By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Old Portraits and Modern Sketches
 - Part 1 from Volume VI of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier
Author: Whittier, John Greenleaf
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old Portraits and Modern Sketches
 - Part 1 from Volume VI of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier" ***

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



                             HISTORICAL PAPERS


                          JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER






     Inscribed as follows, when first collected in book-form:--
     To Dr. G.  BAILEY, of the National Era, Washington, D. C., these
     sketches, many of which originally appeared in the columns of the
     paper under his editorial supervision, are, in their present form,
     offered as a token of the esteem and confidence which years of
     political and literary communion have justified and confirmed, on
     the part of his friend and associate,
                               THE AUTHOR.

                               JOHN BUNYAN.

     "Wouldst see
     A man I' the clouds, and hear him speak to thee?"

Who has not read Pilgrim's Progress?  Who has not, in childhood,
followed the wandering Christian on his way to the Celestial City?  Who
has not laid at night his young head on the pillow, to paint on the
walls of darkness pictures of the Wicket Gate and the Archers, the Hill
of Difficulty, the Lions and Giants, Doubting Castle and Vanity Fair,
the sunny Delectable Mountains and the Shepherds, the Black River and
the wonderful glory beyond it; and at last fallen asleep, to dream over
the strange story, to hear the sweet welcomings of the sisters at the
House Beautiful, and the song of birds from the window of that "upper
chamber which opened towards the sunrising?" And who, looking back to
the green spots in his childish experiences, does not bless the good
Tinker of Elstow?

And who, that has reperused the story of the Pilgrim at a maturer age,
and felt the plummet of its truth sounding in the deep places of the
soul, has not reason to bless the author for some timely warning or
grateful encouragement?  Where is the scholar, the poet, the man of taste
and feeling, who does not, with Cowper,

         "Even in transitory life's late day,
          Revere the man whose Pilgrim marks the road,
          And guides the Progress of the soul to God!"

We have just been reading, with no slight degree of interest, that simple
but wonderful piece of autobiography, entitled Grace abounding to the
Chief of Sinners, from the pen of the author of Pilgrim's Progress.  It
is the record of a journey more terrible than that of the ideal Pilgrim;
"truth stranger than fiction;" the painful upward struggling of a spirit
from the blackness of despair and blasphemy, into the high, pure air of
Hope and Faith.  More earnest words were never written.  It is the entire
unveiling of a human heart; the tearing off of the fig-leaf covering of
its sin.  The voice which speaks to us from these old pages seems not so
much that of a denizen of the world in which we live, as of a soul at the
last solemn confessional.  Shorn of all ornament, simple and direct as
the contrition and prayer of childhood, when for the first time the
Spectre of Sin stands by its bedside, the style is that of a man dead to
self-gratification, careless of the world's opinion, and only desirous to
convey to others, in all truthfulness and sincerity, the lesson of his
inward trials, temptations, sins, weaknesses, and dangers; and to give
glory to Him who had mercifully led him through all, and enabled him,
like his own Pilgrim, to leave behind the Valley of the Shadow of Death,
the snares of the Enchanted Ground, and the terrors of Doubting Castle,
and to reach the land of Beulah, where the air was sweet and pleasant,
and the birds sang and the flowers sprang up around him, and the Shining
Ones walked in the brightness of the not distant Heaven.  In the
introductory pages he says "he could have dipped into a style higher than
this in which I have discoursed, and could have adorned all things more
than here I have seemed to do; but I dared not.  God did not play in
tempting me; neither did I play when I sunk, as it were, into a
bottomless pit, when the pangs of hell took hold on me; wherefore, I may
not play in relating of them, but be plain and simple, and lay down the
thing as it was."

This book, as well as Pilgrim's Progress, was written in Bedford prison,
and was designed especially for the comfort and edification of his
"children, whom God had counted him worthy to beget in faith by his
ministry."  In his introduction he tells them, that, although taken from
them, and tied up, "sticking, as it were, between the teeth of the lions
of the wilderness," he once again, as before, from the top of Shemer and
Hermon, so now, from the lion's den and the mountain of leopards, would
look after then with fatherly care and desires for their everlasting
welfare.  "If," said he, "you have sinned against light; if you are
tempted to blaspheme; if you are drowned in despair; if you think God
fights against you; or if Heaven is hidden from your eyes, remember it
was so with your father.  But out of all the Lord delivered me."

He gives no dates; be affords scarcely a clue to his localities; of the
man, as he worked, and ate, and drank, and lodged, of his neighbors and
contemporaries, of all he saw and heard of the world about him, we have
only an occasional glimpse, here and there, in his narrative.  It is the
story of his inward life only that he relates.  What had time and place
to do with one who trembled always with the awful consciousness of an
immortal nature, and about whom fell alternately the shadows of hell and
the splendors of heaven?  We gather, indeed, from his record, that he was
not an idle on-looker in the time of England's great struggle for
freedom, but a soldier of the Parliament, in his young years, among the
praying sworders and psalm-singing pikemen, the Greathearts and Holdfasts
whom he has immortalized in his allegory; but the only allusion which he
makes to this portion of his experience is by way of illustration of the
goodness of God in preserving him on occasions of peril.

He was born at Elstow, in Bedfordshire, in 1628; and, to use his own
words, his "father's house was of that rank which is the meanest and most
despised of all the families of the land."  His father was a tinker, and
the son followed the same calling, which necessarily brought him into
association with the lowest and most depraved classes of English society.
The estimation in which the tinker and his occupation were held, in the
seventeenth century, may be learned from the quaint and humorous
description of Sir Thomas Overbury.  "The tinker," saith he, "is a
movable, for he hath no abiding in one place; he seems to be devout, for
his life is a continual pilgrimage, and sometimes, in humility, goes
barefoot, therein making necessity a virtue; he is a gallant, for he
carries all his wealth upon his back; or a philosopher, for he bears all
his substance with him.  He is always furnished with a song, to which his
hammer, keeping tune, proves that he was the first founder of the kettle-
drum; where the best ale is, there stands his music most upon crotchets.
The companion of his travel is some foul, sun-burnt quean, that, since
the terrible statute, has recanted gypsyism, and is turned pedlaress.  So
marches he all over England, with his bag and baggage; his conversation
is irreprovable, for he is always mending.  He observes truly the
statutes, and therefore had rather steal than beg.  He is so strong an
enemy of idleness, that in mending one hole he would rather make three
than want work; and when he hath done, he throws the wallet of his faults
behind him.  His tongue is very voluble, which, with canting, proves him
a linguist.  He is entertained in every place, yet enters no farther than
the door, to avoid suspicion.  To conclude, if he escape Tyburn and
Banbury, he dies a beggar."

Truly, but a poor beginning for a pious life was the youth of John
Bunyan.  As might have been expected, he was a wild, reckless, swearing
boy, as his father doubtless was before him.  "It was my delight," says
he, "to be taken captive by the Devil.  I had few equals, both for
cursing and swearing, lying and blaspheming."  Yet, in his ignorance and
darkness, his powerful imagination early lent terror to the reproaches of
conscience.  He was scared, even in childhood, with dreams of hell and
apparitions of devils.  Troubled with fears of eternal fire, and the
malignant demons who fed it in the regions of despair, he says that he
often wished either that there was no hell, or that he had been born a
devil himself, that he might be a tormentor rather than one of the

At an early age he appears to have married.  His wife was as poor as
himself, for he tells us that they had not so much as a dish or spoon
between them; but she brought with her two books on religious subjects,
the reading of which seems to have had no slight degree of influence on
his mind.  He went to church regularly, adored the priest and all things
pertaining to his office, being, as he says, "overrun with superstition."
On one occasion, a sermon was preached against the breach of the Sabbath
by sports or labor, which struck him at the moment as especially designed
for himself; but by the time he had finished his dinner he was prepared
to "shake it out of his mind, and return to his sports and gaming."

"But the same day," he continues, "as I was in the midst of a game of
cat, and having struck it one blow from the hole, just as I was about to
strike it a second time, a voice did suddenly dart from Heaven into my
soul, which said, 'Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven, or have thy
sins and go to hell?'  At this, I was put to an exceeding maze;
wherefore, leaving my cat upon the ground, I looked up to Heaven, and it
was as if I had, with the eyes of my understanding, seen the Lord Jesus
look down upon me, as being very hotly displeased with me, and as if He
did severely threaten me with some grievous punishment for those and
other ungodly practices.

"I had no sooner thus conceived in my mind, but suddenly this conclusion
fastened on my spirit, (for the former hint did set my sins again before
my face,) that I had been a great and grievous sinner, and that it was
now too late for me to look after Heaven; for Christ would not forgive me
nor pardon my transgressions.  Then, while I was thinking of it, and
fearing lest it should be so, I felt my heart sink in despair, concluding
it was too late; and therefore I resolved in my mind to go on in sin;
for, thought I, if the case be thus, my state is surely miserable;
miserable if I leave my sins, and but miserable if I follow them; I can
but be damned; and if I must be so, I had as good be damned for many sins
as be damned for few."

The reader of Pilgrim's Progress cannot fail here to call to mind the
wicked suggestions of the Giant to Christian, in the dungeon of Doubting

"I returned," he says, "desperately to my sport again; and I well
remember, that presently this kind of despair did so possess my soul,
that I was persuaded I could never attain to other comfort than what I
should get in sin; for Heaven was gone already, so that on that I must
not think; wherefore, I found within me great desire to take my fill of
sin, that I might taste the sweetness of it; and I made as much haste as
I could to fill my belly with its delicates, lest I should die before I
had my desires; for that I feared greatly.  In these things, I protest
before God, I lie not, neither do I frame this sort of speech; these were
really, strongly, and with all my heart, my desires; the good Lord, whose
mercy is unsearchable, forgive my transgressions."

One day, while standing in the street, cursing and blaspheming, he met
with a reproof which startled him.  The woman of the house in front of
which the wicked young tinker was standing, herself, as he remarks, "a
very loose, ungodly wretch," protested that his horrible profanity made
her tremble; that he was the ungodliest fellow for swearing she had ever
heard, and able to spoil all the youth of the town who came in his
company.  Struck by this wholly unexpected rebuke, he at once abandoned
the practice of swearing; although previously he tells us that "he had
never known how to speak, unless he put an oath before and another

The good name which he gained by this change was now a temptation to him.
"My neighbors," he says, "were amazed at my great conversion from
prodigious profaneness to something like a moral life and sober man.
Now, therefore, they began to praise, to commend, and to speak well of
me, both to my face and behind my back.  Now I was, as they said, become
godly; now I was become a right honest man.  But oh! when I understood
those were their words and opinions of me, it pleased me mighty well; for
though as yet I was nothing but a poor painted hypocrite, yet I loved to
be talked of as one that was truly godly.  I was proud of my godliness,
and, indeed, I did all I did either to be seen of or well spoken of by
men; and thus I continued for about a twelvemonth or more."

The tyranny of his imagination at this period is seen in the following
relation of his abandonment of one of his favorite sports.

"Now, you must know, that before this I had taken much delight in
ringing, but my conscience beginning to be tender, I thought such
practice was but vain, and therefore forced myself to leave it; yet my
mind hankered; wherefore, I would go to the steeple-house and look on,
though I durst not ring; but I thought this did not become religion
neither; yet I forced myself, and would look on still.  But quickly
after, I began to think, 'How if one of the bells should fall?'  Then I
chose to stand under a main beam, that lay overthwart the steeple, from
side to side, thinking here I might stand sure; but then I thought again,
should the bell fall with a swing, it might first hit the wall, and then,
rebounding upon me, might kill me for all this beam.  This made me stand
in the steeple door; and now, thought I, I am safe enough; for if a bell
should then fall, I can slip out behind these thick walls, and so be
preserved notwithstanding.

"So after this I would yet go to see them ring, but would not go any
farther than the steeple-door.  But then it came in my head, 'How if the
steeple itself should fall?' And this thought (it may, for aught I know,
when I stood and looked on) did continually so shake my mind, that I
durst not stand at the steeple-door any longer, but was forced to flee,
for fear the steeple should fall upon my head."

About this time, while wandering through Bedford in pursuit of
employment, he chanced to see three or four poor old women sitting at a
door, in the evening sun, and, drawing near them, heard them converse
upon the things of God; of His work in their hearts; of their natural
depravity; of the temptations of the Adversary; and of the joy of
believing, and of the peace of reconciliation.  The words of the aged
women found a response in the soul of the listener.  "He felt his heart
shake," to use his own words; he saw that he lacked the true tokens of a
Christian.  He now forsook the company of the profane and licentious, and
sought that of a poor man who had the reputation of piety, but, to his
grief, he found him "a devilish ranter, given up to all manner of
uncleanness; he would laugh at all exhortations to sobriety, and deny
that there was a God, an angel, or a spirit."

"Neither," he continues, "was this man only a temptation to me, but, my
calling lying in the country, I happened to come into several people's
company, who, though strict in religion formerly, yet were also drawn
away by these ranters.  These would also talk with me of their ways, and
condemn me as illegal and dark; pretending that they only had attained to
perfection, that they could do what they would, and not sin.  Oh! these
temptations were suitable to my flesh, I being but a young man, and my
nature in its prime; but God, who had, as I hope, designed me for better
things, kept me in the fear of His name, and did not suffer me to accept
such cursed principles."

At this time he was sadly troubled to ascertain whether or not he had
that faith which the Scriptures spake of.  Travelling one day from Elstow
to Bedford, after a recent rain, which had left pools of water in the
path, he felt a strong desire to settle the question, by commanding the
pools to become dry, and the dry places to become pools.  Going under the
hedge, to pray for ability to work the miracle, he was struck with the
thought that if he failed he should know, indeed, that he was a castaway,
and give himself up to despair.  He dared not attempt the experiment, and
went on his way, to use his own forcible language, "tossed up and down
between the Devil and his own ignorance."

Soon after, he had one of those visions which foreshadowed the wonderful
dream of his Pilgrim's Progress.  He saw some holy people of Bedford on
the sunny side of an high mountain, refreshing themselves in the pleasant
air and sunlight, while he was shivering in cold and darkness, amidst
snows and never-melting ices, like the victims of the Scandinavian hell.
A wall compassed the mountain, separating him from the blessed, with one
small gap or doorway, through which, with great pain and effort, he was
at last enabled to work his way into the sunshine, and sit down with the
saints, in the light and warmth thereof.

But now a new trouble assailed him.  Like Milton's metaphysical spirits,
who sat apart,

"And reasoned of foreknowledge, will, and fate," he grappled with one of
those great questions which have always perplexed and baffled human
inquiry, and upon which much has been written to little purpose.  He was
tortured with anxiety to know whether, according to the Westminster
formula, he was elected to salvation or damnation.  His old adversary
vexed his soul with evil suggestions, and even quoted Scripture to
enforce them.  "It may be you are not elected," said the Tempter; and the
poor tinker thought the supposition altogether too probable.  "Why,
then," said Satan, "you had as good leave off, and strive no farther; for
if, indeed, you should not be elected and chosen of God, there is no hope
of your being saved; for it is neither in him that willeth nor in him
that runneth, but in God who showeth mercy."  At length, when, as he
says, he was about giving up the ghost of all his hopes, this passage
fell with weight upon his spirit: "Look at the generations of old, and
see; did ever any trust in God, and were confounded?"  Comforted by these
words, he opened his Bible took note them, but the most diligent search
and inquiry of his neighbors failed to discover them.  At length his eye
fell upon them in the Apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus.  This, he says,
somewhat doubted him at first, as the book was not canonical; but in the
end he took courage and comfort from the passage.  "I bless God," he
says, "for that word; it was good for me.  That word doth still
oftentimes shine before my face."

A long and weary struggle was now before him.  "I cannot," he says,
"express with what longings and breathings of my soul I cried unto Christ
to call me.  Gold! could it have been gotten by gold, what would I have
given for it.  Had I a whole world, it had all gone ten thousand times
over for this, that my soul might have been in a converted state.  How
lovely now was every one in my eyes, that I thought to be converted men
and women.  They shone, they walked like a people who carried the broad
seal of Heaven with them."

With what force and intensity of language does he portray in the
following passage the reality and earnestness of his agonizing

"While I was thus afflicted with the fears of my own damnation, there
were two things would make me wonder: the one was, when I saw old people
hunting after the things of this life, as if they should live here
always; the other was, when I found professors much distressed and cast
down, when they met with outward losses; as of husband, wife, or child.
Lord, thought I, what seeking after carnal things by some, and what grief
in others for the loss of them!  If they so much labor after and shed so
many tears for the things of this present life, how am I to be bemoaned,
pitied, and prayed for!  My soul is dying, my soul is damning.  Were my
soul but in a good condition, and were I but sure of it, ah I how rich
should I esteem myself, though blessed but with bread and water!  I
should count these but small afflictions, and should bear them as little
burdens.  'A wounded spirit who can bear!'"

He looked with envy, as he wandered through the country, upon the birds
in the trees, the hares in the preserves, and the fishes in the streams.
They were happy in their brief existence, and their death was but a
sleep.  He felt himself alienated from God, a discord in the harmonies of
the universe.  The very rooks which fluttered around the old church spire
seemed more worthy of the Creator's love and care than himself.  A vision
of the infernal fire, like that glimpse of hell which was afforded to
Christian by the Shepherds, was continually before him, with its
"rumbling noise, and the cry of some tormented, and the scent of
brimstone."  Whithersoever he went, the glare of it scorched him, and its
dreadful sound was in his ears.  His vivid but disturbed imagination lent
new terrors to the awful figures by which the sacred writers conveyed the
idea of future retribution to the Oriental mind.  Bunyan's World of Woe,
if it lacked the colossal architecture and solemn vastness of Milton's
Pandemonium, was more clearly defined; its agonies were within the pale
of human comprehension; its victims were men and women, with the same
keen sense of corporeal suffering which they possessed in life; and who,
to use his own terrible description, had "all the loathed variety of hell
to grapple with; fire unquenchable, a lake of choking brimstone, eternal
chains, darkness more black than night, the everlasting gnawing of the
worm, the sight of devils, and the yells and outcries of the damned."

His mind at this period was evidently shaken in some degree from its
balance.  He was troubled with strange, wicked thoughts, confused by
doubts and blasphemous suggestions, for which he could only account by
supposing himself possessed of the Devil.  He wanted to curse and swear,
and had to clap his hands on his mouth to prevent it.  In prayer, he
felt, as he supposed, Satan behind him, pulling his clothes, and telling
him to have done, and break off; suggesting that he had better pray to
him, and calling up before his mind's eye the figures of a bull, a tree,
or some other object, instead of the awful idea of God.

He notes here, as cause of thankfulness, that, even in this dark and
clouded state, he was enabled to see the "vile and abominable things
fomented by the Quakers," to be errors.  Gradually, the shadow wherein he
had so long

         "Walked beneath the day's broad glare,
          A darkened man,"

passed from him, and for a season he was afforded an "evidence of his
salvation from Heaven, with many golden seals thereon hanging in his
sight."  But, ere long, other temptations assailed him.  A strange
suggestion haunted him, to sell or part with his Saviour.  His own
account of this hallucination is too painfully vivid to awaken any other
feeling than that of sympathy and sadness.

"I could neither eat my food, stoop for a pin, chop a stick, or cast mine
eye to look on this or that, but still the temptation would come, Sell
Christ for this, or sell Christ for that; sell him, sell him.

"Sometimes it would run in my thoughts, not so little as a hundred times
together, Sell him, sell him; against which, I may say, for whole hours
together, I have been forced to stand as continually leaning and forcing
my spirit against it, lest haply, before I were aware, some wicked
thought might arise in my heart, that might consent thereto; and
sometimes the tempter would make me believe I had consented to it; but
then I should be as tortured upon a rack, for whole days together.

"This temptation did put me to such scares, lest I should at sometimes, I
say, consent thereto, and be overcome therewith, that, by the very force
of my mind, my very body would be put into action or motion, by way of
pushing or thrusting with my hands or elbows; still answering, as fast as
the destroyer said, Sell him, I will not, I will not, I will not; no, not
for thousands, thousands, thousands of worlds; thus reckoning, lest I
should set too low a value on him, even until I scarce well knew where I
was, or how to be composed again.

"But to be brief: one morning, as I did lie in my bed, I was, as at other
times, most fiercely assaulted with this temptation, to sell and part
with Christ; the wicked suggestion still running in my mind, Sell him,
sell him, sell him, sell him, sell him, as fast as a man could speak;
against which, also, in my mind, as at other times, I answered, No, no,
not for thousands, thousands, thousands, at least twenty times together;
but at last, after much striving, I felt this thought pass through my
heart, Let him go if he will; and I thought also, that I felt my heart
freely consent thereto.  Oh, the diligence of Satan!  Oh, the
desperateness of man's heart!

"Now was the battle won, and down fell I, as a bird that is shot from the
top of a tree, into great guilt, and fearful despair.  Thus getting out
of my bed, I went moping into the field; but God knows with as heavy a
heart as mortal man, I think, could bear; where, for the space of two
hours, I was like a man bereft of life; and, as now, past all recovery,
and bound over to eternal punishment.

"And withal, that Scripture did seize upon my soul: 'Or profane person,
as Esau, who, for one morsel of meat, sold his birthright; for ye know,
how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was
rejected; for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it
carefully with tears."

For two years and a half, as he informs us, that awful scripture sounded
in his ears like the knell of a lost soul.  He believed that he had
committed they unpardonable sin.  His mental anguish 'was united with
bodily illness and suffering.  His nervous system became fearfully
deranged; his limbs trembled; and he supposed this visible tremulousness
and agitation to be the mark of Cain.  'Troubled with pain and
distressing sensations in his chest, he began to fear that his breast-
bone would split open, and that he should perish like Judas Iscariot.  He
feared that the tiles of the houses would fall upon him as he walked in
the streets.  He was like his own Man in the Cage at the House of the
Interpreter, shut out from the promises, and looking forward to certain
judgment.  "Methought," he says, "the very sun that shineth in heaven did
grudge to give me light."  And still the dreadful words, "He found no
place for repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears," sounded
in the depths of his soul.  They were, he says, like fetters of brass to
his legs, and their continual clanking followed him for months.
Regarding himself elected and predestined for damnation, he thought that
all things worked for his damage and eternal overthrow, while all things
wrought for the best and to do good to the elect and called of God unto
salvation.  God and all His universe had, he thought, conspired against
him; the green earth, the bright waters, the sky itself, were written
over with His irrevocable curse.

Well was it said by Bunyan's contemporary, the excellent Cudworth, in his
eloquent sermon before the Long Parliament, that "We are nowhere
commanded to pry into the secrets of God, but the wholesome advice given
us is this: 'To make our calling and election sure.'  We have no warrant
from Scripture to peep into the hidden rolls of eternity, to spell out
our names among the stars."  "Must we say that God sometimes, to exercise
His uncontrollable dominion, delights rather in plunging wretched souls
down into infernal night and everlasting darkness?  What, then, shall we
make the God of the whole world?  Nothing but a cruel and dreadful
_Erinnys_, with curled fiery snakes about His head, and firebrands in His
hand; thus governing the world!  Surely, this will make us either
secretly think there is no God in the world, if He must needs be such, or
else to wish heartily there were none."  It was thus at times with
Bunyan.  He was tempted, in this season of despair, to believe that there
was no resurrection and no judgment.

One day, he tells us, a sudden rushing sound, as of wind or the wings of
angels, came to him through the window, wonderfully sweet and pleasant;
and it was as if a voice spoke to him from heaven words of encouragement
and hope, which, to use his language, commanded, for the time, "a silence
in his heart to all those tumultuous thoughts that did use, like
masterless hell-hounds, to roar and bellow and make a hideous noise
within him."  About this time, also, some comforting passages of
Scripture were called to mind; but he remarks, that whenever he strove to
apply them to his case, Satan would thrust the curse of Esau in his face,
and wrest the good word from him.  The blessed promise "Him that cometh
to me, I will in no wise cast out" was the chief instrumentality in
restoring his lost peace.  He says of it: "If ever Satan and I did strive
for any word of God in all my life, it was for this good word of Christ;
he at one end, and I at the other.  Oh, what work we made!  It was for
this in John, I say, that we did so tug and strive; he pulled, and I
pulled, but, God be praised!  I overcame him; I got sweetness from it.
Oh, many a pull hath my heart had with Satan for this blessed sixth
chapter of John!"  Who does not here call to mind the struggle between
Christian and Apollyon in the valley!

That was no fancy sketch; it was the narrative of the author's own
grapple with the Spirit of Evil.  Like his ideal Christian, he "conquered
through Him that loved him."  Love wrought the victory the Scripture of
Forgiveness overcame that of Hatred.

He never afterwards relapsed into that state of religious melancholy from
which he so hardly escaped.  He speaks of his deliverance as the waking
out of a troublesome dream.  His painful experience was not lost upon
him; for it gave him, ever after, a tender sympathy for the weak, the
sinful, the ignorant, and desponding.  In some measure, he had been
"touched with the feeling of their infirmities."  He could feel for those
in the bonds of sin and despair, as bound with them.  Hence his power as
a preacher; hence the wonderful adaptation of his great allegory to all
the variety of spiritual conditions.  Like Fearing, he had lain a month
in the Slough of Despond, and had played, like him, the long melancholy
bass of spiritual heaviness.  With Feeble-mind, he had fallen into the
hands of Slay-good, of the nature of Man-eaters: and had limped along his
difficult way upon the crutches of Ready-to-halt.  Who better than
himself could describe the condition of Despondency, and his daughter
Much-afraid, in the dungeon of Doubting Castle?  Had he not also fallen
among thieves, like Little-faith?

His account of his entering upon the solemn duties of a preacher of the
Gospel is at once curious and instructive.  He deals honestly with
himself, exposing all his various moods, weaknesses, doubts, and
temptations.  "I preached," he says, "what I felt; for the terrors of the
law and the guilt of transgression lay heavy on my conscience.  I have
been as one sent to them from the dead.  I went, myself in chains, to
preach to them in chains; and carried that fire in my conscience which I
persuaded them to beware of."  At times, when he stood up to preach,
blasphemies and evil doubts rushed into his mind, and he felt a strong
desire to utter them aloud to his congregation; and at other seasons,
when he was about to apply to the sinner some searching and fearful text
of Scripture, he was tempted to withhold it, on the ground that it
condemned himself also; but, withstanding the suggestion of the Tempter,
to use his own simile, he bowed himself like Samson to condemn sin
wherever he found it, though he brought guilt and condemnation upon
himself thereby, choosing rather to die with the Philistines than to deny
the truth.

Foreseeing the consequences of exposing himself to the operation of the
penal laws by holding conventicles and preaching, he was deeply afflicted
at the thought of the suffering and destitution to which his wife and
children might be exposed by his death or imprisonment.  Nothing can be
more touching than his simple and earnest words on this point.  They show
how warm and deep were him human affections, and what a tender and loving
heart he laid as a sacrifice on the altar of duty.

"I found myself a man compassed with infirmities; the parting with my
wife and poor children hath often been to me in this place as the pulling
the flesh from the bones; and also it brought to my mind the many
hardships, miseries, and wants, that my poor family was like to meet
with, should I be taken from them, especially my poor blind child, who
lay nearer my heart than all beside.  Oh, the thoughts of the hardships I
thought my poor blind one might go under would break my heart to pieces.

"Poor child! thought I, what sorrow art thou like to have for thy portion
in this world! thou must be beaten, must beg, suffer hunger, cold,
nakedness, and a thousand calamities, though I cannot now endure the wind
should blow upon thee.  But yet, thought I, I must venture you all with
God, though it goeth to the quick to leave you: oh! I saw I was as a man
who was pulling down his house upon the heads of his wife and children;
yet I thought on those 'two milch kine that were to carry the ark of God
into another country, and to leave their calves behind them.'

"But that which helped me in this temptation was divers considerations:
the first was, the consideration of those two Scriptures, 'Leave thy
fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust
in me;' and again, 'The Lord said, verily it shall go well with thy
remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat them well in the time
of evil.'"

He was arrested in 1660, charged with "devilishly and perniciously
abstaining from church," and of being "a common upholder of
conventicles."  At the Quarter Sessions, where his trial seems to have
been conducted somewhat like that of Faithful at Vanity Fair, he was
sentenced to perpetual banishment.  This sentence, however, was never
executed, but he was remanded to Bedford jail, where he lay a prisoner
for twelve years.

Here, shut out from the world, with no other books than the Bible and
Fox's Martyrs, he penned that great work which has attained a wider and
more stable popularity than any other book in the English tongue.  It is
alike the favorite of the nursery and the study.  Many experienced
Christians hold it only second to the Bible; the infidel himself would
not willingly let it die.  Men of all sects read it with delight, as in
the main a truthful representation of the 'Christian pilgrimage, without
indeed assenting to all the doctrines which the author puts in the month
of his fighting sermonizer, Great-heart, or which may be deduced from
some other portions of his allegory.  A recollection of his fearful
sufferings, from misapprehension of a single text in the Scriptures,
relative to the question of election, we may suppose gave a milder tone
to the theology of his Pilgrim than was altogether consistent with the
Calvinism of the seventeenth century.  "Religion," says Macaulay, "has
scarcely ever worn a form so calm and soothing as in Bunyan's allegory."
In composing it, he seems never to have altogether lost sight of the
fact, that, in his life-and-death struggle with Satan for the blessed
promise recorded by the Apostle of Love, the adversary was generally
found on the Genevan side of the argument. Little did the short-sighted
persecutors of Bunyan dream, when they closed upon him the door of
Bedford jail, that God would overrule their poor spite and envy to His
own glory and the worldwide renown of their victim.  In the solitude of
his prison, the ideal forms of beauty and sublimity, which had long
flitted before him vaguely, like the vision of the Temanite, took shape
and coloring; and he was endowed with power to reduce them to order, and
arrange them in harmonious groupings.  His powerful imagination, no
longer self-tormenting, but under the direction of reason and grace,
expanded his narrow cell into a vast theatre, lighted up for the display
of its wonders.  To this creative faculty of his mind might have been
aptly applied the language which George Wither, a contemporary prisoner,
addressed to his Muse:--

              "The dull loneness, the black shade
               Which these hanging vaults have made,
               The rude portals that give light
               More to terror than delight;
               This my chamber of neglect,
               Walled about with disrespect,--
               From all these, and this dull air,
               A fit object for despair,
               She hath taught me by her might,
               To draw comfort and delight."

That stony cell of his was to him like the rock of Padan-aram to the
wandering Patriarch.  He saw angels ascending and descending.  The House
Beautiful rose up before him, and its holy sisterhood welcomed him.  He
looked, with his Pilgrim, from the Chamber of Peace.  The Valley of
Humiliation lay stretched out beneath his eye, and he heard "the curious,
melodious note of the country birds, who sing all the day long in the
spring time, when the flowers appear, and the sun shines warm, and make
the woods and groves and solitary places glad."  Side by side with the
good Christiana and the loving Mercy, he walked through the green and
lowly valley, "fruitful as any the crow flies over," through "meadows
beautiful with lilies;" the song of the poor but fresh-faced shepherd-
boy, who lived a merry life, and wore the herb heartsease in his bosom,
sounded through his cell:--

              "He that is down need fear no fall;
               He that is low no pride."

The broad and pleasant "river of the Water of Life" glided peacefully
before him, fringed "on either side with green trees, with all manner of
fruit," and leaves of healing, with "meadows beautified with lilies, and
green all the year long;" he saw the Delectable Mountains, glorious with
sunshine, overhung with gardens and orchards and vineyards; and beyond
all, the Land of Beulah, with its eternal sunshine, its song of birds,
its music of fountains, its purple clustered vines, and groves through
which walked the Shining Ones, silver-winged and beautiful.

What were bars and bolts and prison-walls to him, whose eyes were
anointed to see, and whose ears opened to hear, the glory and the
rejoicing of the City of God, when the pilgrims were conducted to its
golden gates, from the black and bitter river, with the sounding
trumpeters, the transfigured harpers with their crowns of gold, the sweet
voices of angels, the welcoming peal of bells in the holy city, and the
songs of the redeemed ones?  In reading the concluding pages of the first
part of Pilgrim's Progress, we feel as if the mysterious glory of the
Beatific Vision was unveiled before us.  We are dazzled with the excess
of light.  We are entranced with the mighty melody; overwhelmed by the
great anthem of rejoicing spirits.  It can only be adequately described
in the language of Milton in respect to the Apocalypse, as "a seven-fold
chorus of hallelujahs and harping symphonies."

Few who read Bunyan nowadays think of him as one of the brave old English
confessors, whose steady and firm endurance of persecution baffled and in
the end overcame the tyranny of the Established Church in the reign of
Charles II.  What Milton and Penn and Locke wrote in defence of Liberty,
Bunyan lived out and acted.  He made no concessions to worldly rank.
Dissolute lords and proud bishops he counted less than the humblest and
poorest of his disciples at Bedford.  When first arrested and thrown into
prison, he supposed he should be called to suffer death for his faithful
testimony to the truth; and his great fear was, that he should not meet
his fate with the requisite firmness, and so dishonor the cause of his
Master.  And when dark clouds came over him, and he sought in vain for a
sufficient evidence that in the event of his death it would be well with
him, he girded up his soul with the reflection, that, as he suffered for
the word and way of God, he was engaged not to shrink one hair's breadth
from it.  "I will leap," he says, "off the ladder blindfold into
eternity, sink or swim, come heaven, come hell.  Lord Jesus, if thou wilt
catch me, do; if not, I will venture in thy name!"

The English revolution of the seventeenth century, while it humbled the
false and oppressive aristocracy of rank and title, was prodigal in the
development of the real nobility of the mind and heart.  Its history is
bright with the footprints of men whose very names still stir the hearts
of freemen, the world over, like a trumpet peal.  Say what we may of its
fanaticism, laugh as we may at its extravagant enjoyment of newly
acquired religious and civil liberty, who shall now venture to deny that
it was the golden age of England?  Who that regards freedom above
slavery, will now sympathize with the outcry and lamentation of those
interested in the continuance of the old order of things, against the
prevalence of sects and schism, but who, at the same time, as Milton
shrewdly intimates, dreaded more the rending of their pontifical sleeves
than the rending of the Church?  Who shall now sneer at Puritanism, with
the Defence of Unlicensed Printing before him?  Who scoff at Quakerism
over the Journal of George Fox?  Who shall join with debauched lordlings
and fat-witted prelates in ridicule of Anabaptist levellers and dippers,
after rising from the perusal of Pilgrim's Progress?  "There were giants
in those days."  And foremost amidst that band of liberty-loving and God-
fearing men,

         "The slandered Calvinists of Charles's time,
          Who fought, and won it, Freedom's holy fight,"

stands the subject of our sketch, the Tinker of Elstow.  Of his high
merit as an author there is no longer any question.  The Edinburgh Review
expressed the common sentiment of the literary world, when it declared
that the two great creative minds of the seventeenth century were those
which produced Paradise Lost and the Pilgrim's Progress.

                             THOMAS ELLWOOD.

Commend us to autobiographies!  Give us the veritable notchings of
Robinson Crusoe on his stick, the indubitable records of a life long
since swallowed up in the blackness of darkness, traced by a hand the
very dust of which has become undistinguishable.  The foolishest egotist
who ever chronicled his daily experiences, his hopes and fears, poor
plans and vain reachings after happiness, speaking to us out of the Past,
and thereby giving us to understand that it was quite as real as our
Present, is in no mean sort our benefactor, and commands our attention,
in spite of his folly.  We are thankful for the very vanity which
prompted him to bottle up his poor records, and cast them into the great
sea of Time, for future voyagers to pick up.  We note, with the deepest
interest, that in him too was enacted that miracle of a conscious
existence, the reproduction of which in ourselves awes and perplexes us.
He, too, had a mother; he hated and loved; the light from old-quenched
hearths shone over him; he walked in the sunshine over the dust of those
who had gone before him, just as we are now walking over his.  These
records of him remain, the footmarks of a long-extinct life, not of mere
animal organism, but of a being like ourselves, enabling us, by studying
their hieroglyphic significance, to decipher and see clearly into the
mystery of existence centuries ago.  The dead generations live again in
these old self-biographies.  Incidentally, unintentionally, yet in the
simplest and most natural manner, they make us familiar with all the
phenomena of life in the bygone ages.  We are brought in contact with
actual flesh-and-blood men and women, not the ghostly outline figures
which pass for such, in what is called History.  The horn lantern of the
biographer, by the aid of which, with painful minuteness, he chronicled,
from day to day, his own outgoings and incomings, making visible to us
his pitiful wants, labors, trials, and tribulations of the stomach and of
the conscience, sheds, at times, a strong clear light upon
contemporaneous activities; what seemed before half fabulous, rises up in
distinct and full proportions; we look at statesmen, philosophers, and
poets, with the eyes of those who lived perchance their next-door
neighbors, and sold them beer, and mutton, and household stuffs, had
access to their kitchens, and took note of the fashion of their wigs and
the color of their breeches.  Without some such light, all history would
be just about as unintelligible and unreal as a dimly remembered dream.

The journals of the early Friends or Quakers are in this respect
invaluable.  Little, it is true, can be said, as a general thing, of
their literary merits.  Their authors were plain, earnest men and women,
chiefly intent upon the substance of things, and having withal a strong
testimony to bear against carnal wit and outside show and ornament.  Yet,
even the scholar may well admire the power of certain portions of George
Fox's Journal, where a strong spirit clothes its utterance in simple,
downright Saxon words; the quiet and beautiful enthusiasm of Pennington;
the torrent energy of Edward Burrough; the serene wisdom of Penn; the
logical acuteness of Barclay; the honest truthfulness of Sewell; the wit
and humor of John Roberts, (for even Quakerism had its apostolic jokers
and drab-coated Robert Halls;) and last, not least, the simple beauty of
Woolman's Journal, the modest record of a life of good works and love.

Let us look at the Life of Thomas Ellwood.  The book before us is a
hardly used Philadelphia reprint, bearing date of 1775.  The original was
published some sixty years before.  It is not a book to be found in
fashionable libraries, or noticed in fashionable reviews, but is none the
less deserving of attention.

Ellwood was born in 1639, in the little town of Crowell, in Oxfordshire.
Old Walter, his father, was of "gentlemanly lineage," and held a
commission of the peace under Charles I.  One of his most intimate
friends was Isaac Pennington, a gentleman of estate and good reputation,
whose wife, the widow of Sir John Springette, was a lady of superior
endowments.  Her only daughter, Gulielma, was the playmate and companion
of Thomas.  On making this family a visit, in 1658, in company with his
father, he was surprised to find that they had united with the Quakers, a
sect then little known, and everywhere spoken against.  Passing through
the vista of nearly two centuries, let us cross the threshold, and look
with the eyes of young Ellwood upon this Quaker family.  It will
doubtless give us a good idea of the earnest and solemn spirit of that
age of religious awakening.

"So great a change from a free, debonair, and courtly sort of behavior,
which we had formerly found there, into so strict a gravity as they now
received us with, did not a little amuse us, and disappointed our
expectations of such a pleasant visit as we had promised ourselves.

"For my part, I sought, and at length found, means to cast myself into
the company of the daughter, whom I found gathering flowers in the
garden, attended by her maid, also a Quaker.  But when I addressed her
after my accustomed manner, with intention to engage her in discourse on
the foot of our former acquaintance, though she treated me with a
courteous mien, yet, as young as she was, the gravity of her looks and
behavior struck such an awe upon me, that I found myself not so much
master of myself as to pursue any further converse with her.

"We staid dinner, which was very handsome, and lacked nothing to
recommend it to me but the want of mirth and pleasant discourse, which we
could neither have with them, nor, by reason of them, with one another;
the weightiness which was upon their spirits and countenances keeping
down the lightness that would have been up in ours."

Not long after, they made a second visit to their sober friends, spending
several days, during which they attended a meeting, in a neighboring
farmhouse, where we are introduced by Ellwood to two remarkable
personages, Edward Burrough, the friend and fearless reprover of
Cromwell, and by far the most eloquent preacher of his sect and James
Nayler, whose melancholy after-history of fanaticism, cruel sufferings,
and beautiful repentance, is so well known to the readers of English
history under the Protectorate.  Under the preaching of these men, and
the influence of the Pennington family, young Ellwood was brought into
fellowship with the Quakers.  Of the old Justice's sorrow and indignation
at this sudden blasting of his hopes and wishes in respect to his son,
and of the trials and difficulties of the latter in his new vocation, it
is now scarcely worth while to speak.  Let us step forward a few years,
to 1662, considering meantime how matters, political and spiritual, are
changed in that brief period.  Cromwell, the Maccabeus of Puritanism, is
no longer among men; Charles the Second sits in his place; profane and
licentious cavaliers have thrust aside the sleek-haired, painful-faced
Independents, who used to groan approval to the Scriptural illustrations
of Harrison and Fleetwood; men easy of virtue, without sincerity, either
in religion or politics, occupying the places made honorable by the
Miltons, Whitlocks, and Vanes of the Commonwealth.  Having this change in
view, the light which the farthing candle of Ellwood sheds upon one of
these illustrious names will not be unwelcome.  In his intercourse with
Penn, and other learned Quakers, he had reason to lament his own
deficiencies in scholarship, and his friend Pennington undertook to put
him in a way of remedying the defect.

"He had," says Ellwood, "an intimate acquaintance with Dr. Paget, a
physician of note in London, and he with John Milton, a gentleman of
great note for learning throughout the learned world, for the accurate
pieces he had written on various subjects and occasions.

"This person, having filled a public station in the former times, lived a
private and retired life in London, and, having lost his sight, kept
always a man to read for him, which usually was the son of some gentleman
of his acquaintance, whom, in kindness, he took to improve in his

"Thus, by the mediation of my friend Isaac Pennington with Dr. Paget, and
through him with John Milton, was I admitted to come to him, not as a
servant to him, nor to be in the house with him, but only to have the
liberty of coming to his house at certain hours when I would, and read to
him what books he should appoint, which was all the favor I desired.

"He received me courteously, as well for the sake of Dr. Paget, who
introduced me, as of Isaac Pennington, who recommended me, to both of
whom he bore a good respect.  And, having inquired divers things of me,
with respect to my former progression in learning, he dismissed me, to
provide myself with such accommodations as might be most suitable to my

"I went, therefore, and took lodgings as near to his house (which was
then in Jewen Street) as I conveniently could, and from thenceforward
went every day in the afternoon, except on the first day of the week,
and, sitting by him in his dining-room, read to him such books in the
Latin tongue as be pleased to have me read.

"He perceiving with what earnest desire I had pursued learning, gave me
not only all the encouragement, but all the help he could.  For, having a
curious ear, he understood by my tone when I understood what I read and
when I did not, and accordingly would stop me, examine me, and open the
most difficult passages to me."

Thanks, worthy Thomas, for this glimpse into John Milton's dining-room!

He had been with "Master Milton," as he calls him, only a few weeks,
when, being one "first day morning," at the Bull and Mouth meeting,
Aldersgate, the train-bands of the city, "with great noise and clamor,"
headed by Major Rosewell, fell upon him and his friends.  The immediate
cause of this onslaught upon quiet worshippers was the famous plot of the
Fifth Monarchy men, grim old fanatics, who (like the Millerites of the
present day) had been waiting long for the personal reign of Christ and
the saints upon earth, and in their zeal to hasten such a consummation
had sallied into London streets with drawn swords and loaded matchlocks.
The government took strong measures for suppressing dissenters' meetings
or "conventicles;" and the poor Quakers, although not at all implicated
in the disturbance, suffered more severely than any others.  Let us look
at the "freedom of conscience and worship" in England under that
irreverent Defender of the Faith, Charles II.  Ellwood says: "He that
commanded the party gave us first a general charge to come out of the
room.  But we, who came thither at God's requiring to worship Him, (like
that good man of old, who said, we ought to obey God rather than man,)
stirred not, but kept our places.  Whereupon, he sent some of his
soldiers among us, with command to drag or drive us out, which they did
roughly enough."  Think of it: grave men and women, and modest maidens,
sitting there with calm, impassive countenances, motionless as death, the
pikes of the soldiery closing about them in a circle of bristling steel!
Brave and true ones!  Not in vain did ye thus oppose God's silence to the
Devil's uproar; Christian endurance and calm persistence in the exercise
of your rights as Englishmen and men to the hot fury of impatient
tyranny!  From your day down to this, the world has been the better for
your faithfulness.

Ellwood and some thirty of his friends were marched off to prison in Old
Bridewell, which, as well as nearly all the other prisons, was already
crowded with Quaker prisoners.  One of the rooms of the prison was used
as a torture chamber.  "I was almost affrighted," says Ellwood, "by the
dismalness of the place; for, besides that the walls were all laid over
with black, from top to bottom, there stood in the middle a great

"The manner of whipping there is, to strip the party to the skin, from
the waist upward, and, having fastened him to the whipping-post, (so that
he can neither resist nor shun the strokes,) to lash his naked body with
long, slender twigs of holly, which will bend almost like thongs around
the body; and these, having little knots upon them, tear the skin and
flesh, and give extreme pain."

To this terrible punishment aged men and delicately nurtured young
females were often subjected, during this season of hot persecution.

From the Bridewell, Ellwood was at length removed to Newgate, and thrust
in, with other "Friends," amidst the common felons.  He speaks of this
prison, with its thieves, murderers, and prostitutes, its over-crowded
apartments and loathsome cells, as "a hell upon earth."  In a closet,
adjoining the room where he was lodged, lay for several days the
quartered bodies of Phillips, Tongue, and Gibbs, the leaders of the Fifth
Monarchy rising, frightful and loathsome, as they came from the bloody
hands of the executioners!  These ghastly remains were at length obtained
by the friends of the dead, and buried.  The heads were ordered to be
prepared for setting up in different parts of the city.  Read this grim
passage of description:--

"I saw the heads when they were brought to be boiled.  The hangman
fetched them in a dirty basket, out of some by-place, and, setting them
down among the felons, he and they made sport of them.  They took them by
the hair, flouting, jeering, and laughing at them; and then giving them
some ill names, boxed them on their ears and cheeks; which done, the
hangman put them into his kettle, and parboiled them with bay-salt and
cummin-seed: that to keep them from putrefaction, and this to keep off
the fowls from seizing upon them.  The whole sight, as well that of the
bloody quarters first as this of the heads afterwards, was both frightful
and loathsome, and begat an abhorrence in my nature."

At the next session of the municipal court at the Old Bailey, Ellwood
obtained his discharge.  After paying a visit to "my Master Milton," he
made his way to Chalfont, the home of his friends the Penningtons, where
he was soon after engaged as a Latin teacher.  Here he seems to have had
his trials and temptations.  Gulielma Springette, the daughter of
Pennington's wife, his old playmate, had now grown to be "a fair woman of
marriageable age," and, as he informs us, "very desirable, whether regard
was had to her outward person, which wanted nothing to make her
completely comely, or to the endowments of her mind, which were every way
extraordinary, or to her outward fortune, which was fair."  From all
which, we are not surprised to learn that "she was secretly and openly
sought for by many of almost every rank and condition."  "To whom,"
continues Thomas, "in their respective turns, (till he at length came for
whom she was reserved,) she carried herself with so much evenness of
temper, such courteous freedom, guarded by the strictest modesty, that as
it gave encouragement or ground of hope to none, so neither did it
administer any matter of offence or just cause of complaint to any."

Beautiful and noble maiden!  How the imagination fills up this outline
limning by her friend, and, if truth must be told, admirer!  Serene,
courteous, healthful; a ray of tenderest and blandest light, shining
steadily in the sober gloom of that old household!  Confirmed Quaker as
she is, shrinking from none of the responsibilities and dangers of her
profession, and therefore liable at any time to the penalties of prison
and whipping-post, under that plain garb and in spite of that "certain
gravity of look and behavior,"--which, as we have seen, on one occasion
awed young Ellwood into silence,--youth, beauty, and refinement assert
their prerogatives; love knows no creed; the gay, and titled, and wealthy
crowd around her, suing in vain for her favor.

              "Followed, like the tided moon,
               She moves as calmly on,"

"until he at length comes for whom she was reserved," and her name is
united with that of one worthy even of her, the world-renowned William

Meantime, one cannot but feel a good degree of sympathy with young
Ellwood, her old schoolmate and playmate, placed, as he was, in the same
family with her, enjoying her familiar conversation and unreserved
confidence, and, as he says, the "advantageous opportunities of riding
and walking abroad with her, by night as well as by day, without any
other company than her maid; for so great, indeed, was the confidence
that her mother had in me, that she thought her daughter safe, if I was
with her, even from the plots and designs of others upon her."  So near,
and yet, alas! in truth, so distant!  The serene and gentle light which
shone upon him, in the sweet solitudes of Chalfont, was that of a star,
itself unapproachable.

As he himself meekly intimates, she was reserved for another.  He seems
to have fully understood his own position in respect to her; although, to
use his own words, "others, measuring him by the propensity of their own
inclinations, concluded he would steal her, run away with her, and marry
her."  Little did these jealous surmisers know of the true and really
heroic spirit of the young Latin master.  His own apology and defence of
his conduct, under circumstances of temptation which St. Anthony himself
could have scarcely better resisted, will not be amiss.

"I was not ignorant of the various fears which filled the jealous heads
of some concerning me, neither was I so stupid nor so divested of all
humanity as not to be sensible of the real and innate worth and virtue
which adorned that excellent dame, and attracted the eyes and hearts of
so many, with the greatest importunity, to seek and solicit her; nor was
I so devoid of natural heat as not to feel some sparklings of desire, as
well as others; but the force of truth and sense of honor suppressed
whatever would have risen beyond the bounds of fair and virtuous
friendship.  For I easily foresaw that, if I should have attempted any
thing in a dishonorable way, by fraud or force, upon her, I should have
thereby brought a wound upon mine own soul, a foul scandal upon my
religious profession, and an infamous stain upon mine honor, which was
far more dear unto me than my life.  Wherefore, having observed how some
others had befooled themselves, by misconstruing her common kindness
(expressed in an innocent, open, free, and familiar conversation,
springing from the abundant affability, courtesy, and sweetness of her
natural temper) to be the effect of a singular regard and peculiar
affection to them, I resolved to shun the rock whereon they split; and,
remembering the saying of the poet

          'Felix quem faciunt aliena Pericula cantum,'

I governed myself in a free yet respectful carriage towards her, thereby
preserving a fair reputation with my friends, and enjoying as much of her
favor and kindness, in a virtuous and firm friendship, as was fit for her
to show or for me to seek."

Well and worthily said, poor Thomas!  Whatever might be said of others,
thou, at least, wast no coxcomb.  Thy distant and involuntary admiration
of "the fair Guli" needs, however, no excuse.  Poor human nature, guard
it as one may, with strictest discipline and painfully cramping
environment, will sometimes act out itself; and, in thy case, not even
George Fox himself, knowing thy beautiful young friend, (and doubtless
admiring her too, for he was one of the first to appreciate and honor the
worth and dignity or woman,) could have found it in his heart to censure

At this period, as was indeed most natural, our young teacher solaced
himself with occasional appeals to what he calls "the Muses."  There is
reason to believe, however, that the Pagan sisterhood whom he ventured to
invoke seldom graced his study with their personal attendance.  In these
rhyming efforts, scattered up and down his Journal, there are occasional
sparkles of genuine wit, and passages of keen sarcasm, tersely and fitly
expressed.  Others breathe a warm, devotional feeling; in the following
brief prayer, for instance, the wants of the humble Christian are
condensed in a manner worthy of Quarles or Herbert:--

              "Oh! that mine eye might closed be
               To what concerns me not to see;
               That deafness might possess mine ear
               To what concerns me not to hear;
               That Truth my tongue might always tie
               From ever speaking foolishly;
               That no vain thought might ever rest
               Or be conceived in my breast;
               That by each word and deed and thought
               Glory may to my God be brought!
               But what are wishes?  Lord, mine eye
               On Thee is fixed, to Thee I cry
               Wash, Lord, and purify my heart,
               And make it clean in every part;
               And when 't is clean, Lord, keep it too,
               For that is more than I can do."

The thought in the following extracts from a poem written on the death of
his friend Pennington's son is trite, but not inaptly or inelegantly

              "What ground, alas, has any man
               To set his heart on things below,
               Which, when they seem most like to stand,
               Fly like the arrow from the bow!
               Who's now atop erelong shall feel
               The circling motion of the wheel!

              "The world cannot afford a thing
               Which to a well-composed mind
               Can any lasting pleasure bring,
               But in itself its grave will find.
               All things unto their centre tend
               What had beginning must have end!

              "No disappointment can befall
               Us, having Him who's all in all!
               What can of pleasure him prevent
               Who lath the Fountain of Content?"

In the year 1663 a severe law was enacted against the "sect called
Quakers," prohibiting their meetings, with the penalty of banishment for
the third offence!  The burden of the prosecution which followed fell
upon the Quakers of the metropolis, large numbers of whom were heavily
fined, imprisoned, and sentenced to be banished from their native land.
Yet, in time, our worthy friend Ellwood came in for his own share of
trouble, in consequence of attending the funeral of one of his friends.
An evil-disposed justice of the county obtained information of the Quaker
gathering; and, while the body of the dead was "borne on Friends'
shoulders through the street, in order to be carried to the burying-
ground, which was at the town's end," says Ellwood, "he rushed out upon
us with the constables and a rabble of rude fellows whom he had gathered
together, and, having his drawn sword in his hand, struck one of the
foremost of the bearers with it, commanding them to set down the coffin.
But the Friend who was so stricken, being more concerned for the safety
of the dead body than for his own, lest it should fall, and any indecency
thereupon follow, held the coffin fast; which the justice observing, and
being enraged that his word was not forthwith obeyed, set his hand to the
coffin, and with a forcible thrust threw it off from the bearers'
shoulders, so, that it fell to the ground in the middle of the street,
and there we were forced to leave it; for the constables and rabble fell
upon us, and drew some and drove others into the inn.  Of those thus
taken," continues Ellwood, "I was one.  They picked out ten of us, and
sent us to Aylesbury jail.

"They caused the body to lie in the open street and cartway, so that all
travellers that passed, whether horsemen, coaches, carts, or wagons, were
fain to break out of the way to go by it, until it was almost night.  And
then, having caused a grave to be made in the unconsecrated part of what
is called the Churchyard, they forcibly took the body from the widow, and
buried it there."

He remained a prisoner only about two months, during which period he
comforted himself by such verse-making as follows, reminding us of
similar enigmas in Bunyan's _Pilgrim's Progress_:

               "Lo! a Riddle for the wise,
               In the which a Mystery lies.

          "Some men are free whilst they in prison lie;
          Others who ne'er saw prison captives die.

               "He that can receive it may,
               He that cannot, let him stay,
               Not be hasty, but suspend
               Judgment till he sees the end.

          "He's only free, indeed, who's free from sin,
          And he is fastest bound that's bound therein."

In the mean time, where is our "Master Milton"?  We, left him deprived of
his young companion and reader, sitting lonely in his small dining-room,
in Jewen Street.  It is now the year 1665; is not the pestilence in
London?  A sinful and godless city, with its bloated bishops fawning
around the Nell Gwyns of a licentious and profane Defender of the Faith;
its swaggering and drunken cavaliers; its ribald jesters; its obscene
ballad-singers; its loathsome prisons, crowded with Godfearing men and
women: is not the measure of its iniquity already filled up?  Three years
only have passed since the terrible prayer of Vane went upward from the
scaffold on Tower Hill: "When my blood is shed upon the block, let it, O
God, have a voice afterward!"  Audible to thy ear, O bosom friend of the
martyr! has that blood cried from earth; and now, how fearfully is it
answered!  Like the ashes which the Seer of the Hebrews cast towards
Heaven, it has returned in boils and blains upon the proud and oppressive
city.  John Milton, sitting blind in Jewen Street, has heard the toll of
the death-bells, and the nightlong rumble of the burial-carts, and the
terrible summons, "Bring out your dead!" The Angel of the Plague, in
yellow mantle, purple-spotted, walks the streets.  Why should he tarry in
a doomed city, forsaken of God!  Is not the command, even to him, "Arise
and flee, for thy life"?  In some green nook of the quiet country, he may
finish the great work which his hands have found to do.  He bethinks him
of his old friends, the Penningtons, and his young Quaker companion, the
patient and gentle Ellwood.  "Wherefore," says the latter, "some little
time before I went to Aylesbury jail, I was desired by my quondam Master
Milton to take an house for him in the neighborhood where I dwelt, that
he might go out of the city for the safety of himself and his family, the
pestilence then growing hot in London.  I took a pretty box for him in
Giles Chalfont, a mile from me, of which I gave him notice, and intended
to have waited on him and seen him well settled, but was prevented by
that imprisonment.  But now being released and returned home, I soon made
a visit to him, to welcome him into the country.  After some common
discourse had passed between us, he called for a manuscript of his,
which, having brought, he delivered to me, bidding me take it home with
me and read it at my leisure, and when I had so done return it to him,
with my judgment thereupon."

Now, what does the reader think young Ellwood carried in his gray coat
pocket across the dikes and hedges and through the green lanes of Giles
Chalfont that autumn day?  Let us look farther "When I came home, and had
set myself to read it, I found it was that excellent poem which he
entitled _Paradise Lost_.  After I had, with the best attention, read it
through, I made him another visit; and, returning his book with due
acknowledgment of the favor he had done me in communicating it to me, he
asked me how I liked it and what I thought of it, which I modestly but
freely told him; and, after some farther discourse about it, I pleasantly
said to him, 'Thou hast said much here of Paradise Lost; what hast thou
to say of Paradise Found?'  He made me no answer, but sat some time in a
muse; then brake off that discourse, and fell upon another subject."

"I modestly but freely told him what I thought" of Paradise Lost!  What
he told him remains a mystery.  One would like to know more precisely
what the first critical reader of that song "of Man's first disobedience"
thought of it.  Fancy the young Quaker and blind Milton sitting, some
pleasant afternoon of the autumn of that old year, in "the pretty box" at
Chalfont, the soft wind through the open window lifting the thin hair of
the glorious old Poet!  Back-slidden England, plague-smitten, and
accursed with her faithless Church and libertine King, knows little of
poor "Master Milton," and takes small note of his Puritanic verse-making.
Alone, with his humble friend, he sits there, conning over that poem
which, he fondly hoped, the world, which had grown all dark and strange
to the author, "would not willingly let die."  The suggestion in respect
to Paradise Found, to which, as we have seen, "he made no answer, but sat
some time in a muse," seems not to have been lost; for, "after the
sickness was over," continues Ellwood, "and the city well cleansed, and
become safely habitable again, he returned thither; and when afterwards I
waited on him there, which I seldom failed of doing whenever my occasions
drew me to London, he showed me his second poem, called Paradise Gained;
and, in a pleasant tone, said to me, 'This is owing to you, for you put
it into my head by the question you put to me at Chalfont, which before I
had not thought of.'"

Golden days were these for the young Latin reader, even if it be true, as
we suspect, that he was himself very far from appreciating the glorious
privilege which he enjoyed, of the familiar friendship and confidence of
Milton.  But they could not last.  His amiable host, Isaac Pennington,
a blameless and quiet country gentleman, was dragged from his house by a
military force, and lodged in Aylesbury jail; his wife and family
forcibly ejected from their pleasant home, which was seized upon by the
government as security for the fines imposed upon its owner.  The plague
was in the village of Aylesbury, and in the very prison itself; but the
noble-hearted Mary Pennington followed her husband, sharing with him the
dark peril.  Poor Ellwood, while attending a monthly meeting at Hedgerly,
with six others, (among them one Morgan Watkins, a poor old Welshman,
who, painfully endeavoring to utter his testimony in his own dialect, was
suspected by the Dogberry of a justice of being a Jesuit trolling over
his Latin,) was arrested, and committed to Wiccomb House of Correction.

This was a time of severe trial for the sect with which Ellwood had
connected himself.  In the very midst of the pestilence, when thousands
perished weekly in London, fifty-four Quakers were marched through the
almost deserted streets, and placed on board a ship, for the purpose of
being conveyed, according to their sentence of banishment, to the West
Indies.  The ship lay for a long time, with many others similarly
situated, a helpless prey to the pestilence.  Through that terrible
autumn, the prisoners sat waiting for the summons of the ghastly
Destroyer; and, from their floating dungeon.

                              "Heard the groan
               Of agonizing ships from shore to shore;
               Heard nightly plunged beneath the sullen wave
               The frequent corse."

When the vessel at length set sail, of the fifty-four who went on board,
twenty-seven only were living.  A Dutch privateer captured her, when two
days out, and carried the prisoners to North Holland, where they were set
at liberty.  The condition of the jails in the city, where were large
numbers of Quakers, was dreadful in the extreme.  Ill ventilated,
crowded, and loathsome with the accumulated filth of centuries, they
invited the disease which daily decimated their cells.  "Go on!" says
Pennington, writing to the King and bishops from his plague-infected cell
in the Aylesbury prison: "try it out with the Spirit of the Lord!  Come
forth with your laws, and prisons, and spoiling of goods, and banishment,
and death, if the Lord please, and see if ye can carry it!  Whom the Lord
loveth He can save at His pleasure.  Hath He begun to break our bonds and
deliver us, and shall we now distrust Him?  Are we in a worse condition
than Israel was when the sea was before them, the mountains on either
side, and the Egyptians behind, pursuing them?"

Brave men and faithful!  It is not necessary that the present generation,
how quietly reaping the fruit of your heroic endurance, should see eye to
eye with you in respect to all your testimonies and beliefs, in order to
recognize your claim to gratitude and admiration.  For, in an age of
hypocritical hollowness and mean self-seeking, when, with noble
exceptions, the very Puritans of Cromwell's Reign of the Saints were
taking profane lessons from their old enemies, and putting on an outside
show of conformity, for the sake of place or pardon, ye maintained the
austere dignity of virtue, and, with King and Church and Parliament
arrayed against you, vindicated the Rights of Conscience, at the cost of
home, fortune, and life.  English liberty owes more to your unyielding
firmness than to the blows stricken for her at Worcester and Naseby.

In 1667, we find the Latin teacher in attendance at a great meeting of
Friends, in London, convened at the suggestion of George Fox, for the
purpose of settling a little difficulty which had arisen among the
Friends, even under the pressure of the severest persecution, relative to
the very important matter of "wearing the hat."  George Fox, in his love
of truth and sincerity in word and action, had discountenanced the
fashionable doffing of the hat, and other flattering obeisances towards
men holding stations in Church or State, as savoring of man-worship,
giving to the creature the reverence only due to the Creator, as
undignified and wanting in due self-respect, and tending to support
unnatural and oppressive distinctions among those equal in the sight of
God.  But some of his disciples evidently made much more of this "hat
testimony" than their teacher.  One John Perrott, who had just returned
from an unsuccessful attempt to convert the Pope, at Rome, (where that
dignitary, after listening to his exhortations, and finding him in no
condition to be benefited by the spiritual physicians of the Inquisition,
had quietly turned him over to the temporal ones of the Insane Hospital,)
had broached the doctrine that, in public or private worship, the hat was
not to be taken off, without an immediate revelation or call to do so!
Ellwood himself seems to have been on the point of yielding to this
notion, which appears to have been the occasion of a good deal of
dissension and scandal.  Under these circumstances, to save truth from
reproach, and an important testimony to the essential equality of mankind
from running into sheer fanaticism, Fox summoned his tried and faithful
friends together, from all parts of the United Kingdom, and, as it
appears, with the happiest result.  Hat-revelations were discountenanced,
good order and harmony reestablished, and John Perrott's beaver and the
crazy head under it were from thenceforth powerless for evil.  Let those
who are disposed to laugh at this notable "Ecumenical Council of the Hat"
consider that ecclesiastical history has brought down to us the records
of many larger and more imposing convocations, wherein grave bishops and
learned fathers took each other by the beard upon matters of far less
practical importance.

In 1669, we find Ellwood engaged in escorting his fair friend, Gulielma,
to her uncle's residence in Sussex.  Passing through London, and taking
the Tunbridge road, they stopped at Seven Oak to dine.  The Duke of York
was on the road, with his guards and hangers-on, and the inn was filled
with a rude company.  "Hastening," says Ellwood, "from a place where we
found nothing but rudeness, the roysterers who swarmed there, besides the
damning oaths they belched out against each other, looked very sourly
upon us, as if they grudged us the horses which we rode and the clothes
we wore."  They had proceeded but a little distance, when they were
overtaken by some half dozen drunken rough-riding cavaliers, of the
Wildrake stamp, in full pursuit after the beautiful Quakeress.  One of
them impudently attempted to pull her upon his horse before him, but was
held at bay by Ellwood, who seems, on this occasion, to have relied
somewhat upon his "stick," in defending his fair charge.  Calling up
Gulielma's servant, he bade him ride on one side of his mistress, while
he guarded her on the other.  "But he," says Ellwood, "not thinking it
perhaps decent to ride so near his mistress, left room enough for another
to ride between."  In dashed the drunken retainer, and Gulielma was once
more in peril.  It was clearly no time for exhortations and
expostulations; "so," says Ellwood, "I chopped in upon him, by a nimble
turn, and kept him at bay.  I told him I had hitherto spared him, but
wished him not to provoke me further.  This I spoke in such a tone as
bespoke an high resentment of the abuse put upon us, and withal pressed
him so hard with my horse that I suffered him not to come up again to
Guli."  By this time, it became evident to the companions of the
ruffianly assailant that the young Quaker was in earnest, and they
hastened to interfere.  "For they," says Ellwood, "seeing the contest
rise so high, and probably fearing it would rise higher, not knowing
where it might stop, came in to part us; which they did by taking him

Escaping from these sons of Belial, Ellwood and his fair companion rode
on through Tunbridge Wells, "the street thronged with men, who looked
very earnestly at them, but offered them no affront," and arrived, late
at night, in a driving rain, at the mansion-house of Herbert Springette.
The fiery old gentleman was so indignant at the insult offered to his
niece, that he was with difficulty dissuaded from demanding satisfaction
at the hands of the Duke of York.

This seems to have been his last ride with Gulielma.  She was soon after
married to William Penn, and took up her abode at Worminghurst, in
Sussex.  How blessed and beautiful was that union may be understood from
the following paragraph of a letter, written by her husband, on the eve
of his departure for America to lay the foundations of a Christian

     "My dear wife! remember thou wast the love of my youth, and much the
     joy of my life, the most beloved as well as the most worthy of all
     my earthly comforts; and the reason of that love was more thy inward
     than thy outward excellences, which yet were many.  God knows, and
     thou knowest it, I can say it was a match of Providence's making;
     and God's image in us both was the first thing and the most amiable
     and engaging ornament in our eyes."

About this time our friend Thomas, seeing that his old playmate at
Chalfont was destined for another, turned his attention towards a "young
Friend, named Mary Ellis."  He had been for several years acquainted with
her, but now he "found his heart secretly drawn and inclining towards
her."  "At length," he tells us, "as I was sitting all alone, waiting
upon the Lord for counsel and guidance in this, in itself and to me,
important affair, I felt a word sweetly arise in me, as if I had heard a
Voice which said, Go, and prevail! and faith springing in my heart at the
word, I immediately rose and went, nothing doubting."  On arriving at her
residence, he states that he "solemnly opened his mind to her, which was
a great surprisal to her, for she had taken in an apprehension, as others
had also done," that his eye had been fixed elsewhere and nearer home.
"I used not many words to her," he continues, "but I felt a Divine Power
went along with the words, and fixed the matter expressed by them so fast
in her breast, that, as she afterwards acknowledged to me, she could not
shut it out."

"I continued," he says, "my visits to my best-beloved Friend until we
married, which was on the 28th day of the eighth month, 1669.  We took
each other in a select meeting of the ancient and grave Friends of that
country.  A very solemn meeting it was, and in a weighty frame of spirit
we were."  His wife seems to have had some estate; and Ellwood, with that
nice sense of justice which marked all his actions, immediately made his
will, securing to her, in case of his decease, all her own goods and
moneys, as well as all that he had himself acquired before marriage.
"Which," he tells, "was indeed but little, yet, by all that little, more
than I had ever given her ground to expect with me."  His father, who was
yet unreconciled to the son's religious views, found fault with his
marriage, on the ground that it was unlawful and unsanctioned by priest
or liturgy, and consequently refused to render him any pecuniary
assistance.  Yet, in spite of this and other trials, he seems to have
preserved his serenity of spirit.  After an unpleasant interview with his
father, on one occasion, he wrote, at his lodgings in an inn, in London,
what be calls _A Song of Praise_.  An extract from it will serve to show
the spirit of the good man in affliction:--

              "Unto the Glory of Thy Holy Name,
               Eternal God!  whom I both love and fear,
               I hereby do declare, I never came
               Before Thy throne, and found Thee loath to hear,
               But always ready with an open ear;
               And, though sometimes Thou seem'st Thy face to hide,
               As one that had withdrawn his love from me,
               'T is that my faith may to the full, be tried,
               And that I thereby may the better see
               How weak I am when not upheld by Thee!"

The next year, 1670, an act of Parliament, in relation to "Conventicles,"
provided that any person who should be present at any meeting, under
color or pretence of any exercise of religion, in other manner than
according to the liturgy and practice of the Church of England, "should
be liable to fines of from five to ten shillings; and any person
preaching at or giving his house for the meeting, to a fine of twenty
pounds: one third of the fines being received by the informer or
informers."  As a natural consequence of such a law, the vilest
scoundrels in the land set up the trade of informers and heresy-hunters.
Wherever a dissenting meeting or burial took place, there was sure to be
a mercenary spy, ready to bring a complaint against all in attendance.
The Independents and Baptists ceased, in a great measure, to hold public
meetings, yet even they did not escape prosecution.  Bunyan, for
instance, in these days, was dreaming, like another Jacob, of angels
ascending and descending, in Bedford prison.  But upon the poor Quakers
fell, as usual, the great force of the unjust enactment.  Some of these
spies or informers, men of sharp wit, close countenances, pliant tempers,
and skill in dissimulation, took the guise of Quakers, Independents, or
Baptists, as occasion required, thrusting themselves into the meetings of
the proscribed sects, ascertaining the number who attended, their rank
and condition, and then informing against them.  Ellwood, in his Journal
for 1670, describes several of these emissaries of evil.  One of them
came to a Friend's house, in Bucks, professing to be a brother in the
faith, but, overdoing his counterfeit Quakerism, was detected and
dismissed by his host.  Betaking himself to the inn, he appeared in his
true character, drank and swore roundly, and confessed over his cups that
he had been sent forth on his mission by the Rev. Dr. Mew, Vice-
Chancellor of Oxford.  Finding little success in counterfeiting
Quakerism, he turned to the Baptists, where, for a time, he met with
better success.  Ellwood, at this time, rendered good service to his
friends, by exposing the true character of these wretches, and bringing
them to justice for theft, perjury, and other misdemeanors.

While this storm of persecution lasted, (a period of two or three years,)
the different dissenting sects felt, in some measure, a common sympathy,
and, while guarding themselves against their common foe, had little
leisure for controversy with each other; but, as was natural, the
abatement of their mutual suffering and danger was the signal for
renewing their suspended quarrels.  The Baptists fell upon the Quakers,
with pamphlet and sermon; the latter replied in the same way.  One of the
most conspicuous of the Baptist disputants was the famous Jeremy Ives,
with whom our friend Ellwood seems to have had a good deal of trouble.
"His name," says Ellwood, "was up for a topping Disputant.  He was well,
read in the fallacies of logic, and was ready in framing syllogisms.  His
chief art lay in tickling the humor of rude, unlearned, and injudicious

The following piece of Ellwood's, entitled "An Epitaph for Jeremy Ives,"
will serve to show that wit and drollery were sometimes found even among
the proverbially sober Quakers of the seventeenth century:--

              "Beneath this stone, depressed, doth lie
               The Mirror of Hypocrisy--
               Ives, whose mercenary tongue
               Like a Weathercock was hung,
               And did this or that way play,
               As Advantage led the way.
               If well hired, he would dispute,
               Otherwise he would be mute.
               But he'd bawl for half a day,
               If he knew and liked his pay.

              "For his person, let it pass;
               Only note his face was brass.
               His heart was like a pumice-stone,
               And for Conscience he had none.
               Of Earth and Air he was composed,
               With Water round about enclosed.
               Earth in him had greatest share,
               Questionless, his life lay there;
               Thence his cankered Envy sprung,
               Poisoning both his heart and tongue.

              "Air made him frothy, light, and vain,
               And puffed him with a proud disdain.
               Into the Water oft he went,
               And through the Water many sent
               That was, ye know, his element!
               The greatest odds that did appear
               Was this, for aught that I can hear,
               That he in cold did others dip,
               But did himself hot water sip.

              "And his cause he'd never doubt,
               If well soak'd o'er night in Stout;
               But, meanwhile, he must not lack
               Brandy and a draught of Sack.
               One dispute would shrink a bottle
               Of three pints, if not a pottle.
               One would think he fetched from thence
               All his dreamy eloquence.

              "Let us now bring back the Sot
               To his Aqua Vita pot,
               And observe, with some content,
               How he framed his argument.
               That his whistle he might wet,
               The bottle to his mouth he set,
               And, being Master of that Art,
               Thence he drew the Major part,
               But left the Minor still behind;
               Good reason why, he wanted wind;
               If his breath would have held out,
               He had Conclusion drawn, no doubt."

The residue of Ellwood's life seems to have glided on in serenity and
peace.  He wrote, at intervals, many pamphlets in defence of his Society,
and in favor of Liberty of Conscience.  At his hospitable residence, the
leading spirits of the sect were warmly welcomed.  George Fox and William
Penn seem to have been frequent guests.  We find that, in 1683, he was
arrested for seditious publications, when on the eve of hastening to his
early friend, Gulielma, who, in the absence of her husband, Governor
Penn, had fallen dangerously ill.  On coming before the judge, "I told
him," says Ellwood, "that I had that morning received an express out of
Sussex, that William Penn's wife (with whom I had an intimate
acquaintance and strict friendship, _ab ipsis fere incunabilis_, at
least, _a teneris unguiculis_) lay now ill, not without great danger, and
that she had expressed her desire that I would come to her as soon as I
could."  The judge said "he was very sorry for Madam Penn's illness," of
whose virtues he spoke very highly, but not more than was her due.  Then
he told me, "that, for her sake, he would do what he could to further my
visit to her."  Escaping from the hands of the law, he visited his
friend, who was by this time in a way of recovery, and, on his return,
learned that the prosecution had been abandoned.

At about this date his narrative ceases.  We learn, from other sources,
that he continued to write and print in defence of his religious views up
to the year of his death, which took place in 1713.  One of his
productions, a poetical version of the Life of David, may be still met
with, in the old Quaker libraries.  On the score of poetical merit, it is
about on a level with Michael Drayton's verses on the same subject.  As
the history of one of the firm confessors of the old struggle for
religious freedom, of a genial-hearted and pleasant scholar, the friend
of Penn and Milton, and the suggester of Paradise Regained, we trust our
hurried sketch has not been altogether without interest; and that,
whatever may be the religious views of our readers, they have not failed
to recognize a good and true man in Thomas Ellwood.

                              JAMES NAYLER.

     "You will here read the true story of that much injured, ridiculed
     man, James Nayler; what dreadful sufferings, with what patience he
     endured, even to the boring of the tongue with hot irons, without a
     murmur; and with what strength of mind, when the delusion he had
     fallen into, which they stigmatized as blasphemy, had given place to
     clearer thoughts, he could renounce his error in a strain of the
     beautifullest humility."--Essays of Elia.

"Would that Carlyle could now try his hand at the English Revolution!"
was our exclamation, on laying down the last volume of his remarkable
History of the French Revolution with its brilliant and startling word-
pictures still flashing before us.  To some extent this wish has been
realized in the Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell.  Yet we confess
that the perusal of these volumes has disappointed us.  Instead of giving
himself free scope, as in his French Revolution, and transferring to his
canvas all the wild and ludicrous, the terrible and beautiful phases of
that moral phenomenon, he has here concentrated all his artistic skill
upon a single figure, whom he seems to have regarded as the embodiment
and hero of the great event.  All else on his canvas is subordinated to
the grim image of the colossal Puritan.  Intent upon presenting him as
the fitting object of that "hero-worship," which, in its blind admiration
and adoration of mere abstract Power, seems to us at times nothing less
than devil-worship, he dwarfs, casts into the shadow, nay, in some
instances caricatures and distorts, the figures which surround him.  To
excuse Cromwell in his usurpation, Henry Vane, one of those exalted and
noble characters, upon whose features the lights held by historical
friends or foes detect no blemish, is dismissed with a sneer and an
utterly unfounded imputation of dishonesty.  To reconcile, in some
degree, the discrepancy between the declarations of Cromwell, in behalf
of freedom of conscience, and that mean and cruel persecution which the
Quakers suffered under the Protectorate, the generally harmless
fanaticism of a few individuals bearing that name is gravely urged.  Nay,
the fact that some weak-brained enthusiasts undertook to bring about the
millennium, by associating together, cultivating the earth, and "dibbling
beans" for the New Jerusalem market, is regarded by our author as the
"germ of Quakerism;" and furnishes an occasion for sneering at "my poor
friend Dryasdust, lamentably tearing his hair over the intolerance of
that old time to Quakerism and such like."

The readers of this (with all its faults) powerfully written Biography
cannot fail to have been impressed with the intensely graphic description
(Part I., vol.  ii., pp.  184, 185) of the entry of the poor fanatic,
James Nayler, and his forlorn and draggled companions into Bristol.
Sadly ludicrous is it; affecting us like the actual sight of tragic
insanity enacting its involuntary comedy, and making us smile through our

In another portion of the work, a brief account is given of the trial and
sentence of Nayler, also in the serio-comic view; and the poor man is
dismissed with the simple intimation, that after his punishment he
"repented, and confessed himself mad."  It was no part of the author's
business, we are well aware, to waste time and words upon the history of
such a man as Nayler; he was of no importance to him, otherwise than as
one of the disturbing influences in the government of the Lord Protector.
But in our mind the story of James Nayler has always been one of
interest; and in the belief that it will prove so to others, who, like
Charles Lamb, can appreciate the beautiful humility of a forgiven spirit,
we have taken some pains to collect and embody the facts of it.

James Nayler was born in the parish of Ardesley, in Yorkshire, 1616.  His
father was a substantial farmer, of good repute and competent estate and
be, in consequence, received a good education: At the age of twenty-two,
he married and removed to Wakefield parish, which has since been made
classic ground by the pen of Goldsmith.  Here, an honest, God-fearing
farmer, he tilled his soil, and alternated between cattle-markets and
Independent conventicles.  In 1641, he obeyed the summons of "my Lord
Fairfax" and the Parliament, and joined a troop of horse composed of
sturdy Independents, doing such signal service against "the man of
Belial, Charles Stuart," that he was promoted to the rank of
quartermaster, in which capacity he served under General Lambert, in his
Scottish campaign.  Disabled at length by sickness, he was honorably
dismissed from the service, and returned to his family in 1649.

For three or four years, he continued to attend the meetings of the
Independents, as a zealous and devout member.  But it so fell out, that
in the winter of 1651, George Fox, who had just been released from a
cruel imprisonment in Derby jail, felt a call to set his face towards
Yorkshire.  "So travelling," says Fox, in his Journal, "through the
countries, to several places, preaching Repentance and the Word of Life,
I came into the parts about Wakefield, where James Navler lived."  The
worn and weary soldier, covered with the scars of outward battle,
received, as he believed, in the cause of God and his people, against
Antichrist and oppression, welcomed with thankfulness the veteran of
another warfare; who, in conflict with a principalities and powers, and
spiritual wickedness in high places," had made his name a familiar one in
every English hamlet.  "He and Thomas Goodyear," says Fox, "came to me,
and were both convinced, and received the truth."  He soon after joined
the Society of Friends.  In the spring of the next year he was in his
field following his plough, and meditating, as he was wont, on the great
questions of life and duty, when he seemed to hear a voice bidding him go
out from his kindred and his father's house, with an assurance that the
Lord would be with him, while laboring in his service.  Deeply impressed,
he left his employment, and, returning to his house, made immediate
preparations for a journey.  But hesitation and doubt followed; he became
sick from anxiety of mind, and his recovery, for a time, was exceedingly
doubtful.  On his restoration to bodily health, he obeyed what he
regarded as a clear intimation of duty, and went forth a preacher of the
doctrines he had embraced.  The Independent minister of the society to
which be had formerly belonged sent after him the story that he was the
victim of sorcery; that George Fox carried with him a bottle, out of
which he made people drink; and that the draught had the power to change
a Presbyterian or Independent into a Quaker at once; that, in short, the
Arch-Quaker, Fox, was a wizard, and could be seen at the same moment of
time riding on the same black horse, in two places widely separated.  He
had scarcely commenced his exhortations, before the mob, excited by such
stories, assailed him.  In the early summer of the year we hear of him in
Appleby jail.  On his release, he fell in company with George Fox.  At
Walney Island, he was furiously assaulted, and beaten with clubs and
stones; the poor priest-led fishermen being fully persuaded that they
were dealing with a wizard.  The spirit of the man, under these
circumstances, may be seen in the following extract from a letter to his
friends, dated at "Killet, in Lancashire, the 30th of 8th Month, 1652:"--

"Dear friends!  Dwell in patience, and wait upon the Lord, who will do
his own work.  Look not at man who is in the work, nor at any man
opposing it; but rest in the will of the Lord, that so ye may be
furnished with patience, both to do and to suffer what ye shall be called
unto, that your end in all things may be His praise.  Meet often
together; take heed of what exalteth itself above its brother; but keep
low, and serve one another in love."

Laboring thus, interrupted only by persecution, stripes, and
imprisonment, he finally came to London, and spoke with great power and
eloquence in the meetings of Friends in that city.  Here he for the first
time found himself surrounded by admiring and sympathizing friends.  He
saw and rejoiced in the fruits of his ministry.  Profane and drunken
cavaliers, intolerant Presbyters, and blind Papists, owned the truths
which he uttered, and counted themselves his disciples.  Women, too, in
their deep trustfulness and admiring reverence, sat at the feet of the
eloquent stranger.  Devout believers in the doctrine of the inward light
and manifestation of God in the heart of man, these latter, at length,
thought they saw such unmistakable evidences of the true life in James
Nayler, that they felt constrained to declare that Christ was, in an
especial manner, within him, and to call upon all to recognize in
reverent adoration this new incarnation of the divine and heavenly.  The
wild enthusiasm of his disciples had its effect on the teacher.  Weak in
body, worn with sickness, fasting, stripes, and prison-penance, and
naturally credulous and imaginative, is it strange that in some measure
he yielded to this miserable delusion?  Let those who would harshly judge
him, or ascribe his fall to the peculiar doctrines of his sect, think of
Luther, engaged in personal combat with the Devil, or conversing with him
on points of theology in his bed-chamber; or of Bunyan at actual
fisticuffs with the adversary; or of Fleetwood and Vane and Harrison
millennium-mad, and making preparations for an earthly reign of King
Jesus.  It was an age of intense religious excitement.  Fanaticism had
become epidemic.  Cromwell swayed his Parliaments by "revelations" and
Scripture phrases in the painted chamber; stout generals and sea-captains
exterminated the Irish, and swept Dutch navies from the ocean, with old
Jewish war-cries, and hymns of Deborah and Miriam; country justices
charged juries in Hebraisms, and cited the laws of Palestine oftener than
those of England.  Poor Nayler found himself in the very midst of this
seething and confused moral maelstrom.  He struggled against it for a
time, but human nature was weak; he became, to use his own words,
"bewildered and darkened," and the floods went over him.

Leaving London with some of his more zealous followers, not without
solemn admonition and rebuke from Francis Howgill and Edward Burrough,
who at that period were regarded as the most eminent and gifted of the
Society's ministers, he bent his steps towards Exeter.  Here, in
consequence of the extravagance of his language and that of his
disciples, he was arrested and thrown into prison.  Several infatuated
women surrounded the jail, declaring that "Christ was in prison," and on
being admitted to see him, knelt down and kissed his feet, exclaiming,
"Thy name shall be no more called James Nayler, but Jesus!" Let us pity
him and them.  They, full of grateful and extravagant affection for the
man whose voice had called them away from worldly vanities to what they
regarded as eternal realities, whose hand they imagined had for them
swung back the pearl gates of the celestial city, and flooded their
atmosphere with light from heaven; he, receiving their homage (not as
offered to a poor, weak, sinful Yorkshire trooper, but rather to the
hidden man of the heart, the "Christ within" him) with that self-
deceiving humility which is but another name for spiritual pride.
Mournful, yet natural; such as is still in greater or less degree
manifested between the Catholic enthusiast and her confessor; such as the
careful observer may at times take note of in our Protestant revivals and
camp meetings.

How Nayler was released from Exeter jail does not appear, but the next we
hear of him is at Bristol, in the fall of the year.  His entrance into
that city shows the progress which he and his followers had made in the
interval.  Let us look at Carlyle's description of it: "A procession of
eight persons one, a man on horseback riding single, the others, men and
women partly riding double, partly on foot, in the muddiest highway in
the wettest weather; singing, all but the single rider, at whose bridle
walk and splash two women, 'Hosannah!  Holy, holy!  Lord God of Sabaoth,'
and other things, 'in a buzzing tone,' which the impartial hearer could
not make out.  The single rider is a raw-boned male figure, 'with lank
hair reaching below his cheeks,' hat drawn close over his brows, 'nose
rising slightly in the middle,' of abstruse 'down look,' and large
dangerous jaws strictly closed: he sings not, sits there covered, and is
sung to by the others bare.  Amid pouring deluges and mud knee-deep, 'so
that the rain ran in at their necks and vented it at their hose and
breeches: 'a spectacle to the West of England and posterity!  Singing as
above; answering no question except in song.  From Bedminster to
Ratcliffgate, along the streets to the High Cross of Bristol: at the High
Cross they are laid hold of by the authorities: turn out to be James
Nayler and Company."

Truly, a more pitiful example of "hero-worship" is not well to be
conceived of.  Instead of taking the rational view of it, however, and
mercifully shutting up the actors in a mad-house, the authorities of that
day, conceiving it to be a stupendous blasphemy, and themselves God's
avengers in the matter, sent Nayler under strong guard up to London, to
be examined before the Parliament.  After long and tedious examinations
and cross-questionings, and still more tedious debates, some portion of
which, not uninstructive to the reader, may still be found in Burton's
Diary, the following horrible resolution was agreed upon:--

"That James Nayler be set in the pillory, with his head in the pillory in
the Palace Yard, Westminster, during the space of two hours on Thursday
next; and be whipped by the hangman through the streets from Westminster
to the Old Exchange, and there, likewise, be set in the pillory, with his
head in the pillory for the space of two hours, between eleven and one,
on Saturday next, in each place wearing a paper containing a description
of his crimes; and that at the Old Exchange his tongue be bored through
with a hot iron, and that he be there stigmatized on the forehead with
the letter 'B;' and that he be afterwards sent to Bristol, to be conveyed
into and through the said city on horseback with his face backward, and
there, also, publicly whipped the next market-day after he comes thither;
that from thence he be committed to prison in Bridewell, London, and
there restrained from the society of people, and there to labor hard
until he shall be released by Parliament; and during that time be
debarred the use of pen, ink, and paper, and have no relief except what
he earns by his daily labor."

Such, neither more nor less, was, in the opinion of Parliament, required
on their part to appease the divine vengeance.  The sentence was
pronounced on the 17th of the twelfth month; the entire time of the
Parliament for the two months previous having been occupied with the
case.  The Presbyterians in that body were ready enough to make the most
of an offence committed by one who had been an Independent; the
Independents, to escape the stigma of extenuating the crimes of one of
their quondam brethren, vied with their antagonists in shrieking over the
atrocity of Nayler's blasphemy, and in urging its severe punishment.
Here and there among both classes were men disposed to leniency, and more
than one earnest plea was made for merciful dealing with a man whose
reason was evidently unsettled, and who was, therefore, a fitting object
of compassion; whose crime, if it could indeed be called one, was
evidently the result of a clouded intellect, and not of wilful intention
of evil.  On the other hand, many were in favor of putting him to death
as a sort of peace-offering to the clergy, who, as a matter of course,
were greatly scandalized by Nayler's blasphemy, and still more by the
refusal of his sect to pay tithes, or recognize their divine commission.

Nayler was called into the Parliament-house to receive his sentence.
"I do not know mine offence," he said mildly.  "You shall know it," said
Sir Thomas Widrington, "by your sentence."  When the sentence was read,
he attempted to speak, but was silenced.  "I pray God," said Nayler,
"that he may not lay this to your charge."

The next day, the 18th of the twelfth month, he stood in the pillory two
hours, in the chill winter air, and was then stripped and scourged by the
hangman at the tail of a cart through the streets.  Three hundred and ten
stripes were inflicted; his back and arms were horribly cut and mangled,
and his feet crushed and bruised by the feet of horses treading on him in
the crowd.  He bore all with uncomplaining patience; but was so far
exhausted by his sufferings, that it was found necessary to postpone the
execution of the residue of the sentence for one week.  The terrible
severity of his sentence, and his meek endurance of it, had in the mean
time powerfully affected many of the humane and generous of all classes
in the city; and a petition for the remission of the remaining part of
the penalty was numerously signed and presented to Parliament.  A debate
ensued upon it, but its prayer was rejected.  Application was then made
to Cromwell, who addressed a letter to the Speaker of the House,
inquiring into the affair, protesting an "abhorrence and detestation of
giving or occasioning the least countenance to such opinions and
practices" as were imputed to Nayler; "yet we, being intrusted in the
present government on behalf of the people of these nations, and not
knowing how far such proceeding entered into wholly without us may extend
in the consequence of it, do hereby desire the House may let us know the
grounds and reasons whereon they have proceeded."  From this, it is not
unlikely that the Protector might have been disposed to clemency, and to
look with a degree of charity upon the weakness and errors of one of his
old and tried soldiers who had striven like a brave man, as he was, for
the rights and liberties of Englishmen; but the clergy here interposed,
and vehemently, in the name of God and His Church, demanded that the
executioner should finish his work.  Five of the most eminent of them,
names well known in the Protectorate, Caryl, Manton, Nye, Griffith, and
Reynolds, were deputed by Parliament to visit the mangled prisoner.  A
reasonable request was made, that some impartial person might be present,
that justice might be done Nayler in the report of his answers.  This was
refused.  It was, however, agreed that the conversation should be written
down and a copy of it left with the jailer.  He was asked if he was sorry
for his blasphemies.  He said he did not know to what blasphemies they
alluded; that he did believe in Jesus Christ; that He had taken up His
dwelling in his own heart, and for the testimony of Him he now suffered.
"I believe," said one of the ministers, "in a Christ who was never in any
man's heart."  "I know no such Christ," rejoined the prisoner; "the
Christ I witness to fills Heaven and Earth, and dwells in the hearts of
all true believers."  On being asked why he allowed the women to adore
and worship him, he said he "denied bowing to the creature; but if they
beheld the power of Christ, wherever it was, and bowed to it, he could
not resist it, or say aught against it."

After some further parley, the reverend visitors grew angry, threw the
written record of the conversation in the fire, and left the prison, to
report the prisoner incorrigible.

On the 27th of the month, he was again led out of his cell and placed
upon the pillory.  Thousands of citizens were gathered around, many of
them earnestly protesting against the extreme cruelty of his punishment.
Robert Rich, an influential and honorable merchant, followed him up to
the pillory with expressions of great sympathy, and held him by the hand
while the red-hot iron was pressed through his tongue and the brand was
placed on his forehead.  He was next sent to Bristol, and publicly
whipped through the principal streets of that city; and again brought
back to the Bridewell prison, where he remained about two years, shut out
from all intercourse with his fellow-beings.  At the expiration of this
period, he was released by order of Parliament.  In the solitude of his
cell, the angel of patience had been with him.

Through the cloud which had so long rested over him, the clear light of
truth shone in upon his spirit; the weltering chaos of a disordered
intellect settled into the calm peace of a reconciliation with God and
man.  His first act on leaving prison was to visit Bristol, the scene of
his melancholy fall.  There he publicly confessed his errors, in the
eloquent earnestness of a contrite spirit, humbled in view of the past,
yet full of thanksgiving and praise for the great boon of forgiveness.  A
writer who was present says, the "assembly was tendered, and broken into
tears; there were few dry eyes, and many were bowed in their minds."

In a paper which he published soon after, he acknowledges his lamentable
delusion.  "Condemned forever," he says, "be all those false worships
with which any have idolized my person in that Night of my Temptation,
when the Power of Darkness was above rue; all that did in any way tend to
dishonor the Lord, or draw the minds of any from the measure of Christ
Jesus in themselves, to look at flesh, which is as grass, or to ascribe
that to the visible which belongs to Him.  Darkness came over me
through want of watchfulness and obedience to the pure Eye of God.  I was
taken captive from the true light; I was walking in the Night, as a
wandering bird fit for a prey.  And if the Lord of all my mercies had not
rescued me, I had perished; for I was as one appointed to death and
destruction, and there was none to deliver me."

"It is in my heart to confess to God, and before men, my folly and
offence in that day; yet there were many things formed against me in
that day, to take away my life and bring scandal upon the truth, of
which I was not guilty at all." "The provocation of that Time of
Temptation was exceeding great against the Lord, yet He left me not; for
when Darkness was above, and the Adversary so prevailed that all things
were turned and perverted against my right seeing, hearing, or
understanding, only a secret hope and faith I had in my God, whom I had
served, that He would bring me through it and to the end of it, and that
I should again see the day of my redemption from under it all,--this
quieted my soul in its greatest tribulation." He concludes his
confession with these words: "He who hath saved my soul from death, who
hath lifted my feet up out of the pit, even to Him be glory forever; and
let every troubled soul trust in Him, for his mercy endureth forever!"

Among his papers, written soon after his release, is a remarkable prayer,
or rather thanksgiving.  The limit I have prescribed to myself will only
allow me to copy an extract:--

"It is in my heart to praise Thee, O my God!  Let me never forget Thee,
what Thou hast been to me in the night, by Thy presence in my hour of
trial, when I was beset in darkness, when I was cast out as a wandering
bird; when I was assaulted with strong temptations, then Thy presence, in
secret, did preserve me, and in a low state I felt Thee near me; when my
way was through the sea, when I passed under the mountains, there wast
Thou present with me; when the weight of the hills was upon me, Thou
upheldest me.  Thou didst fight, on my part, when I wrestled with death;
when darkness would have shut me up, Thy light shone about me; when my
work was in the furnace, and I passed through the fire, by Thee I was not
consumed; when I beheld the dreadful visions, and was among the fiery
spirits, Thy faith staid me, else through fear I had fallen.  I saw Thee,
and believed, so that the enemy could not prevail."  After speaking of
his humiliation and sufferings, which Divine Mercy had overruled for his
spiritual good, he thus concludes: "Thou didst lift me out from the pit,
and set me forth in the sight of my enemies; Thou proclaimedst liberty to
the captive; Thou calledst my acquaintances near me; they to whom I had
been a wonder looked upon me; and in Thy love I obtained favor with those
who had deserted me.  Then did gladness swallow up sorrow, and I forsook
my troubles; and I said, How good is it that man be proved in the night,
that he may know his folly, that every mouth may become silent, until
Thou makest man known unto himself, and has slain the boaster, and shown
him the vanity which vexeth Thy spirit."

All honor to the Quakers of that day, that, at the risk of
misrepresentation and calumny, they received back to their communion
their greatly erring, but deeply repentant, brother.  His life, ever
after, was one of self-denial and jealous watchfulness over himself,--
blameless and beautiful in its humility and lowly charity.

Thomas Ellwood, in his autobiography for the year 1659, mentions Nayler,
whom he met in company with Edward Burrough at the house of Milton's
friend, Pennington.  Ellwood's father held a discourse with the two
Quakers on their doctrine of free and universal grace.  "James Nailer,"
says Ellwood, "handled the subject with so much perspicuity and clear
demonstration, that his reasoning seemed to be irresistible.  As for
Edward Burrough, he was a brisk young Man, of a ready Tongue, and might
have been for aught I then knew, a Scholar, which made me less admire his
Way of Reasoning.  But what dropt from James Nailer had the greater Force
upon me, because he lookt like a simple Countryman, having the appearance
of an Husbandman or Shepherd."

In the latter part of the eighth month, 1660, be left London on foot, to
visit his wife and children in Wakefield.  As he journeyed on, the sense
of a solemn change about to take place seemed with him; the shadow of the
eternal world fell over him.  As he passed through Huntingdon, a friend
who saw him describes him as "in an awful and weighty frame of mind, as
if he had been redeemed from earth, and a stranger on it, seeking a
better home and inheritance."  A few miles beyond the town, he was found,
in the dusk of the evening, very ill, and was taken to the house of a
friend, who lived not far distant.  He died shortly after, expressing his
gratitude for the kindness of his attendants, and invoking blessings upon
them.  About two hours before his death, he spoke to the friend at his
bedside these remarkable words, solemn as eternity, and beautiful as the
love which fills it:--

"There is a spirit which I feel which delights to do no evil, nor to
avenge any wrong; but delights to endure all things, in hope to enjoy its
own in the end; its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to
weary out all exultation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary
to itself.  It sees to the end of all temptations; as it bears no evil in
itself, so it conceives none in thought to any other: if it be betrayed,
it bears it, for its ground and spring is the mercy and forgiveness of
God.  Its crown is meekness; its life is everlasting love unfeigned; it
takes its kingdom with entreaty, and not with contention, and keeps it by
lowliness of mind.  In God alone it can rejoice, though none else regard
it, or can own its life.  It is conceived in sorrow, and brought forth
with none to pity it; nor doth it murmur at grief and oppression.  It
never rejoiceth but through sufferings, for with the world's joy it is
murdered.  I found it alone, being forsaken.  I have fellowship therein
with them who lived in dens and desolate places of the earth, who through
death obtained resurrection and eternal Holy Life."

So died James Nayler.  He was buried in "Thomas Parnell's burying-ground,
at King's Rippon," in a green nook of rural England.  Wrong and violence,
and temptation and sorrow, and evil-speaking, could reach him no more.
And in taking leave of him, let us say, with old Joseph Wyeth, where he
touches upon this case in his _Anguis Flagellatus_: "Let none insult, but
take heed lest they also, in the hour of their temptation, do fall away."

                              ANDREW MARVELL

     "They who with a good conscience and an upright heart do their civil
     duties in the sight of God, and in their several places, to resist
     tyranny and the violence of superstition banded both against them,
     will never seek to be forgiven that which may justly be attributed
     to their immortal praise."--Answer to Eikon Basilike.

Among, the great names which adorned the Protectorate,--that period of
intense mental activity, when political and religious rights and duties
were thoroughly discussed by strong and earnest statesmen and
theologians,--that of Andrew Marvell, the friend of Milton, and Latin
Secretary of Cromwell, deserves honorable mention.  The magnificent prose
of Milton, long neglected, is now perhaps as frequently read as his great
epic; but the writings of his friend and fellow secretary, devoted like
his own to the cause of freedom and the rights of the people, are
scarcely known to the present generation.  It is true that Marvell's
political pamphlets were less elaborate and profound than those of the
author of the glorious _Defence of Unlicensed Printing_.  He was light,
playful, witty, and sarcastic; he lacked the stern dignity, the terrible
invective, the bitter scorn, the crushing, annihilating retort, the grand
and solemn eloquence, and the devout appeals, which render immortal the
controversial works of Milton.  But he, too, has left his foot-prints on
his age; he, too, has written for posterity that which they "will not
willingly let die."  As one of the inflexible defenders of English
liberty, sowers of the seed, the fruits of which we are now reaping, he
has a higher claim on the kind regards of this generation than his merits
as a poet, by no means inconsiderable, would warrant.

Andrew Marvell was born in Kingston-upon-Hull, in 1620.  At the age of
eighteen he entered Trinity College, whence he was enticed by the
Jesuits, then actively seeking proselytes.  After remaining with them a
short time, his father found him, and brought him back to his studies.
On leaving college, he travelled on the Continent.  At Rome he wrote his
first satire, a humorous critique upon Richard Flecknoe, an English
Jesuit and verse writer, whose lines on Silence Charles Lamb quotes in
one of his Essays.  It is supposed that he made his first acquaintance
with Milton in Italy.

At Paris he made the Abbot de Manihan the subject of another satire.  The
Abbot pretended to skill in the arts of magic, and used to prognosticate
the fortunes of people from the character of their handwriting.  At what
period he returned from his travels we are not aware.  It is stated, by
some of his biographers, that he was sent as secretary of a Turkish
mission.  In 1653, he was appointed the tutor of Cromwell's nephew; and,
four years after, doubtless through the instrumentality of his friend
Milton, he received the honorable appointment of Latin Secretary of the
Commonwealth.  In 1658, he was selected by his townsmen of Hull to
represent them in Parliament.  In this service he continued until 1663,
when, notwithstanding his sturdy republican principles, he was appointed
secretary to the Russian embassy.  On his return, in 1665, he was again
elected to Parliament, and continued in the public service until the
prorogation of the Parliament of 1675.

The boldness, the uncompromising integrity and irreproachable consistency
of Marvell, as a statesman, have secured for him the honorable
appellation of "the British Aristides."  Unlike too many of his old
associates under the Protectorate, he did not change with the times.  He
was a republican in Cromwell's day, and neither threats of assassination,
nor flatteries, nor proffered bribes, could make him anything else in
that of Charles II.  He advocated the rights of the people at a time when
patriotism was regarded as ridiculous folly; when a general corruption,
spreading downwards from a lewd and abominable Court, had made
legislation a mere scramble for place and emolument.  English history
presents no period so disgraceful as the Restoration.  To use the words
of Macaulay, it was "a day of servitude without loyalty and sensuality
without love, of dwarfish talents and gigantic vices, the paradise of
cold hearts and narrow minds, the golden age of the coward, the bigot,
and the slave.  The principles of liberty were the scoff of every
grinning courtier, and the Anathema Maranatha of every fawning dean."  It
is the peculiar merit of Milton and Marvell, that in such an age they
held fast their integrity, standing up in glorious contrast with clerical
apostates and traitors to the cause of England's liberty.

In the discharge of his duties as a statesman Marvell was as punctual and
conscientious as our own venerable Apostle of Freedom, John Quincy Adams.
He corresponded every post with his constituents, keeping them fully
apprised of all that transpired at Court or in Parliament.  He spoke but
seldom, but his great personal influence was exerted privately upon the
members of the Commons as well as upon the Peers.  His wit, accomplished
manners, and literary eminence made him a favorite at the Court itself.
The voluptuous and careless monarch laughed over the biting satire of the
republican poet, and heartily enjoyed his lively conversation.  It is
said that numerous advances were made to him by the courtiers of Charles
II., but he was found to be incorruptible.  The personal compliments of
the King, the encomiums of Rochester, the smiles and flatteries of the
frail but fair and high-born ladies of the Court; nay, even the golden
offers of the King's treasurer, who, climbing with difficulty to his
obscure retreat on an upper floor of a court in the Strand, laid a
tempting bribe of L1,000 before him, on the very day when he had been
compelled to borrow a guinea, were all lost upon the inflexible patriot.
He stood up manfully, in an age of persecution, for religious liberty,
opposed the oppressive excise, and demanded frequent Parliaments and a
fair representation of the people.

In 1672, Marvell engaged in a controversy with the famous High-Churchman,
Dr. Parker, who had taken the lead in urging the persecution of Non-
conformists.  In one of the works of this arrogant divine, he says that
"it is absolutely necessary to the peace and government of the world that
the supreme magistrate should be vested with power to govern and conduct
the consciences of subjects in affairs of religion.  Princes may with
less hazard give liberty to men's vices and debaucheries than to their
consciences."  And, speaking of the various sects of Non-conformists, he
counsels princes and legislators that "tenderness and indulgence to such
men is to nourish vipers in their own bowels, and the most sottish
neglect of our quiet and security."  Marvell replied to him in a severely
satirical pamphlet, which provoked a reply from the Doctor.  Marvell
rejoined, with a rare combination of wit and argument.  The effect of his
sarcasm on the Doctor and his supporters may be inferred from an
anonymous note sent him, in which the writer threatens by the eternal God
to cut his throat, if he uttered any more libels upon Dr. Parker.  Bishop
Burnet remarks that "Marvell writ in a burlesque strain, but with so
peculiar and so entertaining a conduct 'that from the King down to the
tradesman his books were read with great pleasure, and not only humbled
Parker, but his whole party, for Marvell had all the wits on his side.'"
The Bishop further remarks that Marvell's satire "gave occasion to the
only piece of modesty with which Dr. Parker was ever charged, namely, of
withdrawing from town, and not importuning the press for some years,
since even a face of brass must grow red when it is burnt as his has

Dean Swift, in commenting upon the usual fate of controversial pamphlets,
which seldom live beyond their generation, says: "There is indeed an
exception, when a great genius undertakes to expose a foolish piece; so
we still read Marvell's answer to Parker with pleasure, though the book
it answers be sunk long ago."

Perhaps, in the entire compass of our language, there is not to be found
a finer piece of satirical writing than Marvell's famous parody of the
speeches of Charles II., in which the private vices and public
inconsistencies of the King, and his gross violations of his pledges on
coming to the throne, are exposed with the keenest wit and the most
laugh-provoking irony.  Charles himself, although doubtless annoyed by
it, could not refrain from joining in the mirth which it excited at his

The friendship between Marvell and Milton remained firm and unbroken to
the last.  The former exerted himself to save his illustrious friend from
persecution, and omitted no opportunity to defend him as a politician and
to eulogize him as a poet.  In 1654 he presented to Cromwell Milton's
noble tract in _Defence of the People of England_, and, in writing to the
author, says of the work, "When I consider how equally it teems and rises
with so many figures, it seems to me a Trajan's column, in whose winding
ascent we see embossed the several monuments of your learned victories."
He was one of the first to appreciate _Paradise Lost_, and to commend it
in some admirable lines.  One couplet is exceedingly beautiful, in its
reference to the author's blindness:--

              "Just Heaven, thee like Tiresias to requite,
               Rewards with prophecy thy loss of sight."

His poems, written in the "snatched leisure" of an active political life,
bear marks of haste, and are very unequal.  In the midst of passages of
pastoral description worthy of Milton himself, feeble lines and hackneyed
phrases occur.  His _Nymph lamenting the Death of her Fawn_ is a finished
and elaborate piece, full of grace and tenderness.  _Thoughts in a
Garden_ will be remembered by the quotations of that exquisite critic,
Charles Lamb.  How pleasant is this picture!

                   "What wondrous life is this I lead!
                    Ripe apples drop about my head;
                    The luscious clusters of the vine
                    Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
                    The nectarine and curious peach
                    Into my hands themselves do reach;
                    Stumbling on melons as I pass,
                    Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

                   "Here at this fountain's sliding foot,
                    Or at the fruit-tree's mossy root,
                    Casting the body's vest aside,
                    My soul into the boughs does glide.
                    There like a bird it sits and sings,
                    And whets and claps its silver wings;
                    And, till prepared for longer flight,
                    Waves in its plumes the various light.

                   "How well the skilful gard'ner drew
                    Of flowers and herbs this dial true!
                    Where, from above, the milder sun
                    Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
                    And, as it works, the industrious bee
                    Computes his time as well as we.
                    How could such sweet and wholesome hours
                    Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers!"

One of his longer poems, _Appleton House_, contains passages of admirable
description, and many not unpleasing conceits.  Witness the following:--

                   "Thus I, an easy philosopher,
                    Among the birds and trees confer,
                    And little now to make me wants,
                    Or of the fowl or of the plants.
                    Give me but wings, as they, and I
                    Straight floating on the air shall fly;
                    Or turn me but, and you shall see
                    I am but an inverted tree.
                    Already I begin to call
                    In their most learned original;
                    And, where I language want, my signs
                    The bird upon the bough divines.
                    No leaf does tremble in the wind,
                    Which I returning cannot find.
                    Out of these scattered Sibyl's leaves,
                    Strange prophecies my fancy weaves:
                    What Rome, Greece, Palestine, e'er said,
                    I in this light Mosaic read.
                    Under this antic cope I move,
                    Like some great prelate of the grove;
                    Then, languishing at ease, I toss
                    On pallets thick with velvet moss;
                    While the wind, cooling through the boughs,
                    Flatters with air my panting brows.
                    Thanks for my rest, ye mossy banks!
                    And unto you, cool zephyrs, thanks!
                    Who, as my hair, my thoughts too shed,
                    And winnow from the chaff my head.
                    How safe, methinks, and strong behind
                    These trees have I encamped my mind!"

Here is a picture of a piscatorial idler and his trout stream, worthy of
the pencil of Izaak Walton:--

              "See in what wanton harmless folds
               It everywhere the meadow holds:
               Where all things gaze themselves, and doubt
               If they be in it or without;
               And for this shade, which therein shines
               Narcissus-like, the sun too pines.
               Oh! what a pleasure 't is to hedge
               My temples here in heavy sedge;
               Abandoning my lazy side,
               Stretched as a bank unto the tide;
               Or, to suspend my sliding foot
               On the osier's undermining root,
               And in its branches tough to hang,
               While at my lines the fishes twang."

A little poem of Marvell's, which he calls Eyes and Tears, has the
following passages:--

              "How wisely Nature did agree
               With the same eyes to weep and see!
               That having viewed the object vain,
               They might be ready to complain.
               And, since the self-deluding sight
               In a false angle takes each height,
               These tears, which better measure all,
               Like watery lines and plummets fall."

              "Happy are they whom grief doth bless,
               That weep the more, and see the less;
               And, to preserve their sight more true,
               Bathe still their eyes in their own dew;
               So Magdalen, in tears more wise,
               Dissolved those captivating eyes,
               Whose liquid chains could, flowing, meet
               To fetter her Redeemer's feet.
               The sparkling glance, that shoots desire,
               Drenched in those tears, does lose its fire;
               Yea, oft the Thunderer pity takes,
               And there his hissing lightning slakes.
               The incense is to Heaven dear,
               Not as a perfume, but a tear;
               And stars shine lovely in the night,
               But as they seem the tears of light.
               Ope, then, mine eyes, your double sluice,
               And practise so your noblest use;
               For others, too, can see or sleep,
               But only human eyes can weep."

The Bermuda Emigrants has some happy lines, as the following:--

              "He hangs in shade the orange bright,
               Like golden lamps in a green night."

Or this, which doubtless suggested a couplet in Moore's _Canadian Boat

              "And all the way, to guide the chime,
               With falling oars they kept the time."

His facetious and burlesque poetry was much admired in his day; but a
great portion of it referred to persons and events no longer of general
interest.  The satire on Holland is an exception.  There is nothing in
its way superior to it in our language.  Many of his best pieces were
originally written in Latin, and afterwards translated by himself.  There
is a splendid Ode to Cromwell--a worthy companion of Milton's glorious
sonnet--which is not generally known, and which we transfer entire to our
pages.  Its simple dignity and the melodious flow of its versification
commend themselves more to our feelings than its eulogy of war.  It is
energetic and impassioned, and probably affords a better idea of the
author, as an actor in the stirring drama of his time, than the "soft
Lydian airs" of the poems that we have quoted.


               The forward youth that would appear
               Must now forsake his Muses dear;
               Nor in the shadows sing
               His numbers languishing.

               'T is time to leave the books in dust,
               And oil the unused armor's rust;
               Removing from the wall
               The corslet of the hall.

               So restless Cromwell could not cease
               In the inglorious arts of peace,
               But through adventurous war
               Urged his active star.

               And, like the three-forked lightning, first
               Breaking the clouds wherein it nurst,
               Did thorough his own side
               His fiery way divide.

               For 't is all one to courage high,
               The emulous, or enemy;
               And with such to enclose
               Is more than to oppose.

               Then burning through the air he went,
               And palaces and temples rent;
               And Caesar's head at last
               Did through his laurels blast.

               'T is madness to resist or blame
               The face of angry Heaven's flame;
               And, if we would speak true,
               Much to the man is due,

               Who, from his private gardens, where
               He lived reserved and austere,
               (As if his highest plot
               To plant the bergamot,)

               Could by industrious valor climb
               To ruin the great work of time,
               And cast the kingdoms old
               Into another mould!

               Though justice against fate complain,
               And plead the ancient rights in vain,--
               But those do hold or break,
               As men are strong or weak.

               Nature, that hateth emptiness,
               Allows of penetration less,
               And therefore must make room
               Where greater spirits come.

               What field of all the civil war,
               Where his were not the deepest scar?
               And Hampton shows what part
               He had of wiser art;

               Where, twining subtle fears with hope,
               He wove a net of such a scope,
               That Charles himself might chase
               To Carisbrook's narrow case;

               That hence the royal actor borne,
               The tragic scaffold might adorn,
               While round the armed bands
               Did clap their bloody hands.

               HE nothing common did or mean
               Upon that memorable scene,
               But with his keener eye
               The axe's edge did try

               Nor called the gods, with vulgar spite,
               To vindicate his helpless right!
               But bowed his comely head,
               Down, as upon a bed.

               This was that memorable hour,
               Which first assured the forced power;
               So when they did design
               The Capitol's first line,

               A bleeding head, where they begun,
               Did fright the architects to run;
               And yet in that the state
               Foresaw its happy fate.

               And now the Irish are ashamed
               To see themselves in one year tamed;
               So much one man can do,
               That does best act and know.

               They can affirm his praises best,
               And have, though overcome, confest
               How good he is, how just,
               And fit for highest trust.

               Nor yet grown stiffer by command,
               But still in the Republic's hand,
               How fit he is to sway
               That can so well obey.

               He to the Commons' feet presents
               A kingdom for his first year's rents,
               And, what he may, forbears
               His fame to make it theirs.

               And has his sword and spoils ungirt,
               To lay them at the public's skirt;
               So when the falcon high
               Falls heavy from the sky,

               She, having killed, no more does search,
               But on the next green bough to perch,
               Where, when he first does lure,
               The falconer has her sure.

               What may not, then, our isle presume,
               While Victory his crest does plume?
               What may not others fear,

               If thus he crowns each year?

               As Caesar, he, erelong, to Gaul;
               To Italy as Hannibal,
               And to all states not free
               Shall climacteric be.

               The Pict no shelter now shall find
               Within his parti-contoured mind;
               But from his valor sad
               Shrink underneath the plaid,

               Happy if in the tufted brake
               The English hunter him mistake,
               Nor lay his hands a near
               The Caledonian deer.

               But thou, the war's and fortune's son,
               March indefatigably on;
               And, for the last effect,
               Still keep the sword erect.

               Besides the force, it has to fright
               The spirits of the shady night
               The same arts that did gain
               A power, must it maintain.

Marvell was never married.  The modern critic, who affirms that bachelors
have done the most to exalt women into a divinity, might have quoted his
extravagant panegyric of Maria Fairfax as an apt illustration:--

               "'T is she that to these gardens gave
               The wondrous beauty which they have;
               She straitness on the woods bestows,
               To her the meadow sweetness owes;
               Nothing could make the river be
               So crystal pure but only she,--
               She, yet more pure, sweet, strait, and fair,
               Than gardens, woods, meals, rivers are
               Therefore, what first she on them spent
               They gratefully again present:
               The meadow carpets where to tread,
               The garden flowers to crown her head,
               And for a glass the limpid brook
               Where she may all her beauties look;
               But, since she would not have them seen,
               The wood about her draws a screen;
               For she, to higher beauty raised,
               Disdains to be for lesser praised;
               She counts her beauty to converse
               In all the languages as hers,
               Nor yet in those herself employs,
               But for the wisdom, not the noise,
               Nor yet that wisdom could affect,
               But as 't is Heaven's dialect."

It has been the fashion of a class of shallow Church and State defenders
to ridicule the great men of the Commonwealth, the sturdy republicans of
England, as sour-featured, hard-hearted ascetics, enemies of the fine
arts and polite literature.  The works of Milton and Marvell, the prose-
poem of Harrington, and the admirable discourses of Algernon Sydney are a
sufficient answer to this accusation.  To none has it less application
than to the subject of our sketch.  He was a genial, warmhearted man, an
elegant scholar, a finished gentleman at home, and the life of every
circle which he entered, whether that of the gay court of Charles II.,
amidst such men as Rochester and L'Estrange, or that of the republican
philosophers who assembled at Miles's Coffee House, where he discussed
plans of a free representative government with the author of Oceana, and
Cyriack Skinner, that friend of Milton, whom the bard has immortalized in
the sonnet which so pathetically, yet heroically, alludes to his own
blindness.  Men of all parties enjoyed his wit and graceful conversation.
His personal appearance was altogether in his favor.  A clear, dark,
Spanish complexion, long hair of jetty blackness falling in graceful
wreaths to his shoulders, dark eyes, full of expression and fire, a
finely chiselled chin, and a mouth whose soft voluptuousness scarcely
gave token of the steady purpose and firm will of the inflexible
statesman: these, added to the prestige of his genius, and the respect
which a lofty, self-sacrificing patriotism extorts even from those who
would fain corrupt and bribe it, gave him a ready passport to the
fashionable society of the metropolis.  He was one of the few who mingled
in that society, and escaped its contamination, and who,

              "Amidst the wavering days of sin,
               Kept himself icy chaste and pure."

The tone and temper of his mind may be most fitly expressed in his own
paraphrase of Horace:--

              "Climb at Court for me that will,
               Tottering Favor's pinnacle;
               All I seek is to lie still!
               Settled in some secret nest,
               In calm leisure let me rest;
               And, far off the public stage,
               Pass away my silent age.
               Thus, when, without noise, unknown,
               I have lived out all my span,
               I shall die without a groan,
               An old, honest countryman.
               Who, exposed to other's eyes,
               Into his own heart ne'er pries,
               Death's to him a strange surprise."

He died suddenly in 1678, while in attendance at a popular meeting of his
old constituents at Hull.  His health had previously been remarkably
good; and it was supposed by many that he was poisoned by some of his
political or clerical enemies.  His monument, erected by his grateful
constituency, bears the following inscription:--

     "Near this place lyeth the body of Andrew Marvell, Esq., a man so
     endowed by Nature, so improved by Education, Study, and Travel, so
     consummated by Experience, that, joining the peculiar graces of Wit
     and Learning, with a singular penetration and strength of judgment;
     and exercising all these in the whole course of his life, with an
     unutterable steadiness in the ways of Virtue, he became the ornament
     and example of his age, beloved by good men, feared by bad, admired
     by all, though imitated by few; and scarce paralleled by any.  But a
     Tombstone can neither contain his character, nor is Marble necessary
     to transmit it to posterity; it is engraved in the minds of this
     generation, and will be always legible in his inimitable writings,
     nevertheless.  He having served twenty years successfully in
     Parliament, and that with such Wisdom, Dexterity, and Courage, as
     becomes a true Patriot, the town of Kingston-upon-Hull, from whence
     he was deputed to that Assembly, lamenting in his death the public
     loss, have erected this Monument of their Grief and their Gratitude,

Thus lived and died Andrew Marvell.  His memory is the inheritance of
Americans as well as Englishmen.  His example commends itself in an
especial manner to the legislators of our Republic.  Integrity and
fidelity to principle are as greatly needed at this time in our halls of
Congress as in the Parliaments of the Restoration; men are required who
can feel, with Milton, that "it is high honor done them from God, and a
special mark of His favor, to have been selected to stand upright and
steadfast in His cause, dignified with the defence of Truth and public

                              JOHN ROBERTS.

Thomas Carlyle, in his history of the stout and sagacious Monk of St.
Edmunds, has given us a fine picture of the actual life of Englishmen in
the middle centuries.  The dim cell-lamp of the somewhat apocryphal
Jocelin of Brakelond becomes in his hands a huge Drummond-light, shining
over the Dark Ages like the naphtha-fed cressets over Pandemonium,
proving, as he says in his own quaint way, that "England in the year 1200
was no dreamland, but a green, solid place, which grew corn and several
other things; the sun shone on it; the vicissitudes of seasons and human
fortunes were there; cloth was woven, ditches dug, fallow fields
ploughed, and houses built."  And if, as the writer just quoted insists,
it is a matter of no small importance to make it credible to the present
generation that the Past is not a confused dream of thrones and battle-
fields, creeds and constitutions, but a reality, substantial as hearth
and home, harvest-field and smith-shop, merry-making and death, could
make it, we shall not wholly waste our time and that of our readers in
inviting them to look with us at the rural life of England two centuries
ago, through the eyes of John Roberts and his worthy son, Daniel, yeomen,
of Siddington, near Cirencester.

_The Memoirs of John Roberts, alias Haywood, by his son, Daniel Roberts_,
(the second edition, printed verbatim from the original one, with its
picturesque array of italics and capital letters,) is to be found only in
a few of our old Quaker libraries.  It opens with some account of the
family.  The father of the elder Roberts "lived reputably, on a little
estate of his own," and it is mentioned as noteworthy that he married a
sister of a gentleman in the Commission of the Peace.  Coming of age
about the beginning of the civil wars, John and one of his young
neighbors enlisted in the service of Parliament.  Hearing that
Cirencester had been taken by the King's forces, they obtained leave of
absence to visit their friends, for whose safety they naturally felt
solicitous.  The following account of the reception they met with from
the drunken and ferocious troopers of Charles I., the "bravos of Alsatia
and the pages of Whitehall," throws a ghastly light upon the horrors of
civil war:--

"As they were passing by Cirencester, they were discovered, and pursued
by two soldiers of the King's party, then in possession of the town.
Seeing themselves pursued, they quitted their horses, and took to their
heels; but, by reason of their accoutrements, could make little speed.
They came up with my father first; and, though he begged for quarter,
none they would give him, but laid on him with their swords, cutting and
slashing his hands and arms, which he held up to save his head; as the
marks upon them did long after testify.  At length it pleased the
Almighty to put it into his mind to fall down on his face; which he did.
Hereupon the soldiers, being on horseback, cried to each other, _Alight,
and cut his throat_! but neither of them did; yet continued to strike and
prick him about the jaws, till they thought him dead.  Then they left
him, and pursued his neighbor, whom they presently overtook and killed.
Soon after they had left my father, it was said in his heart, _Rise, and
flee for thy life_! which call he obeyed; and, starting upon his feet,
his enemies espied him in motion, and pursued him again.  He ran down a
steep hill, and through a river which ran at the bottom of it; though
with exceeding difficulty, his boots filling with water, and his wounds
bleeding very much.  They followed him to the top of the hill; but,
seeing he had got over, pursued him no farther."

The surgeon who attended him was a Royalist, and bluntly told his
bleeding patient that if he had met him in the street he would have
killed him himself, but now he was willing to cure him.  On his recovery,
young Roberts again entered the army, and continued in it until the
overthrow, of the Monarchy.  On his return, he married "Lydia Tindall,
of the denomination of Puritans."  A majestic figure rises before us,
on reading the statement that Sir Matthew Hale, afterwards Lord Chief
Justice of England, the irreproachable jurist and judicial saint, was
"his wife's kinsman, and drew her marriage settlement."

No stronger testimony to the high-toned morality and austere virtue of
the Puritan yeomanry of England can be adduced than the fact that, of the
fifty thousand soldiers who were discharged on the accession of Charles
II., and left to shift for themselves, comparatively few, if any, became
chargeable to their parishes, although at that very time one out of six
of the English population were unable to support themselves.  They
carried into their farm-fields and workshops the strict habits of
Cromwell's discipline; and, in toiling to repair their wasted fortunes,
they manifested the same heroic fortitude and self-denial which in war
had made them such formidable and efficient "Soldiers of the Lord."  With
few exceptions, they remained steadfast in their uncompromising non-
conformity, abhorring Prelacy and Popery, and entertaining no very
orthodox notions with respect to the divine right of Kings.  From them
the Quakers drew their most zealous champions; men who, in renouncing the
"carnal weapons" of their old service, found employment for habitual
combativeness in hot and wordy sectarian warfare.  To this day the
vocabulary of Quakerism abounds in the military phrases and figures which
were in use in the Commonwealth's time.  Their old force and significance
are now in a great measure lost; but one can well imagine that, in the
assemblies of the primitive Quakers, such stirring battle-cries and
warlike tropes, even when employed in enforcing or illustrating the
doctrines of peace, must have made many a stout heart' to beat quicker,
tinder its drab coloring, with recollections of Naseby and Preston;
transporting many a listener from the benches of his place of worship to
the ranks of Ireton and Lambert, and causing him to hear, in the place of
the solemn and nasal tones of the preacher, the blast of Rupert's bugles,
and the answering shout of Cromwell's pikemen: "Let God arise, and let
his enemies be scattered!"

Of this class was John Roberts.  He threw off his knapsack, and went back
to his small homestead, contented with the privilege of supporting
himself and family by daily toil, and grumbling in concert with his old
campaign brothers at the new order of things in Church and State.  To his
apprehension, the Golden Days of England ended with the parade on
Blackheath to receive the restored King.  He manifested no reverence for
Bishops and Lords, for he felt none.  For the Presbyterians he had no
good will; they had brought in the King, and they denied the liberty of
prophesying.  John Milton has expressed the feeling of the Independents
and Anabaptists towards this latter class, in that famous line in which
he defines Presbyter as "old priest writ large."  Roberts was by no means
a gloomy fanatic; he had a great deal of shrewdness and humor, loved a
quiet joke; and every gambling priest and swearing magistrate in the
neighborhood stood in fear of his sharp wit.  It was quite in course for
such a man to fall in with the Quakers, and he appears to have done so at
the first opportunity.

In the year 1665, "it pleased the Lord to send two women Friends out of
the North to Cirencester," who, inquiring after such as feared God, were
directed to the house of John Roberts.  He received them kindly, and,
inviting in some of his neighbors, sat down with them, whereupon "the
Friends spake a few words, which had a good effect."  After the meeting
was over, he was induced to visit a "Friend" then confined in Banbury
jail, whom he found preaching through the grates of his cell to the
people in the street.  On seeing Roberts he called to mind the story of
Zaccheus, and declared that the word was now to all who were seeking
Christ by climbing the tree of knowledge, "Come down, come down; for that
which is to be known of God is manifested within."  Returning home, he
went soon after to the parish meeting-house, and, entering with his hat
on, the priest noticed him, and, stopping short in his discourse,
declared that he could not go on while one of the congregation wore his
hat.  He was thereupon led out of the house, and a rude fellow, stealing
up behind, struck him on the back with a heavy stone.  "Take that for
God's sake," said the ruffian.  "So I do," answered Roberts, without
looking back to see his assailant, who the next day came and asked his
forgiveness for the injury, as he could not sleep in consequence of it.

We next find him attending the Quarter Sessions, where three "Friends"
were arraigned for entering Cirencester Church with their hats on.
Venturing to utter a word of remonstrance against the summary proceedings
of the Court, Justice Stephens demanded his name, and, on being told,
exclaimed, in the very tone and temper of Jeffreys:

I 've heard of you.  I'm glad I have you here.  You deserve a stone
doublet.  There's many an honester man than you hanged."

"It may be so," said Roberts, "but what becomes of such as hang honest

The Justice snatched a ball of wax and hurled it at the quiet questioner.
"I 'll send you to prison," said he; "and if any insurrection or tumult
occurs, I 'll come and cut your throat with my own sword."  A warrant was
made out, and he was forthwith sent to the jail.  In the evening, Justice
Sollis, his uncle, released him, on condition of his promise to appear at
the next Sessions.  He returned to his home, but in the night following
be was impressed with a belief that it was his duty to visit Justice
Stephens.  Early in the morning, with a heavy heart, without eating or
drinking, he mounted his horse and rode towards the residence of his
enemy.  When he came in sight of the house, he felt strong misgivings
that his uncle, Justice Sollis, who had so kindly released him, and his
neighbors generally, would condemn him for voluntarily running into
danger, and drawing down trouble upon himself and family.  He alighted
from his horse, and sat on the ground in great doubt and sorrow, when a
voice seemed to speak within him, "Go, and I will go with thee."  The
Justice met him at the door.  "I am come," said Roberts, "in the fear
and dread of Heaven, to warn thee to repent of thy wickedness with speed,
lest the Lord send thee to the pit that is bottomless!"  This terrible
summons awed the Justice; he made Roberts sit down on his couch beside
him, declaring that he received the message from God, and asked
forgiveness for the wrong he had done him.

The parish vicar of Siddington at this time was George Bull, afterwards
Bishop of St. David's, whom Macaulay speaks of as the only rural parish
priest who, during the latter part of the seventeenth century, was noted
as a theologian, or Who possessed a respectable library.  Roberts refused
to pay the vicar his tithes, and the vicar sent him to prison.  It was
the priest's "Short Method with Dissenters."  While the sturdy Non-
conformist lay in prison, he was visited by the great woman of the
neighborhood, Lady Dunch, of Down Amney.  "What do you lie in jail for?"
inquired the lady.  Roberts replied that it was because he could not put
bread into the mouth of a hireling priest.  The lady suggested that he
might let somebody else satisfy the demands of the priest; and that she
had a mind to do this herself, as she wished to talk with him on
religious subjects.  To this Roberts objected; there were poor people who
needed her charities, which would be wasted on such devourers as the
priests, who, like Pharaoh's lean kine, were eating up the fat and the
goodly, without looking a whit the better.  But the lady, who seems to
have been pleased and amused by the obstinate prisoner, paid the tithe
and the jail fees, and set him at liberty, making him fix a day when he
would visit her.  At the time appointed he went to Down Amney, and was
overtaken on the way by the priest of Cirencester, who had been sent for
to meet the Quaker.  They found the lady ill in bed; but she had them
brought to her chamber, being determined not to lose the amusement of
hearing a theological discussion, to which she at once urged them,
declaring that it would divert her and do her good.  The parson began by
accusing the Quakers of holding Popish doctrines.  The Quaker retorted
by telling him that if he would prove the Quakers like the Papists in one
thing, by the help of God, he would prove him like them in ten.  After a
brief and sharp dispute, the priest, finding his adversary's wit too keen
for his comfort, hastily took his leave.

The next we hear of Roberts he is in Gloucester Castle, subjected to the
brutal usage of a jailer, who took a malicious satisfaction in thrusting
decent and respectable Dissenters, imprisoned for matters of conscience,
among felons and thieves.  A poor vagabond tinker was hired to play at
night on his hautboy, and prevent their sleeping; but Roberts spoke to
him in such a manner that the instrument fell from his hand; and he told
the jailer that he would play no more, though he should hang him up at
the door for it.

How he was released from jail does not appear; but the narrative tells us
that some time after an apparitor came to cite him to the Bishop's Court
at Gloucester.  When he was brought before the Court, Bishop Nicholson, a
kind-hearted and easy-natured prelate, asked him the number of his
children, and how many of them had been _bishoped_?

"None, that I know of," said Roberts.

"What reason," asked the Bishop, "do you give for this?"

"A very good one," said the Quaker: "most of my children were born in
Oliver's days, when Bishops were out of fashion."

The Bishop and the Court laughed at this sally, and proceeded to question
him touching his views of baptism.  Roberts admitted that John had a
Divine commission to baptize with water, but that he never heard of
anybody else that had.  The Bishop reminded him that Christ's disciples
baptized.  "What 's that to me?" responded Roberts.  "Paul says he was
not sent to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.  And if he was not sent,
who required it at his hands?  Perhaps he had as little thanks for his
labor as thou hast for thine; and I would willingly know who sent thee to

The Bishop evaded this home question, and told him he was there to answer
for not coming to church.  Roberts denied the charge; sometimes he went
to church, and sometimes it came to him.  "I don't call that a church
which you do, which is made of wood and stone."

"What do you call it?"  asked the Bishop.

"It might be properly called a mass-house," was the reply; "for it was
built for that purpose."  The Bishop here told him he might go for the
present; he would take another opportunity to convince him of his errors.

The next person called was a Baptist minister, who, seeing that Roberts
refused to put off his hat, kept on his also.  The Bishop sternly
reminded him that he stood before the King's Court, and the
representative of the majesty of England; and that, while some regard
might be had to the scruples of men who made a conscience of putting off
the hat, such contempt could not be tolerated on the part of one who
could put it off to every mechanic be met.  The Baptist pulled off his
hat, and apologized, on the ground of illness.

We find Roberts next following George Fox on a visit to Bristol.  On his
return, reaching his house late in the evening, he saw a man standing in
the moonlight at his door, and knew him to be a bailiff.

"Hast thou anything against me?" asked Roberts.

"No," said the bailiff, "I've wronged you enough, God forgive me!  Those
who lie in wait for you are my Lord Bishop's bailiffs; they are merciless
rogues.  Ever, my master, while you live, please a knave, for an honest
man won't hurt you."

The next morning, having, as he thought, been warned by a dream to do so,
he went to the Bishop's house at Cleave, near Gloucester.  Confronting
the Bishop in his own hall, he told him that he had come to know why he
was hunting after him with his bailiffs, and why he was his adversary.
"The King is your adversary," said the Bishop; "you have broken the
King's law."  Roberts ventured to deny the justice of the law.  "What!"
cried the Bishop, "do such men as you find fault with the laws?"  "Yes,"
replied the other, stoutly; "and I tell thee plainly to thy face, it is
high time wiser men were chosen, to make better laws."

The discourse turning upon the Book of Common Prayer, Roberts asked the
Bishop if the sin of idolatry did not consist in worshipping the work of
men's hands.  The Bishop admitted it, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar's

"Then," said Roberts, "whose hands made your Prayer Book?  It could not
make itself."

"Do you compare our Prayer Book to Nebuchadnezzar's image?" cried the

"Yes," returned Roberts, "that was his image; this is thine.  I no more
dare bow to thy Common-Prayer Book than the Three Children to
Nebuchadnezzar's image."

"Yours is a strange upstart religion," said the Bishop.

Roberts told him it was older than his by several hundred years.  At this
claim of antiquity the prelate was greatly amused, and told Roberts that
if he would make out his case, he should speed the better for it.

"Let me ask thee," said Roberts, "where thy religion was in Oliver's
days, when thy Common-Prayer Book was as little regarded as an old
almanac, and your priests, with a few honest exceptions, turned with the
tide, and if Oliver had put mass in their mouths would have conformed to
it for the sake of their bellies."

"What would you have us do?"  asked the Bishop.  "Would you have had
Oliver cut our throats?"

"No," said Roberts; "but what sort of religion was that which you were
afraid to venture your throats for?"

The Bishop interrupted him to say, that in Oliver's days he had never
owned any other religion than his own, although he did not dare to openly
maintain it as he then did.

"Well," continued Roberts, "if thou didst not think thy religion worth
venturing thy throat for then, I desire thee to consider that it is not
worth the cutting of other men's throats now for not conforming to it."

"You are right," responded the frank Bishop.  "I hope we shall have a
care how we cut men's throats."

The following colloquy throws some light on the condition and character
of the rural clergy at this period, and goes far to confirm the
statements of Macaulay, which many have supposed exaggerated.  Baxter's
early religious teachers were more exceptionable than even the maudlin
mummer whom Roberts speaks of, one of them being "the excellentest stage-
player in all the country, and a good gamester and goodfellow, who,
having received Holy Orders, forged the like for a neighbor's son, who on
the strength of that title officiated at the desk and altar; and after
him came an attorney's clerk, who had tippled himself into so great
poverty that he had no other way to live than to preach."

J. ROBERTS.  I was bred up under a Common-Prayer Priest; and a poor
drunken old Man he was.  Sometimes he was so drunk he could not say his
Prayers, and at best he could but say them; though I think he was by far
a better Man than he that is Priest there now.

BISHOP.  Who is your Minister now?

J. ROBERTS.  My Minister is Christ Jesus, the Minister of the everlasting
Covenant; but the present Priest of the Parish is George Bull.

BISHOP.  Do you say that drunken old Man was better than Mr. Bull?  I
tell you, I account Mr. Bull as sound, able, and orthodox a Divine as any
we have among us.

J. ROBERT.  I am sorry for that; for if he be one of the best of you, I
believe the Lord will not suffer you long; for he is a proud, ambitious,
ungodly Man: he hath often sued me at Law, and brought his Servants to
swear against me wrongfully.  His Servants themselves have confessed to
my Servants, that I might have their Ears; for their Master made them
drunk, and then told them they were set down in the List as Witnesses
against me, and they must swear to it: And so they did, and brought
treble Damages.  They likewise owned they took Tithes from my Servants,
threshed them out, and sold them for their Master.  They have also
several Times took my Cattle out of my Grounds, drove them to Fairs and
Markets, and sold them, without giving me any Account.

BISHOP.  I do assure you I will inform Mr. Bull of what you say.

J. ROBERTS.  Very well.  And if thou pleasest to send for me to face him,
I shall make much more appear to his Face than I'll say behind his Back.

After much more discourse, Roberts told the Bishop that if it would do
him any good to have him in jail, he would voluntarily go and deliver
himself up to the keeper of Gloucester Castle.  The good-natured prelate
relented at this, and said he should not be molested or injured, and
further manifested his good will by ordering refreshments.  One of the
Bishop's friends who was present was highly offended by the freedom of
Roberts with his Lordship, and undertook to rebuke him, but was so
readily answered that he flew into a rage.  "If all the Quakers in
England," said he, "are not hanged in a month's time, I 'll be hanged for
them."  "Prithee, friend," quoth Roberts, "remember and be as good as thy

Good old Bishop Nicholson, it would seem, really liked his incorrigible
Quaker neighbor, and could enjoy heartily his wit and humor, even when
exercised at the expense of his own ecclesiastical dignity.  He admired
his blunt honesty and courage.  Surrounded by flatterers and self-
seekers, he found satisfaction in the company and conversation of one
who, setting aside all conventionalisms, saw only in my Lord Bishop a
poor fellow-probationer, and addressed him on terms of conscious
equality.  The indulgence which he extended to him naturally enough
provoked many of the inferior clergy, who had been sorely annoyed by the
sturdy Dissenter's irreverent witticisms and unsparing ridicule.  Vicar
Bull, of Siddington, and Priest Careless, of Cirencester, in particular,
urged the Bishop to deal sharply with him.  The former accused him of
dealing in the Black Art, and filled the Bishop's ear with certain
marvellous stories of his preternatural sagacity and discernment in
discovering cattle which were lost.  The Bishop took occasion to inquire
into these stories; and was told by Roberts that, except in a single
instance, the discoveries were the result of his acquaintance with the
habits of animals and his knowledge of the localities where they were
lost.  The circumstance alluded to, as an exception, will be best related
in his own words.

"I had a poor Neighbor, who had a Wife and six Children, and whom the
chief men about us permitted to keep six or seven Cows upon the Waste,
which were the principal Support of the Family, and preserved them from
becoming chargeable to the Parish.  One very stormy night the Cattle were
left in the Yard as usual, but could not be found in the morning.  The
Man and his Sons had sought them to no purpose; and, after they had been
lost four days, his Wife came to me, and, in a great deal of grief,
cried, 'O Lord!  Master Hayward, we are undone!  My Husband and I must go
a begging in our old age!  We have lost all our Cows.  My Husband and the
Boys have been round the country, and can hear nothing of them.  I'll
down on my bare knees, if you'll stand our Friend!'  I desired she would
not be in such an agony, and told her she should not down on her knees to
me; but I would gladly help them in what I could.  'I know,' said she,
'you are a good Man, and God will hear your Prayers.'  I desire thee,
said I, to be still and quiet in thy mind; perhaps thy Husband or Sons
may hear of them to-day; if not, let thy Husband get a horse, and come to
me to-morrow morning as soon as he will; and I think, if it please God,
to go with him to seek then.  The Woman seemed transported with joy,
crying, 'Then we shall have our Cows again.'  Her Faith being so strong,
brought the greater Exercise on me, with strong cries to the Lord, that
he would be pleased to make me instrumental in his Hand, for the help of
the poor Family.  In the Morning early comes the old Man.  In the Name of
God, says he, which way shall we go to seek them?  I, being deeply
concerned in my Mind, did not answer him till he had thrice repeated it;
and then I answered, In the Name of God, I would go to seek them; and
said (before I was well aware) we will go to Malmsbury, and at the Horse-
Fair we shall find them.  When I had spoken the Words, I was much
troubled lest they should not prove true.  It was very early, and the
first Man we saw, I asked him if he had seen any stray Milch Cows
thereabouts.  What manner of Cattle are they?  said he.  And the old Man
describing their Mark and Number, he told us there were some stood
chewing their Cuds in the Horse-Fair; but thinking they belonged to some
in the Neighborhood, he did not take particular Notice of them.  When we
came to the Place, the old Man found them to be his; but suffered his
Transports of Joy to rise so high, that I was ashamed of his behavior;
for he fell a hallooing, and threw up his Montier Cap in the Air several
times, till he raised the Neighbors out of their Beds to see what was the
Matter.  'O!' said he, 'I had lost my Cows four or five days ago, and
thought I should never see them again; and this honest Neighbor of mine
told me this Morning, by his own Fire's Side, nine Miles off, that here
I should find them, and here I have them!'  Then up goes his Cap again.
I begged of the poor Man to be quiet, and take his Cows home, and be
thankful; as indeed I was, being reverently bowed in my Spirit before the
Lord, in that he was pleased to put the words of Truth into my mouth.
And the Man drove his Cattle home, to the great Joy of his Family."

Not long after the interview with the Bishop at his own palace, which has
been related, that dignitary, with the Lord Chancellor, in their coaches,
and about twenty clergymen on horseback, made a call at the humble
dwelling of Roberts, on their way to Tedbury, where the Bishop was to
hold a Visitation.  "I could not go out of the country without seeing
you," said the prelate, as the farmer came to his coach door and pressed
him to alight.

"John," asked Priest Evans, the Bishop's kinsman, "is your house free to
entertain such men as we are?"

"Yes, George," said Roberts; "I entertain honest men, and sometimes

"My Lord," said Evans, turning to the Bishop, "John's friends are the
honest men, and we are the others."

The Bishop told Roberts that they could not then alight, but would gladly
drink with him; whereupon the good wife brought out her best beer.
"I commend you, John," quoth the Bishop, as he paused from his hearty
draught; "you keep a cup of good beer in your house.  I have not drank
any that has pleased me better since I left home."  The cup passed next
to the Chancellor, and finally came to Priest Bull, who thrust it aside,
declaring that it was full of hops and heresy.  As to hops, Roberts
replied, he could not say, but as for heresy, he bade the priest take
note that the Lord Bishop had drank of it, and had found no heresy in the

The Bishop leaned over his coach door and whispered: "John, I advise you
to take care you don't offend against the higher Powers.  I have heard
great complaints against you, that you are the Ringleader of the Quakers
in this Country; and that, if you are not suppressed, all will signify
nothing.  Therefore, pray, John, take care, for the future, you don't
offend any more."

"I like thy Counsel very well," answered Roberts, "and intend to take it.
But thou knowest God is the higher Power; and you mortal Men, however
advanced in this World, are but the lower Power; and it is only because I
endeavor to be obedient to the will of the higher Powers, that the lower
Powers are angry with me.  But I hope, with the assistance of God, to
take thy Counsel, and be subject to the higher Powers, let the lower
Powers do with me as it may please God to suffer them."

The Bishop then said he would like to talk with him further, and
requested him to meet him at Tedbury the next day.  At the time
appointed, Roberts went to the inn where the Bishop lodged, and was
invited to dine with him.  After dinner was over, the prelate told him
that he must go to church, and leave off holding conventicles at his
house, of which great complaint was made.  This he flatly refused to do;
and the Bishop, losing patience, ordered the constable to be sent for.
Roberts told him that if, after coming to his house under the guise of
friendship, he should betray him and send him to prison, he, who had
hitherto commended him for his moderation, would put his name in print,
and cause it to stink before all sober people.  It was the priests, he
told him, who set him on; but, instead of hearkening to them, he should
commend them to some honest vocation, and not suffer them to rob their
honest neighbors, and feed on the fruits of other men's toil, like

"Whom do you call caterpillars?" cried Priest Rich, of North Surrey.

"We farmers," said Roberts, "call those so who live on other men's
fields, and by the sweat of other men's brows; and if thou dost so, thou
mayst be one of them."

This reply so enraged the Bishop's attendants that they could only be
appeased by an order for the constable to take him to jail.  In fact,
there was some ground for complaint of a lack of courtesy on the part of
the blunt farmer; and the Christian virtue of forbearance, even in
Bishops, has its limits.

The constable, obeying the summons, came to the inn, at the door of which
the landlady met him.  "What do you here!" cried the good woman, "when
honest John is going to be sent to prison?  Here, come along with me."
The constable, nothing loath, followed her into a private room, where she
concealed him.  Word was sent to the Bishop, that the constable was not
to be found; and the prelate, telling Roberts he could send him to jail
in the afternoon, dismissed him until evening.  At the hour appointed,
the latter waited upon the Bishop, and found with him only one priest and
a lay gentleman.  The priest begged the Bishop to be allowed to discourse
with the prisoner; and, leave being granted, he began by telling Roberts
that the knowledge of the Scriptures had made him mad, and that it was a
great pity he had ever seen them.

"Thou art an unworthy man," said the Quaker, "and I 'll not dispute with
thee.  If the knowledge of the Scriptures has made me mad, the knowledge
of the sack-pot hath almost made thee mad; and if we two madmen should
dispute about religion, we should make mad work of it."

"An 't please you, my Lord," said the scandalized priest, "he says I 'm

The Bishop asked Roberts to repeat his words; and, instead of
reprimanding him, as the priest expected, was so much amused that he held
up his hands and laughed; whereupon the offended inferior took a hasty
leave.  The Bishop, who was evidently glad to be rid of him, now turned
to Roberts, and complained that he had dealt hardly with him, in telling
him, before so many gentlemen, that he had sought to betray him by
professions of friendship, in order to send him to prison; and that,
if he had not done as he did, people would have reported him as an
encourager of the Quakers.  "But now, John," said the good prelate, "I'll
burn the warrant against you before your face."  "You know, Mr. Burnet,"
he continued, addressing his attendant, "that a Ring of Bells may be made
of excellent metal, but they may be out of tune; so we may say of John:
he is a man of as good metal as I ever met with, but quite out of tune."

"Thou mayst well say so," quoth Roberts, "for I can't tune after thy

The inferior clergy were by no means so lenient as the Bishop.  They
regarded Roberts as the ringleader of Dissent, an impracticable,
obstinate, contumacious heretic, not only refusing to pay them tithes
himself, but encouraging others to the same course.  Hence, they thought
it necessary to visit upon him the full rigor of the law.  His crops were
taken from his field, and his cattle from his yard.  He was often
committed to the jail, where, on one occasion, he was kept, with many
others, for a long time, through the malice of the jailer, who refused to
put the names of his prisoners in the Calendar, that they might have a
hearing.  But the spirit of the old Commonwealth's man remained
steadfast.  When Justice George, at the Ram in Cirencester, told him he
must conform, and go to church, or suffer the penalty of the law, he
replied that he had heard indeed that some were formerly whipped out of
the Temple, but he had never heard of any being whipped in.  The Justice,
pointing, through the open window of the inn, at the church tower, asked
him what that was.  "Thou mayst call it a daw-house," answered the
incorrigible Quaker.  "Dost thou not see how the jackdaws flock about

Sometimes it happened that the clergyman was also a magistrate, and
united in his own person the authority of the State and the zeal of the
Church.  Justice Parsons, of Gloucester, was a functionary of this sort.
He wielded the sword of the Spirit on the Sabbath against Dissenters, and
on week days belabored them with the arm of flesh and the constable's
staff.  At one time he had between forty and fifty of them locked up in
Gloucester Castle, among them Roberts and his sons, on the charge of
attending conventicles.  But the troublesome prisoners baffled his
vigilance, and turned their prison into a meeting-house, and held their
conventicles in defiance of him.  The Reverend Justice pounced upon them
on one occasion, with his attendants.  An old, gray-haired man, formerly
a strolling fencing-master, was preaching when he came in.  The Justice
laid hold of him by his white locks, and strove to pull him down, but the
tall fencing-raster stood firm and spoke on; he then tried to gag him,
but failed in that also.  He demanded the names of the prisoners, but no
one answered him.  A voice (we fancy it was that of our old friend
Roberts) called out: "The Devil must be hard put to it to have his
drudgery done, when the Priests must leave their pulpits to turn
informers against poor prisoners."  The Justice obtained a list of the
names of the prisoners, made out on their commitment, and, taking it for
granted that all were still present, issued warrants for the collection
of fines by levies upon their estates.  Among the names was that of a
poor widow, who had been discharged, and was living, at the time the
clerical magistrate swore she was at the meeting, twenty miles distant
from the prison.

Soon after this event, our old friend fell sick.  He had been discharged
from prison, but his sons were still confined.  The eldest had leave,
however, to attend him in his illness, and he bears his testimony that
the Lord was pleased to favor his father with His living presence in his
last moments.  In keeping with the sturdy Non-conformist's life, he was
interred at the foot of his own orchard, in Siddington, a spot he had
selected for a burial-ground long before, where neither the foot of a
priest nor the shadow of a steeple-house could rest upon his grave.

In closing our notice of this pleasant old narrative, we may remark that
the light it sheds upon the antagonistic religious parties of the time is
calculated to dissipate prejudices and correct misapprehensions, common
alike to Churchmen and Dissenters.  The genial humor, sound sense, and
sterling virtues of the Quaker farmer should teach the one class that
poor James Nayler, in his craziness and folly, was not a fair
representative of his sect; while the kind nature, the hearty
appreciation of goodness, and the generosity and candor of Bishop
Nicholson should convince the other class that a prelate is not
necessarily, and by virtue of his mitre, a Laud or a Bonner.  The
Dissenters of the seventeenth century may well be forgiven for the
asperity of their language; men whose ears had been cropped because they
would not recognize Charles I. as a blessed martyr, and his scandalous
son as the head of the Church, could scarcely be expected to make
discriminations, or suggest palliating circumstances, favorable to any
class of their adversaries.  To use the homely but apt simile of

         "The will's confirmed by treatment horrid,
          As hides grow harder when they're curried."

They were wronged, and they told the world of it.  Unlike Shakespeare's
cardinal, they did not die without a sign.  They branded, by their fierce
epithets, the foreheads of their persecutors more deeply than the
sheriff's hot iron did their own.  If they lost their ears, they enjoyed
the satisfaction of making those of their oppressors tingle.  Knowing
their persecutors to be in the wrong, they did not always inquire whether
they themselves had been entirely right, and had done no unrequired works
of supererogation by the way of "testimony" against their neighbors' mode
cf worship.  And so from pillory and whipping-post, from prison and
scaffold, they sent forth their wail and execration, their miserere and
anathema, and the sound thereof has reached down to our day.  May it
never wholly die away until, the world over, the forcing of conscience is
regarded as a crime against humanity and a usurpation of God's
prerogative.  But abhorring, as we must, persecution under whatever
pretext it is employed, we are not, therefore, to conclude that all
persecutors were bad and unfeeling men.  Many of their severities, upon
which we now look back with horror, were, beyond a question, the result
of an intense anxiety for the well-being of immortal souls, endangered by
the poison which, in their view, heresy was casting into the waters of
life.  Coleridge, in one of the moods of a mind which traversed in
imagination the vast circle of human experience, reaches this point in
his Table-Talk.  "It would require," says he, "stronger arguments than
any I have seen to convince me that men in authority have not a right,
involved in an imperative duty, to deter those under their control from
teaching or countenancing doctrines which they believe to be damnable,
and even to punish with death those who violate such prohibition."  It
would not be very difficult for us to imagine a tender-hearted Inquisitor
of this stamp, stifling his weak compassion for the shrieking wretch
under bodily torment by his strong pity for souls in danger of perdition
from the sufferer's heresy.  We all know with what satisfaction the
gentle-spirited Melanethon heard of the burning of Servetus, and with
what zeal he defended it.  The truth is, the notion that an intellectual
recognition of certain dogmas is the essential condition of salvation
lies at the bottom of all intolerance in matters of religion.  Under this
impression, men are too apt to forget that the great end of Christianity
is love, and that charity is its crowning virtue; they overlook the
beautiful significance of the parable of the heretic Samaritan and the
orthodox Pharisee: and thus, by suffering their speculative opinions of
the next world to make them uncharitable and cruel in this, they are
really the worse for them, even admitting them to be true.

                             SAMUEL HOPKINS.

Three quarters of a century ago, the name of Samuel Hopkins was as
familiar as a household word throughout New England.  It was a spell
wherewith to raise at once a storm of theological controversy.  The
venerable minister who bore it had his thousands of ardent young
disciples, as well as defenders and followers of mature age and
acknowledged talent; a hundred pulpits propagated the dogmas which he had
engrafted on the stock of Calvinism.  Nor did he lack numerous and
powerful antagonists.  The sledge ecclesiastic, with more or less effect,
was unceasingly plied upon the strong-linked chain of argument which he
slowly and painfully elaborated in the seclusion of his parish.  The
press groaned under large volumes of theological, metaphysical, and
psychological disquisition, the very thought of which is now "a weariness
to the flesh;" in rapid succession pamphlet encountered pamphlet, horned,
beaked, and sharp of talon, grappling with each other in mid-air, like
Milton's angels.  That loud controversy, the sound whereof went over
Christendom, awakening responses from beyond the Atlantic, has now died
away; its watchwords no longer stir the blood of belligerent sermonizers;
its very terms and definitions have well-nigh become obsolete and
unintelligible.  The hands which wrote and the tongues which spoke in
that day are now all cold and silent; even Emmons, the brave old
intellectual athlete of Franklin, now sleeps with his fathers,--the last
of the giants.  Their fame is still in all the churches; effeminate
clerical dandyism still affects to do homage to their memories; the
earnest young theologian, exploring with awe the mountainous debris of
their controversial lore, ponders over the colossal thoughts entombed
therein, as he would over the gigantic fossils of an early creation, and
endeavors in vain to recall to the skeleton abstractions before him the
warm and vigorous life wherewith they were once clothed; but
Hopkinsianism, as a distinct and living school of philosophy, theology,
and metaphysics, no longer exists.  It has no living oracles left; and
its memory survives only in the doctrinal treatises of the elder and
younger Edwards, Hopkins, Bellamy, and Emmons.

It is no part of our present purpose to discuss the merits of the system
in question.  Indeed, looking at the great controversy which divided New
England Calvinism in the eighteenth century, from a point of view which
secures our impartiality and freedom from prejudice, we find it
exceedingly difficult to get a precise idea of what was actually at
issue.  To our poor comprehension, much of the dispute hinges upon names
rather than things; on the manner of reaching conclusions quite as much
as upon the conclusions themselves.  Its origin may be traced to the
great religious awakening of the middle of the past century, when the
dogmas of the Calvinistic faith were subjected to the inquiry of acute
and earnest minds, roused up from the incurious ease and passive
indifference of nominal orthodoxy.  Without intending it, it broke down
some of the barriers which separated Arminianism and Calvinism; its
product, Hopkinsianism, while it pushed the doctrine of the Genevan
reformer on the subject of the Divine decrees and agency to that extreme
point where it well-nigh loses itself in Pantheism, held at the same time
that guilt could not be hereditary; that man, being responsible for his
sinful acts, and not for his sinful nature, can only be justified by a
personal holiness, consisting not so much in legal obedience as in that
disinterested benevolence which prefers the glory of God and the welfare
of universal being above the happiness of self.  It had the merit,
whatever it may be, of reducing the doctrines of the Reformation to an
ingenious and scholastic form of theology; of bringing them boldly to the
test of reason and philosophy.  Its leading advocates were not mere
heartless reasoners and closet speculators.  They taught that sin was
selfishness, and holiness self-denying benevolence, and they endeavored
to practise accordingly.  Their lives recommended their doctrines.  They
were bold and faithful in the discharge of what they regarded as duty.
In the midst of slave-holders, and in an age of comparative darkness on
the subject of human rights, Hopkins and the younger Edwards lifted up
their voices for the slave.  And twelve years ago, when Abolitionism was
everywhere spoken against, and the whole land was convulsed with mobs to
suppress it, the venerable Emmons, burdened with the weight of ninety
years, made a journey to New York, to attend a meeting of the Anti-
Slavery Society.  Let those who condemn the creed of these men see to
it that they do not fall behind them in practical righteousness and
faithfulness to the convictions of duty.

Samuel Hopkins, who gave his name to the religious system in question,
was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1721.  In his fifteenth year he
was placed under the care of a neighboring clergyman, preparatory for
college, which he entered about a year after.  In 1740, the celebrated
Whitefield visited New Haven, and awakened there, as elsewhere, serious
inquiry on religious subjects.  He was followed the succeeding spring by
Gilbert Tennent, the New Jersey revivalist, a stirring and powerful
preacher.  A great change took place in the college.  All the phenomena
which President Edwards has described in his account of the Northampton
awakening were reproduced among the students.  The excellent David
Brainard, then a member of the college, visited Hopkins in his apartment,
and, by a few plain and earnest words, convinced him that he was a
stranger to vital Christianity.  In his autobiographical sketch, he
describes in simple and affecting language the dark and desolate state of
his mind at this period, and the particular exercise which finally
afforded him some degree of relief, and which he afterwards appears to
have regarded as his conversion from spiritual death to life.  When he
first heard Tennent, regarding him as the greatest as well as the best of
men, he made up his mind to study theology with him; but just before the
commencement at which he was to take his degree, the elder Edwards
preached at New Haven.  Struck by the power of the great theologian, he
at once resolved to make him his spiritual father.  In the winter
following, he left his father's house on horseback, on a journey of
eighty miles to Northampton.  Arriving at the house of President Edwards,
he was disappointed by hearing that he was absent on a preaching tour.
But he was kindly received by the gifted and accomplished lady of the
mansion, and encouraged to remain during the winter.  Still doubtful in
respect to his own spiritual state, he was, he says, "very gloomy, and
retired most of the time in his chamber."  The kind heart of his amiable
hostess was touched by his evident affliction.  After some days she came
to his chamber, and, with the gentleness and delicacy of a true woman,
inquired into the cause of his unhappiness.  The young student disclosed
to her, without reserve, the state of his feelings and the extent of his
fears.  "She told me," says the Doctor, "that she had had peculiar
exercises respecting me since I had been in the family; that she trusted
I should receive light and comfort, and doubted not that God intended yet
to do great things by me."

After pursuing his studies for some months with the Puritan philosopher,
young Hopkins commenced preaching, and, in 1743, was ordained at
Sheffield, (now Great Barrington') in the western part of Massachusetts.
There were at the time only about thirty families in the town.  He says
it was a matter of great regret to him to be obliged to settle so far
from his spiritual guide and tutor but seven years after he was relieved
and gratified by the removal of Edwards to Stockbridge, as the Indian
missionary at that station, seven miles only from his own residence; and
for several years the great metaphysician and his favorite pupil enjoyed
the privilege of familiar intercourse with each other.  The removal of
the former in 1758 to Princeton, New Jersey, and his death, which soon
followed, are mentioned in the diary of Hopkins as sore trials and
afflictive dispensations.

Obtaining a dismissal from his society in Great Barrington in 1769,
he was installed at Newport the next year, as minister of the first
Congregational church in that place.  Newport, at this period, was, in
size, wealth, and commercial importance, the second town in New England.
It was the great slave mart of the North.  Vessels loaded with stolen men
and women and children, consigned to its merchant princes, lay at its
wharves; immortal beings were sold daily in its market, like cattle at a
fair.  The soul of Hopkins was moved by the appalling spectacle.  A
strong conviction of the great wrong of slavery, and of its utter
incompatibility with the Christian profession, seized upon his mind.
While at Great Barrington, he had himself owned a slave, whom he had sold
on leaving the place, without compunction or suspicion in regard to the
rightfulness of the transaction.  He now saw the origin of the system in
its true light; he heard the seamen engaged in the African trade tell of
the horrible scenes of fire and blood which they had witnessed, and in
which they had been actors; he saw the half-suffocated wretches brought
up from their noisome and narrow prison, their squalid countenances and
skeleton forms bearing fearful evidence of the suffering attendant upon
the transportation from their native homes.  The demoralizing effects of
slaveholding everywhere forced themselves upon his attention, for the
evil had struck its roots deeply in the community, and there were few
families into which it had not penetrated.  The right to deal in slaves,
and use them as articles of property, was questioned by no one; men of
all professions, clergymen and church-members, consulted only their
interest and convenience as to their purchase or sale.  The magnitude of
the evil at first appalled him; he felt it to be his duty to condemn it,
but for a time even his strong spirit faltered and turned pale in
contemplation of the consequences to be apprehended from an attack upon
it.  Slavery and slave-trading were at that time the principal source of
wealth to the island; his own church and congregation were personally
interested in the traffic; all were implicated in its guilt.  He stood
alone, as it were, in its condemnation; with here and there an exception,
all Christendom maintained the rightfulness of slavery.  No movement had
yet been made in England against the slave-trade; the decision of
Granville Sharp's Somerset case had not yet taken place.  The Quakers,
even, had not at that time redeemed themselves from the opprobrium.
Under these circumstances, after a thorough examination of the subject,
he resolved, in the strength of the Lord, to take his stand openly and
decidedly on the side of humanity.  He prepared a sermon for the purpose,
and for the first time from a pulpit of New England was heard an emphatic
testimony against the sin of slavery.  In contrast with the unselfish and
disinterested benevolence which formed in his mind the essential element
of Christian holiness, he held up the act of reducing human beings to the
condition of brutes, to minister to the convenience, the luxury, and
lusts of the owner.  He had expected bitter complaint and opposition from
his hearers, but was agreeably surprised to find that in most cases his
sermon only excited astonishment in their minds that they themselves had
never before looked at the subject in the light in which he presented it.
Steadily and faithfully pursuing the matter, he had the satisfaction to
carry with him his church, and obtain from it, in the midst of a
slaveholding and slavetrading community, a resolution every way worthy of
note in this day of cowardly compromise with the evil on the part of our
leading ecclesiastical bodies:--

"Resolved, That the slave-trade and the slavery of the Africans, as it
has existed among us, is a gross violation of the righteousness and
benevolence which are so much inculcated in the Gospel, and therefore we
will not tolerate it in this church."

There are few instances on record of moral heroism superior to that of
Samuel Hopkins, in thus rebuking slavery in the time and place of its
power.  Honor to the true man ever, who takes his life in his hands, and,
at all hazards, speaks the word which is given him to utter, whether men
will hear or forbear, whether the end thereof is to be praise or censure,
gratitude or hatred.  It well may be doubted whether on that Sabbath day
the angels of God, in their wide survey of His universe, looked upon a
nobler spectacle than that of the minister of Newport, rising up before
his slaveholding congregation, and demanding, in the name of the Highest,
the "deliverance of the captive, and the opening of prison doors to them
that were bound."

Dr. Hopkins did not confine his attention solely to slaveholding in his
own church and congregation.  He entered into correspondence with the
early Abolitionists of Europe as well as his own country.  He labored
with his brethren in the ministry to bring then to his own view of the
great wrong of holding men as slaves.  In a visit to his early friend,
Dr. Bellamy, at Bethlehem, who was the owner of a slave, he pressed the
subject kindly but earnestly upon his attention.  Dr. Eellamy urged the
usual arguments in favor of slavery.  Dr. Hopkins refuted them in the
most successful manner, and called upon his friend to do an act of simple
justice, in giving immediate freedom to his slave.  Dr. Bellamy, thus
hardly pressed, said that the slave was a most judicious and faithful
fellow; that, in the management of his farm, he could trust everything to
his discretion; that he treated him well, and he was so happy in his
service that he would refuse his freedom if it were offered him.

"Will you," said Hopkins, "consent to his liberation, if he really
desires it?"

"Yes, certainly," said Dr. Bellamy.

"Then let us try him," said his guest.

The slave was at work in an adjoining field, and at the call of his
master came promptly to receive his commands.

"Have you a good master?"  inquired Hopkins.

"O yes; massa, he berry good."

"But are you happy in your present condition?"  queried the Doctor.

"O yes, massa; berry happy."

Dr. Bellamy here could scarcely suppress his exultation at what he
supposed was a complete triumph over his anti-slavery brother.  But the
pertinacious guest continued his queries.

"Would you not be more happy if you were free?"

"O yes, massa," exclaimed the negro, his dark face glowing with new life;
"berry much more happy!"

To the honor of Dr. Bellamy, he did not hesitate.

"You have your wish," he said to his servant.  "From this moment you are

Dr. Hopkins was a poor man, but one of his first acts, after becoming
convinced of the wrongfulness of slavery, was to appropriate the very sum
which, in the days of his ignorance, he had obtained as the price of his
slave to the benevolent purpose of educating some pious colored men in
the town of Newport, who were desirous of returning to their native
country as missionaries.  In one instance he borrowed, on his own
responsibility, the sum requisite to secure the freedom of a slave in
whom be became interested.  One of his theological pupils was Newport
Gardner, who, twenty years after the death of his kind patron, left
Boston as a missionary to Africa.  He was a native African, and was held
by Captain Gardner, of Newport, who allowed him to labor for his own
benefit, whenever by extra diligence he could gain a little time for that
purpose.  The poor fellow was in the habit of laying up his small
earnings on these occasions, in the faint hope of one day obtaining
thereby the freedom of himself and his family.  But time passed on, and
the hoard of purchase-money still looked sadly small.  He concluded to
try the efficacy of praying.  Having gained a day for himself, by severe
labor, and communicating his plan only to Dr. Hopkins and two or three
other Christian friends, he shut himself up in his humble dwelling, and
spent the time in prayer for freedom.  Towards the close of the day, his
master sent for him.  He was told that this was his gained time, and that
he was engaged for himself.  "No matter," returned the master, "I must
see him."  Poor Newport reluctantly abandoned his supplications, and came
at his master's bidding, when, to his astonishment, instead of a
reprimand, he received a paper, signed by his master, declaring him and
his family from thenceforth free.  He justly attributed this signal
blessing to the all-wise Disposer, who turns the hearts of men as the
rivers of water are turned; but it cannot be doubted that the labors and
arguments of Dr. Hopkins with his master were the human instrumentality
in effecting it.

In the year 1773, in connection with Dr. Ezra Stiles, he issued an appeal
to the Christian community in behalf of a society which he had been
instrumental in forming, for the purpose of educating missionaries for
Africa.  In the desolate and benighted condition of that unhappy
continent he had become painfully interested, by conversing with the
slaves brought into Newport.  Another appeal was made on the subject in

The war of the Revolution interrupted, for a time, the philanthropic
plans of Dr. Hopkins.  The beautiful island on which he lived was at an
early period exposed to the exactions and devastations of the enemy.  All
who could do so left it for the mainland.  Its wharves were no longer
thronged with merchandise; its principal dwellings stood empty; the very
meeting houses were in a great measure abandoned.  Dr. Hopkins, who had
taken the precaution, at the commencement of hostilities, to remove his
family to Great Barrington, remained himself until the year 1776, when
the British took possession of the island.  During the period of its
occupation, he was employed in preaching to destitute congregations.
He spent the summer of 1777 at Newburyport, where his memory is still
cherished by the few of his hearers who survive.  In the spring of 1780,
he returned to Newport.  Everything had undergone a melancholy change.
The garden of New England lay desolate.  His once prosperous and wealthy
church and congregation were now poor, dispirited, and, worst of all,
demoralized.  His meeting-house had been used as a barrack for soldiers;
pulpit and pews had been destroyed; the very bell had been stolen.
Refusing, with his characteristic denial of self, a call to settle in a
more advantageous position, he sat himself down once more in the midst of
his reduced and impoverished parishioners, and, with no regular salary,
dependent entirely on such free-will offerings as from time to time were
made him, he remained with them until his death.

In 1776, Dr. Hopkins published his celebrated "Dialogue concerning the
Slavery of the Africans; showing it to be the Duty and Interest of the
American States to Emancipate all their Slaves."  This he dedicated to
the Continental Congress, the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
It was republished in 1785, by the New York Abolition Society, and was
widely circulated.  A few years after, on coming unexpectedly into
possession of a few hundred dollars, be devoted immediately one hundred
of it to the society for ameliorating the condition of the Africans.

He continued to preach until he had reached his eighty-third year.  His
last sermon was delivered on the 16th of the tenth month, 1803, and his
death took place in the twelfth month following.  He died calmly, in the
steady faith of one who had long trusted all things in the hand of God.
"The language of my heart is," said he, "let God be glorified by all
things, and the best interest of His kingdom promoted, whatever becomes
of me or my interest."  To a young friend, who visited him three days
before his death, he said, "I am feeble and cannot say much.  I have said
all I can say.  With my last words, I tell you, religion is the one thing
needful."  "And now," he continued, affectionately pressing the hand of
his friend, "I am going to die, and I am glad of it."  Many years before,
an agreement had been made between Dr. Hopkins and his old and tried
friend, Dr. Hart, of Connecticut, that when either was called home, the
survivor should preach the funeral sermon of the deceased.  The venerable
Dr. Hart accordingly came, true to his promise, preaching at the funeral
from the words of Elisha, "My father, my father; the chariots of Israel,
and the horsemen thereof."  In the burial-ground adjoining his meeting-
house lies all that was mortal of Samuel Hopkins.

One of Dr. Hopkins's habitual hearers, and who has borne grateful
testimony to the beauty and holiness of his life and conversation, was
William Ellery Channing.  Widely as he afterwards diverged from the creed
of his early teacher, it contained at least one doctrine to the influence
of which the philanthropic devotion of his own life to the welfare of man
bears witness.  He says, himself, that there always seemed to him
something very noble in the doctrine of disinterested benevolence, the
casting of self aside, and doing good, irrespective of personal
consequences, in this world or another, upon which Dr. Hopkins so
strongly insisted, as the all-essential condition of holiness.

How widely apart, as mere theologians, stood Hopkins and Channing!  Yet
how harmonious their lives and practice!  Both could forget the poor
interests of self, in view of eternal right and universal humanity.  Both
could appreciate the saving truth, that love to God and His creation is
the fulfilling of the divine law.  The idea of unselfish benevolence,
which they held in common, clothed with sweetness and beauty the stern
and repulsive features of the theology of Hopkins, and infused a sublime
spirit of self-sacrifice and a glowing humanity into the indecisive and
less robust faith of Charming.  What is the lesson of this but that
Christianity consists rather in the affections than in the intellect;
that it is a life rather than a creed; and that they who diverge the
widest from each other in speculation upon its doctrines may, after all,
be found working side by side on the common ground of its practice.

We have chosen to speak of Dr. Hopkins as a philanthropist rather than as
a theologian.  Let those who prefer to contemplate the narrow sectarian
rather than the universal man dwell upon his controversial works, and
extol the ingenuity and logical acumen with which he defended his own
dogmas and assailed those of others.  We honor him, not as the founder of
a new sect, but as the friend of all mankind,--the generous defender of
the poor and oppressed.  Great as unquestionably were his powers of
argument, his learning, and skill in the use of the weapons of theologic
warfare, these by no means constitute his highest title to respect and
reverence.  As the product of an honest and earnest mind, his doctrinal
dissertations have at least the merit of sincerity.  They were put forth
in behalf of what he regarded as truth; and the success which they met
with, while it called into exercise his profoundest gratitude, only
served to deepen the humility and self-abasement of their author.  As the
utterance of what a good man believed and felt, as a part of the history
of a life remarkable for its consecration to apprehended duty, these
writings cannot be without interest even to those who dissent from their
arguments and deny their assumptions; but in the time now, we trust, near
at hand, when distracted and divided Christendom shall unite in a new
Evangelical union, in which orthodoxy in life and practice shall be
estimated above orthodoxy in theory, he will be honored as a good man,
rather than as a successful creed-maker; as a friend of the oppressed and
the fearless rebuker of popular sin rather than as the champion of a
protracted sectarian war.  Even now his writings, so popular in their
day, are little known.  The time may come when no pilgrim of sectarianism
shall visit his grave.  But his memory shall live in the hearts of the
good and generous; the emancipated slave shall kneel over his ashes, and
bless God for the gift to humanity of a life so devoted to its welfare.
To him may be applied the language of one who, on the spot where he
labored and lay down to rest, while rejecting the doctrinal views of the
theologian, still cherishes the philanthropic spirit of the man:--

         "He is not lost,--he hath not passed away
          Clouds, earths, may pass, but stars shine calmly on;
          And he who doth the will of God, for aye
          Abideth, when the earth and heaven are gone.

         "Alas that such a heart is in the grave!'
          Thanks for the life that now shall never end!
          Weep, and rejoice, thou terror-hunted slave,
          That hast both lost and found so great a friend!"

                             RICHARD BAXTER.

The picture drawn by a late English historian of the infamous Jeffreys in
his judicial robes, sitting in judgment upon the venerable Richard
Baxter, brought before him to answer to an indictment, setting; forth
that the said "Richardus Baxter, persona seditiosa et factiosa pravae
mentis, impiae, inquietae, turbulent disposition et conversation; falso
illicte, injuste nequit factiose seditiose, et irreligiose, fecit,
composuit, scripsit quendam falsum, seditiosum, libellosum, factiosum et
irreligiosum librum," is so remarkable that the attention of the most
careless reader is at once arrested.  Who was that old man, wasted with
disease and ghastly with the pallor of imprisonment, upon whom the foul-
mouthed buffoon in ermine exhausted his vocabulary of abuse and ridicule?
Who was Richardus Baxter?

The author of works so elaborate and profound as to frighten by their
very titles and ponderous folios the modern ecclesiastical student from
their perusal, his hold upon the present generation is limited to a few
practical treatises, which, from their very nature, can never become
obsolete.  The _Call to the Unconverted_ and the _Saints' Everlasting
Rest_ belong to no time or sect.  They speak the universal language of
the wants and desires of the human soul.  They take hold of the awful
verities of life and death, righteousness and judgment to come.  Through
them the suffering and hunted minister of Kidderminster has spoken in
warning, entreaty, and rebuke, or in tones of tenderest love and pity, to
the hearts of the generations which have succeeded him.  His
controversial works, his confessions of faith, his learned disputations,
and his profound doctrinal treatises are no longer read.  Their author
himself, towards the close of his life, anticipated, in respect to these
favorite productions, the children of his early zeal, labor, and
suffering, the judgment of posterity.  "I perceive," he says, "that most
of the doctrinal controversies among Protestants are far more about
equivocal words than matter.  Experience since the year 1643 to this year
1675 hath loudly called me to repent of my own prejudices, sidings, and
censurings of causes and persons not understood, and of all the
miscarriages of my ministry and life which have been thereby caused; and
to make it my chief work to call men that are within my bearing to more
peaceable thoughts, affections, and practices."

Richard Baxter was born at the village of Eton Constantine, in 1615.  He
received from officiating curates of the little church such literary
instruction as could be given by men who had left the farmer's flail, the
tailor's thimble, and the service of strolling stage-players, to perform
church drudgery under the parish incumbent, who was old and well-nigh
blind.  At the age of sixteen, he was sent to a school at Wroxeter, where
he spent three years, to little purpose, so far as a scientific education
was concerned.  His teacher left him to himself mainly, and following the
bent of his mind, even at that early period, he abandoned the exact
sciences for the perusal of such controversial and metaphysical writings
of the schoolmen as his master's library afforded.  The smattering of
Latin which he acquired only served in after years to deform his
treatises with barbarous, ill-adapted, and erroneous citations.  "As to
myself," said he, in his letter written in old age to Anthony Wood, who
had inquired whether he was an Oxonian graduate, "my faults are no
disgrace to a university, for I was of none; I have but little but what I
had out of books and inconsiderable help of country divines.  Weakness
and pain helped me to study how to die; that set me a-studying how to
live; and that on studying the doctrine from which I must fetch my
motives and comforts; beginning with necessities, I proceeded by degrees,
and am now going to see that for which I have lived and studied."

Of the first essays of the young theologian as a preacher of the
Established Church, his early sufferings from that complication of
diseases with which his whole life was tormented, of the still keener
afflictions of a mind whose entire outlook upon life and nature was
discolored and darkened by its disordered bodily medium, and of the
struggles between his Puritan temperament and his reverence for Episcopal
formulas, much might be profitably said, did the limits we have assigned
ourselves admit.  Nor can we do more than briefly allude to the religious
doubts and difficulties which darkened and troubled his mind at an early

He tells us at length in his Life how he struggled with these spiritual
infirmities and temptations.  The future life, the immortality of the
soul, and the truth of the Scriptures were by turns questioned.  "I
never," says he in a letter to Dr. More, inserted in the _Sadducisimus
Triumphatus_, "had so much ado to overcome a temptation as that to the
opinion of Averroes, that, as extinguished candles go all out in an
illuminated air, so separated souls go all into one common anima mundi,
and lose their individuation."  With these and similar "temptations"
Baxter struggled long, earnestly, and in the end triumphantly.  His
faith, when once established, remained unshaken to the last; and although
always solemn, reverential, and deeply serious, he was never the subject
of religious melancholy, or of that mournful depression of soul which
arises from despair of an interest in the mercy and paternal love of our
common Father.

The Great Revolution found him settled as a minister in Kidderminster,
under the sanction of a drunken vicar, who, yielding to the clamor of his
more sober parishioners, and his fear of their appeal to the Long
Parliament, then busy in its task of abating church nuisances, had agreed
to give him sixty pounds per year, in the place of a poor tippling
curate, notorious as a common railer and pothouse encumbrance.

As might have been expected, the sharp contrast which the earnest,
devotional spirit and painful strictness of Baxter presented to the
irreverent license and careless good humor of his predecessor by no means
commended him to the favor of a large class of his parishioners.  Sabbath
merry-makers missed the rubicund face and maudlin jollity of their old
vicar; the ignorant and vicious disliked the new preacher's rigid
morality; the better informed revolted at his harsh doctrines, austere
life, and grave manner.  Intense earnestness characterized all his
efforts.  Contrasting human nature with the Infinite Purity and Holiness,
he was oppressed with the sense of the loathsomeness and deformity of
sin, and afflicted by the misery of his fellow-creatures separated from
the divine harmony.  He tells us that at this period he preached the
terrors of the Law and the necessity of repentance, rather than the joys
and consolations of the Gospel, upon which he so loved to dwell in his
last years.  He seems to have felt a necessity laid upon him to startle
men from false hope and security, and to call for holiness of life and
conformity to the divine will as the only ground of safety.  Powerful and
impressive as are the appeals and expostulations contained in his written
works, they probably convey but a faint idea of the force and earnestness
of those which he poured forth from his pulpit.  As he advanced in years,
these appeals were less frequently addressed to the fears of his
auditors, for he had learned to value a calm and consistent life of
practical goodness beyond any passionate exhibition of terrors, fervors,
and transports.  Having witnessed, in an age of remarkable enthusiasm and
spiritual awakening, the ill effects of passional excitements and
religious melancholy, he endeavored to present cheerful views of
Christian life and duty, and made it a special object to repress morbid
imaginations and heal diseased consciences.  Thus it came to pass that no
man of his day was more often applied to for counsel and relief by
persons laboring under mental depression than himself.  He has left
behind him a very curious and not uninstructive discourse, which he
entitled The Cure of Melancholy, by Faith and Physick, in which he shows
a great degree of skill in his morbid mental anatomy.  He had studied
medicine to some extent for the benefit of the poor of his parish, and
knew something of the intimate relations and sympathy of the body and
mind; he therefore did not hesitate to ascribe many of the spiritual
complaints of his applicants to disordered bodily functions, nor to
prescribe pills and powders in the place of Scripture texts.  More than
thirty years after the commencement of his labors at Kidderminster he
thus writes: "I was troubled this year with multitudes of melancholy
persons from several places of the land; some of high quality, some of
low, some exquisitely learned, and some unlearned.  I know not how it
came to pass, but if men fell melancholy I must hear from them or see
them, more than any physician I knew."  He cautions against ascribing
melancholy phantasms and passions to the Holy Spirit, warns the young
against licentious imaginations and excitements, and ends by advising all
to take heed how they make of religion a matter of "fears, tears, and
scruples."  "True religion," he remarks, "doth principally consist in
obedience, love, and joy."

At this early period of his ministry, however, he had all of Whitefield's
intensity and fervor, added to reasoning powers greatly transcending
those of the revivalist of the next century.  Young in years, he was even
then old in bodily infirmity and mental experience.  Believing himself
the victim of a mortal disease, he lived and preached in the constant
prospect of death.  His memento mori was in his bed-chamber, and sat by
him at his frugal meal.  The glory of the world was stained to his
vision.  He was blind to the beauty of all its "pleasant pictures."  No
monk of Mount Athos or silent Chartreuse, no anchorite of Indian
superstition, ever more completely mortified the flesh, or turned his
back more decidedly upon the "good things" of this life.  A solemn and
funeral atmosphere surrounded him.  He walked in the shadows of the
cypress, and literally "dwelt among the tombs."  Tortured by incessant
pain, be wrestled against its attendant languor and debility, as a sinful
wasting of inestimable time; goaded himself to constant toil and
devotional exercise, and, to use his own words, "stirred up his sluggish
soul to speak to sinners with compassion, as a dying man to dying men."

Such entire consecration could not long be without its effect, even upon
the "vicious rabble," as Baxter calls them.  His extraordinary
earnestness, self-forgetting concern for the spiritual welfare of others,
his rigid life of denial and sacrifice, if they failed of bringing men to
his feet as penitents, could not but awaken a feeling of reverence and
awe.  In Kidderminster, as in most other parishes of the kingdom, there
were at this period pious, sober, prayerful people, diligent readers of
the Scriptures, who were derided by their neighbors as Puritans,
precisians, and hypocrites.  These were naturally drawn towards the new
preacher, and he as naturally recognized them as "honest seekers of the
word and way of God."  Intercourse with such men, and the perusal of the
writings of certain eminent Non-conformists, had the effect to abate, in
some degree, his strong attachment to the Episcopal formula and polity.
He began to doubt the rightfulness of making the sign of the cross in
baptism, and to hesitate about administering the sacrament to profane
swearers and tipplers.

But while Baxter, in the seclusion of his parish, was painfully weighing
the arguments for and against the wearing of surplices, the use of
marriage rings, and the prescribed gestures and genuflections of his
order, tithing with more or less scruple of conscience the mint and anise
and cummin of pulpit ceremonials, the weightier matters of the law,
freedom, justice, and truth were claiming the attention of Pym and
Hampden, Brook and Vane, in the Parliament House.  The controversy
between King and Commons had reached the point where it could only be
decided by the dread arbitrament of battle.  The somewhat equivocal
position of the Kidderminster preacher exposed him to the suspicion of
the adherents of the King and Bishops.  The rabble, at that period
sympathizing with the party of license in morals and strictness in
ceremonials, insulted and mocked him, and finally drove him from his

On the memorable 23d of tenth month, 1642, he was invited to occupy a
friend's pulpit at Alcester.

While preaching, a low, dull, jarring roll, as of continuous thunder,
sounded in his ears.  It was the cannon-fire of Edgehill, the prelude to
the stern battle-piece of revolution.  On the morrow, Baxter hurried to
the scene of action.  "I was desirous," he says, "to see the field.  I
found the Earl of Essex keeping the ground, and the King's army facing
them on a hill about a mile off.  There were about a thousand dead bodies
in the field between them."  Turning from this ghastly survey, the
preacher mingled with the Parliamentary army, when, finding the surgeons
busy with the wounded, he very naturally sought occasion for the exercise
of his own vocation as a spiritual practitioner.  He attached himself to
the army.  So far as we can gather from his own memoirs and the testimony
of his contemporaries, he was not influenced to this step by any of the
political motives which actuated the Parliamentary leaders.  He was no
revolutionist.  He was as blind and unquestioning in his reverence for
the King's person and divine right, and as hearty in his hatred of
religious toleration and civil equality, as any of his clerical brethren
who officiated in a similar capacity in the ranks of Goring and Prince
Rupert.  He seems only to have looked upon the soldiers as a new set of
parishioners, whom Providence had thrown in his way.  The circumstances
of his situation left him little choice in the matter.  "I had," he says,
"neither money nor friends.  I knew not who would receive me in a place
of safety, nor had I anything to satisfy them for diet and
entertainment."  He accepted an offer to live in the Governor's house at
Coventry, and preach to the soldiers of the garrison.  Here his skill in
polemics was called into requisition, in an encounter with two New
England Antinomians, and a certain Anabaptist tailor who was making more
rents in the garrison's orthodoxy than he mended in their doublets and
breeches.  Coventry seems at this time to have been the rendezvous of a
large body of clergymen, who, as Baxter says, were "for King and
Parliament,"--men who, in their desire for a more spiritual worship, most
unwillingly found themselves classed with the sentries whom they regarded
as troublers and heretics, not to be tolerated; who thought the King had
fallen into the hands of the Papists, and that Essex and Cromwell were
fighting to restore him; and who followed the Parliamentary forces to see
to it that they were kept sound in faith, and free from the heresy of
which the Court News-Book accused them.  Of doing anything to overturn
the order of Church and State, or of promoting any radical change in the
social and political condition of the people, they had no intention
whatever.  They looked at the events of the time, and upon their duties
in respect to them, not as politicians or reformers, but simply as
ecclesiastics and spiritual teachers, responsible to God for the
religious beliefs and practices of the people, rather than for their
temporal welfare and happiness.  They were not the men who struck down
the solemn and imposing prelacy of England, and vindicated the divine
right of men to freedom by tossing the head of an anointed tyrant from
the scaffold at Whitehall.  It was the so-called sebismatics, ranters,
and levellers, the disputatious corporals and Anabaptist musketeers, the
dread and abhorrence alike of prelate and presbyter, who, under the lead
of Cromwell,

                   "Ruined the great work of time,
                    And cast the kingdoms old
                    Into another mould."

The Commonwealth was the work of the laity, the sturdy yeomanry and God-
fearing commoners of England.

The news of the fight of Naseby reaching Coventry, Baxter, who had
friends in the Parliamentary forces, wishing, as he says, to be assured
of their safety, passed over to the stricken field, and spent a night
with them.  He was afflicted and confounded by the information which they
gave him, that the victorious army was full of hot-headed schemers and
levellers, who were against King and Church, prelacy and ritual, and who
were for a free Commonwealth and freedom of religious belief and worship.
He was appalled to find that the heresies of the Antinomians, Arminians,
and Anabaptists had made sadder breaches in the ranks of Cromwell than
the pikes of Jacob Astley, or the daggers of the roysterers who followed
the mad charge of Rupert.  Hastening back to Coventry, he called together
his clerical brethren, and told them "the sad news of the corruption of
the army."  After much painful consideration of the matter, it was deemed
best for Baxter to enter Cromwell's army, nominally as its chaplain, but
really as the special representative of orthodoxy in politics and
religion, against the democratic weavers and prophesying tailors who
troubled it.  He joined Whalley's regiment, and followed it through many
a hot skirmish and siege.  Personal fear was by no means one of Baxter's
characteristics, and he bore himself through all with the coolness of an
old campaigner.  Intent upon his single object, he sat unmoved under the
hail of cannon-shot from the walls of Bristol, confronted the well-plied
culverins of Sherburne, charged side by side with Harrison upon Goring's
musketeers at Langford, and heard the exulting thanksgiving of that grim
enthusiast, when "with a loud voice he broke forth in praises of God, as
one in rapture;" and marched, Bible in hand, with Cromwell himself, to
the storming of Basing-House, so desperately defended by the Marquis of
Winchester.  In truth, these storms of outward conflict were to him of
small moment.  He was engaged in a sterner battle with spiritual
principalities and powers, struggling with Satan himself in the guise of
political levellers and Antinomian sowers of heresy.  No antagonist was
too high and none too low for him.  Distrusting Cromwell, he sought to
engage him in a discussion of certain points of abstract theology,
wherein his soundness seemed questionable; but the wary chief baffled off
the young disputant by tedious, unanswerable discourses about free grace,
which Baxter admits were not unsavory to others, although the speaker
himself had little understanding of the matter.  At other times, he
repelled his sad-visaged chaplain with unwelcome jests and rough,
soldierly merriment; for he had "a vivacity, hilarity, and alacrity as
another man hath when he hath taken a cup too much."  Baxter says of him,
complainingly, "he would not dispute with me at all."  But, in the midst
of such an army, he could not lack abundant opportunity for the exercise
of his peculiar powers of argumentation.  At Amersham, he had a sort of
pitched battle with the contumacious soldiers.  "When the public talking
day came," says he, "I took the reading-pew, and Pitchford's cornet and
troopers took the gallery.  There did the leader of the Chesham men
begin, and afterwards Pitchford's soldiers set in; and I alone disputed
with them from morning until almost night; for I knew their trick, that
if I had gone out first, they would have prated what boasting words they
listed, and made the people believe that they had baffled me, or got the
best; therefore I stayed it out till they first rose and went away."  As
usual in such cases, both parties claimed the victory.  Baxter got thanks
only from the King's adherents; "Pitchford's troops and the leader of the
Chesham men" retired from their hard day's work, to enjoy the countenance
and favor of Cromwell, as men after his own heart, faithful to the Houses
and the Word, against kingcraft and prelacy.

Laughed at and held at arm's length by Cromwell, shunned by Harrison and
Berry and other chief officers, opposed on all points by shrewd, earnest
men, as ready for polemic controversy as for battle with the King's
malignants, and who set off against his theological and metaphysical
distinctions their own personal experiences and spiritual exercises, he
had little to encourage him in his arduous labors.  Alone in such a
multitude, flushed with victory and glowing with religious enthusiasm,
he earnestly begged his brother ministers to come to his aid.  "If the
army," said he, "had only ministers enough, who could have done such
little as I did, all their plot might have been broken, and King,
Parliament, and Religion might have been preserved."  But no one
volunteered to assist him, and the "plot" of revolution went on.

After Worcester fight he returned to Coventry, to make his report to the
ministers assembled there.  He told them of his labors and trials, of the
growth of heresy and levelling principles in the army, and of the evident
design of its leaders to pull down Church, King, and Ministers.  He
assured them that the day was at hand when all who were true to the King,
Parliament, and Religion should come forth to oppose these leaders, and
draw away their soldiers from them.  For himself, he was willing to go
back to the army, and labor there until the crisis of which he spoke had
arrived.  "Whereupon," says he, "they all voted me to go yet longer."

Fortunately for the cause of civil and religious freedom, the great body
of the ministers, who disapproved of the ultraism of the victorious army,
and sympathized with the defeated King, lacked the courage and
devotedness of Baxter.  Had they promptly seconded his efforts, although
the restoration of the King might have been impossible at that late
period, the horrors of civil war must have been greatly protracted.  As
it was, they preferred to remain at home, and let Baxter have the benefit
of their prayers and good wishes.  He returned to the army with the
settled purpose, of causing its defection from Cromwell; but, by one of
those dispensations which the latter used to call "births of Providence,"
he was stricken down with severe sickness.  Baxter's own comments upon
this passage in his life are not without interest.  He says, God
prevented his purposes in his last and chiefest opposition to the army;
that he intended to take off or seduce from their officers the regiment
with which he was connected, and then to have tried his persuasion upon
the others.  He says he afterwards found that his sickness was a mercy to
himself, "for they were so strong and active, and I had been likely to
have had small success in the attempt, and to have lost my life among
them in their fury."  He was right in this last conjecture; Oliver
Cromwell would have had no scruples in making an example of a plotting
priest; and "Pitchford's soldiers" might have been called upon to
silence, with their muskets, the tough disputant who was proof against
their tongues.

After a long and dubious illness, Baxter was so far restored as to be
able to go back to his old parish at Kidderminster.  Here, under the
Protectorate of Cromwell, he remained in the full enjoyment of that
religious liberty which he still stoutly condemned in its application to

He afterwards candidly admits, that, under the "Usurper," as he styles
Cromwell, "he had such liberty and advantage to preach the Gospel with
success, as he could not have under a King, to whom he had sworn and
performed true subjection and obedience."  Yet this did not prevent him
from preaching and printing, "seasonably and moderately," against the
Protector.  "I declared," said he, "Cromwell and his adherents to be
guilty of treason and rebellion, aggravated by perfidiousness and
hypocrisy.  But yet I did not think it my duty to rave against him in the
pulpit, or to do this so unseasonably and imprudently as might irritate
him to mischief.  And the rather, because, as he kept up his approbation
of a godly life in general, and of all that was good, except that which
the interest of his sinful cause engaged him to be against.  So I
perceived that it was his design to do good in the main, and to promote
the Gospel and the interests of godliness more than any had done before

Cromwell, if he heard of his diatribes against him, appears to have cared
little for them.  Lords Warwick and Broghill, on one occasion, brought
him to preach before the Lord Protector.  He seized the occasion to
preach against the sentries, to condemn all who countenanced them, and to
advocate the unity of the Church.  Soon after, he was sent for by
Cromwell, who made "a long and tedious speech" in the presence of three
of his chief men, (one of whom, General Lambert, fell asleep the while,)
asserting that God had owned his government in a signal manner.  Baxter
boldly replied to him, that he and his friends regarded the ancient
monarchy as a blessing, and not an evil, and begged to know how that
blessing was forfeited to England, and to whom that forfeiture was made.
Cromwell, with some heat, made answer that it was no forfeiture, but that
God had made the change.  They afterwards held a long conference with
respect to freedom of conscience, Cromwell defending his liberal policy,
and Baxter opposing it.  No one can read Baxter's own account of these
interviews, without being deeply impressed with the generous and
magnanimous spirit of the Lord Protector in tolerating the utmost freedom
of speech on the part of one who openly denounced him as a traitor and
usurper.  Real greatness of mind could alone have risen above personal
resentment under such circumstances of peculiar aggravation.

In the death of the Protector, the treachery of Monk, and the restoration
of the King, Baxter and his Presbyterian friends believed that they saw
the hand of a merciful Providence preparing the way for the best good of
England and the Church.  Always royalists, they had acted with the party
opposed to the King from necessity rather than choice.  Considering all
that followed, one can scarcely avoid smiling over the extravagant
jubilations of the Presbyterian divines, on the return of the royal
debauchee to Whitehall.  They hurried up to London with congratulations
of formidable length and papers of solemn advice and counsel, to all
which the careless monarch listened, with what patience he was master of.
Baxter was one of the first to present himself at Court, and it is
creditable to his heart rather than his judgment and discrimination that
he seized the occasion to offer a long address to the King, expressive of
his expectation that his Majesty would discountenance all sin and promote
godliness, support the true exercise of Church discipline and cherish and
hold up the hands of the faithful ministers of the Church.  To all which
Charles II. "made as gracious an answer as we could expect," says Baxter,
"insomuch that old Mr. Ash burst out into tears of joy."  Who doubts that
the profligate King avenged himself as soon as the backs of his unwelcome
visitors were fairly turned, by coarse jests and ribaldry, directed
against a class of men whom he despised and hated, but towards whom
reasons of policy dictated a show of civility and kindness?

There is reason to believe that Charles II., had he been able to effect
his purpose, would have gone beyond Cromwell himself in the matter of
religious toleration; in other words, he would have taken, in the outset
of his reign, the very steps which cost his successor his crown, and
procured the toleration of Catholics by a declaration of universal
freedom in religion.  But he was not in a situation to brave the
opposition alike of Prelacy and Presbyterianism, and foiled in a scheme
to which he was prompted by that vague, superstitious predilection for
the Roman Catholic religion which at times struggled with his habitual
scepticism, his next object was to rid himself of the importunities of
sentries and the trouble of religious controversies by reestablishing the
liturgy, and bribing or enforcing conformity to it on the part of the
Presbyterians.  The history of the successful execution of this purpose
is familiar to all the readers of the plausible pages of Clarendon on the
one side, or the complaining treatises of Neal and Calamy on the other.

Charles and his advisers triumphed, not so much through their own art,
dissimulation, and bad faith as through the blind bigotry, divided
counsels, and self-seeking of the Nonconformists.  Seduction on one hand
and threats on the other, the bribe of bishoprics, hatred of Independents
and Quakers, and the terror of penal laws, broke the strength of

Baxter's whole conduct, on this occasion, bears testimony to his honesty
and sincerity, while it shows him to have been too intolerant to secure
his own religious freedom at the price of toleration for Catholics,
Quakers, and Anabaptists; and too blind in his loyalty to perceive that
pure and undefiled Christianity had nothing to hope for from a scandalous
and depraved King, surrounded by scoffing, licentious courtiers and a
haughty, revengeful prelacy.  To secure his influence, the Court offered
him the bishopric of Hereford.  Superior to personal considerations, he
declined the honor; but somewhat inconsistently, in his zeal for the
interests of his party, he urged the elevation of at least three of his
Presbyterian friends to the Episcopal bench, to enforce that very liturgy
which they condemned.  He was the chief speaker for the Presbyterians at
the famous Savoy Conference, summoned to advise and consult upon the Book
of Common Prayer.  His antagonist was Dr. Gunning, ready, fluent, and
impassioned.  "They spent," as Gilbert Burnet says, "several days in
logical arguing, to the diversion of the town, who looked upon them as a
couple of fencers, engaged in a discussion which could not be brought to
an end."  In themselves considered, many of the points at issue seem
altogether too trivial for the zeal with which Baxter contested them,--
the form of a surplice, the wording of a prayer, kneeling at sacrament,
the sign of the cross, etc.  With him, however, they were of momentous
interest and importance, as things unlawful in the worship of God.  He
struggled desperately, but unavailingly.  Presbyterianism, in its
eagerness for peace and union and a due share of State support, had
already made fatal concessions, and it was too late to stand upon non-
essentials.  Baxter retired from the conference baffled and defeated,
amidst murmurs and jests.  "If you had only been as fat as Dr. Manton,"
said Clarendon to him, "you would have done well."

The Act of Conformity, in which Charles II. and his counsellors gave the
lie to the liberal declarations of Breda and Whitehall, drove Baxter from
his sorrowing parishioners of Kidderminster, and added the evils of
poverty and persecution to the painful bodily infirmities under which he
was already bowed down.  Yet his cup was not one of unalloyed bitterness,
and loving lips were prepared to drink it with him.

Among Baxter's old parishioners of Kidderminster was a widowed lady of
gentle birth, named Charlton, who, with her daughter Margaret, occupied a
house in his neighborhood.  The daughter was a brilliant girl, of
"strangely vivid wit," and "in early youth," he tells us, "pride, and
romances, and company suitable thereunto, did take her up."  But erelong,
Baxter, who acted in the double capacity of spiritual and temporal
physician, was sent for to visit her, on an occasion of sickness.  He
ministered to her bodily and mental sufferings, and thus secured her
gratitude and confidence.  On her recovery, under the influence of his
warnings and admonitions, the gay young girl became thoughtful and
serious, abandoned her light books and companions, and devoted herself to
the duties of a Christian profession.  Baxter was her counsellor and
confidant.  She disclosed to him all her doubts, trials, and temptations,
and he, in return, wrote her long letters of sympathy, consolation, and
encouragement.  He began to feel such an unwonted interest in the moral
and spiritual growth of his young disciple, that, in his daily walks
among his parishioners, he found himself inevitably drawn towards her
mother's dwelling.  In her presence, the habitual austerity of his manner
was softened; his cold, close heart warmed and expanded.  He began to
repay her confidence with his own, disclosing to her all his plans of
benevolence, soliciting her services, and waiting, with deference, for
her judgment upon them.  A change came over his habits of thought and his
literary tastes; the harsh, rude disputant, the tough, dry logician,
found himself addressing to his young friend epistles in verse on
doctrinal points and matters of casuistry; Westminster Catechism in
rhyme; the Solemn League and Covenant set to music.  A miracle alone
could have made Baxter a poet; the cold, clear light of reason "paled the
ineffectual fires" of his imagination; all things presented themselves to
his vision "with hard outlines, colorless, and with no surrounding
atmosphere."  That he did, nevertheless, write verses, so creditable as
to justify a judicious modern critic in their citation and approval, can
perhaps be accounted for only as one of the phenomena of that subtle and
transforming influence to which even his stern nature was unconsciously
yielding.  Baxter was in love.

Never did the blind god try his archery on a more unpromising subject.
Baxter was nearly fifty years of age, and looked still older.  His life
had been one long fast and penance.  Even in youth he had never known a
schoolboy's love for cousin or playmate.  He had resolutely closed up his
heart against emotions which he regarded as the allurements of time and
sense.  He had made a merit of celibacy, and written and published
against the entanglement of godly ministers in matrimonial engagements
and family cares.  It is questionable whether he now understood his own
case, or attributed to its right cause the peculiar interest which he
felt in Margaret Charlton.  Left to himself, it is more than probable
that he might never have discovered the true nature of that interest, or
conjectured that anything whatever of earthly passion or sublunary
emotion had mingled with his spiritual Platonism.  Commissioned and set
apart to preach repentance to dying men, penniless and homeless, worn
with bodily pain and mental toil, and treading, as he believed, on the
very margin of his grave, what had he to do with love?  What power had he
to inspire that tender sentiment, the appropriate offspring only of
youth, and health, and beauty?

                   "Could any Beatrice see
                    A lover in such anchorite!"

But in the mean time a reciprocal feeling was gaining strength in the
heart of Margaret.  To her grateful appreciation of the condescension of
a great and good man--grave, learned, and renowned--to her youth and
weakness, and to her enthusiastic admiration of his intellectual powers,
devoted to the highest and holiest objects, succeeded naturally enough
the tenderly suggestive pity of her woman's heart, as she thought of his
lonely home, his unshared sorrows, his lack of those sympathies and
kindnesses which make tolerable the hard journey of life.  Did she not
owe to him, under God, the salvation of body and mind?  Was he not her
truest and most faithful friend, entering with lively interest into all
her joys and sorrows?  Had she not seen the cloud of his habitual sadness
broken by gleams of sunny warmth and cheerfulness, as they conversed
together?  Could she do better than devote herself to the pleasing task
of making his life happier, of comforting him in seasons of pain and
weariness, encouraging him in his vast labors, and throwing over the cold
and hard austerities of his nature the warmth and light of domestic
affection?  Pity, reverence, gratitude, and womanly tenderness, her
fervid imagination and the sympathies of a deeply religious nature,
combined to influence her decision.  Disparity of age and condition
rendered it improbable that Baxter would ever venture to address her in
any other capacity than that of a friend and teacher; and it was left to
herself to give the first intimation of the possibility of a more
intimate relation.

It is easy to imagine with what mixed feelings of joy, surprise, and
perplexity Baxter must have received the delicate avowal.  There was much
in the circumstances of the case to justify doubt, misgiving, and close
searchings of heart.  He must have felt the painful contrast which that
fair girl in the bloom of her youth presented to the worn man of middle
years, whose very breath was suffering, and over whom death seemed always
impending.  Keenly conscious of his infirmities of temper, he must have
feared for the happiness of a loving, gentle being, daily exposed to
their manifestations.  From his well-known habit of consulting what he
regarded as the divine will in every important step of his life, there
can be no doubt that his decision was the result quite as much of a
prayerful and patient consideration of duty as of the promptings of his
heart.  Richard Baxter was no impassioned Abelard; his pupil in the
school of his severe and self-denying piety was no Heloise; but what
their union lacked in romantic interest was compensated by its purity and
disinterestedness, and its sanction by all that can hallow human passion,
and harmonize the love of the created with the love and service of the

Although summoned by a power which it would have been folly to resist,
the tough theologian did not surrender at discretion.  "From the first
thoughts yet many changes and stoppages intervened, and long delays," he
tells us.  The terms upon which he finally capitulated are perfectly in
keeping with his character.  "She consented," he says, "to three
conditions of our marriage.  1st. That I should have nothing that before
our marriage was hers; that I, who wanted no earthly supplies, might not
seem to marry her from selfishness.  2d. That she would so alter her
affairs that I might be entangled in no lawsuits.  3d. That she should
expect none of my time which my ministerial work should require."

As was natural, the wits of the Court had their jokes upon this singular
marriage; and many of his best friends regretted it, when they called to
mind what he had written in favor of ministerial celibacy, at a time
when, as he says, "he thought to live and die a bachelor."  But Baxter
had no reason to regret the inconsistency of his precept and example.
How much of the happiness of the next twenty years of his life resulted
from his union with a kind and affectionate woman he has himself
testified, in his simple and touching Breviate of the Life of the late
Mrs. Baxter.  Her affections were so ardent that her husband confesses
his fear that he was unable to make an adequate return, and that she must
have been disappointed in him in consequence.  He extols her pleasant
conversation, her active benevolence, her disposition to aid him in all
his labors, and her noble forgetfulness of self, in ministering to his
comfort, in sickness and imprisonment.  "She was the meetest helper I
could have had in the world," is his language.  "If I spoke harshly or
sharply, it offended her.  If I carried it (as I am apt) with too much
negligence of ceremony or humble compliment to any, she would modestly
tell me of it.  If my looks seemed not pleasant, she would have me amend
them (which my weak, pained state of body indisposed me to do)."  He
admits she had her failings, but, taken as a whole, the Breviate is an
exalted eulogy.

His history from this time is marked by few incidents of a public
character.  During that most disgraceful period in the annals of England,
the reign of the second Charles, his peculiar position exposed him to the
persecutions of prelacy and the taunts and abuse of the sentries,
standing as he did between these extremes, and pleading for a moderate
Episcopacy.  He was between the upper millstone of High Church and the
nether one of Dissent.  To use his own simile, he was like one who seeks
to fill with his hand a cleft in a log, and feels both sides close upon
him with pain.  All parties and sects had, as they thought, grounds of
complaint against him.  There was in him an almost childish simplicity of
purpose, a headlong earnestness and eagerness, which did not allow him to
consider how far a present act or opinion harmonized with what he had
already done or written.  His greatest admirers admit his lack of
judgment, his inaptitude for the management of practical matters.  His
utter incapacity to comprehend rightly the public men and measures of his
day is abundantly apparent; and the inconsistencies of his conduct and
his writings are too marked to need comment.  He suffered persecution for
not conforming to some trifling matters of Church usage, while he
advocated the doctrine of passive obedience to the King or ruling power,
and the right of that power to enforce conformity.  He wrote against
conformity while himself conforming; seceded from the Church, and yet
held stated communion with it; begged for the curacy of Kidderminster,
and declined the bishopric of Hereford.  His writings were many of them
directly calculated to make Dissenters from the Establishment, but he was
invariably offended to find others practically influenced by them, and
quarrelled with his own converts to Dissent.  The High Churchmen of
Oxford burned his Holy Commonwealth as seditious and revolutionary; while
Harrington and the republican club of Miles's Coffee House condemned it
for its hostility to democracy and its servile doctrine of obedience to
kings.  He made noble pleas for liberty of conscience and bitterly
complained of his own suffering from Church courts, yet maintained the
necessity of enforcing conformity, and stoutly opposed the tolerant
doctrines of Penn and Milton.  Never did a great and good man so entangle
himself with contradictions and inconsistencies.  The witty and wicked
Sir Roger L'Estrange compiled from the irreconcilable portions of his
works a laughable Dialogue between Richard and Baxter.  The Antinomians
found him guilty of Socinianism; and one noted controversialist undertook
to show, not without some degree of plausibility, that he was by turns a
Quaker and a Papist!

Although able to suspend his judgment and carefully weigh evidence, upon
matters which he regarded as proper subjects of debate and scrutiny, he
possessed the power to shut out and banish at will all doubt and
misgiving in respect to whatever tended to prove, illustrate, or enforce
his settled opinions and cherished doctrines.  His credulity at times
seems boundless.  Hating the Quakers, and prepared to believe all manner
of evil of them, be readily came to the conclusion that their leaders
were disguised Papists.  He maintained that Lauderdale was a good and
pious man, in spite of atrocities in Scotland which entitle him to a
place with Claverhouse; and indorsed the character of the infamous
Dangerfield, the inventor of the Meal-tub Plot, as a worthy convert from
popish errors.  To prove the existence of devils and spirits, he
collected the most absurd stories and old-wives' fables, of soldiers
scared from their posts at night by headless bears, of a young witch
pulling the hooks out of Mr. Emlen's breeches and swallowing them, of Mr.
Beacham's locomotive tobacco-pipe, and the Rev. Mr. Munn's jumping Bible,
and of a drunken man punished for his intemperance by being lifted off
his legs by an invisible hand!  Cotton Mather's marvellous account of his
witch experiments in New England delighted him.  He had it republished,
declaring that "he must be an obstinate Sadducee who doubted it."

The married life of Baxter, as might be inferred from the state of the
times, was an unsettled one.  He first took a house at Moorfields, then
removed to Acton, where he enjoyed the conversation of his neighbor, Sir
Matthew Hale; from thence he found refuge in Rickmansworth, and after
that in divers other places.  "The women have most of this trouble," he
remarks, "but my wife easily bore it all."  When unable to preach, his
rapid pen was always busy.  Huge folios of controversial and doctrinal
lore followed each other in quick succession.  He assailed Popery and the
Establishment, Anabaptists, ultra Calvinists, Antinomians, Fifth Monarchy
men, and Quakers.  His hatred of the latter was only modified by his
contempt.  He railed rather than argued against the "miserable
creatures," as he styled them.  They in turn answered him in like manner.
"The Quakers," he says, "in their shops, when I go along London streets,
say, 'Alas' poor man, thou art yet in darkness.' They have oft come to
the congregation, when I had liberty to preach Christ's Gospel, and cried
out against me as a deceiver of the people.  They have followed me home,
crying out in the streets, 'The day of the Lord is coming, and thou shalt
perish as a deceiver.'  They have stood in the market-place, and under my
window, year after year, crying to the people, 'Take heed of your
priests, they deceive your souls;' and if any one wore a lace or neat
clothing, they cried out to me, 'These are the fruits of your ministry.'"

At Rickmansworth, he found himself a neighbor of William Penn, whom he
calls "the captain of the Quakers."  Ever ready for battle, Baxter
encountered him in a public discussion, with such fierceness and
bitterness as to force from that mild and amiable civilian the remark,
that he would rather be Socrates at the final judgment than Richard
Baxter.  Both lived to know each other better, and to entertain
sentiments of mutual esteem.  Baxter himself admits that the Quakers, by
their perseverance in holding their religious meetings in defiance of
penal laws, took upon themselves the burden of persecution which would
otherwise have fallen upon himself and his friends; and makes special
mention of the noble and successful plea of Penn before the Recorder's
Court in London, based on the fundamental liberties of Englishmen and the
rights of the Great Charter.

The intolerance of Baxter towards the Separatists was turned against him
whenever he appealed to the King and Parliament against the proscription
of himself and his friends.  "They gathered," he complains, "out of mine
and other men's books all that we had said against liberty for Popery and
Quakers railing against ministers in open congregation, and applied it as
against the toleration of ourselves."  It was in vain that he explained
that he was only in favor of a gentle coercion of dissent, a moderate
enforcement of conformity.  His plan for dealing with sentries reminds
one of old Isaak Walton's direction to his piscatorial readers, to impale
the frog on the hook as gently as if they loved him.

While at Acton, he was complained of by Dr. Ryves, the rector, one of the
King's chaplains in ordinary, for holding religious services in his
family with more than five strangers present.  He was cast into
Clerkenwell jail, whither his faithful wife followed him.  On his
discharge, he sought refuge in the hamlet of Totteridge, where he wrote
and published that Paraphrase on the New Testament which was made the
ground of his prosecution and trial before Jeffreys.

On the 14th of the sixth month, 1681, he was called to endure the
greatest affliction of his life.  His wife died on that day, after a
brief illness.  She who had been his faithful friend, companion, and
nurse for twenty years was called away from him in the time of his
greatest need of her ministrations.  He found consolation in dwelling on
her virtues and excellences in the Breviate of her life; "a paper
monument," he says, "erected by one who is following her even at the door
in some passion indeed of love and grief."  In the preface to his
poetical pieces he alludes to her in terms of touching simplicity and
tenderness: "As these pieces were mostly written in various passions, so
passion hath now thrust them out into the world.  God having taken away
the dear companion of the last nineteen years of my life, as her sorrows
and sufferings long ago gave being to some of these poems, for reasons,
which the world is not concerned to know; so my grief for her removal,
and the revival of the sense of former things, have prevailed upon me to
be passionate in the sight of all."

The circumstances of his trial before the judicial monster, Jeffreys, are
too well known to justify their detail in this sketch.  He was sentenced
to pay a fine of five hundred marks.  Seventy years of age, and reduced
to poverty by former persecutions, he was conveyed to the King's Bench
prison.  Here for two years he lay a victim to intense bodily suffering.
When, through the influence of his old antagonist, Penn, he was restored
to freedom, he was already a dying man.  But he came forth from prison as
he entered it, unsubdued in spirit.

Urged to sign a declaration of thanks to James II., his soul put on the
athletic habits of youth, and he stoutly refused to commend an act of
toleration which had given freedom not to himself alone, but to Papists
and sentries.  Shaking off the dust of the Court from his feet, he
retired to a dwelling in Charter-House Square, near his friend
Sylvester's, and patiently awaited his deliverance.  His death was quiet
and peaceful.  "I have pain," he said to his friend Mather; "there is no
arguing against sense; but I have peace.  I have peace."  On being asked
how he did, he answered, in memorable words, "Almost well!"

He was buried in Christ Church, where the remains of his wife and her
mother had been placed.  An immense concourse attended his funeral, of
all ranks and parties.  Conformist and Non-conformist forgot the
bitterness of the controversialist, and remembered only the virtues and
the piety of the man.  Looking back on his life of self-denial and
faithfulness to apprehended duty, the men who had persecuted him while
living wept over his grave.  During the last few years of his life, the
severity of his controversial tone had been greatly softened; he lamented
his former lack of charity, the circle of his sympathies widened, his
social affections grew stronger with age, and love for his fellow-men
universally, and irrespective of religious differences, increased within
him.  In his Narrative, written in the long, cool shadows of the evening
of life, he acknowledges with extraordinary candor this change in his
views and feelings.  He confesses his imperfections as a writer and
public teacher.

"I wish," he says, "all over-sharp passages were expunged from my
writings, and I ask forgiveness of God and man."  He tells us that
mankind appear more equal to him; the good are not so good as he once
thought, nor the bad so evil; and that in all there is more for grace to
make advantage of, and more to testify for God and holiness, than he once
believed.  "I less admire," he continues, "gifts of utterance, and the
bare profession of religion, than I once did, and have now much more
charity for those who, by want of gifts, do make an obscurer profession."

He laments the effects of his constitutional irritability and impatience
upon his social intercourse and his domestic relations, and that his
bodily infirmities did not allow him a free expression of the tenderness
and love of his heart.  Who does not feel the pathos and inconsolable
regret which dictated the following paragraph?

"When God forgiveth me, I cannot forgive myself, especially for my rash
words and deeds by which I have seemed injurious and less tender and kind
than I should have been to my near and dear relations, whose love
abundantly obliged me.  When such are dead, though we never differed in
point of interest or any other matter, every sour or cross or provoking
word which I gave them maketh me almost irreconcilable to myself, and
tells me how repentance brought some of old to pray to the dead whom they
had wronged to forgive them, in the hurry of their passion."

His pride as a logician and skilful disputant abated in the latter and
better portion of his life he had more deference to the judgment of
others, and more distrust of his own.  "You admire," said he to a
correspondent who had lauded his character, "one you do not know;
knowledge will cure your error."  In his Narrative he writes: "I am much
more sensible than heretofore of the breadth and length and depth of the
radical, universal, odious sin of selfishness, and therefore have written
so much against it; and of the excellency and necessity of self-denial
and of a public mind, and of loving our neighbors as ourselves."  Against
many difficulties and discouragements, both within himself and in his
outward circumstances, he strove to make his life and conversation an
expression of that Christian love whose root, as he has said with equal
truth and beauty, "is set

               In humble self-denial, undertrod,
               While flower and fruit are growing up to God."

Of the great mass of his writings, more voluminous than those of any
author of his time, it would ill become us to speak with confidence.  We
are familiar only with some of the best of his practical works, and our
estimate of the vast and appalling series of his doctrinal, metaphysical
and controversial publications would be entitled to small weight, as the
result of very cursory examination.  Many of them relate to obsolete
questions and issues, monumental of controversies long dead, and of
disputatious doctors otherwise forgotten.  Yet, in respect to even these,
we feel justified in assenting to the opinion of one abundantly capable
of appreciating the character of Baxter as a writer.  "What works of Mr.
Baxter shall I read?" asked Boswell of Dr. Johnson.  "Read any of them,"
was the answer, "for they are all good."  He has left upon all the
impress of his genius.  Many of them contain sentiments which happily
find favor with few in our time: philosophical and psychological
disquisitions, which look oddly enough in the light of the intellectual
progress of nearly two centuries; dissertations upon evil spirits,
ghosts, and witches, which provoke smiles at the good man's credulity;
but everywhere we find unmistakable evidences of his sincerity and
earnest love of truth.  He wrote under a solemn impression of duty,
allowing neither pain, nor weakness, nor the claims of friendship, nor
the social enjoyments of domestic affection, to interfere with his
sleepless intensity of purpose.  He stipulated with his wife, before
marriage, that she should not expect him to relax, even for her society,
the severity of his labors.  He could ill brook interruption, and
disliked the importunity of visitors.  "We are afraid, sir, we break in
upon your time," said some of his callers to him upon one occasion.  "To
be sure you do," was his answer.  His seriousness seldom forsook him;
there is scarce a gleam of gayety in all his one hundred and sixty-eight
volumes.  He seems to have relished, however, the wit of others,
especially when directed against what he looked upon as error.  Marvell's
inimitable reply to the High-Church pretensions of Parker fairly overcame
his habitual gravity, and he several times alludes to it with marked
satisfaction; but, for himself, he had no heart for pleasentry.  His
writings, like his sermons, were the earnest expostulations of a dying
man with dying men.  He tells us of no other amusement or relaxation than
the singing of psalms.  "Harmony and melody," said he, "are the pleasure
and elevation of my soul.  It was not the least comfort that I had in the
converse of my late dear wife, that our first act in the morning and last
in bed at night was a psalm of praise."

It has been fashionable to speak of Baxter as a champion of civil and
religious freedom.  He has little claim to such a reputation.  He was the
stanch advocate of monarchy, and of the right and duty of the State to
enforce conformity to what he regarded as the essentials of religious
belief and practice.  No one regards the prelates who went to the Tower,
under James II., on the ground of conscientious scruples against reading
the King's declaration of toleration to Dissenters, as martyrs in the
cause of universal religious freedom.  Nor can Baxter, although he wrote
much against the coercion and silencing of godly ministers, and suffered
imprisonment himself for the sake of a good conscience, be looked upon in
the light of an intelligent and consistent confessor of liberty.  He did
not deny the abstract right of ecclesiastical coercion, but complained of
its exercise upon himself and his friends as unwarranted and unjust.

One of the warmest admirers and ablest commentators of Baxter designates
the leading and peculiar trait of his character as unearthliness.  In our
view, this was its radical defect.  He had too little of humanity, he
felt too little of the attraction of this world, and lived too
exclusively in the spiritual and the unearthly, for a full and healthful
development of his nature as a man, or of the graces, charities, and
loves of the Christian.  He undervalued the common blessings and joys of
life, and closed his eyes and ears against the beauty and harmony of
outward nature.  Humanity, in itself considered, seemed of small moment
to him; "passing away" was written alike on its wrongs and its rights,
its pleasures and its pains; death would soon level all distinctions; and
the sorrows or the joys, the poverty or the riches, the slavery or the
liberty, of the brief day of its probation seemed of too little
consequence to engage his attention and sympathies.  Hence, while he was
always ready to minister to temporal suffering wherever it came to his
notice, he made no efforts to remove its political or social causes.
In this respect he differed widely from some of his illustrious
contemporaries.  Penn, while preaching up and down the land, and writing
theological folios and pamphlets, could yet urge the political rights of
Englishmen, mount the hustings for Algernon Sydney, and plead for
unlimited religious liberty; and Vane, while dreaming of a coming
millennium and reign of the saints, and busily occupied in defending his
Antinomian doctrines, could at the same time vindicate, with tongue and
pen, the cause of civil and religious freedom.  But Baxter overlooked the
evils and oppressions which were around him, and forgot the necessities
and duties of the world of time and sense in his earnest aspirations
towards the world of spirits.  It is by no means an uninstructive fact,
that with the lapse of years his zeal for proselytism, doctrinal
disputations, and the preaching of threats and terrors visibly declined,
while love for his fellow-men and catholic charity greatly increased, and
he was blessed with a clearer perception of the truth that God is best
served through His suffering children, and that love and reverence for
visible humanity is an indispensable condition of the appropriate worship
of the Unseen God.

But, in taking leave of Richard Baxter, our last words must not be those
of censure.  Admiration and reverence become us rather.  He was an honest
man.  So far as we can judge, his motives were the highest and best which
can influence human action.  He had faults and weaknesses, and committed
grave errors, but we are constrained to believe that the prayer with
which he closes his Saints' Rest and which we have chosen as the fitting
termination of our article, was the earnest aspiration of his life:--

"O merciful Father of Spirits! suffer not the soul of thy unworthy
servant to be a stranger to the joys which he describes to others, but
keep me while I remain on earth in daily breathing after thee, and in a
believing affectionate walking with thee!  Let those who shall read these
pages not merely read the fruits of my studies, but the breathing of my
active hope and love; that if my heart were open to their view, they
might there read thy love most deeply engraven upon it with a beam from
the face of the Son of God; and not find vanity or lust or pride within
where the words of life appear without, that so these lines may not
witness against me, but, proceeding from the heart of the writer, be
effectual through thy grace upon the heart of the reader, and so be the
savor of life to both."

                             WILLIAM LEGGETT

          "O Freedom!  thou art not, as poets dream,
          A fair young girl, with light and delicate limbs,
          And wavy tresses, gushing from the cap
          With which the Roman master crowned his slave,
          When he took off the gyves.  A bearded man,
          Armed to the teeth, art thou; one mailed hand
          Grasps the broad shield, and one the sword; thy brow,
          Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarred
          With tokens of old wars; thy massive limbs
          Are strong with struggling.  Power at thee has launched
          His bolts, and with his lightnings smitten thee;
          They could not quench the life thou hast from Heaven."

WHEN the noblest woman in all France stood on the scaffold, just before
her execution, she is said to have turned towards the statue of Liberty,
--which, strangely enough, had been placed near the guillotine, as its
patron saint,--with the exclamation, "O Liberty! what crimes have been
committed in thy name!"  It is with a feeling akin to that which prompted
this memorable exclamation of Madame Roland that the sincere lover of
human freedom and progress is often compelled to regard American

For democracy, pure and impartial,--the self-government of the whole;
equal rights and privileges, irrespective of birth or complexion; the
morality of the Gospel of Christ applied to legislation; Christianity
reduced to practice, and showering the blessings of its impartial love
and equal protection upon all, like the rain and dews of heaven,--we have
the sincerest love and reverence.  So far as our own government
approaches this standard--and, with all its faults, we believe it does so
more nearly than any other--it has our hearty and steadfast allegiance.
We complain of and protest against it only where, in its original
framework or actual administration, it departs from the democratic
principle.  Holding, with Novalis, that the Christian religion is the
root of all democracy and the highest fact in the rights of man, we
regard the New Testament as the true political text-book; and believe
that, just in proportion as mankind receive its doctrines and precepts,
not merely as matters of faith and relating to another state of being,
but as practical rules, designed for the regulation of the present life
as well as the future, their institutions, social arrangements, and forms
of government will approximate to the democratic model.  We believe in
the ultimate complete accomplishment of the mission of Him who came "to
preach deliverance to the captive, and the opening of prison doors to
them that are bound."  We look forward to the universal dominion of His
benign humanity; and, turning from the strife and blood, the slavery, and
social and political wrongs of the past and present, anticipate the
realization in the distant future of that state when the song of the
angels at His advent shall be no longer a prophecy, but the jubilant
expression of a glorious reality,--"Glory to God in the highest!  Peace
on earth, and good will to man!"

For the party in this country which has assumed the name of Democracy, as
a party, we have had, we confess, for some years past, very little
respect. It has advocated many salutary measures, tending to equalize the
advantages of trade and remove the evils of special legislation.  But if
it has occasionally lopped some of the branches of the evil tree of
oppression, so far from striking at its root, it has suffered itself to
be made the instrument of nourishing and protecting it.  It has allowed
itself to be called, by its Southern flatterers, "the natural ally of
slavery."  It has spurned the petitions of the people in behalf of
freedom under its feet, in Congress and State legislatures.  Nominally
the advocate of universal suffrage, it has wrested from the colored
citizens of Pennsylvania that right of citizenship which they had enjoyed
under a Constitution framed by Franklin and Rush.  Perhaps the most
shameful exhibition of its spirit was made in the late Rhode Island
struggle, when the free suffrage convention, solemnly calling heaven and
earth to witness its readiness to encounter all the horrors of civil war,
in defence of the holy principle of equal and universal suffrage,
deliberately excluded colored Rhode Islanders from the privilege of
voting.  In the Constitutional Conventions of Michigan and Iowa, the same
party declared all men equal, and then provided an exception to this rule
in the case of the colored inhabitants.  Its course on the question of
excluding slavery from Texas is a matter of history, known and read of

After such exhibitions of its practice, its professions have lost their
power.  The cant of democracy upon the lips of men who are living down
its principles is, to an earnest mind, well nigh insufferable.  Pertinent
were the queries of Eliphaz the Temanite, "Shall a man utter vain
knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?  Shall he reason with
unprofitable talk, or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?"  Enough
of wearisome talk we have had about "progress," the rights of "the
masses," the "dignity of labor," and "extending the area of freedom"!
"Clear your mind of cant, sir," said Johnson to Boswell; and no better
advice could be now given to a class of our democratic politicians.  Work
out your democracy; translate your words into deeds; away with your
sentimental generalizations, and come down to the practical details of
your duty as men and Christians.  What avail your abstract theories, your
hopeless virginity of democracy, sacred from the violence of meanings?
A democracy which professes to hold, as by divine right, the doctrine of
human equality in its special keeping, and which at the same time gives
its direct countenance and support to the vilest system of oppression on
which the sun of heaven looks, has no better title to the name it
disgraces than the apostate Son of the Morning has to his old place in
heaven.  We are using strong language, for we feel strongly on this
subject.  Let those whose hypocrisy we condemn, and whose sins against
humanity we expose, remember that they are the publishers of their own
shame, and that they have gloried in their apostasy.  There is a cutting
severity in the answer which Sophocles puts in the mouth of Electra, in
justification of her indignant rebuke of her wicked mother:--

              "'Tis you that say it, not I
               You do the unholy deeds which find rue words."

Yet in that party calling itself democratic we rejoice to recognize true,
generous, and thoroughly sincere men,--lovers of the word of democracy,
and doers of it also, honest and hearty in their worship of liberty, who
are still hoping that the antagonism which slavery presents to democracy
will be perceived by the people, in spite of the sophistry and appeals to
prejudice by which interested partisans have hitherto succeeded in
deceiving them.  We believe with such that the mass of the democratic
voters of the free States are in reality friends of freedom, and hate
slavery in all its forms; and that, with a full understanding of the
matter, they could never consent to be sold to presidential aspirants, by
political speculators, in lots to suit purchasers, and warranted to be
useful in putting down free discussion, perpetuating oppression, and
strengthening the hands of modern feudalism.  They are beginning already
to see that, under the process whereby men of easy virtue obtain offices
from the general government, as the reward of treachery to free
principles, the strength and vitality of the party are rapidly declining.
To them, at least, democracy means something more than collectorships,
consulates, and governmental contracts.  For the sake of securing a
monopoly of these to a few selfish and heartless party managers, they are
not prepared to give up the distinctive principles of democracy, and
substitute in their place the doctrines of the Satanic school of
politics.  They will not much longer consent to stand before the world as
the slavery party of the United States, especially when policy and
expediency, as well as principle, unite in recommending a position more
congenial to the purposes of their organization, the principles of the
fathers of their political faith, the spirit of the age, and the
obligations of Christianity.

The death-blow of slavery in this country will be given by the very power
upon which it has hitherto relied with so much confidence.  Abused and
insulted Democracy will, erelong, shake off the loathsome burden under
which it is now staggering.  In the language of the late Theodore
Sedgwiek, of Massachusetts, a consistent democrat of the old school:
"Slavery, in all its forms, is anti-democratic,--an old poison left in
the veins, fostering the worst principles of aristocracy, pride, and
aversion to labor; the natural enemy of the poor man, the laboring man,
the oppressed man.  The question is, whether absolute dominion over any
creature in the image of man be a wholesome power in a free country;
whether this is a school in which to train the young republican mind;
whether slave blood and free blood can course healthily together in the
same body politic.  Whatever may be present appearances, and by whatever
name party may choose to call things, this question must finally be
settled by the democracy of the country."

This prediction was made eight years ago, at a time when all the facts in
the case seemed against the probability of its truth, and when only here
and there the voice of an indignant freeman protested against the
exulting claims of the slave power upon the democracy as its "natural
ally."  The signs of the times now warrant the hope of its fulfilment.
Over the hills of the East, and over the broad territory of the Empire
State, a new spirit is moving.  Democracy, like Balaam upon Zophim, has
felt the divine _afflatus_, and is blessing that which it was summoned to

The present hopeful state of things is owing, in no slight degree, to the
self-sacrificing exertions of a few faithful and clear-sighted men,
foremost among whom was the late William Leggett; than whom no one has
labored more perseveringly, or, in the end, more successfully, to bring
the practice of American democracy into conformity with its professions.

William Leggett!  Let our right hand forget its cunning, when that name
shall fail to awaken generous emotions and aspirations for a higher and
worthier manhood!  True man and true democrat; faithful always to
Liberty, following wherever she led, whether the storm beat in his face
or on his back; unhesitatingly counting her enemies his own, whether in
the guise of Whig monopoly and selfish expediency, or democratic
servility north of Mason and Dixon's line towards democratic slaveholding
south of it; poor, yet incorruptible; dependent upon party favor, as a
party editor, yet risking all in condemnation of that party, when in the
wrong; a man of the people, yet never stooping to flatter the people's
prejudices,--he is the politician, of all others, whom we would hold up
to the admiration and imitation of the young men of our country.  What
Fletcher of Saltoun is to Scotland, and the brave spirits of the old
Commonwealth time--

              "Hands that penned
               And tongues that uttered wisdom, better none
               The later Sydney, Marvell, Harrington,
               Young Vane, and others, who called Milton friend--"

are to England, should Leggett be to America.  His character was formed
on these sturdy democratic models.  Had he lived in their day, he would
have scraped with old Andrew Marvell the bare blade-bone of poverty, or
even laid his head on the block with Vane, rather than forego his
independent thought and speech.

Of the early life of William Leggett we have no very definite knowledge.
Born in moderate circumstances; at first a woodsman in the Western
wilderness, then a midshipman in the navy, then a denizen of New York;
exposed to sore hardships and perilous temptations, he worked his way by
the force of his genius to the honorable position of associate editor of
the Evening Post, the leading democratic journal of our great commercial
metropolis.  Here he became early distinguished for his ultraism in
democracy.  His whole soul revolted against oppression.  He was for
liberty everywhere and in all things, in thought, in speech, in vote, in
religion, in government, and in trade; he was for throwing off all
restraints upon the right of suffrage; regarding all men as brethren, he
looked with disapprobation upon attempts to exclude foreigners from the
rights of citizenship; he was for entire freedom of commerce; he
denounced a national bank; he took the lead in opposition to the monopoly
of incorporated banks; he argued in favor of direct taxation, and
advocated a free post-office, or a system by which letters should be
transported, as goods and passengers now are, by private enterprise.  In
all this he was thoroughly in earnest.  That he often erred through
passion and prejudice cannot be doubted; but in no instance was he found
turning aside from the path which he believed to be the true one, from
merely selfish considerations.  He was honest alike to himself and the
public.  Every question which was thrown up before him by the waves of
political or moral agitation he measured by his standard of right and
truth, and condemned or advocated it in utter disregard of prevailing
opinions, of its effect upon his pecuniary interest, or of his standing
with his party.  The vehemence of his passions sometimes betrayed him
into violence of language and injustice to his opponents; but he had that
rare and manly trait which enables its possessor, whenever he becomes
convinced of error, to make a prompt acknowledgment of the conviction.

In the summer of 1834, a series of mobs, directed against the
Abolitionists, who had organized a national society, with the city of New
York as its central point, followed each other in rapid succession.  The
houses of the leading men in the society were sacked and pillaged;
meeting-houses broken into and defaced; and the unoffending colored
inhabitants of the city treated with the grossest indignity, and
subjected, in some instances, to shameful personal outrage.  It was
emphatically a "Reign of Terror."  The press of both political parties
and of the leading religious sects, by appeals to prejudice and passion,
and by studied misrepresentation of the designs and measures of the
Abolitionists, fanned the flame of excitement, until the fury of demons
possessed the misguided populace.  To advocate emancipation, or defend
those who did so, in New York, at that period, was like preaching
democracy in Constantinople or religious toleration in Paris on the eve
of St. Bartholomew.  Law was prostrated in the dust; to be suspected of
abolitionism was to incur a liability to an indefinite degree of insult
and indignity; and the few and hunted friends of the slave who in those
nights of terror laid their heads upon the pillow did so with the prayer
of the Psalmist on their lips, "Defend me from them that rise up against
me; save me from bloody men."

At this period the New York Evening Post spoke out strongly in
condemnation of the mob.  William Leggett was not then an Abolitionist;
he had known nothing of the proscribed class, save through the cruel
misrepresentations of their enemies; but, true to his democratic faith,
he maintained the right to discuss the question of slavery.  The
infection of cowardly fear, which at that time sealed the lips of
multitudes who deplored the excesses of the mob and sympathized with its
victims, never reached him.  Boldly, indignantly, he demanded that the
mob should be put down at once by the civil authorities.  He declared the
Abolitionists, even if guilty of all that had been charged upon them,
fully entitled to the privileges and immunities of American citizens.  He
sternly reprimanded the board of aldermen of the city for rejecting with
contempt the memorial of the Abolitionists to that body, explanatory of
their principles and the measures by which they had sought to disseminate
them.  Referring to the determination, expressed by the memorialists in
the rejected document, not to recant or relinquish any principle which
they had adopted, but to live and die by their faith, he said: "In this,
however mistaken, however mad, we may consider their opinions in relation
to the blacks, what honest, independent mind can blame them?  Where is
the man so poor of soul, so white-livered, so base, that he would do less
in relation to any important doctrine in which he religiously believed?
Where is the man who would have his tenets drubbed into him by the clubs
of ruffians, or hold his conscience at the dictation of a mob?"

In the summer of 1835, a mob of excited citizens broke open the post-
office at Charleston, South Carolina, and burnt in the street such papers
and pamphlets as they judged to be "incendiary;" in other words, such as
advocated the application of the democratic principle to the condition of
the slaves of the South.  These papers were addressed, not to the slave,
but to the master.  They contained nothing which had not been said and
written by Southern men themselves, the Pinkneys, Jeffersons, Henrys, and
Martins, of Maryland and Virginia.  The example set at Charleston did not
lack imitators.  Every petty postmaster south of Mason and Dixon's line
became ex officio a censor of the press.  The Postmaster-General, writing
to his subordinate at Charleston, after stating that the post-office
department had "no legal right to exclude newspapers from the mail, or
prohibit their carriage or delivery, on account of their character or
tendency, real or supposed," declared that he would, nevertheless, give
no aid, directly or indirectly, in circulating publications of an
incendiary or inflammatory character; and assured the perjured
functionary, who had violated his oath of office, that, while he could
not sanction, he would not condemn his conduct.  Against this virtual
encouragement of a flagrant infringement of a constitutional right, this
licensing of thousands of petty government officials to sit in their mail
offices--to use the figure of Milton--cross-legged, like so many envious
Junos, in judgment upon the daily offspring of the press, taking counsel
of passion, prejudice, and popular excitement as to what was "incendiary"
or "inflammatory," the Evening Post spoke in tones of manly protest.

While almost all the editors of his party throughout the country either
openly approved of the conduct of the Postmaster-General or silently
acquiesced in it, William Leggett, who, in the absence of his colleague,
was at that time sole editor of the Post, and who had everything to lose,
in a worldly point of view, by assailing a leading functionary of the
government, who was a favorite of the President and a sharer of his
popularity, did not hesitate as to the course which consistency and duty
required at his hands.  He took his stand for unpopular truth, at a time
when a different course on his part could not have failed to secure him
the favor and patronage of his party.  In the great struggle with the
Bank of the United States, his services had not been unappreciated by the
President and his friends.  Without directly approving the course of the
administration on the question of the rights of the Abolitionists, by
remaining silent in respect to it, he might have avoided all suspicion of
mental and moral independence incompatible with party allegiance.  The
impracticable honesty of Leggett, never bending from the erectness of
truth for the sake of that "thrift which follows fawning," dictated a
most severe and scorching review of the letter of the Postmaster-General.
"More monstrous, more detestable doctrines we have never heard
promulgated," he exclaimed in one of his leading editorials.  "With what
face, after this, can the Postmaster-General punish a postmaster for any
exercise of the fearfully dangerous power of stopping and destroying any
portion of the mails?"  "The Abolitionists do not deserve to be placed on
the same footing with a, foreign enemy, nor their publications as the
secret despatches of a spy.  They are American citizens, in the exercise
of their undoubted right of citizenship; and however erroneous their
views, however fanatic their conduct, while they act within the limits of
the law, what official functionary, be he merely a subordinate or the
head of the post-office department, shall dare to abridge them of their
rights as citizens, and deny them those facilities of intercourse which
were instituted for the equal accommodation of all?  If the American
people will submit to this, let us expunge all written codes, and resolve
society into its original elements, where the might of the strong is
better than the right of the weak."

A few days after the publication of this manly rebuke, he wrote an
indignantly sarcastic article upon the mobs which were at this time
everywhere summoned to "put down the Abolitionists."  The next day, the
4th of the ninth month, 1835, he received a copy of the Address of the
American Anti-Slavery Society to the public, containing a full and
explicit avowal of all the principles and designs of the association.  He
gave it a candid perusal, weighed its arguments, compared its doctrines
with those at the foundation of his own political faith, and rose up from
its examination an Abolitionist.  He saw that he himself, misled by the
popular clamor, had done injustice to benevolent and self-sacrificing
men; and he took the earliest occasion, in an article of great power and
eloquence, to make the amplest atonement.  He declared his entire
concurrence with the views of the American Anti-Slavery Society, with the
single exception of a doubt which rested, on his mind as to the abolition
of slavery in the District of Columbia.  We quote from the concluding
paragraph of this article:--

"We assert without hesitation, that, if we possessed the right, we should
not scruple to exercise it for the speedy annihilation of servitude and
chains.  The impression made in boyhood by the glorious exclamation of

               "'A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty
               Is worth a whole eternity of bondage!'

has been worn deeper, not effaced, by time; and we eagerly and ardently
trust that the day will yet arrive when the clank of the bondman's
fetters will form no part of the multitudinous sounds which our country
sends up to Heaven, mingling, as it were, into a song of praise for our
national prosperity.  We yearn with strong desire for the day when
freedom shall no longer wave

               "Her fustian flag in mockery over slaves.'"

A few days after, in reply to the assaults made upon him from all
quarters, he calmly and firmly reiterated his determination to maintain
the right of free discussion of the subject of slavery.

"The course we are pursuing," said he, "is one which we entered upon after
mature deliberation, and we are not to be turned from it by a species of
opposition, the inefficacy of which we have seen displayed in so many
former instances.  It is Philip Van Artevelde who says:--

               "'All my life long,
               I have beheld with most respect the man
               Who knew himself, and knew the ways before him;
               And from among them chose considerately,
               With a clear foresight, not a blindfold courage;
               And, having chosen, with a steadfast mind.
               Pursued his purpose.'

"This is the sort of character we emulate.  If to believe slavery a
deplorable evil and curse, in whatever light it is viewed; if to yearn
for the day which shall break the fetters of three millions of human
beings, and restore to them their birthright of equal freedom; if to be
willing, in season and out of season, to do all in our power to promote
so desirable a result, by all means not inconsistent with higher duty: if
these sentiments constitute us Abolitionists, then are we such, and glory
in the name."

"The senseless cry of 'Abolitionist' shall never deter us, nor the more
senseless attempt of puny prints to read us out of the democratic party.
The often-quoted and beautiful saying of the Latin historian, Homo sum:
humani nihil a me alienum puto, we apply to the poor slave as well as his
master, and shall endeavor to fulfil towards both the obligations of an
equal humanity."

The generation which, since the period of which we are speaking, have
risen into active life can have but a faint conception of the boldness of
this movement on the part of William Leggett.  To be an Abolitionist then
was to abandon all hope of political preferment or party favor; to be
marked and branded as a social outlaw, under good society's interdict of
food and fire; to hold property, liberty, and life itself at the mercy of
lawless mobs.  All this William Leggett clearly saw.  He knew how rugged
and thorny was the path upon which, impelled by his love of truth and the
obligations of humanity, he was entering.  From hunted and proscribed
Abolitionists and oppressed and spirit-broken colored men, the Pariahs of
American democracy, he could alone expect sympathy.  The Whig journals,
with a few honorable exceptions, exulted over what they regarded as the
fall of a formidable opponent; and after painting his abolitionism in the
most hideous colors, held him up to their Southern allies as a specimen
of the radical disorganizers and democratic levellers of the North.  His
own party, in consequence, made haste to proscribe him.  Government
advertising was promptly withdrawn from his paper.  The official journals
of Washington and Albany read him out of the pale of democracy.  Father
Ritchie scolded and threatened.  The democratic committee issued its bull
against him from Tammany Hall.  The resolutions of that committee were
laid before him when he was sinking under a severe illness.  Rallying his
energies, he dictated from his sick-bed an answer marked by all his
accustomed vigor and boldness.  Its tone was calm, manly, self-relying;
the language of one who, having planted his feet hard down on the rock of
principle, stood there like Luther at Worms, because he "could not
otherwise."  Exhausted nature sunk under the effort.  A weary sickness of
nearly a year's duration followed.  In this sore affliction, deserted as
he was by most of his old political friends, we have reason to know that
he was cheered by the gratitude of those in whose behalf he had well-nigh
made a martyr's sacrifice; and that from the humble hearths of his poor
colored fellow-citizens fervent prayers went up for his restoration.

His work was not yet done.  Purified by trial, he was to stand forth once
more in vindication of the truths of freedom.  As soon as his health was
sufficiently reestablished, he commenced the publication of an
independent political and literary journal, under the expressive title of
The Plaindealer.  In his first number he stated, that, claiming the right
of absolute freedom of discussion, he should exercise it with no other
limitations than those of his own judgment.  A poor man, he admitted that
he established the paper in the expectation of deriving from it a
livelihood, but that even for that object he could not trim its sails to
suit the varying breeze of popular prejudice.  "If," said he, "a paper
which makes the Right, and not the Expedient, its cardinal object, will
not yield its conductor a support, there are honest vocations that will,
and better the humblest of them than to be seated at the head of an
influential press, if its influence is not exerted to promote the cause
of truth."  He was true to his promise.  The free soul of a free, strong
man spoke out in his paper.  How refreshing was it, after listening to
the inanities, the dull, witless vulgarity, the wearisome commonplace of
journalists, who had no higher aim than to echo, with parrot-like
exactness, current prejudices and falsehoods, to turn to the great and
generous thoughts, the chaste and vigorous diction, of the Plaindealer!
No man ever had a clearer idea of the duties and responsibilities of a
conductor of the public press than William Leggett, and few have ever
combined so many of the qualifications for their perfect discharge: a
nice sense of justice, a warm benevolence, inflexible truth, honesty
defying temptation, a mind stored with learning, and having at command
the treasures of the best thoughts of the best authors.  As was said of
Fletcher of Saltoun, he was "a gentleman steady in his principles; of
nice honor, abundance of learning; bold as a lion; a sure friend; a man
who would lose his life to serve his country, and would not do a base
thing to save it."

He had his faults: his positive convictions sometimes took the shape
of a proud and obstinate dogmatism; he who could so well appeal to the
judgment and the reason of his readers too often only roused their
passions by invective and vehement declamation.  Moderate men were
startled and pained by the fierce energy of his language; and he not
unfrequently made implacable enemies of opponents whom he might have
conciliated and won over by mild expostulation and patient explanation.
It must be urged in extenuation, that, as the champion of unpopular
truths, he was assailed unfairly on all sides, and indecently
misrepresented and calumniated to a degree, as his friend Sedgwick justly
remarks, unprecedented even in the annals of the American press; and that
his errors in this respect were, in the main, errors of retaliation.

In the Plaindealer, in common with the leading moral and political
subjects of the day, that of slavery was freely discussed in all its
bearings.  It is difficult, in a single extract, to convey an adequate
idea of the character of the editorial columns of a paper, where terse
and concentrated irony and sarcasm alternate with eloquent appeal and
diffuse commentary and labored argument.  We can only offer at random the
following passages from a long review of a speech of John C. Calhoun, in
which that extraordinary man, whose giant intellect has been shut out of
its appropriate field of exercise by the very slavery of which he is the
champion, undertook to maintain, in reply to a Virginia senator, that
chattel slavery was not an evil, but "a great good."

"We have Mr. Calhoun's own warrant for attacking his position with all
the fervor which a high sense of duty can give, for we do hold, from the
bottom of our soul, that slavery is an evil,--a deep, detestable,
damnable evil; evil in all its aspects to the blacks, and a greater evil
to the whites; an evil moral, social, and political; an evil which shows
itself in the languishing condition of agriculture where it exists, in
paralyzed commerce, and in the prostration of the mechanic arts; an evil
which stares you in the face from uncultivated fields, and howls in your
ears through tangled swamps and morasses.  Slavery is such an evil that
it withers what it touches.  Where it is once securely established the
land becomes desolate, as the tree inevitably perishes which the sea-hawk
chooses for its nest; while freedom, on the contrary, flourishes like the
tannen, 'on the loftiest and least sheltered rocks,' and clothes with its
refreshing verdure what, without it, would frown in naked and incurable

"If any one desires an illustration of the opposite influences of slavery
and freedom, let him look at the two sister States of Kentucky and Ohio.
Alike in soil and climate, and divided only by a river, whose translucent
waters reveal, through nearly the whole breadth, the sandy bottom over
which they sparkle, how different are they in all the respects over which
man has control!  On the one hand the air is vocal with the mingled
tumult of a vast and prosperous population.  Every hillside smiles with
an abundant harvest, every valley shelters a thriving village, the click
of a busy mill drowns the prattle of every rivulet, and all the
multitudinous sounds of business denote happy activity in every branch
of social occupation.

"This is the State which, but a few years ago, slept in the unbroken
solitude of nature.  The forest spread an interminable canopy of shade
over the dark soil on which the fat and useless vegetation rotted at
ease, and through the dusky vistas of the wood only savage beasts and
more savage men prowled in quest of prey.  The whole land now blossoms
like a garden.  The tall and interlacing trees have unlocked their hold,
and bowed before the woodman's axe.  The soil is disencumbered of the
mossy trunks which had reposed upon it for ages.  The rivers flash in the
sunlight, and the fields smile with waving harvests.  This is Ohio, and
this is what freedom has done for it.

"Now, let us turn to Kentucky, and note the opposite influences of
slavery.  A narrow and unfrequented path through the close and sultry
canebrake conducts us to a wretched hovel.  It stands in the midst of an
unweeded field, whose dilapidated enclosure scarcely protects it from the
lowing and hungry kine.  Children half clad and squalid, and destitute of
the buoyancy natural to their age, lounge in the sunshine, while their
parent saunters apart, to watch his languid slaves drive the ill-
appointed team afield.  This is not a fancy picture.  It is a true copy
of one of the features which make up the aspect 'of the State, and of
every State where the moral leprosy of slavery covers the people with its
noisome scales; a deadening lethargy benumbs the limbs of the body
politic; a stupor settles on the arts of life; agriculture reluctantly
drags the plough and harrow to the field, only when scourged by
necessity; the axe drops from the woodman's nerveless hand the moment his
fire is scantily supplied with fuel; and the fen, undrained, sends up its
noxious exhalations, to rack with cramps and agues the frame already too
much enervated by a moral epidemic to creep beyond the sphere of the
material miasm."

The Plaindealer was uniformly conducted with eminent ability; but its
editor was too far in advance of his contemporaries to find general
acceptance, or even toleration.  In addition to pecuniary embarrassments,
his health once more failed, and in the autumn of 1837 he was compelled
to suspend the publication of his paper.  One of the last articles which
he wrote for it shows the extent to which he was sometimes carried by the
intensity and depth of his abhorrence of oppression, and the fervency of
his adoration of liberty.  Speaking of the liability of being called upon
to aid the master in the subjection of revolted slaves, and in replacing
their cast-off fetters, he thus expresses himself: "Would we comply with
such a requisition?  No!  Rather would we see our right arm lopped from
our body, and the mutilated trunk itself gored with mortal wounds, than
raise a finger in opposition to men struggling in the holy cause of
freedom.  The obligations of citizenship are strong, but those of
justice, humanity, and religion, stronger.  We earnestly trust that the
great contest of opinion which is now going on in this country may
terminate in the enfranchisement of the slaves, without recourse to the
strife of blood; but should the oppressed bondmen, impatient of the tardy
progress of truth, urged only in discussion, attempt to burst their
chains by a more violent and shorter process, they should never encounter
our arm nor hear our voice in the ranks of their opponents.  We should
stand a sad spectator of the conflict; and, whatever commiseration we
might feel for the discomfiture of the oppressors, we should pray that
the battle might end in giving freedom to the oppressed."

With the Plain dealer, his connection with the public, in a great
measure, ceased.  His steady and intimate friend, personal as well as
political, Theodore Sedgwick, Jun., a gentleman who has, on many
occasions, proved himself worthy of his liberty-loving ancestry, thus
speaks of him in his private life at this period: "Amid the reverses of
fortune, harassed by pecuniary embarrassments, during the tortures of a
disease which tore away his life piecemeal, hee ever maintained the same
manly and unaltered front, the same cheerfulness of disposition, the same
dignity of conduct.  No humiliating solicitation, no weak complaint,
escaped him."  At the election in the fall of 1838, the noble-spirited
democrat was not wholly forgotten.  A strenuous effort, which was well-
nigh successful, was made to secure his nomination as a candidate for
Congress.  It was at this juncture that he wrote to a friend in the city,
from his residence at New Rochelle, one of the noblest letters ever
penned by a candidate for popular favor.  The following extracts will
show how a true man can meet the temptations of political life:--

"What I am most afraid of is, that some of my friends, in their too
earnest zeal, will place me in a false position on the subject of
slavery.  I am an Abolitionist.  I hate slavery in all its forms,
degrees, and influences; and I deem myself bound, by the highest moral
and political obligations, not to let that sentiment of hate lie dormant
and smouldering in my own breast, but to give it free vent, and let it
blaze forth, that it may kindle equal ardor through the whole sphere of
my influence.  I would not have this fact disguised or mystified for any
office the people have it in their power to give.  Rather, a thousand
times rather, would I again meet the denunciations of Tammany Hall, and
be stigmatized with all the foul epithets with which the anti-abolition
vocabulary abounds, than recall or deny one tittle of my creed.
Abolition is, in my sense, a necessary and a glorious part of democracy;
and I hold the right and duty to discuss the subject of slavery, and to
expose its hideous evils in all their bearings,--moral, social, and
political,--as of infinitely higher importance than to carry fifty sub-
treasury bills.  That I should discharge this duty temperately; that I
should not let it come in collision with other duties; that I should not
let my hatred of slavery transcend the express obligations of the
Constitution, or violate its clear spirit, I hope and trust you think
sufficiently well of me to believe.  But what I fear is, (not from you,
however,) that some of my advocates and champions will seek to recommend
me to popular support by representing me as not an Abolitionist, which is
false.  All that I have written gives the lie to it.  All I shall write
will give the lie to it.

"And here, let me add, (apart from any consideration already adverted
to,) that, as a matter of mere policy, I would not, if I could, have my
name disjoined from abolitionism.  To be an Abolitionist now is to be an
incendiary; as, three years ago, to be an anti-monopolist was to be a
leveller and a Jack Cade.  See what three short years have done in
effecting the anti-monopoly reform; and depend upon it that the next
three years, or, if not three, say three times three, if you please, will
work a greater revolution on the slavery question.  The stream of public
opinion now sets against us; but it is about to turn, and the
regurgitation will be tremendous.  Proud in that day may well be the man
who can float in triumph on the first refluent wave, swept onward by the
deluge which he himself, in advance of his fellows, has largely shared in
occasioning.  Such be my fate; and, living or dead, it will, in some
measure, be mine!  I have written my name in ineffaceable letters on the
abolition record; and whether the reward ultimately come in the shape of
honors to the living man, or a tribute to the memory of a departed one, I
would not forfeit my right to it for as many offices as has in his gift,
if each of them was greater than his own."

After mentioning that he had understood that some of his friends had
endeavored to propitiate popular prejudice by representing him as no
Abolitionist, he says:--

"Keep them, for God's sake, from committing any such fooleries for the
sake of getting me into Congress.  Let others twist themselves into what
shapes they please, to gratify the present taste of the people; as for
me, I am not formed of such pliant materials, and choose to retain,
undisturbed, the image of my God!  I do not wish to cheat the people of
their votes.  I would not get their support, any more than their money,
under false pretences.  I am what I am; and if that does not suit them,
I am content to stay at home."

God be praised for affording us, even in these latter days, the sight of
an honest man!  Amidst the heartlessness, the double-dealing, the
evasions, the prevarications, the shameful treachery and falsehood, of
political men of both parties, in respect to the question of slavery, how
refreshing is it to listen to words like these!  They renew our failing
faith in human nature.  They reprove our weak misgivings.  We rise up
from their perusal stronger and healthier.  With something of the spirit
which dictated them, we renew our vows to freedom, and, with manlier
energy, gird up our souls for the stern struggle before us.

As might have been expected, and as he himself predicted, the efforts of
his friends to procure his nomination failed; but the same generous
appreciators of his rare worth were soon after more successful in their
exertions in his behalf.  He received from President Van Buren the
appointment of the mission to Guatemala,--an appointment which, in
addition to honorable employment in the service of his country, promised
him the advantages of a sea voyage and a change of climate, for the
restoration of his health.  The course of Martin Van Buren on the subject
of slavery in the District of Columbia forms, in the estimation of many
of his best friends, by no means the most creditable portion of his
political history; but it certainly argues well for his magnanimity and
freedom from merely personal resentment that he gave this appointment to
the man who had animadverted upon that course with the greatest freedom,
and whose rebuke of the veto pledge, severe in its truth and justice,
formed the only discord in the paean of partisan flattery which greeted
his inaugural.  But, however well intended, it came too late.  In the
midst of the congratulations of his friends on the brightening prospect
before him, the still hopeful and vigorous spirit of William Leggett was
summoned away by death.  Universal regret was awakened.  Admiration of
his intellectual power, and that generous and full appreciation of his
high moral worth which had been in too many instances withheld from the
living man by party policy and prejudice, were now freely accorded to the
dead.  The presses of both political parties vied with each other in
expressions of sorrow at the loss of a great and true man.  The
Democracy, through all its organs, hastened to canonize him as one of the
saints of its calendar.  The general committee, in New York, expunged
their resolutions of censure.  The Democratic Review, at that period the
most respectable mouthpiece of the democratic party, made him the subject
of exalted eulogy.  His early friend and co-editor, William Cullen
Bryant, laid upon his grave the following tribute, alike beautiful and

              "The earth may ring, from shore to shore,
               With echoes of a glorious name,
               But he whose loss our tears deplore
               Has left behind him more than fame.

              "For when the death-frost came to lie
               On Leggett's warm and mighty heart,
               And quenched his bold and friendly eye,
               His spirit did not all depart.

              "The words of fire that from his pen
               He flung upon the lucid page
               Still move, still shake the hearts of men,
               Amid a cold and coward age.

              "His love of Truth, too warm, too strong,
               For Hope or Fear to chain or chill,
               His hate of tyranny and wrong,
               Burn in the breasts they kindled still."

So lived and died William Leggett.  What a rebuke of party perfidy, of
political meanness, of the common arts and stratagems of demagogues,
comes up from his grave!  How the cheek of mercenary selfishness crimsons
at the thought of his incorruptible integrity!  How heartless and hollow
pretenders, who offer lip service to freedom, while they give their hands
to whatever work their slaveholding managers may assign them; who sit in
chains round the crib of governmental patronage, putting on the spaniel,
and putting off the man, and making their whole lives a miserable lie,
shrink back from a contrast with the proud and austere dignity of his
character!  What a comment on their own condition is the memory of a man
who could calmly endure the loss of party favor, the reproaches of his
friends, the malignant assaults of his enemies, and the fretting evils of
poverty, in the hope of bequeathing, like the dying testator of Ford,

              "A fame by scandal untouched,
               To Memory and Time's old daughter, Truth."

The praises which such men are now constrained to bestow upon him are
their own condemnation.  Every stone which they pile upon his grave is
written over with the record of their hypocrisy.

We have written rather for the living than the dead.  As one of that
proscribed and hunted band of Abolitionists, whose rights were so bravely
defended by William Leggett, we should, indeed, be wanting in ordinary
gratitude not to do honor to his memory; but we have been actuated at the
present time mainly by a hope that the character, the lineaments of which
we have so imperfectly sketched, may awaken a generous emulation in the
hearts of the young democracy of our country.  Democracy such as William
Leggett believed and practised, democracy in its full and all-
comprehensive significance, is destined to be the settled political faith
of this republic.  Because the despotism of slavery has usurped its name,
and offered the strange incense of human tears and blood on its profaned
altars, shall we, therefore, abandon the only political faith which
coincides with the Gospel of Jesus, and meets the aspirations and wants
of humanity?  No.  The duty of the present generation in the United
States is to reduce this faith to practice, to make the beautiful ideal a

"Every American," says Leggett, "who in any way countenances slavery is
derelict to his duty, as a Christian, a patriot, a man; and every one
does countenance and authorize it who suffers any opportunity of
expressing his deep abhorrence of its manifold abominations to pass
unimproved."  The whole world has an interest in this matter.  The
influence of our democratic despotism is exerted against the liberties of
Europe.  Political reformers in the Old World, who have testified to
their love of freedom by serious sacrifices, hold but one language on
this point.  They tell us that American slavery furnishes kings and
aristocracies with their most potent arguments; that it is a perpetual
drag on the wheel of political progress.

We have before us, at this time, a letter from Seidensticker, one of the
leaders of the patriotic movement in behalf of German liberty in 1831.
It was written from the prison of Celle, where he had been confined for
eight years.  The writer expresses his indignant astonishment at the
speeches of John C. Calhoun, and others in Congress, on the slavery
question, and deplores the disastrous influence of our great
inconsistency upon the cause of freedom throughout the world,--an
influence which paralyzes the hands of the patriotic reformer, while it
strengthens those of his oppressor, and deepens around the living martyrs
and confessors of European democracy the cold shadow of their prisons.

Joseph Sturge, of Birmingham, the President of the British Free Suffrage
Union, and whose philanthropy and democracy have been vouched for by the
Democratic Review in this country, has the following passage in an
address to the citizens of the United States: "Although an admirer of the
institutions of your country, and deeply lamenting the evils of my own
government, I find it difficult to reply to those who are opposed to any
extension of the political rights of Englishmen, when they point to
America, and say that where all have a control over the legislation but
those who are guilty of a dark skin, slavery and the slave trade remain,
not only unmitigated, but continue to extend; and that while there is an
onward movement in favor of its extinction, not only in England and
France, but in Cuba and Brazil, American legislators cling to this
enormous evil, without attempting to relax or mitigate its horrors."

How long shall such appeals, from such sources, be wasted upon us?  Shall
our baleful example enslave the world?  Shall the tree of democracy,
which our fathers intended for "the healing of the nations," be to them
like the fabled upas, blighting all around it?

The men of the North, the pioneers of the free West, and the non-
slaveholders of the South must answer these questions.  It is for them to
say whether the present wellnigh intolerable evil shall continue to
increase its boundaries, and strengthen its hold upon the government, the
political parties, and the religious sects of our country.  Interest and
honor, present possession and future hope, the memory of fathers, the
prospects of children, gratitude, affection, the still call of the dead,
the cry of oppressed nations looking hitherward for the result of all
their hopes, the voice of God in the soul, in revelation, and in His
providence, all appeal to them for a speedy and righteous decision.  At
this moment, on the floor of Congress, Democracy and Slavery have met in
a death-grapple.  The South stands firm; it allows no party division on
the slave question.  One of its members has declared that "the slave
States have no traitors."  Can the same be said of the free?  Now, as in
the time of the fatal Missouri Compromise, there are, it is to be feared,
political peddlers among our representatives, whose souls are in the
market, and whose consciences are vendible commodities.  Through their
means, the slave power may gain a temporary triumph; but may not the very
baseness of the treachery arouse the Northern heart?  By driving the free
States to the wall, may it not compel them to turn and take an aggressive
attitude, clasp hands over the altar of their common freedom, and swear
eternal hostility to slavery?

Be the issue of the present contest what it may, those who are faithful
to freedom should allow no temporary reverse to shake their confidence in
the ultimate triumph of the right.  The slave will be free.  Democracy in
America will yet be a glorious reality; and when the topstone of that
temple of freedom which our fathers left unfinished shall be brought
forth with shoutings and cries of grace unto it, when our now drooping-
Liberty lifts up her head and prospers, happy will be he who can say,
with John Milton, "Among those who have something more than wished her
welfare, I too have my charter and freehold of rejoicing to me and my


"And Lamb, the frolic and the gentle,
Has vanished from his kindly hearth."

So, in one of the sweetest and most pathetic of his poems touching the
loss of his literary friends, sang Wordsworth.  We well remember with
what freshness and vividness these simple lines came before us, on
hearing, last autumn, of the death of the warm-hearted and gifted friend
whose name heads this article; for there was much in his character and
genius to remind us of the gentle author of Elia.  He had the latter's
genial humor and quaintness; his nice and delicate perception of the
beautiful and poetic; his happy, easy diction, not the result, as in the
case of that of the English essayist, of slow and careful elaboration,
but the natural, spontaneous language in which his conceptions at once
embodied themselves, apparently without any consciousness of effort.  As
Mark Antony talked, he wrote, "right on," telling his readers often what
"they themselves did know," yet imparting to the simplest commonplaces of
life interest and significance, and throwing a golden haze of poetry over
the rough and thorny pathways of every-day duty.  Like Lamb, he loved his
friends without stint or limit.  The "old familiar faces" haunted him.
Lamb loved the streets and lanes of London--the places where he oftenest
came in contact with the warm, genial heart of humanity--better than the
country.  Rogers loved the wild and lonely hills and valleys of New
Hampshire none the less that he was fully alive to the enjoyments of
society, and could enter with the heartiest sympathy into all the joys
and sorrows of his friends and neighbors.

In another point of view, he was not unlike Elia.  He had the same love
of home, and home friends, and familiar objects; the same fondness for
common sights and sounds; the same dread of change; the same shrinking
from the unknown and the dark.  Like him, he clung with a child's love to
the living present, and recoiled from a contemplation of the great change
which awaits us.  Like him, he was content with the goodly green earth
and human countenances, and would fain set up his tabernacle here.  He
had less of what might be termed self-indulgence in this feeling than
Lamb.  He had higher views; he loved this world not only for its own
sake, but for the opportunities it afforded of doing good.  Like the
Persian seer, he beheld the legions of Ormuzd and Ahriman, of Light and
Darkness, contending for mastery over the earth, as the sunshine and
shadow of a gusty, half-cloudy day struggled on the green slopes of his
native mountains; and, mingled with the bright host, he would fain have
fought on until its banners waved in eternal sunshine over the last
hiding-place of darkness.  He entered into the work of reform with the
enthusiasm and chivalry of a knight of the crusades.  He had faith in
human progress,--in the ultimate triumph of the good; millennial lights
beaconed up all along his horizon.  In the philanthropic movements of the
day; in the efforts to remove the evils of slavery, war, intemperance,
and sanguinary laws; in the humane and generous spirit of much of our
modern poetry and literature; in the growing demand of the religious
community, of all sects, for the preaching of the gospel of love and
humanity, he heard the low and tremulous prelude of the great anthem of
universal harmony.  "The world," said he, in a notice of the music of the
Hutchinson family, "is out of tune now.  But it will be tuned again, and
all will become harmony."  In this faith he lived and acted; working, not
always, as it seemed to some of his friends, wisely, but bravely,
truthfully, earnestly, cheering on his fellow-laborers, and imparting to
the dullest and most earthward looking of them something of his own zeal
and loftiness of purpose.

"Who was he?" does the reader ask?  Naturally enough, too, for his name
has never found its way into fashionable reviews; it has never been
associated with tale, or essay, or poem, to our knowledge.  Our friend
Griswold, who, like another Noah, has launched some hundreds of American
poets and prose writers on the tide of immortality in his two huge arks
of rhyme and reason, has either overlooked his name, or deemed it
unworthy of preservation.  Then, too, he was known mainly as the editor
of a proscribed and everywhere-spoken-against anti-slavery paper.  It had
few readers of literary taste and discrimination; plain, earnest men and
women, intent only upon the thought itself, and caring little for the
clothing of it, loved the _Herald of Freedom_ for its honestness and
earnestness, and its bold rebukes of the wrong, its all-surrendering
homage to what its editor believed to be right.  But the literary world
of authors and critics saw and heard little or nothing of him or his
writings.  "I once had a bit of scholar-craft," he says of himself on one
occasion, "and had I attempted it in some pitiful sectarian or party or
literary sheet, I should have stood a chance to get quoted into the
periodicals.  Now, who dares quote from the _Herald of Freedom_?"  He
wrote for humanity, as his biographer justly says, not for fame.  "He
wrote because he had something to say, and true to nature, for to him
nature was truth; he spoke right on, with the artlessness and simplicity
of a child."

He was born in Plymouth, New Hampshire, in the sixth month of 1794,--
a lineal descendant from John Rogers, of martyr-memory.  Educated at
Dartmouth College, he studied law with Hon. Richard Fletcher, of
Salisbury, New Hampshire, now of Boston, and commenced the practice of it
in 1819, in his native village.  He was diligent and successful in his
profession, although seldom known as a pleader.  About the year 1833, he
became interested in the anti-slavery movement.  His was one of the few
voices of encouragement and sympathy which greeted the author of this
sketch on the publication of a pamphlet in favor of immediate
emancipation.  He gave us a kind word of approval, and invited us to his
mountain home, on the banks of the Pemigewasset,--an invitation which,
two years afterwards, we accepted.  In the early autumn, in company with
George Thompson, (the eloquent reformer, who has since been elected a
member of the British Parliament from the Tower Hamlets,) we drove up the
beautiful valley of the White Mountain tributary of the Merrimac, and,
just as a glorious sunset was steeping river, valley, and mountain in its
hues of heaven, were welcomed to the pleasant home and family circle of
our friend Rogers.  We spent two delightful evenings with him.  His
cordiality, his warm-hearted sympathy in our object, his keen wit,
inimitable humor, and childlike and simple mirthfulness, his full
appreciation of the beautiful in art and nature, impressed us with the
conviction that we were the guests of no ordinary man; that we were
communing with unmistakable genius, such an one as might have added to
the wit and eloquence of Ben Jonson's famous club at the _Mermaid_, or
that which Lamb and Coleridge and Southey frequented at the _Salutation
and Cat_, of Smithfield.  "The most brilliant man I have met in America!"
said George Thompson, as we left the hospitable door of our friend.

In 1838, he gave up his law practice, left his fine outlook at Plymouth
upon the mountains of the North, Moosehillock and the Haystacks, and took
up his residence at Concord, for the purpose of editing the _Herald of
Freedom_, an anti-slavery paper which had been started some three or four
years before.  John Pierpont, than whom there could not be a more
competent witness, in his brief and beautiful sketch of the life and
writings of Rogers, does not overestimate the ability with which the
Herald was conducted, when he says of its editor: "As a newspaper writer,
we think him unequalled by any living man; and in the general strength,
clearness, and quickness of his intellect, we think all who knew him well
will agree with us that he was not excelled by any editor in the
country."  He was not a profound reasoner: his imagination and brilliant
fancy played the wildest tricks with his logic; yet, considering the way
by which he reached them, it is remarkable that his conclusions were so
often correct.  The tendency of his mind was to extremes.  A zealous
Calvinistic church-member, he became an equally zealous opponent of
churches and priests; a warm politician, he became an ultra non-resistant
and no-government man.  In all this, his sincerity was manifest.  If, in
the indulgence of his remarkable powers of sarcasm, in the free antics of
a humorous fancy, upon whose graceful neck he had flung loose the reins,
he sometimes did injustice to individuals, and touched, in irreverent
sport, the hem of sacred garments, it had the excuse, at least, of a
generous and honest motive.  If he sometimes exaggerated, those who best,
knew him can testify that he "set down naught in malice."

We have before us a printed collection of his writings,--hasty
editorials, flung off without care or revision, the offspring of sudden
impulse frequently; always free, artless, unstudied; the language
transparent as air, exactly expressing the thought.  He loved the common,
simple dialect of the people,--the "beautiful strong old Saxon,--the talk
words."  He had an especial dislike of learned and "dictionary words."
He used to recommend Cobbett's Works to "every young man and woman who
has been hurt in his or her talk and writing by going to school."

Our limits will not admit of such extracts from the Collection of his
writings as would convey to our readers an adequate idea of his thought
and manner.  His descriptions of natural scenery glow with life.  One can
almost see the sunset light flooding the Franconia Notch, and glorifying
the peaks of Moosehillock, and hear the murmur of the west wind in the
pines, and the light, liquid voice of Pemigewasset sounding up from its
rocky channel, through its green hem of maples, while reading them.  We
give a brief extract from an editorial account of an autumnal trip to

"We have recently journeyed through a portion of this, free State; and it
is not all imagination in us that sees, in its bold scenery, its
uninfected inland position, its mountainous but fertile and verdant
surface, the secret of the noble predisposition of its people.  They are
located for freedom.  Liberty's home is on their Green Mountains.  Their
farmer republic nowhere touches the ocean, the highway of the world's
crimes, as well as its nations.  It has no seaport for the importation of
slavery, or the exportation of its own highland republicanism.  Should
slavery ever prevail over this nation, to its utter subjugation, the last
lingering footsteps of retiring Liberty will be seen, not, as Daniel
Webster said, in the proud old Commonwealth of Massachusetts, about
Bunker Hill and Faneuil Hall; but she will be found wailing, like
Jephthah's daughter, among the 'hollows' and along the sides of the Green

"Vermont shows gloriously at this autumn season.  Frost has gently laid
hands on her exuberant vegetation, tinging her rock-maple woods without
abating the deep verdure of her herbage.  Everywhere along her peopled
hollows and her bold hillslopes and summits the earth is alive with
green, while her endless hard-wood forests are uniformed with all the
hues of early fall, richer than the regimentals of the kings that
glittered in the train of Napoleon on the confines of Poland, when he
lingered there, on the last outposts of summer, before plunging into the
snow-drifts of the North; more gorgeous than the array of Saladin's life-
guard in the wars of the Crusaders, or of 'Solomon in all his glory,'
decked in, all colors and hues, but still the hues of life.  Vegetation
touched, but not dead, or, if killed, not bereft yet of 'signs of life.'
'Decay's effacing fingers' had not yet 'swept the hills' 'where beauty
lingers.' All looked fresh as growing foliage.  Vermont frosts don't seem
to be 'killing frosts.' They only change aspects of beauty.  The mountain
pastures, verdant to the peaks, and over the peaks of the high, steep
hills, were covered with the amplest feed, and clothed with countless
sheep; the hay-fields heavy with second crop, in some partly cut and
abandoned, as if in very weariness and satiety, blooming with
honeysuckle, contrasting strangely with the colors on the woods; the fat
cattle and the long-tailed colts and close-built Morgans wallowing in it
up to the eyes, or the cattle down to rest, with full bellies, by ten in
the morning.  Fine but narrow roads wound along among the hills, free
almost entirely of stone, and so smooth as to be safe for the most rapid
driving, made of their rich, dark, powder-looking soil.  Beautiful
villages or scattered settlements breaking upon the delighted view, on
the meandering way, making the ride a continued scene of excitement and
admiration.  The air fresh, free, and wholesome; the road almost dead
level for miles and miles, among mountains that lay over the land like
the great swells of the sea, and looking in the prospect as though there
could be no passage."

To this autumnal limning, the following spring picture may be a fitting

"At last Spring is here in full flush.  Winter held on tenaciously and
mercilessly, but it has let go.  The great sun is high on his northern
journey, and the vegetation, and the bird-singing, and the loud frog-
chorus, the tree budding and blowing, are all upon us; and the glorious
grass--super-best of earth's garniture--with its ever-satisfying green.
The king-birds have come, and the corn-planter, the scolding bob-o-link.
'Plant your corn, plant your corn,' says he, as he scurries athwart the
ploughed ground, hardly lifting his crank wings to a level with his back,
so self-important is he in his admonitions.  The earlier birds have gone
to housekeeping, and have disappeared from the spray.  There has been
brief period for them, this spring, for scarcely has the deep snow gone,
but the dark-green grass has come, and first we shall know, the ground
will be yellow with dandelions.

"I incline to thank Heaven this glorious morning of May 16th for the
pleasant home from which we can greet the Spring.  Hitherto we have had
to await it amid a thicket of village houses, low down, close together,
and awfully white.  For a prospect, we had the hinder part of an ugly
meeting-house, which an enterprising neighbor relieved us of by planting
a dwelling-house, right before our eyes, (on his own land, and he had a
right to,) which relieved us also of all prospect whatever.  And the
revival spirit of habitation which has come over Concord is clapping up a
house between every two in the already crowded town; and the prospect is,
it will be soon all buildings.  They are constructing, in quite good
taste though, small, trim, cottage-like.  But I had rather be where I can
breathe air, and see beyond my own features, than be smothered among the
prettiest houses ever built.  We are on the slope of a hill; it is all
sand, be sure, on all four sides of us, but the air is free, (and the
sand, too, at times,) and our water, there is danger of hard drinking to
live by it.  Air and water, the two necessaries of life, and high, free
play-ground for the small ones.  There is a sand precipice hard by, high
enough, were it only rock and overlooked the ocean, to be as sublime as
any of the Nahant cliffs.  As it is, it is altogether a safer haunt for
daring childhood, which could hardly break its neck by a descent of some
hundreds of feet.

"A low flat lies between us and the town, with its State-house, and body-
guard of well-proportioned steeples standing round.  It was marshy and
wet, but is almost all redeemed by the translation into it of the high
hills of sand.  It must have been a terrible place for frogs, judging
from what remains of it.  Bits of water from the springs hard by lay here
and there about the low ground, which are peopled as full of singers as
ever the gallery of the old North Meeting-house was, and quite as
melodious ones.  Such performers I never heard, in marsh or pool.  They
are not the great, stagnant, bull-paddocks, fat and coarse-noted like
Parson, but clear-water frogs, green, lively, and sweet-voiced.  I
passed their orchestra going home the other evening, with a small lad,
and they were at it, all parts, ten thousand peeps, shrill, ear-piercing,
and incessant, coining up from every quarter, accompanied by a second,
from some larger swimmer with his trombone, and broken in upon, every now
and then, but not discordantly, with the loud, quick hallo, that
resembles the cry of the tree-toad.  'There are the Hutchinsons,' cried
the lad.  'The Rainers,' responded I, glad to remember enough of my
ancient Latin to know that Rana, or some such sounding word, stood for
frog.  But it was a 'band of music,' as the Miller friends say.  Like
other singers, (all but the Hutchinsons,) these are apt to sing too much,
all the time they are awake, constituting really too much of a good
thing.  I have wondered if the little reptiles were singing in concert,
or whether every one peeped on his own hook, their neighbor hood only
making it a chorus.  I incline to the opinion that they are performing
together, that they know the tune, and each carries his part, self-
selected, in free meeting, and therefore never discordant.  The hour rule
of Congress might be useful, though far less needed among the frogs than
among the profane croakers of the fens at Washington."

Here is a sketch of the mountain scenery of New Hampshire, as seen from
the Holderness Mountain, or North Hill, during a visit which he made to
his native valley in the autumn of 1841:--

"The earth sphered up all around us, in every quarter of the horizon,
like the crater of a vast volcano, and the great hollow within the
mountain circle was as smoky as Vesuvius or Etna in their recess of
eruption.  The little village of Plymouth lay right at our feet, with its
beautiful expanse of intervale opening on the eye like a lake among the
woods and hills, and the Pemigewasset, bordered along its crooked way
with rows of maples, meandering from upland to upland through the
meadows.  Our young footsteps had wandered over these localities.  Time
had cast it all far back that Pemigewasset, with its meadows and border
trees; that little village whitening in the margin of its inter vale; and
that one house which we could distinguish, where the mother that watched
over and endured our wayward childhood totters at fourscore!

"To the south stretched a broken, swelling upland country, but champaign
from the top of North Hill, patched all over with grain-fields and green
wood-lots, the roofs of the farm-houses shining in the sun.  Southwest,
the Cardigan Mountain showed its bald forehead among the smokes of a
thousand fires, kindled in the woods in the long drought.  Westward,
Moosehillock heaved up its long back, black as a whale; and turning the
eye on northward, glancing down the while on the Baker's River valley,
dotted over with human dwellings like shingle-bunches for size, you
behold the great Franconia Range, its Notch and its Haystacks, the
Elephant Mountain on the left, and Lafayette (Great Haystack) on the
right, shooting its peak in solemn loneliness high up into the desert
sky, and overtopping all the neighboring Alps but Mount Washington
itself.  The prospect of these is most impressive and satisfactory.  We
don't believe the earth presents a finer mountain display.  The Haystacks
stand there like the Pyramids on the wall of mountains.  One of them
eminently has this Egyptian shape.  It is as accurate a pyramid to the
eye as any in the old valley of the Nile, and a good deal bigger than any
of those hoary monuments of human presumption, of the impious tyranny of
monarchs and priests, and of the appalling servility of the erecting
multitude.  Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh does not more finely resemble a
sleeping lion than the huge mountain on the left of the Notch does an
elephant, with his great, overgrown rump turned uncivilly toward the gap
where the people have to pass.  Following round the panorama, you come to
the Ossipees and the Sandwich Mountains, peaks innumerable and nameless,
and of every variety of fantastic shape.  Down their vast sides are
displayed the melancholy-looking slides, contrasting with the fathomless

"But the lakes,--you see lakes, as well as woods and mountains, from the
top of North Hill.  Newfound Lake in Hebron, only eight miles distant,
you can't see; it lies too deep among the hills.  Ponds show their small
blue mirrors from various quarters of the great picture.  Worthen's Mill-
Pond and the Hardhack, where we used to fish for trout in truant,
barefooted days, Blair's Mill-Pond, White Oak Pond, and Long Pond, and
the Little Squam, a beautiful dark sheet of deep, blue water, about two
miles long, stretched an id the green hills and woods, with a charming
little beach at its eastern end, and without an island.  And then the
Great Squam, connected with it on the east by a short, narrow stream, the
very queen of ponds, with its fleet of islands, surpassing in beauty all
the foreign waters we have seen, in Scotland or elsewhere,--the islands
covered with evergreens, which impart their hue to the mass of the lake,
as it stretches seven miles on east from its smaller sister, towards the
peerless Winnipesaukee.  Great Squam is as beautiful as water and island
can be.  But Winnipesaukee, it is the very 'Smile of the Great Spirit.'
It looks as if it had a thousand islands; some of them large enough for
little towns, and others not bigger than a swan or a wild duck swimming
on its surface of glass."

His wit and sarcasm were generally too good-natured to provoke even their
unfortunate objects, playing all over his editorials like the thunderless
lightnings which quiver along the horizon of a night of summer calmness;
but at times his indignation launched them like bolts from heaven.  Take
the following as a specimen.  He is speaking of the gag rule of Congress,
and commending Southern representatives for their skilful selection of a
proper person to do their work:--

"They have a quick eye at the South to the character, or, as they would
say, the points of a slave.  They look into him shrewdly, as an old
jockey does into a horse.  They will pick him out, at rifle-shot
distance, among a thousand freemen.  They have a nice eye to detect
shades of vassalage.  They saw in the aristocratic popinjay strut of a
counterfeit Democrat an itching aspiration to play the slaveholder.  They
beheld it in 'the cut of his jib,' and his extreme Northern position made
him the very tool for their purpose.  The little creature has struck at
the right of petition.  A paltrier hand never struck at a noble right.
The Eagle Right of Petition, so loftily sacred in the eyes of the
Constitution that Congress can't begin to 'abridge' it, in its pride of
place, is hawked at by this crested jay-bird.  A 'mousing owl' would have
seen better at midnoon than to have done it.  It is an idiot blue-jay,
such as you see fooling about among the shrub oaks and dwarf pitch pines
in the winter.  What an ignominious death to the lofty right, were it to
die by such a hand; but it does not die.  It is impalpable to the
'malicious mockery' of such vain blows.' We are glad it is done--done by
the South--done proudly, and in slaveholding style, by the hand of a
vassal.  What a man does by another he does by himself, says the maxim.
But they will disown the honor of it, and cast it on the despised 'free
nigger' North."

Or this description--not very flattering to the "Old Commonwealth"--of
the treatment of the agent of Massachusetts in South Carolina:--

"Slavery may perpetrate anything, and New England can't see it.  It can
horsewhip the old Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and spit in her
governmental face, and she will not recognize it as an offence.  She sent
her agent to Charleston on a State embassy.  Slavery caught him, and sent
him ignominiously home.  The solemn great man came back in a hurry.  He
returned in a most undignified trot.  He ran; he scampered,--the stately
official.  The Old Bay State actually pulled foot, cleared, dug, as they
say, like any scamp with a hue and cry after him.  Her grave old Senator,
who no more thought of having to break his stately walk than he had of
being flogged at school for stealing apples, came back from Carolina upon
the full run, out of breath and out of dignity.  Well, what's the result?
Why, nothing.  She no more thinks of showing resentment about it than she
would if lightning had struck him.  He was sent back 'by the visitation
of God;' and if they had lynched him to death, and stained the streets of
Charleston with his blood, a Boston jury, if they could have held inquest
over him, would have found that he 'died by the visitation of God.' And
it would have been crowner's quest law, Slavery's crowners."

Here is a specimen of his graceful blending of irony and humor.  He is
expostulating with his neighbor of the New Hampshire Patriot, assuring
him that he cannot endure the ponderous weight of his arguments, begging
for a little respite, and, as a means of obtaining it, urging the editor
to travel.  He advises him to go South, to the White Sulphur Springs, and
thinks that, despite of his dark complexion, he would be safe there from
being sold for jail fees, as his pro-slavery merits would more than
counterbalance his colored liabilities, which, after all, were only prima
facie evidence against him.  He suggests Texas, also, as a place where
"patriots" of a certain class "most do congregate," and continues as

"There is Arkansas, too, all glorious in new-born liberty, fresh and
unsullied, like Venus out of the ocean,--that newly discovered star, in
the firmament banner of this Republic.  Sister Arkansas, with her bowie-
knife graceful at her side, like the huntress Diana with her silver bow,
--oh it would be refreshing and recruiting to an exhausted patriot to go
and replenish his soul at her fountains.  The newly evacuated lands of
the Cherokee, too, a sweet place now for a lover of his country to visit,
to renew his self-complacency by wandering among the quenched hearths of
the expatriated Indians; a land all smoking with the red man's departing
curse,--a malediction that went to the centre.  Yes, and Florida,--
blossoming and leafy Florida, yet warm with the life-blood of Osceola and
his warriors, shed gloriously under flag of truce.  Why should a patriot
of such a fancy for nature immure himself in the cells of the city, and
forego such an inviting and so broad a landscape?  Ite viator.  Go forth,
traveller, and leave this mouldy editing to less elastic fancies.  We
would respectfully invite our Colonel to travel.  What signifies?
Journey--wander--go forth--itinerate--exercise--perambulate--roam."

He gives the following ludicrous definition of Congress:--

"But what is Congress?  It is the echo of the country at home,--the
weathercock, that denotes and answers the shifting wind,--a thing of
tail, nearly all tail, moved by the tail and by the wind, with small
heading, and that corresponding implicitly in movement with the broad
sail-like stern, which widens out behind to catch the rum-fraught breath
of 'the Brotherhood.' As that turns, it turns; when that stops, it stops;
and in calmish weather looks as steadfast and firm as though it was
riveted to the centre.  The wind blows, and the little popularity-hunting
head dodges this way and that, in endless fluctuation.  Such is Congress,
or a great portion of it.  It will point to the northwest heavens of
Liberty, whenever the breezes bear down irresistibly upon it, from the
regions of political fair weather.  It will abolish slavery at the
Capitol, when it has already been doomed to abolition and death
everywhere else in the country.  'It will be in at the death.'"

Replying to the charge that the Abolitionists of the North were "secret"
in their movements and designs, he says:--

"'In secret!' Why, our movements have been as prominent and open as the
house-tops from the beginning.  We have striven from the outset to write
the whole matter cloud-high in the heavens, that the utmost South might
read it.  We have cast an arc upon the horizon, like the semicircle of
the polar lights, and upon it have bent our motto, 'Immediate
Emancipation,' glorious as the rainbow.  We have engraven it there, on
the blue table of the cold vault, in letters tall enough for the reading
of the nations.  And why has the far South not read and believed before
this?  Because a steam has gone up--a fog--from New England's pulpit and
her degenerate press, and hidden the beaming revelation from its vision.
The Northern hierarchy and aristocracy have cheated the South."

He spoke at times with severity of slaveholders, but far oftener of those
who, without the excuse of education and habit, and prompted only by a
selfish consideration of political or sectarian advantage, apologized for
the wrong, and discountenanced the anti-slavery movement.  "We have
nothing to say," said he, "to the slave.  He is no party to his own
enslavement,--he is none to his disenthralment.  We have nothing to say
to the South.  The real holder of slaves is not there.  He is in the
North, the free North.  The South alone has not the power to hold the
slave.  It is the character of the nation that binds and holds him.  It
is the Republic that does it, the efficient force of which is north of
Mason and Dixon's line.  By virtue of the majority of Northern hearts and
voices, slavery lives in the South!"

In 1840, he spent a few weeks in England, Ireland, and Scotland.  He has
left behind a few beautiful memorials of his tour.  His Ride over the
Border, Ride into Edinburgh, Wincobank hall, Ailsa Craig, gave his paper
an interest in the eyes of many who had no sympathy with his political
and religious views.

Scattered all over his editorials, like gems, are to be found beautiful
images, sweet touches of heartfelt pathos,--thoughts which the reader
pauses over with surprise and delight.  We subjoin a few specimens, taken
almost at random from the book before us:--

"A thunder-storm,--what can match it for eloquence and poetry?  That rush
from heaven of the big drops, in what multitude and succession, and how
they sound as they strike!  How they play on the old home roof and the
thick tree-tops!  What music to go to sleep by, to the tired boy, as he
lies under the naked roof!  And the great, low bass thunder, as it rolls
off over the hills, and settles down behind them to the very centre, and
you can feel the old earth jar under your feet!"

"There was no oratory in the speech of the _Learned Blacksmith_, in the
ordinary sense of that word, no grace of elocution, but mighty thoughts
radiating off from his heated mind, like sparks from the glowing steel of
his own anvil."

"The hard hands of Irish labor, with nothing in them,--they ring like
slabs of marble together, in response to the wild appeals of O'Connell,
and the British stand conquered before them, with shouldered arms.
Ireland is on her feet, with nothing in her hands, impregnable,
unassailable, in utter defencelessness,--the first time that ever a
nation sprung to its feet unarmed.  The veterans of England behold them,
and forbear to fire.  They see no mark.  It will not do to fire upon men;
it will do only to fire upon soldiers.  They are the proper mark of the
murderous gun, but men cannot be shot."

"It is coming to that [abolition of war] the world over; and when it does
come to it, oh what a long breath of relief the tired world will draw, as
it stretches itself for the first time out upon earth's greensward, and
learns the meaning of repose and peaceful sleep!"

"He who vests his labor in the faithful ground is dealing directly with
God; human fraud or weakness do not intervene between him and his
requital.  No mechanic has a set of customers so trustworthy as God and
the elements.  No savings bank is so sure as the old earth."

"Literature is the luxury of words.  It originates nothing, it does
nothing.  It talks hard words about the labor of others, and is reckoned
more meritorious for it than genius and labor for doing what learning can
only descant upon.  It trades on the capital of unlettered minds.  It
struts in stolen plumage, and it is mere plumage.  A learned man
resembles an owl in more respects than the matter of wisdom.  Like that
solemn bird, he is about all feathers."

"Our Second Advent friends contemplate a grand conflagration about the
first of April next.  I should be willing there should be one, if it
could be confined to the productions of the press, with which the earth
is absolutely smothered.  Humanity wants precious few books to read, but
the great living, breathing, immortal volume of Providence.  Life,--real
life,--how to live, how to treat one another, and how to trust God in
matters beyond our ken and occasion,--these are the lessons to learn, and
you find little of them in libraries."

"That accursed drum and fife!  How they have maddened mankind!  And the
deep bass boom of the cannon, chiming in in the chorus of battle, that
trumpet and wild charging bugle,--how they set the military devil in a
man, and make him into a soldier!  Think of the human family falling upon
one another at the inspiration of music!  How must God feel at it, to see
those harp-strings he meant should be waked to a love bordering on
divine, strung and swept to mortal hate and butchery!"

"Leave off being Jews," (he is addressing Major Noah with regard to his
appeal to his brethren to return to Judaea,) "and turn mankind.  The
rocks and sands of Palestine have been worshipped long enough.
Connecticut River or the Merrimac are as good rivers as any Jordan that
ever run into a dead or live sea, and as holy, for that matter.  In
Humanity, as in Christ Jesus, as Paul says, 'there is neither Jew nor
Greek.' And there ought to be none.  Let Humanity be reverenced with the
tenderest devotion; suffering, discouraged, down-trodden, hard-handed,
haggard-eyed, care-worn mankind!  Let these be regarded a little.  Would
to God I could alleviate all their sorrows, and leave them a chance to
laugh!  They are, miserable now.  They might be as happy as the blackbird
on the spray, and as full of melody."

"I am sick as death at this miserable struggle among mankind for a
living.  Poor devils! were they born to run such a gauntlet after the
means of life?  Look about you, and see your squirming neighbors,
writhing and twisting like so many angleworms in a fisher's bait-box, or
the wriggling animalculae seen in the vinegar drop held to the sun.  How
they look, how they feel, how base it makes them all!"

"Every human being is entitled to the means of life, as the trout is to
his brook or the lark to the blue sky.  Is it well to put a human 'young
one' here to die of hunger, thirst, and nakedness, or else be preserved
as a pauper?  Is this fair earth but a poor-house by creation and intent?
Was it made for that?--and these other round things we see dancing in
the firmament to the music of the spheres, are they all great shining

"The divines always admit things after the age has adopted them.  They
are as careful of the age as the weathercock is of the wind.  You might
as well catch an old experienced weathercock, on some ancient Orthodox
steeple, standing all day with its tail east in a strong out wind, as the
divines at odds with the age."

But we must cease quoting.  The admirers of Jean Paul Richter might find
much of the charm and variety of the "Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces" in
this newspaper collection.  They may see, perhaps, as we do, some things
which they cannot approve of, the tendency of which, however intended, is
very questionable.  But, with us, they will pardon something to the
spirit of liberty, much to that of love and humanity which breathes
through all.

Disgusted and heart-sick at the general indifference of Church and clergy
to the temporal condition of the people,--at their apologies for and
defences of slavery, war, and capital punishment,--Rogers turned
Protestant, in the full sense of the term.  He spoke of priests and
"pulpit wizards" as freely as John Milton did two centuries ago,
although with far less bitterness and rasping satire.  He could not
endure to see Christianity and Humanity divorced.  He longed to see the
beautiful life of Jesus--his sweet humanities, his brotherly love, his
abounding sympathies--made the example of all men.  Thoroughly
democratic, in his view all men were equal.  Priests, stripped of their
sacerdotal tailoring, were in his view but men, after all.  He pitied
them, he said, for they were in a wrong position,--above life's comforts
and sympathies,--"up in the unnatural cold, they had better come down
among men, and endure and enjoy with them."  "Mankind," said he, "want
the healing influences of humanity.  They must love one another more.
Disinterested good will make the world as it should be."

His last visit to his native valley was in the autumn of 1845.  In a
familiar letter to a friend, he thus describes his farewell view of the
mountain glories of his childhood's home:--

"I went a jaunt, Thursday last, about twenty miles north of this valley,
into the mountain region, where what I beheld, if I could tell it as I
saw it, would make your outlawed sheet sought after wherever our Anglo-
Saxon tongue is spoken in the wide world.  I have been many a time among
those Alps, and never without a kindling of wildest enthusiasm in my
woodland blood.  But I never saw them till last Thursday.  They never
loomed distinctly to my eye before, and the sun never shone on them from
heaven till then.  They were so near me, I could seem to hear the voice
of their cataracts, as I could count their great slides, streaming adown
their lone and desolate sides,--old slides, some of them overgrown with
young woods, like half-healed scars on the breast of a giant.  The great
rains had clothed the valleys of the upper Pemigewasset in the darkest
and deepest green.  The meadows were richer and more glorious in their
thick 'fall feed' than Queen Anne's Garden, as I saw it from the windows
of Windsor Castle.  And the dark hemlock and hackmatack woods were yet
darker after the wet season, as they lay, in a hundred wildernesses, in
the mighty recesses of the mountains.  But the peaks,--the eternal, the
solitary, the beautiful, the glorious and dear mountain peaks, my own
Moosehillock and my native Haystacks,--these were the things on which eye
and heart gazed and lingered, and I seemed to see them for the last time.
It was on my way back that I halted and turned to look at them from a
high point on the Thornton road.  It was about four in the afternoon.  It
had rained among the hills about the Notch, and cleared off.  The sun,
there sombred at that early hour, as towards his setting, was pouring his
most glorious light upon the naked peaks, and they casting their mighty
shadows far down among the inaccessible woods that darken the hollows
that stretch between their bases.  A cloud was creeping up to perch and
rest awhile on the highest top of Great Haystack.  Vulgar folks have
called it Mount Lafayette, since the visit of that brave old Frenchman in
1825 or 1826.  If they had asked his opinion, he would have told them the
names of mountains couldn't be altered, and especially names like that,
so appropriate, so descriptive, and so picturesque.  A little hard white
cloud, that looked like a hundred fleeces of wool rolled into one, was
climbing rapidly along up the northwestern ridge, that ascended to the
lonely top of Great Haystack.  All the others were bare.  Four or five of
them,--as distinct and shapely as so many pyramids; some topped out with
naked cliff, on which the sun lay in melancholy glory; others clothed
thick all the way up with the old New Hampshire hemlock or the daring
hackmatack,--Pierpont's hackmatack.  You could see their shadows
stretching many and many a mile, over Grant and Location, away beyond the
invading foot of Incorporation,--where the timber-hunter has scarcely
explored, and where the moose browses now, I suppose, as undisturbed as
he did before the settlement of the State.  I wish our young friend and
genius, Harrison Eastman, had been with me, to see the sunlight as it
glared on the tops of those woods, and to see the purple of the
mountains.  I looked at it myself almost with the eye of a painter.  If a
painter looked with mine, though, he never could look off upon his canvas
long enough to make a picture; he would gaze forever at the original.

"But I had to leave it, and to say in my heart, Farewell!  And as I
travelled on down, and the sun sunk lower and lower towards the summit of
the western ridge, the clouds came up and formed an Alpine range in the
evening heavens above it,--like other Haystacks and Moosehillocks,--so
dark and dense that fancy could easily mistake them for a higher Alps.
There were the peaks and the great passes; the Franconia Notches among
the cloudy cliffs, and the great White Mountain Gap."

His health, never robust, had been gradually failing for some time
previous to his death.  He needed more repose and quiet than his duties
as an editor left him; and to this end he purchased a small and pleasant
farm in his loved Pennigewasset valley, in the hope that he might there
recruit his wasted energies.  In the sixth month of the year of his
death, in a letter to us, he spoke of his prospects in language which
even then brought moisture to our eyes:--

"I am striving to get me an asylum of a farm.  I have a wife and seven
children, every one of them with a whole spirit.  I don't want to be
separated from any of them, only with a view to come together again.  I
have a beautiful little retreat in prospect, forty odd miles north, where
I imagine I can get potatoes and repose,--a sort of haven or port.  I am
among the breakers, and 'mad for land.' If I get this home,--it is a mile
or two in among the hills from the pretty domicil once visited by
yourself and glorious Thompson,--I am this moment indulging the fancy
that I may see you at it before we die.  Why can't I have you come and
see me?  You see, dear W., I don't want to send you anything short of a
full epistle.  Let me end as I begun, with the proffer of my hand in
grasp of yours extended.  My heart I do not proffer,--it was yours
before,--it shall be yours while I am N. P. ROGERS."

Alas! the haven of a deeper repose than he had dreamed of was close at
hand.  He lingered until the middle of the tenth month, suffering much,
yet calm and sensible to the last.  Just before his death, he desired his
children to sing at his bedside that touching song of Lover's, _The
Angel's Whisper_.  Turning his eyes towards the open window, through
which the leafy glory of the season he most loved was visible, he
listened to the sweet melody.  In the words of his friend Pierpont,--

     "The angel's whisper stole in song upon his closing ear;
     From his own daughter's lips it came, so musical and clear,
     That scarcely knew the dying man what melody was there--
     The last of earth's or first of heaven's pervading all the air."

He sleeps in the Concord burial-ground, under the shadow of oaks; the
very spot he would have chosen, for he looked upon trees with something
akin to human affection.  "They are," he said, "the beautiful handiwork
and architecture of God, on which the eye never tires.  Every one is
a feather in the earth's cap, a plume in her bonnet, a tress on her
forehead,--a comfort, a refreshing, and an ornament to her."  Spring has
hung over him her buds, and opened beside him her violets.  Summer has
laid her green oaken garland on his grave, and now the frost-blooms of
autumn drop upon it.  Shall man cast a nettle on that mound?  He loved
humanity,--shall it be less kind to him than Nature?  Shall the bigotry
of sect, and creed, and profession, drive its condemnatory stake into his
grave?  God forbid.  The doubts which he sometimes unguardedly expressed
had relation, we are constrained to believe, to the glosses of
commentators and creed-makers and the inconsistency of professors, rather
than to those facts and precepts of Christianity to which he gave the
constant assent of his practice.  He sought not his own.  His heart
yearned with pity and brotherly affection for all the poor and suffering
in the universe.  Of him, the angel of Leigh Hunt's beautiful allegory
might have written, in the golden book of remembrance, as he did of the
good Abou Ben Adhem, "He loved his fellow-men."


The great charm of Scottish poetry consists in its simplicity, and
genuine, unaffected sympathy with the common joys and sorrows of daily
life.  It is a home-taught, household melody.  It calls to mind the
pastoral bleat on the hillsides, the kirkbells of a summer Sabbath, the
song of the lark in the sunrise, the cry of the quail in the corn-land,
the low of cattle, and the blithe carol of milkmaids "when the kye come
hame" at gloaming.  Meetings at fair and market, blushing betrothments,
merry weddings, the joy of young maternity, the lights and shades of
domestic life, its bereavements and partings, its chances and changes,
its holy death-beds, and funerals solemnly beautiful in quiet kirkyards,
--these furnish the hints of the immortal melodies of Burns, the sweet
ballads of the Ettrick Shepherd and Allan Cunningham, and the rustic
drama of Ramsay.  It is the poetry of home, of nature, and the

All this is sadly wanting in our young literature.  We have no songs;
American domestic life has never been hallowed and beautified by the
sweet and graceful and tender associations of poetry.  We have no Yankee
pastorals.  Our rivers and streams turn mills and float rafts, and are
otherwise as commendably useful as those of Scotland; but no quaint
ballad or simple song reminds us that men and women have loved, met, and
parted on their banks, or that beneath each roof within their valleys the
tragedy and comedy of life have been enacted.  Our poetry is cold and
imitative; it seems more the product of over-strained intellects than the
spontaneous outgushing of hearts warm with love, and strongly
sympathizing with human nature as it actually exists about us, with the
joys and griefs of the men and women whom we meet daily.  Unhappily, the
opinion prevails that a poet must be also a philosopher, and hence it is
that much of our poetry is as indefinable in its mysticism as an Indian
Brahmin's commentary on his sacred books, or German metaphysics subjected
to homeopathic dilution.  It assumes to be prophetical, and its
utterances are oracular.  It tells of strange, vague emotions and
yearnings, painfully suggestive of spiritual "groanings which cannot be
uttered."  If it "babbles o' green fields" and the common sights and
sounds of nature, it is only for the purpose of finding some vague
analogy between them and its internal experiences and longings.  It
leaves the warm and comfortable fireside of actual knowledge and human
comprehension, and goes wailing and gibbering like a ghost about the
impassable doors of mystery:--

                   "It fain would be resolved
                    How things are done,
                    And who the tailor is
                    That works for the man I' the sun."

How shall we account for this marked tendency in the literature of a
shrewd, practical people?  Is it that real life in New England lacks
those conditions of poetry and romance which age, reverence, and
superstition have gathered about it in the Old World?  Is it that

          "Ours are not Tempe's nor Arcadia's vales,"

but are more famous for growing Indian corn and potatoes, and the
manufacture of wooden ware and pedler notions, than for romantic
associations and legendary interest?  That our huge, unshapely shingle
structures, blistering in the sun and glaring with windows, were
evidently never reared by the spell of pastoral harmonies, as the walls
of Thebes rose at the sound of the lyre of Amphion?  That the habits of
our people are too cool, cautious, undemonstrative, to furnish the warp
and woof of song and pastoral, and that their dialect and figures of
speech, however richly significant and expressive in the autobiography of
Sam Slick, or the satire of Hosea Biglow and Ethan Spike, form a very
awkward medium of sentiment and pathos?  All this may be true.  But the
Yankee, after all, is a man, and as such his history, could it be got at,
must have more or less of poetic material in it; moreover, whether
conscious of it or not, he also stands relieved against the background of
Nature's beauty or sublimity.  There is a poetical side to the
commonplace of his incomings and outgoings; study him well, and you may
frame an idyl of some sort from his apparently prosaic existence.  Our
poets, we must needs think, are deficient in that shiftiness, ready
adaptation to circumstances, and ability of making the most of things,
for which, as a people, we are proverbial.  Can they make nothing of our
Thanksgiving, that annual gathering of long-severed friends?  Do they
find nothing to their purpose in our apple-bees, buskings, berry-
pickings, summer picnics, and winter sleigh-rides?  Is there nothing
available in our peculiarities of climate, scenery, customs, and
political institutions?  Does the Yankee leap into life, shrewd, hard,
and speculating, armed, like Pallas, for a struggle with fortune?  Are
there not boys and girls, school loves and friendship, courtings and
match-makings, hope and fear, and all the varied play of human passions,
--the keen struggles of gain, the mad grasping of ambition,--sin and
remorse, tearful repentance and holy aspirations?  Who shall say that we
have not all the essentials of the poetry of human life and simple
nature, of the hearth and the farm-field?  Here, then, is a mine
unworked, a harvest ungathered.  Who shall sink the shaft and thrust in
the sickle?

And here let us say that the mere dilettante and the amateur ruralist may
as well keep their hands off.  The prize is not for them.  He who would
successfully strive for it must be himself what he sings,--part and
parcel of the rural life of New England,--one who has grown strong amidst
its healthful influences, familiar with all its details, and capable of
detecting whatever of beauty, humor, or pathos pertain to it,--one who
has added to his book-lore the large experience of an active
participation in the rugged toil, the hearty amusements, the trials, and
the pleasures he describes.

We have been led to these reflections by an incident which has called up
before us the homespun figure of an old friend of our boyhood, who had
the good sense to discover that the poetic element existed in the simple
home life of a country farmer, although himself unable to give a very
creditable expression of it.  He had the "vision," indeed, but the
"faculty divine" was wanting; or, if he possessed it in any degree, as
Thersites says of the wit of Ajax, "it would not out, but lay coldly in
him like fire in the flint."

While engaged this morning in looking over a large exchange list of
newspapers, a few stanzas of poetry in the Scottish dialect attracted our
attention.  As we read them, like a wizard's rhyme they seemed to have
the power of bearing us back to the past.  They had long ago graced the
columns of that solitary sheet which once a week diffused happiness over
our fireside circle, making us acquainted, in our lonely nook, with the
goings-on of the great world.  The verses, we are now constrained to
admit, are not remarkable in themselves, truth and simple nature only;
yet how our young hearts responded to them!  Twenty years ago there were
fewer verse-makers than at present; and as our whole stock of light
literature consisted of Ellwood's _Davideis_ and the selections of
_Lindley Murray's English Reader_, it is not improbable that we were in a
condition to overestimate the contributions to the poet's corner of our
village newspaper.  Be that as it may, we welcome them as we would the
face of an old friend, for they somehow remind us of the scent of
haymows, the breath of cattle, the fresh greenery by the brookside, the
moist earth broken by the coulter and turned up to the sun and winds of
May.  This particular piece, which follows, is entitled _The Sparrow_,
and was occasioned by the crushing of a bird's-nest by the author while
ploughing among his corn.  It has something of the simple tenderness of

               "Poor innocent and hapless Sparrow
               Why should my mould-board gie thee sorrow!
               This day thou'll chirp and mourn the morrow
               Wi' anxious breast;
               The plough has turned the mould'ring furrow
               Deep o'er thy nest!

               "Just I' the middle o' the hill
               Thy nest was placed wi' curious skill;
               There I espied thy little bill
               Beneath the shade.
               In that sweet bower, secure frae ill,
               Thine eggs were laid.

               "Five corns o' maize had there been drappit,
               An' through the stalks thy head was pappit,
               The drawing nowt could na be stappit
               I quickly foun';
               Syne frae thy cozie nest thou happit,
               Wild fluttering roun'.

               "The sklentin stane beguiled the sheer,
               In vain I tried the plough to steer;
               A wee bit stumpie I' the rear
               Cam' 'tween my legs,
               An' to the jee-side gart me veer
               An' crush thine eggs.

               "Alas! alas! my bonnie birdie!
               Thy faithful mate flits round to guard thee.
               Connubial love!--a pattern worthy
               The pious priest!
               What savage heart could be sae hardy
               As wound thy breast?

               "Ah me! it was nae fau't o' mine;
               It gars me greet to see thee pine.
               It may be serves His great design
               Who governs all;
               Omniscience tents wi' eyes divine
               The Sparrow's fall!

               "How much like thine are human dools,
               Their sweet wee bairns laid I' the mools?
               The Sovereign Power who nature rules
               Hath said so be it
               But poor blip' mortals are sic fools
               They canna see it.

               "Nae doubt that He who first did mate us
               Has fixed our lot as sure as fate is,
               An' when He wounds He disna hate us,
               But anely this,
               He'll gar the ills which here await us
               Yield lastin' bliss."

In the early part of the eighteenth century a considerable number of
Presbyterians of Scotch descent, from the north of Ireland, emigrated to
the New World.  In the spring of 1719, the inhabitants of Haverhill, on
the Merrimac, saw them passing up the river in several canoes, one of
which unfortunately upset in the rapids above the village.  The following
fragment of a ballad celebrating this event has been handed down to the
present time, and may serve to show the feelings even then of the old
English settlers towards the Irish emigrants:--

               "They began to scream and bawl,
               As out they tumbled one and all,
               And, if the Devil had spread his net,
               He could have made a glorious haul!"

The new-comers proceeded up the river, and, landing opposite to the
Uncanoonuc Hills, on the present site of Manchester, proceeded inland to
Beaver Pond.  Charmed with the appearance of the country, they resolved
here to terminate their wanderings.  Under a venerable oak on the margin
of the little lake, they knelt down with their minister, Jamie McGregore,
and laid, in prayer and thanksgiving, the foundation of their settlement.
In a few years they had cleared large fields, built substantial stone and
frame dwellings and a large and commodious meeting-house; wealth had
accumulated around them, and they had everywhere the reputation of a
shrewd and thriving community.  They were the first in New England to
cultivate the potato, which their neighbors for a long time regarded as a
pernicious root, altogether unfit for a Christian stomach.  Every lover
of that invaluable esculent has reason to remember with gratitude the
settlers of Londonderry.

Their moral acclimation in Ireland had not been without its effect upon
their character.  Side by side with a Presbyterianism as austere as that
of John Knox had grown up something of the wild Milesian humor, love of
convivial excitement and merry-making.  Their long prayers and fierce
zeal in behalf of orthodox tenets only served, in the eyes of their
Puritan neighbors, to make more glaring still the scandal of their marked
social irregularities.  It became a common saying in the region round
about that "the Derry Presbyterians would never give up a pint of
doctrine or a pint of rum."  Their second minister was an old scarred
fighter, who had signalized himself in the stout defence of Londonderry,
when James II. and his Papists were thundering at its gates.  Agreeably
to his death-bed directions, his old fellow-soldiers, in their leathern
doublets and battered steel caps, bore him to his grave, firing over him
the same rusty muskets which had swept down rank after rank of the men of
Amalek at the Derry siege.

Erelong the celebrated Derry fair was established, in imitation of those
with which they had been familiar in Ireland.  Thither annually came all
manner of horse-jockeys and pedlers, gentlemen and beggars, fortune-
tellers, wrestlers, dancers and fiddlers, gay young farmers and buxom
maidens.  Strong drink abounded.  They who had good-naturedly wrestled
and joked together in the morning not unfrequently closed the day with a
fight, until, like the revellers of Donnybrook,

               "Their hearts were soft with whiskey,
               And their heads were soft with blows."

A wild, frolicking, drinking, fiddling, courting, horse-racing, riotous
merry-making,--a sort of Protestant carnival, relaxing the grimness of
Puritanism for leagues around it.

In the midst of such a community, and partaking of all its influences,
Robert Dinsmore, the author of the poem I have quoted, was born, about
the middle of the last century.  His paternal ancestor, John, younger son
of a Laird of Achenmead, who left the banks of the Tweed for the green
fertility of Northern Ireland, had emigrated to New England some forty
years before, and, after a rough experience of Indian captivity in the
wild woods of Maine, had settled down among his old neighbors in
Londonderry.  Until nine years of age, Robert never saw a school.  He was
a short time under the tuition of an old British soldier, who had strayed
into the settlement after the French war, "at which time," he says in a
letter to a friend, "I learned to repeat the shorter and larger
catechisms.  These, with the Scripture proofs annexed to them, confirmed
me in the orthodoxy of my forefathers, and I hope I shall ever remain an
evidence of the truth of what the wise man said, 'Train up a child in the
way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.'"  He
afterwards took lessons with one Master McKeen, who used to spend much of
his time in hunting squirrels with his pupils.  He learned to read and
write; and the old man always insisted that he should have done well at
ciphering also, had he not fallen in love with Molly Park.  At the age of
eighteen he enlisted in the Revolutionary army, and was at the battle of
Saratoga.  On his return he married his fair Molly, settled down as a
farmer in Windham, formerly a part of Londonderry, and before he was
thirty years of age became an elder in the church, of the creed and
observances of which he was always a zealous and resolute defender.  From
occasional passages in his poems, it is evident that the instructions
which he derived from the pulpit were not unlike those which Burns
suggested as needful for the unlucky lad whom he was commending to his
friend Hamilton:--

               "Ye 'll catechise him ilka quirk,
               An' shore him weel wi' hell."

In a humorous poem, entitled Spring's Lament, he thus describes the
consternation produced in the meeting-house at sermon time by a dog, who,
in search of his mistress, rattled and scraped at the "west porch

               "The vera priest was scared himsel',
               His sermon he could hardly spell;
               Auld carlins fancied they could smell
               The brimstone matches;
               They thought he was some imp o' hell,
               In quest o' wretches."

He lived to a good old age, a home-loving, unpretending farmer,
cultivating his acres with his own horny hands, and cheering the long
rainy days and winter evenings with homely rhyme.  Most of his pieces
were written in the dialect of his ancestors, which was well understood
by his neighbors and friends, the only audience upon which he could
venture to calculate.  He loved all old things, old language, old
customs, old theology.  In a rhyming letter to his cousin Silas,
he says:--

               "Though Death our ancestors has cleekit,
               An' under clods then closely steekit,
               We'll mark the place their chimneys reekit,
               Their native tongue we yet wad speak it,
               Wi' accent glib."

He wrote sometimes to amuse his neighbors, often to soothe their sorrow
under domestic calamity, or to give expression to his own.  With little
of that delicacy of taste which results from the attrition of fastidious
and refined society, and altogether too truthful and matter-of-fact to
call in the aid of imagination, he describes in the simplest and most
direct terms the circumstances in which he found himself, and the
impressions which these circumstances had made on his own mind.  He calls
things by their right names; no euphuism or transcendentalism,--the
plainer and commoner the better.  He tells us of his farm life, its
joys and sorrows, its mirth and care, with no embellishment, with no
concealment of repulsive and ungraceful features.  Never having seen a
nightingale, he makes no attempt to describe the fowl; but he has seen
the night-hawk, at sunset, cutting the air above him, and he tells of it.
Side by side with his waving corn-fields and orchard-blooms we have the
barn-yard and pigsty.  Nothing which was necessary to the comfort and
happiness of his home and avocation was to him "common or unclean."
Take, for instance, the following, from a poem written at the close of
autumn, after the death of his wife:--

               "No more may I the Spring Brook trace,
               No more with sorrow view the place
               Where Mary's wash-tub stood;
               No more may wander there alone,
               And lean upon the mossy stone
               Where once she piled her wood.
               'T was there she bleached her linen cloth,
               By yonder bass-wood tree
               From that sweet stream she made her broth,
               Her pudding and her tea.
               That stream, whose waters running,
               O'er mossy root and stone,
               Made ringing and singing,
               Her voice could match alone."

We envy not the man who can sneer at this simple picture.  It is honest
as Nature herself.  An old and lonely man looks back upon the young years
of his wedded life.  Can we not look with him?  The sunlight of a summer
morning is weaving itself with the leafy shadows of the bass-tree,
beneath which a fair and ruddy-checked young woman, with her full,
rounded arms bared to the elbow, bends not ungracefully to her task,
pausing ever and anon to play with the bright-eyed child beside her, and
mingling her songs with the pleasant murmurings of gliding water!  Alas!
as the old man looks, he hears that voice, which perpetually sounds to us
all from the past--no more!

Let us look at him in his more genial mood.  Take the opening lines of
his Thanksgiving Day.  What a plain, hearty picture of substantial

               "When corn is in the garret stored,
               And sauce in cellar well secured;
               When good fat beef we can afford,
               And things that 're dainty,
               With good sweet cider on our board,
               And pudding plenty;

               "When stock, well housed, may chew the cud,
               And at my door a pile of wood,
               A rousing fire to warm my blood,
               Blest sight to see!
               It puts my rustic muse in mood
               To sing for thee."

If he needs a simile, he takes the nearest at hand.  In a letter to his
daughter he says:--

               "That mine is not a longer letter,
               The cause is not the want of matter,--
               Of that there's plenty, worse or better;
               But like a mill
               Whose stream beats back with surplus water,
               The wheel stands still."

Something of the humor of Burns gleams out occasionally from the sober
decorum of his verses.  In an epistle to his friend Betton, high sheriff
of the county, who had sent to him for a peck of seed corn, he says:--

               "Soon plantin' time will come again,
               Syne may the heavens gie us rain,
               An' shining heat to bless ilk plain
               An' fertile hill,
               An' gar the loads o' yellow grain,
               Our garrets fill.

               "As long as I has food and clothing,
               An' still am hale and fier and breathing,
               Ye 's get the corn--and may be aething
               Ye'll do for me;
               (Though God forbid)--hang me for naething
               An' lose your fee."

And on receiving a copy of some verses written by a lady, he talks in a
sad way for a Presbyterian deacon:--

               "Were she some Aborigine squaw,
               Wha sings so sweet by nature's law,
               I'd meet her in a hazle shaw,
               Or some green loany,
               And make her tawny phiz and 'a
               My welcome crony."

The practical philosophy of the stout, jovial rhymer was but little
affected by the sour-featured asceticism of the elder.  He says:--

               "We'll eat and drink, and cheerful take
               Our portions for the Donor's sake,
               For thus the Word of Wisdom spake--
               Man can't do better;
               Nor can we by our labors make
               The Lord our debtor!"

A quaintly characteristic correspondence in rhyme between the Deacon and
Parson McGregore, evidently "birds o' ane feather," is still in
existence.  The minister, in acknowledging the epistle of his old friend,
commences his reply as follows:--

               "Did e'er a cuif tak' up a quill,
               Wha ne'er did aught that he did well,
               To gar the muses rant and reel,
               An' flaunt and swagger,
               Nae doubt ye 'll say 't is that daft chiel
               Old Dite McGregore!"

The reply is in the same strain, and may serve to give the reader some
idea of the old gentleman as a religious controversialist:--

               "My reverend friend and kind McGregore,
               Although thou ne'er was ca'd a bragger,
               Thy muse I'm sure nave e'er was glegger
               Thy Scottish lays
               Might gar Socinians fa' or stagger,
               E'en in their ways.

               "When Unitarian champions dare thee,
               Goliah like, and think to scare thee,
               Dear Davie, fear not, they'll ne'er waur thee;
               But draw thy sling,
               Weel loaded frae the Gospel quarry,
               An' gie 't a fling."

The last time I saw him, he was chaffering in the market-place of my
native village, swapping potatoes and onions and pumpkins for tea,
coffee, molasses, and, if the truth be told, New England rum.  Threescore
years and ten, to use his own words,

               "Hung o'er his back,
               And bent him like a muckle pack,"

yet he still stood stoutly and sturdily in his thick shoes of cowhide,
like one accustomed to tread independently the soil of his own acres,--
his broad, honest face seamed by care and darkened by exposure to "all
the airts that blow," and his white hair flowing in patriarchal glory
beneath his felt hat.  A genial, jovial, large-hearted old man, simple as
a child, and betraying, neither in look nor manner, that he was
accustomed to

               "Feed on thoughts which voluntary move
               Harmonious numbers."

Peace to him!  A score of modern dandies and sentimentalists could ill
supply the place of this one honest man.  In the ancient burial-ground of
Windham, by the side of his "beloved Molly," and in view of the old
meeting-house, there is a mound of earth, where, every spring, green
grasses tremble in the wind and the warm sunshine calls out the flowers.
There, gathered like one of his own ripe sheaves, the farmer poet sleeps
with his fathers.



I have been greatly interested in the fate of Juan Placido, the black
revolutionist of Cuba, who was executed in Havana, as the alleged
instigator and leader of an attempted revolt on the part of the slaves in
that city and its neighborhood.

Juan Placido was born a slave on the estate of Don Terribio de Castro.
His father was an African, his mother a mulatto.  His mistress treated
him with great kindness, and taught him to read.  When he was twelve
years of age she died, and he fell into other and less compassionate
hands.  At the age of eighteen, on seeing his mother struck with a heavy
whip, he for the first time turned upon his tormentors.  To use his own
words, "I felt the blow in my heart.  To utter a loud cry, and from a
downcast boy, with the timidity of one weak as a lamb, to become all at
office like a raging lion, was a thing of a moment."  He was, however,
subdued, and the next morning, together with his mother, a tenderly
nurtured and delicate woman, severely scourged.  On seeing his mother
rudely stripped and thrown down upon the ground, he at first with tears
implored the overseer to spare her; but at the sound of the first blow,
as it cut into her naked flesh, he sprang once more upon the ruffian,
who, having superior strength, beat him until he was nearer dead than

After suffering all the vicissitudes of slavery,--hunger, nakedness,
stripes; after bravely and nobly bearing up against that slow, dreadful
process which reduces the man to a thing, the image of God to a piece of
merchandise, until he had reached his thirty-eighth year, he was
unexpectedly released from his bonds.  Some literary gentlemen in Havana,
into whose hands two or three pieces of his composition had fallen,
struck with the vigor, spirit, and natural grace which they manifested,
sought out the author, and raised a subscription to purchase his freedom.
He came to Havana, and maintained himself by house-painting, and such
other employments as his ingenuity and talents placed within his reach.
He wrote several poems, which have been published in Spanish at Havana,
and translated by Dr. Madden, under the title of _Poems by a Slave_.

It is not too much to say of these poems that they will bear a comparison
with most of the productions of modern Spanish literature.  The style is
bold, free, energetic.  Some of the pieces are sportive and graceful;
such is the address to _The Cucuya_, or Cuban firefly.  This beautiful
insect is sometimes fastened in tiny nets to the light dresses of the
Cuban ladies, a custom to which the writer gallantly alludes in the
following lines:--

          "Ah!--still as one looks on such brightness and bloom,
          On such beauty as hers, one might envy the doom
          Of a captive Cucuya that's destined, like this,
          To be touched by her hand and revived by her kiss!
          In the cage which her delicate hand has prepared,
          The beautiful prisoner nestles unscared,
          O'er her fair forehead shining serenely and bright,
          In beauty's own bondage revealing its light!
          And when the light dance and the revel are done,
          She bears it away to her alcove alone,
          Where, fed by her hand from the cane that's most choice,
          In secret it gleans at the sound of her voice!
          O beautiful maiden! may Heaven accord
          Thy care of the captive a fitting reward,
          And never may fortune the fetters remove
          Of a heart that is thine in the bondage of love!"

In his Dream, a fragment of some length, Placido dwells in a touching
manner upon the scenes of his early years.  It is addressed to his
brother Florence, who was a slave near Matanzas, while the author was in
the same condition at Havana.  There is a plaintive and melancholy
sweetness in these lines, a natural pathos, which finds its way to the

          "Thou knowest, dear Florence, my sufferings of old,
          The struggles maintained with oppression for years;
          We shared them together, and each was consoled
          With the love which was nurtured by sorrow and tears.

          "But now far apart, the sad pleasure is gone,
          We mingle our sighs and our sorrows no more;
          The course is a new one which each has to run,
          And dreary for each is the pathway before.

          "But in slumber our spirits at least shall commune,
          We will meet as of old in the visions of sleep,
          In dreams which call back early days, when at noon
          We stole to the shade of the palm-tree to weep!

          "For solitude pining, in anguish of late
          The heights of Quintana I sought for repose;
          And there, in the cool and the silence, the weight
          Of my cares was forgotten, I felt not any woes.

          "Exhausted and weary, the spell of the place
          Sank down on my eyelids, and soft slumber stole
          So sweetly upon me, it left not a trace
          Of sorrow o'ercasting the light of the soul."

The writer then imagines himself borne lightly through the air to the
place of his birth.  The valley of Matanzas lies beneath him, hallowed by
the graves of his parents.  He proceeds:--

          "I gazed on that spot where together we played,
          Our innocent pastimes came fresh to my mind,
          Our mother's caress, and the fondness displayed
          In each word and each look of a parent so kind.

          "I looked on the mountain, whose fastnesses wild
          The fugitives seek from the rifle and hound;
          Below were the fields where they suffered and toiled,
          And there the low graves of their comrades are found.

          "The mill-house was there, and the turmoil of old;
          But sick of these scenes, for too well were they known,
          I looked for the stream where in childhood I strolled
          When a moment of quiet and peace was my own.

          "With mingled emotions of pleasure and pain,
          Dear Florence, I sighed to behold thee once more;
          I sought thee, my brother, embraced thee again,
          But I found thee a slave as I left thee before!"

Some of his devotional pieces evince the fervor and true feeling of the
Christian poet.  His _Ode to Religion_ contains many admirable lines.
Speaking of the martyrs of the early days of Christianity, he says

          "Still in that cradle, purpled with their blood,
          The infant Faith waxed stronger day by day."

I cannot forbear quoting the last stanza of this poem:--

          "O God of mercy, throned in glory high,
          On earth and all its misery look down:
          Behold the wretched, hear the captive's cry,
          And call Thy exiled children round Thy throne!
          There would I fain in contemplation gaze
          On Thy eternal beauty, and would make
          Of love one lasting canticle of praise,
          And every theme but Thee henceforth forsake!"

His best and noblest production is an ode _To Cuba_, written on the
occasion of Dr. Madden's departure from the island, and presented to that
gentleman.  It was never published in Cuba, as its sentiments would have
subjected the author to persecution.  It breathes a lofty spirit of
patriotism, and an indignant sense of the wrongs inflicted upon his race.
Withal, it has something of the grandeur and stateliness of the old
Spanish muse.

          "Cuba!--of what avail that thou art fair,
          Pearl of the Seas, the pride of the Antilles,
          If thy poor sons have still to see thee share
          The pangs of bondage and its thousand ills?
          Of what avail the verdure of thy hills,
          The purple bloom thy coffee-plain displays;
          The cane's luxuriant growth, whose culture fills
          More graves than famine, or the sword finds ways
          To glut with victims calmly as it slays?

          "Of what avail that thy clear streams abound
          With precious ore, if wealth there's, none to buy
          Thy children's rights, and not one grain is found
          For Learning's shrine, or for the altar nigh
          Of poor, forsaken, downcast Liberty?
          Of what avail the riches of thy port,
          Forests of masts and ships from every sea,
          If Trade alone is free, and man, the sport
          And spoil of Trade, bears wrongs of every sort?

          "Cuba! O Cuba!---when men call thee fair,
          And rich, and beautiful, the Queen of Isles,
          Star of the West, and Ocean's gem most rare,
          Oh, say to those who mock thee with such wiles:
          Take off these flowers; and view the lifeless spoils
          Which wait the worm; behold their hues beneath
          The pale, cold cheek; and seek for living smiles
          Where Beauty lies not in the arms of Death,
          And Bondage taints not with its poison breath!"

The disastrous result of the last rising of the slaves--in Cuba is well
known.  Betrayed, and driven into premature collision with their
oppressors, the insurrectionists were speedily crushed into subjection.
Placido was arrested, and after a long hearing was condemned to be
executed, and consigned to the Chapel of the Condemned.

How far he was implicated in the insurrectionary movement it is now
perhaps impossible to ascertain.  The popular voice at Havana pronounced
him its leader and projector, and as such he was condemned.  His own
bitter wrongs; the terrible recollections of his life of servitude; the
sad condition of his relatives and race, exposed to scorn, contumely, and
the heavy hand of violence; the impunity with which the most dreadful
outrages upon the persons of slaves were inflicted,--acting upon a mind
fully capable of appreciating the beauty and dignity of freedom,--
furnished abundant incentives to an effort for the redemption of his race
and the humiliation of his oppressors.  The Heraldo, of Madrid speaks of
him as "the celebrated poet, a man of great natural genius, and beloved
and appreciated by the most respectable young men of Havana."  It accuses
him of wild and ambitious projects, and states that he was intended to be
the chief of the black race after they had thrown off the yoke of

He was executed at Havana in the seventh month, 1844.  According to the
custom in Cuba with condemned criminals, he was conducted from prison to
the Chapel of the Doomed.  He passed thither with singular composure,
amidst a great concourse of people, gracefully saluting his numerous
acquaintances.  The chapel was hung with black cloth, and dimly lighted.
He was seated beside his coffin.  Priests in long black robes stood
around him, chanting in sepulchral voices the service of the dead.  It is
an ordeal under which the stoutest-hearted and most resolute have been
found to sink.  After enduring it for twenty-four hours he was led out to
execution.  He came forth calm and undismayed; holding a crucifix in his
hand, he recited in a loud, clear voice a solemn prayer in verse, which
he had composed amidst the horrors of the Chapel.  The following is an
imperfect rendering of a poem which thrilled the hearts of all who heard

          "God of unbounded love and power eternal,
          To Thee I turn in darkness and despair!
          Stretch forth Thine arm, and from the brow infernal
          Of Calumny the veil of Justice tear;
          And from the forehead of my honest fame
          Pluck the world's brand of infamy and shame!

          "O King of kings!--my fathers' God!--who only
          Art strong to save, by whom is all controlled,
          Who givest the sea its waves, the dark and lonely
          Abyss of heaven its light, the North its cold,
          The air its currents, the warm sun its beams,
          Life to the flowers, and motion to the streams!

          "All things obey Thee, dying or reviving
          As thou commandest; all, apart from Thee,
          From Thee alone their life and power deriving,
          Sink and are lost in vast eternity!
          Yet doth the void obey Thee; since from naught
          This marvellous being by Thy hand was wrought.

          "O merciful God!  I cannot shun Thy presence,
          For through its veil of flesh Thy piercing eye
          Looketh upon my spirit's unsoiled essence,
          As through the pure transparence of the sky;
          Let not the oppressor clap his bloody hands,
          As o'er my prostrate innocence he stands!

          "But if, alas, it seemeth good to Thee
          That I should perish as the guilty dies,
          And that in death my foes should gaze on me
          With hateful malice and exulting eyes,
          Speak Thou the word, and bid them shed my blood,
          Fully in me Thy will be done, O God!"

On arriving at the fatal spot, he sat down as ordered, on a bench, with
his back to the soldiers.  The multitude recollected that in some
affecting lines, written by the conspirator in prison, he had said that
it would be useless to seek to kill him by shooting his body,--that his
heart must be pierced ere it would cease its throbbings.  At the last
moment, just as the soldiers were about to fire, he rose up and gazed for
an instant around and above him on the beautiful capital of his native
land and its sail-flecked bay, on the dense crowds about him, the blue
mountains in the distance, and the sky glorious with summer sunshine.
"Adios, mundo!" (Farewell, world!) he said calmly, and sat down.  The
word was given, and five balls entered his body.  Then it was that,
amidst the groans and murmurs of the horror-stricken spectators, he rose
up once more, and turned his head to the shuddering soldiers, his face
wearing an expression of superhuman courage.  "Will no one pity me?" he
said, laying his hand over his heart.  "Here, fire here!"  While he yet
spake, two balls entered his heart, and he fell dead.

Thus perished the hero poet of Cuba.  He has not fallen in vain.  His
genius and his heroic death will doubtless be regarded by his race as
precious legacies.  To the great names of L'Ouverture and Petion the
colored man can now add that of Juan Placido.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old Portraits and Modern Sketches
 - Part 1 from Volume VI of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.