacations, had been passed chiefly with his mother,
whom he idolized. As he approached manhood, he saw that mother—so
dear—fading slowly away. When the reality first burst upon him that she
was dying, Robert was stunned—paralyzed beyond the power of action. Was
there no elixir of life within his reach? Alas! no.

The messenger of death came gently, peacefully to Mrs. Dennyn, and she
died, blessing her husband and son for their unwearied love, their
untiring devotion, which had soothed her many years of suffering.

For a long time, Robert refused to be comforted; he had loved his mother
with an intensity which admitted no other thought. Life, indeed, to him
seemed a blank without her.

Just at this time, Mr. Morton paid his old friend a visit. He was a man
of acknowledged ability, and Mr. Dennyn knew that in placing his son
with him, he would secure for him an able legal preceptor, as well as a
kind friend. Mr. Morton willingly received him under his charge, while
Robert gladly accepted the offer of his father which removed him, for a
time, from that home, now rendered painful by its memories of the dead.
He came to Mr. Morton’s with a heart saddened by the scenes of sorrow,
through which he had so recently passed; and the warm affection with
which the family greeted him, made him feel at once that he was not
among strangers.

Charlie and himself had long been friends: in college they were regarded
as a miracle of brotherly attachment. No wonder—for who could look upon
the clear, open, manly brow of Charlie Morton, and hear his ringing
joyous laugh, and not love him. Care sat lightly upon him. His step was
quick and free; his whole manner beaming with kindness and good-nature
made him everywhere a welcome guest, and his return home a cause for
rejoicing. His father was very proud of him, for he had come off with
flying colors at the final collegiate examination which he had, with
Robert Dennyn, so recently passed. The late commencement Annie would
have attended, had not Mrs. Morton’s unlooked for indisposition detained
her at home. She bore the disappointment with a grace which proved she
was not entirely selfish. She was now wild with glee at the return of
her only brother, whom she dearly loved.

The coming of Robert Dennyn was an event which decided the destiny of
her life. He was just the sort of person to enchain the affections of a
girl of seventeen. She soon learned to watch for his coming; to listen
for his voice; to note the ever-varying expression of his countenance
with an eager interest which none but those who have loved can ever
know.

Robert felt the power of her beauty. A warm affection began to spring up
in his heart for her—but Annie was pettish and willful. Her passionate
temper knew no bounds—her violence repelled him many times when he felt
most tenderly toward her.

“She has no heart,” he would say; and struggled to overcome the growing
interest he felt in her.

When she would be left alone after having given vent to her temper,
Annie would feel overwhelmed with shame and self-reproach; but she was
ever too proud to acknowledge her faults, yet—although passionate and
willful—Annie’s character had in it the elements of a noble nature, had
there been some one near her who could have checked her wayward
impulses, and taught her to subdue her proud will. She went on
heedlessly; “sowing the wind” in her folly, and, alas! in due time did
she not “reap the whirlwind?”

                 *        *        *        *        *

“Annie,” said Mr. Morton one day, “my friend, Mr. Leslie, has purchased
Longbrook. I congratulate you, for he has two daughters about your own
age. You will no longer want society: you, too, Charlie, must ride over
with Annie to see them; and Robert, Mr. Leslie is also an old friend of
your father; for the sake of ‘auld lang syne,’ I should like you all to
be upon pleasant terms of intimacy.”

Flora and Mary Leslie, though sisters, bore little resemblance to each
other, either in person or character. Flora was the more beautiful. Her
face was of a style rarely seen; pale as a marble statue and as cold:
not a tinge of color ever mantled her cheeks. Her hair—black as
night—she wore parted smoothly over her brow, and folded in rich braids
on her classic head, with a simplicity that defied ornament. Her eyes
were not black, but of a deep, dark blue, with long black lashes that
swept over her cheeks, still paler from the contrast. Her figure was
tall and exquisitely moulded. Her beauty did not, however, leave a
pleasant impression. There was no woman’s gentleness, no warmth in her
manner; one felt as in the presence of an iceberg. Her sister, on the
contrary, seemed like a little sylph; and Robert Dennyn’s eyes rested so
fondly upon her, as to cause Annie Morton’s heart to sink within her.

Mary Leslie’s hair floated in ringlets round her neck with a wild grace;
her bright blue eyes gave so clear a light, and her laugh was so
innocent and happy, that one felt certain that no guile was in her
heart.

Annie Morton and the Leslies were daily companions; and when their hours
of study were over, Charlie Morton and Robert Dennyn always knew where
to find the young girls. Bright visions of the future rose up before
them; and, was it strange that in the dreams of each, the gentle, loving
Mary Leslie walked, side by side, through their life with them? Both the
young men loved her. The elder sister was too cold. Charlie said she
lacked sincerity; and Robert, though he admired her, felt a chill in her
presence, the cause of which he did not seek to divine.

But, though the young men loved best to linger by the side of sweet Mary
Leslie, Annie Morton was more with Flora. There was something in the
boldness and haughtiness of Flora’s manner that agreed with her own
impulsive temper, she gradually fell more and more under Flora’s
influence. Mrs. Morton watched with pain the growing intimacy of the
young girls; she felt—with a mother’s instinct—that Flora was a
dangerous companion for her daughter, and often urged her to be more
with Mary.

“Why should I not choose my own friends?” Annie would exclaim, when Mrs.
Morton remonstrated with her. “What do you know against her, mother?”

“Nothing, my child; but I know my daughter has altered very, very much
since she has been so intimate with her. Flora Leslie is not pure and
guileless as her sister.”

But the mother’s counsels were unheeded by Annie—she was unhappy. She
began almost to hate Mary Leslie. The jealous friend was constantly
whispering that, but for Mary, Robert might be all her own. The thought
tortured her night and day. A dark, sullen cloud settled over her
brow—she became more and more unloving and unlovely. Robert turned from
her—to breathe the calm atmosphere which surrounded Mary—with a sigh,
that one so beautiful could display so little tenderness.

Mrs. Morton’s health grew more delicate, and Annie therefore more free
to do as she willed; for Mr. Morton was too indulgent, and Charlie too
much occupied with his own dreams, which were approaching their
realization, to notice the change that had crept over Annie.

                 *        *        *        *        *

“I am going to B——, to-morrow, Charlie,” said Robert, the day after
his examination; for the three years of study had passed thus quickly
away, bringing our young friends over the threshold of manhood and
womanhood.

“Leave us so soon! I did not expect this, Robert—what shall I do
without you?”

“Surely, in the love of Mary Leslie you will find forgetfulness for all
sorrow, or you do not half deserve so priceless a treasure,” said
Robert, sadly.

“Mary Leslie!” Charlie stammered, blushed; then laughing off his
confusion, said—“Yes, Robert, there will be a wedding, in the fall, at
Longbrook—will you be my groomsman? I should have told you this long
ago, but—” and he blushed again, and again hesitated.

“Say no more, my dear fellow, I know it all, and will come.”

And he did know all. Only that morning he had gone to Mary Leslie, and
told her of his love, and how fondly he hoped it was returned. Tears
came in Mary’s eyes while she listened; but she had plighted her faith
to another—long ago had she given her heart to Charlie Morton; and, in
gentle accents she told him so, while her blue eyes glistened as she saw
the suffering she caused. Robert acquitted her of all blame.

“God bless you, Mary,” said he, and they parted friends; and from
thenceforth he felt she must be as a sister to him, when his heart was
overflowing with love toward her.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The autumn came. The wedding was over. Robert Dennyn grasped the hand of
his friend with sincere and earnest wishes for his future happiness. How
could he but be happy with that guileless, loving creature for his
bride; and Robert was able to meet her, not only with calmness, but
without a wish that it should be otherwise.

A new love was beginning to dawn upon him, and he only wondered that the
spell of Annie Morton’s loveliness had not been upon him long before.
Instead, as of old, leaving her to pursue her walks and rides alone, he
was now ever by her side. Annie did not repulse him. A deep purpose was
in her heart; to bring this man to her feet who had neglected her in
girlhood, and then refuse him, became her determination; and in this she
was prompted by her subtle friend.

Flora Leslie saw the devotion of Robert with a bitter heart. The pale
student first introduced to our readers had become a man. His figure,
then sharp and angular, was now tall and graceful. The light of genius
shone in his dark eye, and spread itself over his face, now beautiful to
look upon in its manliness. His success, since his examination, had been
such as answered the expectations of his friends, who predicted for him
a brilliant career. Flora saw that his wife would occupy an enviable
position in society. Her quiet country home had no charms for her. Her
restless spirit pined for the gay scenes of a city life. Robert Dennyn’s
wife would have the position for which she longed; and to prevent his
marriage with Annie Morton, and to win him to herself, became the fixed
purpose of her soul.

She poured into the mind of Annie suspicions of his truth; told her of
his love to her sister, and of the scene to which she had been a witness
without their knowledge, when he confessed his love to Mary. This scene
she exaggerated until Annie was maddened by the thought that the only
being he had ever loved was Mary Leslie; and when Robert, during the
merry bridal season, told her of the newborn love that had sprung up in
his heart for her, she laughed his love to scorn, and drove him from her
with cold and haughty words, though she loved Robert with all the deep
love of which her heart was capable.

Robert remained several weeks at Longbrook. He did not choose that Annie
should see that her scornful rejection had given him pain, and he
unconsciously devoted himself to Flora, who saw that her triumph was
approaching. When they met, Annie could not avoid displaying agitation;
but she struggled hard with her feelings.

“He shall never know how much I have loved him,” the poor girl would
say.

In this Flora encouraged her. “Where is your woman’s pride, that you
will permit him to see your wretchedness. This cold, proud man is
scarcely worth all this display of affection.”

Just at this time an event occurred which prolonged the visit of Robert.
Mrs. Morton died. Robert could not leave his friends in their deep
affliction. Poor Annie! her grief was wild and ungovernable. She grew
pale and thin; never now, as of old, did the light flash in her eye, and
the color mount to her cheek.

How Robert’s heart yearned to fold her in his arms and soothe her agony.
He determined to make one last effort to win her love; but again he was
repulsed. Her evil genius whispered that now he sought her in
compassion; he had seen what Flora called her weakness, and having won
from her a confession of her love, would despise her for it.

Robert left her presence convinced that she did not love him, that her
conduct toward him had been all coquetry. His first acquaintance with
her, when she was scarcely more than a child, recurred to him. He said
to himself as then, “She has no heart.”

In this mood he returned to Longbrook. Entering the drawing-room, the
first thing that attracted his attention was Flora. She was bending over
a table with a small miniature open before her. Her hands were clasped,
her whole features convulsed. As he approached she started with
well-feigned surprise, stammered a few words, and left the room.

Robert was amazed—who could she love? This cold creature, who had never
before displayed the least sign of feeling! From her manner, he
inferred, that that love, whoever its object, must be hopeless. He
advanced to the table, the picture upon which her eyes had been riveted
in such agonized hopelessness was his own. Robert staggered back into
the seat which Flora had just quitted. A cold damp moisture settled on
his pale forehead, now paler than ever—the coldness settled on his
heart.

“Here,” said he, “have I wasted all the love which I possessed upon one
incapable of returning it, while this noble creature—It shall not be!
she shall not suffer upon my account! I will drive from my thoughts the
idol I have cherished, and replace it by the image of this beautiful
girl.”

Without a moment’s hesitation he addressed a note to Flora, telling her
that he had seen her agitation, and discovered the cause of it; frankly
he admitted that he had not loved her—“But,” he wrote, “if you will
accept a heart that has not been all yours, my life shall be spent in
endeavoring to make you happy.”

Was Flora Leslie happy? Her end was well-nigh accomplished. She saw
herself already mistress of a magnificent establishment, surrounded with
splendor, receiving the homage due to her beauty; but happiness had fled
from her bosom, sweet peace from her pillow, for she felt that she had
trampled and crushed to the earth, the hopes of a breaking heart.

Charlie Morton was delighted when he learned the engagement. He hastened
to tell Annie of it.

“I once hoped to have seen you his bride, Annie. I think he loved you;
but if you did not love him, of course, you were right not to accept
him.”

Annie listened calmly, and her good brother never knew that he was the
messenger that brought darkness and despair to her soul. A new light
broke upon her. Could her friend have been treacherous? But it could not
be, Charlie must have been mistaken. She recalled Robert’s fond words,
his despair, when he left her so short a time before.

“It cannot be,” she exclaimed; “he loves me still! I will not believe
it! Even though it be true, he shall not marry this false girl! I will
tell him all!” She wrote a hurried, passionate note to Robert, in which
she confessed how much she loved him; there was no coldness now—all
pride was gone—merged in the wild thought that she might yet recall him
to her side.

Impatiently she waited for his answer, which she felt would be life or
death to her. Who shall tell the agony of Robert Dennyn when he received
the note, just as he was setting forth for his home in B.

“Once,” he wrote in answer, “Annie Morton knew that she might have asked
any thing of me, even life itself—now I am irrevocably bound to
another.”

Annie Morton received the note; she took it from the servant, as she
stood trembling beside that same window where she sat when first
presented to our readers; but how unlike the bright, beautiful girl who
then sprang forth so gayly to meet her beloved father, and the strange
youth who was to exert so great an influence upon her destiny. Beautiful
she was still, for twenty summers had not yet passed over her head; and
beauty cannot leave those she has loved so early—the gift will linger
till many a year of suffering has passed over the heads of those upon
whom she has bestowed the fairy talisman.

Annie read the note—a look of despair stole over her face—her eyes
gleamed wildly. She crushed the note in her hand, then tore it into a
thousand pieces. For a moment she stood gazing out. A carriage passed.
She knew that Robert was in it—and as it rolled on, so passed away from
Annie Morton all light and hope eternally. She left the spot where she
had been standing, passed slowly up the broad staircase to her room,
reached the bed, and consciousness left her. They found her there some
hours after—but reason had left her. She had sown the wind in her
folly, she was reaping the whirlwind in her misery.

Robert Dennyn and Flora Leslie were never married. The frantic words
that fell from poor Annie Morton’s lips, during the first moments of her
hopeless insanity, disclosed Flora’s treachery, and the engagement was
broken.

Robert Dennyn went on his way, loved, honored, respected by all; but a
lonely old age was his portion. He had too kind and good a heart to
become a misanthrope; but the flowers of love in his heart were bruised
and crushed—they bloomed no more for him.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                =ADIEU.=


                             =BY E. A. L.=


          Adieu! Adieu? In silent tears we parted,
            To journey on, diverging, as two beams,
          That from the equatorial line have started,
            Bending their faces toward the earth’s extremes.
          All day my bosom heaves with heavy sighs;
            All day I sing thy favorite songs and weep;
          All night I gaze into thy luminous eyes,
            Or clasp thy shadow in my feverish sleep—
          Oh! for the love that was for death too strong!
            Oh! for the sweet charmed hours that sped too soon,
          When thou didst steal from Beauty’s laughing throng
            To meet me by the soft consenting moon,
          Inclasp my hand in tremulous delight,
        And bend on me thine eyes angelically bright.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =THE RANGER’S CHASE.=


                 =A WESTERN STORY OF THE WAR OF 1812.=


        =BY J. L. M’CONNEL, AUTHOR OF “TALBOT AND VERNON,” ETC.=


                               CHAPTER I.

                     “Come, haste to the wedding!”

On the third of February, 1809, an act of Congress was passed, defining
the boundaries of Illinois, and establishing the “First Grade” of
Territorial Government. The population of the whole territory did not
then exceed twelve thousand; and, with the exception of Chicago, and a
few settlements on the Wabash, was confined to a narrow strip of country
along the Mississippi. But, upon the organization of the new government,
(under Governor Edwards,) the current of emigration received an impulse
in this direction; and the fertile prairies, lying nearer to the centre
of the state, began to attract more attention. Kaskaskia was the seat of
territorial authority, as well as the nucleus of population; and it was
northward, along the banks of the river of that name, that the stream of
emigrants naturally took its way.

Among those who pushed adventurously forward in that direction, was a
certain Thomas Fielding, who migrated from Virginia in the autumn of
1811; his family consisting of a wife, two sons and one daughter.
Passing by the settlements in St. Clair county, he pressed on across the
prairies, with a world of fertile acres spread before him, until he
reached the banks of Shoal Creek, in the county of Bond. A few miles
south-west of the point, where the town of Greenville has since been
built, he found a tract of land which combined all the advantages of
which he was in search. A prairie, several miles in width, was bounded
by high and valuable timber along the creek, and stretched away toward
the north and west, in all the rich, unbroken beauty of primeval nature.
Elevated, but well watered, undulating, though not rugged; that portion
of which, with the freedom of the wilderness, he took immediate
possession, was easily converted into a beautiful and productive farm.
Just within the skirt of the timber, protected by a grove of stately
oaks, he erected a spacious, though primitive, mansion; and here, in the
grand solitude of wood and plain, he prepared, with his family, to spend
the remainder of his life.

It was chiefly with a view to the welfare of that family that he had
left the older and more thickly-peopled state of Virginia, to seek a
home in the Far West. He was growing old; his sons were approaching
manhood: and, after assisting their father in providing for his age, it
was natural that they should be solicitous about their own future. Each,
accordingly, with the concurrence of the father, selected for himself a
sufficient domain; and such was the energy with which they prosecuted
their “improvements,” that, by the spring of 1813, there were three
separate farms, immediately contiguous, under active cultivation.

Both the sons were married in the course of the following summer—for
other emigrants had followed Fielding’s “trail,” until, at this time,
there were, perhaps, twenty families within a circle of ten miles
diameter. Jane, the daughter, still remained with her parents; but the
frequent visits of a certain John Edgar, who lived some eight miles down
the river, seemed to give color to the rumor, now rife in the
settlement, that she was soon to exchange her maiden name, for that of
the young Ranger Captain.

And, without implying any license to dispute about tastes—which, from
time immemorial, have been considered out of the pale of
controversy—Edgar’s choice was well justified by her qualities, both of
mind and person. She was considerably above the medium height, with the
free carriage, which health and elastic spirits always give. Even now,
though nearly forty years have passed, and she has borne and nurtured a
numerous family, her bearing is more erect and graceful than that of
many a girl within her ’teens. Dark hair and eyes, with a well arched
brow—cheeks a little embrowned by exposure to the sun and wind—a nose
rather aquiline than straight—a pleasant mouth, with red lips, which
were never known to tremble, save in talking to the Ranger; a round,
full chin, surmounting, like an Ionic capital, the marble column of her
neck, and a figure, which united the freedom of rural life with the
elegance of city cultivation; these were her attractions. Captain Edgar
was a lucky fellow—for she loved him with all the fervor of the
wilderness; and by nothing in her education had she learned to act as if
ashamed of her affection.

He was well worthy of such a bride. Tall, elegantly formed, active, and
graceful, he was the very type of a young frontiersman. Gait, carriage,
voice, and countenance, were all in unison with the open, manly spirit
of his class. Preëminently brave among a people noted for courage; able
as a leader, where, in order to lead, superiority must be plainly seen
and deeply felt; he was already, though scarcely five-and-twenty, the
captain of a company of rangers, whose arduous task it was to protect a
frontier of nearly an hundred miles from the depredations of the
Indians. The latter, stirred up, as is universally believed in this
country, by British agents, since the opening of the war, were
gathering, in unprecedented numbers, along the lakes and on the Upper
Mississippi; and, like bolts from a thunder-cloud, war parties were
moving rapidly in all directions—falling, with the suddenness of Indian
strategy, when their descent was least expected, and vanishing among the
shadows of the forest, ere their blows could be returned. If the
settlements on Shoal Creek had, as yet, escaped incursion, it was
chiefly owing to the vigilance and activity of Edgar’s Rangers, and, in
circumstances like these, it may well be supposed, that nothing, save
the utmost confidence, would have induced the pioneers to trust so young
a man with a responsibility so heavy.

But neither war, nor rumors of war, could exclude from the mind of the
youthful captain, thoughts of love and anticipations of domestic bliss.
In the midst of these alarms, a day was appointed for his marriage with
Jane Fielding. It was the 10th of September, 1813—a day memorable in
the annals of our country, as that on which Perry achieved his famous
victory over Barclay; and though they, of course, knew nothing of the
approaching event, it is probable that even so brilliant an anticipation
would not wholly have withdrawn their attention from that which so much
more nearly concerned them.

A wedding on the frontier, in those days, was a far heartier affair than
it now is in the same country. People seem to be somewhat ashamed of
getting married of late, and seek to avoid observation, very much as if
they were about some act only allowable because not positively
prohibited by statutory enactments. The first that the neighborhood
learns in these modest times, of a matrimonial union, is the stealthy
departure of a close carriage, in which the guilty parties are privately
withdrawing, to hide their culprit faces among careless strangers. The
public feeling of the olden time was somewhat different. The
consummation, in fact, of an union which was already complete in
affection, was then deemed an occasion of social congratulation, and
sometimes of noisy enjoyment. The neighbors—husbands, wives, sons, and
daughters—were all called in, to take part in the hilarity; and each
felt that, if the event was, as it should be, a happy one to the parties
directly interested, it would be wrong to detract from that happiness,
by gloom, reserve, or ceremony.

The pioneers cared little for scented notes of invitation, embossed
cards, or emblematic turtle-doves—no more than for the unsubstantial
trickeries which now make up a wedding feast. As the day approached,
though yet perhaps a week remained, the children of the bride’s family
were sent forth to “warn the neighbors in,” or, not unfrequently, the
parties took advantage of some other merry-making, to announce the
auspicious event, and deliver invitations; and, without other formality,
all who lived within a day’s ride of the place, considered themselves
invited, and arranged their affairs accordingly. Some inconvenience to
the host and hostess might result from the uncertainty about the number
of their guests; but the art of providing mathematically for the precise
number expected, was not then cultivated; if there was _enough_, it was
not material how much _more_ there might be—for that meanness which
combines a sordid calculation with the rites of hospitality, was not one
of the pioneer’s vices. Preparation was made to receive all who were
near enough to reach the place—a profusion of substantial things, such
as hearty men and natural women liked, adorned the rude tables; and no
grand flourishes of white-aproned waiters, no sham dignity of form or
ceremony, encumbered or oppressed the feast. And, though the early
backwoodsman might not be the most polished of hosts, yet, tried by the
standard of genuine hospitality, he was the most perfect of gentlemen.

Thomas Fielding was a true representative of his class; and those who
have been in the West will need no further description. For two weeks
before the appointed day, he had invited everybody he met to witness the
marriage of his daughter, and take part in the rejoicings; and by those
whom he saw, he had sent notice to others; so that at least a week
before the eventful tenth, everyone within twenty miles was not only
notified, but asked to attend. Preparations were then made upon a
corresponding scale; and fervent wishes were expressed that the weather
might be fine, that none might fail to come. One of the sons was sent
express to Kaskaskia for Jane’s wedding garments—for even in those
primitive days woman was true to the tastes of her sex. And, beside,
Jane had grown almost to womanhood in the precincts of the Old Dominion;
and, in her new home, was as well known for the superior neatness of her
dress, as for other advantages of mind and person.

At length the eventful morning came—one of those magnificent autumn
days in which the warmth of summer lingers on the hazy landscape of the
waning year. They say Italian skies are beautiful throughout the
seasons; but it seems to me the autumn must be the glory of the months
in all climes, as full manhood is the ultimate bloom of life to all men;
and existence, in a country where the climate gives no special beauty to
the year’s decline, would seem but little better than working in a
tread-mill. We must have variety; the perpetual smile of even a
beautiful face would weary us in time; and six months of unbroken
sunshine would make us long for a Scotch mist. There is no such monotony
in the land of prairies; nor has any country in the world a season of
more rich and mellow glories than the western autumn.

              ——“The fading, many colored woods,
        Shade deep’ning over shade, the country round,
        Embrown; crowded umbrage, dusk and dun,
        Of every hue, from wan declining green,
        To sooty dark;”

and waving wide savannas, luxuriant as oriental gardens, over which the
shadows chase each other statelily, or linger lovingly, like shady
islets in a “sea of green.” And then the tempered sunlight, all shorn of
summer’s fierceness, by the hazy, dream-like air; and, over all, the
arching sky, not laughing, as in April, and not glowing, like July, but
full of deep repose, the holy calm of spirit-land. Who that loves beauty
would not live in a variable clime?

But it was little that the wedding-guests cared for the glories of
September. The sun had scarcely began to decline toward the west, ere
they first were seen approaching. From all directions along the narrow
road, over prairie pathways, emerging from the timber, or riding slowly
along its outskirts, the whole country seemed in motion. Thomas
Fielding, with his two sons, all in their holyday suits, stood at the
gate, and welcomed all comers with a hearty shake of the hand; while at
the front door the younger matrons, with their smiling mother, received
the females of each party. The bride-elect was not yet visible; the
ceremony was not to take place till evening. The bridegroom had
appointed a rendezvous for his company of rangers; and it was at the
head of these trusty guardians of the settlement, that he was to
approach the scene of his happiness. In the meantime, the guests
employed the vacant hours, each according to his fancy, the men in
talking over the prospects of the country, the danger of Indian
incursions, the plenty of the crops, etc.; while the women were either
assisting in the final preparations for the feast, or readjusting their
disordered dress—either gossiping with the mother, or teasing the
daughter, who still kept her bridal chamber.

Four o’clock in the afternoon arrived; and now the happy captain, with
his rangers, might soon be expected; when Jane, her preparations all
complete, at last issued from her chamber, and announced her intention
to walk out upon the prairie and gather some wild flowers. Several of
the younger girls proposed to accompany her, but with a smile and a
blush she declined their companionship. It was not pressed upon her, for
each had a suspicion of her object. The mothers called their daughters
aside, and whispered—

“She is going to meet the captain—let her go alone.”

And, in confirmation of the suspicion, she passed out to the southward
and took a path which led in the direction of the road along which the
captain was to come. Somewhat more than half a mile from the house stood
a little grove, within which she had often met Edgar on his visits to
her father’s, and from this point her parents usually saw them
approaching the house together. It was to this grove that she went—by a
circuitous route, however, so as to justify her excuse for leaving the
house, by gathering a few late flowers.

She had been absent from the house little more than an hour, when,
rounding a “point” of timber, which puts out from the creek about two
miles below the farm, a cavalcade of twenty horsemen was seen, and at
once recognized as Edgar’s company of rangers. Another body, about equal
in number, was seen at the same time several miles to the west, but all
attention was now directed toward the south, in expectation of the
appearance of the rangers. The elder ladies smiled sedately, in memory
of their own youthful days, and prophesied—

“He’ll not come with the company—you’ll see Jane and him coming up that
path, after awhile.”

And the event justified the prediction—at least in part; for, on
arriving opposite the little grove Edgar turned off, and directing his
companions to ride on, put his horse to a gallop, and was soon within
the shadows of the rendezvous.

A vine and a fallen tree, together, formed a pleasant seat; and here,
when the skies were clear and the sunlight warm, he had often found her
awaiting his approach. He sought the old place now, but she was not
there!

“She must be out soon,” he muttered to himself; and springing to the
ground, he assumed the seat which he had expected to find occupied. He
was disappointed, and both his face and attitude betrayed it. He leaned
his rifle against a tree and threw himself back to wait, patiently as he
might, for what was not likely to come had he waited till morning! His
eyes wandered vacantly over the scene for some minutes, when, suddenly
springing up, he exclaimed—

“She has been here and gone away!”

A narrow strip of white muslin was hanging upon a thorn very near
him—evidently torn from some article of female dress! It could not be a
signal for him; only accident could have placed it there. She must have
retreated in haste—and why? Such were the reasonings of the experienced
ranger. He reached forward and took it off the briar; but, as he did so,
his eye fell upon a far more ominous object! The same bush had retained
a piece of red calico, fringed with green, and Edgar at once observed
that it had come from the cape of a hunting-shirt such as the northern
Indians wore!

It was enough! And yet, with the coolness characteristic of his race,
the ranger stooped to the ground and calmly examined the records of a
struggle. On each side of the rustic seat there was a single footstep,
deeply indented among the leaves, as if two men had sprung suddenly from
opposite directions to a common point. Then, in front of the seat, the
twigs were broken and the ground was trampled—though but little, as if
the struggle had been brief and feeble!

“No _man_ could have been overpowered so soon,” he said; “and it must
have been as I expected—_she was alone_.”

But even this conviction did not hurry him away. He carefully examined
the ground in the neighborhood, and then, returning to the scene of the
struggle, followed the trail, by those slight indications which none but
a backwoodsman could have discovered, for several hundred yards to the
westward. He thus ascertained these facts: That the actual captors were
but two in number; that they had concealed their horses in a small
thicket, some distance above the grove where the capture was made; that
they had retreated in great haste, keeping within a ravine which drained
the prairie; and that, at or near the thicket they had rejoined the main
body of marauders, consisting of half-a-score of horsemen.

“They have been frightened away by the gathering at Fielding’s,” thought
the ranger.

He hastened back to the grove, and springing upon his horse, galloped
away toward the house. He had still a lingering hope, though faint, that
he might find his bride at home; but this vanished at once when he rode
furiously to the gate and was met by her father.

“Indians!” he shouted, in the loud, full notes of a voice like a
trumpet. “Ho! rangers! Mount and follow!”


                              CHAPTER II.

                          THE CHASE COMMENCED.

The cause of the alarm scarcely needed to be explained—the word
“Indians” was enough.

All was immediately in confusion—men were rushing in every direction
for their arms and horses, women were hastily preparing to set out
homeward, and, save the rangers, who had picketed their horses together
as usual, no one seemed to retain the least coolness. Nor was the
consternation unnatural; for many fathers and mothers were there who had
left their homes in charge of their children—some of the younger guests
had left aged parents—and even those who had closed their houses,
leaving no one behind, though they apprehended no bereavement of
relatives, expected no less than to find the labor of years a heap of
smoking ruins. People less accustomed to alarms would have made more
clamor; but the pale faces and rigid features of these stern
backwoodsmen, were as eloquent of feeling as the wildest gestures or
most extravagant cries.

It was in scenes like this, that the superiority of such a man as John
Edgar became evident. He was terribly excited—as the blazing eye and
ashy lips might testify; yet his orders were given with the same
clearness as if there had been no cause of agitation; and, without
betraying any signs of impatience, he sat upon his horse at the gate
quietly awaiting their execution. But few moments sufficed for his ready
soldiery to assemble. They numbered only twenty in all; but they were
soon joined by half-a-score of young men, who had no pressing call
homeward. From these he selected ten, among whom were the two younger
Fieldings, and placing the company under the command of his lieutenant,
he directed them to establish patrols over the district and protect the
settlements.

“You’ll bring Jane back to us, John?” said Mrs. Fielding, coming to the
gate, with dry eyes, but trembling lips.

“Yes,” he replied sternly, “if I have to follow her to the Rocky
Mountains!”

And the mother turned away sorrowing, but hopeful. The character of
Edgar was too well known to admit a doubt of his untiring perseverance.

Ten minutes sufficed to make all the provisions necessary to a long
chase; at the end of that time Edgar turned his horse’s head toward the
prairie, and followed by the ten men of his choice, set out at a long
gallop to the west and north. The band had been selected with a thorough
knowledge of every man’s qualities; they were all young, hardy, resolute
and untiring. Each was equipped with rifle and knife, and each rode a
powerful and well-tried horse. Beside the hatred which every ranger bore
to the “redskin”—a motive in itself strong enough to bear them forward
for many days—they were all warmly attached to Edgar. The latter
expected a long chase; for, from certain signs, minute and unmeaning to
the inexperienced, but trumpet-tongued to him, he was impressed with the
belief that Jane’s captors were not merely a marauding party, making an
incursion into this settlement, but a retreating band falling back from
some other enterprise, either on account of defeat or division. Their
numbers were too great; the character of the dress from which he had
found a fragment, and the direction of their movement, all combined to
this conclusion. Had he heard of the gallant defense of Fort Stephenson,
a few weeks before,[5] his opinion might have been confirmed.

The sun was rapidly declining toward the horizon as they cleared the
inclosures of Fielding’s farm and struck at once into the open prairie.

Edgar had followed the trail far enough from the grove, where the
capture was made, to be satisfied that he would strike it again in half
an hour’s riding, in the direction he had taken, and by following it
while daylight remained, he had no doubt of being able to determine the
point to which it tended. He would thus be enabled to continue the chase
with some certainty after nightfall, while his enemies were probably
asleep. This, of course, included the hazard of missing the trail during
the hours of darkness: but Edgar’s knowledge of the country was so
perfect that he had little fear of this misfortune, and the fact that
they could not be more than three hours behind, was a strong incentive
to take the risk.

Having halted for a moment, to explain his plan of pursuit, which his
men at once approved, he turned again to the north-west and swept away
at a rapid gallop. The farms were soon left out of sight, and the view
was bounded only by the wavy horizon; but the sun was an all-sufficient
guide, and without swerving for a moment to the right or the left the
party maintained its direction for nearly an hour. Edgar began then to
slacken his pace and to observe the ground more closely, halting from
time to time, and waiting for the failing evening breeze to sweep along
the prairie; and anon, galloping away again for a few moments, still in
the same direction.

He was evidently growing anxious, for his halts became more frequent,
and his speed, when in motion, greater. He verged a little toward the
west, until the woods in that quarter became partially visible in the
haze about the setting sun. He halted once more and gazed up and down
the tranquil prairie for a long time. A light breeze swept up from the
lower lands, and bending the rank grass, at last revealed the object of
his search! A line of broken blades, their under sides glistening in the
waning sunlight, was defined by the bending wave, extending as far as
the eye could reach toward the north. It was the Indian “trail!”

He sprang from his horse and carefully examined the ground, while his
followers, careful not to deface the trail, halted at some distance, and
without dismounting, awaited the result of his scrutiny. It was rapid
but minute. He turned aside the long grass and inspected the foot prints
of the horses in the soil. There were, of course, no shod animals in
their possession, yet the hoofs of these had deeply indented the ground,
and the tracks were much more distinct at the point than at the heel.

“They were going at full speed,” muttered Edgar; “and,” he continued,
gazing along the trail toward the north, where it stretched away,
perfectly straight, through sloughs and over mounds as far as the eye
could reach, “they are evidently driving for some definite point. What
can it be?”

“It must be Colton’s Grove,” said one of the rangers, the most
experienced among them, who had approached during the examination. “They
would scarcely halt nearer than that, and in the line of this trail
there is no other landmark.”

“But that is nearly thirty miles from this spot,” said Edgar; “they’ll
not be able to reach there to-night, and besides, it takes them ten
miles out of their way.”

“You think they are making for the _Portage_?”[6] said White.

“Yes—they will cross the river as soon as possible, no doubt; and they
cannot have canoes on both that and the Illinois. However,” he added,
springing again to the saddle, “we must follow the trail as long as we
have light, and by nightfall we shall be better able to determine.”

He look the lead again as he spoke, and set off in the same swinging
gallop, to the northward, along the trail.

The sun was by this time nearly set, and the air was growing chill and
damp. Their horses traveled better, however, and throughout the long
twilight of that latitude they could follow the trail as well as at
noon. But at the end of an hour the shadows began to creep closer to
them, the timber on the left could no longer be distinguished, they
could see the broken grass-blades but a few yards before them, and they
were at length compelled to slacken their speed. A few stars came out in
the heavens, the fleecy clouds in the north disappeared in the gloom,
the breeze fell suddenly to a dead calm, the lingering rays in the west
went out, and the curtain of night was dropped to the earth. The
pursuers were in the middle of a wide prairie, more than thirty miles
from the settlement, upon a trail which was no longer visible!

Edgar halted, and the whole party dismounted.

“Here is water, boys,” said the captain, leading his horse to a small
stream which trickled through the grass: “we had better let our horses
drink and graze for an hour, else they will be too much blown for
to-morrow’s march. I think we had then better strike for Colton’s Grove,
direct; it cannot be more than twenty miles, and we can reach it before
midnight. I hope to find the Redskins there.”

It did not seem to prove Edgar’s ardor in the pursuit, that he thus
ordered a halt in the very opening of the chase; but there was not a man
in the company who did not know that this was the wisest course. The
hearts of the brothers grew heavy, however; for, notwithstanding Edgar’s
hope of finding the Indian’s at the grove, it could not escape them,
that he expected a long pursuit.

In truth, he was too well acquainted with the Indian character, to have
full faith in his own expectations. “If,” he reasoned, “they had
designed to spend the night at Colton’s Grove, they would have been at
some pains to baffle us on our trail—they would have gone into the
timber, or—at least—swerved from the direct course. But, here, they
have traveled for thirty miles, straight as the bird flies, for the
point where we would naturally expect to find them. They must be
deceiving us!”

The thought was by no means a pleasant one; for, calm as he appeared,
his impatience almost amounted to agony. And, when he briefly stated the
argument to White, the ranger before mentioned, in whose judgment he had
much confidence, the weight which it seemed to have with him, only
deepened his misgiving.

“There is no choice, however,” said the ranger: “we must go on now to
the grove; for—at least—we shall be nearer to the Portage there, than
here.”

And this was the course resolved upon.

The hour of rest passed slowly away; and, at its end, the captain again
gave the word, to mount and follow. There was now no trail to guide
them; but their course was due North, and—led by the stars—Edgar once
more put himself in the advance, and galloped away. The prairie was as
silent as night and a profound calm could make it; and rolling away down
the lowlands, and reverberating along the ridges, the sound of their
horses’ footsteps seemed like the rumble of an earthquake. The voices of
those who spoke sounded hollow and echoless; and the jingling of spurs,
and rattling of accoutrements, seemed smothered by the stillness. The
men of that time were taciturn and earnest; and the scene through which
they were riding was no bad type of their stern characteristics. They
were in pursuit of Indian marauders; and hatred of the savage—which was
natural to every Western man—gave depth even to their bearing. Each
carried his rifle in his right hand; and, while he governed and assisted
his horse over the inequalities of the ground with the left, kept his
face steadily directed to the front.

They had been riding thus, a little more than two hours, when Edgar
suddenly drew up to a walk.

“We must take it slowly now, boys,” said he, turning in the saddle, as
his men followed his example; “for, at a gallop, our horses could be
heard five miles.”

“Captain,” said White, riding forward, “isn’t that a light yonder, to
the north—here, just above the ground?”

“It is, indeed!” exclaimed Edgar; “in the grove, too!”

“Rather too far to the right, isn’t it?” said the ranger.

“We have been following the Pointers,[7] and their wheeling to the West
must have taken us a little out of our course,” Edgar replied. “It must
be in the grove.”

He turned a little to the right as he spoke; and, urging his horse to
his swiftest walk, struck directly for the light.

“They must suppose there are no men in the country,” he said
thoughtfully; “or else this is only a stratagem to take us out of our
way, and gain time.”

“They could scarcely have ridden farther than this,” said White; “and if
they are not yonder, we are entirely off the trail.”

“They must be there,” Edgar replied, decidedly: even as experienced a
ranger as he could not but _believe_ what he _wished_.

The advance continued—not swiftly, but steadily; for they were now less
than two miles from the light, and the tall trees of the grove could be
distinguished like shadows against the northern sky. The fire was
evidently built within the skirts of the wood, and was now burning
brightly, as if replenished with fuel since they had discovered it.
Occasionally, it was hid from view—when they descended a slope and
entered a hollow; and, sometimes shadows passed across it, as if persons
were moving about it.

“They are certainly there,” thought Edgar, “and they must have built the
fire on Jane’s account. Nothing else could induce them to be so
incautious.” Bitter as was his hatred of the savage, this idea rather
softened him; and, in the fight which he expected, he resolved to spare
as many of them as possible.

He had now advanced within half a mile of the grove; and—though the
fire itself was not visible—he could plainly see the reflection on the
branches of the trees above. It grew brighter while he gazed, and they
could almost imagine that they heard the crackling of dry branches in
the blaze. The captain drew his rein, and called a halt.

“There should be a little clump of trees near here,” he said, gazing
about in the gloom.

“It lies here, to the right,” said one of the rangers—and, riding a few
rods in that direction, they found a small grove of stunted oaks, where
they again halted and dismounted. Here they tied their horses, and
having examined their arms, marched out upon the open prairie. Edgar
briefly explained his plan of attack, and the advance was resumed.

His men were deployed—or spread out—to the right and left, at
intervals of twelve or fifteen paces; the captain himself remaining in
the centre, and moving directly upon the fire. By this means, he covered
a wide extent of ground, and yet kept his men within supporting distance
of each other. The flanks were to move a little faster than the centre,
gradually converging, when within the grove, but awaiting a signal from
the captain, before opening the attack. Each, on making any discovery,
was to communicate it to the next, and thus pass it up the line to the
captain; and his orders were conveyed in the same way. His immediate
object was to discover the Indians’ horses, and thus preclude the
carrying off of their prisoner by a portion of the savages, during his
fight with the remainder.

He could not have been more impatient to reach the point—on which he
was advancing—had it been the rustic bower where he might expect to
meet his mistress alone; yet the movement was as slow as the stealthy
pace of the tiger, while he is yet too distant to spring upon his
victim. And it had all the tiger’s deadliness: for even the keen senses
of the Indian could not have detected his enemy’s approach—the first
signal could be but the crack of the rifle, the fierce onset, and the
gleaming knife.

It seemed an hour, after they left their horses, before they entered the
outskirts of the grove, and many minutes were consumed in cautiously and
silently pushing their way through the tangled briars and hazel bushes.
Within this belt, the ground was more open; but it was covered with dry
branches and withered twigs, the breaking of any one of which—under the
foot—would have been more than sufficient to alarm the watchfulness of
the Indian. They could not yet see the fire; but it was scarcely an
hundred yards from them, and concealed only by a thicket, within which
it was kindled. The horses had not yet been discovered, nor did the
least sound break the profound stillness of the scene. The fire seemed
burning low; and the shadows began to creep down from the tree-tops,
whither it had driven them. Now and then, a flash—as if the blaze had
caught a dry twig—shot arrowy beams out through the thicket, and then
fell flickering back within the encroaching darkness. The fire was
evidently neglected.

“They are all asleep,” thought Edgar.

The flanks had gradually converged, according to the plan laid down; and
they were so thrown forward as to form a half-circle, covering three
sides of the little thicket, and all about equally distant from the
fire. The captain gave the signal for a halt, and the word passed in
whispers either way: the dusky forms stood still, and—unaware of their
presence—one could not have distinguished them from the trees among
which they were standing. Edgar passed slowly from one end of the line
to the other, whispering his orders to each man, and endeavoring to see
through the thicket to the _bivouac_. It was too dense to allow a fair
view; but he could see deep shadows on the ground, like sleeping men,
and—between two of these—there seemed one clothed in white, as if the
wedding dress of his stolen bride.

He returned, without further delay, to his post in the centre; and,
silently, slowly, the advance commenced. It was like the grasp of a
deadly hand, closing fatally; for none within that charmed circle, might
escape its implacable gripe.

No sound—not even the breaking of a twig—invaded the stillness, for a
space of time which, in the intensity of expectation, seemed an hour.
The fire had rapidly fallen to mere cinders, and its light faded to a
faint glow, upon the adjacent thicket. The rangers flitted silently from
tree to tree, like moving shadows. Each carried his gun poised low, in
readiness for immediate action; and each placed his hand upon his knife,
for the conflict—man to man. They gradually closed in, until the flanks
met upon the farther side, and a cordon was drawn around the thicket,
less than twenty paces across. The fate of the slumbering savages seemed
sealed; for these were men who never spared an enemy, and never shrank
from battle.

Not the stirring of a leaf betrayed their presence, as they paused for
the last time, awaiting the signal from their leader. The click of a
rifle-lock was heard—clearly audible in the midnight stillness: a rush,
a bound, a crashing through the brittle undergrowth, and the whole band,
as if moved by one spring, stood round the smouldering fire, gazing
wildly into each other’s faces.

There was no one there! They had been creeping—with the deadly stealth
of their craft—upon a deserted _bivouac_. Even Edgar’s keen and
practiced eyes had been deceived by the reposing shadows; and the white
ashes of a log, which had burnt calmly down where it lay, had been
conjured by his imagination into the bridal dress of the captive.

The fire had evidently been burning, without being replenished, for many
hours.

                 *        *        *        *        *

“We have nothing for it now, boys,” said Edgar, when they had a little
recovered from the surprise, “but to wait for daybreak, and then
endeavor to recover the trail.”

Within ten minutes, the whole party was asleep.

-----

[5] That brilliant action took place on the 31st of July, 1813.

[6] “Portage de Sioux,” a crossing of the Mississippi, above the mouth
of the Missouri.

[7] Two stars in the constellation of _Ursa Major_, much better known to
prairie travelers than the Polar star itself.


                              CHAPTER III.

                            THE CHASE ENDED.

No more than the first gray streaks of dawn had shot up from the eastern
horizon, when the disappointed rangers were again astir. Their
horses—which had been picketed upon the prairie, each with a long rope,
after the ranger fashion of feeding—were first taken to a little stream
to drink, and then moved to a fresh place, to graze until their riders
were prepared to mount. Such provision as they had made against their
own hunger was then dispatched, without delay, and with little
preparation. Fortunately, however, the wedding feast had furnished
viands enough for more than ten times their number; and with the
readiness of the women of those days, each had been provided by wife,
sister, or sweetheart—with supplies, ample and well selected.

It was now plain, that the chase before them was a long one; and it was
no equivocal augury of their resolution to follow it to the end, that
they thus set out with systematic prudence.

By the time they had finished a hasty breakfast, and each taken a deep
draught from the stream where they had watered their horses, the gray of
the dawn had deepened into red, and the dew-drops upon the bending grass
were sparkling like diamonds in the opening light. The birds within the
grove were fluttering, full of matin songs, from branch to branch, or
floating off—in long and graceful flights—far over the verdant plain:
the grouse came out upon the knolls, where the herbage was short and
green, and strutting pompously from side to side, clumsily plumed
themselves in the morning beams: on the ridges, farther off, the deer
stalked out from sheltering hollows, and stamping daintily upon the
ground, or tossing proudly up their antlered heads, snuffed vainly at
the rising wind. A low, faint sigh, as of a passing spirit,
floated—scarcely audible—along the jeweled grass, and shook the jewels
gently from the blades. The stars went slowly out, or blended in the
brightening hue of heaven; the shadows—that still lingered round the
groves—were fading rapidly, or deepening into shade; the red in the
east grew yellow, and an arc of white announced the sun’s approach. The
day had taken full possession of the earth and sky.

“There is light enough now, boys,” said Edgar, rising to his feet, “to
begin the search for the trail. Let us saddle up and be off.”

Time was never wasted by these men: within five minutes all were in the
saddle, and extended along the northern and western skirts of the grove,
in search of indications left by the enemy. A signal was given by one at
the extreme north—the trail was found, and the whole company at once
galloped to the place. Edgar sprang to the ground, and examined the
track.

“Just as I suspected, boys,” said he, remounting. “There has been but
one Red-skin here, and he has been sent this way, to build that fire and
attract us from the pursuit.”

“Indian like,” said White; “they have used our own vigilance to
circumvent us. But we’ll never give it up so, captain.”

“Never,” was Edgar’s decided answer. “But we have lost the trail, and
must recover it. We must separate into small parties, and continue the
chase. We are pretty nearly due east from the _Portage_, for which, I
think, they are making—at all events, they will not go south of it. We
will meet—in the evening—there; or, if the trail should turn
northward, we may come together sooner. Let no one linger on the way—we
have lost too much time already.”

The company was soon divided into squads of two and three; Edgar took
with him White and George Fielding; and—repeating the injunction not to
linger—rode away to the north-west. The three other divisions set out
at the same time, upon diverging lines; but all maintaining the same
general direction.

For an hour, those in the centre kept all the rest in view; but, at the
end of that time, the undulations of the prairie, and the rapidity with
which they traveled, had completely separated them. Edgar, and the two
companions—whom he had chosen as well for the excellence of their
horses, as for their well-known courage and coolness—were upon the
extreme right, or northern flank—a post which the young captain had
selected, both on account of its danger, and for the advantage it gave
him, should the Indians turn to the north. It is with him, that we must
continue the chase.

Several hours passed away, during which they had crossed the belts of
timber which grew upon the banks of two or three prairie streams; when,
on approaching one of the branches of the Cahokia, they suddenly found
themselves upon the trail of a single horseman. Keeping away from the
timber, it stretched toward the north, parallel with the course of the
stream, disdaining the concealment which might have been found in the
wood. The three drew up, and Edgar dismounted.

“It is the same Indian who kindled the fire,” he said, after a short
scrutiny of the track. “What think you?”

“That if we follow him,” White replied, “we shall be led away from the
chase. He takes too much pains to show us which way he has gone.”

“You are right,” said Edgar; “for he has passed here since sunrise, and
his horse was as fresh as when he left the grove. The water is all
brushed from his tracks, but is not disturbed between. We’ll not follow
him.”

And, without further consultation, he sprang again to the saddle, and
resumed his original direction—verging, indeed, rather from, than
toward, the solitary trail. Those little indications—like
circumstantial evidence—more convincing than positive declarations, or
more apparent signs, satisfied him that this was an attempt to draw him
off. He smiled at the shallowness of the deceit, and rode away. His
companions understood his reasoning almost instinctively. [The fact that
the grass was dry _in the tracks_, proved that they had been made since
sunrise; because the dew must have ceased to drip from one blade to
another, and its being undisturbed between, established the freshness of
the Indian’s horse, because every bound was a clear spring from the
ground.] Fifteen minutes brought them to the outskirts of Cahokia
timber; and, after a rigid examination of this, they issued again upon
the prairie toward the West, maintaining the same course.

They were now approaching a more densely wooded country. The prairies
grew narrower, and were broken, here and there, by groves, and strips of
timber, along the banks of numerous little streams. The ground became
uneven, in places even hilly; and every thing denoted the approach to
the Mississippi. This continued for about three hours, during which they
had made scarcely five miles an hour: it was noon, too, and the
September sun was pouring upon their heads the overpowering heat of the
season. A halt became necessary, both for men and horses. Edgar rode
within the shelter of the timber, and dismounted on the bank of a
shallow stream—the first they had seen with a gravelly bed.

“We must rest awhile, boys,” he said, “and recruit our horses—or we
shall break down before night.”

His companions followed his example; and all led their panting horses to
the stream, to drink of its clear sparkling waters. But Edgar drew his
back, suddenly, before he had touched the tide; and, arresting the
others in the same manner, pointed to the bottom of the rivulet.

“Is not that a horse’s track?” he asked, indicating the spot with his
rifle.

“Yes,” said White, “and here are more! And here, to the left, they are
plainer, and more numerous. Our visitors must have passed this way, and
are not going to the _Portage_!”

The tracks were but faint prints in the shifting gravel of the stream;
and, to the eyes of less observant men, would have been quite void of
meaning. It was, however, the peculiar faculty of Western Rangers, never
to overlook any thing; and their attention once attracted, but a few
moments were consumed in determining that, fifteen or twenty horsemen
had ridden along the bed of the stream; that they were Indians, and
traveling in haste. It might seem a more difficult matter to fix, even
approximately, the length of time which had elapsed since their passage;
but the invention of rangers was seldom at fault.

“George,” said the captain to Fielding, “get on your horse, and ride up
the stream a few rods—as fast as he can walk—in among those tracks.”

Fielding obeyed; and, turning out of the stream a short distance above,
came back and dismounted. The little party now stripped their horses of
their harness; and, picketing them upon the sweet herbage, stretched
themselves upon the sward at the margin of the stream. As soon as the
agitation in the waters had ceased, Edgar fixed his gaze upon the
footprints—plainly visible—of Fielding’s horse, and watched the
gradual process of their filling up, by the current. Scarcely a pebble,
or a grain of sand was washed into one of them, that he did not
note—scarcely a minute passed whose influence he did not estimate, in
slowly obliterating the trail; and when, at the end of an hour, he rose
and walked nearer to the water, but a few moments of scrutiny were
sufficient to determine how long it would be before the new tracks were
as nearly filled up, as were the old when he saw them first.

“They are quite six hours ahead of us,” he said; “and to-morrow night
will see them, before we will.”

“They must be making for the ford[8], above the Piasan Bluffs,” said
White; “and, if so, will not cross the Mississippi.”

“That is rather too far north,” Edgar replied; “but we will follow them,
if they go to the Starved Rock.”

So saying, he threw the saddle again upon his horse, and—imitated by
his companions—remounted for the pursuit.

“I think, George,” said he, after a minute’s reflection, “you had better
ride on to the Portage; the men will all be there by the middle of the
afternoon. Tell them to bait their horses for an hour, and then follow
us with all speed, so as to join us at the mouth of the Illinois by
sunrise to-morrow. Unless the trail should lead us too much out of the
way, we will wait for them there. If you do not find us there, look for
three columns of smoke, ranging north and south, and make all haste to
come up.”

Fielding made no reply; but, putting spurs to his horse, turned his head
to the west, and was soon out of sight—while Edgar and White, now left
alone, took their way as rapidly as was possible up the banks of the
stream. It was a small force with which to attack twenty savages; but,
had the odds been ten times greater, Edgar’s eagerness and White’s zeal
would have felt no check. What they might not effect by the strong hand,
they trusted to stratagem to compass; and even the savage was no match
for the ranger, in cunning.

The two adventurers had gone scarcely a mile, when they were brought
suddenly to a halt. The trail was about equally divided—one half the
party keeping up the bed of the stream, and the other half issuing
toward the left, and leading off westward. This was embarrassing. The
prisoner could not be with both divisions; and it was extremely
difficult to determine which to follow.

“We are at fault,” said Edgar.

“There is a sign which may set us right,” exclaimed White, pointing to a
little strip of some white stuff which fluttered upon a bush, but a few
paces from the water. “The briars have befriended us at need.”

Edgar rode rapidly to the place. A narrow strip—evidently torn from
Jane’s bridal dress—hung fluttering upon a briar, as if caught in
passing. He halted at the distance of several yards, and cautiously
approached on foot, closely scrutinizing the ground at every step. The
horses had passed, without doubt, near enough to brush against the
briars; but directly beneath the fragment, a small dry twig was broken,
and the leaves about it were flattened to the ground.

“A mocassined foot has been set there,” he muttered. And on directing
the examination to the fragment, his suspicion was confirmed—that it
was not accident, but design which placed it there. The fabric was not
drawn, as it would have been, had it been torn in passing; and it bore
marks of a larger hand than Jane’s.

“They are trying to outwit us, White,” said the captain; “but they don’t
know with whom they have to deal. This little piece of muslin is a
Red-skin lie—though it did come from Jane Fielding’s dress. We must
keep up the stream, and let those decoys go on their way.”

“It has been ascertained,” says Chateaubriand, “that the white man, in
America, is capable of enduring more hardships and privations than the
Indian, and is decidedly his superior even in his own mode of warfare:”
and thence he deduces sundry propositions about differences in race, and
other unprofitable speculations. But the facts, about which there is no
dispute, instead of being the result of generic distinctions, are the
effects of a much later cause—superior intellectual culture. Not that
the rangers of those days were highly educated men, in the ordinary
acceptation of the term; but any degree in the scale of civilization, by
the providence of God, possesses measureless advantages—in all the
pursuits of life—over every lower grade. And, though these were
decidedly ignorant men, their evident superiority over their
enemies—without contradiction in terms—was the fruit of their
_intelligence_.

We cannot linger to detail the minute and, to other men, imperceptible
signs, or the acute and logical reasonings upon these, which led the
adventurers unerringly upon their way: though all would illustrate, so
clearly, the principle above. They followed the trail, after it left the
stream, several miles toward the north; when, on entering the broken
country on the head waters of the Piasan, it verged suddenly to the
left, and led, almost “as the bird flies,” directly toward the Illinois
river. A little before sunset, they reached the banks of this tranquil
stream; and but a moment’s examination was sufficient to determine that
the fugitives had crossed here some hours before.

But this was not the only inference that Edgar drew from the signs of
their halt. The footprints of several horses led off from the river, in
different directions; but it was in that uncertain, winding way which
animals take while grazing—and from the extent of these paths, it was
evident that a halt of some duration had been made. While minutely
examining the ground, the captain suddenly discovered the print of a
small shoe, and following it a little aside, he approached the river
bank, and discovered the impress of both Jane’s feet in the soft loam.
Directly over these, upon a willow branch, hung a small shell
comb—evidently placed there as a signal for him. Beside her footprints
were those of two savages, who had sought her, and dragged her roughly
back to the halting point. Edgar noted these things with the coolness,
but also with the fierceness of the ranger; and—grasping his rifle
tighter in his hand—walked back to his companion.

“They must have halted here two or three hours,” said the latter.

“They think they outwitted us, and are safe,” replied Edgar. “But they
cannot be more than three hours ahead of us, and I think we may overhaul
them to-night.”

“They are twenty to two,” said White. “We must wait for the men.”

“We can cross the river,” Edgar answered, “and ride on as long as we
have light. By that time we can see which direction the Indians have
taken; you can then return here and hasten up the men, who must reach
this point before midnight.”

It required but few minutes to cross the river, which at this season is
always low. Upon the western bank the trail was still more apparent than
upon the eastern. Here, also, there had been a halt, though not so long.
“Three hours of daylight, now,” thought Edgar, “and we should overhaul
them:” he forgot that his force was but one to ten—that he was more
than a hundred miles from any settlement, in the midst of a vast
solitude, where he could meet none but enemies. Nor would the reflection
have disturbed him, had it occurred. He saw but one image—the helpless
captive in the hands of his most hated foes; and, cool and considerate
as he usually was, he would not have hesitated to encounter the whole
band, with his single strong arm. Fortunately, perhaps, no such
opportunity seemed likely to be offered him; for, after winding about
for a few miles among the bluffs, the trail ascended the ridge which
divides the two rivers, and here turning again toward the north, the
fugitives had evidently increased their speed. The long twilight, too,
was deepening into night, and the fear of again going astray would
compel a halt, so soon as the tracks became invisible.

They followed, however, with all practicable speed, for an hour
longer—dismounting at every offshoot from the main ridge, to ascertain
their direction; but, at the end of that time, it was no longer safe to
proceed, and Edgar reluctantly drew up.

“You had better return to the river now, White,” said he, “and bring the
men up as fast as possible. I will expect you before daybreak.”

“If they do not come up, I’ll return myself,” said White; and, turning
about, he rode away to the south.

The hardy ranger was now left alone, in the midst of the wilderness.
Night had closed in, moonless—and the stars twinkled but faintly down
through the woods. The wind—as is usual in this country—had subsided
toward evening, and sunset had been followed by a dead calm. When the
footsteps of White’s horse died away in the distance, the silence of the
grave added depth and awe to the solitude. Not a branch waved—scarcely
a leaf stirred; and even the trickling of a little spring, in a ravine
near him, only served to make the stillness audible—as a glimmering
light but renders darkness visible.

Edgar dismounted, and led his tired horse in the direction of the sound;
and, having allowed him to drink, divested him of his harness, and
picketed him on a slope of green grass near the spring. His own thirst
satisfied, he then seated himself at the foot of a tree; and, drawing
his blanket up over him, endeavored to sleep. The stillness was broken
only by his horse, eagerly cropping the sweet grass; and the monotony of
the dripping fountain, combined with his fatigue, soon brought on that
half-dreamy state which precedes oblivion. Indeed, his head was thrown
back against the tree, and his eyes were closed, when he suddenly sprung
to his feet, and standing as motionless as the trees about him, assumed
the attitude of profound listening.

-----

[8] An obstruction to the navigation of the Illinois, now known as
“Apple Creek Bar.”


                              CHAPTER IV.

                           THE CAPTIVE FREE.

The neigh of a horse, faint and distant, but unmistakable, had come
floating up the ravine upon the still night air. And though, after
waiting many minutes, it was not repeated, it had been so distinct as to
exclude all doubt.

“It must have come up the hollow,” he muttered, “from any other
direction I could never have heard it.”

And, without hesitating for a moment, he prepared to go in the direction
indicated. Throwing his blanket at the foot of the tree, he grasped his
rifle, poured fresh powder into the pan, lest the night air might have
affected the priming, and then, drawing his belt around so as to bring
his knife convenient to his hand, he set out cautiously down the
ravine—one man in pursuit of more than twenty!

Cautiously and slowly he proceeded down the bed of the ravine—gradually
descending toward the lower level of the river bottom. He was guided
wholly by the little rivulet which tinkled quietly along his path—for
the dim starlight could not penetrate the depth in which he walked; and
his progress was consequently very slow. The way was winding, too, and
seemed almost to run parallel with the river;[9] and its channel grew
deeper and more broken. Other streams came flowing in on either hand,
and at every moment he was compelled to halt and grope his way across
the gorges. Large trees stood obstinately in his path; and roots and
briars, vines and thickets, impeded his advance. But patient
perseverance, strengthened by the hope of rescuing the captive, still
carried him forward over every obstacle.

More than an hour had been spent thus, and he had begun to listen more
attentively, and, if possible, watch more closely for signs of his
enemies. He halted on the brink of a deep ravine, which furnished a
channel for another small stream; and, before venturing down into its
bed, stooped nearly to the ground, and remained for many minutes
profoundly listening to every sound. The stillness of night was quite
unbroken; and he was on the point of beginning the descent, when his eye
caught the flash, as of faint lightning, playing briefly upon the leaves
at the bottom of the ravine! It was gone in a moment; and his first
impulse was to look up through the tree-tops at the sky. But the stars
were shining serenely—there was not the slightest cloud in the heavens.
He watched for a long time for its reappearance—but the darkness
remained as deep as before. It might have been a fire-fly; yet it was
strange that it was not repeated; and it had been, not so much a light,
as a flicker, like the blaze of thin fuel, and it had died out
gradually, not suddenly disappeared. While he stood irresolute,
reflecting upon the singularity of the appearance, an imperfect sound,
as of very distant thunder, seemed to float along the earth and die away
at his feet. He placed his ear to the ground, and again listened. The
stamping of numerous horses became plainly audible—and they could be
but a short distance from him. To his practiced ear the sound was
familiar enough—and he had no difficulty in determining its locality.

He at once rose to his feet and again examined his arms. Moving
cautiously and slowly, he then descended the bank until he reached the
bottom of the ravine. Turning to the right, he glided silently and
stealthily along its bed for two or three hundred yards, when, on coming
to a bend where the stony soil had resisted the action of the elements,
his progress was suddenly arrested by a stream of light which shone from
beyond the projection, and cast deep shadows upon the opposite bank. The
fire from which it came was evidently built within the ravine for
concealment—for it was only from above that it could become visible at
any considerable distance.

To approach nearer in this direction would not be prudent—for, by the
shadows on the bank, Edgar could see that at least twenty horses were
picketed just beyond the shoulder of the ridge; and a snort from one of
these might attract attention. He had no fear of other sentinels; he
well understood the Indian practice of posting none; for, apparently so
negligent are these most vigilant of all warriors, that even in their
incursions, when they are constantly liable to attack, every man lies
down to sleep, trusting solely to concealment and their Manitous for
protection.

The ranger therefore slowly retreated a few paces, and then silently
climbed the bank upon the left. From this point he could see no light;
but, upon advancing along the ridge, a little nearer than he had
ventured below, he gained a view, not only of the light, but also of the
fire, and the formidable group around it!

More than a score of swarthy Indians, all in their war-paint and
grotesque ornaments, and each with his gun and tomahawk beside him, sat
smoking, one after the other, in a circle about the fire! A little
without the line the excited captain could indistinctly see the shape of
something white; and, as his eyes became accustomed to the light, all
doubt vanished—it was the Captive Bride, seated apart from her captors,
with her face buried in her hands. Could she have known whose eyes were
at that moment straining their gaze upon her, how different must have
been her emotions.

Edgar grasped his rifle and knife with a fierce energy, which threatened
the suicide of an immediate attack. But he soon recovered his calmness,
and set coolly about making a thorough examination of the position, and
calculating the chances of a rescue.

The place had been well chosen for concealment. It was a circular area,
inclosed on all sides, except the southern, by the broken and
rain-washed ridges, and not more than an acre in extent. It was, indeed,
a sort of basin among the hills; and it was the volume of water,
collected here into one stream, that had cut out the ravine along which
Edgar was advancing. It was dry now, however, and the grass, which in
this country everywhere follows the rains of spring, was growing
luxuriantly beneath the shelter of large oak and hickory trees.

Of these there was a little clump or grove in the northern arm of the
area; and it was just within the edge of this that the fire was kindled.
From that side an experienced scout might have approached within a few
paces unobserved; but what could one man do against twenty? All that he
could now effect, Edgar thought, was to watch the movements of his
enemies, and take advantage of whatever opportunity might offer; or, if
none should present itself, as was most probable, patiently to await the
arrival of his men.

And now a harassing reflection occurred: What if White should not meet
them, or they should miss the way? He would lose the benefit of all the
diligence he had used, and having success and rescue almost within his
grasp, would have the misfortune to see them glide out of his power!
Here, within a few rods of him—buried, perhaps, in thought of him—sat
the captive, snatched almost literally from his side, at the altar; and,
though she might have heard his voice, he dared not raise it—though he
might reach her side in one minute, he dared not advance! His rifle
might do him service; for, even at that distance, his unerring skill
would have disabled an enemy at every shot; but he knew that, at the
first discharge, the pursued would become pursuers, and all chance of a
rescue would be at an end! He was sure, besides, that the first motion
of the savages upon an attack would be the murder of their prisoner;
and, brave as he was, he shuddered, and shrank from the thought.

While he stood in the shadow of a tree, harassed by these reflections, a
sudden movement took place in the circle of savages. One, who seemed the
chief, rose to his feet, and the council broke up. The warrior turned
toward the captive, and, taking a large blanket from the ground, spread
it at the foot of a tree, and beckoned her to take it. He did this with
so much more courtesy than was usually displayed by Indians to their
female prisoners, that Edgar’s blood tingled to the very ends of his
fingers.

“The redskin dog designs her for his wife!” he muttered; “but he shall
die first, if I lose my scalp!”

Jane rose quietly from her seat, and, wrapping the blanket about her,
lay down upon the ground. The chief and two other warriors then placed
themselves near her, to prevent escape; the remainder of the party
spread their blankets around the fire; and, within a few minutes, all
was as still within the faintly lighted space, as if not a living being
breathed between the rivers. The fire gradually burnt down to a bed of
coals; as the flame went out the shadows crept closer and closer to the
dusky group; and so still was the night that, on stealing a little
nearer, Edgar could plainly hear the heavy breathing of the tired
sleepers.

Still nearer and nearer he slowly crept, though with no definite design
or plan of action. The bride who had been snatched almost from his arms,
was within that circle—and this gave it a fascination not to be
resisted. He was now upon the bank, which sloped gently down to the
level of the _bivouac_; and here a narrow, sandy path wound round the
jutting points, and led directly toward the smouldering fire. Almost
without an effort of the will—drawn by the charm of her presence—he
stepped upon the noiseless sand. He commenced the descent—issued from
the shadow of a little ridge—was, for a moment, in full view of the
whole party—passed on again into the shadows, and stood within twenty
feet of the object of his search.

The light from the dying fire played fitfully upon Jane’s face, and a
smile, serene as in her happiest moments, gave meaning to the flitting
shadows. Beside her, motionless as fallen statues, lay the stern,
impassive forms of her captors; but Edgar knew too well that, rigid as
they seemed, profoundly as they slept, the slightest noise would rouse
them to a dangerous vigilance. Three of them lay between her and
him—and two were near enough to grasp her, should she rise. But he
gazed upon her face once more, beautiful in the holy calm of sleep—as
tranquil as a summer sky. The impulse which had led him thus almost
within arm’s length of her, slowly shaped itself into a purpose—the
vague attraction settled into conscious resolution.

He began to move cautiously to the left, around the sleeping circle,
within the deeper shadows of the grove, from tree to tree, toward that
beneath which Jane was slumbering. Nearer, step by step, and silently as
the closing in of night, he approached like a shadow. He was now within
the influence of the light, and but one tree stood between him and that
which he was endeavoring to reach. A breathless pause, during which he
gazed upon the form of every sleeper—they were apparently as
unconscious, as if each had been a corpse. And yet, how fearful was the
risk at every step. The slightest rustle of a bush, the breaking of a
twig, even the grating of his feet upon the gravel, might awake his
enemies—and then farewell all hope of rescue!

But his was not a nature to shrink from danger. Cautiously drawing the
ramrod from his rifle, he took the irrevocable step. Swiftly, but
silently, he glided from one tree to the other. Within four feet of him
lay Jane, in profound and tranquil sleep, her head resting upon her arm,
and one hand extended toward him; while on each side of her, but still
nearer than he, her captors were ready to awake at the first movement.

But again he resolved to take the risk, and stretching forth the ramrod,
gently touched her open hand. She did not move—he touched it again—and
she slightly drew it away. Once more—she opened her eyes, and gazed
upon the sleeping Indian before her—fortunately, without disturbing
him. He passed the rod slowly before her face; she turned her head, and
was about to speak, when he showed himself for an instant, and pressed
his finger to his lips. She was silent, though breathless with
excitement. But the nerves of a true frontier girl were not easily
shaken; and Jane saw at once that her lover’s safety, as well as her own
liberty, depended upon her self-command. Obeying a sign from him, she
commenced slowly and cautiously, though with trembling hands, to unfold
the blanket which protected, but also impeded her. As fold after fold
fell gradually off, her heart beat with a wilder and stronger pulsation;
and when, finally, she found herself free, she could scarcely forbear
springing to her feet, and rushing into Edgar’s arms. By a great effort
she restrained herself, and cautiously rose to her feet.

Full fifteen minutes—an age at such a time—had passed since Edgar
approached the tree. But the suspense was amply compensated, when,
without the least noise, he saw her, by his direction, gain the shadow
of the first tree. He lingered still to see that she was unobserved, and
then one moment brought him to her side, and joined their lips in a kiss
as intense as was the danger by which they were surrounded.

Yet he dared not speak, and there was no time to be lost. The savages
might discover the escape at any moment, and their last chance would be
gone. He took her by the hand, and walking swiftly, though cautiously,
began to retrace his steps through the wood. Five minutes brought them
to the head of the ravine, and here he should turn to the left, if he
wished to regain the path by which he had approached. But by this
course, he must take a wide circuit to avoid the Indian encampment—and
every moment was precious. Turning, therefore, to the right instead, he
led her, as rapidly as she could walk, in the direction, as he supposed,
of the dividing ridge, along which he had traveled in the evening. His
observation of localities was usually so accurate, that there seemed no
danger of missing the way. But he had been so much absorbed in the
approach to the _bivouac_, that he had not noted the windings of the
ravine, or even the points of the compass; and his surprise was very
great on finding, after an hour spent in pushing forward, that he was
apparently as far as ever from the ridge.

It was long past midnight, and but a short time could elapse before the
prisoner’s escape must be discovered. It was vitally necessary that he
should recross the river before sunrise; and yet, without his horse,
this was impossible. Jane expressed confidence in her ability to walk
even much farther; but the speed of even so active a walker as she was
far from sufficient for escape. Edgar grew silent and anxious, though
the cheerfulness of his companion at another time would have drawn many
a smile from the gloom of his face.

“We can only push forward, John,” said she; “an enterprise so
successfully begun should not be given up in despair.”

“I can never despair so long as you are with me, Jane,” he replied; “but
I ought to tell you that, unless I can find my horse, our capture is
certain.”

“See, then, if I am not a better night-ranger than Captain John Edgar,”
she said; “I hear your horse, now!”

The Ranger drew her to him and kissed her warmly.

“I shall resign in your favor,” said he. “I should have passed without
hearing him!”

This was more compliment than earnest; for, as he spoke, a low nicker
from the bushes directly in front, indicated the spot where his horse
was still standing. The faithful animal was aware of his master’s
approach. A few moments sufficed to prepare him for retreat. Edgar
doubled his blanket, and placed it behind the saddle. Lifting Jane to
this _impromptu_ pillion, he threw himself into his seat, and turned his
horse’s head toward home.

“What is that!” Jane exclaimed.

Floating up the ravine came a prolonged war-whoop, ringing among the
trees, and dying away in a thousand echoes along the ridges.

“They have discovered your escape,” Edgar said.

He waited to hear no more, but regaining the dividing ridge, set off at
a swift pace toward the south. The order was reversed—the chased were
now the pursuers—and speed alone could decide the race. Edgar rode a
powerful horse, who had borne him safely through many a fight as well as
march; but the double weight he was now carrying, the journey he had
made, and the efforts still expected of him, forbade the idea of rapid
traveling. Yet the bloodhounds were upon his track; and at the dawn of
day, now scarcely an hour distant, Edgar knew that they would sweep down
upon him like the wind. Escape seemed as difficult as before the rescue.

Yet the Ranger was not cast down, and the strong-hearted pioneer’s
daughter gave little thought to danger. As in all women of her class,
excitement only evolved her energies; and she talked with a sort of
cheerful elation, as if the peril were already passed, and home once
more regained. Edgar was far from being so much at his ease; but he had
never known fear, and, save on account of the loved one, whose arms
encircled his waist, he would rather have made his dispositions for
battle than for flight.

His only hope was that the Indians might be delayed in searching the
woods around their encampment until he could gain a sufficient start;
and this hope vanished almost as soon as formed. They had scarcely
ridden three miles, when the thunder of many hoofs came rolling down the
ridge. The enemy were in full chase, scarcely a mile behind.

“We must try the virtue of speed,” said Edgar; dashing his spurs into
his horse’s flanks, he sprang away at a rate which gave promise of soon
distancing the pursuers. Their footsteps soon died away in the distance;
and, could he have kept up the pace at which be started, the captain
hoped he might reach the river before being overtaken. But at the end of
a few minutes, he was forced to draw his rein. The ridge had grown so
narrow, that the ravines on either hand intersected each other, and
broke it into steep and dangerous gorges. At the first of these his
horse came to a dead halt, and neither voice nor spur could force him
forward. Edgar sprang to the ground, and looking over the precipice,
shuddered at the leap he had been endeavoring to take. A hollow, whose
bottom he could not see, cut directly across his path, and extended both
to the right and left, farther than his eye could penetrate.

“They are coming, John!” exclaimed Jane, springing to the ground; and he
had scarcely time to lead his horse a few yards to the left, when twelve
or fifteen Indians dashed furiously up, and, like him, came to a sudden
halt. He could plainly see the dusky outlines of their forms, riding
back and forward, searching for a crossing. He drew Jane, whose white
dress might betray them, behind a tree, and breathlessly awaited their
motions. At a word from the chief they all turned directly toward him.
He seized Jane by the arm, and dropping his horse’s rein, sprang down
the precipitous bank. A fearful yell from the pursuers told him that he
was seen; and a rush and a scramble, regardless of the crumbling bank,
brought them almost upon him.

“Run, Jane! Down the ravine—run!” he exclaimed, and bringing his rifle
up, the foremost warrior fell to the ground, pierced through the head.
Another yell, more fearful than the first, heralded a wild spring upon
him. But the ranger was more agile than any savage; with one bound he
gained a tree, and before they had recovered from their confusion, his
rifle was reloaded. Slowly he began to climb the bank—but his first
movement was observed, and again they rushed toward him. He turned and
fired his last shot—another savage rolled groaning down the bank. But
the odds were too great. His enemies were too near to allow his again
charging his gun, and an attempt to retreat up the steep ascent would be
instant death. He gave himself up for lost—but, drawing his knife,
resolved to die fighting to the last.

The click of a rifle-lock directly behind him caught his attention, and
the next moment a volley of balls whistled over his head. A rush down
the bank immediately followed. The company of rangers, led on by White,
had arrived in time to save their captain. The savages, taken by
surprise, were unable to make a stand; for with them, as among all
undisciplined men, a panic was irremediable. Edgar joined his men, and
assumed the command, pushing the charge directly home upon the confused
and scattered party. But such as were not disabled by wounds sprang
actively up the ascent, and gaining their horses, took to flight. They
left seven of their warriors, among whom was the tall chief, lying dead
in the bottom of the ravine.

Edgar called his men back from the pursuit, and mustered them within the
gorge. Not one of them had received a wound.

“We are all safe,” said George Fielding; “but where is Jane?”

“Here I am,” Jane answered from the ridge above. Instead of flying down
the ravine, as Edgar had directed, she had climbed the bank behind him;
and, unwilling to leave him in peril so fearful, had determined there to
await the issue. Had she been armed, he would not have been alone in the
fight.

Day had dawned on the conflict, and now the shadows of the forest were
fast melting away. Leaving their enemies to be recovered by their
companions, who would soon return for them, the rangers remounted, and
set out toward home. Edgar lifted Jane into his saddle, and with little
difficulty, catching one of the Indian horses, rode, happy as if already
her husband, by her side. On the morning of the third day they once more
reached her father’s house, where the rejoicings at her rescue were
shared by the reassembled guests, at her wedding with the
Ranger-Captain.

-----

[9] Mississippi.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                       =IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLAND.=


                         =BY FREDERIKA BREMER.=


    Asylum for Aged Governesses.—Home for the Young.—Queen’s
    College.—Government School of Design for Women.—Ladies’
    Guild.—Some Thoughts.—Review of England.—Its Authors and
    Authoresses.—Departure.

I had heard some years since, whilst yet in Sweden I had listened to the
news, as one listens to some beautiful, half incredible story; I had
heard that persons of talent, rank and fortune, had united in England to
establish a Home for Aged and Poor Governesses, to enable them to enjoy
a bright evening of life, free from anxiety. I had also read Mrs. S. C.
Hall’s charming story, “The Aged Governess,” and wished that it might be
read and thought upon by many. This story, written solely for the
promotion of this good object, describes one of the most common
occurrences of life, as we all must acknowledge; namely, how the old
instructress, neglected by the young whom she has brought up, often as a
second mother—how they, not from badness of heart, not from
premeditated neglect, merely from common thoughtlessness—leave her to
her fate, after her long, laborious career in the family when they had
need of her, and out of the family when they need her no longer—left
alone, to live or to die, utterly forsaken.

This story had caused me to think the undertaking must succeed; it is an
affair of humanity, and its advocate knows how to touch the heart.

I heard in America that the work had been accomplished; the Asylum for
Aged Governesses had been erected, and I set my heart upon visiting it
during my visit to London.

Nothing more was needed than that I should mention my wishes to my
friends in London. One of the most effective promoters of the good
institution, the excellent and cheerful Mrs. Laing, conducted me
thither.

It was a beautiful afternoon. It was pleasant to drive with that
agreeable and kind woman, in an open carriage, away from the crowded,
noisy London into the pleasant suburb of Kentish Town, where the green
fields shone in the sun, and trees and flowers nodded in the wind; it
was pleasant to listen all this time to Mrs. Laing, who told me how
that, ever since her earliest youth, she had wished above every thing to
be able some time to be of use to the distressed of her own sex, whose
smoother path of life she herself was beginning to tread; and of the
happiness which she now experienced, in finding herself in a position to
accomplish the warm wishes of her youthful years. Beautiful and cheering
is the sun! But still more beautiful and cheering is the sun of human
kindness in a human eye!

The carriage drew up at a pair of iron gates. Within these, upon an open
space and with a free look-out, stood a large, splendid house, built of
gray stone, in the beautiful antique style. This was the Asylum of the
Aged Governesses, their last calm haven and home on earth. The building
had been completed only in June 1849, and was calculated to receive
twenty-two inmates. Rooms for more may yet be added. We passed through
the garden, which, however, consisted principally of beautiful
grassplats and beds of flowers, shrubs and newly planted trees. Some of
the old ladies were walking here, in the bright light of the setting
autumnal sun, and tending the flowers. We entered the house. The steps,
the doors, all, from foundation to roof-tree, were built as if for a
thousand years’ duration, beautifully and excellently—the sterling
English spirit breathed throughout it.

In the large common drawing-room, adorned with pictures, book-cases, and
all those various things which constitute the peculiar little world of a
beautiful room intended for social enjoyment, sat two of the old ladies
at their work. Mrs. Laing was received by all as one receives a
messenger of joy. The old ladies evidently regarded her as one of their
best friends. They were anxious to prove to her that they were well and
full of the energy of life. For she had made them understand that no
greater trouble could happen to her than that they should die; that she
wished them all to live and be happy here, the longer the better.

A little, cheerful, bright old lady, more than seventy years of age, but
very lively, and as agile almost as a young girl, went with me through
all the different rooms. They were all exactly alike as to arrangement,
had the same kind of furniture; carpets and all comforts equally alike.
My little conductress was quite alive to all this, and showed me with
how much thought every thing had been arranged for their convenience,
how easily the bonnet-boxes under the tables were drawn out, how
accurately and noiselessly the doors closed, because the edges were
lined with listing; how every thing was so arranged that they might find
life easy and agreeable. In one of the rooms sat an old lady, who was an
invalid, and was no longer able to walk out. She sat in her comfortable
easy-chair, the dim eyes, which shone like feeble lights in the still
handsome countenance, gazed out from a window which commanded a lovely
view over the distant green, church-crowned heights, behind which the
sun was now sinking in the calm splendor of autumn, illuminating the
room where the old lady sat. Her voice was weak, so were evidently the
powers of life; the lamp was about to be extinguished. But within, as
well as without, all seemed to be peaceful and bright as regarded her.
Freed from the gnawing anxieties of providing for the day, protected
from cold rooms, shortness of food, from a desolate home, she may now
calmly await the night, sinking quietly; like the sinking sun, which
glanced into her chamber kindly, like the loving eye of a friend.

That aged governess, and all the aged ones there! my heart throbs warmly
at the thought of them, and of their asylum.

It is in institutions of this kind that one sees the heart in a nation.
Here the question was not about any “dangerous classes,” whom society
must take in hand in order to secure its own safety. Here the question
was about a class, the least dangerous of all, the most defenseless
within the range of society—about solitary women, who, after a life of
toil and self-denial in the service of the young generation, go forth
into silence, no one knows where, and hide an existence which they
almost feel to be supernumerary, to be a burden—go forth, often, like
the sick bird, which seeks out a gloomy solitude of the wood in which to
die.

The aged governess! How hard is frequently her lot! How thankless is
society for her labor, how indifferent toward her fate, how unsparing
toward her faults—faults which arise precisely from the disproportion
in her fate, which demands from the teacher all a mother’s qualities and
self-denial, without giving her in return any of the mother’s
recompense, the esteem of society, the gratitude of the child, or even a
home.

During the several years’ labor which noble-minded men and women in
England have given to searching out and alleviating the silent misery
which prevailed in this class of society, it has been proved that there
is no class more deserving of esteem and attention; that no women better
deserve the aid and esteem of society than the aged governesses.

Out of seven thousand teachers (it is estimated that the number of
governesses in England amounts to about fifteen thousand) who during
this time had come under the notice of the Committee of Direction which
had been organized for their aid, several were found in lunatic asylums,
but none in prisons. Many were without means of support in their old
age, because they had maintained aged parents with the wages of their
labor, assisted young brothers and sisters, or had brought up orphan
nephews or nieces. Too many in consequence of their labor had weak
sight, or were suffering from severe nervous complaints, of all
suffering the worst.

Since the public attention in England has been so much directed to the
responsible vocation of the governess, to her difficult position, and
her unprovided-for old age; the public endeavor has increased with every
succeeding year to elevate and improve the condition of the governess.
Academies have been established for the education of young persons;
annual pensions have been established for the old and needy; the
crowning flower of this beautiful growth of human love and gratitude
being the Home for the Aged Governesses, the asylum in which I now found
myself, and which, when completed, will leave it difficult to imagine
one more perfect.

Among the earliest promoters of this institution I found the names
of—men. Men had been the earliest friends and protectors of the old,
solitary ladies! The Duke of Cambridge, Dr. Thackeray, John Hatchard,
(who lately closed a life full of good works) had long, both by word and
deed, labored to improve the fate of these lonely beings. These good
men, in connection with noble-minded ladies, such as Mrs. S. C. Hall and
Mrs. Laing, had carried through this beautiful undertaking, and hence
this final home for the aged governess.

Since then have the subscriptions for the support of aged governesses
been so numerous, and so considerable in amount, that now a better
future may be anticipated with certainty.

A payment of five hundred pounds entitles to nominate a lady to the
asylum. And with all the conveniences and even luxuries of the
establishment, all has been so well calculated that the cost of each
inmate’s support is remarkably small. A physician and medicine are also
provided by the institution.

One agreeable thing for the old ladies seemed to me, that they were
permitted to have their friends and acquaintance to tea, on the payment
of a mere trifle for each guest.

I saw, finally, in the handsome, light dining-room, the greater number
of the inmates of the asylum assembled. There, seated at the piano, I
played to them Swedish ballads and dances, and afterward cordially shook
hands with the kind old ladies, recommending them to follow Mrs. Laing’s
advice, to live long and remain well; they must take care and not die;
they must take care and not grieve the good lady! They laughed, and
seemed especially willing to attend to my admonition.

Why should they not? Every thing which makes old age bright—yes,
perhaps, which makes it the most cheerful portion of a woman’s
life—quietness, a secure future, all the amenities of daily life,
society, retirement, the kindest care, the most faithful guardianship,
every thing which at their age might reasonably be desired, all this is
theirs. With a joyful heart I left this institution, over which the most
splendid autumnal sun seemed to cast its blessing, and drove with Mrs.
Laing to the home of the younger governesses, which also, I was desirous
of visiting. This institution—under the same direction as the former,
is designed as a shelter and home for young ladies who come to London in
search of situations as governesses; is intended to be self-supporting
through the payments of the parties whom it receives, as well as that it
shall afford them all possible comforts at as low a price as possible.
Not far from this institution, which is calculated to receive somewhat
above twenty young ladies, is _Queen’s College_, a newly established
academical institution, which enables young women to study and graduate
in the same way as young men; and to advance as far in the acquisition
of knowledge as their natural powers will admit of. The formation of a
skillful class of teachers, of which it is said there is a great want in
England, is the highest object of this college, which is under the
direction of the Government and the Established Church.[10] “The Ladies’
College,” situated at no great distance, is an academy of the same
class, founded by dissenters from the Established Church. Both
institutions are promising beginnings in a path, in which the youngest
of earth’s nations, the United States, has gone far in advance of the
mother country, and of all the nations of Europe; namely, in its
superior means for the intellectual development of woman.

Having long since become clear in my own mind as to the importance of
this intellectual development, not merely for women themselves, but even
for men, for the whole rising generation; I had inquired in England, as
well as in America, what was being done for women? There was only very
little to tell me of in England; they had, however, in London, the
Asylum for Aged Governesses, (and a more beautiful institution cannot be
exhibited in any land,) the Home for Young Governesses, the two Female
Colleges, together with “The Government School of Design for Females.” I
had already noticed this inscription upon the door-posts of a house in
the Strand, directly opposite to where I had my own excellent lodgings.
I was very anxious to visit the Female School of Design in this great,
magnificent London, the school which bore the grand appellation of “The
Government School of Design for Women.” It must be something really
great and magnificent, thought I to myself.

The entrance did not promise much. It was narrow and rickety. But—that
did not matter, the Englishman has sometimes a way of putting a simple
outside to that which within is very splendid. I went up into a room,
story above story, in the third floor. Ah! now had vanished all hope of
and all esteem for the care of Government, as regarded the instruction
of women, at least in the art of design. In a close, dark room, sat from
sixty to seventy young women, so closely packed together that they took
away from each other light, space, and, as it seemed to me,
breathing-room. They had not even space in which to place their models,
(some plaster of Paris casts stood on the floor in a dark corner of the
apartment) they had not room to place any thing in a right light or
proper perspective. In order to enable me to move along the room, the
girls were obliged to stand aside, both they and their drawings. I saw
two of them busy drawing a real—no, a _withered_ plant which stood in a
glass. And yet they came hither, and yet they sat here, day after day,
industriously, crowded together as they were, the poor young girls! So
great was their desire, so great the necessity for them to learn.

In the house on the opposite side of the street, in “Somerset House,”
was “The Government School of Design for Young Men,” and they had every
advantage which large rooms, models, teachers could give. And,
nevertheless, and in spite of there being every unfavorable circumstance
on the side of the girls, yet, in the two years, when public examination
had been made of the productions of the two schools, the prises had been
awarded to the girls. So unquestionable was the superiority of their
talent for decorative art, so nobly just the decision of the male
judges. I heard much praise bestowed upon the head mistress of the
Female School of Design, as being herself a distinguished artist. I
cannot but deplore for her that she has not a better opportunity of
developing her own talent and the talent of her young pupils than that
which is afforded her by the Government School of Design for Women.

My thoughts involuntarily sped back across the sea to the country, to
the people who preëminently among all the nations of the earth govern
themselves, and to one of the Schools of Design for Women, which have
lately begun to spring up there, with that fresh, vigorous growth, which
all great, public, useful undertakings have in the soil of the New
World. I saw the school which had been commenced in the first instance
in the shade of private life, by Mrs. Sarah Peter, an English lady, with
a warm feeling of fellow-citizenship; which had been taken up by the
government, and incorporated with the Franklin Institution, at
Philadelphia, with an annual endowment of three thousand dollars. I saw
once more the large, light halls there; saw the kind, cheerful mistress
happy in her vocation, happy in the progress of her pupils, and in the
flourishing condition of the school.

I saw the young girls’ beaming countenances, saw how a happy
consciousness had arisen within them, as if they would say, “We also
have now obtained work in God’s beautiful vineyard!”

I saw them drawing vine-shoots and palms, as decoration for walls and
floors; saw genius here unfold its youthful wings in joyful amazement at
its own powers; and patient industry gladly take her place in the
service of her more ardent sister; saw in the practical direction which
the spirit of the New World gives to all work, an infinite future and
sphere of operation opened for women in the employment of that talent
which Mother Nature has given to them for the beautifying of life—the
sense of the beautiful, a feeling for the tasteful and the ornamental—a
talent which has hitherto been employed merely in a circumscribed
manner.

“See!” said a warm-hearted, right-minded man, Dr. E., who accompanied me
through the scholars’ room, “this work by Elizabeth B.! fifteen dollars
have been paid for it. And this second design for a carpet, by Miss
——, this has been ordered and twelve dollars are paid for it. This
little pattern for calico-printing—see how pretty it is!—has been
bought for two dollars—this for three. And these wood-cuts, are they
not well done? The young girls who do these are full of orders for
similar ones, and can command their own price. This lithograph is
another work of Miss ——; and these lithographed groups of flowers,
ordered for a little book, are by Miss ——, and twelve dollars are paid
for each. But I must introduce you to this young girl, Miss ——. She
used formerly to maintain herself by her needle; she did needlework even
for my family; but it was discovered that she possessed so remarkable a
talent for drawing, that after only seven months’ instruction, she is
secure of provision for the whole of her life, by means of art.”

Dr. E. and the head mistress together, selected specimens of the young
girls’ various works. “Take,” said they, “this, and this, and this, and
this, home with you to your fatherland.”

This was in North America; in the country which preëminently opens a
free field for the development of women. In Europe a few individual
voices are raised for this object. In America it is the universal voice
which says—

“He who points out a new field for the employment of female industry,
ought to be regarded as one of the public benefactors. And every means
by which such a field becomes accessible to woman recommends itself to
society as an important agent in the civilization of the future.”

It delighted me to hear that Charles Dickens, in his Household Words,
had made some remarks upon it worthy of his warm heart and clever pen;
also to hear that it was seriously contemplated to remove the school to
a more favorable locality.

“The Ladies’ Guild,” is the name given to a Female Association in
London, which I visited. It is as yet in its earliest commencement, and
depends principally upon a discovery of a Miss Wallace, for the
application of glass to the hitherto unknown purposes in ornamenting
rooms, and the material of furniture. Miss Wallace has taken out a
patent for her invention, which she uses entirely for the benefit of
persons of her own sex. She was not at this time in England, but the
ladies to whom she had communicated her art had united themselves for
the formation of a guild, in which instruction in this particular branch
of art is given, under certain conditions, to all such as wish to enter
the association as working members. I saw here many original and
particularly beautiful decorations of glass. I was, however, most struck
with the branch of the art called “gems,” in which pieces of cut glass
crystals were set in flower-like groups of various colors, yellow, green
and red; as well as with plates of glass prepared and burned, so that
they resemble white marble, and of a strength so great that a man might
stand and stamp his foot upon them without their being cracked. A room
whose walls should be set with clusters of these gems, and some of the
various brilliant paintings on glass which I saw here, would have the
appearance of a fairy-palace, and would realize the most brilliant
dreams of our childhood.

They were at this time desirous of preparing such a number of works as
would enable them to have an exhibition, by which means the public
interest might be turned to the undertaking.

May it succeed! May the well-intentioned, earnest women who commenced
the undertaking be so happy as to carry it out for the benefit of their
sex! How great the need of such institutions is, may be shown by the
simple fact that a single advertisement offering work in this glass
manufactory, called forth four hundred replies from gentle-women
desirous of obtaining employment.

I saw several of these employment-seekers; for the greater part they
were women of middle age, or in the latest youth; and the greater number
were clad in deep mourning. They seemed to me like beings who had sat
long in darkness, and now were come forth half astonished, half
mistrusting, inquiring, “Is there any light, is there any life for us?”

Alas! That in God’s rich, beautiful abundantly-living world, so many
beings erected in His image, called to participate in His life, should
need to ask thus!

“It must, it will succeed with us!” said the lady superintendent of this
new undertaking, with the courageous calmness of conviction.[11] And I
believe it will. The thing speaks for itself, and noble-minded men
extend a brotherly hand to the ladies to aid them in carrying it out.

Yet once more: may the undertaking flourish, and may it be the precursor
of many a similar one!

What a field of beautiful and advantageous activity lies waste through
the neglect of rightly cultivating the talent which God has entrusted to
woman! Thus, for example, her taste and her feeling for the beautiful
are universally acknowledged, and she is permitted to cultivate
it—merely for her own adornment and beautifying; and by so doing makes
this heavenly talent minister to vanity and self-love. What if this
sense of beauty were developed under the guidance of knowledge, for the
use of society, for the beautifying of life? Does not woman’s natural
taste for ornament and for ornamenting give her an hereditary title in
the realm of decorative art? And if she were allowed there to employ her
single gift, if she felt herself, through it, living and working, as a
fellow-citizen——?

Ought not every country to have its school of art, in which the artistic
skill of women might develop itself, in a peculiar and national manner?
Might there not, by these means, be a northern art, which, as such,
might obtain acknowledgment even in foreign countries?

Might not the daughters of Sweden, so rich in natural feeling and fresh
life, study the natural productions of Sweden; draw the pine and the
linea borealis, the Apollo-butterfly, and such like beautiful things
which God has given to the soil of their fathers; and arrange them in
tasteful groups, in vases and baskets, for the decoration of walls and
floors; and thus from northern scenes bring forth a northern art, tended
by the hands of women, which might beautify northern homes, from the
highest to the lowest; which might chase away ugly and common pictures,
and let the brightest eye of home, the eye of the child, open into a
world of beauty?

Is not, for all men and in all countries, one of the gates which opens
into the sanctuary, like that in Solomon’s temple—the beautiful?

We are speaking now merely of a branch of art. But is there not in many
other arts and in many manufactures—nay, perhaps in every art and
manufacture and science, the more they are developed and ennobled—a
department which ought preëminently to be cultivated by women, expressly
because of that one talent which has been given to them by nature?

We merely ask. We acknowledge to a profound faith in our own questions.
But we would beseech of thinking men and women to consider the subject
with us.

For the importance of it lies not merely in the peculiarity of woman’s
work. There is something beyond this in woman, through her own work,
being able to acquire a self-relying position in society, a noble
independence for the life both of soul and body; that she may feel, may
know from childhood upward that she may courageously look toward a
future which she, through her own power of work, can prepare for
herself; to know that creditable work is not disgrace. And that
beautiful consciousness which already exists in the intellectual heights
of society, may alike in the palace and the cottage of the peasant be
acquired by all.

What is it that people are afraid of in this independence of woman? Are
they afraid that thereby she will become less womanly? Are they afraid
that any being, if it develops itself in freedom and in truth, can
become any other than that which God designed in its creation?

Are they afraid that women may take the work away from men?

But all development, all natural division of labor in the world prove
that its multiplication and affluence increases in proportion to the
various powers which are employed upon it, each in his own way.

In truth, at the present moment, and with the mistaken purposes of
existence which have so long depressed the life and consciousness of
women, and with them those of men also, one can only wonder that women
are what they are.

But when woman becomes that which God intended her to be, man’s equal
and helpmate in all spheres of life, _Manua_, or she-man, as the Bible
calls her in the first morning of creation.

Amid many gloomy scenes, many sorrowful experiences, I yet live in the
steadfastly joyful anticipation of the future, which will some time dawn
for society, when the fettered woman shall become wholly free.

It enchants me when I think upon the beautiful relationship—and of this
we already, thank God, have seen and still see many examples—which must
take place when these two halves of life stand together—not master and
slave—resting only upon God and upon themselves, relying upon each
other, merely through the free homage of the heart and the intellect. He
sees in her a noble, self-dependent being, who needs not and seeks not
him for any lower object. And he loves her for that cause. She sees in
him a free and noble being, who seeks not and needs not her for an
unworthy object, advantage, or pleasure. And she esteems him for that
reason. But each needs the other as a helper in the highest work upon
earth—the perfecting of life. That they know, and for that cause they
extend to each other the hand, as a married pair, as friends; two free,
divine beings, united in the highest!

Thus is paradise regained on earth; no longer that first merely natural
paradise; but the higher, spiritual paradise, where man and woman shall
live together as the angels in heaven.

Is this sight too beautiful ever to become true?

It is too beautiful not to become true!

But if before this a new development of woman’s life and consciousness
must take place, the subject need not be further pursued here.

The Chinese cramped up their women’s feet in tight shoes, that they
might not go far from home. But the Chinese themselves have remained
standing on the same spot, whilst all the rest of the world has gone
forward.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Often when the starling comes in spring to our northern land have I seen
him sit in the top of the trees, saluting with his song the rising of
the sun over the morning-illumed country. And at this moment, when I sit
like the bird upon the bough ready for flight, ready to seek my nest, I
feel like the starling glancing abroad over the country upon which a new
day is ascending.

For the sight of England at this moment is the sight of a new birth, of
an awakening life, calculated to awaken every soul in which are the
principles of vitality.

Whilst Germany is mute in the sense of an internal chaos, and all her
poets dumb, (since her last comet-like genius, wearied of elliptic
circuits in search of the eternal, conceals himself in a cloister;)
whilst beautiful Italy lies bound, like the Greek slave, yet noble in
her deferred revenge—whilst heroically bold France, always foremost in
the struggle for the advance of thought—foremost, though too impetuous,
wearied by her own eccentric endeavors, allows a daring adventurer to
put a rope round her neck, and a gag in her mouth—how vigorously and
calmly England proceeds onward in her work for the future; how
powerfully she advances under her banners, “the Law and the Gospel;” and
in the spirit of these, works out her great destiny by means of her free
institutions, her free public discussion; her constellation of
statesmen, poets, authors; her scientific and industrial institutions,
and lastly, by her movement for a general, unexclusive system of
education throughout the nation; retaining through all this a clear
consciousness of the foundation of all true freedom and happiness for
the people of the earth.

May she advance triumphantly in her career for the new future of Europe,
and with her the nations which stand in near alliance with her life!

No country in the world can at this time exhibit such an affluence of
good authors as England. And their influence is founded upon the great
principles of humanity, which they serve not merely by power of genius,
but of practical reason. Authors of the most varied political and
religious opinions are united in this—the advocacy of some human right;
some human advantage, the crown of which is in heaven, while its root is
on earth; or they are rejected by the public mind; every thing must
become subservient to the supreme claims of humanity. Merely to mention
here some of the cultivators of polite literature: there is the
aristocratic Bulwer, spite of his inclination for the merely strong; the
democratic, warm-hearted Dickens; Thackeray, the flagellator of much
that is great and small, but by no means of the good; Charles Kingsley,
whose warm sympathies for suffering humanity might make him unjust
toward the self-indulgent if that life which inspires did not also
restrain him; and lastly, him who, standing aloof from all parties, yet
influences all.

So also, among the beautiful group of England’s distinguished
authoresses—women whose power is acknowledged by the whole cultivated
world. Mary Howitt, Mrs. Marsh, Mrs. S. C. Hall, with many others still
living, among the latest and most remarkable of whom stand Mrs. Gaskill,
the Author of Mary Barton, and Miss Bronte, the author of the
fascinating novel of Jane Eyre; all these are united in working for the
moral elevation of life, although frequently regarding it from different
points of view. Nevertheless are they sisters in the higher harmonies
and the same fundamentally pure accords, the same holy anthems sound
from their harps. They also have obtained free entrance into every noble
home in the world, and great power over the life of the heart.

Novels such as Eugene Sue’s and George Sand’s cannot possibly become
popular in England, although people are not blind to the gleams of light
discoverable in the mysteries of the former; and the many beautiful
things which there are in the glorious Consuelo of the latter. But they
could not have been written there, nor could their authors live there
with any success. The genius of England distinguishes itself from that
of France, not so much by its genius, but by its sound reason. The
dissimilar fate of England and France, at this time, may be estimated by
the dissimilarity in the works of their romance writers. The romance of
a people and of their authors have more in common than people believe.

Now that I am about to leave England, I feel with regret how much, from
want of time, I must give up seeing, give up knowing—amongst which is
the knowledge of persons whose acquaintance would be to me of great
value, and of whom I saw sufficient for me to regret it all the more.
This is often the sorrowful lot of the traveler, and I have no right to
complain. If I should never again see England, yet I shall be eternally
thankful that I have seen it, and for that which I have there seen. I
thank England for the glorious Asylum which she afforded to a people who
raised themselves in the consciousness of their own power, and with no
lower object in view than the highest which humanity is capable of. I
thank England for affording a new hope for the future of Europe, a new
and a fresher courage. And seeing as I do that England is preëminently
beyond all other nations designed to extend its dominions, I shall
henceforth only rejoice in this, because it extends at the same time the
Law and the Gospel, God’s dominion upon earth.

Add to this, that the English race are also the handsomest now existing
on the earth; no one can do other than wish that, in this point of view
also, they should increase and multiply.

These Englishwomen—I am fond of them. They approach with a frank, warm
cordiality which is irresistible, or with a quiet demeanor which
expresses esteem both of you and of their own worth, or else—they leave
you in peace. This dignity of manner, added to an agreeable kindliness,
struck me particularly in the class of female domestic servants, whilst
they are commonly as well dressed as the persons whom they serve; at
once, as well dressed as unpretending.

And then—they are so handsome, these Englishwomen, that certainly, the
whole figure included, they are the most beautiful women in the world.

I have no word sufficiently strong to express my grateful sense of the
noble hospitality and good-will which were shown to me while in England.
They live in the sanctuary of my heart, together with the names of the
friends from whom I received them; I must call some of them my
_benefactors_, because the human beings who awaken in us a warmer faith
in and love to mankind, are our eternal benefactors.

And greater benefactors in this sense have I never found anywhere than
in the United States, and in England, excepting in my own beloved
fatherland!

-----

[10] This is a misconception.—Ed.

[11] A worthy daughter is this lady of the well-known philanthropist,
Dr. Southwood Smith. Dr. Southwood Smith stands at the head of the
movement for Sanitary Reform in England, which is now being effectively
carried out in many towns, and the main principles of which are, that
every house and family shall have a constant and sufficient supply of
fresh water, the erection of healthy dwellings for the poor, together
with the careful removal and consumption of all impurity.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           =SONNET.—CYDNUS.=


                          =BY WM. ALEXANDER.=


          Cydnus! thou art a memorable stream!
            Clear, crystal-like, thy proud waves roll apace,
            As when with snowy plume and pallid face,
          The daring Grecian felt thy cold extreme—
          Two thousand summers have now passed away,
            Yet, like white garments waving ’mid the gloom,
            Seems thy bright water’s foam. Many a tomb
          Lines thy green banks, as when in sad array
          The great procession passed, with viol’s wail,
            While underneath the canopy of gold,
            Raised on the deck, lay Egypt’s queen, as cold
          As when the aspic stung her. Spectres pale
          Still haunt thy shore; thy waves all uselessly
        Sweep on; “no galley there—no ship shall pass thereby.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      =NELLY NOWLAN ON BLOOMERS.=


                         =BY MRS. S. C. HALL.=


“I promised, my dear aunt,” continued Nelly, “when I left you, to tell
you every thing I saw! I little knew what a promise that was when I made
it! but there’s something so mighty quare has happened lately in this
great town, that I should like you to come to knowledge of it; it is so
different from what’s going on in poor ould Ireland. I haven’t much time
for writing this month, so must tell it _out of the face_, and be done
with it. Do you remember the watching we used to have when the war was
going on betwixt Miss Mulvany of the big shop, and Mrs. Toney Casey of
the red house, about the length of their gowns? All the county cried
shame on Miss Mulvany, when the hem of her brand-new-Sunday-silk reached
the binding of her shoe, and then they shouted double shame on Mrs. Tony
Casey, all the way home from mass, when the next Sunday _her_ dress
touched the heel; sure it served us for conversation all the week, and
every girl in the place letting down her hems—and happy she, who had a
good piece in the gathers—and to see the smile and the giggle on Miss
Mulvany’s face! We all knew, when we saw _that_, that she’d come out
past the common, the next Sunday; and so she did, and a cruel wet Sunday
it was, and she in another silk, a full finger on the ground behind and
before, and she too proud to hold it up! and that little villain, Paddy
Macgann, coming up to her in the civilist way and asking if he might
carry home her tail for her! And then the row there was between Tony
Casey and his wife, the little foolish _crayshur_, because he refused
her the price of a new gown, with which she wanted to break the heart of
the other fool, Miss Mulvany, by doubling the length, and how Mrs. Casey
would not go to mass, because she couldn’t have a longer tail than Miss
Mulvany! And sure _you mind_, aunt dear, when all that work was going
on, how the fine priest stood on the altar, and ‘Girls and boys,’ he
says—it was after mass—‘Girls and boys, but especially girls, I had a
drame last night, or indeed, to be spaking good English, it was this
morning I had it, and I need not tell you, my little darlings,’ (that
was the kind way he had of speaking,) ‘that a morning drame comes true.
Well, in my drame I was on the Fair green, and there was a fine lot of
you, all looking fresh and gay like a bank of primroses, and all sailing
about like a forest of paycocks, with tails as long and as draggled as
Mary Mulvany _has_ got, and Mrs. Tony Casey has _not_ got.’

“‘No fault of hers, plaze your reverence,’ says Tony.

“‘Hould y’er tongue, Tony,’ said the priest, ‘until you’re spoken to,
and don’t be a fool; when a wise man wins a battle, he shouldn’t brag of
it; and it is ill manners you have, to be putting your priest out in the
face of his congregation. Where was I?’

“‘In a forest of paycocks, your reverence,’ squeaked little Paddy
Macgann.

“‘That’s a fine boy, Paddy, to remember what your priest says.’

“‘Your reverence promised me a penny the last time I held your horse,’
squeaked Paddy again; upon which there was a grate laugh, in which his
reverence joined. It was mighty sharp of Paddy.

“‘Well, girls,’ continued his reverence, ‘you were all like paycocks,
only some had longer tails than others, and very proud you were of
them—mighty fine, and quite natural; showing them off, girls, not to
one another, but at one another. Well, there is, as you all know, no
accounting for drames, for all of a sudden who should come on the green,
but the Black Gentleman himself! It’s downright earnest I am. I saw him
as plain as I see you; hoofs and horns, there he was; and when you all
saw him, of course you ran away like hares, and those that had short
gowns got clean off, tight and tidy, but as for poor Mary Mulvany, and
all like her, (in dress, I mean) all he had to do, was to put his hoof
on the gown tails and they were done for—pinned for everlasting. Girls!
remember _the morning drame comes true_! If ye make a vanity of your
gown tails, it’s a sure sign that the devil has set his foot on them.
Now be off every one of you, and let me see you next Sunday.’ Ah, aunt
dear, the tails were cut off to the shoe binding.

“Now, aunt, it would be the greatest blessing in life if the fine ladies
here had some little contrivance (those who walk) for keeping their
dresses off the streets; it’s a murdering pity to see the sweep they
give to the dirt and dust as they float over the pavements; my mistress
says, that long ago the upper petticoat reached the ancle joint, and was
of quilted silk, mighty handsome, and the dress drawn up so as to show
it a bit, and could be let down at pleasure; it’s next to impossible to
keep shoes and stockings clean, while what our good old priest called
the ‘paycock’s tail’ sweeps the streets as the lady walks. But, indeed,
(as my dear, good lady says) ‘extremes meet;’ for will you believe it,
that there has been an attempt made by some ladies from America (that
wonderful uneasy country, that’s too big to contain itself, and must
keep on a-meddling and a-doing for ever more) to revolutionize, that is,
stir up a rebellion against every stitch we wear! There is reason in all
things; and it would be both more clean and more convenient if the
ladies left it to the dear little red-coated ragged-school boys, to
sweep the streets; but these ladies (_Bloomers_ they call themselves)
are for turning all the women into men, by act of parliament. I don’t
know if they have got any plan for turning the men into women, but my
mistress says _that_ must follow. You remember, aunt, that we used to
call the darling Miss Mildred a ‘bloomer;’ and there was a poem made
about her, in such beautiful rhyme:

        ‘Oh, you are like Cassandra fair,
         Who won great Alexander’s heart;
         A bloomer, sweeter than the rose.’

I forget it, aunty, but it continued very learned—about

        ‘O’Donaghoo and the great O’Brien,
         That banged the strength out of Orion.’

It was all about her, and her bating Venus for beauty, and went to the
tune of ‘Jackson’s Morning Brush.’

“Only think of our darling Miss Mildred being thought of in the same day
with _these_ ‘bloomers,’ as if she wore a man’s hat and waistcoat—to
say nothing of _the other things_—in the broad light of day; and if
_that_ isn’t enough, strapped over the _boot_! Our own, born, bred, and
reared Miss Mildred, with the blush of innocence on her cheek, a brow as
fair as if it had been bathed in May-dew every morning of her life, with
the freshness of youth on her rosy lips, cantering through the country
on her snow-white pony, man-fashion, to say nothing of boots and spurs!

“Well, this band of Bloomers is quite different to what you would expect
from the name. My mistress bought the picture of one, and that was
pretty enough to look at. But think of the dress of a slim young lady of
ten years old, on a grown-up woman, particularly if she is rather fallen
into flesh, and you’ll see how I saw a stout Bloomer look—certainly,
that was not blooming. Any thing looks well on youth and beauty; or
rather, youth and beauty look well in any thing; but the deepness of the
dress was that it was only a _cloak_, (though that’s not true, for
_cloaks_ are not Bloomers,) only a sign, or an all-over sort of badge,
for another thing—putting us all into counsellor’s wigs, and turning us
into Parliament men and ministers, and police-inspectors and generals,
and rifle-brigades. The upsettingest thing that ever crossed the wild
waters of the Atlantic!

“My dear mistress shook her poor head, and said to me—for I was greatly
troubled at the first going off to think if it was passed into a law
here, what I should have to turn to myself, or whether it would not be
more patriotic for me to go back to ould Ireland and be a White-Boy at
once, because if the women were turned into men, surely we’d have the
best of it then, any how. I _was_ troubled, for I hate the law, and as
for Parliament, I never could stand the arguments there, as I’d like
best to have my own way, without any contradiction, which a woman can do
at home if she’s at all _cute_; so, seeing me bothered, (this as I say
was at the first) my lady was quite amused, and ‘Ellen,’ she said, ‘do
not trouble yourself about it, there is little doubt but that the more
civilized we become, the more employment will be found for women, and
the more highly will they be respected; but to be either happy or
useful, a woman must be employed as a _Woman_, not as a man; she must be
employed where her tenderness, her quick perceptions, her powers of
endurance, her unselfishness, her devotion, are called into, and kept
in, action. She who is the mother of heroes does not covet to enter the
battle-field herself,’ said my mistress, all as one as if she was
reading out of a printed book—(I never could handle any thing but a
stone, and should dead faint at the sound of a pistol, but I was not
going to _let on_ that to her)—so, ‘True for you, ma’am,’ I said,
though I was fairly bothered, but made _bould_ to add, ‘Sure no lady
could attend to the Parliament-house and the wants of a large small
family.’

“‘Oh,’ she said, smiling, ‘no married lady, I suppose, would think of
entering Parliament, it would be very awkward indeed when a right
honorable lady-member was delivering her opinion on the malt tax, or on
the duty on bread-stuffs, just as the ladies on the opposition benches
cried out ‘Hear, hear,’ to be interrupted by a message from the _other
house_, of ‘Please, ma’am, the baby wants you.’’

“Well, I saw a great deal of good sense in this, and thought it would be
better for women to be content to be women. I am sure we used to be very
happy long ago, before this came into our heads, but the landlady I told
you of did not think so: she has two or three friends that come and talk
over all the domestic and un-domestic arrangements of all their
‘gossips:’ one of these ladies is a widow—for the second time; and they
say she was the death of the first by her tongue, and of the second by
her temper, maybe the one helped on the other against both the poor
fellows! any how, they both are dead, and she makes a great boast of
never taking a third; they say she was never asked: she is what’s called
a ‘strong-minded woman,’ she would say any thing, or do any thing; and
what I can’t understand—though she is forever abusing the men, and
letting on she hates them and their ways—is that she does every thing
in the world she can to seem manly. She tramps about in high-heeled
boots, with straps; she speaks in—what she calls—a ‘fine, manly tone,’
and hates soft voices, because they are _womanly_; she has a way of her
own, of turning the rights of women into the rights of men; she parts
her hair at the side, and turns it in an under roll all round—‘because
it is like a man’s;’ and yet she calls ‘them men’ bears and brutes
enough to fill the zoology gardens; and though she grumbles because men
tyrannize over women, she is bringing up her _son_ to have his way in
every thing, and makes his sister give the cake from her hand, and the
orange from her lips to pamper him.

“Now that’s mighty quare to me—she is the landlady’s prime
minister—her name is Mrs. Blounet. Then there are the two Miss
Hunters—Miss Cressy and Miss Mary Jane. Miss Cressy is a fine stately
woman—all bone—and high-learned, and has spoken more than once on
‘Man, the oppressor;’ but, though Miss Mary Jane dresses bloomer, she
does not abuse her fellow-creatures as badly as Miss Cressy. She is five
years younger, and very good-looking—by candle-light. To be sure it is
wonderful how the tongues of the three go against mankind, when they’re
all together, and the landlady making one little lament after another,
how that her husband does this, and doesn’t do that; and this often
makes me think of what I heard of often, from one we both loved—you
will remember _who it was_ when I tell you the advice. ‘If you would
lead a happy life, never tell your husband’s faults to any ear but his
own; a woman who makes her husband’s failings a subject for
conversation, is unworthy his respect or his affection.’ And, if you
mind, aunty, the same woman—the heavens be her bed!—used to say, we
had two ears and but one tongue: a sign that we should not say all we
hear. Anyhow, it would bother the saints to hear the talk of them—Mrs.
Blounet hitting ever so hard at Miss Cressy and Miss Mary Jane for being
old maids; and, Miss Cressy especially, turning upon Mrs. Blounet for
having two husbands—not at a time, though. It was wonderful the talk
they used to have, and the suppers; and then Miss Cressy disappeared in
the evenings, and poor Mr. Creed—that’s the landlady’s
husband—declared she served at a confectioner’s of an evening _in the
dress_; and my mistress said that sort of thing would crush ‘the
movement altogether;’ as if the dress was thought to be ever so healthy
and convenient, its going into that class as a show, and a vulgar
attraction, would prevent its ever being recognized as respectable in
England. Then Mrs. Blounet took stronger than ever to lecturing in pink
trousers—she weighs thirteen stone—and a gray ‘tunic,’ she calls it;
but it is just a short petticoat pleated full. Oh! so short.

“And Miss Mary Jane was wonderful, except when Mr. Creed had any
gentlemen visitors; _then_ she would allow that Alexander the Great, and
Bonaparte, and a few more, were equal to us. But the worst of it was
that this spirit of Bloomer was quite upsetting our house: the landlady
took to writing about the rights of woman, and left every one of her
duties uncared for. Mr. Creed is a police inspector of the P division,
and often wanted a hot cup of coffee, but Mrs. Creed downright refused
to make it. The baby did as it liked. The only thing its mother
corrected was _proofs_!—long strips of printed paper, like dirty
farthing ballads; and Mrs. Blounet and she would sit all day, just
making mischief, and writing the _botheringest_ nonsense that ever was,
while my mistress might wait for her dinner. Think of three guineas
a-week for three rooms, and done for!—and yet not able to get a chop
dressed, because the landlady is practicing the _rights of women_—by
giving us no rights at all. Now, isn’t it quare? And it was worse and
worse she was getting, so that between her and the east wind, we had
neither peace nor quiet—all the morning she was reading newspapers, and
correcting them ‘proofs;’ all the evenings, attending public meetings.
And the poor babby!—I have heard her tell her husband that if he wanted
it washed, he must do it himself, for she had the rights of her sex to
attend to, and it was as much his business as hers to mind it. Oh! it’s
wonderful when politics get into a woman’s head how they drive nature
out of it!—they beat small tea-parties, and fairs, and dances, and
patterns—ay, and falling in love—out and out for making a woman forget
herself. And yet if there’s a thing in the world she is proud of, it is
that babby, and sitting at the head of her tea-table, pouring out tea,
and laying down the law. You used to say, aunty dear, that a woman never
went out and out to the bad, until her heart got into the wrong place:
indeed, you and the landlady would not agree at all; _for in almost_
_every thing she had reasoned herself out of nature_—and that’s what
they try to do—but just wait until I tell you how things went on. We
were very uncomfortable: my poor mistress kept waiting for her dinner,
and if I had not studied a cookery-book as hard as ever Father
Jonas—dear holy man!—studied his breviary, she must have gone days and
days without a bit of proper food, for there is but one poor fag of a
servant, who was born on her legs, and has kept on them ever since, to
cook, and wash, and walk with the children, and lay the cloth, and wait
the table, and go everybody’s messages, and open the door, and bear the
ill temper of the parlors, drawing-rooms, and every floor, and faction
in the house. Well, since the landlady took up with the rights of women,
no slave in the free states of America has been so overworked as that
poor girl; among other things, the landlady reproached her for taking no
pride in laying out supper for the ‘great movers,’ as she called them,
‘in the cause of women:’ and the girl asked what good the ‘movement’ was
to her, except to give her more work. Well, you should have heard the
landlady’s tongue go after that—no one that did could ever forgot
it—how she reproached her for want of public spirit, and proper
feeling—and ‘sympathy.’ Now the best of it is, that this good woman’s
husband is—as I said—a Police Inspector, though she tried hard and
long to make me believe he had a ‘situation in the city,’ which did not
sound like policeman. You see, darling, the English are grown very like
ourselves in _that_; my mistress says, that a great deal of the pride
and spirit they took in honest labor and its profits are gone; and
forgetting the respect due to great people—I mean, aunt, great good
people, and great good things—they run into every little dirty short
cut to wealth they can find; and after all sorts and kinds of
money—like mad: in fact, she says,—that there are as many at ‘_their
dirty diggings_’ in the city of London, as in that place, they call it
by the name of California, in a far away country. Now, to take pride out
of mere money there and then, seems of all things the most unnatural for
those who have souls in their bodies: the understanding that two and two
make four, doesn’t seem much to be proud of, and yet that’s the
beginning and end of half the knowledge and pride going—of all the
knowledge the gold-seekers care about, just as if grubbing up and
counting up would make them all as one as the rale quality; and then, if
you say a word, they get up a cry of

        ‘A man’s a man for a’ that,’

and bother ye’r heart out with ‘it’s nothing what a man _was_, but what
he _is_;’ and so I say, but with a different meaning,

        ‘A grub’s a grub for a’ that;’

and don’t tell me! all the wealth of California and Australia to the
back of it, wont change a man; what he was, he is, unless something
brighter than gold comes over him; the seeking and loving money never
purified a heart yet, nor raised a man the breadth of a straw.

        ‘It’s not the wealth, but how you use it.’

I see and hear a deal about wealth, but something keeps stirring in my
heart, and whispering in my ear, which, as a poor girl, I’ve no right to
talk about; there are ways of working up like the little grain of
mustard seed my mistress reads of, that grew into a great tree, and
sheltered the houseless and homeless. Now _that_ is a fine thing to
think of, and I delight in a little story of a mouse letting a lion out
of a net—there’s great comfort in _that_—and I feel

        ‘A man’s a man for a’ that,’

when I hear tell of a little old man who, blessed be God! first thought
of Infant Schools—Oh! it’s them are the blessings. The things I love
best, are the things that teach people how to keep from sin—of the two
I like them better than what takes them out of it. And when I remember
WHO sent Temperance abroad to the four quarters of the globe—so that
even gentlemen are ashamed of being tipsy—and how as a regenerator that
Temperance is only next to Godliness—there’s a glory for Ireland! And I
think of a fine ancient white-headed saint in Manchester, Wright by name
and nature, who remembers, as my dear mistress says, to tread in his
Master’s footsteps, who was sent, ‘not to call the righteous, but
sinners to repentance.’ And I think of the charities, grander than the
Pyramids of Egypt my cousin writes home about; charities purifying the
great sins of great London; charities, Aunt darling, increasing every
year, and as each new one starts up, from the brain maybe of some poor
working man, the people cry out, as with one voice, ‘This can’t be done
without.’ I am glad of such thoughts, and such knowledge, for I’ll tell
you the truth, I mortally abominate them great bloated gold-finders.
When I think of the _gold-loving_ English, I could send all the Fathers
of the Church against them, with bell, book, and candle. When I think of
the _other things_, Aunt dear, why I can only pray that they may be
remembered to them as a people, at the last day;—and I’m willing to do
penance for the prayer, if so be it’s a sin!

“But it’s high up above Bloomerism, and all other follies I’ve got,
_sure_ enough; only as the lark said, I must come down some time. At
last the house became a fair Babel, worse than what I’ve heard of
Donnybroke itself, when the boys used to cry out, ‘Oh! the glory’s left
ould Ireland—twelve o’clock, and no fight;’ and when the poor fellows
would be going about the Fair green, shouting, ‘Who’ll fight me for the
sake of St. Patrick.’ The man of the house was sorely to be pitied, he
was a mighty quiet man; and impossible as it may seem, very fond of his
vixen of a wife (talk as you will, there’s mighty little reason in
love,) and his baby; and moreover, he was very little at home at all,
which ought to have made her all the pleasanter when he was in it, for
it’s very easy to find words going sharp, when a man’s ever and always
_molly coddling_ about a house, and bothering about every in and out, no
ways becoming to him. Of late, she was always grumbling when he went
out, though it was about his business—and yet never peaceable when he
came in; I wondered how he took it so easy, but there is no use ever
interfering betwixt married people; no matter how bitter they are
to-night, they may be all like sugar and honey to-morrow morning, and
whatever you say to one, is sure to go to the other—they’re not safe to
make or meddle with; if you want to make peace, you must never let one
know what the other says when they’re in their ‘tiffs;’ and to keep quit
of that you must tell more woppers than is at all pleasant to carry,
particularly when the priest is cross, and _puts heavy weights on the
penances_.

“I kept as clear of both husband and wife as I could, though they would
come now and again, and tell me their troubles; the landlady blaming the
tyranny of mankind, and the badness of the laws—and the husband
bewailing that she had got among the bloomers; I hinted that may be if
the dress which she only wore at their meetings was burned, it might put
her off her fancy; but he said, ‘he couldn’t do that—she looked so
pretty in it;’ was not that foolish? but Aunt, dear, men is that—and
think more of a pretty face with a sharp tongue—than of a plain one,
that has nothing to say but goodness. Well, he gave in to her—it seemed
so in every thing for ever so long, but I sometimes thought that smooth
water runs deep. One evening he told her he was going to have a few of
his friends come there, and he hoped she would do her best to make them
comfortable; she rose at this, and said she wasn’t going to be no man’s
slave, and that if he had company, he must attend to them himself; and
that she would dress as she pleased, and have one of her own friends
with her, and sit at the head of her tea-table—like the queen; well, he
said he hoped she would wear the dress, and have her friend by all
means, and he would give her as little trouble as possible; instead of
this putting her into good humor, it made her quite fractious, for she
liked to be contradicted, that she might have something to complain of:
they went on jangling all day—I heard her say:—

“‘The world never will be right until we change places.’

“‘My love,’ he answered, ‘I thought you wanted us all to be in the same
place.’

“‘Not I indeed,’ she said, ‘you are much more suited to be a slave than
I am; content that every thing should be as it is, so that you may not
have the trouble of moving it—augh!’

“‘Very true, my dear.’

“‘I only wish they would make ME an Inspector of Police—I would soon
get things in order—I only wish I was a man!’

“‘I wish you were, my dear!’

“‘You know you don’t wish any such thing—Oh yes! you would like finely
to be trampled upon, as all poor women are—but _I_ don’t wait on your
friends, you may depend on _that_: you may snub me as you always do, and
set the baby crying, that my maternal feelings may be worked on to
attend to it; you may spill the tea-kittle into the fire, that I may be
forced—yes, Mr. Peter Creed—_forced_ to light it again, you having
first sent the other white slave out for cigars and muffins—but from
this hour I’ll pluck up a spirit!’

“‘Which spirit, my love?’

“And so they went on; I wondered how he could bear it; for she told him
over and over again, he was only fit for woman’s work; but my dear
mistress says, its always the way—the gentle quiet men get the vixens;
and surely young maids are so gentle, that one wonders where the old
vixens come from! However, in the course of the evening, as she was
flourishing down in her ‘bloomers,’ she told me that she had made up her
mind not to do a hand’s turn, let Peter manage as he might; but sit as
grand as Cromwell, at the head of her tea-table—pour out her tea, and
talk of the wrongs of woman! She was as proud of her beautiful chaney as
of her baby. Well, about an hour after, before any one came, I met a
strange woman on the stairs, a very tall, thin woman, and then there was
a knock at the door; Mrs. Creed kept firm, the poor servant was out; but
to my surprise, the tall woman sprang up from somewhere, and introduced
the gentlemen to the bloomer ladies in the parlor—oh what a _skrietch_
the landlady gave. ‘Why,’ she said, ‘that is Peter, that is my
husband—in my best apple silk.’

“‘Changed places—that is all,’ said the Inspector of the P Division,
coolly; ‘we agreed, my good friends, (the first time we have agreed
since the new movement,) that I was intended by nature to be one of the
_fair_ sex, and my wife—(according to the old fashion,) to be one of
the _foul_; so I have taken her place, and when the hour comes, she will
accompany you to Great Scotland Yard, and take my duty, while I attend
to the house and baby.’ After this speech, he plumped down at the head
of the tea-table, the seat she delighted in, and began placing the
things—or rather misplacing them—and pouring out the tea. Oh, if you
could but have seen her! At first she and her friend, Miss Cressy,
stormed; and when they did, the men laughed so loudly, as to drown the
storming; then she flew at her husband like a mad cat, and tore his cap,
and a cup and saucer were broken; upon which she sat down and went into
determined hysterics—the men declaring it was the first time their
Inspector had ever occasion to use vinegar and burnt feathers; then a
basin of water was thrown over her to bring her to, and in the midst of
it the baby cried; just as a fierce cat will run to its kitten—the
screaming took another turn, and she called out ‘My child, my child!’
but the men would not let her move—and the Inspector rushed out and
returned bringing in the baby, _hush-owing_ it in his arms, and talking
all kinds of nursery nonsense to it, and dancing it as a woman would,
but far more roughly: then he placed it on his knee, and stuffed cake
into its mouth; and then a knock came to the door, with a message that
the Inspector of the P Division was wanted immediately, as there was a
fire in Holborn; and Peter insisted that the new superintendent of the P
Division should act up to her words and go; he had done all according to
her wishes, and to please her, had resolved to dress as a woman, and
perform all a woman’s duties; and she must therefore take his place, and
act his part; that she had declared publicly and privately that she was
the better man of the two, and he therefore insisted she should now
prove it, and that his friends would see that she did so. I could hardly
tell whether to laugh or cry, I was so frightened for fear the poor
innocent baby should get hurt; and because it continued screaming, the
father went to the cupboard and emptied a whole bottle full of that
wicked Daffy’s Elixir, which the women here of that class, half in
ignorance, half in laziness, give their infants to keep them quiet; and
seemed as though he was going to pour it at once down the dear baby’s
throat. Och hone! it was _then_ I pitied the poor mother.

“‘Oh, Peter, Peter!’ she called out, ”even a spoonful is too much.
Don’t—don’t. Oh, just give my baby to myself again, and I’ll never be a
Bloomer;“ and then the dreadful instigator of the mischief shook her
head at her, and cried, ‘For shame, for shame,’ and harangued about
consistency, and called upon her ‘to be worthy of herself, and go to the
fire and command the force, not like a man, but—a woman!’ And all the
time the poor mother was struggling to get at her baby; and, for fear of
mischief, I turned over the cup—though to be sure it did for the
apple-green silk. Poor woman! she could see nothing but her child, and
hear nothing but its cries. ‘Give me my baby, and go to your duty, and
I’ll never go near a Rights of Woman woman as long as I live,’ she
repeated.

“‘Oh you unworthy member!’ cried her _friend_. ‘If you had a drop of the
old Roman blood in your veins you would sacrifice home, husband, child,
to the public good.’

“Now, aunt, think of that being said before me—and I being a Roman
born, bred, and reared—as you and Father Doyle know well—as if female
Romans did not care for their children! I gave it to her then. I never
let my tongue go as I did then, since I’ve been in the country. She said
she should not forget me, and I told her the remembrance would be
mutual. Roman blood, indeed! I saw her out of the house, and going down
the street, with a gang of boys after her, calling out, ‘There’s an old
Bloomer—there’s an old Bloomer!’

“While I was busy with her the poor landlady got her baby, and humbled
herself—as was right—and in another hour the house was quiet enough,
and the Inspector gone to his duty. The next morning my dear good
mistress sent for the landlady.

“‘I suppose,’ she said to me, going up stairs, ‘I shall lose my lodgers
as well as my character.’

“Now my mistress says, that of all laws the law of kindness is the
strongest; and, though the landlady entered the drawing-room with every
nerve in her body set for a battle, the tears came into her eyes by the
time my mistress bade her good morning and told her to sit down—of
course, I came away. When Peter came home that evening, I heard his wife
go—rather slowly, but she did go—to the door; and I heard _him_ say,
‘Thank you, my love—this is very good of you.’ And when I told my dear
lady this, she smiled the old smile, and went on talking so sweetly to
me, that I judged it was just the way she talked to her.

“‘Ah!’ she said, ‘it is very wrong to go on laughing at follies that are
likely to lead to evil. Not but what ridicule will sometimes gain a
quicker victory than reason; but it leaves an ugly scar, which marks to
the death.’ (I always put down her exact words.) ‘Whether the young or
the ignorant listen patiently or not, to reproof or advice, it is no
less the duty of the old to give it; but to be done usefully, Ellen, it
must be done kindly. I should have talked to this young creature before,
and not have suffered her to go on in her folly without remonstrance. It
is a vain creature, as I might have known by the cards—that was one
turn of the vanity, this is another. All love of notoriety is vanity;
it’s wonderful the forms it takes. One man wants to write a book before
he can spell; another talks of joining the legislature because he has
been listened to at a vestry; another’s desire leads to heading charity
lists—very useful, if he pays the money. One woman piques herself on
small hands, and lays them on the top of a muff intended to keep them
warm; another gets up an ancestry; another, (the vulgarest,) talks of
her rich friends and her accounts at her banker’s, or stuffs your ears
with titles, committed to memory from the peerage. But these, Ellen, if
you understand them, are innocent vanities, doing no harm. The ill-spelt
book will never be published; if the would-be orator gets into
parliament, he continues a ‘single-speech Jack’ to the end of his days;
the small hands become chilblained; the rich friends get into the list
of uncertified bankrupts, the titles are soon drilled off; but the
vanity which takes a woman from the sacred duties of home to display her
weakness abroad—and unsexes her—strikes at the root of our domestic
happiness, and should be treated accordingly. I should have talked to
her before, Ellen—I should indeed!—kindly, you know, and nothing
daunted even if repulsed. And I am not sure but that kindness can turn
even vanity to good account. There are plenty of mischievous people
always ready to start new wrongs and new sorrows as causes for
discontent; and, between you and me, Ellen, if more extensive employment
could be given to women, they would not get into such imaginary
troubles; they would have more to do. In gentle, profitable employment
the legislature—law-makers, Ellen—have neglected our interests now and
then; but short tunics and long trowsers wont alter laws, you know. That
young woman confesses she never knew she had any thing to complain of
until it was put into her head. And—it makes me smile—but she says,
the folly of the thing never struck her until she saw that six-foot-two
Peter of hers, with his black whiskers and broad shoulders, _in her
dress_, spoon-feeding the baby! She bitterly resents his exposing her to
the ridicule of his companions; but I reminded her she had exposed
herself by her attempts at establishing so unblushing a notoriety.
Certainly the landlady is a changed woman, poor thing! poor thing!’

“It will be some time, dear aunt, before I will be able to write to you
again, for we are going to a fine watering-place—over the seas—to seek
that health for my mistress that is so plenty on our hill-side. Oh,
dear! if every thing in ould Ireland was as plenty as health, what a
people we should be!

“Ever, with a heart and a half, your own

                                                     “Nelly Nowlan.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     =YESTERDAY—TO-DAY—TO-MORROW!=


                    =BY CHARLES D. GARDETTE, M. D.=


        Last night an aged spirit, worn with care,
          Forsook its earthly tenement—to soar
        To that unknown, mysterious Refuge, where
          The troubled rest—the weary toil no more!

        Gently and painfully the “Essence” crept
          From the o’ertasked clay, and all was still!
        Dimmed eyes saw through their tears—the sufferer slept,
          And stricken hearts throbbed with a grateful thrill.

        As prayers went up, hope-laden, to the throne
          Of the Omnipotent! All vain! All vain!
        Death hath already one more life-blade mown!
          Rise, lone ones, see! kneel! kneel and pray again!

                    *     *     *     *     *

        The sun, this morn, looked with unclouded face
          O’er the new wakened earth, and Nature smiled
        Upon her children with a freshened grace,
          From last night’s harrowing vigil undefiled!

        A festal scene! bright eyes beam doubly bright,
          And loving hearts thrill yet more lovingly,
        A youthful pair in blissful bond unite,
          And Heaven approves their pledge of unity!

        Thy brightest smile, oh Morn! thou need’st must wear!
          Thy fairest flowers, oh Nature! thou must strew!
        To light these young hearts on their path of care,
          And with fresh fragrance wavering hopes renew!

                    *     *     *     *     *

        Drearily, heavily, through the thick air
        Struggles the sunbeam to pierce with his glare!
        Droopingly, listlessly, hang the wet leaves;
        Slowly the mist trickles down o’er the eaves
        Seeming, in monotone mournful, to say—
        “Dust to dust!” “Time flitteth!” “What is to-day!”
        Silently, solemnly, on the damp sod,
        Kneel a few stricken ones, humbly, to God!
        Tearfully, trustfully, goes up the prayer:
        “Him they loved—him they lost”—may they meet there!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           =AMONG THE MOORS.=


                        =FROM HOUSEHOLD WORDS.=


Arrived at Cadiz in 1847, after a ramble through Spain, we felt an
irresistible desire to take a peep at Morocco. We strongly desired to
see what Mauritania’s children were like; whether they had black or
copper-colored faces; whether they wore turbans or caps, sandals or
hose, mantles or jerkins; whether they resembled our play-going
recollections of Othello. Exactly at ten o’clock, one night late in
October, this desire pressed so strongly upon us, that we decided that
existence could not be tolerated an hour longer without an instant
departure for Morocco. The beautiful blue Mediterranean was scarcely
rippled by a wave; the moon shed a glorious light over its glassy
surface, while its bed seemed formed of the myriads of stars which the
deep, still waters reflected. A lazy felucca lay motionless on the
shore; and, in her, a lazy boatman was stretched at full length. We
questioned him as to the practicability of our instant embarkation for
Morocco. He turned up his head, eyed us inquisitively, as if to satisfy
himself how mad we were, told us to “Go with God,” coiled himself up,
and disposed his limbs in that posture of utter, uncompromising
idleness, of which only the limbs of Spanish boatmen and Italian
lazzaroni are capable. The master of a sailing-vessel had, however, more
confidence in our sanity and in his own bark, and we struck a bargain
with him.

The terms of this treaty were strictly fulfilled; for, aided by a light,
fresh breeze, which sprung up soon after we had embarked, we dashed into
the pretty bay of Tangiers early on the following morning. Our colors
were soon hoisted; and, in obedience to conventional laws, a messenger
was dispatched to ask permission for us to land. Meanwhile, we lay there
at anchor under a heavy fire of telescopes. Although sailing under the
Spanish flag our English faces were soon recognized, and the British
consul politely came out in a small boat to receive and to conduct us on
shore. Landing in these parts is a sort of national amusement, in which
lookers-on take especial delight. It is a practical joke, performed by a
party of Moors, who play with every gentleman who desires to land, a
game of pickaback through the shallow water of the shore. Ladies are
carried, more solemnly, in chairs upon a pair of swarthy Moslem
shoulders. The Moors are a handsome race of men; not nearly so black as
the Othello of the stage, not generally tall, but the turban and haick
add greatly to their apparent height. They also make the most of
themselves by an upright and dignified carriage. Their black eyes are
full of fire and intelligence. Their bronze complexions and long,
swarthy beards, contrast strongly with their snow-white costume.

The circumstance of arriving on a Sunday was favorable to our first
impression of a Moorish town. English, French, Spanish, and American
flags were gayly floating from various buildings, with the colors of all
nations who are civilized enough to afford a Tangerene consulate. The
natives did their part to make the appearance of things cheerful; for it
happened to be market-day, and the market-place presented a busy and
sparkling picture. Moors gravely discussing matters of commerce, and
totally indifferent to the appearance of foreigners: Arabs displaying
their rich merchandise to the best advantage: Jews scrutinizing some
curious relic on which they were asked to lend money (the rate of
interest paid for cash so advanced is three-pence per month on the
dollar): women sheeted up in their haicks, with only one eye visible,
hurrying through the crowd, neither looking to the right nor to the
left, fearful of encountering with their one eye the rude glance of man:
laden camels instinctively bending to be disburdened of their load of
fruit, grain, or other load: bands of wild-looking negroes, with
scarcely any covering, hooting in tones most dissonant to civilized
ears. To all these discords was added a constant din of Moorish music,
which appeared to give ecstatic delight to the negroes, whose wild
gestures were marvelous to behold.

Our attention was, by this time, attracted to the houses which, from
their peculiar construction, offer a complete contrast to any thing
European; the rooms are built so as to form a square court, which is
open to the sky; the exquisite climate precluding the necessity of using
their painted oil-skin canopy, except as a protection against the heavy
rains by which they are occasionally visited. This court is covered with
a carpet or matting, according to the season; and in the centre there is
a fountain, which—continually playing—produces a delicious freshness;
the windows, instead of looking on to the streets, open generally
into—and receive light and air from—this court. By this arrangement,
the sun is entirely excluded, and the houses are frequently found cooler
and more comfortable, notwithstanding the heat of the climate, than
European dwellings. The roofs are quite flat, and form terraces, on
which people walk in the evening, or whenever the sun is sufficiently
temperate. Looking down, from this promenade, the town has a singular
appearance; the minarets of the mosques alone standing out in relief
from the flat, low, white roofs, give it the appearance of a large
church-yard; and this impression is strengthened by the repeated call to
prayer from the mosques. It begins at day-break, and is continued at
intervals all day; the Moslem priest addressing himself alternately to
the four winds.

A considerable part of the population of most Moorish towns is Jewish,
and they form—it need scarcely be said—separate and distinct class,
being wholly different in habits, manners, and dress from the
Mahometans. The male costume is prescribed by law: it consists of a
tunic or gaberdine of dark blue-cloth, fitting close to the throat, and
descending to the ankles, slashed at the sides, and trimmed with braid;
a row of small buttons are ranged down the front, and the slashed
sleeves are ornamented to correspond; there is an under-vest of while
cotton buttoned to the throat, which one sees by the upper part of the
blue dress being left open; the white sleeves are also seen under the
open sleeves of cloth; the waist is encircled by a handsome Moorish
scarf, of satin, with stripes of all the brightest colors worked in with
gold thread; yellow slippers, and a little black cloth cap, resembling
that worn by the modern Greeks, complete the Jewish dress worn
throughout Morocco. It is a classic costume: the sombre tint of the
tunic contrasting, not unpleasingly, with the white Moorish dresses on
which the eye is constantly dwelling.

It is said, that many of the frail daughters of Israel offending against
their own strict laws, become followers of the Prophet to avoid
celibacy, which is the penalty of indiscretion inflicted on Jewish
maidens; but, one never hears this charge of heresy brought against the
men, who—having no indulgence to crave from Mahometanism, are
proverbial for a scrupulous observance of their religious feasts and
fasts.

We had not remained long in the city before I was afforded the rare
privilege of being present at a Jewish wedding. The solemnization of the
marriage rite is preceded by seven days’ feasting and rejoicing at the
house of the betrothed. Open house is indeed kept, where the friends and
relations of the affianced couple meet every day to eat, drink, and be
merry. The guests usually assemble before noon. On my arrival at twelve
o’clock, the rooms were already filled with visitors. I was conducted
first to a chamber where the bride, prettily attired and veiled, was
seated on a bed to be looked at: Moorish modesty forbidding that she
should take any other part in the merry-making than that of silently
looking on. Passing through the adjoining rooms—where cakes, wine and
fruit of every description were spread in abundance—I was ushered into
the presence of the family group and their large circle of friends, all
of the gentler sex: male visitors being rigidly prohibited. I have
rarely seen any thing more classically beautiful than the faces of those
Jewish women. One more beautiful and pensive-looking than the rest
appeared to take a prominent part in the affair. She was magnificently
dressed in amber-colored and crimson silk damask embroidered with gold,
white silk with satin stripes; spangles; a jacket of pale blue velvet
embroidered with gold and trimmed with gold buttons; sleeves of white
gauze, curiously pinned together behind the back, leaving the arms
exposed, the rounded form of which was set off by costly bracelets, in
keeping with a profusion of jewelry in the shape of brooches, ear-rings,
and necklace. A handkerchief was tied over the head, and red slippers,
embroidered in silver, completed the dress.

Dancing appeared to form the chief entertainment, and was kept up with
great spirit to the discordant sounds of sundry tomtoms and a fiddle.
The want of harmony was, however, amply compensated by the singularity
of their national dances. They are intended to represent the human
passions. They were generally performed singly, though sometimes two
persons stood up together, each holding a gay-colored handkerchief
coquettishly over the head. They seldom moved from one spot, and their
movements were nearly all with the body, not with the legs. Their
figures were entirely unconfined by stays. The Terpsichorean part of the
rejoicing terminated about six o’clock, and a sumptuous banquet
followed, of which about thirty of the guests partook. The table was
decorated with massive candelabra, and a costly service of plate, which
is generally an heir-loom in the families of these rich Jewish
merchants.

As a looker-on, I was not asked to join in the feast; but I am not
unacquainted with the mysteries of the Jewish _cuisine_ and can
pronounce them capable of satisfying even Epicurean tastes. We had
already seen some portions of the viands which now smoked upon the
board; for, according to the ancient Jewish custom, the animal part of
their food undergoes a process of sprinkling with salt and water, and
during this operation it is placed in the open court, and is, therefore,
seen by all who may enter the house: indeed, the first thing which
attracted our attention on arriving was the goodly array of some two or
three dozen head of poultry, arranged in rows upon a wooden machine,
resembling a common garden flower-stand, where they were put to drain
out every drop of blood. The betrothed had, like myself, nothing to eat;
being condemned to remain daily on her show-bed, until the departure of
the guests.

I felt curious to know at what time a Moorish bride eats and drinks
during the eight days of purgatory to which she is subject; for at
whatever hour you enter you find her always in the same position. On the
eve of the eighth day she is exhibited until an unusually late hour, in
consequence of the customary display of the marriage gifts; all of which
are spread out upon the bed where she is sitting, to be curiously
examined by the visitors. Amongst the gaudy display of silk and gauze
dresses, scarfs, etc.—for the Jews are remarkable for their love of gay
colors—may be seen the long glossy tresses, of which the intended bride
is—according to the Jewish custom—always despoiled before marriage;
being, as wives, strictly forbidden to wear their own hair. They feel no
regret at losing what is said to be a “woman’s glory,” as it is
certainly one of her greatest ornaments.

On the morning of the eighth day, the friends and relations—who are to
be present at the ceremony—arrive as early as seven o’clock, to assist
the bride in the last duties of her toilet, which are somewhat onerous;
for a Moorish woman indulges freely in the use of rouge, white lead, and
powder. Her eyebrows and eyelashes are darkened, the tips of her fingers
are painted pink, and her nails are dyed with henna. These operations
over, scarf, head-dress and veil are put on by the woman of the highest
rank present. The bridal head-dress is formed of paste-board worked over
with silk, and profusely ornamented with jewels: it is very high, and
resembles in shape the papal crown. The toilet fairly achieved, the
damsel is conducted to the principal apartment, and placed in an
arm-chair, raised on a kind of dais about three feet from the floor; a
bride’s-woman standing on each side, holding in her right hand a long
wax-candle, such as those seen on the altars in Catholic churches. There
are no bridesmaids; their office being always performed by married
women: virgin eyes not being allowed to gaze on a marriage feast. The
important moment was now at hand: the moment which was to decide the
happiness or misery of the fair timid child, whose youth and beauty it
seemed a sin to sacrifice. She was only thirteen years of age.

In proportion as the preceding seven days had been joyous, the eighth
appeared solemn. The scene seemed to awaken sad memories in the minds of
those present. In the expression of one woman I fancied I could read a
mother’s grief for her dishonored child: in another, imagination
conjured up a wife weeping over her childless state; and—in the
latter—I was not mistaken, for I was afterward informed that the
beautiful, pensive-looking woman—whose dress we admired—had just been
divorced from her husband, having been wedded two years without
presenting him with a representative of his name. This alone was ground
for divorce.

All eyes were now turned toward the door: the betrothed peered through
her veil, as anxious to behold the ceremony as we were; and, as eight
o’clock struck, the Rabbi entered, followed by the bridegroom. Taking
his place in front of the bride’s chair, the bridegroom standing on his
right, and the guests in a circle round him; the Rabbi read aloud from
the Hebraic ritual the moral and social duties to be observed by the man
and wife. The greater part of the service is chanted—all present
lending their voices. A massive gold ring, of a strange form, was given,
to be worn on the forefinger of the right hand. The service ended, the
bride was carried in her chair of state to the chamber where she had
been exhibited during the preceding week; and—halting on the
threshold—a piece of sugar was given to her by the Rabbi, who, taking a
full glass of water, at the same time broke the glass over her head. The
sugar is typical of the sweets of Hymen: the water of its purity: and
the broken glass of the irrevocable character of the ceremony. The bride
was then placed again upon the bed, and her mother took her place beside
her, as if to guard the precious treasure until called upon to resign
her to her husband.

The ceremony of the sugar and broken glass only appertains to Jewish
weddings. The cutting off the betrothed’s hair is also peculiar to them:
but many of the Moorish and ancient Jewish rites have become identical.
The eight days’ feasting and the exclusion of male visitors are alike
common to both. A pair of female slippers placed on the threshold of the
door is a sign that no male visitor above the age of twelve may cross
it. The costume of the Moorish and Jewish bride is also the same, except
that women of the Shreefian family—or those descended from the
Prophet—wear green. In rich families, the wedding is always followed by
horse-races and fireworks. The women look on closely veiled, or—more
correctly—sheeted. The bride is carried through the streets in
procession, to the sound of music, in a sort of Punch-theatre, placed on
the back of a horse. If the procession pass a mosque, all the persons
composing it are obliged to take off their shoes and walk barefooted.
Lastly—the Moorish bride on arriving at her husband’s house is lifted
over the threshold of the door, lest she should stumble while entering,
which would be a fearful omen.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                   =THE OLD MAN’S EVENING THOUGHTS.=


                The former days return again—
                  I hear the cricket sing
                From its pastoral nook in the shaven mead,
                  And the lizard at the spring.

                From the silent realm, wild images
                  Come thronging round once more,
                The bounding limb, the gentle eye,
                  And the crooked form of yore.

                At the still twilight’s dewy hour,
                  Their varied tones I hear,
                As when I ranged these pastures o’er
                  In childhood’s sunny year.

                On the evening air a lay is borne,
                  Soft wandering up the vale,
                Where smoky wreaths o’er cottage brood,
                  Quiet as yon bright sail.

                The hamlet has its voices yet—
                  I hear them where I stand,
                And I love to fancy them still the lays
                  Of the olden minstrel band.

                The time is like those fairy hours
                  When life had no regret—
                I seem to feel its vernal breeze
                  Fanning these temples yet.

                Nature is ever beautiful,
                  Her form the youth of old;
                These limbs are tending to their earth—
                  Mind triumphs o’er the mould.
                                                F. G.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                  =MY FIRST INKLING OF A ROYAL TIGER.=


                      =BY AN OLD INDIAN OFFICER.=


          A change came o’er the spirit of my dream—
          The boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds
          Of fiery climes, he made himself a home,
          And his soul drank their sunbeams: he was girt
          With strange and dusky aspects: by his sleeping side
          Stood camels grazing; and some goodly steeds
          Were fastened near a fountain——       Byron.


Many years have elapsed since the occurrence took place which I am now
about to relate; but the period is yet fresh in my mind, when, shortly
after arriving at Madras, I was dispatched on a march of several hundred
miles to join my regiment, then stationed in the Deccan.

No sooner had our detachment crossed the rocky bed of the Kishnah, and
ascended the table-land beyond, than we found ourselves in quite a
different climate from the Carnatic. We now inhaled a dry and bracing
atmosphere; the mornings and evenings were deliciously cool, and a
blanket proved, under canvas, a not superfluous covering at night—for
it happened to be at that delightful period of the year when Nature, in
these sunny regions of the East, is still arrayed in all her gayest
holyday garb—the verdant garlands with which she is then decked out not
being yet faded by the withering influence of that simoom-like blast,
which, periodically sweeping across the desert, soon licks up with fiery
breath every sign of verdure and vegetation, leaving—except where
patches of hardy jungle intervene—naught over which the eye can rest
save a brown, arid, and burnt-up soil, here and there dotted with still
more bare, brown, and desolate-looking masses of stone and rock.

I must not, however, anticipate. On crossing the Kishnah, we entered a
region quite different in feature and aspect from that which we had
hitherto traversed since leaving the Coromandel coast. High, undulating
tracts of land—in some parts covered with low thorny thickets, in
others (at this season of the year) with high waving grass, amidst which
might occasionally be caught a glimpse of the graceful antelope, or from
whence the florikan and bustard were sometimes flushed; whilst peering
from an ocean of jungle verdure—like the back of a huge whale—some
dark denuded mass of rock, all bristling with native battlements and
forts, would occasionally protrude from the surrounding jungle or
“meidan,”[12] and pleasingly diversify the scene.

The nature of the vegetation, and agricultural products of the country,
appeared likewise to be completely changed, the moment we entered the
“Deccan,” from what we had been accustomed to witness in the low and
level plains of the Carnatic, which we had so recently left behind. The
cultivation of rice, with its concomitant swamps, had in a great measure
disappeared, and was replaced in the low grounds by waving fields of
Indian corn, and occasionally—though as yet but rarely—by the tall and
graceful sugar-cane; whilst Bengal gram,[13] and other stunted pulse,
marked the sites of the higher, and consequently drier and more arid
portions of the cultivated soil.

The feathery cocoa-nut and fan-like palmyra of the lower country had now
given way to the no less serviceable—and hardly less
beautiful—date-tree, which, although in this part of the world yielding
a scarcely palatable fruit, is nevertheless applied to an infinity of
useful purposes, and yields, moreover, a very considerable revenue to
the state. For each individual of these

        “Groups of lovely ‘date-trees,’
           Bending their leaf-crowned heads
         On youthful maids, like sleep descending,
           To warn them to their silken beds,”

was taxed to the annual amount of one rupee, which sum was strictly
exacted from the poor oppressed Ryot, by the zemindar intrusted with the
collection of the revenue of each particular district of the Nizam’s
dominions.

To the casual inquirer it might appear that such an impost would amount
to almost a prohibition on the culture of this tree; they nevertheless
abound in all parts of the country adapted to their growth; and this can
only be accounted for, from the numerous and manifold purposes to which
every portion of it is usefully and profitably applied. The fruit,
although in this part of the world coarse and rough to the taste, is
nevertheless made use of for different purposes by the natives; the
stems and leaves are severally converted into baskets and mats, and are
likewise employed to roof their lowly huts; but the chief produce of the
Indian date-tree is the “tara,” or, as called in English, “toddy,” it so
plentifully yields, and which is extracted by making deep incisions in
the trunk, for here—

        “The ‘date,’ that graceful dryad of the woods,
         Within whose bosom infant Bacchus broods,”

when thus tapped, readily gives forth a sweet, pleasant, and abundant
beverage, which, if partaken of at the cool hour of early morn, is both
refreshing and salubrious, but soon becomes a deleterious and
intoxicating liquor when fermented, by being exposed to the powerful
rays of a tropical sun. The tara, or toddy, in this condition is a
liquor much sought after, and often conducive to great irregularity and
crime amidst English soldiery in the East; and the vicinity of a “toddy
tope,” or date-grove, should for this reason be sedulously avoided in
the pitching of a camp.

On entering the Nizam’s dominions, after the passage of the Kishnah, the
sportsmen of our party found ample scope for the employment of their
fowling-pieces; for although snipe and water-fowl were here much more
scarce than in the low ground of the Carnatic, this deficiency was amply
made up, in the far greater abundance of larger and nobler game.

The rangers of the “meidan,” or open grassy “prairies,” through which
the line of march would now often lie for miles, therein found abundance
of hares, of partridges, and every variety of quail—occasionally got a
shot at a florikan, or a bustard; sometimes even stalked an antelope;
and enjoyed occasionally an opportunity of breathing their nags in a
gallop after the dog-hyæna, the wily little Indian fox, or a skulking
jackal. Such as adventured into the jungle in quest of painted partridge
or pea-fowl, sometimes recounted on their return to camp, that they had
witnessed indubitable traces of animals of a more formidable kind, and
described the appearance of what they concluded must be the foot-marks
of the royal tiger, which they had seen imprinted in the sandy bed of
the dry “nullahs,” or water-courses they had traversed during their
sporting excursions from the camp.

Although these conjectures of being occasionally on the trail of a
“Bagh,” (as the royal tiger is called in India) were repeatedly
confirmed by the protestations of such of the camp-followers and other
natives who might have been employed as “beaters,” still such complete
“Griffins”[14] were we all, that we could not bring ourselves to the
belief of being actually in the vicinity—perhaps often within the
spring—of so dangerous a customer, as, even in our profound ignorance,
we were all perfectly aware that a royal tiger must undoubtedly have
proved.

Rife with the impression that all “natives” are necessarily liars by
nature, without any “old hand” in Indian sports, to instruct and inform
us of the real state of things; and in spite of the repeated warnings we
received from our servants and camp-followers, we began, after a few
marches north of the Kishnah, to be extremely sceptical as to the very
existence of any tigers, near so much-frequented a thoroughfare as that
between Hyderabad and Madras; and it was only after a laughable
adventure, which might have been attended with fatal results, that we at
last found out our mistake.

Our camp was, on the occasion here alluded to, pitched near a large
village, or more strictly speaking, a small Mahommedan town, situated
between two lofty hills, composed of those bare and gigantic masses of
granite, so characteristic of the strange geological features of this
part of the country. I am however wrong in describing both these
elevations as bare and denuded masses of blackened rock. The most
northerly of the two possessed, in a most remarkable degree, those stern
features of aridity, but the crest of its opposite neighbor, crowned
with ruins—apparently the remains of some old stronghold or
castle—rose from amidst huge chaotic masses of granite, whose
interstices nourished the growth of innumerable parasitical lianes and
creeping plants, mostly of a thorny or prickly nature; amongst which the
wild cactus might be distinguished, even from the valley beneath, as
luxuriantly flourishing and widely spreading its fantastic, fleshy, and
thorn-covered growth.

The tents, pitched in the valley formed by those “ruins of some former
world,” had the full benefit of the refracted heat emanating from both;
and to this moment I can well remember the grilling we underwent on that
day, and the delight with which we hailed the prospect of the declining
sun, in order to be able to sally forth, and take our usual evening
stroll.

Accompanied by the assistant-surgeon doing duty with the detachment—a
remarkably short and corpulent personage from the “land o’ cakes,” who
stuttered intolerably, besides speaking the broadest Scotch—accompanied
by this nondescript character, who, with all his national peculiarities,
was, however, a most excellent fellow, and whom, for want of a better
“_nom de guerre_,” I shall here designate as Doctor Macgillivan; and
attended by a single “ghorawallah,” or “saïs” (_Anglice_, horsekeeper or
groom) did I, at the period in question, sally forth from the stifling
atmosphere of my tent, in order to breathe the cooling and refreshing
evening breeze. Thus accompanied, the doctor and myself bent our
footsteps toward the native town, in the vicinity of which our camp had
been pitched. We were soon within the precincts of its narrow streets,
and wandering through a densely-crowded bazaar.

To a “tazawallah” (a native term corresponding to that of a “Johnny
Newcome”)—to a young hand lately imported from Europe—in short, to the
animal commonly yclept a “Griffin,” in the East, the usual resort of a
large concourse of natives generally presents an untiring source of
interest and amusement. The different strange sights, sounds and
“smells,” which meet the eye, the ear, and the olfactories of the
uninitiated, would in themselves require a long chapter to describe.

This was the first place of any size or note we had yet visited since
entering the domains of His Highness the Nizam; and a single glance, as
we sauntered along the bazaars, sufficed to show that we were amongst a
people quite different from the long-subdued, slavish, and submissive
Hindoo inhabitants of the Carnatic.

Here the general outward characteristics of the natives appeared to be a
loftier bearing, and a lighter hue of complexion to what we had hitherto
seen within the territories of the Company, to the northward of Madras.
The predominant race—at least in the town itself—were (as Chiniah, my
horsekeeper, informed us) followers of the Prophet—haughty-looking
Mussulmans (Moormen, as they are often denominated by our countrymen in
the south of India) who, with erect gait and swaggering step, moved
proudly past us, their dark eyes flashing fire, their bearded lips
curled with contempt for the uncircumcised infidel Nussaranee:[15] the
hated “Ferringhees,” whom they longed, but dared not openly to insult.
Chiniah, who appeared to entertain a salutary dread of such
formidable-looking customers, begged us in no way to interfere with
their movements—

“Becase why,” said he, _sotto voce_, as if fearful of being overheard,
“Becase why—all Moormen great rascal, but these Deccanneewallahs bigger
rascals than all. Give plenty ‘galee’ (abuse) to master; suppose master
angry get, and strike ’em, then they quick take out tulwar or creese
(sword and dagger) and kill ’em quick!”

“Hout mon! ye dinna mean to say so!” stuttered out the doctor, “come
away then, we’ll hae nothing to say to such chiels, for I dinna at all
fancy the treatment o’ sic’ like kind of wounds.”

“Come along then, doctor—this way!” said I, perfectly agreeing with him
in his conclusions; “but, Chiniah, what are yonder two groups of men in
the choultrie, with plenty match-locks, swords, daggers, pistols, and
shields?” asked I, pointing to two armed and distinct parties, who
appeared to have lately arrived from a long and wearisome march; for
they looked way-worn, covered with dust and sweat, and were now
apparently preparing to rest, after the toil and heat of the day, but in
different compartments of the same “choultrie” or caravanserai: one of
those edifices appropriated in the East for the public use of all
travelers.

“Ahi! Saïb, come this way!” earnestly said Chiniah, “neber go near them
fellow. Deccannee Moormen—they big rascal: them fellow Seikhs and
Arabs, bigger rascal still: them cut every man’s, every woman’s throat:
them cut master’s throat if fancy take ’em!”

“Hout mon! come away,” interposed the doctor.

“But, Chiniah,” inquired I, “how do you know so much about these people,
whom I suppose you have never seen before?”

“I plenty know: I stop five year at Secunderabad in service of Captain
M——; him one great shikarree gentleman; him plenty hunt, plenty shoot,
plenty trabel, plenty speak Hindostanee. I plenty march with him—I
plenty better than English speak Hindostanee—when master learn
Hindostanee I can then plenty tings tell.”

Chiniah, who remained afterward for years in my service, told the truth;
he had really been long as saïs, or groom, in the service of one of the
keenest and best sportsmen of the Deccan; and, as I subsequently became
initiated into the “woodland craft” of this part of the world, I found
him invaluable from his local knowledge, his capability of enduring
fatigue, and often from the presence of mind which, on an emergency, he
has more than once displayed. He was, as he averred, far more of an
adept in Hindostanee than in the English tongue; however, after his own
fashion, he managed to enlighten us on the subject of the
formidable-looking groups of warriors who were now assembled in the
“Seraï.”

It appeared that they were Seikh and Arab mercenary troops, in the
service of the Nizam, and, as I afterward learned, a most refractory and
dangerous set of men, who, from their ferocity and numbers, had become
the terror of the inhabitants of Hyderabad, and whose long arrears of
pay were usually partly liquidated by obtaining grants from the
collection of the revenues of certain districts, where they often
exercised the most fearful acts of tyranny and oppression upon the poor,
mild, defenseless, and unoffending Telougoo cultivators of the soil; for
although the population of the towns in the Deccan be mostly composed of
Mahomedans, the fields are still cultivated by the aboriginal Hindoo
race of this portion of the formerly extensive and ancient empire of
Telingana.

As my worthy friend Dr. Macgillivan expressed an equally great aversion
to the treatment of gun-shot or match-lock wounds, as he had previously
manifested for such as were inflicted by the sharp edge of a Damascus
blade, we willingly turned from this dangerous locality, to perambulate
the more peaceful regions of the much-frequented bazaar.

In passing through Southern India, the traveler, although he generally
carries with him his own supplies, is never in want of the actual
necessaries of life; he can generally procure rice and ghee, fowls and
eggs, or an occasional sheep; but to every thing in the shape of
luxuries—unless we include what he has providently furnished himself
with—he must make up his mind to be a perfect stranger; and even fruit
of the commonest description is seldom to be had.

Since our departure from Madras, it was only at the large stations of
Nellore and Ongole that we had been able to procure this desirable
accessory to our daily meals; and we now, therefore, gladly hastened
toward a stall, on which were most invitingly displayed pieces of
water-melon and sugar-cane, guavas, custard-apples, sweet lemons,
plantains or bananas, and—what I have never before seen used as an
article of food—the fruit of the cactus, or prickly-pear tree, which
Chiniah assured us to be most palatable, and “very good body for!”
provided no other beverage were used to wash it down, save the “pure
element” in an unmixed and undiluted state.

Purchases of the tempting goods spread out before us, were soon made,
with directions to have them sent immediately to camp; but in settling
our account with the worthy retailer of the treasures of Vertumnus and
Pomona, we were not a little surprised at the much higher value he set
on the produce of the cactus, beyond that of his other horticultural
stores.

On inquiring, through the medium of Chiniah, as to the reason of this
difference of price, when from the very spot where we then stood, we
could see the prickly-pear trees—the sources from whence this store of
riches was derived—flourishing in all the wild luxuriance of nature,
amidst the lofty rocks towering high above, we were informed that it was
owing to the danger and difficulty of obtaining this species of fruit,
which, although growing wild in the stony crevices of the hill, was far
from easy to be procured; the natives having a great objection to repair
thither, through dread—as observed the worthy fruit-seller—of the many
tigers which infested the place, no less than of a certain “Jinn,” or
spirit, which was, he averred, in the habit of haunting—particularly
toward nightfall—the old ruin on the summit of the rock. As to the
existence of the tigers, we turned as usual, an incredulous ear; but the
“Jinn” excited our curiosity in no slight degree, and elicited the
desire to follow this perturbed spirit through the dilapidated recesses
of his romantic retreat.

“Ask the old gentleman,” said the doctor to Chiniah, “ask him if he
believes in the ‘ghaist,’ and what it is like?”

“Albuttah! most certainly;” was the reply of the “phulwallah,” or
fruit-seller, when thus questioned as to his belief, “there is no more
doubt as to the existence of the ‘Jinn,’ than of that of the ‘Baghs’
which nightly prowl amongst yonder rocks; although I have never seen
either myself, but people of unquestionable veracity have undoubtedly
beheld both. As to the ‘Jinn,’ sometimes he appears in one shape,
sometimes in another; sometimes as the ghost of the Hindoo Rajah, who in
the days of the Padshahs of Telingana, suffered himself and his
followers to be starved to death, rather than surrender his mountain
fortress to the victorious followers of the Prophet, who had besieged it
for many months. Some again have seen the spirit in the shape of a
Parsee, or Fire-worshiper, as those ‘Sheitanees’ (followers of the Evil
One) are said at one time constantly to have exposed their dead, to be
devoured by eagles and vultures on the top of yonder tower, of which the
remains are yet visible amidst the ruined walls still covering the
summit of the hill.”

Such was the purport of the communication of the fruit-seller,
translated by Chiniah after his own fashion, and the import of which so
fully aroused our curiosity as to determine us to attempt an immediate
ascent of the hill.

On being questioned concerning his personal knowledge of the localities
in question, Chiniah said he well knew the way to the summit of the
rock; and although ignorant of the abode of the “Jinn,” professed his
firm belief in the existence of tigers, having on one occasion
accompanied his former “sahib” on a tiger-shooting expedition to this
very spot; although he admitted that they had not been then successful
in the pursuit. Chiniah was, however, a bold and willing fellow; and
probably forgetting at the moment that he was no longer under the shadow
of the unerring rifle of his former lord, but acting as dry-nurse to a
couple of regular “griffs,” he unhesitatingly offered to second our
views by performing the part of guide. We accordingly forthwith started
on our exploratory expedition, in spite of the warning voice of the old
“phulwallah,” who unsparingly censured the rashness of the Ferringhees,
whom he stigmatized as being all “dewanah,” or, as the doctor would have
expressed it, “gone clean daft!”

Painful and toilsome to a degree was the ascent; but when breathless,
almost exhausted with fatigue, with our limbs and garments lacerated by
the numerous thorny brambles which had opposed our upward progress, we
at last succeeded in reaching the summit of the rock, we felt ourselves
amply repaid for all the toil and labor we had undergone.

Like a huge ball of fire, the eastern sun was just dipping its burning
orb behind the dark ocean of jungle which bounded our view to the west;
and whilst the rest of the landscape was already cast into that brief
twilight which so shortly precedes the rapidly approaching darkness of a
tropical evening, the white buildings of the town, and the whiter tents
composing our camp, pitched in the adjacent hollow, were already looking
dim and indistinct under the darkening shadow of the opposite hill: the
ruined pinnacles of the lofty “Guebres’ tower” (for such we were
determined to consider it) was still lit up by the rays of that
brilliant luminary in whose honor it had perhaps been raised by the old
fire-worshipers of yore—the time-honored followers of Zoroaster, who
was supposed to be the mysterious founder of this creed.

Both time and scene most appropriately combined in our favor to nourish
this poetic—though, may-be, far-fetched—idea: the crumbling Cyclopean
remains of many other massive ruins, which—as subsequent experience
taught me—bore in their solid structure unmistakable evidence of the
ancient architecture of the Hindoos, and whose solid and gigantic
materials could scarcely have been misplaced save by some convulsive
effort of nature: the huge disjointed and blackened fragments of rock
cast in every direction around, and forming the colossal stepping-stones
of our toilsome accent; all favored the impression that—

              “Each ravine, each rocky spire
        Of that vast mountain, stood on fire.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

The sun had set: the short twilight of the torrid zone was fast merging
into darkness, still we continued to explore every nook and corner of
the old ruined fort, until warned at last by Chiniah of the lateness of
the hour, we reluctantly prepared to retrace our steps.

“Day-time, this bad place—night, ’tis plenty worse!” observed he.
“Plenty dark come then: never can see road back to camp: then fall over
these big stones. Suppose them tiger come—no rifle got—what we can
do?”

“I suspect, Chiniah, your tiger is something like the ‘Jinn’ of the old
fellow of the bazaar,” replied I—“a pure creature of fancy!”

Although Chiniah was not sufficiently learned in the Saxon tongue to
understand, to its full extent, this figurative mode of speech, he
evidently caught the purport of the general meaning of what I said, and
replied rather testily that, although he knew nothing about the “Jinns,”
he could—if we wished it—show us the tiger’s lair; which, although
unsuccessfully watched by his former master, was undoubtedly the usual
abode of the “Pharka Bagh,” or “Tiger of the Hill,” of whose existence
there could not be the slightest doubt, from the many traces of him
which they had then observed—such as hair, skulls, bones, and other
remnants of the victims of his hunger, or his wrath.

“Come along, then,” said I: “and since we have not been able to discover
any signs of the ‘Jinn,’ show us now where this tiger of yours has
pitched his tent?”

Readily did Chiniah comply with this behest: his veracity had been
apparently called in question; and he seemed, moreover, gladly to avail
himself of the opportunity of descending from the summit of the hill,
around which darkness was fast spreading its leaden mantle, when—as he
justly observed—there might be considerable difficulty, as well as
danger, in finding our way back to camp.

Availing himself, however, of the still glimmering twilight, he
unhesitatingly struck into a sort of goat-track, in the opposite
direction to that of our ascent, which—winding down the face of the
rock—led us to the brink of a deep fissure or chasm, partly over-arched
by huge masses of granite, and the “brown horrors” of whose depths our
eyes could not fathom by that fast declining and uncertain light.

“There, sar! down there, big tiger, him live—look!” added he, in a
whisper, as if afraid of being overheard by the grim tenant of the dark
skeleton-strewed Golgotha, which yawned at our feet. “Look! them white
things all bones—bullock-bones, buckra-bones, man and woman bones,
children-bones, all sort bones, now plenty dark, can’t see—day-time
plenty can see. I go down there with Captain M——, but then tiger never
find: him gone out. Captain M——, one great Shikar gentleman; wherefore
tiger him plenty afraid: him then leave house: him go away to jungle.”

Suddenly stopping short in his interesting discourse, Chiniah, raising
his hand to enjoin silence, remained in a listening attitude; whilst,
struck by his sudden action, we peered still more intently and in
breathless silence into the depths of the abyss below.

A sort of rustling noise—as that proceeding from some large animal
making its way through underwood or brambles—was evidently perceptible
to us all: then through the nearly total darkness now pervading the
cavernous opening below, suddenly glistened forth two round, bright,
shining objects, glistening like living coals through the obscurity
around—and, ere we had time to form any conjecture as to their origin
or cause, an appalling roar issued forth from the yawning chasm at our
feet; and so loud, so deep, and so terrific was this awful sound, that
for a second it rooted us in silent horror to the spot, where we
remained fixed as if suddenly stricken by an electric shock.

“_Sauve qui peut_,” appeared next instant to have become—not the
“standing” but “running” order of the day. Chiniah, in his terror,
bounded downward, like a mountain goat, from rock to rock; and, being in
those days tolerably active myself, and moreover, well accustomed to
range “o’er the mountain’s brow,” I followed pretty closely in his wake;
for awhile losing sight and—I am ashamed to say—all recollection of my
more corpulent and less agile comrade, who was apparently quite
distanced in the race. Chiniah and myself had now well nigh, and without
accident, succeeded in reaching the bottom of the hill, which—as may
well be imagined—was effected in a considerably shorter time than that
occupied in our ascent; and whilst here traversing a broad, level, and
slippery slab of granite, on a very inclined plane, my feet suddenly
slipping from under me, during my still rapid course, I came heavily
down “by the stern,” as sailors would term it, on the hard surface of
the rock.

Ere I could regain my feet, I heard immediately in my rear a sort of
dull rushing sound. Making sure the tiger was now upon me, I gave myself
up for lost, and mentally resigned myself to my fate—when, to my
infinite relief and satisfaction, instead of being grappled by a deadly
foe, the cause of alarm shot rapidly past and proved to be neither more
nor less than the rotund corporation of my friend the Doctor;
which—after continuing its rotatory course, with all the impetus and
rapidity of a huge snow-ball or avalanche, along the steep, smooth, and
slippery surface that had caused my fall—was projected over the
precipitous ledge terminating the declivity, and then disappeared amidst
the sound of crashing branches and opposing brambles, through a dense
mass of underwood below. On regaining my feet and looking around, my
first sentiment was one of gladness, to find that the enemy was nowhere
to be seen; the next was a feeling of alarm at my companion’s still
unknown fate.

I cautiously approached the ledge over which I had seen him disappear,
and through an intervening mass of jungle and foliage I could
indistinctly perceive a white object struggling some twelve or fifteen
feet below, and from whence proceeded piteous sounds of suffering and
lamentation. This was the Doctor; who—after having shot over the ledge
of rock—had been securely lodged amidst the thorny, complex, and
massive leaves of a dense bush of cactus, or prickly pear, which grew
immediately below.

After a long _détour_, and some considerable delay, I succeeded in
approaching the spot where the poor Medico sat impaled, as it were, on
his prickly throne; and, with the assistance of Chiniah, succeeded at
last in liberating him from so uncomfortable a position, and then
conveyed him to his tent.

The reader, who may chance to know the nature of the thorns of the
cactus, will be able fully to appreciate the sufferings poor Doctor
Macgillivan underwent, together with the time and labor it took to
extract the innumerable prickles from that most prominent and vulnerable
part on which, by the laws of gravity, he had naturally lodged.

-----

[12] A Persian term, much used in Hindostan, and signifying a plain open
space of ground.

[13] A sort of pea, on which the horses are fed in India, and which in
Spain, under the denomination of “garbansos,” constitutes a general
article of human food.

[14] A term usually applied to a new-comer in India, and having a
synonymous meaning to that of “greenhorn.”

[15] Meaning “Nazarenes,” or Christians, who are likewise denominated
“Ferringhees,” or Franks.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.=


    _Papers from the Quarterly Review. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1
    vol. 18mo._

Another volume of “Appleton’s Popular Library”—books intended to
“quicken the intelligence of youth, delight age, decorate prosperity,
shelter and solace us in adversity, bring enjoyment at home, befriend us
out of doors, pass the night with us, travel with us, go into the
country with us.” The present volume contains some happily selected
papers from the London Quarterly Review, on “The Printer’s Devil,”
“Gastronomy and Gastronomers,” “The Honey Bee,” “Music,” and “The Art of
Dress;” papers which are gracefully written, and abounding in
interesting anecdote. Our favorite is the article on “Gastronomy and
Gastronomers,” in which the art of cooking is raised to its true dignity
as one of the Fine Arts, and its great exemplars are generally judged
according to the principles of the profoundest philosophical criticism.
The great cooks have found in the author of this article one born to be
their critic—the Schlegel of gastronomy. From the New Zealand cannibal,
with his “cold clergyman on the sideboard,” to the exquisite Brummel,
who “once eat a pea,” our author ranges at will, the interpretator of
palates. And in truth the subject is worthy of such an analyst. It is
generally conceded that the highest action of the mind, in the gladdest
rush of its creative energy, is combination. From combination proceeds
the picturesque, represented in literature by Shakspeare in England, and
Calderon in Spain. The essence of the picturesque is the “union,
harmonious melting down and fusion of the diverse in kind and disparate
in degree;” and we suppose that in this quality of mind the great cook
is preëminent. He creates, by combination, new dishes out of old
materials; is the author of edible Hamlets and deliciously flavored
Romeos; and appeals, not to gluttons and fat-witted beer guzzlers, but
to the fine senses of the educated gastronomer.

It is impossible for an American, to whom a dinner is a mere filling up
of an empty stomach, to realize the art and science of eating as
practiced and taught in France. Our author tells us that no less a
dignitary than M. Henrion de Pensey, late President of the Court of
Cassation—a magistrate, says, or said, M. Royer Collard, “of whom
regenerated France has reason to be proud”—expressed to MM. Laplace,
Chaptol and Berthollet his views of the comparative importance of the
astronomical and gastronomical sciences, in these memorable words: “I
regard the discovery of a dish as a far more interesting event than the
discovery of a star, _for we have always stars enough, but we can never_
_have too many dishes_; and I shall not regard the sciences as
sufficiently honored or adequately represented amongst us, until I see a
cook in the first class of the Institute.”

In this article we have also a complete account given of the lives and
viands of the French masters of cookery, and minute directions given
respecting the character of the chief Parisian cafés. It must be
confessed that the celebrities of gastronomy have felt the dignity of
their art full as much as the sculptors and poets. George the Fourth, by
persevering diplomacy, and the offer of a salary of £1000, induced
Caréme to come to Carlton House as his _chef_; but the artist, indignant
at the lack of refined taste at the monarch’s table, left him at the end
of a few months in disgust. Russia and Austria then attempted to bribe
him to their kitchens; but, turning a deaf ear to imperial
solicitations, and determined never again to leave France, he accepted
as engagement with Baron Rothschild. Another of these dignitaries
refused to accompany the Duke of Richmond to Ireland, though offered a
liberal salary, because he understood that there was no Italian opera in
Dublin.

The great book on the palate is M. Brillat-Savarin’s “_Physiologie du
Goût_.” Among other important facts established in this world-renowned
treatise, there is one of great importance to ladies. “The penchant,”
says this profound writer, “of the fair sex for gourmandise has in it
something of the nature of instinct, for gourmandise is favorable to
beauty. A train of exact and rigid observations have demonstrated that a
succulent, delicate and careful regimen repels to a distance, and for a
length of time, the external appearances of old age. It gives more
brilliancy to the eyes, more freshness to the skin, more support to the
muscles; and as it is certain in physiology, that it is the depression
of the muscles which causes wrinkles, those formidable enemies of
beauty, it is equally true to say that, _cateris paribus_, those who
understand eating are comparatively ten years younger than those who are
strangers to this science.”

We have all heard that poets are born, not made; but M. Brillat-Savarin
makes the same assertion respecting gourmands. The art of eating, it
seems, cannot be acquired. Those who have an original aptitude to enjoy
the luxuries of the table, are described as having “broad faces,
sparkling eyes, small foreheads, short noses, full lips, and round
chins. The females are plump, rather pretty than handsome, with a
tendency to embonpoint. It is under this exterior that the pleasantest
guests are to be found; they accept all that is offered, _eat slowly_,
and _taste with reflection_. They never hurry away from the places where
they have been well treated; and you are sure of them for the evening,
because they know all the games and pastimes which form the ordinary
accessories of a gastronomic meeting. Those, on the contrary, to whom
nature has refused an aptitude for the enjoyments of taste, have long
faces, long noses, and large eyes; whatever their height, they have
always in their tournure a character of elongation. They have black and
straight hair, and are above all deficient in _embonpoint; it is they_
_who invented trowsers_. The women whom nature has affected with the
same misfortune are angular, get tired at table, and live on tea and
scandal.”

In the same strain he speaks of _eprouvettes_, “dishes of acknowledged
flavor, of such undoubted excellence, that their bare appearance ought
to excite in a human being, properly organized, all the faculties of
taste; so that all those in whom, in such cases, we perceive neither the
flush of desire nor the radiance of ecstasy, may be justly noted as
unworthy of the honors of the sitting and the pleasures attached to it.”

As an awful warning to the eaters of America, it should be mentioned
that Napoleon owed his ruin to his habits of rapid eating. At Borodino
and at Leipsic he was prevented from pushing his successes to a
victorious conclusion, solely from the indecision and weakness of mind
proceeding from a disordered stomach. On the third day at Dresden—we
have it on the authority of the poet Hoffman—he again evinced a lack of
his usual energy, owing to his having eat part of a shoulder of mutton
stuffed with onions—“a dish,” says the writer in the Quarterly, “only
to be paralleled by the pork chops which Messrs. Thurtell and Co.
regaled on, after completing the murder of their friend Mr. Weare.” One
instance of Napoleon’s good taste, and the only one, we have reluctantly
been compelled to give up as a fiction. Tom Moore, in “The Fudge Family
in Paris,” mentions Chambertin Burgundy, the most delicious wine in the
world, as the “pet tipple of Nap;” but the Quarterly asserts that it was
never taken on serious occasions, for after the battle of Waterloo there
were found in his carriage two bottles—empty—one of which was marked
_Malaga_, the other _Rum_.

We commend this pleasant volume to all readers who desire a cosy
companion, full of wit, and anecdote, and information, and stimulating
just as much thought as the brain can comfortably bear in the hot summer
months.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Napoleon Ballads. By Bon Gaultier. The Poetical Works of
    Louis Napoleon. Now first Translated into English. New York:
    Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 18mo._

The idea of this volume is capital, but it is wretchedly carried out.
The name of Bon Gaultier, a name associated with wit that “sparkles like
salt in fire,” raises anticipations doomed to be dismally disappointed.
If written by him, he must have been muddy with beer during the hours of
composition; but we presume that the English publisher had as little
right to put his name to the volume as translator as he had to put that
of Louis Napoleon as the author. One of the few good things in the
collection is the Decree which prefaces it. It runs thus:


                                                    “Louis Napoleon:
                                 _Prince President of the Republic._

    “_Art._ 1. Considering—that it is good for the people to read
    good poetry:

    “_Art._ 2. Considering that few people can write it;

    “_Art._ 3. Considering that he is one of the few, the Prince
    President has written the following work. Respecting which

    “It is Decreed—That any person within France found without a
    copy, warranted to have been duly paid for, shall be liable to
    summary trial and deportation, with the confiscation of all his
    goods and chattels.

    “Done at the Elysée, this first of April.

                                                    “Louis Napoleon.
          “Countersigned,
                  “De Maupas.”


This is about as reasonable as many of the President’s decrees; for a
tyranny like Louis Napoleon’s defies the powers of the coarsest
caricature to reach the depth of its unnatural absurdities.

From the mass of trash which composes the volume, we extract the
following clever parody of Tennyson’s “In Memorium:”


                     “IN MEMORIUM. JUDÆ ISCARIOTTI.

                            _Obit A. D. 1._

(“The touching piety which has induced the Prince to devote a leisure
hour or two to the memory of this remarkable man needs no praise of
ours. _Translator._)

     “’Tis well—’tis something—we can’t stand
      Where Judas in the earth was laid,
      But from his pattern may be made
    Our conduct to our native land.

     “He joined the high-priests—so do I;
      He took the money—it is true;
      He was a very noble Do,
    And planned his treasons on the sly.

     “He hung himself on gallows tree—
      He gently swung in Potter’s Field,
      And blessed crop that spot must yield
    Of gracious memories to me.

     “My Judas, whom I hope to see,
      When my last treason has been done,
      Dear as the rowdy to the dun,
    More than my bottle is to me.”

There are some spirited lines in the parody of Macaulay’s Armada, and
some felicity in the measure of “The Eagle,” a poem after the manner of
Poe’s Raven; but the rich materials of the general subject for vitriolic
satire and riotous humor, are very imperfectly used. The Prince
President is the most accomplished rascal that Europe has yet produced,
fertile as she has been in reprobate politicians, and he deserves a
Juvenal. There is a meanness about his most vigorous actions which will
prevent his being ranked high among the world’s tyrants. He is
essentially a robber and ruffian, and his coup d’etat was a piece of
brilliant rascality which would have reflected great credit on a captain
of a gang of highwaymen. He has not yet performed a single action which
indicates a capacity in his nature to rise above vulgar perjury and
murder into splendid crime.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Ingoldsby Legends; Or Mirth and Marvels. By Thomas Ingoldsby,
    Esq. (the Rev. Richard Harris Barhaw.) First Series. New York:
    D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 16mo._

It is strange that these curious pieces have not been reprinted before.
Few contributions to periodical literature, during the present century,
are so unmistakably original, and so irresistibly ludicrous, as these
legendary audacities; and they are all the more notable from the fact
that their author was a clergyman, and passed through life with the
reputation of being a pious one. Their chief characteristic is
irreverence, not only as regards divine things, but in respect to the
sanctities of human life. Indeed, their comic effect results, in a great
degree, from the electric shocks of surprise caused by their
recklessness, the author’s wit being nothing if not untamed. A spice of
the Satanic is in every legend. A mischievousness, which is literally
_devilish_ good, plays its wild pranks even with horrors, and impishly
extracts fantastical farce out of tragedy. The author’s fancy is a
worthy instrument of his tricksy disposition, and is ever ready with
queer images and quaint analogies, to support his most venturesome
caricatures of sin, death, and the devil. His learning, also, is very
great, especially in departments of literature which are unfamiliar to
ordinary students, such as old treatises on magic, witchcraft, and
astrology, and the like; and this, under the direction of his wit,
increases the grotesque effect of his legends. As the result of all
these qualities and acquirements we have the most audacious wit of the
age, and one of its greatest masters of versification.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Life and Letters of Barthold George Niebuhr. With Essays on
    his Character and Influence. By the Chevalier Bunsen and
    Professors Brandis and Lorbell. New York: Harper and Brothers. 1
    vol. 12mo._

This thick volume of some six hundred pages is crammed with interesting
matter. The letters of Niebuhr are among the most instructive in
literature, and they range in subject over an immense extent of
knowledge. The vigor of his character, and its sterling honesty, are as
apparent throughout as the vast acquirements and vivid conceptions of
his intellect. His comments on the poets and philosophers of Germany
will be read with great interest, as he knew many of them intimately,
and expresses his opinions of their defects and merits with singular
sincerity and acuteness. His views of Goethe, especially, are entitled
to the most thoughtful consideration. The essays on Niebuhr, at the end
of the volume, are excellent.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Solar System. By J. Russell Hind, Foreign Secretary of the
    Royal Astronomical Society of London, etc. New York: Geo. P.
    Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

This is another of Putnam’s admirable publications, the first of a
series on popular science, and similar in form to his “Semi-Monthly
Library.” The present volume contains two hundred pages, is elegantly
printed, and is sold at the low price of twenty-five cents, which is
cheapening the solar system beyond all precedent. The volume is
succinctly and clearly written, and contains the latest “news from the
empyrean.” The only defect we have noticed is in the account given of
the discovery of Neptune. The author appears to be ignorant of the
important connection which Professor Pierce, of Harvard University, has
established with this new planet. He did not, it is true, discover it;
but he demonstrated that the planet which was discovered was not the
planet which Le Verrier was seeking.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Diplomacy of the Revolution: an Historical Study. By
    William Henry Trescott. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol.
    12mo._

In this small volume we have a great deal of matter, which is both
interesting and new. The author has studied the subject thoroughly, and
exhibits many important transactions in the Revolution in a new light.
He has gained access to a number of unpublished documents, and has used
them with intelligence and discrimination.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Eleven Weeks in Europe, and What May be Seen in that Time. By
    James Freeman Clarke. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol.
    18mo._

This is a thick volume of three hundred pages, giving an animated
account of a flying visit to England and the Continent of Europe. The
author is a thoughtful and intelligent tourist, who understood
beforehand what he wanted to see, and knew where he could find it. His
volume is accordingly crammed with interesting matter relating to famous
cities, public buildings, and works of art, and conveys fresh and
original impressions of them all.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The Harpers have published the second volume of their edition of
_Burns_, edited with great care by Robert Chambers, and containing his
letters and poems in the order in which they are written. It is, in
fact, a biography of Burns, illustrated by his works, and will probably
be the most popular edition in the market, as it undoubtedly is the
cheapest and the most perfect. The same publishers have issued Part 19
of Mayhew’s _London Labor and London Poor_, a work which is full of
important information gleaned at first hand. It promises to be the most
complete book of the kind ever printed. Its revelations of poverty,
disease, and vice, sound “bad as truth.”

_Lossing’s “Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution,”_ has also reached
its 22d number, and will be completed in two or three more. If we
consider the beauty of its typography and illustrations, this work must
be admitted to be one of the cheapest ever issued. Its matter is
intensely interesting to all who are interested in the history of the
country.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The Harpers of New York have published, in addition to the works we have
noticed—

“_The Two Families_,” a novel by the author of Rose Douglass. In one
volume.

“_Courtesy, Manners and Habits. By George Winfred Hervey_.” A volume in
which the principles of Christian politeness are enforced with much good
sense and considerable force and brilliancy.

“_Ivar; or, The Skjuts-Boy; a Romance_,” translated from the Swedish by
Professor A. L. Krause. An interesting and attractive number of the
Library of Select Novels.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Cavaliers of England, or The Times of the Revolutions of
    1642 and 1688. By Henry William Herbert. New York: Redfield. 1
    vol. 12mo._

This volume is composed of four exciting tales illustrative of English
history, and are in every way worthy of Mr. Herbert’s powerful and vivid
genius. In pictorial faculty, in the disposition and creation of
incidents, in the delineation of the passions, and, especially, in the
unwearied fire and movement of the style, these stimulating stories are
among the best which the press has given forth for a long period.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _An Exposition of Some of the Laws of the Latin Grammar. By
    Gessner Harrison, M. D. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol.
    12mo._

The work of a ripe scholar, this volume is an important aid to all
students of the Latin language desirous of comprehending the general
doctrines of its etymology, its inflectional forms, and its syntax. It
is not intended to supersede the common grammars, but to be their
complement. The author is professor of the ancient languages in the
University of Virginia.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. No. 3.
    Philadelphia: John Penington._

This valuable work, in which are duly chronicled the researches of the
Society, is issued in very excellent style; printed with bold, clear
type, upon white, fine paper. The number before us contains, Extracts
from Letters of John Quincy Adams—Letters of Thomas Jefferson—History
of Moorland, by W. J. Buck—and some valuable Memoranda from the Journal
of Henry M. Muhlenberg, D. D. The friends of the Society, and all
interested in preserving the records of the past from oblivion, should
encourage the circulation of the work.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Illustrated Old Saint Paul’s. By W. Harrison Ainsworth.
    Embellished with spirited Engravings. Philadelphia: T. B.
    Peterson._

Mr. Ainsworth is not a writer in whose productions we have heretofore
seen any thing to admire, but the volume before us is written with much
ability, and is far less exceptionable than many of his works. The era
of the story is that of “The Great Plague of 1665,” and powerfully
depicts the horrors of the time. There are two love scenes of marked
interest interwoven with the narrative, which give it all the
fascination of one of Dumas’s most powerful romances. As virtue is
rewarded and vice in some degree punished, the moral of the work will
meet the requirements of novel readers.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The University Speaker: A Collection of Pieces designed for
    College Exercises in Declamation and Recitation. By William
    Russel. Boston: James Monroe & Co._

This is a very complete and able work by a competent hand, filled with
appropriate suggestions on appropriate passages, designed for the
practice of Elocution. The work is admirably printed, and is dedicated
to Dr. James Rush of this city.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =THE AZTEC CHILDREN.=


_Their probable Origin and peculiar Physical and Mental Developments;
together with other Physiological Facts, connected with their History
and Singular Appearance._

                            =BY AUSTRALIS.=


The two extraordinary and interesting beings known as the “Aztec
Children,” have for some considerable time been exhibited in the city of
New York, where thousands with an intense and excited interest have
sought to gratify their curiosity as to the probable origin and history
of these wonderful representatives of ancient Adam.

They have recently been removed from the great metropolis of the United
States to the paternal city of the ever memorable and benevolent Penn,
where they cannot fail to excite in the bosom of every enlightened
freeman and philanthropist, the same lively interest as to their
peculiar relations to the great family of man, and their claims to the
sympathy and interest of their fellow beings.

It is not the purpose of the author of this sketch to recur to the
account furnished by Mr. Stevens in his travels in Central America,
which constitutes the source and foundation upon which many of the facts
connected with the expedition of Velasquez rest, and from which
interesting portions of the history of these children are framed. The
admirable work of Mr. Stevens (particularly the account which he gives
of the wonderful remains which were brought to his view by the
intelligent padre of Santa Cruz del Quiche) furnishes strong ground for
the belief of the actual existence of the idolatrous city of Iximaya.
His description of the descendants of the ancient sacerdotal order of
the Aztec guardians of the once flourishing temples of that people not
unknown to Cortez and Alvarado, would seem to indicate a race answering
in no remote degree to the present physical construction and appearance
of the Aztec children. It is asserted by Velasquez, one of the principal
conductors of the expedition which resulted in the capture and flight of
these wonderful children, that they constitute a portion of the
descendants of the ancient and peculiar order of priesthood called
Kaanas, which it was distinctly asserted in the ancient annals of
Iximaya had accompanied the first migration of this people from the
Assyrian plains. “Their peculiar and strongly distinctive lineaments, it
is now perfectly well ascertained, are to be traced in many of the
sculptured monuments of the Central American ruins, and were found still
more abundantly on those of Iximaya. Forbidden, by inviolably sacred
laws, from intermarrying with any persons but those of their own caste,
they had here dwindled down, in the course of many centuries, to a few
insignificant individuals, diminutive in stature, and imbecile in
intellect.” Such is the language of the conductors of the enterprise
referred to—such the probable origin of these extraordinary
representations of those who in Scriptural language were “called
giants,” now reappearing in what might be justly delineated as miniature
editions of humanity—Daguerreotyped specimens of him “who was created a
little lower than the angels.”

The origin of these interesting little strangers must, we think, remain
for the present involved in an obscurity which time and future
discoveries can alone remove. Their history and relation to the
community from which they have been removed, and their language, habits
and occupations in the scale of rational and intelligent beings, are
calculated to excite in no ordinary degree the active and inquisitive
mind of the physiologist, the antiquarian and the Christian.

In their unusual diminutiveness as human beings—the singular and
striking features which give animation to their countenances, and at
times the fixed and unmistakable lines which indicate deep thought and
feeling—they are objects of profound interest and intense speculation.
To the reflecting and intelligent spectator their presence strikingly
recalls the language of the Psalmist—“We are fearfully and wonderfully
made.” In contemplating them as a portion of the human family, governed
by the general laws of Nature, and subject to the uniform operations of
her unchangeable economy, we are nevertheless startled at that apparent
degeneracy which, in the deprivation of physical strength and beauty,
humbles our own pride while it enlists our sympathy.

These phenomena of the human species, in their personal action, the
expression of agreeable features, and in the enjoyment of company and
the attentions of the visitors who throng around them, afford no
ordinary degree of interest and sympathy. The boy measures about
thirty-two inches in height, and the girl twenty-nine. They are finely
formed, and delicately fashioned in proportion to the reduced size and
natural conformation which distinguish their structures. Their color is
of the Spanish, or rather more of the Mexican complexion; the hair black
and silken in its appearance, slightly inclined to curl, yet glossy and
beautiful. Their features, deprived of that refined and graceful
adaptation to regularity and beauty which distinguishes the Anglo-Saxon
countenance, are nevertheless interesting. Like the representations of
those Aztec heads which Stevens has portrayed, “the top of the forehead
to the end of the nose of each of these children is almost straight,
bearing an unmistakable resemblance to the features of their idolatrous
images. They are gratefully sensible of the caresses and little familiar
attentions of visitors, and appear always to be interested in the
gambols and amusements of children. To their guardians they manifest
every warm attachment, and seem with an intuitive sense of their own
helplessness and dependence for protection and security, to regard them
with a strong filial affection.”

In the relations which have placed them together, and in those
associations where custom and habit would seem to produce a community of
interest and a kindred sympathy, there appears but little affinity.

It is a curious fact, that there is little or no intercourse between
these mysterious representatives of a by-gone race. In public they
occasionally manifest some little displeasure toward each other in the
petty jealousies and interferences in each other’s objects of pleasure
or pastime; but, apart from public exhibitions and in the retirement of
domestic life, there are wholly absent those natural communications of
childhood—the look of kindness, the inquiry of affection, and the
remark of innocent and affectionate solicitude. How shall the want of
these common and natural associations of social and conventual interests
in these children be accounted for? Man, it is true, by his education
and acquirements, loses much of the inherent feelings incident to his
early training. He can, by strict discipline, escape and defy
speculation—elevate or depress himself by the skill and energy of
acquired advantages, but it is difficult to stifle or overcome the first
and benevolent emotions inspired by a mother’s kindness.

It is impossible to contemplate these retrograde movements of Nature
(for such they decidedly are) without acknowledging that an obscurity
rests upon them which neither science nor physiology have as yet been
able to remove. The facts, the astounding facts are before us—we see
and contemplate a reality which baffles inquiry, rejects reason, and
bewilders speculation.

The interest which these little beings have excited in the bosoms of the
thousands who have seen them in the city of New York, has been
unparalleled in the history and production of those natural phenomena
which have in this or any other age been presented to the world. Such an
exhibition is as instructive as it is wonderful. There is in such a
presentation, inculcated a great moral principle, which it is to be
feared has been overlooked, and which it behoves the Christian
philosopher, as well as the learned physiologist and the distinguished
naturalist, to consider. The great question in relation to the Aztec
children is, for what purpose have they been made the representatives,
before the civilized world and the American republic, of a supposed or
unknown race, yet in ignorance, superstition and moral degradation? Are
there no moral purposes in the just government of the Deity to be
accomplished by such a revelation? If there yet exists such a race as
have produced the unnatural disclosures of moral and physical degeneracy
so singularly apparent in the development and unnatural organization of
these children, it is certainly the duty (it should be the pride) of
government, the boast of philosophy, and the glory of religion, to
explore, regenerate, and restore such a race to that moral and mental
elevation in which man finds his greatest happiness and his noblest
employments.

Such a subject commends itself with an absorbing interest to the labors
of the statesman and the mind of the patriot, and should find a ready
and zealous advocate in the bosom of every intelligent freeman who
cultivates the soil of liberty, or in any way desires the glory and
happiness of his fellow man.

The moral regeneration of that country, the very ruins of which have
acquired such interest from the pen of Stevens—the exploration of its
hidden resources, and its re-establishment to its ancient grandeur,
renewed by a moral and political regeneration, would outvie the
advantages of twenty expeditions for the purpose of improving the
commercial condition of the Japanese, or humbling them into
unconditional subjection to the power of a superior enemy.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =GRAHAM’S SMALL-TALK.=


=Held in his idle moments, with his Readers, Correspondents and
  Exchanges.=

The Present Volume.—The volume from July to December, just commenced,
opens with great promise in the way of an increase of subscribers; and
the press from one end of the country to the other gives us the most
cheering encouragement in the notices of the July number. When we
determined to increase the amount of reading matter—to give our readers
112 pages in every number—we felt assured that the resources at our
command, and the intimate acquaintanceship with the taste of our readers
which years of editorial efforts on their behalf have given us, would
enable us to present a Magazine of far higher literary value than any
which had preceded it. Nor were we mistaken. From the first number of
the year, the voice of the press and of subscribers, has been emphatic
in praise of our new plan. We have gone on adding attractions to the
work of various kinds, and trust we have shown a disposition not to be
excelled in the general ability and excellence of “Graham” by any
competitor or imitator.

Our change, has changed the course of others, and we feel that we shall
do no violence to truth in publishing the following notices, selected at
random from thousands of similar expressions of appreciation by the
American Newspaper Press.

    Graham’s Magazine.—This magazine is last in order of reception,
    but first in order of merit. It has some very fine
    embellishments, and is filled to the brim with the rich
    contributions of the best talent in the country. What a
    revolution Graham has brought about in the Philadelphia
    Monthlies. “Milliner Magazines”—a soubriquet to which they were
    justly entitled, for they did little else than record the
    changes of fashion, and furnish sickly, mawkish tales for
    milliner’s apprentices—is now, applied to them, a misnomer.
    From Graham’s the fashion plates are entirely discarded, in the
    others they form an unimportant feature; and these magazines are
    now filled with reading matter of an entirely different
    character—so that where was once “milk for babes” is now “meat
    for strong men.” As this is all Graham’s work, we hope he will
    have his reward.—_Eastern Mail, N. Y._

    Graham for July, surpasses any thing in its line that has come
    under our observation. It is well filled with the choicest of
    reading matter and some beautiful embellishments. Graham never
    brags about his Magazine, but he is always sure to rival every
    attempt, no matter by whom made, to throw him in the shade; he
    seems to know just what the ladies want, and he sees that they
    have it.—_Lansingburg Gazette._

    Nothing but enterprise and untiring energy could produce such a
    Magazine—and these Graham possesses. Bear in mind that while
    some publishers give 112 pages of reading matter now and then,
    (beginning and end of a volume) Graham gives 112 pages every
    month.—_Gazette, Ellicott Mills, Md._

    Graham’s Magazine for July was duly received. It is the very
    best Magazine published in the United States. It cannot fail to
    suit all kinds of readers. _American, Albion, N. Y._

                 *        *        *        *        *

J. K. Mitchell.—The Masonic Mirror for June contains a capital likeness
of Doctor John K. Mitchell, R. W. Jr. Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of
Pa. The many friends of this eminent gentleman will be gratified with
this delicate testimony. Dr. Mitchell is too well known as an able
medical and literary man to require eulogy at our hands. His popularity
as an able speaker and writer, and as a polished, refined gentleman, is
second to that of no man among us, and his manly and unselfish stand for
the principles to which he is attached, have endeared him to the people.
The publishers could not have made a selection better calculated to
attract attention and subscription to the work.

                 *        *        *        *        *

“Knick Knacks.”—Our friend Clark of the Knickerbocker, has in the press
of the Appletons, a volume under the above title, embracing the best of
the many good things which for years have filled his Editor’s Table and
Gossip. That the volume will be readable and popular we have assurance
from the avidity with which even his monthly jottings down are looked
for. With “the cream of the correspondence,” as Tony Lumpkin says, we
shall have a feast of rare wit, with quips and jokes cracking like
almonds at the desert of a grand dinner. We bespeak an early copy of the
first edition of 10,000.

                 *        *        *        *        *

=Transcriber’s Notes:=

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Punctuation has
been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted
below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete
due to condition of the originals used for preparation of the ebook.

Page 120, wonderful too see how ==> wonderful to see how
Page 126, supplied by Flamtsead ==> supplied by Flamstead
Page 126, the satelites round ==> the satellites round
Page 130, seventh a moon later ==> seventh moon later
Page 163, des lieus si doux ==> des lieux si doux
Page 163, copse of chinquepins ==> copse of chinquapins
Page 167, Mem. Anne Stowe ==> Mme. Anne Stowe
Page 168, buy a gold-field ==> buy a gold field
Page 176, _Sqaulus zygæna_ numbers ==> _Squalus zygæna_ numbers
Page 177, M. Lacepede, who seems ==> M. Lacepède, who seems
Page 179, The knights of Espãna ==> The knights of España
Page 180, On the steamer—dampschiff ==> On the steamer—_dampfschiff_
Page 181, It it is one of ==> It is one of
Page 181, Turn were they would ==> Turn where they would
Page 182, Hermann Weinsoffer ==> Herman Weinsoffer
Page 187, a nose rather aqueline ==> a nose rather aquiline
Page 187, type of a young frontierman ==> type of a young frontiersman
Page 189, The mother’s called their ==> The mothers called their
Page 189, gathering at Fieldings ==> gathering at Fielding’s
Page 190, slaken his pace ==> slacken his pace
Page 191, of the Mississipi ==> of the Mississippi
Page 194, maintaing the same course ==> maintaining the same course
Page 195, these were decidely ignorant ==> these were decidedly ignorant
Page 196, fast as psssible ==> fast as possible
Page 198, and walkingly swiftly ==> and walking swiftly
Page 199, were upon his trick ==> were upon his track
Page 202, groupes of flowers ==> groups of flowers
Page 205, Thackary, the flagellator ==> Thackeray, the flagellator
Page 206, bran-new-Sunday-silk ==> brand-new-Sunday-silk
Page 206, draggled as Mary Mulvaney ==> draggled as Mary Mulvany
Page 207, Any think looks well ==> Any thing looks well
Page 207, for cloaks are not Bloomer ==> for cloaks are not Bloomers
Page 208, recognized as repectable ==> recognized as respectable
Page 212, the turban and hiack ==> the turban and haick
Page 212, sheeted up in their hiacks ==> sheeted up in their haicks
Page 213, frail daughters of Irsael ==> frail daughters of Israel
Page 213, handkerchief coquetishly ==> handkerchief coquettishly
Page 213, with massive candelebra ==> with massive candelabra
Page 213, eve of the eight day ==> eve of the eighth day
Page 214, There are no bridemaids ==> There are no bridesmaids
Page 218, wha it is like ==> what it is like
Page 218, these big istone. ==> these big stones.
Page 235, and is every ready ==> and is ever ready





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