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Full text of "Half-hours with the best American authors"

THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

DAVIS 

GIFT OF 

Mrs. Paul M. Grant 




/ 



HALF-HOURS 



WITH THE 



BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 



SELECTED AND ARRANGED BY 

CHAELES MORRIS. 



VOL. IV. 



PHILADELPHIA: 
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY. 

1891. 



Copyright, 1886, by J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY. 




CONTENTS. 



SUBJECT. AUTHOB. PAOK 

The Yosemite Valley FITZHUGH LUDLOW 7 

The Parisian " Pension" JOHN SANDERSON 19 

The Fate of Major Andre" ALEXANDER HAMILTON .... 22 

A Gale off Cape Horn R. H. DANA 35 

Washington THEODORE PARKER 45 

Poems of Thought and Sympathy . . . VARIOUS 49 

Thought HELEN HUNT JACKSON .... 49 

Thought. . , C. P. CRANCH 49 

A King EDGAR FAWCETT 51 

Released MRS. A. D. T. WHITNEY ... 52 

Anywhere M. E. CLARKE 53 

Two Good-Nights ANONYMOUS 55 

Lines for an Album ANONYMOUS 55 

Outgrown JULIA C. R. DORR 56 

Higher Tenants JOHN J. PIATT 58 

Tribute to Joseph Rodman Drake . . FITZ-GREENE HALLECK ... 60 

The Disappointed ELLA WHEELER WILCOX ... 61 

The Theory of Land-Taxation HENRY GEORGE 63 

The Crest of the Alleghanies EDWARD STRAHAN 70 

The Good Old Times CHARLES HEBER CLARK ... 76 

In the Autumn Woodlands SUSAN WARNER 88 

Absalom N. P. WILLIS 96 

The Sabbath in New England C. M. SEDGWICK 100 

The Revision of the Constitution .... JOHN RANDOLPH 103 

Discovery of the Mississippi by Marquette GEORGE BANCROFT 105 

River Drift- Wood SARAH ORNE JEWETT .... 110 

Patriotic Songs VARIOUS 119 

Hail Columbia JOSEPH HOPKINSON 120 

The Star-Spangled Banner FRANCIS S. KEY 122 

Battle-Hymn of the Republic .... JULIA WARD HOWE 124 

America SAMUEL F. SMITH 125 

3 



4 CONTENTS. 

SUBJECT. AUTHOR. PAGE 

Ode to the American Flag JOSEPH RODMAN DRAKE . . . 126 

Sheridan's Hide T. BUCHANAN READ 128 

The Blue and the Gray FRANCIS M. FINCH 130 

Burning of a Lake Steamer ROBERT DALE OWEN 132 

Words of Wisdom JAMES A. GARFIELD 148 

Paradise Plantation L. S. HOTTGHTON 156 

Centennial Oration HENRY ARMITT BROWN . . . 170 

The Singer's Hilla HELEN HUNT JACKSON .... 173 

When the House is Alone MARY KYLE DALLAS .... 177 

Daisy Miller HENRY JAMES 180 

The Ocklawaha in May SIDNEY LANIER 190 

Twelve Hundred Miles through the Air . JOHN WISE 202 

Importance of Literary Style WILLIAM MATHEWS 213 

The Songs of the Troubadours HARRIET W. PRESTON .... 224 

The Death of the Whale H. MELVILLE 230 

German Ideas about America J. Ross BROWNE 236 

The Famine HENRY W. LONGFELLOW ... 243 

Incidents of Arctic Travel E. K. KANE 250 

The Total Depravity of Inanimate Things. MRS. E. A. WALKER 254 

The Man in the Reservoir C. F. HOFFMAN .... . 262 

The Mound-Builders ANONYMOUS 272 

Unwritten Music N. P. WILLIS 284 

Life at Threescore and Ten ALBERT BARNES 289 

No Use being in a Hurry J. K. PAULDINQ 293 

A Tiger-Hunt in India W. T. HORNADAY 304 

Poems of Humor VARIOUS . 314 

Old Grimes ALBERT G. GREENE 314 

Mary's Bee JAMES NACK 316 

Little Breeches JOHN HAY 317 

The Philosopher Toad MRS. R. S. NICHOLS 319 

Vesta EDGAR FAWCETT 320 

Plain Language from Truthful James . BRET HARTE ... . 321 

A Babylonish Ditty F. S. COZZENS 323 

Nothing to Wear WILLIAM A. BUTLER 326 

Labor in the Middle Ages CHARLES J. STILLE 329 

The Theory of Evolution MONCURE D. CONWAY .... 337 

Spelling down the Master EDWARD EGGLESTON 345 

A Newport Romance BRET HARTE 358 

The Debt of Religion to Science .... MINOT J. SAVAGE 361 

The Faun and the Nymph NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE '. '. '. 371 

The Lessons of American History . . . GULIAN C. VERPLANCK . , 384 



CONTENTS. 5 

SUBJECT. AUTHOB. PAGB 

The Proud Miss MacBride JOHN G. SAXE 388 

The Condition of China WILLIAM H. SEWARD .... 393 

The Horrors of War CHARLES SUMNER 398 

A New England Country Court . . . . . D. P. THOMPSON 401 

Excursion to Sorrento GEORGE S. HILLARD 409 

Home Life and Home Sentiment .... VARIOUS 413 

Home, Sweet Home JOHN HOWARD PAYNE .... 413 

The Old Oaken Bucket SAMUEL WOODWORTH .... 414 

Woodman, Spare that Tree GEORGE P. MORRIS 415 

The Family Meeting CHARLES SPRAGUE 417 

Measuring the Baby EMMA ALICE BROWNE .... 418 

Cradle Song JOSIAH G. HOLLAND 420 

Hannah Binding Shoes LUCY LARCOM 422 

Labor is Worship FRANCES SARGENT OSGOOD . . 423 

The Controlling Elements of the Refor 
mation C. P. KRAUTH 425 

An Old-Time Virginia Race-Course . . JOHN ESTEN COOKE ..... 435 

A Letter to a Dyspeptic T. W. HIGGINSON 448 

Columbus at Barcelona WASHINGTON IRVING 458 

Marco Bozzaris FITZ-GREENE HALLECK . . . 463 

Self-Culture WILLIAM E. CHANNING .... 467 

The Bathing of the Baby SARA J. LIPPINCOTT 470 

The Palaces and Temples of the Incas . W. H. PRESCOTT 478 

Ode for Decoration-Day HENRY PETERSON 484 

The Method of Hawthorne J. C. HEYWOOD 488 

INDEX OF SUBJECTS 499 

INDEX OF AUTHORS . 511 



HALF-HOURS 

WITH THE 

BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 



THE YOSEMITE VALLEY. 

FITZHUGH LUDLOW. 

[The minutely-detailed and poetically-conceived description of the 
famous Yosemite Valley given below is from " The Heart of the Conti 
nent," an eloquently-written narrative of travel in the Kocky Moun 
tains and the Pacific States, by Fitzhugh Ludlow. His other works 
are "The Hasheesh-Eater," "The Opium Habit," and "Little 
Brother." The visions described in "The Hasheesh-Eater" are 
brilliantly delineated, and seem rather the work of an ardent imagina 
tion than actual happenings. Mr. Ludlow was born at Poughkeepsie, 
New York, in 1837. He died in Switzerland, in 1870, a victim of 
opium-eating. He wrote a number of very popular student songs.] 

IMMEDIATELY after leaving the meadow where we dined, 
we plunged again into the thick forest, where every now 
and then some splendid grouse or the beautiful plume- 
crowned California quail went whirring away from before 
our horses. Here and there a broad grizzly u sign" inter 
sected our trail. The tall purple deer-weed, a magnificent 
scarlet flower of name unknown to me, and another blos 
som like the laburnum, endlessly varied in its shades of 
roseate, blue, or the compromised tints, made the hill-sides 

7 



8 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LUDLOW 

gorgeous beyond human gardening. All these were scent 
less; but one other flower, much rarer, made fragrance 
enough for all. This was the " Lady Washington," and 
much resembled a snowy day-lily with an odor of tube 
roses. Our dense leafy surrounding hid us from the fact 
of our approach to the Yalley's tremendous battlement, 
till our trail turned at a sharp angle, and we stood on 
" Inspiration Point." 

That name had appeared pedantic, but we found it only 
the spontaneous expression of our own feelings on the 
spot. We did not so much seem to be seeing from that 
crag of vision a new scene on the old familiar globe, as a 
new heaven and a new earth into which the creative spirit 
had just been breathed. I hesitate now, as I did then, at 
the attempt to give my vision utterance. Never were 
words so beggared for an abridged translation of any 
Scripture of Nature. 

We stood on the verge of a precipice more than three 
thousand feet in height, a sheer granite wall, whose ter 
rible perpendicular distance baffled all visual computation. 
Its foot was hidden among hazy green spiculce, they 
might be tender spears of grass catching the slant sun on 
upheld aprons of cobweb, or giant pines whose tops that 
sun first gilt before he made gold of all the Yalley. 

There faced us another wall like our own. How far off 
it might be we could only guess. When Nature's light 
ning hits a man fair and square, it splits his yardstick. On 
recovering from this stroke, mathematicians have ascer 
tained the width of the Yalley to vary between half a mile 
and five miles. Where we stood, the width is about two. 

I said a wall like our own ; but as yet we could not 
know that certainly, for of our own we saw nothing. 
Our eyes seemed spell-bound to the tremendous precipice 
which stood smiling, not frowning at us, in all the serene 



LUDLOW] THE YOSEMITE VALLEY. 9 

radiance of a snow-white granite Boodh, broadly burn 
ing, rather than glistening, in the white-hot splendors of 
the setting sun. From that sun, clear back to the first 
avant-courier trace of purple twilight flushing the eastern 
sky-rim, yes, as if it were the very butment of the eter 
nally blue Californian heaven, ran that wall, always sheer 
as the plummet, without a visible break through which 
squirrel might climb or sparrow fly, so broad that it was 
just faint-lined like the paper on which I write by the 
loftiest water-fall in the world, so lofty that its very 
breadth could not dwarf it, while the mighty pines and 
Douglas firs which grew all along its edge seemed like 
mere lashes on the granite lid of the Great Valley's up- 
gazing eye. In the first astonishment of the view, we 
took the whole battlement at a sweep, and seemed to see 
an unbroken sky-line ; but as ecstasy gave way to exami 
nation, we discovered how greatly some portions of the 
precipice surpassed our immediate vis-d-vis in height. 

First, a little east of our off-look, there projected boldly 
into the Yalley from the dominant line of the base a square 
stupendous tower that might have been hewn by the dia 
mond adzes of the Genii for a second Babel experiment, 
in expectance of the wrath of Allah. Here and there the 
tools had left a faint scratch, only deep as the width of 
Broadway and a bagatelle of five hundred feet in length ; 
but that detracted no more from the unblemished four 
square contour of the entire mass than a pin- mark from 
the symmetry of a door-post. A city might have been 
built on its grand flat top. And, oh, the gorgeous masses 
of light and shadow which the falling sun cast on it, the 
shadows like great waves, the lights like their spumy tops 
and flying mist, thrown up from the heaving breast of 
a golden sea ! In California, at this season, the dome of 
heaven is cloudless ; but I still dream of what must be 



10 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

done for the bringing out of Tu-toch-anula's coronation- 
day majesties by the broken winter sky of fleece and fire. 
The height of his precipice is nearly four thousand feet 
perpendicular; his name is supposed to be that of the 
Valley's tutelar deity. He also rejoices in a Spanish alias, 
some Mission Indian having attempted to translate by 
" El Capitan" the idea of divine authority implied in Tu- 
toch-anula. 

Far up the Yalley to the eastward there rose high above 
the rest of the sky-line, and nearly five thousand feet above 
the Yalley, a hemisphere of granite, capping the sheer 
wall, without an apparent tree or shrub to hide its vast 
proportions. This we immediately recognized as the 
famous To-coy-89, better known through Watkins's photo 
graphs as the Great North Dome. I am ignorant of the 
meaning of the former name, but the latter is certainly 
appropriate. Between Tu-toch-anula and the Dome, the 
wall rose here and there into great pinnacles and towers, 
but its sky-line is far more regular than that of the 
southern side, where we were standing. 

We drew close to the edge of the precipice and looked 
along over our own wall up the Yalley. Its contour was 
a rough curve from our stand-point to a station opposite 
the North Dome, where the Yalley dwindles to its least 
width, so that all the intermediate crests and pinnacles 
which topped the perpendicular wall stood within our 
vision like the teeth of a saw, clear and sharp-cut against 
the blue sky. There is the same plumb-line uprightness 
in these mighty precipices as in those of the opposite side ; 
but their front is much more broken by bold promontories, 
and their tabular tops, instead of lying horizontal, slope up 
at an angle of forty-five degrees or more from the spot 
where we were standing, and make a succession of oblique 
prism-sections whose upper edges are between three and 



LTJDLOW] THE YOSEMITE VALLEY. \\ 

four thousand feet in height. But the glory of this 
southern wall comes at the termination of our view oppo 
site the North Dome. Here the precipice rises to the 
height of nearly one sheer mile, with a parabolic sky 
line, and its posterior surface is as elegantly rounded as 
an acorn-cup. From this contour results a naked semi- 
cone of polished granite, whose face would cover one of 
our smaller Eastern counties, though its exquisite propor 
tions make it seem a thing to hold in the hollow of the 
hand. A small pine-covered glacis of detritus lies at its 
foot, but every yard above that is bare of all life save the 
palaeozoic memories which have wrinkled the granite 
Colossus from the earliest seethings of the fire-time. I 
never could call a Yo-Semite crag inorganic, as I used to 
speak of everything not strictly animal or vegetal. In 
the presence of the Great South Dome that utterance be 
came blasphemous. Not living, was it ? Who knew but 
the debris at its foot was merely the cast-off sweat and 
exuvice of a stone life's great work-day ? Who knew but 
the vital changes which were going on within its gritty 
cellular tissue were only imperceptible to us because 
silent and vastly secular? What was he who stood up 
before Tis-sa-ack and said, " Thou art dead rock I" save a 
momentary sojourner in the bosom of a cyclic period 
whose clock his race had never yet lived long enough to 
hear strike ? What, too, if Tis-sa-ack himself were but 
one of the atoms in a grand organism where we could see 
only by monads at a time, if he, and the sun, and the 
sea, were but cells or organs of some one small being in 
the fenceless vivarium of the Universe? Let not the 
ephemeron that lights on a baby's hand generalize too 
rashly upon the non-growing of organisms! As we 
thought on these things, we bared our heads to the barer 
forehead of Tis-sa-ack. 



12 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LUDLOW 

Let us leave the walls of the Yalley to speak of the 
Yalley itself, as seen from this great altitude. There lies 
a sweep of emerald grass turned to chrysoprase by the 
slant-beamed sun, chrysoprase beautiful enough to have 
been the tenth foundation-stone of John's apocalyptic 
heaven. Broad and fair just beneath us, it narrows to a 
little strait of green between the butments that uplift the 
giant domes. Far to the westward, widening more and 
more, it opens into the bosom of great mountain-ranges, 
into a field of perfect light, misty by its own excess, into 
an unspeakable suffusion of glory created from the phoenix- 
pile of the dying sun. Here it lies almost as treeless as 
some rich old clover-mead ; yonder, its luxuriant smooth 
grasses give way to a dense wood of cedars, oaks, and 
pines. Not a living creature, either man or beast, breaks 
the visible silence of this inmost paradise ; but for our 
selves, standing at the precipice, petrified, as it were, rock 
on rock, the great world might well be running back in 
stone-and-grassy dreams to the hour when God had given 
him as yet but two daughters, the crag and the clover. 
"We were breaking into the sacred closet of Nature's self- 
examination. What if, on considering herself, she should 
of a sudden, and usward unawares, determine to begin the 
throes of a new cycle, spout up remorseful lavas from 
her long-hardened conscience, and hurl us all skyward in a 
hot concrete with her unbosomed sins ? Earth below was 
as motionless as the ancient heavens above, save for the 
shining serpent of the Merced, which silently to our ears 
threaded the middle of the grass and twinkled his bur 
nished back in the sunset wherever for a space 'he glided 
out of the shadow of woods. 

To behold this Promised Land proved quite a different 
thing from possessing it. Only the silleros of the Andes, 
our mules, horses, and selves, can understand how much 



LUDLOW] THE YOSEMITE VALLEY. 13 

like a nightmare of endless roof-walking was the descent 
down the face of the precipice. A painful and most cir 
cuitous dug-way, where our animals had' constantly to 
stop, lest their impetus should tumble them headlong, all 
the way past steeps where the mere thought of a side-fall 
was terror, brought us in the twilight to a green meadow, 
fringed by woods, on the banks of the Merced. . . . 

Just before I started after supplies, our party moved its 
camp to a position five miles up the Valley, beyond Camp 
Eattlesnake, in a beautiful grove of oaks and cedars, close 
upon the most sinuous part of the Merced margin, with 
rich pasture for our animals immediately across the stream, 
and the loftiest cataract in the world roaring over the 
bleak precipice opposite. This is the Yo-Semite Fall 
proper, or, in the Indian, " Cho-looke." By the most 
recent geological surveys this fall is credited with the 
astounding height of twenty-eight hundred feet. At an 
early period the entire mass of water must have plunged 
that distance without break. At this day a single ledge 
of slant projection changes the headlong flood from cata 
ract to rapids for about four hundred feet; but the un 
broken upper fall is fifteen hundred feet, and the lower 
thirteen hundred. In the spring and early summer no 
more magnificent sight can be imagined than the tourist 
obtains from a stand-point right in the midst of the spray, 
driven, as by a wind blowing thirty miles an hour, from 
the thundering basin of the lower fall. At all seasons 
Cho-looke is the grandest mountain-water-fall in the known 
world. 

While I am speaking of water-falls, let me not omit 
" Po-ho-no," or " The Bridal Veil," which was passed on 
the southern side in our way to the second and about a 
mile above the first camp. As Tis-sa-ack was a good, so is 
Po-ho-no an evil spirit of the Indian mythology. This 
iv. 2 



14 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [Lum.ow 

tradition is scientifically accounted for in the fact that 
many Indians have been carried over the fall by the tre 
mendous current both of wind and water forever rushing 
down a canon through which the stream breaks from its 
feeding-lake twelve or fifteen miles before it falls. The 
savage lowers his voice to a whisper and crouches trem 
bling past Po-ho-no ; while the very utterance of the name 
is so dreaded by him that the discoverers of the Yalley 
obtained it with great difficulty. This fall drops on a 
heap of giant boulders in one unbroken sheet of a thou 
sand feet perpendicular, thus being the next in height 
among all the Yalley cataracts to the Yo-Semite itself, 
and having a width of fifty feet. Its name of " The 
Bridal Yeil" is one of the few successes in fantastic no 
menclature ; for, to one viewing it in profile, its snowy 
sheet, broken into the filmy silver lace of spray and fall 
ing quite free of the brow of the precipice, might well 
cseem the veil worn by the earth at her granite wedding, 
no commemorator of any fifty years' bagatelle like the 
golden one, but crowning the one-millionth anniversary 
of her nuptials. 

On either side of Po-ho-no the sky-line of the precipice 
is magnificently varied. The fall itself cuts a deep gorge 
into the crown of the battlement. On the southwest bor 
der of the fall stands a nobly bold, but nameless, rock, 
three thousand feet in height. Near by is Sentinel Rock, 
a solitary truncate pinnacle, towering to thirty-three hun 
dred feet. A little farther are " Eleachas," or " The Three 
Brothers," flush with the front surface of the precipice, 
but their upper posterior bounding-planes tilted in three 
tiers, which reach a height of thirty-four hundred and 
fifty feet. 

One of the loveliest places in the Yalley is the shore of 
Lake Ah-wi-yah, a crystal pond of several acres in ex- 



LUDLOW] THE YOSEMITE VALLEY. 15 

tent, fed by the north fork of the Valley stream, and lying 
right at the mouth of the narrow strait between the North 
and South Dome. By this tranquil water we pitched our 
third camp, and when the rising sun began to shine through 
the mighty cleft before us the play of color and chiaroscuro 
oil its rugged walls was something for which an artist apt 
to oversleep himself might well have sat up all the night. 
No such precaution was needed by ourselves. Painters, 
sages, and gentlemen at large all turned out by dawn ; for 
the studies were grander, the grouse and quail plentier, 
and the butterflies more gorgeous than we found in any 
other portion of the Yalley. After passing the great cleft 
eastward, I found the river more enchanting at every 
step. I was obliged to penetrate in this direction entirely 
on foot, clambering between squared blocks of granite 
dislodged from the wall beneath the North Dome, any 
one of which might have been excavated into a commo 
dious church, and discovering, for the pains cost by a 
reconnoissance of five miles, some of the loveliest shady 
stretches of singing water and some of the finest minor 
water-falls in our American scenery. 

Our last camp was pitched among the crags and forests 
behind the South Dome, where the Middle Fork descends 
through two successive water-falls, which, in apparent 
breadth and volume, far surpass Cho-looke, while the 
loftiest is nearly as high as Po-ho-no. About three miles 
west of the Domes, the south wall of the Yalley is inter 
rupted by a deep canon leading in a nearly southeast di 
rection. Through this canon comes the Middle Fork, and 
along its banks lies our course to the great " Pi-wi-ack" 
(senselessly Englished as " Yernal") and the Nevada Falls. 
For three miles from our camp, opposite the Yo-Semite 
Fall, the caflon is threaded by a trail practicable for horses. 
At its termination we dismounted, sent back our animals, 



16 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LUDLOW 

and, strapping their loads upon our own shoulders, struck 
nearly eastward by a path only less rugged than the 
trackless crags around us. In some places we were com 
pelled to squeeze sideways through a narrow crevice in 
the rocks, at imminent danger to our burden of blankets 
and camp-kettles; in others we became quadrupedal, 
scrambling up acclivities with which the bald main preci 
pice had made but slight compromise. But for our light 
marching order, our only dress being knee-boots, hunt 
ing-shirt, and trousers, it would have been next to im 
possible to reach our goal at all. 

But none of us regretted pouring sweat or strained sin 
ews, when, at the end of our last terrible climb, we stood 
upon the oozy sod which is brightened into eternal emerald 
by the spray of Pi-wi-ack. Far below our slippery stand 
ing steeply sloped the walls of the ragged chasm down 
which the snowy river charges roaring after its first head 
long plunge ; an eternal rainbow flung its shimmering arch 
across the mighty caldron at the base of the fall ; and 
straight before us in one unbroken leap came down Pi-wi- 
iick from a granite shelf nearly four hundred feet in height 
and sixty feet in perfectly horizontal width. Some enter 
prising speculator, who has since ceased to take the origi 
nal seventy-five cents' toll, a few years ago built a sub 
stantial set of rude ladders against the perpendicular wall 
over which Pi-wi-ack rushes. We found it still standing, 
and climbed the dizzy height in a shower of spray, so close 
to the edge of the fall that we could almost wet our hands 
in its rim. Once at the top, we found that Nature had 
been as accommodating to the sight-seer as man himself; 
for the ledge we landed on was a perfect breastwork, built 
from the receding precipices on either side of the canon to 
the very crown of the cataract. The weakest nerves need 
not have trembled, when once within the parapet, on the 



LUDLOW] THE YOSEMITE VALLEY. 17 

smooth, flat rampart, and looking down into the tremen 
dous boiling chasm whence we had just climbed. 

Above Pi-wi-ack the river runs for a mile at the bottom 
of a granite cradle, sloping upward from it on each side at 
an angle of about forty-five degrees, in great tabular masses 
slippery as ice, without a crevice in them for thirty yards 
at a stretch where even the scraggiest manzanita may 
catch hold and grow. This tilted formation, broken here 
and there by spots of scanty alluvium and stunted pines, 
continues upward till it intersects the posterior cone of 
the South Dome on one side and a colossal castellated 
precipice on the other, creating thus the very typical 
landscape of sublime desolation. The shining barrenness 
of these rocks, and the utter nakedness of that vast glit 
tering dome which hollows the heavens beyond them, 
cannot be conveyed by any metaphor to a reader know 
ing only the wood-crowned slopes of the Alleghany chain. 

Climbing between the stunted pines and giant blocks 
along the stream's immediate margin, getting glimpses 
here and there of the snowy fretwork of churned water 
which laced the higher rocks, and the black whirls which 
spun in the deep pits of the roaring bed beneath us, we 
came at last to the base of " Yo-wi-ye," or Nevada Fall. 

This is the most voluminous, and, next to Pi-wi-ack, per 
haps the most beautiful, of the Yo-Semite cataracts. Its 
beauty is partly owing to the surrounding rugged gran 
deur which contrasts it, partly to its great height (eight 
hundred feet) and surpassing volume, but mainly to its 
exquisite and unusual shape. It falls from a precipice the 
highest portion of whose face is as smoothly perpendicular 
as the wall overleapt by Pi-wi-ack ; but invisibly beneath 
its snowy flood a ledge slants sideways from the cliif about 
a hundred feet below the crown of the fall, and at an angle 
of about thirty degrees from the plumb-line. Over this 

. iv.~6 2* 



18 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LUDLOW 

ledge the water is deflected upon one side, and spread like 
a half-open fan to the width of nearly two hundred feet. 

At the base of Yo-wi-ye we seem standing in a cul-de- 
sac of Nature's grandest labyrinth. Look where we will, 
impregnable battlements hem us in. We gaze at the sky 
from the bottom of a savage granite barathrum, whence 
there is no escape but return through the chinks and over 
the crags of an old-world convulsion. We are at the end 
of the stupendous series of Yo-Semite effects : eight hun 
dred feet above us, could we climb there, we should find 
the silent causes of power. There lie the broad, still pools 
that hold the reserved affluence of the snow-peaks ; thence 
might we see, glittering like diamond lances in the sun, 
the eternal snow-peaks themselves. But these would still 
be as far above us as we stood below Yo-wi-ye on the low 
est valley bottom whence we came. Even from Inspira 
tion Point, where our trail first struck the battlement, we 
could see far beyond the Yalley to the rising sun, tower 
ing mightily above Tis-sa-ack himself, the everlasting 
snow forehead of Castle Bock, his crown's serrated edge 
cutting the sky at the topmost height of the Sierra. We 
had spoken of reaching him, of holding converse with 
the King of all the Giants. This whole weary way have 
we toiled since then, and we know better now. Have 
we endured all these pains only to learn still deeper life's 
saddest lesson, " Climb forever, and there is still an In 
accessible" ? 

Wetting our faces with the melted treasure of Nature's 
topmost treasure-house, Yo-wi-ye answers us, ere we turn 
back from the Yo-Semite's last precipice toward the haunts 
of men : 

"Ye who cannot go to the Highest, lo, the Highest 
comes down to you!" 



SANDERSON] THE PARISIAN "PENSION." 19 

THE PARISIAN "PENSION." 

JOHN SANDERSON. 

[John Sanderson was born in Pennsylvania in 1785, and died in 
1844. About 1836 he was appointed Professor of Latin and Greek in 
the Philadelphia High School. He visited France in 1835, and pub 
lished after his return the work by which he is principally known, 
" Sketches of Paris," afterwards enlarged and entitled " The American 
in Paris." This work is full of genial humor, and was very favorably 
received. The appended extract will serve as an illustration of its 
amusing method of conveying information.] 

IP a gentleman comes to Paris in the dog-days, when 
his countrymen are spread over Europe, at watering- 
places and elsewhere, and when every soul of a French 
man is out of town, if he is used to love his friends at 
home, and to be loved by them, and to see them gather 
around him in the evenings, let him not set a foot in that 
unnatural thing, a bachelor's apartment in a furnished 
hotel, to live alone, to eat alone, and to sleep alone ! If 
he does, let him take leave of his wife and children and 
settle up his affairs. Nor let him seek company at the 
Tavern Ordinary : here the guest arrives just at the hour, 
hangs up his hat, sits down in his usual place, crosses his 
legs, runs his fingers through his hair, dines, and then 
disappears, all the year round, without farther acquaint 
ance. But let him look out a " Pension" having an amia 
ble landlady, or, which is the same, amiable lodgers. He 
will become domiciliated here, after some time, and find 
some relief from one of the trying situations of life. You 
know nothing yet, happily, of the solitude, the desolation, 
of a populous city to a stranger. How often did I wish, 
during the first three months, for a cot by the side of 
some hoar hill of the Mahanoy! Go to a "Pension," es- 



20 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SANDERSON 

pecially if you are a sucking child, like me, in the ways 
of the world ; and the lady of the house, usually a pretty 
woman, will feel it enjoined upon her humanity to counsel 
and protect you, and comfort you, or she will manage an 
acquaintance between you and some countess or baroness 
who lodges with her or at some neighbor's. I live now 
with a most spiritual little creature ; she tells me so many 
obliging lies, and no offensive truths, which I take to be 
the perfection of politeness in a landlady ; and she admits 
me to her private parties, little family "reunions," 
where I play at loto with Madame Thomas and her three 
amiable daughters, just for a little cider, cakes, or chest 
nuts, to keep up the spirit of the play ; then we have a 
song, a solo on the violin or harp, and then a dance; and 
finally we play at little games which inflict kisses, em 
braces, and other such penalties, French people are 
always so merry, whatever be the amusement ; they 
never let conversation flag, and I don't see any reason it 
should. One, for example, begins to talk of Paris, then 
the Passage Panorama, then of Mrs. Alexander's fine 
cakes, and then the pretty girl that sits behind the 
counter, and then of pretty girls that sit anywhere ; and 
so one just lets one's self run with the association of 
ideas, or one makes a digression from the main story, and 
returns or not, just as one pleases. A Frenchman is always 
a mimic, an actor ; and all that nonsense which we suifer 
to go to waste in our country, he economizes for the 
enjoyment of society. 

I am settled down in the family; I am adopted; the 
lady gives me, to be sure, now and then " a chance," as 
she calls it, of a ticket in a lottery (" the only one left") 
of some distinguished lady now reduced, or some lady 
who has had three children, and is likely for the fourth, 
where one never draws anything ; or " a chance" of con- 



SANDERSON] THE PARISIAN " PENSION." 21 

ducting her and a pretty cousin of hers, who has taken a 
fancy to me, who adores the innocency of American man 
ners, and hates the dissipation of the French, to the play. 
Have you never felt the pleasure of letting yourself be 
duped ? Have you never felt the pleasure of letting your 
little bark float down the stream when you knew the port 
lay the other way ? I look upon all this as a cheap return 
for the kindnesses I have so much need of; I am anxious 
to be cheated ; and the truth is, if you do not let a French 
landlady cheat you now and then, she will drop your ac 
quaintance. Never dispute any small items overcharged 
in her monthly bill, or she that was smooth as the ermine 
will be suddenly bristled as the porcupine ; and why, for 
the sake of limiting some petty encroachment upon your 
purse, should you turn the bright heaven of her pretty 
face into a hurricane ? Your actions should always leave 
a suspicion you are rich, and then you are sure she will 
anticipate every want and wish you may have with the 
liveliest affection ; she will be all ravishment at your suc 
cesses ; she will be in an abyss of chagrin at your disap 
pointments. Helas! oh! mon Dieu! and if you cry, she 
will cry with you. We love money well enough in 
America, but we do not feel such touches of human kind 
ness, and cannot work ourselves up into such fits of amia- 
bleness, for those who have it. I do not say it is hypoc 
risy : a Frenchwoman really does love you if you have a 
long purse; and if you have not (I do not say it is 
hypocrisy neither), she really does hate you. 

A great advantage to a French landlady is the sweet 
ness and variety of her smile, a quality in which French 
women excel universally. Our Madame G-ibou keeps her 
little artillery at play during the whole of the dinner-time, 
and has brought her smile under such a discipline as to 
suit it exactly to the passion to be represented, or the 



22 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAMILTON 

dignity of the person with whom she exchanges looks. 
You can tell any one who is in arrears as if you were her 
private secretary, or the wealth and liberality of a guest 
better than his banker, by her smile. If it be a surly 
knave who counts the pennies with her, the little thing is 
strangled in its birth ; and if one who owes his meals, it 
miscarries altogether; and for a mere visitor she lets off 
one worth only three francs and a half; but if a favorite, 
who never looks into the particulars of her bill and takes 
her lottery-tickets, then you will see the whole heaven of 
her face in a blaze, and it does not expire suddenly, but, 
like the fine twilight of a summer evening, dies away 
gently on her lips. Sometimes I have seen one flash out 
like a squib, and leave you at once in the dark ; it had lit 
on the wrong person ; and at other times I have seen one 
struggling long for its life ; I have watched it while it was 
gasping its last : she has a way, too, of knocking a smile 
on the head ; I observed one at dinner to-day, from the 
very height and bloom of health fall down and die with 
out a kick. 



THE FATE OF MAJOR 

ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 

[The reputation of Hamilton rests essentially upon his high abilities 
as a statesman, and the very important part he played in the early 
political history of the United States. He also took a prominent part 
as a soldier in the Kevolutionary War, and, though not twenty years 
of age at its outbreak, he became the special confidant of Washington, 
and was intrusted with secret commissions of high importance. As a 
writer he is the author of numerous letters and papers on public affairs 
which are perspicuous in style and convincing in argument. His let 
ter to Laurens on the capture and death of Major Andre is a fine speci- 



HAMILTON] THE FATE OF MAJOR ANDRE. 23 

men of his handling of a more general subject, and this interesting 
event has never been more clearly, justly, and pathetically treated. 
Hamilton was born on the West India island of Nevis, in January, 
1757, being the son of a Scottish merchant. He was sent to New York 
in 1772, and from that time forward took a very prominent part in 
American affairs. In 1804 he opposed the election of Aaron Burr to 
the Governorship of New York, on the ground that Burr was unfit to 
be trusted with power. In consequence Burr challenged him. Ham 
ilton accepted the challenge, and was mortally wounded in the duel 
that ensued. He died on July 12, 1804.] 

September, 1780. 

SINCE my return from Hartford, my dear Laurens, my 
mind has been too little at ease to permit me to write to 
you sooner. It has been wholly occupied by the affecting 
and tragic consequences of Arnold's treason. My feelings 
were never put to so severe a trial. You will no doubt 
have heard the principal facts before this reaches you; 
but there are particulars to which my situation gave 
me access, that cannot have come to your knowledge 
from public report, which I am persuaded you will 'find 
interesting. 

From several circumstances, the project seems to have 
originated with Arnold himself, and to have been long 
premeditated. The first overture is traced back to some 
time in June last. It was conveyed in a letter to Colonel 
Robinson, the substance of which was, that the ingrati 
tude he had experienced from his country, concurring 
with other causes, had entirely changed his principles ; 
that he now only sought to restore himself to the favor 
of his king by some signal proof of his repentance, and 
would be happy to open a correspondence with Sir Henry 
Clinton for that purpose. About this period he made a 
journey to Connecticut ; on his return from which to 
Philadelphia, he solicited the command of West Point, 
alleging that the effects of his wounds had disqualified 



24 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAMILTON 

him for the active duties of the field. The sacrifice of 
this important post was the atonement he intended to 
make. General Washington hesitated the less to gratify 
an officer who had rendered such eminent services, as he 
was convinced the post might be safely intrusted to one 
who had given so many distinguished specimens of his 
bravery. In the beginning of August he joined the army 
and renewed his application. The enemy, at this juncture, 
had embarked the greatest part of their forces on an ex 
pedition to Ehode Island, and our army was in motion to 
compel them to relinquish the enterprise, or to attack 
New York in its weakened state. The General offered 
Arnold the left wing of the army, which he declined, on 
the pretext already mentioned, but not without visible 
embarrassment. He certainly might have executed the 
duties of such a temporary command ; and it was expected 
from his enterprising temper that he would gladly have 
embraced so splendid an opportunity. But he did not 
choose to be diverted a moment from his favorite object ; 
probably from an apprehension that some different dispo 
sition might have taken place, which would have excluded 
him. The extreme solicitude he discovered to get posses 
sion of the post would have led to a suspicion of treachery, 
had it been possible, from his past conduct, to have sup 
posed him capable of it. 

The correspondence thus begun was carried on between 
Arnold and Major Andre, Adjutant-General to the British 
army, in behalf of Sir Henry Clinton, under feigned sig 
natures, and in a mercantile disguise. In an intercepted 
letter of Arnold's, which lately fell into our hands, he 
proposes an interview, " to settle the risks and profits of 
the copartnership ;" and, in the same style of metaphor, 
intimates an expected augmentation of the garrison, and 
speaks of it as the means of extending their traffic. It 



HAMILTON] THE FATE OF MAJOR ANDRE. 25 

appears, by another letter, that Andre was to have met 
him on the lines, under the sanction of a flag, in the char 
acter of Mr. John Anderson. But some cause or other, 
not known, prevented this interview. 

The twentieth of last month, Robinson and Andre went 
up the river in the Yulture sloop-of-war. Robinson sent 
a flag to Arnold with two letters, one to General Putnam, 
enclosed in another to himself, proposing an interview 
with Putnam, or, in his absence, with Arnold, to adjust 
some private concerns. The one to General Putnam was 
evidently meant as a cover to the other in case, by acci 
dent, the letters should have fallen under the inspection 
of a third person. 

General Washington crossed the river, on his way to 
Hartford, the day these despatches arrived. Arnold, con 
ceiving he must have heard of the flag, thought it neces 
sary, for the sake of appearances, to submit the letters to 
him, and ask his opinion of the propriety of complying 
with the request. The General, with his usual caution, 
though without the least surmise of the design, dissuaded 
him from it, and advised him to reply to Robinson, that 
whatever related to his private affairs must be of a civil 
nature, and could only properly be addressed to the civil 
authority. This reference fortunately deranged the plan, 
and was the first link in the chain of events that led to 
the detection. The interview could no longer take place 
in the form of a flag, but was obliged to be managed in a 
secret manner. 

Arnold employed one Smith to go on board the Yulture, 
the night of the twenty-second, to bring Andre on shore, 
with a pass for Mr. John Anderson. Andre came ashore 
accordingly, and was conducted within a picket of ours 
to the house of Smith, where Arnold and he remained 
together in close conference all the night and the day fol- 
iv.~ B 3 



26 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAMILTON 

lowing. At daylight in the morning, the commanding 
officer at King's Ferry, without the privity of Arnold, 
moved a couple of pieces of cannon to a point opposite to 
where the Yulture lay, and obliged her to take a more 
remote station. This event, or some lurking distrust, 
made the boatmen refuse to convey the two passengers 
back, and disconcerted Arnold so much that, by one of 
those strokes of infatuation which often confound the 
schemes of men conscious of guilt, he insisted on Andre's 
exchanging his uniform for a disguise, and returning in a 
mode different from that in which he came. Andre, who 
had been undesignedly brought within our posts in the 
first instance, remonstrated warmly against this new and 
dangerous expedient. But, Arnold persisting in declaring 
it impossible for him to return as he came, he at length 
reluctantly yielded to his direction, and consented to 
change his dress and take the route he recommended. 
Smith furnished the disguise, and in the evening passed 
King's Ferry with him, and proceeded to Crompond, 
where they stopped the remainder of the night, at the 
instance of a militia officer, to avoid being suspected by 
him. The next morning they resumed their journey, 
Smith accompanying Andre a little beyond Pine's Bridge, 
where he left him. He had reached Tarrytown, when he 
was taken up by three militia-men, who rushed out of the 
woods and seized his horse. 

At this critical moment his presence of mind forsook 
him. Instead of producing his pass, which would have 
extricated him from our parties, and could have done him 
no harm with his own, he asked the militia-men if they 
were of the upper or lower party, distinctive appellations 
known among the enemy's refugee corps. The militia 
men replied, they were of the lower party ; upon which 
he told them he was a British officer, and pressed them 



HAMILTON] THE FATE OF MAJOR ANDRE. 27 

not to detain him, as he was upon urgent business. This 
confession removed all doubts ; and it was in vain he after 
wards produced his pass. He was instantly forced off to 
a place of greater security ; where, after a careful search, 
there were found, concealed in the feet of his stockings, 
several papers of importance delivered to him by Arnold. 
Among these were a plan of the fortifications of "West 
Point; a memorial from the engineer on the attack and 
defence of the place; returns of the garrison, cannon, and 
stores ; copy of the minutes of a council of war held by 
General Washington a few weeks before. The prisoner at 
first was inadvertently ordered to Arnold ; but, on recol 
lection, while still on the way, he was countermanded and 
sent to Old Salem. The papers were enclosed in a letter 
to General Washington, which, having taken a route differ 
ent from that by which he returned, made a circuit that 
afforded leisure for another letter, through an ill-judged 
delicacy, written to Arnold, with information of Ander 
son's capture, to get to him an hour before General Wash 
ington arrived at his quarters, time enough to elude the 
fate that awaited him. He went down the river in his 
barge to the Yulture with such precipitate confusion that 
he did not take with him a single paper useful to the 
enemy. On the first notice of the affair he was pursued, 
but much too late to be overtaken. 

There was some color for imagining it was part of the 
plan to betray the General into the hands of the enemy. 
Arnold was very anxious to ascertain from him the precise 
day of his return, and the enemy's movements seemed to 
have corresponded to this point. But if it was really the 
case, it was very injudicious. The success must have de 
pended on surprise ; and, as the officers at the advanced 
posts were not in the secret, their measures might have 
given the alarm, and General Washington, taking the com- 



28 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAMILTON 

mand of the post, might have rendered the whole scheme 
abortive. Arnold, it is true, had so dispersed the garrison 
as to have made a defence difficult, but not impracticable ; 
and the acquisition of West Point was of such magnitude 
to the enemy that it would have been unwise to connect 
it with any other object, however great, which might 
make the obtaining of it precarious. 

Arnold, a moment before his setting out, went into Mrs. 
Arnold's apartment, and informed her that some transac 
tions had just come to light which must forever banish 
him from his country. She fell into a swoon at this decla 
ration ; and he left her in it to consult his own safety, till 
the servants, alarmed by her cries, came to her relief. 
She remained frantic all day, accusing every one who ap 
proached her with an intention to murder her child (an 
infant in her arms), and exhibiting every other mark of 
the most genuine and agonizing distress. Exhausted by 
the fatigue and tumult of her spirits, her frenzy subsided 
towards evening, and she sank into all the sadness of afflic 
tion. It was impossible not to have been touched with 
her situation ; everything affecting in female tears, or in 
the misfortunes of beauty, everything pathetic in the 
wounded tenderness of a wife, or in the apprehensive 
fondness of a mother, and, till I have reason to change 
the opinion, I will add, everything amiable in suffering 
innocence, conspired to make her an object of sympathy 
to all who were present. She experienced the most deli 
cate attentions, and every friendly office, till her departure 
for Philadelphia. 

Andre was, without loss of time, conducted to the head 
quarters of the army, where he was immediately brought 
before a board of general officers, to prevent all possibility 
of misrepresentation or cavil on the part of the enemy. 
The board reported that he ought to be considered as a 



HAMILTON] THE FATE OF MAJOR ANDRE. 29 

spy, and, according to the laws of nations, to suffer death ; 
which was executed two days after. 

^N"ever, perhaps, did any man suffer death with more 
justice, or deserve it less. The first step he took, after his 
capture, was to write a letter to General Washington, con 
ceived in terms of dignity without insolence, and apology 
without meanness. The scope of it was to vindicate him 
self from the imputation of having assumed a mean char 
acter for treacherous or interested purposes ; asserting 
that he had been involuntarily an impostor ; that contrary 
to his intention, which was to meet a person for intelli 
gence on neutral ground, he had been betrayed within our 
posts, and forced into the vile condition of an enemy in 
disguise ; soliciting only that, to whatever rigor policy 
might devote him, a decency of treatment might be ob 
served due to a person who, though unfortunate, had been 
guilty of nothing dishonorable. His request was granted 
in its full extent ; for in the whole progress of the affair 
he was treated with the most scrupulous delicacy. When 
brought before the board of officers, he met with every 
mark of indulgence, and was required to answer no inter 
rogatory which could even embarrass his feelings. On 
his part, while he carefully concealed everything that 
might involve others, he frankly confessed all the facts 
relating to himself, and upon his confession, without the 
trouble of examining a witness, the board made their re 
port. The members of it were not more impressed with 
the candor and firmness, mixed with a becoming sensi 
bility, which he displayed, than he was penetrated with 
their liberality and politeness. He acknowledged the gen 
erosity of the behavior towards him in every respect, but 
particularly in this, in the strongest terms of manly grati 
tude. In a conversation with a gentleman who visited him 
after his trial, he said he nattered himself he had never 
IT:. 3* 



30 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAMILTON 

been illiberal, but if there were any remains of prejudice 
in his mind, his present experience must obliterate them. 

In one of the visits I made to him (and I saw him sev 
eral times during his confinement), he begged me to be 
the bearer of a request to the General for permission to 
send an open letter to Sir Henry Clinton. " I foresee my 
fate," said he, "and, though I pretend not to play the 
hero, or to be indifferent about life, yet I am reconciled 
to whatever may happen, conscious that misfortune, not 
guilt, has brought it upon me. There is only one thing 
that disturbs my tranquillity. Sir Henry Clinton has 
been too good to me ; he has been lavish of his kindness ; 
I am bound to him by too many obligations, and love him 
too well, to bear the thought that he should reproach him 
self, or that others should reproach him, on the supposition 
of my having conceived myself obliged, by his instructions, 
to run the risk I did. I would not, for the world, leave a 
sting in his mind that should embitter his future days." 
He could scarce finish the sentence, bursting into tears in 
spite of his efforts to suppress them, and with difficulty 
collected himself enough afterwards to add, " I wish to be 
permitted to assure him, I did not act under this impres 
sion, but submitted to a necessity imposed upon me, as 
contrary to my own inclination as to his orders." His 
request was readily complied with, and he wrote the let 
ter annexed, with which I dare say you will be as much 
pleased as I am, both for the diction and sentiment. 

When his sentence was announced to him, he remarked 
that, since it was his lot to die, there was still a choice in 
the mode, which would make a material difference in his 
feelings ; and he would be happy, if possible, to be indulged 
with a professional death. He made a second application, 
by letter, in concise but persuasive terms. It was thought 
this indulgence, being incompatible with the customs of 



HAMILTON] THE FATE OF MAJOR ANDRE. 31 

war, could not be granted; and it was therefore deter 
mined, in both cases, to evade an answer, to spare him the 
sensations which a certain knowledge of the intended mode 
would inflict. 

In going to the place of execution, he bowed familiarly, 
as he went along, to all those with whom he had been 
acquainted in his confinement. A smile of complacency 
expressed the serene fortitude of his mind. Arrived at the 
fatal spot, he asked, with some emotion, " Must I then die 
in this manner ?" He was told it had been unavoidable. 
" I am reconciled to my fate," said he, " but not to the 
mode." Soon, however, recollecting himself, he added, 
" It will be but a momentary pang ;" and, springing upon 
the cart, performed the last offices to himself, with a com 
posure that excited the admiration and melted the hearts 
of the beholders. Upon being told the final moment was 
at hand, and asked if he had anything to say, he answered, 
" Nothing, but to request you will witness to the world 
that I die like a brave man." Among the extraordinary 
circumstances that attended him, in the midst of his ene 
mies, he died universally esteemed, and universally re 
gretted. 

There was something singularly interesting in the char 
acter and fortunes of Andre. To an excellent understand 
ing, well improved by education and travel, he united a pe 
culiar elegance of mind and manners, and the advantage of 
a pleasing person. 'Tis said, he possessed a pretty taste for 
the fine arts, and had himself attained some proficiency in 
poetry, music, and painting. His knowledge appeared with 
out ostentation, and embellished by a diffidence that rarely 
accompanies so many talents and accomplishments, which 
left you to suppose more than appeared. His sentiments 
were elevated, and inspired esteem ; they had a softness 
that conciliated affection. His elocution was handsome ; 



32 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAMILTON 

his address easy, polite, and insinuating. By his merit, he 
had acquired the unlimited confidence of his general, and 
'was making a rapid progress in military rank and reputa 
tion. But in the height of his career, flushed with new 
hopes from the execution of a project the most beneficial 
to his party that could be devised, he was at once precipi 
tated from the summit of prosperity, and saw all the ex 
pectations of his ambition blasted, and himself ruined. 

The character I have given of him is drawn partly from 
what I saw of him myself, and partly from information. 
I am aware that a man of real merit is never seen in so 
favorable a light as through the medium of adversity : the 
clouds that surround him are shades that set off his good 
qualities. Misfortune cuts down the little vanities that, in 
prosperous times, serve as so many spots in his virtues, 
and gives a tone of humility that makes his worth more 
amiable. His spectators, who enjoy a happier lot, are less 
prone to detract from it through envy, and are more dis 
posed, by compassion, to give him the credit he deserves, 
and perhaps even to magnify it. 

I speak not of Andre's conduct in this affair as a philos 
opher, but as a man of the world. The authorized max 
ims and practices of war are the satires of human nature. 
They countenance almost every species of seduction as 
well as violence; and the general who can make most 
traitors in the army of his adversary is frequently most 
applauded. On this scale we acquit Andre, while we could 
not but condemn him if we were to examine his conduct 
by the sober rules of philosophy and moral rectitude. It 
is, however, a blemish on his fame, that he once intended 
to prostitute a flag ; about this, a man of nice honor ought 
to have had a scruple ; but the temptation was great. Let 
his misfortunes cast a veil over his error. 

Several letters from Sir Henry Clinton, and others, 



HAMILTON] THE FATE OF MAJOR ANDRE. 33 

were received in the course of the affair, feebly attempting 
to prove that Andre came out under the protection of a 
flag, with a passport from a general officer in actual ser 
vice, and consequently could not be justly detained. Clin 
ton sent a deputation, composed of Lieutenant-G-eneral 
Robinson, Mr. Elliot, and Mr. "William Smith, to represent, 
as he said, the true state of Major Andrews case. General 
Greene met Robinson, and had a conversation with him, in 
which he reiterated the pretence of a flag, urged Andre's 
release as a personal favor to Sir Henry Clinton, and 
offered any friend of ours, in their power, in exchange. 
Nothing could have been more frivolous than the plea 
which was used. The fact was, that, beside the time, 
manner, object of the interview, change of dress, and 
other circumstances, there was not a single formality cus 
tomary with flags ; and the passport was not to Major 
Andre, but to Mr. Anderson. But had there been, on the 
contrary, all the formalities, it would be an abuse of lan 
guage to say that the sanction of a flag for corrupting an 
officer to betray a trust ought to be respected. So unjus 
tifiable a purpose would not only destroy its validity, but 
make it an aggravation. 

Andre himself has answered the argument, by ridiculing 
and exploding the idea, in his examination before the board 
of officers. It was a weakness to urge it. 

There was, in truth, no way of saving him. Arnold, or 
he, must have been the victim : the former was out of our 
power. 

It was by some suspected, Arnold had taken his meas 
ures in such a manner that if the interview had been dis 
covered in the act it might have been in his power to 
sacrifice Andre to his own security. This surmise of 
double treachery made them imagine Clinton might be 
induced to give up Arnold for Andre; and a gentleman 
iv. c 



34 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAMILTON 

took occasion to suggest this expedient to the latter, as a 
thing that might be proposed by him. He declined it. 
The moment he had been capable of so much frailty, I 
should have ceased to esteem him. 

The infamy of Arnold's conduct previous to his deser 
tion is only equalled by his baseness since. Beside the 
folly of writing to Sir Henry Clinton, assuring him that 
Andre had acted under a passport from him, and according 
to his directions, while commanding officer at a post, and 
that therefore he did not doubt he would be immediately 
sent in, he had the effrontery to write to General Washing 
ton in the same spirit, with the addition of a menace of 
retaliation if the sentence should be carried into execu 
tion. He has since acted the farce of sending in his resig 
nation. This man is in every sense despicable. Added 
to the scene of knavery and prostitution during his com 
mand in Philadelphia, which the late seizure of his papers 
has unfolded, the history of his command at West Point 
is a history of little, as well as great, villanies. . He prac 
tised every dirty art of peculation, and even stooped to 
connection with the sutlers of the garrison, to defraud the 
public. 

To his conduct, that of the captors of Andre formed a 
striking contrast. He tempted them with the offer of his 
watch, his horse, and any sum of money they should name. 
They rejected his offers with indignation ; and the gold 
that could seduce a man high in the esteem and confidence 
of his country, who had the remembrance of past exploits, 
the motives of present reputation and future glory, to 
prop his integrity, had no charms for three simple peas 
ants, leaning only on their virtue and an honest sense of 
their duty. While Arnold is handed down with execra 
tion to future times, posterity will repeat with reverence 
the names of Yan Wart, Paulding, and Williams. 



DANA] A GALE OFF CAPE HORN. 35 

I congratulate you, my friend, on our happy escape 
from the mischiefs with which this treason was big. It 
is a new comment on the value of an honest man, and, if 
it were possible, would endear you to me more than ever. 
Adieu. 



A GALE OFF CAPE HORN. 

R. H. DANA. 

[Richard Henry Dana, the author of the following selection, is prob 
ably the best-descended man who ever shipped "before the mast" and 
served on a long voyage as a common sailor. He was the son of 
Kichard Henry Dana the poet, author of " The- Buccaneer," one of the 
most striking of American poems. The father of the latter, Francis 
Dana, was chief-justice of Massachusetts, and his father, Richard Dana, 
an able lawyer and judge, and a prominent mover in the events leading 
to the Revolution. The present writer was obliged to suspend his 
studies at 'Harvard from an affection of the eyes, and shipped as a sailor 
on a voyage to California, which he has admirably described in his 
" Two Years Before the Mast," a work which attained wide celebrity. 
It is noted for the minuteness and accuracy of its descriptions of life 
at sea, and of a seaman's life on shore, in the merchant-service of fifty 
years ago, as well as for the general vividness of the narrative. On 
leaving the sea Mr. Dana studied law, and attained eminence as an 
advocate. In addition to the work mentioned, he wrote " To Cuba and 
Back," u Letters on Italian Unity," and numerous legal works. He 
was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1815, and died in 1882. 
In our selection which is a fair example of the manner of the whole 
work is portrayed the romance of sea-life as seen from the sailor's 
point of view. In situations like that described, life becomes a bitter 
"struggle for existence," which is made strikingly evident in the 
simple directness and minuteness of the author's narrative.] 

Monday, June 27th. During the first part of this day 
the wind continued fair, and, as WQ were going before it. 



36 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DANA 

it did not feel very cold, so that we kept at work on deck 
in our common clothes and round jackets. Our watch had 
an afternoon watch below for the first time since leaving 
San Diego ; and, having inquired of the third mate what 
the latitude was at noon, and made our usual guesses as 
to the time she would need to be up with the Horn, we 
turned in for a nap. We were sleeping away " at the rate 
of knots," when three knocks on the scuttle and "All 
hands, ahoy !" started us from our berths. What could be 
the matter? It did not appear to be blowing hard, and, 
looking up through the scuttle, we could see that it was a 
clear day overhead; yet the watch were taking in sail. 
We thought there must be a sail in sight, and that we 
were about to heave-to and speak her ; and were just con 
gratulating ourselves upon it, for we had seen neither 
sail nor land since we left port, when we heard the 
mate's voice on deck (he turned in "all-standing," and 
was always on deck the moment he was called) singing 
out to the men who were taking in the studding-sails, 
and asking where his watch were. We did not wait for a 
second call, but tumbled up the ladder ; and there, on the 
starboard bow, was a bank of mist, covering sea and sky, 
and driving directly for us. I had seen the same before in 
my passage round in the Pilgrim, and knew what it meant, 
and that there was no time to be lost. We had nothing 
on but thin clothes, yet there was not a moment to spare, 
and at it we went. 

The boys of the other watch were in the tops, taking 
in the top-gallant studding-sails, and the lower and top 
mast studding-sails were coming down by the run. It 
was nothing but " haul down and clew up," until we got 
all the studding-sails in, and the royals, flying jib, and 
mizzen top-gallant-sail furled, and the ship kept off a little, 
to take the squall. The fore and main top-gallant sails were 



DANA] A GALE OFF CAPE HORN. 37 

still on her, for the "old man" did not mean to be frightened 
in broad daylight, and was determined to carry sail till the 
last minute. We all stood waiting for its coming, when the 
first blast showed us that it was not to be trifled with. 
Rain, sleet, snow, and wind enough to take our breath 
from us, and make the toughest turn his back to windward ! 
The ship lay nearly over upon her beam-ends ; the spars 
and rigging snapped and cracked ; and her top-gallant- 
masts bent like whip-sticks. " Clew up the fore and main 
top-gallant-sails !" shouted the captain, and all hands 
sprang to the clew-lines. The decks were standing nearly 
at an angle of forty-five degrees, and the ship going like 
a mad steed through the water, the whole forward part 
of her in a smother of foam. The halyards were let go, 
and the yard clewed down, and the sheets started, and in 
a few minutes the sails smothered and kept in by clew 
lines and buntlines. "Furl 'em, sir?" asked the mate. 
"Let go the topsail halyards, fore and aft!" shouted the 
captain in answer, at the top of his voice. Down came 
the topsail yards, the reef-tackles were manned and hauled 
out, and we climbed up to windward, and sprang into the 
weather rigging. The violence of the wind, and the hail 
and sleet, driving nearly horizontally across the ocean, 
seemed actually to pin us down to the rigging. It was 
hard work making head against them. One after another 
we got out upon the yards. And here we had work to 
do ; for our new sails had hardly been bent long enough 
to get the stiffness out of them, and the new earings and 
reef-points, stiffened with the sleet, knotted like pieces of 
iron wire. Having only our round jackets and straw hats 
on, we were soon wet through, and it was every moment 
growing colder. Our hands were soon numbed, which, 
added to the stiffness of everything else, kept us a good 
while on the yard. After we had got the sail hauled upon 



38 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DANA 

the yard, we had to wait a long time for the weather ear 
ing to be passed ; but there was no fault to be found, for 
French John was at the earing, and a better sailor never 
laid out on a yard ; so we leaned over the yard and beat 
our hands upon the sail to keep them from freezing. At 
length the word came, " Haul out to leeward," and we 
seized the reef-points and hauled the band taut for the lee 
paring. " Taut band knot away," and we got the first 
reef fast, and were just going to lay down, when " Two 
reefs two reefs 1" shouted the mate, and we had a second 
reef to take, in the same way. When this was fast we 
went down on deck, manned the halyards to leeward, 
nearly up to our knees in water, set the topsail, and then 
laid aloft on the main topsail yard, and reefed that sail in 
the same manner ; for, as I have before stated, we were a 
good deal reduced in numbers, and, to make it worse, the 
carpenter, only two days before, had cut his leg with an 
axe, so that he could not go aloft. This weakened us so 
that we could not well manage more than one topsail at 
a time, in such weather as this, and, of course, each man's 
labor was doubled. From the main topsail yard we went 
upon the main yard, and took a reef in the mainsail. No 
sooner had we got on deck than " Lay aloft there, and 
close-reef mizzen topsail!" This called me; and, being 
nearest to the rigging, I got first aloft, and out to the 
weather earing. English Ben was just after me, and took 
the lee earing, and the rest of our gang were soon on the 
yard, and began to fist the sail, when the mate consider 
ately sent up the cook and steward to help us. I could 
now account for the long time it took to pass the other 
earings, for, to do my best, with a strong hand to help me 
at the dog's ear, I could not get it passed until I heard 
them beginning to complain in the bunt. One reef after 
another we took in, until the sail was close-reefed, when 



DANA] A GALE OFF CAPE HORN. 39 

we went down and hoisted away at the halyards. In the 
mean time, the jib had been furled and the staysail set, 
and the ship under her reduced sail had got more upright, 
and was under management ; but the two top-gallant-sails 
were still hanging in the buntlines, and slatting and jerk 
ing as though they would take the masts out of her. We 
gave a look aloft, and knew that our work was not done 
yet; and, sure enough, no sooner did the mate see that we 
were on deck than " Lay aloft there, four of you, and 
furl the top-gallant-sails !" This called me again, and two 
of us went aloft up the fore rigging, and two more up the 
main, upon the top-gallant yards. The shrouds were now 
iced over, the sleet having formed a crust round all the 
standing rigging, and on the weather side of the masts 
and yards. When we got upon the yard, my hands were 
so numb that I could not have cast off the knot of the 
gasket if it were to save my life. We both lay over the 
yard for a few seconds, beating our hands upon the sail, 
until we started the blood into our fingers' ends, and at 
the next moment our hands were in a burning heat. My 
companion on the yard was a lad (the boy, George Somerby) 
who came out in the ship a weak, puny boy, from one of 
the Boston schools, "no larger than a spritsail-sheet 
knot" nor " heavier than a paper of lamp-black," and " not 
strong enough to haul a shad oif a gridiron," but who was 
now " as long as a spare topmast, strong enough to knock 
down an ox, and hearty enough to eat him." We fisted 
the sail together, and, after six or eight minutes of hard 
hauling and pulling and beating down the sail, which was 
about as stiff as sheetriron, we managed to get it furled ; 
and snugly furled it must be, for we knew the mate well 
enough to be certain that if it got adrift again we should 
be called up from our watch below, at any hour of the 
night, to furl it. 



40 REST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DANA 

T had been on the lookout for a chance to jump below 
and clap on a thick jacket and south wester ; but when we 
got on deck we found that eight bells had been struck, 
and the other watch gone below, so that there were two 
hours of dog watch for us, and a plenty of work to do. 
It had now set in for a steady gale from the southwest ; 
but we were not yet far enough to the southward to make 
a fair wind of it, for we must give Terra del Fuego a wide 
berth. The decks were covered with snow, and there was 
a constant driving of sleet. In fact, Cape Horn had set 
in with good earnest. In the midst of all this, and before 
it became dark, we had all the studding-sails to make up 
and stow away, and then to lay aloft and rig in all the 
booms, fore and aft, and coil away the tacks, sheets, and 
halyards. This was pretty tough work for four or five 
hands, in the face of a gale which almost took us off the 
yards, and with ropes so stiff with ice that it was almost 
impossible to bend them. I was nearly half an hour out 
on the end of the fore yard, trying to coil away and stop 
down the topmast studding-sail tack and lower halyards. 
It was after dark when we got through, and we were not 
a little pleased to hear four bells struck, which sent us 
below for two hours, and gave us each a pot of hot tea 
with our cold beef and bread, and, what was better yet, a 
suit of thick, dry clothing, fitted for the weather, in place 
of our thin clothes, which were wet through and now 
frozen stiff. 

This sudden turn, for which we were so little prepared, 
was as unacceptable to me as to any of the rest ; for I had 
been troubled for several days with a slight toothache, and 
this cold weather and wetting and freezing were not the 
best things in the world for it. I soon found that it was 
getting strong hold, and running over all parts of my 
face ; and, before the watch was out, I went aft to the 



DANA] A GALE OFF CAPE HORN. 41 

mate, who had charge of the medicine-chest, to get some 
thing for it. But the chest showed like the end of a long 
voyage, for there was nothing that would answer but a 
few drops of laudanum, which must be saved for an 
emergency : so I had only to bear the pain as well as F 
could. 

When we went on deck at eight bells, it had stopped 
snowing, and there were a few stars out, but the clouds 
were still black, and it was blowing a steady gale. Just 
before midnight, I went aloft and sent down the mizzen 
royal yard, and had the good luck to do it to the satisfac 
tion of the mate, who said it was done " out of hand and 
ship-shape." The next four hours below were but little 
relief to me, for I lay awake in my berth the whole time, 
from the pain in my face, and heard every bell strike, and, 
at four o'clock, turned out with the watch, feeling little 
spirit for the hard duties of the day. Bad weather and 
hard work at sea can be borne up against very well if one 
only has spirit and health ; but there is nothing brings a 
man down, at such a time, like bodily pain and want of 
sleep. There was, however, too much to do to allow time 
to think ; for the gale of yesterday, and the heavy seas 
we met with a few days before, while we had yet ten 
degrees more southing to make, had convinced the cap 
tain that we had something before us which was not to be 
trifled with, and orders were given to send down the long 
top-gallant-masts. The top-gallant and royal yards were 
accordingly struck, the flying jib-boom rigged in, and the 
top-gallant-masts sent down on deck, and all lashed to 
gether by the side of the long-boat, f he rigging was 
then sent down and coiled away below, and everything 
made snug aloft. There was not a sailor in the ship who 
was not rejoiced to see these sticks come down; for, so 
long as the yards were aloft, on the least sign of a lull, 
iv 4* 



42 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DANA 

the top-gallant-sails were loosed, and then we had to furl 
them again in a snow-squall, and shin up and down single 
ropes caked with ice, and send royal yards down in the 
teeth of a gale coming right from the south pole. It was 
an interesting sight, too, to see our noble ship, dismantled 
of all her top-hamper of long tapering masts and yards, 
and boom pointed with spear-head, which ornamented her 
in port ; and all that canvas, which a few days before had 
covered her like a cloud, from the truck to the water's 
edge, spreading far out beyond her hull on either side, 
now gone ; and she stripped, like a, wrestler for the fight. 
It corresponded, too, with the desolate character of her 
situation, alone, as she was, battling with storms, wind, 
and ice, at this extremity of the globe, and in almost 
constant night. 

Friday, July 1st. We were now nearly up to the lati 
tude of Cape Horn, and, having over forty degrees of east 
ing to make, we squared away the yards before a strong 
westerly gale, shook a reef out of the fore topsail, and 
stood on our way, east-by-south, with the prospect of 
being up with the Cape in a week or ten days. As for 
myself, I had had no sleep for forty-eight hours ; and the 
want of rest, together with constant wet and cold, had in 
creased the swelling, so that my face was nearly as large 
as two, and I found it impossible to get my mouth open 
wide enough to eat. In this state, the steward applied to 
the captain for some rice to boil for me, but he only got a 

"No! d you! Tell him to eat salt junk and hard 

bread, like the rest of them." This was, in truth, what I 
expected. However, I did not starve, for Mr. Brown, who 
was a man as well as a sailor, and had always been a good 
friend to me, smuggled a pan of rice into the galley, and 
told the cook to boil it for me, and not let the " old man" 
see it. Had it been fine weather, or in port, I should have 






DANA] A GALE OFF CAPE HORN. 43 

gone below and lain by until my face got well ; but in 
such weather as this, and short-handed as we were, it was 
not for me to desert my post : so I kept on deck, and 
stood my watch and did my duty as well as I could. 

S.iturday, July 2d. This day the sun rose fair, but it ran 
too low in the heavens to give any heat, or thaw out our 
sails and rigging ; yet the sight of it was pleasant ; and 
we had a steady " reef-topsail breeze" from the westward. 
The atmosphere, which had previously been clear and cold, 
for the last few hours grew damp, and had a disagreeable, 
wet chilliness in it ; and the man who came from the 
wheel said he heard the captain tell "the passenger" that 
the thermometer had fallen several degrees since morning, 
which he could not account for in any other way than by 
supposing that there must be ice near us ; though such a 
thing was rarely heard of in this latitude at this season 
of the year. At twelve o'clock we went below, and had 
just got through dinner, when the cook put his head down 
the scuttle and told us to come on deck and see the finest 
sight that we had ever seen. " Where away, Doctor ?" 
asked the first man who was up. " On the larboard bow." 
And there lay, floating in the ocean, several miles off, an 
immense, irregular mass, its top and points covered with 
snow, and its centre of a deep indigo color. This was an 
iceberg, and of the largest size, as one of our men said 
who had been in the Northern Ocean. As far as the eye 
could reach, the sea in every direction was of a deep blue 
color, the waves running high and fresh, and sparkling in 
the light, and in the midst lay this immense mountain- 
island, its cavities and valleys thrown into deep shade, and 
its points and pinnacles glittering in the sun. All hands 
were soon on deck, looking at it, and admiring in various 
ways its beauty and grandeur. But no description can 
give any idea of the strangeness, splendor, and, really, the 



44 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DANA 

sublimity of the sight. Its great size, for it must have 
been from two to three miles in circumference and several 
hundred feet in height, its slow motion, as its base rose 
and sank in the water and its high points nodded against 
the clouds; the dashing of the waves upon it, which, 
breaking high with foam, lined its base with a white crust ; 
and the thundering sound of the cracking of the mass and 
the breaking and tumbling down of huge pieces, together 
with its nearness and approach, which added a slight ele 
ment of fear, all combined to give to it the character of 
true sublimity. The main body of the mass was, as I 
have said, of an indigo color, its base crusted with frozen 
foam ; and as it grew thin and transparent toward the 
edges and top, its color shaded off from a deep blue to the 
whiteness of snow. It seemed to be drifting slowly to 
ward the north, so that we kept away and avoided it. It 
was in sight all the afternoon ; and when we got to lee 
ward of it the wind died away, so that we lay-to quite 
near it for the greater part of the night. Unfortunately, 
there was no moon ; but it was a clear night, and we could 
plainly mark the long, regular heaving of the stupendous 
mass, as its edges moved slowly against the stars, now re 
vealing them, and now shutting them in. Several times 
in our watch loud cracks were heard, which sounded as 
though they must have run through the whole length of 
the iceberg, and several pieces fell down with a thundering 
crash, plunging heavily into the sea. Toward morning a 
strong breeze sprang up, and we filled away, and left it 
astern, and at daylight it was out of sight. 



PARKER] WASHINGTON. 45 

WASHINGTON. 

THEODORE PARKER. 

[The following extract is taken from " Historic Americans," a post 
humously-published volume, consisting of four lectures prepared by 
Mr. Parker in 1858, on Franklin, Washington, John Adams, and Jef 
ferson.] 

IN his person, Washington was six feet high, and rather 
slender. His limbs were long; his hands were uncommonly 
large, his chest broad and full, his head was exactly round, 
and the hair brown in manhood, but gray at fifty ; his fore 
head rather low and retreating, the nose large and massy, 
the mouth wide and firm, the chin square and heavy, the 
cheeks full and ruddy in early life. His eyes were blue and 
handsome, but not quick or nervous. He required specta 
cles to read with at fifty. He was one of the best riders in 
the United States, but, like some other good riders, awk 
ward and shambling in his walk. He was stately in his 
bearing, reserved, distant, and apparently haughty. Shy 
among women, he was not a great talker in any company, 
but a careful observer and listener. He read the, natural 
temper of men, but not always aright. He seldom smiled. 
He did not laugh with his face, but in his body, and, while 
calm above, below the diaphragm his laughter was copious 
and earnest. Like many grave persons, he was fond of 
jokes, and loved humorous stories. He had negro story 
tellers to regale him with fun and anecdotes at Mount 
Yernon. He was not critical about his food, but fond of 
tea. He took beer or cider at dinner, and occasionally 
wine. He hated drunkenness, gaming, and tobacco. He 
had a hearty love of farming and of private life. There 
was nothing of the politician in him, no particle of cun 
ning. He was one of the most industrious of men. Not 



46 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PARKER 

an elegant or accurate writer, he yet took great pains 
with style, and, after the Revolution, carefully corrected 
the letters he had written in the time of the French War, 
more than thirty years before. He was no orator, like 
Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and others, who had great 
influence in American affairs. He never made a speech. 
The public papers were drafted for him, and he read them 
when the occasion came. Washington was no democrat. 
Like the Federal party he belonged to, he had little confi 
dence in the people. He thought more of the Judicial and 
Executive departments than of the Legislative body. He 
loved a strong central power, not local self-government. 
A little tumult, like Shays's insurrection in Massachusetts, 
or the rebellion in Pennsylvania, made him and his Fed 
eral associates tremble for the safety of the nation. He 
did not know that something must be forgiven to the 
spirit of Liberty. In his administration as President, he 
attempted to unite the two parties, the Federal party, 
with its tendency to monarchy, and perhaps desire for it, 
and the Democratic party, which thought that the gov 
ernment was already too strong. But there was a quarrel 
between Hamilton and Jefferson, who unavoidably hated 
each other. The Democrats would not serve in Washing 
ton's Cabinet. The violent, arbitrary, and invasive will 
of Hamilton acquired an undue influence over Washing 
ton, who was beginning, at sixty-four, to feel the effects 
of age, and he inclined more and more to severe laws and 
consolidated power, while on the other part the nation be 
came more and more democratic. Washington went on 
his own way, and yet filled his Cabinet with men less tol 
erant of Republicanism than himself. 

Of all the great men whom Virginia has produced, 
Washington was least like the State that bore him. He 
is not Southern in many particulars. In character he is 



PARKER] WASHINGTON. 47 

as much a New-Englander as either Adams. Yet, won 
derful to tell, he never understood New England. The 
slave-holder, bred in Virginia, could not comprehend a 
state of society where the captain or the colonel came 
from the same class as the common soldier, and that off 
duty they should be equals. He thought common soldiers 
should only be provided with food and clothes and have 
no pay. Their families should not be provided for by 
the State. He wanted the officers to be " gentlemen," and, 
as much as possible, separate from the soldier. . . . He 
never understood New England, never loved it, never 
did it full justice. It has been said Washington was not 
a great soldier; but certainly he created an army out 
of the roughest materials, out-generalled all that Britain 
could send against him, and, in the midst of poverty and 
distress, organized victory. He was not brilliant and rapid. 
He was slow, defensive, and victorious. He made " an 
empty bag stand upright," which Franklin says is " hard." 
Some men command the world, or hold its admiration by 
their ideas or by their intellect. Washington had neither 
original ideas nor a deeply-cultured mind. He commands 
by his integrity, by his justice. He loved power by in 
stinct, and strong government by reflective choice. Twice 
he was made Dictator, with absolute power, and never 
abused the awful and despotic trust. The monarchic sol 
diers and civilians would make him king. He trampled 
on their offer, and went back to his fields of corn and to 
bacco at Mount Vernon. The grandest act of his public 
life was to give up his power; the most magnanimous 
deed of his private life was to liberate his slaves. 

Washington is the first man of his type : when will tfrere 
be another? As yet the American rhetoricians do not 
dare tell half his excellence ; but the people should not 
complain. 



48 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PARKER 

Cromwell is the greatest Anglo-Saxon who was ever a 
ruler on a large scale. In intellect he was immensely 
superior to Washington ; in integrity, immeasurably below 
him. For one thousand years no king in Christendom 
has shown such greatness, or gives us so high a type of 
manly virtue. He never dissembled. He sought nothing 
for himself. In him there was no unsound spot, nothing 
little or mean in his character. The whole was clean and 
presentable. We think better of mankind because he lived, 
adorning the earth with a life so noble. Shall we make an 
idol of him, and worship it with huzzas on the Fourth 
of July, and with stupid rhetoric on other days ? Shall 
we build him a great monument, founding it in a slave- 
pen ? His glory alreadycovers the continent. More than 
t-wo hundred places bear his name. He is revered as 
"the Father of his Country." The people are his me 
morial. The New. York Indians hold this tradition of 
him. " Alone, of all white men," say they, " he has been 
admitted to the Indian heaven, because of his justice to 
the Eed Men. He lives in a great palace, built like a fort. 
All the Indians, as they go to heaven, pass by, and he 
himself is in his uniform, a sword at his side, walking to 
and fro. They bow reverently, with great humility. He 
returns the salute, but says nothing." Such is the reward 
of his justice to the Eed Men. Grod be thanked for such 
a man! 

" A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried, 
Above all pain, all passion, and all pride, 
The rage of power, the blast of public breath, 
The lust of lucre, and the dread of death." 



JACKSON] THOUGHT AND SYMPATHY. 49 



POEMS OF THOUGHT AND SYMPATHY. 

The group of poems of an introspective character which we propose 
to offer under the above title may be fitly introduced by one of the 
finest and fullest sonnets in the language, the "Thought" of Helen 
II jnt Jackson. 

MESSENGER, art thou the King, or I ? 
Thou dalliest outside the palace gate 
Till on thine idle armor lie the late 

And heavy dews : the morn's bright, scornful eye 
Eeminds thee ; then, in subtle mockery, 
Thou smilest at the window where I wait, 
Who bade thee ride for life.' In empty state 
My days go on, while false hours prophesy 
Thy quick return ; at last, in sad despair, 

1 cease to bid thee, leave thee free as air ; 
When, lo, thou stand'st before me glad and fleet, 
And lay'st undreamed-of treasures at my feet. 
Ah ! messenger, thy royal blood to buy, 

I am too poor. Thou art the King, not I ! 

The same subject is handled very differently, but not less ably, in 
the poem given below. 

THOUGHT. 

Thought is deeper than all speech, 
Feeling deeper than all thought ; 

Souls to souls can never teach 

What unto themselves was taught. 

We are spirits clad in veils ; 

Man by man was never seen ; 
All our deep communing fails 

To remove the shadowy screen, 
iv. c d 5 



50 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CsANCH 

Heart to heart was never known ; 

Mind to mind did never meet ; 
We are columns left alone 

Of a temple once complete. 

Like the stars that gem the sky, 

Far apart, though seeming near, 
In our light we scattered lie ; 

All is thus but starlight here. 

"What is social company 

But a babbling summer stream ? 
What our wise philosophy 

But the glancing of a dream ? 

Only when the sun of love 
Melts the scattered stars of thought, 

Only when we live above 

What the dim-eyed world hath taught, 

Only when our souls are fed 

By the fount which gave them birth, 

And by inspiration led 

Which they never drew from earth, 

We, like parted drops of- rain, 

Swelling till they meet and run, 
Shall be all absorbed again, 

Melting, flowing into one. 

C. P. CRANCH. 



There is a kingliness in death that surpasses the royalty of life. 
The meaning of the one lies bare and unsatisfying before us ; the 
significance of the other is shrouded in such mystery, and is so full of 



FAWCETT] THOUGHT AND SYMPATHY. 51 

promise and high possibilities, that we cannot think of it without awe 
and envy of those who have passed through the silent gate. 

A KING. 

It is more than being great 
At the random rule of fate, 
To lie as he lies here, 
Yery awful and austere. 
'Tis more than being wise 
To repose with placid eyes, 
And know not of the wild world that it cries, cries, cries i 

Look ye now, and answer true 
If it be as well with you, 
That fret and sweat and sin 
For the flesh ye weary in, 
As with him that bates his breath, 
And what empty words it saith, 
To attain the life diviner, which is death, death, death I 

What of pleasure shall he miss, 
With that sovereign ease of Ms ? 
What of pain shall reach his ken, 
With that marble scorn of men ? 
Though ye praised him in a psalm, 
Though ye smote him of your palm, 

Shall ye call him from this haughty sleep and calm, calm, 
calm? 

Lo, his dumb face turns ye dumb 
If to look on him ye come, 
Who hath found in cold eclipse 
A superb Apocalypse! 



52 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WHITNEY 

"Who has had the last bad thing 
The deciduous days may bring ! 

Who is crowned as none but Death could crown him, king, 
king, king ! 

EDGAR FAWCETT. 



The poem we have just given finds its fit appendix in the following 
which might, as a companion-piece, have been entitled " A Queen " 

RELEASED. 

A little, low-ceiled room. Four walls 
Whose blank shut out all else of life, 

And crowded close within their bound 
A world of pain, and toil, and strife. 

Her world. Scarce furthermore she knew 
Of God's great globe that wondrously 

Outrolls a glory of green earth 
And frames it with the restless sea. 

Four closer walls of common pine ; 

And therein lying, cold and still, 
The weary flesh that long hath borne 

Its patient mystery of ill. 

.Regardless now of work to do, 

No queen more careless in her state, 

Hands crossed in an unbroken calm ; 
For other hands the work may wait. 

Put by her implements of toil ; 

Put by each coarse, intrusive sign : 
She made a Sabbath when she died ; 

And round her breathes a rest divine. 



CLARKE] THOUGHT AND SYMPATHY. 53 

Put by, at last, beneath the lid, 

The exempted hands, the tranquil face ; 

Uplift her in her dreamless sleep, 
And bear her gently from the place. 

Oft she hath gazed, with wistful eyes, 
Oft from that threshold, on the night : 

The narrow bourn she crosseth now ; 
She standeth in the eternal light. 

Oft she hath pressed, with aching feet, 
Those broken steps that reach the door : 

Henceforth, with angels, she shall tread 
Heaven's golden stair, for evermore. 

MRS. A. D. T. WHITNEY. 

The love that reaches from heaven to earth, and stretches out 
striving hands of desire, warm with efforts to rend the veil of in 
visibility that divides the life here from the life hereafter, is rendered 
with fine feeling in the poem below. 

ANYWHERE. 

She was old, and wan, and wrinkled, 

Though her pallid cheek was fair, 
And the snows of sixty winters 

Lightly touched her soft brown hair. 
Yet if in those lands immortal 

She doth youth and beauty wear, 
And the sunny hues of girlhood 

Tint anew her eyes and hair, 
Still I know that I should know her, 

I should know her anywhere. 

Shall I dwell in mournful waiting, 

Mother, for thee " over there," 
iv. 5* 



54 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CLARKE 

While God's blessed angels daily 

Wander down the shining stair ? 
Bound and sweet I know your lips are, 

Kindled by that radiant air, 
Oh, the sad and tender patience 

Of the smile they used to wear ! 
I should know your kisses, mother, 

I should know them anywhere ! 

Should you touch me e'er so lightly, 

As returning spirits dare, 
And your spirit hand should linger 

E'er so softly on my hair, 
Hands, dear hands, by death made over, 

No more wrinkled, wan, or spare, 
Hands which I have kissed so fondly, 

Darling hands, so used to care ! 
I should know your touch, dear mother, 

I should know it anywhere ! 

Had I been the first to wander 

From earth's dust, and din, and glare, 
Thrilling through my lips new splendor, 

I should still have felt your prayer ; 
And, if spirit hands could do it, 

Pausing not to think or care, 
I should rend the veil that hid you, 

And with you my glory share. 
Oh, my mother ! darling mother ! 

I should love you anywhere ! 

M. E. CLARKE. 

A fine thought, beautifully expressed, is embodied in the two verses 
which follow, the contribution of an anonymous author, deeply in 
stinct with the poetry of thoughtfulness and sentiment. 



ANONYMOUS] THOUGHT AND SYMPATHY. 55 

TWO GOOD-NIGHTS. 

Good-night, mine enemy, good-night ! 
Perhaps this garish day has been to thee 
As long and fretful as it has to me, 
And thou hast known care's rust, ambition's blight, 
Misapprehension's sting, affection's slight : 
For any curse of mine, then, sleep in peace, 
Under the waning stars, the moon's increase, 
And dream that thou art noble, and arise 
The morrow, humbler for a dream's surprise. 

Good-night, good-night ! 

O friend of mine, good-night, good-night ! 
As mountain-torrents, thirsting for the sea, 
Press headlong on past hamlet, waste, and lea, 
And, mountain-thwarted, find some other way, 
Sun-scorched, wind-scourged, stay not nor night nor day, 
Their currents whispering low, "The Sea! the Sea!" 
So runs my vexed and baffled life to thee. 
Patience ! we yet shall meet. I hear the roar, 
And catch salt-scented breezes from the shore. 

Good-night, good-night ! 

Markedly different in tone from the above is the poem here given, 
also from an anonymous author. Its significance is conveyed in its 
title. 

LINES FOR AN ALBUM I 
TO ACCOMPANY AN URN. 

It was a flower in fancy bred ; 

I thought to plant it living here : 
Alas I the shadowy something fled 
That gave it life, 'tis cold and dead : 

This page shall be its bier. 



56 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DoRR 

So dies the soul of many a thought 
Ere it can be in words expressed ; 
Dull words, how shall they e'er contain 
That which is fire within the brain 
Or passion in the breast ? 

Yet if in friendly sympathy 

You stop to gaze upon this urn, 
May you in kindred fancy see 
The warm intent that kindled me 
Still through its ashes burn ! 

A feeling which all growing natures must have experienced, and of 
which even stagnant souls are dimly though enviously aware, is finely 
expressed in the poem here given. 

OUTGROWN. 

Nay, you wrong her, my friend ; she's not fickle ; her love 

she has simply outgrown : 
One can read the whole matter, translating her heart by 

the light of one's own. 

Can you bear me to talk with you frankly ? There is 

much that my heart would say, 
And you know we were children together, have quarrelled 

and " made up" in play. 

And so, for the sake of old friendship, I venture to tell you 

the truth, 
As plainly, perhaps, and as bluntly, as I might in our 

earlier youth. 

Five summers ago, when you wooed her, you stood on the 

self-same plane, 
Face to face, heart to heart, never dreaming your souls 

could be parted again. 



DORR] THOUGHT AND SYMPATHY. 57 

She loved you at that time entirely, in the bloom of her 

life's early May, 
And it is not her fault, I repeat it, that she does not love 

you to-day. 

Nature never stands still, nor souls either. They ever 

go up or go down ; 
And hers has been steadily soaring ; but how has it been 

with your own ? 

She has struggled, and yearned, and aspired, grown purer 

and wiser each year ; 
The stars are not farther above you, in yon luminous 

atmosphere. 

For she whom you crowned with fresh roses down yonder, 
five summers ago, 

Has learned that the first of our duties to God and our 
selves is to grow. 

Her eyes they are sweeter and calmer, but their vision is 

clearer as well ; 
Her voice has a tenderer cadence, but is pure as a silver 

bell. 

Her face has the look worn by those who with God and 

his angels have talked ; 
The white robes she wears are less white than the spirits 

with whom she has walked. 

And you ? Have you aimed at the highest ? Have you, 

too, aspired and prayed ? 
Have you looked upon evil unsullied ? have you conquered 

it undismayed ? 



58 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DORR 

Have you, too, grown purer and wiser as the months and 

the years have rolled on ? 
Did you meet her this morning rejoicing in the triumph 

of victory won ? 

Nay, hear me ! the truth cannot harm you : When to 
day in her presence you stood, 

Was the hand that you gave her as white and clean as 
that of her womanhood ? 

Go measure yourself by her standard. Look back on the 

years that have fled ; 
Then ask, if you need, why she tells you that the love of 

her girlhood is dead ! 

She cannot look down to her lover ; her love, like her soul, 

aspires ; 
He must stand by her side, or above her, who would kindle 

its holy fires. 

Now, farewell ! For the sake of old friendship, I have 

ventured to tell you the truth, 
As plainly, perhaps, and as bluntly, as I might in our 

earlier youth. 

JULIA C. E. DORR. 

The lowliest things oft lead to the highest thoughts. Even the flut 
ter of a swallow's wing may open a passage to the loftiest realms of 
philosophy and aspiration. 

HIGHER TENANTS. 

After winter fires were ended, and the last spark, vanish 
ing 

From the embers of our hearthstone, flew into the sky 
of spring, 



PIATT] THOUGHT AND SYMPATHY. 59 

In the night-time; in the morning, when the air was 

hushed around, 
Throbbing vaguely on the silence, came a dull, mysterious 

sound. 



Like the sultry hum of thunder, at the sullen close of 

day, 
Out of clouds that brood and threaten on the horizon far 

away. 

" 'Tis," I said, " the April thunder," and I thought of flowers 

that spring, 
And of trees that stand in blossom, and of birds that fly 

and sing. 

But the sound, repeated often, nearer, more familiar 

grown, 
From our chimney seemed descending, and the swallow's 

wings were known. 

Where the lithe flames leaped and lightened, charm of 

host and cheer of guest, 
There the emigrant of summer chose its homestead, built 

its nest. 

Then I dreamed of poets dwelling, like the swallow, long 
ago, 

Overhead in dusky places ere their songs were heard be 
low, 

Overhead in humble attics, ministers of higher things : 
Underneath were busy people, overhead were heavenly 
wings ! 



60 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PiATT 

And I thought of homely proverbs that'On simple lips had 

birth, 
Born of gentle superstitions at old firesides of the earth : 

How, where'er the swallow builded under human roofs its 

nest, 
Something holier, purer, higher, in the house became a 

guest ; 

Peace, or Love, or Health, or Fortune, something pros 
perous, from the air, 

'Lighting with the wings of swallows, breathed divine 
possession there. 

" Friendly gods," I said, " descending, make their gentle 

visits so, 
Fill the air with benedictions, songs above and songs 

below!" 

Then I murmured, " Welcome, swallow ; I, your landlord, 

stand content : 
Even if song were not sufficient, higher Tenants pay your 

rent !" 

JOHN J. PIATT. 

Of American elegies we have nothing finer than the tribute paid by 
Fitz-Greene Halleck to Joseph Kodman Drake : 

Green be the turf above thee, 

Friend of my better days ! 
None knew thee but to love thee, 

Nor named thee but to praise. 

Tears fell, when thou wert dying, 
From eyes unused to weep, 



HALLECK] THOUGHT AND SYMPATHY. 61 

And long, where thou art lying, 
Will tears the cold turf steep. 

"When hearts, whose truth was proven, 

Like thine, are laid in earth, 
There should a wreath be woven 

To tell the world their worth ; 

And I, who woke each morrow 

To clasp thy hand in mine, 
Who shared thy joy and sorrow, 

Whose weal and woe were thine, 

It should be mine to braid it 

Around thy faded brow ; 
But I've in vain essayed it, 

And feel I cannot now. 

While memory bids me weep thee, 
'Nor thoughts nor words are free : 

The grief is fixed too deeply 
That mourns a man like thee. 

A thoughtful strain from a poetess of the West, in which a class 
usually left to bear and suffer unsung is brought within the circle of 
poetic sentiment, may fitly close our series : 

THE DISAPPOINTED. 

There are songs enough for a hero 
Who dwells on the heights of fame : 

I sing for the disappointed, 
For those who missed their aim. 

I sing with a tearful cadence 

For one who stands in the dark 
IT. 6 



62 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WiLCOX 

And knows that his last, best arrow 
Has bounded back from the mark. 

I sing for the breathless runner, 

The eager, anxious soul, 
Who falls with his strength exhausted 

Almost in sight of the goal ; 

For the hearts that break in silence 
With a sorrow all unknown, 

For those who need companions, 
Yet walk their ways alone. 

There are songs enough for the lovers 

Who share love's tender pain : 
I sing for the one whose passion 

Is given and in vain. 

For those whose spirit-comrades 

Have missed them on the way 
I sing, with a heart o'erflowing, 

This minor strain to-day. 

And I know the solar system 
Must somewhere keep in space 

A prize for that spent runner 
Who barely lost the race. 

For the plan would be imperfect 

Unless it held some sphere 
That paid for the toil and talent 

And love that are wasted here. 

ELLA WHEELER WILCOX. 



GEORGE] THE THEORY OF LAND-TAXATION. 63 

THE THEORY OF LAND-TAXATION. 

HENEY GEORGE. 

[In these days, when political economy has become a populai 
science, the advent of an able and forcible writer upon social and in 
dustrial questions is an event of importance. Such a writer is Henry 
George, whose industrial theories have risen into great prominence, 
partly from the fact that they deal with questions in which an intense 
and wide-spread interest is felt, and partly from the clearness with 
which they are presented in his ably-written pages. His " Progress 
and Poverty" struck the industrial world with the force of a new rev 
elation, and though its theories are controverted by political economists, 
and the conclusions which he reaches do not seem necessary conse 
quences of his premises, they are so plausibly presented, and hold out 
such alluring pictures of the future of industry, that they have been 
enthusiastically accepted by many of the working-classes. His main 
theory is that the land belongs to mankind as a whole, that individuals 
originally acquired possession of it by force or fraud, to which no 
length of possession or diversity of transfer can give legal warrant, 
and that it is the duty of governments, as representatives of their 
people, to resume possession of all land and manage it for the best good 
of the population as a whole. This result is to be attained by a taxa 
tion upon land equal to its whole rental value, so that it would be im 
possible to sell it, and every holder would be forced to use his land 
productively or abandon it. This rent is to be the only form of taxa 
tion, all other property being released from governmental obligations. 
There is much that is plausible and alluring in this scheme, though it 
is not easy to see how, after all the land is occupied, the rest of man 
kind is to be benefited thereby, otherwise than by the remission of taxes. 
Mr. George was born in Philadelphia in 1849. He went to California 
in 1858, and after 1866 became a journalist in San Francisco. His 
principal books are " Our Land and Land Policy," " Progress and 
Poverty," " The Irish Land Question," " Social Problems," and " Free 
Trade and Protection." His speeches on economic questions attracted 
much attention in Great Britain.] 

THE elder Mirabeau, we are told, ranked the proposition 
of Quesnay, to substitute one single tax on rent (the im- 



64 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [GEORGE 

post unique) for all other taxes, as a discovery equal in 
utility to the invention of writing or the substitution of 
the use of money for barter. 

To whoever will think over the matter, this saying will 
appear an evidence of penetration rather than of extrava 
gance. The advantages which would be gained by substi 
tuting for the numerous taxes by which the public reve 
nues are now raised, a single tax levied upon the value of 
land, will appear more and more important the more they 
are considered. This is the secret which would transform 
the little village into the great city. With all the burdens 
removed which now oppress industry and hamper ex 
change, the production of wealth would go on with a 
rapidity now undreamed of. This, in its turn, would lead 
to an increase in the value of land, a new surplus which 
society might take for general purposes. And, released 
from the difficulties which attend the collection of revenue 
in a way that begets corruption and renders legislation 
the tool of special interests, society could assume functions 
which the increasing complexity of life makes it desirable 
to assume, but which the prospect of political demoraliza 
tion under the present system now leads thoughtful men 
to shrink from. 

Consider the effect upon the production of wealth. 

To abolish the taxation which, acting and reacting, now 
hampers every wheel of exchange and presses upon every 
form of industry, would be like removing an immense 
weight from a powerful spring. Imbued with fresh en 
ergy, production would start into new life, and trade 
would receive a stimulus which would be felt to the re 
motest arteries. The present method of taxation operates 
upon exchange like artificial deserts and mountains; it. 
costs more to get goods through a custom-house than it 
does to carry them round the world. It operates upon 



GEORGE] THE THEORY OF LAND-TAXATION. 65 

energy, and industry, and skill, and thrift, like a fine upon 
those qualities. If I have worked harder and built my 
self a good house while you have been contented to live in 
a hovel, the tax-gatherer now comes annually to make me 
pay a penalty for my energy and industry, by taxing me 
more than you. If I have saved while you wasted, I am 
mulct, while you are exempt. If a man build a ship, we 
make him pay for his temerity, as though he had done 
an injury to the state ; if a railroad be opened, down comes 
the tax-collector upon it, as though it were a public 
nuisance ; if a manufactory be erected, we levy upon it an 
annual sum which would go far towards making a hand 
some profit. We say we want capital, but if any one ac 
cumulate it, or bring it among us, we charge him for it as 
though we were giving him a privilege. AVe punish with 
a tax the man who covers barren fields with ripening 
grain ; we fine him who puts up machinery, and him who 
drains a swamp. How heavily these taxes burden pro 
duction only those realize who have attempted to follow 
our system of taxation through its ramifications, for, as 
I have before said, the heaviest part of taxation is that 
which falls in increased prices. But manifestly these taxes 
are in their nature akin to the Egyptian Pasha's tax upon 
date-trees. If they do not cause the trees to be cut down, 
they at least discourage the planting. 

To abolish these taxes would be to lift the whole enor 
mous weight of taxation from productive industry. The 
needle of tbe seamstress and the great manufactory, the 
cart-horse and the locomotive, the fishing-boat and the 
steamship, the farmer's plough and the merchant's stock, 
would be alike untaxed. All would be free to make or to 
save, to buy or to sell, unfined by taxes, unannoyed by the 
tax-gatherer. Instead of saying to the producer, as it 
does now, " The more you add to the general wealth the 
iv. e 6* 



66 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [GEORGE 

more shall you be taxed !" the state would say to the pro 
ducer, " Be as industrious, as thrifty, as enterprising as 
you choose, you shall have your full reward. You shall 
not be fined for making two blades of grass grow where 
one grew before ; you shall not be taxed for adding to the 
aggregate wealth." 

And will not the community gain by thus refusing tc 
kill the goose that lays the golden eggs ; by thus refrain 
ing from muzzling the ox that treadeth out the corn ; by 
thus leaving to industry, and thrift, and skill, their nat 
ural reward, full and unimpaired ? For there is to the 
community also a natural reward. The law of society is 
each for all, as well as all for each. No one can keep to 
himself the good he may do, any more than he can keep 
the bad. Every productive enterprise, besides its return 
to those who undertake it, yields collateral advantages to 
others. If a man plant a fruit-tree, his gain is that he 
gathers the fruit in its time and season. But, in addition 
to his gain, there is a gain to the whole community. 
Others than the owner are benefited by the increased sup 
ply of fruit ; the birds which it shelters fly far and wide ; 
the rain which it helps to attract falls not alone on his 
field ; and even to the eye which rests upon it from a dis 
tance it brings a sense of beauty. And so with every 
thing else. The building of a house, a factory, a ship, or a 
railroad benefits others besides those who get the direct 
profits. Nature laughs at a miser. He is like the squir 
rel who buries his nuts and refrains from digging them up 
again. Lo ! they sprout and grow into trees. In fine 
linen, steeped in costly spices, the mummy is laid away. 
Thousands and thousands of years thereafter, the Bedouin 
cooks his food by a fire of its encasings, it generates the 
steam by which the traveller is whirled on his way, or it 
passes into far-off lands to gratify the curiosity of another 



GEOKGE] THE THEORY OF LAND-TAXATION. 67 

race. The bee fills the hollow tree with honey, and along 
comes the bear or the man. 

Well may the community leave to the individual pro 
ducer all that prompts him to exertion ; well may it let 
the laborer have the full reward of his labor, and the capi 
talist the full return of his capital. For the more that 
labor and capital produce, the greater grows the common 
wealth in which all may share. And in the value or rent 
of land is this general gain expressed in a definite and 
concrete form. Here is a fund which the state may take 
while leaving to labor and capital their full reward. With 
increased activity of production this would commensurately 
increase. 

But to shift the burden of taxation from production and 
exchange to the value or rent of land would not merely 
be to give new stimulus to the production of wealth ; it 
would be to open new opportunities. For under this sys 
tem no one would care to hold land unless to use it, and 
land now withheld from use would everywhere be thrown 
open to improvement. 

The selling price of land would fall ; land-speculation 
would receive its death-blow ; land-monopolization would 
no longer pay. Millions and millions of acres from which 
settlers are now shut out by high prices would be aban 
doned by their present owners or sold to settlers upon 
nominal terms. And this not merely on the frontiers, but- 
within what are now considered well-settled districts. 
Within a hundred miles of San Francisco would be thus 
thrown open land enough to support, even with present 
modes of cultivation, an agricultural population equal to 
that now scattered from the Oregon boundary to the 
Mexican line, a distance of eight hundred miles. In the 
same degree would this be true of most of the Western 
States, and in a great degree of the older Eastern States, 



68 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [GEORGE 

for even in New York and Pennsylvania is population yet 
sparse as compared with the capacity of the land. And 
even in densely-populated England would such a policy 
throw open to cultivation many hundreds of thousands 
of acres now held as private parks, deer-preserves, and 
shooting-grounds. 

For this simple device of placing all taxes on the value 
of land would be in effect putting up the land at auction to 
whoever would pay the highest rent to the state. The 
demand for land fixes its value, and hence, if taxes were 
placed so as to very nearly consume that value, the man 
who wished to hold land without using it would have to 
pay very nearly what it would be worth to any one who 
wanted to use it. 

And it must be remembered that this would apply not 
merely to agricultural land, but to all land. Mineral land 
would be thrown open to use, just as agricultural land ; 
and in the heart of a city no one could afford to keep land 
from its most profitable use, or on the outskirts to demand 
more for it than the use to which it could at the time be 
put would warrant. Everywhere that land had attained 
a value, taxation, instead of operating, as now, as a fine 
upon improvement, would operate to force improvement. 
Whoever planted an orchard, or sowed a field, or built a 
house, or erected a manufactory, no matter how costly, 
would have no more to pay in taxes than if he kept so 
much land idle. The monopolist of agricultural land 
would be taxed as much as though his land were covered 
with houses and barns, with crops and with stock. The 
owner of a vacant city lot would have to pay as much for 
the privilege of keeping other people off of it until he 
wanted to use it, as his neighbor who has a fine house 
upon his lot. It would cost as much to keep a row of 
tumble-down shanties upon valuable land as though it 



GEORGE] THE THEORY OF LAND-TAXATION. 69 

were covered with a grand hotel or a pile of great ware 
houses filled with costly goods. 

Thus the bonus that wherever labor is most productive 
must now be paid before labor can be exerted would dis 
appear. The farmer would not have to pay out half his 
means, or mortgage his labor for years, in order to obtain 
land to cultivate ; the builder of a city homestead would 
not have to lay out as much for a small lot as for the house 
he puts upon it; the company that proposed to erect a 
manufactory would not have to expend a great part of 
their capital for a site. And what would be paid from 
year to year to the state would be in lieu of all the taxes 
now levied upon improvements, machinery, and stock. 

Consider the effect of such a change upon the labor 
market. Competition would no longer be one-sided, as 
now. Instead of laborers competing with each other for 
employment, and in their competition cutting down wages 
to the point of bare subsistence, employers would every 
where be competing for laborers, and wages would rise to 
the fair earnings of labor. For into the labor market 
would have entered the greatest of all competitors for the 
employment of labor, a competitor whose demand cannot 
be satisfied until want is satisfied, the demand of labor 
itself. The employers of labor would not have merely to 
bid against other employers, all feeling the stimulus of 
greater trade and increased profits, but against the ability 
of laborers to become their own employers upon the natu 
ral opportunities freely opened to them by the tax which 
prevented monopolization. 

With natural opportunities thus free to labor, with 
capital and improvements exempt from tax, and exchange 
released from restrictions, the spectacle of willing men un 
able to turn their labor into the things they are suffering 
for would become impossible; the recurring paroxysms 



70 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [STRAHAN 

which paralyze industry would cease ; every wheel of pro 
duction would be set in motion ; demand would keep pace 
with supply, and supply with demand ; trade would in 
crease in every direction, and wealth augment on every 
hand. 



THE CREST OF THE ALLEGHANIES. 

EDWARD STRAHAN. 

[We have already given some passages descriptive of American 
scenery. It seems advisable to add to these some of the many elo 
quent descriptive articles in which the more striking of American 
scenes have been delineated. Though this country cannot vie with 
Europe in its relics of ancient civilization or in its treasures of art, 
yet in so far as the works of nature are concerned it holds an equal 
rank with the most picturesque regions of the earth, and the American 
who goes abroad in search of natural scenery before he has made him 
self familiar with the charms of his own country is in a degree untrue 
to the claims upon him of his native land.] 

AN old writer who dearly loved excursions, Francis 
Rabelais, inserted in one of his fables an account of a 
country where the roads were in motion. He called the 
place the Island of Odes, from the Greek 6d6$ : a " road," 
and explained: "For the roads travel, like animated 
things; and some are wandering roads, like planets, 
others passing roads, crossing roads, connecting roads. 
And I saw how the travellers, messengers, and inhabi 
tants of the land asked, 'Where does this road go to? 
and that?' They were answered, From the south to 
Faverolles, to the parish, to the city, to the river. Then, 
hoisting themselves on the proper road, without being 
otherwise troubled or fatigued, they found themselves at 
their place of destination." 



STRAHAN] THE CREST OF THE ALLEGHANIES. 71 

This fancy sketch, thrown off by an inveterate joker 
three hundred years ago, is justified curiously by any of 
our modern railways ; but to see the picture represented 
in startling accuracy you should find some busy "junction" 
among the coal-mountains. Here you may observe, from 
your perch upon the hill, an assemblage of roads actively 
reticulating and radiating, winding through the valleys, 
slinking off misanthropically into a tunnel, or gayly 
parading away elbow in elbow with the streams. These 
avenues, upon minute inspection, are seen to be obviously 
moving : they are crawling and creeping with an un 
broken joint-work of black wagons, the rails hidden by 
their moving pavement, and the road throughout ad 
vancing, foot b}' foot, into the distance. It is hardly too 
fanciful on seeing its covering slide away, its switches 
swinging, its turn-tables revolving, its drawbridges open 
ing to declare that such a road is an animal, an animal 
proving its nature, according to Aristotle, by the power 
to move itself. JS"or is it at all censurable to ask a road 
like this where it " goes to." 

The notion of what Rabelais calls a " wayfaring way," 
a chemin cheminant. came into our thoughts at Cumber 
land. But Cumberland was not reached until after many 
miles of interesting travel along a route remarkable for 
beauties, both natural and improved. A coal-distributor 
is certain, in fact, to be a road full of attractions for the 
tourist ; for coal, that Sleeping Beauty of our era, always 
chooses a pretty bed in which to perform its slumber of 
as;es. The road which delivers the Cumberland coal, 

O * 

however, is truly exceptional for splendor of scenery, as 
well as for historical suggestiveness and engineering 
science. It has recently become, by means of certain 
lavish providences established for the blessing of travel 
lers at every turn, a tourist route and a holiday delight. 



72 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS, [STRAHAN 

It is all very well for the traveller of the nineteenth 
century to protest against the artificial and unromantic 
guidance of the railway: he will find, after a little ex 
perience, that the homes of true romance are discovered 
for him by the locomotive ; that solitudes and recesses 
which he would never find after years of plodding in 
sandal shoon are silently opened to him by the engineer ; 
and that Timon now, seeking the profoundest cave in the 
fissures of the earth, reaches it in a Pullman car. . . . 

By day, Cumberland is quite given over to carbon ; 
drawing her supplies from the neighboring mining-town 
of Frostburg, she dedicates herself devoutly to coals. 
All da}" long she may be seen winding around her sooty 
neck, like an African queen, endless chains and trains and 
rosaries of black diamonds, which never tire of passing 
through the enumeration of her jewelled fingers. At 
night the scene is more beautiful. We clambered up the 
nearest hill at sunset, while the colored light was draining 
into the pass of Wills' Mountain as into a vase, and the 
lamps of the town sprang gradually into sight beneath us. 
The surrounding theatre of mountains had a singularly 
calm and noble air, recalling the most enchanted days of 
Eome and the Campagna. The curves of the hills are 
marvels of swaying grace, depending from point to point 
with the elegance of draperies, and seating the village 
like a gem in the midst of " great laps and folds of sculp 
tor's work." The mechanics and miners, as twilight 
deepened, began to lead their sweethearts over these 
beautiful hills, so soft in outline that no paths are neces 
sary. The clouds of fireflies made an effect, combining 
with the village lights below. Then, as night deepened, 
as if they were the moving principle of all the enchant 
ment, the company's rolling-mills, like witches' kettles, 
began to spirt enormous gouts of flame, which seemed to 



STRAHAN] THE CREST OF THE ALLEGHANIES. 73 

cause their heavy roofs to flutter like the lids of seething 
caldrons. 

The commanding attraction of the western journey is 
necessarily the passage of the Alleghanies. The climb 
begins at Piedmont, and follows an ascent which in eleven 
consecutive miles presents the rare grade of one hundred 
and sixteen feet per mile. The first tableau of real sub 
limity, perhaps, occurs in following up a stream called 
Savage River. The railway, like a slender spider's thread, 
is seen hanging at an almost giddy height up the endless 
mountain-side, and curved hither and thither in such mul 
tiplied windings that enormous arcs of it can always bo 
seen from the flying window of the car. The woods, green 
with June or crimson with November, clamber over each 
others shoulders up the ascent ; but, as we attain the ele 
vation of two hundred feet above the Savage, their tufted 
tops form a soft and mossy embroidery beneath us, dimin 
ishing in perspective far down the cleft of the ravine. As 
we turn the flank of the great and stolid Backbone Moun 
tain we command the mouth of another stream, pouring 
in from the southwest. It is a steeply-enclosed, hill-cleav 
ing torrent, which some lover of plays and cider, recollect 
ing Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's slumber beneath 
the crab-apple boughs, has named Crabtree Creek. There 
is a point where the woody gorges of both these streams 
can be commanded at once by the eye, and Nature gives 
us few landscape pendants more primitively wild and mag 
nificent than these. 

This ascent was made by the engineers of the company 
in the early days of railroads, and when no one knew at 
what angle the friction of wheels upon rails would be 
overcome by gravity. On the trial-trip the railroad-presi 
dent kept close to the door, meaning, in the case of possible 
discomfiture and retrogression, to take to the woods ! But 

IV. D 7 



74 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [STRAHAN 

all went well, and in due time was reached, as we now 
reach it, Altamont, the alpine village perched two thou 
sand six hundred and twenty-six feet above the tide. 

The interest of the staircase we have run up depends 
greatly on its pioneer character. No mountain-chain had 
been crossed by a locomotive before the Alleghanies were 
outraged, as we see them, here and by this track. As the 
railroad we follow was the first to take existence in this 
country, excepting some short mining roads, so the grade 
here used was the first of equal steepness, saving on some 
English roads of inferior length and no mountainous pres 
tige. Here the engineer, like Van Amburgh in the lion's 
den, first planted his conqueror's foot upon the mane of 
the wilderness; and in this spot modern science first 
claimed the right to reapply that grand word of a French 
monarch, " ll riy a plus de Pyrenees /" 

We are on the crest of the Alleghanies. On either side 
of the mountain-pass we have threaded rise the higher 
summits of the range ; but, though we seem from the con 
figuration of the land to be in a valley, we are met at 
every turn by the indications familiar to mountain-tops, 
indications that are not without a special desolation and 
pathos. Though all is green with summer, we can see 
that the vegetation has had a dolorous struggle for exist 
ence, and that the triumph of certain sparse trees here 
and there is but the survival of the strongest. They 
stand scattered and scraggy, like individual bristles on a 
bald pate. Their spring has been borrowed from summer, 
for the leafage here does not begin until late in June. The 
whole scenery seems to array itself for the tourist like a 
country wife, with many an incompleteness in its toilet, 
and with a kind of haggard apology for being late. Rough 
log houses stand here and there among the laurels. The 
tanned gentlemen standing about look like California 



STRAHAN] THE CREST OF THE ALLEGHANIES. 75 

miners, as you see them in the illustrations to Bret 
Harte's stories. Through this landscape, roughly blocked 
out, and covered still with Nature's chips and shavings, 
and seeming for that very reason singularly fresh and 
close to her mighty hand, we fly for twenty miles. We 
are still ascending, and the true apex of our path is only 
reached at the twentieth. This was the climax which 
poet Willis came out to reach in a spirit of intense curi 
osity, intent to peer over and see what was on the other 
side of the mountains, and with some idea, as he says, of 
hanging his hat on the evening star. His disgust, as a 
bard, when he found that the highest point was only 
named " Cranberry Summit," was sublime. 

" Willis was particularly struck," said the landlord of 
the Glades Hotel, " with a quality of whiskey we had 
hereabouts at the time of his visit. In those days, before 
the revenue, an article of rich corn whiskey was made in 
small quantities by these Maryland farmers. Mr. Willis 
found it agree with him particularly well, for it's as pure 
as water, and slips through your teeth like flaxseed tea. I 
explained to him how it gained in quality by being kept a 
few years, becoming like noble old brandy. Mr. Willis 
was fired with the idea, and took a barrel along home with 
him, in the ambitious intention of ripening it. In less 
than six months," pursued the Boniface, with a humorous 
twinkle in his eyes, " he sent for another barrel." 

The region where we now find ourselves among these 
mountain-tops is known as the Glades, a range of ele 
vated plateau marked with all the signs of a high latitude, 
but flat enough to be spread with occasional patches of 
discouraged farms. The streams make their way into the 
Youghiogheny, and so into the Ohio and Gulf of Mexico, 
for we have mounted the great water-shed, and have long 
ago crossed both branches of the sun-seeking Potomac I 



76 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CLARK 

We are in a region that particularly justifies the claim of 
the locomotive to be the. great discoverer of hidden re 
treats, for never will you come upon a place more obviously 
disconcerted at being found out. The screams of the 
whistle day by day have inserted no modern ideas into 
this mountain-cranium, which, like Lord John Russell's, 
must be trepanned before it can be enlightened. The 
Glades are sacred to deer, bears, trout. But the fatal 
rails guide to them an unceasing procession of staring citi 
zens, and they are filled in the fine season with visitors 
from Cincinnati and Baltimore. 



THE GOOD OLD TIMES. 

CHARLES HEBER CLARK. 

[The author of the selection here given is known in literature under 
the odd pseudonyme of " Max Adeler." His writings are all of a 
humorous cast, and, while they perhaps are apt to " carry the joke too 
far," they are often full of the true spirit of fun. The extract given 
below is from the story of " An Old Fogy" in " The Fortunate Island." 
The true position in which we should all find ourselves if we were 
suddenly taken back to those " good old times" whose loss many still 
deplore is here very amusingly paraphrased.] 

" THE good old times ! And the old times were good, my 
dear; better, much better, than the times that you live in. 
I know I am an old fogy, Nelly," said Ephraim Batterby, 
refilling his pipe, and looking at his granddaughter, who 
sat with him in front of the fire, with her head bending 
over her sewing j " I know I am an old fogy, and I glory 
in it." 

" But you never will be for me, grandpa," said Nelly, 
glancing at him with a smile. 






CLARK] THE GOOD OLD TIMES. 77 

" Yes, my dear, I am for everybody. I am a man of the 
past. Everything I ever cared for and ever loved, ex 
cepting you, belongs to the years that have gone, and my 
affections belong to those years. I liked the people of the 
old time better than I do those of the new. I loved their 
simpler ways, the ways that I knew in my boyhood, three 
score and more years ago. I am sure the world is not so 
good as it was then. It is smarter, perhaps ; it knows 
more, but its wisdom vexes and disgusts me. I am not 
certain, my dear, that, if I had my Way, I would not 
sweep away, at one stroke, all 'the so-called 'modern con 
veniences,' and return to the ancient methods." 

" They were very slow, grandpa." 

"Yes, slow; and for that I liked them. We go too fast 
now ; but our speed, I am afraid, is hurrying us in the 
wrong direction. We were satisfied in the old time with 
what we had. It was good enough. Are men contented 
now ? No ; they are still improving and improving ; still 
reaching out for something that will be quicker, or easier 
or cheaper than the things that are. We appear to have 
gained much ; but really we have gained nothing. We 
are not a bit better off now than we were ; not so well off, 
in my opinion." 

"But, grandpa, you must remember that you were 
young then, and perhaps looked at the world in a more 
hopeful way than you do -now." 

" Yes, I allow for that, Nelly, I allow for that ; I don't 
deceive myself. My youth does not seem so very far off 
that I cannot remember it distinctly. I judge the time 
fairly, now in my old age, as I judge the present time, and 
my assured opinion is that it was superior in its way, its 
life, and its people. Its people ! Ah, Nelly, my dear, there 
were three persons in that past who alone would conse 
crate it to me. I am afraid there are not many women 
iv. 7* 



78 BEST AMERICAN A UTHQRS. [CLARK 

now like your mother and mine, and like my dear wife, 
whom you never saw. It seems to me, my child, that I 
would willingly live all my life over again, with its strifes 
and sorrows, if I could clasp again the hand of one of 
those angelic women, and hear a word from her sweet 
lips." 

As the old man wiped the gathering moisture from his 
eyes, Nelly remained silent, choosing not to disturb the 
revery into which he had fallen. Presently Ephraim rose 
abruptly, and said, with a smile, 

" Come, Nelly, dear, I guess it is time to go to bed. I 
must be up very early to-morrow morning." 

" At what hour do you want breakfast, grandpa ?" 

" Why, too soon for you, you sleepy puss. I shall break 
fast by myself before you are up, or else I shall breakfast 
down town. I have a huge cargo of wheat in from Chi 
cago, and I must arrange to have it shipped for Liverpool. 
There is one thing that remains to me from the old time, 
and that is some of the hard work of my youth ; but even 
that seems a little harder than it used to. So, come now ; 
to bed I to bed !" 

While he was undressing, and long after he had crept 
beneath the blankets, Ephraim's thoughts wandered back 
and back through the spent years ; and, as the happiness 
he had known came freshly and strongly into his mind, 
he felt drawn more and more towards it, until the new 
and old mingled together in strange but placid confusion 
in his brain, and he fell asleep. 

When he awoke it was still dark, for the winter was 
just begun ; but -he heard or did he only dream that he 
heard? a clock in some neighboring steeple strike sir? 
He knew that he must get up, for his business upon that 
day demanded early attention. 

He sat up in bed, yawned, stretched his arms once or 



CLARK] THE GOOD OLD TIMES. 79 

twice, and then, flinging the covering aside, he leaped to 
the floor. He fell, and hurt his arm somewhat. Strange 
that he should have miscalculated the distance ! The bed 
seemed more than twice as high from the floor as it should 
be. It was too dark to see distinctly, so he crept to the bed 
with extended hands, and felt it. Yes, it was at least four 
feet from the floor, and, very oddly, it had long, slim posts, 
such as bedsteads used to have, instead of the low, carved 
foot-board, and the high, postless head-board, which be 
longed to the bedstead upon which he had slept in recent 
years. Ephraim resolved to strike a light. He groped 
his way to the table, and tried to find the match-box. It 
was not there ; he could not discover it upon the bureau 
either. But he found something else, which he did not 
recognize at first, but which a more careful examination 
with his fingers told him was a flint and steel. He was 
vexed that any one should play such a trick upon him. 
How could he ever succeed in lighting the gas with a flint 
and steel? 

But he resolved to try, and he moved over towards the 
gas-bracket by the bureau. It was not there! He passed 
his cold hand over a square yard of the wall, where the 
bracket used to be, but it had vanished. It actually 
seemed, too, as if there was no paper on the wall, for the 
whitewash scaled off beneath his fingers. 

Perplexed and angry, Ephraim was about to replace the 
flint and steel upon the bureau, and to dress in the dark, 
when his hand encountered a candlestick. It contained a 
candle. He determined to try to light it. He struck the 
flint upon the steel at least a dozen times, in the way he 
remembered doing so often when he was a boy, but the 
sparks refused to catch the tinder. He struck again and 
again, until he became really warm with effort and indig 
nation, and at last he succeeded. 



80 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CLARK 

It was only a poor, slim tallow candle, and Ephraim 
thought the light was not much better than the darkness, 
it was so dim and flickering and dismal. He was con 
scious then that the room was chill, although his body felt 
RO warm ; and, for fear he should catch cold, he thought 
he would open the register and let in some warm air. 
The register had disappeared ! There, right before him, 
was a vast old-fashioned fireplace filled with wood. By 
what means the transformation had been effected he could 
not imagine. But he was not greatly displeased. 

" I always did like an open wood fire," he said, " and 
now I will have a roaring one." 

So he touched the flame of the candle to the light 
kindling-wood, and in a moment it was afire. 

" I will wash while it is burning up," said Ephraim. 

He went to the place where he thought he should find 
the fixed wash-stand, with hot and cold water running 
from "the pipes, but he was amazed to find that it had 
followed the strange fashion of the room, and had gone 
also! There was an old hand-basin, with a cracked china 
pitcher, standing upon a movable wash-stand, but the 
water in the pitcher had been turned to solid ice. 

With an exclamation of\ impatience and indignation, 
Ephraim placed the pitcher between the andirons, close to 
the wood in the chimney-place; and he did so with smarting 
eyes, for the flue was cold, and volumes of smoke were 
pouring out into the room. In a few moments he felt that 
he should suffocate unless he could get some fresh air : so 
he resolved to open the upper sash of the window. 

When he got to the window he perceived that the panes 
of glass were only a few inches square, and that the 
wood-work enclosing them was thrice thicker and heavier 
than it had been. He strove to pull down the upper 
sash, but the effort was vain j it would not move. He 



CLARK] THE GOOD OLD TIMES. yi 

tried to lift the lower sash ; it went up with difficulty ; it 
seemed to weigh a hundred pounds ; and when he got it 
up it would not stay. He succeeded, finally, in keeping 
it open by placing a chair beneath it. 

When the ice in the pitcher was thawed, he finished 
his toilet, and then he descended the stairs. As nobody 
seemed to be moving in the house, he resolved to go out 
and get his breakfast at a restaurant. He unlocked the 
front door, and emerged into the street just as daylight 
fairly had begun. 

As Ephraim descended the steps in front of his houst,, 
he had a distinct impression that something was wrong, 
and he was conscious of a feeling of irritation ; but it 
seemed to him that his mind, for some reason, did not 
operate with its accustomed precision ; and, while he real 
ized the fact of a partial and very unexpected change oi 
the conditions of his life, he found that when he tried, in 
a strangely feeble way, to grapple with the problem, the 
solution eluded him and baffled him. 

The force of habit, rather than a very clearly defined 
purpose, led him to walk to the corner of the street, just 
below his dwelling, and to pause there, as usual, to await 
the coming of the horse-car which should carry him 
down town. Following a custom, too, he took from his 
waistcoat-pocket two or three pennies (which, to his sur 
prise, had swollen to the uncomfortable dimensions of the 
old copper cents), and looked around for the newsboy 
from whom he bought, every morning, the daily paper. 

The lad, however, was not to be seen ; and Ephraim was 
somewhat vexed at his absence, because he was especially 
anxious upon that morning to observe the quotations of 
the Chicago and Liverpool grain markets, and to ascertain 
what steamers were loading at the wharves. 

The horse-car was delayed much longer than he expected, 
iv.-/ 



82 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CLARK 

and, while he waited, a man passed by, dressed oddly, 
Ephraim noticed, in knee-breeches and very old fashioned 
coat and hat. Ephraim said to him, politely, 

" Can you tell me, sir, where I can get a morning paper 
in this neighborhood ? The lad I buy from, commonly, is 
not at his post this morning." 

The stranger, stopping, looked at Ephraim with a queer 
expression, and presently said, 

" I don't think I understand you ; a morning paper, did 
you say ?" 

" Yes, one of the morning papers ; the Argus or Commer 
cial, any of them." 

" Why, my dear sir, there is but one newspaper pub 
lished in this city. It is the Gazette. It comes out on 
Saturday ; and this, you know, is only Tuesday." 

" Do you mean to say that we have no daily papers ?" 
exclaimed Ephraim, somewhat angrily. 

" Daily papers ! -Papers published every day ! Why, 
sir, there is not such a newspaper in the world, and there 
never will be." 

" Pshaw I" said Ephraim, turning his back upon the man 
in disgust. 

The stranger smiled, and, shaking his head as if he had 
serious doubts of Ephraim's sanity, passed onward. 

" The man is cracked," said Ephraim, looking after him. 
"No daily papers! The fellow has just come from the 
interior of Africa, or else he is an escaped lunatic. It is 
very queer that car does not come," and Ephraim glanced 
up the street anxiously. " There's not a car in sight. A 
fire somewhere, I suppose. Too bad that I should have 
lost so much time. I shall walk down." 

But, as Ephraim stepped into the highway, he was sur 
prised to find that there were no rails there. The cobble 
stone pavement was unbroken. 



CLARK] THE GOOD OLD TIMES. 83 

" Well, upon my word ! This is the strangest thing of 
all. What on earth has become of the street-cars? I must 
go afoot, I suppose, if the distance is great. I am afraid I 
shall be too late for business, as it is." 

As he walked onward at a rapid pace, and his eyes fell 
upon the buildings along the route, he was queerly sensible 
that the city had undergone a certain process of transfor 
mation. It had a familiar appearance, too. He seemed to 
know it in its present aspect, and yet not to know it. The 
way was perfectly familiar to him, and he recognized all 
the prominent landmarks easily, and still he had an inde 
finable feeling that some other city had stood where this 
did, that he had known this very route under other con 
ditions, and that the later conditions were those that had 
passed away, while those that he now saw belonged to a 
much earlier period. 

He felt, too, that the change, whatever it was, had 
brought a loss with it. The buildings that lined the 
street now he thought very ugly. They were old, mis 
shapen, having pent-roofs with absurdly high gables, and 
the shop-windows were small, dingy, and set with small 
panes of glass. He had known it as a handsome street, 
edged with noble edifices, and offering to the gaze of the 
pedestrian a succession of splendid windows filled with 
merchandise of the most brilliant description. 

But Ephraim pressed on with a determination to seek hit* 
favorite restaurant, for he began to feel very hungry. In 
a little while he reached the corner where the restaurant 
should have been, but, to his vexation, he saw that the 
building there was a coffee-house of mean appearance, in 
front of which swung a blurred and faded sign. 

He resolved to enter, for he could get a breakfast here, 
at least. He pushed through the low door-way and over 
the sanded floor into a narrow sort of box, where a table 



84 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CLARK 

was spread ; and, as he did so, he had a hazy feeling that 
this, too, was something that he was familiar with. 

"It must be," he said, "that my brain is producing a 
succession of those sensations that I have had sometimes 
before, which persuade the credulous that we move con 
tinually in a circle and forever live our lives over again." 

As he took his seat a waiter approached him. 

" Give me a bill of fare," said Ephraim. 

" Bill of fare, sir ? Have no bill of fare, sir. Never have 
them, sir; no coffee-house has them, sir. Get you up a nice 
breakfast, though, sir." 

" What have you got ?" 

" Ham, sir ; steak, sir ; boiled eggs, sir ; coffee, tea, muf 
fins. Just in from furrin countries, sir, are you ?" 

"Never mind where I am from," said Ephraim, testily. 
" Bring me a broiled steak, and egg, and some muffins and 
coffee, and bring them quickly." 

"Yes, sir; half a minute, sir. Anything else, sir?" 

" Bring me a newspaper." 

' Yes, sir ; here it is, sir, the very latest, sir." 

Ephraim took the paper and glanced at it. It was the 
Weekly Gazette, four days old; a little sheet of yellow- 
brown paper, poorly printed, containing some fragments 
of news, and nothing later from Europe than November 
6, although the G-azette bore date December 19. So soon 
as Ephraim comprehended its worthlessness, he tossed it 
contemptuously upon the floor, and waited, almost sullenly, 
for his breakfast. 

When it came in upon the tray, carried by the brisk 
waiter, it looked dainty and tempting enough, and the 
fumes that rose from it were so savory that he grew into 
better humor, ^s it was spread before him, he perceived 
that the waiter had given him a very coarse, two-pronged 
Bteel fork. 



CLARK] THE GOOD OLD TIMES. 85 

" Take that away," said Ephraim, tossing it to the end 
of the table : " I want a silver fork." 

" Silver fork, sir ! Bless my soul, sir ! We haven't got 
any ; never heard of such a thing, sir." 

"Never heard of a silver fork, you idiot!" shouted 
Ephraim ; " why, everybody uses them." 

" No, sir ; I think not, sir. I've lived with first-quality 
people, sir, and they all use this kind. Never saw any 
other kind, sir; didn't know there was any. Do they 
have 'em in furrin parts, sir?" 

" Get out !" said Ephraim, savagely. He was becoming 
somewhat annoyed and bewildered by the utter disap 
pearance of so many familiar things. 

But the breakfast was good, and he was hungry, so he 
fell to with hearty zest, and, although he found the steel 
fork clumsy, it did him good service. At the conclusion 
of the meal, Ephraim walked rapidly to his office, the 
office that he had occupied for nearly sixty years. As he 
opened the door, he expected to find his letters in the box 
wherein the postman thrust them twice or thrice a day. 
They were not there. The box itself was gone. 

"Too bad! too bad!" exclaimed Ephraim. "Every 
thing conspires to delay me lo-day. I suppose I must 
sit here and wait for that lazy letter-carrier to come, and 
meantime my business must wait too." 

[We have not space to give in detail the various awkward misap 
prehensions of our Old Fogy on that awkward day. He found that 
letter-carrier and letter-box alike had vanished, and at the shrunken 
post-office learned that there would be no mail till the next day, and 
that they had never heard of such a place as Chicago. When he 
began to talk of telegraphing, and informed his hearers that he wished 
to get the quotations of the London Stock Exchange for that morning, 
he was taken for a madman. His talk about steamers and steam fire- 
engines failed to improve the opinion as to his sanity. And when at 
IY. 8 



86 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CLARK 

the wharf he talked of receiving a cargo of wheat by rail, and of load 
ing twenty thousand bushels that day, and that on an iron vessel, the 
people around showed decided symptoms of locking him up as a 
lunatic. Talk about photographs, hard coal, Pacific railroads, etc., 
did not add to his reputation for sanity, and he finally fled for safety, 
not knowing what terrors might be preparing for him.] 

" I know," he said, as he rushed onward, " what it .all 
means. This is the Past. Some mighty hand has swept 
away the barrier of years, and plunged me once more into 
the midst of the life that I knew in my youth, long ago. 
And I have loved and worshipped that past ! Blind and 
foolish man ! I loved it ! Ah, how I hate it now ! What 
a miserable, miserable time it was ! How poor and insuf 
ficient life seems under its conditions ! How meanly men 
crawled about, content with their littleness and folly, and 
unconscious of the wisdom that lay within their reach, 
ignorant of the vast and wonderful possibilities that 
human ingenuity might compass ! 

" There was nothing in that dreary past that I could 
love, excepting" and Ephraim was almost ready to weep 
as he thought that the one longing of his soul could not 
be realized "excepting those who were torn from my 
arms, my heart, my home,*by the cruel hand of death." 

The excitement, the distress, the anguish, the wild terror 
of the day came back to him with accumulated force as 
he hurried along the footway; and when he reached his 
own home he was distracted, unnerved, hysterical. 

With eager but uncertain fingers he pushed open the 
front door, and went into his sitting-room. There a fresh 
shock came to him, for he saw his wife in the chair she 
had occupied in the old time, long, long ago. She arose 
to greet him, and he saw that her dear face wore the 
kindly smile he had known so well, and that had added 
much to his sum of happiness in the years that were gone. 



CLARK] THE GOOD OLD TIMES. 87 

He leaped to clasp her in his arms when he heard the 
sweet tones of her voice welcoming him ; his eyes filled 
with tears, and the sobs came, as he said, 

" Ah, my dearest, my dearest ! have you, too, come up 
from the dead past to meet me ? It was you alone that 
hallowed it to me. I loved loved you I " 

He felt his utterance choked, the room swam before 
him, there was a ringing noise in his ears, he felt himself 
falling; then he lost consciousness. 

He knew nothing more until he realized that there was 
a gentle knocking near to him, as of some one who de 
manded admittance at the door. He roused himself with 
*MI effort, and almost mechanically said, 

" Come in." 

He heard a light step, and he opened his eyes. He was 
in his own bedroom, the room of the present, not of the 
past, and in his own bed. It was Nelly who knocked at 
the door; she stood beside him. 

" It is time to get up, grandpa," she said. 

Wh where am I ? What has happened ?" Then, as 
his mind realized the truth, he said, " Oh, Nelly, Nelly, 
how I have suffered !" 

" How, grandpa ?" 

" I I but never mind now, my dear ; I will tell you 
after a while. Eun down-stairs while I prepare for break 
fast. But, Nelly, let me tell you not to believe what I 
said to you about the glories of the past : it was not true, 
my child, not true. I have learned better ; I talked to 
you like a foolish old man. Thank God, my dear, that 
you live late in the world's history. No man is more 
unwise or more ungrateful than he who finds delight in 
playing the part of An Old Fogy." 



88 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WARNER 

IN THE AUTUMN WOODLANDS. 

SUSAN WARNER. 

[Under the pseudonyme of "Elizabeth "Wetherell" Susan Warner 
published in 1850 " The Wide Wide World," a novel which had an 
extraordinary success. She subsequently published numerous novels, 
in which the virtues and the faults of the first were repeated, but not the 
extended popularity. Her works are defective in style and in charac 
terization, and are full of a somewhat strained religious sentimentality, 
yet the story is very skilfully managed, and appeals strongly to those 
to whom the plot is the chief element of a novel. Prom the " Hills 
of the Shatemuc," a work which inculcates an excellent moral, we 
extract an eloquent descriptive picture of American autumn scenery, 
written with photographic particularity. Miss Warner was born in 
New York in 1818, and died in 1885.] 

Miss HAYE, however, had never sent her fingers over 
the keys with more energy than now her feet tripped over 
the dry leaves and stones in the path to Mountain Spring. 
She took a very rough way, through the woods. There 
was another, much plainer, round by the wagon-road ; but 
Elizabeth chose the more solitary and prettier way, round 
about and hard to the foot though it was. 

For some little distance there was a rude wagon-track, 
very rough, probably made for the convenience of getting 
wood. It stood thick with pretty large stones or heads 
of rock; but it was softly grass-grown between the stones, 
and gave at least a clear way through the woods, upon 
which the morning light if not the morning sun beamed 
fairly. A light touch of white frost lay upon the grass 
and covered the rocks with bloom, the promise of a mild 
day. After a little, the roadway descended into a bit of 
smooth meadow, well walled in with trees, and lost itself 
there. In the tree-tops the morning sun was glittering ; 
it could not get to the bottom yet; but up there among 



WABNEB] IN THE AUTUMN WOODLANDS. 89 

the leaves it gave a bright shimmering prophecy of what 
it would do ; it was a sparkle of heavenly light touching 
the earth. Elizabeth had never seen it before ; she had 
never in her life been in the woods at so early an hour. 
She stood still to look. It was impossible to help feeling 
the light of that glittering promise ; its play upon the 
leaves was too joyous, too pure, too fresh. She felt her 
heart grow stronger and her breath come freer. What 
was the speech of those light-touched leaves, she might 
not have told ; something her spirit took knowledge of 
while her reason did not, or had not leisure to do ; for 
if she did not get to Mountain Spring in good season she 
would not be home for breakfast. Yet she had plenty of 
time, but she did not wish to run short. So she went on 
her way. 

From the valley meadow for half a mile it was not 
much more or much better than a cow-path, beaten a little 
by the feet of the herdsman seeking his cattle or of an oc 
casional foot-traveller to Mountain Spring. It was very 
rough indeed. Often Elizabeth must make quite a circuit 
among cat-briers and huckleberry-bushes and young under 
wood, or keep the path at the expense of stepping up and 
stepping down again over a great stone or rock blocking 
up the whole way. Sometimes the track was only marked 
over the gray lichens of an immense head of granite that 
refused moss and vegetation of every other kind ; some 
times it wound among thick alder-bushes by the edge of 
wet ground ; and at all times its course was among a wil 
derness of uncared-for woodland, overgrown with creepers 
and vines tangled with underbrush, and thickly strewn 
with larger and smaller fragments and boulders of granite 
rock. But how beautiful it was! The alders, reddish 
and soft-tinted, looked when the sun struck through them 
as if they were exotics out of witch-land; the Cornus 
iv 8* 



90 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WARNER 

family, from beautiful dog-wood a dozen feet high stretch 
ing over Elizabeth's head, to little humble nameless plants 
at her feet, had edged and parted their green leaves with 
most dainty clear hues of madder lake ; white birches and 
hickories glimmered in the sunlight like trees of gold, the 
first with stems of silver ; sear leaves strewed the way ; 
and fresh pines and hemlocks stretched out their arms 
amidst the changing foliage, with their evergreen promise 
and performance. The morning air and the morning walk 
no doubt had something to do with the effect of the whole ; 
but- Elizabeth thought with all the beauty her eyes had 
ever seen they had never been more bewitched than they 
were that day. 

With such a mood upon her, it was no wonder that on 
arriving at Mountain Spring she speedily made out her 
errand. She found whom and what she had come for ; she 
filled her basket with no loss of time or pleasure ; and, 
very proud of her success, set out again through the wood- 
path homeward. 

Half-way back to the bit of tree-enclosed meadow* 
ground, the path and the north shore of Shahweetah 
approached each other, where a little bay curve, no other 
than the JEgean Sea, swept in among the rocks. Through 
the stems of the trees Elizabeth could see the blue water 
with the brightness of the hour upon it. Its sparkle 
tempted her. She had plenty of time, or she resolved 
that she had, and she wanted to look at the fair broad 
view she knew the shore edge would give her. She hesi 
tated, and turned. A few bounding and plunging steps 
amid rocks and huckleberry-bushes brought her where 
she wished to be. She stood on the border, where no 
trees came in the way of the northern view. The moun 
tains were full before her, and the wide Shatemuc rolled 
down between them, ruflled with little waves, every one 



WARNER] IN THE AUTUMN WOODLANDS. 91 

sparkling cool in the sunlight. Elizabeth looked at the 
water a minute, and turned to the west. Wut-a-qut-o's 
head had caught more of the frosts than Shahweetah 
had felt yet ; there were broad belts of buff and yellow 
along the mountain, even changing into sear where its 
sides felt the north wind. On all that shore the full sun 
light lay. The opposite hills, on the east, were in dainty 
sunshine and shadow, every undulation, every ridge and 
hollow, softly marked out. With what wonderful sharp 
outline the mountain-edges rose against the bright sky ! 
how wonderful soft the changes of shade and color adown 
their sloping sides ! what brilliant little ripples of water 
rolled up to the pebbles at Elizabeth's feet ! She stood 
and looked at it all, at one thing and the other, half daz 
zled with the beauty, until she recollected herself, and, 
with a deep sighful expression of thoughts and wishes 
unknown, turned away to find her path again. 

But she could not find it. Whereabouts it was, she was 
sure ; but the where was an unfindable thing. And she 
dared not strike forward without the track ; she might 
get further and further from it, and never get home to 
breakfast at all ! There was nothing for it but to grope 
about seeking for indications ; and Miss Haye's eyes were 
untrained to wood-work. The woodland was a mazy 
wilderness now indeed. Points of stone, beds of moss, 
cat-brier vines, and huckleberry-bushes, in every direc 
tion ; and between which of them lay that little invisible 
track of a foot-path ? The more she looked the more she 
got perplexed. She could remember no waymarks. The 
way was all cat-briers, moss, bushes, and rocks ; and rocks, 
bushes, moss, and cat-briers were in every variety all around 
her. She turned her face towards the quarter from which 
she had come, and tried to recognize some tree or way- 
mark she could remember having passed. One part of 



92 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WARNER 

the wood looked just like another; but for the mountains 
and the river, she could not have told where lay Mountain 
Spring. 

Then a little sound of rustling leaves and crackling 
twigs reached her ear from behind her. 

" There is a cow !" thought Elizabeth ; ' ; now I can find 
the path by her. But then cows don't always " 

Her eye had been sweeping round the woody skirts of 
her position, in search of her expected four-footed guide, 
when her thoughts were suddenly brought to a point by 
seeing a two-footed creature approaching, and one whom 
she instantly knew. 

" It is Winthrop Landholm ! he is going to Mountain 
Spring to take an early coach, without his breakfast ! 
Well, you fool, what is it to you?" was the next thought. 
"What does it signify whether he goes sooner or later, 
when it would be better for you not to see him at all, 
if your heart is going to start in that fashion at every 
time " 

Meanwhile she was making her way as well as she could, 
over rocks and briers, towards the new-comer, and did 
not look up till she answered his greeting, 

"Good-morning!" 

It was very cheerfully spoken. 

" Good-morning," said Elizabeth, entangled in a cat-brier, 
from which with a desperate effort she broke free before 
any help could be given her. 

" Those are naughty things." 

" No," said Elizabeth, " they look beautiful now when 
they are growing tawny, as a contrast with the other 
creepers and the deep-green cedars. And they are a beau 
tiful green at other times." 

"Make the best of them. What were you looking at, 
a minute ago ?" 



WARNER] IN THE AUTUMN WOODLANDS. 93 

"Looking for my way. I bad lost it." 

" You don't know it very well, I guess." 

" Yes. No, not very well, but I could follow it, and did, 
till coming borne I tbougbt I bad time to look at tbe 
view; and tben I couldn't find it again. I got turned 
about." 

" You were completely turned about wben I saw you." 

" Ob, I was not going tbat way : I knew better tban 
tbat. I was trying to discover some waymark." 

" How did you get out of the way ?" 

"I went to look at tbe view, from tbe water's edge 
there." 

" Have you a mind to go back to tbe river edge again ? 
I have not seen that view in a long while. I shall not 

lose the path." 

********* 

So they presently reached the lower ground. 

"Do you want anything from the house?" said Win- 
throp, as they came near it. 

" Only the oars. If you will get those, I will untie the 
boat." 

" Then I'll not get the oars. I'll get them on condition 
that you stand still here." 

So they went down together to the rocks, and Eliza 
beth put herself in the stern of the little boat, and they 
pushed off. 

To any people who could think of anything but each 
other October offered enough to fill eyes, ears, and under 
standing; that is, if ears can be filled with silence, which 
perhaps is predicable. Absolute silence on this occasion 
was wanting, as there was a good deal of talking ; but for 
eyes and understanding, perhaps it may safely be said that 
those of the two people in the Merry-go-round took the 
benefit of everything they passed on their way, with a 



94 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WARNER 

reduplication of pleasure which arose from the throwing 
and catching of that ball of conversation in which, like 
the herb-stuffed ball of the Arabian physician of old, lay 
perdu certain hidden virtues, of sympathy. But Shah- 
weetah's low rocky shore never offered more beauty to 
any eyes than to theirs that day as they coasted slowly 
round it. Colors ! colors ! If October had been a dyer, 
he could not have shown a greater variety of samples. 

There were some locust-trees in the open cedar-grown 
field by the river, trees that Mr. Landholm had planted 
long ago. They were slow to turn, yet they were chang 
ing. One soft feathery head was in yellowish green, an 
other of more neutral color ; and blending with them were 
the tints of a few reddish soft-tinted alders below. That 
group was not gay. Further on were a thicket of dull- 
colored alders at the edge of some flags, and above them 
blazed a giant huckleberry -bush in bright flame-color; 
close by that were the purple-red tufts of some common 
sumachs, the one beautifully rich, the other beautifully 
striking. A little way from them stood a tulip-tree, its 
green changing with yellow. Beyond came cedars, in 
groups, wreathed with bright tawny grape-vines and 
splendid Virginia creepers, now in full glory. Above their 
tops, on the higher ground, was a rich green belt of 
pines ; above them, the changing trees of the forest again. 

Here showed an elm its straw-colored head, there stood 
an ash in beautiful gray-purple ; very stately. The Corn us 
family in rich crimson, others crimson purple; maples 
showing yellow and flame-color and red all at once ; one 
beauty still in green was orange-tipped with rich orange. 
The birches were a darker hue of the same color; hicko 
ries bright as gold. 

Then came the rocks, and rocky precipitous point of 
Shahweetah ; and the echo of row-locks from the wall. 



WARNER] IN THE AUTUMN WOODLANDS. 95 

Then the point was turned, and the little boat sought 
the hottom of the hay, nearing Mountain Spring all the 
while. The water was glassy smooth ; the hoat went 
too fast. 

Down in the bay the character of the woodland was a 
little different. It was of fuller growth, and with many 
fewer evergreens and some addition to the variety of the 
changing deciduous leaves. "When they got quite to the 
bottom of the bay and were coasting along close under 
the shore, there was perhaps a more striking display of 
Autumn's glories at their side than the rocks of Shahwee- 
tah could show them. They coasted slowly along, look 
ing and talking. The combinations were beautiful. 

There was the dark fine bright red of some pepperidges 
showing behind the green of an unchanged maple ; near 
by stood another maple the leaves of which were all seem 
ingly withered, a plain reddish-light wood-color; while be 
low its withered foliage a thrifty poison sumach wreathing 
round its trunk and lower branches was in a beautiful 
confusion of fresh green and the orange and red changes, 
yet but just begun. Then another slight maple with the 
same dead wood-colored leaves, into which to the very top 
a Virginia creeper had twined itself, and that was now 
brilliantly scarlet, magnificent in the last degree. Another 
like it a few trees off, both reflected gorgeously in the 
still water. Rock oaks were part green and part sear; at 
the edge of the shore below them a quantity of reddish 
low shrubbery ; the Cornus dark crimson and red brown, 
with its white berries showing underneath, and more pep- 
peridges in very bright red. One maple stood with its 
leaves parti-colored reddish and green, another with 
beautiful orange colored foliage. Ashes in superb very 
dark purple; they were all changed. Then alders, oaks, 
and chestnuts still green. A kaleidoscope view on water 



96 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ WILL is 

and land, as the little boat glided along sending rainbow 
ripples in towards the shore. 

In the bottom of the bay Winthrop brought the boat 
to land, under a great red oak which stood in its fair dark- 
green beauty yet at the very edge of the water. Moun 
tain Spring was a little way off, hidden by an outsetting 
point of woods. As the boat touched the tree-roots, Win 
throp laid in the oars and came and took a seat by the 
boat's mistress. 



ABSALOM. 

N. P. WILLIS. 

[Willis certainly deserves a more general reputation as a poet than 
he has attained, for many of his pieces are of a high grade of merit. 
During his life he stood high among the prose- writers of America, dash 
ing off many books of neatly-rendered, though frequently affected, 
essays of society and travel. He is principally known to recent read 
ers, however, through some of his poems, one of the best of which we 
give below. He was born in Maine in 1807, and died in 1867.] 

THE waters slept. Night's silvery veil hung low 
On Jordan's bosom, and the eddies curled 
Their glassy rings beneath it, like the still, 
Unbroken beating of the sleeper's pulse. 
The reeds bent down the stream ; the willow leaves, 
With a soft cheek upon the lulling tide, 
Forgot the lifting winds ; and the long stems, 
Whose flowers the water, like a gentle nurse, 
Bears on its bosom, quietly gave way, 
And leaned in graceful attitudes to rest. 
How strikingly the course of nature tells, 
By its light heed of human suffering, 
That it was fashioned for a happier world ! 



WILLIS] ABSALOM. 97 

King David's limbs were weary. He had fled 
From far Jerusalem ; and now he stood, 
With his faint people, for a little rest, 
Upon the shore of Jordan. The light wind 
Of morn was stirring, and he bared his brow 
To its refreshing breath ; for he had worn 
The mourner's covering, and he had not felt 
That he could see his people until now. 
They gathered round him on the fresh green bank, 
And spoke their kindly words ; and, as the sun 
Rose up in heaven, he knelt among them there, 
And bowed his head upon his hands to pray. 
Oh ! when the heart is full, when bitter thoughts 
Come crowding thickly up for utterance, 
And the poor common words of courtesy 
Are such an empty mockery, how much 
The bursting heart may pour itsejf in prayer ! 
He prayed for Israel ; and his voice went up 
Strongly and fervently. He prayed for those 
Whose love had been his shield ; and his deep tones 
Grew tremulous. But, oh ! for Absalom, 
For his estranged, misguided Absalom, 
The proud, bright being who had burst away 
In all his princely beauty, to defy 
The heart that cherished him, for him he poured, 
In agony that would not be controlled, 
Strong supplication, and forgave him there, 
Before his God, for his deqp sinfulness. 

jfj******* 

The pall was settled. He who slept beneath 
Was straightened for the grave ; and, as the folds 
Sunk to the still proportions, they betrayed 
The matchless symmetry of Absalom. 
His hair was yet unshorn, and silken curls 
TV. E g 9 



98 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WiLLis 

Were floating round the tassels as they swayed 

To the admitted air, as glossy now 

As when, in hours of gentle dalliance, bathing 

The snowy fingers of Judea's daughters. 

His helm was at his feet ; his banner, soiled 

With trailing through Jerusalem, was laid, 

Eeversed, beside him ; and the jewelled hilt, 

Whose diamonds lit the passage of his blade, 

Bested, like mockery, on his covered brow. 

The soldiers of the king trod to and fro, 

Clad in the garb of battle ; and their chief, 

The mighty Joab, stood beside the bier, 

And gazed upon the dark pall steadfastly, 

As if he feared the slumberer might stir. 

A slow step startled him. He grasped his blade 

As if a trumpet rang ; but the bent form 

Of David entered, and he gave command, 

In a low tone, to his few followers, 

And left him with his dead. The king stood still 

Till the last echo died ; then, throwing off 

The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back 

The pall from the still features of his child, 

He bowed his head upon him, and broke forth 

In the resistless eloquence of woe : 

" Alas ! my noble boy ! that thou shouldst die ! 

Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair ! 
That death should settle in.thy glorious eye, 

And leave his stillness in this clustering hair ! 
How could he mark thee for the silent tomb, 

My proud boy, Absalom ! 

u Cold is thy brow, my son ! and I am chill 
As to my bosom I have tried to press thee I 



WILLIS] ABSALOM. 99 

How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill, 

Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee, 

And hear thy sweet * My father !' from these dumb 
And cold lips, Absalom ! 

' But death is on thee. I shall hear the gush 
Of music, and the voices of the young ; 

And life will pass me in the mantling blush. 
And the dark tresses to the soft winds flung, 

But thou no more, with thy sweet voice, shalt come 
To meet me, Absalom ! 

"And, oh I when I am stricken, and my heart, 
Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken, 

How will its love for thee, as I depart, 

Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token ! 

It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom, 
To see thee, Absalom ! 

" And now, farewell ! 'Tis hard to give thee up, 
With death so like a gentle slumber on thee ; 

And thy dark sin ! Oh ! I could drink the cup, 
If from this woe its bitterness had won thee. 

May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home, 
My lost boy, Absalom !" 

He covered up his face, and bowed himself 
A moment on his child ; tKen, giving him 
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped 
His hands convulsively, as if in prayer ; 
And, as if strength were given him of God, 
He rose up calmly, and composed the pall 
Firmly and decently, and left him there, 
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep. 



100 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SEDGWICK 

THE SABBATH IN NEW ENGLAND. 

C. M. SEDGWICK. 

[In this interesting extract Miss Sedgwick has given us a well- 
drawn outline-picture of a condition of affairs in New England which 
no longer exists, the natural outcome of the yet more rigid Puritan 
ism of an earlier day. The author, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, gained 
at one time a wide popularity by her novels, ranging in date from 1822 
to 1857. She also wrote many popular tales for children, which are 
among the most valuable of their kind. She was born in Massachu 
setts in 1789, and died in 1867.] 

THE observance of the Sabbath began with tbe Puritans, 
as it still does with a great portion of their descendants, 
on Saturday night. At the going down of tbe sun on 
Saturday, all temporal affairs were suspended ; and so 
zealously did our fathers maintain tbe letter as well as tbe 
spirit of tbe law, tbat, according to a vulgar tradition in 
Connecticut, no beer was brewed in tbe latter part of tbe 
week, lest it should presume to work on Sunday. 

It must be confessed tbat tbe tendency of tbe age is 
to laxity ; and so rapidly is tbe wholesome strictness of 
primitive times abating, that, should some antiquary, fifty 
years bence, in exploring bis garret rubbisb, cbance to 
cast bis eye on our bumble pages, be may be surprised 
to learn tbat even now tbe Sabbath is observed, in the 
interior of New England, with an almost Judaical strict 
ness. 

On Saturday afternoon an uncommon bustle is apparent. 
Tbe great class of procrastinators are burrying to and fro 
to complete tbe lagging business of tbe week. Tbe good 
mothers, like Burns's matron, are plying their needles, 
making " auld claes look amaist as weel's tbe new ;" wbilu 



SEDGWICK] THE SABBATH IN NEW ENGLAND. 101 

the domestics, or help (we prefer the national descriptive 
term), are wielding with might and main their brooma 
and mops, to make all tidy for the Sabbath. 

As the day declines, the hum of labor dies away, and, 
after the sun is set, perfect stillness reigns in every well- 
ordered household, and not a footfall is heard in the vil 
lage street. It cannot be denied that even the most spir 
itual, missing the excitement of their ordinary occupations, 
anticipate their usual bedtime. The obvious inference 
from this fact is skilfully avoided by certain ingenious 
reasoners, who allege that the constitution was originally 
so organized as to require an extra quantity of sleep on 
every seventh night. We recommend it to the curious to 
inquire how this peculiarity was adjusted when the first 
day of the week was changed from Saturday to Sunday. 

The Sabbath morning is as peaceful as the first hallowed 
day. Not a human sound is heard without the dwellings, 
and, but for the lowing of the herds, the crowing of the 
cocks, and the gossiping of the birds, animal life would 
seem to be extinct, till, at the bidding of the church-going 
bell, the old and young issue from their habitations, and, 
with solemn demeanor, bend their measured steps to the 
meeting-house, the family of the minister, the squire, the 
doctor, the merchants, the modest gentry of the village, 
and the mechanic and laborer, all arrayed in their best, 
all meeting on even ground, and all with that conscious 
ness of independence and equality which breaks down the 
pride of the rich, and rescues the poor from servility, envy, 
and discontent. If a morning salutation is reciprocated, 
it is in a suppressed voice j and if, perchance, Nature in 
some reckless urchin burst forth in laughter, " My dear, 
you forget it's Sunday," is the ever-ready re] roof. 

Though every face wears a solemn aspect, yet we once 
chanced to see even a deacon's muscles relaxf d by the wit 
iv. 9* 



102 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SEDQWICK 

of a neighbor, and heard him allege, in a half-deprecating, 
half-laughing voice, " The squire is so droll that a body 
must laugh, though it be Sabbath-day." 

The farmer's ample wagon and the little one-horse vehi 
cle bring in all who reside at an inconvenient walking dis 
tance, that is to say, in our riding community, half a mile 
from the church. It is a pleasing sight, to those who love 
to note the happy peculiarities of their own land, to see 
the farmers' daughters, blooming, intelligent, and well 
bred, pouring out of these homely coaches with their nice 
white gowns, prunello shoes, Leghorn hats, fans, and para 
sols, and the spruce young men with their plaited ruffles, 
blue coats, and yellow buttons. The whole community 
meet as one religious family, to offer their devotions at 
the common altar. If there is an outlaw from the society, 
a luckless wight, whose vagrant taste has never been 
subdued, he may be seen stealing along the margin of 
some little brook, far away from the condemning observa 
tion and troublesome admonitions of his fellows. 

Towards the close of the day, or (to borrow a phrase 
descriptive of his feeling who first used it) " when the 
Sabbath begins to abate" the children cluster about the 
windows. Their eyes wander from their catechisms to 
the western sky ; and though it seems to them as if the 
sun would never disappear, his broad disk does slowly sink 
behind the mountain ; and while his last ray still lingers 
on the eastern summit, merry voices break forth, and the 
ground resounds with bounding footsteps. The village 
belle arrays herself for her twilight walk; the boys 
gather on " the green ;" the lads and girls throng to the 
" singing-school ;" while some coy maiden lingers at home, 
awaiting her expected suitor; and all enter upon the 
pleasures of the evening with as keen a relish as if the 
day had been a preparatory penance. 



RANDOLPH] THE REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION. 103 
THE REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION, 

JOHN RANDOLPH. 

[John Randolph of Roanoke, while not distinguished for political 
wisdom, or every-day wisdom of any sort, in fact; was a man of genius 
in an oratorical point of view, and for ready wit, and mastery of the 
powerful weapons of sarcasm and invective, has never had a superior 
in Congress. A collection of American literature would not be com 
plete without a specimen of his incisive oratory. He was horn in Vir 
ginia in 1773, and died in Philadelphia in 1833. Although a strong 
advocate of slavery, he manumitted his slaves, about three hundred in 
number, by his last will. Whatever be thought of the logic of the 
appended extract, the wit of its closing portion must be acknowl 
edged.] 

DOCTOR FRANKLIN, who in shrewdness, especially in all 
that related to domestic life, was never excelled, used to 
say that two movings were equal to one fire. And 
gentlemen, as if they were afraid that this besetting sin 
of republican governments, this rerum novarum lubido (to 
use a very homely phrase, but that comes pat to the pur 
pose), this maggot of innovation, would cease to bite, are 
here gravely making provision that this Constitution, 
which we should consider as a remedy for all the ills of 
the body politic, may itself be amended or modified at any 
future time. Sir, I am against any such provision. I 
should as soon think of introducing into a marriage con 
tract a provision for divorce, and thus poisoning the 
greatest blessing of mankind at its very source, at its 
fountain head. He has seen little, and has reflected less, 
who does not know that " necessity" is the great, power 
ful, governing principle of affairs here. Sir, I am not 
going into that question which puzzled Pandemonium, 
the question of liberty and necessity, 

" Free will, fixed fate, foreknowledge absolute ;" 



104 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [KANDOLPB 

but I do contend that necessity is one principal instrument 
of all the good that man enjoys. The happiness of the 
connubial union itself depends greatly on necessity, and 
when you touch this you touch the arch, the keystone of 
the arch, on which the happiness and well-being of society 
is founded. Look at the relation of master and slave (that 
opprobrium, in the opinion of some gentlemen, to all civil 
ized society and all free government). Sir, there are few 
situations in life where friendships so strong and so last 
ing are formed as in that very relation. The slave knows 
he is bound indissolubly to his master, and must, from 
necessity, remain always under his control. The master 
knows he is bound to maintain and provide always for his 
slave so long as he retains him in his possession. And 
each party accommodates himself to the situation. I have 
seen the dissolution of many friendships. such, at least, 
as they were called ; but I have seen that of master and 
slave endure so long as there remained a drop of blood of 
the master to which the slave could cleave. 

Where is the necessity of this provision in the Consti 
tution ? "Where is the use of it ? Sir, what are we about ? 
Have we not been undoing what the wiser heads I must 
be permitted to say so yes, sir, what the wiser heads of 
our ancestors did more than half a century ago ? Can any 
one believe that we, by any amendment of ours, by any of 
our scribbling on that parchment, by any amulet, by any 
legerdemain charm Abracadabra of ours can prevent 
our sons from doing the same thing, that is, from doing 
what they please, just as we are doing as we please? It, 
is impossible. Who can bind posterity ? When I hear 
gentlemen talk of making a Constitution for " all time," 
and introducing provisions into it for "all time," and yet 
see men here who are older than the Constitution we are 
about to destroy (I am older myself than the present Con- 



BANCROFT] DISCOVERY OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 105 

stitution : it was established when I was a boy), it reminds 
me of the truces and the peaces of Europe. They always 
begin, " In the name of the most holy and undivided 
Trinity," and go on to declare " there shall be perfect and 
perpetual peace and unity between the subjects of such 
and such potentates for all time to come;" and in less 
than seven years they are at war again. 



DISCOVERY OF THE MISSISSIPPI BY MARQUETTE. 

GEORGE BANCROFT. 

BEHOLD then, in 1673, on the tenth day of June, James 
Marquette and Louis Jolliet, five Frenchmen as com 
panions, and two Algonkins as guides, dragging their 
two canoes across the narrow portage that divides the 
Fox River from the Wisconsin. They reach the water 
shed ; uttering a special prayer to the immaculate Virgin, 
they part from the streams that could have borne their 
greetings to the castle of Quebec. " The guides re 
turned," saj'S the gentle Marquette, " leaving us alone, in 
this unknown land, in the hands of Providence." Em 
barking on the broad Wisconsin, the discoverers went soli 
tarily down its current, between alternate plains and hill 
sides, beholding neither man nor familiar beasts ; no sound 
broke the silence but the ripple of their canoes and the 
lowing of the buffalo. In seven days "they entered hap 
pily the great river, with a joy that could not be ex 
pressed," and, raising their sails under new skies and to 
unknown breezes, floated down the calm magnificence of 
the ocean stream, over clear sand-bars, the resort of innu 
merable water-fowl, through clusters of islets tufted with 



106 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BANCROFT 

massive thickets, and between the natural parks of Illi 
nois and Iowa. 

About sixty leagues below the Wisconsin, the western 
bank of the Mississippi bore on the sands the trail of men ; 
a foot-path was discerned leading into beautiful fields ; and 
Jolliet and Marquette resolved alone to brave a meeting 
with the savages. After walking six miles, they beheld 
a village on the banks of a river, and two others on a 
slope, at a distance of a mile and a half from the first. 
The river was the Moingona, of which we have corrupted 
the name into Des Homes. Marquette and Jolliet, the 
first white men who trod the soil of Iowa, commending 
themselves to God, uttered a loud cry. Four old men ad 
vanced slowly to meet them, bearing the peace-pipe, bril 
liant with many-colored plumes. " We are Illinois," said 
they, that is, when translated, "We are men;" and they 
offered the calumet. An aged chief received them at his 
cabin with upraised hands, exclaiming, " How beautiful is 
the sun, Frenchman, when thou comest to visit us ! Our 
village awaits thee ; enter in peace into our dwellings." 

To the council, Marquette published the one true God, 
their Creator. He spoke of the great captain of the 
French, the governor of Canada, who had chastised the 
Five Nations and commanded peace ; and he questioned 
them respecting the Mississippi and the tribes that pos 
sessed its banks. 

After six days' delay, and invitations to new visits, the 
chieftain of the tribe, with hundreds of warriors, attended 
the strangers to their canoes ; and, selecting a peace-pipe 
embellished with the head and neck of brilliant birds and 
feathered over with plumage of various hues, they hung 
round Marquette the sacred calumet, the mysterious arbi 
ter of peace and war, a safeguard among the nations. 

"I did not fear death." says Marquette, in July; "I 



BANCROFT] DISCO VERY OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 107 

should have esteemed it the greatest happiness to have 
died for the glory of God." They passed the perpendicu 
lar rocks, which wore the appearance of monsters ; they 
heard at a distance the noise of the waters of the Mis 
souri, known to them by its Algonkin name of Pekitanoni ; 
and when they came to the grandest confluence of rivers 
in the world, where the swifter Missouri rushes like a 
conqueror into the calmer Mississippi, dragging it, as it 
were, hastily to the sea, the good Marquette resolved in 
his heart one day to ascend the mighty river to its source; 
to cross the ridge that divides the ocean, and, descending 
a westerly-flowing stream, to publish the gospel to all the 
people of this New World. 

In a little less than forty leagues the canoes floated past 
the Ohio, which then, and long afterward, was called the 
Wabash. Its banks were tenanted by numerous villages 
of the peaceful Shawnees, who quailed under the incursions 
of the Iroquois. 

The thick canes begin to appear so close and strong that, 
the buffalo could not break through them ; the insects be 
come intolerable ; as a shelter against the suns of July the 
sails are folded into an awning. The prairies vanish ; and 
forests of white-wood, admirable for their vastness and 
height, crowd even to the skirts of the pebbly shore. In 
the land of the Chickasas fire-arms were already in use. 

Near the latitude of thirty-three degrees, on the western 
bank of the Mississippi, stood the village of Mitchigamea, in 
a region that had not been visited by Europeans since the 
days of De Soto. 

" Now," thought Marquette, " we must, indeed, ask the 
aid of the Virgin." Armed with bows and arrows, with 
clubs, axes, and bucklers, amid continual whoops, the 
natives embark in boats made of the trunks of huge hol 
low trees ; but at the sight of the peace-pipe held aloft 



108 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BANCROFT 

they threw down their bows and quivers and prepared a 
hospitable welcome. 

The next day a long, wooden boat, containing ten men, 
escorted the discoverers, for eight or ten leagues, to the 
village of Akansea, the limit of their voyage. They had 
left the region of the Algonkins, and, in the midst of the 
Dakotas and Chickasas, could speak only by an interpreter. 
A half league above Akansea they were met by two boats, 
in one of which stood the commander, holding in his hand 
the peace-pipe, and singing as he drew near. After offer 
ing the pipe he gave bread of maize. The wealth of his 
tribe consisted in buffalo-skins. Their weapons were axes 
of steel, a proof of commerce with Europeans. 

Having descended below the entrance of the Arkansas, 
and having ascertained that the father of rivers went not 
to the Gulf of California, but was undoubtedly the river 
of theSpiritu Santo of the Spaniards which pours its flood 
of waters into the Gulf of Mexico, on the seventeenth of 
July Marquette and Jolliet left Akansea and ascended the 
Mississippi, having the greatest difficulty in stemming its 
currents. 

At the thirty-eighth degree of latitude they entered the 
river Illinois, which was broad and deep, and peaceful in 
its flow. Its banks were without a paragon for its prairies 
and its forests, its buffaloes and deer, its turkeys and geese 
and many kinds of game, and even beavers ; and there 
were many small lakes and rivulets. " When I was told 
of a country without trees," wrote Jolliet, " I imagined a 
country that had been burned over, or of a soil too poor to 
produce anything ; but we have remarked just the contrary, 
and it would be impossible to find a better soil for grain, 
for vines, or any fruits whatever." He held the country 
on the Illinois Eiver to be the most beautiful and the most 
easy to colonize. "There is no need," he said, "that an 



BANCROFT] DISCOVERY OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 109 

emigrant should employ ten years in cutting down the 
forest and burning it. On the day of his arrival the emi 
grant could put the plough into the earth." The tribe of 
the Illinois entreated Marquette to come back and reside 
among them. One of their chiefs with young men guided 
the party to the portage, which, in the spring and the 
early part of summer, was but half a league long, and 
they easily reached the lake. " The place at which \ve 
entered the lake," to use the words of Jolliet, "is a harbor 
very convenient to receive ships and to give them protec 
tion against the wind." Before the end of September the 
explorers were safe in Green Bay ; but Marquette was 
exhausted by his labors. 

At Quebec, while Jolliet's journal was waited for, thu 
utility of the discovery was at once set forth : It will open 
the widest field for the publication of the Christian faith ; 
the way to the Gulf of California, and so to the seas of 
Japan and China, will be found by ascending the Missouri 
to the water-shed on the west; an admirable line of navi 
gation may be opened between Quebec and Florida by 
cutting through the portage between Chicago and the 
Illinois Elver ; moreover, the noblest opportunity is given 
for planting colonies in a country which is vast and beau 
tiful and most fertile. In a relation sent, in 1674, by 
Father Dablon, it was proposed to connect Lake Michigan 
with the Illinois River by a canal. 

In 1675, Marquette, who had been delayed by his failing 
health for more than a year, rejoined the Illinois on their 
river. Assembling the tribe, whose chiefs and men were 
reckoned at two thousand, he raised before them pictures 
of the Virgin Mary, spoke to them of one who had died on 
the cross for all men, and built an altar and said mass in 
their presence on the prairie. Again celebrating the mys 
tery of the eucharist, on Easter Sunday he took possession 
iv. 10 



110 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JEWETT 

of the land in the name of Jesus Christ, and, to the joy of 
the multitude, founded the mission of the Immaculate Con 
ception. This work being accomplished, his health failed 
him, and he began a journey through Chicago to Mack 
inaw. On the way, feeling himself arrested by the ap 
proach of death, he entered a little river in Michigan, and 
was set on shore that he might breathe his last in peace. 
Like Francis Xavier, whom he loved to imitate, he re- 
peated in solitude all his acts of devotion of the preceding 
days. Then, having called his companions and given them 
absolution, he begged them once more to leave him alone. 
When, after a little while, they returned to him, they 
found him passing gently away near the stream that has 
taken his name. On its highest bank the canoe-men dug 
his grave. To a city, a county, and a river, Michigan has 
given his name. 



RIVER DRIFT-WOOD. 

S. 0. JEWETT. 

[Of American writers of the short story and the descriptive essay it 
would be difficult to find one with a more graceful and attractive style 
than Sarah Orne Jewett, the writer of " Deephaven," " Play Days," 
" The Mate of the Daylight," etc. The following extract is from her 
" Country By- Ways," a collection of short essays and stories of much 
interest and excellence. Her description of the river, in its highways 
and by-ways, has in it the elements of a prose poem. The author is a 
native of Maine, where she was born in 1849.] 

AT the head of tide-water on the river there is a dam, 
and above it is a large mill-pond, where most of the people 
who row and sail keep their boats all summer long. I like, 
perhaps oirce a year, to cruise around the shores of this 
pretty sheet of water ; but I am always conscious of the 



JEWETT] RIVER DRIFT-WOOD. 11 j 

dam above it and the dam below it, and of being confined 
between certain limits. I rarely go beyond a certain point 
on the lower or tide river, as people call it, but I always 
have the feeling that I can go to Europe, if I like, or any 
where on the high seas ; and when I unfasten the boat 
there is no dam or harbor bar, or any barrier whatever, 
between this and all foreign ports. Far up among the 
hills the ocean comes, and its tide ebbs and flows. 

When the tide goes out, the narrow reaches of the river 
become rapids, where a rushing stream fights with the 
ledges and loose rocks, and where one needs a good deal 
of skill to guide a boat down safely. Where the river is 
wide, at low tide one can only see the mud flats and broad 
stretches of green marsh grass. But when the tide is in 
it is a noble and dignified stream. There are no rapids, 
and only a slow current, where the river from among the 
inland mountains flows along, finding its way to the sea, 
which has come part way to welcome the company of 
springs and brooks that have answered to its call. A 
thousand men band themselves together, and they are one 
regiment ; a thousand little streams flow together, and are 
one river ; but one fancies that they do not lose themselves 
altogether; while the individuality of a river must come 
mainly from the different characters of its tributaries. The 
shape of its shores and the quality of the soil it passes over 
determine certain things about it, but the life of it is some 
thing by itself, as the life of a man is separate from the 
circumstances in which he is placed. There must be the 
first spring which overflows steadily and makes a brook, 
which some second spring joins, and the third, and the 
fourth ; and at last there is a great stream, in which the 
later brooks seem to make little difference. I should like 
to find the very beginning and head-water of my river. 
I should be sorry if it were a pond, though somewhere 



112 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [.JEWETT 

in the ground underneath there would be a spring that 
kept the secret and was in command and under marching 
orders to the sea, commissioned to recruit as it went 
along. Here at the head of tide-water it first meets the 
8ea, and then when the tide is in there is the presence of 
royalty, or at least, its deputies. The river is a grand 
thing when it is river and sea together; but how one 
misses the ocean when the tide is out, for in the great 
place it filled the stream from the hills, after all, looks of 
little consequence ! 

The river is no longer the public highway it used to be 
years ago, when the few roads were rough, and railroads 
were not even dreamed of. The earliest chapter of its 
history that I know is that it was full of salmon and other 
fish, and was a famous fishing-ground with the Indians, 
who were masters of its neighboring country. To tell its 
whole story one would have to follow the fashion of the old 
Spanish writers whom Garcilasso de la Yega says he will 
not imitate, in the first chapter of his commentaries of the 
Yncas, that delightful composition of unconscious pathos 
and majestic lies. When his predecessors in the field of 
literature wished to write on any subject whatever, he 
solemnly tells us, they always began with a history of the 
globe. One cannot help wishing that he had not disdained 
to follow their example, and had given his theories, which 
would have been wildly ahead of even the fancies of his 
time, in general, and full of most amusing little departures 
from the truth when he came down to details. But the 
earliest history of the river can well be ignored : it is but 
seldom, as yet, that people really care much for anything 
for its own sake, until it is proved to have some connec 
tion with humankind. We are slow to take an interest 
in the personality of our neighbors who are not men, or 
dogs, or horses, or at least some creature who can be made 



JEWETT] RIVER DRIFT-WOOD. 113 

to understand a little of our own spoken language. Who 
is going to be the linguist who learns the first word of an 
old crow's warning to his mate, or how a little dog ex 
presses himself when he asks a big one to come and rout 
his troublesome enemy ? How much we shall know when 
the pimpernel teaches us how she makes her prophecies 
of the weather, and how long we shall have to go to 
school when people are expected to talk to the trees, and 
birds, and beasts, in their own language! What tune 
could it have been that Orpheus and Amphion played, to 
which the beasts listened, and even the trees and the 
stones followed them to hear ? Is it science that will give 
us back the gift, or shall we owe it to the successors of 
those friendly old saints who talked with the birds and 
fishes ? We could have schools for them if we once could 
understand them, and could educate them in being more 
useful to us. There would be intelligent sword-fish for 
submarine divers, and we could send swallows to carry 
messages, and all the creatures that know how to burrow 
in the earth would bring us the treasures out of it. I 
should have a larger calling acquaintance than ever out 
of doors, and my neighbors down river would present me 
to congenial friends whom as yet I have not discovered. 
The gods are always drawing like towards like and 
making them acquainted, if Homer may be believed, but 
we are apt to forget that this is true of any creatures but 
ourselves. It is not necessary to tame them before they 
can be familiar and responsive ; we can meet them on their 
own ground, and be surprised to find how much we may 
have in common. Taming is only forcing them to learn 
some of our customs ; we should be wise if we let them 
tame us to make use of some of theirs. They share other 
instincts and emotions with us besides surprise, or sus 
picion, or fear. They are curiously thoughtful ; they act 
IT. h 10* 



114 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JEWETT 

DO more from unconscious instinct than we do ; at least, 
they are called upon to decide as many questions of action 
or direction, and there are many emergencies of life when 
we are far more helpless and foolish than they. It is easy 
to say that other orders of living creatures exist on a 
much lower plane than ourselves ; we know very little 
about it, after all. They are often gifted in some way that 
we are not ; they may even carry some virtue of ours to 
a greater height than we do. But the day will come for 
a more truly universal suifrage than we dream of now, 
when the meaning of every living thing is understood, 
and it is given its rights and accorded its true value ; for 
its life is from God's life, and its limits were fixed by him ; 
its material shape is the manifestation of a thought, and 
to each body there is given a spirit. 

The great gulls watch me float along the river, curiously, 
and sail in the air overhead. Who knows what they say 
of me when they talk together ; and what are they think 
ing about when they fly quickly out of sight ? Perhaps 
they know something about me that I do not know of 
myself yet ; and so may the musk-rat, as he hurries through 
the water with a little green branch in his mouth which 
will make a salad for his supper. He watches me with his 
sharp eyes, and whisks into his hole in the sunny side of 
the island. I have a respect for him ; he is a busy creat 
ure, and he lives well. You might be hospitable and ask 
me to supper, musk-rat ! I don't know whether I should 
care much for you, if I were another musk-rat, or you 
were a human being, but I shall know you again when I 
see you by an odd mark in the fur on the top of your head, 
and that is something. I suppose the captive mussels in 
your den are quaking now at hearing you come in. I have 
lost sight of you, but I shall remember where your house 
is. I do not think people are thankful enough who live out 



JEWETT] RIVER DRIFT-WOOD. 115 

of the reach of beasts that would eat them. When one 
thinks of whole races of small creatures like the mussels 
which are the natural and proper food of others, it seems 
an awful fact and necessity of nature ; perhaps, however, 
no more awful than our natural death appears to us. But 
there is something distressing about being eaten, and hav 
ing one's substance minister to a superior existence 1 It 
hurts one's pride ! A death that preserves and elevates 
our identity is much more consoling and satisfactory ; but 
what can reconcile a bird to its future as part of the tis 
sues of a cat, going stealthily afoot, and by nature treach 
erous ? Who can say, however, that our death may not 
be simply a link in the chain ? One thing is made the 
prey of another. In some way our present state ministers 
to the higher condition to which we are coming. The 
grass is made somehow from the ground, and presently 
that is turned into beef, and that goes to make part of a 
human being. We are not certain what an angel may be ; 
but the life in us now will be necessary to the making of 
one by and by. 

There is a wise arrangement in this merging and com 
bining. It makes more room in the world. We must eat 
our fellows and be eaten to keep things within a proper 
limit. If all the orders of life were self-existing, and if 
all the springs that make up the river flowed down to the 
sea separately and independently, there would be an awful 
confusion and chaos still ; but this leads one to think of 
the transmigration of souls and other puzzling subjects ! 
I shall have to end with an ignorant discourse about the 
globe instead of having begun with it. My river, as I 
said at first, leads to the sea, and from any port one can 
push off toward another sea of boundless speculation and 
curious wonderings about this world, familiar and yet so 
great a mystery. 



116 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JEWETT 

There are a thousand things to remember and to say 
about the river, which seems to be of little use in the 
half-dozen miles I know best, after it has made itself of 
great consequence by serving to carry perhaps a dozen or 
twenty mills, of one kind and another. Between its dams 
it has a civilized and subjected look, but below the last 
falls, at the Landing, it apparently feels itself to be its 
own master, and serves in no public capacity except to 
carry a boat now and then, and give the chance for build 
ing some weirs, as it offers some good fishing when the 
alewives and bass come up, with bony and muddy shad, 
that are about as good to eat as a rain-soaked paper of 
pins. I think its chief use is its beauty, and that has 
never been as widely appreciated as it ought to be. . . . 

It sometimes takes me a whole afternoon to go two 
miles down the river. There are many reasons why I 
should stop every now and then under one bank or an 
other ; to look up through the trees at the sky, or at their 
pictures in the water ; or to let the boat lie still, until one 
can watch the little fish come back to their playground 
on the yellow sand and gravel ; or to see the frogs that 
splashed into' the water at my approach, poke their heads 
out a little way to croak indignantly, or raise a loud note 
such as Scotch bagpipers drive out of the pipes before 
they start a tune. The swallows dart like bats along the 
surface of the water after insects, and I see a drowned 
white butterfly float by, and reach out for it ; it looks so 
frail and little in the river. When the cardinal flowers 
are in bloom I go from place to place until I have gathered 
a deck-load ; and as I push off the boat it leaves the grass 
bent down, and the water-mint that was crushed sends a 
delicious fragrance after me, and I catch at a piece and 
put a leaf in my mouth, and row away lazily to get a 
branch of oak or maple leaves to keep the sun off my 



JEWETT] RIVER DRIFT-WOOD. \\i 

flowers. Cardinals are quick to wilt, and hang their 
proud heads wearily. They keep royal state in the shade, 
and one imagines that the other flowers and all the weeds 
at the water's edge take care to bow to them as often aa 
the wind comes by, and pay them honor. They are like 
fine court ladies in their best gowns, standing on tho 
shore. Perhaps they are sending messages down the 
river and across the seas, or waiting to hear some news. 
They make one think of Whittier's high-born Amy Went- 
worth and her sailor lover, for they seem like flowers 
from a palace garden that are away from home masquer 
ading and waiving ceremony and taking the country air. 
They wear a color that is the sign of high ecclesiastical 
rank, and the temper of their minds would make them 
furies if they fought for church or state. They are no 
radicals ; they are tories and aristocrats ; they belong to 
the old nobility among flowers. It would be a pity if the 
rank marsh grass overran them, or if the pickerel- weed 
should wade ashore to invade them and humble their 
pride. They are flowers that, after all, one should not 
try to put into vases together. They have, like many 
other flowers, too marked an individuality, and there is 
more pleasure to be taken from one tall and slender spire 
of blossoms by itself, just as it is pleasanter to be alone 
with a person one admires and enjoys. To crowd some 
flowers together you lose all delight in their shape and 
beauty; you only have the pleasure of the mass of color 
or of their perfume ; and there are enough bright flowers 
and fragrant flowers that are only beautiful in masses. 
To look at some flowers huddled together and losing all 
their grace and charm is like trying to find companion 
ship and sympathy by looking for a minute at a crowd of 
people. But there is a low trait of acquisitiveness in 
human nature. I pick cardinal flowers by the armful, and 



JUS BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JEWETT 

nothing less than a blue-and- white ginger-pot full of dai 
sies is much satisfaction. . . . 

On a spring day how the bobolinks sing, and the busy 
birds that live along the shores go flitting and chirping 
and whistling about the world ! A great fish-hawk drops 
through the air, and you can see the glitter of the un 
lucky fish he has seized as he goes off again. The fields 
and trees have a tinge of green that they will keep only 
for a few days, until the leaves and grass-blades are larger 
and stronger; and where the land has been ploughed its 
color is as beautiful as any color that can be found the 
world over, and the long shining brown furrows grow 
warm lying in the sun. The farmers call to each other 
and to their horses as they work ; the fresh breeze blows 
from the southwest, and the frogs are cheerful, and the 
bobolinks grow more and more pleased with themselves 
every minute, and sing their tunes, which are meant to 
be sung slower and last longer, as if the sweet notes all 
came hurrying out together. 

And in the summer, when the days are hot and long, 
there is nothing better than the glory of the moonlighted 
nights, when the shrill cries of the insects fill all the air, 
and the fire-flies are everywhere, and a whiff of saltness 
comes up with the tide. In October the river is bright 
steel color and blue. The ducks rise and fly away from 
the coves in the early morning, and the oaks and maples 
dress themselves as they please, as if they were tired of 
wearing plain green, like everybody else, and were going 
to be gay and set a new fashion in the cooler weather. 
You no longer drift lazily with the current, but pull your 
boat as fast as you can, and are quick and strong with the 
oars. And in the winter the river looks cold and dead, 
the wind blows up and down between the hills, and the 
black pines and hemlocks stare at each other across the 



HOPKIKSON] PATRIOTIC SONGS. 119 

ice, which cracks and creaks loudly when the tide comes 
up and lifts it. 

How many men have lived and died on its banks, but 
the river is always young. How many sailors have gone 
down to the sea along its channel, and from what strange 
countries have the ships come in and brought them home 
again up this crooked highway! A harbor, even if it is 
a little harbor, is a good thing, since adventurers come 
into it as well as go out, and the life in it grows strong, 
because it takes something from the world, and has some 
thing to give in return. . . . 

The old elms and pines look strong yet, though once in 
a while one blows over or is relentlessly cut down. The 
willows by the river are cropped and cropped again. The 
river itself never grows old ; though it rushes and rises 
high in the spring, it never dries up in the autumn ; the 
little white sails flit over it in pleasant weather, like flut 
tering moths round the track of sunlight on the water; 
one troop of children after another steals eagerly down to 
its forbidden shores to play. 



PATRIOTIC SONGS. 

It is a somewhat remarkable circumstance that England, despite 
her many centuries of literary activity and her accumulated treasures 
of poetry of the finest grade, should never have produced a national 
hymn that is worth the paper that it was written on. " God Save the 
King" is ages behind the age we live in, and " Rule Britannia" is a 
strained and artificial effort, infinitely below, in fire and spirit, the 
" Marseillaise" of France or the patriotic strains of Scotland and Ire 
land. America has been more prolific than the mother-country in 
earnest and poetic songs of patriotism. Each of our great wars has 
produced its national ode, differing in poetic merit, yet each instinct 



120 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOPKINSON 

with the spirit of liberty and progress. The first of these, indeed, the 
" Hail, Columbia," of Joseph Hopkinson, was not a direct product of 
the Revolutionary War, but was written in 1798, on the occasion of an 
expected war with Prance. Yet it was produced ere the fire of the 
Revolution had died out. We may add that it is of no high value as 
a poem, and has not sustained its popularity as a song, though its air 
is still highly welcome to the American ear. 

HAIL, COLUMBIA. 

Hail, Columbia ! happy land ! 
Hail, ye heroes ! heaven-born band ! 

Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause, 
Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause, 
And when the storm of war was gone, 
Enjoyed the peace your valor won. 
Let independence be our boast, 
Ever mindful what it cost ; 
Ever grateful for the prize ; 
Let its altar reach the skies. 
Firm united let us be, 
Rallying round our liberty ; 
As a band of brothers joined, 
Peace and safety we shall find. 

Immortal patriots ! rise once more ; 

Defend your rights, defend your shore ; 
Let no rude foe, with impious hand, 
Let no rude foe, with impious hand, 

Invade the shrine where sacred lies 

Of toil and blood the well-earned prize. 
While offering peace sincere and just, 
In heaven we place a manly trust, 
That truth and justice will prevail, 
And every scheme of bondage fail. 
Firm united, etc. 



PATRIOTIC SONGS. 121 

Sound, sound the trump of Fame ! 
Let Washington's great name 

Ring through the world with loud applause, 

Eing through the world with loud applause ; 
Let every clime to Freedom dear 
Listen with a joyful ear. 

With equal skill and godlike power 

He governs in the fearful hour 

Of horrid war, or guides, with ease, 

The happier times of honest peace. 
Firm united, etc. 

Behold the chief who now commands, 
Once more to serve his country stands, 
The rock on which the storm will beat, 
The rock on which the storm will beat ; 
But, armed in virtue firm and true, 
His hopes are fixed on heaven and you. 
When Hope was sinking in dismay, 
And glooms obscured Columbia's day, 
His steady mind, from changes free, 
Resolved on death or liberty. 
Firm united, etc. 



The song of the War of 1812, the " Star-Spangled Banner" of Francis 
S. Key, possesses far more of poetic power and of patriotic intensity, and 
seems likely to live long in the affections of the American people as 
their chosen national ode. The circumstances under which it was 
written were of a very interesting character. We copy a brief descrip 
tion of them from Cleveland's " Compendium of American Litera 
ture:" 

In 1814, when the British fleet was at the mouth of the Potomac 
River, and intended to attack Baltimore, Mr. Key and Mr. Skinner 
were sent in a vessel with a flag of truce to obtain the release of some 
prisoners the English had taken in their expedition against Washing- 

IV. F 11 



122 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [KEY 

ton. They did not succeed, and were told that they would be detained 
till after the attack had been made on Baltimore. Accordingly, they 
went in their own vessel, strongly guarded, with the British fleet as it 
sailed up the Patapsco ; and when they came within sight of Fort Mo- 
Henry, a short distance below the city, they could distinctly see the 
American flag flying on the ramparts. As the day closed in, the bom 
bardment of the fort commenced, and Mr. Key and Mr. Skinner re 
mained on deck all night, watching with deep anxiety every shell that 
was fired. While the bombardment continued, it was sufficient proof 
that the fort had not surrendered. It suddenly ceased some time before 
day ; but, as they had no communication with any of the enemy's ships, 
they did not know whether the fort had surrendered or the attack upon 
it had been abandoned. They paced the deck the rest of the night in 
painful suspense, watching with intense anxiety for the return of day , 
At length the light came, and they saw that " our flag was still there,' 
and soon they were informed that the attack had failed. In the fervor 
of the moment, Mr. Key took an old letter from his pocket and on its 
back wrote the most of this celebrated song, finishing it as soon as he 
reached Baltimore. He showed it to his friend Judge Nicholson, who 
was so pleased with it that he placed it at once in the hands of the 
printer, and in an hour after it was all over the city, and hailed with 
enthusiasm, and took its place at once as a national song. 

THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER. 



Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, 

"What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last 

gleaming ? 
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous 

fight, 

O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly stream 
ing; 

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, 
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there : 
Oh, say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 



KEY] PATRIOTIC SONGS. 123 



II. 

On that shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, 
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, 
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, 

As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses? 
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam. 
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream : 
"Tis the Star-Spangled Banner; oh, long may it wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave I 



in. 

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore 

That the havoc of war, and the battle's confusion, 
A home and a country should leave us no more ? 

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollu 
tion ; 

No refuge could save the hireling and slave 
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave ; 
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph doth wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ! 



IV. 

Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand 

Between their loved homes and the war's desolation ! 
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land 
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a 

nation ! 

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, 
And this be our motto, " In God is our trust ;" 
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave 1 



124 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [Hows 

The patriotic ode of the civil war exists in the stirring trumpet- 
blast of song of Julia Ward Howe's 

BATTLE-HYMN OP THE REPUBLIC. 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord ; 
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath 

are stored ; 
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift 

sword : 

His truth is marching on. 

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling 

camps ; 
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and 

damps ; 
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring 

lamps : 

His day is marching on. 

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel : 
" As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace 

shall deal ; 
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his 

heel, 

Since God is marching on." 

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call 
retreat ; 

He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment- 
seat: 

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my 
feet! 

Our God is marching on. 



SMITH] PATRIOTIC SONGS. 125 

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, 

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me j 

As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, 

While God is marching on. 

Second only to the " Star-Spangled Banner" in the estimation of the 
patriotic American is the "America" of Samuel F. Smith. It may 
claim the merit that its patriotism is devoid of warlike appeals or the 
boastfulness of national pride, and is simply that pure love of country 
which seems instinctive to every true soul. 

AMERICA. 

My country, 'tis of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty, 

Of thee I sing ; 
Land where my fathers died, 
Land of the pilgrims' pride, 
From every mountain-side 

Let freedom ring. 

My native country, thee 
Land of the noble, free 

Thy name I love ; 
I love thy rocks and rills, 
Thy woods and templed hills ; 
My heart with rapture thrills, 

Like that above. 

Let music swell the breeze, 
And ring from all the trees 

Sweet freedom's song ; 
Let mortal tongues awake ; 
Let all that breathe partake ; 
Let rocks their silence break, 

The sound prolong 
IT. 11* 



126 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DRAKE 

Our fathers' God, to Thee, 
Author of Liberty, 

To Thee we sing : 
Long may our land be bright 
With freedom's holy light ; 
Protect us by Thy might, 

Great God, our King. 



Joseph Hodman Drake's " Ode to the American Flag" comes 
properly in place here. As a poem it is of the highest merit, and is 
the one effort of its author to which he will owe any permanence of 
fame. 

THE AMERICAN FLAG. 

When Freedom from her mountain height 

Unfurled her standard to the air, 
She tore the azure robe of night, 

And set the stars of glory there ; 
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes 
The milky baldric of the skies, 
And striped its pure celestial white 
With streakings of the morning light ; 
Then from his mansion in the sun 
She called her eagle bearer down, 
And gave into his mighty hand 
The symbol of her chosen land. 

Majestic monarch of the cloud ! 

Who rear'st aloft thy regal form, 
To hear the tempest trumping loud, 
And see the lightning-lances driven, 

When strive the warriors of the storm, 
And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven 
Child of the sun ! to thee 'tis given 



DRAKE] PATRIOTIC SONGS. 127 

To guard the banner of the free, 
To hover in the sulphur smoke, 
To ward away the battle-stroke, 
And bid its blendings shine afar, 
Like rainbows on the cloud of war, 

The harbingers of victory ! 

Flag of the brave ! thy folds shall fly, 
The sign of hope and triumph high, 
When speaks the signal trumpet-tone, 
And the long line comes gleaming on ; 
Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet, 
Has dimmed the glistening bayonet, 
Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn 
To where thy sky-born glories burn, 
And, as his springing steps advance, 
Catch war and vengeance from the glance. 
And when the cannon-mouthings loud 
Heave in wild wreaths the battle shroud, 
And gory sabres rise and fall 
Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall, 
Then shall thy meteor glances glow, 

And cowering foes shall shrink beneath 
Each gallant arm that strikes below 

That lovely messenger of death. 

Flag of the seas ! on ocean wave 
Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave ; 
When death, careering on the gale, 
Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail, 
And frightened waves rush wildly back 
Before the broadside's reeling rack, 
Each dying wanderer of the sea 
Shall look at once to heaven and thee, 



128 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [Ki 

And smile to see thy splendors fly 
In triumph o'er his closing eye. 

Flag of the free heart's hope and home ! 

By angel hands to valor given ; 
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome, 

And all thy hues were born in heaven. 
Forever float that standard sheet ! 

Where breathes the foe but falls before us, 
With Freedom's soil beneath our feet, 

And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us ! 



The civil war of America has given rise to several fine poems. To 
that of Julia Ward Howe, already quoted, may be added Thomas 
Buchanan Read's stirring lyric of battle, which is as headlong in its 
movement as the event that it commemorates. 

SHERIDAN'S RIDE. 

(jp from the South at break of day, 
Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay, 
The aifrighted air with a shudder bore, 
Like a herald in haste, to the chieftain's door, 
The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar, 
Telling the battle was on once more, 
And Sheridan twenty miles away. 

And wider still those billows of war 

Thundered along the horizon's bar ; 

And louder yet into Winchester rolled 

The roar of that red sea uncontrolled, 

Making the blood of the listener cold, 

As he thought of the stake in that fiery fray, 

And Sheridan twenty miles away. 



KEAD] PATRIOTIC SONGS. 129 

But there is a road from Winchester town, 

A good broad highway leading down ; 

And there, through the flush of the morning light, 

A steed, as black as the steeds of night, 

Was seen to pass as with eagle flight, 

As if he knew the terrible need : 

He stretched away with his utmost speed; 

Hills rose and fell ; but his heart was gay, 

With Sheridan fifteen miles away. 

Still sprung from those swift hoofs, thundering south, 
The dust, like smoke from the cannon's mouth, 
Or the trail of a comet, sweeping faster and faster, 
Foreboding to traitors the doom of disaster. 
The heart of the steed and the heart of the master 
Were beating like prisoners assaulting their walls, 
Impatient to be where the battle-field calls ; 
Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play, 
With Sheridan only ten miles away. 

Under his spurning feet the road 

Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed, 

And the landscape sped away behind 

Like an ocean flying before the wind, 

And the steed, like a barque fed with furnace ire, 

Swept on, with his wild eye full of fire. 

But lo !*he is nearing his heart's desire ; 

He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray, 

With Sheridan only five miles away. 

The first that the general saw were the groups 
Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops. 
What was done ? what to do ? a glance told him both ; 
Then, striking his spurs, with a terrible oath, 
iv. i 



130 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [FiNCH 

He dashed down the line, 'mid a storm of huzzas, 

And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because 

The sight of the master compelled it to pause. 

With foam and with dust the black charger was gray ; 

By the flash of his eye, and the red nostril's play, 

He seemed to the whole great army to say, 

" I have brought you Sheridan all the way 

From "Winchester, down to save the day !" 

Hurrah ! hurrah for Sheridan ! 

Hurrah ! hurrah for horse and man ! 

And when their statues are placed on high, 

Under the dome of the Union sky, 

The American soldiers' Temple of Fame, 

There, with the glorious general's name, 

Be it said, in letters both bold and bright, 

" Here is the steed that saved the day, 
By carrying Sheridan into the fight, 

From Winchester, twenty miles away !" 



The song of the battle-field has fallen to the minor key of the dirge 
for the dead, since time has drowned the last echo of the cannon, and 
the broad shroud of the grass has long spread over the graves of victors 
and vanquished alike. On one day of the year, at least, all enmity 
vanishes from American hearts, and the resting-places of friends and 
foes are alike decorated with the beautiful emblazonry of flowers. 
The sentiment of this noble ceremony has been charmingly, rendered 
into poetry in the subjoined verses of F. M. Finch. 

THE BLUE AND THE GRAY. 

By the flow of the inland river, 
Whence the fleets of iron have fled, 

Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver, 
Asleep on the ranks of the dead : 



FINCH] PATRIOTIC SONGS. 131 

Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the judgment-day; 
Under the one, the Blue, 

Under the other, the Gray. 

These in the robings of glory, 

Those in the gloom of defeat, 
All with the battle-blood gory, 
In the dusk of eternity meet : 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the judgment-day ; 
Under the laurel, the Blue, 
Under the willow, the Gray. 

From the silence of sorrowful hours, 

The desolate mourners go, 
Lovingly laden with flowers, 
Alike for the friend and the foe : 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the judgment-day ; 
Under the roses, the Blue, 
Under the lilies, the Gray. 

So, with an equal splendor, 

The morning sun-rays fall, 
With a touch impartially tender, 
On the blossoms blooming for all : 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the judgment-day ; 
Broidered with gold, the Blue, 
Mellowed with gold, the Gray. 

So, when the summer calleth, 
On forest and field of grain, 



132 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [Owic* 

With an equal murmur falleth 
The cooling drip of the rain : 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the judgment-day ; 
Wet with the rain, the Blue, 
Wet with the rain, the Gray. 

Sadly, but not with upbraiding, 
The generous deed was done ; 
In the storm of the years that are fading, 
No braver battle was won : 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the judgment-day ; 
Under the blossoms, the Blue, 
Under the garlands, the Gray. 

No more shall the war-cry sever, 
Or the winding rivers be red : 
They banish our anger forever 

When they laurel the graves of our dead ! 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the judgment-day ; 
Love and tears for the Blue, 
Tears and love for the Gray. 



BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 

ROBERT DALE OWEN. 

[Robert Dale Owen, born in New Lanark, Scotland, in 1804, was the 
son of Kobert Owen, so celebrated in the early part of this century for 
his socialistic and philanthropic projects. The son came to America 
while quite young, and entered into political life, being elected to Con- 



OWEN] BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 133 

gress in 1843, and made char ge-& affaires at Naples in 1853. He be 
came an ardent believer in spirit communication, and wrote several 
works in advocacy of this belief. He also wrote works on Slavery 
and other reform topics, an Autobiography, and a novel, " Beyond 
the Breakers," from which we take a thrilling description of the 
burning of a lake steamer. He died in 1877.] 

HARTLAND lay awake. At first, the sounds of merri 
ment and music outside chased sleep away ; and when these 
gradually ceased, and the cabin was deserted, he still lay, 
he did not know how long, listening to the plash of the 
great wheel hard by, sinking at last into troubled and 
broken slumber. 

In the dead of night he suddenly became conscious of 
the sound of footsteps overhead. Looking through the 
skylight, he discerned the figures of two -men moving 
silently about, one of them having a lantern in his hand. 
Then he thought he heard their voices, speaking in eager, 
suppressed tones. Thoroughly roused, he donned a por 
tion of his clothes and proceeded to the upper deck. A. 
third man had joined the first two, and Hartland asked 
him what was the matter. In reply the latter pointed to 
one of the smoke-stacks, saying, in a whisper, " Looks as 
if it might be fire." Hartland then perceived dimly, by 
the lantern-light, a slender line of light smoke or steam 
rising close to the starboard smoke-pipe, and he became 
aware that one of the two men whom he had first seen 
held a hose, of which he was directing the contents on 
this object of their suspicions. At first the stream of 
water seemed to quench the fire, if fire it was, but after a 
time the smoke began to reappear and to drift aft, though 
still ascending only in feeble puffs. Hartland hesitated no 
longer, but returned at once to the cabin, where he roused 
the miller, and they awoke several other passengers, the 
doors of whose state-rooms happened to be unlocked; 
iv. 12 



134 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

making no noise, however, for they were both men of 
nerve and courage, and they knew the effect of a sudden 
alarm at night among so great a crowd. 

Those who had been aroused hastened from the cabin 
and met the captain speeding up to the hurricane deck. 

Still that ominous line of smoke ! gradually increasing 
in volume, Hartland thought. A death-like stillness over 
the boat, broken only by the dull, rushing sound of its 
huge wheels. 

"These emigrants below ought to be warned," whis 
pered Nelson Tyler to Hartland ; and they both descended, 
moving slowly and quietly among the sleeping multitude 
that lay on the deck. They awoke the men gently, speak 
ing in an undertone, and telling them it was better to be 
ready, though there was no immediate danger. As the 
officers, fearing disturbance, and confident, no doubt, that 
they could soon master the fire, had given no alarm, the 
news spread but gradually and without arousing any 
violent demonstration. With a low murmur the crowd 
arose. 

Then the two mounted to the floor above. Men and 
women, their faces deadly pale, were creeping silently from 
the cabin, and soon the upper forward deck was nearly 
filled. They could dimly see, on the cabin roof, a line of 
men who had been organized to pass what few buckets 
they had from the side of the vessel. The crowd watched 
the result with feverish anxiety. No one spoke above his 
breath. All eyes were turned to that long, dark cylinder 
of smoke. It had doubled in volume, Hartland saw at a 
glance, since he first had sight of it ; and the conviction 
flashed over him that the supply of water was quite insuf 
ficient to check the hidden flame. The horrors he had 
read of, about fires at sea, rose vividly to his mind, but he 
thrust them aside by a determined effort. He looked at 



OWEN] BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 135 

Tyler. It was evident that the miller too realized the 
situation, yet he said but a word or two, and in a tone so 
low that Hartland overheard only Ellen's name : then a 
look of stern resolution passed over Tyler's face. Con 
scious of his own strength and skill in swimming, he was 
nerving himself for the struggle before him. 

What a magnificent night it was! clear, cloudless; 
starlight serene in its splendor, but no moon ; the wind a 
moderate breeze, fresh and balmy, just stirring the lake 
surface into gentle ripples. Nature in her quietest, holiest 
aspect, shining with calm benignance from heaven, as if to 
give earnest of peace and protection to the creatures of 
earth. 

Solemn the hush over that awe-struck crowd ! They 
felt what might happen, though most of them, not having 
noticed the gradual increase in that fatal smoke-column, 
were still buoyed up by hope. How character, unmasked, 
showed itself there ! Some seemed self-absorbed ; others 
had gathered into groups, the selfish instinct overcome by 
affection. Here a mother had brought her children to 
gether and was whispering to them that they mustn't be 
afraid. There a brother, his arm around a favorite sister, 
was speaking some low word of comfort and encourage 
ment. Hartland distinguished among the rest the fair 
songstress of the preceding evening, half clad now, care 
less of appearance, mute with terror, a young man, lately 
her partner in that gay dance, by her side ; bewildered he 
seemed, panic-stricken like herself; poor protector in a 
strait like that ! She was not the only one who found out, 
in that terrible night, the difference between a companion 
fit to enliven hours of idleness, and a friend who will stand 
stoutly by and succor, through gloom of danger, when life 
is at stake. 

Even a touch of the ludicrous mingled, as it will in the 



136 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [OWEN 

most tragic scenes. One gentleman had a silver-bound 
dressing-case strapped under bis arm ; another carried a 
hat-box, which he seemed to guard with scrupulous care. 
Tyler saw a young girl, who was standing near him, de 
liberately unclasp a pair of handsome ear-rings, then roll 
them carefully in her handkerchief, which she deposited 
in her pocket. And one old lady, walking distractedly up 
and down near the cabin door, kept eagerly asking the 
passers-out if they were sure they hadn't seen anything 
of her bundle. But all such frivolities were soon to cease. 

How often, to the storm-tossed and bewildered mariner, 
has there shone, from watch-tower or pharos, a feeble ray, 
welcome as Hope herself, life-guide through night and 
tempest ! But the hope, the safety of this waiting crowd 
was in merciful darkness. 

A faint flicker of light ! God in heaven ! It had shot 
up along the edge of that large, dark smoke-pipe ! for a 
moment it dimly showed the wan faces, a signal-fire, 
omen of coming fate. 

Another! A shudder crept through the watchers, a 
long, low moan : they .saw it all now. The fiery element, 
gathering power below, was slowly creeping upward upon 
them. The crowd glared around with the instinct of 
flight. Nothing but the waste of waters, with here and 
there a star reflected from their dark depths ! And still, 
as dreary monotone, the rushing plash of those gigantic 
wheels ! 

Then there were eager inquiries for life-preservers. 
Not one, they were told, on the boat! and the gilt glitter 
in that luxurious cabin what a mockery now ! " The 
thousands squandered there might, wisely spent, have" 
saved that night hundreds of human lives. 

As it was, a portion of the passengers went in search of 
something to keep them afloat in case of the worst, return- 



OWEN] BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 137 

ing with chairs, stools, pieces of board, and the like. 
Others, utterly unmanned, and abandoning all exertion, 
gave way to wild bewailings. 

A mother with several children entreated Mr. Hartland 
to take charge of the youngest, a little girl. 

"I am going below, madam," he replied, "where the 
crowd is dangerous, and where she would run great risk 
of being lost or crushed." 

The mother submitted, kissing the child, and taking it 
in her arms, and Hartland whispered to Tyler, "Let us 
go down. We may approach the shore before the flames 
gain head ; and if we have to swim for it, the chance is 
better from the lower deck." So they descended. 

Below, the forward deck was a mass of human beings. 
To them the danger was even more apparent than to those 
above. Flakes of flame already rose, here and there, from 
the deck near the smoke-stacks. Even the heat was be 
ginning to be felt. But there was one favorable circum 
stance. The wind was westerly, a head-wind, though 
veering a little on the starboard quarter, and flame and 
smoke were blown aft, leaving the forward half of the 
vessel clear. 

Soon a larger fork of flame shot up, and there were 
screams faintly heard from the small after-cabin. Some 
of the inmates, attempting to lower the yawl that hung 
astern, had been caught there by the drifting fire : their 
fate was sealed. 

That last burst of flame must have shown itself on the 
upper deck, for there was a smothered cry from above, 
and then a voice the captain's it seemed shouting in 
loud tones to the pilot. 

The alarm gained the crowd below, which swayed to 
and fro. Women and children shrieked in terror as the 
press came upon them. Men's voices rose, a hoarse mur- 
iv. 12* 



138 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [OWEN 

mur, like the gathering of a great wind. Tyler endeavored 
to make his way to the bow, but found that impossible : 
several stout Irish laborers turned threateningly upon 
him. " I'll risk my chance above," he said to Hartland, 
but the latter stayed below. 

When the miller reached the upper deck a sheet of fire 
already rose nearly as high as the smoke-stacks, and the 
roof of the main cabin had caught. But he saw also in a 
moment a change that kept hope alive. The smoke and 
flames, instead of drifting aft, now blew dead to larboard. 
The captain's command to the pilot had been to port the 
helm and run the boat on shore. 

But this change, bringing the mass of flame closer to 
the passengers, so that those nearest the cabin felt the 
hot breath on their cheeks, at first increased their alarm. 
They crowded fearfully toward the bow, and many must 
have been thrown into the water then and there, had 
not a voice called out, " Don't crowd : they're heading 
her for land." This assurance in a measure quieted the 
terror-stricken throng. There was the suppressed voice 
of lamentation, an appeal to Heaven for mercy here and 
there, but still no clamorous shout, no wild outcry. 
There could be seen, by that red glare, on some faces 
the calm of resignation, on others the stillness of de 
spair. 

Though the flames spread steadily, the engine con 
tinued to work, the wheels did their duty, and the 
pilot noble fellow! still kept his post, though smoke, 
mingled with thick sparks, swept in circling eddies 
around him. 

Each minute was bearing these four hundred souls 
nearer and nearer to safety, and all eyes were now 
strained in the direction of the vessel's course. The 
olaze from that terrific bale-fire lighted up the lake 



OWEN] BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 139 

waters far and wide, and yes ! was at last reflected on 
a low shore and trees. Some one near the bow cried out, 
"Land! land!" Others caught and repeated the soul- 
stirring cry. And, though the passengers in the rear of 
the crowd were already in perilous vicinity to the spread 
ing flames, a faint shout of exultation went up. 

But terrible and speedy came the reaction. The boat 
had been headed more and more to the left, and ere five 
minutes had elapsed with a thud so heavy that she 
shuddered through all her timbers the vessel struck a 
hidden sand-bar, remaining fast, but before she settled 
swinging by the stern till her after-cabin lay directly to 
windward. Thus the breeze, which had freshened, blew 
ri;ht from stern to bow. 

O 

Fearful was the result ! In an instant the whole body 
of flame swept straight over the masses that had huddled 
together on the forward decks. At the same moment the 
huge smoke-stacks, loosened by the violent shock, fell, 
with a loud crash, down through the cabin, their fall 
being succeeded by a sudden and tremendous burst of 
surging fire. 

No restraint now ! No thought among that doomed 
multitude save one, escape from the most horrible of all 
deaths, to be burned alive ! In the very extremity of 
despair they crowded recklessly on each other, sweeping 
irresistibly forward till the front ranks were borne sheer 
off the bow, then the next, then the next ! Ere three 
minutes had elapsed, the waters swarmed with a strug 
gling throng, men, women, children, battling for their 
lives. 

A few of the passengers in the rear rushed to the stairs, 
but they were in flames. No escape from that scene of 
horror, except by a leap of some twenty feet, from the 
upper guards down to the waves below, already covered 



J40 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [OWEN 

with a floundering mass. But most of those who were 
left accepted the desperate alternative, flinging themselves 
over the side of the boat. Many fell flat and became 
senseless at once, sinking helplessly to the bottom ; others, 
dropping straight down, soon rose again to the surface. 
Now and then an expert swimmer, watching an opening 
in the living screen, dived down head foremost. Scarcely 
a score remained, the miller among them, on the extreme 
bow. Even at that appalling moment his attention was 
arrested by a brief episode in the scene of horror before 
him. A young mother tall, graceful, with a look of re 
finement and a pale, Madonna face, her arms around a 
baby asleep, it seemed, in their shelter stood on the very 
edge of the deck where the rush of the headlong crowd 
had broken down the guards, alone ! her natural de 
fender who knows? swept away by the human tor 
rent, or perhaps, under the tyrant instinct of self-preser 
vation, a deserter from her whom he had sworn to cherish 
and protect. All alone, to earthly seeming at least, though 
she might be communing even then with the Unseen, for 
her colorless face was calm as an angel's, and her large, 
dark eyes were raised with a gaze so eager it might well 
be penetrating the slight veil, and already distinguishing, 
beyond, guardian intelligences bending near, waiting to 
welcome into their radiant world one who had been the 
joy and the ornament of this. 

As Tyler watched her, a tongue of flame swept so close 
he thought it must have caught her light drapery. A 
single look below, a plunge, and she committed herself 
and her babe to the waves and to Him who rules them. 

Tyler rushed to the spot where she had stood, but 
mother and child had already sunk. For a brief space 
moments only, though he thought of it afterward as a 
long, frightful dream he gazed on the seething swarm of 



OWEN] BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 141 

mortality beneath him, poor, frail mortality, stripped of 
all flaunting guise, and exhibiting, under overwhelming 
temptation, its most selfish instincts bared to their darkest 
phase. 

The struggle to reach the various floating objects, and 
the ruthlessness with which a strong swimmer occasion 
ally wrenched these from the grasp of some feeble old 
man or delicate woman, it was all horrible to behold. 
Then, again, many swimmers, striking without support 
for shore, were caught in the despairing clutch of some 
drowning wretch, unconscious perhaps of what he did, and 
dragged down to a fate from which their strength and 
courage might have saved them. From the midst, how 
ever, shone forth examples of persistent self-devotion : 
husbands with but one thought, the safety of their wives ; 
a son sustaining to the last an aged parent ; but above all 
the maternal instinct asserted its victory over death. 
Tyler, even in those fleeting moments, caught sight, here 
and there among the crowd, of a woman with one hand 
clutching a friendly shoulder or a floating support, holding 
aloft in the other an infant all unconscious of impending 
fate. In one instance, even, a chubby little fellow, thus 
borne above the waters, clapped his tiny hands and 
laughed at the gay spectacle of the bright flames. 

Meanwhile, the wind, veering a little to the south, and 
thus blowing fire and smoke somewhat to larboard, had 
left on the starboard edge of the forward deck a narrow 
strip, on which, though the heat was intense, some ten or 
twelve persons still lingered beyond actual contact with 
the flames. But each moment the fire swept nearer and 
nearer, and Tyler felt that the last chance must now be 
risked. He dropped into the~ water, feet foremost, and 
disappeared. 

"While these things passed, Hartland, below with the 



142 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [OWEN 

steerage passengers, had witnessed similar scenes. Human 
nature, cultivated or uncultivated, is, as a general rule, 
in an extremity so dire, mastered by the same impulses. 
The difference inherent in race, however, was apparent. 
The sedate German, schooled to meet hardship and suffer 
ing with silent equanimity, and now standing mute and 
stolid, eyes fixed in despair, contrasted with the excitable 
Celt, voluble in his bewailings. Hartland, like Tyler, had 
kept himself aloof from the dense crowd, and so escaped 
being carried along by the frenzied fugitives when the 
flames first swept the forward deck. He was one of those 
men whose perceptions are quickened by imminence of 
danger. He noticed that the starboard wheel-house, which 
had not yet caught, afforded a temporary shelter from the 
cfrifting fire ; and, acting on a sudden conviction, he climbed 
over the guards on that side of the vessel, a little forward 
of the wheel, and let himself down till his feet rested on 
the projecting wale of the boat. Thus, holding on by 
the rail, he was able to maintain himself outside of the 
blazing current until only a few stragglers were left on 
deck. 

There he remained some time, deliberately thinking 
over the situation. As a boy he had learned to swim, but 
for the last fifteen years he had been almost wholly out 
of practice. He called to mind the rules with which he 
had once been familiar, and the necessity of keeping the 
eyes open so as to elude the grasp of drowning men. As 
he held on there, the risk from such a contingency was 
painfully brought to his notice. From time to time sev 
eral of the passengers from the upper deck had slid down 
near him. At last one heavy body, from immediately 
above, dropped so close that it brushed his clothes and 
almost carried him down with it. He turned to see the 
fate of this man. After ten or fifteen seconds he saw him 



OWEN] BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 143 

rise to the surface again, and with a start recognized Nel 
son Tyler. He was struggling violently, and Hartland ob 
served that some one, as the stout miller rose, had clutched 
him by the left arm with the tenacity of despair. Both 
sank together, and Hartland saw them no more. 

Several times he was about letting himself down, but 
held back because of the crowds that he saw rising to the 
surface and wrestling with death and with each other be 
neath him. At last he was warned that his time had 
come. Looking toward the bow, where several men, 
imitating his example, were holding on outside the bul 
warks, but unprotected by the wheel-house, he saw the 
flames catch and terribly scorch their hands, the torture 
causing them to quit their grasp and fall back headlong 
into the waves. Still he watched, until, seeing a whole 
mass of bodies sink together and thus leave an empty 
space just below him, he commended his soul to. God, and, 
springing from his support, sank at once to the bottom. 

After a brief space, when his eyes had cleared a little, 
he saw what it has seldom been the lot of human being 
to witness. On the sand, there in the lower depths of 
the lake, lighted by the lurid glare of the burning boat, 
loomed up around him ghastly apparitions of persons 
drowned or drowning, men, women, small children too : 
some bodies standing upright as if alive ; some with heads 
down and limbs floating ; some kneeling or lying on the 
ground ; here a muscular figure, arms flung out, fingers 
convulsively clinched, eyeballs glaring ; there a slender 
woman in an attitude of repose, her features composed, 
and one arm still over the little boy stretched to his last 
rest by her side. Of every demeanor, in every posture, 
they were, a subaqueous multitude! A momentary gaze 
took it all in, and then Hartland, smitten with horror, 
struck upward, away from that fearful assemblage, and 



144 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [OWEN 

reached the surface of the lake and the upper world once 
more. 

There he found the water, not only around the bow, 
whence most of the passengers had been precipitated, but 
also between himself and the shore, so overspread with a 
motley throng that he resolved to avoid them, even at 
risk of considerably lengthening the distance. He swam 
toward the stern, where the surface was comparatively 
free, and, after passing one or two hundred yards beyond, 
seeing no one now in the line of the land, which was dis 
tinctly visible, he struck out vigorously in that direction. 

Then he swam on, but with gradually diminishing 
strength and courage and a little nervous trembling. 

He estimated the distance to the land at half a mile. 
It was, however, in reality, a quarter of a mile farther. 
But the air was balmy, and, though the wind blew, the 
waves were not sufficient to impede a stout swimmer. 
There are hundreds among us who can swim a much 
greater distance. Yes, if they start fair, mind and body 
unexhausted. But after such a terribly wearing scene of 
excitement as that the man fifty-seven years old, too 
will his strength hold out to reach the land ? 

Between the detached sand-bar on which the steamer 
had stranded and the land the lake was deep. The bottom 
was a smooth sand, and as one approached the low, level 
shore the water shoaled gradually. Hartland, with great 
exertion, had made about half the distance, when a man 
the first survivor he had seen came up behind him, 
swimming strongly. As he ranged alongside, Hartland 
perceived, with equal pleasure and surprise, that it was 
the miller whom so lately he had seen go down in what 
seemed a death-struggle. Tyler called out to him, " Take 
it quietly, Mr. Hartland: don't swim so hard. You can't 
hold out so." 



OWEN] BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 145 

The other felt that the caution was timely. He became 
aware that in his eager efforts he had overtasked his 
strength. " You are right," he said. " I have been over 
doing it : I must go more slowly." 

" Can I assist you in any way ?" 

" Thank you, no. You'll need all the strength you have. 
Save yourself. Don't wait for me." 

"Well," said the other, as he struck out in advance, 
"perhaps it's best. I may help you yet." 

Left alone, Hartland proceeded more leisurely, seek 
ing to husband his powers. But for a man of his years, 
unused to violent exertion, the distance was great, too 
great, he began to feel, for reasonable hope that he might 
reach the shore ; for he felt now, at every stroke, the 
strain on his muscles, After a time, so painful was the 
effort that he could scarcely throw out his arms. Then 
a numbness crept over his limbs, gradually reaching his 
body. He was resolute, scorning all weakness that suf 
fered the mind to usurp control over the will ; he strug 
gled, with Puritan hardihood, against the nervous help 
lessness that was invading his whole system ; yet, even 
while he despised and sought to repulse all imaginative 
sensations, the fancy gained upon him that life was re 
ceding to the brain. He had no longer power to strike 
out. After a few random and convulsive movements, as if 
the body rebelled against the spell that was cast over it, 
he sank slowly to the bottom. An anxious sensation of 
distress oppressing the breast followed, becoming grad 
ually more urgent and painful, until in his agony he in 
stinctively struck for the upper air, which he reached 
almost immediately. A few deep inhalations, and a con 
sciousness that he was now in comparatively shallow 
water, restored for a minute or two the exhausted powers, 
but after making a little way these soon failed again : 

IV. Q k 13 



146 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

Tie could no longer maintain his mouth above water, and, 
choking as a small wave broke over his face, he sank 
a second time. Strange, this time, was the transition! 
All pain, all anxiety, was gone. The world seemed grad 
ually sinking away. As he went down, a sense of ease 
and comfort came over him, while a strange haze diffused 
around a yellow light. Then, as has happened to so many 
thus approaching the term of earthly things, the man's 
life passed in review before him. And there he argued 
before the tribunal of his own conscience, as never before, 
the question whether his conduct to wife and child had 
been marked by that love which is the fulfilling of the law. 
Many allegations he made, numerous pleas he brought 
forward, urging the duty of discipline, setting out the 
saving efficacy of severity, pleading the example of Him 
who scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. In vain ! 
He was too near the veil. The light from Beyond, where 
Love reigns evermore, shone through his filmy sophistry. 
His soul heard the verdict against him ! It heard more 
than the verdict. It heard those words, gentle yet terri 
ble : " To him that hath shown mercy shall mercy be 
shown." Then it cried out, entreating for a little more 
time a year, a single year only in which to atone for 
the harsh, unloving past. So eager grew the longing that 
it drew forth from life's inmost depths the last residue of 
that reserve fund which Nature, in kind foresight, provides 
against a season of overwhelming exertion ; and once more 
a spasmodic effort brought him to the surface and to suf 
fering again. Yet he breathed ; he was still alive. How 
could it be, after that hour, so crowded with incidents 
spent below ? An hour ? That protracted trial, the accu 
sation, the defence, the pleas he had set forth, the argu 
ments he had employed, the verdict, the bitter repentance, 
the prayer for respite to amend and repair the wrong, 



OWEN] BURNING OF A LAKE STEAMER. 147 

it had all passed in less than a hundredth part of the time 
which, to his quickened consciousness, had seemed so long. 
Some twenty seconds only had he tarried below. A vague 
conviction of this stirred hope of life afresh, and a fe\v 
feeble strokes carried him some yards nearer to the land. 
Then again that leaden sense of exhaustion I He gave it 
up. But this time, as his limbs sank beneath him, the feet 
just grazed the ground. It was like the touch of mother 
Earth to the Libyan giant kindling a spark of life. A 
faltering step or two he made, and the water just mounted 
to his chin. Had he reached the land too late? He 
stretched out his arms toward it, but the body, powerless, 
refused to follow. Even then the tenacity of that stub 
born spirit asserted itself. He dropped on his knees, dig 
ging his fingers into the sand and dragging himself along, 
till he was forced once again to rise and take breath. But 
with the light and the air came back excruciating pain. 
Then an overwhelming torpor crepi, over sense and frame. 
His limbs refused their office. Unable longer to maintain 
himself erect, he dropped on the sand. A brief respite of 
absolute rest there imparted a momentary courage. He 
crawled, under the water, a few yards farther. Then 
consciousness and volition gradually failed. As if by the 
inherent powers of the system, uncontrolled by will, an 
automatic struggle was kept up for a few seconds no 
more! That was the last life-rally against fate. The 
temptation to lie there quiet, immovable, all care dis 
missed, all effort abandoned, was irresistible. But what 
was this? a fearful reminiscence from the scene he had 
escaped ? No. These bright sparks that flickered before 
his eyes were lambent and harmless. In his brain, too, 
there seemed an internal light, an irradiate globe, but 
genial and illuminating, not burning. Then came back 
again that wondrous atmosphere, that calm, effulgent 



148 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [GARFIKLD 

pale yellow haze ; and with it such a sense of exquisite 
enjoyment that all desire to return to the earth passed 
from the soul of the expiring man. A smile over the 
wan features, a slight quivering of the limbs, and then all 
cognizance of the world and its doings had departed ; 
and the spirit was entranced on the verge of that un 
explored phase of life to come, where the wicked cease 
from troubling and the weary are at rest. 



WORDS OF WISDOM. 

JAMBS A. GARFIELD. 

[Among the Presidents of the United States it may be said without 
question that Garfield ranked first as a man of broad thought and elo 
quent expression. We may go further, and declare that in him the 
demands of a political life robbed the literary world of the labors of 
a thinker of unusual vigor and ability, moral elevation of ideas, and 
happy facility of expression. Even the exigencies of statesmanship 
did not quite check the natural tendency of his mind, and his addresses 
and orations contain many finely-expressed sentiments which the 
world will not willingly let die, words of higher meaning than what 
is ordinarily known as worldly wisdom, pithy sentences, overflowing 
with thought, and expressed with such happy brevity that many of 
them must fall into their due places as part of the proverbial philoso 
phy of mankind. The more striking of these sayings may be found 
in "Garfield's Words," a compilation by William Ralston Balch. 
From these we extract a few examples of that universal wisdom which 
soars far above the level of ordinary statecraft. It would not be easy 
to find in the pages of any modern writer so many noble thoughts 
finely said as exist within the covers of this small volume.] 

Garfield's Creed. I would rather be beaten in Eight 
than succeed in Wrong. 



GARTIELD] WORDS OF WISDOM. 149 

A Principle. There are some things I am afraid of, and 
I confess it in this great presence : I am afraid to do a 
mean thing. 

Speech at Cleveland, 1879. 

Keep Growing. I must do something to keep my 
thoughts fresh and growing. I dread nothing so much 
as falling into a rut and feeling myself becoming a fossil. 

Private Letter, 1868. 

Danger. It may be well to smile in the face of danger,- 
but it is neither well nor wise to let danger approach un 
challenged and unannounced. 

Jjying. It is not right or manly to lie, even about 
Satan. 

Warren, 0., 1874. 

Governments and Man. Governments, in general, look 
upon man only as a citizen, a fraction of the state. God 
looks upon him as an individual man, with capacities, 
duties, and a destiny of his own ; and just in proportion 
as a government recognizes the individual and shields him 
in the exercise of his rights, in that proportion is it God 
like and glorious. 

Ravenna, 0., 1860. 

The Dead. We hold reunions, not for the dead, for 
there is nothing in all the earth that you and I can do for 
the dead. They are past our help and past our praise. 
We can add to them no glory, we can give to them no 
immortality. They do not need us, but forever and for 
evermore we need them. 

Geneva, 1880. 

Oratory. "No man can make a speech alone. It is the 
great human power that strikes up from a thousand minds 
that acts upon him and makes the speech, 
iv. 13* 



150 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [&ARFIELD 

Talent. If the power to do hard work is not talent, it 
is the best possible substitute for it. 

Discovery. Things don't turn up in this world until 
somebody turns them up. 

Opinion. In the minds of most men the kingdom of 
opinion is divided into three territories : the territory of 
yes, the territory of no, and a broad, unexplored middle 
ground of doubt. 

House of Representatives, 1880. 

Men and their G-od. There are times in the history of 
men and nations, when they stand so near the veil that 
separates mortals and immortals, time from eternity, and 
men from their God, that they can almost hear their 
breathings and feel the pulsations of the heart of the 
infinite. Through such a time has this nation passed. 
When two hundred and fifty thousand brave spirits passed 
from the field of honor through that thin veil to the pres 
ence of G-od, and when, at last, its parting folds admitted 
the martyred President to the company of the dead heroes 
of the republic, the nation stood so near the veil that the 
whispers of God were heard by the children of men. 

Oration on Abraham Lincoln. 

Light. Light itself is a great corrective. A thousand 
wrongs and abuses that are grown in darkness disappear 
like owls and bats before the light of day. 

The Value of Leisure. I congratulate you on your 
leisure. I recommend you to keep it as your gold, as 
your wealth, as your means, out of which you win the 
leisure you have to think, the leisure you have to be let 
alone, the leisure you have to throw the plummet with 
your hand and sound the depths and find out what is 
below ; the leisure you have to walk about the towers of 
yourselves, and find how strong they are, or how weak 



GARFIELD] WORDS OF WISDOM. 151 

they are, and determine what needs building up, and de 
termine how to shape them, that you may make the final 
being that you are to be. Oh, those hours of building ! 

Hiram College, 1880. 

fiobert Sums. To appreciate the genius and achieve 
ments of Robert Burns, it is fitting to compare him with 
others who have been eminent in the same field. In the 
highest class of lyric poetry three names stand eminent. 
Their field covers eighteen centuries of time, and the three 
names are Horace, Beranger, and Burns. It is an inter 
esting and suggestive fact that each of these sprang from 
the humble walks of life. Each may be described as one 

u Who begs a brother of the earth 
To give him leave to toil," 

and each proved by his life and achievements that, how 
ever hard the lot of poverty, " a man's a man for a' that." 
A great writer has said that it took the age forty years 
to catch Burns, so far was he in advance of the thoughts 
of his times. But we ought not to be surprised at the 
power he exhibited. We are apt to be misled when we 
seek to find the cause of greatness in the schools and uni 
versities alone. There is no necessary conflict between 
nature and art. In the highest and best sense art is as 
natural as nature. We do not wonder at the perfect 
beauty of the rose, although we may not understand the 
mysteries by which its delicate petals are fashioned and 
fed out of the grosser elements of earth, We do not 
wonder at the perfection of the rose, because God is the 
artist. When He fashioned the germ of the rose-tree He 
made possible the beauties of its flower. The earth and 
air and sunshine conspired to unfold and adorn it, to tint 
and crown it with peerless beauty. When the Divine 
Artist would produce a poem, He plants a germ of it in a 



152 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [&ARFIELD 

human soul, and out of that soul the poem springs and 
grows as from the rose-tree the rose. 

Burns was a child of nature. He lived close to her 
beating heart, and all the rich and deep sympathies of 
life glowed and lived in his heart. The beauties of earth, 
air, and sky filled and transfigured him. 

" He did but sing because he must, 
And piped but as the linnets sing." 

With the light of his genius he glorified the "banks and 
braes" of his native land, and, speaking for the universal 
human heart, has set its sweetest thought to music, 

" Whose echoes roll from soul to soul, 
And grow forever and forever." 

Oration on the Anniversary of Burns' 8 Death. 

Great Men. As a giant tree absorbs all the elements of 
growth within its reach and leaves only a sickly vegeta 
tion in its shadow, so do towering great men absorb all 
the strength and glory of their surroundings and leave a 
dearth of greatness for a whole generation. 

Successful Men. The men who succeed best in public 
life are those who take the risk of standing by their own 
convictions. 

The Man Men Love. If there be one thing upon this 
earth that mankind love and admire better than another, 
it is a brave man ; it is a man who dares to look the devil 
in the face and tell him he is a devil. 

Pluck. A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck. 

Proportion. If you are not too large for the place you 
are too small for it. 

Great Ideas. Great ideas travel slowly, and for a time 
noiselessly, as the gods whose feet were shod with wool. 



GARFIELD] WORDS OF WISDOM. 153 

The World's History. The world's history is a divino 
poem, of which the history of every nation is a canto and 
every man a word. Its strains have been pealing along 
down the centuries, and though there have been mingled 
the discords of warring cannon and dying men, yet to the 
Christian philosopher and historian the humble listener 
there has been a divine melody running through the 
song which speaks of hope and halcyon days to come. 

Province of History. Williams Quarterly. 

English Liberty. English liberty to-day rests not so 
much on the government as on those rights which the 
people have wrested from the government. The rights 
of the Englishman outnumber the rights of the English 
man's king. 

Thread of Progress. Throughout the whole web of 
national existence we trace the golden thread of human 
progress toward a higher and better estate. 

Dishonor too Costly. The people of the United States 
can afford to make any sacrifice for their country, and the 
history of the last war is proof of their willingness ; but 
the humblest citizen cannot afford to do a mean or a dis 
honorable thing to save even this glorious republic. 

Speech on the Currency, 1868. 

National Institutions. It matters little what may be the 
forms of national institutions, if the life, freedom, and 
growth of society are secured. 

Society. There is no horizontal stratification of society 
in this country, like the rocks in the earth, that hold one 
class down below forevermore and let another come to 
the surface to stay there forever. Our stratification is 
like the ocean, where every individual drop is free to 
move, and where from the sternest depths of the mighty 



154 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [GARFIELD 

deep any drop may come up to glitter on the highest 
wave that rolls. 

The Surface and the Depths. Here society is a restless 
and surging sea. The roar of the billows, the dash of the 
wave, is forever in our ears. Even the angry hoarseness 
of breakers is not unheard. But there is an understratum 
of deep, calm sea, which the breath of the wildest tempest 
can never reach. There is, deep down in the hearts of the 
American people, a strong and abiding love of our country 
and its liberty, which no surface-storms of passion can ever 
shake. That kind of instability which arises from a free 
movement and interchange of position among the mem 
bers of society, which brings one drop up to glisten for a 
time in the crest of the highest wave, and then give place 
to another, while it goes down to mingle again with the 
millions below, such instability is the surest pledge of 
permanence. On such instability the eternal fixedness of 
the universe is based. Each planet, in its circling orbit, 
returns to the goal of its departure, and on the balance 
of these wildly-rolling spheres God has planted the broad 
base of His mighty works. So the hope of our national 
perpetuity rests upon that perfect individual freedom 
which shall forever keep up the circuit of perpetual 
change. 

Ravenna, 1860. 

Wars without Ideas. Ideas are the great warriors of the 
world, and a war that has no ideas behind it is simply 
brutality. 

The Cost of War. After the fire and blood of the battle 
fields have disappeared, nowhere does war show its de 
stroying power so certainly and so relentlessly as in the 
columns which represent the taxes and expenditures of 
the nation. 



GABFIELD] WORDS OF WISDOM. 155 

The Atlantic. The Atlantic is still the great historic 
sea. Even in its sunken wrecks might be read the record 
of modern nations. "Who shall say that the Pacific will 
not yet become the great historic sea of the future, the 
vast amphitheatre around which shall sit in majesty and 
power the two Americas, Asia, Africa, and the chief colo 
nies of Europe ? God forbid that the waters of our national 
life should ever settle to the dead level of a waveless calm ! 
It would be the stagnation of death, the ocean grave of 
individual liberty. 

Modern Haste. The greater part of our modern litera 
ture bears evident marks of the haste which characterizes 
all the movements of this age ; but in reading these older 
authors we are impressed with the idea that they enjoyed 
the most comfortable leisure. Many books we can read 
in a railroad-car, and feel a harmony between the rushing 
of the train and the haste of the author; but to enjoy the 
older authors we need the quiet of a winter evening, an 
easy-chair before a cheerful fire, and all the equanimity of 
spirits we can command. Then the genial good-nature, 
the rich fulness, the persuasive eloquence of those old 
masters will fall upon us like the warm, glad sunshine, 
and afford those hours of calm contemplation in which the 
spirit may expand with generous growth and gain deep 
and comprehensive views. The pages of friendly old 
Goldsmith come to us like a golden autumn day, when 
every object which meets the eye bears all the impress 
of the completed year and the beauties of an autumnal 
forest. 

WUliams Quarterly, March, 1856. 



156 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOUGHTON 

PARADISE PLANTATION. 

L. S. HOUGHTtfff. 

["Louise Seymour Houghton, to whose able pen several very lively 
and interesting descriptions of life in Florida are due, has here given 
us a highly-humorous account of the toils and troubles of the agricul 
turist in the " Land of Flowers." The party here described went to 
Florida for their health, and, fancying that this desirable requisite could 
be best found outside of hotels, and that health of body might be asso 
ciated with health of purse, they purchased a tract of land, fitted up a 
humble mansion, and went into amateur agriculture, with the results 
below related.] 

No one could deny that the house was pretty, and com 
fortable too, when at last the carpenter and painter had 
done their work, and the curtains and the easy-chairs and 
the book-shelves had taken their places, and the great 
fire, of pine logs was lighted, and the mocking-bird's song 
streamed in with the sunlight through the open door and 
between the fluttering leaves of the ivy screen at the win 
dow. The piano was always open in the evenings, with 
Merry or the Pessimist strumming on the keys or trying 
some of the lovely new songs ; and Hope would be busy 
at her table with farm-books and accounts ; and the Inva 
lid in his easy-chair would be listening to the music and 
falling off to sleep and rousing himself with a little clucking 
snore to pile more lightwood on the fire ; and the mocking 
bird in his covered cage would wake too and join lustily 
in the song, till Merry smothered him up in thicker cover 
ings. 

The first duty was evident. " Give it a name, I beg," 
Merry had said the very first evening in the new home ; 
and the house immediately went into committee of the 



HOUGHTON] PARADISE PLANTATION. 157 

whole to decide upon one. Hope proposed Paradise Plan 
tation ; Merry suggested Fortune Grove ; the Pessimist 
hinted that Folly Farm would be appropriate, but this 
proposition was ignominiously rejected ; and the Invalid 
gave the casting vote for Hope's selection. 

The hour for work having now arrived, the man war* 
not slow in presenting himself. " I met an old fellow who 
used to be a sort of overseer on this very plantation," the 
Invalid said. " He says he has an excellent horse ; and 
you will need one, Hope. I told him to come and see 
you." 

" Which ? the man or the horse ?" asked Merry, in a low 
voice. 

"Both, apparently," answered the Pessimist, in the same 
tone, "for here they come." 

" Ole man Spafford," as he announced himself, was a 
darky of ancient and venerable mien, tall, gaunt, and 
weather-beaten. His steed was taller, gaunter, and ap 
parently twice as old, an interesting study for the oste- 
ologist, if there be any such scientific person. 

"He splendid saddle-hoss, missis," said the old man: 
"good wuk-hoss, too; bery fine hoss." 

" It seems to me he's rather thin," said Hope, doubt 
fully. 

"Dat kase we didn't make no corn dis year, de old 
woman an' me, we was bof so bad wid de misery in the 
leaders" (rheumatism in the legs). "But Sancho won't 
stay pore ef you buys corn enough, missus. He powerful 
good hoss to eat." 

Further conversation revealed the fact that old man 
Spafford was " de chief man ob de chu'ch." 

"What! a minister?" asked the Invalid. 

" No, sah, not azatly de preacher, sah, but I'se de nex' 
t'ing to dat." 

iv. 14 



158 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOUGHTON 

" What may your office be, then, uncle ?" asked the Pes 
simist. 

" I'se de section, sah," answered the old man, solemnly, 
making a low bow. 

" The sexton ! So you ring the bell, do you ?" 

"Not azatly de bell, sah, we ain't got no bell, but 1 
bangs on de buzz-saw, sah." 

"What does he mean?" asked Merry. 

The Pessimist shrugged his shoulders without answer 
ing, but the " section" hastened to explain : " You see, 
missy, when dey pass roun' de hat to buy a bell dey didn't 
lift nigh enough ; so dey jis' bought a buzz-saw and hung 
it up in de chu'ch-house ; and I bangs on de buzz-saw, 
missy." 

The chief man of the church was found, upon closer ac 
quaintance, to be the subject of a profound conviction that 
he was the individual predestinated to superintend our 
farming interests. He was so well persuaded of this high 
calling that none of us dreamed of questioning it, and he 
was forthwith installed in the coveted office. At his sug 
gestion, another man, Dryden by name, was engaged to 
assist old man Spaiford and take care of Sancho, and a boy, 
called Solomon, to wait upon Dryden and do chores. A 
few day-laborers were also temporarily hired, the season 
being so far advanced and work pressing. The carpenters 
were recalled, for there was a barn to build, and hen 
coops and a pig-sty, not to speak of a fence. Hope and 
Merry flitted hither and thither armed with all sorts of 
impossible implements,, which some one was sure to want 
by the time they had worked five minutes with them. As 
for the Pessimist, he confined himself to setting out orange- 
trees, the only legitimate business, he contended, on the 
place. This work, however, he performed vicariously, 
standing by and smoking while a negro set out the trees. 



HOUGHTON] PARADISE PLANTATION. 159 

" My duties appear to be limited to paying the bills," 
remarked the Invalid ; " and I seem to be the only member 
of the family who cannot let out the job." 

" I thought the farm was to be self-supporting," said 
the Pessimist. 

" "Well, so it is. Wait till the crops are raised," retorted 
Merry. 

"Henderson says," observed Hope, meditatively, "that 
there are six hundred dollars net profits to be obtained 
from one acre of cabbages." 

" Why don't you plant cabbages, then ? In this seven- 
acre lot, for instance ?" 

" Oh, that would be too many. Besides, I have planted 
all I could get. It is too late to sow the seed, but old 
man Spaiford had some beautiful plants he let me have. 
He charged an extra price because they were so choice, 
but I was glad to get the best : it is cheapest in the end. 
I got five thousand of them." 

" What sort are they?" asked the Invalid. 

"I don't know precisely. Spaiford says he done lost 
the paper, and he didn't rightly understand the name 
nohow, 'long o' not being able to read ; but they were a 
drefful choice kind." 

" Oh, bother the name !" said the Pessimist : " who 
cares what it is? A cabbage is a cabbage, I presume. 
But what have you in this seven-acre lot ?" 

" Those are peas. Dryden says that in North Carolina 
they realize four hundred dollars an acre from them when 
they don't freeze." 

The planting being now fairly over, we began to look 
about us for other amusement. 

" Better not ride old Sancho," remarked old man Spaf- 
ford one day, as he observed the Pessimist putting a saddle 
on the ancient quadruped. 



160 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOUGHTON 

" Why not, uncle ? You ride him yourself, and you said 
he was a very fine saddle-horse." 

" I rides he bareback. Good hoss for lady ; better not 
put man's saddle on," persisted the old man. 

The Pessimist vaulted into the saddle by way of reply, 
calling out, "Open the gate, Solomon," to the boy, who 
was going down the lane. But the words were not spoken 
before Sancho, darting forward, overturned the deliberate 
Solomon, leaped the gate, and rushed out into the woods 
at a tremendous pace. The resounding beat of his hoofs 
and energetic cries of " Whoa ! Whoa !" from his rider 
were wafted back upon the breeze, gradually dying away 
in the distance, and then reviving again as the fiery steed 
reappeared at the same " grand galop." 

The Pessimist was without a hat, and his countenance 
bore the marks of many a fray with the lower branches 
of the trees. 

"Here, take your old beast!" he said, throwing the 
bridle impatiently to Spafford. " What sort of an animal 
do you call him ?" 

The "section" approached with a grin of delight. "He 
waw-hoss, sah. Young missus ride he afo' de waw, and 
he used to lady saddle ; but ole marsa rid he to de waw, 
an' whenever he feel man saddle on he back he runs dat 
a- way, kase he t'ink de Yankees a'ter him;" and he ex 
changed a glance of intelligence with Sancho, who evi 
dently enjoyed the joke. 

The Invalid, who during the progress of our planting 
had spent much time in explorations among our " Cracker" 
neighbors, had made the discovery of a most disreputable 
two-wheeled vehicle, which he had purchased and brought 
home in triumph. Its wheels were of different sizes and 
projected from the axle at most remarkable angles. One 
seat was considerably higher than the other, the cushions 



HOUGHTON] PARADISE PLANTATION. 161 

looked like so many dishevelled darky heads, and the 
whole establishment had a most uncanny appearance. It 
was a perfect match, however, for Sancho, and that intel 
ligent animal, waiving for the time his objection to having 
Yankees after him, consented to be harnessed into the ve 
hicle and to draw us slowly and majestically about in the 
pine woods. He never objected to stopping anywhere 
while we gathered flowers, and we always returned laden 
with treasures to deck our little home withal, making 
many a rare and beautiful new acquaintance among the 
floral riches of pine-barren and hammock. 

Meantime, peas and cabbages, and many a " green" bo- 
sides, grew and flourished under old man Spafford's foster 
ing care. Crisp green lettuce and scarlet radishes already 
graced our daily board, and were doubly relished from 
being, so to speak, the fruit of our own toil. Paradise 
Plantation became the admiration of all the darky and 
Cracker farmers for 'miles round, and it was with the 
greatest delight that Hope would accompany any chance 
visitor to the remotest corner of the farm, unfolding her 
projects and quoting Henderson to the open-mouthed ad 
miration of her interlocutor. 

" Have you looked at the peas lately, Hope ?" asked the 
Pessimist, one lovely February morning. 

" Not since yesterday. Why ?" 

" Come and see," was the reply ; and we all repaired to 
the seven-acre lot in company. A woful sight met our 
eyes, vines nipped off and trampled down, and general 
havoc and confusion in all the ranks. 

" Oh, -what is it ?" cried Merry, in dismay. 

" It's de rabbits, missy," replied old man Spafford, who 
was looking on with great interest. " Dey'll eat up ebery 
bit o' greens you got, give 'em time enough." 

" This must be stopped," said Hope, firmly, recovering 
iv. I 14* 



162 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HotiGHTON 

from her stupor of surprise. " I shall have a close fence 
put entirely around the place." 

" But you've just got a new fence. It will cost 
awfully." 

"No matter," replied Hope, with great decision: "it 
shall be done. The idea of being cheated out of all our 
profits by the rabbits !" 

" What makes them look so yellow ?" asked the Invalid, 
as the family was looking at the peas over the new close 
fence some evenings later. 

" Don't they always do so when they blossom ?" asked 
Hope. 

" How's that, Spaiford ?" inquired the Pessimist. 

"Dey ain't, not to say, jis' right," replied that function 
ary, shaking his head. 

" Why, what's the matter?" asked Hope, quickly. 

" Groun' too pore, I 'spec', missis. Mighty pore piece 
dis ; Ian' all wore out. Dat why dey sell so cheap." 

"Then won't they bear?" asked Merry, in despairing 
accents. 

"Oh, yes," said Hope, with determined courage. "I 
had a quantity of fertilizers put on. Besides, I'll send 
for more. It isn't too late, I'm sure. We'll use it for 
top-dressing ; eh, Spaiford ?" 

" I declare, Hope, I had no idea you were such a 
farmer," said the Invalid, with a pleasant smile. 

" And then, besides, we don't depend upon the peas 
alone," continued Hope, reflecting back the smile, and 
speaking with quite her accustomed cheerfulness: "there 
are the corn and the cabbages." 

" And the potatoes and cucumbers," added Merry, as we 
returned slowly to the house by way of all the points of 
interest, the young orange-trees, Merry's newly-trans 
planted wistaria, and the pig-pen. 



HOUGHTON] PARADISE PLANTATION. 163 

" I rather suspect that there is our most profitable crop," 
said the Invalid, as we seated ourselves upon the piazza 
which the Pessimist had lately built before the house. 
He was looking toward a tree which grew not far distant, 
sheltered by two enormous oaks. Of fair size and perfect 
proportions, this tree was one mass of glossy, dark-green 
leaves, amid which innumerable golden fruit glimmered 
brightly in the setting sunlight. 

" Our one bearing tree," answered Hope. " Yes, if we 
only had a thousand like it we might give up farming." 

" We shall have them in time," said the Pessimist, com 
placently, looking abroad upon the straight rows of tiny 
trees almost hidden by the growing crops. " Thanks to 
my perseverance " 

" And Dryden's," interpolated Merry. 

"There are a thousand four-year-old trees planted," 
continued the Pessimist, not noticing the interruption. 
" I wonder how many oranges that tree has borne ?" 

" I suppose we have eaten some twenty a day from it 
for the last three months," said Merry. 

" Hardly that," said the Invalid ; " but say fifteen hun 
dred. And the tree looks almost as full as ever." 

" What if we should have them gathered and sold ?" 
suggested Hope, "just to see what an orange-tree is 
really worth. Spafford says that the fruit will not be so 
good later. It will shrivel at last ; and we can never eat 
all those oranges in any case." 

Shipping the oranges was the pleasantest work we had 
yet done. There was a certain fascination in handling the 
firm golden balls, in sorting and arranging, in papering 
and packing ; and there was real delight in despatching 
the first shipment from the farm, the more, perhaps, as 
the prospect of other shipments began to dwindle. The 
peas, in spite of the top-dressing, looked yellow and sickly. 



164 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOTJGHTON 

The cucumbers would not run, and more blossoms fell off 
than seemed desirable. The Pessimist left off laughing at 
the idea of farming, and spent a great deal of time walk 
ing about the place, looking into things in general. 

"Isn't it almost time for those cabbages to begin to 
head?" he asked, one day, on returning from a tour of 
inspection, 

" Dryden says," observed Merry, " that those are not 
cabbages at all : they are collards." 

" What under the sun are collards ?" asked the Invalid. 

" They are a coarse sort of cabbage : the colored people 
like them, but they never head, and they won't sell," said 
Hope, looking up from a treatise on agricultural chemis 
try. " If those should be collards !" 

She laid aside her book, and went out to investigate. 
"At any rate, they will be good for the pigs," she re 
marked, on returning. " I shall have Behavior boil them 
in that great pot of hers, and give them a mess every 
day. It will save corn." 

" Never say die !" cried the Pessimist. " ' Polly put the 
kettle on, 'tie on, 'tie on ! Polly put ' " 

The Invalid interposed with a remark. " Southern peas 
are selling in New York at eight dollars a bushel," he said. 

"Oh, those peas! Why won't they grow?" sighed 
Merry. 

The perverse things would not grow. Quotations went 
down to six dollars, then to four, and still ours were not 
ready to ship. The Pessimist visited the field more as 
siduously than ever j Merry looked despondent ; only Hope 
kept up her courage. 

"Henderson says," she remarked, closing that well- 
thumbed volume, "that one shouldn't look for profits 
from the first year's farming. The profits come the 
second year. Besides, I have learned one thing by this 



HOUGHTON] PARADISE PLANTATION. 165 

year's experience. Things should not be expected to 
grow as fast in winter even a Southern winter as in 
summer. Next year we will come earlier, and plant 
earlier, and be ready for the first quotations." 

It was a happy day for us all when at last the peas were 
ready to harvest. The seven-acre lot was dotted over 
with boys, girls, and old women, laughing and joking as 
they picked. Dryden and old man Spafford helped Hope 
and Merry with the packing, and the Pessimist flourished 
the marking-brush with the greatest dexterity. The Inva 
lid circulated between pickers and packers, watching the 
proceedings with profound interest. 

In the midst of it all there came a shower. How it did 
rain ! And it w r ould not leave off, or if it did leave off in 
the evening it began again in the morning with a fidelity 
which we would fain have seen emulated by our help. 
One day's drenching always proved to be enough for those 
worthies, and we had to scour the country in the pouring 
rain to beat up recruits. Then the Charleston steamer 
went by in spite of most frantic wavings of the signal- 
flag, and our peas were left upon the wharf, exposed to 
the fury of the elements. 

They all got off at last, in several detachments, and we 
had only to wait for returns. The rain had ceased as soon 
as the peas w^ere shipped, and in the warm, bright weather 
which followed we all luxuriated in company with the 
frogs and the lizards. The fields and woods were full of 
flowers, the air was saturated with sweet odors and sun- 
shine and songs of birds. A messenger of good cheer 
came to us also by the post in the shape of a check from 
the dealer to whom we had sent our oranges. 

" Forty dollars from a single tree !" said Hope, exult 
antly, holding up the slip of paper. " And that after we 
had eaten from it steadily for three months !" 



166 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOUGHTON 

'" The tree is an eighteen-year-old seedling, Spafford 
says," said the Invalid, looking at the document with in 
terest. " If our thousand do as well in fourteen years, 
Hope, we may give up planting cabbages, eh?" 

" The price will be down to nothing by that time," said 
the Pessimist, not without a shade of excitement, which 
he endeavored to conceal, as he looked at the check. 
" Still, it can't go below a certain point, I suppose. The 
newspapers are sounder on the orange question than on 
some others, I fancy." 

One would have thought that we had never seen a 
check for forty dollars before, so much did we rejoice over 
this one, and so many hopes of future emolument did we 
build upon it. 

"What's the trouble with the cucumbers, Spafford?" 
asked the Pessimist, as we passed by them one evening 
on our way up from the little wharf where we had left 
our sail-boat. 

" T'ink it de sandemanders, sah. Dey done burrow under 
dat whole cucumber-patch, eat all de roots. Cucumbers 
can't grow widout roots, sah." 

" But the Florida Agriculturalist says the salamanders 
don't eat roots," said Hope : " they only eat grubs and 
worms." 

Spafford shook his head without vouchsafing a reply. 

" The grubs and worms probably ate the roots, and 
then the salamanders ate them," observed the Pessimist. 
" That is poetical justice, certainly. If we could only eat 
the salamanders, now, the retribution would be complete." 

" Sandemanders ain't no 'count to eat," said old man 
Spafford. " Dey ain't many critters good to eat. De 
meat I likes best is wile-cat." 

" Wild-cat, uncle !" exclaimed Merry. " Do you mean to 
say you eat such things as that ?" 



HOUQHTON] PARADISE PLANTATION. 167 

"Why, missy," replied the old man, seriously, "a wile- 
cat's 'most de properest varmint going. Nebber eats 
not'ing but young pigs, and birds, and rabbits, and sich. 
Yankee folks like chicken-meat, but 'tain't nigh so good." 

" Well, if they eat rabbits I think better of them," said 
Hope. " And here comes Solomon with the mail-bag." 

Among the letters which the Invalid turned out, a yel 
low envelope was conspicuous. Hope seized it eagerly. 
" From the market-man," she said. u ISTow we'll see." 

She tore it open. A ten-cent piece, a small currency 
note, and a one-cent stamp dropped into her lap. She 
read the letter in silence, then handed it to her husband. 

" Ha ! ha ! ha !" laughed the Pessimist, reading it over 
his shoulder. " This is the worst I ever heard ! l Thirty- 
six crates arrived in worthless condition ; twelve crates at 
two dollars ; fifty at fifty cents ; freights, drayage, com 
missions ; balance, thirty-six cents.' Thirty-six cents 
for a hundred bushels of peas! Oh, ye gods and little 
fishes!" 

Even Hope was mute. . 

Merry took the document. " It was all because of the 
rain," she said. " See ! those last crates, that were picked 
dry, sold well enough. If all had done as well as that wo 
should have had our money back; and that's all we ex 
pected the first year." 

" There's the corn, at any rate," said Hope, rousing 
herself. " Dryden says it's splendid, and no one else has 
any nearly as early. We shall have the first of the 
market." 

The corn was our first thought in the morning, and we 
walked out that way to console ourselves with the sight 
of its green and waving beauty, old SpafFord being of the 
party. On the road we passed a colored woman, who 
greeted us with the usual " Howdy ?" 



168 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HouGHTON 

" How's all with you, Sister Lucindy ?" asked the " sec 
tion." 

"All standin' up, thank God! I done come t'rough 
your corn-field, Uncle Spafford. De coons is to wu'k dar." 

We hastened on at this direful news. 

" I declar' !" said old Spafford, as we reached the fence. 
" So dey is bin to wu'k ! Done tote off half a dozen bushel 
dis bery las' night. Mought as well give it up, missis. 
Once dey gits a taste ob it, good-byT 

" Well, that's the worst I ever heard !" exclaimed the 
Pessimist, resorting to his favorite formula in his .dismay. 
" Between the coons and the commission merchants your 
profits will vanish, Hope." 

"Do you think I shall give it up so?" asked Hope, 
stoutly. " We kept the rabbits out with a fence, and we 
can keep the coons out with something else. It is only a 
few nights' watching and the corn will be fit for sale. 
Dryden and Solomon must come out with their dogs anJ 
guns and lie in wait." 

" Bravo, Hope ! Don't give up the ship !" said the In 
valid, smiling. 

" Well, if she doesn't, neither will I," said the Pessimist. 
" For the matter of that, it will be first-rate sport, and I 
wonder I haven't thought of coon-hunting before. I'll 
come out and keep the boys company, and we'll see if we 
don't ' sarcumvent the rascals' yet." 

And we did save the corn, and sell it, too, at a good 
price, the hotels in the neighborhood being glad to get 
possession of the rarity. Hope was radiant at the result 
of her determination: the Pessimist smiled a grim ap 
proval when she counted up and displayed her bank-notes 
and silver. 

" A few years more of mistakes and losses, Hope, and 
you'll make quite a farmer," he condescended to acknowl- 



HOUGHTON] PARADISE PLANTATION. 169 

edge. " But do you think you have exhausted the cata 
logue of animal pests ?" 

" No," said Hope, laughing. " I never dared to tell you 
about the Irish potatoes. Something has eaten them all 
up : Uncle Spafford says it is gophers." 

" What is a gopher ?" asked Merry. " Is it any relation 
to the gryphon ?" 

" It is a sagacious variety of snapping-turtle," replied the 
Invalid, " which walks about seeking what it may devour." 

" And devours my potatoes," said Hope. " But we have 
got the better of the rabbits and the coons, and I don't 
despair next year even of the gophers and salamanders." 

" Even victory may be purchased too dearly," said the 
Pessimist. 

"After all, the experiment has not been so expensive a 
one," said the Invalid, laying down the neatly-kept farm 
ledger, which he had been examining. " The orange-trees 
are a good investment, our one bearing tree has proved 
that, and as for the money our farming experiment has 
cost us, we should have spent as much, I dare say, had we 
lived at the hotel, and not have been one-half as com 
fortable." 

" It is a cosey little home," admitted the Pessimist, look 
ing about the pretty room, now thrown wide open to the 
early summer, and with a huge pot of creamy magnolia- 
blooms in the great chimney. 

" It is the pleasantest winter I ever spent," said Merry, 
enthusiastically. 

" Except that dreadful evening when the account of the 
peas came," said Hope, drawing a long breath. " But I 
should like to try it again : I shall never be quite satisfied 
till I have made peas and cucumbers profitable." 

" Then all I have to say is that you are destined to 
drag out an unsatisfied existence," said the Pessimist, 
iv. H 15 



170 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BROWN 

" I am not so sure of that," said the Invalid. 

And so we turned our faces northward, not without a 
lingering sorrow at leaving the home where we had spent 
BO many sweet and sunny days. 

" Good-by, Paradise Plantation," said Merry, as the little 
white house under the live-oak receded from our view as 
we stood upon the steamer's deck. 

" It was not so inappropriately named," said the Inva 
lid. " Our life there has surely been more nearly para 
disiacal than any other we have known." 

And to this even the Pessimist assented. 



CENTENNIAL ORATION. 

H. A. BROWN. 

[The premature death of Henry Armitt Brown cut off in the prime 
of life an orator whose unusually fine powers could not have failed, 
had he lived to a riper age, to make their mark upon the world. He 
was born in Philadelphia, December 1, 1844, and died August 21, 1878. 
Of his orations probably the best in substance and finest in finish was 
that made at Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, on the occasion of the 
completion of the first century of American Independence. We give 
the peroration of this eloquent example of oratory.] 

THE conditions of life are always changing, and the ex 
perience of the fathers is rarely the experience of the sons. 
The temptations which are trying us are not the tempta 
tions which beset their footsteps, nor the dangers which 
threaten our pathway the dangers which surrounded them. 
These men were few in number ; we are many. They were 
poor, but we are rich. They were weak, but we are strong. 
What is it, countrymen, that we need to-day ? Wealth ? 



BROWN] CENTENNIAL ORATION. 171 

Behold it in your hands. Power ? God hath given it you. 
Liberty? It is your birthright. Peace? It dwells among 
you. You have a government founded in the hearts of 
men, built by the people for the common good. You have 
a land flowing with milk and honey ; your homes are 
happy, your workshops busy, your barns are full. The 
school, the railway, the telegraph, the printing-press, have 
welded you together into one. Descend those mines that 
honeycomb the hills! Behold that commerce whitening 
every sea ! Stand by your gates and see that multitude 
pour through them from the corners of the earth, grafting 
the qualities of older stocks upon one stem, mingling the 
blood of many races in a common stream, and swelling 
the rich volume of our English speech with varied music 
from an hundred tongues. You have a long and glorious 
history, a past glittering with heroic deeds, an ancestry 
full of lofty and imperishable examples. You have passed 
through danger, endured privation, been acquainted with 
sorrow, been tried by suffering. You have journeyed in 
safety through the wilderness and crossed in triumph the 
Eed Sea of civil strife, and the foot of Him who led you 
hath not faltered nor the light of His countenance been 
turned away. 

It is a question for us now, not of the founding of a 
new government, but of the preservation of one already 
old; not of the formation of an independent power, but 
of the purification of a nation's life ; not of the conquest 
of a foreign foe, but of the subjection of ourselves. The 
capacity of man 'to rule himself is to be proven in the 
days to come, not by the greatness of his wealth, not by 
his valor in the field, not by the extent of his dominion, 
not by the splendor of his genius. The dangers of to-day 
come from within. The worship of self, the love of power, 
the lust of gold, the weakening of faith, the decay of public 



172 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BROWN 

virtue, the lack of private worth, these are the perils 
which threaten our future ; these are the enemies we have 
to fear ; these are the traitors which infest the camp ; and 
the danger was far less when Catiline knocked with his 
army at the gates of Eome than when he sat smiling in 
the Senate-House. We see them daily face to face, in 
the walk of virtue, in the road to wealth, in the path to 
honor, on the way to happiness. There is no peace be 
tween them and our safety. Nor can we avoid them and 
turn back. It is not enough to rest upon the past. No 
man or nation can stand still. We must mount upward 
or go down. We must grow worse or better. It is the 
Eternal Law : we cannot change it. ... 

The century that is opening is all our own. The years 
that lie before us are a virgin page. We can inscribe it 
as we will. The future of our country rests upon us ; the 
happiness of posterity depends on us. The fate of hu 
manity may be in our hands. That pleading voice, choked 
with the sobs of ages, which has so often spoken unto ears 
of stone, is lifted up to us. It asks us to be brave, benev 
olent, consistent, true to the teachings of our history, 
proving " divine descent by worth divine." It asks us to 
be virtuous, building up public virtue upon private worth, 
seeking that righteousness which exalteth nations. It 
asks us to be patriotic loving our country before all other 
things ; her happiness our happiness, her honor ours, her 
fame our own. It asks us, in the name of justice, in the 
name of charity, in the name of freedom, in the name of 
God. 

My countrymen, this anniversary has gone by forever, 
and my task is done. While I have spoken, the hour has 
passed from us : the hand has moved upon the dial, and 
the Old Century is dead. The American Union hath en 
dured an hundred years ! Here, on this threshold of the 



JACKSON] THE SINGER'S HILLS. 1^3 

future, the voice of humanity shall not plead to us in vain. 
There shall be darkness in the days to come ; danger for 
our courage; temptation for our virtue; doubt for our 
faith; suffering for our fortitude. A thousand shall fall 
before us, and tens of thousands at our right hand. The 
years shall pass beneath our feet, and century follow cen 
tury in quick succession. The generations of men shall 
come and go ; the greatness of yesterday shall be forgotten 
to-day, 'and the glories of this noon shall vanish before to 
morrow's sun ; but America shall not perish, but endure, 
while the spirit of our fathers animates their sons. 



THE SINGER'S HILLS. 

HELEN HUNT JACKSON. 

HE dwelt where level lands lay low and drear, 
Long stretches of waste meadow pale and sere, 
With dull seas languid tiding up and down, 
Turning the lifeless sands from white to brown, 
Wide barren fields for miles and miles, until 
The pale horizon walled them in, and still 
No lifted peak, no slope, not even mound 
To raise and cheer the weary eye was found. 
From boyhood up and down these dismal lands, 
And pacing to and fro the barren sands, 
And always gazing, gazing seaward, went 
The Singer. Daily with the sad winds blent 
His yearning voice. 

" There must be hills," he said, 
" I know they stand at sunset rosy red, 
And purple in the dewy shadowed morn ; 
Great forest trees like babes are rocked and borne 
IT. 15* 



174 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JACKSON 

Upon their breasts, and flowers like jewels shine 
Around their feet, and gold and silver line 
Their hidden chambers, and great cities rise 
Stately where their protecting shadow lies, 
And men grow brave and women are more fair 
'Neath higher skies, and in the clearer air!" 
One day thus longing, gazing, lo ! in awe 
Made calm by ecstasy, he sudden saw, 
Far out to seaward, mountain-peaks appear, 
Slow rising from the water pale and clear. 
Purple and azure, there they were, as he 
Had faithful yearning visions they must be ; 
Purple and azure and bright rosy red, 
Like flashing jewels, on the sea they shed 
Their quenchless light. 

Great tears ran down 

The Singer's cheeks, and through the busy town, 
And all across the dreary meadow-lands, 
And all along the dreary lifeless sands, 
He called aloud, 

" Ho I tarry ! tarry ye ! 
Behold those purple mountains in the sea !" 
The people saw no mountains ! 

" He is mad," 

They careless said, and went their way, and had 
No farther thought of him. 

And so, among 

His fellows' noisy, idle, crowding throng, 
The Singer walked, as strangers walk who speak 
A foreign tongue and have no friend to seek. 
And yet the silent joy which filled his face 
Sometimes their wonder stirred a little space, 
And, following his constant seaward look, 
One wistful gaze they also seaward took. 



JACKSON] THE SINGERS HILLS. 175 

One day the Singer was not seen. Men said 

That as the early day was breaking red, 

He rowed far out to sea, rowed swift and strong, 

Toward the spot where he had gazed so long. 

Then all the people shook their heads, and went 

A little sadly, thinking he had spent 

His life in vain, and sorry they no more 

Should hear his sweet mad songs along their shore. 

But when the sea with sunset hues was dyed, 

A boat came slowly drifting with the tide, 

Nor oar nor rudder set to turn or stay, 

And on the crimson deck the Singer lay. 

"Ah! he is dead," some cried. "No! he but sleeps," 

Said others, " madman that he is, joy keeps 

Sweet vigils with him now." 

The light keel grazed 

The sands ; alert and swift the Singer raised 
His head, and with red cheeks and eyes aflame 
Leaped out and shouted loud, and called by name 
Each man, and breathlessly his story told. 
" Lo ! I have landed on the hills of gold ! 
See, these are flowers, and these are fruits, and these 
Are boughs from off the giant forest trees ; 
And these are jewels which lie loosely there, 
And these are stuffs which beauteous maidens wear." 
And staggering he knelt upon the sands 
As laying burdens down. 

But empty hands 

His fellows saw, and passed on smiling. Yet 
The ecstasy in which his face was set 
Again smote on their hearts with sudden sense 
Of half-involuntary reverence. 
And some said, whispering, " Alack, is he 
The madman ? Have ye never heard there be 



176 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JACKSOX 

Some spells which make men blind ?" 

And thenceforth they 

More closely watched the Singer day by day, 
Till finally they said, " He is not mad. 
There be such hills, and treasure to be had 
For seeking there ! We too without delay 
Will sail." 

And of the men who sailed that way, 
Some found the purple mountains in the sea, 
Landed, and roamed their treasure-countries free, 
And drifted back with brimming laden hands. 
Walking along the lifeless silent sands, 
The Singer, gazing ever seaward, knew, 
Well knew the odors which the soft wind blew 
Of all the fruits and flowers and boughs they bore. 
Standing with hands stretched eager on the shore, 
When they leaped out, he called, "Now God be praised, 
Sweet comrades, were they then not fair ?" 

Amazed, 

And with dull scorn, the other men who brought 
No treasures, found no mountains, and saw naught 
In these men's hands, beheld them kneeling low, 
Lifting, shouting, and running to and fro 
As men unlading argosies whose freight 
Of gorgeous things bewildered by its weight. 

Tireless the great years waxed, the great years waned; 
Slowly the Singer's comrades grew and gained, 
Till they were goodly number. 

No man's scorn 

Could hurt or hinder them. No pity born 
Of it could make them blush, or once make less 
Their joy's estate ; and as for loneliness, 
They knew it not. 



DALLAS] WHEN THE HOUSE IS ALONE. 177 

Still rise the magic hills 

Purple and gold and red ; the shore still thrills 
With fragrance when the sunset winds begin 
To blow and waft the subtle odors in 
From treasure-laden boats that drift and bide 
The hours and moments of the wave and tide, 
Laden with fruits and boughs and flowers rare, 
And jewels such as monarchs do not wear, 
And costly stuffs which dazzle on the sight. 
Stuffs wrought for purest virgin, bravest knight ; 
And men with cheeks all red, and eyes aflame, 
And hearts that call to hearts by brother's name, 
Still leap out on the silent lifeless sands, 
And staggering with overburdened hands 
Joyous lay down the treasures they have brought, 
While, smiling, pitying, the world sees naught ! 



WHEN THE HOUSE IS ALONE. 

MARY KYLE DALLAS. 

[There are few persons possessed of nerves and an imagination wno 
have not gone through the experiences here amusingly detailed. We 
never know what a variety of unobtrusive sounds are drowned by the 
roar of day, or lost in the activity of social life, until we are left to 
keep house alone at night, with the buzz of day stilled, and our nerves 
wrought up to concert pitch of anticipation. The inanimate gains a 
voice in such a situation, and the wooden tongues of stairs, walls, and 
furniture speak to one another across the rooms, without heed to the 
shuddering mortal who listens in dread to their mysterious accents.] 

WHEN the house is alone by itself inexperienced persons 
may believe that it behaves exactly as it does when there 
are people in it ; but that is a delusion, as you will dis- 



178 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [DALLAS 

cover, if you are ever left alone in it at midnight, sitting 
up for the rest of the family. 

At this hour the deceitful house will believe that every 
one has gone to bed, and will not think it necessary to 
keep up the delusion of being wrapped in peace and silence ; 
at this hour its true disposition will reveal itself. 

To catch it at its best, pretend to retire, put out the gas 
or the lamp, and go up-stairs. Afterward, come down 
softly, light no more than one lamp, go into the empty 
parlor and seat yourself at a table, with something to 
read. No sooner have you done so than you will hear a 
little chip, chip, chip along the top of the room, a small 
sound, but persistent. It is evidently the wall-paper 
coming off, and you decide, after some tribulation, that if 
it does come off you can't help it, and go on with your 
book. By the way, it is all sham ; you are not reading ; 
you never read at such times ; but as you sit with your 
book in your hand you begin to be quite sure that some 
one is coming down-stairs. Squeak squeak squeak! 
What folly! There is nobody up there to come down; 
but there no, it is on the basement stairs. Somebody is 
coming up. 

Squeak snap ! Well, if it is a robber you might as 
well face him. You get the poker and stand with your 
back against the wall. Nobody comes up. Finally, you 
decide that you are a goose, put the poker down, get a 
magazine, and try to read. 

There, that's the door. You heard the lock turn. They 
are coming home. You run to the door, lift the vestibule 
curtain, and peep out. Nobody there.! But as you linger 
the door-lock gives a click that makes you jump. By 
daylight neither lock nor stairs make any of these noises 
unless they are touched or trodden on. You go back to 
the parlor in a hurry, with a feeling that the next thing 



DALLAS] WHEN THE HOUSE IS ALONE. 179 

you know something may catch you by the back-hair, 
and try to remember where you left off. Now, it is the 
table that snaps and cracks as if all the Eochester knocks 
were hidden in its mahogany. You do not lean on it 
heavily ; and you have leaned on it heavily without this 
result; but it fidgets you, and you take a rocking-chair 
and put the book on your knee. Your eyes wander up 
and down the page, and you. grow dreamy, when ap 
parently the book-case fires off a pistol. At least, a loud, 
fierce crack comes from the heart of that piece of furni 
ture; so loud, so fierce, that you jump to your feet 
trembling ! 

You cannot stand the parlor any more. You go up 
stairs. No sooner do you get there than it seems to you 
that somebody is walking on the roof. If the house is a 
detached one, and the thing is impossible, that makes it 
all the more mysterious. Nothing ever moaned in the 
chimney before, but something moans now. There is a 
ghostly step in the bath-room. You find out afterwards 
that it is the faucet dripping, but you do not dare to look 
at that time. And it is evident that there is something up 
the chimney, you would not like to ask what. 

If you have gas, it bobs up and down in a phantom 
dance. If you have a lamp, it goes out in a blue explo 
sion. If you have a candle, a shroud plainly enwraps the 
wick and falls towards you. 

The shutters shake as if a hand clutched them, and 
finally a doleful cat begins to moan down cellar. You do 
not keep a cat, and this finishes you. You pretend to read 
no longer ; and as you sit with a towel over your head 
and face, and hear something under the surbase go " shew, 
shew, shew," like a little saw, you do not wonder at the 
old ghost-stories. 

Ten minutes afterwards the bell rings ; the belated ones 



180 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JAMES 

come home; the lights are lit; perhaps something must 
be got out to eat. People talk and tell where they have 
been, and ask if you were lonesome. And not a stair 
creaks. No step is heard on the roof; no click at the 
front door. Neither book-case nor table cracks. The 
house has on its company manners, only you have found 
out how it behaves when it is all alone. 



DAISY MILLER. 

HENRY JAMES. 

["Daisy Miller," the shortest romance of Henry James, has at 
tracted more attention and excited more adverse criticism than perhaps 
all his other works together. Prominent as he is as a novelist, he is 
to many chiefly known as the author of "Daisy Miller," and as the 
drawer of an intensely false picture of the American girl abroad. 
As a representation of the average American girl, indeed, the fair and 
free Daisy could hardly be accepted. But there are many American 
girls on the wrong side of the average, and in this list Daisy Miller 
is a perfectly credible possibility. The system of training pursued in 
some American families, and the customs current in some of the lower 
phases of American society, are well adapted to produce such an unde 
sirable result of social freedom. The novelist can claim any rights 
which do not overstep the borders of the possible, so long as he does 
not offer a social monstrosity as a fair average representation of any 
state of society or nationality. We may say, by way of introduction 
to our selection, that Mr. Winterbourne is a young American dwelling 
at Geneva, who meets the Miller family at Yevay and with surprising 
ease and informality makes the acquaintance of the charming flirt 
Daisy. The scene we give is his second interview with this free-and- 
easy young lady, who has yet not even learned the name of her new 
acquaintance.] 

" ARE you sure it is your mother ? Can you distinguish 
her in this thick dusk ?" Winterbourne asked. 



JAMES] DAISY MILLER. 181 

" "Well !" cried Miss Daisy Miller, with a laugh ; " I guess 
I know my own mother ! And when she has got on my 
shawl, too! She is always wearing my things." 

The lady in question, ceasing to advance, hovered 
vaguely about the spot at which she had checked her 
steps. 

" I am afraid your mother doesn't see you," said Win- 
terbourne. " Or perhaps," he added, thinking with Miss 
Miller the joke permissible, "perhaps she feels guilty 
about your shawl." 

" Oh, it's a fearful old thing!" the young girl replied, 
serenely. " I told her she could wear it. She won't come 
here, because she sees you." 

"Ah, then," said Winterbourne, "I had better leave 
you." 

" Oh, no ; come on !" urged Miss Daisy Miller. 

" I'm afraid your mother doesn't approve of my walking 
with you." 

Miss Miller gave him a serious glance. " It isn't for 
me ; it's for you, that is, it's for her. Well, I don't know 
who it's for ! But mother doesn't like any of my gentle 
men friends. She's right down timid. She always makes 
a fuss if I introduce a gentleman. But I do introduce 
them, almost always. If I didn't introduce my gentle 
men friends to mother," the young girl added, in her little 
soft flat monotone, " I shouldn't think I was natural." 

" To introduce me," said Winterbourne, "you must know 
my name." And he proceeded to pronounce it. 

"Oh, dear, I can't say all that!" said his companion, 
with a laugh. But by this time they had come up to Mrs. 
Miller, who, as they drew near, walked to the parapet of 
the garden, and leaned upon it, looking intently at the lake, 
and turning her back to them. " Mother !" said the young 
girl, in a tone of decision. Upon thi the elder lady turned 



182 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JAMES 

round. " Mr. Winterbourne," said Miss Daisy Miller, in 
troducing the young man very frankly and prettily. 
" Common" she was, as Mrs. Costello had pronounced 
her; yet it was a wonder to Winterbourne that, with 
her commonness, she had a singularly delicate grace. 

Her mother was a small, spare, light person, with a wan 
dering eye, a very exiguous nose, and a large forehead 
decorated with a certain amount of thin, much-frizzled 
hair. Like her daughter, Mrs. Miller was dressed with 
extreme elegance ; she had enormous diamonds in her ears. 
So far as Winterbourne could observe, she gave him no 
greeting : she certainly was not looking at him. Daisy 
was near her, pulling her shawl straight. 

"What are you doing, poking round here ?" this young 
lady inquired, but by no means with that harshness of 
accent which her choice of words may imply. 

"I don't know," said her mother, turning toward the 
lake again. 

"I shouldn't think you'd want that shawl!" Daisy ex 
claimed. 

" Well, I do I" her mother answered, with a little laugh. 

" Did you get Randolph to go to bed ?" asked the young 

g irl - . 

" No ; I couldn't induce him," said Mrs. Miller, very 
gently. " He wants to talk to the waiter. He likes to 
talk to that waiter." 

" I was telling Mr. Winterbourne," the young girl went 
on ; and to the young man's ear her tone might have indi 
cated that she had been uttering his name all her life. 

" Oh, yes !" said Winterbourne ; " I have the pleasure 
of knowing your son." 

Randolph's mamma was silent ; she turned her attention 
to the lake. But at last she spoke. " Well, I don't see 
how he lives!" 



JAMES] DAISY MILLER. 183 

" Anyhow, it isn't so bad as it was at Dover," said Daisy 
Miller. 

" And what occurred at Dover?" Winterbourne asked. 

"He wouldn't go to bed at all. I guess he sat up all 
night in the public parlor. He wasn't in bed at twelve 
o'clock : I know that." 

"It was half-past twelve," declared Mrs. Miller, with 
mild emphasis. 

"Does he sleep much during the day?" Winterbourne 
demanded. 

" I guess he doesn't sleep much," Daisy rejoined. 

" I wish he would !" said her mother. " It seems as it 
he couldn't." 

" I think he's real tiresome," Daisy pursued. 

Then, for some moments, there was silence. ""Well, 
Daisy Miller," said the elder lady, presently, " I shouldn't 
think you'd want to talk against your own brother!" 

" Well, he is tiresome, mother," said Daisy, quite with 
out the asperity of a retort. 

" He's only nine," urged Mrs. Miller. 

" Well, he wouldn't go to that castle," said the young 
girl. "I'm going there with Mr. Winterbourne." 

To this announcement, very placidly made, Daisy's 
mamma offered no response. Winterbourne took for 
granted that she deeply disapproved of the projected ex 
cursion ; but he said to himself that she was a simple, easily- 
managed person, and that a few deferential protestations 
would take the edge from her displeasure. " Yes," he 
began ; " your daughter has kindly allowed me the honor 
of being her guide." 

Mrs. Miller's wandering eyes attached themselves, with 
a sort of appealing air, to Daisy, who, however, strolled a 
few steps farther, gently humming to herself. " I presume 
you will go in the cars," said her mother. 



184 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JAMES 

" Yes, or in the boat," said Winterbourne. 

" Well, of course, I don't know," Mrs. Miller rejoined. 
" I have never been to that castle." 

" It is a pity you shouldn't go," said Winterbourne, be 
ginning to feel reassured as to her opposition. And yet 
he was quite prepared to find that, as a matter of course, 
she meant to accompany her daughter. 

We've been thinking ever so much about going," she 
pursued ; " but it seems as if we couldn't. Of course 
Daisy she wants to go round. But there's a lady here 
I don't know her name she says she shouldn't think 
we'd want to go to see castles here ; she should think we'd 
want to wait till we got to Italy. It seems as if there 
would be so many there," continued Mrs. Miller, with an 
air of increasing confidence. " Of course, we only want to 
see the principal ones. We visited several in England,' 1 
she presently added. 

" Ah, yes ! in England there are beautiful castles," said 
Winterbourne. "But Chillon, here, is very well worth 
seeing." 

" Well, if Daisy feels up to it " said Mrs. Miller, in a 

tone impregnated with a sense of the magnitude of the 
enterprise. " It seems as if there was nothing she wouldn't 
undertake." 

" Oh, I think she'll enjoy it !" Winterbourne declared. 
And he desired more and more to make it a certainty that 
he was to have the privilege of a tete-a-tete with the young 
lady, who was still strolling along in front of them, softly 
vocalizing. " You are not disposed, madam," he inquired, 
" to undertake it yourself?" 

Daisy's mother looked at him an instant askance, and 
then walked forward in silence. Then " I guess she had 
better go alone," she said, simply. Winterbourne observed 
to himself that this was a very different type of maternity 



JAMES] DAISY MILLER. 185 

from that of the vigilant matrons who massed themselves 
in the forefront of social intercourse in the dark old city 
at the other end of the lake. But his meditations were in 
terrupted by hearing his name very distinctly pronounced 
by Mrs. Miller's unprotected daughter. 

" Mr. Winterbourne," murmured Daisy. 

" Mademoiselle !" said the young man. 

" Don't you want to take me out in a boat ?" 

' At present ?" he asked. 

" Of course !" said Daisy. 

"Well, Annie Miller!" exclaimed her mother. 

" I beg you, madam, to let her go," said Winterbourne, 
ardently ; for he had never yet enjoyed the sensation of 
guiding through the summer starlight a skiif freighted 
with a fresh and beautiful young girl. 

" I shouldn't think she'd want to," said her mother. ' I 
should think she'd rather go in-doors." 

" I'm sure Mr. Winterbourne wants to take me," Daisy 
declared. " He's so awfully devoted !" 

" I will row you over to Chillon in the starlight." 

" I don't believe it !" said Daisy. 

" Well !" ejaculated the elder lady again. 

"You haven't spoken to me for half an hour," her 
daughter went on. 

" I have been having some very pleasant conversation 
with your mother," said Winterbourne. 

" Well, I want you to take me out in a boat !" Daisy 
repeated. They had all stopped, and she had turned round 
and was looking at Winterbourne. Her face wore a 
charming smile, her pretty eyes were gleaming, she was 
swinging her great fan about. " No ; it's impossible to be 
prettier than that," thought Winterbourne. 

" There are half a dozen boats moored at that landing- 
place," he said, pointing to certain steps which descended 
iv. 16* 



186 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

from the garden to the lake. "If you will do me the 
honor to accept my arm, we will go and select one of 
them." 

Daisy stood there smiling; she threw back her head 
and gave a little, light laugh. " I like a gentleman to be 
formal," she declared. 

" I assure you it's a formal offer." 

" I was bound I would make you say something," Daisy 
went on. 

"You see, it's not very difficult," said Winterbourne. 
" But I am afraid you are chaffing me." 

" I think not, sir," replied Mrs. Miller, very gently. 

" Do, then, let me give you a row," he said to the young 
girl. 

" It's quite lovely, the way you say that !" cried Daisy. 

14 It will be still more lovely to do it." 

"Yes, it would be lovely!" said Daisy. But she made 
no movement to accompany him ; she only stood there 
laughing. 

" I should think you had better find out what time it is," 
interposed her mother. 

" It is eleven o'clock, madam," said a voice with a for 
eign accent, out of the neighboring darkness ; and Winter- 
bourne, turning, perceived the florid personage who was 
in attendance upon the two ladies. He had apparently 
just approached. 

" Oh, Eugenio," said Daisy, " I am going out in a boat." 

Eugenio bowed. " At eleven o'clock, mademoiselle ?" 

" I am going with Mr. Winterbourne, this very minute." 

" Do tell her she can't," said Mrs. Miller to the courier. 

" I think you had better not go out in a boat, mademoi 
selle," Eugenio declared. 

Winterbourne wished to heaven this pretty girl were 
not so familiar with her courier; but he said nothing. 



JAMES] DAISY MILLER. 187 

"I suppose you don't think it's proper 1" Daisy ex 
claimed. " Eugenio doesn't think anything's proper." 

" I am at your service," said Winterbourne. 

" Does mademoiselle propose to go alone ?" asked Eugenio 
of Mrs. Miller. 

" Oh, no ; with this gentleman !" answered Daisy's 
mamma. 

The courier looked for a moment at Winterbourne, the 
latter thought he was smiling, and then, solemnly, with 
a bow, " As mademoiselle pleases !" he said. 

u Oh, I hoped you would make a fuss !" said Daisy. " I 
don't care to go now." 

" I myself shall make a fuss if you don't go," said Win 
terbourne. 

" That's all I want, a little fuss !" And the young girl 
began to laugh again. 

" Mr. Randolph has gone to bed !" the courier announced, 
frigidly. 

" Oh, Daisy ; now we can go!" said Mrs. Miller. 

Daisy turned away from Winterbourne, looking at him, 
smiling, and fanning herself. " Good-night," she said : 
"I hope you are disappointed, or disgusted, or some 
thing!" 

He looked at her, taking the hand she offered him. " I 
am puzzled," he answered. 

" Well, I hope it won't keep you awake !" she said, very 
smartly ; and, under the escort of the privileged Eugenio, 
the two ladies passed toward the house. 

Winterbourne stood looking after them : he was indeed 
puzzled. He lingered beside the lake for a quarter of an 
hour, turning over the mystery of the young girl's sudden 
familiarities and caprices. But the only very definite con 
clusion he came to was that he should enjoy deucedly 
" going off" with her somewhere. 



188 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [JAMES 

[Two days afterwards Winterbourne and Daisy pay their projected 
visit to the Castle of Chillon. But the young lady proved far more 
interested in her companion than in the story of the castle, and did 
not hesitate to ask him a multitude of personal questions, and to vol 
unteer information about her own life-history.] 

" Well, I hope you know enough !" she said to her com 
panion, after he had told her the history of the unhappy 
Bonivard. " I never saw a man that knew so much !" 
The history of Bonivard had evidently, as they say, gone 
into one ear and out of the other. But Daisy went on to 
say that she wished Winterbourne would travel with them 
and "go round" with them; they might know something, 
in that case. " Don't you want to come and teach Ran 
dolph ?" she asked. Winterbourne said that nothing could 
possibly please him so much, but that he had unfortunately 
other occupations. " Other occupations ? I don't believe 
it !" said Miss Daisy. " What do you mean ? You are 
not in business." The young man admitted that he was 
not in business ; but he had engagements which, even 
within a day or two, would force him to go back to Geneva. 
"Oh, bother!" she said: "I don't believe it!" and she 
began to talk about something else. But a few minutes 
later, when he was pointing out to her the pretty design 
of an antique fireplace, she broke out irrelevantly, " You 
don't mean to say you are going back to Geneva ?" 

" It is a melancholy fact that I shall have to return to 
Geneva to-morrow." 

" Well, Mr. Winterbourne," said Daisy, " I think you're 
horrid!" 

" Oh, don't say such dreadful things !" said Wintev- 
bourne, "just at the last!" 

" The last !" cried the young girl ; " I call it the first. I 
nave half a mind to leave you here and go straight back to 
the hotel alone." And for the next ten minutes she did 



JAMES] DAISF MILLER. 189 

nothing but call him horrid. Poor Winterbourne was 
fairly bewildered ; no young lady had as yet done him 
the honor to be so agitated by the announcement of 
his movements. His companion, after this, ceased to pay 
any attention to the curiosities of Chillon or the beauties 
of the lake ; she opened fire upon the mysterious charmer 
in Geneva whom she appeared to have instantly taken it for 
granted that he was hurrying back to see. How did Miss 
Daisy Miller know that there was a charmer in Geneva ? 
Winterbourne, who denied the existence of such a person, 
was quite unable to discover ; and he was divided between 
amazement at the rapidity of her induction and amuse 
ment at the frankness of her persiflage. She seemed to 
him, in all this, an extraordinary mixture of innocence 
and crudity. "Does she never allow you more than 
three days at a time ?" asked Daisy, ironically. " Doesn't 
she give you a vacation in summer ? There's no one so 
hard worked but they can get leave to go off somewhere 
at this season. I suppose if you stay another day she'll 
come after you in the boat. Do wait over till Friday, and 
I will go down to the landing to see her arrive." Winter 
bourne began to think he had been wrong to feel disap 
pointed in the temper in which the young lady had em 
barked. If he had missed the personal accent, the 
personal accent was now making its appearance. It 
sounded very distinctly, at last, in her telling him she 
would stop " teasing" him if he would promise her sol 
emnly to come down to Borne in the winter. 

" That's not a difficult promise to make," said Winter- 
bourne. " My aunt has taken an apartment in Eome for 
the winter, and has already asked me to come and see 
her." 

" I don't want you to come for your aunt," said Daisy ; 
" I want you to come for me." And this was the only 



190 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LANIER 

allusion that the young man was ever to hear her make 
to his invidious kinswoman. He declared that, at any 
rate, he would certainly come. After this Daisy stopped 
teasing. Winterbourne took a carriage, and they drove 
back to Yevay in the dusk; the young girl was very 
quiet. 

In the evening Winterbourne mentioned to Mrs. Cos- 
tello that he had spent the afternoon at Chillon with Miss 
Daisy Miller. 

" The Americans of the courier ?" asked this lady. 

" Ah, happily," said Winterbourne, " the courier stayed 
at home." 

" She went with you all alone ?" 

' All alone." 

Mrs. Costello sniffed a little at her smelling-bottle. 
" And that," she exclaimed, " is the young person whom 
you wanted me to know !" 



THE OCKLAWAHA IN MAY. 

SIDNEY LANIER. 

FOR a perfect journey God gave us a perfect day. The 
little Ocklawaha steamboat Marion a steamboat which is 
like nothing in the world so much as a Pensacola gopher 
with a preposterously exaggerated back had started 
from Pilatka some hours before daylight, having taken on 
her passengers the night previous ; and by seven o'clock 
of such a May morning as no words could describe, unless 
words were themselves May mornings, we had made the 
twenty -five miles up the St. Johns, to where the Ocklawaha 



LANIER] THE OCKLAWAHA IN MAY. 191 

flows into that stream nearly opposite Welaka, one hun 
dred miles above Jacksonville. 

Just before entering the mouth of the river our little 
gopher-boat scrambled alongside a long raft of pine logs 
which had been brought in separate sections down the 
Ocklawaha, and took off the lumbermen, to carry them 
back for another descent while this raft was being towed 
by a tug to Jacksonville. 

Observe that man who is now stepping from the wet 
logs to the bow of the Marion: how can he ever cut down 
a tree ? He is a slim native, and there is not bone enough 
in his whole body to make the left leg of a good English 
coal-heaver ; moreover, he does not seem to have the least 
idea that a man needs grooming. He is dishevelled and 
wry -trussed to the last degree ; his poor weasel jaws nearly 
touch their inner sides as they suck at the acrid ashes in 
his dreadful pipe ; and there is no single filament of either 
his hair or his beard that does not look sourly and at wild 
angles upon its neighbor filament. His eyes are viscidly 
unquiet ; his nose is merely dreariness come to a point ; the 
corners of his mouth are pendulous with that sort of suf 
fering which does not involve any heroism, such as being 
out of tobacco, waiting for the corn-bread to get cooked, 
and the like ; his But, poor devil ! I withdraw all 
these remarks. He has a right to look dishevelled, or any 
other way he likes. For listen : " Wall, sir," he says, with 
a dilute smile, as he wearily leans his arm against the low 
deck where I am sitting, " ef we didn't have ther senter- 
mentillest rain right thar last night, I'll be dad-busted." 

He had been in it all night. 

Presently we rounded the raft, abandoned the broad and 
garish highway of the St. Johns, and turned off to the 
right into the narrow lane of the Ocklawaha, the sweetest 
water-lane in the world, a lane which runs for more than 



192 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

a hundred and fifty miles of pure delight betwixt hedge 
rows of oaks and cypresses and palms and bays and mag 
nolias and mosses and manifold vine-growths ; a lane clean 
to travel along, for there is never a speck of dust in it, 
save the blue dust and gold dust which the wind blows 
out of the flags and lilies ; a lane which is as if a typical 
woods-stroll had taken shape, and as if God had turned 
kito water and trees the recollection of some meditative 
ramble through the lonely seclusions of His own soul. 

As we advanced up the stream our wee craft even seemed 
to emit her steam in more leisurely whiffs, as one puffs 
one's cigar in a contemplative walk through the forest. 
Dick, the pole-man, a man of marvellous fine functions 
when we shall presently come to the short, narrow curves, 
lay asleep on the guards, in great peril of rolling into 
the river over the three inches between his length and the 
edge ; the people of the boat moved not, and spoke not ; the 
white crane, the curlew, the limpkin, the heron, the water- 
turkey, were scarcely disturbed in their quiet avocations 
as we passed, and quickly succeeded in persuading them 
selves after each momentary excitement of our gliding 
by that we were really, after all, no monster, but only 
some day-dream of a monster. The stream, which in its 
broader stretches reflected the sky so perfectly that it 
seemed a ribbon of heaven bound in lovely doublings along 
the breast of the land, now began to narrow ; the blue of 
heaven disappeared, and the green of the overleaning trees 
assumed its place. The lucent current lost all semblance 
of water. It was simply a distillation of many-shaded 
foliages, smoothly sweeping along beneath us. It was 
green trees, fluent. One felt that a subtle amalgamation 
and mutual give-and-take had been effected between the 
natures of water and leaves. A certain sense of pellucid- 
ness seemed to breathe coolly out of the woods on either 



LAZIER] THE OCKLAWAHA IN MAY. 193 

side of us, and the glassy dream of a forest over which we 
Bailed appeared to send up exhalations of balms and odors 
and stimulant pungencies. 

" Look at that snake in the water," said a gentleman, as 
we sat on deck with the engineer, just come up from his 
watch. 

The engineer smiled. " Sir, it is a water-turkey," he 
said, gently. 

The water-turkey is the most preposterous bird within 
the range of ornithology. He is not a bird ; he is a neck, 
with such subordinate rights, members, appurtenances, and 
hereditaments thereunto appertaining as seem necessary 
to that end. He has just enough stomach to arrange 
nourishment for his neck, just enough wings to fly pain 
fully along with his neck, and just big enough legs to keep 
his neck from dragging on the ground ; and his neck is 
light-colored, while the rest of him is black. When he 
saw us he jumped up on a limb and stared. Then sud 
denly he dropped into the water, sank like a leaden ball 
out of sight, and made us think he was drowned, when 
presently the tip of his beak appeared, then the length of 
his neck lay along the surface of the water, and in this 
position, with his body submerged, he shot out his neck, 
drew it back, wriggled it. twisted it, twiddled it, and spi 
rally poked it into the east, the west, the north, and the 
south, with a violence of involution and a contortionary 
energy that made one think in the same breath of cork 
screws and of lightnings. But what nonsense ! All that 
labor and perilous asphyxiation for a beggarly sprat or a 
couple of inches of water-snake ! 

But I make no doubt he would have thought us as 

absurd as we him if he could have seen us taking our 

breakfast a few minutes later. For as we sat there, some 

half-dozen men at table, all that sombre melancholy which 

iv. i n 17 



194 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LANIEB 

comes over the American at his meals descended upon us. 
No man talked ; each of us could hear the other crunch 
his bread in faucibus, and the noise thereof seemed in the 
ghostly stillness like the noise of earthquakes and of 
crashing worlds. Even the furtive glances towards each 
other's plates were presently awed down to a sullen gazing 
of each into his own; the silence increased, the noises 
became intolerable, a cold sweat broke out over at least 
one of us ; he felt himself growing insane, and rushed out 
to the deck with a sigh as of one saved from a dreadful 
death by social suffocation. 

There is a certain position a man can assume on board 
the steamer Marion which constitutes an attitude of per 
fect rest, and leaves one's body in such blessed ease that 
one's soul receives the heavenly influences of the Ockla- 
waha sail absolutely without physical impediment. 

Know, therefore, tired friend that shall hereafter ride up 
the Ocklawaha on the Marion, whose name I would fain 
call legion, that if you will place a chair just in the nar 
row passage-way which runs alongside the cabin, at the 
point where this passage-way descends by a step to the 
open space in front of the pilot-house, on the left-hand side 
facing the bow, you will perceive a certain slope in the 
railing where it descends by an angle of some thirty de 
grees to accommodate itself to the step aforesaid; and this 
slope should be in such a position as that your left leg 
unconsciously stretches itself along the same by the pure 
insinuating solicitations of the fitness of things, and 
straightway dreams itself off into an Elysian tranquillity. 
You should then tip your chair in a slightly diagonal 
position back to the side of the cabin, so that your head 
will rest thereagainst, your right arm will hang over the 
chair-back, and your left arm will repose on the railing. 
I give no specific instructions for your right leg, because 



LANIER] THE OCKLAWAHA IN MAY. 105 

I am disposed to be liberal in this matter and to leave 
some gracious scope for personal idiosyncrasies as well as 
a margin of allowance for the accidents of time and place. 
Dispose your right leg, therefore, as your heart may sug 
gest, or as all the precedent forces of time and the uni 
verse may have combined to require you. 

Having secured this attitude, open wide the eyes of 
your body and of your soul; repulse with a heavenly 
suavity the conversational advances of the drummer who 
fancies he might possibly sell you a bill of white goods 
and notions, as well as the polite inquiries of the real- 
estate person who has his little private theory that you 
are in search of an orange-grove to purchase ; then sail, 
sail, sail, through the cypresses, through the vines, through 
the May day, through the floating suggestions of the un 
utterable that come up, that sink down, that waver and 
sway hither and thither; and so shall you have revela 
tions of rest, and so shall your heart forever afterwards 
interpret Ocklawaha to mean repose. 

Some twenty miles from the mouth of the Ocklawaha, 
at the right-hand edge of the stream, is the handsomest 
residence in America. It belongs to a certain alligator of 
my acquaintance, a very honest and worthy saurian, of 
good repute. A little cove of water, dark green under 
the overhanging leaves, placid, pellucid, curves round at 
the river-edge into the flags and lilies with a curve just 
heart-breaking for the pure beauty of the flexure of it. 
This house of my saurian is divided into apartments, 
little subsidiary bays which are scalloped out by the lil}- 
pads according to the sinuous fantasies of their growth. 
My saurian, when he desires to sleep, has but to lie down 
anywhere ; he will find marvellous mosses for his mattress 
beneath him ; his sheets will be white lily-petals ; and the 
green disks of the lily-pads will straightway embroider 



196 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

themselves together ahove him for his coverlet. He never 
quarrels with his cook, he is not the slave of a kitchen, 
and his one house-maid the stream forever sweeps his 
chambers clean. His conservatories there under the glass 
of that water are ever and without labor filled with the 
enchantments of strange under-water growths ; his parks 
and his pleasure-grounds are bigger than any king's. 
Upon my saurian's house the winds have no power, the 
rains are only a new delight to him, and the snows he will 
never see. Regarding fire, as he does not employ its 
slavery, so he does not fear its tyranny. Thus, all the 
elements are the friends of my saurian's house. While he 
sleeps he is being bathed. What glory to awake sweetened 
and freshened by the sole careless act of sleep ! 

Lastly, my saurian has unnumbered mansions, and 
can change his dwelling as no human householder may : 
it is but a fillip of his tail, and, lo ! he is established in 
another place, as good as the last, ready furnished to his 
liking. 

For many miles together the Ocklawaha is a river with 
out banks, though not less clearly defined as a stream for 
that reason. The swift, deep current meanders between 
tall lines of trees ; beyond these, on each side, there is 
water also, a thousand shallow rivulets lapsing past the 
bases of multitudes of trees. Along the immediate edges 
of the stream every tree-trunk, sapling, stump, or other 
projecting coigne of vantage is wrapped about with a 
close-growing vine. At first like an unending procession 
of nuns disposed along the aisle of a church these vine- 
figures stand. But presently, as one journeys, this nun- 
imagery fades out of one's mind, and a thousand other 
fancies float with ever-new vine-shapes into one's eyes. 
One sees repeated all the forms one has ever known, in 
grotesque juxtaposition. Look ! here is a great troop of 



LANIER] THE OCKLAWAHA IN MAY. 197 

girls, with arms wreathed over their heads, dancing down 
into the water; here are high velvet arm-chairs and 
lovely green fauteuils of divers pattern and of softest 
cushionment ; there the vines hang in loops, in pavilions, 
in columns, in arches, in caves, in pyramids, in women's 
tresses, in harps and lyres, in globular mountain-ranges, 
in pagodas, domes, minarets, machicolated towers, dogs, 
belfries, draperies, fish, dragons. Yonder is a bizarre con 
gress, Una on her lion, Angelo's Moses, two elephants 
with hovvdahs, the Laocoon group, Arthur and Lancelot 
with great brands extended aloft in combat, Adam, bent 
with love and grief, leading Eve out of Paradise, Caesar 
shrouded in his mantle receiving his stabs, Greek chariots, 
locomotives, brazen shields and cuirasses, coluinbiads, the 
twelve apostles, the stock exchange. It is a green dance 
of all things and times. 

The edges of the stream are further defined by flowers 
and water-leaves. The tall blue flags ; the ineffable lilies 
sitting on their round lily-pads like white queens on green 
thrones ; the tiny stars and long ribbons of the water- 
grasses ; the pretty phalanxes of a species of " bonnet" 
which from a long stem that swings off down-stream 
along the surface sends up a hundred little graceful stem- 
lets, each bearing a shield-like disk and holding it aloft 
as the antique soldiers held their bucklers to form the 
testudo, or tortoise, in attacking, all these border the 
river in infinite varieties of purfling and chasement. 

The river itself has an errant fantasy, and takes many 
shapes. Presently we come to where it seems to fork into 
four separate curves above and below. 

" Them's the Windin'-blades," said my raftsman. 

To look down these lovely vistas is like looking down 
the dreams of some pure young girl's soul ; and the gray 
moss-bearded trees gravely lean over them in contempla 
iv. 17* 



198 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LANIER 

tive attitudes, as if they were studying in the way strong 
men should study the mysteries and sacrednesses and 
tender depths of some visible revery of maidenhood. 

And then, after this day of glory, came a night of 
glory. Down in these deep-shaded lanes it was dark in 
deed as the night drew on. The stream which had been 
all day a baldric of beauty, sometimes blue and sometimes 
green, now became a black band of mystery. But pres 
ently a brilliant flame flares out overhead : they have 
lighted the pine-knots on top of the pilot-house. The fire 
advances up these dark sinuosities like a brilliant god that 
for his mere whimsical pleasure calls the black, impene 
trable chaos ahead into instantaneous definite forms as 
he floats along the river-curves. The white columns of 
the cypress trunks, the silver-embroidered crowns of the 
maples, the green-and-white of the lilies along the edges 
of the stream, these all come in a continuous apparition 
out of the bosom of the darkness and retire again : it is 
endless creation succeeded by endless oblivion. Startled 
birds suddenly flutter into the light, and after an instant 
of illuminated flight melt into the darkness. From the 
perfect silence of these short flights one derives a cer 
tain sense of awe. Mystery appears to be about to utter 
herself in these suddenly-illuminated forms, and then to 
change her mind and die back into mystery. 

Now there is a mighty crack and crash : limbs and 
leaves scrape and scrub along the deck; a little bell tinkles; 
we stop. In turning a short curve, or rather doubling, 
the boat has run her nose smack into the right bank, and 
a projecting stump has thrust itself sheer through the 
starboard side. Out, Dick ! out, Henry ! Dick and Henry 
shuffle forward to the bow, thrust forth their long white 
pole against a tree-trunk, strain and push and bend to 
the deck as if they were salaaming the god of night and 



LANIEK] THE OCKLAWAHA IN MAY. 199 

adversity, our bow slowly rounds into the stieam, the 
wheel turns, and we puff quietly along. 

********* 

In a short time we came to the junction of the river 
formed by the irruption of Silver Spring (" Silver Spring 
Run") with the Ocklawaha proper. Here new astonish 
ments befell. The water of the Ocklawaha, which had 
before seemed clear enough, now showed but like a muddy 
stream as it flowed side by side, unmixing for some dis 
tance, with the Silver Spring water. 

The Marion now left the Ocklawaha and turned into 
the Run. How shall one speak quietly of this journey 
over transparency ? The Run is very deep : the white 
bottom seems hollowed out in a continual succession of 
large spherical holes, whose, entire contents of darting 
fish, of under-mosses, of flowers, of submerged trees, of 
lily-stems, and of grass-ribbons revealed themselves to us 
through the lucent fluid as we sailed along thereover. The 
long series of convex bodies of water filling these white 
concavities impressed one like a chain of globular worlds 
composed of a transparent lymph. Great numbers of 
keen-snouted, blade-bodied gar-fish shot to and fro in un 
ceasing motion beneath us : it seemed as if the under 
worlds were filled with a multitude of crossing sword- 
blades wielded in tireless thrust and parry by invisible 
arms. 

The shores, too, had changed. They now opened out 
into clear savannas, overgrown with a broad-leafed grass 
to a perfect level two or three feet above the water, and 
stretching back to boundaries of cypress, and oaks ; and 
occasionally, as we passed one of these expanses curving 
into the forest, with a diameter of a half-mile, a single 
palmetto might be seen in or near the centre, perfect 
type of that lonesome solitude which the German names 



200 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LANIEE 

Einsamkeit, onesomeness. Then, again, the cypress and 
palmettos would swarm to the stream and line its banks. 
Thus for nine miles, counting our gigantic rosary of water- 
wonders and loveliness, we fared on. 

Then we rounded to, in the very bosom of the Silver 
Spring itself, and came to wharf. Here there were ware 
houses, a turpentine-distillery, men running about with 
boxes of freight and crates of Florida cucumbers for the 
Northern market, country stores with wondrous assort 
ments of goods, fiddles, clothes, physic, groceries, school- 
books, what not, and, a little farther up the shore, a 
tavern. I learned, in a hasty way, that Ocala was five 
miles distant, that one could get a very good conveyance 
from the tavern to that place, and that on the next day 
Sunday a stage would leave Ocala for Gainesville, some 
forty miles distant, being the third relay of the long stage- 
line which runs three times a week between Tampa and 
Gainesville, via Brooksville and Ocala. 

Then the claims of scientific fact and of guide-book in 
formation could hold me no longer. I ceased to acquire 
knowledge, and got me back to the wonderful spring, 
drifting over it, face downwards, as over a new world of 
delight. 

It is sixty feet deep a few feet off shore, and covers an 
irregular space of several acres before contracting into its 
outlet, the Eun. But this sixty feet does not at all rep 
resent the actual impression of depth which one receives 
as one looks through the superincumbent water down to 
the clearly-revealed bottom. The distinct sensation is, 
that although the bottom there is clearly seen, and al 
though all the objects in it are of their natural size, undi- 
minished by any narrowing of the visual angle, yet it and 
they are seen from a great distance. It is as if depth 
itself that subtle abstraction had been compressed into 



LANIEK] THE OCKLAWAHA IN MAY. 201 

a crystal lymph, one inch of which would represent miles 
of ordinary depth. 

As one rises from gazing into these quaint profundities 
and glances across the broad surface of the spring, one's 
eye is met. by a charming mosaic of brilliant hues. The 
water-plain varies in color, according to what it lies upon. 
Over the pure white limestone and shells of the bottom 
it is perfect malachite green; over the water-grass it is a 
much darker green ; over the sombre moss it is that rich 
brown-and-green which Bodmer's forest-engravings so viv 
idly suggest ; over neutral bottoms it reflects the sky's 
or the clouds' colors. All these hues are further varied 
by mixture with the manifold shades of foliage-reflections 
cast from overhanging boscage 'near the shore, and still 
further by the angle of the observer's eye. 

One would think these elements of color-variation were 
numerous enough ; but they were not nearly all. Presently 
the splash of an oar in a distant part of the spring sent a 
succession of ripples circling over the pool. Instantly it 
broke into a thousandfold prism. Every ripple was a 
long curve of variegated sheen. The fundamental hues 
of the pool when at rest were distributed into innumera 
ble kaleidoscopic flashes and brilliancies, the multitudes 
of fish became multitudes of animated gems, and the 
prismatic lights seemed actually to waver and play 
through their translucent bodies, until the whole spring, 
in a great blaze of sunlight, shone like an enormous fluid 
jewel that, without decreasing, forever lapsed away up 
ward in successive exhalations of dissolving sheens and 
glittering colors. 



202 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WISE 

TWELVE HUNDRED MILES THROUGH THE AIR. 

JOHN WISE. 

[The veteran aeronaut of America, John Wise, has written some 
highly-interesting details of his life in the air, which are of value as 
introducing us to scenes and conditions widely removed from those of 
ordinary life. The description appended is a portion of the record of 
an ascension made from St. Louis in 1859, with a subsequent journey 
nearly to the Atlantic. The air-voyage ended in a furious storm, 
which wrecked the balloon and very nearly ended the mortal career 
of the balloonists. We omit this concluding portion, as of less gen 
eral importance than that given.] 

THE Atlantic had at six P.M. received her crew and been 
stocked with nearly a thousand pounds of sand-ballast. 
Her larder also was stored with provisions, water, ice, a 
bucket of lemonade, and, through the interposition of some 
kind friends, a basket of wine and sundry well-cooked arti 
cles of game. 

There was rigged on the stern of the boat a propeller, 
intended to be worked by manual labor. Messrs. Gager, 
Lamountane, and Hyde took their stations in the boat, 
and Mr. John Wise, as chief director, in the wicker car 
above, into which descended the valve-rope. Everything 
being now in readiness, the Atlantic was cut loose from 
the earth at a quarter before seven o'clock in the evening. 
The ascent was graceful and easy, the balloon moving off 
in an easterly direction. The cheers of the audience, in 
side and outside of the arena, were of the heartiest kind 
We responded with a parting farewell and a lingering 
look upon the thousands of upturned faces that cheered 
us onward. 

In a few minutes after we started we were crossing the 
great father of American waters, the Mississippi. For 



WISE] A BALLOON-VOYAGE. 203 

many miles up and down we scanned its tortuous course 
of turbid water. Its tributaries the Missouri and Illinois 
added interest to the magnificent view. The clearer 
water of the Missouri, as it was pouring itself into the 
capacious maw of the great recipient of the Mississippi 
Valley, could be traced, by its more brilliant reflection, far 
into the body of its muddied parent. 

The city of St. Louis, covering a large area of territory, 
appeared to be gradually contracting its circumferential 
lines, and finally hid itself under a dark mantle of smoke. 
With the clatter and clang of its multifarious workshops, 
and the heterogeneous noises of a great commercial em 
porium, it gave out sounds more like a pandemonium 
than that of a great civilized choir of music. At greater 
heights these sounds were modulated into cadences. We 
gazed upon the fading outlines of the country with senti 
mental yearnings, as we recurred to the parting farewell 
of the kind friends left behind, while at the same time 
our hearts were filled with joy upon the prospects of a 
glorious voyage to our friends in the East, to whom was 
already announced the fact of our coming. 

The fruitful fields of Illinois were now passing rapidly 
underneath us, seemingly bound for a more western em 
pire, while we were hanging, apparently, listlessly and 
passively, in ethereal space. The plantations and farm 
houses appeared to be travelling at the rate of fifty miles 
per hour, with an occasional gyration about our common 
centre, as the turning round of the air-ship would make it 
appear. 

The " man in the moon," dressed in his new cocked hat, 
lent us the light of his silvery countenance for the begin 
ning of our voyage. 

In the mellow twilight of the evening we espied Mr. 
Brooks, a little to the north of our track, in the careful 



204 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WiSB 

keeping of a crowd of Illinois farmers, among whom he 
had alighted. 

Having now attained a height of eight thousand feet, 
and having settled into a state of composure after the 
labor and excitement incident to our preparation and 
departure, I took an observation of the trim and bearing 
of our noble ship. 

The net-work was constructed in such a way that the 
increase of meshes was at six different points made in di 
rect lines from the top to the bottom, and this made those 
parts really shorter than the intervening spaces ; conse 
quently, when the cords attached to its lower circumfer 
ence were fastened to the concentrating hoop by equal 
lengths, it was found that the whole weight of the bal 
loon's burden was being borne by the six ropes secured at 
those points ; and, as the balloon was expanding from di 
minished pressure, these six shorter cords were cutting, 
or rather pressing into, the body of the balloon in a most 
appalling manner. In a moment I summoned Mr. Gager 
up into the wicker car, and in half an hour, at the expense 
of abraded fingers, we adjusted the ropes so that they 
would receive an equal bearing. There were thirty-six 
of them. 

The feeble shimmer of the new moon was now mantling 
the earth beneath in a mellow light, and the western hori 
zon was painted with gold and purple. Nothing could 
exceed the solemn grandeur of the scene. All was as 
quiet and still as death ; not a word was passing from the 
lips of the crew ; every one seemed to be impressed with 
the profound silence that hung around us. The coy-look 
ing moon was lowering itself into the golden billows of 
the Occident, and the greater stars began to peep through 
the curtains of the vasty deep one by one. Still silence 
reigned supreme. It seemed as though all nature had 



WISE] A BALLOON-VOYAGE. 205 

gone to sleep with the setting of the moon, and th& stars 
were coming out on the watch-towers of the night. In 
another moment the stillness was broken. Cattle began 
to low, and some loud-mouthed dogs greeted our ears with 
an occasional bark. This seemed to break the silence of 
the crew, and soon a lively conversation ensued. We also 
amused ourselves by uttering an occasional shout, which 
set the dogs below to barking far and near. 

During the day, and while the balloon was being inflated, 
the sun was pouring down upon it a flood of heat and light. 
Although it is a proverb " that you cannot carry light in 
a bag," it will be learned that this ancient saying found 
its contradiction in our gas-bag. It did carry up with it 
heat and light, and during the whole night it was illumi 
nated with a brightness equal to a Chinese paper lantern. 
It served a good purpose, as it enabled us to note the time 
by our watches. It appeared, indeed, truly wonderful, and 
the first impression made was that it might be an incipient 
combustion, and that soon it might be our lot to pass into 
eternity like a blazing meteor. The .phenomenon was so 
remarkable that the mind was not at first capable of find 
ing a satisfactory reason for its appearance. However, 
the conclusion finally arrived at was that it must be a 
combination of heat, light, and carburetted hydrogen ; 
and, inasmuch as it had been going on for several hours, it 
was not likely to get hotter in the upper air, so we satis 
fied ourselves that there was no imminent danger from a 
conflagration while aloft. 

This phenomenon is sometimes to be seen in the slightly- 
illuminated clouds on a hot summer night. In the balloon 
it was unique. Every seam and every mesh in the net 
work could be traced upon its surface. Even the atmos 
phere around and beneath us seemed to partake of this 
mellow light. Woods, roads, prairies, streams, and towns 

18 



206 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [Wisis 

were discernible, and their outlines could clearly be traced 
at our greatest elevation. 

^Nothing could surpass the novelty of the scenery below 
during the early part of the night. The heavens above 
were brilliantly studded with stars of every magnitude 
and color, the atmosphere having become perfectly clear ; 
and when we crossed water we had the starry heavens as 
distinctly visible below as above. We could at such times 
easily imagine ourselves sailing in the very centre of the 
star region, as the opaque earth seemed then out of the 
question. These reflected star-fields were of short dura 
tion, but vanished only to make room for that weird ap 
pearance which the earth presented. One could not imme 
diately see the surface-outline below ; but keeping the eye 
steadily fixed downward, it gradually developed itself to 
the vision, until every different shape and object became 
defined, though in a most ghost-like light. The forests 
appeared of a deep-brown cast; and when a handful of 
sand was dropped overboard, at our greatest elevation, it 
could be distinctly^heard raining upon the foliage of the 
trees. It answered as an index for our altitude, in accord 
ance with the time that elapsed between the discharge of 
the sand and the noise of its contact with the trees. 

The roads presented in appearance pale yellow ribbons, 
and the fences and ditches as evanescent lines. The prairie- 
flowers at times exhibited their respective colors, as they 
happened to live in families of blue and yellow apparel, in 
distinct patches. Villages could only be seen as diffused 
outlines of ground-plots, with here and there a faint point 
of light, but in the early part of the night we could at 
times hear human voices in the streets. Our horizon 
seemed very contracted, vaulting around us, as it were, 
with an inclination to close upon us underneath. On its 
northern border there was during the whole night a blaze 



WISE] A BALLOON-VOYAGE. 207 

of light, probably from the Chicago light-house on Lake 
Michigan. 

Now and then we would give a shout to attract atten 
tion from below, especially when crossing towns ; but only 
the echo of our voices seemed to respond, and these echoes 
varied in distinctness agreeably to the reflecting surface 
below. 

When the eye was once firmly fixed on the earth, so 
that the singularly-mellowed scenery was fairly unfolded 
to the sight, it was with the greatest reluctance that it 
could be drawn away. There was an enchantment in the 
view. Looking downward, contemplating the earth in its 
diversified outlines afforded a satisfaction much like that 
of the astronomer when he is favored with a powerful 
telescope that enables him to trace the outlines of the 
surface of the moon. The topography of the earth, taken 
from such a position as ours upon that night, and under 
the same conditions of light, would present as marvellous 
an appearance as does Maedler's map of the moon. Indeed, 
the appearance of the earth, as we saw it that night, bore 
no resemblance to a day view of the same. If the scene 
could be delineated by the pencil of the limner as it then 
appeared, it would resemble neither a night- nor a day- 
picture of the landscape, as seen from the earth. In the 
language of Mr. Hyde, it afforded " such an exhilaration 
of spirit and such a real joy" as seldom fall to the lot of a 
mortal being. 

As in the daytime, the visible portion of the earth de 
veloped itself in a great circle, hollowed out as a vast 
concavity. Occasionally flashes of lightning illumined 
portions of the horizon, but these were too distant to 
bring to our ears the sound of thunder. 

It may be observed, for the better elucidation to the 
reader, that the convexity of the earth, being eight inches 



208 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WISE 

to the mile, limits the area of vision to an observer on its 
surface much within that which is spread out to one who 
is a mile or two above it. It is a singular anomaly of fact 
and appearance that, while the earth is really globular, it 
appears to the eye of the aeronaut as a concave. This is 
the effect of refraction, caused by the variable density of 
the atmosphere, giving the vision a curvilinear direction 
corresponding to the angle presented when we place a 
stick in the water at any inclination from the perpendicu 
lar. Light, whether from the rays of a meridian sun or 
the fainter rays as reflected from the higher portions of 
the atmosphere, and from the surfaces of the remote stars, 
obeys this law, moving, as it does, in the direction of least 
resistance. From this it will be seen that the horizon of 
the aeronaut always appears as much above its true level 
as the diiference between a straight line from his eye to 
the true horizon and the amount of curvature caused by 
refraction to said line. It is only when he looks straight 
down in a plumb line that the object is really where the 
eye perceives it. All other objects seen at a point between 
his perpendicular and the visible horizon are really below 
the point at which he sees them, and hence the concave 
appearance of the earth to the aeronaut. . . . 

Striking during the night over the bend of a river which 
our chart indicated to be the Wabash, and which lay in 
our course for a considerable distance, the scene was truly 
grand. We were surrounded by stars and milky ways. 
Above, below, and all around us the vigils of heaven were 
twinkling their diamond-like clusters. One, which for a 
moment brought to mind that of the constellation of the 
fishes, drew our attention particularly. Upon nearing the 
object it revealed itself as a midnight fisherman lifting his 
net, and a lively haul it proved to be. We could see, by 
the light of his lantern, the fish bouncing about in the 



WISE] A BALLOON-VOYAGE. 209 

bottom of his boat. We hailed him as we passed over, 
and congratulated him upon his good luck. He betrayed 
a great deal of amazement, looking this way and that way, 
then into the water, and again his eyes were directed 
toward the shore. He looked every possible way but up 
ward ; and, as we were pleasantly discussing his conster 
nation in his hearing, it is no wonder that he felt perplexed 
and surprised. 

After we left the river we passed over a town, and 
could distinctly hear a trialogue between a party of bac 
chanals upon the probabilities of their reception at home 
at that hour'of the night. Wo hailed them to go home, 
and then all was hushed in silence below. No doubt the 
maudlin party took the admonition in a serious mood, and 
they were in all probability as much surprised as was our 
fisherman friend on the river at these mysterious voices. 

We followed the course of the Wabash Eiver from Wil- 
liamsport to Logansport, Indiana. The water had the 
appearance of a dark plate-glass mirror, and the brilliancy 
of the starry reflection from its surface, bounded in its out 
lines by the banks of the river, gave it the appearance of 
a " milky way" far more beautiful than the real one in the 
heavens above. Nothing could surpass the loveliness of 
this midnight landscape scenery, diversified with water 
and prairie, woods and villages, farms and flower-patches. 
As the small hours of the night were passing away, we 
saw the gray of the morning making a faint appearance 
on the eastern horizon. The view at first resembled that 
as seen in mid-ocean on a calm summer morning before 
sunrise. The sky was cloudless, and the wind upon which 
we were riding was one of those peculiar high-barometer 
winds that course across our continent from west to east, 
a little northeast. These are the carriers, if not the propa 
gators, of our cyclones, and they give rise to the torna- 
iv. o 18* 



210 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WISE 

does and hurricanes we experience through the hot sum 
mer months. We realized this, much to our discomfort, 
as the sequel will show, in effecting our landing on the 
pecond day of our voyage. 

A little while before the sun made its appearance, and 
when the dawn of the morning was changing the night 
scene of the voyage to that of day, we passed by the city 
of Fort Wayne, leaving it a little to the south. We were 
low enough to see several railroads converging toward the 
western extremity of Lake Erie. The country around, 
as far as the eye could reach distinctly, and that was 
over an area of forty or fifty miles in diameter, was filled 
with farm-houses, and the fields were well stocked with 
horses and cattle. In order to get an earlier view of the 
sun, the balloon was lightened of a quantity of ballast 
sufficient to raise it four or five thousand feet higher. It 
was not many minutes before a scene of the rarest beauty 
began to unfold itself in the eastern heavens. Phoebus 
was being ushered in, clad in his most gorgeous apparel. 
Words will entirely fail to depict the grandeur of the sun 
rise. The mind became overwhelmed with the intensity 
and brilliancy of the spectacle, as the sun was being quickly 
lifted out of the fiery deep by the rapid ascension of our 
point of view. We had now approached near enough to 
Lake Erie to receive the full force of reflected and refracted 
light from its great surface. Various conjectures were 
given by our party in explanation of this singular phe 
nomenon before we saw the lake. One surmised that the 
heavens were on fire, and that the phosphorescent illumi 
nation of the bygone night had been the harbinger of the 
world's conflagration. Indeed, the heat of this powerful 
reflection was smarting our faces. It seemed as though 
we were running right into the sun. The horizon appeared 
to be bounded by a lake of white-hot metal, and it was 



WISE] A BALLOON-VOYAGE. 211 

some time before I could find a sufficient explanation for 
the wonder before us. I finally suggested tbat it must 
be the'illumination of Lake Erie, as we must be approach 
ing it rapidly. To this the general assent of the party 
was given, especially when I stated that I had seen its 
reverse in a sunset scene while over the lake with a bal 
loon, although in that case the effect was not nearly so 
brilliant. 

This warmth of direct and reflected sunbeams soon 
began to tell on the balloon ; and, finding it to swell out 
rapidly, causing such a sudden unfolding of its great 
pleats as to make it sound like ripping open a heavy 
canvas, I made a liberal use of the valve. This brought 
the air-ship to a lower level, with the sun several degrees 
above the horizon, and with it a corresponding expansion 
of the lake of fire before us. Now, since balloons are 
very sensitive bodies as to atmospheric density and to 
heat and cold, and thus very easily disturbed in their 
equilibriums, so that in the discharge of a little too much 
gas a retrograde motion is given downward, we found 
ourselves approaching the earth again, and the sun sink 
ing down with us, until its immensely-expanded disk 
looked ten times larger than usual, as it was resting a 
little above the horizon. In the mean time a bank of 
bright purple striated clouds had settled around the god 
of the morning, and we were thus relieved from the heat 
and reflection incident to a higher altitude. The scenery 
below had now become remarkably fine. The mellow, 
early sunlight made immensely-elongated shadows of the 
woods and isolated trees in the fields, as well as the build 
ings and the stacks of the .crops that were garnered by 
the husbandmen. It was a glorious morning scene ; and 
although something had been whispered about a warm 
breakfast, that formality was dispensed with from the 



212 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WiSE 

idea that the time was too precious, and that each one 
might lunch according to his personal convenience. . . . 

At a quarter before seven in the morning we passed out 
over Lake Erie, with Toledo to the northwest and San- 
dusky to the southeast of our course. Before us the lake 
was dotted with islands, and its shores presented a ragged 
appearance. Heavy clouds were forming to the south 
and east of us. Ballast enough was now discharged to 
carry us up above the cloud-level. This obscured from 
our view the southern shore of the lake. Beyond its 
northern margin the land looked inhospitable, so we were 
contented to make almost a bee-line down over the middle 
of this interesting sheet of water. Its surface was ruffled 
with spray, and the waves were heaving on its bosom. 
At the rate at which we were now sailing, about sixty 
miles an hour, we calculated to reach Buffalo about eleven 
o'clock A.M. We could discern but few vessels moving on 
the water. Passing nearly over one, the captain hailed 
us with his speaking-trumpet, asking where we were from 
and whither we were bound. I answered him that we 
were from St. Louis, and that we were bo'und for Buffalo 
direct, and then as much farther as we could get. He 
continued the conversation, but we had so far outstripped 
him that it was impossible to make out what he was 
uttering, as we rose to a greater height. 

Sailing at an altitude of ten thousand feet contracted 
our area of visible surface below so much that we thought 
it would be more interesting if we would lower the air 
ship to within a thousand feet or less of the water's sur 
face. So down we came until we nearly touched the 
waves. Overhauling a steamboat that was moving in 
the same direction with us, we struck up a conversation. 
The steam-whistle was sounded, the boat-bell rung, and 
a speaking-trumpet conversation ensued. " How do you 



MATHEWS] IMPORTANCE OF LITERARY STYLE. 213 

do, captain ? A fine morning for boating." The captain 
immediately responded, " Good-morning, my brave fel 
lows ; but where in the heavens did you come from ?" 
"From St. Louis, sir, last evening." "And pray where 
are you going ?" " Going eastward, captain, first to 
Buffalo, and then to Europe, if we can." " Good luck to 
you !" said the captain : "you are going like thunder." 

We were now only about five hundred feet high, and in 
half an hour after our colloquy with the captain of the 
steamer we beheld his craft dancing in the verge of the 
western horizon. He was travelling about twelve miles 
per hour, and we at least sixty ; and as we parted, leaving 
him behind, it seemed as though he was sailing to the 
west, while we were moving eastward. 



IMPORTANCE OF LITERARY STYLE. 

WILLIAM MATHEWS. 

[We should be glad to transcribe the whole of this instructive and 
valuable essay, had we the requisite space. It will suffice to say 
that Mr. Mathews does not preach without practising, and that he 
himself possesses a clear, fluent, and attractive style, to which much 
of the high popularity of his works is due. The author is a native of 
Maine, where he was born in 1818. His principal books are " Getting 
On in the World," " The Great Conversers," " Words, their Use and 
Abuse," "Hours with Men and Books," " Orator} r and Orators," 
" Literary Style," etc. These are mainly compendiums of very neatly 
framed anecdotes. Our selection is from the last-named work.] 

WITHIN a few years a fresh interest has been awakened, 
among writers and critics, in literary style. It is begin 
ning to be felt more keenly than for a long time before, 
that, as the value of the materials of a building, whatever 



214 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [MATHEWS 

their cost, depends mainly upon the skill with which they 
are put together, so in literary architecture it is the man 
ner in which the ideas are fitted together into a symmet 
rical and harmonious whole, as well as adorned and em 
bellished, that, quite as much as the ideas themselves, 
constitutes the worth of an essay, an oration, or a poem. 
As the diamond or the emerald even the Kohinoor 
itself has little beauty as it lies in the mine, but must 
be freed from its incrustations, and cut and polished by 
the lapidary, before it is fit to blaze in the coronet of a 
queen or to sparkle on the breast of beauty, so thought in 
the ore has little use or charm, and sparkles and captivates 
only when polished and set in cunning sentences by the 
literary artist. But there is another and more potent 
reason for the growing estimation of style. As an instru 
ment for winning the public attention, for saving the 
reader all needless labor, and for keeping a hold on the 
grateful memory, its value cannot be easily exaggerated. 
A hundred years ago, in the days of stage-coaches and 
Eamage presses, when literature did not come to us in 
bales, and to be a man of one book was no disgrace, style 
might have been regarded as a luxury ; but in this age of 
steam-presses and electrotype-printing, with its thousand 
distractions from study, and its deluge of new publications 
that must be skimmed by all who would keep abreast with 
the intelligence of the time, this element of literature is 
swiftly acquiring a new utilitarian value. When we con 
sider that Germany alone prints fifteen thousand books a 
year ; that one library only the National at Paris con 
tains one hundred and fifty thousand acres of printed 
paper ; that in one ramified science, e.g., chemistry, the 
student needs fourteen years barely to overtake knowl 
edge as it now stands, while, nevertheless, the two lobes 
of the human brain are not a whit larger to-day than in 



MATHEWS] IMPORTANCE OF LITERARY STYLE. 215 

the days of Adam ; that, even after deducting all the old 
books which the process of " natural selection" and the 
" survival of the fittest" has spared us from reading, the 
remnant even of literary and other masterpieces, which 
cannot be stormed by the most valiant reader, but must 
be acquired by slow " sap," is simply appalling ; and, 
finalty, that even the labor-saving machinery of peri 
odical literature, which was to give us condensations and 
essences in place of the bulky originals, is already over 
whelming us with an inundation of its own, it is easy to 
see that the manner in which a writer communicates his 
ideas is hardly less important than the ideas themselves. 

But what, it may be asked, do we mean by style? Wo 
shall not attempt any technical definition, but simply say 
that by it we understand, first of all, such a choice and 
arrangement of words as stall convey the author's mean 
ing most clearly and exactly, in the logical order of the 
ideas ; secondly, such a balance of clause and structural 
grace of sentence as shall satisfy the sense of beauty ; 
and, lastly, such a propriety, economy, and elegance of 
expression as shall combine business-like brevity with 
artistic beauty. All these qualities will be found united 
in styles of the highest order; and therefore style has 
been well defined as an artistic expedient to make reading 
easy, and to perpetuate the life of written thought, 

Style, in this sense, is, and ever has been, the most vital 
element of literary immortality. If we look at the brief 
list of books which, among the millions that have sunk 
into oblivion, have kept afloat on the stream of time, we 
shall find that they have owed their buoyancy to this 
quality. More than any other, it is a writer's own prop 
erty, and no one, not even time itself, can rob him of it, 
or even diminish its value. Facts may be forgotten, learn 
ing may grow commonplace, startling truths dwindle into 



216 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [MATHEWS 

mere truisms, but a grand or beautiful style can never 
lose its freshness or its charm. It is the felicity and idio 
matic naivete of his diction that has raised the little fish 
ing-book of Walton, the linen-draper, to the dignity of a 
classic, and a similar charm keeps the writings of Addi- 
son as green as in the days of Queen Anne. Even works 
of transcendent intellectual merit may fail of high success 
through lack of this property; while works of second- 
and even third-rate value works which swarm with per 
nicious errors, with false statements and bad logic may 
obtain a passport to futurity through the witchery of 
style. The crystal clearness and matchless grace of Pa- 
ley's periods, which were the envy of Coleridge, continue 
to attract readers, in spite of his antiquated science and 
dangerous philosophy; and a similar remark may be 
made of Bolingbroke. The racy, sinewy, idiomatic style 
of Cobbett, the greatest master of Saxon-English in this 
century, compels attention to the arch-radical to-day as it 
compelled attention years ago. Men are captivated by 
his style who are shocked alike by his opinions and his 
egotism and offended by the profusion of italics which, 
like ugly finger-posts, disfigure his page and emphasize 
till emphasis loses its power. For the pomp and splendor 
of his style, " glowing with Oriental color, and rapid as a 
charge of Arab horse," even more than for his colossal 
erudition, is Gibbon admired ; it is the " ordered march of 
his lordly prose, stately as a Eoman legion's," that is the 
secret of Macaulay's charm ; and it is the unstudied grace 
of Hume's periods which renders him, in spite of his 
unfairness and defective erudition, In spite of his toryism 
and infidelity, the popular historian of England. . . . 

What would De Quincey be without his style? Eob 
him of the dazzling fence of his rhetoric, his word-paint 
ing and rhythm, strip him of his organ-like fugues, his 



MATHEWS] IMPORTANCE OF LITERARY STYLE. 217 

majestic swells and dying falls, leave to him only the 
bare, naked ideas of his essays, and he will be De 
Quincey no longer. It would be like robbing the rose of 
its color and perfume, or taking from an autumnal land 
scape its dreamy, hazy atmosphere and its gorgeous dyes. 
Take the finest English classic, The Fairy Queen, L'Alle- 
gro or II Penseroso, Midsummer Night's Dream, strip 
it of music, color, wit, alliteration, the marriage of ex 
quisite thoughts to exquisite language, all that belongs to 
form as distinguished from the substance, and what will 
the residuum be? All the ideas in these works are as old 
as creation. They were everywhere in the air, and any 
other poet had as good a right to use them as Milton, 
Spenser, and Shakespeare. That critical mouser, the Rev. 
John Mitford, in his notes to Gray's poems, has shown that 
hardly an image, an epithet, or even a line in them origi 
nated with the ostensible author. Gray cribbed from 
Pope, Pope from Dryden, Dry den from Milton, Milton 
from the Elizabethan classics, they from the Latin poets, 
the Latin from the Greek, and so on till we come to the 
original Prometheus, who stole the fire directly from 
heaven. But does this lessen the merit of these authors? 
Grant that the finest passages in poetry are to a great 
extent but embellished recollections of other men's pro 
ductions ; does this detract one jot or tittle from the 
poet's fame? The great thinkers of every age do not 
differ from the little ones so much in having different 
thoughts, as in sifting, classifying, and focalizing the same 
thoughts, and, above all, in giving them to the world in 
the pearl of exquisite and adequate expression. Give to 
two painters the same pigments, and one of them will 
produce a " Transfiguration," and the other will exhaust 
his genius upon the sign-board of a country tavern ; as 
out of the same stones may be reared the most beautiful 
iv. K 19 



218 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [MATHEWS 

or the most unsightly of edifices, the Parthenon of 
Athens, or an American court-house. . . . 

Perhaps no other writer of the day has more powerfully 
influenced the English-speaking race than Carlyle. Beyond 
all other living men he has, in certain important respects, 
shaped and colored the thought of his time. As a his 
torian he may be almost said to have revolutionized the 
French Eevolution, so different is the picture which other 
writers have given us from that which blazes upon us 
under the lurid torch-light of his genius. To those who 
have read his great prose epic it will be henceforth im 
possible to remember the scenes he has described through 
any other medium. As Helvellyn and Skiddaw are seen 
now only through the glamour of Wordsworth's genius, 
as Jura and Mont Blanc are transfigured, even to the 
tourist, by the magic of Byron and Coleridge, so to Car- 
lyle's readers Danton and Robespierre, Mirabeau and Tin- 
ville, will be forever what he has painted them. No other 
writer equals the great Scotchman in the Rembrandt-like 
lights and shadows of his style. While, as Mr. McCarthy 
says, he is endowed with a marvellous power of depicting 
stormy scenes and rugged, daring natures, yet " at times 
strange, wild, piercing notes of the pathetic are heard 
through his fierce bursts of eloquence, like the wail of a 
clarion thrilling beneath the blasts of a storm." His 
pages abound in pictures of human misery sadder than 
poet ever drew, more vivid and startling than artist ever 
painted. In his conflict with shams and quackeries he 
has dealt yeoman's blows, and made the bankrupt institu 
tions of England ring with their own hollowness. What 
is the secret of his power? Is it the absolute novelty of 
his thoughts? In no great writer of equal power shall 
we find such an absolute dearth of new ideas. The gospel 
of noble manhood which he so passionately preaches is as 



MATHEWS] IMPORTANCE OF LITERARY STYLE. 219 

old as Solomon. Its cardinal ideas have been echoed and 
re-echoed through the ages till they have become the 
stalest of truisms. That brains are the measure of worth ; 
that duty, without reward, is the end of life ; that " work 
is worship ;" that a quack is a falsehood incarnate ; that 
on a lie nothing can be built ; that the victim of wrong 
suffers less than the wrong-doer; that man has a soul 
which cannot be satisfied with meats or drinks, fine pal 
aces and millions of money, or stars and ribbons ; this is 
the one single peal of bells upon which the seer of Chelsea 
has rung a succession of changes, with hardly a note of 
variation, for over half a century. . . . 

Why, to take an opposite illustration, has John Neal, in 
spite of his acknowledged genius, been so speedily forgot 
ten by the public whose eye he once so dazzled ? why, 
but because, holding the absurd theory that a man should 
write as he talks, and despising the niceties of skill, he 
bestows no artistic finish on his literary gems, but, like 

the gorgeous East, 

" showers from his lap 
Barbaric pearls and gold," 

with all their incrustations " thick upon them" ? With 
less prodigality of thought and more patience in execution, 
he might have won a broad and enduring fame ; but, as it 
is, he is known to but few, and by them viewed as a meteor 
in the literary firmament, rather than as a fixed star or 
luminous planet. Washington Irving has probably less 
genius than Neal ; but by his artistic skill he would make 
more of a Scotch pebble than Neal of the crown-jewel of 
the Emperor of all the Russias. 

That we have not exaggerated the value of style that 
it is, in truth, an alchemy which can transmute the basest 
metal into gold will appear still more clearly if we com 
pare the literatures of different nations. That there are 



220 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [MATHEWS 

national as well as individual stj'les, with contrasts equally 
salient or glaring, is known to every scholar. Metaphors 
and similes are racy of the soil in which they grow, as 
you taste, it is said, the lava in the vines on the slopes of 
jEtna. As thinkers, the Germans have to-day no equals on 
the globe. In their systems of philosophy the speculative 
intellect of our race its power of long, concatenated, ex 
haustive thinking seems to have reached its culmination. 
Never content with a surface-examination of any subject, 
they dig down to the "hard pan," the eternal granite 
which underlies all the other strata of truth. As com 
pilers of dictionaries, as accumulators of facts, as pro 
ducers of thought in the ore, their book-makers have no 
peers. The German language, too, must be admitted to 
be one of the most powerful instruments of thought and 
feeling to which human wit has given birth. But all 
these advantages are, to a great extent, neutralized by 
the frightful heaviness and incredible clumsiness of the 
German literary style. Whether as a providential pro 
tection of other nations against the foggy metaphysics 
and subtle scepticism of that country, or because to have 
given it a genius for artistic composition as well as 
thought would have been an invidious partiality, it is plain 
that, in the distribution of good things, the advantages of 
form were not granted to the Teutons. In Bacon's phrase, 
they are " the Herculeses, not the Adonises, of literature." 
They are, with a few noble exceptions, the hewers of 
wood and drawers of water for all the other literatures of 
the world. The writers of other countries, being blessed 
more or less with the synthetic and artistic power which 
they lack, pillage mercilessly, without acknowledgment, 
the storehouses which they have laboriously filled, and, 
dressing up the stolen materials in attractive forms, pass 
them off as their own property. It is one of the paradoxes 



MATHEWS] IMPORTANCE OF LITERARY STYLE. 221 

of literary history, that a people who have done more for 
the textual accuracy and interpretation of the Greek and 
Roman classics than all the other European nations put 
together who have taught the world the classic tongues 
with pedagogic authority should have caught so little of 
the inspiration, spirit, and style of those eternal models. 

The fatigue which the German style inflicts upon the 
human brain is even greater than that which their barba 
rous Gothic letter, a relic of the fifteenth century, black 
ening all the page, inflicts upon the eye. The principal 
faults of this style are involution, prolixity, and obscurity. 
The sentences are interminable in length, stuffed with 
parentheses within parentheses, and as full of folds as a 
sleeping boa-constrictor. Of paragraphs, of beauty in the 
balancing and structure of periods, and of the art by 
which a succession of periods may modify each other, the 
German prose- writer has apparently no conception. In 
stead of breaking up his " cubic thought" into small and 
manageable pieces, he quarries it out in huge, unwieldy 
masses, indifferent to its shape, structure, or polish. He 
gives you real gold, but it is gold in the ore, mingled with 
quartz, dirt, and sand, hardly ever gold polished into 
splendor or minted into coin. . . . 

In direct contrast to the heavy, dragging German style 
is the brisk, vivacious, sparkling style of the French. All 
the qualities which the Teutons lack form, method, pro 
portion, grace, refinement, the stamp of good society the 
Gallic writers have in abundance ; and these qualities are 
found not only in the masters, like Pascal, Voltaire, Cou 
rier, or Sand, but in the second- and third-class writers, like 
Taine and Prevost-Paradol. Search any of the French 
writers from Montaigne to Eenan, and you will have to 
hunt as long for an obscure sentence as in a German author 
for a clear one. Dip where you will into their pages, you 
iv. 19* 



222 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ 

find every sentence written as with a sunbeam. They 
state their meaning so clearly that not only can you not 
mistake it, but you feel that no other proper collocation 
of words is conceivable. It is like casting to a statue : the 
metal flows into its mould, and is there fixed forever. If 
in reading a German book you seem to be jolting over a 
craggy mountain-road in one of their lumbering eilwagen, 
ironically called " post-haste" chaises, in reading a French 
work you seem to be rolling on C springs along a velvety 
turf, or on a road that has just been macadamized. The 
only drawback to your delight is that it spoils your taste 
for other writing : after sipping Chateau-Margaux at its 
.most velvety age, the mouth puckers at Ehine wine or 
Catawba. This supremacy of the French style is so gen 
erally acknowledged that the French have become for 
Europe the interpreters of other races to each other. 
They are the Jews of the intellectual market, the money 
changers and brokers of the wealth of the world. The 
great merits of Sir William Hamilton were unknown to 
his countrymen till they were revealed by the kindly 
pen of Cousin ; and Sydney Smith hardly exaggerated 
when he said of Dumont's translation of Bentham that the 
great apostle of utilitarianism was washed, dressed, and 
forced into clean linen by a Frenchman before he was in 
telligible even to English Benthamites. It is sometimes 
said that French literature is all style ; that its writers 
have labored so exclusively to make the language a perfect 
vehicle of wit and wisdom that they have nothing to con 
vey. If in a German work the meaning is entangled in 
the words, and "you cannot see the woods for the trees," 
in the French work the words themselves are the chief 
object of attention. But the critic who says this is surely 
not familiar with Pascal, Bossuet, D'Alembert, De Stael, 
De Maistre, Villemain. In these, and many other writers 



MATHEWS] IMPORTANCE OF LITERARY STYLE. 223 

that we might name, there is such a solidity of thought 
with an exquisite transparency of style, so subtle an inter 
fusion of sound and sense, so perfect an equipoise of mean 
ing and melody, as to satisfy alike the artistic taste of the 
literary connoisseur and the deeper cravings of the thinker 
and the scholar. . . . 

To define the charm of style to show why the same 
bought when conveyed in one man's language is cold 
and commonplace, and when conveyed in another's is, as 
Starr King says, " a rifle-shot or a revelation" is impossi 
ble. It is easy to see how a magnetic presence, an eagle 
eye, a commanding attitude, a telling gesture, a siren 
voice, may give to truths when spoken a force or a charm 
which they lack in a book. " But how it is," as the same 
writer says, " that words locked up in forms, still and stiff 
in sentences, will contrive to tip a wink ; how a proposi 
tion will insinuate more scepticism than it states ; how a 
paragraph will drip with the honey of love ; how a phrase 
will trail an infinite suggestion ; how a page can be so 
serene or so gusty, so gorgeous or so pallid, so sultry or 
BO cool, as to lap you in one intellectual climate or its op 
posite, who has fathomed this wonder?" There is a 
mystery in style of which we cannot pluck out the heart. 
Like that of beauty, music, or a delicious odor, its spell is 
subtle and impalpable, and baffles all our attempts to ex 
plain it in words. Like that of fine manners, it is inde 
finable, yet all-subduing, and is the issue of all the mental 
and moral qualities, bearing the same relation to them 
that light bears to the sun, or perfume to the flower. 
Not even the writer himself can explain the secret of his 
art. In the works of all the great masters there are cer 
tain elements which are a mystery to themselves. In the 
frenzy of creation they instinctively infuse into their pro 
ductions that of which they would be utterly puzzled to 



224 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PRESTON 

give an account. By a subtle, mysterious gift, an intense 
intuition, which pierces beneath all surface-appearances 
and goes straight to the core of an object, they lay hold 
of the essential life, the inmost heart, of a scene, a person, 
or a situation, and paint it to us in a few immortal words. 
A line, a phrase, a single burning term or irradiating word, 
flashes the scene, the character, upon us, and it lives for 
ever in the memory. It is so in sculpture, in painting, 
and even in the military art. When Napoleon was asked 
by a flatterer of his generalship how he won his military 
victories, he could only say that he was fait comme ga. 



THE SONGS OF THE TROUBADOURS. 

H. W. PRESTON. 

[One of the most attractive and valuable books upon Proven9al lit 
erature is "The Troubadours and Trouveres" of Harriet W. Preston, 
from which we select a brief general description of the troubadours and 
their times. The era of the troubadours was one in which the con 
dition of society and the movement of thought were unlike those of any 
other period of human history, and the literature thence resulting had 
a very marked character of its own. Miss Preston's work is one of 
the best and most interesting expositions of this literature and state 
of society. In addition she has written " Aspendale," " Love in the 
Nineteenth Century,*' and " Mereio," a translation from Frederick 
Mistral.] 

IT is not easy to say how much of the interest of the 
new Provencal literature is due to the ancient dignity of 
its name, and to a kind of reflected lustre which it receives 
from the far-away glories of the old. Yet when we come 
to look carefully for the connection and resemblance be 
tween the two, we shall be surprised to find how slight 



PRESTON] THE SONGS OF THE TROUBADOURS. 225 

these are. Nearly all the modern literatures of Europe 
owe as much to the early Provencal poetry as does the 
literature of the troubadours' own land. Nay, it has 
seemed, until very lately, as if France had been the small 
est heir to the rich legacy of modern song, if not com 
pletely disinherited. The truth is, that the literature of 
the troubadours, childish in spirit but precociously mature 
and beautiful in form, perished early by violence and with 
out issue. Aliens had already caught the spirit of it, and 
imitated its music with more or less success ; but six hun 
dred years were to elapse before a school of poetry would 
arise in which we might reasonably look for a true family 
likeness to this the first untutored outburst of modern 
minstrelsy. The likeness may be traced, no doubt, but it 
is faint and fleeting. The early Provengal literature 
stands before us as something unique, integral, immor 
tally youthful, and therefore unconscious of its own range 
and limitations, pathetic from the brevity of its course, a 
development of art without an exact parallel in the world's 
history. . . . 

It is possible, although by no means certain, that the first 
idea of those terminal rhymes which were destined to play 
so important a part in the new poetry may have been de 
rived from Oriental compositions, of which they were a con 
spicuous ornament. But at all events it was in the cell of 
the Christian monk that the seeds of poetic as of all other 
culture were kept and fostered, as carefully as the flowers' 
of the convent-garden, through the troubled season of the 
first Christian millennium. During that most dreary time 
of transition, Christianity was slowly spreading among 
the half-savage races which had replaced the Eomans and 
their colonists in the south of Europe, and adopting and 
assimilating to itself certain of the native barbarian ideas. 
Prominent among these was that serious, almost super- 
iv. p 



226 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PRESTON 

stitious, respect for woman which seems a birthright of 
the northern nations. It was a notion wholly at vari 
ance with the view of classic paganism, but one which 
the spirit of Christianity favored. The grand primitive 
passion the love of man for woman received a sort of 
theoretic consecration, and the virgin mother of Jesus 
Christ became one of the chief objects of public worship. 
And then in the period of reaction and exhilaration which 
followed the close of the tenth century, and the relief from 
that harrowing presentiment of the end of the world and 
the last judgment which had prevailed almost everywhere 
as the first millennial year approached, at the time also 
of the final repulse of the Saracens in the southwest, 
then, if ever, chivalry, or the adventurous service of God 
and womankind, took systematic shape, and the Crusades 
were its first outgrowth in action, and the love-poetry of 
the troubadours, or minstrels of the south, its first sym 
metrical expression in art. 

Many volumes have been written on the position and 
profession of the troubadour, charming volumes, too, 
which are accessible to almost every reader. Yet, when 
all is gathered- which can be certainly known, how strange 
a phenomenon he remains to our modern eyes! How 
much is still left to the imagination ! We know that he 
was usually attached to the household of a great seignior 
or the court of a reigning sovereign, and was a frequent, 
though, as it would seem, voluntary, attendant on their 
distant expeditions. We know that it was his metier, or 
at any rate a principal part of it, to select some lady as 
the object, for the time being, of his formal worship, and 
to celebrate her charms and virtues in those melodious 
numbers, the secret of whose infinitely variable beauty 
he himself never ceased to regard as a kind of miraculous 
discovery or revelation. We know that while the singer 



PRESTON] THE SONGS OF THE TROUBADOURS. 227 

was sometimes even of kingly rank, oftener a poor cava 
lier who had need to live upon his skill in finding, and 
oftener yet a man of humble birth whom genius was read 
ily allowed to ennoble, the lady-love was almost always of 
exalted station ; frequently, by the operation of the Salic 
law, a great heiress in her own right ; and that hence her 
hand was certain to have been disposed of for prudential 
or political reasons before she had any choice in the mat 
ter. There were reasons, therefore, besides total depravity, 
why she was regularly a married woman. We know that, 
theoretically, chivalric love was a something mystical and 
supersensual, but that the courts of love sanctioned much 
which the courts of law, even of those days, forbade. We 
know that a seignior and a husband could regard with 
complacency, not to say pride, the ceremonial devotion of 
his vassal to his wife, yet that he was liable to be visited, 
when all things appeared most picturesque and prosperous, 
by movements of what we cannot help regarding as a 
natural jealousy, and impulses to deadly revenge. We 
know that in the great majority of cases there came a 
" sombre close" to the troubadour's " voluptuous day," and 
that his life of amatory adventure and artificially- stimu 
lated emotion was apt to end in the shadow of the cloister. 
We seem, in fine, to see him as an airy, graceful, insouciant 
figure, who sports and sings along a dainty path, skirting 
the sheer and lofty verge of the great gulf of human pas 
sion ; and the student will probably decide, from his own 
knowledge of human nature, in what proportion of cases 
he kept his perilous footing upon the flowery heights, and 
in what he plunged headlong into the raging deeps below. 
So much for the man ; and now a word or two more 
about his work. Let it be understood that we are to 
speak of the chansons, or love-songs, chiefly. There is 
another great body of troubadour literature, coming under 



228 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PRESTON 

the general head of sirventes and comprising narrative and 
satirical poems, which, though full and overfull of sugges 
tions about the manners of the time, have, as a rule, no 
great literary merit. The chief wonder of the chansons 
is, and must ever be, the contrast between the consum 
mate beauty and immense variety of their forms, and the 
simplicity, the sameness, and the frequent triviality of 
their sentiments. In this respect troubadour poetry is 
like Greek sculpture. The technical excellence of it is so 
incredible that we cannot help regarding it as something 
spontaneous, half unconscious, found, as the troubadours 
themselves so strikingly said, rather than learned, which 
no care and patience of deliberate effort could ever quite 
have attained. Sismondi complains of the monotony of 
the troubadour compositions, that they begin by amazing 
and end by disappointing the student. But they can dis 
appoint, it seems to us, only him who is predetermined 
to seek for more than is in them. It is little to say that 
they show no depth of thought. They contain hardly any 
thought at all. The love of external nature is represented 
in them alone by the poet's perennial rapture at the re 
turn of spring ; spring, which terminated his winter con 
finement and set him free to wander over the sunny land ; 
spring, with its mysterious but everlastingly intimate as 
sociation with thoughts of love. Of sensuous imagery of 
any kind these poems contain very little, which is another 
reason for distrusting the theory of Arabian origin and 
influence. They are " all compact" of primary emotion, 
of sentiment pure and simple ; and, as such, they rank in 
the scale of expression between music and ordinary poetry, 
partaking almost as much of the nature of the former as 
of the latter; which again is one reason why, although 
the rules of their language are simple, these lyrics are 
often so very obscure, so elusive, rather, and intangible 



PRESTON] THE SONGS OF THE TROUBADOURS. 229 

in their meaning. Their words are like musical notes, not 
so much signs of thought as symbols of feeling, which 
almost defy an arbitrary interpretation, and must be ren 
dered in part by the temperament of the performer. 



[We should be glad to give, as a sequel to Miss Preston's charm 
ingly-written introduction to her critical remarks upon the troubadours 
and their songs, some examples of this mediaeval poetry. But we must 
content ourselves with a single poem, which, as paraphrased rather 
than translated by our author, is worthy of the pen of a modern poet, 
and might well have given the cue to the balcony-scene in Shake 
speare's " Romeo and Juliet." It belongs to the class of the aubado, 
or morning counterpart of the serenade. It is probably of very early 
date, and by an unknown author, and, in Miss Preston's opinion, is 
the " most perfect flower of*Proven9al poetry."] 

Under the hawthorns of an orchard-lawn, 
She laid her head her lover's breast upon, 
Silent, until the guard should cry the dawn. 
Ah God I Ah God ! Why comes the day so soon ? 

I would the night might never have passed by ! 
So wouldst thoii not have left me, at the cry 
Of yonder sentry to the whitening sky. 
Ah God I Ah God I Why comes the day so soon ? 

One kiss more, sweetheart, ere the melodies 

Of early birds from all the fields arise ! 

One more, without a thought of jealous eyes ! 

Ah God ! Ah God ! Why comes the day so soon ? 

And yet one more under the garden wall j 
For now the birds begin their festival, 
And the day wakens at the sentry's call. 
A.h God ! Ah God ! Why comes the day so soon ? 
iv. 20 



230 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [MELTILLB 

'Tis o'er ! He's gone. Oh, mine in life and death ! 
But the sweet breeze that backward wandereth, 
I quaff it, as it were my darling's breath. 
Ah G-od ! Ah God ! Why comes the day so soon ? 

Fair was the lady, and her fame was wide, 
And many knights for her dear favor sighed ; 
But leal the heart out of whose depths she cried, 
Ah God ! Ah God ! Why comes the day so soon ? 



THE DEATH OF THE WHALE. 

H. MELVILLE. 

[" Moby Dick, the "Whale," from the pen of Herman Melville, is 
the source of our present selection, and as an accurate, detailed, and 
vivid description of the whale-fishery could not well be surpassed. It 
has much value also as a novel, its characters being drawn with 
striking force and originality. Mr. Melville is the author of many 
other romances, chief among which is " Typee," the earliest and most 
vivid description of life in the South Sea Islands. The works here 
mentioned were the result of personal observation. The author, who 
was born in New York in 1819, made a voyage to the Pacific, in which 
he gained his close and exact knowledge of sea-life and of the whale- 
fishery. Leaving his ship, he spent several months on one of the 
Marquesas Islands, in semi-captivity to the natives. His life there is 
described, with imaginative addenda, in the attractively-written chap 
ters of "Typee." Among his other works we may name " Omoo,'' 
"White Jacket," and " Redburn."] 

THE next day was exceedingly still and sultry, and, 
with nothing special to engage them, the Pequod's crew- 
could hardly resist the spell of sleep induced by such a 
vacant sea. For this part of the Indian Ocean through 



MELVILLE] THE DEATH OF THE WHALE. 231 

which we then were voyaging is not what whalemen call 
a lively ground ; that is, it affords fewer glimpses of por 
poises, dolphins, flying-fish, and other vivacious denizens 
of more stirring waters, than those off the Bio de la 
Plata, or the in-shore ground off Peru. 

It was my turn to stand at the foremast-head; and, 
with my shoulders leaning against the slackened royal 
shrouds, to and fro I idly swayed in what seemed an 
enchanted air. ~No resolution could withstand it ; in that 
dreamy mood losing all consciousness, at last my soul 
went out of my body ; though my body still .continued to 
iway as a pendulum will, long after the power which first 
moved it is withdrawn. 

Ere forgetfulness altogether came over me, I had noticed 
that the seamen at the main and mizzen mast-heads were 
already drowsy. So that at last all three of us lifelessly 
swung from the spars, and for every swing that we made 
there was a nod from below from the slumbering helms 
man. The waves, too, nodded their indolent crests ; and 
across the wide trance of the sea, east nodded to west, 
and the sun over all. 

Suddenly bubbles seemed bursting beneath my closed 
eyes ; like vices my hands grasped the shrouds ; some 
invisible, gracious agency preserved me ; with a shook I 
came back to life. And, lo ! close under our lee, not forty 
fathoms off, a gigantic sperm whale lay rolling in the 
water like the capsized hull of a frigate, his broad, glossy 
back, of an Ethiopian hue, glistening in the sun's rays 
like a mirror. But lazily undulating in the trough of the 
sea, and ever and anon tranquilly spouting his vapory 
jet, the whale looked like a portly burgher smoking his 
pipe of a warm afternoon. But that pipe, poor whale, 
was thy last. As if struck by some enchanter's wand, the 
sleepy ship and every sleeper in it all at once started into 



232 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [MELVILLB 

wakefulness ; and more than a score of voices from all 
parts of the vessel, simultaneously with the three notes 
from aloft, shouted forth the accustomed cry, as the great 
fish slowly and regularly spouted the sparkling brine into 
the air. 

" Clear away the boats ! Luff!" cried Ahab. And, obey 
ing his own order, he dashed the helm down before the 
helmsman could handle the spokes. 

The sudden exclamations of the crew must have 
alarmed the whale ; and ere the boats were down, majes 
tically turning, he swam away to the leeward, but with 
such a steady tranquillity, and making so few ripples as 
he swam, that, thinking after all he might not as yet be 
alarmed, Ahab gave orders that not an oar should be used, 
and no man must speak but in whispers. So, seated like 
Ontario Indians on the gunwales of the boats, we swiftly 
but silently paddled along ; the calm not admitting of the 
noiseless sails being set. Presently, as we thus glided in 
chase, the monster perpendicularly flirted his tail forty 
feet into the air, and then sank out of sight like a tower 
swallowed up. 

" There go flukes !" was the cry, an announcement im 
mediately followed by Stubb's producing his match and 
igniting his pipe, for now a respite was granted. After 
the full interval of his sounding had elapsed, the whale 
rose again, and, being now in advance of the smoker's 
boat, and much nearer to it than to any of the others, 
Stubb counted upon the honor of the capture. It was 
obvious, now, that the whale had at length become aware 
of his pursuers. All silence of cautiousness was therefore 
no longer of use. Paddles were dropped, and oars came 
loudly into play. And, still puffing at his pipe, Stubb 
cheered on his crew to the assault. 

Yes, a mighty change had come over the fish. All alive 



MELYILLE] THE DEATH OF THE WHALE. 233 

to his jeopardy, he was going " head out ;" that part ob 
liquely projecting from the mad yeast which he brewed. 

" Start her, start her, my men ! Don't hurry yourselves ; 
take plenty of time but start her ; start her like thunder 
claps, that's all," cried Stubb, spluttering out the smoke 
as he spoke. " Start her, now ; give 'em the long and 
strong stroke, Tashtego. Start her, Tash, my boy start 
her, all j but keep cool, keep cool cucumbers is the word 
easy, easy only start her like grim death and grinning 
devils, and raise the buried dead perpendicular out of their 
graves, boys that's all. Start her!" 

' : Woo-hoo ! Wa-hee !" screamed the Gay-Header in re 
ply, raising some old war-whoop to the skies, as every 
oarsman in the strained boat involuntarily bounced for 
ward with the one tremendous leading stroke which the 
eager Indian gave. 

But his wild screams were answered by others quite as 
wild. " Kee-hee ! Kee-hee !" yelled Daggoo, straining for 
wards and backwards on his seat, like a pacing tiger in 
his cage. 

" Ka-la ! Koo-loo I" howled Queequeg, as if smacking his 
lips over a mouthful of grenadier's steak. And thus with 
oars and yells the keels cut the sea. Meanwhile, Stubb, 
retaining his place in the van, still encouraged his men to 
the onset, all the w r hile puffing the smoke from his mouth. 
Like desperadoes they tugged and they strained, till the 
welcome cry was heard " Stand up, Tashtego ! give it 
to him!" The harpoon was hurled. "Stern all!" The 
oarsmen backed water ; the same moment something went 
hot and hissing along every one of their wrists. It was 
the magical line. An instant before, Stubb had swiftly 
caught two additional turns with it round the loggerhead, 
whence, by reason of its increasing rapid circlings, a 
hempen blue smoke now jetted up and mingled with the 
IT. 20* 



234 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [MELVILLE 

steady fumes from his pipe. As the line passed round and 
round the loggerhead, so, also, just before reaching that 
point, it blisteringly passed through and through both of 
Stubb's hands, from which the hand-cloths, or squares of 
quilted canvas sometimes worn at these times, had acci 
dentally dropped. It was like holding an enemy's sharp 
two-edged sword by the blade, and that enemy all the time 
striving to wrest it o'ut of your clutch. 

"Wet the line! wet the line!" cried Stubb to the tub 
oarsman (him seated by the tub), who, snatching off his 
hat, dashed the sea-water into it. More turns were taken, 
so that the line began holding its place. The boat now 
flew through the boiling water like a shark all fins. Stubb 
and Tashtego here changed places, stem for stern, a 
staggering business, truly, in that rocking commotion. 

From the vibrating line extending the entire length of 
the upper part of the boat, and from its now being more 
tight than a harp-string, you would have thought the 
craft had two keels one cleaving the water, the other the 
air as the boat churned on through both opposing ele 
ments at once. A continual cascade played at the bows, 
a ceaseless whirling eddy in her wake ; and at the slight 
est motion from within, even but of a little finger, the 
vibrating, cracking craft canted over her spasmodic gun 
wale into the sea. Thus tiiey rushed, each man with 
might and main clinging to his seat, to prevent being 
tossed to the foam, and the tall form of Tashtego at the 
steering-oar crouching almost double, in order to bring 
down his centre of gravity. Whole Atlantics and Pacifies 
seemed passed as they shot on their way, till at length the 
whale somewhat slackened his flight. 

" Haul in haul in V cried Stubb to the bowsman ; and, 
facing round towards the whale, all hands began pulling 
the boat up to him, while yet the boat was being towed 



MELVILLE] THE DEATH OF THE WHALE. 235 

on. Soon ranging up by his flank, Stubb, firmly planting 
his knee in the clumsy cleat, darted dart after dart into 
the flying fish ; at the word of command the boat alter 
nately sterning out of the way of the whale's horrible 
wallow, and then ranging up for another fling. 

The red tide now poured from all sides of the monster 
like brooks down a hill. His tormented body rolled not 
in brine but in blood, which bubbled and seethed for fur 
longs behind in their wake. The slanting sun playing 
upon this crimson pond in the sea sent back its reflection 
into every face, so that they all glowed to each other like 
red men. And all the while, jet after jet of white smoke 
was agonizingly shot from the spiracle of the whale, and 
vehement puff after puff from the mouth of the excited 
headsman; as at every dart, hauling in upon his crooked 
lance (by the line attached to it), Stubb straightened it 
again and again, by a few rapid blows against the gun 
wale, then again and again sent it into the whale. 

" Pull up pull up !" he now cried to the bowsman, as 
the waning whale relaxed in his wrath. " Pull up ! close 
to!" and the boat ranged along the fish's flank. Then, 
reaching far over the bow, Stubb slowly churned his long, 
sharp lance into the fish, and kept it there, carefully 
churning and churning, as if cautiously seeking to feel 
after some gold watch that jthe whale might have swal 
lowed, and which he was fearful of breaking ere he could 
hook it out. But that gold watch he sought was the 
innermost life of the fish. And now it is struck; for, 
starting from his trance into that unspeakable thing called 
his " flurry," the monster horribly wallowed in his blood, 
overwrapped himself in impenetrable, mad, boiling spray, 
so that the imperilled craft, instantly dropping astern, had 
much ado blindly to struggle out from that frenzied twi 
light into the clear air of the day. 



236 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BROWNE 

And now, abating in his flurry, the whale once more 
rolled out into view ; surging from side to side ; spasmodi 
cally dilating and contracting his spout-hole, with sharp, 
cracking, agonized respirations. At last, gush after gush 
of clotted red gore, as if it had been the purple lees of red 
wine, shot into the frighted air, and, falling back again, 
ran dripping down his motionless flanks into the sea. Hm 
heart had burst ! 

" He's dead, Mr. Stubb," said Daggoo. 

"Yes; both pipes smoked out!" and, withdrawing his 
own from his mouth, Stubb scattered the dead ashes over 
the water, and for a moment stood thoughtfully eying 
the vast corpse he had made. 



GERMAN IDEAS ABOUT AMERICA. 

J. R. BROWNE. 

[One of the most amusing and entertaining of American writers 
of travel is John Ross Browne, said to have been born in Ireland in 
1817, but whose life was spent in the United States, with the excep 
tion of his intervals of travel. His journeys covered a considerable 
portion of the earth's surface, one of the earliest being a whaling- 
voyage, which is described in his " Etchings of a Whaling Cruise," a 
work containing much valuable information about the whaling indus- 
try. A subsequent journey to Palestine is humorously described in 
his <! Yusef; or, The Journey of a Frangi." Other works are " Cru 
soe's Island," "The Land of Thor," and "An American Family in 
Germany," from which last we make an amusing selection. He 
died in 1875.] 

THE crude ideas respecting the United States entertained 
in this country, even by persons otherwise intelligent, are 
sometimes very amusing. One would suppose tbat the 



BROWNE] GERMAN IDEAS ABOUT AMERICA. 237 

constant transmission of letters from emigrants to their 
relatives would result in a more perfect understanding of 
our country and its institutions. In the principal cities 
usually visited by Americans this peculiarity is perhaps 
not so striking, but throughout the more unenlightened 
parts of Germany the simplicity of the people on the sub 
ject of "America" as they call the United States is 
quite surprising. 

Within three or four miles of Frankfort are villages and 
districts as far behind the age in point of civilization, and 
apparently as primitive in all respects, as if the city of 
Frankfort were distant a thousand miles, or never visited. 
I will not undertake to say, as some of the American cor 
respondents of the Atlantic papers often do in detailing 
their experience in Europe, that Americans are supposed 
to be a race of Indians ; but this much is true, that they 
are supposed to be a very uncivilized race of white men. 
Those who appear on this side of the water are most gen 
erally taken for English, because they speak that lan 
guage ; and when it is discovered that they are Ameri 
cans, it is always a matter of surprise that they are so 
docile, and many of them even partially civilized. The 
Germans prefer the Americans to the English. The latter 
are considered self-sufficient, stingy, disagreeable, and un 
mannerly ; while the free-and-easy way of the Americans 
their prodigal disregard of money, their readiness to 
adopt the civilized habits of the country and make them 
selves at home wherever they go pleases the worthy 
Germans amazingly. They are always disposed to be 
kind and sociable to Americans ; will go out of their way 
or take any amount of trouble to make them enjoy their 
visit, and evidently have some hope that, in the course of 
time, those savage traits of character derived from long 
experience of savage life and want of culture in civilized 



238 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BROWN* 

society will disappear, and the Americans become as 
polished a race as the Germans. They consider that the 
constant emigration from Germany to the United States 
has produced a sensible difference in this respect within 
the past ten years ; and if it continues for ten years more, 
there can be no doubt, in their opinion, almost every trace 
of barbarism will have disappeared. By that time, it is 
confidently expected, Sunday afternoon recreations will 
be introduced ; gentlemen will take off their hats to one 
another in the streets, and quit chewing tobacco; lager- 
beer saloons will become places of general resort ; con 
ductors of railroads, clerks in public office, and family 
servants will wear some honorable badge of distinction ; 
children will not be allowed to dress like butterflies, and 
women generally will understand their position, and get 
out of the way when distinguished officers and civilians 
pass along the streets ; wives will show proper deference 
to their husbands, sit up for them of nights when they go 
to clubs, and not depend upon them as escorts to theatres 
and other public places ; old ladies will wear silks, satins, 
flashy ribbons, and filigree appropriate to their advanced 
age, and young ladies will modestly content themselves 
with pudding-bowl hats, black worsted stockings, and 
dingy-colored dresses. Music, too. will be cultivated ; 
public gardens will be established, where one can pass a 
social evening of a Sunday, and where respectable families 
can drink their beer, while pretty young girls and innocent 
little children swear " Ach Gott!" and " Gott in Himmel!" 
upon every trivial occasion, without exciting vulgar com 
ment. Housekeepers will abolish carpets and scrub their 
floors once a day, instead of saving all the dirt to be 
breathed by themselves and their visitors ; big houses 
will be built, and families will live sweetly together like 
Christians, and not isolate themselves like selfish heathens, 



BROWNE] GERMAN IDEAS ABOUT AMERICA. 239 

When people talk to one another, they will use becoming 
signs and gestures, shrug their shoulders at proper inter 
vals, and express themselves with some enthusiasm by 
shouting out what they have to say, so that it can be 
heard at the reasonable distance of ha4f a mile. Instead 
of wearing out their bodies and souls at the counting-house 
or in the political arena, grave and sensible men will take 
a promenade in the open air every afternoon, with a brood 
of little poodles running after them, and ladies will hire 
numerous servants to take care of their children, and pay 
proper attention themselves to their own lapdogs. In 
stead of imposing the heavy labors of the field and public 
highway upon men, who have the right to choose their 
own occupation, these unpleasant duties will be performed 
by able-bodied women, assisted by cows. The best blood- 
horses will be used for soldiers and gentlemen to ride 
upon, and women, aided by small dogs, will pull the carts 
containing milk and vegetables to market ; and all heavy 
burdens, such as geese, pigs, apples, and the like, will be 
carried on their heads in large baskets. Should a man be 
too lazy to walk up a hill, he will get into a wheelbarrow 
and smoke his meerschaum comfortably while his good 
wife wheels him over the hill. 

These improvements in our customs will entitle us to 
rank with Germany in point of civilization, and it affords 
me great satisfaction to find that sanguine hopes are en 
tertained of our capacity for refinement. Great allowance 
should be made for our uncouth manners and ignorance of 
the polite usages of society. Living among negroes and 
Indians, constantly quarrelling about elections, compelled 
to defend our individual rights with pistols and bowie- 
knives, surrounded by deserts and mountains, almost out, 
of the world, as it were, in a new and but partially-ex 
plored country, it is remarkable that we are even far 



240 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

enough advanced to publish newspapers, and there is much 
to commend in the rapidity of our progress. It is true, 
there is something shocking and repugnant to humanity 
in our disregard of life ; the horrible manner in which 
people are burst up in steamboats and mutilated on public 
railways ; the ferocious fights that take place in our prin 
cipal cities, and the prevalence of lynch law ; the frequency 
of murder, and the cruel practice of hanging men by the 
neck like dogs, instead of clipping their heads off with a 
sword. All these are relics of barbarism, which in some 
respects arise from the condition of the country, and in 
others from natural recklessness common to all who have 
not enjoyed the benefits and restraints of civilization. 

The perfect simplicity with which an intelligent German 
will sit down with you over a schoppen of beer and give 
you his views on all these points is charming. In the 
course of his miscellaneous reading he has caught at some 
truths, as may be seen from the above synopsis, while a 
good many others have escaped him. But it is not so 
much his want of correct knowledge that is amusing, as 
the entire self-satisfaction with which he compares the 
civilization of Germany with the barbarism of America. 
It is quite useless to undertake to change his views on 
these points. He is no more susceptible of receiving the 
impress of new ideas when his mind has once been made 
up, than if the old ones were pinned and riveted through 
every partition of his brain. A new idea forced in by 
power of persuasion would act like a wedge and split his 
skull. Politeness often induces him to agree with you 
that there is much to be said in our favor, but you can 
plainly see that he remains true to his early convictions, 
and doesn't believe it. And yet there are no people who 
emigrate to the United States and become citizens, more 
ready to adapt themselves to the customs of the country. 



BROWNE] GERMAN IDEAS ABOUT AMERICA. 241 

They retain their own prejudices a long time, it is true, 
and never quite get over their love for the Faderland. but 
the facility with which they accommodate themselves to 
circumstances is remarkable. There is considerable prac 
tical philosophy, after all, about these people : it seems to 
be a predominating element in their faith never to make, 
themselves unhappy when they can reasonably avoid it. 

A very general misconception prevails in reference to 
the "North" and "South," terms which so frequently 
appear in the newspapers of the United States. The 
North is supposed to mean North America, and the South, 
South America. It is the prevailing impression that in 
North America the people are all free ; in South America 
most of them are supposed to be slaves. Dates, cocoanuts, 
oranges, bananas, and other tropical fruits are the princi 
pal articles of food upon which the Southerners are sup 
posed to subsist ; and of the Northerners, a considerable 
number of them, not residing in the principal cities and 
more settled parts of the States, are supposed to procure 
a scanty and somewhat precarious livelihood by chasing 
buffalo on the prairies, subsisting mainly upon their meat 
and selling their skins. A lady of considerable intelligence 
remarked to me the other day that she would not go to 
" America" for anything in the world. She was afraid of 
the Indians. She had read about them in Cooper's novels, 
and they seemed to be a very savage sort of people, often 
coming upon the houses of the settlers in the dead of 
night, and killing men, women, and children. She couldn't 
enjoy a moment's peace in such a country. Besides, she 
understood the houses were very badly built, and often 
tumbled down on the occupants and crushed them to 
death. I told her there was reasonable ground for ap 
prehension on all these points. The Indians were very bad 
in some parts of the country, but it was a pretty large 
IV . L q 21 



242 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BROWNE 

country, and there was plenty of room to keep out of 
their way. In New York, Philadelphia, and Washington 
they were not considered dangerous. The only dangerous 
people there were politicians, especially in Washington, 
where the members of Congress frequently carry pistols 
and large knives and kill people. On the other point, the 
flimsy and imperfect manner in which houses are con 
structed, there was too much truth in what she said. It 
was scandalous the way in which houses were built there. 
I knew whole towns to be built up in a week, and aban 
doned by the citizens in another-week. At the great city 
of Virginia, in Washoe, many of the inhabitants lived in 
houses built of flour-bags. Even in the city of New York, 
where people ought to know better, the walls of the 
houses were so thin that it was dangerous to lean against 
them. Two cases in point occurred within a few years 
past, one that of a man who, while sitting in the front 
room of a hotel, leaned his chair backward and fell through 
the wall, alighting on a lady's back as she was walking on 
the pavement below ; the other that of a man who, while 
sleeping with his head against the partition between his 
own and neighbor's house, was killed by a nail hammered 
through the wall by a lodger on the other side, who 
wanted something to hang his hat upon. It was quite 
true what she said about American houses, as a general 
thing, but there were exceptions. The people of Califor 
nia, who were farther advanced in the science of archi 
tecture than those of any other State in the Union, having 
had experience in all kinds of material from potato-bags 
to red- wood boards, and from that all the way up to Suisun 
marble (the finest in the world), and being likewise in 
possession of various improvements derived from the abo 
rigines and the learned men of China, built houses very 
superior to those of which she had read in the books. 



LONGFELLOW] THE FAMINE. 213 

This was especially the case in the city of Oakland, where 
I myself had erected a residence far surpassing anything 
in that particular style of architecture to be found in 
Germany. I had seen the villa of the Rothschilds near 
Frankfort, the palace of the grand duke at Biebrich, the 
king's palace at Wurtzburg, and many other handsome 
establishments upon which a great deal of money had 
been expended, but they were of very different material 
and construction from my villa in Oakland. 

Amusing as these impressions of the United States are, 
they derive something of piquancy from the fact that 
they are not wholly unfounded. Sometimes a home truth 
emerges from a mass of error; and it is expressed with 
so much simplicity and such entire unconsciousness of 
its satirical force that it requires some dexterity to parry 
the thrust. I generally get over the difficulty by cover 
ing it up with a complication of information in no way 
connected with the subject. 



THE FAMINE. 

HENEY W. LONGFELLOW. 

[Whatever be the final decision of critical authorities and arbiters 
of taste as to the comparative merit of American poets, Longfellow 
will probably live longest in the hearts of the reading community. 
His popularity, indeed, is by no means confined to America, and he 
can scarcely fail to have an enduring fame among all English-speaking 
peoples. For this the tenderness and depth of feeling which he dis 
plays, and the transparent clearness of his verse, in which not a shadow 
of obscurity rests upon the thoughts, are better elements than breadth 
of conception and vigor of handling, when combined, as is often the 
case, with lack of simplicity of language and sympathetic warmth. 
N"o other poet of our era has the evenness of Longfellow. Though he 



244 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LONGFELLOW 

may seldom or never rise to the greatest heights, he rarely descends 
below a certain lofty level. Many of his shorter poems have becom<? 
household words, hoth in America and in England. To his skill in 
versification, and the charm of his simple and picturesque diction, is 
added an unusual facility in the use of imagery. His wealth of 
apposite and original metaphors has seldom been equalled, and the 
whole course of his poetry seems to be lit up with a succession of golden 
lamps, which brilliantly illuminate its thoughts. The metaphor is 
often the life of a poem, and many of Longfellow's verses owe their 
vitality mainly to this side-light of illumination. 

His longer works consist of " The Spanish Student," " Evangeline," 
"The Golden Legend," "The Song of Hiawatha," "The Courtship 
of Miles Standish," the drama of "Michael Angelo," and the prose 
works "Hyperion," " Outre-Mer," and " Kavanagh." Of these 
"Evangeline" and "Hiawatha" are much the most popular. The 
latter, from which we select one of its most eloquent sections, en 
deavors, with great skill and beauty, to give in poetic form some of 
those Indian legends of which no small store exists among the Ameri 
can aborigines. This poem is couched in a peculiar metre, not very 
attractive at first reading, but, as is here evidenced, susceptible of 
much beauty of handling. Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, 
in 1807. He was, when quite young, appointed professor of modern 
languages and literature in Bowdoin College. In 1835 he took the 
chair of modern languages and belles-lettres at Harvard. This position 
he resigned in 1854, when he was succeeded by Lowell. He died at 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1882.] 

O THE long and dreary Winter! 
O the cold and cruel Winter ! 
Ever thicker, thicker, thicker 
Froze the ice on lake and river, 
Ever deeper, deeper, deeper 
Fell the snow o'er all the landscape, 
Fell the covering snow, and drifted 
Through the forest, round the village. 

Hardly from his buried wigwam 
Could the hunter force a passage ; 
With his mittens and his snow-shoes 



LONGFELLOW] THE FAMINE. 245 

Yainly walked he through the forest, 

Sought for bird or beast and found none, 

Saw no track of deer or rabbit, 

In the snow beheld no footprints, 

In the ghastly, gleaming forest 

Fell, and could not rise from weakness, 

Perished there from cold and hunger. 

O the famine and the fever ! 
O the wasting of the famine! 
O the blasting of the fever ! 
O the wailing of the children ! 

the anguish of the women ! 

All the earth was sick and famished ; 
Hungry was the air around them, 
Hungry was the sky above them, 
And the hungry stars in heaven 
Like the eyes of wolves glared at them I 

Into Hiawatha's wigwam 
Came two other guests, as silent 
As the ghosts were, and as gloomy ; 
Waited not to be invited, 
Did not parley at the door-way, 
Sat there without word of welcome 
In the seat of Laughing Water ; 
Looked with haggard eyes and hollow 
At the face of Laughing Water. 

And the foremost said, " Behold me I 

1 am Famine, Bukadawin I" 
And the other said, " Behold me ! 
I am Fever, Ahkosewin !" 

And the lovely Minnehaha 
Shuddered as they looked upon her. 
Shuddered at the words they uttered, 
Lay down on her bed in silence, 
iv. 21* 



246 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LONGFELLOW 

Hid her face, but made no answer ; 
Lay there trembling, freezing, burning 
At the looks they cast upon her, 
At the fearful words they uttered. 

Forth into the empty forest 
Bushed the maddened Hiawatha ; 
In his heart was deadly sorrow, 
In his face a stony firmness, 
On his brow the sweat of anguish 
Started, but it froze and fell not. 

Wrapped in furs and armed for hunting, 
With his mighty bow of ash-tree, 
With his quiver full of arrows, 
With his mittens, Minjekahwun, 
Into the vast and vacant forest 
On his snow-shoes strode he forward. 

" Gitche Manito, the Mighty !" 
Cried he with his face uplifted 
In that bitter hour of anguish, 
" Give your children food, O father ! 
Give us food, or we must perish ! 
Give me food for Minnehaha, 
For my dying Minnehaha!" 

Through the far-resounding forest, 
Through the forest vast and vacant, 
Bang that cry of desolation, 
But there came no other answer 
Than the echo of his crying, 
Than the echo of the woodlands, 
"Minnehaha! Minnehaha!" 

All day long roved Hiawatha 
In that melancholy forest, 
Through the shadow of whose thickets, 
In the pleasant days of Summer, 



LONGFELLOW] THE FAMINE. ' 247 

Of that ne'er-forgotten Summer, 

He had brought his young wife homeward 

From the land of the Dacotahs ; 

When the birds sang in the thickets, 

And the streamlets laughed and glistened, 

And the air was full of fragrance, 

And the lovely Laughing Water 

Said, with voice that did not tremble, 

" I will follow you, my husband !" 

In the wigwam with Nokomis, 
With those gloomy guests that watched her, 
With the Famine and the Fever, 
She was lying, the Beloved, 
She the dying Minnehaha. 

" Hark 1" she said ; " I hear a rushing, 
Hear a roaring and a rushing, 
Hear the Falls of Minnehaha 
Calling to me from a distance !" 
" ISTo, my child !" said old Nokomis, 
" 'Tis the night-wind in the pine-trees 1" 

"Look!" she said ; " I see my father 
Standing lonely at his door-way, 
Beckoning to me from his wigwam 
In the land of the Dacotahs !" 
"No, my child !" said old Nokomis, 
" 'Tis the smoke that waves and beckons !" 

"Ah!" said she, "the eyes of Pauguk 
Glare upon me in the darkness ; 
I can feel his icy fingers 
Clasping mine amid the darkness ! 
Hiawatha ! Hiawatha !" 

And the desolate Hiawatha, 
Far away amid the forest, 
Miles away among the mountains, 



248 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [.LONGFELLOW 

Heard that sudden cry of anguish, 
Heard the voice of Minnehaha 
Calling to him in the darkness, 
" Hiawatha ! Hiawatha !" 

Over snow-fields waste and pathless, 
Under snow-encumbered branches, 
Homeward hurried Hiawatha, 
Empty-handed, heavy-hearted, 
Heard Nokomis moaning, wailing: 
"Wahonowin! Wahonowin! 
Would that I had perished for you, 
Would that I were dead as you are ! 
Wahonowin ! Wahonowin !" 

And he rushed into the wigwam, 
Saw the old Nokomis slowly 
Booking to and fro and moaning, 
Saw his lovely Minnehaha 
Lying dead and cold before him, 
And his bursting heart within him 
Uttered such a cry of anguish, 
That the forest moaned and shuddered, 
That the very star's in heaven 
Shook and trembled with his anguish. 

Then he sat down, still and speechless, 
On the bed of Minnehaha, 
At the feet of Laughing Water, 
At those willing feet, that never 
More would lightly run to meet him, 
Never more would lightly follow. 

With both hands his face he covered, 
Seven long days and nights he sat there, 
As if in a swoon he sat there, 
Speechless, motionless, unconscious 
Of the daylight or the darkness. 



LONGFELLOW] THE FAMINE. 249 

Then they buried Minnehaha ; 
In the snow a grave they made her, 
In the forest deep and darksome, 
Underneath the moaning hemlocks ; 
Clothed her in her richest garments, 
Wrapped her in her robes of ermine, 
Covered her with snow, like ermine ; 
Thus they buried Minnehaha. 

And at night a fire was lighted, 
On her grave four times was kindled, 
For her soul upon its journey 
To the Islands of the Blessed. 
From his door- way Hiawatha 
Saw it burning in the forest, 
Lighting up the gloomy hemlocks ; 
From his sleepless bed uprising, 
From the bed of Minnehaha, 
Stood and watched it at the door- way, 
That it might not be extinguished, 
Might not leave her in the darkness. 

" Farewell," said he, " Minnehaha ! 
Farewell, O my Laughing Water! 
All my heart is buried with you, 
All my thoughts go onward with you ! 
Come not back again to labor, 
Come not back again to suffer, 
Where the Famine and the Fever 
Wear the heart and waste the body. 
Soon my task will be completed, 
Soon your footsteps I shall follow 
To the Islands of the Blessed, 
To the Kingdom of Ponemah, 
To the Land of the Hereafter !" 



250 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [KANE 

INCIDENTS OF ARCTIC TRAVEL. 

E. K. KANE. 

[Elisha Kent Kane, who is known to the world principally through 
his connection with Arctic exploration, was one of the most active of 
American travellers. Previous to his Arctic journeys he had visited 
China, India, Ceylon, and the Philippines, made an excursion to the 
Himalayas, ascended the Nile to Nubia, and explored Greece on foot. 
He served in the Mexican war, was surgeon in the first United States 
expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, and commanded the second 
expedition. The first journey he described in a volume entitled " The 
United States Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin ;" 
the second in a highly-interesting work entitled " Arctic Explorations 
in the Years 1853, '54, and '55." From the first-named we make a brief 
extract, illustrative of some of the discomforts of Arctic life. Dr. Kane 
was born in Philadelphia in 1820. He died in Havana in 1857, a victim 
to the hardships of his adventurous life.] 

I EMPLOYED the dreary intervals of leisure that heralded 
our Christmas in tracing some Flemish portraitures of 
things about me. The scenes themselves had interest at 
the time for the parties who figured in them ; and I believe 
that is reason enough, according to the practice of modern 
academics, for submitting them to the public eye. I copy 
them from my scrap-book, expurgating only a little. 

"We bave almost reached tbe solstice; and things are 
so quiet tbat I may as well, before I forget it, tell you 
something about tbe cold in its sensible effects, and the 
way in wbicb as sensible people we met it. 

" You will see, by turning to tbe early part of my 
journal, that tbe season we now look back upon as tbe 
perfection of summer contrast to this outrageous winter 
was in fact no summer at all. We bad tbe young ice 
forming round us in Baffin's Bay, and were measuring 



KANE] INCIDENTS OF ARCTIC TRAVEL. 251 

snow-falls, while you were sweating under your grass- 
cloth. Yet I remember it as a time of sunny recreation, 
when we shot bears upon the floes, and were scrambling 
merrily over glaciers and murdering rotges in the bright 
glare of our day-midnight. Like a complaining brute, I 
thought it cold then, I, who am blistered if I touch a 
brass button or a ramrod without a woollen mit. 

" The cold came upon us gradually. The first thing that 
really struck me was the freezing up of our water-casks, 
the drip-candle appearance of the bung-holes, and our in 
ability to lay the tin cup down for a five-minutes' pause 
without having its contents made solid. Next came the 
complete inability to obtain drink without manufacturing 
it. For a long time we had collected our water from the 
beautiful fresh pools of the icebergs and floes ; now we had 
to quarry out the blocks in flinty, glassy lumps, and then 
melt it in tins for our daily drink. This was in Wellington 
Channel. 

" By and by the sludge which we passed through as we 
travelled became pancakes and snow-balls. We were glued 
up. Yet even as late as the llth of September I collected 
a flowering Potentilla from Barlow's Inlet. But now any 
thing moist or wet began to strike me as something to be 
looked at, a curious, out-of-the-way production, like the 
bits of broken ice round a can of mint-julep. Our decks 
became dry, and studded with botryoidal lumps of dirty 
foot-trodden ice. The rigging had nightly accumulations 
of rime, and we learned to be careful about coiled ropes 
and iron-work. On the 4th of October we had a mean 
temperature below zero. 

"By this time our little entering hatchway had be 
come so complete a mass of icicles that we had to give it 
up and resort to our winter door-way. The opening of 
a door was now the signal for a gush of smoke-like vapor; 



252 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

every stove-pipe sent out clouds of purple steam ; and a 
man's breath looked like the firing of a pistol on a small 
scale. 

" All our eatables became laughably consolidated, and 
after diiferent fashions, requiring no small experience be 
fore we learned to manage the peculiarities of their changed 
condition. Thus, dried apples became one solid breccial 
mass of impacted angularities, a conglomerate of sliced 
chalcedony. Dried peaches the same. To get these out 
of the barrel, or the barrel out of them, was a matter 
impossible. We found, after many trials, that the short 
est and best plan was to cut up both fruit and barrel 
by repeated blows with a heavy axe, taking the lumps 
below to thaw. Saur-kraut resembled mica, or rather 
talcose slate. A crow-bar with chiselled edge extracted 
the lamince badly; but it was perhaps the best thing we 
could resort to. 

" Sugar formed a very funny compound. Take q. s. of 
cork raspings, and incorporate therewith another q. s. of 
liquid gutta-percha or caoutchouc, and allow to harden ; 
this extemporaneous formula will give you the brown 
sugar of our winter cruise. Extract with the saw ; noth 
ing but the saw will suit. Butter and lard, less changed, 
require a heavy cold-chisel and mallet. Their fracture is 
conchoidal, with haematitic (iron-ore pimpled) surface. 
Flour undergoes little change, and molasses can at 28 
be half scooped, half cut, by a stiff iron ladle. 

" Pork and beef are rare specimens of Florentine mosaic, 
emulating the lost art of petrified visceral monstrosities 
seen at the medical schools of Bologna and Milan : crow 
bar and handspike ! for at 30 the axe can hardly chip 
it. A barrel sawed in half, and kept for two days in the 
caboose-house at -j-76, was still as refractory as flint a 
few inches below the surface. A similar bulk of lamp oil, 



KANE] INCIDENTS OF ARCTIC TRAVEL. 253 

denuded of the staves, stood like a yellow sandstone roller 
for a gravel walk. 

" Ices for the dessert come, of course, unbidden, in all 
imaginable and unimaginable variety. I have tried my 
inventive powers on some of them. A Roman punch, a 
good deal stronger than the noblest Roman ever tasted, 
forms readily at 20. Some sugared cranberries, with a 
little butter and scalding water, and you have an im 
promptu strawberry ice. Many a time at those funny 
little jams that we call in Philadelphia " parties," where 
the lady hostess glides with such nicely regulated indif 
ference through the complex machinery she has brought 
together, I have thought I noticed her stolen glance of 
anxiety at the cooing doves whose icy bosoms were melt 
ing into one upon the supper-table before their time. We 
order these things better in the Arctic. Such is the " com 
position and fierce quality" of our ices that they are 
brought in served on the shaft of a hickory broom, a 
transfixing rod which we use as a stirrer first and a fork 
afterward. So hard is this terminating cylinder of ice 
that it might serve as a truncheon to knock down an 
ox. The only difficulty is in the processes that follow. It 
is the work of time and energy to impress it with the 
carving-knife, and you must handle your spoon deftly, or 
it fastens to your tongue. One of our mess was tempted 
the other day by the crystal transparency of an icicle to 
break it in his mouth ; one piece froze to his mouth, and 
two others to his lips, and each carried oif the skin : the 
thermometer was at 28. 

" Thus much for our Arctic grub. I need not say that 
our preserved meats would make very fair cannon-balls, 
canister-shot." 



22 



254 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WALKER 

THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF INANIMATE THINGS. 

MRS. E. A. WALKER. 

[It is remarkable with what impish malignity, if you drop a penny 
or a button to the floor, it at once makes its way to some remote corner 
of the room, and defies search for an exasperating measure of valuable 
time. The placid, sleepy, dull-faced thing seems to overflow with mis 
chievous life the instant it leaves the fingers, and when you stoop, 
" good, easy soul, full sure" to pick it up at your feet, the chances are 
a hundred to one that it has scampered away into some mysterious 
nook, whei-w it does its best to hide itself by " protective resemblance." 
This is only one phase of the total depravity of the inanimate. It 
takes on a thousand forms, and most of us have experienced as full a 
share of its vagaries as those which Mrs. Walker so amusingly depicts. 
A lady friend relates that on one occasion she was amusing a child with 
a small rubber ball, flinging it into the air and letting it rebound on 
the floor. At the final upward fling that ball did not visibly descend 
again. The room was thoroughly searched for it in vain. The yard, 
on which the window looked, was searched with equal thoroughness 
and equal uselessness. Days, months, years passed on, house-cleaning 
seasons came and went, but the vanished ball has never yet been 
found. If it had been snatched by the hand of some invisible afrit in 
the air it could not have disappeared in a more mysterious manner. 
Instances of this depravity of inanimate things might be innumerably 
duplicated. But we must yield the floor to Mrs. Walker.] 

I AWOKE very early in life to the consciousness that I 
held the doctrine which we are considering. 

On a hapless day when I was perhaps five years old, I 
was, in my own estimation, intrusted with the family 
dignity, when I was deposited for a day at the house 
of a lordly Pharisee of the parish, with solemnly-repeated 
instructions in table-manners and the like. 

One who never analyzed the mysteries of a sensitive 
child's heart cannot appreciate the sense of awful respon- 



WALKER] DEPRAVITY OF INANIMATE THINGS. 255 

sibility which oppressed me during that visit. But all 
went faultlessly for a time. I corrected myself instantly 
each time I said " Yes, ma'am" to Mr. Simon and " No, 
sir" to madam, which was as often as I addressed them ; 
I clinched little fists and lips resolutely, that they might 
not touch, taste, handle, tempting bijouterie; I even held 
in check the spirit of inquiry rampant within me, and 
indulged myself with only one question to every three 
minutes of time. 

At last I found myself at the handsome dinner-table, 
triumphantly mounted upon two " Comprehensive Com 
mentaries" and a dictionary, fearing no evil from the 
viands before me. Least of all did I suspect the vege 
tables of guile. But deep in the heart of a bland 
mealy-mouthed potato lurked cruel designs upon my fair 
reputation. 

No sooner had I, in the most approved style oi nursery 
good-breeding, applied my fork to its surface, than the 
hard-hearted thing executed a wild pirouette before my 
astonished eyes, and then flew on impish wings across the 
room, dashing out its malicious brains, I am happy to say, 
against the parlor door, but leaving me in a half comatose 
state, stirred only by vague longings for a lodge with 
" proud Koran's troop." whose destination is unmistaka 
bly set forth in the " Shorter Catechism." 

##*#****# 

Time and space would, of course, be inadequate to 
the enumeration of all the demonstrations of the truth 
of the doctrine of the absolute depravity of things. A 
few examples only can be cited. 

There is melancholy pleasure in the knowledge that a 
great soul has gone mourning before me in the path I am 
now pursuing. It was only to-day, in glancing over the 
pages of Victor Hugo's great work, I chanced upon the 



25G BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WALKER 

following : " Every one will notice with what skill a coin 
let fall upon the ground runs to hide itself, and what art 
it has in rendering itself invisible : there are thoughts 
that play us the same trick." 

The similar tendency of pins and needles is. similarly 
understood and execrated, their base secretiveness when 
searched for, and their incensing intrusion when off guard. 

I know a man whose sense of their malignity is so keen 
that, whenever he catches a gleam of their treacherous 
lustre on the carpet, he instantly draws his two and a 
quarter yards of length into the smallest possible compass, 
and shrieks until the domestic police come to the rescue 
and apprehend the sharp little villains. Do not laugh at 
this. Years ago he lost his choicest friend by the stab of 
just such a little dastard lying in ambush. 

So also every wielder of the needle is familiar with the 
propensity of the several parts in a garment in the process 
of manufacture to turn themselves inside out, and down 
side up ; and the same viciousness cleaves like leprosy to 
the completed garment so long as a thread remains. 

My blood still tingles with a horrible memory illustra 
tive of this truth. 

Dressing hurriedly and in darkness for a concert one 
evening, I appealed to the Dominie, as we passed under the 
hall-lamp, for a toilet inspection. 

"How do I look, father?" 

After the sweeping glance came the candid state 
ment, 

" Beau-tifully !" 

Oh, the blessed glamour which invests a child whose 
father views her with a " critic's eye" ! 

" Yes, of course ; but look carefully, please : how is my 
dress ?" 

Another examination of apparently severest scrutiny. 



WALKER] DEPRAVITY OF INANIMATE THINGS. 257 

"All right, dear. That's the new cloak, is it? Never 
saw you look better. Come; we shall be late." 

Confidingly I went to the hall ; confidingly I entered ; 
since the concert-room was crowded with rapt listeners to 
the Fifth Symphony, I gingerly, but still confiding^, fol 
lowed the author of my days, and the critic of my toilet, 
to the very uppermost seat, which I entered, barely nod 
ding to my finical ly-fastidious friend G-uy Livingston, who 
was seated near us with a stylish-looking stranger, who 
bent eyebrows and glass upon me superciliously. 

Seated, the Dominie was at once lifted into the midst 
of the massive harmonies of the Adagio ; I lingered out 
side a moment, in order to settle my garments and that 
woman's look. What ! was that a partially-suppressed 
titter near me? Ah, she has no soul for music! Ho\\ 
such ill-timed merriment will jar upon my friend's ex 
quisite sensibilities ! 

Shade of Beethoven ! A hybrid cough and laugh, 
smothered decorously, but still recognizable, from the 
courtly Guy himself! What can it mean ? 

In my perturbation, my eyes fell, and rested upon the 
sack, whose newness and glorifying effect had been already 
noticed by my lynx-eyed parent. 

I here pause to remark that I had intended to request 
the compositor to " set up" the coming sentence in explo 
sive capitals, by way of emphasis, but forbear, realizing 
that it already staggers under the weight of its own sig 
nificance. 

That sack was wrong side out ! 

Stern necessity, proverbially known as " the mother of 
invention," and practically the step-mother of ministers' 
daughters, had made me eke out the silken facings of 
the front with cambric linings for the back and sleeves. 
Accordingly, in the full blaze of the concert-room I satj 
iv. r 22* 



258 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WALKER 

" accoutred as I was," in motley attire, my homely little 
economies patent to admiring spectators ; on either shoulder 
budding wings composed of unequal parts of sarcenet- 
cambric and cotton-batting; and in my heart parricide, 
I had almost said, but it was rather the more filial senti 
ment of desire to operate for cataract upon my father's 
eyes. But a moment's reflection sufficed to transfer my 
'ndignation to its proper object, the sinful sack itself, 
which, concerting with its kindred darkness, had planned 
this cruel assault upon my innocent pride. 

A constitutional obtuseness renders me delightfully in 
sensible to one fruitful source of provocation among in 
animate things. I am so dull as to regard all distinc 
tions of " rights" and " lefts" as invidious ; but I have 
witnessed the agonizing struggle of many a victim of frac 
tious boots, and been thankful that " I am not as other 
men are," in ability to comprehend the difference between 
my right and left foot. Still, as already intimated, I have 
seen wise men driven mad by a thing of leather and waxed 
ends. 

A little innocent of three years, in all the pride of his 
first boots, was aggravated, by the perversity of the right 
to thrust itself on the left leg, to the utterance of a con 
traband expletive. 

When reproved by his horror-stricken mamma, he main 
tained a dogged silence. 

In order to pierce his apparently indurated conscience, 
his censor finally said, solemnly, 

" Dugald ! God knows that you said that wicked word." 

" Does he ?" cried the baby victim of reral depravity, 
in a tone of relief: "then he knows it was a doke" 
(Anglice, joke). 

But, mind you, the sin-tempting boot intended no 
" doke." 



WALKER] DEPRAVITY OF INANIMATE THINGS. 250 

The toilet, with its multiform details and complicated 
machinery, is a demon whose surname is Legion. 

Time would fail me to speak of the elusiveness of soap, 
the knottiness of strings, the transitory nature of buttons, 
the inclination of suspenders to twist, and of hooks to 
forsake their lawful eyes and cleave only to the hairs of 
their hapless owner's head. (It occurs to me as barely 
possible that, in the last case, the hooks may be innocent, 
and the sinfulness may lie in capillary attraction.) 

And, O my brother or sister in sorrow, has it never 
befallen you, when bending all your energies to the 
mighty task of doing up your back-hair, to find yourself 
gazing inanely at the opaque back of your brush, while 
the hand-mirror which had maliciously insinuated itself 
into your right hand for this express purpose came down 
upon your devoted head with a resonant whack ? 

I have alluded, parenthetically, to the possible guilt of 
capillary attraction, but I am prepared to maintain against 
the attraction of gravitation the charge of total depravity. 
Indeed, I should say of it, as did the worthy exhorter of 
the Dominie's old parish in regard to slavery, " It's th 
wickedest thing in the world, except sin !" 

********* 

But a peremptory summons from an animated nursery 
forbids my lingering longer in this fruitful field. 1 can 
only add an instance of corroborating testimony from each 
member of the circle originating this essay. 

The Dominie loq. " Sha'n't have anything to do with 
it! It's a wicked thing! To be sure, I do remember, 
when I was a little boy, I used to throw stones at the 
chip-basket when it upset the cargo I had just laded, and 
it was a great relief to my feelings, too. Besides, you've 
tcld stories about me which are anything but true. I 
don't remember anything about the sack." 



260 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WALKER 

Lady visitor loq. " The first time I was invited to Mr. 

's (the Hon. 's, you know), I was somewhat 

anxious, but went home flattering myself I had made a 
creditable impression. Imagine my consternation, when 
I came to relieve the pocket of my gala-gown, donned for 
the occasion, at discovering among its treasures a tea- 
napkin, marked gorgeously with the Hon. 's 

family crest, which had maliciously crept into its depths 
in order to bring me into disgrace ! I have never been 
able to bring myself to the point of confession, in spite of 
my subsequent intimacy with the family. If it were not 
for Joseph's positive assertion to the contrary, I should 
be of the opinion that his cup of divination conjured itself 
deliberately and sinfully into innocent Benjamin's sack." 

Student loq. (Testimony open to criticism.) "Met 
pretty girl on the street yesterday. Sure I had on my 
* Armstrong;' had when I left home, sure as fate; but 
when I went to pull it off, by the crown, of course, to 
bow to the pretty girl, I smashed in my beaver ! How it 
got there, don't know. Knocked it off. Pretty girl picked 
it up and handed it to me. Confounded things, anyway!" 

Young divine loq. " While I was in the army, I was in 
Washington ' on leave' for two or three days. One night 
at a party I became utterly bewildered in an attempt to 
converse, after a long desuetude, with a fascinating woman. 
I went stumbling on, amazing her more and more, until 
finally I covered myself with glory by the categorical 
statement that in my opinion General McClellan could 
'never get across the peninsula without s, fattle ; I beg 
pardon, madam ! what I mean to say is, without a bight.' " 

School-girl loq. "When Uncle was President, 1 

was at the White House at a state dinner one evening. 

Senator came rushing in frantically after we had 

been at the table some time. No sooner was he seated 



WALKER] DEPRAVITY OF INANIMATE THINGS. 261 

than he turned to aunt to apologize for his delay ; and, 
being very much heated, and very much embarrassed, he 
tugged away desperately at his pocket, and finally suc 
ceeded in extracting a huge blue stocking, evidently of 
home manufacture, with which he proceeded to wipe his 
forehead very energetically and very conspicuously. I 
suppose the truth was that the poor man's handkerchiefs 
were ' on a strike,' and thrust forward this homespun 
stocking to bring him to terms." 

School-girl No. 2 loq. u My last term at F., I was ex 
pecting a box of ' goodies' from home. So when the mes 
sage came, ' An express-package for you, Miss Fannie !' I 
invited all my specials to come and assist at the opening. 
Instead of the expected box, appeared a misshapen bundle, 
done up in yellow wrapping-paper. Four such dejected- 
looking damsels were never before seen as we, standing 
around the ugly old thing. Finally Alice suggested, 

" ' Open it !' 

" ' Oh, I know what it is,' I said : ' it is my old thibet, 
that mother has made over for me.' 

" ' Let's see,' persisted Alice. 

" So I opened the package. The first thing I drew out 
was too much for me, 

" ' What a funny-looking basque !' exclaimed Alice. All 
the rest were struck dumb with disappointment. 

" No ! not a basque at all, but a man's black satin waist 
coat! and next came objects about which there could 
be no doubt, a pair of dingy old trousers, and a swallow- 
tailed coat! Imagine the chorus of damsels ! 

' The secret was, that two packages lay in father's office, 
one for me, the other for those everlasting freedmen. 
John was to forward mine. He had taken up the box to 
write the address on it, when the yellow bundle tumbled 
off the desk at his feet and scared the wits out of his 



262 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOFFMAN 

head. So I came in for father's second-hand clothes, and 
the Ethiopians had the ' goodies.' " 

Eepentant Dominie loq. " I don't approve of it at all, 
but then, if you must write the wicked thing, I heard a 

good story for you to-day. Dr. found himself in the 

pulpit of a Dutch Eeformed church the other Sunday. 
You know he is one who prides himself on his adaptation 
to places and times. Just at the close of the introductory 
services, a black gown lying over the arm of the sofa 
caught his eye. He was rising to deliver his sermon, 
when it forced itself on his attention again. 

"'Sure enough,' thought he, 'Dutch Reformed clergy 
men do wear gowns. I might as well put it on.' 

" So he solemnly thrust himself into the malicious (as 
you would say) garment, and went through the services 
as well as he could, considering that his audience seemed 
singularly agitated, and indeed on the point of bursting 
out into a general laugh, throughout the entire service. 
And no wonder! The good Doctor, in his zeal for con 
formity, had attired himself in the black cambric duster 
in which the pulpit was shrouded during the week-days, 
and had been gesticulating his eloquent homilies with his 
arms thrust through the holes left for the pulpit-lamps !" 



THE MAN IN THE RESERVOIR. 

C. F. HOFFMAN. 

[The subjoined story, with its detailed exactness of probable incident, 
is one of that realistic class which almost convince us of their actual 
occurrence. We follow the weary circling of the hopeless swimmer 
with some such holding of the breath as if we actually gazed upon his 
midnight gyrations. Charles Fenno Hoffman, the author, was born in 



HOFFMAN] THE MAN IN THE RESERVOIR. 263 

New York in 1806. His first published work was " Winter in the 
West." Much of his literary work was in the domain of poetry, and 
"as a song-writer," says K. W. Griswold, " no American is compa 
rable to him." He wrote one novel, " Greyslaer," and several stories, 
of which the one we here give gained great popularity. He died at 
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1884.] 

You may see some of the best society in New York on 
the top of the Distributing Eeservoir, any of these fine 
October mornings. There were two or three carriages in 
waiting, and half a dozen senatorial-looking mothers with 
young children, pacing the parapet, as we basked there the 
other day in the sunshine, now watching the pickerel 
that glide along the lucid edges of the black pool within, 
and now looking off upon the scene of rich and wondrous 
variety that spreads along the two rivers on either side. 

" They may talk of Alpheus and Arethusa," murmured 
an idling sophomore, who had found his way thither 
during recitation-hours, " but the Croton in passing over 
an arm of the sea at Spuyten-Duyvil, and bursting to sight 
again in this truncated pyramid, beats it all hollow. By 
George, too, the bay yonder looks as blue as ever the 
^Egean Sea to Byron's eye, gazing from the Acropolis! 
But the painted foliage on these crags ! the Greeks must 
have dreamed of such a vegetable phenomenon in the 
midst of their grayish olive-groves, or they never would 
have supplied the want of it in their landscape by em 
broidering their marble temples with gay colors. Did 
you see that pike break, sir?" 

" I did not." 

"Zounds! his silver fin flashed upon the black Acheron 
like a restless soul that hoped yet to mount from the 
pool.'' 

" The place seems suggestive of fancies to you," we 
observed in reply to the rattlepate. 



^64 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOFFMAN 

" It is, indeed, for I have done a good deal of anxious 
thinking within a circle of a few yards where that fish 
broke just now." 

"A singular place for meditation, the middle of the 
reservoir!" 

"You look incredulous, sir, but it's a fact. A fellow 
can never tell, until he is tried, in what situation his 
most earnest meditations may be concentrated. I am 
boring you, though ?" 

"Not at all. But you seem so familiar with the spot, 
I wish you could tell me why that ladder leading down 
to the water is lashed against the stone-work in yonder 
corner?" 

" That ladder?" said the young man, brightening at the 
question ; " why, the position, perhaps the very existence, 
of that ladder, resulted from my meditations in the reser 
voir, at which you smiled just now. Shall I tell you all 
about them ?" 

" Pray do." 

" Well, you have seen the notice forbidding any one to 
fish in the reservoir. Now, when I read that warning, 
the spirit of the thing struck me at once, as inferring 
nothing more than that one should not sully the temper 
ance potations of our citizens by steeping bait in it, of 
any kind ; but you probably know the common way of 
taking pike with a slip-noose of delicate wire. I was de 
termined to have a touch at the fellows with this kind of 
tackle. 

"I chose a moonlight night; and an hour before the 
edifice was closed to visitors, I secreted myself within 
the walls, determined to pass the night on the top. All 
went as I could wish it. The night proved cloudy, 
but it was only a variable drift of broken clouds which 
obscured the moon. I had a walking-cane rod with me 



HOFFMAN] THE MAN IN THE RESERVOIR. zG5 

which would reach to the margin of the water, and sev 
eral feet beyond if necessary. To this was attached the 
wire, about fifteen inches in length. 

" I prowled along the parapet for a considerable time, 
but not a single fish could I see. The clouds made a 
flickering light and shade, that wholly foiled my stead 
fast gaze. I was convinced that should they come up 
thicker my whole night's adventure would be thrown 
away. ' Why should I not descend the sloping wall and 
get nearer on a level with the fish ? for thus alone can I 
hope to see one.' The question had hardly shaped itself 
in my mind before I had one leg over the iron railing. 

" If you look around you will see now that there 
are some half-dozen weeds growing here and there, amid 
the fissures of the solid masonry. In one of the fissures 
from whence these spring, I planted a foot, and began my 
descent. The reservoir was fuller than it is now, and a few 
strides would have carried me to the margin of the water. 
Holding on to the cleft above, I felt round with one foot 
for a place to plant it below me. 

" In that moment the flap of a pound pike made me look 
round, and the roots of the weed upon which I partiall t > 
depended gave way as I was in the act of turning. Sir, 
one's senses are sharpened in deadly peril : as I live now, 
I distinctly heard the bells of Trinity chiming midnight, 
as I rose to the surface the next instant, immersed in the 
stone caldron, where I must swim for my life heaven only 
could tell how long! 

" I am a capital swimmer ; and this naturally gave me 
a degree of self-possession. Falling as I had, I of course 
had pitched out some distance from the sloping parapet. 
A few strokes brought me to the edge. I really was not 
yet certain but that I could clamber up the face of the 
wall anywhere. I hoped that I could. I felt certain at 
iv. M 23 



266 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOFFMAN 

least there was some spot where I might get hold with 
my hands, even if I did not ultimately ascend it. 

" I tried the nearest spot. The inclination of the wall 
was so vertical that it did not even rest me to lean against 
it. I felt with my hands and with my feet. Surely, I 
thought, there must be some fissure like those in which 
that ill-omened weed had found a place for its root! 

" There was none. My fingers became sore in busying 
themselves with the harsh and inhospitable stones. My 
feet slipped from the smooth and slimy masonry beneath 
the water ; and several times my face came in rude con 
tact with the wall, when my foothold gave way on the 
instant that I seemed to have found some diminutive 
rocky cleet upon which I could stay myself. 

" Sir, did you ever see a rat drowned in a half-filled 
hogshead? how he swims round, and round, and round, 
and, after vainly trying the sides again and again with his 
paws, fixes his eyes upon the upper rim as if he would 
look himself out of his watery prison. 

" I thought of the miserable vermin, thought of him as 
I had often watched thus his dying agonies, when a cruel 
urchin of eight or ten. Boys are horribly cruel, sir ; boys, 
women, and savages. All childlike things are cruel ; cruel 
from a want of thought and from perverse ingenuity, al 
though by instinct each of these is so tender. You may 
not have observed it, but a savage is as tender to his own 
young as a boy is to a favorite puppy, the same boy 
that will torture a kitten out of existence. I thought, 
then, I say, of the rat drowning in a half-filled cask of 
water, and lifting his gaze out of the vessel as he grew 
more and more desperate, and I flung myself on my 
back, and, floating thus, fixed my eyes upon the face of 
the moon. 

" The moon is well enough, in her way, however you 



HOFFMAN] THE MAN IN THE RESERVOIR. 267 

may look at her ; but her appearance is, to say the least 
of it, peculiar to a man floating on his back in the centre 
of a stone tank, with a dead wall of some fifteen or twenty 
feet rising squarely on every side of him" (the young man 
smiled bitterly as he said this, and shuddered once or twice 
before he went on musingly). " The last time I had noted 
the planet with any emotion she was on the wane. Mary 
was with me ; I had brought her out here one morning to 
look at the view from the top of the Reservoir. She said 
little of the scene, but, as we talked of our old childish 
loves, I saw that its fresh features were incorporating 
themselves with tender memories of the past, and I was 
content. 

"There was a rich golden haze upon the landscape, 
and, as my own spirits rose amid the voluptuous atmos 
phere, she pointed to the waning planet, discernible like a 
faint gash in the welkin, and wondered how long it would 
be before the leaves would fall ! Strange girl ! did she 
mean to rebuke my joyous mood, as if we had no right 
to be happy while Nature withering in her pomp, and the 
sickly moon wasting in the blaze of noontide, were there 
to remind us of ' the gone forever' ? ' They will all renew 
themselves, dear Mary,' said I, encouragingly ; ' and there 
is one that will ever keep tryst alike with thee and Nature 
through all seasons, if thou wilt but be true to one of us, 
and remain as now a child of Nature.' 

"A tear sprang to her eye, and then, searching her 
pocket for her card-case, she remembered an engagement 
to be present at Miss Lawson's opening of fall bonnets, at 
two o'clock ! 

" And yet, dear, wild, wayward Mary, I thought of her 
now. You have probably outlived this sort of thing, sir ; 
but I, looking at the moon, as I floated there upturned to 
her yellow light, thought of the loved being whose tears 



268 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOFFMAN 

I knew would flow when she heard of my singular fate, 
at once so grotesque, yet melancholy to awfulness. 

"And how often we have talked, too, of that Carian 
shepherd who spent his damp nights upon the hills, gazing 
as I do on the lustrous planet ! Who will revel with her 
amid those old superstitions ? Who, from our own un- 
legended woods, will evoke their yet undetected haunting 
spirits? Who peer with her in prying scrutiny into 
Nature's laws, and challenge the whispers of poetry from 
the voiceless throat of matter ? Who laugh merrily over 
the stupid guess-work of pedants, that never mingled 
with the infinitude of Nature through love exhaustless 
and all-embracing, as we have ? Poor girl ! she will be 
companionless. 

"Alas! companionless forever, save in the exciting 
stages of some brisk flirtation. She will live hereafter by 
feeding other hearts with love's lore she has learned from 
me, and then, Pygmalion-like, grow fond of the images 
she has herself endowed with semblance of divinity, until 
they seem to breathe back the mystery the soul can truly 
catch from only one. 

" How anxious she will be lest the coroner shall have 
discovered any of her notes in my pocket ! 

" I felt chilly as this last reflection crossed my mind, 
partly at thought of the coroner, partly at the idea of 
Mary being unwillingly compelled to wear mourning for 
me, in case of such a disclosure of our engagement. It is 
a provoking thing for a girl of nineteen to have to go into 
mourning for a deceased lover at the beginning of her 
second winter in the metropolis. 

" The water, though, with my motionless position, must 
have had something to do with my chilliness. I see, sir, 
you think that I tell my story with great levity ; but in 
deed, indeed I should grow delirious did I venture to hold 



HOFFMAN] THE MAN IN THE RESERVOIR. 269 

steadily to the awfulness of my feelings the greater part 
of that night. I think, indeed, I must have been most of 
the time hysterical with horror, for the vibrating emo 
tions I have recapitulated did pass through my brain even 
as I have detailed them. 

"But as I now became calm in thought, I summoned up 
again some resolution of action. 

" I will begin at that corner (said I), and swim around 
the whole enclosure. I will swim slowly and again feel 
the sides of the tank with my feet. If die I must, let 
me perish at least from well-directed though exhausting 
effort, not sink from mere bootless weariness in sustaining 
myself till the morning shall bring relief. 

' The sides of the place seemed to grow higher as i 
now kept my watery course beneath them. It was not 
altogether a dead pull. I had some variety of emotion in 
making my circuit. When I swam in the shadow it looked 
to me more cheerful beyond in the moonlight. When I 
swam in the moonlight I had the hope of making some 
discovery when I should again reach the shadow. I turned 
several times on my back to rest just where those wavy 
lines would meet. The stars looked viciously bright to 
me from the bottom of that well ; there was such a com 
pany of them ; they were so glad in their lustrous rev 
elry ; and they had such space to move in. I was alone, 
sad to despair, in a strange element, prisoned, and a soli 
tary gazer upon their mocking chorus. And yet there 
was nothing else with which I could hold communion. 

" I turned upon my breast and struck out almost fran 
tically, once more. The stars were forgotten, the moon, 
the very world of which I as yet formed a part, my poor 
Mary herself, was forgotten. I thought only of the strong 
man there perishing ; of me in my lusty manhood, in the 
sharp vigor of my dawning prime, with faculties illimit- 
iv. fc3* 



270 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOFFMAN 

able, with senses all alert, battling there with physical 
obstacles which men like myself had brought together for 
my undoing. The Eternal could never have willed this 
thing ! I could not and I would not perish thus. And 1 
grew strong in insolence of self-trust ; and I laughed aloud 
as I dashed the sluggish water from side to side. 

" Then came an emotion of pity for myself, of wild, 
wild regret; of sorrow, oh, infinite, for a fate so desolate, 
a doom so dreary, so heart-sickening. You may laugh at 
the contradiction if you will, sir, but I felt that I could 
sacrifice my own life on the instant, to redeem another 
fellow-creature from such a place of horror, from an end 
so piteous. My soul and my vital spirit seemed in that 
desperate moment to be separating ; while one in parting 
grieved over the deplorable fate of the other. 

" And then I prayed ! 

" I prayed, why or wherefore I know not. It was not 
from fear. It could not have been in hope. The days of 
miracles are past, and there was no natural law by whose 
providential interposition I could be saved. / did not 
pray : it prayed of itself, my soul within me. 

"Was the calmness that I now felt, torpidity? the 
torpidity that precedes dissolution to the strong swimmer 
who, sinking from exhaustion, must at last add a bubble 
to the wave as he suffocates beneath the element which 
now denied his mastery? If it were so, how fortunate 
was it that my floating rod at that moment attracted my 
attention as it dashed through the water by me ! I saw 
on the instant that a fish had entangled himself in the 
wire noose. The rod quivered, plunged, came again to 
the surface, and rippled the water as it shot in arrowy 
flight from side to side of the tank. At last, driven to 
wards the southeast corner of the reservoir, the small 
end seemed to have got foul somewhere. The brazen 



HOFFMAN] THE MAN IN THE RESERVOIR. 271 

butt, which, every time the fish sounded, was thrown up 
to the moon, now sank by its own weight, showing that 
the other end must be fast. But the cornered fish, evi 
dently anchored somewhere by that short wire, floundered 
several times to the surface before I thought of striking 
out to the spot. 

" The water is low now, and tolerably clear. You may 
see the very ledge there, sir, in yonder corner, on which 
the small end of my rod rested when I secured that pike 
with my hands. I did not take him from the slip-noose, 
however, but, standing upon the ledge, handled the rod 
in a workmanlike manner, as I flung that pound pickerel 
over the iron railing upon the top of the parapet. The 
rod, as I have told you, barely reached from the railing to 
the water. It was a heavy, strong bass rod which I had 
borrowed in the ' Spirit of the Times' office ; and when I 
discovered that the fish at the end of the wire made a 
titrong enough knot to prevent me from drawing my 
tackle away from the railing around which it twined 
itself as I threw, why, as you can at once see, I had but 
little difficulty in making my way up the face of the wall 
with such assistance. The ladder which attracted your 
notice is, as you see, lashed to the iron railing in the iden 
tical spot where I thus made my escape ; and for fear of 
similar accidents they have placed another one in the cor 
responding corner of the other compartment of the tank 
ever since my remarkable night's adventure in the reser 
voir." 

We give the above singular relation verbatim as heard 
from the lips of our chance acquaintance, and, although 
strongly tempted to " work it up" after the fantastic style 
of a famous German namesake, prefer that the reader 
should have it in its American simplicity. 



272 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ANONYMOUS 

THE MOUND-BUILDERS. 

ANONYMOUS. 

[It is very desirable that, to the extracts we have given descriptive 
of American scenery, and of interesting points in modern American 
history, some brief account of the aboriginal civilization of this country 
should be appended, that known as the civilization of "The Mound- 
Builders." It was not, indeed, a civilization in the modern sense, but 
only as compared with the savagery found to exist among the Indians 
of the Northern States. There is abundant evidence that at one time 
a much more cultivated people occupied this region. This people had 
vanished ere the discovery of America by the whites. Yet plentiful 
indications of their former existence persist, and the study of these, 
and of their far-reaching relations, has given rise to what is almost a 
complete branch of science, that of American archaeology. Many able 
writers have treated this subject, but somewhat too technically for our 
present purpose, and we transcribe instead a portion of an article on 
"The Mound-Builders" from the "American Supplement to the En 
cyclopaedia Britannica," in which the subject is handled more briefly 
and generally. We omit most of the descriptive portions of this 
article, but give its historical and theoretical portions in full.] 

THE pioneer settlers of the valleys of the Mississippi 
and the Ohio failed to discover indications of any human 
culture in these regions beyond that of the savage tribes 
with whom they contended for the possession of their new 
territory. Only when men with aptitude for scientific 
research made their way thither was it discovered that 
this whole region was thickly covered with the relics of 
a more ancient and more civilized race, who had appar 
ently been completely supplanted by the modern Indians. 
The most apparent of these relics consisted of mounds of 
earth, varying greatly in shape, size, and probable pur 
pose. This fact, while of interest, was not in itself par 
ticularly striking. Earth mounds are found in all parts 



ANONYMOUS] THE MOUND-BUILDERS. 273 

of the world, and seem to have been a general means 
adopted by savage and barbarous tribes for the burial and 
the commemoration of their leading men. But the mounds 
of the United States are by no means confined to purposes 
of burial, like those of Asia and of other regions, but are 
of greatly-varied design, and in many of their forms have 
no counterpart elsewhere upon the earth. While many 
of them are sepulchral, others are evidently defensive, 
others religious, and of many the design is, and perhaps 
will always remain, mysterious. They exist, moreover, 
in extraordinary abundance, being found throughout the 
whole region from the Rocky Mountains to the Allegha- 
nies, and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf, and to some 
small extent beyond these limits. The State of Ohio alone 
contains more than ten thousand mounds, besides one thou 
sand or fifteen hundred defensive works and enclosures. 
They are also very abundant in Illinois, Indiana, and Mis 
souri. It is said that within a radius of fifty miles from 
the mouth of the Illinois River, in the State of Illinois, 
about five thousand of these ancient works exist. They 
existed so abundantly on the site of St. Louis as to gain 
for that city the name of the " Mound City." If we go 
south it is to find them in similar abundance. The Gulf 
States are full of them. From Florida to Texas they 
everywhere abound of the greatest diversity in size and 
shape. Nor are they restricted to the limits here given. 
Occasional small examples exist east of the Alleghanies. 
West of the Rocky Mountains, and throughout Mexico 
and Central America, they are found, though nowhere so 
abundantly as in the Mississippi Yalley. These mounds 
are usually from six to thirty feet high, and forty to one 
hundred in diameter, though some are much larger. To 
the vanished race to whose labor they are due has been 
given the name of the " Mound-Builders." 

IV. 



274 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ANONYMOUS 

[We have not space to give in full the extended description of these 
mounds which follows, and must very briefly epitomize it. Many of 
them consist of defensive earthworks, situated usually on hills and 
river-bluffs, and indicating an extensive population in the valleys be 
low. There are indications of a continuous line of such fortifications 
extending from Western New York into Ohio, while many isolated 
ones exist, often of great extent and showing much military skill in 
their erection. 

Other works are extensive enclosures on the valley levels, forming 
very regular circles, squares, and other figures, and containing mounds 
supposed to have been used for religious purposes. Of the so-called 
" Temple mounds" some are of enormous size, that at Cahokia, Illi 
nois, measuring seven hundred by five hundred feet at base, and ninety 
feet in perpendicular height. It was probably surmounted by a tem 
ple. Other small mounds are supposed to have been used as altars ; but 
the most numerous class were used for burial, and in these skeletons 
are often found. Perhaps the strangest mounds are those imitating 
the shape of animals, which are found numerously in Wisconsin, and 
to some extent elsewhere. These are large and crude representations 
of a considerable variety of animals, the " Snake mound" of Ohio being 
seven hundred feet in length. 

The mounds contain very numerous relics of the art of their build 
ers, consisting of many articles of pottery, stone pipes of very skilful 
manufacture, in imitation of animal forms, stone implements in great 
variety, articles of beaten copper, pearls, plates of mica, fragments of 
woven fabrics, and other articles, indicative of much industry and a 
considerable advance in the simpler arts. With this digest we may 
permit our author to resume his narrative.] 

The question now arises, Who were the Mound-Builders? 
What vestiges of their history, if any, yet exist? These 
are questions which archaeologists are not prepared to 
answer definitely, though they seem approaching a settled 
conclusion. Much study has been given to the skulls 
taken from the mounds, in quest of race characteristics. 
They vary considerably, but there is nothing to indicate 
an essential difference in race from modern Indians. And 
the arts of the Mound-Builders have not quite died out in 



ANONYMOUS] THE MOUND-BUILDERS. 275 

the existing Indian tribes. The latter, when discovered, 
wei e to some extent agricultural, protected their villages 
by stockades and other defensive works, and were expert 
in the manufacture of stone implements and in some other 
industrial pursuits. But all this is insignificant as com 
pared with the varied industries and the magnitude of the 
works of the Mound-Builders. These attest a population 
very much greater than that of the hunting tribes, and 
therefore necessarily in the main agricultural ; and one 
possessed of a compact governmental organization and a 
developed religious system. Either the power of a despot 
over a large body of obedient people, or the influence of a 
strong religious sentiment, or perhaps both, were needed 
to erect the great earthworks so widely disseminated, and 
which were not built without enormous labor, with the 
simple means at their command. An Indian of the North, 
with his independent spirit and his crude religious ideas, 
would laugh to scorn the chief or medicine-man who bade 
him perform such labors. 

But when we go south, a different state of organization 
and different religious ideas appear, and we seem to be 
treading closely on the footsteps of the vanished Mound- 
Builders. When the Spanish explorers landed in Florida 
and made their way to the Mississippi, they found tribes 
existing in a very different condition from that of the 
tribes of the North. These tribes inhabited well-built and 
protected villages, and were skilful agriculturists and pos 
sessed of many manufacturing arts, while they still used 
the mounds in their vicinity as a base of the chiefs dwell 
ing, and perhaps for other purposes. Nor had they quite 
lost the art of mound-building, though it is questionable 
if the great mounds of the region were the work of their 
direct ancestors. Their organization was far in advance 
of that of the Northern Indians. In the Creek confeder- 



276 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ANONYMOUS 

acy the chief, or Mico, possessed a certain degree of des 
potic power. He held his post for life, was a religious as 
well as civil dignitary, and was treated with the greatest 
homage and respect. Other important officers were the 
Great War-Chief and the High-Priest, while the Conjurer 
or Medicine-Man answered to the sole religious dignitary 
of the Northern tribes. The vague superstitions of the 
latter were replaced here by a developed sun-worship, 
which was conducted with much ceremony, there being 
temples in which a sacred fire was kept up with the great 
est assiduity during the year, and relighted once every 
year with special ceremony. 

When the Spanish explorers reached the region of the 
Mississippi they found there tribes who we have consider 
able reason to believe were the direct descendants of the 
Mound-Builders and retained their arts and organization. 
These were the Natchez and other related tribes. They 
are now extinct, having been annihilated by the hostility 
of the French of Louisiana, but what we are told of them 
is of very great interest. Their language, so far as known, 
had no affinity with those of the other tribes. Their organ 
ization was a more complex and despotic one than that of 
the Creeks. Their chief was known as the Sun, and his 
power was completely despotic. He had religious as well as 
civil authority, and was looked upon as a sacred and direct 
descendant of the sun-god. His family were called Suns, 
and had special privileges. Beneath them was a nobility, 
while the common people were very submissive. The 
chiefs' dwellings were on mounds, and the mounds were 
also the seat of temples, in which the sacred fire was 
guarded with superstitious care by the priesthood. When 
these tribes were visited by La Salle, in 1681-82, they are 
described as living in large, square, adobe dwellings, with 
dome-shaped roofs of canes, regularly grouped around a 



ANONYMOUS] THE MOUND-BUILDERS. 277 

central area. The temple of the sun was adorned with 
the figures of three eagles, with heads turned to the east. 
Among the Natchez there was an elaborate cultus, with 
temples, idols, priests, keepers of sacred things, religious 
festivals, and the like, and a vigorous control over the 
people through their superstitions. In one town the 
Spanish explorers found a large mausoleum, one hundred 
paces by forty in extent, which held in large chests the 
bodies of defunct chiefs. At its entrance were gigantic 
wooden statues, skilfully carved and armed with weapons, 
while their attitudes were threatening and their looks 
ferocious. Inside were other statues, and in addition to 
the chests mentioned were smaller ones containing the 
valuables of the tribe. These consisted of valuable furs, 
robes of dressed skins and of handsomely-colored feathers, 
mats of the inner bark of trees and of a species of grass, 
together with a great store of pearls. The natives lived 
in comfortable dwellings, and were well clothed in dressed 
and painted deer-skins, feather-work clothing, and woven 
materials. The woman chief of one town, when she met 
De Soto, was seated on cushions in a canoe which was 
covered with awnings. 

The condition and customs of these tribes are so inter 
esting in respect to their probable relation to the Mound- 
Builders that one cannot but regret that they did not 
retain their pristine organization until visited by more 
observant people than the early Spanish explorers. There 
are various interesting points in regard to their institu 
tions and habits which may be mentioned in this connec 
tion. They nowhere formed large governmental communi 
ties, but each town or village was regarded as independent, 
under its own mico and council. The council met every 
day in the central square of the village to consider ques 
tions of public interest. Over this meeting the mico 
iv. 24 



278 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ANONYMOUS 

presided, and was treated with the utmost respect as a 
direct representative of the sun, though his power did not 
eeem so absolute in the eastern as in the Mississippi region. 
He held his post for life, and though the office was elective 
it generally remained in the one family, descent being 
in the female line. Agriculture was the main vocation 
of these tribes, though hunting was actively engaged in. 
All the soil was held in common, the only private prop 
erty being in habitations and in immediate garden-plots. 
And one interesting feature of the industrial situation was 
that, while every farmer or hunter had the right to the 
product of his own labor, every one was obliged to deposit 
a part of his food-product in the public granary, a circular 
building of stone and earth erected in some shady place. 
This wise provision was intended as a reserve store in case 
of want, and for the use of the helpless. The contents of 
the granary were under the absolute disposal of the mico. 
Capital punishment was administered in the presence of 
the council, the criminal being executed by the blow of a 
club on the skull.* 

The organization of the Southern Indians, as we have 
said, reached its ultimate development in the Natchez and 
their related tribes. Here the Sun was at once king and 
high-priest, and absolute in power, the people being highly 
submissive. The distinctions of rank were more conspicu 
ous than elsewhere. The great chief every morning per 
formed certain religious ceremonies at the door of his 
habitation. He acknowledged no superior but the sun, 
and the tradition was entertained that he and his family 
were the descendants of a man and woman who originally 



* It may be stated here that skulls have been found in the Northern 
burial-mounds, crushed in this manner, evidently those of victims im 
molated at the burial of a deceased chief. 



ANONYMOUS] THE MOUND-BUILDERS. 279 

came down from the sun to the earth. The ruler was not 
succeeded by his son, but by the son of his nearest female 
relative, who was known as the Woman Chief, and who 
also possessed the power of life and death over the people. 
So great was the influence over them of their supersti 
tions that the extinguishment of the sacred fire in the 
temple was deemed the greatest calamity that could pos 
sibly befall them. Among the Creeks, and possibly among 
the Natchez, it was the custom to extinguish it at a fixed 
period every year, and relight it after an interval, this 
interval being a period of dread and lamentation by the 
people.* The death of the Sun of the Natchez cost the 
life of his guards and of many of his subjects, sometimes 
more than one hundred persons being sacrificed. Few of 
the principal persons died without human sacrifices, the 
victims being chosen from their relatives, friends, and ser 
vants. Captives taken in war were sacrificed to the sun, 
and their skulls displayed on the temples. 

We have gone into this description of the manners and 
customs of the Southern Indians from the fact that many 
archa3ologists are now satisfied that they were the direct 
descendants of the Mound-Builders. The governmental 
and religious system, and the arts, of these tribes agree 
in many respects with the indications which the mounds 
reveal, particularly in the traces of human sacrifices per 
formed by crushing the skull, and the superstition and 
despotism which alone can explain the immensity of the 
labors performed. Some of the mounds are so great that 
it would take a thousand men months to erect them with 
all the aid of the best modern implements. It must have 
cost their original builders years of the hardest labor, all 



* A very similar custom and sentiment existed among the Aztecs of 
Mexico. 



280 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ANONYMOUS 

this earth being carried by hand, probably in baskets, 
often for a considerable distance, and deposited upon the 
mounds. 

Historical. The history of the Mound-Builders can only 
be conjectural. Possibly, had the early settlers of America 
been disposed to archaeological inquiry, traces of this van 
ished people might have been found north as well as south. 
A. J. Conant, in his " Footprints of Vanished Eaces," says 
that the Indian tribes, when first known, had traditions 
of a superior race whom they had conquered and en 
slaved. Here and there a solitary individual was found 
who claimed to be a prophet and the descendant of a long 
priestly line, a representative of this superior race. To 
these statements no attention was paid, and only a few of 
the many traditions which might have been collected are 
now extant. It is not improbable that the semi-civiliza 
tion of the Mound-Builders originated in the Mississippi 
Yalley, possibly in the highly-fertile region of the lower 
Mississippi, and that it gradually extended northward, by 
a natural process of expansion, to the point of confluence 
of the Mississippi and Ohio. From this point the colonists 
seem to have followed several channels, keeping to the 
rivers, and extending through the valleys of the Ohio, 
the Missouri, and other streams, until they finally occu 
pied the whole region already indicated. There is reason 
to believe that the mouth of the Ohio was the central 
point of their domain, from its lack of defensive works, 
its abundance of mounds, and the superior character of 
its objects of art and industry. Eastward and westward 
they extended far towards the bordering mountain-chains, 
and northward to Isle Eoyale and the shores of Lake 
Superior, where the traces of mining operations are their 
most northerly indications. It is conjectured that they 
came here only in the summer, on mining expeditions, and 



ANONYMOUS] THE MOUND-BUILDERS. 281 

that they had no regular settlements in this region. The 
Mississippi and the Ohio seem to have been their main 
arteries of expansion, and the Missouri somewhat less so, 
while indications of their occupancy diminish as we pass 
from this centre towards the north, east, and west. 

It is possible that the reverse movement was in some 
what the same lines. If, in their advance, they pushed 
back the original inhabitants of the country, these seem 
to have held their own in the mountains, and to have 
finally retaliated. The many works of defence which 
exist indicate a fierce and long-continued era of warfare, 
in which it is probable that the soil of the United States 
was deeply drenched with human blood, perhaps at the 
same period that similar fierce conflicts between barbarism 
and civilization were taking place in Europe and Asia. 
As the Romans long drove back the German tribes and 
possessed their country, and yet were in turn overcome 
by these vigorous tribes, so may the Mound-Builders have 
outspread and finally been overthrown. Probably they 
were conquered piecemeal, as there is no probability that 
they composed a single empire, but rather a congeries of 
independent tribes, with similar arts and organization. 
However that be, they vanished from the land which they 
had long inhabited, and it was left in full possession of the 
hunting tribes, who were found there as sole inhabitants 
at the advent of the whites,- with only the deserted mounds 
and their contents in attestation of an earlier and more 
interesting people. The Mound-Builders, driven from the 
North, and down the Mississippi Yalley to their original 
seat in the Gulf States, may have there retained their 
manners and customs and partial civilization, with more 
or less completeness, till the coming of the whites, and 
have constituted the tribes found there by La Salle and 
his followers. Once more they were invaded by a power- 
IY. 24* 



282 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ANONYMOUS 

fill foe, before whose assault the last vestige of their an 
cient organization was to disappear, and their most illus 
trative tribe, the Natchez, to vanish finally from the earth. 
As to the period in which the kingdom of the Mound- 
Builders flourished in the North, many conjectures have 
been made. There are some indications which point to a 
considerable antiquity. Forest trees probably six hundred 
years old are found on some of the mounds. Traces of 
decaying trees of yet older date exist. Yet after the 
abandonment of the mounds a long period must have 
elapsed ere forest trees could have taken root in their 
clayey soil, and a much longer period ere they could have 
been invaded by trees having all the variety of the neigh 
boring forests, as was the case when they were discovered. 
There are also vegetable accumulations which indicate a 
considerable lapse of time. In one ditch these accumu 
lations were three feet eight inches deep. The greatly- 
decayed condition of the skeletons is another evidence of 
antiquity. Still another is the encroachment of streams 
upon the abandoned works. The works of the Mound- 
Builders are not erected upon the present river terrace, 
but upon a higher one, which may indicate that the rivers 
have deepened their channels since the date of erection 
of the mounds, or perhaps that the purpose of this was 
to avoid inundation. If the era of abandonment of these 
works was thus remote, that of their erection may have 
been much more remote, and the slow growth of the civili 
zation of the Mound-Builders from original savagery may 
have occupied a vast period, whose duration it would be 
idle to conjecture. It will suffice to say that in these 
strange remains we have a revelation of a remarkable and 
long-continued series of human events upon this portion 
of the American continent which, but for them, would be 
lost in total oblivion. 



ANONYMOUS] THE MOUND-BUILDERS. 283 

It is not improbable that the Gulf territory of the 
United States may have been the centre of outflow of the 
civilization of another region than that of the Mound- 
Builders. The migrations of the latter may have taken 
place south as well as north, and given rise to the civiliza 
tion of Mexico. Or more probably their southward move 
ment before the overwhelming incursions of their Northern 
foes may have set in train a new movement southward, 
the Southern tribes yielding as those of the North were 
pushed back upon them, and migrating through the Mexi 
can region to the seats of the Nahua and Maya empires. 
This conjecture is based not alone on the traditions of a 
Northern origin which prevailed in these empires, but on 
the close conformity of their organization and their archi 
tecture to those we have been considering. 

Sun-worship was the early faith of the Aztecs. Their 
ruler was at once chief and high-priest. His power was 
despotic. The perpetual fire of the temples was guarded 
as sedulously as in the North, and its extinguishment 
deemed a dire calamity. The land was held in common 
and there were public granaries in which a part of ah 
products had to be deposited. A governing council shared 
the authority of the ruler. Human sacrifice had grown 
to frightful dimensions. Other points of community 
might be named, but these are the most striking. 

In architecture a similar community existed. The tem 
ples of Mexico were built upon terraced and truncated 
mounds quite similar in general design to those of the 
North. In Yucatan these terraced mounds are repeated, 
and here they bear enormous and profusely-sculptured 
stone edifices. Here, then, we seem to reach the final out 
come of that movement towards civilization which began 
in the North, and reached its culmination in the American 
tropics, in all its changes preserving the finger-marks of 



284 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ WILLIS 

its origin. This is conjectural only, yet it is a conjecture 
based upon striking indications, and it is certainly by no 
means improbable that the civilization of North America 
originated in the valley of the lower Mississippi and its 
adjacent regions, extended northward and left its relics 
in the works of the Mound-Builders, and afterwards moved 
south before an irresistible force, finding its final seat in 
Mexico and Central America, where it may have displaced 
or mingled with a more archaic native civilization. 



UNWRITTEN MUSIC. 

N. P. WILLIS. 

MEPHISTOPHELES could hardly have found a more strik 
ing amusement for Faust than the passage of three hun 
dred miles in the canal from Lake Erie to the Hudson. 
As I walked up and down the deck of the packet-boat, I 
thought to myself that if it were not for thoughts of 
things that come more home to one's " business and bosom" 
(particularly " bosom") I could be content to retake my 
berth at Schenectady and return to Buffalo for amuse 
ment. The Erie canal-boat is a long and very pretty 
drawing-room afloat. It has a library, sofas, a tolerable 
cook, curtains or Venetian blinds, a civil captain, and no 
smell of steam or perceptible motion. It is drawn gener 
ally by three horses at a fair trot, and gets you through 
about a hundred miles a day, as softly as if you were 
witched over the ground by Puck and Mustard-seed. The 
company (say fifty people) is such as pleases Heaven ; 
though I must say (with my eye all along the shore, col 
lecting the various dear friends I have made and left on 



WILLIS] UNWRITTEN MUSIC. 285 

that long canal), there are few highways on which you 
will meet so many lovely and loving fellow-passengers. 
On this occasion my star was bankrupt, Job Smith being 
my only civilized companion, and I was left to the un 
satisfactory society of my own thoughts and the scenery. 

Discontented as I may seem to have been, I remember, 
through eight or ten years of stirring and thickly-sown 
manhood, every moment of that lonely evening. I re 
member the progression of the sunset, from the lengthen 
ing shadows and the first gold upon the clouds, to the 
deepening twilight and the new-sprung star hung over the 
wilderness. And I remember what I am going to describe, 
a twilight anthem in the forest, as you remember an 
air of Rossini's, or a transition in the half-fiendish, half- 
heavenly creations of Meyerbeer. I thought time dragged 
heavily then, but I wish I had as light a heart and could 
feel as vividly now ! 

The Erie Canal is cut a hundred or two miles through 
the heart of the primeval wilderness of America, and the 
boat was gliding on silently and swiftly, and never sailed 
a lost cloud through the abyss of space on a course more 
apparently new and untrodden. The luxuriant soil had 
sent up a rank grass that covered the horse-path like 
velvet ; the Erie water was clear as a brook in the wind 
ing canal ; the old shafts of the gigantic forest spurred 
into the sky by thousands ; and the yet unscared eagle 
swung off from the dead branch of the pine, and skimmed 
the tree-tops for another perch, as if he had grown to 
believe that gliding spectre a harmless phenomenon of 
nature. The horses drew steadily and unheard at the end 
of the long line ; the steersman stood motionless at the 
tiller, and I lay on a heap of baggage in the prow, atten 
tive to the slightest breathing of nature, but thinking, 
with an ache at my heart, of Edith Linsey, to whose feet 



286 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ WILLIS 

(did I mention it?) I was hastening with a lover's proper 
impatience. I might as well have taken another turn in 
m^ " fool's paradise." 

The gold of the sunset had glided up the dark pine-tops 
and disappeared like a ring taken slowly from an Ethiop's 
finger; the whippoorwill had chanted the first stave of 
his lament ; the bat was abroad, and the screech-owl, like 
all bad singers, commenced without waiting to be impor 
tuned, though we were listening for the nightingale. The 
air, as I said before, had been all day breathless ; but as 
the first chill of evening displaced the warm atmosphere 
of the departed sun, a slight breeze crisped the mirrored 
bosom of the canal, and then commenced the night an 
them of the forest, audible, I would fain believe, in its 
soothing changes, by the dead tribes whose bones whiten 
amid the perishing leaves. First, whisperingly yet ar 
ticulately, the suspended and wavering foliage of the 
birch was touched by the many-fingered wind, and, like a 
faint prelude, the silver-lined leaves rustled in the low 
branches ; and, with a moment's pause, when you could 
hear the moving of the vulture's claws upon the bark, as 
he turned to get his breast to the wind, the increasing 
breeze swept into the pine-tops, and drew forth from 
their fringe-like and myriad tassels a low monotone like 
the refrain of a far-off dirge; and still as it murmured 
(seeming to you sometimes like the confused and heart 
broken responses of the penitents on a cathedral floor) 
the blast strengthened and filled, and the rigid leaves of 
the oak, and the swaying fans and chalices of the mag 
nolia, and the rich cups of the tulip-trees, stirred and 
answered with their different voices like many-toned 
harps ; and when the wind was fully abroad, and every 
moving thing on the breast of the earth was roused from 
its daylight repose, the irregular and capricious blast, like 



WILLIS] UNWRITTEN MUSIC. 287 

a player on an organ of a thousand stops, lulled and 
strengthened by turns, and from the hiss in the rank 
grass, low as the whisper of fairies, to the thunder of the 
impinging and groaning branches of the larch and the fir, 
the anthem went ceaselessly through its changes, and the 
harmony (though the owl broke in with his scream, and 
though the overblown monarch of the wood came crash 
ing to the earth) was still perfect and without a jar. It 
is strange that there is no sound of nature out of tune. 
The roar of the water-fall comes into this anthem of the 
forest like an accompaniment of bassoons, and the oc 
casional bark of the wolf, or the scream of a night-bird, 
or even the deep-throated croak of the frog, is no more 
discordant than the outburst of an octave flute above the 
even melody of an orchestra; and it is surprising how 
the large rain-drops, pattering on the leaves, and the 
small voice of the nightingale (singing, like nothing but 
himself, sweetest in the darkness), seems an intensitive 
and a low burden to the general anthem of the earth, as 
it were, a single voice among instruments. 

I had what Wordsworth calls a " couchant ear" in my 
youth, and my story will wait, dear reader, while I tell 
you of another harmony that I learned to love in the 
wilderness. 

There will come sometimes in the spring say in May, 
or whenever the snow-drops and sulphur butterflies are 
tempted out by the first timorous sunshine. there will 
come, I say, in that yearning and youth-renewing season, 
a warm shower at noon. Our tent shall be pitched on 
the skirts of a forest of young pines, and the evergreen 
foliage, if foliage it may be called, shall be a daily refresh 
ment to our eye while watching, with the west wind upon 
our cheeks, the unclothed branches of the elm. The rain 
descends softly and warm ; but with the sunset the clouds 



288 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WILLIS 

break away, and it grows suddenl}' cold enough to freeze. 
The next morning you shall come out with me to a hill 
side looking upon the south, and lie down with your ear 
to the earth. The pine-tassels hold in every four of their 
fine fingers a drop of rain frozen like a pearl in a long 
ear-ring, sustained in their loose grasp by the rigidity of 
the cold. The sun grows warm at ten, and the slight 
green fingers begin to relax and yield, and by eleven they 
are all dropping their icy pearls upon the dead leaves 
with a murmur through the forest like the swarming of 
the bees of Hybla. There is not much variety in its 
music, but it is a pleasant monotone for thought, and if 
you have a restless fever in your bosom (as I had, when 1 
learned to love it, for the travel which has corrupted the 
heart and the ear that it soothed and satisfied then) you 
may lie down with a crooked root under your head in the 
skirts of the forest, and thank Heaven for an anodyne to 
care. And it is better than the voice of your friend, or 
the song of your lady-love, for it exacts no gratitude, and 
will not desert you ere the echo dies upon the wind. 

Oh, how many of these harmonies there are! how 
many that we hear, and how many that are " too constant 
to be heard" ! I could go back to my youth, now, with 
this thread of recollection, and unsepulture a hoard of 
simple and long-buried joys that would bring the blush 
upon my cheek to think how my senses are dulled since 
sich things could give me pleasure! Is there no "well 
of Kanathos" for renewing the youth of the soul? no 
St. Hilary's cradle ? no elixir to cast the slough of heart- 
sickening and heart-tarnishing custom? Find me an 
alchymy for that, with your alembic and crucible, and 
you may resolve to dross again your philosopher's stone ! 



BARNES] LIFE AT THREESCORE AND TEN. 289 

LIFE AT THREESCORE AND TEN. 

ALBERT BARNES. 

[The writer of this interesting description of the feelings, and rela 
tions to society, of a septuagenarian, himself lived very little past that 
life-era. He was born in 1798, and died in 1870, at the age of seventy- 
two. No theological writer of America has attained greater popularity 
as an author, his "Notes on the New Testament," comprising eleven 
volumes, having reached, at the time of his death, a sale of over a mil 
lion volumes. He wrote numerous other works, and was an earnest 
advocate of the anti-slavery doctrine long before that doctrine was ac 
cepted by the clergy generally. In 1830 he became pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, a position which he held for 
more than thirty years.] 

A MAN rarely forms any new plans of life at seventy 
years of age. He enters no new professions or callings, he 
embarks in no new business, he undertakes to write no 
new books, he forms no new friendships, alliances, or part 
nerships ; he cannot now feel, as he once could, that on 
the failure of one plan he may now embark in another 
with better promise of success. 

Hitherto all along the course of his life he has felt that, 
if he became conscious that he had mistaken his calling, 
or if he was unsuccessful in that calling, he might em 
brace another ; if be was disappointed or failed in one line 
of business, be migbt resume that line, or embark in an- 
otber, witb vigor and bope ; for be bad youth on bis side, 
and be bad, or be tbougbt be bad, many years before bim. 
If one friend proved unfaithful, be migbt form other 
friendships; if he failed in his chosen profession, the 
world was still before him where to choose, and there 
were still many paths that might lead to affluence or to 
honor ; if he lost one battle, the case was not hopeless, for 
iv. N t 25 



290 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BARNES 

he might yet be honored on some other field with victory, 
and be crowned with glory. 

But usually, when a man reaches the period of " three 
score and ten years," all these things lie in the past. His 
purposes have all been formed and ended. If he sees new 
plans and purposes that seem to him to be desirable or im 
portant to be executed ; if there are new fields of honor, 
wealth, science, ambition, or benevolence, they are not for 
him, they are for a younger and more vigorous generation. 
It is true that this feeling may come over a man at any 
period of life. In the midst of his way, in the successful 
prosecution of his most brilliant purposes, in the glow and 
ardor attending the most attractive schemes, the hand of 
disease or death may be laid on him, and he may be made 
to feel that all his plans are ended, a thought all the more 
difficult to bear because he has not been prepared for it by 
the gradual whitening of his hairs and the infirmities of 
age. . . . 

Most men in active life look forward, with fond antici 
pation, to a time when the cares of life will be over, and 
when they will be released from their responsibilities and 
burdens; if not with an absolute desire that such a time 
shall come, yet with a feeling that it will be a relief when 
it does come. Many an hour of anxiety in the counting- 
room ; many an hour of toil in the workshop or on the 
farm ; many an hour of weariness on the bench ; many a 
burdened hour in the great offices of state, and many an 
hour of exhaustion and solicitude in professional life, is 
thus relieved by the prospect of rest, of absolute rest, 
of entire freedom from responsibility. What merchant 
arid professional man, what statesman, does not look for 
ward to such a time of repose, and anticipate a season 
perhaps a long one of calm tranquillity before life shall 
end? and when the time approaches, though the hope 



BARNES] LIFE AT THREESCORE AND TEN. 291 

often proves fallacious, yet its approach is not unwelcome. 
Diocletian and Charles Y. descended from their thrones to 
seek repose, the one in private life, the other in a cloister ; 
and the aged judge, merchant, or pastor welcomes the 
time when he feels that the burden which he has so long 
borne may be committed to younger men. 

Yet when the time of absolute rest comes, it is different 
from what has been anticipated. There is, to the surprise, 
perhaps, of all such men, this new, this strange idea, an 
idea which they never had before, and which did not enter 
their anticipations : that they have now nothing to live for ; 
that they have no motive for effort ; that they have no 
plan or purpose of life. They seem now to themselves, 
perhaps to others, to have no place in the world, no right 
in it. Society has no place for them, for it has nothing to 
confer on them, and they can no longer make a place for 
themselves. General Washington, when the war of Inde 
pendence was over, and he had returned to Mount Yernon, 
is said to have felt " lost" because he had not an army to 
provide for daily ; and Charles Y., so far from finding rest 
in the cloister, amused himself, as has been commonly 
supposed, in trying to make clocks and watches run to 
gether, and, so far from actually withdrawing from the 
affairs of state, miserable in his chosen place of retreat, 
still busied himself with the affairs of Europe, and 
sought in the convent at Yuste to govern his hereditary 
dominions which he had professedly resigned to his son, 
and as far as possible still to control the empire where he 
had so long reigned. The retired merchant, unused to 
reading, and unaccustomed to agriculture or the mecnani- 
cal arts, having little taste, it may be, for the fine arts or 
for social life, finds life a burden and sighs for his old em 
ployments and associations, for in his anticipation of this 
period he never allowed the idea to enter his mind that he 



292 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BARNES 

should then have really closed all his plans of life ; that 
as he had professedly done with the world, so the world 
has actually done with him. 

How great, therefore, is the contrast of a man of twenty 
and one of seventy years ! To those in the former condi 
tion the words of Milton in relation to our first parents, 
when they went out from Eden into the wide world, may 
not be improperly applied : 

" The world was all "before them where to choose 
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide ;" 

those in the other case have nothing which they can 
choose. There is nothing before them but the one path, 
that which leads to the grave, to another world. To 
them the path of wealth, of fame, of learning, of ambi 
tion, is closed forever. The world has nothing more for 
them ; they have nothing more for the world. 

I do not mean to say that there can be nothing for an 
aged man to do, or that there may not be in some cases a 
field of usefulness perhaps a new and large one for him 
to occupy. I mean only that this cannot constitute a part 
of his plan of life; it cannot be a result of a purpose 
formed in his earlier years. His own plans and purposes 
of life are ended, and whatever there may be in reserve 
for him, it is usually a new field, something which awaits 
him beyond the ordinary course of events ; and the tran 
sition of his own finished plans to this cannot but be deeply 
affecting to his own mind. I do not affirm that a man 
may not be useful and happy as long as God shall lengthen 
out his days on earth, and I do not deny that there may 
be much in the character and services of an ancient man 
that should command the respect and secure the gratitude 
of mankind. The earlier character and the earlier plans 
of every man should be such that he will be useful if his 



PAULDING] NO USE BEING IN A HURRY. 293 

days extend beyond the ordinary period allotted to our 
earthly life. A calm, serene, cheerful old age is always 
useful. Consistent and mature piety, gentleness of spirit, 
kindness and benevolence, are always useful. 



NO USE BEING IN A HURRY. 

J. K. 



[One of the first of American writers to attain a reputation as a 
novelist was James Kirke Paulding, born in New York in 1779. In 
combination with Washington Irving, he published, in 1807, a series 
of witty and satirical papers, entitled " Salmagundi," which attracted 
much attention. His satire of " John Bull and Brother Jonathan" ia 
among the most humorous of this class of works in our literature. 
He wrote several other works, chief among which is " The Dutchman's 
Fireside," a novel which was long greatly admired. It will not well 
bear comparison with later achievements in the novelistic field, yet it 
is of value as giving an interesting picture of colonial life in New 
York'. We select from it a humorous chapter. Mr. Paulding died 
in I860.] 

MUCH has been sung and written of the charms of the 
glorious Hudson, its smiling villages, its noble cities, its 
magnificent banks, and its majestic waters. The inimita 
ble Knickerbocker, the graphic Cooper, and a thousand 
less celebrated writers and tourists have delighted to lux 
uriate in descriptions of its rich fields, its flowery meadows, 
whispering groves, and cloud-capped mountains, until its 
name is become synonymous with all the beautiful and 
sublime of nature. Associated as are these beauties with 
our earliest recollections and nearest, dearest friends, 
entwined as they inseparably are with memorials of the 
iv. 25* 



294 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PAULDINQ 

past and anticipations of the future, we too would offer 
our humble tribute. But the theme has been exhausted 
by hands that snatched the pencil from Nature herself, 
and nothing is left for us but to expend our emotions in 
silent musings. 

Catalina, accompanied by her father, embarked on board 
of the good sloop Watervliet, whereof was commander 
Captain Baltus Yan Slingerland, a most experienced, de 
liberative, and circumspective skipper. -This vessel was 
noted for making quick passages, wherein she excelled the 
much-vaunted Liverpool packets ; seldom being more than 
three weeks in going from Albany to New York, unless 
when she chanced to run on the flats, for which, like her 
worthy owners, she seemed to have an instinctive prefer 
ence. Captain Baltus was a navigator of great sagacity 
and courage, having been the first man that ever under 
took the dangerous voyage between the two cities without 
asking the prayers of the church and making his will. 
Moreover, he was so cautious in all his proceedings that 
he took nothing for granted, and would never be convinced 
that his vessel was near a shoal or a sand-bank until she 
was high and dry aground. When properly certified by 
ocular demonstration, he became perfectly satisfied, and 
set himself to smoking till it pleased the waters to rise 
and float him off again. His patience under an accident 
of this kind was exemplary ; his pipe was his consolation, 
more effectual than all the precepts of philosophy. 

It was a fine autumnal morning, calm, still, clear, and 
beautiful. The forests, as they nodded or slept quietly on 
the borders of the pure river, reflected upon its bosom a 
varied carpet, adorned with every shade of every color. 
The bright yellow poplar, the still brighter scarlet maple, 
the dark-brown oak, and the yet more sombre evergreen 
pine and hemlock, together with a thousand various trees 



PAULDING] NO USE BEING IN A HURRY. 295 

and shrubs, of a thousand varied tints, all mingled in 
one rich, inexpressibly rich garment, with which Nature 
seemed desirous of hiding her faded beauties and approach 
ing decay. The vessel glided slowly with the current, 
now and then assisted by a little breeze, that for a moment 
rippled the surface and filled the sails, and then died away 
again. In this manner they approached the Overslaugh, 
a place infamous in all past time for its narrow, crooked 
channel, and the sand-banks with which it is infested. 
The vigilant Yan Slingerland, in view of possible contin 
gencies, replenished his pipe and inserted it in the button 
holes of his Dutch pea-jacket, to be ready on an emer 
gency. 

" Boss," said the ebony Palinurus who presided over the 
destinies of the good sloop Watervliet, " boss, don't you 
t'ink I'd better put about? I t'ink we're close to the 
Overslaugh, now." 

Captain Baltus very leisurely walked to the bow of the 
vessel, and, after looking about a little, replied, " A leetle 
furder, a leetle furder, Brom ; no occasion to pe in zuch a 
hurry pefore you are zure of a ting." 

Brom kept on his course, grumbling a little in an under 
tone, until the sloop came to a sudden stop. The captain 
then bestirred himself to let go the anchor. 

" No fear, boss : she won't run away." 

" Very well," quoth Captain Baltus, " I'm zatisfied now, 
berfectly zatisfied. We are certainly on de Overslaugh." 

" As clear as mud," answered Brom. The captain then 
proceeded to light his pipe, and Brom followed his exam 
ple. Every quarter of an hour a sloop would glide past 
in perfect safety, warned of the precise situation of the 
bar by the position of the Watervliet, and adding to the 
vexation of our travellers at being thus left behind. But 
Captain Baltus smoked away, now and then ejaculating, 



296 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PAULDING 

" Ay, ay, de more hashte de lesh shpeed j we shall see py 
and py." 

As the tide ebbed, the vessel, which had grounded on 
the extremity of the sand-bank, gradually heeled on one 
side, until it was difficult to keep the deck, and Colonel 
Yancour suggested the propriety of going on shore until 
she righted again. 

" Why, where's de uze, den," replied Captain Baltus, 
" of daking all tis drouble, boss? We shall pe off in dwo 
or dree tays at most. It will pe vull-moon tay after do- 
morrow." 

" Two or three days !" exclaimed the colonel. " If I 
thought so, I would go home and wait for you." 

" Why, where's de uze, den, of daking zo much drouble, 
golonel? You'd only have to gome pack again." 

" But why don't you lighten your vessel, or carry out 
an anchor? She seems just on the edge of the bank, 
almost ready to slide into the deep water." 

" Why, where's de uze of daking zo much drouble, den ? 
She'll get off herzelf one of deze days, golonel. You are 
well off here, notting to do, and de young woman dare 
can knid you a bair of stogings to bass de dime." 

" But she can't knit stockings," said the colonel, smiling. 

" Not knid stogings ! Py main zoul, den, what is zhe 
goot vor ? Den zhe must zmoke a bipe ; dat is de next 
pest way of bassing de dime." 

" But she don't smoke either, captain." 

" Not zmoke, nor knid stogings ? Christus I where was 
zhe prought ub, den ? I wouldn't have her vor my wife 
iv zhe had a whole zloop vor her vortune. I don't know 
what zhe gan do to bass de dime dill next vull-moon, put 
go to zleep; dat is de next pest ding to knidding and 
zmoking." 

Catalina was highly amused at Captain Baltus's enu- 



NO USE BEING IN A HURRY. 297 

meration of the sum-total of her resources for passing the 
time. Fortunately, however, the next rising of the tide 
floated them off, and the vessel proceeded gallantly on her 
way, with a fine northwest breeze, which carried her on 
with almost the speed of a steamboat. In the course of 
a few miles they overtook and passed several sloops that 
had left the Watervliet aground on the Overslaugh. 

" You zee, golonel," said Captain Baltus, complacently, 
"you zee: where's de uze of peing in a hurry, den? 
Dey have peen at anghor, and we have peen on a zand- 
pank. What's de difference, den, golonel ?" 

" But it is easier to get up an anchor, captain, than to 
get off a sand-bank." 

" Well, zubbose it is ; if a man is not in a hurry, what 
den ?" replied Captain Baltus. 

At the period of which we are writing, a large portion 
of the banks of the river, now gemmed with white vil 
lages and delightful retreats, was still in a state of nature. 
The little settlements were " few and far between," and 
some scattered Indians yet lingered in those abodes which 
were soon to pass away from them and their posterity 
forever. The river alone was in the entire occupation of 
the white man; the shores were still, in many places, 
inhabited by remnants of the Indian tribes. But they 
were not the savages of the free wild woods ; they had in 
some degree lost their habits of war and hunting, and 
seldom committed hostilities upon the whites, from an 
instinctive perception that they were now at their mercy. 

Still, though the banks of the river were for the most 
part wild, they were not the less grand and beautiful ; 
and Catalina, as she sat on the deck in the evening, when 
the landscape, bronzed with twilight, presented one un 
varied appearance of lonely pomp and majestic repose, 
could not resist its holy influence. On the evening of the 



298 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PAULDING 

sixth day the vessel was becalmed in the heart of the 
Highlands, just opposite where West Point now rears its 
gray stone seminaries, consecrated to science, to patriot 
ism, and glory. It was then a solitary rock, where the 
eagle made his abode, and from which a lonely Indian some 
times looked down on the vessels gliding past far below, 
and cursed them as the usurpers of his ancient domain. 

The tide ran neither up nor down the river, and there 
was not a breath of air stirring. The dusky pilot pro 
posed to Captain Baltus to let go the anchor, but the cap 
tain saw "no use in being in such a hurry." So the vessel 
lay still as a sleeping halcyon upon the unmoving mirror 
of the waters. Baltus drew forth his trusty pipe, and the 
negro pilot selected a soft plank on the forecastle, on 
which he. in a few minutes, found that blessed repose 
which is the prize of labor, and which a thousand times 
outweighs the suicide luxuries of the lazy glutton, whose 
sleep is the struggle, not the relaxation, of nature. 

As the golden sun sunk behind the high mountains of 
the west, that other lesser glory of the heavens rose in 
full, round, silver radiance from out the fleecy foliage of 
the forest which crowned them on the east bank of the 
river. The vessel seemed embosomed in a little world of 
its own, with nothing visible but the shimmering water, 
the half-seen twofold range of undulating mountains, one 
side all gloom, the other shining bright, and the blue 
heavens sparkling with ten thousand ever-during glories 
overhead. Catalina wrapped herself in her cloak, and sat 
on the quarter-deck alone and abstracted, conscious of the 
scene and its enchantments only as they awakened those 
mysterious associations of thought and of feeling that 
establish the indissoluble union between the Creator and 
his works. . . . 

At this moment a wild, shrill shriek or howl broke from 



PAULDING] ^0 USE BEING IN A HURRY. 299 

the shore, echoed among the silent recesses of the moun 
tains, and roused Catalina from her delicious revery. In 
about a minute it was repeated, and a third time, after a 
similar interval. 

" Dat is de olt woman," said Captain Baltus, who was 
sitting on the hatchway smoking his pipe, something 
between sleeping and waking. 

" What old woman T asked Catalina. 

" Why, de olt Inchan woman, what keeps apout de rock 
yust ashore, dare : don't you zee it, glose under dat bine- 
dree, dare 1" 

" What Indian woman ? and what does she do there, 
shrieking T' said the young lady. 

" What ! tid you never hear dat zdory t and ton't you 
know it's no olt woman after all, put a ghost V 

"A ghost!" 

" Ay, yes, a spook. I saw it one night when I cot 
ashore on de vlats yust apove de rog ; and you may tepent 
1 was in a great hurry den for onze in my life, I gan dell 
vou. It looked like de very olt Tuyvel, ztanting on de 
rog, and whetting a great jack-knife, as dey zay." 

" Who say ?" asked Catalina. 

" Why, my fader ant grandfader, who are bote teat, 
for dat matter ; but dey tolt me de zdory pefore dey tiet. 
We zhall have zixteen rainy Zuntays, one after de oder, 
and den it will glear up wid a gread znow-zdorm." 

" Yes r 

" Yez ; as zure as you zid dare. It always habbens after 
dat olt woman zhows herself, and sgreams zo, like de very 
Tuyvel." 

"Do you know the story?" asked Colonel Vancoui, 
whose attention had been arrested by the conversation. 

"Know it? Why, to be zure I to, golonel. I have 
heart it a hundred dimes from my fader and grandfader. 



300 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

He was de firzt man dat zailed in a zloop all de way from 
Albany to New York." 

"We can't have higher authority. Come, captain, I 
see your pipe is just filled, tell us the story, and then T 
will go to sleep." 

The worthy skipper said he was no great hand at tell 
ing a story, but he would try, if they would promise not 
to hurry him, and accordingly began : 

" Onze tere was an olt woman Tuyvel ! dare zhe is 
again !" exclaimed Baltus, as a long quaver echoed from 
the shore. 

" Well, well, never mind her : go on." 

" Onze tere was an olt woman " Here another 

quaver, apparently from the mast-head, stopped Baltus 
again, and made Catalina start. 

" Tuyvel I" cried Baltus ; " put if I ton't pelieve zhe is 
goming apoard of us !" 

" Well, never mind," said the colonel again : " she wants 
to hear whether you do her full justice, I suppose. Go on, 



" Onze tere was an olt woman," he began, almost in a 
whisper; when he was again interrupted by the black 
pilot, who came aft with the light and asked Baltus 
whether it would not be better to haul down the sails, as 
he saw some appearance of wind towards the northeast, 
where the clouds had now obscured the moon entirely. 
"Ton't pe in zuch a hurry, Brom," quoth the skipper; 
" dime enough when de wind gomes." 

" Onze tere was an olt woman " At that moment 

Brom's light was suddenly extinguished, and Baltus re 
ceived a blow in the face that laid him sprawling on the 
quarter-deck, at the same instant that a tremendous scream 
broke forth from some invisible being that seemed close at 
their ears. Baltus roared manfully, and Catalina was not 



PATJLDING] NO USE BEING IN A HURRY. 301 

a little frightened at these incomprehensible manoeuvres 
of the old woman. The colonel, however, insisted that he 
should go on, bidding him get up and tell his story. 

" Onze tere was an olt woman " But the legend of 

honest Baltus, like Corporal Trim's story of "a certain 
king of Bohemia," seemed destined never to get beyond 
the first sentence. He was again interrupted by a strange, 
mysterious scratching and fluttering, accompanied by a 
mighty cackling and confusion, in the chicken-coop, which 
the provident captain had stored with poultry for the 
benefit of the colonel and his daughter. 

" Tuyvel ! what's dat ?" cried Captain Baltus, in great 
consternation. 

"Oh, it's only the old woman robbing your hen-roost." 
replied the colonel. 

" Den I must loog to it," said Baltus, and, mustering the 
courage of desperation, went to see what was the matter. 
In a few moments he returned, bringing with him a large 
owl, which had, from some freak or other, or perhaps at 
tracted by the charms of Baltus's poultry, first lighted on 
the mast, and then, either seduced or confused by Brom's 
light, darted from thence into the capacious platter-face 
of the worthy skipper, as before stated. 

"Here is de tuyvel!" exclaimed Baltus. 

" And the old woman," said the colonel, laughing. 
" But come, captain, I am more anxious than ever to hear 
the rest of the story." 

" Onze tere was an olt woman " A hollow murmur 

among the mountains again suddenly interrupted him. 
" There is the old woman again," said the colonel. " 'Tis 
de olt Tuyvel!" said Baltus, starting up and calling all 
hands to let go the halyards. But, before this could be 
accomplished, one of those sudden squalls so common in 
the highlands in autumn struck the vessel and threw her 
iv. 26 



302 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PAULDING 

almost on her beam ends. The violence of the motion 
carried Colonel Yancour and Catalina with it, and had 
they not been arrested by the railings of the quarter-deck 
they must inevitably have gone overboard. The Water- 
vliet was, however, an honest Dutch vessel, of a most 
convenient breadth of beam, and it was no easy matter to 
capsize her entirely. For a minute or two she lay quiver 
ing and struggling with the fury of the squall that roared 
among the mountains and whistled through the shrouds, 
until, acquiring a little headway, she slowly luffed up in 
the wind, righted, and flapped her sails in defiance. The 
next minute all was calm again. The cloud passed over, 
the moon shone bright, and the waters slept as if they 
had never been disturbed. Whereupon Captain Baltus, 
like a prudent skipper as he was, ordered all sail to be 
lowered, and the anchor to be let go, sagely observing 
that it was " high time to look out for squalls." 

"Such an accident at sea would have been rather 
serious," observed the colonel. 

" I ton't know what you dink, golonel," said Baltus, 
"put, in my obinion, id ton't make much odts wedder 
a man is trownet in te zea or in a river." The colonel 
could not well gainsay this, and soon after retired with 
his daughter to the cabin. 

Bright and early the next morning, Captain Baltus, 
having looked round in every direction, east, west, north, 
and south, to see if there were any squalls brewing, and 
perceiving not a cloud in the sky, cautiously ordered 
half the jib and main-sail to be hoisted, to catch the little 
land-breeze that just rippled the surface of the river. In 
a few hours they emerged from the pass at the foot of the 
great Donderberg, and slowly opened upon that beautiful 
amphitheatre into which Nature has thrown all her treas 
ures and all her beauties. Nothing material occurred 



PAULDING] NO USE BEING IN A HURRY. 3Q3 

during the rest of the passage. True it is that Skipper 
Baltus ran the good sloop Watervliet two or three times 
upon the oyster-banks of the since renowned Tappan Bay ; 
but this was so common a circumstance that it scarcely 
deserved commemoration, nor would I have recorded it 
here but for the apprehension that its omission might at a 
future period, peradventure, seduce some industrious scribe 
to write an entirely new history of these adventures, solely 
to rescue such an important matter from oblivion. Suffice 
it to say that at the expiration of ten days from the com 
mencement of the voyage the good sloop Watervliet 
arrived safe at Coenties Slip, where all the Albany sloops 
congregated at that time. This extraordinary passage 
was much talked of in both cities, and finally found its 
way into " The Weekly News-Letter," then the only paper 
published in the whole New World, as may be seen by a 
copy now, or lately, in the possession of the worthy Mr. 
Dustan, of the Narrows. It is further recorded that 
some of the vessels which passed the Watervliet as she lay 
aground on the Overslaugh did not arrive until nearly a 
fortnight after her ; owing, as Captain Baltus observed, " to 
deir peing in zuch a hurry." After so famous an exploit 
the Watervliet had always a full freight, and as many pas 
sengers as she could accommodate ; so that in good time 
this adventurous navigator gave up following the water, 
and built himself a fine brick house, with the gable end 
to the street, and the edges of the roof projecting like the 
teeth of a saw, where he sat on his stoop and smoked his 
pipe, time out of mind. 



304 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HORNADAY 

A TIGER-HUNT IN INDIA. 

W. T. HORNADAY. 

[The author of the Half-Hour reading here given, William T. 
Hornaday, a "mighty hunter" of the modern era, did not dare the 
perils of the tropic wilderness and face the wild beast in its lair from 
the ordinary motives of sport. His purpose was a mercantile one, that 
of collecting skins and skeletons for Ward's Natural History Museum. 
It would have been difficult to select an abler or more enthusiastic 
agent for this purpose, and in every chapter of Mr. Hornaday's work, 
" Two Years in the Jungle," the true spirit of the daring hunter shows 
itself. We select a description of tiger-hunting in general, with a 
spirited relation of the. author's first victory over " the monarch of 
the jungle."] 

ACCORDING to their habits in procuring their food, tigers 
are divided by the people of India into three classes. 

The least harmful is the " game-killer," who lives in the 
hills and dense forests where wild game is abundant, and 
leads the life of a bold, honest hunter. He feeds chiefly 
upon deer and wild hog, and so long as he remains a game- 
killer he is a real blessing to the poor ryots, who have 
hard work to protect their crops from the droves of deer 
and wild hog which sally forth from the jungle at night 
fall to depredate upon them. But the trouble is, there is 
no knowing when this striped sportsman will take it into 
his head to try his teeth and claws on cattle or men ; in 
fact, he is not to be trusted for a moment. 

The " cattle-lifter" is a big, fat, lazy thief, too indolent 
to pull down fleet-footed wild animals, who prowls around 
the villages after nightfall, or the edge of the junglo 
where the cattle are herded, and kills a bullock every four 
or five days. The annual loss to the cattle-owners whose 
herds are thus preyed upon by the cattle-lifter is very 



HORNADAY] A TIGER-HUNT IN INDIA. 305 

great for poor natives to bear, since each tiger destroys in 
a year cattle worth at least four hundred dollars. 

But even the most greedy cattle-lifter sinks into insig 
nificance in the presence of the fierce "man-eater," the 
scourge and terror of the timid and defenceless natives. 
Until a tiger has once had his fangs in human flesh, he 
has an instinctive fear of man, and unless attacked and 
brought to bay will nearly always retreat from his pres 
ence. But with his first taste of human blood that fear 
vanishes forever. His nature changes, and he becomes a 
man-eater. 

Tigers who prey upon human beings are usually ex- 
cattle-lifters, who from long acquaintance with man have 
ceased to fear him, and find him the easiest prey to over 
come and carry off. A large proportion of the man-eaters 
are mangy, superannuated old tigers or tigresses, whose 
teeth and claws have become blunt with long use, and 
who find it too great an exertion to kill and drag off 
bullocks. 

The presence of a man-eater causes a perfect reign of 
terror in the district which he frequents, which lasts until 
he is slain. It is almost invariably the case that the brute 
confines his operations to a few square miles of territory, 
and perhaps a dozen villages, so that each one becomes a 
walking scourge whose form, habits, and footprints be 
come thoroughly known to the terrified villagers. At 
first, perhaps, he carries off a herdsman instead of a bul 
lock, by way of experiment, and soon after an unlucky 
wood-cutter at the edge of the jungle shares a similar fate. 
Finding that he can easily and with perfect safety kill 
men, he gradually becomes bolder, until finally he enters 
the villages after nightfall and seizes men, women, and 
children from off their own door-steps. No one is safe 
save when in his house with the door shut and barred, 
iv. M 26* 



306 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HORNADA* 

The herler no longer dares to take his hungry herd to 
graze in the jungle, and for the wood-cutter to go forth to 
his task in the forest would be to literally walk into the 
jaws of death. 

The man-eater may be seen in the evening near a cer 
tain village, and before morning carry off a man from 
another five miles away. No one can say that he will not 
be the next victim. When the people go to sleep at night 
the last thing they think of is the man-eater, and he is 
first in their thoughts when they awake in the morning. 
It is a horrible feeling to live in constant fear of being 
suddenly pounced upon by a big, hungry, wild beast that 
can carry you off in his jaws and eat you up clean at one 
meal. 

But, thanks to English sportsmen, improved fire-arms, 
and the liberal rewards offered by the government, man- 
eating tigers are now rare compared with what their 
numbers once were. It is not now possible for a single 
tigress to cause the desertion of thirteen villages and 
throw out of cultivation fifteen square miles of territory, 
as once occurred in Central India ; nor for another to kill 
one hundred and twenty-seven person before being laid 
low. And yet, in spite of breech-loading rifles and zealous 
British sportsmen, poison, and pitfalls, the man-eaters still 
devour over eight hundred human beings in India every 
year. 

The tiger inhabits all India from the Himalayas to Cape 
Comorin, and is hunted in three different ways. 

The first, the best, and most interesting plan is how- 
dah-shooting. In this, the hunter is perched on an ele 
phant's back, high up out of harm's way, in a comfortable 
square box called a howdah, with his weapons and ammu 
nition placed conveniently around him. Of course the 
elephant is managed by a mahout, who sits astride his 



HORNADAY] A TIGER-HUNT IN INDIA. 307 

neck with au iron goad in his hand, a very exposed posi 
tion, in fact. When it is possible, a large number of ele 
phants are mustered for the hunt, to assist in stirring up 
the tigers. Now and then a grand party is made up of 
four or five English sportsmen and twenty or thirty ele 
phants; and perhaps five or six tigers and much other 
game may be killed in a week. But this is a very ex 
pensive method, and cannot be practised except by the 
wealthy or the influential few. This is an eminently safe 
method, too, the greatest danger attending it being the 
running away of one's elephant and the wreck of the 
howdah. Ladies often attend hunts of this kind, which 
tends to place this once noble sport upon a level with 
lawn tennis and badminton. 

Tiger-hunting with elephants is most extensively prac 
tised in Central India, where the jungle is in low, scrubby 
patches with bare ground between, and in the Terai, a 
wide stretch of grassy half-forest skirting the base of the 
Himalayas. In Southern India there is little chance to 
employ elephants in this way, because of the wide tracts 
of- dense jungle and forest in which no tiger can be effectu 
ally marked down and " flushed." Elephants can be used 
to great advantage, however, in following up a wounded 
tiger, a pursuit too dangerous for even the most reckless 
sportsman to prosecute safely on foot. 

The second and most general plan of tiger-hunting is 
called " machan-shooting." A machan is a platform of 
poles, fifteen to twenty feet high, erected in the daytime 
near a recently-killed bullock, a live bait, or a pool of 
water. Usually it is placed in the top of the tree nearest 
the spot or object the tiger is expected to visit. 

In Central India, where the jungles can be beaten for 
tigers, the sportsman builds his machan in the most favor 
able position, takes his place upon it, and waits while the 



308 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HORNADAY 

tigers are actually driven toward him by a grand army of 
beaters, from fifty to three hundred native men blowing 
horns, beating tom-toms, firing guns, and shouting; and 
then, when the tigers come running past his position, he 
kills them if he can. When a tiger kills a bullock, the 
hunter quietly builds a machan in the top of the nearest 
tree, takes up his position in the afternoon, and waits 
patiently until the tiger returns to his feast at nightfall ; 
then he shoots him, or at least shoots at him, in the dark. 

It is very seldom that accidents occur in hunting tigers 
by either of the above methods, for usually the sportsman 
is not in the least danger. 

Shooting on foot is the third method of tiger-hunting, 
but it is so dangerous that it is not regularly practised 
except as a last resort, and the most reckless hunter never 
dares follow it up for any length of time. Nine-tenths of 
all the tiger " accidents," as they are called in India, occur 
to sportsmen who are shooting on foot. The Collector 
of the Coimbatore District acknowledges the superior 
dangers and risks of this method by paying a reward of 
one hundred rupees for a tiger shot on foot, whereas he 
grants only the minimum reward, thirty-five rupees, for a 
tiger shot from a machan or poisoned. When a hunter 
attacks the tiger in open ground, he must shoot the animal 
in the brain or else break his spinal column, for nothing 
else is sure to stop his furious charge. A tiger is but a 
gigantic cat, endowed with the traditional nine lives, and 
even though shot through the heart, the lungs, body, neck, 
or shoulders, he often has strength enough to spring upon 
the hunter and give him a terrible mauling or a mortal 
wound before falling dead. Tigers often become so en 
raged by the pain of their wounds that they attack the 
hunting elephants with the greatest fury. 

The Animallai slope was one vast, unbroken forest, with 



HORN AD AY] A TIGER-HUNT IN INDIA. 309 

such endless cover that successful beating for game was 
simply out of the question. There was such an abundance 
of it that no men or cattle were ever killed by tigers, and 
hence our only chance for finding them at all was to 
track them up on foot, or trust to meeting them by 
chance. Either plan was risky, but I had enough faith 
in the accuracy of my little Maynard rifle, and my own 
steadiness, to believe that between us we could floor a 
tiger if we ever got a fair chance. In tramping through 
the forest I often wished I could come face to face with a 
tiger and get just one fair shot. I thought I would like 
to be a little above him, if possible, so as to get a better 
view of his face and be more certain of hitting the brain. 
I spun my theories very finely, and all I asked was a 
chance to give them a trial. 

"We often tried to follow up the " pugs" we found in the 
forest, and it was in this way I finally made the acquaint 
ance of " my first tiger." It was during one of my fever- 
spells, too, when I was feeling rather low-spirited. I had 
been seven weeks in the hills, hunting constantly when 
not down with the fever, but had killed neither elephant 
nor tiger, and was beginning to think I never would. I 
had shot nothing for several days, and consequently there 
was no meat in camp. The old women grumbled, the little 
children cried for it, and, in fact, I wanted some fresh 
venison myself. 

On that particular day I had an attack of fever due at 
two P.M., but I thought I could stroll out and shoot an 
axis deer before it came on. It happened that three of 
my men had been sent away on various errands, and there 
remained in camp only Pera Yera, my second tracker, 
afterwards my head man, Nangen, a very quiet but 
courageous young fellow, and a small boy. I took along 
these three for general purposes, my little Maynard rifle 



310 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HORNADAY 

for the deer, and my No. 16 shot-gun, loaded with bird- 
shot, for jungle-fowl. Not a very heavy " battery," cer 
tainly, when compared with the formidable array of 
double rifles from the 4-bore, throwing a four-ounce ball, 
down to the double .577 Express rifle as the least deadly 
weapon which every genuine English sportsman in India 
possesses and carries with him when after big game. It 
takes twenty-nine of my Maynard bullets (calibre .40) to 
make a pound. 

We hunted all the forenoon, and found a herd of axis 
deer feeding in a glade, but I had not enough energy to 
make a successful stalk, and so that chance was lost. In 
fact, I did not care much whether school kept or not. 

We strolled through the Government Forest until nearly 
noon, when, just as we were about returning to camp, we 
heard a fearful growling and roaring a few hundred yards 
in advance, which set us instantly on the qui-vive. We 
hurried in the direction of the sound, which continued at 
intervals for some minutes. I said, " Tiger, Yera ?" and 
he replied, "No, sahib, panther. Shall we go for it?" 
" Of course ;" and on we went. 

Presently we heard trumpeting and branch-breaking 
half a mile beyond us, and then Yera said the low roaring, 
or growling, noise had been made by the elephants. On 
our way toward the elephants, to have a quiet look at 
them, we came to a little nullah, and there, in the level, 
sandy bed of the stream, was the trail of a large tiger. 

The men carefully examined the huge tracks in the wet 
sand, compared notes a moment, and declared the trail was 
fresh. Then I examined it for myself, looked wise, and 
said, " Oh, yes, it is ; very fresh indeed." Yera looked 
anxiously about a moment, examined the bore of my 
rifle doubtfully, tried to measure it with the end of his 
little finger, and finally asked me very seriously whether 



HORNADAY] A TIGER-HUNT IN INDIA. 311 

I would dare to fire at a big tiger witTi that small rifle. I 
said, " Yes, certainly ; just show me one and see." I did 
not for a moment allow myself to hope for such good luck 
as a meeting with the animal that made those huge tracks, 
and a shot at him. But without a moment's delay we 
Rtarted to follow up the trail. 

The little creek ran through perfectly level and very 
open forest. Its bed was about eight feet below the level, 
forty feet wide, and almost dry. The tiger had gone loaf 
ing leisurely along down the bed of the stream, walking 
in the shallow water every now and then, crossing from 
side to side, and occasionally sticking his claws into the 
bank, as if to keep them in practice. Yera led the way, 
as usual, I followed close at his heels, and we stole along 
as silently as shadows. 

We had followed the trail about a mile, when we came 
to a clump of bamboos growing in a sharp bend in the 
stream. Yera stopped short, grasped me by the arm, and 
pointed through the clump. He had the habit of grasping 
my arm with one hand, and pointing with the other, 
whenever he discovered any game, and I could always tell 
the size and ferocity of the animal by the strength of his 
grasp. This time he gave my arm such a fierce grip I 
knew he must have found a tiger. 

Sure enough, there was Old Stripes in all his glory, and 
only thirty yards away ! The mid-day sun shone full 
upon him, and a more splendid object I never saw in a 
forest. His long jet-black stripes seemed to stand out in re 
lief, like bands of black velvet, while the black and white 
markings upon his head were most beautiful. In size and 
height he seemed perfectly immense, and my first thought 
was, " Great Ca3sar ! He is as big as an ox !" 

When we first saw him, he was walking from us, going 
across the bed of the stream. Knowing precisely what T 



312 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOENADAY 

wanted to do, I took a spare cartridge between my teeth, 
raised my rifle, and waited. He reached the other bank, 
sniffed it a moment, then turned and paced slowly back. 
Just as he reached the middle of the stream, he scented 
us, stopped short, raised his head, and looked in our di 
rection with a suspicious, angry snarl. Now was my time 
to fire. Taking a steady, careful aim at his left eye, I 
blazed away, and, without stopping to see the effect of my 
shot, reloaded my rifle with all haste. I half expected to 
see the great brute come bounding round that clump of 
bamboos and upon one of us ; but I thought it might not 
be I he would attack, and before he could kill one of my 
men I could send a bullet into his brain. 

Yera kept an eye upon him every moment, and when I 
was again ready I asked him with my eyebrows, " Where 
is he ?" He quickly nodded, " He's there still." I looked 
again, and, sure enough, he was in the same spot, but turn 
ing slowly around and around, with his head held to one 
side, as if there was something the matter with his left 
eye. When he came around and presented his neck fairly 
I fired again, aiming to hit his neck-bone. At that shot 
he instantly dropped upon the sand. I quickly shoved in 
a fresh cartridge, and, with rifle at full cock and the tiger 
carefully covered, we went toward him, slowly and re 
spectfully. We were not sure but that he would even then 
get up and come at us. But he was done for, and lay there 
gasping, kicking, and foaming at the mouth, and in three 
minutes more my first tiger lay dead at our feet. He died 
without making a sound. 

To a hunter, the moment of triumph is when he first 
lays his hand upon his game. What exquisite and inde 
scribable pleasure it is to handle the cruel teeth and knife- 
like claws which were so dangerous but one brief moment 
before; to pull open the heavy eyelid; to examine the 



HOKNADAY] A TIGER-HUNT IN INDIA. 313 

glazing eye which so lately glared fiercely and fearlessly 
upon every foe ; to stroke the powerful limbs and glossy 
sides while they are still warm; and to handle the feet 
which made the huge tracks that you have been following 
in doubt and danger! 

How shall I express the pride I felt at that moment ! 
Such a feeling can come but once in a hunter's life, and 
when it does come it makes up for oceans of ill luck. The 
conditions were all exactly right. I was almost alone, and 
entirely unsupported, and had not even one "proper" 
weapon for tiger-hunting. We met the tiger fairly, on 
foot, and in four minutes from the time we first saw him 
he was ours. Furthermore, he was the first tiger I ever 
saw loose in the jungle, and we had outwitted him. I 
admired my men quite as much as I did myself. They 
were totally unarmed, and they had seen me miss spotted 
deer at sixty yards ; but, instead of bolting, as I should 
have done had I been in their place, they stood right at 
my elbow, like plucky men as they were. What if they 
had been of the timid sort ? They would never have con 
sented to follow the trail of that dangerous beast. 

I paced the distance from where we stood to the dead 
tiger, and found it to be just thirty yards. My first was 
a dead-centre shot, striking him exactly in the left eye, 
scarcely nicking the edge of the lid. I had intended that 
that bullet should enter his brain, but, owing to the nar 
rowness of the brain-cavity, it only fractured the left side 
of the cranium. However, it rendered him quite power 
less either to fight or run away, and he would have died 
very soon from such a terrible wound. In fact, I now 
think my second shot was really unnecessary. Owing to 
the position of his head, I could no f possibly have placed 
a bullet in his forehead so that it would have reached the 
brain, but had I been using a regulation " No. 8-bore rifle," 
iv. o 27 



314 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [GREENE 

throwing a two-ounce ball, I could have blown the whole 
top of his head off very neatly (!) and utterly ruined 
him as a specimen. My second shot struck one of his 
neck-vertebrae and cut his spinal cord, killing him instantly, 
a favorite shot with me when I can catch an animal at 
rest. 

He was a splendid specimen every way, just in the 
prime of tiger-hood, fat, sleek, and glossy. Up to that 
time I could not make myself believe that a tiger can pick 
up a man in his mouth and run away with him as easily 
as a terrier does with a rat. But when I measured that 
great brute, I saw and realized just how it is done. 



POEMS OF HUMOR. 

The poetic literature of America is somewhat abundantly supplied 
with the mirth-provoking element, and, in addition to the versified 
fund of the "lords of laughter," such as Lowell, Holmes, and Saxe, 
there are many chips of amusement afloat upon the tide of literature, 
a few of which we have gathered here. They are perhaps not the 
best that could have been found, but they are sufficiently diversified in 
style and subject to make, we hope, a sunny rift in the clouds of life. 
First comes one of the most popular bits of humorous verse in our 
literature, Albert G-. Greene's funny compound of clothing and phi 
losophy, entitled 

OLD GRIMES. 

OLD GRIMES is dead, that good old man , 

We ne'er shall see him more: 
He used to wear a long black coat, 

All buttoned down before. 



POEMS OF HUMOR. 315 

His heart was open as the day, 

His feelings were all true : 
His hair was some inclined to gray, 

He wore it in a queue. 

Whene'er he heard the voice of pain, 

His breast with pity burned : 
The large, round head upon his cane 

From ivory was turned. 

Kind words he ever had for all; 

He knew no base design : 
His eyes were dark and rather small, 

His nose was aquiline. 

He lived at peace with all mankind, 

In friendship he was true : 
His coat had pocket-holes behind, 

His pantaloons were blue. 

Unharmed, the sin which earth pollutes 

He passed securely o'er, 
And never wore a pair of boots 

For thirty years or more. 

But good old Grimes is now at rest, 

Nor fears misfortune's frown : 
He wore a double-breasted vest ; 

The stripes ran up and down. 

He modest merit sought to find, 

And pay it its desert : 
He had no malice in his mind, 

No ruffles on his shirt. 



316 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [NACK 

His neighbors he did not abuse, 

Was sociable and gay : 
He wore large buckles on his shoes, 

And changed them every day. 

His knowledge, hid from public gaze, 

He did not bring to view, 
Nor make a noise town-meeting days. 

As many people do. 

His worldly goods he never threw 

In trust to Fortune's chances, 
But lived (as all his brothers do) 

In easy circumstances. 

Thus, undisturbed by anxious cares, 

His peaceful moments ran : 
And everybody says he was 

A fine old gentleman. 

The author of the following poem, James Nack, occupies the anoin 
alous position among American poets of having been deaf and dumb 
from childhood, in consequence of an accident. We could scarcely 
have expected so neat a bit of Anacreontic sentiment from a person so 
afflicted. 

MARY'S BEE. 

As Mary with her lips of roses 
Is tripping o'er the flowery mead, 

A foolish little bee supposes 
The rosy lip a rose indeed, 

And so, astonished at his bliss, 

He steals the honey of her kiss. 

A moment there he wantons ; lightly 
He sports away on careless wing; 






HAY] POEMS OF HUMOR. 317 

But, ah ! why swells that wound unsightly ? 

The rascal ! he has left a sting ! 
She runs to me with weeping eyes, 
Sweet images of April skies. 

" Be this," said I, " to heedless misses 
A warning they should bear in mind : 

Too oft a lover steals their kisses, 

Then flies, and leaves a sting behind." 

" This may be wisdom, to be sure," 

Said Mary, " but I want a cure." 

What could I do ? To ease the swelling, 
My lips with hers impassioned meet; 

And, trust me, from so sweet a dwelling 
I found the v*ery poison sweet ! 

Fond boy ! unconscious of the smart, 

I sucked the poison to my heart ! 



The poem given below, though it may be objectionable to some 
readers on account of its freedom and boldness of language, is re 
deemed from vulgarity and irreverence by the truth of its sentiment, 
and by its pathos, which ill adapts it for the class in which it is usually 
placed, that of humorous poems. 

LITTLE BREECHES. 

I don't go much on religion, 

I never ain't had no show ; 
But I've got a middlin' tight grip, sir, 

On the handful o' things I know. 
I don't pan out on the prophets, 

And free will, and that sort of thing, 
But I b'lieve in God and the angels 

Ever sence one night last spring, 
iv. 27* 



318 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

1 came into town with some turnips, 

And my little Gabe come along ; 
No four-year-old in the county 

Could beat him for pretty and strong, 
Peart and chipper and sassy, 

Always ready to swear and fight, 
And I'd larnt him to chaw terbacker, 

Jest to keep his milk-teeth white. 

The snow come down like a blanket 

As I passed by Taggart's store j 
I went in for a jug of molasses, 

And left the team at the door. 
They scared at something and started, 

I heard one little squall, 
And hell-to-split over the prairie 

Went team, Little Breeches and all. 

Hell-to-split over the prairie ! 

I was almost froze with skeer ; 
But we rousted up some torches, 

And sarched for 'em far and near. 
At last we struck hosses and wagon, 

Snowed under a soft white mound, 
Upsot, dead beat, but of little Gabe 

No hide nor hair was found. 

And here all hope soured on me 

Of my fellow-critters' aid ; 
I jest flopped down on my marrow-bone^ 

Crotch-deep in the snow, and prayed. 

###*### 

By this, the torches was played out, 
And me and Isrul Parr 



NICHOLS] POEMS OF HUMOR. 319 

Went off for some wood to a sheepfold 
That he said was somewhar thar. 

We found it at last, and a little shed 

Where they shut up the lambs at night. 
We looked in, and seen them huddled thar, 

So warm and sleepy and white ; 
And THAR sot Little Breeches, and chirped, 

As peart as ever you see, 
" I want a chaw of terbacker, 

And that's what's the matter of me." 

How did he git thar ? Angels. 

He could never bave walked in that storm. 
They jest scooped down and toted him 

To whar it was soft and warm. 
And I think that saving a little child, 

And bringing him to his own, 
Is a derned sight better business 

Than loafing around the Throne. 

JOHN HAY. 

The above may be fitly followed by a portion of Mrs. K. S. Nichols's 
satirical poem entitled 

THE PHILOSOPHER TOAD. 

Down deep in a hollow, so damp and so cold, 

Where oaks are by ivy o'ergrown, 
The gray moss and lichen creep over the mould 

Lying loose on a ponderous stone. 
Now within this huge stone, like a king on his throne, 
A toad has been sitting more years than is known ; 
And strange as it seems, yet he constantly deems 
The world standing still while he's dreaming his dreams, 



BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [FAWCKTT 

Does this wonderful toad, in his cheerful abode 
In the innermost heart of that flinty old stone, 
By the gray-haired moss and the lichen o'ergrown. 

Down deep in a hollow some wiseacres sit, 

Like the toad in his cell in the stone ; 
Around them in daylight the blind owlets flit, 

And their creeds are with ivy o'ergrown ; 
Their streams may go dry, and the wheels cease to ply, 
And their glimpses be few of the sun and the sky, 
Still they hug to their breast every time-honored guest, 
And slumber and doze in inglorious rest ; 
For no progress they find in the wide sphere of mind, 
And the world's standing still with all of their kind, 
Contented to dwell deep down in the well, 
Or move like a snail in the crust of his shell, 
Or live like the toad in his narrow abode 
With their souls closely wedged in a thick wall of stone 
By the gray weeds of prejudice rankly o'ergrown. 

A poet whose muse is not ordinarily given to gay flights has in 
the following poem crossed the threshold of humor and furnished us 
with a very dainty compound of sentimentality and agriculture. 

VESTA. 

When skies are starless yet when day is done, 
When odors of the freshened sward are sweeter, 

When light is dreamy round the sunken sun, 
At limit of the grassy lane I meet her. 

She steals a gracious hand across the gate ; 

My own its timid touch an instant flatters ; 
Below the glooming leaves we linger late, 

And gossip of a thousand airy matters. 



HAUTE] POEMS OF HUMOR. 321 

I gladden that the hay is stored with luck ; 

I smile to hear the pumpkin-bed is turning ; 
I mourn the lameness of her speckled duck ; 

I marvel at the triumphs of her churning. 

From cow to cabbage, and from horse to hen, 
I treat bucolics with my rustic charmer, 

At heart the most unpastoral of men, 
Converted by this dainty little farmer. 

And yet if one soft syllable I chance, 

As late below the glooming leaves we linger, 

The pretty veto sparkles in her glance, 
And cautions in her brown uplifted finger. 

O happy trysts at blossom-time of stars ! 

O moments when the glad blood thrills and quickens ! 
O all-inviolable gateway-bars ! 

O Yesta of the milking-pails and chickens ! 

EDGAR FAWCETT. 

Bret Harte's fame with many readers rests upon his poetic rendition 
of thfi trickiness of the " Heathen Chinee." This poem certainly lacks 
elevation of sentiment and deals with very common people, but it is 
incontestably amusing, and for this virtue we forgive all its short 
comings. 

PLAIN LANGUAGE FROM TRUTHFUL JAMES. 

Which I wish to remark, 

And my language is plain, 
That for ways that are dark, 

And for tricks that are vain, 
The heathen Chinee is peculiar. 

"Which the same I would rise to explain, 
iv. v 



322 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HARTE 

Ah Sin was his name ; 

And I shall not deny 
In regard to the same 

What that name might imply, 
But his smile it was pensive and childlike, 

As I frequent remarked to Bill Nye. 

It was August the third, 

And quite soft was the skies ; 
Which it might be inferred 

That Ah Sin was likewise ; 
Yet he played it that day upon William 

And me in a way I despise. 

Which we had a small game, 

And Ah Sin took a hand : 
It was Euchre. The same 

He did not understand ; 
But he smiled as he sat by the table, 

With the smile that was childlike and bland 

Yet the cards they were stocked 

In a way that I grieve, 
And my feelings were shocked 

At the state of Nye's sleeve ; 
Which was stuffed full of aces and bowers, 

And the same with intent to deceive. 

But the hands that were played 

By that heathen Chinee, 
And the points that he made, 

Were quite frightful to see, 
Till at last he put down a right bower, 

Which the same Nye had dealt unto me. 



COZZENS] POEMS OF HUMOR. 323 



Then I looked up at 

And he gazed upon me ; 
And he rose with a sigh, 

And said, " Can this be ? 
We are ruined by Chinese cheap labor," 

And he went for that heathen Chinee. 

In the scene that ensued 

I did not take a hand, 
But the floor it was strewed 

Like the leaves on the strand 
With the cards that Ah Sin had been hiding 

In the game " he did not understand." 

In his sleeves, which were long, 

He had twenty -four packs, 
Which was coming it strong, 

Yet I state but the facts ; 
And we found on his nails, which were taper, 

What is frequent in tapers, that's wax. 

Which is why I remark, 

And my language is plain, 
That for ways that are dark, 

And for tricks that are vain, 
The heathen Chinee is peculiar, 

Which the same I am free to maintain. 



From "Mr. Sparrowgrass" we borrow the following ditty, funnily 
made up of mirth and melancholy. 

A BABYLONISH DITTY. 

More than several years have faded 
Since my heart was first invaded 



324 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [COZZKNS 

By a brown-skinned, gray-eyed siren 
On the merry old " South-side," 

Where the mill-flume cataracts glisten, 

And the agile blue-fish listen 

To the fleet of phantom schooners 
Floating on the weedy tide. . . . 



There, amid the sandy reaches, 
In among the pines and beeches, 
Oaks, and various other kinds of 

Old primeval forest trees, 
Did we wander in the noonlight, 
Or beneath the silver moonlight, 
While in ledges sighed the sedges 

To the salt salubrious breeze. 

Oh, I loved her as a sister, 
Often, oftentimes I kissed her, 
Holding prest against my breast 

Her slender, soft, seductive hand ; 
Often by my midnight taper 
Filled at least a quire of paper 
With some graphic ode or sapphic 

" To the nymph of Baby-Land." 

Oft we saw the dim blue highlands, 
Coney, Oak, and other islands 
(Motes that dot the dimpled bosom 

Of the sunny summer sea), 
Or, 'mid polished leaves of lotus, 
Wheresoe'er our skiff would float us, 
Anywhere, where none could note us, 

There we sought alone to be. 



CozzENs] POEMS OF HUMOR. 325 

So is woman, evanescent, 
Shifting with the shifting present, 
Changing like the changing tide, 

And faithless as the fickle sea ; 
Lighter than the wind-blown thistle, 
Falser than the fowler's whistle, 
Was that coaxing piece of hoaxing 

Amy Milton's love for me. . . . 

Yes, thou transitory bubble ! 
Floating on this sea of trouble, 
Though the sky be bright above thee, 

Soon will sunny days be gone ; 
Then, when thou'rt by all forsaken, 
Will thy bankrupt heart awaken 
To these golden days of olden 

Times in happy Babylon ! 

Thus, till summer was senescent, 
And the woods were iridescent, 
Dolphin tints and hectic hints 

Of what was shortly coming on, 
Did I worship Amy Milton ; 
Fragile was the faith I built on ! 
Then we parted, broken-hearted 

I, when she left Babylon. 

As upon the moveless water 
Lies the motionless frigata, 
Flings her spars and spidery outlines 

Lightly on the lucid plain, 
But whene'er the fresh breeze bloweth 
To more distant ocean goeth, 
iv. 28 



326 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BUTLER 

Nevermore the old haunt knoweth, 
Nevermore returns again. 

F. S. COZZENS. 



" Nothing to Wear" had an extraordinary popularity in its day, and 
has not yet lost its adaptability to certain phases of fashionable society. 
From present prospects, indeed, its arrow of satire will not lose its 
point for several generations to come. The poem is much too long for 
us to quote entire, but we give sufficient of it to serve as an " awful 
warning" to the fair McFlimseys of the present day. 

NOTHING TO WEAR. 

Miss FLORA MCFLIMSEY, of Madison Square, 

Has made three separate journeys to Paris, 

And her father assures me each time she was there 

That she and her friend Mrs. Harris 

(Not the lady whose name is so famous in history, 

But plain Mrs. H., without romance or mystery) 

Spent six consecutive weeks, without stopping, 

In one continuous round of shopping, 

Shopping alone, and shopping together, 

At all hours of the day, and in all sorts of weather, 

For all manner of things that a woman can put 

On the crown of her head or the sole of her foot, 

Or wrap round her shoulders, or fit round her waist, 

Or that can be sewed on, or pinned on, or laced, 

Or tied on with a string, or stitched on with a bow, 

In front or behind, above or below ; 

For bonnets, mantillas, capes, collars, and shawls ; 

Dresses for breakfasts and dinners and balls ; 

Dresses to sit in, and stand in, and walk in ; 

Dresses to dance in, to flirt in, and talk in ; 

Dresses in which to do nothing at all ; 

Dresses for winter, spring, summer, and fall ; 



BUTLER] POEMS OF HUMOR. 327 

All of them different in color and pattern, 

Silk, muslin, and lace, crape, velvet, and satin, 

Brocade, and broadcloth, and other material, 

Quite as expensive, and much more ethereal ; 

In short, for all things that could ever be thought of, 

Or milliner, modiste, or tradesman be bought of, 

From ten-thousand-francs robes to twenty-sous frills ; 

In all quarters of Paris, and in every store. 

While McFlimsey in vain stormed, scolded, and swore, 

They footed the streets, and he footed the bills. 

******* * * 

And yet, though scarce three months have passed since 

the day 

This merchandise went, on twelve carts, up Broadway, 
This same Miss McFlimsey, of Madison Square, 
The last time we met was in utter despair, 
Because she had nothing whatever to wear ! 

NOTHING TO WEAR! Now, as this is a true ditty, 
I do not assert this, you know, is between us 
That she's in a state of absolute nudity, 
Like Powers' Greek Slave or the Medici Yenus ; 
But I do mean to say, I have heard her declare, 
When at the same moment she had on a dress 
Which cost five hundred dollars, and not a cent less, 
And jewelry worth ten times more, I should guess, 
That she had not a thing in the wide world to wear. 
********* 

Since that night, taking pains that it should not be bruited 

Abroad in society, I've instituted 

A course of inquiry, extensive and thorough, 

On this vital subject, and find, to my horror, 

That the fair Flora's case is by no means surprising, 

But that there exists the greatest distress 



328 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [BUTLER 

In our female community, solely arising 
From this unsupplied destitution of dress, 
Whose unfortunate victims are filling the air 
With the pitiful wail of " Nothing to wear." 

:j:fc;ji^JK*^** 

O ladies, dear ladies, the next sunny day 
Please trundle your hoops just out of Broadway, 
From its whirl and its bustle, its fashion and pride, 
And the temples of trade which tower on each side, 
To the alleys and lanes, where Misfortune and Guilt 
Their children have gathered, their city have built ; 
Where Hunger and Vice, like twin beasts of prey, 
Have hunted their victims to gloom and despair; 
Eaise the rich, dainty dress, and the fine broidered skirt, 
Pick your delicate way through dampness and dirt, 
Grope through the dark dens, climb the rickety stair 
To the garret, where wretches, the young and the old, 
Half starved and half naked, lie crouched from the cold. 
See those skeleton limbs, those frost-bitten feet, 
All bleeding and bruised by the stones of the street ; 
Hear the sharp cry of childhood, the deep groans that 

swell 

From the poor dying creature who writhes on the floor ; 
Hear the curses that sound like the echoes of Hell, 
As you sicken and shudder and fly from the door; 
Then home to your wardrobes, and say, if you dare, 
Spoiled children of Fashion, you've nothing to wear ! 

And, oh, if perchance there should be a sphere 
Where all is made right which so puzzles us here, 
Where the glare and the glitter and tinsel of Time 
Fade and die in the light of that region sublime 
Where the soul, disenchanted of flesh and of sense, 
Unscreened by its trappings and shows and pretence, 



STILLE] LABOR IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 329 

Must be clothed for the life and the service above, 
With purity, truth, faith, meekness, and love, 
O daughters of Earth, foolish virgins, beware ! 
Lest in that upper realm you have nothing to wear ! 

WILLIAM A. BUTLER. 



LABOR IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 

CHARLES J. STILLE. 

[From " Studies in Mediaeval History" we extract a portion of an 
interesting review of the conditions of labor in antiquity and in the 
Middle Ages, in view of the great prominence to which the modern 
labor question has now risen. The author, Charles Janeway Stille, 
was born in Philadelphia in 1819. In 1866 he was elected pro 
fessor of the English language and literature in the University of 
Pennsylvania, and in 1868 he became provost of that institution, 
which position he resigned in 1880. He is the author of several his 
torical works, of which the one above named is a valuable study, on 
the general plan of Guizot's "History of Civilization in Europe," of 
the relations of the people of Europe in the mediaeval period, and the 
varied steps of development from the commingled Roman civilization 
and German barbarism to modern political and social conditions.] 

THERE is perhaps no more striking contrast between 
modern life and the life of antiquity and of the Middle 
Age than that presented by the different social position 
and influence of those engaged in trade, and especially in 
the industrial and mechanic arts, in the two epochs. At 
the present day, and especially in this country, the suc 
cessful man of business is king, ruling our society in 
nearly all its departments with an authority as unchal 
lenged, and often as arbitrary, as that of the most despotic 
sovereign who ever sat on a throne. With the natural 
disposition of mankind to worship success, those who 
iv. 28* 



330 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

become rich in this way are looked upon as objects of 
imitation and envy. Not only so, but the methods which 
they have adopted in becoming rich are considered appro 
priate for the attainment of very different ends in life 
from mere money-getting. Self-made men, as they are 
called, that is, men without any liberal training, who 
have thus become rich by their own exertions, are not 
only the arbiters of trade and leaders in social influence, 
but they are too often the guides in the special develop 
ment of religion, of politics, of education, and of benevo 
lence, and, in short, determine not merely the ideal to 
which society should aspire, but the methods by which it 
should be reached. 

It may not at once occur to many that this extraordi 
nary all-pervading power of wealth, and the social con 
sideration which it gives, are among the most modern 
developments of modern times. There were, of course, 
rich men who were self-made both in antiquity and in the 
Middle Age ; but men grown rich by trade do not seem 
to have been held in honor in either epoch. Their want 
of social consideration and influence is abundantly clear 
from the works of the great writers of the time. Cicero, 
for instance, in writing to his son, tells him that those 
who gained their livelihood by mercantile pursuits, as 
well as those who followed the mechanic arts, were inca 
pable of any noble sentiment ; while Seneca, who was one 
of the two sages of antiquity who, according to St. Thomas 
Aquinas, needed only baptism to procure them admission 
to the Christian's heaven, speaks of the useful arts of life 
as the fitting occupation only of slaves. Such is the uni 
form testimony of writers who have described the condi 
tion of Europe down to a period as late as that of the 
Reformation, and even later. 

In this view of life, so strange to us, there was more 



STILLE] LABOR IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 331 

reason than appears on the surface. The source of the 
contempt felt until modern times for those whose lives 
were passed in trade or in industrial labor, as very plainly 
appears, was this, that until a period comparatively recent 
these pursuits were entirely confined to slaves or to a ser 
vile class. The emancipation of labor, then, and its eleva 
tion to its condition in our time, when we hear so much 
of its dignity, was the emancipation of those who labored 
from slavery, and from that taint which in public opinion 
in Europe has always affected everything connected with 
slave labor. The history of the laboring classes in Europe 
is the history of the progress of the larger portion of the 
population from slavery to freedom. . . . 

In regard to the working classes in the towns, and their 
relations to the governing power, there are three things to 
be considered separately if we wish to get an accurate idea 
of their condition. There is, first, the nature of the gov 
ernment of the towns themselves, which at an early period, 
comparatively, was withdrawn from the feudal lords and 
vested in the local magistrates; secondly, there were the 
trade corporations in the towns, one for each principal 
branch of industry, whose members were the sole electors 
of the town magistrates ; thirdly, there were the glides or 
confreries, composed of artisans, usually, but not always nor 
necessarily, forming part of the trade corporations. The 
medieval life in the towns rested upon this threefold 
basis. Out of this city life, and by virtue of the educa 
tion and experience he gained there, came that prominent 
figure in our time, the modern skilled workman. . . . 

What, then, were the ideas, what was the policy, which 
guided these town governments in the exercise of their 
functions ? The best answer is to be found in this con 
sideration, that the political system in the towns was 
founded upon citizenship, acquired only by virtue of mem- 



332 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [STILLB 

bership in some one of the trade corporations existing in 
them. From the beginning it had some of the features of 
an oligarchy. It was when the inhabitants were working 
industriously and trying to accumulate property that they 
felt most keenly the feudal oppression of their seigneurs 
and strove to form these gildes, or corps de metiers, as they 
were called in France, for their mutual protection. The 
motive of the desire for the freedom of the towns was the 
security of their possessions ; and the money to purchase 
that freedom from the lords came from the tradesmen, 
who wished to insure their property by doing away with 
any pretext for arbitrary acts. Hence the first thing 
done by these free towns was to adopt measures, after 
their own peculiar fashion, to protect the rights of labor. 
And these rights were not at all the rights belonging in 
common to all workmen, but the particular rights and 
privileges of certain workmen formed into trade corpora 
tions within the town, not unlike, in many respects, our 
modern trade-unions. These rights were claimed and 
strenuously defended for centuries against any interfe 
rence from outside the town, and were in no way founded 
upon any theory of the equality of all workmen, but were 
rather regarded in the nature of privileges. The avowed 
policy was everywhere to establish monopolies in the 
fullest sense of the word, to maintain a discrimination 
against those of the non-privileged class, both outside and 
inside the town. Their constant efforts, as long as they 
remained self-governing, were thus directed to the special 
protection of those of the inhabitants who were members 
of the trade corporations, and this was done by maintain 
ing their exclusive right to work within the town, by 
jealously guarding against the intrusion of strangers into 
the trades carried on there, and, in short, by every meas 
ure which made the labor of those they represented more 



STILLE] LABOR IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 333 

profitable. They did not even hesitate to reduce the num 
ber of the workmen, so as to make the gains of those who 
had the exclusive privilege of work greater. 

For all practical purposes, then, the government of the 
free towns was merely the government of the trades form 
ing their constituency, and their policy was a policy of 
trading privilege and monopoly. While this policy, per 
haps, was necessary for their own protection against the 
lawlessness of the time, and while no doubt it taught the 
lesson which is the first to be learned in a popular govern 
ment, the habit of mutual aid for mutual protection, yet it 
is none the less true that the system was wholly out of 
sympathy with that generous recognition of the universal 
right of man, as such, to freedom, which is the most char 
acteristic and fruitful truth of our own times. 

On what may be called the educational side the govern 
ment of free cities had some important advantages. Its 
policy of the jealous exclusion of strangers from the trades 
of the town made it necessary that those trades should be 
so organized that their members should produce good 
work, and that they should come, with that object in 
view, under the strictest discipline. Each of the trade 
gildes was provided with an elaborate organization to 
effect this purpose. The members were divided, as a gen 
eral rule, into three classes, the apprentices, the work 
men, and the masters. The apprentices, who were of a 
limited number (and usually the sons of the workmen or 
of the masters only were admitted to that position), were 
most carefully trained and instructed in their particular 
art, or mystery, as it was called. No one was allowed to 
pass from a lower grade to a higher in the gilde without 
the strictest examination, not merely as to his capacity 
as a workman, but as to his moral character also. Those 
who aspired after this examination to the place of master- 



334 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [STILLS 

workmen in any particular craft were obliged not only, as 
I have said, to have passed a long period of severe appren 
ticeship, but were also required, before their admission to 
the full privilege of a master, to produce a specimen of 
their skill in their particular art (called in France a cJief- 
d'oeuvre'), which was rigorously criticised and often found 
deficient by the examining board, composed of the chiefs 
of the company. The result of all this education was to 
produce, necessarily, thoroughly skilled workmen in num 
bers probably greater than any other system of the organi 
zation of labor has been able to do. Again, every piece 
of work made by any member of the craft at any time, no 
matter what was his grade in the company, was subjected 
before it was oifered for sale to a minute and thorough 
inspection by officers of the body. One obvious result of 
such a system was to maintain among the artisans, mem 
bers of the same gilde, a strong feeling of pride in their 
work and of attachment to the company which protected 
them in it. But it may be readily inferred that this sen 
timent was not confined in its influence upon the workman 
merely to his special position as such. It no doubt nour 
ished in him some of the most important characteristics of 
the true citizen, such as love of industry, and personal in 
dependence, and city pride ; and all this is to be considered 
as a compensating circumstance when we remember how 
completely the system was based upon the monopoly and 
exclusive privilege of the few. 

There was another peculiarity which grew out of the 
government of the free cities by means of these trading 
corporations, which had an immense influence upon city 
life during the Middle Age. Inseparably associated with 
each of these trade companies, although not always form 
ing part of it, was a charitable organization for the benefit 
of its members, called in England a gilde, and in France a 



STILLE] LABOR IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 335 

confrerie. The principle of these organizations, which was 
that of the mutual aid and protection of its members, is 
among the oldest and most permanent ideas of the Teu 
tonic race, and was in full operation for certain purposes 
long before free cities or trade corporations were thought 
of. In the days before the invasions societies existed in 
Germany and the North of Europe which were called 
gildes. They were so called because the word signifies a 
feast, given at the common expense of the society^ whose 
members partook of it, and at these feasts it was the cus 
tom for those present to take an oath to aid and protect 
each other. Here we see the first germ of that spirit of 
association and of mutual and voluntary helpfulness which 
has always distinguished, and to this day distinguishes, 
the Teutonic from the Latin races. The aid and protec 
tion which these glides were organized to afford were not 
of that kind which their successors were called upon to 
give. The ancient Germans, of course, had no mechanic 
arts and no commercial occupations ; but in the absence 
of anything like law or public order in those rude days 
they felt the need of seeking by combination with their 
comrades that protection for their persons and their prop 
erty which their nominal chief could not or would not 
give them. The weak, therefore, associated themselves 
with the strong to make a common resistance to oppres 
sion ; they bound themselves to each other by a solemn 
oath ; they chose their leaders, and, when they became 
Christians, a patron saint ; they ate and drank together 
at certain fixed periods ; and, emboldened by their num 
bers, they asserted their power and became in time them 
selves the lawless oppressors of others. 

Out of this ancient and persistent habit of mutual help 
fulness grew what was known in England's Saxon days 
as frank-pledge, by which, as I have before explained, a 



336 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [STILLK 

responsibility for the acts and offences of each member of 
the society was attached not primarily to himself but to 
his family, and especially to the glide, to which he belonged, 
and this frank-pledge thus became an important instrument 
of social order in those days. Any member could call 
upon his gilde brothers for assistance in case of violence 
and wrong ; if falsely accused, they appeared in court as 
his compurgators ; if poor, they supported, and when dead 
they buried him. On the other hand, each member was 
responsible to the gilde, as it was to the State, for order 
and obedience to the laws. A wrong of brother against 
brother was also a wrong against the general body of the 
gilde, and was punished in the last resort by expulsion, 
which left the offender a lawless man and an outcast. In 
its main features this was the organization of the trade 
gildes in towns, exclusive monopoly of work, and chari 
table aid to suffering comrades. But we must not forget 
that while the regulations of the trade corporations were 
founded upon the selfishness and cupidity of the citizen 
and the artisan, those adopted by the gildes or confreries 
were taught by that Divine charity which is the source 
of the virtues of the man and the Christian. 

The members of the confre'rie concerned themselves about 
the happiness of their fellow-members, as the burghers 
did about their privileges. When in danger they in 
voked the Divine aid, and caused prayers and masses to 
be said for the benefit not merely of their own souls, but 
for those of their relations, friends, and benefactors also. 
Their object was to make of the members of the gilde, 
who were also generally of the same trade, one family 
united in one faith under the protection of the same saint 
and brought into close relations by the enjoyments of a 
common social intercourse. No one of the members was 
permitted to live in poverty : the two opposite principles 



CONWAY] THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. 337 

of pride in their gilde, and the charity which was its 
ruling motive, alike forbade it. Like some of our modern 
institutions of charity which are the direct and legitimate 
successors of the glides of the Middle Age, such as the 
Free-Masons, the Odd-Fellows, and kindred associations, 
a good deal of both time and money may have been wasted 
in processions, regalia, and the like, while they were carry 
ing on some of their work ; and yet we must not forget 
that the great motive and object of that work was to aid 
those whom sickness or misfortune had made helpless. 
When we think of the civilizing power in our days among 
workmen of mutual aid societies, we may imagine the in 
fluence of organizations with the same .end in view in the 
Middle Age. Close union between workers at the same 
trade, social enjoyments in common, innocent recreation 
for the workman who was almost constantly penned up 
in his shop, prayers said in common, a large spirit of 
charity and mutual succor from the ills of poverty, such 
was the ideal life of workmen belonging to the privileged 
gildes in the free cities of the Middle Age. Could it have 
been made the real and actual life of such workmen, what 
a paradise society would have become I 



THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. 

MONCURE D. CONWAY. 

[The writer of the selection given below, well known for his grace 
ful and attractive essays and descriptive articles, was born in Virginia 
in 1832. He studied theology, and entered the Methodist ministry, 
but afterwards became distinguished as a Unitarian pastor and an 
active opponent of slavery. In 1863 he became pastor of a Uni 
tarian congregation in London, England. Of his works we may men- 
IY.P w 29 



338 BEST AMERICAN A UTPIORS. [CONWAY 

tion "Tracts for To-Day," "The Golden Hour," " The Wandering 
Jew," and "Idols and Ideals," from the latter of which our present 
extract is taken. No compendium of literature to-day is complete 
unless it gives some degree of attention to the subject of evolution, 
which for the past quarter of a century has occupied so prominent a 
place in scientific literature, and has, in fact, infiltrated all literature 
and all thought. Mr. Conway has presented this subject, with its 
bearings upon theological opinion, with a clearness, neatness, and 
brevity that make his essay particularly suitable for our purpose, as 
showing in few words just what advanced thinkers mean by the evolu 
tion theory. We therefore extract the most pertinent portions of his 
essay.] 

WHAT, then, is the Darwinian theory ? It is that all 
the organic forms around us, from lowest to highest, have 
been evolved the one from the other by means of natural 
selection. Natural selection is the obvious law that every 
power or trait which better adapts an animal to live amid 
its surroundings enables that animal to survive another 
which has not the same power or trait. The fit outlives 
the unfit. And because they outlive their inferiors, they 
will propagate their species more freely. Their offspring 
will inherit their advantages, by the laws of heredity 
will still further improve upon them; and thus there will 
be a cumulative storing up of such advantages established. 
Each form less furnished with resources to maintain itself 
is crowded out before the increase of forms which are 
better supplied with hereditary abilities. A sufficient 
accumulation of slight advantages amounts in the end to 
a new form or species. An accumulation of specific ad~ 
vantages will be summed up in a new genus. 

And thus, as Emerson has said, 

" Striving to be man, the worm 
Mounts through all the spires of form." 

Now, to the merely scientific mind evolution is simply 



CON WAY] THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. 339 

a scientific generalization. In its light he beholds the 
sprouting leaf hardening to a stem, unpacking itself to a 
blossom, swelling again to the pulpy leaf called fruit. He 
inspects the crustacean egg, sees the trilobite in the em 
bryo stretching into a tiny lobster, shortening into a crab, 
and says trilobite, lobster, and crab pass from one to the 
other in this little egg-world, as the new theory shows 
they did in the big world. He will be interested to find 
out the intervening steps of improvement between one 
form and another, and will fix upon this or that animal 
as the one from which a consummate species budded. 

But, as I have stated, a truth in any one department of 
knowledge is capable of being translated into every other. 
We are already familiar with a popular translation of the 
Darwinian theory in the phrase which explains it as mean 
ing that men are descended from monkeys. And by this 
common interpretation many conclude that it implies a 
degradation of the human species. But that phrase does 
not convey the truth of the theory, any more than if a 
rough pediment in the Museum were declared to be the 
splendid temple of Diana of Ephesus. For behind each 
one of the forms evolving higher, there stretch the endless 
lines and processions of the forms which combine to pro 
duce it. The ape may appear ugly, seen as he is among 
us, detached from his environment, when contrasted with 
man ; but he is royal when contrasted with the worm in 
the mud. But neither worm nor ape can be truly seen 
when detached from the cosmical order and beauty. It 
matters little what rude form sheathed the first glory of 
a human brain. It does not rob the opal of its beauty 
that its matrix was common flint, nor does it dim the 
diamond's lustre that it crystallized out of charcoal. The 
ape may be the jest of the ignorant, but the thinker will 
see behind him the myriad beautiful forms which made 



340 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

him possible. What wondrous forests of fern and vine 
grew in voiceless ages, clothing the hard primeval rock ! 
what flowers rich and rare broidered the raiment of the 
earth ! What bright insects flashed through their green 
bowers, what gorgeous birds lit up the deep solitudes with 
torch-like plumage! Through a thousand ages the shining 
swimmers darted through pool or air; for unnumbered 
generations star-gemmed creatures, lithe and beautiful, 
sprung through jungle and forest ; they browse peace 
fully on hill and meadow ; they slake their thirst at crys 
tal streams ; they pursue their savage loves in wood and 
Yale ; with mighty roar, with sweetest melody, they chant 
the music by which the world marches onward and up 
ward, onward and upward forever ! Millions pass away, 
millions advance : from every realm of nature they 
come to add their fibre of strength or tint of beauty to 
the rising form ; beneath every touch, with every tribute, 
it ascends, till at last, lodged for a moment in some 
rugged human-like form for combination, the selected 
concentrated powers expand into man, the sum of every 
creature's best ! 

The right translation of this theory for us is, then, that 
it shows man to be the offspring, not of the ape, but of the 
animated universe; the heir of its richest bounties ; the con 
summate work of a matchless artist, a figure of which all 
preceding forms were but sketches and studies. Admitting 
though it is an extreme and questionable concession 
that the theory has not yet fortified itself completely by 
demonstrations in detail of the connecting links between 
the species, yet it has certainly shown such an immense 
balance of probabilities in its favor as to command the ad 
hesion of the scientific world to a greater extent than the 
Newtonian theory of gravitation did within the same time 
after its discovery. It may be affirmed that there is not a 



CON WAY] THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. 341 

single "great man of science in the world who does not 
maintain that, in one way or another, species were con 
tinuously evolved. 

But what effect has this system on religion or moral 
philosophy? We all know that it has awakened earnest 
controversies. There are several ways in which it has 
been regarded. One class of religious teachers, seeing 
that the verdict of the scientific world in its favor is be 
yond appeal, have been assuring us that it can have no 
effect upon religion whatever. Dean Stanley, too liberal 
and scholarly not to recognize the facts, recently admon 
ished an audience that it mattered nothing at all to them 
whether it should turn out that man is descended from 
the animal world, or lower still, as the Bible said, from 
the inanimate dust of the earth, for right would still be 
right, and wrong, wrong, and we should still feel that we 
are individual souls. What he said was true, but the tone 
of his remark was that this is a question quite aside from 
the great religious problems of our time. . . . 

On the other hand, there are theologians who, in 
stead of indulging the dream that the Darwinian theory 
will leave religion just where it was before, announce that 
it is cutting the faith of man up by the roots. They de 
clare that it abolishes God, destroys the hope of immor 
tality, and resolves morality itself into a mere mechanic 
force. Such phantoms are familiar, but they become more 
thin with each reappearance. Our fathers heard that the 
pillars of the universe had fallen again and again, when it 
only turned out that somebody's little idol had collapsed. 
" The giving up of the sun's motion is giving up the foun 
dation of religion," said they who burned the book of 
Copernicus and the body of Bruno. " The giving up of 
witchcraft is giving up the Bible," said Sir Matthew Hale. 
We have grown accustomed to such alarms, and can con- 
iv. 29* 



342 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CONWAT 

sider such things with the assured calmness of long ex 
perience. . . . 

But does the doctrine of natural selection, then, expel 
God from the universe ? Does it imply that amid all these 
fair worlds, that amid all this beauty, there is no intima 
tion of a Divine Being ? By no means. It has simply 
broken up an old belief as to the relation of that Being 
to the universe. As theology had in the far past narrowed 
him to the seven-planet theory, or again fancied that the 
sun rose every morning because God waked it up, and de 
clared in each case that God was driven from the universe 
whenever a law was substituted for his immediate action, 
so now we see the infirmity of mind which can see no 
God except as prisoned in its crude notion. Darwinism 
simply says to the human mind, Once more you havo 
been found wrong in your speculations as to God's rela 
tion to the universe. Once more you are proved unable 
to comprehend the Incomprehensible. Once more you are 
taught to abstain from dogmatizing where you cannot 
know, and to learn humility. 

But still above our crumbled creeds and vanished specu 
lations the ancient heavens declare a divine glory ; still 
day speaketh unto day, and night unto night showeth 
knowledge ; and man may still reverently raise his reason 
to contemplate order and beauty in the universe. Out of 
decay and death springs the flower with its breath of 
love, and over earthly ruin bends the tender sky. There 
is nothing whatever in this theory which veils to man a 
single expression of wisdom or love shining through the 
mystery around him. 

Nay, on the contrary, I will maintain that this theory 
has added fresh tints of love, brighter beams of reason, to 
the universe, by opening our eyes to new aspects of it. It 
has illuminated for the first time the dreary track of pain 



CONWAY] THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. 343 

and wrong. The pre-Darwinite might say to the suffer 
ing, " I hope and trust your pain is for some good end," 
but the post-Darwinite can say, with confidence, "I know 
and see that pain is a beneficial agent. Pain has been the 
spur under which the whole world has progressed. To 
escape danger, to survive pain, every form has gained its 
fleetness, its skill, its power ; the hardships of nature gave 
man his arts to conquer it, the cruel elements built his 
home, and in the black ink of sin were written the laws 
of morality and civilization." 

And if this theory for the first time taught man the 
sublime uses of evil, none the less has it harmonized nature 
with the laws of his reason. For in their best statement 
the old pre-Darwinite views of nature made it discordant 
with the intellectual history of man. History shows us 
a continuous morat, mental, and religious development of 
humanity. The theories, the philosophies, the creeds of 
mankind have not been distinct and isolated creations; 
they have been an unbroken series of religions, schools, 
ideas, each growing out of one preceding, giving birth to 
another, so that step by step we trace philosophy back 
from Huxley to Moses, or religion from Christendom to 
Assyria and India. This unbroken evolution of thought 
in human history we find repeated in the unfolding intel 
lect of every individual being. We do not think one 
thing, and then a totally different thing, and feel that 
there is no link binding our days and our purposes to 
gether into a life that represents an individuality. Yet 
we had been long looking out into nature and seeing it as 
a set of distinct creations ; one form made, then another. 
We may well reverence the great men who have found in 
the universe one theme with endless variations. They 
have enabled us to hear a grand music such as Plato 
dreamed of as the harmony to which the planets moved. 



344 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CONWAY 

Finding now that his moral and intellectual history have 
in their development repeated in higher series the growth 
of the physical world that bore him, man takes his own 
brain as his stand-point, and from the summit of his own 
thought sees the immeasurable thought reflected in nature 
as far as his intelligence can reach. Nor has the post- 
Darwinite world lost any rational hope held by the pre- 
Darwinite, neither for the present nor for the future. 
For rational man, emancipated from fables, immortality 
has long been a high hope ; and a high hope it will re 
main, untouched by the fact of his birth out of the or 
ganic world. So far as that hope rested upon the dignity 
of the human being, it is increased by a theory which 
shows that for millions of ages the forms and forces of 
the world were all employed in preparing and working 
on the marvel of a human brain. He nlay well argue that 
nature will fitly cherish the gem which it costs 83ons to 
produce and myriads of busy hands to polish. 

And as to this world, the new theory has caused a hope 
to dawn over us so dazzling that our eyes can hardly yet 
bear it. It has revealed that the force which has built up 
from a zoophyte to the wondrous frame of man remains 
still in our hands, ready to lay hold on man himself and 
build him into a nobler race, to fossilize deformity and 
liberate every power, ready to apply the omnipotent 
universe for the culture of man and his dwelling-place, 
causing social deserts to rejoice and blossom like the rose. 



EGQLESTON] SPELLING DOWN THE MASTER. 345 

SPELLING DOWN THE MASTER. 

EDWARD EGGLESTON. 

[" The Hoosier School-Master," a vivid portrayal of Western life, by 
one " to the manner born," is the source of our present Half-Hour 
reading. Edward Eggleston, its author, was born in Indiana in 1837, 
and entered the Methodist ministry in his native State. He afterwards 
became pastor of " a church without a creed," in Brooklyn, New York. 
He has published several other works, but his reputation rests mainly on 
the one above named, which came upon the public as a fresh and truth 
ful delineation of a phase of American life not before treated by the 
pen of the novelist.] 

" I 'LOW," said Mrs. Means, as she stuffed the tobacco into 
her cob pipe after supper on that eventful Wednesday 
evening, " I 'low they'll appint the Squire to gin out the 
words to-night. They mos' always do, you see, kase he's 
the peartest ole man in this deestrick ; and I 'low some of 
the young fellers would have to git up and dust ef they 
would keep up to him. And he uses sech remarkable 
smart words. He speaks so polite, too. But laws ! don't 
I remember when he was poarer nor Job's turkey ? 
Twenty year ago, when he come to these 'ere diggins, 
that air Squire Hawkins was a poar Yankee school-master, 
that said ' pail' instid of bucket, and that called a cow a 
1 caow,' and that couldn't tell to save his gizzard what we 
meant by 'low and by right smart. But he's larnt our ways 
now, an' he's jest as civilized as the rest of us. You 
would-n know he'd ever been a Yankee. He didn't stay 
poar long. Not he. He jest married a right rich gal ! 
He ! he !" and the old woman grinned at Ralph, and then 
at Mirandy, and then at the rest, until Ralph shuddered. 
Nothing was so frightful to him as to be fawned on and 
grinned at by this old ogre, whose few lonesome, blackish 



346 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [EGQLESTON 

teeth seemed ready to devour him. " He didn't stay poar, 
you bet a hoss!" and with this the coal was deposited on 
the pipe, and the lips began to crack like parchment as 
each puff of smoke escaped. " He married rich, you see," 
and here another significant look at the young master, and 
another fond look at Mirandy, as she puffed away reflect 
ively. " His wife hadn't no book-larnin'. She'd been 
through the spellin'-book wunst, and had got as fur as 
* asperity' on it a second time. But she couldn't read a 
word when she was married, and never could. She warn't 
overly smart. She hadn't hardly got the sense the law 
allows. But schools was skase in them air days, and, be 
sides, book-larnin' don't do no good to a w r oman. Makes 
her stuck up. I never knowed but one gal in my life as 
had ciphered into fractions, and she was so dog-on stuck 
up that she turned up her nose one night at a apple-peelin' 
bekase I tuck a sheet off the bed to splice out the table 
cloth, which was ruther short. And the sheet was mos' 
clean, too;-had-n been slep' on more'n wunst or twicet. 
But I was goin' fer to say that when Squire Hawkins 
married Yirginny Gray he got a heap o' money, or, 
what's the same thing mostly, a heap o' good land. And 
that's better'n book-larnin', says I. Ef a gal had gone 
clean through all eddication, and got to the rule of three 
itself, that would n buy a feather-bed. Squire Hawkins 
jest put eddication agin the gal's farm, and traded even, 
an' ef ary one of 'em got swindled, I never heerd no com 
plaints." 

And here she looked at Ealph in triumph, her hard face 
splintering into the hideous semblance of a smile. And 
Mirandy cast a blushing, gushing, all-imploring, and all- 
confiding look on the young master. 

" I say, ole woman," broke in old Jack, " I say, wot is all 
this 'ere spoutin' about the Square fer?" and old Jack, 






EQGLESTON] SPELLING DOWN THE MASTER. 347 

having bit off an ounce of " pigtail," returned the plug to 
his pocket. 

As for Balph, he wanted to die. He had a guilty feel 
ing that this speech of the old lady's had somehow com 
mitted him beyond recall to Mirandy. He did not see 
\ isions of breach-of-promise suits ; but he trembled at the 
thought of an avenging big brother. 

" Hanner, you kin come along, too, ef you're a mind, 
when you git the dishes washed," said Mrs. Means to the 
bound girl, as she shut and latched the back door. The 
Means family had built a new house in front of the old one, 
as a sort of advertisement of bettered circumstances, an 
eruption of shoddy feeling ; but when the new building 
was completed they found themselves unable to occupy it 
for anything else than a lumber-room, and so, except a 
parlor which Mirandy had made an effort to furnish a 
little (in hope of the blissful time when somebody should 
" set up" with her of evenings), the new building was 
almost unoccupied, and the family went in and out through 
the back door, which, indeed, was the front door also, for, 
according to a curious custom, the "front" of the house 
was placed toward the south, though the "big road" 
(Hoosier for highway} ran along the northwest side, or, 
rather, past the northwest corner of it. 

When the old woman had spoken thus to Hannah 
and had latched the door, she muttered, " That gal don't 
never show no gratitude fer favors;" to which Bud re 
joined that he didn't think she had no great sight to be 
pertickler thankful fer. To which Mrs. Means made no 
reply, thinking it best, perhaps, not to wake up her duti 
ful son on so interesting a theme as her treatment of 
Hannah. Ralph felt glad that he was this evening to go 
to another boarding-place. He should not hear the rest 
of the controversy. 



348 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [EGGLESTON 

Ealph walked to the school-house with Bill. They 
were friends again. For when Hank Banta's ducking 
and his dogged obstinacy in sitting in his wet clothes had 
brought on a serious fever, Ralph had called together the 
big boys, and had said, " We must take care of one 
another, boys. Who will volunteer to take turns sitting 
up with Henry ?" He put his own name down, and all 
the rest followed. 

" William Means and myself will sit up to-night," said 
Ralph. And poor Bill had been from that moment the 
teacher's friend. He was chosen to be Ralph's companion. 
He was Puppy Means no longer! Hank could not be 
conquered by kindness, and the teacher was made to feel 
the bitterness of his resentment long after, as we shall 
find. But Bill Means was for the time entirely placated, 
and he and Ralph went to spelling-school together. 

Every family furnished a candle. There were yellow 
dips and white dips, burning, smoking, and flaring. There 
was laughing, and talking, and giggling, and simpering, 
and ogling, and flirting, and courting. What a dress party 
is to Fifth Avenue, a spelling-school is to Hoopole County. 
It is an occasion which is metaphorically inscribed with 
this legend, "Choose your partners." Spelling is only a 
blind in Hoopole County, as is dancing on Fifth Avenue. 
But as there are some in society who love dancing for its 
own sake, so in Flat Creek district there were those who 
loved spelling for its own sake, and who, smelling the 
battle from afar, had come to try their skill in this tour 
nament, hoping to freshen the laurels they had won in 
their school-days. 

"I 'low," said Mr. Means, speaking as the principal 
school trustee, " I 'low our friend the Square is jest the 
man to boss this 'ere consarn to-night. Ef nobody objects, 
I'll appint him. Come, Square, don't be bashful. Walk 



EGGLESTON] SPELLING DOWN THE MASTER. 349 

up to the trough, fodder or no fodder, as the man said to 
his donkey." 

There was a general giggle at this, and many of the 
young swains took occasion to nudge the girls alongside 
them* ostensibly for the purpose of making them see the 
joke, but really for the pure pleasure of nudging. The 
Greeks figured Cupid as naked, probably because he wears 
so many disguises that they could not select a costume 
for him. 

The Squire came to the front. Ealph made an inven 
tory of the agglomeration which bore the name of Squire 
Hawkins, as follows : 

1. A swallow-tail coat of indefinite age, worn only on 
state occasions when its owner was called to figure in his 
public capacity. Either the Squire had grown too large 
or the coat too small. 

2. A pair of black gloves, the most phenomenal, abnoi- 
mal, and unexpected apparition conceivable in Flat Creek 
district, where the preachers wore no coats in the summer, 
and where a black glove was never seen except on the 
hands of the Squire. 

3. A wig of that dirty, waxy color so common to wigs. 
This one showed a continual inclination to slip off the 
owner's smooth, bald pate, and the Squire had frequently 
to adjust it. As his hair had been red, the wig did not 
accord with his face, and the hair ungrayed was sadly dis 
cordant with a face shrivelled by age. 

4. A semicircular row of whiskers hedging the edge 
of the jaw and chin. These were dyed a frightful dead 
black, such as no natural hair or beard ever had. At 
the roots there was a quarter of an inch of white, giving 
the whiskers the appearance of having been stuck on. 

5. A pair of spectacles with " tortoise-shell rim." Wont 
to slip off. 

iv. 30 



350 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [EGQLESTON 

6. A glass eye, purchased of a peddler, and differing in 
color from its natural mate, perpetually getting out of 
focus by turning in or out. 

7. A set of false teeth, badly fitted, and given to bobbing 
up and down. 

8. The Squire proper, to whom these patches were 
loosely attached. 

It is an old story that a boy wrote home to his father 
begging him to come West, because " mighty mean men got 
in office out here." But Ealph concluded that some Yan 
kees had taught school in Hoopole County who would not 
have held a high place in the educational institutions of 
Massachusetts. Hawkins had some New England idioms, 
but they were well overlaid by a Western pronunciation. 

" Ladies and gentlemen," he began, shoving up his spec 
tacles, and sucking his lips over his white teeth to keep 
them in place, "ladies and gentlemen, young men and 
maidens, raley I'm obleeged to Mr. Means fer this honor." 
And the Squire took both hands and turned the top of his 
head round several inches. Then he adjusted his spec 
tacles. Whether he was obliged to Mr. Means for the 
honor of being compared to a donkey was not clear. " I 
feel in the inmost compartments of my animal spirits a 
most happifying sense of the success and futility of all my 
endeavors to sarve the people of Flat Crick deestrick, and 
the people of Tomkins township, in my weak way and 
manner." This burst of eloquence was delivered with a 
constrained air and an apparent sense of a danger that ho, 
Squire Hawkins, might fall to pieces in his weak way and 
manner, and of the success and futility (especially the lat 
ter) of all attempts at reconstruction. For by this time 
the ghastly pupil of the left eye, which was black, was 
looking away round to the left, while the little blue one 
on the right twinkled cheerfully toward the front. The 



EGQLESTON] SPELLING DOWN THE MASTER. 351 

front teeth would drop down, so that the Squire's mouth 
was kept nearly closed, and his words whistled through. 

" I feel as if I could be grandiloquent on this interest 
ing occasion," twisting his scalp round, " but raley I must 
forego any such exertions. It is spelling you want. Spell 
ing is the corner-stone, the grand underlying subterfuge, 
of a good eddication. I put the spellin'-book prepared by 
the great Daniel Webster alongside the Bible. I do, raley. 
I think I may put it ahead of the Bible. For if it wurnt 
fer spellin'-books and sich occasions as these, where would 
the Bible be, I should like to know ? The man who got 
up, who compounded this little work of inextricable valoo 
was a benufactor to the whole human race or any other." 
Here the spectacles fell off. The Squire replaced them in 
some confusion, gave the top of his head another twist, and 
felt of his glass eye, while poor Shocky stared in wonder, 
and Betsey Short rolled from side to side at the point of 
death from the effort to suppress her giggle. Mrs. Means 
and the other old ladies looked the applause they could 
not speak. 

"I appint Larkin Lanham and Jeems Buchanan fei 
captings," said the Squire. And the two young men 
thus named took a stick and tossed it from hand to hand 
to decide which should have the "first ch'ice." One 
tossed the stick to the other, who held it fast just where 
he happened to catch it. Then the first placed his hand 
above the second, and so the hands were alternately 
changed to the top. The one who held the stick last 
without room for the other to take hold had gained the 
lot. This was tried three times. As Larkin held the 
stick twice out of three times, he had the choice. He 
hesitated a moment. Everybody looked toward tall Jim 
Phillips. But Larkin was fond of a venture on unknown 
seas, and so he said, " I take the master," while a buzz of 



352 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [EGGLESTON 

surprise ran round the room, and the captain of the other 
side, as if afraid his opponent would withdraw the choice, 
retorted quickly, and with a little smack of exultation 
and defiance in his voice, " And /take Jeems Phillips." 

And soon all present, except a few of the old folks, 
found themselves ranged in opposing hosts, the poor 
spellers lagging in, with what grace they could, at the 
foot of the two divisions. The Squire opened his spelling- 
book and began to give out the words to the two captains, 
who stood up and spelled against each other. It was not 
long until Larkin spelled " really" with one , and had to 
sit down in confusion, while a murmur of satisfaction ran 
through the ranks of the opposing forces. His own side 
bit their lips. The slender figure of the young teacher 
took the place of the fallen leader, and the excitement 
made the house very quiet. Ralph dreaded the loss of 
influence he would suffer if he should be easily spelled 
down. And at the moment of rising he saw in the dark 
est corner the figure of a well-dressed young man sitting 
in the shadow. It made him tremble. Why should his 
evil genius haunt him? But by a strong effort he turned 
his attention away from Dr. Small, and listened carefully 
to the words which the Squire did not pronounce very 
distinctly, spelling them with extreme deliberation. This 
gave him an air of hesitation which disappointed those on 
his own side. They wanted him to spell with a dashing 
assurance. But he did not begin a word until he had 
mentally felt his way through it. After ten minutes of 
spelling hard words, Jeems Buchanan, the captain on the 
other side, spelled "atrocious" with an s instead of a c, 
and subsided, his first choice, Jeems Phillips, coming up 
against the teacher. ^This brought the excitement to fever- 
heat. For though Ralph was chosen first, it was entirely 
on trust, and most of the company were disappointed. 



EQGLESTON] SPELLING DOWN THE MASTER. 353 

The champion who now stood up against the school 
master was a famous speller. 

Jim Phillips was a tall, lank, stoop-shouldered fellow, 
who had never distinguished himself in any other pursuit 
than spelling. Except in this one art of spelling, he was 
of no account. He could not catch well or bat well in 
ball. He could not throw well enough to make his mark 
in that famous Western game of bull-pen. He did not 
succeed well in any study but that of Webster's Element 
ary. But in that he was to use the usual Flat Creek 
locution in that he was " a boss." This genius for spell 
ing is in some people a sixth sense, a matter of intuition. 
Some spellers are born and not made, and their facility re 
minds one of the mathematical prodigies that crop out 
every now and then to bewilder the world. Bud Means, 
foreseeing that Ealph would be pitted against Jim Phillips, 
had warned his friend that Jim could " spell like thunder 
and lightning," and that it " took a powerful* smart speller'' 
to beat him, for he knew "a heap of spelling-book." To 
have " spelled down the master" is next thing to having 
whipped the biggest bully in Hoopole County, and Jim 
had "spelled down" the last three masters. He divided 
the hero-worship of the district with Bud Means. 

For half an hour the Squire gave out hard words. What 
a blessed thing our crooked orthography is ! Without it 
there could be no spelling-schools. As Ralph discovered 
his opponent's mettle he became more and more cautious. 
He was now satisfied that Jim would eventually beat him. 
The fellow evidently knew more about the spelling-book 
than old Noah Webster himself. As he stood there, with 
his dull face and long sharp nose, his hands behind his 
back, and his voice spelling infallibly, it seemed to Hart- 
eook that his superiority must lie in his nose. Ralph's cau 
tiousness answered a double purpose: it enabled him to 
iv. x 30* 



354 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [EGGLESTON 

tread surely, and it was mistaken by Jim for weakness. 
Phillips was now confident that he should carry off the 
scalp of the fourth school-master before the even-Ing was 
over. He spelled eagerly, confidently, brilliantly. Stoop- 
shouldered as he was, he began to straighten up. In the 
minds of all the company the odds were in his favor. He 
saw this, and became ambitious to distinguish himself by 
spelling without giving the matter any thought. 

Ealph always believed that he would have been speedily 
defeated by Phillips had it not been for two thoughts 
which braced him. The sinister shadow of young Dr. 
Small sitting in the dark corner by the water-bucket 
nerved him. A victory over Phillips was a defeat to one 
who wished only ill to the young school-master. The 
other thought that kept his pluck alive was the recollec 
tion of Bull. He approached a word as Bull approached 
the raccoon. He did not take hold until he was sure of 
his game. When he took hold, it was with a quiet as 
surance of success. As Ealph spelled in this dogged way 
for half an hour the hardest words the Squire could find, 
the excitement steadily rose in all parts of the house, and 
Ealph's friends even ventured to whisper that " maybe 
Jim had cotched his match after all !" 

But Phillips never doubted of his success. 

" Theodolite," said the Squire. 

" T-h-e, the, o-d, od, theod, o, theodo, 1-y-t-e, theodolite,'' 
spelled the champion. 

" Next," said the Squire, nearly losing his teeth in hid 
excitement. 

Ealph spelled the word slowly and correctly, and the 
conquered champion sat down in confusion. The excite 
ment was so great for some minutes that the spelling was 
suspended. Everybody in the house had shown sympathy 
with one or the other of the combatants, except the silent 



EGGLESTON] SPELLING DOWN THE MASTER. 355 

shadow in the corner. It had not moved during the con 
test, and did not show any interest now in^the result. 

" Gewhilliky crickets ! Thunder and lightning! Licked 
him all to smash I" said Bud, rubbing his hands on his 
knees. " That beats my time all holler !" 

And Betsey Short giggled until her tuck-comb fell out> 
though she was on the defeated side. 

Shocky got up and danced with pleasure. 

But one suffocating look from the aqueous eyes of 
Mirandy destroyed the last spark of Ralph's pleasure in 
his triumph, and sent that awful below-zero feeling all 
through him. 

" He's powerful smart, is the master," said old Jack to 
Mr. Pete Jones. " He'll beat the whole kit and tuck of 
'em afore he's through. I know'd he was smart. That's 
the reason I tuck him," proceeded Mr. Means. 

" Yaas, but he don't lick enough. Not nigh," answered 
Pete Jones. " No lickin', no larnin', says I." 

It was now not so hard. The other spellers on the oppo 
site side went down quickly under the hard words which 
the Squire gave out. The master had mowed down all but 
a few, his opponents had given up the battle, and all had 
lost their keen interest in a contest to which there could 
be but one conclusion, for there were only the poor spell 
ers left. But Ealph Hartsook ran against a stump where 
he was least expecting it. It was the Squire's custom, 
when one of the smaller scholars or poorer spellers rose to 
spell against the master, to give out eight or ten easy 
words, that they might have some breathing- spell before 
being slaughtered, and then to give a poser or two, which 
soon settled them. He let them run a little, as a cat does 
a doomed mouse. There was now but one person left on 
the opposite side, and as she rose in her blue calico dress, 
Ralph recognized Hannah, the bound girl at old Jack 



356 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [EGGLESTON 

Means's. She had not attended school in the district, and 
had never spelled in spelling-school before, and was chosen 
last as an uncertain quantity. The Squire began with 
easy words of two syllables, from that page of Webster so 
well known to all who ever thumbed it as " Baker," from 
the word that stands at the top of the page. She spelled 
these words in an absent and uninterested manner. As 
everybody knew that she would have to go down as soon 
as this preliminary skirmishing was over, everybody be 
gan to get ready to go home, and already there was the 
buzz of preparation. Young men were timidly asking 
girls if " they could see them safe home," which is the ap 
proved formula, and were trembling in mortal fear of " the 
mitten." Presently the Squire, thinking it time to close 
the contest, pulled his scalp forward, adjusted his glass 
eye, which had been examining his nose long enough, and 
turned over the leaves of the book to the great words at 
the place known to spellers as " Incomprehensibility," and 
began to give out those " words of eight syllables with 
the accent on the sixth." Listless scholars now turned 
round, and ceased to whisper, in order to bo in at the 
master's final triumph. But, to their surprise, " ole Miss 
Meanses' white nigger," as some of them called her, in al 
lusion to her slavish life, spelled these great words with as 
perfect ease as the master. Still, not doubting the result, 
the Squire turned from place to place and selected all the 
hard words he could find. The school became utterly 
quiet; the excitement was too great for the ordinary 
buzz. "Would " Meanses' Hanner" beat the master ? Beat 
the master that had laid out Jim Phillips ? Everybody's 
sympathy was now turned to Hannah. Kalph noticed 
that even Shocky had deserted him, and that his face 
grew brilliant every time Hannah spelled a word. In 
fact, Ealph deserted himself. As he saw the fine, timid 



EGGLESTON] SPELLING DOWN THE MASTER. 357 

face of the girl so long oppressed flush and shine with in 
terest, as he looked at the rather low but broad and intel 
ligent brow and the fresh, white complexion, and saw the 
rich, womanly nature coming to the surface under the in 
fluence of applause and sympathy, he did not want to beat. 
If he had not felt that a victory given would insult her, 
he would have missed intentionally. The bull-dog, the 
stern, relentless setting of the will, had gone, he knew not 
whither. And there had come in its place, as he looked 
in that face, a something which he did not understand. 
You did not, gentle reader, the first time it came to you. 

The Squire was puzzled. He had given out all the hard 
words in the book. He again pulled the top of his head 
forward. Then he wiped his spectacles and put them on. 
Then out of the depths of his pocket he fished up a list 
of words just coming into use in those days, words not 
in the spelling-book. He regarded the paper attentively 
with his blue right eye. His black left eye meanwhile 
fixed itself in such a stare on Mirandy Means that she 
shuddered and hid her eyes in her red silk handkerchief. 

" Daguerreotype," sniffled the Squire. It was Ralph's 
turn. 

" D-a-u, dau " 

"Next." 

And Hannah spelled it right. 

Such a buzz followed that Betsey Short's giggle could 
not be heard, but Shocky shouted, "Hanner beat! my 
Hanner spelled down the master!" And Ealph went over 
and congratulated her. 

And Dr. Small sat perfectly still in the corner. 

And then the Squire called them to order, and said, " As 
our friend Hanner Thomson is the only one left on her 
side, she will have to spell against nearly all on t'other 
side. I shall, therefore, take the liberty of procrastinating 



358 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HARTE 

the completion of this interesting and exacting contest 
until to-morrow evening. I hope our friend Hanner may 
again carry off the cypress crown of glory. There is 
nothing better for us than heathful and kindly simu 
lation." 

Dr. Small, who knew the road to practice, escorted 
Mirandy, and Bud went home with somebody else. The 
others of the Means family hurried on, while Hannah, the 
champion, stayed behind a minute to speak to Shocky 
Perhaps it was because Ralph saw that Hannah must go 
alone that he suddenly remembered having left something 
which was of no consequence, and resolved to go round by 
Mr. Means's and get it. Another of Cupid's disguises. 



A NEWPORT ROMANCE. 

BRET HARTE. 

THEY say that she died of a broken heart 

(I tell the tale as 'twas told to me) ; 
But her spirit lives, and her soul is part 

Of this sad old house by the sea. 

Her lover was fickle and fine and French : 

It was nearly a hundred years ago 
When he sailed away from her arms poor wench !- 

With the Admiral Eochambeau. 

I marvel much what periwigged phrase 
Won the heart of this sentimental Quaker, 

At what golden-laced speech of those modish days 
She listened, the mischief take her ! 



HAETE] A NEWPORT ROMANCE. 359 

But she kept the posies of mignonette 

That he gave ; and ever as their bloom failed 

And faded (though with her tears still wet) 
Her youth with their own exhaled. 

Till one night, when the sea-fog wrapped a shroud 
Eound spar and spire and tarn and tree, 

Her soul went up on that lifted cloud 
From this sad old house by the sea. 

And ever since then, when the clock strikes two, 
She walks unbidden from room to room, 

And the air is filled, as she passes through, 
With a subtle, sad perfume. 

The delicate odor of mignonette, 

The ghost of a dead and gone bouquet, 
Is all that tells of her story ; yet 

Could she think of a sweeter way ? 
* * * * * * # 

I sit in the sad old house to-night, 

Myself a ghost from a farther sea, 
And I trust that this Quaker woman might, 

In courtesy, visit me. 

For the laugh is fled from porch and lawn, 
And the bugle died from the fort on the hill, 

And the twitter of girls on the stairs is gone, 
And the grand piano is still. 

Somewhere in the darkness a clock strikes two ; 

And there is no sound in the sad old house 
But the long veranda dripping with dew, 

And in the wainscot a mouse. 



360 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HARTB 

The light of my study-lamp streams out 
From the library door, but has gone astray 

In the depths of the darkened hall. Small doubt 
But the Quakeress knows the way. 

Was it the trick of a sense o'erwrought 
With outward watching and inward fret ? 

But I swear that the air just now was fraught 
With the odor of mignonette ! 

I open the window, and seem almost 

So still lies the ocean to hear the beat 
Of its great Gulf artery off the coast, 

And to bask in its tropic heat. 

In my neighbor's windows the gas-lights flare, 
As the dancers swing in a waltz of Strauss ; 

And I wonder now could I fit that air 
To the song of this sad old house. 

And no odor of mignonette there is, 

But the breath of morn on the dewy lawn ; 

And mayhap from causes as slight as this 
The quaint old legend is born. 

But the soul of that subtle, sad perfume, 
As the spiced embalmings, they say, outlast 

The mummy laid in his rocky tomb, 
Awakens my buried past. 

And I think of the passion that shook my youth, 

Of its aimless loves and its idle pains, 
And am thankful now for the certain truth 

That only the sweet remains. 



SAVAGE] THE DEBT OF RELIGION TO SCIENCE. 361 

And I hear no rustle of stiff brocade, 
And I see no face at my library door; 

For, now that the ghosts of my heart are laid, 
She is viewless for evermore. 

But whether she came as a faint perfume, 
Or whether a spirit in stole of white, 

I feel, as I pass from the darkened room, 
She has been with my soul to-night ! 



THE DEBT OF RELIGION TO SCIENCE. 

M. J. SAVAGE. 

[Minot J. Savage, one of the most eloquent speakers and agreeable 
writers of the Unitarian ministry, and the author of numerous works, 
was born in Maine in 1841. He began his pastoral life as a Congrega- 
tionalist preacher, but afterwards joined the Unitarian Church, and is 
now pastor of the Church of the Unity, in Boston. Among his works 
we may name " Christianity the Science of Manhood," " The Keligion 
of Evolution," " Morals of Evolution," " The Modern Sphynx," " Be 
liefs about the Bible," etc. The extract here given is from " Modern 
Unitarianism," embracing the addresses delivered by various divines 
at the recent dedication of the new building of the First Unitarian 
Church of Philadelphia. That the artificial wall which has been erected 
between religion and science must break down before future research 
and reasoning there can be no doubt, and any movement in this direc 
tion may be welcomed. Both religion and science are based on facts, 
and facts cannot be mutually prohibitory, however different be their 
provinces. When facts seem to disagree it is really ignorance that is 
astray, and the growth of knowledge cannot fail in time to reconcile 
completely these seemingly discordant fields of thought and research.] 

1. SCIENCE has revealed to us a universe fit to be the 
garment of an infinite God. 

IV. Q 31 



362 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SAVAGE 

However crude their thought, men have always had 
some sort of notion of the world about them, of the gods 
or god residing in and controlling the heavens and the 
earth ; they have had some notion of their own natures, 
and of the relation in which they stood to these external 
and superior powers. And their theology has always been 
their theory of these relations. All religions, then, root 
themselves in, spring out of, and are shaped by some cos 
mology, or theory of things. And the religion can be no 
grander or more worthy than the cosmology. A grand 
religion, then, must be housed in a grand conception of 
the universe. For an infinite God there must be an in 
finite home. 

I need not describe in detail the childish conceptions 
which the childhood world entertained concerning its 
dwelling-place ; for you are familiar with them. They 
were the natural fancies of barbaric people. A little flat 
world, with as many fancied centres as there were nations, 
with a limited heaven close by, the home of its peculiar 
gods : it is only fanciful variations of the same general 
plan. 

The heaven and earth of Hebrew tradition, which after- 
ages consecrated as part of a supposed divine revelation, 
was shaped almost precisely after the pattern of a modern 
Saratoga trunk. The surface of the earth was its floor ; 
and the sun, moon, and stars were attached to the under 
side of a concave dome, which would answer to the cover. 
Beyond it on all sides was the primeval chaos. Heaven, 
the home of God and His angels, was above the dome. 
The Church added to this conception a cavernous hell be 
neath, a sort of false bottom for this trunk, and thus 
completed the structure of the universe as it was popu 
larly held, down even to mediaeval times. 

The Ptolemaic astronomers imagined all sorts of clumsy 



SAVAGE] THE DEBT OF RELIGION TO SCIENCE. 363 

contrivances in their vain attempts to account for the 
movements of the heavenly bodies.. Their sky dome was 

" With centric and eccentric scribbled o'er, 
Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb." 

But so unsatisfactory was the arrangement, after all, that 
the acutest human intellects came to regard it as altogether 
unworthy of a divine contriver. Prince Alphonso of Cas 
tile said that had he been present at the creation he could 
have suggested a much better plan. 

Thus, Eeligion not only labored under the burden of 
such clumsy contrivances, but her official representatives 
fought bitterly, and for ages, against a nobler and more 
worthy conception. But, against all opposition, Science 
persisted ; and at last the walls of space gave way, the 
solid dome became the boundless expanse of air, the earth 
was seen " dancing about the sun," and our solar system 
took its place as one in the ordered maze of countless 
galaxies of worlds. 

At last, then, we have a universe-house large enough 
for a God, the outlines of a temple fit to be the seat of a 
worship to match the boundless aspirations of the human 
soul. And this, in every part, is the work of Science. 
And Science has achieved it not only in spite of instituted 
and official Eeligion, but for the sake of Eeligion ; that is, 
Science has given to Eeligion a temple, one "that hath 
foundations, whose builder and maker is God." 

2. But not only has Science revealed to Eeligion an 
infinite universe ; it has established beyond question the 
fact that it is a universe. It is not a chaos, but an orderly 
unity. 

With the old conception of the universe, it was easy 
enough to believe in two gods or a thousand. No system, 
no unity, was discovered ; and the Titanic forces seemed 



364 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SAVAGE 

to be in everlasting conflict. Light fought the darkness, 
summer contended with winter; while cloud, wind, light 
ning, all appeared to be the gigantic play of separate or 
hostile powers. Religion gave in her adhesion to some 
one deity, but was never quite sure but that the object 
of her worship might be some day dethroned, as Jupiter 
dethroned Saturn, by some other supernal king. 

But when Newton demonstrated the law of gravitation, 
the universe, from dust-grain to Sirius, was seen to be 
held in the grasp of one almighty power. Then came 
the proof that all the different forces of the universe were 
only different manifestations of one eternal force that 
never was less or more. And at last the spectroscope 
has revealed the wondrous fact that the dust beneath our 
feet is of the same material as that of which the glitter 
ing suns are made. 

It is, indeed, true that Religion declared, ages ago, 
"The Lord our God is one Lord!" But, all the same, a 
hundred other religions had their " gods many and lords 
many ;" and no one was able to do more than assert the 
nothingness of all but one. But at last Science has de 
monstrated 

u One law, one element," 

and has made it reasonable for us to complete the line, 
and make it read, 

" One God, one law, one element." 

It is one force everywhere ; and, if God be at all, He is 
now known to be only One. 

And this result of knowledge is the magnificent gift to 
Eeligion of Science. The glory belongs to Science, and to 
Science alone. 

3. JSTot only is the infinite oneness demonstrated, but, as 
already hinted, though I wish to set the point apart and 



SAVAGE] THE DEBT OF RELIGION TO SCIENCE. 365 

mark it off by itself, an infinite order is also revealed ; 
and so we find it rational to believe in an infinite 
wisdom. 

Of course it is but a small part of the universe that has 
been explored ; and even that can be said to be but par 
tially known. But every step so far taken reveals an in 
telligible order. And, since our judgments are based upon 
experience, and each new experience reaffirms and deepens 
the one impression, the conviction is a cumulative one. 
All the known, then, being orderly, we feel an unshaken 
confidence that whatever seems chaotic or unwise bears 
that appearance to us only because it is not better 
known. 

Here, again, as in regard to the oneness, though the 
religious heart might trust and hope, it is only Science 
that has bestowed upon Eeligion the power to demon 
strate her magnificent faith. 

4. And, once more, this order that Science has revealed 
is not a fixed and finished order, so that we may not hope 
for anything better than that which is already seen. It 
is rather evolution, an orderly progress, the apparent on- 
reaching of a purpose ; and so it becomes rational for us 
to cherish any grandest hope as being within the scope of 
possibility. 

Against the old universe, as a fixed and finished piece 
of mechanism, wrought by the hand of a supernatural con 
triver, certain very grave and insuperable objections could 
be brought. It seems to me that on that theory the 
serious criticisms of John Stuart Mill, for example, can 
not be met. The God of this universe, regarding it as a 
finality, Mr. Mill thinks, cannot be both perfectly good 
and perfectly powerful at the same time. Either He does 
not wish to make things better and, in that case, is not 
completely benevolent or else He cannot make them 
IT. 31* 



366 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SAYAGR 

better; and so either His wisdom or His power is im 
peached. 

But the fact of evolution, the establishment of which is 
unspeakably the grandest of all the achievements of Sci 
ence, completely flanks this whole class of objections, and 
so gives to Eeligion a firm basis for her noblest trust. 
Since all things are in process, reaching forth toward 
some result as yet but dimly seen, it were as illogical to 
condemn them for present imperfections as it would be to 
judge the quality of an apple that ripens only in October 
by tasting its puckery bitterness in July. Such judgment 
is as unscientific as it is irreligious. We are, then, scien 
tifically justified in singing one verse, at least, of the old 
hymn of Cowper, 

" His purposes will ripen fast, 

Unfolding every hour : 
The bud may have a bitter taste, 
But sweet will be the flower." 

And, though the old watch-maker type of design may 
be discredited, a broader, grander, farther-reaching tele 
ology is revealed. Taking in the wider sweep of things ; 
considering the growth of a system from star-dust to 
planet ; noting the upward trend of life from protozoon to 
man, and, within the human range, from animal to soul ; 
seeing how, 

" Striving to be man, the worm 
Mounts through all the spires of form," 

m this larger survey we are taking no unjustifiable liberty 
with the facts when we chant our trust in the words of 
Tennyson, 

" Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs." 
Within this generation, then, for the first time in the 



SAVAGE] THE DEBT OF RELIGION TO SCIENCE. 367 

history of the world, Religion is able to feel beneath the feet 
of her faith in " the eternal goodness" the firm ground of 
demonstration. And this is the gift of Science. 

5. Still another gift of Science to Religion is nothing 
less than what is essentially a spiritualist conception of 
the universe. There is a sort of grim irony in the fact 
that, while Religion has always been stigmatizing Science 
as materialistic, she herself has never been able to demon 
strate the opposite of materialism, and has had to wait for 
Science to do it for her. For it is Science, at last, that has 
dealt materialism its death-blow and made it reasonable 
for us to believe that the world is only the bright and 
changing garment of the living God. Religion has dis 
believed and denounced materialism for ages ; but, all the 
while, she has been haunted by it, as by a ghost which all 
her conjurations could not lay. But Science has now 
demonstrated its utter incompetence as a theory for the 
explanation of the universe. A theory is accepted as 
valid by as much as it can account for the facts. The 
most important, the crucial fact with which we have to 
deal is conscious thought; and, in the face of this, mate 
rialism has utterly broken down. On this point I wish 
to let the great voices of the scientific world be heard for 
themselves. 

In his address on Scientific Materialism (" Fragments 
of Science," p. 120), Mr. Tyndall expresses the opinion 
that the materialist has a right to assert an intimate re 
lation between thought and certain molecular motions in 
the brain. Then he adds, " I do not think he is entitled 
to say that his molecular groupings and his molecular 
motions explain everything. In reality, they explain 
nothing. . . . The problem of the connection of body 
and soul is as insoluble in its modern form as it was in 
the pre-scientific ages." 



368 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SAVAGE 

Mr. Huxley, in treating of Bishop Berkeley on the Meta 
physics of Sensation (" Critiques and Addresses," p. 314), 
declares, " If I were obliged to choose between absolute 
materialism and absolute idealism, I should feel compelled 
to accept the latter alternative." 

Instead of quoting long passages on this point from Mr. 
Spencer, I choose rather to give Mr. Fiske's summing up 
of his general position. He says, "Mr. Spencer has most 
conclusively demonstrated that, from the scientific point 
of view, the hypothesis of the materialists is not only as 
untenable to-day as it ever has been, but must always re 
main inferior in philosophic value to the opposing spirit 
ualistic hypothesis." (" Cosmic Philosophy," vol. ii. p. 
436.) 

And his own position Mr. Fiske sums up in these brief 
words : " Henceforth we may regard materialism as ruled 
out, and relegated to that limbo of crudities to which we, 
some time since, consigned the hypothesis of special crea 
tions." (" Cosmic Philosophy," vol. ii. p. 445.) 

It is no part of my purpose to trace the processes of 
scientific reasoning by which this end has been attained. 
I only wish to note the fact, and to help honest religious 
thinkers to see and be grateful for the gifts of Science. 
Materialism, then, is gone by. Henceforth, Religion may 
gladly look upon all the fair, the magnificent, the terrible 
forms of matter as only veils that, while they conceal, do 
still more reveal the features, the outlines, and the move 
ments of the Infinite Life that they only clothe and 
manifest. 

6. As Science holds us by the hand, I think I may 
safely say that she leads us one step further into the heart 
of this grand mystery. 

The form behind and manifested in and through what 
we call matter is really spirit, we say. But that is not 



SAVAGE] THE DEBT OF RELIGION TO SCIENCE. 36 H 

enough for Religion. To be in the words of Spencer 
" ever in presence of an Infinite and Eternal Energy, from 
which all things proceed," this is grand and wonderful. 
But Religion has dared to hope that this infinite power 
was Father and Friend. And now, if Herbert Spencer 
may be allowed to speak for her, Science asserts at least 
demonstrable kinship between the human soul and this 
" Infinite and Eternal Energy." These are Mr. Spencer's 
words : " The final outcome of that speculation com 
menced by the primitive man is that the Power mani 
fested throughout the universe distinguished as material 
is the same power which in ourselves wells up under the 
form of consciousness." (" Eeligion : A Retrospect and 
Prospect.") 

And, with more elaboration and in greater detail, the 
Rev. F. E. Abbot (" Scientific Theism," p. 209) asserts of 
the universe, as the direct teaching and final result of 
science, that, " because, as an infinite organism, it thus 
manifests infinite Wisdom, Power, and Goodness, or 
thought, feeling, and will in their infinite fulness, and be 
cause these three constitute the essential manifestations 
of personality, it" the universe " must be conceived as 
Infinite Person, Absolute Spirit, Creative Source, and 
Eternal Home of the derivative finite personalities which 
depend upon it, but are no less real than itself." 

Thus have the patient feet of Science led the way to 
the heights, 

"... through nature up to nature's God." 

Such and so magnificent are her gifts to Religion. 

7. But the catalogue of her services is not yet ended. 
Still the work goes on. For it is her spirit and method 
that are scattering the clouds of superstition and inhu 
man theology, the still lingering remnants of the primeval 



370 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SAVAGE 

darkness that once overhung the whole earth, so helping 
Religion to break, like a sun, through the noxious vapors, 
and illumine the world. 

Those who are committed to the impossible task of 
identifying with Eeligion dogmas and customs that can 
not bear the light may well be jealous of Science and her 
work. For just so certainly as she is of the race of tho 
immortals, so certainly they must die. It is the old bat 
tle between Apollo and the dragons ; and the issue is not 
uncertain. . . . Science can destroy only God's enemies 
and ours; for she is the very leader of the divine armies 
of light and truth. 

8. One more point I wish to set down, not as an achieve 
ment, but as a hope, if not a prophecy. I dare to believe 
that some day this same Science will discover immortality. 
However firmly we may believe, we cannot yet say we 
know. I am aware that many have no question, and say 
they care for no more proof. But, when any man says, 
" I know," the utmost that he can honestly mean is that 
he feels a very strong assurance. I, too, believe. 

" I cannot think the world shall end in naught, 
That the abyss shall be the grave of thought, 

" That e'er oblivion's shoreless sea shall roll 
O'er love and wonder and the lifeless soul." 

Neither have I any prying curiosity as to the details of 
that other life. But, in regard to the simple fact, I should 
like to feel beneath my feet the solid rock of demonstra 
tion. For could we not all bear with bravery and patience 
the incidents of a journey that leads to such an issue ? 

Now, if this other life be a fact, and if its realities be 
not far away, if its activities press close upon us and 
mingle themselves with our daily lives, I see nothing un 
reasonable in supposing that one day this may be demon- 



HAWTHORNE] THE FAUN AND THE NYMPH. 371 

strated to the satisfaction of all candid men. Such, at 
least, is my hope. 

These, then, are some items in the debt of Eeligion to 
Science. Religion is man's search after right relations to 
God and to his fellow-man. Science, distrusted so long,- is 
found to be the unfalleu Lucifer, the light-bearer, God's 
very archangel, come to guide Religion into the discovery 
of these relations. Let them hereafter work hand in 
hand in completing the foundations and rearing the homes 
and temples of the city of God, which is the city of a 
perfected humanity. 



THE FAUN AND THE NYMPH. 

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE. 

[The selection which we here present to our readers is Irom " The 
Marble Faun," in the opinion of many the finest of Hawthorne's 
works. "We might readily have selected passages of more dramatic 
interest, but no part of the work more fully displays the peculiar fac 
ulty of its author than that here taken. The picture of the intense 
delight in and close communion with nature which Donatello displays, 
and his seeming lack of any powers of thought beyond those of mere 
physical enjoyment, form a brilliant realization of the Greek concep 
tion of the Faun, and the scene would have been fittingly laid under 
the glowing sunshine of Greece, three thousand years ago. Donatello 
passes from the antique to the modern world, in the birth of a soul, 
through the agency of crime, and thenceforth the purity and simplicity 
of his communion with nature are lost, though he grows to nobler 
heights.] 

DONATELLO, while it was still a doubtful question betwixt 
afternoon and morning, set forth to keep the appointment 
which Miriam had carelessly tendered him in the grounds 
of the Yilla Borghese. . . . 



372 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAWTHORNE 

The scenery amid which the youth now strayed was 
such as arrays itself in the imagination when we read the 
beautiful old myths, and fancy a brighter sky, a softer 
turf, a more picturesque arrangement of venerable trees, 
than we find in the rude and untrained landscapes of the 
Western world. The ilex-trees, so ancient and time-hon 
ored were they, seemed to have lived for ages undisturbed, 
and to feel no dread of profanation by the axe any more 
than overthrow by the thunder-stroke. It had already 
passed out of their dreamy old memories that only a few 
years ago they were grievously imperilled by the Gaul's 
last assault upon the walls of Borne. As if confident in 
the long peace of their lifetime, they assumed attitudes 
of indolent repose. They leaned over the green turf in 
ponderous grace, throwing abroad their great branches 
without danger of interfering with other trees, though 
other majestic trees grew near enough for dignified so 
ciety, but too distant for constraint. Never was there a 
more venerable quietude than that which slept among 
their sheltering boughs ; never a sweeter sunshine than 
that now gladdening the gentle gloom which these leafy 
patriarchs strove to diffuse over the swelling and sub 
siding lawns. 

In other portions of the grounds the stone-pines lifted 
their dense clump of branches upon a slender length of 
stem, so high that they looked like green islands in the 
air, flinging down a shadow upon the turf so far oif that 
you hardly knew which tree had made it. Again, there 
were avenues of cypress, resembling dark flames of huge 
funeral candles, which spread dusk and twilight round 
about them instead of cheerful radiance. The more 
open spots were all abloom, even so early in the season, 
with anemones of wondrous size, both white and rose- 
colored, and violets that betrayed themselves by their 



HAWTHORNE] THE FAUN AND THE NYMPH. 373 

rich fragrance, even if their blue eyes failed to meet 
your own. Daisies, too, were abundant, but larger than 
the modest little English flower, and therefore of small 
account. 

These wooded and flowery lawns are more beautiful 
than the finest of English park-scenery, more touching, 
more impressive, through the neglect that leaves Nature 
so much to her own ways and methods. Since man sel 
dom interferes with her, she sets to work in her quiet way 
and makes herself at home. There is enough of human 
care, it is true, bestowed, long ago and still bestowed, to 
prevent wildness from growing into deformity ; and the 
result is an ideal landscape, a woodland scene that seems 
to have been projected out of the poet's mind. If the 
ancient Faun were other than a mere creation of old 
poetry, and could have reappeared anywhere, it must have 
been in such a scene as this. 

In^ the openings of the wood there are fountains plashing 
into marble basins, the depths of which are shaggy with 
water-weeds ; or they tumble like natural cascades from 
rock to rock, sending their murmur afar, to make the 
quiet and silence more appreciable. Scattered here and 
there with careless artifice, stand old altars bearing Roman 
inscriptions. Statues, gray with the long corrosion of even 
that soft atmosphere, half hide and half reveal themselves, 
high on pedestals, or perhaps fallen and broken on the 
turf. Terminal figures, columns of marble or granite por 
ticos, arches, are seen in the vistas of the wood-paths, 
either veritable relics of antiquity, or with so exquisite 
a touch of artful ruin on them that they are better than 
if really antique. At all events, grass grows on the tops 
of the shattered pillars, and weeds and flowers root them 
selves in the chinks of the massive arches and fronts of 
temples, and clamber at large over their pediments, as if 
ir. 32 



374 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS, [HAWTHORNE 

this were the thousandth summer since their winged seeds 
alighted there. 

What a strange idea what a needless labor to con 
struct artificial ruins in Eome, the native soil of ruin ! 
But even these sportive imitations, wrought by man in 
emulation of what time has done to temples and palaces, 
are perhaps centuries old, and, beginning as illusions, have 
grown to be venerable in sober earnest. The result of all 
is a scene, pensive, lovely, dream-like, enjoyable, and sad, 
such as is to be found nowhere save in these princely villa- 
residences in the neighborhood of Rome ; a scene that 
must have required generations and ages, during which 
growth, decay, and man's intelligence wrought kindly 
together, to render it so gently wild as we behold it now. 

The final charm is bestowed by the malaria. There is 
a piercing, thrilling, delicious kind of regret in the idea 
of so much beauty thrown away, or only enjoyable at its 
half-development, in winter and early spring, and never 
to be dwelt amongst, as the home-scenery of any human 
being. For if you come hither in summer, and stray 
through these glades in the golden sunset, fever walks 
arm in arm with you, and death awaits you at the end of 
the dim vista. Thus the scene is like Eden in its love 
liness ; like Eden, too, in the fatal spell that removes 
it beyond the scope of man's actual possessions. But 
Donatello felt nothing of this dream-like melancholy that 
haunts the spot. As he passed among the sunny shadows, 
his spirit seemed to acquire new elasticity. The flicker 
of the sunshine, the sparkle of the fountain's gush, the 
dance of the leaf upon the bough, the woodland fragrance, 
the green freshness, the old sylvan peace and freedom, 
were all intermingled in those long breaths which he 
drew. 

The ancient dust, the mouldiness of Eome, the dead 



HAWTHORNE] THE FAUN AND THE NYMPH. 375 

atmosphere in which he had wasted so many months, the 
hard pavements, the smell of ruin and decaying genera 
tions, the chill palaces, the convent-bells, the heavy in 
cense of altars, the life that he had led in those dark, 
narrow streets, among priests, soldiers, nobles, artists, and 
women, all the sense of these things rose from the young 
man's consciousness like a cloud which had darkened over 
him without his knowing how densely. 

He drank in the natural influences of the scene, and 
was intoxicated as by an exhilarating wine. He ran races 
with himself along the gleam and shadow of the wood- 
paths. He leapt up to catch the overhanging bough of 
an ilex, and, swinging himself by it, alighted far onward, 
as if he had flown thither through the air. In a sudden 
rapture he embraced the trunk of a sturdy tree, and 
seemed to imagine it a creature worthy of affection and 
capable of a tender response ; he clasped it closely in his 
arms, as a Faun might have clasped the warm feminine 
grace of the nymph whom antiquity supposed to dwell 
within that rough, encircling rind. Then, in order to 
bring himself closer to the genial earth, with which his 
kindred instincts linked him so strongly, he threw himself 
at full length on the turf, and pressed down his lips, kiss 
ing the violets and daisies, which kissed him back again, 
though shyly, in their maiden fashion. 

While he \&y there, it was pleasant to see how the green 
and blue lizards, who had been basking on some rock or 
on a fallen pillar that absorbed the warmth of the sun, 
scrupled not to scramble over him with their small feet ; 
and how the birds alighted on the nearest twigs and sang 
their little roundelays unbroken by any chirrup of alarm ; 
they recognized him, it may be, as something akin to 
themselves, or else they fancied that he was rooted and 
grew there ; for these wild pets of nature dreaded him no 



376 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAWTHORNK 

more in his buoyant life than if a mound of soil and grass 
and flowers had long since covered his dead body, con 
verting it back to the sympathies from which human 
existence had estranged it. 

All of us, after a long abode in cities, have felt the 
blood gush more joyously through our veins with the first 
breath of rural air; few could feel it so much as Donatello, 
a creature of simple elements, bred in the sweet sylvan 
life of Tuscany, and for months back dwelling amid the 
mouldy gloom and dim splendor of old Rome. Nature 
has been shut out for numberless centuries from those 
stony-hearted streets, to which he had latterly grown 
accustomed ; there is no trace of her, except for what 
blades of grass spring out of the pavements of the less- 
trodden piazzas, or what weeds cluster and tuft them 
selves on the cornices of ruins. Therefore his joy was 
like that of a child that had gone astray from home and 
finds him suddenly in his mother's arms again. 

At last, deeming it full time for Miriam to keep her 
tryst, he climbed to the tiptop of the tallest tree, and 
thence looked about him, swaying to and fro in the gentle 
breeze, which was like the respiration of that great, leafy, 
living thing. Donatello saw beneath him the whole cir 
cuit of the enchanted ground ; the statues and columns 
pointing upward from among the shrubbery, the foun 
tains flashing in the sunlight, the paths winding hither 
and thither and continually finding out some nook of new 
and ancient pleasantness. He saw the villa, too, with its 
marble front incrusted all over with bas reliefs, and statues 
in its many niches. It was as beautiful as a fairy palace, 
and seemed an abode in which the lord and lady of this 
fair domain might fitly dwell, and come forth each morn 
ing to enjoy as sweet a life as their happiest dreams of 
the past night could have depicted. All this he saw, but 



HAWTHORNE] THE FAUN AND THE NYMPH. 377 

bis first glance had taken in too wide a sweep, and it was 
not till his eyes fell almost directly beneath him, that 
Donatello beheld Miriam just turning into the path that 
led across the roots of his very tree. 

He descended among the foliage, waiting for her to come 
close to the trunk, and then suddenly dropped from an 
impending bough and alighted at her side. It was as if 
the swaying of the branches had let a ray of sunlight 
through. The same ray likewise glimmered among the 
gloomy meditations that encompassed Miriam, and lit up 
the pale, dark beauty of her face, while it responded pleas 
antly to Donatello's glance. 

" I hardly know," said she, smiling, " whether you have 
sprouted out of the earth or fallen from the clouds. In 
either case you are welcome." 

And they walked onward together. 

Miriam's sadder mood, it might be, had at first an effect 
on Donatello's spirits. It checked the joyous ebullition 
into which they would otherwise have effervesced when 
he found himself in her society, not, as heretofore, in the 
old gloom of Rome, but under that bright soft sky and 
in those Arcadian woods. He was silent for a while ; it 
being, indeed, seldom Donatello's impulse to express him 
self copiously in words. His usual modes of demonstra 
tion were by the natural language of gesture, the instinc 
tive movement of his agile frame, and the unconscious 
play of his features, which, within a limited range of 
thought and emotion, would speak volumes in a moment. 

By and by, his own mood seemed to brighten Miriam's, 
and was reflected back upon himself. He began inevitably, 
as it were, to dance along the wood-path, flinging himself 
into attitudes of strange comic grace. Often, too, he ran 
a little way in advance of his companion, and then stood 
to watch her as she approached along the shadowy and 
iv. 32* 



378 BEST AMERICAN A UTHORS. [HAWTHORNE 

sun-fleckered path. With every step she took, he ex 
pressed his joy at her nearer and nearer presence by what 
might be thought an extravagance of gesticulation, but 
which doubtless was the language of the natural man, 
though laid aside and forgotten by other men, now that 
words have been feebly substituted in the place of signs 
and symbols. He gave Miriam the idea of a being not 
precisely man, nor yet a child, but, in a high and beauti 
ful sense, an animal, a creature in a state of development 
less than what mankind has attained, yet the more per 
fect within itself for that very deficiency. This idea filled 
her mobile imagination with agreeable fantasies, which, 
after smiling at them herself, she tried to convey to the 
young man. 

" What are you, my friend ?" she exclaimed, always 
keeping in mind his singular resemblance to the Faun of 
the Capitol. " If you are, in good truth, that wild and 
pleasant creature whose face you wear, pray make me 
known to your kindred. They will be found hereabouts, 
if anywhere. Knock at the rough rind of this ilex-tree 
and summon forth the Dryad ! Ask the water-nymph to 
rise dripping from yonder fountain and exchange a moist 
pressure of the hand with me ! Do not fear that I shall 
shrink even if one of your rough cousins, a hairy Satyr, 
should come capering on his goat-legs out of the haunts 
of far antiquity and propose to dance with me among 
these lawns! And will not Bacchus, with whom you 
consorted so familiarly of old, and who loved you so well, 
will he not meet us here, and squeeze rich grapes into 
his cup for you and me ?" 

Donatello smiled ; he laughed heartily, indeed, in sym 
pathy with the mirth that gleamed out of Miriam's deep, 
dark eyes. But he did not seem quite to understand her 
mirthful talk, nor to be disposed to explain what kind of 






HAWTHORNE] THE FAUN AND THE NYMPH. 370 

creature he was. or to inquire with what divine or poetic 
kindred his companion feigned to link him. He appeared 
only to know that Miriam was beautiful, and that she 
smiled graciously upon him ; that the present moment 
was very sweet, and himself most happy, with the sun 
shine, the sylvan scenery, and woman's kindly charm, 
which it enclosed within its small circumference. It was 
delightful to see the trust which he reposed in Miriam, 
and his pure joy in her propinquity ; he asked nothing, 
sought nothing, save to be near the beloved object, and 
brimmed over with ecstasy at that simple boon. A 
creature of the happy tribes below us sometimes shows 
the capacity of this enjoyment ; a man, seldom or 
never. . . . 

As they strayed through that sweet wilderness, she felt 
more and more the influence of his elastic temperament. 
Miriam was an impressible and impulsive creature, as un 
like herself, in different moods,, as if a melancholy maiden 
and a glad one were both bound within the girdle about 
her waist, and kept in magic thraldom by the brooch that 
clasped it. Naturally, it is true, she was the more inclined 
to melancholy, yet fully capable of that high frolic of the 
spirits which richly compensates for many gloomy hours ; 
if her soul was apt to lurk in the darkness of a cavern, 
she could sport madly in the sunshine before the cavern's 
mouth. Except the freshest mirth of animal spirits, like 
Donatello's, there is no merriment, no wild exhilaration, 
comparable to that of melancholy people escaping from 
the dark region in which it is their custom to keep them 
selves imprisoned. 

So the shadowy Miriam almost outdid Donatello on his 
own ground. They ran races with each other, side by 
side, with shouts and laughter ; they pelted one another 
with early flowers, and, gathering them up, twined them 






380 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAWTHORNE 

with green leaves into garlands for both their heads. 
They played together like children, or creatures of im 
mortal youth. So much had they flung aside the sombre 
habitudes of daily life, that they seemed born to be sportive 
forever, and endowed with eternal mirthfulness instead of 
any deeper joy. It was a glimpse far backward into Ar 
cadian life, or, further still, into the Golden Age, before 
mankind was burdened with sin and sorrow, and before 
pleasure had been darkened with those shadows that 
bring it into high relief and make it happiness. 

"Hark!" cried Donatello, stopping short, as he was 
about to bind Miriam's fair hands with flowers and lead 
her along in triumph, " there is music somewhere in the 
grove 1" 

" It is your kinsman Pan, most likely," said Miriam, 
" playing on his pipe. Let us go seek him, and make him 
puff out his rough cheeks and pipe his merriest air! 
Come ; the strain of music will guide us onward like a 
gayly-colored thread of silk." 

" Or like a chain of flowers," responded Donatello, draw 
ing her along by that which he had twined. " This way ! 
Come!" 

As the music came fresher on their ears, they danced to 
its cadence, extemporizing new steps and attitudes. Each 
varying moment had a grace which might have been 
worth putting into marble, for the long delight of days to 
come, but vanished with the movement that gave it birth, 
and was effaced from memory by another. In Miriam's 
motion, freely as she flung herself into the frolic of the 
hour, there was still an artful beauty; in Donatello's 
there was a charm of indescribable grotesqueness hand in 
hand with grace ; sweet, bewitching, most provocative of 
laughter, and yet akin to pathos, so deeply did it touch 
the heart. This was the ultimate peculiarity, the final 



HAWTHORNE] THE FAUN AND THE NYMPH. 381 

touch, distinguishing between the sylvan creature and the 
beautiful companion at his side. Setting apart only this, 
Miriam resembled a Nymph, as much as Donatello did a 
Faun. 

There were flitting moments, indeed, when she played 
the sylvan character as perfectly as he. Catching glimpses 
of her then, you would have fancied that an oak had sun 
dered its rough bark to let her dance freely forth, endowed 
with the same spirit in her human form as that which 
rustles in the leaves; or that she had emerged through 
the pebbly bottom of a fountain, a water-nymph, to play 
and sparkle in the sunshine, flinging a quivering light 
around her, and suddenly disappearing in a shower of 
rainbow drops. 

As the fountain sometimes subsides into its basin, so in 
Miriam there were symptoms that the frolic of her spirits 
would at last tire itself out. 

" Ah, Donatello," cried she, laughing, as she stopped to 
take breath, " you have an unfair advantage over me ! I 
am no true creature of the woods ; while you are a real 
Faun, I do believe. When your curls shook just now, 
methought I had a peep at the pointed ears." 

Donatello snapped his fingers above his head, as fauns 
and satyrs taught us first to do, and seemed to radiate 
jollity out of his whole nimble person. Nevertheless, 
there was a kind of dim apprehension in his face, as if he 
dreaded that a moment's pause might break the spell, and 
snatch away the sportive companion whom he had waited 
for through so many dreary months. 

"Dance! dance!" cried he, joyously. "If we take 
breath, we shall be as we were yesterday. There, now, 
is the music, just beyond this clump of trees. Dance, 
Miriam, dance !" 

They had now reached an open, grassy glade (of which 



382 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HAWTHORNE 

there are many in that artfully-constructed wilderness), 
set round with stone seats, on which the aged moss had 
kindly essayed to spread itself instead of cushions. On 
one of the stone benches sat the musicians whose strains 
had enticed our wild couple thitherward. They proved 
to be a vagrant band, such as Eome, and all Italy, abounds 
with; comprising a harp, a flute, and a violin, which, 
though greatly the worse for wear, the performers had 
skill enough to provoke and modulate into tolerable har 
mony. It chanced to be a feast-day ; and, instead of play 
ing in the sun-scorched piazzas of the city, or beneath the 
windows of some unresponsive palace, they had bethought 
themselves to try the echoes of these woods ; for, on the 
festas of the Church, Eome scatters its merry-makers all 
abroad, ripe for the dance or any other pastime. 

As Miriam and Donatello emerged from among the 
trees, the musicians scraped, tinkled, or blew, each ac 
cording to his various kind of instrument, more inspiringly 
than ever. A dark-cheeked little girl, with bright black 
eyes, stood by, shaking a tambourine set round with tink 
ling bells, and thumping it on its parchment head. With 
out interrupting his brisk though measured movement, 
Donatello snatched away this unmelodious contrivance, 
and, flourishing it above his head, produced music of in 
describable potency, still dancing with frisky step, and 
striking the tambourine, and ringing its little bells, all in 
one jovial act. 

It might be that there was magic in the sound, or con 
tagion, at least, in the spirit which had got possession of 
Miriam and himself, for very soon a number of festal 
people were drawn to the spot, and struck into the dance, 
singly, or in pairs, as if they were all gone mad with 
jollity. Among them were some of the plebeian damsels 
whom we meet bareheaded in the Eoman streets, with 






HAWTHORNE] THE FAUN AND THE NYMPH. 383 

silver stilettos thrust through their glossy hair; the con- 
tadinas, too, from the Campagna and the villages, with 
their rich and picturesque costumes of scarlet and all 
bright hues, such as fairer maidens might not venture to 
put on. Then came the modern Roman from Trastevere, 
perchance, with his old cloak drawn about him like a 
toga, which anon, as his active motion heated him, he 
flung aside. Three French soldiers capered freely into 
the throng, in wide scarlet trousers, their short swords 
dangling at their sides; and three German artists in gray 
flaccid hats and flaunting beards ; and one of the Pope's 
Swiss guardsmen in the strange motley garb which Michael 
Angelo contrived for them. Two young English tourists 
(one of them a lord) took contadine partners and dashed 
in, as did also a shaggy man in goat-skin breeches, who 
looked like rustic Pan in person and footed it as merrily 
as he. Besides the above there was a herdsman or two 
from the Campagna, and a few peasants in sky-bluejackets, 
and small-clothes tied with ribbons at the knees : haggard 
and sallow were these last, poor serfs, having little to eat 
and nothing but the malaria to breathe ; but still they 
plucked up a momentary spirit and joined hands in 
Donatello's dance. 

Here, as it seemed, had the Golden Age come back 
again within the precincts of this sunny glade, thawing 
mankind out of their cold formalities, releasing them 
from irksome restraint, mingling them together in such 
childlike gayety that new flowers (of which the old 
bosom of the earth is full) sprang up Ibeneath their foot 
steps. 



384 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [YERPLANCK 

THE LESSONS OF AMERICAN HISTORY. 

G. C. VERPLANCK. 

[Gulian C. Verplanck, a distinguished writer and scholar in the 
older rank of American authorship, was born in New York in 1786. 
His first work, published in 1819, was a brilliant satire, called " The 
State Triumvirate." To the miscellany called The Talisman, pub 
lished by him in conjunction with "W. C. Bryant and K. C. Sands, he 
contributed nearly one-half the articles. His other principal works 
are "The Early European Friends of America," "Essays on the 
Nature and Uses of the Various Evidences of Kevealed Religion," 
and " Discourses and Addresses on Subjects of American History, Art, 
and Literature." His superb edition of Shakespeare, published in 
1846, is one of the best that has ever been issued. As a writer he had 
great clearness and beauty of style. He died in 1870.] 

THE study of the history of most other nations fills the 
mind with sentiments not unlike those which the Ameri 
can traveller feels on entering the venerable and lofty 
cathedral of some proud old city of Europe. Its solemn 
grandeur, its vastness, its obscurity, strike awe to his 
heart. From the richly-painted windows, filled with 
sacred emblems and strange antique forms, a dim re 
ligious light falls around. A thousand recollections of 
romance, and poetry, and legendary story, come throng 
ing in upon him. He is surrounded by the tombs of the 
mighty dead, rich with the labors of ancient art, and 
emblazoned with the pomp of heraldry. 

What names does he read upon them ? Those of princes 
and nobles who are now remembered only for their vices ; 
and of sovereigns at whose death no tears were shed, and 
whose memories lived not an hour in the affections of their 
people. There, too, he sees other names, long familiar to 
him for their guilty or ambiguous fame. There rest the 
blood-stained soldier of fortune, the orator who was ever 



VERPLANCK] LESSONS OF AMERICAN HISTORY. 385 

the ready apologist of tyranny, great scholars who were 
the pensioned flatterers of power, and poets who pro 
faned the high gift of genius to pamper the vices of a 
corrupted court. 

Our own history, on the contrary, like that poetical 
temple of fame reared by the imagination of Chaucer and 
decorated by the taste of Pope, is almost exclusively dedi 
cated to the memory of the truly great. Or rather, like 
the Pantheon of Eome, it stands in calm and severe beauty 
amid the ruins of ancient magnificence and " the toys of 
modern state." Within, no idle ornament encumbers its 
bold simplicity. The pure light of heaven enters from 
above and sheds an equal and serene radiance around. As 
the eye wanders about its extent, it beholds the unadorned 
monuments of brave and good men who have bled or toiled 
for their country, or it rests on votive tablets inscribed 
with the names of the best benefactors of mankind. 

" Hie manus, ob patriam pugnando vulnera passi, 
Quique sacerdotes casti, dum vita manebat, 
Quique pii vates, et Phcebo digna locuti, 
Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artes, 
Quique sui memores, alios fecere merendo."* 

Doubtless this is a subject upon which we may be justly 
proud. But there is another consideration, which, if it did 
not naturally arise of itself, would be pressed upon us by 
the taunts of European criticism. 

* " Patriots are here, in Freedom's battles slain, 

Priests, whose long lives were closed without a stain, 
Bards, worthy him who breathed the poet's mind, 
Founders of arts that dignify mankind, 
And lovers of our race, whose labors gave 
Their names a memory that defies the grave." 

VIRGIL. From the MS. of Bryant. 
IV. R z 33 



386 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [VERPLANCK 

What has this nation done to repay the world for the 
benefits we have received from others? We have been 
repeatedly told, and sometimes, too, in a tone of affected 
impartiality, that the highest praise which can fairly be 
given to the American mind is that of possessing an en 
lightened selfishness ; that if the philosophy and talents 
of this country, with all their effects, were forever swept 
into oblivion, the loss would be felt only by ourselves; 
and that if to the accuracy of this general charge the 
labors of Franklin present an illustrious, it is still but 
a solitary, exception. 

The answer may be given confidently and triumphantly. 
Without abandoning the fame of our eminent men, whom 
Europe has been slow and reluctant to honor, we would 
reply that the intellectual power of this people has ex 
erted itself in conformity to the general system of our 
institutions and manners; and, therefore, that for the 
proof of its existence and the measure of its force we 
must look not so much to the works of prominent indi 
viduals as to the great aggregate results ; and if Europe 
has hitherto been wilfully blind to the value of our ex 
ample and the exploits of our sagacity, courage, invention, 
and freedom, the blame must rest with her, and not with 
America. 

Is it nothing for the universal good of mankind to have 
carried into successful operation a system of self-govern 
ment, uniting personal liberty, freedom of opinion, and 
equality of rights, with national power and dignity, such 
as had before existed only in the Utopian dreams of 
philosophers? Is it nothing, in moral science, to have 
anticipated in sober reality numerous plans of reform in 
civil and criminal jurisprudence which are but now re 
ceived as plausible theories by the politicians and econo 
mists of Europe ? Is it nothing to have been able to call 



VERPLANCK] LESSONS OF AMERICAN HISTORY. 387 

forth on every emergency, either in war or peace, a body 
of talents always equal to the difficulty ? Is it nothing to 
have, in less than a half-century, exceedingly improved 
the sciences of political economy, of law, and of medicine, 
with all their auxiliary branches, to have enriched human 
knowledge by the accumulation of a great mass of useful 
facts and observations, and to have augmented the power 
and the comforts of civilized man by miracles of mechani 
cal invention? Is it nothing to have given the world 
examples of disinterested patriotism, of political wisdom, 
of public virtue ; of learning, eloquence, and valor, never 
exerted save for some praiseworthy end ? It is sufficient 
to have briefly suggested these considerations ; every mind 
would anticipate me in filling up the details. 

No, Land of Liberty! thy children have no cause to 
blush for thee. What though the arts have reared few 
monuments among us, and scarce a trace of the Muse's 
footstep is found in the paths of our forests or along the 
banks of our rivers; yet our soil has been consecrated 
by the blood of heroes, and by great and holy deeds of 
peace. Its wide extent has become one vast temple and 
hallowed asylum, sanctified by the prayers and blessings 
of the persecuted of every sect and the wretched of all 
nations. 

Land of Eefuge Land of Benedictions ! Those pray 
ers still arise, and they still are heard : " May peace be 
within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces !" 
" May there be no decay, no leading into captivity, and no 
complaining in thy streets !" " May truth flourish out of 
the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven 1" 



388 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

THE PROUD MISS MACBRIDE. 

JOHN G. SAXE. 

[We give the main portion of this humorous production, one of 
the best American poems of mingled fun and pun, of the school of 
Hood. The writer, John Godfrey Saxe, born in Yermont in 1816, 
is the author of numerous amusing poems, which have attained high 
popularity. Among the best-known are "The Rhyme of the Rail," 
" The Money King," and the one we quote! His writings also include 
serious poems, of considerable merit, some of his sonnets being said to 
he " masterpieces of their kind."] 

OH, terribly proud was Miss MacBride, 
The very personification of Pride, 
As she minced along in Fashion's tide 
Adown Broadway on the proper side 

When the golden sun was setting ; 
There was pride in the head she carried so high, 
Pride in her lip, and pride in her eye, 
And a world of pride in the very sigh 

That her stately bosom was fretting : 

A sigh that a pair of elegant feet, 
Sandalled in satin, should kiss the street, 
The very same that the vulgar greet 
In common leather not over " neat," 

For such is the common booting ; 
(And Christian tears may well be shed, 
That even among our gentlemen bred 
The glorious day of Morocco is dead, 
And Day and Martin are reigning instead, 

On a much inferior footing !) 

Oh, terribly proud was Miss MacBride, 
Proud of her beauty, and proud of her pride, 



SAXE] THE PROUD MISS MACBRIDE. 389 

And proud of fifty matters beside 

That wouldn't have borne dissection ; 
Proud of her wit, and proud of her walk, 
Proud of her teeth, and proud of her talk, 
Proud of " knowing cheese from chalk" 
On a very slight inspection. 

Proud abroad, and proud at home, 
Proud wherever she chanced to come, 
When she was glad, and when she was glum ; 

Proud as the head of a Saracen 
Over the door of a tippling-shop ; 
Proud as a duchess, proud as a fop, 
" Proud as a boy with a brand-new top," 

Proud beyond comparison. . . . 

And yet the pride of Miss MacBride, 
Although it had fifty hobbies to ride, 

Had really no foundation, 
But, like the fabrics that gossips devise, 
Those single stories that often arise 
And grow till they reach a four-story size, 

Was merely a fancy creation. 

'Tis a curious fact as ever was known 
In human nature, but often shown 

Alike in castle and cottage, 
That pride, like pigs of a certain breed, 
Will manage to live and thrive on " feed" 

As poor as a pauper's pottage. 

That her wit should never have made her vain, 
Was, like her face, sufficiently plain ; 

And as to her musical powers, 
iv. 33* 



390 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

Although she sang until she was hoarse, 
And issued notes with a banker's force, 
They were just such notes as we never endorse 
For any acquaintance of ours. 

Her birth, indeed, was uncommonly high, 
For Miss MacBride first opened her eye 
Through a skylight dim, on the light of the sky; 

But pride is a curious passion, 
And in talking about her wealth and worth 
She always forgot to mention her birth 

To people of rank and fashion. 

Of all the notable things on earth, 
The queerest one is pride of birth 

Among our "fierce democracie :" 
A bridge across a hundred years, 
Without a prop to save it from sneers, 
Not even a couple of rotten Peers, 
A thing for laughter, fleers, and jeers, 

Is American aristocracy. 

English and Irish, French and Spanish, 
German, Italian, Dutch, and Danish, 
Crossing their veins until they vanish 

In one conglomeration ; 
So subtle a tangle of blood, indeed, 
No modern Harvey will ever succeed 

In finding the circulation. 

Depend upon it, my snobbish friend, 
Your family thread you can't ascend 
Without good reason to apprehend 
You may find it waxed at the farther end 



SAXE] THE PROUD MISS MACBRIDE. 391 

By some plebeian vocation ; 
Or, worse than that, your boasted line 
May end in a loop of stronger twine, 

That plagued some worthy relation. 

But Miss MacBride had something beside 
Her lofty birth to nourish her pride ; 
For rich was the old paternal MacBride, 

According to public rumor, 
And he lived " up town," in a splendid square, 
And kept his daughter on dainty fare, 
And gave her gems that were rich and rare, 
And the finest rings and things to wear, 

And feathers enough to plume her. 

An honest mechanic was John MacBride, 
As ever an honest calling plied 

Or graced an honest ditty ; 
For John had worked, in his early day, 
In " pots and pearls," the legends say, 
And kept a shop with a rich array 
Of things in the soap and candle way, 

In the lower part of the city ! 

No ram avis was honest John 
(That's the Latin for " sable swan"), 

Though, in one of his fancy flashes, 
A wicked wag, who meant to deride, 
Called honest John " Old Phoenix MacBride," 

Because he rose from his ashes ! . . . 

Alas ! that people who've got their box 
Of cash beneath the best of locks, 
Secure from all financial shocks, 
Should stock their fancy with fancy stocks, 



392 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SAXK 

And madly rush upon Wall Street rocks, 

Without the least apology ! 
Alas ! that people whose money affairs 
Are sound beyond all need of repairs 
Should ever tempt the bulls and bears 

Of Mammon's fierce zoology ! 

Old John MacBride, one fatal day, 
Became the unresisting prey 

Of Fortune's undertakers ; 
And, staking his all on a single die, 
His foundered bark went high and dry 

Among the brokers and breakers. 

At his trade again, in the very shop 
Where, years before, he let it drop, 

He follows his ancient calling, 
Cheerily, too, in poverty's spite, 
And sleeping quite as sound at night 
As when, at Fortune's giddy height, 
He used to wake with a dizzy fright 

From a dismal dream of falling. 

But alas for the haughty Miss MacBride ! 
'Twas such a shock to her precious pride, 
She couldn't recover, although she tried 

Her jaded spirits to rally : 
'Twas a dreadful change in human affairs, 
From a place " up town" to a nook " up stairs," 

From an avenue down to an alley ! . . . 

And, to make her cup of woe run over, 
Her elegant, ardent, plighted lover 
Was the very first to forsake her ; 



SEWART)] THE CONDITION OF CHINA. 393 

He quite regretted the step, 'twas true, 
The lady had pride enough for two, 
But that alone would never do 
To quiet the butcher and baker ! 

And now the unhappy Miss MacBride, 
The merest ghost of her early pride, 

Bewails her lonely position : 
Cramped in the very narrowest niche, 
Above the poor, and below the rich, 

Was ever a worse condition ? 

MORAL. 

Because you flourish in worldly affairs, 
Don't be haughty, and put on airs, 

"With insolent pride of station ; 
Don't be proud, and turn up your nose 
At poorer people in plainer clo'es, 
But learn, for the sake of your soul's repose, 
That wealth's a bubble, that comes and goes ; 
And that all proud flesh, wherever it grows, 

Is subject to irritation. 



THE CONDITION OF CHINA. 

W. H. SBWAED. 

[William Henry Seward was born at Florida, Orange County, New 
York, in 1801. He was admitted to the bar in 1822, and soon acquired 
a high reputation as a lawyer. About 1828 he entered the field of 
politics, in which he afterwards became so distinguished. He served 
two terms as Governor of New York, and for a long period as United 
States Senator from that State. In 1860 he was a candidate for the 



394 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

Presidency, and from 1861 to 1869 was Secretary of State, under Pres 
idents Lincoln and Johnson. After his retirement from political life 
he made a tour of the world (1870-71), which he described in " Travels 
Around the World," a highly interesting work, full of graphic de 
scription and philosophical reflection. The valuable review of the 
political and social condition of China, given below, is from this work. 
Mr. Seward died at Auburn, New York, in 1872.] 

THE Chinese, though not of the Caucasian race, have 
all its political, moral, and social capabilities. Long ago, 
they reached a higher plane of civilization than most of 
the European states attained until a much later period. 
The Western nations have since risen above that plane. 
The whole world is anxiously inquiring whether China is 
to retrieve the advantages she has lost, and if she is to 
come within the family of modern civilized states. Mr. 
Burlingame's sanguine temperament and charitable dis 
position led him to form too favorable an opinion of the 
present condition of China. In his anxiety to secure a 
more liberal policy on the part of the Western nations 
toward the ancient empire, he gave us to understand, 
especially in his speeches, that, while China has much to 
learn from the Western nations, she is not without some 
peculiar institutions which they may advantageously 
adopt. This is not quite true. Although China is far 
from being a barbarous state, yet every system and insti 
tution there is inferior to its corresponding one in the 
West. Whether it be the abstract sciences, such as phi 
losophy and psychology, or whether it be the practical 
forms of natural science, astronomy, geology, geography, 
natural history, and chemistry, or the concrete ideas of 
government and laws, morals and manners ; whether it be 
in the aesthetic arts or mechanics, everything in China is 
eifete. Chinese education rejects science ; Chinese indus 
try proscribes invention; Chinese morals appeal not to 



SEWARD] THE CONDITION OF CHINA. 395 

conscience, but to convenience ; Chinese architecture and 
navigation eschew all improvements ; Chinese government 
maintains itself by extortion and terror ; Chinese religion 
is materialistic, not even mystic, much less spiritual. If 
we ask how this inferiority has come about, among a 
people who have achieved so much in the past, and have 
capacities for greater achievement in the future, we must 
conclude that, owing to some error in their ancient social 
system, the faculty of invention has been arrested in its 
exercise and impaired. 

China first became known to the Western world by the 
discoveries of Marco Polo in the thirteenth century. At 
that period, and until after the explorations of Yasco de 
Gama, China appears to have been not comparatively 
great, prosperous, and enlightened, but absolutely so. An 
empire extending from the snows of Siberia to the tropics, 
and from the Pacific to the mountain sources of the great 
rivers of Continental Asia, its population constituted one- 
fourth of the human race. Diversified climate and soil 
aiforded all the resources of public and private wealth. 
Science and art developed those resources. Thus, when 
European nations came upon the shores of China, in the 
sixteenth century, they found the empire independent and 
self-sustaining. The Mantchoos on the north had invaded 
the empire and substituted a Tartar dynasty at Peking for 
a native dynasty at Nanking, but the conquerors and the 
conquered were still Chinese, and the change was a revo 
lution and not a subjugation. China, having thus attained 
all the objects of national life, came to indulge a sentiment 
of supercilious pride, under the influence of which she 
isolated herself from all other nations. Her government 
from its earliest period was in the hands of a scholastic 
and pedantic class, a class which elsewhere has been found 
incapable of practical rule. Since the isolation took place, 



396 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SEWARD 

that class has effectively exercised all the powers of the 
state in repressing inquiry and stifling invention, through 
fear that change in any direction would result in their 
own overthrow. The long isolation of the empire, and 
the extirpation of native invention, have ended in re 
versing the position of China. From being self-sustain 
ing and independent, as she was when found by the Eu 
ropean states, she has become imbecile, dependent, and 
helpless. Without military science and art, she is at the 
mercy of Western nations. Without the science of polit 
ical economy, the government is incapable of maintain 
ing an adequate system of revenue; and without the sci 
ence of Western laws and morals, it is equally incapable 
of maintaining an impartial and effective administration 
of justice. Having refused to adopt Western arts and 
sciences, the government is incapable of establishing and 
maintaining a beneficial domestic administration. Insur 
rections and revolutions are therefore unavoidable; nor 
can the government repress them without the aid of the 
Western powers. She pays the European nations for 
making the clothing for her people, and the arms with 
which they must defend themselves. She imports not 
only the precious metals, but coal and iron, instead of 
allowing her own mines to be opened. She forbids the 
employment of steam and animal power in mechanics, 
and so largely excludes her fabrics from foreign markets. 
Though China would now willingly leave all the world 
alone, other nations cannot afford to leave her alone. 
Great Britain must send her cotton fabrics and iron 
manufactures. The United States must send her steam- 
engines and agricultural implements, and bring away her 
coolies. Italy, France, and Belgium must have her silks, 
and all the world must have her teas and send her their 
religions. All these operations cannot go on without 



REWARD] THE CONDITION OF CHINA. 397 

steam-engines, stationary as well as marine, Hoe's printing- 
press, and the electric telegraph. 

Now for the question of the prospects of China. Before 
attempting to answer this, it will be best to define intelli 
gently the present political condition of China. Certainly 
it is no longer an absolutely sovereign and independent 
empire, nor has it yet become a protectorate of any other 
empire. It is, in short, a state under the constant and 
active surveillance of the Western maritime nations. This 
surveillance is exercised by their diplomatic representa 
tives, and by their naval forces backed by the menace 
of military intervention. In determining whether this 
precarious condition of China is likely to continue, and 
whether its endurance is desirable, it would be well to 
consider what are the possible alternatives. There are 
only three : first, absolute subjugation by some foreign 
state ; second, the establishment of a protectorate by some 
foreign state ; third, a complete popular revolution, over 
throwing not only the present dynasty, but the present 
form of government, and establishing one which shall be 
in harmony with the interests of China and the spirit of 
the age. The Chinese people, inflated with national pride, 
and contempt for Western sciences, arts, religions, morals, 
and manners, are not prepared to accept the latter alter 
native. The rivalry of the Western nations, with the 
fluctuations of the balance of their political powers, ren 
ders it dangerous for any foreign state to assume a pro 
tectorate. The second alternative is, therefore, out of the 
question. We have already expressed the opinion that 
mankind have outlived the theory of universal empire ; 
and certainly the absolute subjugation of China by any 
Western state would be a nearer approach to universal 
empire than Greek, or Roman, or Corsican, or Cossack, 
ever dreamed of. The exercise of sovereignty in China 
iv. 34 



398 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SuMNER 

by a national dynasty, under the surveillance and protec 
tion of the maritime powers, is the condition most favor 
able to the country and most desirable. The maintenance 
of it seems practicable so far as it depends upon the con 
sent of the maritime surveillant powers. But how long 
the four hundred millions of people within the empire will 
submit to its continuance is a question which baffles all 
penetration. The present government favors and does all 
it can to maintain it. Prince Kung and Wan-Siang are 
progressive and renovating statesmen, but a year or two 
hence a new emperor will come to the throne. The literati, 
no less bigoted now than heretofore, have an unshaken 
prestige among the people, and, for aught any one can 
judge, the first decree of the new emperor may be the 
appointment of a reactionary ministry, with the decapita 
tion of the present advisers of the throne. Let it, then, 
be the policy of the Western nations to encourage and 
sustain the sagacious reformers of China, and in dealing 
with that extraordinary people to practise in all things 
justice, moderation, kindness, and sympathy. 



THE HORRORS OF WAR. 

CHARLES SUMNER. 



I NEED not now dwell on the waste and cruelty of war. 
These stare us wildly in the face, like lurid meteor-lights, 
as we travel the page of history. We see the desolation 
and death that pursue its demoniac footsteps. We look 
upon sacked towns, upon ravaged territories, upon vio 
lated homes; we behold all the sweet charities of life 
changed to wormwood and gall. Our soul is penetrated 



SUMNER] THE HORRORS OF WAR. 399 

by the sharp moan of mothers, sisters, and daughters, of 
fathers, brothers, and sons, who, in the bitterness of their 
bereavement, refuse to be comforted. Our eyes rest at 
last upon one of those fair fields where nature, in her 
abundance, spreads her cloth of gold, spacious and apt for 
the entertainment of mighty multitudes, or perhaps, from 
the curious subtlety of its position, like the carpet in the 
Arabian tale, seeming to contract so as to be covered by a 
few only, or to dilate so as to receive an innumerable host. 
Here, under a bright sun, such as shone at Austerlitz or 
Buena Vista, amidst the peaceful harmonies of nature. 
on the Sabbath of peace, we behold bands of brothers, 
children of a common Father, heirs to a common hap 
piness, struggling together in the deadly fight, with the 
madness of fallen spirits, seeking with murderous weapons 
the lives of brothers who have never injured them or their 
kindred. The havoc rages. The ground is soaked with 
their commingling blood. The air is rent by their com 
mingling cries. Horse and rider are stretched together 
on the earth. More revolting than the mangled victims, 
than the gashed limbs, than the lifeless trunks, than the 
spattering brains, are the lawless passions which sweep, 
tempest-like, through the fiendish tumult. 

a Nearer comes the storm and nearer, rolling fast and frightful on, 
Speak, Ximena, speak and tell us, who has lost and who has 

won ? 

1 Alas ! alas 1 I know not ; friend and foe together fall ; 
O'er the dying rush the living : pray, my sister, for them all 1 ; " 

Horror-struck, we ask, wherefore this hateful contest ? 
The melancholy but truthful answer comes, that this is 
the established method of determining justice between 
nations ! 

The scene changes. Far away on the distant pathway 



400 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [SUMNER 

of the ocean two ships approach each other, with white 
canvas proudly spread to receive the flying gales. They 
are proudly built. All of human art has been lavished 
in their graceful proportions and in their well-compacted 
Bides, while they look in dimensions like floating happy 
islands of the sea. A numerous crew, with costly appli 
ances of comfort, hives in their secure shelter. Surely 
these two travellers shall meet in joy and friendship ; the 
flag at the mast-head shall give the signal of fellowship ; 
the happy sailors shall cluster in the rigging, and even on 
the yard-arms, to look each other in the face, while the 
exhilarating voices of both crews shall mingle in accents 
of gladness uncontrollable. It is not so. Not as brothers, 
not as friends, not as wayfarers of the common ocean, do 
they come together ; but as enemies. The gentle vessels 
now bristle fiercely with death-dealing instruments. On 
their spacious decks, aloft on all their masts, flashes the 
deadly musketry. From their sides spout cataracts of 
flame, amidst the pealing thunders of a fatal artillery. 
They, who had escaped " the dreadful touch of merchant- 
marring rocks," who had sped on their long and solitary 
way unharmed by wind or wave, whom the hurricane 
had spared, in whose favor storms and seas had inter 
mitted their immitigable war, now at last fall by the 
hand of each other. The same spectacle of horror greets 
us from both ships. On their decks, reddened with blood, 
the murders of St. Bartholomew and of the Sicilian Yes- 
pers, with the fires of Smithfield, seem to break forth 
anew and to concentrate their rage. Each has now be 
come a swimming Golgotha. At length these vessels 
such pageants of the sea, once so stately, so proudly built, 
but now rudely shattered by cannon-balls, with shivered 
masts and ragged sails exist only as unmanageable 
wrecks, weltering on the uncertain waves, whose tern- 



THOMPSON] A NEW ENGLAND COUNTRY COURT. 401 

porary lull of peace is now their only safety. In amaze 
ment at this strange, unnatural contest, away from 
country and home, where there is no country or home 
to defend, we ask again, wherefore this dismal duel? 
Again the melancholy but truthful answer promptly 
comes, that this is the established method of determining 
justice between nations ! 



A NEW ENGLAND COUNTRY COURT. 

D. P. THOMPSON. 

[Daniel Pierce Thompson, born in Massachusetts in 1795, was the 
author of several popular novels of New England life. These include 
" The Money-Diggers," " The Green Mountain Boys," " The Bangers," 
" The Trappers of Lake Umbagog," and " Locke Amsden," a racily- 
told story of the experiences of a New England schoolmaster. We ex 
tract a scene from this admirable romance, in which one feature of the 
older life of America is humorously described. Mr. Thompson died 
in 1868.] 

IT was late in the season when our hero returned home ; 
and, having inadvertently omitted to apprise his friends 
of his intention to engage himself as a teacher of some of 
the winter schools in the vicinity of his father's residence, 
he found, on his arrival, every situation to which his un 
doubted qualifications should prompt him to aspire, already 
occupied by others. He was therefore compelled, unless 
he relinquished his purpose, to listen to the less eligible 
offers which came from such smaller and more backward 
districts of societies as had not engaged their instructors 
for the winter. One of these he was on the point of de 
ciding to accept, when he received information of a dis 
trict where the master, from some cause or other, had been 

IT. aa 34* 



402 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [THOMPSON 

dismissed during the first week of his engagement, and 
where the committee were now in search of another to 
supply his place. The district from which this informa 
tion came was situated in one of the mountain towns about 
a dozen miles distant, and the particular neighborhood of 
its location was known in the vicinity, to a. considerable 
extent, by the name of the Horn of the Moon, an appella 
tion generally understood to be derived from a peculiar 
curvature of a mountain that partially enclosed the place. 
Knowing nothing of the causes which had here led to the 
recent dismissal of the teacher, nor indeed of the particu 
lar character of the school, further than that it was a 
large one, and one, probably, which, though in rather a 
new part of the country, would yet furnish something like 
an adequate remuneration to a good instructor, Locke had 
no hesitation in deciding to make an immediate applica 
tion for the situation. Accordingly, the next morning he 
mounted a horse, and set out for the place in question. 

It was a mild December's day ; the ground had not yet 
assumed its winter covering, and, the route taken by our 
hero becoming soon bordered on either side by wild and 
picturesque mountain scenery, upon which he had ever 
delighted 

" To look from nature up to nature's God," 

the excursion in going was a pleasant one. And, occupied 
by the reflections thus occasioned, together with anticipa 
tions of happy results from his expected engagement, he 
arrived, after a ride of a few hours, at the borders of the 
romantic-looking place of which he was in quest. 

At this point in his journey he overtook a man on foot, 
of whom, after discovering him to belong somewhere in 
the neighborhood, he proceeded to make some inquiries 
relative to the situation of the school. 



THOMPSON] A NEW ENGLAND COUNTRY COURT. 403 

" Why," replied the man, " as I live out there in the tip 
of the Horn, which is, of course, at the outer edge of the 
district, I know but little about the school affairs ; but one 
thing is certain, they have shipped the master, and want 
to get another, I suppose." 

" For what cause was the master dismissed ? For lack 
of qualifications ?" 

" Yes, lack of qualifications for our district. The fellow, 
however, had learning enough, as all agreed, but no spunk ; 
and the young Bunkers, and some others of the big boys, 
mistrusting this, and being a little riled at some things he 
had said to them, took it into their heads to train him a 
little, which they did ; when he, instead of showing any 
grit on the occasion, got frightened and cleared out." 

" Why, sir, did his scholars offer him personal violence?" 

" Oh, no, not violence. They took him up quite care 
fully, bound him on to a plank, as I understood and car 
ried him on their shoulders, in a sort of procession, three 
times round the school-house, and then, unloosing him, 
told him to go at his business again." 

"And was all this suffered to take place without any 
interference from your committee ?" 

" Yes : our committee-man would not interfere in such a 
case. A master must fight his own way in our district." 

" Who is your committee, sir?" 

" Captain Bill Bunker is now. They had a meeting 
after the fracas, and chose a new one." 

" Is he a man who is capable of ascertaining for himself 
the qualifications of a teacher?" 

" Oh, yes: at least I had as lief have Bill Bunker's judg 
ment of a man who applied for the school as any other in 
the district ; and yet he is the only man in the whole dis 
trict but what can read and write, I believe." 

" Your school committee not able to read and write ?" 



404 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [THOMPSON 

"Not a word ; and still he does more business than any 
man in this neighborhood. Why, sir, he keeps a sort of 
store, sells to A, B, and C, and charges on book in a fash 
ion of his own ; and I would as soon trust to his book as 
that of any regular merchant in the country ; though, to 
be sure, he has got into a jumble, I hear, about some 
charges against a man at t'other end of the Horn, and 
they are having a court about it to-day at Bunker's house, 
I understand." 

" Where does he live ?" 

" Bight on the road, about a mile ahead. You will see 
his name chalked on a sort of a shop-looking building, 
which he uses for a store." 

The man here turned off from the road, leaving our 
hero so much surprised and staggered at what he had just 
heard, not only of the general character of the school of 
which he had come to propose himself as a teacher, but 
of the man who now had the control of it, that he drew 
up the reins, stopped his horse in the road, and sat hesi 
tating some moments whether he would go back or for 
ward. It occurring to him, however, that he could do as he 
liked about accepting any offer of the place which might 
be made him, and feeling, moreover, some curiosity to see 
how a man who could neither read nor write would man 
age in capacity of an examining school-committee, he re 
solved to go forward and present himself as a candidate 
for the school. Accordingly, he rode on, and soon reached 
a rough-built but substantial-looking farm-house, with 
sundry out-buildings, on one of which he read, as he had 
been told he might, the name of the singular occupant. 
In the last-named building he at once perceived that there 
was a gathering of quite a number of individuals, the 
nature of which was explained to him by the hint he had 
received from his informant on the road. And, tying his 



THOMPSON] A NEW ENGLAND COUNTRY COURT. 405 

horse, he joined several who were going in, and soon 
found himself in the midst of the company assembled in 
the low, unfinished room which constituted the interior, as 
parties, witnesses, and spectators of a justice's court, the 
ceremonies of which were about to be commenced. There 
were no counters, counting-room, or desk ; and a few 
broad shelves, clumsily put up on one side, afforded the 
only indication observable in the interior arrangement of 
the room of the use to which it was devoted. On these 
shelves were scattered, at intervals, small bunches of hoes, 
axes, bed-cords, and such articles as are generally pur 
chased by those who purchase little ; while casks of nails, 
grindstones, quintals of dried salt fish, and the like, ar 
ranged round the room on the floor, made up the rest of 
the owner's merchandise, an annual supply of which, it 
appeared, he obtained in the cities every winter in ex 
change for the products of his farm, ever careful, like a 
good political economist, that the balance of trade should 
not be against him. The only table and chair in the room 
were now occupied by the justice; the heads of casks, 
grindstones, or bunches of rakes answering for seats for 
the rest of the company. On the left of the justice sat 
the defendant, whose composed look and occasional know 
ing smile seemed to indicate his confidence in the strength 
of his defence as well as a consciousness of possessing 
some secret advantage over his opponent. On the other 
hand sat Bunker, the plaintiff in the suit. Ascertaining 
from the remarks of the by-standers his identity with the 
committee-man he had become so curious to see, Locke 
fell to noting his appearance closely, and the result was, 
upon the whole, a highly favorable prepossession. He 
was a remarkably stout, hardy-looking man ; and although 
his features were extremely rough and swarthy, they yet 
combined to give him an open, honest, and very intelli- 



406 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [THOMPSON 

gent countenance. Behind him, as backers, were standing 
in a group three or four of his sons, of ages varying from 
fifteen to twenty, and of bodily proportions promising 
anything but disparagement to the herculean stock from 
which they originated. The parties were now called and 
sworn ; when Bunker, there being no attorneys employed 
to make two-hour speeches on preliminary questions, pro 
ceeded at once to the merits of his case. He produced 
and spread open his account-book, and then went on to 
show his manner of charging, which was wholly by hie 
roglyphics, generally designating the debtor by picturing 
him out at the top of the page with some peculiarity of 
his person or calling. In the present case, the debtor, 
who was a cooper, was designated by the rude picture 
of a man in the act of hooping a barrel, and the article 
charged, there being but one item in the account, was 
placed immediately beneath, and represented by a shaded, 
circular figure, which the plaintiff said was intended for a 
cheese, that had been sold to the defendant some years 
before. 

" Now, Mr. Justice," said Bunker, after explaining, in a 
direct, oif-hand manner, his peculiar method of book-keep 
ing, "now, the article here charged the man had, I will, 
and do,. swear to it; for here it is in black and white. 
And I having demanded my pay, and he having not only 
refused it, but denied ever buying the article in question, 
I have brought this suit to recover my just due. And 
now I wish^to see if he will get up here in court and deny 
the charge under oath. If he will, let him j but may the 
Lord have mercy on his soul I" 

"Well, sir," replied the defendant, promptly rising, 
" you shall not be kept from having your wish a minute ; 
for I here, under oath, do swear that I never bought or 
had a cheese of you in my life." 



THOMISON] A NEW ENGLAND COUNTRY COURT. 407 

"Under the oath of God you declare it, do you?" 
sharply asked Bunker. 

" I do, sir," firmly answered the other. 

" Well, well !" exclaimed the former, with looks of utter 
astonishment, " I would not have believed that there was 
a man in all of the Horn of the Moon who would dare to 
do that." 

After the parties had been indulged the usual amount 
of sparring for such occasions, the justice interposed, and 
suggested that, as the oaths of the parties were at com 
plete issue, the evidence of the book itself, which he 
seemed to think was entitled to credit, would turn the 
scale in favor of the plaintiff, unless the defendant could 
produce some rebutting testimony. Upon this hint, the 
latter called up two of his neighbors, who testified in his 
behalf that he himself always made a sufficient supply of 
cheese for his family ; and they were further knowing that 
on the year of the alleged purchase, instead of buying, he 
actually sold a considerable quantity of the article. 

This evidence seemed to settle the question in the mind 
of the justice ; and he now soon announced that he felt 
bound to give judgment to the defendant for his costs. 

" Judged and sworn out of the whole of it, as I am a 
sinner!" cried the disconcerted Bunker, after sitting a mo 
ment working his rough features in indignant surprise ; 
"yes, fairly sworn out of it, and saddled with a bill of 
costs to boot ! But I can pay it : so reckon it up, Mr. 
Justice, and we will have it all squared on the spot. And, 
on the whole, I am not so sure but a dollar or two is well 
spent, at any time, in finding out a fellow to be a scoundrel 
who has been passing himself off among people for an hon 
est man," he added, pulling out his purse, and angrily 
dashing the required amount down upon the table. 

"Now, Bill Bunker," said the defendant, after very 



408 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [THOMPSON 

coolly pocketing his costs, "you have flung out a good 
deal of your stuff here, and I have bore it without getting 
riled a hair ; for I saw, all the time, that you correct as 
folks ginerally think you that you didn't know what 
you was about. But now it's all fixed and settled, I am 
going jist to convince you that I am not quite the one 
that has sworn to a perjury in this 'ere business." 

" Well, we will see," rejoined Bunker, eying his opponent 
with a look of mingled doubt and defiance. 

" Yes, we will see," responded the other, determinedly ; 
" we will see if we can't make you eat your own words. 
But I want first to tell you where you missed it. When 
you dunned me, Bunker, for the pay for a cheese, and I 
said I never had one of you, you went off a little too 
quick ; you called me a liar, before giving me a chance to 
say another word. And then I thought I would let you 
take your own course, till you took that name back. If 
you had held on a minute, without breaking out so upon 
me, I should have told you all how it was, and you would 
have got your pay on the spot ; but " 

" Pay !" fiercely interrupted Bunker ; " then you admit 
you had the cheese, do you ?" 

"No, sir, I admit no such thing," quickly rejoined the 
former, " for I still say I never had a cheese of you in the 
world. But I did have a small grindstone of you at the 
time, and at just the price you have charged for your 
supposed cheese; and here is your money for it, sir. 
Now, Bunker, what do you say to that ?" 

" Grindstone cheese cheese grindstone !" exclaimed 
the now evidently nonplussed and doubtful Bunker, taking 
a few rapid turns about the room, and occasionally stop 
ping at the table to scrutinize anew his hieroglyphical 
charge; "I must think this matter over again. Grind- 
Btone cheese cheese grindstone. Ah! I have it; but 



HILLARD] EXCURSION TO SORRENTO. 409 

may God forgive me for what I have done! It was a 
grindstone, but I forgot to make a hole in the middle for 
the crank." 

Upon this curious development, as will be readily im 
agined, the opposing parties were not long in effecting 
an amicable and satisfactory adjustment. And in a short 
time the company broke up and departed, all obviously 
as much gratified as amused at this singular but happy 
result of the lawsuit. 



EXCURSION TO SORRENTO. 

G. S. HILLAKD. 

[George Stillman Hillard, the author of our present reading, -was 
born at Machias, Maine, in 1808. He was educated at Harvard, where 
he graduated in 1828, subsequently studied law, and was admitted to 
the Massachusetts bar in 1833. Besides rising to distinction in his 
profession, he was noted as an eloquent orator and as a finished and 
graceful writer. He was a contributor to the North American Review 
and other periodicals, and wrote a number of the American biograph 
ical articles in the first edition of the u New American Cyclopaedia." 
In 1853 appeared his "Six Months in Italy," a charming record of 
travel, which had reached its twenty-fifth edition in 1885, and from 
which our selection is made. Mr. Hillard died in 1879.] 

ON the morning of March 19th, I left Naples for Sor 
rento, making one of a party of five. The cars took us 
to Castellamare, a town beautifully situated between the 
mountains and the sea, much resorted to by the Neapoli 
tans in the heats of summer. A lover of nature could 
hardly find a spot of more varied attractions. Before 
him spreads the unrivalled bay, dotted with sails and 
unfolding a broad canvas, on which the most glowing 
iv. s 35 



410 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HILLARU 

colors and the most vivid lights are dashed, a mirror in 
which the crimson and gold of morning, the blue of noon, 
and the orange and yellow-green of sunset behold a live 
lier image of themselves, a gentle and tideless sea, whose 
waves break upon the shore like caresses, and never like 
angry blows. Should he ever become weary of waves and 
languish for woods, he has only to turn his back upon the 
sea and climb the hills for an hour or two, and he will find 
himself in the depth of-sylvan and mountain solitudes, 
in a region of vines, running streams, deep-shadowed 
valleys, and broad-armed oaks, where he will hear the 
ring-dove coo, and see the sensitive hare dart across the 
forest aisles. A great city is within an hour's reach ; and 
the shadow of Vesuvius hangs over the landscape, keep 
ing the imagination awake by touches of mystery and 
terror. 

From Castellamare to Sorrento a noble road has within 
a few years past been constructed between the mountains 
and the sea, which in many places are so close together 
that the width of the road occupies the whole intervening 
space. On the right, the traveller looks down a cliff of 
some hundred feet or more upon the bay, whose glassy 
floor is dappled with patches of green, purple, and blue, 
the effect of varying depth, or light and shade, or clusters 
of rock overgrown with sea-weed scattered over a sandy 
bottom. On the left is a mountain wall, very steep, many 
hundred feet high, with huge rocks projecting out of it, 
many of them big enough to crush a carriage and its con 
tents, or sweep them into the sea. This was no fanciful 
imagination ; for, not long before, two or three immense 
masses, each as large as a good-sized cottage, had fallen 
from the cliff, and were blocking up the road so that it 
was impossible to get round or over them. The carriages 
came to a full stop here, and the occupants were obliged 



HILLARD] EXCURSION TO SORRENTO. 411 

to scramble over the obstructions, and charter a new con 
veyance on the other side. The road combined rare ele 
ments of beauty ; for it nowhere pursued a monotonous 
straight line, but followed the windings and turnings of 
this many-curved shore. Sometimes it was cut through 
solid ledges of rock ; sometimes it was carried on bridges, 
over deep gorges and chasms, wide at the top and narrow 
ing towards the bottom, where a slender stream tripped 
down to the sea. The sides of these glens were often 
covered with orange- and lemon-trees ; and we could look 
down upon their rounded tops, presenting, with their dark- 
green foliage, their bright, almost luminous fruit, and their 
Bnowy blossoms, the finest combination of colors which 
the vegetable kingdom, in the temperate zone at least, can 
show. The scenery was in the highest degree grand, 
beautiful, and picturesque, with the most animated con 
trasts and the most abrupt breaks in the line of sight, 
yet never savage or scowling. The mountains on the left 
were not bare and scalped, but shadowed with forests, and 
thickly overgrown with shrubbery, such wooded heights 
as the genius of Greek poetry would have peopled with 
bearded satyrs and buskined wood-nymphs and made 
vocal with the reeds of Pan and the hounds and horn of 
Artemis. All the space near the road was stamped with 
the gentle impress of human cultivation. Fruit-trees and 
vines were thickly planted ; garden vegetables were grow 
ing in favorable exposures ; and houses were nestling in 
the hollows or hanging to the sides of the cliff. Over the 
whole region there was a smiling expression of wooing 
and invitation, to which the sparkling sea murmured a fit 
ting accompaniment. No pitiless ice and granite chill or 
wound the eye ; no funereal cedars and pines darken the 
mind with their Arctic shadows ; but bloom and verdure, 
thrown over rounded surfaces, and rich and gay forms of 



412 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HILLARD 

foliage, mantling gray cliffs or waving from rocky ledges, 
give to the face of Nature that mixture of animation and 
softness which is equally fitted to soothe a wounded spirit 
or restore an overtasked mind. If one could only forget 
the existence of such words as " duty" and progress," and 
step aside from the rushing stream of onward-moving life, 
and be content with being, merely, and not doing, if 
these lovely forms could fill all the claims and calls of 
one's nature, and all that we ask of sympathy and com 
panionship could be found in mountain breezes and break 
ing waves, if days passed in communion with nature, 
without anxious vigils or ambitious toils, made up the 
sum of life, where could a better retreat be found than 
along this enchanting coast? Here are the mountains, 
and there is the sea. Here is a climate of delicious soft 
ness, where no sharp extremes of heat and cold put strife 
between man and nature. Here is a smiling and good- 
natured population, among whom no question of religion, 
politics, science, literature, or humanity is ever discussed, 
and the surface of the placid hours is not ruffled by argu 
ment or contradiction. Here a man could hang and ripen, 
like an orange on the tree, and drop as gently out of life 
upon the bosom of the earth. There is a fine couplet of 
Yirgil, which is full of that tenderness and sensibility 
which form the highest charm of his poetry, as they prob 
ably did of his character, and they came to my mind in 
driving along this beautiful road : 

" Hie gelidi fontes ; hie mollia prata, Lycori ; 
Hie nemus ; hie ipso tecum consumerer sevo." 

There is something in the musical flow of these lines 
which seems to express the movement of a quiet life, 
from which day after day loosens and falls, like leaf after 
leaf from a tree in a calm day of autumn. But Virgil's 



PAYNE] HOME LIFE AND HOME SENTIMENT. 413 

air-castle includes a Lycoris ; that is, sympathy, affec 
tion, and the heart's daily food. With these, fountains, 
meadows, and groves may be dispensed with ; and without 
them, they are not much better than a painted panorama 
To have something to do and to do it, is the best appoint 
ment for us all. Nature, stern and coy, reserves her most 
dazzling smiles for those who have earned them by hard 
work and cheerful sacrifice. Planted on these shores and 
lapped in pleasurable sensations, man would turn into an 
indolent dreamer and a soft voluptuary. He is neither a 
fig nor an orange ; and he thrives best in the sharp air of 
self-denial and on the rocks of toil. 



HOME LIFE AND HOME SENTIMENT. 

The poems which properly fall under the title here given are far 
too many for the limited space which we can devote to them. We 
must therefore omit many poems of fine quality, while selecting a few 
of those which have become " familiar as household words," together 
with some others, chosen almost at random out of the abundant store 
at our disposal. In most direct consonance with our title is John 
Howard Payne's beautiful song, a poem which has almost lost its 
American lineage, through its adoption by the whole English-speaking 
world. 

HOME, SWEET HOME. 

'MiD pleasures and palaces though we may roam, 
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home ! 
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there, 
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with else 
where. 

Home ! home ! sweet, sweet home ! 
There's no place like home ! 
There's no place like home ! 
iv. 35* 



414 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [WOODWORTH 

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain : 
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again ; 
The birds singing gayly that come at my call : 
Give me them, with the peace of mind dearer than all. 

Home ! home ! sweet, sweet home ! 

There's no place like home ! 

There's no place like home ! 

How sweet 'tis to sit 'neath a fond father's smile, 
And the cares of a mother to soothe and beguile ! 
Let others delight 'mid new pleasures to roam, 
But give, oh, give me the pleasures of home ! 

Home ! home ! sweet, sweet home ! 

But give, oh, give me 

The pleasures of home. 

To thee I'll return, overburdened with care ; 
The heart's dearest solace will smile on me there. 
No more from that cottage again will I roam : 
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. 

Home ! home ! sweet, sweet home ! 

There's no place like home ! 

There's no place like home I 



Another poem, instinct with the same home-clinging feeling, and 
as fresh and mellow in sentiment as the drip of the pure liquid which it 
commemorates, is the " Old Oaken Bucket" of Samuel Wood worth 

How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood, 
When fond recollection presents them to view ! 

The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild-wood, 
And every loved spot which my infancy knew ; 

The wide-spreading pond, and the mill which stood by it, 
The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell j 



MORRIS] HOME LIFE AND HOME SENTIMENT. 415 

The cot of my father, the dairy -house nigh it, 
And e'en the rude bucket which hung in the well ; 

The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, 
The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well. 

That moss-covered vessel I hail as a treasure ; 

For often, at noon, when returned from the field, 
I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure, 

The purest and sweetest that nature can yield. 
How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glowing ! 

And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it fell ; 
Then soon, with the emblem of truth overflowing, 

And dripping with coolness, it rose from the well ; 
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, 

The moss-covered bucket arose from the well. 

How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it, 

As, poised on the curb, it inclined to my lips ! 
ISTot a full blushing goblet could tempt me to leave it, 

Though filled with the nectar that Jupiter sips. 
And now, far removed from the loved situation, 

The tear of regret will intrusively swell, 
As fancy reverts to my father's plantation, 

And sighs for the bucket which hangs in the well ; 
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, 

The moss-covered bucket which hangs in the well. 

A no less attractive instance of the sentiment of affection for the 
home-scenes of our youthful days we have in George P. Morris's best- 
known and most popular song, one which has come particularly into 
notice in these days of " societies for the prevention of cruelty" to our 
forests. 

WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE. 

Woodman, spare that tree ! 
Touch not a single bough : 



416 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [MORRIS 

In youth it sheltered me, 

And I'll protect it now. 
'Twas my forefather's hand 

That placed it near his cot : 
There, woodman, let it stand ; 

Thy axe shall harm it not. 



That old familiar tree, 

Whose glory and renown 
Are spread o'er land and sea, 

And wouldst thou hew it down ? 
Woodman, forbear thy stroke ! 

Cut not its earth-bound ties ; 
Oh, spare that aged oak, 

Now towering to the skies. 

When but an idle boy, 

I sought its grateful shade ; 
In all their gushing joy, 

Here, too, my sisters played. 
My mother kissed me here ; 

My father pressed my hand : 
Forgive this foolish tear, 

But let that old oak stand ! 

My heart-strings round thee cling, 

Close as thy bark, old friend ! 
Here shall the wild bird sing, 

And still thy branches bend. 
Old tree ! the storm still brave ! 

And, woodman, leave the spot : 
While I've a hand to save, 

Thy axe shall harm it not. 



SPRAGUE] HOME LIFE AND HOME SENTIMENT. 417 

One of the most beautiful of American poems of which the home 
sentiment is the inspiring theme is " The Family Meeting" of Charles 
Sprague, perhaps the finest production of this graceful writer. 

We are all here 1 

Father, mother, 

Sister, brother, 

All who hold each other dear. 
Each chair is filled we're all at home; 
To-night let no cold stranger come ; 
It is not often thus around 
Our old familiar hearth we're found. 
Bless, then, the meeting and the spot ; 
For once be every care forgot ; 
Let gentle Peace assert her power, 
And kind Affection rule the hour: 

We're all all here. 



We're not all here ! 
Some are away, the dead ones dear 
Who thronged with us this ancient hearth. 
And gave the hour to guiltless mirth. 
Fate, with a stern, relentless hand, 
Looked in and thinned our little band ; 
Some like a night-flash passed away, 
And some sank, lingering, day by day : 
The quiet graveyard some lie there ; 
And cruel Ocean has his share : 

We're not all here. 

We are all here ! 

Even they the dead though dead, so dear. 
Fond Memory, to her duty true, 
Brings back their faded forms to view. 
. bb 



418 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS [BROWNK 

How lifelike, through the mist of years, 
Each well-remembered face appears ! 
We see them as in times long past ; 
From each to each kind looks are cast ; 
We hear their words, their smiles behold, 
They're round us as they were of old : 
We are all here. 

We are all here ! 

Father, mother, 

Sister, brother, 

You that I love with love so dear. 
This may not long of us be said : 
Soon must we join the gathered dead, 
And by the hearth we now sit round 
Some other circle will be found. 
Oh, then, that wisdom may we know 
Which yields a life of peace below ! 
So, in the world to follow this, 
May each repeat, in words of bliss, 

We're all all here! 

A choice gem of American home poetry is that we give below, with 
its gleeful opening and its pathetic close. The sunshine and shadow 
of many a household, bereft of its passing angel, are here beautifully 
depicted. 

MEASURING THE BABY. 

We measured the riotous baby 

Against the cottage-wall : 
A lily grew on the threshold, 

And the boy was just as tall, 
A royal tiger-lily, 

With spots of purple and gold, 
And a heart like a jewelled chalice, 

The fragrant dew to hold. 



HOME LIFE AND HOME SENTIMENT. 419 

Without, the bluebirds whistled 

High up in the old roof-trees, 
And to and fro at the window 

The red rose rocked her bees ; 
And the wee pink fists of the baby 

Were never a moment still. 
Snatching at shine and shadow 

That danced on the lattice-sill. 

His eyes were wide as bluebells, 

His mouth like a flower unblown ; 
Two little bare feet, like funny white mice, 

Peeped out from his snowy gown ; 
And we thought, with a thrill of rapture 

That yet had a touch of pain, 
When June rolls around with her roses, 

We'll measure the boy again. 

Ah me ! in a darkened chamber, 

With the sunshine shut away, 
Through tears that fell like a bitter rain, 

We measured the boy to-day ; 
And the little bare feet, that were dimpled 

And sweet as a budding rose, 
Lay side by side together 

In the hush of a long repose 1 

Up from the dainty pillow, 

White as the risen dawn, 
The fair little face lay smiling, 

With the light of heav.en thereon ; 
And the dear little hands, like rose-leaves 

Dropped from a rose, lay still, 
Never to snatch at the sunshine 

That crept to the shrouded sill I 



420 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HOLLAND 

We measured the sleeping baby 

With ribbons white as snow, 
For the shining rosewood casket 

That waited him below ; 
And out of the darkened chamber 

We went with a childless moan : 
To the height of the sinless angels 

Our little one had grown. 

EMMA ALICE BROWNE. 

A much more cheerful picture of babyhood may be found in Hol 
land's " Cradle Song," the choicest fragment of his once very popular 
poem of " Bittersweet." This work, as a rule, cannot be ranked above 
a somewhat low level of poetic merit, but its shortcomings are in a 
measure redeemed by the beauty of this choice tribute to the kingdom 
of babyhood. 

CRADLE SONG. 

What is the little one thinking about ? 
Very wonderful things, no doubt ! 

Unwritten history ! 

Unfathomed mystery ! 

Yet he laughs and cries, and eats and drinks, 
And chuckles and crows, and nods and winks, 
As if his head were as full of kinks 
And curious riddles ,as any sphinx! 
Warped by colic, and wet by tears, 
Punctured by pins, and tortured by fears, 
Our little nephew will lose two^ears ; 

And he'll never know 

Where the summers go : 
He need not laugh, for he'll find it so 1 



Who can tell what a baby thinks ? 
Who can follow the gossamer links 



HOLLAND] HOME LIFE AND HOME SENTIMENT. 421 

By which the manikin feels his way 
Out from the shore of the great unknown, 
Blind, and wailing, and alone, 

Into the light of day? 
Out from the shore of the unknown sea, 
Tossing in pitiful agony, 
Of the unknown sea that reels and rolls, 
Specked with the barks of little souls, 
Barks that were launched on the other side, 
And slipped from heaven on an ebbing tide ! 
What does he think of his mother's eyes ? 
What does he think of his mother's hair ? 
What of the cradle roof that flies 
Forward and backward through the air ? 

What does he think of his mother's breast, 
Bare and beautiful, smooth and white, 
Seeking it ever with fresh delight, 
Cup of his life, and couch of his rest ? 
What does he think when her quick embrace 
Presses his hand and buries his face 
Deep where the heart-throbs sink and swell 
With a tenderness she can never tell, 

Though she murmur the words 

Of all the birds, 

Words she has learned to murmur well ? 
Now he thinks he'll go to sleep ! 
I can see the shadow creep 
Over his eyes, in soft eclipse, 
Over his brow, and over his lips, 
Out to his little finger-tips ! 
Softly sinking, down he goes ! 
Down he goes ! Down he goes ! 
See ! he is hushed in sweet repose 1 
iv. 36 



422 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LARCOM 

In a more sombre key is the following highly pathetic poem, the 
most popular production of a recent poetess of New England. 

HANNAH BINDING SHOES. 

Poor lone Hannah, 
Sitting at the window, binding shoes : 

Faded, wrinkled, 

Sitting, stitching, in a mournful muse. 
Bright-eyed beauty once was she, 
When the bloom was on the tree : 

Spring and winter, 
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes. 

Not a neighbor, 
Passing, nod or answer will refuse 

To her whisper, 

" Is there from the fishers any news ?" 
Oh, her heart's adrift, with one 
On an endless voyage gone ! 

Night and morning, 
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes. 

Fair young Hannah, 
Ben, the sunburnt fisher, gayly wooes ; 

Hale and clever, 

For a willing heart and hand he sues. 
May-day skies are all aglow, 
And the waves are laughing so ! 

For her wedding 
Hannah leaves her window and her shoes. 

May is passing ; 
'Mid the apple-boughs a pigeon cooes ; 

Hannah shudders, 
For the mild southwester mischief brews. 



OSGOOD] HOME LIFE AND HOME SENTIMENT. 423 

Round the rocks of Marblehead, 
Outward bound, a schooner sped : 

Silent, lonesome, 
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes. 

'Tis November : 
Now no tear her wasted cheek bedews ; 

From Newfoundland 
Not a sail returning will she lose, 
Whispering hoarsely, " Fishermen, 
Have you, have you heard of Ben ?" 

Old with watching, 
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes. 

Twenty winters 
Bleach and tear the ragged shore she views, 

Twenty seasons ! 

Never one has brought her any news. 
Still her dim eyes silently 
Chase the white sails o'er the sea : 

Hopeless, faithful, 
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes. 

LUCY LARCOM. 

Frances Sargent Osgood's familiar poem of " Labor is Worship' 
will serve to close this series of poetical selections. 

Pause not to dream of the future before us ; 

Pause not to weep the wild cares that come o'er us ; 

Hark, how Creation's deep, musical chorus, 

Unintermitting, goes up into heaven ! 
Never the ocean-wave falters in flowing ; 
Never the little seed stops in its growing ; 
More and more richly the rose-heart keeps glowing, 

Till from its nourishing stem it is riven. 



424 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [OsGOOD 

" Labor is worship !" the robin is singing ; 
" Labor is worship !" the wild bee is ringing : 
Listen! that eloquent whisper, upspringing, 

Speaks to thy soul from out Nature's great heart. 
From the dark cloud flows the life-giving shower ; 
Prom the rough sod blows the soft-breathing flower; 
From the small insect, the rich coral bower ; 

Only man, in the plan, shrinks from his part. 

Labor is life ! 'Tis the still water faileth ; 

Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth ; 

Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth ! 

Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon. 
Labor is glory ! the flying cloud lightens ; 
Only the waving wing changes and brightens ; 
Idle hearts only the dark future frightens : 

Play the sweet keys, wouldst thou keep them in tune. 

Labor is rest, from the sorrows that greet us ; 
Best from all petty vexations that meet us ; 
Rest from sin-promptings that ever entreat us ; 

Rest from world-sirens that lure us to ill. 
Work, and pure slumbers shall wait on thy pillow ; 
Work, thou shalt ride over Care's coming billow ; 
Lie not down wearied 'neath Woe's weeping-willow! 

Work with a stout heart and resolute will ! 

Labor is health ! Lo ! the husbandman reaping, 
How through his veins goes the life-current leaping ! 
How his strong arm, in its stalwart pride sweeping, 

True as a sunbeam the swift sickle guides ! 
Labor is wealth, in the sea the pearl groweth ; 
Rich the queen's robe from the frail cocoon floweth ; 
From the fine acorn the strong forest bloweth ; 

Temple and statue the marble block hides. 



KRAUTH] ELEMENTS OF THE REFORMATION. 425 

Droop not, though shame, sin, and anguish are round 

thee ! 

Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound thee! 
Look to the pure heaven smiling beyond thee ! 

Best not content in thy darkness, a clod ! 
Work for some good, be it ever so slowly ! 
Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly ! 
Labor ! all labor is noble and holy : 

Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God. 



THE CONTROLLING ELEMENTS OF THE REFORMATION. 

C. P. KRAUTH. 

[Charles Porterfield Krauth, an accomplished scholar, and one ol the 
Ablest of recent theological writers, was born at Martinsburg, Virginia, 
in 1823. He became ordained as a Lutheran divine, and occupied sev 
eral pastoral positions. He afterwards edited a religious journal, which 
was followed by a professorship in the Lutheran Seminary at Philadel 
phia. In 1868 he was made professor of moral and intellectual phi 
losophy in the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1873 became vice- 
provost of that institution. He died in 1883. Of his several works 
"The Conservative Keformation and its Theology" is the most valu 
able, and is marked at once by fine scholarship, temperate statement, 
and excellent reasoning. We subjoin an extract from its opening 
portion.] 

THE immediate occasion of the Keformation seemed in 
significant enough. Three hundred and fifty-three years 
ago, on the 31st of October, immense crowds were pouring 
into an ancient city of Germany, bearing in its name, 
Wittenberg, the memorial of its founder, Wittekind the 
Younger. The weather-beaten and dingy little edifices 
of Wittenberg forbade the idea that the beauty of the 
iv. 36* 



426 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [KRAUTH 

city or its commercial importance drew the masses to it. 
Within that city was an old church, very miserable and 
battered, and very venerable and holy, which attracted 
these crowds. It was the "Church of All Saints," in 
which were shown, to the inexpressible delight of the 
faithful, a fragment of Noah's Ark, some soot from the 
furnace into which the three young Hebrews were cast, 
a piece of wood from the crib of the infant Saviour, some 
of St. Christopher's beard, and nineteen thousand other 
relics equally genuine and interesting. But over and 
above all these allurements, so well adapted to the taste 
of the time, His Holiness the Pope had granted indulgence 
to all who should visit the church on the first of Novem 
ber. Against the door of that church of dubious saints, 
and dubious relics, and dubious indulgences, was found 
fastened, on that memorable morning, a scroll unrolled. 
The writing on it was firm ; the nails which held it were 
well driven in ; the sentiments it conveyed were moderate, 
yet very decided. The material, parchment, was the same 
which long ago had held words of redemption above the 
head of the Redeemer. The contents were an amplifica 
tion of the old theme of glory, Christ on tbe cross, the 
only King. The Magna Charta, which had been buried 
beneath the Pope's throne, reappeared on the church door. 
The key-note of the Reformation was struck full and 
clear at the beginning, Salvation through Christ alone. 

It is from the nailing up of these Theses the Reforma 
tion takes its date. That act became, in the providence 
of God, the starting-point of the work which still goes 
on, and shall forever go on, that glorious work in which 
the truth was raised to its original purity, and civil and 
religious liberty were restored to men. That the Reforma 
tion is the spring of modern freedom, is no wild assertion 
of its friends. One of the greatest Roman Catholic writers 



KRAUTH] ELEMENTS OF THE REFORMATION. 427 

of recent times, Michelet, in the Introduction to his Life 
of Luther, says, " It is not incorrect to say that Luther 
has heen the restorer of liberty in modern times. If he 
did not create, he at least courageously affixed his signa 
ture to that great revolution which rendered the right of 
examination lawful in Europe. And if we exercise in all 
its plenitude at this day this first and highest privilege 
of human intelligence, it is to him we are most indebted 
for it ; nor can we think, speak, or write, without being 
made conscious, at every step, of the immense benefit of 
this intellectual enfranchisement ;" and he concludes with 
the remark, " To whom do I owe the power of publishing 
what I am now inditing, except to this liberator of modern 
thought ?" 

######### 

The occasions and cause of so wonderful and important 
an event as the Reformation have naturally occupied very 
largely the thoughts of both its friendu and its foes. On 
the part of its enemies the solution of its rapid rise, its 
gigantic growth, its overwhelming march, has been found 
by some in the rancor of monkish malice, the thing arose 
in a squabble between two sets of friars about the farm 
ing of the indulgences, a solution as sapient and as com 
pletely in harmony with the fact as would be the state 
ment that the American Revolution was gotten up by one 
George Washington, who, angry that the British govern 
ment refused to make him a collector of the tax on tea, 
stirred up a happy people to rebellion against a mild and 
just rule. 

The solution has been found by others in the lust of the 
human heart for change, it was begotten in the mere 
love of novelty ; men went into the Reformation as they 
go into a menagerie, or adopt the new mode, or buy up 
some " novelist's last." Another class, among whom the 



428 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [KRAUTH 

brilliant French Jesuit Audin is conspicuous, attribute the 
movement mainly to the personal genius and fascinating 
audacity of the great leader in the movement. Luther 
so charmed the millions with his marvellous speech and 
magic style that they were led at his will. On the part 
of some, its nominal friends, reasons hardly more adequate 
have often been assigned. Confounding the mere aids, or, 
at most, the mere occasions, of the Reformation with its 
real causes, an undue importance has been attributed in 
the production of it to the progress of the arts and sci 
ences after the revival of letters. Much stress has been 
laid upon the invention of printing, and the discovery of 
America, which tended to rouse the minds of men to a 
new life. Much has been said of the fermenting political 
discontents of the day, the influence of the great Councils 
in diminishing the authority of the Pope, and much has 
been made, in general, of the causes whose root is either 
wholly or in part in the earth. The Eationalist repre 
sents the Reformation as a triumph of reason over au 
thority. The infidel says that its power was purely nega 
tive ; it was a grand subversion ; it was mightier than 
Rome, because it believed less than Rome; it prevailed, 
not by what it taught, but by what it denied ; and it failed 
of universal triumph simply because it did not deny 
everything. The insect-minded sectarian allows the Re 
formation very little merit except as it prepared the way 
for the putting forth, in due time, of the particular twig 
of Protestantism on which he crawls, and which he 
imagines bears all the fruit and gives all the value to the 
tree. As the little green tenants of the rose-bush might 
be supposed to argue that the rose was made for the pur 
pose of furnishing them a home and food, so these small 
speculators find the root of the Reformation in the par 
ticular part of Providence which they consent to adopt 



4 

KKAUTH] ELEMENTS OF THE REFORMATION. 429 

and patronize. The Reformation, as they take it, origi 
nated in the divine plan for furnishing a nursery for sec 
tarian aphides. 

*#######* 

The Word of God kindled the fire of the Eeformation. 
That Word lay smouldering under the ashes of centuries j 
it broke forth into flame in Luther and the other Re 
formers j it rendered them lights which shone and burnt 
inextinguishably ; through them it imparted itself to the 
nations ; and from the nations it purged away the dross 
which had gathered for ages. " The Word of God," says 
St. Paul, " is not bound." Through the centuries which 
followed the corruption of Christianity, the Word of God 
was still in being. In lonely cloisters it was laboriously 
copied. Years were sometimes spent in finishing a single 
copy of it, in the elaborate but half-barbaric beauty which 
suited the taste of those times. Gold and jewels, on the 
massive covers, decorated the rich workmanship; costly 
pictures were painted as ornaments on its margin ; the 
choicest vellum was used for the copies ; the rarest records 
of heathen antiquity were sometimes erased to make way 
for the nobler treasures of the Oracles of the Most High. 
There are single copies of the Word, from that mid-world 
of history, which are a store of art, and the possession of 
one of which gives a bibliographical renown to the city 
in whose library it is preserved. 

ISTo interdict was yet laid upon the reading of the Word, 
for none was necessary. The scarcity and costliness of 
books formed in themselves a barrier more effectual than 
the interdict of popes and councils. Many of the great 
teachers in the Church of Rome were devoted students 
of the Bible. From the earliest writings of the Fathers, 
down to the Reformation, there is an unbroken 'line of 
witnesses for the right of all believers freely to read the 



430 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [KRA.UTH 

Holy Scriptures. No man thought of putting an artificial 
limitation on its perusal ; on the contrary, there are ex 
pressions of regret in the mediaeval Catholic writers that, 
in the nature of the case, so few could have access to these 
precious records. 

In communities separate from the Church of Eome, the 
truth was maintained by reading and teaching the Holy 
Scriptures. The Albigensian and Waldensian martyrs 
were martyrs of the Word: 

" Those slaughtered saints, whose bones 
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold, 
Even those who kept God's truth so pure of old, 
When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones." 

The invention of printing, and, hardly less, the inven 
tion of paper made from rags, for what would printing 
be worth, if we were still confined to so costly a material 
for books as parchment ? prepared the way for the dif 
fusion of the Scriptures. 

The Church of Eome did not apprehend the danger 
which lay in that Book. Previous to the Eeformation 
there were not only editions of the Scripture in the origi 
nals, but the old Church translation into Latin (the Vul 
gate) and versions of it into the living languages were 
printed. In Spain, whose dark opposition to the Word of 
God has since become her reproach and her curse, and in 
which no such book as the one of which we are about to 
speak has come forth for centuries, in Spain, more than a 
hundred years before there was enough Hebrew type in 
all England to print three consecutive lines, the first great 
POLYGLOT BIBLE, in Hebrew, Chaldee, Greek, and Latin, 
was issued at Complutum under the direction of Ximenes, 
her renowned cardinal and chief minister of state. It 
came forth in a form which, in splendor and value, far 



KRAUTH] ELEMENTS OF THE REFORMATION. 431 

surpassed all that the world had yet seen. We may con 
sider the Complutensian Polyglot the crown of glory to 
the labors of the Middle Ages. It links itself clearly in 
historical connection with the GRAND BIBLICAL ERA, the 
Eeformation itself, for, though the printing of it was begun 
in 1502 and finished in 1517, it was not published till 1522, 
and in 1522 the FIRST EDITION OP THE NEW TESTAMENT in 
German came from the hand of Luther, fixing the corner 
stone of the grand edifice whose foundation had been laid 
in the Ninety-five Theses of 1517. 

This, then, is the historical result of the facts we have 
presented, that the Middle Ages became, in the wonderful 
providence of God, the conservators of the Word which 
they are charged with suppressing, and were unconsciously 
tending toward the sunrise of the truth, which was to 
melt away their mists forever. 

The earliest efforts of the press were directed to the 
multiplication of the copies of the Word of God. The fim 
book ever printed was the Bible. Before the first twelve 
sheets of this first edition of the Scriptures were printed, 
Gutenberg and Faust had incurred an expenditure of four 
thousand florins. That Bible was the edition of the Latin 
Yulgate commonly known by the name of the " Mazarin 
Bible," from the fact that a copy of it which for some 
time was the only one known was discovered about the 
middle of the eighteenth century in the library of the Col 
lege of the Four Nations, founded at Paris by Cardinal 
Mazarin. At Mentz and Cologne, the Yulgate translation 
of the Holy Scriptures was multiplied in editions of vari 
ous sizes. Some of these Latin Bibles had been purchased 
for the University Library at Erfurth at a large price, and 
were rarely shown even to visitors. One of them was 
destined to play a memorable part in the history of man 
kind. While it was lying in the still niche of the library, 



432 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [KRAUTH 

there moved about the streets of the city and through the 
halls of the University a student of some eighteen years 
of age, destined for the law, who already gave evidence 
of a genius which might have been a snare to indolence, 
but who devoted himself to study with an unquenchable 
ardor. Among the dim recesses of the library he was a 
daily seeker of knowledge. His was a thirst for truth 
which was not satisfied with the prescribed routine. Those 
books of which we now think as venerable antiques were 
then young and fresh ; the glow of novelty was on much 
of which we now speak as the musty and worm-eaten 
record of old-time wisdom which we have outgrown. 
There the city of Harlem, through Laurentius, and the 
city of Mentz, through Faustus, and the city of Strasburg, 
through Gutenberg, put in their silent claims for the glory 
of being the cradle of the magic art of printing. There 
the great masters in jurisprudence and in scholastic phi 
losophy challenged, and not in vain, the attention of the 
young searcher for knowledge. Some of the most volumi 
nous of the jurisconsults he could recite almost word for 
word. Occam and Gerson were his favorites among the 
scholastics. The masters of the classic world, Cicero, 
Yirgil, and Livy, " he read," says a Jesuit author, " not 
merely as a student whose aim was to understand them, 
but as a superior intellect, which sought to draw from them 
instruction, to find in them counsels and maxims for his 
after-life. They were to him the flowers whose sweet 
odor might be shed upon the path he had to tread, or 
might calm the future agitation of his mind and of his 
heart." Thus passing from volume to volume, seeking the 
solution of the dark problem of human life, which already 
gathered heavily upon his deep, earnest soul, he one day 
took down a ponderous volume hitherto unnoticed. He 
opens it ; the title-page is " Biblia Sacra," the Holy Bible. 



KRATJTH] ELEMENTS OF THE REFORMATION. 433 

He is disappointed. He has heard all this, he thinks, in 
the lessons of the Missal, in the texts of the Postils, in the 
selections of the Breviary. He imagines that his mother 
the Church has incorporated the whole Book of God in 
her services. Listlessly he allows the volume to fall open 
at another place, in his hand, and carelessly looks down at 
the page. What is it that arouses him ? His eye kindles 
with amazement and intense interest. He rests the Book 
on the pile of the works of Schoolmen and of Fathers 
which he had been gathering. He hangs entranced over 
it ; his dreamy eyes are fixed on the page ; hour after hour 
flies ; the shades of night begin to gather, and he is forced 
to lay the volume aside, with the sigh. Oh that this Book 
of books might one day be mine ! 

*#######* 
That Book was to Luther, henceforth, the thing of 
beauty of his life, the joy of his soul forever.. He read 
and re-read, and prayed over its sacred teachings, till the 
place of each passage, and all memorable passages in their 
places, fixed themselves in his memory. To the study of 
it all other study seemed tame. A single passage of it 
would ofttimes lie in his thoughts days and nights to 
gether. The Bible seemed to fuse itself into his being, to 
become a part of his nature. Often in his writings he 
does not so much remark upon it, as catch its very pulse 
and clothe his own mind in its very garb. He is lifted to 
the glory of the reproducer, and himself becomes a sec 
ondary prophet and apostle. His soul ceased to be a mere 
vessel to hold a little of the living water, and became a 
fountain through which it sprang to refresh and gladden 
others. As with Luther, so was it with Melanchthon, his 
noble co-worker, with Zwingle in Switzerland, at a later 
period with Calvin in France, with Tyndale and Cranmer 
in England, with Knox in Scotland. The Word of God 
iv. T ec 87 



434 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [KRAUTH 

was the fire in their souls which purified them into Chris 
tians ; and the man who became a Christian was already 
unconsciously a Eeformer. 

One of the earliest convictions of Luther was, the 
people must have the Bible, and to this end it must be 
translated. It is true that, beginning with the Gothic 
translation of Ulphilas, in the fourth century, there had 
been various translations of the Scriptures into the Ger 
manic tongues. About 1466 appeared the first Bible 
printed in German. It came from the press of Egge- 
steyn, in Strasburg (not, as has been frequently main 
tained, from the press of Faust and Schoffer, in 1462). 
Between the appearance of this Bible and that of Luther 
there were issued in the dialect of Upper Germany some 
fourteen editions of the Word of God, besides several in 
the dialect of Lower Germany. These were, without 
exception, translations of a translation ; they were made 
from the Yulgate, and, however they may have differed, 
they had a common character which may be expressed in 
a word : they were abominable. In a copy of one of 
them, in the library of the writer of this article, there is 
a picture of the Deluge, in which mermaids are floating 
around the ark, arranging their tresses with the aid of 
small looking-glasses, with a most amphibious noncha 
lance. The rendering is about as true to the idea as the 
picture is to nature. There is another of these editions, 
remarkable for typographical errors, which represents 
Eve, not as a housewife, but as a "kiss-wife," and its 
typography is the best part of it. How Luther raised 
what seemed a barbarous jargon into a language which in 
flexible beauty and power of internal combination has no 
parallel but in the Greek, and in massive vigor no superior 
but the English, writers of every school, Protf stant and 



COOKE] AN OLD-TIME VIRGINIA RACE-COURSE. 435 

Romish alike, have loved to tell. The language of Ger 
many has grown since Luther, but it has had no new 
creation. He who takes up Luther's Bible grasps a whole 
world in his hand, a world which will perish only when 
this green earth itself shall pass away. 



AN OLD-TIME VIRGINIA RACE-COURSE. 

JOH& EST'EN 



L u The Virginia Comedians," by the author here named, is as ac 
curate and interesting a picture of aristocratic life in the colonial days 
of the " Old Dominion" as could well be desired. In addition to its 
historical value, it has much merit as a novel, and displays fine powers 
of characterization. Mr. Cooke is the author of several other novels, 
of Lives of Stonewall Jackson and Kobert E. Lee, and of a History 
of Virginia. The selection given below is from the "Virginia Come 
dians," in which the bluff soldier, Captain Waters, is a character 
worthy the pen of Scott. Mr. Cooke is a native of Virginia, where 
he was born in 1830.] 

THE races ! 

That word always produces a strong effect upon men m 
the South ; and when the day fixed upon for the James 
town races comes, the country is alive for miles around 
with persons of all classes and descriptions. 

As the hour of noon approaches, the ground swarms 
with every species of the genus homo; Williamsburg and 
the seafaring village of Jamestown turn out en masse, and 
leave all occupations for the exciting turf. 

As the day draws on, the crowd becomes more dense. 
The splendid chariots of the gentry roll up to the stand, 
and group themselves around it, in a position to overlook 



436 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CooKE 

the race-course, and through the wide windows are seen 
the sparkling eyes and powdered locks and diamonds and 
gay silk and velvet dresses of those fair dames who lent 
such richness and picturesque beauty to the old days dead 
now so long ago in the far past. The fine-looking old 
planters, too, are decked in their holiday suits, their pow 
dered hair is tied into queues behind with neat black rib 
bon, and they descend and mingle with their neighbors 
and discuss the coming festival. 

Gay youths, in rich brilliant dresses, caracole up to the 
carriages on fiery steeds, to display their horsemanship, 
and exchange complimdlrts with their friends, and make 
pretty speeches, which are received by the bright-eyed 
damsels with little ogles, arid flirts of their variegated 
fans, and rapturous delight. 

Meanwhile the crowd grows each moment, as the flood 
pours in from the north, the south, the east, the west, 
from every point of the compass, and in every species of 
vehicle. There are gay parties of the yeomen and their 
wives and daughters, in carryalls and wagons filled with 
straw, upon which chairs are placed ; there are rollicking 
fast men, if we may use the word becoming customary 
in our own day, who whirl in in their curricles ; there 
are barouches and chairs, spring-wagons and carts, all full, 
approaching in every way from a sober walk to a furious 
headlong dash, all " going to the races." There are horse 
men who lean forward, horsemen who lean back ; furious, 
excited horsemen, urging their steeds with whip and spur ; 
cool, quiet horsemen, who ride erect and slowly ; there 
are, besides, pedestrians of every class and appearance, 
old and young, male and female, black and white, all 
going to the races. 

These latter gather around the booths erected by the 
stand, and discuss the various mixtures of Jamaica there 



COOKS] AN OLD-TIME VIRGINIA RACE-COURSE. 437 

displayed in tempting array; and. near by, all varieties 
of edibles are set out and attacked. Ale foams ; healths 
(and individuals) are drunk ; bets are made. 

The vulgar blacklegs, if we may speak so disrespectfully 
of that large and influential class, congregate temporarily 
around the tables where a dozen games of chance are ex 
hibited ; and here they amuse themselves while awaiting 
the great supreme gambling of the race. 

The crowd is all in a buzz, which at times rises to a 
shout ; it undulates like a stormy sea ; it rolls and mur 
murs, and rumbles and laughs : in a word, it has come to 
see the races. 

The hour at last arrives, and, a horn sounding from the 
judges' stand, the horses are led out in their blankets and 
head-coverings, and walked up and down before the crowd 
by their trainers, who are for the most part old gray- 
headed negroes, born and raised, to the best of their recol 
lection, on the turf. The riders are noble scions of the 
same ancient stock, and average three feet and a half in 
height and twenty pounds in weight. They are clad in 
ornamental garments, wear little close-fitting caps, and, 
while they are waiting, sit huddled up in the grass, suck 
ing their thumbs, and talking confidentially about " them 
there bosses." 

Let us look at the objects of their attention : they are 
well worth it. 

Mr. Howard enters the bay horse Sir Archy, out of 
Flying Dick, by Eoderick. 

Mr. James enters Fair Anna, a white mare, dam Yh- 
ginia, sire Belgrave. 

Captain Waters enters the Arabian horse Selim, de 
scended in a direct line, he is informed, from Al-Borak, 
who carried the prophet Mahomet up to heaven, though 
this pedigree is not vouched for. The said pedigree is 
iv 37* 



438 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CooKE 

open to the inspection of all comers. NOTE That it is 
written in Arabic. 

There are other entries, but not much attention is paid 
to them. The race will be between Sir Archy and Fair 
Anna, and perhaps the outlandish horse will not be " dis 
tanced." 

The horses are stripped, and the excited spectators 
gather round them and commence betting. Two to one 
is offered on Sir Archy. He takes every eye : he is a 
noble animal. His training has been excessive, and the 
sinews web his limbs like cords of steel woven into net 
work ; he strides like a giant, his eyes blaze, he bites at 
his groom. 

Fair Anna is a beautiful little creature, as slender and 
graceful as a deer, with a coat of milky whiteness ; and 
she steps daintily, like a kitten. She is known, however, 
and those who have seen her run know that she has ex 
traordinary speed and bottom. 

The Arabian horse is unknown, and offers few indica 
tions of either speed or strength. The ladies say he is 
lovely, however, and the old jockeys scan the animal 
attentively and discover some unusual points. 

But the ladies, for the most part, admire the white mare 
above all ; and the young damsels and gentlemen of youth 
ful years request their parents to furnish them with some 
guineas to bet upon the lovely animal. The old planters, 
having for the most part staked large sums on Sir Archy, 
decline this request with petulance. Among these juve 
niles seized with the gambling mania are Master Willie 
Effingham and JMr. Tommy Alston, who espouse different 
sides. Tommy admires Fair Anna; Will, Sir Archy. 
Having no money beyond a crown or so, they content 
themselves with staking that, and Kate is called upon to 
hold the stakes, which she does with great good nature. 



COOKE] AN OLD-TIME VIRGINIA RACE-COURSE. 439 

"Ah ! you are betting, I think, petite ma'm'selle !" says 
a sonorous and good-humored voice. 

Kate raises her eyes, and recognizes Captain Ralph, who 
rides his roan. She smiles, for the kindly honest voice 
of the soldier pleases her, and says, 

"Oh, no, sir! I was just holding stakes for Willie and 
Mr. Alston." 

" Mr. Alston ? Oh pardonnez : I understand." 

And the captain laughs, and asks how the betting goes. 

" Two to one on Sir Archy," says Kate, quite easily. 

" And on Selim ?" 

" I'm sure he's the prettiest, and I know he'll win, sir," 
says Kate, " but the bet is on Sir Archy and Fair Anna." 

The captain laughs, and rides on : he draws up by Mr. 
Lee's chariot. 

" Ah ! good-day, my dear mesdames," he says. " How is 
the betting, pray ?" 

" I have bet largely against Selim, sir," says Henrietta. 
"I know he'll be beaten." 

" Beaten, say you, my dear madam ?" 

" Yes." 

"By what? rods?" 

" No, sir, by Sir Archy." 

"Ah, you think so?" says the captain, pleasantly. 
"Well, I do not agree with you, morbleu!" 

" He's found his match," says Henrietta, with a mis 
chievous sparkle of her brilliant eye. 

"So have I," replies the captain, with a look which 
makes Miss Henrietta blush. 

She endeavors to rally. 

" What will you bet, sir ?" 

" I ? I will bet you a thousand pounds to a penny that 
Selim wins the race. See how infatuated I am ! What 
say you, morbleu! madam?" 



440 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CooKE 

Henrietta smiles satirically. 

" Suppose we wager something more valuable, sir," she 
says, " something rare !" 

"What shall it be?" 

" This ringlet against one of your morbleus /" 

The captain relishes this pleasantry, and laughs. 

"Ah, madam," he says, "the stakes are not even. Sup 
pose I stake the contents of this box against the said 
ringlet." 

And the soldier draws a morocco case from his bosom. 

"What is it?" says Henrietta. 

" I deny your right to ask," laughs the soldier. 

"Unjust!" says Henrietta. 

" Why, 'faith ?" 

" Because, sir, you know what my stake is, while I do 
not know yours." 

" How do I know what it is you offer to bet, madam ?" 

" Why, it is this ringlet, sir." 

And Henrietta twines around her beautiful jewelled 
hand a glossy curl which reposes on her cheek. 

Captain Ealph laughs, and replies, 

"Ma foil I know it is; but I maintain that I am not 
enlightened yet : the said ringlet may be a wig, my dear 
madam." 

Henrietta pouts : Clare smiles. J 

" 1 assure you, sir, that I never wear wigs," says the 
lady. 

" Well, madam, then I will, for the sake of argument 
no, for the sake of betting, admit the reality of that ex 
quisite curl ; and yet I must be permitted to make a re 
quest." 

"What is that, sir?" 

"That you will let Miss Clare hold my stake, and 
promise not to open it, or seek to find what it is." 



COOKE] AN OLD-TIME VIRGINIA RACE-COURSE. 441 

Henrietta takes the morocco case, and looks at it 
curiously, hesitating. 

" "Well," says the captain, laughing, " I see our wager is 
at an end, pardy I You refuse my conditions." 

" No, sir, I accept." 

And Henrietta hands the case to Clare. 

" I suppose I may retain the curl until it is won, if 
that ever happens, monsieur ?" she says, satirically. 

" Ouil ouil" responds the soldier, laughing, "assuredly. 
And now what is our bet, pray? I see the judges about 
to give the signal to prepare the horses." 

" I bet," says Henrietta, " that Sir Archy or Fair Anna 
will beat Selim." 

" The first heat ?" 

"As you choose, sir." 

" Well," says Captain Ralph, " I close. Remember, 
Ma'm'selle Clare," he adds to her companion, "that 
Madam Henrietta and myself have laid a wager of that 
morocco case and its contents, against a curl of her hair, 
that Sir Archy beats my Arabian the first heat. Do not 
forget !" 

"The first heat, sir?" says Clare, in her mild voice. 

" Yes," replies the captain : " there will be three, I am 
informed, three of two miles each. The horse which 
wins two out of these three heats of course beats the 
field." 

Clare nods. 

"Prepare the horses!" comes from the judges' stand 
opposite. 

Captain Ralph leaves the ladies with a gallant bow, and 
pushes his way through the swaying and excited crowd 
towards the spot where the animals are being saddled. 

A tremendous hurly-burly reigns there ; men of all 
classes boys, negroes, gentlemen, indented servants all 



442 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CooKE 

are betting with intense excitement. The dignified 
grooms endeavor to keep back the crowd : the owners 
of the horses give their orders to the microscopic mon 
keys who are to ride. Mr. Howard, a fine-looking, some 
what supercilious gentleman, says to his rider, 

" Jake, trail on a tight rein the first mile, press gradu 
ally on the second, and win the heat by half a length : if 
you are an inch before that, I'll murder you, you villain." 

" Yes, massa," replies Jake, with a satisfied smile, and 
great cheerfulness. " I gwine to do dat very ting, I is." 

Mr. James is a solemn-looking Napoleon of the turf, 
and impresses upon his rider a whole volume of instruc 
tions, with gravity, and a serious and affecting earnest 
ness. 

" Feel Sir Archy from the word proceed," he says, " and 
if it appears, from a calm review of all the circumstances, 
that the mare has got the heels of him, come in half a 
head before him. If the mare fails to get her speed in the 
first brush, refrain from pushing her : it is a matter of no 
importance to win this the first heat ; but be sure to come 
to me before the second." 

" Yes, my massa." 

Captain Ealph says to his rider, 

" Give me your whip : good ! now take off those spurs. 
Yery well : now remember to keep silent: do not speak 
to your horse, do not tug at his rein : simply keep him in 
the track, and aim to keep the inside. Do not trouble 
yourself to win this heat : the rest, I think, is safe. Ee- 
member to lean far forward, and if there is danger of 
being distanced I permit you to whistle in the horse's 
ears. Again, do not push to win this heat. Go !" 

The riders are raised by one leg into the saddles : they 
gather up the reins : the drum taps : they are off like 
lightning. 



COOKE] AN OLD-TIME VIRGINIA RACE-COURSE. 443 

The course is a mile in circumference, and they go round 
it before the excited crowd can look at them a dozen times. 
They whirl past the stand, and push on again. 

Sir Archy leads : Fair Anna trails on a hard rein : the 
Arabian is two lengths behind ; but he is not running. 

They thunder up the quarter-stretch : Sir Archy is 
bounding, like some diabolical monster, far before his com 
panions, spite of his owner's cries : the Arabian has come 
up and locks the mare : they run neck and neck. Sir 
Archy whirls past the stand, and wins the heat by a hun 
dred yards. The immense crowd utters a shout which 
shakes the surrounding forest. 

The owner of Sir Archy looks with ominous meaning 
at Jake : that youth begins to tremble, and says that he 
couldn't hold him. Mr. Howard turns to the horse. Sir 
Archy's eyes glare ; he does not sweat at all : his coat is 
covered with a dry dusty oil, and he pants dreadfully : he 
is over-trained. 

Fair Anna is as wet as if she had just swam a river ; the 
moisture streams from her : she looks like an ivory statue 
in a fountain. The grooms rake the sweat off in foamy 
floods : she breathes regularly. 

The Arabian's coat is merely glossier : an imperceptible 
moisture bathes it, and he is quite still : he does not pant : 
his breathing is calm. 

The horses are again enveloped in their hoods and 
blankets. Captain Ralph returns to the Biverhead car 
riage. 

" Parbleu ! you've won, my dear madam !" he says , 
"behold, here I am very unhappy!" 

Henrietta does not quarrel this time with his French, 
but laughs triumphantly. 

"A favor?" continues the unfortunate captain, with a, 
melancholy air. 



444 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CooKE 

" Oh, certainly !" cries Henrietta. 

" I ask that you will not open the morocco case which 
miserable! I have lost, until you return home. Is it- 
very hard ?" 

"Oh, no, sir; and I promise without hesitation. Give 
it to me, Clare." 

And she takes the case, puts it in her muff, and smiles. 

" Any more betting, sir ?" she says, satirically. 

"Who? I?" 

" Yes, sir." 

" Assuredly !" says the captain. " Do not think, chere 
ma'm'selle, that I am very much cast down. I am so far 
from that, I assure you, that I am ready to take the field 
again." 

" Well, sir." 

" Then you will bet again, madam?" 

" Yes, indeed." 

" Bien! I now stake all that is left me in the world, 
though not quite. I stake my horse, Selim, against the 
curl and the pair of gloves you wear, with the knot of 
ribbons at your girdle thrown in, all upon the final 
issue." 

Henrietta blushes ; for, however common such gallant 
proposals were at that day, she cannot misunderstand the 
meaning of the soldier's glance, and reddens beneath it. 

" That would be unfair, sir," she says. 

*' Not so, my dear madam ; for are you not sure to lose ?" 

"To lose?" 

" Yes, indeed." 

"No, sir; I am sure to win." 

"Bah! you ladies have such a delicious little confidence 
in the things you patronize, that it is really astonishing. 
You think Sir Archy will beat Selim ? Pshaw ! you know 
nothing about it." 






COOKE] AN OLD-TIME VIRGINIA RACECOURSE. 44i3 

This piques Madam Henrietta, and she smiles satirically 
again as she says, 

" Well, sir, I do not want your pretty horse, but, if you 
insist, why, I cannot retreat. I shall, at least, have the 
pleasure of returning him to ms master." 

The captain shakes his head. 

" A bet upon such terms is no bet at all, my dearest 
madam," he says, " for, I assure you. if I win, you will 
return home curlless, gloveless, and ribbonless. All is fair 
in war and love." 

With which words Captain Ralph darts a martial ogle 
at his companion. This piques her more than ever. 

"Well, sir," she replies, "if you are determined, have 
your desire." 

" Good !" cries the captain : " we are just in time 
There is the horse. Remember, now, Ma'm'selle Clare, 
that we have lain a wager on the final issue. I bet 
Selim against a curl, a pair of gloves, and a piece of rib 
bon, that the Arabian beats the field ; Miss Henrietta, 
that he will not. Void, I do not ask you to hold my 
stakes," adds the captain with a laugh as he bows, " for I 
think that will be as much as his rider will be able to do." 

And, with another gallant bow, the captain rides away 
toward the horses. 

The boys are again instructed much after the same 
fashion : the signal is given in the midst of breathless 
suspense, and the horses dart from their places. 

They dart around, Sir Archy again leading ; but this 
position he does not hold throughout the first mile : he 
gradually falls behind, and when they pass the winning- 
post he is fifty yards in the rear. His owner tears his 
hair, but the crowd do not see him : they flush and shout. 

The second mile is between Fair Anna and the Arabian, 
and they lock in the middle of it ; but the Arabian gradu- 
TV. 38 



446 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [COOKK 

ally takes the lead, and when they flash up to the stand 
he is ten yards ahead. Sir Archy is distanced and with 
drawn. 

It would be impossible to describe the excitement of the 
crowd, the tremendous eftect produced upon them by 
this reversal of all their hopes and expectations. They 
roll about like waves, they shout, they curse, they rumble 
and groan like a stormy sea. 

The horses are the objects of every one's attention. 
Their condition will go far to indicate the final result; 
and, Sir Archy being led away and withdrawn, the race 
now will be between Fair Anna and the Arabian. 

Mr. James looks more solemn than ever, and all eyes 
are turned upon him. Captain Waters is not visible : he 
is yonder, conversing with the ladies. 

But the horses ! Fair Anna pants and breathes heavily : 
her coat is drenched more completely than before with 
perspiration ; her mouth foams ; she tosses her head : when 
the rake is applied to her back a shower falls. 

The Arabian is wet all over too : but he breathes regu 
larly : his eye is bright and his head calm. He has com 
menced running. The first intention of Mr. James is to 
give up the race; but his pride will not let him. He 
utters an oath, and gives renewed instructions to his 
rider. These instructions are to whip and spur, to take 
the lead and keep it, from the start. 

The moment for the final struggle arrives, and Captain 
Ralph merely says, "Kem free!" 

The boys mount: the crowd opens: the drum taps, and 
the animals are off like lightning. 

Fair Anna feels that all her previous reputation is at 
stake, and flies like a deer. She passes around the first 
mile like a flash of white light: but the Arabian is beside 
her. For a quarter of a mile thereafter they run neck 



COOKE] AN OLD-TIME VIRGINIA RACE-COURSE. 447 

and neck : the rider of Fair Anna lashes and spurs des 
perately. 

They come to the quarter-stretch in the last mile at 
supernatural speed : the spectators rise on their toes and 
shout: two shadows pass them like the shadows of dart 
ing hawks : the mare barely saves her distance, and the 
Arabian has triumphed. 

If we could not describe the excitement after the second 
heat, what possibility is there that we could convey an 
idea of the raging and surging pandemonium which the 
crowd now came to resemble ? Furious cries, shouts, 
curses, applause, laughter, and the rattle of coin leaving 
unwilling hands, are some of the sounds. But here we 
must give up : as no mere pen can describe the raging of 
a great mass of water lashed by an angry wind into foam 
and whistling spray and muttering waves, which rise and 
fall and crash incessantly, so we cannot trace the outline 
of the wildly-excited crowd. 

The captain wipes Selim's neck with his white handker 
chief, and the panting animal raises his head and whin 
nies. 

"See, gentlemen !" says the soldier, laughing, while Mr. 
Howard scowls proudly at him, " morbleu ! my horse is 
merely a little warm. just come to his speed! Why did 
I not stake my whole fortune on him ?" 

And, uttering this preposterous jest, the soldier caresses 
Selim, who manifests much pleasure thereat; and, send 
ing him back to the stable, mounts his horse and goes and 
claims his wager from the mortified Henrietta. She takes 
off the gloves and hands them to him, with the ribbon- 
knot, which she detaches from her girdle with a jerk 
betraying no slight ill-humor. 

"There, sir! at least I am honest, and pay my just 
debts !" she says : " but please leave my curl." 



448 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HTGGINSON 

The captain folds up the gloves, wraps them in the rib 
bon, and places the whole in the pocket of his surtout. 

"Leave the curl?" he says, laughing. "Oh, of course! 
But I assure you, my dear Ma'm'selle Henrietta, that my 
liberality is only for the moment. I shall claim it some 
day or other. All is fair in war and love I" 

With which words the captain laughs louder than he 
was ever known to laugh before. 



A LETTER TO A DYSPEPTIC. 

T. W. HIGGINSON. 

YES, my dear Dolorosus, I commiserate you. I regard 
your case, perhaps, with even sadder emotion than that ex 
cellent family-physician who has been sounding its depths 
these four years with a golden plummet and has never yet 
touched bottom. From those generous confidences which, 
in common with most of your personal acquaintances, I 
daily share, I am satisfied that no description can do jus 
tice to your physical disintegration, unless it be the wreck 
of matter and the crush of worlds with which Mr. Addi- 
son winds up Cato's Soliloquy. So far as I can ascertain, 
there is not an organ of your internal structure which is 
in its right place at present, or which could perform any 
particular service if it were there. In the extensive 
library of medical almanacs and circulars which I find 
daily deposited by travelling agents at my front door, 
among all the agonizing vignettes of diseases which adorn 
their covers, and which Irish Bridget daily studies with 
inexperienced enjoyment in the front entry, there is no 
'case which seems to afford a parallel to yours. I found it 



HIGGINSON] A LETTER TO A DYSPEPTIC. 449 

stated in one of these works, the other day, that there is 
iron enough in the blood of twenty-four men to make a 
broadsword j but I am satisfied that it would be impossible 
to extract enough from the veins of yourself and your 
whole family to construct a crochet-needle for your eldest 
daughter. And I am quite confident that, if all the four 
hundred muscles of your present body were twisted to 
gether by a rope-maker, they would not furnish that 
patient young laborer with a needleful of thread. 

You are undoubtedly, as you claim, a martyr to Dys 
pepsia ; or, if you prefer any other technical name for 
your disease or diseases, I will acquiesce in any, except, 
perhaps, the word " Neurology," which I must regard as 
foreign to etymological science, if not to medical. Your 
case, you think, is hard. I should think it would be. Yet 
I am impressed by it, I must admit, as was our adopted 
fellow-citizen by the contemplation of Niagara. He, you 
remember, when pressed to admire the eternal plunge of 
the falling water, could only inquire, with serene acquies 
cence in natural laws, "And what's to hinder?" I confess 
myself moved to similar reflections by your disease and 
its history. My dear Dolorosus, can you acquaint me with 
any reason, in the heavens above or on the earth beneath, 
why you should not have dyspepsia ? 

My thoughts involuntarily wander back to that golden 
period, five years ago, when I spent one night and one 
day beneath your hospitable roof. I arrived, I remember, 
late in the evening. The bedroom to which you kindly 
conducted me, after a light but wholesome supper of 
doughnuts and cheese, was pleasing in respect to furni 
ture, but questionable in regard to physiology. The 
house was not more than twenty years old, and the 
chamber must therefore have been aired within that 
distance of time, but not, I should have judged, more 

38* 



450 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HIGGINSON 

recently. Perhaps its close, oppressive atmosphere could 
not have been analyzed into as many separate odors as 
Coleridge distinguished in Cologne, but I could easily 
identify aromatic vinegar, damp straw, lemons, and dyed 
silk gowns. And, as each of the windows was carefully 
nailed down, there were no obvious means of obtaining 
fresh air, save that ventilator said to be used by an emi 
nent lady in railway-cars, the human elbow. The lower 
bed was of straw, the upper of feathers, whose extreme 
heat kept me awake for a portion of the night, and whose 
abundant fluffy exhalations suggested incipient asthma 
during another portion. On rising from these rather 
unrefreshing slumbers, I performed my morning ablutions 
with the aid of some three teacupsful of dusty water, 
for the pitcher probably held that quantity, availing 
myself, also, of something which hung over an elegant 
towel-horse, and which, though I at first took it for a 
child's handkerchief, proved on inspection to be " Chamber 
Towel No. 1." 

I remember, as I entered the breakfast-room, a vague 
steam as of frying sausages, which, creeping in from the 
neighboring kitchen, obscured in some degree the five 
white faces of your wife and children. The breakfast- 
table was amply covered, for you were always what is 
termed by judicious housewives " a good provider." I 
remember how the beefsteak (for the sausages were es 
pecially destined for your two youngest Dolorosi, who 
were just recovering from the measles, and needed some 
thing light and palatable) vanished in large rectangular 
masses within your throat, drawn downward in a mael 
strom of coffee ; only that the original whirlpool is, I 
believe, now proved to have been imaginary ; " that cup 
was a ficticn, but this is reality." The resources of the 
house also afforded certain very hot biscuits or bread- 



HIGGINSON] A LETTER TO A DYSPEPTIC. 451 

cakes, in a high state of saleratus ; indeed, it must have 
been from some association with these that certain yellow 
streaks in Mr. Buskin's drawing of the rock, at the Athe 
naeum, awakened in me such an immediate sense of indi 
gestion ; also fried potatoes, baked beans, mince-pie, and 
pickles. The children partook of these dainties largely, 
but without undue waste of time. They lingered at table 
precisely eight minutes before setting out for school ; 
though we, absorbed in conversation, remained at least 
ten ; after which we instantly hastened to your counting- 
room, where you, without a moment's delay, absorbed 
yourself in your ledger, while I flirted languidly with the 
" Daily Advertiser." 

You bent over your desk the whole morning, occasion 
ally having anxious consultations with certain sickly men 
whom I supposed to be superannuated book-keepers, in 
impoverished circumstances, and rather pallid from the 
want of nutritious food. One of them, dressed in rusty 
black, with a flabby white neck-cloth, I took for an ex- 
clergyman ; he was absorbed in the last number of the 
" Independent," though I observed, at length, that he was 
only studying the list of failures, a department to which, 
as it struck me, he himself peculiarly appertained. All 
of these, I afterwards ascertained from your office-boy, 
were eminent capitalists : something had gone wrong in 
the market, not in the meat-market, as I should have 
supposed from their appearance, but in the money-mar 
ket. I believe that there was some sudden fall in the 
price of indigo. I know you looked exceedingly blue as 
we walked home to dinner. 

Dinner was ready the instant we opened the front door. 
I expected as much ; I knew the pale, speechless woman 
who sat at the head of your table would make sure of 
punctuality, if she died for it. We took our seats without 



452 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HIGGINSON 

a word. Your eldest girl, Angelina, aged ten, one of those 
premature little grown women who have learned from the 
cradle that man is born to eat pastry and woman to make 
it, postponed her small repast till an indefinite future, and 
sat meekly ready to attend upon our wants. Nathaniel, a 
thin boy of eight, also partook but slightly, having im 
paired his appetite, his mother suspected, by a copious 
luncheon of cold baked beans and vinegar on his return 
from school. The two youngest (twins) had relapsed to 
their couches soon after breakfast, in consequence of excess 
of sausage. 

You were quite agreeable in conversation, I remember, 
after the first onset of appetite was checked. You gave 
me your whole theory of the indigo crisis, with minute 
details, statistical and geographical, of the financial con 
dition and supposed present location of your principal 
absconding creditors. This served for what is called, at 
public dinners, the intellectual feast; while the carnal 
appetite was satisfied with fried pork, more and tougher 
beefsteak, strong coffee, cucumbers, potatoes, and a good 
deal of gravy. For dessert (at which point Nathaniel 
regained his appetite) we had mince-pie, apple-pie, and 
lemon-pie, the latter being a structure of a two-story 
description, an additional staging of crust being somehow 
inserted between upper and under. We lingered long at 
that noon meal, fifteen minutes, at the very least; for 
you hospitably said that you did not have these little 
social festivals very often, owing to frequent illness in 
the family, and other causes, and must make the most 
of it. 

I did not see much of you during that afternoon : it was 
a magnificent day. and I said that, being a visitor, I would 
look about and see the new buildings. The trutb is, I felt 
a sneaking desire to witness the match-game on the Com- 



HIQGTNSON] A LETTER TO A DYSPEPTIC. 453 

mon. between the Union Base-Ball Club, No. 1, of Ward 
Eleven, and the Excelsiors of Smithville. I remember 
that you looked a little dissatisfied, when I came into the 
counting-room, and rather shook your head over my nar 
rative (perhaps too impassioned) of the events of the 
game. " Those young fellows," said you, " may not all be 
shiftless, dissipated characters yet, but see what it comes 
to ! They ain't content with wasting their time, they 
kill it, sir, actually kill it !" When I thought of the manly 
figures and handsome eager faces of my friends of the 
"Union" and the "Excelsior," the Excelsiors won by 
ten tallies, I should say, the return match to come off 
at Smithville the next month, and then looked at the 
meagre form and wan countenance of their critic, I 
thought to myself, " Dolorosus, my boy, you are killing 
something besides time, if you only knew it." 

However, indigo had risen again, and your spirits also. 
As we walked home, you gave me a precise exhibit of your 
income and expenditures for the last five years, and a pros 
pective sketch of the same for the next ten ; winding up with 
an incidental delineation of the importance, to a man of 
business, of a good pew in some respectable place of worship. 
We found Mrs. D., as usual, ready at the table ; we partook 
of pound-cake (or pound-and-a-half, I should say) and sun 
dry hot cups of a very Cisatlantic beverage, called by the 
Chinese epithet of tea, and went, immediately after, to a 
prayer-meeting. The church or chapel was much crowded, 
and there was a certain something in the atmosphere which 
seemed to disqualify my faculties from comprehending a 
single word that was spoken. It certainly was not that the 
ventilators were closed, for there were none. The minister 
occasionally requested that the windows might be let down 
a little, and the deacons invariably closed them again when 
he looked the other way. At intervals, females were car 



454 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

ried out, in a motionless condition, not, as it appeared, 
from conviction of sin, but from faintness. You sat, ab 
sorbed in thought, with your eyes closed, and seemed not 
to observe them. I remember that you were very much 
shocked when I suggested that the breath of an average 
sinner exhausted atmospheric air at the rate of a hogs 
head an hour, and asked you how much allowance the laws 
of the universe made for the lungs of church-members. I 
do not recall your precise words, but I remember that I 
finally found it expedient, as I was to leave for home in 
the early train, to spend that night at a neighboring hotel, 
where I indulged, on an excellent mattress, in a slumber so 
profound that it seemed next morning as if I ought, as 
Dick Swiveller suggested to the single gentleman, to pay 
for a double-bedded room. 

Well, that is all over now. You have given up busi 
ness, from ill health, and exhibit a ripe old age, possibly a 
little overripe, at thirty-five. Your dreams of the forth 
coming ten years have not been exactly fulfilled ; you have 
not precisely retired on a competency, because the com 
petency retired from you. Indeed, the suddenness with 
which your physician compelled you to close up your 
business left it closed rather imperfectly, so that most of 
the profits are found to have leaked out. You are econo 
mizing rather strictly, just now, in respect to everything 
but doctors' bills. The maternal Dolorosa is boarding 
somewhere in the country, where the children certainly 
will not have more indigestible food than they had at 
home, and may get less of it in quantity, to say nothing 
of more air and exercise to aid digestion. They are not, 
however, in perfect condition. The twins are just getting 
up from scarlet fever ; Nathaniel has been advised to leave 
school for a time; and something is thought to be the 
matter with Angelina's back. Meanwhile, you are haunt- 



HIGQINSON] A LETTER TO A DYSPEPTIC. 455 

ing water-cures, experimenting on life-pills, holding private 
conferences with medical electricians, and thinking of a 
trip to the Bermudas. 

You are learning, through all this, the sagest maxims 
of resignation, and trying to apply them. "Life is hard, 
but short," you say ; " Providence is inscrutable ; we must 
submit to its mysterious decrees." Would it not be bet 
ter, my dear Dolorosus, to say instead, " Life is noble and 
immortal; God is good; we must obey his plain laws, or 
accept the beneficent penalties" ? The rise and fall of 
health are no more accidental than the rise and fall of 
indigo ; and it is the duty of those concerned in either 
commodity to keep their eyes open, and learn the business 
intelligently. Of the three proverbial desiderata, it is as 
easy to be healthy as to be wealthy, and much easier than 
to be wise, except so far as health and wisdom mean the 
same thing. After health, indeed, the other necessaries 
of life are very simple, and easily obtained : with moderate 
desires, regular employment, a loving home, correct the 
ology, the right politics, and a year's subscription to the 
"Atlantic Monthly," I have no doubt that life, in this 
planet, may be as happy as in any other of the solar 
system, not excepting Neptune and the fifty-five aster 
oids. . . . 

Who can describe the unspeakable refreshment for an 
overworked brain, of laying aside all cares and surrender 
ing one's self to simple bodily activity? Laying them 
aside ! I retract the expression ; they slip off unnoticed. ' 
You cannot embark care in your wherry ; there is no room 
for the odious freight. Care refuses to sit behind the 
horseman, despite the Latin sentence ; you leave it among 
your garments when you plunge into the river, it rolls 
away from the rolling cricket-ball, the first whirl in the 
gymnasium disposes of it, and you are left free, as boys 



456 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HTGQINRON 

and birds are free. If athletic amusements did nothing 
for the body, they would still be medicine for the soul. 
Nay, it is Plato who says that exercise will almost cure a 
guilty conscience ; and can we be indifferent to this, my 
fello w- sinner ? 

Why will you persist in urging that you " cannot afford" 
these indulgences, as you call them? They are not in 
dulgences, they are necessaries. Charge them, in your 
private account- book, under the heads of food aud cloth 
ing, and as a substitute for your present enormous items 
under the head of medicine. O mistaken economist ! can 
you afford the cessation of labor and the ceaseless drug 
ging and douching of your last few years ? Did not all 
your large experience in the retail business teach you the 
comparative value of the ounce of prevention and the 
pound of cure ? Are not fresh air and cold water to be 
had cheap ? and is not good bread less costly than cake 
and pies? Is not the gymnasium a more economical in 
stitution than the hospital ? and is not a pair of skates a 
good investment, if it aids you to elude the grasp of the 
apothecary? Is the cow Pepsin, on the whole, a more 
frugal hobby to ride than a good saddle-horse ? Besides, 
if you insist upon pecuniary economy, do begin by econo 
mizing on the exercise which you pay others for taking 
in your stead, on the corn and pears which you buy in 
the market, instead of removing to a suburban house and 
raising them yourself, and in the reluctant silver you 
pay the Irishman who splits your wood. Or if, suddenly 
reversing your line of argument, you plead that this would 
impoverish the Irishman, you can at least treat him as 
you do the organ-grinder, and pay him an extra fee to go 
on to your next neighbor. 

Dolorosus, there is something very noble, if you could 
but discover it, in a perfect human body. In spite of all 



HIGGINSON] A LETTER TO A DYSPEPTIC. 457 

our bemoaning, the physical structure of man displays its 
due power and beauty when we consent to give it a fair 
chance. On the cheek of every healthy child that plays 
in the street, though clouded by all the dirt that ever in- 
crusted a young O'Brien or M'Cafferty, there is a glory 
of color such as no artist ever painted. I can take you 
to-morrow into a circus or a gymnasium, and show you 
limbs and attitudes which are worth more study than the 
Apollo or the Antinoiis, because they are life, not marble. 
How noble were Horatio Greenough's meditations in pres 
ence of the despised circus-rider ! " I worship, when I see 
this brittle form borne at full speed on the back of a fiery 
horse, yet dancing as on the quiet ground, and smiling in 
conscious safety." . . . 

Do not think me heartless for what I say, or assume 
that, because I happen to be healthy myself, I have no 
mercy for ill health in others. There are invalids who 
are objects of sympathy indeed, guiltless heirs of ancestral 
disease, or victims of parental folly or sin, those whose 
lives are early blighted by maladies that seem as causeless 
as they are cureless, or those with whom the world has 
dealt so cruelly that all their delicate nature is like sweet 
bells jangled, or those whose powers of life are all ex 
hausted by unnoticed labors and unseen cares, or those 
prematurely old with duties and dangers, heroes of thought 
and action, whose very names evoke the passion and the 
pride of a hundred thousand hearts. There is a tottering 
feebleness of old age, also, nobler than any prime of 
strength ; we all know aged men who are floating on, in 
stately serenity, towards their last harbor, like Turner's 
Old Temeraire, with quiet tides around them, and the 
blessed sunset bathing in loveliness all their dying day. 
Let human love do its gracious work upon all these ; let 
angelic hands of women wait upon their lightest needs, 
iv. u 39 



458 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [IRVING 

and every voice of salutation be tuned to such a sweet 
ness as if it whispered beside a dying mother's bed. 

But you, Dolorosus, you, to whom God gave youth and 
health, and who might have kept them, the one long and 
the other perchance always, but who never loved them, 
nor reverenced them, nor cherished them, only coined them 
into money till they were all gone, and even the ill-gotten 
treasure fell from your debilitated hands, you, who 
shunned the sunshine as if it were sin, and called all in 
nocent recreation time wasted, you, who stayed under 
ground in your gold-mine, like the sightless fishes of the 
Mammoth Cave, till you were as blind and unjoyous as 
they, what plea have you to make, what shelter to 
claim, except that charity which suffereth long and is 
kind? We will strive not to withhold it: while there is 
life there is hope. At forty, it is said, every man is a fool 
or a physician. We will wait and see which vocation you 
select as your own, for the broken remnant of your days. 



COLUMBUS AT BARCELONA. 

WASHINGTON IRVING. 

THE letter of Columbus to the Spanish monarchs had 
produced the greatest sensation at court. The event he 
announced was considered the most extraordinary of their 
prosperous reign, and, following so close upon the con 
quest of Granada, was pronounced a signal mark of divine 
favor for that triumph achieved in the cause of the true 
faith. The sovereigns themselves were for a time daz 
zled by this sudden and easy acquisition of a new empire, 
of indefinite extent and apparently boundless wealth ; and 



IRVING] COLUMBUS AT BARCELONA. 459 

their first idea was to secure it beyond the reach of dis 
pute. Shortly after his arrival in Seville, Columbus 
received a letter from them expressing their great de 
light, and requesting him to repair immediately to court, 
to concert plans for a second and more extensive expedi 
tion. As the summer, the time favorable for a voyage, 
was approaching, they desired him to make any arrange 
ments at Seville or elsewhere that might hasten the 
expedition, and to inform them, by the return of the 
courier, what was to be done on their part. This letter 
was addressed to him by the title of " Don Christopher 
Columbus, our Admiral of the ocean sea, and Viceroy 
and Governor of the islands discovered in the Indies ;" at 
the same time he was promised still further rewards. 
Columbus lost no time in complying with the commands 
of the sovereigns. He sent a memorandum of the ships, 
men, and munitions requisite, and, having made such dis 
positions at Seville as circumstances permitted, set out 
for Barcelona, taking with him the six Indians, and the 
various curiosities and productions brought from the New 
World. 

The fame of his discovery had resounded throughout 
the nation, and, as his route lay through several of the 
finest and most populous provinces of Spain, his journey 
appeared like the progress of a sovereign. Wherever he 
passed, the country poured forth its inhabitants, who 
lined the road and thronged the villages. The streets, 
windows, and balconies of the towns were filled with 
eager spectators, who rent the air with acclamations. 
His journey was continually impeded by the multitude 
pressing to gain a sight of him and of the Indians, who 
were regarded with as much astonishment as if they had 
been natives of another planet. It was impossible to 
satisfy the craving curiosity which assailed himself and 



460 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [IRVING 

his attendants at every stage with innumerable ques 
tions; popular rumor, as usual, had exaggerated the 
truth, and had filled the newly-found country with all 
kinds of wonders. 

About the middle of April Columbus arrived at Bar 
celona, where every preparation had been made to give 
him a solemn and magnificent reception. The beauty and 
serenity of the weather in that genial season and favored 
climate contributed to give splendor to this memorable 
ceremony. As he drew near the place, many of the more 
youthful courtiers and hidalgos, together with a vast con 
course of the populace, came forth to meet and welcome 
him. His entrance into this noble city has been compared 
to one of those triumphs which the Eomans were accus 
tomed to decree to conquerors. First were paraded the 
Indians, painted according to their savage fashion, and 
decorated with their national ornaments of gold; after 
these were borne various kinds of live parrots, together 
with stuffed birds and animals of unknown species, and 
rare plants supposed to be of precious qualities ; while 
great care was taken to make a conspicuous display of 
Indian coronets, bracelets, and other decorations of gold, 
which might give an idea of the wealth of the newly-dis 
covered regions. After this followed Columbus on horse 
back, surrounded by a brilliant cavalcade of Spanish 
chivalry. The streets were almost impassable from the 
countless multitude; the windows and balconies were 
crowded with the fair ; the very roofs were covered with 
spectators. It seemed as if the public eye could not be 
sated with gazing on these trophies of an unknown world, 
or on the remarkable man by whom it had been discov 
ered. There was a sublimity in this event that mingled 
a solemn feeling with the public joy. It was looked upon 
as a vast and signal dispensation of Providence in reward 



IRVING] COLUMBUS AT BARCELONA. 461 

for the piety of the monarchs ; and the majestic and 
venerable appearance of the discoverer, so different from 
the youth and buoyancy generally expected from roving 
enterprise, seemed in harmony with the grandeur and 
dignity of his achievement. 

To receive him with suitable pomp and distinction, the 
sovereigns had ordered their throne to be placed in public, 
\inder a rich canopy of brocade of gold, in a vast and 
splendid saloon. Here the king and queen awaited his 
arrival, seated in state, with the Prince Juan beside them, 
and attended by the dignitaries of their court, and the 
principal nobility of Castile, Valencia, Catalonia, and 
Aragon, all impatient to behold the man who had con 
ferred so incalculable a benefit upon the nation. At 
length Columbus entered the hall, surrounded by a bril 
liant crowd of cavaliers, among whom, says Las Casas, he 
was conspicuous for his stately and commanding person, 
which, with his countenance rendered venerable by his 
gray hairs, gave him the august appearance of a senator 
of Rome. A modest smile lighted up his features, show 
ing that he enjoyed the state and glory in which he came , 
and certainly nothing could be more deeply moving to a 
mind inflamed by noble ambition, and conscious of having 
greatly deserved, than these testimonials of the admira 
tion and gratitude of a nation, or rather of a world. As 
Columbus approached, the sovereigns rose, as if receiving 
a person of the highest rank. Bending his knees, he 
offered to kiss their hands ; but there was some hesitation 
on their part to permit this act of homage. Raising him 
in the most gracious manner, they ordered him to seat 
himself in their presence ; a rare honor in this proud and 
punctilious court. 

At their request, he now gave an account of the most 
striking events of his voyage, and a description of the 
iv. 39* 



462 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [IRVING 

islands discovered. He displayed specimens of unknown 
birds and other animals ; of rare plants of medicinal and 
aromatic virtues ; of native gold in dust, in crude masses, 
or labored into barbaric ornaments; and, above all, the 
natives of these countries, who were objects of intense 
and inexhaustible interest. All these he pronounced mere 
harbingers of greater discoveries yet to be made, which 
would add realms of incalculable wealth to the dominions 
of their majesties, and whole nations of proselytes to the 
true faith. 

When he had finished, the sovereigns sank on their 
knees, and, raising their clasped hands to heaven, their 
eyes filled with tears of joy and gratitude, poured forth 
thanks and praises to God for so great a providence ; all 
present followed their example ; a deep and solemn en 
thusiasm pervaded that splendid assembly, and prevented 
all common acclamations of triumph. The anthem Te 
Deum laudamus, chanted by the choir of the royal chapel, 
with the accompaniment of instruments, rose in full body 
of sacred harmony, bearing up as it were the feelings and 
thoughts of the auditors to heaven, " so that," says the 
venerable Las Casas, "it seemed as if in that hour they 
communicated with celestial delights." Such was the 
solemn and pious manner in which the brilliant court of 
Spain celebrated this sublime event ; offering up a grateful 
tribute of melody and praise, and giving glory to God for 
the discovery of another world. 



HALLECK] MARCO BOZZARIS. 463 

MARCO BOZZARIS. 

FITZ-GREENE HALLECK. 

[Fitz-Greene Halleck was born in Connecticut in 1790. On his 
mother's side he was descended from John Eliot, the "Apostle of the 
Indians. ' ' For many years he was employed as a clerk by John Jacob 
Astor. His later years were mainly passed in his native town of 
Guilford, where he died in 1867. Mr. Halleck attained a high repu 
tation among the older rank of American poets for the grace and 
sweetness of his diction, and the occasional vivid energy of his verses. 
"We quote the poem of " Marco Bozzaris," whose force and spirit place 
it among the finest of martial lyrics. His poetical tribute to the 
memory of Burns is a beautiful production. His longest poem, 
"Fanny," a satire, was exceedingly popular in its day, and passed 
through many editions.] 

AT midnight, in his guarded tent, 

The Turk was dreaming of the hour 
When Greece, her knee in suppliance bent, 

Should tremble at his power : 
In dreams, through camp and court, he bore 
The trophies of a conqueror ; 

In dreams, his song of triumph heard ; 
Then wore his monarch's signet ring, 
Then pressed that monarch's throne a king ; 
As wild his thoughts, and gay of wing, 

As Eden's garden bird. 

At midnight, in the forest shades, 

Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band, 
True as the steel of their tried blades, 

Heroes in heart and hand. 
There had the Persian's thousands stood, 
There had the glad earth drunk their blood, 



464 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HALLECR 

On old Platsea's day ; 
And now there breathed that haunted air 
The sons of sires who conquered there, 
With arm to strike, and soul to dare, 

As quick, as far, as they. 

An hour passed on the Turk awoke ; 

That bright dream was his last ; 
He woke to hear his sentries shriek, 
" To arms ! they come ! the Greek ! the Greek !" 
He woke to die 'midst flame, and smoke, 
And shout, and groan, and sabre-stroke, 

And death-shots falling thick and fast 
As lightnings from the mountain-cloud ; 
And heard, with voice as trumpet loud, 

Bozzaris cheer his band : 
" Strike till the last armed foe expires ; 
Strike for your altars and your fires ; 
Strike for the green graves of your sires, 

God, and your native land !" 

They fought, like brave men, long and well ; 

They piled that ground with Moslem slain ; 
. They conquered but Bozzaris fell, 

Bleeding at every vein. 
His few surviving comrades saw 
His smile when rang their proud hurrah, 

And the red field was won ; 
Then saw in death his eyelids close 
Calmly, as to a night's repose, 

Like flowers at set of sun. 

Come to the bridal chamber, Death, 
Come to the mother's, when she feels, 



HALLECK] MARCO BOZZARIS. 465 

For the first time, her first-born's breath ; 

Come when the blessed seals 
That close the pestilence are broke, 
And crowded cities wail its stroke; 
Come in consumption's ghastly form, 
The earthquake shock, the ocean storm ; 
Come when the heart beats high and warm, 

"With banquet-song, and dance, and wine ; 
And thou art terrible the tear, 
The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier, 
And all we know, or dream, or fear 

Of agony, are thine. 

But to the hero, when his sword 

Has won the battle for the free, 
Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word, 
And in its hollow tones are heard 

The thanks of millions yet to be. 
Come, when his task of fame is wrought 
Come, with her laurel-leaf, blood-bought 

Come, in her crowning hour and then 
Thy sunken eye's unearthly light 
To him is welcome as the sight 

Of sky and stars to prisoned men ; 
Thy grasp is welcome as the hand 
Of brother in a foreign land ; 
Thy summons welcome as the cry 
That told the Indian isles were nigh 

To the world-seeking Genoese, 
When the land-wind, from woods of palm, 
And orange-groves, and fields of balm, 

Blew o'er the Haytian seas. 

Bozzaris ! with the storied brave, 

Greece nurtured in her glory's time, 
iv. ee 



466 BE ST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HALLBCK 

Eest thee there is no prouder grave, 

Even in her own proud clime. 
She wore no funeral weeds for thee, 

Nor bade the dark hearse wave its plume, 
Like torn branch from death's leafless tree, 
In sorrow's pomp and pageantry, 

The heartless luxury of the tomb. 
But she remembers thee as one 
Long loved, and for a season gone. 
For thee her poet's lyre is wreathed, 
Her marble wrought, her music breathed ; 
For thee she rings the birthday bells ; 
Of thee her babes' first lisping tells ; 
For thine her evening prayer is said 
At palace couch and cottage bed ; 
Her soldier, closing with the foe, 
Gives for thy sake a deadlier blow ; 
His plighted maiden, when she fears 
For him, the joy of her young years, 
Thinks of thy fate, and checks her tears. 

And she, the mother of thy boys, 
Though in her eye and faded cheek 
Is read the grief she will not speak, 

The memory of her buried joys, 
And even she who gave thee birth, 
Will, by their pilgrim-circled hearth, 

Talk of thy doom without a sigh ; 
For thou art Freedom's now, and Fame's, 
One of the few, the immortal names 

That were not born to die. 



CHAINING] SELF-CULTURE. 467 

SELF-CULTURE. 

WILLIAM ELLEEY CHANNING. 

SELF-CULTURE is practical, for it proposes as one of its 
chief ends to fit us for action, to make us efficient in what 
ever we undertake, to train us to firmness of purpose and 
fruitfulness of resource in common life, and especially in 
emergencies, in times of difficulty, danger, and trial. But, 
passing over this and other topics for which I have no 
time, I shall confine myself to two branches of self-culture 
which have been almost wholly overlooked in the educa 
tion of the people, and which ought not to be so slighted. 

In looking at our nature, we discover, among its admi 
rable endowments, the sense or perception of Beauty. We 
see the germ of this in every human being, and there is no 
power which admits greater cultivation ; and why should 
it not be cherished in all ? It deserves remark, that the 
provision for this principle is infinite in the universe. 
There is but a very minute portion of the creation which 
we can turn into food and clothes, or gratification for the 
body ; but the whole creation may be used to minister to 
the sense of beauty. Beauty is an all-pervading presence. 
It unfolds in the numberless flowers of the spring. It 
waves in the branches of the trees and the green blades 
of grass. It haunts the depths of the earth and sea, and 
gleams out in the hues of the shell and the precious stone. 
^\nd riot only these minute objects, but the ocean, the 
mountains, the clouds, the heavens, the stars, the rising 
and setting sun, all overflow with beauty. The universe 
is its temple ; and those men who are alive to it cannot 
lift their eyes without feeling themselves encompassed 
with it on every side. Now, this beauty is so precious, 
the enjoyments it gives are so refined and pure, so con- 



468 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [CHANNINQ 

genial with our tenderest and noblest feelings, and so akin 
to worship, that it is painful to think of the multitude of 
men as living in the midst of it, and living almost as blind 
to it as if, instead of this fair earth and glorious sky, they 
were tenants of a dungeon. An infinite joy is lost to the 
world by the want of culture of this spiritual endowment. 
Suppose that I were to visit a cottage, and to see its walls 
lined with the choicest pictures of Eaphael, and every 
spare nook filled with statues of the most exquisite work 
manship, and tha't I were to learn that neither man, 
woman, nor child ever cast an eye at these miracles of 
art, how should I feel their privation ! how should I want 
to open their eyes, and to help them to comprehend and 
feel the loveliness and grandeur which in vain courted 
their notice ! But every husbandman is living in sight 
of the works of a diviner Artist ; and how much would his 
existence be elevated, could he see the glory which shines 
forth in their forms, hues, proportions, and moral expres 
sion ! I have spoken only of the beauty of nature, but 
how much of this mysterious charm is found in the ele 
gant arts, and especially in literature! The best books 
have most beauty. The greatest truths are wronged if 
not linked with beauty, and they win their way most 
surely and deeply into the soul when arrayed in this their 
natural and fit attire. Now, no man receives the true cul 
ture of a man, in whom the sensibility to the beautiful is 
not cherished ; and I know of no condition in life from 
which it should be excluded. Of all luxuries this is the 
cheapest and most at hand ; and it seems to me to be most 
important to those conditions where coarse labor tends to 
give a grossness to the mind. From the diffusion of the 
sense of beauty in ancient Greece, and of the taste for 
music in modern Germany, we learn that the people at 
large may partake of refined gratifications, which have 



CHAINING] SELF-CULTURE. 469 

hitherto been, thought to be necessarily restricted to a 
few. 

What beauty is, is a question which the most pene 
trating minds have not satisfactorily answered ; nor, were 
I able, is this the place for discussing it. But one thing 
I would say ; the beauty of the outward creation is inti 
mately related to the lovely, grand, interesting attributes 
of the soul. It is the emblem or expression of these. 
Matter becomes beautiful to us when it seems to lose its 
material aspect, its inertness, finiteness, and grossness, and 
by the ethereal lightness of its forms and motions seems 
to approach spirit ; when it images to us pure and gentle 
affections ; when it spreads out into a vastness which is a 
shadow of the Infinite ; or when in more awful shapes and 
movements it speaks of the Omnipotent. Thus outward 
beauty is akin to something deeper and unseen, is the re 
flection of spiritual attributes; and of consequence, the 
way to see and feel it more and more keenly is to cultivate 
those moral, religious, intellectual, and social principles of 
which I have already spoken, and which are the glory of 
the spiritual nature ; and I name this, that you may see, 
what I am anxious to show, the harmony which subsists 
among all branches of human culture, or how each for 
wards and is aided by all. 

There is another power, which each man should cultivate 
according to his ability, but which is very much neglected 
in the mass of the people, and that is the power of Utter- 
ance. A man was not made to shut up his mind in him 
self, but to give it voice and exchange it for other minds. 
Speech is one of our grand distinctions from the brute. 
Our power over others lies not so much in the amount of 
thought within us, as in the power of bringing it out. A 
man of more than ordinary intellectual vigor may, for 
want of expression, be a cipher, without significance, in 
rv. 40 



470 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LIPPINCOTT 

society. And not only does a man influence others, but he 
greatly aids his own intellect by giving distinct and forci 
ble utterance to his thoughts. We understand ourselves 
better, our conceptions grow clearer, by the very effort to 
make them clearer to another. Our social rank, too, de 
pends a good deal on our power of utterance. The prin 
cipal distinction between what are called gentlemen and 
the vulgar lies in this, that the latter are awkward in 
manners, and are essentially wanting in propriety, clear 
ness, grace, and force of utterance. A. man who cannot 
open his lips without breaking a rule of grammar, without 
showing in his dialect or brogue or uncouth tones his want 
of cultivation, or without darkening his meaning by a con 
fused, unskilful mode of communication, cannot take the 
place to which perhaps his native good sense entitles him. 
To have intercourse with respectable people, we must 
speak their language. On this account, I am glad that 
grammar and a correct pronunciation are taught in the 
common schools of this city. These are not trifles ; nor 
are they superfluous to any class of people. They give a 
man access to social advantages, on which his improvement 
very much depends. 

The power of utterance should be included by all in 
their plans of self-culture. 



THE BATHING OF THE BABY. 

SARA JANE LIPPINCOTT. 

[The writer who, under the pen-name of " Grace Greenwood," be 
came, many years ago, favorably known to the reading public of 
America, is Mrs. Sara J. Lippincott, born in Pompey, New York, in 
1823, and the author of " Greenwood Leaves," " History of My Pets," 



LIPPINCOTT] THE BATHING OF THE BABY. 471 

"Poems," li Kecollections of My Childhood," and many other works, 
including biographies, travels, and tales. In 1853 she was married to 
Leander K. Lippincott, and became editor of a popular juvenile peri 
odical, published in Philadelphia, called The Little Pilgrim. We 
quote from " Records of Five Years" a favorable instance of her de 
scriptive powers, a cheery word-picture of babyhood at its best which 
it would be hard to surpass.] 

" ANNIE ! Sophie ! come up quick, and see baby in her 
bath-tub!" cries a charming little maiden, running down 
the wide stairway of an old country house, and half-way 
up the long hall, all in a fluttering cloud of pink lawn, her 
soft dimpled cheeks tinged with the same lovely morning 
hue. In an instant there is a stir and a gush of light 
laughter in the drawing-room, and presently, with a move 
ment a little more majestic and elder-sisterly, Annie and 
Sophie float noiselessly through the hall and up the soft- 
carpeted ascent, as though borne on their respective clouds 
of blue and white drapery, and take their way to the nur 
sery, where a novel entertainment awaits them. It is the 
first morning of the eldest married sister's first visit home, 
with her first baby, and the first baby, having slept late 
after its journey, is about to take its first bath in the old 
house. 

" Well, I declare, if here isn't mother, forgetting her 
dairy, and Cousin Nellie, too, who must have left poor 
JSTed all to himself in the garden, lonely and disconso 
late, and I am torn from my books, and Sophie from her 
flowers, and all for the sake of seeing a nine-months- 
old baby kicking about in a bath-tub ! What simpletons 
we are !" 

Thus Miss Annie, the proude ladye of the family ; hand 
some, haughty, with perilous proclivities toward grand 
socialistic theories, transcendentalism, and general strong- 
mindedness ; pledged by many a saucy vow to a life of 



472 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

single dignity and freedom, given to studies artistic, 
aesthetic, philosophic, and ethical } a student of Plato, an 
absorber of Emerson, an exalter of her sex, a contemner 
of its natural enemies. 

" Simpletons, are we ?" cries pretty Elinor Lee, aunt of 
the baby on the other side, and " Cousin Nellie" by love's 
courtesy, now kneeling close by the bath-tub, and receiv 
ing on her sunny braids a liberal baptism from the pure, 
plashing hands of babyhood, " simpletons, indeed ! Did 
I not once see thee, O Pallas Athene, standing rapt before 
a copy of the l Crouching Venus'? and this is a sight a 
thousand times more beautiful ; for here we have color, 
action, radiant life, and such grace as the divinest sculp 
tors of Greece were never able to entrance in marble. 
Just look at these white, dimpled shoulders, every dimple 
holding a tiny, sparkling drop, these rosy, plashing feet 
and hands, this laughing, roguish face, these eyes, 
bright and blue and deep as lakes of fairy -land, these ears, 
like dainty sea-shells, these locks of gold, dripping dia 
monds, and tell me what cherub of Titian, what Cupid 
of Greuze, was ever half so lovely. I say, too, that Ea- 
phael himself would have jumped at the chance of paint 
ing Louise, as she sits there, towel in hand, in all the 
serene pride and chastened dignity of young maternity, 
of painting her as Madonna." 

" Why, Cousin Nellie is getting poetical for once, over a 
baby in a bath-tub!" 

" Well, Sophie, isn't it a subject to inspire real poets, to 
call out and yet humble the genius of painters and sculp 
tors? Isn't it an object for the reverence of 'a glorious 
human creature,' such a pure and perfect form of physi 
cal life, such a starry little soul, fresh from the hands of 
God ? If your Plato teaches otherwise, Cousin Annie, 
I'm glad I've no acquaintance with that distinguished 



. LIPPINCOTT] THE BATHING OF THE BABY. 473 

heathen gentleman ; if your Carlyle, with his ' soul above 
buttons' and babies, would growl, and your Emerson smile 
icily at the sight, away with them !" 

" Why, Nellie, you goose, Carlyle is ' a man and a brother,' 
in spite of his l Latter-Day Pamphlets,' and no ogre. I 
believe he is very well disposed toward babies in general ; 
while Emerson is as tender as he is great. Have you for 
gotten his ' Threnody,' in which the sob of a mortal's sor 
row rises and swells into an immortal's psean? I see that 
baby is very lovely ; I think that Louise may well be 
proud of her. It's a pity that she must grow up into con 
ventionalities and all that, perhaps become some man's 
plaything, or slave." 

"Oh, don't, sister ! < sufficient for the day is the worri- 
ment thereof.' But I think you and Nellie are mistaken 
about the pride. I am conscious of no such feeling in re 
gard to my little Florence, but only of joy, gratitude, 
infinite tenderness and solicitude." 

Thus the young mother, for the first time speaking, 
but not turning her eyes from the bath-tub. 

" Ah. coz, it won't go ! Young mothers are the proudest 
of living creatures. The sweetest and saintliest among 
you have a sort of subdued exultation, a meek assumption, 
an adorable insolence, toward the whole unmarried and 
childless world. I have never seen anything like it else 
where." 

" /have, in a bantam Biddy, parading her first brood in 
the hen-yard, or a youthful duck, leading her first little 
downy flock to the water." 

"Ha, blasphemer! are you there?" cries Miss Nellie, 
with a bright smile and a brighter blush. Blasphemer's 
other name is a tolerably good one, Edward Norton, 
though he is oftenest called " our Ned." He is the sole 
male representative of a wealthy old New-England family, 
TV. 40* 



474 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LIPPIXCOTT 

the pride and darling of four pretty sisters, " the only 
son of his mother, and she a widow," who adores him, 
"a likely youth, just twenty-one," handsome, brilliant, 
and standing six feet high in his stockings. Yet, in spite 
of all these unfavorable circumstances, he is a very good 
sort of a fellow. He is just home from the model college 
of the Commonwealth, where he learned to smoke, and, I 
blush to say, has a cigar in hand at this moment, just as 
he has been summoned from the garden by his pet sister, 
Kate, half wild with delight and excitement. "With him 
comes a brother, according to the law, and after the spirit, 
a young, slender, fair-haired man, but with an inde 
scribable something of paternal importance about him. 
He is the other proprietor of baby, and steps forward 
with a laugh and a "Heh, my little water-nymph, my 
Iris !" and, by the bath-tub kneeling, catches a moist kiss 
from smiling baby lips, and a sudden wilting shower on 
shirt-front and collar, from moister baby hands. 

Young collegian pauses on the threshold, essaying the 
look lofty and sarcastic, for a moment. Then his eye 
rests on Nellie Lee's blushing face, on the red, smiling 
lips, the braids of gold, sprinkled w r ith shining drops, 
meets those sweet, shy eyes, and a sudden, mysterious 
feeling, soft and vague and tender, floods his gay young 
heart. He looks at baby again. " Tis a pretty sight, 
upon my word ! Let me throw away my cigar before I 
come nearer: it is incense too profane for such pure rites. 
Now give me a peep at Dian the Less ! How the little 
witch revels in the water! A small Undine. Jolly, 
isn't it, baby ? Why, Louise, I did not know that Floy 
was so lovely, such a perfect little creature. How fair 
she is ! Why. her flesh, where it is not rosy, is of the 
pure, translucent whiteness of a water-lily." 

No response to this tribute, for baby has been in the 






LIPPINCOTT] THE BATHING OF THE BABY. 475 

water more than long enough, and must be taken out, 
willy nilly. Decidedly nilly it proves ; baby proceeds to 
demonstrate that she is not altogether cherubic, by kick 
ing and screaming lustily, and striking out frantically 
with her little dripping hands. But Madonna wraps her 
in soft linen, rolls her and pats her, till she grows good 
and merry again and laughs through her pretty tears. 

But the brief storm has been enough to clear the nur 
sery of all save grandmamma and Auntie Kate, who draw 
nearer to witness the process of drying and dressing. 
Tenderly the mother rubs the dainty, soft skin, till every 
dimple gives up its last hidden droplet ; then, with many 
a kiss, and smile, and coo, she robes the little form in 
fairy-like garments of cambric, lace, flannel, soft as a 
moth's wing, and delicate embroidery. The small, rest 
less feet are caught and encased in comical little hose, and 
shod with Titania's own slippers. Then the light golden 
locks are brushed and twined into tendril-like curls, and, 
lo ! the beautiful labor of love is finished. Baby is bathed 
and dressed for the day. 

" Well, she is a beauty ! I don't wonder you and Charles 
are proud of her. Oh, Louise, if your father could have 
seen her ! She is very like our first baby, the one we lost, 
at nearly yes, just about her age." Here grandmamma 
goes out, tearful, having sped unconscious her Parthian 
shaft; while, with a quick sob, which is neither for the 
father long dead nor the sister never known, the young 
mother clasps her treasure closer, and murmurs, " Oh, my 
darling, my love, my sweetest, sweetest one ! stay with 
rne always, always ! Oh, I would that I could guard and 
shield you from every pain, every grief, make your sweet 
life all beauty, love, and joy !" 

Baby hardly understands this burst of sensibility, but 
the passionate embrace reminds her of something. Sho 



476 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [LIPPINCOTT 

asks and receives. Like a bee on a lily-flower, she clings 
to the fair, sweet breast, murmuring contentedly now and 
then. Presently the gurgling draughts grow less eager, 
the little hands cease to wander restlessly over the smooth, 
unmantled neck. , The little head is thrown back, the 
blue eyes look with a satisfied smile into the brooding 
mother-face. 

Next, her lips all moist with the white nectar, baby is 
given, with many an anxious injunction, into the eager 
arms of Auntie Kate, wbo, followed by a supernumerary 
nurse, bears her in triumph down hall and stairway, and 
out into a garden all glorious and odorous with a thousand 
roses. 

Here, on a shawl, gay-colored and soft, spread on the 
grass, under an acacia-tree, the little Queen of Hearts is 
deposited at last. Here she rolls and tumbles, and sends 
out shrill, sweet peals of laughter, as auntie and nurse 
pelt her with rose-buds and clover-tufts. Sometimes an 
adventurous spirit seizes her; she creeps energetically 
beyond shawl-bounds, her little province of Cashmere, 
makes a raid into the tall, inviting grass, clutches ruth 
lessly at buttercups, breaks into nunneries of pale pansies, 
and decapitates whole families of daisies at a grasp. 
Sometimes, tired of predatory incursions, she lies on her 
back, and listens in a luxurious, lazy ecstasy to the gush 
of the fountain and the song of the robin, or watches 
the golden butterflies, coming from and going to nobody 
knows where, as though they had suddenly bloomed out 
of the sunshine and died away into it again. 

Away down the garden, in the woodbine arbor, by the 
little brook, sit the young collegian and fair Nellie Lee, 
talking very low, but very earnestly, on a subject vastly 
interesting to them, doubtless, for they seem to have quite 
forgotten baby. Yet her presence in the garden hallowa 



LIPPINCOTT] THE BATHING OF THE BABY. 477 

the very air for them, gives a new joy and beauty to life, 
new sweetness to love. 

The golden summer morning wears on. Papa is away 
with his fishing-rod; mamma sits at a window overlook 
ing the garden, embroidering a dainty little robe, and 
under her cunning fingers the love of her heart and a 
thousand tender thoughts grow slowly into delicate white 
shapes of leaf and flower; grandmamma is about her 
household duties, the tears of sad memory wiped from 
her eyes, and the light of the Christian's calm hope relit 
therein ; Annie is in the library with Plato, but unusual 
softness lurks about her mouth, and she looks off her book 
now and then, and throws about her a strange, wandering 
glance, dreamy and tender to sadness ; her sisters are in 
the drawing-room at their music, gay as birds ; the lovers 
are we know where ; and baby is still under the acacia 
tree. But the white lids are beginning to droop a little 
heavily over the sweet blue eyes, and she will soon drop 
away into baby dream-land. 

All nature blooms, and shines, and sounds gently and 
lovingly, to humor her delicate senses ; human love the 
richest and tenderest is round about her, within reach of 
her imperious little voice. God breathes himself into her 
little heart through all things, love, light, food, sunshine, 
fragrance, and soft airs. All is well within and without 
the child, as all should be for all children under the sun ? 
for every sinless, helpless little immortal, the like of whom 
Christ the Lord took into his tender arms and blessed, 
But how is it, dainty baby Floy, with thousands of thy 
brothers and sisters, as lovely and innocent as thou ? Are 
there not such, to whom human love and care is denied, 
to whom nature seems unkind, of whom God seems for 
getful, for whom even Christ's blessing is made of no 
avail ? 



478 BEST AMERICAN A VTHQRS. [PRESCOTI 

THE PALACES AND TEMPLES OF THE INCAS. 

W. H. PKESCOTT. 

[The story told by the conquerors of Peru of the riches and wonders 
of the empire of the Incas reads almost like a fairy-tale, and is diffi 
cult to credit in all its details, even under the concurrent testimony 
of various eye-witnesses. Prescott's "Conquest of Peru" presents a 
gracefully-written and carefully-sifted digest of these narratives, and 
from this interesting work we extract a description of the lavish adorn 
ments of the temples and palaces of that strange realm. The " story 
teller" of the " Arabian Nights' Entertainments" has hardly exceeded 
in his imaginative fiction the tale of marvels which is given us here as 
sober history.] 

THE royal palaces were on a magnificent scale, and, far 
from being confined to the capital or a few principal towns, 
were scattered over all the provinces of their vast empire. 
The buildings were low, but covered a wide extent of 
ground. Some of the apartments were spacious, but they 
were generally small, and had no communication with one 
another, except that tbey opened into a common square or 
court. The walls were made of blocks of stone of various 
sizes, like those described in the fortress of Cuzco, rough- 
hewn, but carefully wrought near the line of junction, 
which was scarcely visible to the eye. The roofs were of 
wood or rushes, which have perished under the rude touch 
of time, that has shown more respect for the walls of the 
edifices. The whole seems to have been characterized by 
solidity and strength, rather than by any attempt at archi 
tectural elegance. 

But whatever want of elegance there may have been in 
the exterior of the imperial dwellings, it was amply com 
pensated by the interior, in which all the opulence of the 
Peruvian princes was ostentatiously displayed. The sides 
of the apartments were thickly studded with gold and 



PRESCOTT] PALACES AND TEMPLES OF THE INCAS. 479 

silver ornaments. Niches, prepared in the walls, were 
filled with images of animals and plants curiously wrought 
of the same costly materials ; and even much of the do 
mestic furniture, including the utensils devoted to the 
most ordinary menial services, displayed the like wanton 
magnificence ! With these gorgeous decorations were 
mingled richly-colored stuffs of the delicate manufacture 
of the Peruvian wool, which were of so beautiful a tex 
ture that the Spanish sovereigns, with all the luxuries 
of Europe and Asia at their command, did not disdain to 
use them. The royal household consisted of a throng of 
menials, supplied by the neighboring towns and villages, 
which, as in Mexico, were bound to furnish the monarch 
with fuel and other necessaries for the consumption of the 
palace. 

But the favorite residence of the Incas was at Yucay, 
about four leagues distant from the capital. In this de 
licious valley, locked up within the friendly arms of the 
sierra, which sheltered it from the rude breezes of the 
east, and refreshed by gushing fountains and streams of 
running water, they built the most beautiful of their pal 
aces. Here, when wearied with the dust and toil of the 
city, they loved to retreat, and solace themselves with the 
society of their favorite concubines, wandering amidst 
groves and airy gardens, that shed around their soft, in 
toxicating odors and lulled the senses to voluptuous re 
pose. Here, too, they loved to indulge in the luxury of 
their baths, replenished by streams of crystal water which 
were conducted through subterraneous silver channels 
into basins of gold. The spacious gardens were stocked 
with numerous varieties of plants and flowers that grew 
without effort in this temperate region of the tropics, while 
parterres of a more extraordinary kind were planted by 
their side, glowing with the various forms of vegetable 



480 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PKESCOTT 

life skilfully imitated in gold and silver! Among them 
the Indian corn, the most beautiful of American grains, is 
particularly commemorated, and the curious workmanship 
is noticed with which the golden ear was half disclosed 
amidst the broad leaves of silver, and the light tassel of 
the same material that floated gracefully from its top. 

If this dazzling picture staggers the faith of the reader, 
he may reflect that the Peruvian mountains teemed with 
gold ; that the natives understood the art of working the 
mines, to a considerable extent ; that none of the ore, as 
we shall see hereafter, was converted into coin, and that 
the whole of it passed into the hands of the sovereign for 
his own exclusive benefit, whether for purposes of utility 
or ornament. Certain it is that no fact is better attested 
by the Conquerors themselves, who had ample means of 
information, and no motive for misstatement. The Italian 
poets, in their gorgeous pictures of the gardens of Alcina 
and Morgana, came nearer the truth than they imagined. 

Our surprise, however, may reasonably be excited when 
we consider that the wealth displayed by the Peruvian 
princes was only that which each had amassed individu 
ally for himself. He owed nothing to inheritance from 
his predecessors. On the decease of an Inca, his palaces 
were abandoned ; all his treasures, except what were em 
ployed in his obsequies, his furniture and apparel, were 
suffered to remain as he left them, and his mansions, save 
one, were closed up forever. The new sovereign was to 
provide himself with eve^thing new for his royal state. 
The reason of this was the popular belief that the soul 
of the departed monarch would return after a time to 
reanimate his body on earth ; and they wished that he 
should find everything to which he had been used in life 
prepared for his reception. 

* * * * ***** 



PRESCOTT] PALACES AND TEMPLES OF THE INC AS. 481 

The worship of the Sun constituted the peculiar care 
of the Incas, and was the object of their lavish expendi 
ture. The most ancient of the many temples dedicated 
to this divinity was in the island of Titicaca, whence the 
royal founders of the Peruvian line were said to have 
proceeded. From this circumstance, this sanctuary was 
held in peculiar veneration. Everything which belonged 
to it, even the broad fields of maize which surrounded the 
temple and formed part of its domain, imbibed a portion 
of its sanctity. The yearly produce was distributed among 
the different public magazines, in small quantities to each, 
as something that would sanctify the remainder of the 
store. Happy was the man who could secure even an ear 
of the blessed harvest for his own granary ! 

But the most renowned of the Peruvian temples, the 
pride of the capital, and the wonder of the empire, was 
at Cuzco. where, under the munificence of successive sov 
ereigns, it had become so enriched that it received the name 
of Coricancha, or " the Place of Gold." It consisted of a 
principal building and several chapels and inferior edifices, 
covering a large extent of ground in the heart of the city, 
and completely encompassed by a wall, which, with the 
edifices, was all constructed of stone. The work was of 
the kind already described in the other public buildings 
of the country, and was so finely executed that a Spaniard 
who saw it in its glory assures us he could call to mind 
only two edifices in Spain which, for their workmanship, 
were at all to be compared with it. Yet this substantial 
and, in some respects, magnificent structure was thatched 
with straw ! 

The interior of the temple was the most worthy of ad 
miration. It was literally a mine of gold. On the west 
ern wall was emblazoned a representation of the deity, 
consisting of a human countenance looking forth from 
IV ._ v" ff 41 



482 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PRESCOTT 

amidst innumerable rays of light, which emanated from it 
in every direction, in the same manner as the sun is often 
personified with us. The figure was engraved on a mas 
sive plate of gold of enormous dimensions, thickly pow 
dered with emeralds and precious stones. It was so situ 
ated in front of the great eastern portal that the rays of 
the morning sun fell directly upon it at its rising, lighting 
up the whole apartment with an effulgence that seemed 
more than natural, and which was reflected back from the 
golden ornaments with which the walls and ceiling were 
everywhere incrusted. Gold, in the figurative language 
of the people, was " the tears wept by the sun," and every 
part of the interior of the temple glowed with burnished 
plates and studs of the precious metal. The cornices 
which surrounded the walls of the sanctuary were of the 
same costly material ; and a broad belt or frieze of gold, 
let into the stone-work, encompassed the whole exterior 
of the edifice. 

Adjoining the principal structure were several chapels 
of smaller dimensions. One of them was consecrated to 
the Moon, the deity held next in reverence, as the mother 
of the Incas. Her effigy was delineated in the same man 
ner as that of the Sun, on a vast plate that nearly covered 
one side of the apartment. But this plate, as well as all 
the decorations of the building, was of silver, as suited 
to the pale, silvery light of the beautiful planet. There 
were three other chapels, one of which was dedicated to 
the host of Stars, who formed the bright court of the 
Sister of the Sun ; another was consecrated to his dread 
ministers of vengeance, the Thunder and the Lightning; 
and a third, to the Rainbow, whose many-colored arch 
spanned the walls of the edifice with hues almost as radi 
ant as its own. There were, besides, several other build 
ings, or insulated apartments, for the accommodation of 



PRESCOTT] PALACES AND TEMPLES OF THE INC AS. 483 

the numerous priests who officiated in the services of the 
temple. 

All the plate, the ornaments, the utensils of every de 
scription appropriated to the uses of religion, were of gold 
or silver. Twelve immense vases of the latter metal stood 
on the floor of the great saloon, filled with grain of the 
Indian corn ; the censers for the perfumes, the ewers 
which held the water for sacrifice, the pipes which con 
ducted it through subterraneous channels into the build 
ings, the reservoirs that received it, even the agricultural 
implements used in the gardens of the temple, were all of 
the same rich materials. The gardens, like those described 
belonging to the royal palaces, sparkled with flowers of 
gold and silver, and various imitations of the vegetable 
kingdom. Animals, also, were to be found there, among 
which the llama, with its golden fleece, was most conspic 
uous, executed in the same style, and with a degree of 
skill which, in this instance, probably, did not surpass the 
excellence of the material. 

If the reader sees in this fairy picture only the romantic 
coloring of some fabulous El Dorado, he must recall what 
has been said before in reference to the palaces of the 
Incas, and consider that these " Houses of the Sun," as 
they were styled, were the common reservoir into which 
flowed all the streams of public and private benefaction 
throughout the empire. Some of the statements, through 
credulity, and others, in the desire .of exciting admiration, 
may be greatly exaggerated ; but in the coincidence of 
contemporary testimony it is not easy to determine the 
exact line which should mark the measure of our scepti 
cism. Certain it is that the glowing picture I have given 
is warranted by those who saw these buildings in their 
pride, or shortly after they had been despoiled by the 
cupidity of their countrymen. Many of the costly articles 



484 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PETERSON 

were buried by the natives, or thrown into the waters of 
the rivers and the lakes ; but enough remained to attest 
the unprecedented opulence of these religious establish 
ments. Such things as were in their nature portable 
were speedily removed, to gratify the craving of the Con 
querors, who even tore away the solid cornices and frieze 
of gold from the great temple, filling the vacant places 
with the cheaper, but since it affords no temptation to 
avarice more durable, material of plaster. Yet even 
thus shorn of their splendor the venerable edifices still 
presented an attraction to the spoiler, who found in their 
dilapidated walls an inexhaustible quarry for the erection 
of other buildings. On the very ground once crowned by 
the gorgeous Coricancha rose the stately church of St. 
Dominic, one of the most magnificent structures of the 
New World. Fields of maize and lucerne now bloom on 
the spot which glowed with the golden gardens of the 
temple ; and the friar chants his orisons within the con 
secrated precincts once occupied by the Children of the 
Sun. 



ODE FOR DECORATION-DAY. 

HENRY PETERSON. 

[Henry Peterson, the author from whom we make our present 
selection, is a native of Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1818. 
For many years he was editor of the Philadelphia Saturday Evening 
Post His published poetical works are " The Modern Job," an 
original and thoughtful production, and the tragedy of "Caesar," a 
finely-conceived dramatic work. He is also the author of " Pember- 
ton," a novel of the Kevolutionary era. The poem we give is a grace- 



PETERSON] ODE FOR DECORATION-DAY. 485 

fully-written tribute to an occasion of growing interest and importance 
to the American people.] 

BRING flowers to strew again 

With fragrant purple rain 

Of lilacs, and of roses white and red, 

The dwellings of our dead, our glorious dead ! 

Let the bells ring a solemn funeral chime, 

And wild war-music bring anew the time 

When they who sleep beneath 

Were full of vigorous breath, 
And in their lusty manhood sallied forth, 

Holding in strong right hand 

The fortunes of the land, 

The pride and power and safety of the North ! 
It seems but yesterday 
The long and proud array 
But yesterday when ev'n the solid rock 
Shook as with earthquake shock, 
As North and South, like two huge icebergs, ground 
Against each other with convulsive bound, 
And the whole world stood still 

To view the mighty war, 

And hear the thunderous roar, 
While sheeted lightnings wrapped each plain and hill. 

Alas ! how few came back 
From battle and from wrack ! 
Alas ! how many lie 
Beneath a Southern sky, 
Who never heard the fearful fight was done, 
And all they fought for won ! 
Sweeter, I think, their sleep, 
More peaceful and more deep, 
iv. 41* 



486 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [PETERSON 

Could they but know their wounds were not in vain, 
Could they but hear the grand triumphal strain, 
And see their homes unmarred by hostile tread. 
Ah I let us trust it is so with our dead, 
That they the thrilling joy of triumph feel, 
And in that joy disdain the foeman's steel. 



We mourn for all, but each doth think of one 

More precious to the heart than aught beside, 
Some father, brother, husband, or some son, 

Who came not back, or, coming, sank and died : 
In him the whole sad list is glorified ! 
" He fell 'fore Richmond, in the seven long days 

When battle raged from morn till blood-dewed eve, 
And lies there," one pale, widowed mourner says, 

And knows not most to triumph or to grieve. 
" My boy fell at Fair Oaks," another sighs ; 
" And mine at Gettysburg," his neighbor cries, 

And that great name each sad-eyed listener thrills. 
I think of one who vanished when the press 
Of battle surged along the Wilderness, 

And mourned the North upon her thousand hills. 

gallant brothers of the generous South, 
Foes for a day, and brothers for all time, 

1 charge you by the memories of our youth, 
By Yorktown's field and Montezuma's clime, 

Hold our dead sacred ; let them quietly rest 

In your unnumbered vales, where God thought best ! 

Your vines and flowers learned long since to forgive, 

And o'er their graves a 'broidered mantle weave ; 

Be you as kind as they are, and the word 

Shall reach the Northland with each summer bird, 



PETERSON] ODE FOR DECORATION-DAY. 487 

And thoughts as sweet as summer shall awake 
Responsive to your kindness, and shall make 
Our peace the peace of brothers once again, 
And banish utterly the days of pain. 

And ye, O Northmen, be ye not outdone 

In generous thought and deed. 
We all do need forgiveness, every one ; 

And they that give shall find it in their need. 
Spare of your flowers to deck the stranger's grave, 

Who died for a lost cause : 
A soul more daring, resolute, and brave 

Ne'er won a world's applause ! 
(A brave man's hatred pauses at the tomb.) 
For him some Southern home was robed in gloom, 
Some wife or mother looked with longing eyes 
Through the sad days and nights with tears and sighs, 
Hope slowly hardening into gaunt Despair. 
Then let your foeman's grave remembrance share . 
Pity a higher charm to Yalor lends, 
And in the realms of Sorrow all are friends. 

Yes, bring fresh flowers and strew the soldier's grave, 

Whether he proudly lies 

Beneath our Northern skies, 

Or where the Southern palms their branches wave I 
Let the bells toll and wild war-music swell, 

And for one day the thought of all the past 

Of all those memories vast 
Come back and haunt us with its mighty spell ! 
Bring flowers, then, once again, 
And strew with fragrant rain 
Of lilacs, and of roses white and red, 
The dwellings of our dead. 



488 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HEYWOOD 

THE METHOD OF HAWTHORNE. 

J. C. HEYWOOD. 

[The following critical analysis of Hawthorne's characteristics as a 
literary artist is from Hey wood's " How they Strike Me, These Authors,' 
comprising a portion of the essay on Hawthorne in that volume. It 
is of interest from its close research into the method by which the 
novelist produces his mystical, and frequently startling, effects.] 

IN one respect only the intellectual power of Hawthorne 
seems to have been unrestrained by any definable limits. 
His vocabulary appears boundless. His thoughts, thor 
oughly elaborated, are presented to the reader in their ut 
most development ; exquisitely shaped, cleanly cut, sharply 
defined, wanting nothing. A reader of very quick intel 
ligence may, indeed, find this perfectness of expression 
somewhat wearisome. He must passively receive the ex 
uberant and wholly matured products of his author, fore 
going the charm of that kind of co-operation which goes 
forward when the reader's reason and imagination are 
called upon in some way to consummate the idea begotten 
in his mind by the writer's words. Slower apprehensions 
and less fruitful fancies, however, obtain only satisfaction 
from Hawthorne's fulness of utterance. In reading all his 
writings, you will perceive not more than one or two 
words that appear like pets, such, for instance, as "im 
mitigable ;" and this rather from its rarity in other places 
than from its frequency here. From this mastery of 
words, this exquisite taste in diction, joined with a keen 
sense of euphony and of dulcet rhythm, comes no small 
part of this author's great reputation. His thoughts, his 
invention, all the operations of his mind, are confined 
within certain limits that can be indicated with sufficient 



HEYWOOD] THE METHOD OF HAWTHORNE. 489 

exactness. One of these boundaries lies outside of the 
ordinary range of actual and visible nature. The other 
is within the sphere of reality, but only comprises so 
much of this as may work, or, as an artist would say, 
compose harmoniously, with what he takes from beyond. 
Or perhaps it would be more exact to allege that he pro 
tracts the actual into the unreal so skilfully that no man 
can discern where was the bourn between the two. Thus 
he produces effects analogous to caricature. Seizing upon 
some salient trait of character, he exaggerates it till it 
becomes the one feature on which the eye rests, and is an 
index of the whole man. He takes care so to mould or 
modify the rest of the figure as to avoid even a suggestion 
of monstrosity, and to preserve so much of natural and 
logical relation between the parts that the individuality 
and consistency of the personage so far as indicated shall 
remain complete. Generally the most exaggerated feat 
ure is the one most distinguished for ugliness, visible 
or invisible to common perceptions. With more than a 
portrait-painter's eye he discriminates this taint, which 
no one even suspected till it was brought into view by his 
firm, delicate, hyperbolic brush. When the figure is com 
pleted it is so conventionally consistent as a whole that 
you are willing to accept it as the genuine man, and to 
reject the other, which has hitherto passed current, as a 
counterfeit. In working up this conventional consistency 
between what was before manifest and what the painter 
has added, idealizing the original after his fashion, Haw 
thorne shows his greatest artistic skill. Judging from this 
alone, you would say he was a consummate artist. This 
part of his work certainly has a kind of resemblance to 
that of Bunyan ; so it has to that of Swift and De Foe. 

It may well be, however, that some parts of a statue 
or of a sculptured group may show the results of exqui- 



490 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HEYWOOD 

Bite manipulation, while tbe whole thing may present 
unshapeliness and incongruities. Whether this author's 
productions, considered in their entirety, are master-works 
of art will be discussed further on. Plainly enough, a 
moral rather than an artistic standard was foremost in his 
mind. By this foremost standard the plans of his person 
ages were laid out ; from it as a base he measured all the 
degrees of divergence while calculating the effect v of fol 
lowing the line of each ; by it he determined the fate of 
all his characters. For characters he composed, men and 
women of a semi-transparent kind, whose true qualities 
are visible, however degraded, perverted, or deformed ; 
who appear as they are, not as they would seem to be. 
Extending beyond what should be fleshly limits, their 
essences form a sort of spiritual atmosphere about them 
which is but a part, a continuation, of themselves ; some 
thing as unsubstantial yet as visible as a penumbra, and 
holding its relation to the thicker shadows which they 
are. For, in a way, the denser portions of them are like 
shades. By making their more material forms appear on 
the debatable ground between substance and shadow, the 
real is more easily and gradually tempered to the unreal, 
and an appearance of homogeneity throughout the whole 
being is effected. 

But do not think that these characters were made simply 
for the artistic pleasure of creating. Impracticable as some 
of them may seem, they were designed for a practical end. 
They are mirrors. Do you not see yourself, or some part 
of yourself, in some one or more of them ? Among the ex 
aggerated features which characterize each, can you not 
discern your own besetting sin drawn out, perhaps mag 
nified ? Do you not observe, as never before, how loath 
some is hypocrisy, for instance? Can you not now per 
ceive, no matter what your blindness hitherto, how in- 



HEY WOOD] THE METHOD OF HAWTHORNE. 491 

evitably any divergence from the moral law leads to 
misery and destruction ? how the first step in a wrong 
way is fatally followed by a second and a third, and so 
on till there is no turning ? Are you not convinced that 
indulgence in devilish passions will make you a kind of 
devil ? make you feel like one, act like one, look like one ? 
and that in the end you will be disappointed, defeated, 
punished like one ? And, lest so much of the lesson b 
not effective enough, look how you shall be laughed at in 
your calamity, and mocked when your fear cometh. Be 
hold Judge Pyncheon, for example. Is he not a worthy 
man? Does he not sit in honorable places? Has he not 
been blessed with wealth and comforts and the respect of 
his kind ? Does he not give alms to beggars, and larger 
donations to fashionable charities ? Is he not condescend 
ing to inferiors, courteous to equals, reverential to supe 
riors ? Has not his smile shone like a noonday sun along 
the streets or glowed like a household fire in the drawing- 
rooms of his private acquaintance ? Is it not a fact that 
" neither clergyman nor legal critic, nor inscriber of tomb 
stones, nor historian of general or local politics, would 
venture a word against this eminent person's sincerity as 
a Christian, or respectability as a man, or integrity as a 
judge, or courage and faithfulness as the often-tried rep 
resentative of his political party"? But we know him 
better than do his townsfolk. We have seen beneath that 
heavy and reputable-looking mask of flesh. We have 
some knowledge of his inmost thoughts, more than we 
shall tell, a part of which we shall insinuate, not over- 
clearly, though, so that we may keep something enig 
matical always before you. Where is the Judge now? 
Within a dingy, darkening room in yonder house with the 
seven gables. Why does he stay there so long ? The time 
appointed for that most important meeting is at hand. 



492 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HEYWOOD 

The crowning of his ambition depends upon his presence 
there. His friends are waiting. Why does he not come 
out ? Why does he sit hour after hour in the huge arm 
chair with his watch in his hand? Why gazes he so 
steadily in the direction of its dial, though the darkness 
long since made it invisible ? Ah ! all this you shall know, 
but rather dimly, by and by. Wait till we shall have 
llughed at him and mocked him and jeered at him and 
reviled him through a whole long chapter of some eigh 
teen octavo pages. There is mystery about his delay, at 
least such mystery as an author can make by exciting 
and not gratifying your curiosity. But while your curi 
osity is active you will be attentive ; and while you are 
attentive we will preach to you, in our own way, however. 
To be sure, our way is somewhat like that of a man whose 
enemy is at last in his power, and who can now safely wag 
his tongue against him. But the sermon is good for all 
that, though Judge Pyncheon has not heard a word of it. 
At any rate, he has not replied, or changed his posture, or 
made a motion even to wipe away the blood-red stain that 
from somewhere has come upon his hitherto immaculate 
bosom. You may think there is a kind of savagery in 
our treatment of this eminent personage ; that our dis 
course, while he is so passively sitting there, better befits 
a barbaric triumph than a Christian pulpit or the tribu 
nal of a moralist. But and now we will partially lift 
the mystery note that, at last, we have got the crim 
inal, hypocritical Judge down ; at any rate he is down. 
He can be hypocritical no more. He is dead; that is all 
there was of it ; dead by a rush of blood and apoplexy. 
Is there not reason for a triumph ? 

The kind of fictitious mystery wrought about and ex 
hibited in the case of Judge Pyncheon is one of Haw 
thorne's peculiar and his most characteristic means of ex- 



HEYWOOD] THE METHOD OF HAWTHORNE. 493 

citing his reader's imagination, and his own also. The 
method is akin to that with which children terrify them 
selves and one another. He wraps a sheet about some 
personage, makes him hold it aloft with upstretched arms 
to give the appearance of ghostly height, causes him to 
gibber and squeak. Does not your hair rise and your flesh 
creep a little ? His does. Like a child, for the time being 
he half believes in the actuality of the phantom he has 
pieced out ; and he wins enough of your credence to make 
you wonder at it. Then, like a child, he tears up his 
work, perhaps derides it ; for he is not without cynicism, 
though it is generally held in check by more generous 
feelings. Mr. Higginbotham has he been murdered? 
Was it really he that passed the toll-gate just now on 
horseback ? He did not stop to shake hands and chat a 
little as usual ; he gravely nodded, as one who should say, 
" Charge my toll," and went on. " ' I never saw a man 
look so yellow and thin as the squire does,' continued the 
toll-gatherer. ' Says I to myself, to-night, he's more like 
a ghost or an old mummy than good flesh and blood.' 
The peddler strained his eyes through the twilight, and 
could just discern the horseman now far ahead on the vil 
lage road. He seemed to recognize the rear of Mr. Hig 
ginbotham ; but through the evening shadows, and amid 
the dust from the horse's feet, the figure appeared dim 
and unsubstantial, as if the shape of the mysterious old 
man were faintly moulded of darkness and gray light. 
Dominicus shivered." You do not quite shiver. Admit, 
however, that you are in doubt. Sceptical, according to 
reason, you yet dare not positively assert that this figure 
is Mr. Higginbotham himself in a sheet woven of dust and 
twilight, and not Mr. Higginbotham's ghost ; especially 
since you have been told that, wherever he goes, this 
gentleman must always be at home by a certain hour, 
iv. 42 



494 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [ 

Achieving a kind of effect like that which is produced 
by supernatural beings, without the actual use of such ex 
istences, is this author's most noticeable specialty. His 
method of accomplishing it is ingenious. He contrives to 
associate with some character a certain feature or quality, 
or to subject a personage to some law which superstition 
has made for such unearthly entities, or with which it has 
endowed them. A ghost must be home at a given time ; 
so must Mr. Higginbotham, though, when the truth is 
known, it is but to mind his business. Mephistopheles is 
sharp-faced and hump-shouldered ; so is Mr. Chillingworth. 
Phantoms are dim and not clearly defined ; so is the Spec 
tre of the Catacombs. And so on. To be plain about it, 
this manner of treatment produces, not mystery, but misti 
ness, seen through which objects appear to have unnatural 
size or unnatural parts. Clear the fog away, so that their 
outlines can be plainly discerned, and they will assume 
normal proportions. Or, if you still choose to consider it 
a mystery, it is very different from that which Shake 
speare and Bunyan created. When Bunyan wished to 
make a giant or a fiend, when Shakespeare wished to bring 
up a witch or a ghost, they left no chance for a question 
as to what the thing was. In their hands enigma took 
shape and individuality : it was dramatic. Hawthorne 
makes it only theatric. Something analogous to it, as 
employed by him, may be seen in places where melo 
dramas are represented. Snug, the Joiner, as instructed 
by Bottom, burlesqued it : " If you think I come hither as 
a lion, it were pity of my life : no, I am no such thing ; 1 
am a man as other men are ; and then, indeed, let him 
name his name; and tell them plainly he is Snug, the 
Joiner." . . . 

The strongest bent of Hawthorne's mind was toward 
analysis, not synthesis; to study results, not to operate 



HEYWOOD] THE METHOD OF HAWTHORNE. 495 

causes. Even the semi-supernatural additions which he 
applies to some of his characters are used as chemists em 
ploy certain agents, the more easily and distinctly to effect 
a separation of elements, that the base of each particular 
compound may be completely eliminated and examined. 
Most of his works were produced by processes similar to 
those of analytic chemistry. It would appear that during 
his somewhat retired and meditative life he never freed 
himself from the strong impressions made upon his mind 
when a boy by the legends, traditions, and history of his 
native town ; and that his method was to revive these im 
pressions in all their force by becoming again a little child 
in feeling, after a plan which Macaulay prescribes for great 
poets, and then to turn them to account with all the ma 
tured skill and intellectual power of an experienced man. 
Crude matter gathered by the infant was by the adult 
passed through an alembic. The result is a kind of quin 
tessence. The Black Man in the forest, the night rides, 
cackling and gibbering of the witches, the haunting ter 
rors of Gallows Hill, the Indians lurking in the shadows 
and in the twilight, the prowling wolves, and especially 
that wolf's head nailed to the meeting-house, with the 
splashes of blood beneath, at thoughts of which, doubt 
less, he had often, when a child, drawn the bedclothes 
tight over his head, and many other things, all germi 
nated in the favoring soil of his imagination and grew 
and brought forth raw material for distillation. 

Tracing the course and eifect of some moral poison was 
his chief study ; warning mankind against it, his liter 
ary business. To demonstrate their truth and make his 
warnings more impressive, he brings his subjects and 
goes through with his prepared experiments before you. 
Hester Prynne is contaminated by crime ; Dimmesdale 
is tainted by crime and hypocrisy ; Chillingworth is en- 



496 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HKYWOOD 

venomed by revenge; Judge Pyncheon, by an inherited 
virus, breaking out afresh in him ; Miriam, by some shadow 
of wrong-doing, and by a momentary consent to felony; 
Zenobia, by some great indiscretion ; Hollingsworth, by 
one idea, an overruling purpose which, in the name of 
charity, makes him most uncharitable ; the Man of Ada 
mant, by bigotry; the Seeker for the Great Carbuncle, by 
avarice ; and so on. His conscious duty or his most sub 
tle pleasure was to make known and elucidate, in a dusky 
way, the workings and fatal results of wickedness, the 
kind of necessity which springs from wrong-doing, and its 
all-pervading blight. He seems ever ready to cry out, 
" Woe is unto me if I preach not this gospel !" " Would 
that I had a folio to write," he exclaims, " instead of an 
article of a dozen pages ! Then might I exemplify how 
an influence beyond our control lays its strong hand on 
every deed we do, and weaves its consequences into an 
iron tissue of necessity." "Ah! now I understand," says 
Hilda, " how the sins of generations past have created an 
atmosphere of sin for those that follow. While there is a 
single guilty person in the universe, each innocent one 
must feel his innocence tortured by that guilt." . . . 

However veiled in allegory,' or varied in expression by 
tones of insinuation, innuendo, or irony, this is the burden 
of his thought, the theme of his discourse. Doubtless, the 
desire to unfold it in a folio spurred him to write his 
longer works, the romances. Throughout them all it is 
the underlying motive. Running through and with this, 
as a kind of obligato accompaniment, is a secondary theme 
that has been treated by many, but rarely with more 
subtle effect. It is plainly enough indicated by the Italian 
organ-grinder and his puppets : 

" The Italian turned a crank ; and, behold! every one of 
these small individuals started into the most curious activ- 



HEYWOOD] THE METHOD OF HAWTHORNE. 497 

ity. The cobbler wrought upon a shoe ; the blacksmith 
hammered his iron ; the soldier waved his glittering blade ; 
the lady raised a tiny breeze with her fan ; the jolly toper 
swigged lustily at his bottle ; a scholar opened his book, 
with eager thirst for knowledge, and turned his head to 
and fro along the page ; the milkmaid energetically drained 
her cow ; and a miser counted gold into his strong box, 
all at the same turning of a crank. Yes, and, moved 
by the self-same impulse, a lover saluted his mistress on 
her lips ! Possibly some cynic, at once merry and bitter, 
had desired to signify, in this pantomimic scene, that we 
mortals, whatever our business or amusement, however 
serious, however trifling, all dance to one identical tune, 
and, in spite of our ridiculous activity, bring nothing 
finally to pass. For the most remarkable aspect of the 
affair was that at the cessation of the music everybody was 
petrified, at once, from the most extravagant life into dead 
torpor. Neither was the cobbler's shoe finished, nor the 
blacksmith's iron shaped out, nor was there a drop less of 
brandy in the toper's bottle, nor a drop more of milk in 
the milkmaid's pail, nor one additional coin in the miser's 
strong box, nor was the scholar a page deeper in his book. 
All were precisely in the same condition as before they 
made themselves so ridiculous by their haste to toil, to 
enjoy, to accumulate gold, and to become wise. Saddest 
of all, moreover, the lover was none the happier for the 
maiden's granted kiss." 

Thus, the limitations of his work are distinctly enough 
designated. Largely speaking, he wrought upon and 
aimed to illustrate but one subject. He was rather one 
sided than many-sided. He was like a dark-lantern, 
shining only in one direction, and there not so much to 
light up space as to make shadows visible. Clearly and 
minutely as his individual thoughts are worded, his deeper 

IV . gg 42* 



498 BEST AMERICAN AUTHORS. [HEYWOOD 

meaning is not always obvious. He purposely enshrouds 
it, or purposely leaves it enshrouded, in mists, as, for ex 
ample, in " The Marble Faun." Whether this quality is 
the consequence of design or not, he seems, at any rate, 
conscious of it, and in one place, at least, suggests an ex 
cuse for it : " ' It is true, I have an idea of the character 
you endeavor to describe ; but it is rather by dint of my 
own thought than your expression.' ' That is unavoid 
able,' observed the sculptor, ' because the characteristics 
are all negative.' " This quality may be agreeable, even 
fascinating, to some persons ; but most readers prefer not 
to be left in the dark and forced to guess as to the mean 
ing of an author. . . . 

Dumas called himself a dramatic poet; Hawthorne 
claimed to be a writer of fiction. Both were about 
equally near the truth. Hawthorne invented so much 
fiction as should serve to illustrate his doctrines ; and he 
invented it for that purpose. It held a secondary rank in 
his thoughts and in his affections, though it is probable 
that he was not aware of the fact. He was, indeed, not 
a dramatic poet, not a novelist, not a historian ; he was 
a moralist, a philosophic moralist, calling upon history, 
fiction, and poetry to illuminate and enforce his tenets. 
As an ingenious moral philosopher and essayist, rendering 
his teachings impressive by the use of fables more or less 
elaborate, he may well take rank with the most elegant 
and accomplished writers of his class. 

He is emphatically an American author, even in the 
common and narrower sense of that phrase. He has em 
bellished the legends, traditions, and early history of his 
native State, and given to certain places a classical inter 
est. He deserved well of his countrymen, and his name 
is worthily held in honor among them. 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



Absalom, Nathaniel Parker Willis, 

iv. 96. 

Address, Farewell, George Washing 
ton, ii. 416. 
Advice to Farmers, Horace Greeley, 

iii. 116. 

After the Ball, Nora Perry, iii. 253. 
Air, Twelve Hundred Miles through 

the, John Wise, iv. 202. 
Alexander Hamilton, Fisher Ames, 

iii. 113. 
Alleghanies, The Crest of the, Edward 

Strahan, iv. 70. 
Alone, When the House is, Mary Kyle 

Dallas, iv. 177. 
Alps, Approaching the, Cornelius C. 

Felton, i. 159. 
America, Samuel Francis Smith, iv. 

125. 
America, German Ideas about, John 

Ross Browne, iv. 236. 
America the Old World, Louis Agassiz, 

i. 16. 
American Flag, Ode to the, Joseph 

Rodman Drake, iv. 126. 
American History, The Lessons of, 

Gulian C. Verplanck, iv. 384. 
American Literature, Aspects of, 

Parke Godwin, i. 9. 
American Revolution, The, Jared 

Sparks, ii. 302. 
Among the Hills, Prelude to, John 

Greenleaf WhiUier, ii. 181. 
Among the Laurels, Elizabeth Akers 

Allen, ii. 138. 
Ancestors, Our Debt to our, T. D. 

Woolsey, ii. 331. 

Ancient Chariot-Race, An, Lewis Wal 
lace, i. 405. 

Andre (Major), The Fate of, Alex 
ander Hamilton, iv. 22. 



Anecdotes of Thackeray, James T. 

Fields, i. 381. 

Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, i. 119. 
Anvil, Why I left the, Elihu Burritt, 

ii. 326. 

Anywhere, M. E. Clarke, iv. 53. 
Approaching the Alps, Cornelius C. 

Felton, i. 159. 

April, Ralph Waldo Emerson, i. 271. 
Arabian Civilization in Spain, The, 

John W. Draper, i. 328. 
Arabian Poetry, Characteristics of, 

Henry Coppee, iii. 148. 
Arbutus, The Trailing, Rose Terry 

[Cooke], i. 433. 

Arcady, A Sojourn in, Abba G. Wool- 
son, ii. 207. 
Arctic Seas, In the, Isaac I. Hayes, 

\. 344. 
Arctic Travel, Incidents of, Elisha 

Kent Kane, iv. 250. 
Art of the Future, The, Charles God 
frey Leland, iii. 289. 
Artist in Whitewash, An, Samuel L. 

Clemens, i. 420. 
Ascending Ktaadn, Henry David 

Thoreau, ii. 39. 
Aspasia's, A Banquet at, Lydia Maria 

Child, ii. 380. 
Aspects of American Literature, Parke 

Godwin, i. 9. 

Aspects of Nature, Various, iii. 308. 
Astonished Gambler, An, Mary N. 

Murfree, iii. 214. 

Aunt Quimby, Eliza Leslie, ii. 391. 
Aurora, A Siberian, George Kennan, 

ii. 196. 

Autocrat's Opinions, The, Oliver Wen 
dell Holmes, i. 487. 
Author- Worship, Henry T. Tucker- 

man, ii. 142. 
Autumn, Richard Henry Stoddard. 

i. 278. 

499 



500 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS, 



Autumn, Henry W. Longfellow, i. 

280. 
Autumn Woodlands, In the, Susan 

Warner, iv. 88. 
Avengers, The Ride of the, Theodore 

Winthrop, i. 143. 

B. 

Baby, Bathing of the, Sara J. Lip- 

pincott, iv. 470. 
Baby, Measuring the, Emma Alice 

Browne, iv. 418. 
Baby Bell, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 

ii. 35. 
Babylonish Ditty, A, Frederick S. 

Cozzens, iv. 323. 

Ball, After the, Nora Perry, iii. 253. 
Banner, The Star-Spangled, Francis 

S. Key, iv. 122. 
Banquet at Aspasia's, A, Lydia Maria 

Child, ii. 380. 
Barcelona, Columbus at, Washington 

Irving, iv. 458. 
Basking Soul, The, Anonymous, ii. 

223. 
Bastille, The Storming of the, John 

S. G. Abbott, iii. 206. 
Bathing of the Baby, The, Sara J. 

Lippincott, iv. 470. 
Battle-Hymn of the Republic, Julia 

Ward Howe, iv. 124. 
Bedott, Hezekiah, Mrs. Frances M. 

Whitcher, i. 57. 
Bedouins, Love-Song of the, Bayard 

Taylor, i. 115. 
Bee- Hunt, A, Washington Irving, i. 

155. 

Befogging a Guide, Samuel L. Clem 
ens, i. 425. 
Betrothed Anew, Ednund Clarence 

Stedman, ii. 219. 
Betsey and I are Out, Will Carleton, 

i. 319. 
Bible and the Iliad, The, Francis 

Wayland, iii. 484. 
Birds and Thoughts, Richard Henry 

Stoddard, iii. 127. 
Birds, Our Familiar, Mary Treat, iii. 

339. 
Black Regiment, The, George H. 

Boker, iii. 227. 
Blessings and Beans, Boston, Sarah 

P. Parton, ii. 445. 
Blind Preacher, The, William Wirt, 

i. 102. 



Blue and the Gray, The, Francis M. 

Finch, iv. 130. 
Bluebells of New England, The, 

Thomas Bailey Aldrich, i. 436. 
Bluebird, The, Alexander Wilson, ii. 

201. 
Boating down the Grand Canon, W. 

H. Eideing, iii. 422. 
Body, Care of the, Mrs. Mary Virginia 

Terhune, ii. 467. 
Books and Reading, Noah Porter, \ 

394. 
Boston Blessings and Beans, Sarah P. 

Parton, ii. 445. 
Boston Transcendentalism, Mrs. A. D. 

T. Whitney, i. 203. 
Boyhood Days, Washington Allston, 

ii. 219. 
Boyhood, Spring-Time and, Donald 

G. Mitchell, ii. 475. 
Bozzaris, Marco, Fitz- Greene Halleck, 

iv. 463. 
Braddock's Defeat, Francis Parkman, 

i. 439. 

Breeches, Little, John Hay, iv. 317. 
Brook, The, William B. Wright, iii. 

317. 
Brushland, Life in, " John Darby," ii. 

292. 

Bucket, The Old Oaken, Samuel Wood- 
worth, iv. 414. 
Burning of a Lake Steamer, Robert 

Dale Owen, iv. 1 32. 
Business Methods, Modern, C. A. Bar- 

tol, iii. 414. 

By the Sea-Shore, John White Chad- 
wick, iii. 436. 

C. 

Calaveras, The Sheriff of, Bret Harte, 

ii. 170. 
Canoe, The White Stone, Henry R. 

Schoolcraft, i. 458. 
Canon (Grand), Boating down the. 

W. H. Eideing, iii. 422. 
Cape Horn, A Gale off, Eichard Henry 

Dana, iv. 35. 
Care of the Body, Mrs. Mary Virginia 

Terhune, ii. 467. 
Centennial Oration, Henry Armitt 

Brown, iv. 170. 

Chamber, The Secret, Nathaniel Haw 
thorne, iii. 156. 
Chambered Nautilus, The, Oliver 

Wendell Holmes, iii. 130. 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



501 



Character of Washington, The, Thomas 
Jefferson, i. 140. 

Characteristics, Newspaper, Fisher 
Ames, iii. 110. 

Characteristics of Arabian Poetry, 
Henry Coppe, iii. 148. 

Chariot-Race, An Ancient, Lewis 
Wallace, i. 405. 

Charles the Bold, Death of, John Fos 
ter Kirk, iii. 390. 

Chateaux, My, George William Cur 
tis, i. 129. 

Child, My, John Pierpont, i. 152. 

Children, John Neal, iii. 39. 

Children, Vagrant, Theodore Parlcer, 
i. 193. 

China, The Condition of, William H. 
Seward, iv. 393. 

Classical Learning, The Importance 
of, Joseph Story, i. 379. 

Clock of Life, The, Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, i. 491. 

Closing Year, The, George D. Pren 
tice, i. 282. 

Coffin, Long Tom, James Fenimore 
Cooper, i. 302. 

Collegiate Examination, Specimen of 
a, Francis Hopkinson, iii. 140. 

Columbia, Hail, Joseph Hopkinson, 
iv. 120. 

Columbus at Barcelona, Washington 
Irving, iv. 458. 

Combat, An Heroic, Washington Ir 
ving, i. 502. 

Condition of China, The, William H. 
Seward, iv. 393. 

Conditions of English Thought, The, 
George S. Morris, ii. 255. 

Conditions of Language - Variation, 
Richard Grant White, i. 493. 

Conduct of Life, Resolutions for the, 
Jonathan Edwards, ii. 147. 

Congo, Life and Scenery on the, 
Henry M. Stanley, ii. 244. 

Connecticut River, The, Mrs, Lydia i 
H. Sigourney, iii. 435. 

Constitution, The Revision of the, 
John Randolph, iv. 103. 

Continents, Obliterated, Alexander 
Winchell, iii. 55. 

Controlling Elements of the Reforma 
tion, Charles Porterfield Krauth, 
iv. 425. 

Conversion, Squire Paine's, Rose 
Terry Cooke, iii. 7. 



Coral Grove, The, James G. Percival, 

iii. 129. 
Courtin', The, James Russell Lowell, 

ii. 87. 
Court, A New England Country, D. 

P. Thompson, iv. 401. 
Cradle Song, Josiah Gilbert Holland, 

iv. 420. 
Crest of the Alleghanies, The, Edward 

Strahan, iv. 70. 
Crocodiles on the St. John's, William 

Bartram, ii. 108. 
Culprit Fay, The, Joseph Rodman 

Drake, ii. 265. 
Culture, Self-, William Ellery Chan- 

ning, iv. 467. 

D. 

Daisy Miller, Henry James, iv. 180. 
Dancers of the Nile, The, George Wil 
liam Curtis, iii. 348. 
Day, A, Robert Kelly Weeks, iii. 

310. 
Deacon Quirk's Opinions, Elizabeth 

Stuart Phelps, ii. 503. 
Death and the Future Life, Chauncey 

Giles, iii. 321. 
Death-Bed, The, James Aldrich, ii. 

432. 

Death of Charles the Bold, John Fos 
ter Kirk, iii. 390. 
Death of the Flowers, The, William 

Cullen Bryant, i. 438. 
Death of Washington, Oration on the, 

Henry Lee, iii. 256. 
Death of the Whale, The, Herman 

Melville, iv. 230. 
Debt of Religion to Science, The, Minot 

J. Savage, iv. 361. 
Declaration of Love, A, William D. 

Howells, ii. 284. 

Decoration-Day, Ode for, Henry Pe 
terson, iv. 484. 
Deity, The Idea of, 0. B. Frothing- 

ham, i. 449. 
Depravity (Total) of Inanimate 

Things, Mrs. E. A. Walker, iv. 

254. 
Development of Poetry in America, 

Restricted, Edmund Clarence Sted- 

man, iii. 183. 
Development of Religious Ideas, D. 

G. Brinton, iii. 448. 
Dialogue between Truth and Peace, 

Roger Williams, i. 341. 



502 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



Disappointed, The, Ella Wheeler Wil- 
cox, iv. 61. 

Discomfited Hunters, Charles G. Ab 
bott, iii. 20. 

Discovery of the Mississippi by Mar- 
quette, George Bancroft, iv. 105. 

Ditty, A Babylonish, Frederick S. 
Cozzens, iv. 323. 

Dolce Far Niente, Charles G. Halpine, 
ii. 222. 

Domestic Life in 1800, Samuel 0. 
Goodrich, iii. 277. 

Don Quixote, George Ticknor, ii. 339. 

Drake, Tribute to Joseph Rodman, 
Fitz-Greene Halleck, iv. 60. 

Drifting, T. Buchanan Read, iii. 92. 

Drift-Wood, River, Sarah 0. Jewett, 
iv. 110. 

Duelling, Instructions in the Art of, 
H. H. Brackenridge, iii. 359. 

Duke's Plot, The, John Lothrop Mot 
ley, i. 121. 

Duluth, Speech on, J. Proctor Knott, 
i. 107. 

Dyspeptic, Letter to a, T. W. Hig- 
ginson, iv. 448. 

B. 

Earthquake, The Terror of the, Mary 
Agues Tincker, iii. 489. 

Educated Women, Influence of, Ben 
jamin Mush, iii. 95. 

Education, The Value of, Horace 
Mann, i. 313. 

Encounter with a Panther, Charles 
Brockden Brown, i. 363. 

Energy of Youth, The, Edwin P. 
Whipple, i. 174. 

English Thought, The Conditions of, 
George S. Morris, ii. 255. 

Eternal Goodness, The, John Green- 
leaf Whittier, iii. 500. 

Europe, Pedestrianism in, Bayard 
Taylor, iii. 69. 

Every-Day Wisdom, Benjamin Frank 
lin, i. 46. 

Evolution, The Theory of, Moncure 
D. Conway, iv. 337. 

Excursion to Sorrento, George S. Hil- 
lard, iy. 409. 

F. 

Fall of Niagara, John G. C. Brainard, 
iii. 312. 



Familiar Birds, Our, Mary Treat, iii. 

339. 
Family Meeting, The, Charles 

Sprague, iv. 417. 
Famine, The, Henry W. Longfellow, 

iv. 243. 
Farewell Address, George Washington, 

ii. 416. 
Farm, How I came to buy a, Bayard 

Taylor, i. 228. 
Farmers, Advice to, Horace Greeley, 

iii. 116. 
Fate of Major Andre", The, Alexander 

Hamilton, iv. 22. 

Faun (The) and the Nymph, Nathan 
iel Hawthorne, iv. 371. 
Fay, The Culprit, Joseph Rodman 

Drake, ii. 265. 
Fern, The Petrified, Mary L. Bolles, 

iii. 135. 
First Impressions of Japan, James 

Brooks, iii. 229. 

First Revolution of the Heavens wit 
nessed by Man, The, Ormsby M. 

Mitchel, i. 53. 
Flight of Youth, The, Richard Henry 

Stoddard, ii. 431. 
Flower- Poems, A Garland of, Various, 

i. 429. 

Flowers, Henry W. Longfellow, i. 430. 
Flowers, The Death of the, William 

Cullen Bryant, i. 438. 
Forest Nook, A, Alfred B. Street, iii. 

308. 
Forms of Life, Minute, George P. 

Marsh, iii. 443. 
Forms of the Ordeal, Primitive, Henry 

C. Lea, ii. 90. 
Freedom of the Will, The, Jonathan 

Edwards, ii. 150. 
Free Schools, Joseph Story, i. 380. 
Frost, The, Hannah F. Gould, i. 281. 
Future, The Art of the, Charles G. 

Leland, iii. 289. 
Future Life, Death and the, Chauncey 

Giles, iii. 321. 

G. 

Gale off" Cape Horn, A, R. H. Dana, 

iv. 35. 
Gambler, An Astonished, Mary N, 

Murfree, iii. 214. 
Gardening, The Pleasures of, Charles 

Dudley Warner, i. 198. 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



503 



Garland of Flower-Poems, A, Various, 
i. 429. 

German Ideas about America, John 
Ross Browne, iv. 236. 

Gettysburg Oration, Abraham Lincoln, 
ii. 188. 

Goodness, The Eternal, John Green- 
leaf Whittier, iii. 500. 

Good-Nights, Two, Anonymous, iv. 55. 

Good Old Times, The, Charles Heber 
Clark, iv. 76. 

Gorge, The Royal, Ernest Ing er soil, i. 
244. 

Grand Canon, Boating down the, W. 
H. Rideing, iii. 422. 

Grass, The Voice of the, Sarah Rob 
erts, iii. 128. 

Gray, The Blue and the, Francis M. 
Finch, iv. 130. 

Grove, The Coral, J. G. Percival, iii. 
129. 

Growing Beyond, Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, i. 492. 

Guide, Befogging a, Samuel L. Clem 
ens, i. 425. 

Gulf Stream, The, M. F. Maury, iii. 
192. 

H. 

Hadad and Tamar, Interview of, J. 
A. Hillhouse, ii. 307. 

Hail Columbia, Joseph Hopkinson, iv. 
120. 

Hamilton, Alexander, Fisher Ames, 
iii. 113. 

Hannah Binding Shoes, Lucy Larcom, 
iv. 422. 

Happiness, Ode to, James Russell 
Lowell, ii. 217. 

Harem, Light of the, Susan E. Wal 
lace, ii. 361. 

Harvest, The Lady Riberta's, Mar 
garet J. Preston, iii. 273. 

Hasty Pudding, The, Joel Barlow, i. 
186. 

Haunted Palace, The, Edgar Allan 
Poe, ii. 435. 

Hawthorne, The Method of, J. 0, 
Hey wood, iv. 488. 

Hayne, Reply to, Daniel Webster, i. 
210. 

Health, A, Edward Coate Pinkney, i. 
117. 

Heart, The Side- Door to the, Oliver 
Wendell ffolmes, i. 490. 



Heat and Light of the Sun, The, C. A. 
Young, ii. 375. 

Hemlocks, In the, John Burroughs, i. 
23. 

Herculaneum, Pompeii and, William 
D. Hoioells, ii. 7. 

Heroic Combat, An, Washington Ir 
ving, i. 502. 

Hezekiah Bedott, Mrs. Frances M. 
Whitcher, i. 57. 

Higher Tenants, John J. Piatt, iv. 58. 

Hills, The Singer's, Helen Hunt Jack 
son, iv. 173. 

History, The Lessons of American, 
Gulian C. Verplanck, iv. 384. 

History of Slavery, Review of the, 
George Bancroft, ii. 64. 

Home Life and Home Sentiment, Va 
rious, iv. 413. 

Home, Sweet Home, John Howard, 
Payne, iv. 413. 

Honeysuckle, The Wild, Philip Fre- 
neau, i. 432. 

Horrors of War, The, Charles Sumner, 
iv. 398. 

How Betsey and I made up, Will 
Carleton, i. 324. 

How I came to Buy a Farm, Bayard 
Taylor, i. 228. 

Humble-Bee, The, Ralph Waldo 
Emerson, iii. 132. 

Humor, Poems of, Various, iv. 314. 

Hunters, Discomfited, Charles C. Ab 
bott, iii. 20. 

Hurry, No Use being in a, James K. 
Paulding, iv. 293. 

Hymn to the Types, A, Charles G. 
Halpine, iii. 47. 

I. 

Idea of Deity, The, 0. B. Frothing- 

ham, i. 449. 
Idyl, A SouttuSea, Charles Warren 

Stoddard, iii. 459. 
Idyl, A Summer Day's, Louisa M. 

Alcott, i. 178. 
Iliad, The Bible and the, Francis 

Wayland, iii. 484. 
Imperishable Memories, Edward 

Everett, i. 358. 
Importance of Classical Learning, 

Joseph Story, i. 379. 
Importance of Literary Style, William 

Mathews, iv. 213. 



504 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



Impressions of Japan, First, James 

Brooks, iii. 229. 
Impressions of Niagara, Margaret 

Fuller Ossoli, ii. 47.' 
Inanimate Things, Total Depravity 

of, Mrs. E. A. Walker, iv. 254. 
Inaugural Address, Second, Abraham 

Lincoln, ii. 185. 
Incas, The Palaces and Temples of the, 

William H. Prescott, iv. 478. 
Incidents of Arctic Travel, Elisha 

Kent Kane, iv. 250. 
India, A Tiger-Hunt in, W. T. Hor- 

naday, iv. 304. 

Indians, The, Joseph Story, i. 376. 
Infancy, The Meaning of, John Fiske, 

i. 254. 

Influence of Educated Women, Benja 
min Rush, iii. 95. 
Inside Plum Island, Harriet Prescott 

Spojford, iii. 440. 
Instructions in the Art of Duelling, 

H. H. Brackenridge, iii. 359. 
Insubordination, Military, Henry 

Clay, i. 463. 
Interview of Hadad and Tamar, J. A. 

Hillhouse, ii. 307. 
In the Arctic Seas, Isaac I. Hayes, i. 

344. 
In the Autumn Woodlands, Susan 

Warner, iv. 88. 
In the Depths of the Mine, Mary 

Hallock Foote, iii. 299. 
In the Hemlocks, John Burroughs, i. 

23. 

J. 

Jack and Gill; A Criticism, Joseph 
Dennie, iii. 247. 

Japan, First Impressions of, James 
Brooks, iii. 229. 

Josiah Allen's Wife calls on the Presi 
dent, Marietta Holley, ii. 494. 

Journey to Palmyra, The, William 
Ware, i. 67. 

June, Elizabeth Akers [Allen'], i. 273. 

June, James Russell Lowell, i. 274. 



Keimer's Attempt to found a New 
Religion, Mason L. Weems, iii. 237. 

Kentucky Belle, Constance F. Wool- 
son, i. 73. 

King, A, Edgar Fawcett, iv. 51. 



Kit Carson's Ride, Joaquin Miller, ii. 

346. 
Ktaadn, Ascending, Henry David 

Thoreau, ii. 39. 

L. 

Lahor in the Middle Ages, Charles J. 

Stille, iv. 329. 
Labor is Worship, Frances Sargent 

Osgood, iv. 423. 
Lady Riberta's Harvest, The, Mar* 

garet J. Preston, iii. 273. 
La Fayette, Oration on, Charles Sum- 

ner, iii. 43. 
Land Fever, The, Caroline M. KirJz- 

land, i. 31. 
Land-Taxation, The Theory of, Henry 

George, iv. 63. 

Language, The Origin of, W. D. Whit 
ney, ii. 272. 
Language-Variation, Conditions of, 

Richard Grant White, i. 493. 
Laurels, Among the, Elizabeth Akers 

Allen, ii. 138. 

Lawson (Sam), the Village Do-Noth 
ing, Harriet Beecher Stowe, ii. 74. 
Lawyer, Outwitting a, Josiah Gilbert 

Holland, ii. 312. 
Lee, Annabel, Edgar Allan Poe, i. 

119. 
Lessons of American History, The, 

Gulian C. Verplanck, iv. 38'4. 
Letter, The Purloined, Edgar Allan 

Poe, i. 85. 
Letter to a Dyspeptic, T. W. Higgin- 

son, iv. 448. 

Life and its Mysteries, Sarah P. Par- 
ton, ii. 449. 
Life and Scenery on the Congo, Henry 

M. Stanley, ii. 244. 
Life at Threescore and Ten, Albert 

Barnes, iv. 289. 
Life (Home) and Home Sentiment, 

Various, iv. 413. 
Life in Brushland, " John Darby," ii. 

292. 
Life in 1800, Domestic, Samuel G. 

Goodrich, iii. 277. 
Life in Nature, Various, iii. 123. 
Life in Philadelphia in 1800, John B. 

McMaster, ii. 115. 
Life, Minute Forms of, George P. 

Marsh, iii. 443. 

Life, The Clock of, Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, i. 491. 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



505 



Light of the Harem, The, Susan E. 

Wallace, ii. 361. 
Lincoln, Robert of, William Cullen 

Bryant, Hi. 123. 
Lines, Through the, George W. Cable, 

ii. 351. 
Lines for an Album, to accompany an 

Urn, Anonymous, iv. 55. 
Literary Style, Importance of, William 

Mathews, iv. 213. 
Literature, Aspects of American, 

Parks Godwin, i. 9. 
Literature in America, Progress and 

Prospects of, Rufus Wilmot Gris- 

wold, ii. 99. 

Little Breeches, John Hay, iv. 317. 
Long Tom Coffin, James Fenimore 

Cooper, i. 302. 
Love, A Declaration of, William D. 

Howells, ii. 284. 
Love of Trees, The, Henry Ward 

Beecher, i. 79. 
Love-Song from the Persian, Thomas 

Bailey Aldrich, i. 117. 
Love-Song of the Bedouins, Bayard 

Taylor, i. 115. 
Love's Young Dream, Various, i. 115. 

M. 

MacBride, The Proud Miss, John G. 

Saxe, iv. 388. 
Maiden (The) and the Rattlesnake, 

William Gilmore Simms, ii. 163. 
Man in the Reservoir, The, Charles 

Fenno Hoffman, iv. 262. 
Man, The Wants of, John Quincy 

Adams, iii. 364. 
Man without a Country, The, Edward 

Everett Hale, iii. 467. 
Marco Bozzaris, Fitz- Greene Halleck, 

iv. 463. 

Marquette, Discovery of the Missis 
sippi by, George Bancroft, iv. 105. 
Mary's Bee, James Nack, iv. 316. 
Master, Spelling down the, Edward 

E<j</le8ton, iv. 345. 
May,' Helen Hunt [Jackson], i. 271. 
May, James G. Percival, i. 272. 
Meaning of Infancy, The, John Fiske, 

i. 254. 
Measuring the Baby, Emma Alice 

Browne, iv. 418. 
Mediaeval Armor, Cornelius C. Felt on, 

i. 162. 



Memories, Imperishable, Edward 

Everett, i. 358. 
Method of Hawthorne, The, J. C. 

Heywood, iv. 488. 
Middle Ages, Labor in the, Charles J. 

Stille, iv. 329. 
Military Insubordination, Henry Clay, 

i. 463. 

Miller, Daisy, Henry James, iv. 180. 
Mill-Pond, The Moon in the, Joel 

Chandler Harris, ii. 238. 
Mine, In the Depths of the, Mary 

Hallock Foote, iii. 299. 
Mine-Explosion, A, Frances Hodgson 

Burnett, iii. 504. 
Minute Forms of Life, George P. 

Marsh, iii. 443. 
Miss MacBride, The Proud, John G. 

Saxe, iv. 388. 
Mocking-Bird, The, John James Au- 

dubon, i. 285. 
Mocking-Bird, To the, Albert Pike f 

iii. 125. 
Modern Business Methods, C. A. Bar 

tol, iii. 414. 
Monarch of Tezcuco, The, William H. 

Prescott, i. 164. 
Moon in the Mill-Pond, The, Joel 

Chandler Harris, ii. 238. 
Mound-Builders, The, Anonymous, iv- 

272. 
Mount Washington, Sunrise from, 

Enfut Dawes, iii. 316. 
Music, My Notion of, Sarah P. Par- 
ton, ii. 442. 
Music, Unwritten, Nathaniel Parker 

Willis, iv. 284. 
My Chateaux, George William Curtis, 

i. 129. 

My Child, John Pierpont, i. 152. 
My Notion of Music, Sarah P. Par- 
ton, ii. 442. 
My Ships at Sea, R. B. Coffin, iii. 

441. 
My Strawberry, Helen Hunt [Jack- 

on], iii. 134. 

N. 

Nancy Blynn's Lovers, /. T. Trow- 

bridye, ii. 18. 

Nature, Aspects of, Various, iii. 308. 
Nature, Life in, Various, iii. 123. 
Nautilus, The Chambered, Oliver 

Wendell Holmes, iii. 130. 



506 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



Nearer Home, Phcebe Gary, ii. 433. 
New England, The Sabbath in, G. M. 

Sedgwick, iv. 100. 
New England Country Court, A, D. P. 

Thompson, iv. 401. 
New England Weather, Samuel L. 

Clemens, iii. 400. 
Newport Romance, A, Bret Harte, iv. 

358. 
New Religion, Keimer's Attempt to 

found a, Mason L. Weems, iii. 237. 
Newspaper Characteristics, Fisher 

Ames, iii. 110. 
Niagara, Fall of, John G. C. Brainard, 

iii. 312. 
Niagara, Impressions of, Margaret 

Fuller Ossoli, ii. 47. 
Night, A Pretty Time of, Joseph C. 

Neal, iii. 330. 
Nile, The Dancers of the, George 

William Curtis, iii. 348. 
Nfmes, Roman Antiquities at, Henry 

James, i. 237. 
Notch of the White Mountains, The, 

Timothy Dwight, ii. 483. 
Nothing to Wear, William Archer 

Butler, iv. 326. 
No Use being in a Hurry, James 

Kirke Paulding, iv. 293. 
Novel-Writing before Waverley, R. 

Shelton Mackenzie, iii. 173. 
Nymph, The Faun and the, Nathan 
iel Hawthorne, iv. 371. 

O. 

Obliterated Continents, Alexander 

Winchell, iii. 55. 
Ocean, Song of the, Anonymous, iii. 

438. 
Ocklawaha (The) in May, Sidney 

Lanier, iv. 190. 

Ode for Decoration-Day, Henry Peter 
son, iv. 484. 
Ode to the American Flag, Joseph 

Rodman Drake, iv. 126. 
Old Grimes, Albert G. Greene, iv. 

314. 
Old Oaken Bucket, The, Samuel 

Woodworth, iv. 414. 
Old Roads and Wood-Paths, Wilson 

Flagg, iii. 404. 
Old-Time Virginia Race-Course, An, 

John Evten Cooke, iv. 435. 
Old Virginia, James Parton, i. 261. 



On Whitewashing, Francis Hopkin- 

son, iii. 144. 
Opinions, Deacon Quirk's, Elizabeth 

Stuart Phelps, ii. 503. 
Oration, Centennial, Henry Armitt 

Brown, iv. 170. 
Oration on the Death of Washington, 

Henry Lee, iii. 256. 
Oration on La Fayette, Charles Sum- 

ner, iii. 43. 
Ordeal, Primitive Forms of the, Henry 

C. Lea, ii. 90. 

Origin of Language, The, W. D. Whit 
ney, ii. 272. 
Originality, Quotation and, Ralph 

Waldo Emerson, i. 291. 
Our Debt to our Ancestors, T. D. 

Woolsey, ii. 331. 
Our Familiar Birds, Mary Treat, iii. 

339. 

Outgrown, Julia C. R. Dorr, iv. 56. 
Outwitting a Lawyer, J. G. Holland, 

ii. 312. 
Owl-Critic, The, James T. Fields, ii. 

388. 

P. 

Palace, The Haunted, Edgar Allan 

Poe, ii. 435. 
Palace- Car, A Ride in a, Helen Hunt 

Jackson, i. 467. 
Palaces and Temples of the Incas, 

William H. Prescott, iv. 478. 
Palmyra, The Journey to, William 

Ware, i. 67. 
Panther, Encounter with a, Charles 

Brockden Brown, i. 363. 
Paradise Plantation, Louise Seymour 

Houghton, iv. 156. 

Parisian " Pension," The, John San 
derson, iv. 19. 
Parties, Political, De Witt Clinton, iii. 

51. 

Patriotic Songs, Various, iv. 119. 
Pedestrianism in Europe, Bayard 

Taylor, iii. 69. 
Perdita, Anonymous, ii. 433. 
Persian, A Love-Song from the, 

Thomas Bailey Aldrich, i. 117. 
Petrified Fern, The, Mary L. Bolles, 

iii. 135. 
Philadelphia in 1800, Life in, JoTir. 

B. McMaster, ii. 115. 
Philosopher Toad, The, Mrs. R. S. 

Nichols, iv. 319. 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



507 



Plain Language from Truthful James, 

Bret Harte, iv. 321. 
Pleasures of Gardening, The, Charles 

Dudley Warner, i. 198. 
Plot, The Duke's, John Lothrop Mot 
ley, i. 121. 
Plum Island, Inside, Harriet Prescott 

Spofford, iii. 440. 
Poe, T. W. Higginson, ii. 57. 
Poems of Humor, Various, iv. 314. 
Poems of Thought and Sympathy, 

Variou^, iv. 49. 
Political Parties, De Witt Clinton, iii. 

51. 
Pompeii and Herculaneum, William 

D. Howellt, ii. 7. 

Pomp's Religious Experience, Anony 
mous, ii. 437. 
Preacher, The Blind, William Win, 

i. 102. 
Pretty Time of Night, A, Joseph C. 

Neal, iii. 330. 
Primitive Forms of the Ordeal, Henry 

C. Lea, ii. 90. 
Progress and Prospects of Literature 

in America, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, 

ii. 99. 
Proud Miss MacBride, The, John G. 

Saxe, iv. 388. 
Pudding, The Hasty, Joel Barlow, i. 

186. 
Purloined Letter, The, Edgar Allan 

Poe, i. 85. 

Q. 

Quotation and Originality, Ralph 
Waldo Emerson, i. 291. 

K. 

Race-Course, An Old-Time Virginia, 

John Esten Cooke, iv. 435. 
Rain, The, Anonymous, iii. 320. 
Rattlesnake, The Maiden and the, 

William Gilmore Simms, ii. 163. 
Reading, Books and, Noah Porter, i. 

394. 
Reception, A Western, Frances C. 

Baylor, iii. 80. 
Redwood-Tree, Song of the, Walt 

Whitman, ii. 489. 
Reformation, Controlling Elements of 

the, Charles Porterfteld Krauth, iv. 

425. 
Regiment, The Black, George H. 

Bolter, iii. 227. 



Released, Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney, iv. 
52. 

Religion in its Relations to Litera 
ture, William Ellery Channing, iii. 
260. 

Religious Experience, Jonathan Ed 
wards, ii. 146. 

Religious Experience, Pomp's, Anony 
mous, ii. 437. 

Religious Ideas, Development of, D. 
G. Brinton, iii. 448. 

Reply to Hayne, Daniel Webster, i. 
210. 

Republic, Battle-Hymn of the, Julia 
Ward Howe, iv. 124. 

Reservoir, The Man in the, Charles 
Fenno Hoffman, iv. 262. 

Resignation, Henry W. Longfellow, ii. 
431. 

Resolutions for the Conduct of Life, 
Jonathan Edwards, ii. 147. 

Restricted Development of Poetry in 
America, Edmund Clarence Sted- 
man, iii. 183. 

Review of the History of Slavery, 
George Bancroft, ii. 64. 

Revision of the Constitution, The, 
John Randolph, iv. 103. 

Revolution, The American, Jared 
Sparks, ii. 302. 

Revolving Seasons, The, Various, i. 
271. 

Rhodora, The, Ralph Waldo Emer 
son, i. 437. 

Rhoecus, James JRussell Lowell, i. 41. 

Riberta's Harvest, The Lady, Mar 
garet J. Preston, iii. 273. 

Ride, A Terrible, A Ibion W. Tourgee, 
iii. 100. 

Ride in a Palace-Car, A, Helen Hunt 
Jackson, i. 467. 

Ride of the Avengers, The, Theodore 
Winthrop, i. 143. 

River Drift- Wood, Sarah 0. Jewett, 
iv. 110. 

Rivulet, The, William Cullen Bryant, 
iii. 433. 

Rivulet (The), the River, and the 
Ocean, Various, iii. 433. 

Roads (Old) and Wood- Paths, Wilson 
Flagg, iii. 404. 

Robert of Lincoln, William Cullen 
Bryant, iii. 123. 

Roman Antiquities at Nfmes, Henry 
James, i. 237. 



508 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



Romance, A Newport, Bret Harte, iv. 

358. 
Royal Gorge, The, Ernest Ingersoll, i. 

244. 
Royal Seat, A, Eugene Benson, iii. 

372. 

Ruins of Uxmal, The, Felix L. Os 
wald, ii. 451. 
Ruse, A Successful, John P. Kennedy, 

ii. 226. 

S. 
Sabbath in New England, The, G. 

M. Sedgwick, iv. 100. 
Sam Lawson, the Village Do-Nothing, 

Harriet Beecher Stowe, ii. 74. 
Science, The Debt of Religion to, M. 

J. Savage, iv. 361. 

Sea-Shore, By the, John White Chad- 
wick, iii. 436. 
Seasons, The Revolving, Various, i. 

271. 
Seat, A Royal, Eugene Benson, iii. 

372. 
Second Inaugural Address, Abraham 

Lincoln, ii. 185. 

Secret Chamber, The, Nathaniel Haw 
thorne, iii. 156. 
Seeds and Swine, Frederick S. Coz- 

zens, ii. 129. 
Self- Culture, William. Ellery Chan- 

ning, iv. 467. 
Seneca Lake, To, James G. Percival, 

iii. 313. 

Shadow and Grief, Various, ii. 431. 
Shakespeare Ode, Charles Sprague, 

iii. 167. 
Sheridan's Ride, T. Buchanan Read, 

iv. 128. 
Sheriff of Calaveras, The, Bret Harte, 

ii. 170. 
Ships at Sea, My, R. B. Coffin, iii. 

Siberia, Winter Life and Scenery in, 
George Kennan, ii. 189. 

Siberian Aurora, A, George Kennan, 
ii. 196. 

Side-Door to the Heart, The, Oliver 
Wendell Holmes, i. 490. 

Singer's Hills, The, Helen Hunt Jack 
son, iv. 173. 

Sky, The, Richard Henry Stoddard, 
iii. 313. 

Slavery, Review of the History of, 
George Bancroft, ii. 64. 



Snow-Storm, The, Ralph Waldo 

Emerson, i. 280. 

Sojourn in Arcady, A, Abba G. Wool- 
son, ii. 207. 
Song of the Ocean, Anonymous, iii. 

438. 
Song of the Redwood-Tree, Walt 

Whitman, ii. 489. 
Songs of the Troubadours, The, Harriet 

W. Preston, iv. 224. 
Sonnets, Various, iii. 32. 
Sorrento, Excursion to, George S. Hil- 

lard, iv. 409. 
Soul, The Basking, Anonymous, ii. 

223. 
Souls, The Times that tried Men's, 

Thomas Paine, ii. 152. 
South-Sea Idyl, A, Charles Warren 

Stoddard, iii. 459. 
Spain, The Arabian Civilization in, 

John W. Draper, i. 328. 
Specimen of a Collegiate Examination, 

Francis Hopkinson, iii. 140. 
Speech on Duluth, /. Proctor Knott, 

i. 107. 
Spelling down the Master, Edward 

Eggleston, iv. 345. 
Spring-Time and Boyhood, Donald G. 

Mitchell, ii. 475. 
Squire Paine's Conversion, Rose Terry 

Cooke, iii. 7. 
Star-Spangled Banner, The, Francis 

S. Key, iv. 122. 
Steamer, Burning of a Lake, Robert 

Dale Owen, iv. 132. 
Storming of the Bastille, The, John S. 

C. Abbott, iii. 206. 

Strawberry, My, Helen Hunt [Jack 
son}, iii. 134. 
Successful Ruse, A, John P. Kennedy, 

ii. 226. 

Summer, Edith May, i. 276. 
Summer, Rose Terry [Cooke}, i. 277. 
Summer Day's Idyl, A, Louisa M. 

Alcott, i. 178. 
Sun, Heat and Light of the, C. A. 

Young, ii. 375. 

Sunday Morning in Wallencamp, Sal- 
lie Pratt McLean, iii. 264. 
Sunnyside, A Visit to, James Grant 

Wilson, iii. 283. 
Sunrise from Mount Washington, 

Rufus Dawes, iii. 316. 
Sunshine, Anonymous, ii. 224. 
Sunshine and Hope, Various, ii. 217. 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



509 



Sweet Home, JoJin Howard Payne, iv. 

413. 
Symphony, Sidney Lanier, i. 479. 

T. 

Tenants, Higher, John J. Piatt, iv. 58. 
Terrible Ride, A., Albion W. Tourgee, 

iii. 100. 
Terror of the Earthquake, The, Mary 

Agnes Tincker, iii. 489. 
Tezcuco, The Monarch of, William H. 

Prescott, i. 164. 
Thackeray, Anecdotes of, James T. 

Fields, i. 381. 
Thanatopsis, William Cullen Bryant, 

i. 215. 

Thanksgiving, Alice Gary, i. 368. 
Theory of Evolution, The, Moncure 

D. Gonway, iv. 337. 
Theory of Land-Taxation, Henry 

George, iv. 63. 

Thought, G. P. Cranch, iv. 49. 
Thought, Helen Hunt Jackson, iv. 49. 
Thought and Sympathy, Poerns of, 

Various, iv. 49. 
Thoughts, Birds and, Richard Henry 

Stoddard, iii. 127. 
Threescore and Ten, Life at, Albert 

Barnes, iv. 289. 
Through the Lines, George W, Cable, 

ii. 351. 
Tiger-Hunt in India, A, W. T. Horna- 

day, iv. 304. 
Time, The Use of, James Freeman 

Clarke, i. 218. 
Times that tried Men's Souls, The, 

Thomas Paine, ii. 152. 
Times, The Good Old, Charles Heber 

Clark, iv. 76. 
Toad, The Philosopher, Mrs. R. S. 

Nichols, iv. 319. 
Toast, The, Mary Kyle Dallas, ii. 

221. 

Tommy, Mary A. Dodge, ii. 407. 
To Seneca Lake, James G. Percival, 

iii. 313. 
To the Mocking-Bird, Albert Pike, 

iii. 125. 
Total Depravity of Inanimate Things, 

Mrs. E. A. Walker, iv. 254. 
Trailing Arbutus, The, Rose Terry 

[Cooke], i. 433. 
Traitor Discomfited, A, Francis M. 

Crawford, iii. 379. 



Transcendentalism, Boston, Mrs. A. 

D. T. Whitney, i. 203. 
Trees, The Love of, Henry Ward 

Beecher, i. 79. 
Tribute to Joseph Rodman Drake, 

Fitz-Greene Halleck, iv. 60. 
Troubadours, The Songs of the, Harriet 

W. Preston, iv. 224. 
Truth and Falsehood, Oliver Wendell 

Holmes, i. 489. 
Truth and Peace, Dialogue between, 

Roger Williams, i. 341. 
Truthful James, Plain Language from, 

Bret Harte, iv. 321. 
Twelve Hundred Miles through the 

Air, John Wise, iv. 202. 
Twilight, Isaac McLellan, iii. 314. 
Two Good-Nights, Anonymous, iv. 

55. 
Types, A Hymn to the, Charles G. 

Halpine, iii. 47. 

U. 

Understone World, The, Oliver Wen 
dell Holmes, i. 487. 

Unknown Acquaintances, Sarah P. 
Parton, ii. 446. 

Unwritten Music, Nathaniel Parker 
Willis, iv. 284. 

Urn, Lines for an Album, to accompany 
an, Anonymous, iv. 55. 

Use of Time, The, James Freeman 
Clarke, i. 218. 

Uxmal, The Ruins of, Felix L. Oswald, 
ii. 451. 

V. 

Vagabonds, The, J. T. Troicbridge y 

iii. 480. 
Vagrant Children, Theodore Parker, 

i. 193. 
Value of Education, The, Horace 

Mann, i. 313. 

Vesta, Edgar Fawcett, iv. 320. 
Violet, A, Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney, 

i. 435. 

Violet, The, W. W. Story, i. 434. 
Virginia, Old, James Parton, i. 261. 
Virginia Race-Course, An Old-Time, 

John Esten Cooke, iv. 435. 
Visit to Sunnyside, A, James Grant 

Wilson, iii. 283. 

Voice of the Grass, The, Sarah Rob 
erts, iii. 128. 



43* 



510 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS. 



Voiceless, The, Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, ii. 434. 

W. 

Wallencamp, Sunday Morning in, 

Sallie Pratt McLean, iii. 264. 
Wants of Man, The, John Quincy 

Adams, iii. 364. 
War, The Horrors of, Charles Sumner, 

iv. 398. 
Warning, A, John Greenleaf Whittier, 

i. 120. 

Washington, Theodore Parker, iv. 45. 
Washington, Oration on the Death of, 

Henry Lee, iii. 256. 
Washington Resigns his Commission, 

David Ramsay, iii. 137. 
Washington, The Character of, Thomas 

Jefferson, i. 140. 
Waverley, Novel- Writing before, R. 

Shelton Mackenzie, iii. 173. 
Weather, New England, Samuel L. 

Clemens, iii. 400. 
Western Reception, A, Frances C. 

Baylor, iii. 80. 
Whale, The Death of the, Herman 

Melville, iv. 230. 
When the House is Alone, Mary Kyle 

Dallas, iv. 177. 
White Mountains, The Notch of the, 

Timothy Dwight, ii. 483. 
White Stone Canoe, The, Henry R. 

Schoolcraft, i. 458. 
Whitewash, An Artist in, Samuel L. 

Clemens, i. 420. 
Whitewashing, On, Francis Hopkin- 

aon, iii. 144. 



Why I left the Anvil, Elihu Burritt, 

ii. 326. 
Wild Honeysuckle, The, Philip Fre- 

neau, i. 432. 
Will, The Freedom of the, Jonathan 

Edwards, ii. 150. 

Wine-Cup. The, Charles Fenno Hoff 
man, ii. 220. 
Winter Life and Scenery in Siberia, 

George Kennan, ii. 189. 
Winter Pleasures, E. H. Rollins, ii. 

420. 
Wisdom, Every-Day, Benjamin 

Franklin, i. 46. 
Wisdom, Words of, James A. Garfield, 

iv. 148. 

Women, Influence of Educated, Ben 
jamin Rush, iii. 95. 
Woodman, Spare that Tree, George 

P. Morris, iv. 415. 
Wood- Paths, Old Roads and, Wilson 

Flagrj, iii. 404. 
Wood-Thrush, The, John James Audu- 

bon, i. 288. 
Words of Wisdom, James A. Gar field, 

iv. 148. 
Worship, Labor is, Frances Sargent 

Osgood, iv. 423. 

Y. 

Tear, The Closing, Georqe D. Prentice, 

i. 282. 
Yosemite Valley, The, Fitzhugh Lud- 

low, iv. 7. 
Youth, The Energy of, Edwin P. 

Whipple, i. 174. " 
Youth, The Flight of, Richard Henry 

Stoddard, ii. 431. 



INDEX OF AUTHORS. 



A. 

ABBOTT, CHARLES C., Discomfited 
Hunters, iii. 20. 

ABBOTT, JOHN S. C., The Storming of 
the Bastille, iii. 206. 

ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY, The Wants of 
Man, iii. 364. 

AGASSIZ, Louis, America the Old 
World, i. 16. 

AKERS [ALLEN], ELIZABETH, June, i. 
273 j Among the Laurels, ii. 138. 

ALCOTT, LOUISA M., A Summer Day's 
Idyl, i. 178. 

ALDRICH, JAMES, The Death-Bed, ii. 
432. 

ALDRICH, THOMAS BAILEY, A Love- 
Song from the Persian, i. 117; The 
Bluebells of New England, i. 436 ; 
Baby Bell, ii. 35. 

ALLSTON, WASHINGTON, Boyhood Days, 
ii. 219. 

AMES, FISHER, Newspaper Character 
istics, iii. 110; Alexander Hamil 
ton, iii. 113. 

ANONYMOUS, The Basking Soul, ii. 223 ; 
Sunshine, ii. 224 ; Perdita, ii. 433 ; 
Pomp's Religious Experience, ii. 
437 ; The Rain, iii. 320 ; Song of 
the Ocean, iii. 438; Two Good- 
Nights, iv. 55; Lines for an Album, 
to accompany an Urn, iv. 55 ; The 
Mound-Builders, iv. 272. 

AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES, The Mocking- 
Bird, i. 285 ; The Wood-Thrush, i. 
288. 

B. 

BANCROFT, GEORGE, Review of the 
History of Slavery, ii. 64; Dis 
covery of the Mississippi by Mar- 
quette, iv. 105. 

BARLOW, JOEL, The Hasty Pudding, 
i. 186. 



BARNES, ALBERT, Life at Threescore 
and Ten, iv. 289. 

BARTOL, CYRUS AUGUSTUS, Modern 
Business Methods, iii. 414. 

BARTRAM, WILLIAM, Crocodiles on the 
St. John's, ii. 108. 

BAYLOR, FRANCES C., A Western Re 
ception, iii. 80. 

BEECHKR, HENRY WARD, The Love of 
Trees, i. 79. 

BENSON, EUGENE, A Royal Seat, iii. 
372. 

BOKER, GEORGE H., The Black Regi 
ment, iii. 227. 

BOLLES, MARY L., The Petrified Fern, 
iii. 135. 

BRACKENRIDGE, HUGH H., Instruc 
tions in the Art of Duelling, iii. 
359. 

BRAINARD, JOHN G. C., The Fall of 
Niagara, iii. 312. 

BRINTON, DANIEL GARRISON, Develop 
ment of Religious Ideas, iii. 448. 

BROOKS, JAMES, First Impressions of 
Japan, iii. 229. 

BROWN, CHARLES BROCKDEN, Encoun 
ter with a Panther, i. 363. 

BROWN, HENRY ARMITT, Centennial 
Oration, iv. 170. 

BROWNE, EMMA ALICE, Measuring the 
Baby, iv. 418. 

BROWNE, JOHN Ross, German Ideas 
about America, iv. 236. 

BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN, Thana- 
topsis, i. 215; The Death of the 
Flowers, i. 438 ; Robert of Lincoln, 
iii. 123 ; The Rivulet, iii. 433. 

BURNETT, FRANCES HODGSON, A Mine- 
Explosion, iii. 504. 

BURRITT, ELIHU, Why I left the Anvil, 
ii. 326. 

BURROUGHS, JOHN, In the Hemlocks, 
i. 23. 

511 



512 



INDEX OF AUTHORS. 



BUTLER, WILLIAM ALLEN, Nothing to 
Wear, iv. 326. 

C. 

CABLE, GEORGE W., Through the 
Lines, ii. 351. 

CARLETON, WILL, Betsey and I are 
Out, i. 319; How Betsey and I made 
up, i. 324. 

CARY, ALICE, Thanksgiving, i. 368. 

CARY, PIICEBE, Nearer Home, ii. 433. 

CHADWICK, JOHN WHITE, By the Sea- 
Shore, iii. 436. . . , , 

CHANNING, WILLIAM ELLERY, Religion 
in its Relation to Literature, iii. 
260 ; Self-Culture, iv. 467. 

CHILD, LYDIA MARIA, A Banquet at 
Aspasia's, ii. 380. 

CLARK, CHARLES HEBER, The Good 
Old Times, iv. 76. 

CLARKE, JAMES FREEMAN, The Use of 
Time, i. 218. 

CLARKE, M. E., Anywhere, iv. 53. 

CLAY, HENRY, Military Insubordina 
tion, i. 463. 

CLEMENS, SAMUEL L., An Artist in 
Whitewash, i. 420; Befogging a 
Guide, i. 425 ; New England Weath 
er, iii. 400. 

CLINTON, DE WITT, Political Parties, 
iii. 51. 

COFFIN, R. B., My Ships at Sea, iii. 
441. 

CONWAY, MONCURE D., The Theory of 
Evolution, iv. 337. 

COOKE, JOHN ESTEN, An Old-Time Vir 
ginia Race-Course, iv. 435. 

COOPER, JAMES FENIMORE, Long Tom 
Coffin, i. 302. 

COPPEE, HENRY, Characteristics of 
Arabian Poetry, iii. 148. 

COZZENS, FREDERICK S., Seeds and 
Swine, ii. 129 ; A Babylonish Ditty, 
iv. 323. 

CRANCH, CHRISTOPHER P., Thought, iv. 
49. 

CRAWFORD, FRANCIS MARION, A Trai 
tor Discomfited, iii. 379. 

CURTIS, GEORGE WILLIAM, My Cha 
teaux, i. 129 ; The Dancers of the 
Nile, iii. 348. 

D. 

DALLAS, MARY KYLE, The Toast, ii. 
221 ; When the House is Alone, iv. 
177. 



DANA, RICHARD HENRY, A Gale off 

Cape Horn, iv. 35. 

;< DARBY, JOHN" (JAMES E. GARRET- 
SON). Life in Brushland, ii. 292. 
DAWES, RUFUS, Sunrise from Mount 

Washington, iii. 316. 
DENNIE, JOSEPH, Jack and Gill, A 

Criticism, iii. 247. 
DODGE, MARY A., Tommy, ii. 407. 
DORR, JULIA C. R., Outgrown, iv. 56. 
DRAKE, JOSEPH RODMAN, The Culprit 

Fay, ii. 265 ; Ode to the American 

Flag, iv. 126. 
DRAPER, JOHN WILLIAM, The Arabian 

Civilization in Spain, i. 328. 
D WIGHT, TIMOTHY, The Notch of the 

White Mountains, ii. 483. 

E. 

EDWARDS, JONATHAN, Religious Ex 
perience, ii. 146; Resolutions for the 
Conduct of Life, ii. 147 ; The Free 
dom of the Will, ii. 150. 

EGGLESTON, EDWARD, Spelling down 
the Master, iv. 345. 

EMERSON, RALPH WALDO, April, i. 
271 ; The Snow-Storm, i. 280 ; Quo 
tation and Originality, i. 291 ; The 
Rhodora, i. 437; The Humble-Bee, 
iii. 132. 

EVERETT, EDWARD, Imperishable 
Memories, i. 358. 

F. 

FAWCETT, EDGAR, A King, iv. 51 ; 
Vesta, iv. 320. 

FELTON, CORNELIUS CONWAY, Ap 
proaching the Alps, i. 159; Medi 
aeval Armor, i. 162. 

FIELDS, JAMES T., Anecdotes of 
Thackeray, i. 381 ; The Owl-Critic, 
ii. 388. 

FINCH, FRANCIS M., The Blue and the 
Gray, iv. 130. 

FISKE, JOHN, The Meaning of Infancy, 
i. 254. 

FLAGG, WILSON, Old Roads and Wood- 
Paths, iii. 404. 

FOOTE, MARY HALLOCK, In the Depths 
of the Mine, iii. 299. 

FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN, Every-Day 
Wisdom, i. 46. 

FRENEAU, PHILIP, The Wild Honey 
suckle, i. 432. 



INDEX OF AUTHORS. 



513 



FROTHINGHAM, OCTAVIUS B., The Idea 
of Deity, i. 449. 

CK 

GARFIELD, JAMES A., Words of Wis 
dom, iv. 148. 

GEORGE, HENRY, The Theory of Land- 
Taxation, iv. 63. 

GILES, CHAUNCEY, Death and the 
Future Life, iii. 321. 

GODWIN, PARKE, Aspects of American 
Literature, i. 9. 

GOODRICH, SAMUEL G., Domestic Life 
in 1800, iii. 277. 

GOULD, HANNAH F., The Frost, i. 281. 

GREELEY, HORACE, Advice to Farm 
ers, iii. 116. 

GREENE, ALBERT G., Old Grimes, iv. 
314. 

GRISWOLD, RUPUS WILMOT, The Prog 
ress and Prospects of Literature in 
America, ii. 99. 

H. 

HALE, EDWARD EVERETT, The Man 
without a Country, iii. 467. 

HALLECK, FITZ-GREENE, Tribute to 
Joseph Rodman Drake, iv. 60 ; 
Marco Bozzaris, iv. 463. 

HALPINE, CHARLES G., Dolce Fa,r 
Niente, ii. 222; A Hymn to the 
Types, iii. 47. 

HAMILTON, ALEXANDER, The Fate of 
Major Andre, iv. 22. 

HARRIS, JOEL CHANDLER, The Moon 
in the Mill-Pond, ii. 238. 

HARTE, FRANCIS BRET, The Sheriff of 
Calaveras, ii. 170 ; Plain Language 
from Truthful James, iv. 321 ; A 
Newport Romance, iv. 358. 

HAWTHORNE, NATHANIEL, The Secret 
Chamber, iii. 156; The Faun and 
the Nymph, iv. 371. 

HAY, JOHN, Little Breeches, iv. 317. 

HAYES, ISAAC I., In the Arctic Seas, 
i. 344. 

HEYWOOD, J. C., The Method of Haw 
thorne, iv. 488. 

HIGGINSON, THOMAS WENTWORTH, Poe, 
ii. 57 ; A Letter to a Dyspeptic, iv. 
448. 

HILLARD, GEORGE STILLMAN, Excur 
sion to Sorrento, iv. 409. 

HILLHOUSE, JAMES A., Interview of 
Hadad and Tamar, ii. 307. 
IV. hh 



HOFFMAN, CHARLES FENNO, The Wine- 
Cup, ii. 220 ; The Man in the Res 
ervoir, iv. 262. 

HOLLAND, JOSIAH GILBERT, Outwitting 
a Lawyer, ii. 312 j Cradle Song, iv. 
420. 

HOLLEY, MARIETTA, Josiah Allen's 
Wife calls on the President, ii. 494. 

HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL, The Au 
tocrat's Opinions, i. 487 ; The Voice 
less, ii. 434 ; The Chambered Nauti 
lus, iii. 130. 

HOPKINSON, FRANCIS, Specimen of a 
Collegiate Examination, iii. 140 ; On 
-Whitewashing, iii. 144. 

HOPKINSON, JOSEPH, Hail, Columbia, 
iv. 120. 

HORNADAY, WILLIAM T., A Tiger- 
Hunt in India, iv. 304. 

HOUGHTON, LOUISE SEYMOUR, Paradise 
Plantation, iv. 156. 

HOWE, JULIA WARD, Battle-Hymn of 
the Republic, iv. 124. 

HOWELLS, WILLIAM DEAN, Pompeii 
and Herculaneum, ii. 7 ; A Declara 
tion of Love, ii. 284. 

I. 

INGERSOLL, ERNEST, The Royal Gorge, 

i. 244. 
IRVING, WASHINGTON, A Bee-Hunt, i. 

155; An Heroic Combat, i. 502; 

Columbus at Barcelona, iv. 458. 

J. 

JACKSON, HELEN HUNT, May, i. 271 ; 
A Ride in a Palace-Car, i. 467 ; My 
Strawberry, iii. 134; Thought, iv. 
49 ; The Singer's Hills, iv. 173. 

JAMES, HENRY, Roman Antiquities 
at Nimes, i. 237 ; Daisy Miller, iv. 
180. 

JEFFERSON, THOMAS, The Character of 
Washington, i. 140. 

JEVVETT, SARAH ORNE, River Drift- 
Wood, iv. 110. 

K. 

KANE, ELISHA KENT, Incidents of Arc 
tic Travel, iv. 250. 

KENNAN, GEORGE, Winter Life and 
Scenery in Siberia, ii. 189; A Sibe 
rian Aurora, ii. 196. 

KENNEDY, JOHN P., A Successful Ruse, 
ii. 226. 



514 



INDEX OF AUTHORS. 



KEY, FRANCIS S., The Star-Spangled 
Banner, iv. 122. 

KIRK, JOHN FOSTER, Death of Charles 
the Bold, iii. 390. 

KIRKLAND, CAROLINE M., The Land 
Fever, i. 31. 

KNOTT, J. PROCTOR, Speech on Duluth, 
i. 107. 

KRAUTH, CHARLES PORTERFIELD, The 
Controlling Elements of the Refor 
mation, iv. 425. 



LANIER, SIDNEY, Symphony, i. 479; 

The Ocklawaha in May, iv. 190. 
LARCOBI, LUCY, Hannah Binding 

Shoes, iv. 422. 
LEA, HENRY CAREY, Primitive Forms 

of the Ordeal, ii. 90. 
LEX HENRY, Oration on the Death of 

Washington, iii. 256. 
LELAND, CHARLES GODFREY, The Art 

of the Future, iii. 289. 
LESLIE, ELIZA, Aunt Quimby, ii. 391. 
LINCOLN, ABRAHAM, Second Inaugural 

Address, ii. 185; Gettysburg Ora 
tion, ii. 188. 
LIPPINCOTT, SARA JANE, The Bathing 

of the Baby, iv. 470. 
LONGFELLOW, HENRY WADSWORTH, 

Autumn, i. 280; Flowers, i. 430; 

Resignation, ii. 431 ; The Famine, 

iv. 243. 
LOWELL, JAMES RUSSELL, Rhoecus, i. 

41 ; June, i. 274 ; The Courtin', ii. 

87; Happiness, ii. 217. 
LUDLOW, FITZHUGH, The Yosemite 

Valley, iv. 7. 

M. 

MACKENZIE, ROBERT SHELTON, Novel- 
Writing before Waverley, iii. 173. 

MANN, HORACE, The Value of Educa 
tion, i. 313. 

MARSH, GEORGE PERKINS, Minute 
Forms of Life, iii. 443. 

MATHEWS, WILLIAM, Importance of 
Literary Style, iv. 213. 

MAURY, MATTHEW FONTAINE, The 
Gulf Stream, iii. 192. 

MAY, EDITH, Summer, i. 276. 

MCLEAN, SALLIE PRATT, Sunday 
Morning in Wallencamp, iii. 264. 

MCLELLAN, ISAAC, Twilight, iii. 314. 



MCMASTER, JOHN BACH, Life in Phil 
adelphia in 1800, ii. 115. 

MELVILLE, HERMAN, The Death of the 
Whale, iv. 230. 

MILLER, JOAQUIN, Kit Carson's Ride, 
ii. 346. 

MITCHEL, ORMSBY MCKNIGHT, The 
First Revolution of the Heave-ns 
witnessed by Man, i. 53. 

MITCHELL, DONALD G., Spring-Time 
and Boyhood, ii. 475. 

MORRIS, GEORGE P., Woodman, Spare 
that Tree, iv. 415. 

MORRIS, GEORGE S., The Conditions 
of English Thought, ii. 255. 

MOTLEY, JOHN LOTHROP, The Duke's 
Plot, i. 121. 

MURFREE, MARY NOAILLES, An As 
tonished Gambler, iii. 214. 

N. 

NACK, JAMES, Mary's Bee, iv. 316. 
NEAL, JOHN, Children, iii. 39. 
NEAL, JOSEPH C., A Pretty Time of 

Night, iii. 330. 
NICHOLS, MRS. R. S., The Philosopher 

Toad, iv. 319. 

O. 

OSGOOD, FRANCES SARGENT, Labor is 
Worship, iv. 423. 

OSSOLI, MARGARET FULLER, Impres 
sions of Niagara, ii. 47. 

OSWALD, FELIX L., The Ruins of 
Uxmal, ii. 451. 

OWEN, ROBERT DALE, Burning of a 
Lake Steamer, iv. 132. 

P. 

PAINE, THOMAS, The Times that tried 
Men's Souls, ii. 152. 

PARKER, THEODORE, Vagrant Chil 
dren, i. 193; Washington, iv. 45. 

PARKMAN, FRANCIS, Braddock's De 
feat, i. 439. 

PARTON, JAMES, Old Virginia, i. 261. 

PARTON, SARAH P. ("FANNY FERN"), 
My Notion of Music, ii. 442 ; Boston 
Blessings and Beans, ii. 445; Un 
known Acquaintances, ii. 446 ; Life 
and its Mysteries, ii. 449. 

PAULDING, JAMES KIRKE, No Use 
being in a Hurry, iv. 293. 

PAYNE, JOHN HOWARD, Home, Sweet 
Home, iv. 413. 



INDEX OF AUTHORS. 



515 



PERCIVAL, JAMES G., May, i. 272; 

The Coral Grove, iii. 129; To Seneca 

Lake, iii. 313. 

PERRY, NORA, After the Ball, iii. 253. 
PETERSON, HENRY, Ode for Decoration- 
Day, iv. 484. 
PHELPS, ELIZABETH STUART, Deacon 

Quirk's Opinions, ii. 503. 
PIATT, JOHN J., Higher Tenants, iv. 

58. 

PIERPONT, JOHN, My Child, i. 152. 
PIKE, ALBERT, To the Mocking-Bird, 

iii. 125. 
PINKNEY, EDWARD COATE, A Health, 

i. 117. 
POE, EDGAR ALLAN, The Purloined 

Letter, i. 85; Annabel Lee, i. 119; 

The Haunted Palace, ii. 435. 
PORTER, NOAH, Books and Reading, i. 

394. 
PRENTICE, GEORGE D., The Closing 

Year, i. 282. 
PRESCOTT, WILLIAM HICKLING, The 

Monarch of Tezcuco, i. 164; The 

Palaces and Temples of the Incas, 

iv. 478. 
PRESTON, HARRIET W., The Songs of 

the Troubadours, iv. 224. 
PRESTON, MARGARET JUNKIN, The 

Lady Riberta's Harvest, iii. 273. 

K. 

RAMSAY, DAVID, Washington Resigns 

his Commission, iii. 137. 
RANDOLPH, JOHN, The Revision of the 

Constitution, iv. 103. 
READ, THOMAS BUCHANAN, Drifting, 

iii. 92 ; Sheridan's Ride, iv. 128. 
RIDEING, WILLIAM H., Boating down 

the Grand Canon, iii. 422. 
ROBERTS, SARAH, The Voice of the 

Grass, iii. 128. 
ROLLINS, ELLEN H., Winter Pleasures, 

ii. 420. 
RUSH, BENJAMIN, The Influence of 

Educated Women, iii. 95; On the 

Use of Tobacco, iii. 98. 

S. 

SANDERSON, JOHN, The Parisian " Pen 
sion," iv. 19. 

SAVAGE, MINOT J., The Debt of Re 
ligion to Science, iv. 361. 

SAXE, JOHN GODFREY, The Proud Miss 
MacBride, iv. 388. 



SCHOOLCRAPT, HENRY RoWE, The 

White Stone Canoe, i. 458. 

SEDGWICK, CATHERINE MARIA, The 
Sabbath in New England, iv. 100. 

SEWARD, WILLIAM HENRY, The Con 
dition of China, iv. 393. 

SIGOURNEY, LYDIA HUNTLEY, The Con 
necticut River, iii. 435. 

SIMMS, WILLIAM GILMORE, The Maiden 
and the Rattlesnake, ii. 163. 

SMITH, SAMUEL F., America, iv. 125. 

SPARKS, JARED, The American Revo 
lution, ii. 302. 

SPOFFORD, HARRIET PRESCOTT, Inside 
Plum Island, iii. 440. 

SPRAGUE, CHAHLES, Shakespeare Ode, 
iii. 167; The Family Meeting, iv. 
417. 

STANLEY, HENRY M., Life and Scenery 
on the Congo, ii. 244. 

STEDMAN, EDMUND CLARENCE, Be 
trothed Anew, ii. 219; Restricted 
Development of Poetry in America, 
iii. 183. 

STILLE, CHARLES J., Labor in the Mid 
dle Ages, iv. 329. 

STODDARD, CHARLES WARREN, A South- 
Sea Idyl, iii. 459. 

STODDARD, RICHARD HENRY, Autumn, 
i. 278 ; The Flight of Youth, ii. 431 ; 
Birds and Thoughts, iii. 127; The 
Sky, iii. 313. 

STORY, JOSEPH, The Indians, i. 376 ; 
The Importance of Classical Learn 
ing, i. 379 ; Free Schools, i. 380. 

STORY, WILLIAM W., The Violet, i. 
434. 

STOWE, HARRIET BEECH ER, Sam Law- 
son, the Village Do-Nothing, ii. 74. 

STRAHAN, EDWARD, The Crest of the 
Alleghanies, iv. 70. 

STREET, ALFRED B., A Forest Nook, 
iii. 308. 

SUMNER, CHARLES, Oration on La 
Fayette, iii. 43; The Horrors of 
War, iv. 398. 

T. 

TAYLOR, BAYARD, Love-Song of the 
Bedouins, i. 115; How I came to 
Buy a Farm, i. 228; Pedestrianism 
in Europe, iii. 69. 

TERHUNE, MRS. MARY VIRGINIA, Care 
of the Body, ii. 467. 



516 



INDEX OF AUTHORS. 



TERRY [COOKE], ROSE, Summer, i. 277 ; 

The Trailing Arbutus, i. 433 ; Squire 

Paine's Conversion, iii. 7. 
THOMPSON, DANIEL PIERCE, A New 

England Country Court, iv. 401. 
THOREAU, HENRY DAVID, Ascending 

Ktaadn, ii. 39. 
TICKNOR, GEORGE, Don Quixote, ii. 

339. 
TINCKER, MARY AGNES, The Terror 

of the Earthquake, iii. 489. 
TOURGEE, ALBION W., A Terrible Ride, 

iii. 100. 
TREAT, MARY, Our Familiar Birds, 

iii. 339. 
TROWBRIDGE, JOHN TOWNSEND, Nancy 

Blynn's Lovers, ii. 18 ; The Vaga 
bonds, iii. 480. 
TUCKERMAN, HENRY T., Author-Wor- 

ship, ii. 142. 

V. 

VARIOUS, Love's Young Dream, i. 115 ; 
The Revolving Seasons, i. 271 ; A 
Garland of Flower- Poems, i. 429; 
Sunshine and Hope, ii. 217 ; Shadow 
and Grief, ii. 431; Sonnets, iii. 32; 
Life in Nature, iii. 123 ; Aspects of 
Nature, iii. 308; The Rivulet, the 
River, and the Ocean, iii. 433; 
Poems of Thought and Sympathy, 
iv. 49; Patriotic Songs, iv. 119; 
Poems of Humor, iv. 314; Home 
Life and Sentiment, iv. 413. 

VERPLANCK, GULIAN C., The Lessons 
of American History, iv. 384. 

W. 

WALKER, MRS. E. A., The Total De 
pravity of Inanimate Things, iv. 
254. 

WALLACE, LEWIS, An Ancient Chariot- 
Race, i. 405. 

WALLACE, SUSAN E., The Light of the 
Harem, ii. 361. 

WARE, WILLIAM, The Journey to Pal 
myra, i. 67. 

WARNER, CHARLES DUDLEY, The 
Pleasures of Gardening, i. 198. 

WARNER, SUSAN, In the Autumn 
Woodlands, iv. 88. 

WASHINGTON. GEORGE, Farewell Ad 
dress, ii. 416. 

WAYLAND, FRANCIS, The Bible and 
the Iliad, iii. 484. 



WEBSTER, DANIEL, Reply to Hayne, 
i. 210. 

WEEKS, ROBERT KELLY, A Day, iii. 
310. 

WERMS, MASON L., Keimer's Attempt 
to found a New Religion, iii. 237. 

WHIPPLE, EDWIN PERCY, The Energy 
of Youth, i. 174. 

WHITCHER, MRS. FRANCES M., Heze- 
kiah Bedott, i. 57. 

WHITE, RICHARD GRANT, Conditions 
of Language- Variation, i. 493. 

WHITMAN, WALT, Song of the Red 
wood-Tree, ii. 489. 

WHITNEY, MRS. ADELINE D. T., Bos 
ton Transcendentalism, i. 203 ; A 
Violet, i. 435 ; Released, iv. 52. 

WHITNEY, WILLIAM D., The Origin of 
Language, ii. 272. 

WHITTIER, JOHN GREENLEAF, A Warn 
ing, i. 120 ; Prelude to " Among the 
Hills," ii. 181 ; The Eternal Good 
ness, iii. 500. 

WILCOX, ELLA WHEELER, The Disap 
pointed, iv. 61. 

WILLIAMS, ROGER, Dialogue between 
Truth and Peace, i.341. 

WILLIS, NATHANIEL PARKER, Absa 
lom, iv. 96; Unwritten Music, iv. 
284. 

WILSON, ALEXANDER, The Bluebird, 
ii. 201. 

WILSON, JAMES GRANT, A Visit to 
Sunnyside, iii. 283. 

WINCHBLL, ALEXANDER, Obliterated 
Continents, iii. 55. 

WINTHROP, THEODORE, The Ride of 
the Avengers, i. 143. 

WIRT, WILLIAM, The Blind Preacher, 
i. 102. 

WISE, JOHN, Twelve Hundred Miles 
through the Air, iv. 202. 

WOOD WORTH, SAMUEL, The Old Oaken 
Bucket, iv. 414. 

WOOLSEY, THEODORE D., Our Debt to 
our Ancestors, ii. 331. 

WOOLSON, ABBA G., A Sojourn in \.r- 
cady, ii. 207. 

WOOLSON, CONSTANCE FENIMORE, 
Kentucky Belle, i. 73. 

WRIGHT, WILLIAM B., The Brook, iii. 
317. 

Y. 

YOUNG, CHARLES A., The Heat and 
Light of the Sun, ii. 375. 



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FOREIGN CLASSICS 

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The purpose of this series is to present in a convenient and attractive form 
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VOLUMES NOW READY. 

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1. Homer's Iliad n. Pliny 20. Greek Anthology 

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9. Cicero 18. Lucian 27. Lucretius 
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LIPPINCOTT'S GAZETTEER OF THE WORLD. 

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A book for every Mechanic and Engineer. 



NEW EDITION, ENLARGED AND IMPROVED, 

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MECHANICS 

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PRACTICE; AND THKORY. 

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MARKS ^ HE STEAM-ENGINE. 



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ELEMENTS OF MODERN CHEMISTRY. 

BY 

ADOLPHE WURTZ, 

Senator, Professor of Chemistry of the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, etc. 
TRANSLATED AND EDITED BY 

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Chauvenet's 
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THE CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF IRON. 

A Complete Account of all the Best-Known Methods 

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Iron Ore, Limestone, Slag, Clay, Sand, Coal, Coke, 

Furnace and Producer Gases. 

BY 
ANDREW ALEXANDER BLAIR, 

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Metals, J&75: Chief Chemist United States Geological Survey 

and Tenth Census, 1880. 

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ELEMENTS OF METALLURGY. 

A Practical Treatise on the Art of Extracting 
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Ancien Eleve de 1'Ecole des Mines, Paris. New Edition. Re 
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THE ONLY COMPLETE EDITIONS. 

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History of Ferdinand and Isabella. 3 volumes. 
History of the Conquest of Mexico. 3 volumes. 
History of the Conquest of Peru. 2 volumes. 
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PRESCOTT LEAFLETS. 

Choice Passages from the Works of W. H. PRESCOTT. Compiled by 
JOSEPHINE D. HODGDONi I2mo, in packets, jo cents. 



*#* For sale by all Booksellers, or will be sent by the Publishers, post-paid l 
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Charles Dickens's Works 



THE ILLUSTRATED STANDARD EDITION. 

Complete in 30 volumes. Octavo. $2.50 each. 

This Edition is printed on a finer paper and in larger type than has been 
employed in any previous edition. The type has been cast especially for it, and 
the page is of a size to admit of the introduction of all the original illustrations. 

Sketches by " Bo*." David Copperfield. 

Pickwick Papers. Bleak House. 

Oliver Twist. Little Dorrit. 

Nicholas Nickleby. A Tale of Two Cities. 

Old Curiosity Shop and Reprinted The Uncommercial Traveller. 

Pieces. Great Expectations. 

Barnaby Rudge and Hard Times. Our Mutual Friend. 

Martin Chuzzlewit. Christmas Books. 

American Notes and Pictures History of England. 

from Italy. Christmas Stories. 

Dombey and Son. Edwin Drood and Other Stories. 

Cloth, $00.00**; half calf, gilt, marbled edges, $120.00*; three-quarters 
calf, extra finish, gilt top, other edges uncut, $123.00* ; full tree calf t 
gilt, $173.00. 

LIBRARY EDITION. 

X2mo. With the Original Illustrations. 30 volumes. 

Each -work sold separately in the original red cloth binding. Per volume, 
$1.50*. In sets : Cloth, 30 volumes, $43.00* ; three-quarters calf, 30 vol~ 
umes, $90.00. 

HANDY EDITION. 

32 volumes. i6mo. Half cloth, 50 cents per volume. 
Half morocco, $1.00 per volume. 

The clear type, fine thin paper, with uncut edges and neat binding, make 
these little books as elegant as one need wish, while the low price will enable all 
lovers of Dickens to possess, at a very small outlay, a good edition of his works. 



*#* For sale by all Booksellers, or will be sent by the ^ublishers , free of 
expense, on receipt of the price. 

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Bulwer's Novels. 



LIBRARY EDITION. 

Complete in 47 volumes. Large type. Fine tinted paper, izmo. Extra 
cloth, gilt top. Per set : $58.73: full alligator , yellow burnished edges, 
; half calf , gilt extra, $117 50. 



THE LORD LYTTON EDITION. 

Complete in 25 volumes. Large I2mo. With Frontispiece. Extra cloth, 
black and gilt. Per set : Cloth, $31.25; sheep, $4.3.25; full alligator, 
yellow burnished edges, $(32.50; half morocco, new style gilt top, $h2.5O; 
half calf, $b2.50. 

Each novel sold separately, in extra cloth, per vol., $1.25. 

The Caxtons, i volume ; My Novel, 2 volumes ; What will He do with it? 
2 volumes ; Devereux, i volume ; The Last Days of Pompeii, i volume ; 
Leila Calderon, and Pilgrims, i volume ; Rienzi, i volume ; The Last of 
the Barons, i volume ; Harold, i volume ; Eugene Aram, i volume ; 
Zanoni, i volume ; Pelham, i volume ; The Disowned, i volume ; Paul 
Clifford, i volume ; Ernest Maltravers, i volume ; Godolphin, i volume ; 
Alice, i volume ; Night and Morning, i volume ; Lucretia, i volume ; A 
Strange Story, i volume ; Kenelm Chillingly, i volume ; The Parisians, x 
volume ; Pausanias, i volume. 



"We know of no series so desirable in every respect as this." Philadel 
phia Evening Bulletin. 

" It makes one of the most attractive and valuable series to be found in any 
library for reading in distinction from reference. It is at once handsome and 
cheap." Chicago Evening Journal. 



V For sale by all Booksellers, or will be sent by the Publishers, free of 
expense, on receipt of the price. 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY, 

715-717 MARKET STREET 
PHILADELPHIA, PA. \ 



WORK?, 



THE ASHBURTON EDITION. 

This Edition is handsomely printed, and contains the Portraits and Illus 
trations. 17 volumes. Demy 8vo. Cloth, gilt top, $2.00 per volume; 
three-quarters calf, $4.50 per volume. 

Vol. I. The French Revolution. 

Vol. II. The French Revolution and Past and Present. 

Vol. III. Sartor Resartus ; Heroes and Hero Worship. 

Vol. IV. Life of John Sterling, Life of Schiller. 

Vol. V. Latter-Day Pamphlets, Early Kings of Norway, Essay on 

the Portrait of John Knox. 
Vols. VI., VII., VIII. Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell. 

Vols. I., II., III. 
Vols. IX., X., XL, XII., XIII., XIV. History of Frederick the Great. 

Vols. I., ]J., III., IV., V., VI. 
Vols. XV., XVI., XVII. Critical and Miscellaneous Essays. Vols. I., 

II., III. 

PEOPLE'S EDITION. 

In 38 volumes. Small crown 8vo. Bound in cloth. Per vol. ,75 cents. 

38 volumes. Cloth, $28.30; full alligator, yellow burnished edges, $00.00. 
Or in iq volumes. Cloth, $23.73 ' full alligator , yellow burnished edges, 
$50.00; full Russia flexible, in Russia case, $00.00; half calf, gilt, 
$50.00; tree calf, $85.00. 



LIFE AND WORKS OF 

CHARLOTTE BRONTE. 



LIBRARY EDITION. 

With Life. Illustrated. 7 volumes. Crown 8vo. Per set : cloth, $10.30; 

half calf, gilt, $24.50 ; three-quarters calf extra, gilt top, $25.00. Each 

volume sold separately in cloth, $1.50. 
Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette, The Professor, Wuthering Heights, The Tenant 

of Wildfeld Hall ; and The Life of Charlotte Bronte, by Mrs. Gaskell. 
JANE EYRE. People's Edition, $1.00. 

HANDY EDITION. 

Each volume containing a Frontispieee. 7 volumes. Per volume : Cloth, 
50 cents; half morocco, $1.00; half calf, per set, $14.00. 



*#* For sale by all Booksellers, or will be sent by the Publishers, free of 
expense, on receipt of the price. 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY, 

/ 715-7^7 MARKET STREET, PHILADELPHIA. PA. 



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