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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 19, May, 1859
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Title: Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 19, May, 1859

Author: Various

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[Date last updated: August 13, 2005]

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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ATLANTIC MONTHLY, VOLUME 3, NO.
19, MAY, 1859***


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THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. III.--MAY, 1859.--NO. XIX.







THE GYMNASIUM.


Two distinct yet harmonious branches of study claimed the early
attention of the youth of ancient Greece. Education was comprised in
the two words, Music and Gymnastics. Plato includes it all under these
divisions:--"That having reference to the body is gymnastics, but to the
cultivation of the mind, music."

Grammar was sometimes distinguished from the other branches classed
under the term, Music; and comprehended, besides a knowledge of
language, something of poetry, eloquence, and history. Music embraced
all the arts and sciences over which the Muses presided.

Grammar, Music, and Gymnastics, then, comprised the whole _curriculum_
of study which was prescribed to the Athenian boy. There were not
separate and distinct learned professions, or faculties, to so great
an extent as in modern times. The compass of knowledge was far less
defined, and the studies and attainments of the individual more
miscellaneous. Some of the arts rose to an unparalleled perfection.
Architecture and sculpture attained an excellence which no subsequent
civilization has reached. But the practical application of the sciences
to daily use was almost entirely neglected; and inventions and mechanics
languished until the far later uprising of the Saxon mind.

Yet the whole system of education among the Greeks was peculiarly
calculated for the development of the powers of the mind and of the body
in common. And it is from this point of view that we wish to consider
it, and to show the nature and preeminence of gymnastics in their times
as compared with our own.

Doubtless Grecian Art owed its superiority, in some degree, to the
gymnasium. Living models of manliness, grace, and beauty were daily
before the artist's eye. The _stadium_ furnished its fleet runners,
nimble as the wing-footed Mercury,--fit types for his light and airy
conceptions; while the arena of the athletes offered marvellous
opportunities for the study of muscle and posture, to show its results
in the burly limbs of Hercules or the starting sinews of Laocooen. Many
of the most lifelike groups of marble which remain to us from that time
are but copies of the living statues who wrestled or threw the quoit in
the public gymnasium.

It is worthy of remark, in corroboration of this view, that the
department of the fine arts which depended on outline surpassed
that which derived its power from coloring and perspective. The
sculptors far excelled the painters. The statue was the natural result
of the imitative faculty surveying the nude human figure in every
posture of activity or repose. Pictures came later, from more educated
senses, and from minds which had first learned outward nature through
the medium of the simpler arts.

The ancient gymnasium, apart from its baths and philosophic groves,
was far from being, as with us, a mere appendage of the school. Modern
instructors advertise, that, in addition to teachers of every tongue and
art, "a gymnasium is attached" to their educational institutions. In old
times, the gymnasium was the school,--the public games and festivals its
"annual exhibitions."

The word _gymnasium_ has reference in its derivation to the nude or
semi-nude condition of those who exercised there. But in their proper
classical interpretation the public gymnasia were, to a great extent,
places set apart for physical education and training. Gymnastics,
indeed, in the broadest sense of the word, have been cultivated in all
ages. The spontaneous exercises and mimic contests of the boys of all
countries, the friendly emulation of robust youth in trials of speed and
strength, and the discipline and training of the military recruit have
in them much of the true gymnastic element. In Attica and Ionia they
were first adapted to their noblest ends.

The hardy Spartans, who valued most the qualities of bravery, endurance,
and self-denial, used the gymnasia only as schools of training for the
more sanguinary contests of war. So, too, the martial Roman despised
those who practised gymnastics with any other object than as fitting
them to be better soldiers. Yet to so great a degree were these
exercises cultivated, even by the latter nation, that the Roman private
of the line did his fifteen or twenty miles' daily march under a weight
of camp-equipage and weapons which would have foundered some of the
best-drilled modern warriors, and concluded his day's labors by digging
the trenches of his camp at night. The ponderous _pilum_, and the heavy,
straight sword of the infantry were exchanged in the barrack-yard for
drill-weapons of twice their weight; and so perfectly were the detail
and regularity of actual service carried out in their daily discipline,
that, as an ancient writer has remarked, their sham-fights and reviews
differed only in bloodshed from real battles. The soldier of the early
Republic was hence taught gymnastics only as a means of increasing his
efficiency; the lax praetorian and the corrupt populace of the Empire
turned gladly from the gymnasium to the circus and the amphitheatre.

In the same manner were these exercises regarded by the Dorians and the
people of some other of the Grecian States. The inhabitants of Attica
and of Ionia, on opposite shores of the Aegean, as more cultivated
races, viewed them in a more correct physiological light. But it was at
Athens that the gymnasium was held in highest repute.

We read that Solon, the Athenian lawgiver, first established particular
regulations for its government. Attic legends, however, gratefully
refer the earliest rules of the gymnasium to Theseus, as to one of the
mightiest of the mythical heroes,--the emulator of Hercules, slayer of
the Minotaur, and conqueror of the Amazons. Hermes was the presiding
deity, which may appear strange to us, as he was as noted for an
unworthy cunning as for his dexterity. Generous emulation and
magnanimity were regarded as the noblest qualities called forth in
gymnastic exercises; and Mercury seems a fitter tutelar divinity of the
wary boxer and of the race-course than of the whole gymnasium.

Probably no Greek town of any importance was destitute of one of
these schools of exercise. Athens boasted three public gymnasia,--the
Cynosarges, the Lyceum, and the Academy. These were the daily resort
of young and old alike, though certain penal laws forbade them from
exercising together at the same hour.

The school-boy frequented them as part of his daily task; the young man
of leisure, as an agreeable lounging-place; the scholar, to listen
to the master in philosophy; the sedentary, for their customary
_constitutional_ on the foot-course; and the invalid and the aged, to
court the return of health, or to retain somewhat of the vigor of their
earlier years. The Athenians wisely held that there could be no health
of the mind, unless the body were cared for,--and viewed exercise also
as a powerful remedial agent in disease. Such a variety of useful
purposes were thus subserved by the gymnasia, that it will be proper
to look briefly at their internal arrangements. We shall follow the
description which has been left us by Vitruvius.

The ancient gymnasium was generally situated in the suburbs, and was
often as large as a _stadium_ (six hundred and twenty-five feet)
square. Its principal entrance faced the east. A quadrangular inclosure
comprehended two principal courts, divided by a party-wall. The eastern
court was called the _peristylium,_ from the rows of columns which
surrounded it; the western also was bordered by porticos, but for it
we have no distinct name. The peristyle must have been from one to two
hundred feet square. It was sometimes termed the _palaestra_, though
this name was afterwards restricted to the training-school of the
athletes proper, who made gymnastics the business of their lives. It was
also styled the _sphaeristerium,_ or ball-ground, to which the nearest
approach in modern times is the tennis-court. The chief western
inclosure was planted with plane-trees in regular order, with walls
between them and seats of the so-called _signine_ work, and was about
one half larger than the peristyle. The space between the columns of the
latter and the outer walls allowed sufficient room for rows of chambers,
halls, and corridors, whose uses we will next designate.

The first room on the right, as one entered the east gate, was the
_loutron_, or room for washing, distinct from the regular baths. Next,
in the northeast corner, was the _conisterium_, where sand was kept for
sprinkling the wrestlers after they had been anointed for the struggle.
West of this lay the _coryceum_, a hall for exercising with a sack of
sand suspended from the roof. It seems plausible to suppose that this
exercise corresponded with that more recently practised by Mr. Thomas
Hyer, previously to his fight with Yankee Sullivan. A bag of sand, equal
in weight to his adversary, was daily pommelled by the champion of
America until he could make it swing and recoil satisfactorily.

Adjoining this room were two small apartments called the _ephebeum_ and
the _elaeothesium_ respectively. The former was devoted to preparatory
exercise, probably by way of warming up for severer efforts; the latter
was used for anointing, and was connected with the baths, which followed
next in order. These were the _frigidarium_, the _caldarium_, the
_sudatorium_, and the _tepidarium_, for the cold, the hot, the sweating
or vapor, and the warm baths. They did not possess the magnitude and
ornament of the Roman _thermae_. They were used in connection with and
after exercising, and were enough for all practical purposes. Bathing
was not then the business of hours every day, as it was later in the
Roman Empire, when the luxurious subjects of Caracalla indulged several
times in the twenty-four hours in such a variety of ablutions as would
have satisfied a Sandwich-Islander.

We have now arrived at a point nearly opposite our entrance at the east,
and, continuing round the southwest, south, and southeast sides of the
peristyle, find a large number of consecutive chambers devoted mainly to
the philosophers, as lecture-rooms and auditories for their classes
and followers. On the north side of the peristyle is a double portico
containing the _exedrae_, or seats of the sophists, where each most
cunning rhetorician delivered his opinions _ex cathedra_, and lay in
wait for any passer whom he could insnare into an argument. The groves
of the great western court were probably used by the lounger, the
contemplative, and the studious, if we may judge by numerous seats and
benches, at convenient intervals. On the south side of these was again a
double portico; and on the north, outside the pillars, the _xystus_,
or covered porch, where the athletes exercised in winter and in bad
weather. The arena was twelve feet wide, and sunk a foot and a half
below a marginal path of ten feet, where spectators could walk. On the
north and south sides of the whole building were wings, of less width,
extending nearly its entire length. That on the north contained
the _stadium_, or foot-race course, which was, however, sometimes
disconnected from the gymnasium. The south wing was of like dimensions,
and adorned with plane-trees and walks, forming a more private retreat.

It will be readily conceived that this vast area was not devoted
exclusively to physical exercises. Logic, rhetoric, and metaphysics
claimed their place in this common focus of the city's life, and were
the delight of the subtile Greeks. The Socratic reasoning and the
syllogisms of Aristotle met here on common ground. The Stoics, with
their stern fatalism, derived their name from the _stoae_, or porticos;
the Peripatetics imparted their ambulatory instructions under the
plane-trees of the Lyceum--and Plato reasoned in the Academy, which he
held with his school, and into which no ungeometrical mind was to enter.
And though some dog of a Cynic might despise the union of the ornamental
with the useful, and claim austerity as the rule of life, yet to the
great body of the social Greek people the gymnasium offered all those
attractions which _boulevards_, _cafes_, and _jardins-chantants_ do
now to the Gallic nation. There is more than one point of resemblance
between the two countries; but while the Athenian had the same mercurial
qualities, which fitted him for outdoor life, he had even a less
comfortable domestic establishment to retain him at home than the modern
Parisian.

We must turn, however, rather to the physical view of the gymnasium. All
the sports of the gymnasia were either games, or special exercises for
the contests of the public festivals. And here a distinction must be
made between amateur and professional gymnasts. The former were
styled _agonistae_, and exercised in the public gymnasium; the latter
_athletae_, and were trained fighters, whose school was the _palaestra_.
At first frequenting the same, they afterwards became divided between
two institutions. Some of the harsher sports of the prize-fighters were
not thought genteel for well-nurtured youths to indulge in. Among the
simpler games were the ball, played in various ways, and the top, which
was as popular with juveniles then as now. The sport called _skaperda_
can be seen in any gymnasium of to-day, and consisted in two boys
drawing each other up and down by the ends of a rope passing over a
pulley. Familiar still is also a game of dexterity played with five
stones thrown from the upper part of the hand and caught in the palm.
Various other gentle exercises might be mentioned.

The training for the public games was comprised in the _pentathlon_, or
five exercises,--which were running, leaping, throwing the _discus_,
wrestling, boxing. The first four were practised also by amateurs, and
by most persons who frequented the gymnasium for health.

The race, run upon the foot-race course, was between fixed boundaries,
about a _stadium_ apart. The distances run were from one to twenty
_stadia_, or from one-eighth of a mile to two and a half miles, and
sometimes more. This exercise was much followed. Horses were sometimes
introduced, but then the hippodrome was the course. They ran without
riders, as at the Roman carnival, or with chariots. Horse-racing was
most popular in the Roman circus, whose ruins still show its massiveness
and great size.

Leaping was performed also within fixed limits,--generally with metallic
weights in the hands, but sometimes attached to the head or shoulders.

The quoit, or _discus_, was made of stone or metal, of a circular form,
and thrown by means of a thong passing through the centre. It was three
inches thick and ten or twelve in diameter. He who threw farthest, won.
It is a modern game also, and is imitated in the Old-Country custom of
pitching the bar.

Wrestling has been a favorite contest in all times. Milo of Crotona
was the prince of wrestlers. He who threw his adversary three times
conquered. The wrestlers were naked, anointed, and covered with sand,
that they might take firm hold. Striking was not allowed. Elegance was
studied in the attack, as well as force. There was a distinction between
upright and prostrate wrestling. In the former the one thrown was
allowed to get up; in the latter the struggle was continued on the
ground. The vanquished held up his finger when he acknowledged himself
beaten.

Boxing was a severer sport, and not much followed except by gentlemen of
the "profession." It was practised with the clenched fists, either naked
or armed with the deadly _cestus_. The "science" of the game was to
parry the blows of the antagonist, as it is in the "noble and manly" art
of self-defence now. The exercise was violent and dangerous, and the
combatants often lost their lives, as they do at the present day. The
_cestus_, like our "brass-knuckle," was a thong of hide, loaded with
lead, and bound over the hand. At first used to add weight to the blow,
it was afterwards continued up the fore-arm, and formed also a weapon
of defence. Mr. Morrissey, or any other "shoulder-hitter," would hardly
need more than a few rounds to settle his opponent, if his sinewy arm
were garnished with the _cestus_.

We read that the late contest for the "American belt," though short, was
unusually fierce, and afforded intense delight to the spectators,--in
proportion, probably, to its ferocity. By all means let the "profession"
take the _cestus_ from the hands of the highwayman and adopt it
themselves. It would be one step nearer the glorious days of the
gladiators, and would render their combats more bloody and more
exciting. Or, better still, let us revive the ancient mode of sparring
called the _klimax_, where both parties "faced the music" _without
warding_ blows at all. We scarcely think the ancients were up to
"countering," as it is understood now; but they fully appreciated the
facetious practice of falling backwards to avoid a blow, and letting the
adversary waste his strength on the air. The deceased Mr. Sullivan
would hardly recognize his favorite dodge under its classic name of
_hyptiasmos_, or be aware that it was in use by his very respectable
predecessor, Sostratus of Sicyon, who was noted for such tricks.

The _pankration_, again, was a mode of battle which the modern
prize-ring is yet too magnanimous to adopt, and which excelled in
brutality the so-called "getting one's nob in chancery,"--the most
stirring episode of our pugilistic encounters. The Greek custom alluded
to was so named because it called all the powers of the fighter into
action. It was a union of boxing and wrestling. It began by trying to
get one's antagonist into the unfavorable position of facing the sun.
Then the sport commenced with either wrestling or sparring. As soon as
one party was thrown or knocked down, the other kept him so until he had
pommelled him into submission; and when he arose, at last, to receive
the plaudits of the assembly, it was often from the corpse of his
adversary.

Beginning as the most promising pupils of the gymnasium, and becoming
victors in the public games, certain gymnasts gradually grew into
a distinct class of prize-runners, wrestlers, and fighters, called
Athletes. They then devoted their lives to attaining excellence in these
exercises, and withdrew to the _palaestra_, or training-school. Those who
quitted the profession became instructors in the public gymnasium. To
attain great bodily strength, they submitted to many rigid rules. By
frequent anointing, rubbing, and bathing, they rendered their bodies
very supple. The trainer, or teacher in the _palaestra_, was termed
_xystarch_. He was himself the Nestor of the "ring." The food of the
athlete was mainly beef and pork. The latter, we believe, is excluded
from the diet-list of the modern prize-fighter. Of their particular
rules of living and "getting into condition" we know but little. Before
being allowed to contend, they were subjected to a strict examination by
the judges. In so high estimation were the victors held, that they were
rewarded with a public proclamation of their names, the laudations
of the poet, statues, banquets, and other privileges. The immediate
material gain was not the winning of the stakes, but a simple crown or
garland of laurel, olive, pine, or parsley, according to the festival at
which they fought. Pindar has embalmed the names of many victors in his
Olympic, Pythian, and other odes.

But let us leave the athletes for something more inviting. The
_lampadephoria_, or torch-race, must have been a singular spectacle.
There were five celebrations of this game at Athens, of which the most
noted was at the Panathenaea, where horsemen often contended. The text
describing it has been a puzzle to commentators;--the most rational
and accepted interpretation seems to be, that it was a contest between
opposite parties, and not between individuals. Lighted lamps, protected
by a shield, were passed from runner to runner along the lines of
players, to a certain goal. They who succeeded in carrying their lights
from boundary to boundary unextinguished were declared the victors. This
game will at once recall the _moccoletti_, which close the carnival at
Rome.

Dancing to the sound of the _cithara_, flute, and pipe, was a favorite
amusement with all classes. The grizzly veterans and the younger
soldiers all joined in martial dances. The dance and the game of ball
were often connected. The Romaic dance, peculiar to the modern Greeks,
is an inheritance from their ancestors. Dancing by youths and maidens
formed part of the entertainment of guests. Tumblers threw somersets
and leaped amid sharp knives, somewhat after the manner of the Chinese
jugglers. Music was also usually associated with either poetry or
dancing.

Incitements to the various gymnastic exercises which have been mentioned
could be found only in public emulation, for which abundant opportunity
was offered in the national games or festivals. These were a part of
the religious customs of the Greeks, and were originally established
in honor of the gods. It was their effect to bring into nearer contact
people from the several parts of Greece, and to stimulate and publicly
reward talent, as well as bodily vigor. They afforded orators, poets,
and historians the best opportunities of rehearsing their productions.
Herodotus is said to have read his History, and Isocrates to have
recited his Panegyric at the Olympic games. The four sacred games were
the Olympic, Pythian, Isthmian, and Nemean; and to these should be added
the Panathenaea, or festival of Minerva. The five exercises before
mentioned, together with music, in its classic sense, formed the
programme. In the lesser Panathenaea occurred, first, the torch-race;
next, the gymnastic exercises; thirdly, a musical contention, instituted
by Pericles; and lastly, a competition of the poets in four plays.
Numerous other observances, of a religious nature, were varied with the
different festivals. It may be doubted whether subsequent times have
seen any gatherings of equal magnitude for similar objects.

So rigid was the discipline of the ancient gymnasium, and so important
was it considered that confidence should be undoubting there, that
thefts, exceeding ten _drachmae_ in amount, committed within its
precincts, were punished with death.

The _Gymnasiarch_, or presiding magistrate, clothed in a purple cloak,
with white shoes, possessed almost unlimited authority. He had the
superintendence of the building, and could remove the teachers and
under-officers at his pleasure. The exercises practised were ordained
by law, subject to regulations and animated by the commendation of
the masters. Instructions were given by the _gymnastae_ and the
_paedotribae_, two classes of officers. The former gave practical
lessons, and were expected to know the physiological effect of the
different exercises, and to adapt them to the constitution and needs of
the youth. The latter possessed a knowledge of all the games, and taught
them in all their variety. Nor were the morals of the young less cared
for by the _sophronistae_, a set of officials appointed for that
purpose.

The plan and scope of Grecian education were more adapted to the common
purposes of the community, and less to the individual aim of the pupil.
Beside the public teachings of philosophers and sophists, common schools
were established at Athens by Solon. Government provided for their
management, and strict discipline was enforced. Here the boy was
instructed in music and grammar. Until the age of sixteen, he pursued
these two branches in connection with gymnastics. Some authorities
assert, that, even at this period of his life, as much time was devoted
to the latter as to the other two together. At sixteen, he left the
school, and, until he was eighteen years of age, frequented the
gymnasium alone; probably devoting most of his time to physical
training, though enjoying opportunities of listening to the masters
in philosophy. The period of adolescence past, and his growing frame
expanded and well knit by exercise, he either continued to follow
athletic sports, or began a military or other career. If a young man
of leisure, he probably needed all the virtue imparted by his moral
teachers to restrain him from dice, quail-fights, and fine horses, and
all his physical vigor to resist the dissipations of Athens or Corinth,
and the potations of the _symposia_.

So far the male rising generation was well cared for. What became of the
girls?

In accordance with the freer manners, but not less virtuous habits of
Lacedemon, maidens were there admitted as spectators and sharers of the
gymnastic sports. Though clad only in the Spartan _chiton_, they took
vigorous part in dancing and probably wrestling. The Athenian maid could
not air even her modest garments in public with the consent of popular
opinion. The girls were educated and the women stayed at home. The
_gynaekeion_, or female apartment, was nearly as secluded as the
_seraglio_. The females were under direct, though not slavish submission
to the men. Modesty forbade their appearance in the gymnasium. Domestic
occupations, the rearing of children, spinning, light work, and
household cares filled up their time. We are told that an Athenian
mother once ventured in male attire to mingle among the spectators of
the Olympic games. Her cry of joy at the triumph of her son betrayed
her. Because she was the mother of many victors, she was spared from
infamy; and her services to the state, in rearing men, alone saved her
from the consequences of an act which maternal solicitude could not have
excused.

Too much license in the intermingling of the sexes formed part of the
arguments of many distinguished Romans against the gymnasium. Habits of
idle lounging and waste of time, together with even graver vices, were
imputed to its influence. Some said it favored _polysarkia_, or obesity,
and unfitted for military or other active life. The Romans were too
utilitarian to see its higher aims. Though there was some justice, it
must be confessed, in these accusations, yet they applied with more
force to the _palaestra_ than to the gymnasium,--to the trained
fighters, who devoted their lives to exercise, than to the mass of the
Greeks, who cultivated it for nobler purposes.

The ancients valued gymnastics highly as curative agents in disease.
Some of the gymnasia were dedicated to Apollo, god of physicians. The
officers of these establishments passed for doctors, and were so called,
on account of the skill which long experience had given them. The
directors regulated the diet of the youth, the _gymnastae_ prescribed
for their diseases, and the inferiors dressed wounds and fractures. Not
only was the general idea entertained that bodily exercise is good for
the health, but different kinds of exertion were selected as adapted to
particular maladies. Upright wrestling was thought most beneficial to
the upper portion of the body, and the cure of dropsy was believed to be
peculiarly promoted by gymnastic sports. Hippocrates had some faith in
the "motor cure." In some cases he advises common wrestling; in others,
wrestling with the hands only. The practice with the _corycus_, or
hanging-bag of sand, and a regular motion of the upper limbs, resembling
the manual exercise of the soldier, were also esteemed by him. Galen
inveighs against the more violent exercises, but recommends moderate
ones as part of the physician's art. Asclepiades, in the time of Pompey
the Great, called exercises the common aids of physic, and got great
glory--and money, it is to be hoped--by various mechanical contrivances
for the sick.

The ancients probably esteemed gymnastics too much, as the moderns do
too little, for medical or sanative purposes. The Greeks, with a very
limited knowledge of physiology and pathology, would be more apt to
treat symptoms than to trace the causes of disease; and no doubt they
sometimes prescribed exercises which were injudicious or positively
injurious. We still trust too much, perhaps, to medication, and do not
keep in view the great helps which Nature spreads around us. Truth lies
between the two extremes; and we are beginning to recognize the fact,
which experience daily teaches us, that light, air, and motion are more
potent than drugs,--and that iron will not redden the cheeks, nor bark
restring the nerves, so safely and so surely as moderate daily exercise
out of doors.

In the flourishing days of Attica, the gymnasium was in its perfection.
It degenerated with the license of later times. It was absorbed and sunk
in the fashions and vices of imperial Rome. Though Nero built a
public gymnasium, and Roman gentlemen attached private ones to their
country-seats, it gradually fell into disuse, or existed only for
ignoble purposes. The gladiator succeeded naturally to the athlete, the
circus to the stadium, and the sanguinary scenes of the amphitheatre
brutalized the pure tastes of earlier years. Then came the barbarians,
and the rough, graceless strength of Goths and Vandals supplanted the
supple vigor of the gymnast. The rude, migratory life of the Dark Ages
needed not the gymnasium as a means of physical culture, and was too
changeable and evanescent to establish permanent institutions. Chivalry
afforded some exception. The profession of knighthood and the calling
of the men-at-arms gave ample scope to warlike exercises, reduced to
something like a science in armor, horses, and modes of combat. The
tournament recalled somewhat the generous emulation of the gymnasium;
but bodily exercise for physiological ends was lost sight of in the
midst of advancing civilization, until its culture was resumed in
Sweden, in the latter half of the last century.

The reviver of gymnastics was PETER HENRY LING. Born of humble
parentage, and contending in his earlier years with the extremest
poverty, he completed a theological education, became a tutor,
volunteered in the Danish navy, travelled in France and England, and
began his career of gymnast as a fencing-master in Stockholm. He died
a professor, a knight, and a member of the Swedish Academy, and was
posthumously honored as a benefactor of his country.

While fencing, he was struck with the wholesome effects which may
be produced on the body by a rational system of movements, and this
suggested the idea which he developed by practice and precept through
his entire life. It was, that "an harmonious organic development of the
body and of its powers and capabilities by exercises ought to constitute
an essential part in the general education of a people." Ling thought
not of merely imitating the gymnastics of the ancients, but he aimed at
their reformation and improvement. Wishing to put gymnastics in harmony
with Nature, he studied anatomy, physiology, and the natural sciences.
Of their value in directing rational exercise he says: "Anatomy, that
sacred genesis, which shows us the masterpiece of the Creator, and which
teaches us how little and how great man is, ought to form the constant
study of the gymnast. But we ought not to consider the organs of the
body as the lifeless forms of a mechanical mass, but as the living,
active instruments of the soul." And even this is not sufficient; "for
the gymnast, the ultimate aim of whose art is the _beau ideal_ of
humanity, must know what effects applied movements produce upon the
corporeal and psychical condition of man; a knowledge which can be
obtained only from the most careful and untiring examination."

It has been asserted, that, in pursuance of this plan, Ling invented a
separate movement or exercise for every muscle in the body. This is not
strictly true, for it is practically impossible. Few muscles act alone,
and such as do are developed symmetrically, and are antagonized by those
of the opposite side. Most movements are performed by groups of muscles.
The cripple, swinging on his crutches, develops the broad sheet of
muscular fibres which enfolds the back and loins, and approaches in
form the simian tribe, the business of whose life is climbing. The
sledge-hammer brings out the _biceps_ of the blacksmith, and striking
out from the shoulder the _triceps_ of the pugilist. The calves of the
ballet-dancer are noted for the abrupt line which marks the transition
from muscle to tendon; and other instances might be cited. As a general
rule, however, numerous muscles act in concert. Trades stamp their
impress on special groups; and the power of co-ordination, which is
supposed to derive its impulse from the cerebellum, varies in different
persons, and marks them as clumsy or dexterous, sure-footed or the
reverse. Ling aimed only at the regulation of associated, or the equal
development of antagonistic groups. For, as the Supreme Medical Board of
Russia say in their report on his system, made to the Emperor in 1850,
"empirical gymnastics develop the muscular strength sometimes to a
wonderful degree, and teach the execution of movements combined with
an extraordinary effort of the muscles; by these means, instead of
fortifying the whole body equally and generally, they often contribute
to the development of the most dangerous diseases, since they do not
teach the evil which the injudicious use of movements may produce." It
was the harmonious and equable increase of all the voluntary and some of
the involuntary muscles which the Swedish system sought to attain.

The authority just quoted, in continuation, says:--"Notwithstanding
bodily exercises under the name of _Turnen_ were generally known and
practised in Germany at the beginning of the present century, and many
of its enlightened professional writers tried to give to them a proper
direction by combining them with anatomy and physiology, Ling must be
considered as the founder of the rational system of movements." We have
all seen deformed gymnasts, with square shoulders and lank loins, or
with some particular group of muscles projecting in ugly prominences
from the violated outlines of nature. All this the followers of Ling
claim that he avoided or overcame. His gymnastics were introduced years
ago, not only into all the military academies of Sweden, but into all
town-schools, colleges, and universities, and even orphan-asylums and
country-schools. Three objects are asserted to be obtained by his
disciples: development of muscular fibre, increased arterialization,
and improved innervation. Increase of function promotes the growth and
capability of organic structures, and causes an augmented afflux of
arterial blood and nervous influence to the part.

The ambitious reformer of the gymnasium did not pause here; but,
pursuing a still bolder course, undertook "to make gymnastics not only a
branch of education for healthy persons, but to demonstrate them to be
a remedy for disease." The new science was called _Kinesipathy_, or the
"motor-cure." The curative movements were first practised in 1813,
while Ling remained at Stockholm. A motor-hospital was established in
connection with the gymnasium; and to accommodate the invalid and the
feeble, new exercises, called "passive movements," were devised. These
were executed by an external agent upon the patient,--that agent being
usually the hand of the physician. The sick man, too weak for violent,
voluntary effort, was stretched and champooed, the muscles of his trunk
and limbs alternately flexed and extended by another person, until he
gradually acquired strength to use active movements. As he gained power,
he increased the voluntary resistance which he made to the operator, and
thus, at the same time, the amount of his own muscular exertion. It is
claimed that volition is thus called forth to neglected parts, and their
innervation and vascularity increased; and that so at length the normal
fulness of life and function is restored. This system confines itself
mostly to chronic diseases. In the paralysis of the young, in defective
volition from hysteria, in impaired local nutrition, in local
deformities dependent on muscular contraction, and in lateral curvature
of the spine, it unquestionably often produces the best results. Its
advocates claim for it much more. On its further benefits we are unable
to decide. Like all things else, it is susceptible of abuse.

Russia and Prussia have adopted, to a limited extent, the Ling system
of corporeal training and the "motor-cure." In London there exists an
institution of this kind, and more recently one has been established
by the Doctors Taylor in New York. In a still less degree the Swedish
gymnastics are used in some educational institutions here.

Ling died in 1839, in his seventy-third year. Even on his death-bed he
spoke till the last hour, and gave instructions in his favorite science.
His life is a remarkable instance of purity, energy, and devotion to a
single end.

Meanwhile, what have modern nations done to atone for the neglect of the
ancient gymnasium? Germany, to some extent, has supplied its place with
the _Turnverein_. _Turnkunst_, or the gymnastic art, is cultivated by
a limited number of youth. As we see the public exhibitions of the
_Turners_ in this country, they are as noted for their libations to
Bacchus, and their sacrifices to the god of tobacco,--a deity still
wanting in the Pantheon,--as for their culture and superiority in
athletic sports. Still they exert a wide, and, for the most part, a good
influence. Other continental nations of Europe furnish a large portion
of their young men with the gymnastic element in the shape of military
discipline and drill. As affording the best examples of martial
training, Prussia and France are to be signalized,--the former for the
universality, the latter for the kind of its instructions.

All young Prussians are liable to a call to actual service in the army
for three years. After this, if they do not continue members of the
regular standing army, they remain until a certain age in that portion
of the active force which is mustered and drilled every year. Past the
age referred to, they fall into the corps of reserve, a sort of National
Guard of veterans, summoned to the field only in emergencies. Young men
who have the means to purchase an immunity can obtain one for only two
years. One year they must serve, parade, drill, march, and mount guard,
though they are not required to live in the barracks. Occasional cases
of hardship or injustice occur. We know of a poor, but promising
pianist whose studies were cut short and his fingers stiffened by the
three-years' service. Leaving out of view exceptional facts, the system
works well. All the youth of the country acquire health, strength, an
upright carriage, and habits of punctuality and cleanliness. The clumsy
rustic is soon licked into shape, and leaves his barrack, to return to
the fields, a soldier and a more self-reliant man. Prussia, too, secures
the services of an army, in time of need, commensurate in numbers with
the adult male population.

The French conscript, if he draws the unlucky number, can buy a
substitute. All are not enrolled as recruits; and all those so enrolled
are not obliged to serve. The only sons of widows, and some other
persons, are always exempt. Once in "the line," however, the young man
is engaged for five or seven years, and receives a training in matters
gymnastic and military which turns out the best soldiers in Europe.

Little would one imagine, as he passes the groups of dainty and
scrupulously neat French officers upon the _boulevards_, looking the
laziest persons in the world, that these seeming carpet-knights are out
upon the _Champ de Mars_ at three o'clock in the morning, and
often drill until nine or ten in the forenoon,--or that the little
_toulourou_, as he is nicknamed, or private of the _ligne_, in his
brick-colored trowsers and clean gaiters, whose voice is the gayest and
whose legs are the nimblest in the barrier-ball, has done a day's work
of parade and gymnastics which equals the toil of an _ouvrier_. Running,
swimming, climbing, and fencing with the bayonet, are often but the
preludes of long marches on duty, or equally long walks to reach the
parade-ground, or to fetch the daily rations of the "mess." Then, too,
during several months of summer, camp-life is led on a grand scale. Vast
encampments, which for size, regularity, and order vie with the old
Roman _castra_, are formed at convenient spots. And here all the details
of actual service are imitated; cavalry and infantry are disciplined in
equally arduous labors; nor does the artillery escape the fatigue of
mock-sieges, sham-fights, and reviews.

The _Chasseurs de Vincennes_, or rifle-corps, are the pride of the army.
Their training is still more severe. They are all athletic men, taught
to march almost upon the run, and to go through evolutions with the
rapidity of bush-fighters. There are few more stirring sights than a
French regiment upon the march. Advancing in loose order, and with a
long, swinging gait, their guns at an angle of forty-five degrees,
lightly carried upon the shoulder, they impart an idea of alertness and
efficiency which no other soldiers present to the same degree.

Gymnasia are somewhat patronized by the civilians. The art of fencing is
a national accomplishment, and few gentlemen complete their education
without the instructions of the _maitre d'escrime_. The _savate_ is a
rude exercise in vogue among rowdies, and consists in kicking with
the peasant's wooden shoe. The French are a tough, but not a large or
powerful race. The same amount of training dispensed among as large a
proportion of the youth of this country would show much greater results.

The British soldier has long been considered by his own nation as a
model of manliness. He owes his long limbs and round chest to his
ancestors and his mode of life before enlisting. While on the
home-service, he does not yet exercise enough to harden him or to ward
off disease. Recent returns show a higher comparative rate of mortality
in the British army from consumption than among other Englishmen. His
close barracks, unvarying diet, and listless life explain it all. His
countrymen and countrywomen, however, who have the time and means,
largely cultivate athletic sports. The English lady is noted for her
long walks in the open air, and for the preservation of her youthful
bloom,--the English gentleman for his red face, broad shoulders, and
happy digestion.

How do we compare with them in vigor and attention to gymnastics and
health-giving exercises? Better than we did ten years ago, but still not
very favorably.

The Western Border-States are noted for the production of a large and
hardy race. New Hampshire and Vermont contribute a good share of the
tall and well-developed men who yearly recruit the population of
our Eastern cities. Let a generation pass, however, and we find the
offspring of such sires with equally capacious frames, but far less
muscular power. The skeleton is laid of a man mighty in strength, but
the filling-in is wanting. Broad-jointed bones swing listlessly in their
sockets, the head projects, and the shoulders bend, under the influence
of a sedentary life. The laboring and mechanical classes bring certain
groups of muscles to perfection in development and dexterity, but
present few instances of an harmonious organization. Commercial and
professional men do not accomplish even a limited muscular development.
For the other sex, Nature seems to have provided a certain immunity from
the necessity of active exercise for the rounding and completion of
their bodies. The lack of fresh air, however, soon tells with them a
fatal story of fading complexions and departing bloom. That ethereal
beauty which peculiarly marks the American woman is also the earliest to
decay. As they are the prettiest, so are they the soonest _passees_ of
any Northern nation. Could they but realize that exercise in the open
air is Nature's great and only cosmetic, the reproach of early old age
would cease. Nothing will give that peach-bloom to the cheek and that
peculiar sweetness to the eye which a long walk through the fields, of a
clear October day, bestows unbought.

One evil breeds another. The brain fed only with thin blood gives rise
to morbid thoughts. Activity, sharpness, and quickness of perception
are but poor compensations for the want of the milder and more generous
attributes of the mind. Dyspepsia spawns a moody literature. Broad,
manly views and hopeful thoughts of life exist less here, we think, than
in England. The cities are supplied year by year with people from the
country; yet the latter, the source of all this supply, does not produce
so healthy mothers as the city; and were it not for the increasing study
of physiology and its vital truths, we fear that we should awaken too
late to a knowledge of our physical degeneration.

Now what means are in use among us to furnish the needed stimulant of
exercise? It is paradoxical to say that the average of people take more
exercise in the city than in the country; yet we believe it to be true.
That exercise is only of one form, to be sure, namely, walking. The
common calls of business, and the mere daily locomotion from point to
point of an extended city, necessitate a large amount of this simplest
exercise. Other sources of health, as sunlight and the vivifying
influence of trees and grass upon the air, exist more in the real
country. Yet as many girls attain a vigorous development in town as out
of it; for in our smaller New England villages indoor cares and labors
confine the females excessively and prevent their using much exercise in
the open air.

Our militia system, including the exercises of volunteer companies,
supplies but to a very limited extent the want of real gymnastics. The
common militia meet too infrequently and drill too little to gain much
sanative benefit. The old-fashioned "training-day" was always a day of
drunkenness and subsequent sickness. The "going into camp" now adopted
is even worse; for here youths taken from the sheltered counting-room
and furnace-heated house are exposed to the inclemencies of the weather
not long enough to harden them, but long enough to lay the foundation of
disease. Volunteer companies parade and are reviewed oftener, and
drill more constantly; but the good effects of the manual exercise are
rendered nugatory by its being conducted in confined armories and a bad
atmosphere.

The frequency of conflagrations and the emulation of rival volunteer
corps render the fire-companies an active school of exercise. But the
benefits of this are neutralized by the violence and irregularity of
their exertions. Quitting the workshop half-clad, and running long
distances, the fireman arrives panting at the fire, to breathe in, with
lungs congested by the unusual effort, the rarefied and smoky atmosphere
of the burning buildings. We should naturally suppose this a fertile
source of pulmonary complaints. Besides, were it the most healthy of
exercises, it is followed only by the mechanic and the laborer, who use
their muscles enough without it.

The "prize-ring" and the professed athlete still exist among us.
Unfortunately, their habits brutalize the mind. A limited knowledge
of sparring, and a full vocabulary of the slang of the pugilist, are
fashionable among many youths. Few young men, however, can cultivate the
one, or frequent the society of the other, without the risk of becoming
rowdies or bullies, if nothing worse.

The revival of the Old-Country games of cricket and base-ball affords
some of the best examples of a growing desire for athletic sports.
They have many things to recommend them, and, as we conceive, no
objectionable features.

The suicidal war waged against trees and birds alike by the early
settlers has left but little inducement to follow in this country the
field-sports so fashionable in England. Riding on horseback, however, is
now more popular than it has been since our carriage-roads were first
laid out. This exercise is peculiarly beneficial to the feeble in body.
Accelerated inspiration of pure air and a gentle succussion of all the
internal organs are blended with that consciousness of power and that
self-dependence which the good horseman always feels in the saddle.
Hardly less do we value the intimate acquaintance into which it brings
us with the noble animal who bears us, establishing a sympathy which no
amount of driving can awaken to its full extent.

Our rivers, lakes, and bays spread around us a vast and inviting field
for the cultivation of summer or winter sports. Boating and sailing are
adapted, from their gentleness of motion, even to the most delicate
organizations. Rowing is equally suited to the young and strong.
Boat-clubs are quite popular in our colleges, and we hope they will ere
long become so in our academies and minor schools. Few exercises bring
more muscles into play than the steady stroke of the oar. Few are more
exhilarating and pleasant to those who have tried them. Give us the
strong pull through an open bay before all boating on placid lakes or
rivers. The long, well-timed stroke becomes a mere mechanical effort,
leaving the mind at liberty to enjoy the sense of freedom, the tonic
salt-breeze, and the enlivening scenes of the sea.

When the boats are beached, and the wharf-logs grow, with successive
layers congealed from every tide, into huge spindles of ice, the same
element offers its glassy surface to the skater. That skating has
actually become fashionable among the gentler sex we regard as the
strongest indication of an awakening national taste for exercise. But
there is need of caution. Most persons skate with too heavy clothes.
The quick movements of the limbs in the changing evolutions of this
pastime--though the practised skater is unconscious of much muscular
effort--quicken the circulation enough to increase palpably the
animal heat and produce a very sensible perspiration. In this exposed
condition, the quiet walk home is taken without additional covering, and
is the origin of many colds.

Returning to "first principles," we find one useful exercise more or
less within reach of all, without preparation or expense. We mean
walking. The flexors and extensors of the legs, the broad muscles of the
back and abdomen, and the slender and intricate bundles of fibres which
support and steady the spine, are all gently exercised in locomotion.
The respiration and circulation are moderately increased, and the blood
aerated with fresh air. And all this can be had by simply stepping out
of doors and setting in motion the muscular machinery, which moves so
automatically that we soon become unconscious of its exertions. This,
like all other exercise, should be taken at seasonable hours. We enter
our protest against long walks before breakfast. To any but the robust
they are positively injurious. The early riser and walker, unless long
habituated and naturally vigorous, returns from his exercise draggled,
faint, and exhausted, to begin the digestive labors of the day, and take
his food with hunger rather than appetite. Abstinence has blunted the
nicer perceptions of taste, and the jaded organs lose the power not
only of discriminating flavors, but of knowing when to cry, "Enough!"
"Brushing away the morning dew," like "love in a cottage," is very
pretty in a book, but needs a solid basis in the stomach or in the
larder.

Running is a very healthy and an equally neglected exercise. Few
vocations call upon us to fully expand the chest once a month. Running
improves the wind, it is said. We give the name of long-winded to those
who have a reserve of breathing capacity which they do not use in
ordinary exertions, but which lies ready to carry them through
extraordinary efforts without distress or exhaustion. Such persons
breathe quietly and deeply. Running forms part of the training of the
prize-fighter. It should be begun and ended at a moderate pace, as
a knowing jockey drives a fast horse; otherwise, panting, and even
dangerous congestion, may arise from the too sudden afflux of blood to
the lungs.

Nothing so pleasantly combines mental occupation with bodily labor as
a pursuit of some one of the natural sciences, particularly zooelogy
or botany. If our means allow a microscope to be added to our natural
resources, the field of exercise and pleasure is boundlessly enlarged.
To the labor of collecting specimens is joined the exhilaration of
discovery; and he who has once opened the outer gate of the sanctuary of
Nature finds in the study of her _arcana_ a pastime which will be a joy
forever.

Our larger towns and cities still support gymnasia of greater or
less size and perfectness. But the modern gymnasium has two great
deficiencies: the lack of open air, and of the emulation arising from
publicity. The first is a very grave objection. Not a tithe of the
benefits of exercise can be obtained within-doors. The sallow mechanic
and the ruddy farmer are the two points of comparison. The one may work
as hard and be as strong as the other, and yet we cannot call him as
healthy. Nothing short of Nature's own sweet air will supply the highest
physical needs of the human frame. As our gymnasia are usually private,
and only moderately frequented, the gymnast is not stimulated to those
exertions which society and competition would arouse. _Ennui_ often mars
his enjoyment. We have seen men methodically pursuing, day after day,
the same exercises, with all the listless drudgery of a hack-horse.
Geniality and generous emulation are among the great benefits of the
true gymnasium.

"But how shall I find time to follow out even one of these exercises?"
objects the victim of American social life. It is true, he cannot. We
live so fast that we have no time to live. Nevertheless, gymnastics
have one advantage adapted to our hurried habits. They afford the most
exercise in the shortest time. In no other way, so easily accessible,
can as much powerful motion be used in so brief a space.

The tired clerk or merchant comes home late, with feverish brain and
weary legs. His chest and arms have had no exercise proportional to the
rest of his system. What shall he do to restore the balance? If he can,
let him erect in some upper room, away from furnace-heat, instead of a
billiard-table, a private shrine to Apollo or Mercury. He will need but
little apparatus. A set of weights and pulleys, a pair of parallel bars,
two suspended rings, and a leaping-pole are all the necessary permanent
fixtures. Other articles, as the dumb-bells, the Indian club,
boxing-gloves, foils, or single-sticks, take up no room, and can be
added as his growing taste for their use demands. We would single out
the parallel bars and the weights as the most generally useful. The
former develop particularly the chest, stretch the pectoral muscles, and
lengthen the collar-bones. The latter increase the volume and power
of the extensors of the shoulder, arm, and forearm, and are to be
sedulously practised, because we have fewer common and daily movements
of these muscles than of their antagonists, the flexors, and they are
consequently weaker in most persons. The windows should be widely
opened, and the room warmed by the sun alone.

Though, after the first few trials, the whole body will ache, and the
astonished muscles tremble with soreness, a week's perseverance will
overcome these earlier drawbacks. The gymnast will be surprised at the
new feeling of vigor in the back and shoulders, and to find the upright,
military posture as natural as it was before difficult to maintain.
Temper and digestion undergo a parallel improvement, and it will require
much to make him forego the luxury of exercise which he at first thought
so painful.

Many persons become discouraged by beginning too violently. Alarmed at
the fatigue and suffering at first induced, they shrink from further
efforts. Gymnastics are, to be sure, an injudicious mode of exercise
for some. Children get a good many sprains, and sometimes permanent
deformity, from their use. The growing period requires care to avoid
injuring the articulations; yet it is the most favorable time to spread
the shoulders and deepen the chest. The young grow most in height and
can best gain an harmonious development by frequenting the GYMNASIUM.

       *       *       *       *       *


WHY DID THE GOVERNESS FAINT?


We were all sitting together in the evening, and my sister Fanny had
been reading aloud from the newspaper. For my father's benefit, she had
read all the political articles, and all about business, till he had
said he had heard enough, and there was nothing in the papers, and then
had left the room. So Fanny looked over the marriages and deaths, and
read about the weather in New York and Chicago, and some other things
that she thought would interest us while we were sewing. Suddenly I
looked up, towards where Miss Agnes was sitting, far away at the other
end of the room. She was leaning back in her chair, and, all in a
moment, I thought she looked white, as though she had fainted. I did not
say a word, but got up and went quietly towards her. I found she had
fainted quite away, and her lips were pale, and her eyes shut. I opened
the window by her; for the night was cool, and all the windows were
closed. There came in a little breeze of fresh air, and then I ran to
fetch a glass of water. When I returned, I found Miss Agnes reviving a
little. The air and the water served to refresh her, and very gradually
she came back to herself. As she opened her eyes, she looked at me
wonderingly, then round the room,--then a shudder came over her, as if
with a sudden painful memory.

"I'm better,--thank you for the water," she said; and then she rose up
and went to the window, and leaned against the casement. I had a glimpse
of her face; so sad a face I had never seen before.

For Miss Agnes was not often sad, though she was quiet in her ways and
manners. She could be gay, when it was the time to be gay. She was our
governess,--that is, she taught Mary and Sophy and me. Fanny was too old
to be taught by her, and had an Italian master and a French teacher;
but she practised duets for the piano with Miss Agnes, and read with
her,--and she made visits with her, for Miss Agnes was a favorite
everywhere. She had a kind word for everybody, and listened kindly
to all that was said to her. She talked to everybody at the sewing
societies, had something to say to every one, and when she came home she
had always something to tell that was entertaining. I often wished I
could be one-quarter as amusing, but I never could succeed in making my
little experiences at all agreeable in the way Miss Agnes did. I have
tried it often since, but I always fail. Only the other day, I quite
prided myself that I had found out all about Mrs. Endicott's going to
Europe, and came home delighted with my piece of news. She was going
with her husband; two of the children she was to leave behind, and take
the baby with her; they were to be gone six months; and I even knew
the vessel they were going in, and the day they were to sail. My
intelligence was very quickly told;--Miss Agnes and many others would
have made a great deal more of it. I had no sooner come to the end than
Fanny said, "Who is going to take care of the children she leaves at
home?" I had never thought to ask! I was disappointed;--my news was
quite imperfect; I might as well not have tried to bring any news. But
it was never so with Miss Agnes. I believe it was because she was really
interested in what concerned others, that they always told her willingly
about themselves; and though she never was inquisitive about others'
affairs, yet she knew very well all that was going on.

So she was a most valuable member of our home-circle, and was welcome
also among our friends. And we thought her beautiful, too. She was very
tall and slender, and her light-brown eyes were of the color of her
light-brown hair. We liked to see her come into the room,--her smile and
face made sunshine there; and she was more to us than a governess,--she
was our dear friend.

But now she looked round at me, pale and sad. She suddenly saw that I
looked astonished at her, and she said, "I am not well, Jeanie, but we
will not say anything about it. I am going to my room; to-morrow I shall
be better." She held her hand to her head, and I thought there must be
some heavy pain there, she still looked so sad and pale. She bade us all
good night and went away.

I did not tell the others what had happened,--partly because, as I have
said, I was not in the way of telling things, and partly because they
were all talking and had not observed what had been going on. But I
found the paper Fanny had been reading, and wondered if there were
anything in what she had read that could have moved Miss Agnes so much.
I had not been paying much attention to the reading, but I knew upon
which side of the paper to look. Fanny told me it was time for me to go
to bed, however, and I left my search before I could find anything that
seemed to concern Miss Agnes. I stopped at her door, and bade her good
night again; and she came out to me, and kissed me, and said,--I was a
good child, and I must not trouble myself about her.

The next day she seemed quiet, yet the same as ever. Though I said
nothing to anybody else about her fainting, I could not help telling my
friend Jessie of it;--for I always told Jessie everything. Fanny called
us the two Jays, we chattered so when we were together. I knew she would
not tell anybody, so I could not help sharing my wonder with her,--what
could have made Miss Agnes faint so suddenly? She thought it must have
been something in the newspaper,--perhaps the death of some friend, or
the marriage of some other. I was willing to look again, and this time
remembered three things that Fanny had just been reading when I had
looked up at Miss Agnes. One was about Mr. Paul Shattuck;--in descending
from a haycart, he had fallen upon a pitchfork, and had seriously
wounded his thigh. Another was the marriage of Mr. Abraham Black to
Miss Susan Whitcomb, and Fanny had wondered if she were related to the
Whitcombs of Hadley. Then she had read a singular advertisement for a
lost ring, a seal ring, with some Arabic letters engraved upon it. I
was of opinion that Miss Agnes was somehow connected with this
signet-ring,--that it had some influence over her fate. Jessie thought
that Miss Agnes must have been formerly engaged to Mr. Abraham Black,
and that when she heard of his marriage----but I interrupted her in
this suggestion. In the first place, she could never have been engaged
to a Mr. Abraham Black; and then, nobody who could marry Miss Agnes
would think of taking up with a Susan Whitcomb. So Jessie fell back upon
Paul Shattuck, and, to tell the truth, we had some warm discussions on
the subject.

Time passed on, and it was June. One lovely afternoon, we had quite a
frolic with the hay, the grass having been cut on the lawn in front of
the house. Miss Agnes had been with us. We had made nests in the hay,
and had buried each other in deep mounds of it, and had all played till
we were quite tired. I went into the house in search of Miss Agnes,
after she had gone in, and found her sitting at one of the side windows.
I came near, then wished to draw back again, for I saw there were tears
in her eyes. But when I found she had seen me, I tried to speak as if I
had seen nothing.

"How high the cat has to step, to walk over the grass!" I said, as I
looked out of the window.

Miss Agnes put her arms about me. "You wonder, because you see me
crying," she said, and looked into my face.

"I never before saw anybody cry that was grown up," said I.

Miss Agnes smiled and said, "They tell children it is naughty to cry;
but sometimes you can't help crying, can you?" And her tears came
dropping down.

"Oh, Miss Agnes," I said, "I wish I could help your crying! It is too
bad!--it is too bad!"

"Yes, it is very bad," she said, as she held me in her arms, "it is very
bad; but you do help me. You shall be my little friend."

That was all. She did not tell me anything;--yet I felt as if she had
said a great deal, and I did not speak of this to Jessie.

A few days after, as I was passing the door of the parlor, I fancied I
heard a little cry, and it sounded to me as if I had heard the voice
of Miss Agnes. I hurried in. A stranger had just entered the room. But
before me stood Miss Agnes, pale, erect, her lips quivering. She held
fast a chair, which she had drawn up in front of her, as one would
place a shield between one's self and some wild animal. How slender and
defenceless she looked! I followed the terrified glance of her eyes.
There, in the middle of the room, stood a stranger,--not so terrible to
look upon, for he was young, and it seemed to me I had never seen so
handsome a man. His black hair and eyes quite pictured the hero of my
romance. He was strongly built, and directly showed his strength by
seizing a large marble table that stood near the centre of the room, and
wheeling it between himself and Miss Agnes.

"If you are afraid of me," he said, "I will build up a barrier between
us. Poor lamb, you would like to be free from the clutches of the wolf!"

"I am afraid of you," said Miss Agnes, slowly,--and the color came into
her cheeks. "You know your power over me. I begged you, if you loved me,
not to come to me."

"And all for that foolish ring! And the spirits of mischief betrayed its
loss to you; it was none of my work that published it in the papers. Can
you let a fancy, an old story in a ring, disturb your faith in me?"

"If the faith is disturbed," answered Miss Agnes, "what use in asking
what has disturbed it? Ernest, as you stand there, you cannot say you
love me as you once professed to love me!"

"I can say that you are my guiding star,--that, if you fail me, I fall
away into ruin."

"Can my little light keep you from ruin?" said Miss Agnes, shuddering.
"Do not talk to me so! Alas, you know how weak I am!"

"I know that you are an angel, and that I am too low a wretch to dare
to speak to you. I came here to tell you I was worthy of your deepest
hatred. But, Agnes, when you speak to me of my power over you, it tempts
me to wield it a little longer, before I fall below your contempt."

He walked up and down the room, and presently saw me standing there.

"A listener!" he exclaimed; "you are afraid to be alone with me!"

I was about to leave the room, but he called me back.

"Stay, child!" he said; "if I can speak in _her_ presence, it makes
little difference that any one else should hear me. Agnes, little Agnes,
you would not like to be quite alone;--let the child stay. Yet you know
already that I am faithless to you. You know what I am going to tell
you. I love you, passionately, as I have always loved you. But there are
other passions hold me tighter. Money, and position,--I need them,--I
cannot live without them. The first I have lost already, and the claims
I have to reputation will follow soon. I am mad. I am flinging away
happiness for the sake of its mask. Next week I marry riches,--a
fortune. With the golden lady, I go to Europe. I forsake home,--my
better self. I leave you, Agnes;--and you may thank God that I do leave
you; I am not worthy of you."

She lifted herself from the chair on which she was leaning, and walked
towards him. She laid her hand upon his shoulder, and, white and pale,
looked in his face.

"Do not go, Ernest!" she said. "You are mine. A promise cannot be
broken;--you are promised to me.--Stay,--do not go away!"

"My beautiful Agnes!" he said, "do you come to lay your pure self down
in the scale against my follies and all my passions? You stand before
me too fair, too lovely for me. It is only in your presence that I can
appear noble enough for you. Even here, by your side, I see the life I
must lead with you, the struggle that you must share. In that life you
would only see me fail. I am weak; I can never be strong. Let me go
down the current. Your heart will not break;--I am not worth such a
sacrifice."

"You are desperate," said she. "You say these cold, bitter words, and
you must know that each word cuts me. Oh, Ernest, you are false, indeed,
if you come to taunt me with your faithlessness!"

"I needed to see you once more," he said, imperiously,--"I needed it.
But you were right, Agnes,--the ring was a true talisman. It seemed to
me that its letters had changed color. I carried it to an old Eastern
scholar. He declared that the letters could never have formed the word
'Faith,'--that the word was some black word that meant death. I left it
with him, that he might study it. When I saw him again, he declared he
had lost it, and had advertised it. You see you can trust your talisman
sooner than you can trust me."

At this moment the outer door opened, and presently Fanny came in,
with one of her friends. Miss Agnes looked bewildered, but her visitor
recovered his composure directly.

"Miss Fanny, I believe;--I have met you before. I have just been bidding
good-bye to Miss Agnes, before leaving for Europe. Can I be of service
to you?"

Before we had time to think, he had said something to each one of us,
and had left the house. Fanny turned to speak to Miss Agnes, but she had
fallen to the ground before we could reach her.

She was ill, very ill, for a long time. She had the brain fever,--so the
doctor said. They let me stay with her,--she liked to have me with her.
I was glad to sit in the darkened room all the long day. I never was a
"handy" child, but I learned to be useful to her. I waited on all her
wants. I held her hand when she reached it out as if to meet some kindly
touch.

In the quiet of her room, I had not heard the great piece of news,--of
the terrible railroad accident: that Mr. Carr, the Ernest who had been
to see Miss Agnes, was among those who were suddenly killed,--the very
day he left our house! I had not heard it; so I was not able to warn
Fanny, when she came into the sick room of Miss Agnes, the first day she
was able to talk,--I could not warn Fanny that she must not speak of it.
But she did. How could she be so thoughtless? Miss Agnes, it is true,
looked almost well, as she was lying on her couch, a soft color in her
cheeks. But then Fanny need not have told her anything so painful. Miss
Agnes looked quite wild, and turned to me as if to know whether it were
true. I could not say anything to her, but knelt by her,--and she seemed
almost calm, as she asked to know all that was known, all the terrible
particulars that Fanny knew so well.

She was worse after that. We thought she would die, one night. But she
did not die. Either she was too weak or too strong to die of a broken
heart. Perhaps she was not strong enough to love so earnestly such a one
as Mr. Carr, or else she had such strength as could bear the trial that
was given her to bear. She lived, but life seemed very feeble in her for
a long time.

One day she began to talk with me.

"You would like to know, Jeanie, the story of that ring," she said.

I told her I was afraid to have her talk about it, but she went on:--

"It is an old heirloom, and all our family history is full of stories of
this ring. There are so many tales connected with it, that every one of
us has looked upon it with a sort of superstition, and cherished it as
a talisman connected with our lives. It was always a test of constancy,
and the stories of those occasions when it has detected falsehood have
always been remembered. I suppose there are many when it has been
quietly worn, undisturbed, that have been forgotten. It has told many a
sad tale in my own family. It came back, broken, to my brother Arthur,
and he died of a broken heart. My sister Eveline gave it to her young
cousin, to whom she engaged herself. But afterwards, when she went to
live with a gay and heartless aunt of mine, she broke her promise to him
for the sake of a richer match. The day that she was married, our cousin
far away saw the black letters turn red upon the signet-ring."

"Oh, Miss Agnes!" I exclaimed.

"And why should not letters change?" she asked, abruptly; and I saw her
eyes look out dreamily, as if at something I did not see. "The letter
clothes the spirit; and the spirit gives life to the form. A face grows
lovely or unlovely with the spirit that lies behind it. I cannot say if
there be a spirit in such things. Yet what we have worn we give a value
to. It has an expression in our eyes. Do we give it all that expression,
or has it some life of its own?"

She interrupted herself, and went on:--

"I had known that Ernest was not true to me. I had known it by the words
he wrote to me. They did not have the ring of pure silver; there was a
clang to them. When Fanny read aloud the loss of that ring, it spoke to
a suspicion that was lying in the depth of my heart, and roused it into
life. My little Jeanie, I was very sad then.

"You do not know how deeply I loved Ernest Carr. You do not know how I
might have loved your brother George,--yes, the noble, upright George.
He loved me, and treated me most tenderly; he found this home for me.
I did not banish him from it,--he would have stayed all these years in
Calcutta, if it had not been for me,--so he said. You cannot understand
how it was that Ernest Carr, whom I had known before, should have
impressed me more. You do not know, yet, that we cannot command our
love,--that it does not always follow where our admiration leads. I
loved Ernest for his very faults. The fascinations that made the world,
its prizes, its money, its fame, so attractive to him, won me as I saw
them in him. It is terrible to think of my last meeting with him; but
his fate seems to me not so awful as the fate towards which he was
hurrying,--the life which could never have satisfied him."

She left off speaking, and dreamed on, her eyes and thoughts far away.
And I, too, dreamed. I fancied my brother George coming home, and that
he would meet with that ring somehow. I knew it must come back to her.
And it did; and he came with it.




TWO YEARS AFTER.


  Oh, I forgot that, long ago!
    It was very fine at the time, no doubt,--
  Remembering is so hard, you know;--
    Well, you will one day find it out.
  I love the life of the happy flowers,
    But I hate the brown and crumbling leaves;
  You cannot with spices embalm the hours,
    Nor gather the sunshine into sheaves.

  We are older now, and wiser, too.
    Only two summers ago, you say,
  Two autumns, two winters, two springs, since you----
    Will you hold for a moment my bouquet?
  Yes,--take that sprig of mignonette;
    It will wither with you as it would with me:
  Freshness and sweetness a half-hour yet,
    Then a toss of the hand, and one is free.

  Why will you talk of such silly things?--
    What a pretty bride! Do you like her hair?
  See Madam there, with her twenty rings.
    Ogling the youth with the foreign air!--
  The moon was bright and the winds were low,
    The lilies bent listening to what we said?
  I did not make your lilies grow;
    Will they bloom for me now they are dead?

  You hate the rooms and the heartless hum,
    The thick perfumes and the studied smile?
  'Tis the air I love to breathe,--yet come,
    I will watch the stars with you awhile;
  But you won't talk nonsense, you promise me?
    Tear from the book the page we read;
  We are friends,--dear friends. You must come and see
    My new home, and soon.--What was it you said?

  Heartsick, and weary, and sad, and strange,--
    Ashes and dust where swept the fire?
  I am sorry for you, but I cannot change.--
    Did you see that star fall from the Lyre?
  A moment's gleam, and a deeper night
    Closing around its wandering way:
  But then there are other orbs as bright;
    Let your incense burn to them, I pray.

  Oh, conjure your mighty manhood up!
    Let it blaze its best in your flashing eyes!
  Can it stare my womanhood down, or hope
    To scorch my pride till it droops and dies?--
  There, do not be angry;--take my hand;
    Forgive me;--I meant not anything:
  I am foolish, and cannot understand
    Why you throw life out for one dumb string.

  Sweeter its music than all the rest?
    It may be so, though I cannot tell;
  But take the good when you lose the best,
    And school yourself till it seems as well.
  Love may pass by, but here is fame,
    And wealth, and power;--when these are gone,
  God is left,--and the altar-flame
    May, brightening ever, burn on and on.

  And yet to my heart at times there come
    Tidings of lands I shall never see,
  Sweet odors, and wooing winds, and hum
    Of bees in the fields that are far from me,--
  Far fields, and skies that are always fair;
    And I dream the old dreams of heaven, and you.--
  But here comes the youth of the foreign air.
    I will dance and forget,--and you must, too.




A BUNDLE OF OLD LETTERS.


To struggle painfully for years, spending all of life's energies for
others, and then to be forgotten by those for whom all was hazarded and
consumed, is a lot demanding the most unselfish aims. Yet this befell
many a suffering patriot in our Revolutionary struggle. The names of
those who were the leaders in battle and in council, men whose
position in the field or whose words in Congress gave them a country's
immortality, have remained bright in our memory. But others there were
who cheerfully surrendered eminence in their private walks and happiness
in social life to endure the hardships of a protracted contest till life
was spent, and who, from the very nature of the services they rendered,
have remained in obscurity. They would not themselves repine at this;
for they gave their strength, not for their country's applause, but
their country's good. They sought, not our remembrance, but our freedom.

In many an old garret, or treasured up in some old man's safest nook,
are worn-out, faded letters, telling of struggles and hopes in that long
contest, that would make their writers' names bright on the nation's
record, were not the number of those who rendered that our golden age
so countless. Pious is the task of tracing the services of some revered
ancestor, who gave whatever he had to give, when his country called, but
whose name is not now remembered. Those days are fast becoming to our
younger race almost mythical, so that every living word from the actors
in them is of use in vivifying scenes that else would seem dim fable.

From a somewhat bulky bundle of yellow, tattered letters, long cherished
with fond and filial care, a few are selected to interest the readers of
the "Atlantic," who, it is supposed, will first be glad to know a little
about their writer.

Dr. Isaac Foster was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on the 28th of
August, 1740. His father, in early life a sea-captain, making frequent
voyages between Boston and Europe, was for many years a prominent
citizen of Charlestown, participating largely in the measures that
preceded and led to the Revolution. At the age of eighteen, Dr. Foster
graduated at Harvard, in the class of 1758. He then studied medicine
under Dr. Lloyd of Boston, and afterwards completed his studies in
England. He married, as his first wife, Martha, daughter of Thaddeus
Mason of Cambridge, and at her death, some years later, Mary, daughter
of Richard Russell of Charlestown. In his profession he achieved a
considerable reputation, acquired a large practice, and numbered among
his pupils Doctors Bartlett, Welch, and Eustis.

But while he was working his way to position and influence, more
exciting themes began to attract his attention. With the earliest signs
of coming conflict he took a determined stand on the Colonial side. In
the town-meetings of the day he seems to have been prominent, and his
name appears on most of the important committees appointed by the town
in reference to public affairs. Thus, when, as early as November, 1772,
the Committee of Correspondence in Boston called upon the other towns
"to stand firm as one man," his name is found upon a committee appointed
to answer this letter and prepare instructions to the representative of
the town in the General Court.[A]

[Footnote A: FROTHINGHAM'S _History of Charlestown_, p. 286.]

He was also one of a committee appointed to consult with the committees
of other towns concerning the expected importation of a quantity of
tea. This was November 24th. On the 22d of December of the same year, a
petition numerously signed was presented to the selectmen, asking that a
meeting might be called to take some effectual measures to prevent the
consumption of tea. Among the signatures is Dr. Foster's.[B]

[Footnote B: FROTHINGHAM'S _History of Charlestown_, p. 293.]

He was elected a delegate to the Convention in the County of Middlesex,
in August, 1774, and a member of the first Provincial Congress of
Massachusetts, in October of the same year. Early in 1775, he was
appointed a surgeon, and was, for some months, at the head of the
military medical department, while General Ward commanded at Cambridge.
The day after the battle of Concord, at the urgent request of General
Ward and Dr. Warren, he gave up his private practice, then very large,
to attend the wounded. On the 18th of June, he was appointed by the
Committee of Safety to attend the men wounded on the previous day at
the battle of Bunker's Hill. He was soon after appointed Surgeon of
the State Hospital, and by General Washington, on the discovery of the
treachery of Dr. Church, in October, Director-General, _pro tem._, of
the American Hospital Department. Congress soon nominated to this post
Dr. John Morgan of Philadelphia, Dr. Foster remaining as the oldest
surgeon in the hospital.

It seemed necessary, before selecting some of Dr. Foster's letters, to
give this account of his earlier life, to show that he was no soldier of
fortune or eleventh-hour laborer, but that his sympathies were enlisted
and his aid given among the earliest of the friends of a then doubtful
cause,--and that he ventured influence, wealth, and professional fame,
and abandoned home and ease, at what seemed to him the call of his
country.

The first extracts shall be from a letter to his wife, dated

"_New York, Sunday, P.M.,

"June 2, 1776_.

"MY DEAR POLLY,

"I received your kind letter of the 27th last, and thank you for your
ready acceptance of my invitation to come to me. Indeed, my dear, you
could not have given a stronger proof of your affection for me. Heaven
only knows what dangers and difficulties you may be exposed to in this
undertaking; but it shall be my constant endeavor to keep you out of the
way of danger, and procure the best accommodation for you this country
affords. If mother will add to her former kindness by taking the charge
of our children, it will greatly ease my mind; and as our enemies have,
by their wanton barbarity, from being inhabitants of Charlestown, made
us citizens of the United Colonies at large, I believe you will be as
safe and happy with or near me as anywhere....

"The night before last, the city was much alarmed. A signal had been
made from one of the islands of the arrival of a ship to join the small
fleet at the Hook. Some one raised this to a large number of transports
with the expected German forces; some of the Tories here had the
impudence to affirm they had seen eleven sail. When I came from the
hospital to my lodging, in the evening, I found the neighborhood in
confusion, the women talking of and preparing for flight. I thought it
my duty to wait on General Putnam, who at present commands here; in my
way, I met Major Webb, who acquainted me with the truth of the matter.
Upon this occasion, I could not help thinking I should go to my post
with much more alacrity, if I might have the pleasure of seeing you
again first....

"Your affectionate husband,

"ISAAC FOSTER."

       *       *       *       *       *

The next is a short extract from a letter to his father, bearing date
June 6th, 1776. Speaking of his wife, he says:--

"I wish she may have a pleasant journey, and arrive here in season to
see the city before our enemies attack us. We are in daily expectation
of them, and tolerably prepared to receive them. I am under no
apprehension of their being able to get footing here; but if they behave
with spirit, the city must suffer in the contest."

The next is also to his father.

"_New York, July 7th, 1776_.

"HONORED SIR,

"It is with the greatest pleasure I embrace this opportunity of
congratulating you on the most important event that has happened
since the commencement of hostilities. On Tuesday, the 2nd inst., the
Honorable the Continental Congress declared the Thirteen United Colonies
free and independent States. This Declaration is to be published at
Philadelphia to-morrow, with all the pomp and solemnity proper on such
an occasion; and before the week is out, we hope to have the pleasure of
proclaiming it to the British fleet, now riding at anchor in full
view between this city and Staten Island, by a _feu de joie_ from our
musketry, and a general discharge of the cannon on our works. This step,
whatever some lukewarm would-be-thought friends or concealed enemies
may think, the cruel oppression, the wanton, insatiable revenge of the
British Administration, the venality of its Parliament and Electors, and
the unaccountable inattention of the people of Great Britain in general
to their true interest and the importance of the contest with their
late Colonies, had rendered absolutely necessary for our own
preservation,--and has given great spirits to the army, as, by shutting
the door against any reconciliation in the least degree connected with
dependence on Great Britain, they know for what they are fighting, and
are freed from the apprehension of being duped by Commissioners, after
having risked their lives in the service of their country, and to secure
the enjoyment of liberty to their posterity."

       *       *       *       *       *

The next letters of public import are addressed to his father, and
relate mainly to the expected attack upon New York.

"_New York, July 22nd, 1776_.

"HONORED SIR,

"I received your kind favor of the 15th inst. I am glad to hear our
friends are all well. I congratulate you on the spirited behavior and
glorious success of our army under General Lee. It is generally thought
to have been a decisive action, at least for this summer, as the two
fifty-gun ships are never like to get to sea again. I hope by the next
post you will hear some of our exploits, if the enemy have courage
enough to attack us. It is my week at the hospital; and if anything
happens, I hope to give you the particulars. Polly has got much better;
she joins me in duty to mother and love to the children. There has been
another flag from the fleet; the Adjutant-General of the British troops
has been on shore to wait on his Excellency. He endeavored, but in vain,
to persuade him to accept the letter which had been twice refused. In
conversation he related its contents, much the same as those to the late
Governor. He was answered, (as I am told from good authority,) that it
could not be expected people who were sensible of having committed
no offence should ask pardon,--that, as the American States owed no
allegiance, so they were not accountable, to any earthly prince. He
tarried about half an hour, and seemed pleased with the politeness of
his reception."


"_July 23d, P.M._

"I write to congratulate you on advice received this day from Virginia,
an agreeable supplement to the paper I sent yesterday. On the 9th
instant, Lord Dunmore with his slavish mercenaries and stolen negroes
were driven from their post on Gwin Island in Virginia, and the
piratical fleet from their station near it, with the loss of one ship,
two tenders or armed vessels burnt by themselves, three armed vessels
taken by our people, and Lord Dunmore wounded; on our side not a man
lost. I would be more particular, but, as I had only time to read the
Philadelphia paper of yesterday which contains the account, and Mr. Mayo
is just setting out, it is not in my power."


"_New York, Aug. 12, 1776_

"Polly is still here with me, and we are both very well, but
disappointed in not hearing oftener from our friends at Boston. For news
in general I must refer to the inclosed paper. I was in company the
evening they came to this city with the two gentlemen who came from
England in the packet. They say the British force on Staten Island
is from twelve to fifteen thousand, of which about one thousand are
Hessians; that Lord and General Howe speak very respectfully of our
worthy commander-in-chief, at their tables and in conversation giving
him the title of General; that many of the officers affect to hold our
army in contempt, calling it no more than a mob; that they envy us our
markets, and depend much on having their winter-quarters in this city,
out of which they are confident of driving us, and pretend only to dread
our destroying of it; that the officers' baggage was embarked, a number
of flat-bottom boats prepared, and every disposition made for an attack,
which we may hourly expect. On our side, we have not been wanting; our
army has for several nights lain on their arms, occasioned by several
ships of war and upwards of thirty transports going out at the Narrows
and anchoring at that part of Long Island best calculated for their
making a descent, and where they received, by means of flat-bottom
boats, a large detachment from the army on Staten Island. But this fleet
went to sea yesterday, where bound we know not; some think, to go round
the east end of Long Island, come down the Sound, and land on our backs,
in order to cut off any retreat, and oblige us to surrender ourselves
and the city into their hands: but if they are so infatuated as to
venture themselves into a broken, woody country, between us and the
New England governments, I trust they will have cause to repent their
rashness. Generals Heath, Spencer, Greene, and Sullivan are promoted by
the Honorable Congress to the rank of Major-Generals; and the
Colonels Reed, Nixon, Parsons, Clinton, Sinclair, and McDougall to be
Brigadier-Generals. We have removed all our superfluous clothing, and
whatever is not necessary for present use, to Rye, whither General
Putnam's lady has retired. Miss Putnam is yet in town, and the chaise is
in readiness for her and Polly to remove at a minute's warning."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following copy of an "Order from Head-Quarters" was found among the
papers, directed apparently to his father; and as Washington's Orderly
Books have never been published, with the exception of a few orders
chiefly relating to court-martials, it has been thought that it would
be interesting. Though dated on successive days, it seems to have been
issued as one order. A note by Dr. Foster, at the close, says,--"This
copy was made in a hurry by one of the mates. Some sentences are
omitted. Imperfect as it is, I thought it would be agreeable. The
principal omission is the order for having three days' provisions
ready-dressed, and that all who do not appear at their posts upon the
signal are to be deemed cowards, and prosecuted as such."


_Head-Quarters, August_ 14, 1776.

"The enemy's whole reinforcement is now arrived, so that an attack must
and soon will be made. The General, therefore, again repeats his
earnest request, that every officer and soldier will have his arms and
ammunition in good order, keep within their quarters and encampment as
much as possible, to be ready for action at a moment's call,--and when
called upon, to remember that liberty, property, and honor are all at
stake, that upon their courage and conduct rest the hopes of their
bleeding and insulted country, that their wives, children, and parents
expect safety from them only, and that we have every reason to expect
that Heaven will crown us with success in so just a cause.

"The enemy will endeavor to intimidate us by show and appearance; but
remember how they have been repulsed on these occasions by a few brave
Americans. Their cause is bad, their men are conscious of it, and,
if opposed with firmness and coolness at their first onset, with our
advantages of works and knowledge of the ground, the victory is most
assuredly ours. Every good soldier will be silent and attentive,
wait for orders, and reserve his fire till he is sure of its doing
execution;--the officers to be particularly careful of this. The
colonels and commanding officers of regiments are to see their
supernumerary officers so posted as to keep their men to their duty; and
it may not be amiss for the troops to know, that, if any infamous rascal
shall attempt to skulk, hide himself, or retreat from the enemy without
the orders of his commanding officers, he will instantly be shot down
as an example of cowardice. On the other hand, the General solemnly
promises that he will reward those who shall distinguish themselves by
brave and noble actions; and he desires every officer to be attentive to
this particular, that such men may be afterwards suitably noticed."


"_Head-Quarters, August 15, 1776_.

"The General also flatters himself that every man's mind and arms are
now prepared for the glorious contest upon which so much depends.

"The time is too precious, nor does the General think it necessary, to
spend it in exhorting his brave countrymen and fellow-soldiers to behave
like men fighting for everything that can be dear to free-men. We must
resolve to conquer or die. With this resolution, victory and success
certainly will attend us. There will then be a glorious issue to this
campaign, and the General will reward his brave soldiers with every
indulgence in his power."


"_New York, August 16, 1776_.

"HONORED SIR,

"It is now past ten o'clock, and Mr. Adams, who favors me by carrying
this, sets out by five o'clock to-morrow morning, so that I have only
time to acknowledge the favors received by Dr. Welch. If I survive the
grand attack hourly expected, or if it is delayed until then, I will
write again by next post. Polly has her things packed up; the chaise can
be ready at a minute's warning; if the wind favors our enemies, it is
probable she will breakfast out of the way of danger. To-morrow is
watched for by our army in general with eager expectation of confirming
the independence of the American States. All the Ministerial force from
every part of America except Canada, with the mercenaries from Europe,
being collected for this attempt, God only knows the event. To His
protection I commend myself, earnestly praying that in this glorious
contest I may not disgrace the place of my nativity, nor, after it is
over, be ashamed to see my wife, my children, and my parents again. To
the care of Providence, and, under that, to you, honored Sir, with our
other friends, I commend all that is near and dear to me, and am, with
duty to mother, love to the children, &c., &c.,

"YOUR DUTIFUL SON."

"P.S. Our troops are in good spirits, and, relying on the justice of
their cause and favor of Heaven, assured of victory."

       *       *       *       *       *

The next four months were, of course, spent amid the hardships of camps
and removals. The frequent letters sent to his father and other friends
are all of interest to those who claim descent from him, but the general
reader can be concerned in but a few of more public import, and, in most
cases, only in extracts from these.

"_Bethlehem, State of Penn.,

"Dec. 24, 1776_.

"HONORED SIR,

"I returned from General Washington's head-quarters last evening, and
had the pleasure of finding Polly well and as agreeably situated as I
could expect. Were I to attempt writing all I wish to communicate, a
week's time and a quire of paper would hardly suffice. I fancy I shall
be no gainer by lending my furniture to the General Court;--General
Washington would have paid me for the use of it before I left Cambridge,
but, for the credit of Massachusetts, I declined it."


_"Fishkill, State of N. York,

"Jan_. 20, 1777.

"HONORED SIR,

"After spending the winter hitherto in Pennsylvania and the Jerseys,
with frequent removals, some loss, much expense and fatigue, we are once
more on the east side of Hudson's River. We arrived at this place last
Friday, in good health, after a journey of more than one hundred miles,
in severe weather, through the upper part of New Jersey, a new-settled,
uncultivated country. The sight of a boarded house or glass window was a
great rarity; a cordial welcome to any connected with the American army
still greater. Although they are fully sensible of the value of money,
and we offered cash for all we wanted, yet I believe we were not a
little obliged to their fears for what civility we met with, except only
from one family. But I must defer a particular account until I have the
happiness to see you.

"I have nothing of news to write but what you must hear sooner
in another way. General Heath and the militia are besieging Fort
Independence; if they can carry that, they will attempt New York. It is
not improbable I shall join him in a few days."

       *       *       *       *       *

The office of Deputy Director-General of Hospitals was established by
ordinance, April 7th, 1777; and four days later, Dr. Foster was chosen
by Congress to this office, having charge of the Eastern Department. His
subsequent residence was mainly at Danbury, Connecticut.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of Tryon's expedition against Danbury we have the following account,
differing in some respects from the common version:--

"_Danbury, May_ 1, 1777.

"You have doubtless heard of the enemy's expedition to this place, and
been anxious for us. This is the first moment of leisure I have had,
and, if not interrupted, I will endeavor to give you a particular
account.

"On Saturday morning, about three o'clock, an express from Fairfield
brought advice, that a large body, three or four thousand British
troops, had landed from upwards of twenty transports, under cover of
some ships of war near that place, and that it was probable their design
was against the provision and other stores collected in this town;
another express soon after sunrise informed us of their being on the
march. The militia were mustered, and a few Continental troops that
were here on their way to Peekskill prepared to receive them; but their
number was so inconsiderable, and that of the enemy so large, with a
formidable train of artillery, I had no hope of the place being saved.

"I had, upon the first alarm, ordered all the stores in my charge to
be packed up, ready for removal at a minute's warning. Upon the second
express, I persuaded Polly, with what money was in my hands, to quit the
town: she was unwilling, but I insisted on it. We were so much put to it
for teams to remove the medicines and bedding, that I determined rather
to lose my own baggage than put it on any cart intended for that
purpose; and had not a gentleman's team, already loaded with his own
goods, taken it up, I must have lost it. As the enemy entered the room
at one end, after our troops had retreated to the heights, I went out at
the other, not without some apprehension (as I was to cross the route of
their flank-guard) of being intercepted by the light horse.

"After having seen the medicines, all of them that were worth moving,
safe at New Milford, I returned to town the next morning, and went with
our forces in pursuit of the enemy. About noon the action began in their
rear, and continued with some intermission until night; the running
fight was renewed next morning, and lasted until the enemy got under
cover of their ships. We have lost some brave officers and men. Their
loss is unknown, as they buried some of their dead, and carried off
others; but, from the dead bodies they were forced to leave on the
field, it must have greatly exceeded ours. General Wooster was wounded
early in the action; he is in the same house with me, and I fear will
not live till morning.

"Our loss in provisions, &c., is between two and three thousand barrels
of pork, a quantity of flour, some wheat, and some bedding."

       *       *       *       *       *

In this bundle are many letters from Mrs. Foster. They are interesting
for their true-hearted patriotism and domestic love; but there is
room for only a brief extract from a letter referring to this same
expedition.

"_Danbury, May 13, 1777_.

"DEAR MADAM,

"I received yours and father's by Messrs. Russell and Gorham. Doctor had
not the pleasure of seeing either of the gentlemen, as he was gone to
Fishkill to oversee the inoculation of the troops, which was a very
great disappointment.

"I expected last Monday to have been with you by this time, as I was
driven from here by the enemy (tho' very unexpected, as this place was
thought to be very secure). I removed to New Milford, from whence I
intended to have set out for Boston. On Sunday, the Doctor took his
leave, and left me to take care of the wounded. Monday morning,
everything was got ready for me to set out at twelve o'clock, when I
received a note from the Doctor, desiring I would tarry a little longer.
I have now returned to my old lodgings at Danbury, where the Doctor
thinks of building a hospital. He joins me in duty and love.

"Your affectionate daughter,

"MARY FOSTER."

       *       *       *       *       *

Much of Dr. Foster's time was necessarily spent in journeyings to the
several divisions of the army and various military stations. On such
journeys his letters to his wife were very frequent. We extract a part
of one.

"_Palmer, Thursday even'g,

"July 31, 1777_.

"DEAR POLLY,

"I arrived here, which is eighty-three miles from Boston, about sunset
this evening, in good health. The enemy's fleet has sailed from New
York, and was seen standing to eastward. Some suppose them bound for
Boston; but I cannot think so, as General Washington, who, I presume,
has the best intelligence, is moving towards Philadelphia. Before you
receive this, it will be made certain with you. Should they attack
Boston, I would have you get as many of our effects as possible removed
out of their way, and inform me by the post where you remove to. Should
such an event take place, it will become my duty, after visiting
Danbury, to return to the scene of action. To your own prudence and the
care of Heaven I leave all, and am, with love to the children, ever
yours."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the lapse of years, many letters have, without doubt, been lost.
Thus, but two remain bearing date of 1778. Neither of these contains
matter of public import. In May, he speaks of intending a journey to
Yorktown, and says, "if anything extraordinary happens between the two
armies," he shall be on the spot. In a letter addressed to his father,
dated November 27, 1778, he says,--

       *       *       *       *       *

"Public business calls me to Philadelphia; but the state of your health,
and my own, which is much impaired, determine me to visit Boston first.
I expect a visit from the Marquis La Fayette next week, on his way to
Boston, and shall set out with him."

       *       *       *       *       *

May 11th, 1779, he writes,--

"To-morrow all the gentlemen of the department at this post [Danbury]
dine with me, and the next morning I begin my journey to Head-Quarters.
I mean to take Newark in my way.

"General Silliman was taken prisoner last week, and carried to Long
Island."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the two following letters to his wife he speaks of this visit.

"_Philadelphia, June_ 5, 1779.

"My business is almost completed, and to my mind. I now wait for nothing
but the money which the Medical Committee recommended I should be
furnished with; I expect to receive it the beginning of next week, when
I shall set out immediately. Mr. Samuel Adams travels with me; indeed,
the time seems tedious until get away. Give my duty to our parents,
love to the children, &c., and believe me to be, with the sincerest
affection, my dearest Polly,

"Ever yours."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Philadelphia, June_ 9, 1779.

"MY DEAR POLLY,

"Another post has arrived, and no letter from Boston. It is now a month,
and near five weeks, since I have heard from you. If I thought you had
neglected writing, it would make me very unhappy; but, from your usual
goodness, I cannot think that is the case, but am confident your letters
must have miscarried. I have wanted nothing but hearing from you to make
my time here perfectly agreeable. I have been received with the greatest
politeness and friendship, and every attention paid to me, by men I
most esteem, I could wish for; at the same time my business has gone
perfectly to my mind. I have leave to reside in Boston for the future,
and shall be under no necessity of attending the camp, nor be obliged
to visit Philadelphia oftener than once a year. I am to have a mode of
settling my accounts pointed out to me, that will be easy, simple, and
much to my mind. I now wait for nothing but money to begin my journey.
The Treasury Board this morning passed a resolve recommending it to
Congress to furnish me with $150,000. I expect to receive the warrant
to-morrow, and as soon as I get the money shall set out, which I expect
will be about next Monday, until which time I am engaged for almost
every day. I dine this day with Mr. Adams; tomorrow with Dr. Shippen, in
company with the New England delegation; Thursday and Friday I expect
to spend with Dr. Craigie in visiting Red Bank, Mud Island, and other
principal scenes of action while the enemy were here. We have an account
that the enemy are in motion up the North River; but of them you will
hear sooner than I can inform you. General Lincoln has actually defeated
the enemy in Carolina, and is like to take them all prisoners. The
express is on the road, and expected in town to-morrow, when there will
be great rejoicing."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following letter describes one of Dr. Foster's frequent journeys on
business of his department.

"_Windsor, October_ 7, 1779.

"MY DEAR POLLY,

"As I am waiting for Mr. De Lamater to come up, I will endeavor to give
you an account of our journey. The evening we left Boston Dr. Warren
rode with us as far as Jamaica Plains; after he left us we proceeded
to Dedham, where we arrived about dark, and were exceedingly well
entertained: we had a brace of partridges for supper. Colonel Trumbull
spent the evening with us. The next morning we proceeded nine miles to
Heading's to breakfast, and from thence seven miles to Mann's, where
we fed our horses, and dined at Daggett's, nine miles further; that
afternoon we arrived at Providence, and put up at our old friend
Olney's. The next day we dined with Adams and Townshend at their
quarters; the General honored us with his company; the same evening
supped with the General. Sunday, dined with the General, in company with
some of the principal ladies of the place; here I also saw your old
acquaintance, General Stark; he drank tea at my quarters one afternoon,
and inquired after you. Having finished my business much to my mind, I
continued my journey on Monday morning; the General, Colonel Armstrong,
and Dr. Brown were so polite as to ride out four miles with us. After
they left us, we proceeded to Angell's, twelve miles from Providence,
where we dined,--not on the fat of the land. After dinner we rode to
Dorrence's, an Irishman, but beyond all comparison the best house on the
road; here we were exceedingly well entertained, and, as it looked like
a storm, intended staying there, but, it growing lighter towards noon,
we set out, but had not rode far before the rain came on; however, as
we had begun, we determined to go through with it, and rode a very
uncomfortable ten miles to Canterbury, where we dined, poorly enough, at
one Backus's. Not liking our quarters, we proceeded, notwithstanding the
rain, to Windham, eight miles further, where we were well entertained at
one Cary's. As the storm looked likely to continue, and I was so near
Windsor, I was determined, if I must lie by for it, to lie by in a place
where I could do some business. I accordingly proceeded fifteen miles in
the forenoon to Andover, where I dined at one White's, and fifteen miles
in the afternoon to Bissell's at East Windsor, where I lodged. I was
thoroughly soaked, but do not find that I have got any cold. Indeed, I
find my health considerably better than when I left Boston. This morning
it has cleared off very pleasant, and I crossed from East Windsor to
this place. I have just returned from visiting Mr. Hooker's and Dr.
Johonnot's stores. I find everything in such excellent order as to do
credit to the department. Mr. De Lamater is not yet come up; as soon as
he arrives we shall visit Springfield. I shall not close this letter
until I meet the post; if anything worth notice occurs, I shall mention
it. Adieu, my love.

"_October_ 8.--Mr. De Lamater arrived last night. Altho' it is very
raw and uncomfortable, I shall proceed immediately after dinner to
Springfield. We have certain advice that the Count D'Estaing has been
at Georgia, and taken all the British ships there; it is reported, and
believed by many, that he is arrived off Long Island. You see, my dear
Polly, I have set you the example of a very long letter. I hope, as you
have leisure enough, you will follow it, as nothing can give me greater
pleasure."

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Fishkill, October_ 21, 1779.

"MY DEAR POLLY,

"I returned from Head-Quarters this forenoon. We went down yesterday
morning, and dined with General Heath, who was so good as to lend us
his barge to carry us to Head-Quarters. His Excellency received us as I
could wish. He invited us to dine with him this day. Upon my excusing
myself, as being in haste to finish my journey, he accepted the excuse,
and invited us to breakfast with him, which we did. We returned last
night to Robinson's house, and slept with our friend Eustis. General
Heath favored us again with his barge to carry us to Head-Quarters,
and after breakfast his Excellency ordered his own to convey us to
our horses, which we had ordered four or five miles up the river. One
principal reason of my declining the General's invitation to dinner was
my impatience to return to Fishkill, that I might receive a letter from
you. Judge, then, what was my disappointment to find the post arrived
and no letter. I shall cross the North River to-morrow morning to
proceed on my journey to Philadelphia. If the nature of the service will
allow it, General Heath and his suit propose returning with me to spend
the winter in Boston. Eustis desires you would look out some suitable
object of his attentions, while in Boston. He pretends it is only with a
view to keep him alert and properly attentive to the ladies in general;
but I suspect he designs to become the domestic man."

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Morristown, Oct. 26th, 1779_.

"MY DEAR POLLY,

"I wrote you from Fishkill the day before I left it, and shall put this
into the office here for the post to take as he comes along. On Friday,
towards evening, we left Fishkill. It was dark and squally when we got
to the landing, and we had nine horses in the boat, which made us a
little uneasy, as a few days before a boat had been overset and some
people drowned; however, we got safe over, and lay that night at Colonel
Hawsbrook's, where you spent two or three days on your return from
Bethlehem. The next morning we breakfasted with Dr. Craik at Murderer's
Creek, and then proceeded through the Clove, a most disagreeable place,
and horrid road. In the evening we got to Ringwood. Upon our arrival
there, we were informed there was no public house in the place, and it
was after dark. Colonel Biddle had favored me with an order on all his
magazines to supply me with forage; he has one in this place. I waited
on his deputy and presented the order; he went out of the room, and in a
few minutes returned with a Mr. Erskine, who is surveyor-general of the
roads; he gave me a polite invitation to spend the night at his house,
where we were entertained in the most genteel, hospitable, and friendly
manner. A shower of rain yesterday morning prevented our proceeding,
but, as it cleared up about noon, we came on thirty-four miles to this
place. I expect to reach Philadelphia the day after tomorrow. I have
been from home almost a month, and have received but one letter, but
hope to find several waiting for me at Philadelphia, as I cannot think
you would miss a post. The enemy last Thursday left their posts at Stony
Point and Verplanck's Point, and retired to New York."

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Bristol, October 27, 1779_.

"MY DEAR POLLY,

"I wrote you from Morristown, which it is probable you will receive by
this post. Lest that should miscarry, this will inform you that I am at
length arrived within twenty miles of Philadelphia, where I expect
to dine this day. A few days will determine how long I am like to be
detained there;--I think it upon every account best to finish all my
business. The gentlemen have bound themselves to each other by an
engagement upon honor, if nothing is done for our department by New
Year's day, all to resign, and have informed Congress of it: I have
joined in the engagement. If I find I am like to be detained here any
time, it is not improbable I may put my accounts in the hands of the
Commissioners, and, if I can get fresh horses, proceed with Mr. Lee on a
visit to Mrs. Washington at Mount Pleasant in Virginia. Mr. Lee desires
his compliments. Adieu, my love. I am, with the sincerest affection,

"Ever yours."

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Danbury, December 8, 1779_.

"MY DEAR POLLY,

"I am once more returned to dear Danbury, on my way to Boston. I arrived
here about an hour since, and never had a more fatiguing, disagreeable
journey in my life than from Philadelphia here. I expected to have been
in Boston by this time; but two severe storms, and one day waiting for
his Excellency at Morristown, have made me twelve days performing a
journey which according to my usual way of travelling I should have
performed in four. I have, however, no reason to repent my undertaking
this journey.

"If sickness or very bad weather does not prevent, I shall certainly be
home by Christmas, and wish to have all our friends together;--I promise
myself a great deal of happiness, and hope I shall not be disappointed.
Adieu, my love."

       *       *       *       *       *

September 30th, 1780, the Hospital Department was newly organized, and
the office of Deputy Director-General was abolished, and of course the
incumbents of that office were no longer in the hospital service.

Dr. Foster's health was irreparably injured by the fatigues and
exposures he had undergone, and he lingered but a few months longer,
dying on the 27th of February, 1781, in his forty-second year.

One sentence in his will deserves record, as in harmony with the
disinterestedness of his life. After desiring that all debts due him
should be collected as soon as possible after his decease, he adds this
clause: "But I would not have any industrious and really poor persons
distressed for this purpose."

The writer of these letters needs no additional eulogy. He sacrificed
all the prospects of his life to give his services in our struggle for
freedom. He, too, was but one of that innumerable multitude who, in
more exalted or in humbler stations, freely gave their exertions, their
wealth, their comfort, and their lives for freedom and right. It is
possible so to linger by the grave of the past as to forget the living
present; but the grateful memory of those who have in their times
contended for truth with self-denial should be ever animating to those
now laboring in the holy warfare, to which, in every age, whether the
outward signs be of peace or strife, God calls the noble of mankind.

  "Therefore bring violets! Yet, if we,
      self-balked,
    Stand still a-strewing violets all the while,
  These had as well not moved, ourselves not
      talked
    Of these."

       *       *       *       *       *


IN THE PINES.


If I were a crow, or, at least, had the faculty of flying with that
swift directness which is proverbially attributed to the corvine tribe,
and were to wing a southwesterly course from the truck of the flag-staff
which rises from the Battery at New York, I should find myself, within a
very short time, about fifty miles from the turbulent city, and hovering
over a region of country as little like the civilized emporium just
quitted as it is well possible to conceive. Not being a crow, however,
nor fitted up with an apparatus for flying,--destitute even of a
balloon,--I am compelled to adopt the means of locomotion which the
bounty of God or the ingenuity of man affords me, and to spend a
somewhat longer time in transit to my destination.

Over the New Jersey Railroad, then, I rattled, one fine, sunshiny autumn
morning, in the year that has recently taken leave of us, as far as
Bordentown, a distance of some fifty-seven miles, on my way to a
locality the very existence of which is scarcely dreamed of by thousands
in the metropolis, who can tell you how many square miles of malaria
there are in the Roman Campagna, and who have got the topography of
Caffre Land at their fingers' ends. It is a region aboriginal in
savagery, grand in the aspects of untrammelled Nature; where forests
extend in uninterrupted lines over scores of miles; where we may wander
a good day's journey without meeting half-a-dozen human faces; where
stately deer will bound across our path, and bears dispute our passage
through the cedar-brakes; where, in a word, we may enjoy the undiluted
essence, the perfect wildness, of woodland life. Deep and far "under the
shade of melancholy boughs" we shall be taken, if together we visit the
ancient Pines of New Jersey.

In order to do so, we must make at Bordentown the acquaintance of Mr.
Cox, and take our seats in his stage for a jolt, twelve miles long, to
the village of New Egypt, on the frontier of the Pines. Although the
forest is accessible from many points, and may be entered by a number of
distinct approaches, I, the writer hereof, selected that _via_ New Egypt
as the most convenient to a comer from New York, and as, perhaps, the
least fatiguing to accomplish.

But, oh! the horrors of those New Jersey roads! Mud? 'Tis as if all the
rains of heaven had been concentrated upon all the marls and clays of
earth, and all the sticky stratum plastered down in a wiggling line
of unascertainable length and breadth! Holes? As if a legion of
sharpshooters had been detailed for the defence of Sandy Hook, and had
excavated for themselves innumerable rifle-pits or caverns for the
discomfiture of unhappy passengers! Up hill and down dale,--with
merciless ruts and savage ridges,--now, a slough, to all appearance
destitute of bottom, and, next, a treacherous stretch of sand, into
which the wheels sink deeper and deeper at every revolution, as if the
vehicle were France, and the road disorder,--such is a faint adumbration
of the state of affairs in the benighted interior of our petulant little
whiskey-drinking sister State!

But all earthly things come to an end, and so, accordingly, did our
three-hours' drive. The stage pompously rolled into the huddled street
of its terminus, and deposited me, in the neighborhood of noon, on the
stoop of the only tavern supported in the deadly-lively place. No long
sojourn, however, was in store for me. Presently--ere I had grown tired
of watching the couple of clodhoppers, well-bespattered as to boots and
undergarments with Jersey mud, who, leaning against a fence in true
agricultural laziness, deliberately eyed, or rather, gloated over the
inoffensive traveller, as though he were that "daily stranger,"
for whom, as is well known, every Jerseyman offers up matutinal
supplications--a buggy appeared in the distance, and I was shortly asked
for. It was the vehicle in which I was to seek my destination in the
Pines; and my back was speedily turned upon the queer little
village with the curiously chosen name. My driver, an intelligent,
sharp-featured old man, soon informs me that he was born and has lived
for fifty years in the forest. A curious, old-world mortal,--our
father's "serving-man," to the very life! The Pines are to him what
Banks and City Halls and Cooper Institutes and Astor Houses are to a
poor _cittadini_; every tree is individualized; and I doubt not he could
find his way by night from one end to the other of the forest.

We had driven no great distance, when my companion lifted his whip, and,
pointing to a long, dark, indistinct line which crossed the road in the
distance, blocking the prospect ahead and on either side, as far as the
eye could reach, exclaimed: "Them's the Pines!" As we approached the
forest, a change, theatrical in its suddenness, took place in the
scenery through which our course was taken. The rich and smiling
pasture-lands, interspersed with fields of luxuriant corn, were left
behind, the red clay of the road was exchanged for a gritty sand, and
the road itself dwindled to a mere pathway through a clearing. The
locality looked like a plagiarism from the Ohio backwoods. On both sides
of our path spread the graceful undergrowth, waving in an ocean of
green, and hiding the stumps with which the plain was covered, while far
away, to right and left, the prospect was bounded by forest walls, and
gloomy bulwarks and parapets of pines arose in front, as if designed, in
their perfect denseness, to exclude the world from some bosky Garden
of Paradise beyond. Not so, however; for our pathway squeezes itself
between two melancholy sentinel-pines, tracing its white scroll into the
forest farther than the eye can follow, and in a few moments we leave
the clearing behind, and pass into the shadow of the endless avenue,
and bow beneath the trailing branches of the silent, stern, immovable
warders at the gate. We were fairly in the Pines; and a drive of
somewhat more than three miles lay before us still.

The immense forest region I had thus entered covers an extensive portion
of Burlington County, and nearly the whole of Ocean, beside parts
of Monmouth, Camden, Atlantic, Gloucester, and other counties. The
prevailing soils of this great area--some sixty miles in length by ten
in breadth, and reaching from the river Delaware to the very shore of
the Atlantic--are marls and sands of different qualities, of which the
most common is a fine, white, angular sand, of the kind so much in
request for building-purposes and the manufacture of glass. In such an
arid soil the _coniferae_ alone could flourish, and accordingly we find
that the wide-spreading region is overgrown almost entirely with white
and yellow pine, hemlock, and cedar. Hence its distinctive appellation.

It was a most lovely afternoon, warm and serene as only an American
autumn afternoon knows how to be; and while we hurried past the mute,
monotonous, yet ever-shifting array of pines and cedars, the very rays
of the sun seemed to be perfumed with the aroma of the fragrant twigs,
about which humming-birds now and then whirred and fluttered as we
startled them, scarcely more brilliant in color than the gorgeous maples
which grew in one or two dry and open spots. For three-quarters of an
hour our drive continued, until at length a slight undulation broke the
level of the sand, and a fence, inclosing a patch of Indian corn, from
which the forest had been driven back, betokened for the first time the
proximity of some habitation. In fact, having reached the summit of the
slope, I found myself in the centre of an irregular range of dwellings,
scattered here and there in picturesque disregard of order, and
next moment my hand was grasped by my friend B. I had reached my
destination,--Hanover Iron-Works,--and was soon walking up, past the
white gateway, to the Big House.

Somewhat less than eighty years ago, Mr. Benjamin Jones, a merchant of
Philadelphia, invested a portion of his fortune in the purchase of one
hundred thousand acres of land in the then unbroken forest of the Pines.
The site of the present hamlet of Hanover struck him as admirably
adapted for the establishment of a smelting-furnace, and he accordingly
projected a settlement on this spot. The Rancocus River forms here a
broad embayment, the damming of which was easily accomplished, and one
of the best of water-privileges was thus obtained. On the north of this
bay or pond, moreover, there rises a sloping bluff, which was covered,
at the period of its purchase, with ancient trees, but upon which a
large and commodious mansion was soon erected. Here Mr. Jones planted
himself, and quickly drew around him a settlement which rose in number
to some four hundred souls; and here he commenced the manufacture of
iron. At frequent intervals in the Pines were found surface-deposits
of ore, the precipitate from waters holding iron in solution, which
frequently covered an area of many acres, and reached a depth of
from two or three inches to as many feet. The ore thus existing in
surface-deposits was smelted in the iron-works, and the metal thence
obtained was at once molten and moulded in the adjoining foundry. Here,
in the midst of these spreading forests, many a ponderous casting,
many a fiery rush of tons of molten metal, has been seen. Here,
five-and-forty years ago, the celebrated Decatur superintended, during
many weeks, the casting of twenty-four pounders, to be used in the
famous contest with the Algerine pirates whom he humbled; and the echoes
of the forest were awakened with strange thunders then. As the great
guns were raised from the pits in which they had been cast, and were
declared ready for proof, Decatur ordered each one to be loaded with
repeated charges of powder and ball, and pointed into the woods. Then,
for miles between the grazed and quivering boles, crashed the missiles
of destruction, startling bear and deer and squirrel and raccoon, and
leaving traces of their passage which are even still occasionally
discovered. The cannon-balls themselves are now and then found imbedded
in the sand of the forest. In this manner the guns were tried which were
to thunder the challenge of America against the dens of Mediterranean
pirates.

Hanover, too, in its day of pride, furnished many a city with its iron
tubes for water and for gas, many a factory and workshop with its
castings, many a farmer with his tools, but the glow of the furnace is
quenched forever now. The slowly gathering ferruginous deposits have
been exhausted, and three years have elapsed since the furnace-fires
were lighted. The blackened shell of the building stands in cold
decrepitude, a melancholy vestige of usefulness outlived. In consequence
of the stoppage of the works, Hanover has lost seven-eighths of its
population, and only about fifty inhabitants remain in the white
cottages grouped about the Big House, who are employed in agricultural
labors and occupations connected with the forest. Yet in this solitary
nook the elegances and the tastes of the most cultivated society are to
be found. The Big House, surrounded by its well-trimmed gardens sloping
down to the broad Rancocus, with its comfortable apartments, and the
diversified prospect which it commands, offers a resting-place which,
although deep in the genuine forest, combines urban refinement with the
quiet and seclusion of country-life.

Bright and early on the morning after my arrival, Friend B. was at my
door; and after a savory, if hasty breakfast, we sounded _boute-selle_.
Outside the gate a couple of forest-ponies were waiting,--stout, lively,
five-year-olds, equal, if not to a two-forty heat, yet to twenty miles
of steady trot without distress,--brown and sleek as you please, with
the knowingest eyes, and intelligence expressed in the impatient stamp
of the fore-foot, and good-humor in the twitching of the ear. Into the
saddle and off, with the cheery breeze to bathe us in exhilaration,
as it went humming around us laden with aromatic odors and mysterious
whisperings of the pine-trees to the sea,--through the dew-diamonded
grass of the little lawn at the top of the hill,--past the great elm
with its glistening foliage, and its carolling crew of just-awakened
birds,--then a canter down the sandy slope to the edge of the forest,
and again the pines are around us.

Before us lay a four-mile ride over a devious track among trees which my
companion knows by heart. Paths diverge into the forest on either side,
running north and south, east and west, straight and crooked, narrow
and broad; but B. follows unerringly the right, though undistinguished
trail. This knowledge of woodcraft,--how it appalls and wonder-strikes
the unlearned metropolitan, accustomed as he is to numbered houses and
name-boarded streets! No omnibus-driver threading the confusion of a
great thoroughfare could shape his course with greater assurance and
lack of hesitation than does B. through these endless avenues of
heavy-foliaged pines, broken only now and then by some tangled,
impenetrable brake of cedars, or by a charred and blackened clearing,
where the coaler has been at work. I gradually grew to believe that he
could call every tree by its name, as generals have been said to know
every soldier in their armies.

At length we reached a clearing of one or two acres in extent, the site
of Cranberry Lodge, and the terminus of our ride. In the centre of the
lone expanse two unusually tall pines were left standing, at the base of
which a curious structure nestled, which had been for several weeks the
occasional hermitage of my companion. It was built entirely with his own
hands, of cedar rails and white-pine planks, which he had cut and sawed
from trees that his own hands had felled. A queer little cabin, some
nine feet in length by five or six in breadth, standing all alone in the
forest, with not a neighbor within a distance of at least four miles!

Dismounting, we fastened our horses to a couple of saplings, and I was
introduced to the interior of Cranberry Lodge, which was tenanted only
by the "hired man," who, in the absence of Mr. B., reigned supreme in
the clearing. The dwelling I found no less primitive in internal than
in its external appearance. Three persons, moderately doubled up and
squeezed, could find room in the interior, which was furnished with a
bench for the safe-keeping of sundry pots, pans, and other culinary
necessaries, and with a shelf on which some blankets were laid,
constituting my companion's bedstead and bed, when he slept in Cranberry
Lodge. Beneath the "bunk" a small hole scooped in the sand stood in
lieu of a cellar, and contained a stock of provisions of Mr. B.'s own
cooking.

Such a backwoodish dwelling as Cranberry Lodge, existing in the year
1858, within seventy miles of New York, requires some explanation.
Its foundation is--pies! Cape Cod, the great emporium of the
cranberry-trade, has been running short for the last few years; in other
words, its supply is unequal to the demand. The heavy Britishers
have awakened to the fact, since 1851, that, of all condiments and
delicacies, cranberry-sauce and cranberry-pie are best in their way;
and John Bull takes many a barrel clean out of our market now. It so
happened that in the Pines of New Jersey cranberries superior to those
of Cape Cod have grown unheeded for centuries,--grew red and purple
and white and pink when Columbus was unthought of, as well as when
Washington passed through the Pines,--and for sixty or seventy years
have furnished a certain class of gypsies--of whom more anon--with
merchandise which sold well in the neighboring villages and cities.
No one thought of cultivating cranberries; no one, but the gypsies
aforesaid, of gathering them for sale. But it came to pass that a
certain farmer of Hanover was, like many another, unsuccessful during
several years. As a last resource, he purchased of the owner of the Big
House a cranberry-bog,--that is to say, one of the many marshy spots
which are interspersed in the forest,--for which he paid five dollars
the acre. There were a little more than one hundred acres in the bog. At
a cost of some six hundred dollars Mr. F. fenced in his bog, and spent
three months in watching the cranberries as they ripened, to protect
them from depredation. To his intense astonishment, he found, in
October, that the yield was between two and three hundred bushels to the
acre, and that his land and fencing were paid for, with a balance left
over for next year. In consequence of this success, a little mania
for cranberry-farming seized upon the denizens of the Pines, and bogs
acquired a value they had never borne before. This was in 1857. Early in
1858, one of these plots of land, with an adjoining piece of forest, was
rented by Mr. B., who, like a right-down Yankee, determined to cultivate
it himself. So, with the aid of one hired man, a clearing was made in
his forest-patch, a hut built, four miles from the nearest habitation,
and the trees cut down were converted into rails, wherewith to fence in
the cranberry-land. At the time of my visit, the crop was just beginning
to think of getting ripe, and the great lazy vines, each one creeping
for several feet along the ground, were severally loaded with dozens of
delicately-tinted berries, plump and fair as British beauties, which
silently drew to themselves and absorbed the rays of the sun, turning
them to color and succulent subacidulousness. A most glorious sight that
same hundred-acre bog must have been a couple of weeks later, when the
berries had ripened, and a carpet of rosy redness blushed upwards to
the waning sun! Yet 1858 (the even year) was a bad season for
cranberries,--the yield was _only_ sufficient to pay for the land and
fencing, with a modicum over to begin 1859 with!

So cranberries grew to be institutions in the Pines, and all the bogs
for miles around the site of the first experiment were hired by sanguine
farmers. But the cranberry-cultivator has one enemy, which is neither
bird, nor worm, nor blight, but biped,--a Rat, two-legged, erect, or
moderately so, talking, even, in audible and intelligible speech,--the
Pine Rat, namely. Few but New Jerseymen, and of them chiefly those who
dwell about the forest, have heard of this human species; it has not
yet had its Agassiz nor its Wyman,--yet there it flourishes and repeats
itself!

My friend, Mr. B., considerately undertook to initiate me into some
of the mysteries of this race, which has proved minatory, though not
destructive, to his blushing crop,--and accordingly led me through brake
and brier, past wild and gloomy cedar-swamps, over brooks insecurely
bridged with fallen logs, or, perchance, with stepping-blocks of
pine-stumps, far into the silent forest, and to a little dell or
dingle,--a natural clearing,--where a couple of tents were pitched, and
the smoke of a struggling fire told infallibly of human neighborhood.
The barking of a splenetic little terrier brought from one of the tents
a man of some fifty years, lank and gaunt of visage, with matted hair,
and wild, uncivilized eyes, dressed in a ragged jacket and what had once
been a pair of trousers. His face wore no expression of intelligence;
but a look of intense, though animal cunning lurked in his eyes. While I
was gazing on this individual, who stood in silence by his tent, there
emerged from the other an ancient female, who might have been eighty
years of age, but who hobbled towards us with much briskness.

"Good evening, Hannah Butler," said Mr. B.; "I've brought you some
tomatoes from the Big House. This is my friend, Mr. Smith of York."

Mr. Smith of York (grimly repressing a smile, as his mischievous memory
whispered something about Brooks of Sheffield) bowed gravely to Mrs.
Butler. Mr. B. whispers,--"That's the Queen of the Pine Rats!" Hannah
meanwhile mumbles over one of the fleshy tomatoes.

The man whom we had first seen held in his hand a tattered shawl, with
which he now began patching a portion of his tent, saying at the same
time that there was a storm a-brewing.

"Ay, is there!" said Mrs. Butler; "and a storm like the one when I seed
Leeds's devil"--

"Hush!" interrupted her ragged companion, with a look of terror. "What's
the good o' namin' him, and allus talkin' about him, when yer don't
never know as he ar'n't byside ye?"

"I'll devil yer!" shrieked the crone, through a half-eaten tomato.
"Finish mendin' up yer cover, yer mean cranberry-thief!"

The spiteful terrier, which had meanwhile evinced an unpleasant interest
in the thickness of my pantaloons, added his yelping to the clamor, and
Mr. B., pointing to the clouds, thought we had better hasten homewards.
So we bade farewell to Hannah and her nephew, as I learned that the
unfortunate vessel of her wrath in reality was, and dived into the
gloomy recesses of the Pines again.

Long ere we got back to Cranberry Lodge, all doubts of an impending
tempest had disappeared. The eastern sky, cloudless an hour before,
was now overhung with a livid bank of ash-gray clouds, which were
incessantly riven by broad and terrible flashes of silent lightning. A
slight westerly breeze was blowing, and evidently impeded the progress
of the storm, which was beating up from seaward against the wind.
Plunging through prickly thickets and dashing through the turbid brooks,
we hastened toward the clearing, committed Cranberry Lodge to the
custody of the "hired man," and untied our horses from the saplings to
which they were made fast. In another moment we were on the back trail.
Scarcely, however, was the clearing shut out of view when a little
hesitating puff of wind from the east blew chill upon us; the breeze had
veered, and the tempest was at hand. In the twinkling of an eye, the
western horizon was overhung with the same ghastly storm-bank that
threatened in the east, while a monitory gust rustled through the
sighing pines, wildly twisting and tossing the undergrowth,--overspread
with a quivering pallor as it bent before the breeze,--and bade us be
prepared. Next moment, a clap of thunder, rattling like the artillery of
ten thousand sieges, or like millions of bars of iron dashed furiously
together, broke upon the forest. It was the most awful sound, terrible
even in its expected suddenness, that I ever heard. Simultaneously a
flash of purple lightning fell from the zenith to the horizon, splitting
the clouds asunder, and with it there descended rain in a cataract
rather than in torrents, so that in the twinkling of an eye the thirsty
sand was saturated, and bubbling pools of water pattered in the deluged
path. Crash after crash, each clap more terrific than the one preceding,
came the awful thunder; blinding flashes of lightning darted around
us;--but still our phlegmatic ponies galloped on, and only once started
violently, when a peal which really seemed as if its shock must burst
the heavens asunder dazed us momentarily with its almost unendurable
sound. The gloomy canopy above us, meanwhile, was overrun by incessant
streams of purple lightning, and the deluge of rain still fell. At
length we reached the Big House, (somewhat ostentatiously reducing the
speed of our horses to a walk as we came within sight of its embowered
windows,) and were soon dripping in the kitchen. A change of apparel,
calling into requisition Mexican _ponchos_ and other picturesque
garments, with a smoke beside a roaring fire, completely obviated
all dangerous consequences; nor was it without feelings of great
satisfaction that B. and myself watched tranquilly from our comfortable
ensconcement the beatings of the storm on the encircling forest.

The Big House, I found, was full of legends of the Pine Rats. This
extraordinary race of beings are lineal descendants of the New Jersey
Tories, who, during the Revolution, made the Pines their refuge, whence
they sallied in perpetual forays against the farms and dwellings of the
partisans of the opposite cause. Several hundreds of these fanatical
desperadoes made the forest their home, and laid waste the surrounding
townships by their sudden raids. Most barbarous cruelties were practised
on both sides, in the contests which continually took place between
Whigs and Tories, and the unnatural seven-years' war possessed nowhere
darker features than in the neighborhood of the New Jersey Pines.
Remains of these forest-freebooters are still discovered from time to
time, in the process of clearing the woods, and unmistakable relics are
occasionally met with in the denser portions of the forest, which must
have been comparatively open eighty years ago.

The degraded descendants of these Tories constitute the principal
difficulty with which a proprietor in this region has to contend.
Completely besotted and brutish in their ignorance, they are incapable
of obtaining an honest living, and have supported themselves, from a
time which may be called immemorial, by practising petty larceny on
an organized plan. The Pine Rat steals wood, steals game, steals
cranberries, steals anything, in fact, that his hand can be laid upon;
and woe to the property of the man who dares attempt to restrain him! A
few weeks may, perhaps, elapse, after the tattered savage has received a
warning or a reprimand, and then a column of smoke will be seen stealing
up from some quarter in the forest;--he has set the woods on fire!
Conflagrations of this kind will sometimes sweep away many hundreds of
acres of the most valuable timber; while accidental fires are also of
frequent occurrence. When indications of a fire are noticed, every
available hand--men, women, and children alike--is hurried to the spot
for the purpose of "fighting" it. Getting to leeward of the flames, the
"fighters" kindle a counter-conflagration, which is drawn or sucked
against the wind to the part already burning, and in this manner a
vacant space is secured, which proves a barrier to the flames. Dexterity
in fighting fires is a prime requisite in a forest overseer or workman.

"And now, something about Leeds's devil!" I said to my friend, after
satisfactory definition of the Pine Rat; "what fiend may he be, if you
please?"

"I will answer,--I will tell you," replies Mr. B. "There lived, in the
year 1735, in the township of Burlington, a woman. Her name was Leeds,
and she was shrewdly suspected of a little amateur witchcraft. Be that
as it may, it is well established, that, one stormy, gusty night, when
the wind was howling in turret and tree, Mother Leeds gave birth to a
son, whose father could have been no other than the Prince of Darkness.
No sooner did he see the light than he assumed the form of a fiend, with
a horse's head, wings of bat, and a serpent's tail. The first thought of
the newborn Caliban was to fall foul of his mother, whom he scratched
and bepommelled soundly, and then flew through the window out into the
village, where he played the mischief generally. Little children he
devoured, maidens he abused, young men he mauled and battered; and it
was many days before a holy man succeeded in repeating the enchantment
of Prospero. At length, however, Leeds's devil was laid,--but only for
one hundred years.

"During an entire century, the memory of that awful monster was
preserved, and, as 1835 drew nigh, the denizens of Burlington and the
Pines looked tremblingly for his rising. Strange to say, however, no one
but Hannah Butler has had a personal interview with the fiend; though,
since 1835, he has frequently been heard howling and screaming in the
forest at night, to the terror of the Rats in their lonely encampments.
Hannah Butler saw the devil, one stormy night, long ago; though some
skeptical individuals affirm, that very possibly she may have been led,
under the influence of liquid Jersey lightning, to invest a pine-stump,
or, possibly, a belated bear, with diabolical attributes and a Satanic
voice. However that may be, you cannot induce a Rat to leave his hut
after dark,--nor, indeed, will you find many Jerseymen, though of a
higher order of intelligence, who will brave the supernatural terrors of
the gloomy forest at night, unless secure in the strength of numbers."

The Pine Rat, in his vocation as a picker-up of every unconsidered
trifle, is an adept at charcoal-burning, on the sly. The business of
legitimate charcoal-manufacture is also largely practised in the Pines,
although the growing value of wood interferes sadly with the coalers.
Here and there, however, a few acres are marked out every year for
charring, and the coal-pits are established in the clearing made by
felling the trees. The "coaling," as it is technically termed, is an
assemblage of "pits," or piles of wood, conical in form, and about ten
feet in height by twenty in diameter. The wood is cut in equal lengths,
and is piled three or four tiers high, each log resting on the end of
that below it, and inclining slightly inwards. An opening is left in the
centre of the pile, serving as a chimney; and the exterior is overlaid
with strips of turf, called "floats," which form an almost air-tight
covering. When the pile is overlaid, fire is set at various small
apertures in the sides, and when the whole "pit" is fairly burning, the
chimney is closed, in order to prevent too rapid combustion, and the
whole pile is slowly converted into charcoal. The application of the
term "pit" to these piles is worthy of remark. It is due, of course,
to the fact, that for centuries it was customary to burn charcoal in
excavated pits, until it was discovered that gradual combustion could be
as well secured by another and less tedious method.

The Pine Rat glories in his surreptitious coal-pits. In secluded
portions of the forest, he may continually be discovered pottering over
a "coaling," for which he has stolen the wood. This, indeed, is his only
handicraft,--the single labor to which he condescends or is equal. Two
or three men sometimes band together and build themselves huts after
the curious fashion peculiar to the Rat, namely, by piling sticks or
branches in a slope on each side of some tall pine, so that a wigwam,
with the trunk of the tree in the centre, is constructed. Inside this
triangular shelter--the idea of which was probably borrowed from the
Indians--the Pine Rat ensconces himself with his whiskey-bottle at
night, crouching in dread of the darkness, or of Leeds's devil,
aforesaid. In this respect he singularly resembles the Bohemian
charcoal-burner, who trembles at the thought of Ruebezahl, that malicious
goblin, who has an army of mountain-dwarfs and gnomes at his command. So
long as the sunlight inspires our Rat with confidence, however, he will
work at his coal-pit, while one comrade is away in the forest, snaring
game, and another has, perhaps, been dispatched to the precincts of
civilization with his wagon-load of coal. Yes! the Pine Rat sometimes
treads the streets of cities,--nay, even extends his wanderings to the
banks of the Delaware and the Hudson, to Philadelphia and Trenton,
to Jersey City and New York. Then, who so sharp as the grimy
tatterdemalion, who passes from street to street and from house to
house, with his swart and rickety wagon, and his jangling bell, the
discordant clangor of which, when we hear it, calls up horrible
recollections of the bells that froze our hearts in plague-stricken
cities of other lands, when doomed galley-slaves and _forcats_ wheeled
awful vehicles of putrefaction through the streets, clashing and
clinking their clamorous bells for more and still more corpses, and
foully jesting over the Death which they knew was already upon them! But
the long-drawn, monotonous, nasal cry of the charcoal-vender--who has
not heard it?--"Cha-r-coa'! Cha-r-coa'!"--is more cheerful than the
demoniac laughter of the desperate galley-slaves, and his bell sounds
musically when we hear it and think of theirs. Sometimes a couple of
these peregrinants may be seen to encounter each other in the streets,
and straightway there is an adjournment to the nearest bar-room, where
the most scientific method of "springing the arch" is discussed over a
glass of whiskey, at three cents the quart. Springing the arch, though
few may be able to interpret the phrase, is a trick by which every
housewife has suffered. It is the secret of piling the coal into the
measure in such a manner as to make the smaller quantity pass for the
larger, or, in other words, to make three pecks go for a bushel. So the
Pine Rat vindicates his claim to a common humanity with all the rest
of us men and women; for have not we all our secret and most approved
method of springing the arch,--of palming off our three short pecks for
a full and bounteous imperial bushel? Ah, yes! brothers and sisters,
whisper it, if you will, below your breath, but we all can do the Pine
Rat's trick!

We shall not suffer his company much longer in this world,--poor,
neglected, pitiable, darkened soul that he is, this fellow-citizen
of ours. He must move on; for civilization, like a stern, prosaic
policeman, will have no idlers in the path. There must be no vagrants,
not even in the forest, the once free and merry greenwood, our
policeman-civilization says; nay, the forest, even, must keep a-moving!
We must have farms here, and happy homesteads, and orchards heavy with
promise of cider, and wheat golden as hope, instead of silent aisles and
avenues of mournful pine-trees, sheltering such forlorn miscreations as
our poor cranberry-stealing friends! Railways are piercing the Pines;
surveyors are marking them out in imaginary squares; market-gardeners
are engaging land; and farmers are clearing it. The Rat is driven from
point to point, from one means of subsistence to another; and shortly,
he will have to make the bitter choice between regulated labor and
starvation clean off from the face of the earth. There is no room for
a gypsy in all our wide America! The Rat must follow the Indian,--must
fade like breath from a window-pane in winter!

In fact, the forest, left so long in its aboriginal savagery, is about
to be regenerated. A railroad is to be constructed, this year, which
will place Hanover and the centre of the forest within one hour's travel
of Philadelphia; and it is scarcely too much to anticipate, that, within
five years, thousands of acres, now dense with pines and cedars of a
hundred rings, will be laid out in blooming market-gardens and in fields
of generous corn. Such little cultivation as has hitherto been attempted
has been attended by the most astonishing results; and persons have
actually returned from the West and South, in order to occupy farms in the
neighborhood of Hanover.

In one respect _c'est dommage_; one is grieved to part with the game
that is now so plentiful in the Pines. Owing to the beneficent provision
of the laws of New Jersey, which stringently forbid every description of
hunting in the State during alternate periods of five years, game of
all kinds has an opportunity to multiply; and at the termination of the
season of rest, in October, 1858, there was some noble hunting in the
neighborhood of Hanover. Five years hence, bears and deer will be a
tradition, panthers and raccoons a myth, partridges and quails a vain
and melancholy recollection, in what shall then be known as what was
once the Pines.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE LAST BIRD.


      Little Bird that singest
  Far atop, this warm December day,
      Heaven bestead thee, that thou wingest,
  Ere the welcome song is done, thy way

      To more certain weather,
  Where, built high and solemnly, the skies,
      Shaken by no storm together,
  Fixed in vaults of steadfast sapphire rise!

      There, the smile that mocks us
  Answers with its warm serenity;
      There, the prison-ice that locks us
  Melts forgotten in a purple sea.

      There, thy tuneful brothers,
  In the palm's green plumage waiting long,
      Mate them with the myriad others,
  Like a broken rainbow bound with song.

      Winter scarce is hidden,
  Veiled within this fair, deceitful sky;
      Fly, ere, from his ambush bidden,
  He descend in ruin swift and nigh!

      By the Summer stately,
  Truant, thou wast fondly reared and bred:
      Dost thou linger here so lately,
  Knowing not thy beauteous friend is dead,--

     Like to hearts that, clinging
  Fervent where their first delight was fed,
     Move us with untimely singing
  Of the hopes whose blossom-time is sped?

     Beauties have their hour,
  Safely perched on the Spring-budding tree;
     For the ripened soul is trust and power,
  And, beyond, the calm eternity.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE UTAH EXPEDITION:

ITS CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES.

[Concluded.]


On the 3d of July, the Commissioners started on their return to the
States. During their stay at Salt Lake City, the doubt which they had
been led to entertain of the wisdom of the policy which they were the
agents to carry out, had ripened into a firm conviction.

The people who were congregated on the eastern shore of Lake Utah did
not begin to repair to their homes until the army had marched thirty or
forty miles away from the city; and even then there was a secrecy
about their movements which was as needless as it was mysterious. They
returned in divisions of from twenty to a hundred families each. Their
trains, approaching the city during the afternoon, would encamp on some
creek in its vicinity until midnight, when, if intended for the northern
settlements, they would pass rapidly through the streets, or else make
a circuit around the city-wall. August arrived before the return was
completed.

Morning after morning, one square after another was seen stripped of the
board barricades which had sheltered windows and doors from intrusion.
In front of every gateway wagons were emptying their loads of household
furniture. The streets soon lost their deserted aspect, though for many
days the only wayfarers were men,--not a woman being visible, except, by
chance, to the profane eyes of the invaders. It was near the end of July
before a single house was rented except to the intimate associates of
the Governor. Up to that time, those Gentiles who did not follow the
army to its permanent camp bivouacked on the public squares. By a Church
edict, all Mormons were forbidden to enter into business transactions
with persons outside their sect without consulting Brigham Young, whose
office was beset daily by a throng of clients beseeching indulgences
and instruction. Immediately after his return to the city, however,
he secluded himself from public observation, never appearing in the
streets, nor on the balconies of his mansion-house. He even encompassed
his residence with an armed guard.

Gradually, nevertheless, the necessities of the people induced a
modification of this system of non-intercourse. The Gentile merchants,
who were present with great wagon-trains containing all those articles
indispensable to the comfort of life, of which the Mormons stood so much
in need, refused to open a single box or bale until they could hire
storehouses. The permission was at length accorded, and immediately the
absolute external reserve of the people began to wear away. Both sexes
thronged to the stores, eager to supply themselves with groceries and
garments; but there they experienced a wholesome rebuff, for which some
of them were not entirely unprepared. The merchants refused to receive
the paper of the Deseret Currency Association with which the Territory
was flooded; and its notes were depreciated instantly by more than
fifty per cent. Many of the people were driven to barter cattle and
farm-produce for the articles they needed; and for the first time since
the establishment of the Church in Utah an audible murmur arose among
its adherents against its exactions. The sight of their neglected
farms was also calculated to bring the poorer agriculturists to sober
reflection. They perceived that the army, which they had been taught to
believe would commit every conceivable outrage, was, on the contrary,
demeaning itself with extreme forbearance and even kindness toward them,
and was supplying an ampler market for the sale of their produce than
they had enjoyed since the years when the overland emigration to
California culminated. Nevertheless, their regrets, if entertained at
all, found no public and concerted utterance. The authority of the
Church exacted a sullen demeanor toward all Gentiles.

The 24th of July, the great Mormon anniversary, was suffered to pass
without celebration; but its recurrence must have suggested anxious
thoughts and bitter recollections to a great part of the population.
When they remembered their enthusiastic declaration of independence
only one year before, the warlike demonstrations which followed it, the
prophecies of Young that the Lord would smite the army as he smote the
hosts of Sennacherib, the fever of hate and apprehension into which they
had been worked, and contrasted that period of excitement with their
present condition, they must, indeed, have found abundant material for
meditation. By the emigration southward they had lost at least four
months of the most valuable time of the year. Their families had been
subjected to every variety of exposure and hardship. Their ready money
had been extorted from them by the Currency Association, or consumed in
the expenses of transporting their movables to Lake Utah. And more than
all, the fields had so suffered by their absence, that the crops were
diminished to at least one-half the yield of an ordinary year. To a
community the mass of which lives from hand to mouth, this was a most
serious loss.

Almost all agriculture in Utah is carried on by the aid of irrigation.
From April till October hardly a shower falls upon the soil, which
parches and cracks in the hot sunshine. The settlements are all at the
base of the mountains, where they can take advantage of the brooks that
leap down through the canons. They are, therefore, necessarily scattered
along the line of the main Wahsatch range, from the Roseaux River, which
flows into the Salt Lake from the north, to the Vegas of the Santa
Clara,--a distance of nearly four hundred miles. The labor expended in
ditching has been immense, but it has been confined wholly to tapping
the smaller streams.

By damming the Jordan in Salt Lake Valley and the Sevier in Parawan
Valley, and distributing their water over the broad bottom-lands, on
which the only vegetation now is wild sage and greasewood, the area of
arable ground might be quintupled; and any considerable increase of
population will render such an undertaking indispensable; for the narrow
strip which is fertilized by the mountain-brooks yields scarcely more
than enough to supply the present number of inhabitants. Nowhere does it
exceed two or three miles in breadth, except along the eastern shore of
Lake Utah, where it extends from the base of the mountains to the verge
of the lake.

Almost all cereals and vegetables attain the utmost perfection,
rivalling the most luxuriant productions of California. Within the last
few years the cultivation of the Chinese sugar-cane has been introduced,
and has proved successful. In Salt Lake City considerable attention is
paid to horticulture. Peaches, apples, and grapes grow to great size, at
the same time retaining excellent flavor. The grape which is most common
is that of the vineyards of Los Angeles. In the vicinity of Provo an
attempt has been made to cultivate the tea-plant; and on the Santa Clara
several hundred acres have been devoted to the culture of cotton,
but with imperfect success. Flax, however, is raised in considerable
quantity. The fields are rarely fenced with rails, and almost never with
stones. The dirt-walls by which they are usually surrounded are built by
driving four posts into the ground, which support a case, ten or twelve
feet in length, made of boards. This is packed full of mud, which dries
rapidly in the intense heat of a summer noon. When it is sufficiently
dry to stand without crumbling, the posts are moved farther along and
the same operation is repeated.

The country is not dotted with farmhouses, like the agricultural
districts of the East. The inhabitants all live in towns, or "forts," as
they are more commonly called, each of which is governed by a Bishop.
These are invariably laid out in a square, which is surrounded by a
lofty wall of mere dirt, or else of adobe. In the smaller forts there
are no streets, all the dwellings backing upon the wall, and inclosing
a quadrangular area, which is covered with heaps of rubbish, and alive
with pigs, chickens, and children. The same stream which irrigates the
fields in the vicinity supplies the people with water for domestic
purposes. There are few wells, even in the cities. Except in Salt Lake
City and Provo, no barns are to be seen. The wheat is usually stored
in the garrets of the houses; the hay is stacked; and the animals are
herded during the winter in sheltered pastures on the low lands.

All the people of the smaller towns are agriculturists. In none of them
is there a single shop. In Provo there are several small manufacturing
establishments, for which the abundant water-power of the Timpanogas
River, that tumbles down the neighboring canon, furnishes great
facilities. The principal manufacturing enterprise ever undertaken in
the Territory--that for the production of beet-sugar--proved a complete
failure. A capital advanced by Englishmen, to the amount of more
than one hundred thousand dollars, was totally lost, and the result
discouraged foreigners from all similar investments. Rifles and
revolvers are made in limited number from the iron tires of the numerous
wagons in which goods are brought into the Valley. There are tanneries,
and several distilleries and breweries. In the large towns there are
many thriving mechanics; but elsewhere even the blacksmith's trade
is hardly self-supporting, and the carpenters and shoemakers are all
farmers, practising their trades only during intervals from work in the
fields.

The deficiency of iron, coal, and wood is the chief obstacle to the
material development of Utah. No iron-mines have been discovered, except
in the extreme southern portion of the Territory; and the quality of the
ore is so inferior, that it is available only for the manufacture of the
commonest household utensils, such as andirons. The principal coal-beds
hitherto found are in the immediate vicinity of Green River. There are
several sawmills, all run by water-power, scattered among the more
densely-wooded canons; but they supply hardly lumber enough to meet the
demand,--even the sugar-boxes and boot-cases which are thrown aside at
the merchants' stores being eagerly sought after and appropriated. The
most ordinary articles of wooden furniture command extravagant prices.

Nowhere is the absence of trees, the utter desolation of the scenery,
more impressive than in a view from the southern shore of the Great Salt
Lake. The broad plain which intervenes between its margin and the
foot of the Wahsatch Range is almost entirely lost sight of; the
mountain-slopes, their summits flecked with snow, seem to descend into
water on every side except the northern, on which the blue line of the
horizon is interrupted only by Antelope Island. The prospect in that
direction is apparently as illimitable as from the shore of an ocean.
The sky is almost invariably clear, and the water intensely blue, except
where it dashes over fragments of rock that have fallen from some
adjacent cliff, or where a wave, more aspiring than its fellows,
overreaches itself and breaks into a thin line of foam. Through a gap in
the ranges on the west, the line of the Great Desert is dimly visible.
The beach of the lake is marked by a broad belt of fine sand, the grains
of which are all globular. Along its upper margin is a rank growth of
reeds and salt grass. Swarms of tiny flies cover the surface of every
half-evaporated pool, and a few white sea-gulls are drifting on the
swells. Nowhere is there a sign of refreshing verdure except on the
distant mountainsides, where patches of green grass glow in the sunlight
among the vast fields of sage.

The buildings throughout the entire Territory are, almost without
exception, of adobe. The brick is of a uniform drab color, more pleasing
to the eye than the reddish hue of the adobes of New Mexico or the buff
tinge of many of those in California. In size it is about double that
commonly used in the States. The clay, also, is of very superior
quality. The principal stone building in the Territory is the Capitol,
at Fillmore, one hundred and fifty miles south of Salt Lake City. The
design of the architect is for a very magnificent edifice in the shape
of a Greek cross, with a rotunda sixty feet in diameter. Only one wing
has been completed, but this is spacious enough to furnish all needful
accommodation. The material is rough-hammered sandstone, of an intense
red.

The plan of Salt Lake City is an index to that of all the principal
towns. It is divided into squares, each side of which is forty rods
in length. The streets are more than a hundred feet wide, and are all
unpaved. There is not a single sidewalk of brick, stone, or plank. The
situation is well chosen, being directly at the foot of the southern
slope of a spur which juts out from the main Wahsatch range. Less than
twenty miles from the city, almost overshadowing it, are peaks which
rise to the altitude of nearly twelve thousand feet, from which the snow
of course never disappears. But during the summer months, when scarcely
a shower falls upon the valley, its drifts become dun-colored with dust
from the friable soil below, and present an aspect similar to that of
the Pyrenees at the same season. During most of the year, the rest of
the mountains which encircle the Valley are also capped with snow. The
residences of Young and Kimball are situated on almost the highest
ground within the city-limits, and the land slopes gradually down from
them to the south, east, and west. This inclination suggested the mode
of supplying the city with water. A mountain-brook, pure and cold,
bubbling from under snow-drifts, is guided from this highland down
the gently sloping streets in gutters adjoining both the sidewalks. A
municipal ordinance imposes severe penalties on any one who fouls it.
Young's buildings and gardens occupy an entire square, ten acres in
extent, as do also Kimball's. They consist, first, of the Mansion, a
spacious two-storied building, in the style of the Yankee-Grecian villas
which infest New England towns, with piazzas supported by Doric columns,
and a cupola which is surmounted by a beehive, the peculiar emblem of
the Mormons, although there is not a single honey-bee in the Territory.
This, like all its companions, is of adobe, but it is coated with
plaster, and painted white. Next to it is a small building, used
formerly as an office, in which the temporal business of the Governor
was transacted. By its side stands another office, on the same model,
but on a larger scale, devoted to the business of the President of the
Church. These are connected by passage-ways both with the Mansion and
with the Lion-House, which is the most westerly of the group, and is the
finest building in the Territory, having cost nearly eighty thousand
dollars. Like both the offices, it stands with a gable toward the
street, and the plaster with which it is covered has a light buff tinge.
The architecture is Elizabethan. Above a porch in front is the figure
of a recumbent lion, hewn in sandstone. On each of the sides, which
overlook the gardens, ten little windows project from the roof
just above the eaves. The whole square is surrounded by a wall of
cobblestones and mortar, ten or twelve feet in height, strengthened by
buttresses at intervals of forty or fifty feet. Massive plank gates bar
the entrances. In one corner is the Tithing-Office, where the faithful
render their reluctant tribute to the Lord. Only the swift city-creek
intervenes between this square and Kimball's, which is encompassed by a
similar wall. His buildings have no pretensions to architectural merit,
being merely rough piles of adobe scattered irregularly all over the
grounds.

The Temple Square is in the immediate neighborhood, and is of the same
size. It is inclosed by a wall even more massive than the others,
plastered and divided into panels. Near its southwestern corner stands
the Tabernacle, a long, one-storied building, with an immense roof,
containing a hall which will hold three thousand people. There the
Mormon religious services are conducted during the winter months; but
throughout the summer the usual place of gathering to listen to the
sermons is in "boweries," so called, which are constructed by planting
posts in the ground and weaving over them a flat roof of willow-twigs.
An excavation near the centre of the square, partially filled with dirt
previously to the exodus to Provo, marks the spot where the Temple is
to rise. It is intended that this edifice shall infinitely surpass in
magnificence its predecessor at Nauvoo. The design purports to be a
revelation from heaven, and, if so, must have emanated from some one
of the Gothic architects of the Middle Ages whose taste had become
bewildered by his residence among the spheres; for the turrets are to be
surmounted by figures of sun, moon, and stars, and the whole building
bedecked with such celestial emblems. Only part of the foundation-wall
has yet been laid, but it sinks thirty feet deep and is eight feet broad
at the surface of the ground. Its length, according to the heavenly
plan, is to be two hundred and twenty feet, and its width one hundred
and fifty feet. Beside the Tabernacle and the incipient Temple, the only
considerable building within the square is the Endowment-House, where
those rites are celebrated which bind a member to fidelity to the Church
under penalty of death, and admit him to the privilege of polygamy.

The other principal buildings within the city are the Council-House,
a square pile of sandstone, once used as the Capitol,--and the County
Court-House, yet unfinished, above which rises a cupola covered with
tin. Most of the houses in the immediate vicinity of Young's are two
stories high, for that is the aristocratic quarter of the town. In
the outskirts, however, they never exceed one story, and resemble in
dimensions the innumerable cobblers'-shops of Eastern Massachusetts.

None of the streets have names, except those which bound the Temple
Square and are known as North, South, East, and West Temple Streets, and
also the broad avenue which receives the road from Emigration Canon and
is called Emigration Street. Except on East Temple or Main Street, which
is the business street of the city, the houses are all built at least
twenty feet back from the sidewalk, and to each one is attached a
considerable plot of ground. There is no provision for lighting the
streets at night. The cotton-wood trees along the borders of the gutters
have attained a considerable growth during the eight or nine years since
they were planted, and afford an agreeable shade to all the sidewalks.

Around a great portion of the city stretches a mud wall with embrasures
and loopholes for musketry, which was built under Young's direction in
1853, ostensibly to guard against Indian attacks, but really to keep
the people busy and prevent their murmuring. To the east of this runs a
narrow canal, which was dug by the voluntary labor of the Saints, nearly
fifteen miles to Cottonwood Creek, for the transportation of stone to be
used in building the Temple.

Just outside the city-limits, near the northeastern corner of the wall,
lies the Cemetery, on a piece of undulating ground traversed by deep
gullies, and unadorned even by a solitary tree,--the only vegetation
sprouting out of its parched soil being a melancholy crop of weeds
interspersed with languid sunflowers. The disproportion between the
deaths of adults and those of children, which has been a subject for
comment by every writer on Mormonism, is peculiarly noticeable there.
Most of the graves are indicated only by rough boards, on which are
scrawled rudely, with pencil or paint, the names and ages of the dead,
and usually also verses from the Bible and scraps of poetry; but among
all the inscriptions it is remarkable that there is not a single
quotation from the "Book of Mormon." The graves are totally neglected
after the bodies are consigned to them. Nowhere has a shrub or a flower
been planted by any affectionate hand, except in one little corner of
the inclosure which is assigned to the Gentiles, between whose dust and
that of the Mormons there seems to exist a distinction like that which
prevails in Catholic countries between the ashes of heretics and those
of faithful churchmen. The mode of burial is singularly careless. A
funeral procession is rarely seen; and such instances are mentioned by
travellers as that of a father bearing to the grave the coffin of his
own child upon his shoulder.

The interiors of the houses are as neat as could be expected,
considering the extent of the families. Very often, three wives, one
husband, and half-a-dozen children will be huddled together in a
hovel containing only two habitable rooms,--an arrangement of course
subversive of decency. Few people are able to purchase carpets, and
their furniture is of the coarsest and commonest kind. There are few, if
any, families which maintain servants. In that of Brigham Young, each
woman has a room assigned her, for the neatness of which she is herself
responsible;--Young's own chamber is in the rear of the office of the
President of the Church, upon the ground floor. The precise number
of the female inmates can often be computed from the exterior of the
houses. These being frequently divided into compartments, each with its
own entrance from the yard, and its own chimney, and being generally
only one story in height, the number of doors is an exact index to that
of residents.

The domestic habits of the people vary greatly according to their
nativity. Of the forty-five thousand inhabitants of the Territory, at
least one-half are immigrants from England and Wales,--the scum of the
manufacturing towns and mining districts, so superstitious as to have
been capable of imbibing the Mormon faith,--though between what is
preached in Great Britain and what is practised in America there exists
a wide difference,--and so destitute in circumstances as to have been
incapable of deteriorating their fortunes by emigration. Possibly
one-fifth are Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians. This allows a remainder of
three-tenths for the native American element. An Irishman or a German is
rarely found. Of the Americans, by far the greater proportion were born
in the Northeastern States; and the three principal characters in the
history of the Church--Smith, Young, and Kimball--all originated in
Vermont, but were reared in Western New York, a region which has been
the hot-bed of American _isms_ from the discovery of the Golden Bible to
the outbreak of the Rochester rappings. This American element maintains,
in all affairs of the Church, its natural political ascendency. Of the
twelve Apostles only one is a foreigner, and among the rest of the
ecclesiastical dignitaries the proportion is not very different.

The Scandinavian Mormons are very clannish in their disposition. They
occupy some settlements exclusively, and in Salt Lake City there is one
quarter tenanted wholly by them, and nicknamed "Denmark," just as that
portion of Cincinnati monopolized by Germans is known as "over the
Rhine." Like their English and Welsh associates, they belonged to the
lowest classes of the mechanics and peasantry of their native countries.
They are all clownish and brutal. Their women work in the fields.
In their houses and gardens there is no symptom of taste, or of the
recollection of former and more innocent days; while in every cottage
owned by Americans there is visible, at least, a clock, or a pair of
China vases, or a rude picture, which once held a similar position in
some farm-house in New England.

It is not intended to discuss here the cardinal points of the Mormon
faith, for the subject is too extensive for the limits of this article.
A great misapprehension, however, prevails concerning polygamy, that it
was one of the original doctrines of the Church. On the contrary, it was
expressly prohibited in the Book of Mormon, which declares:--

"Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which
thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. ... Wherefore hearken to
the word of the Lord: There shall not any man among you have save it
be one wife, and concubines he shall have none; for I, the Lord God,
delight in the chastity of women."--p. 118.

Up to this date, there have been four eras in the history of polygamy
among the Mormons: the first, from about 1833 to 1843, during which it
was practised stealthily only by those Church leaders to whom it was
considered prudent to impart the secret; the second, from 1843 to 1852,
during which its existence was known to the Church, but denied to the
world; the third, from 1852 to 1856, during which it was left to the
discretion of individuals whether to adopt its practice or not; and the
fourth, since 1856, when its acceptance was inculcated as essential to
happiness in this world and salvation in the next. It was the inevitable
tendency of Mormonism, like every other religious delusion, from the
advent of John of Leyden to that of the Spiritualists, to disturb the
natural relation of the sexes under the Christian dispensation. The
mystery surrounding the subject constituted the most attractive charm of
the religion, both to the initiated and to those who were seeking to be
admitted to the secrets of the Endowment,--for the Endowed alone possess
the privilege of a plurality of wives. But until the community had
become firmly fixed in Utah, no one dared to justify or even to proclaim
the doctrine. At the time of the passage of the Organic Act of the
Territory, in the autumn of 1850, and repeatedly during the next
two years, prominent Mormons at Washington and New York denied its
existence, with the most solemn asseverations. It was on Sunday, August
29th, 1852, that it was openly avowed at Salt Lake City,--Brigham Young
on that day producing the copy of a revelation, pretended to have
been received by Smith on the 12th of July, 1843, which annulled
the monogamic injunctions of the Book of Mormon, and stating, that,
"although the doctrine of polygamy has not been preached by the elders,
the people have believed in it for years." Upon the same occasion,
another doctrine was urged,--that human beings upon earth propagate
merely bodies, the souls which inhabit them being begotten by spirits in
heaven.

The number of the wives of many of the principal Mormons has been
greatly exaggerated. Attached to Young's establishment in Salt Lake
City, there are only sixteen. His first wife occupies the Mansion-House
exclusively, while the others are quartered in the Lion-House. Besides
these, he has probably fifty or sixty more, scattered all over the
Territory, and in the principal cities of the United States and of Great
Britain. His living children do not exceed thirty in number. Kimball's
wives, resident in Salt Lake City, are quite as numerous as Young's, and
his children even more so. Both of them aim to reproduce the domestic
life of the Biblical patriarchs; and within the squares which they
occupy their descendants dwell also, with their wives and progeny, all
of them acknowledging the control of the head of the family. The harems
of very few of the Church dignitaries approach these in magnitude. The
extent of the practice of polygamy cannot be determined by a residence
in Salt Lake City alone, for it is there that those Church officers
congregate whose wealth enables them to maintain large families. As
the traveller journeys northward or southward, he finds the instances
diminish in almost exact proportion to his remoteness from the central
ecclesiastical influence. There is even a sect of Mormons, called
Gladdenites, after their founder, one Gladden Bishop, who deny the
right of Young to supreme authority over the Church, and discountenance
polygamy. No computation of their number can be made, for few of them
dare avow their heresy, on account of the persecution which is the
invariable result. The leaders of this sect maintain that a majority of
the married men in Utah have but one wife each, and their assertion has
never been controverted.

One of the most monstrous results of the practice is the indifference
with which an incestuous connection is tolerated. The cohabitation, with
the same man, of a mother, and her daughter by a previous marriage, is
not unfrequent; and there are other instances even more disgusting. One
or two of them will exemplify the character of the whole. One George D.
Watt, an Englishman, residing at Salt Lake City, has for his fourth
wife his own half-sister, who had been previously divorced from Brigham
Young; and one Aaron Johnson, the Bishop of the town of Springville,
on Lake Utah, has seven wives, four of whom are sisters, and his own
nieces. Young himself has declared in print, that he looks forward to
the time when his son by one wife shall marry his daughter by another.
Marriages also are effected with girls who are mere children. Accustomed
from their cradles to sights and sounds calculated to impart precocious
development, they mature rapidly, and few of them remain single after
attaining the age of sixteen. They look around for husbands, and
understand, that, if they marry young men and become first wives, in
course of time other wives will be associated with them; and they
conclude, therefore, that it is as well for themselves to unite with
some Bishop or High-Priest, with perhaps half-a-dozen wives already, who
is able to feed his family well and clothe them decently; so they plunge
into polygamy at once. Another result of the practice is universal
obscenity of language among both sexes. The published sermons of the
Mormon leaders are utterly vile in this respect, although they are
somewhat expurgated before being printed. They consider no language
profane from which the name of the Deity is exempted.

There is, unquestionably, much unhappiness in families where polygamy
prevails,--daily bickering, jealousies, and heart-burnings,--but it
is carefully concealed from the knowledge of the public. If domestic
troubles become so aggravated as to be unendurable, recourse is usually
had to Brigham Young for a divorce. There are women in Salt Lake City
who have been married and divorced half-a-dozen times within a year. The
first wife maintains a supremacy over all the others. On the occasion
of her marriage, a civil magistrate usually officiates, and the rite of
"sealing" is afterwards administered by Young. By the civil process,
in the cant language of the Mormons, she is bound to her husband "for
time," and by the ecclesiastical solemnization "for eternity." Every
wife taken after the first is called a "spiritual," and is "sealed"
ecclesiastically only, not civilly. It follows, as a legitimate
consequence, that the first wife of one man "for time" may be the
"spiritual" wife of another man "for eternity." The power of sealing and
unsealing is vested in the Head of the Church, which, however, he may
and does assign, with certain limitations, to deputies. The ceremony is
performed in a room in the Mansion-House within Brigham's square, which
is furnished with an altar and kneelng-benches. In every instance of
divorce, the woman is supplied with a printed certificate of the fact,
for which a fee of ten or eleven dollars is exacted. When a polygamist
dies, it becomes the duty of his "next friend" to care for his wives.
Thus, when Young became the President of the Church, he succeeded to all
the widows of Joseph Smith.

Every year some modification of the system is effected, which tends to
increase still further the confusion in the relations of the sexes. The
latest is the doctrine, (which, like polygamy in its earlier stages, is
believed, but not avowed,) that absence is temporary death, so far as
concerns the transference of wives. This is intended to apply to the two
or three hundred missionaries who are dispatched yearly to all parts
of the globe, from Stockholm to Macao. It is astonishing that these
missionary efforts, which have been pursued with unremitting zeal for
the last twenty years, should not have ingrafted upon Mormonism some
degree of that refinement which is supposed to result from travel. On
the contrary, they seem to have elaborated the natural brutality of the
Anglo-Saxon character; and especially with regard to polygamy, their
effect has been to acquaint the people of Utah with the grossest
features of its practice in foreign lands, and encourage them to
imitation. Every Mormon, prominent in the Church, however illiterate
in other respects, is thoroughly acquainted with the extent and
characteristics of polygamy in Asiatic countries, and prepared to defend
his own domestic habits, in argument, by historical and geographical
references. Not one of their missionaries has ever been admitted to
intercourse with the higher classes of European society. Their sphere
of labor and acquaintance has been entirely among those whom they would
term the lowly, but who might also be called the credulous and vulgar.
The abuse of a knowledge of the machinery of the Masonic order--from
which they have been formally excluded--is one of the least evil of
their practices, not only abroad, but at home. Of the Endowment, one
apostate Mormon has declared that "its signs, tokens, marks, and ideas
are plagiarized from Masonry"; and it was a notorious fact, that every
one of the Mormon prisoners at the camp at Fort Bridger was accustomed
to endeavor to influence the sentinels at the guard-tents by means of
the Masonic signs.

This cursory review of the domestic condition of the Mormons would not
be complete without some allusion to the Indians who infest the whole
country. In the North, having their principal village at the foot of the
Wind River Mountains, in the southeastern corner of Oregon, is the tribe
of Mountain Snakes or Shoshonees, and the kindred tribe of Bannocks.
Throughout all the valleys south of Salt Lake City are the numerous
bands of the great tribe of Utahs. Still farther south are the Pyides.
The Snakes are superior in condition to any of the others; for, during
a portion of the year, they have access to the buffalo, which have not
crossed the Wahsatch Range into the Great Basin, within the recollection
of the oldest trapper. The only wild animals common in the country of
the Utahs are the hare, or "jackass-rabbit," the wild-cat, the wolf, and
the grizzly bear. There are few antelope or elk. Trout abound in the
mountain-brooks and in Lake Utah. In the Salt Lake, as in the Dead Sea,
there are no fish. Before the advent of the Mormons, the habits of all
the Utah bands were very degraded. No agency had been established among
them. They had few guns and blankets. For several years they were
engaged in constant hostilities with the people of the young and feeble
settlements,--their own method and implements of warfare improving
steadily all the while. Ultimately, however, the Mormons inaugurated a
system of Indian policy, which was highly successful. They propagated
their religion among the Utahs, baptized some of the most prominent
chiefs into the Church, fed and clothed them, and thereby acquired an
ascendency over most of the bands, which they attempted to use to the
detriment of the army during the winter of 1857-8, but without success.
Brigham Young, being vested with the superintendence of Indian affairs,
during his entire term of service as Governor, abused the functions of
that office. He taught the tribe, that there was a distinction between
"Americans" and "Mormons,"--and that the latter were their friends,
while they were free to commit any depredations on the former which
they might see fit. These infamous teachings were counteracted with
considerable success by Dr. Hurt, the Indian Agent, to whom allusion has
frequently been made; but it was impossible wholly to neutralize their
effect. Some of the Mormons even took squaws for spiritual wives; and in
all the settlements, from Provo to the Santa Clara, there are scores of
half-breed children, acknowledging half-a-dozen mothers, some white,
some red. The Utahs, though a beggarly, are a docile tribe. Several
Government farms have now been established among them, and they display
more than ordinary aptitude for work. But they require to be spurred to
regular labor. None of the charges which have been preferred against
the Mormons, of direct participation in the murder of Americans by
the Indians in the southern portion of the Territory, have ever been
substantiated by legal evidence; but no person can become familiar with
the relations which they sustain to those tribes, without attaching
to them some degree of credibility. The most noted instances were the
slaughter of Captain Gunnison and his exploring party, near Lake Sevier,
in October, 1853; and the horrible massacre of more than a hundred
emigrants on their way to California, at the Mountain Meadows, still
farther south, in September, 1857, from which only those children were
spared who were too young to speak.

The history of events in Utah since the encamping of the army in Cedar
Valley and the return of the Mormons to the northern settlements is too
recent to need to be recounted. It has been established by satisfactory
experiments, that law is powerless in the Territory when it conflicts
with the Church. No Gentile, whose property was confiscated during the
rebellion, has yet obtained redress. The legislature refuses to provide
for the expenses of the District Courts while enforcing the Territorial
laws. The grand juries refuse to find indictments. The traverse juries
refuse to convict Mormons. The witnesses perjure themselves without
scruple and without exception. The unruly crowd of camp-followers, which
is the inseparable attendant of an army, has concentrated in Salt
Lake City, and is in constant contact and conflict with the Mormon
population. An apprehension prevails, day after day, that the presence
of the army may be demanded there to prevent mob-law and bloodshed.
The Governor is alien in his disposition to most of the other Federal
officers; and the Judges are probably already on their way to the
States, prepared to resign their commissions. The whole condition of
affairs justifies a prediction made by Brigham Young, June 17th, 1855,
in a sermon, in which he declared:--

"Though I may not be Governor here, my power will not be diminished. No
man they can send here will have much influence with this community,
unless he be the man of their choice. Let them send whom they will, it
does not diminish my influence one particle."

The consequences of the Expedition, therefore, have not corresponded
to the original expectation of its projectors. So far as the political
condition of the Territory is concerned, the result, filtered down,
amounts simply to a demonstration of the impolicy of applying the
doctrine of Squatter Sovereignty as a rule for its government. The
administration of President Polk was an epoch in the history of
the continent. By the annexation of Texas a system of territorial
aggrandizement was inaugurated; and the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, by
which California, Utah, and New Mexico were acquired, was a legitimate
result. Every child knows that the tendency is toward the acquisition of
all North America. But the statesmen who originated a policy so
grand did not stop to establish a system of Territorial government
correspondent to its necessities. The character of such a Territorial
policy is now the principal subject upon which the great parties of
the nation are divided; and its development will constitute the chief
political achievement of the generation. On one side, it is proposed to
leave each community to work out its own destiny, trusting to Providence
for the result. On the other, it is contended, that the only safe
doctrine is, that supreme authority over the Territories resides in
Congress, which it is its duty to assign to such hands and in such
degrees as it may deem expedient, with a view to create homogeneous
States; that the same influences which moulded Minnesota into a State
homogeneous to Massachusetts might operate on Cuba, or Sonora and
Chihuahua, without avail; and that to various districts the various
methods should be applied which a father would employ to secure the
obedience and welfare of his children.

At the very outset, the Territory of Utah now presents itself as a
subject for the application of the one system or the other. To all
intents and purposes, the Mormons are proved to be a people more foreign
to the population of the States than the inhabitants of Cuba or Mexico.
Alien in great part by birth, and entirely alien in religion, there
never can occur in the history of the country an instance of a community
harder to govern, with a view to adapt it to harmonious association
with the States on the Atlantic and the Pacific. It is undeniably
demonstrated that it is unsafe to trust it to administer a government in
accordance with republican ideas; for it acknowledges a higher law than
even the human conscience, in the will of a person whom it professes
to believe a vicegerent of Divinity, and in obedience to whom perjury,
robbery, incest, and even murder, may be justifiable,--for his commands
are those of Heaven. It is obvious that it is fruitless to anticipate
fair dealing from a people professing such doctrines; and the result has
shown, that, in transactions with Mormons, even under oath, no one who
does not acknowledge a standard of religious belief similar to their own
can count upon justice any farther than they may think it politic
to accord it. The army is, indeed, placed in a position to suppress
instantaneously another forcible outbreak; but everybody is aware that
there are means of annulling the operation of law quite as effectually
as by an uprising in arms. Recent proceedings in the courts of the
extreme Southern States have caused this fact to be keenly appreciated.
The pirates who sailed the slavers "Echo" and "Wanderer" yet remain to
be punished. So far as South Carolina and Georgia are concerned, the law
declaring the slave-trade piracy is a dead letter; and the sentiment
which prevails toward it in Charleston and Savannah is an imperfect
index of that which is manifested at Salt Lake City toward all national
authority.

The legislation of Utah has been conducted with a view to precisely the
condition of affairs which now exists, and the Territorial statute-book
shows that the transfer of executive power from Brigham Young had long
been anticipated. It is impracticable to adduce, in this place, proof of
the fact _in extenso_; but a brief enumeration of some of the principal
statutes will indicate the character of the entire code. An act exists
incorporating the Mormon Church with power to hold property, both real
and personal, to an indefinite extent, exempt from taxation, coupled
with authority to establish laws and criteria for its safety,
government, comfort, and control, and for the punishment of all offences
relating to fellowship, according to its covenants. By this act the
Church is invested with absolute and perpetual sovereignty. Under it
the whole system of polygamy is conducted, for plural marriages are
sanctioned by the covenants; the Danite organization is authorized, for
it is instituted for the comfort and control of the Church, and the
punishment of offences relative to fellowship; the burden of the taxes
is thrown in a yearly increasing ratio upon Gentiles, for the Church
property exempted from taxation amounts already to several millions
of dollars, and increases every day; and the treasonable rites of the
Endowment are celebrated, and the inferior members of the Church tithed
and pillaged, for the benefit of the First Presidency and the Twelve
Apostles. Acts also exist legalizing negro and Indian slavery. There are
within the Territory at the present time not more than fifty or sixty
negroes, but there are several hundred Indians, held in servitude.
These are mostly Pyides, into whose country some of the Utah bands make
periodical forays, capturing their young women and children, whom they
sell to the Navajoes in New Mexico, as well as to the Mormons. There are
other acts, which rob the United States judges of their jurisdiction,
civil, criminal, and in equity, and confer it on the Probate Courts;
which forbid the citation of any reports, even those of the Supreme
Court of the United States, during any trial; which regulate the descent
of property so as to include the issue of polygamic marriages among the
legal heirs; which withdraw from exemption from attachment the entire
property of persons suspected of an intention to leave the Territory;
which authorize the invasion of domiciles for purposes of search, upon
the simple order of any judicial officer; which legalize the rendition
of verdicts in civil cases upon the concurrence of two-thirds of the
jurors; which command attorneys to present in court, under penalty
of fine and imprisonment, in all cases, every fact of which they are
cognizant, "whether calculated to make against their clients or not";
which restrict the institution of proceedings against adulterers to the
husband or the wife of one of the guilty parties; which levy duties
on all goods imported into the Territory for sale; which abolish
the freedom of the ballot-box, by providing that each vote shall be
numbered, and a record kept of the names of the electors with the
numbers attached, which, together with the ballots, shall be preserved
for reference; and which empower the county courts to impose taxes to
an indefinite amount on whomsoever they may please, for the erection
of fortifications within their respective jurisdictions. But the most
extraordinary and unconstitutional series of acts--no less than sixty
in number--exists with regard to the primary disposal of the soil, with
which the Territorial legislature is expressly forbidden by the Organic
Act to interfere. These pretend to confer upon Church dignitaries, and
especially on Brigham Young and his family, tracts of land probably
amounting in the aggregate to more than ten thousand square miles, as
well as the exclusive right to establish bridges and ferries over the
principal rivers in the Territory,--together with the exclusive use of
those streams flowing down from the Wahsatch Mountains which are most
valuable for irrigating and manufacturing purposes. The virtual control
of the settlement of the eastern portion of Utah is thus vested in
the Church; for these grants include almost all the lands which are
immediately valuable for occupation. After a glance at a list of them,
it is not hard to understand the causes of the great disparity in the
distribution of wealth among the Mormons. They have been so allotted as
to benefit a very few at the expense of the whole people; and they are
protected by a terrorism which no one dares to confront in order to
challenge their validity. The majority of the population are ignorant
of their rights,--and too pusillanimous to maintain them against the
hierarchy, if they were not. They therefore contribute to its coffers
not merely their tithing, but heavy exactions also for grazing their
cattle on pastures to which they themselves have just as much title as
the nominal proprietors, and for grinding their grain and purchasing
their lumber at mills on streams which are of right common to all the
settlers on their banks.

From the Utah Expedition, then, it has become patent to the world, if
it is not to ourselves, that the Mormons are unwilling to administer a
republican form of government, if not incapable of doing so. The author
of the letter recently addressed by "A Man of the Latin Race" to the
Emperor Napoleon, on the subject of French influence in America,
comments especially upon this fact as symptomatic of the disintegration
of this republic; and allusion is made to it in every other foreign
review of our political condition. It is obviously inconsistent with our
national dignity that a remedy should not be immediately applied; but
when we seek for such, only two courses of action are discernible, in
the maze of political quibbles and constitutional scruples that at once
suggest themselves. One is, to repeal the Organic Act and place the
Territory under military control; the other is, to buy the Mormons out
of Utah, offering them a reasonable compensation for the improvements
they have made there, as also transportation to whatever foreign region
they may select for a future abode.

The embarrassments which might result from the adoption of the former
course are obvious. It would be attended with immense expense, and would
embitter the Mormons still more against the National Government; and
it would also deter Gentiles from emigrating to a region where three
thousand Federal bayonets would constitute the sole guaranty of the
security of their persons and property.

The other course is not only practicable, but humane and expedient.
During his whole career, Brigham Young committed no greater mistake than
when he settled in Utah a community whose recruits are almost without
exception drawn from foreign lands; for, since the removal from
Illinois, every attempt to propagate Mormonism in the American States
has been a failure. Every avenue of communication with Utah is
necessarily obstructed. No railroad penetrates to within eleven hundred
miles of Salt Lake Valley. There is no watercourse within four hundred
miles, on which navigation is practicable. Neither the Columbia nor the
Colorado empties into seas bordered by nations from which the Mormons
derive accessions; and the length of a voyage up the Mississippi,
Missouri, and Yellowstone forbids any expectation that their channels
will ever become a pathway to the centre of the continent. The road to
Utah must always lead overland, and travel upon it is the more expensive
from the fact that no great passenger-transportation companies exist at
either of the termini. Each family of emigrants must provide its own
outfit of provisions, wagons, and oxen, or mules. Through the agency of
what is called the Perpetual Emigration Fund of the Church, the capital
of which amounts to several millions of dollars,--which was instituted
professedly to befriend, but really to fleece the foreign converts,--few
Englishmen arrive at Salt Lake City without having exhausted their own
means and incurred an amount of debt which it requires the labor of many
years to discharge. The physical sufferings of the journey, also, are
severe and often fatal. The bleak cemetery at Salt Lake City contains
but a small proportion of the Mormon dead. Along the thousand miles of
road from the Missouri River to the Great Lake, there stand, thicker
than milestones, memorials of those who failed on the way. A rough
board, a pile of stones, a grave ransacked by wolves, crown many a swell
of the bottom-lands along the Platte; and across the broad belt of
mountains there is no spot so desolate as to be unmarked by one of these
monuments of the march of Mormonism.

As these difficulties of transit subside under the surge of population
toward the new State of Oregon, or to the gold-diggings on the
head-waters of the South Fork of the Platte, an element must permeate
Utah which would be fatal to the supremacy of the Church. That depends,
as has been so often repeated, upon isolation. Already the presence of
the army with its crowd of unruly dependents has begun to disturb it.
In the trail of the troops, like sparks shed from a rocket, a legion
of mail-stations and trading-posts have sprung up, which materially
facilitate communication with the East. A horseman, starting now from
Fort Leavenworth, with a good animal, can ride to Salt Lake City,
sleeping under cover every night; while in July, 1857, when the army
commenced its march from the frontier, there were stretches of more than
three hundred miles without a single white inhabitant. On the west,
under the shadow of the Sierra Nevada, there is a settlement of several
thousand Gentiles in Carson Valley, who, though nominally under the same
Territorial government with the Mormons, have no real connection with
them, politically, socially, or commercially, and are petitioning
Congress for a Territorial organisation of their own. A telegraphic wire
has already wound its way over the sierra among them, and will soon
palpitate through Salt Lake City in its progress toward the Atlantic.

Brigham Young perceives this inevitable advance of Christian
civilization toward his stronghold, as clearly as the most unprejudiced
spectator. No one is better aware than himself, that, if the great
industrial conception of the age, the Pacific Railroad, shall ever begin
to be realized, the first shovelful of dirt thrown on its embankments
will be the commencement of the grave of his religion and authority.
Among the projects with which his brain is busy is that of yet another
exodus; and it must be undertaken speedily, if at all,--for a generation
is growing up in the Church with an attachment for the land in which it
was reared. The pioneers of the faith, who were buffeted from Ohio to
Missouri, from Missouri to Illinois, and from Illinois to the Rocky
Mountains, are dwindling every year. Their migrations have been so
various, that no local sentiment would influence them against another
removal. Such a sentiment, if it exists at all among them, is not for
Utah, but for Missouri, where they believe that the capital will be
founded of that kingdom in which the Church in the progress of ages will
unite the world. They dropped upon the shores of the Salt Lake in 1847,
like birds spent upon the wing, only because they could not fly farther.

Two regions have been suggested for the ultimate resort of the Mormons:
one, the Mosquito Coast in Central America; the other, the Island of
Papua or New Guinea, among the East Indies. During the winter, while
the army lay encamped at Fort Bridger, Colonel Kinney, the colonizing
adventurer, endeavored to communicate from the East to Brigham Young an
offer to sell to the Church several millions of acres of land on the
Mosquito Coast, of which he purports to be the proprietor. His agent,
however, reached no farther than Green River. But during the spring of
1858, other agents, dispatched from California, were more successful in
reaching Salt Lake Valley. They were hospitably received by the Mormons,
but Young declined to enter into the negotiation. The other scheme--that
for an emigration to Papua--originated at Washington during the same
winter. It was eagerly seized upon by Captain Walter Gibson, the same
who was once imprisoned by the Dutch in Java. He put himself into
communication on the subject with Mr. Bernhisel, the Mormon delegate
to Congress, who appeared to regard the plan with favor. After it
was developed, as a step preliminary to transmitting it to Utah for
consideration, Mr. Bernhisel waited upon the President of the United
States in order to ascertain whether the cooperation of the National
Government in the undertaking could be expected. The reply of Mr.
Buchanan was fatal to the project, which he discountenanced as a vague
and wild dream.

Nevertheless, it may well be considered whether the movement toward Utah
appeared any less Quixotic in 1846 than does the idea of an emigration
to Papua now. On that island the Mormons would encounter no such
obstacles to material prosperity as their indomitable industry has
already conquered in Utah. They would find a fertile soil, a propitious
climate, and a native population which could be trained to docility.
Transplanted thither, they would cease to be a nuisance to America, and
would become benefactors to the world by opening to commerce a region
now valueless to Christendom, but of as great natural capacities as any
portion of the globe. The expense of their migration need not exceed
the amount already expended upon the Army of Utah, together with that
necessary to maintain it in its present position for the next five
years. Into the seats which they would relinquish on the border of
the Salt Lake a sturdy population would pour from the Valley of the
Mississippi, and develop an intelligent, Christian, and Republican
State. That portion of the Mormons which would not follow the fortunes
of the Church beyond the seas would soon become submerged, and the last
vestige of its religion and peculiar domestic life would disappear
speedily and forever from the continent.

For that consummation, every genuine Christian must fervently pray. If
the Message in the Book of Mormon be, as one of its own Apostles has
asserted, indeed "such, that, if false, none who persist in believing it
can be saved," the sooner this nation washes its hands of responsibility
for its toleration, the better for its credit in history. The
Constitution, to be sure, denies to Congress the power to pass laws
prohibiting the free exercise of religion; but it is the most monstrous
nonsense to argue that the Federal Government is bound thereby to
connive at polygamy, perjury, incest, and murder. There are principles
of social order which constitute the political basis of every state in
Christendom, that are violated by the practices of the Mormon Church,
and which this Republic is bound to maintain without regard to any
pretence that their transgressors act in pursuance of religious belief.
Thirty years ago, no other doctrine would have occurred to the mind
of an American statesman. It is only the special-pleadings and
constitutional hair-splittings by which Slavery has been forced under
national protection, that now impede Congressional intervention in the
affairs of Utah. The Christian Church of the United States, also, has a
duty to perform toward the Mormons, which has long been neglected. While
its missionaries have been shipped by the score to India and China, it
has been blind to the growth, upon the threshold of its own temple, of a
pagan religion more corrupt than that of the Brahmin. Never once has a
Christian preacher opened his lips in the valleys of Utah; and yet the
surplice of a Christian priest would be a sight more portentous to the
Mormon, on his own soil, than the bayonet of the Federal soldier.




BULLS AND BEARS.

[Continued.]


CHAPTER XXIV.


The next day, Monroe went with the artist to good Mr. Holworthy,
and proposed to undertake the task of instructing a school. The
preliminaries were speedily arranged: he was to receive a small weekly
stipend, enough, with prudence, to meet his household expenses, and
was to commence at once. Both of the gentlemen accompanied him to the
quarter where his labor was to begin. A large room was hired in a
rickety and forlorn-looking house; the benches for the scholars and a
small desk and chair were the only furniture. And such scholars!--far
different from the delicate, curled darlings of the private schools. The
new teacher found his labor sufficiently discouraging. It was nothing
less than the civilization of a troop of savages. Everything was to be
done; manners, speech, moral instincts, were all equally depraved. They
were to be taught neatness, respect, truth-telling, as well as the usual
branches of knowledge. It was like the task of the pioneer settler in
the wilderness, who must uproot trees, drain swamps, burn briers and
brambles, exterminate hurtful beasts, and prepare the soil for the
reception of the seeds that are to produce the future harvest. We leave
him with his charge, while we attend to other personages of our story.

Mr. Sandford and his sister, upon leaving their house, took lodgings,
and then began to cast about them for the means of support. The money on
which he had relied was gone. His credit was utterly destroyed, and he
had no hope of being reinstated in his former position. The only way
he could possibly be useful in the street was by becoming a curbstone
broker, a go-between, trusted by neither borrower nor lender, and
earning a precarious livelihood by commissions. Even in that position
he felt that he should labor under disadvantages, for he knew that his
course had been universally condemned. It was a matter of every-day
experience for him to meet old acquaintances who looked over him, or
across the street, or in at shop-windows, to avoid recognition. And the
half-patronizing, half-contemptuous nods he did receive were far worse
to bear than downright cuts.

To a man out of employment, proscribed, marked, there is nothing so
terrible as the _impenetrability_ of the close ranks of society around
him. Every busy man seems to have found his place; each locks step with
his neighbor, and the vast procession moves on. Once out of the serried
order, the unhappy wretch can never resume his position. He finds
himself the fifth wheel of a coach; there is nothing for him to do,--no
place for him at the bountiful board where others are fed. He may starve
or drown himself, as he likes; the world has no use for him, and will
not miss him. What Sandford felt, as he walked along the streets, may
well be imagined. If he had not been supported by the indomitable
courage and assurance of his sister, he would have sunk to the level of
a pauper.

One day, as he was passing a church, his eye was caught by a placard at
the door, inviting, in bold letters, "friend, stranger, or traveller
to enter, if but for a few minutes." It was a "business-men's
prayer-meeting." The novelty of the idea struck him; he was at leisure;
he had no notes to pay; anybody might fail, for aught he cared. He went
in, and, to his surprise, saw, among the worshippers, scores of his old
friends, engaged in devotion. Like himself, they had, many of them,
failed, and, after the loss of all temporal wealth, had turned their
attention to the "more durable riches." He fell into a profound
meditation, from which he did not recover until the meeting ended.

The next day he returned, and the day following, also,--taking a seat
each time a little nearer the desk, until at last he reached the front
row of benches, where he was to be seen at every service. It is not
necessary to speculate upon his motives, or to conjecture how far
he deceived himself in his professions,--if, indeed, there was any
deception in the case. Let him have the benefit of whatever doubt there
may be. The leading religious men _hoped_, without feeling any great
confidence; the world, especially the business world, mocked and
derided.

But piety, in itself, however heartfelt, does not clothe or feed its
possessor, and Mr. Sandford, even with that priceless gift, must find
some means of supplying his temporal wants. His new friends had plenty
of advice for him, and some of them would have been glad to furnish
him with employment; but none of them were so well satisfied with the
sincerity of his conversion as to trust him far. It was not to be
wondered, after his exploits on the day of his failure, that there
should be a reasonable shyness on the part of those who had money which
they could not afford or did not choose to give away. It was quite
remarkable to see the change produced when the subject was introduced.
Faces, that a few minutes before had shone with tearful joy or rapturous
aspirations, full of brotherly affection, would suddenly cool, and
contract, and grow severe, when Sandford broached the one topic that was
nearest to him. He found that there was no way of escaping from the
law of compensation by appropriating the results of other men's
labors,--that religion (very much to his disappointment) gave him no
warrant to live in idleness; therefore he was fain to do what he could
for himself. He tried to act as a curb-stone broker, as an insurance
agent, as an adjuster of marine losses and averages, as an itinerant
solicitor for a life-insurance company, as an accountant, and in various
other situations. All in vain. He was shunned like an escaped convict;
the motley suit itself would hardly have added to his disgrace. No one
put faith in him or gave him employment,--save in a few instances, for
charity's sake. Few men can brave a city; and Sandford, certainly, was
not the man to do it. The scowling, or suspicious, or contemptuous,
pitying glances he encountered smote him as with fiery swords. He
quailed; he cowered; he dropped his eyes; he acquired a stooping,
shambling gait. The man who _feels_ that he is looked down upon grows
more diminutive in his own estimation, until he shrinks into the place
which the world assigns him. So Sandford shrunk, until he crept through
the streets where once he had walked erect, and earned a support as
meagre and precarious as the more brazen-faced and ragged of the great
family of mendicants, to which he was gravitating.

Mendicants,--an exceeding great army! They do not all knock at
area-doors for old clothes and broken victual, nor hold out hats at
street-crossings, nor expose sharp-faced babies to win pity, nor send
their infant tatterdemalions to torture the ears of the wealthy with
scratchy fiddles and wheezing accordions. No, these plagues of society
are only the extreme left wing; the right wing is a very respectable
class in the community. The party-leader who makes his name and
influence serve him in obtaining loans which he never intends to
pay,--shall we call him a beggar? It is an ugly word. The parasite
who makes himself agreeable to dinner-givers, who calculates upon his
accomplishments as a stock in trade, intending that his brains shall
feed his stomach,--what is he, pray? It is ungracious to stigmatize
such a jolly dog. The woman whose fingers are hooped with rings won
in wagers which gallantry or folly could not decline, who is ready by
_philopaena_, or even by more direct suggestions, to lay every beau or
acquaintance under contribution,--is she a beggar, too? It is a long
way, to be sure, from the girl with scanty and draggled petticoat and
tangled hair, picking out lumps of coal from ash-heaps, or carrying home
refuse from the tables of the rich,--a long way from that squalid object
to the richly-cloaked, furred, bonneted, jewelled, flaunting lady, whose
friends are all _so_ kind.

But the most charitable must feel a certain degree of pity, if not of
scorn, for those who, like Mr. and Miss Sandford, contrive to wear the
outward semblance of respectability, boarding with fashionable people
and wearing garments _a la mode_, while they have neither fortune nor
visible occupation. Miss Sandford, to be sure, had a few pupils in
music,--young friends, who, as she averred, "insisted upon practising
with her, although she did not profess to give lessons," not she. Still
her toilet was as elegant as ever. The first appearance of a new style
of cloak, a new pattern of silk or embroidery, new ribbons, laces,
jewelry, might be observed, as she took her morning promenade. The
dealers in rich goods, elegant trifles, costly nothings, all knew her
well. Whatever satisfied her artistic taste she purchased. To see was to
desire, and, in some way, all she coveted tended by a magical attraction
to her rooms. "Society" frowned upon her; she went to no receptions in
the higher circles, but she had no lack of associates for all that.
At concerts and other public assemblages, her brilliant figure and
irreproachable costume were always to be seen,--the admiration of men,
the envy of women. Nor was she without gallants. Gentlemen flocked about
her, and seemed only too happy in her smiles; but it never happened that
their wives or sisters joined in their attentions. On fine days, as she
came out for a walk, she was sure to be accompanied by some person whose
dress and manners marked him as belonging to the wealthy classes; and
at such times it generally happened,--according to the scandal-loving
shopkeepers,--that the last new book, the little "love" of a ring, or
the engraved scent-bottle was purchased.

An odd affair is Society. At its outposts are flaming swords for women,
though invisible to other eyes; men can venture without the lines, if
they only return at roll-call. Let a woman receive or visit one of the
_demi-monde_, (the technical use of the word is happily inapplicable
here,) and she might as well earn her living by her own labor, or do
any other disreputable thing; but her brother may pay court to the most
doubtful, and mothers will only shake their heads and say, "He _must_
sow his wild oats; he'll get over all that by-and-by."

So the beauty was still queen in her circle, and found admirers in
plenty. Perhaps she even enjoyed the freedom; for, to a woman of spirit,
the constraints of _taboo_ must be irksome at times. Not the Brahmin,
who fears to tread upon sole-leather from the sacred cow, and dares
not even think of the flavor of her forbidden beef, who keeps himself
haughtily aloof from the soldier and the trader, and walks sunward from
the pariah, lest the polluting shadow fall on his holy person, has a
more difficult and engrossing occupation than the woman of fashion, in
a country where the distinctions of rank are so purely factitious as in
ours. Miss Sandford's time was now her own; she was accountable to no
supervisor. Her brother was a cipher. He did not venture to intrude upon
her, except at seasons when she was at leisure, and in a humor to be
bored by him. Perhaps she looked back regretfully, but, as far as could
be told by her manner, she carried herself proudly, with the air of one
who says,--

  "Better reign in hell than serve in heaven."

The observant reader has doubtless wondered before this, that Mr.
Sandford did not, in his emergency, apply to his old clerk, Fletcher,
for the money in exchange for the peculiar obligation of which mention
has been made. It is presuming too much upon Mr. Sandford's stupidity
to suppose that the idea had not frequently occurred to him. But he was
satisfied that Fletcher was one of the few who were making money in this
time of general distress, and that with every day's acquisition the
paper became more valuable; therefore, as it was his last trump, he
preferred to play it when it would sweep the board; and he was willing
to live in any way until the proper time came. Not so easy was Fletcher.
Several times he attempted to pay the claim, so that he could once more
hold his head erect as a free man. But Sandford smiled blandly; "he was
in no hurry," he said; "Mr. Fletcher evidently had money, and was good
for the amount." Poor Fletcher!--walking about with a rope around his
neck,--a long rope now, and slack,--but held by a man who knows not what
pity means!


CHAPTER XXV.


Greenleaf pursued his search for Alice with all the ardor of his nature.
One glimpse only he had of her;--at a clothing-store, where he inquired,
the clerk seemed to recognize the description given, and was quite
sure that such a girl had taken out work, but he knew nothing of
her whereabouts, and he believed she was now employed by another
establishment. It was something to know that she was in the city, and,
probably, not destitute; still better to know what path of life she had
chosen, so that his time need not be wasted in fruitless inquiries.
On his return, after the second day's search, he sought his friend
Easelmann, whose counsel and sympathy he particularly desired.

"Any tidings of the fugitive?" was the first question.

"No," replied Greenleaf,--"nothing satisfactory. I have heard of her
once; but it was like a trail in the woods, which the hunter comes upon,
then loses utterly."

"But the hunter who measures a track once will be likely to find it
again."

"Yes, I have that consolation. But, Easelmann, though this mishap of
losing Alice has cost me many sleepless nights, and will continue to
engross my time until I find her, I cannot rid myself of other troubles
and apprehensions. I have done nothing for a long time. I have no
orders; and, as I have no fortune to fall back upon, I see nothing but
starvation before me."

"Then, my dear fellow, look the other way. It isn't wise to distress
yourself by looking ahead, so long as you have the chance of turning
round."

"I feel lonely, too,--isolated. People that I meet are civil enough;
but I don't know a man, except in my profession, that I can consider a
friend."

"Very likely. Caste isn't confined to India."

"I had supposed that intellect and culture were enough to secure for
a man a recognition in good society; but I am made to feel, a hundred
times a day, that I have no more _status_ than a clever colored man, an
itinerant actor, or any other anomaly. To-day I met Travis; you know he
comes here and makes himself free and easy with us, and has always put
himself on a footing of equality."

"Wherein you made a mistake. He has no right, but by courtesy, to
any equality. A little taste, perhaps, and money enough to gratify
it,--that's all. He never had an idea in his life."

"That is the reason I felt the slight. He was walking with a lady whose
manner and dress were unmistakable,--a lady of undoubted position. I
bowed, and received in return one of those hardly-perceptible nods, with
a forced smile that covered only the side of his face _from_ the lady.
It was a recognition that one might throw to his boot-black. I am a
mild-mannered man, as you know; but I could have murdered him on the
spot."

Greenleaf walked the floor with flashing eyes and his teeth set.

"Now, I like the spirit," said Easelmann; "but, pray, be sensible.
'Where Macdonald sits, there is the head of the table.' Stand firm in
your own shoes, and graduate your bows by those you get."

"I suppose I am thin-skinned."

"As long as you are, you will chafe. Cultivate a hide like a
rhinoceros's, and Society will let fly its pin-pointed arrows in vain.
You have a great deal to learn, my dear boy."

"But other special classes are not so treated,--literary men, for
instance."

"Don't be too sure of that. An author who has attained position is
_feted_, because the fashionable circles must have their lions. But to
stand permanently like other men, he must have money or family, or else
obey the world's ten commandments, of which the first is, 'Thou shalt
not wear a slouched hat,'--and the rest are like unto it. No,--the
literary men have their heart-burnings, I suspect. They forget, as you
do, that their very profession, the direction of their thoughts, their
mode of life, cut them off from sympathy and fellowship. What has a
writer who dreams of rivalling Emerson or the 'Autocrat' to do with
costly and absorbing private theatricals, with dances at Papanti's, with
any of the thousand modes of killing time agreeably? And how shall you
become the new Claude, if you give your thoughts to the style of your
clothes, and to the inanities that make up the staple of conversation?"

"But because I am precluded from devoting my time to society, that is no
reason why I should bear the patronizing airs"----

"Don't be patronized,--that's all. If a man gives you such a look as
you have described, cut him dead the next time you meet him. If anybody
gives you two fingers to shake, give him only one of yours. I tried that
plan on a doctor of divinity once, and it worked admirably. His intended
condescension somehow vanished in a mist, and the foolish confusion that
overspread his blank features would have done you good to behold."

"I have no doubt. I don't think it would be easy to be impertinent to
you. Not that there are not presuming people enough; but you have a
way with you. Your blade that cuts off a bayonet at a blow will glide
through a feather as well."

"A delicate stroke of yours! Now to return. You are out of money, you
say. Perhaps you will allow me to become your creditor for a while. I
may presume upon the relation and take on some airs;--that's inevitable;
one can't forego such a privilege;--but I promise to bow very civilly
whenever I meet you; and I won't remind you of the debt--above twice a
day."

Taking out his pocket-book, he handed his friend fifty dollars, and
_pshawed_ and _poohed_ at every expression of gratitude.

"By the way, Greenleaf," he continued, "I have been in search of an
absconding female also. You remember Mrs. Sandford, the charming widow?"

"Yes,--what has become of her?"

"You see how philosophical I am. I have not seen her yet; and yet I am
not crazy about it. Some chickens think the sky is falling, whenever a
rose-leaf drops on their heads."

"But you have no such reason to be anxious."

"Haven't I? Do you think old fellows like me have lost recollection as
well as feeling? One of the most deadly cases of romance I ever knew was
between people of forty and upwards."

"How dull I was! I saw some rather odd glances between you at the
musical party, but thought nothing more about it. But why haven't you
been looking for her?"

"I have been cogitating," said Easelmann, twisting his moustaches.

"I should think so. If you had asked me, now! I went with her to the
house where I suppose she is still boarding."

"Did you?" [_very indifferently, and with the falling inflection._]

"Why, don't you want to know?"

"Yes,--to-morrow. And I think, that, when we find her, we may find a
clue to your Alice."

Greenleaf started up as if he had been galvanized.

"You _have_ seen her, then! You old fox! Where is she? To-morrow,
indeed! Tell me, and I will fly."

"You can't; for, as Brother Chadband observed, you haven't any wings."

"Don't trifle with me. I know your fondness for surprises; but if you
love me, don't put me off with your nonsense."

Greenleaf was thoroughly in earnest, and Easelmann took a more
soothing tone. At another time the temptation to tease would have been
irresistible.

"Be calm, you man of gunpowder, steel, whalebone, and gutta-percha! I
positively have nothing but guesses to give you. Besides, do you think
you have nothing to do but rush into Alice's arms when you find her?
Take some valerian to quiet your nerves, and go to bed. In the morning,
try to smooth over those sharp features of yours. Use rouge, if you
can't get up your natural color. When you are presentable, come over
here again, and we'll stroll out in search of adventure. But mind, I
promise nothing,--I only guess."

While he spoke, Greenleaf looked into the mirror, and was surprised to
see how anxiety had worn upon him. His face was thin and bloodless, and
his eyes sunken, but glowing. The quiet influence of his friend calmed
him, and his impatience subsided. He took his leave silently, wringing
Easelmann's hand, and walked home with a lighter heart.

"He is a good fellow," mused Easelmann, "and has suffered enough for his
folly. The lesson will do him good."


CHAPTER XXVI.


Mr. Bullion was not without good natural impulses, but his education and
experience had been such as to develop only the sharp and selfish traits
of his character. An orphan at the age of eleven years, he was placed
in a shop under the charge of a grasping, unscrupulous man, where he
learned the rules of business which he followed afterwards with so much
success. The old-fashioned notions about the Golden Rule he was speedily
well rid of; for when his indiscreet frankness to customers was
observed, the rod taught him the folly of untimely truth-telling, if not
the propriety of smoothing the way to a bargain by a glib falsehood.
With such training, he grew up an expert salesman; and before he was of
age, after various changes in business, he became the confidential clerk
in a large wholesale house. Owing to unexpected reverses, the house
became embarrassed, and at length failed. The head of the firm went back
to his native town a broken-hearted man, and not long afterwards died,
leaving his family destitute. But Bullion, with a junior partner,
settled with the creditors, kept on with the business, and prospered.
Perhaps, if the widow had received what was rightfully hers, the juniors
would have had a smaller capital to begin upon,--Bullion knew; but the
account, if there was one, was past settlement by human tribunals, and
had gone upon the docket in the great Court of Review.

Wealth grows like the banian, sending down branches that take root on
all sides in the thrifty soil, and then become trunks themselves, and
the parents of ever-increasing boughs,--a sturdy forest in breadth, a
tree in unity. So Bullion grew and flourished. At the time of our story
he was rich enough to satisfy any moderate ambition; but he wished to
rear a colossal fortune, and the operations he was now concerned in
were fortunate beyond his expectations. But he was not satisfied. He
conceived the idea of carrying on the same stock-speculation in New
York on a larger scale, and made an arrangement with one of the leading
"bears" of that city; but he was careful to keep this a secret, most of
all from Fletcher and others of his associates at home. Fortune favored
him, as usual, and he promised himself a success that would make him a
monarch in the financial world. Under the excitement of the moment, he
had filled the baby hands of Fletcher's child with gold pieces. It was
as Fletcher said; his head was fairly turned by the glittering prospect
before him.

The associate in New York proposed to Bullion the purchase of a
controlling interest in a railroad; and Bullion, believing that the
depression had nearly reached its limit, and that affairs would soon
take a turn, agreed that it was best now to change their policy, and to
buy all the shares in this stock that should be offered while the price
was low, and keep them as an investment. He felt sure that he with the
New York capitalist had now money enough to "swing" all the shares in
market, and they each agreed to purchase all that should be brought
to the hammer in their respective cities. Following up his promise
faithfully, Bullion bought all the stock of the railroad that came into
State Street, and in this way rapidly exhausted his ready money. Then he
raised loans upon his other property, and still kept the market clear.
But he wondered that so many shares came to Boston for sale; for the
railroad was in a Western State, and few of the original holders were
New England men.

Bullion now met the first check in his career. Kerbstone, whose appeals
for help he had disregarded, and whose property had been wofully
depreciated by the course of the "bears," of whom Bullion was chief,
failed for a large sum. As he was treasurer of the Neversink Mills,
the stockholders and creditors of that corporation made an immediate
investigation of its accounts. Kerbstone was found to be a defaulter
to the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars; the property was
gone,--undermined like a snow-bank in spring. The largest owner was
Bullion. He was overreached by his own shrewdness; and the hitherto
unlucky "bulls," who had had small cause to laugh, thought that it was

    "sport to see the engineer
  Hoist with his own petard,"--

better even than to have tossed him on their own horns.

Bullion made some wry faces; but the loss, though great, was not
ruinous. He was obliged, however, to take back the shares of the
factory-stock on which he had obtained loans for his New York
operations, and to substitute an equal amount of other securities,--thus
cramping his resources at a time when he needed every dollar to carry
out his vast plans.

In the multiplicity of his affairs, Bullion had almost forgotten
Fletcher, and left him to pursue his own course. But there was a man who
had not forgotten him, and who followed all his movements with vigilant
eyes. Sandford was convinced that Fletcher had in some way become
prosperous, and he now advanced to use the peculiar note as a draft on
the miserable debtor's funds. There was the same wily approach, the same
covert allusion to Fletcher's supposed resources, the same peremptory
demand, and the same ugly threat which had so desperately maddened him
when the subject was broached before. Fletcher felt the tightening of
the lasso, but could not free himself from the fatal noose. He must pay
whatever the cold-eyed creditor demanded. Two thousand dollars was the
sum asked for the acknowledgment of having appropriated five hundred.
Twopence for halfpenny has been accounted fair usury among the Jews; but
in Christian communities it is only crime that accumulates interest like
that.

As a measure of precaution, Sandford had made a copy of the paper and
prepared an explanatory statement; these he now inclosed in an envelope,
in Fletcher's presence, and directed it to Messrs. Foggarty, Danforth,
and Dot. Then drawing out his watch, as if to make a careful computation
of time, he said,--

"Nine, ten, eleven,--yes,--at eleven, to-morrow, I shall expect to
receive the sum; otherwise I shall feel it my duty to send this letter
by a trusty hand. In fact, I suppose I have hardly done right in not
putting the gentlemen on their guard before."

A cold sweat covered Fletcher's shivering limbs, and for a moment he
stood irresolute; but recollecting Bullion, he rallied himself, and,
assenting to the proposition, bade Sandford good-bye; then, as the only
revenge practicable, he cursed him with the heartiest emphasis, when
his back was turned. Presently Tonsor came with the news of Kerbstone's
failure.

"The street is full of rumors," he said;--"Bullion is a large owner in
the Neversink."

"Bosh!" said Fletcher,--"Bullion is in there for fifty thousand, to be
sure; but what is that? He has other property enough,--half a million,
at least."

"Still, a pebble brought down Goliath. A house in New York, worth a
million, failed yesterday for want of twenty-five thousand."

"Don't you be alarmed. Bullion knows. He isn't going to fail."

"I want to get ten thousand from him to take some shares I bought for
him."

"How soon?"

"Now; and he is not at his office."

"I'll get you the money from our house. I haven't deposited the funds
for to-day yet, and I'll put in a memorandum which Bullion will make
good."

"Hadn't you better wait?"

"No; it doesn't matter. He's all right; and it isn't best to break his
orders for any ten thousand dollars."

Fletcher handed the money to the broker, and, as bank-hours were then
about over, he put his papers in order and went home.

"Lovey!" he exclaimed, upon meeting his wife, "I have been thinking
over what you said about getting my notes cashed. I believe I'll take
Bullion's offer and salt the money down. Probably, now, he will give me
a better trade, for there is considerable more due."

"Oh, John! how glad I am! You _will_ do it to-morrow,--won't you, now?"

"Yes, I'll settle with him to-morrow."

He was thinking of the fact that Tonsor had bought shares for Bullion,
and he wondered what the move meant. A house divided against itself
could not stand; and he said to himself, that a man must be uncommonly
deep to be a "bull" and a "bear" at the same time. There was no doubt
that Bullion had embarked in some speculation which he had not seen fit
to make known to his agent.

"There you go,--off into one of your fogs again!" said the wife,
noticing his suddenly abstracted air. "That's the way you have done for
the last three months,--ever since you began with that hateful man."

"I get to thinking about affairs, my little woman, and I don't want to
bother your simple head with them; so I go cruising off in the fog, as
you call it, by myself."

"Oh, if you once get through with that man's affairs, we'll have no more
fogs!"

"No, deary, we'll have summer weather and a smooth sea, I hope, for the
rest of our voyage."

"You see, John, I have been dreadfully anxious, more than I could tell
you. If anything goes wrong, I've always noticed that it isn't the big
people that have to suffer; it's the smaller ones that get caught."

"Yes, it's an old story; the big flies break out of the spider's net;
the little chaps hang there. But I'll settle up the business to-morrow.
I shall have enough to buy us a little house in the country,--a snug
box, with a garden; then I'll get a horse to drive about with, and we'll
take some comfort. Come, little woman, sit on my knee! Come, baby, here
is a knee for you, too!"

Holding them in his arms, he still mused upon the morrow, and once and
again charged his mind to remember "two thousand for Sandford, ten
thousand for Danforth and Dot!"


CHAPTER XXVII.


Alice did not feel the utter loneliness of her situation, until, as she
walked along, square after square, she encountered so many hundreds of
abstracted or curious or impudent faces, and reflected that it was upon
such people that her future support and comfort would depend. She tried
to discover in some countenance the impress of kindly benevolence;--not
that she proposed to risk so much as a question; but it was her first
experience with the busy world, and she wished to observe its ways,
when neither relationship nor personal interest was involved. Small
encouragement she would have felt to approach any that she met. Men of
middle-age walked by as in dreams, cold, unobservant, listless; the
younger ones, fuller of life, strode on with high heads, and flinging
glances that were harder to bear than stony indifference, even. Ladies
clothed in costly furs scanned the pretty face under the mourning bonnet
with prying eyes, or tossed her a hasty, scornful look. Shop-girls
giggled and stared. Boys rushed by, rudely jostling every passenger.
Old women in scanty petticoats that were fringed by no dressmaker, with
pinched faces and watery eyes, looked imploringly and hobbled along,
wrapping parcels of broken victual under their faded shawls.--A sorry
world Alice thought it. In the country, she had been used to receive a
kindly bow or a civil "Good-morning!" from every person she met; and the
isolation of the individual in the city was to her something unnatural,
even appalling.

She had cut out some boarding-house advertisements from the daily
papers, and her first care was to find a home suited to her slender
means. Reaching the door of the first on her list, she rang and was
shown into a small drawing-room, shabby-genteel in its furniture and
ornaments. Two seamstresses sat chattering around the centre-table;
while a ruddy young man, with greenish brown moustaches and sandy hair,
rested his clumsy boots on the fender, holding an open music-book in his
lap and a flute in his ill-kept and gaudily-ringed hands. The kitchen,
apparently, was not ventilated; and a mingled odor, beyond the analysis
of chemistry, came up into the entry and pervaded the hot and confined
atmosphere of the room. The landlady, a stout and resolute woman,
entered with a studied smile, which changed gradually to a cold
civility. Her eyes, unlike Banquo's, had a deal of speculation in them.
One might read the price-current in the busy wrinkles. Around her
pursed-up mouth lurked the knowledge of the number of available slices
in a sirloin,--the judgment of the lump of butter that should leave no
margin for prodigality. Warfare with market-men, shrewish watchfulness
over servants, economy scarcely removed from meanness at the table, all
were clearly indicated in her flushed and hard-featured face.

Alice was not familiar with such people; but she shrank from her by
instinct, as the first chicken fled from the first hawk. The landlady,
on her part, was equally suspicious, and, finding that Alice had no
relatives to depend upon, and that she expected to earn her own living,
was not at all solicitous to increase the number of her boarders.

"It's pootty hard to tell who's who, now-a-days," she said. "I have to
pay cash for all I set on the table, and I can't trust to fair promises.
Perhaps, though, you've got some _cousin_ that looks arter your bills?"

The flute-player exchanged knowing glances with the seamstresses.

All-unconscious of the taunt, Alice simply replied,--

"No, I have told you that I have no one to depend upon."

The landlady's mouth was primly set, and she merely exclaimed,--

"Oh! indeed!"

"I think I'll look further," said Alice. "Good-morning."

"Good-morning."

Half-suppressed chuckles followed her, as she left the room. Sorely
grieved and indignant, she took her way to another house. Fortune this
time favored her. The landlady, a kind-hearted woman, was in mourning
for her only daughter, and with the first words she heard she felt
her heart drawn to the lovely and soft-voiced stranger. Without any
offensive inquiries, Alice was at once received, and an upper room
assigned to her. After sending for her trunk, she dressed for dinner.

The table presented specimens of all the familiar characters of
boarding-house life. There was the lawyer, sharp, observant, talkative,
ready for a joke or an argument. There was the solemn man of business,
who ate from a sense of duty, and scowled at the lawyer's bad puns. Near
him, with an absurdly youthful wig and opaque goggles, sat the Unknown;
his name, occupation, resources, and tastes alike a profound mystery.
Several dapper clerks, whose right ears drooped from having been used as
pen-racks, wearing stunning cravats, _outre_ brooches and shirt-studs,
learned in the lore of "two-forty" driving, were ranged opposite. Then
there was the jolly widow, who was the admiration of men of her own age,
but who cruelly gave all her smiles to the boys with newly-sprouting
chins. Near her sat the fastidious man, whose nostrils curled ominously
when any stain appeared on his napkin, or when anything sullied the
virgin purity of his own exclusive fork. His spectacles seemed to serve
as microscopes, made for the sole purpose of detecting some fatal speck
invisible to other eyes. There was the singer, with a neck like
a swan's, bowing with the gracious air that is acquired in the
acknowledgment of bouquets and _bravas_. The artist was her _vis-a-vis_,
powerful like Samson in his bushy locks, negligent with fore-thought,
wearing a massive seal-ring, and fragrant with the perfume of countless
pipes. The nice old maid near him turns away in disgust when she sees
his moustaches draggle in the soup.

Down the long row of faces Alice looked timidly, and at length fastened
her eyes upon a lady in mourning like herself. There is no physiognomist
like the frank, affectionate young man or woman who looks to find
appreciation and sympathy. It is not necessary, for such a purpose, to
speculate upon Grecian or Roman noses, thin or protruding lips, blue,
gray, or brown eyes; each soul knows its own sphere and the people that
belong in it; and a sure instinct or prescience guides us in our choice
of friends. Alice at a glance became conscious of an affinity, and
quietly waited till circumstances should bring her into associations
with the woman whom she hoped to make a friend.

It was not long before the occasion came. Not to make any mystery, it
was our old acquaintance, Mrs. Sandford, who attracted the gaze of
Alice, and who soon became her kindly adviser. Never was there a more
_motherly_ woman; and, as she was now almost a stranger in the house,
she attached herself to Alice with a warmth and an unobtrusive
solicitude that quite won the girl's heart. Alice lost no time in
procuring such work from a tailor as she felt competent to do, and
applied herself diligently to her task; but a very short trial convinced
her, that, at the "starvation prices" then paid for needlework, she
should not be able to earn even her board. Then came in the thoughtful
friend, who, after gently drawing out the facts of the case, furnished
her with sewing on which she could display her taste and skill. Day
after day new employment came through the same kind hands, until Alice
wondered how one wearer could want such a quantity of the various
nameless, tasteful articles in which all women feel so much pride.
It was not until long after, that she learned how the work had been
procured by her friend's active, but noiseless agency.

Not many days after their intimacy commenced, as Mrs. Sandford sat
watching Alice at her work, it occurred to her that there was a look of
tender sorrow, an unexplained melancholy, which her recent bereavement
did not wholly account for. Not that the girl was given to romantic
sighs or tragic starts, or that she carried a miniature for lachrymose
exercises; but it was evident that she had what we term "a history." She
was frank and cheerful, although there was palpably something kept
back, and her cheerfulness was like the mournful beauty of flowers that
blossom over graves. No sympathetic nature could refuse confidence to
Mrs. Sandford, and it was not long before she discovered that Alice had
passed through the golden gate to which all footsteps tend, and from
which no one comes back except with a change that colors all the after
life.

"And so you are in love, poor child!" said Mrs. Sandford,
compassionately.

"I have been" (with a gentle emphasis).

"Ah, you think you are past it now, I suppose?"

"I sha'n't _forget_ soon,--I could not, if I would; but love is
over,--gone like yesterday's sunshine."

"But the sun shines again to-day."

"Well, if you prefer another comparison," said Alice, smiling
faintly,--"gone out like yesterday's fire."

"Fire lurks a long time in the ashes unseen, my dear."

Alice dropped her needle and looked steadily at her companion.

"I am young," she said; "yet I have outgrown the school-girl period.
The current of my life has flowed in a deep channel: the shallow little
brook may fancy its first spring-freshet to be a Niagara; but my
feelings have swelled with no transient overflow. I gave my utmost love
and devotion to a man I thought worthy. He treated me with neglect, and
at last falsified his word in offering his hand to another, I do not
hate him. I have none of that alchemy which changes despised love to
gall. But I could never forgive him, nor trust him again. And if he,
who seemed always so frank, so earnest, so tender, so single in his
aims,--if he could not be trusted, I do not know where I could rest my
heart and say,--'Here I am safe, whatever betide!'"

It was a strange thing for Alice to speak in such an exalted strain, and
she trembled as she tried to resume her sewing. The thread slipped and
knotted; the needle broke and pricked her finger; and then, feeling her
cheeks begin to glow, she laid down her work and turned to the window.

"Don't lose _all_ faith, Alice; there are true hearts in the world.
Perhaps this lover of yours, now, has repented and is striving to find
you. Or you may have been misinformed as to the extent of his treachery.
To take your own simile, you don't accuse the brook of fickleness merely
because it eddies around under some flowery bank; after it has made the
circle, it keeps on its steady course."

Alice only shook her head, still keeping her face averted to conceal the
tremor of her lips.

"But you haven't told me who this man is. How odd it would be, if I knew
him!"

"I would rather not have you know. The secret isn't a fatal one, to be
sure; but I prefer to keep it."

Suddenly she stepped back from the window, ashy pale, and gasping
hysterically. Mrs. Sandford rose hastily to assist her, and, as she
did so, noticed her old acquaintance, Mr. Greenleaf, on the opposite
sidewalk. She helped Alice to her seat and brought her a glass of
water, and, as she did so, in an instant the long track of the past was
illumined as by a flash of lightning. She saw the reason for Greenleaf's
conduct towards her sister-in-law, Marcia. She remembered his early
fascination, his long, vacillating resistance, his brief engagement, and
the stormy scene when it was broken. She had seen the thread of Fate
spun for each, without knowing that invisible strands connected them.
She had begun to read a tale of sorrow, but the page was torn, and now
she had finished it upon the chance-found fragment; the irregular and
jagged edges fitted together like mosaic-work.

What a mystery is Truth! A Lie may simulate its form or hue, and, taken
by itself, may deceive the most acute observer. But in the affairs of
the world, every fact is related; it meets and is joined by other facts
on every side,--the whole forming an harmonious figure in all its angles
and curves as well as in its gradations of color. Each truth slips
easily into its predestined place; a lie, however trivial, has no place;
its angles are belligerent, its colors false; it makes confusion, and is
thrown out as soon as the eye of the Master falls upon it.

Alice revived.

"Did I speak?" she asked.

"No,--you said nothing."

"I am glad. I feared I had been foolish. It was a mere passing
faintness."

Mrs. Sandford thought it was the _cause_ of the faintness that was
passing, but she prudently kept her discovery to herself.


CHAPTER XXVIII.


Fletcher rose next morning betimes, after a night of fitful and
unrefreshing slumber. In his dreams he had sought Bullion in vain; that
substantial person seemed to have become a new Proteus, and to
escape, when nearly overtaken, by taking refuge in some unexpected
transformation. Sometimes the scene changed, and it was the dreamer that
was flying, while Sandford, shod with swiftness, pursued him, swinging
a lasso; and as often as the fierce hunter whirled the deadly coil,
Fletcher awoke with a suffocating sensation, and a cold sweat trickling
from his forehead. At breakfast, his wife noticed with intense anxiety
his sharpened features and his evident preoccupation of mind. He hurried
off, snatching a kiss from the baby and from the mother who held it, and
walked towards Bullion's office. He knew Bullion was an early riser,
and he felt sure of being able to see him before the usual hour of
commencing business. But the office was not even opened; and, looking
through the glass door, he saw that there was no fire in the grate. What
was the meaning of this? Going into the street, he met Tonsor near the
post-office. At the first sight of the broker's face, Fletcher's heart
seemed to stop beating.

"Good-morning, Fletcher. Bad business, this! I suppose you've heard.
Bullion went to protest yesterday. Hope you got wind of it in time, and
made all safe."

"Bullion failed!" exclaimed Fletcher, through his chattering teeth.
"Then I'm a ruined man!"

But a sudden thought struck him, and he asked eagerly,--

"But the money,--haven't you got it still?"

"No,--paid it over yesterday."

"Well, the shares, then?"

"No,--sorry to say, Bullion's clerk came for them not ten minutes before
I heard of the protest."

"O God!" groaned the unhappy man, "there is no hope! But you, Mr.
Tonsor, you are my friend; help me out of this! You can raise the
money."

"Ten thousand dollars! It's a pretty large sum. I'm afraid I couldn't
get it."

"Try, my friend,--you shall never regret it."

Tonsor hesitated, and Fletcher's spirits rose. He watched the broker's
composed face with eyes that might pierce a mummy.

"What is the collateral?" asked Tonsor, slowly raising his wrinkled
eyelids.

"Bullion's notes for seventeen thousand dollars."

"And Bullion gone to protest."

"He'll come up again."

"Perhaps; but while he is down, I can't do anything with his paper. The
truth is, Fletcher, you ought not to have advanced the money for him.
Remember, I warned you when you were about to do it."

Fletcher did not look as though he found the "Balm of I-told-you-so"
very consoling.

Tonsor continued,--

"Now, if I were in your place, I would go and make a clean breast of it
to Danforth. It was wrong, though I know you didn't mean any harm. He
may be angry, but he won't touch you. You _can't_ raise ten thousand
dollars in these times,--not to save your soul."

"Keep your advice, and your money, too," said Fletcher, in sullen
despair. "I ask for bread, and you give me a stone. Your moral lecture
won't pay my debts."

He turned away abruptly and went again to Bullion's office. It was still
closed. Determined at all hazards to see the man for whom he had risked
so much, he went to his house on Beacon Hill. The servant said Mr.
Bullion was not at home. Fletcher did not believe it, but the door was
closed in his face before he could send a more urgent message, and with
a sinking heart he retraced his steps towards State Street.

The horror of his position was now fully before him. He could not
conceal his defalcation, and there was no longer a shadow of hope of
replacing the money. Many a time he had taken the risk of lending large
sums to brokers and others; but who would trust him, a man without
estate, in a time like this? In his terrible anxiety about the new
obligation, he had forgotten the old, until he chanced to observe
Sandford on the opposite sidewalk, strolling leisurely towards the
business quarter of the town. The ex-secretary made a barely-perceptible
bow, and, drawing out his watch, significantly turned the face towards
his debtor. It was enough; there was no need of words. It was a little
after ten o'clock; the fatal letter would be delivered at eleven!
Fletcher crossed the street and accosted Sandford, though not without
trepidation; for he shuddered like a swimmer within reach of a shark, as
he encountered those cold and pitiless eyes.

"Come to the office, Mr. Sandford, at eleven," he said. "The affair will
be settled then, and forever."

Mr. Sandford nodded and walked on. Fletcher, meanwhile, quivering with
agony, hurried to his employer's office. He scanned each face sharply
as he entered, and felt sure that the loss had not yet been discovered.
Going to his desk, he wrote and sealed a letter, and then went out,
saying he had some business with a lawyer overhead.

Mrs. Fletcher grew momently more uneasy, after her husband left the
house. A vague sense of coming evil oppressed her, until at length she
could bear it no longer; she left her child with the servant, and,
walking to the nearest stand, took a coach for State Street. On the way
she recalled again and again the muttered words she heard during the
night; she thought of the silent, comfortless breakfast, the hurried
good-bye; she felt again the pressure of his trembling lips upon her
own. Full of apprehension, she asked the coachman to call her husband
to the door. Answer was made by a clerk that Mr. Fletcher was out on
business, but was expected back presently. So she waited, looking out
of the carriage-window,--a sad face to see! The hands of the Old
State-House clock pointed at eleven, when Mr. Sandford punctually made
his appearance,--smooth, cheerful, and with a slight exhilaration, in
prospect of the two thousand dollars. Almost at the same moment Bullion
came also; for Tonsor, fearing that Fletcher would take some desperate
step, had been to the surly bankrupt's house and insisted upon his
coming down to see his unfortunate agent. Just at the office-door, and
opposite the carriage, met the two bankrupts, the disgraced "bull"
and the vanquished "bear." It was an odd look of recognition that
was exchanged between them; and if there was a shade of triumph in
Sandford's face, it was not to be wondered at. They stood at the door,
each motioning the other to enter first, when an unusual sound from the
adjoining entry caused both of them to stop, and one of them, at least,
to shiver. It was a sound of slow and hesitating, shuffling steps, as of
men carrying a burden. The steps came nearer. Both Bullion and Sandford
moved hurriedly to the spot. The men stopped in the doorway with their
burden, and in a moment, with frantic shrieks, Mrs. Fletcher rushed in
and fell upon the body of her husband!

"Good God! what's this?" exclaimed Bullion. "Dead?" He stooped down and
thrust his hand under the waistcoat. The heart was still! He shuddered
convulsively and drew back, covering his eyes. "Dead!"

Mr. Sandford seemed frozen to the threshold in speechless horror. There
was his debtor, free,--the old account settled forever! The pallid
temples would throb no more; the mobile lips had trembled their last;
the glancing, restless eyes had found a ghastly repose; the slender and
shapely frame, bereft of its active tenant, was limp and unresisting.
What a moment for the two men, as they stood over the corpse of their
victim!

Attracted by the unusual outcry, Mr. Danforth came hastily out of the
office, and stood, as it were, transfixed at the sight of the dead. The
men who had brought down the body at last found words to tell their
dismal story.

They were at work on the upper floor, when they heard a noise in one of
the adjoining rooms; as the apartment had been for some time unoccupied,
they were naturally surprised. After a while all sounds ceased, and
still no one came out to descend the stairs. Appalled by the silence,
they broke open the door, and discovered Fletcher hanging by the neck
from a coat-hook; a chair, overturned, had served as the scaffold from
which he had stepped into eternity. They took him down, but life was
already gone. A paper lay on his hat, with these words hastily pencilled
on it:--

"On my desk is a letter that explains all. I'm off. Good-bye.

"JOHN FLETCHER."

Mr. Danforth, hearing this, instantly went into his office, and
reappeared, reading a note addressed to him. Mr. Sandford, meanwhile,
was striving to raise the wretched woman to her feet, and to lead her
to the carriage. Mr. Bullion no longer whisked his defiant eyebrow, but
stood downcast, silent, and conscience-stricken.

"Listen a moment," said Mr. Danforth. "Here is a letter from our rash
friend, and, as it concerns you, gentlemen, I will read it. But first,
my dear Madam, let me help you into the carriage."

The prostrate woman made no answer, save by a slow rolling of her
body,--her sobs continuing without cessation. The letter was read:--

"MR. DANFORTH,

"To make a payment for shares bought by Mr. Bullion, I borrowed ten
thousand dollars from your house yesterday. Mr. Bullion has failed, and
does not protect me. He escapes, and I am left in the trap. I charge him
to pay my wife the notes he owes me. As he hopes to be saved, let him
consider that a debt of honor.

"But my death I lay at Sandford's door. He has followed me with a steady
bay, like a bloodhound. His claim is now settled forever, as I told him.
I don't ask God to forgive him;--I don't, and God won't. Let him live,
the cold-blooded wretch that he is; one world or another would make no
difference; for, to a devil like him, there is no heaven, no earth,
nothing but hell.

"My poor wife! See to her, if you have any pity for

"JOHN FLETCHER."

"Look," said Mr. Danforth, holding the letter under the stony eyes of
Sandford,--"see where the tears blistered the paper!"

All the while, Mrs. Fletcher kept up an inarticulate moaning, though the
sound grew fainter from exhaustion.

"Let us stop this," said Bullion, seeing the gathering crowd of
passers-by. "Better be at home."

Pointing to the still prostrate woman, he, with Mr. Danforth, gently
raised her up and placed her in the carriage. She did not speak, but
murmured pleadingly, while her face wore a look of agonized longing, and
her outstretched hands clutched nervously.

"Poor thing!" said Mr. Danforth, his voice beginning to tremble,--"she
shall have her dead husband, if it is any comfort to her."

"That's right," said Bullion,--"carry him off before half-a-dozen
coroner-buzzards come to fight over him."

The body was laid in the carriage, the head she had so often caressed
resting in her lap, while her tears bathed the unconscious face, and
her groans became heart-rending. Still holding the carriage-door, Mr.
Danforth turned to Sandford, saying,--

"I don't know _what_ you have done, but his blood is on your soul. I
would rather be like him there, than you, on your feet.--Bullion, I
don't mind the ten thousand dollars; but was it just the manly thing to
leave a man that trusted you in this way to be sacrificed? Why didn't
you come down this morning? God forgive you!--Coachman, drive to
Carleton Street."

He stepped into the carriage, and away it rolled with its load of
sorrow.

Mr. Sandford found the glances of his companion and the bystanders quite
uncomfortable, and he slunk silently away. Failure and disgrace he
had met; but this was a position for which he had not the nerve.
The self-accusing Cain was not the only man who has exclaimed, "My
punishment is greater than I can bear." Flight was the only alternative
for Sandford. As long as he remained in Boston, every face seemed to
wear a look of condemnation. The mark was set upon him, and avenging
fiends pursued him. That very day he left the city in disguise. Through
what trials he passed will never be known. But destitute, friendless,
and broken-spirited, he wandered from city to city, a vagabond upon the
face of the earth. Nor did a sterner retribution long delay. In New
Orleans, he was so far reduced that he was obliged to earn a miserable
support in an oyster-saloon near the levee. One night, a fight began
between some drunken boatmen: and Sandford, though in no way concerned
in the affair, received a chance bullet in his forehead, and fell dead
without a word.


CHAPTER XXIX.


Bullion, at last, in spite of his armor of selfishness and stoicism, was
touched in a vital part. His dreams of wealth had vanished into air. The
confederate in New York in whom he had trusted had only made him a dupe.
Blindly following out his agreement, he found himself saddled with a
load of railroad-shares, useless for any present purpose, and all his
convertible property gone. The consciousness that he--the man of all
others who prided himself upon his sagacity--had been so easily
overreached was quite as humiliating as the idea of ruin itself. He
remembered Kerbstone's appeals, also, and now cursed his own stupidity
in refusing to aid him. There he had overreached himself; it was his own
stocks which he had thrown down to the "bears." And now, heaviest stroke
of all, Fletcher, his intrepid and chivalrous agent, who had stepped
into the breach for him, had paid for his indiscretion with his life.
The thought gave him a pang he had never felt, not even when he followed
his wife to the grave. Homeward he went, but slowly and almost without
volition. He recognized no acquaintances that he met, but walked on
abstractedly, fixing his eyes on vacancy with a look as mournful as his
iron features could wear. In his ears still rang those thrilling cries.
His hand, that had groped over that motionless heart, still felt a
creeping chill; it would not warm. And constantly an accusing voice
asked, "Why didn't you come down?"--and conscience repeated the question
in tones like those of a judge arraigning a criminal. He reached his
house and gave orders that no one should be admitted. In his room he
passed the day alone, drifting on an ocean of remorse, full of vague
purposes of repentance and restitution. Dinner passed unheeded, and
still he paced the silent chamber. With the approach of evening his
terrors increased; he rang for a servant and had the gas-burners
lighted. Still, in all the blaze, shapes would haunt him; they crouched
at the foot of his bed; they lurked behind his wardrobe-door. He dared
not look over his shoulder, but forced himself to stand up and face
what he so dreaded to see. He rang again and bade the servant bring
a screw-driver and take down the coat-hooks from the wardrobe; the
garments hanging there seemed to be men struggling in the agonies of
asphyxia. The slender thread of sound from the gas-burners seemed to be
changed to low, mournful cries, as of a woman over the dead. He turned
the gas down a little; then the shadows of the cannel-coal fire danced
like spectres on the ceiling. He jumped up and raised the lights again;
again the low, dismal monotone sang in his ears. He stopped them with
his fingers; again the persistent voice asked, "Why didn't you come
down?" Flakes fell off the coal in the grate in shapes like coffins;
the flames seemed to dart at him with their fiery tongues. He rang once
more, and when the servant came he bade him drink enough strong tea and
then take his chair by the fire.

"Touch me, if I groan," said he to the astonished John. "Keep awake
yourself, and hold your tongue. If you go to sleep or leave me, I'll
murder you."

Then wrapping himself in his dressing-gown, he settled down in his
easy-chair for the night.

The night passed, as all nights will, and in the morning Mr. Bullion
was calmer. The first intelligence he received after breakfast was in a
message from Tonsor, delivered by a servant.

"Plaze, Sur, Mr. Tonsor's compliments, and he says the banks is
suspinded and money's to be asier."

"Send after Mr. Tonsor; overtake him, and ask him to come back. I want
to see him."

Tonsor returned, and they had a long conference. It now seemed probable
that stocks would be more buoyant and the "bulls" would have their turn.
Any considerable rise in shares would place Bullion on his feet and
enable him to resume payment. Most of his time-contracts had been met,
and the change would be of the greatest service to him. He placed his
shares, therefore, in Tonsor's hands with instructions to sell when
prices advanced. He then looked over the amount of his liabilities, and
saw, with some of his old exultation, that, if he could effect sales
at the rates he expected, he should have at least two hundred thousand
dollars after paying all his debts. Ambition again whispered to him,
that he might now take his old place in the business world, and perhaps
might more than retrieve his losses. But he thought of the last night,
and shrank from encountering a new brood of horrors. Firm in his new
purpose, he dismissed the broker and sent for his counsellor.

"My son," he meditated, "is a lawyer in good practice. He needs no
fortune. Twenty thousand will be enough for him; more than I had, which
wasn't a penny. My daughter is married rich. Didn't mean to have any
pauper son-in-law to be plaguing me. The same for her. The rest will
square those old accounts,--and the new one, too, on the book up yonder!
Best to fix it now, while I can muster the courage. If I once get the
money, I'm afraid I shouldn't do it. So my will shall set all these
matters right; and it shall be drawn and signed to-day."

That night Mr. Bullion needed no servant to watch with him. The ghosts
were laid.

[To be concluded in the next number.]

       *       *       *       *       *


INSCRIPTION

FOR AN ALMS-CHEST MADE OF CAMPHOR-WOOD.


  This fragrant box that breathes of India's balms
  Hath one more fragrance, for it asketh alms;
  But, though 'tis sweet and blessed to receive,
  You know who said, "It is more blest to give":
  Give, then, receive His blessing,--and for me
  Thy silent boon sufficient blessing be!
  If Ceylon's isle, that bears the bleeding trees,
  With any perfume load the Orient breeze,--
  If Heber's Muse, by Ceylon as he sailed,
  A pleasant odor from the shore inhaled,--
  More lives in me; for underneath my lid
  A sweetness as of sacrifice is hid.

  Thou gentle almoner, in passing by,
  Smell of my wood, and scan me with thine eye;--
  I, too, from Ceylon bear a spicy breath
  That might put warmness in the lungs of death;
  A simple chest of scented wood I seem,
  But, oh! within me lurks a golden beam,--

  A beam celestial, and a silver din,
  As though imprisoned angels played within;
  Hushed in my heart my fragrant secret dwells;
  If thou wouldst learn it, Paul of Tarsus tells;--
  No jangled brass nor tinkling cymbal sound,
  For in my bosom Charity is found.

       *       *       *       *       *


A TRIP TO CUBA.


THE DEPARTURE.


Why one leaves home at all is a question that travellers are sure,
sooner or later, to ask themselves,--I mean, pleasure-travellers. Home,
where one has the "Transcript" every night, and the "Autocrat"
every month, opera, theatre, circus, and good society, in constant
rotation,--home, where everybody knows us, and the little good there is
to know about us,--finally, home, as seen regretfully for the last time,
with the gushing of long frozen friendships, the priceless kisses of
children, and the last sad look at dear baby's pale face through the
window-pane,--well, all this is left behind, and we review it as a
dream, while the railroad-train hurries us along to the spot where we
are to leave, not only this, but Winter, rude tyrant, with all our
precious hostages in his grasp. Soon the swift motion lulls our brains
into the accustomed muddle; we seem to be dragged along like a miserable
thread pulled through the eye of an ever-lasting needle,--through and
through, and never through,--while here and there, like painful knots,
the _depots_ stop us, the poor thread is arrested for a minute, and then
the pulling begins again. Or, in another dream, we are like fugitives
threading the gauntlet of the grim forests, while the ice-bound trees
essay a charge of bayonets on either side; but, under the guidance of
our fiery Mercury, we pass them as safely as ancient Priam passed the
outposts of the Greeks,--and New York, as hospitable as Achilles,
receives us in its mighty tent. Here we await the "Karnak," the British
Mail Company's new screw-steamer, bound for Havana, _via_ Nassau. At
length comes the welcome order to "be on board." We betake ourselves
thither,--the anchor is weighed, the gun fired, and we take leave of our
native land with a patriotic pang, which soon gives place to severer
spasms.

I do not know why all celebrated people who write books of travels begin
by describing their days of sea-sickness. Dickens, George Combe, Fanny
Kemble, Mrs. Stowe, Miss Bremer, and many others, have opened in like
manner their valuable remarks on foreign countries. While intending to
avail myself of their privilege and example, I would, nevertheless,
suggest, for those who may come after me, that the subject of
sea-sickness should be embalmed in science, and enshrined in the crypt
of some modern encyclopaedia, so that future writers should refer to it
only as the Pang Unspeakable, for which _vide_ Ripley and Dana,
vol. ---, page ---. But, as I have already said, I shall speak of
sea-sickness in a hurried and picturesque manner, as follows:--

Who are these that sit by the long dinner-table in the forward cabin,
with a most unusual lack of interest in the bill of fare? Their eyes are
closed, mostly, their cheeks are pale, their lips are quite bloodless,
and to every offer of good cheer, their "No, thank you," is as faintly
uttered as are marriage-vows by maiden lips. Can they be the same that,
an hour ago, were so composed, so jovial, so full of dangerous defiance
to the old man of the sea? The officer who carves the roast-beef offers
at the same time a slice of fat;--this is too much; a panic runs through
the ranks, and the rout is instantaneous and complete. The ghost of what
each man was disappears through the trap-door of his state-room, and the
hell which the theatre faintly pictures behind the scenes begins in good
earnest.

For to what but to Dante's "Inferno" can we liken this steamboat-cabin,
with its double row of pits, and its dismal captives? What are these
sighs, groans, and despairing noises, but the _alti guai_ rehearsed by
the poet? Its fiends are the stewards who rouse us from our perpetual
torpor with offers of food and praises of shadowy banquets,--"Nice
mutton-chop, Sir? roast-turkey? plate of soup?" Cries of "No, no!"
resound, and the wretched turn again, and groan. The philanthropist has
lost the movement of the age,--keeled up in an upper berth, convulsively
embracing a blanket, what conservative more immovable than he? The great
man of the party refrains from his large theories, which, like the
circles made by the stone thrown into the water, begin somewhere and end
nowhere. As we have said, he expounds himself no more, the significant
fore-finger is down, the eye no longer imprisons yours. But if you ask
him how he does, he shakes himself, as if, like Farinata,--

  "avesse l' inferno in gran dispetto,"--

"he had a very contemptible opinion of hell." Let me not forget to add,
that it rains every day, that it blows every night, and that it rolls
through the twenty-four hours till the whole world seems as if turned
bottom upwards, clinging with its nails to chaos, and fearing to launch
away. The captain comes and says,--"It is true, you have a nasty, short,
chopping sea hereabouts; but you see, she is spinning away down South
jolly!" And this is the Gulf-Stream!

But all things have an end, and most things have two. After the third
day, a new development manifests itself. Various shapeless masses are
carried upstairs and suffered to fall like snow-flakes on the deck, and
to lie there in shivering heaps. From these larvae gradually emerge
features and voices,--the luncheon-bell at last stirs them with the
thrill of returning life. They look up, they lean up, they exchange
pensive smiles of recognition,--the steward comes, no fiend this time,
but a ministering angel, and, lo! the strong man eats broth, and the
weak woman clamors for pickled oysters. And so ends my description of
our sea-sickness.

For, as for betraying the confidences of those sad days, as for telling
how wofully untrue Professors of Temperance were to their principles,
how the Apostle of Total Abstinence developed a brandy-flask, not
altogether new, what unsuccessful tipplings were attempted in the
desperation of nausea, and for what lady that stunning brandy-smasher
was mixed,--as for such tales out of school, I would have you know that
I am not the man to tell them.

Yet a portrait or so lingers in my mental repository;--let me throw them
in, to close off the lot.

No. 1. A sober Bostonian in the next state-room, whose assiduity with
his sea-sick wife reminds one of Cock-Robin, when he sent Jenny Wren
sops and wine. This person was last seen in a dressing-gown, square-cut
night-cap, and odd slippers, dancing up and down the state-room floor
with a cup of gruel, making wild passes with a spoon at an individual in
a berth, who never got any of the contents. Item, the gruel, in a moment
of excitement, finally ran in a stream upon the floor, and was wiped up
by the steward. Result not known, but disappointment is presumable.

No. 2. A stout lady, imprisoned by a board on a sofa nine inches wide,
called by a facetious friend "The Coffin." She complains that her sides
are tolerably battered in;--we hold our tongues, and think that the
board, too, has had a hard time of it. Yet she is a jolly soul, laughing
at her misfortunes, and chirruping to her baby. Her spirits keep up,
even when her dinner won't keep down. Her favorite expressions are "Good
George!" and "Oh, jolly!" She does not intend, she says, to lay in any
dry goods in Cuba, but means to eat up all the good victuals she comes
across. Though seen at present under unfavorable circumstances, she
inspires confidence as to her final accomplishment of this result.

No. 3. A woman, said to be of a literary turn of mind, in the
miserablest condition imaginable. Her clothes, flung at her by the
stewardess, seem to have hit in some places, and missed in others.
Her listless hands occasionally make an attempt to keep her draperies
together, and to pull her hat on her head; but though the intention is
evident, she accomplishes little by her motion. She is perpetually being
lugged about by a stout steward, who knocks her head against both sides
of the vessel, folds her up in the gangway, spreads her out on the deck,
and takes her up-stairs, down-stairs, and in my lady's chamber, where,
report says, he feeds her with a spoon, and comforts her with such
philosophy as he is master of. N.B. This woman, upon the first change of
weather, rose like a cork, dressed like a Christian, and toddled about
the deck in the easiest manner, sipping her grog, and cutting sly jokes
upon her late companions in misery,--is supposed by some to have been an
impostor, and, when ill-treated, announced intentions of writing a book.

No. 4, my last, is only a sketch;--circumstances allowed no more. Can
Grande, the great dog, has been got up out of the pit, where he worried
the stewardess and snapped at the friend who tried to pat him on the
head. Everybody asks where he is. Don't you see that heap of shawls
yonder, lying in the sun, and heated up to about 212 degrees Fahrenheit?
That slouched hat on top marks the spot where his head should lie,--by
treading cautiously in the opposite direction you may discover his
feet. All between is perfectly passive and harmless. His chief food is
pickles,--his only desire is rest. After all these years of controversy,
after all these battles, bravely fought and nobly won, you might write
with truth upon this moveless mound of woollens the pathetic words from
Pere la Chaise:--_Implora Pace_.

But no more at present, for land is in sight, and in my next you shall
hear how we found it, and what we saw at Nassau.


NASSAU.


Nassau looked very green and pleasant to us after our voyage;--the eyes
enjoy a little fresh provision after so long a course of salt food. The
first view of land is little more than "the feeling of the thing,"--it
is matter of faith, rather than of sight. You are shown a dark and
distant line, near the horizon, without color or features. They say it
is land, and you believe it. But you come nearer and nearer,--you see
first the green of vegetation, then the form of the trees,--the harbor
at last opens its welcome arms,--the anchor is dropped,--the gun
fired,--the steam snuffed out. Led by a thread of sunshine, you have
walked the labyrinth of the waters, and all their gigantic dangers lie
behind you.

We made Nassau at twelve o'clock, on the sixth day from our departure,
counting the first as one. The first feature discernible was a group
of tall cocoa-nut trees, with which the island is bounteously
feathered;--the second was a group of negroes in a small boat, steering
towards us with open-mouthed and white-toothed wonder. Nothing makes its
simple impression upon the mind sophisticated by education. The negroes,
as they came nearer, suggested only Christy's Minstrels, of whom
they were a tolerably faithful imitation,--while the cocoa-nut-trees
transported us to the Boston in Ravel-time, and we strained our eyes to
see the wonderful ape, Jocko, whose pathetic death, nightly repeated,
used to cheat the credulous Bostonians of time, tears, and treasure.
Despite the clumsiest management, the boat soon effected a junction with
our gangway, allowing some nameless official to come on board, and to go
through I know not what mysterious and indispensable formality. Other
boats then came, like a shoal of little fishes around the carcass of
a giant whale. There were many negroes, together with whites of every
grade; and some of our number, leaning over the side, saw for the first
time the raw material out of which Northern Humanitarians have spun so
fine a skein of compassion and sympathy.

Now we who write, and they for whom we write, are all orthodox upon this
mighty question; we have all made our confession of faith in private and
in public; we all, on suitable occasions, walk up and apply the match to
the keg of gun-powder which is to blow up the Union, but which, somehow,
at the critical moment, fails to ignite. But you must allow us one
heretical whisper,--very small and low. The negro of the North is an
ideal negro; it is the negro refined by white culture, elevated by white
blood, instructed even by white iniquity;--the negro among negroes is a
coarse, grinning, flat-footed, thick-skulled creature, ugly as Caliban,
lazy as the laziest of brutes, chiefly ambitious to be of no use to any
in the world. View him as you will, his stock in trade is small;--he has
but the tangible instincts of all creatures,--love of life, of ease, and
of offspring. For all else, he must go to school to the white race, and
his discipline must be long and laborious. Nassau, and all that we saw
of it, suggested to us the unwelcome question, whether compulsory labor
be not better than none. But as a question I gladly leave it, and return
to the simple narration of what befell.

There was a sort of eddy at the gangway of our steamer, made by the
conflicting tides of those who wanted to come on board and of those who
wanted to go on shore. We were among the number of the latter, but were
stopped and held by the button by one of the former, while those more
impatient or less sympathizing made their way to the small boats which
waited below. The individual in question had come alongside in a
handsome barge, rowed by a dozen stout blacks, in the undress uniform
of the Zouaves. These men, well drilled and disciplined, seemed of a
different sort from the sprawling, screaming creatures in the other
boats, and their bright red caps and white tunics became them well.
But he who now claimed my attention was of British birth and military
profession. His face was ardent, his pantaloons were of white flannel,
his expression of countenance was that of habitual discontent, but with
a twinkle of geniality in the eye which redeemed the Grumbler from the
usual tedium of his tribe. He accosted us as follows:--

"Go ashore? What for? To see something, eh? There's nothing to see;
the island isn't bigger than a nut-shell, and doesn't contain a single
prospect.--Go ashore and get some dinner? There isn't anything to eat
there.--Fruit? None to speak of; sour oranges and green bananas.--I went
to market last Saturday, and bought one cabbage, one banana, and half
a pig's head;--there's a market for you!--Fish? Oh, yes, if you like
it.--Turtle? Yes, you can get the Gallipagos turtle; it makes tolerable
soup, but has not the green fat, which, in _my_ opinion, is the most
important feature in turtle-soup.--Shops? You can't buy a pair of
scissors on the island, nor a baby's bottle;--broke mine the other day,
and tried to replace it; couldn't.--Society? There are lots of people to
call upon you, and bore you to death with returning their visits."

At last the Major went below, and we broke away, and were duly conveyed
to _terra firma_. It was Sunday, and late in the afternoon. The first
glimpse certainly seemed to confirm the Major's disparaging statements.
The town is small; the houses dingy and out of repair; the legend, that
paint costs nothing, is not received here; and whatever may have been
the original colors of the buildings, the climate has had its own
way with them for many a day. The barracks are superior in finish
to anything else we see. Government-House is a melancholy-looking
_caserne_, surrounded by a piazza, the grounds being adorned with a most
chunky and inhuman statue of Columbus. All the houses are surrounded by
verandas, from which pale children and languid women in muslins look
out, and incline us to ask what epidemic has visited the island and
swept the rose from every cheek. They are a pallid race, the Nassauese,
and retain little of the vigor of their English ancestry. One English
trait they exhibit,--the hospitality which has passed into a proverb;
another, perhaps,--the stanch adherence to the forms and doctrines of
Episcopacy. We enter the principal church;--they are just lighting it
for evening service; it is hung with candles, each burning in a clear
glass shade. The walls and ceiling are whitewashed, and contrast
prettily with the dark timbering of the roof. We would gladly have
staid to give thanks for our safe and prosperous voyage, but a black
rain-cloud warns us homeward,--not, however, until we have received a
kind invitation from one of the hospitable islanders to return the next
morning for a drive and breakfast.

Returning soon after sunrise to fulfil this promise, we encounter the
barracks, and are tempted to look in and see the sons of darkness
performing their evolutions. The morning drill is about half over. We
peep in,--the Colonel, a lean Don Quixote on a leaner Rosinante, dashes
up to us with a weak attempt at a canter; he courteously invites us to
come in and see all that is to be seen, and, lo! our friend the Major,
quite gallant in his sword and scarlet jacket, is detailed for our
service. The soldiers are black, and very black,--none of your dubious
American shades, ranging from clear salmon to _cafe au lait_ or even
to _cafe noir_. These are your good, satisfactory, African sables,
warranted not to change in the washing. Their Zouave costume is very
becoming, with the Oriental turban, caftan, and loose trousers; and the
Philosopher of our party remarks, that the African requires costume,
implying that the New Englander can stand alone, as can his clothes, in
their black rigidity. The officers are white, and the Major very polite;
he shows us the men, the arms, the kits, the quarters, and, having done
all that he can do for us, relinquishes us with a gallant bow to our
host of the drive and breakfast.

The drive does something to retrieve the character of the island. The
road is hard and even, overhung with glossy branches of strange trees
bearing unknown fruits, and studded on each side with pleasant villas
and with negro huts. There are lovely flowers everywhere, among which
the Hibiscus, called South-Sea Rose, and the Oleander, are most
frequent, and most brilliant. We see many tall groves of cocoa-nut,
and cast longing glances towards the fruit, which little negroes, with
surprising activity, attain and shake down. A sudden turn in the road
discloses a lovely view of the bay, with its wonderful green waters,
clear and bright as emerald;--there is a little beach, and boats lie
about, and groups of negroes are laughing and chattering,--quoting
stocks from the last fish-market, very likely. We purchase for half a
dollar a bunch of bananas, for which Ford or Palmer would ask us ten
dollars at least, and go rejoicing to our breakfast.

Our host is a physician of the island, English by birth, and retaining
his robust form and color in spite of a twenty-years' residence in the
warm climate. He has a pleasant family of sons and daughters, all in
health, but without a shade of pink in lips or cheeks. The breakfast
consists of excellent fried fish, fine Southern hominy,--not the pebbly
broken corn which our dealers impose under that name,--various hot
cakes, tea and coffee, bananas, sapodillas, and if there be anything
else not included in the present statement, let haste and want of time
excuse the omission. The conversation runs a good deal on the hopes of
increasing prosperity which the new mail-steamer opens to the eyes
of the Nassauese. Invalids, they say, will do better there than in
Cuba,--it is quieter, much cheaper, and the climate is milder. There
will be a hotel, very soon, where no attention will be spared, etc.,
etc. The Government will afford every facility, etc., etc. It seemed,
indeed, a friendly little place, with delicious air and sky, and a good,
reasonable, decent, English tone about it. Expenses moderate, ye fathers
of encroaching families. Negroes abundant and natural, ye students
of ethnological possibilities. Officers in red jackets, you young
ladies,--young ones, some of them. Why wouldn't you all try it,
especially as the captain of the "Karnak" is an excellent sailor, and
the kindest and manliest of conductors?


FROM NASSAU TO CUBA.


The breakfast being over, we recall the captain's parting admonition to
be on board by ten o'clock, with the significant gesture and roll of the
eye which clearly express that England expects every passenger to do his
duty. Now we know very well that the "Karnak" is not likely to weigh
anchor before twelve, at the soonest, but we dare not, for our lives,
disobey the captain. So, passing by yards filled with the huge Bahama
sponges, piles of wreck-timber, fishing-boats with strange fishes, red,
yellow, blue, and white, and tubs of aldermanic turtle, we attain the
shore, and, presently, the steamer. Here we find a large deputation of
the towns-people taking passage with us for a pleasure excursion to
Havana. The greater number are ladies and children. They come fluttering
on board, poor things, like butterflies, in gauzy dresses, hats, and
feathers, according to the custom of their country; one gentleman takes
four little daughters with him for a holiday. We ask ourselves whether
they know what an ugly beast the Gulf-Stream is, that they affront him
in such light armor. "Good heavens! how sick they will be!" we exclaim;
while they eye us askance, in our winter trim, and pronounce us slow,
and old fogies. With all the rashness of youth, they attack the
luncheon-table. So boisterous a popping of corks was never heard in all
our boisterous passage;--there is a chorus, too, of merry tongues and
shrill laughter. But we get fairly out to sea, where the wind, an
adverse one, is waiting for us, and at that gay table there is silence,
followed by a rush and disappearance. The worst cases are hurried out of
sight, and, going above, we find the disabled lying in groups about the
deck, the feather-hats discarded, the muslins crumpled, and we, the old
fogies, going to cover the fallen with shawls and blankets, to speak
words of consolation, and to implore the sufferers not to cure
themselves with brandy, soda-water, claret, and wine-bitters, in quick
succession,--which they, nevertheless, do, and consequently are no
better that day, nor the next.

But I am forgetting to chronicle a touching parting interview with the
Major, the last thing remembered in Nassau, and of course the last to be
forgotten anywhere. Our concluding words might best be recorded in the
form of a catechism of short questions and answers, to wit:--

"How long did the Major expect to stay in Nassau?"

"About six months."

"How long would he stay, if he had his own way?"

"Not one!"

"What did he come for, then?"

"Oh, you buy into a nigger regiment for promotion."

These were the most important facts elicited by cross-examination. At
last we shook hands warmly, promising to meet again somewhere, and the
crimson-lined barge with the black Zouaves carried him away. In humbler
equipages depart the many black women who have visited the steamer, some
for amusement, some to sell the beautiful shell-work made on the island.
These may be termed, in general, as ugly a set of wenches as one could
wish not to see. They all wear palm-leaf hats stuck on their heads
without strings or ribbons, and their clothes are so ill-made that you
cannot help thinking that each has borrowed somebody else's dress, until
you see that the ill-fitting garments are the rule, not the exception.

But neither youth nor sea-sickness lasts forever. The forces of nature
rally on the second day, and the few who have taken no remedies recover
the use of their tongues and some of their faculties. From these I
gather what I shall here impart as


SERIOUS VIEWS OF THE BAHAMAS.


The principal exports of these favored islands are fruits, sponges,
molasses, and sugar. Their imports include most of the necessaries of
life, which come to them oftenest in the form of wrecks, by which they
obtain them at a small fraction of the original cost and value. For this
resource they are indebted to the famous Bahama Banks, which, to their
way of thinking, are institutions as important as the Bank of England
itself. These banks stand them in a handsome annual income, and
facilitate large discounts and transfers of property not contemplated by
the original possessors. One supposes that somebody must suffer by these
forced sales of large cargoes at prices ruinous to commerce,--but _who_
suffers is a point not easy to ascertain. There seems to be a good,
comfortable understanding all round. The owners say, "Go ahead, and
don't bother yourself,--she's insured." The captain has got his ship
aground in shoal water where she can't sink, and no harm done. The
friendly wreckers are close at hand to haul the cargo ashore. The
underwriter of the insurance company has shut his eyes and opened his
mouth to receive a plum, which, being a good large one, will not let him
speak. And so the matter providentially comes to pass, and "enterprises
of great pith and moment" oftenest get no farther than the Bahamas.

Nassau produces neither hay nor corn,--these, together with butter,
flour, and tea, being brought chiefly from the United States. Politics,
of course, it has none. As to laws, the colonial system certainly needs
propping up,--for under its action a man may lead so shameless a life
of immorality as to compel his wife to leave him, and yet not be held
responsible for her support and that of the children she has borne him.
The principal points of interest are, first, the garrison,--secondly,
Government-House, with an occasional ball there,--and, third, one's
next-door neighbor, and his or her doings. The principal event in the
memory of the citizens seems to be a certain most desirable wreck, in
consequence of which, a diamond card-case worth fifteen hundred dollars
was sold for an eighth part of that sum, and laces whose current price
ranges from thirty to forty dollars a yard were purchased at will for
seventy-five cents. That was a wreck worth having! say the Nassauese.
The price of milk ranges from eighteen to twenty-five cents a
quart;--think of that, ye New England housekeepers! That precious
article, the pudding, is nearly unknown in the Nassauese economy; nor
is pie-crust so short as it might be, owing to the enormous price of
butter, which has been known to attain the sum of one dollar per pound.
Eggs are quoted at prices not commendable for large families with
small means. On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, and sugar-cane are
abundant.

The Nassauese, on the whole, seem to be a kind-hearted and friendly set
of people, partly English, partly Southern in character, but with rather
a predominance of the latter ingredient in their composition. Their
women resemble the women of our own Southern States, but seem simpler
and more domestic in their habits,--while the men would make tolerable
Yankees, but would scarcely support President Buchanan, the Kansas
question, or the Filibustero movement. Physically, the race suffers and
degenerates under the influence of the warm climate. Cases of pulmonary
disease, asthma, and neuralgia are of frequent occurrence, and cold is
considered as curative to them as heat is to us. The diet, too, is not
that "giant ox-beef" which the Saxon race requires. Meat is rare, and
tough, unless brought from the States at high cost. We were forced to
the conclusion that no genuine English life can be supported upon a
_regime_ of fish and fruit,--or, in other words, no beef, no Bull, but
a very different sort of John, lantern-jawed, leather-skinned, and of
a thirsty complexion. It occurred to us, furthermore, that it is a
dolorous thing to live on a lonely little island, tied up like a wart on
the face of civilization,--no healthful stream of life coming and going
from the great body of the main land,--the same moral air to be breathed
over and over again, without renewal,--the same social elements turned
and returned in one tiresome kaleidoscope. Wherefore rejoice, ye
Continentals, and be thankful, and visit the Nassauese, bringing beef,
butter, and beauty,--bringing a few French muslins to replace the
coarse English fabrics, and buxom Irish girls to outwork the idle negro
women,--bringing new books, newspapers, and periodicals,--bringing the
Yankee lecturer, all expenses paid, and his drink found him. All these
good things, and more, the States have for the Nassauese, of whom we
must now take leave, for all hands have been piped on deck.

We have jolted for three weary days over the roughest of ocean-highways,
and Cuba, nay, Havana, is in sight. The worst cases are up, and begin to
talk about their sea-legs, now that the occasion for them is at an end.
Sobrina, the chief wit of our party, who would eat sour-sop, sapodilla,
orange, banana, cocoa-nut, and sugar-cane at Nassau, and who has lived
upon toddy of twenty-cocktail power ever since,--even she is seen,
clothed and in her right mind, sitting at the feet of the prophet she
loves, and going through the shawl-and-umbrella exercise. And here is
the Moro Castle, which guards the entrance of the harbor,--here go
the signals, answering to our own. Here comes the man with the
speaking-trumpet, who, understanding no English, yells out to our
captain, who understands no Spanish. The following is a free rendering
of their conversation:--

"Any Americans on board?"

"Yes, thank Heaven, plenty."

"How many are Filibusteros?"

"All of them."

"Bad luck to them, then!"

"The same to you!"

"_Caramba_" says the Spaniard.

"--------," says the Englishman.

And so the forms of diplomacy are fulfilled; and of Havana, more in my
next.

[To be continued.]




THE PROFESSOR AT THE BREAKFAST-TABLE.

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


_The Professor finds a Fly in his Teacup_.

I have a long theological talk to relate, which must be dull reading to
some of my young and vivacious friends. I don't know, however, that any
of them have entered into a contract to read all that I write, or that I
have promised always to write to please them. What if I should sometimes
write to please myself?

Now you must know that there are a great many things which interest me,
to some of which this or that particular class of readers may be totally
indifferent. I love Nature, and human nature, its thoughts, affections,
dreams, aspirations, delusions,--Art in all its forms,--_virtu_ in all
its eccentricities,--old stories from black-letter volumes and yellow
manuscripts, and new projects out of hot brains not yet imbedded in the
snows of age. I love the generous impulses of the reformer; but not less
does my imagination feed itself upon the old litanies, so often warmed
by the human breath upon which they were wafted to heaven that they glow
through our frames like our own heart's blood. I hope I love good men
and women; I know that they never speak a word to me, even if it be of
question or blame, that I do not take pleasantly, if it is expressed
with a reasonable amount of human kindness.

I have before me at this time a beautiful and affecting letter, which
I have hesitated to answer, though the postmark upon it gave its
direction, and the name is one which is known to all, in some of its
representatives. It contains no reproach, only a delicately-hinted fear.
Speak gently, as this dear lady has spoken, and there is no heart so
insensible that it does not answer to the appeal, no intellect so virile
that it does not own a certain allegiance to the claims of age, of
childhood, of sensitive and timid natures, when they plead with it not
to look at those sacred things by the broad daylight which they see in
mystic shadow. How grateful would it be to make perpetual peace with
these pleading saints and their confessors, by the simple act
that silences all complainings! Sleep, sleep, sleep! says the
Arch-Enchantress of them all,--and pours her dark and potent anodyne,
distilled over the fires that consumed her foes,--its large, round drops
changing, as we look, into the beads of her convert's rosary! Silence!
the pride of reason! cries another, whose whole life is spent in
reasoning down reason.

I hope I love good people, not for their sake, but for my own. And most
assuredly, if any deed of wrong or word of bitterness led me into an act
of disrespect towards that enlightened and excellent class of men who
make it their calling to teach goodness and their duty to practise it,
I should feel that I had done myself an injury rather than them. Go and
talk with any professional man holding any of the mediaeval creeds,
choosing one who wears upon his features the mark of inward and outward
health, who looks cheerful, intelligent, and kindly, and see how all
your prejudices melt away in his presence! It is impossible to come into
intimate relations with a large, sweet nature, such as you may often
find in this class, without longing to be at one with it in all its
modes of being and believing. But does it not occur to you that one may
love truth as he sees it, and his race as he views it, better than even
the sympathy and approbation of many good men whom he honors,--better
than sleeping to the sound of the Miserere or listening to the
repetition of an effete Confession of Faith?

The three learned professions have but recently emerged from a state of
_quasi_ barbarism. None of them like too well to be told of it, but it
must be sounded in their ears whenever they put on airs. When a man has
taken an overdose of laudanum, the doctors tell us to place him between
two persons who shall make him walk up and down incessantly; and if he
still cannot be kept from going to sleep, they say that a lash or two
over his back is of great assistance.

So we must keep the doctors awake by telling them that they have not
yet shaken off astrology and the doctrine of signatures, as is shown by
their prescriptions, and their use of nitrate of silver, which turns
epileptics into Ethiopians. If that is not enough, they must be given
over to the scourgers, who like their task and get good fees for it. A
few score years ago, sick people were made to swallow burnt toads and
powdered earth-worms and the expressed juice of wood-lice. The physician
of Charles I. and II. prescribed abominations not to be named.
Barbarism, as bad as that of Congo or Ashantee. Traces of this barbarism
linger even in the greatly improved medical science of our century. So
while the solemn farce of over-drugging is going on, the world over,
the harlequin pseudo-science jumps on to the stage, whip in hand, with
half-a-dozen somersets, and begins laying about him.

In 1817, perhaps you remember, the law of wager by battle was
unrepealed, and the rascally murderous, and worse than murderous, clown,
Abraham Thornton, put on his gauntlet in open court and defied the
appellant to lift the other which he threw down. It was not until the
reign of George II. that the statutes against witchcraft were repealed.
As for the English Court of Chancery, we know that its antiquated abuses
form one of the staples of common proverbs and popular literature.
So the laws and the lawyers have to be watched perpetually by public
opinion as much as the doctors do.

I don't think the other profession is an exception. When the Reverend
Mr. Cauvin and his associates burned my distinguished scientific
brother,--he was burned with green fagots, which made it rather slow and
painful,--it appears to me they were in a state of religious barbarism.
The dogmas of such people about the Father of Mankind and his creatures
are of no more account in my opinion than those of a council of Aztecs.
If a man picks your pocket, do you not consider him thereby disqualified
to pronounce any authoritative opinion on matters of ethics? If a man
hangs my ancient female relatives for sorcery, as they did in this
neighborhood a little while ago, or burns my instructor for not
believing as he does, I care no more for his religious edicts than I
should for those of any other barbarian.

Of course, a barbarian may hold many true opinions; but when the ideas
of the healing art, of the administration of justice, of Christian love,
could not exclude systematic poisoning, judicial duelling, and murder
for opinion's sake, I do not see how we can trust the verdict of that
time relating to any subject which involves the primal instincts
violated in these abominations and absurdities.--What if we are even now
in a state of _semi_-barbarism?

Perhaps some think we ought not to talk at table about such things.--I
am not so sure of that. Religion and government appear to me the two
subjects which of all others should belong to the common talk of people
who enjoy the blessings of freedom. Think, one moment. The earth is a
great factory-wheel, which, at every revolution on its axis, receives
fifty thousand raw souls and turns off nearly the same number worked up
more or less completely. There must be somewhere a population of two
hundred thousand million, perhaps ten or a hundred times as many,
earth-born intelligences. _Life_, as we call it, is nothing but the edge
of the boundless ocean of existence where it comes on soundings. In
this view, I do not see anything so fit to talk about, or half so
interesting, as that which relates to the innumerable majority of our
fellow-creatures, the dead-living, who are hundreds of thousands to one
of the live-living, and with whom we all potentially belong, though we
have got tangled for the present in some parcels of fibrine, albumen,
and phosphates, that keep us on the minority side of the house. In point
of fact, it is one of the many results of _Spiritualism_ to make
the permanent destiny of the race a matter of common reflection and
discourse, and a vehicle for the prevailing disbelief of the Middle-Age
doctrines on the subject. I cannot help thinking, when I remember how
many conversations my friend and myself have reported, that it would be
very extraordinary, if there were no mention of that class of subjects
which involves all that we have and all that we hope, not merely for
ourselves, but for the dear people whom we love best,--noble men, pure
and lovely women, ingenuous children,--about the destiny of nine-tenths
of whom you know the opinions that would have been taught by those old
man-roasting, woman-strangling dogmatists.--However, I fought this
matter with one of our boarders the other day, and I am going to report
the conversation.

       *       *       *       *       *

The divinity-student came down, one morning, looking rather more serious
than usual. He said little at breakfast-time, but lingered after the
others, so that I, who am apt to be long at the table, found myself
alone with him.

When the rest were all gone, he turned his chair round towards mine, and
began.

I am afraid,--he said,--you express yourself a little too freely on a
most important class of subjects. Is there not danger in introducing
discussions or allusions relating to matters of religion into common
discourse?

Danger to what?--I asked.

Danger to truth,--he replied, after a slight pause.

I didn't know Truth was such an invalid,--I said.--How long is it since
she could only take the air in a close carriage, with a gentleman in
a black coat on the box? Let me tell you a story, adapted to young
persons, but which won't hurt older ones.

----There was a very little boy who had one of those balloons you may
have seen, which are filled with light gas, and are held by a string to
keep them from running off in aeronautic voyages on their own
account. This little boy had a naughty brother, who said to him, one
day,--Brother, pull down your balloon, so that I can look at it and take
hold of it. Then the little boy pulled it down. Now the naughty brother
had a sharp pin in his hand, and he thrust it into the balloon, and all
the gas oozed out, so that there was nothing left but a shrivelled skin.

One evening, the little boy's father called him to the window to see the
moon, which pleased him very much; but presently he said,--Father, do
not pull the string and bring down the moon, for my naughty brother will
prick it, and then it will all shrivel up and we shall not see it any
more.

Then his father laughed, and told him how the moon had been shining a
good while, and would shine a good while longer, and that all we could
do was to keep our windows clean, never letting the dust get too thick
on them, and especially to keep our eyes open, but that we could not
pull the moon down with a string, nor prick it with a pin.--Mind you
this, too, the moon is no man's private property, but is seen from a
good many parlor-windows.

----Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay,
you may kick it about all day, like a football, and it will be round and
full at evening. Does not Mr. Bryant say, that Truth gets well if she is
run over by a locomotive, while Error dies of lockjaw if she scratches
her finger? I never heard that a mathematician was alarmed for the
safety of a demonstrated proposition. I think, generally, that fear
of open discussion implies feebleness of inward conviction, and great
sensitiveness to the expression of individual opinion is a mark of
weakness.

----I am not so much afraid for truth,--said the divinity-student,--as
for the conceptions of truth in the minds of persons not accustomed to
judge wisely the opinions uttered before them.

Would you, then, banish all allusions to matters of this nature from the
society of people who come together habitually?

I would be very careful in introducing them,--said the divinity-student.

Yes, but friends of yours leave pamphlets in people's entries, to be
picked up by nervous misses and hysteric housemaids, full of doctrines
these people do not approve. Some of your friends stop little children
in the street, and give them books, which their parents, who have had
them baptized into the Christian fold and give them what they consider
proper religious instruction, do not think fit for them. One would say
it was fair enough to talk about matters thus forced upon people's
attention.

The divinity-student could not deny that this was what might be called
opening the subject to the discussion of intelligent people.

But,--he said,--the greatest objection is this, that persons who have
not made a professional study of theology are not competent to speak on
such subjects. Suppose a minister were to undertake to express opinions
on medical subjects, for instance, would you not think he was going
beyond his province?

I laughed,--for I remembered John Wesley's "sulphur and supplication,"
and so many other cases where ministers had meddled with
medicine,--sometimes well and sometimes ill, but, as a general rule,
with a tremendous lurch to quackery, owing to their very loose way of
admitting evidence,--that I could not help being amused.

I beg your pardon,--I said,--I do not wish to be impolite, but I was
thinking of their certificates to patent medicines. Let us look at this
matter.

If a minister had attended lectures on the theory and practice of
medicine, delivered by those who had studied it most deeply, for thirty
or forty years, at the rate of from fifty to one hundred a year,--if he
had been constantly reading and hearing read the most approved textbooks
on the subject,--if he had seen medicine actually practised according to
different methods, daily, for the same length of time,--I should think,
that, if a person of average understanding, he _was_ entitled to express
an opinion on the subject of medicine, or else that his instructors were
a set of ignorant and incompetent charlatans.

If, before a medical practitioner would allow me to enjoy the full
privileges of the healing art, he expected me to affirm my belief in a
considerable number of medical doctrines, drugs, and formulae, I should
think that he thereby implied my right to discuss the same, and my
ability to do so, if I knew how to express myself in English.

Suppose, for instance, the Medical Society should refuse to give us an
opiate, or to set a broken limb, until we had signed our belief in
a certain number of propositions,--of which we will say this is the
first:--

I. All men's teeth are naturally in a state of total decay or caries,
and, therefore, no man can bite until every one of them is extracted and
a new set is inserted according to the principles of dentistry adopted
by this Society.

I, for one, should want to discuss that before signing my name to it,
and I should say this:--Why, no, that isn't true. There are a good many
bad teeth, we all know, but a great many more good ones. You mustn't
trust the _dentists_; they are all the time looking at the people who
have bad teeth, and such as are suffering from toothache. The idea that
you must pull out every one of every nice young man and young woman's
natural teeth! Poh, poh! Nobody believes that. This tooth must be
straightened, that must be filled with gold, and this other perhaps
extracted; but it must be a very rare case, if they are all so bad as to
require extraction; and if they are, don't blame the poor soul for it!
Don't tell us, as some old dentists used to, that everybody not only
always has every tooth in his head good for nothing, but that he ought
to have his head cut off as a punishment for that misfortune! No, I
can't sign Number One. Give us Number Two.

II. We hold that no man can be well who does not agree with our views
of the efficacy of calomel, and who does not take the doses of it
prescribed in our tables, as there directed.

To which I demur, questioning why it should be so, and get for answer
the two following:--

III. Every man who does not take our prepared calomel, as prescribed by
us in our Constitution and By-Laws, is and must be a mass of disease
from head to foot; it being self-evident that he is simultaneously
affected with Apoplexy, Arthritis, Ascites, Asphyxia, and Atrophy; with
Borborygmus, Bronchitis, and Bulimia; with Cachexia, Carcinoma, and
Cretinismus; and so on through the alphabet, to Xerophthalmia and Zona,
with all possible and incompatible diseases which are necessary to make
up a totally morbid state; and he will certainly die, if he does not
take freely of our prepared calomel, to be obtained only of one of our
authorized agents.

IV. No man shall be allowed to take our prepared calomel who does not
give in his solemn adhesion to each and all of the above-named and the
following propositions (from ten to a hundred) and show his mouth to
certain of our apothecaries, who have _not_ studied dentistry, to
examine whether all his teeth have been extracted and a new set inserted
according to our regulations.

Of course, the doctors have a right to say we shan't have any rhubarb,
if we don't sign their articles, and that, if, after signing them, we
express doubts (in public) about any of them, they will cut us off from
our jalap and squills,--but then to ask a fellow not to discuss the
propositions before he signs them is what I should call boiling it down
a little _too_ strong!

If we understand them, why can't we discuss them? If we can't understand
them, because we haven't taken a medical degree, what the Father of Lies
do they ask us to sign them for?

Just so with the graver profession. Every now and then some of its
members seem to lose common sense and common humanity. The laymen have
to keep setting the divines right constantly. Science, for instance,--in
other words, knowledge,--is not the enemy of religion; for, if so,
then religion would mean ignorance. But it is often the antagonist of
school-divinity.

Everybody knows the story of early astronomy and the school-divines.
Come down a little later. Archbishop Usher, a very learned Protestant
prelate, tells us that the world was created on Sunday, the twenty-third
of October, four thousand and four years before the birth of Christ.
Deluge, December 7th, two thousand three hundred and forty-eight years
B.C.--Yes, and the earth stands on an elephant, and the elephant on a
tortoise. One statement is as near the truth as the other.

Again, there is nothing so brutalizing to some natures as _moral
surgery_. I have often wondered that Hogarth did not add one more
picture to his four stages of Cruelty. Those wretched fools, reverend
divines and others, who were strangling men and women for imaginary
crimes a little more than a century ago among us, were set right by a
layman, and very angry it made them to have him meddle.

The good people of Northampton had a very remarkable man for their
clergyman,--a man with a brain as nicely adjusted for certain mechanical
processes as Babbage's calculating machine. The commentary of the laymen
on the preaching and practising of Jonathan Edwards was, that, after
twenty-three years of endurance, they turned him out by a vote of twenty
to one, and passed a resolve that he should never preach for them again.
A man's logical and analytical adjustments are of little consequence,
compared to his primary relations with Nature and truth; and people have
sense enough to find it out in the long run; they know what "logic" is
worth.

In that miserable delusion referred to above, the reverend Aztecs and
Fijians argued rightly enough from their premises, no doubt, for many
men can do this. But common sense and common humanity were unfortunately
left out from their premises, and a layman had to supply them. A hundred
more years and many of the barbarisms still lingering among us will, of
course, have disappeared like witch-hanging. But people are sensitive
now, as they were then. You will see by this extract that the Rev.
Cotton Mather did not like intermeddling with his business very well.
"Let the _Levites_ of the Lord keep close to their Instructions," he
says, "and _God will smile thro' the loins of those that rise up against
them._ I will report unto you a Thing which many Hundreds among us know
to be true. The _Godly Minister_ of a certain Town in Connecticut, when
he had occasion to be absent on a _Lord's Day_ from his Flock, employ'd
an honest _Neighbour_ of some small Talents for a _Mechanick_, to read a
_Sermon_ out of some _good Book_ unto 'em. This _Honest_, whom they ever
counted also a _Pious Man_, had so much conceit of his _Talents_, that
instead of _Reading a Sermon_ appointed, he to the _Surprize_ of the
People, fell to _preaching one of his own_. For his Text he took these
Words, _'Despise not Prophecyings'_; and in his Preachment he betook
himself to bewail the _Envy of the Clergy_ in the Land, in that they did
not wish _all the Lord's People to be Prophets_, and call forth _Private
Brethren_ publickly to _prophesie_. While he was thus in the midst
of his Exercise, God smote him with horrible _Madness_; he was taken
ravingly distracted; the People were forc'd with violent Hands to
carry him home.... I will not mention his Name: He was reputed a Pious
Man."--This is one of Cotton's "Remarkable Judgments of God, on Several
Sorts of Offenders,"--and the next cases referred to are the Judgments
on the "Abominable Sacrilege" of not paying the Ministers' Salaries.

This sort of thing doesn't do here and now, you see, my young friend! We
talk about our free institutions;--they are nothing but a coarse outside
machinery to secure the freedom of individual thought. The President
of the United States is only the engine-driver of our broad-gauge
mail-train; and every honest, independent thinker has a seat in the
first-class cars behind him.

----There is something in what you say,--replied the
divinity-student;--and yet it seems to me there are places and times
where disputed doctrines of religion should not be introduced. You would
not attack a church dogma--say, Total Depravity--in a lyceum-lecture,
for instance?

Certainly not; I should choose another place,--I answered.--But, mind
you, at this table I think it is very different. I shall express my
ideas on any subject I like. The laws of the lecture-room, to which my
friends and myself are always amenable, do not hold here. I shall not
often give arguments, but frequently opinions,--I trust with courtesy
and propriety, but, at any rate, with such natural forms of expression
as it has pleased the Almighty to bestow upon me.

A man's opinions, look you, are generally of much more value than his
arguments. These last are made by his brain, and perhaps he does not
believe the proposition they tend to prove,--as is often the case with
paid lawyers; but opinions are formed by our whole nature,--brain,
heart, instinct, brute life, everything all our experience has shaped
for us by contact with the whole circle of our being.

----There is one thing more,--said the divinity-student,--that I wished
to speak of; I mean that idea of yours, expressed some time since, of
_depolarizing_ the text of sacred books in order to judge them fairly.
May I ask why you do not try the experiment yourself?

Certainly,--I replied,--if it gives you any pleasure to ask foolish
questions. I think the ocean telegraph-wire ought to be laid and will be
laid, but I don't know that you have any right to ask me to go and
lay it. But, for that matter, I have heard a good deal of Scripture
depolarized in and out of the pulpit. I heard the Rev. Mr. F. once
depolarize the story of the Prodigal Son in Park-Street Church. Many
years afterwards, I heard him repeat the same or a similar depolarized
version in Rome, New York. I heard an admirable depolarization of the
story of the young man who "had great possessions" from the Rev. Mr. H.
in another pulpit, and felt that I had never half understood it before.
All paraphrases are more or less perfect depolarizations. But I tell you
this: the faith of our Christian community is not robust enough to
bear the turning of our most sacred language into its depolarized
equivalents. You have only to look back to Dr. Channing's famous
Baltimore discourse and remember the shrieks of blasphemy with which it
was greeted, to satisfy yourself on this point. Time, time only,
can gradually wean us from our _Epeolatry_, or word-worship, by
spiritualizing our ideas of the thing signified. Man is an idolater or
symbol-worshipper by nature, which, of course, is no fault of his; but
sooner or later all his local and temporary symbols must be ground to
powder, like the golden calf,--word-images as well as metal and wooden
ones. Rough work, iconoclasm,--but the only way to get at truth. It is,
indeed, as that quaint and rare old discourse, "A Summons for Sleepers,"
hath it, "no doubt a thankless office, and a verie unthriftie
occupation; _veritas odium parit_, truth never goeth without a scratcht
face; he that will be busie with _vae vobis_, let him looke shortly for
_coram nobis_."

The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think
what we like and say what we think.

----Think what we like!--said the divinity-student;--think what we like!
What! against all human and divine authority?

Against all human versions of its own or any other authority. At our own
peril always, if we do not _like_ the right,--but not at the risk of
being hanged and quartered for political heresy, or broiled on green
fagots for ecclesiastical treason! Nay, we have got so far, that the
very word _heresy_ has fallen into comparative disuse among us.

And now, my young friend, let us shake hands and stop our discussion,
which we will not make a quarrel. I trust you know, or will learn, a
great many things in your profession which we common scholars do not
know; but mark this: when the common people of New England stop talking
politics and theology, it will be because they have got an Emperor to
teach them the one, and a Pope to teach them the other!

       *       *       *       *       *

That was the end of my long conference with the divinity-student.
The next morning we got talking a little on the same subject, very
good-naturedly, as people return to a matter they have talked out.

You must look to yourself,--said the divinity-student,--if your
democratic notions get into print. You will be fired into from all
quarters.

If it were only a bullet, with the marksman's name on it!--I said.--I
can't stop to pick out the peep-shot of the anonymous scribblers.

Right, Sir! right!--said Little Boston.--The scamps! I know the fellows.
They can't give fifty cents to one of the Antipodes, but they must have
it jingled along through everybody's palms all the way, till it reaches
him,--and forty cents of it get spilt, like the water out of the
fire-buckets passed along a "lane" at a fire;--but, when it comes to
anonymous defamation, putting lies into people's mouths, and then
advertising those people through the country as the authors of
them,--oh, then it is that they let not their left hand know what their
right hand doeth!

I don't like Ehud's style of doing business, Sir. He comes along with a
very sanctimonious look, Sir, with his "secret errand unto thee," and
his "message from God unto thee," and then pulls out his hidden knife
with that unsuspected left hand of his,--(the little gentleman
lifted his clenched left hand with the blood-red jewel on the
ring-finger,)--and runs it, blade and haft, into a man's stomach! Don't
meddle with these fellows, Sir. They are read mostly by persons whom you
would not reach, if you were to write ever so much. Let 'em alone. A man
whose opinions are not attacked is beneath contempt.

I hope so,--I said.--I got three pamphlets and innumerable squibs flung
at my head for attacking one of the pseudo-sciences, in former years.
When, by the permission of Providence, I held up to the professional
public the damnable facts connected with the conveyance of poison from
one young mother's chamber to another's,--for doing which humble office
I desire to be thankful that I have lived, though nothing else good
should ever come of my life,--I had to bear the sneers of those whose
position I had assailed, and, as I believe, have at last demolished, so
that nothing but the ghosts of dead women stir among the ruins.--What
would you do, if the folks without names kept at you, trying to get a
San Benito on to your shoulders that would fit you?--Would you stand
still in fly-time, or would you give a kick now and then?

Let 'em bite!--said Little Boston;--let 'em bite! It makes 'em hungry to
shake 'em off, and they settle down again as thick as ever and twice as
savage. Do you know what meddling with the folks without names, as you
call 'em, is like?--It is like riding at the _quintain_. You run full
tilt at the board, but the board is on a pivot, with a bag of sand on an
arm that balances it. The board gives way as soon as you touch it; and
before you have got by, the bag of sand comes round whack on the back of
your neck. "Ananias," for instance, pitches into your lecture, we will
say, in some paper taken by the people in your kitchen. Your servants
get saucy and negligent. If their newspaper calls you names, they need
not be so particular about shutting doors softly or boiling potatoes.
So you lose your temper, and come out in an article which you think is
going to finish "Ananias," proving him a booby who doesn't know enough
to understand even a lyceum-lecture, or else a person that tells lies.
Now you think you've got him! Not so fast. "Ananias" keeps still and
winks to "Shimei," and "Shimei" comes out in the paper which they take
in your neighbor's kitchen, ten times worse than t'other fellow. If you
meddle with "Shimei," he steps out, and next week appears "Rab-shakeh,"
an unsavory wretch; and now, at any rate, you find out what good
sense there was in Hezekiah's "Answer him not."--No, no,--keep your
temper.--So saying, the little gentleman doubled his left fist and
looked at it, as if he should like to hit something or somebody a most
pernicious punch with it.

Good!--said I.--Now let me give you some axioms I have arrived at, after
seeing something of a great many kinds of good folks.

----Of a hundred people of each of the different leading religious
sects, about the same proportion will be safe and pleasant persons to
deal and to live with.

----There are, at least, three real saints among the women to one among
the men, in every denomination.

----The spiritual standard of different classes I would reckon thus:--

1. The comfortably rich.

2. The decently comfortable.

3. The very rich, who are apt to be irreligious.

4. The very poor, who are apt to be immoral.

----The cut nails of machine-divinity may be driven in, but they won't
clinch.

----The arguments which the greatest of our schoolmen could not refute
were two: the blood in men's veins, and the milk in women's breasts.

----Humility is the first of the virtues--for other people.

----Faith always implies the disbelief of a lesser fact in favor of
a greater. A little mind often sees the unbelief, without seeing the
belief, of a large one.

The Poor Relation had been fidgeting about and working her mouth while
all this was going on. She broke out in speech at this point.

I hate to hear folks talk so. I don't see that you are any better than a
heathen.

I wish I were half as good as many heathens have been,--I said.--Dying
for a principle seems to me a higher degree of virtue than scolding for
it; and, the history of heathen races is full of instances where men
have laid down their lives for the love of their kind, of their country,
of truth, nay, even for simple manhood's sake, or to show their
obedience or fidelity. What would not such beings have done for the
souls of men, for the Christian commonwealth, for the King of Kings,
if they had lived in days of larger light? Which seems to you nearest
heaven, Socrates drinking his hemlock, Regulus going back to the enemy's
camp, or that old New England divine sitting comfortably in his study
and chuckling over his conceit of certain poor women, who had been
burned to death in his own town, going "roaring out of one fire into
another"?

I don't believe he said any such thing,--replied the Poor Relation.

It is hard to believe,--said I,--but it is true for all that. In another
hundred years it will be as incredible that men talked as we sometimes
hear them now.

_Cor facit theologum._ The heart makes the theologian. Every race,
every civilization, either has a new revelation of its own or a new
interpretation of an old one. Democratic America has a different
humanity from feudal Europe, and so must have a new divinity. See, for
one moment, how intelligence reacts on our faiths. The Bible was a
divining-book to our ancestors, and is so still in the hands of some of
the vulgar. The Puritans went to the Old Testament for their laws; the
Mormons go to it for their patriarchal institution. Every generation
dissolves something new and precipitates something once held in solution
from that great storehouse of temporary and permanent truths.

You may observe this: that the conversation of intelligent men of the
stricter sects is strangely in advance of the formulae that belong to
their organizations. So true is this, that I have doubts whether a large
proportion of them would not have been rather pleased than offended,
if they could have overheard our talk. For, look you, I think there is
hardly a professional teacher who will not in private conversation allow
a large part of what we have said, though it may frighten him in print;
and I know well what an under-current of secret sympathy gives vitality
to those poor words of mine which sometimes get a hearing.

I don't mind the exclamation of any old stager who drinks Madeira
worth from two to six Bibles a bottle, and burns, according to his own
premises, a dozen souls a year in the cigars with which he muddles his
brains. But for the good and true and intelligent men whom we see all
around us, laborious, self-denying, hopeful, helpful,--men who know
that the active mind of the century is tending more and more to the two
poles, Rome and Reason, the sovereign church or the free soul, authority
or personality, God in us or God in our masters, and that, though a
man may by accident _stand_ half-way between these two points, he must
_look_ one way or the other,--I don't believe they would take offence at
anything I have reported of our late conversation.

But supposing any one _do_ take offence at first sight, let him look
over these notes again, and see whether he is quite sure he does not
agree with most of these things that were said amongst us. If he agrees
with most of them, let him be patient with an opinion he does not
accept, or an expression or illustration a little too vivacious. I don't
know that I shall report any more conversations on these topics; but
I do insist on the right to express a civil opinion on this class of
subjects without giving offence, just when and where I please,--unless,
as in the lecture-room, there is an implied contract to keep clear of
doubtful matters. You didn't think a man could sit at a breakfast-table
doing nothing but making puns every morning for a year or two, and never
give a thought to the two thousand of his fellow-creatures who are
passing into another state during every hour that he sits talking and
laughing! Of course, the _one_ matter that a real human being cares for
is what is going to become of them and of him. And the plain truth is,
that a good many people are saying one thing about it and believing
another.

----How do I know that? Why, I have known and loved to talk with good
people, all the way from Rome to Geneva in doctrine, as long as I can
remember. Besides, the real religion of the world comes from women much
more than from men,--from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our
souls in their bosoms. It is in their hearts that the "sentimental"
religion some people are so fond of sneering at has its source. The
sentiment of love, the sentiment of maternity, the sentiment of the
paramount obligation of the parent to the child as having called it into
existence, enhanced just in proportion to the power and knowledge of
the one and the weakness and ignorance of the other,--these are the
"sentiments" that have kept our soulless systems from driving men off to
die in holes like those that riddle the sides of the hill opposite
the Monastery of St. Saba, where the miserable victims of a
falsely-interpreted religion starved and withered in their delusion.

I have looked on the face of a saintly woman this very day, whose creed
many dread and hate, but whose life is lovely and noble beyond all
praise. When I remember the bitter words I have heard spoken against her
faith, by men who have an Inquisition which excommunicates those who ask
to leave their communion in peace, and an _Index Expurgatorius_ on which
this article may possibly have the honor of figuring,--and, far worse
than these, the reluctant, pharisaical confession, that it might perhaps
be _possible_ that one who so believed should be accepted of the
Creator,--and then recall the sweet peace and love that show through
all her looks, the price of untold sacrifices and labors,--and again
recollect how thousands of women, filled with the same spirit, die,
without a murmur, to earthly life, die to their own names even, that
they may know nothing but their holy duties,--while men are torturing
and denouncing their fellows, and while we can hear day and night the
clinking of the hammers that are trying, like the brute forces in the
"Prometheus," to rivet their adamantine wedges right through the breast
of human nature,--I have been ready to believe that we have even now a
new revelation, and the name of its Messiah is WOMAN!

       *       *       *       *       *

----I should be sorry,--I remarked, a day or two afterwards, to the
divinity-student,--if anything I said tended in any way to foster any
jealousy between the professions, or to throw disrespect upon that one
on whose counsel and sympathies almost all of us lean in our moments
of trial. But we are false to our new conditions of life, if we do not
resolutely maintain our religious as well as our political freedom,
in the face of any and all supposed monopolies. Certain men will, of
course, say two things, if we do not take their views: first, that we
don't know anything about these matters; and, secondly, that we are not
so good as they are. They have a polarized phraseology for saying these
things, but it comes to precisely that. To which it may be answered, in
the first place, that we have good authority for saying that even babes
and sucklings know _something_; and, in the second, that, if there is a
mote or so to be removed from our premises, the courts and councils of
the last few years have found beams enough in some other quarters to
build a church that would hold all the good people in Boston and have
sticks enough left to make a bonfire for all the heretics.

As to that terrible depolarizing process of mine, of which we were
talking the other day, I will give you a specimen of one way of managing
it, if you like. I don't believe it will hurt you or anybody. Besides, I
had a great deal rather finish our talk with pleasant images and gentle
words than with sharp sayings, which will only afford a text, if anybody
repeats them, for endless relays of attacks from Messrs. Ananias,
Shimei, and Rab-sha-keh.

[I must leave such gentry, if any of them show themselves, in the hands
of my clerical friends, many of whom are ready to stand up for the
rights of the laity,--and to those blessed souls, the good women, to
whom this version of the story of a mother's hidden hopes and tender
anxieties is dedicated by their peaceful and loving servant.]




A MOTHER'S SECRET.


     How sweet the sacred legend--if unblamed
  In my slight verse such holy things are named--
  Of Mary's secret hours of hidden joy,
  Silent, but pondering on her wondrous boy!
  _Ave, Maria!_ Pardon, if I wrong
  Those heavenly words that shame my earthly song!

     The choral host had closed the angel's strain
  Sung to the midnight watch on Bethlehem's plain;
  And now the shepherds, hastening on their way,
  Sought the still hamlet where the Infant lay.
  They passed the fields that gleaning Ruth toiled o'er,--
  They saw afar the ruined threshing-floor
  Where Moab's daughter, homeless and forlorn,
  Found Boaz slumbering by his heaps of corn;
  And some remembered how the holy scribe,
  Skilled in the lore of every jealous tribe,
  Traced the warm blood of Jesse's royal son
  To that fair alien, bravely wooed and won.
  So fared they on to seek the promised sign
  That marked the anointed heir of David's line.

     At last, by forms of earthly semblance led,
  They found the crowded inn, the oxen's shed.
  No pomp was there, no glory shone around
  On the coarse straw that strewed the reeking ground;
  One dim retreat a flickering torch betrayed,--
  In that poor cell the Lord of Life was laid!

     The wondering shepherds told their breathless tale
  Of the bright choir that woke the sleeping vale;
  Told how the skies with sudden glory flamed;
  Told how the shining multitude proclaimed,
  "Joy, joy to earth! Behold the hallowed morn!
  In David's city Christ the Lord is born!
  'Glory to God!' let angels shout on high,--
  'Good-will to men!' the listening Earth reply!"

     They spoke with hurried words and accents wild;
  Calm in his cradle slept the heavenly child.
  No trembling word the mother's joy revealed,--
  One sigh of rapture, and her lips were sealed;
  Unmoved she saw the rustic train depart,
  But kept their words to ponder in her heart.

     Twelve years had passed; the boy was fair and tall,
  Growing in wisdom, finding grace with all.
  The maids of Nazareth, as they trooped to fill
  Their balanced urns beside the mountain-rill,--
  The gathered matrons, as they sat and spun,
  Spoke in soft words of Joseph's quiet son.
  No voice had reached the Galilean vale
  Of star-led kings or awe-struck shepherds' tale;
  In the meek, studious child they only saw
  The future Rabbi, learned in Israel's law.

     So grew the boy; and now the feast was near,
  When at the holy place the tribes appear.
  Scarce had the home-bred child of Nazareth seen
  Beyond the hills that girt the village-green,
  Save when at midnight, o'er the star-lit sands,
  Snatched from the steel of Herod's murdering bands,
  A babe, close-folded to his mother's breast,
  Through Edom's wilds he sought the sheltering West.

     Then Joseph spake: "Thy boy hath largely grown;
  Weave him fine raiment, fitting to be shown;
  Fair robes beseem the pilgrim, as the priest:
  Goes he not with us to the holy feast?"

     And Mary culled the flaxen fibres white;
  Till eve she spun; she spun till morning light;
  The thread was twined; its parting meshes through
  From hand to hand her restless shuttle flew,
  Till the full web was wound upon the beam,--
  Love's curious toil,--a vest without a seam!

     They reach the holy place, fulfil the days
  To solemn feasting given, and grateful praise.
  At last they turn, and far Moriah's height
  Melts in the southern sky and fades from sight.
  All day the dusky caravan has flowed
  In devious trails along the winding road
  (For many a step their homeward path attends,--
  And all the sons of Abraham are as friends).
  Evening has come,--the hour of rest and joy;--
  Hush! hush!--that whisper,--"Where is Mary's boy?"

     O weary hour! O aching days that passed
  Filled with strange fears, each wilder than the last:
  The soldier's lance,--the fierce centurion's sword,--
  The crushing wheels that whirl some Roman lord,--
  The midnight crypt that sucks the captive's breath,--
  The blistering sun on Hinnom's vale of death!

     Thrice on his cheek had rained the morning light,
  Thrice on his lips the mildewed kiss of night,
  Crouched by some porphyry column's shining plinth,
  Or stretched beneath the odorous terebinth.

     At last, in desperate mood, they sought once more
  The Temple's porches, searched in vain before;
  They found him seated with the ancient men,--
  The grim old rufflers of the tongue and pen,--
  Their bald heads glistening as they clustered near,
  Their gray beards slanting as they turned to hear,
  Lost in half-envious wonder and surprise
  That lips so fresh should utter words so wise.

     And Mary said,--as one who, tried too long,
  Tells all her grief and half her sense of wrong,--
  "What is this thoughtless thing which thou hast done?
  Lo, we have sought thee sorrowing, O my son!"

     Few words he spake, and scarce of filial tone,--
  Strange words, their sense a mystery yet unknown;
  Then turned with them and left the holy hill,
  To all their mild commands obedient still.

     The tale was told to Nazareth's sober men,
  And Nazareth's matrons told it oft again;
  The maids re-told it at the fountain's side;
  The youthful shepherds doubted or denied;
  It passed around among the listening friends,
  With all that fancy adds and fiction lends,
  Till newer marvels dimmed the young renown
  Of Joseph's son, who talked the Rabbis down.

     But Mary, faithful to its lightest word,
  Kept in her heart the sayings she had heard,
  Till the dread morning rent the Temple's veil,
  And shuddering Earth confirmed the wondrous tale.

  Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall:
  A mother's secret hope outlives them all.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE MINISTER'S WOOING.

[Continued.]


CHAPTER XII.

MISS PRISSY.


Will our little Mary really fall in love with the Doctor?--The question
reaches us in anxious tones from all the circle of our readers; and what
especially shocks us is, that grave doctors of divinity, and serious,
stocking-knitting matrons, seem to be the class who are particularly
set against the success of our excellent orthodox hero, and bent on
reminding us of the claims of that unregenerate James, whom we have sent
to sea on purpose that our heroine may recover herself of that foolish
partiality for him which all the Christian world seems bent on
perpetuating.

"Now, really," says the Rev. Mrs. Q., looking up from her bundle of
Sewing-Society work, "you are _not_ going to let Mary marry the
Doctor?"

My dear Madam, is not that just what you did, yourself, after having
turned off three or four fascinating young sinners as good as James any
day? Don't make us believe that you are sorry for it now!

"Is it possible," says Dr. Theophrastus, who is himself a stanch
Hopkinsian divine, and who is at present recovering from his last grand
effort on Natural and Moral Ability,--"is it possible that you are going
to let Mary forget that poor young man and marry Dr. H.? That will never
do in the world!"

Dear Doctor, consider what would have become of you, if some lady at a
certain time had not had the sense and discernment to fall in love with
the _man_ who came to her disguised as a theologian.

"But he's so old!" says Aunt Maria.

Not at all. Old? What do you mean? Forty is the very season of
ripeness,--the very meridian of manly lustre and splendor.

"But he wears a wig."

My dear Madam, so did Sir Charles Grandison, and Lovelace, and all the
other fine fellows of those days; the wig was the distinguishing mark of
a gentleman.

No,--spite of all you may say and declare, we do insist that our Doctor
is a very proper and probable subject for a young lady to fall in love
with.

If women have one weakness more marked than another, it is towards
veneration. They are born worshippers,--makers of silver shrines for
some divinity or other, which, of course, they always think fell
straight down from heaven.

The first step towards their falling in love with an ordinary mortal
is generally to dress him out with all manner of real or fancied
superiority; and having made him up, they worship him.

Now a truly great man, a man really grand and noble in heart and
intellect, has this advantage with women, that he is an idol ready-made
to hand; and so that very painstaking and ingenious sex have less labor
in getting him up, and can be ready to worship him on shorter notice.

In particular is this the case where a sacred profession and a moral
supremacy are added to the intellectual. Just think of the career of
celebrated preachers and divines in all ages. Have they not stood like
the image that "Nebuchadnezzar the king set up," and all womankind,
coquettes and flirts not excepted, been ready to fall down and worship,
even before the sound of cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, and so forth? Is
not the faithful Paula, with her beautiful face, prostrate in reverence
before poor, old, lean, haggard, dying St. Jerome, in the most splendid
painting of the world, an emblem and sign of woman's eternal power of
self-sacrifice to what she deems noblest in man? Does not old Richard
Baxter tell us, with delightful single-heartedness, how his wife fell
in love with him first, spite of his long, pale face,--and how she
confessed, dear soul, after many years of married life, that she had
found him _less_ sour and bitter than she had expected?

The fact is, women are burdened with fealty, faith, reverence, more
than they know what to do with; they stand like a hedge of sweet-peas,
throwing out fluttering tendrils everywhere for something high and
strong to climb by,--and when they find it, be it ever so rough in the
bark, they catch upon it. And instances are not wanting of those who
have turned away from the flattery of admirers to prostrate themselves
at the feet of a genuine hero who never wooed them, except by heroic
deeds and the rhetoric of a noble life.

Never was there a distinguished man whose greatness could sustain the
test of minute domestic inspection better than our Doctor. Strong in a
single-hearted humility, a perfect unconsciousness of self, an honest
and sincere absorption in high and holy themes and objects, there was in
him what we so seldom see,--a perfect logic of life; his minutest deeds
were the true results of his sublimest principles. His whole nature,
moral, physical, and intellectual, was simple, pure, and cleanly. He was
temperate as an anchorite in all matters of living,--avoiding, from a
healthy instinct, all those intoxicating stimuli then common among the
clergy. In his early youth, indeed, he had formed an attachment to the
almost universal clerical pipe,--but, observing a delicate woman once
nauseated by coming into the atmosphere which he and his brethren had
polluted, he set himself gravely to reflect that that which could so
offend a woman must needs be uncomely and unworthy a Christian man;
wherefore he laid his pipe on the mantelpiece, and never afterwards
resumed the indulgence.

In all his relations with womanhood he was delicate and reverential,
forming his manners by that old precept, "The elder women entreat as
mothers, the younger as sisters,"--which rule, short and simple as
it is, is nevertheless the most perfect _resume_, of all true
gentlemanliness. Then, as for person, the Doctor was not handsome, to be
sure; but he was what sometimes serves with woman better,--majestic
and manly, and, when animated by thought and feeling, having even a
commanding grandeur of mien. Add to all this, that our valiant hero is
now on the straight road to bring him into that situation most likely
to engage the warm partisanship of a true woman,--namely, that of a man
unjustly abused for right-doing,--and one may see that it is ten to one
our Mary may fall in love with him yet, before she knows it.

If it were not for this mysterious selfness-and-sameness which makes
this wild, wandering, uncanonical sailor, James Marvyn, so intimate
and internal,--if his thread were not knit up with the thread of her
life,--were it not for the old habit of feeling for him, thinking for
him, praying for him, hoping for him, fearing for him, which--woe is
us!--is the unfortunate habit of womankind,--if it were not for that
fatal something which neither judgment, nor wishes, nor reason, nor
common sense shows any great skill in unravelling,--we are quite sure
that Mary would be in love with the Doctor within the next six
months; as it is, we leave you all to infer from your own heart and
consciousness what his chances are.

A new sort of scene is about to open on our heroine, and we shall show
her to you, for an evening at least, in new associations, and with a
different background from that homely and rural one in which she has
fluttered as a white dove amid leafy and congenial surroundings.

As we have before intimated, Newport presented a _resume_ of many
different phases of society, all brought upon a social level by the then
universally admitted principle of equality.

There were scattered about in the settlement lordly mansions, whose
owners rolled in emblazoned carriages, and whose wide halls were the
scenes of a showy and almost princely hospitality. By her husband's
side, Mrs. Katy Scudder was allied to one of these families of wealthy
planters, and often recognized the connection with a quiet undertone
of satisfaction, as a dignified and self-respecting woman should. She
liked, once in a while, quietly to let people know, that, although they
lived in the plain little cottage and made no pretensions, yet they had
good blood in their veins,--that Mr. Scudder's mother was a Wilcox, and
that the Wilcoxes were, she supposed, as high as anybody,--generally
ending the remark with the observation, that "all these things, to be
sure, were matters of small consequence, since at last it would be of
far more importance to have been a true Christian than to have been
connected with the highest families of the land."

Nevertheless, Mrs. Scudder was not a little pleased to have in her
possession a card of invitation to a splendid wedding-party that was
going to be given, on Friday, at the Wilcox Manor. She thought it a very
becoming mark of respect to the deceased Mr. Scudder that his widow and
daughter should be brought to mind,--so becoming and praiseworthy,
in fact, that, "though an old woman," as she said, with a complacent
straightening of her tall, lithe figure, she really thought she must
make an effort to go.

Accordingly, early one morning, after all domestic duties had been
fulfilled, and the clock, loudly ticking through the empty rooms, told
that all needful bustle had died down to silence, Mrs. Katy, Mary, and
Miss Prissy Diamond, the dressmaker, might have been observed sitting in
solemn senate around the camphor-wood trunk, before spoken of, and which
exhaled vague foreign and Indian perfumes of silk and sandal-wood.

You may have heard of dignitaries, my good reader,--but, I assure you,
you know very little of a situation of trust or importance compared to
that of _the_ dress-maker in a small New England town.

What important interests does she hold in her hands! How is she
besieged, courted, deferred to! Three months beforehand, all her days
and nights are spoken for; and the simple statement, that _only_ on that
day you can have Miss Clippers, is of itself an apology for any omission
of attention elsewhere,--it strikes home at once to the deepest
consciousness of every woman, married or single. How thoughtfully is
everything arranged, weeks beforehand, for the golden, important season
when Miss Clippers can come! On that day, there is to be no extra
sweeping, dusting, cleaning, cooking, no visiting, no receiving, no
reading or writing, but all with one heart and soul are to wait upon
her, intent to forward the great work which she graciously affords
a day's leisure to direct. Seated in her chair of state, with her
well-worn cushion bristling with pins and needles at her side, her ready
roll of patterns and her scissors, she hears, judges, and decides _ex
cathedra_ on the possible or not possible, in that important art on
which depends the right presentation of the floral part of Nature's
great horticultural show. She alone is competent to say whether there is
any available remedy for the stained breadth in Jane's dress,--whether
the fatal spot by any magical hocus-pocus can be cut out from the
fulness, or turned up and smothered from view in the gathers, or
concealed by some new fashion of trimming falling with generous
appropriateness exactly across the fatal weak point. She can tell you
whether that remnant of velvet will make you a basque,--whether Mamma's
old silk can reappear in juvenile grace for Miss Lucy. What marvels
follow her, wherever she goes! What wonderful results does she contrive
from the most unlikely materials, as everybody after her departure
wonders to see old things become so much better than new!

Among the most influential and happy of her class was Miss Prissy
Diamond,--a little, dapper, doll-like body, quick in her motions and
nimble in her tongue, whose delicate complexion, flaxen curls, merry
flow of spirits, and ready abundance of gayety, song, and story, apart
from her professional accomplishments, made her a welcome guest in every
family in the neighborhood. Miss Prissy laughingly boasted being past
forty, sure that the avowal would always draw down on her quite a storm
of compliments, on the freshness of her sweet-pea complexion and the
brightness of her merry blue eyes. She was well pleased to hear dawning
girls wondering why with so many advantages she had never married. At
such remarks, Miss Prissy always laughed loudly, and declared that she
had always had such a string of engagements with the women that she
never found half an hour to listen to what any _man_ living would say to
her, supposing she could stop to hear him. "Besides, if I were to get
married, nobody else could," she would say. "What would become of all
the wedding-clothes for everybody else?" But sometimes, when Miss Prissy
felt extremely gracious, she would draw out of her little chest just the
faintest tip-end of a sigh, and tell some young lady, in a confidential
undertone, that one of these days she would tell her something,--and
then there would come a wink of her blue eyes and a fluttering of the
pink ribbons in her cap quite stimulating to youthful inquisitiveness,
though we have never been able to learn by any of our antiquarian
researches that the expectations thus excited were ever gratified.

In her professional prowess she felt a pardonable pride. What feats
could she relate of wonderful dresses got out of impossibly small
patterns of silk! what marvels of silks turned that could not be told
from new! what reclaimings of waists that other dress-makers had
hopelessly spoiled! Had not Mrs. General Wilcox once been obliged to
call in her aid on a dress sent to her from Paris? and did not Miss
Prissy work three days and nights on that dress, and make every stitch
of that trimming over with her own hands, before it was fit to be seen?
And when Mrs. Governor Dexter's best silver-gray brocade was spoiled by
Miss Pimlico, and there wasn't another scrap to pattern it with, didn't
she make a new waist out of the cape and piece one of the sleeves
twenty-nine times, and yet nobody would ever have known that there was a
joining in it?

In fact, though Miss Prissy enjoyed the fair average plain-sailing of
her work, she might be said to _revel_ in difficulties. A full pattern
with trimming, all ample and ready, awoke a moderate enjoyment; but the
resurrection of anything half-worn or imperfectly made, the brilliant
success, when, after turning, twisting, piecing, contriving, and,
by unheard-of inventions of trimming, a dress faded and defaced was
restored to more than pristine splendor,--_that_ was a triumph worth
enjoying.

It was true, Miss Prissy, like most of her nomadic compeers, was a
little given to gossip; but, after all, it was innocent gossip,--not
a bit of malice in it; it was only all the particulars about Mrs.
Thus-and-So's wardrobe,--all the statistics of Mrs. That-and-T'other's
china-closet,--all the minute items of Miss Simpkins's wedding-clothes,
--and how her mother cried, the morning of the wedding, and said
that she didn't know anything how she could spare Louisa Jane, only
that Edward was such a good boy that she felt she could love him
like an own son,--and what a providence it seemed that the very ring
that was put into the bride-loaf was one that he gave her when he first
went to sea, when she wouldn't be engaged to him because she thought she
loved Thomas Strickland better, but that was only because she hadn't
found him out, you know,--and so forth, and so forth. Sometimes, too,
her narrations assumed a solemn cast, and brought to mind the hush of
funerals, and told of words spoken in faint whispers, when hands were
clasped for the last time,--and of utterances crushed out from hearts,
when the hammer of a great sorrow strikes out sparks of the divine, even
from common stone; and there would be real tears in the little blue
eyes, and the pink bows would flutter tremulously, like the last
three leaves on a bare scarlet maple in autumn. In fact, dear reader,
_gossip_, like romance, has its noble side to it. How can you love your
neighbor as yourself and not feel a little curiosity as to how he
fares, what he wears, where he goes, and how he takes the great life
tragi-comedy at which you and he are both more than spectators? Show me
a person who lives in a country-village absolutely without curiosity or
interest on these subjects, and I will show you a cold, fat oyster, to
whom the tide-mud of propriety is the whole of existence.

As one of our esteemed collaborators in the ATLANTIC remarks,--"A dull
town, where there is neither theatre nor circus nor opera, must have
some excitement, and the real tragedy and comedy of life _must_ come
in place of the second-hand. Hence the noted gossiping propensities
of country-places, which, so long as they are not poisoned by envy or
ill-will, have a respectable and picturesque side to them,--an undoubted
leave to be, as probably has almost everything, which obstinately and
always insists on being, except sin!"

As it is, it must be confessed that the arrival of Miss Prissy in a
family was much like the setting up of a domestic show-case, through
which you could look into all the families in the neighborhood, and see
the never-ending drama of life,--births, marriages, deaths,--joy
of new-made mothers, whose babes weighed just eight pounds and
three-quarters, and had hair that would part with a comb,--and tears of
Rachels who wept for their children, and would not be comforted because
they were not. Was there a tragedy, a mystery, in all Newport, whose
secret closet had not been unlocked by Miss Prissy? She thought not;
and you always wondered, with an uncertain curiosity, what those things
might be over which she gravely shook her head, declaring, with such a
look,--"Oh, if you only _could_ know!"--and ending with a general sigh
and lamentation, like the confidential chorus of a Greek tragedy.

We have been thus minute in sketching Miss Prissy's portrait, because
we rather like her. She has great power, we admit; and were she a
sour-faced, angular, energetic body, with a heart whose secretions had
all become acrid by disappointment and dyspepsia, she might be a fearful
gnome, against whose family-visitations one ought to watch and pray. As
it was, she came into the house rather like one of those breezy days
of spring, which burst all the blossoms, set all the doors and windows
open, make the hens cackle and the turtles peep,--filling a solemn
Puritan dwelling with as much bustle and chatter as if a box of martins
were setting up housekeeping in it.

Let us now introduce you to the sanctuary of Mrs. Scudder's own private
bedroom, where the committee of exigencies, with Miss Prissy at their
head, are seated in solemn session around the camphor-wood trunk.

"Dress, you know, is of _some_ importance, after all," said Mrs.
Scudder, in that apologetic way in which sensible people generally
acknowledge a secret leaning towards anything so very mundane. While
the good lady spoke, she was reverentially unpinning and shaking out
of their fragrant folds creamy crape shawls of rich Chinese
embroidery,--India muslin, scarfs, and aprons; and already her hands
were undoing the pins of a silvery damask linen in which was wrapped
her own wedding-dress. "I have always told Mary," she continued, "that,
though our hearts ought not to be set on these things, yet they had
their importance."

"Certainly, certainly, Ma'am," chimed in Miss Prissy. "I was saying
to Miss General Wilcox, the other day, _I_ didn't see how we could
'consider the lilies of the field,' without seeing the importance of
looking pretty. I've got a flower-de-luce in my garden now, from one of
the new roots that old Major Seaforth brought over from France, which is
just the most beautiful thing you ever did see; and I was thinking, as
I looked at it to-day, that, if women's dresses only grew on 'em as
handsome and well-fitting as that, why, there wouldn't be any need of
me; but as it is, why, we _must think_, if we want to look well. Now
peach-trees, I s'pose, might bear just as good peaches without the pink
blows, but then who would want 'em to? Miss Deacon Twitchel, when I was
up there the other day, kept kind o' sighin' 'cause Cerintha Ann is
getting a new pink silk made up, 'cause she said it was such a dying
world it didn't seem right to call off our attention: but I told her
it wasn't any pinker than the apple-blossoms; and what with robins and
blue-birds and one thing or another, the Lord is always calling off our
attention; and I think we ought to observe the Lord's works and take a
lesson from 'em."

"Yes, you are quite right," said Mrs. Scudder, rising and shaking out a
splendid white brocade, on which bunches of moss-roses were looped to
bunches of violets by graceful fillets of blue ribbons. "This was my
wedding-dress," she said.

Little Miss Prissy sprang up and clapped her hands in an ecstasy.

"Well, now, Miss Scudder, really!--did I ever see anything more
beautiful? It really goes beyond anything _I_ ever saw. I don't think,
in all the brocades I ever made up, I ever saw so pretty a pattern as
this."

"Mr. Scudder chose it for me, himself, at the silk-factory in Lyons,"
said Mrs. Scudder, with pardonable pride, "and I want it tried on to
Mary."

"Really, Miss Scudder, this ought to be kept for _her_ wedding-dress,"
said Miss Prissy, as she delightedly bustled about the congenial task.
"I was up to Miss Marvyn's, a-working, last week," she said, as she
threw the dress over Mary's head, "and she said that James expected to
make his fortune in that voyage, and come home and settle down."

Mary's fair head emerged from the rustling folds of the brocade, her
cheeks crimson as one of the moss-roses,--while her mother's face assumed
a severe gravity, as she remarked that she believed James had been much
pleased with Jane Spencer, and that, for her part, she should be very
glad, when he came home, if he could marry such a steady, sensible girl,
and settle down to a useful, Christian life.

"Ah, yes,--just so,--a very excellent idea, certainly," said Miss
Prissy. "It wants a little taken in here on the shoulders, and a
little under the arms. The biases are all right; the sleeves will want
altering, Miss Scudder. I hope you will have a hot iron ready for
pressing."

Mrs. Scudder rose immediately, to see the command obeyed; and as her
back was turned, Miss Prissy went on in a low tone,--

"Now, _I_, for my part, don't think there's a word of truth in that
story about James Marvyn and Jane Spencer; for I was down there at work
one day when he called, and I _know_ there couldn't have been anything
between them,--besides, Miss Spencer, her mother, told me there
wasn't.--There, Miss Scudder, you see that is a good fit. It's
astonishing how near it comes to fitting, just as it was. I didn't think
Mary was so near what you were, when you were a girl, Miss Scudder. The
other day, when I was up to General Wilcox's, the General he was in the
room when I was a-trying on Miss Wilcox's cherry velvet, and she was
asking couldn't I come this week for her, and I mentioned I was coming
to Miss Scudder, and the General says he,--'I used to know her when she
was a girl. I tell you, she was one of the handsomest girls in Newport,
by George!' says he. And says I,--'General, you ought to see her
daughter.' And the General,--you know his jolly way,--he laughed, and
says he,--'If she is as handsome as her mother was, I don't want to see
her,' says he. 'I tell you, wife,' says he, 'I but just missed falling
in love with Katy Stephens.'"

"I could have told her more than that," said Mrs. Scudder, with a
flash of her old coquette girlhood for a moment lighting her eyes and
straightening her lithe form. "I guess, if I should show a letter he
wrote me once----But what am I talking about?" she said, suddenly
stiffening back into a sensible woman. "Miss Prissy, do you think it
will be necessary to cut it off at the bottom? It seems a pity to cut
such rich silk."

"So it does, I declare. Well, I believe it will do to turn it up."

"I depend on you to put it a little into modern fashion, you know," said
Mrs. Scudder. "It is many a year, you know, since it was made."

"Oh, never you fear! You leave all that to me," said Miss Prissy. "Now,
there never was anything so lucky as, that, just before all these
wedding-dresses had to be fixed, I got a letter from my sister Martha,
that works for all the first families of Boston. And Martha she is
really unusually privileged, because she works for Miss Cranch, and Miss
Cranch gets letters from Miss Adams,--you know Mr. Adams is Ambassador
now at the Court of St. James, and Miss Adams writes home all the
particulars about the court-dresses; and Martha she heard one of the
letters read, and she told Miss Cranch that she would give the best
five-pound-note she had, if she could just copy that description to send
to Prissy. Well, Miss Cranch let her do it, and I've got a copy of the
letter here in my work-pocket. I read it up to Miss General Wilcox's,
and to Major Seaforth's, and I'll read it to you."

Mrs. Katy Scudder was a born subject of a crown, and, though now a
republican matron, had not outlived the reverence, from childhood
implanted, for the high and stately doings of courts, lords, ladies,
queens, and princesses, and therefore it was not without some awe that
she saw Miss Prissy produce from her little black work-bag the well-worn
epistle.

"Here it is," said Miss Prissy, at last. "I only copied out the parts
about being presented at Court. She says:--

"'One is obliged here to attend the circles of the Queen, which are held
once a fortnight; and what renders it very expensive is, that you cannot
go twice in the same dress, and a court-dress you cannot make use of
elsewhere. I directed my mantua-maker to let my dress be elegant, but
plain as I could possibly appear with decency. Accordingly, it is white
lutestring, covered and full-trimmed with white crape, festooned with
lilac ribbon and mock point-lace, over a hoop of enormous size. There
is only a narrow train, about three yards in length to the gown-waist,
which is put into a ribbon on the left side,--the Queen only having her
train borne. Ruffled cuffs for married ladies,--treble lace ruffles, a
very dress cap with long lace lappets, two white plumes, and a blonde
lace handkerchief. This is my rigging.'"

Miss Prissy here stopped to adjust her spectacles. Her audience
expressed a breathless interest.

"You see," she said, "I used to know her when she was Nabby Smith. She
was Parson Smith's daughter, at Weymouth, and as handsome a girl as
ever I wanted to see,--just as graceful as a sweet-brier bush. I don't
believe any of those English ladies looked one bit better than she did.
She was always a master-hand at writing. Everything she writes about,
she puts it right before you. You feel as if you'd been there. Now, here
she goes on to tell about her daughter's dress. She says:--

"'My head is dressed for St. James's, and in my opinion looks very
tasty. Whilst my daughter is undergoing the same operation, I set myself
down composedly to write you a few lines. Well, methinks I hear Betsey
and Lucy say, "What is cousin's dress?" _White_, my dear girls, like
your aunt's, only differently trimmed and ornamented,--her train being
wholly of white crape, and trimmed with white ribbon; the petticoat,
which is the most showy part of the dress, covered and drawn up in
what are called festoons, with light wreaths of beautiful flowers; the
sleeves, white crape drawn over the silk, with a row of lace round the
sleeve near the shoulder, another half-way down the arm, and a third
upon the top of the ruffle,--a little stuck between,--a kind of hat-cap
with three large feathers and a bunch of flowers,--a wreath of flowers
on the hair.'"

Miss Prissy concluded this relishing description with a little smack of
the lips, such as people sometimes give when reading things that are
particularly to their taste.

"Now, I was a-thinking," she added, "that it would be an excellent way
to trim Mary's sleeves,--three rows of lace, with a sprig to each row."

All this while, our Mary, with her white short-gown and blue
stuff-petticoat, her shining pale brown hair and serious large blue
eyes, sat innocently looking first at her mother, then at Miss Prissy,
and then at the finery.

We do not claim for her any superhuman exemption from girlish feelings.
She was innocently dazzled with the vision of courtly halls and princely
splendors, and thought Mrs. Adams's descriptions almost a perfect
realization of things she had read in "Sir Charles Grandison." If her
mother thought it right and proper she should be dressed and made fine,
she was glad of it; only there came a heavy, leaden feeling in her
little heart, which she did not understand, but we who know womankind
will translate for you: it was, that a certain pair of dark eyes would
not see her after she was dressed; and so, after all, what was the use
of looking pretty?

"I wonder what James _would_ think," passed through her head; for Mary
had never changed a ribbon, or altered the braid of her hair, or pinned
a flower in her bosom, that she had not quickly seen the effect of the
change mirrored in those dark eyes. It was a pity, of course, now she
had found out that she ought not to think about him, that so many
thought-strings were twisted round him.

So while Miss Prissy turned over her papers, and read out of others
extracts about Lord Caermarthen and Sir Clement Cotterel Dormer and the
Princess Royal and Princess Augusta, in black and silver, with a silver
netting upon the coat, and a head stuck full of diamond pins,--and Lady
Salisbury and Lady Talbot and the Duchess of Devonshire, and scarlet
satin sacks and diamonds and ostrich-plumes, and the King's kissing Mrs.
Adams,--little Mary's blue eyes grew larger and larger, seeing far off
on the salt green sea, and her ears heard only the ripple and murmur of
those waters that earned her heart away,--till, by-and-by, Miss Prissy
gave her a smart little tap, which awakened her to the fact that she was
wanted again to try on the dress which Miss Prissy's nimble fingers had
basted.

So passed the day,--Miss Prissy busily chattering, clipping,
basting,--Mary patiently trying on to an unheard-of extent,--and Mrs.
Scudder's neat room whipped into a perfect froth and foam of gauze,
lace, artificial flowers, linings, and other aids, accessories, and
abetments.

At dinner, the Doctor, who had been all the morning studying out his
Treatise on the Millennium, discoursed tranquilly as usual, innocently
ignorant of the unusual cares which were distracting the minds of his
listeners. What should he know of dress-makers, good soul? Encouraged
by the respectful silence of his auditors, he calmly expanded and
soliloquized on his favorite topic, the last golden age of Time, the
Marriage-Supper of the Lamb, when the purified Earth, like a repentant
Psyche, shall be restored to the long-lost favor of a celestial
Bridegroom, and glorified saints and angels shall walk familiarly as
wedding-guests among men.

"Sakes alive!" said little Miss Prissy, after dinner, "did I ever hear
any one go on like that blessed man?--such a spiritual mind! Oh, Miss
Scudder, how you are privileged in having him here! I do really think it
is a shame such a blessed man a'n't thought more of. Why, I could just
sit and hear him talk all day. Miss Scudder, I wish sometimes you'd just
let me make a ruffled shirt for him, and do it all up myself, and put a
stitch in the hem that I learned from my sister Martha, who learned it
from a French young lady who was educated in a convent;--nuns, you know,
poor things, can do _some_ things right; and I think _I_ never saw such
hemstitching as they do there;--and I should like to hemstitch the
Doctor's ruffles; he is _so_ spiritually-minded, it really makes me love
him. Why, hearing him talk put me in mind of a real beautiful song of
Mr. Watts,--I don't know as I could remember the tune."

And Miss Prissy, whose musical talent was one of her special _fortes_,
tuned her voice, a little cracked and quavering, and sang, with a
vigorous accent on each accented syllable,--

  "From _the_ third heaven, where God resides,
    That holy, happy place,
  The New Jerusalem comes down,
    Adorned with shining grace.

  "Attending angels shout for joy,
    And the bright armies sing,--
  'Mortals! behold the sacred seat
    Of your descending King!'"

"Take care, Miss Scudder!--that silk must be cut exactly on the bias";
and Miss Prissy, hastily finishing her last quaver, caught the silk and
the scissors out of Mrs. Scudder's hand, and fell down at once from
the Millennium into a discourse on her own particular way of covering
piping-cord.

So we go, dear reader,--so long as we have a body and a soul. Two worlds
must mingle,--the great and the little, the solemn and the trivial,
wreathing in and out, like the grotesque carvings on a Gothic
shrine;--only, did we know it rightly, nothing is trivial; since the
human soul, with its awful shadow, makes all things sacred. Have not
ribbons, cast-off flowers, soiled bits of gauze, trivial, trashy
fragments of millinery, sometimes had an awful meaning, a deadly power,
when they belonged to one who should wear them no more, and whose
beautiful form, frail and crushed as they, is a hidden and a vanished
thing for all time? For so sacred and individual is a human being, that,
of all the million-peopled earth, no one form ever restores another.
The mould of each mortal type is broken at the grave; and never, never,
though you look through all the faces on earth, shall the exact form you
mourn ever meet your eyes again! You are living your daily life among
trifles that one death-stroke may make relics. One false step, one
luckless accident, an obstacle on the track of a train, the tangling of
the cord in shifting a sail, and the penknife, the pen, the papers, the
trivial articles of dress and clothing, which to-day you toss idly and
jestingly from hand to hand, may become dread memorials of that awful
tragedy whose deep abyss ever underlies our common life.


CHAPTER XIII.

THE PARTY.


Well, let us proceed to tell how the eventful evening drew on,--how
Mary, by Miss Prissy's care, stood at last in a long-waisted gown
flowered with rose-buds and violets, opening in front to display a white
satin skirt trimmed with lace and flowers,--how her little feet were
put into high-heeled shoes, and a little jaunty cap with a wreath of
moss-rose-buds was fastened over her shining hair,--and how Miss Prissy,
delighted, turned her round and round, and then declared that she must
go and get the Doctor to look at her. She knew he must be a man of
taste, he talked so beautifully about the Millennium; and so, bursting
into his study, she actually chattered him back into the visible world,
and, leading the blushing Mary to the door, asked him, point-blank, if
he ever saw anything prettier.

The Doctor, being now wide awake, gravely gave his mind to the subject,
and, after some consideration, said, gravely, "No,--he didn't think he
ever did." For the Doctor was not a man of compliment, and had a habit
of always thinking, before he spoke, whether what he was going to say
was exactly true; and having lived some time in the family of President
Edwards, renowned for beautiful daughters, he naturally thought them
over.

The Doctor looked innocent and helpless, while Miss Prissy, having
got him now quite into her power, went on volubly to expatiate on the
difficulties overcome in adapting the ancient wedding-dress to its
present modern fit. He told her that it was very nice,--said, "Yes,
Ma'am," at proper places,--and, being a very obliging man, looked at
whatever he was directed to, with round, blank eyes; but ended all with
a long gaze on the laughing, blushing face, that, half in shame and
half in perplexed mirth, appeared and disappeared as Miss Prissy in her
warmth turned her round and showed her.

"Now, don't she look beautiful?" Miss Prissy reiterated for the
twentieth time, as Mary left the room.

The Doctor, looking after her musingly, said to himself,--"'The king's
daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold; she
shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.'"

"Now, did I ever?" said Miss Prissy, rushing out. "How that good man
does turn everything! I believe you couldn't get anything, that he
wouldn't find a text right out of the Bible about it. I mean to get the
linen for that shirt this very week, with the Miss Wilcox's money; they
always pay well, those Wilcoxes,--and I've worked for them, off and on,
sixteen days and a quarter. To be sure, Miss Scudder, there's no
real need of my doing it, for I must say you keep him looking like a
pink,--but only I feel as if I must do something for such a good man."

The good Doctor was brushed up for the evening with zealous care and
energy; and if he did _not_ look like a pink, it was certainly no fault
of his hostess.

Well, we cannot reproduce in detail the faded glories of that
entertainment, nor relate how the Wilcox Manor and gardens were
illuminated,--how the bride wore a veil of real point-lace,--how
carriages rolled and grated on the gravel works, and negro servants, in
white kid gloves, handed out ladies in velvet and satin.

To Mary's inexperienced eye it seemed like an enchanted dream,--a
realization of all she had dreamed of grand and high society. She had
her little triumph of an evening; for everybody asked who that beautiful
girl was, and more than one gallant of the old Newport first families
felt himself adorned and distinguished to walk with her on his arm.
Busy, officious dowagers repeated to Mrs. Scudder the applauding
whispers that followed her wherever she went.

"Really, Mrs. Scudder," said gallant old General Wilcox, "where have you
kept such a beauty all this time? It's a sin and a shame to hide such a
light under a bushel."

And Mrs. Scudder, though, of course, like you and me, sensible reader,
properly apprised of the perishable nature of such fleeting honors, was,
like us, too, but a mortal, and smiled condescendingly on the follies of
the scene.

The house was divided by a wide hall opening by doors, the front one
upon the street, the back into a large garden, the broad central walk
of which, edged on each side with high clipped hedges of box, now
resplendent with colored lamps, seemed to continue the prospect in a
brilliant vista.

The old-fashioned garden was lighted in every part, and the company
dispersed themselves about it in picturesque groups.

We have the image in our mind of Mary as she stood with her little hat
and wreath of rose-buds, her fluttering ribbons and rich brocade, as it
were a picture framed in the door-way, with her back to the illuminated
garden, and her calm, innocent face regarding with a pleased wonder the
unaccustomed gayeties within.

Her dress, which, under Miss Prissy's forming hand, had been made to
assume that appearance of style and fashion which more particularly
characterized the mode of those times, formed a singular, but not
unpleasing, contrast to the sort of dewy freshness of air and mien which
was characteristic of her style of beauty. It seemed so to represent
a being who was in the world, yet not of it,--who, though living
habitually in a higher region of thought and feeling, was artlessly
curious, and innocently pleased with a fresh experience in an altogether
untried sphere. The feeling of being in a circle to which she did not
belong, where her presence was in a manner an accident, and where she
felt none of the responsibilities which come from being a component part
of a society, gave to her a quiet, disengaged air, which produced all
the effect of the perfect ease of high breeding.

While she stands there, there comes out of the door of the bridal
reception-room a gentleman with a stylishly-dressed lady on either arm,
with whom he seems wholly absorbed. He is of middle height, peculiarly
graceful in form and moulding, with that indescribable air of
high breeding which marks the polished man of the world. His
beautifully-formed head, delicate profile, fascinating sweetness of
smile, and, above all, an eye which seemed to have an almost mesmeric
power of attraction, were traits which distinguished one of the most
celebrated men of the time, and one whose peculiar history yet lives
not only in our national records, but in the private annals of many an
American family.

"Good Heavens!" he said, suddenly pausing in conversation, as his eye
accidentally fell upon Mary. "Who is that lovely creature?"

"Oh, that," said Mrs. Wilcox,--"why, that is Mary Scudder. Her father
was a family connection of the General's. The family are in rather
modest circumstances, but highly respectable."

After a few moments more of ordinary chit-chat, in which from time to
time he darted upon her glances of rapid and piercing observation, the
gentleman might have been observed to disembarrass himself of one of the
ladies on his arm, by passing her with a compliment and a bow to another
gallant, and, after a few moments more, he spoke something to Mrs.
Wilcox, in a low voice, and with that gentle air of deferential
sweetness which always made everybody well satisfied to do his will. The
consequence was, that in a few moments Mary was startled from her calm
speculations by the voice of Mrs. Wilcox, saying at her elbow, in a
formal tone,--

"Miss Scudder, I have the honor to present to your acquaintance Colonel
Burr, of the United States Senate."

(To be continued.)




THE WALKER OF THE SNOW.


  Speed on, speed on, good master!
    The camp lies far away;--
  We must cross the haunted valley
    Before the close of day.

  How the snow-blight came upon me
    I will tell you as we go,--
  The blight of the shadow hunter
    Who walks the midnight snow.

  To the cold December heaven
    Came the pale moon and the stars,
  As the yellow sun was sinking
    Behind the purple bars.

  The snow was deeply drifted
    Upon the ridges drear
  That lay for miles between me
    And the camp for which we steer.

  'Twas silent on the hill-side,
    And by the solemn wood
  No sound of life or motion
    To break the solitude,

  Save the wailing of the moose-bird
    With a plaintive note and low,
  And the skating of the red leaf
    Upon the frozen snow.

  And said I,--"Though dark is falling,
    And far the camp must be,
  Yet my heart it would be lightsome,
    If I had but company."

  And then I sang and shouted,
    Keeping measure, as I sped,
  To the harp-twang of the snow-shoe
    As it sprang beneath my tread.

  Nor far into the valley
    Had I dipped upon my way,
  When a dusky figure joined me,
    In a capuchon of gray,

  Bending upon the snow-shoes
    With a long and limber stride;
  And I hailed the dusky stranger,
    As we travelled side by side.

  But no token of communion
    Gave he by word or look,
  And the fear-chill fell upon me
    At the crossing of the brook.

  For I saw by the sickly moonlight,
    As I followed, bending low,
  That the walking of the stranger
    Left no foot-marks on the snow.

  Then the fear-chill gathered o'er me,
    Like a shroud around me cast,
  As I sank upon the snow-drift
    Where the shadow hunter passed.

  And the otter-trappers found me,
    Before the break of day,
  With my dark hair blanched and whitened
    As the snow in which I lay.

  But they spoke not, as they raised me;
    For they knew that in the night
  I had seen the shadow hunter,
    And had withered in his blight.

  Sancta Maria speed us!
    The sun is falling low,--
  Before us lies the Valley
    Of the Walker of the Snow!




REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


_A New History of the Conquest of Mexico._ In which Las Casas'
Denunciations of the Popular Historians of that War are fully
vindicated. By ROBERT ANDERSON WILSON, Counsellor at Law; Author of
"Mexico and its Religion," etc., Philadelphia: James Challen & Son.
Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Co.

(SECOND NOTICE.)

According to the well-authenticated legend of the martyrdom of Saint
Lawrence, the Saint, as he lay upon the grid-iron, conscious that he
had been sufficiently done on one side, begged the cooks, if it were
a matter of indifference to them, to turn him on the other. Common
humanity demanded compliance with so reasonable a request. We fancy that
we hear Mr. Wilson, preferring a similar petition; and we hope we are
too good-natured to be insensible to the appeal. We cannot, at this
moment, indeed, think of him otherwise than good-naturedly. With many
things in his book we have been highly pleased. The number, the
novelty, and the variety of his blunders have given us a very favorable
impression of his ingenuity, and have afforded us constant entertainment
in what we feared was to be a drudgery and a task. We had intended to
cull some of these beauties for the amusement of our readers and
the personal gratification of Mr. Wilson himself. But, as children,
gathering shells on the sea-shore, resign, one after another, the
treasures which they have collected, and grasp at newer, and, therefore,
more pleasing specimens, which are abandoned in their turn, so we,
finding our stores accumulate beyond our means of transportation, and
tantalized by a richness that made the task of selection an impossible
one, have been forced to relinquish the prize and come away with empty
hands. If there be, in the compass of what the author calls "these
volumes,"--though to us, perhaps from inability to distinguish between
unity and duality, his work appears to be comprised in a single tome,--a
sentence decently constructed, a foreign name correctly spelt, a
punctuation-mark rightly placed, a fact clearly and accurately stated,
or an argument that is not capable of an easy reduction to the absurd,
we have not been so unfortunate as to discover it. Mr. Wilson is a man
who, to use Carlyle's favorite expression, has "swallowed all formulas."
The principles that have generally been held to govern the use of
language appear to him mere arbitrary rules, invented by the "sevenfold
censorship" and the Spanish Inquisition, for the purpose of preventing
the free communication of ideas. All such trammels he rejects; and,
accordingly, we have to thank him, so far as mere style is concerned,
for an uninterrupted flow of pleasure in the perusal of his book,
adorned as it is with "graces" that are very far indeed "beyond the
reach of Art."

We come now to those important questions which Mr. Wilson was not,
indeed, the first to agitate, but which he has awakened from their
profound slumbers in the bosom of the Hon. Lewis Cass and the pages
of the "North American Review." We are not to be tempted into writing
another "New History of the Conquest of Mexico"; but we shall endeavor
to state with clearness those points on which the world has had the
temerity to differ from the "high authorities" we have named. It has
been, then, commonly asserted, and is, we fear, by the great mass of
our readers still superstitiously believed, that, at the time of the
discovery of this continent, there existed, in certain portions of it,
nations not wholly barbarous, and yet not civilized, according to our
notions of that term,--nations which had regular governments and
systems of polity, many correct notions in regard to morals, and some
acquaintance with Art and with the refinements of life,--but which were
yet, in a great measure, ignorant of the true principles of science,
little skilled in mechanics, and addicted to the practice of idolatrous
rites. This assertion would seem to have some _prima-facie_ evidence in
its favor. The regions in which these nations are said to have existed
lie within the tropics; and it is a well-established principle, that a
genial climate, a fertile soil, the consequent facilities for obtaining
a subsistence, and the stimulus thus given to the increase of
population, are the first elements of an advance from a savage to a
civilized state, of the abandonment of rude freedom and nomadic habits,
and of the development of a regular social system. This principle is
clearly set forth and elaborately illustrated by Mr. Buckle; and we the
more readily refer to this author, because he stands high in the esteem
of Mr. Wilson, who, in order to prove his own especial fitness for
historical composition, and the incompetence of all who have preceded
him in the attempt, refers to a passage in Buckle, containing an
enumeration of the qualifications which he considers indispensable for
the historian. This enumeration includes all the attainments that have
ever been in the common possession of the human family. Mr. Buckle
remarks, with indisputable truth, that one historian has lacked some of
these qualifications, another historian has lacked others of them. Mr.
Wilson states that "each and every writer" who has preceded him has
lacked them all. Mr. Buckle, by implication, excepts one person, as
uniting in himself all the qualifications he demands. Mr. Wilson thinks
_he_ is the exception; but we are quite sure that the exception intended
by the author was--Henry Thomas Buckle.

In the Old World, civilization, as all admit, had its origin in tropical
regions. Across the whole extent of the Eastern Continent, races are
found inhabiting the warmer latitudes, which are now, or formerly were,
in what is popularly called a semi-civilized condition. No one, we
believe, has ever been foolish enough to account for this fact by
supposing that a single people or tribe, having attained some degree of
culture, had diffused the germs of knowledge over so large a portion
of the globe. Chinese civilization differs almost as much from that
of Hindostan as from that of England or of France. The Assyrian
civilization was indigenous on the borders of the Euphrates, and the
Egyptian on the borders of the Nile. What is remarkable in these and
in all the other cases that might be cited is, that in those regions
civilization never reached the high point which it has attained in other
parts of the world, less favored at the outset; that it exhibited a
grotesque union of refined ideas and strangely artificial institutions,
with customs, manners, and creeds that seem to the European mind
abhorrent and ridiculous; and that, the internal impulse with which it
started having been exhausted, it either remained stationary, without
further development, or sank into decay, or fell before the hostile
attacks of races that had never yielded to its influence. Now the
civilization which is described as having once existed in America
exhibits these general characteristics, while it has, like each of the
others, its own peculiar traits. If the discoverers had made a different
report, we might have been led to suppose that some such state of things
as we have described had previously existed, but had perished before
their arrival.

Mr. Wilson, however, does not reason in this manner. He has found, from
his own observation,--the only source of knowledge, if such it can
be called, on which he is willing to place much reliance,--that the
Ojibways and Iroquois are savages, and he rightly argues that their
ancestors must have been savages. From these premises, without any
process of reasoning, he leaps at once to the conclusion, that in no
part of America could the aboriginal inhabitants ever have lived in any
other than a savage state. Hence he tells us, that, in all statements
regarding them, everything "must be rejected that is inconsistent
with well-established Indian traits." The ancient Mexican empire was,
according to his showing, nothing more than one of those confederacies
of tribes with which the reader of early New England history is
perfectly familiar. The far-famed city of Mexico was "an Indian village
of the first class,"--such, we may hope, as that which the author saw
on his visit to the Massasaugus, where, to his immense astonishment, he
found the people "clothed, and in their right minds." The Aztecs, he
argues, could not have built temples, for the Iroquois do not build
temples. The Aztecs could not have been idolaters or offered up human
sacrifices, for the Iroquois are not idolaters and do not offer up human
sacrifices. The Aztecs could not have been addicted to cannibalism, for
the Iroquois never eat human flesh, unless driven to it by hunger. This
is what Mr. Wilson means by the "American standpoint"; and those who
adopt his views may consider the whole question settled without any
debate.

But there are some slight difficulties to be overcome, before we can
embrace these views. Putting human testimony aside, there are witnesses
of the past that still give their evidence to the fact, that parts of
this continent were once inhabited by races who had other pursuits
besides hunting and fishing, and whose ideas and manners differed
widely from those of the "red men" of the North. Ruined cities, defaced
temples, broken statues,--relics such as on the Eastern Continent, from
the Straits of Gibraltar to the shores of the Ganges, mark the sites of
fallen empires and extinct civilizations,--relics such as we should have
expected, from _a priori_ reasoning, to meet with in the corresponding
latitudes of the New World,--lie scattered through their whole extent,
proclaiming themselves the works of men who lived in settled communities
and under regular forms of government, who had some knowledge of
architecture and some rude notions of the beautiful and the sublime, who
had strong feelings and vivid conceptions in regard to the agency of
supernal powers in the control of human affairs, but who clothed their
conceptions in uncouth forms, and worshipped their deities with absurd
and debasing rites. Some of these remains being known to Mr. Wilson,
on the evidence of the only pair of eyes in the universe which, in his
estimation, have the faculty of seeing, he cannot treat them, according
to his usual method in such cases, as fabrications of Spanish priests
and lying chroniclers. How, then, does he account for them? He unfolds
a theory on the subject, which he has stolen from the "monkish
chroniclers" whom he treats with so much contempt, and which has long
ago been exploded and set aside. He tells us, that these relics have no
connection with the history of the American Aborigines,--that they have
a different origin and a far greater antiquity,--that they are proofs,
not to be gainsaid, of the discovery of this continent, at a very early
date, by Phoenician adventurers, and of the establishment, in the
regions where they are found, of Phoenician colonies. These ruins, he
tells us, were Phoenician temples, these statues are the representations
of Phoenician gods. In the comparison of facts by which he endeavors to
support this theory, we have been surprised to find him admitting
the testimony of other explorers. But they are, it seems, reluctant
witnesses. Their inferences from the facts which they have themselves
collected are directly opposite to his. "Proving our case," he says, "by
such testimony, we have admitted their statement of fact, only rejecting
their conclusions." Their proper business, it would appear, was to
amass the materials which our author alone was competent to use. He
encountered, indeed, a solitary difficulty; but this, in the most
astonishing manner, has been removed. "Thus far," he writes, "had we
carried the argument, but had here been compelled to stop, for want of
further evidence; and the very stereotype plate that at first occupied
this page, expressed our regrets that we were not able more completely
to identify the Palenque statue as Hercules. At our publishers',
however, the eyes of that distinguished Orientalist, the Rev. Mr.
Osborn, chanced to fall upon a proof of the American goddess in the
fourth note to this chapter, which he at once recognized as Astarte,
represented according to an antique pattern. Her head-dress, he
insisted, was in the ancient form of the mural crown, without the
crescent, the prototype of that worn by Diana of the Ephesians, and so
too, he insisted, was her necklace of 'two rows.'" Thus the chain of
evidence was complete, and, for once, Mr. Wilson derived assistance from
eyes not placed in his own head.

But, whatever distinguished Orientalists may say, undistinguished
Occidentalists may be pardoned for inquiring when it was that this
stream of Phoenician emigration flowed to the American shores, in what
manner such an enormous body of colonists as the hypothesis necessarily
supposes were conveyed hither, and what has become of their descendants.
With an uncommon indulgence to our weakness of faith, Mr. Wilson
condescends to meet these obvious questions. The time he cannot exactly
fix; but it was "thousands of years ago,"--"before the time of Moses."
To the query in regard to the means of conveyance, he answers, that at
that remote period sailing ships were in common use,--as is proved by
representations of them found in Egyptian tombs,--although they were
afterwards superseded by galleys propelled by oars alone. The reason
assigned by Mr. Wilson for this change makes a valuable addition to the
stores of Biblical commentary. "The Greeks," he says, "appear to have
been selected from their imitative powers, to perpetuate such of the
arts and civilization of the elder world, as were to be preserved from
that decree of extermination, pronounced by the Almighty against its
nations. _Commerce had been the chief cause of the total demoralization
of antiquity_, and of this, they were permitted to preserve only a boat
navigation." Coeval with the decline of commerce and the extermination
of sailing ships was the cessation of this Phoenician emigration to
America. The colonists, having no longer any communication with the
mother country, soon dwindled away and perished, in accordance with a
well-known law of Nature. "Extinction is the doom of every immigrant
population in an uncongenial climate (habitat) when migration ceases to
keep up and renew the original stock." The same fate is impending over
us. "In our own country various causes have been assigned for the
recognized delicacy, which is steadily advancing in what may be called
the pure American. The growing smallness of the hands and feet, the
shortening of the jawbones, the diminution in the number of the teeth
and their rapid decay, are matters of daily comment." In like manner,
the Caucasian race is melting away in the colonies of Great Britain,
in South Africa, Australia, and the West Indies. "In these uniform
consequences the most obtuse cannot fail to recognise the operation of
a universal law, whose primary effects are to diminish migration, and
whose ultimate results are the extinction of the exotic population." We
suppose none of our readers are obtuse enough not to be aware of the
gradual shortening of their jawbones, a phenomenon especially noticeable
in members of Congress and popular lecturers. As for the diminution in
the number of our teeth, and their rapid decay, we need, alas! no Wilson
to remind us of these melancholy facts.

What we may call the physical evidence in favor of the Aztec
civilization having been thus disposed of by Mr. Wilson, we come now to
his treatment of the written and traditional testimony, the accounts
that have been handed down to us of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, and
of the condition of the country at the time when that conquest was made.
Mr. Wilson opens his "Chapter Preliminary" with the statement, that, "in
this work, the standard Spanish authorities have been followed as long
as they followed the truth." This declaration excited, we confess,
painful misgivings in our mind; for, if Mr. Wilson was already in
possession of the truth, independently of historical research,--whether
by communications from the spirits of the _Conquistadores_, or by any
other of the easy and popular methods of solving obscure problems,--what
need was there of his consulting the standard authorities at all? But we
were somewhat cheered, when, a little farther on, we found him stating,
that the writer who enters into these discussions must "con musty folios
innumerable"; that "it will not do to denounce in general terms the
venerable precedents [?] so constantly quoted by our annalists," but
that "their defects and their errors must be shown in detail." For
it does appear to us, that, if a great historical question is to be
opened,--if a series of extraordinary events, hitherto believed by the
world to have really happened, are to be denounced as fabulous,--if
numerous writers, whose statements and relations have been regarded
in the main as worthy of credit, are now to be rejected as liars
and impostors,--it is indispensable that the works containing these
relations should be carefully examined, that the statements should be
compared and subjected to the severest scrutiny, and that the refutation
should proceed, step by step, inch by inch, over the whole field of
debate. Has Mr. Wilson taken this course? Has he met with clear and
resolute argument the accounts which he denounces as "fabrications"? Has
he diligently and carefully examined the "standard Spanish authorities"?
Has he "conned musty folios innumerable"? Has he read all the works in
question? _Has he ever seen them?_

We may divide these works into three classes,--not with reference to
their different degrees of merit and importance, but as regards their
accessibility and the relative ease with which they may be consulted.
The first class comprises two or three works which have been translated
into English; and these translations may be procured with facility and
read by any one who has some acquaintance with the English language,
though not acquainted with any other. In the second class we may place a
considerable number of works which have been published indeed, but only
in the original Spanish, or, in a few instances, in French or Italian
translations. Some of them are rare, and difficult to meet with; others
may be found in several of our best libraries. The third class embraces
relations and documents which have never been translated, which have
never been published, of which the originals repose in the Spanish
archives at Simancas or the Escorial, or in private collections,
jealously guarded, in Mexico or Madrid, and of which the only copies
known to exist in this country are in the collection formed, with so
much trouble and at so great cost, by Mr. Prescott. Now the writings
which come under our first category Mr. Wilson has both seen and
read,--to what purpose and with what profit we shall hereafter show. The
publications comprised in the second class we feel very confident he
has never read. The manuscripts, which come under the last head, we are
morally certain he has never seen. That he has not seen them is capable
of the strongest proof, short of absolute demonstration. That he had
no acquaintance with Mr. Prescott's collection is a matter within our
personal knowledge. Had he been in a position to obtain copies for
himself, and had he availed himself of that circumstance, he would not
have failed to proclaim the fact in his loudest and shrillest tones. Nor
does he pretend that he has ever visited Spain, and had access to the
originals. Indeed, we do not think he would have ventured upon such
a step. He tells us, that, "besides the reasons already given for
distrusting the correctness of Spanish statements, there is another,
more secret in character, but not less potent than all combined--fear of
incurring the displeasure of that tribunal which punished unbelief
with fire, torture, and confiscation." If Mr. Wilson, as his language
implies, stands in fear of "fire, torture, and confiscation," and if
this is his most potent reason for distrusting the correctness of
Spanish statements, we can readily understand why he should have chosen
to remain on his native soil and write the history of the Conquest of
Mexico from "the American stand-point." Lastly, Mr. Wilson makes no
allusions to matter contained in the manuscripts which had not been
reproduced in the pages of Prescott. He is careful, indeed, to tell us
very little of the contents of these works; but he talks _about_ them
with the most gratifying candor, and in his choicest phraseology. He
informs us, that "Sarmiento's History of the Peruvian Incas altogether
surpasses that of Dr. Johnson's Rasselas and the Happy Valley." The
history of Dr. Johnson's "Rasselas" is related, we believe, by Boswell.
The great moralist composed his beautiful and philosophical, but
somewhat gloomy romance, in the evenings of a single week, in order to
obtain the means of defraying the expenses of his mother's funeral. The
story is a touching one; but Mr. Wilson's comparison is so inapt, that
we cannot help suspecting him of having had in his mind, not the history
of Johnson's "Rasselas," but Johnson's history of Rasselas. We think it
rather hard, that, having, in general, such a limited amount of meaning
to express, Mr. Wilson should have followed the maxim of Talleyrand, and
employed language chiefly as a means of concealing his thoughts.

Mr. Wilson nowhere asserts, in so many words, that he has had access to
manuscript authorities. His mode of speaking of them, however, implies
as much, and he evidently intends that this inference should be drawn by
his readers. In a printed note, addressed to his publishers, disclaiming
any intention of "assailing the memory of the dead,"--a disclaimer
which was not needed to suggest the reason why his book, loaded with
typographical blunders, was hurried through the press,[A]--he "insists
on the lawyer's privilege of sifting the evidence--a labor which Mr.
Prescott was incapable of performing, from a physical infirmity"; and he
undertakes to prove that Mr. Prescott's "books and manuscripts were not
reliable authorities." Now even "the lawyer's privilege" does not extend
to sifting evidence which he has never heard; and if Mr. Prescott was
"incapable, from a physical infirmity," of properly scrutinizing his
authorities, it was the more necessary that Mr. Wilson, with his own
wonderful eyes, should undertake the task. There is one manuscript which
he might be supposed to have had a strong desire to examine. His book
professes to be a vindication of "Las Casas' denunciations of the
popular historians" of the Conquest. The work of Las Casas, supposed to
contain these denunciations, is his History of the Indies. Mr. Wilson
acknowledges that he has never seen this work; it has, he says, "been
wholly suppressed"; and he is terribly severe on the censorship and the
Inquisition for having been guilty of this suppression. But the only
suppression in the case is, that the book has never been printed. The
original manuscript may be consulted at Madrid. A copy of the most
important parts of it is in Mr. Prescott's collection. Mr. Wilson might
have seen that copy, had he expressed the wish. He did not, however,
give himself this trouble; and we think he was right. The truth is,
that, of all the Spanish historians of the Conquest of Mexico, Las Casas
is the one who has indulged most largely in hyperbole. Writing, with
little personal knowledge, in support of a theory which required him
to magnify the ruin accomplished by the _Conquistadores_, he has
exaggerated the population of the Mexican empire, the number and size of
its towns, and the evidences of its civilization. It was on this very
account that Navarrete, who examined the work with a view to its
publication, came to the decision not to print it. We have little doubt
as to the propriety of that decision; and Mr. Wilson, we think, also did
well in sticking to Cass and "suppressing" Las Casas.[B]

[Footnote A: Author, compositor, and proof-reader were evidently engaged
in a "stampede,"--the (Printer's) Devil having strict orders to make
seizure of the hindmost. Part of a Spanish poem, borrowed, without
acknowledgment, from Prescott, seems to have gone to "pie" on the
imposing-stone, and been suffered to remain in that state.]

[Footnote B: Mr. Wilson would have been less unfortunate, if he
could have "suppressed" the work of Mr. Gallatin to which he has the
effrontery to refer as an authority for his ridiculous assertion, that
the "so-called picture-writing" of the Aztecs was a Spanish invention.
As Mr. Gallatin's essay is within the reach of any of our readers who
may be inclined to consult it, we shall content ourselves with a single
remark on the subject. That learned writer, who had made a real and
thorough study of the Mexican civilization, (having obtained from Mr.
Prescott the books necessary for the purpose,) was so far from denying
that hieroglyphical painting was practised by the Aztecs, or that
authentic copies, and even actual specimens of it, have been preserved,
that he himself constructed a Mexican chronology which has no other
foundation than these same picture-writings. There is one remark in Mr.
Gallatin's work on which Mr. Wilson would have done wisely to ponder. It
is this:--"The conquest of Mexico is an important event in the history
of man. _Mr. Prescott has exhausted the subject._"]

Our reason for believing that Mr. Wilson has never read the works,
relating to his subject, which have been published only in the original
Spanish or in translations into other foreign languages, is a very
simple one. He produces no evidence that he has ever read them. Some of
them he does not even mention. From none of them does he glean a single
fact that was not ready to his hand in the pages of Prescott. Except in
two or three instances, where he filches a reference from the citations
made by the latter historian, he brings forward no statement contained
in any of these books, either to support his own positions or to refute
theirs. Why did he take from Prescott--to whom on this occasion he
confesses his indebtedness--the facts in relation to the early life of
Cortes, (we would he had borrowed the language as well as the matter!)
if he had himself the means of consulting the works from which
Prescott's account was derived? But it is unnecessary to pursue the
argument; Mr. Wilson acknowledges that he knows nothing of the works in
question. "For our purpose," he writes, "the standard histories of the
conquest might as well be blank paper." We believe him; but had
his purpose been, not "to denounce in general terms the venerable
_precedents_ so constantly quoted by our annalists, but to show their
defects and their errors in detail," he would hardly have used them, as
he has done, as mere wadding for the great gun which he was loading,
and which has exploded with such terrible effect. His objection to
the "standard histories" is, that their authors were Spaniards,
ecclesiastics, royal historiographers,--that they wrote under the eye of
the Inquisition and the censorship. Like objections would apply to the
whole field of Spanish history. The reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella,
Charles the Fifth, and Philip the Second must, therefore, be as fabulous
as the conquests of Mexico and Peru. Accordingly, Mr. Wilson, when he
wishes to study the history of Spain, declines to have recourse to
Spanish writers. He goes to writers of other countries, and has a very
natural preference for such as speak the English tongue. Besides that
valuable work known among mortals as the "Encyclopaedia Britannica,"
but usually cited by Mr. Wilson, in an off-hand and familiar way, as
"Britannica," he draws much upon a treasure of his own discovery, "a
ponderous folio" of the seventeenth century, written in English by one
Grimshaw, and containing a full and veritable history of Spain from
the earliest epochs. He makes much of Grimshaw, styling him "our
chronicler." He pats the volume fondly, and calls it "my old
folio,"--just as Mr. Collier pats and fondles _his_ celebrated old
folio. To judge from some specimens which Mr. Wilson gives us, the
venerable Grimshaw cannot have the merit of being very easy of
comprehension. Here is an extract, just as we find it:--"About the year
756, at which time there were great troops of Turks beginne to disperse
themselves over all Armenia, the which did overrunne and spoil the
Sarrazin's country." And here is another:--"Over common, then, in Spain,
and elsewhere, which nevertheless chastise the world in such sort, but
that this sinne is at this day more in use than ever it was, to the
dishonor of our God, contempt of his laws, and confusion of all good
order." Apparently, Mr. Wilson, besides writing in a singular style
himself, is the cause of singularities in the writings of other men.
What is more worthy of note is the credulity with which he swallows the
fabulous inventions of the "monkish chroniclers" when set before him
in English earthenware. We would undertake, for a very trifling
consideration, to furnish him with the Spanish originals of the stories
of "Hispan" and "Hercules," and all the other absurdities with which his
old folio has supplied him. From what source does he imagine them to
have been derived? Does he think they belong to the stock of traditions
in possession of the Anglo-Saxon race,--that Grimshaw got them from
Bagshaw, and Bagshaw from Bradshaw?

Our argument in regard to Mr. Wilson's ignorance of most of the
"standard authorities" will be strengthened by a review of the works
which he actually has used,--or, to speak more correctly, misused,--and
an examination of his reasons for selecting them. They are two in
number. He can hardly be said to overrate the importance of one of
these works,--the celebrated Letters of Cortes. For the events of
the Conquest, and the first impressions made upon the minds of the
discoverers by the aspect of the country, we could have no evidence of
equal value with the dispatches written by the great adventurer from the
field of his enterprises and during the course of the operations. Mr.
Wilson does not, however, consult the original letters. His strong
prejudice against everything Spanish would not allow him to do so. He
has studied them through the medium of a translation; and the reason he
assigns for his preference of this version is, that "it is _better_ than
the original." We have no doubt that it _is_ better for Mr. Wilson's
"purpose"; indeed, we fear, that, had it not been for the labors of the
translator, Mr. George Folsom, the letters of Cortes would, like "most
of the standard histories," have been regarded by Mr. Wilson as "no
better than so much blank paper." Lockhart, by translating the chronicle
of Bernal Diaz, has saved it from similar condemnation,--but only that
it might incur a still more terrible fate. Mr. Wilson's theory in
regard to the origin and character of this work is no less subtile than
startling. According to the common belief, Bernal Diaz was a soldier in
the army of Cortes, accompanied him throughout his campaigns, and, at a
late period of his life, composed a narrative of the memorable events
in which he had participated as an actor or an eye-witness. Writers who
knew him in his old age have left us descriptions of his appearance
and character. Mr. Wilson, however, holds that he never existed. The
chronicle which bears the name is, according to him, a work of fiction,
written by some Spanish De Foe, who had read the common narratives of
the conquest of Mexico, but who had no personal knowledge of the scene
in which his story is laid. What first excited Mr. Wilson's suspicions
was the charming simplicity and apparent truthfulness which, in common
with all readers of Bernal Diaz, he has found to be the distinguishing
characteristics of the narrative. "A striking feature," he tells us,
"in Spanish literature, is the plausibility with which it has carried
a fictitious narrative through its most minute details, completely
captivating the _uninitiated_. If its supporters were not permitted to
write truth, they succeeded in getting up a most excellent imitation. In
Bernal Diaz the alleged individual affairs of private soldiers are so
artfully interwoven with the general history as to give the effect of
truth to the whole. There being no fear of contradiction, this practice
of inventing familiar details could be indulged in to any extent, while
the beauty and simplicity of such a style fixes at once the doubting."

  "Ah! si Moliere avait connu l'autre!"--

Oh that Fielding had known Mr. Wilson! Partridge, a mere unsophisticated
booby, thought simplicity the characteristic of Nature, and therefore
out of place in Art. Mr. Wilson, a transcendental Partridge, thinks
simplicity the characteristic of Art, and therefore out of place in
Nature. He is more than ordinarily severe on Mr. Prescott for not having
detected in Bernal Diaz these "striking marks of the _counterfeit_
instead of the _common soldier_." "We differ," he says, "decidedly from
Mr. Prescott." The difference seems to be, that Prescott regarded the
_appearance_ of truthfulness in the narrative of Bernal Diaz as _prima
facie_ evidence of its truthfulness, while Mr. Wilson regards the same
appearance as the most complete evidence of its untruthfulness.

But we have been anxious to discover some more definite and substantial
grounds for Mr. Wilson's hypothesis. In a couple of closely-printed
pages, devoted to the subject, he asks himself, again and again, the
questions,--"Who, then, was Bernal Diaz?"--"Who, then, wrote the
history of Bernal Diaz?" Failing to extract any reply from the singular
individual to whom these queries are addressed, he winds up with the
solemn and emphatic declaration, "On the evidence hereafter to be
presented, we have with much deliberation concluded to _denounce_ Bernal
Diaz as a _myth_." For the evidence here promised we have searched
with a patience of investigation which, if applied to the problem of
perpetual motion or squaring the circle, could not, we humbly think,
have been wholly unproductive; and these are the results. "The author of
'Bernal Diaz' says the march to Jalapa was accomplished in one day;--a
proof that he never saw the country.... Cortez makes the ascent the work
of three days, and says he did not reach Sienchimalen until the fourth
day." The main discrepancy here is Mr. Wilson's own handiwork, as he
has confounded the "Sienchimalen" of Cortes with Jalapa, instead of
identifying it with the "Socochima" of Bernal Diaz. But so far as there
is any real discrepancy, it may be sufficient to remark, in explanation
of it, that Bernal Diaz professes to have written many years after the
events which he narrates, and at a distance from the scene, while the
letters of Cortes were written in the country, and while the events were
taking place. On another occasion, Bernal Diaz represents the Tlascalans
as complaining that they could "get no cotton for their clothing." "If
this writer," says Mr. Wilson, "had really been acquainted with the
tribes of the table-land, he must have known that the fibres of the
_maguey_ were, among them, substitutes for that article, and are even
now used at the city of Mexico in the manufacture of some fine fabrics."
We do not see how Bernal Diaz could be expected to know that the fibres
of the _maguey_ are now used in Mexican manufactures; neither can we
comprehend how his statement, that the Tlascalans had _no_ cotton, is at
variance with Mr. Wilson's assertion, that they used the _maguey_ as a
substitute. We can imagine, however, that an old soldier, writing for
the "uninitiated," might prefer to speak of cotton, for which he had a
Spanish word, rather than enter into explanations in regard to an Indian
substitute for cotton, resembling it in appearance; while it is not easy
to believe, on Mr. Wilson's bare assertion, that an article in
common use throughout the Valley of Mexico was wholly unknown to the
inhabitants of the table-land.

These, and, so far as we can discover, these alone, are the proofs on
which Mr. Wilson convicts Bernal Diaz of being a nonentity,--of having,
like Rosalind in "As you like it," merely "counterfeited to be a _man_."
As a natural _sequitur_ to this delicious train of reasoning, he
proceeds to take this nonentity, this "myth," as his guide throughout
the narrative of the Conquest. "We may safely follow Diaz," he remarks,
"in unimportant particulars"; and the "particulars" of the Conquest
being, in Mr. Wilson's narration of them, all equally "unimportant," he
is so far consistent in following Diaz throughout. Surely the Grecian
fables will never grow old; here again we have blind Polyphemus groping
in pursuit of cunning [Greek: Outis]. But we must be allowed to ask Mr.
Wilson why he has not rather preferred to take Gomara as his guide.
It is true that he entertains a strong loathing, a rooted
aversion, for this harmless old chronicler, whom he calls always
"Gomora,"--associating him, apparently, by some confusion of ideas, with
the ancient city of bad fame, buried with Sodom beneath the waters of
the Dead Sea. But, at least, he does not deny that Gomara had an actual
existence, that he was a veritable somebody,--a reality, and not a
"myth,"--that he was the chaplain of Cortes, that he had access to the
papers of the great commander, that he wrote a history of the Conquest,
and that this history is still extant. Mr. Wilson himself asserts that
the dispatches of Cortes "and the work of Gomora are the only original
documents touching the Conquest of Mexico, its people, its civilization,
its difficulties, and its dangers." After this declaration, it is
somewhat remarkable, that, throughout his narrative of the Conquest,
while continually quoting from Diaz, he makes not a single reference to
Gomara; and he even censures Mr. Prescott for having pursued a different
course. How shall we explain this fact? Alas for Gomara! he wrote in his
native Castilian, no Lockhart or Folsom had done him into English, and
so he missed his chance of having his statements cited, and, possibly
even,--though we should not like to hazard an assertion on this
point,--of having his name correctly spelt, by the author of the "New
History of the Conquest of Mexico."

It remains only that we should notice, as briefly as possible, the use
which Mr. Wilson has made of his two authorities, the translations of
Bernal Diaz and Cortes, which, rejecting all assistance from other
quarters, he takes for the basis of his narrative. That narrative is
constructed on a plan which, we venture to say, is without a parallel
in literature. Like whatever else is strikingly original, it cannot be
described; we can only hope to convey a faint idea of it by some random
illustrations. To nearly every statement which he notices in the works
before him Mr. Wilson offers a flat contradiction. When these statements
relate to numbers, his method of treating them is a systematic one.
He has picked out of Bernal Diaz, who wrote in an avowed spirit of
hostility to Gomara, a pettish remark, that the exaggerations of the
latter are so great, that, when he says eighty thousand, we may read
one thousand. This piece of rhetoric Mr. Wilson receives literally,
and makes it a rule of measurement, applying it with more or less
exactness,--not, however, to the statements of Gomara, with whose work
he is acquainted only at second hand, but to those of Cortes and of
Bernal Diaz himself! Thus, in every computation of the number of the
enemy's forces, or of the Indian allies who joined the Spaniards in
their contest with the Aztecs, Mr. Wilson "takes the liberty," to use
his own phrase, of "dropping" one or more ciphers from the amount. This
mode of adapting the narrative to his own conceptions he calls "reducing
it to reality." When Cortes--not Gomara, be it remembered--computes the
number of his allies at eighty thousand, Mr. Wilson says, "Let us drop
the thousands, and _assume_ eighty as the actual number. _We must do so
often._" When Cortes writes "thirty-five thousand," Mr. Wilson prefers
to say "three hundred or so." When Diaz writes "twelve thousand," Mr.
Wilson suggests that we should read "five hundred." Cortes says that he
caused a canal to be dug twelve _feet_ deep. Mr. Wilson, speaking as
if he had been an eye-witness, says the canal was only twelve _inches_
deep. In another place he writes, "Accordingly a force of thirteen
horse, two hundred foot, and three hundred--not thirty thousand--Indian
allies were sent to relieve that village"; merely leaving his readers to
the inference that the number placed between dashes is the one given by
Cortes. In a single instance, he admits the estimate of Bernal Diaz, who
puts the loss sustained by the Indians in a battle at eight hundred;
while Las Casas, whose corrections of other writers Mr. Wilson professes
to "vindicate," says the loss of the Indians on this occasion amounted
to thirty thousand. Las Casas also reckons the number of natives who
fell victims to Spanish cruelty in America at forty millions. This wild
estimate has been often quoted. Mr. Wilson, instead of "vindicating" it,
as he was bound to do, triumphantly refutes it. "There never probably
existed," he most justly remarks, "more than forty millions of savage
races at one time on our globe."

It is not merely the arithmetic of his authorities that Mr. Wilson
undertakes to rectify. When they describe a pitched battle, he asserts
that it was a mere skirmish. When they speak of a large town, he tells
us it was a rude hamlet. When they portray the magnificence of the city
of Mexico, he says that they are "painting wild _figments_"--whatever
that may mean,--and that Montezuma's capital was a mere collection of
huts. Cortes tells us, that, in his retreat, he lost a great portion
of his treasure. Mr. Wilson writes, "The _Conquistador_ was too good a
soldier to hazard his gold; it was _therefore_, in the advance, and came
safely off." Cortes states, that, in a certain battle, he retired from
the front in order to make a new disposition of his rear. Mr. Wilson
replies, that Cortes did _not_ go to the rear, because, though his
presence was greatly needed there, the press must have been too great to
allow of his reaching it. The presents which Cortes, while at Vera Cruz,
received from Montezuma, he transmitted to the Emperor Charles the
Fifth, sending, at the same time, an inventory of the articles, among
which was "a large wheel of gold, with figures of strange animals on it,
and worked with tufts of leaves,--weighing three thousand eight hundred
ounces." The original inventory is still in existence. We have the
evidence of persons who were then at the imperial court of the reception
of these presents, of the sensation which they produced, and of the
ideas which they suggested in regard to the wealth and civilization
of the New World; and we have minute descriptions of the different
articles, including the wheel of gold, from persons who saw them at
Seville and at Valladolid. Mr. Wilson,--without making the least
allusion to this testimony, which we cannot help regarding as of the
strongest possible kind, intimates that the presents were of very little
value,--represents the workmanship, which excited the admiration of the
best European artificers, as a mere specimen of "savage ingenuity,"--and
as for the wheel of gold, tells us that it "never existed but in the
fertile fancy of Cortez."

In general, Mr. Wilson contents himself with the barest, though
broadest, denial of the statements of his authorities, or with silently
substituting his own version of the facts in place of theirs. But he
sometimes condescends to argue the point. His logic is ingenious, but
singularly monotonous. His arguments are all drawn from one source,
namely, his own personal experience. The Tlascalan wall, described by
Cortes and Diaz, can never have been in existence, for Mr. Wilson has
been on the very spot and found no remains of a wall. Other travellers,
it may be remarked, have been more fortunate. Cortes states, that, in
a march across the mountains, some of his Indian allies perished of
thirst. This Mr. Wilson pronounces "impossible," because he himself
travelled over the same route, and did _not_ perish of thirst, as
neither did his horse, though the "sufferings of both," from that or
some other cause, were great. One of the most remarkable acts in the
career of Cortes was his voluntary destruction of the vessels which had
brought his little army to the Mexican coast, in order, as he avers,
that his men might stand committed to follow the fortunes of their
leader, whatever might be the dangers of the enterprise. "This event,"
says Mr. Wilson, "has been the subject of eloquent eulogies for
centuries. Among these Robertson is of course pre-eminent." We are
here left in doubt whether Robertson is to be regarded as a preeminent
century or a pre-eminent eulogy. However this may be, our author denies
that the stranding of the vessels was the voluntary act of the Spanish
general. He is confident that they were cast away in a storm. His "most
potent" reason is, that he himself has "witnessed, not only hereabout,
but elsewhere, upon this tideless shore, wrecks by the grounding of
vessels at anchor." This he calls "submitting the narrative to the
ordeal of proof."

However, as we have already intimated, it is seldom that his authorities
are submitted to this "ordeal," which we admit to be a trying one.
Usually they are informed that their assertions "rest on air,"--that
they are "foolish" and "baseless,"--"wild figments," or "intolerable
nonsense." Cortes states that some of his men, who had been taken
prisoners by the Mexicans, were offered up as sacrifices to the Aztec
deities. Mr. Wilson, after telling that their hearts were cut out, and
their bodies "tumbled to the ground," complains that "to this most
probable act of an Indian enemy, is _foolishly_ added--it was done in
sacrifice to their idols, though the very existence of Indian idols is
_still_ problematical!" Cortes, who had seen too many Indian idols to
entertain any doubts of their existence, ought, nevertheless, not
to have mentioned them, because to Mr. Wilson the matter is still a
problem. Whenever that gentleman finds it inconvenient to "reduce" the
statements of the Spanish historians to "realities," he omits them
altogether. Thus, he says not a word of those fearful spectacles which
struck horror to the hearts of the Spaniards in their visit to the
_teocallis_,--the pyramidal mound garnished with human skulls, the
hideous idols and the blood-stained priests, the chapels drenched with
gore, and other evidences of a diabolical worship. Not unfrequently he
fills up what he considers as gaps in the ordinary narratives. Thus,
he pictures the dying Cuitlahua as "stoically wrapping himself in
his feathered mantle," and "rejoicing at his expected welcome to the
celestial hunting-grounds," where he "felt that he was worthy a name
among the immortal braves." This "wild figment" from Mr. Wilson's
"fertile fancy" was, perhaps, suggested by Theobald's famous emendation
in the description of Falstaff's death-scene,--"a babbled o' green
fields." On such occasions, Mr. Wilson explains that he is relating
the occurrences "as they are understood by one familiar with Indian
affairs." A remarkable example of this method of narration shall close
our citations from his work.

The reader is, doubtless, acquainted with the tradition, said to have
been preserved among the Mexicans, of a fair-complexioned deity, with
flowing beard, who had once ruled over them and taught them the arts
of peace, and, being subsequently driven from the country, promised to
return at some future time. Predictions of his reappearance lingered
amongst them, and were supposed to be accomplished in the arrival of the
Spaniards. Mr. Wilson tells us that "too much stress" has been laid on
this tradition; but we know of no modern writer who has laid any stress
on it except himself. It has been usually supposed to be one of those
myths in which nations partially civilized embalm the memory of their
heroes. Mr. Wilson does not believe the Mexicans to have been partially
civilized. He regards them merely as a horde of savages. Nevertheless,
he believes that among these savages "tradition [in the form here
noticed] had handed down, through untold generations, from a remote
antiquity," the establishment in America of Phoenician colonies, their
history, and their subsequent extinction. Nor is this the whole story.
In order to strengthen his argument, he gives a new and corrected
version of this tradition. "It told," he writes, "that _pale faces_ had
once before occupied the _hot country_, coming from beyond the _great
water_. _Perhaps_ with this were coupled also tales of suffering and
wrongs; _perhaps_ how cruelly they, the natives, had been forced, by
these hard task-masters, to labor upon the truncated pyramids and their
crowning chapels. With unrequited Indian toil, these men had builded
cities and public works which still preserved their memory, though they
themselves had long since perished, having fulfilled their allotted
centuries. But with their decaying monuments they left a fearful
prophecy, and thus it ran: that _floating houses_ would again return to
the eastern coast, wafted by like winds, and filled with the same race,
to teach the same religion, and to practise the same cruelties, until
they again finished their cycle, and gave place to others, such as the
laws of climate and population might determine." When the reader, after
perusing this extraordinary relation, recovers his breath, he naturally
casts his eye towards the bottom of the page, in the hope of finding
some explanation of it. He accordingly discovers a note, in which Mr.
Wilson states that he has "given a _little different shading_ to the
famous tradition," but that "such, _translated into Indian phraseology_,
would be the popular accounts." Now he had a perfect right to
_interpret_ the tradition as he pleased. He was at liberty to conjecture
that it related to the Phoenicians, as the Spaniards were at liberty to
conjecture that it related to St. Thomas. Of the two interpretations, we
prefer the latter. Mr. Wilson, were he consistent, would have done so
too; for how could the Aztecs, when they saw the Spaniards desecrating
the Phoenician temples and destroying the Phoenician idols, suppose that
these people were of the "same race," and had come "to teach the same
religion"? We care little for his inconsistencies; but the feat which
he has here performed, by his "shadings," his "translations into Indian
phraseology," and his medley of "pale faces," "great waters," "floating
houses," "truncated pyramids," "hard taskmasters," "winds," "climates,"
"religions," and "laws of population," we believe to be unsurpassed
by anything ever perpetrated in prose or rhyme, by Grecian bard or
mediaeval monk.

He appears to think himself justified in taking these liberties with the
Muse of History by his anxiety to construct a narrative that should not
overstep the bounds of probability. As if all history were not a chain
of improbabilities, and what is most improbable were not often that
which is most certain! But if, at Mr. Wilson's summons, we reject as
improbable a series of events supported by far stronger evidence than
can be adduced for the conquests of Alexander, the Crusades, or the
Norman conquest of England, what is it, we may ask, that he calls upon
us to believe? His skepticism, as so often happens, affords the measure
of his credulity. He contends that Cortes, the greatest Spaniard of the
sixteenth century, a man little acquainted with books, but endowed with
a gigantic genius and with all the qualities requisite for success in
warlike enterprises and an adventurous career, had his brain so filled
with the romances of chivalry, and so preoccupied with reminiscences
of the Spanish contests with the Moslems, that he saw in the New World
nothing but duplicates of those contests,--that his heated imagination
turned wigwams into palaces, Indian villages into cities like Granada,
swamps into lakes, a tribe of savages into an empire of civilized
men,--that, in the midst of embarrassments and dangers which, even on
Mr. Wilson's showing, must have taxed all his faculties to the utmost,
he employed himself chiefly in coining lies with which to deceive his
imperial master and all the inhabitants of Christendom,--that, although
he had a host of powerful enemies among his countrymen, enemies who were
in a position to discover the truth, his statements passed unchallenged
and uncontradicted by them,--that the numerous adventurers and explorers
who followed in his track, instead of exposing the falsity of his
relations and descriptions, found their interest in embellishing the
narrative,--that a similar drama was performed by other actors and on a
different stage,--that the Peruvian civilization, so analogous to that
of the Aztecs and yet so different from it, was, like that, the baseless
fabric of a vision,--that the whole intellect, in short, of the
sixteenth century was employed in fashioning a gorgeous fable, and that
to this end continents were discovered, nations exterminated, countries
laid waste, evidences forged, and witnesses invented. And this theory
is to be swallowed in one solid and indigestible lump, unleavened with
logic, unmoistened with grammar, unsweetened with rhetoric. Let those
whose appetites are strong, and whose olfactory nerves are not too
delicate, sit down to the repast.

For our own part, we are quite satisfied with the bare contemplation of
the fare. Our readers, also, we suspect, have long ago been satiated.
They have dropped off, one by one, and left us alone with our kind
entertainer. What more we have to say must therefore be bestowed upon
his private ear. We shall speak with the greater freedom. We know
the exquisite pleasure we have given him. We are sure that he is not
ungrateful. When his book comes to a second edition,--with a _change of
title-page_ corresponding to some change in the popular sentiment,--we
shall have to submit to the same honors which he has inflicted on Mr.
Prescott and "Rousseau de St. Hilaire"; he will reprint our article
as "a flattering notice,"--as the "Atlantic Monthly's estimate of his
researches." We beg to call his attention to our closing remarks, which,
indeed, may serve as a digest of the whole. When he has "translated
them into Indian phraseology," (we regret that we cannot save him this
trouble,) and "reduced them to reality," we shall take our leave of
him, not without a mournful presentiment that the separation is to be
eternal.

There are many points of difference between his work and Mr. Prescott's
"History of the Conquest of Mexico"; but the chief distinction, we
think, may be thus stated. If the foundations on which Mr. Prescott's
narrative is built should ever be overthrown,--a contingency which as
yet we do not apprehend,--that narrative would still rank among the
masterpieces of our literature. It could no longer be received as a
truthful relation of what had actually happened in the past; but it
would be received as a most faithful and graphic relation of what had
been asserted, of what was once universally _believed_, to have so
happened. If the reality appears strange, how much stranger would
appear the fiction! The truth of such a story may seem improbable;
the invention of such a story would be little short of miraculous.
Prescott's work, if removed from its place among histories, must stand
in the first rank among works of imagination,--must be classed with the
"Odyssey" and the "Arabian Nights' Entertainments."

But this book of Wilson's must, under all conditions, and in any
contingency, be regarded as worthless. Be the story of the Conquest true
or false, this contains no relation of it, this contains no refutation
of it. Not content with vilifying his authorities, with impugning
their faith, denying their existence, and mangling their names, he has
disfigured their statements, corrupted their narrative, and substituted
gross absurdities for what was at least beautiful and coherent, whether
it was fiction or reality. His book is in every sense a fabrication.
It is no record of the truth; it is not a romance or a fable, artfully
constructed and elegantly told; it is--to use that plain language
which the occasion authorizes and demands--a barefaced, but awkward
falsification of history,--so awkward, that it has cost us little
trouble to detect it,--so barefaced, that it has been a duty, though, of
course, a painful one, to expose it.


_Mothers and Infants, Nurses and Nursing._ Translated from the French
of _A Treatise_, etc., by DR. AL. DONNE, late Head of the Clinical
Department of the Faculty of Paris, etc., etc. Boston: Phillips,
Sampson, & Co. 1859.

When the young Count of Paris was at the tender age which requires the
food that only mothers and their substitutes can supply, M. Donne, the
author of this work, was called in consultation at the royal palace. He
had a new way of examining milk through the microscope, and deciding
upon its healthy and nutritive qualities or its defects, as the case
might be. The whole world was full of the great question just then,--for
the deep-bosomed dame of Normandy or Picardy who should be selected
was to be the nurse not of a child only, but of a dynasty. So thought
short-sighted mortals, at least, in those days,--little dreaming what
cradle would be under the square dome of the Tuileries before twenty
years were past!

M. Donne, as we said, was the man selected from all men for the task
of choosing a nurse for the most important baby of his time. This is a
voucher for his position at that period in the great medical world
of Paris. He is known, also, to the scientific world by a number of
treatises, with some of which we have long been familiar, as, for
instance, the "Cours de Microscopic," with the remarkable Atlas copied
from daguerreotypes taken by the aid of the camera. The present work is
of a somewhat more popular character than his previous productions.

Little "Nursing" America is the father of Young America that is to be.
And there is no denying that our new vital conditions on this side of
the planet suggest some very grave questions,--such as these:--Whether
there be not a gradual deterioration of the primitive European stock
under these influences; and, Whether it is not possible that the
imported human breed may run out here, so that, some time or other, the
resuscitated tribes of Algonquins and Hurons may show a long shank of
the extinct Yankee, as they show the Dodo's foot at the British Museum.

It is this contingency against which many intelligent and worthy persons
are now trying to provide. The indefatigable Dr. Bowditch has made a map
of this State of Massachusetts, showing the distribution of consumption
in its different localities. That is the first thing,--_where_ to live.
We have been told an alleged fact with reference to a certain large New
England town, which, if it were true, would raise the value of real
estate in that place a million of dollars, perhaps, in twenty-four
hours. We do not tell it, though mentioned to us by a celebrated
practitioner and professor, simply because we are afraid it is too good
to be true. At any rate, attention is beginning to be thoroughly awake
as to the point of _where_ we shall live. Now, then, _how_ shall we
live?

It is just as well to begin early. Infancy is too late. If men were
dealt with like other live stock, a contractor might undertake to
deliver at Long Wharf a cargo of three-year old human colts and fillies
of almost any required standard of development and health, in five years
from date. If only a cheap article were required, such and such parents
would be selected; if the young animals were to be of prime quality, he
must know it long enough beforehand, and be particular in his choice.
This is plain speaking, but true,--as everybody knows, who studies the
laws of life. _Ex nihilo nihil fit_. Given a half-starved dyspeptic
and a bloodless negative blonde as parents, Hercules or Apollo is
an impossibility in their progeny. Yet people look with infinite
expectations of health, strength, beauty, intellect, as the product of
$0 times {-1}$. The late Colonel Jaques, of the "Ten Hills Farm," knew
ever so much better;--what a pity so much sound physiology should have
been confined to "Caelobs," and "Dolly Creampot," and the likes of them!

Granted a sound, fair baby,--_viable_, as the French say,--liveable, or
life-capable, and life-worthy. What shall we do with it?

A baby answers to the lively definition of an animal as "a stomach
provided with organs." It lives to feed. It does not know much, but in
its speciality it is unrivalled. The way in which it helps itself from
the sources of life is a masterpiece of hydraulic skill. Once let it
lose the Heaven-imparted art of haustion, and all the arts and academies
of the world can never teach it again.

To manage this little feeding organism, with its wondrous instinct and
capacity of imbibition, is the first great question after that of race
is settled. Shall the mother's blood continue to flow through its
fast-throbbing heart, and all the subtile affinities that bind the two
lives be continued until reason and affection take up the chain where
the link of bodily dependence is broken? Or shall it cleave no more to
her bosom, but transfer its endearing dependence to a stranger, or learn
to call a bottle its mother?

These are some of the questions learnedly, and yet familiarly, discussed
in M. Donne's book. He has laid down many excellent rules for the
physical and moral management of the infant, which the young mother can
readily learn and put in practice. For the physician, his work contains
many interesting facts with reference to the quality and the microscopic
appearances of milk, as obtained from various sources and under
different circumstances.

On one or two points our American experience would somewhat modify the
rules commonly accepted in Paris. The nurse from the French provinces is
evidently a different being from our Milesian milky mothers. So, too,
the rules given by our own venerable and sagacious observer, Dr. James
Jackson, as to the period of separating the infant from its mother or
nurse, should be borne in mind, as laid down in his admirable "Letters
to a Young Physician."

But there is a great deal of information applicable to children and
their mothers in all civilized regions; and as we wish to start fair
with the next generation, we are very glad to have so intelligent a
guide for the management of our infant citizens.


_Street Thoughts._ By the Rev. Henry M. Dexter, Pastor of Pine-Street
Church, Boston. With Illustrations by Billings. Boston: Crosby, Nichols,
& Co. 1859.

If a profusion of introductory mottoes were any indication of the
excellence of a book, this volume would be indeed a _chef-d'oeuvre_. On
the page usually devoted to the Dedication, we have no less than six
more or less appropriate quotations: a Greek one from Julian, a Latin
one from Quintilian, a dramatic one from Shakspeare, a metrical one from
Young, a ponderous philosophical one from Dr. Johnson, and a commonplace
one from Bryant. In consideration of the number and learnedness of these
certificates of character, we approach the lucubrations of the Reverend
Mr. Dexter with profound respect.

In the days when controversial literature was fashionable in England,
and the strife between Protestantism and Catholicism possessed some
interest for the public, we remember with considerable amusement the
manner in which the champions on either side conducted the attack. The
Romish warrior would this month issue a formidable volume entitled "A
Conversation between a Roman Catholic English Nobleman and an Irish
Protestant." In this work the Roman Catholic lord had it all his own
way; the Irish Protestant was accommodatingly weak in all his arguments,
and the noble Papist battered him famously. But the Episcopal side
was on hand next month with a volume entitled "A Dialogue between a
Protestant Peer and an Irish Papist." Here the whole thing was reversed.
The noble was still victorious, but he had changed his religion; and
this time the Roman Catholic was feeble, and the Protestant stalwart. It
is worthy of remark, however, that in both cases the nobleman was on the
right side.

The Reverend Mr. Dexter thoroughly comprehends this ingenious method of
attack. Does he, for instance, desire to impress upon the mind of his
reader that it is in the highest degree criminal to wear kid gloves in
the street, he, by a happy accident, encounters on his way to the
office two persons conversing upon that important topic. He innocently
eavesdrops. The individual who advocates the wearing of gloves is (of
course) frivolous, fashionable, and feeble. His companion, who despises
such vanities, is poor, though honest,--brawny and impregnable. It is
wonderful how stupidly the kid-glove advocate reasons. The honest son
of toil overwhelms him in a few moments. When a man talks so splendidly
about the hard palm of labor being more useful to the world than the
silken fingers of the aristocrat, who would have the courage to reply?
The feeble aristocrat is (very properly) discomfited, and the curtain
falls amid applause from the gallery.

The reverend gentleman seems to combine with his talent for
eavesdropping a most remarkable good-fortune in the contrasts afforded
by the various interlocutors whose conversation he overhears. Whether
he is in a shop, or an omnibus, or on the sidewalk, he is certain to
encounter a foolish person and a sensible person (according to Mr.
Dexter's idea of sense) discussing some important social topic,--such
as, Whether dancing is criminal, or, Whether people should wear
stove-pipe hats. At the end of the discussion, the reverend listener
appears in a paragraph as the _deus ex machina_ of the drama, pats the
victorious sensible boy on the head, and treats the foolish boy with
silent contempt. It does not take much to win Mr. Dexter's approval. He
goes into rhapsodies over a rich man who insists on carrying home his
own bundle; while another purchaser, who is villain enough to desire his
parcel to be sent to his house, meets with all the scorn that he merits.
Our author takes cheerful views of life. He goes into State Street,
and, struck with the great crowds of people, asks the solemn question,
"Whither are they going?"--"To the open grave!" is his jocund reply. He,
in fact, sees nothing but a job for the undertaker in all the health and
life by which he is surrounded; and a file of schoolboys out for a
walk would doubtless to him be nothing more than the beginning of a
procession to Mount Auburn. The shop-keepers should beware of Mr.
Dexter. He is the avowed enemy of nice coats, kid gloves, silk dresses,
fine houses, and his proof-reader knows what other _et ceteras_ which
ignorant people have been in the habit of looking on as commodities
useful in helping trade, and consequently forwarding civilization.

We really thought that this shallow philosophy had completely died out,
and that every educated person had been brought to comprehend the uses
of Beauty and Luxury. Mr. Dexter's "Street Thoughts" is a silly proof
that there are men yet living whose theory of social ethics may
apparently be summed up thus: Live meanly, be afraid of God, and listen
at keyholes.


_The Mathematical Monthly_. Edited by J.D. RUNKLE, A.M., A.A.S. Nos.
I.-VII. October, 1858, to April, 1859. Cambridge: John Bartlett. 4to.
pp. 284.

The title of Mr. Runkle's Monthly is much drier than its table of
contents. He has aimed at interesting all classes of mathematicians, has
introduced problems and discussions intelligible to scholars in our High
Schools, and has also published contributions to the highest departments
of the science. Educational questions have great prominence on the pages
of his journal; he gives frequent notes upon the best modes of teaching
the elementary branches, and proposes to publish in a serial form
treatises adapted to use in the school-room. Every number of the
"Monthly" contains five prize problems for students. Nor are its pages
confined to topics strictly mathematical. The number for February
introduces a problem by a quotation from Longfellow's "Hiawatha";
another gives a list of fifty-five of the Asteroid group, with their
orbits, and the circumstances of their discovery. The March number
explains an ingenious holocryptic cipher, written with the English
alphabet, with no more letters than would be required for ordinary
writing, yet so curiously complicated, that, while with the key easy to
understand, it is without the key absolutely undecipherible, even to the
inventor of the plan; and the key is capable of so many variations, that
every pair of correspondents in Christendom may have their own cipher
practically different from all others. In the November and December
numbers, a popular account of Donati's Comet was given by Geo. P. Bond,
then assistant, now chief director of the Observatory at Cambridge. This
paper has been issued separately, very finely illustrated by twenty-one
cuts, and by two beautiful engravings. No papers, readily accessible to
the public, contain, in a form so entirely devoid of technicalities, and
so clearly illustrated to the eye, so much information relative to the
nature of cornels in general, and in particular to the phenomena of this
most beautiful comet of the present century.

The purely mathematical articles are all original, many are of great
value, and some are, to those who understand their secret meaning,
peculiarly interesting. A note of Peirce's, for example, in the number
for February, proposes two new symbols, one for the mystic ratio of
the circumference to the diameter, a second for the base of Napier's
logarithms,--and then, by joining them in an equation with the imaginary
symbol, expresses in a single sentence the mutual relation of the three
great talismans in the magic of modern science. Another article, in the
April number, by Chauncey Wright, contains a new view of the law of
Phyllotaxis, approaching it from an _a priori_ stand-point, and showing
that the natural arrangement of leaves about the stems of plants is
precisely that which will keep the leaves most perfectly distributed for
the reception of light and air.

We are glad to learn that a constantly increasing subscription-list,
both at home and abroad, shows, not only that Mr. Runkle judged wisely
in thinking such a journal needed, but also that the editorial office
has fallen upon the right man.


_Memoir and Letters of the late Thomas Seddon, Artist_, By his BROTHER.
London: 1858.

Associations are fast gathering round the English Pre-Raphaelites. Those
that come with honors and with death already belong to them. A permanent
influence is assured to the new school by a continuance of vigor, and by
the space which it already occupies in the history of Art. This little
volume is of interest as being the first of its biographies. Mr. Seddon
attained no wide reputation during his life, but he left a few pictures
of enduring value; and his early death was felt, by those who best knew
his powers and purposes, to be a great loss to Art.

He was the son of a cabinet-manufacturer, and was born in London in
1821. After receiving a good school-education, at the age of sixteen he
entered his father's work-rooms. He had already shown a decided love of
drawing. He had a quick perception of beauty, and excellent power of
observation. His disposition was serious, and his conscience sensitive;
but he had a pleasant vein of humor, and a generous nature. After some
years of irksome work, he was sent to Paris to perfect himself in the
arts of ornamentation, and his residence there seems to have confirmed
his taste for painting, to the practice of which he desired to devote
his life. But for the next ten years he was engaged in business, giving,
however, his evenings and his few vacations to the study and practice of
Art, and becoming more and more eager to leave an employment which was
wholly uncongenial to him. At length, in his thirtieth year, he was able
to begin his career as a professional artist. His experiences at first
differed but little from those of the common run of young painters; but
his fidelity in work, his conscientious rendering of the details of
Nature, and his sincerity of purpose, gave real worth even to his
earlier pictures, and brought him into relations of cordial
friendship with Holman Hunt, Madox Brown, and others of the heads of
Pre-Raphaelitism. After making a long visit, in company with Hunt,
for the purposes of study, to Egypt and Palestine, and painting a few
remarkable pictures, he returned home, and was married. Some months
afterward he set out again for the East, but had hardly reached Cairo
before he was seized with fatal illness. He died on the 23d of November,
1856,--just as he was grasping the fruit of years of labor and waiting.

The best part of the volume of memoirs is made up of Seddon's letters
from the East. They exhibit his character in a most agreeable light,
while, apart from any personal interest, they have a charm, as natural,
vivid delineations of Eastern scenery and modes of life. He saw with
a painter's eye, and he described what he saw clearly and vigorously,
showing in his letters the same traits which he displayed in his
pictures. Writing from his camping-ground on the edge of the Desert,
he says,--"The Pyramids and Sphinxes, in ordinary daylight, are merely
ugly, and do not look half as large as they ought to look from their
real size; but in particular effects of light and shade, with a fine
sunset behind them, for example, or when the sky lights up again, a
quarter or half an hour afterwards,--when long beams of rose-colored
light shoot up like a glory from behind the middle one into a sky of
the most lovely violet,--they then look imposing, with their huge black
masses against the flood of brilliant light behind."

Here is the first sight of Jerusalem:--"At length, about five o'clock,
after expecting, for the last half-hour, that every hill-side we climbed
would be the last, we came suddenly in full view of Jerusalem.--Few, I
think, however careless, have looked for the first time on this scene,
without some feelings of solemn awe. We read the accounts of all that
passed within or around these walls with something of the vagueness that
always veils the history of times that have gone by two thousand years
ago; but however soon the feeling may wear off or be cast away, it is
impossible, with the very spot before you where your Saviour lived and
died, not to feel vividly impressed with the actual reality of what we
have read of, and its intimate connection with ourselves.--But soon I
was struck with the very erroneous idea I had had of Jerusalem. From the
west it does not look at all like a city built on a hill; for, rather
below you, at the farther end of a barren plain, you see nothing but the
embattled walls of a feudal town, with one or two large buildings and a
minaret alone visible above them. To the right the ground dips into the
Valley of Hinnom,--but to the left it is level with the city-walls, and
its surface is covered with bare ribs of rock running along it; and it
is from this side that the Romans and Crusaders attacked. Behind the
city, rather to the north, lay the Mount of Olives, and the long,
straight lines of the Moab Mountains beyond the Dead Sea, stretching
from horizon to horizon, half-shadowy and veiled in mist, through which
they shone rosy in the evening's sunlight."

We have no space for further descriptions, excellent as they are. But
we make one or two extracts relating more immediately to Art and to
Seddon's views of the duties of an artist.

"I am sure that there is a great work to do, which wants every
laborer,--to show that Art's highest vocation is, to be the handmaid to
religion and purity, instead of to mere animal enjoyment and sensuality.
This is what the Pre-Raphaelites are really doing in various degrees,
but especially Hunt, who takes higher ground than mere morality, and
most manfully advocates its power and duty as an exponent of the higher
duties of religion."

"I hope I may be able to return to this place; for, to assist in
directing attention to Jerusalem, and thus to render the Bible more
easily understood, seems to me to be a humble way in which, perhaps, I
may aid in doing some good."

Here is a portion of a letter written in England:--"The railway from
Farnborough went through a most beautiful country,--by Guildford,
Dorking, and Boxhill. While I was at Farnborough, on the bridge,
sketching, a respectably-dressed man came up and touched his hat. After
standing a minute or two, he said, 'So you are doing something in my
line, Sir?'--'What!' said I, 'are you an artist?'--'Well, Sir, I cannot
venture to call myself an artist, but I gets my living by making
drawings. I makes 'em in pencil.'--I asked him if he took portraits.--'I
does every line, portraits and all; but I don't get many portraits since
the daguerreotype came in. No, Sir, my drawings are principally in the
sporting line. I does portraits of gentlemen going over a fence or a
five-barred gate. I does 'em all in pencil, and puts a little color on
their faces, but all the rest in pencil,--d'ye see?'--'Yes; but do you
make a good living?'--'Well, not much of that; I used to earn a good
deal more money when I did portraits at sixpence each than I do now.'--I
said, 'I suppose you begin to see that you can do better, and it takes
you longer.'--'That's just it; you've hit it, Sir. I used to knock them
off in a quarter or half an hour, and now it takes me seven or eight
days to do a sporting piece.'--So I told the poor man that I would
willingly give him advice, but I was afraid it would ruin him
completely, for that afterwards he would have to take two or three
months.--'Yes, Sir, I sees that; but I am too old now to learn a new
line. But I find trees very hard; I can't manage them.'--So I sat down,
and drew a branch of a tree, which he said was very much in his style;
and I gave him some advice which I thought might help him, and the good
man went away so much obliged."

When the news of Mr. Seddon's death reached England, it was at once felt
by his friends that it was due to his memory that the public should be
made better acquainted with the excellence of his works. An exhibition
of them was accordingly made, and a subscription raised for the benefit
of his widow, by purchasing his large picture of Jerusalem, to be
presented to the National Gallery. The subscription was successful, and
Seddon's fame is secure.

"Mr. Seddon's works," says Mr. Ruskin, "are the first which represent
a truly historic landscape Art; that is to say, they are the first
landscapes uniting perfect artistical skill with topographical
accuracy,--being directed with stern self-restraint to no other purpose
than that of giving to persons who cannot travel trustworthy knowledge
of the scenes which ought to be most interesting to them. Whatever
degrees of truth may have been attempted or attained by previous artists
have been more or less subordinate to pictorial or dramatic effect. In
Mr. Seddon's works, the primal object is to place the spectator, as far
as Art can do, in the scene represented, and to give him the perfect
sensation of its reality, wholly unmodified by the artist's execution."

Mr. Ruskin's judgment will not be questioned by those who have seen
Seddon's pictures. But it might also be added, that such accuracy as he
attained is by no means the result of mere laborious and conscientious
copying, but implies and requires the possession of strong and
well-balanced imagination.

We trust that the extracts we have given may lead lovers of Art to read
the whole of the little volume from which they are taken.


_Passages from my Autobiography_. By SYDNEY, LADY MORGAN. New York: D.
Appleton & Co. 1859.

Aged sportiveness is not seductive, and we do not become slaves at the
tap of a fan, when the hand that holds it is palsied and withered. We
have in the volume before us the melancholy spectacle of an aged female
of quality setting her cap at everybody.

When an old woman makes up her mind to be young, she invariably overdoes
it. The gypsy horse-dealers, when they have a particularly ancient horse
to dispose of administer a nostrum to the animal, which has the effect
of keeping him continually in motion, and bestowing on him a temporary
vivacity which a colt would hardly exhibit. Lady Morgan is unnecessarily
frisky. The gypsy's horse, when the effect of the medicine has passed
off, becomes more aged and infirm than ever. What a terrible reaction
must have been the lot of this old lady, after all the capers she had
cut in these passages from her autobiography!

A great, great, great, long time ago, as the story-tellers say, when
novels were few and far between, and an Irish novel was a thing almost
unheard of, a smart, self-educated Irish girl, of, we believe, rather
humble origin, discovered that she had a knack at writing, and, having
published a cleverish novel, called "The Wild Irish Girl," was taken
up by great people, exploited, made the fashion, and had Sir Charles
Morgan, a physician of some standing, given her for a husband. She
continued to write. Her work on France made some noise, on account of
its having been prohibited by the French government; and her subsequent
book on Italy, if not profound, was at least sprightly. Her Irish novels
were, however, her best productions. There is considerable observation,
and some feeling, displayed in them. Her knowledge of Irish society
is very exact, and her pictures of it very slightly exaggerated. "The
O'Briens and O'Flahertys" and "Florence MacCarthy" are, perhaps, the
best of her works of fiction. At this period, Lady Morgan possessed a
rather interesting appearance, great audacity, and a certain reckless
style of conversation, which was found to be piquant by the jaded
gossips of the metropolis. She was taken up by London society,--which
must always be taking up something, whether it be a chimney-sweep that
composes music, or an elephant that dances the _valse a deux temps_;
and she fluttered from party to party, a sort of Tom Moore in
petticoats,--with this difference, that Moore left his meek little wife
at home, while Lady Morgan trotted her husband out after her on all
occasions. It is amusing to observe what pains the poor woman takes to
persuade us that Sir Charles is a monstrous clever man. Betsy Trotwood
never labored harder to convince the world of the merits of Mr. Dick,
than Lady Morgan does to obtain a place for her husband as a learned
philosopher who was in advance of his age, or, as she prettily expresses
it in French; (she likes to parade her French, this excellent wife,)
"_il devancait son siecle_." This mania for inlaying her writing with
French scraps rises with her Ladyship to a species of insanity. "_Est
il possible_ that I am going to Italy?" she exclaims. How much more
forcible is this than the vulgar "Is it possible?" When the Duke of
Sussex comes into a party, he does not excite anything so common-place
as a great sensation; no,--it is a "_grand mouvement_!" Praise bestowed
on her is an "_eloge_." She would not condescend to speak of such things
as folding-doors,--they are better as "_grands battants_." A change of
scene is a "_changement de decoration_." Mrs. Opie, whom she sees at a
party, is not in full dress, but "_en grand costume_." The three Messrs.
Lygon look very "_hautain_." And while driving with Lady Charleville,
instead of having a charming conversation on the road, her Ladyship
has it "_chemin faisant_." _Allons_, mi lady! you prefer that style of
writing. _Chacun a son gout!_ _Mais_ we, _nous autres_, love _mieux_ the
plain old Saxon _langue_.

If Lady Morgan had called this volume "Passages from my Card-Basket,"
there would have been some harmony between the title and the contents.
The three hundred and eighty-two pages are for the most part taken up
with frivolous notes from great people, either inviting her Ladyship to
parties or apologizing for not having called. These are interspersed
with a number of philoprogenitive letters to Lady Clarke,--her
Ladyship's sister,--in which, being childless herself, she expends all
her bottled-up maternity on her nephews and nieces. The little pieces of
autobiography scattered here and there are painfully vivacious. The poor
old lady smirks and capers and ogles, until one becomes sick of this
sexagenarian agility. Paris beheld no more melancholy spectacle than
that of poor old Madame Saqui dancing on the tight-rope for a living at
the age of eighty-five, and displaying her withered limbs and long
white hair to a curious public. We do not feel any particular degree
of veneration for that Countess of Desmond "who lived to the age of a
hundred and ten, and died of a fall from a cherry-tree then," as Mr.
Thomas Moore sings. Well, Lady Morgan dances on any amount of literary
tight-ropes, and climbs any number of intellectual cherry-trees. It is
a sight more surprising than pleasant; and her Ladyship must not be
astonished that the critics should not treat her with the respect due to
her age, when she herself labors so hard to make them forget it.


_Bitter-Sweet. A Poem_. By J.G. HOLLAND, Author of "The Bay Path,"
"Titcomb's Letters," etc. New York: Charles Scribner, 124 Grand Street.
pp. 220. 1859.

Unexpectedness is an essential element of wit,--perhaps, also, of
pleasure; and it is the ill-fortune of professional reviewers, not only
that surprise is necessarily something as rare with them as a June
frost, but that loyalty to their extemporized omniscience should forbid
them to acknowledge, even if they felt, so fallible an emotion.

Unexpectedness is also one of the prime components of that singular
product called Poetry; and, accordingly, the much-enduring man whose
finger-ends have skimmed many volumes and many manners of verse may be
pardoned the involuntary bull of not greatly expecting to stumble
upon it in any such quarter. Shall we, then, be so untrue to our
craft,--shall we, in short, be so unguardedly natural, as to confess
that "Bitter-Sweet" has surprised us? It is truly an original poem,--as
genuine a product of our soil as a golden-rod or an aster. It is as
purely American,--nay, more than that,--as purely New-English,--as the
poems of Burns are Scotch. We read ourselves gradually back to our
boyhood in it, and were aware of a flavor in it deliciously local and
familiar,--a kind of sour-sweet, as in a _frozen-thaw_ apple. From
the title to the last line, it is delightfully characteristic. The
family-party met for Thanksgiving can hit on no better way to be jolly
than in a discussion of the Origin of Evil,--and the Yankee husband (a
shooting-star in the quiet heaven of village morals) about to run away
from his wife can be content with no less comet-like vehicle than
a balloon. The poem is Yankee, even to the questionable extent of
substituting "locality" for "scene" in the stage-directions; and we feel
sure that none of the characters ever went to bed in their lives, but
always sidled through the more decorous subterfuge of "retiring."

We could easily show that "Bitter-Sweet" was not this and that and
t'other, but, after all said and done, it would remain an obstinately
charming little book. It is not free from faults of taste, nor from a
certain commonplaceness of metre; but Mr. Holland always saves himself
in some expression so simply poetical, some image so fresh and natural,
the harvest of his own heart and eye, that we are ready to forgive
him all faults, in our thankfulness at finding the soul of Theocritus
transmigrated into the body of a Yankee.

It would seem the simplest thing in the world to be able to help
yourself to what lies all around you ready to your hand; but writers
of verse commonly find it a difficult, if not impossible, thing to do.
Conscious that a certain remoteness from ordinary life is essential in
poetry, they aim at it by laying their scenes far away in time, and
taking their images from far away in space,--thus contriving to be
foreign at once to their century and their country. Such self-made
exiles and aliens are never repatriated by posterity. It is only here
and there that a man is found, like Hawthorne, Judd, and Mr. Holland,
who discovers or instinctively feels that this remoteness is attained,
and attainable only, by lifting up and transfiguring the ordinary and
familiar with the _mirage_ of the ideal. We mean it as very high praise,
when we say that "Bitter-Sweet" is one of the few books that have found
the secret of drawing up and assimilating the juices of this New World
of ours.


_The Mustee; or, Love and Liberty_. By B.F. PRESBURY. Boston: Shepard,
Clark, & Brown. 12mo.

The plot of this novel is open to criticism, and we might take exception
to some of the opinions expressed in it; but it is evidently the work of
a thoughtful and scholarly mind and benevolent heart,--is exceedingly
well written, shows a great deal of power in the delineation both of
ideal and humorous character, and includes some scenes of the most
absorbing dramatic interest. The character of Featherstone is admirably
drawn, and Bill Frink is a positive addition to the literature of
American low life. We commend him to our Southern friends, as an example
of one of the most peculiar products of their peculiar institution. The
author of the novel has lived at the South, and his descriptions of
slavery display accurate observation, candid judgment, and a vivid power
of pictorial representation. The scenes in New Orleans are all good; and
in few novels of the present day is there a finer instance of animated
narration than the account of Flora's escape from slavery. The incidents
are so managed that the reader is kept in breathless suspense to the
end, with sympathies excited almost to pain, as one circumstance after
another seems to threaten the capture of the beautiful fugitive. Though
the book belongs to the class of anti-slavery novels, it is not confined
to the subject of slavery, but includes a consideration of almost all
the "exciting topics" of the day, and treats of them all with singular
conscientiousness of spirit and vigor of thought.


_Rowse's Portrait of Emerson_. Published in Photograph. Boston: Williams
& Everett.

_Durand's Portrait of Bryant_. Engraved by Schoff & Jones. New York:
Published by the Century Club.

_Barry's Portrait of Whittier_. Published in Photograph. Boston:
Brainard.

Almost one of the lost arts is that of portraiture. Raised by Titian and
his contemporaries to the position of one of the noblest walks of Art,
and in the generations following depressed to the position of minister
to vanity and foolish pride, it has remained, during the most of the
years since, one of the lowest and least reputable of the fields
of artistic labor. The lost vein was broken into by Reynolds and
Gainsborough, who left a golden glory in all they did for us; but no
one came to inherit, and in England no one has since appeared worthy of
comparison with them. In all Europe there is no school of portraiture
worth notice; the so-called portrait-painters are only likeness-makers,
comparing with the true portraitist as a topographical draughtsman does
with a landscape artist. The intellectual elements of the artistic
character, which successful portraiture insists on, are some of its very
greatest,--if we admit, as it seems to us that we must, that imagination
is not strictly intellectual, but an inspiration, an exaltation of the
whole nature. To paint a great man, one must not merely comprehend
that he is great, but must in some sense rise up by the side of, and
sympathize with, his greatness,--must enter into and identify himself
with some essential quality of his character, which quality will be the
theme of his portrait. So it inevitably follows that the greatness of
the artist is the limitation of his art,--that he expresses in his work
himself as much as his subject, but no more of the latter than he can
comprehend and appreciate.

The distinction between the true and the false portraitist is that
between expression of something felt and representation of something
seen; and as the subtilest and noblest part of the human soul can only
be felt, as the signs of it in the face can be recognized and translated
only by sympathy, so no mere painter can ever succeed in expressing in
its fulness the character of any great man. The lines in which holiest
passion, subtilest thought, divinest activity have recorded in the face
their existence and presence, are hieroglyphs unintelligible to one who
has not kindled with that passion, been rapt in that thought, or swept
away in sympathy with that activity; he may follow the lines, but must
certainly miss their meaning. A successful portrait implies an equality,
in some sense, between the artist and his original. The greatest of
artists fail most completely in painting people with whom they have no
sympathy, and only the mechanical painter succeeds alike with all,--the
fair average of his works being a general levelling of his subjects; the
great successes of the genuine artist being as surely offset (if one
success _can_ find offset in a thousand failures) by as absolute and
extreme failure.

As regards portraiture in general, the public may, without injury to Art
or history, employ the painters who make the prettiest pictures of them;
it doesn't matter to the future, if Mr. Jenkins, or even the Hon. Mr.
Twaddle, has employed the promising Mr. Mahlstock to perpetuate him
with a hundred transitory and borrowed graces,--if the talented young
_litterateur_, Mr. Simeah, has been found by his limner to resemble
Lord Byron amazingly, and has in consequence consented to sit for a
half-length, to be done _a la Corsair_, etc., etc.; but for our men of
thought, for those whose works will stand to all time as the signals
pointing out the road a nation followed, whose presence and acts shall
be our intellectual history,--it is of some little moment that these
should be given to us in such visible form, that men shall not
conjecture, a thousand years hence, if Emerson were really a man, or
a name under which some metaphysical club chose to publish their
philosophies. In psychological history, portraits are as necessary
as dates; and one of the most valuable gifts to an age is a great
portrait-painter,--a Titian, a Gainsborough, a Reynolds, or a
Page,--which last has more of the Titianesque character than any one who
has painted since the great Venetians lived, and few, indeed, are the
generations so endowed.

Beside this full insight and representation of character, which makes
the ideal portraiture, we have the less complete, but only in degree
less valuable, apprehension which results from a point of sympathy,
a likeness of liking in one or more fields of thought, a common
sensitiveness, a common interest; and the rarer sympathy between artist
and subject, of that intimacy and complete understanding of personal
character, which, even where no great talent exists in the artist, gives
a unique value to his work, but which, where the intimacy is that of
great minds, gives us works on which no dilettanteism, even, makes a
criticism,--as in that portrait of Dante by Giotto, to our mind the
portrait _par excellence_ of past time.

In the three admirable portraits whose titles stand at the head of our
notice, we have in one way and another all of the conditions we have
spoken of fulfilled. Rowse's portrait of Emerson is one of the most
masterly and subtile records of the character of a signal man, nay,
the most masterly, we have ever seen. Those who know Emerson best
will recognize him most fully in it. It represents him in his most
characteristic mood, the subtile intelligence mingling with the kindly
humor in his face, thoughtful, cordial, philosophic. The portrait is not
more happy in the comprehension of character than in the rendering of
it, and is as masterly technically as it is grandly characteristic. An
eminent English poet, who knows Emerson well, says of it, justly,--"It
is the best portrait I have ever seen of any man"; and we say of it,
without any hesitation, that no living man, except, _perhaps_, William
Page, is capable, at his best moment, of such a success.

In Barry's portrait of Whittier it is easy to see the points of contact
between the characters of the artist and the poet-subject, in the
sensitiveness shown in the lines of the mouth in the drawing, in the
delicacy of organization which has wasted the cheek and left the eye
burning with undimmed brilliancy in the sunken socket, the fervent,
earnest face, defying age to affect its expressiveness, as the heart it
manifests defies the chill of time. It is an exceedingly interesting
drawing, and one by which those who love the poet are willing to have
him seen by the future. It must remain as the only and sufficient record
of Whittier's _personnel_.

In the portrait of Bryant we have the results of an intimacy of the most
cordial kind, of years' duration,--an almost absolute unity of sentiment
and similarity of habits of regarding the things most interesting to
each. Of nearly the same age, Bryant and Durand have grown old together,
loving the same Nature, and regarding it with the same eyes,--the
painter catching inspiration from the poet's themes, and the poet in
turn getting new insight into the mystery of the outer world through the
painter's eyes. Bryant's face has been a Sphinx's riddle to our best
painters; none have succeeded in rendering its severe simplicity, and
clear, self-disciplined expression, until Durand tried it with a
success which renders the picture interesting evermore as a tribute of
friendship as well as a solution of a difficult problem. The artist's
hand was directed by a more than ordinary understanding of the lines it
drew; it has not varied in a line from reverence for the verisimilitude
the world had a right to insist on; it has not flattered or softened,
but is simply, completely, absolutely, true. Bryant's face has an
immovable tranquillity, a reserve and impassiveness, which yet are not
coldness; the clear gray eye calmly looks through and through you, but
permits no intelligence of what is passing behind it to come out to you.
It is such a face as one of the old Greek kings might have had, as he
sat administering justice. All this, it seems to us, Durand's picture
gives. It looks out at you impassive, penetrating, as though it would
hear all and tell nothing,--a strong, self-continent, completely
balanced character,--unshrinking, unyielding, yet without being
unsensitive,--concentrated, justly poised, and intense, without being
passionate. The head is admirably engraved, though we do not at all
fancy the way in which the background is done; it is heavy, formal, and
unartistic,--but this may be matter of choice.




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[Transcriber's note: Final page missing in original.]



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