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Full text of "The Atlantic"

10 



Professor E.S. Moore 



- 



THE 



ATLANTIC MONTHLY. 



A MAGAZINE OF 



Literature, Science, Art, and Politics. 



VOLUME XVI. 




BOSTON: 
TICKNCXR AJSrr> FIELDS, 

124 TREMONT STREET. 



LONDON: TRUBNER AND COMPANY. 
I86 5 . 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by 

TICKNOR AND FIELDS, 
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts. 



A? 



AS 






PRINTED BY 

Chrism, -. franklin printing 
112 Congress Street, Boston 



ELECTROTYPED BY WELCH, BIGELOW, & Co., 
CAMBRIDGE. 



CONTENTS. 



Assassination C. C. Hazewell 85 

Bentham, Jeremy John Neal 575 

Blackwood, William John Neal 660 

Books for our Children Samuel Osgood 724 

Bright, John, and the English Radicals . . . . G. W. Towle .' 177 

Candle- Ends, A Paper of . . . . . Charles J. Sprague 61 

Chicago Conspiracy, The 108 

Chimney- Corner, The Mrs. H. B. Stowe . TOO, 232, 347, 419, 567, 672 

Clemency aiyl Common Sense Charles Sumner 745 

Coupon Bonds . . . .-*. . . . J. T. Trowbridge .... 257, 399 

Deep-Sea Damsels . G. W. Hosmer 77 

Doctor Johns Donald G. Mitchell . 66,211,300,457,546,713 

Down the River Harriet E. Prescott 468 

Edgeworths, A Visit to the Mrs. John Farrar 356 

Electric Telegraph, The Progress of the . . . . George B. Prescott 605 

Ellen Author of "Life in the Iron-Mills" . 22 

Forge, The . 586, 684 

Gettysburg, The Field of , , . . . . J. T. Trowbridge 616 

Griffith Gaunt ; or, Jealousy Charles Reade 641 

Hamilton, Alexander C. C. Hazewell . . . ... . 625 

Honey-Makers, Among the Harriet E. Prescott .... 129 

Jelly- Fishes, Mode of Catching A . Agassiz 736 

Jordan, John ......... Edmund Kirke ..... 434 

King James the First Gail Hamilton 701 

Libraries, The Visible and Invisible in . . . . Mrs. R. C. Waterston .... 525 

Luck of Abel Steadman, The Author of "Life in the Iron-Mills" . . 331 

Militia System, Our Future . . . . T. W '. Higginson 371 

Mull, Around . . . . /. ; .. . . Maria, S. Cummins .... 11,167 

Needle and Garden . . . '. '''..- -.-,'.. . . . .47, 185, 283, 419 

New Art Critic, A . . .' .^ . ' V .- . Eugene Benson 325 

Old Shoes, On a Pair of . . . ;; . . Charles J. Sprague 360 

Procter, Adelaide Anne . . . . . . Charles Dickens 739 

Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage . . . . E. P. Whipple 238 

" Running at the Heads " . . . . . . 342 

St. John's River, Up the . ' T. W. Higginson 311 

St. Petersburg, Winter Life in Bayard Taylor ....... 34 

Saints who have had Bodies G. Reynolds 385 

" Saul," The Author of . . Bayard Taylor 412 

Scientific Farming Gail Hamilton 290 

Second Capture, My . ...... . . , . . W. W. Wiltbank 195 

Silent Friend, Letter to a 221 

Strategy at the Fireside Epes Sargent 15* 

Topffer, Rodolphe Mrs. H. M. Fletcher .... 556 

Why the Putkammer Castle was destroyed . . . Robert Dale Owen 513 

Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship . . . . D. A . IVasson . . . . 273, 448 

Young Housekeeper, Letter to a C. P. Ha-uies 535 

Young Men in History E. P. WhippU i 



iv . Contents. 

POETRY. 

Page 

Accomplices T. B. Aldrich . . . . . .107 

Agassiz, A Farewell to O. W. Holmes 584 

Bay Ridge, Long Island, At T. B. Aldrkh 341 

Beyond J. T. Trowbridge 744 

Changeling, The John G. Whittier 20 

Countess Laura George H. Boker 143 

Dios Te De C. C. Coxe 737 

Lincoln, Abraham H. H. Brownett 491 

Master's Mate, The Rhyme of the , 519 

Noel H. W. Longfellow . ... 446 

No Time like the Old Time . O. W. Holmes 398 

Ode recited at the Harvard Commemoration . . James Russell Lowell .... 364 

Parting of Hector and Andromache, The . . . William Cutten Bryant . . . .657 

Peace Mrs. A . D. T. Wkitney .... 237 

Peace Autumn, The John G. WAittier 545 

Peacock, Natural History of the T. W. Parsons 310 

Skipper Ben . . . Lwy Larcom 84 

Sleeper, The Bayard Taylor 6n 

Twilight Mrs. Celia Thaxter 282 

Willow, The Mrs. E. A. C. Akers .... 194 

REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES. 

Arnold's Essays in Criticism 2 55 

Baxley's What I saw on the West Coast of America 379 

Brooks's Hesperus 5 10 

DalP Ongaro's La Rosa dell' Alpi "5 

Forsyth's Life and Times of Cicero . 3 

Gentle Life, The 2 5 

Greene's Historical View of the American Revolution 12 7 

Hall's Arctic Researches I2 S 

Hedge's Reason in Religion 33 

Higginson's Epictetus 7 

Holley's Treatise on Ordnance and Armor I2 

Johnson, Andrew, Speeches of 7"3 

Kingsley's Hillyars and Burtons 121 

Le Fanu's Uncle Silas 121 

Mann, Horace, Life of 2 47 

Mill's Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy 7 6a 

Mailer's Lectures on the Science of Language x 

Muloch's Christian's Mistake ' I21 

Nota's La Fiera I2 5 

Parkman's France and England in North America 55 

Spencer's Social Statics 3 Sl 

Stevens's History of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States I2 3 

Stone's Life and Times of Sir William Johnson . . . . . . 121 

Taylor's Holy Living and Holy Dying I22 

Thoreau's Letters. . . . . . . . 54 

White's Memoirs of Shakespeare 6 37 

RECKNT AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS . .... 256. 3 8 4. 6 4<> 



THE 



ATLANTIC MONTHLY. 

A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics. 



VOL. XVI. JULY, 1865. NO. XCIII. 



YOUNG MEN IN HISTORY. 



HISTORY is an imperfect record 
of nations and races, diverse in 
their position and capacities, but iden- 
tical in nature and one in destiny. 
Viewed comprehensively, its individ- 
uals and events comprise the incidents 
of an uncompleted biography of man, 
a biography long, obscure, full of puz- 
zling facts for thought to interpret, and 
more puzzling breaks for thought to 
bridge, but, on the whole, exhibiting 
man as moving and man as moving 
forward. If we scrutinize the character 
of this progress, we shall find that the 
forces which propel society in the di- 
rection of improvement, and the ideas 
we form of the nature of that improve- 
ment, are the forces and the ideas of 
youth. The world, indeed, moves un- 
der the impulses of youth to realize the 
ideals of youth. It has youth for its be- 
ginning and youth for its end ; for youth 
is alive, and progress is but the move- 
ment of life to attain fuller, higher, and 
more vivid life. Youth, too, is nearer 
to those celestial fountains of existence 
whence inspiration pours into the heart 
and light streams into the brain. In- 
deed, all the qualities which constitute 
the life of the soul, and which preserve 
in vigor and health even the practical 



faculties of the mind, freshness, ar- 
dor, generosity, love, hope, faith, cour- 
age, cheer, all these youth feels stir- 
ring and burning in its own breast, and 
aches to see fulfilled in the common 
experience of the race. But in age 
these fine raptures are apt to be ridi- 
culed as the amiable follies of juvenile 
illusions. In parting, however, with 
what it derides as illusions, does not 
age part with the whole of joy and by 
far the most important element of wis- 
dom ? The world it so sagaciously aims 
to inaugurate, what is it but a stationary 
and decrepit world, a world which 
would soon decay, and drop into the 
abyss of nothingness, were it not for 
the rejuvenating vitality poured into it 
by the youth it cynically despises ? 
True wisdom, indeed, springs from the 
wide brain which is fed from the deep 
heart ; and it is only when age warms 
its withering conceptions at the mem- 
ory of its youthful fire, when it makes 
experience serve aspiration, and knowl- 
edge illumine the difficult paths through 
which thoughts thread their way into 
facts, it is only then that age becomes 
broadly and nobly wise. 

If we thus discern in the sentiments 
and faculties of youth the animating 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office 

of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 
VOL, XVI. NO- 93. I 






Young Men in History. 



[July, 



and impelling soul of historical events, 
if, wherever in history we mark a 
great movement of humanity, we com- 
monly detect a young man at its head 
or at its heart, we must still, I ad- 
mit, discriminate between youth and 
young men, between the genial action 
of youthful qualities and the imperfec- 
tions and perversions of youthful char- 
acter. Youth we commonly represent 
under the image of morn, clear, fresh, 
cheerful, radiant, the green sward trem- 
bling and gleaming with ecstasy as the 
rising sun transfigures its dew-drops 
into diamonds ; but then morn is some- 
times black with clouds, and foul with 
vapors, and terrible with tempests. In 
treating, therefore, of the position and 
influence of young men in history, let 
us begin with those in whom the ener- 
gies of youth were early perverted from 
their appropriate objects, and fell under 
the dominion of sensual appetites or 
malignant passions. 

And first, it is important we should 
bear in mind, that, in this misdirection 
of youth, all that constitutes the spirit, 
the power, the charm of youth is ex- 
tinguished. The young man becomes 
prematurely old. We have all witnessed 
that saddest of spectacles, the petulant 
child developing into the ruffian boy, 
and hurrying into the ruffian man, 
rude hard-natured, swaggering, and self- 
willed, a darkness over his conscience, 
a glare over his appetites, insensible to 
duty or affection, and only tamed into 
decencies by the chains of restraint 
which an outraged community binds on 
his impulses. Now give this young 
savage arbitrary power, let him inherit 
the empire of the world, remove all re- 
straints on his will, and allow him to 
riot in the mad caprices of sensuality 
and malevolence, and he makes his omi- 
nous appearance in history as a Caligu- 
la, a Domitian, a Nero. More fit for a 
madhouse than a throne, his advent is 
the signal of a despotism controlled by 
no guiding principles, but given over to 
that spirit of freak and mischief which 
springs from the union of the boy's brain 
with the man's appetites ; and his fate 
is to have that craze of the faculties and 



delirium of the sensations which he calls 
his life abruptly closed by suicide or 
assassination : by suicide, when he has 
become intolerable to himself; by assas- 
sination, when, as is more common, he 
has become intolerable to the world. 
Evil, however, as history shows him, 
it must still be said that his career does 
not exhibit the consistent depravity and 
systematic wickedness which character- 
ize some of the Roman Emperors of 
maturer years ; and even the giddy fe- 
rocities of the youthful Nero can be 
contemplated with less horror than the 
Satanic depth of malignity which mo- 
rosely brooded over shadowy plans of 
gigantic crime in the dark spirit of the 
aged Tiberius. 

This ruffian type of the young man 
is rarely exhibited on the historical 
theatre in its full combination of animal 
fury with mental feebleness. In most 
young men who acquire prominence in 
the history of the world there is some 
genius, however dashed it may be with 
depravity ; and genius is itself an inlet 
of youth, checks the downward drag of 
the spiritual into the animal nature, in- 
tensifies appetites into passions, and 
lends impetus to daring ambition, if it 
does not always purify the motives which 
prompt its exercise. This genius di- 
vorced from wisdom, scornful of moral 
obligations, and ravenous for notoriety, 
is especially marked -by wilfulness, pre- 
sumptuous self-assertion, the curse and 
plague-spot of the perverted soul. Al- 
cibiades in politics and Byron in lit- 
erature are among its most conspicu- 
ous examples. Their defiance of rule 
was not the confident daring which 
comes from the vision of genius, but the 
disdainful audacity which springs from 
its wilfulness. Alcibiades, a name close- 
ly connected with those events which 
resulted in the ruin of the Athenian 
empire, was perhaps the most variously 
accomplished of all those young men of 
genius who have squandered their ge- 
nius in the attempt to make it insolent- 
ly dominant over justice and reason. 
Graceful, beautiful, brave, eloquent, and 
affluent, the pupil of Socrates, the dar- 
ling of the Athenian democracy, lavishly 



I86 5 .] 



Young Men in History. 



endowed by Nature with the faculties of 
the great statesman and the great cap- 
tain, with every power and every oppor- 
tunity to make himself the pride and 
glory of his country, he was still so 
governed by an imp of boyish perversity 
and presumption, that he renounced the 
ambition of being the first statesman of 
Athens in order to show himself its most 
restless, impudent and unscrupulous 
trickster ; and, subjecting all public ob- 
jects to the freaks of his own vanity and 
selfishness, ever ready to resent oppo- 
sition to his whim with treason against 
the state, he stands in history a curious 
spectacle of transcendent gifts belittled 
by profligacy of character, the falsest, 
keenest, most mischievous, and most 
magnificent demagogue the world has 
ever seen. 

If we turn from Alcibiades the poli- 
tician to Byron the poet, we have a 
no less memorable instance of intel- 
lectual power early linked with moral 
perversity and completely bewitched 
and bedevilled by presumptuous ego- 
tism. What, in consequence, was his 
career ? Petulant, passionate, self-will- 
ed, impatient of all external direction, 
the slave and victim of the moment's 
impulse, yet full of the energies and 
visions of genius, this arrogant strip- 
ling passes by quick leaps from boy- 
hood into the vices of age, and, after a 
short experience of the worst side of 
life, comes out a scoffer and a misan- 
thrope, fills the world with his gospel 
of desperation and despair, and, after 
preaching disgust of existence and con- 
tempt of mankind as the wisdom glean- 
ed from his excesses, he dies, worn out 
and old, at thirty-six. 

Now neither in Byron's works nor 
in Byron's life do we recognize the 
spirit of youth, the spirit which ele- 
vates as well as stimulates, which cheers 
as well as inflames. Compare him in 
this respect with a man of vaster imagi- 
nation and mightier nature, compare 
him with Edmund Burke, in what we 
call Burke's old age ; and as you read 
one of Burke's immortal pamphlets, 
composed just before his death, do you 
not feel your blood kindle and your 



mind expand, as you come into com- 
munion with that bright and broad in- 
tellect, competent to grapple with the 
most complicated relations of Europe- 
an politics, with that audacious will, 
whose purposes glow with immortal life, 
and especially with that large and 
noble soul, rich in experience, rich in 
wisdom, but richer still in the fresh- 
ness, the ardor, the eloquence, the chiv- 
alrous daring of youth ? Byron is old 
at twenty-five ; Burke is young at sixty- 
six. 

The spirit of youth may thus, as in 
the case of Byron, be burnt out of the 
young man by the egotism of passion ; 
but it may also be frozen up in his 
breast by the egotism of opinion. Woe 
to the young shoulders afflicted with 
the conceit that they support old heads ! 
When this mental disease assumes the 
form of flippancy, it renders a young 
person happily unconscious that Nature 
has any stores of wisdom which she 
has not thought fit to deposit in his 
cranium, or that his mind can properly 
assume any other attitude towards an 
opponent than that of placid and pity- 
ing contempt. 

But this intellectual presumption, ri- 
diculous in its flippant or pompous, be- 
comes terrible in its malignant, expres- 
sion. Thus, the headstrong young men 
who pushed the French Revolution of 
1789 into the excesses of the Reign of 
Terror were well-intentioned reformers, 
driven into crime by the fanaticism of 
mental conceit. This is especially true 
of Robespierre and St. Just Their 
hearts were hardened through their 
heads. The abstract notions of free- 
dom and philanthropy were imbedded 
in their brains as truths, without be- 
ing rooted in their characters as sen- 
timents ; and into the form of these 
inexorable notions they aimed to shape 
France. They were of course opposed 
by human nature. Opposition made 
them personally cruel, because it made 
them intellectually remorseless. With 
no instincts of humanity to guide their 
ideas of its rights, it was but natural 
that offended pride of opinion should 
fester into that malignant passion which 



Young Mat in History. 



[July, 



puts relentlessness into the will. Ev- 
erything and everybody that opposed 
the onward movement of the great 
cause ought, they conceived, to be re- 
moved. The readiest way to remove 
them was by tyranny, terror, and mur- 
der ; for the swiftest method of answer- 
ing objections is to knock out the brains 
that propound them. All the institut- 
ed rights of men were accordingly vio- 
lated in the fierce desire to establish 
the abstract rights of man. A govern- 
ment founded on reason was to be cre- 
ated by a preliminary and provisional 
government founded on the guillotine. 
The ideals of Rousseau were to be re- 
alized by practices learned in the school 
of Draco; and a celestial democracy 
of thought was to spring from a de- 
monized democracy of fact. Now we 
are accustomed to call these wretches 
young men. But there was no youth 
in them. Young in respect to age, 
their intellectually irritated egotism 
made them as bigoted, as inhuman, 
and as soulless as old familiars of the 
Inquisition. 

In truth, the real young man of that 
Revolution, as of our own Revolution, 
was Lafayette. His convictions re- 
garding the rights of man were essen- 
tially the same as those held by Robes- 
pierre and St. Just ; but they were con- 
victions that grew out of the inherent 
geniality, benevolence, and rectitude of 
his nature, and were accordingly guided 
and limited in their application by the 
sanity and sweetness of the sentiments 
whence they drew their vitality. Whilst 
they made him capable of any self-sac- 
rifice for freedom and humanity, they 
made him incapable of crime ; and mis- 
fortune and failure never destroyed his 
faith in freedom, because his faith in 
freedom had not been corrupted by ex- 
perience in blood. 

In Nero and Caligula, in Alcibiades 
and Byron, in Robespierre and St. Just, 
we have attempted to sketch the leading 
perversions of youthful energy and in- 
telligence. Let us now proceed to ex- 
hibit their more wholesome, and, we 
trust, their more natural action. And 
first, in respect to the emotions, these 



may all be included in the single word en- 
thusiasm, or that impulsive force which 
liberates the mental powers from the 
ice of timidity as Spring unloosens the 
streams from the grasp of -Winter, and 
sends them forth in a rejoicing rush. 
The mind of youth, when impelled by 
this original strength and enthusiasm 
of Nature, is keen, eager, inquisitive, 
intense, audacious, rapidly assimilating 
facts into faculties and knowledge into 
power, and above all teeming with that 
joyous fulness of creative life which 
radiates thoughts as inspirations, and 
magnetizes as well as informs. Now 
the limit of this youth of mind obser- 
vation decides to be commonly between 
thirty-five and forty ; but still it is not 
so properly marked by years as by the 
arrest of this glad mental growth and de- 
velopment. In some men, like Bacon and 
Burke, it is not arrested at sixty. The 
only sign of age, indeed, which is spe- 
cially worth considering, is the mental 
sign ; and this is that gradual disintegra- 
tion of the mind's vital powers by which 
intelligence is separated from force, and 
experience from ability. Experience de- 
tached from active power is no longer 
faculty of doing, but mere memory of 
what has been done ; and principles ac- 
cordingly subside into precedents, intu- 
itions into arguments, and alertness of 
will into calculation of risks. The high- 
est quality of mind, the quality which 
stamps it as an immortal essence, name- 
ly, that power, the fused compound 
of all other powers, which sends its 
eagle glance over a whole field of par- 
ticulars, penetrates and grasps all relat- 
ed objects in one devouring conception, 
and flashes a vivid insight of the only 
right thing to be done amid a thousand 
possible courses of action, .the power, 
in short, which gives confidence to will 
because it gives certainty to vision, and 
is as much removed from recklessness 
as from irresolution, this power fades 
in mental age into that pausing, com- 
paring, generalizing, indecisive intelli- 
gence, which, however wise and valu- 
able it may be in those matters where 
success is not the prize of speed, is im- 
becile in those conjunctures of affairs 



I86 5 .] 



Young Men in History. 



where events march faster than the mind 
can syllogize, and to think and act a 
moment too late is defeat and ruin. 

It is for this reason that the large 
portion of history which relates to war 
is so much the history of the triumphs 
of young men. Thus, Scipio was twen- 
ty-nine when he gained the Battle of 
Zana ; Charles the Twelfth, nineteen 
when he gained the Battle of Narva ; 
Condd, twenty -two when he gained 
the Battle of Rocroi. At thirty -six, 
Scipio the younger was the conquer- 
or of Carthage; at thirty -six, Corte"s 
was the conqueror of Mexico ; at thir- 
ty, Charlemagne was master of France 
and Germany ; at thirty-two, Clive had 
established the British power in India. 
Hannibal, the greatest of military com- 
manders, was only thirty, when, at Can- 
nas, he dealt an almost annihilating blow 
at the republic of Rome ; and Napoleon 
was only twenty-seven, when, on the 
plains of Italy, he outgeneralled and de- 
feated, one after another, the veteran mar- 
shals of Austria. And in respect to the 
wars which grew out of the French Rev- 
olution, what are they but the record of 
old generals beaten by young generals ? 
And it will not do to say, that the young 
generals were victorious merely in vir- 
tue of their superiority in courage, en- 
ergy, and dash ; for they evinced a no 
less decisive superiority in common- 
sense and judgment, that is, in instan- 
taneous command of all their resources 
in the moment of peril, in quickness to 
detect the enemy's weak points, and, 
above all, in resolute sagacity to send 
the full strength of the arm to second 
at once the piercing glance of the eye. 
The old generals, to be sure, boasted 
more professional experience, but, hav- 
ing ossified their experience into pedan- 
tic maxims, they had less professional 
skill. After their armies had been ig- 
nominiously routed by the harebrained 
young fellows opposed to them, they 
could easily prove, that, by the rules 
of war, they had been most improper- 
ly beaten ; but their young opponents, 
whose eager minds had transmuted the 
rules of war into instincts of intelli- 
gence, were indifferent to the scandal 



of violating the etiquette of righting, 
provided thereby they gained the ob- 
ject of fighting. They had, in fact, the 
quality which the old generals absurdly 
claimed, namely, practical sagacity, or, 
as the Yankee phrased it, " the knack 
of hitting it about right the first time." 

We cannot, of course, leave the sub- 
ject of young military commanders 
without a reference to Alexander of 
Macedon, in many respects the great- 
est young man that ever, as with the 
fury of the untamable forces of Nature, 
broke into history. But even in the 
" Macedonian madman," as he is call- 
ed, it will be found that fury obeyed sa- 
gacity. A colossal soul, in whom bar- 
baric passions urged gigantic powers 
to the accomplishment of insatiable de- 
sires, he seems, on the first view, to be 
given over to the wildest ecstasies of 
imaginative pride ; but we are soon 
dazzled and confounded by the irresist- 
ible energy, the cool, clear, fertile, fore- 
casting intelligence, with which he pur- 
sues and realizes his vast designs of 
glory and dominion. Strong and arro- 
gant as the fabled Achilles, with a mili- 
tary genius which allies him to Caesar 
and Napoleon, he was tortured by as- 
pirations more devouring than theirs ; 
for, exalted in his own conception above 
humanity by his constant success in 
performing what other men declared 
impossible, he aimed to conquer the 
world, not merely to be obeyed as its 
ruler, but worshipped as its god. But 
this self-deified genius, who could find 
nothing on our planet capable of with- 
standing his power, was mortal, and 
died, by what seemed mere accident, at 
the age of thirty-two, died, the mas- 
ter of an empire, conquered by himself, 
covering two millions and a half of 
square miles, died, in the full vigor 
of his faculties, at the time his brain 
was teeming with magnificent schemes 
of assimilating the populations of Eu- 
rope and Asia, and of remaking man 
after his own image by stamping the 
nature of Alexander on the mind and 
feelings of the world. 

One incident, the type of his career, 
has passed into the most familiar of 



Young Men in History. 



[July, 



proverbs. When, in his invasion of 
Asia, he arrived at Gordium, he was 
arrested, not by an army, but by some- 
thing mightrer than an army, name- 
ly, a superstition. Here was the rude 
wagon of Gordius, the yoke of which 
was fastened to the pole by a cord so 
entangled that no human wit or pa- 
tience could untwist it ; yet the oracle 
had declared that the empire of Asia 
was reserved to him alone by whom it 
should be untied. After vainly attempt- 
ing to overcome its difficulties with his 
fingers, Alexander impatiently cut it 
with his sword. The multitude applaud- 
ed the solution ; he soon made it good 
by deeds ; and, in action, youth has 
ever since shown its judgment, as well 
as its vigor, in thus annihilating seem- 
ingly hopeless perplexities, by cutting 
Gordian knots. 

In passing from the field of battle to 
the field of politics, from young men as 
warriors to young men as statesmen, 
we must bear in mind that high politi- 
cal station, unless a man is born to it, 
is rarely reached by political genius, 
until political genius has been tried by 
years and tested by events. At the 
time Mr. Calhoun's influence was great- 
est, at the time it was said that " when 
he took snuff all South Carolina sneez- 
ed," he was really not so great a man 
as when he was struggling for emi- 
nence. Statesmen are thus forces long 
before they are leaders of party, prime- 
ministers, and presidents ; and are not 
the energies employed in preparing the 
way for new laws and new policies of 
more historic significance than the mere 
outward form of their enactment and 
inauguration ? Thus, it required thirty- 
five years of effort and agitation before 
the old Earl Grey of 1832 could accom- 
plish the scheme of Parliamentary reform 
eagerly pressed by the young Mr. Grey 
of 1797. The young Chatham, when 
he was merely " that terrible cornet of 
horse," whose rising to speak in the 
House of Commons was said to give 
Sir Robert Walpole " a pain in the 
back," when, in his own sarcastic 
phrase, he " was guilty of the atrocious 
crime of being a young man," was 



still day by day building himself up in 
the heart and imagination of the Eng- 
lish people, and laboriously opening 
the path to power of the old Chatham, 
whose vehement soul was all alive with 
the energies of youth, though lodged in 
the shattered frame of age. And he 
so familiarly known to the American 
people as old John Adams, did he 
lose in mature life a single racy or sple- 
netic characteristic of the young states- 
man of the Colonial period ? Is there, 
indeed, any break in that unity of nature 
which connects the second President of 
the United States with the child John 
Adams, the boy John Adams, the tart, 
blunt, and bold, the sagacious and self- 
reliant, young Mr. Adams,- the plague 
and terror of the Tories of Massachu- 
setts ? And his all-accomplished rival 
and adversary, Alexander Hamilton, 
is he not substantially the same at 
twenty-five as at forty-five ? Though 
he has not yet imprinted his mind on 
the constitution and practical working 
of the government, the qualities are 
still there: the poised nature whose 
vigor is almost hidden in its harmony ; 
the power of infusing into other minds 
ideas which they seem to originate ; the 
wisdom, the moderation, the self-com- 
mand, the deep thought which explores 
principles, the comprehensive thought 
which regards relations, the fertile 
thought which devises measures, all 
are there as unmistakably at twenty- 
five as on that miserable day, when, in 
the tried completeness of his powers, 
the greatest of American statesmen 
died by the hand of the greatest of 
American reprobates. 

But there are also in history four 
examples of men who seem to have 
been statesmen from the nursery, 
who early took a leading part in great 
designs which affected the whole course 
of human affairs, and whom octoge- 
narians like Nesselrode and Palmerston 
would be compelled to call statesmen 
of the first class. These are Octavius 
Cassar, more successful in the arts of 
policy than even the great Julius, never 
guilty of youthful indiscretion, or, we 
are sorry to say, of youthful virtue ; 



I86 5 .] 



Young Men in History. 



Maurice of Saxony, the preserver of 
the Reformed religion in Germany, in 
that contest where his youthful sagacity 
proved more than a match for the vet- 
eran craft of Charles the Fifth ; the 
second William of Orange, the pre- 
server of the liberties of Europe against 
the ambition of Louis XIV'., and who, 
as a child, may be said to have prat- 
tled treaties and lisped despatches ; and 
William Pitt, Prime-Minister of England 
at the age of twenty-four, and stereo- 
typed on the French imagination as he 
whose guineas were nearly as potent as 
Napoleon's guns. 

9 But it is not so much by eminent 
examples of young statesmen as it is by 
the general influence of young men in 
resisting the corrupting tendencies of 
politics, that their influence in the so- 
cial state is to be measured. They op- 
pose the tendency of political life to 
deprave political character, to make it 
cold, false, selfis-h, distrustful, aban- 
doned to the greed of power and the 
greed of gain. They interfere with the 
projects of those venerable politicians 
who are continually appealing to the 
public to surrender, bit by bit, its hu- 
manity, its morality, its Christianity, for 
what are ludicrously misnamed practi- 
cal advantages, and who slowly sap the 
moral vitality of a people through an 
insinuating appeal to their temporary 
interests. The heart of a nation may 
be eaten out by this process, without 
its losing any external signs of prosper- 
ity and strength ; but the process itself 
is resisted, and the nation kept alive 
and impelled forward, by the purifying, 
though disturbing forces, which come 
from the generous sentiments and fer- 
vid aspirations of youth. Wise old 
heads may sneer as much as they please 
at the idea of heart in politics ; but if 
history teaches anything, it teaches 
that human progress is possible only 
because the benevolent instincts of the 
heart are permanent, while the reason- 
ings of the head are shifting. " When 
God," says Montesquieu, " endowed 
human beings with brains, he did not 
intend to guaranty them." And the 
sarcasm of the French philosopher is 



fully justified, when we reflect that 
nothing mean, base, or cruel has ever 
been done in this world, which has not 
been supported by arguments. To the 
mere head every historical event, wheth- 
er it be infamous or glorious, is like the 
case at law which attracted the atten- 
tion of the Irish barrister. " It was," 
he said, " a very pretty case, and he 
should like a fee of a hundred pounds 
to argue it either way." Who is there, 
indeed, who has not heard the most 
atrocious measures recommended by 
the most convincing arguments ? Why, 
the persecutions of the early Christians, 
the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, the 
Spanish Inquisition, the Reign of Ter- 
ror, the institution of Slavery, the coup 
tftiat of Louis Napoleon, are under the 
condemnation of history from no lack of 
arguments in their favor which it might 
puzzle a plain man to answer. But 
opinion in such matters is not deter- 
mined by arguments, but by instincts. 
God, in his wrath, has not left this 
world to the mercy of the subtlest dia- 
lectician ; and all arguments are hap- 
pily transitory in their effect, when they 
contradict the primal intuitions of con- 
science and the inborn sentiments of 
the heart. And if wicked institutions, 
laboriously organized by dominant tyr- 
anny and priestcraft, and strong with 
the might, not merely of bad passions, 
but of perverted learning and prosti- 
tuted logic, if these have been swept 
away in the world's advancing move- 
ment, it has been by the gradual tri- 
umph of indestructible sentiments of 
freedom and humanity, kept fresh and 
bright in the souls of the young. 

And in the baptism of fire and blood 
through which our politics are pass- 
ing to their purification, who can fitly 
estimate our indebtedness to the young 
men who are now making American his- 
tory the history of so much ardent patri- 
otism and heroic achievement ? When 
the civilization of the country prepared 
to engage in a death -grapple with its 
barbarism, when the most beneficent 
of all governments was threatened by 
the basest of all conspiracies, the most 
infamous of all treasons, the most thiev- 



8 



Young' Men in History. 



[July, 



ish of all rebellions, and when that 
government was sustained by the most 
glorious uprising that ever surged up 
from the heart of a great people to de- 
fend the cause of liberty and honesty 
and law, did not the hot tide of that 
universal patriotism sparkle and seethe 
and glow with special intensity in the 
breasts of our young men ? Did you 
ever hear from them that contented ig- 
nominy was Christian peace ? Did not 
meanness, falsehood, fraud, tyranny, 
treason, find in them, not apologetic crit- 
ics, but terrible and full -armed foes? 
Transient defeat, what did it but add 
new fiery stimulants to energies bent on 
an ultimate triumph ? To hint to them 
that Davis would succeed was not only 
recreancy to freedom, but blasphemy 
against God. Better, to their impassion- 
ed patriotism, that their blood should be 
poured forth in an unstinted stream, 
better that they, and all of us, should be 
pushed into that ocean whose astonish- 
ed waves first felt the keel of the May- 
flower, as she bore her precious freight 
to Plymouth Rock, than that America 
.should consent to be under the insolent 
domination of a perjured horde of slave- 
holders and liberticides. But that con- 
sent should never be given, and that con- 
sent could never be extorted. Minds, 
like theirs, which had been nurtured on 
the principles of constitutional freedom, 
hearts, like theirs, which had caught 
inspiration from the heroes and martyrs 
of liberty, good right arms, like theirs, 
which wielded the implements of war 
as readily as the implements of labor, 
all scouted the very thought of such un- 
utterable abasement. By the patriotism 
which abhors treason, by the fortitude 
which endures privation, by the intre- 
pidity which faces death, they proved 
themselves worthy of the great conti- 
nent they inhabit by showing them- 
selves capable of upholding the prin- 
ciples it represents. 

In passing from the sphere of pol- 
itics to the serener region of litera- 
ture, art, science, and philosophy, there 
is an increasing difficulty in estimat- 
ing youth by years and an increasing 
necessity to estimate it by qualities. 



One thing, however, is certain, that 
the invention of new methods, the dis- 
covery of new truth, and the creation of 
new beauty, intellectual acts which 
are among the most important of his- 
torical events, all belong to that thor- 
oughly live condition of mind which we 
have called young. In this sense of 
youth, it may be said that Raphael, the 
greatest painter of moral beauty, and 
Titian, the greatest painter of sensuous 
beauty, were both almost equally young, 
though Raphael died at thirty - seven, 
while Titian was prematurely cut off by 
the plague when he was only a hundred. 
These, of course, are the extreme case% 
But, it may be asked, were not the great- 
est poems of the world, the " Iliad " of 
Homer, the " Divina Commedia" of Dan- 
te, the " Paradise Lost " of Milton, the 
creations of comparative old age ? The 
answer to this question is, that each was 
probably organized round a youthful 
conception, and all were coextensive 
with the whole growth and development 
of their creators. Thus, we do not call 
Milton old when he produced " Paradise 
Lost," but when this mental growth was 
arrested ; and accordingly " Paradise 
Regained " and " Samson Agonistes," 
works produced after his prime, are 
comparatively bleak and bare products 
of a withering imagination and a shrunk- 
en personality. 

But, confining the matter to the mere 
question of years, it may be said, that, 
allowing for some individual exceptions, 
the whole history of the human intellect 
will bear out the general assertion, that 
the power in which great natures cul- 
minate, and which fixes fatal limits to 
their loftiest aspirations, namely, that 
flashing conceptive and combining ge- 
nius which fuses force and insight in 
one executive intelligence, which seizes 
salient points and central ideas, which 
darts in an instant along the whole 
line of analogies and relations, which 
leaps with joyous daring the vast men- 
tal spaces that separate huddled facts 
from harmonizing laws, that this 
power, to say the least, rarely grows 
after thirty-five or forty. The mental 
stature is then reached, though it may 



I86 S .] 



Young Men in History. 



not dwindle and be dwarfed until long 
afterwards. Thus, Shakspeare complet- 
ed " Hamlet " when he was about thirty- 
six. Mozart, the Shakspeare of com- 
posers, died at thirty-six. But why enu- 
merate ? Amid the scores of instances 
which must crowd into every mind, let 
us select five men, of especial historic 
significance, and who are commonly 
imaged to our minds with heads sil- 
vered over with age, let us take Goe- 
the in poetry, Newton in science, Ba- 
con in philosophy, Columbus in dis- 
covery, Watt in mechanics. Now, how 
stand the facts ? The greatest works of 
Goethe were conceived and partly exe- 
cuted when he was a young man ; and if 
age found him more widely and worldly 
wise, it found him weak in creative pas- 
sion, and, as a poet, living on the interest 
of his youthful conceptions. Newton, 
in whose fertile and capacious intellect 
the dim, nebulous elements of truth were 
condensed by patient thinking into the 
completed star, discovered the most uni- 
versal of all natural laws, the law of grav- 
itation,before he was twenty-five, though 
an error of observation, not his own, 
prevented him from demonstrating it 
until he was forty. Bacon had "vast 
contemplative ends," and had taken " all 
knowledge for his province," had deeply 
meditated new methods and audaciously 
doubted old ones, before the incipient 
beard had begun timidly to peep from 
his youthful chin. The great conception 
of Columbus sprang from the thoughts 
and studies of his youth ; and it was 
the radiance shed from this conception 
which gave him fortitude to bear the 
slow martyrdom of poverty, contempt, 
and sickness of heart, which embittered 
the toiling years preceding its late real- 
ization. The steam-engine was invented 
by James Watt before he was thirty; 
but then Watt was a thinker from his 
cradle. Everybody will recollect his 
grandmother's reproof of what she called 
his idleness, at the time his boyish brain 
was busy with meditations destined to 
ripen in the most marvellous and revo- 
lutionizing of all industrial inventions, 
an invention which, of itself alone, 
has given Great Britain an additional 



productive power equal to ten millions 
of workmen, at the cost of only a half- 
penny a day, an invention which sup- 
plies the motive power by which a single 
county in England is enabled to produce 
fabrics representing the labor of twenty- 
one millions of men, an invention 
which, combined with others, annually, 
in England, weaves into cloth a length 
of cotton thread equal to fifty-one times 
the distance between the earth and the 
sun, five thousand millions of miles, 
an invention which created the wealth 
by which England was enabled to fight 
or subsidize the whole continent of Eu- 
rope from 1793 to 1815, and which made 
that long war really a contest between 
the despotic power of Napoleon Bona- 
parte and the productive genius of James 
Watt. All this vast and teeming future 
was hidden from the good grandmother, 
as she saw the boy idling over the tea- 
kettle. " James," she said, " I never 
saw such an idle young fellow as you 
are. Do take a book and employ your- 
self usefully. For the last half -hour 
you have not spoken a single word. 
Do you know what you have been do- 
ing all this time ? Why, you have taken 
off, and replaced, and taken off again, 
the tea-pot lid, and you have held al- 
ternately in the steam, first a saucer 
and then a spoon ; and you have bus- 
ied yourself in examining and collect- 
ing together the little drops formed by 
the condensation of the steam on the 
surface of the china and the silver. 
Now are you not ashamed to waste 
your time in this disgraceful manner ? " 
Was ever idleness so productive be- 
fore ? 

If we turn from intellectual powers 
to sentiments, which are the soul of 
powers, we shall find renewed proofs 
that the spirit which animates the king- 
doms of mind is the youthful spirit of 
health and hope and energy and cheer. 
In the regretful tenderness with which 
all great thinkers have looked back 
upon their youth do not we detect the 
source of their most kindling inspira- 
tions ? Time may have impaired their 
energies, clipped their aspirations, dead- 
ened their faith ; but there, away off in 



10 



Voting Men in History. 



[July, 



the past, is the gladdening vision of 
their youthful years ; there the joyous 
tumult of impulses and aims ; there 
the grand and generous affections ; 
there the sweet surprise of swift-spring- 
ing thoughts from never-failing foun- 
tains ; there the pure love of truth and 
beauty which sent their minds speeding 
out beyond the limits of positive knowl- 
edge ; and there the thrills of ecstasy 
as new worlds opened on their view. 
What, to them, is the assured posses- 
sion of fame, compared with that direct 
perception of truth and that immediate 
consciousness of power ? 

But the question arises, Cannot this 
youth be preserved, or, at least, per- 
petually renewed? We have seen, in 
this rapid glance at history, that it is 
preserved as long as the mind retains 
its hold on the life of things ; and we 
have seen, both in men of action and in 
men of meditation, this hold weakened 
by age. But would it be weakened, if 
the loftiest meditation issued in deeds 
instead of thoughts ? Would youth de- 
part, if the will acted on the same high 
level that the mind conceived ? This, 
also, is a question which has been his- 
torically answered. It has been answer- 
ed by heroes, reformers, saints, and mar- 
tyrs, by men who have demonstrated, 
that, the higher the life, the more distant 
the approaches of age, by men whose 
souls on earth have glanced into that 
region of spiritual ideas and spiritual 
persons where youth is perpetual, where 
ecstasy is no transient mood, but a per- 
manent condition, and where dwell the 
awful forces which radiate immortal life 
into the will. In these men, contempla- 
tion, refusing to abide in the act by 
which it mounts above the world, re- 
acts with tenfold force on the world. 
Using human ends simply as divine 
means, they wield war, statesmanship, 
literature, art, science, and philosophy 
with almost superhuman energy in the 
service of supernatural ideas ; and his- 
tory gleams with an intenser significance 
as it records this imperfect passage, 
through human agents, of the life of 
God into the life of man. The subject 
is too vast, the agents too various and 



numerous, to be more than hinted here ; 
and in the limitation of our theme, not 
only to the young in years, but to the male 
in sex, we are precluded from celebrat- 
ing one who stands in history as per- 
haps the loveliest human embodiment 
of all that is most winning and inspir- 
ing in youth, one whose celestial ele- 
vation of sentiment, ecstatic ardor of 
imagination, and power at once to melt 
the heart and amaze the understand- 
ing, will forever associate the saintliest 
heroic genius with the name of Joan of 
Arc. But among the crowd of great 
men in this exalted sphere of influence, 
let us select one who was the head and 
heart of the most memorable movement 
of modern times, the German peasant, 
Martin Luther. With a nature original- 
ly rougher, more earth-born, and of less 
genial goodness than that of Joan of 
Arc, but with a shaping imagination of 
the same realizing intensity, the beauti- 
ful myths of Romish superstition, which 
her innocent soul transfigured into gra- 
cious ministering spirits of seraphic 
might and seraphic tenderness, glared 
in upon his more morbid spiritual vis- 
ion as menacing angels, or grinning 
imps, or scoffing fiends. But still the 
tortured soul toiled sturdily on through 
the anguish of its self-created hells, the 
mind crazed and shattered, the heart 
hungry for peace, the will resolute that 
it should have no peace until it found 
peace in truth. Yet, out of this pro- 
digious mental and moral anarchy, with 
its devil's dance of dogmas and delu- 
sions, the young Luther organized, be- 
fore he was thirty, the broadest, raciest, 
and strongest character that ever put 
on the armor and hurled the bolts of 
the Church Militant. Casting doubt 
and fear under his feet, and growing 
more practically efficient as he grew 
more morally exalted, at the age of 
thirty-seven he had hooted out of Ger- 
many the knavish agent of a deistical 
Pope, had nailed to the Wittenberg 
Church his intellectual defiance of the 
theory of Indulgences, had cast the 
excommunication and decretals of the 
Pontiff into the flames, and, before the 
principalities and powers of the Empire, 



1365.] 



Around Mull. 



II 



one German against all Germany, had 
simply and sublimely indicated the iden- 
tity of his doctrine with his nature, by 
declaring that he not merely would not, 
but could not, recant. 

And whom could he not abjure ? 
Does not this question point to Him 
who is the central Person and Power 
of the past eighteen hundred years of 
history ? to Him who will be the cen- 



tral Person and Power of the whole fu- 
ture of history? to Him who came 
into the world in the form of a young 
man, and whom a young man announ- 
ced, crying in the wilderness ? to Him 
who clasps in his thought and in his 
love the whole humanity whose troub- 
led annals history recounts, and who 
divinized the spirit of youth when He 
assumed its form ? 



AROUND MULL. 



PART I. 



I. 



WE had come from Dumbarton, 
(my temporary home,) the Bai- 
lie, Christie, and I, for a week's tour 
along the western coast and among the 
Highlands. Sallying forth from Strath- 
leven cottage one sunny morning in Au- 
gust, we had footed it to the river-side, 
( I learned the full use of my feet in 
Scotland.) had stepped on board a wee 
bonnie boat, just large enough for us 
and our light baggage, exclusive of 
the space occupied by a single oars- 
man, and dropping down the Leven, 
and past the Castle, 'had gained the 
broad Clyde, drifted into mid-stream, 
and there, lying on our oars, had pa- 
tiently waited until the great puffing 
steamer of the Hutcheson line, from 
Glasgow, hove in sight. Then, raising 
one oar as a signal, we had hailed the 
monster, which, condescendingly relax- 
ing her speed, had suffered our boat, 
tossing like a feather on the steamer's 
mighty swell, to come in palpitating, 
timid fashion under the shadow of her 
paddle-box, where the strong arms of 
men stationed on the portable ladder 
let down from her side had caught our 
skiff by the prow and held the incon- 
stant thing for one instant firmly enough 
to suffer us to spring to their'precarious 
stairway and so secure our passage to 



Ardrishaig. Thence, after two hours' 
sail by track-boat through the Crinan 
Canal, and a second passage by steamer, 

literally an ocean passage, for it took 
us out into the deep Atlantic, we had 
bent our course awhile among the isl- 
ands that lie nearer the rocky shore, 
and had at length, just at nightfall, 
gained the little land-locked harbor of 
Oban, sweet, smiling Oban, nestling 
securely within her rocky bulwarks, the 
glistening curve of her white sea-wall, 
her little fleet of safely moored vessels, 
her clustering cottages, her neat tempt- 
ing inns, all challenging our wonder and 
delight, as, skirting the headland which 
had hitherto jealously hidden the mimic 
seaport, the entire picture flashed instan- 
taneously on our view. 

Nothing in this hospitable spot turns 
its back on the voyager who there seeks 
refuge. The sea-wall curving like a 
half-moon round the bay, and the peb- 
bled esplanade above it, occupy all the 
foreground. The principal street of 
Oban skirts this artificial quay, where 
the shipping of the place lies at anchor, 
and on its farther side the buildings all 
front the sea. Thus the whole place 
smiles a welcome ; its white garniture 

for everything in Oban seems freshly 
whitewashed reflects the last rays of 
the western sunlight, or, if night has al- 
ready clothed the neighboring islands 



12 



Around Mull. 



[July, 



and headlands in gloom, the lights from 
the numerous windows of the dwelling- 
houses, shops, and hotels, which face 
you as you make the port, excite a glad 
surprise, and promise the weary trav- 
eller, what he is sure to find, shelter, 
comfort, and good cheer in Oban. 

More than these / found there ; for, 
leaving the spot always in the morning 
to pursue our excursions, and returning 
thither on successive occasions at night- 
fall, the charm of the place grew upon 
me, until I came to view it not merely 
as a refuge from exposure and fatigue, 
a nook screened and protected by Na- 
ture's benediction from wintry storms 
and Hebridean gloom, but as a sanctum 
for the spirit, an ideal resting-place for 
restless souls, a place to be loved 
and longed for forevermore. If I have 
said too much, and you convict me of 
romance and exaggeration, fellow-trav- 
ellers, who like me have sometimes made 
this haven, then sunlight and moonlight 
and soft breezes and sweet sounds have 
been kinder to me than to you, and you 
did not see Oban in the light and the 
air that I did. 

One would scarcely expect, judging 
from the size of the town, that Oban 
could contain more than a single com- 
fortable inn ; still, besides the Caledonian 
Hotel, of which alone I can testify from 
experience, there are at least two or 
three similar public-houses, and I know 
not how many lodging-houses of lesser 
pretension ; for Oban is the centre of 
no little travel, and is the rallying-point 
and rendezvous for tourists, especially 
during the months of August and Sep- 
tember, the popular season in the High- 
lands. 

At the Caledonian, an hotel not dis- 
similar to our best summer resorts in 
the White Mountains and other pictu- 
resque districts, we were comfortably, I 
may say luxuriously, entertained. The 
accommodations, as with us, included 
ladies' parlor and table d'hote, and, af- 
ter a brief lounge in the former and a 
substantial meal at the latter, we were 
ready to set forth for an evening stroll 
through the town, a stroll never omitted 
by us at that hour in Oban, a delightful 



and essential sedative after the fatigues 
or excitements of the day, strolls 
the charm of which I could never quite 
define, and the impression from which 
is incommunicable. There would seem 
to be little that was pleasant or mem- 
orable in our perambulations of the 
main street of a little fishing-town, 
the Bailie, with his stump of a pipe for 
company, always choosing the espla- 
nade, while Christie and I as frequently 
idled along the opposite pavement, paus- 
ing now and then at the little shop-win- 
dows and gazing at their mean or meagre 
displays, illumined by a farthing candle, 
with a keener zest than I had ever ex- 
perienced in the Rue Rivoli or the Pa- 
lais Royal. Our walk rarely extended 
beyond either extremity of this street ; 
it was uniform, monotonous, unvaried 
by any more striking incident than a 
plunge into the most humble and ill- 
furnished of the shops to procure a 
penny pipe for the Bailie, whose smoky 
stump had accidentally come to grief, 
or a continuation of our stroll as far as 
the remotest point of the arc formed by 
the quay, where, seated on a wall of rough 
stones, we took in at one glance the 
moonlit bay, and the quiet, peaceful 
town, scarce a hum from which reach- 
ed our ears, so hushed and still was the 
place at this hour. 

A couple of little girls of true Gaelic 
blood came and gazed curiously at us 
one evening, as we thus sat. The elder 
of the two, a head shorter than her 
companion, responded readily to the 
Bailie's questions, among other things 
naively accounted to us for her diminu- 
tive size, as if it were a foregone and 
inevitable result of her lot, by the grave 
statement, " Oh, I am the eldest, Sir ; 
I tended all the rest " ; and then, at his 
request, they united in singing us a 
genuine Erse song, the guttural accents 
of which, softened by their childish 
tongues, harmonized wonderfully with 
the Hebridean landscape, redeemed 
from its otherwise rigidity and gloom 
by Oban gleaming like a pearly jewel 
from its rude setting of stone. It was 
the only incident that I can recall con- 
nected with our moonlight ramblings. 



i86 5 .] 



Around Midi. 



Was it not, perhaps, the absence of in- 
cident or adventure, the holy calm, the 
unbroken stillness of the scene, that 
lulled our hearts then to pensive mus- 
ings, and that still whispers to our mem- 
ories, " Peace " ? 

The Caledonian, though it found room 
for us, was wellnigh overflowing with 
visitors. Besides our fellow-passengers 
and those of another steamer of the 
same line, which had arrived almost 
simultaneously from the northern or op- 
posite direction, there were not a few 
who had either been waiting in Oban, or 
had returned thither from some excur- 
sion in the neighborhood, to be in readi- 
ness for the first opportunity for a voy- 
age around Mull. This trip, which 
occupies twelve hours, is during the 
travelling season advertised for every al- 
ternate day ; but, as the pleasure, often- 
times the possibility, of the excursion 
is dependent on wind and weather, per- 
severing tourists are often detained for 
a week or more in default of sunshine 
and a fair breeze. The elements on the 
morning after our arrival being in all 
respects favorable, the great household 
was early astir. Though breakfast is 
served on board the luxurious pleasure- 
boat, we preferred to rise at the earliest 
notice and make all possible haste with 
our toilets, for the sake of breakfasting 
on terra firma. Many were of the same 
mind with ourselves ; and the crowded 
tables, the good-natured jostling of el- 
bows, and the eager scrambling for food, 
with the bells of variously bound steam- 
ers at the neighboring pier already ring- 
ing out their warning, exhilarated us 
with a sense of companionship and ex- 
cited us to activity. Indeed, the analogy 
which I detected between hotel life in the 
Highlands and in our own country may 
have been partly due to these hasty 
breakfasts, which the necessity of se- 
curing a long day rendered as inevitable 
to tourists as hurriedly bolted meals so 
often are to travellers on our intermi- 
nable routes, or to our time-saving busi- 
ness-men of callous digestion. 

After all, we had the mortification of 
feeling that we had been deceived like 
children and huddled like sheep as an 



atonement for the sluggishness or ob- 
stinacy of that less alert and punctual 
class of travellers who, as the experience 
of steamboat agents had proved, could 
be aroused only by successive bell-ring- 
ings and repeated threats of a forfeited 
passage. We had some compensation 
and revenge, however, as, seated in our 
early secured best places, we watched 
our fellow-excursionists come straggling 
on board. 

The Pioneer, strongly built for ser- 
vice in the open sea, and of ample di- 
mensions, must have boasted this day 
something like two hundred passengers. 
So ample were the accommodations, so 
widely scattered the parties, that I should 
scarcely believe the number to have been 
so considerable, but for my vivid rec- 
ollection of the successive and, as it 
seemed, never-ending boat-companies, 
each of a dozen or more, that were 
rowed ashore at the points where we 
made land. Of course there was but a 
fractional part of these people whose 
individuality made any impression on 
me. In one respect we were a unit: 
all were pleasure-seekers, and the Pio- 
neer, unlike most of the steaming mon- 
sters which ply on regular routes, was 
dedicated to beauty, sacred to the ad- 
venturous and the picturesque. She 
carried no mail ; she was destined to 
none of the ends of traffic or profit Her 
freight was all human, Nature was her 
mistress, and the love of Nature her in- 
spiration and motive-power. 

But as she lay there at the pier, puff- 
ing off steam and ringing perpetual bells, 
she gave evidence of business-like im- 
patience ; and her human cargo, as they 
came on board, had scarcely yet awak- 
ened to any other emotions than those 
of unwillingness and discomfort Some 
were yet chewing the cud of unfinished 
breakfasts, the crumbs of which still 
clung to their garments ; others had 
the blue, ghostly look of unwonted early 
risers, shivering with the chill morning 
air and the faint heart which a fasting 
stomach entails ; some, the latest com- 
ers of all, were quite breathless, and 
were nervously holding on to the gloves, 
veils, shawls, or over-shoes caught up 



Around Mull. 



at the last moment and only half put on 
or adjusted. 

Here comes a party of young people, 
however, lads and lasses, whose high 
spirits triumph over all the inconve- 
niences of the hour, and who, as they 
rush laughingly on board, seem to defy 
the steamer to have started without so 
important an addition to the joyousness 
of the occasion as they represent. A 
group of elderly Scotch folk, anxious, 
bewildered, and fussy, are congratulat- 
ing themselves, on the contrary, that 
they are just in time and " weel ower " 
the perils of embarkation. Here is a sal- 
low clergyman whose dress and expres- 
sion proclaim him an English church- 
man ; he and his cadaverous wife, who 
seems, from her slightly pretentious air, 
to have, as the English say, " blood " 
(a very little blood / should judge in 
this case) ; both have a worn and mel- 
ancholy appearance, which is, I suspect, 
chronic, and not wholly due to the oc- 
casion. And, why, whom have we here ? 
we have certainly seen those girls be- 
fore, who are hurrying across the plank 
just as the last bell is ringing its last 
stroke. Yes, to be sure, they are the 
same trio whom we found on board the 
steamer which we took at Inversnaid on 
Loch Lomond, one day, when we were 
returning toward sunset from a visit to 
Loch Katrine and the Trosachs. Chris- 
tie and I remember them perfectly, they 
and their young brother seated in a pic- 
turesque group on the little upper deck, 
each with open sketch-book copying 
Nature at the moment, or carrying out 
some design conceived earlier in the 
day ; their mother, the same self-poised 
mammoth Englishwoman of marvellous 
physique and perfect equanimity of 
forces who accompanies them to-day, 
seated at a little distance, the occasional 
superintendent and invariable referee 
of their work and progress. Their 
" papa " is of the party this time, a tall, 
gray-haired gentleman, old enough to 
be venerable, young enough to have the 
promise of half a score of years or more 
yet in which to serve his country, a 
gentleman whose sweet dignity and se- 
rene self-possession entitle him at a 



glance to the encomium once bestowed 
involuntarily by some English friends 
of mine upon one of our gifted his- 
torians, " Why, he might be a duke ! " 
Our fellow-traveller was only Sir Thom- 
as, however, Sir Thomas Somebody, 
I have forgotten what, a London 
baronet, holding some high office or 
other under Government. We may 
imagine it anything we please, for I 
have forgotten that too. Indeed, the 
little we ever knew of him was learned 
at a later day, I suspect, from a buxom 
lawyer's wife, up North with her hus- 
band for the vacation, and who, as well 
as Sir Thomas's family, was of our trav- 
elling company on an ensuing journey, 
and had her little gossip with Christie. 
Other acquaintance than that of acci- 
dental companionship we never had with 
any of the Pioneer's passengers ; but 
what a charm there is in that involun- 
tary knowledge one comes to have of 
these chance fellow-travellers whom we 
meet, pass, fall behind, and come up 
with again, until they become at last fa- 
miliar features of our route ! 

But we have been long enough get- 
ting on board. It is well that these lag- 
gards are the last, for it is high time we 
were off. 

The wind being fair for our purpose, 
we are able to take the northern course 
and commence the circuit of the island 
by striking directly for the Sound of 
Mull, much the most favorable route, 
as it introduces the traveller at once to 
some of the most picturesque objects 
of the excursion. 

The first of these, standing like a sen- 
tinel to the land-locked bay of Oban, is 
Dunolly Castle, which commands the 
bold promontory around which we bend 
our course, as, emerging from our little 
harbor, we gain the comparatively open 
sea. The only remnant of this once 
proud dwelling of the Lords of Lorn 
which remains entire is the old mossy 
tower or keep, around which are grouped 
numerous ivy-grown fragments, attest- 
ing the former greatness of a strong- 
hold whose chieftain once had power to 
defy and defeat Robert Bruce. Many 
are the traditions and associations that 



I865-] 



Around Mull. 



cluster about this spot, but none, per- 
haps, more ancient and suggestive than 
that which still points out the Clach-na- 
cau, or the Dog's Pillar, a huge, up- 
right pillar, a detached fragment of rock, 
which stands at the very edge of the 
promontory, and which is still pointed 
out as the stake to which Fingal, chief 
of the race of Morven, mighty in the 
hunt as well as in battle, was accus- 
tomed to bind his white-breasted Bran, 
that "long-bounding son of the chase." 
" Raise high the mossy stones of their 
fame," sang the poet of Scandinavian 
heroes. The fame of the huntsman and 
hound " is in the desert no more " ; but 
as " the sons of the feeble " pass along, 
they see, as did Fingal at the tomb of 
Ryno, " how peaceful lies the stone of 
him who was the first at the chase ! " 

But we may not pause to muse upon 
Dunolly, with its dreams of other days. 
As we sweep round the base of the 
promontory, a scene bursts on our view 
so wildly grand that any single feature of 
the imposing landscape shrinks abashed 
and owns its insignificance. We are 
making direct for the entrance to the 
Sound of Mull ; but behind and to the 
north of us is stretched out a panorama 
of rock and hill and deeply indented 
coast of incomparable grandeur. To 
the left of us rise the rugged and deso- 
late shores of Mull, while far away to 
the northeast extends the lofty range 
of dark, resounding Morven, the pros- 
pect in that direction terminated and 
crowned by the huge and precipitous 
Cruachan Ben, while in a more north- 
erly direction the Adnamurchan Hills 
shut in our horizon. 

And when, at length, the eye is satis- 
fied with gazing on the prospect in its 
entirety, one after another, the moss- 
grown fortresses and other hoary relics 
of ancient Erse architecture claim our 
reverent attention ; for the Hebridean 
chieftains, an amphibious race, almost 
invariably chose the extreme verge of 
ocean-precipice for the site of their for- 
tresses, thus securing facilities for friend- 
ly communication, and defence against 
the attacks of hostile clans. Dunstaff- 
nage, though left some distance to our 



right, is still sufficiently in view for us 
to discern its regal proportions. On the 
opposite shore, and farther up the coast, 
glimpses may be had here and there of 
many a solitary tower, 

" that, steep and gray, 
Like falcon-nest, o'erhangs the bay." 

And as Imagination travels on, she sees 
each misty eminence crowned with its 
airy castle, its ancient beacon, 

" Each on its own dark cape reclined, 
And listening to its own wild wind. 
From where Mingarry, sternly placed, 
O'erawes the woodland and the waste, 
To where Dunstaffnage hears the raging 
Of Connal with his rocks engaging." 

But that we are bound to the steam- 
er's track, we should be continually dart- 
ing off our course to explore the deep 
indentations of island and coast, many 
of which are the entrances to romantic 
inland lochs. Could we spread white 
sails to the winds of Morven, and linger 
at pleasure in this picturesque region, 
we should leave no haunted castle or 
lonely watch-tower unexplored, from 
Castle Stalker, on its island-rock, to Kin- 
Loch-Aline, on the copsy bank of Loch 
Aline, " one of the most picturesque of 
the Highland castles," so says the Guide- 
book, and one which brought material 
reward to its builder too ; for tradition 
tells us that it was built by Dubh-Chal, 
an Amazon of the Clan Mclnnes, who 
paid the architect with its bulk in butter. 
What a dairy-woman, as well as warrior, 
must this Dubh-Chal have been in her 
day ! And what a fortune this architect 
would have realized, could he have lived 
in ours ! 

We are now entering the Sound of 
Mull ; and on our left, at the eastern- 
most point of the island, Duart Castle, 
which commands the entrance to the 
Sound, looks down upon us from its 
rocky promontory. We have just pass- 
ed the Lady Rock, which, bare and black 
at ebb-tide, but wave-washed at high- 
water, is the scene of a legend which 
has given a wicked notoriety to one of 
the ancient lairds of this same Duart. 
It gave rise to Campbell's poem of 
" Glenara," and forms the basis of Jo- 
anna Baillie's tragedy of " The Family 



16 



Around Mull. 



[July, 



Legend." But we have neither at hand 
to consult at this moment, even if the 
steamer would pause to indulge us in 
literary pastime ; so we must wait the 
leisure of some winter evening for poem 
and tragedy, and content ourselves with 
the prose account given by James Wil- 
son, (the Professor's brother,) which is 
as much as we can "digest en passant. 

From this it seems that " Lauchlan 
Catenach Maclean of Duart had mar- 
ried a daughter of Archibald, second 
Earl of Argyll, with whom it may be 
presumed he lived on bad terms, what- 
ever may have been the cause, although 
the character of the act alluded to de- 
pends in some measure on that cause. 
No man has a right to expose his wife, 
in consequence of any ordinary domes- 
tic disagreement, upon a wave-washed 
rock, with the probability of her catch- 
ing cold in the first place, and the cer- 
tainty of her being drowned in the sec- 
ond. But some accounts say that she 
had twice attempted her husband's life, 
and so assuredly she deserved to be 
most severely reprimanded. Be this as 
it may, Lauchlan carried the lady to the 
rock in question, where he left her at 
low water, no doubt desiring that at 
high water she would be seen no more. 
However, it so chanced that her cries, 
'piercing the night's dull ear,' were 
heard by some passing fishermen, who, 
subduing their fear of water-witches, or 
perhaps thinking that they had at last 
caught a mermaid, secured the fair one, 
and conveyed her away to her own peo- 
ple, to whom, of course, she told her 
own version of the story. We forget 
what legal steps were taken, (a sher- 
iff's warrant probably passed for little 
in those days, at least in Mull,) but con- 
siderable feudal disorders ensued in eon- 
sequence, and the Laird of Duart was 
eventually assassinated in bed one night, 
(in Edinburgh,) by Sir John Campbell 
of Calder, the brother of the bathed lady. 
We hope that this was the means of 
reconciling all parties." 

Next comes, on our right, Ardtor- 
nish Castle, 

" on her frowning steep, 
Twixt cloud and ocean hung," 



the opening scene of Scott's " Lord of 
the Isles," and the stronghold of that 
hero chieftain. It is now, for the most 
part, in ruins. One old keep, or tower, 
still remains standing : the same, per- 
haps, of which Sir Walter says, 

" The turret's airy head, 
Slender and steep and battled round, 
O'erlooked, dark Mull, thy mighty Sound, 
Where thwarting tides with mingled roar 
Part thy swarth hills from Morven's shore." 

And if we would form a conception of 
the inaccessible character of this and 
similar ocean-washed fortresses, we have 
but to recall the poet's description of the 
approach to it by Bruce and his compan- 
ions on the seaward side : 

" Hewn in the rock, a passage there 
Sought the dark fortress by a stair 

So straight, so high, so steep, 
With peasant's staff one valiant hand 
Might well the dizzy pass have manned, 

And plunged them in the deep." 

Other ancient castles meet our view, 
both on the right and left, during the 
passage of the Sound. None of these 
rough, but romantic ruins constitute the 
present residence of their owners, who 
could be better accommodated in the 
poorest fishing-hut. They serve, how- 
ever, to give interest and dignity to the 
modern residence or miniature village 
which nestles demurely under the shel- 
ter of their pristine fame. At Tober- 
mory, or the Well of Mary, the metrop- 
olis of Mull, the steamer stops to de- 
posit and receive passengers, this, and 
one or two other pauses for a similar 
practical purpose, constituting, in favor 
of a few chance travellers, an exception 
to her otherwise strict character of an 
excursion- or pleasure-boat. Indeed, in 
the eyes of the Islanders, the services 
she thus renders may constitute her a 
business agent, though we tourists, be- 
ing so much in the majority, recognize 
her only in her festive and recreative 
capacity. And, after all, who knows 
but this scheme of touching at Tober- 
mory originated in the design to accom- 
modate us with the lovely view which is 
presented by the picturesque, straggling 
town, its terraced walks, its green cops- 
es, and its mountainous background and 



i86s.] 



Around Mull. 



inclosure, which combine to form the 
landscape that greets us as we enter the 
little bay ? 



II. 



WE leave Tobermory and the shelter 
of the Sound almost simultaneously ; 
and now, as we emerge into open ocean, 
the long wave of the Atlantic, on which 
the steamer is rolling, no less than the 
grand ocean prospect, unbroken, except 
by the numerous small islands among 
which our course lies, betrays the fact 
that we are getting out to sea. We 
have passed the westernmost extremity 
of the main land, and are outside of and 
beyond the great island whose circuit 
we are making. The romantic and le- 
gendary character of the scenery has 
now given place to the sublime ; and, 
the attention no longer diverted by a 
succession of objects close at hand, we 
can give ourselves uninterruptedly to 
the contemplation of Nature in her gran- 
deur. The chief objects of our voyage 
are already dawning upon us. As we 
pass the Point of Callioch, a stormy 
headland on the northeastern shore of 
Mull, we share the experience of the 
poet Campbell, who, living for some 
months in his youthas a tutor at Suni- 
pol House, just in this neighborhood, 
wrote to a friend, " The Point of Calli- 
och commands a magnificent prospect 
bf thirteen Hebrid islands, among which 
are Staffa and Icolmkill, which I visited 
with enthusiasm." Thus we have the 
poet's warrant, as well as that of travel- 
lers and sages of many centuries, for 
the enthusiasm with which we had em- 
barked on an excursion, the principal 
objects of which were Staffa and its 
far-famed Fingal's Cave, and Icolmkill, 
otherwise the sacred island of lona. 

But these objects of engrossing inter- 
est are still far off in the distance. Staf- 
fa, the smaller and nearer of the two, 
presents but an unimposing front from 
the quarter by which we approach, be- 
ing oval in form, low, and with a gently 
undulating surface, in which respect it 
does not differ materially, except in its 

VOL. xvi. NO. 93. 2 



dimensions, from the inferior islands 
among which we are steering our course, 
and which, cold, bald, and of a monot- 
onous and desolate uniformity, betray 
their near relationship to the conical, 
heather-covered hills of the Highlands. 
It almost seems, indeed, as if these isl- 
ands were some old acquaintances of 
the mainland, which have slipped their 
moorings and drifted out to sea. A 
sense of loneliness and melancholy 
steals over one amid this bleak, wild 
scenery, a sense of having one's self 
drifted away from the haunts of men, 
almost from those of vegetation, so 
much sameness is there in the land- 
scape, so little of promise or growth on 
the soil. No wonder that Dr. John- 
son, to. whom London streets and at- 
mosphere alone were congenial, and 
who brought with him to the Hebri- 
des his strong antipathy to everything 
Scotch, was often a prey to discontent 
and murmuring in these latitudes, and 
that in a moment of ill-humor he should 
have exclaimed to Boswell, " Oh, Sir, 
a most dolorous country ! " No won- 
der, that, his suspicions excited by the 
nakedness of the land and his precon- 
ceive.d notions of Scotch cupidity, he 
should, on occasion of losing his stout 
oaken stick, while crossing the Island 
of Mull on a Highland sheltie, have 
vowed to Boswell that it had been stol- 
en by the natives, justifying the charge 
by the argument, " Consider, Sir, the 
value of such a piece of timber here ! " 
Campbell, so his biographer tells us, 
"felt the loneliness of his situation at 
Sunipol House acutely at first, though 
he soon became reconciled to a country 
which, though bleak and wild, was pe- 
culiarly romantic and nourished the po- 
etry in his soul." Even a creature of 
a lower order than philosophers, po- 
ets, or even us poor tourists, has been 
known to feel the chilling influence of 
Nature in these her wildest forms, and 
though weaned from softer airs, per- 
haps reconciled to its stern lot, has 
cherished in its innermost bosom a 
memory so warm, so strong, as to as- 
sert itself at last with a force that fired 
and burst the little breast in which it 



18 



Around Mull. 



[July, 



had unconsciously smothered. Witness 
Campbell's little poem, " The Parrot," 
the incident of which he learned in the 
Island of Mull, from the family to whom 
the bird belonged, an incident which 
inspired the poet to a strain so touching- 
ly sweet that I cannot resist the temp- 
tation to quote it entire. 

" The deep affections of the breast, 

That Heaven to living things imparts, 
Are not exclusively possessed 
By human hearts. 

" A parrot from the Spanish Main, 

Full young, and early caged, came o'er 
With bright wings to the bleak domain 
Of Mulla's shore. 

" To spicy groves where he had won 
His plumage of resplendent hue, 
His native fruits and skies and sun, 
He bade adieu. 

" For these he changed the smoke of turf, 

A heathery land and misty sky, 
And turned on rocks and raging surf 
His golden eye. 

" But, petted, in our climate cold 

He lived and chattered many a day, 
Until, with age, from green and gold 
His wings grew gray. 

"At last, when, blind, and seeming dumb, 

He scolded, laughed, and spoke no more, 
A Spanish stranger chanced to come 
To Mulla's shore. 

" He hailed the bird in Spanish speech ; 

The bird in Spanish speech replied, 
Flapped round his cage with joyous screech, 
Dropped down, and died." 

If perfect sunshine, gentle breezes, 
and a smooth sea could lure one into 
unconsciousness of the surrounding des- 
olation and into forgetfulness of the 
elemental warfare to which these He- 
bridean regions are exposed, we had 
complete antidotes to melancholy or 
dread, so perfect was the day chosen 
for our excursion ; and yet I never 
think of that part of our passage in 
which we threaded the islands lying 
north of Staffa without a gentle shade 
of sadness mingling with my recollec- 
tions. But that the sage Johnson, the 
romantic Campbell, and the unreflect- 
ing parrot all indorse these emotions 
as instinctive, I should feel bound in 
honor (honor to the landscape) to as- 
cribe them to that occasional thrill 
of homesickness which I have known 
take possession of me in the crowded 



streets of London or Edinburgh as well 
as here, making me inwardly exclaim, 
like the old woman from the wilds of 
Vermont, on her first visit to the me- 
tropolis, "All this maybe very fine, but 
I wonder the folks can bear to live so 
far away." 

That I was the victim of a momenta- 
ry sense of exile is rendered the more 
probable from the fact that about this 
time Christie was stretched in the cab- 
in below, a victim to sea-sickness, in 
spite of the' comparatively smooth sea, 
and that the Bailie had gone forward 
to smoke a pipe, thus leaving me alone 
with my meditations. That they were 
not wholly of the regretfitl or sentimen- 
tal cast is evident, however, from the 
fact that I improved this opportunity to 
indulge in more than one observation 
upon the company, my gossip (that is, 
my imagination) and I making many a 
little comment on my human surround- 
ings, especially those three specimens 
of English girls whom, as I had met 
them once before, I was beginning to 
recognize as acquaintances. 

And what we commented on them, I 
and another friendly gossip, namely, 
memory, often rehearse ; for that trio 
still stand out to my recollection as ex- 
cellent, let us hope average, types of 
English maidenhood of the best blood 
and breeding, blood not a whit purer, 
to my thinking, than flows. in any hon- 
est veins, breeding no higher than 
may be attained in the humblest house-' 
hold in which Christian politeness is 
the ruling standard. 

" How pretty they were ! " says Mem- 
ory. 

/. Yes, just pretty enough to glad- 
den a mother's heart now and a lover's 
by -and -by, but mercifully sparing us 
those ecstasies on their beauty which 
are so tiresome. 

Memory. Theirs was chiefly the beau- 
ty of youth, health, and happiness ; they 
were all well-featured, though, and had 
faces which grew more and more inter- 
esting on acquaintance. 

/. How hard it was to distinguish 
them one from another ! 

Memory. Yes, at first But you must 



1 86 5 .] 



Around Mull. 



recollect that on closer observation one 
proved to be the taller, one the plumper, 
and one decidedly the younger of the 
three ; then, although they were dressed 
so exactly alike, according to what 
must be, I suspect, a sumptuary law in 
England, and although their stout 
travelling-dresses, drab cloaks, thick 
boots, the shaggy shawls severally car- 
ried by each on one arm, the faded 
blue cravats tied round their throats, 
were so precisely alike and had been 
subjected to so exactly the same amount 
of wear that you could have sworn each 
article was its fellow, you know you did 
detect a trifling difference in the feath- 
ers of their hats, sufficient to prove af- 
terwards a distinguishing badge. 

Here Reflection steps in and suggests 
whether this exact uniformity of dress 
among British children of one family 
may not be the outward sign of that 
harmony and subjection to rule which, 
so far as I have had an opportunity of 
judging, prevail in English households. 
Where could you find such a degree of 
conformity among American girls as to 
induce unqualified submission to one 
standard of taste, and that the maternal ? 
I am not sure that it is desirable to 
quench all individuality, even in a mat- 
ter so comparatively insignificant as 
that of dress. But who can prize too 
highly the reverence for authority, the 
sweet feminine modesty, the domestic 
harmony, which are expressed in this sis- 
terly uniformity of costume ? All this 
might have been spurious in the case 
just cited, and this harmonious effect 
arrived at only after an infinite amount 
of petty squabbling and rebellion ; but 
such unworthy skepticism is rebuked 
by my faithful Memory, who reminds 
me of the filial respect combined with 
girlish gayety and absence of all self-con- 
sciousness which forbade the idea for 
a moment that these young lives were 
regulated by harsh or compulsory dis- 
cipline. Still it was discipline, there 
could be no doubt of that, and of the 
most healthy order, which gave such a 
charm to Sir Thomas's daughters. Per- 
haps they had reaped in their family 



circle all and more than all the benefits 
which school-training and contact with 
numbers are capable of affording, with- 
out the loss of home-influences ; for I 
overheard their mother (rather a loud- 
voiced woman, by the way) telling some- 
body, the clergyman's wife, I suspect, 
that she had already married off two 
similar trios of daughters, and that these 
were the younger children. Blessings 
on the children who belong to so well 
filled a quiver, if they all attain to such 
a degree of sweetness and decorum as 
to impress the most casual observer, 
and one of their own sex, too, with such 
lasting recollections of their maiden 
loveliness ! I saw them under various 
circumstances, both flattering and the 
reverse : saw them, when, with their own 
servants in attendance, and the advan- 
tages of social position, they might not 
unnaturally have laid claim to prece- 
dence ; saw them and their drawing- 
materials shuffled hastily from the steam- 
er's cabin one rainy day, to make way 
for the dinner-cloth, in accordance with 
steamboat regulations, and in spite of 
their mild expostulations ; saw one of 
them, at least, subjected to the presump- 
tuous advances of a chance admirer : 
but I never saw any instance in which 
their behavior was not marked by mod- 
esty and good-nature, accompanied by 
a quiet dignity and self-respect which 
repelled intrusion so effectually as to 
justify their experienced mother in giv- 
ing them the freedom of steamboats, 
rocks, caves, and crowds, to a degree 
which is seldom exceeded by the boast- 
ed independence of American girls. 

But Memory reminds me that I did 
not see all this during that noonday 
hour when the Pioneer was bearing 
down upon Staffa, and that long before 
these English girls had established 
themselves so high in my good opinion 
we had skirted nearly the whole of the 
eastern shore of the island. The steam- 
er is now gradually slackening her speed, 
preparatory to coming to a full stop not 
far from the southeastern extremity, 
and we realize that the first goal of this 
day's hopes is gained. 



20 



The Changeling. [J u ty> 

THE CHANGELING. 
A. D. 1691. 

FOR the fairest maid in Hampton 
They needed not to search, 
Who saw young Anna Favor 
Come walking into church, 

Or bringing from the meadows, 

At set of harvest-day, 
The frolic of the blackbirds, 

The sweetness of the hay. 

Now the weariest of all mothers, 

The saddest two-years bride, 
She scowls in the face of her husband, 

And spurns her child aside. 

" Rake out the red coals, goodman, 

For there the child shall lie, 
Till the black witch comes to fetch her, 

And both up chimney fly. 

" It 's never my own little daughter, 

It 's never my own," she said ; 
" The witches have stolen my Anna, 

And left me an imp instead. 

" Oh, fair and sweet was my baby, 

Blue eyes, and hair of gold ; 
But this is ugly and wrinkled, 

Cross, and cunning, and old. 

" I hate the touch of her fingers, 

I hate the feel of her skin ; 
It 's not the milk from my bosom, 

But my blood, that she sucks in. 

" My face grows sharp with the torment ; 

Look ! my arms are skin and bone ! 
Rake open the red coals, goodman, 

And the witch shall have her own. 

" She '11 come when she hears it crying, 

In the shape of an owl or bat, 
And she '11 bring us our darling Anna 

In place of her screeching brat." 



1865.] The Changeling. 

Then the goodman, Ezra Dalton, 
Laid his hand upon her head : 

" Thy sorrow is great, O woman ! 
I sorrow with thee," he said. 

" The paths to trouble are many, 
And never but one sure way 

Leads out to the light beyond it : 
My poor wife, let us pray." 

Then he said to the great All-Father, 
" Thy daughter is weak and blind ; 

Let her sight come back, and clothe her 
Once more in her right mind. 

" Lead her out of this evil shadow, 
Out of these fancies wild ; 

Let the holy love of the mother 
Turn again to her child. 

" Make her lips like the lips of Mary 
Kissing her blessed Son ; 

Let her hands, like the hands of Jesus, 
Rest on her little one. 

" Comfort the soul of thy handmaid, 

Open her prison-door, 
And thine shall be all the glory 

And praise forevermore." 

Then into the face of its mother 
The baby looked up and smiled ; 

And the cloud of her soul was lifted, 
And she knew her little child. 

A beam of the slant west sunshine 
Made the wan face almost fair, 

Lit the blue eyes' patient wonder, 
And the rings of pale gold hair. 

She kissed it on lip and forehead, 
She kissed it on cheek and chin 

And she bared her snow-white bosom 
To the lips so pale and thin. 

Oh, fair on her bridal morning 
Was the maid who blushed and smiled, 

But fairer to Ezra Dalton 

Looked the mother of his child. 

With more than a lover's fondness 
He stooped to her worn young face, 

And the nursing child and the mother 
He folded in one embrace. 



2 2 Ellen. 



" Blessed be God ! " he murmured. 

" Blessed be God ! " she said ; 
" For I see, who once was blinded, 

I live, who once was dead. 

" Now mount and ride, my goodman, 
As thou lovest thy own soul ! 

Woe 's me, if my wicked fancies 
Be the death of Goody Cole ! " 

His horse he saddled and bridled, 
And into the night rode he, 

Now through the great black woodland, 
Now by the white-beached sea. 

He rode through the silent clearings, 

He came to the ferry wide, 
And thrice he called to the boatman 

Asleep on the other side. 

He set his horse to the river, 
He swam to Newbury town, 

And he called up Justice Sewall 
In his nightcap and his gown. 

And the grave and worshipful justice 
(Upon whose soul be peace ! ) 

Set his name to the jailer's warrant 
For Goodwife Cole's release. 

Then through the night the hoof-beats 

Went sounding like a flail ; 
And Goody Cole at cockcrow 

Came forth from Ipswich jaiL 



ELLEN. 

IF the publishers of the "Atlantic " and places, and the dates also, as nearly 
will permit me, I should like to tell _ as I can recollect them. It is only a 

a little incident, growing out of the War, simple story of a private in the Twenty- 

which came under my notice in the sum- Fourth Ohio Volunteer Militia, and his 

mer of 1861. I can give it only as a sister, and may not touch others as it 

fragment, for I never heard the end of did me, for I can give but the bald 

it, and that, to be candid, is my prin- facts ; but I, seeing the reality, can re- 

cipal reason for telling it at all, in the member nothing in the war which troub- 

hope, slight enough, it is true, that some les me with such a sense of pain and 

chance reader may be able to supply to simple pathos, 
me what is wanting. For this reason 

I shall give the true names of persons About thirty years ago, a family named 



1865.] 



Ellen. 



Carrol, or Carryl, emigrated from the 
North of Ireland, and settled in Cold- 
water, a little fishing-village of Michi- 
gan. 

They were sober and hard-working, 
but dull and ignorant, and in no way 
different from others of their class, ex- 
cept in their unusual strong affection 
for each other. Old Carrol, however, a 
rheumatic old man of sixty, with this 
weak, jealous pride in his " b'ys," work- 
ing late and early to keep them cloth- 
ed, to pay his wife's doctor's-bills, and 
trying to lay up enough to buy the two 
girls a feather-bed and a clock when 
they were married, stood in no need of 
whiskey or dances to keep him alive ; 
this and his wife's ill health separated 
them from the fighting, rollicking Irish 
crew of the hamlet, set them apart, so 
to speak, to act upon each other. Car- 
rol, with one of his sons, worked in a 
saw-mill, and the other boys, as they 
grew old enough, easily found jobbing, 
being known as honest, plodding fel- 
lows. The little drama of their lives 
bade fair to be quiet, and the characters 
wrought out of it commonplace enough, 
had not Death thrust his grim face into 
the scene. 

The youngest child was a girl, Ellen, 
born long after the others, and, like 
most children coming in the advanced 
age of their parents, was peculiar : the 
family traits had worn themselves out, 
new elements came in. The Irish neigh- 
bors, seeing how closely the girl was 
kept in -doors, and the anxious guard 
held over her by her father and broth- 
ers, thought her a " natural " or " inno- 
cent," whether she was or not. The 
Carrols kept their own counsel, and 
warded off gossip as best they could. 
It was from Ellen I heard how the 
change came among them first. "It 
was a fever," she said. "John took it, 
and little Phil, and then Jane. Jane 
was the oldest of us ; it was she as 
nursed mother and kept the house. 
She looked as old as mother. Even- 
ings she 'd put on a white apron, and 
take me on her knee and sing for us. 
But she took the fever, and they 're all 
three gone away"; which was always 



Ellen's phrase for death. She stopped 
there, adding afterwards quietly, that it 
was about that time the trouble in her 
head first came. Ellen took her sis- 
ter's place in "keeping the house"; 
she had enough mind to learn the daily 
routine of cleaning and the little cook- 
ing. Her mother was a cripple for life, 
confined to her bed most of the time : 
a credulous, nervous woman, the one 
idea in her narrow brain a passionate 
love for her husband and children. 

After the three who had "gone away" 
were buried in the little Catholic grave- 
yard by the creek, the others crept clos- 
er together. Joe, nearest Ellen in age, 
was kept at home to help with the house- 
and yard-work, and, partly from being 
a simple - minded fellow, and partly to 
humor Ellen, fell into her girl's ways. 
"Joe and me," she said, "churned and 
cooked together, and then he 'd bring 
his tools into mother's room and work. 
We liked that, he was so full of joking 
and whistling." 

The old man was quieter after his 
children's death. One day the machin- 
ery at the mill, being old and rotten, 
broke ; the hands were at work in it, un- 
derneath the beams which fell. An hour 
after, just as Ellen and Joe had put the 
chairs about the supper-table, and sat 
waiting for their father and Jim, the 
door was pushed open, and two heaps, 
shapeless, and covered closely with a 
quilt, were brought in upon a door. 
Whatever was the pain or loss of the 
widow or Joe, they had no time to in- 
dulge it ; Ellen needed all their care 
after that for a year or two. She was 
" troubled," was all the satisfaction they 
gave to the neighbors' curiosity, who 
never saw her in that time. 

In the second autumn, however, she 
began to go about again through the 
village ; and Joe, after watching her 
anxiously for some time, found work as 
a hand on a schooner running to San- 
dusky, Ohio. This was in the autumn 
of 1860. Once in a while, during the 
winter, he came home to stay over-night. 
" Often," Ellen said, " when Joe came, 
we had n't seen anybody cross the door- 
step since he went out of it, mother and 



Ellen. 



[July, 



I lived alone so much ; but mother, in 
her worst days with pain, had a joking, 
laughing way with her that kept it pleas- 
ant in-doors." 

The Carrols were noted as being a 
scrupulously clean folk ; so it is probable 
that the little kitchen and bed-room were 
still the best idea Joe had of the world, 
knowing nothing beyond, indeed, but 
the schooner and the deck of the wharf- 
boat in Sandusky. To understand what 
follows, you must remember the utter 
ignorance dominant in such fishing-sta- 
tions as Coldwater. The poorer inhab- 
itants, who stared at Ellen as she went 
down to the beach for water, were Irish 
and Dutch emigrants, forwarded there 
like cattle, who had settled down, sold 
their fish to the trading -vessels, and 
never had looked outside of that to 
know they were not naturalized. Ellen 
was little better ; I do not suppose she 
ever had read a newspaper in her life ; 
yet, curiously enough, her language was 
tolerably correct, her manner quiet and 
thorough-bred, even the inflections of 
her voice were low, and as composed as 
if she had learned self-poise in the hur- 
ly-burly of society. That belonged to 
her character, however, as much as to 
the solitude in which she had been 
brought up. 

The mother sank rapidly this winter ; 
but the two children, accustomed to her 
illness, were blind to the change. 

When the States one by one seceded 
during that winter and spring, and the 
country was rife with war and the terror 
of it, the Coldwater people fished on 
dully as ever. Joe brought home stories 
of " fighting beyond there," and of men 
he had met on the Sandusky wharf who 
had gone, and then whittled and whis- 
tled as usual : the tale sounding to the 
two women fearful and far-off, as if it 
had been in the Crimea. "Though I 
had heard of the Virginians," said El- 
len simply, when she told the story. 
"There was Mr. Barker, a Methodist 
preacher, told us once of the 'man-hunt- 
ers,' as he called them, and how they 
chained their slaves and burned them 
alive, and hunted men with dogs. But 
I took him up wrong. I thought they 



all were black." Ellen's idea of them 
was as vague as ours is of the canni- 
bals, and not very different, I suspect. 

So far off did this country of the man- 
hunters seem, where " there was fight- 
ing," that, when Joe wandered about 
uneasily in one of his weekly visits, and 
told again and again, with furtive glan- 
ces at his mother, how half the deck- 
hands on the schooner had gone into a 
regiment forming in Sandusky, and how 
it was a good chance to see the world, 
Ellen sewed quietly on, scarcely looking 
up. That Joe could have any interest 
in this dim horror of a war never cross- 
ed her poor brain. 

The next day after the schooner sail- 
ed her mother grew suddenly worse, 
and began to sink, going faster every 
day for a week. It was the first time 
Ellen had been left alone to face dan- 
ger. " If Joe was here ! " the two poor 
creatures cried, through all their fright 
and pain. If Joe were there, Ellen 
thought all would be well again. But 
Thursday, his usual day for coming, 
passed without him. That night the 
mother died. Two women of the village, 
hearing the story from the doctor, came 
to the house in time to make the body 
ready for burial, the "natural," as 
they called Ellen, sitting quietly by the 
bed, her face hid, not answering when 
they spoke. 

There was a letter brought to her 
that night from Joe, a few lines only, 
written to his 'mother, saying he had 
enlisted and would not come back to 
say good-bye ; he was going to do bet- 
ter for her and Ellen than he ever had 
done before. " I do not remember about 
that time," Ellen said afterward, when 
questioned. " My trouble came back 
when Joe left me." It brought the wild, 
wandering look into her eyes, even to 
refer to it in this way. I do not know 
if I spoke of the curious affection be- 
tween this brother and sister. Father 
and brothers and sister had watched 
and cared for the girl, because of the 
great trouble which God had sent to 
her ; and now all the love and grati- 
tude she had given to them all, when 
living, was centred on this boy Joe. 



86 S .] 



Ellen. 



Joe absorbed all the world which her 
weak mind knew, just at the age, 
too, when women's hearts open and are 
filling with thoughts of love and mar- 
riage. No matter how long Ellen had 
lived, " my brother," as she gravely, re- 
spectfully called him, would have been 
all, I think, she would ever have loved, 
and he would have satisfied all her crav- 
ings. 

Her mother was buried before she 
became conscious again ; then her rea- 
son came back to her ; and when the 
woman who had stayed in the house re- 
turned, after a few hours' gossiping, she 
found Ellen, her old quiet self, going gen- 
tly about the house, packing her clothes 
in a carpet-bag, and putting with great 
care in a little hand-basket, such as la- 
dies carry knitting in, her Testament, 
their two or three silver spoons, Joe's 
box of Sunday collars, and what little 
money was left. 

" Where are you going ? " asked the 
woman, in some trepidation. 

" To Joe," Ellen said, quietly, uncon- 
scious that there was anything unusual 
in the plan. 

The woman speedily gathered a cau- 
cus of her cronies, with the doctor ; but 
to all queries or remonstrances she re- 
turned the same quiet, unmoved answer. 
She was going to Joe. What else should 
she do ? There were only herself and her 
brother now : he would expect her. Who 
would cook for Joe, or keep his clothes 
straight, if she did not go ? " My plan 
was," she said, gravely, long after, " that 
Joe would hire a little house for me near 
where the regiment stayed. He could 
have lived with me, and gone with them 
to fight when their turn came." Finally 
they allowed her her own way, partly 
because they were puzzled to know what 
else to do with her. Joe was in San- 
dusky with his regiment, the Twenty- 
Fourth Ohio, his letter had stated. 

" It rained hard," she said afterwards, 
" that night, when I left Coldwater. 

Dr. S came down with me to the 

boat. He was very kind. We had to 
wait on the shore a bit, and it rained 
and was so dark you could only see the 
mud under foot and the great cold water 



beyond. When I looked at the mud, 
and the rain dripping, dripping through 
it, I could n't but think of them as 
was lying under it up on the hill, of 
them up on the hill. And there was a 
black line, Sir, where the water met the 
sky, and I thought I had to go beyond 
that, I did n't know where. But Joe 
was beyond there. I kept saying, ' Joe, 
Joe,' over to myself, and ' Lord Jesus,' 
thinking, if He stayed near me, I would 
not be afraid. For the boat rocked when 
I came on board, and the water under- 
neath heaved up black. I never had 
been on the water before. But I sat 
down on deck with my little basket in 

my hand. Dr. S came back twice 

to speak to the Captain about me. He 
was very sorry for me ; he said, ' God 
bless you, Ellen,' before he went away 
up the plank. I watched him as long 
as I could, but the night was dark and 
very wet Then the shore seemed to go 
back from us, and he went with it ; and 
Coldwater, and our old house, and them 
as were up on the hill went with it, and 
we were alone on the water in the rain. 
But I said 'Joe,' over and over to my- 
self, trying to make believe he was near. 
I sat there until late. The night was 
very dark, and I was wet ; but the boat 
kept heaving up and down, and there 
was a noise underneath like some great 
beast trying to get out. I did not know 
what they had down there. But the Cap- 
tain came to me before morning. ' It 's 
only the engine, Ellen,' he said. 'Go 
below, poor child ! ' He was very kind ; 
.he was kind all the time till we reached 
Sandusky. So were the boat -hands. 
There was no woman aboard but me ; 
the men swore and cursed as I never 
heard before, but they always spoke re- 
spectful to me ; they used to say, when 
they 'd pass near where I sat with my 
basket, ' Keep heart, Ellen, you '11 find 
your brother all right' One of them 
said once, ' You need n't be feared : 
you 've got a Friend as '11 take care of 
you? I said, ' Yes : Him and Joe.' " 

It was noon of a clear day when the 
boat reached Sandusky City. 

" I looked for Joe, quick, among the 
men that were on the wharf; but he was 



26 



Ellen. 



[July, 



not there." (I prefer to let Ellen tell 
her own story as far as possible.) " I 
saw the Captain send a hand ashore, 
and when he came back, ask him a ques- 
tion : then he came up to me : he look- 
ed anxious. 'Ellen,' he says, 'don't be 
troubled, but Joe is not here. The regi- 
ment went on to Columbus two days 
ago.' He said there 'd be no trouble, 
that I could follow him on the rail- 
road." 

The Captain kept her on board until 
evening, when the train for Columbus 
started ; then he went with her, secur- 
ed her a seat, and arranged her com- 
fortably. He had daughters at home, 
he told Ellen, bidding her keep quiet 
until she reached Columbus, then tell 
the name of her brother's regiment, and 
she would be with him in twenty min- 
utes. " I am sure," he added, "Joe will 
get a furlough to attend to you." 

The old boatman paid for her passage 
himself, his last charge being to " take 
care of her money," which made Ellen, 
when he was gone, remove it from her 
basket and carry it in a roll in her hand. 
There was a dull oil-lamp flickering in 
one end of the car, men's faces peer- 
ing at her from every dusky corner, 
the friendly Captain's nodding a grave 
good-bye from the door, and then, 
with a shrill cry, the train shot off into 
the night. It must be a lonesome, fore- 
boding moment to any timid woman 
starting alone at night on a long jour- 
ney, with the possible death waiting for 
her in every throb of the engine or 
coupling of the cars : so it was no won-' 
der that the poor " natural," rushing thus 
into a world that opened suddenly wider 
and darker before her, "Joe," her one 
clear point, going back, back, out of 
sight, and withal a childish, unspeak- 
able terror at the shrieking, fire-belch- 
ing engine, should have cowered down 
on her seat, afraid to move or speak. 
So the night passed. " I was afraid to 
cry," said Ellen. 

An hour or two after midnight the 
train reached Columbus ; the depot din- 
gy and dark ; one or two far-off lamps 
bringing the only light out of the foggy 
night 



" The cars stopped with a great cry, 
and the people all rushed out. It seem- 
ed to me a minute and they were all 
gone. Nobody was left but me ; when 
I got up and went to the car-door, they 
looked just like shadows going into the 
darkness, and beyond that there was a 
world of black houses. You 've seen 
Columbus, Sir ? " 

" No." 

"Then it would frighten you," in 
hef slow, grave way. " I suppose there 
are not so many people in all the world 
beside." (It was Ellen's only experi- 
ence of a city.) " So I was there alone 
at the depot, waiting for Joe. I was 
so sure he would come. There was a 
crowd of men, with whips, calb'ng out, 
and plucking at my shawl. I was very 
afraid, so I crept off into a dark corner 
and sat down on a box with my carpet- 
bag and basket. The men drove off 
with their carriages, but there were half 
a dozen others under a shed quarrelling. 
I sat there an hour, thinking surely Joe 
would be along. Then the clock struck 
two : I got up and went to the men un- 
der the shed. I said to them, ' Do you 
know Joseph Carrol ? ' 

" The men raised up from where they 
were lying, and stared at me. I 'm 
afraid, Sir, they had been drinking. So 
I said it again. They laughed and be- 
gan to make jokes about me. I cried a 
little, I could n't help it, Sir. I knew 
the Lord Jesus was near me, but I 
could n't help it. One of the men, 
whose clothes were the raggedest and 
whose face was very red, said, 

" ' Boys, I guess you 're mistaken. 
Who are you, my girl ? ' 

" I told them I was Joseph Carrol's 
sister, and how it was I had come to 
find him. 

" ' You '11 have to help me, Sir,' I 
said to the red-faced man ; ' for I have 
a trouble in my head often, and it seems 
as if it was a-coming soon.' 

" Some of the men laughed again, but 
the man I had spoken to got up and 
buttoned his coat. He had to lean 
against the fence, he was so unsteady. 

"'You stop that jeering, Jim Flynn,' 
he says, swearing. ' Can't you see 



i86 5 .j 



Ellen, 



27 



what the girl is ? Where 's your mon- 
ey, Ellen ? ' 

" Then it was I found my money was 
gone. I remembered putting it on the 
seat beside me before we changed cars 
at Urbanna. So I told him. He look- 
ed at me steady. 

" ' I believe you,' he says. ' Come 
along. The Twenty -Fourth Ohio is 
out in Camp Chase, four miles out 
You come to an hotel to-night and go 
out to Joe in the morning.' 

" So he took me up to a big house, 
and said to a man there that I was a 
decent girl, and gave him money to 
pay for my bed and breakfast, and bid 
me good-night." 

Early in the morning Ellen dressed 
herself neatly, " to please Joe," and start- 
ed out to the camp, carrying her bas- 
ket, asking her way as she went. The 
girl had wrought herself up now to such 
a certainty of seeing him that a disap- 
pointment was sure to be a new and 
different shock from any that had gone 
before. I suppose, too, the novel sight 
of the tents, the crowds of armed men, 
excited her feeble mind beyond its pow- 
ers. She came to the gate and asked 
the sentry to tell Joseph Carrol of the 
Twenty - Fourth Ohio that his sister 
had come. 

"It would need a long call to do that, 
my girl," said the man. " The Twenty- 
Fourth went off to active service yester- 
flay." 

" To where ? " 

" Virginia." 

About a mile from the camp live 
two childless old people who then were 
keepers of the toll-gate on the road 
into town. I am ashamed to say that 
I have forgotten their name, it being a 
common one ; but I remember what 
their lives were, and I am sure that 
they who carry the record of every 
man's hours to add to the Great Reck- 
oning must find in their hackneyed name 
a meaning even to them of great truth 
and a rare charity. The old lady told 
me afterwards of her finding Ellen sit- 
ting on the roadside near her well, her 
mind quite gone, yet very gentle and 
grave even in her madness. They took 



her home to the toll-gate house, and 
kept her for two or three days, in which 
they learned her story. 

" My husband," she said, " telegraph- 
ed to the Colonel of the regiment and 
found it was delayed at Bellaire ; but 
as Ellen's health was in so critical a 
state, they thought it best to say noth- 
ing about her to her brother, and I 
was resolved that she should not go 
on. We offered (what we had never 
done before to any one) to adopt her, 
and treat her as our own child. Peo- 
ple coming in and seeing the awkward 
country -body would wonder why we 
set such a sudden store by her, but in 
a little while they 'd see as we did. I 
think her pure soul showed right through 
her homely face. Then she trusted peo- 
ple as free as a child ; so everybody 
was kind to her. But I used to think 
there was but two people real to her 
in the world, the 'Lord Jesus,' and 
'Joe.'" 

When Ellen was herself again, howev- 
er, she insisted upon going on, and fell 
into so restless and wild a state that 
the gate-keeper and his wife were forced 
to yield. Her carpet-bag was repacked 
with all the additions which the old la- 
dy's motherly ingenuity could suggest, 
her pocket-book well filled, and then, 
having found her a companion to Bel- 
laire, the Colonel was again telegraphed 
to, and Ellen herself was the bearer of 
letters from the Governor of Ohio and 
her new friends, in the hope of obtain- 
ing a furlough for Carrol. With a pru- 
dent after-thought, too, the gate-keep- 
er's wife wrote Ellen's name and her 
own address upon a card which she 
fastened to the faithful little basket, in 
case of any accident ; and then, with 
many anxious looks and blessings, El- 
len again started on her journey. 

At Zanesville, her companion, finding 
some unexpected business which would 
detain him in that place, left her to pur- 
sue her journey alone. It is but a few 
hours' ride from Columbus to Bellaire 
(the terminus of the Central Ohio Rail- 
road) ; but at Lewis's Mills this day a 
collision or some other accident occur- 
red, by which the train was delayed 



28 



Ellen. 



[July, 



until late that night : no other harm was 
done, except to give time for poor El- 
len's chance again to fail her. Joe's 
regiment crossed the Ohio that night 
and went into Virginia. 

Bellaire and Benwood, the opposite 
point on the other side of the river, are 
small railroad stations, which one or 
two iron-mills have rendered foul with 
ashes and smoke. The crossing of the 
river at that time was by a ferry, ren- 
dered purposely tedious by the mana- 
gers of the Baltimore and Ohio Road, 
to force their passengers to the low- 
er junction at Parkersburg. I mention 
this to account for the detention which 
ensued. When the train stopped at 
Bellaire, Ellen followed the crowd off 
the platform into a tavern consisting 
of a barn-like eating-room and a few 
starved little garret rooms over it. She 
stopped at the door uncertainly, while 
the passengers crowded about the eat- 
ing-stands at the far end of the room. 
A fat, oily landlord came up with a hat 
driven down over his brows. 

" Cross the river to - night, Ma'am ? 
Slow work ! slow work ! Not get this 
train over till morning. Better take a 
bite." 

Ellen managed to interpose her broth- 
er's name and that of the regiment. 

" Twenty-Fourth Ohio ? Gone over 
to-day and this evening. Government 
has the roads and ferries now, and that 
keeps passengers back. Troops must 
be transported, you know," and then 
stopped suddenly, seeing Ellen's face. 

" Where did you say he had gone ? " 

"Over," with a jerk of his thumb 
across the river, " into Virginia. You 
are ill, young woman ! I '11 call Susan." 

Virginia, the country of the man-hunt- 
ers ! A low moon lighted up the broad 
river and the hills beyond ; they were 
mountains to Ellen, threatening and 
fierce. She looked at them steadily. 

" All the stories I had heard of that 
country came up quick to me," she said, 
afterwards. " I thought it was death 
for me or Joe to venture there. Then 
he was gone ! But I had a great cour- 
age, somehow, there at Bellaire. It 
came to me sudden. I said to the man 



it did not matter. I would have gone 
with Joe, and I could follow him. He 
spoke to me a minute or two, and then 
he went for ' Susan,'' who was his wife. 
She was a sharp-faced woman, and she 
scolded her servants all the time ; but 
she was very kind to me. When I told 
her about Joe, she brought me some tea, 
and made me lie down until it would 
be time to cross the ferry, which was 
not until near morning. She would 
take no money from me. She said, 
Sue Myers was no skin-flint to take 
money from the likes of me. After- 
wards she said, if I found Joe and he 
did well, he could pay her some time 
again : these soldiers made money easy, 
lounging round camp. I was angry 
at that," Ellen said, reddening ; " but 
she would not take the money from 
me. She told me not to be disap- 
pointed, if the regiment had left Ben- 
wood and gone out the Baltimore Road. 
She knew they were to camp at Pied- 
mont, and to follow them up, for they 
had but a day's start of me. It was 
quite clear day before our turn came to 
cross the ferry, and then we had to wait 
for hours on the other side. When I 
came out of the ferry-house, I put my 
foot on the grass, and I thought, ' This 
is Virginia ! ' It was as if I had step- 
ped on 'some place where a murder had 
been done. I was as silly as a half- 
witted person," blushing apologetically. 
" I have had great kindness done to me 
in Virginia since then." 

Though Ellen said no more of this, 
as she was talking to Virginians, we 
readily understood the real terror which 
had seized her, added to the gnawing 
anxiety to see her brother. Caspar 
Hauser was not more ignorant of the 
actual world than this girl, brought up 
as she had been in such utter seclusion. 
The last few days had shattered what- 
ever fancies she had formed about life, 
and given her nothing tangible in their 
stead. Even Coldwater and Joe, and 
" them that lay up on the hill," were be- 
ginning to be like dreams, cold and far- 
off. It was just a wild whirling through 
space, night-storms, strange faces crowd- 
ing about her from place to place ; unde- 



I865-] 



Ellen. 



29 



fined sights, sounds that terrified her, 
and a long-drawn sickening hope to find 
Joe through all. No more warm rooms 
and comfortable evenings beside the 
fire with mother, no more suppers made 
ready for the boys, and jokes and laugh- 
ing when they came home ; there was 
no more a house to call home, no moth- 
er nor boys, only something cold and 
clammy under the muddy ground yon- 
der. 

" Ours had been a damp house on 
the lake -shore," Ellen said, "and we 
kept a fire always. Winter or summer, 
I always had seen a warm fire in the 
grate ; but the morning I left Coldwa- 
ter they put it out ; and in all my travel, 
when I 'd think of home, I 'd go back 
to the thought of that grate, with a few 
wet ashes scattered over the hearth, 
and nobody to sweep them up, and the 
cold sun shining down the chimney on 
them. When I 'd think of that, I 'd say, 
' It 's all over ! ' It began to seem to 
me as if there was no more Ellen and 
no more Joe." 

She had come, too, into the border 
region, where the war was breaking 
ground, with all its dull, gross reality 
of horrors, to which the farther South 
and North were strangers ; the broken 
talk in the cars was even more terrify- 
ing to her, because half understood, of 
quiet farmers murdered in cold blood, 
of pillaging and outrage, of anticipated 
insurrections among the slaves, and 
vengeance for their wrongs. 

" I thought of the Lord Jesus and 
Joe, but they did not seem to be alive 
here," she said. " I would peep into 
my basket and look at the Testament 
and the spoons and Joe's collars, and 
that made things seem real to me." 
(Ellen's basket, by the way, was but 
another example of the singular habit 
which we find in persons of unsound 
intellect, the clinging to some one inan- 
imate object as if it formed a tangible 
link to hold time and place together.) 

When the train stopped at Littleton, 
the conductor, an old, gray-headed man, 
came up to Ellen as she sat alone. 

" Simeon Myers told me your story," 
be said, gravely. " He crossed the 



river to tell me. I '11 take the matter 
in hand myself; I telegraphed before 
leaving Benwood, in advance. The 
Twenty-Fourth Ohio, they say there, 
have gone on to camp at Piedmont ; 
but the movements of the troops are 
so uncertain, we will wait until the an- 
swer comes to my despatch at the next 
station. You go to sleep, Ellen." 

" Yes, Sir," humbly. 

She sat with her hand over her eyes, 
until the name of the next station was 
called, then rose, and remained stand- 
ing. The old conductor came in. 

" Sit down," he said, gently. " Why, 
you shiver, and are as cold as if your 
blood was frozen ! " 

" My brother, Sir ? " 

" Tut ! tut ! Yes ! Good news this 
time, Ellen. The Twenty-Fourth is at 
Fetterman, has stopped there, I don't 
know why, and " pulling out his 
watch, but speaking slowly, and control- 
ling her with his eye : " in two hours 
we will be there." 

At this time (June, 1861) Govern- 
ment, striking at the Rebellion wildly, 
as a blind man learning to fence, was 
throwing bodies of raw, undisciplined 
troops into the Border States, wherev- 
er there was foothold, to their certain 
destruction, though with an ulterior 
good effect, as it proved. Camps of 
these men were stationed along the 
road as Ellen passed, broad - back- 
ed and brawny-limbed lowans and In- 
dianians, clothed in every variety of 
militia military gear, riding saddleless 
horses, with a rope often for a bridle, 
sleeping on the ground with neither 
tents nor blankets. Near one of these 
straggling encampments the long train 
stopped, with a trumpet-like shriek from 
the engine. " Here 's Fetterman, and 
here 's Joe, Ellen," said the conductor, 
his old face in almost as bright a glow 
as hers, as he hustled her off on the 
platform. 

" It was just a few low houses, not 
so large as Coldwater, and soldiers ev- 
erywhere, on the hills and in the fields 
and strolling along the road ; and it was 
a clear, blue summer's day, and oh, 
it did seem as the soldiers and the 



Ellen. 



[July, 



town and the sky were glad because I 
had got there at last, and were saying, 
'Joe! Joe!"' 

She went into the nearest house, a 
wide, wooden building, where two wom- 
en sat shelling peas. Ellen propounded 
her usual question. The oldest woman 
took off her spectacles, and looked at 
her keenly. 

" The Twenty-Fourth Ohio ? How 
far did you say you had come ? Mich- 
igan ? Forgive me, (Jinny, bring a 
chair,) if I looked at you curiously ; 
but I really fancied the people out 
yonder were savages." 

Ellen laughed nervously. 

" And you are Virginian ? Yes ! 
But my brother " 

The old lady's scrutiny grew graver. 

"We are Virginians, in every sense 
of the word. So I know but little of 
the movements of the troops. But 
Captain Williams, the commandant of 
the post, occupies two of our rooms, 
and his wife is a gentle little body. 
Jinny, call Mrs. Williams." 

So Jinny, a shy, kindly-faced little 
girl, disappeared, and speedily returned 
with the officer's wife (who had a dain- 
ty baby in her arms) and a glass of cur- 
rant wine, which she pressed on Ellen. 
Mrs. Williams heard Ellen's story in 
silence, looking significantly at her 
hostess when it was finished. 

" Yes, yes ; of course you '11 see Joe. 
Hold the baby, please, Jinny. Now 
let me take off your bonnet. But you 
won't mind, if there 's a little delay, 
a very little. I am not sure, but I am 
afraid. We '11 send for Captain Wil- 
liams, and know at once. But some de- 
tached companies went on to Grafton 
for special orders this morning, and I 
thought part of the Twenty-Fourth was 
with them. There ! there ! lie down a 
bit on my bed, or stay here with Mrs. 
Ford. Very well ; it will all be right ; 
only keep up heart." 

So chattering, the little woman and 
the old one fussed about Ellen, sooth- 
ing; patting her, administering tea, com- 
fort, and hope, all in a breath, as wom- 
en do to the healing of soul and body, 
while Jinny, baby in arms, made off 



and brought in a moustached young 
man, with a pleasant, cheerful face, not 
unlike his wife's. 

" It is an unfortunate piece of work," 
he said. "Yes, the detachment in- 
cluded that company to which Carrol 
belonged. They are at Grafton now ; 
and I cannot send a message, for official 
despatches will be going over the lines 
until night In the morning, though, it 
shall be the first -word to go. I know 
the colonel of that regiment, and I do 
not doubt we will have Joe here on fur- 
lough to-morrow." 

" They were very careful of me," said 
Ellen. " Mrs. Ford made me sleep in 
her spare room ; and Mrs. Williams 
brought me in my supper herself, and 
sat by me with baby all the evening. I 
could n't believe they were all Virgin- 
ians, and fighting against each other too. 
The next morning was clear and sunny. 
Jinny came in, and opened the window, 
and said, 'Is n't such a clear day a 
good omen ? ' But I had n't courage to 
laugh with her, I was so tired ; I had 
to lie still on a settee there was there. 
Captain Williams came in, and said, 

" ' By nine o'clock we will have an 
answer to my message, Ellen.' 

" I said then, ' When it comes, if it 
is " No," will you just say, " No, Ellen," 
and no more, not one word more, 
please ? ' 

"He said, ' I understand,' and went 
out. 

" I heard him tell them not to disturb 
me ; so I lay quite still, with my hands 
over my eyes. He kept pacing up and 
down as if he was anxious ; then I 
heard a man's step coming towards 
him. I knew he brought the message. 
Captain Williams came towards the 
door ; his wife was there waiting. I 
heard him speak to her, and then he 
said, ' You do it, Mary.' So she came 
in, and kissed me, and she said, ' He is 
gone, Ellen,' no more but that. I 
knew then I never should see my broth- 
er again. Mrs. Williams cried, but I 
did not. She told me, after a while, 
that he had gone by another road to 
the Kanawha Salines, where they were 
fighting that day. 'You cannot go,' 



I865-] 



Ellen. 



she said. ' It is a wilderness of hills 
and swamps. You must stay with us ; 
help me with baby, and presently Joe 
will be back.' 

" I did not say anything. I lay there, 
and covered my face. She thought I 
was asleep presently, so rose softly and 
went away. I lay quiet all day. I could 
not speak nor move. They brought 
me some wine, and talked to me, but 
I did not understand. I knew I must 
go on, go on ! " with the wild look 
again in her eyes. "They would not 
disturb me, but let me lie still all night 
there. Early in the morning, before 
day, I got up softly, softly, I was so 
afraid they would hear me, and made 
a light I wanted to bid Joe farewell 
before I started." 

" Where were you going, Ellen ? " 
" On, you know," with that grave, 
secretive look of the insane. " I had 
to go. So I made a light. I wanted 
to write a letter to my brother, but my 
head was so tired I could not ; then I 
took my little Testament, and I marked 
the fourteenth chapter of St. John. He 
knew that I liked that best, and I 
thought that would be my letter. I 
wrote alongside of the printing, ' Good 
bye, Joe.' Then I fastened it up, and 
directed it to Joseph Carrol, Kanawha 
Salines." 

" That was a wide direction, Ellen." 
"Was it, Sir?" indifferently. "So 
Joe has it now. I think all his life 
he '11 look at that, and say, ' That was 
Sis's last word.' I went gently out of 
the door, and I put my book in the 
post-office, and then I went away." 

She began, it appears, to retrace her 
way on the railroad-track on foot, leav- 
ing her money and clothes at Mrs. 
Ford's, but carrying the little basket 
carefully. The Williamses, thinking she 
had followed Joe, searched for her in 
the direction of Grafton, and so failed 
to find her. There are no villages be- 
tween Fetterman and Fairmount, on- 
ly scattered farm-houses, and but few 
of those, the line of the railroad run- 
ning between solitary stretches of moor- 
land, and in gloomy defiles of the moun- 
tains. .Ellen followed the road, a white, 



glaring, dusty -line, all day. Nothing 
broke the dreary silence but the whirr 
of some unseen bird through the for- 
ests, or the hollow thud, thud of a wood- 
pecker on a far-off tree. Once or twice, 
too, a locomotive with a train of cars 
rushed past her with a fierce yell. She 
slept that night by the road-side with a 
fallen tree for a pillow, and the next morn- 
ing began again her plodding journey. 

I come now to the saddest part of 
the poor girl's story, gathered from her 
own indistinct remembrances. I mean 
to pass briefly over it. On the latter 
part of this day's travel, Ellen had pass- 
ed several of the encampments which 
lined the road, but had escaped notice 
by making a detour through the woods. 
A mile or two east of Fairmount, how- 
ever, coming near one, she went up to 
the first low shed ; for the men had 
thrown up temporary huts, part wood, 
part mud. 

" It was a woman who was there," 
she said, in apology ; " and I was not 
very strong. I had eaten nothing but 
berries since the morning before." 

The woman was a sutler. She lis- 
tened to Ellen's explanations, incohe- 
rent enough probably, and then, burst- 
ing into a loud laugh, called to some 
of the soldiers lounging near by. 

" Here 's a likely tale," she said. " I 
half suspect this is the Rebel spy that 's 
been hanging round these two weeks, 
and kept Allan dodging you. See to 
her, boys, while I weigh out this sugar." 

The regiment was made up of the 
offals of a large city ; the men, both 
brutal and idle, eager for excitement ; 
this sutler, the only woman in camp. 
The evening was coming on. Ellen 
was alone in the half-drunken, shouting 
crowd. 

Not alone. He was near who was 
real and actual to her always. When 
I think of Christ as the All -Wise and 
All -Merciful in this our present day, I 
like to remember Him as going step 
by step with this half-crazed child in 
her long and solitary journey. When 
I hear how her danger was warded 
back, how every rough face turned at 
last towards her with a strange kind- 



Ellen. 



[July, 



ness and tenderness, I see again the 
Hand that wrote upon the dust of the 
Temple, and clearer than in the storm 
or battle which I know He guides I see 
again the face of Him who took little 
children in His arms and blessed them. 

When the sutler went down to the 
end of the field she found Big Jake, the 
bully of the regiment, holding the girl 
by the shoulder, her clothes covered 
with mud with which the men had pelt- 
ed her. She had given one or two low 
cries of terror, and stood shivering 
weakly, her eye alone steady, holding 
the man at bay, as she might a brute. 
She held out her hands when she saw 
the woman. " I am no spy," she cried, 
shrilly. 

" We '11 soon test that," growled the 
camp-follower. 

" Here, you Jake, unhand the girl ! 

Yonder 's Captain C looking this 

way. If she turns out as I say, it '11 be a 
lucky stroke of work for you an' me." 

Jake flung her back with a curse, 
and the woman led her to her shed. 
She searched Ellen. I saw the girl, 
when she told it, turn ashy white with 
terrible shame and anger. She was one 
of the womanliest women I ever knew. 

" I would have killed her then," she 
said gravely. 

" When she could not find that I was 
a spy, she fastened me in an open pen 
outside her shed. I tore off the clothes 
she had touched, they seemed so vile 
to me. I was so shamed that I held 
my hands to my throat so that I could 
die, but she came and fastened them 
with a cord. She kept me there all the 
evening, and the men looked over the 
pen and laughed at ' Mother Murray's 
prisoner.' After a while I did not heed 
them. The moon came up, and I cried 
then thinking if mother or Joe could 
know what had come to me. Then 
I made up my mind what to do. I 
prayed to the Lord Jesus ; but I thought, 
through all, what I would do. She 
brought me some food, but I would not 
touch it, though I was sick with hun- 
ger. When the drum had beat and the 
camp was all quiet, there was a sentry 
came walking up and down before the 



pen. He had a kind, good face : he 
whistled to keep himself awake. After- 
wards he stopped it, and, leaning over 
the log-fence, said, ' Forgive me. I 
did n't think of your being a prisoner, 
or I would not have whistled.' It was 
so sudden, his kind way of speaking, 
that I began to cry, sitting back in the 
corner. He bade me never heed, for 
that I would be free in the morning. 
' You 're no spy,' he said, ' only Cap- 
tain Roberts heard Mother Murray's 
story, and put me here till he could see 
for himself in the morning.' Then he 
asked me questions, and somehow it 
did me good to tell all about Joe, and 
how I had not found him. He stood 
there when I had done, thinking, and 
whistling again, soft to himself. ' Just 
you wait, Ellen,' he says, ' I know 
what you want.' And with that he 
takes out a little Testament, and, sit- 
ting down, he reads to me. Then he 
asked me what verses I liked, and 
talked of the chapters, till I began to 
forget all that had happened. Then he 
put the book in his pocket, and talked 
of other things, and made me laugh 
once or twice ; and at last he took a 
card out of his pocket, and thought for 
a good while. Then he wrote a name 
on it, Mrs/ Jane Burroughs, Xenia, 
Ohio, and gave it to me. ' That is my 
mother,' he said, very gravely, ' as 
good a woman as God lets live. Do 
you go to her, Ellen, when you 're out 
of this den, and tell her I sent you, and, 
if I should die in this bloody business, 
to remember I said to be good to you.' 
Soon after that another man came and 
took his place, and I saw him no more. 
He was very kind. But I knew what / 
would do," with the same dropping 
of the voice. 

In the morning Ellen was released, 
and the soldiers forbidden to molest 
her. She hurried along the road to 
Fairmont. There is a long bridge 
there, spanning the Monongahela. " I 
saw it when I was in the cars, and the 
sight of the water below it came back 
to me through all my trouble. It was 
noon when I came to it again. I 
don't think I stopped at all, to think 



I865-] 



Ellen. 



33 



about Joe, or to think good-bye to him. 
But," her eye wandering vaguely, " I 
said good-bye to my little basket. I 
had packed it at home for my journey, 
you know. I thought Joe would laugh 
when he saw some things I had there. 
But it was all over now. So I went 
down to the water's edge, and set it 
down ; and then I went up, and climbed 
up on the parapet of the bridge, and 
then I heard a cry, and I was jerked 
down to the ground. When I came to 
myself, I was in a bed. They had ice 
on my head. They told me they had 
found my basket, and so knew my name. 
I laid there for several days. It was 
soldiers that found me. They paid for 
me at the tavern. But the regiment 
was going on. One day, when I was 
able to sit up, two of them said to me, 
they would take me to see Joe. They 
took me on the cars ; all the way I had 
to lie down, with ice to my head. We 
came a long way ; every time we stop- 
ped, they said we were going to Joe. 
I did n't know, my brain was like fire in 
my head." 

Ellen was sent on by the officers of 
this regiment, and lodged by them for 
safe-keeping in the jail at Wheeling. 
The long-suspended brain-fever had set 
in. She was taken through the streets, 
her clothes ragged and muddy, her head 
bare, followed by a curic-us crowd of 
idlers, with just enough reason left to 
know what the house was in which they 
lodged her. Cruel as they were in act, 
it proved a kindness to the girl. The 
jailer and his family nursed her care- 
fully, and gave her a large, airy room 
in the old debtors' prison. 

After she had been there three weeks, 
a person who had accidentally seen 
Ellen that first day on the street went 
to the jail and asked to see her. A 
whim, perhaps, the fruit of idleness or 
curiosity. But Ellen thought otherwise. 
She was clothed and in her right mind 
now, and sat inside of the iron door, 
looking with her large, grave, blue eyes 
searchingly at her visitor. " God sent 
you," she said, quietly. 

That -night she told the jailer's wife 
that her new friend had promised to 

VOL. xvi. NO. 93. 3 



come the next morning and take her 
out. 

" She may disappoint you, Ellen." 

" No. I know God meant her to 
come, and I shall see my brother again." 

She was strangely cheerful ; it seem- 
ed as if, in that long torpor, some vision 
of the future had in truth been given 
to her. 

" I shall see Joe," she would repeat 
steadily, a great glow on her face, " I 
know." 

She carried her little basket, going to 
her friend's house. It was here I saw 
Ellen. She was not pretty, with an 
awkward, ungainly build, and homely 
face ; but there hung about her a great 
innocence and purity ; and she had a 
certain trustful manner that went home 
to the roughest and gained their best 
feeling from them. Her voice, I remem- 
ber, was low and remarkably sweet. It 
was curious to see how all, from the ser- 
vants in the house to blase young men 
of society, were touched by some potent 
charm, and tried in simple, natural ways 
to aid her. I used to think Ellen was 
sent into the world to show how near one 
of the very least of these, His brethren, 
came to Him. She grew restless, her 
disease working with her. " She must go 
on to Columbus, to the gate-keeper 
and his wife. She would live with them 
as their child." 

Meanwhile every effort had been 
made to communicate with her brother, 
or to gain a furlough for him. But all 
failed ; the regiment was in the wilds 
of the Virginia border in active service. 
No message could reach him. There 
was no system then in the army. 

What could be done for Ellen's com- 
fort in the future her friends did anx- 
iously, and then sent her on to Colum- 
bus. She remained with the old people 
but a week, however. " She was very 
happy with us," the gate-keeper's wife 
said. Governor Dennison promised to 
procure Joe a furlough, and, if possible, a 
dismissal, as soon as the regiment could 
be reached by letter. In the mean while 
she busied herself in making a dress 
and little useful things for housekeep- 
ing, to please her brother when he should 



34 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



[July, 



come ; used to talk all day of her plans, 
how they would live near us in some 
quiet litfle house. Her trouble seemed 
all forgotten. 

But one day she went out and saw 
the camp. The sight of the armed men 
and the uniforms seemed to bring back 
all she had suffered in Virginia. She 
was uneasy and silent that night, said 
once or twice that she must go on, go 
on, got her basket and packed it again. 
The next morning she went across the 
field without it, as if to take a walk. 
When an hour passed we searched for. 
her, and found she had gone into town 
and taken passage on the Western Rail- 
road. 



My story ends here. We never could 
trace her, though no effort was left un- 
tried. I confess that this is one, though 
almost hopeless. Yet I thought that 
some chance reader might be able to 
finish the story for me. 

Whether Joe fell in his country's ser- 
vice or yet lives in some " little house " 
for Ellen, or whether she has found a 
longer, surer rest, in a house made ready 
for her long ago by other hands than 
his, I may never know ; but I am sure, 
that, living or dead, He who is loving 
and over all has the poor "natural" in 
His tenderest keeping, and that some 
day she will go home to Him and to 
Joe. 



WINTER-LIFE IN ST. PETERSBURG. 



AS September drew to an end, with 
only here and there a suggestion 
of autumn in chrome-colored leaves on 
the ends of birch-branches, we were 
told that any day might suddenly bring 
forth winter. I remember, that, five 
years before, in precisely the same sea- 
son, I had travelled from Upsala to 
Stockholm in a violent snow-storm, and 
therefore accepted the announcement 
as a part of the regular programme of 
the year. But the days came and went ; 
fashionable equipages forsook their sum- 
mer ground of the Islands, and crowd- 
ed the Nevskoi Prospekt ; the nights 
were cold and raw ; the sun's lessening 
declination was visible from day to day, 
and still Winter delayed to make his 
appearance. 

The Island drive was our favorite 
resort of an afternoon ; and we contin- 
ued to haunt it long after every sum- 
mer guest had disappeared, and when 
the datchas and palaces showed plank 
and matting in place of balcony and 
window. In the very heart of St. Pe- 
tersburg the one full stream of the Ne- 
va splits into three main arms, which 
.afterwards subdivide, each seeking the 



Gulf of Finland at its own swift, wild 
will. The nearest of these islands, Vas- 
sili Ostrow, is a part of the solid city : 
on Kammenoi and Aptekarskoi you 
reach the commencement of gardens 
and groves ; and beyond these the rap- 
id waters mirror only palace, park, 
and summer theatre. The widening 
streams continually disclose the hori- 
zon-line of the Gulf; and at the farthest 
point of the drive, where the road turns 
sharply back again from the freedom of 
the shore into mixed woods of birch 
and pine, the shipping at Cronstadt 
and sometimes the phantoms of fortress- 
es detach themselves from the watery 
haze, and the hill of Pargola, in Fin- 
land, rises to break the dreary level of 
the Ingrian mars"hes. 

During the sunny evenings and the 
never-ending twilights of mid-summer, 
all St. Petersburg pours itself upon these 
islands. A league -long wall of dust 
rises from the carriages and droschkies 
in the main highway ; and the branch- 
ing Neva-arms are crowded with skiffs 
and diminutive steamers bound for pleas- 
ure - gardens where gypsies sing and 
Tyrolese yodel and jugglers toss their 



1865.] 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



35 



knives and balls, and private rooms 
may be had for gambling and other 
cryptic diversions. Although with short- 
ened days and cool evenings the tide 
suddenly took a reflux and the Nev- 
skoi became a suggestion of Broadway, 
(which, of all individual streets, it most 
nearly resembles,) we found an inde- 
scribable charm in the solitude of the 
fading groves and the waves whose la- 
menting murmur foretold their speedy 
imprisonment. We had the whole su- 
perb drive to ourselves. It is true that 
Ivan, upon the box, lifted his brows in 
amazement, and sighed that his jaunty 
cap of green velvet should be wasted 
upon the desert air, whenever I said, 
" Na Ostrowa" but he was too genuine 
a Russian to utter a word of remon- 
strance. 

Thus, day by day, unfashionable, but 
highly satisfied, we repeated the lonely 
drive, until the last day came, as it al- 
ways will. I don't think I shall ever 
forget it. It was the first day of No- 
vember. For a fortnight the tempera- 
ture had been a little below the freez- 
ing-point, and the leaves of the alder- 
thickets, frozen suddenly and preserved 
as in a great out-door refrigerator, main- 
tained their green. A pale -blue mist 
rose from the Gulf and hung over the 
islands, the low sun showing an orange 
disk, which touched the shores with the 
loveliest color, but gave no warmth to 
the windless air. The parks and gar- 
dens were wholly deserted, and came 
and went, on either side, phantom-like 
in their soft, gray, faded tints. Under 
every bridge flashed and foamed the 
clear beryl-green waters. And nobody 
in St. Petersburg, except, ourselves, saw 
this last and sunniest flicker of the dy- 
ing season ! 

The very next day was cold and dark, 
and so the weather remained, with brief 
interruptions, for months. On the even- 
ing of the 6th, as we drove over the 
Nikolai Bridge to dine with a friend on 
Vassili Ostrow, we noticed fragments 
of ice floating down the Neva. Look- 
ing up the stream, we were struck by 
the fact that the remaining bridges had 
been detached from the St. Petersburg 



side, floated over, and anchored along 
the opposite shore. This seemed a 
needless precaution, for the pieces of 
drift-ice were hardly large enough to 
have crushed a skiff. How surprised 
were we, then, on returning home, four 
hours later, to find the noble river gone, 
not a green wave to be seen, and, as 
far as the eye could reach, a solid floor 
of ice, over which people were already 
crossing to and fro ! 

Winter, having thus suddenly taken 
possession of the world, lost no time in 
setting up the signs of his rule. The 
leaves, whether green or brown, disap- 
peared at one swoop ; snow-gusts ob- 
scured the little remaining sunshine ; 
the inhabitants came forth in furs and 
bulky wrappings ; oysters and French 
pears became unreasonably dear ; and 
sledges of frozen fish and game crowd- 
ed down from the northern forests. In 
a few days the physiognomy of the cap- 
ital was completely changed. All its 
life and stir withdrew from the extremi- 
ties and gathered into a few central 
thoroughfares, as if huddling together 
for mutual warmth and encouragement 
in the cold air and under the gloomy 
sky. 

For darkness, rather than cold, is the 
characteristic of the St. Petersburg win- 
ter. The temperature, which at Mon- 
treal or St. Paul would not be thought 
remarkably low, seems to be more se- 
verely felt here, owing to the absence of 
pure daylight. Although both Lake La- 
doga and the Gulf of Finland are frozen, 
the air always retains a damp, raw, pen- 
etrating quality, and the snow is more 
frequently sticky and clammy than dry 
and crystalline. Few, indeed, are the 
days which are not cheerless and de- 
pressing. In December, when the sky 
is overcast for weeks together, the sun, 
rising after nine o'clock, and sliding 
along just above the horizon, enables 
you to dispense with lamplight some- 
where between ten and eleven ; but by 
two in the afternoon you must call for 
lights again. Even when a clear day 
comes, the yellow, level sunshine is 
a combination of sunrise and sunset 
and neither tempers the air. nor miti- 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



[July, 



gates the general expression of gloom, 
almost of despair, upon the face of Na- 
ture. 

The preparations for the season, of 
course, have been made long before. 
In most houses the double windows 
are allowed to remain through the sum- 
mer, but they must be carefully exam- 
ined, the layer of cotton between them, 
at the bottom, replenished, a small ves- 
sel of salt added to absorb the moisture 
and prevent it from freezing on the 
panes, and strips of paper pasted over 
every possible crack. The outer doors 
are covered with wadded leather, over- 
lapping the frames on all sides. The 
habitations being thus almost hermeti- 
cally sealed, they are easily warmed by 
the huge porcelain stoves, which retain 
warmth so tenaciously that one fire per 
day is sufficient for the most sensitive 
constitutions. In my own room, I found 
that one armful of birch-wood reduced 
to coal, everj- alternate morning, created 
a steady temperature of 64. Although 
the rooms are always spacious, and ar- 
ranged in suites of from three to a doz- 
en, according to the extent and splen- 
dor of the residence, the atmosphere 
soon becomes close and characterized 
by an unpleasant odor, suggesting its 
diminished vitality ; for which reason 
pastilles are burned, or eau de Cologne 
reduced to vapor in a heated censer, 
whenever visits are anticipated. It was 
a question with me, whether or not the 
advantage of a thoroughly equable tem- 
perature was counterbalanced by the 
lack of circulation. The physical de^ 
pression we all felt seemed to result 
chiefly from the absence of daylight. 

One winter picture remains clearly 
outlined upon my memory. In the be- 
ginning of December we happened once 
to drive across the Admiralty Square 
m the early evening twilight, three 
o'clock in the afternoon. The tempera- 
ture was about 10 below zero, the sky 
a low ; roof of moveless clouds, which 
seemed to be frozen in their places. 
The pillars of St. Isaac's Cathedral 
splendid -monoliths of granite, sixty feet 
high had precipitated the moisture 
<of.the.air, andjstood silvered with rime 



from base to capital. The Column of 
Alexander, the bronze statue of Peter, 
with his horse poised in air on the 
edge of the rock, and the trees on the 
long esplanade in front of the Admi- 
ralty, were all similarly coated, every 
twig rising as rigid as iron in the dark 
air. Only the huge golden hemisphere 
of the Cathedral dome, and the tall, 
pointed golden spire of the Admiralty, 
rose above the gloom, and half shone 
with a muffled, sullen glare. A few 
people, swaddled from head to foot, 
passed rapidly to and fro, or a drosch- 
ky, drawn by a frosted horse, sped 
away to the entrance of the Nevskoi 
Prospekt. Even these appeared rath- 
er like wintry phantoms than creatures 
filled with warm blood and breathing 
the breath of life. The vast spaces of 
the capital, the magnitude of its prin- 
cipal edifices, and the display of gold 
and colors strengthened the general 
aspect of unreality, by introducing so 
many inharmonious elements into the 
picture. A bleak moor, with the light 
of a single cottage - window shining 
across it, would have been less cold, 
dead, and desolate. 

The temperature, I may here men- 
tion, was never very severe. There were 
three days when the mercury fluctuated 
between 15 and 20 below zero, five 
days when it reached 10 below, and 
perhaps twenty when it fell to zero, or 
a degree or two on either side. The 
mean of the five winter months was 
certainly not lower than -J-I2 . Quite 
as much rain fell as snow. After two 
or three days of sharp cold, there was 
almost invariably a day of rain or fog, 
and for many weeks walking was so 
difficult that we were obliged to give up 
all out-door exercise except skating or 
sliding. The streets were either coated 
with glassy ice or they were a foot deep 
in slush. There was more and better 
sleighing in the vicinity of Boston last 
winter than in St. Petersburg during the 
winter of 1862-3. In our trips to the 
Observatory of Pulkova, twelve miles 
distant, we were frequently obliged to 
leave the highway and put our sled-run- 
ners upon the frosted grass of the mead- 



1865.] 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



37 



ows. The rapid and continual changes 
of temperature were more trying than 
any amount of steady cold. Grippe be- 
came prevalent, and therefore fashion- 
able, and all the endemic diseases of 
St. Petersburg showed themselves in 
force. The city, it is well known, is 
built upon piles, and most of the inhab- 
itants suffer from them. Children look 
pale and wilted, in the absence of the 
sun, and special care must be taken of 
those under five years of age. Some 
little relatives of mine, living in the 
country, had their daily tumble in the 
snow, and thus kept ruddy ; but in the 
city this is not possible, and we had 
many anxious days before the long 
darkness was over. 

As soon as snow had fallen and freez- 
ing weather set in, the rough, broken 
ice of the Neva was flooded in various 
places for skating-ponds, and the work 
of erecting ice-hills commenced. There 
were speedily a number of the latter in 
full play, in the various suburbs, a 
space of level ground, at least a furlong 
in length, being necessary. They are 
supported by subscription, and I had 
paid ten rubles for permission to use 
a very fine one on the farther island, 
when an obliging card of admission 
came for the gardens of the Taurida 
Palace, where the younger members of 
the Imperial family skate and slide. My 
initiation, however, took place at the 
first -named locality, whither we were 
conducted by an old American resident 
of St. Petersburg. 

The construction of these ice-hills is 
very simple. They are rude towers of 
timber, twenty to thirty feet in height, 
the summit of which is reached by a 
staircase at the back, while in front de- 
scends a steep concave of planking up- 
on which water is poured until it is cov- 
ered with a six-inch coating of solid 
ice. Raised planks at the side keep 
the sled in its place until it reaches the 
foot, where it enters upon an icy plain 
two to four hundred yards in length, 
(in proportion to the height of the hill,) 
at the extremity of which rises a simi- 
lar hill, facing towards the first, but a 
little on one side, so that the sleds from 



the opposite ends may pass without 
collision. 

The first experience of this diver- 
sion is fearful to a person of delicate 
nerves. The pitch of the descent is so 
sheer, the height so great, (apparently,) 
the motion of the sled so swift, and its 
course so easily changed, even the 
lifting of a hand is sufficient, that the 
novice is almost sure to make imme- 
diate shipwreck. The sleds are small 
and low, with smooth iron runners, and 
a plush cushion, upon which the navi- 
gator sits bolt upright with his legs 
close together, projecting over the front. 
The runners must be exactly parallel to 
the lines of the course at starting, and 
the least tendency to sway to either 
side must be instantly corrected by the 
slightest motion of the hand. 

I engaged one' of the mujiks in at- 
tendance to pilot me on my first voy- 
age. The man having taken his posi- 
tion well forward on the little sled, I 
knelt upon the rear end, where there 
was barely space enough for my knees, 
placed my hands upon his shoulders, 
.and awaited the result. He shoved the 
sled with his hands, very gently and 
carefully, to the brink of the icy steep : 
then there was a moment's adjustment: 
then a poise : then sinking of the 
heart, cessation of breath, giddy roar- 
ing and whistling of the air, and I found 
myself scudding along the level with 
the speed of an express train. I never 
happened to fall out of a fourth-story 
window, but I immediately understood 
the sensations of the unfortunate per- 
sons who do. It was so frightful that I 
shuddered when we reached the end of 
the course and the man coolly began 
ascending the steps of the opposite hill, 
with the sled under his arm. But my 
companions were waiting to see me re- 
turn, so I mounted after him, knelt again, 
and held my breath. This time, know- 
ing what was coming, I caught a glimpse 
of our descent, and found that only the 
first plunge from the brink was threat- 
ening. The lower part of the curve, 
which is nearly a parabolic line, is more 
gradual, and the seeming headlong fall 
does not last more than the tenth part 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



[July, 



of a second. The sensation, neverthe- 
less, is very powerful, having all the 
attraction, without the reality, of dan- 
ger. 

The ice-hills in the Taurida Gardens 
were not so high, and the descent was 
less abrupt : the course was the smooth 
floor of an intervening lake, which was 
kept clear for skating. Here I borrow- 
ed a sled, and was so elated at perform- 
ing the feat successfully, on the first 
attempt, that I offered my services as 
charioteer to a lady rash enough to ac- 
cept them. The increased weight gave 
so much additional impetus to the sled, 
and thus rendered its guidance a more 
delicate matter. Finding that it began 
to turn even before reaching the bottom, 
I put down my hand suddenly upon the 
ice. The effect was like an explosion ; 
we\struck the edge of 'a snow-bank, and 
were thrown entirely over it and deeply 
buried in the opposite side. The at- 
tendants 'picked us up without relaxing 
a muscle of their grave, respectful faces, 
and quietly swept the ice for another 
trial. But after that I preferred de- 
scending alone. 

Good skaters will go up and down 
these ice-hills on their skates. The 
feat has a hazardous look, but I have 
seen it performed by boys of twelve. 
The young Grand -Dukes who visited 
the Gardens generally contented them- 
selves with skating around the lake at 
not too violent a speed. Some ladies 
of the court circle also timidly ventured 
to try the amusement, but its introduc- 
tion was too recent for them to show 
much proficiency. On the Neva, in 
fact, the English were the best skaters. 
During the winter, one of them crossed 
the Gulf to Cronstadt, a distance of 
twenty-two miles, in about two hours. 

Before Christmas, the Lapps came 
down from the North with their rein- 
deer, and pitched their tents on the riv- 
er, in front of the Winter Palace. In- 
stead of the canoe-shaped pulk, drawn 
by a single deer, they hitched four 
abreast to an ordinary sled, and took 
half a dozen passengers at a time, on a 
course of a mile, for a small fee. I tried 
it once, for a child's sake, but found that 



the romance of reindeer travel was lost 
without the pulk. The Russian sleighs 
are very similar to our own for driving 
about the city : in very cold weather, or 
for trips into the country, the kibifka, 
a heavy closed carriage on runners, is 
used. To my eye, the most dashing 
team in the world is the troika, or three- 
span, the thill-horse being trained to 
trot rapidly, while the other two, very 
lightly and loosely harnessed, canter on 
either side of him. From the ends of 
the thills springs a wooden arch, called 
the duga, rising eighteen inches above 
the horse's shoulder, and usually em- 
blazoned with gilding and brilliant col- 
ors. There was one magnificent troika 
on the Nevskoi Prospekt, the horses 
of which were full-blooded, jet-black 
matches, and their harness formed of 
overlapping silver scales. The Rus- 
sians being the best coachmen in the 
world, these teams dash past each other 
at furious speed, often escaping collision 
by the breadth of a hair, but never com- 
ing in violent contact. 

With the approach of winter the no- 
bility returned from their estates, the 
diplomatists from their long summer 
vacation, and the Imperial Court from 
Moscow, and the previous social deso- 
lation of the capital came speedily to 
an end. There were dinners and routs 
in abundance, but the season of balls 
was not fairly inaugurated until invita- 
tions had been issued for the first at 
the Winter Palace. This is usually a 
grand affair, the guests numbering from 
fifteen hundred to two thousand. We 
were agreeably surprised at finding half- 
past nine fixed as the hour of arrival, 
and took pains to be punctual ; but there 
were already a hundred yards of car- 
riages in advance. The toilet, of course, 
must be made at home, and the huge 
pelisses of fur so adjusted as not to dis- 
arrange head-dresses, lace, crinoline, or 
uniform : the footmen must be prompt, 
on reaching the covered portal, to pro- 
mote speedy alighting and unwrapping, 
which being accomplished, each sits 
guard for the night over his own special 
pile of pelisses and furred boots. 

When the dresses are shaken out and 



1865.] 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



39 



the gloves smoothed, at the foot of the 
grand staircase, an usher, in a short, 
bedizened red tunic and white knee- 
breeches, with a cap surmounted by 
three colossal white plumes upon his 
head, steps before you and leads the 
way onward through the spacious halls, 
ablaze with light from thousands of wax 
candles. I always admired the silent 
gravity of these ushers, and their slow, 
majestic, almost mysterious march, 
until one morning, at home, when I was 
visited by four common-looking Rus- 
sians, in blue caftans, who bowed near- 
ly to the floor and muttered congratula- 
tions. It was a deputation of the ush- 
ers, making their rounds for New- Year's 
gifts ! 

Although the streets of St. Peters- 
burg are lighted with gas, the palaces 
and private residences are still illumi- 
nated only with wax candles. Gas is 
considered plebeian, but it has probably 
also been found to be disagreeable in 
the close air of the hermetically sealed 
apartments. Candles are used in such 
profusion that I am told thirty thousand 
are required to light up an Imperial ball. 
The quadruple rows of columns which 
support the Hall of St. George are spi- 
rally entwined with garlands of wax- 
lights, and immense chandeliers are sus- 
pended from the ceiling. The wicks of 
each column are connected with threads 
dipped in some inflammable mixture, 
and each thread, being kindled at the 
bottom at the same instant,*the light is 
carried in a few seconds to every can- 
dle in the hall. This instantaneous kin- 
dling of so many thousand wicks has a 
magical effect. 

At the door of the great hall the ush- 
er steps aside, bows gravely, and re- 
turns, and one of the deputy masters of 
ceremonies receives you. These gen- 
tlemen are chosen from among the 
most distinguished families of Russia, 
and are, without exception, so remark- 
able for tact, kindness, and discretion, 
that the multitude falls, almost uncon- 
sciously, into the necessary observan- 
ces ; and the perfection of ceremony, 
which hides its own external indica- 
tions, is attained. Violations of eti- 



quette are most rare, yet no court in 
the world appears more simple and un- 
constrained in its forms. 

In less than fifteen minutes after the 
appointed time the hall is filled, and a 
blast from the orchestra announces the 
entrance of the Imperial family. The 
ministers and chief personages of the 
court are already in their proper places, 
and the representatives of foreign na- 
tions stand on one side of the door- 
way, in their established order of prece- 
dence, (determined by length of resi- 
dence near the court,) with the ladies 
of their body on the opposite side. The 
Duke de Montebello and Lord Napier, 
being the only ambassadors, head the 
ranks, the ministers plenipotentiary suc- 
ceeding. 

Alexander II. is much brighter and 
more cheerful than during the past 
summer. His care-worn, preoccupied 
air is gone : the dangers which then 
encompassed him have subsided ; the 
nobility, although still chafing fiercely 
against the decree of emancipation, are 
slowly coming to the conclusion that its 
consummation is inevitable ; and the 
Emperor begins to feel that his great 
work will be safely accomplished. His 
dark -green uniform well becomes his 
stately figure and clearly chiselled, sym- 
metrical head. He is Nicholas recast 
in a softer mould, wherein tenacity of 
purpose is substituted for rigid, inflex- 
ible will, and the development of the na- 
tion at home supplants the ambition for 
predominant political influence abroad. 
This difference is expressed, despite the 
strong personal resemblance to his fa- 
ther, in the more frank and gentle eye, 
the fuller and more sensitive mouth, and 
the rounder lines of jaw and forehead. 
A frank, natural directness of manner 
and speech is his principal characteris- 
tic. He wears easily, almost playfully, 
the yoke of court ceremonial, tempora- 
rily casting it aside when troublesome. 
In two respects he differs from most of 
the other European rulers whom I have 
seen : he looks the sovereign, and he 
unbends as gracefully and unostenta- 
tiously as a man risen from the ranks 
of the people. There is evidently bet- 



40 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



[July, 



ter stuff than kings are generally made 
of in the Romanoff line. 

Grace and refinement, rather than 
beauty, distinguish the Empress, though 
her eyes and hair deserve the latter epi- 
thet. She is an invalid, and appears 
pale and somewhat worn ; but there is 
no finer group of children in Europe 
than those to whom she has given birth. 
Six sons and one daughter are her jew- 
els ; and of these, the third son, Vladi- 
mir, is almost ideally handsome. Her 
dress was at once simple and superb, 
a cloud of snowy tulle, with a scarf of 
pale-blue velvet, twisted with a chain of 
the largest diamonds and tied with a 
knot and tass.el of pearls, resting half- 
way down the skirt, as if it had slipped 
from her waist On another occasion, I 
remember her wearing a crown of five 
stars, the centres of which were single 
enormous rubies and the rays of dia- 
monds, so set on invisible wires that 
they burned in the air over her head. 
The splendor which was a part of her 
role was always made subordinate to 
rigid taste, and herein prominently dis- 
tinguished her from many of the Rus- 
sian ladies, who carried great fortunes 
upon their heads, necks, and bosoms. I 
had several opportunities of conversing 
with her, generally upon Art and Liter- 
ature, and was glad to find that she 
had both read and thought, as well as 
seen. You may tell the honored au- 
thor of " Evangeline " that he numbers 
her among his appreciative readers. 

After their Majesties have made the 
circle of the diplomatic corps, the Po- 
lonaise, which always opens a Court 
ball, commences. The Grand -Dukes 
Nicholas and Michael, (brothers of the 
Emperor,) and the younger members of 
the Imperial family, take part in it, the 
latter evidently impatient for the suc- 
ceeding quadrilles and waltzes. When 
this is finished, all palpable, obtru- 
sive ceremony is at an end. Dancing, 
conversation, cards, strolls through the 
sumptuous halls, fill the hours. The 
Emperor wanders freely through the 
crowd, saluting here and there a friend, 
exchanging badinage with the wittiest 
ladies, (which they all seem at liberty 



to give back, without the least embar- 
rassment,) or seeking 'out the scarred 
and gray-haired officers who have come 
hither from all parts of the vast empire. 
He does not scrutinize whether or not 
your back is turned towards him as he 
passes. Once, on entering a door rath- 
er hastily, I came within an ace of a 
personal collision ; whereupon he laugh- 
ed good-humoredly, caught me by the 
hands, and saying, "It would have been 
a shock, n'est ce pas ? " hurried on. 

To me the most delightful part of 
the Winter Palace was the garden. It 
forms one of the suite of thirty halls, 
some of them three hundred feet long, 
on the second story. In this garden, 
which is perhaps a hundred feet square 
by forty in height, rise clumps of Italian 
cypress and laurel from beds of emerald 
turf and blooming hyacinths. In the cen- 
tre a fountain showers over fern-covered 
rocks, and the gravel-walks around the 
border are shaded by tall camellia-trees 
in white and crimson bloom. Lamps of 
frosted glass hang among the foliage, 
and diffuse a mellow golden moonlight 
over the enchanted ground. The cor- 
ridor adjoining the garden resembles a 
bosky alley, so completely are the walls 
hidden by flowering shrubbery. 

Leaving the Imperial family, and the 
kindred houses of Leuchtenberg, Olden- 
burg, and Mecklenburg, all of which are 
represented, let us devote a little atten- 
tion to the ladies, and the crowd of dis- 
tinguished, though unroyal personages. 
The former are all decollete'es, of course, 

even the -Countess , who, I am 

positively assured, is ninety-five years 
old ; but I do not notice much uniform- 
ity of taste, except in the matter of 
head-dresses. " Waterfalls " have not 
yet made their appearance, but there 
are huge coils and sweeps of hair, 
a mane-like munificence, so disposed as 
to reveal the art and conceal the arti- 
fice. The ornaments are chiefly flow- 
ers, though here and there I see jewels, 
coral, mossy sticks, dead leaves, birds, 
and birds'-nests. From the blonde locks 
of yonder princess hang bunches of 
green brook-grass, and a fringe of the 
same trails from her bosom and skirt : 



1865.] 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



she resembles a fished-up and restored 
Ophelia. Here passes a maiden with a 
picket -fence of rose coral as a berthe, 
and she seems to have another around 
the bottom of her dress ; but, as the 
mist of tulle is brushed aside in pass- 
ing, we can detect that the latter is a 
clever chenille imitation. There is an- 
other with small moss -covered twigs 
(the real article) arranged in the same 
way ; and yet another with fifty black- 
lace butterflies, of all sizes, clingrng to 
her yellow satin skirt. All this swim- 
ming and intermingling mass of color is 
dotted over with sparkles of jewel-light ; 
and even the grand hall, with its gilded 
columns and thousands of tapers, seems 
but a sober frame for so gorgeous a 
picture. 

I can only pick out a few of the nota- 
ble men present, because there is no 
space to give biographies as well as por- 
traits. That man of sixty, in rich, civil 
uniform, who entered with the Emperor, 
and who at once reminds an American 
of Edward Everett both in face and in 
the polished grace and suavity of his 
manner, is at present the first statesman 
of Europe, Prince Alexander Gortcha- 
koff. Of medium height and robust 
frame, with a keen, alert eye, a broad, 
thoughtful forehead, and a wonderfully 
sagacious mouth, the upper lip slightly 
covering the under one at the corners, 
he at once arrests your attention, and 
your eye unconsciously follows him as 
he makes his way through the crowd, 
with a friendly word for this man and 
an elegant rapier-thrust for that. His 
predominant mood, however, is a cheer- 
ful good- nature ; his wit and irony be- 
long rather to the diplomatist than to 
the man. There is no sounder or more 
prudent head in Russia. 

But who is this son of Anak, ap- 
proaching from the corridor ? Tower- 
ing a full head above the throng, a fig- 
ure of superb strength and perfect sym- 
metry, we give him that hearty admira- 
tion which is due to a man who illus- 
trates and embellishes manhood. In 
this case we can give it freely : for that 
finely balanced head holds a clear, vig- 
orous brain, those large blue eyes look 



from the depths of a frank, noble na- 
ture, and in that broad breast beats 
a heart warm with love for his coun- 
try, and good -will for his fellow -men, 
whether high or low. It is Prince Su- 
vdroff, the Military Governor of St. Pe- 
tersburg. If I were to spell his name 
" Suwarrow," you would know who his 
grandfather was, and what place in Rus- 
sian history he fills. In a double sense 
the present Prince is cast in an heroic 
mould. It speaks well for Russia that 
his qualities are so truly appreciated. 
He is beloved by the people, and trusted 
by the Imperial Government : for, while 
firm in his administration of affairs, he 
is humane, while cautious, energetic, 
and while shrewd and skilful, frank 
and honest. A noble man, whose like 
I- wish were oftener to be found in the 
world. 

Here are two officers, engaged in 
earnest conversation. The little old 
man, with white hair, and thin, weather- 
beaten, wrinkled face, is Admiral Baron 
Wrangel, whose Arctic explorations on 
the northern coast of Siberia are known 
to all geographers. Having read of 
them as a boy, and then as things of 
the past, I was greatly delighted at 
finding the brave old Admiral still alive, 
and at the privilege of taking his hand 
and hearing him talk in English as flu- 
ent as my own. The young officer, with 
rosy face, brown moustache, and a pro- 
file strikingly like that of General Mc- 
Clellan, has already made his mark. He 
is General Ignatieff, the most prominent 
young man of the empire. Although 
scarcely thirty-five, he has already filled 
special missions to Bukhara and Peking, 
and took a leading part in the Treaty of 
Tien-tsin. He is now Deputy-Minis- 
ter of- Foreign Affairs and Chief of the 
Asiatic Department. He is, moreover, 
a good friend of the United States, and 
was among the first to see the feasibil- 
ity of the Russian- American telegraph 
scheme. 

I might mention Count Bludoff, the 
venerable President of the Academy of 
Sciences ; General Todleben ; Admiral 
Liittke ; and the distinguished members 
of the Galitzin, Narischkin, Apraxin, 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



[July, 



Dolgorouky, and Scheremetieff families, 
who are present, but by this time the 
interminable mazourka is drawing to a 
close, and a master of ceremonies sug- 
gests that we shall step into an adjoin- 
ing hall to await the signal for supper. 
The refreshments previously furnished 
consisted simply of tea, orgeat, and cool- 
ing drinks made of cranberries, Arctic 
raspberries, and other fruits ; it is two 
hours past midnight, and we may frank- 
ly confess hunger. 

While certain other guests are being 
gathered together, I will mention anoth- 
er decoration of the halls, peculiar to 
St Petersburg. On either side of all 
the doors of communication in the long 
range of halls, stands a negro in rich 
Oriental costume, reminding one of the 
mute palace-guards in the Arabian tales. 
Happening to meet one of these men in 
the Summer Garden, I addressed him 
in Arabic ; but he knew only enough of 
the language to inform me that he was 
born in Dar-Fur. I presume, therefore, 
they were obtained in Constantinople. 
In the large halls, which are illustrated 
with paintings of battles, in all the Rus- 
sian campaigns from Pultowa to Sebas- 
topol, are posted companies of soldiers 
at the farther end, a different regi- 
ment to each hall. For six hours these 
men and their officers stand motionless 
as statues. Not a movement, except 
now and then of the eyelid, can be de- 
tected : even their respiration seems 
to be suspended. There is something 
weird and uncanny in such a preternat- 
ural silence and apparent death-in-life. 
I became impressed with the idea that 
some form of catalepsy had seized and 
bound them in strong trance. The eye- 
balls were fixed : they stared at me and 
saw me not : the hands were ghied to 
the weapons, and the feet to the floor. 
I suspect there must have been some 
stolen relief when no guest happened 
to be present, yet, come when I might, 
I found them unchanged. When I re- 
flected that the men were undoubtedly 
very proud of the distinction they en- 
joyed, and that their case demanded no 
sympathy, I could inspect and admire 
them with an easy mind. 



The Grand Chamberlain now advan- 
ces, followed by the Imperial family, 
behind which, in a certain order of prece- 
dence, the guests fall into place, and we 
presently reach a supper-hall, gleaming 
with silver and crystal. There are five 
others, I am told, and each of the two 
thousand guests has his chair and plate. 
In the centre stands the Imperial table, 
on a low platform : between wonderful 
tpergnes of gold spreads a bed of hya- 
cinths and crocuses. Hundreds of other 
epergnes, of massive silver, flash from 
the tables around. The forks and spoons 
are gold, the decanters of frosted crys- 
tal, covered with silver vine-leaves ; 
even the salt-cellars are works of Art. 
It is quite proper that the supper should 
be substantial ; and as one such enter- 
tainment is a pattern for all that suc- 
ceed, I may be allowed to mention the 
principal dishes : creme de Forge, 'paid 
de foie gras, cutlets of fowl, game, as- 
paragus, and salad, followed by fruits, 
ices, and bon-bons, and moistened with 
claret, Sauterne, and Champagne. I 
confess, however, that the superb silver 
chasing, and the balmy hyacinths which 
almost leaved over my plate, feasted my 
senses quite as much as the delicate 
viands. 

After supper, the company returns to 
the Hall of St. George, a quadrille or 
two is danced to promote digestion, and 
the members of the Imperial family, 
bowing first to the diplomatic corps, 
and then to the other guests, retire to 
the private apartments of the palace. 
Now we are at liberty to leave, not 
sooner, and rapidly, yet not with un- 
dignified haste, seek the main staircase. 
Cloaking and booting (Ivan being on 
hand, with eyes like a lynx) are perform- 
ed without regard to head-dress or uni- 
form, and we wait while the carriages are 
being called, until the proper pozlannik 
turns up. If we envied those who got 
off sooner, we are now envied by those 
who still must wait, bulky in black satin 
or cloth, in sable or raccoon skin. It is 
half-past three when we reach home, 
and there are still six hours until sun- 
rise. 

The succeeding balls, whether given 



1865.] 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



43 



by the Grand Dukes, the principal mem- 
bers of the Russian nobility, or the heads 
of foreign legations, were conducted 
on the same plan, except that, in the 
latter instances, the guests were not so 
punctual in arriving. The pleasantest 
of the season was one given by the Em- 
peror in the Hermitage Palace. The 
guests, only two hundred in number, 
were bidden to come in ordinary even- 
ing-dress, and their Imperial Majesties 
moved about among them as simply and 
unostentatiously as any well-bred Amer- 
ican host and hostess. On a staircase 
at one side of the Moorish Hall sat a 
distinguished Hungarian artist, sketch- 
ing the scene, with its principal figures, 
for a picture. 

I was surprised to find how much 
true social culture exists in St. Peters- 
burg. Aristocratic manners, in their 
perfection, are simply democratic : but 
this is a truth which is scarcely recog- 
nized by the nobility of Germany, and 
only partially by that of England. The 
habits of refined society are very much 
the same everywhere. The man or 
woman of real culture recognizes cer- 
tain forms as necessary, that social 
intercourse may be ordered instead of 
being arbitrary and chaotic ; but these 
forms must not be allowed to limit the 
free, expansive contact of mind with 
mind and character with character, which 
is the charm and blessing of society. 
Those who meet within the same walls 
meet upon an equal footing, and all ac- 
cidental distinctions cease for the time. 
I found these principles acted upon to 
quite as full an extent as (perhaps even 
more so than) they are at home. One 
of the members of the Imperial family, 
even, expressed to me the intense weari- 
ness occasioned by the observance of 
the necessary forms of court life, and 
the wish that they might be made as 
simple as possible. 

I was interested in extending my ac- 
quaintance among the Russian nobility, 
as they, to a certain extent, represent 
the national culture. So far as my ob- 
servations reached, I found that the 
women were better read, and had more 
general knowledge of Art, literature, 



and even politics, than the men. My 
most instructive intercourse was with 
the former. It seemed that most men 
(here I am not speaking of the mem- 
bers of the Imperial Government) had 
each his specialty, beyond which he 
showed but a limited interest. There 
was one distinguished circle, however, 
where the intellectual level of the con- 
versation was as high as I have ever 
found it anywhere, and where the only 
title to admission prescribed by the no- 
ble host was the capacity to take part, 
in it. In that circle -I heard not only 
the Polish Question discussed, but the 
Unity or Diversity of Races, Modern 
and Classic Art, Strauss, Emerson, and 
Victor Hugo, the ladies contributing 
their share. At a soiree given by the 
Princess Lvoff, I met Richard Wagner, 
the composer, Rubinstein, the pianist, 
and a number of artists and literary men. 

A society the head of which is a 
court, and where externals, of necessity, 
must be first considered, is not the place 
to seek for true and lasting intimacies ; 
but one may find what is next best, in a 
social sense, cheerful and cordial in- 
tercourse. The circle of agreeable and 
friendly acquaintance continually en- 
larged ; and I learned to know one friend 
( and perhaps one should hardly expect 
more than that in any year) whom I 
shall not forget, nor he me, though we 
never meet again. The Russians have 
been unjustly accused of a lack of that 
steady, tender, faithful depth of char- 
acter upon which friendship must rest 
Let us not forget that one of Washing- 
ton Irving's dearest friends was Prince 
Dolgorouki. 

Nevertheless, the constant succession 
of entertainments, agreeable as they 
were, became in the end fatiguing to 
quiet persons like ourselves. The routs 
and soirees, it is true, were more infor- 
mal and unceremonious : one was not 
obliged to spend more than an hour at 
each, but then one was not expected to 
arrive before eleven o'clock. We fell, 
perforce, into the habits of the place, 
of sleeping two or three hours after 
dinner, then rising, and, after a cup of 
strong tea, dressing for the evening. 



44 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



[July, 



After Carnival, the balls ceased; but 
there were still frequent routs, until 
Easter Week closed the season. 

I was indebted to Admiral Luttke, 
President of the Imperial Geographical 
Society, for an invitation to attend its 
sessions, some of which were of the 
most interesting character. My great 
regret was, that a very imperfect knowl- 
edge of the language prevented me from 
understanding much of the proceedings. 
On one occasion, while a paper on the 
survey of the Caspian Sea was being 
read, a tall, stately gentleman, sitting 
at the table beside me, obligingly trans- 
lated all the principal facts into French, 
as they were stated. I afterwards found 
that he was Count Panin, Minister of 
Justice. In the Transactions of the 
various literary and scientific societies 
the Russian language has now entirely 
supplanted the French, although the 
latter keeps its place in the salons, chief- 
ly on account of the foreign element. 
The Empress has weekly conversazioni, 
at which only Russian is spoken, and 
to which no foreigners are admitted. 
It is becoming fashionable to have visit- 
ing-cards in both languages. 

Of all the ceremonies which occurred 
during the winter, that of New- Year's 
Day. (January ijth, N. S.) was most in- 
teresting. After the members of the 
different legations had called in a body 
to pay their respects to the Emperor 
and Empress, the latter received the 
ladies of the Court, who, on this occa- 
sion, wore the national costume, in the 
grand hall. We were permitted to wit- 
ness the spectacle, which is unique of 
its kind and wonderfully beautiful. The 
Empress, having taken her place alone 
near one end of the hall, with the Em- 
peror and his family at a little distance 
on her right, the doors at the other end 
three hundred feet distant were 
thrown open, and a gorgeous proces- 
sion approached, sweeping past the 
gilded columns, and growing with every 
step in color and splendor. The ladies 
walked in single file, about eight feet 
apart, each holding the train of the one 
preceding her. The costume consists 
of a high, crescent-shaped head-dress 



of velvet covered with jewels ; a short, 
embroidered corsage of silk or velvet, 
with open sleeves ; a full skirt and 
sweeping train of velvet or satin or 
moiri*, with a deep border of point-lace. 
As the first lady approached the Em- 
press, her successor dropped the train, 
spreading it, by a dexterous movement, 
to its full breadth on the polished floor. 
The lady, thus released, bent her knee, 
and took the Empress's hand to kiss it, 
which the latter prevented by gracefully 
lifting her and saluting her on the fore- 
head. After a few words of congratu- 
lation, she passed across the hall, mak- 
ing a profound obeisance to the Em- 
peror on the way. 

This was the most trying part of the 
ceremony. She was alone and unsup- 
ported, with all eyes upon her, and it 
required no slight amount of skill and 
self-possession to cross the hall, bow, 
and carry her superb train to the oppo- 
site side, without turning her back on 
the Imperial presence. At the end of 
an hour the dazzling group gathered on 
the right equalled in numbers the long 
line marching up on the left, and still 
they came. It was a luxury of color, 
scarcely to be described, all flowery 
and dewy tints, in a setting of white 
and gold. There were crimson, ma- 
roon, blue, lilac, salmon, peach-blossom, 
mauve, Magenta, silver-gray, pearl-rose, 
daffodil, pale orange, purple, pea-green, 
sea-green, scarlet, violet, drab, and pink, 
and, whether by accident or design, 
the succession of colors never shocked 
by too violent contrast. This was the 
perfection of scenic effect ; and we lin- 
gered, enjoying it exquisitely, until the 
the last of several hundred ladies closed 
the wonderful spectacle. 

The festival of Epiphany is celebrat- 
ed by the blessing of the waters of the 
Neva, followed by a grand military 
review on the Admiralty Square. We 
were invited to witness both ceremonies 
from the windows of the Winter Palace, 
where, through the kindness of Prince 
Dolgorouki,we obtained favorable points 
of view. As the ceremonies last two 
or three hours, an elegant breakfast 
was served to the guests in the Moor- 



1865.] 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



45 



ish Hall. The blessing of the Neva is 
a religious festival, with the accompani- 
ment of tapers, incense, and chanting 
choirs, and we could only see that the 
Emperor performed his part uncloaked 
and bare-headed in the freezing air, fin- 
ishing by descending the steps of an 
improvised chapel and well, (the building 
answered both purposes,) and drinking 
the water from a hole in the ice. Far 
and wide over the frozen surface similar 
holes were cut, where, during the re- 
mainder of the day, priests officiated, 
and thousands of the common people 
were baptized by immersion. As they 
generally came out covered with ice, 
warm booths were provided for them 
on the banks, where they thawed them- 
selves out, rejoicing that they would 
now escape sickness or misfortune for 
a year to come. 

The review requires a practised mili- 
tary pen to do it justice, and I fear I 
must give up the attempt. It was a 
" small review," only about twenty-five 
thousand troops being under arms. In 
the uniformity of size and build of the 
men, exactness of equipment, and pre- 
cision of movement, it would be difficult 
to imagine anything more perfect. All 
sense of the individual soldier was lost 
in the grand sweep and wheel and march 
of the columns. The Circassian chiefs, 
in 'ieir steel skull-caps and shirts of 
cha mail, seemed to have ridden into 
their places direct from the Crusades. 
The Cossacks of the Don, the Ukraine, 
and the Ural managed their little brown 
or black horses (each regiment having 
its own color) so wonderfully, that, as 
we looked down upon them, each line 
resembled a giant caterpillar, moving 
sidewise with its thousand legs creeping 
as one. These novel and picturesque 
elements constituted the principal charm 
of the spectacle. 

The passing away of winter was sig- 
nalized by an increase of daylight rath- 
er than a decrease of cold. The rivers 
were still locked, the ice-hills frequent- 
ed, the landscape dull and dead; but 
by the beginning of February we could 
detect signs of the returning sun. When 
the sky was clear, (a thing of rarest 



occurrence,) there was white light at 
noonday, instead of the mournful yellow 
or orange gloom of the previous two 
months. After the change had fairly set 
in, it proceeded more and more rapid- 
ly, until our sunshine was increased at 
the rate of seven or eight minutes per 
day. When the vernal equinox came, 
and we could sit down to dinner at sun- 
set, the spell of death seemed to be 
at last broken. The fashionable drive, 
of an afternoon, changed from the 
Nevskoi Prospekt to the Palace Quay 
on the Neva ; the Summer Garden was 
cleared of snow, and its statues one by 
one unboxed ; in fine days we could 
walk there, and there coax back the 
faded color to a child's face. There, 
too, walked Alexander II., one of the 
crowd, leading his little daughter by 
the hand ; and thither, in a plain little 
caleche, drove the Empress, with her 
youngest baby on her lap. 

But when the first ten days of April 
had passed and there was still no sign 
of spring, we began to grow impatient. 
How often I watched the hedges around 
the Michailoffsky Palace, knowing that 
the buds would there first swell ! How 
we longed for a shimmer of green un- 
der the brown grass, an alder tassel, a 
flush of yellow on the willow wands, a 
sight of rushing green water ! One day, 
a week or so later, we were engaged to 
dine on Vassili Ostrow. I had been 
busily occupied until late in the after- 
noon, and when we drove out upon the 
square, I glanced, as usual, towards 
Peter the Great. Lo ! behind him 
flashed and glittered the free, the re- 
joicing Neva ! Here and there floated 
a cake of sullen ice, but the great river 
had bared his breast to the sun, which 
welcomed him after six months of ab- 
sence. The upper pontoon-bridges were 
already spanned and crowded with trav- 
el, but the lower one, carried away be- 
fore it could be secured, had been borne 
down by the stream and jammed against 
and under the solid granite and iron 
of the Nikolai Bridge. There was a 
terrible crowd and confusion at the 
latter place ; all travel was stopped, and 
we could get neither forward nor back- 



46 



Winter-Life in St. Petersburg. 



ward. Presently, however, the Emper- 
or appeared upon the scene ; order was 
the instant result ; the slow officials 
worked with a will ; and we finally reach- 
ed our host's residence half an hour be- 
hind the time. As we returned, at night, 
there was twilight along the northern 
sky, and the stars sparkled on the crys- 
tal bosom of the river. 

This was the snapping of winter's 
toughest fetter, but it was not yet spring. 
Before I could detect any sign of re- 
turning life in Nature, May had come. 
Then, little by little, the twigs in the 
marshy thickets began to show yellow 
and purple and brown, the lilac-buds to 
swell, and some blades of fresh grass 
to peep forth in sheltered places. .This, 
although we had sixteen hours of sun- 
shine, with an evening twilight which 
shifted into dusky dawn under the North 
Star! I think it was on the I3th of 
May that I first realized that the sea- 
son had changed, and for the last time 
saw the noble-hearted Ruler who is the 
central figure of these memories. The 
People's Festival a sort of Russian 
May-day took place at Catharinenhof, 
a park and palace of the famous Em- 
press, near the shore of the Finnish 
Gulf. The festival, that year, had an 
unusual significance. On the 3d of 
March the edict of Emancipation was 
finally consummated, and twenty-two 
millions of serfs became forever free : 
the Polish troubles and the menace of 
the Western powers had consolidated 
the restless nobles, the patient people, 
and the plotting revolutionists, the or- 
thodox and dissenting sects, into one 
great national party, resolved to sup- 
port the Emperor and maintain the in- 
tegrity of the Russian territory : and thus 
the nation was marvellously strength- 
ened by the very blow intended to crip- 
ple it. 

At least a hundred thousand of the 
common people (possibly, twice that 
number) were gathered together in the 
park of Catharinenhof. There were 
booths, shows,flying-horses, refreshment 
saloons, jugglers, circuses, balloons, and 



exhibitions of all kinds : the sky was 
fair, the turf green and elastic, and the 
swelling birch-buds scented the air. I 
wandered about for hours, watching the 
lazy, contented people, as they leaped 
and ran, rolled on the grass, pulled off 
their big boots and aired their naked 
legs, or laughed and sang in jolly cho- 
rus. About three in the afternoon there 
was a movement in the main avenue of 
the park. Hundreds of young mujiks 
appeared, running at full speed, shouting 
out, tossing their caps high in the air, 
and giving their long blonde locks to 
the wind. Instantly the crowd collected 
on each side, many springing like cats 
into the trees ; booths and shows were 
deserted, and an immense multitude 
hedged the avenue. Behind the leap- 
ing, shouting, cap-tossing avant-garde 
came the Emperor, with three sons and 
a dozen generals, on horseback, canter- 
ing lightly. One cheer went up from 
scores of thousands ; hats darkened the 
air ; eyes blazing with filial veneration 
followed the stately figure of the mon- 
arch, as he passed by, gratefully smil- 
ing and greeting on either hand. I 
stood among the people and watched 
their faces. I saw the phlegmatic Sla- 
vonic features transformed with a sud- 
den and powerful expression of love, 
of devotion, of gratitude, and then I 
knew that the throne of Alexande. II. 
rested on a better basis than tradit:' i or 
force. I saw therein another side o/" this 
shrewd, cunning, patient, and childlike 
race, whom no other European race yet 
understands and appreciates, a race 
yet in the germ, but with qualities out 
of which a people, in the best sense 
of the word, may be developed. 

The month of May was dark, rainy, 
and cold ; and when I left St. Peters- 
burg, at its close, everybody said that 
a few days would bring the summer. 
The leaves were opening, almost visi- 
bly, from hour to hour. Winter was 
really over, and summer was just at 
the door ; but I found, upon reflection, 
that I had not had the slightest expe- 
rience of spring. 



1 86s.] 



Needle and Garden. 



47 



NEEDLE AND GARDEN. 

THE STORY OF A SEAMSTRESS WHO LAID DOWN HER NEEDLE AND BECAME 
A STRAWBERRY-GIRL. 



WRITTEN BY HERSELF. 



CHAPTER VII. 

I HAVE already mentioned that the 
little holding of forty acres, which 
my progenitor took up when he came 
to Philadelphia, had in process of time 
been subdivided into many smaller ones. 
These had been successively improved 
as the new owners entered upon them, 
some very indifferently, some quite re- 
spectably, many of them being de- 
voted to gardening for the city markets. 
The occupants were not much of neigh- 
bors to us, though friendly enough in 
their way ; among them, however, was 
a family by the name of Tetchy who 
claimed to have some acquaintance 
with us. This name, Tetchy, always 
struck me as a singular one ; and I 
have often thought it must have been a 
corruption of Touchy, as a constitutional 
tendency to the infirmity thereby sig- 
nified was continually apparent in their 
conduct toward all who came in con- 
tact with them. The whole family, 
comprising the parents, two daugh- 
ters, and a son, were a jealous, envious 
set, rarely saying a kind word to any 
one, and never, as my mother often 
remarked, doing a kind thing even 
to us, who were more sociable with 
them than any other of the neighbors. 
Of course they had abundance of ri- 
diculous pride, though having nothing 
to be proud of; and one of the daugh- 
ters, Miss Belinda, was remarkable for 
holding up her head as if she had been 
the finest lady in the land, besides hav- 
ing a curt, snappish way of speaking, 
that made me habitually afraid of her. 
These people had a piece of ground 
of the same size as ours, which the father 
worked as a' garden. He was very skil- 
ful at gardening, and kept everything in 
such complete order that I would many 



times have gone in to admire his fruits 
and flowers, had it not been for the 
crisp reception that one was sure to 
get from Miss Belinda Tetchy and her 
mother. They never invited us inside 
the gate, and seemed jealous of our 
learning any particulars of what they 
were doing. The father had some 
grains of good-nature in his disposition, 
and would have been glad to have me 
come in occasionally : I am sure of this, 
as he often came into our garden and 
gave me very useful advice and instruc- 
tion about what I was cultivating. But 
his wife's temper was a bar to all hospital- 
ity, and our intercourse with the family 
was accordingly as limited as possible, 
except with the son, Arthur,, who made 
himself quite intimate at our house, 
and was disposed to set up for a beau 
to my sister, though I never could dis- 
cover that she had any particular liking 
for him. Even he, however, was habit- 
ually taciturn about what was done in 
their garden, as if he had been well 
drilled in the art of concealment. 

We never could tell with certainty how 
this family contrived to live as well as 
they did. The father had no other em- 
ployment than that afforded by his gar- 
den, at least that we ever knew. There 
was a sort of mystery about what he 
did with his most valuable fruit. We 
saw him taking it away in a wheelbar- 
row, but it was always carefully covered, 
and none but his family knew whether 
he took it to market, or disposed of it to 
the fruit stores in the city. The family 
never boasted of how much they raised ; 
and though we were often curious to 
know more than we did, myself especial- 
ly, yet the fear of being snubbed by Miss 
Belinda prevented us from making any 
inquiries. The daughters did nothing, 
unless it were to dress well, a great deal 



48 



Needle and Garden. 



[July, 



better than any of us, and to be often 
in the street. It is true that Arthur 
was an apprentice, and was no ex- 
pense to the family ; but beyond what 
he received from his employer we could 
not learn that they had any income but 
what was produced from the garden. 

Still, all the neighborhood knew that 
old Tetchy had an immense bed of straw- 
berries ; they could see that through 
the cracks in the fence. Then he had 
fixed up a large number of seats in differ- 
ent parts of the garden, and there, dur- 
ing the season, was a constant throng 
of visitors, who came to eat strawber- 
ries and cream. He had carried on 
this business for a great many years. 
I had never noticed these things very 
particularly, until my mother and I be- 
gan debating how it was that the Tetchy 
family contrived to live and dress so 
well without apparently doing anything 
except looking after a garden no larger 
than our own. But when my curios- 
ity had been awakened, I started out 
on a course of inquiry that resulted in 
throwing more light on the subject than 
the Tetchys supposed. I watched the 
crowd of visitors who entered the gar- 
den-gate every evening in June to eat 
strawberries, and found it so large that 
toward the last of the season I began 
to count them. The number was so 
great that it amazed us, and my mother 
was sure I must have been mistaken. I 
regretted not having begun the enumer- 
ation when the season first opened, as 
that would have given us some idea of 
what we had vainly tried to ascertain 
from the family, the number of pints 
of strawberries they raised in a season. 
My sister had entered heartily into the 
spirit of inquiry which now moved me, 
and became extremely accessible to Ar- 
thur Tetchy, even consenting to walk out 
with him several evenings, in the hope 
of being invited into the garden, or of 
getting some information out of him, 
in aid of the common cause. But the 
fellow had been so well tutored on the 
subject that he proved a regular know- 
nothing, he had no idea what quan- 
tity they raised, in short, he refused 
to tell. But in addition to what was 



consumed in the garden, we saw, dur- 
ing the day, numerous callers with bas- 
kets, and we knew that their errand was 
to buy strawberries. Then old Tetchy 
was seen carrying away other baskets 
into the city, so that during the season 
the demand was evidently unintermitted. 

We had often heard these strawberries 
spoken of as being of superior size and 
quality. Indeed, we one day read a 
notice of them in our penny paper, rep- 
resenting them as being nearly as large 
as eggs, and describing the garden. It 
also spoke in very extraordinary terms 
of the richness of the cream. But I 
never could understand how this could 
be, as we knew that old Tetchy kept 
only one cow, and it was impossible for 
one cow to make cream enough real 
cream for even a quarter of the peo- 
ple who came to eat his strawberries. 
I thought so strange of this piece that 
I ventured to show it to Miss Belinda, 
and inquired very innocently how they 
could get so much cream, and if it were 
not wrong in the newspapers to publish 
such mistakes. But, what was very un- 
usual with her, she was wonderfully 
pleased with the matter, and said they 
had two cows, one that they kept in 
the stable, and another in the kitchen. 

" How ? " I inquired, in amazement, 
"keep a cow in the kitchen ? Why, is 
it not very inconvenient ? " 

"Not at all," she replied. "The 
greatest convenience possible. But the 
kitchen cow has an iron tail ! " 

" But did the newspaper man know 
this ? " I asked, not being familiar with 
the tricks of trade, and utterly ignorant 
how such things were managed. 

" No, indeed ! " she replied, add- 
ing, with what I considered great super- 
ciliousness, "we sent him a basket of 
strawberries, and invited him down last 
week to take some with cream, and when 
he came it was cream that he got, our 
best. That was well done ; and ever 
since he published that piece we have 
been so crowded that the new cow in 
the kitchen supplies more milk than the 
old one in the stable." 

I had never known either her or any 
of the family to be so communicative 



1865.] 



Needle and Garden. 



49 



before. It was an entirely new idea to 
me, and rather shook my confidence 
in the newspapers, not supposing they 
were ever deceived. 

But Tetchy's berries were unques- 
tionably very superior ones. We had 
frequently seen them, and on one occa- 
sion my sister and I had gone in with 
the evening throng and called for sau- 
cers of them, merely to learn for our- 
selves how the business was carried on 
and what prices were obtained. I am 
sure that not near so much civility was 
shown to us as to the other customers. 
No doubt, as we were neighbors, and 
had been very inquisitive, they suspect- 
ed our object in coming. 

We both remarked on the deplora- 
ble weakness of the cream, and had a 
good laugh over the method of its man- 
ufacture. Jane thought of calling for a 
second saucer, and of asking the fair 
Tetchy who served us if she would not 
do us the favor to let the watery por- 
tion be put into a separate vessel. I 
was really frightened for fear she would 
do as she proposed, as I knew her fond- 
ness for pleasantries of this sort, and 
also, that so far from being taken as 
a joke, it would bring down upon us 
a storm of wrath. We were surprised 
at the smallness of the saucers con- 
taining the fruit. Certainly the con- 
tents of as many as four or five could 
have been put into a pint. Then the 
sugar was supplied in meagre quantity, 
though at that time cheaper than ever 
before known. There were common tin 
spoons, so valueless as to make it no 
object for a thief to steal them, and of 
no consequence if they were bent up or 
thrown away by roystering visitors. The 
supply of cheap sugar was not sufficient 
to overcome the sharp acid of the fruit, 
showing that the demand was so urgent 
as to compel the picking of the berries 
before the sun had imparted to them 
the luscious sweetness of complete ripe- 
ness. As at all popular summer resorts, 
the price charged was provokingly dis- 
proportioned to the fare ; but then we 
remembered that we had come in pur- 
suit of knowledge, that knowledge al- 
ways has in some way to be paid for, 

VOL. xvi. NO. 93. 4 



and that the strawberry-season is very 
short. 

Though thus ascertaining the prices 
at which Tetchy disposed of the fruit in 
his popular strawberry-garden, we were 
unable to learn what he obtained for that 
which he carried away in little baskets 
to his private customers. But we sup- 
posed it must go to families who paid 
the highest figures, as the fruit was care- 
fully selected, the smaller berries being 
served up to the evening customers, 
who, viewing them by an indifferent 
light, were unable to form a judgment 
as to their size and appearance, and 
with whom the mere strawberry- flavor 
was sufficient. My mother called our 
attention to one circumstance, that 
all the fruit was sold at retail prices, 
and that, if there was any profit in the 
business, these people got the whole 
of it. At the rates they were selling, 
they must be receiving at least a dollar 
a quart, and that clear of the cost of the 
cream from their two cows. I suppose 
it might have been considered imperti- 
nent in us to be thus prying into our 
neighbors' concerns, wondering how 
they contrived to live and how much 
money they made by their business. 
But we had no idea of doing them any 
injury ; I was only desirous of doing 
something better for myself than work- 
ing all my life on a sewing-machine. 
And besides, I have no doubt there 
were folks around us who were quite as 
inquisitive as to how we managed to 
get along, and that, too, from mere idle 
curiosity, without any view to bettering 
themselves by imitating us. 

In addition to these little diplomatic 
efforts to obtain information as to how 
much money our neighbors were mak- 
ing, many others were tried. I had al- 
ready suggested to my mother and sis- 
ter the idea of my undertaking the busi- 
ness of raising strawberries ; and hence, 
as they both fell in with the project, 
our common effort to learnwhether our 
neighbors really did support themselves 
by an employment so apparently insig- 
nificant. There was one point about 
which we were greatly perplexed. The 
strawberry-season lasted only fifteen to 



Needle and Garden. 



twenty days, and we could not under- 
stand how the Tetchys could make 
enough in that short period to keep 
them a whole year. It is true we knew 
that they could sell at enormous retail 
prices all that they were able to pro- 
duce, and hence we became satisfied 
that it was simply a question of quan- 
tity. If they could produce enough, 
even within the short period of twenty 
days, they could do -all that they ap- 
peared to be doing during the remain- 
der of the year, that is, comparative- 
ly nothing. 

Now not one of us had any knowl- 
edge of the strawberry -culture. My 
father, strangely enough, had never in- 
troduced it into our garden, though he 
knew what our neighbors had for many 
years been doing. We had no agricul- 
tural publications to instruct us, and 
we could not form the remotest idea 
of how much fruit an acre could be 
made to yield. We did not even know 
the size of our neighbor's strawberry- 
bed. But one day, when the fruit sea- 
son was over, my sister was bold enough 
to invite herself into Tetchy's garden. 
She and Arthur had been taking a walk, 
and he was about parting with her at 
the garden -gate, when she pushed in 
with him, and obliged him to go all 
round the strawberry - ground. It lay 
in one piece, and, though quite large, 
she managed to count the number of 
steps as they strolled round it. Arthur 
had not the faintest idea of what she 
was after, but flattered himself that she 
was desirous of having a little more 
of his society. When Fred came home 
that evening, Jane reported to him the 
number of steps she had taken in her 
strawberry-circuit, and Fred ciphered it 
out for us that the plot contained exactly 
an acre. This was an important item of 
information for us. We knew that old 
Tetchy's lot was of precisely the same 
size as ours, an acre and a half, 
and we feltthat we could spare an acre 
for a strawberry-bed as well as he. We 
were firmly impressed with the belief 
that their acre of strawberries kept the 
whole family ; and I felt sure r that, if I 
could only learn the mode of culture, 



we could in some way find a market for 
all we could produce, although I did 
not contemplate inviting customers to 
our house to eat sour strawberries and 
such terribly diluted cream as they were 
selling. 1^ often saw the Tetchy girls 
hoeing and weeding, and have no doubt 
they performed a very large part of that 
important labor. It was light work, as 
well as home-work, such as I was ex- 
tremely anxious to obtain. The whole- 
some out-door exercise, I was con- 
fident, would give robustness to my 
health, and, if the summer sun did 
change me from a blonde into a bru- 
nette, the winter intermission would 
bring that all right again. 

We saw there were difficulties in the 
way of making a beginning, because of 
our total ignorance of the business. But 
among us there was a good deal of res- 
olution. There was also a strong desire 
to learn ; and a willingness to do so, 
coupled with persevering energy of pur- 
pose, rarely fails of its object. We were 
also prompt to act, whenever we found 
action desirable. While others would 
be deliberating, we would be pushing 
on ; and I have always found that going 
forward with spirit and confidence is 
one of the surest pledges of success ; 
for it is he who hesitates and doubts, 
and so does nothing, that unfits himself 
for doing anything. 

Success in one thing stimulates to 
exertion in another. We had already 
borne up under calamity, and been 
quite as fortunate as others, even when 
the horizon was overcast by heavy 
clouds. But now we were comparative- 
ly comfortable ; the sky above us was 
serene, and our hopes were buoyant ; the 
venture I was proposing to make would 
cost but a trifling sum, and, if failure 
came, the loss could not be great. It 
was not farming that I was to undertake. 
There was no land to be bought ; it was 
merely the better cultivation of what we 
already had. There was not even a tool 
to be purchased. Now no one would 
be surprised at the conversion of our 
whole garden into a cabbage-field ; yet 
many would wonder at our turning it 
into a strawberry-patch. It would be a 



1 865.] 



Needle and Garden. 



novelty for women to undertake ; and, 
alas ! while even vicious novelties are 
tolerated in men, those most innocent 
are frowned upon when indulged in by 
women. But we cared not for what 
others might say or think. My assur- 
ance of success was so strong that it 
overbore every other consideration. Be- 
sides, I was strengthened by the en- 
couragement of every member of our 
little family. 

I am not about to write an apology 
for women's undertaking even a large 
horticultural establishment Of ordi- 
nary rough farming I will not speak, 
as that is confessedly beyond the do- 
main of female strength. But there are 
individuals of the sex who have large 
flower-gardens, even fruit -gardens, in 
which everything is made to bloom 
and bear luxuriantly. They neither dig 
nor hoe, but they frequently plant and 
train and trim, overseeing and direct- 
ing where and when the spade, the hoe, 
and the watering-pot shall be applied. 
Their cultivated taste gives symme- 
try and grace to borders, trellises, and 
walks, decking the first with floral 
gorgeousness, hanging the second with 
festoons whose perfumes load the at- 
mosphere, and lining the third with 
edgings that wear an ever - flashing 
greenness even under the frigid tem- 
perature of a wintry sky. It is not by 
their own hands that these marvels are 
wrought. It is of their passionate fond- 
ness for tree and fruit and flower that 
such humanizing results are born. They 
spring from the mind, the heart, the 
understanding, not from the manual la- 
bor of their fair authors. Too few of 
my sex have sufficiently informed them- 
selves of these simple affairs of the gar- 
den : their inheritance has been the 
needle only. But it was nothing of 
this ornate description that I was about 
to undertake. I was to have neither 
arbor nor trellis, no sweet-scented 
honeysuckle clustering over an elabo- 
rate framework, no parterre of beauti- 
ful flowers, glorious to behold, but pro- 
ducing no -profit, not even marigold 
or lady's-slipper. There was to be no 
fancy-work, but everything was to be 



practical. I was now in search of 
profit, trusting that the future would 
enable me to indulge in the ornamen- 
tal. 

The first thing was to procure the 
strawberry-plants. I knew of none who 
had them but the Tetchy family, and 
they guarded all their doings so close- 
ly that I half despaired of obtaining any 
from them. Why they did so we could 
not exactly tell, but our conclusion was 
that they must be unwilling to have com- 
petitors in their business. But though 
never admiring the manners of any of 
the family, I resolved to make a trial 
with them. There were reasons for 
hoping I might succeed. Miss Belinda 
Tetchy, notwithstanding her odd name, 
was quite a belle. She had been im- 
mensely popular with the young gen- 
tlemen who came to the strawberry- 
garden. My sister Jane had once very 
ill-naturedly insinuated that they came 
there as much to flirt with her as to 
indulge in strawberries, and that one 
could readily eat his way into the af- 
fections of the whole family. I did not 
like the remark, although probably there 
might be some truth in it. But one 
of these admirers continued to visit 
at old Tetchy's even when the excuse 
of coming for strawberries could no 
longer be given, and very soon our little 
neighborhood learned the interesting 
news that one of the Tetchy girls was 
about to change her name. My sister 
said she pitied the young man. In- 
deed, she went so far as to say that it 
was astonishing what risks were run by 
all such when looking round for a wife. 
As to Belinda, she was sure, that, though 
there might be a change of name, there 
would be no change of temper, as the 
latter was something she got by Nature, 
while the former came by accident. 
But Jane had a little dash of tartness in 
her own disposition, which was very apt 
to break out when topics of this kind 
came up for discussion. Though I 
could not help agreeing with her in the 
main, yet I considered it no more than 
fair to remind her that the choosing of 
a husband was quite as risky a busi- 
ness for the girls. 



Needle and Garden. 



[July, 



These things occurred towards the 
close of summer. Miss Belinda's wed- 
ding-day had been fixed for early in 
September. Of course there was con- 
siderable fluttering among the young 
people of the neighborhood, the girls, 
candor obliges me to say, being much 
more intensely affected than the young 
men. It was understood that Mrs. 
Tetchy intended to have a grand wed- 
ding for her daughter, by way, as my 
sister said, of showing her new son 
that her daughter was somebody, a fact 
of which Jane thought he would have 
a realizing experience much sooner than 
he expected. Now it was desirable for 
us to conciliate the Tetchys, and we 
thought the occasion of a wedding a 
good opportunity to do so. According- 
ly, when the eventful day arrived, I 
carried to the house a really magnificent 
vase of flowers which we had gathered 
from our garden, and presented it to 
the bride. Both she and her mother 
received it with a profusion of thanks 
that was remarkable for them to indulge 
in, adding that they would be sure and 
have it placed in the centre of the great 
table at the wedding. I had also con- 
templated accompanying it with a few 
complimentary verses, not that I was 
at all poetically inclined, but my idea 
was that they would feel a little grand 
at having some poetry about on the oc- 
casion. Indeed, I did write something, 
but it was so much of an effort that I 
have never made a second attempt. 
When I read the lines to Jane, she went 
off into a strain of merriment over what 
she called my folly, and said, in her 
usual sharp way, that that was not what 
the Tetchys cared for, they had no 
faith in any kind of jingle but that 
of money. 

Everybody in the neighborhood, as 
a matter of course, knew all that trans- 
pired at the wedding, how many 
people were there, how the bride was 
dressed, what presents she received, 
how she looked and behaved, and what 
she said, as well as what sort of a din- 
ner they had. We learned, also, that 
there was a profusion of bride-cake, in 
nice little white boxes tied with sky-blue 



ribbon, sent to friends and acquaint- 
ances in token of friendly remembrance. 
As we were living close by, and felt that 
we had strong claims, we expected ours 
would be received the next day at least. 
But the day passed, and the next and 
the next, and still no bride-cake came. 
A week longer proved that we had been 
either overlooked by accident or posi- 
tively cut by design. Jane became in- 
dignant at the apparent slight ; I was 
only alarmed lest my diplomacy had 
failed. I cared nothing for the bride- 
cake, but only for the strawberry-plants. 
So, when we thought the family had 
recovered from the confusion and really 
hard work which are always incident 
to a grand wedding, I summoned up 
courage to go and see Mrs. Tetchy 
and ask her to sell me some plants. I 
had great misgivings as to my success ; 
and in addition, the fear of her sharp 
temper and language made me nervous. 
I could stand up and face and argue 
with a man without flinching ; but some- 
how the rasping savagery of a terma- 
gant woman always overcame me. 

It happened, when I went into the 
garden, that both she and her husband 
were engaged in taking up what appear- 
ed to me to be the runners which had 
grown that summer, and were setting 
them out in new rows, by a line that 
extended across the entire bed. I ob- 
served also that they were throwing 
away many plants, probably because 
the ground was too crowded. But there 
was scarcely a moment allowed me for 
observation ; for I had no sooner walk- 
ed up to where they were at work than 
Mrs. Tetchy rose up quickly, and salut- 
ed me with, 

" How did you get in ? Was n't the 
gate bolted ? " 

I replied, that, as no one had answer- 
ed my call at the front door, I supposed 
they must be in the garden, and so had 
taken the liberty of coming in. I could 
have feigned some apology inconsist- 
ent with sincerity, but that was not my 
way. Besides, her manner was so un- 
expectedly abrupt as to confuse me. 
There she stood, with a garden-trowel 
in her hand, in working dishabille, and 



1865.] 



Needle and Garden. 



53 



presenting altogether a needlessly un- 
attractive picture of a female horticul- 
turist ; for, though operating in a garden 
is really working in the dirt, yet it does 
not follow that one must of necessity be 
dirty herself. 

" Do you want anything ? " she again 
asked, in the same snappish tone. 

" Yes, Ma'am," I replied, "I came 
to see if I could buy a few strawberry- 
plants." 

" I thought that 's what you were go- 
ing at," she answered, even more sharp- 
ly. " That 's what your pimping about 
us comes to. Want to ruin our busi- 
ness, do you, and have strawberries of 
your own to sell to our customers ? 
You can't get any here : we don't sell 
plants." 

The woman's manner forbade all per- 
suasion or argument. Her husband 
kept on with his work, saying nothing ; 
she was evidently the master-spirit of 
garden as well as household, and I turn- 
ed away so vexed and indignant as not 
even to bid the churl a good-morning. 
I could hear the mutterings of her an- 
ger to her husband as I walked quickly 
away, and am half ashamed to confess, 
that, as I passed through the gate, I 
slammed it to with all the energy of a 
real spitefulness. Not one of us has 
ever stepped foot upon the inhospitable 
premises of these people since. And 
Jane so persistently snubbed the son, 
that he very soon discovered, that, in- 
stead of being desirous of assuming the 
name of Tetchy, she would prefer never 
to hear it even mentioned. 

I have somewhere read of two charm- 
ing women being once engaged in dis- 
cussing the question of what it is that 
constitutes the beauty of the human 
hand. There was difference of opinion, 
of course, and no really definite idea of 
the true elements of beauty. Unable 
to decide themselves, they referred it 
to a gentleman present. His mind went 
back to, and wandered over, the classics, 
exhausting the heathen mythology for 
examples and parallels, but he could 
come to no- conclusion until the shining 
illustrations of the Christian faith rose 
up before him. Taking the white hand 



of each fair disputant in his own, he 
said, 

" The question is too hard for me 
to answer ; but ask the poor, those who 
in any way solicit from us a favor, and 
they will tell you that the most beauti- 
ful hand in the world is the hand that 
gives." 

I could have discovered beauty even 
in that of our neighbor, coarse and 
soiled as it was, had it been open and 
generous. But the nerves by whose 
agency the human hand is opened free- 
ly or as tightly closed must have their 
source in the human heart. If there 
be sympathy for others there, a polite- 
ness of the heart, the kindly impulses 
thus living and moving within it will 
vibrate through every cord of one's 
being, and, struggling for outward ex- 
pression, will manifest their presence 
by the warm grasp of the hand, the cor- 
dial smile, the gently modulated voice, 
the unflagging effort to promote the 
happiness of all around. I had not 
asked a gift ; it was the jealous indis- 
position to oblige that so grieved and 
confounded me. 

I had always supposed that horticul- 
ture was one of the ennobling arts, 
that it enlarged the affections and refined 
the manners of all who pursued it, even 
when they did so as a matter of pecu- 
niary gain. Here was evidence that in 
one instance I was mistaken. But it 
was the single exception to what may 
be regarded as the general rule ; for in 
other cases I have found humble culti- 
vators of both fruit and flowers, to whose 
genial hearts all selfish unwillingness to 
communicate a knowledge of the art, or 
to supply me with plants, was a total 
stranger. There are thousands of pio- 
neers such as I was. It is well for 
them that the light they need is not 
hidden under the bushel of any one 
churlish individual. But there were 
ample expedients remaining, and it re- 
quired more than one discouragement 
to divert me from the object we were 
seeking to accomplish. 

There stands in the centre of Second 
Street, in Philadelphia, a market-house 
extending two squares below Pine 



54 



Needle and Garden. 



Street, long famous for its overflowing 
supplies of fruits and vegetables. In 
passing through it on my daily walk 
to the factory, I now remembered hav- 
ing seen abundance of strawberries on 
the various stands ; but, having at that 
time no special interest in the sub- 
ject, I had only noticed the beauty 
of their crimson pyramids, the abun- 
dant supply, and the throngs of buy- 
ers that gathered round them. I took 
no thought of price, nor of where or 
how they were produced, as that branch 
of horticulture had never engaged my 
attention. But now the case was dif- 
erent. I remembered that most of 
these stands had been attended by 
women, and that one in particular had 
been famous for the quantity of its daily- 
supply of fruit, as well as for the crowd 
of customers that collected about it 

I lost no time in calling on the oc- 
cupant. Though the strawberries had 
long since disappeared, yet she sat sur- 
rounded with a profusion of vegetables, 
one kind succeeding another as the 
seasons changed. In all the public 
markets of Philadelphia, this business 
of retailing what is popularly known 
as "truck" has become an inheritance 
of the poor women ever abounding in 
a great city. It is a hard and exact- 
ing business. Whether well or ill, the 
earliest daybreak finds them at their 
posts. There they stand or sit until 
the evening shadows begin to length- 
en. Through all weathers they ob- 
serve the same compulsory routine. 
No morning rain is too drenching, no 
snow too blinding, no cold too bitter, 
to keep from their stands these heroic 
toilers for a bare subsistence. Mul- 
titudes of them are mothers of families, 
whom they are thus obliged to leave 
half-uncared-for at home. Many are 
poor widows, burdened also with the 
care of children. Every other avenue 
to employment being closed, they are 
forced into this public exposure of the 
open air, in many cases with a mere 
shed to shelter them from the inclement 
weather. But while thus dispensing 
food to others, they earn it honestly 
for themselves. They live, and some- 



times accumulate money. The shrewd 
managing ones have been known to 
become independent. Some of them 
begin upon a capital of a few dollars 
wherewith to furnish their stands, but 
not succeeding, they retire from the 
crowd and drop out of sight. Talent 
is necessary even for the sale of truck : 
not possessing it, they are driven to 
some employment of a humbler descrip- 
tion. These women are not producers 
of the fruits and vegetables they have 
to sell. Most of these are grown by 
truckers in the suburbs, who supply the 
market-stands with a daily assortment 
during the season. But the business 
of thus trafficking in the open thorough- 
fare is a hard one for females. Custom 
has reconciled the public eye to it, but 
necessity alone has made it tolerable 
for women. 

When I called at the strawberry- 
stand referred to, and entered into con- 
versation with the occupant, I at once 
discovered that I was conversing with 
one infinitely above the situation she 
was filling. Indeed, if courteousness, 
gentleness, and the manifestation of a 
sincere desire to gratify the wishes of 
another are to be considered as char- 
acteristic of a lady, this woman was 
one. I did not notice how she dressed, 
but only how pleasantly she spoke. I 
know it will be deemed evidence of ex- 
treme simplicity in me to intimate the 
possibility of a lady being found among 
the occupants of a public market. I 
know that before one can be consid- 
ered lady-like, in the common accepta- 
tion of the term, she must be shown to 
be perfectly useless. By this rule she 
must be devoid of everything that may 
entitle her to the love and protection 
which she claims of right, before she can 
receive either. It is fashionable with 
some ladies to be invalids and helpless, 
and some are nursed and coddled up 
because they take on accomplishments 
of this description. Of course no one 
will expect me to know how the domes- 
tic arrangements of Adam and Eve were 
conducted. But I may presume that 
Adam's dinners were prepared with as 
much gastronomic skill as had up to 



i86 5 .] 



Needle and Garden. 



55 



that time been attained, and that if 
Eve had set up to be a fashionable in- 
valid, wholly dependent on Adam, and 
not a help-meet, there would have been 
a domestic mutiny even in the Garden 
of Eden. Our primal mother could not 
have been less pleasing because she 
happened to be a capital cook. Thus 
the truly gentle heart will lose nothing 
of its native gentleness, though forced 
by misfortune into a humbler station. 
Such must have been the character of 
the woman I was addressing. There 
was something in her voice, moreover, 
that struck me as a familiar sound, and, 
long before our conversation had ended, 
I recognized her as the widow whom, 
years ago, I had seen made the victim 
of a heartless imposition at the counter 
of a slop-shop. She had gone through 
trial after trial, and now, lady though 
she certainly was, there she stood at a 
fruit-stand in the public market. 

There was no difficulty in obtaining 
plants through her. Like some others 
in the market, she sold many things on 
commission, among which were straw- 
berry-plants for the trucker who sup- 
plied her with fruit. I engaged all I 
should need for an acre of ground, not 
then knowing how many would be want- 
ed. Then I went into a long course of 
inquiry touching the business of raising 
and selling strawberries, but more par- 
ticularly in relation to the latter. When 
I suggested the possibility of not find- 
ing a market, she broke out into loud 
merriment. 

" Bring them to me, Miss," she cried. 
" I can sell all that you will be able to 
produce. I have never yet had a full 
supply for my customers. This market 
has never within my experience had too 
many strawberries, and I have been 
here three years." 

She gave me abundant information 
concerning the whole business of sell- 
ing, which at that time I regarded as the 
most important, having, notwithstanding 
my new-born enthusiasm, felt consider- 
able doubt as to whether we could dis- 
pose of our- crop. But here, according to 
her account, the sale was sure. Then 
she went into quite a long explanation 



of how the fruit was to be made ready for 
market, just as if I had already produced 
it, telling me that the berries must be se- 
lected when they were picked, the large 
and fine ones being kept separate from 
the smaller ones. She said it would be 
tedious and troublesome, but it gave a 
good return, as there were those among 
her customers who would pay any price 
for fine berries. I observed, that it was 
probably the wealthy ones who thus in- 
sisted on having the best. But she re- 
plied, it was not always so ; there were 
quite poor people who would buy noth- 
ing but the very best in the market; 
though even the smallest had the genu- 
ine strawberry-flavor, yet persons who 
really could not afford it did not hesi- 
tate to take the largest, at the highest 
price : the appearance, not the flavor of 
the fruit, seemed to regulate this. She 
remarked, that the extravagance of some 
families in thus indulging themselves 
was to her very surprising. But among 
the several classes of consumers all 
kinds were readily disposed of, the re- 
sult being that she never had an over- 
stock, and there need be no apprehen- 
sion on my part, therefore, of not find- 
ing a market, and at good prices, for all 
I could raise, no matter what the times 
might be. She had long since learned, 
that, the more people there were who 
got a taste of good fruit, the more freely 
they would consume it. Her great re- 
gret was that the strawberry-season did 
not extend over the whole year. On my 
suggesting, that, if such a thing could be 
brought about, there would be danger of 
the public becoming tired of them, 

" What ! " she exclaimed, with ani- 
mation, " tired of strawberries ? Don't 
distress yourself too soon. Strawberries 
are a thing of which the public have 
never yet had a surfeit." 

All this was exceedingly encouraging 
to me, and I made a full report at home 
of what I had thus learned. I was re- 
joiced at being able to carry out my 
plan in spite of our ill-natured neigh- 
bors. Besides this, the conversation re- 
ferred to showed us that their pretence 
of my wanting to ruin their business by 
raising strawberries was only a piece of 



Needle and Garden. 



[July, 



mean and unreasonable jealousy, that 
there was no real likelihood of such an 
event occurring, inasmuch as the de- 
mand was apparently unlimited. It is 
very probable, however, that it was from 
pure ill-temper that they refused to sell 
me any plants, an unwillingness to see 
us do well, not from any apprehension 
of an overstocking of the market; as 
long experience must have taught them, 
equally with the market-woman, that 
that was a comparative impossibility. 

There were various impediments to 
be overcome, even after ascertaining that 
we were sure of selling all we could pro- 
duce. Those who are experienced in 
horticulture will smile at my simplicity 
and ignorance, and wonder how so ma- 
ny difficulties beset me. But even they 
must have had some sort of probation, 
which they overlook when reading this 
history of mine. We are all, at some 
period, mere beginners in everything. 
There were hundreds of visitors to our 
neighbor's garden who had never seen 
a strawberry-plant until then. When 
mine were fairly started, I witnessed the 
same display of ignorance in others who 
came to visit us. Some ladies, occasion- 
ally gentlemen even, supposed the vines 
ran up trees, and that the fruit was gath- 
ered like cherries. It is possible that 
this may be read by some gentle spirit, 
some anxious inquirer after a brighter 
pathway through a checkered life, some 
one of my own sex whose aspirations 
may be in harmony with mine, and 
whose fortunes may have been infinite- 
ly more unpropitious, in the hope of 
gathering from my humble experience 
sufficient light to guide her in a similar 
undertaking. I doubt not there are 
thousands in our country whose tastes 
would lead them in the same direction, 
did opportunity offer, and were the re- 
quisite knowledge at hand. I therefore 
record all the trials that impeded my 
progress. When difficulties are known 
beforehand, they may often be avoided. 

I was unwilling to lose a day from the 
factory by walking several miles into the 
country to visit the man who supplied 
my friendly market-woman with straw- 
berries, and from whom the plants were 



to come. But while waiting for him to 
bring them in, together with the infor- 
mation I desired as to how and when to 
plant them, an incident occurred which 
gave me a complete knowledge of the 
whole theory of strawberry-culture. I 
had gone with my mother, one Saturday 
evening, to a neighboring grocery for 
certain articles we needed ; and while 
standing at the counter, awaiting our 
turn to be served, a boy came in with 
a large bundle of old newspapers for 
sale as wrappers, placing it on the coun- 
ter directly beside me. Casting my eye 
upon it, I noticed that the outside paper 
bore the title of " The New England 
Farmer." I then examined the bun- 
ble, untied it, and found that there were 
many numbers of the same journal, and 
underneath these a collection of " The 
Country Gentleman." I had never seen 
an agricultural paper before, though our 
little penny daily did occasionally con- 
tain extracts from some of them. I 
became immediately interested. The 
thought struck me that this bundle of 
old papers, now about to be used for 
such ignoble purposes as wrappers for 
groceries, must contain stores of the 
very information I was so laboriously 
seeking after. Hastily turning them 
over, my eye lighted on an article head- 
ed " Strawberries : how to plant and 
how to cultivate them." I was fairly 
dipping into it, when my mother, giving 
me a nudge, told me she was ready to 
go. But it was far otherwise with me, 
and I began bargaining with the boy 
for his bundle. That matter was soon 
concluded, as the grocer declined buy- 
ing ; so I took them at a few cents a 
pound. They came to nearly a dollar, 
but I had my week's wages in my pock- 
et, and am certain that I never made 
an investment so cheerfully, nor any, 
considering the amount, that was half 
so useful to me as this. Buying knowl- 
edge by the pound was quite a new 
idea with me. 

I lugged the bundle home myself, and 
went into an examination of its contents 
with the utmost enthusiasm. Indeed, 
the whole family shared it with me, so 
that we were up till nearly midnight en- 



I865-] 



Needle and Gardm. 



57 



gaged in looking after articles treating 
of the subject then uppermost in our 
minds. The various numbers contain- 
ed the collected experience of probably 
fifty different cultivators of the straw- 
berry, with a mass of information on all 
matters pertaining to fruits and flow- 
ers. It took us a whole week to obtain 
any tolerable idea of the contents, as our 
evenings only could be spared for read- 
ing. The variety of experiences related 
was rather confusing, one writer tell- 
ing how he had failed altogether, though 
pursuing the very system under which 
another had had great success. There 
were all kinds of theories, and probably 
all kinds of practice. One grower de- 
clared that the ground must be made 
extremely rich, while another asserted 
positively that strawberries grew better 
and bore more abundantly on the poor- 
est soil. One gentleman averred that 
the only profitable plan was to raise the 
plants in distinct hills, keeping them 
clear of runners ; some one in the next 
paper denied this, and vowed that he 
made more money by crowding his 
ground with all the plants that could 
find room upon it to take root. I re- 
member one correspondent who said 
that letting the weeds grow would kill 
the strawberries ; but there was some 
one else who assured the editor, that, 
in his opinion, the strawberries rather 
liked the weeds, because they shaded 
the ground. 

How was it possible for me to dis- 
criminate between these contradictory 
statements, all made, moreover, by 
gentlemen who wrote as if each were 
in himself a complete horticultural en- 
cyclopaedia ? Though utterly confused 
by them, and quite at a loss to know 
which plan of cultivation to adopt, yet 
one fact seemed very prominent, and 
that was that any person who was at 
all careful in keeping his ground mel- 
low and reasonably clear of weeds would 
be sure to have good crops. 

What struck me as a little remark- 
able in this voluminous record of ex- 
perience and opinion was the circum- 
stance of there being very few female 
writers on the subject. There were 



many who wrote quite eloquently on 
the culture of flowers, but only two or 
three who appeared to have cultivated 
strawberries. Yet there were several 
accounts of wonderful coverlets which 
some of them had made, containing 
many thousands of pieces, with proba- 
bly one or two millions of stitches. I 
could not help concluding that this lat- 
ter feat was only labor thrown away, 
and that elderly ladies who undertake 
to produce counterpanes and bedspreads 
with so much superfluous work upon 
them should be provided with a sew- 
ing-machine. It was not very encour- 
aging to observe that so small a share 
of female attention had been directed 
to the strawberry - culture. The only 
recorded efforts of this kind had been 
made in gardens, where the beds, after 
being planted, were attended to by the 
women of the family. It appeared that 
they could readily keep everything in 
order, pull out the weeds, gather the 
fruit ; and though the fact was not men- 
tioned, yet I presume they were able to 
put in a full oar when it came upon 
the table. One or two cases were re- 
lated of young girls having made quite 
a handsome sum from a small garden- 
bed. But the general testimony went 
to prove that strawberry - growing was 
so simple an art that any woman who 
had sufficient good sense to keep her- 
self tidy could successfully practise it, 
more especially if she had a taste for 
horticultural occupations. I concluded, 
therefore, that the true reason why wom- 
en had not engaged more extensively 
in this employment was because no one 
had taken pains to call their attention 
to it. 

There was one branch of the subject 
which it was difficult to understand ex- 
actly. Almost every person who wrote 
about strawberries seemed to have the 
best variety that had ever been known 
or heard of. This was especially no- 
ticeable in the statements of those who 
had plants to sell. After reading one 
advertisement, I felt satisfied that the 
particular fruit therein described was 
what I ought to have. But on examin- 
ing the next announcement, I was con- 



Needle and Garden, 



[July, 



founded at learning that there was a 
still better kind. So it ran through 
probably half a dozen : every one was 
best. Indeed, there appeared to be no 
inferior strawberry -plants for sale. I 
had no friend to consult with who could 
explain this remarkable state of things ; 
and being thus left in doubt as to wheth- 
er there was really any merit in plants 
thus extravagantly praised, I came to 
the conclusion that the safer way would 
be to let them all go, and adopt some 
well-established kind, that was known 
to be a sure bearer, and which could 
be had at a moderate price, leaving the 
costly novelties to be patronized by those 
who had more money to spare. In two 
or three of these florid descriptions of 
new varieties I observed that great 
stress was laid on the enormous size of 
the fruit, as well as their unequalled pro- 
ductiveness ; but there was no mention 
of quality : what that was appeared to 
be studiously suppressed. An orange 
may be as large as a pumpkin ; but if it 
be proportionably coarse and flavorless, 
one would conclude, that, the greater 
the size, the less desirable the fruit. It 
was important for me to begin right ; so, 
abandoning these new and costly vari- 
eties, I determined to have something 
nearer home, about whose value there 
could be no doubt. I was to produce 
fruit for the public, not for our own pri- 
vate use, and therefore must have a well- 
established market berry. 

I do not mean to undervalue the great 
horticultural novelties of the day, mere- 
ly because I was unable to purchase, or 
because others were evidently realizing 
great sums by first originating them, and 
then spreading their merits before the 
world, though sometimes in extrava- 
gant terms. The world must have been 
waiting for them, or they could not have 
become so suddenly popular. And the 
painstaking horticulturist would not 
have devoted years of patient care and 
watchfulness, exercising a consummate 
skill in stimulating Nature to the pro- 
duction of a better plant, a more gor- 
geous flower, or a more luscious fruit, 
had he not known that there was a wait- 
ing public, ever ready to reward his skill 



and perseverance by extensive purchas- 
es at liberal prices. It is to this cer- 
tainty of generous remuneration that we 
are indebted for nearly all the great and 
truly valuable novelties with which the 
horticultural world has been supplied. 
A rose, with tints unknown a century 
ago, has proved a stepping-stone to 
the discoverer's fortune. The skilful 
propagator of new or rare verbenas has 
grown rich from annual sales of these 
beautiful bedding plants. The tulip is 
an historical monument of floral enthu- 
siasm. When Mexico was opened to 
Northern enterprise, it yielded of its 
boundless exuberance the cactus and 
the dahlia, sources of untold wealth to 
those florists who ministered to the pop- 
ular taste for Nature's richest produc- 
tions. The originator of a new and val- 
uable grape has found in it a fortune. 
Accident has sometimes been produc- 
tive of equally remunerative results. A 
solitary berry, growing in the tangled 
hedge -row of an abandoned field, has 
been the foundation of an independence. 
The history of horticulture abounds 
in instances akin to these. The en- 
thusiasts who produced or discovered 
such novelties have conferred inestima- 
ble benefits on the world. The origi- 
nator of the Albany seedling strawberry 
unquestionably added threefold to the 
quantity of that surpassingly delicious 
fruit. He devoted years of patient care 
and watchfulness to a nursery contain- 
ing thousands of seedlings, of which one 
only was found to be worthy of cultiva- 
tion. And if he had his reward, he was 
well entitled to it He has given us a 
plant superior to all that Nature's handi- 
work had previously produced, supe- 
rior in the elements of commercial value, 
particularly in a productiveness so far 
surpassing that of any of its predeces- 
sors as to establish it as the standard by 
which every subsequent competitor must 
be estimated. It has spread over every 
section of our vast country, taking kind- 
ly to every variety of soil and climate, 
covering with its robust foliage many 
thousands of acres, producing tens of 
thousands of bushels of fruit, crowding 
our markets with abundant supplies, and 



1865-] 



Needle and Garden. 



59 



producing profits to its cultivators such 
as no other strawberry has ever yielded. 
As a market berry it was quickly recog- 
nized as being unsurpassed, nor have its 
numerous modern rivals been yet able 
to shake its strong hold upon the pub- 
lic favor. I know at least my read- 
ing has taught me that there are mul- 
titudes of recent candidates for popular- 
ity, claiming to be far superior to this, 
all struggling to displace the old-time 
favorite. I am unable here at least 
to discuss their several merits, and 
therefore dismiss the novelties I have 
never tried for the great standard which 
has been so long approved. 

We knew it was by means of this 
prolific berry that our neighbors, so 
disagreeable to us, were making them- 
selves so popular. It was the variety 
sold by my widow in the market. Its 
character as a fruit for the million being 
thus established, we adopted it without 
hesitation. 

My agricultural journals told me how 
many plants were to be put upon an 
acre, what were to be the distances 
apart, when to set them, with other par- 
ticulars as to the mode of cultivation. 
But one of the most important facts 
taught me by my little library was that 
I could set the plants in the fall as 
advantageously as in the spring. This 
would give me a great start. I learned 
that in the two last autumn months, the 
temperature of the earth being higher 
than that of the air, the former would 
act as a sort of forcing-house, stimulat- 
ing the growth and expansion of the 
roots, so that before winter set in they 
would become so firmly established as 
to be enabled to survive the severest 
weather, and be pretty sure to give me 
quite a handsome crop the succeeding 
summer. There was nothing to do, 
then, but to procure the plants and get 
them in. Fred undertook to have the 
ground broken up and put in complete 
order for me, that is, half an acre. We 
were not able to spare money enough 
to buy more plants, but intended to fill 
up the other half-acre from the runners 
that would be thrown out the following 
summer. I knew that our ill-natured 



neighbors had thrown away more plants 
than I needed, which they could have 
given to me without being themselves 
any the poorer. But perhaps I ought 
not to indulge in reproachful reminis- 
cences of this kind. Still, it is difficult 
for one who never feels a selfish wish 
to understand how others can be so 
differently constituted. If such people 
would only for once indulge in the lux- 
ury of doing a really kind action, I am 
inclined to think they would be tempt- 
ed into many repetitions of it. But it will 
be seen that I succeeded in getting my 
pets into the ground by depending on 
myself, letting others pursue their own 
way. 

The rows were struck out only three 
feet apart, and the plants were set a foot 
asunder in the rows. This was not too 
close for our little garden culture, though 
it may be much too crowded for large 
fields. I was anxious to have as much 
fruit as possible on a small surface, in- 
tending to keep the runners from over- 
spreading the ground. This desire for 
a great crop is the common anxiety of 
most fruit-growers, especially of begin- 
ners, and I think is frequently the cause 
of those failures that so often happen 
to them. My sister and I took a holi- 
day from the factory and went to plant- 
ing. My mother also did her full share 
of the labor. With such novices, it was 
of course very slow work, and employed 
us two or three days. 

Very soon the neighbors stopped, as 
they were passing the half-latticed gar- 
den-gate, and looked in to see what we 
were about. This neighborly curiosity 
is the most natural thing in the world. 
One always likes to know what is going 
on either next door or in the opposite 
house. I confess to a weakness of that 
sort myself. Hence we took no offence, 
even when there was quite a crowd look- 
ing in. 

When it was ascertained that we were 
planting strawberries, great surprise was 
manifested, and all kinds of remarks 
were made. Had we been planting po- 
tatoes, it would have been all right, as 
every family that had a little patch of 
ground in that neighborhood raised 



60 



Needle and Garden. 



[July, 



potatoes, though they paid no profit, 
while only one the Tetchys culti- 
vated strawberries, which afforded a 
very handsome profit. I think it must 
have been the novelty of seeing women 
thus occupied that occasioned much of 
the surprise. 

Before noon of the first day the whole 
Tetchy family crowded up to the gate 
and stood there a long time observing 
our movements. Their quick ears had 
been among the first to catch the news. 
They tried the latch, but Jane had lock- 
ed the gate, determined that not one of 
them should come in. Thus excluded, 
all they could do was to indulge in a 
variety of ill-natured remarks. 

" I knew that was what they were af- 
ter ! " said Mrs. Tetchy to her husband, 
in a voice that was intended for us to 
hear. 

But we kept our backs to them, tak- 
ing no notice of what they said. 

"Another strawberry-garden, I sup- 
pose ! " exclaimed the daughter, Miss 
Annabella Tetchy, who had not yet had 
the good luck to change her ugly 
name. 

" Cream, too, no doubt !" added Tetchy 
himself, in a tone so insulting that I 
thought it unworthy of one calling him- 
self a man. 

These provoking taunts continued un- 
til the spiteful family appeared to have 
either relieved themselves or grown 
tired of having the cold shoulder of a 
profound contempt all the time turned 
toward them. It was a very hard thing 
for me to bear this malicious insolence. 
I could have retorted keenly on them 
by some plain insinuation touching their 
iron-tailed cow, of which they probably 
thought that no one but themselves had 
any knowledge. But we preserved our 
self-respect by maintaining silence. 

These little private vexations were 
about all that we encountered during 
the whole progress of our strawberry- 
planting. The neighbors, with the ex- 



ception of the Tetchys, having no par- 
ticular interest as to how we got along 
or whether we got along at all, very 
soon ceased to take any notice of what 
we were doing. The novelty of the 
new enterprise died away as speedily, 
for the season at least, as if we had 
been sowing turnips. Under the fine 
October weather, the plants quickly 
took root, and went on growing so vig- 
orously that some of them even put out 
an occasional runner. But these were 
immediately clipped off, as sure to im- 
pair the vigor of the plant, which could 
now support no extraneous offshoots. 
There were some plants, however, that 
apparently stood still, refusing to grow, 
while others died out entirely. But 
casualties of this sort are always to be 
expected. They occur with old hands 
at strawberry-planting, and beginners 
must not think to escape them. 

I felt inexpressibly proud of my 
achievement. I watched this work of 
my own hands so closely, being up and 
in the garden long before breakfast, 
that I think the very shape and position 
of every plant came to be imprinted on 
my memory. I know that I could de- 
tect the changes that took place in the 
look of each particular pet. I thought 
of them when operating the treadle of 
my sewing-machine at the factory, and 
I hurried home more expeditiously than 
aforetime, to enjoy even the brief au- 
tumn twilight among my strawberries. 
I sometimes even dreamed of them on 
my pillow. Now my agricultural library 
became far more interesting and useful 
than before. I had had a touch of real, 
actual practice, and could already un- 
derstand and appreciate many sugges- 
tions which had heretofore been of 
doubtful significancy. Thus the long 
winter came gradually in, closing up 
the great volume of vegetable life, but 
affording me abundant time for study- 
ing that other volume which had so 
singularly fallen in my way. 



I86 5 .] 



A Paper of Candle-Ends. 



61 



A PAPER OF CANDLE-ENDS. 



WHO made all the old saws ? 
not the rusty steel affairs that 
Patrick and John ply upon Down-East 
fire-wood at our back doors, but those 
sharp-pointed, trenchant ones that phi- 
losophers love to draw across the hearts 
of men, cutting, tearing, grinding away, 
till the fibre of their being quivers un- 
der the remorseless teeth. Many were 
forged, we all know, in the celebrated 
workshop of W. Shakspeare ; other par- 
ticularly fine 1 toothed ones were pointed 
by a French artisan named Rochefou- 
cauld ; and many more, bright and lu- 
cent, are borrowed reverently be it 
spoken ! from that grand arsenal of 
truth and power built by the hands of 
the great holy men of holy times. But 
who made the many tough old blades 
which have a temper that outlives time, 

whose rugged points have never lost 
a whit of their keenness, after having 
torn their way through human bosoms, 
been hung up and taken down again for 
centuries, and never a maker's name 
upon them ? 

Going by a little squalid old house, 
some nights ago, I saw a light in a 
ground-floor window ; and peeping in, 

my name is not Tom, nor was it any 
Godiva I was espying, but I could not 
help a sort of curiosity to see what that 
eleven-o'clock light might exhibit, I 
saw a pale face, and a thin, bent form. 
Soft hair was parted from a white brow, 
and fell in ringlets upon a shabby dress. 
Eyes, that might have shone with be- 
witching brilliancy in certain parlors I 
know of, were sadly and intently fixed 
upon the quick-drawn needle which the 
thin fingers were assiduously and weari- 
ly plying. The light came from a half- 
burnt candle. No, Mrs. Grundy, your 
friend Asmodeus did not knock nor go 
in ; but he thought of you, although you 
were at that moment virtuously bestow- 
ed, with matronly grace, in curtained 
slumbers. Asmodeus looked, and be- 
held, through a hole in the curtain, an 
old, rusty saw crunching away across 



that poor, desolate, weary heart, Lejeu 
ne vaut pas la chandelle. "Stop, stop, 
father ! " cries Asmodeus, Jr. " What 
does that mean ?" Why, my dear boy, 
that is the saw which was tearing the 
poor woman's heart. The words mean, 
in plain English, " The play is not worth 
the candle." In ancient days folks did 
not have big glass chandeliers, all spark- 
ling with gas. The Asmodei of old did 
not turn up, or down, or out, the lumi- 
naries which bathed them in midnight 
brilliancy. They snuffed them. When 
the old French kings danced minuets 
with their most virtuous and respected 
maids of honor on private stages, they 
were enlivened by tallow flames. They 
had no quarterly bills for so many feet 
of light ; for they bought it by the pound. 
When Monsieur Deuse-Ace rattled the 
dice or shuffled the cards with Signor 
Double-Six, he looked for luck; not at a 
patent safety-burner, but at the stranger 
in the flickering candle -flame. Now 
sometimes M. Deuse-Ace came out of 
that rattling and shuffling with an empty 
purse, and, when called on to pay for 
the tallow, he swore, like a bad man as 
he was, that the play was not worth the 
candle. So I think that famous old saw 
must have been made by some unhap- 
py Murad who was unlucky in turning 
up small numbers or having dealt to 
him cards considerably below kings, 
though knaves were his constant com- 
panions. But this elegant English,yf^//<3 
mio, may be more idiomatically render- 
ed, perhaps, in the language of the day, 
thus : It does n't pay ! Paying is the 
touchstone nowadays to which every- 
thing is brought, from the stock of the 
great Beaugous Bootjack Company to 
the great Rebellion of 1861. 

Well, there sat the poor woman, 
you see, Mrs. Grundy, that she was no 
Godiva, nor I a peeping Tom. My eye- 
sight is good yet, and I could see that 
old saw deep in her sad, trembling bos- 
om. No ! that jeu was a bad one. She 
had lost her youth, her happiness, her 



62 



A Paper of Candle-Ends. 



[July, 



all, on the tapis vert of human life. It 
had turned up noir when it should have 
come rouge, and the candle was to pay 
for. Do you know what strain of music 
came sadly on my ear, and how I felt 
when I saw that the horrible old saw 
was keeping time to it ? It was a little 
song of Hood's. You know it. Many 
know it. She knew it, ah, too well ! 
She knew it by heart. 

Now candles are stuck in all sorts of 
sticks : golden branches, silver arms, 
brass stands, tin cups, bottles, wooden 
blocks, potatoes, and turnips. We all 
have seen candles and candelabras ; and 
if we don't employ them as corks for 
our empty bottles, why, John puts them 
into the last new chimney ornament, 
and we have to pay for them when the 
play is over. Skinflint is a nice man, 
pious and genteel, a good father, hus- 
band, etc. He made money in that fa- 
mous Rotten-Iron Company, which paid 
the original purchasers cent per cent, 
and then, some how or other, passed off 
from the stock list. He was largely con- 
cerned in the well-known Cheetamall 
Copper Company, which gave the first 
block-takers such a great profit, but has 
not been quoted lately, is not worked, 
probably. He took a fabulous sum out 
of that celebrated corner in the Greeni- 
pluck Lead Company. Mr. S. drives 
his span, goes to Newport in the sum- 
mer, is conspicuous at the opera, and 
loves to see Mrs. S. in gorgeous array. 
What more would you have ? Does 
Skinflint ever think his candle is snuffy 
or burns dimly? Does he like that 
great red eye which gleams out of the 
flame, as though it foretold an unwel- 
come guest ? Could it be young Spoo- 
ney, who was ruined in that Rotten-Iron 
affair ? or his friend Shallow, who was 
induced to borrow privately of his em- 
ployers in hopes of making a fortune in 
the Cheetamall Copper ; but lost both 
fortune and name thereby ? Might it 
be the dying glare of his friend Needy, 
who hung himself after the Greenipluck 
expost, which reduced him to beggary ? 
Or is it the eye of Society which he 
knows looks on his span, and his New- 
port house, and his wife's jewels, with 



the flash of contempt ? How is it, Mrs. 
Grundy ? which candle is best to sit be- 
side, Mr. Skinflint's, or the one you 
thought shone on a Godiva I was spy- 
ing ? Do you think S.'s candle is really 
worth the price ? 

And there is your friend, Miss Free- 
manners, you are shocked that I 
mention her name to you, are you ? 
Why, she used to be your childhood's 
companion; but since she has taken to 
gentlemen's society in particular, you 
don't notice her, and are struck with 
virtuous indignation when Grundy nods 
to her in the street. Surely Miss F. 
dresses beautifully and is handsome 
as a picture, and is much sought after 
by gentlemen of doubtful nicety in the 
choice of female friends. She leads a 
jolly life, certainly ; for she rides in an 
elegant barouche, has nothing to do, no 
household cares to vex her, no pork to 
boil, no potatoes to peel, and has gen- 
uine wax candles in the private boudoir 
where she receives those not over-nice 
gentlemen. What more could feminine 
heart wish ? You don't know her now. 
Mrs. Asmodeus, kind-hearted as she is, 
declines to recognize her ; and even 
Mr. A. himself does not care to be 
seen under circumstances which might 
imply acquaintance. But what does 
Miss F. care for this ? She is brilliant, 
and admired by plenty of people, 
such as they are. And yet do you 
know that I question whether, at times, 
when she sits alone in that boudoir, 
and thinks how her old friend Mrs. 
Grundy gives her the cut direct, how 
the companions of her innocent youth 
all look coldly and sternly on her, how 
that costly mirror tells her that her 
beauty is beginning to fade, the thought 
of the future does not come over her 
like the rasp of an old saw under her 
white bosom ? and whether she does 
not ask herself if the play is worth the 
price of those real wax candles ? and 
whether they will shed light and cheer 
upon her as they burn down, and she 
might not have been happier with tal- 
low and purity ? Queen Mary must 
have put some such questions to her- 
self in Lochleven Castle ; and Cleo- 



i86s.] 



A Paper of Candle-Ends. 



patra never would have got that serpent 
for the purpose she did, without some 
such thoughts. I imagine that St. He- 
lena must have known of long and 
wearisome calculations on the cost of 
the game which ended there ; and diffi- 
cult must have been their reconcilement 
to the price paid for the brilliant light 
which there died out. 

Look into that dark and dreary cell, 
my boy ! There is a rough, coarse, bru- 
tal man, pondering over his past life. 
He will be hung to-morrow. Would 
you ever suppose that man was once a 
smooth-faced, bright little fellow like 
you ? Do you see any signs of a moth- 
er's tender caress on his sullen brow ? 
Does it look as though it had ever been 
held up close and lovingly to a fond 
woman's heart ? Are there any remains 
of that clear, pure light which once look- 
ed out innocently from those bloodshot 
eyes ? All this was so once. What does 
he think of now ? Is he acting over the 
dark deed which brought him into this 
uninviting sleeping-place ? Does he see 
that silent chamber into which a guilty 
man is stealing, with crime in his heart, 
no, not in his heart ; for he has none ! 
but in his thoughts, and remorseless 
ferocity to execute it ? Does he see 
the gigantic shadows cast on the walls 
around by the miserable candle he holds? 
the still face of the sleeper ? and does he 
hear the smothered groan and the bub- 
bling sigh ? Does he see in his hand 
the paltry metal which he has secured, 
and hear his own hurried, flying steps ? 
Or is he counting the cost of that light 
which showed him where to strike ? Is 
he making that never-ending compu- 
tation, throwing into one scale inno- 
cence, happiness, manhood, love, life, 
and into the other a miserable candle- 
end ? My boy, you and I will get a 
slate and pencil before we go into such 
a chandlery operation ! 

Why do I tell such horrible stories ? 
My dear, sweet, tender-hearted Mrs. 
G., people commit murder every day : 
I mean polite, fashionable murder. 
They give a stab at your reputation 
and mine, and smile sweetly all the 
while. They watch and wait till our 



backs are turned, and then they whip 
out their long tongues, and have at 
you ! Your good name is so merciless- 
ly hacked, cut, slashed, and gashed, that 
there is scarcely enough fair outside left 
to recognize you by. They swear that 
your most innocent and gentle pastime 
is the abomination of decent people ; 
and, with that happy faculty of judging 
others by themselves, a mark of broad, 
comprehensive minds, they run up a 
list of grievances, among which swin- 
dling and adultery are common trifles. 
Peeping out from their hole in the cur- 
tain, swelling with the nobleness of their 
occupation, and filled with honest in- 
dignation at your goings on, they see, 
with a clairvoyance which puts Hume 
in the background, all the errors of 
omission and commission your guilty 
hands and hearts achieve. To be sure, 
they back them like a whale or neck 
them like a camel, according to the ex- 
uberance of their imagination, or the 
strength of their ill-will, or the innate 
suspicion of their natures. But when 
your broad back is towards them, they 
whet those sharp tongues against each 
other, and thug ! you have them under 
your fifth rib, and out at the other 
side. Well, perhaps you, Mrs. G., have 
used such a weapon. Perhaps, when 
you found out how innocent the poor 
victim was, you may have been rewarded 
by a scrape of that old saw across your 
conscience, and the smoke of the smoul- 
dering wick may have smelled nauseous 
to you. You never did ? Well, I am 
glad of it, Mrs. G., because, I assure 
you, that fogo must be a sickening one 
to carry about under one's nose. 

But if you object to the horrible, I 
will gently slide into the pathetic and 
melancholic. There is our friend Atti- 
cus, I call him so in public, because 
it would not do to name Brown right 
out, when telling his private griefs. At- 
ticus, when he read a book lately, hav- 
ing " A man married is a man marred " 
for a motto, smiled a grim smile, and 
muttered audibly, " Mrs. Atticus is 
charming, is n't she ? pretty and nice 
and neat. Why should n't Atticus be 
the happiest man in the world ? You 



64 



A Paper of Candle-Ends, 



[July, 



say that everybody thinks he is. Ah, 
yes ! that 's because everybody behind 
the blinds or beside the curtains does 
n't see the real things that go wrong, 
only the imaginary ones." Atticus, 
when all alone in his library, with no 
holes in the curtains, might tell a dif- 
ferent story. He might tell of a deso- 
late heart, a solitary intellect, hopes, 
dreams, buried. He might ask himself 
the use of lifting the mind above the 
level of common things, of hoping to 
carry another one with him in equal 
companionship, of allowing the vul- 
garities of life to become disgusting, 
and of striving for a clearer, brighter, lof- 
tier sphere. Why refine the thoughts, 
elevate the aspirations, and broaden the 
heart, till the nature shrinks from con- 
tact with commonplaces, and shudders 
at the coarse touch of worldly tongues ? 
You see that Atticus uses broad gen- 
eralities, and never once individualizes 
Mrs. Atticus. And if Mrs. Atticus were 
to steal down stairs in her night-gown, 
he would be ever so kind and gentle, 
and playfully tell her she would catch 
cold, that she had not enough clothing 
on, that the season was raw, that the 
mercury stood at thirty, that it would 
snow to-morrow, etc., etc. And when 
Mrs. Atticus retreated to her warm bed, 
he might look round on the weighty vol- 
umes, and their wealth of lore, and think 
how he trod the path they pointed out 
in solitary silence ; and then, as he pass- 
ed up stairs, a great, coarse rasp might 
make his fine-strung nerves quiver, and 
he might look at the candle he carried 
and it would suggest to him the old 
Gallic saw which had just given him the 
spasm. So you see that the curtains 
and peepholes had never discovered the 
price-current of the Atticus brand of 
candles. 

Nobody knows where some folks buy 
or burn their candles. Some people 
keep them in closets when they do not 
find it convenient to procure well-mount- 
ed skeletons. There is Mrs. Hidehart, 
you know whom I mean, when she 
was a blooming young girl, she fell in 
love with the Colonel, and, like a foolish 
thing as she was, she poured out all the 



wealth of her affection upon him, as if 
the cruse had a magic power of recu- 
peration. Well, the Colonel turned out 
to be a rotten one ; and bitter was the 
taste in the poor girl's mouth for many 
a day ! By-and-by, when she thought 
she had washed it well out, and when 

Sm , (was I going to say Smith ? 

No!) when Hidehart came along and 
bent and begged and prayed for her, 
she said " Yes ! " as she might have as- 
sented to an invitation to hear Patti. 
Well, that sort of thing don't answer in 
the long run. It is all very well to have 
love without money ; but money with- 
out love is another matter. Mr. Hide- 
hart turned out worse than the Colo- 
nel ; for he was stupid, vulgar, and mean. 
And she was so nice, so delicate, so 
bright, so intellectual ! Oh, what hours 
of bitter regret, what biting of lips, what 
flushes of shame, what heart-shocks that 
stopped the life-blood, and well, truth 
must out what caressing memories of 
the young hero who first leaped over her 
young love's ramparts ! what loathing 
of the sensual lout who had been care- 
lessly suffered to take command of the 
fortress ! Why, Mr. Asmodeus ! you 
don't mean my friend, Mrs. Smith ! 
Did I mention any such name ? No, 
Mrs. Grundy, ,1 mean Mrs. Hidehart, a 
mild, patient, smiling wife. But, up in 
a little corner closet of her chamber, 
she keeps, not a skeleton, for those 
are shocking things to lie near a lady's 
slumbers, they are bad enough in the 
shape of crinoline, but a candle ; and 
when she is very much tried, she sits 
all alone there by its flickering light, 
and thinks. What a life's fortune she 
has paid for the privilege ! and how 
fortunate that the Colonel does n't come 
back reformed ! 

The Quaker poet of New England, 
who has written one of the most beau- 
tiful things in the language, has hit off 
our friends Atticus and Hidehart most 
admirably. He was not personally ac- 
quainted with them ; and so he has in- 
vested them with a tender, imaginative 
romance, and made the one a barefoot- 
ed lass and the other a grave judge. 
Did you ever read it, Mrs. Grundy ? It 



i86 S .] 



A Paper of Candle-Ends. 



is called " Maud Muller " ; and Asmo- 
deus would buy a gross of the best wax 
lights, if he could. get a quarter of the 
illumination out of them which shone 
on the pen that traced those lines. 

Why, Mr. Asmodeus, you frighten me! 
What ! Mr. Brown and Mrs. Smith ? 
My dear Madam, I mentioned no names, 
did I ? But you may be sure that ex- 
pensive candles are burned in houses 
where you think gas only is used. How 
do you know how Jones lights his house ? 
I don't mean the parlor, where you and 
Mrs. Asmodeus display the family jew- 
els on grand occasions, and where Mrs. 
Jones exhibits the splendor of her beau- 
ty and the radiance of her smiles. That 
is gas, bright, beaming, brilliant gas. 
What else should irradiate the loving 
tenderness which unites Mr. and Mrs. 
Jones on such occasions ? You don't 
suppose that Jones is goose enough to 
show his decayed home-grown fruit to 
you, when he invites you to sup with 
him in that frescoed dining-room ? He 
picks out the rosy-cheeks for your en- 
tertainment ; and the sour grapes, the 
spotted pomes, the mildewed berries 
are tucked away up-stairs. Now you 
are not invited into that store-room. 
You are, in fact, jealously kept out of it. 
Let us creep round the corner and look 
up at that window, now the company is 
all gone. You see a light there, don't 
you ? Do you know what is burning ? 
Is it gas, or oil, or kerosene, or sperma- 
ceti, or wax, or tallow ? You will never 
know, Mrs. G. ; for Jones trims that 
light himself. Bridget never saw it yet 
Strange, is n't it, that Jones, a rich man, 
with plenty of servants, should humble 
himself to such a menial occupation ? 
My own impression is, that he uses a 
candle in that room, and has paid so 
high a price for it that he does n't dare 
to trust any one else with it. 

There are many such lighted win- 
dows ; and who knows the game that 
is going on behind the curtain ? Va- 
lent-ils la chandelle ? When Pinxit 
looks around on the accumulating can- 
vases gathering dust in his unfrequent- 
ed studio, and thinks of the dreams 
which gave fairy tints to his palette, that 

VOL. XVI. NO. 93. 5 



none else could perceive, when he 
feels that his genius is unacknowledged, 
and his toil in vain, when he sees 
Dorb's crudities in every window, and 
Dorb's praises in the "Art-Journals," 
while Pinxit is starving unknown, does 
n't he take down the old saw from his 
easel, and try its edge over his proud, 
swelling heart ? When Scripsit, who 
has dipped his pen in his soul to in- 
scribe those glowing lines which were 
to bear him up and set him across the 
golden spire of the pinnacle of Fame, 
and whose fine frenzy has as yet giv- 
en him but a scurvy mundane support, 
when Scripsit brings home his mod- 
est rasher, and finds, on unfolding it, 
that it is wrapped in the unsold sheets 
of his last lyric, does n't he think that 
the tallow which helped him to pen the 
thoughts in the midnight watches was 
the costliest of feu sacrt? When Sen- 
ator Patriota sits brooding over the 
speech which has carried the opposition 
against him, and sees his honorable 
friend slipping into the place he has 
manoeuvred for at the expense of man- 
liness, truth, consistency, and honesty, 
does he not conjugate the verb -valoir 
negatively ? When Madame Favorita 
has made her last curtsy for the night 
behind the foot-lights, has thrown off 
her tawdry frippery, and sits in her lone- 
ly chamber, glowering at the image of 
the young rival who has won all the ap- 
plause, when she bemoans her wan- 
ing charms and the wearisome life which 
has lost its. sparkle, and sees its empti- 
ness and hollowness, does she not look 
wistfully at that little flame which flick- 
ers on her hollowing cheek, from which 
the stage-blush has been washed, and 
think the game a losing one ? The 
Senator lives near by, and that is Ma- 
dame's room over the way. Did not 
Caesar have a candle that he bought of 
Brutus ? And how many Mesdames 
have cursed the name of Mademoi- 
selle ! 

And don't we, all of us, Mrs. G., take 
out our French Grammars, and learn, at 
some period of our lives, to translate 
that Gallic phrase ? Don't we all get 
that old saw down and try its teeth on 



66 



Doctor Johns. 



our tender flesh ? When the old friends 
drop off, and the dear eyes we have 
loved look strange to us, when the 
darling of our hearts is ruthlessly torn 
away, and we sit in the darkness of the 
tomb, when shame for the living lost 
bows us to the earth in anguish, when 
life has become meaningless, and noth- 
ing remains to vitalize the monotony 
of existence, when we look upon our 
own past hopes, ambitions, interests, 
as though they characterized some oth- 
er being, long since departed, when 
the morning light and the evening shade, 
May's sweet flowers and November's 
yellow leaves, are only the symbols of 
Time's weary flight, and awaken neither 
cheer nor gloom, do we not all of us 
hear, in the silence of our hearts, the 
grating of that blade ? Statues of Mem- 
non are we all. The bright morning 
sun brings melodious music from our 
hearts ; the soft, perfumed air bears 
afar the strains of jocund hope, passion- 



ate love, and aspiring faith. But when 
the shadows fall, the strains lose their 
sweetness and beauty ; one by one, the 
rich harmonies change into harsh dis- 
sonance, then cease altogether ; and 
the sun sets on a silent form which in 
the morning sent forth seraphic tones. 

My dear boy, let us hope that you 
and I and all those we love so dearly 
will always have a bright sun above our 
earthly horizon to give us cheer, and to 
light our way, and to bring sweet songs 
from our hearts. And if it should set 
in the night of suffering and sorrow, let 
us guide ourselves by a holier, purer, 
steadier light than mortal hands can 
mould or kindle. So pass me those 
snuffers, and I will put out the candle, 
and we will go to bed. For all this pa- 
per of candle - ends I have collected, 
Bridget will find our beautiful wax-light 
scarcely burned ; and, certainly, I think 
it a very cheap and excellent purchase, 
N'est-ce pas, monfils? 



DOCTOR JOHNS, 



XXIV. 



AT nine next morning, prayers and 
breakfast being despatched, dur- 
ing which Parson Brummem had deter- 
mined to leave Reuben to the sting of 
his conscience, the master appears 
in the school-room with his wristbands 
turned up, and his ferule in hand, to 
enforce judgment upon the culprit. It 
had been a frosty night, and the cool 
October air had not tempted the boys 
to any wide movement out of doors, so 
that no occupant of the parsonage had 
as yet detected the draggled white ban- 
ner that hung from the prison-window. 

Through Keziah, the parson gave or- 
ders for Master Johns to report him- 
self at once in the school-room. The 
maid returned presently, clattering down 
the stairs in a great fright, 

" Reuben 's gone, Sir ! " 



" Gone ? " says the tall master, as- 
tounded. He represses a wriggle of 
healthful satisfaction on the part of his 
pupils by a significant lift of his ferule, 
then moves ponderously up the stairs 
for a personal visit to the chamber of 
the culprit. The maid had given true 
report ; there was no one there. Never 
had he been met with such barefaced 
rebellion. Truants, indeed, there had 
been in days gone by ; but that a pupil 
under discipline should have tied to- 
gether Mistress Brummem's linen and 
left it draggling in this way, in the sight 
of every passer-by, was an affront to 
his authority which he had not deemed 
possible. 

An hour thereafter, and he had as- 
signed the morning's task to the boys 
(which he had ventured to lengthen by 
a third, in view as he said, with a 
grim humor of their extremely cheer- 



1865.] 



Doctor Jolins. 



6 7 



ful spirits ) ; established Mistress Brum- 
mem in temporary charge, and was driv- 
ing his white-faced nag down the road 
which led toward Ashfield. The frosted 
pools crackled under the wheels of the 
old chaise ; the heaving horse wheezed 
as the stern parson gave his loins a 
thwack with the slackened reins and 
urged him down the turnpike which led 
away through the ill-kept fields, from 
the rambling, slatternly town. Stone 
walls that had borne the upheaval of 
twenty winters reeled beside the way. 
Broad scars of ochreous earth, from 
which the turnpike-menders had dug 
material to patch the wheel-track, show- 
ed ooze of yellow mud with honeycombs 
of ice rimming their edges, and sup- 
porting a thin film of sod made up of 
lichens and the roots of five-fingers. 
Raw, shapeless stones, and bald, gray 
rocks, only half unearthed, cumbered the 
road ; while bunches of dwarfed birch- 
es, browsed by straying cattle, added to 
the repulsiveness of the scene. Nor 
were the inclosed lands scarcely more 
inviting. Lean shocks of corn that had 
swayed under the autumn winds stretch- 
ed at long intervals across fields of thin 
stubble ; a few half-ripened pumpkins, 
hanging yet to the seared vines, 
whose leaves had long since been shriv- 
elled by the frost, showed their shin- 
ing green faces on the dank soil. In 
other fields, overrun- with a great shaggy 
growth of rag-weed, some of the par- 
son's flock father and blue-nosed boys 
were lifting poor crops of "bile- 
whites " or " merinos." From time to 
time, a tall house jutted upon the road, 
with unctuous pig-sty under the lee of 
the garden-fence and wood-pile sprawl- 
ing into the highway, where the parson 
would rein up his nag, and make inquiry 
after the truant Reuben. 

A half-dozen of these stops and in- 
quiries proved wholly vain ; yet the 
sturdy parson urged his poor, heaving 
nag forward, until he had come to the 
little gatehouse which thrust itself quite 
across the high road at some six miles' 
distance from Bolton Church. No stray 
boy had passed that day. Thereupon 
the parson turned, and, after retracing 



his way for two miles or more, struck 
into a cross-road which led westward. 
There were the same fruitless inquiries 
here at the scattered houses, and when 
he came at length upon the great river- 
road along which the boy had passed 
at the first dawn there was no one who 
could tell anything of him ; and by noon 
the parson reentered the village, dis- 
consolate and hungry. He was by no 
means a vindictive man, and could very 
likely have forgiven Reuben the blow 
he had struck. He had no conception 
of the hidden causes which had wrought 
in the lad such burst of anger. He 
conceived only that Satan had taken 
hold of him, and he had strong faith 
in the efficacy of the rod for driving 
Satan out. 

After dinner he administered a sharp 
lecture to his pupils, admonishing them 
of the evils of disobedience, and warning 
them that " God sometimes left bad boys 
to their own evil courses, and to run 
like the herd of swine into which the 
unclean spirits entered, of which ac- 
count might be found in Mark v. 13, 
down a steep place, and be choked." 

The parson still had hope that Reu- 
ben might appear at evening ; and he 
forecast a good turn which he would 
make, in such event, upon the parable 
of the Prodigal Son (with the omission, 
however, of the fatted calf). But the 
prodigal did not i eturn. Next day there 
was the same hope, but fainter. Still, the. 
prodigal Reuben did not return. Where- 
upon the rjarson thought it his duty to 
write to Brother Johns, advising him of 
the escape of Reuben, " he having stol- 
en away in the night, tying together and 
much draggling Mrs. Brummem's pair 
of company sheets, (no other being out 
of wash,) and myself following after 
vainly, the best portion of a day, much 
perturbed in spirit, in my chaise. I 
duly instructed my parishioners to re- 
port him, if found, which has not been 
the case. I trust that in the paternal 
home, if he has made his way thither, 
he may be taught to open his 'ear to 
discipline,' and 'return from iniquity*' 
Job xxxvi. 10." 

The good parson was- a- type of not a 



68 



Doctor Johns. 



[July, 



few retired country ministers in New 
England forty years ago : a heavy- 
minded, right-meaning man ; utterly in- 
accessible to any of the graces of life ; 
no bird ever sang in his ear ; no flower 
ever bloomed for his eye ; a man to 
whom life was only a serious spiritual 
toil, and all human joys a vanity to be 
spurned ; preaching tediously long ser- 
mons, and counting the fatigue of the 
listeners a fitting oblation to spiritual 
truth ; staggering through life with a 
great burden of theologies on his back, 
which it was his constant struggle to 
pack into smaller and smaller compass, 
not so much, we fear, for the relief 
of others as of himself. Let tis hope 
that the burden like that of Christian 
in the "Pilgrim's Progress" slipped 
away before he entered the Celestial 
Presence, and left him free to enjoy 
and admire, more than he found time 
to do on earth, the beauty of that 
blessed angel in the higher courts 
whose name is Charity. 

XXV. 

REUBEN, meantime, pushed boldly 
down the open road, until broad sun- 
light warned him to a safer path across 
the fields. He had been too much of a 
rambler during those long Saturday af- 
ternoons at Ashfield, to have any dread 
of a tramp through swamp-land or briers. 
" Who cared for wet feet or a scratch ? 
Who cared for a rough scramble through 
the bush, or a wade (if it came to that) 
through ever so big a brook ? Who 
cared for old Brummem and his white- 
faced nag ? " In fact, he had the pleasure 
of seeing the parson's venerable chaise 
lumbering along the public road at a 
safe .distance away, an hour before 
noon ; and he half wished he were near 
enough; to give the jolly old nag a good 
switching across the flanks. He had 
begged a bit of warm breakfast in the 
morning at aa .outlying house, and at 
the hour when he caught sight of his 
pursuer he was lying under the edge of 
a wood, lundhipg upon the gingerbread 
Keziah hadiprovided, and beginning to 
reckon up .s.oberly what was to be done. 



His first impulse had been simply to 
escape a good flogging and the taunts 
of the boys. He had shunned the direct 
Ashfield turnpike, because he knew pur- 
suit if there were any would lead 
off in that direction. From the river 
road he might diverge into that, if he 
chose. But if he went home, what 
then ? The big gray eyes of Aunt Eliza 
he knew would greet him at the door, 
looking thunderbolts. Adele, and may- 
be Rose, would welcome him in kindly 
way enough, but very pityingly, when 
the Doctor should summon him quietly 
into his low study. For they knew, and 
he knew, that the big rod would present- 
ly come down from its place by the Ma- 
jor's sword, a rod that never came 
down, except it had some swift office 
to perform. And next day, perhaps, 
whatever might be the kindly pleadings 
of Adele, (thus far he flattered himself,) 
the old horse Dobbins would be in har- 
ness to carry him back to Bolton Hill, 
where of a surety some new birch was 
already in pickle for the transgressor. 
Or, if this mortification were spared, 
there would be the same weary round 
of limitations and exactions from which 
he longed to break away. And as he 
sits there under the lee of the wood, 
seeing presently Brummem's heavy cav- 
alry wheel and retire from pursuit, 
the whole scene of his last altercation 
in the study at Ashfield drifts before 
him again clear as day. 

" I 'm bad," (this was the way he broke 
out upon the old man after the usual dis- 
cipline,) " I know I 'm bad, and all the 
worse for the way you try to make me 
good. There 's Phil Elderkin, now, 
you say to me, over and over, ' See Phil, 
he does n't do so.' But he does, only 
his father knows he does ; he a'n't pun- 
ished, if he is n't in at nine o'clock for 
prayers, without telling where he 's 
been. It 's all underhanded with me, 
and with Phil it 's all aboveboard. I 
have to read proper books that I don't 
care a copper about, and so I steal 'em 
into my chamber ; and Aunt Eliza, pry- 
ing about, finds ' Arabian Nights ' hid 
under the sheets ; and then there 's a 
row ! Phil reads 'em ; and there 's no- 



i86 5 .] 



Doctor Johns. 



69 



body forever looking over his shoulder 
to see what he 's reading. I think 
Phil's father trusts him more than you 
do me." 

" But, my son, you tell me you are 
bad, and that I can't trust you." 

" You can't, because you don't ; and 
that makes me feel the Devil in me." 

" My son ! " 

" I know it ; you think it 's a bad 
word ; but Phil says Devil ; and it 's 
true. And besides, you forbid my go- 
ing where the other boys go, and that 
maddens me and makes me swear, and 
the fellows laugh ; and because I can't 
go, I do something worse." 

" My poor Reuben, do you know 
where such badness will lead you ? " 

" Oh, yes, I know ; I 've heard it of- 
ten enough ; it '11 lead to hell, I guess." 

" Reuben ! Reuben ! what does this 
mean ? " 

"I can't help it, father. There 's 
Phil and Gus Hapgood went chestnut- 
ting the other Saturday, and because 
you were afraid I should n't be back 
before sundown you kept me at home. 
I know I was ten times worse than if 
I 'd been out chestnutting all night and 
half Sunday. I hate Sunday ! " 

" That, Reuben, is because you are 
wicked." 

" Yes, I suppose so." 

" I am glad, my son, that you see 
your sins and admit them." 

" There 's not much comfort in that," 
Reuben had said. " I 'm none the bet- 
ter for it." 

" It 's the first step, my son, toward 
repentance." 

Reuben laughed a bitter laugh, a 
laugh that made his father shudder. 

" Sit down with me now, Reuben, 
and read a chapter in God's word ; 
and after it we will pray for His help." 

" There it is again ! " the boy had 
replied. " I knew it would come to 
that ! " 

" And do you refuse, Reuben ? " 

" No, Sir, I don't, because I know it 
would n't be any use ; for if I did, I 
should have to go up stairs and mope 
in my chamber, and have Aunt Eliza 
staring in upon me as if I was a mur- 



derer. But I sha'n't know what you 
read five minutes after." 

" My son, don't you know that will 
be an offence against God ? " 

" I can't help it." 

" You can help it, my son ! you can!" 

And at this the Doctor, in an agony 
of spirit, (the boy recalled it perfectly,) 
had risen and paced back and forth in 
his study ; then, after a little, threw 
himself upon his knees near to Reu- 
ben, and prayed silently, with his hands 
clasped. 

The boy had melted somewhat at 
this, and still more when the father 
rose with traces of a tear in his eye. 

" Are you not softened now, my son ? " 

" I always am when I see you going 
on that way," said Reuben. 

" My poor son ! " and he had drawn 
the boy to him, gazing into the face 
from which the blue eyes of the lost 
Rachel looked calmly out, moved be- 
yond himself. 

If, indeed, the lost Rachel had been 
really there between the two, to inter- 
pret the heart of the son to the father ! 

Is Reuben whimpering as the mem- 
ory of this last tender episode comes 
to his memory ? What would Phil or 
the rest of the Ashfield fellows say to a 
runaway boy sniffling under the edge 
of the wood ? Not he, by George ! 
And he munches at his roll of ginger- 
bread with a new zest, confirming his 
vagabond purpose, that just now wa- 
vered, with a thought of those tedious 
Saturday nights and the " reasons an- 
nexed," and Aunt Eliza's sharp elbow 
nudging him upon the hard pew-bench- 
es, as she gives a muffled, warning whis- 
per, " Attend to the sermon, Reu- 
ben ! " 

And so, with glorious visions of Sind- 
bad the Sailor in his mind, and a cheery 
remembrance of Crusoe when he cut 
himself adrift from home and family for 
his wonderful adventures, Reuben push- 
es gallantly on through the woodsln the 
direction of the river. He knows that 
somewhere, up or down, a sloop will be 
found bound for New York. From the 
heights around Ashfield, he has seen, 
time and again, their white sails speck- 



70 



Doctor Johns. 



[July, 



ing some distant field of blue. Once, 
too, upon a drive with the Doctor, he 
had seen these marvellous vessels from 
a nearer point, and had looked wistful- 
ly upon their white decks and green 
companion-ways. 

Overhead the jays cried from the 
bare chestnut-trees ; from time to time 
the whirr of a brood of partridges start- 
led him ; the red squirrels chattered ; 
still he pushed on, catching a chance 
dinner at a wayside farm-house, and by 
night had come within plain sight of 
the water. The sloop Princess lay at 
the Glastenbury dock close by, laden 
with wood and potatoes, and bound for 
New York the next morning. The 
kind-hearted skipper, who was also the 
owner of the vessel, took a sudden fan- 
cy to the sore-footed, blue-eyed boy 
who came aboard to bargain for a pas- 
sage to the city. The truant was not, 
indeed, overstocked with ready money, 
but was willing to pawn what valuables 
he had about him, and hinted at a rich 
aunt in the city who would make good 
what moneys were lacking. The skip- 
per has a shrewd suspicion how the 
matter stands, and, with a kindly sym- 
pathy for the lad, consents to give him 
passage on condition he drops a line into 
the mail to tell his friends which way 
he has gone ; and taking a dingy sheet 
of paper from the locker under his berth, 
he seats Reuben with pen in hand at 
the cabin -table, whereupon the boy 
writes, 

" DEAR FATHER, I have come away 
from school. I don't know as you will 
like it much. I walked all the way from 
Bolton, and my feet are very sore ; I 
don't think I could walk home. Cap- 
tain Saul says he will take me by the 
way of New York. I can go and see 
Aunt Mabel. I will tell her you are all 
well. 

"How is Adele and Phil and Rose 
and the others ? I hope you won't be 
very angry. I don't think Mr. Brum- 
mem's is much of a school. I don't 
learn so much there as I learned at 
home. I don't think the boys there are 
good companions. I think they are 



wicked boys sometimes. Mr. Brum- 
mem says they are. And he whips 
awful hard. 

" Yr affect, son, 

" REUBEN." 

And the skipper, taking the letter 
ashore to post it, adds upon the mar- 
gin, 

" I opened the within to see who the 
boy was ; and this is to say, I shall 
take him aboard, and shall be off Chat- 
ham Red Quarries to-morrow night and 
next day morning, and, if you signal 
from the dock, can send him ashore. 
Or, if this don't come in time, my berth 
is Peck Slip, in York. 

" JOHN SAUL, Sloop Princess." 

Next day they go drifting down the 
river. A quiet, smoky October day ; 
the distant hills all softened in the haze ; 
the near shores green with the fresh- 
springing aftermath. Reuben lounged 
upon the sunny side of the mainsail, 
thinking, with respectful pity, of the 
poor fagged fellows in roundabouts who 
were seated at that hour before the red 
desks in Parson Brummem's school- 
room. At length he was enjoying a 
taste of that outside life of which he 
had known only from travellers' books, 
or from such lucky ones as the accom- 
plished Tavern Boody. Henceforth he, 
too, would have his stories to tell. The 
very rustle of the water around the prow 
of the good sloop Princess was full of 
Sindbad echoes. Was it not remote- 
ly possible that he, too, like Captain 
Saul sitting there on the taffrail smok- 
ing his pipe, should have bis vessel 
at command some day, and sail away 
wherever Fortune, with her iris-hued 
streamers, might beckon ? Not much 
of sentiment in the boy as yet, be- 
yond the taste of freedom, or what 
is equivalent to it in the half-taught 
vagabondage. As for Rose, what does 
she know of sloops and the world ? 
And Adele ? Well, from this time forth 
at least, the boy can match her nauti- 
cal experience with an experience of 
his own. Possibly his humiliation and 



1865.] 



Doctor Johns. 



conscious ignorance at the French girl's 
story of the sea were, as much as any- 
thing, at the bottom of this wild vaga- 
ry of his. For ten hours the Captain 
lies off Chatham Quarries, taking on ad- 
ditional freight there ; but there is no 
signal from the passenger-dock. The 
next morning the hawsers were cast off, 
and the mainsail run up again, while 
the Princess surged away into the mid- 
dle of the current 

" Now, my boy, we 're ia for a sail ! " 
said Captain Saul. 

" I 'm glad," said Reuben, who would 
have been doubly glad, if he had known 
of his narrow escape at the last landing. 

" I suppose you have n't much of a 
kit?" said the Captain. ' 

The truth is, that a pocket-comb was 
the extent of Reuben's equipment for 
the voyage. It came out on further 
talk with the Captain ; and the boy was 
mortified to make such small show of 
appliances. 

" Well, well," says the Captain, " we 
must keep this toggery for the city, you 
know " ; and he finds a blue woollen 
shirt, for the boy is of good height 
for his years, and a foremast hand 
shortens in a pair of old duck trousers 
for him, in which Reuben paces up and 
down the deck, with a mortal dread at 
first lest the boom may make a dash 
against the wind and knock him over- 
board, in quite sailorly fashion. The 
beef is hard indeed ; but a page or two 
out of " Dampier's Voyages," of which 
an old copy is in the cabin, makes it 
seem all right. The shores, too, are 
changing from hour to hour ; a brig 
drifts within hail of them, which Reu- 
ben watches, half envying the fortunate 
fellows in red shirts and tasselled caps 
aboard, who are bound to Cuba, and in 
a fortnight's time can pluck oranges off 
the trees there, to say nothing of pine- 
apples and sugar-cane. 

Over the Saybrook Bar there is a 
plunging of the vessel which horrifies 
him somewhat ; but smooth weather 
follows, with long lines of hills half-fad- 
ed on the rim of the water, and the 
country sounds at last all dead. A day 
or two of this, with only a mild autum- 



nal breeze, and then a sharp wind, with 
the foam flying over forecastle and 
wood-pile, between the winding shores, 
toward Flushing Bay, brings sight of 
great white houses with green turf 
coming down to the rocks, where the 
waves play and break among the drift- 
ed sea-weed. Captain Saul is fast at his 
helm, while the big boom creaks and 
crashes from side to side as he beats 
up the narrowing channel, rounding 
Throg's Point, where the light-house 
and old whitewashed fort stand shining 
in the sun, skirting low rocky islands, 
doubling other points, dashing at half- 
tide through the roar and whirl of Hell 
Gate, Reuben glowing with excite- 
ment, and mindful of Kidd and of his bur- 
ied treasure along these shores. Then 
came the turreted Bridewell, and at last 
the spires, the forest of masts, with all 
that prodigious, crushing, bewildering 
effect with which the first sight of a 
great city weighs upon the thought of 
a country-taught boy. 

" Now mind the rogues, Reuben," 
said Captain Saul, when they were 
fairly alongside the dock ; " and keep 
by your bunk for a day or two, boy. 
Don't stray too far from the vessel, 
Princess, Captain Saul, remember." 



XXVI. 

THE Doctor is not a little shocked 
by the note which he receives from 
Reuben, and which comes too late for 
the interception of the boy upon the 
river. He writes to Mrs. Brindlock, 
begging the kind offices of her husband 
in looking after the lad, until such time 
as he can come down for his recovery. 
The next day, to complete his mortifi- 
cation, he receives the epistle of Broth- 
er Brummem. 

The good Doctor cannot rightly un- 
derstand, in his simplicity, how such 
apparent headlong tendency to. sin 
should belong to this child of prayer. 
At times he thinks he can trace back 
somewhat of the adventurous spirit of 
the poor lad to the restless energy of 
his father, the Major ; was it not possi- 



Doctor JoJms. 



[July, 



ble also and the thought weighed up- 
on him grievously that he inherited 
from him besides a waywardness in re- 
gard to spiritual matters, and that " the 
sins of the fathers " were thus visited 
terribly upon the children ? The grow- 
ing vagabondage of the boy distressed 
him the more by reason of his own re- 
sponsible connection with the little 
daughter of his French friend. How 
should he, who could not guide in even 
courses the child of his own loins, pre- 
sume to conduct the little exile from 
the heathen into paths of piety ? 

And yet, strange to say, the char- 
acter of the blithe Adele, notwithstand- 
ing the terrible nature of her early as- 
sociations, seems to fuse more readily 
into agreement with the moral atmos- 
phere about her than does that of the 
recreant boy. There may not be, in- 
deed, perfect accord ; but there are at 
least no sharp and fatal antagonisms to 
overcome. If the lithe spirit of the girl 
bends under the grave teachings of the 
Doctor, it bends with a charming grace, 
and rises again smilingly, when sober 
speech is done, like the floweret she 
is. And if her mirth is sometimes ir- 
repressible through the long hours of 
their solemn Sundays, it breaks up like 
bubbles from the deep quiet bosom of 
a river, cheating even the grave parson 
to a smile that seems scarcely sinful. 

" Oh, that sermon was so long, so 
long to-day, New Papa ! I am sure 
Dame Tourtelot pinched the Deacon, 
or he would never, never have been 
awake through it all." 

Or, may-be, she steals a foot out of 
doors on a Sunday to the patch of vio- 
lets, gathering a little bunch, and ap- 
peals to the Doctor, who comes with a 
great frown on his face, 

" New Papa, is it most wicked to 
carry flowers or fennel to church ? God- 
mother always gave me a flower on 
holydays." 

And the Doctor is cheated of his re- 
buke ; nay, he sometimes wonders, in 
his self-accusing moments, if the Arch- 
Enemy himself has not lodged under 
cover of that smiling face of hers, and 
is thus winning him to a sinful gayety. 



There are times, too, when, after some 
playful badinage of hers which has 
touched too nearly upon a grave theme, 
she interrupts his solemn admonition 
with a sudden rush toward him, and a 
tap of those little fingers upon his fur- 
rowed cheek : 

" Don't look so solemn, New Papa. 
Nobody will love you, if you look in 
that way." 

What if this, too, be some temptation 
of the Evil One, withdrawing him from 
the grave thought of eternal things, di- 
verting him from the solemn aims of 
his mission ? 

There were snatches, too, of Latin 
hymns, taught her by the godmother, 
and only half remembered, hymns of 
glorious rhythm, which, as they trip- 
ped from her halting tongue, brought a 
great burden of sacred meanings, and 
were full of the tenderest associations 
of her childhood. To these, too, the 
Doctor was half pained to find himself 
listening, sometimes at nightfall of a 
Sunday, with an indulgent ear, and 
stoutly querying with himself if Satan 
could fairly lurk in such holy words as 

" Dulcis memoria lesu." 

Adele, as we have said, had accepted 
the duties of attendance upon the some- 
what long sermons of the Doctor and of 
weekly instructions in the Catechism, 
with a willing spirit, and had gone 
through them cheerfully, not, perhaps, 
with the grave air of devotion which by 
education and inheritance belonged to 
the sweet face of her companion, Rose. 
Nay, she had sometimes rallied Rose 
upon the exaggerated seriousness which 
fastened upon her face whenever the 
Bible tasks came up. But Adele, with 
that strong leaning which exists in ev- 
ery womanly nature toward religious 
faith of some kind, had grown into a 
respect for even the weightiest of the 
Christian gravities around her ; not 
that they became the sources of a new 
trust, but, through a sympathy that a 
heart like hers could not resist, they 
rallied an old childish one into fresh 
action. The strange, serious worship 
of those about her was only a new 



1865.] 



Doctor Johns. 



73 



guise so at least it seemed to her 
simplicity in which to approach the 
same good God whom the godmother 
with herself had praised with chants that 
rang once under the dim arches of the 
old chapel, smoky with incense and 
glowing with pictures of saints, at Mar- 
seilles. And if sometimes, as the shrill 
treble of Miss Almira smote upon her 
ear, she craved a better music, and re- 
membered the fragrant cloud rising from 
the silver censers as something more 
grateful than the smoke leaking from 
the joints of the stove-pipe in Ashfield 
meeting-house, and would have willing- 
ly given up Miss Eliza's stately praises 
of her recitation for one good hug of 
the godmother, she yet saw, or thought 
she saw, the same serene trust that be- 
longed to her in the eyes of good Mis- 
tress Onthank, in the kind face of Mrs. 
Elderkin, and in the calm look of the 
Doctor when he lifted his voice every 
night at the parsonage in prayer for 
"all God's people." 

Would it be strange, too, if in the 
heart of a girl taught as she had been, 
who had never known a mother's ten- 
derness, there should be some hidden 
leaning toward those traditions of the 
Romish faith in which a holy mother 
appeared as one whose favor was to be 
supplicated ? The worship of the Virgin 
was, indeed, too salient an object of at- 
tack among the heresies which the New 
England teachers combated, not to in- 
spire a salutary caution in Adele and 
entire concealment of any respect she 
might still feel for the Holy Mary. Nor 
was it so much a respect that shaped 
itself tangibly among her religious be- 
liefs as a secret craving for that out- 
pouring of maternal love denied her on 
earth, a craving which found a certain 
repose and tender alleviation in enter- 
taining fond regard for the sainted moth- 
er of Christ 

When, therefore, on one occasion, 
Miss Eliza had found among the toilet 
treasures of Adele a little lithographic 
print of the Virgin, with the Christ's 
head surrounded by a nimbus of glory, 
and in her chilling way had sneered at 
it as a heathen vanity, the poor child 



had burst into tears, and carried the 
treasure to her bosom to guard it from 
sacrilegious touch. 

The spinster, rendered watchful, per- 
haps, by this circumstance, had on an- 
other day been still more shocked to 
find in a corner of the escritoire of 
Adele a rosary, and with a very grave 
face had borne it down for the con- 
demnation of the Doctor. 

" Adaly, my child, I trust you do not 
let this bawble bear any part in your de- 
votions ? " 

And the Doctor made a movement as 
if he would have thrown it out of the 
window. 

" No, New Papa ! " said Adele, dart- 
ing toward him, and snatching it from 
his hand, with a fire in her eye he had 
never seen there before, a welling-up 
for a moment of the hot Provencal blood 
in her veins ; " de grdce ! je vans en 
prie ! " (in ecstatic moments her tongue 
ran to her own land and took up the 
echo of her first speech,) then grow- 
ing calm, as she held it, and looked in- 
to the pitying, wondering eyes .of the 
poor Doctor, said only, "It was my 
mother's." 

Of course the kind old gentleman 
never sought to reclaim such a treasure, 
but in his evening prayer besought God 
fervently "to overrule all things, our 
joys, our sorrows, our vain affections, 
our delight in the vanities of this world, 
our misplaced longings, to overrule 
all to His glory and the good of those 
that love Him." 

The Doctor writes to his friend Mav- 
erick at about this date, 

" Your daughter is still in the enjoy- 
ment of excellent health, and is pro- 
gressing with praiseworthy zeal in her 
studies. I cannot too highly commend 
her general deportment, by which she 
has secured the affection and esteem of 
all in the parish who have formed an 
acquaintance with her. In respect of 
her religious duties, she is cheerful and 
punctual in the performance of them ; 
and I find it hard to believe that they 
should prove only a ' savor of death un- 
to death.' She listens to my discourse, 
on most occasions, with a commendable 



74 



Doctor Johns. 



[July, 



patience, and seems kindly disposed 
toward my efforts. Still I could wish 
much to see in her a little more bur- 
densome sense of sin and of the enor- 
mity of her transgressions. We hope 
that she may yet be brought to a realiz- 
ing sense of her true condition. 

"She is fast becoming a tall and 
graceful girl, and it may soon be ad- 
visable to warn her against the vanities 
that overtake those of her age who are 
still engrossed with carnal things. This 
advice would come with a good grace, 
perhaps, from the father. 

" A little rosary found among her ef- 
fects has been the occasion of some 
anxieties to my sister and myself, lest 
she might still have a leaning toward 
the mockeries of the Scarlet Woman of 
Babylon ; and I was at first disposed to 
remove it out of her way. But being 
advised that it is cherished as a gift of 
her mother, I have thought it not well 
to take from her the only memento of 
so near and, I trust, dear a relative. 

" May God have you, my friend, in 
His Ivply keeping ! " 



XXVII. 

REUBEN, taking the advice of Cap- 
tain Saul, with whom he would cheer- 
fully have gone to China, had the sloop 
been bound thither, came back to his 
bunk on the first night after a wan- 
dering stroll through the lower part of 
the city. It is quite possible that he 
would have done the same, viewing the 
narrowness of his purse, upon the sec- 
ond night, had he not encountered at 
noon a gentleman in close conversation 
with the Captain, whom he immediate- 
ly recognized though he had seen him 
but once before as Mr. Brindlock. 
This person met him very kindly, and 
with a hearty shake of the hand, " hop- 
ed he would do his Aunt Mabel the 
honor of coming to stay with them." 

There was an air of irony in this 
speech which Reuben was quick to per- 
ceive ; and the knowing look of Cap- 
tain Saul at once informed him that all 
the romance of his runaway voyage was 



at an end. Both Mr. and Mrs. Brind- 
lock received him at their home with 
the utmost kindness, and were vastly en- 
tertained by his story of the dismal life 
upon Bolton Hill, the pursuit of the par- 
son with his white-faced nag, and the 
subsequent cruise in the sloop Princess. 
Mrs. Brindlock, a good-natured, self- 
indulgent woman, was greatly taken 
with the unaffected country naturalness 
of the lad, and was agreeably surprised 
at his very presentable appearance : 
for Reuben at this date he may have 
been thirteen or fourteen was of good 
height for his years, with a profusion 
of light, wavy hair, a thoughtful, blue 
eye, and a lurking humor about the lip 
which told of a great faculty for mis- 
chief. There was such an absence, 
moreover, in this city home, of that stiff- 
ness with which his Aunt Eliza had 
such a marvellous capacity for investing 
everything about-her, that the lad found 
himself at once strangely at his ease. 
Was it, perhaps, (the thought flashed 
upon him,) because it was a godless 
home ? The spinster aunt had some- 
times expressed a fear of this sort, when- 
ever stories of the Brindlock wealth 
had reached them. Howbeit, he was on 
most familiar footing with both master 
and mistress before two days had gone 
by. 

"Aunt Mabel," he had said, " I sup- 
pose you '11 be writing to the old gentle- 
man, and do please take my part. I 
can't go back to that abominable Brum- 
mem ; if I do, I shall only run away 
again, and go farther : do tell him so." 

" But why could n't you have stayed 
at home, pray ? Did you quarrel with 
the little French girl ? eh, Reuben ? " 

The boy flushed. 

" Not with Adele, never ! " 

Brindlock, a shrewd, successful mer- 
chant, was, on his part, charmed with the 
adventurous spirit of the boy, and with 
the Captain's report of the way in which 
the truant had conducted negotiations 
for the trip. From all which it came 
about, that Mrs. Brindlock, in writing to 
the Doctor to inform him of Reuben's 
safe arrival, added an urgent request 
that the boy might be allowed to pass 



1865.] 



Doctor Johns. 



75 



the winter with them in New York ; 
in which event he could either attend 
school, (there being an excellent one 
in her neighborhood,) or, if the Doctor 
preferred, Mr. Brindlock could give him 
some light employment in the counting- 
room, and try his capacity for business. 

At first thought, this proposition ap- 
peared very shocking to the Doctor ; 
but, to his surprise, Miss Eliza was 
strongly disposed to entertain it. Her 
ambitious views for the family were flat- 
tered by it ; and she kindly waived, in 
view of them, her objections to the god- 
less life which she feared her poor sis- 
ter was leading. 

The Doctor was not fully persuaded 
by her, and took occasion to consult, as 
was his wont in practical affairs, his 
friend Squire Elderkin. 

" I rather like the plan," said the 
Squire, after some consideration, 
" quite like it, Doctor, quite like it. 

" You see, Doctor," and he slipped 
a finger into a buttonhole of the good 
parson's, (the only man in the parish 
who would have ventured upon such fa- 
miliarity,) "I think we 've been a lit- 
tle strict with Reuben, a little strict. 
He 's a fine, frank, straight - for'ard 
lad, but impulsive, impulsive, Doctor. 
Your father, the Major, had a little of 
it, quicker blood than you or I, Doc- 
tor. We can't wind up every boy like 
a clock ; there 's some that go with 
weights, and there 's some that go with 
springs. Then, too, I think, Doctor, 
there 's a little of the old Major's fight 
in the boy. I think he has broken over 
a good many of our rules very much be- 
cause the rules were there, and provok- 
ed him to try his strength. . 

" Now, Doctor, there 's been a good 
deal of this kind of thing, and our Aunt 
Eliza puts her foot down rather strongly, 
which won't be a bugbear to the boy 
with Mrs. Brindlock ; besides which, 
there 's your old friend, Rev. Dr. Mow- 
ry, at the Fulton-Street Church close 
by" 

" So he is, so he is," said the Doctor ; 
" I had forgotten that." 

" And then, to tell the truth, Doctor, 
between you and I," (and the Squire was 



working himself into some earnestness,) 
" I don't believe that all the wickedness 
in the world is cooped up in the cities. 
In my opinion, the small towns have a 
pretty fair sprinkling, a pretty fair 
sprinkling, Doctor ; and if it 's conta- 
gious, as I 've heard, I think I know of 
some places in country parishes that 
might be called infectious. And 1 tell 
you what it is, Doctor, the Devil " (and 
he twitched upon the Doctor's coat as 
if he were in a political argument) "does 
n't confine himself to large towns. He 
goes into the rural districts, in my opin- 
ion, about as regularly as the newspa- 
pers ; and he holds his ground a con- 
founded sight longer." 

How much these views may have 
weighed with the Doctor it would be 
impossible to say. If they did not in- 
fluence directly, they were certainly sug- 
gestive of considerations which did have 
their weight. The result was, that per- 
mission was given for the stay of Reu- 
ben, on condition that Mr. Brindlock 
could give him constant occupation, and 
that he should be regular in his attend- 
ance on the Sabbath at the Fulton-Street 
Church. Shortly after, the Doctor goes 
to the city, provided, by the watchful 
care of Miss Eliza, with a complete 
wardrobe for the truant boy, and bear- 
ing kind messages from the household. 
But chiefly it is the Doctor's object to 
give his poor boy due admonition for 
his great breach of duty, and to insist 
upon his writing to the worthy Mr. 
Brummem a full apology for his con- 
duct. He also engages his friend of 
the Fulton-Street parish to have an eye 
upon his son, and to report to him at 
once any wide departure from the good 
conduct he promises. 

Reuben writes the apology insisted 
upon to Mr. Brummem in this style : 

" Mv DEAR SIR, I am sorry that I 
threw ' Daboll ' in your face as I did, 
and hope you will forgive the same. 
" Yours respectfully." 

But after the Doctor's approval of 
this, the lad cannot help adding a post- 
script of his own to this effect : 



7 6 



Doctor JoJins. 



[July, 



" P. S. I hope old Whiteface did n't 
lose a shoe when you drove out on the 
river road ? I saw you ; for I was sit- 
ting in the edge of the woods, eating 
Keziah's gingerbread. Please thank her, 
and give my respects to all the fellows." 

Miss Johns considers it her duty to 
write a line of expostulation to her neph- 
ew, which she does, with faultless pen- 
manship, in this strain : 

" We were shocked to hear of your 
misconduct toward the worthy Mr. 
Brummem. I could hardly believe it 
possible that Master Reuben Johns had 
been guilty of such an indiscretion. 
Your running away was, I think, un- 
called for, and the embarkment upon 
the sloop, under the circumstances, was 
certainly very reprehensible. I trust 
that we shall hear only good accounts 
of you from this period forth, and that 
you will be duly grateful for your father's 
distinguished kindness in allowing you 
to stay in New York. I shall be happy 
to have you write to me an occasional 
epistle, and hope to see manifest a con- 
siderable improvement in your hand- 
writing. Does Sister Mabel wear her 
ermine cape this winter ? I trust we 
shall hear of your constant attendance 
at the Fulton-Street Church, and hear 
only commendation of you in whatever 
duties you may be called to engage. 
Adele speaks of you often, and I think 
misses you very much indeed." 

Yet the spinster aunt was not used to 
flatter Reuben with any such mention 
as this. "What can she mean," said he, 
musingly, " by talking such stuff to me ? " 

Phil Elderkin, too, after a little, writes 
long letters that are full of the daily 
boy-life at Ashfield : how "the chest- 
nutting has been first-rate this year," and 
he has a bushel of prime ones season- 
ing in the garret; how Sam Throop, 
the stout son of the old postmaster, has 
had a regular tussle with the master in 
school, " hot and heavy, over the bench- 
es, and all about, and Sam was expelled, 
and old Crocker got a black eye, and, 
darn him, he 's got it yet " ; and how 
"somebody (name unknown) tied a small- 
ish tin kettle to old Hobson's sorrel 



mare's tail last Saturday night, and the 
way she went down the street was a 
caution ! " and how Nat Boody has 
got a new fighting-dog, and such a rat- 
ter ! and how Suke, " the divine Suke, 
is, they say, going to marry the stage- 
driver. Sic transit gloria mulic 

something, for I '11 be hanged, if I 
know the proper case." 

And there are some things this bois- 
terous Phil writes in tenderer mood : 
how " Rose and Adele are as thick as 
ever, and Adele comes up pretty often 
to pass an evening, glad enough, I 
guess, to get away from Aunt Eliza, 
and I see her home, of course. She 
plays a stiff game of backgammon ; she 
never throws but she makes a point ; 
she beats me." 

And from such letters the joyous 
shouts and merry halloos of the Ash- 
field boys come back to him again ; he 
hears the rustling of the brook, the 
rumbling of the mill ; he sees the w r ood 
standing on the hills, and the girls at 
the door-yard gates ; the hum of voices 
in the old academy catches his ear, 
and the drowsy song of the locusts 
coming in at the open windows all the 
long afternoons of August ; and he 
watches again the glancing feet of Rose 
who was once Amanda tripping 
away under the sycamores ; and the 
city Mortimer bethinks him of another 
Amanda, of browner hue and in coquet- 
tish straw, idling along the same street, 
with reticule lightly swung upon her fin- 
ger ; and the boy bethinks him of tender 
things he might have said in the charac- 
ter of Mortimer, but never did say, and 
of kisses he might have stolen, ( in the 
character of Mortimer,) but never did 
steal. 

And now these sights, voices, vaga- 
ries, as month after month passes in his 
new home, fade, fade, yet somehow 
abide. The patter of a thousand feet 
are on the pavement around him. What 
wonder, if, in the surrounding din, the 
tranquillity of Ashfield, its scenes, its 
sounds, should seem a mere dream of 
the past ? What wonder, if the solemn 
utterances from the old pulpit should be 
lost in the roar of the new voices ? The 



1865.] 



Deep- Sea Damsels, 



77 



few months he was to spend in their 
hearing run into a score, and again into 
another score. Two or three years hence 
we shall meet him again, changed, 
certainly ; but whether for better or for 
worse the sequel will show. 
And Rose ? and Adele ? 



Well, well, we must not overleap the 
quiet current of our story. While the 
May violets are in bloom, let us enjoy 
them and be thankful ; and when the 
autumn flowers are come to take their 
places, let us enjoy those, too, and thank 
God. 



DEEP-SEA DAMSELS. 



" Once I sat upon a promontory, 
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back, 
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath, 
. That the rude sea grew civil at her song ; 
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres 
To hear the sea-maid's music." 

A Midsummer Nighfs Dream. 



MEN have a commodious faith gen- 
erally, and in the things of land 
and water ; but they do not believe in 
the mermaid. 

Once, a thousand years ago, a certain 
Arabian traveller described an Oriental 
fish that came up out of the sea to 
catch flies or to get a drink. It was no 
crabbed crustacean, no compromise of 
claws ; but a fish with fins, a perch : 
and, being a perch, it not only came up 
on dry land, but did, the traveller said, 
climb trees. There was a climax ! No 
one characterized this story fitly, for 
all perceived that the Arabian must 
know its nature very well. And so the 
Arabian traveller died in good time, and 
the thousand years went on about their 
business, and in our days the fish story 
has been verified. Now it rests, partly, 
on the authority of " two Dutch natu- 
ralists residing at Tranquebar." Two 
Dutch naturalists are a good foundation 
for anything less than a pyramid. In 
this matter they are not alone, however ; 
for the naturalist Daldorf, also, who 
was a lieutenant in the Danish East- 
India Company's service, communicated 
to Joseph Banks, who " did not believe 
in the mermaid," that "in the year 
1791 he had taken this fish from a 
moist cavity in the stem of a Palmyra 



palm which grew near a lake." More 
than this, " he saw it when already five 
feet above the ground struggling to as- 
cend still higher." And this was its 
process : " suspending itself by its 
gill-covers, and bending its tail to the 
left, it fixed its anal fin in the cavity of 
the bark, and sought by expanding its 
body to urge its way upward" ; and its 
progress was arrested only by the hand 
with which the valiant Daldorf seized it 
More in reference to the same fish may 
be found in Tennent's great book on 
Ceylon, in Hartwig, and later natural- 
ists generally. 

Men would naturally doubt of fish in 
trees. Even the Chinese would. " To 
climb a tree in pursuit of fish," is a 
phrase actually used as an hyperbole of 
nonsense by many Tsze, in the book 
called " Shang Mung." And the above 
is therefore a fair instance of the pro- 
gress of human intelligence, of a thou- 
sand years of incredulity, and final sci- 
entific admission. Let it be taken here 
as absinthe, appetizingly. 

The ancients believed, among other 
things, that man had, to say the least, 
relations in the various departments of 
Nature and in the various divisions of 
animal life ; that there were wild men 
who lived in the forests, and differed 



Deep-Sea Damsels. 



[July, 



from man proper principally in other 
than physical respects ; and that there 
were wild men who lived in the sea : 
also that there were beings half-man 
and half-horse ; others half-man and 
half-bird ; and others, again, half-man 
and half- fish. In respect to the wild 
man of the woods, it may be said that 
those words are the literal signification 
of the Malayan words orang outang; 
and that animal's appearance seems to 
determine that the Satyr and kindred 
creatures were not entirely imaginations. 
For the half-man and half-horse we 
have abundant explanation in the vari- 
ous wild riding tribes of men, especially 
the Tartars. The half-bird appears to 
have been distinguished for only a sing- 
ing reason, and is therefore, as it were, 
a piece of heraldry. For the wild man 
of the sea, and the half-man and half- 
fish, what have we ? 

Let us see. 

Apparently the earliest presentation 
to men's eyes of that form under which 
the mermaid is still figured was the 
image, in very ancient days, of Derce- 
to, goddess of the Philistines of Asca- 
lon, in a temple of that city. She was 
woman above and fish below. She had 
been a beautiful virgin, but had excited 
that all-prevalent passion since irregu- 
lated by Aphrodite. It proved her ruin, 
she cast herself into the sea, and suffered 
the partial metamorphosis. So was it 
fabled in that land : but it is much more 
plausibly thought that the combination 
of woman and fish declared, hieroglyph- 
ically, some dim knowledge that those 
ancients had of certain relations be- 
tween the moon and the sea, of which 
things the respective parts were typical. 

Half-fishy also was the form of that 
Dagon which in Ashdod, or Azotus, 
another city of the Philistines, fell down 
upon his face before the ark of the 
Lord. This Dagon was the god, ap- 
parently, in whose honor the Philistines 
were gathered together on that day 
when blind Samson " took hold of the 
two middle pillars," and let down the 
roof, and caught so many swallows. 

According to an ancient fable, pre- 
served by Berosus, this is what was 



known of Dagon. In the first year, 
there appeared, coming out of that part 
of the Erythraean Sea which borders up- 
on Babylonia, an animal whose whole 
body was that of a fish ; but under the 
fish's head he had another head, with 
feet below similar to those of a man, 
subjoined to the fish's tail. His voice 
was articulate and human, and he taught 
men to construct cities, to found tem- 
ples, compile laws, indeed, taught 
them everything that could tend to soft- 
en them from a state of natural barbar- 
ism ; and hence he was called Cannes, a 
name that signified " the Enlightener " ; 
and this name journeying westward be- 
came contracted into On, and had pre- 
fixed to it the Dag, signifying a fish, 
and so became Dagon. 

An image of Cannes is mentioned 
by Berosus as preserved in his time, 
and one has been found on the walls 
of Nimroud. In the ruins near Khor- 
sabad was found another of Dagon in 
his final Phoenician form. Engravings 
of both these may be seen in " Nine- 
veh and its Palaces." 

In the story of Cannes we have prob- 
ably the account preserved by a rude 
people of the advent among them at a 
very early perjod of one more enlight- 
ened than themselves ; just as the Pe- 
ruvians accounted in their peculiar way 
for the coming of Manco Capac. He 
comes also from a land farther east, by 
the Persian Gulf. These people were 
at the time very likely ignorant of even 
the most rudimentary navigation, and 
hence coming by water he was to them 
a fish indeed. 

The incarnation of Brahma as a fish 
the Matsya Avatar is recounted 
in much Sanscrit ; but it appears to be 
only a symbolical reference to a great 
division of Nature, a heathen asser- 
tion of God in the sea, as well as else- 
where. The same is true of the ma- 
rine deities of Greece and Rome, which 
were not fishy, though the words Triton 
and Nereid have led to misconception, 
.as in relation to those words it is ne- 
cessary to understand a distinction that 
has not always been made. The mytho- 
logical Triton was one, a sea-god sub- 



1865.] 



Deep-Sea Damsels. 



79 



ordinate to Poseidon, and played a 
conspicuous part in Deucalion's flood. 
He is pictured by Ovid as carrying a 
horn, and wearing a Tyrian robe, that 
may be construed into a blue jacket, 
which would make him the original 
sailor. The Nereids were fifty. They 
were the daughters of Nereus, and, pur- 
sued by the fifty sons of ^Egyptus, could 
find rest in no land, and became wan- 
derers upon the sea, and at length sea- 
nymphs. Each had a special, besides 
the general name. 

There does, however, appear to have 
been a "fishy composure " held sacred 
by the Greeks : this was the Pompilus. 
" Pompilus," says Apollonius Rhodius, 
" was originally a man, and he was 
changed into a fish on account of a 
love-affair of Apollo's. They say that 
Apollo fell in love with a beauty named 
Ocyrhoe, and that, when she had cross- 
ed over to Miletus, at the time of a fes- 
tival, and was afraid to return lest the 
god should attack her, she induced 
Pompilus, a sailor, and friend to her 
father, to see her safely home ; and that 
he led her down to the shore and em- 
barked, when Apollo appeared, took 
the maiden, sunk the ship, and meta- 
morphosed Pompilus into a fish." Oth- 
ers assert this fish to have sprung at 
the same time with Aphrodite, and from 
the same heavenly blood. What fish it 
was it is scarcely possible to say ; but 
that there was a fish bearing this name 
held sacred by the Greeks is certain. 

The Triton, in which the ancients 
believed as part of the physical world, 
was a different being from the deity. 
He was the classical Merman. The 
term Nereid was used confusedly to 
express the female of the Triton, or the 
Mermaid. 

The passage, in his "Natural History," 
where Pliny speaks of the Triton, in- 
dicates that the existence of such an 
animal was not universally admitted. 
It is prefaced thus : " The vulgar no- 
tion may very possibly be true, that 
whatever is produced in any other de- 
partment of Nature may be found in 
the sea as well." We are then told 
that a deputation of persons from Oli- 



sipo, (the present Lisbon,) that had been 
sent for the purpose, brought word to 
the Emperor Tiberius that a Triton 
had been both seen and heard in a cer- 
tain cavern, blowing a conch-shell, and 
that he was of the form in which Tri- 
tons are usually represented. 

This is so simple and meagre as to 
read like an extract from some diary 
or annals ; and the mere existence of 
such a passage seems to be good evi- 
dence that something, at the least, like 
a Triton, was certainly seen. For Pli- 
ny was sufficiently near to this time to 
know whether such a deputation had 
come to Rome, and would scarcely have 
volunteered a falsehood ; so that the 
deputation may reasonably be granted. 
Then the distance from Lisbon to Rome 
was so great, particularly in that ante- 
railroad time, and the general interest 
in the Merman so little, that it does not 
seem possible a deputation should be 
sent that distance " for the purpose " 
only of presenting this information, un- 
less the proof of the object seen was of 
the most convincing character to those 
by whom the deputation was sent. 

It is to be regretted that Pliny did 
not give at more length the statement 
of this early scientific commission. He 
does not leave the subject immediately, 
however, but says, 

" I have some distinguished infor- 
mants of equestrian rank, who state that 
they themselves once saw in the Ocean 
of Gades a sea-man which bore in ev- 
ery part of his body a perfect resem- 
blance to a human being ; and that 
during the night he would climb up in- 
to ships, upon which the side of the 
vessel where he seated himself would 
instantly sink downward, and, if he re- 
mained there any considerable time, 
even go under water." 

Gades was Cadiz, and the Ocean of 
Gades was that part of the Atlantic ly- 
ing south and west of Spain and west 
of Africa. The statement of the Mer- 
man's boarding a ship is, a little sin- 
gularly, to be found as well in the bal- 
lad of the " Merman Rosmer," which 
comes into English from a Scandina- 
vian source. The effect of his board- 



80 



Deep-Sea Damsels. 



[July, 



ing a ship is identical also. He would 
seem to have been a heavy fellow, North 
and South. 

" Nor yet," says Pliny, still on the 
same subject, " is the figure generally 
attributed to the Nereids [Mermaids] at 
all a fiction ; only in them the portion 
of the body that resembles the human 
figure is still rough all over with scales. 
For one of these creatures was seen 
upon the same shores, [Ocean of Gades,] 
and as it died its plaintive murmurs 
were heard, even by the inhabitants at 
a distance. The legates of Gaul, too, 
wrote word to the late Emperor Au- 
gustus, that a considerable number of 
Nereids had been found dead upon the 
sea-shore." 

Entire faith in the scales is not ex- 
acted of the reader, and the weight of 
authority, especially scientific, is against 
them. No marine mammals have scales. 
There is, of course, no knowing what 
they may have had. The statement of 
what the legates of Gaul wrote to the 
Emperor is of most consequence in this 
extract, and it is perhaps out of a natu- 
ral respect for authority that we are in- 
clined to give most weight to these offi- 
cial communications. Officials, it is 
true, have sometimes erred ; but these 
officials agree with others, and to be 
stranded has been a common misfortune 
of mermen and maids. 

Alexander of Alexandria, the good 
Bishop who had so healthy an abhor- 
rence of Arianism, saw (upon his own 
authority) a Nereid (Mermaid) that had 
been thrown ashore on the coast of the 
Peloponnesus. Seeing was believing ; 
and if the Bishop was right in so many 
higher things, all the way up to Divinity, 
is it possible that he could be wrong in 
the mere fact of a dead animal ? Or if 
he was wrong in this particular, is not 
the whole question as to the right or 
wrong of Arianism opened again ? 

A mermaid was stranded in 1403 
near Haerlem, driven ashore by a 
tempest, said one Meyer, a Dutchman. 
It was brought to feed upon bread and 
milk, taught to spin, and lived for many 
years. John Gerard of Leyden adds, 
that she would frequently pull off her 



clothes and run toward the water, and 
that her speech was so confused a noise 
as not to be understood by anybody. 
She was buried in the churchyard, be- 
cause she had learned to make the sign 
of the cross. They had much consid- 
eration for a possible soul in those 
days. 

Gerard spoke this upon the credit of 
several persons who had seen her. We 
find noted by another author, that, " in 
the fifteenth century, after a dreadful 
tempest on the coast of Holland, a mer- 
maid was found struggling in the mud, 
near Edam, in West Friesland ; whence 
it was carried to Haerlem, where it liv- 
ed some years, was clothed in female 
apparel, and, it is said, was taught to 
spin." This was apparently the same. 

This creature is said to have run, 
a thing somewhat inconsistent with a 
caudal termination, and she must be 
supposed, therefore, to be of the Wild- 
Man-of-the-Sea family rather than of 
the half-man, half-fish. She was, per- 
haps, a relative of this'next, recorded in 
an ancient English chronicle : 

" In the time of King Henry I., when 
Bartholomew de Glanville was warden 
of Oxford Castle, the fishermen took in 
their nets a wild man, having the human 
shape complete, with horns on his head, 
and long and pick beard, and a great 
deal of shaggy hair on his breast ; but 
he stole away to sea privately, and was 
.never seen afterwards." 

He wished, evidently, to avoid the 
embarrassment of the farewell. 

Another of these footed sea -men 
makes his appearance in the book of 
Gellius on Animals. Therein is re- 
counted the history, as far as landsmen 
knew it, of a Triton that used to come 
ashore on the coast of Epirus, and lie in 
wait by a well but a short distance from 
the sea, and who, when the country- 
girls came to the well for water, would 
leap out and seize them, and bear them 
away beneath the waves ; and not able 
to conceive the peculiarity of the hu- 
man lungs that lurked beneath their 
beautiful bosoms, many a one the wretch 
thus drowned in his passionate admira- 
tion. Beautiful Greek girls ! with such 



I865-] 



Deep-Sea Damsels. 



81 



limbs as have come down in marble ! 
Life under the sea seems favorable to 
the perfection of a correct taste. 

Mem. The reader is not at liberty 
to doubt this Triton. Draconetus Boni- 
facius, a Neapolitan, subsequently saw 
him preserved in honey. 

In 1560 the fishermen of Ceylon 
caught seven of these sea-peopla of 
both sexes. They were seen by many 
Portuguese gentlemen then at Menar, 
and, among the rest, by Dimaz Bos- 
quez, physician to the Viceroy of Goa, 
who minutely examined them, made 
dissections, and asserted that the prin- 
cipal parts, internal and external, were 
conformable to those of the human spe- 
cies.* 

In the reign of Roger, King of Sicily, 
a young man swimming in the sea, one 
night, perceived that something follow- 
ed him. He thought it one of his com- 
panions, but caught it by the hair, and 
dragged it on shore. It was a maiden 
of great beauty ! He threw his cloak 
about her, and took her to his home. 
There she lived with him and bore a 
son. But he was continually troubled 
that one so beautiful should be dumb ; 
for she had never spoken. One day a 
companion jeered at the spectre that he 
had at home, and, angry and terrified, he 
urged her to tell him who or what she 
was, and threatened with his sword to 
kill the child before her, if she did not. 
Then she said that he had lost a good 
wife by forcing her to speak ; and she 
vanished. A few years after, when the 
son was playing on the shore, his moth- 
er dragged him into the sea, and he was 
drowned. 

In the South of France a belief pre- 
vails in beings called Dracs, who have 
apparently a complete human form, and 
who inhabit indifferently the rivers or 
the sea. Gervase of Tilbury has re- 
corded several instances of their ap- 
pearance, of which the following is 
one : 

" There is on the banks of the Rhone, 
under a guard-house at the north gate 
of the city of Aries, a great pool of the 

* See Memoirs of an Oriental Residence. Sir 
James Forbes. 

VOL. XV. NO. 93. 6 



river. In these deep places they say 
that the Dracs are often seen of bright 
nights. A few years ago, there was, for 
three successive days, openly heard the 
following words in the place outside 
the gate of the city which I have men- 
tioned, while the figure, as it were, of a 
man ran along the bank, ' The hour 
is past, and the man does not come ! ' 
On the third day, about the ninth hour, 
while the figure of a man raised his 
voice higher than usual, a young man 
ran swiftly to the bank, plunged in, and 
was swallowed up, and the voice -was 
heard no more." 

The depths of the sea appear to be 
the Fairy Land of France, and the 
French Mermaids merely fairies. Such 
is their character in popular ballads of 
Provence. Among popular legends of 
Brittany, "The Groac'h of the Isle of 
Lok" is peculiarly striking, but with- 
al merely a fairy story, the Groac'h 
being a first cousin at least of Undine 
and the Lorelei. Yet in Brittany an- 
other Mermaid Morgan, or Mor- 
verc'h, sea -woman, or sea -daughter 
sings and combs its golden hair by 
the noontide sun at the edge of the 
ocean. 

The Irish Moruach, or Merrow, sea- 
maid, is the bond fide Mermaid, and 
some families in the South of Ireland 
are said to claim descent from them. 
There are numerous legends. 

Mermaids are plentiful in all accounts 
of Norway ; and Aldrovandus gives the 
portrait of one that was captured in the 
Baltic, and presented to Sigismund, 
King of Poland. It lived several days, 
and was seen by all his court. Aldro- 
vandus gives also the picture of a Mer- 
man who, in his natural condition, had 
the appearance of being clothed in a 
bishop's frock, and of another with 
horns, which was a peculiarity of the 
one taken in England somewhat ear- 
lier. 

In Scandinavian mythology every di- 
vision of Nature is peopled with its pe- 
culiar spirits, and all have a longing, 
mournful desire for salvation. A river- 
spirit, or Nek, once asked a priest if he 
would likely be saved. 



82 



Deep- Sea Damsels. 



[July, 



" Sooner," answered the priest, "will 
this cane which I hold in my hand grow 
green flowers than thou attain salva- 
tion." 

The spirit wept mournfully, and the 
priest passed on. But in a little while 
his cane actually bloomed, and put forth 
leaves and blossoms, and he went back 
and told the spirit, who then sang and 
rejoiced all night. 

The Havmand is the Merman ; the 
Havfrue, the Mermaid. They are hand- 
some, rather beneficent than evil, though 
occasionally both are treacherous. 
" Fishermen sometimes see the Mer- 
maid in the bright summer sun, when 
a thin mist hangs over the sea, sitting 
on the surface of the water, and comb- 
ing her long, golden hair with a golden 
comb, or driving up her snow-white cat- 
tle to feed on the islands. At other 
times she comes as a beautiful maiden, 
chilled and shivering with the cold of 
the night, to the fires the fishers have 
kindled, hoping by this means to entice 
them to her love." 

In the Faroe Islands the Mermaid of 
popular belief merges insensibly into 
the Seal ; and in Shetland it is believ- 
ed, that, while they are distinct beings, 
they can only come to the surface of 
the sea by entering the skin of some 
animal capable of existing in the water. 
This also is always the Seal. In this 
form they land on some rock and amuse 
themselves as they will. But they must 
take care of these skins, for without 
them they can never return. 

One summer's eve, a Shetlander 
walked along the shore of a little inlet. 
By the moonlight he saw, at some dis- 
tance before him, a number of these 
sea - people who had " left unsounded 
depths to dance on sands." Near them, 
on the ground, he saw several seal-skins. 

As he approached, the disturbed dan- 
cers precipitately made to their gar- 
ments, drew them on, and, in the form 
of seals, plunged into the sea. When 
he came up, he saw one seal-skin still 
there ; he snatched it up, ran away, and 
secured it. He then returned. There 
he met upon the shore the fairest maid- 
en that eye ever gazed upon. She was 



lamenting piteously the loss of her seal- 
skin robe, without which she could 
never rejoin her friends or reach her 
watery home. He endeavored to con- 
sole her. She implored him to restore 
her dress ; but her beauty had decided 
that. At last, as he continued inexora- 
ble, she consented to become his wife. 
They were married and had several 
children, who retained no mark of the 
watery strain, save a thin web between 
their fingers and a peculiar bend of the 
hand. 

The Shetlander's love for his wife 
was unbounded, but she made a cold 
return. Often she stole out alone and 
hastened to the sea-shore, and at a 
given signal a seal of large size would 
appear, and they would hold converse 
for hours in an unknown language, 
when she would return home pensive 
and melancholy. 

So years passed and her hopes van- 
ished, when one day the children, play- 
ing behind a stack of corn, found a seal- 
skin. Delighted, they ran to show the 
prize to their mother. She was no less 
delighted, for she saw in it the lost 
home and friends beneath the water. 
Yet she loved her children. That proved 
but a slight pang, and with many em- 
braces she fled to the sea. 

The husband came in almost imme- 
diately, and hearing what had happened 
ran out only to see her plunge into the 
sea, where she was joined by the seal. 
She looked back and saw his misery. 
" Farewell ! " she said. " I loved you 
well while I was with you, but I always 
loved my first husband better." 

" Near the coast," says Sir James 
Forbes, " we saw many sorts of fish, 
but did not meet with many of the Mer- 
maids so often mentioned in these seas, 
especially by Mr. Matcham, a gentle- 
man of great respectability, and at that 
time superintendent of the Company's 
Marine at Bombay. I have heard him 
declare, that, when in command of a 
trading vessel at Mozambique, Mom- 
baz, and Melinda, three of the principal 
seaports on the east coast of Africa, 
he frequently saw these extraordinary 
animals from six to twelve feet long ; 



I865-] 



Deep- Sea Damsels. 



the head resembling the human, except 
about the nose and mouth, which were 
rather more like a hog's snout ; the 
skin fair and smooth ; the head covered 
with dark, glossy hair of considerable 
length ; the neck, breasts, and body of 
the female as low as the hips, appeared 
like a well-formed woman ; from 'thence 
to the extremity of the tail they were 
perfect fish. The shoulders and arms 
were in good proportion, but from the 
elbow tapered to a fin, like the turtle or 
penguin." 

The very curious reader should ex- 
amine Cuvier's account of the Manatee, 
or Manatus, (called from its hands,) and 
of the Halicore, or Dugong, " from its 
mammae, called the Mermaid." Con- 
cerning this latter Hartwig has the fol- 
lowing sentence : " When they raise 
themselves with the front part of their 
body out of the water, a ^ively fancy 
might easily be led to imagine that a 
human shape, though certainly none of 
the most beautiful, was surging from 
the deep." 

This is the testimony, and our deduc- 
tion is short and simple. 

We see, first, in the East, two hiero- 
glyphs : one, the fishy man-monster, ex- 
pressive of a joint dominion over land 
and sea ; the other, a woman and fish 
conjoined, and expressive of relation- 
ship between the moon and the sea ; 
and thus the form of the Mermaid grew ; 
and as that which had in its mythology 
the latter of the figures was a maritime 
nation, the figure was spread abroad 
and perpetuated. Next, in the North 
we see the imagination that placed a 
colony of trolls under every hill, a tiny 



creature under every " cowslip's bell," 
and a separate spirit in every little 
stream, peopling also the outer ocean 
with its creatures ; and here the perfect 
idea of the Mermaid, with its various 
beneficent or mischievous qualities, ap- 
pears. 

Between these two put the sailor, al- 
ways superstitious add of ready credu- 
lity, and very often ignorant that the 
stories and the figure were not the ac- 
tual results of human experience, and, 
their reality assumed, whatever strange 
thing he saw in his wanderings would 
be naturally referred to them, whether 
it were an occasional Dugong, or only 
a seal erected in the water at such a 
distance that the sunbeams on his shin- 
ing coat made it seem white. 

And this is the natural history of the 
Mermaid. 

Aside from this, if one were Quixoti- 
cally inclined to assert the Mermaid, 
he would find in all that has been said 
nothing of weight against it ; and after 
what has been proved to have existed, 
'it is hard to say what is impossible. 
The Ichthyophagi of Diodorus, while 
they retained their human form, were 
more than half-fish, fishes in blood and 
instinct very clearly. Tendencies ex- 
aggerate themselves very strangely in 
a few centuries. A negro's under-lip 
has been so big as to hang down before 
him like an apron. Cuvier declares that 
we " may trace the gradations of one 
and the same plan, from man to the last 
of the fishes " ; and Mr. Darwin's theory 
appears to involve something like Mer- 
maids as inevitable links, existing or ex- 
tinct, in the chain of universal life. 



84 Skipper Beit. [J u ty> 



SKIPPER BEN. 

SAILING away! 
Losing the breath of the shores in May, 
Dropping down from the beautiful bay, 
Over the sea-slope vast and gray ! 
And the Skipper's eyes with a mist are blind ; 
For thoughts rush up on the rising wind 
Of a gentle face that he leaves behind, 
And a heart that throbs through the fog-bank dim, 
Thinking of him. 

Far into night 

He watches the gleam of the lessening light 
Fixed on the dangerous island-height 
That bars the harbor he loves from sight ; 
And he wishes at dawn he could tell the tale 
Of how they had weathered the southwest gale, 
To brighten the cheek that had grown so pale 
With a sleepless night among spectres grim, 

Terrors for him. 

Yo-heave-yo ! 

Here 's the Bank where .the fishermen go ! 
Over the schooner's sides they throw 
Tackle and bait to the deeps below. 
And Skipper Ben in the water sees, 
When its ripples curl to the light land-breeze, 
Something that stirs like his apple-trees, 
And two soft eyes that beneath them swim, 

Lifted to him. 

Hear the wind roar, 

And the rain through the slit sails tear and pour! 
" Steady ! we '11 scud by the Cape Ann shore, 
Then hark to the Beverly bells once more ! " 
And each man worked with the will of ten ; 
While up in the rigging, now and then, 
The lightning glared in the face of Ben, 
Turned to the black horizon's rim, 

Scowling on him. 

Into his brain 

Burned with the iron of hopeless pain, 
Into thoughts that grapple and eyes that strain, 
Pierces the memory, cruel and vain ! 
Never again shall he walk at ease 
Under his blossoming apple-trees 
That whisper and sway in the sunset-breeze, 
While the soft eyes float where the sea-gulls skim, 

Gazing with him. 



1 865 .] 



Assassination. 



How they went down 
Never was known in the still old town : 
Nobody guessed how the fisherman brown, 
With the look of despair that was half a frown, 
Faced his fate in the furious night, 
Faced the mad billows with hunger white, 
Just within hail of the beacon-light, 
That shone on a woman sweet and trim, 

Waiting for him. 

Beverly bells, 

Ring to the tide as it ebbs and swells ! 
His was the anguish a moment tells, 
The passionate sorrow Death quickly knells ; 
But the wearing wash of a lifelong woe 
Is left for the desolate heart to know, 
Whose tides with the dull years come and go, 
Till hope drifts dead to its stagnant brim, 

Thinking of him. 



ASSASSINATION. . 



r ~T'HE assassination of President Lin- 
-i- coin threw a whole nation into 
mourning, the few exceptions to those 
who deplored the President's violent and 
untimely end only serving to make the 
general regret the more manifest. Of 
all our Presidents since Washington, 
Mr. Lincoln had excited the smallest 
amount of that feeling which places its 
object in personal danger. He was a 
man who made a singularly favorable 
impression on those who approached 
him, resembling in that respect Presi- 
dent Jackson, who often made warm 
friends of bitter foes, when circumstan- 
ces had forced them to seek his pres- 
ence ; and it is probable, that, if he and 
the honest chiefs of the Rebels could 
have been brought face to face, there 
never would have been civil war, at 
least, any contest of grand proportions ; 
for he would not have failed to convince 
them that all that they had any right to 
claim, and therefore all that they could 
expect their fellow-citizens to fight for, 



would be more secure under his gov- 
ernment than it had been under the 
governments of such men as Pierce and 
Buchanan, who made use of sectional- 
ism and slavery to promote the selfish 
interests of themselves and their party. 
The estimation in which he was latterly 
held by the most intelligent of the Se- 
cessionists indicates, that, had they been 
acquainted with him, their Secessionism 
never would have got beyond the nulli- 
fication of the Palmetto Nullifiers ; and 
that was all fury and fuss, without any 
fighting in it. Ignorance was the parent 
of the civil war, as it has been the par- 
ent of many other evils, ignorance of 
the character and purpose of the man 
who was chosen President in 1 860-61, 
and who entered upon official life with 
less animosity toward his opponents 
than ever before or since had been felt 
by a man elected to a great place after 
a bitter and exciting contest. There is 
not the slightest reason for doubting 
the sincerity of Mr. Lincoln's declara- 



86 



Assassination. 



[July, 



tion, that his administration should be 
Constitutional in its character ; nor 
can it be said that the earlier Rebels 
ever supposed that he would invade 
their Constitutional rights. They re- 
belled because circumstances enabled 
them to attempt the realization of their 
long-cherished dream of a slave-holding 
Confederacy, and because they saw that 
never again, in their time, would an- 
other such opportunity be offered to ef- 
fect a traitorous purpose. It was clear 
to every mind that a year of quiet un- 
der the new administration would dis- 
pel the delusion that the North was 
about to overthrow the old polity ; and 
therefore the violent men of the South 
were determined that that administra- 
tion never should have a fair trial. 
Their action at Charleston, in 1860, by 
rendering the election of the Republi- 
can candidate certain, shows that they 
wished an occasion for revolt ; and the 
course of President Buchanan, who re- 
fused to take the commonest precau- 
tions for the public safety, gave them a 
vantage-ground which they speedily oc- 
cupie.^, and so made war inevitable. 

That one of the most insignificant of 
their number should have murdered the 
man whose election they declared to be 
cause for war is nothing strange, be- 
ing in perfect keeping with their whole 
course. The wretch who shot the chief 
magistrate of the Republic is of hardly 
more account than was the weapon which 
he used. The real murderers of Mr. Lin- 
coln are the men whose action brought 
about the civil war. Booth's deed was 
a logical proceeding, following strictly 
from the principles avowed by the Reb- 
els, and in harmony with their course 
during the last five years. The fall of a 
public man by the hand of an assassin 
always affects the mind more strongly 
than it is affected by the fall of thousands 
of men in battle ; but in strictness, Booth, 
vile as his deed was, can be held to have 
been no worse, morally, than was that 
old gentleman who insisted upon being 
allowed the privilege of firing the first 
shot at Fort Sumter. Ruffin's act is 
not so disgusting as Booth's ; but of the 
two men, Booth exhibited the greater 



courage, courage of the basest kind, 
indeed, but sure to be attended with 
the heaviest risks, as the hand of every 
man would be directed against its exhib- 
itor. Had the Rebels succeeded, Ruf- 
fin would have been honored by his fel- 
lows ; but even a successful Southern 
Confederacy would have been too hot 
a country for the abode of a wilful mur- 
derer. Such a man would have been 
no more pleasantly situated even in 
South Carolina than was Benedict Ar- 
nold in England. And as he chose to 
become an assassin after the event of 
the war had been decided, and when 
his victim was bent upon sparing South- 
ern feeling so far as it could be spared 
without injustice being done to the coun- 
try, Booth must have expected to find 
his act condemned by every rational 
Southern man as a worse than useless 
crime, as a blunder of the very first 
magnitude. Had he succeeded in get- 
ting abroad, Secession exiles would 
have shunned him, and have treated 
him as one who had brought an inef- 
faceable stain on their cause, and also 
had rendered their restoration to their 
homes impossible. The pistol-shot of 
Sergeant Corbett saved him from the 
gallows, and it saved him also from the 
denunciations of the men whom he 
thought to serve. He exhibited, there- 
fore, a species of courage that is by no 
means common ; for he not only risked 
his life, and rendered it impossible for 
honorable men to sympathize with him, 
but he ran the hazard of being denoun- 
ced and cast off by his own party. This 
places him above those who would have 
assassinated their country, but who took 
care to keep themselves within the rules 
of honorable action, as the world counts 
honor. He perilled everything, while 
they staked only their lives and their 
property. Their success would have 
justified them in general estimation, but 
his success would have been his ruin. 
He was fortunate in meeting death so 
soon, and not less so in the mode of his 
exit from the stage of life. All Seces- 
sionists who retain any self-respect must 
rejoice that one whose doings brought 
additional ignominy on a cause that could 



1865.] 



Assassination. 



not well bear it has passed away and 
gone to his account. It would have 
been more satisfactory to loyal men, if 
he had been reserved for the gallows ; 
but even they must admit that it is a 
terrible trial to any people who get pos- 
session of an odious criminal, because 
they may be led so to act as to disgrace 
themselves, and to turn sympathy in 
the direction of the evil-doer. No foul- 
er murder ever was perpetrated than 
that of which Booth was guilty ; and had 
he been taken alive and sound, it is pos- 
sible that our conduct would not have 
been of such a character as it would 
have been pleasing to think of after our 
just passion should have cooled. We 
should recollect, that, a hundred and six- 
ty years after its occurrence, the shout- 
ing of Englishmen over the verdict of 
Guilty rendered against Charnock and 
his associates, because of their part in 
the Assassination Plot, is condemned by 
the greatest of English historians, who 
was the last man to be suspected of sym- 
pathizing with men who sought to mur- 
der William III. A disposition to insult 
the fallen, no matter how vile may be 
their offences or how just their fall, is 
Hot an American characteristic ; but so 
wide-spread and well-founded was the 
indignation caused by the basest murder 
of modern times, that we might have 
been unjust to ourselves, if the mur- 
derer had come whole into our hands. 
Therefore the shot of Sergeant Corbett 
is not to be regretted, save that it gave 
too honorable a form of death to one 
who had earned all that there is of dis- 
graceful in that mode of dying to which 
a peculiar stigma is attached by the 
common consent of mankind. 

Whether Booth was the agent of a 
band of conspirators, or was one of a few 
vile men who sought an odious immortal- 
ity, it is impossible to say. We have the 
authority of a high Government official 
for the statement that " the President's 
murder was organized in Canada and 
approved at Richmond " ; but the evi- 
dence in support of this extraordinary 
announcement is, doubtless for the best 
of reasons, withheld at the time we 
write. There is nothing improbable in 



the supposition that the assassination 
plot was formed in Canada, as some of 
the vilest miscreants of the Secession 
side have been allowed to live in that 
country. We know that there were 
other plots formed in that country 
against us, plots that were to a cer- 
tain extent carried into execution, and 
which led to loss of life. The ruffians 
who were engaged in the St. Albans 
raid which was as much an insult to 
England as it was a wrong to us 
were exactly the sort of men to engage 
in a conspiracy to murder Federal mag- 
istrates ; but it is not probable that 
British subjects had anything .to do with 
any conspiracy of this kind. The Cana- 
dian error was in allowing the scum of 
Secession to abuse the " right of hospi- 
tality " through the pursuit of hostile 
action against us from the territory of a 
neutral. If injustice is done their coun- 
try in this instance, Canadians should 
recollect that what is known to have 
been done there for our injury is quite 
sufficient to warrant the suspicion that 
more was there done to increase the 
difficulties of our situation than- now 
distinctly appears. The country that 
contains such justices as Coursol and 
Smith cannot complain, if its sense of 
fairness is not rated very high by its 
neighbors, neighbors who have suf- 
fered from Secessionists being allowed 
to make Canada a basis of operations 
against the United States, though the 
United States and Great Britain are at 
peace. 

That a plan to murder President Lin- 
coln should have been approved at Rich- 
mond is nothing strange ; and though 
such approval would have been su- 
premely foolish, what but supreme folly 
is the chief characteristic of the whole 
Southern movement ? If the seal of 
Richmond's approval was placed on a 
plan formed in Canada, something more 
than the murder of Mr. Lincoln was 
intended. It must have been meant to 
kill every man who could legally take 
his place, either as President or as Pres- 
ident pro tempore. The only persons 
who had any title to step into the Presi- 
dency on Mr. Lincoln's death were Mr. 



88 



Assassination. 



[July, 



Johnson, who became President on the 
1 5th of April, and Mr. Foster, one of the 
Connecticut Senators, who is President 
of the Senate. There was no Speaker of 
the House of Representatives ; so that 
one of the officers designated tempora- 
rily to act as President, on the occur- 
rence of a vacancy, had no existence at 
the time of Mr. Lincoln's death, has none 
at this time, and can have none until 
Congress shall have met, and the House 
of Representatives have chosen its pre- 
siding officer. It does not appear that 
any attempt was made on the life of 
Mr. Foster, though Mr. Johnson was on 
the list of those doomed by the assas- 
sins ; and the savage attack made on 
Mr. Seward shows what those assassins 
were capable of. But had all the mem- 
bers of the Administration been struck 
down at the same time, it is not at all 
probable that " anarchy " would have 
been the effect, though to produce that 
must have been the object aimed at by 
the conspirators. Anarchy is not so 
easily brought about as persons of an 
anarchical turn of mind suppose. The 
training we have gone through since the 
close of 1860 has fitted us to bear many 
rude assaults on order without our be- 
coming disorderly. Our conviction is, 
that, if every man who held high office 
at Washington had been killed on the 
I4th of April, things would have gone 
pretty much as we have seen them go, 
and that thus the American people 
would have vindicated their right to be 
considered a self-governing race. It 
would not be a very flattering thought, 
that the peace of the country is at the 
command of any dozen of hardened ruf- 
fians who should have the capacity to 
form an assassination plot, the discretion 
to keep silent respecting their purpose, 
and the boldness and the skill requisite 
to carry it out to its most minute de- 
tails : for the neglect of one of those de- 
tails might be fatal to the whole project. 
Society does not exist in such peril as 
that. Does any one suppose, that, if 
the Gunpowder Plot had been a success, 
that, if King, Lords, and Commons 
had all been hoisted by Mr. Fawkes, 
the English nation would have gone to 



wreck, that it could not have survived 
the loss of most of the royal family, the 
greater part of the peerage, and most 
of the gentlemen who had been chosen 
to serve in the House of Commons ? 
England would have survived such a 
blow as that blowing-up would have in- 
flicted on her, though for the time she 
might have been in a very confused 
condition ; and so we should have sur- 
vived and we believe without exhib- 
iting much confusion all the efforts 
of assassins to murder our leading men, 
had those efforts been entirely success- 
ful. 

It is possible, and indeed very proba- 
ble, that Booth and his associates were 
originally moved to become assassins 
by that sentiment which has caused 
many other men to assail public char- 
acters, and sometimes with the blood- 
iest success. This supposition does 
not exclude the action of more eminent 
persons from the tragedy, who may 
have urged on those hot-headed fools 
to the completion of their work. Booth 
was precisely that sort of man who was 
likely to be the victim of the astounding 
delusion that to kill President Lincoln 
would place him in history alongside 
of those immortal tyrant-killers whose 
names are in most people's mouths, and 
whose conduct is seldom condemned 
and very often is warmly approved. 
There is constant praise going on of 
those who, in classic times, put to death 
men who held, or who aspired to ob- 
tain, improper power, or whose conduct 
was cruel. Booth thought that Mr. Lin- 
coln was a usurper, and that his con- 
duct was cruel ; and he could have 
cited abundance of evidence from the 
speeches and writings of Northern men, 
professing to be sound Unionists, in 
support of the position that the Presi- 
dent was a usurper and a tyrant. Hav- 
ing convinced himself that such was 
the position and character of the Presi- 
dent, it was the most natural thing in 
the world that he, a Southern man, and 
brought up on those sensational trage- 
dies in which human life is easily taken 
on all occasions, should have jumped 
to the conclusion that it was his duty to 



1 86 5 .] 



Assassination. 



kill the man whose plan and actions 
he had so strangely misconceived. If, 
while he was thus deluding himself with 
the notion that he was about to rival 
Harmodius and Aristogeiton, and other 
Grecian foes of tyrants, there came to 
him men who had too much sense to 
be deluded by such nonsense, but who, 
nevertheless, were not above profiting, 
as they regarded profit, from his folly, it 
is all but certain that he may have had 
accomplices who have not yet been 
suspected, persons to whom exposure 
would be a much greater punishment 
than death. Those old Greek and Ro- 
man writers have much to answer for, 
as they have conferred a sort of sanc- 
tity upon assassination, provided the 
victim be rightly selected ; and who 
is to decide whether he is so select- 
ed or not ? If murderers are to de- 
cide upon the deserts of their victims, 
there never was a murder committed. 
Much of the literature that furnishes 
material for the instruction of youth is 
devoted to the laudation of bloodshed- 
ding, provided always the blood that 
is shed is that of a tyrant ; and who 
is to say whether it is so or not ? Why, 
the tyrant - killer, to be sure. This is 
an admirable arrangement for secur- 
ing simplicity of proceedings, but it ad- 
mits of some doubt whether it can be 
quite approved on the score of impar- 
tiality. When a man unites in his own 
person the characters of accuser, judge, 
and executioner, it is within the limits 
of possibility that he may be slightly 
untrustworthy. But in what is known 
as classical literature, not only are ty- 
rant-slayers allowed to have their own 
way and say, but their action is upheld 
and defended by great geniuses who 
never killed anybody with their ow. 
hands, but who had a marvellous fond- 
ness for those whose hands were blood- 
stained. Cicero, for example, is never 
tired of sounding the praises of eminent 
homicides. He scarcely praised him- 
self more than he eulogized illustrious 
murderers of other days. And on his 
eloquent words in honor of assassina- 
tion are the " ingenuous youth " of 
Christian countries trained and taught. 



That some of them should go astray 
under such teaching is nothing to won- 
der at. This has happened in other 
countries, and why should it not hap- 
pen here ? Assassination is not an 
American crime ; * but it is not the less 
true'that Brutuses hav"e been invoked 
in this country, and that more than once 
President Jackson was pointed at as 
one from whose tyranny the country 
might advantageously be relieved after 
" the high Roman fashion." One man 
fired at him, an Englishman, named 
Laurence, in 1834; but he proved to 
be insane, and was treated as a mad- 
man. Lieutenant Randolph, a Virgin- 
ian, assaulted President Jackson, but 
not with the view to assassinate him. 
Brooks's assault on Senator Sumner 
was an assassin's act, and a far more 
cowardly deed than that which Booth 
perpetrated, though it had a less tragi- 
cal termination. The assassinating spirit 
has been increasing fast in the South, 
which is one, proof of the growth of 
the aristocratical sentiment there, as- 
sassination being much more in vogue 
among aristocrats than among monarch- 
ists or democrats, and most of the re- 
nowned assassins and conspirators hav- 
ing been aristocrats. It denotes the 
change in our condition that has been 
wrought by slavery and civil war, that 
assassination should have been much 
talked of here, and that at last the head 
of the Republic should have fallen be- 
fore an assassin's fire. In other coun- 
tries assassination has often been re- 
sorted to by parties and by individuals, 
but until very recently no public man 
can be said to have been taken off by 
an assassin in America. Booth and his 

* The word assassin, according to that eminent 
Orientalist, Sylvestre de Sacy, is derived from hash- 
ish, being the liquid preparation on which the Old 
Man of the Mountain used to intoxicate his opera- 
tors, and which appears to have been an uncommonly 
powerful tipple. The men whom he thus drugged, 
or hocused, when they were to commit murder, 
" were called, in Arabic, HashUhin in the plural, 
and Hashishi in the singular." The Crusaders 
brought the word from the East. The ancients had 
not the word, but they had the thing, as the English 
suffer from ennui, but have no name for it A tem- 
perance lecturer might turn this connection between 
blind drunkenness and reckless murder to some good 
purpose. 



9 



Assassination. 



[July, 



associates stand alone in our history. 
Others may have talked pistols and 
daggers, but it was left for them to use 
weapons so odious for purposes of the 
same nature. Under the belief that 
the reader may not be indisposed to see 
what has been 'done by assassins in 
other countries, we shall here cite some 
remarkable' instances of their deeds, 
passing over classic antiquity and mod- 
ern Italy. 

In the sixteenth century assassination 
flourished to an extent never before or 
since known : the hundred years that 
followed Luther's appearance on the 
great stage forming murder's golden 
age, whether we consider the number 
or the quality of the persons slain or 
conspired against, or the sort of persons 
who condescended to act on the prin- 
ciple that killing is no murder. Re- 
formers and reactionists had their as- 
sassins ; but it must be acknowledged 
that the latter had the best (which was 
the worst) of the game, SJQ that nearly 
all the infamous names that have come 
down to us won immortality in their 
service. It was a great, a stirring time, 
one that was fertile in all manner of 
crimes, and in which a gentleman that 
had much nerve and no scruples was 
sure of constant and well-paid employ- 
ment, and might make his fortune 
or that of his family, if he chanced to 
be cut off because he had cut down 
some eminent personage whose life 
was a great inconvenience to this or 
that sovereign or party. The conflict 
that was waged was one of opinion, and 
therefore was fertile of fanatics, a class 
of men who have furnished a large force 
of assassins, who have generally acted 
on principle, without being always heed- 
less of their interests. In the fierce 
struggle between old ideas and new, 
every weapon was employed, and the 
talents and dispositions of all kinds of 
men were made available by the great 
managers who had the casting of the 
performers in the numerous tragedies 
that were played. There was not a 
country in which assassination was un- 
known ; and in most countries it was 
common, kings and churchmen being 



its patrons, and not unfrequently per- 
ishing by the very arts which under 
their fostering care had been carried to 
the highest pitch of artistic perfection. 
Philip II. was the most powerful mon- 
arch of those days. His regal career 
began just as the Reformation was at 
its height, and when the Reaction was 
about to begin. He was a sort of Chris- 
tian Old Man of the Mountain ; and as- 
sassination was with him a regular busi- 
ness, a portion of his mode of govern- 
ing the many races that owned his sway. 
Mignet, in his "Antonio Perez et Phi- 
lippe II.," after mentioning that Philip 
gave instructions to put Escovedo to 
death, says, " This order would appear 
strange on the part of the King, if we 
did not call to mind the practices as 
well as the theories of that violent age, 
so fertile in assassinations. Death was 
then the last argument of belief, the ex- 
treme, but frequent means employed by 
parties, kings, and subjects. They were 
not satisfied with killing ; they believed 
they had the right. Certain casuists 
attributed this right, some to princes, 
others to the people. Here is what the 
friar Diego de Chaves, Philip's confess- 
or, wrote upon the very subject of Es- 
covedo's death : ' According to my view 
of the laws, the secular prince, who has 
power over the life of his inferiors or 
subjects, even as he can deprive them 
of it for a just cause and by judgment 
in form, may also do so without all this, 
since superfluous forms and all judicial 
proceedings are no laws for him who 
may dispense with them. It is, conse- 
quently, no crime on the part of a sub- 
ject who by a sovereign order has put 
another subject to death. We must 
believe that the prince has given this 
order for a just cause, even as the law 
always presumes that there is one in all 
the actions of the sovereign.' " When 
such a king as Philip II. has such a 
ghostly father as Diego de Chaves, as- 
sassination may become common. Es- 
covedo was murdered ; but there were 
others besides the King concerned in 
his taking off, one of them being the 
Princess of Eboli, widow of Philip's 
first favorite, Ruy Gomez de Silva, and 



1865.] 



Assassination. 



Antonio Perez ; and it was because the 
King believed they had tricked him in 
the business, that Perez fell, and, when 
in exile, had his life sought by some of 
his old master's assassins. Two Irish- 
men were authorized to kill him, by 
Philip's Governor of the Netherlands, 
but failed, and were hanged in London. 
Baron de Pinella tried to kill Perez at 
Paris, was detected, and executed. As 
he had been himself an active assassin, 
Perez could not well complain of these 
attempts ; but they illustrate the the- 
ory and practice of the powerful Span- 
ish monarch. Perez was one of those 
persons who labored to bring about the 
assassination of William (the Silent) of 
Orange. Writing to Escovedo, who was 
Secretary to Don John of Austria, then 
in the Netherlands, Perez observes, 
" Let it never be absent from your mind 
that a good occasion must be found for 
finishing Orange, since, besides the ser- 
vice which will thus be rendered to our 
master, and to the States, it will be worth 
something to ourselves " ; to which high- 
ly moral injunction Escovedo replied, 
" You know that the finishing of Orange 
is very near my heart." There is some- 
thing almost comical in this correspon- 
dence, considering its circumstances : 
Perez urging upon the man whom he 
was soon to assassinate the duty of pro- 
curing the assassination of the Prince 
of Orange, to whose party in Europe he 
was destined erelong to join himself. 
Philip has been suspected of having 
procured the death of his half-brother, 
Don John of Austria, by poison ; but in 
this instance he is entitled at least to 
the Scotch verdict of Not proven. He 
did bring about the assassination of his 
ablest enemy, the Prince of Orange, 
though not until after failures so numer- 
ous as would have served to discourage 
a man of less persistent mind. Five 
unsuccessful attempts to kill the Prince 
were made in two years ; the sixth was 
successful, that of Balthazar Ge'rard, 
who shot the Dutch deliverer on the 
loth of July, 1584, in his house at Delft. 
Like Booth, Ge'rard used the pistol, a 
weapon that seems to have been invent- 
ed for the promotion of murder. He 



made a determined effort to get off, and 
might have succeeded, had he not stum- 
bled over a heap of rubbish. To all 
these attacks on Orange some of the 
most eminent Spanish statesmen and 
soldiers of that time were parties, and 
Spain was then the premier nation. The 
Prince of Parma, one of the foremost 
men of a period in which there was an 
absolute glut of talent, spoke of Ge"- 
rard's detestable crime as a " laudable 
and generous deed," and strongly rec- 
ommended that the reward which had 
been offered for the Prince's murder 
should be conferred on his parents, a 
suggestion with which Philip gladly 
complied. Those parents were made 
noble, and were further rewarded by 
the grant of certain estates in Franche- 
Comtd, the property of their son's vic- 
tim. This was to reverse the old say- 
ing, " Happy is the child whose father 
goeth to the Devil ! "for the happiness 
of the father was made by the child's 
taking the downward road. " At a lat- 
er day," says Motley, "when the un- 
fortunate eldest son of Orange return- 
ed from Spain, after twenty-seven years' 
absence, a changeling and a Spaniard, 
the restoration of those very estates 
was offered to him by Philip II., pro- 
vided he would continue to pay a fixed 
proportion of their rents to the fami- 
ly of his father's murderer. The ed- 
ucation which Philip William had re- 
ceived, under the King's auspices, had, 
however, not entirely destroyed all his 
human feelings, and he rejected the 
proposal with scorn. The estates re- 
mained with the Ge'rard family, and the 
patents of nobility which they had re- 
ceived were used to justify their ex- 
emption from certain taxes, until the 
union of Franche-Comte' with France, 
when a French governor tore the docu- 
ments to pieces, and trampled them un- 
der foot." 

It would be tedious to mention all the 
assassinations with which Philip II. was 
connected. He and his proconsuls and 
ambassadors were concerned in many 
of the plots that were directed against 
the peace of countries whose power was 
dreaded by Spain, or against the lives 



92 



Assassination. 



[July, 



of their sovereigns or other eminent 
personages. Elizabeth of England was 
to have been served after the same 
fashion as Orange. Alva sent assassins 
to take her off. Much of the assassina- 
tion-work that was done in France pro- 
ceeded from Spain. The Massacre of 
St. Bartholomew was a Spanish inspira- 
tion. In these days it would be called 
a coup a^tat. All Philip's proceedings 
toward his enemies were characterized 
by the spirit of assassination. The 
murder of Montigny is a strong case in 
point ; and the artful manner in which 
Egmont and Horn were inveigled into 
his toils shows that he was a master- 
hand at conspiracy. Had there been 
two Philips in Europe, one would have 
assassinated the other, and it would 
have been dangerous to bet on the 
success of either. 

France had her grand assassinations 
in the sixteenth century ; and a perfect 
crop they were, in which kings were 
conspirators or were conspired against, 
killed or were killed, according to the 
supposed requirements of state policy 
or the necessities of high-placed indi- 
viduals. At earlier dates assassination 
was far from being unknown in France ; 
and some remarkable cases occurred 
there in those awful times when the 
Burgundian and Armagnac parties ex- 
isted. The Duke of Orleans was as- 
sassinated, and, later, the Duke of Bur- 
gundy. Louis XL, who had rebelled 
against his father, is believed to have 
murdered his brother, and also to have 
sought the death of Charles of Bur- 
gundy. But it was in the sixteenth cen- 
tury that French assassinations were 
of the most striking order. The mar- 
riage of Catharine de' Medici with that 
French prince who became Henry II. 
is supposed to have been attended with 
the effect of debauching French morals, 
as the Italians had a prodigiously bad 
reputation as assassins, and particular- 
ly as poisoners. Catharine was totally 
unscrupulous, having about as much of 
moral sense as goes to the making of a 
tigress ; but it needed not that she 
should marry into the House of Valois 
to render assassination a Gallic crime. 



It would have existed in France all the 
same, had she never been born. It was 
a moral plague that ran over Europe, 
as the Black Death made the same tour 
a couple of hundred years earlier. Pol- 
trot killed Francis, Duke of Guise, the 
greatest man of a great race. Henry, 
Duke of Guise, Francis's son, was con- 
cerned in a plot to murder the Admiral 
Coligny, shortly before the St. Barthol- 
omew, and was one of the Admiral's 
murderers in the Massacre. Henry of 
Guise was assassinated by Henry III., 
last of the Valois kings of France, who 
took upon himself to act in accordance 
with the principles laid down by Diego 
de Chaves, which James II. had acted 
on in the case of the Black Douglas, 
and on which Ferdinand IL, Emperor 
of Germany, afterward acted toward 
Wallenstein, who was basely murdered. 
Henry III. was soon made to follow his 
victim, being assassinated by Jacques 
Clement, a Jacobin monk and a Leaguer. 
Henry IV. was killed by Francois Ra- 
vaillac, a Romish fanatic, who was in 
bad odor with all respectable Catholics 
who knew him. Richelieu lived in a 
condition not unlike that which Crom- 
well knew, being often conspired against. 
Louis XV. was attacked by Damiens, 
who was put to death by cruel tortures. 
In the Revolution there were several 
assassins, the most noted of whom was 
Charlotte Corday, praises of whom are 
so common as to weaken the force of 
that feeling which should ever be di- 
rected against murder. Granted that 
Marat was as bad as he is painted, no 
individual had the right to slay him. 
Bonaparte was in great danger from 
assassins ; and it was not until he had 
the Due d'Enghien assassinated that 
he obtained a respite from their attacks, 
which were regarded with ill-disguised 
approbation even by respectable per- 
sons who were his enemies or those of 
France. A German youth endeavored 
to kill Napoleon in 1809, and was shot. 
In the " Declaration " put forth by the 
Congress of Vienna against Napoleon, 
after his return from Elba, the Em- 
peror was deliberately delivered over 
to assassins in the following terms : 



1865.] 



Assassination. 



" Les Puissances de"clarent en conse*- 
quence, que Napoleon Bonaparte s'est 
place" hors des relations civiles et so- 
ciales, et que, comme ennemi et pertur- 
bateur du repos du monde, il s'est livre' 
a la vindicte publique." To the paper 
containing this rascally sentence stands 
affixed the name of Wellington, who, 
however, indignantly denied that he 
ever meant to authorize or to suggest 
the assassination of Napoleon. No 
doubt his denial was honestly made, 
but the legitimate construction of the 
words is favorable to the opposite view. 
A French officer named Cantallon was 
charged with having attempted to assas- 
sinate Wellington, and was tried and 
acquitted ; and Napoleon bequeathed 
ten thousand francs to Cantallon, which 
bequest was paid after Napoleon III. 
became master of France, much to the 
indignation of some Englishmen. The 
Due de Berri, son of the Comte d'Artois, 
(later Charles X.,) and the hope of the 
Bourbons, was killed by Louvel, at the 
opera, in February, 1820 ; and his son, 
the present Comte de Chambord, was 
born in the following autumn. Louis 
Philippe, when King of the French, 
was so often attacked with fire-arms 
and infernal - machines that one be- 
comes dizzy in thinking of his escapes. 
Napoleon III. has been in great peril 
from assassins. Orsini's attempt to 
kill was a terrible piece of butchery, 
causing the death or mutilation of many 
persons, resembling in that respect the 
result of Fieschi's attempt to murder 
Louis Philippe. Had Orsini's attempt 
proved as successful as Booth's, it is 
probable tljat there never would have 
been a Secession War in this country. 
The Rebels counted much on Europe- 
an intervention, as they supposed that 
France and England would act together 
in their behalf; and had the Emperor 
been killed in 1858, the "cordial under- 
standing " between the great nations of 
Western Europe would have come to an 
end, and perhaps they would have gone 
to war. The state of foreign affairs in 
1860 had much more to do with bring- 
ing on our civil war than appears on 
the surface of things. 



Scotland is a country in which as- 
sassins have figured largely, and her 
history is more disfigured by their 
acts than that of any other modern 
nation, due allowance being made for 
the smallness of her territory and the 
limited number of her people. This 
peculiarity in Scotch history is princi- 
pally owing to the circumstance, that, 
as a rule, Scotland has been more aris- 
tocratically dominated than any other 
community ; and aristocracies are more 
prolific of assassins than democracies 
or monarchies, as before said. Aris- 
tocrats, members of privileged class- 
es, are less patient of restriction, and 
more prone to take the righting of what 
they call their wrongs into their own 
hands, than are other men. Violence 
of all kinds was for centuries more 
common in Scotland than in any other 
European country that had made the 
same advances in civilization ; and the 
troubles that overtook so many of her 
monarchs were the natural conse- 
quences of their position. The House 
of Stuart has been called " the Fated 
Line " ; and it deserved the name, be- 
cause it stood nominally at the head of 
a nation that really was ruled toy the 
fiercest aristocracy that ever plagued a 
people or perplexed monarchs. The 
independence of Scotland, her salvation 
from that English rule with which she 
was threatened by Edward I., whose 
success would have made her what Ire- 
land became under English ascenden- 
cy, was based on a deed which even 
some Scotch writers have not hesitated 
to speak of as reprehensible, the kill- 
ing, namely, of Comyn in a church at 
Dumfries, by Bruce and Kirkpatrick ; 
and it seems as if the blood-stain then 
and there contracted clung to the Stu- 
arts, who were descended from Bruce 
by the female line. The Duke of Rothe- 
say, son of Robert III., and heir-appar- 
ent, was murdered by his uncle, the 
Duke of Albany, whose purpose was to 
divert the crown to his own branch of 
the family. Rothesay's brother became 
James I., and he was assassinated by 
Sir Robert Grahame, the King's of- 
fence being that he wished to introduce 



94 



A ssassination. 



TJuly, 



something like regular government into 
Scotland, having learned the value of 
order in England, where he had passed 
many years as a prisoner. Grahame 
was one of the most ferocious of the 
savages who then formed the Scotch ar- 
istocracy, and he had no idea of seeing 
radicalism made rampant in his country ; 
and so he headed a conspiracy against 
the King and murdered him. James II. 
was himself an assassin, as he stabbed 
the Earl of Douglas, who had come to 
him under an assurance of safety, and 
who was cut to pieces by some of the 
royal retainers, after their master had 
set them an example. The King's ex- 
cuse was, that the Douglas had become 
too powerful to be proceeded against 
regularly ; and, indeed, the question 
then before Scotland was, whether that 
country should be ruled by the House 
of Douglas or the House of Stuart, 
and we cannot wonder that a king in 
the fifteenth century should conclude 
rather to murder than to be murdered. 
James II. overthrew the Black Douglas, 
and in his case assassination did pros- 
per. James 1 1 1. was assassinated while 
flying from a field of battle on which he 
had bten beaten by rebels. Mary Stu- 
art, da'ughter of James V., is believed 
by many historical inquirers to have 
been a party to the assassination of her 
husband, (Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, 
who was her relative,) the question 
whether she did thus act forming the 
turning-point in that famous Marian 
Controversy which has raged for three 
hundred years, and which seems to be 
no nearer a decision now than it was 
before Loch Leven and Fotheringay, 
Mr. Froude, the last of the great cham- 
pions in the fight, having pronounced, 
with all his usual directness, adversely 
to the Rose of Scotland. Whether 
Mary was an assassin or not, it is be- 
yond all doubt that her husband was 
one of the assassins of her servant Riz- 
zio, who was murdered in her very pres- 
ence. Mary's son, James VI., stands in 
the strangest relation to an extraordi- 
nary assassination of any man in his- 
tory. The Cowrie Conspiracy is yet 
a riddle. According to one class of his- 



torical critics, the Earl of Cowrie and 
his brother, Alexander Ruthven, were 
bent upon assassinating the King; while 
another class are quite as positive that 
the King was bent upon assassinating 
the Ruthvens, and that he accomplished 
his purpose. We confess that we are 
strongly inclined to go with those who 
say that the Ruthvens were victims, and 
not baffled assassins ; and we have al- 
ways admired the reply of the clergy- 
man to whom the King condescended to 
tell his story, in the hope of convincing 
him of its truth. " Doubtless," said that 
skeptical, but pious personage, " I must 
believe it, since your Majesty says you 
saw it ; but I would not have believed 
it, had I seen it with my own eyes." 
Was ever a king more cleverly told that 
he was a liar ? The Earl of Murray, 
Mary Stuart's bastard brother, and the 
first of many regents who ruled Scot- 
land during her son's minority, was the 
victim of the most pardonable act of 
assassination that we know of, if 
such a crime be ever pardonable. Ham- 
ilton of Bothwellhaugh was one of those 
Scotchmen who joined Mary Stuart af- 
ter her escape from Loch Leven, and 
was condemned to death after her fail- 
ure, but had his life spared, while his 
estate was confiscated. He might have 
borne this loss of property, but he be- 
came enraged when he heard that his 
wife had been so treated, when ejected 
from what had been her own property 
before her marriage, as to go mad and 
die. The person who misused her had 
received the estate from the Earl of 
Murray ; and upon the latter Hamilton 
resolved to take vengeance. He car- 
ried out his plans, which" were very 
cleverly formed, with great skill and 
coolness, and consequently was suc- 
cessful, taking off his great enemy, and 
getting off himself. He shot Murray 
as he was passing through the town 
of Linlithgow, stationing himself in a 
house that belonged to the Archbishop 
of St. Andrews, in and around which 
everything had been prepared for the 
killing of one man and the escape of 
another. It is beyond all doubt that 
the Archbishop was a party to the 



i86 5 .] 



Assassination. 



95 



crime, or Bothwellhaugh could not have 
had the facilities which were his for 
obtaining revenge and striking a great 
blow for the Queen's party. The 
princely House of Hamilton generally 
approved of the deed. Let not those, 
however, who see in the Archbishop's 
conduct the natural effect of Cathol- 
icism, be in too great hurry to attrib- 
ute his conduct to his religious be- 
lief; for there were Protestant assas- 
sins in Scotland in those days, and 
later. Only a few years before, a very 
eminent Catholic, Cardinal Beaton, who 
was Archbishop of St. Andrews, was 
murdered by Norman Lesley ; and John 
Knox associated himself with Lesley, 
and those by whom he was aided, to 
hold the castle of St. Andrews against 
the Government's forces. The murder- 
ers of Rizzio were not Catholics, and 
their victim belonged to the old church. 
Some of Darnley's murderers were 
Protestants. In the next century some 
remarkable cases of Scotch assassi- 
nation took place. Montrose stands 
charged with having attempted to take 
the lives of Argyle and Hamilton ; but 
we hesitate to believe the story, so 
great is our admiration of that wonder- 
ful man. After the Restoration, (1660,) 
the ultra Protestants, perverting vari- 
ous passages of Scripture, assumed to 
execute judgment on those whom they 
held to be enemies of God and the true 
Kirk. The man for whom they felt 
most hatred was James Sharpe, Arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews, a title that 
seems to have had peculiar attractions 
for assassins. Sharpe was accused, not 
untruthfully, of having sold his cause 
to Government ; and he became a mark- 
ed man with those whom he had be- 
trayed. A preacher named Mitchell 
fired a pistol into Sharpe's carriage, 
and wounded the Bishop of the Ork- 
neys so severely that that prelate ulti- 
mately died of the injury. Years later 
Mitchell was about to make a second 
attempt on the Archbishop, when he 
was arrested, tried, imprisoned for some 
time, condemned, and executed, at the 
Archbishop's earnest request. The 
next year Sharpe was slain by a num- 



ber of Protestants, who were looking 
for a minor persecutor, and who thought 
that Heaven had specially delivered the 
Archbishop into their hands when they 
encountered his carriage, from which 
they made him descend, and murdered 
him in presence of his daughter, using 
swords and pistols. Among the many 
stories told of Claverhouse (then Vis- 
count of Dundee) is one to the effect 
that he was shot on the battle-field of 
Killiecrankie by one of his servants, 
who used a silver button from his liv- 
ery-coat, the great Grahame being im- 
pervious to lead.* About the same 
time, Sir George Lockhart, President 
of the Court of Session, and head of 
the Scotch tribunals, was assassinated 
by Chiesly of Dairy, who was angry 
because the President had assigned to 
Mrs. Chiesly, with whom her husband 
had quarrelled, a larger alimony than 
that husband thought she should have. 
The business of divorcing, and discrim- 
inating as to the amount of ladies' al- 
lowances, is a safer one in these times, 
and fortunate for the judges that it is, 
considering how much of such business 
they have to perform. If every hun- 
dred divorce cases produced one -assas- 
sination, lawyers would be rapidly pro- 
moted and shot. 

* Mr. De Quincey's immortal Connoisseur, who 
delivered the Williams Lecture on Murder, speak- 
ing of the supposed assassination of Gustavus Adol- 
phus, at the Battle of Lutzen, says, "The King 
of Sweden's assassination, by-the-by, is doubted by 
many writers, Harte amongst others ; but they 
are wrong. He was murdered ; and 1 consider his 
murder unique in its excellence ; for he was mur- 
dered at noonday, and on the field of battle, a 
feature of original conception, which occurs in no 
other work of art that I remember." His memory 
was bad. He must have heard the story that Desaix 
was murdered on the field of Marengo, after coming 
up to save Bonaparte from destruction ; and he must 
also have heard the story that Dundee was murdered 
at Killiecrankie. Mr. Hawthorne mentions that he 
saw, in an old volume of Colonial newspapers, "a 
report that General Wolfe was slain, not by the en- 
emy, but by a shot from his own soldiers." All these 
reports are just as well founded as that which repre- 
sents Gustavus Adolphusas having been assassinated. 
Harte's doubts are, as the reader can see by refer- 
ring to his work, well sustained, and leave the im- 
pression that the King was killed in fair fight. We 
have heard a very ingenious argument in support of 
the proposition that Stonewall Jackson was assassi- 
nated by some of his own men, and there is some 
mystery about the cause or occasion of his death. 



96 



Assassination. 



[July, 



England has contributed a large num- 
ber of assassinations to the pages of 
that Newgate serial which is known by 
the grave name of history. One of her 
kings, Edward II., is known to have 
been murdered after his deposition ; and 
it is supposed that he perished by a 
peculiarly horrible form of death. Wil- 
liam Rufus is believed to have been 
assassinated in the New Forest, though 
the popular notion is, that he was acci- 
dentally killed by an arrow from the bow 
of Walter Tirrel, which must have been 
a long-bow. Richard II. was probably 
killed in prison, after deposition. Hen- 
ry VI. is believed to have been killed in 
1471, he being then a prisoner in the 
hands of the triumphant Yorkists, 
but there is no proof that he was killed. 
Edward V., a boy-monarch, is one of 
the princes whom Richard III.'s ene- 
mies said he had smothered in the Tow- 
er, a story to be maintained only by 
smothering all evidence. Many English 
sovereigns were attacked by assassins, 
but escaped. Edward I. was stabbed 
by a Mussulman when he was crusad- 
ing in the East, and we had almost 
said that he was rightly served ; for what 
business had he in that remote part of 
the world ? Henry V. was to have been 
assassinated, according to the statement 
of himself and his friends ; but he had 
the satisfaction of killing the conspira- 
tors judicially. Elizabeth, as became 
her superiority to most sovereigns, was 
a favorite with persons with a taste for 
assassination strongly developed. She 
was under the Papal ban, and was an 
object of the indelicate attentions of 
that prince of assassins, Philip II. ; and 
his underlings, who were all great peo- 
ple, made her life so uncertain that there 
never lived the actuary who was capable 
of estimating the probabilities of its du- 
ration. That she escaped is as wonder- 
ful as anything in her history, for she 
does not appear to have been very heed- 
ful of her personal safety ; yet she could 
punish detected ruffians sharply enough. 
James I. was once in no slight danger. 
No conspiracy ever came so near making 
a great noise in the world, of a kind very 
different from that which it did make, as 



the Gunpowder Plot ; and the silence 
which marked its course is quite as as- 
tonishing as the excitement that follow- 
ed its disclosure. That so many per- 
sons should have kept so deadly a se- 
cret so long and so faithfully is as great 
a mystery as ever was invented by a 
writer of the -sensation school; and 
when Catholics declare that there never 
was a plot, except that which was form- 
ed against their religion by artful men 
for the worst purposes, they do not talk 
so unreasonably as at the first blush it 
should seem. This plot was emphati- 
cally a gentlemanly transaction. There 
was hardly a person who had part in it 
who was not a gentleman by birth or 
education, or both. Catesby, Percy, 
Rookwood, Digby, the Winters, Grant, 
Tresham, Keyes, and the Littletons 
were all members of good families, and 
some of them of very high families, as 
Percy, Digby, Rookwood, and Catesby. 
Some of them had been Protestants, 
as Catesby and Percy ; and Digby had 
been brought up in a Protestant house. 
Fawkes was of respectable parentage 
and of good education. Father Garnet, 
on his trial, was spoken of by Sir Ed- 
ward Coke as having " many excellent 
gifts and endowments of nature : by 
birth a gentlerrian, by education a schol- 
ar, by art learned, and a good linguist." 
He was brought up a Protestant. That 
Catholics of such standing, and with 
such training as should have taught 
them better, should have engaged in so 
wicked a conspiracy, was one of the 
chief reasons why adherents of the an- 
cient religion were treated so cruelly in 
England for more than two centuries. 
Titus Oates's invention, the Popish 
Plot, never would have found believers, 
had not men remembered the Gunpow- 
der Plot. In Cromwell's time, and dur- 
ing the civil war that preceded it, assas- 
sination plots were common, and some 
succeeded. The Cavaliers had very loose 
notions on the subject. They killed an 
English envoy in Holland and another 
in Spain. Cromwell was almost as much 
a target as Louis Philippe became after 
he was converted, for his sins, into a 
Citizen King. It is even asserted that 



1865.] 



Assassination. 



97 



he feared assassination, and he was not 
in the habit of fearing many things. 
The court of the exiled Stuarts teemed 
with assassins ; and projects for mur- 
dering the Protector were there formed, 
as well as in England. Nothing but the 
good intelligence which Cromwell pur- 
chased saved his life. Charles II., in 
his turn, became the object of assas- 
sins' attentions. Some of those who 
meant to kill him were superior men, 
as Richard Rumbold, who was able, 
brave, honest, and pious. True, Rum- 
bold in dying expressed his abhorrence 
of assassination, and denied that he ever 
had countenanced it ; but the distinction 
which he made, and on which his dying 
expressions were founded, can deceive 
no one, and we find it difficult to believe 
that they deceived Rumbold himself. 
To have killed the King and the Duke 
of York after the manner spoken of 
by the Rye- House plotters would have 
been to assassinate them, and no amount 
of sophistry could have given to the 
conspiracy any other character than that 
of an assassination plot. William III. 
lived in almost as great danger of dy- 
ing by the hand of an assassin as his 
immortal ancestor whom Gerard shot. 
It shows how common was assassi- 
nation in those times, and how loose 
was public morality, that Louis XIV. 
was a party to at least two of the 
plots that were formed for taking Wil- 
liam's life, that of Grandval and that 
of Barclay, the latter known in Eng- 
lish history as the Assassination Plot 
par excellence, and which would have 
succeeded, had two or three of the par- 
ties to it been left out. James II., Wil- 
liam's father-in-law, was also concerned 
in both these plots ; and his illegitimate 
son, the Duke of Berwick, a man of the 
highest personal integrity, was aware of 
what Barclay was about. Since Wil- 
liam's time English sovereigns have had 
but little trouble from assassins, and 
that little has proceeded from insane 
creatures. George III. was struck at 
by a crazy woman, one Peg Nicholson, 
and fired at, in a theatre, by a crazy 
man named Hadfield. We can recollect 
three persons firing at Queen Victoria, 

VOL. XVI. NO. 93. 7 



none of whom were executed, though 
they all richly deserved hanging. 

Englishmen of note have been assas- 
sinated from time to time. Becket's 
death was an act of assassination. Two 
Dukes of Gloucester, of the blood royal, 
were assassinated in prison, one in 
the reign of Richard II., and the other 
in that of Henry VI. Not a few emi- 
nent persons in England were " done 
to death " by the abuse of judicial pro- 
ceedings, which were in fact acts of 
assassination. Most of Henry VIII.'s 
great victims perished by means fouler 
than any of those to which Richard III. 
is accused of having had resort ; and 
the manner in which his father, Henry 
VII., murdered the Earl of Warwick, 
last of the male Plantagenets, and only 
because he was a Plantagenet, was a 
deed worthy of a devil. Elizabeth, un- 
less she is much libelled, would have 
avoided the execution of Mary Stuart 
by resort to assassination, only that 
her instruments were found scrupulous. 
The first Duke of Buckingham of the 
Villiers family was assassinated by John 
Felton, in Charles I.'s reign. Harley, 
afterward Earl of Oxford, was stabbed 
by a Frenchman, named Guiscard, Har- 
ley being then Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, in Anne's reign. Mr. Perce- 
val, First Lord of the Treasury, was 
shot by a lunatic named John Belling- 
ham, in 1812, the scene being the lobby 
of the House of Commons. In 1819 
the Cato-Street Conspiracy was formed 
by Arthur Thistlewood and others. It 
was meant to kill the British Ministers, 
and the mode in which it was finally re- 
solved to proceed was to attack them 
when they should be assembled at a 
Cabinet dinner, to be 'given by the Earl 
of Harrowby, Lord President of the 
Council. Government knew all about 
the conspiracy, and allowed it to ripen, 
and then "bagged" the conspirators. 
This was in February, 1820; and on 
the first of May five of the assassins 
were hanged and five others transported. 
When Sir Robert Peel was last Prime- 
Minister, a fellow named M'Naughten 
sought his life, and killed his private 
secretary, Mr. Drummond. Sir Rob- 



98 



Assassination. 



[July, 



ert was so indiscreet as to charge Mr. 
Cobden with inciting persons to take 
his life ! 

Russia has lost several of her sover- 
eigns through assassination, accompa- 
nied or preceded by deposition. Ivan 
VI. was assassinated in prison, almost 
a quarter of a century after the crown 
had been taken from him. Peter III. 
survived his downfall but a week, when 
he was poisoned, beaten, and strangled. 
The Czar Paul was so unreasonable as 
to resist those who were deposing him, 
and they were under the disagreeable 
necessity of squeezing his throat so 
long and so tightly, that breathing be- 
came difficult, and at last stopped al- 
together. The murderers of both Peter 
and Paul became great personages, held 
high offices, did important deeds, and 
were received in the very best society, 
as well abroad as at home. Macaulay, 
in his article on Madame D'Arblay, 
( Fanny Burney,) mentions the number, 
the variety, and the greatness of the 
company which her father, pr. Burney, 
assembled frequently at his house. " On 
one evening, of which we happen to 
have a full account," he says, "there 
was present Lord Mulgrave, Lord Bruce, 
Lord and Lady Edgecumbe, Lord Bar- 
rington from the War Office, Lord Sand- 
wich from the Admiralty, Lord Ashburn- 
ham, with his gold key dangling from 
his pocket, and the French Ambassa- 
dor, M. de Guignes, renowned for his 
fine person and for his success in gal- 
lantry. But the great show of the night 
was the Russian Ambassador, Count 
Orloff, whose gigantic figure was all in 
a blaze of jewels, and in whose demean- 
or the untamed ferocity of the Scythian 
might be discerned through a thin var- 
nish of French politeness. As he stalk- 
ed about the small parlor, brushing the 
ceiling with his toupee, the girls whis- 
pered to each other, with mingled ad- 
miration and horror, that he was the 
favored lover of his august mistress 
[Catharine II.]; that he had borne the 
chief part in the revolution to which she 
owed her throne ; and that his huge 
hands, now glittering with diamond 
rings, had given the last squeeze to the 



windpipe of her unfortunate husband." 
He must have been a nice man for a 
small party, and a peculiarly edifying 
spectacle for young ladies. And then 
how fit to be ambassador at a court the 
first woman of which was good Queen 
Charlotte ! Many words have been 
wasted on the question, whether Cath- 
arine II. and Alexander I. consented 
to the murder, the one of her husband 
and the other of his father ; but the 
question is absurdly framed. They con- 
sented to the act of deposition in each 
case, and that was the same as to sign 
the death - warrant. The old saying, 
that short is the passage of a dethroned 
monarch from a prison to a grave, ap- 
plies with peculiar force to Russia : 
Catharine II. well knew that there was 
no hope for her husband ; and Alexan- 
der I. could not have been deceived on 
such a point. While she was at the 
height of her power, Catharine herself 
was in danger of being assassinated. 
Some of the nobles suggested to her 
son, the Grand Duke Paul, that she 
should be deposed and murdered, and 
offered to do the job, quite as a matter 
of course, and with no more of shame 
than so many English Parliament-men 
might have felt for proposing to vote a 
minister out of office. It was their mode 
of effecting a change of ministry, and 
they regarded the proposition as show- 
ing that they were members of the con- 
stitutional opposition. As Talleyrand 
told Bonaparte, when news of Paul's 
murder reached Paris, " 'T is a way they 
have there ! " Paul rejected the offer 
to rid. him of his mother with horror. 
His own son was not so moral, in after 
days. Alexander was a haunted man, 
and remorse made him the crazy wreck 
that he was in his last years, and short- 
ened his life. He was threatened with 
assassination by the Russian constitu- 
tional opposition, when it was thought 
that he was giving up too much to Na- 
poleon I. ; and the eventful war of 1812 
was the result of his fears of that oppo- 
sition. When he was at Vienna, attend- 
ing the memorable Congress, he frankly 
said that he durst not go back to Russia 
without having added all of Poland that 



1865.] 



Assassination. 



99 



he claimed to his dominions, that it 
was as much as his life was worth to 
comply with the demands of Austria, 
France, and England with regard to 
the Poles. This was the real reason 
why the Polish question was so clum- 
sily disposed of, and left to make troub- 
le for the future. Alexander preferred 
quarrelling with his allies rather than 
with his nobles, exactly as he had done 
when Napoleon I. was his foreign antag- 
onist. There have been persons enough 
to argue that Alexander I. was assassi- 
nated, after all, and also that Nicholas 
was disposed of in the same constitu- 
tional way ; but we can see no evidence 
on which to found any such argument. 
When, in the days of the Polish War, 
(1831,) the Grand Duke Constantine and 
Marshal Diebitsch died rather sudden- 
ly, it was generally believed that they 
had been assassinated by order of Nich- 
olas, but without any foundation for the 
belief. 

One of the last of the Swedish kings 
of the line of Vasa, Gustavus III., was 
assassinated in 1792, being shot by 
Count Anckarstroem, at a masked ball, 
March i6th. This murder was the re- 
sult of an aristocratical conspiracy, the 
King having done much to lessen the 
power of the nobility. He wa$ engaged 
at the time he was shot in getting up a 
crusade against revolutionary France, 
of which he purposed being the head. 
He survived his wound thirteen days. 

An attempt to assassinate Joseph I., 
King of Portugal, was.made in 1758, 



when the celebrated Marquis of Pom- 
bal was the real ruler of that country. 
Many executions took place, including 
several of the highest nobles. The Jesu- 
its, who were then very unpopular, and 
against whom most European govern- 
ments were directing their power, were 
charged with this crime, and some of 
them were put to death, and the rest 
banished from Portugal. 

In the year 1831, Count Capo d' Istria, 
then President of Greece, was assassi- 
nated at Nauplia, by the brothers Mau- 
romichalis. He was supposed to be a 
mere tool of Russia, in whose service 
much of his life had passed. He was 
by birth a Greek of the Ionian Islands ; 
and after they had become a portion of 
Napoleon I.'s empire, he took office in 
Russia, rising very high. Employed to 
look after Russia's interests in Greece, 
he was ultimately chosen President of 
the latter country in 1827. Popular at 
first, he soon became odious, and was 
nothing but a Russian agent. His death 
probably cut short plans which, had they 
succeeded, would have had much effect 
on the course of European events. In 
the old land, where it was considered a 
sacred duty to kill tyrants, he was sud- 
denly slain as he was entering a church. 
His death caused little regret, though 
the deed of the Mauromichalis was 
warmly condemned, many persons be- 
ing ready to profit from crimes the per- 
petration of which they are swift to con- 
demn, and as ready to execute the per- 
petrators. 



IOO 



The Cliimney-Corner. 



[July, 



THE CHIMNEY-CORNER. 
VII. 

LITTLE FOXES. PART VI. 



DISCOURTESY. 

d Tj* OR my part," said my wife, "I 
-T think one of the greatest destroy- 
ers of domestic peace is Discourtesy. 
People neglect, with their nearest friends, 
those refinements and civilities which 
they practise with strangers." 

" My dear Madam, I am of another 
opinion," said Bob Stephens. " The 
restraints of etiquette, the formalities 
of ceremony, are beauteous enough in 
out-door life ; but when a man comes 
home, he wants leave to take off his tight 
boots and gloves, wear the gown and 
slippers, and speak his mind freely with- 
out, troubling his head where it hits. 
Home-life should be the communion of 
people who have learned to understand 
each other, who allow each other a gen- 
erous latitude and freedom. One wants 
one place where he may feel at liberty 
to be tired or dull or disagreeable with- 
out ruining his character. Home is the 
place where we should expect to live 
somewhat on the credit which a full 
knowledge of each other's goodness and 
worth inspires ; and it is not necessa- 
ry for intimate friends to go every day 
through those civilities and attentions 
which they practise with strangers, any 
more than it is necessary, among litera- 
ry people, to repeat the alphabet over 
every day before one begins to read." 

" Yes," said Jennie, " when a young 
gentleman ^is paying his addresses, he 
helps a young lady out of a carriage so 
tenderly, and holds back her dress so 
adroitly, that not a particle of mud gets 
on it from the wheels ; but when the 
mutual understanding is complete, and 
the affection perfect, and she is his wife, 
he sits still and holds the horse and 
lets her climb out alone. To be sure, 
when pretty Miss Titmouse is visiting 
them, he still shows himself gallant, 
flies from the carriage, and holds back 



her dress : that 's because he does n't 
love her nor she him, and they are 
not on the ground of mutual affection. 
When a gentleman is only engaged, or 
a friend, if you hem him a cravat or 
mend his gloves, he thanks you in the 
blandest manner ; but when you are once 
sure of his affection, he only says, ' Very 
well ; now I wish you would look over 
my shirts, and mend that rip in my coat, 
and be sure don't forget it, as you 
did yesterday.' For all which reasons," 
said Miss Jennie, with a toss of her pret- 
ty head, " I mean to put off marrying 
as long as possible, because I think it 
far more agreeable to have gentlemen 
friends with whom I stand on the ground 
of ceremony and politeness than to be 
restricted to one who is living on the 
credit of his affection. I don't want a 
man who gapes in my face, reads a 
newspaper all breakfast -time while I 
want somebody to talk to, smokes cigars 
all the evening, or reads to himself when 
I would like him to be entertaining, and 
considers his affection for me as his 
right and title to make himself general- 
ly disagreeable. If he has a bright face, 
and pleasant, entertaining, gallant ways, 
I like to be among the ladies who may 
have the beneljt of them, and should 
take care how I lost my title to it by 
coming with him on to the ground of 
domestic affection." 

" Well, Miss Jennie," said Bob, " it 
is n't merely our sex who are guilty of 
making themselves less agreeable after 
marriage. Your dapper little fairy crea- 
tures, who dazzle us so with wondrous 
and fresh toilettes, who are so trim and 
neat and sprightly and enchanting, what 
becomes of them after marriage ? If he 
reads the newspaper at the breakfast- 
table, perhaps it 's because there is a 
sleepy, dowdy woman opposite, in a fad- 
ed gingham wrapper, put on in the sa- 
credness of domestic privacy, and per- 



1 86 5 .] 



The Chimney-Corner, 



101 



haps she has laid aside those crisp, 
sparkling, bright little sayings and do- 
ings that used to make it impossible to 
look at or listen to anybody else when 
she was about. Such things are, some- 
times, among the goddesses, I believe. 
Of course, Marianne and I know nothing 
of these troubles ; we, being a model pair, 
sit among the clouds and speculate on all 
these matters as spectators merely." 

" Well, you see what your principle 
leads to, carried out," said Jennie. " If 
home is merely the place where one may 
feel at liberty to be tired or dull or dis- 
agreeable, without losing one's charac- 
ter, I think the women have far more 
right to avail themselves of the liberty 
than the men ; for all the lonesome, dull, 
disagreeable part of home -life comes 
into their department. It is they who 
must keep awake with the baby, if it 
frets ; and if they do not feel spirits to 
make an attractive toilette in the morn- 
ing, or have not the airy, graceful fancies 
that they had when they were girls, it 
is not so very much against them. A 
housekeeper and nursery-maid cannot 
be expected to be quite as elegant in 
her toilette and as entertaining in her 
ways as a girl without a care in her fa- 
ther's house ; but I think that this is no 
excuse for husbands' neglecting the lit- 
tle civilities and attentions which they 
used to show before marriage. They 
are strong and well and hearty ; go out 
into the world and hear and see a great 
deal that keeps their minds moving and 
awake ; and they ought to entertain their 
wives after marriage just as their wives 
entertained them before. That 's the 
way my husband must do, or I will never 
have one, and it will be small loss, if 
I don't," said Miss Jennie. 

" Well," said Bob, " I must endeavor 
to initiate Charley Sedley in time." 

" Charley Sedley, Bob ! " said Jennie, 
with crimson indignation. " I wonder 
you will always bring up that old story, 
when I 've told you a hundred times 
how disagreeable it is ! Charley and I 
are good friends, but" 

" There, there," said Bob, " that will 
do ; you don't need to proceed further." 

" You only said that because you 



could n't answer my argument," said 
Jennie. 

"Well, my dear," said Bob, "you 
know everything has two sides to it, 
and I '11 admit that you have brought 
up the opposite side to mine quite hand- 
somely ; but, for all that, I am convin- 
ced, that, if what I said was not really 
the truth, yet the truth lies somewhere 
in the vicinity of it. As I said before, 
so I say again, true love ought to beget 
a freedom which shall do away with the 
necessity of ceremony, and much may 
and ought to be tolerated among near 
and dear friends that would be discour- 
teous among strangers. I am just as 
sure of this as of anything in the world." 

" And yet,'" said my wife, " there is cer- 
tainly truth in the much quoted lines of 
Cowper, on Friendship, where he says, 

" As similarity of mind, 
Or something not to be defined, 

First fixes our attention, 
So manners decent and polite, 
The same we practised at first sight, 

Will save it from declension." 

" Well, now," said Bob, " I 've seen 
enough of French politeness between 
married people. When I was in Paris, 
I remember there was in our boarding- 
house a Madame de Villiers, whose hus- 
band had conferred upon her his name 
and the de belonging to it, in consider- 
ation of a snug little income which she 
brought to him by the marriage. His 
conduct towards her was a perfect mod- 
el of all the graces of civilized life. It 
was true that he lived on her income, 
and spent it in promenading the Boule- 
vards, and visiting theatres and operas 
with divers fair friends of easy morals ; 
still all this was so courteously, so po- 
litely, so diplomatically arranged with 
Madame, that it was quite worth while 
to be neglected and cheated for the sake 
of having the thing done in so finished 
and elegant a manner, according to his 
showing. Monsieur had taken the neat 
little apartment for her in our pension, 
because his circumstances were embar- 
rassed, and he would be in despair to 
drag such a creature into hardships 
which he described as terrific, and 
which he was resolved heroically to en- 
dure alone. No, while a sous remained 



IO2 



The Cliimncy-Comcr. 



[July, 



to them, his adored Julie should have 
her apartment and. the comforts of life 
secured to her, while the barest attic 
should suffice for him. Never did he 
visit her without kissing her hand with 
the homage due to a princess, compli- 
menting her on her good looks, bringing 
bonbons, entertaining her with most rav- 
ishing small -talk of all the interesting 
on-dits in Paris ; and these visits were 
most particularly frequent as the time for 
receiving her quarterly instalments ap- 
proached. And so Madame adored him 
and could refuse him nothing, believed 
all his stories, and was well content to 
live on a fourth of her own income for 
the sake of so engaging a husband." 

" Well," said Jennie, " I 'don't know 
to what purpose your anecdote is relat- 
ed, but to me it means simply this : if a 
rascal, without heart, without principle, 
without any good quality, can win and 
keep a woman's heart merely by being 
invariably polite and agreeable while in 
her presence, how much more might a 
man of sense and principle and real af- 
fection do by the same means ! I 'm 
sure, if a man who neglects a woman, 
and robs her of her money, nevertheless 
keeps her affections, merely because 
whenever he sees her he is courteous 
and attentive, it certainly shows that 
courtesy stands for a great deal in the 
matter of love." 

" With foolish women,"' said Bob. 

" Yes, and with sensible ones too," 
said my wife. " Your Monsieur presents 
a specimen of the French way of deing 
a bad thing ; but I know a poor woman 
whose husband did the same thing in 
English fashion, without kisses or com- 
pliments. Instead of flattering, he swore 
at her, and took her money away with- 
out the ceremony of presenting bon- 
bons ; and I assure you, if the thing 
must be done at all, I would, for my 
part, much rather have it done in the 
French than the English manner. The 
courtesy, as far as it goes, is a good, 
and far better than nothing, though, 
of course, one would rather have sub- 
stantial good with it. If one must be 
robbed, one would rather have one's 
money wheedled away agreeably, with 



kisses and bonbons, than be knocked 
down and trampled upon." 

" The mistake that is made on this 
subject," said I, " is in comparing, as 
people generally do, a polished rascal 
with a boorish good man ; but the pol- 
ished rascal should be compared with 
the polished good man, and the boorish 
rascal with the boorish good man, and 
hen we get the true value of the arti- 
cie. 

" It is true, as a general rule, that those 
races of men that are most distinguished 
for outward urbanity and courtesy are 
the least distinguished for truth and sin- 
cerity ; and hence the well-known allit- 
erations, 'fair and false,' 'smooth and 
slippery.' The fair and false Greek, the 
polished and wily Italian, the courteous 
and deceitful Frenchman, are associa- 
tions which, to the strong, downright, 
courageous Anglo-Saxon, make up-and- 
, down rudeness and blunt discourtesy 
a type of truth and honesty. 

" No one can read French literature 
without feeling how the element of 
courtesy pervades every department of 
life, how carefully people avoid be- 
ing personally disagreeable in their in- 
tercourse. A domestic quarrel, if we 
may trust French plays, is carried on 
with all the refinements of good breed- 
ing, and insults are given with elegant 
civility. It seems impossible to translate 
into French the direct and downright 
brutalities which the English tongue 
allows. The whole intercourse of life 
is arranged on the understanding that 
all personal contacts shall be smooth 
and civil, and such as to obviate the 
necessity of personal jostle and jar. 

" Does a Frenchman engage a clerk 
or other employ^ and afterwards hear 
a report to his disadvantage, the last 
thing he would think of would be to 
tell a downright unpleasant truth to the 
man. He writes him a civil note, and 
tells him, that, in consequence of an un- 
expected change of business, he shall 
not need an assistant in that depart- 
ment, and much regrets that this will 
deprive him of Monsieur's agreeable 
society, etc. 

" A more striking example cannot be 



1865.] 



The Chimney-Corner. 



103 



found of this sort of intercourse than 
the representation in the life of Ma- 
dame George Sand of the proceedings 
between her father and his mother. 
There is all the romance of affection be- 
tween this mother and son. He writes 
her the most devoted letters, he kisses 
her hand on every page, he is the very 
image of a gallant, charming, lovable 
son, while at the same time he is se- 
cretly making arrangements for a pri- 
vate marriage with a woman of low rank 
and indifferent reputation, a marriage 
which he knows would be like death to 
his mother. He marries, lives with his 
wife, has one or two children by her, be- 
fore he will pain the heart of his adored 
mother by telling her the truth. The 
adored mother suspects her son, but no 
trace of the suspicion appears in her 
letters to him. The questions which 
an English parent would level at him 
point-blank she is entirely too delicate 
to address to her dear Maurice ; but 
she puts them to the Prefect of Police, 
and ferrets out the marriage through 
legal documents, while yet no trace of 
this knowledge dims the affectionate- 
ness of her letters, or the serenity of 
her reception of her son when he comes 
to bestow on her the time which he can 
spare from his family cares. In an Eng- 
lish or American family there would have 
been a battle royal, an open rupture ; 
whereas this courteous son and mother 
go on for years with this polite drama, 
she pretending to be deceived while she 
is not, and he supposing that he is spar- 
ing her feelings by the deception. 

" Now it is the reaction from such a 
style of life on the truthful Anglo-Saxon 
nature that leads to an undervaluing of 
courtesy, as if it were of necessity op- 
posed to sincerity. But it does not fol- 
low, because all is not gold that glitters, 
that nothing that glitters is gold, and be- 
cause courtesy and delicacy of personal 
intercourse are often perverted to de- 
ceit, that they are not valuable allies of 
truth. No woman would prefer a slip- 
pery, plausible rascal to a rough, uncer- 
emonious honest man ; but of two men 
equally truthful and affectionate, every 
woman would prefer the courteous one." 



" Well," said Bob, " there is a loath- 
some, sickly stench of cowardice and 
distrust about all this kind of French 
delicacy that is enough to drive an hon- 
est fellow to the other extreme. True 
love ought to be a robust, hardy plant, 
that can stand a free out-door life of sun 
and wind and rain. People who are too 
delicate and courteous ever fully to speak 
their minds to each other are apt to have 
stagnant residuums of uni^easant feel- 
ings which breed all sortsW gnats and 
mosquitoes. My rule is, Say everything 
out as you go along ; have your little 
tiffs, and get over them ; jar and jolt 
and rub a little, and learn to take rubs 
and bear jolts. 

" If I take less thought and use less 
civility of expression, in announcing to 
Marianne that her coffee is roasted too 
much, than I did to old Mrs. Pollux when 
I boarded with her, it 's because I take 
it Marianne is somewhat more a part of 
myself than old Mrs. Pollux was, that 
there is an intimacy and confidence be- 
tween us which will enable us to use the 
short-hand of life, that she will not 
fall into a passion or fly into hysterics, 
but will merely speak to cook in good 
time. If I don't thank her for mending 
my glove in just the style that I did 
when I was a lover, it is because now 
she does that sort of thing for me so 
often that it would be a downright bore 
to her to have me always on my knees 
about it All that I could think of to 
say about her graceful handiness and 
her delicate needle-work has been said 
so often, and is so well understood, that 
it has entirely lost the zest of original- 
ity. Marianne and I have had sundry 
little battles, in which the victory came 
out on both sides, each of us thinking 
the better of the other for the vigor and 
spirit with which we conducted matters ; 
and our habit of perfect plain-speaking 
and truth-telling to each other is better 
than all the delicacies that ever were 
hatched up in the hot-Bed of French 
sentiment." 

" Perfectly true, perfectly right," 
said I. " Every word good as gold. 
Truth before all things ; sincerity be- 
fore all things : pure, clear, diamond- 



104 



The Chimney-Corner. 



[July, 



bright sincerity is of more value than 
the gold of Ophir ; the foundation of all 
love must rest here. How those peo- 
ple do who live in the nearest and dear- 
est intimacy with friends who they be- 
lieve will lie to them for any purpose, 
even the most refined and delicate, is 
a mystery to me. If I once know that 
my wife or my friend will tell me only 
what they think will be agreeable to 
me, then I a#n at once lost, my way is a 
pathless quicksand. But all this being 
premised, I still say that we Anglo-Sax- 
ons might improve our domestic life, if 
we would graft upon the strong stock 
of its homely sincerity the courteous 
graces of the French character. 

" If anybody wishes to know exactly 
what I mean by this, let him read the 
Memoir of De Tocqueville, whom I take 
to be the representative of the French 
ideal man ; and certainly the kind of 
family life which his domestic letters 
disclose has a delicacy and a beauty 
which adorn its solid worth. 

" What I have to say on this matter 
is, that it is very dangerous for any in- 
dividual man or any race of men con- 
tinually to cry up the virtues to which 
they are constitutionally inclined, and 
to be constantly dwelling with repro- 
bation on faults to which they have no 
manner of temptation. 

" I think that we of the English race 
may set it down as a general rule that 
we are in no danger of becoming hypo- 
crites in domestic life through an extra 
sense of politeness, and in some danger 
of becoming boors from a rough, uncul- 
tivated instinct of sincerity. But to 
bring the matter to a practical point, I 
will specify some particulars in which 
the courtesy we show to strangers might 
with advantage be grafted into our 
home-life. 

" In the first place, then, let us watch 
our course when we are entertaining 
strangers whose good opinion we wish 
to propitiate. We dress ourselves with 
care, we study what it will be agreeable 
to say, we do not suffer our natural la- 
ziness to prevent our being very alert 
in paying small attentions, we start 
across the room for an easier chair, 



we stoop to pick up the fan, we search 
for the mislaid newspaper, and all this 
for persons in whom we have no partic- 
ular interest beyond the passing hour ; 
while with those friends whom we love 
and respect we sit in our old faded ha- 
biliments, and let them get their own 
chair, and look up their own newspaper, 
and fight their own way daily, without 
any of this preventing care. 

"In the matter of personal adorn- 
ment, especially, there are a great many 
people who are chargeable with the 
same fault that I have already spoken 
of in reference to household arrange- 
ments. They have a splendid wardrobe 
for company, and a shabby and sordid 
one for domestic life. A woman puts 
all her income into party-dresses, and 
thinks anything will do to wear at home. 
All her old tumbled finery, her frayed, 
dirty silks and soiled ribbons, are made 
to do duty for her hours of intercourse 
with her dearest friends. Some seem 
to be really principled against wearing 
a handsome dress in every-day life ; 
they ' cannot afford ' to be well-dressed 
in private. Now what I should rec- 
ommend would be to take the money 
necessary for one or two party-dresses 
and spend it upon an appropriate and 
tasteful home-toilette, and to make it an 
avowed object to look prettily at home. 

" We men are a sort of stupid, blind 
animals : we know when we are pleased, 
but we don't know what it is that pleases 
us ; we say we don't care anything about 
flowers, but if there is a flower-garden 
under our window, somehow or other 
we are dimly conscious of it, and feel 
that there is something pleasant there ; 
and so when our wives and daughters 
are prettily and tastefully attired, we 
know it, and it gladdens our life far 
more than we are perhaps aware of." 

" Well, papa," said Jennie, " I think 
the men ought to take just as much pains 
to get themselves up nicely after mar- 
riage as the women. I think there are 
such things as tumbled shirt-collars and 
frowzy hair and muddy shoes brought 
into the domestic sanctuary, as well as 
frayed silks and dirty ribbons." 

" Certainly," I said; "but you know 



1865.] 



The Chimney-Comer. 



'05 



we are the natural Hottentot, and you 
are the missionaries who are to keep us 
from degenerating ; we are the clumsy, 
old, blind Vulcan, and you the fair Cy- 
therea, the bearers of the magic ces- 
tus, and therefore it is to you that this 
head more particularly belongs. 

" Now I maintain that in family-life 
there should be an effort not only to 
be neat and decent in the arrangement 
of our person, but to be also what the 
French call coquette, or to put it in 
plain English, there should be an en- 
deavor to make ourselves look hand- 
some in the eyes of our dearest friends. 

" Many worthy women, who would not 
for the world be found wanting in the 
matter of personal neatness, seem some- 
how to have the notion that any study of 
the arts of personal beauty in family- 
life is unmatronly ; they buy their clothes 
with simple reference to economy, and 
have them made up without any question 
of becomingness ; and hence marriage 
sometimes transforms a charming, trim, 
tripping young lady into a waddling 
matron whose every-day toilette sug- 
gests only the idea of a feather-bed tied 
round with a string. For my part, I 
do not believe that the summary ban- 
ishment of the Graces from the domes- 
tic circle as soon as the first baby makes 
its appearance is at all conducive to 
domestic affection. Nor do I think that 
there is any need of so doing. These 
good housewives are in danger, like 
other saints, of falling into the error of 
neglecting the body through too much 
thoughtfulness for others and too little 
for themselves. If a woman ever had 
any attractiveness, let her try and keep 
it, setting it down as one of her domes- 
tic talents. As for my erring brothers 
who violate the domestic sanctuary by 
tousled hair, tumbled linen, and muddy 
shoes, I deliver them over to Miss Jen- 
nie without benefit of clergy. 

" My second head is, that there should 
be in family-life the same delicacy in the 
avoidance of disagreeable topics that 
characterizes the intercourse of refined 
society among strangers. 

" I do not think that it makes family- 
life more sincere, or any more honest, to 



have the members of a domestic circle 
feel a freedom to blurt out in each oth- 
er's faces, without thought or care, all 
the disagreeable things that may occur 
to them : as, for example, ' How hor- 
ridly you look this morning ! What 's 
the matter with you?' 'Is there a 
pimple coming on your nose ? or what 
is that spot ? ' ' What made you buy 
such a dreadfully unbecoming dress ? 
It sets like a witch! Whf>cutit?' 
' What makes you wear that pair of old 
shoes ? ' ' Holloa, Bess ! is that your 
party-rig ? I should think you were 
going out for a walking advertisement 
of a flower-store ! ' Observations of 
this kind between husbands and wives, 
brothers and sisters, or intimate friends, 
do not indicate sincerity, but obtuse- 
ness ; and the person who remarks on 
the pimple on your nose is in many 
cases just as apt to deceive you as 
the most accomplished Frenchwoman 
who avoids disagreeable topics in your 
presence. 

" Many families seem to think that it 
is a proof of family union and good-na- 
ture that they can pick each other to 
pieces, joke on each other's feelings and 
infirmities, and treat each other with a 
general tally-ho-ing rudeness without 
any offence or ill-feeling. If there is a 
limping sister, there is a never-failing 
supply of jokes on ' Dot-and-go-one ' ; 
and so with other defects and peculiar- 
ities of mind or manners. Now the 
perfect good -nature and mutual con- 
fidence which allow all this liberty are 
certainly admirable ; but the liberty it- 
self is far from making home-life inter- 
esting or agreeable. 

"Jokes upon personal or mental in- 
firmities, and a general habit of saying 
things in jest which would be the height 
of rudeness if said in earnest, are all 
habits which take from the delicacy of 
family affection. 

" In all this rough playing with edge- 
tools many are hit and hurt who are 
ashamed or afraid to complain. And 
after all, what possible good or benefit 
comes from it ? Courage to say dis- 
agreeable things, when it is necessary 
to say them for the highest good of the 



1 06 



The Chimney-Comer. 



(July, 



person addressed, 5s a sublime quality ; 
but a careless habit of saying them, in 
the mere freedom of family intercourse, 
is certainly as great a spoiler of the 
domestic vines as any fox running. 

" There is one point under this head 
which I enlarge upon for the benefit of 
my own sex : I mean table-criticisms. 
The conduct of housekeeping, in the 
present state of domestic service, cer- 
tainly requires great allowance ; and the 
habit of unceremonious comment on the 
cooking and appointments of the ta- 
ble, in which some husbands habitually 
allow themselves, is the most unpar- 
donable form of domestic rudeness. If 
a wife has philosophy enough not to 
mind it, so much the worse for her hus- 
band, as it confirms him in an unseem- 
ly habit, embarrassing to guests and a 
bad example to children. If she has 
no feelings that he is bound to respect, 
he should at least respect decorum and 
good taste, and confine the discussion 
of such matters to private intercourse, 
and not initiate every guest and child 
into the grating and greasing of the 
wheels of the domestic machinery. 

" Another thing in which families 
might imitate the politeness of strangers 
is a wise reticence with regard to the 
asking of questions and the offering of 
advice. 

"A large family includes many per- 
sons of different tastes, habits, modes 
of thinking and acting, and it would be 
wise and well to leave to each one that 
measure of freedom in these respects 
which the laws of general politeness 
require. Brothers and sisters may love 
each other very much, and yet not 
enough to make joint-stock of all their 
ideas, plans, wishes, schemes, friend- 
ships. There are in every family-cir- 
cle individuals whom a certain sensi- 
tiveness of nature inclines to quietness 
and reserve ; and there are very well- 
meaning families where no such quiet- 
ness or reserve is possible. Nobody 
can be let alone, nobody may have a 
secret, nobody can move in any direc- 
tion, without a host of inquiries and 
comments. ' Who is your letter from ? 
Let 's see.' ' My letter is from So- 



and-So.' l He writing to you ? I did 
n't know that. What 's he writing 
about ? ' ' Where did you go yester- 
day ? What did you buy ? What did 
you give for it ? W T hat are you going 
to do with it?' 'Seems to me that's 
an odd way to do. I should n't do so.' 
' Look here, Mary ; Sarah 's going to 
have a dress of silk tissue this spring. 
Now I think they 're too dear, don't 
you ?' 

" I recollect seeing in some author a 
description of a true gentleman, in which, 
among other traits, he was characterized 
as the man that asks the fewest ques- 
tions. This trait of refined society might 
be adopted into home-life in a far great- 
er degree than it is, and make it far more 
agreeable. 

" If there is perfect unreserve and mu- 
tual confidence, let it show itself in free 
communications coming unsolicited. It 
may fairly be presumed, that, if there is 
anything our intimate friends wish us 
to know, they will tell us of it, and 
that when we are on close and confi- 
dential terms with persons, and there 
are topics on which they do not speak* 
to us, it is because for some reason 
they prefer to keep silence concerning 
them ; and the delicacy that respects a 
friend's silence is one of the charms of 
life. 

" As with the asking of questions, so 
with the offering of advice, there should 
be among friends a wise reticence. 

" Some families are always calling 
each other to account at every step of 
the day. 'What did you put on that 
dress for ? Why did n't you wear that ? ' 
' What did you do this for ? Why did 
n't you do that ? ' ' Now / should 
advise you to do thus and so.' And 
these comments and criticisms and ad- 
vices are accompanied with an energy 
of feeling that makes it rather difficult 
to disregard them. 

" Now it is no matter how dear and 
how good our friends may be, if they 
abridge our liberty and fetter the free 
exercise of our life, it is inevitable that 
we shall come to enjoying ourselves 
much better where they are not than 
where they are ; and one of the rea- 



I86JJ.] 



Accomplices. 



107 



sons why brothers and sisters or chil- 
dren so often diverge from the family- 
circle in the choice of confidants is, 
that extraneous friends are bound by 
certain laws of delicacy not to push in- 
quiries, criticisms, or advice too far. 

" Parents would do well to remember 
in time when their children have grown 
up into independent human beings, and 
use with a wise moderation those ad- 
visory and admonitory powers with 
which they guided their earlier days. 
Let us give everybody a right to live 
his own life, as far as possible, and 
avoid imposing our own personalities 
on another. 

" If I were to picture a perfect family, 
it should be a union of people of in- 
dividual and marked character, who 
through love have come to a perfect 
appreciation of each other, and who 
so wisely understand themselves and 
one another that each may move freely 
along his or her own track without jar 
or jostle, a family where affection 
is always sympathetic and receptive, 
but never inquisitive, where all per- 



sonal delicacies are respected, and 
where there is a sense of privacy and 
seclusion in following one's own course, 
unchallenged by the watchfulness of 
others, yet withal a sense of society 
and support in a knowledge of the kind 
dispositions and interpretations of all 
around. 

" In treating of family discourtesies, I 
have avoided speaking of those which 
come from ill-temper and brute selfish- 
ness, because these are sins more than 
mistakes. An angry person is general- 
ly impolite ; and where contention and 
ill-will are, there can be no courtesy. 
What I have mentioned are rather the 
lackings of good and often admirable 
people, who merely need to consider in 
their family-life a little more of whatso- 
ever things are lovely. With such the 
mere admission of anything to be pur- 
sued \s a duty secures the purpose ; on- 
ly in their somewhat earnest pursuit of 
the substantials of life they drop and pass 
by the little things that give it sweet- 
ness and perfume. To such a word is 
enough, and that word is said." 



ACCOMPLICES. 
VIRGINIA, 1865. 

* I "HE soft new grass is creeping o'er the graves 
JL By the Potomac ; and the crisp ground-flower 

Lifts its blue cup to catch the passing shower ; 
The pine-cone ripens, and the long moss waves 
Its tangled gonfalons above our braves. 

Hark, what a burst of music from yon wood! 

The Southern nightingale, above its brood, 
In its melodious summer madness raves. 
Ah, with what delicate touches of her hand, 

With what sweet voices, Nature seeks to screen 
The awful Crime of this distracted land, 

Sets her birds singing, while she spreads her green 
Mantle of velvet where the Murdered lie, 
As if to hide the horror from God's eye ! 



108 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



[July, 



THE CHICAGO CONSPIRACY. 



ON the eve of the last general elec- 
tion, the country was startled by 
the publication of a Report from the 
Judge Advocate of the United States, 
disclosing the existence of a wide- 
spread conspiracy at the West, which 
had for its object the overthrow of the 
Union. This conspiracy, the Report 
stated, had a military organization, with 
a commander-in-chief, general and sub- 
ordinate officers, and five hundred thou- 
sand enrolled members, all bound to a 
blind obedience to the orders of their 
superiors, and pledged to " take up arms 
against any government found waging 
war against a people endeavoring to 
establish a government of their own 
choice." 

The organization, it was said, was in 
every way hostile to the Union, and 
friendly to the so-called Confederacy ; 
and its ultimate objects were " a general 
rising in Missouri," and a similar "ris- 
ing in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Ken- 
tucky, in cooperation with a Rebel force 
which was to invade the last-named 
State." 

Startling and incredible as the Re- 
port seemed, it told nothing but the 
truth, and it did not tell the whole truth. 
It omitted to state that the organization 
was planned in Richmond ; that its op- 
erations were directed by Jacob Thomp- 
son, who was in Canada for that pur- 
pose ; and that wholesale robbery, ar- 
son, and midnight assassination were 
among its designs. 

The point marked out for the first 
attack was Camp Douglas, at Chicago. 
The eight thousand Rebel soldiers con- 
fined there, being liberated and armed, 
were to be joined by the Canadian ref- 
ugees and Missouri " Butternuts " en- 
gaged in their release, and the five thou- 
sand and more members of the treason- 
able order resident in Chicago. This 
force, of nearly twenty thousand men, 
would be a nucleus about which the 
conspirators in other parts of Illinois 
could gather ; and, being joined by the 



prisoners liberated from other camps, 
and members of the order from other 
States, would form an army a hundred 
thousand strong. So fully had every- 
thing been foreseen and provided for, 
that the leaders expected to gather and 
organize this vast body of men within 
the space of a fortnight ! The Unit- 
ed States could bring into the field no 
force capable of withstanding the pro- 
gress of such an army. The conse- 
quences would be, that the whole char- 
acter of the war would be changed ; its 
theatre would be shifted from the Bor- 
der to the heart of the Free States ; and 
Southern independence, and the begin- 
ning at the North of that process of 
disintegration so confidently counted on 
by the Rebel leaders at the outbreak of 
hostilities, would have followed. 

What saved the nation from being 
drawn into this whirlpool of ruin ? Noth- 
ing but the cool brain, sleepless vigi- 
lance, and wonderful sagacity of one 
man, a young officer never read of in 
the newspapers, removed from field- 
duty because of disability, but commis- 
sioned, I verily believe, by Providence 
itself to ferret out and foil this deep- 
er-laid, wider-spread, and more diaboli- 
cal conspiracy than any that darkens 
the page of history. Other men and 
women, too were instrumental in drag- 
ging the dark iniquity to light ; but they 
failed to fathom its full enormity, and to 
discover its point of outbreak. He did 
that; and he throttled the tiger when 
about to spring, and so deserves the 
lasting gratitude of his country. How 
he did it I propose to tell in this paper. 
It is a marvellous tale ; it will read more 
like romance than history ; but, calling 
to mind what a good man once said to 
me, "Write the truth ; let people doubt, 
if they will," I shall narrate the facts. 

There is nothing remarkable in the 
appearance of this young man. Nearly 
six feet high, he has an erect, military 
carriage, a frank, manly face, and looks 
every inch a soldier, such a soldier as 



I86 5 .] 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



109 



would stand up all day in a square hand- 
to-hand fight with an open enemy ; but 
the keenest eye would detect in him no 
indication of the crafty genius which de- 
lights to follow the windings of wick- 
edness when burrowing in the dark. 
But if not a Pouche* or a Vidocq, he 
is certainly an able man ; for, in a sec- 
tion where able men are as plenty as 
apple-blossoms in June, he was chosen 
to represent his district in the State 
Senate, and, entering the army a sub- 
altern officer, rose, before the Battle of 
Perryville, to the command of a regi- 
ment. At that battle a Rebel bullet 
entered his shoulder, and crushed the 
bones of his right elbow. This dis- 
abled him for field duty, and so it came 
about that he assumed the light blue 
of the veterans, and on the second day 
of May, 1864, succeeded General Orme 
in command of the military post at Chi- 
cago. 

When fairly settled in the low-roofed 
shanty which stands, a sort of mute 
sentry, over the front gateway of Camp 
Douglas, the new Commandant, as was 
natural, looked about him. He found 
the camp about sixty acres of flat, 
sandy soil, inclosed by a tight board 
fence, an inch thick, and fourteen feet 
high had a garrison of but two regi- 
ments of veteran reserves, numbering, 
all told, only seven hundred men fit for 
duty. This small force was guarding 
eight thousand Rebel prisoners, one 
third of whom were Texas rangers, and 
guerrillas who had served under Mor- 
gan, wild, reckless characters, fonder 
of a fight than of a dinner, and ready 
for any enterprise, however desperate, 
that held out the smallest prospect of 
freedom. To add to the seeming inse- 
curity, nearly every office in the camp 
was filled with these prisoners. They 
served out rations and distributed cloth- 
ing to their comrades, dealt out ammu- 
nition to the guards, and even kept the 
records in the quarters of the Com- 
mandant. In fact, the prison was in 
charge of the prisoners, not the prison- 
ers in charge of the prison. This state 
of things underwent a sudden change. 
With the exception of a very few, whose 



characters recommended them to pecul- 
iar confidence, all were at once placed 
where they belonged, on the inner 
side of the prison-fence. 

A post-office was connected with the 
camp, and this next received the Com- 
mandant's attention. Everything about 
it appeared to be regular. A vast num- 
ber of letters came and went, but they 
all passed unsealed, and seemed to con- 
tain nothing contraband. Many of them, 
however, were short epistles on long 
pieces of paper, a curious circumstance 
among correspondents with whom sta- 
stionery was scarce and greenbacks 
were not over-plenty. One sultry day 
in June, the Commandant builded a fire, 
and gave these letters a warming ; and 
lo ! presto ! the white spaces broke out 
into dark lines breathing thoughts black- 
er than the fluid that wrote them. Cor- 
poral Snooks whispered to his wife, 
away down in Texas, " The forthe of 
July is comin', Sukey, so be a man ; 
fur I 'm gwine to celerbrate. I 'm gwine 
up loike a rocket, ef I does come down 
loike a stick." And Sergeant Blower 
said to John Copperhead of Chicago, 
" Down in ' old Virginny ' I used to 
think the fourth of July a humbug, but 
this prison has made me a patriot. Now 
I 'd like to burn an all-fired sight of pow- 
der, and if you help, and God is willing, 
I shall do it." In a similar strain wrote 
half a score of them. 

Such patriotism seemed altogether 
too wordy to be genuine. It told noth- 
ing, but it darkly hinted at dark events 
to come. The Commandant bethought 
him that the Democratic Convention 
would assemble on the fourth of July ; 
that a vast multitude of people would 
congregate at Chicago on that occasion ; 
and that, in so great a throng, it would 
be easy for the clans to gather, attack 
the camp, and liberate the prisoners. 
" Eternal vigilance is the price of lib- 
erty," and the young Commandant was 
vigilant. Soon Prison-Square received 
a fresh instalment of prisoners. They 
were genuine " Butternuts," out at the 
toes, out at the knees, out at the el- 
bows, out everywhere, in fact, and of 
everything but their senses. Those 



no 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



[July, 



they had snugly about them. They 
fraternized with Corporal Snooks, Ser- 
geant Blower, and others of their com- 
rades, and soon learned that a grand 
pyrotechnic display was arranged to 
come off on Independence -day. A 
huge bonfire was to be built outside, 
and the prisoners were to salute the 
old flag, but not with blank cartridges. 

But who was to light the outside 
bonfire ? That the improvised " But- 
ternuts " failed to discover, and the 
Commandant set his own wits to work- 
ing. He soon ascertained that a sin- 
gular organization existed in Chicago. 
It was called " The Society of the II- 
lini," and its object, as set forth by its 
printed constitution, was " the more 
perfect development of the literary, 
scientific, moral, physical, and social 
welfare of the conservative citizens of 
Chicago." The Commandant knew a 
conservative citizen whose development 
was not altogether perfect, and he rec- 
ommended him to join the organization. 
The society needed recruits and initia- 
tion-fees, and received the new member 
with open arms. Soon he was deep in 
the outer secrets of the order ; but he 
could not penetrate its inner mysteries. 
Those were open to only an elect few 
who had already attained to a " perfect 
development " of villany. He learn- 
ed enough, however, to verify the dark 
hints thrown out by the prisoners. The 
society numbered some thousands of 
members, all fully armed, thoroughly 
drilled, and impatiently waiting a signal 
to explode a mine deeper than that in 
front of Petersburg. 

But the assembling of the Chicago 
Convention was postponed to the twen- 
ty-ninth of August, and the fourth of 
July passed away without the bonfire 
and the fireworks. 

The Commandant, however, did not 
sleep. He still kept his wits a -work- 
ing ; the bogus " Butternuts " still ate 
prisoners' rations ; and the red flame 
still brought out black thoughts on the 
white letter-paper. Quietly the garri- 
son was reinforced, quietly increased 
vigilance was enjoined upon the senti- 
nels ; and the tranquil, assured look of 



the Commandant told no one that he 
was playing with hot coals on a bar- 
rel of gunpowder. 

So July rolled away into August, and 
the Commandant sent a letter giving 
his view of the state of things to his 
commanding general. This letter has 
fallen into my hands, and, as might 
sometimes makes right, I shall copy a 
portion of it. It is dated August 12, 
and, in the formal phrase customary 
among military men, begins : 

" I have the honor respectfully to re- 
port, in relation to the supposed organi- 
zation at Toronto, Canada, which was 
to come here in squads, then combine, 
and attempt to rescue the prisoners of 
war at Camp Douglas, that there is an 
armed organization in this city of five 
thousand men, and that the rescue of 
our prisoners would be the signal for a 
general insurrection in Indiana and Il- 
linois 

" There is little, if any, doubt that 
an organization hostile to the Govern- 
ment and secret in its workings and 
character exists in the States of Indiana 
and Illinois, and that this organization 
is strong in numbers. It would be easy, 
perhaps, at any crisis in public affairs, 
to push this organization into acts of 
open disloyalty, if its leaders should so 
will 

" Except in cases of considerable 
emergency, I shall make all communi- 
cations to your head-quarters on this 
subject by mail." 

These extracts show, that, seventeen 
days before the assembling of the Chi- 
cago Convention, the Commandant had 
become convinced that mail-bags were 
safer vehicles of communication than 
telegraph - wires ; that five thousand 
armed traitors were then domiciled in 
Chicago ; that they expected to be 
joined by a body of Rebels from Can- 
ada ; that the object of the combina- 
tion was the rescue of the prisoners at 
Camp Douglas ; and that success in 
that enterprise would be the signal for 
a general uprising throughout Indiana 
and Illinois. Certainly, this was no lit- 
tle knowledge to gain by two months' 
burrowing in the dark. But the con- 



i86 5 .] 



The CJiicago Conspiracy. 



Ill 



spirators were not fools. They had 
necks which they valued. They would 
not plunge into open disloyalty until 
some " crisis in public affairs " should 
engage the attention of the authorities, 
and afford a fair chance of success. 
Would the assembling of the Conven- 
tion be such a crisis ? was now the ques- 
tion. 

The question was soon answered. 
About this time, Lieutenant-Colonel 
B. H. Hill, commanding the military 
district of Michigan, received a missive 
from a person in Canada who repre- 
sented himself to be a major in the 
Confederate service. He expressed a 
readiness to disclose a dangerous plot 
against the Government, provided he 
were allowed to take the oath of alle- 
giance, and rewarded according to the 
value of his information. The Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel read the letter, tossed 
it aside, and went about his business. 
No good, he had heard, ever came out 
of Nazareth. Soon another missive, of 
the same purport, and from the same 
person, came to him. He tossed this 
aside also, and went again about his 
business. But the Major was a South- 
ern Yankee, the " cutest " sort of 
Yankee. He had something to sell, 
and was bound to sell it, even if he 
had to throw his neck into the bargain. 
Taking his life in his hand, he crossed 
the frontier ; and so it came about, that, 
late one night, a tall man, in a slouched 
hat, rusty regimentals, and immense 
jack-boots, was ushered into the private 
apartment of the Lieutenant -Colonel 
at Detroit. It was the Major. He had 
brought his wares with him. They had 
cost him nothing, except some small sac- 
rifice of such trifling matters as honor, 
fraternal feeling, and good faith towards 
brother conspirators, whom they might 
send to the gallows ; but they were of 
immense value, would save millions 
of money and rivers of loyal blood. So 
the Major said, and so the Lieutenant- 
Colonel thought, as, coolly, with his ci- 
gar in his mouth and his legs over the 
arm of his chair, he drew the important 
secrets from the Rebel officer. Some- 
thing good might, after all, come out 



of Nazareth. The Lieutenant-Colonel 
would trust the fellow, trust him, but 
pay him nothing, and send him back to 
Toronto to worm out the whole plan 
from the Rebel leaders, and to gather 
the whole details of the projected expe- 
dition. But the Major knew with whom 
he was dealing. He had faith in Uncle 
Sam, and he was right in having it ; for, 
truth to tell, if Uncle Sam does not al- 
ways pay, he can always be trusted. 

It was not long before the Major re- 
appeared with his budget, which he 
duly opened to the Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Its contents were interesting, and I will 
give them to the reader as the Union 
officer gave them to the General com- 
manding the Northern Department 
His communication is dated August 16. 
It says : 

"I have the honor to report that I 
had another interview last evening with 
Major , whose disclosures in rela- 
tion to a Rebel plot for the release of 
the prisoners at Camp Douglas I gave 
you in my letter of the 8th instant. I 
have caused inquiries to be made in 
Canada about Major , and under- 
stand that he does possess the confi- 
dence of the Rebel agent, and that his 
statements are entitled to respect 

" He now informs me that he pro- 
ceeded to Toronto, as he stated he 
would when I last saw him ; that about 
two hundred picked men, of the Rebel 
refugees in Canada, are assembled at 
that place, who are armed with revolv- 
ers and supplied with funds and trans- 
portation-tickets to Chicago ; and that 
already one hundred and fifty have 
proceeded to Chicago. That he (Ma- 
jor ) and the balance of the men 

are waiting for instructions from Cap- 
tain Hines, who is the commander of 
the expedition ; that Captain Hines left 
Toronto last Thursday for Chicago, and 
at this time is doubtless at Niagara 
Falls, making the final arrangements 
with the chief Rebel agents. 

" Major states that Saunders, 

Holbrook, and Colonel Hicks were at 
Toronto while he was there, engaged 
in making preparations, etc. The gen- 
eral plan is to accomplish the release 



112 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



[July, 



of the prisoners at Camp Douglas, and 
in doing so they will be assisted by an 
armed organization at Chicago. After 
being released, the prisoners will be 
armed, and being joined by the organi- 
zation in Chicago, will be mounted and 
proceed to Camp Morton, (at Indianap- 
olis,) and there accomplish a similar ob- 
ject in releasing prisoners. That for 
months, Rebel emissaries have been 
travelling through the Northwest ; that 
their arrangements are fully matured ; 
and that they expect to receive large 
accessions of force from Ohio, Indiana, 
and Illinois. They expect to destroy 
the works at Iron ton. 

" Major says further that he is 

in hourly expectation of receiving in- 
structions to proceed to Chicago with 
the balance of the party ; that he shall 
put up at the City Hotel, corner of Lake 
and State Streets, and register his name 

as George ; and that he will then 

place himself in communication with 
Colonel Sweet, commanding at Chica- 
go." 

The Major did not "put up at the 
corner of Lake and State Streets," and 
that fact relieved the Government from 
the trouble of estimating the value of 
his services, and, what is more to be 
deplored, rendered it impossible for the 
Commandant to recognize and arrest 
the Rebel leaders during the sitting of 
the Chicago Convention. What be- 
came of the Major is not known. He 
may have repented of his good deeds, 
or his treachery may have been detect- 
ed and he put out of the way by his 
accomplices. 

It will be noticed how closely the 
Rebel officer's disclosures accorded 
with the information gathered through 
indirect channels by the astute Com- 
mandant. When the report was con- 
veyed to him, he may have smiled at 
this proof of his own sagacity ; but he 
made no change in his arrangements. 
Quietly and steadily he went on strength- 
ening the camp, augmenting the garri- 
son, and shadowing the footsteps of all 
suspicious new-comers. 

At last the loyal Democrats came to- 
gether to the great Convention, and 



with them came Satan also. Bands of 
ill-favored men, in bushy hair, bad whis- 
key, and seedy homespun, staggered 
from the railway - stations, and hung 
about the street-corners. A reader of 
Dante or Swedenborg would have tak- 
en them for delegates from the lower 
regions, had not their clothing been 
plainly perishable, while the devils wear 
everlasting garments. They had come, 
they announced, to make a Peace Pres- 
ident, but they brandished bowie-knives, 
and bellowed for war even in the sacred 
precincts of the Peace Convention. 
But war or peace, the Commandant was 
ready for it. 

For days reinforcements had poured 
into the camp, until it actually bristled 
with bayonets. On every side it was 
guarded with cannon, and, day and 
night, mounted men patrolled the av- 
enues to give notice of the first hostile 
gathering. But there was no gathering. 
The conspirators were there, two thou- 
sand strong, with five thousand Illini 
to back them. From every point of 
the compass, from Canada, Missouri, 
Southern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New 
York, and even loyal Vermont, bloody- 
minded men had come to give the Peace 
candidate a red baptism. But " discre- 
tion is the better part of valor." The 
conspirators saw the preparations and 
disbanded. Not long afterward one of 
the leaders said to me, " We had spies 
in every public place, in the telegraph- 
office, the camp itself, and even close by 
the Commandant's head-quarters, and 
knew, hourly, all that was passing. From 
the observatory, opposite the camp, I 
myself saw the arrangements for our 
reception. We outnumbered you two 
to one, but our force was badly disci- 
plined. Success in such circumstances 
was impossible ; and on the third day 
of the Convention we announced from 
head -quarters that an attack at that 
time was impracticable. It would have 
cost the lives of hundreds of the pris- 
oners, and perhaps the capture or de- 
struction of the whole of us." So the 
storm blew over, without the leaden 
rain, and its usual accompaniment of 
thunder and lightning. 



i86 5 .J 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



A dead calm followed, during which 
the Illini slunk back to their holes ; the 
prisoners took to honest ink ; the bogus 
" Butternuts" walked the streets clad like 
Christians, and the Commandant went 
to sleep with only one eye open. So the 
world rolled around into November. 

The Presidential election was near at 
hand, the great contest on which hung 
the fate of the Republic. The Com- 
mandant was convinced of this, and 
wanted to marshal his old constituents 
for the final struggle between Freedom 
and Despotism. He obtained a furlough 
to go home and mount the stump for 
the Union. He was about to set out, 
his private secretary was ready, and the 
carriage waiting at the gateway, when 
an indefinable feeling took possession 
of him, holding him back, and warning 
him of coming danger. It would not be 
shaken off, and reluctantly he postpon- 
ed the journey till the morrow. Before 
the morrow facts were developed which 
made his presence in Chicago essential 
to the safety of the city and the lives 
of the citizens. The snake was scotch- 
ed, not killed. It was preparing for an- 
other and a deadlier spring. 

On the second of November, a well- 
known citizen of St. Louis, openly a Se- 
cessionist, but secretly a loyal man, and 
acting as a detective for the Govern- 
ment, left that city in pursuit of a crim- 
inal. He followed him to Springfield, 
traced him from there to Chicago, and 
on the morning of November fourth, 
about the hour the Commandant had 
the singular impression I have spoken 
of, arrived in the latter city. He soon 
learned that the bird had again flown. 

" While passing along the street," ( I 
now quote from his report to the Pro- 
vost Marshal General of Missouri,) "and 
trying to decide what course to pursue, 
whether to follow this man to New 
York, or return to St. Louis, I met an 
old acquaintance, a member of the order 
of 'American Knights,' who informed 
me that Marmaduke was in Chicago. 
After conversing with him awhile, I 
started up the street, and about one 
block farther on met Dr. E. W. Ed- 
wards, a practising physician in Chicago, 

VOL. xvi. NO. 93. 8 



(another old acquaintance,) who ask- 
ed me if I knew of any Southern sol- 
diers being in town. I told him I did ; 
that Marmaduke was there. He seem- 
ed very much astonished, and asked how 
I knew. I told him. He laughed, and 
then said that Marmaduke was at his 
house, under the assumed name of Bur- 
ling, and mentioned, as a good joke, that 
he had a British passport, vised by the 
United States Consul under that name. 
I gave Edwards my card to hand to 
Marmaduke, (who was another ' old ac- 
quaintance,') and told him I was stop- 
ping at the Briggs House; 

" That same evening I again met Dr. 
Edwards on the street, going to my 
hotel. He said Marmaduke desired to 
see me, and I accompanied him to his 
house." There, in the course of a long 
conversation, " Marmaduke told me 
that he and several Rebel officers were 
in Chicago to cooperate with other par- 
ties in releasing the prisoners of Camp 
Douglas, and other prisons, and in in- 
augurating a Rebellion at the North. 
He said the movement was under the 
auspices of the order of 'American 
Knights,' (to which order the Society 
of the Illini belonged,) and was to be- 
gin operations by an attack on Camp 
Douglas on election-day." 

The detective did not know the Com- 
mandant, but he soon made his ac- 
quaintance, and told him the story. 
" The young man," he says, " rested his 
head upon his hand, and looked as if 
he had lost his mother." And well he 
might ! A mine had opened at his feet ; 
with but eight hundred men in the gar- 
rison it -was to be sprung upon him. 
Only seventy hours were left ! What 
would he not give for twice as many ? 
Then he might secure reinforcements. 
He walked the room for a time in si- 
lence, then, turning to the detective, said, 
" Do you know where the other leaders 
are ? I do not." " Can't you find 
out from Marmaduke ? " "I think not. 
He said what he did say voluntarily. If 
I were to question him, he would suspect 
me." That was true, and Marmaduke 
was not of the stuff that betrays a com- 
rade on compulsion. His arrest, there- 



114 



TJic Chicago ^Conspiracy. 



fore, would profit nothing, and might 
hasten the attack for which the 'Com- 
mandant was so poorly prepared. He 
sat down and wrote a hurried dispatch 
to his General. Troops ! troops ! for 
God's sake, troops ! was its burden. 
Sending it off by a courier, the tele- 
graph told tales, he rose, and again 
walked the room in silence. After a 
while, with a heavy heart, the detective 
said, "Good night," and left him. 

What passed with the Commandant 
during the next two hours I do not 
know. He may have prayed, he is 
a praying man, and there was need 
of prayer, for the torch was ready to 
burn millions of property, the knife 
whetted to take thousands of lives. At 
the end of the two hours, a stranger 
was ushered into the apartment where 
the Commandant was still pacing the 
floor. From the lips and pen of this 
stranger I have what followed, and I 
think it may be relied on. 

He was a slim, light-haired young 
man, with fine, regular features, and 
that indefinable air which denotes good 
breeding. Recognizing the Command- 
ant by the eagle on his shoulder, he 
said, "Can I see you alone, Sir?" 
"Certainly," answered the Union offi- 
cer, motioning to his secretary to leave 
the room. " I am a Colonel in the Reb- 
el army," said the stranger, "and have 
put my life into your hands, to warn 
you of the most hellish plot in history." 
" Your life is safe, Sir," replied the 
other, "if your visit is an honest one. I 
shall be glad to hear what you have to 
say. Be seated." 

The Rebel officer took the proffered 
chair, and sat there till far into the 
morning. In the limits of a magazine 
article I cannot attempt to recount all 
that passed between them. The writ- 
ten statement the Rebel Colonel has 
sent to me covers fourteen pages of 
closely written foolscap ; and my inter- 
view with him on the subject lasted five 
hours, by a slow watch. He disclosed 
all that Judge Holt has made public, and 
a great deal more. Sixty days previous- 
ly he had left Richmond with verbal dis- 
patches from the Rebel Secretary of War 



to Jacob Thompson, the Rebel agent 
in Canada. These dispatches had re- 
lation to a vast plot, designed to wrap 
the West in flames, sever it from the 
East, and secure the independence of 
the South. Months before, the plot had 
been concocted by Jeff Davis at Rich- 
mond ; and in May previous, Thomp- 
son, supplied with two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars in sterling exchange, 
had been sent to Canada to superintend 
its execution. This money was lodged 
in a bank at Montreal, and had furnished 
the funds which fitted out the abortive 
expeditions against Johnson's Island 
and Camp Douglas. The plot embraced 
the order of" American Knights," which 
was spread all over the West, and num- 
bered five hundred thousand men, three 
hundred and fifty thousand of whom 
were armed. A force of twelve hundred 
men Canadian refugees, and bush- 
whackers from Southern Illinois and 
Missouri was to attack Camp Douglas 
on Tuesday night, the 8th of November, 
liberate and arm the prisoners, and sack 
Chicago. This was to be the signal for 
a general uprising throughout the West, 
and for a simultaneous advance by Hood 
upon Nashville, Buckner upon Louis- 
ville, and Price upon St. Louis. Vallan- 
digham was to head the movement in 
Ohio, Bowles in Indiana, and Walsh in 
Illinois. The forces were to rendez- 
vous at Dayton and Cincinnati in Ohio, 
New Albany and Indianapolis in In- 
diana, and Rock Island, Chicago, and 
Springfield in Illinois ; and those gath- 
ered at the last-named place, after seizing 
the arsenal, were to march to aid Price 
in taking St. Louis. Prominent Union 
citizens and officers were to be seized 
and sent South, and the more obnox- 
ious of them were to be assassinated. 
All places taken were to be sacked and 
destroyed, and a band of a hundred 
desperate men was organized to burn 
the larger Northern cities not included 
in the field of operations. Two hun- 
dred Confederate officers, who were to 
direct the military movements, had been 
in Canada, but were then stationed 
throughout the West, at the various 
points to be attacked, waiting the out- 



i86 5 .] 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



break at Chicago. Captain Mines, who 
had won the confidence of Thompson 
by his successful management of the 
escape of John Morgan, had control 
of the initial movement against Camp 
Douglas ; but Colonel Grenfell, assist- 
ed by Colonel Marmaduke and a dozen 
other Rebel officers, was to manage the 
military part of the operations. All of 
these officers were at that moment in 
Chicago, waiting the arrival of the men, 
who were to come in small squads, over 
different railroads, during the follow- 
ing three days. The Rebel officer had 
known of the plot for months, but its 
atrocious details had come to his knowl- 
edge only within a fortnight. They had 
appalled him ; and though he was be- 
traying his friends, and the South which 
he loved, the humanity in him would 
not let him rest till he had washed his 
hands of the horrible crime. 

The Commandant listened with nerv- 
ous interest to the whole of this re- 
cital ; but when the Southern officer 
made the last remark, he almost groan- 
ed out, 

" Why did you not come before ? " 
u I could not. I gave Thompson my 
opinion of this, and have been watched. 
I think they have tracked me here. My 
life on your streets to-night would n't 
be worth a bad half-dollar." 

" True ; but what must be done ? " 
" Arrest the ' Butternuts ' as they 
come into Chicago." 

" That I can do ; but the leaders 
are here, with five thousand armed II- 
lini to back them. I must take them. 
Do you know them ? " 

" Yes ; but I do not know where they 
are quartered." 

At two o'clock the Commandant 
showed the Rebel officer to his bed, 
but went back himself, and paced the 
floor until sunrise. In the morning his 
plan was formed. It was a desperate 
plan ; but desperate circumstances re- 
quire desperate expedients. 

In the prison was a young Texan 
who had served on Bragg's staff, and 
under Morgan in Kentucky, and was, 
therefore, acquainted with Hines, Gren- 
fell, and the other Rebel officers. He 



fully believed in the theory of State 
Rights, that is, that a part is greater 
than the whole, but was an honest 
man, who, when his word was given, 
could be trusted. One glance at his 
open, resolute face showed that he fear- 
ed nothing ; that he had, too, that rare 
courage which delights in danger, and 
courts heroic enterprise from pure love 
of peril. Early in the war, he had en- 
countered Colonel De Land, a former 
commandant of the post, on the battle- 
field, and taken him prisoner. A friend- 
ship then sprang up between the two, 
which, when the tables were turned, 
and the captor became the captive, was 
not forgotten. Colonel De Land made 
him chief clerk in the medical depart- 
ment, and gave him every possible free- 
dom. At that time it was the custom 
to allow citizens free access to the 
camp ; and among the many good men 
and women who came to visit and aid 
the prisoners was a young woman, the 
daughter of a well-known resident of 
Chicago. She met the Texan, and a re- 
sult as natural as the union of hydrogen 
and oxygen followed. But since Adam 
courted Eve, who ever heard of woo- 
ing going on in a prison ? " It is not 
exactly the thing," said Colonel De 
Land ; " had you not better pay your 
addresses at the lady's house, like a 
gentleman ? " A guard accompanied 
the prisoner ; but it was shrewdly 
guessed that he stayed outside, or paid 
court to the girls in the kitchen. 

This was the state of things when the 
present Commandant took charge of the 
camp. He learned the facts, studied the 
prisoner's face, and remembered that he, 
too, once went a-courting. As he walk- 
ed his Yoom that Friday night, he be- 
thought him of the Texan. Did he lave 
his State better than he loved his affi- 
anced wife ? The Commandant would 
test him. 

" But I shall betray my friends ! Can. 
I do that in honor ? " asked the Texan. 

" Did you ask that question when you 
betrayed your country ? " answered the 
Commandant. 

" Let me go from camp for an ham. 
Then I will give you my decision." 



116 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



[July, 



"Very well." 

And, unattended, the Texan left the 
prison. 

What passed between the young man 
and the young woman during that hour 
I do not know, and could not tell, if I 
did know, for I am not writing ro- 
mance, but history. However, without 
lifting the veil on things sacred, I can 
say that her last words were, " Do your 
duty. Blot out your record of treason." 
God bless her for saying them ! and let 
"Amen" be said by every American 
woman ! 

On his return to camp, the Texan 
merely said, " I will do it," and the de- 
tails of the plan were talked over. He 
was to escape from the prison, fer- 
ret out and entrap the Rebel leaders. 
How to manage the first part of the 
dangerous programme was the query 
of the Texan. The Commandant's 
brain is fertile. An adopted citizen, in 
the scavenger line, makes periodical 
visits to the camp in the way of his 
business, and him the Commandant 
sends for. 

"Arrah, yer Honor," the Irishman 
says, " I ha'n't a tr-raitor. Bless yer 
beautiful sowl ! I love the kintry ; and 
besides, it might damage me good name 
and me purty prefession." 

He is assured that his name will be 
all the better for dieting a few weeks 
in a dungeon, and did not the same 
thing make Harvey Birch immortal ? 

Half an hour before sunset the scav- 
enger comes into camp with his wagon. 
He fills it with dry bones, broken bottles, 
decayed food, and the rubbish of the 
prison ; and down below, under a blan- 
ket, he stows away the Texan. A hun- 
dred comrades gather round to shut off 
the gaze of the guard ; but outside is 
the real danger. He has to pass two 
gates, and run the gauntlet of half a 
dozen sentinels. His wagon is fuller 
than visual ; and the late hour it is 
now after sunset will of itself excite 
suspicion. . It might test the pluck of a 
braver m^n ; for the sentries' bayonets 
are fixed, and their guns at the half- 
trigger ; but he reaches the outer gate 
in safety. Now St. Patrick help him ! 



for he needs al 1 . the impudence of an 
Irishman. The gate rolls back ; the 
Commandant stands nervously by, but 
a sentry cries out, 

" You can't pass ; it 's agin orders. 
No wagins kin go out arter drum-beat." 

" Arrah, don't be a fool ! Don't be 
afther obstructin' a honest man's busi- 
ness," answers the Irishman, pushing 
on into the gateway. 

The soldier is vigilant, for his officer's 
eye is on him. 

" Halt ! " he cries again, " or I '11 fire ! " 

" Fire ! Waste yer powder on yer 
friends, like the bloody-minded spal- 
peen ye are ! " says the scavenger, crack- 
ing his whip, and moving forward. 

It is well he does not look back. If 
he should, he might be melted to his 
own soap-grease. The sentry's musket 
is levelled ; he is about to fire, but the 
Commandant roars out, 

" Don't shoot ! " and the old man and 
the old horse trot off into the twilight. 

Not an hour later, two men, in big 
boots, slouched hats, and brownish but- 
ternuts, come out of the Commandant's 
quarters. With muffled faces and hasty 
strides, they make their way over the 
dimly lighted road into the city. Paus- 
ing, after a while, before a large man- 
sion, they crouch down among the shad- 
ows. It is the house of the Grand 
Treasurer of the Order of American 
Knights, and into it very soon they see 
the Texan enter. The good man knows 
him well, and there is great rejoicing. 
He orders up the fatted calf, and soon it 
is on the table, steaming hot, and done 
brown in the roasting. When the meal 
is over, they discuss a bottle of Cham- 
pagne and the situation. The Texan 
cannot remain in Chicago, for there he 
will surely be detected. He must be 
off to Cincinnati by the first train ; and 
he will arrive in the nick of time, for 
warm work is daily expected. Has he 
any money about him ? No, he has left 
it behind, with his Sunday clothes, in the 
prison. He must have funds ; but the 
worthy gentleman can lend him none, 
for he is a loyal man ; of course he is ! 
was he not the " people's candidate " 
for Governor ? But no one ever heard 



1865.] 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



117 



of a woman being hanged for treason. 
With this he nods to his wife, who 
opens her purse, and tosses the Texan 
a roll of greenbacks. They are honest 
notes, for an honest face is on them. 
At the end of an hour good-night is 
said, and the Texan goes out to find a 
hole to hide in. Down the street he 
hurries, the long, dark shadows follow- 
ing- 
He enters the private door of a pub- 
lic house, speaks a magic word, and 
is shown to a room in the upper story. 
Three low, prolonged raps on the wall, 
and he is among them. They are 
seated about a small table, on which is 
a plan of the prison. One is about forty- 
five, a tall, thin man, with a wiry frame, 
a jovial face, and eyes which have the 
wild, roving look of the Arab's. He is 
dressed after the fashion of English 
sportsmen, and his dog a fine gray 
bloodhound is stretched on the hearth- 
rug near him. He looks a reckless, 
desperate character, and has an adven- 
turous history.* In battle he is said 
to be a thunderbolt, lightning har- 
nessed and inspired with the will of a 
devil. He is just the character to lead 
the dark, desperate expedition on which 
they are entered. It is St. Leger Gren- 
fell. 

At his right sits another tall, erect 
man, of about thirty, with large, promi- 
nent eyes, and thin, black hair and mous- 
tache. He is of dark complexion, has 
a sharp, thin nose, a small, close mouth, 
a coarse, harsh voice, and a quick, bois- 
terous manner. His face tells of dissi- 
pation, and his dress shows the dandy ; 
but his deep, clear eye and pale, wrin- 
kled forehead denote a cool, crafty in- 
tellect f This is the notorious Captain 
Hines, the right-hand man of Morgan, 
and the soul and brains of the Con- 
spiracy. The rest are the meaner sort 
of villains. I do not know how they 
looked, and if I did, they would not 
be worth describing. 

Hines and Grenfell spring to their 
feet, and grasp the hand of the Texan. 

* Sec Fremantle's "Three Months in the South- 
em States," p. 148. 
t Detective's description. 



He is a godsend, sent to do what no 
man of them is brave enough to do, 
lead the attack on the front gateway of 
the prison. So they affirm, with great 
oaths, as they sit down, spread out the 
map, and explain to him the plan of 
operations. 

Two hundred Rebel refugees from 
Canada, they say, and a hundred " But- 
ternuts " from Fayette and Christian 
Counties, have already arrived ; many 
more from Kentucky and Missouri are 
coming ; and by Tuesday they expect 
that a thousand or twelve hundred des- 
perate men, armed to the teeth, will be 
in Chicago. Taking advantage of the 
excitement of election-night, they pro- 
pose, with this force, to attack the camp 
and prison. It will be divided into five 
parties. One squad, under Grenfell, will 
be held in reserve a few hundred yards 
from the main body, and will guard the 
large number of guns already provided 
to arm the prisoners. Another com- 
mand of which is offered to the Texan 
will assault the front gateway, and en- 
gage the attention of the eight hundred 
troops quartered in Garrison Square. 
The work of this squad will be danger- 
ous, for it will encounter a force four 
times its strength, well armed and sup- 
plied with artillery ; but it will be speedi- 
ly relieved by the other divisions. Those, 
under Marmaduke, Colonel Robert An- 
derson of Kentucky, and Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Charles Walsh of Chicago, Com- 
mander of the American Knights, will 
simultaneously assail three sides of Pris- 
on Square, break down the fence, liber- 
ate the prisoners, and, taking the garri- 
son in rear, compel a general surrender. 
This accomplished, small parties will be 
dispatched to cut the telegraph-wires 
and seize the railway - stations ; while 
the main body, reinforced by the eight 
thousand and more prisoners, will march 
into the city and rendezvous in Court- 
House Square, which will be the base 
of further operations. 

The first blow struck, the insurgents 
will be joined by the five thousand Illi- 
ni, (American Knights,) and, seizing the 
arms of the city, six brass field-pieces 
and eight hundred Springfield muskets, 



118 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



[July, 



and the arms and ammunition stored 
in private warehouses, will begin the 
work of destruction. The banks will be 
robbed, the stores gutted, the houses of 
loyal men plundered, and the railway- 
stations, grain-elevators, and other pub- 
lic buildings burned to the ground. To 
facilitate this latter design, the water- 
plugs have been marked, and a force 
detailed to set the water running. In 
brief, the war will be brought home to 
the North ; Chicago will be dealt with 
like a city taken by assault, given over 
to the torch, the sword, and the brutal 
lust of a drunken soldiery. On it will 
be wreaked all the havoc, the agony, 
and the desolation which three years of 
war have heaped upon the South ; and 
its upgoing flames will be the torch that 
shall light a score of other cities to the 
same destruction ! 

It was a diabolical plan, conceived far 
down in hell amid the thick blackness, 
and brought up by the arch-fiend him- 
self, who sat there, toying with the hid- 
eous thing, and with his cloven foot beat- 
ing a merry tune on the death's-head 
and cross-bones under the table. 

As he concludes, Hines turns to the 
new comer, 

" Well, my boy, what do you say ? 
Will you take the post of honor and 
of danger ? " 

The Texan draws a long breath, and 
then, through his barred teeth, blurts 
out, 

"I will!" 

On those two words hang thousands 
of lives, millions of money ! 

" You are a trump ! " shouts Grenfell, 
springing to his feet. " Give us your 
hand upon it ! " 

A general hand-shaking follows, and 
during it, Hines and another man an- 
nounce that their time is up : 

"It is nearly twelve. Fielding and 

I never stay in this d d town after 

midnight. You are fools, or you would 
n't." 

Suddenly, as these words are uttered, 
a slouched hat, listening at the keyhole, 
pops up, moves softly through the hall, 
and steals down the stairway. Half an 
hour later the Texan opens the private 



door of the Richmond House, looks cau- 
tiously around for a moment, and then 
stalks on towards the heart of the city. 
The moon is down, the lamps burn dim- 
ly, but after him glide the shadows. 

In a room at the Tremont House, not 
far from this time, the Commandant is 
walking and waiting, when the door 
opens, and a man enters. His face is 
flushed, his teeth are clenched, his eyes 
flashing. He is stirred to the depths 
of his being. Can he be the Texan ? 

" What is the matter ? " asks the Com- 
mandant. 

The other sits down, and, as if only 
talking to himself, tells him. One hour 
has swept away the fallacies of his life- 
time. He sees the Rebellion as it is, 
the outbreak and outworking of that 
spirit which makes hell horrible. Hith- 
erto, that night, he has acted from love, 
not duty. Now he bows only to the 
All-Right and the All-Beautiful, and in 
his heart is that psalm of work, sung 
by one of old, and by all true men since 
the dawn of creation : " Here am 1, 
Lord ! Send me ! " 

The first gray of morning is streaking 
the east, when he goes forth to find a 
hiding-place. The sun is not up, and 
the early light comes dimly, through the 
misty clouds, but about him still hang 
the long, dark shadows. This is a world 
of shadows. Only in the atmosphere 
which soon inclosed him is there no 
night and no shadow. 

Soon the Texan's escape is known 
at the camp, and a great hue-and-cry 
follows. Handbills are got out, a re- 
ward is offered, and by that Sunday 
noon his name is on every street-corner. 
Squads of soldiers and police ransack 
the city and invade every Rebel asylum. 
Strange things are brought to light, and 
strange gentry dragged out of dark clos- 
ets ; but nowhere is found the Texan. 
The search is well done, for the 'pursu- 
ers are in dead earnest ; and, Captain 
Hines, if you don't trust him now, you 
are a fool, with all your astuteness ! 

So the day wears away and the night 
cometh. Just at dark a man enters the 
private door of the Tremont House, and 
goes up to a room where the Command- 



i86 5 .j 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



119 



ant is waiting. He sports a light rattan, 
wears a stove-pipe hat, a Sunday suit, 
and is shaven and shorn like unto Sam- 
son. What is the Commandant doing 
with such a dandy? Soon the gas is 
lighted ; and lo, it is the Texan ! But 
who in creation would know him ? The 
plot, he says, thickens. More " Butter- 
nuts " have arrived, and the deed will 
be done on Tuesday night, as sure as 
Christmas is coming. He has seen his 
men, two hundred, picked, and every 
one clamoring for pickings. Hines, who 
carries the bag, is to give him ten thou- 
sand greenbacks, to stop their mouths 
and stuff their pockets, at nine in the 
morning. 

"And to-morrow night we '11 have 
them, sure ! And, how say you, give 
you shackles and a dungeon ? " asks the 
Commandant, his mouth wreathing with 
grim wrinkles. 

" Anything you like. Anything to 
blot out my record of treason." 

He has learned the words, they are 
on his heart, not to be razed out forever. 

When he is gone, up and down the 
room goes the Commandant, as is his 
fashion. He is playing a desperate 
game. The stake is awful. He holds 
the ace of trumps, but shall he risk 
the game upon it ? At half past eight 
he sits down and writes a dispatch to 
his General. In it he says : 

" My force is, as you know, too weak 
and much overworked, only eight 
hundred men, all told, to guard between 
eight and nine thousand prisoners. I 
am certainly not justified in waiting to 
take risks, and mean to arrest these 
officers, if possible, before morning." 

The dispatch goes off, but still the 
Commandant is undecided. If he strikes 
to-night, Hines may escape, for the fox 
has a hole out of town, and may keep 
under cover till morning. He is the 
king-devil, and much the Commandant 
wants to cage him. Besides, he holds 
the bag, and the Texan will go out of 
prison a penniless man among strangers. 
Those ten thousand greenbacks are law- 
ful prize, and should be the country's 
dower with the maiden. But are not 
republics grateful ? Did not one give 



a mansion to General McClellan ? Ah, 
Captain Hines, that was lucky for you, 
for, beyond a doubt, it saved your bacon ! 
The Commandant goes back to camp, 
sends for the police, and gets his blue- 
coats ready. At two o'clock they swoop 
to the prey, and before daybreak a hun- 
dred birds are in the talons of the eagle. 
Such another haul of buzzards and night- 
hawks never was made since Gabriel 
caged the Devil and the dark angels.* 

* Since the foregoing was written the Command- 
ant's official report has been published. In refer- 
ence to these arrests, he says, in a dispatch to Gen- 
eral Cook, dated Camp Douglas, Nov. 7, 4 o'clock, 
A. M. : 

" Have made during the night the following ar- 
rests of Rebel officers, escaped prisoners of war, and 
citizens in connection with them : 

"Morgan's Adjutant- General, Colonel G. St. 
Leger Grenfell, in company with J. T. Shanks, [the 
Texan,] an escaped prisoner of war, at Richmond 
House ; Colonel Vincent Marmaduke, brother of 
General Marmaduke; Brigadier -General Charles 
Walsh, of the ' Sons of Liberty ' ; Captain Cantrill, 
of Morgan's command; Charles Traverse (Butter- 
nut). Cantrill and Traverse arrested in Walsh's 
house, in which were found two cart-loads of large 
size revolvers, loaded and capped, two hundred 
stands of muskets loaded, and ammunition. Also 
seized two boxes of guns concealed in a room in the 
city. Also arrested Buck Morris, Treasurer of ' Sons 
of Liberty,' having complete proof of his assisting 
Shanks to escape, and plotting to release prisoners 
at this camp. 

" Most of these Rebel officers were in this city on 
the same errand in August last, their plan being to 
raise an insurrection and release prisoners of war at 
this camp. There are many strangers and suspi- 
cious persons in the city, believed to be guerrillas 
and Rebel soldiers. Their plan was to attack the 
camp on election-night All prisoners anested are 
in camp. Captain Nelson and A. C. Coventry, of the 
police, rendered very efficient service. 

" B. J. SWEET, Col. Com." 

In relation to the general operations I have de- 
tailed, the Commandant in this Report writes as 
follows : 

" Adopting measures which proved effective to de- 
tect the presence and identify the persons of the 
officers and leaders and ascertain their plans, it was 
manifest that they had the means of gathering a 
force considerably larger than the little garrison 
then guarding between eight and nine thousand 
prisoners of war at Camp Douglas, and that, taking 
advantage of the excitement and the large number 
of persons who would ordinarily fill the streets on 
election-night, they intended to make a night at- 
tack on and surprise this camp, release and arm the 
prisoners of war, cut the telegraph-wires, burn the 
railroad-depots, seize the banks and stores contain- 
ing arms and ammunition, take possession of the 
city, and commence a campaign for the release of 
other prisoners of war in the States of Illinois and 
Indiana, thus organizing an army to effect and give 
success to the general uprising so long contemplated 
by the ' Sons of Liberty.' " 



1 20 



The Chicago Conspiracy. 



[July, 



At the Richmond House Grenfell was 
taken in bed with the Texan. They 
were clapped into irons, and driven off 
to the prison together. A fort-night later, 
the Texan, relating these details to a 
stranger, while the Commandant was 
sitting by at his desk writing, said, 

" Words cannot describe my relief 
when those handcuffs were put upon 
us. At times before, the sense of re- 
sponsibility almost overpowered me. 
Then I felt like a man who has just 
come into a fortune. The wonder to 
me now is, how the Colonel could have 
trusted so much to a Rebel." 

" Trusted ! " echoed the Command- 
ant, looking up from his writing. " I 
had faith in you ; I thought you would 
n't betray me ; but I trusted your own 
life in your own hands, that was all. 
Too much was at stake to do more. 
Your every step was shadowed, from 
the moment you left this camp till you 
came back to it in irons. Two detec- 
tives were constantly at your back, 
sworn to take your life, if you wavered 
for half a second." 

" Is that true ? " asked the Texan in a 
musing way, but without moving a mus- 
cle. " I did n't know it, but I felt it in 
the air ! " 

In the room at the Richmond House, 
on the table around which were dis- 
cussed their hellish plans, was found a 
slip of paper, and on it, in pencil, was 
scrawled the following : 

" COLONEL, You must leave this 
house to-night. Go to the Briggs House. 
"J. FIELDING." 

Fielding was the assumed name of 
the Rebel who burrowed with Hines 
out of town, where not even his fellow- 
fiends could find him. Did the old fox 
scent the danger ? Beyond a doubt he 
did. Another day, and the Texan's life 
might have been forfeit. Another day, 
and the camp might have been sprung 
upon a little too suddenly ! So the Com- 



mandant was none too soon ; and who 
that reads this can doubt that through 
it all he was led and guided by the good 
Providence that guards his country ? 

But what said Chicago, when it awoke 
in the morning ? Let one of its own 
organs answer. 

" A shiver of genuine horror passed 
over Chicago yesterday. Thousands of 
citizens, who awoke to the peril hanging 
over their property and their heads in 
the form of a stupendous foray upon the 
city from Camp Douglas, led by Rebel 
officers in disguise and Rebel guerrillas 
without disguise, and concocted by 
home Copperheads, whose houses had 
been converted into Rebel arsenals, were 
appalled as though an earthquake had 

opened at their feet Who can 

picture the horrors to follow the letting 
loose of nine thousand Rebel prisoners 
upon a sleeping city, all unconscious 
of the coming avalanche ? With arms 
and ammunition stored at convenient 
locations, with confederates distributed 
here and there, ready for the signal of 
conflagration, the horrors of the scene 
could scarcely be paralleled in savage 
history. One hour of such a catastrophe 
would destroy the creations of a quar- 
ter of a century, and expose the homes 
of nearly two hundred thousand souls 
to every conceivable form of desecra- 
tion."* 

But the men of Chicago not only 
talked, they acted. They went to the 
polls and voted for the Union ; and so 
told the world what honest Illinois 
thought of treason. 

More arrests were made, more arms 
taken, but the great blow was struck 
and the great work over. Its head 
gone, the Conspiracy was dead, and it 
only remained to lay out its lifeless 
trunk for the burial. Yet, even as it lay 
in death, men shuddered to look on the 
hideous thing out of which had gone so 
many devils. 

* Chicago Tribune, Nov. 8, 1864. 



I865-] 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



121 



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES. 



1. The Hillyars and the Burtons. A Tale 
of Two Families. By HENRY KINGSLEY. 
Boston : Ticknor & Fields. 

2. Christian's Mistake. By the Author of 
"John Halifax." New York: Harper 
& Brothers. 

3. Uncle Silas. A Tale of Bartram-Haugh. 
By J. S. LE FANU. New York: Har- 
per & Brothers. 

WHILE the American popularity of 
Charles Kingsley has been rather declin- 
ing, the credit of his brother Henry has 
been gradually rising. Those who have 
complained of something rather shallow 
and sketchy in some of his former books 
will find far more solid and faithful work in 
this. Indeed, he undertakes rather more 
than he can carry through, and the capacious 
plot, well handled at first, gets into some 
confusion and ends in a rather feeble result. 
To deal with two large families, distribut- 
ing part of each in England and part in 
Australia, to interlink them in the most 
complicated way in all genealogical and to- 
pographical relations, demands a structural 
genius like that of Eugene Sue ; and though 
Mr. Kingsley grapples stoutly with the load, 
he staggers under it. His descriptions of 
scenery are as vivid as his brother's, and he 
exhibits far less arrogance and no theology. 
There are in the book single scenes of great 
power, and there has never, perhaps, been 
a more vivid portraiture of lower-middle- 
class life in England, or of the manner in 
which it has been galvanized into a semi- 
American development in Australia. The 
results of that expatriation upon more culti- 
vated classes, however, appear such as we 
should be sorry to call even demi - semi- 
American. Fancy discovering in Califor- 
nia a young lady in book-muslin, the daugh- 
ter of cultivated parents, who remarks un- 
der 1 excitement, " Well, if this don't bang 
wattle-gum, I wish I may be buried in the 
bush in a sheet of bark ! Why, I feel all 
over centipedes and copper-lizards ! " Still, 
there may be some confusion in the dialects 
used in the book, as there is hardly a per- 
son in it, patrician or plebeian, on either side 
of the equator, who does not address every- 
body else as " old man" or " old girl," when- 
ever the occasion calls for tenderness. It 
may be very expressive, but it implies a 



slight monotony in the language of British 
emotion. 

There is rather a want of central unity to 
the book, but, so far as it has a main thread, 
it seems to be the self-devotion of a sister 
who prefers her brother to her lover. This 
furnishes a pleasant change from the recent 
favorite theme of ladies who prefer their 
lovers to their husbands. 

To this latter class of novels, based on 
what may be called the centrifugal forces 
of wedlock, " Christian's Mistake " perhaps 
belongs. Its clear and practised style is 
refreshing, after the comparative crudeness 
of some other recent treatises on the same 
theme ; the characters are human, not wood- 
en, and the whole treatment healthful and 
noble. 

" Uncle Silas " is the climax of the sensa- 
tional, and goes as far beyond Mrs. Wood 
as she beyond Miss Braddon, or she be- 
yond reason and comfortable daylight read- 
ing. 



The Life and Times of Sir William John- 
son, Bart. By WILLIAM L. STONE. Al- 
bany : J. Munsell. 

WE well remember the interest with 
which, more than twenty years ago, we 
heard that Mr. William L. Stone was pre- 
paring a life of Sir William Johnson. His 
collection of material was very large, com- 
prising several thousands of original let- 
ters, besides a great mass of other papers. 
He had written, however, but a small part 
of his work, when death put a period to 
his labors, and the documents which he 
had gathered with such enthusiastic indus- 
try seemed destined to remain a crude mass 
of undigested material. We think it fortu- 
nate for all students of American history, 
that a son, bearing his name and inheriting 
in the fullest measure his capacity for the 
work, has undertaken its completion, part- 
ly from affection and a sense of duty, and 
partly, it is evident, from a natural apti- 
tude. 

In the whole range of American history 
no other personage appears so remarkable 
in character and so important in influence, 
and at the same time so little known to 
general readers, as Sir William Johnson. 



122 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



[July, 



The reason is, that his great powers were 
exercised on a theatre which, though vast 
and wellnigh boundless, was exterior to 
the familiar field of political action. Yet 
on the single influence of this man depend- 
ed at times the prosperity and growth of 
all the British American colonies. Could 
France have won his influence in her be- 
half, England could not have broken that 
rival power in America without an exhaust- 
ing expenditure of men and treasure, and 
without leaders of a different stamp from 
the blockheads with whom she long con- 
tinued to paralyze her Cisatlantic armies. 
At the darkest crisis of the last French 
War, the influence of Johnson alone saved 
the English colonies from the miseries which 
would have ensued from the enmity of the 
powerful confederacy of the Six Nations ; 
and for many years after, in his capacity of 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, he con- 
tinued to exercise an unparalleled power 
over the tribes of the interior, soothing 
their jealousies, composing their quarrels, 
and protecting them with equal justice, be- 
nevolence, and ability from the fraud and 
outrage of encroaching whites. 

Johnson settled on the Mohawk in his 
youth, and immediately fell into relations 
with his savage neighbors. He was accus- 
tomed to join their sports and assume their 
dress ; and it is an evidence of the native 
force and dignity of his character, that, in 
thus taking a course which commonly pro- 
voked their contempt, he gained their affec- 
tion, without diminishing their respect and 
admiration. He gained a military reputation 
not unqualified by the Battle of Lake 
George, in 1755, where he commanded the 
British force ; and he won brighter laurels 
by the capture of Fort Niagara in 1 759. His 
true fame rests, however, on his civic achieve- 
ments, on the tact, energy, and judgment, 
the humanity and breadth of views, with 
which he managed the important interest 
placed in his hands. It would be hard 
to say whether the Indians or the Colonists 
profited most by his influence ; for while 
with a fearless adroitness he overthrew the 
schemes of hungry speculators, he avert- 
ed from peaceful settlers many a peril of 
whose existence, perhaps, they were un- 
aware. He gave peace to the borders, and 
sweetened, as far as lay in the power of 
man, that bitter cup which had fallen to 
the lot of the wretched races of the for- 
est. 

Mr. Stone's book covers a period extend- 
ing from a few years before the French 



War of 1745 to the death of Johnson in 
1774, In accordance with its title, it is 
largely occupied with the " times " as well 
as with the " life " of its subject. In fact, it 
is a history of the period, relating with con- 
siderable detail contemporary events with 
which Johnson was connected only indirect- 
ly. This detracts from, its character as a 
work of purely original research, to which, 
as far as regards the personal history of its 
subject, it is preeminently entitled. 

Johrfson's vast correspondence relates 
chiefly to matters of public interest, and 
supplies comparatively few of those details 
of private life which give liveliness to pic- 
tures of scenes and character. The book, 
in respect to execution, is perhaps neces- 
sarily unequal. The first seven chapters 
were written by the father of Mr. Stone, 
who endeavored to continue the work on 
its original plan. The attempt, always 
difficult, to carry out li design conceived in 
the mind of another, seems at the outset to 
have somewhat hampered the author ; but 
as he proceeds with his work, his excellent 
qualification for it becomes more and more 
apparent. He is thorough and faithful in the 
use of his great store of material, and clear, 
vigorous, and often picturesque in his nar- 
rative. The period with which he deals 
is one of the most interesting and most im- 
portant in American history, andj the treat- 
ment is worthy of the theme. The hack- 
neyed phrase, so often meaningless, is in 
the case of this book emphatically true, 
that no library of American history can be 
said to be complete without it. 



1. The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living. 
By JEREMY TAYLOR, D. D. Boston : 
Little, Brown & Co. 

2. The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying. 
By JEREMY TAYLOR, D. D. Boston : 
Little, Brown & Co. 

THE beautiful meditations of Jeremy Tay- 
lor, written in the intervals of the great 
English civil war, seem appropriate enough 
amidst these closing days of our own con- 
test. While the English language remains, 
his delicious sentences will find readers and 
lovers ; and the endless variety of choice 
learning with which his pages are gemmed 
would make them always delightful, were 
his own part valueless. 

This copiousness of allusion makes no 
small work for his American editor, since 
even the latest English editions leave much 



1865.] 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



123 



to be supplied. It is an enormous under- 
taking to verify and complete all these mani- 
fold citations, and yet the present editor has 
been content with nothing less. Editors so 
conscientious are not easily to be found ; and 
it is to the honor of Little, Brown & Com- 
pany that they habitually secure such ser- 
vices, and thus make their reprints almost 
as creditable to our literature as if they were 
original works. 



History of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
the United States of America. By ABEL 
STEVENS, LL. D., Author of " The His- 
tory of the Religious Movement of the 
Eighteenth Century called Methodism," 
etc. Volumes I. and II. New York : 
Carleton & Porter. 

THE history of a religious denomination 
is in itself a matter of no small importance. 
Taken in connection with other ecclesiasti- 
cal bodies as a portion of the data in esti- 
mating the national development, it is still 
more valuable. In the churches inhere al- 
most exclusively the sources of influence 
available for the moral culture of the peo- 
ple. The pulpit, the pastorate, and the va- 
rious other ecclesiastical appliances are po- 
tent in effects which cannot be produced by 
other causes. The higher educational in- 
stitutions are under the direction of the re- 
ligious bodies ; while our common schools, 
though properly excluding sectarian influ- 
ence, are yet indirectly and not improperly 
affected by the religious character of the 
community. Not only does the man who 
undertakes to write history, while ignoring 
the religious element, give us an incompe- 
tent and false representation, but no one 
can become a respectable student of histo- 
ry who does not carefully consider the re- 
ligious development of society as proceeding 
under the guidance of the several denomina- 
tional bodies. 

Up to about the period of the Revolution 
the principal religious establishments in this 
country were the Puritans, occupying prac- 
tically the whole field in New England, the 
Presbyterians preponderating in the Mid- 
dle Colonies, and the Episcopalians in the 
South. There were other elements, as the 
Quakers and the Baptists. The former, 
though not without a considerable influence 
in shaping the national character, were less 
marked in their effect. The latter, though 
already an important body and destined to 
become still more so, and though in fervor 



and aggressiveness subsequently approxi- 
mating the Methodists, were as yet so little 
distinct from the Puritans that we may re- 
gard them as substantially one with the lat- 
ter. 

Presbyterianism and Episcopalianism 
were then, as they have been ever since, 
conservative in their character and tenden- 
cies. Puritanism was radical in its views 
and sentiments, yet lacking that diffusive 
propagandist power inhering in convention- 
al bodies. Methodism, coming in, supplied 
this lack, and at the same time appealed to 
vast masses which had not before been 
reached by religious influences. An argu- 
ment might be found here, were any needed, 
in support of the -voluntary system of relig- 
ious establishments, as more perfectly ad- 
apting themselves to the various wants and 
peculiarities of the different classes of peo- 
ple. Suggestions also arise concerning the 
equilibrium so necessary in a free govern- 
ment, for the proper settlement of moral, 
social, and political questions, an equilib- 
rium between the conservative and pro- 
gressive tendencies, which is far more like- 
ly to be attained when left free from any 
direction by the state. 

The present year completes a full centu- 
ry since the first Methodist societies were 
formed in this country. The name of a 
church was not assumed till some years 
later. It had been about thirty years since 
the commencement of the remarkable re- 
ligious movement in England, under the 
Wesleys and Whitefield. It was introduced 
here by some Irish immigrants of German 
ancestry. Missionaries were very soon sent 
over from England, and in no long time na- 
tive preachers were raised up. The time 
was propitious and the field promising for 
the success of the simple, cheap, and every 
way available appliances of the new relig- 
ious agency. The rapidly increasing and 
widely scattering population could not be 
adequately supplied by any of the ecclesias- 
tical bodies which operated only through 
settled pastorates. These new propagan- 
dists, confined to no locality, but going ev- 
erywhere with their off -hand discourse, 
their eagerness " to preach the word " to 
congregations of any size, of any character, 
and in any place, with their rude, but vigor- 
ous style of oratory, and direct, outspoken 
address, attracted and affected whole com- 
munities to an extraordinary degree. It is 
true, they were not always treated with much 
deference, and sometimes they were the ob- 
jects of abuse and violence, in which their 



124 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



[July, 



lives were imperilled. But still they pursued 
their way through the wilderness, seeking 
the lost sheep. An anecdote illustrates the 
persistency of this class of preachers, and 
also the grim humor with which, in spite of 
themselves, they sometimes invested their 
rather startling announcements. In those 
early days there was one Richmond Nol- 
ley, a preacher in the new Southern coun- 
try. He was a man of great -zeal, energy, 
and courage, and omitted no opportunity of 
doing good to persons of any color or condi- 
tion in whatever obscure corner he could 
find them. On one occasion, while travel- 
ling, he came upon a fresh wagon-track, 
and following it, he discovered an emigrant 
family, who had just reached the spot where 
they intended to make their home. The 
man, who was putting out his team, saw at 
once by the bearing and costume of the 
stranger what his calling was, and exclaim- 
ed,- 

" What ! another Methodist preacher ! I 
quit Virginia to get out of the way of them, 
and went to a new settlement in Geor- 
gia, where I thought I should be quite be- 
yond their reach ; but they got my wife and 
daughter into the church. Then, in this 
late purchase, Choctaw Corner, I found a 
piece of good land, and was sure I should 
have some peace of the preachers ; but here 
is one before my wagon is unloaded." 

" My friend," said Nolley, " if you go to 
heaven, you '11 find Methodist preachers 
there ; and if to hell, I 'm afraid you '11 find 
some there ; and you see how it is in this 
world. So you had better make terms with 
us and be at peace." 

Dr. Stevens, who has acquired some ce- 
lebrity by his excellent history of the Wes- 
leyan movement in England, has displayed 
in the present volume the same marked 
abilities which made his previous work so 
popular. There is not only evidence of la- 
borious and conscientious diligence in gath- 
ering up, sometimes from almost inaccessi- 
ble sources, the requisite materials, but the 
skill displayed in their arrangement and 
treatment, so as to make the narrative an 
absorbingly attractive one, is eminently 
praiseworthy. As a history, the work is 
not only creditable in a denominational and 
ecclesiastical point of view, but it is a val- 
uable contribution to our national litera- 
ture. 

Much of this success doubtless may be 
attributable to the nature of the subject ; for 
it is not easy to conceive of any movement, 
and especially a religious one, in which the 



melodramatic, mingled here and there with 
both the tragic and comic, forms so large a 
natural element. There was a new coun- 
try, a rude society, daring adventures, great 
perils, marvellous escapes, terrible hard- 
ships, the stern, harsh realities of pioneer 
life, grand and unexpected successes, all 
which, seen from the distance of the present, 
have a romantic coloring, and produce an 
exhilarating effect. Any ordinary ability 
would have made a readable story out of 
such materials ; but to make a history wor- 
thy of the name required the hand of a mas- 
ter. 

There is something, perhaps, rather fan- 
ciful in the coincidence or parallel which 
the author would make out between the en- 
terprise of John Wesley and that of James 
Watt. Yet it is not devoid of interest 
While the one, toiling in poverty and ob- 
scurity, was preparing an invention which 
should incalculably multiply industrial pro- 
ductiveness and give a mightier impulse to 
modern civilization than any other material 
element, the other, incurring the opprobrium 
of his ecclesiastical order, and regarded as 
a reprehensible agitator and fanatic, was in- 
augurating a movement which should prove 
one of the most extraordinary and far-reach- 
ing of any in modern times ; and both these 
agencies the one employing a mighty ma- 
terial force in the interest of society, the 
other setting in operation vast moral ener- 
gies for the uplifting of the masses were 
to have their grandest results in the New 
World. 

Dr. Stevens is especially happy in his 
sketches of character ; only, possibly, in in- 
dulging too much his inclination for this 
sort of writing, he repeats himself, and in 
the recurrence of pet phrases wearies the 
reader. Yet some of these are very good. 
The description of Francis Asburey, the 
" Pioneer Bishop," is one not often excelled. 
He was one of the early missionaries sent 
over by Wesley, and became the great lead- 
er in the work and the principal organizer of 
the ecclesiastical machinery. He was the 
first bishop ordained in the country, and 
a very unique and remarkable bishop he 
was. There was for him no splendid pal- 
ace, no magnificent cathedral, no princely 
income. His salary was sixty-four dollars 
a year, his diocese a whole continent, to 
visit which he must find his way without 
roads, through almost illimitable woods, 
over nearly inaccessible mountains, floun- 
dering through swamps, wading or swim- 
ming vast rivers, scorched by hot suns, bit- 



i86s.] 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



125 



ten by winter frosts, drenched with pitiless 
rains, smothered by driving snows, and of- 
ten in divers dangers of death. His travel- 
ling equipage was not a chariot and four, 
but saddlebags and one. Often sick and 
suffering, he seldom allowed himself to be 
detained from his appointments. He went 
wherever he sent his preachers, and shared 
with them all the toils and privations inci- 
dent to the work. He annually made the 
tour of the States, travelling never less than 
five thousand, and often more than six thou- 
sand, miles a year. He usually preached 
once every day, and three times on Sunday. 
A man, of course, of little literary culture, 
yet he possessed great good sense, a genial 
spirit, and large ability as an organizer. To 
him more than other men the denomination 
owes its early efficiency and extraordinary 
success. 

The two volumes before us embrace a 
period of scarcely twenty-five years, the 
period, as the author terms it, of the " Plant- 
ing and Training " of the church. Several 
other volumes will be required to complete 
the history. But the future volumes can 
hardly be of so much general interest as 
these already published. 



tion-boat made the journey to Boothia and 
King William's Land impossible ; but Mr. 
Hall's prolonged existence during nearly 
three yea/s among the " Innuits " deter- 
mined Us immediate departure again for 
those regions as soon as he could return 
and be properly fitted out for a second trip 
from the " States." 

In this naive history we learn to look at 
life from the Esquimaux point of view. Mr. 
Hall's sympathetic nature fitted him for this 
difficult task ; and having accomplished it 
well, he is enabled, by his vivid descrip- 
tions, to invite the reader to see what he 
saw, and to sit by the "Innuit" fireside. 
We must confess, however, it is looking at 
the world from a very blubber-y point of 
view ; but since it is in the cause of science 
and humanity, we rise from the reading, 
which is extremely interesting, with a high 
respect for Mr. Hall and renewed faith in 
the result of his undertaking. 

In so short a space there is no room for 
extracts, yet without them we can give little 
idea of the simple, picturesque character of 
the narrative. Mr. Hall took the Innuits by 
the hand as brothers, not as savages, and 
the result is large because of his wisdom. 



Arctic Researches and Life among the Esqui- 
maux ; being the Narrative of an Expedi- 
tion in Search of Sir John Franklin in the 
Years 1860, 1861, and 1862. By CHARLES 
FRANCIS HALL. With Maps and One 
Hundred Illustrations. New York : Har- 
per and Brothers. 

THIS book, with the Preface written on 
board the bark Monticello, June 30, 1864, 
when the writer was again bound for the 
Arctic regions, is in some respects the most 
remarkable account yet rendered to us of 
life and experiences near the North Pole. 
The purpose of the undertaking was to find 
something yet more satisfactory with regard 
to the fate of the hundred and five men who 
accompanied Sir John Franklin. Mr. Hall 
was convinced that life among the Esqui- 
maux was possible, and that in no other way 
could trustworthy information be obtained 
from them. His indomitable spirit in pur- 
suing this object is beyond praise. He could 
not be daunted. The result of this three- 
years' sojourn was the discovery of relics of 
the Frobisher expedition, by which the pos- 
sibility of discovering news, at least, of the 
men of Franklin's expedition was made 
clear. The unfortunate loss of his expedi- 



1. La Fiera. Commedia in Cinque Atti. 
Di ALBERTO NOTA. Con Note Inglesi. 
Boston : De Vries, Ibarra e Compagnia. 

2. La Rosa deW Alpi. Novella di FRAN- 
CESCO DALL' ONGARO. Con Note In- 
glesi. Boston : De Vries, Ibarra e Com- 
pagnia. 

THE author of an agreeable article in the 
" North American Review," entitled " Re- 
cent Italian Comedy," says that the plays 
of Alberto Nota are no longer acted or re- 
printed. The American press straightway 
refutes him by a neat edition of the comedy 
of " The Fair," with notes for English read- 
ers. It is an entertaining little production, 
in spite of the above critic, having rather ef- 
fective incidents and situations, and easy, if 
not brilliant, dialogue. The plot may be de- 
scribed as being French, and the moral as 
English ; that is, the jealous wife outwits 
the faithless husband, instead of the oppo- 
site result. 

The "Collection De Vries" also intro- 
duces to us the more familiar and contem- 
porary name of Dall' Ongaro, to whom the 
critics attribute more dramatic genius than 
is conceded to any other living poet of Italy. 
The story of "La Rosa dell' Alpi " is sim- 



126 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



[July, 



ply and beautifully written, and paints the 
innocent career of a poor servant - maid- 
en with something of the grace of George 
Sand. 

It will be a good thing for students to 
read these specimens of easy colloquial Ital- 
ian ; so that they need not, when they visit 
the beloved land, do their shopping exclu- 
sively in Dantean phrases, as Mrs. Siddons 
shopped in Shakspeare. 



A Treatise on Ordnance and Armor, with 
an Appendix relating to Gun Cotton, 
Hooped Guns, etc. By ALEXANDER L. 
HOLLEY, B. P. New York : Van Nos- 
trand. 

KING JAMES I. is reported to have said 
of iron armor, that it was an excellent thing : 
one could get no harm in it, nor do any. 
Yet armor has had but a brief respite from 
service ; banished temporarily from human 
backs, it is being restored for more whole- 
sale service : it is extended over ships and 
fortifications, and so thickened as to resist 
shot and shell. The very title of this book 
marks the progress in the history of war. 
Hereafter ordnance and armor are two cor- 
relatives, never to be considered apart. The 
progress in oifensive and defensive improve- 
ments keeps the balance of fighting human- 
ity pretty nearly even thus far; as in the 
development of a young lobster the claws 
and cuirass grow simultaneously. 

Will ships or guns prove the stronger at 
last ? No one can foresee. A single fifteen- 
inch ball from the Monitor Weehawken dis- 
abled the iron-clad Atlanta at three hundred 
yards, where eleven-inch balls had fallen 
powerless from the armor. A similar mis- 
sile shattered the sides of the Tennessee, 
penetrating five inches of iron and two feet 
of oak, against which all other shot had fail- 
ed. What can resist such balls ? A mere 
pile of sand can resist them, if there are 
spades enough to carve it into a fort ; but 
as sand cannot be carved into a ship, we 
must resort to new devices there. The 
larger the ship, the greater the danger ; so 
suppose we try making it smaller. Let us 
concentrate our ordnance and our armor : 
put thicker plating on our Monitor of eight 
hundred tons than the Warrior of six thou- 
sand can support, and place near the cen- 
tre of motion of the little vessel two heav- 
ier guns than the weighty one can carry in 
broadside out upon her capacious ribs. This 
game of giants is growing formidable ; and 



with such a concentration of skill and pow- 
er, the fate of nations may be determined 
by a single blow. 

Other novel questions come up, as we car- 
ry our researches farther. Try your strength 
by throwing a small cannon - ball at a thin 
board-partition ; you will find that the missile 
will split or crush the board, but not pene- 
trate it. Fire a bullet at the same target, 
and it will penetrate, but neither crush nor 
split. Balance a plank on its edge, so that a 
pistol-ball thrown from the hand will knock 
it down ; you may yet riddle it through and 
through by the same balls from a revolver, 
and leave it standing. Bring this common- 
place fact to bear upon the question, how 
to destroy an iron-clad ; shall we destroy 
it by punching holes through it, or by split- 
ting and crushing ? It is a difficult problem, 
and many pages of Mr. Holley's book are 
devoted to the discussion of the light-shot 
and the heavy-shot systems. 

For these problems, and such as these, 
we need a new military literature, embody- 
ing the vast results which a few years of for- 
eign experiment and home experience have 
furnished. We need a scientific treatise on 
the whole subject of ordnance, regarding, 
for instance, the strains of different charges 
and projectiles in large and small bores, 
and the work done by projectiles and by 
cannon-metals having different properties, 
under statical and sudden strains. This 
want Mr. Holley's book does not undertake 
to fill, being in its structure somewhat dif- 
fuse, and, as it were, of unequal expansion : 
the object being rather to furnish the maxi- 
mum of material for a systematic treatise, 
than to write the treatise itself. 

It has therefore the inestimable merits, 
and also some of the defects, of a pioneer 
compilation. On many subordinate points, 
the details are multiplied almost to weari- 
ness, while on some points more important 
there are hardly any details at all. But this 
is simply because the author could obtain 
the one class of facts and not the other. It 
is a faithful registration, and the only one, 
of a vast multitude of experiments and ob- 
servations, which were absolutely inacces- 
sible in any other form. It is said to cause 
much wonder in England how its English 
facts and statistics were obtained at all ; and 
it is certain that Mr. Holley must have used 
his opportunities of personal observation in 
a manner worthy of the curiosity attributed 
to his race. We have in this book the sub- 
stantial results of the vast and costly Eng- 
lish experiments ; while the more moment- 



i86s.] 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



127 



ous results of our own practice, so familiar 
to us, seem still unfamiliar across the water. 
This gives our nation a great advantage, and 
renders it impossible to produce, at present, 
in Europe, a work so encyclopaedic as this. 
It is not merely the best book, but the only 
book, on the theme it treats : there is no 
other account of the structure and results 
of modern standard ordnance. That it is 
the work of a civil engineer, and not of a 
military or naval man, gives it an additional 
interest ; and the author may have owed 
to his position some foreign opportunities 
which would have been refused to an officer. 
The book is printed in the usual superb 
style of Van Nostrand, and is in all respects 
an honor to the literature of the country. 



Historical View of the American Revolu- 
tion. By GEORGE WASHINGTON GREENE. 
Boston : Ticknor & Fields. 

EITHER of the two objects which Mr. 
Greene aimed to accomplish in preparing 
the materials of this volume demanded on 
his part the possession of large historical 
knowledge, and the best abilities for its ju- 
dicious use. The contents of the volume 
were made to do service, first, as a series 
qf twelve lectures before the Lowell Insti- 
tute, addressed to a large and mixed audi- 
ence, possessing generally a high average 
of intelligence, and exhibiting, by their vol- 
untary presence, an interest on which a lec- 
turer may largely rely. The second object 
of the author, in the present publication of 
his Lectures, was to contribute to the best 
form of our popular literature a volume 
which may be regarded either as introduc- 
tory to, or as a substitute for, an extended 
course of reading on its subject-matter, ac- 
cording to the leisure and capacity of those 
who may possess themselves of it. We 
must congratulate alike the lecturer and the 
author for very marked success in the adap- 
tation of his materials and in the treatment 
of his subject so as to answer equally well 
the wants of good listeners and of sympa- 
thetic readers. 

The great perplexity of a lecturer, who has 
given him an hour on twelve evenings, two 
in a week, for dealing before a mixed au- 
dience' with such a subject as the American 
War of Independence, must be in deciding 
for himself, without consultation with his 
hearers, how much previous knowledge he 
may take for granted in them. lie cannot 
name his authorities, much less quote them 



to any great extent. On some vexed points 
the simple fact that sharp and dividing is- 
sues of controverted opinions have been 
agitated about them must virtually com- 
pe4 him almost to pass them wholly by, see- 
ing that he cannot adequately discuss them, 
and that any brief and positive utterance 
upon them would seem to be lacking in ju- 
dicial fairness. The exigencies and tempta- 
tions of a lecture-room are also sadly pro- 
vocative of that rhetorical bombast and ex- 
aggeration which, having been so lavishly 
and offensively indulged on our Fourth of 
July and other commemorative occasions in 
the supposed interests of popular patriot- 
ism, have brought our whole national lit- 
erature under a reproach hardly deserved. 
Mr. Greene, from his long residence abroad, 
has heard and known too much of this re- 
proach to have risked getting even under the 
shadow of it. 

We believe it is a well-established fact, 
that both in oral and in literary dealings with 
historical subjects, the more thorough and 
comprehensive the knowledge possessed by 
any one who proposes to instruct others, the 
more concisely as well as the more correct- 
ly will he present his matter. He knows 
how to adjust the proportions of interest in 
his main and incidental themes. By this test 
we should judge Mr. Greene to be most 
faithfully conversant with his subject, and 
to have had his knowledge stored up in 
his mind, uncommunicated, long enough to 
have well digested and assimilated it The 
admirable division of his theme for treat- 
ment under twelve distinct, though closely 
related topics, shows something better than 
ingenuity, or a skilful arrangement of a bill 
of fare for twelve entertainments. These 
topics are, The Causes of the Revolution ; 
Its Phases ; The Congress ; Congress and 
the State Governments ; Finances of the 
Revolution ; Its Diplomacy ; Its Army ; Its 
Campaigns ; The Foreign Element of the 
Revolution ; Its Martyrs ; Its Literature, in 
Prose ; and in Poetry. An Appendix gives 
us a Chronological Outline of Historical 
Events ; Statistical Tables ; and an Address 
of Officers of the Southern Army to General 
Greene. 

For completeness' sake, we could have 
wished that the author, if not the lecturer, 
might have indulged himself, and pleased 
and instructed his readers, by presenting un- 
der one more topic, or under a miscellaneous 
category, the resources of the American Col- 
onies at the date of the Revolution, what they 
had besides land and water ; the characteris- 



128 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



[July. 



tics of the diverse elements of the population; 
the manufacturing interests, which had be- 
gun to be ingeniously and effectively pursued 
here, notwithstanding the repressive hostil- 
ity of England to their introduction ; and 
the distinctive qualities of our farmers, sea- 
men, professional men, and village politi- 
cians. But it is ungracious to ask for more 
than there is in this compact and most ad- 
mirable volume. It is written with a se- 
verely good taste, in a spirit of candor and 
generosity, with stern fidelity to truth in re- 
lating things honorable and humiliating ; and 
it will surely excite to wide and diligent read- 
ing those who through its pages make their 
first acquaintance with its subject. There 
are in it many finely drawn and artistic por- 
traits of men of mark, especially of Frank- 
lin, Lafayette, Steuben, James Otis, and Jo- 
siah Quincy. In no single volume can for- 
eign readers find what is here told so fully, 
so simply, and so welL 



Lectures on the Science of Language. By 
MAX MULLER, M. A. Second Series. 
New York : Charles Scribner. 

VOLTAIRE defined Etymology as a science 
where vowels signify nothing and conso- 
nants very little. This is so far true that 
even the wisest books on Language affect 
one, after all, like a series of brilliant puns. 
More important merits than this must, no 
doubt, be attributed to Max Miiller; but, 
after all, so wayward is he and so whimsi- 
cal, such a lover of paradox and of digres- 
sion, that he must perpetually exasperate 
that sedate race of men whom Philology is 
supposed to have peculiarly chosen for its 
own. In this second series of Lectures, espe- 
cially, " we have been at a great feast of lan- 
guages, and have stolen the scraps." 

Beginning the volume mildly with a de- 
mure introduction, we suddenly are over 
head and ears in "dialectic regeneration," 
which seems like theology, only that it in- 
troduces us to a mild baby-talk in that won- 
derful language, the Annamitic, where the 
sentence " ba ba ba ba " means, " Three la- 
dies gave a box on the ear to the favorite of 
the prince." Then comes Bishop Wilkins's 
" universal language," then a discussion of 
Locke, then the theory of harmonics, and 
then many pages of anatomical plates. Then 
phonetic changes ; followed by a chapter on 
"Grimm's Law," which would give work 
enough for a lifetime. We next plunge into 



botany, and have a whole chapter on the 
"words for fir, oak, and beech," which shows 
that the author, like our own Mr. Marsh, 
has studied the literal roots as well as the 
symbolic. Later, we come to astronomy, 
whence one of our author's favorite theories 
conducts us into the Greek mythology, to 
which two whole lectures are given. Then 
comes another chapter, tracing the " myths 
of the dawn " still farther back toward the 
dim origin of the Aryan race ; and the book 
closes with a chapter on Modern Mythology, 
of which some twenty pages are given to an 
exhaustive treatise, anatomical and histori- 
cal, on the Barnacle Goose. This brings us 
round handsomely to Locke and Sir Wil- 
liam Hamilton once more, and there leaves 
us. 

What change has come over the accom- 
plished and eloquent man who was wisely 
transplanted to England to teach us Anglo- 
Saxons what scholarship meant, and who 
made his first series of Lectures a model of 
clever and effective statement ? He con- 
gratulates himself, in the introduction to 
this volume, on having left out all that was 
merely elementary. This is true in respect 
to philology, perhaps, but he has certain- 
ly contrived to introduce the elements of a 
great many other sciences. No matter ; he 
stated in the first volume all the principal 
points with which his reputation is identi- 
fied ; and it is very entertaining, though 
somewhat unexpected, to find the new one 
filled with all manner of spicy prolusions 
mingled with a few delusions from his 
commonplace book. Certainly the learning 
of these Lectures is unequalled, even by his 
former exhibitions in that line ; and our Cis- 
atlantic standard of attainment seems rath- 
er scanty beside this vast affluence. 

There is also a certain wayward, heroic, 
Ruskin-like self-contradiction about Miiller, 
which one learns rather to enjoy. He claims 
that " all phonetic corruption proceeds from 
degeneracy," and yet has presently to shield 
himself behind the paradoxical proverb, that 
" lazy people take the most trouble," and so 
the corrupted vocables are often harder to 
speak. He says repeatedly that "sound 
etymology has nothing to do with sound " ; 
yet he approves phonography, holding that 
spelling signifies even less than sound, 
which is contrary to the usual opinion of 
philologists. Nevertheless his book is " full 
of the seeds of things " ; no one else could 
have written it, and no one can afford not 
to read it. 



THE 



ATLANTIC MONTHLY. 

A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics. 



VOL. XVI. AUGUST, 1865. NO. XCIV. 



AMONG THE HONEY-MAKERS. 



* I ^HE luxury of all summer's sweet 
-L sensation is to be found when one 
lies at length in the warm, fragrant grass, 
soaked with sunshine, aware of regions 
of blossoming clover and of a high 
heaven filled with the hum of innu- 
merous bees. 

It is that happy hum which seems 
to the closed eyes as if the silent sun- 
beams themselves had found a voice and 
were brimming the bending blue with 
music as they went about their busy 
chemistry that gives the chief charm 
to the moment ; for it tunes the mind to 
its own key, the murmuring expression 
of all pleasant things, the chord of sun- 
shine and perfume and flowers. 

And it is, indeed, the sound of a 
process scarcely less subtile than the 
sunbeams' own, of that alchemy by 
which the limpid drop of sweet insi- 
pidity at the root of any petal is trans- 
formed to the pungent flavor and viscid 
drip of honey. A beautiful woman, 
weary of her frivolities, once half in 
jest envied the fate of lo, dwelling all 
day in the sun, all night in the starshine 
and dew, and fed on pasturage of vio- 
lets ; but there is the morning beam, 
the evening ray, the breeze, the dew, 
the spirit of the violet and of the cow- 



slip, all gathered like a distillation and 
sealed into the combs, and this is the 
tune to which it is harvested. Beyond 
doubt there is no such eminent sound 
of gladness in all the world. The 
cricket seems to speak of more spiritual 
things than those of this sphere. As 
to bird-song, poets differ. 

" O nightingale, what doth she ail, 

And is she sad or jolly ? 
Sure ne'er on earth was sound of mirth 
So like to melancholy," 

exclaims one in compromise with all 
the others. Every echo is full of a 
lonesome sadness. The musical baying 
of a distant dog by night accentuates 
the depth and darkness and stillness ; 
the crowing of cocks from farm to farm, 
in their cordon of sentinelship against 
the invasion of the dawn, tells the hear- 
er how all too well the world is getting 
on without him ; the lowing of kine 
through the clear noon air comes robbed 
of roughness, in its deep, mellow so- 
nority, like the oboe and bassoon, full of 
a penetrating pathos. Let Nature but 
interpose a sheet of water or a bit of 
wood, and the merriest joy-bells that 
ever rang are infused with that melan- 
choly which is the overplus of rapture. 
But there is no distance to lend that 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office 

of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 
VOL. XVL NO. 94. 9 



I 3 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



[August, 



enchantment to the buzzing of a bee : 
it is close about us, a universal sibila- 
tion ; the air is made of it ; it sings of 
work, that joy and privilege, of a home, 
of plenty, of a world whose color and 
odor make one giddy with good cheer ; 
it may have many varying elements, but 
its constant is content. 

" When the south wind, in May days, 
With a net of shining haze, 
Silvers the horizon wall, 
And, with softness touching all, 
Tints the human countenance 
With a color of romance, 
And, infusing subtile heats, 
Turns the sod to violets, 
Thou, in sunny solitudes, 
Rover of the underwoods, 
The green silence dost displace 
With thy mellow breezy bass." 

And although this burly rover is not 
our little bee of the hive, but his saucy, 
sonsy country-cousin, the song of the 
one is scarcely sweeter than that of 
the other, while they blend into rarest 
unison. And well may both be sweet, 
it is such a pleasant thing to live ; there 
is the hive to furnish, there is the dear 
nest underground ; they forget yester- 
day's rain, to-morrow's frost is but a 
dim phantasm, the sun is so warm to- 
day on their little brown backs, and here 
is such store of honey. It is true, the 
humble-bee is much the most dazzling, 
he has the prestige of size, moreover ; 
but the other may find some favor in 
his new bronze and gold armor and 
his coarse velvet mantle, there are 
few creatures that can afford to labor in 
half such array as that, but when the 
work is so nice one's dress must cor- 
respond : it would never do to rumple 
round among the rose-leaves, black as 
a beetle, and expect not only to be 
heaped with delicates, but to be intrust- 
ed with love-tokens. One cannot be so 
splendid as the moths and sphinxes, 
who have nothing to do all summer but 
to lay eggs among the petals that their 
offspring may devour them ; no, there 
is work to be done. But though one 
toils, one has a dignity to maintain ; 
one remembers it readily when he has 
been made the insignia of royalty, when 
kings have worn his effigy, when popes 
have put him in their coats-of-arms ; one 



cannot forget that he has himself been 
called the Winged Pontiff of the Flow- 
ers. See him now, as he hovers over 
the clover, not the red kind, for him 
each floret of that is deep as those shafts 
of the hashish-eater's dream, where the 
broken tubes of the honeysuckle be- 
ing planted in the sand, their mouths 
level with the floor of the desert, they 
became wells, and the Arab women 
dropped their buckets therein and drew 
them up dripping with honey, it is 
the small white clover on which he 
alights, whose sweets are within reach 
of his little proboscis ; or, lost in that 
great blue-bell, he swings it with his 
motion and his melody ; or he burrows 
deep in the heart of a rose, never roll- 
ing there, as it has erroneously been 
said, but, collecting the pollen with his 
pincers, swims over the flower while 
brushing it into the baskets of his hin- 
der legs, and then lights again for a fresh 
fare, till, laden and regaled, he loudly is- 
sues forth, dusty with treasure ; and les 
rois fainians t the Merovingian kings, 
who powdered their heads and their 
beards with gold, were no finer fellows 
than he. But a few months' wear and tear 
will suffice to tarnish him ; by-and-by 
the little body will be battered and rusty, 
the wings will be ragged and worn ; one 
day as he goes home heavily burdened, 
if no sailing blue-winged swallow have 
skimmed him up long ago, the flagging 
flight will fail, a breeze will be too much 
for him, a rain-drop will dash him down, 
he will fall, and some garden-toad, the 
focal length of whose vision is exact- 
ly the distance to which he can dart 
his tongue, will see a tired bee blun- 
dering across his sky, and will make 
a morsel of him, honey-bag, pollen, and 
all. Yet that is in the future, far out- 
side the focal length of any bee's vision, 
that fortunate vision which finds crea- 
tion so fair and himself the centre of 
it, each rose made for him to rifle, and 
welcome everywhere. " The docile flow- 
er inclines and lends itself to the un- 
quiet movements of the insect. The 
sanctuary that she had shut from the 
winds, from the sight, she opens to her 
dear bee, who, all impregnated with her 



I865-] 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



sweetness, goes carrying off her mes- 
sages. The delicious precautions that 
Nature has taken to veil her mysteries 
from the profane do not for a single 
moment arrest this venturesome ex- 
plorer, who makes himself one of the 
household, and is never afraid of being 
the thisd. This flower, for instance, is 
protected by two petals which join each 
other in a dome above ; it is thus that 
the flag-flower shelters her delicate little 
lovers from the rain. Another, such as 
the pea, coifs itself in a kind of casque, 
whose visor must be raised. The bee 
establishes himself at the bottom of 
these retreats fit for fairies, laid with 
softest carpets, under fantastical pavil- 
ions, with walls of topaz and ceilings of 
sapphire. But poor comparisons bor- 
rowed from dead stones ! These things 
live and they feel, they desire and they 
await. And if the joyous conqueror of 
their little hidden kingdom, if the im- 
perious violator of their innocent bar- 
riers, mingles and confounds everything 
there, they give him thanks, heap him 
with their perfumes, and load him with 
their honey," says M. Michelet, in a 
brochure .upon the insect, which, how- 
ever uncertain its statements, would be 
perfectly charming in tone and spirit 
but for the inevitable sentimentalisms. 
It is a brave companionship to which 
our tiny adventurer comes, likewise, 
a world of opening blossoms, a crowd 
of shining intimates. There is the 
Chrysopa, a bright-green thing, with fil- 
my transparent wings wrought like the 
rarest point-lace, and with eyes redder 
than rubies are ; there is the Rose-Cha- 
fer, the little Cetonia of the white rose, 
with an emerald shield upon its back, 
and carrying underneath a breastplate of 
carbuncle; there are the butterflies, the 
silver-washed Fritillaries of June, the 
Painted Lady, found in every clime, and 
sometimes out at sea, the Admiral of 
the White, peerless in his lofty flight, 
the Vanessa Atalanta of August, the 
Purple Emperor of the Woods, the 
Peacock-tailed butterfly of the autumn ; 
and there are the beautiful, savage drag- 
on-flies, with their gauzy wings of silvery 
green and blue, all flying flakes of liv- 



ing splendor, which seem to be only 
flowers endowed with wings. And in 
truth the analogies between flowers and 
insects are noticeable enough, between 
the egg and the seed, the chrysalis and 
the bud, the wide-spread wings and the 
expanded corolla ; there is a vital prin- 
ciple enjoyed by both, individuals of 
both have the power of emitting light, 
there are ephemera of both ; as certain 
buds always bloom at fixed hours, so 
certain moths break their coverings to 
the minute ; as there are flowers that 
part their petals only at dark, so there 
are insects that fly only by night ; there 
are plants that are miniature barome- 
ters, there are insects equally sensitive 
to every variation of the atmosphere ; 
for fragrance there is the musk-beetle, 
the tiger-beetle, which affords a scent 
like that of the attar-of-roses ; and where- 
as some blossoms have fetid odors, there 
is the little golden-eyed, lace-winged fly 
to offset them. It is easy to detect the 
rudimentary flower in the folded bud, 
thus the lovely little aerial butterfly with 
its ocellated wings may be found all 
ready for flight wrapped in the caterpil- 
lar that feeds on the wild strawberry, 
the one has the freedom of heaven, the 
other seems bound by the spells of some 
beautiful enchantment ; these Libellulae 
are sporting in the air, these sweet- 
peas are just about to depart ; there 
are locusts which appear to be walk- 
ing leaves, and finally there is the bee- 
orchis, which deceives even the bees 
themselves. 

It must fairly seem to this busy, bus- 
tling fellow, culling nectar and ambrosia, 
that all outside is shadow, that the earth 
is made for him and his kjnd, and that, 
let him cull never so tirelessly, he can- 
not hive half its honey, so that there 
will always be a drop or two left over 
for his little poor relations, the violet- 
carpenter, the roseleaf-cutter, and the 
poppy-bee. They have need of it, that 
drop or two, to sweeten all the anxieties 
of their solitary lives the span of a sum- 
mer long, vagabonds at best, and not 
always allowed what domesticities they 
have in peace. The pitiful fortunes of 
a mason-bee, as told in " A Tour round 



132 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



[August, 



my Garden," are liable to befall one as 
another. 

" Look at her," says the author, " re- 
turning home with her provisions ; her 
hind feet are loaded with a yellow dust, 
which she has taken from the stamens of 
flowers : she goes into the hole ; when 
she comes out again, there will be no 
pollen on her feet ; with honey which 
she has brought, she will make a savory 
paste of it at the bottom of her nest. This 
is, perhaps, her tenth journey to-*lay, 
and she shows no inclination to rest. 

" All these cares are for one egg 
which she has laid, for a single egg 
which she will never see hatched ; be- 
sides, that which will issue from that 
egg will not be a fly like herself, but a 
worm, which will not be metamorphosed 
into a fly for some time afterwards. She 
has, however, hidden it in that hole, and 
knows precisely how much nourishment 
it will require before it arrives at the 
state which ushers in its transformation 
into a fly. This nourishment she goes 
to seek, and she seasons and prepares 
it There, she is gone again ! 

" But what is this other brilliant little 
fly which is walking up the house-wall ? 
Her breast is green, and her abdomen 
is of a purple red ; but these two colors 
are so brilliant that I am really at a 
loss to find words splendid enough to 
express them, but the names of an 
emerald and a ruby joined together. 

"That pretty fly that living jewel 
is the ' Chrysis.' I scarcely dare 
breathe, for fear of making it fly away. 
I should like to take it in my hands, 
that I might have sufficient time to ex- 
amine it more closely. This likewise 
is the mother of a family ; she also has 
an egg to lay, from which will issue a 
fly like herself, but which she will never 
see. She also knows how much nour- 
ishment her offspring will require ; but, 
more richly clothed than the bee, she 
does not, like her, know how to gather 
the pollen from flowers or to make a 
paste of it with honey. 

" She has but one resource, and that 
resource she is determined to employ ; 
she will recoil neither from roguery 
nor theft to secure the subsistence of 



her offspring; she has recognized the 
solitary bee, and she is going to lay her 
egg in her nest. It will hatch sooner 
than that of the true proprietor ; then 
the intruder will eat the provisions so 
painfully collected for the legitimate 
child, who, when it is hatched in its 
turn, will have nothing to do but to die 
of hunger. 

" There she is at the edge of the hole, 
she hesitates, she decides, she 
enters. 

" This insect interests me, she is so 
beautiful. The other likewise interests 
me, she is so industrious. But here 
she comes back through the air : one 
would think her a warrior covered with 
chased armor and a golden cuirass ; she 
buzzes as she comes along. The Chrysis 
has heard the buzzing, which is for her 
the terrible sound of a war-trumpet. 
She wishes to fly ; she comes out ; but 
the other, justly irritated, pounces upon 
the daring intruder, beating it with her 
head. She bruises and tears the bril- 
liant gauze of her wings, and beats her 
down to the dust, where she falls stu- 
pefied and inanimate. 

" The bee then enters into her nest, 
and deposits and prepares her provis- 
ions ; but still agitated with her com- 
bat and her victory, she sets out again 
through the air. I follow her with my 
eyes for a long time, and at last she dis- 
appears. 

" The poor Chrysis is not, however, 
dead : she gets up again, shakes her- 
self, flutters, and attempts to fly ; but 
her lacerated wings will no longer sup- 
port her. What can she do to escape 
the fury of her enemy ? It is not her 
business to fly away ; her business is 
to deposit her egg in the bee's nest, and 
to secure future provision for her off- 
spring, but the bee came back too 
soon. She ascends, climbing painfully : 
at times her strength seems to fail her ; 
she is forced to stop, but at last she 
arrives, she enters, she is in ! This 
time the interest is for her. Then she 
was only beautiful, now she is very un- 
fortunate. I am aware that a long plea 
might be made for the other. I should 
not like to be appointed judge between 



1865.] 



Among the Honey^Makers. 



133 



them. Ah ! she is out again, she 
flies away ! But, oh, how happy she is 
to have succeeded ! Now I begin to 
feel for the bee. The poor bee continues 
to bring provisions for its young, which, 
nevertheless, will die of hunger." 

Nor is the Chrysis her only tormen- 
tor, it may be remarked ; there are some 
frivolous little vagabonds of her own 
kind that never think of building for 
themselves, but always appropriate the 
homes of others in this style, and they 
are known as cuckoo-bees. 

It is no wonder that the happy bee 
of the community, escaping all such 
trial, makes blithe murmur to itself 
over its luscious labor. Perhaps all 
artisans would sing as cheerfully, were 
their task as sweet ; it can be no such 
severe duty to fill one's basket with 
the bountiful store at hand, when one 
has just banqueted on the very dew of 
the morning. There are a few second- 
ary products of Nature on which words 
cannot be wasted. It is pleasant to 
recall the poetical charms of wine, its 
tints, its aromas, and its sparkles ; yet, 
with all that fire and fragrance, it seems 
but poor, thin stuftj when poured out 
beside the heavy flow of honey with 
sunbeams dissolved in every plash. 
The Hungarian huntsman may praise 
his ropy Cotnar, fine ladies sip cordial 
Rosolio and Levantine sirups, the fan- 
cy warm over African Constantia ; but 
every peasant has honey in his garden, 
and they buy it of him to enrich their 
best Muscats. The great globes of the 
grape on which the wind and weather 
have breathed a bloom, pulped with 
rain, and sweetened with sun, the dew- 
drops slipping down among them as 
they stir beneath the weight of some 
bird that springs from the stem into the 
sky, these lend their beauty and in- 
nocence as a kind of chrism to cover 
the profanities of wine, which, before it 
can be used at all, undergoes a kind of 
decomposition ; but the wild wine of 
the bramble-rose has no need of its 
youth in apology for its age. It is stain- 
less honey still ; the sweet earth-juices 
stole up the tiny ducts of the flower to 
secrete it ; showers and odors, warmth 



and balm, distilled together into the 
nectary to give it wealth and savor ; 
it yet preserves the essence of long 
summer days, of serene nights, of wan- 
dering winds, of mingled blossoms ; it 
is the link between vegetable and ani- 
mal productions ; it has undergone the 
processes of a higher organization than 
that of the plant ; it is, in fact, the bee 
himself, and not all the art of all the 
laboratories can reproduce it Into all 
these other secondary products some 
stain of humanity enters ; but little sin- 
less sprites of greenwood and glen alone 
share the occult science of this with the 
blossoms. As light and heat are the 
generative forces of the world, honey 
seems to be their first result ; it is lap- 
ped, indeed, in flowers, but it looks like 
candied sunshine. From the beginning, 
it has been regarded as a sacred sub- 
stance ; some have supposed it the ear- 
liest element of vegetation. The an- 
cients made offering of it to the souls 
of the departed ; they preserved their 
dead in its incorruptible medium ; they 
sacrificed it to the gods. "With honey 
out of the rock should I have satisfied 
thee," said the Psalmist, as if earth had 
nothing more to give. Nor has it to 
our bee. Let him fill his honey-vesicle, 
he will regurgitate the deposit into a 
cell that he closes with a thin waxen 
pellicle, or into another already partially 
occupied by the farina of flowers, which 
he knows to be perishable, and there- 
fore secludes from the air in the same 
fashion that the Romans used to seal 
their flasks of Falernian, with a few 
drops of honey at the mouth. Give 
him a grain of pollen, a taste of stag- 
nant water, a drop of honey, and kings 
could not enrich him. The honey is 
his food, in the stagnant water he finds 
salts requisite as remedies ; but what 
the bee wants with the grain of pollen 
is still a doubtful matter among apia- 
rists. He makes of it a confection for 
the brood, it is also an ingredient of 
the royal jelly, he eats it himself, and 
he elaborates it in scales of wax upon 
his body, say those who follow Huber ; 
on the other hand, the brood receive no 
confection or food whatever, there is 



134 



Among' the Honey-Makers. 



[August, 



no such thing as royal jelly, the insect 
will die sooner than partake of pollen, 
and there is no wax elaborated in scales 
upon the body of any bee, say those 
who oppose Huber. But if the brood 
are not fed, one may ask, why does the 
wild bee, the tapestry, or the carder 
bee, take such pains, before closing the 
nest where her egg is hidden, to store 
there the little drop of honey ? and what 
is it that occasions the greater consump- 
tion of honey during the brooding peri- 
od than during any other portion of the 
year ? It is really a pity, when Huber 
has given us so many interesting rela- 
tions, that people must needs go pry- 
ing into their truth. How is it possible 
that Nature could improve upon them ? 
Kirby, indeed, accepts them all, and 
hands them down to us ; subsequent 
encyclopedists have profited by his ex- 
ample ; and Michelet, who between a 
true story and a picturesque one never 
hesitates a moment, who tells us that 
the down on the butterfly's wing is a 
collection of exquisitely minute bal- 
loons, and that the silkworm files its 
way out of the cocoon with its eyes, 
leading us to think, that, if his great 
history partake of the nature of his less- 
er works, it must be an assemblage of 
splendid errors, M. Michelet out- 
Hubers Huber himself. Contrary to 
these, Mr. Huish, a British author, de- 
clares that a rod ought to be. pickled 
for the man who dared impose such 
sheer inventions upon the credulity of 
a weak-minded public ; and although 
he does not say it in so many words, 
he has evidently pictured to himself the 
consternation with which Huber's wife 
and servant must have looked at one 
another when he announced to them 
his intention of publishing a book of 
the fairy stories with which they had 
amused him, and suffered him to amuse 
his friend Bonnet. Huber has novelty, 
romance, and interest, upon his side ; 
Huish has certainly a little logic. The 
latter's book upon the subject is, never- 
theless, as quarrelsome an affair as ever 
was published ; he seems to be as chol- 
eric and adust of temperament as the 
bees themselves ; he contradicts every 



one who has dared to speak upon the 
matter, and, while insisting that they 
could by no possibility have seen what 
they pretend to have done, asserts op- 
posing facts, which he could no more 
have seen than they. 

There is a close classification in Hu- 
ber's system, the results of which give 
us several ranks among bees, those 
of the queen, the drone, the jelly-maker, 
the artists in wax, the nurse, the har- 
vester, and a certain little useless black 
bee. Adversely to this, Mr. Huish, 
who would carry bee-craft back to a 
pre-Re"aumurite period, reverts to the 
original observations, and declares there 
are but three sorts of bee in the hive, 
queen, drone, and worker, which ob- 
viously simplifies matters ; while as for 
the little black bee, he regards it as 
existing nowhere but in the head of its 
discoverer, so that, if the worthy person 
had not the traditional maggot in his 
brain, he might at least be said to have 
a bee in his bonnet The sociable cat- 
erpillars, we are told, work as each one 
pleases. John Hunter said that bees 
did, too ; and here Mr. Huish is of the 
same opinion, this or that worker 
scours the fields or fashions the cell 
according to the fancy that may over- 
come him. Him ? That is exactly the 
question. Mademoiselle Jurine, follow- 
ing the anatomical researches of her 
father, promulgated the discovery that 
the common bee was a decided female, 
with its organs undeveloped. To coun- 
terbalance her statements, M. Epignes 
published a treatise in which he proved 
satisfactorily to himself that the com- 
mon bee is a decided male. Mr. Huish 
insists that the cornmon bee is a de- 
cided neuter. Discarding M. Epignes 
with a fillip, Mr. Huish stoutly argues, 
against Mademoiselle Jurine's theory, 
that the possession of organs destined 
to no use is an incident out of the 
course of Nature, to which, even were 
the statement quite true, it might be 
added that the creation of a communi- 
ty of a thousand males and one female 
is equally out of the course of Nature. 
Mr. Huish insists, that, if these bees 
were all females, yet forbidden the func- 



1865.] 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



135 



tions of their sex, it would be an anom- 
aly ; he forgets that the existence of a 
neuter is already an anomaly. Allow- 
ing that Mr. Huish is here in the wrong, 
as seems probable, it involves a slight 
trouble of its own ; for there would 
then seem to be need of but two kinds 
of eggs in the hive, whereas it is well 
established that three kinds are laid, 
that of the male, the female, and the 
worker, or imperfect female. Huber, 
however, in such dilemma, adopting 
the previous hints of Schirach, at once 
seized upon Mademoiselle Jurine's dis- 
covery, and assured us, not only that 
from the egg of a worker a queen could 
at any time be produced, but enlight- 
ened us as to the manner of conducting 
the experiment. The queen is dead ? 
It is lamentable, but nothing so easy 
as to make another. There is only to 
tear down some dozen cells, to set the 
youngest embryo afloat in royal jelly, 
and a queen appears, who, if not in the 
legitimate line, is capable of performing 
perfectly all the office of a sovereign. 
There is a moment of intense despair, 
great riot, and agitation ; work is sus- 
pended ; the temperature of the hive 
mounts many degrees. All at once the 
old art is remembered, the adminis- 
tration of that delicious medicament, of 
so astonishingly affluent nature that it 
can make a queen out of a commoner, 
the enlargement of the narrow cradle 
to that ampler space which forbids the 
atrophy of a single fibre of the body. 
The preparations are made ; and, with 
tranquillity restored, the people await 
the event. One day there comes a sin- 
gular piping sound, it is the cry of 
the royal babe, the hive is filled with 
rejoicing, there is no longer any in- 
terregnum of the purple, the queen is 
born ! Perhaps the queen-makers have 
been too much in earnest, and at nearly 
the same moment the inmates of two 
royal cells issue together. Then is the 
time to try one's mettle, no shrink- 
ing, no bias, nothing but pure patriot- 
ism. Let a ring be formed, and she 
who proves herself victor is worthy of 
homage. Is one of the two a coward ? 
The impartial circle bring her back to 



the encounter, bite her, tease her, tum- 
ble her, worry her, tell her plainly that 
life is possible to her on no terms but 
those of conquest. At length the mat- 
ter decides itself ; the brilliant and vic- 
torious Amazon bends her long, slender 
body, and with her royal poniard pier- 
ces the abject pretender through and 
through. Then these satisfied subjects 
surround her, load her with endear- 
ments, cleanse her, brush her, lick her, 
offer her honey on the end of their pro- 
boscides, and, if there are yet remain- 
ing other royal apartments whose ten- 
ants give notice of timely appearance, 
they conduct her on an Elizabethan 
progress, in which, filled with instinct- 
ive dismay, she pauses at every cell, 
and stabs her young rivals to death with 
her sting. As the story runs, there are 
still other conditions to be fulfilled by 
the aspiring princess, she must give 
her people the assurance of a populous 
empire. Should she fail in this, they 
have recourse to their old manoeuvres, 
becoming manifestly insubordinate and 
unruly. If, however, they at any time 
wax unbearable in their insolence, the 
young monarch has it in her power, by 
assuming a singular attitude, standing 
erect at a little distance, her wings 
crossed upon her back and slightly flut- 
tering, while she utters a shrill, slender 
sound, to strike them dumb, so that 
they hang their heads for shame. 

All this pretty story the later apia- 
rists deem a tissue of fiction and fallacy. 
If, when a hive is deprived of its queen, 
there happen to be a royal egg remain- 
ing in it, they say, it will shortly pro- 
duce a queen, as, if it had been a com- 
mon egg, it would have produced a com- 
mon bee. They insist that the organ- 
ism of the creature to be produced is 
inherent in the egg, and do not believe 
it in the power of a bee to alter a law 
of Nature ; they deny the statements of 
Schirach, Huber, Dunbar, Rennie, and 
others to this effect, scout the idea 
of the existence of such a thing as royal 
jelly at aO, with the supposed aristoc- 
racy of its compounders, share with 
Huber the amazement he says he felt, 
when, in a time of disturbance, he dis- 



136 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



[August, 



tinctly heard a queen address her bees 
in the French language, saying, "Je 
suis t'fi, je suis id" entirely repudi- 
ate the royal duels, which the editor of 
the " Naturalist's Library " himself, an 
advocate as he is of the Huberian prin- 
ciples, confesses he has never, in all his 
experience, been able to witness, and 
go to the extreme of declaring, that, far 
from being the truculent and jealous 
tyrant described, the queen is the most 
timid of all creatures, flying, at the first 
intimation of danger, into the depths 
of the hive, and never using her sting 
under any circumstances through the 
whole course of her life, while, should 
you get one in your hand, you may offer 
her indignities with impunity ; she knows 
her value to her people, and that, should 
she sting and be unable to withdraw her 
barbed weapon, the effort would disem- 
bowel her, and prove her own death and 
the ruin of her kingdom. The royal lar- 
vae, Huber tells us, in spinning their 
cocoons, leave the lower rings of the 
body unprotected by the gossamer en- 
velope, that thus, and it is certainly 
considerate on their part, the head 
being too well shielded by the hard na- 
ture of its substances, and the cocoon 
endangering the safety of her sting 
by its entangling flimsy threads, their 
queenly assailant may destroy them 
without detriment to herself, by sting- 
ing that portion left exposed. On the 
contrary, we are informed by his refut- 
ers, that, even were the body destitute 
of this covering, which is not the case, 
it would present a horny, scaly surface, 
from which there would be infinitely 
greater difficulty in extracting the sting 
than from the silken meshes of any 
cocoon, and that, as no sting could 
pierce the waxen wall of the cell, and 
as the royal cell is vertical, and the 
nymph lies with its head towards the 
orifice of it, unless the queen, with her 
sting of the eighth of an inch in length, 
had the power of darting it through the 
orifice to the distance of three fourths 
of an inch, the act would be otherwise 
an impossibility, and that, to finish the 
affair, these infant princesses are de- 
stroyed by the bees themselves, who, 



finding them unnecessary for further 
swarming, tear them from their cells, 
and despatch them, not by dart or ven- 
om, but, when they are in a sufficiently 
advanced stage, by an attack of the 
teeth at the root of the wings, in the 
same way that they despatch the drone, 
disabling and dragging them out of the 
hive, after they have become supernu- 
meraries, where they drop to the ground, 
and, powerless to fly and escape, per- 
ish with cold, or become the prey of 
bird, mouse, and reptile. It is possible 
that none of the various tribes of all the 
tiny arm -bearing people make use of 
the coup de grace in their power, except 
as a last resort. Still, when the bees 
find it necessary, they use it with Spar- 
tan cunning. Bruin can testify to that 
in his sensitive muzzle ; and thus, when 
he takes a fancy to their conserve of 
blossoms, he carries off the hive in his 
hug, and plunges it into the nearest 
brook or pool till the bees are drowned, 
and all their riches made his undis- 
turbed possession. The bee that is not 
irascible betrays a dismal home and a 
miserable mother ; he has nothing worth 
fighting for. But far from him be mal- 
ice ; unmolested, he does not molest. 
For one who has lived in an old man- 
sion, with bats' nests under the eaves 
and wasps' nests everywhere, waking 
in autumn mornings to count the cus- 
tomary inhabitants of the latter clus- 
tered on the cornices by threescores, 
while observing that they always made 
themselves sufficiently at home, not on- 
ly to claim a place at table, but to walk 
across the cloth and help themselves, 
pausing sometimes midway to flirt out 
the purple enamel of a wing for admi- 
ration, and never giving offence to one 
of the house, for one who has seen 
this fierce and fell fury so prettily and 
quietly behaved, it is pardonable to 
claim an equal amount of moderation 
for the sweeter and purer nature of the 
little honey-maker, who has learned his 
gentler manners of the flowers them- 
selves. There are occasions, moreover, 
when the bees positively forget they 
have a sting at all, as when, in swarm- 
ing, they are so entirely absorbed that 



i86s.] 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



137 



they may be lifted in handfuls. M. 
Lombard states the circumstance of a 
child's being cured of her fear of the 
sting by an experience of this season. 
" A swarm having left a hive, I observ- 
ed the queen alight by herself, at a little 
distance from the apiary. I immediately 
called my little friend, that I might show 
her this important personage. She was 
anxious to have a nearer view of Her 
Majesty ; and therefore, having first 
caused her to draw on her gloves, I 
gave the queen into her hand. Scarce- 
ly had I done so, when we were sur- 
rounded by all the bees of the swarm. 
In this emergency, I encouraged the 
trembling girl to be steady, and to fear 
nothing, remaining myself close by her, 
and covering her head and shoulders 
with a thin handkerchief. I then made 
her stretch out the hand that held the 
queen, and the bees instantly alighted 
on it, and hung from her fingers as from 
the branch of a tree. The little girl, 
experiencing no injury, was delighted 
above measure at the novel sight, and 
so entirely freed from all fear that she 
bade me uncover her face. The spec- 
tators were charmed at the interesting 
spectacle. I at length brought a hive, 
and, shaking the swarm from the child's 
hand, it was lodged in safety without in- 
flicting a single sting." 

But however greatly opinions may 
vary in this branch of natural history 
on one or another topic, the principal 
dispute is concerning the relations that 
may subsist between the queen and 
the drones. Huber had a complicated 
arrangement in reference to this, which 
his admirers accepted enthusiastically, 
while Latreille and other apiarists reject 
it as a cluster of prurient fancies. The 
opinion of Huish upon the subject, 
which would seem to have more prob- 
ability to support it than others have, 
is that the queen commences to lay im- 
mediately on being established, and 
that the eggs being in their separate 
cells, it is the office of the drone to 
make them fruitful, after the custom 
of certain fish and of frogs. 

When the population of the hive has 
been so increased by the opening of 



the brood-cells that accommodation has 
become insufficient, and the heat so un- 
endurable that every wing droops wet 
and flaccid with perspiration, as grand 
an emigration as those of the early 
Northern tribes is ordered, scouts are 
sent out to select the future place of 
abode, and in some propitious moment 
of perfect sunshine, honey-pouches full 
and nothing to delay, the great exodus 
takes place with a noise as if the whole 
hive were attacked by vertigo ; and 
Homer himself could find nothing to 
which to compare his multitudinous 
Greeks thronging from their ships fitter 
than these nations of close-swarming 
bees. That the young queen should 
lead the departing swarm seems the nat- 
ural occurrence, being desirous of ful- 
filling her own destiny and of hastening 
from a hive hostile to all but one mis- 
tress whom they already know and love. 
Huber, however, will have it that it is 
the old queen, who, outraged and indig- 
nant at her treatment when a rival is 
allowed to live, sounds the alarm and 
sallies forth with her adherents. In 
support of this Mr. Duncan mentions 
having deprived an old queen of one of 
her antennae, and noticing her thereafter 
at the head of a swarm, although Huber 
previously makes it known that any bee 
deprived of one of its antennas is ren- 
dered useless. And in opposition to it 
may be given the circumstance quoted 
by Mr. Huish, in which the German 
apiarian Scopoli asserts, that, having 
clipped the wings of a queen, he found 
her still in his hive after an interval of 
many months, during which two excel- 
lent swarms had been thrown, and rath- 
er plumes himself on the triumphant 
fact, as if by any possibility she could 
have gotten away. A hive will throw off 
from one to four swarms in a season, 
but the last two are generally worthless, 
and should be deprived of their queens 
and returned to the parent stock. We 
have an old adage to this purpose, 

A swarm in May 

Is worth a load of hay, 

A swarm In June 

Is worth a silver spoon, 

But the swarm of July 

Is n't worth a fly," 



133 



Among- tJie Honey-Makers. 



[August, 



and any one may verify it who chooses 
to investigate the condition of such 
swarms at the conclusion of the har- 
vest, when it will be seen that those 
which founded their colony at so late 
an hour have not collected sufficient 
honey even for their winter provision, 
and must be fed in order to be saved 
till spring. 

They have dainty appetites, these lit- 
tle people. They will work away with 
their forceps at a bit of sweetmeat, but 
they can absorb only liquids through 
their proboscides. Being in a state 
of civilization, their food must be ad- 
ministered in a civilized way: it must 
be boiled for them. They fancy stimu- 
lants ; and sugar dissolved in ale, old 
brown October, or, better still, made in- 
to a rich sirup with Port wine, they find 
very delectable. Those authors who re- 
gard pollen as a part of their subsistence 
deem that it is because they require ni- 
trogenized substances ; and in order to 
prove that it is used as food, they remark 
that the bees continue to harvest it so 
long as a single flower blows, and that 
entirely after the formation of the cells 
has ceased. This, however, may be ow- 
ing simply to the instinct which prompt- 
ed them in the first place to bring it 
home, as instinct is generally in all 
creatures stronger than reason and over- 
loaded ; and that it cannot be any por- 
tion of the food of bees seems evident 
from the fact that whole hives are known 
to have perished by hunger while still 
abundantly supplied with bee-bread, as 
the pollen is often called. It is more 
probable that pollen is really the chief 
constituent of wax, although Huber sub- 
mits that honey has that honor ; but 
that this wax is produced in the man- 
ner that Huber states is extremely 
doubtful. It is his opinion that the 
wax-workers, having first gorged them- 
selves with honey, suspend themselves 
in festoons from the flowers, where 
they remain for twenty -four hours, 
which in a chilly spring night would 
break many a link of the chain, after 
which, one detaches herself from the 
festoon, enters the hive, and takes up 
her situation, with her forceps detaches 



a scale of wax from her side where it 
has recently exuded, works it with her 
tongue, and fashions it to the required 
consistency, succeeded in turn by oth- 
ers, artisan and apprentice. But as 
honey is the normal and established 
food of bees, it would follow that these 
scales must be in a state of perpetual 
exudation, and thus before long the 
hive would become filled with them, 
unless bees have a control of their bodi- 
ly secretions enjoyed by no other order 
of beings. Anatomical dissection has 
found pollen only in the second stom- 
ach of the bee, of which the mouth is 
the sole and single opening ; it is there- 
fore presumed, that, being taken in a 
crude condition, and having undergone 
its due elaboration there, it is disgorged 
again and becomes the wax of the cells. 
This was the opinion of Rdaumur ; and 
for additional proof, it is stated, that, 
though the workers are seen to collect 
large quantities of farina during the 
season in which the cells are being 
made, no particle of crude farina is 
meanwhile to be found in a single cell, 
the whole of it being used in their 
composition. All this, however, will 
long remain in uncertainty ; for, till 
some one is born with eyes of his own, 
ready to devote his lifelong labor to 
such observations, and perhaps in the 
end be stung to death for his pains, 
since there are rebellions even in heav- 
en, we learn, there will be general 
willingness to accept the most piquant 
little statements regarding this most pe- 
culiar little people. 

Wax itself is a substance that has no 
similitude to any other known. It is now 
thought, that, as there are three orders 
of bee, so there are three substances 
merely in the hive, honey, farina, and 
wax. Pliny enumerates three others, 
commosis, pissoceros, and propolis. 
Of these many moderns still retain the 
last, calling it a resinous matter collect- 
ed from alders and willows, and used 
for the more secure foundation of the 
comb. But upon subjecting a lump of 
propolis to the boiling process by which 
wax is purified, it turns out simple wax 
of nearly its former weight ; and it is ac- 



1865.] 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



139 



cordingly presumed to be only wax in 
a much more crude stage of elaboration. 
Dr. Bevan, in experimenting with his 
hives, says that he melted wax and 
spread it upon a certain place, and, 
while fluid, attached a slight guide-comb 
to it, which the bees immediately adopt- 
ed, suspending their whole comb there- 
by ; from which it is evident, that, wax 
being strong enough itself for a founda- 
tion, propolis is unnecessary, and Na- 
ture is not apt to afford superfluities in 
her economy of construction. 

The beautiful geometry of the cells is, 
after all, the marvel of the whole. Koe- 
nig demonstrated, that, in the problem 
of space and material, the bee had at 
once arrived at the solution which he 
himself reached only after infinitesimal 
calculations ; and it furnishes fresh proof 
of the great mathematical relations of 
the universe, when even instinct is found 
to take on the accuracy and method of 
crystals. This honey-comb, by the way, 
is a favorite figure in Nature. If one 
examines microscopically the beautiful 
and brilliant petal of a gladiolus, it will 
offer this cellular structure in loose and 
irregular outlines ; but under the same 
lens, the eye of a dragon-fly, which dis- 
plays by daylight a jewel-like transpar- 
ency, will be seen a strict crowd of glit- 
tering hexagons, with every alveole so 
closely arranged and so symmetrically 
shaped as to afford instant testimony to 
the superiority of the animal organiza- 
tion. It is by no means the habit of all 
bees, however, to dispose their affairs 
with such precision, though many other 
methods may have an equal grace. Don 
Felix d'Azara tells us of South Ameri- 
can bees which deposit their honey in 
small waxen cups, and are known as 
Angelitos, because never using the sting; 
while the little black stingless bee of 
Guadaloupe, which inhabits the clefts 
of hollow rocks by the seaside, stores 
its honey in cells the size of a pigeon's 
egg, each sacklet being filled only so 
far as it will hold without tearing from 
its fellow, and a pretty piece of color 
being effected by the amber honey in 
its receptacles of dark violet - colored 
wax which never blanches, as the whole 



hangs together like a great cluster of 
grapes. This is a species of bee not 
greatly differing from that which makes 
the honey of Estabentum, that Clavige- 
ro says is taken every two months and 
is the finest in the world. The Mexi- 
cans are reported to attend with care to 
the culture of these bees, not so much 
for their rich honey as for the wax, of 
which large quantities are used in their 
common church ceremonials. 

There are many singular incidents 
related by Huber, which, if they are not 
true, one may exclaim, " The more 's the 
pity." When he notes, that, in a time of 
disorder in the hive, he beheld the queen 
ascend a royal cell and seat herself up- 
on it as if it were a throne, and, having 
sympathized for a season, suddenly as- 
sume the awful attitude and strike her 
disloyal people motionless, it interests 
us like some recital of the haps and he- 
roics of Boadicea and her Britons. It 
is remembered that in the early days of 
what are known as spiritual manifesta- 
tions, while one wit thought our furni- 
ture made of Dodonean oak, another 
regarded the manifestations as a wise 
provision in aid of the customary May 
ramble of city families from their re- 
spective domiciles. It is from a simi- 
larly provident point of view, with the 
current price of coal, that we should 
look at Huber's statement concerning 
the heat of a hive, when he tells us that 
twenty hives will warm an apartment 
comfortably, and twenty-five, occasion- 
ally well shaken, will furnish the proper 
temperature for a conservatory, which 
throws Count Rumford's feat of boiling 
water without the aid of fire far into 
the shade. But when Huber proceeds 
to say that the queen is followed on her 
rounds by a royal guard, who wait on her 
with obsequious reverence, although it 
seems to be a pretty custom enough, the 
actual custom may be found a far pret- 
tier one: for the queen attends to her 
affairs, as others are assured, quite unac- 
companied ; only as workers at all times 
cover the comb, when she passes from 
group to group, each bee for a moment 
leaves labor, bestows a caress upon its 
mother, offers her honey, refreshes her, 



140 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



[August, 



sees her pass to the next group, which 
hastens to do the same, while the first 
returns to the business of the moment. 
The elder Huber taxes the credulity, 
however, hardly more than his son does, 
in presenting a drawing of humble-bees 
hindering a toppling comb from falling 
by taking acrobatic postures, standing 
on their heads and supporting it with 
their hind legs till relieved, converting 
themselves, in fact, into a kind of flying- 
buttresses. Indeed, the trouble with all 
these things is, that naturalists persist 
in endowing the little creatures with 
human passions ; and having once given 
the rein to imagination, it runs away 
with them. Now and then they find 
themselves in a quagmire ; but some- 
times the result is simply amusing, as 
in old Butler's most graphic and en- 
tertaining description of the pillage of 
a weak hive by its rich and power- 
ful neighbor, in the " Feminine Mon- 
archie." Yet these stories have been 
told ever since the Flood. Aristotle as- 
sures us, that, when a bee has a head- 
wind to encounter, he ballasts himself 
with a little pebble between his feet ; 
and the Abbe" della Rocca, who made 
observations on the bees of the Grecian 
Archipelago, had the pleasure of wit- 
nessing the circumstance in person, 
which would cause one to conjecture 
that the Greek bees, ever since they 
made honey on Plato's lip, have had 
habits peculiar to themselves, were it not 
that the little solitary mason-bee comes 
to the rescue, the mason -bee, that, 
loaded with gravel and material for her 
nest, both Aristotle and the Abbe* della 
Rocca undoubtedly saw. It is Virgil, 
however, on whom, in practical matters, 
apiarists have not yet improved, who has 
told the most amazing stories about bees, 
certifying that the body of their people 
may be bred from decay, and particu- 
larizing the blossom on which the king 
of the bees is born ; but Virgil lived, it 
is to be recollected, nearly two thousand 
years ago, and two hundred have not 
yet passed since Redi, sometimes call- 
ed the father of experimental entomolo- 
gy, first brought discredit on the doc- 
trine of spontaneous generation: having 



tried the recipe for the manufacture of 
snakes, by his friend the learned Kir- 
cher, he could never witness, he says, 
" the generation of those blessed snake- 
lets made to hand." M. Michelet, hav- 
ing a kind word for everybody, has a 
graceful apology also for the errors of 
Virgil, avowing that this was not Hor- 
ace, the elegant favorite of Rome, nor 
the light and indiscreet Ovid, but Vir- 
gil, the child of the soil, the noble and 
candid figure of the old Italian peasant, 
the religious interpreter of Nature ; and 
though he may have been mistaken as 
to names, what he said he saw ; he 
was simply deceived, as subsequent- 
ly Reaumur was for a moment, by the 
rat -tailed larvae or sewer -flies, which, 
having escaped from their cradle of cor- 
ruption, now shining and adorned, are 
thereupon brevetted to the rank of no- 
ble Virgilian bees. 

Certain superstitions seem to have 
prevailed in all countries ever since bees 
were first domesticated. In England 
they must not be bought, though they 
may be bartered ; but there can be no 
haggling. In this country they are not 
even to be bartered. As their home- 
ward flight is supposed to be westerly, 
it is necessary to obtain them from a 
place due east of their future residence ; 
and their first swarm is to be hived and 
returned to the original owner, the bees 
relying on your good faith and working 
one summer on credit, so to say : they 
are not slaves, to be exchanged for sil- 
ver. At this and all subsequent swarm- 
ings, it is requisite that they should be 
stunned by a confused clatter of bells, 
pans, pebbles, and cries, although it 
was long ago explained by Butler that 
this noise came into custom merely in 
signal of the ownership of a vagrant 
swarm. When a death occurs in the 
household, the hives are to be told of 
it and dressed in crape, in Switzerland 
turned topsy - turvy, as without such 
treatment the bees do not consider 
themselves used as a part of the fam- 
ily, and will fly away. 

Among all the anecdotes given, per- 
haps the best instance in relation to the 
intelligence of the bee is that narrative 



I86 5 .] 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



141 



of its stratagems in warfare with the fa- 
mous Death's-Head Moth. Mr. Huish, 
to be sure, leaning upon Buffon, laughs 
at it, believes it on a par with Jack's 
Beanstalk, and is grimly satisfied that 
no bees ever erected fortifications of any 
kind other than as against the effluvium 
of murdered mouse or snail when they 
wall up its source in a tomb of wax ; 
but it is impossible to look at the be- 
nevolent, bland face in any picture of 
Huber, with its sweetness of expression, 
and its innocent, wide, wandering eyes, 
and not wish to believe every word he 
says. M. Michelet tells the story so 
pleasantly that it would be difficult not 
to quote it, especially as it is well to 
be credulous in good company. 

"About the time of the American 
Revolution, a little before that of the 
French, there appeared and multiplied 
a thing unknown to our Europe, a be- 
ing of frightful shape, a large and pow- 
erful moth, marked plainly enough in 
yellowish gray, with an ugly death's 
head. This sinister creature, that had 
never before been seen, alarmed the 
rural regions, and appeared to be an 
augury of the greatest misfortunes. In 
reality, those who were terrified by it 
had brought it upon themselves. It 
had entered the country as a caterpil- 
lar upon its natal plant, the American 
potato, the fashionable vegetable of 
the time, extolled by Parmentier, pro- 
tected by Louis XVI., and spreading 
everywhere. The savans christened 
this stranger by a name not too reas- 
suring, the Sphinx Atropos. 

" This animal was terrible indeed, 
but only to honey. Of that it was glut- 
tonous, and capable of everything in 
order to obtain it. A hive of thirty thou- 
sand bees did not appall it. In the 
depth of midnight, the voracious mon- 
ster, profiting by that hour when the out- 
skirts of the city are weakly guarded, 
with a little dull lugubrious noise, muf- 
fled as if by the smooth down which 
covered him, invaded the hive, sought 
the combs, gorged himself, pillaged, 
spoiled, overthrew the stores and the 
brood. In vain might the attacked par- 
ty awaken, assemble, and riot ; stings 



could not pierce the covering, the 
species of soft, elastic mattress with 
which he was everywhere garnished, 
like the Mexicans of the time of Cor- 
tes in their cotton armor that no Span- 
ish weapon could penetrate. 

" Huber took counsel with himself 
for some means of protecting his bees 
from this daring robber. Should he 
make gratings ? should he make doors ? 
and how ? That was his doubt 
best imagined closure possible had the 
inconvenience of hindering the great 
movement of exit and entrance always 
going on at the sill of the hive. Their 
impatience rendered these barriers, in 
which they would entangle themselves 
and break their wings, intolerable to 
the bees. 

" One morning, the faithful servant 
who aided him in all his experiments 
informed him that the bees had already 
solved the problem for themselves. 
They had in various hives conceived 
and carried out divers systems of de- 
fence and fortification. Here they had 
constructed a waxen wall, with narrow 
windows, through which the huge enemy 
could not pass ; and there, by a more in- 
genious invention, without stirring any- 
thing, they had placed at their gates 
intersecting arcades or little partitions, 
one behind another, but alternating, so 
that opposite the empty spaces between 
those of the first row stood the par- 
titions of the second row. Thus were 
contrived numerous openings for the 
impatient crowd of bees, who could go 
out and come in as usual, and without 
any other obstacle than the slight one of 
going a little zigzag ; but limits, absolute 
obstructions, for the great, clumsy ene- 
my, who could not enter with his un- 
folded wings, nor even insinuate him- 
self without bruises between the nar- 
row corridors. 

" This was the coup d'tiat of the low- 
er orders, the revolution of insects, ex- 
ecuted by the bees, not only against 
those that robbed them, but against 
those that denied their intelligence. 
The theorists who refuse that to them, 
the Malebranches and the Buffons, must 
consider themselves conquered. We 



142 



Among the Honey-Makers. 



[August, 



go back to the reserve of the great stu- 
dents of Nature, the Swammerdams, 
the Reaumurs, who, far from contesting 
the genius of insects, give us number- 
less facts to prove that it is flexible, 
that it can increase with dangers and 
with obstacles, that it can quit routine, 
and in certain circumstances make un- 
expected progress." 

Intelligence among the inferior ani- 
mals seems always more or less an 
affair of acute senses ; the bee certainly 
ought to manifest much of it, for his 
senses are extraordinary. Not to speak 
of that singular sixth sense of the anten- 
nae, by whose power alone he fashions 
his cell and seems to make and receive 
communication, nor of his wonderful eye- 
sight, to which a double kind of eye con- 
tributes, one portion of it being for dis- 
tance and another for vertical objects 
or for closer work, although there are 
naturalists who consider these stem- 
mata as a possible organ of hearing, 
he has a sense of smell which must sur- 
pass that of any other creature on the 
wing : it is perhaps to this lively faculty 
that he owes his marvellous cleanliness. 
Feburier states that at one time the 
bees, attracted by the lemon-trees and 
flowers of Cuba, emigrated thither in 
a body from the mainland of Florida, 
a distance of twenty-five leagues, the 
fact, however, being that their owners 
emigrated and took them with them. 
But they have been positively known to 
track heath a distance of four miles, and 
that across water, through an atmos- 
phere in which the faint scent of the 
heath must have mingled with all the 
powerful salt odor of the sea. Strong 
little wings they must be, too, to travel 
these distances, and yet perform all the 
other labor allotted them ; for every day, 
while some with their burdens are en- 
tering the black hive, and some are dart- 
ing out again into the glaring sunlight 
full of business and on new errands, 
others may always be distinguished 
stationed by the door and fanning their 
bits of wings backward and forward in 
ventilation of the hive. Although dis- 
putatious to the last, Mr. Huish insists 
that this motion is nothing but the ex- 



pression of intense satisfaction and joy. 
Either way, it would seem as if an an- 
swering rest must be required in order 
to repair such wear and tear ; and on 
this point an old Spanish writer sets it 
down that bees sleep during every night 
and on all fast-days in addition, and a 
corroborating investigator remarks that 
he has seen them withdraw into the 
empty cells, and, composing themselves, 
their heads towards the bottom, enjoy 
the deepest slumber, the body gently 
heaving with the breath, and every little 
limb relaxed, to which another per- 
son replies, that this is an outrageous 
statement, for it is a decided fact that 
sleep is as much a stranger to the eye 
of a bee as it is to the eye of a herring. 
Yet in the German countries much of 
the labor of flight is after all spared 
them, their owners collecting them into 
caravans, conducting them gypsy-wise, 
encamping here and encamping there, 
through whatever districts linger latest 
in bloom. They build bee-barges, too, 
in France, capacious enough for a hun- 
dred hives, and drift them down the 
rivers, so that the bees shall follow the 
summer as it flits southward. And in 
Lower Egypt, where the blossoming 
continues much longer than in the up- 
per regions, Niebuhr saw an assemblage 
of four thousand hives upon the Nile, 
anchoring at places of plentiest pastur- 
age : the bees thus float from one end 
of the land to the other before they re- 
turn and enrich their proprietors with 
the honey they have harvested from the 
orange-flowers and jasmines of the Said 
and all the wealthy banks of the mighty 
river. The hunter in America takes 
advantage of this clear sight and of this 
strength of wing when he lines a bee to 
its nest, by alluring one to a bait of 
honey within a circle of wet white paint, 
watching the subsequent flight, letting 
off another, similarly secured, at right 
angles to that, and looking for the nest 
at the intersection of the two white 
lines. Nor is the hunter their only 
depredator. At the Cape of Good Hope 
there lives a bird known as the Honey- 
Guide, that enters into alliance with 
man, sounds its shrill note, and, flut- 



1865.] 



Countess Laura. 



taring from spray to spray, leads the 
way to the sweet resort : it would be 
sacrilege, if the Hottentot did not leave 
a portion of the honey to the informer. 
There, too, is the rattel, a little beast 
that at sunset shelters its eyes with a 
paw, for clearer view, spots a bee, and 
follows it : often these two make fellow- 
ship together, the one for the honey, 
the bird for the brood. But these are 
not the terrors of a temperate clime ; 
the hives can despatch a field-mouse 
unassisted ; the master who cannot rid 
them of the wax-moth they will desert 
without regrets ; sounding the slogan for 
aid, no two bees will hesitate to grapple 
with the bold butchering wasp that in- 
vades them ; the humble-bee, making 
her underground nest, the poppy-bee, 
fitting her splendid scarlet tapestry, 
however many each may have, recks of 
few enemies beyond the rain and storm. 
What should any one of them all re- 
member about the tomtit that comes 
and taps outside and snaps each resi- 
dent up as it appears inquiring at the 
gate ? of the little feathered monster 
that tears bees to pieces, making shreds 
of heads and wings for his mere amuse- 
ment ? To them a briefer memory 
makes brief life blessed. The happy 
murmurer of our morning knows of 
little but peace and security, he does 
not even dream that savans infuriate 



themselves about him, he buzzes from 
flower to flower, daringly puts aside the 
curtain of sacred shrines and makes 
himself luxurious hermitage in the 
snowy depths of the lilies, lets the south 
wind swing him a moment on the gold- 
en cradle of kingcups, pursues his 
pleasures in the purple recesses of the 
hyacinth, or, gliding into a labyrinth of 
petals, between the silken linings of 
perfumed chambers, the tinted sunlight 
softly sifting through, revels with the 
gracious nymphs that wait there, that 
hail him, caress him, and give him their 
confidence all under the rose ; he goes 
his way, and his music spurns the trail 
of melancholy that never fails to follow 
the most delicious warble that ever 
trilled from throat of bobolink or thros- 
tle. As you lie and listen, in the golden 
tenor of the hive-bee's hum seems dif- 
fused the wide whisper of continuous 
gladness ; and giving the innermost note 
of summer and of noon, the booming 
bass of the humble-bee blazons abroad 
all poetry and beauty and sumptuous 
delight 

" Hot midsummer's petted crone, 
Sweet to me thy drowsy tone 
Tells of countless sunny hours, 
Long days and solid banks of flowers, 
Of gulfs of sweetness without bound 
In Indian wildernesses found, 
Of Syrian peace, immortal leisure, 
Firmest cheer, and bird-like pleasure." 



COUNTESS LAURA. 

IT was a dreary day. in Padua. 
The Countess Laura, for a single year 
Fernando's wife, upon her bridal bed, 
Like an uprooted lily on the snow, 
The withered outcast of a festival, 
Lay dead. She died of some uncertain ill, 
That struck her almost on her wedding-day, 
And clung to her, and dragged her slowly down, 
Thinning her cheeks and pinching her full lips, 
Till, in her chance, it seemed that with a year 
Full half a century was overpast 



144 Countess Laura. [August, 

In vain had Paracelsus taxed his art, 

And feigned a knowledge of her malady ; 

In vain had all the doctors, far and near, 

Gathered around the mystery of her bed, 

Draining her veins, her husband's treasury, 

And physic's jargon, in a fruitless quest 

For causes equal to the dread result 

The Countess only smiled, when they were gone, 

Hugged her fair body with her little hands, 

And turned upon her pillows wearily, 

As if she fain would sleep, no common sleep, 

But the long, breathless slumber of the grave. 

She hinted nothing. Feeble as she was, 

The rack could not have wrung her secret out 

The Bishop, when he shrived her, coming forth, 

Cried, in a voice of heavenly ecstasy, 

" O blessed soul ! with nothing to confess, 

Save virtues and good deeds, which she mistakes 

So humble is she for our human sins ! " 

Praying for death, she tossed upon her bed, 

Day after day, as might a shipwrecked bark 

That rocks upon one billow, and can make 

No onward motion towards her port of hope. 

At length, one morn, when those around her said, 

"Surely the Countess mends, so fresh a light 

Beams from her eyes and beautifies her face," 

One morn in spring, when every flower of earth 

Was opening to the sun, and breathing up 

Its votive incense, her impatient soul 

Opened itself, aiid so exhaled to heaven. 

When the Count heard it, he reeled back a pace; 

Then turned with anger on the messenger ; 

Then craved his pardon, and wept out his heart 

Before the menial : tears, ah, me ! such tears 

As Love sheds only, and Love only once. 

Then he bethought him, " Shall this wonder die 

And leave behind no shadow ? not a trace 

Of all the glory that environed her, 

That mellow nimbus circling round my star ? " 

So, with his sorrow glooming in his face, 

He paced along his gallery of Art, 

And strode amongst the painters, where they stood, 

With Carlo, the Venetian, at their head, 

Studying the Masters by the dawning light 

Of his transcendent genius. Through the groups 

Of gayly vestured artists moved the Count, 

As some lone cloud of thick and leaden hue, 

Packed with the secret of a coming storm, 

Moves through the gold and crimson evening mists, 

Deadening their splendor. In a moment, still 

Was Carlo's voice, and still the prattling crowd ; 

And a great shadow overran them all, 



1865.] Countess Laura. 

As their white faces and their anxious eyes 

Pursued Fernando in his moody walk. 

He paused, as one who balances a doubt, 

Weighing two courses, then burst out with this : 

" Ye all have seen the tidings in my face ; 

Or has the dial ceased to register 

The workings of my heart ? Then hear the bell, 

That almost cracks the frame in utterance : 

The Countess she is dead ! " " Dead ! " Carlo groaned. 

And if a bolt from middle heaven had struck 

His splendid features full upon the brow, 

He could not have appeared more scathed and blanched. 

" Dead ! dead ! " He staggered to his easel-frame, 

And clung around it, buffeting the air 

With one wild arm, as though a drowning man 

Hung to a spar and fought against the waves. 

The Count resumed : " I came not here to grieve, 

Nor see my sorrow in another's eyes. 

Who '11 paint the Countess, as she lies to-night 

In state within the chapel ? Shall it be 

That earth must lose her wholly ? that no hint 

Of her gold tresses, beaming eyes, and lips 

That talked in silence, and the eager soul 

That ever seemed outbreaking through her clay, 

And scattering glory round it, shall all these 

Be dull corruption's heritage, and we, 

Poor beggars, have no legacy to show 

The love she bore us ? That were shame to love, 

And shame to you, my masters." Carlo stalked 

Forth from his easel, stiffly as a thing 

Moved by mechanic impulse. His thin lips, 

And sharpened nostrils, and wan, sunken cheeks, 

And the cold glimmer in his dusky eyes, 

Made him a ghastly sight The throng drew back, 

As if they let a spectre through. Then he, 

Fronting the Count, and speaking in a voice 

Sounding remote and hollow, made reply : 

" Count, I shall paint the Countess. 'T is my fate, 

Not pleasure, no, nor duty." But the Count, 

Astray in woe, but understood assent, 

Not the strange words that bore it ; and he flung 

His arm round Carlo, drew him to his breast, 

And kissed his forehead. At which Carlo shrank : 

Perhaps 't was at the honor. Then the Count, 

A little reddening at his public state, 

Unseemly to his near and recent loss, 

Withdrew in haste between the downcast eyes 

That did him reverence as he rustled by. 

Night fell on Padua. In the chapel lay 
The Countess Laura at the altar's foot. 
Her coronet glittered on her pallid brows ; 
VOL. xvi. xo. 94. 10 



146 Countess Laura. [August, 

A crimson pall, weighed down with golden work, 

Sown thick with pearls, and heaped with early flowers, 

Draped her still body almost to the chin ; 

And over all a thousand candles flamed 

Against the winking jewels, or streamed down 

The marble aisle, and flashed along the guard t 

Of men-at-arms that slowly wove their turns, 

Backward and forward, through the distant gloom. 

When Carlo entered, his unsteady feet 

Scarce bore him to the altar, and his head 

Drooped down so low that all his shining curls 

Poured on his breast, and veiled his countenance. 

Upon his easel a half-finished work, 

The secret labor of his studio, 

Said from the canvas, so that none might err, 

" I am the Countess Laura." Carlo kneeled, 

And gazed upon the picture, as if thus, 

Through those clear eyes, he saw the way to heaven. 

Then he arose ; and as a swimmer comes 

Forth from the waves, he shook his locks aside, 

Emerging from his dream, and standing firm 

Upon a purpose with his sovereign will. 

He took his palette, murmuring, " Not yet ! " 

Confidingly and softly to the corpse ; 

And as the veriest drudge who plies his art 

Against his fancy, he addressed himself 

With stolid resolution to his task. 

Turning his vision on his memory, 

And shutting out the present, till the dead, 

The gilded pall, the lights, the pacing guard, 

And all the meaning of that solemn scene 

Became as nothing, and creative Art 

Resolved the whole to chaos, and reformed 

The elements according to her law, 

So Carlo wrought, as though his eye and hand 

Were Heaven's unconscious instruments, and worked 

The settled purpose of Omnipotence. 

And it was wondrous how the red, the white, 

The ochre, and the umber, and the blue, 

From mottled blotches, hazy and opaque, 

Grew into rounded forms and sensuous lines ; 

How just beneath the lucid skin the blood 

Glimmered with warmth, the scarlet lips apart 

Bloomed with the moisture of the dews of life ; 

How the light glittered through and underneath 

The golden tresses, and the deep, soft eyes 

Became intelligent with conscious thought, 

And somewhat troubled underneath the arch 

Of eyebrows but a little too intense 

For perfect beauty ; how the pose and poise 

Of the lithe figure on its tiny foot 

Suggested life just ceased from motion ; so 



1865.] Countess Latira. 147 

That any one might cry, in marvelling joy, 
"That creature lives, has senses, mind, a soul 
To win God's love or dare hell's subtleties!" 
The artist paused. The ratifying " Good " 
Trembled upon his lips. He saw no touch 
To give or soften. " It is done," he cried, 
. " My task, my duty ! Nothing now on earth 
Can taunt me with a work left unfulfilled ! " 
The lofty flame which bore him up so long 
Died in the ash^ of humanity ; 
And the mere man rocked to and fro again 
Upon the centre of his wavering heart 
He put aside his palette, as if thus 
He stepped from sacred vestments, and assumed 
A mortal function in the common world. 
" Now for my rights ! " he muttered, and approached 
The noble body. " O lily of the world ! 
So withered, yet so lovely ! what wast thou 
To those who came thus near thee for I stood 
Without the pale of thy half-royal rank 
When thou wast budding, and the streams of life 
Made eager struggles to maintain thy bloom, 
And gladdened heaven dropped down in gracious dews 
On its transplanted darling? Hear. me now! 
I say this but in justice, not in pride, 
Not to insult thy high nobility, 
But that the poise of things in God's own sight 
May be adjusted, and hereafter I 
May urge a claim that all the powers of heaven 
Shall sanction, and with clarions blow abroad. 
Laura, you loved me ! Look not so severe, 
With your cold brows, and deadly, close-drawn lips ! 
You proved it, Countess, when you died for it, 
Let it consume you in the wearing strife 
It fought with duty in your ravaged heart 
I knew it ever since that summer-day 
I painted Lila, the pale beggar's child, 
At rest beside the fountain ; when I felt 
Oh, heaven ! the warmth and moisture of your breath 
Blow through my hair, as with your eager soul 
Forgetting soul and body go as one 
You leaned across my easel till our cheeks 
Ah, me ! 't was not your purpose touched, and clung ! 
Well, grant 't was genius ; and is genius nought ? 
I ween it wears as proud a diadem 
Here, in this very world as that you wear. 
A king has held my palette, a grand-duke 
Has picked my brush up, and a pope has begged 
The favor of my presence in his Rome. 
I did not go ; I put my fortune by. 
I need not ask you why : you knew too well. 
It was but natural, it was no way strange, 



143 Countess Laura. [August, 

That I should love you. Everything that saw, 

Or had its other senses, loved you, sweet ! 

And I amongst them. Martyr, holy saint, 

I see the halo curving round your head, 

I loved you once ; but now I worship you, 

For the great deed that held my love aloof, 

And killed you in the action ! I absolve 

Your soul from any taint. For from the day 

Of that encounter by the fountain-side 

Until this moment, never turned on me 

Those tender eyes, unless they did a wrong 

To Nature by the cold, defiant glare 

With which they chilled me. Never heard I word 

Of softness spoken by those gentle lips ; 

Never received a bounty from that hand 

Which gave to all the world. I know the cause. 

You did your duty, not for honor's sake, 

Nor to save sin or suffering or remorse, 

Or all the ghosts that haunt a woman's shame, 

But for the sake of that pure, loyal love 

Your husband bore you. Queen, by grace of God, 

I bow before the lustre of your throne ! 

I kiss the edges of your garment-hem, 

And hold myself ennobled ! Answer me, 

If I had wronged you, you would answer me 

Out of the dusty porches of the tomb, 

Is this a dream, a falsehood ? or have I 

Spoken the very truth ? " " The very truth ! " 

A voice replied ; and at his side he saw 

A form, half shadow and half substance, stand, 

Or, rather, rest ; for on the solid earth 

It had no footing, more than some dense mist 

That wavers o'er the surface of the ground 

It scarcely touches. With a reverent look, 

The shadow's waste and wretched face was bent 

Above the picture, as if greater awe 

Subdued its awful being, and appalled, 

With memories of terrible delight 

And fearful wonder, its devouring gaze. 

" You make what God makes, beauty," said the shape. 

"And might not this, this second Eve, console 

The emptiest heart ? Will not this thing outlast 

The fairest creature fashioned in the flesh ? 

Before that figure Time, and Death himself, 

Stand baffled and disarmed. What would you ask 

More than God's power, from nothing to create ? " 

The artist gazed upon the boding form, 

And answered : " Goblin, if you had a heart, 

That were an idle question. What to me 

Is my creative power, bereft of love ? 

Or what to God would be that selfsame power, 

If so bereaved ? " " And yet the love thus mourned 



1865.] Countess Laura, 

You calmly forfeited. For had you said 

To living Laura in her burning ears 

One half that you professed to Laura dead, 

She would have been your own. These contraries 

Sort not with my intelligence. But say, 

Were Laura living, would the same stale play 

Of raging passion, tearing out its heart 

Upon the rock of duty, be performed ? " 

" The same, O phantom, while the heart I bear 

Trembled, but turned not its magnetic faith 

From God's fixed centre." " If I wake for you 

This Laura, give her all the bloom and glow 

Of that midsummer day you hold so dear, 

The smile, the motion, the impulsive heart, 

The love of genius, yea, the very love, 

The mortal, hungry, passionate, hot love, 

She bore you, flesh to flesh, would you receive 

That gift, in all its glory, at my hands ? " 

A cruel smile arched the tempter's scornful lips, 

And glittered in the caverns of his eyes, 

Mocking the answer. Carlo paled and shook ; 

A woful spasm went shuddering through his frame, 

Curdling his blood, and twisting his fair face 

With nameless torture. But he crted aloud, 

Out of the clouds of anguish, from the smoke 

Of very martyrdom, " O God, she is thine ! 

Do with her at thy pleasure ! " Something grand, 

And radiant as a sunbeam, touched the head 

He bent in awful sorrow. " Mortal, see " 

" Dare not ! As Christ was sinless, I abjure 

These vile abominations ! Shall she bear 

Life's burden twice, and life's temptations twice, 

While God is justice ? " " Who has made you judge 

Of what you call God's good, and what you think 

God's evil ? One to Him, the Source of both, 

The God of good and of permitted ill. 

Have you no dream of days that might have been, 

Had you and Laura filled another fate ? 

Some cottage on the sloping Apennines, 

Roses and lilies, and the rest all love ? 

I tell you that this tranquil dream may be 

Filled to repletion. Speak, and in the shade 

Of my dark pinions I shall bear you hence, 

And land you where the mountain goat himself 

Struggles for footing." He outspread his wings, 

And all the chapel darkened, as if hell 

Had swallowed up the tapers ; and the air 

Grew thick, and, like a current sensible, 

Flowed round the person, with a wash and dash, 

As of the waters of a nether sea. 

Slowly and calmly through the dense obscure, 

Dove-like and gentle, rose the artist's voice : 



Countess Laura. [August, 

" I dare not' bring her spirit to that shame ! 

Know my full meaning, I that neither fear 

Your mystic person nor your dreadful power. 

Nor shall I now invoke God's potent name 

For my deliverance from your toils. I stand 

Upon the founded structure of His law, 

Established from the first, and thence defy 

Your arts, reposing all my trust in that ! " 

The darkness eddied off; and Carlo saw 

The figure gathering, as from outer space, 

Brightness on brightness ; and his former shape 

Fell from him, like the ashes that fall off, 

And show a core of mellow fire within. 

Adown his wings there poured a lambent flood, 

That seemed as molten gold, which plashing fell 

Upon the floor, enringing him with flame ; 

And o'er the tresses of his beaming head 

Arose a stream of many-colored light, 

Like that which crowns the morning. Carlo stood 

Steadfast, for all the splendor, reaching up 

The outstretched palms of his untainted soul 

Towards heaven for strength. A moment thus ; then asked, 

With reverential wonder quivering, through 

His sinking voice, " Who, spirit, and what art thou ? 

" I am that blessing which men fly from, Death." 

" Then take my hand, if so God orders it ; 

For Laura waits me." " But bethink thee, man, 

What the world loses in the loss of thee ! 

What wondrous Art will suffer with eclipse ! 

What unwon glories are in store for thee ! 

What fame, outreaching time and temporal shocks, 

Would shine upon the letters of thy name 

Graven in marble, or the brazen height 

Of columns wise with memories of thee ! " 

" Take me ! If I outlived the Patriarchs, 

I could but paint those features o'er and o'er; 

Lo ! that is done." A pitying smile o'erran 

The seraph's features, as he looked to heaven, 

With deep inquiry in his tender eyes. 

The mandate came. He touched with downy wing 

The sufferer lightly on his aching heart ; 

And gently, as the sky-lark settles down 

Upon the clustered treasures of her nest, 

So Carlo softly slid along the prop 

Of his tall easel, nestling at the foot 

As if he slumbered ; and the morning broke 

In silver whiteness over Padua. 



I86 5 .] 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



STRATEGY AT THE FIRESIDE. 



I. 



WAS it the fault of poor Barbara 
Dinwiddie, that, when Sumter 
fell, and the gallant Anderson saw with 
anguish the old flag pulled down, she 
was the most desperate little Rebel in 
all Dixie ? By no means ! At school, 
at home, at church, she had been taught 
that Slavery was the divinest of all di- 
vine institutions ; that all those outside 
barbarians, known as Yankees, who 
questioned its justice, its policy, its 
eternal fitness, were worse than infidels ; 
that those favored individuals whose 
felicity it had been to be born and bred 
under the patriarchal benignity were 
the master race of this continent ; and 
that one Southern man could, with per- 
fect ease to himself, and without any 
risk whatever of any unpleasant con- 
sequences, whip and put hors de combat 
any five of the " homeless and tradi- 
tionless race " that could be brought 
against him. 

Had not Mr. Jefferson Davis so styled 
them ? and had he not said that he would 
rather herd with hyenas than with Yan- 
kees ? Had not Mr. Yancey declared 
that all the Yankees were cowards ? 
Had not Mr. Walker, Secretary of State 
of the new Confederacy, predicted that 
the " stars and bars " would wave over 
Faneuil Hall in a twelvemonth ? Had 
not the Richmond papers assured the 
high-born sons of the South, who of 
course included the whole white popu- 
lation, that it was an utter impossibility 
for the chivalry to exist under the same 
government with the mean, intolerable 
mudsills of the North ? The wonder 
was, that the aforesaid chivalry could 
live under the same sun, breathe the 
same atmosphere, with such miscreants. 

Was it, then, surprising that poor little 
Barbara, receiving in her narrow sphere 
no other political influences than these, 
should find herself at the age of seven- 
teen the most eager of feminine sympa- 
thizers with Secession ? She burned to 



emulate Mrs. Greenhow, Belle Boyd, 
and other enterprising Amazons who 
early jn the war distinguished them- 
selves as spies or carriers for the Rebels. 
She almost blamed herself as recreant, 
because she read with a shudder the 
account of that Southern damsel who 
bade her lover bring back, as the most 
precious gift he could lay at her feet, a 
Yankee scalp. She tried to persuade 
herself that those little mementos, carv- 
ed from Yankee bones, which were so 
fashionable at one time among the ttite 
of the " Secesh " aristocracy, would not 
shock her own sensitive heart. 

Barbara's mother had done much to 
encourage these sentiments in her 
daughter. A match between Barbara 
and Colonel Pegram of South Carolina 
was one of that mother's pet projects. 
Mrs. Dinwiddie was of " one of the first 
families of Virginia " ; in which she was 
not singular. She had been brought up 
to regard the Old Dominion as the law- 
ful dictatress of the legislation of the 
American continent ; as sovereign, not 
only over her own borders, but over the 
Congress and especially the Treasury of 
the United States. The tobacco-lands 
of her father having given out through 
that sagacious system of culture which 
Slavery applies, and negro-raising for the 
supply of the slave-market farther south 
being in a temporary condition of paraly- 
sis, the lady had so far descended from 
her pedestal of ancestral pride as to en- 
courage the addresses of Mr. Daniel 
Dinwiddie, a Baltimore merchant, and 
himself " of excellent family," though he 
had tarnished his hereditary honors by 
condescending to engage in trade. Two 
children were the fruits of the alliance 
which ensued, our Barbara, and Mr. 
Culpepper Dinwiddie, who became even- 
tually a major in the Rebel army. 

What a dies ircz it was for poor Mrs. 
Dinwiddie, that day that " Beast But- 
ler " rode at a slow walk through the 
streets of Baltimore, smoking his cigar, 
and swaying to and fro carelessly on 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



[August, 



his horse ! The poor lady was ready 
to cuff Mr. Dinwiddie's ears, because 
that worthy citizen sat down to his mut- 
ton and claret that day at dinner as cool- 
ly as if nothing had happened. Barbara 
wept, and sang " My Maryland " and the 
" Bonnie Blue Flag : ' till she made her- 
self hoarse. She then glanced at a pho- 
tograph of Colonel Pegram, and thought 
how well he looked the conquering hero. 

Sunday came. It was a blessed sat- 
isfaction that at the Church of St. For- 
tunatus all the communicants were 
friends of the Rebellion. The Rever- 
end Bogus de Bogus was himself an ex- 
tremist in his advocacy of Slavery and 
the Slave Confederacy. But what was 
the consternation of the whole assem- 
bly, at hearing him, on that eventful 
Sabbath, pray for the President and 
other authorities of the United States ! 
Had he been tampered with by the 
Beast ? What was the world coming 
to ? How intolerable that the solar 
system should move on as regularly 
and indifferently as if nothing had hap- 
pened ! 

The fomenters of Rebellion in the 
Monument City continued hopeful, not- 
withstanding the defection of the Rev- 
erend Bogus de Bogus. Mrs. Dinwid- 
die almost worried Dinwiddie's life out, 
teasing him for money with which to buy 
quinine and. percussion-caps to smuggle 
into Rebeldom. Barbara worked till 
her taper little forefinger looked like a 
nutmeg-grater, making shirts and draw- 
ers for the " gallant Palmetto Tenth," in 
which certain sprigs of aristocracy from 
Baltimore had enlisted. The regiment 
was commanded by that splendid fel- 
low, Charlie Pegram. 

What was Barbara's despair, on learn- 
ing that all the products of her labors 
had been intercepted by the " Beast," 
and were safely stored at " these head- 
quarters " ! Mrs. Dinwiddie went into 
hysterics at the news, but was suddenly 
restored, on hearing Dinwiddie enter, 
and inquire in the most cold-blooded 
manner, " Why is n't dinner ready ? " 
Falling upon that monster in human 
shape, she crushed him so far into si- 
lence by her indignation, that he was 



glad to make a meal of a few crackers 
and a glass of ale, and then retire for 
his afternoon cigar to the repose of his 
counting-room. 

The war (the civil, not the domestic, 
we mean) went on. Battle succeeded bat- 
tle, and skirmish skirmish, with alternat- 
ing successes, when at last came the 
Emancipation Proclamation, not in the 
earthquake, nor in the whirlwind, but in 
the still small voice. " Well, what of it ? 
'T is a mere paper bomb ! " said Bel- 
shazzar at Richmond, looking out on 
Libby and Belle Isle. Mrs. Dinwiddie 
read the " Richmond Enquirer," and 
thought, for the thousandth time, how 
intolerable life would be, -if ever again 
Yankees were to be suffered to live 
within a thousand miles of a genuine 
descendant of the Cavaliers. " Spaniels 
must be whipped into subservience," 
said Mr. Jefferson Davis, alluding to 
the abhorred race north of Mason and 
Dixon's line. 

" Yes, they must be whipped ! " echoed 
Mrs. Dinwiddie ; and soon afterwards 
came news of the capture of New Or- 
leans, of Vicksburg, of Port Hudson, 
and at last of Atlanta. " These horrid 
Yankees ! " she shrieked. " Why don't 
we do something, Dinwiddie ? If one 
Southerner can whip five Yankees, why. 
in the name of common sense, don't we 
do something ? Speak, you stupid, pro- 
voking man ! " 

" Yes, yes, what was it you asked ? " 
meekly interrogated Dinwiddie, who 
was calculating how much he had made 
in the recent rise of United States five- 
twenties. 

" What was it ? Oh, go to your to- 
bacco-casks, your coupons, and your 
cotton, you soulless, huckstering old 
man ! You can look on and see Abo- 
litionism getting rampant in this once 
proud city, and not lift a voice or a 
finger to save us from ruin ! You can 
see Maryland drifting into the horrible 
abyss of Yankeeism and Anti-slavery, 
and keep on doing business and mind- 
ing the paltry affairs of your counting- 
room, as if all that gives grace and dig- 
nity to this wretched State were not on 
the verge of destruction ! If you 'd had 



i86 S .] 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



the spirit of a hare, you 'd have been 
a brigadier-general in the Confederate 
army by this time." 

Dinwiddie was not a man of words. 
He had a wholesome horror of strong- 
minded women ; and to that class he 
discovered, too late for his peace, that 
his wife belonged. So he simply re- 
plied, slightly stuttering, as was his 
wont, except when excited, 

" If I had joined the army, Madam, 
I should have have ve " 

" I should have what ? " 

" I should have been deprived of 
your ahem agreeable society ; and 
then you might have been a wid wid 
widow." 

" I should have been proud, Sir, to 
have been your widow under such cir- 
cumstances." 

" Thank you, Mrs. Dinwiddie ; but 
being a mod mod modest man 
myself, I 'd rather not make my wife 
proud." 

" There 's no danger of your ever 
doing that, Sir," quoth Madam ; " but 
I thank Heaven we 're not wholly dis- 
graced. We have one representative 
of our family in the Confederate army. 
My son Culpepper may live to make 
amends for his sire's degeneracy." 

Dinwiddie was beginning to get 
roused. 

" My degeneracy, Madam ? Confound 
it, Madam, where would you and f yours 
have been, if I had n't saved you all 
from pau pau pauperism, Madam ? " 

It was rare that Dinwiddie made so 
long a speech, and the lady was as- 
tounded. 

" Sir," said she, " do you know it is 
a Culpepper of whom you speak ? " 

" Devilish well I know it," said the 
excited Daniel ; " and what you all had 
but your pride I never could find out ; 
and what were you proud of? Of a 
dozen or two old family nig nig 
niggers, that were only a bill of expense 
to that pompous old cove, your father." 

Mrs. Dinwiddie began to grow livid 
with exasperation. Her husband had 
touched her on a tender point. 

" Go on, Sir," said she ; " I see your 
drift. I have suspected for some time 



that you were going to play the rene- 
gade ; to desert your order ; to prove 
false to the South ; to cooperate with 
miscreant Yankees in overturning our 
sacred institutions." 

" Confound your sacred institutions, 
Madam ! Slavery is played out." 

" Played out, you monstrous blas- 
phemer ? An institution for which Scrip- 
ture vouches ; an institution which the 
Reverend Dr. Palmer says comes right 
down to us from heaven ! Played out ? 
Monster! I thank the Lord my two 
children have not been corrupted by 
these detestable Yankee notions that 
are upsetting all our old landmarks in 
this once noble city of Baltimore." 

"Noble? Ah, yes, noble, I sup- 
pose, when it allowed its ruffians to 
shoot down a band of Northern soldiers 
who were marching to the support of 
Government ! " 

" You yourself said at the time, Mr. 
Dinwiddie, that it served them right." 

Dinwiddie winced, for this was a blow 
square on his forehead between his two 
eyes. He paused, and then, without 
knowing it, translated the words of a 
Latin moralist, and replied, 

" Times change, and we change with 
them." 

" You will find, Sir, that a Culpepper 
does n't change," said Madam ; and, 
with a gesture of queenly scorn, she 
swept with expansive crinoline out of 
the room. 

" So the ice is broken at last," mut- 
tered Dinwiddie. " I would n't have 
believed I could have faced her so well. 
After all, I 'm not sure that the military 
is not my true sphere." 

His soliloquy was interrupted by the 
ring of muskets on the sidewalk in front 
of his house, and he jumped with a nerv- 
ous horror. Looking from the window, 
he saw a file of soldiers, and an officer 
in the United States uniform, with one 
arm in a sling, and the hand of the other 
holding a drawn sword. He was a pale, 
but handsome youth, and looked up as 
if to read the name on the door. Then, 
followed by a sergeant, he ascended the 
steps and rang the bell. 

" What the Deuse is all this for, I won- 



154 



Strategy at tJic Fireside. 



der ? " exclaimed Dinwiddie ; and in his 
curiosity he opened the outside door, 
anticipating the negro footman, Nero, 
who exchanged a glance of intelligence 
with the military man. 

" I am Captain Penrose, Sir," said 
the officer ; " this is Sergeant MacFuse ; 
you, I believe, bear the name on the 
door-plate before us." 

Dinwiddie bowed an affirmative. 

" I have orders, Sir," resumed the 
officer, " to search your house ; and I 
will thank you to give me the opportu- 
nity with as little delay as possible, and 
without communicating with any mem- 
ber of your family." 

" But, Captain, does anybody doubt 
my loyalty ? " 

" No one, Sir, that I am aware of," 
replied the Captain, with a suavity that 
reassured and captivated Dinwiddie. 
" We have n't the slightest doubt, Sir, 
of your thoroughly loyal and honorable 
conduct and intentions ; but, Sir, there 
is, nevertheless, a Rebel mail in your 
house at this moment. I '11 thank you to 
conduct us quietly to the little bathing- 
room communicating with your wife's 
apartment on the second story." 

Dinwiddie saw through it all. He 
said not a word, but led the way up 
stairs. 

" We shall have to pass through Mad- 
am's room to get at the place," he re- 
marked ; " for the door is locked on the 
inside." 

" Yes, but the key is out, and I have 
a duplicate," replied the officer. " We 
will enter by the door that opens on this 
passage-way. I will just give a gentle 
knock, to learn whether any one is in 
the bathing-room." 

He knocked, and there was no reply. 

" I think we may venture in," he said. 

He unlocked the door, and they en- 
tered, Captain Penrose, Sergeant Mac- 
Fuse, Dinwiddie, and Nero. The Cap- 
tain pointed to a chest of drawers let 
into the wall, and said, 

" Now, Sir, if you will open that low- 
est drawer, I think you will find what I 
am in search of." 

Dinwiddie opened the drawer, and a 
strong smell of tobacco, in which some 



furs were packed, made him sneeze ; but 
the Captain proved to be correct in his 
surmise. Nero displayed his ivory in 
a broad grin, and Dinwiddie lifted a 
small, but well-stuffed leather mail-bag. 

At that moment the door leading into 
Mrs. Dinwiddie's apartment opened, and 
that lady, followed by Barbara, made her 
appearance. Nero's grin was at once 
transformed into a look of intense so- 
lemnity, and the whites of his eyes were 
lifted in sympathetic amazement. 

Madam's first effort was to snatch 
the mail-bag from her husband ; but he 
handed it to Sergeant MacFuse, who, 
receiving it, shouldered his musket with 
military formality. 

" But this is an outrage, Sir ! " ex- 
claimed Mrs. Dinwiddie, finding words 
at length for her rage. 

"Madam," said Captain Penrose, "a 
carriage ought to be by this time at the 
door. Have the goodness, you and your 
daughter, to make the necessary prepa- 
rations and accompany me and Sergeant 
MacFuse to the office of the Provost 
Marshal." 

" I shall do no such thing ! " said 
Madam, with set teeth, trembling with 
exasperation. 

"You will relieve me, I am sure, 
Madam," said the Captain, " of any- 
thing so painful as the exercise of 
force." 

" Force ! " cried Madam ; " yes, that 
would be all in the line of you mean and 
dastardly Yankees, to use force to un- 
protected women ! " 

" Oh, mother ! " said Barbara, shock- 
ed, in spite of her Secession sympathies, 
at the maternal rudeness, and somewhat 
touched withal by the pale face and the 
slung arm of the handsome young offi- 
cer ; " I am sure the gentleman has " 

" Gentleman ! Ha, ha, ha ! You call 
him a gentleman, do you ? " gasped Mrs. 
Dinwiddie, as, quite beside herself with 
passion, she sank into a chair. 

" Yes, mother," said Barbara, her heart 
moved by a thrill as natural as that which 
stirs the leaves of the embryo bud in 
May ; " yes, mother, I call him a gentle- 
man ; and I hope you will do nothing to 
prevent his calling you a lady." 



1865.] 



Strategy at tJie Fireside. 



155 



Captain Penrose looked with a sud- 
den interest on the maiden. Strange 
that he had n't noticed it before, but 
truly she was very, very pretty ! Light, 
not too light, hair ; blue eyes ; a charm- 
ing figure ; a face radiant with sentiment 
and with intelligence ; verily, in all Balti- 
more, so justly famed for beautiful wom- 
en, he had not seen her peer ! Barbara 
dropped her eyes. Decidedly the young 
officer's admiration was too emphatical- 
ly expressed in his glance. 

Mrs. Dinwiddie began to grow hys- 
terical. 

" Madam," said Captain Penrose, " I 
fear your strength will not be equal to 
the task it is my painful duty to put you 
to ; and I will venture to break through 
my instructions so far as to say, that, if 
you will give me your promise you and 
your daughter to remain at home till 
you receive permission through me to 
quit the house, I will waive all further 
action at present." 

" There, mother," quoth Barbara, 
" what could be more reasonable, 
more gentlemanly ? Say you consent 
to his terms." 

Mrs. Dinwiddie motioned a negative 
with her handkerchief, and stamped her 
feet, as if no power on earth should 
extort from her the slightest conces- 
sion. 

" There, Sir, she consents, she con- 
sents, you see," said Barbara. 

" Um um um ! " shrieked Mrs. 
Dinwiddie, shaking her head, and stamp- 
ing her feet with renewed vigor. 

" I see," said Captain Penrose ; "and 
I need not ask if you, Miss Dinwiddie, 
also consent." 

" I do, Sir ; and I thank you for your 
consideration," said Barbara. 

"I don't don't don't!" stormed 
the elderly lady, quivering in every limb, 
like a blown ribbon. 

It was strange that Captain Penrose 
did not hear the exclamation, loud and 
emphatic as it was ; but he simply bow- 
ed and quitted the room, followed by 
Dinwiddie, Nero, and Sergeant Mac- 
Fuse. 

No sooner had the military men quit- 
ted the house than the dinner-bell ransr. 



Madam refused to rrfake her appear- 
ance. Barbara came down and presid- 
ed. Boys in the' street were crying the 
news of Sherman's capture of Savan- 
nah. 

" Good for Sherman ! " said Dinwid- 
die. " I 'm devilish glad of it." 

Little Barbara looked up with conster- 
nation. She loved her father, but never 
before had she heard from his lips a de- 
cided expression of sympathy with the 
loyal cause. True, for the last six 
months he had said little on either 
side ; but, from the absence of any con- 
troversy between him and her mother, 
Barbara imagined that their political 
sentiments were harmonious. 

She made no reply to her father's 
remark, but kept up in that little 
brain of hers an amount of thinking 
that took away all her appetite for the 
dessert. Mrs. Dinwiddie entered be- 
fore the table was cleared. Then there 
was a ring of the door-bell. It was the 
postman. Nero brought in a letter. 
Dinwiddie looked at the address. 

"T is a letter for Anjy," said he. 
"The handwriting looks like Culpep- 
per's." 

Anjy, or Angelina, was an old black 
cook, one of the few surviving represen- 
tatives of the vanished glories of the 
old Culpepper estate. She had taken 
a lively interest in the course of Mary- 
land towards freedom ; and when at 
length that noble Commonwealth strip- 
ped off the last fetter from her limbs, 
and trampled it under her feet, Anjy 
was loudest among the colored people 
with her Hallelujahs. She was no lon- 
ger a slave, thank the Lord ! There 
was a future of justice, of self-respect, 
of freedom now dawning upon her 
abused race. 

As Anjy could not read, Barbara had 
been duly authorized to open all her 
letters. She did so on this occasion, 
read, turned pale, and exclaimed, 

" Horrible ! Oh, the villain ! " 

"What 's the matter?" asked her 
father. 

The letter was from his son, Culpep- 
per, to the old family servant, and was 
in these words : 



Strategy at tJic Fireside. 



" DEAR AXJY, I have very un- 
pleasant news to tell you. Your son 
Tony has been shot by his master, Colo- 
nel Pegram, for refusing to fight against 
the Yankees, and trying to run away. 
Tony was much to blame. He had 
been a good boy till some confounded 
Abolitionists put it into his head that 
the Yankee scum were fighting the bat- 
tles of the black man ; when, as you 
well know, Anjy, the true friends of 
the black man are those who mean to 
keep him in that state of slavery for 
which the Lord plainly intended him. 
But Tony got this foolish notion of the 
Abolitionists into his head, and one 
day frankly told the Colonel that he 
would n't fire a gun at the Yankees to 
save his own life ; whereupon the Colo- 
nel very properly had him whipped, 
and pretty badly, too. The next day 
Tony was caught trying to make his 
escape into the Yankee lines. He was 
brought before the Colonel, who told 
him, that, for your sake, Anjy, he would 
forgive him, if he would swear on the 
Bible not to do so again. Tony refus- 
ed to swear this, began to rave about 
his rights, and finally declared that he 
was free, first under God's law, next 
under the laws of the United States, 
and finally under the laws of Maryland. 
There were other negroes, slaves of 
officers, near by, listening to all this 
wicked stuff, and Pegram felt the im- 
portance of making an example ; so he 
drew his revolver and shot Tony through 
the heart. How could he help it, An- 
jy ? You must n't blame the Colonel. 
We all felt he could n't have done oth- 
erwise. I saw Tony the minute after 
he was shot. He died easy. I emp- 
tied his pockets. There was noth- 
ing in them but a photograph of you, 
Anjy, a printed proclamation by the 
wretched Yankee tyrant, Abe Lincoln, 
and a handkerchief printed as an Amer- 
ican flag. I 'm very sorry at this af- 
fair ; but you must seek comfort in 
religion, and pray that your poor de- 
luded boy may be forgiven for his un- 
faithfulness and bad conduct. Affec- 
tionately, 

" CULPEPPER." 



This letter was read aloud, not by 
Barbara, nor by her father, but by Mrs. 
Dinwiddie, who exclaimed, as she fin- 
ished it, 

" Here 's the result of your Yankee 
teachings, Mr. Dinwiddie ! There was 
n't a better boy than Tony in all Mary- 
land, till the Abolitionists got hold of 
him. Pegram served him just right, 
just as I would have done." 

Dinwiddie rose, pale, trembling, and 
all his features convulsed. Barbara 
covered her face with her hands and 
groaned. Never before had she seen 
such an expression on her father's face. 
Turning to his wife, he said in a husky 
voice, which with a great effort he seem- 
ed to make audible, 

" Pegram was a murderer ; and you, 
Madam, if you commend his act, have 
in you the stuff out of which murderers 
are made. Now hear me, you and 
Miss Barbara here. Here I repudiate 
Slavery, and every man, woman, or child 
who helps by word or deed to uphold 
such deviltry as that you have just read 
of. Long enough, Madam, I 've allow- 
ed my conscience to be juggled, fooled, 
and blinded by your imperious will and 
absurd family pride. 'T is ended. This 
day I subscribe ten thousand dollars to 
the relief of the Georgia freedmen, made 
free by Sherman. Utter one syllable 
against it, and, so help me God, I '11 
make it twenty thousand. Further : if 
either you or your daughter shall dare, 
after this warning, to lift a needle in 
behalf of this Rebellion, if I hear of 
either one of you lending yourself to 
the smuggling of Rebel mails, or giving 
aid of any kind to Rebel emissaries, 
that moment I give you up to the regu- 
lar authorities and disown you forever. 
You know that I am a man of few 
threats ; but you also know that what I 
say I mean." 

Dinwiddie waited a full minute for 
some reply to this unparalleled outburst, 
and then left the room with an air of 
dignity which neither Barbara nor her 
mother had ever witnessed before. 

The mother first broke silence. She 
began with an hysterical laugh, and 
then said, 



1865.] 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



157 



" If he thinks to involve me in his 
cowardly treason to the South, he '11 
find himself mistaken. Don't look so 
pale and frightened, you foolish girl ! 
Go and put on your things for the 
Bee." 

The Bee was a society of fashionable 
ladies, of pronounced disloyalty, who 
met once a week to make up garments 
for Rebel officers. 

" I shall go to the Bee no more, 
mother," said Barbara ; " besides, I 
have given my promise to keep the 
house till I have permission to quit 
it." 

" And do you venture to set your 
father's orders above mine, you presum- 
ing girl ? Are you, too, going to desert 
the Southern cause ? " 

Barbara's reply was interrupted by 
the entrance of old Anjy. The scene 
which had just transpired had been 
faithfully transferred to the memory of 
the listening and observant Nero, who 
had communicated it all to the party 
chiefly interested. 

Mrs. Dinwiddie quailed a little as she 
met Anjy's glance ; but Barbara rose 
and threw her arms about the faithful 
old creature's neck, and, bursting into 
tears, exclaimed, 

" Oh, Anjy ! 't was the act of a devil ! 
I hate him for it ! " 

" Mind what you say, Barbara ! " said 
Mrs. Dinwiddie. 

Barbara withdrew her arms, and, fold- 
ing them, looked her mother straight in 
the face and said, 

" My father did not speak too harsh- 
ly of it. 'T was a foul and cowardly 
murder." 

" Oh ! " cried Mrs. Dinwiddie, again 
threatening a relapse into hysterics. 

" My dear, dear Anjy," said Barbara, 
her tears flowing afresh, "come up to 
my room, and I will read you your let- 
ter." 

With a face tearless and inflexi- 
ble, Anjy allowed herself to be led 
out of the dining -hall, and up stairs 
into Barbara's apartment. The two 
stayed there a couple of hours, heed- 
less of every summons for them to 
come forth. 



II. 



AT seventeen the process of conver- 
sion is apt to be rapid. Barbara lay 
awake nearly all that night, thinking, 
praying, and weeping. With her sud- 
den detestation of Pegram mingled the 
personal consideration that he knew 
that Tony was the son of her own fa- 
vorite Anjy, the friend of her child- 
hood. 

" If he had had one spark of true re- 
gard for me," thought Barbara, " not 
to save the whole Southern Confedera- 
cy would he have shot the son of Anjy. 
Pegram is a brutal ruffian, and Slavery 
has made him that." 

Anjy helped on the work of conver- 
sion by her anguish and her solemn ad- 
jurations. The old woman had picked 
up arguments, both moral and econom- 
ical, enough to have posed even Mr. 
Alexander H. Stephens himself, the 
philosophical apostle of that new dis- 
pensation whose deity was born of the 
cotton-gin and sired by the devil Ava- 
rice. 

Barbara rose and breakfasted late that 
morning. At eleven o'clock she took her 
music -lesson. Let us leave her for a 
few minutes, and fly to another part of 
the city, where, in one of the rooms of 
the Provost-Marshal's office, the Rebel 
mail was being examined. Captain 
Penrose entered, and Detective Wilkins 
handed him a letter he had just opened. 
It was addressed to Colonel Pegram, 
and was signed by Mrs. Daniel Din- 
widdie. We will take the liberty of 
quoting a portion of it. 

" I know, my dear Charlie, that you 
have been obliged to draw largely on 
your financial resources in aid of the 
great cause of Southern independence, 
and I am not surprised that you should 
find yourself so severely pushed for 
money. I sent you five hundred dol- 
lars in greenbacks in my last, the sav- 
ings of Barbara and myself. I hope to 
send you as much more by the next 
mail. I regret to say that for the last 
six months my husband has utterly re- 
fused to allow me one cent for what he 



158 



Strategy at tJic Fireside. 



[August, 



calls disloyal purposes. I consequent- 
ly have to practise some finesse in get- 
ting what I do. The money he gives 
us for dresses and for charity is all sav- 
ed up for you ; and then I manage to 
make our grocer's and butcher's bills 
appear twice as large as they really 
are, and thus add to our savings. It is 
mortifying to have to resort to these 
shifts ; but when I reflect on what it is 
all for, I feel abundantly justified. Mr. 
Dinwiddie's income the last two years 
has been enormous. He is taxed for 
upwards of a million. A good part of 
this, my dear Charlie, shall be yours as 
soon as you change the title of friend 
for the nearer one of son-in-law. You 
complain that Barbara would n't en- 
gage herself the last time you met. 
Her refusal was merely an act of maid- 
en coyness, and only meant, ' I want to 
be won, but not too easily.' She sees 
no young men, and I watch her closely ; 
for I am resolved that your interests 
shall be as well looked after as if you 
were on the spot" 

As Captain Penrose finished reading 
the letter, Mr. Dinwiddie walked in, 
and it was handed to him for perusal. 
That worthy merchant glanced through 
it rapidly, and a grim smile overspread 
his features. " We shall see, Madam," 
he said, folding up the letter, and hand- 
ing it to Detective Wilkins for filing. 
Then, turning to the Captain, he re- 
marked, 

"You are from Maine, I believe, 
Captain Penrose ? " 

" Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie, from the very 
extremity of Yankeedom." 

"Well, Captain, I have this morn- 
ing seen a friend of your father's, who 
bade me say to you he is in the city for 
a day or two, and hopes to see you be- 
fore he leaves." 

" To whom do you refer ? " 

"To Mr. Calvin Carver, of Mon- 
treal." 

" Oh, yes ; I 've often heard my father 
speak of him as one of the best men in 
the world." 

" A man, Captain Penrose, of whom 
you may truly say, ' His word is as 



good as his bond.' I never knew him 
to overstate a fact, and that is saying 
a great deal of an active business man. 
I have not seen him before to-day since 
my marriage." 

" I shall take an early opportunity of 
calling on him, Mr. Dinwiddie." 

" He told me, Captain, of your gal- 
lant conduct the other day at Nashville, 
during Hood's attack. He said I ought 
to give Stanton no peace till he has you 
promoted to a colonelcy." 

" All in good time, Mr. Dinwiddie. 
There are hundreds of brave fellows 
who have a prior claim. And now, Sir, 
permit me to say, that I have consulted 
with the Provost- Marshal, and my offi- 
cial duty requires me to call on your 
wife and daughter, and notify them that 
they are at liberty to go where they 
please." 

The Captain might have added, had 
he thought it discreet, that the police 
authorities had concluded they should 
learn more of the secrets of the Rebel 
plotters by allowing Madam to go at 
large than by keeping her shut up. 

Dinwiddie stood nervously playing 
with his watch-key. An idea had oc- 
curred to him, a glorious, a ravish- 
ing idea, an idea which, if concreted 
successfully into action, would revenge 
him triumphantly on his wife for the 
tricks revealed in the letter he had just 
read. 

" Captain," said he, "if you are going 
to my house, have you any objection to 
take a letter for my daughter ? " 

" I shall be pleased to do so," re- 
turned the Captain ; but he would have 
put more warmth into his reply, had it 
not been for certain chilly misgivings 
in regard to the preoccupation of Bar- 
bara's heart. 

Mr. Dinwiddie sat down at a table, 
and wrote these lines : 

" BARBARA, Captain Arthur Pen- 
rose, of Maine, visits you in pursuance 
of his yesterday's promise. If you have 
any regard for your poor, distracted fa- 
ther, if you would save me from the 
deepest, the direst mortification, ex- 
ert all your powers to conciliate Cap- 



i86 5 .] 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



159 



tain Penrose, and to detain him till I 
return hopfie and relieve you. I will 
explain all to you hereafter. My peace 
of mind depends largely on your being 
able to do this. Urge him to call again. 
In haste, your father." 

The Captain received this missive, 
bowed, and walked off in the direction 
of Dinwiddie's house. 

Nero came to the door. 

" Is Mrs. Dinwiddie in ? " 

" No, Cap'n, but Miss Barbara is in," 
said the conspiring Nero, in a tone of 
encouragement. 

Madam, it should be remarked, was 
out making calls on a few leading femi- 
nine sympathizers ; but she did not no- 
tice, that, wherever she went, a little 
man in black, with a postman's big 
pocket-book in his hands, followed, as 
if busily employed in delivering letters. 

Captain Penrose sent up his card, to- 
gether with the missive he was charged 
with. Nero returned the next minute, 
and ushered him into the drawing- 
room, assuring him, with overflowing 
suavity, that Miss Barbara would be 
down in a minute. It was with pro- 
found agitation that that young lady 
read her father's note. What could be 
the matter ? 

She looked in the glass, combed 
back her profuse flaxen hair so as to 
expose her fair temples in the most 
approved fashion of the hour, took a 
little tea-rose from the silver vase on 
her bureau, and then, with a beating 
heart, stepped down the broad, low 
stairs into the drawing-room. 

Captain Penrose was examining an 
exquisite painting of an iceberg, which 
hung on the wall over the piano. He 
turned to Barbara, bowed gravely, and 
said, 

" I merely came to say, Miss Din- 
widdie, that there is no longer any re- 
straint upon your movements. You 
are at liberty to go where you please. 
Your mother, I learn, has already an- 
ticipated the permission for herself. 
You may say to her, that, in her case 
also, the prohibition is removed. I will 
bid you a very good morning." 



He bowed, and had almost reached 
the door before Barbara could recover 
her composure sufficiently to say, 

" Sir, Captain Penrose, I beg you 
not to leave me so abruptly. Pray be 
seated." 

The Captain, arch-hypocrite that he 
was, looked at the clock as if he were 
closely pushed for time, and replied, 

" My official duties, Miss Dinwiddie, 
are so pressing so " 

" But I 've something particular to 
say to you," said Barbara, grown des- 
perate. 

" Indeed ! Then I 'm at your service." 

Barbara pointed to an arm-chair ; but 
the Captain wheeled it up to her, and 
at the same time pushed along an otto- 
man for himself. As soon as the lady 
was seated, he, too, sat. 

There was a pause, and rather a long 
one. 

" Now, Miss Dinwiddie, I shall be 
happy to hear your communication." 

" Ahem ! I noticed, Sir, as I came 
in, that you were looking at yonder 
painting." 

" Yes ; is it not most admirable ? 
'T is by a Boston artist, I see, by 
Curtis." 

" Indeed ! 'T is a picture my father 
bought only last week. 'T was recom- 
mended to him by Mr. Carver ; for fa- 
ther does not pretend to be a connois- 
seur. You think it good ? " 

" Good ? 'T is exquisite ! Look at the 
atmosphere over that water. You might 
feel a cool exhalation from it on a hot 
day. The misty freshness rolling off, 
and lit up by the cheery sunlight, is Na- 
ture itself. It carries me away far 
away once more to the coast of Lab- 
rador, where I spent a summer month 
in my youth. But, Miss Dinwiddie, 
how happens it that you condescend, 
in times like these, to patronize a Yan- 
kee artist ? When Colonel Pegram 
comes, you must take down that pic- 
ture and hide it." 

Barbara started and blushed. 

" What do you know, Sir, of Colonel 
Pegram ? " 

" Nothing, except that he is a fortu- 
nate man, unless Rumor belies him." 



i6o 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



[August, 



" If you refer, Sir, to that foolish re- 
port in regard to myself which was cur- 
rent last winter, I beg to assure you 
there is no truth in it." 

" Not now, perhaps." 

" Never shall it be true ! " exclaim- 
ed Barbara, starting up and pacing the 
floor. 

" Excuse me," said the Captain, also 
rising, "excuse me, if I have been 
impertinent on so slight an acquaint- 
ance." 

He had his hat in his hand, and 
walked towards the door. 

" Deuse take the fellow ! can't he 
stay patiently here five minutes ? " 
thought Barbara. She dropped the 
rose she had been holding. The Cap- 
tain picked it up and offered it. 

" Keep it, Sir, if you think it worth 
while," said Barbara, driven to this 
incipient impropriety by the vague ap- 
prehensions excited by her father's let- 
ter. 

"Thank you," replied the Captain, so 
taken by surprise that he forgot his mili- 
tary laurels, and showed a faint heart by 
a blush. 

Barbara esteemed Lt a very charming 
symptom ; and as the Captain, with his 
one unwounded arm, tried rather awk- 
wardly to put the flower in the button- 
hole of his waistcoat, she stepped up 
with a " Let me aid you " ; and, taking 
from her own dress a pin, fastened the 
rose nicely as near as she could to the 
beating heart of the imperilled soldier. 
Alas ! if his thoughts had been put in- 
to words, he would have soliloquized, 
" Look here, Captain, I 'm afraid you 
are deporting yourself very much like 
a simpleton. Pluck up a spirit, man ! " 

" There ! I 'm sure 't is very becom- 
ing," quoth Barbara, mischievously. 

" You see how convenient it is to 
have two hands," returned the Captain. 
"And your having two hands, Miss Din- 
widdie, reminds me that your piano 
stands open, showing its teeth, as if it, 
smiling, wanted to say, ' Come, play on 
me.' " 

" What a lucky idea ! " thought Bar- 
bara. " Now I have him, and will hold 
him. He shall get enough of it. When 



will pa come, I wonder ? Are you fond 
of music, Captain Penrose ? " 

" Yes ; I used to be a performer be- 
fore I was disabled." 

" But your voice is not disabled. You 
sing?" 

"A little ; but I 'm out of practice." 

" No matter. Come ! Here 's a mar- 
tial piece, suitable for the times : ' To 
Greece we give our shining blades.' " 

It was one of the Captain's favor- 
ites ; and as the two voices, resonant 
and penetrating, rose on the chorus in 
perfect accord, the singers thought they 
had never sung so well before, and each 
attributed it to the excellent time of the 
other. Nero and another person' listen- 
ed at the aperture of the folding-doors : 
Nero, who was musical, going through a 
show of vehement applause, and throw- 
ing himself about in a manner that would 
have made his fortune as an Ethiopian 
minstrel. 

Other songs followed in rapid suc- 
cession ; and when the Captain sang 
" Annie Lawrie," con espressione, ac- 
companying himself on the piano with 
one hand, Barbara exclaimed, with a 
frank burst of genuine admiration, 

" Oh, but you sang that superbly ! " 

She had quite forgotten her anxiety 
about her father's return. 

Then they talked of the popular com- 
posers ; and from music their conver- 
sation glanced on literature ; and from 
literature the Captain ventured on the 
dangerous ground of politics. 

" Are you incorrigibly a Rebel ? " he 
asked. 

Barbara looked down. She feared 
that any confession of change in her 
notions would seem too much like in- 
sincerity. 

" Now I 'm going to lecture you," he 
continued. " Are you not rejoiced that 
Maryland is a Free State ? that no longer 
on this soil a man has power to rob a 
fellow -man of his labor, and to shoot 
him down, if he lifts a hand in opposi- 
tion to brutal oppression ? Does not 
your generous heart tell you that the sys- 
tem under which such injustice is or- 
ganized is wrong, unchristian, devilish ? 
Are we not well rid of the curse ? " 



I86 5 .] 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



161 



Barbara looked up, and responded in 
a hearty, emphatic Yes. 

" But," she added, " my conversion is 
recent And who do you suppose con- 
verted me ? " 

"I cannot imagine." 

Here a door was thrown open, and 
Mr. Dinwiddie entered. The perfidious 
man had been listening. Captain Pen- 
rose glanced guiltily at the clock, and 
saw, to his consternation, that two hours 
had somehow unaccountably slipped 
away. 

" I have been a loiterer, you see, Mr. 
Dinwiddie," he said; "but the fault is 
your daughter's. I will now take my 
leave." 

" We shall be happy to see you 
again," said Barbara, glancing assent 
to a nod from her father. 

" Yes, Captain Penrose," said Din- 
widdie, " I hope you '11 not drop our 
acquaintance, notwithstanding the cir- 
cumstances under which it was made." 

" I shall esteem any circumstances 
fortunate," replied the Captain, "that 
have given me so agreeable a visit " ; 
and, bowing, he left the room, and Bar- 
bara rang the bell for Nero to open the 
outer door. 

" Saved ! saved ! " cried Dinwiddie, 
sinking into a chair, and covering his 
face with his handkerchief. 

" Saved ? How saved ? " asked Bar- 
bara, alarmed. 

" But no," exclaimed Dinwiddie, start- 
ing up with a very tragic expression. 
" Perhaps it was but a transient pow 
pow power you exerted over him. 
Barbara, should you meet again, put 
forth all your attractions to to to 
bind him as with a sp sp spell to 
keep my fatal secret." 

"What secret, father?" 

"Hush sh sh!" said Dinwiddie, 
stepping on tiptoe to one door and then 
to another, and then looking with a cau- 
tious air under the sofa. He beckoned 
to his daughter. She drew near. Once 
more he looked anxiously around the 
room, and then whispered, in a hoarse, 
low tone, in her ear, these words, " You 
shall know all in due time." 

Little Barbara drew a long breath, 
VOL. XVL NO. 94. II 



and resolved that it should not be her 
fault, if the Captain was not captivated. 
At that moment there was a ring at 
the door-bell ; and Mrs. Dinwiddie came 
in from high conference with a select 
conclave of fashionable ladies, who yet 
clung with pathetic tenacity to the de- 
clining fortunes of Slavery and Seces- 



III. 

FOR a fortnight matters seemed to go 
on swimmingly. Dinwiddie had, as he 
thought, so managed as to bring the 
young people repeatedly together with- 
out his wife's having a suspicion of what 
was in the wind ; and when Captain 
Penrose called on him at his counting- 
room and asked whether he might pay 
his addresses to Barbara, Dinwiddie 
whirled round on his office-stool, jump- 
ed down, and gave the young soldier a 
cordial hug. 

" Certainly, my dear boy ! Win her. 
She likes you. I like you. Everybody 
likes you. Go ahead." 

" It is proper to inform you, Sir," 
said the Captain, "that my income is 
only twelve hundred a year ; but " 

" Pshaw ! What do I care for your 
income ? There ! Go and settle it with 
Barbara. You '11 find her alone, I think. 
Mrs. Dinwiddie, for the last week, has 
been as busy as as we '11 not say 
who in a gale of wind. Remember, 
' Fortune favors the brave.' I 'm obliged 
to go to Philadelphia this afternoon. 
Good bye." 

In a transport of delight, the Captain 
darted from the office, took a carriage, 
and drove to Dinwidclie's. 

" Yes, Miss Barbara is in. Walk up, 
Captain." 

" What could be more propitious ? 
Poets are not always in the right. Is n't 
my love true love, and does n't it run 
smooth ? " 

Wait awhile, my Captain ! Perhaps 
Shakspeare was not so much in error, 
after all. 

Barbara's eyes plainly spoke her pleas- 
ure at seeing him. Adjoining the draw- 
ing-room was a little boudoir filled with 



l62 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



[August, 



sunshine and flowers. Into that she led 
him. They sat down on one of those 
snug contrivances for a tete-h-tete, form- 
ed like the capital letter S. A fragrance 
as of spring was shed through the room 
from the open door of a conservatory, 
and a canary-bird near by was tuning 
his voice for a song. 

" Barbara, do you know it is a whole 
fortnight that we have known each oth- 
er ? " 

She looked up at him inquiringly, for 
this was the third time he had called 
her by her first name. He continued, 

" Barbara, I had a pleasant interview 
with your father this morning, and what 
do you suppose I said to him ? " 

" Said it was a fine day, most like," 
returned Barbara, intent on spreading 
out the leaves of a half-blown rose. 

" No, I said not a word about the 
weather. I asked him if he would have 
any objection to me for a son-in-law." 

" And what did he reply ? " asked 
Barbara, after a pause, during which her 
little heart beat wildly. 

" He told me I could settle it all with 
you." 

" Indeed ! " said Barbara. " But I 
never had any genius for settlements. 
I always hated business." 

" But this is a matter of pleasure, not 
of business," urged the Captain ; and 
then coming round to her side, and fall- 
ing on one knee, he took her unreluc- 
tant little hand, put it to his lips, and 
said, " May I not have it for my own ? " 

Before she could reply, approaching 
steps were heard, and a youth of some 
nineteen years, wearing the coarse pea- 
jacket, red baize shirt, and glazed hat 
of a sailor, made his appearance. 

" Culpepper ! " exclaimed Barbara, 
while the Captain resumed his seat, 
" is it you ? " 

"Yes," replied the youth. "Sister, 
I have a few words to say to this man 
privately. Please leave the room." 

Master Culpepper was one of those 
nondescripts in social zoology, classed 
by some philosophers as " cubs," and 
by others as " hobbledehoys," " not 
a man, nor a boy, but a hobbledehoy." 
At school he had been set down as a 



hopeless blockhead, and Barbara had 
severely tasked her patience, trying to 
insinuate into his brains the little knowl- 
edge of the ordinary branches of educa- 
tion which he possessed. Consequently, 
though she was two years his junior, 
she had been accustomed to regard her- 
self as several years his senior, and to 
talk to him as to the inferior he really 
was in everything but brute strength. 
The cub's strong points, morally con- 
sidered, were his family pride and his 
hatred of " Abolitionism " : in these he 
bade fair to surpass even the maternal 
proficiency. 

"Captain Penrose," said Barbara, 
" this is my brother Culpepper. Now, 
Cully, go and play in the stable, that 's 
a good boy." 

" Do you know, Miss Barbara, that 
you are addressing a Major in the Con- 
federate army," replied Cully, folding 
his arms with a great effort at dignity. 
" You will accost me hereafter as Major 
Dinwiddie, if you please." 

" Well, Major, this gentleman and 
myself are engaged, so" 

" Engaged ! " howled Cully, with flash- 
ing eyes and vociferous speech. " En- 
gaged ! And you dare to confess it to 
me, your brother ! Engaged ! And to 
an Abolitionist, a low-born Yankee ! 
I cancel the engagement." 

Barbara was too much roused by the 
cub's insolence v to care to correct the 
misapprehension which he had blunder- 
ed into so precipitately, and which she 
was now disposed to make a verity. 

" Do you mean to tell me," demanded 
the cub, "that you are engaged to be 
married to this man ? " 

" Yes, if he '11 have me," said Bar- 
bara, putting forth her hand, which Pen- 
rose eagerly seized, exclaiming, 

" Will I have you, Barbara ? Yes, as 
the best treasure life can offer." 

And the first kiss was exchanged. 

"Look here," said Cully, "this busi- 
ness must stop where it is. I demand, 
Sir, that you leave the house with me 
this instant" 

And then, as an amused expression 
flitted over the Captain's face, the cub 
asked angrily, 



1865.; 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



" Why do you smile, Sir ? " 

" Sir," said the Captain, " your sister 
and I have cause for smiling ; we are 
happy." 

The cub took from his side-pocket a 
revolver and cocked it. Penrose stood 
up, and Barbara threw herself between 
him and her brother. 

" Coward ! " cried the cub, " to allow 
yourself to be shielded by a woman ! " 

The cub, under the influence of Pro- 
slavery precedents, had really got it 
into his thick head, that he, under the 
circumstances, was the man of chivalry 
and valor, and that because the unarmed 
Penrose would not present a fair shot 
to his revolver, that gentleman was 
chargeable with an excess of poltroon- 
ery of which only a Yankee could be 
guilty. 

The cub's heroics were ignominiously 
cut short. Suddenly his two arms were 
seized from behind, while his pistol was 
wrenched from his grasp. Two armed 
policemen, followed by Mr. Dinwiddie 
and Nero, had entered the room. 

" Am I betrayed ? " exclaimed the 
cub. 

" Blockhead ! " said his father, " Fort 
Warren shall henceforth be your school, 
till we knock a little common-sense into 
that obstinate skull of yours." 

" Fort Warren ! " cried Cully, gnash- 
ing his teeth. " But I 'm here on a 
furlough, disguised as a sailor, you per- 
ceive. I promised to be back to my 
regiment by Friday. Fort Warren ? " 

" Never ! " shrieked Mrs. Dinwiddie, 
entering the room from the conserva- 
tory, where she had been hiding. " Kill 
me, but don't compel my son to break 
his pledge to the Confederate author- 
ity." 

" Bah ! " said Dinwiddie. " Officers, 
take the booby away." 

Nero almost sank into his boots with 
excess of enjoyment, but abruptly put 
on a very agonized face, and showed 
the whites of his eyes, as Mrs. Din- 
widdie looked towards him. 

Cully submitted, though with an ill 
grace, to what was plainly a case of ne- 
cessity ; but he tunned, before crossing 
the threshold, and said to Penrose, 



" I take everybody to witness, Sir, 
that I prohibit your having anything 
further to do with my sister. The con- 
sequences be on your own head, if you 
disobey." 

" And I, Captain Penrose," said Din- 
widdie, "take everybody to witness, 
that, if, after having paid the court that 
you have to my daughter, you now re- 
fuse to take her as your wife, the con- 
sequences, Sir, must be on your own 
head." 

" Sir," said the Captain, " that is the 
most agreeable threat that I can im- 
agine. I have already committed my- 
self to your daughter." 

" Ah ! disgraceful ! " groaned Mrs. 
Dinwiddie. 

" What do you say to that, Cully ? " 
said the father, as, with no very gentle 
thrust, he replaced the glazed hat on 
the youth's head. 

Cully kept silent The recollection 
of certain debts which could be paid 
only from the paternal purse inspired 
a prudent reserve. 

" Take him now," said Dinwiddie to 
the officers ; " give him as much gin- 
gerbread as he wants, and charge it to 
me." 

Cully and the officer's disappeared. 

" And now," resumed Dinwiddie, " it 
is time for me to drive to the cars. 
Mrs. Dinwiddie, this is Captain Pen- 
rose, your future son-in-law. Treat 
him kindly in my absence. Farewell." 

The lady bowed not ungraciously, 
as Dinwiddie departed. She had been 
meditating, during the last minute, a 
new flank movement in favor of Colonel 
Pegram. She determined to change her 
base of operations. Barbara was amaz- 
ed, but, in her inexperience, was wholly 
unsuspicious of strategy. 

"Captain Penrose, you '11 stop and 
take tea with us ? " said the wily lady 
of the house. 

" I shall be charmed to," replied the 
Captain. 

" Mother, let me kiss you ! " cried the 
innocent Barbara, delighted at what 
seemed the vanishing of the only obsta- 
cle to the betrothal of herself and the 
Yankee officer. 



164 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



[August, 



There was an ambush in preparation, 
of which these two did not dream. 



IV. 

Two days afterwards, Barbara and 
her mother were on their way to Mon- 
treal. 

This was the flank movement, and it 
was thus accomplished. The second 
morning after her husband's departure, 
Mrs. Dinwiddie burst into Barbara's 
apartment with the intelligence that she 
had just received a telegraphic dispatch 
from Mr. Dinwiddie, bidding her start 
at once for Montreal to procure certain 
funds in the hands of a certain party 
there, which funds were immediately 
wanted. Barbara, to whom all business 
matters were mysteries profound as the 
income-tax or the national debt, receiv- 
ed it all without a question. She did 
not stop to ask, " Why does n't father 
send one of his clerks ? " or " Why 
can't he do it all by letter ? " She took 
k for granted that there was a great 
hurry about something that required an 
instant journey to Montreal. So she 
wrote a letter to Captain Penrose, (which 
Mrs. Dinwiddie took good care to in- 
tercept,) and, before another hour had 
slipped by, mother and daughter were 
at the Northern railway station. 

The old lady had taken the precau- 
tion to send Nero on an errand out of 
the city, and had hired a public hack 
to convey her to the cars. But as she 
was attending to her trunk, an officious 
gentleman in black stepped up to Bar- 
bara, and asked for what place she 
wished to have the baggage checked. 
Before Mrs. Dinwiddie could interpose, 
Barbara had answered, " Montreal." 
Thereupon the gentleman had simply 
remarked, " I don't think they check 
baggage so far," and then had walked 
away in the direction of the telegraph- 
office, for what purpose the sequel 
must suggest. Mrs. Dinwiddie thought 
nothing more of the matter. They pass- 
ed through Philadelphia and New York 
the next day uninterrupted. 

At Rutland, Vt., a very civil sort of 



gentleman accosted them in the car, 
and, on learning that they were on 
their way to Canada, asked if they had 
passports. On Mrs. Dinwiddie's reply- 
ing in the negative, he informed her, 
that, by a recent order of the United 
States Government, persons travelling 
to and from Canada were required to 
have passports ; and he advised her to 
stop at Rutland, and he would telegraph 
to New York and procure them. After 
some hesitation, she consented to do 
this. The third day of her detention, 
her volunteer informant came with the 
necessary papers, and at the same time 
introduced Mr. Glide, an obsequious 
little gentleman, who said he was going 
to Montreal, and should be happy to 
render any service in his power to the 
ladies. 

" Surely, Sir, I have seen you be- 
fore," said Mrs. Dinwiddie. " Are you 
not from Baltimore ? " 

" Yes, Madam ; and I will tell you 
where we last met : 't was at the secret 
gathering of ladies and gentlemen for 
purchasing a new outfit for Mrs. Jeffer- 
son Davis." 

" Hush ! " said Mrs. Dinwiddie, slight- 
ly alarmed. 

" Oh, there 's no danger," returned 
Mr. Glide. " I 'm discreet. Your de- 
votion to the Confederate cause, Mad- 
am, your noble efforts, your sacrifices, 
have long been known to me ; and I 
rejoice at having this opportunity of ex- 
pressing 'my thanks and my admiration. 
Is there anything I can do for you ? " 

Mrs. Dinwiddie looked significantly 
at him, nodded her head by way of 
warning, and glanced at her daughter. 

" I see, Madam," murmured Mr. 
Glide, in a confidential tone. 

" Barbara, go and pack my trunk," 
said she. 

Barbara left the room. 

" Now, Sir," resumed Mrs. Dinwid- 
die, " I will confide to you my troubles. 
That young girl has recently engaged 
herself, against my wishes, to a young 
man, a captain in the Yankee army." 

" Engaged herself to a Yankee ? But, 
oh, Madam, what an affliction ! what a 
humiliation ! " 



1865.] 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



" Yes, Sir, 't is all that." 

" I agree with Mr. Davis, Madam, 
that the Yankees are the scum of the 
world. Is there no way by which you 
can avert from your family the threat- 
ened disgrace ? " 

" Well, Sir, I have formed a plan, 
and, if you will lend me your aid, I 
think we may manage to put the infat- 
uated girl for a time where she will 
have an opportunity of recovering her 
senses." 

" My dear Madam, I shall be de- 
lighted to serve you in any such good 
work. To save youth and beauty from 
the polluting touch of a Yankee captain 
might well call forth the warmest zeal, 
the most devoted daring, of any native 
of the sunny South." 

" Sir, your sentiments do you honor. 

This, then, is my scheme Is there 

any chance of our being overheard ? " 

" By none except the invisibles," said 
Glide ; " and they probably exist only in 
the imagination of Yankee fasiatics." 

" My plan," whispered the lady, " is 
to put my daughter in a convent until 
the gentleman to whom I have promised 
her, Colonel Pegram of the Confederate 
army, can have an opportunity of seeing 
her. Of course it would not take him 
five minutes to drive out of her head all 
thought of this Yankee lover." 

" And has your daughter, Madam, no 
suspicion of this admirable scheme of 
yours ? " 

" Not the slightest. She supposes 
we are going to Montreal on business 
of her father's." 

" Madam, you could n't have been 
more fortunate in your confidence. It 
happens that I am on most intimate 
terms with Father Basil, the confessor 
of the nuns, and who, by the rules of the 
convent, must interrogate your daugh- 
ter before she can be admitted to its 
privileges." 

l< But," said Mrs. Dinwiddie, anxious- 
ly, "will Father Basil have the proper 
sympathy with my maternal motives 
and my Southern sentiments ? Will 
he be disposed to strain his authority 
a little in order to put my daughter 
in durance ? " 



" I think I may venture to promise," 
answered Glide, "that, such is my in- 
fluence with him, he will do in the mat- 
ter whatever I may request." 

" How fortunate ! " 

" And now, Madam, you must make 
preparations for your departure. The 
cars start in ten minutes." 

Before seven o'clock that evening the 
whole party were comfortably disposed 
in one of the best of the Montreal ho- 
tels. The obliging Mr. Glide went forth 
immediately to make inquiries in Mrs. 
Dinwiddie's behalf. 

After breakfast the next day he pre- 
sented himself to her and asked, 

" You have said nothing as yet to 
your daughter ? " 

" Not a word," she replied. 

" Then," said he, " our course will 
be to drive at once to Father Basil's 
residence, and get him to broach the 
whole matter to Miss Barbara. He has 
a very persuasive tongue, and I think 
she will at once yield to his exhorta- 
tions. Should she, however, be dis- 
posed to resist forcibly our measures 
for her benefit, there will be the means 
at hand to carry them out." 

Barbara entered the room, wholly un- 
suspicious of the plots against her lib- 
erty. 

" The carriage will soon be at the 
door," said her mother. " Go and get 
ready." And after a whispered hint from 
Mr. Glide, she added, " Put on your 
pearl silk, Barbara. We shall have to 
call on certain persons of distinction." 

Barbara was soon ready. They all 
three entered the carriage, and after a 
drive of about a mile, it stopped before 
a large and elegant house. 

" Our father confessor lives in style," 
whispered Mrs. Dinwiddie. 

" Yes," returned Glide ; " one of his 
wealthy neophytes gives him a home 
here. If you will wait in this little 
basement room, Madam, I will conduct 
your daughter up to his library." 

" Go with Mr. Glide, Barbara," said 
Mrs. Dinwiddie. 

Supposing it was merely one of the 
mysterious forms of business, little Bar- 
bara at once took the gentleman's prof- 



1 66 



Strategy at the Fireside. 



[August, 



fered arm and ascended the stairs with 
him. 

Ten minutes, twenty, thirty, 
Mrs. Dinwiddie waited, and nobody 
came. She looked at the furniture, the 
carpets, the paintings, till she had ex- 
hausted the curiosities of the apartment. 
Suddenly there was a sound of music 
from above, not sacred music, it 
sounded very much like the waltz from 
" Gustavus." What could it all mean ? 

At last Mr. Glide made his appear- 
ance. 

" Now, Madam, 't is all arranged," 
said he. " I regret to say that we had 
to use the most stringent measures for 
reducing your daughter to terms. But 
she is so bound at last that she can 
have little hope of regaining her free- 
dom." 

" Bound, Sir ? Did you have to bind 
her ? " asked Mrs. Dinwiddie, with a 
throb of maternal solicitude. 

" You shall see, Madam." 

He threw open the door at the head 
of the landing, and they entered a state- 
ly room, where some thirty or forty la- 
dies and gentlemen seemed to be as- 
sembled. Mrs. Dinwiddie drew away 
her arm and almost swooned with 
amazement and consternation. 

At the front end of the apartment, 
before a gorgeous mirror, stood Barba- 
ra and Captain Penrose. A veil and 
a bunch of orange-blossoms had been 
added to the young lady's coiffure. At 
her side stood a handsome old gen- 
tleman, with bright, affectionate eyes, 
(very much like the Captain's,) who 
seemed to regard her with a gratified 
look. On the side of Penrose stood 
horrors ! Mr. Dinwiddie himself, a 
smile of fiendish exultation on his face ; 
while a gentleman with a white cravat 
and a narrow collar to his coat, evident- 
ly an Episcopal clergyman, went up and 
shook hands with Barbara, and then 
mingled with the rest of the company. 

A middle-aged gentleman, whom the 
guests accosted as Mr. Carver, drew 
near to Dinwiddie, and said, 

" Now introduce me to your wife." 

Dinwiddie took his arm, and, leading 
him to where the lady stood, said, 



" Wife, this is my old friend Carver, 
of whom you have so often heard me 
speak. Yonder stands your daughter, 
Mrs. Penrose, waiting for your mater- 
nal kiss of congratulation." 

Mrs. Dinwiddie debated with herself 
a moment whether to shriek, to fall into 
hysterics, to explode in a philippic, or 
to rush from observation. Her husband, 
seeing her hesitation, took her by the 
hand and led her into an unoccupied 
room. A veil must be dropped upon 
the connubial interview which then and 
there took place. 

Suffice it to say, that, when she came 
forth leaning on the arm of Mr. Din- 
widdie, it was with the air of one who 
has made up her mind to make the best 
of a case of necessity, an air very much 
like that, I fancy, with which the South 
will yet take the arm of its consort, the 
North. She saw there was no longer 
any chance for another flank movement. 

One vindictive glance she turned on 
the dapper Mr. Glide, as he stood guz- 
zling Champagne, and looking the pic- 
ture of meek fidelity ; and then she 
courageously walked up, kissed her 
daughter, shook hands with the Cap- 
tain, curtsied condescendingly to old 
Mr. Penrose, and smothered her aston- 
ishment as she best could, on being taken 
up to a lady of rare elegance of person 
and demeanor, whom she had set down 
as the wife of the Governor-General at 
least, but who, on presentation, she 
learned was the mother of her new 
son-in-law. 

" Ladies and gentlemen," said Mr. 
Carver, and at his voice the buzz of 
conversation was hushed, "I believe 
we have none here who will not readily 
comply with the request I have now to 
make. Since all 's well that ends well, 
I ask it as a favor, that no person of 
this company, who may happen to be 
acquainted with the peculiar circum- 
stances of this marriage, will mention 
them outside of the circle here present. 
Will you all say ay to this proposi- 
tion ? " 

Amid smiles there rose what sounded 
like a unanimous assent ; but a close 
observer might have remarked that the 



1865.] 



Around Mull. 



167 



perfidious Mr. Glide, instead of moving 
his lips affirmatively, simply lifted his 
Champagne-glass, and in the act raised 
his forefinger so as to cover the side of 
his nose. To this individual, no doubt 
the boon companion of some rascally 
reporter, we probably owe the circum- 



stance that a garbled and incorrect ac- 
count of this affair appeared in the Balti- 
more and Washington papers. The pres- 
ent writer has consequently felt it incum- 
bent on him to place on record a version 
which, whatever may be said of it, can- 
not be stigmatized as exaggerated. 



AROUND MULL. 



PART IL 



*HPHE island of Staflfa being nearly 
-- a mile in length, we have already 
had a distant external view of the huge 
grassy mound which constitutes its 
surface, reared on a steep, craggy base, 
here and there exhibiting superb ba- 
saltic columns, and everywhere con- 
sisting of basaltic pillars more or less 
broken, irregular, and contorted, and 
in some instances forming the entrance 
to caves of great interest, though of 
less grandeur and magnificence than 
the giant temple of Nature which is 
the principal feature and pride of Staffa 
and the chief object of our visit. Ah, 
here comes the Bailie, looking as in- 
nocent as possible of the pipe ! Chris- 
tie, too, has crept up from the cabin, 
and, though professing inability to go 
ashore, is relieved by the sudden ces- 
sation of the steamer's motion, and 
is prepared to witness with cheerful- 
ness the disembarkation of her more 
fortunate fellow-passengers. It is the 
office of boatmen from the neighboring 
island of Ulva, hardy and skilful men, 
accustomed to these boisterous seas, to 
row passengers ashore, and in case of 
calm weather, such as we are blest with, 
to conduct their boats within the noble 
archway and up the grand broad aisle 
of Fingal's Cave : for the floor of this 
glorious cathedral is the rolling sea, 
whose green waves surge with a grand 
swell and fall to the very extremity of 
the cave, echoing through its vault with 
a resonance which gave it its early Gae- 
lic name of Uaimh Bhinn, the Musical 



Cave. How and when these boatmen 
approached unseen and surrounded our 
steamer as she lies here in the sun, I 
cannot imagine ; so perfect are all the 
arrangements for our convenience, that 
they have probably been lying in wait 
for our approach, and had only to dash 
out from among the black rocks of the 
shore ; but in view of the power of Na- 
ture in this locality, the wonderful archi- 
tecture, of which we witness as yet the 
mere debris, and the noble palace of the 
sea which our imagination is already 
shadowing forth, it is not difficult to 
believe that these hardy mariners spring 
up from the depths at the voyager's 
bidding, and that they are neither more 
nor less than ocean genii, the servants 
of some ocean king, appointed to wait 
on and convoy his guests. The dexter- 
ity of these men and the strength of 
their boats inspire perfect confidence, 
however ; for the latter are fast filling 
and putting off for the shore. The land- 
ing-place must be near at hand, though 
as yet out of sight ; for " See ! " I ex- 
claim to the Bailie, " one or two of the 
boats have landed their parties and are 
already returning ! Everybody is dis- 
appearing from the steamer ; had we 
not better make haste and secure a pas- 
sage ? " 

But the Bailie, who is something of a 
philosopher, has confidence that there is 
time and accommodation enough for us 
all ; so he and I proceed very leisurely 
to the step -ladder, and, as everybody 
else is in a hurry, we fall to the very 



1 68 



Around Mull. 



[August, 



last boat that leaves the steamer. A 
few unforeseen claimants and stragglers 
present themselves just as we are put- 
ting off, and, as often happens at the last 
chance to go ashore, our boat is some- 
what overloaded, and I find myself sep- 
arated from my companion, who is stand- 
ing upright in the bows, while I am 
seated in the stern among the elderly 
Scotch folk, who seem so familiar with 
all the detail of the place and the pro- 
ceedings that I am led to believe them 
faithful worshippers of Nature who come 
periodically to pay their vows in the 
national minster, as members of some 
parish church go up reverently to the 
cathedral convocations. An eager, ex- 
citable gude-wife next to me is especial- 
ly anxious and officious, and seems dis- 
posed to question the efficiency and pru- 
dence of our Ulva boatmen. 

" The boat is too full ! " she cries, 
with the emphasis of certainty. " Tell 
them to put back ; she is too full ! " 
and the murmur of alarm echoes in our 
vicinity. " Don't be afraid, my dear," 
she adds, in a sort of stage-aside to me, 
who, though I have observed that the 
boat's edge is almost on a level with the 
water, have never dreamed of danger 
until she put it into my head. " Not a 
bit of danger," she continues, patting 
me encouragingly on the shoulder, while 
in the same breath she reiterates to 
those in authority her startling warning 
and her assurance that we shall present- 
ly sink by our own weight. 

But the Bailie, standing in the bow, 
still maintains his philosophy, and the 
smile on his face reassures me. And 
now, with only just that sense of inse- 
curity which adds to the awe of the oc- 
casion, I perceive that we are rounding 
a cliff, and that the entrance to Fingal's 
Cave is dawning on our view. 

The magnificent proportions and per- 
fect symmetry of the archway which 
forms the entrance to the cave will be 
seen to better advantage somewhat lat- 
er, when the steamer, on leaving the isl- 
and, sweeps directly past the vestibule 
purposely to afford her passengers this 
opportunity ; but one is never more im- 
pressed with the hugeness and stability 



of this gigantic structure than when 
measuring it by gradual approach, and 
looking up into its lofty Gothic vault 
as we glide under the enormous arch- 
way and out of the dazzling sunshine 
into the twilight of the deep interior. 
Those whose imaginations are aided by 
statistics may form a more real concep- 
tion of this great natural structure by 
reflecting that the archway at the en- 
trance is forty-two feet in width, and 
its height nearly seventy above the lev- 
el of the sea, and that these vast pro- 
portions are preserved to the farther 
extremity of the cave, a distance of 
some two hundred and thirty feet. The 
imposing effect of the portico is still 
further enhanced by the massive en- 
tablature of thirty feet additional which 
it supports, and by the noble cluster 
of pillars grouped on each side of the 
entrance - way. These lofty pillars, or 
complication of basaltic columns, are in 
a general sense perpendicular, their de- 
parture from the stern lines and angles 
of human architecture serving only to 
proclaim them the workmanship of that 
Architect who alone is independent of 
artistic rules, and giving new force to 
what Goethe tells us is understood by 
genius, namely, " that Art is called Art 
because it is not "Nature." Here, with 
the poet of Nature, we may offer 

" Thanks for the lessons of this spot, fit school 
For the presumptuous thoughts that would assign 
Mechanic laws to agency divine, 
And, measuring heaven by earth, would overrule 
Infinite Power." 

And here, if anywhere, is the place to 
learn how vainly Art may seek to ri- 
val Nature. " How splendid," exclaims 
a learned prelate, " do the porticos of 
the ancients appear in our eyes from 
the ostentatious magnificence of the de- 
scriptions we have received of them ! 
and with what admiration are we seized, 
on seeing the colonnades of our modern 
edifices ! But when we behold the Cave 
of Fingal, formed by Nature in the 
Isle of Staffa, it is no longer possible 
to make a comparison ; and we are 
forced to acknowledge that this piece 
of Nature's architecture far surpasses 
that of the Louvre, that of St. Peter's at 



1865.] 



Around Mull. 



169 



Rome, all that remains of Palmyra and 
Paestum, and all that the genius, taste, 
and luxury of the Greeks were ever 
capable of inventing." 

So much for a comparison of this 
ocean cathedral with buildings of human 
construction ; and no less decisive is 
the verdict of the French author, M. de 
St. Fond, in contrasting Staffa with 
other natural edifices. " I have," he 
says, " seen many ancient volcanoes, 
and I have given descriptions of several 
basaltic causeways and delightful cav- 
erns in the midst of lavas ; but I have 
never found anything which comes near 
to this, or can bear any comparison with 
it, for the admirable regularity of its 
columns, the height of the arch, the 
situation, the form, the elegance of this 
production of Nature or its resemblance 
to the masterpieces of Art, though Art 
has had no share in its construction. It 
is therefore not at all surprising that 
tradition should have made it the abode 
of a hero." 

These are but general descriptions 
of this chef cTceuvre. Shall I attempt 
in my own words, or those of any other, 
to give even a feeble impression of the 
grandeur which overarches and sur- 
rounds us as our boat glides into the 
interior ? Let Wilson speak ; I dare 
not. Listen to his words while I vouch 
for their truth. 

" How often have we since recalled 
to mind the regularity, magnitude, and 
loftiness of those columns, the fine o'er- 
hanging cliff of small prismatic basalt 
to which they give support, worn by the 
murmuring waves of many thousand 
years into the semblance of some stu- 
pendous Gothic arch, 

' Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted 
vault,' 

the wild waters ever urge their way ; 
and the receding sides of that great 
temple, running inwards in solemn per- 
spective, yet ever and anon, as ocean 
heaves and falls, rendered visible in its 
far sanctuary by the broad and flashing 
light reflected by the foaming surges 
sweeping onwards from below ! Then 
the broken and irregular gallery which 
overhangs that subterranean flood, and 



from which, looking upwards and around, 
we behold the rich and varied hues of 
red, green, and gold, which give such 
splendid relief to the deep and sombre 
colored columns, the clear bright tints 
which sparkle beneath our feet, from 
the wavering, yet translucent sea, the 
whole accompanied by the wild, yet mel- 
low and sonorous moan of each succes- 
sive billow which rises up the sides or 
rolls over the finely formed crowns of 
the lowlier and disjointed pillars : these 
are a few of the features of this ex- 
quisite and most singular scene, which 
cannot fail to astonish the beholder." 

Up this irregular gallery, which ex- 
tends to the farther extremity of the 
cave, most of our steamer's party have 
already gone, having successively de- 
serted the boats to take advantage of 
this natural pathway, whereby, stepping 
carefully along the wet slippery floor, 
and clinging for security to a rope at- 
tached to iron bolts riveted in the solid 
stone of the wall, they can penetrate 
to the innermost depths of the cavern. 
Through the dim religious light of the 
place we can discern their figures, di- 
minished in the distant perspective, as 
in long procession they grope their way, 
the joyous laughter of the younger vo- 
taries mingling with the little shrieks 
of alarm or warning with which the 
more cautious or timid emphasize every 
misstep or uncertain footing, the en- 
tire human murmur, fortunately for us, 
softened by distance, or returned to our 
ears only in the mellowed form of an 
echo, so that we are spared in some de- 
gree that mockery of mirth and discord, 
otherwise so inevitable, and always so 
uncongenial to the spirit of the place, 
that tumult of voices, exclamations, and 
shouts so familiar to the tourist, and 
which drew from Wordsworth, on occa- 
sion of his visit to the spot, the half- 
bitter reflection, 

" We saw, but surely, in the motley crowd, 
Not one of us has felt the far-famed sight : 
How could we feel it, each the other's blight, 
Hurried and hurrying, volatile and loud ? " 

Thus the Bailie's philosophy has not 
proved in fault. There is an advantage 
in being the last comers, if it is merely 



170 



Around Mull. 



[August, 



that our fellow-tourists have taken them- 
selves out of our way. Only the harsh 
vituperations of our boatmen make dis- 
sonance with Nature, as, their long poles 
driven hard now against one side and 
now the other of the cave, they strive 
to keep the boat in middle position, and 
save a collision with the rocks. And 
even this discord is soon overborne. 
" Sing ! " cried the gude-wife at my el- 
bow, as we passed under the great arch- 
way, and her plastic soul, alive as read- 
ily to the spirit of praise as to that of 
fear, caught the inspiration of the place ; 
" all of you, sing ! " 

There was an earnestness, a fervor, 
in this woman, which made her every 
word and thought contagious ; and as 
either she, or some neighbor of hers 
who shared her emotion and purpose, 
struck the key-note, voice after voice 
joined in, until there swelled up from 
our little boat the almost universal song, 
no common trivial melody, not even 
a national air, such would have been 
sacrilege, but a grand old song of 
praise, one of those literal versions of 
the Psalmist familiar to the ear and lip 
of every kirk-loving Scot. And so, as 
the singing chorus went sailing up that 
broad aisle, heart and voice united in a 
spontaneous liturgy, an act of devout 
adoration, which seemed the only fit re- 
sponse to the spirit that whispered to 
our souls, " Praise ye the Lord ! " 

The psalm ended, our boat with most 
of its passengers retraces its course and 
is rowed back to the steamer, the Bai- 
lie and I, however, having first disem- 
barked and clambered up to the rough 
gallery, with a view of imitating the par- 
ties who are pursuing their explorations 
on foot. This gallery, or causeway, 
which runs along the eastern side of 
the cave, is about two feet in width, and 
consists of the bases of broken pillars, 
whose dark purple hexagons, cemented 
together by crystallizations or a white 
calcareous deposit, form a rough mosaic 
flooring. The inequality of its surface, 
and the fact that the stones are worn 
smooth and slippery by the action of 
the sea, render it a very precarious path- 
way ; and as soon as we have proceeded 



far enough to gratify our curiosity and 
obtain satisfactory points of view, we 
are content to abandon the enterprise 
of penetrating to the remotest depths, 
preferring to reserve our time for a 
ramble over the exterior surface of the 
island. 

Emerging from the cavern and skirt- 
ing its eastern side, we still find our- 
selves stepping from hexagon to hexa- 
gon over a massive bed of refuse mate- 
rial, and gazing upward at the columnar 
wall on our left which upholds the table- 
land of the island. No traveller, however 
ignorant or inappreciative of science, 
can fail to realize the immense interest 
which these evidences of some great 
natural convulsion must possess for the 
geologist ; and a knowledge of the re- 
cent geological discoveries in this and 
other of the Western Islands is not need- 
ed to impress us with the conviction 
that treasures of truth are beneath and 
around us everywhere, waiting to be re- 
vealed. But we have not the key, nor 
can we pause to pick the lock. 

Passing on, then, in our ignorance, 
but not without an awe of things un- 
known, we recognize as within the scope 
of our comprehension two broken pillars 
so lodged as to constitute the seat and 
back of a rude chair, which has received 
the name of Fingal's Chair, and beyond 
this the Clamshell Cave, so called from 
the curved form of the mass of basaltic 
pillars at its entrance ; and at length we 
attain a point where, by scaling a rough 
staircase constructed for the convenience 
of tourists, we gain the grassy summit 
of the island. So perpendicular is the 
cliff at every point, that, these green 
slopes once reached, the previous sin- 
gularity of formation and wildness of 
scenery at once give place to the pas- 
toral. Rocks, columns, caves, and cliffs 
are all hid from our view ; we have 
gained Nature's upper story, and around 
us is a perfect calm. Not even the 
steamer which brought us hither is vis- 
ible, so effectually do the bold precipices 
conceal every near thing in their shad- 
ow. The great cavern through which 
ocean surges with a ceaseless swell lies 
far beneath us, and no echo of its roar 



I865-] 



Around Mull. 



171 



reaches this spot. A few sheep are 
nibbling the short grass ; the golden star- 
flowers and the pink heather plumes at 
our feet are the lineal descendants, for 
aught we can conceive, of star-flowers 
and heather plumes that flourished here 
a thousand years ago, so undisturb- 
ed a possession has Nature had in this 
realm of hers for ages. No change, 
improvement, growth, has added to or 
taken from Staffa. Storm-washed in 
winter, flower-crowned in summer, its 
history is forever the same. Sitting 
here among the heather tufts, and look- 
ing off on the limitless blue sea and the 
neighboring islands, it is not hard to 
dream one's self away into by-gone 
centuries, to imagine Bruce and his 
faithful islesmen sailing past as they 
go forth to rouse the clans, or, diving 
deeper into legendary days, to picture 
Fingal himself and his warlike allies 
bending their white sails towards the 
ocean-palace that still claims him as its 
traditionary king. 

" O Ossian, Carril, and Ullin ! you 
know of heroes that are no more. Give 
us the song of other years. Raise, ye 
bards of other times, raise high the 
praise of heroes ; that my soul may 
settle on their fame." 

" Soon shall my voice be heard no 
more, and my footsteps cease to be 
seen," was the prophetic cry of the 
"first of a thousand heroes," as he 
learned from " Ullin, the bard of song" 
that his young son Ryno was "with the 
awful forms of his fathers." But "the 
bards will tell of Fingal's name, the 
stones will talk of me," was the consol- 
atory thought of him, who, grown old 
in fame, had a foreshadowing of the glo- 
ry which would hang round his memo- 
ry, when he exclaimed, " But before I 
go hence, one beam of fame shall rise. 
I will remain renowned ; the departure 
of my soul shall be a stream of light." 

And who among ancient heroes could 
better deserve to have his memory em- 
balmed than he whom an honorable foe 
thus eulogized ? " Blest be thy soul, 
thou king of shells ! In peace thou 
art the gale of spring ; in war, the 
mountain storm." And what touching 



interest to us of later times hangs round 
this legendary champion of the right, 
when we listen to his mingled strain 
of triumph, lament, and justification ! 
"When will Fingal cease to fight ? I 
was born in the midst of battles, and my 
steps must move in blood to the tomb. 
But my hand did not injure the weak, 
my steel did not touch the feeble in 
arms. I behold thy tempests, O Mor- 
ven ! which will overturn my halls, when 
my children are dead in battle, and none 
remains to dwell in Selma. Then will 
the feeble come, but they will not know 
my tomb. My renown is only in song. 
My deeds shall be as a dream to future 
times ! " 

Yes, a dream, and we are the dream- 
ers. The songs of the bards are ring- 
ing in our ears, and though no stone 
marks the tomb of Fingal, the stones 
talk of him ; the great basaltic columns 
are his memorial pillars, and the sea 
yet sounds his dirge as its wailing echo 
sweeps mournfully through Fingal's 
Cave. 

But hark ! The bell of the Pioneer 
is rousing us with the cry, " Wake up, 
j^e dreamers ! Come back from the 
clouds, ye visionaries ! " The time for 
Staffa is up, and the steamer, like a 
cackling hen who is eager to call her 
brood together, commences a system 
of coaxing, warning, and threat, which 
soon results in the converging of her 
passengers from every quarter of the 
island. Most of them are by this time 
rambling over its upper surface, and 
all make for the rough stairway where 
the comparative difficulties of the "as- 
census " and " descensus " are in com- 
plete contradiction to classical authori- 
ty : the former having been accomplish- 
ed with ease, while the latter proves a 
terrific experience. There is truly some- 
thing maternal about the Pioneer ; for 
here, as at every other point of difficulty 
on our excursion, faithful guides are sta- 
tioned and strong hands outstretched for 
our assistance. Still it is with a plunge, 

half a nightmare and half a miracle, 

that we, who are among the earliest 
to make the experiment, arrive safely 
at the bottom, and, stepping on board 



Around Mull. 



[August, 



a boat, regain the steamer, where we 
sit at our leisure and laugh at the ab- 
surd figure made by later comers as they 
scramble down the cliff: Sir Thomas 
even forgetting his dignity in the diffi- 
culties of the operation, and the inter- 
jectional phrases of her Ladyship, as 
she now and then comes to a hopeless 
stand-still, tickling our ears at the dis- 
tance where we sit watching them. 

Our entire party fairly on board, the 
Pioneer, now panting to be off, sets her 
wheels in motion and starts on her fur- 
ther course, not, however, without first 
skirting the base of the island and af- 
fording us, as I have already intimated, 
one last view of Fingal's Cave, and that 
the finest. It is an impressive circum- 
stance, that at this moment the atten- 
tion of the tourist on the steamer's deck 
is divided between Nature's great ca- 
thedral and man's early efforts in the 
same direction, that immediately op- 
posite the pillared vestibule of the Staf- 
fa minster the Abbey tower of the 
Blessed Isle looms boldly on our view, 
the mimic architecture of man paying 
silent homage to the spot, 

" Where, as to shame the temples decked 
By skill of earthly architect, 
Nature herself, it seemed, would raise 
A minster to her Maker's praise ! 
Not for a meaner use ascend 
Her columns, or her arches bend ; 
Nor of a theme less solemn tells 
That mighty surge that ebbs and swells, 
And still, between each awful pause, 
From the high vault an answer draws, 
In varied tone, prolonged and high, 
That mocks the organ's melody. 
Nor doth its entrance front in vain 
To old lona's holy fane, 
That Nature's voice might seem to say, 
' Well hast thou done, frail child of clay ! 
Thy humble powers that stately shrine 
Tasked high and hard, but witness mine ! ' " 

And so, with a great lesson behind us 
and before, we sail away on that summer 
sea and bid farewell to Staffa. The tim- 
id seal whom we have disturbed creeps 
back to her cell, the wild-fowl returns 
to its nest, the sea-swell rolls in and out 
in waves unbroken by our keel, and the 
warm sun holds all in his soft embrace. 
The winter winds will roar through the 
cavern erelong, the ocean lash pillar 
and ceiling with its foam, tempests will 
beat and rage against its giant col- 



umns, the stormy petrel will flap its 
wings in the archway, and the piercing 
cry of the sea-gull keep time to the 
diapason of the deep ; but the massive 
structure whose corner-stone is hid be- 
neath the waters, and which leans upon 
the Rock of Ages, will still defy the tem- 
pest and loom in lonely grandeur, alike 
in summer's smile and winter's frown 
the dwelling - place of the Almighty, 
lona's walls, reared centuries ago, and 
dedicated to Him by human tribute, 
have crumbled or are fast crumbling to 
decay ; but this mighty temple, whose 
foundations no man laid, has gazed 
calmly through all these ages at man's 
feeble work, and will gaze unchanged 
until He who holds the sea in the hollow 
of His hand shall uproot its columns. 



III. 

Now on to lona, a distance of seven 
or eight miles, a formidable voyage, 
perhaps, for early pilgrims to this sa- 
cred shrine, to us barely affording time 
for dinner, a meal of which I have no 
remembrance of partaking on this event- 
ful day, though my recollections would 
doubtless have been more poignant, if 
I had failed to do so, and of which I 
can at least certify that it was sumptu- 
ous and well -served, since the luxuri- 
ous habits of life enjoyed on these float- 
ing hotels of the Hutchesons are pro- 
verbial, and the flavor of good cheer 
still clings to my palate, especially that 
of the daily " salmon so fresh as still to 
retain its creamy curd." 

The approach to lona, Icolmkill, or 
Colmeskill, as it is variously termed, 
has in it nothing imposing, if we except 
the ancient Abbey, already descried at 
a distance, and the neighboring ruins, 
the simple fact of whose presence in 
this lonely isle is suggestive of all that 
has given interest and sanctity to this 
cradle of Christianity in Britain. On 
landing at the rude pier, formed of 
masses of gneiss and granite boulders, 
we find ourselves opposite the mod- 
ern village, a row of some forty cot- 
tages, running parallel with the shore, 



I865-] 



Around Mull. 



173 



and, as is the case in nearly all Scotch 
villages, including both an established 
and a free church. We have scarcely 
set foot on the beach before we have 
a verification of Wordsworth's experi- 
ence : 

" How sad a welcome I To each voyager 
Some ragged child holds up for sale a store 
Of wave-worn pebbles, pleading on the shore 
Where once came monk and nun with gentle stir, 
Blessings to give, news ask, or suit prefer." 

But I have no heart to find fault with 
this small fry of the modern fishing- 
town, whose trade in pressed sea-weeds, 
shells, and stones is now so extensive 
that near the ruins they have estab- 
lished rival counters, and are a most 
clamorous set of persecutors ; for I 
still have pleasure in looking on the 
really precious and suggestive memen- 
tos of the place which they thrust upon 
me, a willing victim. 

A little to the rear of the village, 
though still nearly on a level with the 
beach, are the ruins, to which we are 
guided by Archibald Macdonald, chief 
boatman, and authorized to act as our 
cicerone. In setting forth on our ex- 
plorations, we must premise that little 
now remains to mark the age of the 
Culdees and the simple life of St. Co- 
lumba and those companions of his 
apostolic zeal who first settled in lona, 
and thence, going forth in pilgrim fash- 
ion and with the endurance of pilgrim 
hardships, diffused Christianity through 
Britain. A huge mound, or cairn, yet 
marks the place where the missionaries 
first landed ; and there are still, in a 
remote part of the island, vestiges of 
the rude dwelling-place or cell in which 
the Culdees first made their abode and 
set up the cross as a luminary for the 
yet uncivilized nations. With the ex- 
ception of these rude vestiges, the tra- 
dition of their virtues and the results 
of their self-sacrificing labors are their 
only memorial. But the standard which 
they planted followers of later ages have 
continued to maintain ; and the monas- 
tic buildings, now more or less ruinous, 
and marking successive eras of Church 
history, are all of great antiquity, many 
being of a date so remote that the rec- 



ords of them are merely traditional. 
But wherever the pilgrim turns his eye 
or sets his foot, voices whisper to him 
that this is holy ground. The very 
silence and mystery which inwrap the 
place have a tendency to exalt the soul ; 
and although doubts may arise in re- 
gard to some of the traditions, and in- 
credulity may condemn others as sim- 
ply mythical, faith so often becomes 
sight, and the essence of faith is so tri- 
umphant everywhere, as to make us 
feel, with the great moralist, that " that 
man is little to be envied whose patriot- 
ism would not gain force upon the plain 
of Marathon, or whose piety would not 
grow warmer among the ruins of lona. 
Our first visit is to the Nunnery, of 
which the chapel only remains standing. 
The style of its architecture is Nor- 
man, and it probably dates no farther 
back than the beginning of the thir- 
teenth century. The tomb of the Prin- 
cess Anna, the last prioress, is still pre- 
served, though much defaced by the 
rude feet of soulless tourists. Her fig- 
ure is sculptured in bas-relief on the 
stone, and the mirror and comb which 
are introduced as symbolic of the. fe- 
male sex suggest that instinct of deco- 
ration inherent in woman, and which, 
if superfluous anywhere, certainly would 
be so in a nunnery at lona. There is a 
sad interest in the remains of this sanc- 
tuary, the only refuge for innocence and 
gentleness in a barbarous age, when 
many a votary was doubtless driven 
hither by motives similar to those which 
actuated the fair maid of Lorn, of whom 
Sir Walter Scott tells us, 

" The maid has given her maiden heart 

To Ronald of the Isles ; 
And, fearful lest her brother's word 
Bestow her on that English lord, 

She seeks lona's piles ; 
And wisely deems it best to dwell 
A vot'ress in the holy cell, 
Until these feuds, so fierce and fell. 

The abbot reconciles." 

" The cemetery of the nunnery," as 
we learn on the authority of Dr. John- 
son, and at the date of his visit, "was, 
till very lately, regarded with such rev- 
erence that only women were buried in 
it." And how the burly speech and rug- 



174 



Around Mull. 



[August, 



ged bluntness characteristic of the old 
philosopher are softened and atoned for, 
to my thinking, when he adds, "These 
relics of veneration always produce some 
mournful pleasure. I could have for- 
given a great injury more easily than the 
violation of this imaginary sanctity." 

Next to its renown as an ancient seat 
of piety and learning, it is as a burial- 
place that lona is chiefly known and 
venerated. Though it is difficult now to 
identify the tombs of kings, or to distin- 
guish them from those of the humbler 
individuals who have found a last rest- 
ing-place in Reilig Grain, the burial- 
place of St. Oran, it is unquestionably 
true that the sanctity of the island gave 
it a preference over any other spot as a 
place of sepulture, especially for royal- 
ty, a preference, doubtless, partly due 
to the belief in an ancient Gaelic proph- 
ecy, which foretold that before the end 
of the world " the sea at one tide shall 
cover Ireland and the green - headed 
Islay, but Columba's Isle shall swim 
above the flood." 

Forty Scottish kings are said to have 
been interred in lona, among whom we 
have Shakspeare's authority for includ- 
ing King Duncan. 

"fiosse. Where is Duncan's body ? 

Mticd Carried to Colmeskill, 
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors. 
And guardian of their bones." 

Among the monuments of Christian- 
ity in lona, none are more conspicuous 
and eloquent than the numerous cross- 
es, of which the original number is said 
to have been three hundred and sixty. 
Most of them have been ruthlessly car- 
ried away or demolished. For myself, 
much as I deplore the Vandalism which 
has mutilated nearly all these sacred 
memorials, I can well dispense with the 
other three hundred and fifty-nine cross- 
es for the sake of the vivid recollection, 
I may almost say consciousness, I have 
of one, that of St. Martin, which stands 
upright and in good preservation just at 
the entrance of the cathedral inclosure, 
and produces a solemn effect upon the 
mind of every reverential beholder. It 
consists of a solid column of mica schist, 
fourteen feet in height, fixed in a mas- 



sive pedestal of red granite, and is of 
substantial rather than graceful propor- 
tions. It is carved in high relief, and 
on one side is sculptured with emble- 
matic devices, of which the Virgin and 
Child, surrounded by cherubs, occupy 
the central place. But its most charac- 
teristic feature is its antiquity, enhanced 
to the eye by the gray lichens and the 
rust of time, with which it is so incrust- 
ed that it presents a hoary and venera- 
ble aspect, and seems the embodiment 
of that ancient faith to which the whole 
island is consecrated. Here saints and 
abbots of distant ages have knelt and 
wept and prayed, and caught the inspi- 
ration for their labor of love ; and here 
still, if we listen to the voices in our 
hearts, we may hear the Spirit's whis- 
per, and he who runs may read the ever- 
living sermon written on the old gray 
stone. 

We have now gained the Cathedral, by 
far the best preserved and most impos- 
ing of the ruined edifices of lona, a 
building which exhibits various styles 
of architecture, and which is probably 
of more recent construction than the 
other monastic or ecclesiastical monu- 
ments. It is cruciform, and the square 
tower at the intersection, about seven- 
ty feet in height, remains entire. The 
building is unroofed : for here, as in the 
case of every other ancient structure on 
the island, every particle of wood-work 
has been carried away, that material be- 
ing too precious in lona to escape being 
converted to utilitarian purposes. The 
dimensions of the cathedral or abbey 
church are spacious, and it boasted, 
even in recent centuries, a noble altar 
and many other decorations, of which it 
has been despoiled, partly, no doubt, 
by the inhabitants of the island ; but 
tourists and pilgrims to the place are in 
no slight degree responsible for these 
depredations, since, in their eagerness 
for mementos, they have mercilessly 
robbed and mutilated it, and it is proph- 
esied, that, in spite of every possible pre- 
caution, many of the interesting memo- 
rials of antiquity in lona will soon be 
unrecognizable or will have ceased to 
exist 



1 86s.] 



Around Mull. 



'75 



The tomb of Abbot Mackinnon, who 
died in 1500, though greatly defaced, 
still exhibits a sculptured figure of its 
occupant, thought to do much credit to 
the art of that period ; and the largest 
monument in the island, that of Macleod 
of Macleod, is still preserved. It is in 
this church that the celebrated " Black 
Stones " of lona were kept, on which 
the old Highland chieftains were Accus- 
tomed to take oaths of contract or alle- 
giance, and for which they entertained 
so sincere a reverence that oaths thus 
ratified were never broken. Dr. John- 
son observes, " In those days of vio- 
lence and rapine, it was of great impor- 
tance to impress upon savage minds the 
sanctity of an oath, by some particular 
and extraordinary circumstances. They 
would not have recourse to the black 
stones upon small or common occa- 
sions ; and when they had established 
their faith by this tremendous sanction, 
inconstancy and treachery were no lon- 
ger feared." 

Though neither the ancient structures 
nor the modern village of lona are situ- 
ated much above the sea-level, and are 
so near to the shore as to constitute the 
foreground of the picture, as seen from 
the usual landing-place, the island is not 
without its highlands, which rise to a 
considerable elevation immediately be- 
hind the village, some bold cliffs even 
obtruding themselves upon our return 
pathway to the steamer : for I can recall 
the picturesque effect produced upon 
the landscape by the figure of one of 
the Baronet's daughters, seated at her 
ease upon the summit of a huge, pre- 
cipitous rock, her sketch-book in her 
lap, and her pencil busily delineating 
the prospect in our direction. I scarce- 
ly think, however, that, like the travel- 
ling photographer, she dreamed of in- 
cluding her fellow- tourists in her sketch- 
book of reminiscences, any more than I 
then anticipated the day when I should 
be tempted to illustrate mine by her own 
and her sister's portraits. 

I believe some rare ferns are to be 
found in lona ; it includes in its vege- 
table kingdom one hawthorn, and a 
species of dwarf-oak is said to occur 



there sparingly ; but I cannot remember 
seeing even the most inferior specimen 
of a tree upon the island. Bareness, 
desolation, is its one characteristic, a 
feature from which the meanness and 
poverty of the row of village huts by 
no means detracts. As, once more re- 
embarked on our steamer, we take a 
final view of lona, the external impres- 
sion is meagre and poor indeed. So 
much the warmer and more animated, 
then, is the glow of enthusiasm and grat- 
itude with which we dwell on the piety 
and self-sacrifice of those saints of old 
with whose memory the Blessed Isle is 
still fragrant. Nor are the piety and 
zeal of God's saints perpetuated chief- 
ly by ecclesiastical monuments, or em- 
balmed in human hearts alone ; for, 

" when, subjected to a common doom 
Of mutability, those far-famed piles 
Shall disappear from both the sister Isles, 
lona's saints, forgetting not past days, 
Garlands shall wear of amaranthine bloom, 
While heaven's vast sea of voices chants their praise." 

Is it the weariness of body entailed 
on us by our pilgrimages among the 
wonders of Staffa and the ruins of lona, 
is it the mind overtasked by the effort 
to grasp and comprehend so much of 
interest and novelty, or is it the soul 
tuned to deeper thoughts and holier 
sympathies than are wont to engage it, 
which steeps us for the remainder of our 
voyage in the luxury of repose ? A 
mingling of all, I suspect. And hap- 
pily the sentiment seems universal. 
Christie, who, warned by her painful 
experience of the steamer's oscillations, 
as she swung like a pendulum on the 
sea-swell off Staffa, has been only too 
glad to accompany us on shore at lona, 
is not only relieved of her sea-sickness, 
but insured for the rest of the trip. 
Somehow she, the Bailie, and I find 
ourselves among that large proportion 
of our company who have gradually mi- 
grated to the fonvard part of the boat, 
where, forgetful of the conventionalities 
which have hitherto restrained us, we 
are grouped on the fore-deck in what- 
ever listless or indolent attitude the pre- 
vailing mood may suggest The August 
afternoon is drawing to a close, and the 
sun is declining. Our share in the 



I 7 6 



Around Mull. 



[August, 



day's labor though it be but laborious 
pleasure is done; the remainder of 
the task devolves on the Pioneer, and, 
while she ploughs the waves, we have 
but to rest, meditate, and congratulate 
ourselves and one another. There is a 
hum of merry voices from the knot of 
gay young Scots, whose spirits are toned 
down, not damped, by the experiences 
of the day. Our English girls, with 
their young brother, are prettily group- 
ed on the deck-floor, the latter stretched 
at the feet of the youngest girl, and ex- 
changing with her those sweet confi- 
dences which always exist between a 
chivalrous boy and the sister nearest 
his own age. Their confiding parents 
have remained aft, as have a majority of 
the elders of the company ; but, though 
youth, freedom, and high natural spirits 
preponderate at our end of the boat, 
peace seems to be brooding over us 
with dove-like wings. 

We are still skirting the bold, precipi- 
tous shores of Mull, the central load- 
stone which has kept us all day to our 
course, and now and then our atten- 
tion is especially engrossed by the view 
of her rugged cliffs, terrible in winter's 
storms, and her natural arches of basalt, 
through which the sea washes at high- 
water, and which betray in every feature 
a family likeness to great Staflfa. But for 
the most part our hearts and thoughts 
now are with the past, and gratitude and 
thanksgiving are welling" up within us 
for a day on which sunshine, fair breez- 
es, and a prosperous voyage have com- 
bined with Nature's most glorious reve- 
lations and humanity's holiest relics in 
opening up to us pleasures and privi- 
leges beyond compare. Or, if a thought 
of the future mingles with our medita- 



tions, it is the rapturous thought that 
these gifts of Providence once ours are 
ours for a life-time. 

At length, a softening of the majestic 
landscape, a contraction from the sea's 
wide expanse into comparatively still 
waters, and, bidding farewell to Mull, 
we have entered the Sound of Ken-era, 
and the great island is hid from us by 
its less imposing sister, Kerrera Island, 
the same that land-locks the Bay of 
Oban. We have but to make our way 
through the picturesque channel, whose 
scenery is already familiar to our eyes, 
and now Dunolly, the moss -crowned 
warder of the bay, greets us once more, 
her friendly face, as we sweep into our 
little harbor, seeming to hail us with a 
"Welcome Home!" 

Home to the Caledonian, where a 
"towsy tea," as my Scotch friends would 
term it, awaits the tired and hungry 
travellers : a motley, substantial meal : 
fowls of the daintiest, fresh herring, 
never eaten in such perfection as on the 
Hebridean coast, honey-comb of the 
tint of burnt umber, fragrant, ambro- 
sial honey, the very juice of the heather, 
the crystallized sun and dew in which 
these unshadowed hills bask and bathe 
without let or hindrance. 

Then a stroll round the bay and along 
the white sea-wall, now glistening in the 
moonlight, and then to bed, to dream 
perhaps of Ossian's heroes, of storm- 
swept castles, of old monkish rites, and 
of the ocean cathedral's eternal chant, 
dreams which, however varied and 
strange, can lull the spirit into no soft- 
er illusions, can rouse it to no wilder 
ecstasies than the reality of our expe- 
rience in our twelve hours' sail round 
Mull. 



1865.] 



Jolm Bright and the English Radicals. 



177 



JOHN BRIGHT AND THE ENGLISH RADICALS. 



IN the June number of this magazine 
a review of the career of Richard 
Cobden presented the lifelong activity 
and loftiness of purpose which distin- 
guished that great man, whom we have 
so recently been called to mourn. It 
is our purpose to record something of 
his friend and ally, Mr. Bright, whose 
devotion to America has led him for 
once to raise his voice in vindication 
of war, as the only method of preserv- 
ing liberty. 

John Bright was born at Greenbank, 
near the thrifty town of Rochdale, on 
the 1 6th of November, 1811. His father 
was Mr. Jacob Bright, a gentleman who, 
by his own exertions, had risen from 
humble means to wealth, in the voca- 
tion of a cotton manufacturer. John 
was the second of eleven children, the 
oldest of whom died in infancy. The 
family were devoted members of the 
Society of Friends, and the subject of 
this sketch still adheres to the hered- 
itary faith. John's health, during child- 
hood, caused much solicitude to his 
parents. " His constitution was appar- 
ently feeble, and it was found that 
study injured his already delicate sys- 
tem. At the age of fifteen he was 
taken from school, and placed in his 
father's counting-room. Mr. Jacob 
Bright was a shrewd, yet highly honor- 
able man, entirely engrossed in the su- 
perintendence of his business, and an 
adept in the conduct of his manufactory. 
It was his ambition that his sons should 
follow in his footsteps, and should be- 
come, like himself, influential members of 
the commercial community. He doubt- 
less underrated, as the class to which 
he belonged are apt to do in England, 
the value of a university education ; 
and as soon as the boys reached the 
suitable age, they were set to work in 
the mills. Had John Bright received 
the culture which a residence at Ox- 
ford or Cambridge would have afforded 
him, he would doubtless have occupied 
a place in the first rank of that group 

VOL. XVI. NO. 94. 12 



of accomplished statesmen who now 
grace either House of Parliament, and 
whose elegant erudition is as conspicu- 
ous as their enlightened statecraft. As 
it was, we find him spending his youth 
at the desk, learning how to buy and 
sell, and how to rule the miniature com- 
monwealth which an English manufac- 
tory presents. In the discharge of these 
duties he proved himself skilful, prompt, 
and energetic. 

As he grew to manhood, however, a 
new interest and a new ambition awoke 
within him. He had always been more 
of a thinker than the other members 
of his family. When scarcely twenty, 
he had addressed the people of Roch- 
dale in favor of the great Reform of 
1832, and with the effect of giving him 
at that early age a local popularity. 
He had seemingly thrown his vigorous 
mind into the study of the complex ele- 
ments of the Constitution, with especial 
reference to those parts which affected 
commerce and manufactures. From 
such studies he had become the con- 
firmed disciple of those doctrines which, 
with a narrower view to self-interest, 
the commercial class almost universally 
adopted. When the passage of the Re- 
form Bill had quieted for a while the 
agitation on that score, Mr. Bright, his 
interest being now thoroughly awaken- 
ed to the excitements of a public career, 
turned his attention to the Temper- 
ance question, then much mooted in the 
larger towns. The idea of total absti- 
nence was at that time new to English- 
men, and Mr. Bright was one of the ear- 
liest champions of that principle, which 
has since attracted so many powerful or- 
ators, and which has reclaimed so many 
from the debasement of the cup. In 
the year 1835, Mr. Bright, with a view 
to extending his experience, and in or- 
der to observe the systems of other na- 
tions, made the tour of the Continent, 
extending his travels to Athens and 
Palestine. On his return, he was invited 
to lecture before the local Institute at 



.78 



Jo Jin BrigJit and the English Radicals. [August, 



Rochdale, and he delivered a series of 
lectures, taking as his subjects the ob- 
servations he had made abroad. These 
he followed by another series on ques- 
tions more nearly connected with the 
practical interests of his auditors, 
putting before them with admirable 
perspicuity the ideas he had formed 
on the commercial policy of England. 
About this time contentions arose re- 
specting the Church Rates, and Mr. 
Bright took active ground for their abo- 
lition. 

The sufferings of the manufactur- 
ing class now revived that agitation 
against the Corn- Laws which had once 
before engaged the earnest attention of 
the country. Mr. Bright had the patent 
evidence all around him of the misery 
which the inequitable adjustment of the 
tariff had created. The class over whom 
he had supervision were materially 
affected by this injustice. With that 
promptness which is one of his conspic- 
uous qualities, he devoted himself to 
the study of the science which would 
open to him the causes, consequences, 
and remedies of the evils which a legal- 
ized monopoly had brought into exist- 
ence. He found that the landed pro- 
prietors, whose influence in Parliament 
had long continued paramount through 
the protection of the Tory party, had 
secured laws which enabled them to en- 
joy the monopoly of the corn trade, to the 
practical exclusion of foreign competi- 
tion. Prices were thus increased to 
such an extent as to put it beyond the 
power of factory hands, with the wages 
which their employers could afford to 
pay them, to buy bread. 

The distress of the operatives from 
this cause was already great, and was 
constantly becoming more serious and 
more alarming. The lower classes of 
England have never been patient un- 
der unusual pressure. They are prone 
to take redress by violent resistance to 
law. Thus the agricultural ascenden- 
cy threatened to drive the rival element 
to desperation. The Tories, led by Wel- 
lington, already obnoxious from their 
long opposition to Reform, steadily main- 
tained the existing laws, and continued 



to be the devoted partisans of the land- 
ed interest. The aristocratic Whigs, 
who were in power under Viscount 
Melbourne, and who were reaping the 
fruit of a reform carried by the co- 
operation of popular leaders, were re- 
luctant to do more than make slight 
modifications, modifications which still 
left the evil great and dangerous. At 
this juncture, a new force sprang up, 
which from small beginnings finally ef- 
fected a total revolution in the econom- 
ical policy of the Government. This 
was the Anti - Corn - Law League. It 
was instituted by a number of liberal 
noblemen and gentlemen in Parliament, 
who had the sense to perceive, and the 
wisdom to provide for, the gloomy cri- 
sis which seemed to be impending. 
Charles Pelham Villiers, a son of the 
Earl of Clarendon, and one of the ablest 
of the younger generation of states- 
men, was the most prominent leader. 
The object of the association was to 
organize a crusade against agricultu- 
ral tyranny, and to effect the abrogation 
of the odious laws by which farmers 
grew rich by starving manufacturers. 
As usual with all organizations for re- 
form, the League at first met with clam- 
orous denunciation from all quarters, 
was sneered at in Parliament, and 
laughed at by the great proprietors. 
But it grew rapidly. Every day people 
awakened more and more to the in- 
creasing necessity. The champions of 
the League, spreading among the rural 
communities, eloquently and convin- 
cingly pointed out the great evils which 
they sought to eradicate. They were 
untiring in their exertions, and their 
success was beyond their best hopes. 

The great advantage to be gained 
by keeping their cause in constant 
agitation before the public made the 
Leaguers desirous to employ active and 
eloquent orators. John Bright, in his 
twenty - seventh year, began to speak 
in advocacy of commercial reform in 
his own neighborhood. The League 
heard of him, called him to their assist- 
ance, and he became one of their au- 
thorized speakers. This was a triumph 
not a little flattering to a young mer- 



1865.] 



John Bright and the English Radicals. 



179 



chant whose training had been in a 
manufactory, and to whom the field of 
forensic eloquence was entirely new. 
He was thoroughly convinced, both 
from observation and from a naturally 
quick reason, that the principles of 
which he was now to be a public ad- 
vocate were just and practical. His 
whole soul was in the effort to alleviate 
suffering, and to find a balance between 
interests which had been, but were not 
of necessity, conflicting. With that 
hearty zeal which has ever since mark- 
ed his public career, he entered the po- 
litical arena, turned over to his partners 
the affairs of the firm, and devoted him- 
self to the study and exposition of the 
new commercial theories. Through 
the irfluence of the League, he ob- 
tained opportunities to speak in many 
considerable places ; and he every day 
increased his reputation as a vigor- 
ous reasoner and a pleasing speaker. 
He went boldly into the agricultural 
districts, where the hard-headed old 
Tories who believed in Wellington 
formed his audiences, and put to them 
unwelcome truths which they found it 
hard to swallow. On one occasion he 
appeared before a large assemblage at 
Drury-Lane Theatre, when the effect of 
his eloquence was such that his name 
became immediately known throughout 
the kingdom. Copies of the speech 
were distributed by order of the League, 
and Bright found himself in demand 
from all quarters. Working in concert 
with Villiers, Morpeth, and the other 
leaders, he assisted in instituting branch- 
es of the League in the principal cities. 
Besides his unquestioned ability as an 
orator, he had one advantage which 
most of his co-workers did not possess, 

he was emphatically a man of the 
people. He came out from the busy com- 
munity in which he was born and reared, 
to labor for the people. Those who 
might distrust a Villiers or a Howard, 

who might suspect that an agitation 
set on foot by noblemen was designed for 
selfish ends, who might be indifferent 
to those whom they had been accus- 
tomed to regard as political schemers, 

would trust and follow one who threw 



aside his commercial vocation and came 
forward to sustain that commercial inter- 
est in which he himself was concerned. 
He could gain the ear and reason of 
many who would not listen to one whose 
profession was political agitation. ^Thus 
his influence became considerable ; his 
origin reassuring his hearers, his elo- 
quence charming them, and his hones- 
ty and earnestness commanding their 
sympathy and approval. 

The rapid spread of Free -Trade prin- 
ciples, resulting from the organized ef- 
forts of the League, and from the dem- 
onstration, which actual occurrences 
confirmed, that the farming monopoly 
could not continue, gave the leaders of 
the League much importance in Parlia- 
ment. The Whigs, nay, even the more 
moderate Tories, began to profess con- 
version to Free -Trade doctrines. When 
Parliament was dissolved in 1841, both 
parties went to the country on the issue 
of Free -Trade or Protection. Sir Rob- 
ert Peel, who afterward became the pa- 
triotic instrument by which the Corn- 
Laws fell, represented those who ad- 
hered to Protection and the agricultural 
interest. Lord Melbourne came forward 
as the advocate of those principles which 
the League had been the first to avow, 
and which as Premier he had not been 
anxious to put in practice. Notwith- 
standing the Reform of 1832, the landed 
nobility still retained a large control in 
the composition of the House of Com- 
mons. Peel had organized the Conser- 
vatives with great tact, and the ministry 
of Melbourne was suffering from the 
weakness of internal dissension. The 
result of the election was, that Peel's 
candidates were so generally success- 
ful that he gained a clear working ma- 
jority in the House, and he consequently 
became Prime-Minister. 

It was soon after the Conservatives 
thus attained office that John Bright 
came forward as a candidate for Parlia- 
ment in the northern city of Durhanx 
The Free -Traders were wise enough to 
seek the assistance of the best men their 
ranks could furnish. Bright, it was 
universally thought, would be a valua- 
ble auxiliary, coming as he did from the: 



i8o 



John Bright and the English Radicals. [August, 



mercantile class, and possessing a clear 
mind and ready tongue. Durham was 
conservative by tradition. In 1843 the 
city rejected Bright ; but in 1844, so rap- 
id was the growth of Liberalism, that 
the sme constituency returned him to 
the House of Commons by a handsome 
majority. 

Meanwhile Sir Robert Peel, elected 
and supported by Protectionists, was 
gradually turning his steps toward the 
more liberal policy which his opponents 
had advocated. Soon after assuming 
office, he had proposed a modification 
of the tariff. The Duke of Buckingham, 
representing the extreme wing of the 
Protectionists, resigned in alarm. The 
Premier did not falter, but approached 
still nearer the Free -Trade standard. 
Lord Stanley, a stronger man than 
Buckingham, retired from the council- 
board. When John Bright entered Par- 
liament, Peel was rapidly coming to the 
abolition of the Corn-Laws. Bright 
at once mingled in the debates, which 
now daily absorbed the attention of the 
House, on the one question before the 
country. The little band of Leaguers 
stood in the front rank of the oppo- 
sition. They were pressing Sir Rob- 
ert, by steady and oft-repeated appeals, 
to make the final concession. To the 
voices of Villiers, Morpeth, Russell, 
Gibson, were added the sonorous tones 
of the merchant-orator, and he main- 
tained the debate with the best, whether 
of friends or foes. He reasoned with 
such clearness, he brought the evils of 
the corn monopoly so vividly before the 
minds of his auditors, he pressed the 
necessity and justice of its abrogation 
with such power of argument, that from 
that day he took rank as one of the 
first speakers and logicians in the low- 
er House. 

Sir Robert soon threw aside all party 
and selfish considerations, and did fear- 
lessly what his judgment convinced him 
was urgently demanded by the interests 
of the country. He proposed the re- 
peal of the Corn-Laws. He thus ex- 
hibited a rare spirit for an English 
statesman, a spirit of self-sacrifice for 
the public good. His old associates 



assailed him with bitter, powerful elo- 
quence. The Whigs, whose thunder 
he had stolen, looked with the coldness 
of partisan selfishness upon his conver- 
sion to their views. But in spite of 
every discouragement, he carried that 
magnanimous measure through both 
Houses by his influence as First Lord 
of the Treasury. Hardly ever during 
the present century has Parliament 
been more electrified by stirring and 
splendid contests of forensic genius 
than during these debates on the re- 
peal. And in these debates John Bright 
proved a worthy competitor to Disra- 
eli, whose caustic oratory was justly 
feared, and to Stanley, whose excel- 
lence in rejoinder made him to be re- 
garded as the equal of Fox in extem- 
pore debate. 

The fall of Sir Robert Peel, who 
could not retain power whilst Tories 
and Whigs were alike arrayed against 
him, was followed by the elevation of 
Lord John Russell and his Whig friends 
to the ministry. Several of the lead- 
ers of the League accepted office ; but 
John Bright received no overtures from 
the new Premier. No thought of per- 
sonal ambition, indeed, seems to have 
entered into his views. Possessing that 
independence and fearlessness which 
men of his origin are apt to exhibit, 
and deeply interested in the new field 
in which he found himself, his sole de- 
sire seems to have been to arrive at a 
knowledge of what would most benefit 
his country. In this search, he rejected 
all party creeds. He declined to put 
himself under a pledge to abide by the 
will of a caucus. He considered him- 
self bound by no precedent which was 
unjust, committed to no policy which 
did not have a present reason. He 
was ready to act with the party that 
sustained, in each individual case, the 
measure which he considered right ; 
nor would he hesitate to vote with those 
with whom he usually found himself at 
variance, if they brought forward meas- 
ures which his judgment approved. 

At the time Lord Russell came into 
power, Mr. Bright was regarded as op- 
posed to the Established Church and 



1865.] 



JoJm Bright and the English Radicals. 



181 



to the House of Lords, as favorable to 
a system of general suffrage, and as 
decidedly anti-monarchical in political 
theory. With opinions so radical the 
aristocratic Whigs were the last to have 
any sympathy. They were much less 
likely to encourage that class of politi- 
cians than their old antagonists, the To- 
ries. The reason is evident. Radical- 
ism, by startling the masses by the nov- 
elty of its doctrines, and thus driving 
a large majority to seek certain safety 
under the protection of the Tories, had 
kept the Whigs out of Whitehall for 
half a century. John Wilkes and Home 
Tooke secured Pitt in his power. Fran- 
cis Burdett and his confederates faithful- 
ly served Liverpool. If Lord Russell 
should recognize the later Radicals by 
calling one of their leaders to his coun- 
sels, he might well fear a defection far 
outweighing the acquisition. Thus Mr. 
Bright, an active participant in the con- 
test for Free Trade, which had just re- 
sulted in a complete victory, cheerfully 
continued to be simply an independent 
commoner, representing the constitu- 
ency of Durham, free to judge, and 
to speak his honest thought, at lib- 
erty to advocate reforms more thorough 
than ministers dared to propose, ready 
to represent the feelings and wants of 
that great multitude of Englishmen to 
whom the timeworn restrictions of the 
franchise prohibited a voice in the Gov- 
ernment, anxious to keep ideas in 
agitation which needed stout hearts and 
steady heads to maintain them in exist- 
ence. 

In 1847, the ministers having caused 
his defeat as member for Durham, he 
became the successful contestant for 
the seat for Manchester. This metrop- 
olis of manufacture was then the cen- 
tre, as it is now, of extreme liberal no- 
tions. The fame of Mr. Bright, who 
had gone forth into public life from its 
immediate neighborhood, was grateful 
to a district which sorely needed such 
an advocate. He continued to repre- 
sent Manchester through the Parlia- 
ment which sustained and finally oust- 
ed Lord John Russell. In 1852, when 
the Premier, joining issue with Lord 



Derby, (formerly Lord Stanley,) went 
to the country, Mr. Bright again stood 
for Manchester, and was gratified by 
receiving a majority of eleven hundred. 
It was the just reward of labors inces- 
sant and courageous, to keep the in- 
terests of the constituency always be- 
fore the legislature, and to bring about 
that system of equality to which they 
were thoroughly devoted. Mr. Bright 
continued to represent Manchester un- 
til 1857. During the session of that 
year, the late Mr. Cobden, the earnest 
co-worker with Mr. Bright, brought 
forward a motion condemnatory of the 
Chinese War, then transpiring under 
the conduct of Lord Palmerston's Gov- 
ernment. The House divided against 
the minister. The Radicals and Con- 
servatives were in a majority. Palmer- 
ston dissolved Parliament, and appeal- 
ed to the nation. Bright once more 
went before his constituents, on the is- 
sue of war or peace with China. His 
notions respecting the iniquity of war 
in general, which resulted from his Qua- 
ker education, and his opinion that this 
attack on the Celestial Empire was es- 
pecially unjustifiable, were not welcome 
to the electors of Manchester. His op- 
ponent, like himself a radical Whig, but 
an advocate of the war, was returned by 
five thousand votes. In 1859 Palmer- 
ston being again forced to the expedient 
of a new election, Mr. Bright was in- 
vited to stand as a candidate for the 
constituency of Birmingham, by whom 
he was returned to Parliament, where 
he has since continued to represent 
them. Here he has been very active in 
the advocacy of his own peculiar doc- 
trines, some of which have within a few 
years gained much in public estimation. 
Independent of all parties, he votes usu- 
ally with the ministry, but sometimes 
follows Mr. Disraeli and Lord Stanley 
below the bar on a division of the House. 
This record of eighteen years in the 
House of Commons is certainly a re- 
markable one. While constantly op- 
posing both of the great parties, Mr. 
Bright has won the respect of all. His 
ability as a logician and as an effec- 
tive speaker, and his evident honesty 



182 



John Bright and the English Radicals. [August, 



and earnestness of purpose, are con- 
ceded by every one. The courage and 
persistency with which he has upheld 
unpopular doctrines compel the admi- 
ration of those who recoil from the 
changes which he seeks to effect. It 
is not too much to say that his char- 
acter has greatly enhanced the influ- 
ence of those for whom he acts, and of 
whom he is the unquestioned leader. 
The Radicals were a mere handful when 
Bright entered Parliament. They are 
now beginning to be feared. Several 
of the largest and most prosperous cit- 
ies regularly send Radical members to 
Westminster. Some of the profound- 
est thinkers in England are inclined to 
admit that the time is approaching when 
Radical ideas shall become practical. 
Many of them already declare these 
ideas to be abstractly just. The Eng- 
lish are getting accustomed to Radical 
doctrines. In due time they will be 
ready to pass a fair judgment upon them. 

The progressive party in a nation too 
often possesses leaders who, being low- 
born, are coarse and lawless, or who 
seek to foster discontent by an artful 
demagoguism. A good cause is often 
discountenanced and rendered futile by 
reason of the ignorance or wickedness 
of those who have been prominent in 
its advocacy. John Wilkes and Thom- 
as Paine scandalized the cause of prog- 
ress in their time by the profligacy of 
their lives and the badness of their mo- 
tives. So did Robespierre and Dan- 
ton by the cruel ambition which act- 
uated them. The character of such 
men naturally frightened people of hon- 
est intentions from their leadership ; 
while the extremities to which they car- 
ried their views deterred men of prac- 
tical sense from upholding them. The 
reformers of the present generation, 
however, exhibit traits which command 
respect. They pursue a course, which, 
if not altogether moderate or suited to 
the times, is evidently grounded upon 
deductions of thoughtful reason. 

If we were to compress the descrip- 
tion of Mr. Bright's character into a 
few words, we should say he was hon- 
,est, earnest, fearless, eloquent. He is 



honest ; for he casts aside the objects 
of personal ambition in a life devotion 
to an unpopular cause. He is earnest ; 
for he is constant to his faith, untiring 
in the effort to instil it into the com- 
munity. He is fearless, morally fear- 
less ; for he permits no obstacle, no ob- 
loquy, no powerful antagonism, to check 
him in the expression of unwelcome 
thoughts. He is eloquent ; inasmuch 
as he stands up amid the silence of the 
most critical and restless legislature in 
the world, and compels members to lis- 
ten, without interruption, to ideas which 
in the opinion of the vast majority are 
hateful and destructive. His character, 
as it has been displayed by a consistent 
public record, bears the stamp of truth 
and ingenuousness. He is candid, al- 
most to a fault. He has no subtle state- 
craft ; he recognizes no code of expe- 
diency. He is impatient of that spirit 
which actuates statesmen as a class to 
sacrifice something of good for the prac- 
tical attainment even of a worthy end, 
a spirit which, for our own part, we 
cannot wholly disapprove. While as a 
business man his integrity is perfectly 
unimpeachable, as a legislator his oppo- 
nents have only to fear his strong and 
indignant eloquence : they are safe from 
any thrust which is not open and man- 
ly. He was not destined to become 
a great statesman : he is too rash, too 
little tolerant of antagonistic opinion, 
too much inclined to absolute conclu- 
sions, too open by nature in giving ex- 
pression to his thoughts. In the de- 
molishing process which properly pre- 
cedes, in a long-established polity, the 
constructing process, he has every 
quality which would fit him to be a 
leader. His Quaker blood is of little 
avail in making him sit in patience 
whilst deep social wrongs stare him in 
the face on every side. The uprising 
of the people, especially that peaceable 
uprising to which the English people 
are by nature and precedent inclined to 
resort, seeking to cure by prompt ac- 
tion what statesmanship has failed to 
mend, would give him the best of op- 
portunities. Quaker though he is, he 
would revel in taking the van of a law- 



i86s.] 



John Bright and the English Radicals. 



i8 



ful reformation aimed at the abuses he 
hates so heartily. So far as the ex- 
punging of an iniquitous law from the 
statute-book goes, his work would be 
well done ; but when the time came to 
fill up the page with a new and just 
enactment, it would be his part to yield 
to more deliberate and judicious coun- 
sels. Like Lord Brougham, he is great 
in opposition. He can defend well ; he 
can attack far better. Aggressive war- 
fare is his forte. He is as positive in his 
theological and social as in his political 
opinions. He is a practical philanthro- 
pist, leads a life of strict probity and 
temperance, and seeks his pleasure, as 
well as his duty, in benefiting the hu- 
man race. He carries the nervous- 
ness and enthusiasm of his public dis- 
plays into the amenities of private life. 
Hearty in his friendships, and affable in 
social intercourse, he is liked by most 
persons and respected by all. He pos- 
sesses in a remarkable degree that fac- 
ulty which is considered as the trait of 
an accomplished gentleman, the fac- 
ulty of putting you at once at your ease. 
In temperament impulsive, he is per- 
haps too little mindful of the feelings 
of others, and somewhat careless of his 
expressions when pursuing a subject 
in which his attention is engrossed. 
In his manner there is a blunt sincerity 
which one who is in his company for 
the first time is apt to mistake almost 
for ill-temper. It, however, results from 
his entirely candid disposition, his rig- 
idly practical and business education, 
and his carelessness of forms, by no 
means from a want of kindliness or an 
intention to be discourteous. 

A first glance gives one a very good 
impression of Mr. Bright's character. 
He is of medium height, a little inclined 
to corpulency, and quick and nervous 
in his movements. His eye is full of 
intelligence, small, bright, and sharp, 
apparently powerful to read another 
through the countenance. Its expres- 
sion is, perhaps, a little hard ; it seems 
to search your thought, and to detect the 
bent of your mind. His face is a true 
British face, round and full, with 
firmly set mouth, positive chin, and 



that peculiar sort of hauteur which is 
a national characteristic. His hair, 
somewhat gray, is brushed off his fore- 
head, which is broad and admirably 
proportioned ; and he wears whiskers 
on the side of his face, like most mid- 
dle-aged Englishmen. His voice is 
clear, his enunciation rapid, yet dis- 
tinct, and his choice of words exact, 
excellent, indeed, for one self-educated 
in the correct use of language. 

Mr. Bright is very attractive as an 
orator. When it is known that he is 
to speak, the galleries are insufficient 
to hold the multitude which gathers to 
hear him. His delivery is prompt and 
easy. He has none of that hesitation 
and apparent timidity which mark the 
address of many English orators ; but 
neither, on the other hand, does he pos- 
sess that rich and fascinating intonation 
which forces us to concede the forensic 
palm to Mr. Gladstone of all contempo- 
rary Englishmen. He expresses himself 
with boldness, sometimes almost with 
rudeness. His declamation is fresh, 
vigorous, and almost always even. At 
times he is unable to preserve the mod- 
eration of language and manner which 
retains the mastery over impulse ; his 
indignation carries him away ; his de- 
nunciation becomes overwhelming ; his 
full voice rings out, trembling with agi- 
tation, as he exposes some wrongful or 
defends some good measure : then his 
vigorous nature appears, unadorned by 
cultivated graces, but admirable for its 
manliness and strength. This impetu- 
osity, which is so prominent a charac- 
teristic of his oratory, is in marked 
contrast with the manner of the late 
Mr. Cobden, his friend and coopera- 
tor. Mr. Cobden was always guard- 
ed, cautious, and studiously accurate, 
in his language. Mr. Bright often says 
things, in the excitement of controversy, 
which exaggerate his real sentiments, 
and which may be used to misrepre- 
sent his opinions. Mr. Cobden, whose 
temperament was more phlegmatic, was 
careful to avoid any undue heat of 
speech, and hence often passed, erro- 
neously, for a more moderate thinker 
than Mr. Bright. 



1 84 



JoJtn BrigJit and the English Radicals. [August, 



It is with pleasure that we turn for a 
moment to speak of Mr. Bright's course 
towards America, and especially while 
\ve were suffering under the plague of 
civil war. Ever since he entered pub- 
lic life, his admiration of our institutions 
and history has been frequently the sub- 
ject of his discourse. He has not hesi- 
tated to declare that feeling when he 
must have been aware how unwelcome 
it was to the greater part of his coun- 
trymen. He has, indeed, recognized in 
our success the practical attainment of 
those views to which he has so long been 
devoted, and which his experience as a 
public man seems only to have confirm- 
ed. His magnanimous mind has scorn- 
fully rejected that too prevalent English 
characteristic, envy at the growing 
power of a sister nation. He has only 
seen in our progress a benefit and an 
example to mankind. As such he has 
gloried in it, and not the less because 
we are a kindred race and an offshoot 
from British civilization. The fact that 
we have been the inheritors and par- 
takers of the glories of the English na- 
tion, which seems to increase the asper- 
ity with which many English statesmen 
now regard us, is to Mr. Bright a great- 
er reason why sympathy should be ex- 
tended to us. His speeches on Amer- 
ica manifest a thorough knowledge of 
our history and of the spirit of our Con- 
stitution. He has studied us in the ear- 
nest desire to know and believe the 
truth, and faithfully to present to others 
the results of his study. We do not 
think it extravagant to say that few of 
our own public men evince a more intel- 
ligent knowledge of our record than Mr. 
Bright : certainly in this respect he is 
far in advance of the leading English 
statesmen. When in 1861 the Rebellion 
broke out, Mr. Bright raised his voice 
boldly against the non-committal policy 
of England, in declaring herself neutral. 
He seemed to comprehend at once the 
causes of the war. He correctly re- 
garded the North as really on the de- 
fensive, defending the integrity of the 
nation. He saw the cause of republi- 
can liberty trembling in the balance. 
From that day to this, at times when 



public indignation ran so high in Eng- 
land that it was almost dangerous to 
justify the North, at times when to 
avow Northern sentiments was to be 
met with a howl from Spithead to the 
Frith of Forth, at times when his 
own supporters, the manufacturing and 
commercial classes, feeling sore over 
the want of cotton, bitterly complained 
and pleaded for intervention, John 
Bright has been our constant, zealous, 
and fearless champion, braving all Eng- 
land in our cause, and never silent when 
we were to be vindicated. In the issue 
of the war Mr. Bright will see the frui- 
tion of the hopes of the lovers of liberty 
everywhere. He will rejoice in it as the 
successful assertion by national power 
of those principles which he has devot- 
ed his life to advocating. To his mind 
the assassination of Lincoln will appear 
as the legitimate fruit of Southern trea- 
son. We may be sure, that, whilst the 
press of England endeavors to divert 
the guilt of this atrocity from the heads 
which gave birth to it, there is one Eng- 
lishman at least that Englishman, John 
Bright who will be bold to trace it to 
its proper source. 

We can do no better than to close 
this notice by quoting the conclusion 
of a speech made by Mr. Bright in De- 
cember, 1 86 1, to which our attention 
has been called during the preparation 
of this article. 

" Whether the Union will be restored 
or not, or the South will achieve an un- 
honored independence or not, I know 
not and I predict not. But this I think 
I know, that in a few years, a very few 
years, the twenty millions of freemen 
in the North will be thirty millions or 
fifty millions, a population equal to 
or exceeding that of this kingdom. 
When that time comes, I pray it may 
not be said among them, that, in the 
darkest hour of their country's trials, 
England, the land of their fathers, look- 
ed on with icy coldness, and saw, un- 
moved, the perils and calamities of her 
children. As for me, I have but this to 
say : I am one in this audience, and but 
one in the citizenship of this country ; 
but if all other tongues are silent, mine 



1865.] 



Needle and Garden. 



185 



shall speak for that policy which gives 
hope to the bondsmen of the South, 
and tends to generous thoughts and 
generous words and generous deeds 
between the two great nations who 



speak the English language, and from 
their origin are alike entitled to the 
English name." 

Let Americans honor the English- 
man who spoke thus nobly ! 



NEEDLE AND GARDEN. 

THE STORY OF A SEAMSTRESS WHO LAID DOWN HER NEEDLE AXD BECAME 
A STRAWBERRY-GIRL. 



WRITTEN BY HERSELF. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

r ~T'HAT was a long and dreary winter 
which succeeded this beginning of 
my experimental life. The snow fell 
heavily, and so frequently that my plants 
were completely hidden from view dur- 
ing a great part of the season. But, so 
far from doing them an injury, the fleecy 
mantle protected them from the open 
exposure to cold under which the straw- 
berry will sometimes perish. It was a 
privation to me to have them thus en- 
tirely shut up from observation ; but 
more than once, when the snow had 
softened under the influence of an in- 
cipient thaw, I could not refrain from 
plunging my hands into it and uncov- 
ering a plant here and there, to see how 
they were faring. So far from perish- 
ing under the continued cold, I found 
them holding up their heads with won- 
derful erectness, their leaves crisp and 
fresh, with an intense greenness that 
contrasted strongly with the white blan- 
ket in which Nature had kindly wrap- 
ped them. Thus satisfied that they 
were well provided for, I endeavored 
to check my impatience for the coming 
spring : for really it seemed the lon- 
gest winter I had ever known. 

Both my sister and myself continued 
our labors at the factory, though we 
discovered evidences that even at ma- 
chine-sewing there was likely to be some 
uncertainty as to continued employment 



at the usual remunerative prices. We 
had learned to have entire confidence 
in its stability ; but symptoms were ap- 
pearing that the business, in some of 
its branches, was likeJy to be overdone. 
The makers of the first machines, hav- 
ing sold immense numbers at high pri- 
ces, had acquired vast fortunes. This 
invited competition, and manufactories 
of rival machines having been estab- 
lished by those who had invented mod- 
ifications of the original idea, the quan- 
tity thrown upon the market was very 
great, while prices were so reduced that 
additional thousands were now enabled 
to obtain machines and set them to 
work. The competition among the mak- 
ers thus gave rise to competition among 
those who used the machines. Prices 
of work declined in consequence, and 
of course the sewing-girls we're requir- 
ed to bear a large share of this decline, 
in the shape of a reduction of wages. 
We could do nothing but submit, for 
the needle was the only staff we had to 
lean upon. If we were to continue re- 
alizing as much per week as before, we 
could do so in no other way than by 
working longer and more industriously. 
This fell very hard upon us during that 
long winter. We could afford no holi- 
days, no recreation, not even to be sick. 
As we felt we had no dependence but 
the needle, we still clung to the idea, 
that, if we could purchase machines of 
our own, we should do much better. 



1 86 



Needle and Garden. 



[August, 



But though now reduced in price, yet 
the hope of getting them grew fainter 
and fainter under the reduction of wa- 
ges, and hence my growing impatience 
to achieve some more remunerative em- 
ployment. 

The bright spring at last opened kind- 
ly and genially upon us. The snow dis- 
appeared, leaving my strawberries in the 
most healthy condition, and free from 
the unsightly fringe-work of dead fo- 
liage which encircles plants that have 
been compelled to go through a hard 
winter without protection. I was ex- 
ultant at the promise which their vig- 
orous appearance held forth. I even 
stole a view, through the cracks in 
the fence, at those of our disagreeable 
neighbors, to see if they were doing 
any better, and was gratified by finding 
that mine were equally thrifty. Fred 
and I contrived to stir up the ground 
about them with heavy rakes, though 
a harrow would have been more effec- 
tive. April covered the whole bed with 
a profusion of blossoms that even our 
experienced neighbors could not ex- 
ceed. They came often to our gate, 
and with more impudence than I could 
muster when stealing an observation 
through their fence, there they stood, 
two or three together, inspecting my 
beautiful rows for an hour at a time. 
I wondered what they could find to in- 
terest them so greatly, as in their eyes 
the sight could have been no novelty ; 
but I fear, that, if surprised at my suc- 
cess thus far, their wonder must have 
been tinged with a jealousy that ren- 
dered the display as unpleasant to them 
as it was encouraging to me. 

No one ever watched the opening of 
the blossoms, their dropping off, and 
the formation of the fruit, more atten- 
tively than I did. Every spare hour 
was passed among them. The bees 
flew over the beds, dipping into one 
flower after another, and filling the air 
with a perpetual humming. Even at 
the earliest morning hour, when the 
sun had barely reached the garden, I 
found them at their honeyed labors. 
The poet who declared that many a flow- 
er was born to blush unseen, and waste 



its sweetness on the desert air, must 
have believed that the winged denizens 
of the air had no inheritance in them, 
that their sweets were wasted be- 
cause no human eye was present to ad- 
mire them. I cannot agree with him ; 
for here, when our garden was a soli- 
tude, with no human eye to admire its 
wealth of blossoms, they were thick with 
bees, and surely upon them their sweets 
were far from being wasted. The flow- 
ers must have been created as much for 
the enjoyment of nameless insects as 
for the gratification of man. 

As May advanced, I could see the 
fruit forming in clusters that gave token 
of an ample crop. But as the heat in- 
creased I found that other candidates 
for observation presented themselves in 
prodigious numbers, not near so inter- 
esting, but imperatively demanding at- 
tention. The weeds shot up all through 
and between the rows with a luxuriance 
that astonished me. The winter read- 
ing of my agricultural library had taught 
me that good strawberries cannot be 
expected when a rank growth of weeds 
is permitted to occupy the soil. My fa- 
ther's garden- tools were heavy and clum- 
sy, made only for a strong man to use ; 
but we plied the hoes vigorously in keep- 
ing down the interlopers. They were 
dull tools, with thick handles, unsuit- 
able for women's use, so that the mere 
weight of the implements fatigued us 
more than the labor of hoeing. But all 
the family shared in this work until it 
was accomplished, and our ground was 
made as cleanly as that of our neighbors. 
Besides the extermination of a host of 
pests that sucked up the nutriment and 
moisture necessary to the plants, the 
operation kept the surface of the ground 
open and mellow, permitting the sun 
and air to penetrate, and thus stimulate 
the growing fruit into berries of supe- 
rior size. I am sure that it is by atten- 
tion to this single matter of permitting 
no weeds to grow that most of the suc- 
cess in strawberry -culture may be at- 
tributed. 

As I watched my fruit -laden plants 
as attentively as if each one had been 
an infant, it should not be wondered at 



1 86s.] 



Needle and Garden. 



187 



that my ever-present eye detected the 
first tinge of redness that showed itself 
among them. No one can imagine with 
how absorbing an interest I hung over 
this pioneer evidence of complete suc- 
cess. I could tell which row contained 
it, and on which plant in the row a blush- 
ing cheek was held up to the sun. But 
in a day or two the identity of the ri- 
pening berry was lost, for a thousand 
of its fellows became equally ambitious 
of notice, changing their delicate green 
into a softened, but decided scarlet. 
The hot suns of early June were pour- 
ing down upon the sheltered spot where 
the plants were growing, and it was time 
for them to ripen their wealth of fruit. 
I presume that he who boasts the pos- 
session of a dozen acres of strawberries 
has never experienced sensations such 
as were now the ruling ones of my heart. 
Here was I a sewing -girl break- 
ing through the ordinary routine of fe- 
male occupations, and standing on the 
threshold of an enterprise considered 
by the world unsuited to my sex, un- 
feminine because uniformly undertaken 
by men, hazardous because untried by 
women, but practically within the power 
of all having taste and courage to ven- 
ture upon it, here was I about to re- 
alize the dream of a whole year, the re- 
ward of untold anxieties, the solution of 
the great problem whether the garden 
were better than the needle. 

The very day I made the discovery 
that th first berry had begun to change 
color, I hastened to my friend the mar- 
ket-woman, intending to tell her how 
finely I was coming on, and that she 
must be prepared to sell my crop. As I 
had no acquaintance with other straw- 
berry-growers, I had little opportunity 
of ascertaining by comparison with them 
whether my fruit would come earlier or 
later into market than that of others, 
but took it for granted that mine would 
be first. It was the mistake of an ig- 
norance which subsequent reading and 
observation have corrected. Thus, when 
I came up to the widow's stand in the 
market, I was confounded at seeing her 
sitting beside a huge wooden tray heap- 
ed up with ripe berries. No doubt I 



had seen the same thing as early in the 
season, years before, but, having no in- 
terest in the subject as a fruit-grower, I 
had never consulted dates. But now, 
being deeply interested, the effect of 
this prematurely early display of fruit 
was that of astonishment and disap- 
pointment. I knew that being early 
in the market was a vital point, and 
supposed that I was as early as the 
earliest ; but here was evidence that 
I had been forestalled. I had hardly 
courage to inquire where these berries 
came from, or what price she was get- 
ting for them. But the crowd of pur- 
chasers around the stand was so great 
that no one would have noticed my ap- 
pearance, even if my emotions had been 
written on my face. They were con- 
tending with each other to be served, 
and at seventy-five cents a quart ! This 
much could be seen and heard without 
the trouble of inquiry. How I en- 
vied the grower of the precious fruit in 
which so many were indulging at this 
extravagant price ! How the sight dis- 
mayed me, I had been so completely 
anticipated by some more skilful culti- 
vator ! I did not even seek to catch the 
widow's eye, nor to ask a single ques- 
tion. The spectacle so discouraged 
me that I moved off with a heavy heart 
to my accustomed avocations. 

It was but dull practice on my sew- 
ing-machine during the whole of that 
day. It is true I thought a thousand 
times of my own strawberries, but then 
those of my successful competitor were 
quite as often in my mind. How this 
thing could happen, and why one culti- 
vator should thus anticipate all others, 
and command the market when prices 
were so enormous, I could not then un- 
derstand. But I resolved to have the 
matter explained. Next morning I was 
up at daybreak and at the widow's 
stand. She was already there, and was 
engaged in putting the little fixtures in 
order on which her daily stock of fruits 
and vegetables was to be displayed. No 
customers were yet visible in this ear- 
ly gray of the morning, and there was 
an opportunity for me to make the mo- 
mentous inquiries I desired. But there 



iSS 



Needle and Garden. 



[August, 



was the same great wooden tray, again 
piled up with at least a bushel of straw- 
berries. My first question was as to 
where they came from. 

" From Baltimore, Miss," was the 
reply. " You know they ripen there 
two weeks earlier than here. It is 
farther south, the climate is warmer, 
and they come here on the railroad un- 
til the price falls so low as to make it 
unprofitable to send them. But they 
are a small, poor berry, not equal to 
yours, and will not be in your way. 
When yours come to market, these will 
be all gone. People buy these only be- 
cause they can get no better ones." 

Here was a mountain of discourage- 
ment removed at once. I had not been 
forestalled by a neighbor, but only an- 
ticipated by some one who had taken 
advantage of a warmer climate. Be- 
sides, the widow repeated her cheering 
assurance of the year before, that she 
could readily dispose of all I might 
have, not, however, at the high prices 
she then was getting, because the same 
sun that was to ripen mine would ripen 
those of all others around me, and bring 
them into market at the same time ; but 
if mine should be better than others, she 
would be able to secure better prices for 
them. 

I went home to breakfast with a 
lighter heart, and that day at the fac- 
tory made up for the deficiencies of 
the preceding. But since then, after 
the experience of an entire season, I 
have looked carefully into this matter 
of the importance of being first in the 
market, and I find it runs through and 
influences almost every department of 
horticulture which is pursued as a source 
of gain. The struggle everywhere ap- 
pears to be for precedence. The hor- 
ticultural world knows that there is a 
waiting community of consumers who 
stand impatient for the advent of the 
first ripened fruits. It knows that with 
these the price occasions no hesitancy 
in the purchase : they are able to pay. 
Hence no resource of art or skill is left 
unpractised to minister to a craving ap- 
petite that yields a reward so golden. 
One producer erects hot -houses, into 



which he crowds the plants that other- 
wise would be hybernating, and, creat- 
ing an artificial summer, stimulates the 
strawberry into bloom, then into fruit, 
until even in the depth of winter the 
ripened berries are seen at some of the 
most celebrated fruit-stores. They com- 
mand fabulous prices, a spoonful of 
them readily bringing a dollar, without 
the demand being supplied. The rich 
always have money to spend ; and though 
the world is never without its poor, yet 
it seems also to be never without an 
abundance of those who have more 
than they can wisely dispose of. This 
branch of horticulture must be profit- 
able, as it is rapidly extending in the 
neighborhood of all our large cities. 
These hot-house fruits are the earliest 
in the market 

Other growers move off to a warmer 
climate, within one or two days' ride 
of the great city by railroad, and, by 
help of hotter suns, crowd their half- 
ripened fruits into Northern markets 
nearly a month in advance of local 
cultivators. Only those varieties be- 
ing grown which are naturally earlier 
than all others, they blush into redness 
while ours have scarcely reached their 
full size. Taken from the vines in an 
unripe condition, they are crisp and firm, 
and the fast express-train whirls them 
over hundreds of miles, the ripening 
process, as well as the decaying one, 
going on meanwhile. It is costly trans- 
portation to the growers, but the impa- 
tient public pay with readiness a price 
so extravagant as to make for these 
wholesale pioneers a stupendous profit. 
Thus the warm alluvial lands encircling 
Norfolk fill the markets from Baltimore 
to Boston with the earliest fruit. It is 
unripe, and deficient in the full flavor 
of the strawberry ; but what care the 
wealthy public for that ? It is the first 
in market, they have been a year with- 
out it, it has somewhat of the genu- 
ine aroma, and, ripe or unripe, they 
cannot refrain. Great sums are annual- 
ly realized by these earliest caterers for 
the public palate. The hot-house pro- 
cess is comparatively a retail operation ; 
but this traffic reaches to the dignity of 






i86 5 .] 



Needle and Garden. 



189 



a great industrial enterprise, employ- 
ing hundreds of hands, pouring ample 
freightage into the coffers of express- 
companies, and enriching the men by 
whom it is conducted. It is exclusively 
the offspring of Northern shrewdness, 
the sluggish instincts of the Southern- 
er unfitting him for an occupation re- 
quiring incessant activity and prompt- 
ness, while its apparent littleness, the 
peddling of strawberries, were unwor- 
thy a race whose inheritance is cotton 
or tobacco. 

For a few weeks these cultivators 
have entire possession of the Northern 
market In time, however, our suns 
become hotter, ripening the fruits of 
our own fields. Then comes the rival- 
ry among ourselves, who shall be ear- 
liest with the best fruit ; for herein 
lies an important element of general 
success. 

My berries ripened rapidly, and I 
knew they must be ready for picking 
by hearing that our neighbors were 
about beginning. It was a momentous 
day when we began. My mother and 
myself undertook it : for that afternoon 
I stayed away from the factory, as it was 
impossible for me to be absent from so 
interesting a scene. I had no idea what 
quantity we were to expect, though I 
had ransacked my agricultural library 
in hopes of discovering some approxi- 
mate solution of this question. Crops 
were found to vary as unaccountably as 
modes of culture. One grower would 
obtain more fruit from a few rods of 
ground than another from a whole acre. 
These prevailing contrarieties were well 
calculated to make me doubtful of what 
my luck was to be. Hence, when we 
had gone over the whole half-acre, and 
found that we had gathered ninety 
quarts, I was entirely satisfied, and the 
more so from noticing, on a survey of 
the bed, that there was no perceptible 
diminution of the quantity remaining 
on the vines. 

The fruit was of very superior size, 
for perhaps few cultivators could have 
bestowed more labor in keeping the 
ground in order ; and this labor of our 
own hands was nearly all that the ex- 



periment had cost. As I was anxious 
to follow the directions given by my 
market friend, we had a great time that 
evening in assorting the berries, put- 
ting them in three lots, the very lar- 
gest in one, then the next best, and the 
smallest in a third. They were placed 
in nice new baskets as assorted, so as 
to be handled as little as possible. 
These were safely stowed in a wheel- 
barrow, and before daybreak the next 
morning Fred wheeled them to mar- 
ket. I was with him, of course. It 
was my first errand, the first fruits of 
my long anxiety, my first appearance 
as a strawberry-girl. 

The streets at that early hour were 
deserted and silent, for the busy mul- 
titudes were not yet stirring. No pe- 
destrians were about but those in some 
way connected with the markets, whither 
all were repairing ; nor were any vehi- 
cles moving except the market carts and 
wagons coming in from the adjacent 
country, most of them driven by women, 
thus early forced from home to be at 
their daily stands. I confess this free- 
dom from curious public observation 
was not unpleasant to me. Somehow 
I had felt no compunction, no pride, at 
bearing through the streets, even at 
noonday, the symbol of my calling as 
a sewing-girl, in the shape of an un- 
sightly bundle ; but here, notwithstand- 
ing long reflection had familiarized me 
with what my new duties would neces- 
sarily be, yet when I came to the per- 
formance of them I felt no ambition to 
be publicly recognized as a strawberry- 
girl. My mother, who had been up to 
see us off, had covered each basket with 
a cloth, so that really it was impossible 
for a stranger, seeing the load I had in 
charge, to know whether it was work for 
the tailor or fruit for the market-house. 
I cannot account for this weakness, 
why I, who had been so strong and 
undismayed on occasions really trying, 
should have been so affected on one that 
afforded so much reason for exultation. 
I have sometimes blamed my sister as 
the cause of this unusual nervousness. 
She, too, was up to aid us in getting 
under way, for all hearts were in the 



190 



Needle and Garden. 



[August, 



enterprise, and knowing that I had a 
nervous apprehension of our neighbors, 
especially of Mrs. Tetchy, and that I 
would prefer going without any of them 
seeing me, she cried out suddenly, as 
we came through the gate, 

" Is that Mrs. Tetchy coming after 
you ? " 

It was the veriest trifle in the world ; 
but I was so full of what I had in hand, 
and so really desirous of avoiding ob- 
servation in that quarter, that Jane's 
pleasantry had an unusual effect upon 
me. I did feel a little ashamed at 
any of the Tetchys watching my move- 
ments ; yet somehow, as we went along 
to market, the feeling insensibly ex- 
panded so as to apply to all others. But 
I have long since mastered it. 

The widow was already at her accus- 
tomed stand, and had what appeared to 
me a plentiful supply of strawberries. 
But I saw directly, for I now had a 
quick and practised eye, that they were 
far inferior to mine. All sizes were 
mixed up together, just as they came 
from the vines. When I uncovered my 
best baskets and handed them to her, 
she was loud in expressions of admira- 
tion at their superior excellence. No 
customers were about, so in a few mo- 
ments I had handed over my whole stock 
of ninety quarts, and Fred and I were 
about departing homeward, when the 
widow's first customer for the day came 
up to the stand. We had a natural curi- 
osity to see what would be the result, 
so moved back a few paces, but were 
still near enough to see and hear what- 
ever might occur. 

The customer was a young man of 
probably three or four and twenty, dress- 
ed so genteelly as particularly to attract 
my attention, yet, while a model of out- 
ward neatness, with not a sign of fash- 
ionable glare about him. I think it prob- 
able that his really handsome face, and 
the pleasant smile that played around his 
mouth as he approached us, had some- 
thing to do in establishing him thus 
suddenly in my favor, apart from my 
anticipating him as my first customer. 
He glanced a moment at the strawber- 
ries, then turned and looked at me so 



intently, though not at all impertinently, 
that I felt myself abashed and blushing. 
All this, however, was the sensation of 
but a single moment. Immediately turn- 
ing again to the widow, and courteously 
touching his hat as he spoke to her, 
a civility which was in perfect keeping 
with his whole demeanor, his eye fell 
on my choicest berries. He seemed 
struck with their superiority, and was 
so generous in his commendation of 
them, that, as I heard it all, I turned 
my face away, as I felt the blood rush- 
ing up from my heart and covering my 
cheeks with deepening crimson. I did 
not wish him to suspect that he was 
buying my berries. He inquired of the 
widow where this beautiful fruit was 
raised, and by whom. I was in terror 
lest she should point to me, and was 
moving out of hearing of the reply, when 
she answered that they were raised just 
below the city, by a young lady. 

" You surprise me, Madam. By a 
young lady ? They are the finest I have 
ever seen," he replied. " She must un- 
derstand her business. I am greatly 
interested in such pursuits, and would 
like to know more about her. Will you 
have her fruit all through the season ? " 

I had turned away before he had 
made these remarks, and did not ob- 
serve whether the idea could have oc- 
curred to him of connecting me with 
the lady culturist ; but Fred told me, 
on our way home, that he directed his 
attention strongly to me, and, as my face 
was averted, surveyed me with a long 
and scrutinizing gaze, then raising the 
cover of quite a large basket which he 
held in his hand, caused it to be filled 
with my finest berries. 

I did not hear the price, as the stran- 
gest thoughts that ever occupied my 
mind came thronging in with impetuous 
vehemence. I was unaccountably con- 
fused. Here was I with my first little 
venture surprised by the presence of 
my first customer, and he a gentleman 
whose whole outward demeanor seemed 
to me the embodiment of whatever might 
be considered agreeable in the other 
sejc. I shrank with instinctive diffi- 
dence from having my little secret un- 



i86 5 .] 



Needle and Garden. 



191 



folded in such a presence. It may have 
been mortification of spirit, I will not, 
cannot say, but somehow I was terri- 
fied lest he should know that I was a 
strawberry-girl. 

But Fred was subject to no such use- 
less compunctions, and watched and lis- 
tened with eager attention. His quick 
ear had caught the price, for the pur- 
chaser had not ascertained it until after 
his basket had been filled. 

" Did you hear that?" said Fred, in a 
voice intended for a whisper, but which 
in my confusion I was sure the young 
gentleman had overheard. " Half a dol- 
lar a quart ! " 

I moved away instantly toward home, 
never daring to look back at either the 
widow or her customer, lest my eyes 
should encounter those of the latter, as 
I was sure he must have heard my 
brother's exclamation, and been satis- 
fied that it was I who raised the berries 
he had so much admired. It was un- 
accountable to me that I should be so 
foolish. But no one, unable to correctly 
analyze his feelings, can at the moment 
account for the strange impulses which 
an unlooked-for emergency will send 
hurrying through the heart. Time and 
a succession of events may sometimes 
unlock the mystery of their origin. I 
am sure that it required both to solve 
the problem for me. 

Fred trundled his barrow at my side 
as we returned to breakfast. He was 
full of exultation at our success, and 
even began to count up what our profits 
would be. We had made so capital a 
beginning that he was sure they must 
be very large. Alas ! he knew little of 
the world except its sanguine hopes. 
He reasoned only from the beginning, 
without knowing the stumbling-blocks 
that might be encountered before we 
reached the end. But then what would 
this world be, if hope were banished 
from it ? Still, though fairly estimating 
all these contingent disappointments, 
my spirits were buoyant as his own. 
That was apparently a short walk to 
our distant home, for there was abun- 
dant conversation and debate to beguile 
the way. My mother stood in the door- 



way as we approached the house ; but 
when Fred told her the story of the 
young gentleman, how he looked and 
behaved, I somehow felt unable to do 
it, with the crowning incident of the 
great basketful of berries he had pur- 
chased at half a dollar a quart, and that 
without even asking the price, I think 
I never knew my dear mother to be so 
delighted at any event in the quiet his- 
tory of our little family. Ah, what a 
happy breakfast it was that we sat down 
to that morning ! I could not repeat the 
exultations expressed on all hands over 
my success. My mother seemed so su- 
premely gratified at the prospect now 
opening before us, that her delight was 
a bountiful reward for me. She had 
never manifested so much cheerfulness 
since we lost our father. Fred insisted 
on continuing his calculations of what 
our profits would be ; but though he 
brought out great results on paper, for 
he was remarkably expert at figures, yet, 
even with my constitutional enthusiasm, 
I refused to be unduly set up by his ex- 
travagant anticipations. It seemed with 
him to be as great a happiness to mere- 
ly calculate the profit as it was for me 
to produce it 

I know that all these are very trifling 
matters, at least to others, and that, 
if the gentler hearts are kind enough 
to become interested in them, there 
must be many others that will pass 
them by as uneventful and dull. Yet 
the life that all these are living is made 
up of incidents, which, if they would 
but reflect upon them, are not more ex- 
citing. But they were great affairs to us. 
They developed the prominent fact, that 
it was possible for. a woman, when fa- 
vorably situated, to become a success- 
ful fruit-grower, and that a new door 
could be opened through which she 
might be emancipated from perpetual 
bondage to the needle, without violating 
the conventional proprieties of the sex. 
This was the problem which my im- 
perfect labors were solving for us. All 
aspirants may not be required to pass 
through the same experience, while 
some may be compelled to encounter 
even a greater diversity than I did. 



Needle and Garden. 



[August, 



Thus far my first day's picking had 
been very encouraging. As in a great 
city there are a thousand daily wants, 
so thousands are kept continually em- 
ployed in ministering to them. When 
the supply of strawberries begins, the 
public require it to be maintained. The 
picking 01 the day is mostly eaten up 
before bedtime, and hence the grower 
must gather daily reinforcements from 
his vines to meet the public demand. 
The fruit ripens with a continuous ra- 
pidity. The hot sun of a cloudless day 
brings it to perfection with wonderful 
uniformity, while the wet and cloudy 
one retards and injures it. Besides, 
the price is gradually declining as neigh- 
boring growers crowd their products in- 
to market ; hence it is imperative to pick 
daily while the price is up, so as to se- 
cure the highest return for the longest 
period. Perfect ripeness no one waits 
for. The consumer never secures it, 
because his impatient appetite stimu- 
lates the grower to furnish him with 
fruit which, though tinged with redness, 
is far from being ripe. Color alone, not 
flavor, is the guide ; for the public taste 
is not yet sufficiently educated to detect 
the great difference between an unripe 
and a ripe strawberry. 

I soon learned these peculiarities of 
my new calling, and hence picked over 
my beds with daily regularity. As color, 
not ripeness, was all the public cared 
for, we carried much immature fruit to 
market, though no doubt we lost in 
bulk by thus picking before it had grown 
to its full size. The second day we took 
forty quarts to the widow, and received 
for the preceding day's consignment 
nearly forty dollars/ It was less than 
Fred had figured up, but we were, all 
of us, satisfied. Our care in assorting 
the fruit had secured for it the highest 
market price, while the widow was so 
lavish in her commendation, as well as 
so full of encouragement to me for what 
I was doing, that the satisfaction of deal- 
ing with her was almost equal to that 
which attended my success : indeed, I 
think her kind words went far towards 
securing it. One day she spoke to me 
of the young gentleman, my first cus- 



tomer, who, she reminded me, had prais- 
ed my fruit so highly and bought so lib- 
erally. I am sure my cheeks colored 
as she recalled a circumstance which I 
had by no means forgotten ; but as there 
were many buyers round her stand, I 
knew she would not notice it. Though 
I went at daybreak every morning with 
my brother to deliver fruit, yet I never 
met him there but once again. Still, 
she said, he was as punctual as myself, 
only coming a little later, buying my 
berries, always asking if they were the 
same young lady's fruit, and when told 
that they were, taking them without in- 
quiring the price. But I never under- 
stood why she related these little inci- 
dents to me, unless it was to show me 
how quickly my works had become pop- 
ular. It may be that her heart melt- 
ed with sympathetic tenderness toward 
me ; for I had told her all about my con- 
dition as a sewing-girl, my hopes, my 
efforts, my longing to be able to lay 
down the needle for something that 
would be less exacting while equally re- 
munerative. She, too, had been a drudge 
of the slop-shops, and thus understand- 
ing all that I might feel, or suffer, or 
hope for, it was natural that she should 
enter with interest into my novel enter- 
prise. 

Thus my mother and I continued to 
gather fruit from our little half- acre 
during the whole of the strawberry-sea- 
son. I was away from the factory for 
many afternoons to assist in picking 
and assorting. I think no miser could 
have counted his gold more lovingly 
than we did our gains, when summing 
up, day by day, the yield of our minia- 
ture plantation. There were several af- 
ternoons, at the height of the season, 
when the product ran up surprisingly. 
There seemed to be a general com- 
petition among the berries as to which 
should ripen first. They enlarged in 
size, putting on a crimson corpulency in- 
to which the sunbeams infused a sweet- 
ened juiciness which is the peculiar 
charm of the perfectly ripened fruit 
This was in the hottest days of June, 
which, in spite ofan ample sun-bonnet, 
tanned me into a perfect brunette. Af- 



i86s.] 



Needle and Garden. 



193 



ter the general ripening, the quantity 
picked began to decline, and the re- 
mainder was of smaller size. The price, 
also, fell off; but then, while the fruit 
was abundant, we had secured the high- 
est rates, so that the declining prices 
affected only a diminishing quantity. 
Hitherto we had treated ourselves to 
none of the best fruit, but had reserved 
for home consumption only such as we 
considered unfit for market. As in 
former times, we thought ourselves too 
poor now to eat even our own straw- 
berries. Every quart that we should 
thus consume would be an average loss 
of thirty cents. I was sure they were 
not costing us anything like that, and 
it seemed a positive hardship to be thus 
kept to such rigorous self-denial. But 
we held out until the price declined as 
the quality depreciated, and then, when 
we knew the sacrifice was trifling, there 
was a unanimous and abundant indul- 
gence in this delicious fruit. I think it 
tasted even sweeter than when it was 
selling at half a dollar. My mother 
was sure that not half the sugar was 
required to make it palatable, and we 
all agreed that in point of flavor it was 
quite unexceptionable. I feel certain 
that none of that crop was lost. Thus 
our domestic strawberry-season began 
only when that of the outer world had 
passed away ; but though late in en- 
tering upon it, it may be set down as 
certain that none enjoyed it with a 
higher relish than ourselves. 

As Fred was wonderfully exact in 
keeping accounts, he was ready to tell 
us, the moment our last picking had 
been made, how much our half-acre 
had produced. I sometimes thought it 
a sort of useless trouble, however, this 
keeping an account, because every one 
of the family seemed to have the figures 



by heart from the very day when the 
first picking occurred. They were talked 
over so often at table, that we all re- 
membered what they were, nor was 
there any difficulty in our carrying for- 
ward the sum-total from day to day, as 
the amount ran up after each successive 
picking. What had we to remember 
that was half so interesting as this ? 
But as what the sum-total would be was 
gradually becoming manifest, Fred was 
compelled to come down from the mag- 
nificent calculations as to profit with 
which he had set out. He had insisted 
that we were to get the same high prices 
all through the season, not reflecting 
that we had many competitors, nor 
that, though our early pickings were 
really very superior, yet there must ne- 
cessarily be many that would be quite 
otherwise. Still, his persistency had 
had its effect on all of us ; nor was it 
until we got half way down the column 
of our daily receipts, and noticed the 
perceptibly diminishing figures, that we 
were thoroughly undeceived. As I had 
never been over-sanguine, I was not 
greatly disappointed. My study had 
been to ascertain whether it was possi- 
ble for a family of inexperienced sew- 
ing-women to produce strawberries for 
market at a fair profit, the whole labor 
to be performed by themselves. If our 
first effort were tolerably successful, I 
was sure we could do better the next 
time, as successful horticulturists are 
not born, but made. Well, the result 
was, that we had produced a little over 
four hundred quarts, of which the wid- 
ow had sold enough to bring us a hun- 
dred and thirty dollars, after deducting 
her commission. It was not much, I 
confess, but it was a beginning that 
fully satisfied me. Our half -acre had 
never before yielded so large a profit 



VOL. xvi. NO. 94. 



1 94 The Willow. [August, 



THE WILLOW. 

O WILLOW, why forever weep, 
As one who mourns an endless wrong? 
What hidden woe can lie so deep ? 
What utter grief can last so long ? 

The Spring makes haste with step elate 

Your life and beauty to renew ; 
She even bids the roses wait, 

And gives her first sweet care to you. 

The welcome redbreast folds his wing 
To pour for you his freshest strain ; 

To you the earliest bluebirds sing, 
Till all your light stems thrill again. 

The sparrow trills his wedding song 
And trusts his tender brood to you ; 

Fair flowering vines, the summer long, 
With clasp and kiss your beauty woo. 

The sunshine drapes your limbs with light, 
The rain braids diamonds in your hair, 

The breeze makes love to you at night, 
Yet still you droop, and still despair. 

Beneath your boughs, at fall of dew, 

By lovers' lips is softly told 
The tale that all the ages through 

Has kept the world from growing old. 

But still, though April's buds unfold, 
Or Summer sets the earth aleaf, 

Or Autumn pranks your robes with gold, 
You sway and sigh in graceful grief. 

Mourn on forever, unconsoled, 
And keep your secret, faithful tree ! 

No heart in all the world can hold 
A sweeter grace than constancy. 



1865.] 



My Second Capture, 



195 



MY SECOND CAPTURE. 



THE Adjutant T and myself, not 
inexperienced in battles, though, 
perhaps, like most Americans, infants 
in warfare, were captured in September 
last, in the Valley of the Shenandoah, 
Nature's noble art-gallery, on the west 
side of Opequan Creek, a stream that 
is a picture at almost any point. In 
one of the gallant charges which our 
eager cavalry, under General Sheridan, 
made before the great charge that cap- 
tured Winchester and the Valley, our 
regiment had the right, and gained a 
fine position in the end. But two or 
three encounters were very close. The 
sea of battle surged back and forth, tor- 
mented only, however, by the mild 
breezes of a day like May ; and as the 
waves of our army withdrew from the 
ridge on which the enemy rested, to 
gain greater impetus, my poor horse 
was shot under me, stranded, and left 
rolling upon the ground, midway be- 
tween friend and foe. The orderly, my 
attendant, had another in the rear of 
the retreating column ; but, inasmuch 
as that was now swept by the swift- 
receding current far beyond us, he could 
neither have me mounted nor command 
other present means whereby to get me 
off. I reclined, like Adonis, upon a soft 
bed of meadow-grass studded here and 
there with wild-flowers, an emerald vel- 
vet with silver spangles, but suffer- 
ing, unlike him, from bruises, and with 
my best soulless friend dead at my side. 
I was somewhat sprained by the fall 
the dying beast had given me. The 
enemy was close at hand, following with 
yells and chaotic eagerness upon our 
troops. 

" We '11 take a march to Libby," said 
my orderly, dropping on his knees to 
feel my bones. 

He drew his arm through his rein, 
(having had no idea of deserting me in 
his sound health by the aid of his ready 
animal,) and continued his examination ; 
whilst his sturdy favorite chopped the 
short grass within reach of his breathing 



hitching-post as closely as his long bit 
would allow. In a very few moments 
the Rebel foam was surging like wild 
beyond us, a private pausing at me 
for a second, to poke me in the ribs 
with his piece. 

" There 's life there, Grayback," 
growled my attendant ; and the Rebel 
ordered us to the rear. 

Indeed, had we remained where we 
were, we would soon have been in the 
rear, so impetuously did the foe sweep by 
us. But private soldiers, the potent key- 
stones of the Rebel arch, built to crush 
the voice of the many, command the 
Southern armies in every great engage- 
ment ; and one of these important atoms 
had given us our hint to move. You 
never see anything but the rank and 
file in the heart of a Rebel corps. Our 
new commander mounted my orderly's 
horse, and soon was lost in the dis- 
tance. 

It is not, I have found, a very divert- 
ing entertainment to wander free a few 
moments (a free prisoner) in search of 
some authority, out of the myriads who 
have the opportunity, who shall choose 
to take charge of one. I felt peculiarly 
as I stood irresolute, now framing one 
thought, now another, casting about in 
my mind, weighing the odds with no 
light fancy-scales, which of the rushing 
demons on all sides would draw up be- 
fore me with a curse, and command me 
to follow him. Our regiment, our corps, 
our whole army, (this last had not left 
its works for the little fight,) were far in 
the distance now ; and the ground on 
which I stood, and which but a short 
time since was tramped by Northern 
troops, had, in the mutations of war, 
become a portion of the Rebel domin- 
ions. The September sun shone bright- 
ly through the white fleece of the cloud- 
swans swimming in the morning air; 
and the early spring breeze that I have 
mentioned for /tolus had given free- 
dom to but a tender dove-zephyrplay- 
ed with the silk fringe of the meadow 



196 



Jlfy Second Capture. 



[August, 



grass, finding no olive-branch here, ven- 
turing its ripple, with the audacity of 
innocence, under the very heels of the 
contending forces. Possibly the feel- 
ing of loneliness which overwhelms a 
man at such a time as this is the most 
acute of all his feelings. I looked my 
orderly in the face as he supported me 
on his shoulder. He was gazing cool- 
ly before him. 

" If we have to march soon, you had 
better rest," he said, deliberately. 
" There 's a tree you can sit under. 
And if you have money or a watch, you 
had better hide them in your arm- 
pits." 

We went to the tree, and set our- 
selves against it. 

The fresh air that brushed by us, like 
fine steel points, relieved me of my ooz- 
ing faintness, and in the ease of my cir- 
cumstances I could attend somewhat to 
my bruises. With the aid of my canteen, 
I relaxed the strained muscles. It was 
my desire to have my loins girt about 
and my limbs in good order for the foot- 
journey that I doubted not was before 
us. They would march us to Gordons- 
ville, and thence to Libby, carrying us 
through in an incredibly short time, and 
without boots at that. I had two ob- 
jects to labor for, as I began to get 
myself into condition : first, to be taken 
in charge by an officer ; and then to 
escape from him that night, whilst the 
train was in disorder. I was of opinion 
that my companion, a taciturn machine, 
who labored, like the miners, well with 
his little light, had some such plan of 
his own, as I saw him buckling his belt 
beneath his trousers. He was stowing 
away his watch and a photograph, 
which every soldier must have, of some 
poor maid or other who toils in the 
shades of obscurity at home, and 
making himself ready for a run at any 
favorable moment. I thought that I 
would sound him. 

" You had better do it, orderly, soon 
in the day," I said ; " since the enemy 
will march you between two files, and 
you will then have but little chance." 

" So I think," he replied. " I thought 
no tijne better than now. But then " 



" But what ? " I asked. 

" Well, it 's rather hard to leave you 
here. What with your sprain, and your 
blow on the head, you 're pretty sure 
to halt at Libby." 

I had no chance to answer, for the 
Rebel was before me who was to have 
the honor of my capture. 

He was of the flabby white-flesh spe- 
cies of the genus Rebel, a Quaker scare- 
crow with matty locks, that many of 
my brethren in arms have met ; harm- 
less in units, but ponderous, as even 
scarecrows will be, if hurled back and 
forth in thousands, swarms ; lank, ca- 
daverous, and whining ; snuff-chewing, 
and grossly filthy, even under the best 
of circumstances. His flesh was set 
dough, and his hair was long and yel- 
low. He spoke through the dirty cause- 
way of his nose. The road -dust and 
drab of his uniform, so called in satire, 
have often been described. These gen- 
tlemen's faces, to me, who incline to an 
intelligent expression on the human in- 
dex, look like tallow-vats or nursery-su- 
et, pliable and swill-fed ; and their mien 
and carriage have never impressed me 
favorably. I had seen them rush with 
a wild yell, an army like the Paris mob 
of intoxicated rags, upon our Gibraltar 
at Gettysburg ; and had myself charged 
upon their Attila- works (behind which 
they had their household gods piled up 
and ready for burning) at Fredericks- 
burg. I had even taken a ball from 
one of them in the shoulder, whilst skir- 
mishing, in the shiftings of my expe- 
rience ; and they had before had the 
honor of my capture, in sunny, grape- 
growing Maryland. Perhaps all these 
scenes passed in panorama before my 
mind's eye, as I rose to my captor and 
eyed his dirty linen. Here was an in- 
dignity, indeed. My soul revolted at 
the thought of a journey southward, 
and all my instincts warned me against 
so dire an undertaking. I stood before 
the Rebel with my determination in my 
eye. 

" A couple of Yanks, lolling under a 
tree," he screamed to his companions, 
pointing the finger, and garnishing his 
speech, in Rebel manner, with an oath. 



1865.] 



My Second Capture. 



197 



" P'rhaps you thought you were off," he 
chuckled. 

He was " goin' " to take us to the 
"Gen'ral." He muttered more oaths 
with his orders, and directed us to be 
" right smart," and to " git" 

I glanced at my orderly, who was in- 
augurating an onset upon the weaker 
side of this mean battery, or ditch-work, 
and who evidently counted upon ef- 
fecting a breach by rapid, electric char- 
ges, by handing over his pistol. It 
was freely offered, before demanded, 
and the recipient took it in silence. He 
then drew out his tobacco, a treasure 
with which, I well knew, he would not 
willingly part, and which was the little 
ewe-lamb of his unjewelled life, which, 
also, was taken quickly, but under a nod 
of acknowledgments from the Rebel. 
The battery was shaken, but, in truth, 
continued to draw fire. " Give me your 
boots," said the critical captor, and the 
orderly knocked off his leathers in the 
best good-humor in the world. When 
we had walked a little farther, the or- 
derly, now marching as the Moslems do 
on holy ground, asked our guide if he 
had any grub about him ; and accepted 
a piece of pork. There was a variety 
of viands in the haversack from which 
this fragment came, both pork and 
bacon, but the fire-eaters, I have no- 
ticed, always prefer the latter meat. I 
divined at once that my orderly was lay- 
ing in stores for a solitary tramp, and 
making a raven in this, to him, strange 
desert, of the ill-omened bird that had 
pounced upon us. He would concili- 
ate his enemy, and when the latter was 
growing careless he would spring into 
some woods. The pork, with the ber- 
ries to be found there, would sustain 
him after he had broken leash, and 
would be all that he would eat, no 
doubt, in the course of two or three 
suns. 

We noticed a great stir on all sides 
of us, converging streams of stragglers, 
wounded men, and prisoners, as we 
made our way, scattering grasshoppers, 
over the fields, and soon mingled with 
the throng of troops on the open road 
to Winchester. It was about three miles 



from this town that our capture had tak- 
en place ; and from the immense wagon- 
trains rumbling along with us, and the 
excited manner of their officers, I au- 
gured not as well for the Rebel cause. 
Perhaps Fortune had altered her hu- 
mor, and the white eagles of victory had 
settled with the opposite side. Other 
parties of Union prisoners journeyed 
with us, and through the urgent man- 
*ner of their guards I thought I could 
discern a sunlit loop-hole to freedom. 
In five minutes' time I was assured that 
the Rebels were preparing to retreat. 
Their six-horse teams were rushing to 
the rear, and their outlying bodies of 
cavalry were being hurriedly dispatched 
the other way. My mind was very busy 
upon the new aspect of affairs. 

The last I saw of my orderly was 
when he had divested himself of the 
workman's incumbrance, his coat, 
and was tramping, bootless, haltingly 
along in the dustiest part of the road. 
He had conciliated his watchman into 
almost indifference, and was spreading 
himself with the sand, (tossed knee-high 
in little clouds by his feet,) having then 
become quite a Rebel in looks. In five 
minutes I turned upon him ; but he had 
fallen out of the squad. I have never 
seen him since. 

My own plans would keep me in the 
Rebel lines some hours longer. It was 
my object to escape ; but I had already 
decided upon the evening, when dark- 
ness, and, I hoped, rain, would settle 
down upon us. I indulged a hasty 
prayer in behalf of the vanished man, 
and durst not more than snatch a look 
at where he should have been, lest the 
guard should miss him also. At one 
mile beyond Winchester, which town 
we had avoided by a branching road, 
we came to the office of the provost 
marshal, a very humble shell-work ; and 
those of us who wore shoulder-straps 
were hustled into his presence. He 
stood, the central figure in a dun pic- 
ture, in an atmosphere of smoke, a dir- 
ty-looking Georgian in flying coat and 
high-boots. With hands in pocket he 
surveyed the objects brought before him, 
concisely delivering his orders OVQT the 



198 



My Second Capture. 



[August, 



stem of his teeth - clasped pipe. His 
clerk was at a table near, on which lay 
the papers of his office ; and the splin- 
tered rafters behind him made the back- 
ground to a cabinet-picture that should 
have been done in chocolate. 

We were placed in charge of a rather 
mild-looking officer, who wore his rank 
upon his sleeve in so elegantly twisted 
a knot that I could not make out his de- 
gree, and who had on a brand-new rid- * 
ing-jacket, of a dark blue, to which the 
sleeve was attached, adorned with the 
staff-buttons of our army. It was his 
duty to command the guard that drove 
the captives of the Rebel hosts, in which 
safe branch of the service, as I after- 
wards learned, he had been engaged 
since '62. No doubt his many oppor- 
tunities for demanding what he wanted, 
and for seizing, like Ahab, what was de- 
nied him, had furnished alike the jacket 
and the buttons ; and were it not for his 
placid countenance, I should have fa- 
thered his entire outfit upon the Yan- 
kees, as having fallen to his shoulders 
by the same easy process. He was di- 
rected to drive us to the road at once, 
and to keep his herd in motion all the 
time. Hurried orders had come from 
head-quarters, that set all the small bees 
about this lesser hive in a whirl of con- 
fused labors, whereby our departure was 
delayed for some moments. The pro- 
vost-marshal's clerk was even then pack- 
ing up his rattling desk, pigeon-holing 
papers that would hatch knotty ques- 
tions in the coop, and making due prep- 
aration for the departure of the Georgian 
magnate himself. I observed that their 
army-wagons kept trailing southward, 
like chalk vertebrae, in an unbroken 
string, and promised for a long while 
yet to obstruct the road. It was grow- 
ing a little cloudy, too. It was now three 
hours after noon, and I hoped nervously 
for a sullen night 

Just before we set out on our melan- 
choly march, I saw a man make a move 
towards me, and hastily clap one finger 
across his firm lips. It was the Adju- 
tant T , cf whom I have spoken, 

and who did not wish me to recognize 
him. It was his object to approach me, 



and to walk as a stranger at my side, so 
that the guards should not part us, 
and, I knew at once, to speak of a pro- 
ject common to both. The old stories 
of our camp-fires had flitted across his 
mind, and had blanched his cheek since 
morning. His blood was just thawing 
as he signalled me. I took no notice 
of him till after we had started, a com- 
pany of men with bent brows, and he 
had marched on my right some forty 
rods. I then muttered slowly, " Speak 
little, and to the point " ; whereat he 
waved his hand. It was singular and 
sad to ignore thus an old companion in 
the very hour of need, when surely a 
bitterness hung upon our souls that 
more than ever required balm. We 
were, perforce, to play the stranger, when 
at no time in life did we more thirst for 
the tender friend. Doubtless, our hopes 
of escape depended much upon each 
other ; and we could but communicate 
those plans in insufficient monosylla- 
bles, which, if misunderstood, would lead 
to disaster. If ever plentiful words, in 
great ear-measures, are pardonable, it is 
at such moments as this, when even 
half-words diamonds flashing betrayal 
are imprudent The Adjutant edged 
a little closer. 

" Before dark, or after ? " he asked. 

To which I replied, 

"After." 

He gradually glided away from me, 
and for some time marched at the other 
side of the column. 

I had noticed that he was walking 
without his jacket The guards were 
accosting the officers in their neighbor- 
hood, and had taken his among other 
vestments. Most of the party of sad 
victims were well peeled ere their mel- 
ancholy was an hour older. A rough 
boor turned to me and demanded my 
gauntlets. A basilisk fire shone through 
his eyes, and the breath which he blew 
through the grating of his teeth, over 
his thin, livid lips, and into my face, was 
freighted heavily with the fumes of whis- 
key. When I made bold to refuse him, 
he was dumbfoundered in astonishment, 
and was pleased to compress his jaws. 

"You d d Yankee!" he screamed, 



1865.] 



My Second Capture. 



199 



profanely, red with the inspiration of his 
anger, " if you don't give me your gaunt- 
lets, I '11 tear your hands from your 
body." 

There was enough energy in his ac- 
tion to have guarantied even a more 
vehement manoeuvre ; and as he made 
his threat, he raised Jiis arm above me. 
But I had it in my mind to see myself 
through the affair in the course that I 
had chosen ; and having noticed our 
mild officer a few paces in the rear of 
us, mounted upon his horse, and placid- 
ly sitting with his hand upon the pom- 
mel, I turned to him at once. 

" If you will do me the favor, Sir," I 
said, with some gravity of manner, " I 
would like you to accept my gauntlets, 
a new pair from the box, that has 
only seen this day's work." 

" They 've had an unlucky birthday," 
he said, not inaptly, and rather cour- 
teously^ as he took them. 

" Yes, my gloves heretofore have all 
been spoiled by the sabre," I replied, 
keeping step with his charger. " I don't 
know but that you have to thank a 
drunken guard for the pair, Sir ; since 
he threatened to kill me, if I kept them 
on my hands." 

He gave a hasty look for his orderly. 

" Point out the man, if you can, Sir," 
he said to me, and beckoned a trooper 
to his side. 

" I am obliged to you for your inter- 
ference," I answered. " The man march- 
es third on the left there, and has his 
piece slung behind him. I hope that 
some day, Sir, I may do you a favor." 

A sense of humor, for which I must 
be grateful, considering the sombre de- 
jection of my marching mates, filled my 
breast as I thanked him for putting one 
under guard for attempting (drunk) what 
he himself so soberly accomplished, 
the capture of my buckskins. He kept 
the gauntlets very willingly, and ordered 
a sergeant to accompany me. But there 
was generosity and magnificence in his 
action ; the acquisition, per duress, of 
others' property was a daily habit with 
him, and to have a sergeant Tor a guai d 
was a considerable favor. 

It was my desire to cultivate the Ser- 



geant thus cast within my reach, who 
otherwise might be a marplot, and who 
had good of some sort in him, I judged 
from his appearance ; although, as with 
his kind, it was evidently very barren 
winter in his purse, and his summer 
clothes were apparently too open. His 
butternut jacket, a poor tweed with a 
cotton filling, was clasped about his 
throat with a shred of twine, flying away 
thence loosely, showing a dirty cotton 
shirt beneath, and the rough edge of the 
waistband of his pantaloons. The ma- 
terial of which these last were made was 
a very impressible jean, and marked the 
number of his journeys, could one but 
decipher them, in stains and intricate 
creases. He had the same face of life- 
less suet, and the yellow hair, that I 
have noticed as very prevalent in the 
Rebel armies, but withal an elasti- 
city of carriage that seemed too honest 
for the cause, an almost openness of 
countenance, a cast of features tending 
towards amiability, which imbued me 
with a trembling hope. I had designs 
upon the Sergeant, and intended open- 
ing upon him with rhetoric, after, per- 
haps, some amicable skirmishing. His 
detail to guard my person was a com- 
pliment to me which only the initiated 
those who have made the same jour- 
ney can appreciate. The young pro- 
vost-officer with the sleeve-knots de- 
sired to offer me a delicate attention in 
return for my hand-furniture, and, per- 
haps, to impress me in some sort with 
his sense of right, even though he was 
of so wrong-headed a company. What 
a dainty, dew-sipping bunch of violets 
would be to conscious beauty, what 
a quaint volume of old matter, dust- 
breeding and crumbling, would be to 
the blinking scholar, what refined 
gold, or gold ore, or gold stamped in 
the mint, would be to a Wall -Street 
broker, was this sergeant to myself. 
He was the gift of a royal potentate who 
stood not upon little matters. There 
was no calculation in the largess. I 
was to have the entire sergeant as all 
my own. We fel'. a rod beh.-nd the 
officer, and trudged evenly along. 
Although big with an evil design, I 



200 



My Second Capture. 



[August, 



did not intend to address my companion 
at once. The monotony of my walk, 
as I had at present nought else to think 
of, I allowed to engage a number of my 
thoughts. I hazarded conjectures upon 
many idle points, as my narrative will 
show. I fell to watching my feet, and 
to placing them, as far as practicable, 
directly in the footmarks of him who 
marched before me, instituting a sort 
of comparison between our soles, find- 
ing his smaller than mine, as, behind 
his back, I ventured upon his measure. 
I watched the ruts in the road, made 
by the wagons in advance of us, and 
wondered if those behind us had axle- 
trees as wide to an inch, as they 
would have, if made by the same con- 
tractor ; in which case, I mused, it is 
just possible the coming train may move 
in this same rut. It seemed, then, a 
comfortable sort of place. I saw the 
clouds of dust that had been provoked 
into rising in anger and rolling away 
sullenly many a day that weary sum- 
mer, and that almost buried the wretch- 
ed company in which we journeyed, 
hover heavily above the road-side, and 
choke the pretty weeds blooming there, 
by way of a mean revenge upon its hu- 
man tormentors. Thereupon I envied 
the blue things, not their incubus, but 
their insignificance : for neither artillery, 
nor camp wagon, nor passing prisoner 
was aught to them. I wondered what 
each man here would say, if each man 
could tell his thoughts. Primarily, I 
was convinced, each captive would de- 
clare himself sick at heart : that is the 
only expression which will convey the 
sinking feeling. Once I heard a bird 
sing gayly a clear-throated song from 
a clump of trees ; at which my heart 
grew sick also, to render me as miser- 
able as the rest. 

My mind reverted to the Adjutant 

T , of the manner of whose capture 

I knew nothing, and whom I had left 
that morning in camp, as the regiment 
set out for the fight. I doubted not 
but that he would be with me in a mo- 
ment, to throw another mild projectile, 
a half-sentence, at me. I had myself 
a catechism of one question with which 



to greet him. As some little parley 
might be necessary between us, which 
could not go on without the consent of 
our guardian, I concluded that then was 
the time to throw a sop to my sergeant. 
I turned coolly upon him. 

" We are marching rather briskly, are 
we not, Sergeant ? " I said, endeavor- 
ing to insinuate the independence of 
unconcern in my bearing. 

" Wai, right smart," he replied. 

" I cannot tell by your uniform," I 
continued, with a half-smile, for the fel- 
low was all beggar's rags and patch- 
es, " whether you are in the cavalry or 
not ; but a pair of spurs, at any rate, 
may not come amiss to you, and I 
can have no use for mine for some time 
yet. They don't allow us, I believe, to 
kick one another in Libby ? " 

I took my long spurs from my boots, 
like fringe from my heart - strings, ( of 
which the officer had directed my ser- 
geant to allow no one to deprive me, 
the boots, not the heart-strings, they 
being inaccessible : I would, possibly, 
not lose those till I arrived in Rich- 
mond,) and handed them over to him. 

" I 'm of the Thirteenth Virginia In- 
fantry," he said, "but do right smart 
duty on horseback " (he liked the steel). 
"I 'm detailed to the provost marshal. 
They do treat a fellow rather hard down 
there." 

I augured ever so much good from 
the Sergeant's " do," upon which there 
was an emphasis. 

" Were you ever a prisoner, Ser- 
geant ? " I asked, always careful to be- 
stow his title. 

" Once," he said, laconically. 

" Well ! it 's all one in the end," I 
said, carelessly turning from him, to 
show that I had no desire for the con- 
versation, if he did not relish it. " You 
have a chance now to give me the devil 
of a time, in revenge for your treatment 
among my friends. 'T is an ill wind 
that blows nobody good." 

My sang-froid had the savor of a good 
pickle. It was a very peculiar turn to 
give the affair, I must own ; but I saw 
that the Sergeant was struck by it 
Possibly, that one was my best stroke 



I86 5 .] 



My Second Capture. 



2OI 



of the day. I have, at any rate, ever 
since deemed it so. 

I walked along as before, speculat- 
ing, not lightly, upon the dejected be- 
ings about me, who marched, spectre- 
fashion, in the dust, like the unhappy 
(would-be) crew on the shores of the 
Styx, trying to appease Charon. They 
never would be at rest till he ferried 
them over to the shades of the world 
of death, or (what to them seemed im- 
possible) till they were remanded back 
to life among the loved ones of their 
race. I remember particularly one trifle 
of this momentous march, that threat- 
ened towards night to gnaw into my 
very brain-tissues. Soldiers, it is known, 
are not over-careful in their dress, when 
in daily action in the field, nor have 
they time to grow fastidious during the 
fighting summer months. They then, 
perforce, disregard tapes with a loftier 
indifference to appearances than that 
which distinguishes the noble cynic of 
the world. But officers generally use 
tapes about their ankles (perhaps to 
keep some garment in place immediate- 
ly upon the stocking) ; and I have 
known them myself, for prudence' sake, 
to tie them in hard knots. A poor limp- 
ing lieutenant, a little to the left, and 
some ten feet in advance of me, had 
not adopted this precaution, and now, 
consequently, more as a punishment to 
me than to him, one of his nursery ties 
had come undone, and was trailing after 
his foot in shadow-like persistency. I 
had here a world of torture in a nut- 
shell. When, unluckily, my eyes fast- 
ened upon this appendage, I could not 
keep them from it It fascinated me with 
more than the juggler's success upon 
the serpent. I fell to conjecturing how 
long the affair might be, if four inch- 
es or five ; and pondered the allowance 
to be made in the calculation by reason 
of the man's distance ; merging this 
view of the matter in another, as I 
watched his heel touch the ground, and 
noted the time which elapsed between 
that and the jumping forward of the 
foot, with the string, ever faithful, be- 
hind it. I conjectured how much dust 
the tape took up at each step, and 



wondered, if, in a long march, merely 
by accretion thereof, the end of it would 
not be a sort of dirt-coil, perhaps a 
tenth of an inch in diameter, soaring 
higher, too, in my delirium of nervous- 
ness, till I could imagine the incalcu- 
lable increase in size which would be 
insured, should the lieutenant step into 
a puddle, and get the thing all wet : he 
would wear a sand rope for ankle-fet- 
ter, upon entering Richmond. 

But the most provoking of all the 
phases to which my humor was reduced, 
and which my dilapidated body had to 
submit to, by means of this tape, was 
the almost irresistible desire to spring 
lightly forward, and to catch the thing 
beneath my toe. It invoked me to all 
sorts of gymnastic efforts. The impulse 
racked my breast, and set up an argu- 
ment against every reason in favor of a 
jog-trotting march for the balance of 
the daylight. I surveyed the poor lieu- 
tenant from head to foot, and pictured 
fo myself his surprise, should he find 
himself hitched to the ground. He 
would turn, I thought, with open, ques- 
tioning eyes, and perhaps look flushed 
by the accident. He might only hop 
a step farther on, and trust to my not 
again overreaching him. He might, 
impelled by the influence that torment- 
ed me, fall behind me. I had an un- 
wavering conviction that that tape would 
never be removed, and that, conse- 
quently, in some way, the lieutenant, 
who played guide to it, would be my 
haunting demon all the weary hours 
of my march. 

Soon after I had conferred my tart 
speech upon the Sergeant, and had so 
sealed my failure to gain his grace in 
behalf of my friend and myself, the Ad- 
jutant was at my side. A hale, hearty, 
well-made man, unperturbed usually, he 
was now almost another person than 
himself. I thought I knew what causes 
produced the pallor on his face and the 
quiver about the loose-hanging under- 
lip. The good fellow had had in his 
jacket (before it was stolen) the leave- 
of-absence which was to have carried 
him home to be married, and he was to 
have availed himself of it in a week. 



202 



My Second Capture. 



[August, 



Perhaps the thought of his lady gave 
him the woebegone expression. All 
sorts of sweet dreams, that had illu- 
mined his life for months, and filled up 
the wide chinks of camp monotony, were 
now quite bitterly ended, capped by 
the reality worse than the dream which 
is called nightmare. His smiling eyes 
were hooded only a little sooner than 
were those milder ones at home, no 
doubt under traced eyebrows and with 
far finer lashes. The marriage, per- 
force, was put off. The view of home 
was put off. Perhaps the Adjutant's 
solemn quietus, like an extinguisher of 
the light of his and his sweetheart's 
hopes, would drop upon him in loath- 
some Libby, and cancel the leave for- 
ever. This, being the weightier thought, 
was evidently bearing upon his mind. 

I had resolved, in a business way, 
upon two points, perchance brought 
to my decision through some such ten- 
der passage as the above : first, that, 
as we could not escape from the lines 
together, he must take the earlier, 
because, as in mortgages, the better 
risk ; and second, that if he did not 
answer in a satisfactory manner the 
one question that I had kept for some 
time uppermost in my brain to pro- 
pound to him, he must pocket my 
North Star. 

" Have you a compass ? " I muttered, 
as he edged by me. 

" No," he replied. 

My second resolution, then, was, that 
he should carry my compass. 

" I 've been robbed of everything," 
he said. 

" Take my compass quick ! " 
I returned, and pressed it into his 
hand. 

He was not as good an astronomer 
as I. He looked a hurried remon- 
strance at me ; but was obliged to hide 
it at once, and could not, I knew, waste 
any eloquence now. Although, more- 
over, he was a lover, Nature had never 
endowed him with the art of speaking 
through the eye. There were stronger 
reasons in favor of his escape than of 
mine, worldly, if not spiritual, and 
he suffered from a dangerous nervous- 



ness, in dwelling upon the magnitude of 
the issue before him, which was not in 
my way. 

" It is now five," I said ; "at seven, 
if in such woods as this, you must watch 
your chance and double." 

" Which way ? " he asked. 

" Travel north - northeast, seven 
miles," I whispered. 

Then, as if anxious to burst into a 
flood of eager words, he began, 

" But you " 

I looked at him fixedly, and moved 
off towards my Sergeant. That cursed 
tape before me now again made a twist 
in my brain. 

I was astonished at my Sergeant's 
opening a conversation. 

We were travelling (wearily enough) 
through a piece of woods, overarching 
and autumn-tinted, the road being cut 
down, and, consequently, either side 
of it walled in by upheaving embank- 
ments, green-covered and yellow-fring- 
ed, over which the declining sun could 
not dart its rays upon us. The heavy 
trains of the entire army were making 
the march along with us, disturbing the 
modest influences of the spot, some 
trundling forward in the van, others 
toiling after in our rear, the tending an- 
gels of all being^ drowsy, in the shape 
of the lazy teamsters astride their beasts. 
Only that peculiar music, made up of 
the ponderous thud (the birds had all 
grown still) or tramp of the men for a 
bass, of the clink and clatter of the 
canteens for a treble, and of a little 
broken conversation, in the whining, 
drawling tones of the guard, on their 
own side of the lines, and so with no 
quieting weight upon their tongues, for 
a viva-voce accompaniment, broke the 
sweet summer stillness. The shafts of 
sunlight bridging the road above our 
heads, making a golden ether-plank for 
the air-insects to cross upon, and light- 
ing up the veins in the trembling leaves 
as the breeze put them to confusion, set 
me to thinking of the eyebrows that the 
Adjutant was engaged to, and, no doubt, 
of eyebrows in general. A cool air, 
smelling of mould and fallen leaves, 
perhaps a little damp, fell upon us here. 



I86 5 .] 



My Second Capture. 



203 



The charms of Nature may have loos- 
ened the Sergeant's tongue. 

" I was captured in Marland," he 
began, looking straight before him, but 
of course honoring me with his address. 

I was grateful to him, a little for com- 
panionship's sake, but chiefly for here 
giving me a chance that I had hoped 
for, as I deemed it of considerable val- 
ue, I mean, a chance to djg down to 
the mine of good feeling, to the heart 
of this gray-covered, slumbering crater, 
that, an hour since, had thrust out that 
" do " ; and also, I was beholden to him 
for taking my thoughts from the tape. 

" How did our boys treat you ? " I 
asked. 

" Very fair," he said quickly, with a 
faint Judas-start, as if it were a matter 
of conscience, and he had now twitched 
it out. " They done well by me." 

Here was good fortune, indeed ! The 
mine, with all its riches, mine without 
any digging. 

" I am glad of it," I said, briefly ; for 
I saw that laconics were his jewels, per- 
haps from a sense of expediency as well 
as of beauty. " We always try to treat 
you well, whenever we are not firing our 
guns at you." 

This he acknowledged with a nod, 
but without turning from his look di- 
rectly front. 

" I lay two months in hosp't'l," he 
began again, " in Fred'r'k, in Mar'- 
land. I was wounded in the hip." 

" In '62, I suppose ? " said I. 

" Yes, at Boonsboro'." 

Here the conversation ended as sud- 
denly as it had opened. It was very 
clear that the Sergeant had said his 
last word for some time. But I was 
convinced in my own mind that at 
length more good would fall to my 
lot 

He pondered the matter some ten 
minutes, and then quite overwhelmed 
me with his story. 

"One of your boys," he began, "lay 
wounded by me on the field, of a ball 
in the lungs, and wanted some water. 
Whenever he spoke, he threw out blood, 
and was n't likely to live, nohow. I 
said, 



" ' Yank, will you take my tin ? ' for 
there was a drop in it yet, and I rolled 
on my side and gave it him. 

" ' I am goin' to die,' he said. 

" ' Yes,' says I. 

" ' They '11 treat you well,' he said ; 
' they '11 carry you to the hosp't'l, and I 
hope you '11 live to git home.' 

" ' Thank you,' says I. 

" He gave me some 'baccy and a roll 
of money. 

" ' The paymaster 's been about, and 
he gave me more 'n I want now. You 
'11 want 'baccy in hosp't'l, you '11 want 
it all,' he said. 

" And he run over in blood and died. 
He gave me right smart of money. I 
rolled away from him when he died, and 
they took me to hosp't'l." 

The Sergeant paused for my com- 
ment. 

Under my peculiar circumstances, I 
was very much touched by this story. 

" Poor fellow ! many such a one has 
gone to his account," I said, sadly. 

"And I want to give back some of 
the money to you," said the Sergeant 

I looked at him in astonishment 

" You '11 want it down there, as much 
as you can git. I have no need of it. 
It a'n't mine. It 's his'n." 

The Sergeant had evidently taken it 
in trust. . 

" What claim have I to it ? " I ask- 
ed. 

" Any poor fellow 's got a claim to it 
It 's meant to help poor fellows, that 
money is. It 's a dead man's work." 

I was more than ever touched now, 
in the presence of the wealth of this 
mine which I had tapped. 

" I will take some of it, Sergeant," 
I replied ; " and I shall do my best to 
use it as well as you have." 

(This incident, strange to say, in its 
display of human purity, almost tempt- 
ed me to abandon my scheme of escape,, 
and to go with the Sergeant down to 
Richmond. But he was no measure o 
his fellows.) 

After that we chatted easily off and 
on, and had a feeling of confidence in- 
each other which a two or three clays! 
march could not alone have created.. 



204 



My Second Capture. 



[August, 



At about half after six that night, (I 
had made the Sergeant take my watch, 
which otherwise I should surely be rob- 
bed of, I told him ; and he gave me the 
time,) at about half after six, two offi- 
cers came riding furiously up to our 
mild officer and kept along with him for 
a while, making three dim figures above 
our heads (they only were mounted) in 
the forest shades, in place of the one 
that, unlike the erl-king, had continued 
on his way harmlessly from our outset. 
Their consultation over, the two stran- 
gers dashed over snapping weeds and 
underbrush to the command on ahead, 
and our mild officer ordered our column 
(of prisoners) to halt. We were in the 
woods still, but we had emerged from 
between those sun -spanned embank- 
ments some time since. The ground 
was ill chosen by our gentle ruler, but 
he may have depended much upon his 
men, whose vigilance, no doubt, he had 
before tried in the fall of day. They 
seemed to me but a handful, and only a 
sieve for their charge to dribble through, 
the latter aided by the time and place 
in their work of dropping off. I drew 
closer to the Adjutant. 

" Say what you have to say for home, 
in case we miss," I said, and in the 
confusion of the halt I could talk rath- 
er freely. "Your time has come now." 

" You will write, if I 'm not heard 

from, and my love to my " he 

gurgled. 

"Yes, yes," I said, cheerily. "All 
right, old fellow, we '11 both laugh 
over this, some day." 

I gave him a moment. 

" You '11 do me the same favor, if I 
don't happen to turn up," I said ; and 
we seized each other's hands. "You 
have the compass, you know the way. 
There is nothing more, I believe, Ned ? " 
I said, hastily, and looked into his 
eyes. 

" I shall watch my chance as the wag- 
ons pass ; there is nothing more," he 
replied ; and we parted immediately. 

It was as if we had agreed to toss 
pennies for the guillotine. I had no 
time to think further of him, for my own 
plans were maturing. 



It was soon whispered about that we 
were to let the trains get ahead of us, 
since it was necessary that they should 
move faster ; and the Rebel authori- 
ties, I presume, had decided to save 
their transportation, at the risk even of 
their captives. One or other, then, it 
seemed likely, would be taken. The 
Yankees were driving us before them, 
having reversed the fortunes of the day, 
and, perhaps, might liberate the prison- 
ers who so impeded this retreat. We 
stood, I presume, for half an hour, 
drawn up in a compressed mass upon 
the skirt of the highway, whilst, start- 
led by fear, a powerful task-master over 
teamsters, the late drowsy drivers urg- 
ed forward their toil-worn trains. It 
was seasonable, but I believed that 
my time had not yet come. The deep 
shades encouraged me, but I awaited 
the hour that I had hit upon. I thought 
for a moment of the Adjutant, perhaps 
then ducking his head beneath the bush- 
es, and watching, with his heart beat- 
ing time, the heavy mass by degrees 
moving on. I trusted that the wheel 
of Fortune, whilst these other wheels 
were moving Rebelward, had turned in 
his favor. 

At a little after seven we again fell 
into line, not having allowed all the 
teams to pass -us ; and as the same For- 
tune would have it, we left the woods 
behind us, and marched between open 
meadows. It had now grown quite dark. 
My face wore a look of anxiety as I 
noted the wide stretch of open field be- 
yond me. 

But there were as anxious faces as 
mine among the groups of Rebel officers 
who rode slowly along the lines. This 
was the chill season of perturbation to 
the hot-blooded gentlemen. Some com- 
munications were passing rapidly be- 
tween the commander of our detach- 
ment and the commander of the army. 
Things were not working satisfactorily 
to either. Orderlies were dispatched to 
the front and to the rear, and the air- 
blasting bugle was sounded on ahead, 
as if to chide the teamsters. W T hen we 
had marched up an ascent, and were on 
the brow of a low ridge, we were halted, 






I86 5 .] 



My Second Capture. 



205 



and then turned into an open field. It 
was decided, apparently, that the rest 
of the train should pass us. 

No doubt I should here have all the 
graces of a ready pen at my beck, honey- 
dipped, or Vulcan-forged, in accordance 
with my humor, whether sad or harsh, 
in making up the climax of my account ; 
for at this spot the good writer would 
be most impressive in his language, and 
set the reader in a tremble. We waited 
for seventy minutes in this road -side 
field, the prisoners resignedly huddling 
together, with the callous guards mak- 
ing a circle about them. Let me enlarge 
upon our circumstances. The time, 
about eight o'clock ; the atmosphere 
thick and murky ; the sky overcast, 
promising a warm September night. I 
asked the Sergeant if it would rain, and 
said carelessly some other trifles. I 
feigned an excess of sleepiness. Our 
detachment lay some thirty yards from 
the highway, spread into a thin line of 
no evenness, running parallel with the 
road, which, in the gloom, our eyes 
could scarcely find. The exigencies of 
the service had proved the ruin of the 
fences ; and only here and there in the 
vague darkness could one make out the 
black bunch of a shadowy tree. Just 
beyond us for my Sergeant and my- 
self stood at the rear extremity, the 
land's -end of this shoal of prisoners, 
outside of the ring of guards sparely 
posted, on the very top of the ridge 
which we had ascended was a low 
clump of bushes, (perhaps neck -high,) 
squat and opaque, with much the ap- 
pearance of a ball of garden boxwood. 
The hill, I thought, rolled away on either 
side, taking some comfort to myself in 
the conjecture ; and the inky leaf-globe, 
only a little more sombre than its back- 
ground, could not be seen in a hasty 
glance. This clump, in its innocent 
blackness, would cover my purposed 
guilt ; and I resolved to confide to it 
alone the secret crime of my attempt- 
ed escape. 

But there were calculations to be made, 
which I set about with the eagerness 
which the occasion required, watching 
my Sergeant very closely as my head ran 



over its prospectus. And, first, if he 
stood by my side, I revolved, I could 
not by any chance whisper my tale to 
the silent bushes ; although, if, at the 
favorable moment, when the squad was 
ordered to march, he but stepped a feath- 
er's-throw in advance of me, the confes- 
sion could be readily made. His pres- 
ence would frustrate my plans. There 
was one expedient at my beck, but quite 
hazardous, by the adoption of which 
against odds I might compass his death 
and my freedom, a thought which I 
dismissed on the instant, as it savored 
of murder and ingratitude. I must trust 
that he would give me his back, in 
spite of his sense of responsibility, for a 
breathing-space ere we "fell in." With 
his fellow watch -dogs my ruminations 
had nothing to do. The nearest of them, 
owing to their scarcity, (and they had 
grown trebly valuable this campaign, as 
they had grown rarer,) was not within 
twenty yards of me. My new world was 
scarce that distance in the rear. The 
moment of all moments, the crisis, the 
vision of a life-time, eddying through 
the brain in the flash of a powder-pan, 
and stamping red-hoi^ impressions there, 
(which in some cases bleach men's hair- 
roots,) was finally upon me. My Ser- 
geant turned from me, and I glided with 
tiger-tread to the bushes, and laid my- 
self down. 

I was, of course, between him and 
my new friends, and I pretended to 
sleep, so that, if he found me, he could 
scarce suppose that I meditated leav- 
ing him in so loose a manner ; and, 
moreover, my being asleep would fol- 
low naturally upon my reiterated state- 
ment that I was sleepy. It would have 
been madness to have taken the other 
side, since, if there found, the case 
against me would have been clear. I 
depended, as is ever man's wont, upon 
mere shadows to do much for me where 
I was. 

I have thought often since, however, 
(then other than the deliberate thought 
which every man in trying circumstances, 
has experienced, and which centres upon 
one subject, being so severe a tension 
of all the faculties as to seem no thought. 



2O6 



My Second Capture. 



[August, 



at all, was impossible,) that it would be 
unwise, and perhaps a stumbling-block 
to future Union captives in the custody 
of that horrid host, to ascribe my un- 
broken rest under those dry, dusty bush- 
branches simply to the heavy darkness of 
the evening, excluding all other causes 
from participation in my affairs. It was 
unusually cloudy, the sky resting over- 
head like a hanging pall, and threaten- 
ing rain with thunder every moment, as 
is almost always the case after a hotly 
contested engagement. The fight that 
morning had been a grand one, (quite a 
Horace Vernet picture,) and hence the 
clouds that night. But I must own that 
I give my Sergeant a place in my memo- 
ry now with a feeling of gratitude, in- 
duced thereto by the strong supposition 
that he did not allow himself to see me 
as I glided under cover. I count much 
upon his heart, as shown in his little 
proffered narrative. The other guards 
on the line might readily have failed to 
notice me, the more so as I had a spe- 
cial attendant to see to my wants ; and 
I should have been very sorry, indeed, 
had one of them disturbed my rest. But 
my Sergeant was not three body-lengths 
from me when I slipped away from his 
protection ; and although he had his 
back turned, I am inclined to think 
that he had only fewer eyes than Argus. 
His general reputation, to be read in his 
bearing, pronounced him vigilant, and 
his every act betokened circumspection. 
Far be it from me, however, to bespatter 
his character by avowing him negligent 
in performing his duty in this case, whilst 
lauding him for his honest devotion to 
his masters. Perhaps it may have been 
a part of his care to see the squad " fall 
in," and he could not abandon that line 
of his duty to search for a stray officer, 
smooth-spoken and amiable, to whom he 
had just shown a kindness. The bustle 
and unnatural darkness of the moment 
could not inspire one who was not a de- 
mon with a demoniacal desire to set a 
screeching and rash body of troopers 
upon my track. The detachment of 
melancholy mutes was moving off when 
I tried my fate ; and he could have had 
but little time to think ere the miserable 



men were in the distance. The farther 
my Sergeant journeyed, the more likely 
he was to keep quiet upon my subject. 

I experienced very peculiar emotions 
as I lay there and found myself alone. 
I even seemed to hear the whine of the 
soldiery, the ringing of canteens and 
sabres, and the peculiar sound of the 
tramping feet, long after they had passed 
away, chanting, in my soul's depths, 
my fluttering song of triumph to that 
imagined accompaniment. I had an al- 
most accurate idea of where I was, hav- 
ing observed our course quite closely 
during the day, and proposed going over 
very nearly the same ground in the next 
twenty-four hours. I had already de- 
cided in my own mind that the Rebel 
general was making a retreat before the 
gallant General Sheridan, whose out- 
posts I hoped soon to come upon. But 
dangers many, and some hidden, lay 
thick-strewn upon my path, which had 
not run over roses hither ; and I deem- 
ed it best to encumber the cold earth for 
an hour, ere I sallied from my Moses- 
harbor. 

The highway lay within a hundred 
feet of me ; and as I intended taking up 
my lost stitches of the morning in a pe- 
culiar (and, I hoped, original) manner, 
having no knowledge of the country 
beyond the line of our late march, I 
was obliged to count upon keeping 
within sound of the troops and wagons 
travelling there, if I desired at all to 

gain my end. The Adjutant T had 

my compass, and was, I trusted, quite 
free from danger as I remained supine- 
ly within hail of men who would be de- 
lighted to shoot me. His image, as I 
fancied him, cumbersome and crouch- 
ing, as he hurried along, dodging from 
tree to tree, reminded me of the hunts 
which the chivalry indulge in farther 
south, (near that very horrible Ander- 
sonville slaughter-house,) where the bay 
of the blood-hound rings over the marsh- 
es, and the pack is let loose in the clear 
morning air, crystal-bright and all aglow, 
to lap up the dew with overhanging 
tongues, and to run down escaped pris- 
oners. There is no poetical charm at- 
taching to that pack, although Pan 



I86 5 .] 



My Second Capture. 



207 



never played his reeds in a more po- 
etical country ; and its existence and 
employment are solemnly sober truths. 
They made me very grave, suggesting, 
as they did, some other dangers to which 
I was then liable. After working my- 
self into a nervous state of body, I be- 
gan pulling off my coat, leaving my 
shoulder-straps therewith, to play the 
part of asterisks, and explain who was 
within. My pantaloons the soil would 
soon make as white as a gray-back's ; 
and my cap was to stay with the uni- 
form, to grace some indigent discoverer 
of the other side. 

When I had secreted my money in 
my waistband, (not deeming my order- 
ly's suggestion feasible,) and had strap- 
ped my suspenders tightly about my 
body, I worked my way round the bush- 
es to the other side of the clump. As I 
had expected, I found an even sweep 
downwards of meadow-land, stretching 
parallel with the road, and as far before 
me as I could see through the darkness. 

I got myself flat upon the ground, 
with my feet, as in Christian burial, 
pointing towards the east, for there 
the highway ran, and with my hand- 
kerchief bound about my head. I then 
commenced rolling as gently as possi- 
ble down the grassy declivity. 

I should be unable to give any ac- 
count of my thoughts during the first 
ten minutes of my novel evolutions. I 
moved at one time slowly, at another 
rapidly, as the ideas of prudence and 
danger by turns reigned in my bosom. 
I risked much in being obliged to keep 
in line with the current of life flowing 
so noisily the other way, the thought of 
which spurred me onward ; and I had 
far to go, and not very great endurance 
to fall back upon, a reflection which 
counselled a cautious expenditure of ef- 
fort. I was anon anxious to fly over the 
hard lumps of earth and pricking straw- 
blades, anon, eager to move gently, 
with deliberate hand upon the brake. 
I suffered much at my elbows, which 
were crushed as my body passed over 
them, (a pulverizing process,) and which, 
as I had clasped my arms across my 
breast, were most palpably in the way. 



It seemed as if they would be unhinged. 
My feet, too, demonstrated to me the 
causes of the circular motion of a pen- 
holder or a ruler when started down a 
desk-lid, and had the same influence 
upon my course as the pin-point has 
upon the whole pin when in motion. 
My head and upper members inclined 
to swing in a circle about my feet. I 
spent much labor upon this defaulting 
portion of ^Esop's body of sovereign 
independencies, which threatened the 
greatest difficulties. My neck, also, in 
the narrow space between the band^ of 
my low woollen shirt and my hair-roots, 
was harassed at every turn by the nee- 
dle-bed of short grass that I passed 
over ; and the loose stones, stubble, 
and gravel, that had irritated the skin, 
worked their way beneath the garment 
I was quite a child's rattle, full of peb- 
bles. I could have endured all this for a 
long while, however, the spirit then ac- 
tuating me being one of those unreflect- 
ing forces which would (as a last resort) 
have carried me down the same slope 
in a Regulus - cask. But after travel- 
ling quite a distance, I began to revolve, 
not any complete remedy for these man- 
ifold ills, but some amelioration of the 
exaggerated violence of their sway. I 
tore one sleeve from my undershirt and 
wound that around my neck. I held 
my arms straight down my side and flat 
against my body. Nothing short of 
amputation could have crushed the re- 
bellion in my lower members, and so 
(with the power to amputate not aban- 
doned) I nursed them into insolence 
with a compromise. 

A psychological history of the uneven 
progress of that billowy retreat would 
be as far beyond my reach as of the 
ten minutes of outset trial. I thought 
only vaguely of my home, of my regi- 
ment, of my moments of danger in past 
life. I listened during that night till 
my sense of hearing changed from a 
passive to an active sense. I got my 
neck sadly cramped in lifting my head 
from the ground every time my body 
rolled face upward to gain some knowl- 
edge of the enemy. My imagination 
started up all sorts of shapes about me. 



208 



My Second Capture. 



[August, 



The damp, heavy atmosphere sent a 
chill through my veins. I apprehended 
rain. I soon, also, began to think of 
daylight, (before which I had many 
hours,) and to wonder how I should se- 
crete myself after sunrise. I did not 
feel hungry ; but I had not gone far be- 
fore I felt the faint longings of thirst. 

The ground, too, over which I travel- 
led, was not all meadow land, and had 
worse features than grass-swords and 
gravel bullets. I did not find many 
fences, but I crossed innumerable small 
streams and one heavy hedge. 

I noticed that by degrees, judging 
from the sound, the Rebel troops were 
getting by, only dropping along finally 
in dish - water driblets, and that, at 
last, but scattering bodies of infantry, 
and at intervals sonie wagons, occupied 
the road, moving like dark lobsters in 
the midnight mists. I could not take to 
it myself, because of them ; and I knew 
too well how full it would be of strag- 
glers, those worthless gleanings of an 
army, even after the rear -guard had 
swept onwards. But I did not hesitate 
to erect my body from its voluntary 
abasement and to make walking a branch 
of my exercise, when convinced that 
only vagrants could chance to see me. 
They never capture prisoners on either 
side. Thus was I enabled for two 
hours before sun -rise to accomplish 
more than twice as much as my five 
hours' rolling labors had attained. 

The long-expected rain began to fall 
in a heavy mist at about dawn, and short- 
ly grew in importance, till the windows 
of heaven were wide open and it be- 
came a settled pour. * Most fortunately, 
by that time I had entered some of the 
first woods we had passed through in 
the journey of the previous day, and 
had fair shelter (from Aurora, not Plu- 
vius) within my reach. It was a colos- 
sal pepper-box lid, that could keep men 
from seeing through it, but not the rain 
from dropping in. My first impulse 
was to make a fire, so chilled to the 
very marrow was I in the early morn- 
ing air, that chilliest of all atmos- 
pheres, and so wet was I also in 
my light summer garments. But of 



course Prudence had no word in that 
matter, nor any countenance for a -sug- 
gestion so reckless, and my soberer sens- 
es got to casting about for a fitting re- 
treat ere broad day lay before me. I 
must reconnoitre, I thought, dripping at 
every point, like a convict in the marsh- 
es, before I continued a tramp here that 
might expose me to a scouting-party at 
any moment. That hunger, too, which 
had not troubled me in the night-hours, 
came upon me now and urged very sug- 
gestive hints. I had made a cup of 
my hands more than once, and slaked 
my thirst from the streams in my way, 
Narcissus - fashion ; but nothing solid 
had passed my lips for seventeen hours. 
First, logs and leaves for a cover, then 
food, then a critical examination of my 
position, were my objects, as I hastily 
settled my plans. The thought of the 
intelligent contraband, so beyond or- 
dinary human excellence in the rich- 
ness of his heart, who might minister 
to all my wants, (as without question 
many such had done to my distressed 
brethren flying from Libby,) and whose 
homely traits become to us golden vir- 
tues in moments of suffering, crossed 
my brain as the depression of hunger 
increased. Very dim visions of clean 
and savory cooking haunted me as I 
took off my boots and shook the water 
from them. I could not imagine any- 
thing to equal in value a good steak or 
a hot hash ; nor could I check my feel- 
ing of discontent, a hopeless feeling, at 
having many a time and oft partaken of 
like viands, perhaps, unappreciatively. 
The slimy dirt of my uppers soiled my 
hands, as I endeavored to make myself 
less uncomfortable, and I took the shirt- 
sleeve from my neck as the driest arti- 
cle about me upon which to wipe them. 
Near by lay the trunk of a large walnut- 
tree, water-logged and growing sponge- 
moss ; and small bushes, like coral reefs 
in this sea of troubles, were on all sides 
of me. I had not accomplished much 
when I heard distinctly the sound of a 
bugle. 

It was, I supposed, about half a mile 
distant ; but there was no knowing how 
near the wet horsemen whom it sis:- 



I86 5 .] 



My Second Capture. 



209 



nailed might be to my proposed hiding- 
place ; and, accordingly, I got hastily 
down by the walnut, a good squirrel- 
cover, without shelter or head-piece. I 
lay along that side of it which was far- 
thest from the road, and durst not move 
for fear of capture. The woods were 
quite thick at that place, and from the 
hidden pathway (now become scarce a 
highway) a body of the enemy might 
emerge at any moment. The unwel- 
come music of their bugle broke the 
Sabbath stillness of the morning, and 
interrupted the harmony of the falling 
rain-drops as they pattered through the 
great cathedral branches overhead. I 
spent, I presume, two hours in this lazy 
manner, without thought of any food, 
and scarce daring to look about me. 
During the first half of that period I 
heard the bugle thrice send its clear, 
ringing notes for it is sometimes lark- 
throated through the tree-aisles and 
under the half -arches above me, the 
tones lingering in waves on the air, and 
not failing to startle me. At the first 
commanding blast I got to watching for 
the troops that did not come forth at all. 
Being quite three grasshopper's flights 
from the road, I could reconnoitre the 
few rods of it passing near me with com- 
parative ease and safety, and the in- 
tentness of my look-out drove thoughts 
of discomfort from my head. The si- 
lence grew oppressive to one who had 
been perforce so long alone. The 
thought that at times man has to avoid 
his fellow-beings in his misery, lest his 
misery be augmented, was productive 
of a tender feeling of self-pity in my 
bosom, which, perhaps, (strange to say,) 
was a source of some comfort to me. I 
had, I found, awakened a present sym- 
pathy in my case, the passive part of my 
nature having enlisted its kindly feelings 
in behalf of the bespattered, dripping 
gentleman who lay there before it, a 
sad mass of ooze, soaking on wet leaves. 
I was growing reflective over my woes, 
when the second blast broke upon my 
ear, and I started much as young ladies 
do at the sudden gun which, on the 
boards, sends the unholy Caspar to his 
account. 
VOL. xvi. NO. 94. 14 



In a word, I was worn out, wet, and 
hungry ; and had become so unstrung, 
in the accumulated discomforts of the 
roll from Rebeldom, and the rain of the 
last stages of my journey, that I could 
not control my growing nervousness. 
Having waited a full hour from the third 
signal-call of the bugle, I jumped des- 
perately to my feet, with a mind made 
up to hazard everything. Many unlucky 
fellows, escaping from their captors, 
have toiled with a wonderful energy, 
and have failed, when worthy of imme- 
diate success, if we rate them by ( the 
war standard) their bravery and cool- 
ness. They succumb to fever, and de- 
spair finally, but a few moments ere the 
the object of their toils would drop be- 
fore them. It is ill-advised ever to 
cast one's hopes adrift as long as life is 
in us, an imprudence of which I myself 
was guilty, and which might have car- 
ried me back to thraldom. The drag- 
ging anchor may fasten, spell-bound by 
some fluke-enamored reef, as the vessel 
seems on the point of striking. I jumped 
to my feet in desperation, and walked 
hastily a few rods nearer home. I al- 
lowed no after-thought in the premises, 
but decided to dodge from tree to tree, 
like the hunting Indian, as long as my 
present humor impelled me. 

I know not how far I advanced thus, 
through the most desperate (but to the 
reader, whom I commiserate, least in- 
teresting) stage of my adventure, nor 
anything of my thoughts or emotions, 
after the hot resolve had taken hold of 
me. I was in a fever, a mad fever, the 
evidence of cold, and the handiwork 
of the past night's rolling-mill, and, I 
doubt not, was entirely unfitted to evade 
the enemy with presence of mind or 
skill. I did not pause till I heard the 
sound of axes, and the confused noises 
of a body of men. 

I then again took the serpent's po- 
sition upon the earth, after he, like my- 
self, had lost his Eden, and summon- 
ed my oft-trusted counsellors, my ears, 
to their familiar duty of serving for all 
my senses in one. The sounds were 
very distinct indeed ; I could even hear 
the men's voices, chopped up by their 



2IO 



My Second Capture. 



[August, 



active tools ; and I knew, by the noise 
of their labors, that they were driving 
stakes into the ground. It could scarce 
be the Rebels, I thought, in camp this 
distance in the rear : it might be our 
men, I hoped, pushing our advance up 
the Valley. I drew carefully forward on 
hands and knees. 

In a little while I saw a bending 
figure, with its back to me, holding 
something that I could not see over a 
smoking bundle of fagots. There was 
a poncho about the neck, that covered 
it down to the ground, and in the morn- 
ing gray, the figure, the colonnade of 
tree-trunks, the lazy smoke, a cabinet 
picture, wore an India-rubber look. 

Presently another came up to my 
first discovery, as if emerging from the 
bustle elsewhere, and stood erect be- 
fore him, seeming almost as wet as my- 
self. There was a tasselled bugle in his 
hand, covered with a corner of his pon- 
cho, under which he had a cavalry 
sabre. He wore, also, a dripping cav- 
alry cord round his hat. After a few 
words, the two sat upon their heels be- 
fore the fire, which they bent over, pa- 
ternally, to protect, watching the thing 
that was cooking. 

Having drawn myself cautiously near- 
er, I waited a long while for one of 
the men to display his colors. 

The bugler was burnishing his instru- 
ment upon his blouse beneath his rub- 
ber, hazarding some chance notes under 
shelter, as he laughed and chatted with 
his friend. He would, apparently, con- 
sult with him of his performance ; and 
he finally lifted himself upon his feet, 
with the instrument tight to his lips. 
He then blew a rasping, grating blast 
upon the air, ear-splitting and dissonant, 
that was his own rendition of a few bars 
of Yankee Doodle. 

The blouse, being dark, had given me 



much hope ; the air gave me certainty ; 
and before the bugler could wind his 
final note, I became one of the group. 

My pantaloons showed that I was an 
officer, but in all other respects I ap- 
peared less than a highwayman. Ac- 
customed to roughnesses, however, the 
men before me would not have divined 
that I was miserable, had not my ap- 
pearance been by a few degrees more 
wretched than that of the most dilapi- 
dated of warriors. They gave over, the 
one his mess, the other his music, for 
a second, to inquire into my circum- 
stances, and then conducted me to the 
Major who had command of the detach- 
ment some quarter of a mile in the rear. 

The eight days' leave-of-absence that 
was given me, after a full report at head- 
quarters, garnished with less ornament 
than the present record, afforded me an 
opportunity to reach my physician in 
time to have it extended by ten more ; 
and in that period I learned from a let- 
ter, written in a thin, peaked hand, that 

the Adjutant T had escaped, but had 

been shot in the thigh. The compass, 
that had been his cloud by day and 
pillar of fire by night during his sad 
exodus, was returned to me, with his 
old lady-mother's thanks. Many sim- 
ple, yet touching, speeches welled up 
from her rich heart, and shone on the 
thin white paper ; and, no doubt, her 
great, manly son was tended by another, 
whilst, at her escritoire, the kindly epis- 
tle was made for me. In the subsequent 
hurry of camp-life, I received a second, 
that contained all those mournful ex- 
pressions of resignation, and depend- 
ence upon the Higher Power, which 
broken-hearted Christians so sweetly 

utter. The Adjutant T , indeed, had 

received his solemn quietus in running 
from the Libby Prison, and the extin- 
guisher of his life was down. 



Doctor Johns. 



211 



DOCTOR JOHNS. 



XXVIII. 

"PROCTOR, we miss Reuby," said 

L' the Tew partners. 

And the good old people said it with 
feeling, though, over and over, at 
winter's dusk, the boy had given a 
sharp rattle to their shop-door, and the 
warning bell called them away from 
their snug fire only to see his light pair 
of heels whisking around the corner of 
the Eagle Tavern. The mischief in the 
lad was, indeed, of such elastic, irre- 
pressible temper, that even the gravest 
of the parishioners were disposed to re- 
gard it with a frown in which a comic 
pardon was always lurking. Perhaps 
this may have been by reason of the 
tender recollections of the poor young 
mother Rachel, who had so suddenly 
yielded up her life, and taken away the 
charm of her smiles to another country ; 
or it may have been that the pranks of 
the parson's boy found greater tolera- 
tion by reason of their contrast with the 
sturdy and unyielding gravity of the 
Doctor ; they made up a good average 
of mirth for the household of the par- 
sonage, a sort of average which the 
wicked world craves, and which, it is 
to be feared, will be craved until we 
take on a wholly new moral shape. Or, 
to put the reflection in other form, if the 
Doctor's immovable serenity was a type 
of the highest embodiment of good in 
this world, the playful humors of the 
boy were reckoned by the good-na- 
tured villagers as the most pardonable 
shape which the inevitable principle of 
evil that belongs to our heritage could 
possibly take on ; and thus, while the 
father challenged their admiration, on- 
ly the more, by reason of the contrast, 
the boy challenged all their tenderest 
sympathies. 

Even the Tourtelots u quite missed 
the boy " ; though over and over the 
brindled cow of the Deacon was found 
to have slipped the bars, (a thing the 

orderly creature was never known to do 





of her own head,) and was reported at 
twilight by the sober-faced Reuben as 
strolling far down upon the Common. 

It is but a small bit of canvas we 
have chosen for the painting in of 
these figures of ours ; and returning to 
the old town of Ashfield, as we do now, 
where the central interest must lie, there 
is little of change to declare, still less 
of dramatic incident. A serene quie- 
tude, year after year, is the character- 
istic of most of the interior New Eng- 
land towns. The elections come and 
go with their fury of previous decla- 
mation. The Squire presides over the 
deliberations of his party, and some 
leading Adams man presides over the 
deliberations of the other ; even the 
boys are all Jackson men or Adams 
men ; but when the result is declared, 
there is an acquiescence on all hands 
that is beautiful to behold ; and in pro- 
cess of time, Mr. Troop, the postmas- 
ter, yields up the mail pouches and 
locks and canvas bags to some active 
little Jackson partisan with the utmost 
suavity, and smokes off his discontent 
upon the porch of the Eagle Tavern, un- 
der the very shadow of the tall hickory 
pole, which for one third of its height 
is protected by old wagon-tire heavily 
spiked on, against the axes of zealous 
political opponents. 

The old blear-eyed Boody is not so 
cheery as we have seen him, although 
his party has won brilliant success. 
There is a sad story of domestic grief 
that has marked a new wrinkle in his 
forehead and given a droop to his eye, 
which, had all gone fairly, he might 
have weathered for ten years more. 
The glory of the ringleted Suke has in- 
deed gone, as Phil had told ; but it has 
not gone in the way of marriage. God 
only knows where those pink cheeks 
are showing their graces now, not, 
surely, in any home of hers, not in 
any home at all. God only knows what 
repinings have come, all too late, over 
the glitter and the triumph of an hour. 



212 



Doctor Johns. 



[August, 



The elderly, grave ones shake their 
heads dismally over this fall, and talk 
of the terribly demoralizing associations 
amidst which the poor child has lived ; 
but do they ask themselves if they did 
their best to mend them ? Decoyed 
toward evil fast and frequently enough, 
without doubt ; but were there any de- 
coys, such as kind hands and welcom- 
ing words, in the other direction ? The 
meeting-house doors have, indeed, been 
always open, for the just and for the 
unjust. But have not the starched, 
good women of the parish been a little 
disposed to count the pretty tavern- 
keeper's daughter as outside the fold 
so far as all social influences were con- 
cerned from the beginning? That 
exuberant life in her which led to the 
dance at a tavern ball, was there any 
palliative for it, any hope for it, ex- 
cept to go on in the way of destruction ? 
But we would not judge unjustly. 
Certain it is, that Miss Johns indulged 
in such scathing condemnation of the 
poor sinner as made Adele shiver : with 
the spinster at least, there would be lit- 
tle hope for a Magdalen, or a child of a 
Magdalen. Nor could such as she ful- 
ly understand the measured and sub- 
dued tone with which the good Doctor 
talked of a lapse from virtue which had 
so shocked the little community. But 
the parson lived so closely in that spir- 
itual world where all his labor and love 
centred, that he saw under its ineffable 
light only two great ranks of people 
pressing toward the inevitable goal : a 
lesser rank, which had found favor of 
God ; and a greater, tumultuous one, 
toward whom his heart yearned, that 
with wavering and doubt and evil in- 
tention pressed on to destruction. What 
mattered to him the color of the sin, or 
who was he to judge it ? When the se- 
cret places of the heart were so full of 
wickedness, why anathematize above the 
rest those plague-spots which revealed 
themselves to mortals ? " Fearful above 
all others," he was wont to say, "will 
be those sins which, being kept cau- 
tiously smouldering through life, will, 
at the blast of the Archangel's trump, 
blaze out in inextinguishable fire ! " 



The Doctor kept himself and his pul- 
pit mostly free of that theological fer- 
mentation which in those years was go- 
ing on throughout New England, at 
least of all such forms of it as marked a 
division in the orthodox churches. If 
he had a leaning, it was certainly in fa- 
vor of the utmost severity of Calvinism. 
He distrusted human philosophy, and 
would rather have accepted the theory 
of natural inability in all its harshness 
than see it explained away by any met- 
aphysic subtilties that should seem to 
veil or place in doubt the paramount 
efficiency of the Spirit 

But though slow to accept theological 
reforms, the Doctor was not slow to ad- 
vocate those which promised good in- 
fluence upon public morals. Thus he 
had entered with zeal into the Temper- 
ance movement ; and after 1830, or 
1832 at the latest, there was no private 
locker in the parsonage for any black 
bottle of choice Santa Cruz. His ex- 
ample had its bearing upon others of 
the parish ; and whether by dint of the 
Doctor's effective preaching, or wheth- 
er it were by reason of the dilapidated 
state of the buildings and the leaky con- 
dition of the stills, it is certain that 
about this time Deacon Simmons, of 
whom casual mention has been made, 
abandoned his distillery, and invested 
such spare capital as he chose to keep 
afloat in the business of his son-in-law, 
Mr. Bowrigg of New York, who had up 
to this time sold the Deacon's gin upon 
commission. 

Mr. Bowrigg was a thriving merchant, 
and continued his wholesale traffic with 
eminent success. In proof of this suc- 
cess, he astonished the good people of 
Ashfield by building, in the summer of 
1833, at the instigation of his wife, an 
elegant country residence upon the 
main street of the town ; and the fol- 
lowing year, the little Bowriggs two 
daughters of blooming girl age brought 
such a flutter of city ribbons and silks 
into the main aisle of the meeting-house 
as had not been seen in many a day. 
Anne and Sophia Bowrigg, aged re- 
spectively thirteen and fifteen, fell nat- 
urally into somewhat intimate associa- 



I86 S .] 



Doctor Johns. 



213 



tions with our little friends, Adele and 
Rose : an association that was not much 
to the taste of the Doctor, who fear- 
ed that under it Adele might launch 
again into those old coquetries of dress 
against which Maverick had cautioned 
him, and which in their quiet country 
atmosphere had been subdued into a 
modest homeliness that was certainly 
very charming. 

Miss Sophia, however, the elder of 
the two Bowrigg daughters, was a young 
lady not easily balked of her intent ; 
and conceiving a violent fondness for 
Adele, whether by reason of the graces 
of her character, or by reason of her for- 
eign speech, in which she could stam- 
meringly join, to the great mystification 
of all others, she soon forced herself 
into a patronizing intimacy with Adele, 
and was a frequent visitor at the par- 
sonage. With a great fund of assur- 
ance, a rare and unappeasable glibness 
of tongue, and that lack of refined deli- 
cacy which invariably belongs to such 
noisy demonstrativeness, Miss Sophia 
had after only one or two interviews 
ferreted out from Adele all that the lit- 
tle stranger herself knew respecting her 
history. 

"And not to know your mother, 
Adele ! that 's so very queer ! " 

1 Adele winces at this, but seems to 
so coarse an observer only preoccu- 
pied with her work. 

" Is n't it queer ? " persists the gar- 
rulous creature. " I knew a girl in the 
city who did not see her mother after 
she was three, think of that ! But 
then, you know, she was a bad woman." 

The hot Proven9al blood mounts to 
the cheek and brow of Adele in an in- 
stant, and her eye flashes. But it is 
quite impossible to show anger in view 
of the stolid face of her companion, with 
nothing in it but an unthinking, girlish 
curiosity. 

" We will talk of something else, So- 
phie." 

" Oh ! then you don't like to speak 
of it ! Dear me ! I certainly won't, 
then." 

Yet this rattle - brained girl has no 
real ill-nature ; and it is surprising what 



a number of such well-meaning people 
go blundering about society, inflicting 
cheerful wounds in all directions by 
mere reason of their bluntness and lack 
of all delicacy of feeling. 

But it is by no means the first time the 
sensibilities of Adele have been touched 
to the quick. She is approaching that 
age when they ripen with marvellous 
rapidity. There is never an evening 
now at that cheerful home of the Elder- 
kins lighted up as it is with the beam- 
ing smiles of that Christian mother, 
Mrs. Elderkin but there sweeps over 
the mind of the poor girl, at some inter- 
val in the games or the chat, a terrible 
sense of some great loss she has suffer- 
ed, of which she knows not the limits, 
a cruel sense of isolation in which 
she wanders, and on which comes be- 
times the recollection of a father's kind- 
ly face, that in the growing distance 
makes her isolation seem even more 
appalling. 

Rose, good soul, detects these hu- 
mors by a keen, girlish instinct, and, 
gliding up to her, passes her arm around 
her,- 

" What is it now, Adele, dear ? " 

And she, looking down at her, (for 
Adele was the taller by half a head,) 
says, 

"What >a good mother you have, 
Rose ! " 

" Only that ! "and Rose laughs glee- 
fully for a moment, when, bethinking 
herself where the secret grief lay, her 
sweet face is overcast in an instant, 
and reaching up her two hands, she 
draws down the face of Adele to hers, 
and kisses her on either cheek. 

Phil, who is at a game of chess with 
Grace, pretends not to see this side 
demonstration ; but his next move is 
to sacrifice his only remaining castle 
in the most needless manner. 

Dame Tourtelot, too, has pressed her 
womanly prerogative of knowing what- 
ever could be known about the French 
girl who comes occasionally with Miss 
Eliza to her tea-drinkings, and who, with 
a native taste for music, is specially in- 
terested in the piano of Miss Almira. 

"It must be very tedious," says the 



214 



Doctor Johns. 



[August, 



Dame, " to be so long away from home 
and from those that love you. Almiry, 
now, hardly goes for a week to Cousin 
Jerushy's at Har'ford but she is a-fret- 
tin' to be back in her old home. Don't 
you feel it, Adeel?" (The Dame is 
not to be driven out of her own notions 
of pronunciation by any French accents.) 
" But don't be down-hearted, my child ; 
it 's God's providence that 's brought 
you away from a Popish country." 

And she pushes her inquiries regard- 
ing the previous life of Adele with an 
earnestness and an authoritative air 
which at times do not fail to provoke a 
passionate retort. To this the old lady 
is wholly unused ; and condemning her 
straightway as a hot-headed Romanist, 
it is to be feared that we must regard 
the Dame henceforth as one disposed 
to look upon the least favorable lights 
which may appear, whether in the past 
history of Adele or in the developments 
to come. 

The spinster, also, who is mistress of 
the parsonage, though never giving up 
her admiring patronage of Adele, and 
governing her curiosity with far more 
tact than belongs to Dame Tourtelot, 
has yet shown a persistent zeal in push- 
ing her investigations in regard to all 
that concerned the family history of her 
little protegee. She has lent an eager 
ear to all the communications which 
Maverick has addressed to the Doctor ; 
and in moments of what seemed excep- 
tional fondness, when she has toyed 
with the head-gear of Adele, has plied 
the little brain with motherly questions 
that have somehow widely failed of their 
intent. 

Under all this, Adele ripens into a 
certadn reserve and individuality of 
character which might never have be- 
longed to her, had the earlier circum- 
stances of her life been altogether fa- 
miliar to the circle in which she was 
placed. The Doctor fastens, perhaps, 
an undue reliance upon this growing 
reserve of hers : sure it is that an in- 
creasing confidence is establishing it- 
self between them, which it is to be 
hoped nothing will shake. 

And as for Phil, when the Squire 



teases him with his growing fondness 
for the little Jesuit of the parsonage, 
the boy, though past seventeen now, 
and " with views of his own," (as most 
young men have at that age,) blushes 
like a girl. 

Rose, seeing it, and her eyes flashing 
with sisterly pride, says to herself, 

" Oh, I hope it may come true ! " 



XXIX. 

FROM time to time Maverick had 
written in reply to the periodical reports 
of the Doctor, and always with una- 
bating confidence in his discretion and 
kindness. 

" I have remarked what you say " 
(he had written thus in a letter which 
had elicited the close attention of Miss 
Eliza) " in regard to the rosary found 
among the girlish treasures of Adele. 
I am not aware how she can have come 
by such a trinket from the source nam- 
ed ; but I must beg you to take as little 
notice as possible of the matter, and 
please allow her possession of it to re- 
main entirely unremarked. I am spe- 
cially anxious that no factitious impor- 
tance be given to the relic by opposi- 
tion to her wishes." 

Heavy losses incident to the political 
changes of the year 1831 in France had 
kept him fastened at his post ; and with 
the reviving trade under the peaceful 
regime of Louis Philippe, he had been 
more actively engaged even than be- 
fore. Yet there was no interruption to 
his correspondence with Adele, and no 
falling off in its expressions of earnest 
affection and devotion. 

" I fancy you almost a woman grown 
now, dear Adele. Those cheeks of 
yours have, I hope, not lost their round- 
ness or their rosiness. But, however 
much you may have grown, I am sure 
that my heart would guide me so truly 
that I could single you out from a great 
crowd of the little Puritan people about 
you. I can fancy you in some simple 
New England dress, in which I would 
rather see you, my child, than in the 
richest silks of those about me here, 



1865.] 



Doctor Johns. 



215 



gliding up the pathway that leads to 
the door of the old parsonage ; I can 
fancy you dropping a word of greeting 
to the good Doctor within his study 
(he must be wearing spectacles now); 
and at evening I seem to see you kneel- 
ing in the long back dining-room, as 
the parson leads in family prayer. Well, 
well, don't forget to pray for your old 
father, my child. I shall be all the safer 
for it, in what the Doctor calls 'this 
wicked land.' And what of Reuben, 
whose mischief, you told me, threatened 
such fearful results ? Sobered down, I 
suppose, long before this, wearing a 
stout jacket of homespun, driving home 
the 'keow' at night, and singing in the 
choir of a Sunday. Don't lose your 
heart, Adele, with any of the young- 
sters about you. I claim the whole of 
it ; and every day and every night mine 
beats for you, my child." 

And Adele writes back : 

" My heart is all yours, papa, only 
why do you never come and take it ? 
So many, many years that I have not 
seen you ! 

" Yes, I like Ashfield still ; it is al- 
most a home to me now, you know. 
New Papa is very kind, but just as 
grave and stiff as at the first. I know 
he loves me, but he never tells me so. 
I don't believe he ever told Reuben so. 
But when I sing some song that he 
loves to hear, I see a little quirk by his 
temple, and a glistening in his eye, as 
he thanks me, that tells it plain enough ; 
and most of all when he prays, as he 
sometimes does after talking to me 
very gravely, with his arm tight clasped 
around me, oh, I am sure that he loves 
me! and indeed, and indeed, I love 
him back again ! 

" It was funny what you said of Reu- 
ben ; for you must know that he is 
living in the city now, and happens up- 
on us here sometimes with a very grand 
air, as fine, I dare say, as the people 
about Marseilles. But I don't think I 
like him any better ; I don't know if I 
like him as well. Miss Eliza is, of 
course, very proud of him, as she al- 
ways was." 

As the nicer observing faculties 01 



his child develop, of which ample 
traces appear in her letters, Maver- 
ick begs her to detail to him as fully 
as she can all the little events of her 
every-day life. He has an eagerness, 
which only an absent parent can feel, 
to know how his pet is received by 
those about her ; and would supply him- 
self, so far as he may, with a full pic- 
ture of the scenes amid which his child 
is growing up. Sheet after sheet of 
this simple, girlish narrative of hers 
Maverick delights himself with, as he 
sits upon his balcony, after business 
hours, looking down upon the harbor 
of Marseilles. 

"After morning prayers, which are 
very early, you know, Esther places the 
smoking dishes on the table, and New 
Papa asks a blessing, always. Then 
he says, ' I hope Adaly has not forgot- 
ten her text of yesterday.' And I re- 
peat it to him. Such a quantity of texts 
as I can repeat now ! Then Aunt 
Eliza says, ' I hope, too, that Adele 
will make no mistake in her " Paradise 
Lost " to-day. Are you sure you 've not 
forgotten that lesson in the parsing, 
child ? ' Indeed, papa, I can parse al- 
most any page in the book. 

" ' I think,' says New Papa, appeal- 
ing to Miss Eliza, ' that Larkin may 
grease the wheels of the chaise this 
morning, and, if it should be fair, I will 
make a visit or two at the north end 
of the town ; and I think Adaly would 
like to go with me.' 

" ' Yes, dearly, New Papa,' I say, 
which is very true. 

" And Miss Eliza says, very gravely, 
' I am perfectly willing, Doctor.' 

"After breakfast is over, Miss Eliza 
will sometimes walk with me a short 
way down the street, and will say to 
me, ' Hold yourself erect, Adele ; walk 
trimly.' She walks very trimly. Then 
we pass by the Hapgood house, which 
is one of the grand nouses ; and I know 
the old Miss Hapgoods are looking 
through the blinds at us, though they 
never show themselves until they have 
taken out their curl-papers in the after- 
noon. 

" Dame Tourtelot is n't so shy ; and 



2l6 



Doctor Johns. 



we see her great, gaunt figure in a broad 
sun -bonnet, stooping down with her 
trowel, at work among the flower-patch- 
es before her door ; and Miss Almira 
is reading at an upper window, in pink 
muslin. And when the Dame hears us, 
she lifts herself straight, sets her old 
flapping bonnet as square as she can, 
and stares through her spectacles until 
she has made us out ; then says, 

" ' Good mornin', Miss Johns. You 're 
'arly this mornin'.' 

" ' Quite early,' says Miss Eliza. 
' Your flowers are looking nicely, Mrs. 
Tourtelot.' 

"'Well, the pi'nys is blowed pretty 
good. Would n't Adeel like a pi'ny ? ' 

" It 's a great red monster of a flower, 
papa ; but I thank her for it, and put 
it in my belt. Then the Dame goes on 
to tell how she has shifted the striped 
grass, and how the bouncing-Bets are 
spreading, and where she means to put 
her nasturtiums the next year, and bran- 
dishes her trowel, as the brigands in 
the story-books brandish their swords. 

" And Miss Eliza says, ' Almira is at 
her reading, I see.' 

" ' Dear me ! ' says the Dame, glan- 
cing up ; ' she 's always a-readin'. What 
with novils and histories, she 's injurin' 
her health, Miss Johns, as sure as you 
're alive.' 

" Then, as we set off again, the 
Dame calling out some last word, and 
brandishing her trowel over the fence, 
old Squire Elderkin comes swinging 
up the street with the ' Courant ' in his 
hand ; and he lifts his hat, and says, 
' Good morning to you, Miss Johns ; 
and how is the little French lady this 
morning ? Bright as ever, I see,' (for 
he does n't wait to be answered,) "a 
peony in her belt, and two roses in her 
cheeks.' Yet my cheeks are not very 
red, papa ; but it 's his way 

" After school, I go for the drive with 
the Doctor, which I enjoy very much. 
I ask him about all the flowers along 
the way, and he tells me everything, 
and I have learned the names of all the 
birds ; and it is much better, I think, 
than learning at school. And he always 
says, ' It 's God's infinite love, my child, 



that has given us all these beautiful 
things, and these songsters that choir 
His praises.' When I hear him say it, 
I believe it, papa. I am very sure that 
the priest who came to see godmother 
was not a better man than he is. 

"Then, very often,'he lifts my hand in 
his, and says, ' Adaly, my dear, God is 
very good to us, sinners though we are. 
We cannot tell His meaning always, but 
we may be very sure that He has only 
a good meaning. You do not know it, 
Adaly, but there was once a dear one, 
whom I loved perhaps too well ; she 
was the mother of my poor Reuben ; 
God only knows how I loved her ! But 
He took her from me.' Oh, how the 
hand of New Papa griped on mine, 
when he said this ! ' He took her from 
me, my child ; He has carried her to 
His home. He is just. Learn to love 
Him, Adaly. The love we give to Him 
we can carry with us always. He does 
not die and leave us. He is every- 
where. The birds are messengers of 
His, when they sing ; the flowers you 
love come from His bounty: oh, Adaly, 
can you not, will you not, love Him ? ' 

" ' I do ! I do ! ' I said. 

" He looked me full in the face, ( I 
shall never forget how he looked,) ' Ah, 
Adaly, is this a fantasy of yours,' said 
he, ' or is it true ? Could you give 
up the world and all its charms, could 
you forego the admiration and the love 
of all others, if only He who is the 
Saviour of us all would smile upon 
you ?' 

" I felt I could, I felt I could, papa. 

" But then, directly after, he repeated 
to me some of those dreary things I 
had been used to hear in the Catechism 
week after week. I was so sorry he re- 
peated them, for they seemed to give a 
change to all my thought. I am sure I 
was trustful before, when he talked to 
me so earnestly ; but when he repeated 
only what I had learned over and over, 
every Saturday night, then I am afraid 
my faith drooped. 

" 'Z?0#'/tell me that, New Papa,' said 
I, ' it is so old ; talk to me as you were 
talking.' 

"And the? the Doctor looked at me 



i86 5 .] 



Doctor JoJms. 



217 



with the keenest eyes I ever saw, and 
said, 

" ' My child, are you right, and are 
the Doctors wrong ? ' 

" ' Is it the Catechism that you call 
the Doctors ? ' said I. 

" Yes,' said he. 

" ' But were they better men than 
you, New Papa ? ' 

" ' All men alike, Adaly, all strug- 
gling toward the truth, all wearying 
themselves to interpret it in such way 
that the world may accept it, and praise 
God who has given us His Son a sacri- 
fice, by whom, and whom only, we may 
be saved.' And at this he took my 
hand and said, ' Adaly, trust Him ! ' 

"By this time" (for Adele's letter 
is a true transcript of a day) " we have 
reached the door of some one of his 
people to whom he is to pay a visit 
The blinds are all closed, and nothing 
seems to be stirring but a gray cat that 
is prowling about under the lilac bushes. 
Dobbins is hitched to the post, and the 
Doctor pounds away at the big knocker. 
Presently two or three white-headed 
children come peeping around the bush- 
es, and rush away to tell who has come. 
After a little the stout mistress opens 
the door, and wipes her fingers on her 
apron, and shakes hands, and bounces 
into the keeping-room to throw up the 
window and open the blinds, and dusts 
off the great rocking-chair for the Doc- 
tor, and keeps saying all the while that 
they are ' very back'ard with the spring 
work, and she really had no time to slick 
up,' and asks after Miss Eliza and Reu- 
ben, and the Tourtelots, and all the peo- 
ple on the street, so fast that I won- 
der she can keep her breath ; and the 
Doctor looks so calm, and has no time 
to say anything yet. Then she looks 
at me, ' Sissy is looking well,' says she, 
and dashes out to bring in a great plate 
of gingerbread, which I never like at 
all, and say, ' No.' But she says, ' It 
won't hurt ye ; it a'n't p'ison, child.' So 
I find I must eat a little ; and while I sit 
mumbling it, the Doctor and she talk 
on about a great deal I don't under- 
stand, and I am glad when she bounces 
up again, and says, ' Sis would like to 



get some posies, p'raps,' and leads me 
out of doors. ' There 's lalocs, child, 
and flower-de-luce : pick what you want.' 

" So I go wandering among the beds 
along the garden, with the bees hum- 
ming round me ; and there are great tufts 
of blue-bell, and spider-wort, and moss- 
pink ; and the white-haired grandchil- 
dren come and put their faces to the 
paling, looking at me through the bars 
like animals in a cage ; and if I beckon 
to them, they glance at each other, and 
dash away." 

Thus much of Adele's account But 
there are three or four more visits to 
complete the parson's day. Possibly 
he comes upon some member of his 
flock in the field, when he draws up 
Dobbins to the fence, and his parish- 
ioner, spying the old chaise, leaves his 
team to blow a moment while he strides 
forward with his long ox-goad in hand, 
and, seating himself upon a stump with- 
in easy earshot, says, 

"Good mornin', Doctor." 

And the parson, in his kindly way, 
" Good morning, Mr. Pettibone. Your 
family pretty well ? " 

" Waal, middlin', Doctor, only mid- 
dlin'. Miss Pettibone is a-havin' faint- 
ish spells along back ; complains o' pain 
in her side." 

" Sorry, sorry," says the good man : 
and then, " Your team is looking pretty 
well, Mr. Pettibone." 

" Waal, only tol'able, Doctor. That 
nigh ox, what with spring work an' 
grass feed is gittin' kind o' thin in the 
flesh. Any news abaout, Doctor ? " 

" Not that I learn, Mr. Pettibone. 
We 're having fine growing weather for 
your crops." 

"Waal, only tol'able, Doctor. You 
see, arter them heavy spring rains, the 
sun has kind o' baked the graound ; the 
seed don't seem to start well. I don't 
know as you remember, but in '29, along 
in the spring, we had jist sich a spell 
o' wet, an' corn hung back that season 
amazin'ly." 

" Well, Mr. Pettibone, we must hope 
for the best : it 's all in God's hands." 

" Waal, I s'pose it is, Doctor, I 
s'pose it is." And he makes a cut at a 



2l8 



Doctor Jolins. 



[August, 



clover-head with the lash upon his ox- 
goad ; then as if in recognition of 
the change of subject he says, 

" Any more talk on the street abaout 
repairin' the ruff o' the meetin'-house, 
Doctor ? " 

At sundown, all visits being paid, 
they go jogging into town again, the 
Doctor silent by this time, and thinking 
of his sermon. Dobbins is tied always 
at the same post, always the hitch- 
rein buckled in the third hole from the 
end. 

After tea, perhaps, Phil and Rose 
come sauntering by, and ask if Adele 
will go up ' to the house ' ? Which re- 
quest, if Miss Eliza meet it with a nod 
of approval, puts Adele by their side : 
Rose, with a beautiful recklessness 
common to New England girls of that 
day, wearing her hat drooping half 
down her neck, and baring her clear 
forehead to the falling night-dews. Phil, 
with a pebble in his hand, makes a 
feint of throwing into a flock of gos- 
lings that are waddling disturbedly after 
a pair of staid old geese, but is arrested 
by Rose's prompt " Behave, Phil ! " 

The Squire is reading his paper by 
the evening lamp, but cannot forbear a 
greeting to Adele : 

" Ah, here we are again ! and how 
is Madamoizel?" (this is the Squire's 
style of French,) "and has she brought 
me the peony ? Phil would have given 
his head for it, eh, Phil?" 

Rose is so bright, and glowing, and 
happy ! 

Mrs. Elderkin in her rocking-chair, 
with her gray hair carefully plaited un- 
der the white lace cap whose broad 
strings fall on either shoulder, is a pic- 
ture of motherly dignity. Her pleasant 
" Good evening, Adele," would alone 
have paid the warm-hearted exile for 
her walk. 

Then follow games, chat, and an oc- 
casional noisy joke from the Squire, un- 
til the nine o'clock town-bell gives warn- 
ing, and Adele wends homeward under 
convoy of the gallant Phil. 

" Good night, Adele ! " 

" Good night, Phil ! " 

Only this at the gate. Then the Doc- 



tor's evening prayer ; and after it, in 
the quiet chamber, where her swe-et 
head lay upon the pillow, dreams. 
With recollections more barren than 
those of most of her years, of any early 
home, Adele still 'dreamed as hopefully 
as any of a home to come. 



XXX. 

IN the autumn of 1836, Maverick 
wrote to his friend, the Doctor, that, in 
view of the settled condition of busi- 
ness, he intended to visit America some 
time in the course of the following sea- 
son. He preferred, however, that Adele 
should not be made acquainted with his 
expected coming. He believed that it 
would be a pleasant surprise "for his 
child ; nor did he wish her anticipations 
of his arrival to divert her from the usual 
current of her study and every-day life. 

" Above all," he writes, " I wish to see 
her as she is, without any note of prep- 
aration. You will therefore, I beg, my 
dear Johns, keep from her scrupulously 
all knowledge of my present intentions, 
(which may possibly miscarry, after all,) 
and let me see, to the very finest touch, 
whether of a ribbon or of a ringlet, how 
far you have New-Englandized my dear 
girl. I form a hundred pictures in my 
fancy ; but every new letter from her 
somehow disturbs the old image, and 
another is conjured up. The only real 
thing in my mind is, after all, a little 
child of eight, rosy and piquantly co- 
quettish, who slaps my cheek when I 
tease her. and who, as I bid her adieu 
at last upon the ship's deck, looks 
through her tears at me and waves her 
little kerchief. 

" It is quite possible that I may man- 
age for her return with me, (of this plan, 
too, I beg you to give no hint,) and in 
view of it I would suggest that any avail- 
able occasion be seized upon to revive 
her knowledge of French, which, I fear, 
in your staid household she may almost 
have forgotten. Tell dear Adele that I 
am sometimes at Le Pin, where her god- 
mother never fails to inquire after her and 
call down blessings on the dear child." 



186$.] 



Doctor JoJins. 



219 



Upon this the Doctor and Miss Johns 
take counsel. Both are not a little dis- 
turbed by the anticipation of Adele's 
leave. The grave Doctor finds his heart 
wrapped about by the winning ways of 
the little stranger in a manner he could 
hardly have conceived possible on the 
day when he first greeted her. On the 
score of her religious beliefs, he is not, 
indeed, as yet thoroughly satisfied ; but 
he feels sure that she is at least in a 
safe path. The old idols are broken : 
God, in His own time, will do the rest. 

The spinster, though she has become 
unconsciously attached to Adele to a de- 
gree of which she hardly believes her- 
self capable, is yet not so much discon- 
certed by the thought of any violence to 
her affections, for all violence of this 
kind she has schooled herself to regard 
with cool stoicism, but the possible 
interruption of her ambitious schemes 
with respect to Reuben and Adele dis- 
composes her sadly. Such a scheme 
she has never given over for one mo- 
ment. No plan of hers is ever given 
over lightly ; and she has that persist- 
ent faith in her own sagacity and pru- 
dence which is not easily shaken. The 
growing intercourse with the Elderkins, 
in view of the evident devotion of Phil, 
has been, indeed, the source of a little 
uneasiness ; but even this intimacy she 
has moderated to a certain degree by 
occasional judicious fears in regard to 
Adele's exposure to the night air ; and 
has made the most in her quiet man- 
ner of Phil's exceptional, but some- 
what noisy, attentions to that dashing 
girl, Sophie Bowrigg. 

" A very suitable match it would be," 
she says some evening, casually, to the 
Doctor ; " and I really think that Phil, 
if there were any seriousness about the 
lad, would meet his father's wishes in 
the matter. Adcle, child," (she is sit- 
ting by at her worsted,) "are you sure 
you 've the right shade of brown there ? " 

But, like most cool schemers in what 
concerns the affections, she makes her 
errors. Her assurance in regard to the 
improved habits and character of Reu- 
ben, and her iteration of the wonderful 
attachment which the Brindlocks bear 



to the lad, have a somewhat strained 
air to the ear of Adele. And when the 
spinster says, folding up his last letter, 
" Good fellow ! always some tender 
little message for you, my dear," Adele 
thinks as most girls of her age would 
be apt to think that she would like to 
see the tender message with her own 
eyes. 

But what of the French ? Where is 
there to be found a competent teacher ? 
Not, surely, in Ashfield. Miss Eliza, 
with grave doubts, however, suggests a 
winter in New York with the Brindlocks. 
The Doctor shakes his head : 

" Not to be thought of, Eliza. It is 
enough that my boy should undergo the 
perils of such godless association : Ada- 
ly shall not." 

The question, however, of the desired 
opportunity is not confined to the par- 
sonage ; it has currency up and down 
the street ; and within a week the buoy- 
ant Miss Bowrigg comes to the rescue. 

" Delighted above all things to hear 
it. They have a charming teacher in 
the city, Madame Aries, who has the 
best accent. And now, Adelfc, dear, you 
must come down and pass the winter 
with us. It will be charming." 

It is, indeed, a mere girlish proposal 
at first ; but, much to the delight of 
Miss Eliza, it is abundantly confirmed 
by a formal invitation from Mrs. Bow- 
rigg, a few weeks after, who, besides 
being attracted by the manners and 
character of Adele, sees in it an admi- 
rable opportunity for the accomplish- 
ment of her daughters in French. Her 
demonstrative girls and a son of twen- 
ty comprise her family. For these rea- 
sons, she will regard it as a favor, if 
the Doctor will allow Miss Maverick to 
establish herself with them for the win- 
ter. 

Miss Eliza is delighted with the 
scheme, but fears the cool judgment 
of the Doctor : and she has abundant 
reason. 

" It cannot be," he said, and was quite 
inexorable. 

The truth is, that Mrs. Bowrigg, like 
a good many educated with a narrow 
severity, had expanded her views under 



22O 



Doctor JoJins. 



[August, 



the city influences in directions that 
were by no means approved by the good 
Doctor. Hers was not only a godless 
household, but given over to the lusts 
of the eye and the pride of life. It was 
quite impossible for him to entertain 
the idea of submitting Adele to any such 
worldly associations. 

Miss Eliza pleaded the exigencies of 
the case in vain ; and even Adele, at- 
tracted by the novelty of the proposed 
situation, urged her claim in the cheer- 
iest little manner conceivable. 

" Only for the winter, New Papa ; 
please say ' Yes ' ! " 

And the tender hands patted the grave 
face, as she seated herself with a child- 
ish coquetry upon the elbow of his 
chair. 

" Impossible, quite impossible," says 
the Doctor. " You are too dear to me, 
Adaly." 

" Oh, now, New Papa, you don't mean 
that, not positively ? " and the win- 
ning fingers tap his cheek again. 

But for this time, at least, Adele is to 
lose her claim ; the Doctor well knows 
that to suffer such endearments were to 
yield ; so he rises brusquely, 

" I must be just, my child, to the 
charge your father has imposed upon 
me. It cannot be." 

It will not be counted strange, if a 
little ill -disguised petulance appeared 
in the face of Adele that day and the 
next. 

The winter of 1836-7 was a very 
severe one throughout New England. 
Perhaps it was in view of its sever- 
ity, that, on or about New Year's Day, 
there came to the parsonage a gift from 
Reuben for Adele, in the shape of a fur 
tippet, very much to the gratification of 
Miss Eliza and to the pleasant surprise 
of the Doctor. 

Rose and Phil, sitting by the fire next 
day, Rose says, in a timid voice, with 
less than her usual sprightliness, 

" Do you know who has sent a beau- 
tiful fur tippet to Adele, Phil?" 

" No," says Phil, briskly. " Who ? " 

" Reuben," says Rose, in a tone as 
if a blush ran over her face at the utter- 
ance. 



If there was one, however, Phil could 
not have seen it ; he was looking stead- 
fastly into the fire, and said only, 

" I don't care." 

A little after, (nothing having been 
said, meantime,) he has occasion to re- 
arrange the wood upon the hearth, and 
does it with such preposterous violence 
that the timid little voice beside him 
says, 

" Don't, Phil, be angry with the fire ! " 

It was a winter, as we have said, for 
fur tippets and for glowing cheeks ; and 
Adele had now been long enough under 
a Northern sky to partake of that exhil- 
aration of spirits which belongs to ev- 
ery true-born New-Englander in pres- 
ence of one of those old-fashioned snow- 
storms, which, all through the day and 
through the night, sifts out from the gray 
sky its fleecy crystals, covering the 
frosted high-roads, covering the with- 
ered grasses, covering the whole sum- 
mer's wreck in one glorious white buri- 
al ; and after it, keen frosty mornings, 
the pleasant jingling of scores of bells, 
jets of white vapor from the nostrils of 
the prancing horses, and a quick elec- 
tric tingle to the blood, that makes ev- 
ery pulse beat a thanksgiving. Squire 
Elderkin never made better jokes, the 
flame upon his hearth never danced 
more merrily, the Doctor never preach- 
ed better sermons, and the people never 
listened more patiently than in those 
weeks of the dead of winter. 

But in the midst of them a black 
shadow fell upon the little town. News 
came overland, (the river being closed,) 
that Mrs. Bowrigg, after an illness of 
three days, was dead ; and the body of 
the poor woman was to come home for 
burial. She had been reared, as we 
have said, under a harsh regimen, and 
had signalized her married escape from 
the somewhat oppressive formalities of 
home by a pretty free entertainment of 
all the indulgences accessible in her new 
life. Not that she offended against any 
of the larger or lesser proprieties of 
society, but she showed a zest for the 
pleasures of the world, and for a cer- 
tain measure of display, which had been 
the occasion of many a sober shake of 



1865.] 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



221 



the head along the streets of Ashfield, 
and the subject of particular commiser- 
ation on the part of the good Doctor. 

Now that her brilliant career (as it 
seemed to many of the staid folk of 
Ashfield) was so suddenly closed, the 
Doctor could not forbear taking advan- 
tage of the opportunity to press home 
upon his people, under the influences 
of this sombre funeral procession, the 
vanities of the world and the fleeting 
character of its wealth and pride. " We 
may build palaces," said he, (and peo- 
ple thought of the elegant Bowrigg man- 
sion,) "but God locks the door and as- 
signs to us a narrower home ; we may 
court the intoxicating air of cities, but 
its breath, in a day, may blast our 
strength, and, except He keep us, may 
blast our souls." Never had the Doc- 
tor been more eloquent, and never had 
he so moved his people. After the even- 
ing prayer, Adele stole into the study 
of the Doctor, and said, 

" New Papa, it was well I stayed with 
you." 

The old gentleman took her hand in 
his, 

" Right, I believe, Adaly ; but vain, 
utterly vain, except you be counted 
among the elect." 

The poor girl had no reply, save only 
to drop a kiss upon his forehead and 
pass out. 



With the opening of the spring the 
townspeople were busy with the ques- 
tion, if the Bowriggs would come again 
to occupy their summer residence, that, 
with its closed doors and windows, was 
mournfully silent. But soon the gar- 
deners were set to work ; it was under- 
stood that a housekeeper had been en- 
gaged, and the family were to occupy it 
as usual. Sophie writes to Adele, con- 
firming it all, and adding, " Madame 
Aries had proposed to make us a visit, 
which papa hearing, and wishing us to 
keep up our studies, has given her an 
invitation to pass the summer with us. 
She says she will. I am so glad ! We 
had told her very much of you, and I 
know she will be delighted to have you 
as a scholar." 

At this Adele feels a thrill of satisfac- 
tion, and looks longingly forward to the 
time when she shall hear again from na- 
tive lips the language of her childhood. 

"Mafille! mafille!" 

The voices of her early home seem 
to ring again in her ear. She basks 
once more in the delicious flow of the 
sunshine, and the perfume of the or- 
ange-blossoms regales her. 

"Mafille!" 

Is it the echo of your voice, good old 
godmother, that comes rocking over the 
great reach of sea, and so touches the 
heart of the 'exile ? 



LETTER TO A SILENT FRIEND. 



WERE you, my friend, one of those 
who make 'a merit of their si- 
lence, I should have little occasion to 
write this letter. But as I know you, 
on the contrary, to have lamented your 
colloquial deficiencies as sincerely as 
any one, as I know that you have most 
earnestly coveted greater fluency of 
speech and admired most warmly those 
who possessed it, I venture to hope 
that I may say something to convince 
you that your case is not so bad as 



you think. Yes, I am bold enough to 
believe that you may aspire to the char- 
acter which now seems to you so utterly 
beyond reach, the character of a talk- 
er ! Before you smile incredulously, 
listen to me, a fellow-sufferer. I also 
have known the misery and weakness 
of an unready tongue. No poor man 
ever looked upon a heap of gold coin 
with more longing eyes than I have 
looked upon those who could so easily 
coin their thoughts into words. From 



222 



Letter to a Silent Friend, 



[August, 



a boy I conceived myself doomed to 
taciturnity. The charge, to " talk more," 
was a well-meant appeal to awaken my 
powers of utterance, but its only effect 
was to shut my mouth closer than ever. 
Few persons can talk upon compulsion, 
and boys least of all. As I grew old 
enough, however, to recognize some 
responsibility for conversation, I was 
only the more distressed that I could 
not do what I knew I ought to do. I 
was beyond measure vexed with myself 
for this incapacity. It stood in the way 
of my usefulness, it did not make my 
company desirable, it drove me into 
morbid and depressing thoughts. And 
yet to make a long story short I 
have gradually come to be, not a " talk- 
er " certainly, but no longer afraid that 
I " can find nothing to say," no longer 
trammelled by a false reserve, but pre- 
suming, on the contrary, that with most 
persons whom I meet it will be quite 
possible to engage in easy and fluent 
conversation, a presumption, by the 
way, always likely to justify itself by 
the event I insist, therefore, from my 
own experience, that conversation is an 
art as well as a gift ; and that where 
it is not a gift, the deficiency may be 
more surely supplemented by art than 
almost any other. You will tell me, 
perhaps, in common with others who 
are not talkers, that speech must be 
natural to be attractive, and that all 
appearance of effort will spoil its charm. 
Is not this rather the excuse of indo- 
lence than the valid objection of reason ? 
It has been finely argued, that even with 
children " work " must precede "play." 
The proverb, too, says that " every be- 
ginning is hard." I know that the ap- 
pearance of effort is not attractive ; but 
after a while there is no such appearance, 
not merely because " the province of art 
is to conceal art," but because habit has 
become a second nature. When you 
think what a trained and educated thing 
our life is in its minutest particulars, and 
how not only the civilized, but the savage 
man has to learn the use of his senses, 
his muscles, and his brain, you must 
admit that it is frivolous to urge against 
the charm or value of conversation, that 



it must be studied. It is hardly too 
much to say, that all the noblest things 
in the world are the result of study. 
Why not also study the noble and most 
desirable art of framing our thoughts, 
opinions, sentiments, tastes, into free, 
familiar, and appropriate speech ? 

But here I fancy you may meet me 
with the question, Is it, after all, so 
desirable an art, and one well worth 
the learning ? I have, it is true, given 
you credit for coveting earnestly a great- 
er facility of speech ; and yet you may 
have become more reconciled to your 
deficiency than you like to acknowledge, 
through the influence of certain popular 
maxims and fallacies. The one I wish 
especially to challenge now is expressed 
in that German proverb which Mr. Car- 
lyle has taken under his peculiar patron- 
age, " Speech is silver, silence is gold." 
A great comfort, to be sure, to one who 
is either too lazy or too diffident to open 
his lips to get credit so cheaply for su- 
perior wisdom ! When he does not 
talk, of course it can only be because 
he keeps up such an incessant thinking ! 
" Too deep for utterance " is the char- 
acter of all his meditations ! Do you 
remember Coleridge's amusing experi- 
ence with one of these reputed sages ? 
But for the appearance of the " dump- 
lings," almost as historic now as 
King George's famous ones, it might 
never have been suspected that this 
empty-headed fellow was not the pro- 
foundest of philosophers. Can you or 
anybody explain the reasons for this 
singular praise of silence and disparage- 
ment of speech ? You do not expect 
to be commended for shutting your eyes 
instead of keeping them open. The 
feeble and unused hand is not preferred 
to the strong and cunning one. Nor is 
there any sense or faculty of our nature 
of which the simple non-use is better 
than the use. Why, then, account it a 
merit to refrain from using this wondrous 
faculty of speech ? I may grant all that 
you will tell me of the deplorable amount 
of vapid, idle, bitter, malicious, foul, and 
profane talk. Silence is better than the 
abuse of words, none of us will ques- 
tion that I am only defending the nor- 



1865.] 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



223 



mal and legitimate exercise of this facul- 
ty. And perhaps you will see the matter 
in still clearer light, if you should un- 
dertake to apply the principle of the 
Carlyle proverb to some other endow- 
ments and opportunities, to which in 
fact many do apply it. If one may say, 
" I am weary of all this talking, hence- 
forth let there be silence," why may not 
another, improving upon this hint, say, 
" I am sick of these miserable daubs, 
there shall be no more painting," and 
another, " I am disgusted with politics, 
I will have nothing more to do with the 
science or the art of government " ? Be- 
cause there are infelicities of married 
life, is it so certain that " single blessed- 
ness " is the best estate ? Because there 
are some timeservers and worldlings 
among the clergy, shall we join in de- 
nunciation of priests and churches every- 
where ? I see that you are prepared to 
answer, that speech is peculiarly liable 
to abuse. Exactly, and that is true of 
all the most excellent and valuable gifts 
of Providence. It is impossible to es- 
cape the condition of peril attached to 
everything under the sun that is most 
worthy of desire. Have we not learned 
by this time the folly of every form of 
asceticism, of every attempt to trample 
upon God's gifts as evil instead of using 
them for good ? 

Now I shall not attempt a disserta- 
tion, however tempting the theme, upon 
the uses of speech in general. I will 
only ask you to consider that single de- 
partment of it which we call conversa- 
tion. Did you ever think how great a 
power in the world this is ? See how 
early it begins to shape our opinions, 
our plans, our studies, our tastes, our 
attachments, etc. I remember that a 
casual remark, dropped in conversation 
by a beloved and revered relative long 
before I had entered my teens, made 
me for years feel more kindly towards 
the much-abused natives of the Emer- 
ald Isle, though I have no doubt that 
she whose word I had listened to with 
so much deference was entirely unsus- 
picious of having lodged such a fruitful 
seed in my memory. If you can recall 
the formative periods of your own life, 



I have no doubt you also will find hun- 
dreds of similar instances, where a new 
direction was given to your sentiments 
and purposes by some quite random 
words of friendly and domestic talk. 
Consider how large a part of the life 
of most human beings is spent in soci- 
ety of some sort, and then reflect how 
that society is bound together and con- 
stituted, as it were, by familiar speech, 
and you will begin to appreciate the 
extent of the power of conversation. 
Compare this power with that of writ- 
ten language, as books, letters, etc., 
or even with more formal spoken 
language, such as orations, sermons, 
and the like, and I think you will al- 
low that it surpasses them all in its dif- 
fusion and its permanence. Were the 
question solely as to the amount of in- 
formation imparted, books and deliber- 
ate addresses certainly stand higher. 
But you must not fall into the common 
error, that the chief object of conversa- 
tion is or should be to instruct. It has 
manifold objects, and some of them, to 
say the least, are quite as desirable as 
instruction. We talk to keep up good 
feeling, to enliven the else dull hours, 
to give expression to our interest in one 
another, to throw off the burden of too 
much private care and thought. We 
have also, in special cases, more serious 
ends in view, when we talk to reprove 
or encourage, to console or arouse. 
Even this partial enumeration of the 
offices of familiar speech may suffice to 
show you how desirable it is to wield 
such a power. Conversation establish- 
es a personal relation between yourself 
and another soul. It is the open door 
through which your spiritual treasures 
are interchanged. For the time, at least, 
it supposes some degree of equality, 
some power both to give and receive, 
in those who take part in the dialogue. 
I know very well how the cynics like 
to quote the diplomatist's sarcasm, that 
" speech is the art of hiding thought" 
Let this perversion have what force it 
may. I am speaking now of the high- 
er uses and possibilities of conversation. 
You can hide your thoughts under your 
words, if you choose to be a hypocrite ; 



224 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



[August, 



but I am taking for granted that you 
are a man of truth, a " man of your 
word," as the common phrase happily 
has it. I assume that you would be 
glad to talk, because you wish to form 
sincere and friendly relations with your 
fellow-men. When two or more human 
beings meet, the rule, the normal con- 
dition, is, that they give utterance to 
some thoughts, feelings, or sentiments 
in audible words. Silence is unsocial : 
there lies its condemnation. It is true 
that silence may often be justified, not- 
withstanding ; for social claims must 
sometimes yield to higher considera- 
tions, or even to physical necessity. 
But most persons, I believe, feel in- 
stinctively that a persistent silence is 
an affront to them, a denial, in some 
sort, of their right to be received into 
your company. "You won't speak to 
me " is their resentful interpretation of 
your silence. You ought not to ask so 
much as " a penny for your thoughts." 
They should, so far as practicable, be 
shared freely by those whom you call 
friends. The limitations and excep- 
tions to this rule we will presently refer 
to, but the rule is important and clear. 
True social feeling, true warmth and 
cordiality, naturally expresses itself in 
words, and is strengthened by the ex- 
pression. Will you not admit, that, if 
we are conscious of having anything 
to say which might please or profit a 
friend, it is a reproach to us to keep it 
back ? Yes, it is desirable to talk, were 
it simply a mark of interest and confi- 
dence in those whom you come in con- 
tact with. I have noticed that a great 
deal of taciturnity comes from a very 
discreditable diffidence, by which I mean 
a distrust or suspicion that our words 
may be misconstrued, or that they may 
not be appreciated, or that they may 
chance to give serious offence. Now, 
in my opinion, one had better make in- 
numerable fanx pas than indulge such 
unworthy fears and suspicions. A little 
less vanity, and vastly more courage 
and self- forgetfulness, such is the 
remedy to be administered to many of 
the taciturn. You are the best judge 
whether it would suit your own case. 



As an illustration of the value of con- 
versation in its more familiar forms and 
its daily requirements, consider its ser- 
vice at meal-times. General usage has 
determined that three times a day we 
shall assemble with our families for the 
common purpose of appeasing the de- 
mands of hunger and satisfying the fan- 
cies or whims of the palate. Moreover, 
to many men these are the only times 
of the day when they can have the op- 
portunity to meet all the members of 
their family in free and unrestrained 
intercourse. Now to rr\ake this occa- 
sion something more than mere " feed- 
ing," and to elevate it to the dignity of 
rational intercourse, conversation is in- 
dispensable. We must open our mouths 
for something more than the reception 
of food. . As a mere hygienic rule, I 
wish that excellent old proverb could 
be circulated among our countrymen, 
"Chatted food is half digested." I 
would almost pledge myself by this sin- 
gle rule to cure or prevent nearly half 
the cases of dyspepsia. But for higher 
reasons chiefly I speak of it now. We 
ought to insist that everything shall be 
favorable at meal -times to the truest 
sociality. No clouded brows, no ab- 
sent or preoccupied demeanor, should 
be permitted at -our tables. Whoever 
is not ready to do his part in making it 
a cheerful hour should be made to feel 
that he does not belong there. Better 
the merest nonsense, better anything 
that is not scandal and detraction, than 
absolute and freezing silence then. I 
am sure that the usages of all the most 
civilized and refined people will bear 
me out in this, that the only way to 
dignify our meals, and make them some- 
thing better than the indulgence of mere 
animal appetites, is to intersperse them 
largely with social talk. There, if not 
elsewhere, we look for the solnta lin- 
gua. There all reserve and embarrass- 
ment of speech, we trust, will have van- 
ished, and each will feel free to impart 
to the rest his brightest and most joy- 
ous moods. Shall we ever realize this 
ideal, as long as "bolting" usurps the 
place of eating ? 

And what, after all, constitutes the 



i86s.] 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



225 



charm and the power of conversation, 
and makes it so desirable an attain- 
ment ? Not, certainly, the amount of 
knowledge one can bring into play ; for, 
as I have already shown you, instruc- 
tion is a secondary object of conversa- 
tion ; and it is well known also that some 
of the most learned and best-informed 
men have been very poor talkers. In- 
deed, the scholastic habits which learn- 
ing usually engenders are almost a dis- 
qualification for fluent and eloquent 
speech. The student is one of the last 
persons who are expected to shine at 
a social reunion. But neither can you 
rely upon brilliant talents, or original 
genius, or even upon wit and humor, 
to make the most charming converser. 
The qualities more immediately in re- 
quisition for this end are moral and so- 
cial. Truth, courage, deference, good- 
nature, cheerfulness, sympathy, courte- 
sy, tact, charity, these are ingredients 
of the best conversation, which it would 
seem that no one need despair of at- 
taining, and without which, in large 
measure, the most brilliant wit, the live- 
liest imagination, must soon repel rath- 
er than attract. And observe also, in 
connection with this, that it is not so 
much the words a man utters as the 
tones of his voice which express these 
moral and social qualities. Harsh, rude, 
blunt, severe tones will spoil the great- 
est flow of ideas or the utmost elegance 
of language. But when we are listen- 
ing to the low, sweet music in which a 
genial and joyous and tender soul will 
utter itself, what care we for the wit or 
genius which are so much envied else- 
where ? We did not miss it here. We 
may have brought away with us from 
such company no great fund of new 
ideas, but you may be sure some- 
thing deeper than thought has been 
awakened, the well-spring of purest 
and tenderest sensibilities has been 
made to overflow, and our life will be 
the greener for it hereafter. Perhaps, 
if you think of this a little more, my 
friend, you will not find it in your heart 
to condemn so unsparingly the more 
ordinary staple of conversation. Some 
cynical or unsocial character, deeming 

VOL. XVI. NO. 94. 15 



himself superior to the vulgar vacuity 
and insipidity, will take no part in the 
every-day talk which deals so largely 
in commonplace and truisms. "Ab- 
surd waste of time and breath ! " he ex- 
claims. " Of what use this incessant 
harping on the weather, or the renewed 
inquiries after one's health, or the ut- 
terly pointless, if not insincere, exchange 
of daily civilities ? Who is the wiser 
for it ? What possible good can it do 
anybody ? " Let us look a little at this, 
Mr. Cynic. You think it a waste of 
breath to greet a friend with a "good 
morning," or to give your testimony to 
the beauty of the day ? Of course you 
are right, if one should never open his 
mouth but to impart a new idea, or to 
announce some startling fact. But what 
would you substitute for the morning 
salutation ? Nothing ! And would you 
really have two friends or brothers meet 
on the threshold of a new day, and inter- 
change blank silence ? I admit, there 
is no variety in the words, they are 
stale, they have been repeated a thou- 
sand times over. But it is the hearti- 
ness we put into them which gives them 
their value, and I am sure that you, 
with all your objections to the form of 
greeting, would find the world many 
shades more dreary, were no such forms 
to welcome us with the rising sun. For 
myself I can truly say, that, many and 
many a time, this morning salutation, 
spoken out with a generous fulness, and 
not with that grudging curtness which 
sometimes distinguishes it, has touch- 
ed my heart as with a happy prophecy 
which the day was sure to fulfil. As 
to the dreadfully threadbare topic of 
the weather, I must confess I often hear 
it to satiety ; but that is when it ceases 
to be the mere prelude to the dialogue, 
and occupies one's whole talk. In itself 
you cannot deny that it is natural and 
proper enough to invite another's sym- 
pathy in a subject which so nearly con- 
cerns the physical, if not the moral well- 
being of most of us. " What a glorious 
day we have ! " when interpreted ra- 
tionally, means nothing less than this, 
" Come, let us enjoy together the lavish 
bounty of the Creator ! " We may be 



226 



Letter to a Silctit Friend. 



[August, 



sensible of a new and purer joy for 
such an appeal. Already we were glad 
to have the sun shine so brightly ; but 
it seems doubly bright now that our 
friend has invited us to share his joy. 
Does it seem to you superfluous, per- 
haps, to give utterance to a thought 
which is obviously already in the mind 
of your companion ? Well, let us try 
this by some familiar test. You have 
just gone among the mountains to 
spend a few weeks with an agreeable 
company. You wake in the morning 
and find yourself in the midst of a most 
majestic spectacle. At the very door 
of the farm-house where you have tak- 
en lodgings, your eyes travel upward 
five thousand feet to admire that cloud- 
piercing summit which stands there to 
give you the welcome of the morning. 
As you watch its coursing shadows and 
all its wondrous variety of beauty and 
grandeur, have you nothing to say to 
the friend who has come with you there 
to see it all ? What would be more un- 
natural than to repress all words or 
tokens of admiration, to meet your 
friend day after day and interchange no 
word of recognition amid such scenes ? 
I know that he who feels most in the 
presence of these sublimities will often 
say least But because it is impossible 
to give expression to one's deepest 
thoughts, shall one say nothing ? You 
may reasonably be supposed to care 
something for the sympathy of those 
whom you have accompanied hither ; 
and sympathy, though not entirely de- 
pendent on words, naturally seeks some 
words to express itself, and is injured 
when that expression is restrained. 

But now I fancy you replying to all 
this, " You do not hit my difficulty. 
I have no trouble in talking with a 
chosen companion. My friend ' draws 
me out,' because I am his friend. In 
his presence my tongue is easily loosed, 
I have no hesitation in saying exactly 
what I wish, and there are innumerable 
things that I wish to say. But the great 
majority of men ' shut me up.' All 
my fluency departs when they enter. 
There is an indescribable awkwardness 
in our interview. We belong to different 



spheres, and it is mere pretence to affirm 
that we have anything to communicate 
to each other." Here I am willing to 
admit that you have touched upon a 
very important consideration, although 
it by no means justifies all that you 
would build upon it I am myself con- 
scious that with some persons it is an 
effort to talk, and with others a delight ; 
nor can I always understand whence 
this difference. It is certainly not owing 
to the length or shortness of acquaint- 
ance. It has been no infrequent expe- 
rience with me, to meet persons who at 
the first interview broke down all my 
natural reserve. And on the other hand, 
I have known men all my life with whom 
it is still a study what I shall say when 
we meet Who shall tell us what this 
magic is ? Who shall give us the " open 
sesame " to every heart ? We name 
it " sphere," " organization," " sympa- 
thy," or what not, to cover our igno- 
rance : all I insist upon is, that you will 
not name it fate. Pride or indolence is 
always suggesting that these lines of 
demarcation are fixed and unalterable. 
Beware of entertaining that suggestion ! 
Were two of the most uncongenial per- 
sons in the world to be thrown togeth- 
er on a desert island, would they have 
nothing to say to each other ? Would 
they not learn by the necessities of the 
case to communicate more and more ? 
W'ould it not probably be a constant dis- 
covery, that they had vastly more in 
common than either had ever dreamed ? 
I think so, at least Well, if mere ex- 
ternal necessity can surmount these 
natural barriers, may not a determined 
will, backed by a strong sense of moral 
obligation, do the same ? Let me tell 
you this also, as one of my experiences : 
that I have not seldom reversed my first 
judgments or impressions of men, and 
have found, that, after a very thin crust 
was once broken through, there was no 
further obstacle to easy conversation. 
You will observe that some persons, at 
the first encounter, bristle all over with 
uncongenial points ; and yet, if you will 
quietly ignore these, or boldly rush upon 
them, you shall gain a true friend. Be- 
hind that formidable barrier is a field 



i86s.] 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



227 



all your own, and worth cultivating. 
This needs to be considered, especially 
under our northern skies, where culti- 
vated society intrenches itself behind 
a triple wall of reserve. The code of 
this society seems to assume, that no 
stranger has a right to our confidence, 
that every new person may be supposed 
to have little in common with us, till we 
learn the contrary. Hence conversation 
in the saloons is a dexterous tossing 
about of the most vapid generalities, or 
a series of desperate attempts at non- 
committal. I do not wonder that you, 
my friend, like many other sensible 
people, infinitely prefer saying nothing 
to talking on this wise. But, with a 
little more courage, may not one break 
boldly through these artificial restraints, 
and ignore these supposed claims of 
polite society ? Do not call me Quix- 
otic, because I exhort you to show some- 
thing like independence. Why may 
you not establish your own claim to con- 
fidence by confiding in others ? Why 
not, without affectation, have to some 
extent your own standard of polite 
usage, not, indeed, rashly despising 
all conventionalisms, but conforming to 
whatever is essentially refined, courte- 
ous, and deferential, yet proving in your 
manners and language that such con- 
formity does not require one to suppress 
all that is simple, natural, spontaneous, 
enthusiastic, and fresh ? Do not be 
afraid, however, that I would have you 
addicted to superlatives, though I 
might object to them for another rea- 
son than that given by our American 
Essayist. He complains of them, that 
"they put whole drawing-rooms to 
flight," a result which I am almost 
malicious enough to say might some- 
times be by no means undesirable. I 
do not say it, however. I merely ex- 
press my impatience at the extremely 
artificial barriers which society inter- 
poses to any genuine, unaffected inter- 
course of human souls. 

To return to the question of spheres 
and sympathy. I frankly admit, that it 
is very unreasonable to suppose we can 
talk equally well and feel equally at 
ease with all kinds of persons. Not 



only organization, but habits, occupa- 
tions, and culture, make inevitable dif- 
ferences between men, such as render 
it less easy for them to converse togeth- 
er. The scholar and the mechanic, the 
sailor and the farmer, the mistress and 
the maid, in most cases will have little 
to interest each other. Their interview 
will probably be awkward and brief, 
their words few and constrained. This, 
perhaps, cannot be essentially remedied. 
But I trust you will agree with me, that 
the true remedy is to be sought in a 
more hearty recognition of that common 
humanity which underlies all the shades 
and diversities of human character. 
" Nihil humani alienum" we must 
go back to old Terence still, even to 
learn how to talk. You happen to be 
thrown into the same public conveyance 
with a man of no literary or intellectual 
tastes. " All his talk is of oxen," or 
perchance of his speculations and profits 
in trade. Moreover, he offends your ear 
by a shocking disregard of grammar, 
and vulgarisms of pronunciation. Your 
first reflection is, "What can I have 
to say to such a man ? How unfortunate 
to be condemned to such company ! " 
Yet is there not aliquid humani even 
here ? Were it only as an intellectual 
exercise, why not try to find out the 
real man beneath all these wrappages ? 
The gold-miner does not grumble at 
having to crush the quartz, that he may 
bring to light the few grains of precious 
metal hidden in it. Infinitely more is 
it worth all the labor it costs to break 
through that harder shell in which man 
hides his intrinsic gold. And besides, 
it will not reflect much credit on the 
largeness of your own culture, if you 
suffer a mere offence against taste and 
manners to keep you ignorant of your 
companion's deeper nature. " But how 
to draw him out ? What effectual meth- 
od to break through this hard or coarse 
covering ? " I have no infallible direc- 
tions to give you. But you must first 
have a genuine interest in him as a 
new specimen of a man; and then you 
must be able to inspire him with confi- 
dence in you, confidence that you re- 
spect him for his human nature and hold 



228 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



[August, 



yourself to be on an equality with him, 
inasmuch as " man measures man the 
world over." Start some topic which 
will evidently not be remote from his 
familiar range, and by a little tact you 
will easily find other related topics, till 
at last, as the field continually widens, 
you will both be amazed to see how 
many common interests, desires, beliefs 
you had, and how much unexpected 
benefit each has received from the other. 
Were there no other advantage to be 
sought from the power of general con- 
versation, this alone should be enough 
to induce us to cultivate it : that so 
many uncomfortable social distinctions 
would thereby be removed. Have you 
not heard it often said, that, if certain 
classes only " knew each other better," 
they would be better friends, no longer 
separated by mutual envies, jealousies, 
and contempt ? Now conversation is the 
readiest way to this mutual acquaint- 
ance, and it specially behooves one of the 
educated class to make the first advances 
in conversation. I have in my mind an 
instance of a man of natural reserve 
and diffidence, and of scholastic habits, 
who greatly to his grief had the reputa- 
tion among some uneducated people of 
being "proud." But having occasion 
to do some little service to a woman of 
this class, he entered her plain dwell- 
ing, seated himself at once as if at 
home, and had no sooner uttered a few 
words of sympathy, such as the occasion 
called for, than all that suspicion of 
pride was most thoroughly dissipated, 
leaving only the wonder that it could 
ever have been entertained. My friend, 
will you not, in this world of frequent 
misunderstanding, do your part, by word 
as well as deed, to show others, whom 
society classes below you, that you are 
not divided from them in respect to all 
those great interests which make the 
true dignity of human nature ? Talk of 
the virtue of silence ! I will tell you 
from my own experience of a thousand 
cases where the simple failure to speak 
has kept up a coolness and alienation 
which one little word would have dis- 
persed forever. Among the many sins 
and weaknesses which I have to lay at 



my own door, few give me greater com- 
punction than the cowardice or what- 
ever else it was which kept back the 
timely words that ought to have been 
uttered, but were not. 

Can I make this letter more practi- 
cally useful by a few rules ? It would 
seem, that, if conversation is an art, 
like other arts, there must be rules and 
methods to attain to it. This is true ; 
but I must first remind you that mere 
facility, propriety, or elegance of speech 
is but a small part of the discipline re- 
quired to make an agreeable and profit- 
able talker. You must have something 
to express, something that you long to 
utter, something that you feel it would 
be for the advantage of others to hear. 
For the furnishing of mind and heart 
comes before any special power to bring 
out of one's treasury things new or old. 
In other words, the power to converse 
well is not an isolated and independent 
power ; it has a close relation to the 
entire character, moral and intellectual. 
An enlightened conscience would make 
many persons better talkers than they 
are now, for it would present the mat- 
ter in the light of a duty. A conscious- 
ness of intellectual power or of ample 
learning makes one more ready to open 
his mouth before intelligent men ; for, 
whether rightly or not, one does not 
like to talk before otJiers of subjects on 
which he knows that they are better 
informed than he. And yet it is no 
good reason for maintaining silence in 
the company of some eminent scholar, 
that he knows so much more than you. 
You are naturally shy of expressing 
your opinion on the " origin of species," 
or the "antiquity of man," before some 
great naturalist. But why not come to 
him as a learner, then ? The art of 
putting questions well is no small part 
of the art of conversation. You can de- 
rive information from him in the most 
direct and impressive manner, while at 
the same time you are showing a pleas- 
ing deference to his superior knowledge. 
Or suppose the case reversed, and that 
you are the more learned of the two, 
may you not benefit some young schol- 
ar by questioning him so skilfully that 






1865.] 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



229 



he shall seem to have imparted all the 
information evolved, instead of receiv- 
ing it ? The " wisest of mankind " al- 
ways declared that he merely drew out 
the sentiments of those he talked with. 
He assisted in the delivery of their 
thoughts. He simply helped them to 
that most valuable knowledge, the 
knowledge of themselves. He was for- 
ever putting questions to them, with a 
result which often surprised and some- 
times made them angry, but which, at 
any rate, effectually served the interests 
of truth. And, upon the whole, I do 
not know any rule for making a good 
talker which deserves a more promi- 
nent place than this : Put your ques- 
tions properly, and ask many questions. 
Observe how naturally nearly all conver- 
sation begins with an inquiry. " When 
did you arrive ? " " Are you a stranger 
here ? " " How far did you walk to- 
day ? " " Which view did you most 
enjoy ? " " Did you hear any news 
from the seat of war ? " The simple 
reason of this method, as already inti- 
mated, is, that it puts the questioner in 
a more modest position. He whom 
you question has the agreeable con- 
sciousness of being able to impart some- 
thing which you have not You put 
yourself in the background, and make 
him the important person. He is there- 
fore at once amicably disposed towards 
you, and is not likely to let the conver- 
sation languish, so auspiciously begun. 
He in turn becomes the questioner, and 
so in not many moments you stand on 
the footing of equals. But remember, 
all this is true only on condition that 
the questions -axe properly put. If they 
manifest an impertinent curiosity, a 
mere disposition to pry into affairs 
which do not belong to one, if they 
are of a nature to expose the ignorance 
of the questioned, even though not in- 
tended for such, if they are inces- 
sant, and unrelieved by any affirma- 
tions, as though you were unwilling to 
commit yourself, or grudged to impart 
your knowledge, and, finally, if the 
tone and voice of the questioner im- 
ply a feeling of superiority, then, in- 
stead of promoting conversation, you 



will have done your worst to check it. 
You will have made the breach wider 
than if you had said nothing. Again, 
before putting your questions, consider 
a little the character of the man or 
woman whom you would address ; for, 
while some evidently delight in being 
the objects of interrogation, others are 
as plainly, beyond a very 'moderate 
amount, annoyed by it. You must, of 
course, take this into account. You 
will gain nothing by the rudeness of 
pressing your questions upon unwilling 
ears. If one obstinately (or not obsti- 
nately) refuses to be drawn out, there 
is no help for it but silence. Conver- 
sation implies some reciprocity, not 
by any means an equal amount of words 
on both sides, but at any rate some 
sign of intelligence, some expression 
of interest, some listening ear and face 
to encourage you j else it were better 
to utter your monologue to the woods 
and flowers. 

Another rule of conversation, as old 
at least as George Herbert, is, to talk 
with men on the subjects which belong 
to their peculiar calling or occupation, 
with a farmer about his crops, with 
a merchant about the markets, with a 
sailor about the charms and perils of 
the sea, etc. Let it be only with con- 
siderable qualification that you accept 
this rule. I like Coleridge's comment 
on it : Talk with a man about his trade 
or business, if your object is to get in- 
formation on such points ; but if you 
wish to know the man himself, try him 
on all other topics sooner. The rule, 
however, is a convenient one ; it is al- 
most instinctively adopted in general so- 
ciety ; and if judiciously applied, it may 
express a friendly feeling, which it is 
very desirable to commence with. It 
is not applied judiciously, when you 
seem to assume by it that your inter- 
locutor is limited to these topics, and 
that " the cobbler must stick to his 
last," in word as well as deed. Or, 
again, if your questions shall have the 
air of " pumping " him, you will not 
make much progress towards friendly 
communication ; for that seems an un- 
fair advantage to take of your position, 



230 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



[August, 



besides that it is making of him a mere 
convenience, not treating him as an 
equal. No one likes to be catechized 
after he has grown to man's estate. I 
advise you, therefore, to use this rule 
simply as a convenient introduction to 
conversation where other methods fail, 
and to rely more upon a rule which is 
in some respects the reverse of this : 
Begin by . talking about those things 
which interest yourself, assuming that 
your interlocutor is interested in them 
also. But I must warn you that here 
even more tact and discretion are re- 
quired than in the other case. Follow 
such a rule literally and everywhere, 
and you would often have no hearer 
left. Fancy some student, fresh from 
his Greek or Sanscrit, endeavoring to 
impart his enthusiasm to a crowd of 
rustics ! It is plain that I must add 
to my rule, provided your interest does 
not lie in things too remote from com- 
mon apprehension and sympathy. Re- 
member what I have already said about 
our " common humanity." Do not be 
so absorbed in your favorite study that 
you shall not also have an eye and a 
heart for matters pertaining to the gen- 
eral welfare. Then there will be no 
company in which you need be wholly 
silent, though there will always be pref- 
erence for a company which sympa- 
thizes with your more decided tastes 
and pursuits. I cannot, indeed, under- 
stand how one should ever arrive at 
that state in which he has no prefer- 
ence for any particular class or society. 
Yet the more one cultivates acquaint- 
ance with a variety of characters, the 
more one will enjoy conversation in the 
favorite circle. Looking upon society 
simply as the means of developing the 
power of speech in man, the wider and 
more intimate our acquaintance with it, 
the more varied and attractive will be 
that power. I have somewhere read 
of two prisoners of state in Europe, 
who, entire strangers to each other be- 
fore, were thrown into the same prison- 
cell to pass years together. One of 
them, after his release, relates, that, for 
the first year, they told each other all 
that they ever did, every incident 



that memory could possibly rake up out 
of their past lives. For the second 
year, they talked over all their interior 
life, confiding to each other every phase 
of thought and affection and spiritual 
experience. But in the third year, they 
were utterly silent. They had " talked 
out." And what could more striking- 
ly picture the misery of such a con- 
finement than this entire exhaustion 
of materials for mutual communica- 
tion ? Yet how could it be otherwise ? 
With absolutely nothing new to flow 
in, how could anything new be drawn 
out? 

The story impresses upon us the les- 
son, that, if we would enrich and enliven 
our conversation, we must always be 
supplying ourselves with new resources, 
new studies, new experiences. Let me 
lay it down, then, as a further rule to 
help one in the attainment of this valua- 
ble art : Make it a point to inform your- 
self on a variety of topics. One of the 
greatest hindrances, you will observe, 
to profitable or entertaining conversa- 
tion is the extremely limited range of 
ideas with which most persons are fa- 
miliar. Take any miscellaneous com- 
pany, brought together in some public 
conveyance, or detained at some public 
house. The chances are, that very few 
out of the whole number will be con- 
scious of any definite opinions to ex- 
press on the higher departments of 
thought. They could doubtless tell you 
a great many facts which have interest- 
ed them ; but ask them for their ideas 
upon science, theology, politics, or mor- 
als, and they are dumb. They will talk 
with you of person s as long as you will 
listen, but of principles they seem to 
have only the remotest conception. Now 
I do not quite agree with the " Guesses 
at Truth," that " personality is the bane 
of conversation "; for persons come near- 
er to our e very-day sympathies, and one 
need not, one does not, always bryig them 
forward for gossip and scandal. But 
does it not denote extreme poverty of 
thought to introduce personalities into 
every conversation ? Let them rather 
be illustrations, and thus stepping-stones 
to something higher and more edifying. 



I865-] 



Letter to a Silent Friend. 



231 



Come now and then, at least, fully pre- 
pared for something like intellectual 
gymnastics. Put your whole strength 
into the conflict. Gather up all your 
forces of thought and knowledge, and 
do your best as a man among men, con- 
tending not for victory or display, but 
for the truth and the right. If you ever 
belonged to a literary club or debating- 
society of any kind, you will remember 
what healthy glow and freshness it gave 
to all your faculties to enter into this 
intellectual arena. You could read and 
study with a great deal more interest 
after that. You knew better what you 
really believed and thought concerning 
the great interests of humanity. Your 
ideas of art, of ethics, of history, of gov- 
ernment, of philosophy, were set in clear- 
er order, and made you conscious of 
greater power. Now I am not pretend- 
ing that you can make a debating-club 
out of every mixed company you may 
chance to meet, but only that you should 
carry into all society a readiness to dis- 
cuss the higher topics, whenever they 
come up naturally to mind. Here it is 
tact again, and evermore tact, which is 
required to make the rule efficient, 
tact to prevent "lugging in" unseason- 
able topics, tact to avoid too long a 
discussion, tact to keep out offensive 
egotism, tact, in general, to adapt 
one's self to one's surroundings. 

I will not conclude this letter, howev- 
er imperfectly it may meet your wants, 
without devoting a few words to the 
grave question, Shall we talk of a sub- 
ject so sacred as religion in mixed so- 
ciety ? For myself, I must confess to 
some change of opinion on this point. 
I have greater respect than I once had 
for that reserve which keeps one habitu- 
ally silent on this highest of all themes. 
I protest against the assumption, that a 
religious man will feel it his duty to con- 
verse often about religion. His duty 
must be governed by the peculiar cir- 
cumstances of each case. He certainly 
must not do violence to his own feelings 
of reverence ; nor ought he to suppose 
that the mere introduction of religious 
themes into conversation, anyhow and 
anywhere, is sure to do good. On the 



contrary, I believe that an injudicious 
treatment of this subject has done vast- 
ly more harm than good. And yet there 
is no power, in my opinion, within the 
whole range of the human faculties, more 
desirable than that of awakening relig- 
ious life and thought by means of famil- 
iar speech. Whoever would wield sucli 
a power must know, as one of the chief 
requisites, how to seize the mollia tem- 
pora fandi. The word in season, the 
very word to reach and move this indi- 
vidual heart, find this, and you have 
found the great secret of influence. And 
be sure there is such a key to every man. 
Somewhere and sometime, if you watch 
for it, you shall discover the tender place 
in the roughest and hardest character. 
Men arm themselves against you by a 
thousand assumptions of indifference, 
stoicism, and irreverence, put on for the 
occasion, that you may not invade their 
inner sanctuary. Do not therefore be 
led into the mistake that for them there 
is no sanctuary, no citadel to defend. 
Better take for granted the reverse, and 
use every lawful art and persuasion to 
find the entrance to it. Of multitudes 
it is indeed true, that they have " no re- 
ligion to speak of"; but that with any 
intelligent man is no longer a reproach. 
To sound a trumpet before one has a 
disagreeable reminder of certain ancient 
pretenders. Some men, when the heart 
is fullest, cannot speak ; and nothing 
would be more unjust than to charge 
with want of feeling for the deepest 
and highest subjects of thought those 
who cannot frame a sentence to convey 
their emotions. Yet, after all these con- 
siderations have been fairly weighed, it 
is still desirable that men should com- 
municate with each other far oftener 
than they do, on the interests which 
concern all men alike, the interests, not 
of a temporal, but of an eternal state. 
A wholly unnatural reserve, the result of 
false education, hedges in the subject of 
religion. Never, let this be a sacred 
and inviolable rule to you, never, by 
word, tone, or manner, falsify your own 
nature and experience, when referring 
to this subject ; never affect in the slight- 
est degree an interest you do not feel ; 



232 



The Chimney-Comer. 



[August, 



never dare to open your mouth merely 
because you are expected to do so, and, 
my word for it, you will already possess 
important negative qualifications, to say 
the least, for conversing on the highest 
of all topics. I have exalted " tact " in 
conversation, but here I would exalt sim- 
plicity no less. Lay aside the too many 
folds. Learn the courage to " speak 
right out," when you know that your 
heart is charged with no malice or van- 
ity, that you should fear to speak. Have 



you never envied the courage of chil- 
dren in this respect ? I have. And it 
has seemed to me that to " become as 
little children" is nowhere more urgent- 
ly required than here, and that no rule 
would sooner make talkers out of the 
silent ones, you, my friend, included. 
So with this, my last and best word, I 
take leave of you, not despairing that 
you will yet be able to overcome your 
taciturnity, if you take to heart these 
counsels of 

YOUR FRIEND. 



THE CHIMNEY-CORNER. 
VIII. 

THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS. 



WHEN the first number of the 
Chimney -Corner appeared, the 
snow lay white on the ground, the buds 
on the trees were closed and frozen, and 
beneath the hard frost-bound soil lay 
buried the last year's flower-roots, wait- 
ing for a resurrection. 

So in our hearts it was winter, a 
winter of patient suffering and expect- 
ancy, a winter of suppressed sobs, 
of inward bleedings, a cold, choked, 
compressed anguish of endurance, for 
how long and how much God only 
could tell us. 

The first paper of the Chimney-Cor- 
ner, as was most meet and fitting, was 
given to those homes made sacred and 
venerable by the cross of martyrdom, 
by the chrism of a great sorrow. 
That Chimney-Corner made bright by 
home firelight seemed a fitting place 
for a solemn act of reverent sympathy 
for the homes by whose darkness our 
homes had been preserved bright, by 
whose emptiness our homes had been 
kept full, by whose losses our homes 
had been enriched ; and so we ventur- 
ed with trembling to utter these words 
of -sympathy and cheer to those whom 



God had chosen to this great sacrifice 
of sorrow. 

The winter months passed with silent 
footsteps, spring returned, and the sun, 
with ever- waxing power, unsealed the 
snowy sepulchre of buds and leaves, 
birds reappeared, brooks were unchain- 
ed, flowers filled every desolate dell 
with blossoms and perfume. And with 
returning spring, in like manner, the 
chill frost of our fears and of our dan- 
gers melted before the breath of the 
Lord. The great war, which lay like 
a mountain of ice upon our hearts, sud- 
denly dissolved and was gone. The 
fears of the past were as a dream when 
one awaketh, and now we scarce real- 
ize our deliverance. A thousand hopes 
are springing up everywhere, like spring- 
flowers in the forest. All is hopefulness, 
all is bewildering joy. 

But this our joy has been ordained to 
be changed into a wail of sorrow. The 
kind hard hand, that held the helm so 
steadily in the desperate tossings of the 
storm, has been stricken down just as we 
entered port, the fatherly heart that 
bore all our sorrows can take no earthly 
part in our joys. His were the cares, 



1865.] 



The Chimney-Corner. 



233 



the watchings, the toils, the agonies of 
a nation in mortal struggle ; and God 
looking down was so well pleased with 
his humble faithfulness, his patient con- 
tinuance in well-doing, that earthly re- 
wards and honors seemed all too poor 
for him, so He reached down and took 
him to immortal glories. "Well done, 
good and faithful servant, enter thou 
into the joy of thy Lord ! " 

Henceforth the place of Abraham 
Lincoln is first among that noble army 
of martyrs who have given their blood 
to the cause of human freedom. The 
eyes arc yet too dim with tears that 
would seek calmly to trace out his place 
in history. He has been a marvel and 
a phenomenon among statesmen, a new 
kind of ruler in the earth. There has 
been something even unearthly about 
his extreme unselfishness, his utter want 
of personal ambition, personal self-val- 
uation, personal feeling. 

The most unsparing criticism, de- 
nunciation, and ridicule never moved 
him to a single bitter expression, never 
seemed to awaken in him a single bit- 
ter thought. The most exultant hour 
of party victory brought no exultation 
to him ; he accepted power not as an 
honor, but as a responsibility ; and 
when, after a severe struggle, that pow- 
er came a second time into his hands, 
there was something preternatural in 
the calmness of his acceptance of it. 
The first impulse seemed to be a dis- 
claimer of all triumph over the party 
that had strained their utmost to push 
him from his seat, and then a sober 
girding up of his loins to go on with 
the work to which he was appointed. 
His last inaugural was characterized 
by a tone so peculiarly solemn and 
free from earthly passion, that it seems 
to us now, who look back on it in the 
light of what has followed, as if his soul 
had already parted from earthly things, 
and felt the powers of the world to come. 
It was not the formal state-paper of the 
chief of a party in an hour of victory, 
so much as the solemn soliloquy of a 
great soul reviewing its course under a 
vast responsibility, and appealing from 
all earthly judgments to the tribunal of 



Infinite Justice. It was the solemn clear- 
ing of his soul for the great sacrament 
of Death, and the words that he quoted 
in it with such thrilling power were those 
of the adoring spirits that veil their faces 
before the throne : " Just and true are 
thy ways, thou King of Saints ! " 

Among the rich treasures which this 
bitter struggle has brought to our coun- 
try, not the least is" the moral wealth 
which has come to us in the memory 
of our martyrs. Thousands of men, 
women, and children too, in this great 
conflict, have "endured tortures, not 
accepting deliverance," counting not 
their lives dear unto them in the holy 
cause : and they have done this as un- 
derstandingly and thoughtfully as the 
first Christians who sealed their wit- 
ness with their blood. 

Let us in our hour of deliverance and 
victory record the solemn vow, that our 
right hand shall forget her cunning be- 
fore we forget them and their suffer- 
ings, that our tongue shall cleave to 
the roof of our mouth, if we remember 
them not above our chief joy. 

Least suffering among that noble band 
were those who laid down their lives on 
the battle-field, to whom was given a 
brief and speedy passage to the victor's 
meed. The mourners who mourn for 
such as these must give place to an- 
other and more august band, who have 
sounded lower deeps of anguish, and 
drained bitterer drops out of our great 
cup of trembling. 

The narrative of the lingering tor- 
tures, indignities, and sufferings of our 
soldiers in Rebel prisons has been some- 
thing so harrowing that we have not 
dared to dwell upon it. We have been 
helplessly dumb before it, and have 
turned away our eyes from what we 
could not relieve, and therefore could 
not endure to look upon. But now, 
when the nation is called to strike the 
great and solemn balance of justice, 
and to decide measures of final retribu- 
tion, it behooves us all that we should 
at least watch with our brethren for 
one hour, and take into our account 
what they have been made to suffer 
for us. 



234 



The Chimney-Comer. 



[August, 



Sterne said he could realize the mis- 
eries of captivity only by setting before 
him the image of a miserable captive 
with hollow cheek and wasted eye, 
notching upon a stick, day after day, the 
weary record of the flight of time. So 
we can form a more vivid picture of the 
sufferings of our martyrs from one sim- 
ple story than from any general de- 
scription ; and therefore we will speak 
right on, and tell one story which might 
stand as a specimen of what has been 
done and suffered by thousands. 

In the town of Andover, Massachu- 
setts, a boy of sixteen, named Walter 
Raymond, enlisted among our volun- 
teers. He was under the prescribed 
age, but his eager zeal led him to fol- 
low the footsteps of an elder brother 
who had already enlisted ; and the fa- 
ther of the boy, though these two were 
all the sons he had, instead of availing 
himself of his legal right to withdraw 
him, indorsed the act in the following 
letter addressed to his Captain. 

"ANDOVER, MASS., August isth, 1862. 

"CAPTAIN HUNT, My eldest son 
has enlisted in your company. I send 
you his younger brother. He is. and 
always has been, in perfect health, of 
more than the ordinary power of endur- 
ance, honest, truthful, and courageous. 
I doubt not you will find him on trial all 
you can ask, except his age, and that I 
am sorry to say is only sixteen ; yet 
if our country needs his service, take 
him. 

" Your obedient servant, 

" SAMUEL RAYMOND." 

The boy went forth to real service, 
and to successive battles at Kingston, 
at Whitehall, and at Goldsborough ; and 
in all did his duty bravely and faithfully. 
He met the temptations and dangers of 
a soldier's life with the pure - hearted 
firmness of a Christian child, neither 
afraid nor ashamed to remember his 
baptismal vows, his Sunday-school 
teachings, and his mother's wishes. 

He had passed his promise to his 
mother against drinking and smoking, 
and held it with a simple, childlike 



steadiness. When in the midst of ma- 
larious swamps, physicians and officers 
advised the use of tobacco. The boy 
writes to his mother, "A great many 
have begun to smoke, but I shall not 
do it without your permission, though 
I think it does a great deal of good." 

In his leisure hours, he was found in 
his tent reading; and before battle he 
prepared his soul with the beautiful 
psalms and collects for the day, as ap- 
pointed by his church, and writes with 
simplicity to his friends, 

" I prayed God that He would watch 
over me, and if I fell, receive my soul 
in heaven ; and I also prayed that I 
might not forget the cause I was fight- 
ing for, and turn my back in fear." 

After nine months' service, he return- 
ed with a soldier's experience, though 
with a frame weakened by sickness in 
a malarious region. But no sooner did 
health and strength return than he again 
enlisted, in the Massachusetts cavalry 
service, and passed many months of 
constant activity and adventure, being 
in some severe skirmishes and battles 
with that portion of Sheridan's troops 
who approached nearest to Richmond, 
getting within a mile and a half of the 
city. At the close of this raid, so hard 
had been the service, that only thirty 
horses were left out of seventy-four in 
his company, and Walter and two oth- 
ers were the sole survivors among eight 
who occupied the same tent. 

On the 1 6th of August, Walter was 
taken prisoner in a skirmish ; and from 
the time that this news reached his 
parents, until the i8th of the following 
March, they could ascertain nothing of 
his fate. A general exchange of pris- 
oners having been then effected, they 
learned that he had died on Christmas 
Day in Salisbury Prison, of hardship 
and privation. 

What these hardships were is, alas ! 
easy to be known from those too well 
authenticated accounts published by our 
Government of the treatment experien- 
ced by our soldiers in the Rebel pris- 
ons. 

Robbed of clothing, of money, of the 
soldier's best friend, his sheltering blan- 



1865.] 



The Chimney-Comer. 



235 



ket, herded in shivering nakedness 
on the bare ground, deprived of ev- 
ery implement by which men of ener- 
gy and spirit had soon bettered their 
lot, forbidden to cut in adjacent for- 
ests branches for shelter, or fuel to 
cook their coarse food, fed on a pint 
of corn - and - cob - meal per day, with 
some slight addition of molasses or 
rancid meat, denied all mental re- 
sources, all letters from home, all writ- 
ing to friends, these men were cut 
off from the land of the living while 
yet they lived, they were made to 
dwell in darkness as those that have 
been long dead. 

By such slow, lingering tortures, 
such weary, wasting anguish and sick- 
ness of body and soul, it was the in- 
fernal policy of the Rebel government 
either to wring from them an abjura- 
tion of their country, or by slow and 
steady draining away of the vital forces 
to render them forever unfit to serve 
in her armies. 

Walter's constitution bore four months 
of this usage, when death came to his 
release. A fellow-sufferer, who was with 
him in his last hours, brought the ac- 
count to his parents. 

Through all his terrible privations, 
even the lingering pains of slow starva- 
tion, Walter preserved his steady sim- 
plicity, his faith in God, and unswerv- 
ing fidelity to the cause for which he 
was suffering. 

When the Rebels had kept the pris- 
oners fasting for days, and then brought 
in delicacies to tempt their appetite, 
hoping thereby to induce them to de- 
sert their flag, he only answered, "I 
would rather be carried out in that dead- 
cart ! " 

When told by some that he must steal 
from his fellow-sufferers, as many did, 
in order to relieve the pangs of hun- 
ger, he answered, " No, I was not 
brought up to that ! " And so when his 
weakened system would no longer re- 
ceive the cob-meal which was his prin- 
cipal allowance, he set his face calmly 
towards death. 

He grew gradually weaker and weaker 
and fainter and fainter, and at last dis- 



ease of the lungs set in, and it became 
apparent that the end was at hand. 

On Christmas Day, while thousands 
among us were bowing in our garland- 
ed churches or surrounding festive ta- 
bles, this young martyr lay on the cold, 
damp ground, watched over by his des- 
titute friends, who sought to soothe his 
last hours with such scanty comforts as 
their utter poverty afforded, raising 
his head on the block of wood which 
was his only pillow, and moistening his 
brow and lips with water, while his 
life ebbed slowly away, until about two 
o'clock, when he suddenly roused him- 
self, stretched out his hand, and, draw- 
ing to him his dearest friend among 
those around him, said, in a strong, 
clear voice, 

" I am going to die. Go tell my fa- 
ther I am ready to die, for I die for God 
and my country," and, looking up 
with a triumphant smile, he passed to 
the reward of the faithful. 

And now, men and brethren, if this 
story were a single one, it were worthy 
to be had in remembrance ; but Walter 
Raymond is not the only noble-hearted 
boy or man that has been slowly tortur- 
ed and starved and done to death, by 
the fiendish policy of Jefferson Davis 
and Robert Edmund Lee. 

No, wherever this simple history 
shall be read, there will arise hundreds 
of men and women who will testify, 
"Just so died my son ! " " So died my 
brother ! " " So died my husband ! " 
"So died my father ! " 

The numbers who have died in these 
lingering tortures are to be counted, not 
by hundreds, or even by thousands, but 
by tens of thousands. 

And is there to be no retribution for 
a cruelty so vast, so aggravated, so 
cowardly and base? And if there is 
retribution, on whose head should it 
fall ? Shall we seize and hang the poor, 
ignorant, stupid, imbruted semi-barba- 
rians who were set as jailors to keep 
these hells of torment and inflict these 
insults and cruelties ? or shall we pun- 
ish the educated, intelligent chiefs who 
were the head and brain of the iniqui- 
ty? 



236 



The Chimncy-Corner, 



[August, 



If General Lee had been determined 
not to have prisoners starved or abus- 
ed, does any one doubt that he could 
have prevented these things ? Nobody 
doubts it. His raiment is red with the 
blood of his helpless captives. Does any 
one doubt that Jefferson Davis, living 
in ease and luxury in Richmond, knew 
that men were dying by inches in filth 
and squalor and privation in the Libby 
Prison, within bowshot of his own door ? 
Nobody doubts it. It was his will, his 
deliberate policy, thus to destroy those 
who fell into his hands. The chief of a 
so-called Confederacy, who could calm- 
ly consider among his official documents 
incendiary plots for the secret destruc- 
tion of ships, hotels, and cities full of 
peaceable people, is a chief well worthy 
to preside over such cruelties ; but his 
only just title is President of Assassins, 
and the whole civilized world should 
make common cause against such a 
miscreant. 

There has been, on both sides of the 
water, much weak, ill-advised talk of 
mercy and magnanimity to be extend- 
ed to these men, whose crimes have 
produced a misery so vast and incalcu- 
lable. The wretches who have tortured 
the weak and the helpless, who have 
secretly plotted to supplement, by das- 
tardly schemes of murder and arson, 
that strength which failed them in fair 
fight, have been commiserated as brave 
generals and unfortunate patriots, and 
efforts are made to place them within 
the comities of war. 

It is no feeling of personal vengeance, 
but a sense of the eternal fitness of 
things, that makes us rejoice, when crim- 
inals, who have so outraged every sen- 
timent of humanity, are arrested and 
arraigned and awarded due retribution 
at the bar of their country's justice. 
There are crimes against God and hu- 
man nature which it is treason alike to 
God and man not to punish ; and such 
have been the crimes of the traitors who 
were banded together in Richmond. 

If there be those whose hearts lean 
to pity, we can show them where all the 
pity of their hearts may be better be- 
stowed than in deploring the woes of 



assassins. Let them think of the thou- 
sands of fathers, mothers, wives, sis- 
ters, whose lives will be forever haunted 
with memories of the slow tortures in 
which their best and bravest were done 
to death. 

The sufferings of those brave men are 
ended. Nearly a hundred thousand are 
sleeping in those sad, nameless graves, 
and may their rest be sweet ! " There 
the wicked cease from troubling, there 
the weary are at rest. There the pris- 
oners rest together ; they hear not the 
voice of the oppressor." .But, O ye who 
have pity to spare, spare it for the brok- 
en-hearted friends, who, to life's end, 
will suffer over and over all that their 
dear ones endured. Pity the mothers 
who hear their sons' faint calls in dreams, 
who in many a weary night-watch see 
them pining and wasting, and yearn with 
a life - long, unappeasable yearning to 
have been able to soothe those forsaken, 
lonely death-beds. Oh, man or woman, 
if you have pity to spare, spend it not 
on Lee or Davis, spend it on their vic- 
tims, on the thousands of living hearts 
which these men of sin have doomed to 
an anguish that will end only with life ! 

Blessed are the mothers whose sons 
passed in battle, a quick, a painless, 
a glorious death, ! Blessed in compar- 
ison, yet we weep for them. We 
rise up and give place at sight of their 
mourning - garments. We reverence 
the sanctity of their sorrow. But be- 
fore this other sorrow we are dumb in 
awful silence. We find no words with 
which to console such grief. We feel 
that our peace, our liberties, have been 
bought at a fearful price, when we think 
of the sufferings of our martyred sol- 
diers. Let us think of them. It was 
for us they bore hunger and cold and 
nakedness. They might have had food 
and raiment and comforts, if they would 
have deserted our cause, and they did 
not. Cutoff from all communication with 
home or friends or brethren, dragging 
on the weary months, apparently for- 
gotten, still they would not yield, 
they would not fight against us ; and so 
for us at last they died. 

What return can we make them ? 



1865.] 



Peace. 



237 



Peace has come, and we take up all our 
blessings restored and brightened ; but 
if we look, we shall see on every bless- 
ing a bloody cross. 

When three brave ^en broke through 
the ranks of the enemy, to bring to 
King David a draught from the home- 
well, for which he longed, the gener- 
ous-hearted prince would not drink it, 
but poured it out as an offering before 
the Lord ; for he said, " Is not this the 
blood of the men that went in jeopardy 
of their lives ? " 

Thousands of noble hearts have been 
slowly consumed to secure to us the 
blessings we are rejoicing in. 



We owe a duty to these our martyrs, 
the only one we can pay. 

In every place, honored by such a 
history and example, let a monument 
be raised at the public expense, on 
which shall be inscribed the names of 
those who died for their- country, and 
the manner of their death. 

Such monuments will educate our 
young men in heroic virtue, and keep 
alive to future ages the flame of patriot- 
ism. And thus, too, to the aching heart 
of bereaved love shall be given the only 
consolation of which its sorrows admit, 
in the reverence which is paid to its 
lost loved ones. 



PEACE. 



upon the hills ! 

Slowly, behind the midnight murk and trail 
Of the long storm, light brightens, pure and pale, 
And the horizon fills. 

Not bearing swift release, 
Not with quick feet of triumph, but with tread 
August and solemn, following her dead, 

Cometh, at last, our Peace. 

Over thick graves grown green, 
Over pale bones that graveless lie and bleach, 
Over torn human hearts her path doth reach, 

And Heaven's dear pity lean. 

O angel sweet and grand ! 
White-footed, from beside the throne of God, 
Thou movest, with the palm and olive-rod, 

And day bespreads the land ! 

His Day we waited for ! 

With faces to the East, we prayed and fought; 
And a faint music of the dawning caught, 

All through the sounds of War. 

Our souls are still with praise ! 
It is the dawning; there is work to do: 
When we have borne the long hours' burden through, 

Then we will paeans raise. 



2 3 8 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage. 



[August, 



God give us, with the time, 

His strength for His large purpose to the world ! 
To bear before Him, in its face unfurled, 

His gonfalon sublime! 

Ay, we are strong ! Both sides 
The misty river stretch His army's wings : 
Heavenward, with glorious wheel, one flank He flings; 

And one front still abides ! 

Strongest where most bereft! 
His great ones He doth call to more command. 
For whom He hath prepared it, they shall stand 

On the Right Hand and Left ! 



RECONSTRUCTION AND NEGRO SUFFRAGE. 



THE submission of the Rebel ar- 
mies and the occupation of the 
Rebel territory by the forces of the 
United States are successes which 
have been purchased at the cost of the 
lives of half a million of loyal men and 
a debt of nearly three thousand millions 
of dollars ; but, according to theories 
of State Rights now springing anew to 
life, victory has smitten us with impo- 
tence. The war, it seems, was waged 
for the purpose of forcing the sword 
out of the Rebel's hands, and forcing 
into them the ballot. At an enormous 
waste of treasure and blood, we have 
acquired the territory for which we 
fought ; and lo ! it is not ours, but be- 
longs to the people we have been en- 
gaged in fighting, in virtue of the con- 
stitution we have been fighting for. 
The Federal government is now, it 
appears, what Wigfall elegantly styled 
it four years ago, nothing but " the 
one-horse concern at Washington " : 
the real power is in the States it has 
subdued. We are therefore expected 
to act like the savage, who, after thrash- 
ing his Fetich for disappointing his 
prayers, falls down again and worships 
it. Our Fetich is State Rights, as per- 
versely misunderstood. The Rfebel- 
lion would have been soon put down, 



had it been merely an insurrectionary 
outbreak of masses of people without 
any political organization. Its tremen- 
dous force came from its being a revolt 
of States, with the capacity to employ 
those powers of taxation and conscrip- 
tion which place the persons and prop- 
erty of all residing in political commu- 
nities at the service of their govern- 
ments. And now that characteristic 
which gave strength to the Rebel com- 
munities in war is invoked to shield 
them from Federal regulation in defeat. 
We are required to substitute techni- 
calities for facts ; to consider the Re- 
bellion what it notoriously was not 
a mere revolt of loose aggregations of 
men owing allegiance to the United 
States; and to hold the States, which 
endowed them with such a perfect or- 
ganization and poisonous vitality, as in- 
nocent of the crime. The verbal di- 
lemma in which this reasoning places 
us is this : that the Rebel States could 
not do what they did, and therefore we 
cannot do what we must. Among oth- 
er things which it is said we cannot do, 
the prescribing of the qualifications of 
voters in the States occupies the most 
important place ; and it is necessary to 
inquire whether the Rebel communities 
now held by our military power are 



1865.] 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage. 



239 



States, in the sense that word bears in 
the Federal Constitution. If they are, 
we have not only no right to say that 
negroes shall enjoy in them the privi- 
lege of voting, but no right to prescribe 
any qualifications for white voters. 

In the American system, the process 
by which constitutions are made and 
governments instituted is by conven- 
tions of the people. The State consti- 
tutions were ordained by conventions 
of the people of the several States ; the 
constitution of the United States was 
made the supreme law of the land by 
conventions of the people of all the 
States ; and the only method by which 
a State could be released, with any 
show of legality, from its obligations to 
the United States, would be the assent 
of the same power which created the 
Federal constitution, namely, conven- 
tions of the people of all the States. 
The course adopted by the so-called 
" seceding " States was separate State 
action by popular conventions in the 
States seceding. This was an appeal 
to the original authority from which 
State governments and constitutions 
derived their powers, but a violation 
of solemn faith towards the govern- 
ment and constitution decreed by the 
people of all the States, and which, by 
the assent of each State, formed a vital 
part of each State constitution. No 
State convention could be called for the 
purpose of separating from the Union, 
of destroying what the officers call- 
ing it had sworn to support, without 
making official perjury the preliminary 
condition of State sovereignty. Looked 
at from the point of view of the State 
seceding, the act was an assertion of 
State independence ; looked at from 
the point of view of the constitution 
of the United States, it was an act of 
State suicide. The State so acting 
through a convention of its people was 
no longer a State, in the meaning that 
word bears in the Federal constitution ; 
for, whatever it may have been before 
it was one of the United States, it was 
transformed into a different political 
society by making the Federal consti- 
tution a part of its own organic law. 



In cutting that bond, it bled to death 
as a State, as far as the Federal consti- 
tution knows a State, to rise again as a 
Rebel community, holding a portion of 
the Federal territory by force of arms. 
A State, in the meaning of the Federal 
constitution, is a political community 
forbidden to exercise sovereign powers, 
and at once a part of the Federal gov- 
ernment and owing allegiance to it. Is 
South Carolina, which has exercised 
sovereign powers, which has broken 
its allegiance to the Federal govern- 
ment, and which at present is certainly 
not a part of it, such a political society ? 
It is, we know, contended by some 
reasoners on the subject, that the Rebel 
States could not do what they palpably 
did. This course of argument is sus- 
tained only by confounding duties with 
powers. By the constitution a State can- 
not (that is, has no right to) secede, only 
as, by the moral law, a man cannot (that 
is, has no right to) commit murder ; nev- 
ertheless, States have broken away from 
their obligations to the Union, as mur- 
derers have broken away from their ob- 
ligations to the moral law. It is folly to 
claim that criminal acts are impossible 
because they are unjustifiable. The real 
question relates to the condition in which 
the criminal acts of the Rebel States 
left them as political societies. They 
cannot claim, as some of their Northern 
champions do for them, that, being in 
the Union in our view, and out of it in 
their own, the only result of defeating 
them as Rebels is to restore them as 
citizens. This would be playing a polit- 
ical game of " Heads I win, tails you 
lose," which they must know can hardly 
succeed with a nation which has made 
such enormous sacrifices of treasure 
and blood in putting them down. After 
having, by a solemn act of their own, 
through conventions of the people, for- 
sworn their duties to the constitution, 
they by that act forfeited its privileges. 
In our view they became Rebel enemies, 
against whom we had both the rights of 
sovereignty and the rights of war ; in 
their own view, they became foreigners ; 
and from that moment they had no more 
"constitutional" control of the area they 



240 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage. 



occupied, were no more "States," than 
if they had transferred their allegiance 
to a European power, and the war had 
been prosecuted to wrest the territory 
they occupied, and the people they ruled, 
from the clutch of England or France. 
Even if we consider the Union a mere 
partnership of States, the same princi- 
ple will apply ; for partnership implies 
mutual obligations, and no partner can 
steal the property of his firm, and ab- 
scond with it, and then, after he has 
been hunted down and arrested, claim 
the rights in the business he enjoyed 
before he turned rogue. 

But it is sometimes asserted that the 
small minority of citizens in the Rebel 
States claiming to be, and to have been, 
loyal, constitute the States in the con- 
stitutional meaning of the term. Now 
without insisting On the fact that it is 
so plainly impossible to accurately dis- 
tinguish these from the disloyal, that 
an oath, not required by State consti- 
tutions, has, in the recent attempt at re- 
construction, been imposed by Federal 
authority on all voters alike, it is plain 
that no minority in a political society 
can claim exemption from political evils 
it had not power to prevent. Had we 
gone to war with Great Britain, the prop- 
erty of Cobden and Bright on the high 
seas would have been as liable to cap- 
ture as that of Lindsay or Laird. No 
loyal citizens at the South could have 
been more bitterly opposed to Seces- 
sion than some of our Northern Copper- 
heads were to the war for the Union ; 
and yet the persons of the Copperheads 
were as liable to conscription, and their 
property to taxation, as those of the most 
enthusiastic Republicans. There would 
be an end to political societies, if men 
should refuse to be held responsible for 
all public acts except those they per- 
sonally approved. A member of a com- 
munity whose people, in a convention, 
broke faith with the United States, and 
made war against it, the Southern Union- 
ist was forced into complicity with the 
crime. By the pressure of a power he 
could not resist he was compelled to pay 
Confederate taxes, serve in Confederate 
armies, and become a portion of the Con- 



federate strength. More than this : the 
property in human beings, which he 
held by local law, was confiscated by 
the Federal government's edict of eman- 
cipation, equally with the same kind of 
property held by the most disloyal. And 
now that the war is over, he and those 
who sympathized with him are not the 
State, which was extinguished by its 
own act when it rebelled. He and his 
friends may be the objects of sympathy, 
of honor, of reward ; but in the work of 
reconstruction the interest and safety of 
the great body of loyal citizens of the 
United States, of the persons who have 
bought the territory at such a terrible 
price, are to be primarily consulted. 
And not simply because such a course 
is expedient, but because the Southern 
Unionists can advance no valid claim 
to be the political societies which were 
recognized by the Federal constitution 
as States before the Rebellion. If they 
were, they might proceed at once to 
assume the powers of the States, with- 
out any authority from Washington, and 
without calling any convention to form 
a new constitution. If, on the breaking 
out of the Rebellion, they had rallied 
in defence of the old constitutions with- 
in State limits, preserved the organiza- 
tion of the States in all departments, 
raised and equipped armies, and con- 
ducted a war against the Confederates as 
traitors to their respective States as well 
as to the United States, they might pre- 
sent some claims to be considered the 
States ; but this they did not do, and they 
were not powerful enough to do it. The 
large proportion of them were compelled 
to form a part of the Rebel power. 

And this brings us directly to the 
heart of the matter. It is asserted that 
the Acts of Secession, being unconstitu- 
tional, were inoperative and void. But 
they were passed by the people of the 
several States which seceded, and the 
persons and property of the whole peo- 
ple were indiscriminately employed in 
making them effective. The States 
held by Rebel armies were Rebel States. 
All the population were necessarily, in 
the view of the Federal government, 
Rebel enemies. Consequently the ter- 



1865-] 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage. 



241 



ritory of the States was as " void " of 
citizens of the United States as the Acts 
of Secession were "void." The only 
things left, then, were the inoperative 
ideas of States. 

Again, to put the argument in anoth- 
er form, it is asserted, that, though the 
people of a State may commit treason, 
the State itself remains unaffected by 
the crime. A distinction is here made 
between a State and the people who con- 
stitute it, between the State and the 
persons who create its constitution and 
organize its government. The State 
constitution which existed while it was 
a State, in the Federal meaning of the 
word, was destroyed in an essential 
part by the same authority which cre- 
ated it, namely, a convention of the peo- 
ple of the State ; and yet it is said that 
the State remained unaffected by the 
deed. By this course of reasoning, a 
State is defined an abstract essence 
which can comfortably exist in all its 
rights and privileges, in potentia, apart 
from all visible embodiment ; a State 
which is the possibility of a State and 
not the actuality of one ; a State which 
can be brought into the line of real 
vision only by some such contrivance 
as that employed by the German play- 
wright, who, in a drama on the subject 
of the Creation, represented Adam cross- 
ing the stage going to be created. 

There is, it is true, one method of 
getting a kind of body to this abstract 
State, but it is a method which may well 
frighten the hardiest American reasoner. 
It was employed by Burke in one of the 
audacities of his logic directed against 
the governments established after the 
French Revolution of 1789. He took 
the ground, that France was not in the 
French territory or in the French peo- 
ple, but in the persons who represent- 
ed its old polity, and who had escaped 
into England and Germany. These 
constituted what he called " Moral 
France," in distinction from " Geo- 
graphical France " ; and Moral France, 
he said, had emigrated. 

But as few or none will be inclined 
to take the ground that South Carolina 
and Georgia exist in the persons who 
VOL. xvi. NO. 94. 1 6 



left their soil on the breaking out of 
the Rebellion, we are forced back to 
the conception of an invisible spiritual 
soul and essence of a State, surviving 
its bodily destruction. But even this 
abstraction must still, from the point 
of view of the Federal constitution, be 
conceived of as owing allegiance to the 
Federal government ; and it can con- 
fessedly get a new body only by the ex- 
ercise of Federal authority. Its lead- 
ing institution has been destroyed by 
Federal power. Its old legislature and 
governor, who alone, on State princi- 
ples, could call a convention of the peo- 
ple, are spotted all over with treason, 
and might be hanged as traitors, by 
the law of the United States, while en- 
gaged in measures to repair the broken 
unity of the State life, a fact which 
is of itself sufficient to show that the 
old State is dead beyond all bodily res- 
urrection. The white inhabitants who 
occupy its old geographical limits are 
defeated Rebels, and not one can exer- 
cise the privilege of voting without tak- 
ing an oath which no real " State " pre- 
scribes. They are all born again into 
citizens by a Federal fiat ; they are " par- 
doned" into voters; they derive their 
rights, not from their old charters, but 
from an act of amnesty. Far from any 
discrimination being made between loy- 
al and disloyal, the great body of both 
classes are compelled to submit to Fed- 
eral terms of citizenship or be disfran- 
chised ; and they are called upon, not 
to revive the old State, but to make a 
new one, within the old State lines. 
And all this would result from the ne- 
cessity of the case, even if it were not 
made justifiable by the essential sover- 
eignty of the United States, of which 
the war-power is but an incident. But 
if the Federal government can thus 
give the white inhabitants, or any por- 
tion of them, the right of suffrage, can- 
not it confer that right upon the black 
freedmen ? It will not do, at this stage, 
to say that the Federal government 
has no right to prescribe the qualifica- 
tions of voters in the States : because, 
in the case of the whites, it does and 
must prescribe them; and President 



242 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage. 



[August, 



Johnson has just the same right to say 
that negroes shall vote as to say that 
pardoned Rebels shall vote. The right 
of States to decide on the qualifications 
of its electors applies only to loyal 
States ; it cannot apply to political 
communities which have lost by Rebel- 
lion the Federal character of " States," 
which notoriously have no legitimate 
State authority to decide the question 
of qualification, and which are now 
taking the preparatory steps of form- 
ing themselves into States through the 
agency of provisional Federal govern- 
ors, directing voters, constituted such 
by Federal authority, to elect delegates 
to a convention of the people. It is 
a misuse of constitutional language to 
call North Carolina and Mississippi 
" States," in the same sense in which 
we use the term in speaking of Ohio 
and Massachusetts. When their con- 
ventions have framed State constitu- 
tions, when their State governments 
are organized, and when their senators 
and representatives have been admitted 
into the Congress of the United States, 
then, indeed, they will be States, enti- 
tled to all the privileges of Ohio and 
Massachusetts ; and woe be to us, if 
they are reconstructed on wrong prin- 
ciples ! 

It is often said, that, although the 
Federal government may have the 
right and power to decide who shall be 
considered "the people" of the Rebel 
States, in so important a matter as the 
conversion of them into States of the 
Federal Union, it is still politic and just 
to make the qualifications of voters as 
nearly as possible what they were be- 
fore the Rebellion. Conceding this, we 
still have to face the fact, that a large 
body of men, held before the war as 
slaves, have been emancipated, and 
added to the body of the people. They 
are now as free as the white men. The 
old constitutions of the Slave States 
could have no application to the new 
condition of affairs. The change in the 
circumstances, by which four years have 
done the ordinary work of a century, 
demands a corresponding change in the 
application of old rules, even admitting 



that we should take them as a guide. 
Having converted the loyal blacks from 
slaves into the condition of citizens of 
the United States, there can be no rea- 
son or justice or policy in allowing them 
to be made, in localities recently Rebel, 
the subjects of whites who have but just 
purged themselves from the guilt of 
treason. 

The question of negro suffrage being 
thus reduced to a question of expedien- 
cy, to be decided on its own merits, the 
first argument brought against it is bas- 
ed on the proposition, that it is inexpe- 
dient to give the privilege of voting to 
the ignorant and unintelligent. This 
sounds well ; but a moment's reflection 
shows us that the objection is directed 
simply against deficiencies of education 
and intelligence which happen to be ac- 
companied with a black skin. Three 
fifths or three fourths of the poor whites 
of the South cannot read or write ; and 
they are cruelly belied, if they do not add 
to their ignorance that more important 
disqualification for good citizenship, 
indisposition or incapacity for work. In 
general, the American system proceeds 
on the idea that the best way of qualify- 
ing men to vote is voting, as the best 
way of teaching boys to swim is to let 
them go into the water. " Our national 
experience," says Chief-Justice Chase, 
in a letter to the New Orleans freedmen, 
" has demonstrated that public order re- 
poses most securely on the broad base 
of Universal Suffrage. It has proved, 
also, that universal suffrage is the surest 
guaranty and most powerful stimulus 
of individual, social, and political pro- 
gress." But even if we take the ground, 
that education and suffrage, though not 
actually, should properly be, identical, 
the argument would not apply to the 
case of the freedmen. What we need 
primarily at the South is loyal citizens 
of the United States, and treason there 
is in inverse proportion to ignorance. 
If, in reconstructing the Rebel com- 
munities, we make suffrage depend on 
education, we inevitably put the local 
governments into the hands of a small 
minority of prominent Confederates 
whom we have recently defeated ; of 






i86 5 .J 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage. 



243 



men physically subdued, but morally re- 
bellious ; of men who have used their 
education simply to destroy the pros- 
perity created by the industry of the ig- 
norant and enslaved, and who, howev- 
er skilful they may be as "architects of 
ruin," have shown no capacity for the 
nobler art which repairs and rebuilds. 
If, on the other hand, we make suffrage 
depend on color, we disfranchise the 
only portion of the population on whose 
allegiance we can thoroughly rely, and 
give the States over to white ignorance 
and idleness led by white intrigue and 
disloyalty. We are placed by events 
in that strange condition in which the 
safety of that " republican form of gov- 
ernment " we desire to insure the South- 
ern States has more safeguards in the 
instincts of the ignorant than in the in- 
telligence of the educated. The right 
of the freedmen, not merely to the com- 
mon privileges of citizens, but to own 
themselves, depends on the connection 
of the States in which they live with the 
United States being preserved. They 
must know that Secession and State In- 
dependence mean their reenslavement. 
Saulsbury of Delaware, and Willey of 
West Virginia, declared in the Senate, 
in 1862, that the Rebel States, when they 
came back into the Union, would have 
the legal power to reenslave any blacks 
whom the National government might 
emancipate ; and it is only the plighted 
faith of the United States to the freed- 
men, which such a proceeding would 
violate, which can prevent the crime 
from being perpetrated. It is as citizens 
of the United States, and not as inhab- 
itants of North Carolina or Mississippi, 
that their freedom is secure. Their in- 
stincts, their interests, and their posi- 
tion will thus be their teachers in the 
duties of citizenship. They are as sure 
to vote in accordance with the most ad- 
vanced ideas of the time as most of the 
embittered aristocracy are to vote for 
the most retrograde. They will, though 
at first ignorant, necessarily be in polit- 
ical sympathy with the most educated 
voters of New York, Ohio, and Massa- 
chusetts ; if they were as low in the 
scale of being as their bitterest revilers 



assert, they would still be forced by their 
instincts into intuitions of their inter- 
ests ; and their interests are identical 
with those of civilization and progress. 
We suppose that those who think them 
most degraded would be willing to con- 
cede to them the possession of a little 
selfish cunning ; and a little selfish cun- 
ning is enough to bring them into har- 
mony with the purposes, if not the spir- 
it, of the largest -minded philanthropy 
and statesmanship of the North. 

It is claimed, we know, by some of 
the hardiest dealers in assertion, that 
the freedmen will vote as their former 
masters shall direct ; but as this argu- 
ment is generally put forward by those 
whose sympathies are with the former 
masters rather than with the emancipat- 
ed bondmen, one finds it difficult to un- 
derstand why they should object to a 
policy which will increase the power 
of those whom they wish to be domi- 
nant. The circumstances, however, un- 
der which credulous ignorance becomes 
the prey of unscrupulous intelligence 
are familiar to all who have observed 
our elections. An ignorant Irish Cath- 
olic may be the victim of a pro-slavery 
demagogue, because the latter flatters 
his prejudices ; but can he be deceived 
by a bigoted Know-Nothing, who is the 
object of them ? The only demagogue 
who could control the negro would be 
an abolition demagogue, and he could 
control him to his harm only when the 
negro was deprived of his rights. The 
slave-masters were wont to pay consid- 
erable attention to zoology, not be- 
cause they were interested in science, 
but because in that science they thought 
they could obtain arguments for expel- 
ling blacks from the human species. In 
their zoological studies, did .they ever 
learn that mice instinctively seek the 
protection of the cat, or that the deer 
speeds to, instead of from, the hunter ? 
The persons whose votes the late mas- 
ters would be most likely to control 
would palpably be those whose votes, 
they always have controlled, namely, the 
poor whites ; for, in the late Slave States, 
white aristocrat is still bound to white 
democrat by the strong tie of a common. 



244 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage. 



[August, 



contempt of " the nigger." Meanwhile 
it is not difficult to believe, that, among 
four millions of black people, there are 
enough plantation Hampdens and Ad- 
amses to give political organization to 
their brethren, and make their votes 
efficient for the protection of their in- 
terests. 

We think, then, it may be taken for 
granted, that, while ignorant, the freed- 
men will vote right by the force of their 
instincts, and that the education they 
require will be the result of their pos- 
sessing the political power to demand 
it Free schools are not the creations 
of private benevolence, but of public 
taxation ; it is useless to expect a sys- 
tem of universal education in a com- 
munity which does not rest on universal 
suffrage ; and the children of the poor 
freeman are educated at the public ex- 
pense, not so much by the pleading of 
the children's needs as by the power 
of the father's ballot. To take the 
ground, that the "superior" race will 
educate the " inferior " race it has but 
just held in bondage, that it will hu- 
manely set to work to prepare and qual- 
ify the " niggers " to be voters, only 
escapes from being considered the arti- 
fice of the knave by charitably referring 
it to the credulity of the simpleton. We 
do not send, as Mr. Sumner has hap- 
pily said, " the child to be nursed by 
the wolf" ; and he might have added, 
that the only precedent for such a pro- 
ceeding, the case of Romulus and Re- 
mus, has lost all the little force it may 
once have had by the criticism of Nie- 
buhr. 

If the negroes do not get the power 
of political self-protection in the con- 
ventions of the people which are now 
to be called, it is not reasonable to ex- 
pect they will ever get it by the consent 
of the whites. Legal State conventions 
are called by previous law. There is 
no previous State law applicable to the 
Rebel communities, because, revolu- 
tionized by rebellion, the very persons 
who are qualified by the old State laws 
to call conventions are disqualified by 
the laws of the United States. The re- 
sult is, that the people are an unorgan- 



ized mass, to be reorganized under the 
lead of the Federal government ; and 
of this mass of people literally, in this 
case, " the masses " the free blacks 
are as much a part as the free whites. 
As soon, however, as the machinery of 
State governments is set in motion by 
these conventions, as soon as these 
governments are recognized by the 
President and Congress, no conven- 
tions to alter the constitutions agreed 
upon can be called, except by previous 
State laws. If negro suffrage is not 
granted in the election of members to 
the present conventions, the power will 
pass permanently into the hands of the 
whites, and the only opportunity for a 
peaceful settlement of the question will 
be lost. At the very time when, ab- 
stractly, no party has legal rights, and 
only one party has claims, we propose 
to deliberately sacrifice the party that 
has claims to the party which will soon 
acquire legal rights to oppress the 
claimants. For, disguise it as we may, 
the United States government really 
holds and exercises the power which 
gives vitality to the preliminaries of re- 
construction, and it is therefore respon- 
sible for all evils in the future which 
shall spring from its neglect or injustice 
in the present. , 

The addition, too, of four millions of 
persons to the people of the South, 
without any corresponding addition of 
voters, will increase the political power 
of the ruling whites to an alarming ex- 
tent, while it will remove all checks on 
its mischievous exercise. The consti- 
tution declares that " representatives 
and direct taxes shall be apportioned 
among the several States, which may 
be included in this Union, according to 
their respective numbers, which shall 
be determined by adding to the whole 
number of free persons, including those 
bound to service for a term of years, 
and excluding Indians not taxed, three 
fifths of all other persons." The un- 
answerable argument presented at the 
time against the clause relating to the 
slaves did not prevent its adoption. 
" If," it was said, " the negroes are 
property, why is other property not 



1865.] 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage. 



245 



represented ? if men, why three fifths ?" 
Still the South has always enjoyed the 
double privilege of treating the negro 
as an article of merchandise and of 
using three fifths of him as political 
capital. He has thus added to the 
power by which he was enslaved, and 
has been represented in Congress by 
persons who regarded him either as a 
beast or as " a descendant of Ham." 
In 1860, when the ratio of represen- 
tation was about one hundred and 
twenty-seven thousand, the South had, 
by the three-fifths rule, the right to 
eighteen more representatives in Con- 
gress, and eighteen more electoral 
votes, than it would have had, if only 
free persons had been counted. The 
emancipation of the slaves will give it 
twelve more ; for the blacks will now 
no longer be constitutional fractions, 
but constitutional units. The three- 
fifths arrangement was a monstrous 
anomaly ; but the five-fifths will be 
worse, if negro suffrage be denied. 
Four millions of free people will, by 
the mere fact of being inhabitants of 
Southern territory, confer a political 
power equal to thirty members of Con- 
gress, and yet have no voice in their 
election. It has been computed by the 
Hon. Robert Dale Owen, in a paper on 
the subject, published in the New York 
" Tribune," that in some States, where 
the blacks and whites are about equal 
in number, and where two thirds of the 
whites shall "qualify" as voters, this 
new condition of things will give the 
Southern white voter, in a Presiden- 
tial or Congressional election, three 
times as much political influence as a 
Northern voter. And on whom shall 
we, in many localities, confer this im- 
mense privilege ? Here is Mr. Owen's 
description of a specimen of the class 
of Southern " poor whites " we propose 
thus to exalt 

" I have often encountered this class. 
I saw many of them last year, while vis- 
iting, as member of a Government com- 
mission, some of the Southern States. 
Labor degraded before their eyes has 
extinguished within them all respect for 
industry, all ambition, all honorable ex- 



ertion to improve their condition. When 
last I had the pleasure of seeing you 
at Nashville, I met there, in the office 
of a gentleman charged with the duty 
of issuing transportation and rations 
to indigent persons, black and white, 
a notable example of this strange class. 
He was a Rebel deserter, a rough, 
dirty, uncouth specimen of humanity, 

tall, stout, and wiry-looking, rude and 
abrupt in speech and bearing, and cloth- 
ed in tattered homespun. In no civil 
tone, he demanded rations. When in- 
formed that all rations applicable to such 
a purpose were exhausted, he broke 
forth, 

" ' What am I to do, then ? How am 
I to get home ? ' 

" ' You can have no difficulty,' was 
the reply. ' It is but fifteen or eighteen 
hours down the river ' (the Cumber- 
land ) ' by steamboat to where you live. 
I furnished you transportation ; you 
can work your way.' 

" ' Work my way ! ' (with a scowl of 
angry contempt.) ' I never did a stroke 
of work since I was born ; and I never 
expect to, till my dying day.' 

" The agent replied, quietly, 

" ' They will give you all you want 
to eat on board, if you help them to 
wood.' 

" ' Carry wood ! ' he retorted, with an 
oath. ' Whenever they ask me to car- 
ry wood, I '11 tell them they may set me 
on shore ; I 'd rather starve for a week 
than work for an hour ; I don't want to 
live in a world that I can't make a liv- 
ing out of without work.' 

" Is it for men like that, ignorant, il- 
literate, vicious, fit for no decent em- 
ployment on earth except manual labor, 
and spurning all labor as degradation, 

is it in favor of such insolent swag- 
gerers that we are to disfranchise the 
humble, quiet, hard-working negro? 
Are the votes of three such men as 
Stanton or Seward, Sumner or Garri- 
son, Grant or Sherman, to be neutral- 
ized by the ballot of one such worthless 
barbarian ? " 

But this great power, wielded by a 
population imperfectly qualified to vote, 
in the name of a population which do 



246 



Reconstruction and Negro Suffrage, 



[August, 



not vote at all, a power equivalent to 
thirty members of Congress and thirty 
electoral votes, will be directed as 
much against Northern interests as 
against negro interests. Added to the 
power which the South will derive from 
its voting population, it will enable that 
section to control one third of all the 
votes in the House of Representatives ; 
and, says Professor Parsons, " if they 
stand together, and vote as a unit, they 
will need only about one sixth more to 
get and hold control of our national legis- 
lation and all our foreign and domestic 
policy." Our political experience has 
unfortunately not been such as to justi- 
fy us in believing it to be impossible 
for any party, under a resolute South- 
ern lead, to obtain one sixth of' the 
Northern strength in Congress. What 
would be the result of such a combina- 
tion ? Why, the National government 
would be substantially in the hands of 
those who have been engaged in a des- 
perate struggle to overthrow it ; and it 
would be a government converted into 
a great military and naval power by the 
war which resulted in their defeat, and 
fully competent to enforce its decisions 
at home and abroad by the strong hand. 
Nothing is purchased at such a fright- 
ful price as the indulgence of a preju- 
dice ; the cry against " nigger equality " 
is a prejudice of the most mischievous 
kind ; and it may be we shall hereafter 
find cause to deplore, that, when we 
had to choose between " nigger equali- 
ty " and Southern predominance, our 
choice was to keep the " nigger " down, 
even if we failed to keep ourselves up. 

One result of Southern predominance 
everybody can appreciate. The nation- 
al debt is so interwoven with every form 
of the business and industry of the loy- 
al States that its repudiation would be 
the most appalling of evils. A tax to 
pay it at once would not produce half 
the financial derangement and moral dis- 
order which repudiation would cause ; 
for repudiatian, as Mirabeau well ob- 
served, is nothing but taxation in its 
most cruel, unequal, iniquitous, and ca- 
lamitous form. But what reason have 
we to think that a reconstructed South, 



dominant in the Federal government, 
would regard the debt with feelings sim- 
ilar to ours ? The negroes would asso- 
ciate it with their freedom, of which it 
was the price ; their late masters would 
view it as the symbol of their humilia- 
tion, which it was incurred to effect 
We must remember that the South los- 
es the whole cost of Rebellion, and is 
at the same time required to pay its 
share of the cost of suppressing Rebel- 
lion. The cost of Rebellion is, in addi- 
tion to the devastation of property caus- 
ed by invasion, the whole Southern debt 
of some two or three thousand millions 
of dollars, and the market value of the 
slaves, which, estimating the slaves at 
five hundred dollars each, is two thou- 
sand millions of dollars more. The 
portion of the cost of suppressing Re- 
bellion which the South will have to pay 
can be approximately reached by taking 
a recent calculation made in the Census 
Office of the Department of the Interior. 

Estimating the national debt at twen- 
ty-five hundred millions of dollars, and 
apportioning it according to the number 
of the white male adults over twenty 
years of age in the different sections of 
the country, it has been found that the 
proportion of the New England States is 
$308,689,352.07; of the Middle States, 
$ 740,195,342.32 ; of the Western States, 
$893,288,781.01 ; of the Southern States, 
$461,929,846.85 ; and of the Pacific 
States, $95,896,677.75. This calcula- 
tion makes the South responsible for 
over four hundred and sixty millions of 
the debt. What amount have the South- 
erners invested in it ? Where both in- 
terest and passion furiously impel men 
to repudiation, can they be trusted with 
the care of the public credit ? " But," 
the Northern people may exclaim, " in 
case of such an execrable violation of 
justice, we would revolt, we would" 

Ah ! but in whose hands would 

then be " the war power " ? 

From every point of view, then, in 
which we can survey the subject, negro 
suffrage is, unless we are destitute of 
the commonest practical reason, the log- 
ical sequence of negro emancipation. 
It is not more necessary for the protec- 



1865.] 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



247 



tion of the freedmen than for the safet) r 
and honor of the nation. Our interests 
are inextricably bound up with their 
rights. The highest requirements of 
abstract justice coincide with the low- 
est requirements of political prudence. 
And the largest justice to the loyal 
blacks is the real condition of the wid- 
est clemency to the Rebel whites. If 
the Southern communities are to be re- 
organized into Federal States, it is of 
the first importance that they should be 
States whose power rests on the pro- 
scription or degradation of no class of 
their population. It would be a great 
evil, if they were absolutely governed by 
a faction, even if that faction were a 
minority of the " loyal " people, whose 



loyalty consisted in merely taking an 
oath which the most unscrupulous would 
be the readiest to take, because the read- 
iest to break. We are bound either to 
give them a republican form of govern- 
ment, or to hold them in the grasp of the 
military power of the nation ; and we 
cannot safely give them anything which 
approaches a republican form of govern- 
ment, unless we allow the great mass 
of the free people the right to vote. 
And least of all should we think of pro- 
scribing that particular class of the free 
people who most thoroughly represent 
in their localities the interests of the 
United States, and whose ballots would 
at once do the work and save the ex- 
pense of an army of occupation. 



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES. 



Life of Horace Mann. By his Wife. Bos- 
ton : Walker, Fuller & Co. 

THE American readers of Mr. Spencer's 
" Social Statics " have raised their eyes in 
wholesome wonderment at the condemna- 
tion which is there found of all systems 
of national education. It is unfortunate 
that a writer who has given effective pres- 
entation to many truths should have failed 
to scrutinize his inductions by the light of 
certain ascertainable facts. The presumed 
requirements of a system caused him to 
prejudge what should have been investi- 
gated ; and hence, upon the great theme 
of state education his rare illuminating pow- 
ers shed a few side - lights of suggestion, 
and nothing more. The rough common 
sense of our humblest citizen disperses the 
philosopher's subtilties of logic with some 
such decisive sentence as that with which 
Dr. Johnson cut the meshes of the Fate- 
argument, or President Lincoln carried the 
pious defences of man-stealing. " We know 
we 're free, and there 's an end on 't." " If 
slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." 
If the state has no right to educate, it has 
no right to protect itself from the assaults 
of ignorance, and consequently no right to 
exist at all. This, to be sure, is dogmatism ; 
but with loyal Americans to-day it comes 



so near being a moral instinct that it may 
be provisionally assumed and tested at leis- 
ure by the experience to which it has con- 
ducted us. In the crisis through which the 
nation has just passed, education as a state 
expediency has received its fullest vindica- 
tion. The people whom the state educated 
up to an appreciation of the republican idea 
arose to be its saviours. No magnetism of 
personal leadership was given them. It was 
the instructed sense of the community which 
overcame the perils of faction and the in- 
competence of chiefs. And now, while we 
gratefully recognize those who at the criti- 
cal moment fell or suffered or wrought for 
the Republic, let us not forget the unap- 
plauded heroism which in time past labori- 
ously accumulated the force lately reveal- 
ed in many manly acts. The Trent Cat- 
echism declares that a final judgment is 
necessary, in order that the bad may be 
punished for the evil which in future time 
results from their mortal acts. If it may be 
held, conversely, that the conduct of the 
good is entitled to ever-increasing honor, 
we think it well that the biography of Hor- 
ace Mann, educator and statesman, has been 
withheld to this day. It is nobly prophetic 
of the perfected faith in popular govern- 
ment and universal liberty which fills our 
hearts. It is in deep accordance with the 



248 



Reviavs and Literary Notices. 



[August, 



psalm of victory which rises from loyal 
lips. 

The present volume supplies materials 
for filling up the admirable outline of Mr. 
Mann's life which appeared in Livingston's 
" Law Journal," and was copied in other 
publications. For it must necessarily be ma- 
terials for the study of a majestic character, 
rather than any critical dicta concerning it, 
that Mrs. Mann can offer us. And this is 
not to be regretted. The judgments of an 
impartial biographer would have been dear- 
ly purchased at the sacrifice of that sweetest 
testimony of household reverence which only 
the most intimate relation can supply. The 
little glimpses of Horace Mann, with his 
children about him, are worth many dis- 
criminating estimates of services and judi- 
cial investigations into the merits of forgot- 
ten controversies. We are made fully ac- 
quainted with the noble spirit in which he 
labored, and this is a better bequest to the 
American people than even the noble re- 
sults it brought to pass. Poor enough seems 
any halting, sentimental interest in human 
well-being in the presence of that sturdy 
life, throbbing with executive energy, and 
dignified by thorough disinterestedness. 

Horace Mann was born into the narrow 
circumstances of a small New England 
farm. His father died when he was still 
a boy. The educational opportunities of- 
fered by the poorest district of the little 
town of Franklin, Massachusetts, were mea- 
gre enough. Knowledge in the husk was 
thrown before the pupils, who were allow- 
ed the privilege of picking out what they 
might. The training which stimulates mem- 
ory had not given place to that which en- 
courages thought. In spite of all obstruc- 
tions, Horace displayed an irrepressible 
love of learning, and obtained that sort of 
education which was probably the best pos- 
sible for the work he had to do. For it 
was from vividly realizing the hindrances 
which he had the strength partially to sur- 
mount that he was able to adjust the means 
for their removal. His youth was far from 
being a happy one. The poverty of his par- 
ents subjected him to continual privation, 
and the remorseless logic of the current 
theology weighed upon his sensitive spirit. 
Having obtained the consent of his guardian 
to prepare for college, he entered Brown 
University in 1816. His graduating oration 
was upon the progressive character of the 
human race, a subject prophetic of his 
subsequent mission. A tutorship of the 
Latin and Greek languages gave the oppor- 



tunity to perfect himself in classical culture. 
Afterwards he studied law, and in 1823 was 
admitted to the Norfolk bar. From this 
time his life was devoted to the welfare of 
the ignorant and unfortunate. As a leading 
member of the State Legislature, both in the 
House and afterwards as President of the 
Senate, Mr. Mann took an active part in for- 
warding measures relating to public chari- 
ties and education. The establishment of 
the State Insane Hospital at Worcester was 
wholly due to his vigorous advocacy. In 
1837 he retired from the distinguished pro- 
fessional and political career that was open- 
ing before him, and devoted his rare abili- 
ties to the service of common schools. As 
Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Ed- 
ucation, he effected a_thorough reform in the 
school system of the State. Of the unexam- 
pled labor and self-denial of eleven succes- 
sive years his Annual Reports and the "Com- 
mon School Journal " are noble, though in- 
adequate memorials. In 1848 Mr. Mann 
was sent to Congress as successor to John 
Quincy Adams. Here his powers were at 
once concentrated in resisting the usurpa- 
tions of Slavery. Two years later came his 
memorable collision with Mr. Webster. In 
opposing the doctrines of the famous yth 
of March speech, and in his subsequent 
criticism of its author, Mr. Mann well 
knew the bitter judgments he would pro- 
voke and the social position he must sacri- 
fice. He counted the cost and accepted 
the duty. Insight lent him the fire with 
which foresight kindled the prophets. He 
saw in the slave system those inner depths 
of cruelty and baseness which Anderson- 
ville and Port Hudson have lately revealed. 
At the ensuing election in November, Mr. 
Mann's renomination was defeated in the 
Whig Convention. Appealing to the peo- 
ple as an independent candidate, he was re- 
elected to Congress, and there served until 
he was offered the Presidency of Antioch 
College in 1852. The toil, the perseverance, 
the self-renunciation which associate Mr. 
Mann with Antioch are too great for con- 
ventional phrases of eulogy. Whether judg- 
ed by the mighty things he accomplished, or 
by the harmonious development of the mor- 
al, intellectual, and affectional nature which 
he displayed, there are few human records 
which show an appreciation of duty so ex- 
haustive united to a performance so heroic, 
The life of Horace Mann was full of se- 
vere work. Few men have had the grace 
to return so uncompromising an answer to 
the question whether their service was to 



1865.] 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



249 



be rendered to God or Mammon. He had 
the gift of separating religion from its acci- 
dental trappings, and of recognizing in the 
simplest intuition of accountability for our 
neighbor's welfare the best working hypoth- 
esis. Like Theodore Parker, he excelled 
the common citizen, not in reach of skepti- 
cism, but in might of faith. His was never 
that gentlemanly sort of virtue which de- 
votes unoccupied corners of the being, as 
it were in decorative fashion, to the interests 
of humanity. He would toil patiently at the 
humblest crank-work, content to move pup- 
pets who received whatever public credit 
was to be had. Mr. Mann abandoned a po- 
litical career that was calculated to satisfy a 
generous ambition, to take the newly created 
office of Secretary of the Board of Educa- 
tion, unassociated with dignity or emolu- 
ment. " If the position is not honorable 
now," he replied to the remonstrances of a 
friend, " then it is clearly for me to elevate 
it ; and I would rather be creditor than debt- 
or to the title." He combined in a rare de- 
gree the working powers of the enthusiast 
with the balance of the philosopher. He 
wrought at high-pressure, yet looked to no 
immediate or showy success. " If no seed 
were ever sown save that which would prom- 
ise the requital of a full harvest, how soon 
would mankind revert to barbarism ! " The 
exclamation was with him no disregarded 
truism. 

Mr. Mann's views of the true ends to be 
sought in our systems of education receive 
daily confirmation. Burying the mind under 
a heap of ready-made generalizations may 
give a conceit of knowledge, amusing or 
dangerous as the case may be, but never 
gives the " power " promised in the apho- 
rism. When Montaigne said that he would 
rather forge his mind than furnish it, he sug- 
gested the true principle of education. The 
problem is not to fill the mind from without, 
but to give the most efficient aid to its ef- 
forts to form itself from within. The ener- 
gies that Mr. Mann put forth for the direc- 
tion and government of Antioch College, his 
noble sacrifices far exceeding the require- 
ments that could justly be demanded at his 
hands, not only show his lofty and resolute 
nature, but clearly exhibit the substantial 
animus of the scheme of instruction he had 
at heart. While fully recognizing the inti- 
mate connection between physical organ- 
ization and mental phenomena, he never 
doubted our inherent ability to subdue the 
animal nature, and considered that a recog- 
nizable effort so to do should be an essen- 



tial condition of intellectual culture. The 
great features of the institution for which 
he sacrificed his life were, an unsectarian 
basis, and instruction to woman as well as 
man. The touching narrative shows how 
broad and firm was the foundation upon 
which he built. The glory of Horace Mann 
the educator culminates in this : he proved 
that without dogma or formulary the tone 
of a large body of students might be unusu- 
ally religious and their conduct unusually 
moral ; and also, that the properly guarded 
intercourse of young men and young women 
engaged in the pursuit of knowledge might 
be elevating and beneficial to both. 

The present volume furnishes a just con- 
ception of Mr. Mann's remarkable charac- 
ter. We see a human life consistently gov- 
erned by the highest human instincts. Yet 
if shortcomings there were, they may be 
found, or inferred, by those who will look 
for them. Mr. S. J. May thinks it not ju- 
dicious to publish certain letters that Mr. 
Mann addressed to him, lest they should 
injure their author's fame with some good 
men. But the controlling sincerity of the 
biographer will not permit her to withhold 
them. In the never-ending battle between 
the theoretically right and what to mortal 
vision seems the practically expedient, Hor- 
ace Mann for a moment inclines to -the lat- 
ter. He fears that Mr. May will peril his 
usefulness as Principal of the Lexington 
Normal School by an open connection with 
the Abolitionists. He urges the duty of 
considering the consequences of our acts : 
as if we could weigh, or in any manner esti- 
mate, the eternal consequences of the least 
of them ; as if all history did not show us 
that the temporary loss of influence, of use- 
fulness, the sacrifice of life itself, was neces- 
sary to the incorporation of a higher truth 
with the existing intelligence of men, and 
the means of its final triumph in the world. 
But Mr. Mann's own brave career was nev- 
er deflected by the sophistries of the timid. 
He never doubted that he best influenced 
the whole by fulfilling the highest law of his 
individual life. What other faith could sus- 
tain him, when his exhausting labors were 
not rewarded by a recognized success in any- 
way commensurate with their desert ? Yet 
no one ever saw him when the luminous 
quality of his spiritual nature was clouded, 
or the special stimulus to use his powers to 
the utmost was withdrawn. 

Few recipes for comfortable living are to 
be gathered from such a story. Vainly we 
ask for a little repose upon our pilgrimage 



250 



Reviews and L itcrary Notices. 



[August, 



along those sublime heights of holy exertion 
whither that example leads us. We exam- 
ine the chronicle of labor and privation, if 
haply we may find some paragraph wherein 
the philanthropist dines out or goes to the 
theatre. But the solemn claims of human- 
ity are always in his keeping, and we must 
get inured as we may to his rigorous stew- 
ardship. And it is by the grace of such ex- 
ceptional men that our country is to become 
less the paradise of charlatanry, and better 
to deserve the title of Model Republic. They 
draw the poison from that current philos- 
ophy which maintains that the intellect of 
man has always led the way in social ad- 
vancement, his moral nature being subordi- 
nate thereto. Not as the sum of past forces, 
but by his own inherent moral life, does Hor- 
ace Mann fill these pages. It is a sterling 
biography, which no educated American can 
afford not to read. It is only partial praise 
to call the book deeply interesting. It vivi- 
fies and inspires. 



The Gentle Life. Essays in Aid of the For- 
mation of Character. London : Samp- 
son Low, Son, and Marston. 

THE title of this book constitutes its chief, 
we had almost said its sole, claim to con- 
sideration. We open its pleasant-looking 
pages with pleasant memories of Charles 
Lamb and Leigh Hunt, and pleasant an- 
ticipations, not of brilliancy, indeed, nor 
trenchant truth, but of medicine for our wea- 
riness, a moment of quiet in the rush and 
whirl of things, a breath of repose from 
over the sea to cool and tranquillize these 
fervid days of ours. We are tranquillized, 
indeed ! We find ourselves straightway in 
a desert, stuck full of flowers, it is true, 
from innumerable gardens, but a desert 
still : for the unhappy exotics have suffered 
so severely in the transportation as to be 
scarcely able to hold up their heads, and, 
where they still preserve their original beau- 
ty, only serve to throw into stronger relief 
the surrounding sterility. It is a medley of 
dismal platitudes ; truths which have been 
truisms for at least a century, uttered with 
all the pomp and circumstance of newly dis- 
covered laws ; quotations garbled, pointless, 
or dipped in a feeble venom ; shreds of learn- 
ing pieced together, with or without adapta- 
tion, in a nondescript patchwork ; the frag- 
ments of a thousand feasts huddled into one 
pot, simmered over a slow fire, and served 
up as a pretty dish to set before a king. 



The uniformity of the book is wonderful. 
It is always heavy. Its falsehood is insipid. 
Its very malice has no pungency. It is dull 
even where it hates. Now and then we 
stumble on a paragraph which starts up 
from the dead level around it, glowing with 
real fire ; but at the end we are sure to 
find that it is translated from Victor Hugo 
or transferred from Emerson ; and generally 
these borrowed plumes are so torn and be- 
draggled in their clumsy removal that the 
very bird they grew on would scarcely rec- 
ognize them. There is no intentional, no 
malign maltreatment, to give us the re- 
lief of a real indignation ; but we are kept 
in a state of constant irritation by a series 
of petty encroachments upon the integri- 
ties of literature. There is no law compel- 
ling a man to garnish his speech with float- 
ing verse ; but if he choose to do so, he 
should make a point of presenting it in its 
true form. At the very least, if he must 
garble, let him garble rhythmically, and not 
add splay feet to spoiled force. One may 
not have a poetic taste or a musical ear ; 
but if he has fingers and toes, he need not 
say, 

" Yet I doubt not through ages one increasing pur- 
pose runs." 

It is utter demoralization to write "pride 
in his port and fire in his eye." Indeed, the 
singular fatality which attends these quota- 
tions has something of the sublime. If a 
sentiment can be reproduced with all its 
sparkle extinguished, our Gentle Man is the 
one to do it. Diffuse everywhere else, he 
is compact in erring, and crowds more mis- 
takes into a paragraph than are often met 
on a page. He says incidentally, " Lord 
Byron wrote a very pretty song, conveying 
the idea in its refrain ' that the day of my 
destiny is over, the star of my hope has de- 
clined.' Now it is not a song, as he uses 
the word ; the idea, if it is an idea, is not 
in the refrain ; there is no refrain in the 
piece ; and there is nothing said in the piece 
about the star of his hope. Lord Burleigh's 
fulsome she-fool is euphemized into an irk- 
some female fool, and Lord Byron jumped 
up one morning and found himself famous. 
We are informed that nothing 

" Can ennoble slaves, or fools, or cowards " ; 
and that 

" My days are in the yellow leaf, 

The flowers and the fruit are gone " ; 

Burton was pleasing himself with phantasies 
sweet ; Addison wedded misery in a noble 



1865.] 



Revicivs and Literary Notices. 



wife ; Wolsey had nothing more pathetic to 
say than " Had I served my God as I serv- 
ed my King, He would not now have de- 
serted me " ; and King James, contrary to all 
historic tradition and all the probabilities of 
the case, " never said a foolish thing and 
never did a wise one." 

Here is a bit of concentrated history : 
" On one of the last Sundays in December, 
1862, in the midst of a dispirited city, and 
with a perplexed Senate and a beaten army 
as that city's safeguards, Mr. Henry Ward 
Beecher asserted in the Puritan Church in 
New York, that ' Generals were of no use ; 
that God fought against the North for up- 
holding the slaves ; that the time was come 
when wickedness was to be " rooted out " ; 
and, finally, that it was not only the province 
of the preacher to condemn vice, but that he 
should " pluck it out by the root," should 
"slay" wickedness, and that slavery and 
alcohol should be put down by the arm of 
flesh and the sword of the preacher.' " 

Now, frankly confessing that we have no 
knowledge whatever of the facts in question 
and cannot therefore authoritatively deny a 
single statement, we are yet willing, on " cir- 
cumstantial evidence," to risk both our in- 
telligence and veracity by declaring our be- 
lief, first, that Mr. Beecher did not say this 
in the Puritan Church, but in the Plymouth 
Church ; secondly, that it was not in New 
York, but in Brooklyn ; and, thirdly, that 
he never said it at all. We leave out of 
view the haze which evidently beclouds this 
Gentle Brain regarding the location of the 
Senate, and its prevailing impression that 
the Potomac flows nine times around New 
York before it empties itself into Lake Pont- 
chartrain. 

We do not claim to display any superior 
learning in pointing out these mistakes. We 
shall never set ourselves above our contem- 
poraries for corrections which we will 
not say every school-boy, but every school- 
girl of ordinary literary aptitude is entirely 
competent to make. There are many things 
which it is no credit to know, but a serious 
discredit not to know ; and when a man 
presumes to write a book, we have at least 
a right to expect that he shall not stumble 
in the primer. The Gentle Man claims to 
have been a student of English literature. 
He has certainly been a very stupid or a 
very careless one. Indications are not want- 
ing that his proper seat is on both horns of 
the dilemma. 

When he leaves other writers and has re- 
course to his own pen, matters are but indif- 



ferently mended. The slovenliness of his 
style is extraordinary. " Ought a gentle- 
man," he quotes from Thackeray, " to be a 
loyal son, a true husband, an honest father ? 
Ought his life to be decent, his bills to be 
paid, his tastes to be high and elegant, his 
aims in life to be noble ? " " Yes," re- 
sponds the astute essayist, " he should be 
all these, and somewhat more ; and these 
all men can be, and women, too." What 
is the English of this gibberish ? " In 
Miss Thackeray's excellent novel, the ' Sto- 
ry of Elizabeth,' there is a somewhat new 
point in such books." He tells us that 
General Bliicher " had his disappointments, 
no doubt, but turned them, like the oyster 
does the speck of sand which annoys it, to 
a pearl," that in every state people may 
be cheerful ; the lambs skip, birds sing and 
fly joyously, puppies play, kittens zrzfull of 
joyance, the whole air full of careering and 
rejoicing insects, that everywhere the good 
outbalances the bad, and that every evil that 
there is has its compensating balm." And 
in face of such slop-work he dares to speak 
of having " formed his style " ! 

And, stranger still, a book which indulges 
in these pranks has gone to a third edition 
in the land of Addison and Macaulay ! 
Moreover, our copy belongs to this verita- 
ble third edition, whose preface informs us 
that " the Essays have undergone a careful 
revision." What must have been the glo- 
ries of the first edition ? 

The style is not more hopelessly mud- 
dled than the sentiment. The man's skull 
seems to be undergoing a perpetual house- 
cleanmg. His intellectual furniture is al- 
ways at sixes and sevens. It would be very 
strange, if so wide a rover and so indefatiga- 
ble a collector should never by any chance 
come back with some valuable specimens 
for his cabinet ; but the few curiosities dis- 
played as his own property have so very 
awkward an air in his wilderness of com- 
mon pebbles, that we have a deep inward 
conviction that they are stolen, though the 
theft may be an unconscious one. More- 
over, if he ever lights on a genuine gem, 
he cannot keep his hands off it, but paws 
it over and over till it is as lustreless as 
its companions. He seems to have an or- 
ganic inaptitude for combination. He lays 
a fact down and straightway forgets where 
he put it, what it was for, or what manner 
of fact it was, and goes serenely on with his 
argument as if no such fact existed. Some 
of his facts are of such a nature that the 
pity is not that he occasionally forgets them, 



252 



Revinvs and Literary Notices. 



[August, 



but that he ever remembered them. To 
show that old truths are "now proved to 
have been lies," he quotes, 

" Doubc that the stars are fire, 

Doubt that the sun doth move, 
Doubt truth to be a liar, 
But never doubt I love," 

and adds this comment, " Well, we know 
now that the sun does not move, and that 
the stars are not fire ; that the voices of the 
learned, who held up these things as im- 
mutable truths, were unconsciously lying 
after all." Yet any astronomical horn-book 
would have told our philosopher, that, if one 
scientific theory is firmly founded on truth, 
it is that the sun does move ; and for the 
matter of the stars, it is as likely to be fire 
as anything else. " William Penn," he says 
elsewhere, "is now tainted, and Washington 
suspected." By whom? and of what? 
will this new historian inform us ? " Great 
artists think differently, as witness won- 
drous Giotto, the shepherd boy, and our 
own clever, but mediocre Opie." A man 
may mistake a mediocre painter for a great 
artist and only err in judgment, but that he 
should in the same breath proclaim him to 
be both is a marvel of stultification. " All 
men are not born equal," he says, presump- 
tuously dabbling in politics and drawing his 
feeble bow against the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, " all men are not equally wise, 
gifted, clever, strong, handsome, or tall. 
The brains of one nation and the brains of 
one man are superior in weight, form, and 
activity to the brains of another nation or 
another man." " The framers of the cele- 
brated American Declaration knew just as 
well as we do that they were preaching a 
doctrine of romantic falsehood." A moment 
or two after this fine philosophical distinc- 
tion and this courteous and eminently Gen- 
tle assertion, but quite long enough for 
him to have forgotten both, he makes 
another affirmation, that equality exists "in 
the grave and in the church." How, then ? 
Are men equally wise, gifted, clever, 
strong, handsome, or tall in church ? "A 
hundred years after death we may weigh 
the dust of the greatest hero, and it is no 
more than that of the poorest beggar ; and 
the name that remains is as light and use- 
less as the dust." But if the great hero 
were very strong and tall and the poor beg- 
gar a feeble dwarf, the dust of the one would 
be appreciably more than that of the other. 
And what means this Daniel come to judg- 
ment by teaching that a hero's name is light 



and useless ? We had supposed it was 
agreed among all civilized people that a na- 
tion's heroic memories are her most price- 
less possessions. We ask the question sim- 
ply as a rhetorical one. We are perfectly 
aware that the author means nothing. He 
seldom does mean anything. And if he did, 
he is the last person to whom we should ap- 
ply for any exact definition of his meaning. 
He uses words with very little comprehen- 
sion of their ordinary meaning ; of the delica- 
cy or the force of language he has no sort of 
conception. He grasps at the skirts of any 
notion that flutters through his disorderly 
mind, fastens to it the word that comes first 
to hand, and sets it fluttering again. Jux- 
taposition is his all-sufficient substitute for 
connection, and " a moment's time, a point 
of space," between two statements is fatal 
to his arguments. " We all differ. There- 
fore" is his extraordinary inference, " every 
individual should live, not for himself, but 
to be valuable to others ; for" and here we 
turn another of his inexplicable corners, " it 
would be sheer midsummer madness to 
preach up that all are equally valuable." 
Consequently we embark on his sentences, 
paragraphs, and chapters in entire igno- 
rance of the point where they will land us. 
He takes Mr. Help^s to task for bowing the 
knee to the Moloch of success in writing 
Mr. Stephenson's life, accuses Mr. Stephen- 
son of borrowing and purloining ideas, yet 
himself constantly holds him up to admira- 
tion as a hero. The putting down of the 
Slaveholders' Rebellion is to him a mere 
" blundering into slaughter " ; but the Cri- 
mean War " showed that heroism is not yet 
extinct in high life " ; and in the Indian Muti- 
nies, we, the English, " were attacked, un- 
dermined, betrayed," and that rebellion was 
quelled with " courage, skill in arms, any- 
thing you will, or all things combined, and 
God's blessing chief of all, which enabled 
us to preserve a mighty empire." Of these 
" high people " he advises us to " adopt the 
polish, suavity, and politeness, one towards 
another, which, with few exceptions, they 
all have," only two pages after he has illus- 
trated " vulgar curiosity in high life " by tell- 
ing us how, " at an entertainment given by 
the Prince and Princess of Wales, to which, 
of course, only the very cream of the cream 
of society was admitted, there was such a 
pushing and struggling to see the Princess 
.... that a bust of the Princess Royal was 
thrown from its pedestal and damaged, and 
the pedestal upset ; the ladies, in their ea- 
gerness to view the Princess, coolly took 



1865.] 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



253 



advantage of the overthrown pillar by stand- 
ing on it." In one place he testifies that 
"the majority of men's wives in the up- 
per and middle classes fall far short of 
that which is required of a good wife. They 
are not made by love, but by the chance of 
a good match. They are the products of 
worldly prudence, not of a noble passion. 
.... The consequence is, that after the 
first novelty has passed away, the chain be- 
gins to rub and the collar to gall." A little 
later in the same essay he gives an ideal 
wife, and says, " It is not too much to say 
that the great majority of wives equal this 
ideal." " By far the larger portion of mar- 
riages are happy ones .... and .... 
of men's wives we still can write .... 
' her voice is sweet music, her smiles his 
brightest day,' &c., &c." " Women," he 
says, "differ from men in this respect. 
They all, very properly, look forward to 
marriage." So, we suppose, men do not 
look forward to marriage ; or if they do, it 
is improperly. . " Nay, the great majority 
[of women], even in our factitious state of 
society, are utterly dependent upon it." 
That is, if society were not factitious, every 
woman, without exception, would be utter- 
ly dependent upon marriage for a living. 
"The majority of girls are looking forward 
to be married at an early age, and are in 
despair of being left old maids when they 
are twenty-one." As usual, he means the 
contrary of what he says, not that girls 
hope to be old maids till they are twenty- 
one and then settle down into the certainty 
that they must become wives, but that they 
hope to be wives and are in despair at be- 
ing old maids by the time they are twenty- 
one. The difficult task of evolving his 
meaning from his words is, to be sure, en- 
tirely a work of supererogation on our part, 
as the statement he means and the state- 
ment he makes are usually alike baseless. 
But we choose to free him from the meshes 
in which he has entangled himself and give 
him a chance to run for his life. 

The brilliancy and originality of his views 
on social questions appear in such startling 
announcements as " Woman should be true 
to herself." " Woman was created to be a 
wife and a mother." "The accomplished 
woman in these days of general education 
is, however, a grand mistake." " Why 
should lovely woman ever condescend to 
dabble in political economy ? Can a gen- 
tleman be a gentleman when logic requires 
the truth ? Will dry dissertation fill up the 
place of compliment and flowery talk ? Will 



agricultural measures, Mill on Liberty, 
Buckle on Civilization, High, Low, or 
Middle Church, Pleiocene periods, 
Hind's new comet, and the division of la- 
bor, suffer us to enjoy^ life as we used, 
and to amuse ourselves with the innocent 
prattle of ladies' tongues ? " Rosy, posy, 
pinky, honey, pepper/w/'w/ 1 , and sugar-plum- 
my ! " One part of management in hus- 
bands lies in a judicious mixture of good- 
humor, attention, flattery, and compli- 
ments." Here, helping him to his meaning, 
which he flounders after in vain through a 
page of wish-wash, we may explain that he 
is not speaking, as would naturally be sup- 
posed, of the manner in which husbands 
manage wives, but, advancing in his usual 
crab-fashion, of the manner in which wives 
manage husbands ; nor by flattery let it be 
imagined for a moment that he means flat- 
tery, but " an offered flower, a birth-day 
gift, a song when we are weary, a smile 
when we are sad, a look which no eye but 
our own will see," in which, if truth is, as has 
been said, " a fixed central sun," our com- 
et must be considered in its perihelion. 
And having thus set him on his feet again, 
let us see whether he can stand by himself 
a tottering moment or two. 

The preventive of these ill-assorted mar- 
riages (which for the greater part are never 
made) is, if the young men " only chose by 
sense or fancy, or because they saw some 
good quality in a girl, if they were not all 
captivated by the face alone," (Query : 
What is being captivated by a face but 
choosing by fancy ? and what is choosing 
by sense but choosing by some good quali- 
ty ?) " every Jill would have her Jack, and 
pair off happily, like the lovers in a com- 
edy." At the same time he agrees with 
Swift that the reason why so many mar- 
riages are unhappy is because young ladies 
spend their " time in making nets and not 
in making cages." 

We have said that the Gentle Man is 
dull even when he hates. It is true, so far 
as he has anything to do with expressing his 
hatred ; yet the time for the publication of his 
dulness is so inaptly or perhaps we should 
rather say so aptly chosen, that the incon- 
gruity awakens our sense of the ridiculous, 
while a certain childlike confidingness with 
which he credits any statement that makes 
against the objects of his dislike comes 
nearer to amusing us than anything else 
in the book. America is his bete noir. It 
points the moral of every sad tale. " Vul- 
garity, hoydenishness, coarseness, and the 



254 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



[August, 



contempt which accompanies these quali- 
ties, are the effects of bad manner and man- 
ners. It may pervade a whole nation, as it 
has done the Americans." What the par- 
ticular " it " is which pervades us, we can- 
not, and the Gentle Man, also, "true to 
himself," cannot say ; but there it is. A 
nation is exhorted to politeness ; for, " sit- 
ting with their legs over the chair-back of 
another, carrying bowie-knives, cutting the 
furniture, and spitting in a circle around 
them, are not only national faults, but ab- 
solutely sins amongst Americans." Call a 
spade a spade, and speak not as in " Amer- 
ica, where they talk of the ' stands ' of the 
tables, not daring to say ' legs ' ; and a 
young lady will be highly offended, if you 
dare to ask her to take a leg of a fowl or a 
breast of a turkey. There the latter is call- 
ed ' bosom ' ; and a mock modesty, which 
to us seems highly improper, has altered 
some round dozen of good, sound English 
words, which our best and purest girls use 
without so much as thinking upon them." 
Avoid exaggeration, for in America " it pro- 
duces a general decay of truth and a boast- 
ful habit of exaggeration, for which the na- 
tion has grown famous, and at which its 
best friends are truly grieved." (Oh ! ) 
. . . . " They have asserted so long that 
they are the finest and best nation in the 
world, and they have come out so poorly 
under trial, that, what with a remembrance 
of the old story and the presence of the 
new, the English thinker is completely puz- 
zled So general was the falsifica- 
tion, that the best men in the Northern 
States no longer credited a Government 
despatch or a general's ' order ';.... 
and the sad state into which the great na- 
tion has fallen has arisen from the spread 
of that vile disease, a love of exaggeration." 
His profound political penetration is evin- 
ced by the sagacious remark, that " Ameri- 
ca, the disciple of Lafayette (!) and French 
doctrines, determined to propagate liberty 
by enslaving six millions of brothers." His 
opinion of the character and career of our 
late beloved President a name almost too 
pure and now too sacred to be mentioned 
here is for once succinctly given, "A 
cunning attorney sits upon a chair he can- 
not fill, and is leading a party and country 
to destruction." " With all his undoubted 
conceit and endurance, with his keenness 
for praise and for being talked about, we 
doubt whether there are many more miser- 
able men in the world than President Abra- 
ham Lincoln. The bitter, bitter tears which 



Louis XVI shed because of his own 

unfitness have been chronicled ; but he, 
knowing his incompetence, was born to the 
estate of king ; the American President wrig- 
gled himself forward into notoriety." "To 
an American, all the world seemed bound 
up in his Boston or Philadelphia. .... He 
could whip John Bull, and John Bull could 
whip all the world. As, since that, he has 
been 'whipped into a cocked hat' by his 
own relations, we hope some of the conceit 
has been taken out of him." Yes, unhappy 
that we are, the secret is at last revealed. 
We carry bowie-knives in our breast-pock- 
ets (venturing to discard for once, under 
the protection of our Transatlantic Mentor, 
the usual term of bosom-pocket). We dine 
off the stands of fowl. We have come out 
poorly under trial, our finances are deran- 
ged, our country bankrupt, our confidence 
in Government lost, and we have no loyal- 
ty, because there is nothing to be loyal to. 
We are tossing on a sea of anarchy, we are 
rushing on to ruin, we have been braggart 
in peace and cowardly in war, and are at 
this moment whipped by our own relations 
into such a cocked hat as was never be- 
fore seen. We do not credit the order to 
stop recruiting, and we have no belief in 
the evacuation of Richmond. We are con- 
fident that Sherman is gasping in the last 
ditch, that Jefferson Davis is dictator at 
Washington, and that General Grant is fly- 
ing in his wife's gown before the victorious 
legions of Lee. 

In his preface, the writer of this book re- 
pels the charge of being like Thackeray and 
Dickens. W T e can assure him, that, with an 
American public, he may spare himself that 
trouble. He is not in the smallest danger 
of being mistaken for either of those emi- 
nent writers. He is so entirely unlike them 
that we do not for a moment suspect him 
of having attempted to imitate them. We 
do not even reckon him their disciple, nor 
Bacon's, nor Montaigne's, nor Steele's, nor 
any other's whose plan he professes him- 
self to have adopted ; for a disciple is a 
learner, which the Gentle Man seems never 
capable of becoming. Good and bad alike, 
he is a feeble and confused echo of all men's 
notions, but the steadfast adherent of none. 
The snob's soul within him bows down to 
the authority of great men, yet he produces 
their great thoughts in disjointed and dis- 
torted shape. He does not scruple to sneer 
where sneers are safe, blind to the glaring 
fact that sneers are never safe for him. 
Bold behind his Tory bulwarks, he warns 



1865.] 



Reviews and Literary Notices. 



255 



boys against adopting Mr. Bright's opinions, 
and so becoming " selfish, calculating, cold ; 
as careless of true nobility of purpose and 
of soul and as worshipful of material suc- 
cess as Mr. Bright himself;" and he has 
his little fling at Tupper, in common with 
many another literary drummer-boy who 
would earn a cheap reputation for valor by 
attacking what his superiors have already 
demolished. We should scorn to parry the 
puny thrust of this Liliputian at the noble 
name which America delights to honor, or 
to repel the charge of coldness against that 
great heart whose burst of anguish over the 
grave of his friend, and our friend, and .hu- 
manity's, awoke an answering sob in a thou- 
sand homes of this Western World ; but 
we beg to assure this fine old English Gen- 
tle Man and scholar, that, reading these 
essays, we are ready to pronounce Mr. Tup- 
per a master of style and his philosophy a 
striking and valuable treatise. 

We really beg pardon of our readers for 
covering so much space with this flummery. 
We intended to despatch it with a thrust or 
two ; but when our pen was once caught in 
the flimsy stuff, it was difficult to withdraw 
it again without bringing away considera- 
ble portions of the tangle. Moreover, a 
book of so much pretension is not to be as 
lightly passed by as its humbler brethren. 
A book that comes to us in fair type and 
fine paper, bearing the imprint of a well- 
known and highly respected publishing 
house, a book that invokes the first names 
in literature and meddles with the higher 
laws of life, that takes on the airs of a cen- 
sor and pushes forward into the guild of 
genius, that by the assumption of its tone 
and the broadcast scatteration depend 
upon it, that is the word of its odds and 
ends of learning, or by what hocus-pocus 
we know not, has attained to a third edition 
in a country proud of the accuracy and ele- 
gance of its scholarship, and that now brings 
its brazen face to our doors, seeking a wel- 
come at the hearthstones which it has in- 
sulted, is not to be dismissed with a simple 
" Not at home." We have chosen rather 
to pillory the pretender, pelting him only 
with such missiles as his own pockets fur- 
nished. We now discharge him from cus- 
tody, bidding him and all his kind bear in 
mind the assurance, that, while for English 
genius, English wisdom, English truth, and 
English love, we have only admiration and 
gratitude, the time has gone by for English 
charlatanry to expect from our hands any- 
thing but the scourging it deserves. 



Essays in Criticism. By MATTHEW AR- 
NOLD. Boston : Ticknor & Fields. 

A MORE satisfactory volume of English 
prose than this has not come into our hands 
since the first appearance of the famous 
" Essays and Reviews." Differing widely 
from that collection in kind and scope, it 
yet belongs in the main to the same school 
of liberal thought in which England has 
made of late such rapid strides. 

As a poet, Matthew Arnold had been 
known among us for a decade or more of 
years, and, though not celebrated with the 
wide popularity of Tennyson, had been as 
cordially cherished as the Laureate himself 
by all who valued in poetry the indications 
of profound intellect